I train the primary school teachers of the future

Viv West is a lecturer and former teacher
Viv West, Primary teaching

Vivienne West, is a senior lecturer and Year Three coordinator on the BA (Hons) Primary Studies with QTS. 

Viv was a primary school teacher for 20 years during which time she taught every age group from Nursery to Year Six. In her last school, she was the Special Educational Needs coordinator liaising with outside agencies as well as school staff to ensure that the best provision was delivered to those children who needed it most.

Best features of the teacher training course

One of the unique selling points of this primary teaching course is the opportunity to teach in an alternative placement, both in Britain and overseas. Students can choose from Cilfynydd Environmental Centre, Magor Marsh and a school for profound learning difficulties to schools in Boston, Chicago and Prague for an experience of teaching a British curriculum in another country. This allows for a different type of curriculum to be taught whilst gaining the experience in a very different setting.

The teaching course is also designed so that all modules interrelate with each other, despite having distinct characteristics of their own. All aspects develop the students’ ability to teach and to reflect on their own learning.

Best lesson

My students particularly enjoy Curriculum Studies because it is activity based and, with the emphasis being in the Foundation Phase, there are a lot of resources that are used in sessions that are fun and engaging in order to demonstrate how to teach young children.

The students are encouraged to develop key resources in order to motivate the learners in the classroom. All sessions link with the QTS standards and include the Foundation Phase curriculum documents. The planning of lessons is developed here and the students have the opportunity to teach a demo lesson to their peers to develop the appropriate language needed for young children and the test the effectiveness of their choice of strategy and resource before starting their placement in their partnership school.

Best books for trainee teachers

There are three books I recommend you buy. Young Children’s Personal, Social and Emotional DevelopmentLearning and Teaching Mathematics 0-8 and Professional Studies in Primary Education.