Information and Preparation for a Regional Teaching Placement 👩🏽‍🏫📚

I’m not sure which other courses require you to go on placement but I know that for trainee teachers and trainee nurses it is compulsory. In your first year as a trainee teacher, placement is seven weeks. Last year it started in November, but this year we start in January. I think I would have preferred to get stuck straight in at the deep end, but I do feel more prepared now than I would have at the start of the year.

On the Primary Education with QTS course, you are allocated to a school by the university. You do have some say in this and they will do their best to accommodate you where you want to be placed. For me, I took a regional opportunity. This means I am moving away from home and from University to go and do my placement in the Peak District 🏔. The other choices were Cumbria and Barrow-in-Furness, but these may change. The University places you in accommodation that is paid for and any travel expenses are reimbursed. It’s a great opportunity and if you end up at Edge Hill and on this course, I can’t recommend it enough.

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I travel down on Saturday and I’m going to a very small sample school. I’m going to be co-teaching a KS1/2 combined class, which is something I hadn’t ever heard of before starting University. Whether you are staying on campus, moving home or moving to a regional place, prepping can seem daunting and it can feel nerve wracking if you’ve never taught before. 👩🏽‍🏫

You find out your school and year group, sometimes it can be just a Key Stage. You email the school and introduce yourself, hopefully, they give you lots of information that you can use to prepare. I’ve spent my time looking through the Year 2 and 3 curriculum and researching strategies for teaching combined classes. 🏫

A great thing about this course is we have people called SAMs (Student Academic Mentors), these are second and third-year students who are available to email or tweet and will answer any queries we have. I asked them for some advice on teaching combined classes and my Twitter direct message box was full of advice from students. 📫

I’ve done all I can to best prepare, I think. This profession is definitely about learning on the job and learning through experience so the first week will be observing the teacher and getting to know the class, the routine and the planning. I’ve got a notebook and pen at the ready and I’m so keen to get started. 📝

Please feel free to ask any questions about placements and I’ll do my best to answer! Thanks for reading ☺️

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A Sense of Normality

I know the feeling. Coming back from a break from school and university can be hard. All sense of normality seems miles away.

Today’s blog is hopefully going to help you get back to normal! I hope you enjoy.


Get a diary! – This has honestly changed how I organise my day. Every morning, I sit for 5 minutes or less and write out what I need to get done that day and what classes I have. At the very end of the day, it is very (strangely) satisfying to tick off all I have achieved. Plus, if you get a really aesthetically pleasing diary you will be more likely to use it. Amazon have loads!

Start something new – I know this contradicts the point of getting back to normal but starting something new after a break might be a good way to get you looking forward to the work life. For example, my new ‘something’ for getting back to normal is meal prepping. I have never had to do this before but, now that I am starting placement I need to bring my healthy lunches with me and be prepared. I’m not ashamed to say that I am looking forward to it. 

Ease back in slowly – Sometimes the thought of going back to school or university can be quite daunting and so you try to get everything organised as soon as possible. Instead of rushing to get things organised at the last-minute, take some time before starting back to organise yourself and the work you have done over the break. This way, you will feel more relaxed about going back to school or university as you are prepared. 

Be happy – Don’t think of going back to work and assignments as a bad thing. It’s an opportunity to learn new things and broaden your mind! Mindset is everything (something I have learned this past year) and so, if you think positively about getting back to the normal school/life balance, it won’t seem as bad. 


I hope you enjoyed these tips of how to get back to normal after having a break. I myself practice these tips and find them very helpful to get me back on track.

“I think anything is possible if you have the mindset and the will and desire to do it and put the time in.”

– Roger Clemens-

House hunting tips! 🏡💸

As a first-year who ignored all advice given to me, I feel I have some important dos and don’ts when house hunting for the second year. It’s more of a ‘don’t do what I did!’ kind of situation, so here are some tips when looking for a house… and please take them on board.

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Don’t rush 🙅🏽 .. well, not too much:
We were told not to rush as the housing fair would be in a couple of weeks and there, you can have a look around, ask questions and gather all the information you need to know about housing for the next year. We didn’t do this, we found one that we liked and booked an appointment. This was a mistake as I’ll explain shortly. I would say wait until the housing fair but then definitely get gathering mates and start looking at what’s available. The McCombe apartments go quite fast but if you have booked viewings and are looking at contracts before Christmas, you’re on the right track. There’s a list of off-campus housing lettings agencies on the Edge Hill website here.

