A Minor Celebration.

Ian May 15

Thursday’s celebratory session for PED3016 was a raging success. Trainees, from all the minor specialist areas, provided a little glimpse into their work over the last three years. Amongst the presentations, was a medieval musical interlude, a history picture quiz and a (rather competitive) P.E. race, whilst the EAL specialists encouraged us to try ‘nibbles’ (food) from around the world.

Jonathan Barnes May 15

Earlier, Jonathan Barnes,  author of ‘Cross-curricular learning 3-14’, had been our guest lecturer. He delivered a thought provoking and engaging lecture with a number of ‘take home’ points that had everyone enthralled.

Jonathan Barnes 2 May 15


All the tutors are proud of their trainees and have loved watching this cohort grow and develop into promising young teachers. Go get ’em. You’re ready!

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Capital of culture and cultural capital!

This gallery contains 12 photos.

PGCE trainees explored the Walker Art Gallery during February as part of The LAC module whereby they began to consider how to help children learn from and within a gallery space. They were asked to consider the value of orientation … Continue reading

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Theatre of learning – experiential approaches to RE


Today primary UG year 2 trainees explored ‘the island’ and religious neutral exercises to understand how to relate religion to human experiences. Through taking part in storytelling techniques and reflection in how to use symbolic objects,  Sue Phillips guided the trainees to see the potential RE has for holistic development and can enable children to make sense of religious practices that occasionally can seem confusing or strange.

Trainees noted that the workshop helped them see how to relate practices to human experiences and enjoyed the opportunity to consider alternative creative approaches to RE.

Ideas and resources can be found on www.theatreoflearning.org – check it out!

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Time Flies…

Santa Sky

Well this term has certainly flown by. It has been hectic and it has been mad at times, but it has also been a lot of fun. During history sessions this term, here at the University of the Year, trainees have…considered what history is, developed activities and learning experiences, reflected upon lessons, considered opportunities for addressing aspects of history in their plans, evaluated resources, considered teaching approaches, looked at readings, used a wide range of artefacts, visited local sites, monuments and galleries, taken part in a history walking tour of Ormskirk, questioned sources, considered interpretations of history and taken part in workshops at the Walker Art Gallery and the World Museum in Liverpool. Phewff.

Have a good break and a Merry Christmas. (There is more to come in the New Year!)

The Primary History team.

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Launch of the Edge Hill Partnership Learning Outside The Classroom Network

Tuesday 21st October will see the launch of a Learning Outside The Classroom Network at Edge Hill University bringing Primary and Early Years teachers, Informal learning Settings and organisations such as museums, zoos, nature reserves, ranger services and galleries together, to share the rich expertise that this region has developed in creative approaches to learning. The network will be part of the national Council for Learning Outside the Classroom’s regional networks.  It aims to support members in,

  • sharing and developing inspirational practice using LOTC;
  • developing creative and innovative ideas for implementing the new national curriculum;
  • achieving an LOTC Mark (Gold, Silver and Bronze)
  • understanding the enormous impact effective LOTC has on children’s learning and holistic development;
  • using the impact of LOTC to support an ‘outstanding’ judgement in an Ofsted inspection;
  • networking with other schools, LOTC providers and practitioners

girl with owl croppedportrait dect st margarets anfield feb 2013 001wwt1


The event will begin with a’ LOTC market’ commencing at 2 pm in the foyer of the  Faculty of Education, Ten very different settings will illustrate the wide range of work that they do with children, schools and families and the impact that it has upon learning.  There will be opportunities for trainees and teachers to discuss learning approaches, explore resources  and  try out some different activities. Alongside the ‘market’, there will be a range of workshops celebrating Our World, the 2014 International Big Draw Event.

From 4 pm teachers working in Primary and Early Years schools and settings will be joining the party and the inaugural meeting of the network will take place from 4.30-5.30 pm. The event promises to be exciting and stimulating.  Teachers are warmly invited to come along and take a look. If you are unable to come  but are interested in joining the network then please e-mail catherine.talbot-landers@edgehill.ac.uk so that you can be added to our mailing list

For further information about the work of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, please visit their website at http://www.lotc.org.uk/


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RE and secular sacred


The Early Years students explored a selection of toolkit ideas to explore PSED and RE with young children. One was to explore the Jewish Passover plate with children and discuss the exodus/Passover  story. We also linked it to cultural stories such as the Willow Pattern plate.To begin to understand that both plates aren’t simply cultural story plates but mean more to the people who have faith in that religion or culture, the students created their own story plates but also a class plate. This plate eventually became special and in a way ‘sacred’ to the group because each student had made their mark on it and so it no longer was a plate but it became an ‘evocative object’ (Sheryl Turkle 2012) because the people had attached significance to the object it represented something more than a plate. It became memories of university, friends and experiences. Here are the plates – try it with young children.


