Attention all NQTs! Come to the IoE Tuesday 28th Jan 2014

Continuing the journey: A Conference for Primary & Secondary NQTs – Tuesday 28th January 2014

We would like to offer the opportunity for any NQTs in your school to attend a half-day conference to support them within their vital NQT year. This conference will be held at the University of Reading, London Road Campus and is available for any NQT who graduated during 2013.

Alongside opportunities for professional contacts with their peers, the conference will provide subject-specific workshops as well as addressing themes such as behaviour management, transition and transfer or working with parents, and exploring the implications of the 2014 National Curriculum. NQTs can also choose to visit MERL (The Museum of English Rural Life), the National Centre for Language and Literacy or find out about the support offered by pfeg, the Personal Finance Education Group.

Please see the accompanying flier for further details of the conference, including how to register. The cost of the conference is £30, including a light lunch. We hope you will be able to support your NQT in attending this conference.

NQT Flyer 2014



The University of Reading and the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism are pleased to announce the LARSP ACROSS LANGUAGES workshop to be held on 27th and 28th March 2014 . LARSP originated at the University of Reading. It was created by David Crystal, Paul Fletcher and Mike Garman in 1976 and it applied to English. Since then LARSP has been adapted for other languages and most recently, volume has already been published profiling LARSP for a number of different languages (website: with two further volumes in preparation.

Due to the number of researchers working on new versions of LARSP for the ‘Languages of LARSP’ series, we are holding a Workshop and Conference on LARSP so that knowledge can be exchanged, shared and discussed. The workshop is open to not only the designers of the different languages of LARSP, but also to speech and language therapists and those involved in the education of speech and language therapy students, speech and language therapy students and researchers in the field of child language acquisition and disorders.

  • Registration for this event will open from 1st December 2013 Registration ends: 7th March 2014
  • Registration fees: £110 for two days (includes lunch and refreshments) Daily delegates: £60
  • Students: £100 for two days (or £50 per day)

Contact:  Vesna Stojanovik for further details.

For information on accommodation for this event please read this document.

Simon Floodgate – Deaf Theatre History Workshop at Deafinitely Theatre

On Saturday 7th September I led a workshop presentation on (Some) History of Deaf Theatre for the UK’s only professional deaf-led theatre company, Deafinitely Theatre, at the Diorama Arts Studios, London NW1.

Deafinitely have recently established a working group called The Hub composed of professional deaf actors and writers.  The group is formed of both established and up-and-coming artists and they are engaged in a series of workshops and presentations designed to enhance their theatre training and knowledge.  The Hub enables these deaf artists to access training that remains largely inaccessible to them via the majority of available theatre courses and training.

My session was the second in their series and enabled them to reflect upon their own heritage by focusing upon the history of the semi-professional British Theatre of the Deaf (1960-77) and Interim Productions that followed it, (1977-83).

In addition I also took the group through a range of international Deaf Theatre including the first professional deaf theatre company – the Moscow Theatre of Sign and Gesture, and, without doubt, the most renowned Deaf Theatre company in the world, the National Theatre of the Deaf in the USA.

The deaf artists present included Paula Garfield, the Company’s Artistic Director (a Bulmershe College Theatre of the Deaf alumni), and several actors who had appeared in the BSL version of Love’s Labours Lost, presented as part of the Globe to Globe International Shakespeare festival in the Summer of the 2012 Olympic year.  They were able to assess their own practice by analyzing the historical incarnations of Deaf Theatre and theatre incorporating deaf sign language.  Questions of aesthetics and access were vigorously and constructively debated at a time when Deafinitely Theatre is preparing a four year business plan for the Arts Council which will argue for their continued existence and development.  Having recently celebrated their tenth anniversary the Company is, as with most arts organisations funded by the Arts Council, concerned about their future funding.

They have asked me to write an endorsement of their work for this vital document.

Despite the amount of Deaf Theatre and drama there has been within the UK, largely through amateur work in deaf clubs, prior to the end of the twentieth century, the existence of the first and only, deaf-led professional theatre company in the UK is something worth supporting and developing.

I believe the session has also stimulated a range of debate about Deaf Theatre on twitter.

