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

at Leicester and UN

June 3, 2019
by Jean
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June is 30 days wild month!

Each June The Wildlife Trusts runs #30dayswild.

This is what The Wildlife Trusts say:

“This June, we challenge you to do something wild every day. That’s 30 simple, fun and exciting Random Acts of Wildness.

We’re giving you a free pack of goodies to help you plan your wild month, plus lots of ideas from your Wildlife Trust to inspire you to stay wild all throughout June (and beyond!). You’ll also get inspiring emails from your Wildlife Trust, invites to exclusive events and a chance to join in on social media.

To get your free 30 Days Wild pack, which includes a wallchart, a poster, an interactive booklet and some stickers to help you go wild, just select who is taking part and take the next step!” (The Wildlife Trusts, 2019).

You can participate as a family, a school, a care home or a workplace and post what you do each day on social media using #30dayswild. As people working in education one of the best things about this initiative is that you can pick up lots of great ideas to use to inspire and support learning.

The Wildlife Trusts (2019) 30 Days Wild. [online] Available from: https://action.wildlifetrusts.org/page/40705/petition/1#sign-up [Accessed: 30/05/19].

May 30, 2019
by Jean
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International connections on FDLT!

FDLT Students Enriching Experiences – Mystery Skype and Zoom Room

This week Year 2 Foundation Degree Learning and Teaching (FDLT) students took part in a Mystery Skype activity and had extended discussions within a Zoom Room.

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After the Mystery Skype task with the UN group on Monday, former UN Education Studies student Miti Mwape shared her experiences of teaching English in China. She highlighted the many opportunities that exist for mature students to work abroad (Teach and Travel in Hunan, China: http://teachinhunan.com/).

Dr Brenda Padilla (Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leónin) and her students scattered across Mexico took part in discussions with FDLT students within a live Zoom Room Video Conference. These online meetings resulted in extensive conservations between students on a range of comparative and international educational issues. The dynamic conversations crossed three continents, with FDLT student Nazia Saeed joining the discussions from India on Wednesday. Students from the Universidad da Vinci in Mexico also took part in conversations.

Dr Emel Thomas

May 22, 2019
by Jean
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Taking the learning outdoors!

Last week the FDLT Year 1 students had the opportunity to use the outdoors as a learning environment.We spent the morning beside the river exploring  and measuring the landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The activities the students tried out are those which pupils need to experience when learning geographical and scientific skills and they also provided opportunities to apply mathematical learning.

We also explored the book The Lost Words by Jackie Morris and Robert MacFarlane – a fantastic inspiration for English in the context of the natural world. There are supporting resources for this here.

In year 2 of the FDLT course students will take part in a module entirely focused on learning opportunities beyond the school site so this experience was a valuable introduction.

March 20, 2019
by Jean
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Exploring nature

There are signs of spring all around us! The Woodland Trust has lots of great resources to encourage children to be nature detectives.

With older pupils you might track the effects of weather and climate change by using the nature’s calendar resources here.

With younger pupils you might use the Nature Detective resources to  observe and explore outdoors here. This spotter sheet focuses on noting the first signs of spring.

 

 

 

 

Another useful set of resources is available from The House of Illustration, who have made a set teacher and pupil resources called ‘Illustrating Science’ based around plant life cycles and spotting nature outdoors which can be found here.

Reference:

Woodland Trust. (2019) First signs of spring. [online] Available from: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/naturedetectives/activities/2016/01/first-signs-of-spring/ [Accessed 20/03/19]

 

February 4, 2019
by Jean
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New sculptures appear at Waterside!

This afternoon the FDLT Y2 students explored the sculptures placed around the Waterside site.

They then chose their own space on campus and made a maquette (the small model that a sculptor would make as part of the design process). They then used green screen technology (DoInk app and Ipads) to virtually place their sculpture in the space, manipulating its scale to fit.

Some of the sculptures are inspired the university experience (learning and graduating).

Some are inspired by the materials themselves.

Others are inspired by the site itself (railway heritage and wildlife).

Continue Reading →

February 1, 2019
by Jean
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Activity Passport

You may have seen in the news recently that the DfE have released details about an ‘Activity Passport‘. The announcement reads:”Primary school children will be challenged to go on a nature trail, visit a local landmark or make a treasure map through a new ‘passport’ of activities launched by the Education Secretary to encourage more family time and help build children’s character and resilience.

Endorsed by organisations including the Scouts, Girlguiding and the National Trust – as well as children’s charity Action for Children – the list of activities is intended to support parents and schools in introducing children to a wide variety of experiences and fulfilling activities like flying a kite, learning something new about the local area or putting on a performance.” (DfE, 2019, lines 1-9).

Many of you will have been aware of the National Trust’s “50 things to do before you are eleven and three-quarters” which you explore here

You can access an editable version of the passport here.

You can download the National Trust list here.

Those of you working on PDT1o64 or PDT2016 will be considering how we enrich learning and access resources and places to bring learning to life. What would be on your list of 50 things to do before 11? If you work with pupils over the age of 11, what would your list of 50 things pupils should do between 11 and 18 years?

Michael Rosen provides an alternative view to this initiative here.

References:

DfE. (2019) Activity ‘passport’ to inspire schoolchildren and boost resilience. [online] Available from:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/activity-passport-to-inspire-schoolchildren-and-boost-resilience [Accessed: 1/2/19]

December 13, 2018
by Jean
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A visit to Adventure Ways!

BA Learning and Teaching students last week visited Adventure Ways outdoor education centre in Moulton. The students, all of whom work as teaching assistants, or in similar roles, learned how the centre works with children and young people who have difficulties coping with school-based learning. The students observed the centre’s staff working with groups of young people, and attended a workshop led by the centre’s CEO, Kurt Perryman in which they were faced with a series of scenarios presented by centre staff and some of their clients.

Dom Murphy

June 21, 2018
by Jean
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Holiday homework

I’ve shared resources and ideas from Pobble before and here’s a great idea for holiday homework. Its called best homework ever 2018. Here’s the first few days:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can download it here. You could use it as it is or use the ideas to make up your own for your pupils.

If you’re on Twitter you or parents can share photos of what happens using #besthomeworkever and @HeyPobble

June 13, 2018
by Jean
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FDLT year 1 field trips

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. 

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. 

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. 

April 27, 2018
by Jean
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30 days wild!

The Wildlife Trust invites you to something wild every day in June: random acts of wildness. You can sign up here to get a free pack including a wall chart, interactive booklet and some stickers. There is also an app.

When you take part you can also share your activity using #30DaysWild and look at what all the other participants are doing. It is a great opportunity for gathering ideas to use in school or at home in the future.

This is my favourite idea from last year:

A scarf showing the temperature for each day with a row of knitting in a colour based on the temperature each day. I have since seen others based on daily rainfall.

 

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