Paper-less Notes

Let’s just start by saying that I am a huge stationery nerd. New notebooks, more pens, cute rubbers and pom-pom pencils. I live for it. When I first found out I was going to university, I raided my favourite stationery shops to make sure I had the cutest notebooks with matching folders and brand new pens. However, by the end of my first year, I hadn’t used half of it.

Since starting university, I have become really interested in sustainability and making better choices as a consumer. I’m not here to shove climate change down your throat. All I ask is that you take what I say on board and maybe think about it when it comes to buying another notebook.

When it came to packing up my room, I had bin bags full of paper and it was all useless. I made a pledge to myself that during my second year, I would aim to only fill a shoebox. So far, I am proud to say, I have only used one notebook and haven’t printed out anything for my lectures/seminars. I’m going to go through below what I’ve been using this year to remain paper-less.

Google Drive / Google Docs / Google Slides

Before this year, I had never used anything to do with Google. I was happy with my Microsoft Word and pen drive. However, after nearly losing ALL my work from the first year, I decided to ditch the pen drive and go Google. I use Google Docs for my lecture and seminar notes, reading and planning my assignments. I’ve started downloading journal articles onto my Google Drive, meaning I can highlight and make notes straight on to it.

Google Drive means you can keep a live version of everything in one place. Instead of having to put things on and off your USB all the time. It also means you can collaborate with a study group and all work together on something. I have a couple of these collabs on the go right now and it’s great being able to share ideas, work together in a live document.

I still use a notebook from time-to-time to keep to-do lists or important dates. Sustainability isn’t about ditching everything that’s bad for the world, it’s about making better choices. In this instance, it’s also a more effective and efficient tool for university. I hope you enjoyed this and try it out!

Thank you for reading!

Amy

Managing Your Workload

Your workload can differ depending on your course. I always remember being told ‘your course sounds easy‘ at the start of the year, followed by ‘I’m so sorry for what I said‘ towards the end. University is funny. One day you can wake up and be on top of everything, but by the end of the day, you have another eight things to add to your to-do list. That’s just how it is, and being able to manage your workload effectively is important.

Set yourself realistic targets

Mindset is everything. If your to-do list is booming, don’t overwork yourself trying to get it all done at once. Set yourself two or three things you would like to achieve in a certain time period (preferably those of top priority), but be strict with these so that if for some reason you don’t manage to get them done, you still have time to spare.

Work together

The first assessment of this year was a really nice presentation that we all, of course, made much harder for ourselves! For this, myself and two other girls sat in a study room at the university and bounced ideas off each other, leaving with a solid plan to work on. I cannot recommend this enough. It’s really nice working in study groups, so if you have the opportunity to do, definitely do it.

The Five Ps

My friend has always said to me: ‘Perfect Planning Prevents Poor Performance’. In terms of assignments, I’ve realised that getting my reading done as quickly and efficiently as possible has really helped my workload. Reading usually takes up most of my time. I would also recommend getting a weekly planner and set yourself your own study timetable around your lectures and seminars. By doing this, you can plan in some time for yourself too.

Edge Hill is the most supportive university and this year I have struggled with the workload, mental health and accommodation. Every tutor, advisor or support assistant has listened to me and done their best to help – and I feel much better. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s everywhere!

Thanks for reading.

Amy

Interview Process for Primary Education with QTS

What happened in the interview?

I went with my Mum, Dad and best friend to the interview. When we arrived, we went in for a ‘Welcome’ talk in the lecture theatre where they told us the itinerary for the day. We went for a campus tour first while my Dad stayed for a Q&A session in the lecture theatre. After that, I completed my English and Maths tasks. During this time, we were called up to do our group activity where the tutors give you random items and you have to discuss with other prospective students about how you could use these in the classroom and then I had a 1:1 talk with the tutor who asked me questions about teaching.

Tips for the English/Maths task

The English Writing task gave us a statement about resilience and why this is important in teaching (it is!) and we had to write about a time we have been resilient. They are basically just checking that you can write fluently and will give you targets based on grammar or handwriting etc. The Maths test was complied of very basic Maths questions to check you can work out, again, basic maths. They do get quite tricky at the end but nothing too hard to worry about just brush up on your times tables, multiplication and division methods etc. Don’t worry too much about this!

Group Activity

Don’t take too much control in the beginning, but if nobody else is talking definitely take the initiative. They did our group activities in groups of three and the girls I was with were lovely and we all had really nice ideas. The tip here would be to think outside the box, they are very random objects but don’t feel like anything is a stupid idea.

The 1:1 interview

This was not what I thought it would be. We were still in the room with the other tutors and prospective students so that was a lot more reassuring. The questions they asked me were along the lines of ‘Why do you want to be a teacher?’, ‘What is the most important thing about teaching’, ‘Why is it important to be professional?’ etc.

Any other questions about the process, feel free to comment below.

