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Year 12 Students explore our Education Tripos

12 Year 12 students at the Faculty of Education

Tuesday 25 August
Once again, the Faculty of Education hosted a group of Year 12 students from across the country as part of the University’s Sutton Trust Summer Schools, introducing them to the academic disciplines of education and encouraging them to apply for the undergraduate Education Tripos at Cambridge.
Read full article.

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Faculty signs MoU with the National Institute of Education, Singapore

Geoff Hayward and Tan Oon Seng

Thursday 20 August
Professor Tan Oon Seng, the Director of the National Institute of Education, Singapore, and Professor Geoff Hayward, Head of the Faculty of Education, on 13th August signed a memorandum of understanding between the two organisations.

The MoU will facilitate student and staff exchanges, and the development of a programme of collaborative research between two world leading educational organisations. Student exchanges will start in September 2016.

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Prestigious Masters Award in 2 Successive Years

Alvin Leung

Tuesday 18 August
Congratulations to Alvin Leung (Politics, Democracy and Education Programme, PDDE 2013-14) who has recently been announced as the recipient of the 2015 British Educational Research Association's Masters Dissertation Award, presented for the most outstanding thesis or dissertation produced as part of a Masters course in Education issued by a British university.

Alvin's success marks a notable distinction for our PDDE programme, with students from the course now having won this prestigious national award in two successive years.

Full report.

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IBBY International Award for PhD Student

IBBY logo

Tuesday 4
Xioafei Shi, second-year PhD student, has been awarded the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) UK Bursary.

It is a highly competitive and prestigious award that enables a graduate student to attend the 35th IBBY World Congress in Auckland, New Zealand, 2016. IBBY is a renowned international alliance of those interested in children’s literature across different professions. It has over seventy national sections all over the world, and the biennial World Congress is one of its largest and most famous events.

IBBY UK offers two bursaries to IBBY UK members, one of which is intended for graduate students. The overarching theme of the Congress, “The multiplicity of language, literacy and literature in the world today”, is at the very heart of Xiaofei's PhD project, which focuses on crossover picturebooks and explores how young readers are positioned in this increasingly multimodal world. At the Congress, Xiaofei will present the early findings of her project: the crosscultural adaptation and reception of Jimmy Liao’s When the Moon Forgot, which gives a glimpse into the place of local literature in a global context, and the tricky position of young readers in the world today.

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Men, Masculinities and Teaching in Early Childhood Education

Book cover

Thursday 30 July
A new book, lead edited by Dr. Simon Brownhill (a Senior Teaching Associate in the Faculty of Education), sets out to critically explore the notion of men, masculinities and teaching in early childhood education. It addresses the global pattern of gender, teaching and care where men are in the minority, and explores the notion that the greater involvement of men within teaching and associated professions has the potential to transform gender relations for future generations.

International contributors from the UK, Sweden, Japan, the USA and Indonesia raise critical questions about the construction of masculinities, the continuing reluctance of men to engage in this type of work, and the influence of political and public debates on the issue.

Published by Routledge, the Foreword has been written by Mike Younger, Director of Central Asia Projects in the Faculty of Education. Further details and purchasing information are available at:

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Two of our doctoral students receive United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) awards 2015


Monday 27 July
Debbie Pullinger and Veronica Hanke both received awards at this year’s UKLA International Conference in Nottingham.

Debbie Pullinger, a research associate at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, has won the prestigious 2015 United Kingdom Literacy Association Student Research Prize for her PhD thesis 'The hidden child: orality, textuality and children's poetry'.

Completed in 2013-14, it was supervised by Professor Morag Styles and David Whitley. Debbie is currently a full-time researcher working with David Whitley on the Poetry and Memory Project, a three-year interdisciplinary project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, investigating experiences of poetry learning, and examining the relationships between memorisation, recitation and understanding. This is the second year running that the UKLA Student Research Prize has been won by a Cambridge Faculty of Education PhD student.

Veronica Hanke, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, supervised by Professor Neil Mercer, was also awarded a Special Commendation for the important UKLA Wiley-Blackwell Research in Literacy Education Prize. The Special Commendation was for Veronica’s article published in 2014 in the UKLA’s journal, Literacy, 48 (3), entitled 'Guided reading: young pupils’ perspectives on classroom practice'.

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Research Capacity Building Programme

Research Capacity Building Programme

Wednesday 15 July
The recently created NIS research team spent a week at the Faculty brushing up their research methods knowledge before returning to Astana to embark on a country wide research programme. Dr Elaine Wilson worked with a team of Faculty researchers to develop the skills and knowledge of the young Kazakhstani team.

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A first - forming the Cambridge Education Alumni Group (CEAG)

Former Dept of Education and current Fac of Education

Tuesday 30 June
We are delighted to announce the formation of the Cambridge Education Alumni Group (CEAG).

This group is the first of its kind, and will bring together alumni who have graduated from the Faculty of Education in any degree and from other disciplines but who are working in the field of education.

The aim is to create a network of researchers, academics, educators and social entrepreneurs based in the UK and across the world.

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The First One Day EdD Conference

Generating Impact Through Practice-based Doctoral Research Designed for Educational Professionals

Wednesday 24 June
The Faculty is delighted to host the first EdD One-Day Conference

"Generating Impact Through Practice-based Doctoral Research Designed for Educational Professionals"

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5th Cambridge Student Voice Seminar: looking back, looking forward!

