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Sarah Normansell-Thomas


United Kingdom
I always feel welcome and know that I can be true to myself. I have been given so many opportunities such as becoming a student ambassador, being a course representative and protecting mental health as a student mental health champion.

More about Sarah

Why NTU…

Why did you choose NTU and your course?

NTU is one of the only places that still offer a four-year primary education course. This course was the best option for me as it made me feel like I would be better prepared for my career in teaching, and it offers so many creative opportunities, has fantastic facilities and prepares you for leadership. NTU was also highly rated with student satisfaction, and I had heard fantastic things about the student support, which was lacking at my previous university.

Could you describe your experience of being an NTU student?

As an NTU student, I feel supported no matter what. I always feel welcome and know that I can be true to myself. I have been given so many opportunities such as becoming a student ambassador, being a course representative and protecting mental health as a student mental health champion. There are always events to go to, new people to meet, and activities to get involved with, which is why student satisfaction is so high. I have loved my time at NTU so far, it truly feels like home.

How would you describe the support from your tutors, university staff and student services?

The staff are amazing all around, they are always there to support you, help you, or even just listen to you. They are quick to respond to emails, they are often available in their offices, and are always willing to chat, or they will offer a teams call. They make adjustment suited to your needs and always make your wellbeing the top priority. The student support services offer all kinds of support from help with your studies to financial support. They have helped me with my mental health, and supported me to get the extra support I needed, to make the most of my time here at NTU.

On Placement...

Have you completed any work placements on your course? If so, tell us about your experience – where did you go, what did you do, what skills have you gained and what have you enjoyed the most?

I have almost finished my first block placement as part of my course in a primary school within Nottingham. This is something built into the structure of the primary education course and so the course tutors organise it for you. Whilst on this placement, you get to build your skills by teaching small groups and whole classes of children. The most enjoyable part was seeing the children enjoy their learning, that make all the hard work worth it. This placement happens every year of the course and they ensure you experience lots of different school environments.

Do you have any memorable moments from your placement?

So many! From funny things the children have said, to amazing teaching experiences. There is an endless supply of memorable moments. One of the best, was when a child who was really struggling with phonics, finally understood it after interventions with me, to see that progress was so rewarding.

Do you have any advice for future students going on placement?

Be confident! Take all of the opportunities given to you and if you want something more ask for it.

Outside of the Lecture Theatre…

What three words would you use to describe Nottingham?

Historical, Thriving and Freeing.

Where is a good place to eat, drink or visit in the city?

DoughNotts is an absolute must! Along with Handmade Nottingham, which is the cutest little gift shop.

Did you find it easy to make friends and settle in at NTU?

As somebody who doesn’t drink massively it took me a bit longer to find my people. However, I never felt lonely, everyone was friendly, and I now have a fantastic group of friends. I found it easy to settle into NTU because I immediately felt that I belonged here.

The Next Steps…

Has the employability team helped you plan for life beyond NTU?

I have heard great things about the team but I am yet to use them.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of applying to NTU?

Follow your heart, do what you want to do, don’t let other people’s choices or opinions influence what you want to do. This is your life, so choose the best option for you. But if NTU is high on your list, then apply, you won’t regret it!

What is one thing you wish you knew before starting at NTU?

That asking for help when you need it, is the strongest thing you can do.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418
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