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

at Leicester and UN

September 2, 2019
by Jean
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What to bring along to the first week

Today you will receive 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 can check what else you need to bring for enrolment here.

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. If you bring a reusable cup hot drinks are cheaper.

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 of the school

August 26, 2019
by Jean
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Preparing your workspace

As you begin university you will need to consider where you are going to study at home and begin to prepare this space so that you are ready to use it from the beginning of September.

There are some hints and tips here that you might find useful.

When you begin year 1 of the FDLT course you will be studying these modules:

PDT1065 Pupil Engagement and Assessment

PDT1066 Introduction to SEND, Diversity and Inclusion

PDT1068 English and Maths: Core Subjects

PDT1076 Using Digital Technology to Inspire and Support Learning

PDT1077 Work Based Reflection

PDT1078 The Practitioner’s Role

You will find these titles useful to label files and set up folders on your computer. 

July 22, 2019
by Jean
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The Educators

As students about to start studying in Higher Education it is useful for you to know about people who work in the field of education. A useful way of beginning this is to listen to radio programmes such as The Educators. This is available on Radio 4 at here.

 

You might listen to the episode about mathematics educator, Jo Baoler and then try the episode about educational researcher, John Hattie and then just browse to listen to what takes your interest.

As you listen consider how what you are hearing relates to your own educational experience both as a pupil and as a student, and your professional experience in schools.

July 15, 2019
by Jean
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Study support on the FDLT course

As you begin to study in Higher Education you’ll find that there are lots of sources of support. The Skills Hub at the University of Northampton is one of these. When you have enrolled as a student you will be able to access all of the resources but until then you can access the content under Academic Skills, How to Study and How to Research. You can find the Skills Hub here.

You might also wish to buy a study skills book such as The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell. This is a useful book in your first year, but also has useful sections to use in the second and third years. There is a supporting website here.

As you begin in the course you will find plenty of study skills support available to you through your tutors in taught sessions and resources and people available to you through the university face to face and online. 

 

 

June 13, 2018
by Jean
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FDLT year 1 field trips

Last week the FDLT year 1 students went on field trips to explore different ways of supporting learning outdoors. Led by Ken Bland and Georgina Hand, they explored fieldwork around a river including mapping the meander, measuring depth; testing speed of flow and exploring water quality. They also took a kick sample of the animal life in the water and used magnifiers to look at the creatures they had found. They explored the clues to the history of their location around the landscape.

Students also used the outdoors as inspiration for poetry and art. As a starter the students played a digital find it activity in pairs. Each pair was given a grid with things to look for, photograph and present as a PicCollage. The grids were based around subject content, subject specific vocabulary, and could be differentiated to the learning of the pupils. It is a good way of getting a group to explore the outdoor where they will be working in without unnecessarily collecting and damaging the environment. 

We also looked at the work of artist Richard Long. The students then had a go at making walking poetry by setting a rule to walk, collect words and explore the outdoor environment. Some students walked ten steps and then looked up and looked down; others set rules related to collecting certain groups or patterns of words. This gave them the opportunity to use grammatical knowledge in a creative context. 

Students also collected one leaf and tried to identify it using books and an identification app on the ipad. After this they had a go at writing a poem around the edge of the leaf. We discussed using scientific as well as poetic language. 

We also looked at The Lost Words – see earlier blog post. 

This day connects forwards into the PDT2016 learning beyond the school site module that the students will study in 2018/19. 

June 7, 2018
by Jean
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Can your pupils sew on a button?

Great British Button Challenge!

Hobbycraft did some research and found that out of the 10,000 people they surveyed 1 in 5 could not sew on a button, with 52% never taught this at school (Hobbycraft, 2018). This summer they’re running a  challenge to bring sewing back into schools.

Teachers can go along to their local Hobbycraft up to 20th July and pick up a free bag of buttons and Great British Button Challenge stickers. There are also lots of button based projects on the Hobbycraft website along with educational resources – you can download the pack here.

If you’re not sure how to sew on a button Hobbycraft have made a video guide to help!

With thanks to a BALT graduate, now teacher, for pointing this out.

Reference:

Hayhurst, M.  (2018) 

Hobbycraft issue first Craft Report and launch Great British Button Challenge.

[online] Available from: https://www.craftbusiness.com/news/view/hobbycraft-issue-first-craft-report-and-launch-great-british-button-challen [Accessed 07/06/18]

May 31, 2018
by Jean
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Springwatch Wild Academy

Nature live, straight into your classrooms!

The Springwatch team are excited to announce eight new live programmes especially for schools!
Beaming direct into your classroom, the Wild Academy will open for business at 1:30pm on Monday 4th June.

Join us Monday to Thursday for two weeks, where your host Maddie Moate will be meeting exciting guests, watching live wildlife, setting challenges and quizzes for all you nature nuts out there, all live from the National Trust’s Sherborne Park Estate.

To watch and join in, simply head to the Springwatch website from Monday 4th June and watch live online, or via the BBC Red Button service. All programmes will be available on catch-up via BBC iPlayer, so if you miss it you don’t need to miss out.

We’d love to hear from you! Have you found a mystery poo in the school playing field? Are there fragments of broken eggshell under a tree? Have you done something amazing for wildlife in your school? Are your pupils full of ideas for how to help their local environment? Let us know and we’ll mention the best ones live on air!

Live programmes will be shown at 1:30pm daily on the Springwatch website and on the Red Button (channel 301 on older style televisions) on these dates:

  • Monday 4th June
  • Tuesday 5th June
  • Wednesday 6th June
  • Thursday 7th June
  • Monday 11th June
  • Tuesday 12th June
  • Wednesday 13th June
  • Thursday 14th June

More information coming soon…

To get in touch, drop us an email (springwatch@bbc.co.uk) or tweet using #WildAcademy

(From the BBC Springwatch website)

April 27, 2018
by Jean
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30 days wild!

The Wildlife Trust invites you to something wild every day in June: random acts of wildness. You can sign up here to get a free pack including a wall chart, interactive booklet and some stickers. There is also an app.

When you take part you can also share your activity using #30DaysWild and look at what all the other participants are doing. It is a great opportunity for gathering ideas to use in school or at home in the future.

This is my favourite idea from last year:

A scarf showing the temperature for each day with a row of knitting in a colour based on the temperature each day. I have since seen others based on daily rainfall.

 

March 5, 2018
by Jean
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Support with writing essays

You might be interested in some of the blog posts in the ‘Teaching’ section of Tim Squirrell’s blog.

There is one called ‘How to write better essays‘.  In this one he reviews some key areas of essay writing. This is a summary of the contents:

“In this guide you will find:

(1) a 24-hour panic guide for students who’ve made the grave error of leaving it to the last minute and want to know the absolute basics of what they should do to achieve as decent a grade as possible;

(2) a discussion of how to pick an essay question when you have the luxury of choice;

(3) a guide to reading for the purposes of writing an essay;

(4) tips on answering the question properly, including clarification of what on earth it means to “question the question” and why that’s important;

(5) a how-to on structure, which is really easy and almost everyone gets wrong;

(6) a guide to analysis, and how to PEE on your essay in an effective fashion;

(7) tips on referencing properly, including software recommendations that will save you hours;

(8) new to this guide, some insights into how essays are marked and how to make sure you don’t end up with a worse grade than you deserve;

(9) some take-home messages”.

(Squirrell, 2017, p1)

As you look at this bear in mind that at the University of Northampton we use the Harvard system.

He has also made video guides which you can see here.

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