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  • Writer's pictureBeth Nunn

Welcome to Maisie and Ciara!

We are lucky enough to welcome some new faces to PIE - Maisie and Ciara! They are third year students from MMU studying Sociology with Quantitative methods, and their work with PIE over the next few months will support them through their dissertation and beyond!

A bit about Maisie:

My name is Maisie and I’m from Whitstable, Kent. I’m currently in third year studying Sociology with Quantitative Methods (BSc) at MMU after transferring from Sociology (BA). Carrying out this transfer has provided me with more opportunities to collect, analyse and apply my own data, which is something I’m really interested in. As a part of this course and my dissertation, I’m fortunate to be working with PIE to understand how Covid has affected young people long term by analysing data pre and post Covid and collecting my own data, which I think will be an exciting and fascinating experience. Hopefully from this, I can provide an insight into the ways Covid has impacted and changed the needs of young people and offer information and/or recommendations on how these new needs could be met.

Applying what I learn from my course with the experience I will gain from working with PIE

is something that really excites me. The opportunity stemmed from an event organised by

the Q-Step team at MMU to encourage students to think about carrying out a placement in

our final year. This event and meeting Beth from PIE, really stood out to me as an

experience that just couldn’t be missed. As I knew I’d be applying to become a primary

school teacher, I knew the experience and skills I’d gain working with PIE, along with past

experience, would really help me in my future career. This has meant that I’ve been even

more grateful for the opportunity to work with such a great organisation.

Not only am I excited to work with PIE so I can gain experience of working in a school

environment, but the work PIE carry out is something that also really inspires me. Finding

ways to help those who are at a disadvantage in life and exploring the factors that make

people more likely to ‘succeed’ is a topic that has always been important to me. And so

knowing that PIE create programmes and opportunities to overcome the gap in

achievement and provide a chance for young people to improve their core skills and

abilities, is pivotal to creating a society that is inclusive and focuses on the equality of

outcome. Additionally, the work PIE have been doing in response to Covid and the current

economic situation is commendable. Helping families who need it by providing warm spaces

and packs, as well as giving those who may be disadvantage a place to feel safe and have a

moment to enjoy the things that the pressures of day-to-day life can take away is so

important in today’s society. For this reason, working with PIE was something I didn’t even

have to think twice about.

A bit about Ciara:

Hi, I’m Ciara. I am a third year student at Manchester Metropolitan University studying Sociology with Quantitative Methods. As part of my dissertation, I am doing a placement with the PIE programme to gain experience in a working environment and to perform skills of data analysis on a larger scale. PIE stood out to me because the values and goals they have, helping all types of students and communities with the multiple programmes they offer, is something that is important to me.

PIE doesn’t just focus on the traditional ways of education that all children receive. PIE looks beyond education and focuses on other abilities a young person may need, such as social capital. This is what drew me to work with PIE for my placement as I think it is extremely important that a child doesn’t just receive traditional education but they have the opportunity to develop themselves in other ways as this will largely benefit them in the future and they are able to see what there interests may be. Opportunity to develop oneself, outside of ‘normal’ school teaching is important for anyone but especially disadvantage children who do not have access to other opportunities outside of school. I volunteer as a panel member at Salford Youth Justice Service and from personal experience I have seen that a lot of children find it difficult to engage with the traditional educational system, so a programme like PIE can be extremely beneficial for certain young people.

For my dissertation with the PIE programme, I will be looking at the impacts social action projects may have on the development of young people. So, I will be assessing data, alongside PIE, to see if social action projects really do help with the development of young people. I will be working in schools with the PIE programme, where I can collect primary data for my analysis and also use secondary data to analyse this question. I am really looking forward to gaining some experience working in a school environment, and to see the impacts that this great programme, with a great team behind it, has on many young peoples lives.

Warm welcome to you both from the PIE family! We look forward to working with you over the next few months.

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