Graduation Tales: Innovative student teachers offered lockdown home school help

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Three student teachers, graduating this week from University of South Wales (USW), created learning resources to support parents during lockdown.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit and children were sent home from schools, Owen Lewis, Louise Lloyd and Adam Jones realised that parents and children alike needed some extra support, whilst schools were getting home schooling systems in place.

Louise, from Ebbw Vale, said: “I have an 8-year-old of my own and Owen’s mother is a head teacher. When the world stopped, we could see how teachers were facing huge challenges to provide work for children to do at home. Also, many parents were struggling to work and look after children, whilst being bombarded with lots of information. We put our heads together to see how we could help.”

Although in the midst of their own studies on the BA (Hons) Primary Initial Teacher Training with QTS course, they set about posting videos on YouTube demonstrating simple tasks for children to do, with items that can be commonly found around the house.

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Adam, from Pontypridd, said: “We didn’t want the videos to be overly educational, just something that children of varying ages could do at home, hence the name of our channel ‘Not in the Textbook.’

“Each video was not perfectly produced either and this was intentional. We wanted it to be relatable and when things didn’t go quite to plan, we kept it in.”

Sharing them on various social media platforms, the videos started to get traction and they received grateful feedback.

Owen, from Blackwood, said: “The most popular videos were painting with ice, bubble painting, and making a napkin parachute. Parents sent us photos of children’s creations.

“Although we enjoyed making the videos, as it gave us focus during a difficult time, it was very rewarding too.

“When lockdown lifted, we tweaked the information in the videos to create a podcast for student teachers to support with blended learning.”

All three teachers have jobs secured for September and Apple Education has been in touch to invite them to be involved in working on an e-book.

Matthew Pullen, Senior Lecturer, said: “Louise, Adam and Owen made a huge impact during lockdown with the creation of their YouTube channel to support home learning.  They are an excellent example of student teachers that are forward thinking, passionate and innovative in their approach to their own learning and how it can develop others.  On the course, we exemplify the use of technology to enhance learning and these students are an excellent example of what the future of teaching will look like.”

 

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