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Newsletter - September 2021

Welcome to The Learning Institute's September newsletter - our first newsletter of the new academic year!

In this month's issue:  Welcome  |  Key contacts  |  ITT induction  |  Top tips  |  Student FAQs   |  Meet the team  |  A tutor's perspective  |  Farewells  |  Social media  |  Research updates  |  Arena  |  Upcoming events

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Welcome to The Learning Institute!
The start of a new academic year is always an exciting time for us, and this year is no exception.

Firstly, we would like to welcome all of our new students, trainees and apprentices to The Learning Institute.  You are about to embark on something truly amazing, as you combine your studies with work, family and life.  It won't always be easy, but remember, we are with you all the way. 

We'd also like to say a huge "Welcome Back!" to our returning students and apprentices.  We hope you had a lovely summer, and were able to enjoy some sunshine.  We're really looking forward to meeting some of our Foundation Degree and MA students face-to-face for the first time after a year of online learning! 

Finally, congratulations must go to those of you who have just completed your foundation and top-up degrees and initial teacher training.  Many of our undergraduate students are continuing on to the BA (Hons) Advancing Practice top-up degree, and we look forward to seeing you back in your centres (and hopefully at the student conference!) over the coming months.
Key Points of Contact
Here are some of the key contacts within The Learning Institute:

Nick Appleby: Director of The Learning Institute
nick@learninginstitute.co.uk 

Ania Bell: Professional Programmes Co-ordinator
ania@learninginstitute.co.uk

Jo Bell: ITT Lead - Primary and Placements
jo.bell@learninginstitute.co.uk

Suzy Bell: FdA Early Years Professional Course Leader
suzy.bell@learninginstitute.co.uk

Louise Bennett: Acting FdA Inclusive Education Course Leader
louise.bennett@learninginstitute.co.uk

Julie Bettridge: ITT Teacher Training Administrator
julie.bettridge@learninginstitute.co.uk

Alex Brewer: Digital Communications Co-ordinator
alex.brewer@learninginstitute.co.uk

John Butcher: FdA Learning and Education Course Leader
john.butcher@learninginstitute.co.uk

Lorna Crouchen: Academic Services Manager
lorna.crouchen@learninginstitute.co.uk  

Josie Cuffe: TLI Careers Advisor
josie.cuffe@learninginstitute.co.uk

Giles Freathy: ITT Director
giles.freathy@learninginstitute.co.uk

Ginny Honey: Partnerships Liaison Manager
ginny.honey@learninginstitute.co.uk

Jacky Olver: Student Support Officer
jacky.olver@learninginstitute.co.uk

Laura Osborne: Academic Programme Manager
laura.osborne@learninginstitute.co.uk

Anne Petherick-Davies: Deputy Director and BA (Hons) Advancing Practice Course Leader
anne@learninginstitute.co.uk

Jenna Pritchard: Academic Programmes Co-Ordinator
jenna.pritchard@learninginstitute.co.uk      

Eva Tappenden: Admissions Officer
eva.tappenden@learninginstitute.co.uk

Martin Watkins: Initial Teacher Training Lead - Assessment
martin.watkins@learninginstitute.co.uk

Nick Wilkins: FdSc Mental Health and Wellbeing of Children and Young People Course Leader
nick.wilkins@learninginstitute.co.uk
ITT induction
Term is already well underway for our trainee teachers, and it was great to see them at their introductory session on Friday 3rd September. 

They are now halfway through their two week induction programme, with sessions on a range of topics including professionalism, mental health and theories of motivation and learning.  They have another busy week ahead in Roche before heading off on their first placements on 20th September!
Top Tips from Current Students
We asked some of our returning students for their top tips when it comes to studying - here are some of their words of wisdom!
  1. Make use of your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) and module tutors. Don’t feel like a burden, it’s what they are there for. Even before you start if you have any concerns, reach out!
     
  2. If you are not familiar with theories of learning and/or development I would recommend purchasing: Aubrey, K. & Riley, A. (2019) Understanding and Using Educational Theories. 2nd edn. London: Sage Publications. Whilst it was not a recommended text during my foundation degree it really stripped theories (that you will come across repeatedly) back to the basics, providing a great foundation to build your knowledge on.
     
  3. Get involved! The start of university study can be daunting but you definitely get out what you put in. The more you participate in sessions and tasks the more you will come away having learnt.
     
