Issued: Fri, 04 Sep 2020 11:52:49 BST
The School of Education threw open its digital doors to a new cohort of 400 student teachers on August 17th 2020. Along with the BA Childhood Practice, the PGDE programme is now in full swing, with teaching well underway after an extended online induction period. The longer induction period gave PGDE students more time in which to navigate the University online and to become more familiar with Moodle and some of the other digital tools we are using for learning and teaching.
As a PGDE Programme team, we also used the extended online induction period to give more room to the core values that can ordinarily feel the pressure of our programme’s jam-packed face to face schedule. We were able to embed new inputs on anti-racist education, the role of reflective practice in lesson planning, and relationship building in teaching at the very start of their student teacher journeys in order to cement their significance.
The students’ initial responses to life in their new online home have been overwhelmingly positive. They seem to recognise the enormous effort staff have made to create a welcoming and supportive atmosphere and have flung themselves into the programme. The Moodle forums are alight with activity; the Teams channels are chattering, and the Zoom logins have all been tried and tested. In fact, more than 240 students have engaged with the weekly Zoom social calls that involve some light-hearted games in breakout rooms, and, on one occasion, a bid to set a record for the highest number of people wearing stripes while on Zoom. We are still waiting for our call from the Guinness Book of Records…