Ellie has gained confidence and independence through our FdSc in Sport Coaching

Ellie Simpson-Eyre is in the first year of our FdSc in Sport Coaching. The course is based at Queen’s Park Sports Centre and is offered in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University (SHU), providing access to a wide range of  coaching opportunities and sporting facilities. Ellie told us about the experience she’s gained already and her hopes for the future. 

Why did you choose the course?

“Before this, I did Public Services at Chesterfield College and there was some cross over because a lot of the units were to do with the physical training needed to prepare your fitness levels.

When I think about it, I’ve always wanted to do something linked to teaching sport, because I’ve always loved sport. Throughout primary and secondary school, I used to be on all the sports teams at school and I thought teaching sport to others would be a great career.”


What are your plans for the future?

“My overall aim is to teach sports in a school. I want to be a PE teacher and I think I want to work in secondary schools, but I’m about to go on a placement in a primary school, so we’ll see how that goes.

Once I’ve finished the course, I’ll need to go onto a top up year to receive my full honours degree and then do my general teaching qualification so I can teach in schools.”


Practical experience

“We get a lot of practical experience inside and outside of the Queens Park Sports Centre. On Monday mornings, there’s gymnastics at Queens Park for younger children and we help out with that. I’ve also helped to teach rugby to primary school children at the rugby club on the other side of Chesterfield. Next year, once we’re onto Level 5, we’ll be going to a school or a gym to do a placement in the sort of place we’d like to get a career in.”

How are you finding the course content?

“There’s a real mixture of practical coaching experience and more scientific theory-based work. Everything is assessed through a range of assignments, which can be observations, written assignments or presentations. There are no exams. Personally, I like the more practical stuff, but there’s always great support there for anything I’m struggling with.

Before any of our assignments, our teachers let us know that they can have a look at things with us and help us out a bit. All of them are supportive, as well as our peers. If one of us is struggling, we all sort of pull each other up and make sure we’re all on the same level. The teachers are amazing in terms of giving us little bits of help and talking through things with us.”


What is the average week on the course like?

“We’re at Queen’s Park Sports Centre for lessons and coaching sessions two days a week, Monday and Wednesday, 9 – 4.

For one of our units we’re in the pool at Queen’s Park, so we’ve had to do a risk assessment around that. For that module, we’re coaching a specific swimming session and because the college course is based here there’s great facilities that we get to use. There’s a strip of the pool we get access to, so we’re actually in the pool every single week, figuring out our lessons.

At Queen’s Park, everything is here for us so there’s no travelling back and forth to college. There’s Astroturf here so in the summer we go down and play football in the mornings. The days we don’t have coaching or lessons, we’re cracking on with assignments, but we still tend to come in and get work done in the classrooms here. There are always teachers here if we need any help.”


A sense of independence

“We’re really given a lot of independence on the course, it’s largely up to you, you can do as little or as much as you like but obviously if you do the most, you’re going to get the best grades.

It feels really grown up, and it really prepares you for things in the future like university or a career in this industry.

Even though I’ve not been here that long, I feel like I really do know a lot. If you put me in front of a group of children and told me which lesson I was teaching, I’d feel prepared enough to know exactly what I needed to do. I feel confident with everything that we’re teaching here.”

Find out more about the range of courses and apprenticeships available at Chesterfield College.