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

at Leicester and UN

March 27, 2020
by Jean
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FDLT exploring augmented and virtual reality

Earlier in March FDLT Y2 students had the opportunity to explore augmented and virtual reality and consider how it could support learning now and in the future.

The UoN students had a go at using the VIVE virtual reality headset and controls, exploring Google Earth and TiltBrush. They also looked at using greenscreen apps and CoSpaces. We discussed how virtual reality could have the potential to give pupils’ experiences they couldn’t possibly have eg distant places, places from the past, places they couldn’t possibly go and imaginary places. They brought up the points that some children could find it hard to distinguish between virtual reality and real world; the relationship between virtual reality and what pupils experience in gaming and the expense of the equipment along with a need for technical support. We wondered if, over the next ten years. this could become one of our tool for teaching and supporting learning, or whether it will remain something less commonly used in schools.

The Leicester students visited the Van Gogh: the Immersive Experience, where they explored the works of Van Gogh in a digital exhibition. We lucky to be in the exhibition at the same time as a class of young children, who were captivated with the way the pictures had been subtly brought to life digitally. An example was a series of landscapes with a railway line running through which had the train moving through the pictures and then steam from the train appearing around the floor and walls. My favourite was the blossom – petals fell and swirled on the floor. As the paintings were brought to life and spilled out of the frames and onto the walls, ceiling and floor the children became more engaged with the spectacle.

The exhibition also contained the opportunity to have a brief VR experience during which we could see children talking with each other about what they could see. They could also draw a picture, scan it and see it projected onto the wall immediately.

 

 

February 20, 2020
by Jean
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Congratulations to our graduates, 2020!

Congratulations to all of our graduates!

Last Sunday we were delighted to see so many of our FDLT and BALT students graduate from their studies, along with some former BALT graduates completing their journey to QTS and being presented with their PGCEs. 

It was wonderful for us as staff that one of our students, Grace Murphy, made the student vote of thanks.

Despite wild and wintry weather it was a lovely ceremony for graduates and their families. 

December 23, 2019
by Jean
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Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

This year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are based around the hidden power of mathematics. They are broadcast on BBC4 at 8pm on 26th, 27th and 28th December and available on iplayer.

Outline of each lecture:

“In Lecture one, Hannah seeks to find the luckiest member of the audience. It seems a sensible plan. The biggest events in your life – finding the perfect partner or a job, staying healthy and happy – rely on a huge element of luck. Or does probability allow us to understand and predict complex systems? 

In Lecture two, we see how ‘chaining probabilities together’ help us to understand even more complex systems. Through entertaining examples, Hannah shows how data-gobbling algorithms have taken over our lives and now control almost everything we do without us even realising. 

In Lecture three, Hannah looks at why maths can fail and asks what the limits of maths are. Are there problems maths can’t or shouldn’t solve? And in an age where ‘fake news’ abounds and statistics can be twisted to prove anything, should we always trust in numbers?” (The Royal Institution, 2019, lines 21-34).

You can find more information here.

There is further supporting information and resources here

These include:

“Structured practice debate kits on the topic “Should our town centre be self-driving cars only?”.

The kits have everything you need to run a debate on a controversial topic. They are set up to help students learn how to structure a debate, back up their opinions with facts and consider other points of view.Our Science Debate Kits (a free STEM resource) develop students’ discussion skills around scientific issues.

They contain 8 debate cards outlining the opinions of fictional characters with an interest in a given science topic, and teachers notes to help you to carry out the lesson effectively. 

https://cars.imascientist.org.uk/#6

and 

I’m a Mathematician, Get me out of here! is an online student-led STEM enrichment activity where students connect with people using maths at the centre of their work.

Funded by the Royal Institution, The CHRISTMAS LECTURES Zone (6th – 31st January 2020) will focus on the themes of this year’s Lectures, including statistics, probability, big data, algorithms and machine learning.

For teachers:

Your class will go online to ask their questions to a range of mathematicians, technologists, engineers, scientists and more.

You’ll need two lessons to run the activity with your class, and can book a live chat at a time that suits your class this January.

Register by 6/12/19 at secrets.imamathematician.uk/teacher-registration.” (The Royal Institution, 2019, lines 1-26)

Reference

The Royal Insitution (2019) About the Lectures. [online] Available from: https://www.rigb.org/christmas-lectures/2019-secrets-and-lies/about-secrets-and-lies [Accessed: 16/12/2019]. 

The Royal Insitution (2019) Beyond the Lectures. [online] Available from: https://www.rigb.org/christmas-lectures/2019-secrets-and-lies/beyond-the-lectures [Accessed: 16/12/2019]. 

December 16, 2019
by Jean
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Access to TV and radio

As a student at the University of Northampton you have access to a resource called Box of Broadcasts, an On Demand TV and Radio for Education, also called on Learning on Film. 

You can access it here. When you click sign in, type ‘northampton’ and choose the University of Northampton and use your university log in details. You can then choose to record or find and save any free to air TV and radio to playlists. You can also edit them to make clips to use in learning and teaching. 

December 10, 2019
by Jean
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Christmas booklists

The National Literacy Trust have published this useful resource:

 

You can access it here.

They are also sharing the recommendations on social media each day. You can find the full list GoR_booklist_-_FINAL (1).

The Books Trust have also shared their ‘classic Christmas books for festive times’ list. You can access it here.

 

 

 

 

 

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].

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 5, 2019
by Jean
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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 (2019) Statutory framework for the early years. [online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework–2 [Accessed 31/07/2019].

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. [online[ Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-framework-for-key-stages-1-to-4 [Accessed: 31/07/2019].

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. 

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