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

at Leicester and UN

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 26, 2019
by Jean
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Preparing your workspace

As you begin university you will need to consider where you are going to study at home and begin to prepare this space so that you are ready to use it from the beginning of September.

There are some hints and tips here that you might find useful.

When you begin year 1 of the FDLT course you will be studying these modules:

PDT1065 Pupil Engagement and Assessment

PDT1066 Introduction to SEND, Diversity and Inclusion

PDT1068 English and Maths: Core Subjects

PDT1076 Using Digital Technology to Inspire and Support Learning

PDT1077 Work Based Reflection

PDT1078 The Practitioner’s Role

You will find these titles useful to label files and set up folders on your computer. 

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.

 

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].

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.

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