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

at Leicester and UN

March 4, 2015
by Jean
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Get Creative (Part 2 of 2)

You might have heard on BBC TV and radio lots of references to their campaign to encourage creativity called Get Creative!

You can browse the website here.

In the early weeks of this campaign there have been some programmes focusing on creativity and the arts. One was the BBC Four Arts Question Time.

Arts Q timeA panel of leading creative people answer questions from the audience about the challenges, opportunities, failings and future of the arts in the UK.

There was also a radio debate ‘The Front Row Debate’ where John Wilson hosted a discussion exploring the relationship between the state and the arts. You can listen to it here.

You can watch / listen to these on iplayer until the end of March and I have added them to Box of Broadcasts which you can access if you a University of Northampton student.

20 minsIf you explore the Get Creative part of the website you can see lots of ideas for creative activities and articles about related people and issues. You can sign up for the weekly creative challenge – you’ll be sent an email with a 20 minute, an hour and a half a day challenge so you can choose the one that fits the time you have.

 

an hourThis week the challenge is based around colour and looking around us. The responses can be shared with others through the 64 million artists website or by using #BBCGetGreative on social media.

 

 

half a dayI’ve signed up because I think the ideas could be useful for using in teaching as well as in my own art.

The approach – setting an open challenge – could be a useful one in school too. It would be interesting to set the challenge on a Friday afternoon and give children the opportunity to respond at home and at school and then take a look at what they did after a week.

You can also explore Get Creative in your region here. There are lists of organisations nearby that offer creative activities.

If any of you are using the BBC Get Creative resources in school (or at home) comment below and let us know how you are getting on!

 

February 23, 2015
by Jean
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Get Creative! (part 1 of 2)

Last week creativity was in the news as the Warwick Commission launched their report ‘Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth’ and the BBC launched their ‘Get Creative’ celenration of the arts, culture and creativity across the UK.

warwick‘Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth’ is based upon a year long investigation by people working in the arts and culture, supported by academics at the University of Warwick.

It was chaired by Vikki Heywood, CBE, who said:

‘The key message from this report is that the government and the cultural and creative industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and bad for society.’ (p8)

The report can be downloaded here – Final Report You can read tweets about the report and join in the discussion here #enrichinggb

For those of us working in education and schools it is interesting to note that  the report calls on the Government and Ofsted to ensure all children up to 16 receive a broad cultural education and urge that no school should be designated “outstanding” without evidence of an excellent cultural and creative education.

Goal 3 (of five goals) is focused upon fully harnessing the importance of creativity in education and skills development.  Goal 3 states:

A world-class creative and cultural education for all to ensure the wellbeing and creativity of the population as well as the future success of the Cultural and Creative Industries Ecosystem. Education and skills development are essential in order to maximise our nation’s full creative and cultural potential. The key to enriching Britain is to guarantee a broad cultural education for all (through arts skills acquisition, participation in arts and cultural events and enhanced appreciation), an education and a curriculum that is infused with multi-disciplinarity, creativity and enterprise and that identifies, nurtures and trains tomorrow’s creative and cultural talent. The English education system does not provide or encourage either of these priorities and this will negatively impact not just on the future of the creative industries but on our capacity to produce creative, world-leading scientists, engineers and technologists. As the evidence in this report demonstrates, children born into low income families with low levels of educational qualifications are the least likely to: be employed and succeed in the Cultural and Creative Industries; engage with and appreciate the arts, culture and heritage in the curriculum; experience culture as part of their home education and have parents who value and identify with the cultural experiences on offer from publicly funded arts, culture and heritage. (p15)

 

If you are seeking to preserve and enhance and culture in your setting this report contains powerful evidence and arguments to support you.

January 11, 2015
by Jean
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#Nuture1415

#Nuture1415 is a social media based review of 2014 written by people involved in education.

@ChocoTzar introduces it here:

“So, it begins. Although to be fair I think others have beaten me to the blog. This is the third year of Nurture Blogging, which in the Twitterverse is like, forever.

The principles are even more simple this year: five positives from 2014 and five wishes for 2015. Yes, we’ve slimmed it down to make it accessible and sustainable – but if you do want the challenge task, it is fourteen positives from 2014 and fifteen wishes for 2015. If you have a Nurture1314 post you may review that too. Once that is done, post it with #nurture1415

It’s one of my favourite blogging themes. Every year loads of people get involved including first time bloggers. The writing has included pedagogy, leadership, social work, health care as well as far more personal matters such as families, love lives,  mental health and life changing events. Basically, anything goes.”

