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

at Leicester and UN

May 30, 2013
by Jean

FDLT Tutor


Hello my name is Alison Flint and I am one of the tutors on the FDLT course as well as being the course leader for the ‘top up’ degree: BA Learning and Teaching (BALT). My main interest is in mathematics education and I look forward to working with you during Year 1 and beyond.

Before joining the School of Education three years ago I was a Primary School Headteacher in Milton Keynes for five years and, prior to that, I was a Headteacher in a Junior School in Northampton. I was also a governor for many years including serving as Chair of Governors for a year.

May 29, 2013
by Jean

Mr D

Link to article

An article about Matt Dix, now a primary teacher. He tweets as @mracdpresent.

He and some colleagues write songs for children to help their learning. You can look these up on the Guardian Teacher Resource Network. It is interesting to read about how he uses his talent and interest to enrich his teaching.

How do you use your talents and strengths to enrich and support learning?

May 29, 2013
by Jean

FDLT tutor

With a group of children at the Alfred East Gallery, Kettering

I am Jean Edwards, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education. Some of you may have met me or corresponded with me in my role as Admissions Tutor for the FDLT course. I teach on the FDLT and also on the BA Learning and Teaching.

Before I came to work at the uni I was a Headteacher of a lower school and in total was a teacher for nineteen years. As a headteacher one of my teaching assistants went on the FDLT and BALT courses, she then did a GTP course and is now a teacher herself. I enjoyed supporting her development and seeing her achieve her ambition to be a teacher.

One of my interests is in using resources and sites beyond schools to inspire and enrich learning and another is learning and teaching in art. In the photo above both those interests were combined when I worked with a class of children in an art gallery and then later at a local Field Centre.

May 23, 2013
by Jean

FDLT Course Leader

This is a brief hello and a few facts to let you know who I am . . .

Julie Jones – taught in Northamptonshire primary schools and previously an Advisory Teacher for Northamptonshire in the teaching of English.

  • Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Northampton and Course Leader of the Foundation Degree in Learning and Teaching
  • teach on the Certificate for Teaching Assistants in an International Context and have recently taught groups in Rome and Bucharest
  • teach on the BA(Hons) Learning and Teaching and support students preparing their dissertations

I am looking forward to meeting you all in September and supporting your studies on FDLT.

May 20, 2013
by Jean

Children’s onscreen reading overtakes reading in print

The National Literacy Trust has just shared some research that examines the influence of technology on children’s reading abilities and their enjoyment of reading. It found those who read daily only on-screen are nearly twice less likely to be above average readers than those who read daily in print or in print and on-screen (15.5% vs 26%). Those who read only on-screen are also three times less likely to enjoy reading very much (12% vs 51%) and a third less likely to have a favourite book (59% vs 77%).

National Literacy Trust Director, Jonathan Douglas said:

‘Our research confirms that technology is playing a central role in young people’s literacy development and reading choice. While we welcome the positive impact which technology has on bringing further reading opportunities to young people, it’s crucial that reading in print is not cast aside.

We are concerned by our finding that children who only read on-screen are significantly less likely to enjoy reading and less likely to be strong readers. Good reading skills and reading for pleasure are closely linked to children’s success at school and beyond. We need to encourage children to become avid readers, whatever format they choose.’

Read the research from the National Literacy Trust at this link.

Do you prefer to read print or read using an e-reader?

Have you noticed any changes in reading habits amongst the children you work with?

The full research report will be published later – there is some more supporting detail available at the link above.

May 17, 2013
by Jean

Key Stage 2 English tests

Last week Key Stage pupils took the Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test for the first time.

You can read more about what Professor David Crystal thinks about the teaching of grammar to primary aged children here:

David Crystal blog posting

He analyses the test, discussing four key concerns:

1. the format of the questions

2. questions that ignore context

3. the ignoring of changes of usage

4. conflicting advice about basic grammatical terms

You might wish to read the detail of these concerns and consider how they relate to your subject knowledge and the way you support learning and teaching.

May 14, 2013
by Jean

David Crystal on grammar

Today Year 6 children take the Spelling, Punctuation and grammar test for the first time.

Read what Professor David Crystal says about this here: David Crystal’s blog

What is your experience of supporting children to learn and use grammar?

May 1, 2013
by Jean

Teaching Assistants in schools

Click on the oicture to go to the article on the website

Have you seen this article published in the education section of the Guardian today (1st May)?

‘State schools employ one teaching assistant for every two teachers’.

The figures are taken from the DfE’s annual workforce survey of teacher and school staff.

Have a read of the article.

How does it relate to your setting?