Simon Floodgate

TAEDS’ Vicki Hobbs is off to new pastures

Vicki Hobbs leaves TAEDS after a five year career as academic tutor during which time she used her excellent teaching skills to develop the physical theatre work on the Programme.  Vicki had been a student on the Programme, 2002-05, and used her knowledge of and enthusiasm for the unique Course to support and enhance student work during her time here.  Perhaps her greatest legacy will be the Careers modules and work placement opportunities she has initiated and embedded within the Programme.  This is pioneering in what will be essential provision within the developing landscape of higher education.  On behalf of current students and alumni, colleagues and former colleagues we thank her and wish her well on the next steps of her life’s journey

Simon Floodgate



Vicki Hobbs (right) giving farewell speech, standing next to an international student
Vicki Hobbs (right) giving farewell speech, standing next to an international student

Deaf Learners’ Conference hosted by Ilan Dwek

Deaf Unity, set up by a young Deaf man, Abdi Gas in 2010, aims to reach out to all deaf learners not just in the UK, but all over the world, such as Qatar, Tunisia, etc. Reaching out to deaf youths in the Community, Deaf Unity acts as a gateway and guide to the world of Further and Higher Education, recognising the need for more transparency and support for those thinking about progression into college or university, this Deaf Learners project provides access to events across the country, detailed information and tailored support

Deaf Unity’s first Deaf Learners Conference was held on 28th May 2013 at the University of Westminster in London. The aims of the day were to facilitate discussion and share information about the future of deaf education and access to education in the UK. The conference was also a chance to discuss how to support deaf learners after education in jobs and training.

I was the host for the day and I discussed how to inspire change and empower the next generation of deaf learners through role models, networking and technology; emphasising the need for positive discussion and action.

There were several speakers. The first one was David Chater from The Department of Education, who spoke about what the government is doing for deaf learners. The title of his talk was ‘Breaking Educational Barriers: Providing Deaf People with access to information, resources and support that leads to sustainable achievements.’  i.e. closing the gap for deaf learners. He was then followed by Liz Sayce, CEO of Disability Rights UK, who presented a talk about ‘Breaking Work Barriers: Providing Deaf People with Employment Support to Find and Keep Jobs.’ She discussed the work she has done with Disability Rights UK, and how she has brought many different organisations together to work on breaking down barriers within employment for deaf and disabled people.

The third speaker was Rob Wilks, Deaf Lawyer and head of RAD Law centre, who discussed “Equality for Deaf Learners: Why is the law failing them?” He succinctly summarised the barriers facing Deaf people in accessing legal assistance and gave everyone something to think about in terms of making changes in this area. There was an afternoon speaker, Asif Iqbal, who recounted his education and employment journey, providing us with an example of what can be done with a ‘can-do’ attitude.

The afternoon was action packed, with four workshops with Jane Cordell (Successful employment), Penny Beschizza & Dr Marian Grimes (Communication needs in education), John Hay (History of Deaf Education), and Gary Morgan (Linguistics Research on Deaf Learners).

Four deaf learners gave their accounts of their education journeys during the afternoon session of the conference – which brought home how much deaf learners need the right resources, information and access to support. All four had different experiences but the common thread was that they have had to work hard to knock down barriers within education and society to achieve, even in the 21st Century.

Overall, the conference was a chance for organisations and individuals to come together and discuss how to change education and employment opportunities for deaf people for the better. We are proud to be involved in this work with our Deaf Learners project, providing information and looking for ways to improve the experience within education, and to support deaf learners into employment. We hope all who came had an informative and inspiring day.

Ilan Dwek


UK pupils get hands on with Robots, God and Genetic Engineering


 VC opens

University of Reading’s Institute of Education welcomed 300 pupils and teachers from across 13 British schools this week in a unique partnership with science and religious education secondary departments.

Pupils from across the UK gathered at the Institute’s Robots, God and Genetic Engineering workshop which was opened by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading. The day was scheduled to include acclaimed scientists from a number of universities, including Reading, who explored stem cells, robotics, ethics and philosophy with their young guests. Workshop sessions included building robots, cloning cauliflowers and discussion about the brain, the mind and free will.

