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

at Leicester and UN

a screenshot of a teacher in their office over Collaborate.

December 19, 2021
by Jean
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Learning about education in other places in the world on the BALT course

a screenshot of a teacher in their office over Collaborate.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 A screenshot of the Leic group's ideasworld 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.

 

summary of culture shockCulture 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. 

a screenshot of the Collaborate screenStudents 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. 

July 15, 2021
by Jean
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Summer Reading Challenge!

This year’s Summer reading Challenge from The Reading Agency is called Wild World Heroes! You can find out more about it here. There are resources to support it available for schools, libraries and for use in the home so everyone can take part wherever they are. Its a really good idea to keep children reading over the summer and this can help enormously.

Summer reading challenge opening screen

 

 

 

June 18, 2021
by Jean
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A creative finish to FDLT Year 1!

making of stop motion animationsThis week our FDLT year 1 students reached the end of their first year at university. It was great to be able to welcome them back to Devonshire Place and the Waterside Campus, Northampton to work face to face making stop motion animations. As you can see from the animations on the Padlet below they worked creatively and co-operatively to explore this approach and produced some great results. For many of them it was the first time they had made animations.

We used the app StopMotionStudio and there is potential for the animations to be opened in iMovie so sound effects, dialogue and music could be added – most of us did not have time to do this in the session! 

As you can see from the photos here the students have great skills of making, measuring and improvising. This is what makes them such great supporters of learning back in school.

We wish them all a restful and enjoyable summer so that they will be ready for FDLT year 2 in September!

Made with Padlet

May 12, 2021
by Jean
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Drawing to learn anything: no drawing skills required.

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. 

Book a free place here.

Drawing to Learn booking page

November 20, 2020
by Jean
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Digital Futures Commission

Today, on World Children’s Day, the Digital Futures Commission (DFC) has been launched to explore digital innovation with a focus on children and young people and informed by their voices. Their research focus is on:

  1. play in a digital world
  2. beneficial uses of education data
  3. guidance for innovators

You can read the results of a consultation called Children and Young People’s Voices here. The report focuses on the question: what do children and young people value about the digital world and what changes do they call for? in relation to the three research focuses listed above. 

cover of Free Play in a Digital WorldToday the DFC has launched a consultation on play called ‘Free play in a Digital World’ and is seeking views from children and young people, parents and carers, and professionals who work with children.

You can download it here. The consultation opens today and runs until the end of February 2021. If you fall into any of the categories above you can join in by taking part in a 45 minute discussion online. Read more details on p4 of the document. 

You can also read more about free play and why it matters here in a blog post by Dr Kate Cowan who has written a review called The Panorama of Play. As a student you would read the blog post as a way into reading the actual review, which you would find informative for your work in PDT1076. 

October 2, 2020
by Jean
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Black History Month and Black Lives Matter resources

Black Lives matter booklist 9-12The National Literacy Trust have recently shared some resources to support educators planning for October’s Black History Month. The resource Black Lives Matter: Book lists for ages 0 to 16+ features books by black authors and illustrators and exemplify the Black Lives Matters movement. They are organised in in lists for 0 to 4 years, 5 to 8 years, 9 to 12 years, 13 to 16 years and 16+. 

The resource can be accessed here.

Another resource, part of the Words for Life series, is called “Learn to be an anti-racist”. This collects together a number of resources to use with children in making sense of the news and hear from those who have experienced racism. These can be accessed here.


BLM watch and learn

September 24, 2020
by Jean
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Applying for the FDLT and BALT courses to start in September 2021.

The Learning Hub

The Learning Hub, Waterside Campus

We are now accepting applications for the FDLT and BALT courses starting in September 2021. If you work in a supporting role in an educational setting and are interested in studying for a degree at the University of Northampton you are most welcome to come to our Open Day on Saturday 26th September from 10am until 2pm online. 

The courses are taught on one day a week and are taught in both Northampton and Leicester venues.

You can find out more about it and book a place here

You can find out more about the FDLT course here and the BALT course here

There are some FAQs about the FDLT course here and about the BALT course here.

In September 2021 we teach the FDLT Year 1 course in Northampton on Mondays and in Leicester on Wednesdays; FDLT year 2 in Northampton on Thursdays and in Leicester on Tuesdays and the BALT course in Northampton on Wednesdays and Leicester on Mondays (subject to numbers).

Do come along to talk with our tutors at the upcoming Open Days or email me, jean.edwards@northampton.ac.uk if you would like to talk about the courses further.

September 18, 2020
by Jean
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New resources from the National Literacy Trust.

This week the National Literacy trust launched two new online resources to support families and educators.

authors of the week

NLT, 2020c

The first is called Virtual School Library. You can access it here

Each week the Virtual School Library will introduce a children’s author or illustrator and share books, videos and recommended reads.

Here’s an example from this week (w/b September 14th 2020).

Words for Life resources

NLT, 2020b

The second is called Words for Life. You can access it here. Words for Life provides resources “for parents, children and young people to improve their language, literacy and communication skills from home” (NLT, 2020a, lines 3-5).

The resources can be accessed by age group and are practical and engaging. 

 

 

References

National Literacy Trust. (2020a) Words for Life. [online] Available from: https://wordsforlife.org.uk/ [Accessed: 18/09/2020].

National Literacy Trust. (2020b) Happiness and wellbeing. Words for life. [online] Available from: https://wordsforlife.org.uk/ [Accessed: 18/09/2020].

National Literacy Trust. (2020c) Current authors of the week. Virtual library. [online] Available from: https://wordsforlife.org.uk/virtual-school-library/authors/ [Accessed: 18/09/2020].