This week our BA Learning and teaching students had the opportunity to talk with a teacher working in an international school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Module tutor, Laura-Jane Devanny, organised this experience to help bring to life the PDT3009 Education beyond boundaries module that they are currently studying.
Simon Clark, Deputy Headteacher at the British International School, Jeddah, talked to the students about his career path since qualifying and completing his QTS year in England. This included working in schools in Bali, China and Saudi Arabia. He was able to share his knowledge and experience about education in other places and the impact culture, economics and politics can have on educational systems.
He started by asking the students where in the world they would like to be teaching right now and there were some interesting ideas shared on the Menti by the Leicester group, pictured here, and also by the Northampton group.
The students also contributed their ideas of what culture is before Simon went to discuss aspects of education in other countries and the part culture plays in influencing how schools operate and how learning takes place in the classroom, as well the impact on day to day life.
Culture shock and how people adapt to teaching in very different places was also discussed. When BALT students are considering their own comparisons they could be considering differences in cultures between countries as a factor in the exchange of ideas and implementation of approaches.
It was interesting to hear about the differences and similarities between what happens in the classroom, links to the local communities and the effect of Covid19 in other places.
Students had the opportunity to ask questions about the curriculum, inspection, assessment and funding.
We were very grateful to Simon for his time and enthusiasm in giving us insight into education elsewhere in the world.
Here’s a great opportunity to hear art educator Paul Carney introduce his book ‘Drawing to Learn Anything’. As he says “Do not be put off using this book if you can’t draw. If you can write your name you will be able to use the simple drawing techniques outlined.” Being able to represent information visually for yourself and to your learners can be such a useful skills when you work in education. There are many opportunities for you to use drawing as one of your teaching approaches when supporting learning in all subjects in the curriculum. You can also use drawing to help you take useful notes and collect information as part of your university course.
We are looking forward to welcoming students to the FDLT course next week (week beginning September 14th). You will have been receiving emails from us and from the university about starting the course.
What should I do before I come to the first day?
Make sure that you have completed pre-enrolment. You can find out more about this here.
Make sure you have introduced yourself to the group on your group’s getting to know you padlet. The information about this was emailed to you last week. Go back to this padlet a few times to read new posts and comment on some to start getting to know each other. You will meet each other face to face next week.
You should contact ASSIST if you have any additional needs relating to disability, medical condition, autism, specific learning differences (like dyslexia) or a mental health difficulty including if you will need assistance during arrival.
What should I bring on the first day?
When you come please make sure that you have everything you need to complete your enrolment. There is information about this here.
Bring a bag as we will be giving you things and you are likely to collect your laptop if you are enrolling as a full time student (ie with no exemptions from modules).
You should make sure that you bring a mask to wear. Information about our Covid19 precautions can be read here.
You should also bring a pen and something to make notes in.
You might like to bring a drink and snacks although there are refreshments available to buy on campus.
Where should I come to on the first day?
Both groups will be coming to the Waterside campus for the first day. The Leicester group will be based at Devonshire Place thereafter. You can find out more about the location and parking at Waterside here.
We will be meeting in the large open space on the ground floor of the Learning Hub. Look out for Abbie and Jean and email Jean if you get lost or need help.
Look out for students whose posts you have read on the getting to know you padlet as well.
On your first day you will meet the course leader, Abbie Deeming and another of the course tutors, Jean Edwards. You might already have met or talked with us at an open day or interview. We will guide you through the day.
We will first take you to enrol and you will also collect your welcome package laptop at some point in the day.
After that we will have an induction session in one of the large classrooms so we can be together as a group and still appropriately socially distanced. Abbie and I will talk you through key information about the FDLT course and you will have a chance to ask us questions.
What if I have any worries or questions?
It is natural to feel nervous when you are embarking on a new part of your life. Starting at university is a big step but you have all applied for and been offered a place on the course because it is the appropriate next step for you right now. There will be lots of people supporting you at home and at school and you will find that there are lots of people here at university to help you too, both as part of the course and in the wider organisation.
If you have any immediate concerns or questions email the Admissions Tutor, Jean Edwards, email@example.com
As you keep up to date with the news you will no doubt be considering how we in education can work for a more fair and equal society. In classrooms using children’s literature as the basis for conversations is a good way in.
This author notes that: “Beyond addressing issues of race and racism, this children’s reading list focuses on taking action. It highlights resistance, resilience and activism; and seeks to empower youth to participate in the ongoing movement for racial justice. Children not only need to know what individual, institutional, and internalized racism looks like, they need to know what they can do about it.” (The Conscious Kid, 2019, lines 22-270).
Another great source of book recommendations in this field is from classroom teachers. Year 4 teacher, Miss Newton (@MissNewton91 on twitter) has shared this presentation of her recommended picture books. You can access it here.Going beyond sharing and talking about stories it is also vital to integrate the black experience across all the subjects that we teach. Miss Newton shared her planning for a Year 4 history unit which you can access here.
From children themselves as readers we can begin to understand how it feels to find oneself represented in the books that are around. Ananya Ganesh, a fifteen year old, had written about this in her blog post ‘We need more #ownvoices books’ which you can read here.