Organiser, Dr. Berry Billingsley, Senior Lecturer in Science Education at Reading’s Institute of Education said:

“We are becoming increasingly aware as a training institution, that the pressure is growing on teachers nationwide to deliver globally and scientifically aware future citizens. Proposed new GCSEs are likely to have a heavy focus on genetics, and for the first time evolution is likely to be part of the Primary School science curriculum. So it’s not a surprise we have been inundated by schools from across the country wanting to take advantage of our free workshop, that sets out to nurture pupils to ask not only ethical questions but also bigger questions about life and what medical science can do for us and to us.”

 Prof John Bryant, a speaker on genetic engineering and bioethics, Dr Nick Hawes from Birmingham’s Intelligent Robotics Lab with robot ‘Dora the Explorer’, Prof Kevin Warwick, cybernetics expert and inventor of the robot rat complemented a frenzied day of activities for the enthusiastic teenagers:

Tim, 15, from City of Norwich School mused : “Although I googled the event the day before I wasn’t really sure what the day would bring. Now my head is buzzing with even more questions then I came with. It’s really made me think about and all the things I could do with my GCSE choices this year.”

Rob, a Science Teacher at Shire Oak Academy, Brownhills, Walsall said:

“Our academy is science based and our aim is to focus on the gifted and talented. Today’s workshop has not only opened our pupils eyes, but has made me think about all the ways our staff can get young people to engage in learning. The most significant part of today’s invitation is how many pupils have told me that they don’t think that going to University is boring anymore. That’s a really valuable aspiration to work towards.”.

This is the second event at the Institute of Education of its kind and is supported by the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at Cambridge.

To find out about forthcoming events, visit or email the LASAR events coordinator, Janet Lake at


Institute of Education runs unique climate change activities for over 300 local school children

The Institute of Education at the University of Reading is welcoming more than 300 school children for an exciting and innovative programme of climate change activities which combine science, maths, history and modern languages.

Over the 3 week  programme, which began on the 3rd June, students aged between 9 and 15 are debating, experimenting and interacting to learn about the history of climate change, the main causes, and the overall impacts that climate change might have on them and the wider world.


The activities see children working in teams with coloured balls to simulate the way that carbon moves between atmosphere, ocean and plants in the carbon cycle. Washing up liquid bubbles filled with methane are exploding in a burst of brilliant yellow flame to give a dramatic demonstration of the amount of energy in fossil fuels (all within Health and Safety – of course).


The coupling of the arts and sciences is a particularly unique element of the activities. Groups of children are debating climate change in French, German and Spanish and tracing the history of how water ends up in bottles on our supermarket shelves.
Children are exploring the concepts of heating, cooling and friction by reading Michael Rosen’s poem “Granma’s hands”, a quirky and hilarious mix of science and poetry, as well as science experiments following instructions in French and Spanish.  These activities formed part of the Reading Poetry Festival 5-9 June.

The activities are being organised by four trainee teachers under their Further Development Placement which forms an integral part of the postgraduate teacher training offered by the Institute of Education.

Two science and two modern foreign language trainees who have excelled in their previous school placements have teamed up with staff at the Institute of Education to design, deliver and evaluate teaching activities and workshops that help young people understand issues related to climate change.

One of the trainee teachers taking part said: “This is a great opportunity to teach new knowledge in a different language and is especially important for those students not interested in the traditional language topics of ‘the home’, ‘shopping’ and ‘school’ etc.”

Jane Fieldsend, Lecturer in Science Education at the Institute of Education and one of the key organisers of the programme, says: “Developing and delivering these activities is providing our trainee teachers with fantastic practical experience that they can take forward through their teaching careers – we’re really impressed with what they are achieving over the three weeks.”

John Oversby, leader of the EU Changing with the Climate Project, says: “This unique collaboration between outstanding teachers at the start of their careers is a shining example of the kind of creativity and innovation in education that we encourage at the Institute.”

Barbara King, Lecturer in Modern Foreign Languages, says: “A unique aspect of these activities is that science and languages are integrated so that the students develop understanding of both subjects through climate change. This provides a fresh and engaging way to approach modern foreign language teaching.”



