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Dominic Baker

(BA Hons) Early Primary Education

BA Early Primary Education _Student _Dominic -BarkerWhere are you from?

I am from East Anglia but I have lived in the Newcastle area since 2001.

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

I wanted to train as a teacher close to home because I have a family. Northumbria University was ideal because it was right on my door step and also offered the best course for me to pursue my career.

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do?

Newcastle is vibrant, cultured and exciting city to live in. There’s always something to do in Newcastle and around the North East region. I have enjoyed experiencing live music, shows and events, dining out in a variety of restaurants and exploring the regions rich history.

What has surprised you most about living in Newcastle and this region? What has impressed you most?

This part of the UK is a very friendly and welcoming place. It’s amazing to be in the city and experiencing the life it offers and only 20 minutes, you have the contrast of the countryside that offers as much as the city does.

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming? Was it easy to fit in?

The university was very welcoming and has been helpful throughout my studies. It was very easy to fit in as the university provided plenty of social events. They always keeps you informed on current events which make you feel part of the university.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

What I have enjoyed the most is meeting like minded people who are taking the challenging steps in pursuing their teaching career.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

There is a wealth of support available from tutors, programme leaders, fellow students, all of which have provided incredible support during my studies.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

The people who have inspired the most are those who have, like me, continued their studies while managing family commitments and part-time work.

What is your favourite place on campus?

I enjoy spending time in the café and student union area. It’s a great place to work, discuss ideas with my peers and socialise between lectures.

Have you joined any sports teams, clubs or been involved in any volunteer projects? Tells us about the highlights?

When I first enrolled at Northumbria, I wanted to get involved with sports but unfortunately due to family commitments, working part-time and attending a full-time course, I had no spare time to do so. Some of my cohort have got involved with sports and clubs and have really enjoyed doing so.

What is the best thing about your course?

The best thing about my course is the placements. It gives a real insight to what it’s really like to be a teacher, you get to learn directly from professionals and gain invaluable experience.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date?

The most valuable lessons I have learnt have been from classroom experience with experienced teachers and reflecting on my developing practice.

What do you want to do in the future? What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career?

I would like to become a subject specialist and eventually a head teacher. The skills that I have learnt on this course from planning, assessment, behaviour management and curriculum knowledge, to name a few, are invaluable skills that will benefit me in my future career.

Have you worked on any projects with businesses or been on a placement? What were your most memorable experiences?

I have been on six placements that have either been practical or assessed based. These have been in both schools and alternative settings, such as nurseries. The most memorable experiences are those when you really fit into a school and become part of their team. It helps you enjoy your time in school more and when you help children learn and progress, it’s really rewarding.

Have you taken up any opportunities to travel with your current course/undertake field trips? If so, please tell us about them.

Throughout the course, there have been plenty of field trips that have been taken to Tynemouth, The Ouseburn and various parks and woodland areas. These help you understand what it means to take learning outside the classroom, how to plan for this and how the outdoors can be an incredibly valuable resource for learning.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

I would say that if you are really determined to become a teacher in the primary years and want to learn through valuable practical experiences with a great support network, then Northumbria is definitely the right university for you.

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University, Newcastle (e.g. confidence)?

I feel that I have become stronger academically since studying at Northumbria. It was one area that I was concerned about but the support I have been given has really helped. The placement experiences have certainly helped me with the confidence to become a teacher who wants to develop professionally through their career.

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Intense, exhausting, rewarding.

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