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

at Leicester and UN

January 6, 2017
by Jean
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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all blog readers!

This is a time of year when although its only half way through the education year we often feel inclined to review, reflect and make resolutions to improve our lives.

If you’re on Twitter look up #nuture1617 where you can read the reflections of educators on their 2016 resolutions and what they intend to do in 2017. They often explore the difficult blanace between home and work life which is a challenge for everyone working in education.

Here’s a link to an article about the importance of training for teaching assistants: Why Training TAs is vital to improve standards in literacy and numeracy.

December 12, 2016
by Jean
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OFSTED and marking

In a blog post on November 28th I discussed the recent School Inspection Update as regards deployment of teaching assistants. Also in that document was some discussion of marking:

“The last three school inspection updates have included information about our myth-busting work, including drawing attention to the reports from the DfE’s Workload Challenge review groups that looked at marking, planning and data management.
As I have said before, marking has proved to be one of the harder myths to bust. In part, this has been because we have continued to report on it extensively at some inspections, especially with reference to areas for improvement in previous inspection reports from some time ago. I remain concerned that we continue to see some inspection reporting which gives the impression that more detailed or more elaborate marking is required, or indeed that it is effective in promoting pupils’ achievement. Inspectors must not give the impression that marking needs to be undertaken in any particular format and to any particular degree of sophistication or detail; the reference to marking on page 10 of the school inspection handbook deals with this.

As both the Workload Review group on marking (March 2016)  and the Education Endowment Foundation (April 2016)  reported, there is remarkably little high quality, relevant research evidence to suggest that detailed or extensive marking has any significant impact on pupils’ learning. So until such evidence is available, and regardless of any area for improvement identified at the previous inspection, please do not report on marking practice, or make judgements on it, other than whether it follows the school’s assessment policy. Also, please do not seek to attribute the degree of progress that pupils have made to marking that you consider to be either effective or ineffective. When reporting, please do not make recommendations for improvement that involve marking, other than when the school’s marking/assessment policy is not being followed by a substantial proportion of teachers; this will then be an issue for the leadership and management to resolve” (OFSTED, 2016, p1-2).

You might find this useful to consider in relation to the marking policy of your school and specifically for FDLT year 1 students working on the PDT 1004 Assessment Project.

Link to the Teacher Workload: Marking Policy Review Group

Link to the Education Endowment Fund Resources on Marking

Reference:

OFSTED (2016) School Inspection Update. Issue 8. [online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-inspection-newsletter-2015-to-2016 [Accessed: 12th December 2016]

November 3, 2016
by Jean
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The power of reading – website recommendation

Many teaching assistants are involved in supporting pupils in learning to read and maintaining a positive attitude to reading. The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) website is a great resource for reading and reading ideas.

clpe

CLPE, 2016

“The CLPE is an independent UK charity with a global reputation for the quality of our research into literacy and teaching. Our work promotes high standards in the teaching of literacy. We particularly emphasise the importance of books and literature in enabling children to become confident, happy and enthusiastic readers and writers, with all the benefits this brings.”

The website shares courses, events, projects, publications and resources related to reading. If you register on the site you can access to some free teaching and support materials focused on specific books. This week materials based around The Storm Whale, The Ice Bear and Beegu are available to download.

On The Power of Reading section of the website there are also publications, articles and research about reading as well as guidance on reading development.

You can follow CLPE on Twitter @CLPE1 and like them on Facebook here.

Do you have a website that you could recommend? If so send me the link and short recommendation and I will share it.

References

CLPE (2016) Welcome. [online] Available from: https://www.clpe.org.uk/ [Accessed: 3/11/16]

CLPE (2016) logo image. [online] Available from: https://www.clpe.org.uk/ [Accessed: 3/11/16]

 

October 17, 2016
by Jean
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Exploring formative and summative assessment

If you have just started the FDLT course in year 1 you will be starting to think more deeply about forms of assessment in education.

As well as the academic reading that you are doing you can explore assessment through the resources available on Teachers’ Media. There are a number of short videos exploring different aspects of assessment across all key stages. You can access them all by finding the key word ‘assessment’ in the ‘while school issues’ section along the top of the page.

You can also find some interesting information on the website of the Education Endowment Fund. If you look the theme ‘Feedback and Monitoring Pupil Progress‘ you will find several projects to follow up. These include feedback and mastery learning.

You may have read some of the work of Dylan Wiliam in your work so far. Several years ago he implemented some of his ideas in a secondary school and this was filmed for the two part series ‘The Classroom Experiment’. These can be accessed via YouTube here: episode 1 and episode 2.

