Are you an educational leader, future leader or administrator; in UK or overseas?

Our new MA Education (Leadership & Management) in conjunction with Henley Business School is an excellent career opportunity for you. It is a flexible 36 months programme aimed at educational leaders, future leaders and administrators. It follows the summer school model, ideal for working professionals.

It will lead to an MA in Education (Leadership and Management), with exit qualifications of Postgraduate Certificate (Stage 1) and Postgraduate Diploma (Stage 2). A unique feature of the course is that students will benefit from modules on strategic marketing and finance delivered by experts from Henley Business School.

Visit the programme page here or see the brochure here: IoE MA Henley. The brochure may well be of interest to you and others at your institution – print one for your notice board! Do let us know if you’d like to find out more about this MA by emailing or phoning +44 (0) 118 378 2616.image bar 4


Students found clustered in tangled heaps

If you went down to our campus last week, you’d have been sure of a big surprise. For there in the cloisters were many of our students, clustered in tangled heaps.

The IoE’s Dr Helen Bilton approaches Welcome Week with her unique blend of enthusiasm and creativity. This year saw the students playing physical games that helped them to let their guard down and feel part of things straight away. Helen said:  “When you play daft games you also just hopefully show a true side of yourself!”

Welcome Week games
Welcome Week games

Helen, a National Teaching Fellow and Associate Professor of Education at the IoE explained further:

“Welcome Week is about creating a sense of belonging with our University- hence the title. Research shows where people feel a sense of belonging they feel a lot happier. So team games were devised for all departments in the University to join in with on the Friday.

“The games helped students to have fun whilst feeling part of our “Team IoE”. They also got to know each other across programmes – really rather well, as the pictures demonstrate. We hope it gave them a laugh and a good feel about the IoE,” she concluded.

Getting to know each other in Welcome Week 2015
Getting to know each other in Welcome Week 2015
Welcome Week 2015
Welcome Week 2015


Come and explore our beautiful campus, meet students and lecturers from all our courses, see our accommodation and enjoy talks and taster lectures. We enjoyed amazing Open Days in June and October, from which feedback was fantastic. Watch our Open Day film to get a taste of what’s in store for you on an Open Day at the University of Reading…. and here’s what people had to say about our Open Days:

three femail graduates of different ethnicitites

‘I chose to study at the University of Reading because of the beautiful campus, supportive atmosphere and high academic standards. When I came to an open day I met a student ambassador who not only inspired me to come to the University but also made me want to become an ambassador myself!’

‘We had a wonderful day… All staff and student ambassadors we came into contact with were so friendly and helpful. Instantly my daughter felt comfortable and could see herself fitting in … As a family we loved Reading and our daughter will most definitely be applying. Thanks to all for a great day!’

‘An absolutely incredible open day!’

‘I felt that the overall day was amazing. I was so happy with everything that Reading had to offer. My family and I felt very welcomed by the students and the staff.’

‘I was thoroughly impressed… I went away from the open day having had a fantastic time and loved the atmosphere of the whole campus.’

‘I’m sold. This made Reading my first choice’

Got any questions?

Get in touch via email

Can’t attend an Open Day?

If you’d like to visit us before the next Open Day, or if you have visited before and just want to refresh your memory of what our beautiful campus has to offer, we’d love to welcome you to one of our campus tours.


To register your interest in attending an open day in 2016, please click here

NB: All of the undergraduate courses for the Institute of Education are based at the London Road campus.

Remember to follow the IoE for updates and news:


And wear comfy shoes on the Open Day 🙂

reading festival




TONIGHT: are the benefits of small class sizes are a myth? Find out at the latest IoE Public Lecture, by Professor Peter Blatchford

One of the longest running and most acrimonious debates in education is over whether or not the number of pupils in a class affects learning. Renowned Professor of Psychology and Education, Peter Blatchford will discuss this divisive subject during the IoE’s next event in its Public Lecture calendar on 1st December 2015.

Professor Blatchford, of the Institute of Education, University of London, has authored over 12 books and has published over 80 peer reviewed Journal papers. His evidence and views on such a polarised subject are keenly anticipated and all are invited to attend this fascinating study of classroom dynamics. The lecture, on 1st December 2015, takes place at the IoE’s London Road Campus in Building L22 G01 (Lecture Theatre). Doors open 17.45 and the lecture commences at 18.15.