You can read her whole post here.

This is great opportunity for to read reflections on teaching and learning, lives in education and supporting learners.

You can find many interesting (and moving) posts by exploring a list of links to them here or you can search #Nuture1415 on twitter to find links to blog posts.

Here’s mine:

You might like to write your own #Nuture1415 – five positives from 2014 and five wishes for 2015. It can be a personal reflection for yourselves of if you wish, you can share it using #Nuture1415 or by posting a link in the comments here.

 

December 3, 2014
by Jean
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Film making with Into Film!

Rico and Sophie, explaining how to use the equipment.

Rico and Sophie, explaining how to use the equipment.

Over the last few weeks we have been exploring digital technology with FDLT Y2 students. We were fortunate to have support from Rico Lowson and Sophie Burrows from the organisation Into Film.

In the first session Rico and Sophie introduced animation and shared some ideas to help children understand were the process had come from. This included exploring the illusion of movement created by the ‘persistence of vision’. this can be explored through looking at the work of Eadweard Muybridge, an artist working with photography at its earliest stages, or making flip books, zoetropes or thaumatropes.

if you haven't got a tripod, you can use a clear plastic file stand to hold the ipad still as you work.

if you haven’t got a tripod, you can use a clear plastic file stand to hold the ipad still as you work.

Using digital technology we can now make a range of simple types of animation in the classroom. Rico and Sophie introduced us to claymation (using plasticiene), paper cut-outs and silhouette animations. In the sessions students used the apps imotion, imotionR and imovie to film and edit  animations, and it is possible to use other equipment and software as well. It was very useful (for both students and tutors!) to have Rico and Sophie with us to show us examples and give us practical tips.

The MK group at work

The MK group at work

These included:

  • using imotionR with imotion (through the wireless network) so that one ipad could remotely control another, eliminating movement when the ipad is touched,
  • ensuring that hands were kept out of the picture by having a line to stand behind when images were being captured and some agreed signals for when items could be moved around,
  • taking 5 shots for the opening or for any reading (credits) and then taking 2 shots before moving the items,
  • using the ‘onion skin’ on the app so we could see where each had had been, and move a little, or readjust if necessary,
  • going through and deleting any shots of hands in the imotion app, before exporting to imovie.
UN group at work

UN group at work

Across our groups at Park Campus, Northampton; Beauchamp College, Oadby and Milton Keynes we continued to work on this in another session, exporting them to imovie to edit. We created eight short animations to and they can be seen on this YouTube playlist

Reflecting upon the experience (both as observer and film maker) I was interested in the possibilities for learning inherent in the activity of creating a stop go animation. Teamwork, co-operation and negotiation was vital throughout the process. Creativity, having ideas and making them real, was apparent from beginning to end and there was so much practical problem solving. It was essential to be organised in both planning and filming the animation and there were numerous roles to perform at each stage. As adults with limited time in a taught session we produced enough of a film to get a sense of the overall process but  I can imagine that going from the initial idea to the end product could be an absorbing and rewarding experience – and a film show on a big screen would be great occasion in school!

The Oadby group at work.

The Oadby group at work.

In Northamptonshire there is an organisation called filmnorthants who will screen films from children and adult film makers – this could be a great opportunity for class films. Another possibility is setting up a film or animation club after school or at lunchtime – many children are keen to learn how to do this and pursue it in their own time as well as at school.

The CPD session that Rico and Sophie led for us was a great springboard to having a go ourselves, first with their support and later on our own – you can contact them through Into Film. If you are a school who would like to book training for 15 or more staff, you can email CPD@intofilm.org or ask to speak to the CPD team on 020 7288 4520.

October 28, 2014
by Jean
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Introducing Lisa Shepherd

Hello! I’m Lisa Shepherd and I am one of the tutors on the FDLT course.

Lisa-Activities Co-ordinator.webI will be working with year 2 groups in Oadby and at the University on completing the small scale school based research projects. I have already met with both of the groups and heard some of their great ideas and am very much looking forward to supporting them on their research journeys. I also teach on the SEN and Inclusion course and am very pleased to be a BALT dissertation supervisor for the first time this year. It is such a privilege to support students completing their important and inspiring research projects in education.

