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

at Leicester and UN

March 17, 2020
by Jean
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Learning at home

If you are a TA or HLTA you might be involved preparing work packs or ideas to support learning at home in the coming weeks or months. On the Padlet below are and links to activities and resources that you might find useful. These include:

  • Non digital resources that can be photocopied and handed out to pupils. Some of these are in formats that can be used as a model and applied to a range of subjects and age groups.
  • Digital tools that are already free or are offering temporary free access.
  • Advice about safeguarding, planning and news.

It will be important to consider the practicalities of staff, parents and pupils learning to use new tools in short period of time. It could be more user friendly to stick with whatever they are familiar with.

Made with Padlet

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 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]. 

September 1, 2019
by Jean
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The Secret History of a School

Recommendation from one of our colleagues, Paul Sedgwick:

The Secret History of a School on BBC Radio 4.

“Alan Johnson, the former Education Secretary, tells the story of English education over the last 140 years through the prism of one school – St Michael and All Angels in Camberwell.

Over the decades, the school has undergone many transformations, including names, in response to changes in policy, but its purpose has remained constant – to provide decent and free education to local children.

The story is told through original documents – from headmasters’ logs and inspection reports – and the testimony of the children and teachers who went there. It is as much a social history of inner-city life down the ages as it is a study of our attempts to educate the children of poor families.”

(BBC, 2019, lines 3-14).

Reference:

BBC (2019) The Secret History of a School. [online] Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002rk0 [Accessed 29/08/2019].

August 12, 2019
by Jean
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Some reading before you start the course

Here are some suggestions for pre-course reading:

Bates, B. (2016). Learning theories simplified : … and how to apply them to teaching. London: Sage.

Have a look in particular at the sections on Vygotsky, Bruner, Dewey, Piaget and Skinner.  This book is easy to read and each section is relatively short. You will find it useful in a number of the modules that you study.

Also familiarise yourselves with the findings and recommendations of these two research projects:

Blatchford, P., Bassett, P., Brown, P., Martin, C., Russell, and Webster, R. (2009) Deployment and Impact of Support Staff Project, Research Brief. [online] Available from: http://maximisingtas.co.uk/assets/content/dissressum.pdf [Accessed: 06/08/2019]

Sharples, J., Webster, and Blatchford, P. (2015) Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants Guidance Report. [online] Available from: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/sites/ioe/files/TA_Guidance_Report_MakingBestUseOfTeachingAssisstants.pdf [Accessed: 06/08/2019]

You can click on the links in the references above to access these reports. We will be discussing these in one of the first modules that you will study.

 

August 5, 2019
by Jean
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Curriculum documents

Throughout the FDLT and BALT courses you will often need to read and refer to curriculum documents. 

These are some of the key documents:

For Early Years:

This is a link to the page where you can access and download the Statutory framework for the early years.

This is the reference that you will use in assignments:

DfE (2019) Statutory framework for the early years. [online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework–2 [Accessed 31/07/2019].

For primary and secondary:

This is the link to the full national curriculum for all key stages and subjects. It is this document that you should use in assignments.

This is the reference that you will use in assignments:

DfE (2014) National Curriculum in England: framework for key stages 1 to 4. [online[ Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-framework-for-key-stages-1-to-4 [Accessed: 31/07/2019].

It would be useful for you to save the relevant links, download the documents and read through the pages relevant to your age group.

You should also all read pages 1 to 13 of the national curriculum as this underlies the subject programmes of study. 

July 30, 2019
by Jean
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Changes to QTS tests

You might have seen in the media recently that the one of the parts of the teacher training application has changed: the QTS skills tests in English and mathematics. 

The government statement says:

“To support this, the government today announced that it is introducing a new approach to assessing the numeracy and literacy of prospective teachers, which will replace the existing skills tests.

The current skills tests will be replaced with a new system where trainees will be assured against a set of fundamental maths and English skills by the end of their initial teacher training.” (DfE, 2019, lines 4 – 9).

You can read more about this change here.

Reference:

DfE (2019) Changes to the professional skills test for teachers. [online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/changes-to-the-professional-skills-test-for-teachers [Accessed: 30/07/2019].

July 22, 2019
by Jean
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The Educators

As students about to start studying in Higher Education it is useful for you to know about people who work in the field of education. A useful way of beginning this is to listen to radio programmes such as The Educators. This is available on Radio 4 at here.

 

You might listen to the episode about mathematics educator, Jo Baoler and then try the episode about educational researcher, John Hattie and then just browse to listen to what takes your interest.

As you listen consider how what you are hearing relates to your own educational experience both as a pupil and as a student, and your professional experience in schools.

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