Joanna Bird

Primary Teacher Education, 2017

Joanna Bird

I really like that the course has specific classrooms for different subjects, as I feel it really enhances our learning. There is also a bank of resources that are available for us to use to further our knowledge of resources that can be used in schools

Before starting her degree at Brookes, Joanna attended The Chiltern College where she studied an A-level equivalent CACHE Diploma in Childcare and Education. During her time at the college Joanna had the opportunity to work in a range of environments including state nursery schools, private day care, a rural village primary school, and a special needs school that integrates with a state primary school.

The experiences I had in primary schools before coming to Brookes pushed me towards primary school teaching. Originally I thought about being a nanny, however I felt more drawn to the education side of primary teaching. I feel that it is vital for children to have a good experience with learning. This experience needs to be carefully fostered and nurtured through the influence of adults in children’s lives; teachers can help to do that, which is what I would like to do. I decided to study at Brookes because I felt welcomed by all on the interview day. I also really liked the extra-curricular activities including museum visits, drama, dance, and the focus on art. Although the campus is quite small, I liked the sense of community.

I really like that the course has specific classrooms for different subjects, as I feel it really enhances our learning. There is also a bank of resources that are available for us to use to further our knowledge of resources that can be used in schools. The great thing about this is that we can take them into schools during our placements. I particularly like art, so I like that the course has a specific module that continues over all three years that focuses on art, music and drama; this module is called Exploring Learning. Although the module puts you out of your comfort zone most of the time, it is so enjoyable!

Oxford is such a diverse city and offers so much. One thing I like in particular is the museums and theatres. These are not only beneficial for the course, but they are also a great excursion. The city also has a variety of cafes and places to eat, which are great for socialising. There are a range of museums in the city, such as The Story Museum, and the university arranges visits to some of them.

Hopefully in the future I will be able to be an inspiring teacher to the children I teach. The course at Brookes not only provides a background and wealth of knowledge on child development and learning, but also provides guidelines for how to teach, plan lessons, how to assess children, and a bank of activities that can be used in school. There are also placement periods that provide opportunities to practice and develop teaching methods.

I feel that the course provides a step up to other candidates via the Exploring Learning module. The module provides so many experiences. It also provides a range of cross-curricular links. All of the activities that you do in sessions you can relate and use in school. I feel that all the staff at Brookes are very welcoming and willing to help. Everyone gets paired with a member of staff who will be their university mentor for the three years of the course. I find that this is really helpful as they are your ‘go to person’ when you need advice or have a problem.