  4. Pens and sticky notes are your best friends. Always make sure you have a couple of spare pens. As for sticky notes, these are great for noting reminders or noting things down away from your ‘main notes’.
     
  5. If you think you have read enough, read some more. You can never read enough. Also, if you get a chance before starting, to do a ‘dummy’ search on the online library and have a look at some journal articles. This is especially useful if you haven’t studied using journals before as some can be tricky to follow. Practice makes perfect!
     
  6. Snacks. Whether face-to-face or online, make sure you have a drink and snack ready for that first session.
Student FAQs and Meet our Ambassadors
If you have any questions about your course or would like to know more from someone that has already 'been there, done that', we have some Foundation Degree FAQs on our website, and you can also contact one of our friendly Student Ambassadors

Alternatively, check out the video from Nicolle, which answers some of the initial questions asked by our new students.
FAQs
Meet the #TeamTLI Staff
The first in a series of articles introducing some of the key members of #TeamTLI.  Today, we introduce Suzy Bell, who is the Course Leader for the Early Years Professional foundation degree, and the Standard Lead for our Early Years Educator apprenticeship.

Suzy gained her degree as a mature student, although she still maintains that ‘mature’ was probably a misleading term at that time of her life.  She qualified as a primary teacher in the years before the UK even had an Early Years Foundation Stage, and soon found that she was drawn to the play-based, child-centred approaches to teaching and learning in the school Reception class.  When the first government funding became available for provision for 3-4 year olds, Suzy was the obvious choice to set up and lead the school’s first nursery provision.  This provision was subsequently highly commended by Ofsted in all the school inspections.

Later in her career, Suzy was involved in a multi-agency team setting up a Children’s Centre on the school site.  This led to her taking a post as a Children’s Centre teacher, working with families and providing guidance and support to Early Years settings throughout the area.

Alongside working with families and children, Suzy has also enjoyed a career with adult learners and has been involved in teaching courses from entry level through to Honours degrees, including Initial Teacher Training.  She joined the Learning Institute in the days when it operated out of a tiny office and has been delighted to be part of its growth ever since.

Suzy lives in Cornwall with her husband, son and a motley collection of free-spirited animals.  She believes in having a go, making lots of mistakes and then having a go again.  She loves being outside, getting dirty, collecting pebbles and pine cones, exploring ruined castles, playing with ducks and lives by the maxim ‘be kind because everyone is fighting a hard battle’. 

And cake… Did we mention she likes cake?

A photo of Suzy 'in action', teaching a foundation degree group
From fearful to favoured - a tutor's perspective on online delivery
One impact of the pandemic was that the face-to-face teaching on our courses had to move online.  TLI tutor Elly McAulay shares her thoughts on moving teaching to online delivery.

As a tutor used to delivering face-to-face and in person, I was initially hesitant and reticent to become involved with online teaching in September 2018 and I was not keen.  I was happy to only be a face-to-face tutor.  However, circumstances provided me with the opportunity to deliver live online and I wasn’t going to let my IT limitations stop me from developing personally and professionally.  As tutors we are continually learning and facing challenges too, so I accepted the challenge and forced myself to overcome my fears.  Then, of course in the spring of 2020 I had to fully embrace working live online, which only served to embed my newly learned skills.  

After 18 months of only working online I now realise the benefits live online working brings for easy interaction and communication with students and colleagues, for teaching, tutorials, and meetings, all being in our own homes.  I find that more support is possible with brief catch ups and guidance and with the ability of sharing and talking through documents, webpages, and module materials.  I find that I now prefer it in many ways to face-to-face teaching as I don’t have to endure traffic and the added environmental impact that driving brings is lessened, plus the bonus of occasionally seeing and hearing pets and meeting curious children makes for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  In summary, teaching live online has reminded me of the personal value of lifelong learning.  I also believe that it is a more sustainable complementary, if not alternative, method of working all-round.  In fact, I would go so far as to say this is now, in many respects, my favoured method of teaching.
Farewell to Jeremy and Joy
Recently we said farewell to lovely Joy, who has been an integral part of the Learning Institute team for several years.  A former primary school headteacher, she first joined us back in 2015 when she stepped in to cover a maternity leave, and since then she has had numerous roles during her time with us - Personal Academic Tutor and module tutor on our foundation and top-up degrees, Course Leader for the MA Values-Led Leadership and MA Inclusion and SEND, and Standard Lead for our Senior Leader apprenticeship to name just a few.

We also said goodbye to another PAT and module tutor, Jeremy Doyle, who joined #TeamTLI after leaving full-time headship back in 2013.  Jeremy was well known amongst TLI staff and students for his musical abilities, providing some wonderful musical interludes during our online student conferences last year, and he was nominated as part of the BBC Make a Difference campaign last summer for his amazing contributions to his local community during lockdown.  As a result, he can now say that he has a train named after him!

Very best wishes for the future to both of you, we shall miss you!
A photo of Jeremy in front of the train that has been named after him
Social Media

Don't forget, you can also keep up-to-date with all things TLI on our social channels - you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, and we also have a YouTube channel.  In addition, you can also follow our research colleagues on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

We've also created a Foundation Degree Facebook group for all the new starters this September, and for those of you who are joining us on the top-up degree, we also have a BAAP Facebook group.  You can join these using the buttons below!

Foundation Degrees (2021) Facebook group
BA Advancing Practice (2021) Facebook group
TLI Research Updates

Great news from our colleagues in The Learning Institute - Research Projects team! 

If you missed the recent childhood adversity event, you can catch up with the workshop recordings on YouTube now, and the morning sessions will follow soon.

Catch up on YouTube
ARENA Updates

Our colleagues at Arena have a range of courses and training available this term.

PE Subject Leader’s Four Day Accredited Award
This course looks at leading and managing improvement in Primary PE and is appropriate for colleagues who have a leadership role for PE within a primary school setting.  
This course will support subject leaders to:

  • Lead teaching and learning
  • Set targets for improvement in PE
  • Make judgements about pupils’ achievement in PE and meet Ofsted expectations
  • Lead sustainable improvement
  • Develop subject knowledge in pedagogy in primary school PE
  • Planning for continuity, progression and assessment
  • Develop advocacy skills in Primary PE

Session dates: Thursday 18th November 2021 * Thursday 27th January 2022 * Thursday 24th March 2022 * Wednesday 27th April 2022.  Book here

Wild Tribe Outdoor Learning Subject Leader’s Four Day Accredited Award
This course looks at leading and managing improvement in Primary Outdoor Learning and is appropriate for colleagues who have a leadership role for Outdoor Learning within a primary school setting.  
This course will support subject leaders to:

  • Lead teaching and learning of outdoor learning across the whole school
  • Implement the National Curriculum through a whole school approach to outdoor learning
  • Understand how to develop an interactive site to support an engaging outdoor curriculum
  • Make judgements about pupils’ achievement in outdoor learning to meet Ofsted expectations
  • Lead sustainable improvement
  • Develop subject knowledge through advanced skill development in outdoor learning
  • Plan for continuity, progression and assessment
  • Develop advocacy skills in primary outdoor learning
Session dates: Thursday 25th November 2021 * Thursday 10th February 2022 * Wednesday 16th March 2022 * Thursday 26th May 2022.  Book here

Wild Tribe Outdoor Learning Practitioner Award
The course is a 2 day accredited course for teachers and teaching assistants.  You'll find out how to set up an outdoor learning classroom at your school, learn practical skills such as fire lighting, using and maintaining tools, shelter building and cooking outdoors, and develop your knowledge and understanding of the environment and the importance of seasonal changes.
Next session dates: Wednesday 3rd & Thursday 4th November (Upton Cross), Wednesday 10th & Thursday 11th November (Bodmin/St Austell area).  Book here
 

Other courses

Teacher Trampoline Part One Two Day Course - Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th October 2021 (9.30am - 3.30pm).  Book here
Teacher Trampoline Refresher Course - Tuesday 12th October (9.30am - 3.30pm).  Book here
Introduction to Teaching Handball - Tuesday 19th October (2pm - 5pm).  Book here
Find out more
Upcoming events

Learning Institute events

Monday 20th September: Start of first placements for trainee teachers
Friday 1st October: ITT recruitment opens for September 2022
Tuesday 2nd - Friday 5th November: Graduation for foundation and top-up degrees (awards confirmed in 2020/21 academic year)
Friday 19th - Saturday 20th November: Undergraduate student conference
 

Other events

September 10th: World Suicide Prevention Day
September 16th: National Teaching Assistants' Day
September 21st: International Day of Peace, World Alzheimer's Day

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