Wednesday, 23 September 2015

PGCE Secondary Education (Mathematics)

Hi, my name is Bianca, I did a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course on the Avery Hill campus for 12 weeks, which was one of my conditions for starting the PGCE course in September.

I am starting the PGCE in September, so I don't really have any experience on my programme as yet, but I do already know that the first term will include 1-2 days of school placement and mostly university-based lectures. From the second term, I will then mostly be on school placement.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult)

Hi! My name is Teresa and I am just about to start the second year of my Adult Nursing course.

When it came to choosing universities, I was torn between Kings and Greenwich. However, after reading up on student satisfaction and attending open days, I personally felt Greenwich could offer me more in the way of time and support as a student and this was particularly important to me. Greenwich had also come out top in the NHS London performance ratings for training adult nurses which I thought might be beneficial when it came to applying for jobs.

My first year flew by as the course is very full on. Unlike most of the other degree programmes where they are in lectures for 3 days a week and in the pub for the rest, nursing is the opposite. It is a full time job, and when you’re not on placement or in lectures, you are reading or writing essays. There will be shorter days here and there and the odd day off where you could squeeze in some paid work, but there is no regularity to it and I am led to believe these windows of opportunity are even rarer in the second and third year.

We spend 50% of our time in university and 50% on placement. Our time at university is spent in lectures, seminars and practical sessions. I thought sitting in a lecture hall for 2 hours would bore me to tears but the lecturers always involve the students and they really make the courses interesting.
The type of courses we studied in the first year involved subjects such as ‘Academic Skills’ which helped prepare us to find information and write our first essays. I received feedback throughout the course advising me where I could improve so that when it came to writing the final essay, I was well prepared.

Our ‘Psychosocial Aspects of Health’ course was shared with other students such as the midwives and mental health nurses and involved examining how a person’s psychology and external environment could impact on their own personal health. This course really opened my eyes to the implications the wider determinants of health have on individuals and made me appreciate that not everyone has the required level of knowledge and access to services that I have, in order to keep themselves healthy. A lot of us also found it to be one of the toughest essays to write so make sure you READ, READ, READ! You’ve been warned. The ‘Professional Values’ course was all about being the best nurse you can for your patients. Although we all go into nursing wanting to care for our patients, this course teaches you how to do that in a professional way that respects the individual needs of your patients.

Obviously the best courses were when we got to do the ‘nursey’ things like learn injection technique, drug calculations, medicines management and what the actual role of the nurse is within a team of professionals. These elements were delivered in our ‘Preparation for Nursing’ and ‘Nursing Principles and Practice’ courses.

When we are not in university, our time is spent in a clinical environment. My first placement was a 6 week post on an elderly ward at the Princess Royal University Hospital. It was quite a daunting time for me as, although I had some work experience in care, I had never provided personal care. Now here I was being asked to give Mr ***** in bed 5 a bed bath! However, by the end of the 6 weeks I had learnt a great deal about the fundamentals of nursing.

The wards are a busy and sometimes frantic environment. I’ve definitely had to learn to speak up for myself in order to make sure I get the learning opportunities I need and my paperwork signed off to reflect this. When working on the wards I am on my feet for almost 12 hours a day which can be tough, physically and mentally, so on my days off I try to rest as much as I can. Other placements, such as outpatients and community nursing, are shorter days of around 8 hours, as are some nursing homes.

That aside, I really enjoy the variety that nursing provides. Once I’ve completed my training there are so many opportunities available to me as registered nurse so I know that I’ll have a career that can change and adapt to fit in with the different stages of my life. I love the fact that no two days are ever the same. I like to be busy and I enjoy helping people, so nursing ticks a lot of boxes. It is also the most rewarding job I’ve ever done. It is a privilege to be such a close part of a person’s life at a time when they are at their most vulnerable and when a patient or relative tells you that you’ve made a positive difference to their care, it makes the hard work worthwhile.

Monday, 21 September 2015

BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS


When telling people about my course they immediately think that it is a walk in the park. “Primary Education, what do you just play games all day?” is their usual response. Although sometimes we do learn some games that we could use when teaching on our course this is not what the course is initially about. BA Hons Primary Education with QTS is all about using teaching theory and looking at how we can put this into practice. Over the two years that I have studied at the University of Greenwich I have learnt various games, teaching techniques, curriculum information and behaviour management skills that have all gone into practice when teaching on my placement.

