All entries for August 2018

August 28, 2018

How being research–informed has impacted on my practice – Georgina

The PGCE course involved assignments which required us to gain understanding, appreciation and knowledge of research in teaching. This exposed me to an area that I was not familiar with. Initially we were required to look into the original learning models and theories of Pavlov, Vygotsky, Bruner and various others. These theorists set the baseline for educational research, regardless of this, I found most of it hard to read but the underlying message was common sense. Consequently, I felt I gained very little and these theorists gave me no inspiration into becoming research informed.

However, during my research into my PG1B essay I discovered that there was an extensive amount of academic research on education outside the original theorists. The research I read was extremely interesting, educational and demonstrated that the issues I observe in my current setting are issues nationally. With a foundation of a STEM career before retraining to become a teacher, the topic of girls not following into STEM post GCSE, regardless of high attainment at GCSE level was fascinating. Through the research I discovered that stereotyping, lack of female role models (evidence: Role model form filled in for Southam), lower self-efficacy and girls being more rounded educationally was still an issue. With more and more equality in the UK, why is this still an issue? The research book by Smith (2014) into gender participation in Mathematics covered the main reasons girls do not go further in STEM and therefore laid the foundation for my further research to support this work (Smith, 2014). He identified that girls preferred to understand ‘why’ in mathematics which leads to needing to adapt teaching to respond to the needs of pupils (TS5).

On my research for PG2, the focus was on behaviour management in schools. This was highly relevant to my training today when dealing with certain pupils, especially the low-attaining pupils. Payne found that there was a high level of discrepancy between the perspectives of pupils to teachers within a classroom (Payne, 2015). He concluded that pupils react better to positive encouragement and in particular positive feedback to parents (TS8: communicate effectively with parents). Consequently I have implemented a positive reward process (Evidence: HAPS rewards) in my low attaining group and also called home to positively praise (Evidence: call home) or show concern attaching a positive spin.

Being research-informed has enabled me to get an increased level of understanding of issues in education outside my current setting, it has enabled me to ensure I am a good female role model and practice positive behaviour management. After the initial struggle I had with the early theorists, I have found the more current research more accessible and useful. I will continue to refer to academic literature through my teaching career to find ways and understanding into my practice as a teacher. On the other hand, I did identify that all the research is based on very small subsets and will strive to look for research which is more at a national level.


  • Role model form I filled in for Southam.
  • Haps status demonstrating the positive structure in place.
  • Call home email.


Payne, R., 2015. Using rewards and sanctions in the classroom: pipils' perceptions of their own responses to current behaviour management strategies.. Educational Review, 67(4), pp. 483-504.

Smith, c., 2014. Geneder and participation in mathematics and further A-Level: a literature review for the further Mathemeatics Support Proggramme. London: Insitute of Education.

August 14, 2018

Have you done your holiday homework? – Maeva Grand–Coureau–Basfresne

You are about to start the wonderful journey of becoming an Initial Teacher Trainee… but have you done your holiday homework?

I can see you… Sunbathing on the beach of a town with a GMT+10 hours, sunglasses on your nose… maybe an ice cream in your hands… when suddenly… Your phone starts to crazily vibrate on the clear white sand and interrupts the holiday romance. Well – maybe for the best.

Your course is soon about to start… …How much do you score on the 10 tasks holiday homework?

  1. Received and read your “Unconditional Offer” email from PG4
  2. Completed the course pre reading from our pre course webpage
  3. Filled in the placement form (University led trainees only)
  4. Completed online enrolment
  5. Received and read the welcome email and the induction week schedule (don’t forget to check your junk folder)
  6. Got yourself technically prepared for the course, remember you require access to a laptop
  7. Completed a trial run of your journey onto campus including knowing parking arrangements if you’re in a car (please check here)
  8. Located your photographic ID required on your first day at university
  9. Located your Visa - If you are an international student you need to bring this with you too
  10. Downloaded the MyWarwick app

Remember… The countdown has started, and the Secondary cohort and the Primary & Early Years School Direct Cohort will start on the 28th of August whilst Primary, Early Years University-Led and EYITT will start on the 3rd of September… Not long to go now!

We are excited to meet you and hope that you feel confident to start the course!

August 13, 2018

International teacher training – Nick McKie

The international schools market is growing rapidly. International Schools research has predicted that the market will continue to develop at a healthy pace, forecasting that within five years (2021), the number of students attending international schools will have reached 6.3 million.

The biggest challenge for the market is professional capital; maintaining high skills and qualified teachers. With the number of teachers working in international schools expected to increase from 426,200 in Dec 2016 to 581,000 in 2021, the need to attract more teachers of the calibre demanded by schools is becoming a concern (ISC, International Schools Statistics, 2017).

