The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Fran Thompson

Fran Thompson

Fran graduated in 2006 with a BA in Sociology.

Choosing Newcastle

I got a taste for Sociology in the 6th form and so chose to continue my exploration of the subject at university level.

I chose Newcastle University having known that it has a good reputation for it’s research and teaching, with a well equipped library and good student support. I also visited the city, which had so much to offer. I was impressed with the size of the city (not to big or too small), it’s history and the vibrant mix of cultures.

Studying at Newcastle

The most memorable moment from my studying of Sociology at Newcastle was undertaking my own research and writing a dissertation. I investigated the social ties of my local community. What this actually translated to was talking to people in a pub near where I was living at the time. The area was (as described by many of the participants) occupied by ‘old working class’ people. It was fascinating to hear about their views of what binds them together along with their views of ‘outsiders’. It was Sociology in action and it was brilliant. Plus getting my dissertation of 13,000 words finally bound was a brilliant feeling!

Anselma Gallinat was my dissertation supervisor. She was a great help, I don’t think I’d have made it through if it weren’t for her constant pointing me in the right direction. The support on offer was excellent through my degree.

Career profile

As an SEN Teacher I teach literacy to children with Special Educational Needs. I also have a 6th Form form whom I teach General Studies to and mentor.

I left university and worked as an Administration Assistant. At the time I was volunteering as a Teaching Assistant at a local primary school at which a job came up as a Teaching Assistant so I applied and was successful. I worked in this role for three years before gaining the opportunity to teach. I taught Sociology, Citizenship, RE and ICT.

Finally, I took the plunge and did my PGCE, specialising in Citizenship Education. As for my current position, with my qualified teacher status and experience of working with students with SEN I was keen to develop my skills further in this field.