Hannah Brighton

Following her graduation in 2016, Hannah completed a masters degree and now works as a Welfare Officer at a Leicestershire secondary school.

"The first thing people ask when you mention that you went to university is why you chose that course or university in the first place. For me, picking my top two choices was easy, because they were both Northampton. Of all the universities I visited for open days and interviews, Northampton was the university that made me feel at home, where I could see myself living, socialising and studying, all the while being well supported by the friendly and approachable course team. Another reason to choose Northampton was, at the time, because it was the only university in the country to run a SEN specific course and even today, although there are now other courses around the country, Special Educational Needs and Inclusion BA (Hons) at Northampton offers a unique and specialised insight into all aspects of not just Special Educational Needs, but the concept of Inclusion as a whole.

Whilst on the course, I undertook a range of compulsory work-based experiences as well as voluntary and international work. For my compulsory work-based experience I considered the concept inclusion holistically and decided to shadow the work of a chiropodist, working primarily with older people with hearing needs and dementia. I completed a portfolio study on how the work of chiropody is adapted to the needs of these people. During the latter half of my first year I volunteered with the local Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) group, research that became essential for a later study on Equine Assisted Therapy which was published in ‘The Routledge Companion to Severe, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties’ (Lacey et al, 2015). Internationally, I was fortunate enough to twice visit Romania for five days at a time and also spend five weeks in Hong Kong.

My visit to Hong Kong was incredible - for five weeks I was given the amazing opportunity to live and work in Hong Kong, working in mainstream and special schools to deliver lessons and activities as part of a social enterprise and cultural exchange summer camp. I was part of a team of seven SEN and Primary Education students, working together to provide activities but we also worked individually to plan and deliver lessons to our students.

Having now completed the SEN degree and a masters degree, I wish I’d known just how quickly those years would go. It really does feel like a blinked during Freshers Week and then it was July and I was graduating with a first class degree. I’d also recommend living in the University's halls so that you’re close for both studying and socialising, getting involved with all that the University has to offer and remembering that your friends will get you through it - you’re all in the same boat!

This degree course is unique in its content, its assessment styles (presentations, academic posters, portfolios and essays) and the experiences that is offers. If you choose to study Special Educational Needs and Inclusion at Northampton, you will be enrolling into a very exciting chapter of your life."

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