Barnfield College
Success Stories:
#IAm…a L.D.D Tutor


Why did you choose Barnfield?

“I was working as an Estate Agent having dropped out of two colleges prior and my Mum told me she’d seen an advert that Barnfield was starting a Music Course. She encouraged me to apply so I did. I sneakily booked my interviewer in to ‘see some houses’ so I could attend my interview!”

Why did you choose your particular course?

“I was in the very first music class at Barnfield, which was exciting. The Tutor Michael [McCabe] spoke so passionately about the course and his vision for the course so it was inclusive for everyone’s interest, career goals and abilities and it inspired me to be part of it.

“I left Barnfield at age 20, taking time out to be a carer for a family member, then returned at 26 to do my HND. This helped me give my life some direction, and started my pathway into teaching and set the foundations for my career.”

Maria Sexton in Barnfield College Skills for Life kitchen
Maria Sexton in Barnfield College garden

What do you remember most about your time here?

“I met some of the most amazing people. My tutors who supported me throughout I am now lucky enough to call my friends and colleagues. I remember having so much fun and just truly loving my courses and all those around me. Barnfield has also been very accommodating to my external commitments as a full-time carer and made adjustments so I’m still able to access all my courses.”

What are you doing now?

“I’ve just completed my PGCE which was a big challenge, but the most rewarding thing I’ve done and something I’m very proud of. I’m now teaching in the Skills For Life department which is the provision at Barnfield for LDD and MLD where I teach music, dance, and sport, through to eating out and community projects. I also teach Maths, English and Music to adults with SEND at the Community Choices Centre in Stopsley.”

Maria Sexton Close-up

“Barnfield has given me so much over the years, as a student and now a Teacher, and for that I am so grateful. When I step into my classroom with my learners, I know I’m exactly where I’m meant to be and that is the BEST feeling in the world.”

Maria Sexton, Learning Disabilities & Difficulties Tutor

How useful was your course in helping you secure your current position?

“I did my Introduction to Teaching Course whilst on my HNC which was a great stepping stone towards my teaching. During this course I started teaching Dance at Barnfield Skills for 6 months. The, as part of my HND, we had to design a community project, and I designed a SEND Music Session, which i then trialed with the Skills for Life learners. I was then invited back as a visiting Lecturer to teach Music and went on to teach curricular subjects in mainstream. I then taught Level 1 and 2 Music and units on Level 3 mainstream and then fell into my current role in Skills and Community.”

What skills did you learn at Barnfield College?

“Resilience! Taking on challenges, stepping outside your comfort zone, thinking on the spot, and hard work and dedication pays off!”

Maria Sexton in Barnfield College Skills for Life common room
Maria Sexton in Barnfield College Skills for Life area

How did the college experience help you get to where you are today?

“I’ve met some of the most wonderful people who’ve inspired, motivated and encouraged me and have helped me get where I am today, and still continue to support my progression.”

Which of your achievements are you most proud of?

“Getting my PGCE is my greatest achievement. I never thought I would achieve a qualification of this level, nor find something I loved so much!”

Any other comments?

“Barnfield has given me so much and I’ll always be grateful. I want today’s learners to enjoy it as much as I did and I try to work towards this every day.”

How would you sum up your experience in three words?

“I’m still here! And that speaks volumes.”


To apply for any of our courses, you can apply online now. Alternatively, call us on 01582 569 569, email us at or drop in and see us at either campus.


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