A blog for students on the FDLT and BALT courses at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

October 2, 2020
by Jean
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Black History Month and Black Lives Matter resources

Black Lives matter booklist 9-12The National Literacy Trust have recently shared some resources to support educators planning for October’s Black History Month. The resource Black Lives Matter: Book lists for ages 0 to 16+ features books by black authors and illustrators and exemplify the Black Lives Matters movement. They are organised in in lists for 0 to 4 years, 5 to 8 years, 9 to 12 years, 13 to 16 years and 16+. 

The resource can be accessed here.

Another resource, part of the Words for Life series, is called “Learn to be an anti-racist”. This collects together a number of resources to use with children in making sense of the news and hear from those who have experienced racism. These can be accessed here.


BLM watch and learn

September 24, 2020
by Jean
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Applying for the FDLT and BALT courses to start in September 2021.

The Learning Hub

The Learning Hub, Waterside Campus

We are now accepting applications for the FDLT and BALT courses starting in September 2021. If you work in a supporting role in an educational setting and are interested in studying for a degree at the University of Northampton you are most welcome to come to our Open Day on Saturday 26th September from 10am until 2pm online. 

The courses are taught on one day a week and are taught in both Northampton and Leicester venues.

You can find out more about it and book a place here

You can find out more about the FDLT course here and the BALT course here

There are some FAQs about the FDLT course here and about the BALT course here.

In September 2021 we teach the FDLT Year 1 course in Northampton on Mondays and in Leicester on Wednesdays; FDLT year 2 in Northampton on Thursdays and in Leicester on Tuesdays and the BALT course in Northampton on Wednesdays and Leicester on Mondays (subject to numbers).

Do come along to talk with our tutors at the upcoming Open Days or email me, jean.edwards@northampton.ac.uk if you would like to talk about the courses further.

September 18, 2020
by Jean
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New resources from the National Literacy Trust.

This week the National Literacy trust launched two new online resources to support families and educators.

authors of the week

NLT, 2020c

The first is called Virtual School Library. You can access it here

Each week the Virtual School Library will introduce a children’s author or illustrator and share books, videos and recommended reads.

Here’s an example from this week (w/b September 14th 2020).

Words for Life resources

NLT, 2020b

The second is called Words for Life. You can access it here. Words for Life provides resources “for parents, children and young people to improve their language, literacy and communication skills from home” (NLT, 2020a, lines 3-5).

The resources can be accessed by age group and are practical and engaging. 

 

 

References

National Literacy Trust. (2020a) Words for Life. [online] Available from: https://wordsforlife.org.uk/ [Accessed: 18/09/2020].

National Literacy Trust. (2020b) Happiness and wellbeing. Words for life. [online] Available from: https://wordsforlife.org.uk/ [Accessed: 18/09/2020].

National Literacy Trust. (2020c) Current authors of the week. Virtual library. [online] Available from: https://wordsforlife.org.uk/virtual-school-library/authors/ [Accessed: 18/09/2020].

 

 

 

 

September 11, 2020
by Jean
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Thinking about your school

When you begin to take part in discussion about your setting and begin to write assignments you will need some basic information about your school to provide contextual background. It would be useful if you could collect this information and have it to hand over the opening weeks of the course.

This includes:

Type of School (LA / Academy etc)

Location of school (rural, suburban, urban)

Age of pupils

Number of pupils on roll

Number and type of staff

% of pupils with SEND

% of pupils learning EAL

% of pupils with Pupil Premium

Any unusual or distinctive features of the school

Details about your own role

September 7, 2020
by Jean
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Your first day (FDLT)

We are looking forward to welcoming students to the FDLT course next week (week beginning September 14th). You will have been receiving emails from us and from the university about starting the course.

What should I do before I come to the first day?

Make sure that you have completed pre-enrolment. You can find out more about this here.

Make sure you have introduced yourself to the group on your group’s getting to know you padlet. The information about this was emailed to you last week. Go back to this padlet a few times to read new posts and comment on some to start getting to know each other. You will meet each other face to face next week.

You should contact ASSIST if you have any additional needs relating to disability, medical condition, autism, specific learning differences (like dyslexia) or a mental health difficulty including if you will need assistance during arrival.

What should I bring on the first day?

When you come please make sure that you have everything you need to complete your enrolment. There is information about this here.

Bring a bag as we will be giving you things and you are likely to collect your laptop if you are enrolling as a full time student (ie with no exemptions from modules).

You should make sure that you bring a mask to wear. Information about our Covid19 precautions can be read here

You should also bring a pen and something to make notes in.

You might like to bring a drink and snacks although there are refreshments available to buy on campus. 

Where should I come to on the first day?

the atrium in the learning hubBoth groups will be coming to the Waterside campus for the first day. The Leicester group will be based at Devonshire Place thereafter. You can find out more about the location and parking at Waterside here.

We will be meeting in the large open space on the ground floor of the Learning Hub. Look out for Abbie and Jean and email Jean if you get lost or need help.

