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).
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].
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.
As you begin to study in Higher Education you’ll find that there are lots of sources of support. The Skills Hub at the University of Northampton is one of these. When you have enrolled as a student you will be able to access all of the resources but until then you can access the content under Academic Skills, How to Study and How to Research. You can find the Skills Hub here.
You might also wish to buy a study skills book such as The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell. This is a useful book in your first year, but also has useful sections to use in the second and third years. There is a supporting website here.
As you begin in the course you will find plenty of study skills support available to you through your tutors in taught sessions and resources and people available to you through the university face to face and online.
Our team from the University of Northampton would like to invite you and your staff to join our free online course on What if the sea level rises? Exploring language and culture in a future setting. This course has been developed as part of a European funded project, ‘Digital Learning across Boundaries’, that brings together teachers, student teachers and lecturers in Norway, Denmark, Belgium and England to connect classrooms, and to explore and share technology-related themes.
This is a fantastic FREE resource for primary and lower secondary teachers. It includes case studies of lessons and an international online community sharing ideas. We hope you can join in to develop and share your own ideas on our themes of survival, communication and sustainability.
The course runs for one week starting on May 6th and will remain on our website for teachers to dip in and out of as much as they want.
We hope that this is of interest. You can find out more and sign up here:
Alongside this free opportunity, I would like to let you know that we are recruiting for a new Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Leadership, starting on 20th May 2019. This is a one-year, part-time, fully online course that leads to 60 Master’s credits and can form part of an online Masters pathway open to an international audience. It is intended to develop both subject and leadership expertise, and is designed to accommodate complete beginners as well as those with some existing knowledge in the field. You can find more information here: https://www.northampton.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-certificate-in-digital-leadership
Do contact me if you have any queries about either of these courses:
This week in the FDLT Year 1 groups we have been using the stop motion animation app iMotion and the video editing app iMovie. The students devised, scripted and designed short animations to explain an idea or process. After they had made their film they added music and sound effects from iMovie and sounds made themselves.
The films can be watched here:
It was interesting to see the skills, knowledge and understanding that students used as they worked in teams of three or four. They had to check their subject knowledge and understanding of the ideas and concepts they were presenting. Sometimes as they worked this evolved as they added detail: vocabulary and visual examples. They worked effectively as teams, taking different roles, co-operating, sharing ideas and solving problems. Cross-curricular approaches were evident as students worked across the subjects design, art, science, English, mathematics and computing.
Making stop motion animations allows people to move from passive users of technology to creative makers where the technology is a tool to create.
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.
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.
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]