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BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education
Sarah Gillman - Week at a glance
A Week in the Life of an Early Childhood Education undergraduate student.
Hi! My name is Sarah, and I’m a first-year university student studying at Hertfordshire Uni.
I’m studying an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education, and I hope to become a nursery teacher in the future!
When I was considering which universities I wanted to apply for, I found it helpful to know how each day would look on the course, partly so I could see how many days I needed to commute as I was looking to stay home while studying. So, I thought it might be helpful to show you what my normal week looks like.
After commuting via train to the De Havilland university, I check my online uni schedule to see what lecture room I’m in and make my way there. (students can use the Herts app for directions).
On Mondays I have a 10am start. During these Monday lectures, we have been covering a module which involves creating an activity plan for children aged 0-3 or 3-5. We often have the opportunity to have interactive learning in our lectures to help us with ideas. For example, our class were provided with various outdoor learning equipment to experiment with- it was so much fun!
At around 1pm, my friends and I then have lunch. Sometimes we go to the food court on campus. Each week there are different options available to buy. Some days that may be burgers and fries, other days it could be stir fry or mac and cheese! Herts recognises that we are all broke students, and so their food prices are really cheap- I highly recommend grabbing a bite to eat from there.
After an hour lunch break, I return for a final lecture. This usually involves a ‘seminar’ which is a discussion about what we learnt that day. Sometimes it involves group work to keep us engaged.
Finally, it’s time to go home at 4pm!
On Tuesdays my lectures also begin at 10am. On this day we cover a separate module all about our identity- both personal and professional. For this assignment, we need to submit a short video, rather than a written essay! I love how the course tries to make each assignment as engaging to complete as possible. (Tip: make lots of notes during lectures, as this can really come in handy when completing your assignments).
After a couple of hours of lectures, I go to the Starbucks on campus as they have really comfortable seating and great music! They serve a range of hot lunch foods like toasties, and also many things that a normal Starbucks wouldn’t have- like a whole pizza for £5! They have lovely hot drinks too if you’re feeling cold or sleep deprived.
Finally, after another lecture from 2-4pm, we go home.
On Wednesdays, I have a day at home to complete uni work. This sometimes involves completing extra reading that our lecturers have asked us to look at, or writing my assignments.
Thursdays + Fridays:
On these days I work at my local nursery- I have found that working in a childcare setting whilst completing a childcare related degree really helps put things into perspective and supports you to become more experienced.
Because of my experience, I can now use examples from my work in my assignments, and find it easier to understand some aspects of the course.
And that’s a week in my life as a student at Herts university! Thank you very much for reading, and I hope you will consider this university and course, I can’t recommend it enough.
If you have any questions about this course, the university in general or just about being a student at Herts, feel free to drop me a message and I would be more than happy to answer.
Katie - Why I love education
What I love most about my course
I loved my course because we learnt Psychology, History of Education, Contemporary Ideas and Philosophy-what is education. In my First Year, to give you a different view what education is about and then you were able to decide if you wanted to general overview of education or be more specific and I chose special education needs as I wanted to understand in more detail about special education needs what it meant in a different context.
In my Second Year, I learnt more about special education needs and what is inclusion I was able to explain what cerebral palsy is to my fellow classmates and we had real-life experiences from other people who had different disabilities talk to us which gave me the opportunity to see it through their eyes and I became to see things differently not everything is as straight forwarded as I first thought.
We were given the chance to have work experience within our modules and I really enjoyed this part of the course as I was able to go back to my old school and do my work experience there as I was able to go to two schools: Lonsdale and Nobel and it were nice to see how much they have changed for the better and I was able to improve their access as they asked my opinion and they have used some of my suggestions that I put forward.
Working with my teacher again was one of the highlights as he said I’m still the same person; passionate about people seeing passed the wheelchair and I have had other students with disabilities come up to me asking who I am and they want to be as confident as I am! This gave me a different idea of what I wanted to do within education, which I will discuss further on.
With the new knowledge that I had gained helped me with my work as a governor as I was able to articulate my views very well and some of my ideas that I have suggested have been used at the school. We were also the opportunity to learn about research and all the terminology, so we had the skills ready for our final year.
They say Final Year is the hardest and I totally agree it is but that is the challenge as learning is not always meant to be easy. We only had one lecture a week for the research project in semester A, the rest were seminars to do with Research and Special Educational needs. Research Project was split into two sections: a proposal of our research project and presenting it as a presentation. This gave the tutors insight about how we thought through our question as it had to be a small example due to the time restrictions so that we focused on the question we wanted to answer.
I was grateful for this as I was able to use the proposed plan as my main structure for the writing part in part two which saved me so much time and effort. I would suggest that you use part one of the research as your layout in part two.
On a personal level, my time at Herts has been amazing even with the challenges that I had to face within the university and school of education are an amazing team to be a part of as they supported me to voice my ideas and express them to the relevant people.
As said previously I was passionate about people seeing passed the wheelchair and because of my personal challenges at university. I then realised I wanted to start my own business as a disability awareness coordinator as I feel that I can educate people on how to how to communicate with people with different disabilities. I have my Canine Partner still waiting for my partnership and I will have him work alongside me in this new journey. So, I have new experiences happening in my life after university which is exciting.
Katie - Why I chose herts
Why I chose Herts
I chose Herts because I could commute from home and because of my care needs had to be taken into consideration. Also, Herts they offered the course I wanted to do which was Education Needs with Special Education Needs. I wanted to learn more about special education needs in a broader content because I know about cerebral palsy as I live with it myself.
Meet Jake Garwood who discovered his passion for teaching and education while studying. He currently works as a Year 4 teacher in a junior school near the University.Read more stories BA (Hons) Education
|Current job role
|Year 4 teacher
|Year of graduation
|2016 / 2017
|Course of study
|BA (Hons) Education
|PGCE in Primary Education
Sparking a passion
Jake decided to go to the University of Hertfordshire based on our 'excellent reputation for teaching training.' His time as a student did not disappoint as his course sparked his passion for education and he says the 'engaging modules at the University and inspiring tutors played a key part in making me the teacher I am today.'
The variety of modules on both of my degrees, from contemporary issues in education to educational technology, from philosophy of education to equality and inclusion, put me in the best possible position to begin my teaching career.'
Aspirations for the future
Jake finds teaching an extremely rewarding career, therefore he does not intend to leave the profession. He says, 'I think it is one of the most rewarding profession available and if you care about the future, then teaching the next generation is one of the best things you can do.'
However, he adds that his ultimate goal is to work towards a Masters in Education, followed by a PhD in the same field. He'd like to keep his options open as to future career paths.'