Primary Education at Greenwich is very good at making sure that you are prepared for everything. Between the mock scenarios given in seminars and lectures to the practical examples of teaching methods, the lecturers ensure that you are fully covered for everything before starting your school placement. Over all Primary Education is a really fun and hands on course that prepares you for the working classroom. It is all assignment based and there are no examinations. You go on a placement every year going into three different schools to give you a wide experience and a realistic expectation to what a teacher’s life is like. I looked at many universities when thinking to study Primary Education and I also got accepted into all four of my choices, however the University of Greenwich seemed the most passionate about this course. Every lecturer has had previous experience teaching and bring their prior knowledge and experiences to the table to provide you with a well-rounded knowledge of the primary curriculum. You do not only grow as a learner when taking this degree but also mature as a teacher, you begin collecting a portfolio of lesson plans, exercises and classroom management ideas that will be put into place once graduated and presented with your own class.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

BSc (Hons) Nursing (Childrens)

Hi I’m Lucy! I am studying children’s nursing and I have just finished my second
year! I am a part of netball when I get a chance outside of my studies and placements. I don’t actually play netball, I am just a social member. Although I do play waterpolo for London Polytechnic outside of university.

I lived on campus in halls during my first year at university and met all my friends there and made even more friends when I joined netball. I moved out of campus in second year and had to become an adult and pay bills! As of third year I am moving back onto campus!

Accommodation are very helpful and supportive in helping live on campus and always try to accommodate you the best they can. After having landlord issues and being unable to live in my flat anymore accommodation helped me move out as quick as possible and also the university helped me with any legal problems I had to face.

Children’s nursing is an intense course after starting in September I was already starting my first placement half way through October. Doing 12.5 hours three or four times in a row, nights or earlys and lates. Shift work is hard if you are not used to it.

At first I felt I had been thrown in at the deep end, however I now realise just how much I learnt and that placement is the best place for this. The children’s nursing department have always been there to help me with essays and struggles that I have faced throughout the program, I couldn’t have asked for a better personal tutor to help guide me through the past two years.

The past two years have flown by and I have learnt so much about the career path I have chosen and exactly what department I want to join. I can’t believe I am already nearly at the beginning of my third year!

I have seen so much at my placements. I have enjoyed placements working in assessment units, school nursing, health visiting, different children’s wards, A&E or urgent care. This isn’t even a small look at the placements that I could do and that my colleagues have done. I have thoroughly
enjoyed my time here and can’t believe the end is so close.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

BA (Hons) Education Studies

Hey, my name is Sara-Ann and I have just finished my first year in BA (Hons) Education Studies.

My whole life I have wanted to be a primary school teacher. My inspiration to be a teacher came from one of my own primary school teachers who cared so much for the children and just seemed to be always so happy. Coming to university was the first stepping stone for me to start my process of becoming a teacher.

At the beginning of the year, I was unsure what my course was even going to be about. I was referred the Education Studies programme after being declined for Primary Education with QTS. So I was going in blind. The lecturers are really helpful and help everyone out where they can. Having worked in Education for so long, allowed me to have prior knowledge to some of the areas taught.

I have found the content of the programme very interesting. You learn about the history of education; how and when education became compulsory, which famous people have made an impact in the educational system, as well when equality in education began.

The course is all assignment and assessment based. During the course of the year you study 4 modules; Key thinkers and Moments in Education, which focuses on the history of education and those that are the major thinkers, Active Education, which focuses on personal and academic development, The Learner & Education, which focuses on the educational theory, Education, Children & Society, which focuses on the sociology of education. All four modules are taught throughout the year having half a day for each. Although this at first seemed a challenge to try and focus on different subjects at the same time they slowly began working alongside each other. Although at first the modules seemed daunting I actually found them very interesting.

Friday, 18 September 2015

BSc (Hons) Midwifery

Hi! My name’s Rachel, and I have just finished my second year in BSc Midwifery. When I speak to people about my course, I get a LOT of questions. No, not everybody poos themselves, and no, I haven’t been put off having children…

Studying Midwifery is one of the most rewarding, albeit challenging things I have ever done. Although it can be a lot of fun, getting up at 5.30am for placements and being perpetually tired can definitely wear you down by the end of the year!