Look out for students whose posts you have read on the getting to know you padlet as well.

There is a map of the Waterside Campus here.

What will happen on the first day?

On your first day you will meet the course leader, Abbie Deeming and another of the course tutors, Jean Edwards. You might already have met or talked with us at an open day or interview. We will guide you through the day. 

We will first take you to enrol and you will also collect your welcome package laptop at some point in the day. 

After that we will have an induction session in one of the large classrooms so we can be together as a group and still appropriately socially distanced. Abbie and I will talk you through key information about the FDLT course and you will have a chance to ask us questions.

What if I have any worries or questions?

It is natural to feel nervous when you are embarking on a new part of your life. Starting at university is a big step but you have all applied for and been offered a place on the course because it is the appropriate next step for you right now. There will be lots of people supporting you at home and at school and you will find that there are lots of people here at university to help you too, both as part of the course and in the wider organisation. 

If you have any immediate concerns or questions email the Admissions Tutor, Jean Edwards, jean.edwards@northampton.ac.uk 

We are looking forward to meeting you next week.

September 4, 2020
by Jean
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Making an avatar to use in profile pictures

You might wish to create a image of yourself that you can use instead of your photo in profile pictures on NILE and other tools that we use.

Here are many ways of doing this. Here are two suggestions:

Face.co

face.co screen shotScroll down to see the first choice screen and start making choices about your appearance.

You can construct a simple face and save it as a .PNG to upload as a profile picture. In this tool you cannot save and edit your image.

 

 

Bitmoji

bitmoji screen shot

Bitmoji is a more sophisticated tool that the one above. You will need to open an account and there are many choices that you can make when generating your image. Once you have decided on your design you can generate it as a face or full figure and choose it in many poses, with or without text. 

You will have seen Bitmoji images used widely on social media lately. 

 

September 2, 2020
by Jean
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Getting to know your new group (FDLT)

Before you start the FDLT course we’d like you to introduce yourself to the group on these Padlets.

Leicester group Padlet

UoN group Padlet

There is no need to have a Padlet account of your own to post onto the Padlet. All you need to do is click on the link above to open the Padlet and click on the pink plus sign to open a box to type into.

You will be asked for a password and this was emailed to you earlier today.

You can also upload a photo by clicking on the upload arrow at the bottom left below the text box.

If you want to comment or ask a question you can do this below the posts.

Please make sure that you have done this by September 10th.

If you need any help with this you can email jean.edwards@northampton.ac.uk 

Below is a short video demonstration of how to make a post. You can use the controls to shrink me and maximise the screen so that you see what I’m doing more clearly.

August 28, 2020
by Jean
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Preparing to study: your workspace and modules

As you begin university you will need to consider where you are going to study at home and begin to prepare this space so that you are ready to use it from the beginning of September.

There are some hints and tips here that you might find useful.

work space When you begin in year 1 you will be studying these modules:

PDT1065 Pupil Engagement and Assessment

PDT1066 Introduction to SEND, Diversity and Inclusion

PDT1068 English and Mathematics: Core Subjects

PDT1076 Using Digital Technology to Inspire and Support Learning

PDT1077 Work Based Reflection*

PDT1078 The Practitioner’s Role*

* (If you have chosen to take exemption from the work-based modules because you have HLTA you won’t study these modules)

If you are coming directly into year 2 you will be studying these modules:

PDT2016 Using experiences outside school to inspire and support learning

PDT2017 Planning and professional development

PDT2018 SEND, diversity and inclusion: school-based project

PDT2019 Work-based practice: reflective practices

PDT2020 English and mathematics: cross curricular approaches 

If you are starting in the BALT year you will be studying these modules:

PDT3001 Issues of equality in educational settings

PDT3002 Professional practice in education

PDT3003 Educational debates in learning and teaching

PDT3004 Research methods

PDT4001 Dissertation

 

 

 

August 24, 2020
by Jean
0 comments

Reading suggestions

Here are some suggestions for pre-course reading:

Bates, B. (2016). Learning theories simplified : … and how to apply them to teaching. London: Sage.

Have a look in particular at the sections on Vygotsky, Bruner, Dewey, Piaget, Engelman, Bandura and Skinner.  This book is easy to read and each section is relatively short. You will find it useful in a number of the modules that you study.

Also familiarise yourselves with the findings and recommendations of these two research projects:

Blatchford, P., Bassett, P., Brown, P., Martin, C., Russell, and Webster, R. (2009) Deployment and Impact of Support Staff Project, Research Brief. [online] Available from: http://maximisingtas.co.uk/assets/content/dissressum.pdf [Accessed: 15/07/2020]

Sharples, J., Webster, and Blatchford, P. (2015) Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants Guidance Report. [online] Available from: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/sites/ioe/files/TA_Guidance_Report_MakingBestUseOfTeachingAssisstants.pdf [Accessed: 15/07/2020]

You can click on the links in the references above to access these reports. We will be discussing these in one of the first modules that you will study.

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