Don’t be pressured into anything💪🏽:
There can be some pressure from certain letting agencies about their first-come-first-serve system but my advice is: do not be forced into signing anything without properly reading the contract, understanding the payments and knowing the contract length. We were caught out here as we rushed to get back to a lesson and we skimmed over the contract, signed it and got out of there, now we’re paying a large amount over what most people are… so be careful! Ask if you can take the contract away and read it closely.

It’s not all doom and gloom! 😁
Luckily, Edge Hill has a great support system if you are unsure of anything. You can take your contract to student services and they will look over it for you before you sign anything and they hold housing workshops that you can attend if you are still unsure of anything.  Apart from that, find some cool people you want to live with and get house hunting.

There are some amazing houses around although ours is costing a little more than we’d like, it’s absolutely stunning and I’m looking forward to living there next year. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions, I’m here to answer any you may have! Thanks for reading ☺️

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Returning to Uni after Christmas

If you are currently in your first year of study this Blog might be particularly relevant to you, although it could just as easily be important to anyone at University. It might be your first time back at home for the Christmas holiday’s, especially if you live in a different country to your study. So you have gotten back into your old life routine, your bedroom, friends and family and almost forgotten you ever moved out at all, but unfortunately the time comes when you have to go back up to your halls which while you might miss, may also leaving you feeling a bit apprehensive as you had just gotten used to staying at home again.


The first thing you can do to make things easier is bring any extra thing’s from home you may have not been able to bring the first time or had forgotten, pictures and posters or maybe things like books/DVD’s that you may now realise you actually wouldn’t mind having while chilling in halls.


Invite a friend or family member to visit, it is important to remember that as far as I know you are not allowed to have people overnight within halls accommodation (but that could change so I’ve provided a link to find more information) but it wouldn’t hurt to have them come up for the day or a few days depending on the distance, and stay in a hotel etc. This is a great way to bridge that gap between your university life and your home life and when you may possibly be feeling homesick after christmas, this ‘bridge’ so as to speak is a good way to slowly ease yourself back into independent life.


Plan out when you are next going to visit home and family or friends, putting in a date even if it’s a few months from the present can really help relax you in the long run. If you feel like you won’t see your family for ages it would definitely help to know that in fact you will actually see them in March or April.


Anyways hope you enjoyed reading, any questions ask away!

Jordan

You Gotta Love Ormskirk

Happy new year! (in 3 days)

What plans have you got this weekend? Tomorrow I am visiting a friend in Liverpool and I’ll be returning to Liverpool to celebrate New Year’s with my uni friends… obviously I must be a big fan of Liverpool!

Edge Hill University is the perfect location to visit nearby cities such as Liverpool. The centre of Ormskirk has all the important places (Spoons, Maccies, Aldi… you know… all the student essentials). Jokes aside… it is great how everything is a small walk away. Now that I am in third year, I have discovered more places to eat (somehow I keep finding new ones). These are some of my favourite places to visit. (Please note: Alpine is not included in the list as it is already known to be the greatest place on Earth).

Dinky Dory

This has got to be one of the cutest cocktail bars I have been to. It opened fairly recently and is absolutely lovely! With 2 for 1 cocktails and delicious bites to eat, it has become a big place for Edge Hill students. Did I mention you can drink your cocktails whilst you’re sat on a swing?

Styles

Styles has made it on the list because it is a reliable place for a good night out. Downstairs is a bar whilst upstairs turns into a club where you can dance until your heart’s content!

The Mad Hatter

The Mad Hatter’s bar is a recent discovery of mine… and I LOVE it! The live music makes it a bit more special.

Il Padrino

Moving on to restaurants if you’re feeling a little more classy… Il Padrino is a nice little Italian with amazzzzing food (I recommend the Bruschetta). While my friends and I have less time to go out during our placements, we find cute places like this for a little treat every so often.

Passage to India

Another nice restaurant is Passage to India (An Indian… as you may have guessed). We have celebrated a few birthdays here including mine. The staff are lovely and the food is even lovelier.

BUT if you want to venture out of Ormskirk for a drink or a bite to eat, Liverpool, Southport AND Manchester are only a train journey away. You gotta love Ormskirk! However you choose to celebrate New Year’s, I hope you have a good one. Here’s to  a new year filled with health and happiness.

Best wishes,

Navigating the Limbo Between Christmas and New Years

Hello everyone, hope you all had a good Christmas and didn’t eat too much. Who am I kidding, who cares? For me that’s one of the highlights of the period, eating and drinking too much, which is easily done when there’s so much of it. Some of you might be feeling a bit lethargic or bored after the last few days so here’s a few ways to at least attempt to put a spring in your step coming into the new year.

