PGCE Primary Student FaizaFaiza Shafiq – PGCE Primary

“I chose to study my PGCE at Newman after completing my undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and Care as I want to become a teacher and the course is carefully structured.

As an undergraduate student I loved and enjoyed my time and Newman, I would not have chosen to go elsewhere. Not just because I am familiar with the university but because it is welcoming. All the staff are friendly, from lectures to security. The University cares about their students and I like the open door policy.

I do miss my undergraduate tutors – they are the best and most helpful and understanding and are always supportive and were great at teaching.

The PGCE staff I am currently working with are great. Being a PGCE student I have had an academic personal tutor as well as a partnership tutor who oversees me whilst at placement and she has been amazing, I knew that if something was bothering me I could contact her.

Newman have supported me a lot. It is important to be aware of the support available and utilising it. For example, I have used academic support tutors support throughout all my studies and they have helped proof read my assignments.

Even security have been amazing, I lost my purse at an open day which security found and gave to me, the tutors are helpful, Library staff are brilliant and most importantly everyone at Newman is approachable.

I am now a qualified teacher and have secured a job in a school starting in year 1.”

student Amy DuttonAmy Dutton – Primary Education (5-11) with recommendation for QTS

“As a child, I grew up in fascination of my own primary school teachers. I wanted to be like my Year 4 teacher, who was amazing at teaching Maths and made me feel very important as a student, I decided I wanted to be a teacher just like her who would inspire young people.

Newman University is a university I have grown up with; I remember Newman being a college and wanted to study there when I left school. I like the community ethos of Newman, I have lived in Birmingham most of my life and I feel very proud to call Newman my local university.

I found it hard to imagine being taught how to teach other people, but following first year of my course, I finally understood the importance of studying a teaching training degree to prepare you for life as a teacher. The lecturers are very supportive in academic matters and help me to understand different ways in which I can support other young people that I will teach. The degree has helped me to make more sense of what it means to be a teacher.

Newman University shares a large community ethos, each student is known by their lecturers on a first-name basis and they help you to feel like a valued member of their course rather than a number on a register. The support for students is so important to the faculty staff of each degree, specifically, each member of staff within the Faculty of Education are involved with the students and do everything they can to make their degree more fulfilling and accessible.

The APT system for degrees is extremely helpful. I see my APT on a regular basis to ensure that I can discuss any matters that I am finding difficult and also ask for any specific help from an experience member of staff. The Student Staff Consultative Committee system is also useful to allow students to express their opinions about the course, as an academic course representative I have been able to talk about different things that we enjoy or dislike about the degree and some sufficient changes have been made towards how the course is delivered.

During my time at Newman, I have been elected as an academic course representative for my group in Primary Education. I have taken this role for 2 years and I enjoy being able to voice the opinions of my friends and colleagues on the course to ensure that we all get the best that we can from our degree.

As a trainee teacher here at Newman, I intend to take my degree to the next level of being able to teach after I graduate. Becoming a teacher can take you to so many different places, typically you can take on roles of subject leads or SEN co-ordinators and as I have a great love for Maths and Modern Foreign Languages I would love to become a subject lead in the future.

My advice would be grab every opportunity you can with both hands. The life you make for yourself as a Newman student is something you will treasure for a lifetime. If you want to be part of a society, do it! If you want to become Students’ Union president one day, run for it! Make the most of your degree.”

Yordanos Gebremichael - Studies in Primary EducationYordanos Gebremichael – Studies in Primary Education BA (Hons)

“I chose to study at Newman because it is a small community where I feel welcomed. It has an open door policy and tutorials and other support is easily accessible. As well as this, Newman is widely experiences in education courses and most lectures are creatively taught.

I wanted to study my course because I wanted to explore primary education in various perspectives and to widen my knowledge. I am passionate about education studies.

I have learnt quite a lot that I never expected to. Staff in my department are supportive, especially in lectures where they make sure they are creative and engaging. Non-academic support, such as the welfare advisors, have been especially helpful.

During my time at Newman I have been a Student Ambassador, STAR for my faculty, Chair of the Christian Union, Social Secretary of Newman Enterprise Support Team and a member of the Jiu Jitsu Club.

My goal is to become a teacher through completing the PGCE programme and few years after teaching, I intend to further my study in education and take part in Teaching and Learning Masters.

Newman is a very good university when you get to know what is available for you so explore it.”

Kasib Yasin - Primary Education (5-11) with QTSKasib Yasin – Primary Education BA (Hons) with recommendation for QTS

“Newman University is a respected university. When I came for my interview, I felt welcomed by the staff and the students and the university is a positive environment to be in.

I chose this course because I wanted to be a teacher. I love working with children and I want to be able to inspire them and help them to develop into young adults and support them with their future prospects.

The course has exceeded my expectations. I knew I’d enjoy the course but I didn’t expect it to be interactive and very active and enjoyable.

I think the staff are very helpful and positive and they give you support in everything. They’re very confident in teaching and can present lectures really well. There have been many different workshops put on to make sure we understand how to reference properly for assignments and how to write academically.

