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Stranmillis Students on Placement in Buddy Bear

Robyn and Catherine with Brendan, Mary, Ildiko and Anges

Over the years, many students from all over Northern Ireland have had the opportunity to undertake a placemement in the Buddy Bear Trust. For the past two weeks, Catherine Forde and Robyn McKee from Stranmillis University have been on placement in the school. They have been learning about the Buddy Bear Trust and Conductive Education, helping out in the classroom, talking to all the parents of the pupils, and helping to document the childrens progress through videos and photographs

This is what they have to say about their time with us,

"Each year all of the final year BEd students at Stranmillis University College have the opportunity to undertake an ‘Alternative Placement’ - alternative because these placements allow students to: appreciate the transferability of the personal and professional skills they have already developed through their degree, to develop new skills and broaden their knowledge base in different educational contexts, and to realise the breadth of career opportunities available upon graduation with a teaching qualification. The programme is now entering its ninth year and each year around 130 final year students are placed for two weeks in approximately 100 different host organisations.

We were placed at Buddy Bear School in Dungannon, a unique, independent school which offers conductive education for children with motor disorders including cerebral palsy. It is the only school of its kind providing support to children all over Northern Ireland. Over the last two weeks we have experienced how the Buddy Bear School can make a lifetime of difference to a child and their family. The hard work and determination of Principle Ildiko Veres and conductor Agnes Kasper is truly influential and an inspiration to us both. The experience has been a huge learning curve for both of us, contributing greatly to our development as future teachers.

Everyone at the school has made us feel at home and openly welcomed us into the Buddy Bear family.
We would like to take this moment to say a big thank you to Chairman, Brendan McConville, Principle Ildiko Veres and all the staff at the Buddy Bear School for giving us this wonderful opportunity. We will never forget it and the trust will always be a charity very close to our hearts!"

We would like to thank Catherine and Robyn for the hard work that they put in at the Buddy Bear Trust and we look forward to seeing their presentation at Stranmillis University's Celebration event for Alternative Placements

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