April 17, 2020
A teenager with a dream of becoming an English teacher is helping younger students at Northern Education Trust Dyke House Academy.
Danielle Egan should have been preparing to sit her GCSE exams over the next few months, but the coronavirus pandemic has shattered those plans. The Year 11 student is determined, however, not to let the break in the normal education routine affect her own progress.
She is due to study English literature, English language and psychology at Dyke House Sixth Form from September as she looks to take the next step towards becoming a teacher. To retain focus, Danielle is using a variety of online methods to help Year 10 students study during times when social distancing is being encouraged across the country to help reduce the spread of the virus.
The 16-year-old said: “I offered to help out the Year 10s because, as Mr Palmer (Dyke House Principal) always says, ‘you need to start now’ and realistically they all do! I have helped all year groups as I have a strong passion for English and actually want to have a career as an English teacher. So I thought, why not help everyone out?”
Danielle has focused a lot on poetry. Students start off by sending her a poem, which they have examined and annotated. That makes it easier for the student to write a PEEL paragraph (PEEL is a tool to structure writing: Point, Evidence, Explanation, Link). She said: “After this, the students have sent me their work and I have initially marked it for them, given them improvements to make and explained what they have done well. Up to now I have received great feedback, saying I’ve helped out a lot. I am over the moon about this! I came up with the ideas on what to do and how to do it myself.”
Danielle’s final secondary school year at Dyke House might not be ending the way it was planned but the last few years have shaped her future. The former St Cuthbert’s Primary School pupil said: “I’ve always had a strong passion for English and I think that’s mainly to do with my English teacher – Mrs Young. She has helped me become the person I am today and I don’t think any of this would have been possible without the dedication of such an amazing teacher.
“After receiving good feedback from students, this has made me want to be an English teacher even more, more than ever before. I am determined to be the best English teacher I can be and I’m also determined to help these students I am helping to reach their potential.”
Danielle has impressed everyone at Dyke House with her approach and attitude. Mr Adam Palmer, Principal, said: “We are extremely proud that Danielle has used her time to help others in this way. Her attitude towards education has been phenomenal in Year 11. She has a real passion for English. Danielle has already expressed her desire to come to our Sixth Form and we can’t wait to welcome her back so that she can deliver the ‘start now’ message herself to the Year 11s in September.”
Any students with work/activities they are proud of should send an email to [email protected]