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

at Leicester and UN

February 3, 2017
by Jean
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Thinking about teaching to the test.

You might be interested to here this short radio piece broadcast as part of ‘A Point of View’ on BBC Radio 4.

Teaching to the test

It asks you to consider some important larger issues that come from the current focus on testing in schools.

October 21, 2015
by Jean
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Assessing Without Levels

AWLYou may have noticed that in mid September the ‘Commission on Assessment Without Levels: final report’ was published. It can be accessed here.

At this same link you can access two videos where John McIntosh CBE, Chair of the Commission discusses the benefits of developing new assessment and Sean Harford, National Director, Schools, Ofsted, talks about inspectors of schools assessment systems.

In addition to this you can explore the Association for Achievement and Improvement through Assessment (AAIA) website here. On this website you can see the development of the assessment without levels approach over the last few years, leading up to this report. You can also see videos of Dylan Wiliam and Tim Oates talking about aspects of the approach and also access the NCTL research report.

If you are on the FDLT course this information will be useful to you in year 1 as you work on the PDT1004 assignment and it will be useful to all students and TAs as you seek to keep up to date with changes in education and schools.

 

February 23, 2015
by Jean
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Get Creative! (part 1 of 2)

Last week creativity was in the news as the Warwick Commission launched their report ‘Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth’ and the BBC launched their ‘Get Creative’ celenration of the arts, culture and creativity across the UK.

warwick‘Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth’ is based upon a year long investigation by people working in the arts and culture, supported by academics at the University of Warwick.

It was chaired by Vikki Heywood, CBE, who said:

‘The key message from this report is that the government and the cultural and creative industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and bad for society.’ (p8)

The report can be downloaded here – Final Report You can read tweets about the report and join in the discussion here #enrichinggb

For those of us working in education and schools it is interesting to note that  the report calls on the Government and Ofsted to ensure all children up to 16 receive a broad cultural education and urge that no school should be designated “outstanding” without evidence of an excellent cultural and creative education.

Goal 3 (of five goals) is focused upon fully harnessing the importance of creativity in education and skills development.  Goal 3 states:

A world-class creative and cultural education for all to ensure the wellbeing and creativity of the population as well as the future success of the Cultural and Creative Industries Ecosystem. Education and skills development are essential in order to maximise our nation’s full creative and cultural potential. The key to enriching Britain is to guarantee a broad cultural education for all (through arts skills acquisition, participation in arts and cultural events and enhanced appreciation), an education and a curriculum that is infused with multi-disciplinarity, creativity and enterprise and that identifies, nurtures and trains tomorrow’s creative and cultural talent. The English education system does not provide or encourage either of these priorities and this will negatively impact not just on the future of the creative industries but on our capacity to produce creative, world-leading scientists, engineers and technologists. As the evidence in this report demonstrates, children born into low income families with low levels of educational qualifications are the least likely to: be employed and succeed in the Cultural and Creative Industries; engage with and appreciate the arts, culture and heritage in the curriculum; experience culture as part of their home education and have parents who value and identify with the cultural experiences on offer from publicly funded arts, culture and heritage. (p15)

 

If you are seeking to preserve and enhance and culture in your setting this report contains powerful evidence and arguments to support you.

November 27, 2014
by Jean
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ECYP book group – first meeting

goodbye-sarajevo-largeThe inaugural meeting of the Education, Children and Young People Book Group took place on the evening of 24th November. The chosen book was ‘Goodbye Sarajevo,’ an autobiographical account of two sisters’ experiences growing up in the Bosnian War of the 1990s.

A stimulating and provoking presentation on the history of Bosnia and on his personal experiences serving there with the RAF was provided by second year Education Studies student John Lewthwaite. This was followed by discussion and debate around the title, refreshments and an interactive question and answer session with remote students and staff in various locations through a live Twitter feed. You can see this if you follow @BookGroupUoN and the hashtag #bookgroupuon

FDLT students were represented at the face-to-face meeting and in the Twitter correspondence.

The next meeting will take place in S036 on 24th January at 17.30. The chosen title is ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’ by Mark Haddon. Copies will be available from Academic Librarian Hannah Rose (hannah.rose@northampton.ac.uk) in the next few weeks and all are welcome to attend.

Tony Smith-Howell

September 1, 2014
by Jean
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The Educators – Tony Little

On Wednesday 27th August Sarah Montague interviewed Tony Little on ‘The Educators’ on Radio 4. The programme is available on i-player and I will add it to Box of Broadcasts.

Tony LittleAs you can see from the programme blurb (left) Tony Little is the Headmaster of Eton College, a school unlike the schools most of us have or currently work at. What do you think about his views and ideas?

Earlier this month his views on the the approach to exams in England led to some media articles including this one in The Guardian newspaper – Exam system unimaginative

The letter that is referred to in the article is one that the Headteacher of Barrowfield primary sent to the pupils and parents of Year 6 in July. This is discussed in more depth in these two posts by Richard Rose:

Thank you for a letter of appreciation

Let not the facts get in the way of a good story

Perhaps your role relates to tests and exams directly or perhaps you have experience of tests and exams personally or wioth a family member. What are your thoughts?

The programme is supported by this link to the Open University website – OU The Educators

April 30, 2014
by Jean
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the context…

When you are studying (ore preparing to study) education it can be useful to learn about the overall context.

There was a useful review of the recent history of education last week on Radio 4. It was called Teachers vs Government: seventy years of education policy. It is available on iplayer here.

r4 edIt is also available on Box of Broadcasts if you are current student.

For me, a teacher whose first job in a school was in 1985, it was interesting to hear the changes I have experienced summarised and discussed. For those of you who have recently begun working in the educational system it is very useful for you to know this background.

July 11, 2013
by Jean
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The National Curriculum 5 – 14

This week the latest draft of the National Curriculum has been published. you can view it or download it here:

The National Curriculum Framework July 2013

You can respond to this document by completing the online response from by 8th August at the link here:

Responding to the NC

This curriculum will come into force from September 2014. You should consider how this curriculum will affect you in your role, how it will affect your school and what it means for education generally.

 

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