Dear SOE Student,
My name is Chidinma Ibemere. I had the privilege of studying Education Leadership and Policy (MSc.) as a 2022/2023 Think Big Scholar. It is my pleasure to write you this informal piece to welcome you to the prestigious School of Education, at the University of Bristol.
Firstly, I would love to humbly congratulate you on achieving this milestone. You have done well for yourself, and you should be proud of being a part of an exceptional community with a proven track record of academic and social achievements.
As you begin this new phase, it is not unusual to have mixed emotions. This may be the first time leaving your family or your comfort zone and it is absolutely normal to be anxious or uncertain. Well, I am here to assure you that you will be fine.
I have decided to share some tips that may be useful as you navigate this new experience. I hope it meets you well! (more…)
Despite the growing popularity of STEM and engineering education in recent years, it has been noticed that there is generally a lack of understanding of the engineering profession amongst the general public as well as parents and students. Additionally, the engineering industry has observed a decline in the quality of engineering students.1 When being asked to describe a good student, the most common terms are hardworking, being good in academics, submitting work on time, being regular, participating in-class activities, and achieving high grades, etc. However, However, these qualities do not guarantee success in becoming a good engineer.
For many who work in education, the summer break provides a welcome breathing space to clear those little jobs which we have been meaning to do for ages. It also gives us some time to look back and reflect.
As Director of our Education Policy and Research Service (EPRS), I have had a busy year – in a good way. In addition to summarising 110 research and policy reports, we have developed a new EPRS toolkit based on the Core Content Framework for Initial Teacher Training – we will be officially launching the toolkit in September, hoping to persuade many ITT institutions of its usefulness. (more…)
By Obiageri Bridget Azubuike – PhD in Advanced Quantitative Methods. School of Education. University of Bristol.
As part of my PhD, I embarked on an overseas visit sponsored by the SWDTP. My aim was to engage with a research organisation called TEP Centre whose work in education partnership, research, design, implementation, and evaluation of education programmes in Nigeria aligns closely with my research.
Among the planned activities during the visit, we organized a webinar where I had the privilege to present my preliminary research findings and moderate a panel discussion featuring three distinguished speakers. The panel discussion revolved around the topic of inequalities in post-primary education in Nigeria. (more…)
By Navin Kikabhai, School of Education, University of Bristol
Navin Kikabhai (University of Bristol) is collecting information for a research article to understand the challenges of public/academic engagement, and examine understanding and perspectives about the topic of conversation. Watch the video presentation ‘How educational systems respond to diversity, inclusion and social justice’, and answer a short questionnaire. (more…)
By Varshini Parthiban, MSc Education, School of Education, University of Bristol
In the bustling sea of educational practices and learning strategies, I discovered a unique and profoundly enriching experience – working as a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Disabilities (SEND) teaching assistant.
A part-timer by title, I became full-time in my commitment, dedication, and passion. This journey became a looking glass, providing me with a fresh perspective on creativity, technology, inclusion, and social justice, ideas that I previously encountered only in the confines of my education course modules. (more…)
By Antonia Voigt and Deepti R Bhat; PhD students, School of Education
A generous grant under the “Enhancing Research Culture” scheme at the University of Bristol enabled us to provide our postgraduate research community with a unique and much needed learning experience.
Over three months, from February to April 2023, we ran four workshops under the heading “Learning to connect: Building our research community through effective communication”. These included a session on learning how to write an impactful conference abstract, how to design a captivating presentation, and deliver it in a memorable way, and lastly, how to build relationships through networking.
We are excited to know that we were able to make a difference to our postgraduate research community through this project. In this blog, we want to share our experience and three take-away messages. (more…)
If you have a child born in the summer, the prospect of starting school can pose a conundrum. In England, for example, children typically start school in the September after they turn four, which for some can mean just a few months, weeks or even days later.
But if your child was born between April and August, you have the option to delay entry until year one, in line with compulsory school starting age of five. However, this means that they would miss the first formal year of education (reception).
You can also apply to your local authority for your child to enter school a year after their peer group – meaning your child will enter reception class the September after they turn five, and will be taught out of their peer group. A government survey of 62 local authorities found that 88% of requests to delay from 2018 to 2019 were granted.
So how do you know whether your child should start school at four, or delay entry? One thing to consider is what research tells us about the experience of summer-born children. For example, much evidence points to the advantages of summer-born children starting reception when they are five. (more…)
Teachers in England are struggling. A recently released government report on the working lives of teachers found that teachers’ wellbeing levels are lower than the general population. More than half of the 11,177 teachers and school leaders surveyed said that their job was negatively affecting their mental health.
Teacher wellbeing should be addressed at a structural level. If the government wants teachers to enter the profession, and continue in it, then changes around pay, working conditions and support for teachers’ mental and physical health need to happen.
In the present moment, though, there are also steps teachers can take for themselves to prioritise their wellbeing. My research focuses on how keeping a diary can be useful to teachers. It can give them a safe place to define what wellbeing means for themselves and to explore what it means in practice. What’s more, there’s no reason why this practice couldn’t be helpful for others, too. (more…)