Advice for Second Years!

First of all, I’d like to start things off with a quick apology and explanation. To those of you who read the blog regularly you’ll know that I am not the most reliable blogger on the site. I have tried to keep to a schedule, but with things like moving home, moving my stuff out, sorting bills, holidays and work, I’ve had my hands full! Rest assured that after all this is sorted and I’m settled down I shall try to upload more consistently, but for now, thank you for sticking with me all this time!


My recent blog posts got me thinking: I’ve been doing a lot of work on helping out first year students when they start, in both academic and social life, and there have been posts from other users about third year students and beyond. But I noticed that second year student are yet to have a post directly targeted at them, and if there is one I am yet to see it (Side note: If there is a post like this, link it in the comments, I’d love to read it!) That being said, I thought I would create a post to help the first years moving on to second year.

I’ve had a few first year students (now second years) ask me for some advice heading into their second year. First and foremost, it’s important to remember you are still learning. I remember myself taking things to heart a lot more in second year, particularly when something didn’t go to plan. If I didn’t do as well as I thought I had in something, I took it to heart a lot more, and thought it was the “end of the world” so to speak! I found that after a while, I learnt not to take things like this to heart, and to understand I was still in the learning process.

I’ve also been asked about the differences in placement from first to second year. Needless to say that there are a fair few differences! First of all, sorting your assessments before you start is crucial. I and my partners stressed so much about our science and English presentations because there simply wasn’t enough time to sort them, and the due dates were immediately after placement. Suffice to say, the stress that ensued was great, and these could have easily been avoided had we sorted the assessment beforehand. It is a lot of work in the short term, but you’ll be so happy when it comes to placement time!

The other noticeable difference is the amount of teaching you’ll be doing. You’ll be doing lots, so my main advice is to learn from your mistakes. You will not be perfect 100 percent of the time, so accepting your mistakes, learning what you did wrong and incorporating the feedback in your next lesson is the best way to go. This may sound patronising, but I know that I was guilty of making the mistake of taking things to heart all through second year, placement included, and with the stress you already have its best to avoid as much stress as you can!

If there is another bit of advice I can give, it is to take advantage of whatever spare time you get. Whether this be CPD or PPA time, or even just training days or days off, if you’re lucky enough to get those, then use it all the time to help your teaching. It saves you so much work, and gives you some albeit brief leisure time, which is a luxury as we all know! Finally, I would say that appraisals aren’t anything to worry about. There isn’t anything really different to the ones from the first year placement, and you’ve had enough of those already! Just take on board any feedback you receive, try and incorporate it into your other lessons, and the progression will be clear to see.

And there you have it, a basic guide to second year! If you’d like to see any more content like this, or if you have anything else you’d like to add or recommend feel free to comment below.


Hi, my name is Tom, I am a second year Primary Education student at York St John University. I really enjoy gaming, which is something I find quite relaxing. I also thoroughly enjoy reading, particularly Science Fiction, although I don’t to a particular topic! I also particularly enjoy running and exercising to stay healthy!

Why did I choose York St John University?

I chose York St John University because I absolutely loved the campus. Its location, Size, and appearance were all really appealing to me and really stuck out to me when I visited. The location was also of particular importance to me. It was close to the town with a lot of pubs in the nearby area as well as shops, and it was a beautiful location, so that really helped persuade me. On a larger scale its very close to my hometown of Ripon so that was also great for me!

Meet the Team – Amy

My name is Amy, I am a second year Primary Education student at York St John University. I enjoy going to circuit training and staying fit and healthy. I also enjoy walking my dog, family holidays and days out. I find these very relaxing!

Why did I choose York St John University?

I chose York St John because I loved how small the campus was, and how near to the centre it is located. To get into the city centre it takes me about 10 minutes to walk from my house- perfect for shopaholics like me! I also loved the atmosphere of the campus when I visited. The friendliness of staff also really appealed to me. York is a great city with lots to do, whether it be going to the cinema or catching up with friends in the local bar.

What do you like about York St John University?

The atmosphere of the university is something I really love. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help out, which is very helpful, especially in stressful situations. Both Staff and students are helpful and informative and that’s something that makes York St John stand out for me.

What are your aspirations?

My main aspiration is to become a primary school teacher. In particular mathematics and PE are key focuses of mine, as I always struggled with them at Primary School. I’d also like to increase awareness of charities throughout school and also AEN.

If you have any questions about York St John or student life then please comment below, it would be great to hear from you!

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