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Joe Mills

Early Primary Education

Early-Primary-Education_Student_Joe-MillsWhy did you choose Northumbria?

I am originally from Norwich, and the prospect of moving to a larger city appealed to me. I wanted to study at the best institution for early primary education, and the course at Northumbria University has an excellent reputation. I made the decision to study here after I came here for an interview: Newcastle is such a friendly, welcoming place, and is a city that offers a vibrant, cosmopolitan lifestyle while also being extremely close to places of outstanding natural beauty.

What do you like most about the course?

The assignments that you undertake provide a platform to study your interests in-depth. There is also the opportunity to live in Sweden for three months and to study multicultural aspects of education, funded by ERASMUS. This was an amazing experience, as it helped me grow as a person and provided me with an international perspective of education as a whole.

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

I recently participated in an ERASMUS project which involved fellow teacher trainees from Denmark, Belgium, The Netherlands, Portugal and Turkey, and was hosted by our university. This involved looking at the variety of ways which different countries handle transitions a child makes, e.g. starting school for the first time. Again, this was a great opportunity to engage with fellow professionals from around the world and gain an international perspective on education.

How do you get on with your tutors?

The way the tutor and support system is organised, year on year, is a particular strength of the course. Everyone is always available, and the experience that the tutors have is a fantastic resource in itself!

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

Work placements form an integral part of the course, and are a fantastic opportunity for you to relate theory to practice. It is important to remember that, on this course, you are not only studying to obtain a degree, but also a professional qualification (QTS), and this is reflected in the work load.

What would you like to do when you graduate?

My ambitions have changed during my time at Northumbria: I can’t wait to stuck in and teach for a year, and then I plan to enrol on a PhD programme, as this will provide me with the opportunity to study my interests within education at a deeper level.

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

Enriching, broadening, inspiring

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