 

 

September 21, 2016
by Jean
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Teachers’ Media

tmYou might remember Teachers TV – many of the videos and resources and more are now available through the website teachers’ Media. You can access it here: Teachers’ Media

You will need to create a username and password to access all the materials.

There are a number of videos of interest to Teaching Assistants which you can find by searching for ‘teaching assistant’ in the search box in the top right.

We will sometimes suggest that you watch a Teachers’ Media video as background to a taught session so it is useful for you to be able to access it from now on.

 

 

September 5, 2016
by Jean
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Setting up folders your computer

foldersIf you are joining FDLT year 1 in September you might be thinking about getting organised. Most of you will be studying the five modules shown to the right. You will be introduced to our virtual learning environment, NILE, where the resources for sessions are uploaded for you to access.

It is useful to set these folders up in ‘my documents’ on your computer so that you can download resources into them.

 

August 26, 2016
by Jean
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Back to School!

14114870_1565966197042266_1174246251766030347_oI hope you are all enjoying the last few days of the summer break before returning to school. As well as going back to school you will also be thinking about either starting or continuing your university course.

If you are starting the FDLT course in year 1 your sessions begin in week beginning 12th September. The course leader, Abbie Deeming and I (Jean Edwards, Admissions Tutor) will be in touch by email soon and you will also be receiving emails from the University. Please note that FDLT students are not involved in Welcome Weekend – that is for students who are coming from further afield to begin university life in Northampton.

If you are coming into year 2 your course starts in week beginning 19th September.

Reference:

Pobble. (2016) Teachers’ back to school training. [online] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/PobbleEducation/photos/a.1442637632708457.1073741829.1434540943518126/1565966197042266/?type=3&theater [Accessed: 25/08/16]

August 24, 2016
by Jean
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Using Google to support your learning at university

Using Google to support your learning at university

There are many tools available through Google that will support your learning at university. In order to access and use these you will need a Google account. You can easily sign up for one here:

Google Account

google

 

When you have your Google account you will be able to use a number of useful tools:

gmail

It is useful to have a gmail address to use to sign in and give you access to all the other tools available through Google even if you don’t use it for email.

Google Drive

Google Drive allows you to store documents (files, spreadsheets, slides) in the cloud so that they are available to you online. You can also share them with others so that you can work collaboratively to add and edit your work. We might have a shared document in a taught session that you could be asked to contribute to.

Google+ Account

Google+ allows you join Google communities of people with similar interests. We might set up a Google community for a topic or subject that you can join and interact on, sharing ideas and resources. There are many existing Google Communities that are of interest to students, and people working in education that you can browse and join. This is a link to the Teaching Assistant community run by TA Focus Teaching Assistant Community that could be of interest to you.

July 19, 2016
by Jean
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Starting the FDLT course in year 1 in September 2016

If you have accepted a place on the Foundation Degree Learning and Teaching (FDLT) course (through UCAS) in year 1 for September 2016 you will be in one of two groups:

UN group (Wednesday) at Park Campus, University of Northampton, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL.

or

Leicester group (Monday) at Devonshire Place, 78 London Road, Leicester LE2 0RA.

The year 1 students start the course in week beginning September 12th (Leicester group on Monday 12th and UN group on Wednesday 14th). The day begins at 9am and ends at 4pm.

You will be sent more information during the summer and if you have any questions about your application you should contact:

the Admissions Tutor (jean.edwards@northampton.ac.uk)

and

Admissions (Admissions2016@northampton.ac.uk).

If you are in the process of applying for the FDLT course at the moment and you want to begin in September you need to apply through UCAS clearing and then email your UCAS ID number to both the email addresses above so that we can find your application and arrange an interview.

July 18, 2016
by Jean
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Summer homework

As schools break up for the summer thought will be given to encouraging children to keep learning over the holidays.

Local libraries run the Summer Reading Challenge each year and this year it is part of the year long celebration of 100

srcyears since the birth of Roald Dahl.

The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays. You can sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice to complete the Challenge. There are exclusive rewards to collect along the way, and it’s FREE to take part! There’s lots more information available at Summer Reading Challenge website

Cnlv4jrWEAADRvHPobble have published this list of activities that teachers and parents can use to set fun challenges over the summer. It can be downloaded here: Pobble’s the best homework ever

It could be fun to get the children to design their own list of homework for each other!

You might find that Pokemon Go! features in children’s plans for the summer. here’s a blog post by Mike Watson on Staffrm about harnessing this craze for learning: Bringing Pokémon Go into (or out of) the Classroom

Whatever you choose to encourage children to do, or do yourself make sure you have some fun and have a rest!

 

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