Computing at Edge Hill – Three skills to prepare you for Uni

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Computing is a broad and vast topic. It’s hard to know where to start, what to learn and when it becomes relevant. Having just finished my first year of Computing at Edge Hill I want to provide some advice on topics, languages and areas to focus on before you arrive to make your first year as easy as possible and give you time to focus on your specialisation. Please bear in mind that first year is a shared year, so even if you are on a Networking course you will be expected to study Web Development in your first year.


Basic HTML

Knowing basic HTML will help you in all aspects of your course and your future. Most projects require a web page, and modern applications are usually controlled by some form of website. Learning basic HTML along with bits of CSS, JavaScript and even PHP will ensure that you are ahead of the curve when it comes to your first year, especially in the Web Development module.


Java

While personally I am not a fan of Java knowing it before you arrive for University is a massive help. For your Programming module in year one you will be focusing on Java programming. Programs such as Alice can help you learn how to use Java, there are a plethora of books available also. Java is an interesting language, being object orientated using ‘classes’ it can be a challenge if you are more accustom to functional languages such as Python, PHP or BAT/BASH.


Networking Basics

Networking is another module that you will undertake in your first year. Knowing how IP’s, MAC addresses and packets are transmitted will help you understand the content of the module. Using your home network you could try setup static IP addresses, change your DNS server or just poke around and see how things work.


All of this might sound daunting, but this is an entirely extra credit task. You will be taught and supported fully throughout your first year, but if you have a passion for computing maybe you will take it upon yourself to look at these things. That’s all from me.

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

 

My Favourite Spots in Ormskirk 😍

I won’t lie to you. Ormskirk town was a rather large contributing factor to my decision of choosing Edge Hill. I was already sold on the University but when I visited the town, that was it. It’s just my kind of place, – quiet and quaint with bunting and fairy lights everywhere. A Waterstones and a Wetherspoons around the corner, what more could you ask for? A few of us have written about the places you can go in Ormskirk but I’m not really a clubbing person so Alpine isn’t exactly my vibe. If you’re like me and prefer somewhere quieter, keep reading!

If you’re a history nerd, this one’s for you!
As part of our history seminar, we took a lovely stroll into town and our history tutor took us along the Ormskirk Heritage Trail. It’s amazing what you miss when you’re looking down at your phone. Look up! There’s so much history around the town, you can download the map on the website here. How many gingerbreads can you find around Ormskirk? I’m currently at 6!

Image result for the cork wine bar ormskirkThe Cork 🍷
This is one of my favourite places to go because they sell an absolutely amazing carbonara there for £5.95! It’s a very relaxed place with a great music selection and great wine at good prices. It’s also next door to Alpine, so if you want to have some fancy pre-drinks first before you get sticky and sweaty in the club, that’s your place. Also around the corner from there is spoons, the Ormskirk Wetherspoons is pretty decent if you can find a seat. The rooftop garden is great in summer too.

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Salon One 💇🏽💅🏽
By far the best place to get your hair or nails done. I’ve been going there since I moved to university and the girls there are just amazing. I’ve always been scared of hairdressers because they always seem to want to cut all my hair off. Frankie, who does my hair, really listened to what I was after and I’ve never walked out of a hairdressers beaming so much. Not only that, they have a 20% discount for students – bargain!

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Books!!!!!!!! 📚
The best thing about the town is the Waterstones for me. I love books, I love reading, I love getting lost in stories and when I saw they had a Waterstones I was over the moon. It’s not the biggest but it’s got everything you need and the staff are so welcoming and just lovely. Just up the road is The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. An absolutely stunning building with a little bench against the wall, under a huge tree. I like to take a book up there, I’m not religious, but it’s a lovely spot to do a little reading or reflecting.

Thanks for reading!

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Why I Chose to Study at Edge Hill

Hello everyone, for today’s blog I thought I would talk more about Edge Hill and why I chose to come here, bear in mind these won’t be the same reasons for everyone but I thought they might help provide some extra insight at least.


The accommodation: While to some this may not be a big factor, to me personally it was,  I would be spending a lot of my time there including weekends since home was in Northern Ireland. The halls I stayed in were very modern and featured a good-sized shared kitchen, own en-suite and high-speed wi-fi. They are also on campus as well which is especially convenient for getting to classes in the morning.


The location: Edge Hill is located outside of a major city but that was something that suited me fine as I came from a town area back home. The uni’s location next to Ormskirk town means there are plenty of options shop wise and the convenient rail links into Liverpool city centre and Preston allow for easy and cheap travel especially with a rail card to these and other places.


The Course: I chose to study Film and TV production, and a big part of that choice was down to the fact it was focused around both Film and TV whereas other courses I had looked at were just film. I wanted to keep my options open for the future and choosing a course that had both seemed like the most logical choice. The facilities available at Edge Hill including the famed Creative Edge were also another factor in why I chose the course.


The Campus: Edge Hill offers everything you need on campus including a bar, nightclub, shop, subway etc which are all useful things to have especially as a first year student who will probably be spending a lot of time on campus.


