Hayley Burns - Primary Teacher at West End Primary School

February 18, 2019

Throughout Hayley Burns’ life she has undertaken and accomplished much, both in and out of the classroom. 


After completing secondary school, Hayley went to Strathclyde University to study Spanish and Politics.  Along with this she gained the opportunity to study in Mexico City for 3 months and also spent 18 months studying at Madrid University where she taught English as an additional language.

When Hayley returned to Scotland and graduated, she started a PhD in linguistics.  In 2003 Hayley and her husband decided to move to Moray with their young children.  She said,


“I chose to move to Moray as I love the fact you can be on a beach, then in a forest, then on top of a mountain within a very short space of time!  Moray is a safe area and not too busy so it’s a fantastic place to bring up a family.”


As Hayley was keen to continue teaching languages she decided to take on a franchise in Moray called “La Jolie Ronde”, a company that teaches Spanish and French to children.  Along with Hayley’s business, she decided that she wanted to teach more than just French and Spanish and decided to become a primary school teacher.  Hayley completed a PGDE through distance learning over 2 years at Aberdeen University.  When she started her work placements, she made the decision to sell her business. She said,


“For me this was a brilliant way to complete my PDGE!  I could still be a mum and run my business while I studied in the evenings.  Two years is a lot more manageable then one as I was able to develop with the qualification and take it all in!  I was at Logie Primary School for my NQT year where I had a fantastic mentor who helped me develop my teaching craft.  It really is down to the people you have around you and supporting you!”


After Hayley’s NQT year she applied for a Primary Teacher position at West End Primary School… six years on and she’s still there and in 2016, became Principal Teacher.  Hayley said,


“I love being with the children, I love bringing out the best in them and I love motivating them to become curious about their world and developing an interest in lifelong learning. 


Definitely consider teaching as a career.  However, you have to have the right attitude for the job.  You’ve got to be enthusiastic, be a good role model, enjoy being around children, be open to learning new things and don’t have a fixed mindset. “


Along with teaching at West End Primary, Hayley recently completed a Masters of Education in Critical Enquiry at University of the Highlands and Islands.  This is a three-year, online programme for professionals working in an education setting wishing to build on their skills.  Hayley has also just started training to become a co-tutor for Aberdeen University whilst still working at West End. Hayley’s role will consist of supporting teaching students on their placements and carrying out observations.


Hayley Burns’ story is a perfect example of how you can undertake various careers and courses related to teaching!

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