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

at Leicester and UN

September 6, 2021
by Jean
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Your first day (FDLT)

We are looking forward to welcoming students to the FDLT course next week (week beginning September 13th). You will have been receiving emails from us and from the university about starting the course.

What should I do before I come to the first day?

Make sure that you have completed pre-enrolment. You can find out more about this here.

Make sure you have introduced yourself to the group on your group’s getting to know you padlet. The information about this was in a blog post made last week and emailed to you last week. Go back to this padlet a few times to read new posts and comment on some to start getting to know each other. You will meet each other face to face next week.

You should contact ASSIST if you have any additional needs relating to disability, medical condition, autism, specific learning differences (like dyslexia) or a mental health difficulty including if you will need assistance during arrival.

What should I bring on the first day?

When you come please make sure that you have everything you need to complete your enrolment. There is information about this here.

Bring a bag as we will be giving you things and you are likely to collect your laptop if you are enrolling as a full time student (ie with no exemptions from modules).

Information about our Covid19 precautions can be read here. Whilst the wearing of face coverings is no longer a legal requirement, we strongly urge students and staff to continue to wear face coverings inside University buildings, with the exception of University Halls of Residence, sports facilities and catering areas.

You should also bring a pen and something to make notes in.

You might like to bring a drink and snacks although there are refreshments available to buy on campus. 

Where should I come to on the first day?

the atrium in the learning hubBoth groups will be coming to the Waterside campus for the first day. The Leicester group will be based at Devonshire Place thereafter. You can find out more about the location and parking at Waterside here.

We will be meeting in the large open space on the ground floor of the Learning Hub. Look out for Abbie and Jean and email Jean if you get lost or need help.

Look out for students whose posts you have read on the getting to know you padlet as well.

There is a map of the Waterside Campus here.

What will happen on the first day?

On your first day you will meet the course leader, Abbie Deeming and another of the course tutors, Jean Edwards. You might already have met or talked with us at an open day or interview. We will guide you through the day. 

We will first take you to enrol and you will also collect your welcome package laptop at some point in the day. 

After that we will have an induction session in one of the large classrooms so we can be together as a group and still appropriately socially distanced. Abbie and I will talk you through key information about the FDLT course and you will have a chance to ask us questions.

What if I have any worries or questions?

It is natural to feel nervous when you are embarking on a new part of your life. Starting at university is a big step but you have all applied for and been offered a place on the course because it is the appropriate next step for you right now. There will be lots of people supporting you at home and at school and you will find that there are lots of people here at university to help you too, both as part of the course and in the wider organisation. 

If you have any immediate concerns or questions email the Admissions Tutor, Jean Edwards, jean.edwards@northampton.ac.uk 

We are looking forward to meeting you next week.

September 1, 2021
by Jean
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Say hello to your new group

Before you start the FDLT course we’d like you to introduce yourself to the group on these Padlets.

Leicester group Padlet https://uon1.padlet.org/jean_edwards/LEICY1intro21

UoN group Padlet https://uon1.padlet.org/jean_edwards/UoNY1intro21

There is no need to have a Padlet account of your own to post onto the Padlet. All you need to do is click on the link above to open the Padlet and click on the pink plus sign to open a box to type into.

You will be asked for a password and this was emailed to you earlier today.

You can also upload a photo by clicking on the upload arrow at the bottom left below the text box.

If you want to comment or ask a question you can do this below the posts.

Please make sure that you have done this by September 10th.

If you need any help with this you can email jean.edwards@northampton.ac.uk 

Below is a short video demonstration of how to make a post. 

August 27, 2021
by Jean
0 comments

Making a digital avatar

You might wish to create a image of yourself that you can use instead of your photo in profile pictures on NILE and other tools that we use.

Here are many ways of doing this. Here are two suggestions:

Face.co

face.co screen shotScroll down to see the first choice screen and start making choices about your appearance.

You can construct a simple face and save it as a .PNG to upload as a profile picture. In this tool you cannot save and edit your image.

 

 

Bitmoji

bitmoji screen shot

Bitmoji is a more sophisticated tool that the one above. You will need to open an account and there are many choices that you can make when generating your image. Once you have decided on your design you can generate it as a face or full figure and choose it in many poses, with or without text. 

