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Sarah Reed

BA Early Primary Education

BA Early Primary Education _Student _Sarah -Reed _2Where are you from?

Cramlington

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

I chose Northumbria as it is known amongst schools in the North East for producing the highest quality teaching graduates in the area. I liked how it encouraged applicants to become independent thinkers who are committed to teaching right from the start of the application process.

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

I love Newcastle and the North East.  I’m very proud to be from this area.  We have something for everyone, whether you are younger or older, like to party or immerse yourself in culture. The people here are friendly and community spirit is still strong. I love our museums and art galleries in the local area, we are lucky enough to have Beamish a short drive away too. Our coastline is breathtaking as well and I love a family outing to the Northumberland coastal villages for fish and chips and playing on the beach!

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

I think that the most surprising thing about our area is how proud we are of it and our community spirit.  There is a real feel of pulling together as one big team when it’s needed here.  Most people in this area will help someone out if they are in need. I am also always impressed with how much we manage to do as an area.  We host events regularly that the whole country want to be part of, for example the Great North Run and the Tall Ships.

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

I found Northumbria University very welcoming yet professional.  I felt like the staff made a huge effort to make us feel part of the university from the very start of the course.  I also found a group of likeminded students very quickly and have developed friendships over the time on my course that will remain with me for my lifetime.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

I have enjoyed seeing my personal development.  I came to university later in life and had always regretted not going when I was younger.  I have loved growing intellectually as I’ve gone through my studies.  My confidence has increased and I have enjoyed becoming a teacher! I was lucky enough to have to opportunity to take part in an Intensive Study Programme in Portugal in my third year which was an amazing experience too. I have also really enjoyed meeting lots of new people and building some really special relationships with a few of them.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria? 

I could probably list every one of the staff members that are involved with my programme here as they’ve all helped me significantly in one way or another.  Special mentions must go to Chris Million, Karen Hudson, Sophie Meller, Susan Edgar and Chris Warnock however for their continued support and personal input into my learning journey.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

If I had to pick one person it would be Sophie Meller. She is the type of teacher that I hope (and strive) to be. She builds strong personal relationships with students and cares about every individual on the programmes she is involved in. She never shows signs of having a bad day and is the first to apologise if things don’t go to plan.

What is your favourite place on campus?

Wherever my group of friends are!  There are so many lovely places to be since the recent improvements that I couldn’t pick one place.  There is somewhere for everyone whether you like somewhere busy and noisy or quiet and empty. I love how cosy Coach Lane is as a campus in general. 

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

No. I have a young daughter who takes up my time outside of study. I also volunteer independently as a Brownie Leader and do flyball with my dogs in my spare time but I would certainly have considered volunteering through university had I not already been doing these things.

What is the best thing about your course?

How it shapes you in to an independent thinker. It is recognised that we don’t all think the same way and celebrates that. We are enabled to have our own opinions but taught how to justify them.

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

To have confidence in myself. I have learned that I’m capable of doing anything I set my mind to.

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 teach young children. I have learned how children learn best and how to plan inclusive activities that support this. I have also learned the importance of individualised learning and how to approach this in my teaching practice.

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

I’ve been on several placements as an integral part of my course. I’ve supported and taught children with special educational needs which has shaped my thinking about my practice. I’ve also been lucky enough to be on placement in some fantastic schools with some fantastic mentors who have taught me huge amounts about teaching and helped me to reach my full potential.  There are too many memorable experiences to write about but a stand out moment was making a connection with an child with ASD that supported them to begin to make progress in school.

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

I was able to go to Portugal in November on an Intensive Study Programme (ISP) relating to inclusion in education. It was completely out of my comfort zone to go on the programme as it meant leaving my daughter for two weeks which was really hard but I’m really glad I went as I learned a lot about inclusion and international perspectives on it. I got to meet lots of amazing people and it gave me a real life context for how inclusive we are in the UK and what we can improve which has impacted on my thinking relating to creating an inclusive classroom in my future career.

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

If you want a quality degree in a forward thinking university then Northumbria is the place for you. Be prepared to work hard and you will reap the rewards.

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

I’ve grown in confidence definitely, I feel like I’ve completed a part of my jigsaw that was missing. I can’t wait for the next piece! I feel really enthused about my professional future now.

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

Challenging, personal, successful.

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?

Definitely!


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