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

at Leicester and UN

November 28, 2016
by Jean
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Teaching Assistants and School Inspection Update.

Last week the latest issue of the School Inspection Update was issues by OFSTED. It referred to the deployment and use of Teaching Assistants (TAs) and this information may be of interest to you. It draws on newer research published by the Education Endowment Fund (EEF) published since their guidance report Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants

It reports on seven projects where “TAs delivering structured interventions to
pupils who are struggling with literacy and numeracy. All seven projects have shown
a marked positive impact on pupil’s learning, typically adding around three to four
additional months’ progress, and creating a compelling case for action in schools” (OFSTED, 2016, p12). You can read about the projects here. You can download a pack of free practical resources here. The resources may be of interest to you as students, TAs and HLTAs although they aimed at schools.

In the OFSTED update it is suggested that these areas should be considered by OFSTED inspectors as they inspect schools:

  • How do senior leaders ensure that TAs are deployed effectively in line with
    this evidence?
  • Are TAs supplementing the work of teachers or replacing them?
  • Is there a well-planned programme of training and support for TAs who
    deliver out-of-class interventions?

These are questions you might like to consider in relation to your own roles.

Reference:

OFSTED (2016) School Inspection Update. Issue 8. [online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-inspection-newsletter-2015-to-2016 [Accessed: 28th November 2016]

November 21, 2016
by Jean
0 comments

Considering the data!

molOn BBC Radio 4 ‘More or Less’ examines the data behind the headlines. Tim Harford responds to listener questions, seeking experts to deconstruct the research and statistics that underpin what we read in the media.

As students you often hear us say “return to the primary sources” and this is what happens on ‘More or less’.  

Last week one of the items referred to  headlines in the popular media about teacher retention. You may have seen these yourself. In particular the listener refers to this page on the BBC news website linked here. . In the edition broadcast on 11th November 2016 the issue was discussed. You can listen to it here and it begins at 11.00 minutes in. It also refers to an earlier investigation of the same sort of question from 2015 which you can listen to here. I’m not going to tell you here what the verdict is – you can listen for yourself. I will just say that you might be surprised!

This confirms that it is important for all of us to consider what we read and hear in the news critically. For you as students it reinforces that need to track down and evaluate primary sources for yourself.

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September 21, 2016
by Jean
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Teachers’ Media

tmYou might remember Teachers TV – many of the videos and resources and more are now available through the website teachers’ Media. You can access it here: Teachers’ Media

You will need to create a username and password to access all the materials.

There are a number of videos of interest to Teaching Assistants which you can find by searching for ‘teaching assistant’ in the search box in the top right.

We will sometimes suggest that you watch a Teachers’ Media video as background to a taught session so it is useful for you to be able to access it from now on.

 

 

September 15, 2016
by Jean
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How important are teaching assistants?

Yesterday (September 14th) on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme there was an item about the importance of teaching assistants.

You can hear it at this link:

Clip from Today 14 Sept at 2:48:30.

I have also made a clip of this on Box of Broadcasts called ‘The importance of teaching assistants’ so you can access it through Bob via the library website.

There are number of interesting points made by Sir Kevan Collins, the Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation and Ross McMullen, a former headteacher.

 

 

September 5, 2016
by Jean
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Setting up folders your computer

foldersIf you are joining FDLT year 1 in September you might be thinking about getting organised. Most of you will be studying the five modules shown to the right. You will be introduced to our virtual learning environment, NILE, where the resources for sessions are uploaded for you to access.

It is useful to set these folders up in ‘my documents’ on your computer so that you can download resources into them.

 

August 26, 2016
by Jean
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Back to School!

14114870_1565966197042266_1174246251766030347_oI hope you are all enjoying the last few days of the summer break before returning to school. As well as going back to school you will also be thinking about either starting or continuing your university course.

If you are starting the FDLT course in year 1 your sessions begin in week beginning 12th September. The course leader, Abbie Deeming and I (Jean Edwards, Admissions Tutor) will be in touch by email soon and you will also be receiving emails from the University. Please note that FDLT students are not involved in Welcome Weekend – that is for students who are coming from further afield to begin university life in Northampton.

If you are coming into year 2 your course starts in week beginning 19th September.

Reference:

Pobble. (2016) Teachers’ back to school training. [online] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/PobbleEducation/photos/a.1442637632708457.1073741829.1434540943518126/1565966197042266/?type=3&theater [Accessed: 25/08/16]

August 24, 2016
by Jean
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Using Google to support your learning at university

Using Google to support your learning at university

There are many tools available through Google that will support your learning at university. In order to access and use these you will need a Google account. You can easily sign up for one here:

Google Account

google

 

When you have your Google account you will be able to use a number of useful tools:

gmail

It is useful to have a gmail address to use to sign in and give you access to all the other tools available through Google even if you don’t use it for email.

Google Drive

Google Drive allows you to store documents (files, spreadsheets, slides) in the cloud so that they are available to you online. You can also share them with others so that you can work collaboratively to add and edit your work. We might have a shared document in a taught session that you could be asked to contribute to.

Google+ Account

Google+ allows you join Google communities of people with similar interests. We might set up a Google community for a topic or subject that you can join and interact on, sharing ideas and resources. There are many existing Google Communities that are of interest to students, and people working in education that you can browse and join. This is a link to the Teaching Assistant community run by TA Focus Teaching Assistant Community that could be of interest to you.

August 8, 2016
by Jean
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Stories and advice from former students

If you are starting the FDLT course in September you might be interested in reading stories and advice from some of our former students. You can access these here:

Advice from students to applicants

July 18, 2016
by Jean
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Summer homework

As schools break up for the summer thought will be given to encouraging children to keep learning over the holidays.

Local libraries run the Summer Reading Challenge each year and this year it is part of the year long celebration of 100

srcyears since the birth of Roald Dahl.

The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays. You can sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice to complete the Challenge. There are exclusive rewards to collect along the way, and it’s FREE to take part! There’s lots more information available at Summer Reading Challenge website

Cnlv4jrWEAADRvHPobble have published this list of activities that teachers and parents can use to set fun challenges over the summer. It can be downloaded here: Pobble’s the best homework ever

It could be fun to get the children to design their own list of homework for each other!

You might find that Pokemon Go! features in children’s plans for the summer. here’s a blog post by Mike Watson on Staffrm about harnessing this craze for learning: Bringing Pokémon Go into (or out of) the Classroom

Whatever you choose to encourage children to do, or do yourself make sure you have some fun and have a rest!

 

January 29, 2016
by Jean
0 comments

Tim Peake – Principia Mission

On the 15th December 2015 Tim Peake left the earth in the Soyuz rocket for a six month stay on the International Space Station. You can see some highlights of the launch day in this video:

The name of this mission is Principia and during his mission Tim Peake will be undertaking science experiments and research on the space station. There are school activities based around science and technology running alongside this mission that could be interesting and inspiring to follow and join in with. These resources can accessed here.

timpeakeTim Peake has a website which can be accessed here.

You can follow him on Twitter @ASTRO_TIMPEAKE If you scroll through his twitter feed you can that there are so many children and schools being inspired by his mission to the ISS.

You can follow his blog for posts about life and work on the ISS here: Tim’s blog.

There’s lots of possibilities for using this event to inspire and support learning in school. If you want to have a go at growing seeds that have been into space you can find details here

 

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