Head of the IoE awarded significant academic honour; colleagues given distinguished awards

In recognition of Dr Catherine Tissot’s outstanding contribution to the field, the Higher Education

Dr Catherine Tissot, Head of Institute of Education
Dr Catherine Tissot, Head of Institute of Education

Academy (HEA) has just appointed her as a Senior Fellow. Institute of Education (IoE) colleagues, Dr Alison Silbey and Ilan Dwek were awarded with Fellowships of the HEA.


Being promoted to Senior Fellow is a significant honour: very few Senior Fellowships are awarded each year and the distinction carries international recognition. Senior Fellowship indicates a high level of esteem for Catherine’s cont

ribution to higher education management and leadership.

The HEA Fellowship award recognises Alison and Ilan’s commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in the field. It provides a valuable measure of their academic success.

Catherine commented: “The process of becoming a Senior Fellow gave me a fresh insight into what I do and how our work affects those with whom we collaborate. Reflecting on my own professional practice was fulfilling and the application process itself was a stimulating intellectual challenge.

“I am particularly proud that my colleagues Alison and Ilan have achieved Fellowship. This award recognises their valuable contribution both to our field and to our work at the IoE”

Catherine, Alison and Ilan’s route to their awards lay with the University of Reading’s FLAIR CPD scheme; an internal accreditation process that enables experienced staff to gain professional recognition for the work they do in teaching or supporting learning.

An independent, charitable organisation, the HEA is the UK’s national body that champions teaching excellence around the globe. It works with governments, universities and academics to nurture teaching excellence in higher education.

See more:           

Higher Education Academy (HEA)

University of Reading’s FLAIR scheme

Important news about PhD studentship opportunities at the IoE

The Institute of Education is inviting applicants for PhD studentships to work on topics within its two research groups, Language and Literacy in Education  and Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education. Both groups sit within the Education, Language and Learning Research division. We are looking for students interested in pursuing PhD projects along these broad themes.

There are opportunities for several PhD studentships.

The University of Reading is part of the ESRC funded South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) Doctoral Training Partnership, which will be awarding up to 35 studentships across the network for the 2017/18 academic year.  These studentships are open to UK and EU residents on a fees plus yearly stipend basis (for UK residents) or a fees only basis (for EU residents). SeNSS is a consortium of 10 leading UK universities, all engaged in cutting-edge social science research and training.

The University of Reading is also currently offering the University International Research Studentships.  There are seven studentships on offer across the university, one of which covers international fees plus stipend and a further six to cover fees only.

This year, the University of Reading is also offering 10 Anniversary PhD Scholarships that will cover fees and a yearly stipend for UK and EU residents. International students are again welcome to apply, but must cover the difference between UK/EU and international fees.

The University is also currently offering Regional PhD bursaries, to students living in the Reading area, which cover full UK/EU fees and are available for full or part-time study.

Interested applicants should contact Ioe-pgr@reading.ac.uk to signal their intent to apply, and to gain further information regarding the application procedure and specific deadline for each award (which will all generally be in January/February 2017. 

IoE launches new BA programme with strong focus on inclusion and social justice.


Teresa Wilson, Programme Director of the new BA Education Studies
Teresa Wilson, Programme Director of the new BA Education Studies

The Institute of Education announces the launch of a BA Education Studies programme offering a strong focus on inclusion and social justice.

This exciting development is part of the Institute’s drive to deliver high-quality degree programmes that appeal to a broad range of audiences, both national and international. The new BA Education Studies will be a distinctive and innovative course for students who want to study education and learning in its broadest sense. The breadth and flexibility of this degree will ensure a wide range of career options upon graduation.

Teresa Wilson, who is leading the programme at the Institute of Education’s beautiful London Road campus said:

“This course can act as a stepping stone to a wide range of careers, working in a number of educational environments that include but aren’t limited to traditional school environments. Some students will be interested in working with adults and may become trainers or work in human resources, whilst others might pursue a career in mentoring, disability support or working as an Education Officer in museums, theatres or charities.

