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The University of Southampton

SESG3019 Teaching and Communication and the UG Ambassador Scheme

Module Overview

The Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme (UAS) was initially founded to encourage undergraduates to consider teaching as a career, particularly in shortage subject areas (maths, sciences), and is currently available in other faculties within the University of Southampton as well as in other universities. However, importantly this module aims to provide you with teaching experience and valuable transferable skills. The module has no formal lectures, but instead involves you spending time outside of university within a local school (primary, secondary or tertiary) for approximately ½ day a week for a full semester (10 weeks) supported by tutorials at university. During the placements, you will initially observe teaching but gradually become more involved in the classroom, ultimately carrying out a special project with pupils. As you will be acting as a role model within a local school or college and due to the limited number of placements, there is an application form and interview process. The selection process aims to match you with an appropriate placement and teacher based on your preferences and also what you want to get out of the module. The module is reliant on sufficient placements being secured in local primary, secondary schools or tertiary colleges, which limits the number of students that can take this module. A cap of about 25 students is applied. A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is also necessary before placements can commend, therefore participation on this module cannot be guaranteed to all students who pass the interview stagee. All DBS certification cost are paid by the Faculty.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • On successful completion of the module, students will have gained substantial and valuable experience of working in a challenging but rewarding learning and teaching environment. They will be able to assess and devise appropriate ways of communicating difficult principles or concepts to learners and will have gained a broad understanding of many of the key aspects of teaching in schools. They will also have developed a better understanding of, and confidence in, communicating about their discipline.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Communication skills, both one to one and with an audience
  • Team-working
  • Understanding the needs of individuals
  • Interpersonal skills when dealing with colleagues
  • Responsibilities and conduct of teaching staff
  • The ability to improvise
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Organisational, prioritising, and negotiating skills
  • Handling difficult and potentially disruptive situations
  • Public speaking
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Standard teaching methods
  • Preparation of lesson plans and teaching materials


A University Outreach-organised training session (for students on different UAS modules) will provide an introduction to working with children and guidance on appropriate conduct in the school environment. Induction 1 (week 0) Developing personal learning goals; module assessment including special projects; reflective journal; placement communication; behaviour management; health and safety. Induction 2 (week 1) Feedback on journal structure and content; assessment, teaching and learning methods. Tutorial 1 (week 4) Discussion on placement progress, reflective journals and ideas for projects. Tutorial 2 (week 6) Reflective journals organisation and content. Progress on special projects. Tutorial 3 (week 8) Individual session to finalise any outstanding decisions on the special project and to provide feedback on the journal. Tutorial 4 (week 10) Reports, content and structure, discussion on samples from reports, teacher assessment process; tips on the assessed presentation.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Although a supervising placement teacher, or teachers, will act as students’ main source of guidance, students will also be able to discuss their progress with the Module Coordinator whenever necessary. Students will be involved in the following activities in support of their development: • Classroom observation and teaching assistance: Initial contact with the teacher and pupils will be as a classroom assistant, watching how the teacher handles the class, observing the level being taught and the structure of the lesson, and offering practical teaching support. The teacher will assign the student with actual teaching tasks, varying dependant on students’ specific needs and abilities as they develop across the Semester. Tasks include, for example, offering problem-solving coaching to a smaller group of higher ability pupils, or taking the last ten minutes of a lesson for a whole class. Students will have to demonstrate an understanding of how the level of the knowledge of the pupils they are teaching fits into their overall learning across subjects. • Whole class teaching: Students will typically be offered, in collaboration with their teachers, at least one opportunity to undertake whole class teaching, albeit that it may be only for a small part of a lesson. • Special Project: The student will devise a Special Project on the basis of discussion with the module coordinator and the placement teacher. Students will use their own knowledge of their discipline and their own assessment of what will interest the particular learners they are working with. Alternatively, the project may have a non-discipline focus, for example, to raise pupils’ aspirations about further study beyond School or College. The student will implement the Special Project and evaluate it. The student will be required to show that they can analyse a specific teaching problem and then devise and prepare appropriately targeted learning and teaching activities (e.g., teaching materials, practical demonstrations) and complete an effective evaluation as appropriate. • Written Report and Spoken Presentation: Each student will keep a Reflective Journal of his or her own progress in working in the classroom environment, and will be required to prepare a written report and deliver a spoken presentation detailing information about his or her Special Project and reflecting on his or her achievements and experiences during the course of the module. • University awareness: Students will represent and promote their academic discipline and as a potential university choice to pupils across the social and academic range of learners at their placement school or college. Teaching methods include An Outreach-organised training session Two induction sessions (both three hours) to introduce the module and to prepare students for teaching placements. Four one hour tutorials address the needs of students in the context of their classroom experience Students are expected to attend a two hour period when students present the outcomes from their projects Learning activities include Attending tutorials (at university). Classroom observation and teaching assistance (1/2 day per week) at placement school. Teaching classes at the school or college. Keeping a written reflective journal. Devising a special project for particular pupils at placement school.

Follow-up work20
Wider reading or practice20
Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Placement Hours40
Completion of assessment task47
Supervised time in studio/workshop3
Practical classes and workshops6
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Briggs, M. J. (2008). Assessment for learning and teaching in primary schools. 

Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2004). A guide to teaching practice. 

Mooney, C. (2007). Primary mathematic: teaching theory and practice. 

Fautley, M. and Savage, J. (2007). Assessment for learning and teaching in secondary schools. 

Sharp, J. et al, (2007). Primary science: teaching theory and practice. 

Ellis, V. (2007). Learning and teaching in secondary schools. 

Jarvis, P. (2006). The theory and practice of teaching. 

Pritchard, A. (2008). Ways of learning: learning theories and learning styles in the classroom. 

Shilvock, K. and Pope, M (2008). Successful teaching placements in secondary schools. 

Dillon, J. and Maguire, M. (Eds) ( (2011). Becoming a teacher: Issues in Secondary Teaching. 

Capel, S., Leask, M. and Turner, T. (Eds) (2013). Learning to Teach in the Secondary School: A companion to School Experience.. 

Jarvis, P., Holford, J. and Griffin, C. (2003). The theory and practice of learning. 

Medwell, J. et al, (2005). Successful teaching placement: primary and early years. 


Assessment Strategy

Feedback Methods: Formative assessment. Timetabled tutorials to address problems, challenges or issues. Individual tutorial where feedback is given on the reflective journal and special project. Individual written feedback on the reflective journal. Informal or semi-formal discussion with school teachers.


MethodPercentage contribution
Oral presentation 25%
Report 60%
Teacher assessment 15%


MethodPercentage contribution
Report 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

Faculty will reimburse student's travel costs to and from their placement. Costs for using public transport are not usually more than £80. If students have access to a car, they may claim a car mileage allowance of 40 pence per mile for the first 50 miles of any round trip. Mileage in excess of 50 miles is payable at 23 pence per mile. Students are encouraged to car share wherever possible.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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