What made you choose Primary Education Studies?
I actually originally applied to study Midwifery, but later on I started to change my mind. One of my tutors at college mentioned that they thought I would make a really good teacher, so I went and did some work experience in a secondary and a primary school. Overall I just really loved the whole primary school environment, and found the mix of fun and learning, as well as the scope for teaching in different ways, really interesting.
After my experience in the primary school I decided to wait and apply for a university place through clearing, and got a place on the BA (Hons) Primary Education Studies course at ARU!
What have been your favourite aspects of the course?
There have been so many fantastic aspects of the course. We’ve been on trips to museums, had the chance to attend conferences (such as one on education and environmental sustainability), and been visited by guest speakers from primary teaching so that we can learn from their experience, knowledge and expertise.
One of the most interesting topics we’ve looked at is how education has changed over time, including how different theorists have influenced it in different ways. Seeing how much has changed, as well as how many of those theorists are still influencing education today, is so interesting!
My dissertation topic has also been influenced by so many things that we’ve studied throughout the course, and I can’t wait to put what I’ve learned into my own piece of research.
What work experience have you had while on the course?
There is no compulsory work placement, but we’re encouraged to get relevant work experience if we can as it can help after the course – whether you’re applying for jobs or for postgraduate study.
During second year I did a month long placement in a primary school, and have continued there one day a week in third year, which has been really valuable. Having the chance to see things we’ve learned put into practice, and learning from the teachers, has really helped with my assignments. For example, I recently had the opportunity to go along on a school trip to a farm, where I was able to see lots of behaviour management in action!
For me, seeing the real-life challenges and rewards of teaching has really helped me make an informed choice about my future, and given me the opportunity to see how the course has been preparing me for teaching throughout.
What are you going on to do after completing the course?
I’ll be going on to do a Primary PGCE and have been offered a place at the University of Cambridge! The interview was tough but the mock-interviews we held in second year really gave me a confidence boost.
I’m really looking forward to taking everything I’ve learned at ARU and building on this at postgraduate level. The subject knowledge that you get with the degree is so relevant and I really feel like it will give me a head start when I begin my teacher training.
How has the course influenced your next steps?
By the end of first year everything started to fit together and I realised I was really enjoying the course. I particularly enjoyed the subject knowledge modules in English, maths and science, and building that subject and curriculum knowledge made me realise I knew more than I thought!
Overall the support from tutors has been invaluable, and each and every one of them has had an impact on my decision to become a teacher. They’ve really kept me motivated throughout the course and inspired me to pursue this as a career.
How has the course prepared you for those next steps?
Everything in the course, from lectures to assignments, is relevant to practice. For example, we have the opportunity to create our own lesson plans, and although there is no compulsory placement as part of the course, we still got to practice delivering our classes to the rest of the group.
Every year the course builds up your subject knowledge to prepare you for life after the course, whether that’s to go on to primary school teaching or not. The course is really open, so everyone goes on to do different things – it’s the insight into primary education that’s key.
What are you most looking forward to in your career?
Just getting started! It’s gone really quickly but at the same time I’m ready to start my career and put everything I’ve learned into practice. Going from being a student to being and professional in education is exciting and a little bit scary, but mainly exciting.
I’m also really enjoying doing my own research and I would love to continue this later in my career with a larger research project.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I’d still want to be teaching in a primary school, and would love to potentially be a subject leader.