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

at Leicester and UN

May 26, 2020
by Jean
0 comments

Digital tool: Classroom Screen

I came across a useful digital tool last week, introduced to it by Mat Pullen on twitter (@mat6453). It is called Classroom Screen and it is an online screen that gives you access to many of the tools available on a classroom interactive whiteboard.

blank classroom screenWhen it opens it looks like this image. You can choose from a range of backgrounds, animations, colours and your webcam. 

At the bottom of the screen the tools appear in a bar and these are the tools you can select and use.

They include: a random name generator, dice, sound level monitor, QR code generator, drawing screen, text typing screen, work symbols, traffic lights, a timer, a stopwatch, a clock and a calendar. All of these can be presented on coloured backgrounds, some can modified in size and in other ways and moved around the screen.

screenshot of tools open on classroom screenHere’s an example of a screen with some of the tools open.

This is a great tool for allowing you access to the classroom organisation tools you might be used to having in the classroom but on your laptop or tablet to use use a virtual classroom scenario. It could also be useful to access in a classroom that does not have an IWB but does have a laptop and screen.

At present the screens cannot be saved so it is a use and use again tool.

Mat has made a useful demonstration video that you can access here.

 

 

February 20, 2020
by Jean
0 comments

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. 

June 25, 2019
by Jean
0 comments

FDLT and BALT venue details September 2019

The FDLT Year 1 and BALT groups start in week beginning 9th September, on your venue day. For each group (both UN and Leic) day 1 will take place at Waterside.

FDLT Year 1

Monday: Devonshire Place, Leicester

Wednesday: Waterside Campus, Northampton

BALT

Monday: Waterside Campus Northampton.

Wednesday: Devonshire Place, Leicester

Venue details:

LEICESTER

Devonshire Place, 78 London Road, LEICESTER, LE2 0RA

Parking: the car park is accessed via Prebend Street.

NORTHAMPTON

Waterside Campus, University Drive, NORTHAMPTON, NN15PH.

Parking: Sixfields Park and Ride

Open: All year round.

Location: Claret Car Park and the Saints Car Park, Edgar Mobbs Way, Sixfields, NN5 5JR.

Number of parking spaces: approximately 1500.

Open to: University staff, students and visitors. (Also open to NCC staff, different charges may apply).

Cost: park for free and ride the bus for £1 return.

Payment: pay on bus, contactless, Uno app or buy a monthly pass.

Frequency (peak time): every 10 minutes Monday – Friday, every 15 minutes on Saturday and 30 minutes on Sunday.

Route: west – east shuttle service including the rail station, town centre and Waterside. There is a route to link to St George’s Avenue that requires a change at Marefair (Sol Central pick up on the new 20 service (free intercampus bus) Monday – Friday).

​Opening hours: 6.00am – 10:30pm, Monday – Friday (no overnight stays).​

Full security: on-site security and CCTV system.

Ultramodern buses: luxurious interiors, free Wi-Fi, USB charging at every seat and low emissions.

Real time information: see when your next bus is going to arrive.

December 13, 2018
by Jean
0 comments

A visit to Adventure Ways!

BA Learning and Teaching students last week visited Adventure Ways outdoor education centre in Moulton. The students, all of whom work as teaching assistants, or in similar roles, learned how the centre works with children and young people who have difficulties coping with school-based learning. The students observed the centre’s staff working with groups of young people, and attended a workshop led by the centre’s CEO, Kurt Perryman in which they were faced with a series of scenarios presented by centre staff and some of their clients.

Dom Murphy

February 13, 2018
by Jean
0 comments

News about the QTS Skills Test

You may be aware that aspiring teachers have to sit the QTS Skills Tests in English and mathematics. Until recently if a test is failed three times the applicant would be locked out from retaking it for two years. This week a change has been announced. 

You can read the article in Schools Week here

“Currently, anyone who fails the compulsory numeracy and literary skills test three times in a row is banned from taking it again for 24 months. The rule was introduced in 2012 as a quality filter, but critics say it deepens the growing teacher recruitment crisis.

Now trainees will get an unlimited number of attempts at the test, and won’t even have to pay for their first two retakes, after the the government announced it will remove some of the charges that teachers pay.

Whereas trainees previously had to pay for any attempt after their first, the test will now be free for trainees on their second and third attempts too, saving them up to £77 each.

Refunds will also be given to anyone who has already paid to take the test since October 24 last year.”

(Whittaker, 2018, lines 12-23)

The article was updated today with this information:

“Update: The government has also confirmed that trainee teachers currently banned from retaking the test will be free to do so from Thursday, and will be contacted shortly to be notified that their account has been unlocked.” 

(Whittaker, 2018, lines 53-55)

This will affect students currently in the BALT year who have recently taken the skills tests and those who plan to soon. It will also affect those who failed the test and were locked out.

Reference: 

Whittaker, F. (2018) QTS skills test: Lock-out period and retake charges scrapped. [online] Available from: https://schoolsweek.co.uk/qts-skills-test-lock-out-period-and-re-take-charges-scrapped/ [Accessed 13/02/18]

February 19, 2016
by Jean
0 comments

#UNGrads 2016!

10367177_10153575710793541_4391276880667534799_nLast weekend we had the pleasure of attending the graduation ceremony at the Royal and Derngate Theatre in Northampton.As tutors we always enjoy this opportunity to celebrate the successes our students. We know how hard they have worked to achieve their degrees.

