Category Archives: .Vice President Faculty of Education

All blogs from Tamara Giles – Vice President Faculty of Education.

I’m back!

I’m back! Did you miss me? Truth be told you probably didn’t even realise I was gone.

Having been off work for the past few weeks poorly, I have felt like someone hit a big old pause button. I went from being really busy to suddenly doing absolutely nothing – truth be told I hated it. I am the sort of person who loves to be on the go, constantly occupied and finds it hard to sit still for five minutes.

However, it did make me realise something…. that the most important person is me! Now I’m not trying to say that I am more important than you (well I am but not in a mean way). I have learnt that when it comes to life you have to put yourself first and I need to start doing that more. To be honest most people probably need to give themselves more me time.

A few things I have found really useful for looking after me are:

  • Food! Don’t sit on the sofa with a massive bar of chocolate and demolish it every night (maybe once a week!). Do make sure you are eating at least three meals a day. As soon as you skip a meal your body starts to struggle as you won’t have enough energy. You’ll feel even more lousy and lack concentration. So eat!
  • Duvet Days – Who doesn’t enjoy a duvet day?! Sometimes these are needed on your own, but it’s also nice to have a duvet day with your friends. Get some good films, easy food (pizzas, chips, fruit) and just enjoy relaxing! Don’t have time for a whole day? Try at least a few hours each week.
  • Wash! Now this sounds like a strange one, but I often feel better (or even just refreshed) after a good shower. When you’re not feeling great use a ‘posh’ shower gel! I was bought ‘It’s raining Men’ Lush Shower Gel for my birthday and it makes me feel so much better on those tougher days. Make sure you get up and have a shower or a bath, even if you plan on going back to bed – at least then you can say you have done something today!
  • Switch off! It’s really healthy to try blackout at least once a week. Blackout means you turn all modes of communication off (so mobiles off not just on silent, computers off etc.). You could do this for an evening and instead build a den, eat marshmallows and watch that film you’ve been eager to see or start reading that book you keep meaning to pick up.

Whatever you do make sure you make some me time this week.

Tam x

Back to reality

Just over a week ago I said to my friends that so much would change in the coming week and it really has. Freshers Week is the craziest and busiest week of university. Freshers BandsIn the past week you have started to settle into your new home, met so many new people (and probably found friends who will stick with you for life!), possibly drunk more than you ever have before, signed up for about 50 societies and tried your hand at cooking. Last week was amazing, but I know I was more than ready to enter the real world again – mainly because I wanted sleep!

Wednesday Socials HodorSo how do you cope with uni life now the lectures have started, you need to start eating properly and you actually have some time on your hands?

Lectures & Seminars – Turn up to these! It’s actually really useful to learn face to face and you’ll get so much more by being in the sessions rather than copying your mates notes up because you decided to stay in bed. See if you can find people to walk to sessions with (even if it’s just from the car park!) – you’ll be able to motivate each other, which you’ll appreciate on the cold snowy mornings later in the year.

Food – It’s almost guaranteed you were sent to uni with a student cookbook (or 5!) so use them! A diet of beans on toast is not going to get you through the year! Try cooking with your flatmates or housemates – maybe have a Come DIne with Me type event. Fajitas, pasta bakes and curries are all pretty easy to make so don’t be scared, just have a go! I would recommend Sorted Food for ideas.

Time – It’s far too easy for you to sit in your room or curl up in your bed watching Harry Potter and/or sleep the time away. You’ll probably need quite a bit of sleep after last week (I know I do!) but how can you stop that homesickness feeling? The trick is to keep yourself busy, spend time with your housemates and friends and why not join a society or sports team? (You could probably study too…..) University is what you make it – so make it amazing!


Also I just want to say a HUGE thank you to my CoppaFeel! team for representing the charity so well last Wednesday. This is one of the charity’s I am supporting this year – the aim being to raise awareness about Breast Cancer in under 30s. It’s great fun and you can find more information out on our Facebook page.

One more Sabb

Hello! I’m Tamara, Vice President Faculty of Education. I have been elected by you (Edge Hill University students) to represent all the students who fall under the Faculty of Education. Not literally as I imagine that would hurt! However, I hope to represent as many students as possible from across the university, over the next 12 months, through running campaigns, organising events and offering an ear to talk to or a shoulder to cry on when things get tough! I have so many ideas to tell you about but I thought my first blog should introduce you to me!

That's me!

That’s me!

I started Edge Hill University in September 2010 and I have just graduated with BA(Hons) Primary Education with QTS so I understand the stresses that come with studying your degree, especially when placement is added into the mix!

Compulsory mortarboard throw with my family!

Compulsory mortarboard throw with my family!

