Transforming lives, inspiring change

Interview with
Steven Onasanya
Graduate of the Early Years Professional Status.

       Welcome to this issue of Inspire. The School of Education has had a
       very busy 9 months. Continuing o...

                                                                                                        11 Mi...
Success for
       A new PGCE Early Years course
       is starting thi...
Teaching assistants celebrate success
Teaching assistants in Northamptonshire schools celebrated their new Higher
Level Te...
Education sector’s support is vital to success
       of 11 MILLION TAKEOVER DAY, says
       Children’s Commissioner
What is 11 MILLION
Achieve A
      Higher Level
      Lurking in corners throughout the education buildings at Park Campus,
      there exist...
Above: Ken Bland, Head of Professional Development and Training

Many of the specialist modules are taught by          ...
Bursaries for support
           staff working in schools
       Northamptonshire School teachers who are offered a place ...
The School of Education’s Annual
Children and Young People Lecture
with Dr. Penelope Leach
Childcare practitioners and stu...
       Collaboration down-under:                                groups. Observing and acknowledgin...
       success for
       The Centre for Special Needs Education and
       Research (CeSNER) within ...
Croatia                                                 USA
              Republic of Ireland
“If you are a graduate and
                   have a passion for working
                   with children then I recommend...
I come from a background in business, and have a
postgraduate diploma. Before starting on the course
I worked as a volunte...
A model programme
            Interactive education for children with autism and special
            needs is the key to c...
Education Inspire magazine Issue03
Education Inspire magazine Issue03
Education Inspire magazine Issue03
Education Inspire magazine Issue03
Education Inspire magazine Issue03
Education Inspire magazine Issue03
Education Inspire magazine Issue03
Education Inspire magazine Issue03
Education Inspire magazine Issue03
Education Inspire magazine Issue03
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Education Inspire magazine Issue03


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Welcome to this issue of Inspire. The School of Education has had a very busy 9 months. Continuing on from last years Ofsted success, the school has celebrated another rise in its teacher training ratings, and is the first in the country to offer an integrated degree leading to Early Years Professional Status.

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Education Inspire magazine Issue03

  1. 1. Transforming lives, inspiring change Interview with Steven Onasanya Graduate of the Early Years Professional Status. 11 MILLION TAKEOVER DAY Education sector’s support is vital to success. Research Matters CeSNER research partnerships across the globe. Also Achieve A Developing inside: Higher Level Blended Learning Professional Development How Blended Learning could assist and Training explored HLTA candidates
  2. 2. Welcome Welcome to this issue of Inspire. The School of Education has had a very busy 9 months. Continuing on from last years Ofsted success, the school has celebrated another rise in its teacher training ratings, and is the first in the country to offer an integrated degree leading to Early Years Professional Status. The children’s commissioner for England talks to Inspire about the 11 million take over day. We will also give you an update on the School’s research and our travels around world! I hope you enjoy the latest issue of Inspire. Paul Bramble, Editor, Inspire Thank you We would like to also take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us over the past year, whether you have been a mentor on our many courses, a school partner or contributed to the various research projects that have been undertaken. I hope you and your school, nursery or educational settings have another successful year. 1 | Inspire | | email:
  3. 3. Contents 11 Million Takeover Day ........................5 Achieve a Higher Level..........................7 Bursaries for support staff .....................9 University holds Children and Young People Lecture with Dr. Penelope Leach......................10 Partnership with schools .....................10 record for teaching The Further Mathematics Network ...10 Research Matters...................................11 jobs after graduation Global success for CeSNER .................13 Interview with Steven Onasanya .......15 A model programme.............................17 The School of Education has the best record for newly-trained New school based route for primary teachers in securing teaching posts through their PGCE the Masters in Education ....................18 primary programme, according to the Good Teacher Training Developing Blended Learning ............19 Guide 2009. From Photos to Memories....................21 Within six months (based on 2008 figures) University and School-based tutors to the of gaining qualified teacher status (QTS) from future of primary education. The University of Northampton, an impressive 92% of trainees were successful in gaining “We believe our graduates will be in a strong employment as a teacher. Additionally, the position to continue to be successful in the Guide ranks Northampton 7th in its provision current employment situation” of primary Initial Teacher Training (ITT). The Good Teacher Training Guide 2009 is Joanna Moxham, Head of ITT, School of compiled by the Centre for Education and Education, commented: Employment Research at the University of “We are delighted by the statistics which Buckingham, and compares teacher training reflect the hard work and professional qualities providers in terms their intakes, Ofsted ratings of our students and the commitment of our and trainees’ take-up of teaching posts. Achieving a higher level continues Inspire Written and produced by The University of Northampton School of Education all submissions are property of Inspire magazine. The entire The School of Education’s HLTA team have content © Copyright The University of Northampton School of successfully retained the TDA contract HLTA, for Education 2008, and cannot be reproduced in whole or part without prior written consent. Phase 3 Regional Provider of HLTA Assessments. Editor Paul Bramble – The team has now been involved in a lead role Words Paul Bramble – in HLTA assessment across the pilot, phase 1 Photography Design Depot Ltd, Merle Moustafa & Chris Allum and phase 2. This marks the continuation Design by Design Depot Ltd – Printed by Portland Print Limited of a major contribution to the development of teaching assistants across schools in the East Midlands Region. | email: | Inspire | 2