My colleague Dr Emel Thomas said:

“BALT graduation February 2016 was a proud moment for me. I found myself reflecting and marvelling at the achievements of an amazing BALT year group! Three highlights: hearing a speech from the great Baroness Warnock, having BALT student Siobhan Fitzpatrick give the closing student speech and meeting students and their families afterwards to congratulate them. The following statement encapsulates the end of the BALT journey 2014-15 for me:

12715754_10153575710988541_2537240305317720600_n“Keep going, you’ll get there, every moment is your opportunity to add a little more value to your future”.

Emel, Dom and I enjoyed Gemma, a BALT student now on  a PGCE course, telling us about her successful job interview at a school where she had once been a teaching assistant. the sense of her journey having come full circle and her enthusiasm for teaching was evident.

Julie Jones, Leader of Education, Children and Young People, said “Great to know that FDLT and BALT graduates are such confident, strong practitioners, proud of their degree level qualifications which are so relevant to their work-based practice.”

We were all sitting on the back row and Dom Murphy said:

“From my position, seated strategically out of sight at the back, I had a good view of people’s progress from approaching the steps up onto the stage through to shaking the vice-chancellor’s hand, so one of the highlights for me was seeing the expression on face after face after face change from “Don’t trip over, don’t trip over, don’t trip over” to a triumphant smile of achievement.”

12742332_10153575710648541_7439227302883437893_nIt was huge pleasure for all of us to witness Baroness Warnock being presented with an honorary doctorate at the ceremony – seeing someone whose work we have read and quote and hearing her discuss key moments ion education was an unexpected bonus!

12743994_10153575711228541_4032099776935621256_n12743902_10153575710993541_6693255758301349187_nThe students in their BALT year are stil working on their degrees so we hope this experience gave them the recognition they deserve for achieving their FDLT and the motivation to get back to their dissertations so they can graduate with BA honours this time next year.

12717390_10153575710613541_6717725172956473158_nIf you have a story about graduation please post it below or email it to me and I will add it.

 

June 19, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

Study Skills for Academic Success

In July the University of Northampton is running a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called ‘Study Skills for Academic Success’.

mooc

Anyone can enrol on this course – the link is here.

If you are about to start a course in Higher Education this could be useful for you, and if you are moving on to a new stage of university education eg from FDLT Y1 to Y2 or from FDLT Y2 to BALT it could also be of interest.

June 11, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

#ForestFlight

On Monday June 22nd from 5pm until 7.30pm the Northampton Inspire network is holding its final event of the academic year.

The theme is ‘Forest Flight’ – and we will be exploring the physical and digital world across the curriculum and age groups with a focus on steAm (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics). There will be lots to join in with and take away to develop further in school. This time we will be making birds using card and de-constructed electronics, composing and recording music to go with them and displaying them in the Forest School.

Please visit the  Northampton Inspire blog to see some of the Meetings and Teachmeets that we’ve held – there are plenty of resources for your classroom there too.

Free tickets for ‘Forest Flight’ on 22nd June are available at the link.

bird.phpYou might also be interested to follow up the Access Art Share a bird project. There is more information about this here.

How Can Schools Request to Receive a Bird?

Schools can register their interest by sending an email to info@accessart.org.uk. Please note that we cannot guarantee any school will receive an artwork – it entirely depends on how many artworks we receive gifted by artists / makers. Artworks will be gifted by region on a first come first served basis.

If you decide to take part we’d love to hear about how you get on.

May 3, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

Let’s Teach Computing!

From May the 11th you can sign up to the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called Let’s Teach Computing.

Here are the details:

Details

Let’s Teach Computing is a Department for Education funded MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).  It is a free online six week course that will help you to deliver the primary computing curriculum with confidence by sharing practical ideas that you can use immediately in your teaching.

The course has been developed by senior lecturers in Initial Teacher Education, classroom practitioners and trainers so it is full of tried and tested activities that use equipment found in most primary classrooms and free to use software.

  • Week 1: Algorithms and Computational Thinking
    Get to grips with the use of the terms like algorithm, abstraction and computational thinking.
    Identify how computational thinking can be embedded in good primary school practice.
  • Week 2: Programming   
    Identify how to engage children in being able to write predict and debug programs
    Apply programming skills using a variety of software
  • Week 3: Programming physical devices    
    Illustrate ways to help children design and write programs that accomplish specific goals including controlling or simulating physical systems
  • Week 4: Understanding the internet and keeping safe online   
    Outline ways in which pupils can be helped to become responsible, discerning and creative users of information and communication technology
  • Weeks 5 & 6: Using technology purposely for learning
    Plan opportunities for children to use technology to produce creative digital artefacts using a range of devices and applications

COMMITMENT:
You can access the course content for each week at any time once it is released. We suggest that in order to get the most out of the course that you spend up to 3 hours a week.

LEGACY:
Throughout the MOOC you will be creating and sharing resources through a Google Community that you will have access to after course. You will have the opportunity to develop networks with other teachers and continue to share and collaborate.

One of the writers of this course is Helen Caldwell, a Senior Lecturer in our School of Education here at the University of Northampton. This is a wonderful opportunity to improve your subject knowledge and confidence in this very new area of the primary curriculum.

Go to the link above to find out more and sign up for the MOOC.

Skip to toolbar