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

at Leicester and UN

June 26, 2013
by Jean

FDLT Tutor

Hello, my name is Wendy Yarnall and I am one of the tutors on FDLT so I hope to meet you during the year, if not during a session, then maybe as a personal tutor.

I also work with HLTA, delivering the preparation at the University of Northampton and running the assessment across the East Midlands. Another hat I wear is as course leader for CHESL, enabling me to teach mathematics to international TAs. I enjoy working with students across the programmes and seeing their self confidence and enhanced understanding develop which is even more evident when we meet again in BALT where I work on the Debates Module and supporting dissertation preparation.

Before working at the university I taught across the age ranges within Northants, specialising in science and mathematics at secondary level before moving to work in primary schools where my subject interests led me to explore learning outside the classroom as well as the integration of ICT within a creative curriculum.

June 24, 2013
by Jean

The Reason I Jump

This week the book of the week is ‘The Reason I Jump’ by Naoki Higashida. It is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 9.45 each morning and repeated at half past midnight. It is also available on i-player and I will add each programme to Box of Broadcasts too. You can access the programme information here: The Reason I Jump

You can read more about David Mitchell and his translation of the book here: BBC Radio 4 Book of the week Blog David Mitchell

June 11, 2013
by Jean

the 5 minute plan

Perhaps you have encountered a range of planning formats when you are working in the classroom. Some of you will be using teachers’ plans and others of you may be devising your own plans for activities and / or lessons.

You may have heard about the ‘5 minute plan’ from the Teacher Toolkit website. You can also follow on twitter @TeacherToolkit.

On the website you can watch a short animation that explains the sections of the plan and also look at some examples made by teachers. Here is an example I used when I taught an art session to introduce watercolour paints to a class of Y4 children –

When I have used it I have felt that although it might take 5 minutes to write up this is because I have spent quite some time thinking about it before I write it.  Also I am conscious that I am drawing upon nearly thirty years experience of lesson planning (and teaching).

Here is a blank template for the plan, and there are some other versions of it on the Teaching Toolkit website too.

It would be interesting to know if you are seeing any of the teachers you work with using the format and whether it is useful to TAs who are supporting learning in the class. Have any of you used it when you plan support, activities or lessons? Do comment below or go onto the Teacher Toolkit website and comment there.

June 11, 2013
by Jean

New Children’s Laureate

Last week the new Children’s Laureate was announced: Malorie Blackman, author of ‘Noughts and Crosses’ amongst other books.

You can read a Q and A with her here – Q and A

Malorie will be Children’s Laureate from 2013 til 2015. Previous Children’s Laureates include Julia Donaldson and Anthony Browne. The role is awarded to an eminent children’s author or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field. She is keen to encourage and inspire children to read whilst she is is the Children’s Laureate.

Read more about the Children’s Laureates here – Children’s Laureate website


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