  4. 4. Success for University’s teacher training A new PGCE Early Years course is starting this term. This follows on from the success of last year’s Ofsted Grade 1 award of the University’s undergraduate and postgraduate courses and the subsequent Training and Development Agency’s (TDA) award of Category ‘A’ provider status. Due to these excellent results, the University was awarded additional teacher training places, resulting in the launch of a new PGCE Early Years course to add to the existing suite of programmes. University welcomes The first cohort of 24 students is due to begin training this September and they bring with them different experiences and backgrounds, including Music and Psychology. Course Leader Anna Cox commented: “As well as developing strong subject knowledge our students will consider important issues in the special needs teachers from India to campus field of Early Years such as how to support children’s well being, inclusion and working in partnership with parents. If you really want to influence society and make a difference, be an Early Years teacher.” A group of teachers from South West India has One of our current Doctoral students will be very The School is delighted to be extending its chosen to visit Northampton to study special influential in policy terms when he returns to the partnership opportunities with Early Years settings. needs education, based on the international region next year with specialist, but important, reputation for excellence of The University of knowledge in this aspect of children’s schooling.'' Northampton’s Centre for Special Educational A rich programme is underway for the visitors, Needs Research (CeSNER). including a five day visit to the Ofsted awarded The visitors from Marion Play Home, a special 'outstanding' special school, Fairfields School, school within a poor community in the Kerala Trinity Avenue, to observe teaching in region, will be finding out how UK schools teach classroom settings. children with autistic spectrum disorders or severe The teachers are partnered with four Malayalam- learning difficulties. speaking students from the University’s School Richard Rose, Head of CeSNER, explains: of Education to make sure they receive the full ''The collaboration was initiated by former benefit of the experience. overseas students who returned to their homes in Corallie Murray, Fairfields Head Teacher and PhD Kerala with news of our work in special needs. student at The University of Northampton, said: ''We are pleased to welcome the visiting teachers to our school and hope they will take away some useful information, new ideas and some of the best practice they will see happening within our school. The children are enjoying sharing their time with them.'' 3 | Inspire | | email:
  5. 5. Teaching assistants celebrate success Teaching assistants in Northamptonshire schools celebrated their new Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) status at an event at The University of Northampton's Park Campus recently. Northamptonshire has 436 HLTAs working in schools across the county who have a wide range of roles and responsibilities. Ros Burman, Area School Improvement Manager, Children and Young People's Directorate, Northamptonshire County Council, presented certificates in recognition of HLTAs' achievements. Ros was involved in the pilot project when the HLTA status was introduced as part of the National Agreement on Raising Standards and Tackling Workload in 2003. Ros drew attention to the newly formed HLTA/Cover Supervisor Support Network for Northamptonshire, which will be offering support group meetings and opportunities for training and professional development to HLTAs and Cover Supervisors across all phases of education from September. 1st in the country to provide a new professional route train for EYPS The School wins bid to s a chool teachers Following the success of the initial stages of the primary s pilot Early Childhood Studies (ECS) to Ealy Years Professional Status (EYPS) in 3.5 years’ a new ialists hematics Spec chool of version of the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies M at S (ECS) was validated in June. orthampton’s This new BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies The University of N r to lead a new (Professional Practice) provides a designated as won a tende professional pathway for selected ECS students Education h l authorities from years 2 and 3 that will enable them to ve across sixteen loca national initiati develop as effective early years’ practitioners and ol teachers as 0 primary scho to prepare for leadership and management roles. 100 to train around ext three years. As a result, students graduating with the BA (Hons) ecialists over the n Early Childhood Studies (Professional Practice) Mathematics Sp an exciting represents pathway should be able to complete EYPS “The Programme ion between 6 to 9 months after graduation. hematics Special ist opportunity to work in collaborat The Primary Mat l local authorities Programme is a new professiona with other unive rsities, gramme created as vide quality development pro ommendation in the and schools to pro nal development for teachers - TDA approved provider a result of a rec professio ‘Independent Re view of Mathem atics and make a signif icant difference to for the national SENCO and athematics.” Teaching in Ea rly Years Settings at every children's learning of m qualification ’ (June 2008), th -face training ou tside Primary Schools ss to a Through face-to should have acce and primary school Teacher by 2019 . school hours, network meetings The School of Education is now a TDA nationally ecialist t, teachers on Mathematics Sp in-school develop men approved centre for the training of SENCOs nal the Department for will gain professio (special educational needs coordinators), Fully funded by the Programme s (DCSF), e int erpersonal skills which leads to the award of a national SENCO Children, Sc hools and Familie knowledge and th by a consortium led ive professional qualification. the course is run to lead collaborat hool rsity of Northam pton, with d team work in sc by The Unive rsity development an vision The Training and Development Agency for schools Grosseteste Unive ality and pro partners Bishop to improve the qu (TDA) has awarded the University this contract Nottingham Trent College Lincoln, e, of m athematics. for training teachers with SENCO roles in schools ty of Bedfordshir Un iversity, Universi rs will be awarded across 8 local authorities. rby and Un iversity of Successful teache matics University of De of Primary Mathe close partnership the status , Steve Cullingford-Agnew, course leader for SENCO He rtfordshire, and in nis ed national award ities. Specialist, a recog a Masters commented that with local author in addition to on e third of “We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver Senior Lecturer in gree in Education . Debbie Morgan, rsity de the National SENCO course. This course will assist ucation, The Unive Mathematics Ed gional to recognise the work of SENCOs and their , and Re of Northampton ics commitment to improving outcomes for children mary Mathemat Pro gramme Lead Pri with SEN and disabilities”. mme, co mmented: Specialist Progra ail n pack please em This course is fully funded for SENCOs new d an applicatio For further information an to their role or in post after September 2008. For further information please contact MSP@northam | email: | Inspire | 4
  6. 6. Education sector’s support is vital to success of 11 MILLION TAKEOVER DAY, says Children’s Commissioner 11 MILLION TAKEOVER DAY was even bigger students in decision-making through school Adults also tell me they learn a great deal from and better last year and much of this success councils, student unions and other similar initiatives. working alongside children and young people and was down to the hundreds of education bodies welcome the fresh insights and new perspectives But today I am encouraging everyone to get including schools, colleges and universities who on their jobs. They all say they look forward to involved in this national event and give children took part. taking part again. and young people the opportunity to work This year’s Takeover Day is on Friday 6 November alongside teachers, lecturers and staff in other Anyone can get involved in 11MILLION TAKEOVER and I hope that even more institutions will sign up posts and shout out about what they are doing. DAY because there is no one size fits all formula. and support my organisation 11 MILLION in So please sign up via our website now: The day benefits all ages – children and young highlighting the great contribution to society that or email: people have the chance to influence decision- children and young people make. . Also check out makers and what they do on Takeover Day has the website for tips to help you start planning your I am well aware that schools, colleges and helped to change some of the negative public activities for 11 MILLION Takeover Day 2009. universities up and down the country are already attitudes that are reported about them in doing fantastic work to involve their pupils and the media. Sir Al Aynsley-Green Children’s Commissioner for England 5 | Inspire | | email:
  7. 7. What is 11 MILLION TAKEOVER DAY? 11 MILLION TAKEOVER OVER DAY is a national event offering children and young people across the country opportunities to work alongside adults and to get involved in decision-making in a diverse range of organisations. During Takeover Day 2008, 17,000 children and young people ‘takeover’ jobs at nearly 700 organisations including schools, police and fire services, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, media, BT, charities, youth groups, local authorities, councils and many more. “It’s really good when people listen to what you are saying.” Pupils at Caldecott School who ‘took over’ their teachers’ jobs “They gave us pretend £2,000 to use to design the week of action, which we did and we’re going to stay together to achieve the next project – hooray!” Pupil from Bentley Wood High School who worked with Harrow Connextions: “I enjoyed the interview rooms also so now I am following my dream to be a police officer. Thank you.” Pupil from Pickering High School at Humberside Police: | email: | Inspire | 6
  8. 8. Achieve A Higher Level Lurking in corners throughout the education buildings at Park Campus, there exists an entity known as the PDT Division. What is it? What does it do? Is it dangerous? There is a team of School of Education staff The School of Education was at the forefront 'It is a great pleasure to help dedicated and working on courses for the wider schools nationally, of identifying the demand for hardworking Teaching Assistants achieve their workforce. This remit is broad and of singular professional development for teaching assistants career aims. At the core of what we do in the PDT importance for the training of support staff and began offering accredited courses from 1994. division is the help schools improve the quality of working in schools, not just in Northamptonshire, The high demand for these courses led to the teaching and learning for their students by training but throughout the East Midlands. It provides a development of: their staff.' (Ken Bland) network of professional development and training 2001 The HLTA programme has grown from strength to opportunities to meet the needs of one of the • Foundation Degree (Arts) in Learning and strength since its inception in 2003. To date over fastest growing and constantly developing sectors Teaching (FDLT) 450 candidates have gained HLTA status in in the country. In the 10 years from 1997 to 2007 2003 Northamptonshire alone. Research into the the numbers of teaching assistants working in • BA (Hons) in Learning and Teaching (BALT) as deployment of HLTAs and the impact they are schools expanded exponentially from 61,000 to a one year full-time equivalent Level 6 top-up making in schools, carried out by the University 177,000. Fresh impetus was given to the training of from FDLT with, on average, 80% of FDLT of Northampton in conjunction with support staff by the signing of the National graduates progressing to BALT Northamptonshire Local Authority, can be found Agreement on Raising Standards and Tackling • HLTA status was incorporated into the PDT on the University’s HLTA website. Ken Bland is very Workload in 2003. The creation of Higher Level Division portfolio positive about the impact of HLTAs in schools, 'The Teaching Assistant (HLTA) status gave teaching HLTA programme is all about modernising the assistants a career pathway for the first time. 2004 school's workforce and changing the teaching and • Certificate in Higher Education Supporting The government has raised expectation amongst learning dynamic in schools today' Learners (CHESL) as a part-time programme school support staff that training will be available of Level 4 modules Wendy Yarnall, who joined the team in May 2008, to help them meet their development goals. For is the course leader for CHESL. There are currently some that goal will be a degree and the possibility The Head of Professional Development and 30 CHESL modules (and more being developed), of teacher training, for others Higher Level Teaching Training is Ken Bland, who as well as being the which cover a wide range of topics of direct Assistant status, for many others it is to seek that divisional leader, is also the project manager for relevance to support staff working in schools. specialist knowledge which will enable them to the HLTA programme. improve the life chances of the children that they are working with. 7 | Inspire
  9. 9. Above: Ken Bland, Head of Professional Development and Training Many of the specialist modules are taught by This 2 year, work based course is led by Julie Jones remit is to develop students' academic ability such experts in their fields from the CeSNER (Centre for who observed that, ‘Since our first students that they reach honours level and display all the Special Needs Education and Research) team at the graduated in 2003, the Foundation Degree in skills and have the confidence that all graduates University. They cover such diverse subjects as Learning and Teaching has provided its 396 of The University of Northampton should have, autism, literacy difficulties, speech and language graduates with a vocational qualification to irrespective of the employment they are in." and behaviour to name but a few. enhance their career development.’ Comment The CHESL, FDLT, BALT and HLTA programmes from a recent FDLT graduate who is now pursuing ‘CHESL offers support staff an excellent provide for those involved in supporting teaching a career in teaching, Katie Noon, sums up how opportunity to develop their knowledge and and learning within mainstream infant, primary valuable the course is when she said at her expertise in supporting learners while giving and secondary schools, community colleges and graduation... 'to be quite honest it's the best them a 'first toe in the water' at higher education academies, Special Educational Needs schools and decision I ever made.' study, raising their confidence as a result. Many other education providers such as pupil referral students go on to take further modules and often Students can continue for a third year to top units, and hospital education services. combine this with HLTA, enhancing their profile up this degree and gain a BA in Learning and With a commitment to the principle of lifelong significantly in the work place.’ (Wendy Yarnall, Teaching (BALT). Led by Dr Estelle Tarry. learning, the PDT Division offers opportunities for course leader CHESL) teaching assistants that respond to employer needs and enable teaching assistants to develop careers ‘It is a great pleasure to help dedicated and in education and extended schools provision. The programmes are popular within school hardworking Teaching Assistants achieve their communities and local authorities, recruit well and have a good reputation in Northamptonshire and career aims. At the core of what we do in the PDT the surrounding counties. Modes of study are division is the help schools improve the quality of suitable to teaching assistants in full or part-time employment with accessibility, flexible provision teaching and learning for their students by training and widening participation being key principles. their staff.' Ken Bland I’m sure you’ve worked it out by now. PDT stands for Professional Development and Training. Not scary at all really. The Foundation Degree in Learning and Teaching Paul Sedgewick, Senior Lecturer in Education and (FDLT) is very successful with a consistently high Admissions Tutor for BALT said, "Within a division annual intake, (82 in 2008-09). It has proved very that caters for students in employment the BALT is popular with students, offering the school unique in not being a work-based programme. This workforce a route into Higher Education. odd situation is quite deliberate because the BALT's | email: | Inspire | 8
  10. 10. Bursaries for support staff working in schools Northamptonshire School teachers who are offered a place on a Certificate in Higher Education Supporting Learners (CHESL) module at The University of Northampton this financial year will be able to apply for a bursary from the Northamptonshire local authority towards the fees for the course. The bursary is good news for those who are working in schools. There are 30 modules to choose Similarly there will be full funding for up to 15 employed to support learning and teaching with from, all taught by experts in their field, including applicants accepted for the module, ‘Supporting pupils aged three years and over in the county’s Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, Learners with Speech, Language and Communication maintained schools, such as teaching assistants and Supporting Learners with Autistic Spectrum Difficulties.’ This is because the content of these two Higher Level Teaching Assistants. Disorders, Special Educational Needs and courses in particular is deemed to meet the local Literacy Difficulties. authority’s priorities for school support staff. The School Workforce Development Manager for the Learning, Achievement and School Improvement A typical 20 Credit CHESL module costs £350. The grant is available for this financial year (2009-10) Division at Northamptonshire County Council has The Local Authority is offering a bursary of £200 and there is no guarantee that these funding announced new funding arrangements for nationally for every 20 credit module up to a maximum of arrangements will continue next year. Individuals accredited qualifications that are not supported by 40 credits this year. and school managers who are considering the other grants for school support staff in professional development needs of their support In addition there will be full funding for up to Northamptonshire schools. staff should take a look at the website to see what 15 applicants accepted on the Specialist Teaching is on offer. CHESL modules, which are offered by The University Assistant (STA) course. STA has been popular since of Northampton, form a bridge between vocational its inception 13 years ago and some 260 teaching For a full list of modules visit and higher education qualifications, covering a wide assistants have gained this qualification in the county. range of topics of direct relevance to support staff To apply, or enquire about the modules, contact admissions on 0800 358 2232 or email You will need to be offered a place before you can apply to the Local Authority for the bursary. 9 | Inspire | | email:
