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Kyle Brewis | University of Sunderland

Primary Education with QTS BA (Hons)

Student Profile:

  • Name: Kyle Brewis
  • Age: 18
  • Studying: Primary Education with QTS BA (Hons)
  • Hometown: Newcastle
  • Ambitions: To achieve success as a Primary School teacher and enjoy a long and satisfying career.

Find out more about the University of Sunderland:

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December 24th, 2012

The 5 Days of Christmas – Day 4

Day 4 – Christmas Eve!
The day started with a lie in (at last!) and quickly turned into a slightly hectic rush to finish getting the house ready. I managed to get the last of my presents wrapped and tagged so they’re ready to go.
By the time the house was done, it was time to get all Christmassy! I settled in front of Home Alone 2 and then remembered that I hadn’t put the window lights up. So that was me busy again!
Soon after, it was time for my sister and her Husband to come over to stay. They picked up a Chinese takeaway and we sat down in front of yet another Christmassy film; Arthur Christmas – it’s tradition to watch The Muppets Christmas Carol but I’ve lost the DVD!
Anyway, now it’s time to settle down for the big man’s visit! Merry Christmas!

December 23rd, 2012

The 5 Days of Christmas – Day 3

Well, it’s day three. If you’ve read yesterday’s post you’ll know that I was at work today. As I’ve mentioned in another post, I work just 5 hours a week but I do enjoy it. Despite this, though, my other commitments have meant that working is just no longer practical so I have handed in my notice. I feel all emotional! It was my first job and I genuinely have enjoyed working there, but these things can’t be helped; I’m in the fortunate position that I can afford not to work, relying on student finance instead. I’m looking to do a follow up video of the one I posted a short while ago about working at university, explaining what has changed so look out for that! For now I’m just going to enjoy having an entirely free weekend!

After work it was back home to finish getting the house ready for the big day and the visitors that it brings. I’m now lazing with a box of chocolates and watching ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ – it’s tradition!
More tomorrow,Kyle

December 22nd, 2012

The 5 Days of Christmas – Day 2

Today has been another busy day; it was a sad start to the day as I paid my final respects to a family member who passed away recently, but after seeing other family from all over the country, it was off to an extra long rehearsal with the drama group I direct. We’re currently working on a pantomime, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, and today was our last chance before Christmas to go over the entire show, tie up loose ends, and make sure we were still on track. Thankfully, we are and we should be ready for the opening night on Friday  4th January.
The cast an crew have worked extremely hard; I think they deserve a break; but it’s safe to say they’ll be nervously awaiting the show – who wouldn’t be?!
If you regularly read my blog you might be wondering if it’s worth doing all of these extra things like volunteering, working part time and running a drama group. I ask myself the same question every time I consider taking up something new. My fail-safe, 2-part test is: will it give me new or developed skills or show a potential employer what I’m capable of; and will I enjoy it? The drama group definitely satisfies both of these; I have to work with people aged 10 to aged 80 in the same context, essentially telling them what to do and when, in a way they’ll relate to and understand. Surely this translates perfectly onto a school setting where the teacher needs to be able to communicate with the youngest pupils in their school and even speak to their oldest grandparents sometimes. I think it does and I enjoy it so why not!?
As I write this, I’m getting my things ready for work tomorrow and trying to work out how on Earth I’m going to fit in all of the things I need to do before the big day!
More soon,Kyle

December 21st, 2012

The 5 days of Christmas – Day 1

You might’ve noticed I’ve been a little bit quite on the blog this month. That’s because I’ve been building up to this little series of blogs: the 5 days of Christmas. I’ll be posting a blog every day until Christmas Day to let you know what I’m up to.

I wanted to show you that although it’s been a massive change heading off to Uni,  there’s still time to ditch the studying hat and replace it with a big fluffy Santa hat!
So here goes…
In the past week I’ve managed to get my Christmas shopping done (at last!) and I’ve even wrapped most of them. At the start of the week my family and I went to visit my Aunty who lives in a little village just past Rothbury, we had lunch by the open fire and blasted the Christmas tunes – I’m sure the neighbouring field of sheet were thrilled! It wasn’t long before it was time to come home but there was still plenty to do. I ended up going back to my old high school to help out with the Christmas Concerts and Talent Shows. The Primary School I work with also invited me to their Christmas Assembly to meet Santa and get a gift for my help through the year. All in all it’s been a busy week with plenty more to come.
Anywho, I’m off to watch Text Santa. Speak to you tomorrow!

November 28th, 2012

Working when you’re at Uni: Does it work?

This is the second in a two part blog all about money. I look at why I still work and if it’s as simple as it sounds.



November 27th, 2012

Primary Education Geography and the Uni Open Day

This video looks back at a Geography lecture that I had last week and Saturday’s University Open Day. Questions welcome!



November 23rd, 2012

5 Tips to Save Money at Uni

Well, as much fun as it is to see that 4-digit number appear in your bank balance at the start of each term, it doesn’t last long if you’re not careful. I found myself breaking open my piggy bank earlier this week and I don’t think I’m the only one. I then found myself thinking how I’m going to avoid the same situation come Easter. These are my top tips to save (…or not waste) money at uni…


