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January 2022

In this month's issue:  Happy New Year  |  A student reflects  |  ITT updates  |  February undergraduate conference  |  Careers guidance  |  New short courses  |  Time to Talk Day  |  Research updates  |  September 2022  |  Arena updates  |  Wild Tribe Achievement Award Scheme  |  Meet #TeamTLI  |  We're hiring!  |  Upcoming events

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Happy New Year!
We'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year!

We hope everyone had a restful break and is feeling ready and rejuvenated for the new term.
Student reflections
Early Years Professional student Evie reflects on life as a student during the most wonderful time of the year.

"Let’s just say this time of year is busy, with all the shopping, cooking and preparation, and that’s just at home!  In our professional lives we’ve got Nativities to stage, parties to throw and Christmas fayres to staff, but we wouldn’t change it for the world, would we?  Add an assignment into the mix and it would be really easy to feel overwhelmed.  Well, I’m here to tell you that it was manic, busy and full on, but it can be done."
Read more
ITT updates
Welcome back to our ITT trainees after a well-deserved rest!

We have sprung back into our training programme this term, with a focus on curriculum and the importance of developing secure mental models as teachers.  Trainees are set to deconstruct best practice in their second placement schools starting next week and are raring to go.

Good luck to all, and thank you to all our partners for your support mentoring trainees to success!
Our ITT trainees
We're still accepting applications for September 2022.  If you know somebody who is considering training as a teacher, tell them to drop in to one of our upcoming online information sessions.
Teacher training with The Learning Institute
February undergraduate conference
We are really looking forward to seeing our foundation and top-up degree students reunited at the upcoming undergraduate student conference on 18th and 19th February.

We are keeping a close eye on government guidance, but as things stand, the event will be taking place face-to-face at the Mercure Exeter Rougemont Hotel in Exeter. 

We have a number of workshops planned for the Friday evening, with contributions from members of Learning Institute staff and external organisations.  On the Saturday, our foundation degree students will be developing their understanding of professional enquiry, whilst our top-up degree students will be exploring a professional issue relevant to their specialist fields.
Careers guidance
Did you know that we have our own careers adviser at The Learning Institute?

As well as working on the undergraduate courses, Josie Cuffe works as our careers adviser, supporting current learners and Learning Institute alumni.

She offers group and individual information, advice and guidance that is tailored to need, but includes support with career planning, CV and application writing, and preparation for interviews.  You can find out more about Josie further down, in our Meet #TeamTLI feature.
In addition, if you are looking for careers-related information and guidance, Josie recommends these two websites as a starting point:

National Careers Service: the government-backed National Careers Service can help you to make decisions on learning, training and work at all stages in your career.

Prospects: the most comprehensive site for students and graduates, including role profiles and top tips and insights from employers, careers advisers, students and graduates.
Contact Josie
New short courses coming soon
We are delighted to be working with colleagues at the University of Worcester on a range of new short education courses, as part of a national pilot.

The short courses will help learners upskill and gain the knowledge they need to support some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in society, while supporting the Government’s education catch up agendas post Covid-19.

Through consultations with employers, the University identified a particular need for courses focussed on supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  The majority of courses will therefore specifically focus on this area.  They include:
  • Supporting Communication, Speech and Language in the Early Years
  • Supporting Children and Young People's Development and Learning
  • Inclusive Approaches to Supporting Learners with SEND
  • The Psychology of Teaching and Learning
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing of Children and Young People
Find out more
Time to Talk Day
Time to Talk Day is taking place on Thursday 3 February.  

Run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, in partnership with the Co-op, the day is about creating supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health.

Visit the Time to Talk Day website for more information, to access a range of free downloadable resources and to find out how you can take part.

Banner image for Time to Talk Day
Research updates
We are very excited to be holding the first meeting of the Safeguarding  Research Interest Group (RIG) on Friday 4th February at 10am.

The online meeting will be chaired by our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Zoe Nixon, and we'll be discussing the purpose and remit of the group.

The meeting is open to anyone interested in joining the RIG.  For more information, or to suggest any items for the agenda, please email for more details.
September 2022
Recruitment for September 2022 is now well underway, and we have a number of online information sessions planned for both our foundation degree courses and initial teacher training. 

We are intending to run some face-to-face information sessions in our foundation degree teaching venues later this term, so do keep an eye on our events page for details of these.

We've also had approval for a brand new teaching venue at the Westbury Community Project in Westbury, Wiltshire.  We have been working with Stacey Budge, the Head Teacher at Westbury Infant School to get this centre up and running, and we are really looking forward to taking our foundation degree courses to a new community.
A picture of the Westbury Community Project venue
In the meantime, if you know someone who would like to know more about studying with The Learning Institute, tell them to get in touch here.
Arena updates

Our colleagues at Arena have lots of exciting CPD opportunities coming up this term, including the PE Subject Leaders course, the Wild Tribe Subject Leaders course, and Dance for the Terrified.

Bookings are also open for the annual Wild Tribe Conference.  The conference will be taking place at Sterts Theatre and Art Centre, Cornwall, on Thursday 31st March.  Key note speaker Dr Sara A Collins, the Campaign Co-ordinator for The Nature Premium, is headlining, and there are many other fantastic activities planned.

