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Barbara Southby, Education Studies (work-based) BA (Hons)

The Education Studies work-based degree provides the perfect balance for Barbara, who has children, works part-time, and wants to further her education

It wasn’t just the reputation of London South Bank University (LSBU) that attracted Barbara, but also the specialist primary teaching facilities.

Flexibility that fitted

Barbara wasn’t just looking for any course; she needed something specific, a degree to suit both her situation and her academic interests. As a mother with young children, Barbara needed to study flexibly and part-time. LSBU had the perfect course for her!

Barbara notes the pros for LSBU’s degree offering, “the fact that the course is flexible and would allow me to continue to work was a leading factor in my decision to take this degree. Having completed studies using a VLE before, I knew that this method of learning would enable me to get the most I could out of the course, whilst having limited contact time. The lecturers all being former teachers with ‘industry’ experience was also key in my decision.”

Opening doors of opportunity

Whilst the flexibility has indeed been great for Barbara, her time at LSBU has opened more doors and opportunities for her. With her upcoming alternative education setting fast approaching, she reflects upon her time so far.

“At the beginning of the degree my plan was to become a teacher. Studying at LSBU would have helped me achieve that as I would earn the degree that I needed to then either complete a PGCE or undertake Schools Direct training. However, with the alternative education setting coming up, I am now contemplating the different avenues that this degree could open up for me. These are exciting times!”

As a course rep Barbara gained a different perspective on being a student. She attended course board meetings, and represented student’s interests amongst meetings with Course Directors and academics in the Education division.

The one best thing about LSBU?

We couldn’t keep Barbara to 'just one' great thing about LSBU...

“Where to start?! There are so many great things about studying at LSBU. The facilities, including the library and LRC are invaluable. LSBU really helped me get back into studying, even before my first year had even started. I attended pre-enrolment workshops that covered academic skills such as writing and referencing (but also the lecturers, facilities and my cohort!).”

There wasn’t just one great thing about LSBU

“My favourite assignment so far has been writing a children’s book as part of our Literacy module. I was able to draw on my own experiences with my son’s allergy to write a picture book for young children with severe allergies to read with their parents. It was written with input from children from two Year 2 classes at my school. They now each have a copy in their classroom.

Understanding how children learn has enabled me to adapt my teaching practice to suit different children. My classroom management skills have also improved, enabling more (and better quality) learning to happen.

Other highlights of my first year included a visit to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green (our very own school trip!), and the Constructing Childhood module which first opened my eyes to just how much of life is merely a social construct. The study I’ve completed so far has made me think long and hard about how we as a society have got to where we are now, how I view our society, and what I can do to make sure that life is as fair and just as possible for the children I work with.  

I’m looking forward to many more ‘lightbulb moments’ during the rest of my studies. Hopefully it will help me learn about children, teaching and how children learn. The course has been really interesting so far, and that’s because of the fabulous lecturers and module content.”