Fifteen students who have completed the University of Stirling's new BA Professional Education (Primary) course specialising in Modern Languages or Environmental Studies are set to graduate on 27 June.
Stirling is distinctive amongst Scottish universities in offering concurrent degree courses to prospective primary school teachers. This enables students to graduate with a high level of expertise in a subject at degree level as well as a teaching qualification for primary education. Following the success of the Modern Languages and Environmental Studies specialisms, a course in Early Years has now been introduced.
Student Karen Saunders said the skills she has learned at Stirling have enabled her to go into a primary school and teach languages to any year group. She added: "The course has been extremely beneficial as it offers us flexibility within the profession. In the current job climate this specialist qualification will make us more attractive to employers by making us more marketable.
“I have really enjoyed the course and loved being able to specialise. You really learn your skills in the schools but our time at Stirling has given us the tools to get started. The course has focussed on creating teachers who are adaptable which is empowering for us because schools want teachers who do more than just teach.
“There are people in schools at the moment who are perhaps unsure of all the changes in policy but thanks to this course, and the strong focus on the Curriculum for Excellence, I feel any of us can go into a school and help make sense of that.”
Dr Sandra Eady, of the School of Education, said the nature of the primary concurrent degree enables qualifying teachers to be more outward looking in their educational careers and have greater flexibility in the job market.
She added: “Within the School of Education, students benefit from studying modules that are informed and taught by research-active academics and seconded teacher fellows, who bring high quality current experience from schools.
“In the fourth year of the programme students engage in their own small scale professional enquiry research projects related to their specialism in education. The course structure makes it like no other in Scotland and perfect for the needs of a changing education system.”