I am a student ambassador at Newman and I am a course rep. Both of these roles help me to be professional and give back to the university. I am looking forward to exploring all future projects and activities in my course.

I would say to make the most of all the experience because this can help enhance your CV and to keep on top of your work straight away.

I intend to go straight into teaching as soon as I finish my degree.”

Hayley Jones - Primary Education studentHayley Jones – Primary Education BA (Hons) with recommendation for QTS

“Like most students I applied to five different universities to study the same course, however as soon as I attended the open day at Newman, I knew I wanted to study here. The vibe and how friendly people were; the lectures were engaging and spoke about real life experiences; this hasn’t changed since starting the course.

Ultimately I wanted to be a primary school teacher; my course would enable me to achieve qualified teacher status at the end of three years.

The lecturers at Newman are so easy to approach; they speak from real life situations, most have been teaching in schools for years and know exactly what works. To start with university can feel like hard work, but like anything it gets easier and if you stay on top of your work and assignments you can’t go far wrong. In the first year and throughout second year really there are a lot of lectures set up by the library to go through the services they offer – this is brilliant and personally has really helped me.

There is constant support however, if you are struggling you need to be proactive and ask for help. Library services allow students to book appointments about anything you can think of in regards to assignment work, referencing, and critical analysis and so on.

I am a course rep for year 2 and this is a great opportunity to speak with both students and staff in regards to possible changes and most importantly what is going well with the course. Meetings are held 3 times a year, and are recorded and sent to the course reps to allow feedback to the rest of the students in the group. It works really well and changes that can be made are made ASAP.

My course has 100% exceeded my expectations, and even when something could be changed to make it easier for the students, we are able to feed back through end of module evaluation sheets. Lectures are also approachable and are happy to discuss any worries about the course with you at any time.

I was involved, in my first year, in a clickers study; this was done during lectures and provided evidence for a lecturer for his master’s dissertation. This was a great opportunity and really provided us as students the opportunity to speak with one another and debate around certain aspects of the primary curriculum.

I have been on a trip to the Gambia, which has given me the opportunity to experience education in a totally different country and walk of life. I would 100% urge anybody if given the chance to go, the curriculum they teach is very similar to the UK.

I still very much intend to be a primary school teacher; I’m excited for my second placement and for what the future holds. You won’t regret studying at Newman, I certainty haven’t. Good luck with your studies and I hope to see you around campus soon.”

Rich Vincent - Education studentRich Vincent – MA Education

“I completed my undergraduate degree here at Newman and saw the MA Education as a natural progression. I currently work in education and Newman has a great reputation and history in this sector.

Newman is a fabulous, friendly environment in which to study in – it almost has a kind of ‘family’ feel to the atmosphere here. You are, to coin a phrase, ‘not just a number’ and staff will go above and beyond to help you, often giving up their own time. The variety of teaching and the knowledge in such diverse fields that the expert staff possess is fantastic and cannot be underestimated.

The lecturers and support staff have always given their time for me if I have questions, queries regarding any outstanding work or needs. The lecturers have also been an inspiration for me challenging previously held views and opinions, opening my eyes to theory and practice that I would not have come across independently.

I give thanks to all the staff that I have encumbered with my demands and requests during my time at Newman and also praise the Students’ Union who do a fantastic job for Newman and the student cohort.

I was a Staff Student Consultative Committee rep on my undergraduate course and I have taken up that role again during my postgrad studies as I feel it is important that students have a voice in their own learning.

University can be challenging at times to manage things on your own but also exciting as you begin to figure out who you are or who you want to be. University is the time when you realise your independence, mature (a little), learn invaluable lessons and begin to identify your own personal values and beliefs. But most of all – ENJOY IT!

I am enjoying learning and engaging with academics and like-minded individuals in the field of which I work – once I have finished my MA I would potentially consider doing my EdD!”

Laura O'Brien - primary education studentLaura O’Brien – Primary Education BA (Hons) with recommendation for QTS

“I chose to study Primary Education because I want to be a role model in the life of many children. I was inspired from a very young age, from not only my primary school teachers, but two other very important people to me; my mum and my grandmother. My mum is a primary school teaching assistant and my grandmother was once a primary school teacher moving onto becoming a headmistress before her retirement. I believe that every child is born with wings; teachers are the ones who help make them fly.

I chose to study at Newman because of the hands on and practical approach that was offered. These include block placements and field trips including a trip to Gambia.

The course here at Newman has exceeded my expectations; the lectures and seminars are engaging, fun and interactive providing many social interaction opportunities. These social interactions are paramount and are great skills to take into a primary school setting when communicating with other staff members within the teaching profession.

The staff here at Newman are so supportive. The small lecturer to student ratio means that they can really get to know you and help you develop personally. The lecturers place a high importance on giving constructive feedback highlighting and explaining areas to improve clearly not only on assignment feedback but during group lectures and seminars discussions too.

Coursework, exams and presentations are split equally across the year. It is split like this to ensure that there are no written assignments due whilst on teaching practice, this enables you to focus primarily on your placement.

I have been on field trips as part of my Science module to help me understand the importance of outdoor learning. The outdoor learning field trips made me, as a trainee teacher, realise that not all learning takes place indoors and that the outdoor learning environment can play a huge role in developing children’s physical and mental well-being.

The support doesn’t just come from your lecturers. The library and library staff have supported my journey as a trainee teacher here at Newman particularly with the school experience resources which you can take out onto placement – they save you so much time and money.

I am a student ambassador here at Newman and have had the opportunity to work alongside ambassadors from other universities during carers events for pupils in year 9. These opportunities enable me to develop my confidence and leadership skills, again two skills which I believe are crucial in the classroom.

As soon as I can I just want to get out into the classroom. I want to work within Early Years and Key Stage One as this is the age range that I thrive in. I then want to become either an Early Years Leader or take on a SENCO role before progressing onto management as either deputy or head of a school.

My advice to a future Newman student is to believe in yourself and anything is possible! Even when you feel like giving up, remember how far you have come and remember that not every job can change a life.”

Marcia Rosie - Education student

Marcia Rose – MA in Education

“I achieved a degree in Community, Youth and Play in 2001 after knowing from an early age that the Early Years and Childcare sector was where I wanted to work.

My career followed a path of working with young people within the voluntary sector, supporting young people in crisis, advice and information, and missing young people.

Recognising the changing job market, and a desire to study and combine all my skills, as a family we pursued the fostering route.

Returning to the job market, further enhanced the need to study, grow and learn, which was an opportunity missing from the work place structure, a family support role provided experiences to work within schools, family courts, core group and child protection meetings.

Undertaking a social work practice educators course, further enhanced my knowledge of practice and quenched that professional curiosity that had arisen within the work setting, within our family similar discussions were taking place with our children entering higher education to obtain their degrees and this generated a whole family approach to the opportunities at university looking ahead at the changing job market.

Studying MA in Education at Newman satisfied that professional curiosity, and the modules safeguarding, voices & rights, advanced mentoring & coaching, combined with a dissertation has given me the opportunity to fulfil my career aspirations.

I never thought of the BSEEN opportunity for myself as a postgraduate student, I thought about it more for my children at university and their careers, following a careers advice session, then I considered it and applied, combining it with my interest in confidence and self-esteem issues. Previous research projects included bereavement support for young people, Counselling support for young people 11-14 under the national curriculum and exploring anxiety levels in students in higher education.

Using my research into the green paper on children’s mental health and wellbeing (2017) and personal interest in counselling and support, the value of listening and recognition of non- verbal communication combined with using your creative skills, you’re learning style. and developing all those key skills, planning, time management, finance, policy and practice, knowing that you make the decisions developed our business Creative wellbeing (June 2018) It’s a great opportunity to combine all you have into your business.

Within my career I have felt truly privileged to have worked with so many families and professionals and through faith I am humble to helping others.

Our business is about offering that hand of support for a short time and developing it into a social enterprise model to give back.

Our business is developing, and we have received support from BSEEN, Newman Enterprise, NEST, Newman HLSM, and developed some networks through the boot camp and monthly meet ups.”

Studies in Primary Education Student Charlotte Quarry playing guitarCharlotte Quarry – Studies in Primary Education BA (Hons)

“My name is Charlotte Quarry and I am 19 and in my second year at Newman studying Studies in Primary Education.

I love studying the course because I enjoy looking at the theoretical perspective of education while also coming to understand our education system and how students fit into it and are treated. It really challenges your thinking and perspective and encourages you to make your own opinions.

I decided to go to Newman because I prefer the smaller campus so walking around and finding rooms isn’t so overwhelming. They also have a good focus on education courses and brilliant support to help students succeed.  The library is so big and full of useful resources, including online resources, making studying from home easier and removes the worries of struggling to find resources.

I always feel challenged but never overwhelmed with work and have become fascinated with the different videos, books, studies and research we look at. The more I read the more motivated I feel to continue my studies.

The staff in education really challenge your perspective and your answers to further your understanding and are supportive in helping students understand assignments and the content. Tutors also allow you to book one-to-one sessions for any struggles students are having which have been super helpful.

The online support has been so helpful with guiding me to the studies I would have to do after this course to go into a field I would enjoy. The Students’ Union is super supportive and you can go to them with any issue you may have because they will do anything they can to help everyone.

Currently I am a course rep and Star rep at Newman so I represent the student voice which is amazing because the University really cares about the students’ opinions and views and will make changes to make sure all students are comfortable during their studies.

I am also a student ambassador so I talk to students online who are thinking of joining Newman but also taking part in fun activities like photos for the website or writing blogs about my experience.

I hope that in the future I can become a lecturer myself, which was a change in career ideas from before joining Newman because I have come to enjoy doing research and the challenges that come with it. Everyone at Newman has been supportive and have helped me realise how to go about fulfilling this dream.

In the future I will be doing my placement at Newman working alongside Lecturers to gain some experience which I am super excited for because it will give me an insight into what I want to do as a career.

I would suggest Newman to many people looking to further their education as the staff are so friendly and there is support for anyone who could need it. Everyone, staff and students alike, are so friendly and helpful. There’s an amazing Students’ Union to make sure everyone is comfortable and feels fully supported during their time at Newman.”

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