These are some of the main reasons I chose to study at Edge Hill and hopefully they have helped provide some insight for you as well! Any more questions just let me know and thanks for reading!

Jordan

Relax and De-Stress

Hey everyone! I know that many of you will have already sent your university applications away and are now working hard to ensure that you meet the grades or criteria to be accepted to your chosen university.

I know from experience that this can be a very stressful time especially with exam preparation and coursework deadlines. Over the years I have managed to deal with the stress of these situations with a few simple tips and tricks, some I still use to this day.


  • Make yourself a nice, wholesome meal – I know it can be very easy to quickly put some frozen chips in the oven or order a takeaway when you are in the middle of a hard-core study session. However, I found that I felt worse and more stressed when I did this and so I changed those less healthy meals to something more nutritious.  For example, a homemade, vegan pizza using a seeded wrap, some tomato sauce and loads of vegetables with a pinch of salt. It took less that 20 minutes to make and tasted AMAZING! Also, far cheaper than a dominoes.

 

 

 

 

  • Listen to a podcast – this is one that I have only recently started to do and it has changed my de-stress and relax game. Put on a gripping podcast that steals your attention, put earphones in and start walking or lie on your bed and just let the chatter and conversation distract you from the stress of studying and exams. I find that I am listening to podcasts more than I am listening to music because of how relaxing and distracting I find them. My favourite podcast to listen to at the minute is ‘Happy Place’ by Fearne Cotton. The conversations are so meaningful and gripping that I just completely zone out. 

 

  • Exercise – I feel like this is a pretty generic solution to de-stress but that means that it actually works! I used to sit for hours and hours at my desk in my room and not even think about moving except for when I was getting food. However, when I was doing my A-levels, I started going to the gym during the winter and doing small sessions 4-5 times a week and when the warmer weather came (as warm as Ireland could get), I would take a short walk over the fields every hour just to give my mind a rest. I found that whenever I came back from a little exercise, I was much more focused and didn’t dread the thought of going back to study.  Here is a picture I took whilst on one of my study break walks around the campus!

 

 


And that was some short and simple tips on how I relax and de-stress during exam  times or heavy essay writing. I really hope that some of these help you during the coming months!

I used to always say that I never had ‘time’ to relax but this is NEVER the case. Always give yourself time to relax and chill out because your body and mind will thank you for it in the long run.

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

– Jim Goodwin –

 

Students helping students – How you are represented at Edge Hill University

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Its worth talking about, every now and again, how your issues will be treated at Edge Hill University. While the university does a great job of making sure every decision is in the best interest of every student sometimes there may be something that you would like to see change. In this blog I will take a look at the SSCF and Student Representitives on each course and how they help you achieve the best posibile learning expereince.


What is a student representive?

A student representive is someone that is in your year elected to represent your interests to the board of your course and the wider Students Union. They are given the position and expected to take any issues that your year has forward to the relevent meetings, called SSCF or Student Staff Consultancy Forums. These are followed by a Programme Board meeting between all staff involved in your programme and the student representives with some special guests such as learning services. In a sense, if you have a problem you can take it to them and they will bring it to the correct person to deal with it and get a responce back for you.


How many represnetives are there?

In each year there is usually between three and four representives. They will give a short election speach to the entire year before elections are opened within your year. Plenty of notice is given by your faculty administration and the Students Union via email and in person before this takes place. Once the representives are in place they are requested to attend a training session with the Students Union who walk them through the different processes and methadologies.


How can I become a representive?

To become a representive you need to register your interest with your faculty administration. You can usually find these in your learning edge blackboard area once you have access to it. After you have registered your interest these memebers of staff will speak to you regarding the next steps. Its allways good practice to have a piece ready and rehersed if you are called to introcude yourself to the year. Your faculty administration will give you plenty of notice for this.


Student politics is an important role within University life and working at the ground level with your faculty is a great way to get involved and make sure that your year is represented correctly. I am now a second year representitive with the Computing deparment and can honestly say that had I not gone forward I would have been dissapointed not to have the chance to bring my years voice to the table.

Thats it for this blog, if you want to find out more about the students union you can check out their website here.

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

My Personal Experience on a Campus Tour

Hello everyone, in my last blog I talked about the various ways you can visit Edge Hill if you are looking at studying here next year as a student. Following on from that, in this blog I will talk about my own experience on a campus tour and how it helped me to choose Edge Hill.

Coming from Northern Ireland it was always going to be more difficult to come visit as in my case it would involve getting a coach then a plane and then trains from John Lennon airport. Because of work and college commitments at home I was unable to make an open day or an applicant visit day which was a real shame so I set looking at finding out other times to visit. This was when I found out about campus tours that run every month.

After booking on to a tour I still felt worried I wouldn’t get to see anything specific to my chosen course in Film and TV Production, So I emailed Think Edge Hill and asked them if there was a possibility, that a lecturer could maybe come talk to me more about the course. Thankfully the university were very helpful and on the day, one of the senior lecturers showed me around Creative Edge as well as answering all the questions I had on the course which was really helpful to me. After this I went on the planned campus tour where I got to see more of Edge Hill like the SU and the library as well as other important things like student accommodation. The guides were really helpful and did there best to answer everyone’s question’s. 

