February 6, 2020

Niall Sheehan

Hi, I’m Niall and in my third year on the BA (Hons) Primary Education Studies course at Cardiff Met. Three years in and I can safely say that it has been a roller coaster ride, but the best experience ever!

The Primary Education Studies degree offers a range of modules, that not only relate to primary education but to wider issues around children rather than just their education, which I found really helpful. One module that I have loved studying is Areas of Learning and Experience (AOLE) which explores different aspects of the curriculum. Our assessments for this module weren’t your typical essay style, instead we had the opportunity to write and design our own blog. This was great fun because although we were doing the hard work, we were focusing on topics that took our interest and we could explore them more by talking about our own experiences.

In my second year, I had the privilege to work on a project to create a Wellbeing iValue App for children for the Appstore. I was given the chance to work directly with academics, teachers and school children that our lecturers had arranged to come onto campus. As a team we were able to deliver yoga and mindfulness sessions as well as working with technology in order to create the iValue U app. The children used the skills we gave them to create their own blogs and video demonstrations for the app.

I really enjoyed delivering the mindfulness and yoga sessions to school children as part of the wellbeing project. It was an amazing opportunity which boosted my confidence no end!

Being involved in a project, especially one of this size was an incredible help to my studies. I was able to make strong working relationships with my lecturers, making it easier when I needed to ask for help. It also helped to develop my confidence when delivering lessons to children. As a group of students we were able to plan and deliver the sessions together. Doing this with friends made it easier when doing something so nerve-racking, as standing in front of children! But the main benefit from this project was working with the children and developing my confidence when providing lessons to children. Seeing how I delivered sessions and how they responded to them was really useful to see to see where my strengths and weaknesses lay.

During my time at university, I have been on work-based placement, meaning I was in a school setting. There is no better place to be to be than in the setting itself in order to develop your understanding of your degree. The support that I received during the process was excellent. We were encouraged to use our own links with schools, which I found brilliant because I had already built links with schools close to my home. But if you have any trouble finding a placement then it was no problem, as our lecturers would help us find one, so the process of finding a suitable placement setting was such an easy thing to do.  

Doing this course has definitely confirmed that education is the career I want to enter. I intend to study the Primary PGCE so I can be a primary teacher and I’m looking forward to my future career in Primary teaching thanks to Cardiff Met.