For those eagle eyed students, yes it is 2014, yes I have just graduated and yes my course took me 4 years rather than 3! I repeated my final year as I suffered a ruptured appendix and septicaemia weeks into what should have been my final year. As I awoke from my anaesthetic the consultant who had just operated on me stated “I have no idea why you are still alive!” – not reassuring but I’m glad I am! Having suffered a near death experience I realised that my degree was going to take a little longer to complete. I can assure you this was not a decision I took lightly, but I am so glad that I had that opportunity to do my final year again as I have achieved a degree I could not be more proud to call mine.

My involvement with Edge Hill Students’ Union began back in 2010 when I attended their AGM (Annual General Meeting). I remember sitting in the lecture theatre in the Wilson Building looking down at the Sabbatical Team (Dean, Colin, Billy and Pete) and thinking that I’d quite like to try that one day. Low and behold, four years later and here I am!

EHSU Sabbs 22

The main thing for me is that you know that I am here for you, no matter who you are or what course you are studying, if you need support or just a good chatter come and find me 😀 (I hope to be wandering around campus a lot so grab me if you see me or head upstairs in the hub, go across the bridge to the SU and I might be at my desk!).

Give us a smile! :)

Happy New Year everyone!

I always find it strange saying Happy New Year after the initial New Year celebrations, it’s like when is the actual cut off point to stop saying it? It must be soon because we’re like 2 weeks in now! But anyway I’ve said it now!

I hope you all managed to get some kind of a break and all managed to make the most of Christmas… I know I did, I definitely think I ate my own body weight in food and more haha! Eating Turkey sandwiches for days.

Anyway I know that January is everyone’s favourite month… with all the deadlines and exams 🙁 and on top of that trying to keep your New Year resolutions! Dry January? Joining a gym? Healthy eating? Spend less? … Bleugh! No seriously we can do this!


Yesterday I came across the 100 happy days challenge and thought what a better time to do it! ! So I think that everyone should try it! – Check it out! Can you be happy for 100 days? I dare you #100HappyDays

Give us a smile guys! Haha, such a happy office!

photo 5photo 2 photo 3photo 4

I hope the stuff that we have coming up makes it in to some of your 100 happy days pictures…

We have our re-sign up fair on the 21st of January! So if you missed Fresher’s Fair now is your chance to meet all of our societies again! Here’s vibe medias coverage of our Freshers Fair check it out here –

Sexual health advice and guidance (SHAG) week
… is also coming up from the10th to the 14th of Feb just in time for Valentine’s Day!  There will be lots going on during the week and free condoms and chlamydia screening tests will be available. All student who take a chlamydia test will be given £1 entry into the bar on the Wednesday night and the sports team with the highest number of players tested will also gain free entry to the bar on the Wednesday. More details about SHAG week will be published shortly so keep an eye on our Facebook and SU website!

 Time to Change pledge signing
We are currently  putting together an action plan  to sign the time to change pledge. If you have any ideas on how you think we can challenge mental health discrimination and raise awareness let us know!

So yeah interesting stuff… I’ll leave that with you! Make sure you get involved! & I hope I see everyone’s 100 days of happiness photos very soon!

Goodbye! x

My details:


Hiya! Guess what?!  …


There’s only 9 days till Christmas!! 🙂

Anyway I thought I’d give you an update of some of the things that have been going on over the last few weeks –

Course rep training

Over 180 course reps have now been trained which is amazing! Thank you all for attending the training sessions that I have put on, the feedback that I have been getting is amazing and I can already tell that you are all going to be great course reps this year!  If you haven’t been to a training session yet hurry! I will be putting more on in the New Year!

Children in Need

Thank you to all those who helped out this year for Children in Need and thank you for all your donations! We raised a terrific £1515.82! I have to say I loved having onesie day! Check out Vibes coverage of the day here –

Screenshot 2013-11-15 11.56.30

International day of persons with disabilities

On the 5th of December we celebrated the International Day of Persons with disabilities, it was a great day which helped to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.

We had lots going on throughout the day. One of the main things we did was to build a wall of tags with information on of what people can and cannot do, our focus being that although everyone may not be able to do something that does not mean that they do not have their own talents.


Em-J and I also took a tour around campus on the bikes to see just how accessible the campus really is, our tour was very insightful.  Simple tasks such as getting through doors, getting in lifts, getting up a hill and even getting over a bump in the pavement can be difficult tasks.


Check out the videos of our tour –

This day was very successful and I hope that it does help change people perceptions!

End of term Christmas special

IT’S NEARLY CHRISTMAS!  Our end of term Christmas Special will be on Wednesday the 18th! Pre-tickets £2 then £3 on the door after 10. See you all there!