Excercise: I know i know, not everyone’s gonna be feeling this and that’s fair enough but there’s plenty to be said for getting in the gym after all that over-indulgence, for one, it can help get rid of that lethargic feeling and two, it can give you a head start going into any fitness based new years resolutions if that’s what you may have had in mind. Some gym’s do promotions around this time of year to indulge all the people who say they will start going to the gym in the new year with discounted memberships and free weeks etc. If you get going now you will have a better chance of being one of the people who actually keeps their resolution for longer than a week!

Getting ahead of coursework/ revision: Again I know, a lot easier said than done but hear me out, even if you do a bit of work or revision before the New Year rolls around you will feel a lot better come early January when most other people will only have started. This is the perfect time to get work done as generally we have more free time around now after the Christmas rush so why not? If you have coursework due and maybe not in the mood to delve deep into a 2500 word essay yet, it might be an idea to research what you are going to write and plan it out even if you don’t feel like writing it yet, same goes for exam’s you could plan your revision if you don’t want to start it yet.

Whatever you choose to do coming up to New Years have a good one!

Jordan

My first term at University 👩‍🎓📚

Hello!

It’s very strange to think that I’ve been at University for thirteen weeks now. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. We broke up the Friday just gone, I don’t think it’s the same for everyone but the Primary Ed guys have all finished for the year. My parents flew back from Saudi and came to pick me up from University, we’re having Christmas at their UK house this year! Of course, I over packed. We have an assignment due over Christmas and lots to do before placement in January so I feel like I’ve packed the entirety of my uni work.

If you’re a prospective Primary Ed student then this post is for you. This post is a little insight into how the first term went in my first year and what I’m doing over Christmas to plan for next term.

The seminars, lectures and the workload👩🏽‍🎓:

The timetables change each year so what my timetable looks like this year may well be different to yours but this will give you a gist of what an average week looks like. Firstly, we have Mondays off – I know, it’s the best. Then we have our Minor seminar for 2 hours on Tuesday, Foundation Subjects seminar for 3 hours on Wednesday (sometimes with a FS lecture after), Thursday and Friday are the longest days with English, Maths, Science, Computing and APD seminars mixed in.  It’s a nice balanced timetable that gives you a long weekend to chill and spend some time socialising but then also gives you a lot of time to get some work done.

The workload is manageable but challenging. As long as you organise and manage your time well and do your best not to miss any seminars or lectures you’ll be fine. I’ve really enjoyed my first term and I’ve managed to pull myself to seminars when I was exhausted and just didn’t want to get out of bed, but I always did because they’re always so fun and engaging. I’m not in university now until placement and I know I’m going to miss it! ☹️

The assignments📝📚:

I’ve handed in three so far. The next one is a whopping 3,500 on APD that’s due in January. This scared me to start with but the my biggest tip for you is to get in the library! They have so many books available and I managed to get a load before I came back so I’ve been reading through them and I feel a lot more prepared and ready to knock this out over the Christmas period. They vary from 750 words to 3,500 words and they’re all set in a different kind of style which I love. They are challenging but not at all impossible, they also make me feel very intellectual and academic 🤓!

Placement 👩🏽‍🏫:

Out first placement starts in January, last year it started in November so yours could be a different time too. I just recently found out where I’m going for mine this year and I’m really excited. I took a regional opportunity and I’m heading down to the Peak District. With the situation I’m in I honestly didn’t care where I went but my heart felt this was the right place and luckily I got it. They can’t always guarantee you what and where you want but they do their best!

So over the Christmas period, as you can see, I have some work to do. They encourage you not to work over the two weeks the University is closed for, and I’m sure some people will, but if you’re like me and you want to be as prepared as possible, I’m sure your desk will look like mine!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading! See you next time 💕

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Staying Healthy at University

When I first arrived at university, I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to keep up my healthy lifestyle because of the temptations of take-outs, not having time to go to the gym or not being able to cook for myself.

However, I quickly found that there were many things that I could incorporate into my daily routine that has helped me maintain this lifestyle and still be able to enjoy the university experience with my friends. In this blog, I aim to share with you some of my healthy tips that I have picked up over the past couple of months in university.


  • Do a weekly shop! – For me, this one is so important. Not only does it save so much time it also ensures that you are not buying foods for your dinner and lunch out of convenience which may not be the best choice. By doing a weekly shop, you can plan out what you are going to make in advance and pick foods that are healthy but also what you will enjoy. Ormskirk has many supermarkets to shop in that are cheap and provide good quality foods.

