The students who recently left the BALT course noted down some advice for students beginning the course in September.
You can watch it here.
September 4, 2019
September 1, 2019
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).
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
April 16, 2019
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:
All best wishes,
(And the DLaB team at the University of Northampton)
April 4, 2019
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.
March 20, 2019
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.
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.
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]