Amy

Interview Tips and Preparation for Primary Education with QTS

In all honesty, I was incredibly nervous about the interview for this course and I felt sick to my stomach all morning – but this was just nerves and it is completely normal. When I arrived, the staff and student guides were so friendly, reassuring and calm that it settled me down straight away.

How to prepare:

  • Brush up on your maths knowledge, in particular: addition and subtraction; multiplication and division; fractions, percentages and decimals; negative numbers; area and perimeter etc. Just the basic maths skills that you would cover in primary school. Have a look at the national curriculum.
  • Work on your handwriting – they may set you this as a target after the interview if it is not up to ‘teacher standard’
  • Look for random objects around your room/house/school – think about how you could use it as a resource in a lesson. Think outside of the box.
  • Be prepared to answer questions such as: Why do you want to be a teacher? What is the most important part of teaching? Why is it important to be professional? How can you differentiate lessons? etc.

Any questions about the interview, feel free to comment below.

Amy

Why Edge Hill University?

I had my heart set on Edge Hill immediately. So much so, I didn’t actually apply for anywhere else. I don’t recommend this, you definitely need to have choices, but I like to think of it as a testament to how amazing this university is.

My initial experiences
When I was in sixth form, Edge Hill had just won the 2014-2015 University of the Year in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards, so my college really pushed this university and I remember thinking it was really nice but I just wasn’t interested in going at this point. Years later, when I realised I wanted to be a teacher, I looked up Edge Hill straight away as I remember the impression it left on me and I requested a prospectus. I was blown away by the course choice, the surroundings and just everything they had to offer. It was perfect and I didn’t look at anywhere else I applied straight away. I lived abroad at this time, so the first time I actually visited the campus was on my interview day and I fell in love with it immediately.

My favourite bits
I love the Catalyst, the library, which luckily opened the year I started. It’s my favourite place on campus to grab a coffee, socialise, study in groups, study alone, take a lovely nature break (on the top floor roof garden). The Hub is also a great place to grab some food, as well as the Red Bar, Roots and the SU. Recently, I’ve dealt with the support and wellbeing team and they are just amazing, there is so much support for everyone and they truly care about you.

So, why Edge Hill?
I didn’t know what to expect when coming to university, but I do know I didn’t think it would be this good. The quality of teaching and learning is up there with the best of the best, the tutors are also an absolute asset and very supportive. The accommodation is great value for money and there’s always so much to do. Being situated in Ormskirk is nice as you are in a lovely, quaint little town but Liverpool is a short train journey away.

I love this university, come and visit and see for yourself.
https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/study/visit-us/open-days/

Amy

What to Watch?

Hi everyone! As we get closer to welcome week and the return of students to Edge Hill, there’s a lot of focus on welcome week, fresher’s activities and getting settled in. Since all of this has been covered already I thought for what looks to be my last blog I would do something a bit different and make a list of upcoming TV over the next few months which might be suitable for binge watching once the university quietens down and you find yourself with more free time.

The Witcher (Netflix) – TBC (2019)

As someone who is a big fan of the games, the show has a lot to live up to, but with a generous budget and Henry Cavill starring, this could be a show worth watching especially if your looking for something after Game of Thrones.

Big Mouth (Netflix) – Oct 4

Not for the faint of heart but definitely funny and could be perfect for watching with your mates. Season 3 is out later this year.

Mr Robot (Amazon Prime) – Oct 6

Starring Rami Malek who you might know as Freddie Mercury from Bohemian Rhapsody, Mr Robot seems to have been overlooked by most but it’s a tense thriller that deserves more peoples attention Season 4 is out this October.

His Dark Materials (BBC) – TBC (2019)

I don’t know a lot about this but it’s a co- venture between BBC and HBO so it must have a good budget, and is based on a series of highly regarded books. The show stars the likes of James McAvoy and is set to air on BBC one sometime later this year so might be one worth looking out for.

Top Boy (Netflix) – September 13

The first series originally aired on Channel 4 back in 2011 with only one follow up series in 2013. I caught it on Netflix a year or so back and have been waiting for the return ever since. Top Boy is a crime drama set in London so expect some violence. it’s minimal episode numbers mean every episode barely has a dull moment. Definitely one to watch.

The Crown (Netflix) – November 17

My girlfriend first got me to watching this back a few months ago, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since, the production value is insanely good and with series 3 seeing a new older cast featuring Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter, it’s definitely on my watch list.

So that’s the TV shows I’ll be watching over the coming months, I think it’s good to have a good variety. I hope at least one interests you if so that would be great!

This looks to be my last blog so thank you for reading if you have read any of my blogs over the past nine months and see you later!

Jordan

Receiving a Halls Offer from Edge Hill

As some of you who are looking to come to Edge Hill get closer to Results day, you may also be waiting to learn of what accommodation you are offered and what to do next. So here’s a quick breakdown of everything you need to know leading up to moving in date.

