November 2018

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We are delighted to announce the launch of our new film!

For those who are interested here’s the script:

Education, education education

It’s the most powerful tool we have

It has the ability to change who you are

Enable you to be whoever you want to be

To stretch you and empower you

It transforms how we think how we feel and how we behave

It can create thriving communities

Unlock passions that you might never have discovered

It changes our contribution to society

Alters the course of your life

And no one can take it away from you.

How we educate the next generation is the key to our future

Not only as individuals but also as a society.

That’s why at the University of Reading we are really committed to developing caring and professional practitioners

Carrying out world leading research

Training you to transform lives.

Become part of our global community and share our passion.

At the Institution of Education we practice what we teach.


This script resonates deeply with us here at the Institute of Education as we want to provide this generation and those to come with the skills to truly develop and succeed at whatever they aspire to.

We asked Professor Catherine Tissot, Head of the Institute of Education for her thoughts on the film and this is what she had to say:

“I’m really proud of this film as it captures the Institute of Education and who we are succinctly.  This film shows the passion that staff here have for what we do best. It means a lot to us here at the Institute of Education and to me personally. My father used to say that education is the most powerful tool we have and that no one can take it away from you. This has stuck with me my entire life and it lies at the core of what we do here. I’ve shown the video to several people now and they all smile and sigh when the little girl says the line.  It really is a powerful statement and she delivers it much better than I ever could!”

You may already know all about our filming this summer, with the images of school visits and film crews on our social media channels.   

Our partners and staff went all-out to help us make this film and are due a big thank you, especially the fantastic partnership schools who helped us film: the Bulmershe School, Maiden Erlegh School and Christ the King Catholic Primary in Whitley. 

Thanks also to two of our talented alumni: Laura Prime, now working as a Secondary Art and Design NQT and Tayla Sutton, a Primary School Direct trainee. 

And very special thanks indeed go to the wonderful pupils who took part – we could not have made such a brilliant film without you!

So check out our film here: https://bit.ly/2BpM50l  and tell us what you think.

To find out more about what’s happening at the Institute of Education, have a look on the website and at our Instagram , Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

 

 

 

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Staff at the Institute of Education are often called upon to provide expert comment. They actively campaign for change so that passionate educational practitioners have the best environment to work in and that children continue to develop successfully.

Professor Helen Bilton was invited to London on Thursday 8 November 2018 to give her expert opinion on how to develop the early years education profession at the Westminster Education Forum ‘Next steps for early years education: developing the EYFS profile, assessment and priorities for strengthening the transition to primary education’

Read below what was discussed in Helen’s own words.

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Last Thursday I was given the opportunity, alongside seven other panel members to address the next steps for early years education at the Westminster Forum.

Five minutes each isn’t a long time to speak but we covered a lot of ground and interestingly though we didn’t say the same thing, we did in a way.

We each took the subject from different angles but came to the same conclusions which are detailed below:

  • Listen to the experts, not the vested parties;
  • Value children by ensuring the national curriculum fits the early years framework;
  • We need to ensure we have the calibre and number of staff needed to continue with early years education properly;
  • The previous baseline assessment wasn’t workable or appropriate because it ‘didn’t tell teachers anything they didn’t know’.
  • Policy makers need to address poverty in this country and need to ensure families are paid a good wage and live in decent affordable homes;
  • We have a system that heavily values assessment rather than education itself, which needs to change;
  • There are great schools out there achieving great things with children while not having to forgo their principles.

Baroness Perry who chaired the forum was a force to be reckoned with, once Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools in England, she questioned how we have a system that trains teachers in one age phase to then be able to teach any age of child. We should value and keep those people who train in early years.

Although the DfE spokesperson couldn’t stay for the discussions after they presented, they mentioned changes that could cut the workload. I do feel if they had stayed however, they would have seen that not one person, audience or speaker, mentioned the high workload, rather they spoke passionately, demonstrating a deep care for children, wanting to preserve a good education for all.

On the other hand, the Ofsted spokesperson did mention self -regulation and that staff in settings need to articulate to inspectors their understanding of the children in their care.

Going forward, I think we all need to continue to speak to anyone and everyone about education using language that talks about children in terms of growth, development and maturity.

As the campaigning group declares, children are more than a score (www.morethanascore.org.uk).   Moreover, we need to be discussing how we make schools ready for children and as a nation we need to consider what the priorities are for children.

Finally, we need to be pushing for quality professional education so all staff are knowledgeable about child development.

All in all, I came away impressed by the level of debate and the measured discussions. The early years sector has room to grow in strength. I feel emboldened to campaign for change.

Check out the forum here https://bit.ly/2zSjL4E

 

 

 

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Dr Rebecca Berkley, Lecturer in Music Education at the University of Reading started the Universal Voices children’s choir in March 2017.

Rebecca has run children’s and adults choirs for Berkshire Maestros, the Berkshire Young Musicians’ Trust; for Sing Up, Kennet Opera, and Sing for Pleasure, the National Singing Charity. She started Universal Voices so that students training as primary music teachers on the BA in Primary Education (QTS) programme could learn how to run a choir, develop their conducting skills and learn to teach musicianship.  

“I wanted my students to have a conducting placement with an experienced mentor. We teach conducting on our BA Education programme and Masters Programmes but there’s a big difference between conducting fellow students who can read music, and teaching young children in a primary school setting who have mixed abilities and confidence.”

The choir was launched at the Institute of Education Partnership Concert: Songs and Stories in March 2017. With the support of Music at Reading and the Campaign and Engagement Supporters’ Office, this concert brought together 270 children from the Reading area, who sang alongside music education students who also managed the concert. Universal Voices began rehearsals in April 2017 with around 30 children, and membership has risen to 40 as more children joined. The choir has performed regularly at University events like the University Advent Concert, the Big Band Big Lunch, and Alumni Family Funday. In 2018-19 they will present a join concert with Christ Church Choir, and also complete in the Woodley Festival for the first time.

The second Partnership concert in March 2018 was a performance of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, with Universal Voices taking the roles of Noye’s children, a chorus of 250 children from partnership schools and BA Ed and PGCE students from the Institute of Education taking solo singing roles and playing in the orchestra. The whole event was project managed by second year students who got to work with Music at Reading to manage the concert and led rehearsals with our partnership schools. This performance was nominated for a Reading Cultural award as best Community Project of 2018, and won an Institute of Education teaching and Learning award.

March 2019 will see the next round of second year students lead a concert called Animal Crackers. The University Big Band will lead an animal themed concert featuring creative composing and performing projects from children from local primary schools, and songs from the Jungle Book. 

This Choir is funded though the Campaign and Engagement Supporters’ Office and is free for children aged 7-13 to attend. Contact Universal Voices on universalvoices@reading.ac.uk, and follow us on Twitter @UniRdg_UVoices

 

To find out more about what’s happening at the Institute of Education, have a look on the website and at our Instagram , LinkedinFacebook and Twitter accounts.

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Congratulations to our very own Teresa Wilson on publishing her new resource guide with Routledge, Taylor and Francis. 

How To Develop Partnerships With Parent’s provides a practical took kit including e-resources to help settings, nurseries, preschools, children’s centres and anyone working within the early years foundation stage (EYFS) to reflect and develop the knowledge, skills and confidence needed for working effectively with parents, in order to ensure the successful development of their children.

Teresa Wilson is the Programme Director of BA Education Studies here at the University of Reading and has previously been Programme Director of the Foundation Degree in Children’s Development and Learning which offers a module on working with parents. Teresa has extensive knowledge of building partnerships with parents having previously worked at the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners (NAPP), and the National Childbirth Trust (NCT).

When asked why she wanted to write this book Teresa said: “So many things can go wrong with this type of relationship and without building trust with parents there can be detrimental effects on the children involved.”

She continued: “If you don’t have the buy in from the parents then this can cause challenges to developing a relationship with a child because you may lack important information about that child. For example, parents may not feel confident to share information about the child’s needs or home circumstances until they have trust in the practitioners.”

In short, forming a bond with the parents is vital to knowing how best to help that child. Teresa’s book is a brilliant pointer in the right direction.

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