Friday, 16 May 2014

On the other side...

Lessons, after school clubs, meetings…its different doing it from the other side. Having dreamt my whole life of being a teacher it is good to be putting that dream into action. There is never one day in the week that is the same. There is always variety, new experiences and new lessons to be learnt. The weather has been a bonus towards the end of this week and it has meant that all outdoor lessons; Athletics, Tennis and Rounders can go ahead. Yesterday I delivered my first ever Javelin lesson! I was so scared to start off with; Year 10s (most of them bigger than me), health and safety and delivery all being aspects on my mind. I survived! Safety being one of the best parts of the lesson…phew!

It is great to see learners achieving their potential and the best thing is that it happens when you least expect it, often giving children that avenue to explore, a new experience/sport can be a real form of motivation and a huge boost that they need. There is also a lot of paperwork that comes with teaching, PE or not, lesson plans, unit plans and evaluations to name but a few. The last couple of weeks I have struggled with this a lot and it certainly needs determination and commitment in order to succeed. Observations by experienced teachers have also been vital in my development. I look forward to the remainder of this placement and seeing more learners achieving their goals.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”-Nelson Mandela.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Back to School

After a year of being back in lectures at University and becoming a second year student I am finally back to school! Of course I mean I am back to carry out my Teacher Training Year 2 Placement. I have been placed at a Secondary School in Hertfordshire. This is my first week, and so far, its going well. The best experience you receive as a PE QTS trainee is the School Experiences because you are in a real life school setting, the classes become your own, you are teaching and planning for several lessons a day and I even have a Year 7 form group!

PE can be a challenging subject to teach at times; you get the learners who love PE and you certainly get the learners who hate it! I aim to make my lessons as inclusive as possible and am passionate about making my lessons suit the needs of each individual that I teach. This year I am placed in a School for 6 weeks during the summer term. This is a new and, at times, nerve racking experience for me as in Year 1 we had a winter term placement so we are therefore teaching different types of sports and it happens that Athletics, Tennis and Rounders are typical sports to be delivered in Schools at this time of year. Of which Athletics and Tennis are challenging topics for me as my subject knowledge isn't as good within these areas but, I am learning along the way. Yesterday I taught my first Year 10 lesson of Shot Putt and also managed to include the Reciprocal Teaching Style throughout my lesson. This gave the learners a chance to coach one another and feedback on each other’s performance and this worked really well and gained a positive response from all learners.

I am enjoying being back in a School environment, teaching and learning and developing new skills. The 6am wake up calls can be challenging at times but its worth it!

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see”- Alexandra K.Trenfor. 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Exploring new heights

Hi all, things have certainly been hectic lately and the workload is continually increasing with exams and assignment deadlines approaching for my course, before I embark on my School Experience placement  in April. Which I am really excited about!

Last week we had the chance to undertake a new and exciting activity that forms part of some new research being done by our University and other Teacher Training institutions around the country. This is known as “Pedagogy of discomfort” and the aim is to challenge trainee teachers to be out of their comfort zone. Both Psychology and Dance have been combined through Rock Climbing. Below you can see a photo of me on the climbing wall we have here in Bedford. The session was so much fun with music playing, a real team effort and trying to show some moves whilst climbing up the wall. It was fair to say I had a few pulled muscles afterwards but it was worth it and I am looking forward to seeing the research develop over the next couple of years and having the honour to be a part of it.
I am finding the motivation and concentration hard at times and it can be difficult to stay focussed, especially at this time of year, but I am content in the fact that it is in my challenges that I grow the most.

“Move out of your comfort zone, you can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”

Friday, 14 February 2014

Hide and S(W)eek!

 Hi all, this week has been exciting and I have thoroughly enjoyed some new adventures. This morning we spent our practical O&AA (Outdoor & Adventurous Activities) class outside in Bedford Park; Geocaching! For those of you who haven’t heard of Geocaching, it is referred to as a “real-world treasure hunt.” It’s like a huge game of hide and seek, hence the tittle. There is said to be about 6 million active Geocachers’ worldwide. It was great to explore the outdoors and there are many caches hidden just within a few hundred metres from campus- there is bound to be ones near you too, I urge you to have a go, its great fun. We thought about how we could incorporate this activity into our teaching, but it is also fun for all the family. Attached are some photos of our finds, the GPS system we used and the signed log book.

