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Lucy McRae

(BA Hons) Early Primary Education

Where are you from?

Newcastle, UK

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

It fits into my busy life as I live very close to the University but I also chose to study here as I knew it had an excellent reputation and offered me the course that I wanted to do.

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

I have always lived in Newcastle and think it is a great place to live. I have two young children so all my spare time revolves around them, such as going to football matches, watching the basketball at the city campus and my daughter is involved with a national theatre arts company. I think Newcastle offers children fantastic opportunities to grow and develop.

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

No surprises as I have always lived here!

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

Yes it has been extremely welcoming. I was worried about returning to education as I am a mature student but I immediately felt I had made friends and felt very welcome. There are a mix of ages on the course and from my experience everyone mixes well and are very accepting of each other.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

The best part of the course has been my experience in placements. I have been to some amazing placement schools where the staff have fully supported me and I have gained a lot of confidence and skills. Working with children has been the most valuable experience for me and I feel I have developed many skills over the last two years.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

The University staff have been very helpful on many occasions and it has greatly helped to have built up friendships with a group of lovely people.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

The teachers that I have worked with while on placement that took the time to support me in my training have been very inspirational to me. Also the other students as there are a lot of people that are studying while juggling a family or a job.

What is your favourite place on campus?

The students union is a nice place to rest in between lectures and the library is a very useful place to begin a new assignment and gather information and resources.

What is the best thing about your course?

The placement schools that I have been to and working with a range of children.

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

Learning from experienced teachers while on placement.

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 want to become a primary school teacher, I don’t have any real preference of a particular year group as I have been in different year groups and have enjoyed my time in each one.

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

I have been on a number of placements over year one and two, including one in the EYFS, a private day care nursery, special educational needs school and my current placement school in a small village school working with a year 1/2 mixed class. I have gained valuable experience working in these placements and have enjoyed being part of a team and my involvement in the day to day running of the school.

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

As I have two young children, I have not been able to take up any of the travel opportunities that have become available but can see this has been a fantastic opportunity for some of the students on the course.

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

This is an excellent course for anyone who enjoys working with young children and wants to gain a deeper understanding of their development and the requirements of the national curriculum. The course is a big commitment so my advice would be that if it is what you know you want to do, take all of the opportunities that are offered and always seek the advice of experienced teachers while on placement.

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

I have gained a lot of confidence as a trainee teacher over the last two years and have a more realistic view of the role and challenges that primary school teachers face.

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

Demanding, challenging and rewarding.

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