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Newsletter - October 2021

Welcome to The Learning Institute's October newsletter 

In this month's issue: Student Social Snapshots  |  Return to blended learning  |  Life after TLI  |  Apprenticeships  |  Initial teacher training updates  |  Meet #TeamTLI  |  Learning and Education  |  Early Years Professional  |  Inclusive Education  |  TLI Research YouTube  |  Research Interest Groups  |  Erasmus+ ACES  |  Arena  |  Upcoming events

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Student Social Snapshots
With students returning to the classroom and raring to go for induction, we'd thought we would share some student social snapshots...
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.
Returning to blended learning - a student perspective
Read more of Vicky's experience
Life after TLI - Student Reflection
We recently caught up with former TLI student Leigh.  Leigh completed her foundation degree and BA (Hons) top-up degree with The Learning Institute and has some interesting advice based on her experience.

"It has given me the confidence to try and go for the jobs that I wouldn’t have previously. I can use what I've learnt in my work and with my children, developing my skill set further."
Read Leigh's Story
Over the summer, we’ve been busy preparing for our next cohort of new apprentices.

In Poole, Dorset, eight Teaching Assistants from the Hamwic Trust have started their apprenticeships with us. Based in five different schools across the trust, the Teaching Assistants will be working through a detailed programme with some face-to-face training alongside their work-based and off-the-job learning. These apprentices form a continuation of our partnership work with Castleman Learning Network, which also includes our undergraduate degrees and teacher training.

The Learning Institute are also pleased to be sponsoring Wessex Association of Leaders in Education (WALE) for the coming year. This will see us working closely with an increasing number of schools in the Dorset area, offering CPD opportunities and participation in our growing programmes.

ITT Placements and Information Sessions
Wow! What amazing primary and secondary trainee teacher cohorts we have this year! The trainees have relished the opportunity to get into school to look at practice from the different perspectives they have been introduced to. They have made a flying start to undertaking their Core Knowledge and Skills Programme tasks and reflections, and are eager to take lessons 'from the off'. We are so grateful to our partner schools for providing placements and session leaders to give this group of reflective and committed trainees the best possible start to their careers. Best wishes to all for the rest of the term.

If you're interested in training to be a teacher, we have the following Information Sessions coming up. More details will follow in due course but please make a note in your diary:

Online Sessions:

  • Thursday 21st October - 6pm-7pm 
  • Tuesday 7th December - 6pm-7pm 
Face to Face Sessions:
  • Saturday 16th October (10.00am-12.00pm) at our Roche offices
  • Tuesday 9th November (4.30pm-6.30pm) at Morley Meadow in Plymouth
Find out more about ITT through The Learning Institute
Meet the #TeamTLI Staff
The second in a series of articles introducing some of the key members of #TeamTLI. Today, we introduce John Butcher, who is the Course Leader for the Learning and Education foundation degree and is part of the Learning Institute's Level 7 Leadership Apprenticeship and Master's delivery team.

Throughout his career John has held a number of senior leadership positions including Director of Plymouth’s inclusive Wood View Learning Community Campus (0 – 19 years) and two large primary school headships.  He is an accredited facilitator for the National College of Teaching and Learning leadership programmes and also worked as a consultant for the NCSL models and partnership team.  In addition to this, John has successfully delivered keynote speeches at National Conferences to both peers and government advisory committees on subjects including Building Schools for the Future and Leadership and Performance Management.  In such a role, John has presented at Westminster on two occasions.   

He was more recently the CPD Strand Lead for the Plymouth Teaching School Alliance and is currently the Course Leader for the FdA Learning and Education. Additional roles include Professional and Academic Tutor for the University of Worcester and a level 6 tutor and module leader. John obtained an M.Ed from Exeter University in 2009, demonstrating not only his commitment to CPD, but also his passion for understanding both the theory and practice of educational and community change.   He is currently

In his spare time John loves to play golf and is a member at Yelverton Golf Club, and during the rugby season his voice can be heard as match day announcer at Plymouth Albion Rugby Club.

A message from John Butcher (FdA Learning and Education Course Leader)
It has been a pleasure to welcome our new FDLE students onto level 4. The induction and academic skills module is a super start to the term and will serve students well as they begin the year. I will meet the Learning and Education students at our first conference in November and we will be beginning the contemporary education module - always a popular focus as we think about how we as educationalists design and deliver a curriculum.

Remember, this is the beginning of a learning journey and establishing new routines at university, home and work is key. You will not get it right first time, but a top tip from me is to ensure those around you know when you are studying and ask them nicely to leave you alone unless they are delivering treats!!

Have fun and enjoy your time to learn!
Learn more through our Education CPD
Early Years Update from Suzy Bell (FdA Early Years Professional Course Leader)
It is early days for the new students on the Early Years Professional degree.  We ran an induction session last week and all attended.  The session was designed so the students could find out more about how the degree is set up and start to learn some of the skills they would need for the future.