  11. 11. The School of Education’s Annual Children and Young People Lecture with Dr. Penelope Leach Childcare practitioners and students on professional childcare courses at the University attended this years lecture by Penelope Leach, eminent child development psychologist and author of ‘Your Baby and Child’, which has been an essential guide for new parents over several decades. wide-ranging international account of what she calls "the conundrum of contemporary child care". Denise Hevey, Professor of Early Years and organiser Above: Stephen Smith, Head of Partnership of the Lecture, is author of new chapter, ‘Professional Work in Early Childhood’. She said: “We are honoured that such a respected figure in the field was present at the launch of our team’s book and are hoping that this revised and updated Partnership edition will be equally well received and valued by students and practitioners. “Penelope Leach has always championed with schools home-based childcare such as child-minding for Penelope is as an advocate for Stephen Smith is our new head young children, and her renowned research supports children and parents (Children First Vintage 1994), a Fellow of the importance of sensitive, consistent caring of partnership at the School of relationships. We are very proud and excited that the British Psychological Society, she came to talk to us.” Education and talks to Inspire. and an Hon. Senior Research Fellow at the Tavistock Clinic and The University’s annual Children and Young People’s I have worked in education for nearly thirty years, at the Centre for the Study of Children, Families and Lecture has previously attracted other high-profile mainly in secondary schools in North Yorkshire, Social Issues, Birkbeck. For the past nine years her speakers such as Camila Batmanghelidjh, East Yorkshire and Hull. I began my career as a research has been focused on child care; she is psychotherapist and founder/Director of the History teacher and went on to become a Head co-director of the Families, Children and Childcare charity Kids Company, and Dr Sheila Shribman, of Department and Senior School Leader. I also study, the largest study of child care ever carried NHS National Clinical Director for Children, Young worked with a large number of primary schools out in the UK, and author of a new book offering a People and Maternity. promoting curricular links with their secondary partners. As a Senior School Leader I was responsible for Continuing Professional Development, including Graduate and Initial Teacher Training. The Further Teacher Education eventually became the most satisfying area of my work, and so I am delighted to join the School of Education at The University Mathematics Network of Northampton. The School is, clearly, a thriving and successful organisation. Furthermore, it offers an extremely friendly and supportive environment to work in. I have two main roles in the School, as The Further Mathematics Network is a government-funded Head of Partnership and a Divisional Leader for initiative. It is managed by Mathematics in Education and Teacher Education. Industry (MEI), an independent educational charity. I believe strongly that partnership between the University and schools is absolutely central to The Further Mathematics Network consists of opportunities available to them because of their achieving our aim of producing tomorrow’s high 46 Further Mathematics Network Centres, which mathematical ability. Schools and colleges quality education professionals. The School already The School of Education at The University of report that involvement with their local Further has a large number of successful partnerships Northampton is the centre for the East Midlands Mathematics Network Centre has raised the which I am keen to maintain and develop. region. Each Centre aims to ensure ASIA level profile of mathematics amongst their students. However, the University is also interested in Further Mathematics is available to all ASIA level We need more students to study mathematics establishing new partnerships with Early Years Mathematics students, promote mathematics to post -16 and we need more well-qualified settings, primary and secondary schools. Partnership all young people and help support the teaching students to choose maths-related subjects at isn’t just about student placements in schools and of ASIA level Mathematics and Further university. The Further Mathematics Network is we are keen to explore other ways in which the Mathematics in all schools and colleges. already starting to make this happen. School of Education can contribute to the work of education professionals. The Further Mathematics Network, combined The Further Mathematics Network (FMN) came with the change to the structure of ASIA level to an end on 31 July, but its success means that If you would like to know more about the Further Mathematics, has already led to a the DCSF will continue to provide funding to opportunities working in partnership please significant increase in the number of students support Further Mathematics. From 1 August get in touch. achieving Further Mathematics qualifications. 2009, the FMN is replaced by the Further Each of these students' exposure to Further Mathematics Support Programme (FMSP). Tel: 01604 892470 Mathematics has made them more aware of Email: Go to for details. their own potential, the pleasures of an intellectual challenge and the extra | email: | Inspire | 10
