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

at Leicester and UN

April 30, 2015
by Jean

Using pictures and images to support learning

Over the last few weeks I have been teaching a session about using images to support learning and teaching to FDLT Y1. we have explored searching for images online and issues of safety, copyrightt and citation / referencing. One useful resource is photosforclass which provides a search that is:

  • Safe G Rated Images – All images are appropriate for school setting thanks to Flicker safe Search and our proprietary filters
  • Automatic Citation – Downloaded images automatically cite the author and the image license terms
  • Creative Commons – All photos shown are to the best of our (and Flickr’s) knowledge Creative Commons licensed for school use

This is useful for using to create resources for school use and for using in student work such as in presentations or creating digital artefacts that use photos.

In the session we explored collecting images and placing them on Pinterest boards, grouping images together in arrangements using webtools and apps such as Fotor, PicMonkey, PicCollage and Moldiv. Having made collages it is them possible to make the pictures interactive by using them as a basis for creating ThingLinks. here is an example of a ThingLink I made that explores the kings and queens of England from 1066 to the present day.
You can easily send a ThingLink to other people via social media or from a link. It is worth exploring the ThingLink website to see examples of how others have used it to support learning. You can sign up as a teacher.
We also looked at ways of using QR code makers and scanners to access images, and best of all, we used Aurasma to reveal images linked to objects and pictures.
IMG_0793The way that a video or image can appear on a phone or tablet as if by magic is quite captivating and would appear to have many uses in education.
I made an example based on creatures’ tracks where  a picture of the animal would appear linked to each track.
If you are interested in finding out more about these webtools and apps there are further posts on this blog:
If you have any examples of using them please add them to the comments below.

October 24, 2014
by Jean

stories of assessment

Last week Dylan Wiliam tweeted this:


I know that lots of you have thought about formative assessment as part of PDT1004 and in other modules when you are reflecting upon practice. I know from talking with you in sessions that many of you are involved in formative assessment and  it would be interesting for him hear from Teaching Assistants and HLTAs so please do send him  any stories of formative assessment to the email address he has listed above.

July 11, 2013
by Jean

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.


June 11, 2013
by Jean

the 5 minute plan

Perhaps you have encountered a range of planning formats when you are working in the classroom. Some of you will be using teachers’ plans and others of you may be devising your own plans for activities and / or lessons.

You may have heard about the ‘5 minute plan’ from the Teacher Toolkit website. You can also follow on twitter @TeacherToolkit.

On the website you can watch a short animation that explains the sections of the plan and also look at some examples made by teachers. Here is an example I used when I taught an art session to introduce watercolour paints to a class of Y4 children –

When I have used it I have felt that although it might take 5 minutes to write up this is because I have spent quite some time thinking about it before I write it.  Also I am conscious that I am drawing upon nearly thirty years experience of lesson planning (and teaching).

Here is a blank template for the plan, and there are some other versions of it on the Teaching Toolkit website too.

It would be interesting to know if you are seeing any of the teachers you work with using the format and whether it is useful to TAs who are supporting learning in the class. Have any of you used it when you plan support, activities or lessons? Do comment below or go onto the Teacher Toolkit website and comment there.