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Newsletter - December 2021

Welcome to The Learning Institute's December Newsletter - the last one of 2021!

In this month's issue: Undergraduate student conference  |  Student support  |  ITT updates  |  Apprenticeship updates  |  WALE conference  |  Research updates  |  Natural schooling  |  On Your Feet Britain  |  Bright Futures  |  Learning outdoors  |  Upcoming events

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Undergraduate Student Conference
Staff and students from our foundation and top-up degrees convened at the Aztec Hotel & Spa in Bristol last month for the first undergraduate student conference of this academic year .

It was a great opportunity for everyone to catch up in person, learn and share experiences, and we would like to say a big THANK YOU to those of you who attended.

We'd also like to thank Nick Appleby (Director of The Learning Institute), Dr Tim Jones (Acting Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor for Students and Head of School Psychology at the University of Worcester), and Worcester Students' Union for their contributions on the Friday evening, tutors and colleagues for their input and attendance, and the staff behind the scenes who helped make sure that everything ran smoothly.

We hope you enjoyed the opportunity to speak with fellow students from other centres and year groups, gain some new text books, and the experience overall!  We look forward to seeing everyone again at the next conference in February 2022. Details to follow in the new year...

Take care and stay safe!
The Student Conference - Vicky's Reflection
"I had been looking forward to this for weeks and everyone I spoke to about it was feeling the same.  We were all so looking forward to getting together and spending some quality time face to face (obviously this meant at the bar as well as in teaching sessions)."
Read on to find out more from Vicky
Student Support
"Thanks to the student support team at The Learning Institute for confirming what I have suspected all my life.  Don't suffer in silence, ask for help."

Our student support team has recently helped a student get confirmation that they are dyslexic. From this confirmation, they can find new ways to approach learning, and support the children they work with.

If you feel you need help or support, please get in touch with our Student Support team.
Take me to Student Support
A Festive Message from ITT
Christmas is nearly here and our trainee teachers deserve a good rest! They have had a fantastic term establishing themselves as teachers in their placement schools and developing knowledge of best practice teaching strategies. We are so grateful to our placement schools for their enthusiastic support for this year's cohort, and helping them deconstruct what makes for effective practice.

We wish trainees and mentors alike a restorative Christmas break and await an exciting 2022 developing practice for the benefit of pupils in the region.
Find out more about training to teach with The Learning Institute
Apprenticeship updates
Our teaching assistant apprentices had a productive training day together on 9th November, exploring key aspects of child development and communication, with training delivered by Lou Evans and Diane French of Castleman Learning Network. 

Our next training day on 11th January will focus on special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) - working with children with learning difficulties.
Find out more about our apprenticeship offer
WALE Conference
As Learning Institute representative of a key sponsor of  the Wessex Association of Leaders in Education (WALE), Ginny gave a short presentation at the opening of the recent conference. She spoke about our ethos and the aims of the programmes we have on offer, including the degrees and apprenticeship work.

Over the two conference days, supported by Amy and Lou from Castleman Learning Network, we met with many members of WALE to discuss individual development needs and how to utilise their apprenticeship levy contributions.

We look forward to attending the next conference in March, where we will be hosting one of the workshops, and appearing in the regular WALE newsletter.
Reflections on the Erasmus+ ACE project

As we submit the final report on our Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Interprofessional Working Erasmus+ Project, we have had the opportunity to reflect on what we have learned as a partnership, what we have achieved and how we will continue the work we have begun.

When we first started to work together in autumn 2018, we could not have foreseen how the years ahead would unfold. The pandemic presented us with challenges, but our positive experiences were also shaped by it. 

Read more
Erasmus+ Natural Schooling Project – Transnational and Launch Event

After many months of COVID interrupting any face-to-face contact with our Erasmus+ project partners, we finally got to say an in-person ‘Hello’ and ‘Hello, again!” to our Swedish and Spanish colleagues during our first Natural Schooling transnational. We were also joined by our UK partners from Wave Multi Academy Trust, and although our Italian colleagues weren’t able to join us physically, they were fortunately able to join us online.

We made good use of our first day together on Tuesday by clarifying our intentions for the project, and discussing how to execute all the exciting outputs we have planned. On Wednesday, we were delighted to welcome a few more colleagues from neighbouring schools in the UK to come and learn about how they might become involved in the project.

We were also treated to talks from our wonderful associate partners: natural schooling expert Karen Barford from Udeskole, Denmark, Paul Martin from Devon Wildlife Trust and finally Ollie Oakenshield and Angelina Boscarelli from Rogue Theatre.

After a productive few days with our partners, we finished off the week with a very on-theme trip to the Eden Project. Thank you so much to everyone who came and helped make the launch event a great success.

We look forward to sharing more updates with you as the project progresses!

Find out more and get in contact here
"Get up offa that thing"
The On Your Feet Britain challenge encourages you to take James Brown at his word and convert 'sitting time' to 'standing time'. Make some simple changes - it’s easier than you think: 
  • Make – and take - phone calls standing up
  • Stand and take a break from your computer every 30 minutes 
  • Use the stairs more 
  • Arrange standing or walking meetings 
  • Eat your lunch away from your desk 
  • Walk to a colleague's desk instead of phoning or emailing them 
  • Stand at the back of the room during presentations 
  Other ideas to get you moving 
  • Run a lunchtime fitness session for the office. 
  • Sound an alert at random times in your department / work hub, which is a signal for everyone to stand up and sit down. Impose a fine or forfeit for anyone caught napping. 
  • Take regular breaks from your computer, stand up, stretch and walk around your office or workplace.  
  • Hold standing or walking meetings. 
  • Agree that any speaker must stand during meetings. 
  • Do simple stretches led by the speaker, every time you move to a new agenda item during a meeting. 
  • Organise a lunchtime walk.
  • Walk to work, walk before work, or get off public transport a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way. Park your car further away so you are forced to walk the final stretch. 
Our Bright Future - Wildlife Trusts

What makes learning in and about nature so beneficial? It boosts…

🤸 Physical health
🧠 Mental wellbeing
✍️ Educational attainment
🌿 Nature connectedness

You can add your name to BrightFuture’s e-action, and help show that there’s widespread support for outdoor learning.

Support the cause
Learning Outdoors

"I just wanted to write quickly and say a huge thank you for all of your hard work today! You have been amazingly flexible throughout the planning, and you smashed it out of the park today! The children loved all of the activities (especially the damper bread) and were talking so enthusiastically about the session! You put so much work into it - so thank you!!

I look forward to working with you again!" Tom, BCP School

Here's an example of taking learning outdoors with our own Debbie Lambert.

Find Out More
ARENA Updates

Plans for Arena's upcoming Wild Tribe Conference are well underway! 

The keynote speaker for the event will be Dr Sara Collins, the Campaign Co-ordinator for The Nature Premium, a campaign which is being led by the Forest School Association (FSA). The Nature Premium proposes a government funded, statutory requirement for schools to take children regularly into nature, giving them the agency to face three of the biggest challenges we face: the climate emergency, biodiversity and mental wellbeing.

Delegates will also be able to participate in a number of workshops, with topics ranging from sustainable leadership and curriculum ideas to pratical skills like pyrography and straw skep weaving.

Find out more and book your place here
Graduation - Nicolle's experience
"I collected my gown from the City Campus where everyone was so friendly, it was hard to not be affected by the buzz of excitement in the air."

If you missed it previously, catch up on Nicolle's graduation experience by clicking on the image below.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We know the last year has been another tough one, and we are so grateful and proud of the way you have been supporting each another, and our students, trainees and apprentices, whilst keeping going in these tough times.

We'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you!

From everyone here at The Learning Institute, we'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Upcoming events

Learning Institute events

Thursday 6th January (6.00pm - 7.00pm): Get Into Teaching information session (online)

Tuesday 11th January (4.30 - 6.30pm): Foundation Degree information session (at Hele’s School careers event, Plymouth)

Monday 17th January (4.00pm - 6.00pm): Foundation Degree information session (Roskear Primary School, Camborne)

Thursday 20th January (4.00pm - 6.00pm): Foundation Degree information session (John Keats Primary School, Southwark) 

Saturday 22nd January (10.00am - 12.00pm): Get Into Teaching information session (Roche)

Monday 24th January (5.00pm - 7.00pm) SWIfT Train to Teach | Get into Teaching event (Plymouth)

Other events

Friday 10th December: Christmas Jumper Day
Friday 10th December: Human Rights Day
Monday 20th December: International Human Solidarity Day
Saturday 25th December: Christmas Day
Sunday 26th December: Boxing Day and Sales
Friday 31st December: New Year's Eve

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