What do UAS undergraduates think of the scheme?
Here’s what undergraduates completing the module have to say about their experience:
Robin Reilly – Physics graduate, Royal Holloway, University of London
I had never considered a career in teaching, so my initial attraction was to the transferable skills that could be gained from being in the classroom. The module has proven to be a great asset upon graduating, especially in acquiring my current position as a junior business analyst in the city. There are a plethora of skills to be acquired such as interpersonal skills, organisation, time-management, quick-thinking and leadership. The list goes on, but by far the most valuable skill I gained was communication and the confidence required as well. The course looks great on a CV and provided answers to many interview questions. It was an excellent introduction to teaching and I am definitely interested in teaching later on in my career.
Elizabeth Kennedy – Physics graduate, University of Surrey
Elizabeth is currently completing a PGCE at the University of Hertfordshire
“I found the experience of the UAS module really useful. I was wondering whether to choose teaching as a profession and I felt that this sort of module would either let me know that I wanted to do it or would put me off for life! It was fantastic interracting with the pupils I was with, and doing a module that wasn’t just a load of information thrown at you was excellent. You can get buried under a pile of Physics info and this module was an enjoyable break! It also meant that I could try to help children with the knowledge I was acquiring at uni, and what i had studied at school. It was great taking a module that was totally different from the others, and it also meant it gave me a change of scenery!
I feel that the module helped me gain a PGCE place because I had already obtained some experience of being in a school with teaching experience. This meant I did not have to arrange any other experience before starting the course. It helped me prepare because I knew what teaching was about and I had spoken to NQTs in the programme. It was great also because I had to write an assignment about it and present everything I had done to the whole Physics department. I did not have much experience with presentation skills but standing in front of a class gave me essential skills to prepare me! Overall, I think that this scheme has been incredibly useful and insightful about teaching as a career choice. I would thoroughly recommend it.”
Sanju Pal Mathematics graduate, University of Southampton
Sanju is continuing at University to study an MSc in Operational Research and Finance.
“Communicating and teaching mathematics has been a truly enjoyable and worthwhile experience. It has given me an opportunity to gain first hand experience of life as a teacher and as such has allowed me to make an informed decision about my career choice. I have opted to stay on at University to do an MSc in Operational Research and Finance, but I plan to remain aware of the teaching profession and the standards of mathematics education at secondary schools. It has given me an insight into the qualities vital to a mathematics teacher, which I hope to possess should I consider going into teaching later in my career.
Adam Buse – Chemistry graduate, University of Southampton
Adam is completing his MChem degree before going on to teacher training.
From the course I gained the chance to see if I was suited to teaching. It enabled me to find out if I enjoyed interacting with the children in a school setting and to gain valuable experience of school set-up and teaching standards and requirements. The whole experience was valuable to me with respect to my future career. It allowed me to confirm my interest in teaching, it also helped me to decide on my preferred area as I was leaning towards secondary/A levels and this placement confirmed this for me. The scheme is considerably different from most others available at the university, especially in terms of assessment. I can think of very few other science related courses that are assessed by a presentation and an outside opinion. I chose to do the module because it would give me valuable insights into my capabilities and would either destroy or reaffirm my desire to be a teacher. It also gave a huge improvement in useful skills like time management and presentation that are essential for teachers.
Rebecca Peacock Physics graduate, University of Leeds
Rebecca spent her module placement at St Josephs Catholic College in Bradford. For her special project she decided to host a birthday party for Einstein with the theme of surface tension. She devised three experiments for the year 7 class, involving everyday objects including balloons and eggs. The aim was to get the students to think about things in a way they hadnt done before and to make the session fun and interactive.
Before taking the module Rebecca had no experience of schools other than as a pupil, so she didnt know how easy it would be to fit in and to achieve her aims. Luckily the school and her link teacher were very supportive and allowed her to develop her ideas. Rebecca said I would definitely recommend the scheme to others, even if they arent planning on a career in teaching. It taught me some valuable skills such as communication, thinking on my feet and how to adapt to different situations. The experience has reinforced Rebeccas desire to be a teacher and she has been offered a place next year at Bristol University to do Secondary Science with Physics specialism
Jennifer Hatfield Mathematics graduate, University of Leeds
Having had experience of tutoring neighbours for their GCSEs and as a mentoring volunteer in primary schools, Jennifer chose this module in order to gain academic credit for something she already knew she enjoyed. Her special project was making resources relating to shape and space for teachers to use with the year 8 class. In preparation Jennifer checked the national curriculum, read books in the classroom and discussed her ideas with the teacher before making a rotational symmetry board and a fraction board amongst other things.
After initial apprehension that the students may ignore her, Jennifer soon found she had achieved her aims of working successfully with pupils with challenging behaviour and short attention spans. She was also able to leave the teacher with a useful set of resources that could be used again in future.
Throughout the placement Jennifer learnt vital skills, in particular patience and understanding that everyone has their own learning limits. Although she enjoyed her experience Jennifer has decided not to enter the teaching profession and is due to start work as a tax consultant for KPMG in the next few months. However, she remains committed to sharing her passion for mathematics with others and will continue to tutor pupils for their GCSEs and SATs.