Why the International Day of Education matters for Bristol

By Leon Tikly, International Ambassador for Bristol, Professor in Education, University of Bristol & UNESCO Chair.

In a world marked by conflict, there is much that Bristol schools, colleges and universities can do to foster peace in the city and around the world. 24 January marks UNESCO International Day of Education, an annual event meant to highlight the importance of an Inclusive and Quality Education available to all across the lifespan. The theme for this year is Learning for Lasting Peace. This is highly relevant given the number of conflicts currently going on around the world from Gaza to Ukraine, to Afghanistan to Syria, and in the Horn of Africa. (more…)

UK announces AI funding for teachers: how this technology could change the profession

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Nicola Warren-Lee, University of Bristol and Lyndsay Grant, University of Bristol

During the recent international AI Safety Summit held in the UK, the government announced a further £2 million to be invested in Oak National Academy – a publicly funded classroom resource hub – to develop artificial intelligence tools to help reduce teachers’ workloads.

Generative AI, such as Open AI’s ChatGPT, responds to prompts from users to produce content. It has become a hot topic in education.

While there isn’t much up-to-date research on how teachers are using AI, we know from our work with schools that teachers are experimenting with AI to create lesson plans, classroom resources and schemes of work. For example, a teacher might ask ChatGPT, “make me a lesson plan on river flooding in Tewkesbury for year seven”. Within seconds, a plan will be available containing learning objectives, materials, activities, homework, assessments and more. (more…)

The Education Policy and Research Service (EPRS) Top Ten for 2022-23

By Helen Aberdeen, Director Education Policy and Research Service (EPRS) School of Education, University of Bristol

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…)

The Uncharted Journey: From the classroom to understanding life

Varshini ParthibanBy 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…)

What do children need to flourish? Lessons learned from children’s experiences of schooling during lockdown

Dr Wendy Martineau (Teaching Associate, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies) and Dr Ioanna Bakopoulou (Senior Lecturer in Psychology in Education, School of Education)

We are delighted to see the publication of our article, What children need to flourish: Insights from a qualitative study of children’s mental health and wellbeing in the pandemic. This forms part of a collection of articles in a Special Issue of Education 3-13, which draw on educational research during the pandemic for the project of reimagining primary school education in the post pandemic world.

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Should your summer-born child start school later? Here’s what the research says

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Maxime Perrott, University of Bristol; Ioanna Bakopoulou, University of Bristol, and Liz Washbrook, University of Bristol

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…)