Click here for further information and to book a place fill this form: 

Blatchford lecture ticket request from website

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Raymond Wilson poetry competition: entries now closed; winner announced on 2nd November.

All University of Reading students were invited to explore their creative side by entering the annual Raymond Wilson Poetry Prize. The competition is held in memory of brilliant educationalist Raymond Wilson (1925-1995), former Emeritus Professor of Education at the University. The competition, which has now closed to further entries this year, carries a prize of £200 for the best poem for children.

raymond wilson children readingcat-poet

The competition is being judged by children in a local school and their vote carries equal weighting with that of a published children’s poet and with an academic; competition organiser, Stephanie Sharp of the IoE. This brings the perspectives of teacher, writer and young reader to bear on the judging.

The closing date for entries fell on National Poetry Day on 8th October 2015, with the winner being announced on 2nd November.

Raymond Wilson was an exceptional educationalist, as well as an inspired educational editor who introduced new editions of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poetry and Jane Austen’s novels. Wilson was also well-known as an intuitive, sensitive critic and a prolific anthologist.

Queries about any aspect of the competition can be addressed to Stephanie Sharp: (ext 2675). Competition rules are below.


Free and extensive CPD for teachers: Modern Foreign Languages in the Primary and Secondary School: Teaching the new National Curriculum

For the second year, we are delighted to be able to offer free and extensive CPD for primary and secondary school language teachers through funding from the government, co-delivered by experienced local teachers and University tutors.
Thank you for those who joined us for the full day Session 1 of this important CPD feature on 9th October 2015 – 23rd March 2016. The programme began with a whole day of input and activities, followed by monthly twilight sessions and will end with a half-day event. French language upskilling sessions will be provided for primary teachers in addition, each month.
Government funding allows us to be able to make a substantial contribution to supply costs for teachers attending the first and last event plus some twilight sessions.
The programme is of benefit to all those teaching languages, especially colleagues leading languages provision in schools, as well as those new to delivering primary languages. The language of focus for primary colleagues will be French; for secondary colleagues, sessions will include examples in French, German and Spanish. Much of the content for secondary colleagues will be very relevant for the new GCSE specifications, especially with regard to spontaneous speaking and literary texts.
    Sessions will include:

  • Creating a joined up KS2-3 curriculum for languages
  • Developing core oral skills, including accurate pronunciation and spontaneous oral interaction
  • Literacy skills in the foreign language –including reading for comprehension, appreciation and vocabulary development
  • Developing grammatical competence across Key Stage 2 and 3
  • Developing learners’ listening skills
  • Assessment
  • Primary-secondary transition

Session 1:

Whole day, Friday 9 October, 09.30-15.30, Institute of Education:

The new National Curriculum across Key Stages 2-3 and principles of effective teaching and learning; developing learners’ listening skills; assessment and evaluation; transition issues
Further details of subsequent sessions can be found on the right
As well as gaining a wealth of practical ideas, participants on the programme will also enhance their understanding of the principles that underpin effective language learning.

Twilight Sessions – All held at the University of Reading, Institute of Education, London Road Campus

  • Session 2 (Speaking): Wednesday 4 November 2015, 16.30-18.30
  • Session 3 (Speaking): Thursday 3 December 2015, 16.30-18.30
  • Session 4 (Reading): Wednesday 13 January 2016, 16.30-18.30,
  • Session 5 (Reading/writing): Thursday 4 February 2016,16.30-18.30,
  • Session 6 (Grammar/writing): Wednesday 2 March 2016, 16.30-18.30,

Session 7 (Sharing practice; transition): Half day, Wednesday 23 March, 13.30-16.30

If you are unable to attend the first whole day session, you will still be very welcome to come to the twilights. We also welcome different teachers from the same school for different sessions, i.e. attendance can be ‘shared’ within a school, so that ideas can be cascaded across colleagues.
Additional French language tuition will be offered on the following dates for primary teachers, with all sessions held at the University. There will be two levels of classes, one for beginners with little or no knowledge of French, one for ‘improvers’ or Intermediate learners