  1. Work out how much money you have then work out how much you can use! Take into account how much money you need to pay out in one go at the start of the term (e.g. board/rent) then look at the things you need to pay every month (I pay for my phone and its insurance).
  2. Keep an emergency fund: it’s really easy now to open a separate savings account online. Set aside a decent amount of money, maybe £100, so that you don’t run out!
  3. Always pay on your card if you can! This is a personal preference; I think that if you carry cash you’re more likely to spend it. Plus, it means you can see where you’ve spent every penny. Other people say that if you use your card, you can’t visualise how much money you’re actually spending… I’m not sure.
  4. Don’t eat out during the day. Imagine you’re looking to buy a sandwich, the cheapest one is £1.60. “Wow!” you might think, “That’s really cheap!”. Now say you buy one sandwich every day Monday-Friday. That’s £8 for the week, and chances are you won’t buy the cheapest sandwich and you’ll probably buy other things like a drink or some crisps. It’s shockingly easy to spend well over £5 a day on food; £25 a week! The answer? Take packed lunches!
  5. Don’t use your card when you’re out drinking! I would never tell anyone not to take their card out with them because I always think it’s a good idea to have a back-up in case you lose your money; at least then you can get home! However, the eternal temptation is to use your card to buy more drinks when you’ve had too many, or worse, to use one of those ridiculous machines that charge something like £2 to withdraw cash. Avoid it unless it’s an emergency, and remember, you can always ask a taxi driver to go via a cash point if you can’t find one where you are.


So, there you have it! That’s my plan for next term… let’s see how it goes.


Do you have any ideas? Comment below or get in touch on Facebook.


More soon,


November 21st, 2012

The Average Week as a Primary Ed. Student

As a first year student, something I get asked quite regularly is “how often are you at Uni?”. Luckily this has quite a simple answer; unlike some other courses, we have a standard timetable which tells us what part of the course we’re doing, when and where. Obviously this isn’t set in stone and it does change every so often but I thought I’d give you a little guide:


The first thing to note is that a year group is split in groups, this year it’s groups A, B, C & D. I’m in group B but I’ll add in information about what the other groups do.


MONDAY: 2 hours of English (seminar), 2 hours of Maths (seminar). I finish at 6pm on Mondays, but it really isn’t too bad!

TUESDAY: 2 hours of Science (seminar), 1 hour of Studies Advice every other week. English, Maths and Science are shuffled around for each group but they still have 2 hours of each across 2 days, Monday and Tuesday. Studies advice in groups only lasts until Christmas then it’s on a 1to1 basis..

WEDNESDAY: 2 hours of another subject (seminar); this could be ICT, Art, Geography, RE or any of the other primary subjects. These tend to be the more practical seminars!

THURSDAY: NO LESSONS!… Well, kind of. This day is kept free for Theory Linked Practise (TLP) days. These are where you spend one day a week in a school, looking for links between the theory you’ve learned in Uni and what you can see happening in the classroom.

FRIDAY: 1 and a half hours of Professional Studies (lecture), then 1 and a half hours of Professional Studies (seminar). This part of the course is about teaching us the skills we need like planning and assignment writing. Obviously, these things are talked about in all of the other seminars, but this is where we get specific input and instruction about important things. Friday is my only 9am start, thank goodness!

As you can see, we don’t have a lot of normal lectures with the entire year group in one place, instead we have seminars in groups of about 20-25. This makes the whole thing feel a bit more personal and you really get to know the staff and have a laugh!

Hopefully this has given you an idea of what to expect if you choose to do Primary Ed. at Sunderland, but if you have any questions at all, feel free to comment below or get in touch with me on Facebook (the link is on the right hand side somewhere!)

More soon,



November 9th, 2012

Primary Education Placements at Sunderland University

Just before half term, I visited a reception class in a school in Tynemouth to see how what we’d learned at uni would translate onto a working classroom. This is what I thought…



October 29th, 2012

University of Sunderland (FREE!) Travel Pass

Being from Newcastle, I’ve been at the centre of a fair few conversations when I tell fellow ‘Geordies’ that I’m studying at Sunderland University. Of course, there’s the infamous Geordie/Mackem rivalry (to which I could not give a single care in the world) which is sometimes the subject of those conversations, but mostly it sounds something like this:

Them: Are you at Uni now?

Me: Yeah, I’m doing Primary Ed.

Them: What? Kids and stuff?

Me: Err… yeah.

Them: Where at?

Me: Sunderland.

Them: And are you still living at home?

Me: Yeah, I just get the Metro across.

Them: That’s a bit of a trek! Although I suppose it saves money, does it?

Me: It’s about an hour so it’s not too bad.



…and on it goes…


An hour on the Metro does seem like a very long time and, to be honest, it was probably the thing I had been looking forward to least about starting uni. BUT! It actually isn’t too bad at all.

Say, for instance, I have a 10am lecture at St. Peter’s. I would need to get the 9am Metro and change after about 3 stops for a train the South Hylton. After that, though, I can just find a seat and that’s me for another 45 minutes without a care in the world. As long as I get on that train, I (generally) have nothing more to worry about and it’s pretty much certain I’ll be there on time; I can read the paper, stare longingly out of the window, catch up on uni work or just have a little nap. If I drove to uni everyday, though, I could theoretically leave a little bit later, but I have to concentrate the entire time on driving and if I get stuck in traffic, I’m scuppered.

There’s also the financial side of it; petrol, parking, Tyne Tunnel, maintenance all cost money everyday. “But Metro tickets cost about £5 a day” I hear thee cry. ALAS NO! because you get a free travel pass for your first year of uni which not only works on the Metro, but all local bus services and even the train between Sunderland and Blaydon. And after that, you can buy a travel pass for far less than you can buy a year’s worth of petrol! It’s win, win.

The best bit is, each campus is a stone’s throw away from a metro station. The University station is literally inside City Campus and St Peter’s station is only about 10 minutes’ walk from St Peter’s Campus (that’s closer than Pann’s Bank accommodation) .

I realise I’m becoming a bit too fanatical about the whole situation so will leave it there, but honestly, the Travel pass is a massive help.


you can find out more about the pass here: