Book Launch: Evaluating Equity & Widening Participation in Higher Education

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Book Launch 

Evaluating Equity & Widening Participation in Higher Education

18 September 2018 from 4.30 – 6.00

University of Bath in London, 83 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ES

You are warmly invited to the launch of ‘Evaluating Equity & Widening Participation in Higher Education’ Edited by: Penny-Jane Burke, Annette Hayton and Jacqueline Stevenson. Published by: Trentham, London, 2018.

Book contributors: Matt Lumb, Catherine Dilnot, Vikki Boliver, Claire Callender, Heidi Safia Mirza,

Nicola Ingram, Jessica Abrahams, Ann-Marie Bathmaker.

‘Thank goodness! A book that moves us beyond what works to what matters in evaluating equity in higher education.

— Trevor Gale, Professor of Education Policy and Social Justice, University of Glasgow

This rich collection shows it is possible to combine rigorous evaluation with critical research and also advocacy and progressive practice.’

— Peter Scott, Professor of Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education


Rae Tooth, Head of Strategy and Change at the UK’s Office for Students

Dr Sarah O’Shea, Associate Professor in Adult, Vocational and Higher Education University of Wollongong, Australia

Dr Richard Waller, Associate Professor of the Sociology of Education at the University of the West of England.


The launch is free to attend and open to all, and will be followed by a reception.

Our publishers,Trentham Books, IOE, will be at the book lauch and discounted copies of the book

will be available for sale or order.

To book please email:

Speaker biographies

Dr Sarah O’Shea is an Associate Professor in Adult, Vocational and Higher Education in the School of Education, University of Wollongong, Australia. Sarah has over 20 years’ experience teaching in universities as well as the vocational and Adult Education sector, she has also published widely on issues related to educational access and equity. In 2016, Sarah was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery project exploring the persistence and retention of university students across Australia, UK and Ireland. Sarah works within a qualitative framework and has drawn upon narrative inquiry and grounded theory in her research activities.

Rae Tooth is Head of Strategy and Change at the UK’s Office for Students, and prior to that in the same role for the Office for Fair Access (OFFA). In her role she collaborates with the sector to identify what research is needed to best enhance policy and guidance on good practice, and commissions research to support policy development and the broader understanding of widening participation and fair access. Rachael also worked on secondment for the University of Warwick in the Strategy and Change team over a five month period, and for the Higher Education Funding Council for England working directly with institutions before moving into more policy focused roles.

Dr Richard Waller is Associate Professor of the Sociology of Education at the University of the West of England. He has worked for the National Union of Students, the civil service, and, extensively, in both Further and Higher Education including undertaking widening participation work for the University of Bristol. His research focuses on WP, he was a founder member of the western WP research cluster, he is on the editorial board of four journals, and a trustee of the British Sociological Association, for whom he has previously been Education Study Group convenor and conference stream co-ordinator

International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference

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International gender and sexual violence prevention researchers: Dr Helen Bovill, Professor Victoria Banyard, Dr Sarah McMahon, and Dr Katie Edwards will form a symposium to discuss violence prevention work from a Uk University (UWE), and United States Universities: University of New Hampshire (UNH) and Rutgers University of New Jersey. Please contact any of the authors below for further details regarding their research or this conference.

Helen Bovill is Associate Head of Department Research and Scholarship. Department of Education and Childhood, UWE. Dr Bovill’s research interests include understanding gender based violence and university initiatives and practices aimed at countering this culture. @education_uwe    @HelenBovill



Victoria Banyard is a Professor in the Department of Psychology (UNH) with an affiliation with the Justice Studies Program. She is a research and evaluation consultant with Prevention Innovations.

Professor Banyard’s research interests include resilience after and prevention of interpersonal violence especially promoting bystander action.





Sarah McMahon is Associate Professor and Associate Director, Center on Violence Against Women and Children. Rutgers School of Social Work.

Dr. McMahon’s research interests include violence against women and social work education.




Katie Edwards is Assistant Professor of psychology and women’s studies, and faculty affiliate of Prevention Innovations and the Carsey School of Public Policy.

Dr Edward’s research interests include causes, consequences, and prevention of interpersonal violence.




