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The University of Southampton

SOES3041 Communicating and Teaching in the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme

Module Overview

This module runs under the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme (UAS) and provides an opportunity for students to act as ambassadors for their disciplines and gain experience of teaching.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Have gained substantial experience of working in a challenging and unpredictable working environment.
  • Giving (and taking) feedback.
  • Organisational, prioritisation and negotiating skills.
  • Handling difficult and potentially disruptive situations.
  • Public speaking.
  • Team-working.
  • Standard teaching methods.
  • Preparation of lesson plans and teaching materials.
  • Be able to assess and devise appropriate ways to communicate a difficult principle or concept.
  • Have gained a broad understanding of many of the key aspects of teaching in schools.
  • Develop a better understanding of and confidence in their subject.
  • Communication skills, both one to one and with an audience.
  • Understanding the needs of individuals.
  • Interpersonal skills when dealing with colleagues.
  • Staff responsibilities and conduct.
  • The ability to improvise.


An initial two half-days of training will provide the student with an introduction to working with children and conduct in the school environment which will take place in November. A competitive interview system will be used to allocate places on the course. Students will be matched with appropriate schools and a specific teacher in the local area centrally (through the Highfield-based UAS co-ordinator), and each student selected will be given a chance to visit the school they will be working in before commencement of the unit. The student will be required to spend up to one day a week in the school every week for a semester. It is intended that there will be no formal lectures associated with the module, and that wherever possible or appropriate the students' own ideas and learning will feed back into the content of their activity as they become more experienced. However, there will be four supporting tutorials and two in-school training sessions which will provide an opportunity for students to share their experiences. The teachers will act as the main source of guidance but, in addition, students will also be able to discuss their progress with the Module Co-ordinator or a Faculty Learning and Teaching Coordinator whenever necessary.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The students will be involved in the following activities in support of their learning and teaching: Classroom observation and 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 support to the teacher. Teaching assistance: The teacher will assign the student with actual teaching tasks, which will vary dependant on specific needs and the student's own ability as it develops over the term. This could include for example offering problem-solving coaching to a smaller group of higher ability pupils, or taking the last ten minutes of the lesson for the whole class. The student will have to demonstrate an understanding of how the level of the knowledge of the pupils they are teaching fits in to their overall learning context in other 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 one lesson. University awareness: 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. Special projects: The student will devise 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. 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 devise and prepare appropriately targeted teaching materials, practical demonstrations and basic 'tests' where appropriate. Extra-curricula projects: The student may be supervised by the teacher in helping to run an out-of-timetable activity, such as a lunchtime club or special coaching periods for higher ability pupils. The student will have to demonstrate an ability to think laterally in order to formulate interesting ways to illustrate more difficult scientific concepts. Written reports: The student will keep a journal of their own progress in working in the classroom environment, and they will be asked to prepare a written report on the special project. Tutorials: Six progress tutorials providing the student with an opportunity to share their experiences. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

Independent Study130
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

This module is concerned principally with the development of a range of interpersonal skills and the professional competencies expected of an effective teacher, rather than with specific disciplinary subject content (although subject content is utilised and developed in the teaching context). To this end, the pre-placement training and the experience of working collaboratively with both teachers and pupils at the placement school will ensure that all of the specified learning outcomes are met. The range of assessment methods provide a variety of evidence of the attainment of the learning outcomes, via a log of the student's experience and an accompanying reflective report; the practical demonstration of teaching competencies in the context of the assessed presentation; and an element of independent corroboration of your activities and progress, via the teacher's report. Additional support can be provided for those students who have further or specific needs.


MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation  (15 minutes) 25%
Report  (2500 words) 60%
Teacher’s report 15%
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