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David Gregory

Early Primary Education

What appealed to you about studying in Newcastle?

Although prior to University I lived locally, I felt that the opportunity to experience Newcastle as a student was something I could not afford to miss. There is so much to do within city itself. It’s a diverse, vibrant city that caters for any taste in music and you’re guaranteed a great night out! The reputation of the University is growing and I wanted to be a part of that!

Why did you choose Early Primary Education?

The Early Primary Education course is widely regarded as the best in the country. The lecturers are all experts within their respective fields and I wanted to get the benefit of their experience. Before I applied, all of the teachers I had came into contact with had all told me that a degree from Northumbria University in teaching would ensure that I received the best training and would massively help when looking for a job. In short, I intend to become the best teacher I can be and Northumbria University provided the best opportunity for this ambition to become a reality.

How did you feel during your first week at Northumbria?

I was initially worried that because I lived locally, I wouldn’t be a part of the full student experience but Welcome Week was an amazing experience and completely dispelled any fears I had. It’s comforting to know that everyone is in the same boat and the amount of new people you meet is staggering.

What do you like most about the course?

My course has changed me from a student into a teacher. It has given me the tools to be a creative, reflective and influential practitioner and instilled a passion within me to teach for the rest of my life.  The best experience was when I was given the opportunity to study in Sweden for three months. The exchange brought together students from around the world and I received a diploma in ‘multicultural teaching and learning’. The experience as whole impacted greatly on me and I am still in regular contact with the friends I made.

Can you give an example of a piece of work you’ve been involved with?

We recently went on a field trip to Marsden, a local coastal area, as a cohort. Whilst we were there were we encouraged to discuss opportunities for subject integration and critically evaluate the site as a potential trip for children.

Do you have the opportunity for any work placements during your course?

The placements on the course have all been massively beneficial. So far, I’ve taught in a privately owned nursery, reception, year two and year 5/6 classes. Every one of my experiences has shaped my practice in different ways, highlighting areas of development and achieving success in that area on your next placement is very rewarding. The course ensures that you are not thrown in at the deep end, your placements progressively develop with your studies. In my final placement I will be teaching a class full-time for six weeks and I can’t wait. It is perfect preparation for next year when hopefully I will have my own class.

How do you get on with your tutors?

The tutors on the course are outstanding. They genuinely care about you as an individual and the future of primary education in our country. Their passion is evident in lectures, seminars and workshops that are delivered in creative and exciting ways that encourage criticality, discussion and reflection. They are there to reassure you and guide you in not only your professional life but your personal life as well.

What would you like to do when you graduate?

I have loved my time on the course but I can’t wait to get straight into the classroom and teach. The opportunity to wake up every day and impact on the lives of 30 children is phenomenal, I consider myself extremely lucky. My teaching degree will give me the opportunity to see the world whilst doing what I love to do.

What three words would you use to summarise your time here?

Invaluable, enlightening, rewarding.

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