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Congratulations to our very own Catherine Foley on publishing her new book, Leading Primary Mathematics with SAGE.

Catherine Foley is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at the Institute of Education, University of Reading. She currently leads the school-based Primary School Direct programme and the mathematics teaching within primary post-graduate initial teacher training.
Her doctoral research focused upon the study of girls’ perceptions of mathematics, and she continues to work closely with schools.

When asked why she wanted to write this book Catherine said: “Subject leaders of primary mathematics do a difficult job, trying to balance keeping their own knowledge up to date, being accountable for a key subject area and supporting others alongside their own day job as a teacher. We wanted to provide something that helped them to see how they might make decisions that are evidence-based, allow them to draw on the latest curriculum innovation whilst understanding what it might look like in practice in their school and classroom.”

The book offers expert guidance and insight into ‘what mathematics leadership looks like in practice’ and shows readers how they can develop from a confident teacher into a curriculum subject leader. It does this through a careful blend of pedagogy and practical application, supported by a range of real-world case studies and opportunities to reflect critically on classroom practice.

Leading Primary Mathematics is of particular relevance to:
• Undergraduate (BA Ed, BA with QTS)
• Postgraduate (PGCE, PGDE, School Direct and SCITT)
• NQT seeking to develop into a curriculum leadership role
• Those leading mathematics in their school.

Check it out here https://bit.ly/2HXO28s

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On 26 March 2019 we were delighted to hold a school partnership celebration event at the Institution of Education (IoE), supported by the Vice-Chancellor’s endowment fund.

This event provided the opportunity for us to get together and celebrate our partnership.  Although we could not invite all IoE staff or school partners, we were lucky enough to have a number of our steering committee members, key partners and staff at the event along with alumni and our wonderful Universal Voices community choir. The choir dazzled us with their singing abilities and had us all dancing to the bungalow song.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Fellowes welcomed everyone to the event, highlighting the importance of regional and local partnerships to the university. This was followed by Head of School Professor Cathy Tissot outlining some key points, including: 

  • We work with over 400 schools in our partnership within nine main local authorities (Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Surrey).
  • On average, we train around 400 teachers a year through undergraduate, Early Years, Primary  and Secondary initial teacher training programmes. 
  • Since  the 2012/13 academic year when we moved to the London Road campus, we have successfully trained well over 2,000 Primary and Secondary teachers and approx. 150 Early Years teachers within the partnership.
  • In the latest Ofsted, Initial Teacher Education inspection report, 2016 the inspectors recognised that The partnership makes a strong contribution to teacher supply in the region.”

As Cathy outlined, none of this would be possible without the strong partnerships we have with schools and we just want to take this opportunity again to thank not only those who were able to attend but our entire partnership for making it possible to help shape teachers that are sought after and inspiring.

A special thank you also to our speakers Mrs Lesley Godwin – Head teacher of Marsh Infant and Nursery School; Katie Ray-  a mentor from Prospect School; Elizabeth Langer a Primary PGCE student; and Sam Boseley, a Primary PGCE, SEN pathway trainee. Their inputs inspired us all and reminded us what our school partnership is all about. 

 

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We are excited to announce two new courses for supporting successful learning in schools, one for primary and one for secondary.  

These have been carefully curated by our Online Courses team and online social learning platform futurelearn.com,with the expert guidance of Professor Helen Bilton.

These courses draw on Professor Helen Bilton’s 35 years of experience in teacher training and education, including early years education, outdoor play and behaviour management.

Helen said “teaching assistants play an increasingly important role in the classroom. The courses are easy to participate in and available online so that there are as few barriers as possible to taking part.”

Helen Bilton’s goal in developing these free online courses is to provide  accessible, interactive and educational resources for primary and secondary workers, where they can discover and discuss ideas and examples of good practice with one another.

Helen has designed a range of activities so that Learners leave the course feeling more knowledgeable and ready to try what they’ve learnt within their work.  

Topics include how to manage a classroom and the psychology behind student behaviour. Learners will also hear first-hand from children and pupils about how they explore a learning environment.

Both courses are now open for enrolment by following the link below and will begin on 22 April 2019.

https://bit.ly/2UT9heJ

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An athlete and trainee teacher at the University of Reading says he is grateful for the support that allowed him to compete alongside Olympians at the recent international rowing championships.

Francis Highton represented Team GB at the World Rowing Coastal Championships in Canada in October, after being given special permission to take time out of his studies by both the University of Reading and Wexham School in Slough, where he is carrying out his placement.

This allowed the 27-year-old to compete alongside high-profile athletes like Zoe de Toledo, the British rowing cox who won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, and Louisa Reeve, who represented Great Britain at Beijing 2018 and London 2012, as well as winning bronze at two World Championships.

Francis is studying at the University’s Institute of Education and specialises in secondary Geography. He admitted juggling his studies and being a competitive athlete was a challenge, but was thrilled at being given the opportunity to do so.

When asked why he wanted to teach Geography Francis said: “Geography  interconnects with every subject – literature, languages, history, science, physical education, all of it. I’d like to help students realise this and use this knowledge to make a real difference!”

Francis, from Henley-on-Thames, continued: “It’s been a balancing act and it’s quite hard – harder than I expected. Lesson planning this year has been a lot more time consuming than studying, and I have that extra responsibility of focusing on my students. But I’m managing so far. Everyone is quite invested in how I’m doing and seem to really care.

As soon as I got the opportunity to compete in Canada I spoke to the University and Wexham School. Being given permission to travel earlier allowed me to give my all in the race. I was even given the opportunity to speak to the school about the experience.

It was quite humbling to be next to athletes who have made it to that level. Their knowledge base is really impressive so you can’t help but learn from that.”

Francis finished 7th out of 52 rowers in the Men’s Solo Single at the World Rowing Coastal Championships in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, between 11-14 October. He followed this up by helping his team to 4th place in the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, US – the world’s biggest two-day rowing event involving more than 11,000 athletes – the following weekend.

The opportunity to compete at both events emerged after Francis was part of the Row Zambezi team that rowed 900km along the Kafue river in Zambia this summer. The charity mission was to raise awareness of issues faced by the Zambezi River Basin and the Kafue river. The team carried out water quality tests and made wildlife observations while raising money to help the WWF and World Rowing build a water research and rowing centre there.

Francis, who started rowing aged 15, said he was particularly pleased with his performance at the Coastal Championships due to his relative lack of experience of coastal rowing.

“It was great to race on the world stage in Vancouver,” he said. “I hadn’t done a lot of coastal rowing and the boats are much bigger and heavier. It was a fantastic experience. To finish seventh in the world at something so new and exciting was great.

Francis is back to studying now but continues to prepare for his next race.”I use the gymnasium at the University of Reading’s London Road campus to do circuit training, and when I am on site I like to go running along the river in Reading, as it is a beautiful town.”

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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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Academics worked innovatively alongside their students to create a new module, propelling a team from the IoE to a prestigious honour; the 2018 University Collaborative Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning; one of only three winners of the award this year.

The winning team left to right: Kamilah Jooganah, Jo Elsey, Geoff Taggart, Maria Kambouri-Danos, Caroline Guard and Hilary Harris.

The highly competitive award recognises the talent, vision and sheer hard work that went into the winning projects and is a huge achievement for the project team, led by Dr Maria Kambouri-Danos and consisting of the BA in Children’s Development and Learning (BA CDL), the Foundation Degree in Children’s Development and Learning (FD CDL) and also colleagues from the Centre for Quality Support and Development (CQSD). The idea was to develop a brand new module in the BA CDL – but this time, in close partnership with their students. The team felt that this would set “a useful exemplar to sharing good practice” and this approach to working in partnership with students was a core part of the project’s aim.

Dr Kambouri-Danos, Programme Director of BA CDL said:

“Empowering individuals it at the core of my practice, and this is what this project was about: Empowering students by listening to their voice and engaging them in the development of their own programme. It was hard work, but the outcome was definitely worth it; it wouldn’t be this successful if students as well as staff did not work together in the way they did. We cannot guess what our students need or think, no matter how hard we try. We need to actively engage them in curriculum development processes to ensure quality outcomes. On the BA CDL, our students are our partners, and this offers a very good example of how students and staff can work in partnership to improve, even further, the quality of a very successful programme.”

The team wished to go beyond feedback and further engage students by listening to their ‘voice’ while designing the module. In this way they felt they would, with the students, co-develop a more effective module with clear and student-friendly assessable outcomes.

Jo Elsey, Head of the Early Years Team at the IoE and a member of the team said:

“The most important element of this project is that students have had a real and positive impact on the teaching and learning content of the BA CDL. As a work-based programme it is very important that the programme reflects the children and young people’s workforce requirements in order for practitioners to be able to deliver the education and care that our children and young people deserve.”

The team work that was fostered by student-staff partnerships became a particularly important angle, especially in this programme which sees the majority of its students already juggling full-time family duties, full time jobs and attending University one day a week.

The close collaboration within the team ensured that these highly realistic and time-pressed students’ voices were heard and taken into account while developing the new module.  Their valuable input was further enhanced by going back to the whole BA CDL cohort, who were able to give feedback before the new module was approved and finalised, ensuring a diversity of views and ideas.

Evaluation showed the project’s positive impact on the student experience: all students agreed that it has been very beneficial to take part in this collaborative work, as it helped to develop a sense of belonging and feel part of the community of staff and students working together. The students recognised that the project had increased their engagement, improved the student-staff experience and increased a sense of ownership and sense of belonging for both students and staff.

Professor Catherine Tissot, Head of the Institute of Education said:

“I warmly congratulate our winning team. All of us at the IoE are proud of their considerable achievement. Each member of the winning team has worked hard to drive this project forward and the combination of their considerable skills and knowledge has brought about this excellent result.”

The winning team behind the BA CDL’s new module:

  • Dr Geoff Taggart, Programme Director PGC in Early   Years Practice
  • Dr Kamilah Jooganah (from the Centre for Quality Support & Development)
  • Mrs Hilary Harris, Programme Director Foundation Degree CDL

We encourage enquiries about all aspects of our award-winning programme: please email bacdl@reading.ac.uk for further information, an informal enquiry or details of how to apply.

 

 

Dr Maria Kambouri-Danos

Dr Maria Kambouri-Danos has been recognised for her exceptional capabilities in teaching and learning in the 2018 University Teaching Fellowship (UTF) scheme. She joins the ranks of a number of other members of the IoE to hold this prestigious award, emphasising the excellent teaching and learning that the IoE offers.

The UTF is a competitive award that is conferred on an individual who has demonstrated individual excellence and contributed to the development of teaching and learning within the University. The Fellowship is designed to support staff to further develop and progress in this area. It recognises and rewards excellence in teaching and the support of student learning, and is open to both academic and support staff across the University.

On receiving the news, Dr Kambouri-Danos said:

“I’m very excited and honoured to receive this prestigious award. I’m passionate about student engagement and working in partnership with students is at the core of what I do. It’s great to see that all my hard work and commitment is recognised by the University. A big thank you to all the students and also colleagues that supported me and took part in the different projects, as I wouldn’t be able to achieve this without them.”

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