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 – 

Prepping for your interview! 👩🏽‍🎓

Hello! February already?

I’ve just had an ‘on this day’ memory come up on my Facebook of me travelling back to the UK for my interview at Edge Hill. The fact that this was a whole year ago is absolutely absurd but here we are. Honestly, time flies.

All interviews are different, all courses have specific criteria or procedures to allow you onto the course. If you’re a prospectus trainee teacher and the Edge Hill liked your application, you should, if not already, have an interview date. Hoorah! Now, what to do?

Prep, prep, prep.  📝

The most important thing you can do is to prepare. The interview process for Primary Ed QTS can seem quite daunting at first, but as long as you know your stuff and breathe, you’ll be fine. There is a maths test, a short English writing task, a 10-15-minute one-to-one interview with someone from the panel, and finally a group task. It’s nearly a full day.

Revise your basic maths, quick tips and tricks for multiplication/division/number facts. They provide you with areas that the test will cover so make sure you go over these beforehand. The English task isn’t something you can really prepare for, just write from the heart with some good grammar thrown in and you’ll be fine.

 The interview is where you need to show your passion and enthusiasm, get your answers ready. “Why do you want to be a teacher” “What is the most important thing about teaching?” “What makes you make a good teacher?” – these aren’t guaranteed questions, but they’re likely to come up!

Relax. 💆🏽

I spent the morning, the entire day, and all evening throwing up and feeling nauseous. I very rarely feel nervous at all, but I’ve never experienced anything like that. I think I felt this sick was because this is something I wanted so badly, I didn’t apply for anywhere else because I didn’t want to go anywhere else. A risky move, but I was sure it was Edge Hill. If I didn’t get in, I didn’t have a backup – don’t do that, it’s not smart. I spent the night before practising maths, reading notes, researching interview questions – don’t do that either. Get all your prep done and go over it the week before but leave the night before to relax and chill out. This is so important.

Believe in yourself.  💕

You can definitely, undoubtedly do it. It’s okay to feel nervous, and don’t be scared to say “Sorry, I’m just feeling a little nervous.” They’ll help you and calm you down. That’s one thing I can truly say about my interview process was that all the staff I spoke to were so kind and calming and really helped to chill me out. Don’t worry.

Good luck to all and I hope to see you in September at Edge Hill (it’s the best choice!). Thanks for reading!

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£26 million, one building – Catalyst at Edge Hill University


Opening in 2018 the brand new Catalyst building at Edge Hill University has become a second home for most students who study at Edge Hill University. The stunning building provides almost every service imagineable to students and if you are planning to study at Edge Hill you will spend a serious amount of time here. So it might pay to have a read of this blog, because i’ll be sharing my own tips for using the building to its maximum potentional.


Image result for help deskHelpdesk support is avialable Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm and Saturday – Sunday 10am -6pm. They are always there to help and will do their best to point you in the right direction to any service that you need. If you have a problem, they will help.


Image result for printing and bindingPrinting and Binding is also available on every floor. Take advantage of the free binding services to make any of your projects look smart and presentable. If you have a presentation take in copies with a nice slick cover page and ring binder to hand out and you will have left the maximum impression on anyone in the room.


Image result for quietQuiet study on the top floor with a outlook over the roof gardens and campus. If you need some space to get work done pull up a chair at a table or computer and you will get whatever it is done. If you prefer some group study pods are available on the ground floor for up to 8 people with a presentation screen.


If you want to read more about the investment at the Catalyst you can read my other blog here:

Sean’s Random Encounters – Edge Hill Applicant Day and the Catalyst building


Or if you want to find out more about the new Catalyst building you can find information here.

And 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!

Getting Settled Into Your Course!

Hey everyone! I thought that it would be a good idea to write a post all about getting settled into your course.

When I found out I was accepted into the Primary Education course, I wish I would have had someone to tell me how I could prepare for my course or how I could feel relaxed when starting the course. I hope that this helps people whether you are applying for a course or just want to know what to do before getting started!


  • Use the Edge Hill Website – when I first applied for the Primary Education Course, the first thing I did was try to find out as much as I could about the course. I found that this offered me a lot more information about the course at Edge Hill, separately from all the other similar courses elsewhere. The website is really well structured, allowing applicants to look at an overview of the course, reading comments from current students and what modules are involved.  
  • Talk to people on the same course – talking to people who are doing the same course as you is always comforting because they are on the same boat as you. When I got accepted to the course, I downloaded the ‘Campus Society’ app which allowed me to connect with people who also had been accepted to the course. I then felt better about starting my course after talking to people who also had got accepted because I knew they were feeling the exact same way as me, excited and nervous!
  • Talk to someone who has already gone through the course – I was lucky enough to know quite a few people who had already completed a teaching course or were in the middle of one and so after speaking to them, settling into my course seemed easier. They were able to give me advice if I needed it or if I just wanted to talk about the course. 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and has helped you prepare for your course. Do not hesitate to reach out and ask for advice or help from anyone about the course you have applied for through social media, the Edge Hill website or me!

Here are some helpful links;


“The strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it.”

-Rona Barrett-

Staying on course – Keeping your sights set on University

Staying On Course


Reminding yourself time and time again that every social event or 8 hour sleep that you miss is going to be worthwhile can be exhausting. Trust me. Keeping your eyes on the prize for months on end really can become a futile task, but there are a few ways that you can keep your sanity and almost live to tell the tale of how you got the grades you wanted, made your first choice and finally exited the vicious circle that is education before University.


Meet your deadlines

Deadlines exist for a reason. We all hate them, I actually think that if we didn’t have deadlines we would probably get our work done sooner, and better. The fact is, however, that we are usually given deadlines for our work. These deadlines are there to keep us in check, and as much as we hate them they cannot be ignored. Get your work done, and you won’t have to stress over it. Start things with plenty of time to spare, and finish up as soon as you can.


Study as much as you can

Exams are a killer. In fact if you study in the UK count yourself lucky. Some places, like my own Ireland, don’t use coursework based assessment and students have between 6 and 10 exams at the end of their final year that will determine what university they get into. Exams are great though. As much as you might protest about them don’t think of exams as a test of memory, think of them as a test of knowledge. If you are confident, and understand your course exams won’t be a problem. Finally, study how you learn. Youtube videos count as study if they are on the topic!


Relax, dont stress

Alright. So if you are meeting your deadlines, getting your work done well and on time and keeping up on your revision you have the whole assessment covered. But you cant let yourself burn out. If you end up feeling like the whole world is pushing down on you all you will be thinking about is how much you hate learning and that’s not what you hate. You hate feeling like you are learning for someone else. Take plenty of breaks, get good sleep and don’t put yourself out there for anyone else. Do your thing, for you.


That’s everything. If you want to learn more about dealing with stress you can check out my other blog post here.

Dealing with Stress at University – Stress is like the flu, everyone usually gets it

And 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!

Balancing your time – Work, play and study at Edge Hill University


Balancing time can be a challenge at the best of times. At university you might find you have less than you imagined, especially if you are trying to have a vibrant social life while working a part time job. I wanted to share three tips of mine to try and help you balance your time and keep yourself chilled out so you can be the best version of you.


Keep track

If you are trying to balance the time you have between a few tasks such as work and study you might find it easier if you keep a list or a schedule of the amount of time you have to dedicated to each. Maybe you will find you are spending way to much time on one.


Stick to your plans

If you make plans to do something you should stick to it. Even if that means going out. If you keep to your schedule you will find that you actually get more work done. Just because you go to the library for 6 hours doesn’t mean you get 6 hours work done. Most of the time you spend 5 and a half thinking about what else you could be doing instead.


Enjoy what you do

This is the hardest of them all but the most important. If you don’t actually like what you are doing then why would you ever want to do it. If you are working, work in a way that you like. If you are studying, then study how you enjoy doing it (Pro tip: Watch YouTube videos on the topic). Finally, if you go out then go out how you want. Don’t go to places you don’t want to be and drink what you want, not the strongest cheapest thing there is.


That’s everything. Take these three things and you will be happier, trust me. If you want to learn more about dealing with stress you can check out my other blog post here.

And 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

Gaming at Edge Hill – 3 Reasons to join the Video Game Society


Gaming is becoming a bigger and bigger entertainment source. With the explosion in recent years of E-Sports and Virtual Reality based gaming the entertainment industry has estimated that by 2021 gaming will make up a whopping $29 billion. So if you enjoy your gaming, on any platform from PC to tabletop the Edge Hill Video Game Society have you covered, and here’s why:


1. The people

The VGS is full of interesting characters of all backgrounds but what brings them together is the common interest of all things gaming. You will meet friends here and everyone has a laugh. Everyone is open for a chat and you don’t have to worry about showing up alone, someone will spark up a conversation.


2. The games

There is never a dull moment at VGS when it comes to games, a plethora of both classic and modern games are played every night at VGS. Nintendo is usually on the big screen with classic fighting games but expect others like Rocket League, Halo, Call of Duty, CS:GO, and more. There is something there for every type of gamer.


3. The Events

Finally in this list is the events. VGS meets twice a week but on so many other occasions they have special events like gameathons and charity fundraisers. One example is the recent 72 hour game jam ran in aid of children in need that raised over £700 for the worthy cause. The 2018 game jam took place on campus and lasted from Friday night to Monday morning with LAN parties and classic gaming. Trust me you don’t want to miss the next one.


If you want to find out more about the EHU VGS check out their page on the official EHU SU website here!

And 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!

Sean’s Random Encounters – Welcome Sunday 2018


Working on Welcome Sunday 2018 as a member of the Campus Life team gave me the opportunity to talk to many of the incoming first years at the university. You would think that this blog would be about freshers moving into halls. Or even a 3rd year returning to a new style townhouse in Woodland Court. But I have a much more interesting person in mind for this month’s edition of random encounters. Michael the student helper.


Image result for edge hill welcome sundayOn Welcome Sunday you will see about 40 or so students running around wearing yellow high visibility vests. Michael was one of these ‘student helpers’. He had given up the last Sunday of his summer to help students move into their on campus accommodation. I had the chance to ask him why.


