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

at Leicester and UN

December 23, 2019
by Jean
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Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

This year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are based around the hidden power of mathematics. They are broadcast on BBC4 at 8pm on 26th, 27th and 28th December and available on iplayer.

Outline of each lecture:

“In Lecture one, Hannah seeks to find the luckiest member of the audience. It seems a sensible plan. The biggest events in your life – finding the perfect partner or a job, staying healthy and happy – rely on a huge element of luck. Or does probability allow us to understand and predict complex systems? 

In Lecture two, we see how ‘chaining probabilities together’ help us to understand even more complex systems. Through entertaining examples, Hannah shows how data-gobbling algorithms have taken over our lives and now control almost everything we do without us even realising. 

In Lecture three, Hannah looks at why maths can fail and asks what the limits of maths are. Are there problems maths can’t or shouldn’t solve? And in an age where ‘fake news’ abounds and statistics can be twisted to prove anything, should we always trust in numbers?” (The Royal Institution, 2019, lines 21-34).

You can find more information here.

There is further supporting information and resources here

These include:

“Structured practice debate kits on the topic “Should our town centre be self-driving cars only?”.

The kits have everything you need to run a debate on a controversial topic. They are set up to help students learn how to structure a debate, back up their opinions with facts and consider other points of view.Our Science Debate Kits (a free STEM resource) develop students’ discussion skills around scientific issues.

They contain 8 debate cards outlining the opinions of fictional characters with an interest in a given science topic, and teachers notes to help you to carry out the lesson effectively. 

https://cars.imascientist.org.uk/#6

and 

I’m a Mathematician, Get me out of here! is an online student-led STEM enrichment activity where students connect with people using maths at the centre of their work.

Funded by the Royal Institution, The CHRISTMAS LECTURES Zone (6th – 31st January 2020) will focus on the themes of this year’s Lectures, including statistics, probability, big data, algorithms and machine learning.

For teachers:

Your class will go online to ask their questions to a range of mathematicians, technologists, engineers, scientists and more.

You’ll need two lessons to run the activity with your class, and can book a live chat at a time that suits your class this January.

Register by 6/12/19 at secrets.imamathematician.uk/teacher-registration.” (The Royal Institution, 2019, lines 1-26)

Reference

The Royal Insitution (2019) About the Lectures. [online] Available from: https://www.rigb.org/christmas-lectures/2019-secrets-and-lies/about-secrets-and-lies [Accessed: 16/12/2019]. 

The Royal Insitution (2019) Beyond the Lectures. [online] Available from: https://www.rigb.org/christmas-lectures/2019-secrets-and-lies/beyond-the-lectures [Accessed: 16/12/2019]. 

December 16, 2019
by Jean
0 comments

Access to TV and radio

As a student at the University of Northampton you have access to a resource called Box of Broadcasts, an On Demand TV and Radio for Education, also called on Learning on Film. 

You can access it here. When you click sign in, type ‘northampton’ and choose the University of Northampton and use your university log in details. You can then choose to record or find and save any free to air TV and radio to playlists. You can also edit them to make clips to use in learning and teaching. 

December 10, 2019
by Jean
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Christmas booklists

The National Literacy Trust have published this useful resource:

 

You can access it here.

They are also sharing the recommendations on social media each day. You can find the full list GoR_booklist_-_FINAL (1).

The Books Trust have also shared their ‘classic Christmas books for festive times’ list. You can access it here.

 

 

 

 

 

November 25, 2019
by Jean
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Resource for study

As you work on your degree you might find this website useful:

Education England

The website is a comprehensive resource of educational legislation and commentary on the political context that surrounds it. If you need to find out where an initiative or approach came from or track back to see how it developed over time you can do this here.

October 21, 2019
by Jean
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The Good Childhood Report 2019

Each year since 2005 the Children’s Society have surveyed children’s views about the issues they face. They say:

“Our well-being research was initiated in 2005 to fill the gap in research regarding young people’s views of their own well-being. The research focuses on positive rather than negative indicators, and on well-being in the present rather than ‘well-becoming’.

Our research aims to:

  • Develop a better understanding of the concept of well-being as it relates to young people, taking full account of the perspectives of young people themselves
  • Establish self-report measures of young people’s well-being and use these to identify the reasons for variations in well-being and to monitor changes in well-being over time.”

(Children’s Society, 2019a, lines 16-24)

You can read this year’s report here.

As people who work in schools it is interesting and informative for you to know more about what your pupils’ views and hopes are. 

This year’s key findings are that:

  • An estimated quarter of a million 10-15 year olds in the UK may be unhappy with their lives
  • Boys are becoming less happy with their appearance
  • Happiness with friendships is in decline
  • Any experience of financial strain or poverty in childhood is linked to lower well-being by age 14.

The Children’s Society note that:

“We are calling on the Government to introduce national measurement of well-being for all children aged 11-18 to be undertaken through schools and colleges once a year. This would enable the experiences of young people to be recorded and issues acted upon for future generations.”

(Children’s Society, 2019b, lines 4-7)

 

Reference:

Children’s Society (2019a) Well-being. [online] Available from: https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do/research/well-being [Accessed: 17/10/19].

Children’s Society (2019b) The Good Childhood Report 2019. [online] Available from: https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do/resources-and-publications/the-good-childhood-report-2019 [Accessed: 17/10/19].

September 30, 2019
by Jean
0 comments

What can we learn from education in Finland?

When you are examining the curriculum, what is taught and how learning is organised, making international comparison can be useful.

In this article in the guardian, journalist Sally Weale discusses the approach to the curriculum and learning in Finland.

As a university student you would want to use links, names and titles to track back to the original sources used if you were considering using this material in an assignment.

This could lead you to look up:

PISA

Pasi Sahlberg

John Jerrim / IOE blog

Finnish National Agency for Education.

Reading these sources could lead you to some useful reading but you should also search in NELSON for additional academic material.

 

September 23, 2019
by Jean
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National Poetry Day coming soon.

On Thursday 3rd October it is National Poetry Day in the UK. There are lots of resources here to support you in doing something at school. You can see them here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are resources, poems, events, as well as a YouTube competition, information about BBC Radio and local poets and research about young people’s attitudes to poetry. 

The education resources can be found here.

There is a Toolkit for schools, competitions and resources for #MyNPDPoem.

There is a collection of poems around the theme “truth” to inspire poem writing and you can send away for resources to use in school on the day here

There are other useful resources for primary and secondary pupils on the BBC Live Lessons website here.

 

References:

National Poetry Day (2019) Website banner. [online] Available from: https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/NPD-2019-Website-Banner.png [Accessed 19/09/2019]. 

National Poetry Day (2019) Education image. [online] Available from: https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/NPD-2019-Website-Banner.png [Accessed 19/09/2019]. 

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