Tuesday 20 October, 17.00-19.00
Tuesday 24 November, 17.00-19.00
Tuesday 8 December, 17.00-19.00
Tuesday 19 January, 17.00-19.00
Tuesday mid-February, 17.00-19.00 (date TBC)


Thursday 22 October, 17.00-19.00
Thursday 26 November, 17.00-19.00
Thursday 10 December, 17.00-19.00
Thursday 21 January, 17.00-19.00
Thursday mid-February, 17.00-19.00 (date TBC)

We will pay for one day’s supply cover for teachers who attend the first and last event plus some twilight sessions, with schools asked to fund the remaining half-day. There are no further costs for the CPD. Further details will be emailed out with joining instructions before the first event.
For further information about any aspect of the CPD, please contact: or phone 0118 378 2612
This CPD is being delivered as a consortium led by the University of Reading and involves the following partners:

  • Bartholomew School, Eynsham
  • Fair Oak Junior School
  • Keep Hatch Primary School
  • Oxford University Department of Education
  • Radstock Primary School
  • The Willink School, Burghfield Common
  • Wellington College Teaching School Partnership
  • Wokingham Secondary Federation

Cathy Tissot: new Head of Institute of Education

We are delighted to announce that the University of Reading has appointed Dr Cathy Tissot as the new Head of Institute of Education. We have said a fond au revoir to Professor Andy Goodwyn, the previous Head of School, wishing him the very best for the future.

 Cathy Tissot, Head of Institute of Education

Cathy Tissot, Head of Institute of Education

Cathy came to the Institute of Education in early 2008 as a senior lecturer to teach primarily on courses on special educational needs. Cathy was previously the Director of Teaching and Learning, and has also been the Programme Director for the MA in Education and SENCO accreditation programme and the Deputy Director of Research.

Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA (and a lifelong supporter of the American football team the Green Bay Packers), Cathy moved to France in 1990 and later that same year to the UK.  Cathy has always had an interest in special educational needs and worked with many children with disabilities while working as a primary school teacher in the United States.

Cathy started a lifelong research interest in autism spectrum disorders through studying for her doctorate at Brunel University which explored the factors that determine appropriate educational provision for children with autism spectrum disorders. Her research focuses on adolescence and the particular challenges that puberty brings to this group of students, as well as the staff that support students with disabilities in schools (SENCOs – Special Educational Needs Coordinators).

A governor at two autism specific schools, she enjoys working with teachers and parents to try and improve services for this group of students.

Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell said “We are very fortunate indeed that Cathy Tissot is our new Head of the Institute of Education. These are tough and demanding times but Cathy brings the necessary skills and experience to ensure that our Institute of Education remains amongst the country’s best”

On her appointment Cathy said, “I am really looking forward to continuing to work with colleagues at the Institute of Education as well as the broader university and local schools as we navigate through the opportunities that the ever changing government priorities for initial teacher training bring.  The IoE’s strong recent REF results are a great success to build on”.

Hiroshima at 70: hidden documents reveal UoR first to support Peace Library

Secret generosity of Mary Kirkus, librarian who was first to respond to an appeal from Hiroshima, leads to deeply poignant gift for UoR 60 years later.

New research has found the University of Reading was the first institution to respond to Hiroshima University’s (HU) global call for support after it was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945. Astonishingly, this remained secret until 2011, when a thank you letter arrived from HU – along with a deeply moving memento; a collection of roof tiles, complete with safety certificate, collected from the riverbed. These came from the globally iconic Atomic Bomb Dome, the only surviving structure near the hypocentre of the blast and now part of the famous Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The gift is hugely poignant as portions like this are believed locally to be infused with the soul of the victims.Mary Kirkus 1951-letter

In 1951 HU President Tatsuo Morito sent letters to universities world-wide, asking for support to re-establish the university by donating books for a peace library, as well as seeds to bring the charred grounds back to life. Previously unseen documents from both universities’ archives reveal Reading was the first to respond, a decision that remained a secret for 60 years.

Intriguingly, in the post war environment of economic gloom and emergent details of the war in the Far East, the research suggests that the decision may not have been sanctioned by senior management.

