Goodbye Edge Hill

Hello everyone – I hope you are having a fantastic summer so far!

After 3 years of university and 2 years of student blogging, I have graduated from Edge Hill with a BA (hons) in Primary Science Education with QTS. I was extremely happy to have graduated with my house mates as they did the same or similar courses. After registering and having photographs taken, the ceremony took place. This was followed by an afternoon of refreshments and even more photographs with my family. It was a perfect day to complete my university journey (even wearing a gown and cap during the heatwave).

I am eternally grateful for spending 3 years at Edge Hill University. It is where I have met my closest of friends, taught at wonderful primary schools and developed my confidence in myself. My university tutors have been so kind and the course itself has provided me with so many opportunities.

Although moving out was extremely difficult, there are now more things to look forward to thanks to Edge Hill. I have secured a teaching job with a lovely year 5 class for September, and my uni friends and I are planning to meet up as often as possible!

Whether you are considering applying to Edge Hill or starting your first year in September, you have SO much to look forward to. Cherish every moment and grasp every opportunity. I know everyone tells you how fast university goes – I think I only just realised how true that really is.

Thank you for reading any of my blogs or ramblings from the past 2 years… wishing you all the very best.

Signing off…

Primary Teaching Interviews

Hello again!

After recently being successful at an interview for a local teaching position, I thought I would collect a few handy tips that helped me when applying for post-grad jobs! 

Be yourself

I have learned that most people can see straight through anyone who is pretending to be someone they are not. The school are not looking for the ‘perfect teacher.’ They are looking for the teacher that is perfect for THEIR school. Be yourself, have general chit-chat and do not forget to smile!

Don’t be disheartened

This is the most important thing to remember. You may go through 10 interviews before finding the right school for you and do NOT settle. When everyone appears to be gaining jobs around you try not to panic. It is better to wait and find school fit for you, rather than rush into anything that may not be as good for you further down the line.

Talk about experience

At interviews, it can be really useful to relate each of your points to experience form professional practice or pre-university placements. It is easy to make random statements but what you say must be backed up. I also found it easier to answer questions when thinking about my personal teaching background.

Think about each step

Your interview might consist of teaching tasks or observations, so it is important to consider different possibilities. If you are asked to teach a lesson, ensure there is time for discussion, a clear learning outcome and 2 or 3 printed lesson plans to hand to your observers. Although it may be unnecessary, it will hopefully demonstrate your organisation and planning.

Seek out opportunities

NQT pools can bring about opportunities that you do not expect. By having your name added to a local teaching pool, schools can contact you directly if they see you as a potential candidate for their teaching post. I definitely recommend joining at least one. it can also be beneficial to visit the school before sending off your application form. This will allow you to speak to members of staff, observe children’s work and get a general feel for the school. If you end up loving a school you visit, they are likely to remember you when shortlisting applicants.

Use advice from Edge Hill

And finally… use the support that Edge Hill provides! On learning edge there is currently an employability tab for third years. This consists of all the useful information that has been discussed in lectures, in addition to a powerpoint chronologically outlining the application process for supply work, NQT pools and direct teaching jobs.

Thank you for reading and wishing you all the very best! Speak soon,

Pre-university Plans!

Hello everyone! It’s that Friday feeling – friYAY.

As your exams will be finished soon, if not already, you might be wondering what there is to do before starting university. Depending on your course, you may be asked to do some research or begin to do some academic tasks. For primary education, I was asked to do different research and subject knowledge based tasks within the programme handbook. For example, there was a maths website provided where we could practise our skills within certain areas of the curriculum. For English, we were asked to read and record stories either in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2. These tasks were really useful when beginning the course.

The summer before university is also the time to ensure you have everything you need! Remember the essentials: bed linen, duvet, pillow, towels, cutlery, clothes hangers and toiletries. One of my favourite things about moving in was the decoration side of things! Fairy lights, pictures or a small rug can can make it a bit more homey! For pictures, I recommend the app ‘free prints’ if you do not have it downloaded already.

And of course… this summer is your chance to spend lots of time with your friends from college or sixth form. It can be hard when everyone from school moves to different parts of the country! Nights in with the girls, painting the town red and trips to the beach are just some ideas for summer plans!

Hope these few tips have been helpful! Have a fantastic weekend,

Welcome Sunday

Hello friends! How are you? I hope all of your revision and exams are going well.

I have  moved out of my university house but it’s not really sunk in. People tell you how wonderful it is to meet and get to know your flat mates, but no one tells you how hard it is to leave them. Moving out took a few trips because my whole life was in that house! It got me thinking of some handy tips that might help you when it comes to moving in your first year accommodation!

