TAEDS: The Scottish Play at Coombes – Summer 2013

Two TAEDS Year 2 students and their tutor, Cathy Wardale, devised and facilitated a series of four drama workshops at the Coombes School, with the stimulus of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Their task was to explore the play and broaden the Year 6 children’s understanding of the concepts and themes, whilst also showcasing for the teachers which roles each child would be most suitable for in their very own end of year production of the piece, to be staged in July. Traditionally Coombes uses drama workshops as an alternative to auditions because it gives all the children an opportunity to not only grow as performers but also for the staff to get a much better idea of what each child’s strengths are within the performance environment.

As the workshops progressed, the activities became more focused on performance skills. The children gained in confidence and contributed some very moving and innovative ideas that will be used within their end of year performance, for example the ghostly dagger speaking key lines. This was important, as they had the satisfaction of seeing their own input to the devising process. It was delightful to see individuals come out of their shell and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wishes to work in Theatre in Education groups or train as a teacher. For me as a student it was an extremely enjoyable and valuable experience to take part in a progressive workshop, where I was able to build a relationship with the children.

Roxanne Scotten

The Raymond Wilson Poetry Competition 2013 – £200 Prize!

The Raymond Wilson Poetry Competition 2013Poetry competition 2013 poster
There will be a prize this year of £200 for the best poem for children. The competition is open to all University of Reading students.
Closing date: 27th September 2013 Conditions of Entry:
•Poems should be for children.
•You may submit up to 3 poems:maximum length 40 lines per poem.
•Poems must be the original work of the entrant.
•Poems should be word processed.
•Poems are regarded as copies and cannot be returned.
•Your poem(s) must be submitted without your name attached.Poem(s) should be sent in an envelope containing a separate sealed envelope giving your name, connection with the University,contact address, and either the title or first line of your poem(s).
The winner(s) will be announced on the university website at the beginning of the autumn term.
Entries should be sent to:

Chris Tibbenham c.tibbenham@reading.ac.uk
Institute of Education
University of Reading
London Road Campus

IoE Open Lecture Series – Relaunch!

The Institute of Education has relaunched the Open Lecture Series with a highly acclaimed talk by Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. Her theme was “The

Open Lect Relaunch

Adolescent Brain”. This lecture series based around themes related to Special Education Needs was originally funded by the Training Agency.  The aim is to provide an opportunity for teachers and others interested in education as well as colleagues to hear about leading edge research. The Institute is grateful to the charity CfBT for kindly sponsoring this new series which is taking place in the refurbished London Road campus. The chair of their Education Committee, Sir Jim Rose, was in the audience and commented how important this work is for our understanding of adolescents.


The photograph shows Professor Sarah-Jayne Blackmore (second from the left) flanked by Professor Hugo Tucker, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Tony Downs, Pro Vice Chancellor, Sir Jim Rose, Chair of the Education Committee, CfBT and Dr Cathy Tissot, Director of the SENCo programme.



TAEDS: Simon Floodgate in Brno, Czech Republic, Apr 25-28, 2013

Simon Floodgate made his third visit to Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic on behalf of TAEDS.  On this occasion he travelled via the Erasmus staff mobility scheme and deliv

Photo on 12-10-2012 at 14.13

ered a day long workshop on physical drama improvisation games & exercises for stage & classroom, to an integrated deaf-hearing group of Masaryk staff and students.

However, the focus of the visit was on developing further staff and student exchanges with both Masaryk and with the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (JAMU) vi
Following a performance by the deaf students on the JAMU course a meetingwith the teaching faculty for the drama education for the deaf, yielded a strong desire to develop future student exchange visits.a their degree course in drama education for the deaf.

Plans were developed with the Education Faculty of Masaryk University for further staff mobility exchange visits this calendar year with a Czech colleague hoping to visit the IOE in the Autumn of 2013 as well as a return visit to Brno by Simon.  This is dependent upon the scheme that will replace Erasmus later this year.

In addition, in his capacity as co-director of the UK School of Playback Theatre, Simon was guest of honour at a Playback performance as part of the Theatre Improvisation Festival in Brno, which happened to coincide with his visit.  He talked at length to a captivated audience of, mostly, young Czech theatre practitioners about the history, ethics and intentions of Playback Theatre.

Much was successfully squeezed in to a brief visit!

Check out the TAEDS page

Could you teach computer science? By Tony MacFadyen April 23, 2013

Tony MacFadyen is Director of Enterprise at the University of Reading’s Institute of Education

If you are thinking about a career in the classroom, why not teach computer science?

