Quotes

Medieval session

Guest blog from volunteer Jonathan Gilbert

Jonathan Gilbert

As a Third Year Archaeology and Ancient History BA student I felt I needed to get some serious work experience under my belt before I graduated and joined the struggle of the job hunt. I was always told that I work well with children, and I have always had an interest in teaching, so SHARE with Schools sounded like a great opportunity for me. I must admit that, at first, my reasons for joining the project were selfishly orientated to building up my CV, but this soon changed when I went on my first workshop.

The workshops that I volunteered for included ‘Archaeological Skills’ with pupils in Year 7 – 9 at Fitzalan School, and ‘Romans in Wales’ for a variety of student year groups at Woodlands High School. The idea of working with children in a school environment was not an entirely new concept for me; I have previously worked at an after school club and holiday play scheme, at my local school, working with small groups of children. But this was far less formal than a classroom environment. SHARE with Schools on the other hand gives you the opportunity to work in the classroom, in a variety of challenging yet exciting situations. (more…)

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Guest post from volunteer Jon Cook

Jon Cook

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Training sessions were inventive and fun and helped us prepare for what was needed

My name is Jon Cook, a third year Religious Studies student. When I first heard about the program [SHARE with Schools] I knew it would help my future in ways of experience. Even though it was a little daunting at first because I was not doing a degree in archaeology or history but in religion, I took it as an opportunity to learn more myself and also enhance my public speaking skills.

I presented to a wide range of year groups in a few different schools spotted around Cardiff, presenting to different age groups was fun and different every time. I was involved in presenting a wide variety of workshops all teaching the history of Wales, such as The Romans in Wales, History of the Rhondda Cynon Taf and Wales in the First World War.

The training sessions were inventive and fun and helped us prepare for what was needed. The presentation was nerve wracking at first but once I was there helping kids learn about the past all fears diminished and if things went off track or pear shaped the post grad students were there to help as well.

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The presentation was nerve wracking at first but … helping kids learn about the past all fears diminished

All the kids were well mannered and enthusiastic, my favorite memory from the time giving the workshops is when I was at Cathays giving a presentation on the miners in South Wales and I managed to get a student engaged and interested in a subject that he previously was not.

I would recommend these workshops for everyone who wants to enhance their oratory and teaching skills but also for anyone who is interested in learning more about the subjects themselves as they are very informative. The only problem was that there wasn’t a workshop in my degree specific area. I have no doubt that this will help towards my future career plans and would love to thank everyone involved as it really has been a great experience.

Guest blog by volunteer Kelsey Clarke

Kelsey Clarke

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What if these children knew more than me? What if they asked me a question and I couldn’t answer? What if I mess up?

During my first year at Cardiff I wanted to sign up to volunteer with SHARE with Schools, but I convinced myself that I did not have enough knowledge to go out and deliver the workshops. What if these children knew more than me? What if they asked me a question and I couldn’t answer? What if I mess up? – All these questions flew around my mind, and I didn’t sign up. I immediately regretted this after talking to Jodie, a SHARE with Schools volunteer in 2013/14, who reassured me that it would be completely fine. She was right.

As a second year Religious Studies student, I was still nervous that I wouldn’t know enough but I signed up. I then signed up to numerous training sessions and was pleasantly surprised that not only did I know more than what I thought, but almost everyone was having the same thoughts as me about delivering the workshops. Catherine and numerous other co-ordinators made me feel at ease during the training sessions. They explained everything with clarity and ensured everybody was on the same wavelength for every single workshop.

Every time I signed up to go on a visit, Cath would send out all of the crib sheets as soon as possible. This was brilliant for preparation purposes, and it also enabled everyone to edit the crib notes to suit themselves.

Mountain Ash school with snowy peaks behind

Mountain Ash Comprehensive School

My first SHARE with Schools visit was to Mountain Ash Comprehensive School. I’m from the Cynon Valley area and it was amazing to go into a local school. On the morning of the visit I had so many nervous butterflies, but I decided these were a good sign. It showed that I genuinely cared about what I was doing. Throughout the day we delivered 2 x ‘Romans in Wales’ ‘The Three Orders of Medieval Society’ and ‘Life in the 19th Century Cynon Valley’, and the group grew more confident with each workshop, and although my butterflies were there throughout the visit, it was just a constant reminder to me that I wanted to do a good job with all of the workshops and really make an impression on the pupils. We delivered the workshops to pupils from years 7-9 but with varying academic abilities, including SEN [Special Educational Needs] pupils. All of the pupils engaged so well with everything, they loved the ‘hands-on’ parts of the workshop and this also drew out the best in them. The objects brought to life what we had previously spoken to them about, enabling their understanding more.

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SHARE with Schools has definitely been one of the highlights of my second year, and I can’t wait to see what next year holds!

My second SHARE with Schools visit was to Pencoed Comprehensive School. We delivered 2 x ‘Who wants to be a museum curator?’ here and it worked so well with the pupils. I was genuinely surprised at how much some of the children knew about museums and how enthusiastic they were about the idea of creating their own display. I believe this worked well because although the pupils had to create their display and find out about objects, they had free reign in doing so. The results of their work were amazing.

I can honestly say that I did not see anyone not doing what they were supposed to do or messing around in any of the visits. All of the pupils were polite and treated both the objects and the SHARE with Schools volunteers with the utmost respect. They were a credit to their schools.

SHARE with Schools has provided me with a plethora of transferable skills which I can use in the future. The whole SHARE with Schools experience has reassured me that I definitely want to apply for a Secondary Education PGCE in RE, and that it is well worth pursuing a career in teaching. SHARE with Schools has definitely been one of the highlights of my second year, and I can’t wait to see what next year holds!

[QUOTE] I really liked our lesson it was so cool…

quotation-openI really liked our lesson on History and Archaeology it was so cool, I loved the clothes, helmet and the sword they were my favourite. The helmet was so heavy! It is so unbelievable that all of the artefacts are over 2000+ years old! I can’t even imagine what it was like 2000 years ago! I would never want to go back in time. I didn’t realise how interesting Archaeology was! I think you have interested me enough for me to study Archaeology in University/College. We really liked you coming in and sharing all your stuff with us.

~ What pupils tell us

[QUOTE] I found this lesson very enjoyable…

quotation-openI found this lesson very enjoyable and educational, my favourite part was when we got to hold and feel the artefacts. I would’ve liked to see all the artefacts. It made me realise that I want to go to Cardiff University to study history…I really like the students because they were very kind and helpful.

~ What pupils tell us