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A Day in the Life of an Early Childhood Studies Student

Why I chose the University of Chichester

I chose Chichester because I knew that as the third smallest University in the country I would not be a number on the register, but instead I would become part of the community as our slogan states. Within two weeks of being here, all my lecturers knew my name and I knew where I was going for my classes. I loved the fact that they constantly emphasise that we have an open door policy and that lecturers constantly ask how you are and whether you need any extra support. I chose Early Childhood because from a young age I have always wanted to teach. My inspiration came from when I was teaching a first-aid lesson in my Royal Navy section at school and my Lieutenant came up to me afterwards and was like “Bryony you need to teach, you’re very patient and you’re not afraid of speaking in front of a large group”.

My course

In terms of my course, you will have nine hours of lectures a week with contact time included, normally with three modules a semester. Each module will have a formative and a summative; the formative is not graded and summative is graded. The formative can be anything from a presentation to discussions in class and summatives are normally essays and reports. You will also undertake 2 placements in second and third year which can be at a setting of your choice, providing they have a good or outstanding in their OFSTED and you will be assessed on how you can link theory to practice. Now I am in my last year at University, my focus tends to be on my dissertation which is looking at ‘comparing the resources in special needs school looking at a playing/therapeutic perspective’. For example, in sand tray play in a special needs school, the practitioner will offer buckets and spades for the children to play with, but in a play therapy setting the therapist will put figures in the sand and then step back and see what the child does.

Support Services

The support services at University are amazing, whether its counselling, mentoring or speaking to our nurses; they are available all day everyday. If you cannot make a drop-in session then you can make an appointment to see someone. I’d like to highlight that it is thanks to my mentor that I now know how to reference correctly to get me higher marks in assignments.

I expected University to be like my boarding school was so I was not really afraid about coming here. Thankfully, I have family in this area too so that definitely helped me with feeling more relaxed.

I'm a member of the following societies:

  • Musical Theatre
  • Snow sports
  • Archery
  • Pops orchestra
  • Special projects orchestra
  • Tennis

In addition to taking part in societies, I am a member on our activities committee where we either approve or decline activities that societies want to carry out. But also I help our Student’s Union with organising large events such as sports awards, society awards and RAG Race.

At RAG Race, volunteers become water angels where we walk around with water packs on asking people if they want any water to make sure that they are okay and to support the welfare of our students. I have also been a student ambassador for the past two years, where I show parents and potential new students round the university, promoting the ethos of our University and highlighting the fact that we beat Oxford and Cambridge in teaching satisfaction, won the award for best student bar in the country and won student retention for 2017.

In my last year at University, I am the RAG officer which stands for Raising and Giving. Basically I make sure that as a University we raise money for a local charity, last year we raised seven thousand pounds. This year our charity is Rainbow Trust which provides emotional and practical support for children with life threatening and terminal illness. Most importantly it provides support for parents too so that they have a network of support too.

My Dos and Don'ts 

Do

  • Make a packing list before you come here
  • Make sure you have an academic planner
  • Create a finance sheet to work out what you can spend on food shopping a week

Don’t

  • Don’t treat first year as a walk in the park
  • Leave work until the last minute