A blog for students on the FDLT at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

February 11, 2019
by Jean
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Congratulations to our graduates!

FDLT and BALT students graduate in the winter graduation ceremonies at the Royal and Derngate theatre, Northampton. We send them all our congratulations and wish them well in their next steps!

 

 

 

 

 

February 1, 2019
by Jean
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Activity Passport

You may have seen in the news recently that the DfE have released details about an ‘Activity Passport‘. The announcement reads:”Primary school children will be challenged to go on a nature trail, visit a local landmark or make a treasure map through a new ‘passport’ of activities launched by the Education Secretary to encourage more family time and help build children’s character and resilience.

Endorsed by organisations including the Scouts, Girlguiding and the National Trust – as well as children’s charity Action for Children – the list of activities is intended to support parents and schools in introducing children to a wide variety of experiences and fulfilling activities like flying a kite, learning something new about the local area or putting on a performance.” (DfE, 2019, lines 1-9).

Many of you will have been aware of the National Trust’s “50 things to do before you are eleven and three-quarters” which you explore here

You can access an editable version of the passport here.

You can download the National Trust list here.

Those of you working on PDT1o64 or PDT2016 will be considering how we enrich learning and access resources and places to bring learning to life. What would be on your list of 50 things to do before 11? If you work with pupils over the age of 11, what would your list of 50 things pupils should do between 11 and 18 years?

Michael Rosen provides an alternative view to this initiative here.

References:

DfE. (2019) Activity ‘passport’ to inspire schoolchildren and boost resilience. [online] Available from:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/activity-passport-to-inspire-schoolchildren-and-boost-resilience [Accessed: 1/2/19]

September 5, 2018
by Jean
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Preparing to start your course: what to bring to the first session

By now you will have received an email from Abbie Deeming, the course leader. You will probably be thinking about the first day and what to bring. Here is a reminder:

You must bring:

2 forms of ID for enrolment

You should bring:

Something to use to make notes in

An academic year diary or calendar

You might like to bring:

Food and drink:

A packed lunch or money to buy lunch in the student restaurant / local shops at lunchtime.

A drink and / or money to buy a drink at breaks.

 

Useful information to collect:

When you begin to take part in discussion about your setting and when you 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

Unusual or distinctive features

August 29, 2018
by Jean
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Preparing to start your course: Year 1s introduce yourself

If you are starting the FDLT course in year 1 it is time to introduce yourself to your group before you start the course in September. We’re going to use Padlet for this. All you have to do is click on the link in the email sent to you to open the Padlet for your group.

When the Padlet opens you can click on the pink plus sign and this creates a box for you to type into. You can also add a photo by clicking on the small plus sign under the box where you are typing. Here’s some information about posting onto a Padlet if you need help: how to post.

Just write a bit about yourself and your role in school so that when you begin the course you all know a little bit about each other. There’s no need to create an account with Padlet to post onto one.

August 28, 2018
by Jean
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Creative Kids

Earlier in August there was an interesting program in the Radio 4 series ‘Bringing Up Britain’ called ‘Creative Kids’. You can access it on iplayer here

This is the supporting information:

“Are we bringing up children creative enough for the future they face?

The World Economic Forum forecasts that by 2020 creativity will be in the top 3 most important skills for future jobs. Many children going into school now will grow up to do a job that doesn’t yet exist; faced with the challenges of AI, automation, green issues and an ageing population, creativity and imagination will be vital.

To find out where creativity comes from, how best we can nurture it and test the creative health of the nation, Mariella is joined by Vincent Walsh, Professor of Human Brain Research at University College London, Bernadette Duffy, early years consultant, John Last, Vice Chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts and Innovation Manager Nick Skillicorn.” (BBC, 2018, lines 5 -15)

There are two further programs in the series: ‘dealing with aggression’ and ‘parenting in the smartphone age’ that also might be of interest.

Reference:

BBC (2018) Creative Kids. [online] Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bd7rvt [Accessed: 28/08/18].

August 25, 2018
by Jean
0 comments

Preparing to start your course: digital technology

As a student in higher education you will use digital technology to support you in your studies. We often use Google tools so it can be useful for you to have a gmail account. This is also useful as it can allow to log in to lots of other tools without using your personal email address. You can create a google account here

Some of the tools available are: 

Google docs 

Google slides

Google photos

Google maps

Google + communities 

Many of these Google tools can be used collaboratively so as a group, for example, you might all be contributing to writing onto a Google doc that you all then use afterwards so support your study. 

We also recommend that you use Google Scholar to search for reading materials, rather than using the usual Google search. This search will take you to more academic sources that are useful to you as a higher education student. You will then be able to access what you find freely using the university library resources.

 

As you find resources and reading online you will also need to devise a system of saving and organising links. This might be saving links to a word document, using the tools on your browser or using a bookmarking tool such as Pocket.

As a student with access to the University of Northampton library you will be able to save useful articles and books within your library account. you will be introduced to this in the early weeks of the course.

You might find it useful to have a go with saving favourites or setting up a bookmarking tool now if you haven’t done this before.

 

 

August 22, 2018
by Jean
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Preparing to start your course: social media

Many  of you will use social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and some of you might read or write blogs. You might find some of these useful in your study and support for learners as well as in your personal lives.

There are many teachers, TAs and academics on Twitter and lots of opportunity to share ideas and resources and interact with others. This article is a good place to get you started with thinking about Twitter in education. You can find and follow other TAs and people with interests in the same areas and subjects as well as join in with chats such as #ukedchat which is from 8 til 9 pm every Thursday based around a different theme each week.

There are also many people in education who share ideas and resources through their blogs. An example is Nancy Gedge (@nancygedge on Twitter). She is a parent, teacher and writer and her blog explores her experiences as a parent and educator. You can read it here.

Another example is a blog by teacher John Mitchell (@jivespin on twitter) who uses his blog to share resources and teaching ideas for secondary history. You can access it here. Many of his creative ideas for using resources can be adapted to other subjects and age groups.

Finally a site that many of you may be familiar with is The Literacy Shed. The Literacy Shed has a blog as well as lots of resources based around using film and animation to inspire writing in English and across the curriculum.

If you have a favourite blog or site feel free to add below in the comments section.

I am @JeanEd70 if you want to follow me on Twitter.

August 15, 2018
by Jean
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Preparing to start your course: curriculum documents

As students studying education you will be required to read and refer to the curriculum documents for your key stage. These can be accessed online at the links below.

Early years

You can access the Early years foundation stage framework here.

Primary

You can access the primary curriculum here.

Secondary

You can access the secondary curriculum here.

It will be useful for you to either download and save the relevant documents or save links to them so that you can access them online. You might also read through the one that you work within to get a feel for the contents.

August 8, 2018
by Jean
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Preparing to start your course: Study skills

udy Skills

If you are starting a degree course it is worthwhile investing in a study skills book to support you as you develop approaches to academic learning. The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell is a good choice as it can support you throughout your three year degree. There are many other good study skills books too.

Now would be a good time to explore the early section ‘managing yourself for study’. This will help you think about starting to study in Higher Education and areas such as managing time and preparing for a new course.

There is a companion website with some additional materials to help you available here. In the Resource Bank you can find some audio files about critical analysis and creative thinking as well as a short interactive course called ‘What to expect from academic study’. You might find it useful to explore these resources.

 

Cottrell, S. (2013) The Study Skills Handbook. 4th ed. London: Palgrave.

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