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

at Leicester and UN

September 25, 2015
by Jean

Make it Digital!

midIf you have been watching the TV or listening to the radio you will have heard about the BBC’s Make it Digital activities. The main website is here. There are TV and radio programmes, iWonder activities and opportunities to get involved online and at school. If you click on ‘Get Involved’ at the top on the left you can see many ideas that could be useful in schools and at home.


There are lots of resources to use to explore coding and digital tools and share with pupils including:

  • Code Club – the after school code club for 9 ti 11 year olds – have a look here to find your local clubs.
  • Coder Dojo – programming clubs for young people – there’s one in Olney and one in MK so far.
  • Teen Tech events where secondary pupils work with scientists, technologists and engineers – have a look at this link to see the events happening in your area.
  • resources for primary schools
  • resources for secondary schools
  • the CBBC Stay Safe Online materials

For many of us since the recent change in the national curriculum our own subject knowledge in coding and computing needs developing. In these BBC Make it Digital resources and events there are great opportunities for us as adults and for pupils to learn more and explore the creativity and opportunities that are around at the moment.

feel free to comment below if you use any of the resources and attend any of the activities.


September 15, 2015
by Jean

The beginning of the academic year

Many of you will be starting a new academic year with your pupils, with your own children and perhaps yourselves as students.It s a big step to take and there is a lot to absorb.

At the University of Northampton we have a wonderful resource to support students with their study – skillshub

skillshubThis is an online resource for students to use to find help with all aspects of their university study.

A first step would be to click on ‘essential tools’ where you can find a list of useful starting points. Two that would be good to start with are ‘Your University Login’ and  ‘Introduction to NILE’.

After you have explored these, you could go to explore ‘Using the library catalogue’ in essential tools and ‘Reading Skills’ in ‘Academic Skills’. In Study Skills sessions you will be guided to look at other resources but you can browse any of the resources and use them as and when you want to.

As well as online resources that you can use independently  you can use skillshub to access other support such as group and individual tutorials, telephone and skype appointments.

Below is a ThingLink. You will learn more about what these are and how to make them in the future. This Thinglink gives you lots of links that will be useful to you as a student beginning study at the University of Northampton.

When you start a new course there is a lot of information to absorb so always make a note of any questions you may have and email tutors to ask.

September 7, 2015
by Jean

Mind Changers

Carol Dweck and Growth Mindset

(Radio 4 Wednesday 12th August and on iplayer and BoB)

‘Claudia Hammond presents the history of psychology series which examines the work of the people who have changed our understanding of the human mind. This week she interviews Carol Dweck, who identified that individuals tend towards a fixed or a growth mindset regarding what they can learn and achieve. She also showed that a fixed mindset can be changed, and that once people adopt a growth mindset, they can achieve more.

Claudia visits a UK primary school where growth mindset is part of the curriculum, and sees how children who don’t like maths soon change their attitude at a summer camp in California, once they’re shown that getting the wrong answer actually makes their brains grow more than getting the right answer.

She hears more about Dweck and her work from colleagues Greg Walton and Jo Boaler at Stanford University, and executive head Dame Alison Peacock at the Wroxham Primary School.’

(BBC, 2015, screen 1)

This is an interesting programme for you as students to listen to as it explores how the ideas and research of academics are applied in the classroom. Some of you may be experiencing the application of a growth mindset approach in your schools or your children’s schools. Do you think it also has an application to yourselves as university students?


BBC (2015) Mind Changers: Carol Dweck and Growth Mindset. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b062jsn7 [Accessed: 03/09/15]

September 3, 2015
by Jean

Boosting your child’s IQ

Boosting your child’s IQ

(Wednesday September 2nd at 9am and available on radio 4, iplayer and BoB)

Programme description:

‘As summer ends and children trade flip flops for school shoes, Mariella Frostrup starts the new academic year exploring what can affect a child’s IQ.

Parents who read to their children, talk at the dinner table and help with homework might have happy offspring, but will they be making them smarter?

In the light of research into the influence of genes, Mariella and her guests debate the role of parenting on intelligence. They explore recent research into the effect of exercise and sleep and ask what difference can breastfeeding, flashcards, violin lessons and superfoods really make.

For the first in a new series of Radio 4’s parenting programme, Mariella is joined by Dr Stuart Richie, Postdoctoral Fellow in Cognitive Ageing at the University of Edinburgh, writer and consultant Sue Palmer, Dr Sophie von Stumm, Lecturer in Psychology at Goldsmiths and Director of their Hungry Mind Lab, and Hilary Wilce, writer, advice columnist and coach.’

(BBC, 2015, Screen 1)

This programme is interesting for you as students to listen to because you can hear people with a range of views discussing and debating the research and evidence surrounding this issue. Listen for how they express their views, how they use evidence to support or dispute views and think about how you are swayed by their arguments. Is it what they say, or how they say it?


BBC (2015) Boosting your child’s IQ. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0680g5x [Accessed 03/09/15]