Symposium Abstract

Violence Prevention in a Global and Multi-cultural Context: An international symposium

Interpersonal violence knows no geographic boundaries. High rates of problems like dating and sexual violence are documented around the world, with youth and young adults a particularly at-risk age group. This panel includes four presentations about results of violence prevention work in a diverse array of communities, with a particular focus on bystander action. Two of the presentations describe international efforts to combat dating, sexual and domestic violence among young adults on university campuses in England and in Kenya with a UK focus on micro-aggressions. The other two papers describe research findings from prevention work in two different geographic regions of the United States: the western plains and the northeast corridor. Both of these studies draw from culturally diverse samples of middle, high school and college students. Discussion of the papers will center on lessons learned and ideas about the need to understand how violence prevention, including bystander intervention training, needs to be adapted to consider different contexts.




Debates in Geography Education

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Mark Jones, Senior Lecturer in Geography Education at the Department of Education and Childhood, and Professor David Lambert (UCL, Institute of Education)  have received a national award for  their second edition of the co-edited bookDebates in Geography Education’published with Routledge.

The Geographical Associations’ Silver award is given in recognition of publications which make a significant contribution to geographical education and professional development. The judges at this year’s conference noted that Mark and David’s book “does what no other geography education text does in one volume – it raises questions about the nature of geography teaching – and although scholarly, it makes the ‘problematic’ in geography teaching accessible. The judges were impressed by the array, depth and contemporary nature of the chapters reflecting current curriculum and assessment issues.” (GA, 2018).

The 23 chapters are written by expert contributors who provide a range of perspectives on international, historical and policy contexts in order to deepen our understanding of significant debates in geography education.


Who Made My Clothes? Making sense of the world through creativity

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Fashion Revolution follows the mantra: be curious, find out and do something.

As I write this, we are at the end of the second week of the free, three week, online course Who Made My Clothes? written by myself and Prof. Ian Cook (Exeter University).

In week one we encouraged learners to begin to be curious about their clothes; delve into their own wardrobe and begin to think about the journey their clothing had made. In week two we have been ‘finding out’. This has required our global class of (so far) 7500+ learners to become clothes detectives and research those journeys in greater detail. Using resources such as Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index as a starting point, we have uncovered the hidden, lost and forgotten stories that we carry round in our clothing every day. Learners have shared their findings, and often their disquiet over what they have found.

Over the week the team of mentors work in a virtual classroom; assisting learners on the discussion boards and signposting further areas of interest. But, each Thursday we gather in Exeter to film a Q&A session, inviting an expert panel to answer some of the pressing questions the learners have raised. This week one of our panellists was Heather Knight (Head of Branding, Design and Communications for Fashion Revolution).

Heather drew on her years of expertise to help learners with their concerns regarding how to make sense out of their research. How could they develop their own creative response whether it be through writing, vlogging, infographics etc.? This is a central activity to week 2 – making sense of the ‘finding out’ – and one many learners find challenging.

As members of the team we not only provide support for those taking the course, but we also recognise ourselves as learners. After all, every piece of clothing tells another story, uncovers a different thread of understanding in the global supply chain narrative. This means that, along with the 7500+ participants, I too have been finding out about an item of clothing from my own wardrobe and thinking about what kind of creative response I could make.

So, this week I have drawn my research together; the story of my Finnisterre jumper which I lovingly darned with yellow mending thread when the elbows became worn.  It has taken me on a journey that has left me uneasy as I discovered how great swathes of woollen textiles are born from animal cruelty through the act of mulesing (slicing skin from around the backside/ tail area) – as well as how these animals end up in countries with no interest in animal welfare at the end of their ‘useful’ lives. With relief I found my jumper was not part of this system. However, the thread I mended it with told an altogether different story; one of war, refugees and child labour.

Bringing these worlds together in order to create a response is a challenge and I have been reminded of the inspiring and eclectic mix of writing from last year’s course; reports, narratives, heartfelt letters to loved ones and poetry being just some of the genre chosen.

As an Educator, I encourage learners to write, whether in the primary classroom, or the university seminar. If they are stuck for ideas I advise them to look around them for inspiration, to read widely and read often as it is frequently through the innovation of other’s words that we can develop our own voice.

