(Original post by little_k)
Practical experience from the start - we did a storytelling project at the start of the year and working individually with one or two children to create a story for them, then had a storytelling day with a group of children.
You really get to know people on your course - you work in 3 groups generally - 1,2 or 3 group, a,b,c,d group or whole cohort. It means you mix with a variety of people and it's nice to get to know them (even if you don't know every single one!)
Placements are great fun. They start you off in a group (we had 4 in one class) and you each teach part of a lesson. Then you move into paired placement in the same school and teach a whole lesson every day for a week (so literacy one week, numeracy the next, and any other subjects). We're now all on solo placement in different schools and really loving it. The way placements are structured really helped to build your confidence up!
Tutors really get to know you - even though the group is quite large, the tutors get to know you and your personalities. They're really supportive of you too and are always around for help and support.
Not really part of the course, BUT the library is fantastic for the course. It has pretty much every children's book you could ever need (fiction and non-fiction), and resources you can take out too. There is a bit called 'classroom collection' and it has loads of ideas for lessons and photocopy sheets. Life saver when you have no inspiration!
SSS groups (student support seminars) - At first I really hated the idea of these. Basically, you meet up with second and third year students, mainly to discuss assignments and placement. They've really been helpful though. If you're struggling on an assignment they'll happily meet up with you to show you how they did it, and give you advice and support. They'll answer questions on pretty much anything, and share their views on things. Really helpful to have them around!
You're in for most of the week for long days, particularly in the first semester. It can be hard, but the lecturers try and make most of the sessions fun!
Placement days are also VERY long, and the first two (group and paired) are in winter, so you don't get to see much daylight. You can be placed quite far away too!
Sometimes it is hard to get the balance between work for primary ed and a social life. You're in uni for loads of the time during the week, and also have assignments/reading to complete. However, I've just about managed to get the balance and it's important to remember you only need 40% in each module to pass the year, and it doesn't count towards your overall grade in the first year! Make the most of your first year!
Hope this has helped a bit, feel free to ask any more questions if you need to!