  12. 12. Research Matters Collaboration down-under: groups. Observing and acknowledging the often very it’s quite a bit different. Some of the teachers I small steps of progress these pupils make can be worked with had no other schools or colleagues Annie Fergusson, CeSNER really difficult, yet teachers everywhere want to nearby. In fact some had had a day’s travel or a few Teachers grapple with similar issues the world over. celebrate the achievements of all of their students. hours flight to get to my sessions in their closest Earlier this year I experienced this first-hand when I school or centre! Obviously this is quite a common My involvement was to explore this challenge by factor for them to consider. They have well- was invited to work with teachers across the state of sharing practice from England around the Western Australia (WA) to explore some common established routes of communication – virtual assessment of pupils with special needs. discussions via internet or the lower-tech mode of challenges. The focus of the work was on assessing the progress of learners with special needs. During During my stay we worked with UK resources as a short wave radio, as used by their ‘schools of the air’ my three week stay, I worked with over 150 teachers useful springboard for teachers in WA. There were (a bit like the flying doctor service we know from in five regional venues, spending many hours two main parts to my work – firstly to give teachers the movies!). travelling to the north (outback territory!) and the an overview of our national assessment and moderation process in England, introduce an Observing and acknowledging the often far south of this vast state. assessment measure for learners working below level very small steps of progress these pupils I had the privilege of spending time in schools and 1 of our national curriculum (known here as the P make can be really difficult, yet teachers working with teachers across the state - this was scales) and then give them first-hand experience of fascinating; a real highlight. I felt very at home in everywhere want to celebrate the using these in workshop activities. The second part classrooms getting to know students & seeing their of my task was to set up some focus groups of achievements of all of their students. achievements great and small. What was quite teachers in five regions of the state, to enable them Following straight on from the WA work, was a trip different was the diversity of students in many of to trial and review these materials and the process to Canberra, to share developments in this area from the schools and classes – particularly those located of assessment and moderation for the WA context. England with the federal government. Australia is in ‘rural and remote’ places (and they mean There were many similarities between our countries, currently developing a national curriculum for the remote!). If there’s a school in your area, that’s but a glaring difference was the scale of the country. first time. They have a really unique opportunity to where you go – inclusion by default! These schools In England, teachers work together to develop be the first nation to introduce a truly inclusive are supported by a visiting teacher service who consistency making judgements of pupil progress, national curriculum from the start. It may just be regularly fly in to work with and advise teachers usually with colleagues in neighbouring schools. that sharing the English perspective with them will working with students with special needs. Many of the local authorities I am used to working enable them to get it right from the word go. Who Understandably, many teachers I met felt isolated with have dense populations and you are usually knows – in a couple of years we could be sharing and often overwhelmed by the challenges of being almost on the doorstep of a nearby school. In WA, conversations about pupil progress using a common able to meet the wide ranging needs of their pupil language and with a truly shared understanding. 11 | Inspire | | email:
  13. 13. Research Update TDA supported projects undertaken by the School of Education. Boy-friendly teaching: using Fathers to develop resources to support QTS This study identified important information for trainee teachers and their tutors concerning the role fathers in the education of their sons. A set of resources have been developed, including a number of checklists, a set of illustrative narratives, power- point presentations and video-extracts of conversations with fathers. The project is of great importance because the role of fathers in their son’s education has not been the focus of much attention in the English schools. It is also helping to contribute to the debate concerning the underachievement of boys in certain curriculum subjects, their over-representation in instances of unacceptable behaviour, and in exclusion figures. The study is featured on Teachers TV and its findings published in a book Fathers and Sons: in and about education, published by Trentham Books. The project team comprised Philip Garner and Barry Groom (The University of Northampton), supported by a cast of many fathers and their sons! Improving group dynamics to support learning and social inclusion: developing and enhancing CPD tutor capacity The aim of our project which we call Growing Talent for Inclusion (GTI), is to work with a class teacher to develop more effective and satisfying interpersonal relationships in the classroom. The process is based on the principles and approaches of collaborative Research Partnerships Mary Doveston and Sheena Bell are currently consultation, Appreciative Inquiry, solution focused involved in comparative research into work with brief therapy and co-researching with the students .We with Ireland dyslexic children with a colleague at St Patrick’s have been working with a focus group of Educational Members of the Centre for Special Needs Education College of Education in Dublin. Their work has Psychologists and teachers to pilot a training and Research (CeSNER) team have recently been already been reported in a number of academic methodology to enable other professionals to use successful in obtaining research grants through journals and through conference presentations. this approach, in schools and other learning contexts. competitive tendering with colleagues in Ireland. For further information regarding Project Iris, One member of the focus group commented: A three year longitudinal study into special please visit ‘….every school has a class where the dynamics get educational needs provision in schools across the in the way of learning. I feel quite honoured to have Irish Republic, funded by the National Council for Special Education in Ireland, will involve members Working with School been involved in this type of research because this could be taken into every school.’ of CeSNER working with colleagues from Trinity Leaders in Australia College Dublin and The Institute of Child Education. Now that we have a training file and a feature on Professors Richard Rose and Philip Garner have This project, (Project Iris – Inclusive Research in Irish Teachers TV, we are in a stronger position to recently returned from Perth Australia where they Schools) the largest of its kind ever funded in disseminate this approach and a GTI course starts in presented keynotes and workshops at the Western Ireland will involve a survey of every Irish school November. Australian Education Support Principals & and the development of case studies to illustrate Adminstrators’ Association Conference. This The project team consisted of Mary Doveston (The current practices in supporting students with special provided an opportunity to disseminate recent University of Northampton) and Marian Keenaghan educational needs. research which they had undertaken in the UK (Northamptonshire County Council). A second project sees Professor Richard Rose to an audience of research leaders from across working with colleagues from Church of Ireland Western Australia. In addition, Richard and Philip Extended Schools College of Education Dublin to undertake an analysis visited a number of schools and had meetings Research conducted by Andy Smith, Sue Griffiths and of the role of special needs assistants (SNA) in with education officials from the State Richard Rose from The University of Northampton schools across Ireland. This project, funded by the Government and with colleagues from the have recently examined models of provision within Irish Ministry of Education will be used to inform University of Western Australia, Curtin University the extended schools initiative. Case studies focussed future developments in classroom support in and Edith Cowan University. upon aspects of extended services were generated Irish schools. and will form the basis of a programme for initial teacher training use. The researchers were supported by a group of undergraduate students on an ITT course throughout this project. All these reports are available from | Inspire | 12
  14. 14. Global success for CeSNER The Centre for Special Needs Education and Research (CeSNER) within the School of Education is receiving international acclaim for innovative research into inclusion and managing behaviour in the classroom. Professor Richard Rose, Head of CeSNER, recounts some of this year’s successes. UK Annie Fergusson continues to provide advic e to the CeSNER has been in the national medi a spotlight Western Australia Ministry of Education and to Hong Kong providing expert commentary on educ Federal Government officials on the introd ational uction of Steve Cullingford Agnew and Sue Griffi issues. The global impact of the Behaviour P Scales – performance descriptions for ths delivered 4Learning measuring training to education assistants in Englis website, led by the University, has been the progress of pupils for whom the early h Schools widely levels of Foundation schools as the last stage of recognised, with world-wide training event the National Curriculum are not appro a course s provided. priate. provided by CeSNER colleagues including Andy Smith and Mary Doveston. Australia India As Visiting Professor at the Hong Kong Instit ute of Philip Garner and Richard Rose presented A team of teachers from Kerala requested Education, Richard Rose is working on a the a visit to project keynote address at the West Australia Speci the University in July based on CeSNER’s funded through the Research Council to al School reputation look at Principals’ Conference. While we were there for research and practice. They visited our models of support for inclusion in Hong we held partners Kong schools. discussions at four university teacher educa at Fairfields School, guided by our Mast tion ers and PhD departments. students, to plan for future SEN teaching in India. Singapore Richard Rose will be the keynote speak er at a major international conference on SEN and inclus ion in the autumn. 13 | Inspire | | email:
  15. 15. Croatia USA Republic of Ireland Maria Howley had recently returned from North Philip Garner is in liaison with colleagues at the CeSNER successfully achieved two research bids in Carolina where she was training colleagues in Croatian Ministry of Education regarding a potential Ireland. One is funded by the Irish Department of the education of children with autistic spectrum project on disability, teacher training and inclusion. Education and Science to examine the role of disorders. assistants in schools, and the second is a three year longitudinal study into SEN provision in schools Germany Armenia across the country. Philip Garner recently addressed policy-makers and Richard Rose recently worked with colleagues from Dyslexia research is being conducted by Sheena Bell teachers from the state government of Schleswig- the University of Aberdeen and with an NGO in and Mary Doveston in partnership with St Patrick’s Hostein at the request of the European Agency for Armenia providing support for teachers who will College in Dublin. Special Needs. begin a programme of education for pupils with special educational needs in the country. Estonia Belgium CeSNER’s work is moving at such a fast pace that Research into children with social, emotional and We are carrying out assessment work on a European we are already booking our flights to start on our behavioural difficulties is being carried out by Barry joint doctorate project to make sure we are new projects! Groom with colleagues from the University of Tartu. connected with the international agenda. | email: | Inspire | 14
  16. 16. “If you are a graduate and have a passion for working with children then I recommend Early Years Professional Status (EYPS). Your professional development doesn’t come to a halt after training, you can access Professional Development and Training through your local authority. EYPS is here to stay.” Interview with: Steven Onasanya Graduate of the EYPS Full Training pathway 15 | Inspire |
