FOOD IN THE FRAME: Mexican Artists in “First Food Residency” at the Institute of Education

appleOn 3rd September 2016, five Mexican artists staged an intriguing food-related art exhibition at the University of Reading’s London Road campus. The works offered tastes from a though-provoking menu that included performance art with a chocolate-flavour, a slightly sinister jam study, a Food Glorious Food-style freezeframe and a neon-bright apple dissection.

The artists, in the UK with the First Food Residency (FFR), aim to shine a light on food’s historic, contemporary and cultural contexts. At this unusual exhibition one could spy a microscopic study of the flesh of an apple, an intense palette of pieces of bread and jam, somehow slightly sinister in their variety, or a participatory performance reflecting on childhood and chocolate – something we can all relate to. Anna Bruce of FFR said: “Debates around food sustainability are taking a grip alongside climate change, and educational institutions are starting to include relevant studies in the curriculum. This is an opportune moment to take a creative look at our food, where it started and what it is now.” 

ARTWORK Chucho Caza, LucilleFIRST FOOD is an artist-led non-profit that aims to open up the debate about food through art. Artists are drawn from a rich variety of backgrounds, disciplines and levels of experience. This eclecticism blows fresh air into the creative process and ensures a novel examination of food and where it comes from: a subject the world once forgot but is now increasingly obsessing about.

The artists, who all answered an open call, included painter Max Ortiz Mejia, printmaker Yoshi Dominguez and scientist Susana Cuevas. Susanna has created visual effects through photography and microscopy, while two further artists, Chucho Caza and Victor Nicolas have focused on Britain’s food culture: Victor by exploring British folklore through the theme of barley and Chuchoby, at the other end of the scale, documenting the cosmopolitan hubbub of London’s contemporary food culture.


Karen Goulding leaves The Learning Hub after 5 wonderful years of creating the “jewel in our crown”..

Karen Goulding is leaving the IoE and the The Learning Hub after five wonderful years of nurturing students and staff alike and creating what has become the “jewel in our crown”. A constant refrain among those first entering The Hub is just one word – “Wow!”

Karen and friend busy at The Learning Hub
Karen and friend busy at The Learning Hub

So many memories: the guide dog sessions
 guide dog 3

Meeting “Father of the Internet” Dr Vinton G Cerf

Vint Cerf at the Learning Hub
Vint Cerf at the Learning Hub

discoveries of long lost treasures

the rampaging dragons situation
don't you dare, dragon

…..among many, many more colourful, inspiring and enticing events that Karen has brought to the Hub.

Dr Margaret Perkins, Director, Primary School Direct at the IOE said of Karen:teddy robber

“Karen came to Reading charged with the task of running what was then called the resources centre and amalgamating it with the Reading Centre. That was no mean feat and the result is the marvellous place we have called the Learning Hub. The Learning Hub is the jewel in our crown and is the envy of many colleagues from other institutions. It is a drawing point for students and teachers alike.

“The change in name is, I think, indicative of why the Learning Hub is at the heart of our campus – both in location and in philosophy and practice. I have heard many people come into the Learning Hub and just say ‘Wow!’ I can understand why and that is down to Karen.

Raymond Wilson boy reading
Raymond Wilson boy reading

“Her skill is making learning attractive, relevant, exciting and vibrant. She shows our students how to manage learning using resources effectively and connectedly. Her tweets have made the Learning Hub and Reading known widely and give Reading a strong voice within the community of practice and the wider world.

“I have never known Karen say No. it has been a joy to work with her on sessions, to plan and talk with her about resources and just to chat about what the students are doing. We understand completely why Karen is going – it seems entirely reasonable to want to live in the same country as your husband – but we are going to miss her so much. She has changed a resource centre into a hub of learning and long may it continue.

“Karen, you leave a powerful legacy and difficult shoes to fill. We wish you every happiness and success – continue to tweet and keep in touch!” Child-reading-a-magical-book-web-620x350

Words we all echo……..

June Open Days saw our highest recorded attendance

We had the highest recorded attendance ever for our June Open Days, with almost 5,500 visitors on campus to meet students and staff, take campus and halls tours, and explore their future Schools and Departments. Find out why we’re in the world’s top 1% of universities:


Guardian University League Table 2017: IoE consolidates its top ten position

The Institute of Education has confirmed its national and international standinsheildg through its excellent results in the Guardian University league table, published today. The IoE has retained its highly successful 8th place among the very large number of Education departments in the just-published Guide. This excellent result reflects the exceptional work of everyone in the IoE.

The result comes from team work and sustained hard work as well as the inspiration and talent of the whole staff. This significant position on the table demonstrates how hard we are working to ensure our students are successful, secure excellent jobs and are studying in truly supportive and exciting environment.  The University of Reading as a whole is in a strong position in the latest table, having consolidated its ranking as a Top 30 UK university.

Head of School, Dr Cathy Tissot said: “I would like to offer my thanks and congratulations to everyone at the IoE on this wonderful result.”

 Cathy Tissot, Head of Institute of Education
Cathy Tissot, Head of Institute of Education








The IoE’s ATP Conference 2016 featured a moving key note, impressive research, a picnic with two amazing cakes – and a tinge of sadness.

The IoE hosted a lively ATP (BA Ed (QTS) Advanced Teaching Project) conference at London Road in June. The occasion was great fun and the culmination of a lot of hard work, but it was also tinged with a little sadness: the IoE was saying goodbye to our much valued Year 3 BA (QTS) Education students. They have been a vibrant, warm cohort who have contributed enormously to the work and spirit of the IoE during their years with us. 

The showcase event was designed to present the research outputs of all our final year BA (QTS) Education students.

Colourful selection of excellent research posters
Colourful selection of excellent research posters

The variety of their projects was broad and accomplished and their posters were visually appealing and lively, with the subjects being searching and relevant to today’s world.

Four of our final year students presented their work, representing a broad cross section of the type of research undertaken. Nasreen Majid, Director of the BA Ed programme, who led the conference said of the presenting students:

I am so proud of the calibre of research that our students have developed. Teaching is a research embedded profession. Our students demonstrated this by the range of work they undertook for their ATPs. Cutting edge ideas, such as children’s mental health and the ideas of growth and fixed mindsets, using mindfulness in primary schools were amongst the projects undertaken.

The IoE welcomed a distinguished keynote speaker to the conference: Su Lyn Corcoran of the Institute of Education, University of Manchester, who is completing her PhD exploring the transition experiences of children and youth leaving the street in Kenya.

Su spoke with passion and knowledge of routes back into education for street-connected children in Africa and the width of the problems and stigmas they face in their journey. It was particularly interesting to hear about the children’s love of reading and yet learn that their stumbling block was often in writing. Su Lyn is a strong advocate for these sometimes invisible children and hearing her dedication as she spoke of them was inspiring and moving.

The four students who stood in front of their peers and presented their research did so with confidence and a sure touch. Their depth of research and passion for their subjects was evident.

Su Lyn Corcoran with the student presenters
Su Lyn Corcoran with the student presenters

Rebekah Gale, Art Specialist, spoke of the issues facing teachers on the ‘Front Line’ of mental health, dealing with a range of challenges faced by children of all ages in our modern world. Olivia Hardy, Mathematics Specialist explored the intriguing theme that “Music Makes You Smarter”, presenting her evidence of the relationship between musical literacy and mathematics. Sarah Mugglestone, English Specialist, spoke strongly of Teachers’ Theories of Intelligence as she explored Growth Mindset School versus Non-Growth Mindset Schools. Cameron Purvis, Music Specialist, questioned in his research “How Confidence and Self-Efficacy Affect Literacy Attainment of Key Stage 2 Children in an Area of Low Socioeconomic Status”. Cameron was fluent in his advocacy of disadvantaged children and Programme Director Nasreen Majid remarked:

We have a future leader in our midst!

Nasreen Majid with the prize winners
Nasreen Majid with the prize winners


The best ATP candidate was to receive The Professor Rhona Stainthorp prize for outstanding achievement in undergraduate research, with two runners up. Hannah Tankard was thrilled and slightly overcome to be the proud recipient, with her runners up, Kenny Brundle, Stephanie Fletcher, Olivia Hardy and Sarah Mugglestone standing alongside her with their certificates, presented by Su Lyn.

Nasreen Majid and Cara Broadhurst with their amazing cakes
Nasreen Majid and Cara Broadhurst with their amazing cakes

After the ceremonies, everyone relaxed and chatted over their picnic, with Nasreen and Cara Broadhurst, Deputy Programme Director making impressive contributions of two stupendous cakes. Everyone enjoyed the chance to be together one more time before our much-valued Year 3 students head off into their bright futures.


Music activity at the IoE

Perfect Fifth
Perfect Fifth

The Music Education department at the University of Reading is enjoying a busy term. Our programme of lunchtime concerts has showcased the talents of Year 3 BA Education (QTS) Music students as they have performed in the University ensemble-in-residence Perfect Fifth.

The University’s Choral Gala on 4.6.16 at the Reading Town Hall, featured children from Long Lane, Newtown, St Johns, St. Mary and All Saints Primary Schools singing with the University Chorus and Chamber Choir.

On 7.6.16 and 9.6.16 children from Whitley schools will present a Singalonga Pirates of Penzance led by secondary PGCE students as part of their enrichment programme.

sm concert great hallIf you are interested in finding out more about our undergraduate and postgraduate music education courses in early years, primary or secondary education, come and see us on the University open days on 16th and 17th June, or bookmark our website and follow us on Twitter.

