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A Day in the Life of a Primary Education Student at the University of Roehampton

Hello, my name’s Camilla and I’m in my third and final year studying Primary Education KS1/2 with QTS at Roehampton.

In my course, we have three placements in schools. On my current placement, I have been placed in a year 1 class, but previously I was in year 3 and 6 classes. At this point, I am in the last couple of weeks of my 11-week placement and am teaching four days per week, with one day dedicated to planning time. This is a day in my life on my third placement.

6:45am: Alarm goes off. I try to give myself about 45 minutes until I need to get out of the door so that I’m not rushed to wake up and eat breakfast. Most days I’m up on-time, although some mornings (Mondays) can be a bit tricky.

7:30am: Leave for school. My school requires teachers to be in by 8am and it takes about 20 minutes to cycle to school from where I live in Putney. My route takes me through the uni campus and Richmond Park which has a bit of a hill but I don’t mind as I get to see the deer!

7:50-8:30am: Time to organise myself before the children come in. Usually this involves ensuring resources are prepared for lessons and looking through the morning lessons to double check I know what I’m teaching. This is also a good time to run questions by my Class Teacher Mentor (CTM) who is the teacher of the class I am placed with, and my mentor too. I like to have a chat with her and the teaching assistants who are all lovely.

8:30-8:45am: Kids arrive and the register is taken. I stand by the door in the mornings to greet the children and their adults. Sometimes parents and carers have issues or questions which either I am able to answer or pass on to my CTM I have been at the school for over 2 months now but I don’t know the inner-runnings of it like she does. We take the register at 8:45am and get the day started.

8:45-11:45am: Lessons with a 15 minute break in between. In the mornings, we usually have core subject lessons english and maths. Most mornings we have phonics lessons too. This was a bit of a learning curve for me since I hadn’t taught much phonics before this placement, but I am way more confident with it now than I was a couple months ago. I don’t usually go out with my class for morning break. Instead, I have a snack and make sure my resources are out ready for the next lesson.

11:45am-12:45pm: LUNCH. It did take some time to adjust to the early lunches but I’m used to it now. I have lunch in the staff room and I’ve gotten to know a lot of staff because of doing this. As much as I love talking to kids, it is great to have a break and talk to some adults.

12:45-3:15pm: Lessons with a 15 minute break in between. Normally in the afternoon we teach wider curriculum subjects e.g. geography, art, PSHE, etc. These are my favourite subjects to teach, especially geography (which is my specialism) and art. I go out with my class for afternoon play and usually end up playing a game of tag with a group of them running around a playground with 5 year olds chasing you can be surprisingly therapeutic after a stressful day. If we don’t have an assembly, the day ends by reading a story or two before parents and carers pick the children up at 3:15.

3:15pm-onwards: Finishing up work. Now that the kids have gone home, what happens next depends on what the plans are. Once a week we have a staff meeting then I also have a Weekly Review Meeting with my CTM. If I don’t have these commitments, I stay for as long as I judge I have the brain capacity to. Some days, especially earlier on in the placement, I feel exhausted so I leave by 3:45pm. Other days I stay a bit later to sort out planning/resources for future lessons, but I don’t stay any later than about 5:15pm.

Home: I cycle home through Richmond Park and through the uni campus which is slightly quicker than the way to school. I track my cycle times on Strava and it’s very satisfying when I manage to get home in under 20 minutes. I meal-prep on weekends so normally I don’t need to do much except eat, shower and relax. My week-day evenings are a mix of hanging out with my housemates, watching something on Netflix, reading, playing sudoku or solitaire, crocheting, and other things depending on how I’m feeling. I try to get to bed by about 10pm and most nights I am out like a light.

Placement is tiring but it can also be amazing. It can be hard to navigate how to balance other aspects of your life like spending time with friends, relaxing and other needs which are important to you. It can also be the best part of the course. A highlight so far has definitely been World Book Day, getting to dress up and seeing my class’ costumes was so fun. I also got to join parent/carer meetings which I found super helpful and interesting since I will be running those myself next year.

I don’t think anything can fully prepare you to run your own class, but placements certainly help a lot with boosting skills, knowledge and confidence. I hope this has given you some insight into the day-to-day happenings of placement.

Thanks for joining me!
Camilla

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