Sofia Smith

Third year university student: Primary Education

University of Hull course: Primary Education (third year student)

Courses studied at Wilberforce: Level 3 BTEC Science, BTEC Business and A Level English Language & Literature

So what was my experience at college?

Well I really enjoyed college, having the freedom to choose what I really wanted to study and making lifelong friends. When I first started I had no idea what I wanted to do in the future. I came with reasonable grades and originally wanted to study Maths, Biology and English. After speaking to college, I choose to do the BTEC Science instead as it allowed me to access all 3 sciences. After the first year I dropped maths and took up Business instead.

All of the lectures were lovely, supportive and helpful.

I was never very confident with English, however the department (especially Kate) really helped me. I came out overall with a C which is more than I ever expected.

Through college and one of their enrichment activities, I found my love for teaching (primary).

I really enjoyed each lesson. I loved Science and was always looking for more to do (the same with Business). English was hard work but the outcome was great. Maths wasn’t for me – but I’m glad a gave it a go and College were so supportive.

My Journey to University.

I always knew that I wanted to go to university but I never really knew what I wanted to do as a career. College helped me realise that was okay, and I chose to study some of the more important subject areas so I could keep my options open. By completing different enrichment activities, I found my love for teaching. I applied to study primary teaching at a range of Universities and chose to go study in Lincoln, however due to a family member being ill, I changed my mind and decided to come to Hull at the last minute. College really supported me with this decision and helped me organise the change. I am glad I changed my mind and came here due to the support and adaptability of the course and the staff.

A typical day

A typical day at university is packed with excitement. I generally have 1-2 lectures a day and then spend the rest of my time studying. My course is all coursework based which I preferred as I’m stronger in that area. I have between 6-10 essays due each year and the support from University is great. I also complete placements – which are done in block groups during the year. University has been really good – it’s allowed me to look at different aspects of teaching and develop my knowledge. I now know I would like to specialise in English and SEN. My dissertation is based around adaptations for Autistic children which is something I find really interesting.

University during lockdown

University during lockdown has been very different. All of our lectures are now online, and we complete all work at home. Sadly my 2nd year placement was cancelled due to restrictions, but we were given placement tasks to complete instead. Online lectures have their ups and downs. It’s different not being able to share our ideas like we normally would, but we have a group chat and we discuss thoughts and ideas that way instead. We have come across different problems but we have worked together as a group and found ways to get passed.

I’m now currently on my 3rd year placement in a school. The class teacher I would normally be with is vulnerable and isolating so there is less support in the classroom. However, the teacher is amazing. We have regular contact throughout the day and the rest of the staff in school are amazing and nothing is too much for them. It’s a different type of placement but just as fulfilling and I hope to do just as well.

University is challenging but it’s also really rewarding. Every day is different and I am glad I chose to continue in Education. College really helped me find what I enjoyed and where I would like to take my career.

Sofia Smith