As well working in our individual classrooms in stories and the curriculum there are also organisations to support and develop diversity in education. One of these is BAMed:
“BAMEed is a movement initiated in response to the continual call for intersectionality and diversity in the education sector. All members are volunteers and have committed their time and efforts into creating a tangible support network to equip teachers and leaders with the tools to progress into and through the workforce.
BAMEed connects, enables and showcases the talent of diverse educators so they may inspire future generations and open up the possibilities within education careers.” (BAMed, 2020, lines 3-5).
BAMed is developing regional networks, resources and and a network of speakers. They have collected a useful book list which you can see here. This was curated by Darren Chetty (@rapclassroom), Kaen Sands O’Connor (@ksandsoconnor) and Books for keeps (ABooksforKeeps).
They also recommend exploring Letter Box Library which specialises in selecting and recommending books “in which all children can see themselves and which reflect our world community in all of its diversity” (Letterbox Library, 2020, lines 9-10).
Now is the time to use the amazing stories, resources and networks that we have around us to educate ourselves and the children we support to take action to grow up in a more just and fair world.
If you are interested in exploring the representation of black and ethnic minorities in children’s literature this CLPE survey was published in 2018.
BAMed. (2020) About us. website [online] Available from: https://www.bameednetwork.com/about-us/ [Accessed; 03/06/2020].
Ganesh, A. (2020) We need more #ownvoices books. website. [online] Available from: https://www.ananyaganesh.com/post/we-need-more-ownvoices-books [Accessed; 3rd June 2020].
Letterbox Library (2020) Letterbox Library. website. [online] Available from: https://www.letterboxlibrary.com/ [Accessed 3rd June 2020].
The Conscious Kid. (2019) 31 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race, racism and Resistance. Notew0rthy. [online] Available from: https://blog.usejournal.com/31-childrens-books-to-support-conversations-on-race-racism-and-resistance-9dbabc28360e [Accessed: 03/06/2020].
The Conscious Kid. (2019) A children’s book list for anti-racist activism (image). Notew0rthy. [online] Available from: https://blog.usejournal.com/31-childrens-books-to-support-conversations-on-race-racism-and-resistance-9dbabc28360e [Accessed: 03/06/2020].
Over the last few weeks the FDLT Year 1 students have been making stop motion animations.
They used the app ‘StopMotionStudio’ on ipads to make their animations, and the app ‘iMovie’ to edit them, adding sounds and music.
The students chose an aspect of the science PoS to explain in their animations, using visuals and words to explore ideas such as how water is used by plants; seasonal change; the cycel of the moon and many more.
You can watch the animations on this YouTube channel:
Last week the FDLT year 1 students went on field trips to explore different ways of supporting learning outdoors. Led by Ken Bland and Georgina Hand, they explored fieldwork around a river including mapping the meander, measuring depth; testing speed of flow and exploring water quality. They also took a kick sample of the animal life in the water and used magnifiers to look at the creatures they had found. They explored the clues to the history of their location around the landscape.
Students also used the outdoors as inspiration for poetry and art. As a starter the students played a digital find it activity in pairs. Each pair was given a grid with things to look for, photograph and present as a PicCollage. The grids were based around subject content, subject specific vocabulary, and could be differentiated to the learning of the pupils. It is a good way of getting a group to explore the outdoor where they will be working in without unnecessarily collecting and damaging the environment.
parts of a plant
parts of a tree
parts of a tree
parts of a tree
We also looked at the work of artist Richard Long. The students then had a go at making walking poetry by setting a rule to walk, collect words and explore the outdoor environment. Some students walked ten steps and then looked up and looked down; others set rules related to collecting certain groups or patterns of words. This gave them the opportunity to use grammatical knowledge in a creative context.
two adjectives, noun, verb
number, colour, noun
two adjectives and a noun
two adjectives and a noun
Students also collected one leaf and tried to identify it using books and an identification app on the ipad. After this they had a go at writing a poem around the edge of the leaf. We discussed using scientific as well as poetic language.
We also looked at The Lost Words – see earlier blog post.
This day connects forwards into the PDT2016 learning beyond the school site module that the students will study in 2018/19.
Hobbycraft did some research and found that out of the 10,000 people they surveyed 1 in 5 could not sew on a button, with 52% never taught this at school (Hobbycraft, 2018). This summer they’re running a challenge to bring sewing back into schools.
Teachers can go along to their local Hobbycraft up to 20th July and pick up a free bag of buttons and Great British Button Challenge stickers. There are also lots of button based projects on the Hobbycraft website along with educational resources – you can download the pack here.
If you’re not sure how to sew on a button Hobbycraft have made a video guide to help!
With thanks to a BALT graduate, now teacher, for pointing this out.
Hayhurst, M. (2018)
Hobbycraft issue first Craft Report and launch Great British Button Challenge.
[online] Available from: https://www.craftbusiness.com/news/view/hobbycraft-issue-first-craft-report-and-launch-great-british-button-challen [Accessed 07/06/18]