For my own work, I have turned to Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris’ inspirational book The Lost Words. A collection of inspiring poems based on words no longer found in the Oxford Children’s Dictionary. Words from the natural world such as heather, conker, newt and wren. It was this idea of words becoming lost, unheard and invisible that struck a chord: The voices of garment workers have become just as muted.

And so I have written my response which you can read:  poetry based on finisterre jumper

I have written poems. I have unpacked the skills, thought carefully about the structure of both what I am reading and what I am then writing, unpacked the themes and rhythms and made critical decisions on the journey.  This process has brought a clarity of thought to the final product. And, as a result, further clarity to my own practice and how I will support writers in the future.

We are all writers, but sometimes forget the power of the process. Where it can take you and how you use it is the theme of week 3 when we consider how we can all ‘do something’.

It’s not too late to join the course and see what journey your clothes will take you on.


Dr Verity Jones, Senior Lecturer in Global and Sustainable Education

Twitter: @VerityJones_edu 

English as an Additional Language and Creativity Conference Programme 2018

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The University of the West of England

Thursday 12th July 2018


Time Talks and Workshops  Room
8.45 am Registration, Tea/Coffee


Sign up for workshop



9.15 am Welcome/Introductions

Dr Jane Andrews, Associate Professor (Education), Lois Francis and Dominique Moore, Integra


9.20 am Opening comments

Professor Jane Roscoe, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education, UWE


9.30 am Keynote Speaker 1

Professor Alison Phipps, Glasgow University

“The well in well-being”



10.30 am Tea / Coffee Break



10.50 am St Michael on the Mount – children perform an extract from their play “The Magic Shoes” with presentation from Anna Comfort, Year 1 Teacher and Director of The Magic Shoes.

Anna Comfort and children from St Michael on the Mount, Bristol.



11.30 Workshops (A, B, C, D)


A – Naa Densua Tordzro & Gameli Tordzro –

“Adinkra Creative Links”



A = 2S511



B – Dr Maryam Al-Mohammad

“Using Film-making with EAL Learners”



B = 2S610



C – Alison Phipps & Tawona Sithole

‘Spoken Word, Broken Silence’


C = 2S708



D – Dr Jane Andrews –

“Using craft techniques in the EAL classroom and beyond”



D = 2S705

12.45 pm Lunch


13.45 pm Keynote Speaker 2

Dr Mary Carol Combs, University of Arizona.

Learning in the Third Space: Pedagogies of Hope and Resistance


14.45 pm Creativity Activities from the Classroom

  • Judith Prosser, Cotham School, Bristol:

“A Creative approach to developing oracy skills at KS3- The Suitcase Project”

  • Karen Thomas, EMAS Portsmouth and Becca Reeve, Miltoncross Academy, Portsmouth:

“There are no tigers in Italy: using suitcase art to break down barriers.”

Chaired by Lois Francis and Dominique Moore, Integra



15.45 –

16.00 pm

Closing reflections from Dr Mary Carol Combs





The conference takes place at the Department of Education and Childhood, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY

The conference is free but please make a booking here so we can organise catering and transport.

For inquiries please contact Dr Jane Andrews and Dr Maryam Almohammad

Follow us on Tiwtter: @CWLE_EAL 

The Learning Adult Building and Reflecting on the Work of Peter Jarvis

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 Richard Waller, Associate Professor of the Sociology of Education at the Department of Education and Childhood,  has just published a co-edited book ‘The Learning Adult: Building and Reflecting on the Work of Peter Jarvis’ with Routledge. Peter has been one of the most influential figures in adult and lifelong education for several decades, and is a leading and original theorist of learning.

The book is a collection of sixteen chapters by authors from across the world, and explores the breadth and significance of Peter’s work in a number of contexts. The chapters explain and engage critically with his theorisation of learning, and with his extensive writings on the sociology, politics, ethics and history of adult education, and on professional education, lifelong learning and the learning society. The book is co-edited with Richard’s three other co-editors from the International Journal of Lifelong Education.

Six factors supporting success for care leavers in higher education

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There has long been a social policy concern about groups of young people who do not have ready access to higher education (HE).  Among the lowest participation rates are those for care-experienced young people – i.e. those taken into the care of their local authority, usually due to abuse, neglect or other challenges within their birth family.  Within this group, those still in care at 16 (broadly designated as ‘care leavers’) are the least likely to enter HE.

The publication of the ‘Moving On Up’ report in late 2017 was designed to fill a gap in our understanding about the pathways that care leavers and other care-experienced students take into and through HE in England.  It draws on both national educational data and the accounts of 212 current students.

The report identifies six factors that appear to underpin successful participation in HE – not all of these will apply to all care leavers, but they provide a useful framework for examining their experiences and evaluating policy and practice:


  1. Strong attainment at 16

 By some way the strongest predictor for success was attainment at 16 in the shape of GCSEs or other qualifications.  Once this was taken into account, the participation rates for care leavers were only slightly lower than for young people as a whole.  However, the challenges experienced by care leavers meant that they were significantly less likely to achieve highly – around one quarter were not even entered for examination.

This finding reinforces the importance of supporting attainment for children in care, whilst recognising that many will not be in the position to achieve what they are capable of at their first attempt.  What remains unclear is whether it is the embedded knowledge/skills within GCSEs that propel care leavers towards success or whether our education system simply uses (and overuses) them to filter and redirect young people onto the pathway deemed most appropriate for them – see 6 below.


  1. A managed transition from care to HE

 For many, the process of transitioning from care into independent living as a student is a significant upheaval.  Financial support needs to be negotiated, appropriate accommodation secured and new friendships forged.  While this is true of all young people, those in care are likely to have more complexity and greater needs, at the same time as less family support on which to draw.

The best accounts of transition were marked by pre-entry collaboration between local authority, university/college and young person, enabling them to navigate changes as painlessly as possible.  Conversely, some ended up having to find their own way in the face of indifference or negativity.  Many reported not being able to attend open days, having difficulty getting forms signed or being forced to move into new housing on their own.


  1. Membership of the HE community

 Following on, rapid integration into the HE community was seen as a key element in becoming a successful student.  Those care leavers who had not integrated quickly reported loneliness, isolation and a disempowering feeling of being unsupported.  This not only impacted on their mental health, but also undermined their ability to focus on their studies.

The barriers to joining the HE community were varied.  Some found themselves living too far from the university – especially those who were parents or had remained with their foster family.  Another group reported feeling different to other students and unable to talk about their childhood as part of friendship formation.  Others found that HE staff were uninformed or unsympathetic.


 4. Strong disability and mental health support

 The study found that two-thirds of care leavers were deemed to have special educational needs.  Unsurprisingly, emotional and mental health issues were commonplace – many wrote about the continuing legacy of childhood trauma.  Others had specific learning difficulties or other impairments that had influenced their ability to achieve highly.

 Those self-identifying as ‘disabled’ were significantly more likely to have used HE support services and to have considered leaving.  For those with long-term mental health issues, the transition into HE posed new problems, including the end of child-focused therapeutic support.  Several reported that their university/college was unable to provide the form of ongoing support that they needed.


  1. Resilience and determination

 A key element in many stories was a strong sense of determination to succeed – as they saw it – against the odds.  They saw HE as a stepping stone to increase their life chances and enable them to transcend the struggles they had undergone, either with their birth families or their later experiences in care.  For some, they saw it is as their only chance to do so.

The other side of this coin was the despair that some expressed.  They were conscious of still struggling through HE, looking to an uncertain future.  It was rarely clear why one student would be resilient and another, ostensibly similar, would be fragile.


 6. Recognition for alternative educational pathways

 A distinctive feature of care leavers’ routes into HE was that they tended to start later (around a year, on average) and to take longer to complete than other young people, with changed courses, retakes and periods of dormancy being common.  They were significantly more likely to enter with qualifications that were not A Levels, including Access to HE and work-based learning courses.

Many care leavers are not in a position to attain highly at 16 and they are therefore ‘filtered’ into pathways that led them away from HE – at least initially – including lower-level further education courses or entry into the unskilled labour market.  It was a testament to their resolve that some found their way back into HE; local authorities and universities could do more to valorise these alternative pathways and make them easier to find and traverse.


Dr Neil Harrison  , Associate Professor of Education Policy

Twitter: @DrNeilHarrison 


Is it time you joined the Revolution?

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The death toll from Bangladesh’s worst industrial accident has passed 1,000 as recovery teams continue to find more bodies in the wreckage.

 …. so read the BBC’s news in May 2013. The collapse of the Rana Plasa garment factory in Bangladesh shook the world with images of the disaster broadcast around the globe. A spot light was focused, not on the high street or cat walk, but on the working conditions of the people who actually make our clothes. Those usually not considered -invisible to the consumer – were brought into focus through the mass media.

In response, Fashion Revolution was born; a global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. The movement looks to encourage changes to the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased, so that we can be confident that what we wear has been made in a safe, clean and fair way.

Five years on from the Rana Plaza disaster and things are changing. The Bangladesh Accord has seen over 200 brands in 20  countries sign up to this legally binding agreement between brands, retailers and trade unions – designed to build a safe and healthy environment for garment workers. Films such as The True Cost have been broadcast to raise awareness and inform consumers of the working conditions many garment workers suffer. Consumers are making more informed decisions about what they buy.

However we have a long way to go.

The Garment Worker Diaries highlight just some of the stories from around the 75 million garment workers worldwide – a majority of these people makes clothes for the global market and are still living in poverty, unable to afford life’s basic necessities. Many are subject to exploitation; verbal and physical abuse, working in unsafe and dirty conditions, with very little pay.

Each year 150 billion items of clothing are delivered out of factories yet Americans alone throw away over 36 kg of clothing each year per person – a vast majority of this going to either a landfill or an incinerator. At the same time, traditional craft industries are being eroded, due in large part to mass manufacturing. Ancient techniques that have been handed down from generation to generation are being lost.

If that wasn’t bad enough, don’t forget that every piece of clothing also has a wider environmental impact. The chemicals used to grow, dye, launder and treat our clothes end up polluting land, rivers and oceans. A huge amount of water is used to produce garments through growing cotton, dyeing and laundering.  In fact, it’s estimated that we need 1,800 gallons of water to make just one pair of jeans.

With such demands, the global necessity for continued work towards change in the fashion industry is brought into focus through the Sustainable Development Goals. Just as the very fibers of our clothing are woven together, so too are the issues; from the female dominated workforce denied an education and fair pay, to garment factories working towards closed loop systems with zero waste, to those working in partnerships with artisans who deliver goods that are kind to both land and sea. Responsible consumption and production are needed.

With this in mind, last year I worked with Prof. Ian Cook (Exeter University) to further raise awareness of the issues Fashion Revolution work towards bringing into focus. We developed a free online course that we hoped would allow people to think through the journeys the clothes in their own wardrobes had made.

We were blown away when over 8,000 people signed up for our three week MOOC (mass online open course) which was supported by the FutureLearn platform. Working as a global learning community we supported participants to become clothes detectives and  unearth the secret stories the fabrics from their wardrobes hold.  As June 25th 2018 approaches we once again ready ourselves for the course to launch its second year.

As an educator, it is so exciting to work with a truly global class about real issues that have a real impact and can be taught at primary, secondary, further and higher education level. We hope you can join us on this year’s course.

Please sign up here or contact me if would like further information.

What people said about the 2017 course:

I have loved every second of this course! It was vastly different from most courses I have taken, both online and offline, because it was interactive on an emotional and intellectual level, instead of being a purely mental task and as a result I enjoyed it far more. I will recommend this course to absolutely anyone, it is incredibly supportive, thought-provoking and provides a fantastic atmosphere for learning.


I thoroughly enjoyed this course and want to thank everyone involved for presenting such an important subject in an engaging way. You left us with a lot to think about and I have planned how to take my pledge forward at work so it will go on having an impact past the course end date.
Thank you again, and good luck with the #class of 2018 when you repeat this programme.

Dr Verity Jones, Senior Lecturer in Global and Sustainable Education

Twitter: @VerityJones_edu 

English as an Additional Language and Creativity Conference 2018

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EAL and Creativity – Using Arts-Based Methods for Supporting Learners of English as an Additional Language

Thursday 12th July 2018 9.00 – 4:00 pm

The University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY

CWLE team at the Department of Education and Childhood, the University of West England in collaboration with Integra Schools is pleased to invite practitioners to a one day conference.

Keynote speakers:


Professor Alison Phipps, Glasgow University:

“The Well in Welcome: Creating Welcoming Environments for All”.

Dr Mary Carol Combs, University of Arizona.

Learning in the Third Space: Pedagogies of Hope and Resistance

Programme Highlights

Creative art workshops

  • Adinkra Creative Links – Naa Densua Tordzro and Gameli Tordzro
  • Spoken Word, Broken Silence – Tawona Sitholé and Alison Phipps
  • Film-making and EAL Learners – Maryam Almohammad
  • Craft-making with EAL Learners – Jane Andrews


  • Judith Prosser, Cotham School, Bristol
  • Karen Thomas (Portsmouth EMTAS) and Rebecca Reeve

The conference is free but please make a booking here so we can organise catering and transport.

For inquiries please contact Dr Jane Andrews and Dr Maryam Almohammad

Follow us on Tiwtter: @CWLE_EAL 


Engineering Science Education: Teaching Science Through Engineering

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In UK primary schools there are very few teachers who have any scientific qualifications above GCSE level.  Many also report that they struggle with science subject knowledge and that this causes them to feel less confident about teaching science.  Unfortunately we know that these aspects can have a negative impact on children’s learning and attitudes to science.

Our work, supported by a grant from the Engineer’s Professors Council and a UWE Spur 6 grant, aimed to address this by using engineering as an alternative approach to teaching science.  UWE trainee primary school teachers (ITE students) were paired with UWE undergraduate engineering students working together within a knowledge exchange framework to design and deliver engineering activities to local primary school children.  The pairs of students worked together to challenge children to design and make solutions to ‘real-life’ problems such as designing and building a machine to clear up after a class party; a floating device to enable you to take your phone swimming with you and a device to carry secret messages to a friend.

Research findings have shown that rather than de-skilling the pre-service teachers, pairing them with an ‘expert’ engineering student appeared to be a vital contributor to the positive outcomes of the project.  Working as paired peers significantly increased the trainee teacher’s confidence in both engineering and science subject knowledge as well as their confidence in their ability to teach these subjects well which can directly contribute to positive outcomes for children.  The engineers reported that they were more likely to take part in public engagement activities in the future as a result of participation in the project.

Over 800 local primary school children have also had the opportunity to become engineers for the day at our ‘Children as Engineers’ conferences run jointly by the Departments of Engineering and Education and Childhood.   For the children who have participated in the project using an engineering approach to teaching and learning science has supported their scientific understanding, as well as helping them to engage with the engineering design process.  The children were more positive about science, and future career plans in science and engineering, and they demonstrated a much greater and more accurate awareness about engineers and engineering.

As a result of this work a toolkit for training teachers and engineers to jointly teach science through engineering has been developed. This has now been embedded into the undergraduate programmes for ITE and engineering students.  This work is being supported by a HEFCE (now Office for Students) grant which will help us to evaluate longer term, sustainable impact.  The development of a tool-kit which can be used by other higher education institutions is our long-term goal.

Enabling the students and children to work together challenges children’s preconceptions about engineers and the role that they play, supports engineering students in their public engagement skills and develops the subject knowledge of the trainee teachers.  In the words of teachers from the schools involved ‘The engineering project was amazing!!  The children gained so much’ ‘the whole school is absolutely buzzing’.

In the words of the students themselves…..

Engineering student participant- “working with the teaching students was sublime.  I was amazed at their skills in the classroom.”


ITE student participant- “I really enjoyed the day, it was extremely useful to work with the engineers.  I was surprised at how we were able to share ideas so well.  I learnt so much.”


ITE student participant- “I was amazed at how doing the practical work revealed so much about the children’s learning and understanding.  It has really made me think about the types of lessons I will do in the future.”

Dr Fay Lewis ,Senior Lecturer in Primary Math and Science Education