If you are starting Midwifery, or any healthcare course at the University, you’re about to embark on a life-changing experience. The staff and tutors at the University are very patient and understanding, many of which have co-written the textbooks you will be reading and have a plethora of knowledge and experience. You are assigned not only a personal tutor, who you can talk to about any problems or worries you have, but also a “link lecturer”, who will visit you on placements for a cup of tea and a chat about your progress. If I had any advice for Year 1 me, it would be to engage with your tutors as much as possible, they can be so helpful and understanding.

It is important to remember that life doesn’t end once you start a healthcare course. I would thoroughly recommend engaging with the vast array of sports and society groups the university has to offer. Although the health care courses have placements as well as lectures, seminars, exams, essays and OSCEs (Objective structured clinical examinations) it is possible to maintain a social life and even squeeze in a part time job! I have managed to pass both years with no re-sits, as well as being an active member of the university hockey team and getting a part time job within the Enquiry Unit, here at the university. Not only is playing a sport a great way to keep fit and unwind after perhaps a difficult week on placement, it is also a fantastic way to meet people and make friends outside of your course. Although the people in your cohort will be a backbone of support for you during the next three years, it’s sometimes nice to meet up with people where you don’t have to talk about blood, wee, placentas and baby vomit!

So to wrap up, my biggest tips for the next few years are to relax, try not panic on your first day of placement, buy a bucket load of black pens (trust me on this one), a decent stethoscope (never lend them to anyone, you will never see it again…) and try and have fun! I remember my first day here like it was yesterday, and now I’m going into third year! It goes so fast. So try and enjoy it!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

BSc (Hons) Mathematics

Heya! My name is Gurpreet, mainly known as Preeti, and I will be entering my third year of BSc Mathematics this September! Yes, I repeat I study Mathematics. Not all, but some of you may be a little freaked by this since its Maths, but do not fear, I am here; to give you a full insight of Maths at the UoG.

Mathematics is one of those subjects you either love or hate or to an extreme feel disgusted by it and feel it’s ‘the killer’ subject.  In pure honesty, it’s really not. I believe that no matter how difficult you may find a subject, the only method of transforming it to ‘easy’, is to have the right attitude, the commitment, the hard work and most importantly having faith. If you are able to maintain these factors, you are able accomplish anything! Anyways, moving on from the seriousness let me share with you the journey which got me to where I am today J

Mathematics was always my favourite subject and a strong point throughout my school days. Until today and forever, I will always find it intriguing and joyful when solving and figuring out a mathematical question and the challenge it brings. I completed my GCSE Maths a year early and studied Maths, Further Maths and Finance for A Levels. Because of my strong passion and desire for Mathematics I instantly knew that I wanted to further study the subject at university.  

Before starting University, I thought that I wouldn’t need to work as hard, as I was at an advantage because I had studied Further Maths. I also thought the workload would be less, as first year doesn’t count towards the degree. However, this was the wrong attitude to take! The workload was heavier than I’d anticipated and you really need to be able to stay on top of things and organise your time. Don’t get me wrong, you are able to have fun, but do not get too carried away.  The first year of study is the groundwork for much of the deeper learning later on.  For those who are interested in doing a placement year or an internship, companies do look at your first year grades so be aware of this!

The University provides many opportunities for students and graduates with employability skills. During first year, I took part in the IBM Mentoring scheme which took place over six months. It gave me the opportunity to work with a professional in order to develop my employability skills, communication skills, set goals and build my CV. I found this opportunity helpful as it developed the vital skills needed for when applying for jobs.

Second year you are more knuckled down and focused as modules tend to get harder, but the course becomes more interesting! From being taught the basics of Maths, you begin to learn in depth the different uses and applications of Maths. Throughout second year, you are further supported in gaining employability skills. Mock interviews, workshops, CV building, work experience is all available for students to participate in.

Whilst learning, as a way to keep fit, a group of friends and I attend Avery Hill to play badminton! I find it’s a good way to keep off stress and allows you to spend quality time with your friends. (Even though I may be a little aggressive towards them when it comes to competition, but they know I love them! J )

Anyways, moving on, time at university has flown and the next thing you know graduation is right around the corner! With that said, make the most of University whilst you can! My advice is to work hard, be passionate and be optimistic but to also enjoy.  Also keep up to date with my upcoming blogs where I will take you through my experiences and highlights of life in final year, including my strops and grumbles about workload and deadlines!