You will have seen Bitmoji images used widely on social media lately. 

 

August 24, 2021
by Jean
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Your school context

When you begin to take part in discussion about your setting and begin to write assignments you will need some basic information about your school to provide contextual background. It would be useful if you could collect this information and have it to hand over the opening weeks of the course.

This includes:

Type of School (LA / Academy etc)

Location of school (rural, suburban, urban)

Age of pupils

Number of pupils on roll

Number and type of staff

% of pupils with SEND

% of pupils learning EAL

% of pupils with Pupil Premium

Any unusual or distinctive features of the school

Details about your own role

August 17, 2021
by Jean
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Preparing to start Year 1: reading

You were sent this FDLT course reading list in July:

Made with Padlet

Here are some further 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, Engelman, Bandura 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: 15/07/2020]

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: 15/07/2020]

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.

August 13, 2021
by Jean
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Exploring curriculum documents

Throughout the FDLT and BALT courses you will often need to read and refer to curriculum documents. 

These are some of the key documents:

For Early Years:

This is a link to the page where you can access and download the Statutory framework for the early years.

This is the reference that you will use in assignments:

DfE (2021) Statutory framework for the early years. GOV.UK [online] Available from: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/596629/EYFS_STATUTORY_FRAMEWORK_2017.pdf [Accessed 12/07/21]. 

For primary and secondary:

This is the link to the full national curriculum for all key stages and subjects. It is this document that you should use in assignments.

This is the reference that you will use in assignments:

DfE (2014) National Curriculum in England: framework for key stages 1 to 4. GOV.UK [online[ Available from: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/381344/Master_final_national_curriculum_28_Nov.pdf [Accessed: 15/07/2020].

It would be useful for you to save the relevant links, download the documents and read through the pages relevant to your age group.

You should also all read pages 1 to 13 of the national curriculum as this underlies the subject programmes of study. 

August 10, 2021
by Jean
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Preparing to study: your workspace and computer

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 in year 1 you will be studying these modules:

PDT1065 Pupil Engagement and Assessment

PDT1066 Introduction to SEND, Diversity and Inclusion

PDT1068 English and Mathematics: Core Subjects

PDT1076 Using Digital Technology to Inspire and Support Learning

PDT1077 Work Based Reflection*

PDT1078 The Practitioner’s Role*

* (If you have chosen to take exemption from the work-based modules because you have HLTA you won’t study these modules)

If you are coming directly into year 2 you will be studying these modules:

PDT2016 Using experiences outside school to inspire and support learning

PDT2017 Planning and professional development

PDT2018 SEND, diversity and inclusion: school-based project

PDT2019 Work-based practice: reflective practices

PDT2020 English and mathematics: cross curricular approaches 

If you are starting in the BALT year you will be studying these modules:

PDT3007 Personal perspectives in professional practice

PDT3008 Interdisciplinary perspectives in professional practice

PDT3009 Education beyond boundaries 

PDT3010 Culture and identity in education

PDT4002 Research methods and dissertation

August 6, 2021
by Jean
0 comments

Introducing Padlet!

For new students to the FDLT and BALT courses:

Padlet is a digital tool that we often use for teaching. You do not need an account of your own to use it at this stage. When you are sent a link to a Padlet just click on it and you will be taken to a Padlet board with posts and links to useful information. 

Sometimes we will ask you to post on a Padlet. To do this you click on the pink plus sign at the bottom left hand corner of the screen. A box will open for you to type into. You can also upload a photo and add a link by using the icons at the bottom of the box.

On this Padlet you below you can explore the links but you cannot add to the Padlet yourself. We will be asking you to add to a Padlet later in August. Click below to open this Padlet and then click on each post to go to some useful and interesting websites.

Made with Padlet

 

August 3, 2021
by Jean
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Finding out more out contemporary educators

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 Boaler 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.

July 30, 2021
by Jean
0 comments

Preparing to study at university

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. Having said this there are many useful study skills books so you could have a browse and choose one that you like the look of.

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.