Derryman Jim Nelis - who is better known for his work behind the scenes as stage manager - has just completed his teacher training at the University of Ulster’ s Magee campus and finished top of the class.
Jim, who hails from Hatmore, is the recipient of this year’s prestigious Biggar Award, which is presented each year to the student attaining the highest marks in the PCGE courses across all campuses. He was awarded Distinction in both the CIT and PGCE (FE) (Certificate in Teaching and Postgraduate Certificate in Education) at Ulster’s summer graduation ceremonies.
He says studying for the CIT and PGCE (FE) was an extremely worthwhile teaching and learning experience and really helped prepare him for today’s challenging learning environment.
“It was a cutting edge course and equipped me with the necessary skills for the 21st century classroom. Staff were extremely supportive and provided specialised tuition in areas such as essential skills, SENDO and technology enhanced learning, in addition to enhancing our academic writing by providing additional pre-class workshops.”
Congratulating Jim on his success, PGCE course tutor, Celia O’Hagan said it demonstrates the very significant work within FE and in HE, which in many ways is changing the platform of education and learning partnerships in Northern Ireland.
“At Magee we offer a work-based employment route to FE Teacher Education. Jim developed a planned learning partnership for technical theatre, bringing educational providers (schools, colleges, university and employers) together to improve the standard of vocational education. This is an example of how teacher education courses at Ulster are leading the way in Northern Ireland as this is the entitlement framework emerging with research excellence at the core.”
A graduate of the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he studied Stage Management and Theatre Production, Jim now lectures in Lighting Design and Stage Management at Ulster’s Magee campus and in Theatre Production at the Northern Regional College. Jim is married to Caroline and they have a daughter Eimear and son Paul.
Jim Nelis, winner of the Biggar award pictured with Professor Paul Carmichael, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, his son Paul and wife Caroline