Hi everyone! My name is Charlotte and I am a Second Year Primary Education student at York St John University.
Luckily for Primary Education, there are no specific A-Levels that you need to get on to the course, so I chose subjects that I enjoyed and hoped I would do well in. My subjects were Geography, History, and Biology. Although none of these subjects relate specifically to my degree, they taught me skills that I have used at university, for example, academic writing, research, and knowledge. Don’t forget, during your Primary Ed degree you have lectures in every single subject you teach, so you can use your A-Level knowledge to your advantage! I always find myself referring back to what I learnt at A-Level quite a lot, so never feel like you’re wasting your time just because they don’t specifically relate to your degree.
Evidently, I chose this degree with the hope of eventually becoming a Primary School Teacher. This degree has definitely consolidated this, as the course itself is so interesting learning about the different aspects of being a teacher, for example, safeguarding, inclusion, and improving my knowledge on all the subjects.
I love how the Primary Education course has so many aspects to it. There is so much to learn about that no two days are the same! We are constantly being pushed to further our knowledge and think like critical learners which really deepens our level of understanding. I find our Professional Studies module very interesting, as it covers inclusion and different disabilities and learning difficulties, and we often have discussions and debates about how we can adapt our teaching to suit the needs of all learners. We also have guests coming to speak to us in different modules, which we all really appreciate as it really widens our understanding of different groups of learners. Outside of the course is the amazing Primary Education Society, which gives all three year groups the opportunity to come together at different social events that take place throughout the year. This is the best opportunity for you to meet like-minded people and make friends with people doing the same degree as you!
One part of the Primary Ed course is the learning that takes place in university, but the other major part of our course is placement. In all three years, you will go into schools and slowly ease your way into becoming the class teacher. In the first year, your school is chosen for you by the Placement Team, and you are in pairs or threes with other Primary Ed teachers in your year, and you are given a class. You will have the same class for the rest of the year! You are eased in very gently to begin with, going to the school every Thursday so you can have a feel for what it would be like to be a teacher, which eventually leads up to the 6-week block beginning in May. For most people, this is the best part of the year because you can put into practice everything you’ve learnt at university!
A Primary Education degree at York St John is very full-on, because you have a lot to learn and the tutors want you to become the best teachers you can be. The average amount of contact hours within uni is 20 hours a week, however, you are expected to do a lot of your learning in your own time. This is all preparing you for the hectic role of a teacher, and you soon get into a routine of balancing learning and your social life!
If you are currently doing your A-Levels and are thinking about doing a Primary Education degree – do it. You will absolutely love it and not regret it for a second! The degree is so fun, you learn so much and make friends for life. Going on placement is so rewarding and you can see yourself flourish the longer you are teaching! Nothing prepares you more than this degree if you are wanting to go into teaching. Of course, if you have any questions or worries about the course, please reach out! There will always be someone willing to answer your questions, and we LOVE talking to students who are thinking of doing the degree. Hope to see you soon!