  17. 17. I come from a background in business, and have a postgraduate diploma. Before starting on the course I worked as a volunteer with the elderly and with young people with mental health issues, helping them reintegrate. While I was working with Mencap I was nominated for an award for excellence, and I’ve worked as a Sunday school teacher – I realised that I had a flair for working with children and also a belief that it is better to tackle early on the problems that can arise for them. I chose early years because I have a passion for EYPS has helped me to improve outcomes for working with them, born of experience. Nowadays children because I have positive relationships with there are so many children in single parent families their parents so I can help them in their role as EYPS courses available who have no male role model, and even in settled educators. I’ve learnt to see the uniqueness of homes the dad may be out working till late, so it’s every child so that we can create the enabling The Early Years Validation Pathway great for children to have male input in their lives. environment that each one deserves. (3-4 months part time) Funded by CWDC, is for experienced graduates My experience with The University of Northampton The thing I enjoy so much about my job is that it’s with vision, resilience and commitment. was memorable because the course is so intensive – special every day, it’s always rewarding and you tune there is the experience you gain through placements in to the children so you see things from their own The EYPS Short Pathway (6 months) where you discover so much you just didn’t know. level. It’s exciting, there’s something new every day. Focuses on updating your knowledge and We were taught by excellent tutors in an skills in working with babies and toddlers and I love the challenge now that I’m managing an Early in leading and supporting others to deliver Early environment that was really conducive to learning. Years setting. This is just a small setting, but most Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). We visited Eureka Children’s Centre a centre of skills are transferable and I’m planning in the future excellence in the West Midlands and we kept a diary The EYPS Long pathway on running something bigger, and eventually and used it reflectively. (12 -15 months part-time) becoming the manager of a Children’s Centre. Since gaining EYPS my life has changed for the If you already hold a Foundation Degree in Early If you are a graduate and have a passion for Years or you have a less relevant Honours degree positive, I have more knowledge to help interact working with children then I recommend EYPS. but with at least two years experience of working with children and know how to understand the Your professional development doesn’t come to a in Early Years, then this route may be for you. relationships they have with their parents. In my halt after training, you can access PDT through your previous roles I learned a lot about independence The EYPS Full Training Pathway local authority. EYPS is here to stay. and how to achieve it which I’m able to use to help (12 months full-time) children. As a result of the course I feel much more If your interested in what being an EYP could If you are a graduate wanting to work with comfortable in meetings. do for you, please contact Hayley Hunter young children but have little or no experience, or visit then this route is for you. our website | email: | Inspire | 16
  18. 18. A model programme Interactive education for children with autism and special needs is the key to changing behaviour, according to research work by two senior lecturers from the School of Education. Interactive education for children with autism and interaction programme helped children with with peers and staff and were able to create special needs is the key to changing behaviour, autism to have meaningful relations and friendships,” said Marie. according to research work by two senior lecturers interactions,” explains Kyffin. As a bonus the pair found that the status of the from the School of Education. They also discovered how such a training model member of staff involved in using and cascading the Marie Howley and Kyffin Jones are members of impacts on a school and its staff. model elevates because of their newly gained skills, the University’s Centre for Special Needs Education increased confidence and the feeling of The mainstay of the model is the training of a and Research (CeSNER). Their expertise in dealing empowerment. member of staff within a school – very often a with autism and special needs, which they teaching assistant – who would then cascade their Marie and Kyffin gathered their information for developed as practitioners in schools, informed expertise throughout the school. This is in contrast the research through focus groups, questionnaires, the findings of their investigations into interactive to most other authorities where an autism specialist interviews and by reviewing video footage taken education approaches for children with autistic would be used for a limited amount of time. in schools. spectrum disorders. “We found this continuing support is really positive, They pass on their findings and expertise in this Reviewing a model commissioned by Leicester benefiting the pupils, staff and parents. The field through their teaching at The University of City Special Needs Teaching Service was the main outcomes were that the pupils had more Northampton, giving students a unique insight focus of their research. “We looked at how an appropriate social behaviour, better communication into the workings of this model. TEACCH UK 2009 The 5th TEACCH UK conference 2009, organised by The TEACCH UK international conference is a the School of Education, took place on June 12th bi-annual event for practitioners in the field of autism and 13th at The University of Northampton. Division who wish to reflect upon TEACCH practice, share TEACCH is based at the University of North Carolina new ideas and disseminate research. This year’s at Chapel Hill, directed by Professor Gary Mesibov. conference had two keynote presentations: Ros The TEACCH approach is underpinned by a Blackburn is an adult woman with autism and Dr philosophy of understanding and respect for Mary E. Van Bourgondien is Director of the TEACCH people with autism spectrum disorders. TEACCH Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Both keynote collaborates with parents as equal partners in order addresses highlighted issues relating to transition to provide services for individuals with autism and to adulthood for individuals with autism. In addition, their families in North Carolina. The approach was there were numerous presenters from the UK, Ireland, introduced into the United Kingdom in 1990 where Denmark and Spain who are presenting workshops it was first established as an intervention strategy in which focus upon a range of topics related to the Northamptonshire. The success of the approach in conference theme ‘A Culture of Autism’. schools, homes and adult services quickly led to widespread use of the approach across the UK. 17 | Inspire | | email: