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

at Leicester and UN

February 19, 2016
by Jean

#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.


February 19, 2015
by Jean

Congratulations to our graduates!

Last Sunday many of attended the School of Education graduation ceremony at the Derngate in Northampton. As

Tina, Kim, Helen, Janet, Siobhan from the UN group (FDLT)

Tina, Kim, Helen, Louise, Janet, Siobhan from the UN group (FDLT)

tutors we are lucky to sit on the stage and watch as our students receive their FDLT and BALT awards. This is such a proud moment for them, their families and for us.

As Admissions Tutor for FDLT I have met all of the students at the very beginning of their plans to do a degree – to see them achieve this is wonderful. As tutors we know that this represents a huge amount of work and changes to their family life to make it possible.

The students in this photo said “we’re happy to say it was extremely worth it and a good end to the FDLT. Coming to the FDLT graduation was a good boost to finish BALT, and we’re determined to finish now. It was such an enjoyable day and lovely to spend a proud day with all the family: they have to put up with so much throughout the year and we couldn’t do it without them.”

Lianne Lever, a student from the BALT group , gave the address from students at the end of the ceremony and acknowledged the support from their families which has been such a vital part of the experience.

If any of you have photos you’d like to share do send them to me and I will add them here.

February 9, 2014
by Jean


Each year when we attend graduation we are reminded of the extraordinary achievements of our students on FDLT and BALT!

This morning Julie Jones, Alison Flint, Wendy  Yarnall and I were privileged to see our FDLT students 2011-13 and our BALT students 2010-13 graduate at the Derngate in Northampton. As academics we look on from the stage as our cohorts of students take the stage one by one to be congratulated by the Chancellor of the University of Northampton and receive their degree certificates.


When we see our students for each one we can recall their interview and their progress through the first tentative steps when writing a 1000 word essay seemed like such a huge challenge and it seemed like such a juggling act to manage family, work in school and university assignments. We’ve seen such development and change in them so its great to see them at this formal recognition of all their work. Today it seemed like our students got so many cheers and whoops from family and friends as they crossed the stage – their families have been such support to them all the way through. We were especially proud that one of our students gave the vote of thanks!

After the ceremony we were so pleased to see happy graduates, meet families and catch up with what they are doing now.


We, the staff of the FDLT and BALT, wish our graduates every success with their future plans.