Tony MacFadyen, Director of Enterprise at the University’s Reading Institute of Education, explains why you should get with the programme

Imagine a world without computers.

From having no spreadsheets to help us budget and regularly queuing in the bank because there’s no ATM, to no lifesaving early diagnosis of disease and no internet which allows us to . . . well to do seemingly almost anything.

A very different world!

The way we use computers, and what we use them for, has evolved dramatically over the last 15 years.

However, the government and industry have argued that the skills being taught in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) classrooms have not kept up, leaving children unprepared for the new world they face.

Enter Michael Gove’s recent announcement of a major reform to the current ICT curriculum.

The changes, including the introduction of computer science in schools (now as part of the EBacc), aim to better prepare young people for progression in education and a professional career.

Current ICT lessons, he said, were ‘demotivating and dull’ and schools need to focus more on getting pupils to learn how to design ‘apps’ and learn to code.

Indeed he has support from the likes of Bill Gates and Ian Livingstone (co-founder Games Workshop). Many people have argued that the previous ICT curriculum needed improvement as pupils need the skills of computer science and algorithmic thinking to give them the best chance of successful careers in every area of modern life.

However there is a problem as countries like the US and Japan have stolen a march on the UK.

Government statistics show that only 35 per cent of ICT teachers are specialists, compared with more than 80 per cent for core subjects such as maths and English.

Who is going to teach these new skills? Perhaps it will be you.

Last year the University of Reading launched a nationwide project that aims to meet the growing need for computer science teachers in schools. The project includes giving current teachers ideas for introducing key computing concepts in lessons.

University specialists have hosted conferences and given workshops in schools that have helped teachers meet the demands of the new curriculum, and now the University has been awarded funding to train the next generation of computing teachers.

This month, the University’s Institute of Education, one of the leading teacher trainers in the country, is launching a new Subject Knowledge Enhancement course (SKE) in computer science to complement its PGCE (Sec) Computer Science course.

SKEs are free and offer a route into teaching for those wishing to train as teachers and possess good teaching qualities, but whose degrees do not provide them with the subject knowledge required.

The Computer Science Enhancement course is a three-and-a half-month, full-time course taken prior to teacher training with bursaries available to eligible candidates.

It is designed for people with a strong interest in computer science and good general teaching qualities who need to develop their subject knowledge before commencing secondary teacher training.

Those with an appropriate degree can apply straight to the PGCE.

The SKE is taught by computer science teachers alongside experts from the University’s School of Systems Engineering.

Trainees will develop knowledge and skills in computing and learn through a variety of teaching methods, including workshops, guided private study, group work, student presentations and programming projects.

The current economic climate means many people face uncertain futures over their jobs or are struggling to find work.

Computer Science teaching is an opportunity for people to take that step into a new and fulfilling career. Enrolling on the SKE or PGCE (Sec) means you receive the best in training in computer science. This will provide you with the confidence and skill to teach the new curriculum and join a highly skilled workforce needed for our future success. For more details or to enrol contact Janet Thomson, head of SKE, at j.thomson@reading.ac.uk or (0118) 378 2656.

Source: http://www.getreading.co.uk/blogs/andanotherthing/s/2132872_first_person_could_you_teach_computer_science

Poster Workshop: Wednesday 24 April at the University of Reading

This hands-on workshop and study day is a follow-up to the Victoria and Albert Museum’s conference Posters: collection, creation and context, and will focus on the design and production of letterpress and chromolithographed posters.

The day will combine practical printing with sessions devoted to studying a rich array of original examples, and should provide an unparalleled opportunity to consider poster production from several different standpoints (technique, design, display, and context).

In the practical sessions, run by Martin Andrews and Alan Hardie, participants will have an opportunity to print poster-like material from wood type, wood blocks, and nineteenth-century presses, in much the same way that would have been done throughout most of the nineteenth century. They will also be able to make marks on lithographic stone and help with taking impressions from what they have produced.

The study sessions, run by Michael Twyman, will cover letterpress and lithographic posters in two sessions. The first will trace the evolution of the letterpress poster in England and France from the late eighteenth century to the mid twentieth century, and make comparisons between the two approaches. The second will focus on the production of chromolithographed posters in England and France from the 1890s to the middle of the 1960s. Both sessions will draw exclusively on original material.

