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Education student completes a placement with a specialist school

Sarah Farr shares her experience of working at Jigsaw School for children with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Sarah presenting her placement poster at the Faculty Placement Posters Exhibition
Sarah presenting her placement poster at the Faculty Placement Posters Exhibition

Why did you choose to study Education with Psychology at Bath?

'Education with Psychology is a contemporary course focusing on issues in education and childhood. Combining a range of disciplines, including psychology, sociology and philosophy, the course provides a unique perspective on how to approach these issues.

'Throughout the course I have been able to research my specific interests within the varied modules, and I enjoy the flexibility of many of the assignments.'

Tell us about your placement experience

'I worked as a Comprehensive Application of Behaviour Analysis to Schooling (CABAS) teacher at Jigsaw School in Cranleigh, Surrey for my placement. The school is a specialist school for children with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and uses Applied Behaviour Analysis to teach and manage behaviour problems of students.

'My responsibilities included one-to-one teaching, recording data on students’ progress, providing personal care, and also giving weekly Topic lessons to the whole class.'

'The placement experience was fantastic, and it is a great way to stand out against other graduates. As well as improving my skills working with challenging behaviour in students, I became more confident working in a professional environment and in a team.'

What kind of support did you receive from the Placements Team?

'My placement tutor was always available for an appointment to review my CV and cover letter, and also the steps to take after a successful interview. Whilst on placement, I was visited by my placements tutor halfway through, which was useful to reflect on my work so far and set targets for the rest of the year.'

What advice would you give to a prospective placement student?

'My advice would be not to forget about the possibility of trying speculative applications. A lot of companies, charities and schools have not considered taking on a placement student, so it can be useful to send out a speculative letter and CV, to see if they would be interested.

'I initially applied for a summer internship with Jigsaw school, and then asked if I could complete my placement year there. They had not considered hosting a student for a whole year, but after I had completed my probationary period, I was able to stay for fourteen months.'

‘The placement experience was fantastic, as it helped me develop a wide range of transferable skills. Also, it is a great way to stand out in the graduate job market.’
Sarah Farr, BA Education with Psychology

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