Join us for a special concert with the University of Reading Choir and Symphony Orchestra plus local school children

On Saturday 4th June at 7pm, a special event will take place in the Reading Concert Hall. A choral gala will be staged by the talented performers of the University of Reading Chorus, Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra, along with our talented local school children.

Join us at Reading Concert Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, RG1 1QH and experience Holst: St Paul’s Suite; George Shearing: Songs and Sonnets from Shakespeare; and Handel: Zadok the Priest.

The conductors will be Dr Rebecca Berkley of the IoE, Paul Cox and Sam Evans.

Tickets: £15 / £12 concessions (inclusive of booking fee)

Available in advance from Reading Arts Or call 0118 960 6060.

Box Office | 011reading concert hall8 960 6060

For more information, visit

Next IoE Public Lecture: Professor Becky Francis of King’s College, London: 19th May.

The Institute of Education is delighted to present its well regarded series of public lectures, given by visiting academics and University of Reading Professors on a range of topics that affect the world of education today. This thoughtful and inspirational lecture series aims to explore the important issues around teaching today.

The next public lecture will take place on the evening of Thursday 19th May 2016. The guest speaker will be Professor Becky Francis from King’s College London. Book here:

IoE Public Lecture

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Professor Becky Francis

Best known for her work on gender and achievement, Becky’s research has focused on social identities in education and educational in/equalities.

The Autumn term lecture was a great success and over-subscribed. On Tuesday 1st December 2015, Professor Peter Blatchford, Professor in Psychology and Education, UCL Institute of Education discussed: ‘Is it true that the benefits of small class sizes are a myth?

‘For further information, please e-mail the IoE Events Team:  IoE Events

Phone: 0118 3782613 or 0118 3782616

Free event for teachers and local authority workers interested in language and literacy

Child-reading-a-magical-book-web-620x350Teachers and local authority staff are warmly welcomed to our first Literacy and Language “Research-into-Practice” event at the Institute of Education, University of Reading. The event presents a great chance to hear about what is going on at Reading, to reflect on research-informed teaching and to forge new research partnerships between the university and schools. What’s more, it’s free! 

Thursday 26th May 2016 from, 2pm – 6pm, University of Reading Institute of Education

Book your place here.


The event will bring together practitioners and researchers interested in primary school children’s language and literacy development. It will showcase research at Reading in the areas of reading development, EAL and Primary Languages, and offer insights into how research can inform classroom practice for literacy and language teaching. We are delighted to have the highly regarded Professor Victoria Murphy, from Oxford University, delivering a keynote speech focused on both EAL learners and reading development.

If you would like to know more please contact  Pre-registration required.

Dr Karen Jones, Director of MA Education (Leadership and Management) with Henley Business School, talks about exciting possibilities of this new programme

This programme is the culmination of an exciting collaboration between the Institute of Education (IoE) and Henley Business School. Henley is among an elite group of business schools – the top 1% in the world and the IoE is known for world-class research with excellence in teaching and learning. It is ranked 3rd for training teachers in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2016).

Dr Karen Jones, Director of the MA Education (Leadership and Management) in conjunction with Henley Business School
Dr Karen Jones, Director of the MA Education (Leadership and Management) in conjunction with Henley Business School

Cross school collaboration is a unique feature of this programme, it provides the best opportunity for learning and it means that a diverse range of experiences and expertise is offered to learners. In addition the programme provides opportunities to extend professional networks and develop contacts. Enrolment for 2016 is now open to leaders and aspiring leaders from all education sectors, (including administrators), nationally and internationally.

 Contact Liz Smith for full details: /+44 (0) 118 378 2616.

Contact Liz Smith for full details: /44 (0) 118 378 2616.

Learners benefit from the expertise of staff from both of these schools, as well as our student body, which includes a diverse range of professionals who travel from around the world to attend courses at the Institute of Education. It is a great opportunity for ambitious education professionals to network and extend contacts, while learning and developing a career in education.


The need for educational leaders and managers has never been greater. Yet there is often little time for education professionals to attend traditional courses due to the intensity of the everyday working environment.  This programme is designed to provide a flexible and innovative summer school delivery with distance learning support to meet the needs of busy professionals.


Dr Jones said: “We aim to provide education professionals with a rewarding and enjoyable learning experience. Adding value through its innovative design with Henley Business School, this leadership and management programme is distinctive due to its emphasis on the educational context to help learners link theoretical perspectives with their  own professional practice context.”


The programme is delivered over a one week summer school, followed by distance learning support. It offers exit qualifcations at Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and Master’s stages.  Enrolment for the 2016 summer school is now open.