“The module options mean that students can tailor the degree to their own academic and professional interests and develop creative strategies to support all learners. The four week work placement and the opportunity to study abroad will enhance students’ reflective and transferrable skills; assets highly valued by employers and important to students’ learning.”BA Ed Stud image for home page banner

Dr. Cathy Tissot, Head of the Institute of Education said:

“We are delighted to be extending our existing strong educational offering and are excited about delivering a programme that will include such a broad audience. This will be a great opportunity for a wide range of people and we look forward to delivering it.”

For full details, please contact:

Teresa Wilson


Telephone: +44 (0) 118 378 2641

Student-run book sale raises funds for bereaved children

Students from the Institute of Education (IoE) organised a book sale recently in aid of local charity Daisy’s Dream, which supports children and young people going through bereavement.

The students, all on the IoE’s BA (Hons)Children’s Development and Learning (BA CDL) programme, raised £143 to aid the charity’s work in responding to the needs of children and families affected by life threatening illness or bereavement.

BA CDL Student Representatives Victoria Savage and Sam Boseley presented Yvonne Haines from Daisy’s Dream with the money they had raised. Yvonne then offered a moving insight into the work of Daisy’s Dream in supporting bereaved and distressed children in Berkshire and the surrounding areas.

Jo Elsey, Director of Early Years Initial Teacher Training Programmes at the IoE said:

“We are delighted and proud that our students took the initiative to support such a good cause and one that is close to our hearts. Well done to the students and staff who worked hard to achieve this result.”

See more:

BA Children’s Development and Learning

Daisy’s Dream

IoE welcomed BA (QTS) Education applicants as they arrived at London Road for the third interview day of the season.

Lovely London Road in the winter sunshine.
Nasreen Majid, Programme Director, talks to the candidates.
Nasreen Majid, Programme Director, talks to the candidates.

Candidates arrived to a blaze of wintry sunshine at London Road, home of the Institute of Education (IoE) on Wednesday. The second round of interviews for BA (QTS) Education commenced with a welcome background of sunshine pouring through the huge windows of the Learning Hub.

Applicants for the acclaimed programme were interviewed both in groups and one to one, having heard all about the University of Reading, the IoE and beautiful London Road campus during an initial presentation by Nasreen Majid, programme director. 

These interviews enable Nasreen and her colleagues to spot the teacher potential in each of the applicants. The process highlights how the personal element is so essential in choosing the people who will inspire and enrich the next generation.

A unique feature of this BA programme is that students are able to choose one of four subject specialities: Art, English, Mathematics or Music. The course has the unusual aspect of being able to offer a degree both in the chosen specialism and in teaching, resulting in Qualified Teacher Status in three years. The interviews give the academics a chance to assess the applicants’ attainment in their chosen subject. 

Cooperating with each other to perform at their best!

The applicants gave short presentations, worked in groups to prepare visuals and examined learning materials. The encouraging and knowledgeable remarks by Nasreen and her colleagues must have been great help and reassurance. It was especially valuable to have a Head Teacher from a partner school on the panel. 


Further interview days will follow right into March 2017. This careful, thoughtful and kindly process ensures that the right students are chosen for the rewarding yet demanding life a teacher leads.

For more information on the BA (QTS) Education programme, visit www.reading.ac.uk/education/ug/ioe-BAEducation.aspx or email primarypartnership@reading.ac.uk

















IoE to host first meeting of new Berkshire & Hampshire group supporting children with English as an additional language

On December 1st, the Institute of Education (IoE) will host the first meeting of a new cross-county group that supports school children with English as an additional language.

Dr Naomi Flynn
Dr Naomi Flynn

The group, aimed at school practitioners and academics in Berkshire and Hampshire, is a regional part of the leading national charity NALDIC (National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum), which supports the teaching of children with English as an additional language (EAL). The new group will bring together local teachers, education authorities and academics. Its first meeting is set to take place at the University of Reading’s London Road campus from 4.30 – 6.00pm on Thursday, 1st December. 


Pupils learning English as an additional language in the mainstream classroom raise issues not only of teaching, but also of rights and entitlements, social integration and equality of access to public provision. This is an important area for all involved in education and child welfare, so NALDIC’s work supporting the teaching and learning of EAL children in schools is already well-established nationally. This new local network is a welcome development, bringing with it many possibilities at a time when resources are declining but numbers of children with EAL are rising.


The convenor for the new NALDIC Berkshire/Hampshire group is Naomi Flynn, Associate Professor in Primary English Education at the IoE, who has a research profile in teaching strategies for children with EAL. Explaining the reasoning behind launching the new group Naomi said:


“Through my research activity in Hampshire and Berkshire, I have been lucky enough to get to know the excellent teams supporting EAL learners at local authority level and in schools. The establishment of the NALDIC RIG [Regional Interest Group] for Berkshire and Hampshire will generate a cross-region network of practitioners and academics who can pool ideas and share resources. In our first meeting EAL leads will report on their experiences using the new DfE English proficiency scales. We look forward to interesting and informative discussion on what is a hot topic for teachers of EAL learners this academic year. In addition Professor Ludovica Serratrice, Reading’s new Director of Bilingualism Matters, will introduce the work of this organisation and chat with practitioners about how research at Reading can support them.”


For information and joining details, please contact Naomi:

Telephone:  +44 (0)118 378 2770 / Email: n.flynn@reading.ac.uk 

Reading Teacher Training Partnership ‘good’ with ‘outstanding elements’, says Ofsted

In a strong and consistent outcome across all phases, Ofsted praised the University’s ITT Partnership for being “Good overall in Early Years, Primary and Secondary with some outstanding elements,” during a recent inspection of 2015/2016 using recently revised, more rigorous criteria.

Ofsted recognised the common vision for excellence across the Partnership and the high regard that schools and settings have for the personal and professional conduct of trainees, NQTs and former trainees. They pointed to the strong, positive relationships with pupils and young children that trainees and NQTs build and concluded that the Partnership makes a strong contribution to teacher supply in the region.

In recognition of its quality, the Partnership has received a prestigious award, given only to the top 25 ITE Partnerships nationally. The National College for Teaching and Leadership has awarded three year guaranteed core numbers for PGCE Secondary, PGCE Primary and BA Education from 2017.

In further prestigious recognition, the Partnership has been awarded fully funded Early Years ITT places for 2017 / 2018. This acknowledges the Partnership’s quality, particularly for the contribution it makes to teacher training and teacher supply across nine local authorities in the region.

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

Dr Cathy Tissot, Head of the IoE
Dr Cathy Tissot, Head of the IoE


“This positive report reflects the hard work and commitment of the IoE’s staff and trainees as well as that of our school partners. We are extremely pleased that all the effort and dedication that we jointly put into education has impressed the inspectors.”



Trainee teacher is this year’s winner of Raymond Wilson Poetry Prize

Every year, UoR students are invited to explore their creative side by entering the Raymond Wilson Poetry Competition. Held in memory of the late brilliant educationalist and Emeritus Professor of Education at Reading, the prize awards £200 for the winning poem.

Judy with her prize
Poet and teacher Judy Ridell with her prize

This year’s winner, Judy Ridell is a Reading Partnership Trainee on the School Direct (Primary) Programme. She has taught Early Years for a decade and her poem, ‘You Can Count on Mrs Chooit’, describes in humorous detail the many things a teacher can do to make a child’s learning engaging, whilst also reflecting the daily excitement and challenge that a teacher encounters.