I am a Creative Practitioner and Dramatherapist who works with children, young people and adults in a variety of educational and community settings. I devise and deliver projects in schools and specialised educational settings, day centres and residential homes, prisons, libraries, community organisations and charities. I enjoy the process of research and write up my own work regularly. I was very pleased to get my article on the use of comedy as a creative vehicle for expression with young people for whom English is an additional language published in the Support for Learning Journal recently.

My passion is theatre, drama and the creative arts and I enjoy writing for performance, directing, puppeteering and on occasion performing myself without a puppet friend to hide behind! I also enjoy travelling and have worked with children and young people with SEN in the USA and Romania. In my spare time I enjoy making just about anything…sewing clothes and furnishings, up-cycling furniture, making puppets and puppet films and making a variety of strange props for performances by local youth theatre and amateur dramatics groups.

You can follow me on twitter @TheatreTherapy and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Imaginary-Ordinary/403267633048038 where I post about what I am up to and all things creatively and socially minded which interest me.

June 19, 2014
by Jean
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Handwriting

 

2014-05-30 21.35.10A few weeks ago @TeacherToolkit posted an article exploring some issues around handwriting – you can read it here – The Importance of Handwriting

On Twitter during that day a number of people tweeted examples of their handwriting. In the evening I tweeted this photo which led to the 1st of July being named #PenATweet day.

Below are my reflections on how my own handwriting has developed and changed over my life in education – what is your handwriting time line like?

hw1a 001 hw2a 001 hw3a 001 hw4a 001

BqfPIZZIcAAkOcO29th June

We’re just days away from #PenATweet day now!

Ross (@TeacherToolkit) has written a great blog post to get everyone started and you can read it here:

#PenATweet by @TeacherToolkit

I’ve made a ThingLink pointing you in the direction of some interesting links related to #PenATweet and handwriting generally:

Handwriting ThingLink

So here’s what to do on Tuesday:

Capture

I’m looking forward to seeing all the Tweets – don’t forget the #PenATweet in your tweet!

June 15, 2014
by Jean
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Exploring World War 1 with FDLT Y2

Some students explored words - poetry or vocabulary.

Some students explored words – poetry or vocabulary.

This week we completed the PDT2008 curriculum module with an exploration of World War 1. The students used a ThingLink to follow interesting links to stories about World War 1 such as women in WW1, the role of animals, war artists, life at home, local stories, thankful villages and commemoration. You can see the ThingLink here and read more about making and using them here.

One student made a mini diorama, one explored the role of women and two others explored what 'thankful villages' were.

One student made a mini diorama, one explored the role of women and two others explored what ‘thankful villages’ were.

After exploring some of this material the students each used a matchbox as the basis for their response – they had to make a small artefact using or contained by the match box. This idea was inspired by the #moreTEA project happening in schools. You can read more about it here – moreTEA

It was interesting to see the different ideas and stories the students followed as they made their creations. You can see all of them on a Pinterest board here.

Some students explored and represented the roles of animals in war.

Some students explored and represented the roles of animals in war.board here. (I think they’re all there, but if yours isn’t please let me know!)

 

After they had finished their artefacts they were displayed with a title and maker name, and some were annotated with ideas for learning opportunities. Some students are taking the idea into their schools to try out and I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop.

Some students were inspired by the story of the pocket bears.

Some students were inspired by the story of the pocket bears.

 

 

 

 

 

Two students developed their artefacts further by choosing a piece of music to suit the mood of their work – you can see one of the videos here – Animal Mascots

Another way of developing this idea would be to use the app Pixntell to add a recorded description to go with each photo.

 

 

June 7, 2014
by Jean
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FDLT Y1 exploring learning outdoors!

This week each FDLT Y1 group spent a day at an outdoor location to explore the potential for learning outside the classroom. The Oadby and UN groups visited Newton Field Centre near Kettering and the MK group visited Green Park near Aylesbury.

Oadby Y1 2014

Oadby Y1 2014

 

On Monday the Oadby group were lucky to have warm and sunny weather for their day at the Field Centre. Have a look on the Oadby Y1 1014 page for more details.

On Wednesday the UN group arrived amidst pouring rain but we did the river geography activities regardless! More details on the the Oadby Y1 2014 page of this blog.

UNY14.jpg

UN Y1 4th June 2014

The MK Y1 group went to Green park, Aylesbury for their outdoor experience.

MK Y1 June 5th 2014

MK Y1 June 5th 201

To follow up the experience I have made a ThingLink for students to explore. This poses some key questions and recommends some useful reading and websites.

Click here to access it:

ThingLink

 

 

May 29, 2013
by Jean
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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.