On Welcome Sunday, make sure you bring the essentials. Even if you won’t be going home until second term, when you return to university you can bring the other things that didn’t fit in your car the first time round!

For me, plastic boxes were a godsend. You can get cheap ones at places like ikea. I found them really useful to transport items such as crockery. When I first moved in, I brought 4 sets of crockery – I don’t know what I was thinking!! I would say 2 big plates, 1 small plate, 1 bowl, 2 glasses and 2 mugs are a good amount. I ended up using and washing the SAME pieces of crockery so barely any of it.

Student guides will be there to help you because it can be a struggle to get things up and down stairs a few times. The edge hill student guides who helped us were amazing, so definitely ask for help instead of breaking your backs.

That’s all for now… but I’m sure I have plenty more tips in my head if you have any more questions about Welcome Sunday! Have a great week,

Graduation Ball 2019

Good evening everybody!

I hope you have had a lovely weekend. As I finish university next week, my friends and I enjoyed our Saturday night at Edge Hill’s graduation ball and we were NOT disappointed! The past 3 years have gone by too fast. However, a night like this while being surrounded by close friends made it the perfect way to finish university.

Before heading to Aintree Racecourse, we all enjoyed some champagne and took some group photographs. We had one rule for the night – don’t talk about leaving university because we do NOT want to leave!

The venue at Aintree consisted of 2 rooms – both with DJs and entertainment. Our table was right next to the dance floor and it had a fantastic view of the racecourse below. Each table seated 10 people, however it was easy to walk around to speak to others nearby.

Even though there were a few days of typical British weather, we were lucky that the sun came out just in time! The dinner itself was deeeeelicious. I chose the vegetarian option – roasted carrot hummus, Moroccan chick pea stew and a chocolate tart for dessert! We danced the night away on the dance floor in between courses and after dessert, until it was time to head towards Edge Hill’s student union bar. The SU was decorated like a marquee and there was a sale on drinks for everyone who attended the ball.

Edge Hill’s 2019 graduation ball was a night to remember, thanks to everybody at the university who was involved in its organisation! Until next time…

Uni Top Tips

Hello again!

Freshers week seems like so long ago for an old biddy like me… but there are certainly things that I wish I knew before coming to university! Here are a few:

  1. It is impossible NOT to make friends

Like a lot of people, your main concern right now might be finding those you’ll get on with. And trust me… you will definitely find them. You will meet soooo many students who are likely to also have the same concern! Take your time and enjoy speaking to new people.

  1. You probably don’t need that extra tea towel

I bought SO much stuff that I have barely used. You DON’T need 3 frying pans, 4 tea towels and 15 spices. Okay maybe I exaggerated a little. However once I settled in my accommodation, I realised that I bought too many things with such little uses. If you forget something you actually need, you can always pick it up next time your home.

  1. Cutlery goes missing

No matter how much you buy and no matter where you put it, it gets lost. And I don’t mean there’s a cutlery thief…there is a cutlery ghost. I have no idea how it happens or where my forks end up, but I am now down to one tea spoon and a pair of scissors. Honestly it is a MYSTERY. So ignore point 2 – bring as much cutlery as you possibly can.

  1. Library luck

I never went to the library to do my work for sixth form as I was never really a fan (or thought I wasn’t). HOWEVER, it has now become my second home. Edge Hill’s new Catalyst building offers 4 floors of work spaces of different noise levels, with meeting rooms, printing hubs and even its own café. I would highly recommend visiting, as I wish I had visited more for my first couple of years at uni!

  1. HAVE FUN

Balancing work and play can be easy to preach but harder to do. Edge Hill have so many people who are there to support you such as student guides, tutors and the student help desk where you can find one-to-one support if needed. No one should be working 24/7, and university is the time to go out n about!! So make sure you look after yourself, and treat yo’ self to day trips and nights out with your mates.

Thanks for reading, have a fantastic week!

 

 

Accommodation AFTER First Year

Hello friends!

I hope you are having a lovely Mother’s day. As I have written about first year accommodation before, I thought I would talk about accommodation for second and third year students. Edge Hill’s fantastic accommodation was voted best student accommodation in the UK and Ireland and best value for money (National Student Housing Awards, 2018)… and I am not surprised one bit! However, you do not have to stay on campus, it is completely up to you!