This week has also been great for my Swimming progress (that’s where the ‘W’ comes from in the tittle.) For those of you who read my previous blogs you may know that when I arrived at University I wasn’t a strong swimmer, it wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it- I love water, I just never had the access. I have made it my goal to improve over the 4 years undertaking my degree and so far…it’s going well. This week I received my grade from the Synchronised Swimming assessment we did in January and I got a (B+) this is such an achievement. Maybe by year 4 I can reach that grade A. I attended my weekly improvers’ class with a lot more motivation, knowing the hard work is paying off, and swam 12 lengths. This is a working progress but I am determined to improve. There are certainly many new opportunities here at UoB and I am enjoying learning more about myself in the process.

“Everything seems impossible, until it’s done!”-Nelson Mandela

Thursday, 6 February 2014

"OPEN" a new chapter...

Hi all, my week has been very hectic! I have had numerous assignments due in and have found the approaching deadlines pressurising but they are now all submitted, until next month, so it is now time to focus on my exams before I go on placement in April; my favourite part of the year! I am enjoying the new units on my course; we did “Jitterbug” in Dance today which was thoroughly enjoyable and last week I was in an Outdoor Adventurous Activities (OAA) lesson where I found myself climbing up the side of a bench which was only held up by fellow students, about 10ft in the air, and standing on the top, arms out to the side, without support- I love a good challenge and adrenaline rush! I also enjoyed the Christian Union Society this week, we have had a great time exploring faith and fellowship on campus and we are continually growing in numbers which is great to see.

OPEN a new chapter…by this I am meaning new opportunities and new beginnings. For those of you hoping to study here I would say come along to an open day. If I am honest, I never had chance to attend an open day here- the distance from home was a little too far during the time I wanted to go, I was however quite fortunate in the sense that for PE QTS you have to attend an interview day and during this time I got a tour from a current student who was undertaking the same degree, this was very informative and vital. This is not true for all courses so I urge you to come along if you can and gain a real sense for the campus and surrounding area, after all you will spend 3/4 years of your life here. I wish I did attend. Recently I became a Student Ambassador here at the Bedford Campus and part of my role is to give tours around the campus especially on open days. I have now seen how valuable a tour can be, and how valuable an open day can be, it gives you a chance to speak to current students, ask questions that you may not feel comfortable asking staff members and you will certainly get an honest insight into life here.

Come and explore and have a look around and remember:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”- Lao Tzu.

Monday, 20 January 2014


Hi everyone! This is my first blog so I just want to say hello and I hope the New Year has started well for you all. A new year means new challenges and new experiences and for those of you that have applied to come to University that is exactly what you will get. I have enjoyed my start to year two and the hard work has kicked in significantly since the beginning of January. I think back to two years ago when I was sat in your position, awaiting confirmations and interview dates- I was so nervous! The thought of having a new life, a new place to study, living away from home, meeting new people…the list goes on! It is certainly a strange transition period in your life but one you will always remember. What was preparing for University like for me? Enjoyable and time consuming.

So much energy and effort goes into preparing your personal statement on UCAS, waiting for offers and confirming places and sorting out your student finance and in the next few months you will just want to leave college, enjoy summer and look ahead to University! There is so much to look forward to but be patient and stay focussed on them A levels/BTECS in the meantime. YOU CAN DO IT! and you will achieve whatever you set out to achieve and there will be a course out there that is perfect for you.  

Three words to sum up my course so far:

·         Challenging

·         Developmental

·         Exciting

Undertaking a PE degree is physically and mentally demanding and here at the University of Bedfordshire it allows for a time of growth and development whilst giving you an opportunity to explore different elements of PE, new and exciting sports that you may not have done before and it helps in working towards a more physically active lifestyle. One highlight of mine in the last 3 weeks is Synchronised Swimming! As a non-swimmer the prospect was daunting but ended up being thoroughly enjoyable and one of the best things that I have ever done. Our group assessment was just last Monday and we chose the theme “The Great Escape” I was hoping to truly escape when I heard the assessment task but then I realised that I have to achieve my grades so this was all I could think of! I did it! WE did it as a group and we ‘escaped’ safely having performed a 3 minute Synchro routine. This is just one example of how you can reach new depths; excuse the pun, and how you can enjoy all the new experiences that being a student will give to you. I hope you are all confident with the choices that you make and remember “YOU CAN DO IT!”
(We didn't quite look like this!)