 

  • Go for a walk when you can – I think that this is my favourite tip. I find that if I have been working for a long period in the library, I start to get stiff, lack concentration and become unfocused. This is how I know that I need some time to stretch my legs and clear my mind with a refreshing walk around campus before starting work again. I also do this every morning before breakfast as a way to wake myself up, start thinking about what I need to do that day and just to feel fresh. And yes, it is freezing this time of year but it is so worth it when you go back inside for a cup of tea! It also helps that the university campus is quite scenic!

 

  • Drink more water – I am really not trying to sound like your mother here, but I cannot stress this point more. I carry a water bottle around with me everywhere I go and consciously take sips of water throughout the day and then fill it up again using the water fountains around campus. It saves you having to buy an energy or fizzy drink everyday. Drinking more water helps your concentration levels and keeps your skin nice and hydrated through the day even during the winter months.

 

  • Eat Breakfast – I do apologise for sounding like a parent, but I can’t help it, I live by these tips! I know it can be hard sometimes to make something to eat before going to class or school as you are rushing out the door buttrust me, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. If you wake up a little earlier and make yourself some toast or porridge (my favourite), it will do wonders not only for your hunger but also your concentration in class. You will then be less likely to buy something from the shop like a chocolate bar or energy drink because you will already have been satisfied by breakfast.

 

  • Take a break when you need to – This is one tip that I find has been the most helpful these past couple of months. It is easy to get caught up in all the work and assignments and even social life of university that you often forget that the body and mind need time to relax and re-charge. I love coming back from a long day of classes, making a good fulfilling dinner, finishing off any homework and then chilling out with a good book. Whatever way you like to relax, do it! It is so important to have time to yourself and don’t be afraid to do so. Look after your body and mind.

And those were my five top tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in university which have really worked for me. I will admit, there has been times that I have caved and ordered a pizza with the flat but that is totally okay because that is part of the university experience.  Enjoy your time at Edge Hill if you decide to come which, I think you should, and I hope that some of these tips help!

See ya next time,

Lauren.

Also, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas!

“Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle.”

-Pinterest- 

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

My journey to Edge Hill and some tips for yours! ✈️👩🏽‍🎓📜

The Proclaimers may be willing to walk 500 miles, but what about 4,056 miles? Granted I didn’t walk from Saudi Arabia, but with it being my home for so long, moving across the world was pretty daunting.

Hi, I’m Amy! 😊 I moved to Ormskirk all the way from Saudi Arabia, it’s been my home for almost 13 years so it’s quite a big change, in routine, culture but most importantly, weather. ☔️

Moving away from home can be scary, even if you only live down the road. I’ve moved around a lot in my life so I’m kind of used to it. However, this was the biggest move so far for me, as I was moving away not only from home but from my family.

It feels like yesterday I was panicking about my personal statement and UCAS application and now I’m 8 weeks into the course and loving it. I miss home every now and again but I love what I’m doing and that makes it worth it. It’s hard in the first couple of weeks having to adjust to the new life and routine but once you get settled in and you meet lots of great new people you’ll start to see why people love uni life so much. It is very unique and something you have to experience. 🍻

Here are some little tips to keep in mind:

1.  Stay calm. 💆🏽 Your personal statement and application are, of course, important but trust in yourself and you will be fine. Try and get to an Applicant Visit Day or Open day and if your desired course requires an interview, make sure your prep for it! The interview process I went through was challenging and I was the most nervous I’ve ever been but stay calm. The staff at Edge Hill are so supportive, you will be fine.

2. Be organised. 🗂 The to-do list is never ending and there’s so much paperwork coming from all over, it can get on top of you if you let it. Grab a file and make sure you keep all the paperwork together. Make sure you meet deadlines for conditions and student finance and any pre-summer work you may be set. It’s good to get a head start on your organisation so you don’t feel too overwhelmed before you even get here!

3. Save and budget. 💰 Try and get in the hang of budgeting before you come to uni. You may save up a nice bit of money during the summer but it goes, fast. There is luckily a lot of work around Ormskirk, as there are so many little cafes and restaurants. Getting a job will be a big help but remember to budget. You may feel like a celebrity when your loan goes in but if by the second week you’re eating noodles three times a day, you need to look after your pennies! Before you move, maybe start to budget so you can get the hang of it!

Well, that is it for the first post of the year.
I’m excited to share my experiences with you all.
Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions,
we’re here to help!  💕

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