Extensive research has been carried out by the University of Warwick which has engaged international head teachers, Post Graduate Certificate in Education international (PGCEi) alumni as well as international school federations to ascertain the current teacher training landscape. There are a number of other UK universities offering international PGCEs, however, nobody currently offers a blend of face-to-face contact, ‘live’ online sessions and an assessed Teaching Practice. By working with international schools to affirm acceptance of a higher quality programme, more in line with the rigor of a local UK PGCE, is maybe where the gap in the market is.

The Post Graduate Certificate in Education (international) is a one year course designed to prepare trainees for teaching in international settings. In terms of the Warwick offering, we are proposing to design a robust programme which is very much in line with the existing local course, comprising of three distinct modules: Subject Studies, Reflective Practice and Professional Practice. Initially, this PGCEi programme will be delivered jointly with an international education provider whose responsibilities will include admissions as well as recruitment of trainees in the particular locale.

We are aiming to equip our trainees to be effective, competent and professionally aware international educators through a unique blended learning programme that includes:

  • A face to face induction week in the cohort country.
  • ‘Live’ on-line sessions in Subject Studies and Reflective Practice delivered from the University of Warwick throughout the academic year.
  • ‘Off-line’ tasks that supplement the ‘live’ lectures.
  • Completion of an e-portfolio, with its enhanced evidence of reflection and final assessment against UK Teacher Standards.
  • The completion of two Master’s assignments across the year, one based on a subject-related issue and one on a comparative international theme.
  • A minimum of 90 days teaching practice throughout the year with assessment points and a summative observation from a Warwick link tutor.
  • Three personal tutorials from Teaching Fellows at the University of Warwick and on-going mentor support provided by schools throughout the year.

The main challenges around this policy initiative relate to establishing brand equity, costings and delivery of the course. The University of Warwick will be a new player in a congested teacher training market hence the institutions ability to become recognised whilst remaining agile enough to sustain competitive advantage will be key. Due to the robust nature of the proposed PGCEi programme, the price point will be high in relation to competitors, however, as previously discussed, research suggests that there is a demand for a high quality teaching training alternative from a top UK University. In terms of delivery, intensive training on how to design and teach an online course as well as ongoing review will be crucial in ensuring the high quality and effectiveness of the course.

August 06, 2018

Enhancing student learning through the use of ICT – Alexandra

During my complementary placement, I planned and delivered the first unit of the new Design and Technology GCSE which focuses on New and Emerging Technologies. This provided me with an opportunity to develop a new Scheme of Learning (SOL) with an entirely paperless agenda and digital delivery.

The teacher resources were produced in PowerPoint in which a variety of additional tools were imbedded such as YouTube videos and links to external applications Kahoot, Padlet, Google Classroom Slides and Surveyhero.

A flipped classroom was created by releasing resources to students in advance of each lesson from which they developed their own digital workbook in PowerPoint which was submitted periodically by email or via the cloud for marking and feedback. From these, I was able to develop a digital archive of student work and monitor progress. Individual feedback was given by email in response to each submission and group feedback, to highlight common areas of success and misconception, was given at the start of the following lesson. The SAMR model (Puentedura, 2014) was used to structure the transformation and enhancement of this SOL through ICT.

SAMR model

Kahoot quiz results provided insight into areas of weakness that needed addressing and this informed my short-term planning with the start of the following lesson allocated to this due to 45-minute lessons.

Padlet and Google Classroom Slides enabled collaborative working however the novelty of these provided an opportunity for misbehaving. The software has the option for teachers to verify all comments before they go live but this can disrupt the flow of student contributions. Kirkman (2017) refers to dialogic practice as ‘that in which students are active, engaged and empowered participants in a conversation from which learning emerges’ which was evident through the immediate feedback from the class enabled by not using this facility. This outweighed the behaviour issues but with other classes I would consider putting this control in place to monitor the content and pace of the lesson and to encourage students to consider their contributions more carefully.

Student engagement was high throughout this unit and even with the issues identified, the use of ICT assisted behaviour management and improved engagement with students who had been previously identified as reluctant contributors to lessons. This supports my findings from my base school where I have previously used these applications to support SOLs and found them to be useful tools in behaviour management and engaging disruptive students. However, student demographic and data must be considered to ensure that all students have access to ICT and to be aware of any Pupil Premium students who may require additional support in this area.

The feedback from the wider department was very positive however, as I reflect on the success of this approach I shall alter elements of the scheme and allow more time for student reflection. At my base school I developed the use of Surveyhero to encourage students to reflect on their skills, progress and outcomes. I shall also incorporate more collaborative, student led tasks and develop my pace of delivery and the flow and fluency of the plan in line with the use of technology. I would also like to develop the use of ICT and digital resources to further differentiate the SOL to support a wider range of learners.


Kirkman, P. (2017). Digital technologies in the classroom. [ebook] Cambridge Assessment International Education. Available at: [Accessed 12 April 2018].

Puentedura, R. (2014). Ruben R. Puentedura's Weblog. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 April 2018].

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