I left Edge Hill that afternoon, after spending only a few hours on campus, feeling certain that I was going to choose Edge Hill to study at, so in my experience even though I missed the other visiting events, I still received enough information and insight to make an informed decision which at the end of the day is what your main aim should be when visiting universities.

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 – 

Homesickness and how to tackle it!

Hey everyone!

As I come from Northern Ireland, the feeling of homesickness is very familiar and I especially felt it more when I returned to university after the holidays.

After feeling sorry for myself for a few days and texting my mum every 5 minutes throughout the day, I decided that I would try and do something about it. Read on to find out how I deal with homesickness!


What I Remind Myself…

I think that the first hurdle to overcome when you are feeling sad about being away from home is to remind yourself constantly that it is COMPLETELY normal. I sat in my room thinking that I was the only person that could be feeling like this at the moment but it wasn’t until I talked to a friend of mine that I realised, everyone goes through this. 

And so, after reminding myself of this everyday, the feeling started to ease as I knew that the feeling would come and go and when it does, it is okay to feel that way.

 

Talk to someone

As well as talking to your friends about what you are feeling, there are so many other people in the University that would be more than happy to talk to you and offer any advice.

When I was feeling the way I was about being away from home, I reached out to CampusLife with an email and they responded within minutes with so much advice on what I could do to help me overcome how I was feeling. They told me about ‘That Thursday Thing’ which is where a group of people meet up and just chat or take part in activities. They were so helpful and they will even offer to send out their student connectors to your halls to check up on you and to have a chat about how you are feeling.

 

Stay connected to family and friends from home

When I first felt homesick back in September, the last thing that I wanted to do was phone my mum, dad or anyone from home because I thought it would only make me feel worse. I even declined any pictures that my mum tried to send to me of my dog which, if anyone knows me, I would have NEVER done.

I quickly found that talking to my family and friends from home on a regular basis, whether that be through text or FaceTime, really helped me through the tougher times and made me appreciate them more. Till this day, I still ring, text and FaceTime home just for a catch up but, mostly for pictures of my dog…

Rosie really takes the whole ‘even my dog is prettier than I am’ statement to a whole new level…


I really hope that this post will remind people that feeling homesick is so normal and there are so many things that can be done to tackle it but these are the three main tips that I follow when I start to feel a million miles away from home.

“When you feel homesick,’ he said, ‘just look up. Because the moon is the same wherever you go.”

-The Goldfinch-

Nights Out at Edge Hill

Hello guys!

Since I am coming to the end of my placement, I am very much looking forward to a night out with my friends… even though I will miss my pupils VERY much!

I thought I would share with you my ideas on a good night out at Edge Hill…

  1. Students’ Union Bar

You can always rely on the students’ union bar for a good night out, ESPECIALLY on Wednesday nights for socials! Each week you can expect to see different societies or sports teams out with different themes (I have joined in with football, basketball and even our own primary education society). The drinks are cheap and the taxi is £3 from Ormskirk if you don’t live on campus and don’t really fancy the walk!

  1. Alpine

Oh Alpine… what can I say? This place has been the beginnings of many memories during my university experience. The music, and most of all, the people, have made it the perfect place for a good night out. You’re guaranteed to have a good boogie with your mates or splash out on the delicious happy hour cocktails!

  1. Bars

Ormskirk is full of cute places to grab some gentle drinks, with Dinky Dory and The Mad Hatter being two of my favourites.

  1. LIVERPOOL

And of course… there is Liverpool which is ONLY a 35-minute train ride away. Also, if you manage to book a taxi in advance, it can often work out as a similar price to the train. Liverpool is bigger than Ormskirk so if you’re feeling like a bigger night out, Liverpool is the place for you. Initially, I thought I would travel to Liverpool every other week… until I realised that my nights out in Ormskirk are JUST AS GOOD!

Where do you like going out?

Until next time,

 

The faces of Edge Hill University – Unsung Heros

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The people who spend every working day at Edge Hill university have alot on their plate. Everyone from the canteen staff in the hub to facilities management technicians work tirelessly to make Edge Hill the best university that it can be. Because there is so many it is often easy to over look staff on the ground. In this blog I want to pay tirbute to three staff groups that I feel often go unnoticed in their daily duties.


Site Services – Housekeepers

135 house keepers work five days a week to clean flat kitchens and accomadation halls. These are the people who literally pick up after you. They are first on this list because they have a demanding job. They have my thanks.


Facilities Management – Post

Working in the durning center from early in the morning to late in the evening the postal team deal with not only staff mail but student mail too. Some of the friendlies faces you will ever see in there. Big thank you to all of them for their hard work.


Respective Departments – Admin Staff

Each department provides administration staff to answer questions from students. I have to give my thanks especially to Sally and Sharon from EHU Computing. Always there to help, no matter what the problem. A tough job, done right.


These three groups of staff work to make this university amazing, thank you to all of them. If you see them please do the same, without their hard work that sometimes goes unoticed, we would be alot worse off. Thats all from me.

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!