Receiving your offer

I can’t say for certain but you will probably receive your offer via email on results day, but you could receive it after this date as well I imagine so don’t worry if it’s a bit later. This email will provide you with the details of your offer such as the room you have been given and the cost of said room. Once you have your offer and if you choose to accept it, you can sign your license agreement online. You will also have to pay your damage deposit for the room and set up how you are going to pay for your room, which for most people will be in installments from your student loan.

Changed your mind?

If you decide you no longer want to live in halls at all then this is best communicated to the university as soon as possible so they can offer the room to someone else. If you still want to live in halls but are unhappy with what room you have been given, you should contact the accommodation team directly to discuss.

Final steps

Once you are happy with your living arrangements, all that’s left to do is pick up your keys on Welcome Sunday which is also when you will be given your student Unicard! You might also want to check out the halls handbook because there’s loads of information in those that people always ask me. Hope this helped clear up any questions you may have had, thanks for reading!

Jordan

What happens on graduation day!

Hi everyone,

Last week was graduation week at Edge Hill, it was honestly one of the best days of my life and I loved every second of it! However, I was so nervous and didn’t really know what to expect or how amazing it was going to be! So I thought I would let you know how the day went.

My ceremony was at 10:30 am and registration opened 2 hours before the ceremony, I would definitely recommend arriving two hours before your ceremony just so you can enjoy everything that is happening rather than feeling rushed as you need to be sat in the ceremony 45 minutes before it starts.

The first thing to do is collect your cap and gown, the process is really easy all I had to do was enter the business school and there were lots of people there to guide you as well as help putting your robes on and making sure you have the correct hat.

After robe collection it was time to register in the education building, this was super easy you just go the desk that corresponds with your surname and the people on the desk will do the registering for you. Upstairs in the education building was the professional photography area, if you running a bit late there is no worry as you can still go back to them after your ceremony, the photographers are really nice and make you feel at ease!

Then it was on to the ceremony, I was so nervous about walking in front of everybody but its fine! The ceremony was really enjoyable and there was some really motivational speeches and I felt so proud of myself and my friends for getting our degrees and I was so happy!

After the ceremony we took lots of photos by the lake outside of the health building and we were so lucky as the weather was amazing, there was a reception in the hub where there was lots of complimentary food and drink which we were so happy about as we were all so hungry! There were also lots of stalls in the hub where you could sign up the alumni service Edge Hill offers as well as the students union merchandise stand where I bought a keyring and a graduate t shirt! After this, my department threw a little party for us which was so nice!

Once we had finished I went for a lovely meal with my family! My graduation day was amazing and I wish I could do it all over again!

Ellie x

Best Places for all of your uni essentials!

Hi everyone,

After three years of living at university I have found a few favourite places where I like to buy all my essentials from including bedroom accessories and stationary. As I am on a budget I am always looking for a bargain so I thought I would share my favourite shops for all of your university products!

  1. Wilko

Wilko is really amazing for lots of university pieces, I got all of my kitchen utensils including plates, bowls, pans and cutlery and they are all so well priced. I am pretty sure I paid less than £3 for two plates. They have lots to offer and it is also nice stuff that isn’t just boring.

2. Primark

This one is probably my favourite out of all the shops because you can add to your wardrobe without breaking the bank as well as an amazing and ever growing home section. I got so many things throughout my time at uni from primary that are all really worthwhile such as candles, fairy lights, duvets and bedding that are all really good quality especially when on a budget and little things like fairy lights can make your uni room feel so homely and cosy. The home section in the Liverpool store is the best one!

Kitchen

3. Supermarkets

Even though Aldi is a supermarket, the special buys they have in there can be really good, especially for cleaning products and things like magazine racks and pencil cases. They always have different things in store so I think it just depends on what week you go! Supermarket home sections are also great for buying your kitchen essentials and they also always have really pretty mugs and tea towels!

4. The Works

Whilst The Works is predominately a book shop, they have an amazing selection of stationary from notebooks to diaries and amazing pens. I think every notebook I used throughout uni was from here and they are all amazingly priced and I love going in there!

I hope this was helpful!

Ellie xx

Leaving my University house

Hi everyone,

Last week I officially moved home and out of my university house. I thought it would be a struggle moving home after living away for three years but I am settling back in well and I am finding it a lot easier than I thought.

I have absolutely loved living in Ormskirk for the last three years and I am so glad I decided to experience living away from home rather than commuting back and forth. I got to meet so many amazing friends who I know will be friends for life, we are all quite lucky as well as we are all based in the north west! The independence I gained as well from living away as has been amazing for me, it has made me a lot more confident and using my initiative rather than just relying on my mum!

In first year I lived in Main Halls which I loved as we it was catered accommodation and the range of food provided each day was always really good! Living in the main building was also super helpful as that’s where most of my lectures were.

It feels so surreal that I have now finished uni and I have moved home, I wish I could do it all over again

Ellie xx