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Cross curricular experiential learning: RE, Music and English

Learning outside the classroom can be a wonderful experience because it allows people to relax and experiment with ideas in an environment that isn’t restrictive for noise or enthusiasm. In fact noise and enthusiasm is positively encouraged. The part time trainees experienced a cross curricular outdoor learning experience for the foundation subjects and created music and haikus that reflected the sacrality of the space. Here are the results.

Ruff woods

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Reconnecting to Nature: A Call for Action


September is a lovely time of the year in West Lancashire, the skies are filled with the sounds of skeins of wild geese and swans returning home from Europe for the winter.  It is a scene that  our ancestors, over the centuries would have equally been familiar with  and one that reminds us of our inextricable connection to the natural world.       However Richard Louv in his hauntingly beautiful and reflective book, ‘Last Child Seen in the Woods’ describes how this connection is increasingly being eroded in the modern world and coined the term ‘nature deficit disorder’ to describe this loss. International research (Baker:2005, Moss 2012) concurs with Louv’s observations and identifies how the loss of a connection with nature impacts upon our health, well-being, social and emotional development alongside the costs to our environment. There is now a strong recognition of the need to redress this problem as evidenced in  UK Government reports e.g. ‘Realising Nature’s Value’ (2013) and a clear understanding of how schools and education have a pivotal role in this reconnection of children and families back to nature.  Organisations such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), National Trust and the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) are all actively campaigning on this issue and offering practical support to teachers, schools and families in how to develop a ‘nature identity’.

The WWT Centre at Martin Mere, Burscough are currently offering free Teacher Taster Days on the 16th October (4- 6.30 pm) and the 18th October (1-4 pm).  These sessions are designed to support teachers in school in understanding the range of resources and workshops that the Centre can offer school groups and in providing imaginative and inspiring ideas to take back into the classroom. Please see the leaflet attached for further information.  Places can be booked through phoning 01704 891244 or e-mailing education.martinmere@wwt.org.uk

As part of the long established close partnership that the Foundation Subjects Team have with Martin Mere, there will  be an opportunity for all our Initial Teacher Trainees in the Faculty of Education to come and talk to the learning staff and find out more about how Martin Mere can support their teaching and learning in the classroom. The Martin Mere team along with other Learning Outside the Classroom providers e.g. Farming and Countryside Education will be in the FOE Foyer on Tuesday 21st October from  1-4 pm.  Additionally our Year Two Primary Trainees on  the PED2016 Foundation Subjects Module will be working alongside Martin Mere and FACE staff during their morning seminars on that day and will then visit the Martin Mere centre later on in the year. In this way we strengthen our trainees understanding of the value of Learning outside the Classroom and working in partnership to address this fundamental problem and to support children in respecting and enjoying nature and connecting to their ‘nature identity’.

Further information  surrounding the issues of ‘nature deficit disorder’and the new national educational initiatives and campaigns designed to address it can be found at the links below.

Richard Louv’s website     http://richardlouv.com/

RSPB Giving Nature a Home http://homes.rspb.org.uk/

RSPB Connecting to Nature Report http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/connecting-with-nature_tcm9-354603.pdf

National Trust  Natural Childhood Report  http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/document-1355766991839/

WWT Martin Mere teacher taster flyer


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PED1012 Primary History Workshop

graphics-romans-377672Next week sees the start of the first year undergraduate foundation subjects module, PED1012. A launch event, next Wednesday, is followed by a series of workshop activities for each of the foundation subjects.

PED1012 is a crucial module for our undergrads, as this sets out the importance of the foundation subjects in the context of a busy Primary School. Not only that, the importance, character and unique aspects of each subject are identified and explored through our sessions and seminars.

Perhaps I’m biased, but History is an essential subject, not only for Primary School aged children to engage with, but also, for well rounded, balanced people of any age, it is of great significance. An interest in the past, in who we are and where we have come from, is a natural instinct. This is an interest that should be nurtured, encouraged and explored throughout our lives and throughout our learning.

Of course, our History sessions focus on more than that and our starting point is going to be the workshop on Wednesday.

Further reading (a good starting point)

Chapter 1 of Hoodless, P. (2008) Teaching History in Primary Schools. Learning Matters. Exeter.

This is available in the Library.

Look at the EHU Primary History Blog


and follow us on twitter @PPD1000

Thanks for reading


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Ormskirk Town Trail

Clock Tower

A new term allows us to revisit sessions, materials and the experiences we provide for our trainees. For some time I have been looking forward to revising and updating the Ormskirk Town Trail. This summer, I got the chance.

On Friday, the new trail will be put to the test. Pictures from the day have been posted on the EHU Primary History blog. Pay a visit to the new EHU Primary History Blog at the link below.



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