Hello, my name is Chloe I am a second year BSc (Hons) Education Psychology and Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) student at Cardiff Met. I had decided that I wanted to become a primary school teacher since the age of 6, but after some experience during my A-levels I was not sure if I could teach until I was 60! Therefore, I decided to apply for education courses where I would still be learning about a field I was interested in without the pressure of teaching.
I fell in love with the diversity of the EPSEN degree and being able to study a combination of 3 separate topics to give you a deeper knowledge of them. Before attending University I had experience of working with children with disabilities as a member of a mixed ability dance group for 7 years. This was something which really interested me – I enjoyed working with these people who had additional needs and I was excited to learn more whilst at university.
Cardiff Met is the ideal place for me to study because my degree is so flexible, I am still living at home on the family farm and therefore I need to be at home a lot because of commitments. Luckily with my degree we have one day off a week and a lot of the time we finish in the early afternoon which means I can rush home and catch up on any jobs I have to do at the farm.
The university is very supportive with work placements, they introduced me to the agency I currently work for which provides me with lots of work in schools which I carry out on my day off (I also did my placement with this agency – supported by the university which means I get paid to learn). On placement I have been working as a local support assistant helping individuals with severe learning difficulties. Before coming to university this would have really worried me, however, during the first year I learnt the basics of a variety of disabilities which meant I had a base layer of knowledge before working with these children in schools.
In addition to my studies, I am the School of Education representative which means that it is my role to ensure that all of the student’s comments are heard by the Programme Directors and Dean of the School. This role allows me to network and speak to other members of staff; e.g. I have spoken in great depths with the PGCE academics and they have given me a lot of answers in regard to the teacher training opportunities that are available to me next year.
Whilst in university I also work as a Student Ambassador which is another amazing opportunity where I get to help Cardiff Met run events for prospective students such as the Open Days and Taster Days. I go out into different places, help assist team members, give talks, provide campus tours and meet so many new people. Through being a student ambassador, I have made many new friends from different courses and have also gained valuable experience to add to my CV which I can take into the workplace after I graduate.
I hope this blog has given you an insight into my life as a Cardiff Met student but if you are to take anything away from this blog it’s that there are ample opportunities available at university and it is so beneficial to use those around you (lecturers, other students, campus services) to ensure you get the best experience you can out of university life. Take these opportunities and make the most of them!