ED209 mini summer-school report

My name is Tanya Rayaz and I am an Open University student currently studying towards a Bsc Psychology degree. I have been a member of OUPS since the beginning of my degree and I must say that it has proven to be invaluable in my studies over the years.

As many of you will know, being an OU student is not easy with work and family etc. Many of us cannot attend tutorials and we can often feel lonely in our journey as an OU student. This is where OUPS comes in with their extremely informative and helpful course weekends. I am currently towards the end of the second level module ED209 and attended the ED209 Mini summer school weekend which was held from 5th - 7th July at the University Of Warwick. I chose to attend this mini summer school in order to assist my understanding of the module in more detail as well as the opportunity to feel like an actual student - even if it is just for a long weekend!

The weekend's intention is to support students who are perhaps feeling a bit overwhelmed halfway through the course and it aims to bring the key aspects of the module together and help with understanding the different themes and issues. My expectations for the weekend were high based on previous OUPS events and I am pleased to say that they did not wave.

The tutors Jo Haycock and Brenda Todd are both highly experienced tutors and have taught ED209 for a number of years. Their level of expertise and knowledge was demonstrated throughout each lecture which ranges from covering course themes such as attachment and key theories through to the importance of methods. Extensive hand-outs are also provided throughout the weekends which are very helpful.

On Friday it is a bit of an easy start with registration from 3.00pm and Dinner at 6.00pm which allows you to mingle with fellow OU students and discuss your journey with the OU before you start lectures. The Initial Lecture at 8.00pm begins after a welcome briefing and is followed by a meet and mix drinks party. This is well appreciated at the end of the day and gives you an opportunity to meet and speak to the tutors and students as well as the OUPS team in a relaxed and informal setting. Another social event is the Saturday night disco after dinner, which is great for unwinding and letting your hair loose after the day of lectures.

Students who attended the summer school were very fortunate in that the weekend coincided with the OUPS Conference on 'Psychology of conflict' and we had the opportunity to attend the lectures at no extra cost. I was lucky enough to attend a lecture on Political Victims by Dr Orla Lynch which I found was extremely fascinating.

There are two choices for accommodation - shared facilities and en-suite. I stayed in en-suite facilities over the weekend which although costs more than the shared facilities I feel is worth the price due to the quality of the facilities and the room. The price of the weekend includes full meals which are delicious and you are spoiled for choice for options with both hot and cold food choices and vegetarians and other dietary requirements catered for. If however, you do not fancy the available options the campus has many restaurants and a convenience store on hand. Throughout the weekend there is also a book stall which has an extensive range of books which range from specialist topics to general Psychology.

Overall, I would highly recommend attending future OUPS events for whatever OU module you are taking - you will come back with a better sense of knowledge and understanding of the subject and material and maybe even great friends as I have done over the past few OUPS events. You will not regret the decision to book an OUPS event.