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Year 4 Class Teacher and Arts Leader

The structure of the Primary Education course at Leeds Trinity enabled me to build a range of skills and an understanding of education.

Why I chose to attend Leeds Trinity

I chose Leeds Trinity because of its reputation. The fact that it had a smaller community than the average university appealed to me - each person was an individual to their lecturers and department. During my time at Leeds Trinity, I formed great relationship with those lecturers, who have now become colleagues through my work, through school, in partnership with them. This has included me supporting the redesign of one of their Primary Education modules.

My most memorable experiences from my studies

My most memorable experience would have to be my teaching experience at a summer camp in Poland and the Czech Republic. Not only did we get to experience the culture of two amazing places, but we got to support the use and application of the English language for a group of Polish children for three weeks.

Ashley Lund classroom 1.

Overcoming challenges

My main challenge was the fact that I completed a BTEC at sixth form, so academic writing didn’t come so easy to me. However, there were many opportunities of support at Leeds Trinity and the skills I did learn, I still now put into practice when delivering at CPD conferences and completing my National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) course.

Great career preparation

The structure of the Primary Education course at Leeds Trinity enabled me to build a range of skills and an understanding of education. This has led to achievements including being nominated for mentor of the year, winning into films 2016 animation film of the year (under 12s), being the Arts Leader in a Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR) role as well as completing my NPQSL.

Working as a class teacher and leader

I’ve worked a Year 4 class teacher and Arts Leader in a two-form school based in inner-city Leeds. As part of my role, I redesigned the curriculum, so that our children received a broad and balanced learning experience through a project-based outcome curriculum. I have worked very closely in partnership with In Harmony Opera North, Northern Ballet, Leeds Playhouse, Wrongsemble and Grand Futures - who are all world renowned organisations.

These all provide children with life experiences and high-quality teaching and learning, as well as opportunities to perform at venues such as Leeds Town Hall and watch ballet and opera performances at Leeds Grand Theatre.

After creating a short animation with my film club in 2016 and winning into film’s Animation of the Year award, I am now an ambassador for into film. I have also been appointed by IVE (Arts Council Bridge Organisation) as one of their Cultural Leaders in Education, supporting arts provision across the city of Leeds.

Ashley Lund classroom 2.

My career highlights

I have so many career highlights, but my top three would have to be

  • Taking my film club to London dressed up in their fancy dresses and smart suits, meeting the likes of Daniel Craig and Eddie Redmayne and winning animation of the year 2016!

  • Creating a project with Northern Ballet through our project curriculum, where the learning was based around the Nutcracker. Each child had six lots of two-hour workshops with an amazing ballet dancer, and then went to the theatre with them to watch Northern Ballet’s production. I loved hearing their gasps and seeing their bulging eyes as they watched. I, however, didn’t get to watch much of the show because I was too busy enjoying seeing the children watch the show.

  • Finally, it would have to be the fantastic work that In Harmony do, and being a part of this every day. It’s fantastic to see each child in Key Stage 2 learn either a string or wind and brass instrument and watching them progress, perform to their proud parents and seeing them perform in amazing places like Leeds Town Hall and Newcastle Sage. They also get to perform with elite musicians such as Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cellist Winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year 2016). Seeing them take their instruments home each day to practice and knowing that I played a part in that happiness and joy they’ve come to find in and through music is a very proud feeling.

My advice for a prospective student considering a course at Leeds Trinity

My advice would be to use the lecturer’s expertise and continue to use it even after you’ve left, and of course, take every opportunity given to you. At some point, you’ll be in a place, looking back and know that this experience supported you in what you’re doing now and that is why you’re so invested in what you do and its why you continue to achieve and strive for more.