Activate Learning Teacher Education

News and reviews

Secondments in curriculum areas to support improvement at CoOC

Sian, working with Fiona, has been working with Elsbeth to run an ambitious Teacher Education support pilot that involves three weeks of intensive secondment in prioritised curriculum areas.

The first week involves having 1-1 meetings with all staff, managers, senior management and students, conducting micro peer observations, attending team meetings and spending time supporting the team with their duties.

At the beginning of the second week the Head of Learning, Learning Manager and staff are briefed on the report documenting key teaching, learning and assessment strengths, areas for development and recommendations for support needs, and staff are given an opportunity to discuss the contents in the report and future actions. The remainder of the second week is spent supporting the team with TLA practice and recommendations.

The third week is for scheduling bespoke CPD based on recommendations/staff needs and is designed to have a positive impact on TLA and staff and student outcomes.

Feedback so far has outlined how the secondment has helped identify priority areas for improvement, how staff have felt valued and supported and how it has led to positive changes across the department. However, as with any initiative it is constantly evolving and ongoing reviews are scheduled with the department at week 5 to monitor impact, so watch this space.


Changes to PGCE gathering momentum

Major changes to the PGCE are being planned from September 2015, as part of the university's regular revalidation process. All HE programmes are only valid for a number of years before they have to be revalidated by a university panel. Martin and Fiona have been supporting the university and our partners at Swindon College to plan and implement these changes.

The revalidation is a long and complex process, but we are confident that a number of changes will be agreed, including a new Level 5 route and extensions to the requirements for Level 7 study.

The team for the PGCE will keep you updated as we reach the end of ther revalidation, so watch this space


One-to-one sessions

Thank you to everyone who has taken part so far in one-to-one (or should that be one-to-two?) sessions with Elsbeth and I. We have had some very interesting conversations and we will use these to shape the direction of the team going forward for the rest of this year and beyond.

If you haven't yet had your meeting, thank you for your patience. Elsbeth and I have been very tied up with some wider projects for the team, but we will get to meet with you in the new year, as everyone's views are very important to us.

Elsbeth and Adam

Successful EV visit at Reading College

Angela, Rachel, Emma, Judi, Papiha and I were part of an EV visit by OCR to Reading College earlier this month. The EV met students and staff, as well as looking at a wide range of portfolios.

The good news from the report is that there were no serious recommendations, and the work of the team was praised, as well as the positive feedback received from the students.

Thanks to everyone for your hard work!


Mentor support website

I have successfully launched the new mentor website, which has been created to support mentors working with our trainee teachers on the PGCE programmes across the Brookes partnership. The website features training activities, information about the mentor role and wider reading on mentoring in education.

The website can be found at​and I'd be grateful for any feedback, and anything that you have that could add in which might be useful for mentors in our sector.


International update

As you know, I have been involved in some international work for Activate Learning this year, and Rachel and I visited Nanjing Technical Vocational College (NTVC) in September as part of a British Council fact-finding mission. The follow-up visit from NTVC is planned for January this year, with a potential return visit in late January.

I have also been doing some work with Elsbeth and the international office to support an extended 8-week teacher training programme for Wuxi province, and it is now looking likely that this course will make the Chinese government's approved courses list.

In February half-term we are due to host some delegates from the Malaysian Industry Timber Board (MITB) and will be offering them a three-day teacher training programme as part of their visit, and Elsbeth and I are also going to an event in London on 16th December 2014, sponsored by TVET, to present ideas around training and CPD to a large delegation from the national government in China.


We want SMORE of you!

Please remember that this is your chance to share your news as well as ours, so if you have anything you'd like to share across the team, please email it to Adam to include on our next news.

Adam and Elsbeth

Minions Singing Jingle Bell - Merry Christmas 2014