Living in Ormskirk

The perks of living in Ormskirk is that you are VERY close to the town centre, which means you are a short walk away from Morrison’s, Aldi, Maccies, Superdrug, Spoons, Alpine… the list goes on! And when I say ‘walk away’ I mean they are literally on your door step. AND the bus that travels to Edge Hill’s campus is free for all students when you show your student ID card. However, my housemates and I usually walk as it is only 10 minutes away, and a breath of fresh air is a good way to get the day of work started!

Living on Campus

If you prefer to stay on campus however, you can apply to stay in Edge Hill’s accommodation or in Woodland Court (brand new flats for third year students). You can find out everything you need to know including facilities and costs on Edge Hill’s website. Although you will have to get a bus into town, there is still plenty going on at the Student Union bar such as karaoke, quizzes and Wednesday socials! You also get to be a 2-minute walk away from Edge Hill’s new library, the Catalyst (where I have been living the past couple of weeks).

Commuting from Home

If you would rather stay at home, commuting is always an option (depending on where you live and how far you are willing to travel of course!). You can apply for a parking permit so you can park in Edge Hill’s car park which is always open and right on campus.

Let me know if you have any more questions about accommodation for second and third years!

Until next time,

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re doing good and enjoying this tropical March weather! As it is Mother’s day today (even though every day is obviously Mother’s day), I thought I would talk about ideas for last minute gifts, and places to go!

Edge Hill Stalls

My mum is a BIG fan of candles. Every week people set up stall in Edge Hill’s hub to sell gifts,  jewellery etc. My favourite stall sells beautiful candles decorated with crystals and gems. They all have different scents – I bought a passionfruit-scented candle for my mum this year!

Sentimental Stuff

However, if your mum is not a candle lover you could go for something simple yet sentimental. For example, a nice photo frame with a printed picture or collage can make a lovely gift!

Meal out or meal in?

Maybe you prefer to take your mum out for the day? Perhaps a spa day or a meal out (probably involving wine) could be the perfect thing to do on Mother’s day! Instead of going for a meal out, why don’t you cook a meal in? You don’t have to spend up to make Mother’s day feel special.

What have you been up to today?

Teaching Jobs

Hello everyone!

I hope you have had a fantastic weekend. Since I am coming to the end of my university course,  it is that time where everyone is looking for their dream school to work with!

Edge Hill University offer a lot of  support to help you search for work. In 2018, 95% of students who completed my primary education course found employment within 6 months after finishing their degree. Edge Hill Careers offer advice on lots of topics of discussion such as job-hunting and CV writing. It is easy to book an appointment online.

NQT pools

Different authorities and areas have their own ‘NQT pool.’ I hadn’t heard of teacher pools before so wanted to find out more information about them. Some pools may require an application, interview and teaching observation. Once you gain a place in the pool, different schools in that area have access to your information and experience. From here, they contact you directly to offer an interview. I highly recommend researching which pools you would consider joining!

School websites

Individual schools often advertise their vacancies on their official website. There are usually the following information and documents available: application form, person specification, job description, a closing date and an interview date. So if you have a specific school in mind, perhaps from your previous placements or work experience,  make sure to have a look and see if there are any vacancies available!

Other Websites

Other websites provide filtered search engines to help you search for vacancies that match what you are looking for. Options include the location, the year group / key stage, full-time, part-time, permanent or temporary jobs.

AND if you decide teaching is not for you… the primary education degree opens you up to soooo many other options. Some people decide to do a masters in a different subject and others begin to teach abroad! The possibilities are never-ending. Wishing you the best of luck!

Speak soon,

 

Planning lessons – where to start!

Hey there!

Since there are many of you who are starting your teaching course in September, I thought I would talk about planning lessons on professional practice. As you are likely to start your placement around January time, you have plenty of time to research and get support from university.

I found the seminars before placement really useful to gain more ideas and inspiration for teaching different subjects. As you will be teaching up to 30% of the timetable in first year, you can spend some other time observing your teacher’s lessons or visiting other classes in order to feel even more inspired!

Finding inspiration:
  • Facebook groups can be really useful to discuss and share lesson ideas
  • Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest
  • websites such as TES where you can create a free account and download lots of different resources
  • advice from other teachers
  • advice from university tutors
Other things to think about:
  • class size
  • if your lesson is part of a series within a topic
  • the resources you will need e.g. are there iPads available and are there enough for the whole class?
  • deploying support staff effectively e.g. can they challenge those children who can learn at greater depth?
  • how can you make the lesson as creative as possible to make it memorable and effective?
  • if the lesson is practical, how can the children demonstrate their learning for future reference?

These are just a few ideas that I hope will be useful to you… let me know if you have any questions! Have a lovely weekend.