Collaborative working - students and ARU

Lucie Hamilton

Faculty: Health, Social Care & Education
Department: School of Education and Social Care
Course: BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
Category: Education

19 June 2017

One of the best parts of being a Course Rep is seeing how something can go from concept, to reality.

My job is to listen to my peers and feedback to the staff at ARU. One of the most prominent issues raised last year was the size and usefulness of the Early Childhood Resource and Research Room (ECRRR). Whilst this room was undoubtedly an amazing resource to the University, it had recently been moved to a small room with minimal storage and no window.

ARU has the almighty task of allocating rooms and spaces to all of the occupants of every course held on campus and sometimes, it becomes impossible to cater for everybody. However, this room was not conducive to the students learning and because of its size, it meant that classes were having to be split to be taught and lecturers were required to teach the same class over and over again to small groups of students. There wasn’t any space for tables so students had to write on their laps or on the floor. Whilst this wasn’t a huge problem because the ECRRR was mainly there for using the resources and immersing yourself in an early years setting, there were times where using tables and chairs would have been of benefit.

The spokesperson for my peers, I took this feedback to my Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) meeting and raised their thoughts with the staff and other reps. I was amazed at the positive response I instantly received from everyone, and the staff immediately voiced their support in helping us to find a solution.

I am so proud to say that with the help from the staff and all at ARU, we were offered a new space to build a new ECRRR – which is twice as big! We now have space to have tables and chairs as well as all the resources and equipment to rebuild our early years setting.

And if this wasn’t good enough, the staff have decided that who better to design and rebuild the new room than the students themselves. All students who will be using this room have been invited to join the staff, before the new year starts in September, to help shape and design the new room. Together, as equals, to create a new vision in early childhood.

I don’t think you will get a better example of collaborative working and just how well ARU listens to its students' voices.

To make things happen, we must work together. And I am proud to say that here, at ARU, this really does happen.

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