Martin Andrews is a designer, printing historian, and teacher in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication of the University of Reading, Alan Hardie is an experienced printmaker, and Michael Twyman, Director of the University’s Centre for Ephemera Studies, is a printing historian specializing in lithography.

This all-day event will take place in the Print Studio of the Institute of Education at Reading University’s London Road site. Numbers will be limited to 30 (sessions will be repeated so that no more than 15 people will be at each one). The cost will be £40, to include tea and coffee. Lunch is not included but the cafe, Eat & Drink at London Road, is nearby.

All enquiries to Diane Bilbey d.j.bilbey@reading.ac.uk

TAEDS – CityLit Deaf Day on Saturday April 6th

Theatre Arts, Education & Deaf Studies represented the Institute of Education during this year’s annual CityLit Deaf Day on Saturday April 6th. Simon Floodgate led a Sign Theatre Workshop, supported by students from the University’s unique BA Programme. This fun, practical drama session proved a big hit. So much so that the workshop was over-subscribed and eager punters were, unfortunately, turned away at the door. Simon introduced some basic principles for how sign language and voice can be integrated to create performance for deaf-hearing integrated audiences thus showcasing the unique performance practice being researched here at Reading.
The workshop was part of an event packed full of more than 60 different exhibitions, workshops and entertainment geared to everyone who is interested in deaf issues. As well as Simon and current students on the Programme, the building was populated by TAEDS’ alumni including Deafinitely Theatre, staff at Oak Lodge School for the Deaf, one of the instigators of “Signs and Voices”, the first comic with deaf superheroes, and many sign language interpreters including the lead interpreter coordinating the interpreting provision for the whole day.

Educational Research: Informing and Impacting Educational Practices. Wednesday, 8th May 2013 – Call for Papers

Educational Research: Informing and Impacting Educational Practices

Wednesday, 8th May 2013
IoE Doctoral Researchers Conference

Call for Papers

The IoE Doctoral Researchers Conference Committee is pleased to announce its Postgraduate Conference on Wednesday, 8th May 2013 from 16:00 to 19:45. This committee includes IoE PhD student organisers and staff members and welcomes abstracts for either a paper or poster presentation on the theme of the conference, ‘Educational Research: Informing and Impacting Educational Practices’ from doctoral researchers at any stage of their PhD or EdD.

The aim of the conference is to provide IoE postgraduate researchers with an opportunity to prepare abstracts for review, to present their work to IoE students and staff, and to get feedback on their research.

If you would like your abstract to be reviewed and considered for presentation please send it to Shahla Yassaei (s.yassaei@pgr.reading.ac.uk).

The deadline for abstracts is 5pm, Friday, 15th March 2013. All abstracts received on or before this date are reviewed by the Conference Committee and decisions on the successful posters/papers will be communicated to the authors no later than Monday, 8th April 2013. Please note that the reviewers will provide constructive feedback on all abstracts submitted.

The venue for the event is L022 G01, London Road Campus.

Abstract Guidelines

Your abstract should provide an overview of your presentation. You can choose to focus on either an introduction of your research project as a whole or a specific aspect of your research. In either case, you should explain its significance/contribution to your field. Please see the attached Guidance on Poster Presentation.

Word limit for abstract is 200 words.

It is important to remember that your presentation should be relevant to the theme of the conference, ‘Educational Research: Informing and Impacting Educational Practices.’

Each speaker will be allocated 25 minutes for presentation and 15 minutes for questions and discussion. Talks will be stopped by the Panel Chairs if they go over the specified time. Posters will be on display during the conference.


If you are interested in presenting your work please fill in the attached application form and make sure that you take into account the criteria stated below when you write your abstract.

  • The title of your abstract should not be more than 12 words in which you encapsulate the topic of your paper/ poster in a clear but interesting manner.
  • A very short but informative background to your research should be provided (about two to three sentences).
  • The overall subject of the paper should be clearly stated i.e., whether it is an overview of your doctoral research or it is a particular aspect of it, e.g., your methodology, your literature review, and details of the presentation should be provided
  • The significance of your research to your field should be clearly stated.
  • The way your research is in line with the theme of the conference should be stated.

Conference Booking

If you would like to attend the conference please book your place by filling in the booking form attached and emailing it to Debbie Grimmond (dg030384@pgr.reading.ac.uk) no later than Friday, 15th March 2013.

*Please note that those researchers who would like to apply need to book their place as well.

We look forward to hearing from you all.


IoE Doctoral Conference Student Organisers

Debbie Grimmond

Shahla Yassaei

Rfah Alyami