Here at Newman we have a fabulous range of degree courses, which attract a wide range of students to them. From learners who have been out of education for some time, to those who have just left College, each student brings their own unique experiences and requirements to the table. Here we talk to some of our students about their experiences of their time as a University student at Newman…
Laura Thomas was already working as a Teaching Assistant when she decided to embark on the BA Hons Working with Children in Early Years and Education, in order to pursue her dream of becoming a Teacher. “The Degree was perfect for me, as it meant I could carry on working as a Teaching Assistant, whilst gaining my degree at the same time.”
All University students are required to either already be employed in an Early Years or Education setting, or volunteering within the setting, to make the most out of the course. Laura says: “Throughout the Foundation Degree and top-up, I have most enjoyed the units of ‘Social Pedagogy’ and ‘Learning in The Outside Environment’. All of the modules have supported me in the workplace as they have enriched my knowledge and awareness, which I have then been able to put into my day-to-day practice. Both courses have prepared me for my teacher training to a great extent, as I will be able to put to my studies and practical experience to use. I have gained invaluable experience through this work-placed degree.”
One of the things that we pride ourselves on most Cardinal Newman is our ability to offer a supportive environment for all of our learners, in order to enable them to achieve their full potential. “The tutors are a credit to Cardinal Newman as they are so supportive, caring and encouraging and I have loved being in such a small cohort, it has made my degree very personal and enjoyable.”
Similarly, Jackie Ryan was working as a Teaching Assistant when she decided to return to education and embarked upon the Teaching and Learning Support Foundation Degree Cardinal Newman. She then decided to progress onto the top up degree in Working in Early Years and Education: “I thoroughly enjoyed this top-up course for several reasons. Firstly, it followed seamlessly from the degree course I had previously taken at Newman College. The fact that all the classes are delivered in one afternoon, means it is extremely employer friendly. A huge advantage of this work-based degree is that you can immediately put theory into practice from day one of starting the course. This helped me personally improve as a practitioner, to get a clearer understanding of how children learn. Sharing day-to-day experiences with fellow students also brought a lot of clarity and increased confidence to my role as a teaching assistant.”
At Newman, we feel the learning environment is as important as any other part of your learning experience, so we work hard to ensure that everything is the best it can be. Jackie says: “The facilities at the College are second to none, an amazing library and librarian at your disposal, lecturers who are very thorough, professional and dedicated. The support and feedback you receive as a student from them is incredible and this guidance is offered from management and staff alike. I never felt on my own, if I struggled with anything, there was always someone I could contact, offering advice, a kind word and a voice of reassurance.”
Now, having completed Teaching and Learning Support FD and the top up BA Hons Working in Early Years and Education she is completing a PCGE with the dream of becoming a Primary Teacher. “Due to the high standards set at Newman, and the study skills I gained from assignment writing there, I have been able to write at an academic level, on my post graduate course with the confidence and ability required and expected. I truly cannot recommend this course highly enough, it has helped me on the road to achieving my goal of becoming a primary school teacher, for which I will be eternally grateful.”
Jackie is now a primary teacher at Vickerstown Primary in Cumbria.
Nichole Prince was working in insurance when she decided she wanted a complete change of direction. After securing herself a role as a Teaching Assistant in a Primary School, she decided to further her career and prospects by joining the degree courses at Cardinal Newman.
“I loved doing the course, it was hard work, but the support given from both lecturers and fellow student was fantastic. By working alongside doing the course meant you could use your experience from the classroom in your assignments and what you learnt in the classroom to benefit your role.”
There are a wide variety of modules and topics covered which suit all University students and their aspirations. Nichole says, “I found all the modules really informative and interesting. What we learnt doing Leadership and Management and the dissertation has also really helped when we have completed similar modules as part of my PGCE. I feel more confident in writing assignments, in every aspect, from referencing correctly to critiquing literature. My knowledge on theorists and government policies has benefited me in both my placements and assignments.”
Nichole is now a primary teacher at Medlar-with-Wesham Primary School.