Jessica Rowlands, from Newport, is studying Primary Studies with QTS at USW.
How is the course going?
I love the course! I enjoy all the new things that I learn in lectures, the placements provide so much first hand experience and the University is a lovely campus.
What were your main reasons for choosing to study teacher training here?
I had heard a lot of great things about the teaching course at USW and the success rate - I knew that the University produced great teachers and this was a something I wanted to be part of. Being able to gain QTS in three years was also a huge selling point.
What have been the main challenges?
The main challenge I have faced is the change in workload. The switch from A-Levels to higher education is a big jump and very challenging, but if you manage your time wisely and are willing to receive support, the challenge can be overcome.
Which lessons have you enjoyed the most?
I enjoy the lectures that have a practical element to them as it really gives you a feel what it would be like in the classroom and gives you an insight to the curriculum. The ideas shared in these lectures are ones that can all be put in place on placement.
How did you feel going in to your first placement?
Before my first placement, I felt a mixture of excitement and nerves. It was a whole new experience for me and my first time as a teacher in the classroom. I think when going into placement it is important to remember that you are there to learn, things won't always go to plan and some lessons won't go as you expect them to. But the things that go wrong are all learning curves that will help with the development of your skills as a teacher.
What has been your favourite placement?
My favourite placement so far has been the KS2 placement. I enjoyed the Foundation Phase placement but was looking forward to working with the older pupils for more of a challenge. I was placed in a Year Four class and really enjoyed the topics they were studying. The support from my school mentor really helped me and encouraged me to work hard for my own personal development.
How well does the course prepare you for life as a teacher?
The course definitely prepares you for being a teacher. The lectures are packed with great ideas and there is great support from the lecturers. The placements give an insight into what a career as a teacher would be like and you get to experience the planning and responsibilities of having your own class. With teaching there is always going to be a challenge that you need to overcome and I feel that the course prepares you for dealing with these situations.