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Miss Leigh Worrall

Profile summary

Professional biography

Leigh Worrall is the Open University in Wales PGCE Curriculum Tutor for English and English with drama / or media in the Faculty for Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS). She joined The Open University in July 2021 overseeing the initial cohort of students undertaking Post Graduate teaching qualifications in teaching English (and English with drama / or media)  as part of the extending range of subjects being offered by the OU in Wales' Part Time and Salaried routes into teaching.  She is also Professional Learning Lead on the PGCE Programme responsible for overseeing the development, review and dissemination of developmental materials and training for all school-based teacher educators  within the PGCE Partnership. 

She is a qualified teacher with 15 years teaching experience in a number of  secondary schools across South Wales. She has established experience at leadership level through her prior roles as Subject Leader for English and Head of Sixth Form. She has a joint honours degree in English and History from Cardiff Univerisity and a Masters in Education Leadership and Management ( awarded Distinction) from Cardiff Metropolitan Univerisity.  She is currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) with the Open University.  

Her research interests lie in exploring effective approaches to mentoring within Initial Teacher Education (ITE) which she has published work and presented on both internally and externally.  The impact which the newly established Curriculum for Wales has on student teachers' identity and professional agency is of keen interest and forms the focus of her current Doctoral Research.   She is particularly interested in examining this within the Area of Learning and Experience: Languages, Literacy and Communication.  She is also focused on developing student-centered pedagogies, building learner resilience and examining pedagogical approaches to online or remote learning and teacher education given the unique pan-Wales and distance learning approach of the OU in Wales' PGCE Programme.    She also works in conjunction with colleagues and Partnership schools as Sub-Committee member for Professional Learning reviewing policy and procedures related to student teachers' experiences within Partnership schools.  In her capacity as Curriculum Tutor she is also working as Academic Reviewer for PGCE, CertEd PGCE and BA (Hons) Education courses offered by Middlesborough College. 

She works as Academic Consultant on the BBC Series 'A Special School' which notably gained a Bafta Cymru Nomination for Series 2.  Her work on OU Connect resources linked to this show can be viewed here: A Special School - The Open University | OU / BBC Co-production | BBC Partnership.

Having grown up and lived overseas both in South Africa and Brazil, she also has a keen personal interest in examining approaches to teaching and learning, curriculum development and reform and ITE from an international perspective which she hopes to build on in the future. 

Research interests

Mentoring of student teachers within Initial Teacher Education

Resilience with regard to learners, teachers and pedagogy 

Student-centered pedagogies 

Curriculum for Wales reform  and its impact on student teachers in Wales - currently the focus for EdD Doctoral Research 

International approaches to teacher education, pedagogy and curriculum development 

Adapting pedagogy for online / remote teaching 

Philosophy for Children - Holds Level 1 SAPERE training 

Reading for Pleasure - Supporting student teachers currently enrolled as Ambassadors for Reading for Pleasure

Teaching interests

English, Media and Drama teaching and Learning 

Adaptive pedagogy - resilience and approaches to blended learning 

Teaching and Learning for the Curriculum for Wales 

Assessing pupil progress 

External collaborations

BBC A Special School - Series 2:  BBC Two - A Special School


Finding the joy: effective mentoring in Teacher Education (2024)
Glover, A.; Jones, M.; Thomas, A. and Worrall, L.
Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning ((Early access))

The Triad of Success Factors that can Strengthen Student Teacher Mentoring (2023)
Glover, Alison; Jones, Megan; Thomas, Angela and Worrall, Leigh
Educator Perspectives, 3 (pp. 15-20)

Effective mentoring in Initial Teacher Education – what works and why? (2022-05)
Jones, Megan and Worrall, Leigh
In : Teacher Education Advancement Network Conference (TEAN) (5 May - 6 May 2022, Virtual)

Exploring Strategies for Mentor Development (2022-03)
Jones, Megan and Worrall, Leigh
In : Education Workforce Council - Moving Forward: Questions, Success and Challenges in the delivery of ITE Reform (28 Mar 2022, Online)

What matters? The impact of learning to teach within a period of curriculum reform in Wales (2022)
Worrall, Leigh
In : Teacher Education Advancement Network Conference (5-6 May 2022, Virtual)

Effective mentoring in Initial Teacher Education: What works and why (2022-09-20)
Glover, Alison; Jones, Megan; Thomas, Angela and Worrall, Leigh
The Open University, Cardiff, Wales.

Effective Mentoring in Initial Teacher Education: What works and why? Case Studies from The Open University Partnership in WALES PGCE Programme (2022-06)
Jones, Megan and Worrall, Leigh
The Open University in Wales, Cardiff, Wales.