The University of Southampton was one of the founder universities to run the Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme (UAS) in 2002. During the 2015-16 academic year approximately 200 students from many different subject areas have undertaken the UAS as part of their studies.
The UAS offers undergraduates the opportunity to undertake a school or college based placement as part of an academic module which introduces them to the teaching profession. The scheme aims to encourage talented students to develop transferable skills which will be invaluable in their future careers and also assess if a teaching career is right for them. In turn the students are able to offer practical help in the classroom, in engaging of pupils in their subject and motivating them in their studies.
The school-based placement should, as appropriate, include:
Initial contact with the teacher and pupils as a classroom assistant. The Undergraduate Ambassador will observe how the teacher manages the learning environment, the lesson structure and the level their subject is taught to. Practical support will be offered to the teacher in the classroom or a lab.
The teacher assigns the undergraduate teaching tasks which vary depending on specific needs and the undergraduate's own ability as it develops over the placement. This could include offering problem-solving coaching to a small group of higher ability pupils or taking the last ten minutes of the lesson for the whole class.
The undergraduate may help to run an out of timetable activity such as a club, or special coaching periods for higher ability pupils.
The undergraduate devises a Special Project on the basis of discussion with the teacher and their own assessment of what will interest the particular pupils they are working with. This aspect of the scheme may include whole class teaching for the student. The Special Project should be an innovative idea which helps to enrich the National Curriculum. The student is required to design, plan and implement the project and evaluate its outcome.
Examples of Special Projects include:
Students are expected to spend the equivalent of half a day each week for ten weeks during either semester one or semester two. Students will maintain a journal to reflect on and evaluate their experiences and their own contributions in order to provide the evidence base for their final written report.
Students will represent and promote their academic discipline as a potential university choice to pupils across the social and academic range represented at their partner schools.
Before the placement commences:
During the placement:
At the end of the placement:
If you would like to find out more about the Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme (UAS) at the University of Southampton please contact UAS Co-ordinator, Tanya Palmer on 02380 599010 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.