A Normal Day!

So summer is well and truly here, hopefully you’ve finished to enjoy the sunshine being carefree! For this blog I thought I’d talk about what a typical day at uni on campus looked like for me!

8:00am: My alarm would go off and after about 10 minutes or so I’d get up and get ready.

8:45am: Set off walking to my lecture, from ForestCourt most places on campus took 5-10 minutes max to walk to leaving me good time.

9:00am: My lecture would start normally around 9am, but not all do! I would sit with and talk to my friends as the lecture began I would take notes, listen and talk to the lecturers.

10:45am: Around this time we would normally be given a comfort break, meaning we could have a snack, drink and relax!

11:15am: The lecture would continue around this time in the form of a tutorial where we would answer questions based on the lecture. The lecturer is still available to ask questions during this time if you want more information or get stuck!

1:00pm: The lecture would finish around this time. This means dinner time! In first year I occasionally pre-prepared my dinner, went back to my uni flat to have dinner or even tea out occasionally if the budget stretched!

1:30pm: Another lecture! For me these lectures in one day mostly contrasted between the maths side of my degree and the education part.

3:00pm: Another comfort break.

3:20pm: The lecture begins again! Normally with a tutorial like activity, working individually or in a group! The education lectures promote conversation and topical debate! The sharing of good practice is also promoted and extremely useful!

5:00pm: All finished for the day!

This then just left the evening to have some tea, complete work and get ready for the next day! Between this time you should talk to your flat mates and enjoy living in a the student community!

So in a few months time you’ll be in your own little routine! Enjoy it!

Offers and Interviews!

So congratulations if you’ve been invited to an applicant day, as this means you’ve been offered a (conditional or unconditional) place! This is great news! If your offer is unconditional then you know that you’ll be joining us in September to start! However if you receive a conditional offer- do not fret! As long as you continue to work hard you will also be joining us in September as you will undoubtedly meet the necessary criteria!

Some courses may also request other non-academic requests, such as placements/work experience! Back in 2014, I attended an interview for my course (Secondary Maths Teaching with QTS)! Before the interview I was asked to prepare a part of a lesson on expanding brackets that I would be demonstrating to the panel. I also was told I would be subjected to a written comprehension based on an educational topic, as well as questions from the interview panel. The interview panel at the time consisted of two people, the head of a local high school and the maths course leader at Edge Hill.
Thankfully I received a conditional offer which was based on my grades at college, passing the skills tests (required for QTS) and also having completed work experience in a high school and primary school!

My advice to you as prospective students, many of you with interviews to attend is to be confident, research your subject topic (you might be asked about current affairs!) and enjoy the experience! The tutors will be happy to help you and answer any questions you have. At Edge Hill you are an asset to the university so ensure that you show off your talent and skills so you can really develop academically over the forthcoming years!

Good luck!

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!

Spreadsheets for Good

Over the years of being a full time student, I have noticed how I use online spreadsheets to help me with my student life, whether it be for budgeting, time management, or just to keep sane!

Spreadsheets can be accessed in a variety of ways, such as Excel in Microsoft Office, Sheets in Google Drive, and in Open Office.

Budgeting

I mostly use Spreadsheets to budget my money.

I start off with my yearly income, such as Student Loan and earnings from my paid work, as the starting point which adds together (via formula) ready for the deductions.

The deductions are mostly from rent, which is the weekly rent plus deposit, multiplied by the amount of weeks I am staying to give the Total Rent.

I now have the Money Leftover for other things like travel and food. This is then divided by the amount of weeks I am staying to give the maximum weekly spend, which I try to go under so save money in the long run.

FORMULA: Weekly Spend = (Loan + Extra Income) – (Weekly Rent x Weeks Staying) / Weeks Staying

Time Management

Since I have many projects happening at once, whether that be creating essays / presentations for assessments or extra curricular activities, it’s handy to have a table which details all assessments, comments on progress, deadlines, and priority numbers (1 for highest priority etc.). I have colour coded mine to make life a little easier – Red for high priority, yellow for mid priority, and green for low priority.

There is actually a set of formulas to make the priority numbers automatically change dependant on the deadline date – ie. the closer the date, the lower the number – but I haven’t quite got to that yet :/ But right now it’s a clean overview of what needs doing, and where I am at with each one.

Sanity

And finally, I create random Spreadsheets to stay sane. For example, when I am doing a project that’s somehow gone out of control, a spreadsheet that turns a mass of activity into separate parts with individual commentaries for each helps a little – Turning projects into chunks helps.

Luckily, I don’t have to create sanity tables often, but they are an option when things get tough!

With all this writing that I do every day, I figured I’d take a break from literacy and focus on tables and maths 🙂 It’s quite refreshing!