The Wild Tribe Achievement Award Scheme

This award has been developed in response to a request from a teacher who delivers Wild Tribe sessions at their school.  It can be seen as a mini Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme for primary aged children.  The award will be overseen by the school but elements of it can be done at home and in the community.

The aim of the award is to develop the child as a rounded individual; a child that has fun, grows in confidence, learns new life skills and gains an appreciation of nature.  It is divided into 3 levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold and within each level there are four strands: 

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Volunteering and Leading
  • Life Skills
  • Respecting and Enjoying the Environment
Find out more
Meet the #TeamTLI staff
We start the year with a 'double feature' in our series introducing key members of #TeamTLI staff. 

Louise Bennett - FdA Inclusive Education Course Leader (Acting)

LouiseLouise’s background is in secondary education where she undertook a range of leadership roles, including being Principal of a school in the East Midlands.  Louise’s roles were varied and included developing a coaching ethos in a multi-academy trust, supporting many ITT students and developing CPD programmes both in house and contributing to supporting those undertaking SSAT and NCSL programmes.

Louise has a passion for inclusive education and believes that every young person (and adult!) can thrive in the right environment.  Her work in practice focused on ways to capture the child’s voice, engaging parents and carers, and building cohesion with the community the school served.  The removal of barriers to engagement were a key priority in the ethos of the school.

Louise has been part of Team TLI for the past 6 years and is based largely in London for her face-to-face work.  She has written a number of new modules, including FDLI1003, Promoting the Enabling Environment, which is a focus very close to her heart.

In her spare time, Louise is a keen triathlete and has represented Great Britain in her age group at numerous European Championships.

Josie Cuffe - Careers adviser, module leader, PAT and tutor

JosieAlthough the majority of Josie’s working life has been within the field of education, her career journey is more crazy paving than straight line.  She believes no experience is ever wasted and summer jobs as a greengrocer, care worker and (reluctant) cleaner, as well as several post university ‘gap years’ travelling and volunteering abroad, led her to the one thing as a teenager she’d vowed never to do - teach teenagers! 

Specialising in RE and outdoor education, she was head of department at a large Devon secondary school, and co led expeditions to Iceland and Norway, as well as more regular trips to the mountains of North Wales and the Lake District.  Passionate about outdoor learning, particularly its impact on students whose experience of school is less than positive, she has set up and run outdoor courses for groups of disadvantaged young people, aimed at developing self efficacy and other key qualities.  She also gained a research fellowship with Oxford University looking at the relationship between spiritual development and the outdoors.

Returning from a year spent travelling in Australia and New Zealand with her then young family, Josie spotted an advert for the Connexions service; a new initiative that offered holistic support for disadvantaged young people.  Working for the service gave her the opportunity to retrain as a careers adviser, specialising in post-16 transition.  Collaborative working, advocacy and empowerment are all vital for her, and she was involved in the writing and implementation of Devon’s SEND post-16 transition plan.  She also led the Independent Support Service in Plymouth aimed at helping parents, carers, children and young people with the transition to the new SEND Code of Practice.

In addition to her roles with The Learning Institute, Josie still works as a self-employed careers adviser in Devon schools.  This can be a challenging juggling act, but as an Aries she likes variety and she cannot imagine not working directly with teenagers.  She finds the career adviser role, both in school and for The Learning Institute, extremely rewarding.  It is easy to be paralysed by indecision in the face of an uncertain and volatile world, and to feel scared and apprehensive about the future.  Talking to students about their motivation, values and dreams, and helping plan some action, which could be as small as deciding to talk to someone who does something that interests them, often means they leave the meeting excited and optimistic.

In her spare time Josie can be found doing anything to avoid housework, usually on or in water.  She is a coastguard, loves outdoor swimming, surfing and kayaking, and is currently training for the world gig rowing championships in May.  Easier said than done, but she tries to live by her own advice: think flexibly, be curious and stay open to opportunity.

We're hiring!

The Learning Institute is currently advertising for the following role to support our continuing growth and development as a provider of higher education, teacher training and apprenticeships:

End Point Assessor - Teacher Standard (ST0490)

Salary: Full Time Equivalent £33,199 - £39,609 (Academic Professional Grade 7 (SCP 30-36)

Contract: Successful appointees will be paid for allocated hours based upon their allocated cohort (plus holiday)

Location: Online. Occasional travel may be required.

Find out more
Upcoming events

Learning Institute events

Tuesday 18th January (6pm-7pm): Foundation Degree info session (online)
Saturday 22nd January (10am-12pm): Get Into Teaching info session (Roche)
Monday 24th January (5pm-7pm): SWIfT Train to Teach (Plymouth)
Tuesday 1st February (6pm-7pm): Get Into Teaching info session (online)
Thursday 3rd February (4pm-6pm): Foundation Degree info session (online)
Friday 4th February (10am): Safeguarding RIG meeting (online)

Other events

Monday 17th January: Brew Monday
Tuesday 18th JanuaryWinnie the Pooh Day
Tuesday 25th January: Burns Night
Thursday 27th January: Holocaust Memorial Day
Sunday 30th January - Sunday 6th February: National Storytelling Week
Thursday 3rd February: Time to Talk Day

January is also Veganuary and Dry January

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