Top tips for education based placements

As a 2nd year Primary Education student living in halls, at this time of year I find myself undertaking a lot of reflection. Watching my flatmates who are 1st year primary education students go out on placement I find myself thinking how I was in their position only a year ago and how far I have developed during this time. Although challenging, placement is an exciting and important time in constructing your professional development. Having had the experience of a first year placement and making it through (somewhat) successfully I find myself offering advice to others who are embarking on placement, work experience or even just considering a career in primary education.

1)      Don’t be afraid to ask for help – often when going into schools you feel like you want to change the world and the thought of having this power is an amazing feeling, but you cannot do this alone. The university offers a wide range of support to help and assist you throughout your placement and I would make the most of every opportunity when someone is willing to offer you their help.

2)      Magpie ideas – you will find this term used quite frequently in Primary Education but building a strong portfolio of resources and lesson ideas will make planning easier and less time consuming in the future. If you see a lesson you like make a note of it, ask the teacher about the resources and see if you gain a copy of the lesson plan. Don’t be afraid to ask, teachers will often see it as a compliment that you have enjoyed their lesson and seen the benefits that it is has on children’s learning.

3)      The more feedback the better – it may seem daunting having someone critique you for the first time, but teachers only want to help you, it’s important to remember that they were in your exact position once also. Try and take as many chances to be observed as possible normalising observation will reduce stress and increase your performance in the classroom.

 One of my reasons for choosing Edge Hill to complete my degree was the wide range of opportunities for placement such as a remote placements which can occur all over the country. Seeing my flatmates going through placement in their first year has only made me more excited to begin my next placement and implement what I have learnt over the past two years.

Hello! Bonjour! Hola!

Hello! My name is Emma and I’m excited to have been picked to blog for Edge Hill, and share all of my wonderful insight with you guys!

Now, where shall I begin? I’m a second year, studying Primary Education, majoring in Foreign Languages with a minor in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). This is what I really love about Edge Hill – I was given the option to really personalise my course to suit my end goal.

Within my course, each week I study 2 hours of the core subjects – Maths, Science, English and Computing – along with a 2-3 hour session of a different Foundation subject. As well as this, I have one other core module called Academic Professional Development (APD), which is when we learn all about behaviour management, teaching strategies and basic theory. In 1st and 3rd year, I undertake a minor module (SEND) and currently, in 2nd year, I am studying my major, Modern Foreign Languages.

As you might imagine, my course is very practical; I get to practice carrying out activities that I would use when teaching, which is really important to do, as it gives us a better understanding of how children learn! I’m really looking forward to my next professional practice, as I think that I learned the most whilst teaching. Being able to reflect upon your teaching is key on this course and the career I want to go into, and we’re given lots of opportunities to do so!


I’ll be sharing a post in the next week or two about the interview process that I went through to get on the course, so if you’re interested in teacher training, keep your eyes peeled for that! I know Ellie talked a little bit about auditions last week, so it might be worth popping back to that if you’re on the look out for something like that!

I lived in Graduates Court in my first year, but have moved into student housing in Ormskirk for my second and – if all goes well – third years. I live too far away that I had no choice but to live in halls, and I am so glad that I did, because it was one of the best experiences in my life! Halls are a really great way of making friends, which is something I was really nervous about when starting at uni, but living with such a great group of girls really did help me settle in quickly.

I spend a good few hours a week in sessions, but in my spare time I do some part time work, socialise with friends and am a Primary Education Digital Leader, which are all things I’m keen to share with you in the future! So that’s a little about me! I look forward to sharing my personal insight into life at Edge Hill with you guys.

Why do a Course with a Placement?

So if you choose a course that involves a placement you’ve made a brilliant choice as you get the best opportunity to experience the field of work you want to pursue.

Depending on what course you do depends what time of year you’ll be out on placement. But regardless of the time of year… let’s face it, the best type of experience is the hands-on kind; there’s no better way to learn and improve.

Some examples of courses that have elements of placements involved in the course are early years, primary and secondary education, nursing and midwifery. These placements are tailored to the course so you’ll be sent out in a cohort, meaning that you won’t miss any contact time with tutors or miss lectures. Which is all good news seen as you will definitely have enough work to do throughout the year, boredom is never an issue.

Personally I’ve found that going on placement is great in the sense you truly understand what job you’re building up towards; by that I mean what’s expected of you on a day-to-day basis. Most of what is involved in the job you probably have never thought of and overlooked, meaning you know all the ins and outs before your three years are up. Employability-wise this experience is definitely going to look most favourable when going for jobs, definitely something you have to think about before you start your degree.

I hope this insight into placements has helped!

Come for a Sneak Preview!

So what’s more exciting than coming to university?

It’s what you’ve been building up towards since you’ve started college (maybe even earlier!) So whether you’re in year 13 and you’ve been through the UCAS process and ready to start, or you’re in year 12… it’s fast approaching! Choosing which University to go to is a big deal as you’re committing at least three years, but do not worry!

So just like you probably went to an open day before you went to high school or college, universities have open days too! The University opens its doors to you and your family members to come down and take a look at our campus and facilities, as well as having the opportunity to speak to the current students and staff with any questions or concerns.

On these days you can visit the department of your desired course (Faculty of: Health and Social, Education or Arts and Sciences) to gather more information on what you will be doing over the next three years and where you will be doing it! We also have many accommodation blocks open so you can have a look around and see which one takes your fancy. You will receive a prospectus and lots of information leaflets to ensure you can make an informed decision on what course to choose.

These days are so valuable and really can help you make a decision on which University feels right for you depending on the environment that suits you best! Edge Hill have a number of open days coming up, the first one being next Saturday (18th June). To find out more information and to book your place to come and visit please click here.

We really do look forward to seeing and hearing from you!

It’s Placement Time!

Currently I am on placement in a school teaching maths. If your course involves a placement then it’s something to look forward to as you can put what you’ve learned all year into practice and show what you’re made of!
The most important thing that you need to know is that you shouldn’t be nervous but excited as it’s a great opportunity to get to grips with the life of a school teacher. It’s also a great time to liaise with the staff, asking them questions about the pupils, challenges of the job and the role in general!
I am on my second placement and there are differences in the teaching practices of my first and second school. Personally I think this is great as it equips you with a vast array of skills to enter the teaching world with!

The lectures help a lot with the teaching placement as you are trained to plan lessons effectively, reflect upon the lesson and improve it! You will also have an array of already planned lessons that you can use on placement, courtesy of yourself and others in your year (if they are willing to share!). This all means that it is not that daunting and ALL new, as you will have seen lesson plans and schemes of work etc before!

Placement also allows you to explore aspects of teaching such as behaviour management, SEND, safeguarding and EAL. This is something that you do touch upon at uni but is put into practice and practiced more in-depth in the real world – again helping you prepare for the life of the teacher!

I hope this is a fairly insightful guide of what to expect on placement and I will keep you updated!

Lets Do the Maths!

Before I came to uni I struggled to find any real-life accounts or opinions of my course at Edge Hill, I wanted to know what happened at uni as well as what my course entailed. As my course is quite specific I struggled to find anything on the internet so just in case I’m not the last person to eve search for this… I thought I’d tell you a bit about my course.

So becoming a maths teacher isn’t as easy as what everyone assumes, there are no modules solely based on GCSE maths- if only it was that easy! Each year you take on 7 modules, 1 placement module, 3-4 maths based modules and 2-3 education based modules (more info here as to the modules variation and description).

The timetable in year 1 was spread over 3/4 days, and this year we are in lectures 3 days a week. This doesn’t sound a lot but with the amount of work that you have it’s definitely needed! The lecturers are lovely and very approachable, so there’s no need to worry if you don’t understand anything because they are more than happy to help.

In my opinion the first year of uni, is brilliant! The first year of uni is a gateway to your degree, it starts by building on the foundations of the knowledge you’ll need for year 2 and 3! As second year is also great as you’ve settled into uni, you have your friends and you can really get stuck into the work!

This year we are designing a research question that we will research in this years placement which we will build upon for a module next year (this project is my courses dissertation equivalent module). I am really excited to carry out the research and produce some results to interpret.

I hope this helps and gives you a bit more of an idea of what occurs on the course, if you do have any questions please comment!

Thank you!

Interview Mayhem

There are so many deceiving misconceptions with regards to interviews. The general assumption and expectation is that you’ll arrive, check the clock every few seconds – counting down the moments until it’s your turn, breathe in, breathe out and then most likely have a panic attack, go home feeling doubtful and then possibly cry a little over your likely failure at such a large opportunity.

Wait… what? That’s not how it goes?

Of course not!

Firstly, understand that if the university wasn’t interested in you in the first place, you wouldn’t have even been called to interview! duh. You’re already a star in the sky, this is your opportunity to prove just how worthy you are, and just how great of a decision they’re going to make when they decide to take you on (which they obviously will because you’re clearly amazing). Numbers drop substantially when you consider all of those that firstly apply, get accepted for interviews, and then actually get a place. So if you’ve received invitation to an interview, stop reading for a moment and give yourself a pat on the back.

Next, seize this opportunity. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately and are organised. When considering the ‘grading criteria’ during an interview, both of these play a vital part and are nearly just as important as what you’re about to ramble on about to your interviewer.

The person interviewing you isn’t going to be half as critical as you think. They’re here to support and make sure they see the best within you. They understand and know you’re going to be nervous! It’s likely that more than half the applicants attending an interview day probably haven’t even endured an interview before in their lives – they know this! They’ll never base their assumption of you on your nerves. It’s normal, often uncontrollable and hey, quite frankly a natural occurrence considering the situation you’ve been put in. I promise they wont base their assumption of you on this.

It’s likely, like I did – you’ll receive an interview day guidance booklet (super helpful, make sure you give it a good read!). It will inform you of such things like the day’s general outlines, what to bring with you, when you’ll get your answer, what to do on arrival, how the interview will run and just generally really useful information.

For me, the BA(Hons) Primary Education course with QTS consisted of knowledge tests (Maths, English & Science), and me having to bring in a child’s book, discussing it generally e.g positives/negatives, why I chose it, how I could incorporate it into my lessons and the children’s learning. Then followed by a few scenario based questions which they weren’t expecting perfect answers for. Like any human, I struggled with a lot of these! My interviewer was super helpful, he either knew where I was coming from and would use further questioning techniques to help me speak my ideas out a little better. Sometimes he’d even answer with me! Sharing his ideas to promote mine. This helped trigger in-depth discussions which I felt really helped him see where I was coming from of which perhaps the questions alone wouldn’t have allowed me to speak about. My interviewer felt like more of a newly found friend than someone testing me. And with there being multiple other applicants having their interviews spread around the room, there was no deadly silence, just a pleasant smile to greet me which never seemed to leave his face.

Long story short, if you’ve got an interview coming up, I’m almost certain you’ll do great! I wish you all the best of luck.


Primary Education – Placement

With teaching, comes experience. An awful lot of experience. So much so, that unless given permission to do so, talking about ‘little Billie’ and his ability to add two numbers together is forbidden outside of the classroom. Seriously considering introducing an “it’s okay to talk about placement right now” coupon scheme with my flat mates.

With having began my course of Primary Education here at Edge Hill University, I was so excited to finally be learning things actually relevant to my future, rather than all that trigonometry malarkey drilled into my naive head a few years back now. Terribly pointless – we’ve all been there.

Seminars and lectures cutting the small talk and getting straight down to business; safeguarding, the curriculum and placement.

Whilst feeling so vulnerable and raw, once having began what had felt like a whole new life, being informed that I’d be ‘shipped off’ to an unfamiliar school setting within just 2 months for 8 weeks.. 8 WHOLE WEEKS.. that’s 40 DAYS (*faints*). The thought was terrifying.. but I never thought I’d see myself where I am now.

Edge Hill University has been thoroughly supportive through this hectic yet super exciting time as I begin my journey of training, adapting and developing. I’ve grown so much already! Each morning, seeing my class walk in with a seemingly large smile on their innocent faces as they shout; “good morning Miss Pickering!!” never fails to put a smile on my face as I’m reminded why I chose to follow through with this stressful but magical career. (Although I must admit, it more often than not goes something like “Miss Pickerinsgings” – don’t ask).

So you’ve probably got a lot of questions – I know I certainly did. It’s a terrifying thought, but it’s so important in your self-development to become and outstanding teacher. I truly feel as though Edge Hill guided me through this process with their hand in mine, guiding me through the treacherous forest out into the yellow meadows. Ways in which they do this includes;

  • A professional practice partner – another year one student just like yourself in either the same class or school as you!
  • Edge Hill trying their best to make sure you’re in a school/location most convenient for yourself.
  • Providing you with all the information and documents you could ever possibly need to fill you in on all of their expectations of you.
  • Allowing you to claim back fuel and accommodation expenses.
  • Excellent support and guidance from staff such as your visiting tutor and personal tutor.
  • And much, much more!

Please don’t hesitate to comment below with any questions you may have!



Last Minute Guide… Choosing the Right Course!

Oh how depressing that Christmas is over and there’s only a few days until the new year! This means it’s nearly the year of intense revision, exams and results- but boy is it worth it! Hopefully you’ve submitted your UCAS application, but if not and you’re unsure of what course to choose I’ve decided to help you out a bit…

I first found my course looking through the Edge Hill prospectus when I wasn’t 100% sure what degree I wanted to pursue. This page of the prospectus broke down the course into the main things I needed to know, such as what content was covered and what grades I needed amongst loads of other useful information. The prospectus is definitely worth a look as it has information on every course at Edge Hill, if you’d like a copy you can order one online, to do so please look here.

However if you can’t wait and want more information on the vast array of courses available look here on our website!

You should ensure that you’re happy with every aspect of your course, such as what you will be learning and also how it is assessed! The worst thing would be to choose a course that is mainly exams when you love coursework or the opposite way round!

My specific course involves exams, some in January and April, and also coursework, essays, portfolios, placements and presentations! Phew! It sounds a lot and honestly it can be overwhelming at times but when you manage your time effectively and organise yourself it isn’t bad!

If I could advise anything it would be to create a check list ranked on the most important aspects of a course for you. Therefore you can make an informed decision, and if you’re missing anything that you need to know you can reach out to us so we can help you!

Feel free to comment if you have anything you’d like to ask!

Now, best of luck and have a fantastic New Year!