Experience More to England Outside of London

Throughout my travels across the world and back, I always find myself coming back to England. This beautiful and culturally rich country offers some of the most fascinating sights and experiences. It’s easy to see why it is such a popular travel destination for students involved in a study abroad in England program. No matter what you wish to achieve on your trip, study abroad programs in England, or even the Ireland study abroad program, is an opportunity that should not be missed.

The once proud British Empire was, and in some instances, is still the greatest hub of cultural influence in the world. True, the British may not hold some of the same influences it once did, but it is still one of the best places to visit when looking to drown yourself in cultural education. No English city defines this feeling more than the cosmopolitan city of London. You can almost feel it coming alive beneath your feet and breathing with sophistication, culture and art as you study abroad in England.

However, during your time in at in the various study abroad programs in England, you’ll want to experience the country outside of London. What’s a trip to the British Isle without getting the full feel of England? The best place to start is Cornwall. This beautiful town offers some of the most spectacular views of sea cliffs you’ll find anywhere in the world.

One place you won’t want to miss is the town of Bath. This northern town is famous for its ancient Roman bathhouses, where you can still visit today. Try not to miss the home of Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon or the family gravesite at the Holy Trinity Church. Were you aware that the world’s largest Gothic cathedral is located in York?

As you make your way from town to town, be sure to visit the southern parts of the country and try to see as many little, old English towns as you can scattered across the gorgeous countryside. You’ll see sights out of old movies and novels from old stone cottages with thatched roofs to alleys of cobblestone. It’s almost surreal and everything you would imagine the English countryside to be.

A study abroad in England or Ireland study abroad program is definitely an adventure worth signing up for. With so much to see, you’ll find it difficult to fully complete your exploration in one semester. Most find that it is necessary to come back for a vacation later on to fully enjoy all that England has to offer.

The “New” Teacher Education Environment in England: Opportunities, Challenges and Implications

Schools and university partnerships and school-based only frameworks characterize the present teacher education and training environment in England. This new tapestry presents opportunities and challenges for those pursuing training in teaching and has implications for University Teacher Education Professional Tutors saddled with the task of guiding participants.

Opportunities for participants

There are a number of opportunities afforded to participants in this new teacher education and training environment. For example, they can work towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (Qualified Teacher Status) and a Master’s degree and study teaching in their preferred specialization (Secondary) or at a preferred level (Early Year Studies, Primary or Secondary). This new environment also affords participants the opportunity to: contribute to the ‘move’ to improve the education of young people from less privileged background; engage in research in education, more specific urban education; participate in university training which develops skills and knowledge in key teaching components for example curriculum development, education theory and practice and classroom management; spend time in school taking on real responsibilities from ‘day one’; attend summer sessions which enables the building of a network of like-minded people; develop skills of reflection-on-practice, portfolio development and reflective journaling techniques; develop transferable skills thus facilitating transitions from teaching to other careers; develop academic writing skills via assignments at PGCE and Master’s level and being paid during training along with the potential for additional financial support to off-set cost for travel to specific training sessions.

Challenges for participants

Given the new teacher education and training environment challenges for participants may include (but not limited to): demotivated students in regular schools and the need to raise their aspiration; students’ disruptive behaviours and addressing these; balancing various demands: administrative and other responsibilities (lunch and yard duty, meetings, detention and monitoring students during or after school, special parent meeting and reporting evenings); completing university and partners’ requirements; researching and writing at PGCE and Master’s level; interpersonal relational issues (mentor/trainees relationship) and deciding whether to address students’ non-learning needs.

Given these opportunities and challenges, ‘What are the implications for the University teacher education professional tutor saddled with the task of seeing the participants through to a successful completion?’

At the philosophical level, the university teacher education professional tutor needs to be clear about the mission, goals and policies of the programme and partnership existing between the university and schools allowing these to guide thoughts and actions.

At the ‘grass root’ level, the tutor should have current experience working in challenging learning environments to fully empathize with participants placed in such situations. It would be a ‘bonus’ if she or he had the experience of being, or working with the ‘student type’ represented in such challenging schools and is able to bring an ‘insiders’ perspective to bear on advice given to participants under her or his care. Being armed with experience and knowledge in reflective practice to effectively aid participants in this now integral area of teachers’ professional development and supporting researching in education and academic writing at master’s level and above is also critical.

The tutor should be familiar with appropriate strategies for addressing school students’ disruptive behaviours thus becoming an additional source of information for participants and how to motivate school students who have become demotivated.

The tutor is also required to give advice to participants on balancing various demands for example: prioritising workload; keeping a diary and saying ‘No’ to some school committee or steering group; give guidance on the issue of addressing students’ non learning-needs and use skills required to mediate between participants and school-based mentor when there has been a break down in professional relations.

Passed Your GCSE? You’re Ready to Move on to A Level Education

Considered by many to be the “gold standard” in education, the Advanced Levels or A Levels are recognized around the world to be an in-depth and thorough method of preparation that will assist any student in their chosen field of endeavour. Typically, students of ages 16 to 18 study the A Levels in the UK including England, Northern Ireland, and Wales and older students are encouraged and appreciated when they also choose to move on with their education.

Courses or subjects can include a broad range of topics

Among the higher level courses a student will find they have a broad range of choices from which to choose. And to qualify for a top-level UK university students will need A Level grades in from three to five subjects. As many young people who have completed their GCSE and are preparing to move on even though they do not have a chosen path or career in mind, working on A Level classes will help them decide what they wish to do with themselves for a career or “calling”. Many choose several “basics” that will help them decide what they are good at and what they appreciate and enjoy doing.

A broad variety of courses are available in A Level classes

Choosing three or four subjects in the A Levels is encouraged and some students even opt to take on five at a time. Subjects that can be chosen include:
1. Business and business related studies
2. Sciences such as medicine
3. Mathematics including higher levels of math
4. Chemistry
5. Biology
6. English literature
7. Psychology
8. Accounting and economics
9. Engineering
10. Physics
11. Law and humanities

A Level education comes in stages

With each A Level there will be six units to be studied and these are accomplished in two stages. The first stage consists of three units of Advanced Subsidiary level (also known as the AS level. In the second stage or A2 Level you will find another set of three units which completes the A Level education. From this point on students who have a high grade level can most likely be assured of entrance into an advanced university anywhere in the UK.

Each grade earns points toward a solid future

Each A Level subject will gain students a grade that will be from A to E and each is awarded points that accumulate toward a final score that can be read by future employers and universities of higher education. The lowest score, 40 for an E is barely getting by and that student may benefit from assistance from a tutor. The highest grade bestowed, an A* earns 140 points, a basic A is worth 120, a B is worth 100, C is 80, and a D is worth 60 points. While it does take work and study to obtain those higher points, it will be well worth it when employers who use those scores to evaluate prospective employees approach with good job offers.

Beyond the education there is much to be gained with A Level study

The benefits of a higher education are obvious but there is more to be gained through learning how to think independently, how best to conduct research, how to analyse subjects, learning team work, and how to study effectively. The student’s brain is put through a thorough exercise program that enables one to think and solve issues more effectively.