About the Institute of Education
The Institute of Education at the University of Reading is one of the leading providers of teacher training in the UK offering PGCE Secondary and Primary, BA (Ed) and the Graduate Teacher Programmes (GTP). In addition to those who achieve awards at Master’s and PhD level, every year, close to 500 or our students become newly qualified teachers (NQTs). The University has excellent partnership arrangements with over 300 local schools which employ the majority of our graduates.

About the Further Development Programme at the Institute of Education
Near the end of their teacher training course secondary trainees are offered a unique opportunity to widen their experience of education by undertaking a special project either in one of the partnership schools or an associate institution. Over the past few years we have built excellent relationships with a number of special schools, pupil referral units (PRUs), museums, field study centres and educational trusts all of which now offer our students the opportunity to widen their experience in an educational setting.
About the Changing with the Climate project
These activities form part of a 3 year EU funded project, led by Institute of Education, called Changing with the Climate, which aims to: establish a network of schools across Europe; enhance climate change teaching and learning and encourage positive action to address climate change.

See more on Storify>>

TROOPS TO TEACHERS @ the Institute of Education, University of Reading

The University of Reading is delighted to announce that it is offering a selection of new training courses for British Armed Forces personnel wishing to embark on a teaching career once they have left the forces.

Reading is part of a consortium of six universities, led by the University of Brighton, who will offer the Government’s new Troops to Teachers Programme. The programme aims to support a smooth transition into the civilian workforce for those Service members who are exiting their military careers and have the potential to become outstanding teachers. The consortium will enable former Service personnel to train to teach by accessing newly created Initial Teacher Training (ITT) routes.

Reading is working with a range of outstanding primary and secondary schools in the region to support the development and delivery of the programme.  The programme will have a school-centred approach which will immerse trainees in high quality teaching environments, combined with specialist expertise and evidence-based research from one of the leading teacher training providers in the country.  Details of our current partnership schools can be found here.

Professor Andy Goodwyn, Head of the University of Reading’s Institute of Education, said: “We are extremely pleased to be involved in this important new scheme which intends to help members of our armed forces retrain to become exceptional teachers.  The programme will only select the very best candidates who show a genuine aptitude for, and commitment to, teaching.  Our geographical location, close to many British Armed Forces establishments, is a mutual advantage for all involved and shows that as a major international university we can still demonstrate real commitment to the region and its community.”

The Troops to Teachers programme, funded by the Department for Education, aims to recruit the best Service leavers into teaching, including those with the highest qualifications, qualities and experiences, who have the potential to become outstanding teachers. It has been designed and developed with a group of outstanding schools and ITT providers in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence and the Career Transition Partnership. Those Service personnel who are in the two years before discharge or in the two years post discharge from the Armed Forces are eligible to apply.

The consortium is directly involved in two programmes:

Pathway 1 is a School Direct salaried / School Direct training programme resulting in QTS.  Graduate Service Leavers interested in undertaking teacher training can apply for a one year, School Direct salaried, School Direct training, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme.

  • The School Direct salaried route into teaching is available to high-quality graduates with at least three years’ work experience.  Trainees are employed as an unqualified teacher by the school. Previous experience in the Armed Forces will count towards meeting the School Direct eligibility criteria
  • The School Direct training route into teaching is open to all high-quality graduates and funded by tuition fees paid by the trainee, who may receive a bursary from the Department for Education. PGCE and SCITT programmes are fee-paying routes in partnership with universities and also offer bursaries for eligible graduates.  For more information, visit the Department for Education site

Pathway 2 is a two-year non-graduate honours programme incorporating QTS

  • Trainees will enter this already holding some HE credit
  • Cohort 1 will start in January 2014 and cohort 2 will start in Jul/Sept 2014
  • This programme will be based around the University of Brighton’s existing 2 Year BA(Hons) Secondary Education with QTS programme, although it is being redeveloped to include an employment-based mode of study through it, to add additional secondary subject routes, and to develop a primary age phase programme

For details about how to apply for this pathway, go to Troops for Teachers



For further information please visit:


Graduate Service Leavers


University of Reading.  Email: or call: 0118 378 2624

For general enquires please contact the DfE Teaching Line 0800 389 2500 or visit: