Your first week at Edge Hill will be crazy. Freshers activities, meeting people you live with, meeting people on your course, trying to figure out where a certain room is; it’s an exciting but tiring week. Therefore my blog this week intends to look at that first week and tell you what you should do and perhaps shouldn’t do from my experiences. Everyone’s freshers is different so don’t take my word as gospel!
Do; buy a desk fan if you think you need one. I know this sounds like an odd recommendation, but when I moved in my room on campus was an absolute sauna. During that first day, I had to reapply makeup twice because the heat destroyed it, so I invested preemptively in a desk fan to make my life a little easier. I used that fan almost all year long, even during winter when I’d have the heating on overnight. Of course, some rooms may be cooler than others so leave it a few days from moving in before you go on Amazon or pop into Ormskirk to buy one.
Don’t; go out and do a food shop during your first week, you will probably overspend. For myself, I went shopping the Saturday for food with my parents at home, then moved in on the Sunday, but I made the mistake of doing a mid-week shopping trip during freshers which I didn’t need to make. Following this suggestion should save you a bit of money, and force you to get a bit creative with whatever food you bought with your parents. Of course, if you completely run out of food during freshers, absolutely go buy some more from Aldi, Morrisons or M&S in town.
Do; visit Ormskirk. During your first week, I would strongly recommend going into town with either people from your accommodation or your course to look around Ormskirk and get a feel for the town. Knowing where to go to get to supermarkets will make your first food shop a lot easier and will work as a nice bonding experience for whoever you go with. You could take the free student bus, or do what I did and walk it.
To consolidate my three do’s and don’t’s;
DO buy a desk fan if you think your room will need one!
DON’T waste money on food that you don’t need, save it for the SU or a takeaway!
DO visit Ormskirk with friends!
There’s going to be a lot of suggestions I haven’t been able to touch upon in my blog today, but I’ve hit the most important three based upon my own experience during my first year. Your do’s and don’t’s will be very different from mine I expect!
This blog is going to be a little different, as it is my last ever blog – cry. I’ve had the best time at Edge Hill and I couldn’t recommend it more. Anyone who knows me knows that I find any excuse to big up my uni and the amazing time I’ve had there. But unfortunately, things must always end and as my graduate was five weeks ago (how has it gone that fast?!) It’s about time I entered the adult world, however reluctantly. So, before I pass the baton onto a newer, younger student, I’ll grace you with one last blog, giving you a list of all the things I have loved about my time at Edge Hill. Here it goes.
First year weekly flat parties (‘Laverty Fridays’ as me and my friends would call them)
The friendly lecturers – shout out to all the creative writing and English lit staff
The beautiful campus
Cobble (Best food/drink in Ormskirk)
Liverpool nights out – even Popworld
Crepes and Smoothies in the hub
Drinking way too many Starbucks coffees (especially during Christmas)
Making friends at the printers in the hub
Froyo from Shake it up
The swimming pool
The long walks to uni in second year
Living right next door to my friends in third year
The arts centre
Paninis from the hub
Meal deals from McColl’s
Karaoke night at the SU
Friendly Ormskirk Taxi drivers
Going for a drink in the SU whilst waiting for my clothes to wash
Walking around campus late at night – because it’s actually safe!
The huge kitchens in halls – the best place to practice my dance moves
Being able to use ‘I’m a student’ as an excuse for most things
So, this is it. I hope you all enjoyed reading my blogs over the last few months and gained at least some knowledge from them. I’ll now leave you in the very capable hands of the other student bloggers (and hopefully some new faces come next year) as I galivant off into the sunset.
As I have spoken about previously, Primary Education is a course that can be seriously underestimated. It is one of the most popular courses at Edge Hill with a cohort of around 300 students per year, meaning that it is important to get ahead wherever possible. The course is demanding but there a few things you can do to help you reduce stress and get as much of your experience as possible.
Before you even consider choosing a Primary Education or Education based degree it is important to get as much experience as possible working or volunteering with children. Some people can volunteer in one class and absolutely love it and base their career on this experience and then find themselves shocked when faced with different circumstances in different schools. Having this range of experiences allows you to see teaching from all angles and make an informed decision. As well as this if you do decide to pursue teaching the experience is excellent to boost your CV as teaching jobs often prioritise teachers who have experience in different local authorities. The more experience you can gain the better, as being in school with children is the best place to learn. It is important to get experience before you begin a course but also to consider maintaining this experience during your course. Between your placements the time you spend out of school can be considerable and you can quickly find yourself feeling a little rusty when it comes to returning to the classroom.
Once you begin the course organisation is key. I would highly recommend investing in a good planner or diary. When you are at school and college you get used to teachers telling you things multiple times or having letters given out to remind you. Once you are at university a lecturer could say something once and you will be expected to remember this and action it. This is not the case for everything but I feel it is better to record dates, to do lists and important events in an organised manner to save a last minute panic when you realise that you may have forgotten. As well as a diary I would also suggest buying folders and wallets, as a teacher you can never have too many and knowing where exactly that one piece of paper you need is will save you time and stress in the future.
As part of your organisation an important thing to consider are the dates of your assignments and the time you have between hand-ins. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give is to get your library books well in advance even if you are not reading them at that moment in time. As the Primary Education cohort is so large the library can often be overwhelmed around assignment times. To overcome this plan out when assignments are due, look at the content and get your books as soon as possible. This saves you going to the library a week before the assignment and seeing a dreaded empty shelf. Once you have the books keep renewing them so you have them when you are ready to use them. Another thing to consider is that if you are living in halls or with other people who study Primary Education share books as much as possible, it means that you’re accessing two or three times as many books as you would be if you were sourcing on your own. As well as this I have wasted many hours walking up and down the library looking for books without really knowing what I am looking for. Using the library service online allows you to search for books based on release, content and type and shows you how many are available and where they are in the library. Through searching online you can spend a few minutes noting down the location and simply going to the library to pick them up saving you time.
Lastly take as many professional development opportunities as possible. As a trainee you are able to join as many unions as you wish in order to get a feel for what they offer and how they can support you as you begin your career. These unions often provide training days or lectures that are available for free to trainees. The content varies from subjects such as safeguarding to special educational needs. In addition to what the unions offer the university also has many opportunities for students to expand their experience through things such as TEL, science under the stars and volunteering to support clubs.
Overall as a Primary Education student one of the most important things to remember is to stay organised and stay calm. The sooner you can do something the better and I would recommend taking on what you can but never do more than you are capable, don’t let your academic side suffer as a result of trying to boost you experiences or CV.
So many courses at Edge Hill incorporate placements to heighten and deepen your depth of experience and learning! It is definitely work asking on open days or looking at the Edge Hill prospectus to see if your desired course involves a placement!
Tomorrow I am starting my last (but not least!) placement in order to become a qualified teacher at the school I have secured a job in- yes… Already!!
Placements are brilliant times to really get to understand your chosen career area, to meet new people and gain an insight into what is required of you to be truly successful! They are exciting times which allow you to improve your skills in a variety of areas as well as increasing your expertise and experience (something you can’t ever say no to!).
At the end of the day this increases your chances of getting a job, especially compared to someone who has no experience. Plus if you’re well and truly passionate and eager to get working it is a vital and fantastic opportunity that is a worth doing!