The competition is judged by children in a local school and their vote carries equal weight 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 children on the panel responded happily to this year’s winning poem’s play on rhyming fun to support number learning, saying:

“It flows and has rhythm”                    

“We liked the inspirational message – be positive and counting and relying on others”

“It was happy and exciting”

“It helps younger children to learn their numbers by remembering the rhyme”

As well as being a poet, Judy can boast the unusual attainment of being a performance standard Middle Eastern dancer. Her other hobbies of knitting and crafting are slightly less exotic but draw on the same creative vein. Judy shares her home with her three children, a big dog and a rabbit and devotes her time to poetry, dancing and teaching.

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.

More information: s.sharp@reading.ac.uk(ext 2675). 


You Can Count on Mrs Chooit

If you are going to school today, you’re sure of a lovely surprise,

Your teacher is Mrs Chooit today, she’s waiting for you to arrive!

Whatever happens at school today, you know that you can do it,

Whatever happens at school today, you can count on Mrs Chooit.


She’ll give you

One big hug to show her love

Two cool drinks to help you think  

Three picture books, let’s take a look!

Four number songs to sing along

Five water trays to pour and play

Six toy bears to see if they’ll float

Seven coloured pencils to draw round stencils

Eight speedy trikes – go as fast as you8 like!

Nine paint pots, lets paint some circles and some dots

Ten gold stars for trying so hard!


Whatever happened at school today, did you find that you can do it?

Whatever happened at school today, you can count on Mrs Chooit!

Judy Ridell

Fees for partnership schools

Dr Cathy Tissot, Head of the IoE
Dr Cathy Tissot, Head of the IoE

You may have read the recent announcement that the University of Reading, in common with many institutions, intends to raise undergraduate tuition fees to £9250 per annum, subject to government legislation being passed permitting us to do so. Here is a link to our full undergraduate fees Q&A to give you the background. 

In line with this, and with the decisions of most other UK universities, the University of Reading also intends to raise PGCE tuition fees to £9250 and School Direct fees by the same percentage, if the legislation changes. This would apply to students joining the University in September 2017, although not to those who have suspended their studies from this year. 

We value our partnership with schools and settings and are working hard to develop an appropriate way forward to take these changes in overall fees into account. The specific level of agreement for the various routes and the arrangements for sharing the small cost of living increase will be sent directly to our partner schools.

Working with our partner schools, we train approximately 400 excellent teachers and Early Years practitioners each year: individuals who go on to educate the next generations. As we all know, the work we all put into the start of a teacher’s career feeds into a lifetime of nurturing young minds.


ESRC Festival of Social Science: Alternative places and spaces for learning – 8, 9 and 11 November

How do we foster the qualities that support young people in meeting life’s changing demands? What skills and knowledge will they need to succeed educationally?

These are questions that will be asked during the Economic & Social Research Council’s (ESRC) prestigious events taking place in Reading on 8, 9 and 11 November (see below for sign up). Themes that will be examined in detail include the value of alternative places and spaces for learning with a particular focus on children and young people who, for differing reasons, can face a future of disadvantage and marginalisation.

Two studies concern the role of the outdoor environment drawing on research by the IoE’s Dr Carol Fuller on the impact of outdoor activities on attainment, confidence and sense of efficacy, and the IoE’s Dr Helen Bilton’s work on the importance of risk taking in encouraging young children to become independent, confident in themselves and in learning.

In contrast, a third study (Porter 2016) reveals the scope for unintentional learning in the development of an ipad game with children with Down syndrome and their peers.

Further information

Contact: Professor Jill Porter

  • 8th November :  @ 9.30-11am  Playdays, Tilehurst Library School Rd, Reading RG31 5AS
  • 9th November @ 10.20am onwards Toddler and Mothers group, Wycliffe Church233 Kings Road, Reading RG1 4LS
  • 11th November @ 3.30 Reading Youth and Community Centre, Northumberland Avenue, Whitley Reading.
ESRC event

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The ESRC is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and civil society.AHRC