Alice Laidler

Education Studies: Special Educational Needs, Disabilities and Inclusion, 2019

“Brookes is truly a university where students feel valued and looked after”

I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was little and I knew that I wanted to be a primary school teacher. Before coming to Brookes I was at Sixth Form studying for my A-Levels and I wanted to gain a deep understanding of the theories, ideas and history behind the education system we have today. This is what first attracted me to the Education Studies course at Brookes.

I have always been interested in Special Educational Needs since completing work experience and volunteer work with children with additional needs. I found the challenge of helping these children fascinating and I wanted to understand more about how to help them in an educational setting. When the Special Educational Needs Disability and Inclusion (SENDI) course was introduced I knew that this was the course that I wanted to do.

I’ve really enjoyed meeting other people that are as passionate as me about education, especially SEN. I enjoy taking part in coursework and group presentations that we do on the different modules on the course. I love the small lectures and seminars that give us chance to discuss and debate the issues, theories and ideas that we discover in our studies. This helps me to develop my opinions and criticality of issues. I love the freedom to select a certain aspect of the module that interests you and research it for your final assessment.

The depth in which I have studied the different aspects of education will give me a better understanding and ability to make education accessible and effective for all the children I will be teaching. Having the award in SENDI will mean that I will be able to pursue my career in teaching children with SEN; I have experience of working with these children and I now understand the theory behind teaching children with SEN.

The presentations that you take part in throughout the course make you more attractive to employers because they show that you are able to research into a specific topic and that you can stand up in front of a group of people and speak confidently about it. It also shows that you are able to work with other people effectively to produce an end result and for each person to have a role to play.

Both Nick Swarbrick and Jon Reid are incredible lecturers. They make time fly by and you learn so much from their teaching. They are some of the most passionate people in their fields that I have met. As I share Jon’s interest in SEN, it has been interesting in his modules to hear his views and pick his brains about the debates around SEN.

Coming from a small town I thought city life was going to be quite daunting. Oxford is a big enough city to have plenty of new things happening all the time, but small enough not to be completely overwhelming. I love the beautiful outdoors spaces that there are to enjoy and the stunning buildings that are everywhere you look. It’s a beautiful city to live and study in.

I have been a part of the Fortune Singers, a great society. I have always been involved in choirs and orchestras growing up. It was lovely to meet new people with similar interests that weren’t on my course. This gave me the chance to meet other people and make new friends very quickly in my first year.

The School of Education is a friendly place to be, there are always members of staff and other students willing to help if you have any problems. This makes the course a little easier because you know that there is always someone for you to talk to. My plan for the future is to become a teacher and to specialise in teaching children with Special Educational Needs.