The new students have started their first module alongside their peers from other degrees.  The module aims to refresh existing study skills and to help students learn new ones in order to have the best possible start to their learning.  Then, later in October they will go on to take the first part of a module about Human Growth and Development.  Here they will consider issues about what development is and whether it is helpful to measure children against the 'average' child.  They will also look in more depth at how babies and young children develop emotionally, socially and physically.   The final session of this part of the module will also consider how babies and young children learn to speak so quickly - an amazing feat if you consider how long it takes adults to learn a new language. 

The Level 5 students will return to join their peers in other degrees - and will be meeting them face-to-face at last!  Their first module considers themselves as professionals, exploring what it means to be a 'professional' and how they can continually develop their professional skills.  
Discover more through our Early Years CPD
Inclusive Education update from Louise Bennett (Acting FdA Inclusive Education Course Leader)
The new cohort of Inclusive Education students are now well into the first module FDLI1001 where they are working in their centre groups with their PATs. We have students enrolled across a range of centres and this first module is bringing them together with students following other degree pathways; such a great way to broaden knowledge and experience.

I am really looking forward to meeting the group at the first face-to-face conference in November where we will begin the first of the degree specific modules; Introducing Inclusive Education.

Learn more with our Inclusive Eduction CPD
TLI Research and Development YouTube launch

Due to a high demand of requests for the live recordings of our recent Changing Our Response to Childhood Adversity event, the Research and Development team have now launched a new YouTube channel! Footage from all the day’s fantastic sessions can now be found on the channel, as well as the popular promotional video previously circulated to raise awareness of the entire ACEs project. We will continue to upload clips related to the project from the catalogue of interview footage we have with some of our wonderful partners, as well as uploading any content related to our two other projects - Erasmus+ Natural Schooling and Erasmus+ Digital Technology, Imagination, Creativity and Entrepreneurship for a High Quality Teaching (DTICEQT).

Catch up on YouTube
Have you joined any of our Research Interest Groups (RIGs)?

Since 2019 The Learning Institute has been developing its profile as a research orientated organisation through the Research Interest Group structure. As well as leading and partnering with other institutions in several Erasmus+ funded projects, The Learning Institute are also members of the British Educational Research Association (BERA) and the Education Policy Institute (EPI).
The Learning Institute Research Interest Groups have been designed to support the scholarly activity of its own and partner professionals with the support of TLI Central Services. All groups are open and actively engaged in by staff and students at TLI (regardless of grade or position), as well as WeST partner schools and colleagues from other disciplines and organisations such as police, local authorities, charities, voluntary groups and businesses.
Each group is run independently by its chair, and all groups meet at least termly online. We would like to encourage anyone who hasn’t already expressed interest in joining one of these groups to email or You can join as many or as few groups as you would like.
Current groups include:

  • Domestic abuse - chaired by Ann Ferguson
  • Inter-discipline working - chaired by Zoe Nixon
  • Menopause - chaired by Jacky Olver
  • Widening Participation  - chaired by Anne Petherick Davies and Laura Osborne
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences - chaired by Zoe Nixon
  • Natural Schooling - chaired by Debbie Lambert

If you are interested in setting up your own RIG please email as above.

Erasmus+ Adverse Childhood Experiences and Interprofessional Working

Now the project has come to an end, all that’s left to do is bring together all of the resources we have curated and created over the past few years and write the final report. We are really looking forward to being able to release all of these for public view (very soon!) and see the legacy of the project start to take shape. In the meantime, we’d like to share some of the wonderful feedback we have been getting from our partners on their experience of working with us. We are so grateful for all the friendships that have been built as a result of this project both locally and overseas, and are certain that these relationships will continue to be an asset to our research department.

ARENA Updates

Since March, Arena have been delivering curriculum Wild Tribe to schools, running Moor Tribe Days, Beach Tribe Days, Wild Tribe First Aid Days and Wild Tribe School Site Days as well as PE and Outdoor Learning teacher INSET days in schools.

It has been an extremely busy and rewarding time.

Wild Tribe trainers have also delivered four Wild Tribe 2-Day Practitioners Courses at Wendron, Exmouth, Sterts centre and Holsworthy as well as the first 4-Day Wild Tribe Outdoor Learning Subject Leaders Award which has been very successful.

Please refer to our previous newsletter for the event dates.

Find out more about ARENA
Upcoming events

Learning Institute events

Saturday 16th October - 10.00am-12.00pm (at our Roche offices)
Thursday 21st October - 6pm-7pm (online)
Tuesday 2nd - Friday 5th November: Graduation for foundation and top-up degrees (awards confirmed in 2020/21 academic year)
Tuesday 9th November - 4.30pm-6.30pm (at Morley Meadow in Plymouth)
Friday 19th - Saturday 20th November: Undergraduate student conference
Tuesday 7th December - 6pm-7pm (online)


Other events

Sunday 10th October - World Mental Health Day
Wednesday 13th October - Train Your Brain Day
Saturday 16th October - Food Day
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