What is the Primary Education course all about?

Hey everyone, I hope you all had an amazing weekend and are ready for the week ahead! I cannot believe that it is February already. This made me realise that a lot of you may have already had your interview for Edge Hill University as I had mine around a year ago!

This post will hopefully offer some more information about the Primary Education with QTS course that I am currently studying here and loving every minute of it. Enjoy!


What is the timetable like?

Personally, I find that the timetable for Primary Education is very good as it keeps me busy. Others would say that the timetable is rather ‘jam-packed,’ which is true but, in my opinion , the more classes, the better. 

My timetable looks something like this;

  • Monday – Independent Study
  • Tuesday – Minor Specialism
  • Wednesday – Foundation subject seminars which are sometimes followed by a curriculum lecture
  • Thursday – Core subjects such as; computing, maths and English
  • Friday – APD lecture followed by science then an APD seminar.

This timetable varies between the year group and over the years. As I said, some people may find this timetable rather busy but I love it because it keeps me busy, occupied and you appreciate the weekend more. Don’t worry, you still have time for socializing and going to any societies which makes the timetable much better.

 

Any exams?

Nope! Thankfully we have no written exams and so our grade is based on  assignments and our professional practice. This is good if you are better at writing essays with no looming time limit in a large hall but you need to have some self-discipline! Those assignments are not going to write and reference themselves, start them early so that there is no rush before the dreaded deadline.

I am currently on my professional practice and I am loving every single minute of it! A visiting tutor comes in to assess you against the Teacher Standards which means you must work very hard to involve yourself in every aspect of school life. Luckily for me, I am in an amazing school that has given me so many great opportunities for learning.

 

Duration?

The course that I am studying is a 3 year course. Each year you have a block placement that gets longer each year. For example, in first year currently, we are all on a 7 week block placement and then next year it will be longer.

First year has seriously gone by so fast so I have no idea how quickly the next couple of years of my life are going to go!

 

What are the staff and lectures like?

I am so happy that I chose Edge Hill University as my place to study to become a teacher. The staff and lecturers are amazing in terms of support and advice they give you, even during placement! 

All the lectures and seminars are really interactive and interesting so there is no need to worry about falling asleep at a 9am lecture because you will not want to miss it. You can tell that so much thought has been put in to each presentation and seminar which makes them so worth while coming to.

If you do happen to miss a lecture due to illness, some lectures are recorded and put up on Blackboard, a place we can all access work materials and assignment guidance. However, a recorded lecture is never the same as the real deal, trust me.


I hope that this post has been helpful to those of you who have applied to study Primary Education with QTS. It really is an amazing course, offering so many opportunities to expand your learning and experiences. I cannot wait for the next two years!

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.”

– Brad Henry – 

Running a School Club

Hello! How are you?

I am SO close to the end of my final placement of primary education… and I know the last day is going to be a sad one! Not only because I will miss the children, but because I will miss everybody who works at the school. I have never been in a place so welcoming with so many smiley faces. By knowing there is a lot of support around me, it has really made the placement work a lot easier!

In order to meet the criteria for teachers’ standard 8, it is extremely important to take on more responsibilities. For example, helping out at a Christmas fair or simply working cooperatively with colleagues and parents. Since I am very passionate for art, I have been running my own art club for pupils in year 4. Getting involved with messy art activities has been a lot of fun – for me and the children!

If you are also on professional practice, or know you will be soon, I definitely recommend creating your own club! Obviously, it depends on the school and which type of clubs they are already running. However, if you have the chance I 100% say go for it!

Last week the children began to create ‘galaxy jars’ by sticking tissue paper on a glass jar like a mosaic. It was a pretty simple activity but VERY effective. We will be finishing them off with a bit of glitter tomorrow! Who doesn’t love a bit of glitter?

I would love to hear about any clubs you are, or soon will be running!

Speak soon,

Graduation is approaching…

Hello and happy Saturday!

For the past 2 years I have scrolled past the advertisement for the graduation ball thinking “oh that’s not going to be me any time soon…” And suddenly… it is.  I have actually bought a ticket for my graduation ball and I can’t really believe it!

Edge Hill University has given me so much and I don’t think I feel ready to leave!!! (I know I’m not quite leaving yet… but I’m sure that the last few months will go pretty fast). This makes me realise how JEALOUS I am of you freshers!!! SO my point to you is… do not wish university life away. Soon, you will NOT be scrolling past the graduation ball advertisements too! Here are some of my favourite things about the past couple of years at Edge Hill:

Ormskirk

Ormskirk has been the perfect place to enjoy university life. The beautiful countryside does not stop the town from having a buzzing nightlife filled with bars, live music and pubs.

My Course

My primary education course has provided brilliant teaching experience and interesting seminars where I have made life-long friends.  

Campus

Edge Hill’s campus is the main reason why I decided to apply here. The modern accommodation and never-ending list of things to do makes it a wonderful place to be. Wednesday night socials, karaoke and the student quiz nights are some of the wonderful events that take place at the SU.

When you arrive at Edge Hill on move in Sunday, you will see for yourself how great your university experience will be… so enjoy every single day and make the most of it!

Speak soon,

Final Year Placement

Hello everyone!

I hope you all have that Friday feeling and have some nice weekend plans ahead!

I have officially completed 8 weeks of my final professional practice with only 2 more to go! The time has flown by and what an incredible experience it has been! This is partly down to the support and guidance from teachers in my current placement school, and also because of previous teaching opportunities that Edge hill have provided.

When I applied to study primary education, I did not realise how worthwhile and valuable professional practice would be. Although our seminars and lectures are useful for developing our knowledge of classroom pedagogy, putting theory into practice has been my favourite part of the course for many reasons.

Usually, at the start of a placement block, students begin to teach a small percentage of the timetable. This increases week by week until it reaches 80%, which used to seem impossible! However, having 3 blocks of professional practice has allowed me to grow in confidence and develop my love for teaching even more!

If you are going to study a teaching course with professional practice opportunities,  feel free to ask any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Have a fantastic weekend,

Next Steps

Hello guys! I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

When I finished Sixth Form it was definitely a bitter-sweet feeling! I was so sad to be leaving that part of my life behind and felt anxious about what would come next! On the other hand, it was so exciting to be moving on to the next step… university! University might not be for you but these are some things I am personally grateful for at Edge Hill University.   

Independence

Although it is nice to be at home with the luxuries such as homemade meals… moving out will give you that extra independence. It has definitely given me a confidence boost since leaving school.

Meeting new people

The best part of moving out is the chance to meet new people from different backgrounds and cultures. I am so grateful for getting to know the people I live with and go to lectures with. Let’s just say I’m not looking forward to saying goodbye to them at graduation!  🙁

The nights out

Although Manchester (my home town) is a great place for a big night out, there is something about Ormskirk that I absolutely love. You can guarantee you’ll bump into someone you know because the clubs and bars will be filled with students from Edge Hill. AND there isn’t a club quite like the one and only Alpine.

The nights in

When I come home for the weekend or the holidays, I find myself bored without my flat mates next door. At university, there is never a moment you feel alone as there is ALWAYS someone close by.

Opportunities

At Edge Hill there are soooo many different opportunities available to you that you may not have come across before. Whether it is joining a sports team, volunteering or working abroad, there are fantastic experiences available. There are stalls in the hub which often advertise them.

Who do you want to be?

Coming to university can really make a person. With new friends, new independence and new experiences, university life is something I will miss dearly… so make the most of it!!

 

Interviews at Edge Hill

Not every course requires an interview but Primary Education is an example of a programme that does. I remember how nervous I was beforehand, mostly because I did not know what to expect. It has all become a bit of a blur now but I will try my best to recall what I can about Edge Hill’s interview process! You can access some useful information here. 

How should I prepare?

Research – make sure you know enough about the university. Have you been to an open day or campus tour? Why have you chosen Edge Hill University? What about their Primary Education course appeals to you?

Work experience – make sure you have had enough experience in a classroom environment. It is not too late to ask to spend time observing lessons, perhaps in your former primary school.

World of education – it is SO important to stay informed of current educational issues.  The Times Educational supplement and BBC education news are good starting points!

What should I bring to the interview day?

Portfolio – although a portfolio is often not necessary, I found it really useful to bring to my interviews. By having a small file with a few pictures from different work experience, it allowed me toeasily access things to talk about. Not only did it support my discussions, it looked organised to the interviewers. It shows them that you are already thinking about meeting the Teachers’ Standards.

Certificates / Qualifications – these can be photocopies. Ensure you have all the evidence you need to demonstrate your abilities and past achievements.

Potential Questions

  • Why have you chosen Edge Hill University?
  • Why do you want to be a primary school teacher?
  • Why do you want to teach primary insteadof secondary?
  • What current issues in education are important to you?
  • How will you be a creative teacher?
  • What experiences have you had of working with children with special needs?
  • What skills do you have?
  • What are your strengths / weaknesses?

Subject Knowledge Tasks

As well as having a campus tour and an individual interview, I also took part in maths, science and English written tasks. These were marked out of 20 and I received my feedback when I got my letter of confirmation in the post! An important piece of advice I can offer is… research phonics!

Good luck!

Although it might seem a bit daunting, you’ll be absolutely fine! During the interview just be yourself and relax. The interviewers at Edge Hill are lovely so try to think of the interview as a chat, rather than an interrogation! Wishing you all the best.

Winter Holidays

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas break. I have completed 5 weeks of my final professional practice with another 5 weeks to go! My school is absolutely fantastic, with lovely staff and even lovelier children! I am yet to come across a child who doesn’t go out of their way to assist me or hold doors open for others. It’s the little things that go a long way!

Although I have had a brilliant few weeks, there has been a lot of planning, evaluating and resource-making involved. I am very much in need of a relax… and I am sure you are too! What are your Christmas plans?

  1. Catch up with family and friends 

Make the most of your time out of sixth form / college and make plans with your nearest and dearest!

  1. Get up to date with work

Christmas holidays are a good chance to get yourself organised and get that to-do list checked off! Make a timetable / calendar and make a rough note of what you’ll do each day. This always helps me to organise my time.

  1. Explore your home town

Get Christmassy! You may celebrate Christmas or you may not… but it is always fun to get into the festive spirit! Take a trip into town and visit your local Christmas markets or have a go at ice-skating if you’re feeling brave.

  1. Relax

Wind down with a hot chocolate and watch your favourite Christmas movie (Elf is the best one OBVIOUSLY). You might be working over the Christmas holidays but make sure you get some ‘me time’ after a long day’s work.

I hope your course work / revision is going well. This time 3 years ago I was preparing for my Primary Education interview at Edge Hill. Let me know if you would like to hear about my experience!

In our last week of school (the Friday just gone), we took part in Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day by donating £1 and wearing a festive jumper. You can make a donation of £2 by texting JINGLE to 70050.

Have a brilliant Christmas with your loved ones and remember what Christmas is all about.

My first term at University 👩‍🎓📚

Hello!

It’s very strange to think that I’ve been at University for thirteen weeks now. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. We broke up the Friday just gone, I don’t think it’s the same for everyone but the Primary Ed guys have all finished for the year. My parents flew back from Saudi and came to pick me up from University, we’re having Christmas at their UK house this year! Of course, I over packed. We have an assignment due over Christmas and lots to do before placement in January so I feel like I’ve packed the entirety of my uni work.

If you’re a prospective Primary Ed student then this post is for you. This post is a little insight into how the first term went in my first year and what I’m doing over Christmas to plan for next term.

The seminars, lectures and the workload👩🏽‍🎓:

The timetables change each year so what my timetable looks like this year may well be different to yours but this will give you a gist of what an average week looks like. Firstly, we have Mondays off – I know, it’s the best. Then we have our Minor seminar for 2 hours on Tuesday, Foundation Subjects seminar for 3 hours on Wednesday (sometimes with a FS lecture after), Thursday and Friday are the longest days with English, Maths, Science, Computing and APD seminars mixed in.  It’s a nice balanced timetable that gives you a long weekend to chill and spend some time socialising but then also gives you a lot of time to get some work done.

The workload is manageable but challenging. As long as you organise and manage your time well and do your best not to miss any seminars or lectures you’ll be fine. I’ve really enjoyed my first term and I’ve managed to pull myself to seminars when I was exhausted and just didn’t want to get out of bed, but I always did because they’re always so fun and engaging. I’m not in university now until placement and I know I’m going to miss it! ☹️

The assignments📝📚:

I’ve handed in three so far. The next one is a whopping 3,500 on APD that’s due in January. This scared me to start with but the my biggest tip for you is to get in the library! They have so many books available and I managed to get a load before I came back so I’ve been reading through them and I feel a lot more prepared and ready to knock this out over the Christmas period. They vary from 750 words to 3,500 words and they’re all set in a different kind of style which I love. They are challenging but not at all impossible, they also make me feel very intellectual and academic 🤓!

Placement 👩🏽‍🏫:

Out first placement starts in January, last year it started in November so yours could be a different time too. I just recently found out where I’m going for mine this year and I’m really excited. I took a regional opportunity and I’m heading down to the Peak District. With the situation I’m in I honestly didn’t care where I went but my heart felt this was the right place and luckily I got it. They can’t always guarantee you what and where you want but they do their best!

So over the Christmas period, as you can see, I have some work to do. They encourage you not to work over the two weeks the University is closed for, and I’m sure some people will, but if you’re like me and you want to be as prepared as possible, I’m sure your desk will look like mine!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading! See you next time 💕

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Home and Away!

Hey everyone!

For my first blog, I thought I would tell you about my journey from moving away from my home and into Edge Hill University as a first year student! I really hope you enjoy the read and feel free to contact me at any time for questions you have about me, my course or even my experience moving out!


Around two months ago, I packed up my life into a few (too many) boxes, packed the car until we had just enough room to fit three people and sailed across the sea to Liverpool to start my first year at Edge Hill University.

To say that I was nervous was the biggest understatement of the year! There were times on the boat when I thought, “what am I doing?” It wasn’t until I arrived in Liverpool and drove to the small, scenic town of Ormskirk where my university life would start, that I remembered why exactly I chose to leave everything I knew in Ireland and start my life across the waters!

All the reasons why I chose to leave home and move away came flooding back to me. For example, the campus of Edge Hill is so beautiful and still to this day, it never ceases to amaze me! Everything that I would need was all on the one campus and only a few minutes from the town centre. Could you ask for anything better?

I also remembered how extremely friendly and welcoming the staff were on my last visit back in January! I’m not just saying this, but the staff here do so much for their students, from showing you where to go when you get lost (which happens to me on many occasions), to ensuring that you have everything you need in order to start your course right!

Getting settled into my university was something I thought would be the hardest part of this journey, but I soon realised that I chose the best university in terms of making me feel comfortable. Welcome week was full of activities and social events to introduce me to as many people as possible, which at first, I found daunting but quickly forgot those feelings as I met my course mates and some good friends.

To be completely honest, I forgot about all my fears and doubts about not settling in because, before I knew it, I was a month into my course and living with complete ‘strangers’ who quickly became my favourite people.

Sure, Face-Timing my family wasn’t the same as seeing them in person, but it made visiting home so much more special and telling them about my experience so far as a first-year student in Edge Hill University is always a subject of great interest at the dinner table.


And that, my friends, was my short journey from home to away! I am so glad that I made the move and made the right decision in terms of university and I hope that you too, come to Edge Hill to experience all that there is to see and do.


At the end of every blog, I aim to sign off with a quote because, who doesn’t like an inspiring quote to make you feel unstoppable? Or maybe just to set as your Instagram bio.

The journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step”

See ya next time!

Lauren Fitzsimons.

Studying on Campus

A Day of Lectures

Happy Saturday people! As my Primary Education course involves a lot of modules (core subjects, foundation subjects, academic professional development, minor specialism and major specialism), my timetable can be jam-packed! Timetables can change each year, or can change throughout the year. For example, Fridays consist of my minor specialism subject from 9 – 12. However, after a few weeks this will change to a reflective practitioner module from 9 – 11. When you are given your timetable, make sure you understand how to read it – this will avoid any future confusion! Email your personal tutor if you are a bit puzzled…most likely tutors will clear things up in the lecture.

Lunch

As I am in third year, it is not as easy for me to go back to my house in Ormskirk for lunch and return for the next lecture or seminar. Preparing lunch the night before solves this problem (and is also cost-effective!).

Equipment

If you show your student ID to the Edge Hill bus driver, it is a 5-minute drive into town where you can buy all the necessary things you need. Poundland, B&M and Aldi are ideal for finding essentials such as files, stationery and buckets (if you do primary education you will soon understand why you need a bucket!).

The Library

Whilst you are studying on campus, make the most of the new library. Even before the catalyst building was up, Edge Hill’s choice of books has always been outstanding. The electronic book scanning system makes it easy to use, and the working space and computers are brilliant for printing, working or researching.

I hope these few tips are helpful to you!