I’ve just realised how much I have actually typed so I’ll leave it there! Have a great Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year!!  xxx


My details:

Quality Matters!

I write this blog after being at Quality Matters 2012, an event ran by the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) and it opened my eyes to student engagement and the quality of higher education.

One of the questions asked was who is responsible for the quality of a student’s education? There were a variety of answers including the institution, staff, students’ union, lecturers and the students themselves. This made me think because as a previous student I would have never challenged my course…. not properly. Yes I would have the odd moan or joke about if it was worth the money but never properly challenge whether or not what I was receiving was quality.

This leads me on nicely to something that will or should be happening within your sessions now and that is the election of course reps. I sent out the course rep information to staff a few weeks ago now and I trust this has been passed down and that the elections will be taking place in your classes/groups/cohorts over the next couple of weeks. Remember to be mindful when electing course reps and choose someone who will represent all views and actually take an active role in passing on any issues and also the good bits! Then feed back to you what is or has happened to solve any problems. I’ve worked very hard in creating the course rep induction and hope that this helps new and returning course reps to represent all students effectively.

When thinking of quality it is also important to recognise what is good practice and what is happening on your course which is quality and that recognises the hard work of tutors. So much time is spent on asking what’s wrong, what needs improving that the good parts are often left for afterthought. I strongly believe this needs voicing and if you have a good experience let me know! I would love to open my emails to see lots of positive experiences outweighing the negatives. Of course do not suffer in silence and if there are issues let either your course reps, tutors, programme leaders or myself know so we can address these. Constructive criticism is always helpful so if there is something not quite right how do you think it should be solved?

As I finish this I just want to leave you with the freedom to contact me with your thoughts on what is quality and look forward to meeting all new and returning course reps as well as any student who needs help.

Alex 🙂

And so the real stuff begins….

So after a very mad and busy 8 days and nights of freshers events it’s all over! It was an eventful week with meeting celebrities, getting covered in UV paint, hosting the pub quiz and all round meeting new and continuing students showing off my not so quality dance moves. During the days I was speaking in lectures, taking part in grab a sabb and who can forget the freshers fair which I must say I thought was one of the biggest and best yet!

So what can we look forward to now…
Well today sees the opening of the SU advice centre where you can get independent confidential and impartial advise on various issues from finance problems to academic matters. As I’ve said in my lectures do not suffer alone there are people here to help so do not suffer in silence and get in touch .

Thursday sees our first mature students coffee morning which will take place upstairs in the hub in front of the big screen 10-1. A really good chance to meet other mature students as well as meet members from the Students’ Union.

You can still get involved with the various aspects of student life which the SU deals with from volunteering, sports, societies and VibeMedia just get in touch and we’ll point you in the right direction.

Friday sees the launch of our new live music night which will be happening in the venue and this week’s band is ‘The Tea Street Band’ and then there will be Djs playing the best underground, indie, alt and dance known to man! You can get tickets from the SU priced at £2 with an NUS card and £5 without.

And finally we still have NUS cards, hoodies and joggers available all year and just remember every penny spent goes straight back into the students!

So I hope you have enjoyed freshers week and that now the ‘real’ stuff starts you’ll get stuck in and make the most of being student. If you’re going into your third year grab every chance as this time next year you will wish you had.

Remember to pop in and make yourself know, until next time

Alex 🙂

New beginnings

So here goes my first blog…..


I don’t really know where to start and I’ve been in post for over a month now. It’s been a whirlwind of a month with training, meetings, presentations and thinking of ways to connect better with the students of Edge Hill.

The campus is beginning to be alive with students as the PGCE courses and part time programmes have begun to start. It’s been great to actually get out from behind my desk and go and meet the new and returning students. I feel very fortunate to be the new Vice President Faculty of Education as all the staff I have been meeting with have all said they want the best for their students and that by working alongside each other we defiantly aim to improve your student experience throughout 2012/2013, and throughout the year I want to hear if this is happening or if there are areas which you are not happy about.

I can’t really hide from the jealousy I have towards my friends who are now in teaching posts after graduating in Primary Education with QTS and I do miss the thought of my weekend being full with planning and marking but hey who can say they have 9 days and nights of freshers to help prepare, plan and carry out! I think they’ll be the ones jealous of me!

Some of my plans this year are to improve and enhance the course rep system, connect better as an union with mature and off campus students and make every single student aware of what the SU can do for you. We have a new advice centre opening on 1st October which will be providing independent advice on issues from academic advice to welfare benefits and with the new layout of the SU it’s a really exciting and busy time for all of us here at the SU.


Anyway I’ll leave that update for now and I look forward to meeting each of you during the next few weeks and hearing your thoughts about your experience at Edge Hill.


Alex 🙂