Image result for edge hill welcome sunday‘I like helping people and I know it was hard for me to start out, so I want to put a smile on someone’s face.’ was the reply when asked why he wanted to work on this stress filled day. He also had no complaints about helping move boxes up and down stairs. ‘Someone did it for me, and i’m doing for them. Circle of life!’


As I thought about the day itself I realised that the student helpers around me were not tired, stressed or burnt out. They were smiling. These people had just spent a full day helping people move into their new homes and it gave most of them a sense of good karma. People like to help other people, and I honestly can say that the people that study, work and volunteer at Edge Hill University are some of the most helpful that I have ever met. The people make the place.


If you want to read more about Welcome Sunday check out my other blog here:

3 Tips for moving to Edge Hill University – Getting ready for Welcome Sunday



That’s all I have for you on this edition of random encounters but if you want to find out more about what to expect on campus you can check out Campus Life at EHU here. And please leave any questions you have for moving in below. You will get a personal response, fast.

And if you want more free and great information 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!

Flight Delays and Replacement Buses – Arriving by Plane to Edge Hill University


Arriving by plane to University can be daunting. I’ve been traveling back and forth from Ormskirk to Ireland for the last two years and although I have taken all manner of transport (Planes, Trains and Automobiles!), I can say with confidence that traveling by plane is the fastest, cheapest (Usually) and most comfortable. So here are three things to consider when flying to the University and check out the blog at the end for how to book and not miss your flight. This blog is going to focus on those of you with flights booked for Welcome Sunday.


1. Getting to the airport

Anyone can book a flight and pack suitcases but can you predict how long a security que will take to pass? Probably not. And trust me, missing your flight isn’t like the American movies where they will ‘rebook you in the morning’. Oh no, no, no. Ryanair wont give you a cabin bag so don’t expect another flight. Make sure you arrive on time and at least a full hour before the flight time to get through security, get to the gate and get on the plane. Check with your local airport and see if they have a security tracker online for the latest que numbers.


2. Taking the right luggage

Make sure you pay attention to what your flight will let you take with you. If you have booked hold luggage make sure you drop it off at the right time and pack everything correctly so it doesn’t break. If you are flying, like me usually, with RyanAir then read the cabin bag policy. The will take the big bags into the hold and smaller ones might be allowed on depending on the flight. Don’t be afraid to ditch luggage altogether and look at shipping to your new home. DHL offer next day service for a reasonable fee and as a regular customer I must say they never fail to deliver.


3. Plan your route from the airport

Don’t rely on google maps or Merseytravel guides to direct you to busses and trains. Plan ahead. This is especially important when the rail service is in upgrades or disputes as rail replacement busses might make you sad and confused. Also ensure you factor in the possibility of a delayed flight. It happens all the time and can cause chaos if you miss the last bus or train. Lucily I have an entire blog about this and you can click the link below to read more about planning your route.


Getting between home and Edge Hill University – Or how not to miss your flight


So that’s all there is to it. Get your flights, plan out your day around it and make backups in case the trains decide to go on strike. It isn’t as hard as you might think and you can do it with the right mind-set and preparation. And remember if you do miss your flight it isn’t the end of the world. You might have to pay for it, but you can always try and book another flight.

For other travel queries about getting to the university and for free advice about life at Edge Hill email think@edgehill.ac.uk

What the future holds

Hey all! I hope you’re having a fabulous August, and I hope results day went well and you got the grades you wanted! 

A lot of people will tell you when you’re younger that you need an idea of exactly what you want to be and where your career is going. I vividly remember telling someone that I wanted to go into performing and acting and being told “there’s no jobs in that”, and responding with “then I’ll do something music tech based”, and again being told “there’s no jobs in that”. My response as followed was that then I’d be happy stocking shelves or something and being able to pay my rent. I’ve been told many times in my life that I need a better career path, and I’m sure a lot of you reading this will feel the same and have experienced the same. So, coming up to university it may seem really daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be. Yeah, you need to choose a topic to focus on, but my skills and experiences at University have helped me sculpt my future massively!

I chose the BA (Hons) in Performing Arts because I knew I wanted to perform. Originally, I said I wanted to be a film actress. But over the past two years, not only have I gotten so involved with circus skills and even performed as a clown, but I’ve realised that I love theatre too, and I would love to create my own performances, be that independent performances or ones that’ll be shown to a wider more commercialised audience.

I think it helps that Edge Hill has given me the confidence as a performer to make these choices; in high school and college I insisted that I wasn’t good enough a performer to do anything other than follow a script and be micro-directed. This wasn’t necessarily a fault of anyone else’s, but I’d just never done half the stuff I’ve done at Edge Hill and I was still very much in my shell.

When people ask you what you want to be when you’re older, you can give them an answer, but just remember that the future can always change and you can always find different paths, but don’t be scared of that change. John Lennon’s famous response was “I want to be happy”. And that’s what we should all aim to be.

I hope you got something out of this post, even if that’s a little more security, and I’d love to hear your stories in the comments if you have any on the topic 🙂