Records show that is was not discussed, or at least minuted in any formal meeting, by senior figures at the University. A letter from Mary Kirkus, University Librarian from 1941 to 1959, to President Morito suggests she may have made the decision alone. The University of Reading was inscribed on the donations in acknowledgment of ‘the contribution’ and ‘good will’, and remain in the Peace Library today.

Dr Jacqui Turner, from the University of Reading’s Department of History, has led the research. She said: “6 August 1945 is a date that changed the world. The atomic bomb decimated Hiroshima and completely destroyed its university, killing all students and staff. With post-war tensions still running high the world was slow to respond to President Morito’s request. However five UK institutions did send donations in 1951 – and the University of Reading led the way. Momentum for the peace library steadily grew and it now forms part of the main library at Hiroshima University.

Morito’s request was for books or pamphlets that reflected what was ‘considered valuable by your university or of note in your country’ or books concerning ‘peace problems’. Mary Kirkus of the University of Reading sent:

  • John W. Wheeler-Bennett, Disarmament and Security since Locarno 1925- 1931 (1932)
  • Aristophanes, The birds and the frogs – a translation into English of Aristophanes comedies
  • Handbrucher der praktischen Vogeschictsforschung  (A full set of Journals of Pre-Historical Research)

Dr Turner continued: “Why did Reading respond? It’s likely this was a personal decision by Mary Kirkus, although we may never know for sure. Amazingly this decision remained secret until 2011 when our previous Vice-Chancellor received a thank you letter from his counterpart at Hiroshima – along with the surprising and remarkable gift of the collection of roof tiles. This was a hugely emotive gesture: letters highlight how the Japanese believe that each tile ‘contains the souls of the people whose lives were regretfully taken away by this tragedy’. In the immediate aftermath of the bomb many rushed into the rivers of Hiroshima and died in the water before being washed away – ‘the roof tiles have absorbed the blood and body fluids’ of those who died that day.”

Reading and Hiroshima’s unique bond is growing stronger and stronger. Earlier this year the University held a symposium to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.  During the event Vice-Chancellor of the University, Sir David Bell, read a letter sent by the Mayor of Hiroshima who asked attendees ‘in response to the desire of all hibakusha (survivors of the bomb) to continue to strive with us to eliminate the absolute evil of nuclear weapons and achieve a peaceful world. He also received thanks from President Ashara, current President of HU with thanks for an “outstanding example of peace.”

Dr Turner said: “The legacy of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs reverberates around the world, not more so than in the cities themselves. It has been an emotional and fascinating journey to uncover this story – Reading is very proud to be a friend of Hiroshima University.”

The tiles are an integral part of the Department of History’s innovative teaching programmes and are used actively in its leading research projects.



Last Saturday and Sunday, the University of Reading Malaysiawelcomed almost 2,000 visitors, four times as many as expected, to our brand new campus in Educity, Iskandar.

The Open Days gave prospective students and their parents the chance to experience the campus first hand and see the facilities that we have on offer, including the Student Village and the EduCity Sports Complex.

Based on our sector-leading Open Day operation in the UK, we combined a welcome from the Provost, Professor Tony Downes, with subject taster sessions and an expo in the Student Association space. Our current students were on hand to tell our visitors what it is like to study with the University of Reading Malaysia and share information about the clubs and societies.

In line with Malaysian hospitality, guests were also able to enjoy an English high tea.

malaysia opening

The University of Reading Malaysia will welcome its first Foundation students on the 14th September and first undergraduates on 28th September. We will be offering foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in business and finance, quantity surveying, real estate, and psychology, plus English language teaching, and the prestigious Henley Business School MBA.

Provost, Professor Tony Downes, said: “Our Open Day weekend was the first time we have invited the public in to see our new campus.  What a milestone to have reached, after many years of dedicated hard work by University of Reading Malaysia and University of Reading staff – so, time for a very big thank you to everyone involved.  It was an amazing weekend of excitement, pride and emotion. We can’t wait to welcome our first students here in a few weeks’ time.”

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, Sir David Bell, said: “The opening of the University of Reading Malaysia campus is an important step in our overall plan to become a truly global institution.

“Universities in the UK are competing against institutions around the world. Having a strong presence in south-east Asia will help us as we seek to attract even more top quality international students.”

To apply for the University of Reading Malaysia, please click here.