Faculty of Education

Monday 22 June
Under the leadership of Professor Alison Cook-Sather, the Jean Rudduck Visiting Scholar, Homerton College, for a 5th successive year the Faculty is hosting the Cambridge Student Voice Seminar Monday 22nd - 24th June.

Around 60 participants are attending from many countries, including Australia, Denmark, Sweden, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Holland, USA, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

Participants will take part in an interactive and collaborative programme of keynotes, presentations, workshops, ‘unconference’ sessions and networking on themes related to student voice in diverse contexts.

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Cambridge gets REAL about overcoming obstacles to global education


Monday 22 June
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz noted that the 'REAL centre builds on the Faculty of Education�s strong expertise in research of the highest quality that aims to address real problems and influence policy on the ground'.

Read full article

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Live Launch of the REAL Centre - 16th June

REAL logo

Tuesday 16 June
The launch of the REAL Centre took place at 1430 on June 16th at the McCrum Lecture Theatre, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, UK.

A video of the live stream will be made available later.

Further information will be on the REAL Centre pages:

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Publication of Doctoral Thesis for Mass Consumption!

Book cover

Monday 15 June
Questioning the male 'role model' in Early Years and Primary classrooms, ‘The ‘brave’ man in the early years (0-8): The ambiguities of being a role model’ by Simon Brownhill has just been published by LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing. The publication takes the form of a doctoral thesis which Dr. Brownhill (a Senior Teaching Associate in the Faculty of Education) successfully defended in 2010.

‘The thesis investigates the ambiguous nature of the ‘role model’ in light of the persistent call for more men to act as male role models for children in early years and primary school settings as boys’ underachievement and the absence of men in children’s lives continues to dominate education agendas.

Its findings not only highlight a multitude of ways in which the term can be interpreted and defined, but challenge gender assumptions of who the ‘role model’ is, casting doubt on the positive influence the role model is meant to have on boys.’ 
Further details and purchasing information.

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Youth and Securitization in the 'Global North' and 'South'

Jo-Anne Dillabough

Monday 8
Dr. Jo-Anne Dillabough has been awarded an ESRC Impact Accelerator Grant grant entitled "Youth and Securitization in the 'Global North' and 'South': Cities, social housing and urban conflict".

It will examine the nature of the strains of increased surveillance and policing of urban youth and the potentially unpredictable outcomes they may produce transnationally.

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Invitation, and launch of new creative blog - FACULT/ART/EM…


Thursday 4
Enhancing the experience of Masters Students. Come and visit an exciting showcase and exhibition of the successful FACULT/ART/EM Artist Residency programme created for and made in collaboration with Masters Students and Artist Susanne Jasilek - at the Masters Celebration on Wednesday 10th June 2015 from 3pm to 5pm in GS4, Donald McIntyre Building.

As part of the Artist Residency programme to enhance the experience of Masters students and the Faculty community, a new creative blog site has been created.

We invite you to view the blog and all the exciting and engaging Artist Residency activities, art sessions and exhibitions that have taken place in the Faculty so far, and those to come… enjoy!
Full details and where to send submissions.

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Faculty and Ghana Education Service collaborative publication

Handbook cover Faculty and Ghana Education Service collaborative publication

Tuesday 2
This new publication has been written and produced by the Ghana Education Service to provide detailed guidance for headteachers and circuit supervisors throughout the country.

The five chapters contextualise and elaborate on the five Leadership for Learning principles.

This is the result of collaborative work involving Sue Swaffield, John MacBeath, colleagues at the University of Cape Coast and others.

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Celebrate with us - new PLACE group titles - 2nd June

Faculty of Education News

Monday 1
The 2nd of June holds a very special event - a book launch of several titles from members of PLACE group and the Children's Literature Centre. It starts at 5pm and will be in the Donald McIntyre Building GS5. Join us to celebrate!

Further information.

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World Education Forum

World Education Forum attended by Professor Pauline Rose

Tuesday 26 May
Professor Pauline Rose attended the World Education Forum in Incheon, Korea on 18-21 May, together with around 1500 experts from over 140 countries. She spoke on the importance of putting equity and inclusion at the heart of the post-2015 global education agenda alongside the 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi, and the Executive Director of UNICEF, Anthony Lake.

See here for a summary of Pauline's reflections on the forum:

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Faculty of Education Scoops CUSU Awards!

Christine Counsell, David Whitebread, Fiona Maine

Tuesday 19 May
On the evening of Tuesday 12 May, CUSU presented their annual awards for outstanding university staff. The ceremony took place in the University Combination Room in the Old Schools. The Faculty of Education was well represented with three awards. Dr. Fiona Maine and Christine Counsell won awards in the lecturing category, nominated by their PGCE students, and Dr. David Whitebread won an award for his work as a supervisor, nominated by his past and present MPhil and PhD students.

CUSU received 265 submissions from students who were invited to nominate the lecturers, supervisors, pastoral or student support staff that have really enhanced their education. The student-led teaching awards are a unique opportunity for students to recognise the exceptional contribution their teachers have made to their education at Cambridge.

Any student at Cambridge is able to nominate, and the judging is carried out by a panel of students working alongside the Students' Union. When submitting a nomination, students are asked to explain why their chosen member of staff should receive an award-these testimonies enable the awards to be judged and highlight the outstanding contribution of so many teachers within the university.

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Prestigious Research Grant Award

Erin Spring

Thursday 14 May
Erin Spring, a former Faculty of Education PhD student (2013), has been awarded the Frances E. Russell Grant for research on Canadian children’s literature. The award is made by IBBY Canada, the Canadian national section of the International Board on Books for Young People. The $1,000 grant is for postdoctoral research Erin is conducting at the Institute of Child and Youth Studies at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. Building on her PhD work which used an interdisciplinary framework to explore intersections between young adult fiction, place, and identity construction in the lives of Canadian youth, Erin’s current project focuses on Aboriginal young adult responses to contemporary Canadian young adult fiction.

The Frances E. Russell Grant was established in memory of a longtime supporter of IBBY Canada. The grant is intended ‘to initiate and encourage research in young people's literature in all its forms’ and is given in support of research for a publishable work (a book or a paper) on Canadian children's literature.

IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People, was founded in 1953, and represents an international network of people committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY Canada, founded in 1980, is one of over 75 IBBY national sections worldwide. IBBY Canada is a volunteer organization promoting quality French and English Canadian children's literature nationally and internationally.

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Barry Jones (1938-2015)

Barry Jones

Monday 11 May
Barry Jones, who died in April 2015, was an inspirational and innovative language teacher educator who was passionate about languages and language teaching.

As principal lecturer and Head of Modern Languages at Homerton College and subsequently Senior Lecturer in Education in the Faculty of Education, he is remembered with genuine affection and gratitude by the people he taught and the colleagues he worked alongside.

Full obituary.

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Education and Disability in preparation for the Oslo Summit

Locked door to school in India

Monday 11 May
The Oslo Summit on Education for Development to be held on 7 July 2015 aims to strengthen efforts to improve access for the 58 million children who remain out of school.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway has appointed an international group of nine experts to work on a vision document for including children and young people with disabilities in international efforts towards education for all.

As a member of this group, Dr Nidhi Singal is focusing on the current contributions and future role of empirical research in achieving this goal.

This appointment is an acknowledgement of the high quality of research undertaken by staff and students on disability and education in the Global South at the Faculty.

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Invitation to launch of REAL Centre

African Classroom outdoors

Tuesday 5
To celebrate the launch of the Centre for Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, the Director of the Centre, Pauline Rose, Professor of International Education, will be joined by leading academics, girls’ education experts, social policy specialists and representatives of international development agencies to discuss the transformational impact of education, with a focus on the importance of girls' education in particular.

16th June 2015 - please join us for the REAL Centre’s inaugural seminar, in association with Camfed:

Welcome and Introduction:
Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge

Keynote Speakers:
Julia Gillard, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and former Prime Minister of Australia
Hans Brattskar, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway

Moderator: Dame Barbara Stocking, President, Murray Edwards College, former CEO of Oxfam GB.

Full details and registration.

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The University of Cambridge Primary School is growing!

Aerial photo of University Primary School

Thursday 30 April
A place aspiring to create wonderful and challenging learning opportunities it will also be a place of research, professional learning and inspiration.
The photo shows the latest bird's eye view.

Visit us at and tweet at @UniCamPrimSch

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Primary science: the poor relation?

Cambridge Primary Review Trust blog: Primary Science

Tuesday 28 April
This week's Cambridge Primary Review Trust blog, by Marianne Cutler, Director of Curriculum Innovation of the Association for Science Education, includes a celebration of the work at one of our Partnership Primary Schools (Queen Edith's) read this interesting blog about primary science

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PGCE alumni enthusing the next generation of Chemists

 PGCE alumni enthusing the next generation of Chemists

Friday 24 April
Faculty of Education PGCE alumni continue to work hard in their new school posts to enthuse the next generation of Chemists. Four new chemistry teachers working in partner schools from the 2010, 2013 and 2014 cohorts brought groups of KS3 pupils to the recent Salter's festival at the Chemistry Department on Lensfield Road. Dr Elaine Wilson was a judge at the event organised by Dr James Keeler in the Chemistry dept sponsored by the Salters' Institute

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New PPD course, Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Assessment and Examinations launched

New PPD course, Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Assessment and  Examinations launched

Thursday 23 April
The PPD team are pleased to announce the launch of a new course entitled the Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Assessment and Examinations. The course, run in association with Cambridge Assessment is aimed at those working for governing bodies, awarding organisations or teachers with a special interest in assessment. Students will work through various on-line elements and attend six Saturday Day schools. Successful students will be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Studies worth 60 credits.

All course enquiries should be directed to

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BBC filming the 'mystery' of the metal chain fountain

Demonstration of fountain

Monday 13 April
Why do chained metal beads rise up high above the rim of a pot as they fall to the floor?

The BBC 'One Show' crew filmed Steve Mould, discoverer of this effect, as he stood on a second floor bridge within the Faculty to help demonstrate the fountain.

The photo shows cameraman Andy Laing, Steve, and presenter Marty Jopson as he takes a turn at holding the bead fountain's pot.

A full explanation of the phenomenon by University of Cambridge's John Biggins and Mark Warner can be found at

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A gold standard for Primary Early Years' research, reflection and classroom practice


Thursday 2
This video, introduces the 4th Edition of 'Teaching and Learning in the Early Years' (Eds. David Whitebread & Penny Coltman), published in March 2015. The book was originally published in 1996 and has been a Routledge bestselling textbook ever since.

Written mostly by tutors on the Faculty's Early Years & Primary PGCE course, it distils the most up-to-date research on early childhood education and presents inspiring practical ideas for the early years classroom.

David has recently been appointed as the acting Director of the new Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development & Learning, funded by the Lego Foundation. Sara Baker and Jenny Gibson are working with him to establish this new centre which is intended to carry out world-leading research in early childhood development and education.

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Low achievement should be tackled before children are born

Anna Vignoles

Thursday 26 March
In a news article this week, Anna Vignoles, Faculty's Director of Research, describes how she believes below par attainment needs to be addressed prior to children being born.

Children who will be born into inadequate dwellings should have support given to their parents at the earliest stage so as to provide an initiative to improve accomplishment in impoverished youngsters.

Full article.

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Masterclass on teaching literature - Award nomination

Book cover

Tuesday 24 March
'MasterClass in English Education: Transforming Teaching, and Learning', by Sue Brindley, who specialises in working with teachers and schools on professional development through practitioner research has been nominated for the USA 2015 Teaching Literature Book Award.

The Award is a prize for outstanding scholarship on teaching literature at the college level.

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What is a university? Abbey Meadows pupils explore the world of education

What is a university? Abbey Meadows pupils explore the world of education

Wednesday 18 March
Enthusiastic pupils from Abbey Meadows Primary School in Cambridge have been enjoying a taste of student life at the Faculty of Education. Forty-nine Year 6 pupils and their teachers were welcomed to the Faculty for a visit designed to raise aspirations and encourage positive thinking about higher education opportunities. The day was led by the Faculty's Schools Liaison Coordinator, Jacqui Howard, who is also a governor at Abbey Meadows.

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Social Mobility & Education - 2015 ESRC Annual Lecture

Anna Vignoles

Monday 16 March
Governments around the world aspire to create socially mobile societies in which each individual, regardless of social background, has an equal chance of realising their potential. Certainly this is a goal that successive UK governments have subscribed to. The question is how to achieve this?

The role of education as a potential driver of social mobility has long been accepted and much policy effort has been focused on improving the educational outcomes of the most disadvantaged students. Yet in the UK, as indeed in most countries, educational achievement still varies dramatically by socio-economic background.

In this lecture, Professor Anna Vignoles, Director of Research at this Faculty, will ask whether education really is an agent for social mobility and present evidence on the trajectories of primary school children from lower and higher socio-economic status families across their entire education career, right through to university.

She will consider the role of the education system in narrowing the socio-economic gap in education achievement and discuss how socio-economic background continues to influence economic outcomes when students, even graduates, leave the education system.

Wednesday 29 April, 5:00-6:30pm, Faculty of Law. Please book. This lecture is free and open to interested researchers in the social sciences.There will be a drinks reception afterwards. Poster and Booking Details.

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Why plenty of play at our 2015 Science Festival event?

Child and adult on lecture room floor playing with duplo

Thursday 12 March
On Tuesday 10 March, seventy-one audience members packed out a lecture room for this year’s Faculty of Education Science Festival event, ‘What is the point of playing?’.

An expert panel comprising Dr Sara Baker, Dr David Whitebread and Dr Jenny Gibson from the Faculty and Harriet Price from Homerton Children’s Centre captivated the audience with their thoughts, findings and experiences regarding play, leading to questions in abundance from the floor. Playful activities were provided at the back of the room for attendees’ children, although these were enjoyed by adults too!

Jacqui Howard, Schools Liaison Co-ordinator, would like to thank the panellists for giving up their time to provide such an interesting session, and thank you to all the volunteers who helped both logistically and playfully!
Photo poster.

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In it for the long haul? Research and travel

Photo of Rupert Higham

Monday 9
"International travel for project research takes time - which is almost as scarce and precious as funding".

Rupert Higham's research interest is in understanding the nature of dialogue, and improving the quality of classroom talk. In the past year this has led him to contribute to project work in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Mongolia and Mexico.

In this short personal review, Rupert asks "in the age of teleconferencing that almost works, …is it worth the trip?"

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The power of big data in education

child in classroom building model

Thursday 5
The performance of children is tracked through the English school system by Professor Anna Vignoles, the Faculty's director of research, using "comprehensive, longitudinal data".

With around eight million children in school, the data sets are "big by social science standards"; and can help illuminate for example, the correlation between pupils' socio-economic backgrounds and their academic achievement - information that can be fed back to policymakers, and, ultimately, the classroom.

Vignoles believes Cambridge is well placed to drive forward understanding - and reap the rewards - of big data. "Having a university where you have leading researchers across a number of fields - life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences - the opportunities for interdisciplinary research, and the opportunities for methods to be transplanted from one discipline to another, are great," she says.

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What are some of the most important science experiments? Naked Scientists

What are some of the most important science experiments?

Monday 2
What are some of the most important science experiments? Michelle Ellefson presented the first psychology experiment on memory to the Naked Scientists as part of a show about important science experiments through the ages. This first memory experiment, published by Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885, was important because before that scientists did not think that it was possible to experimentally measure cognitive functions. Michelle talked about how this experiment established the field of memory research and later cognitive science. And, of course, she mentions why even this early experiment has implications for learning and teaching.

The recording will be broadcast as three radio shows and downloadable podcasts on BBC 5 Live, BBC Cambridgeshire and ABC Radio National (Australia) to an audience of over a quarter of a million listeners.

Listen to the Podcast

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What is the Point of Playing?

What is the Point of Playing?

Monday 2
Is play a way of learning, or merely a way to release excess energy?

Members of the Faculty of Education's Psychology & Education group will shed some light on the topic. In this talk, our panel, led by Dr Sara Baker with Dr David Whitbread and Dr Jenny Gibson, will discuss types of play, purpose for play, and what might happen if schools stop allowing it.

There will be some playful activities for children at the back if you want to bring them along whilst you listen to the talk!

Tuesday 10 March 2015 between 6pm -7.30pm at the Donald McIntyre Building. Free Entry - no booking required.

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Stand #UpForSchool

The Stand #UpForSchool petition calls for governments to

Wednesday 25 February
The Stand #UpForSchool petition calls for governments to "ensure all out-of-school children gain their right to education before the end of 2015"

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz was joined by Pauline Rose, Professor of International Education, in the call for governments throughout the world to ensure all children are afforded the right to an education by the end of 2015.

   Read the full article

   UpForSchool Website

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The Education Emergency - International Women's Day

Mariam Khalique

Tuesday 17 February
What difference does education make to lives worldwide; what is the impact on women and girls of education being unavailable, inaccessible or actively denied?

Joint panels from Women of the World Festival at Cambridge Junction and London Southbank will discuss these fundamental questions and argue for the right to safe and quality education for all around the globe.

Join in the demand for change and sign the #upforschool petition.

Speakers include this Faculty's Professor of International Education Pauline Rose, Malala’s former teacher Mariam Khalique, Zoah Hedges-Stocks from the Showman Traveller community, plus Lucy Lake with special guest Fatima Yakubu from Camfed.

The Cambridge panel will be chaired by Dame Barbara Stocking, previously head of Oxfam, and there will be a live link to a panel in London with education activist Baela Raza Jamil from Pakistan.

Sunday 8th March 2015... Further Information.

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Exploring the muddy field - a new School grows...

Exploring the muddy field - a new School grows...

Tuesday 17 February
A drive onto the North West Cambridge Development site, through the mud, past the centurions guarding our new school… It is incredible to see a 2D image become a 3D reality.  I hope you like the sense of adventure!

See the video blog from James Biddulph, Head Teacher, University of Cambridge Primary School. View the Blog post

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Apple features classic tales on iTunesU

Apple features classic tales on iTunesU

Tuesday 10 February
Classic tales recordings and teaching materials from the Faculty’s Cambridge School Classics Project have been been included in Apple iTunesU ‘New and noteworthy’ resources. The recordings feature classic tales told by professional storytellers Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden. The tales from Ovid, Homer and Aesop feature retellings of the Odyssey, the Iliad, Metamorphoses and well-known fables with characters including Achilles, King Midas, Odysseus, Pandora and Icarus.

The tales provide a rich stimulus for speaking and listening activities and can be adapted for a wide range of learners. All the resources and teaching notes are available free of charge from

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Talk may be cheap but Group Work is Priceless


Monday 9
Cooperative learning has fallen out of favour with many teachers but it offers myriad benefits.

Professor Neil Mercer gives an interview following an article published in the TES February 6th, pages 36-7, written with James Mannion, a PhD student at the Faculty.

The article discusses why Teachers so often find that group work is hard to manage - which is because students have not been taught how to do it well. Then goes on to explain how it can be made really productive for learning and for developing students' communications skills. View article on TES Website

  Audio Only

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Award for Faculty historian Cathy Burke

Faculty of Education News

Tuesday 27 January
Cathy Burke has been appointed as the MacGeorge Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

She will spend Lent term with the School of Architecture at the University. These prestigious Fellowships are open by invitation to artists, performers, writers or researchers in the visual, creative and performing arts, music, architecture, conservation, literature, creative writing, language, history, philosophy and anthropology.

Cathy intends to use her time developing research initiatives related to the history of school design.

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Wide inequalities in learning in Pakistan and India

ASER report cover

Thursday 22 January
Pauline Rose, Professor of International Education, returned recently from India and Pakistan where she attended launches of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) in each country.

An oped by Pauline on the findings of wide inequalities in learning, and the need for qualified teachers, was published in the Pakistan Express Tribune:

Articles by Pauline and Dr Nidhi Singal also appear in the ASER Pakistan report.

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Learning shouldn’t be a competitive sport that only a few can succeed at

james biddulph

Tuesday 20 January
James Biddulph, headteacher of the UCPS, was interviewed recently by the Guardian.

James is leading the high-profile opening of the new primary school by the University of Cambridge, with members of this Faculty closely involved.

In the interview he talks about finding inspiration in Nepal and why he’ll be using approaches that move away from labelling children by ability.

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The Future of Education: Evidence and Technology in the Classroom

CUSPE website

Monday 12 January
A policy debate presented by the Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange on Thursday 22 January 2015.

A growing number of teachers, researchers, and policy makers are arguing for the development of an evidence based education system. How can research techniques, such as randomly controlled trials, and recent advances in technology be harnessed to improve the educational experience? And how can policy facilitate these changes?

Speakers include this Faculty's Anna Vignoles and also Professor Angela McFarlane - Chief Executive of the College of Teachers, Mr Mark Anderson - Managing Director, Pearson UK, Mr Ross Neilson - Head of Policy, Higher Education and Professions at Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

Full details and event registration.

The debate is generously sponsored by Cambridge Assessment, Teach First and the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies and endorsed by British Education Research Association.

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University of Cambridge Primary School: See it grow!

Map of school location

Thursday 8
Following the Christmas break, construction has resumed on the new University of Cambridge Primary School at Gravel Hill Farm, North West Cambridge.

If you wish to monitor the progress of the construction over the next few months, click on Camera 2 at: and video.

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Farewell to Philip Stephenson

Farewell to Philip Stephenson

Friday 28 November
Philip Stephenson retired this month from his post as Science Educator at the Faculty. As a Senior University Lecturer, coming first to Homerton College in 1996 and then transferring to work at the Faculty, Philip has made a substantial contribution the education and training of teachers, drawing on his previous experiences as a primary school teacher, head teacher and advisory teacher.

Philip has led research and teaching in primary science education; taken on the role of Middle School PGCE manager; pioneered the Faculty´s engagement with museums education; and acted as external examiner to numerous HEIs running teacher training courses. As Dean and Fellow at Homerton College he has also made a considerable contribution to the pastoral care of students within the University. Perhaps the defining characteristics of Philip as an educator has been his deep knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, his subjects and his unbounded generosity of spirit in helping others - whether students or staff - to achieve their ambitions. The Faculty will miss him.

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Cathy Burke wins Book Prize

Faculty of Education News

Thursday 27 November
Cathy Burke wins the History of Education Society UK Anne Bloomfield book prize for the best book on History of Education published 2010-2013.

To learn more about the book "A Life in Education and Architecture. Mary Beaumont Medd 1907 - 2005" please see About the book, or the audio description below.

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Faculty of Education Inspiring Ideas at the Festival


Monday 24 November
From Friday 24th - Friday 31st October, the Faculty of Education hosted a week of events as part of the University’s annual Festival of Ideas.

Over the week, 289 people attended the events - 67 people booked to attend the public BIBAC conference events, 151 people attended our evening lectures, and on our Friday family day we welcomed 71 children and their accompanying adults into our building.

The events were all very well received, with one feedback card from the family day reading: “This is the third Education Faculty event I have brought my children to and yet again they were quite taken with all of the fun ways to learn and be creative. Thank you to all the lovely people making this happen!”

Thank you to all staff and students who helped to make the Festival a success.

Please see the attached full report and photoboard for details of all that went on!

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Lavender Primary School pupils get learning about learning!

School children visit Faculty of Education

Monday 24 November
Enthusiastic Enfield pupils from Lavender Primary School have been enjoying a taste of student life at the Faculty of Education.

Thirty-one Year 6 pupils and their teachers were welcomed to the Faculty for a visit designed to think about the study of education, raise aspirations and encourage positive thinking about higher education opportunities.

The day included a Cambridge quiz, interactive sessions on education topics, hopes, dreams and careers, a tour of a Cambridge College, and the opportunity to compete in teams to create an innovative learning space to engage their peers in an unusual subject area.

Kerry McEwan, Assistant Head Teacher at Lavender Primary School, said “The day enabled children from all backgrounds to believe that university is within the reach of everyone. It was a superb day bringing higher education to life”.
Jacqui Howard, the Faculty of Education’s Schools Liaison Coordinator, who led the day, was delighted with how well the pupils engaged.
For the full report and picture please see the linked PDF.

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Construction begins on the University of Cambridge Primary School Site

Ground breaking ceremony

Thursday 20 November
Closely linked to the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education, the Primary School will join the well-established network of partner schools which work together to provide a PGCE programme that is rated by Ofsted as outstanding.  The school will focus on exemplary teaching, high quality governance and innovative learning practice.

Construction of the Primary School began 14 November 2014, marked by a groundbreaking ceremony with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, as guest of honour.

Full report .

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Visiting Cambridge Fellowship at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Kristine Black-Hawkins - Visiting Cambridge Fellowship at the University of Canterbury, NZ

Wednesday 12 November
Kristine Black-Hawkins has recently been awarded an Erskine Visiting Cambridge Fellowship at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She will be based at the Schools of Educational
Studies & Leadership, Teacher Education and Health Sciences, from July to September 2015, and work with Head of School, Dr Missy Morton, who visited the Faculty of Education in Michaelmas 2013. They share research interests in inclusive education, and specifically with regard to inclusive pedagogy and curriculum. During her stay Kristine will have the opportunity to teach in the University, visit local schools and Government advisers, and continue her collaborative work
with Dr Morton examining how student and recently qualified teachers can be supported to develop their inclusive classroom practices.

Erskine Visiting Cambridge Fellowships are arranged through the Cambridge/Canterbury Academic Exchange Programme, which was launched in 2008 with the aim of forging academic links between the two universities.

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Switch Off Week 2014: 10-16 November, 2014

Switch Off Week 2014: 10-16 November, 2014

Friday 7
Switch Off Week is a chance for us all to switch off lights, office and laboratory equipment when not needed, making the University of Cambridge greener and reducing our £16 million energy bill. See the Display Board at Reception all week for more information.

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Creating music in classrooms using code teaches 'risk-taking' in next generation

Pupils and digital music, sonic pi

Thursday 6
"The Sonic Pi: Live and Coding - The Summit", showed how a Rasperry Pi computer can be transformed into a fully customisable musical instrument, with the potential to influence the future of music education both in and out of the classroom.

During 2014, artists, educators, researchers and technologists have been collaborating on a research and development project using the Sonic Pi computer program, developed by Dr Sam Aaron (Researcher, University of Cambridge Computer Lab), to give children and young people the chance to write their own code to create digital music.

Faculty of Education's Pam Burnard, Principal Researcher on the SPL&C project, convened the Summit, held at and supported by the Cambridge Junction and the University. It was aimed at teachers, artists and researchers working in music education. Resources are being made available across the country.
Full Report.

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Faculty honours the contribution made by Professor Peter Gronn

Peter Gronn

Tuesday 28 October
Colleagues in the Faculty of Education and elsewhere in the University got together last week to honour the contribution made by Professor Peter Gronn to the Faculty's development. Peter finished his term of office as Head of Faculty at the end of September and retired at the same time from his University post as Professor of Educational Leadership.

He will be around for a year, however, as he has been charged by the University with ensuring that the new primary school on the NW Cambridge site opens in time to receive its first cohort of pupils.

Guests at the well-attended reception first joined Jacqui Howard and Philip Vale in some light-hearted joshing at Peter's expense. Then Gabrielle Cliff-Hodges talked about his invaluable support for the PGCE.

John Gray followed with a short account of Peter's illustrious career at Monash, Glasgow and finally at Cambridge as well as his numerous contributions to research on leadership and school improvement. He concluded that in Peter's hands the Faculty had continued to build its long-term reputation as a world class centre of educational research and development.

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Faculty PhD student wins EERA Best Paper award

Cora Lingling Xu

Monday 27 October
The European Educational Research Association gave Best Paper Award to Cora Lingling Xu for her work on Identity and Cross-border Student Mobility: The Mainland China-Hong Kong Experience and Its Inverse-directional Parallel European Implications?

Cora is a PhD candidate at the Faculty and her research interests include education inequalities and identity construction, especially in higher education in the greater China area.

Full details:

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Festival of Ideas 2014 - a variety of events from the Faculty and BIBAC Conference


Thursday 23 October
Once again, the Faculty will be hosting a full programme of events for this year's University Festival of Ideas. We have a great variety to choose from.

In addition, a number of events from the BIBAC conference have been opened to the public, especially for the Festival.

Full details.

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Profile of a Faculty of Education 'Gates Cambridge Scholar'

Arif Naveed and teachers in Pakistan

Monday 20 October
Arif Naveed is a Gates Cambridge Scholar who has already had a major impact on education policy in his home country, Pakistan. At the Faculty of Education Cambridge he will go back to basics and question the assumption that education is the best way out of poverty.

Arif completed an MPhil in Educational Research in 2013 under Professor Madeleine Arnot’s supervision, and recently they published their joint research on youth, gender and citizenship in the Punjab, showing how the rural landscape is changing.

As schooling takes hold, it acts as a new social differentiator in the rural field and the growing gap between the educated and uneducated is reshaping gender relations and vice versa.

For his PhD, which is jointly supervised by Professor Arnot and Professor Anna Vignoles, Arif will extend this family-focused research longitudinally and integrate it with improved econometric modelling to assess whether education can disrupt the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

He says: “I want to reconceptualise schooling so that it is genuinely transformative for the poor and helps them realise their true potential.”
Read full article

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University of Cambridge Primary School: Open Day for prospective Parents & Carers

Map of school location

Thursday 16 October
Saturday 15th November 2014, 10.00-2.00, gives an opportunity to meet the headteacher, James Biddulph, and find out more information about the school. Prospective parents and carers are invited also to discuss admissions (first intake is in September 2014). The event will be held at the school's site - Gravel Hill Farm, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge.

Building on its relationship with the world class University of Cambridge and Faculty of Education, the University of Cambridge Primary School is intended to be an inspiring learning community for children, their families, staff and academics.

Full details:

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Year 12s from across the UK get a taste of the Tripos

Year 12s from across the UK get a taste of the Tripos

Monday 13 October
Once again, the Faculty of Education hosted a group of Year 12 students from across the country as part of the University’s Sutton Trust Summer Schools, introducing them to the academic disciplines of education and encouraging them to apply for the undergraduate Education Tripos at Cambridge. The Sutton Trust offers free residential summer schools for Year 12 students from UK state schools, giving them a taste of student life and a chance to engage in intensive study with University experts. Many of the participants will be the first in their families to enter higher education, and the summer schools aim to equip them with the knowledge and insight to make high quality applications to top universities. The students were a pleasure to work with and we very much hope that they enjoyed the week as much as all of the staff did. Hopefully many of them will be inspired to consider Education when they apply to universities this autumn.

For more information see: Sutton Trust Summer Schools 2014.

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Alumni Festival 2014

Alumni Festival 2014

Monday 13 October
On Friday 26 September 2014, the Faculty of Education was pleased to participate in the University’s annual Alumni Festival, with over a thousand Cantabrigians from across the world returning to the city. The three-day festival gave alumni a chance to tap into the University's latest thinking, and we were delighted to open up the Faculty as part of the event. Our keynote lecture, 'Psychology of Education: helping children to become powerful learners', was delivered by Dr David Whitebread. It was a pleasure to host the event and we very much hope that even more alumni will be able to visit us at next year’s festival.

For more information see: Alumni Festival 2014.

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Education Across Europe - A Visual Conversation

Education Across Europe - A Visual Conversation

Wednesday 8

New E-book publication co-edited by Catherine Burke

Scholars from 24 countries present images and texts reflecting on their own educational space within the European community, co-edited by Catherine Burke. The eBook was formally launched at the European Conference on Educational Research at Porto, Portugal in marking the 20th year of EERA [European Educational Research Association].

Read online at:

Download as a PDF

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In today's media: Poetry and Memory Project Survey Launch Oct 2nd

Poetry and Memory logo

Thursday 2
The Poetry and Memory survey launched today 2nd October 2014 (National Poetry Day) and has attracted lots of attention from national media.

There was a big feature on the BBC Today programme this morning.

And Debbie Pullinger filmed a piece in the Faculty library for ITV Anglia news which will go out on the 6-6.30 pm programme, and this afternoon on BBC Radio Scotland’s Culture Show.

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Welcome to the New Head of Faculty

Welcome to the New Head of Faculty

Wednesday 1
The Faculty welcomes Professor Geoff Hayward as the new Head of Faculty from 1 October. Geoff is Professor of Education and was formerly Head of the School of Education at the University of Leeds and Director of Research at the University of Oxford’s Department of Education.

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Introducing the LfL Fan

Introducing the LfL Fan

Wednesday 1
The LfL fan is an innovative hand-held resource which captures the key Leadership for Learning (LfL) principles and framework elements. The fan can be used in educational contexts everywhere, and provides an easily accessible reminder of Leadership for Learning in order to promote LfL practice. For further information on LfL go-to:

View the YouTube video

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The 'Quality Education for All' Challenge

Leadership for learning banner

Monday 29 September
'Quality Education for All': is this a pretentious slogan, pious hope or a genuine opportunity to confront the meanings that may be carried within those four words?

The 'Quality Education for All' Challenge
Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th October 2014
Møller Centre, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. Further information.

This invitation-only seminar offers an opportunity to explore what this may mean in a policy world where 'quality' is too often a rhetorical gloss and 'for all' a huge challenge on a global scale. How to address these issues without institutional constraint or political preconception is a demanding proposition.

Bringing together four international organisations and participants with many lifetimes of experience in academia and in international policy-making offers a daunting, but potentially rich learning experience to think again; to revisit and reframe our collective intelligence; and to create space for the unimagined and channel it into a credible and powerful policy agenda.

With key note contributions from: Professor Pauline Rose , University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, former Director of Education For All Global Monitoring Report, UNESCO and Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Education Director of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) .

The event is sponsored by The Open Society Foundations.

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Educational reform & inter nationalisation: The case of school reform in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan Book cover

Thursday 25 September
The book, edited by David Bridges, is part of a new series published by Cambridge University Press for which Michael Evans and Colleen McLaughlin are general editors.

It includes contributions from nine Faculty staff members, namely Simon Brownhill, Olena Fimyar, Michael Fordham, David Frost, Ros McLellan, Fay Turner, Elaine Wilson, Liz Winter, Natallia Yakavets, and Nazipa Ayubayeva (PhD student), as well as 15 colleagues from Kazakhstan (one of whom, Aslan Sarinzhipov, has become Minister of Education).

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The Caribbean Poetry Project: Book launch

Author with book launch in Scotland

Tuesday 23 September
We have enjoyed two launches of our anthology, GIVE THE BALL TO THE POET, this summer.

They took place at Waterstones Glasgow in July, and Edinburgh in August. The Glasgow launch coincided with the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games. The city was already buzzing and the enthusiasm in the air was palpable.

We generated our own excitement with the dance troupe, Visual Statement, in wonderful costumes. The highlight of the evening was a reading by Kei Miller, including several poems from the anthology. Our illustrator, Jane Ray, attended the Edinburgh launch, where she signed copies of the anthology.

Read more

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Professor Morag Styles retiring end of September

Morag Styles

Wednesday 17 September
Morag Styles, Professor of Children's Poetry, is retiring on September 30, after forty years in Cambridge, first at Homerton College and then the Faculty of Education.

Morag has been the engine behind the establishment and growth of children's literature research and teaching, with undergraduate, PGCE and masters courses, numerous conferences, guest lectures, exhibitions and other activities.

She is a prominent public figure whose impact on the promotion of literature, literacy and reading in the UK cannot be overestimated.

She is an internationally renowned scholar of children's literature, especially in the field of children's poetry and visual literacy, and it is indisputably her reputation and enthusiasm that have contributed to the recognition of children's literature as a distinct profile of the Faculty.

The children's literature teaching team, students and colleagues will miss Morag, but we know that she will remain active within many areas of her interest, and we wish her good luck in all her future endeavours.

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Alumni Festival 2014: Psychology of Education lecture here

Faculty of Education building

Tuesday 16 September
For the University's Alumni Festival this year, David Whitebread, our Senior Lecturer in Psychology of Education, will talk here at the Faculty on 'Helping Children to Become Powerful Learners'.

David will explore research undertaken at Cambridge into self-regulation acquisition, the role of language and playfulness in promoting it, and the implications for early childhood education practice and policy.

The talk explores recent developmental psychology research and how it reveals important early achievements that set young children on the road to academic success and fulfilled adult lives. Full details.

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James Biddulph appointed first head of the University of Cambridge Primary School

James Biddulph Appointed New Head of the University of Cambridge Primary School

Monday 15 September
The University of Cambridge Primary School Trust has appointed Mr James Biddulph BA PGCE MA MEd as the school’s first Headteacher.

James completed a PGCE in the Faculty some years ago. He is currently enrolled as a PhD student, and is being supervised by Pam Burnard and Mandy Swann.

The new University of Cambridge Primary School is a three-form-entry fully inclusive primary school being established as part of the North West Cambridge Development. The first pupils will begin at the school in September 2015.

In addition to providing an inclusive and high-quality primary education for local children, the University of Cambridge Primary School will also offer unique training and research opportunities, through its close relationship with the Faculties and Departments of the University of Cambridge.

As the first Headteacher, James will play a key role in shaping the school’s character and vision.

Our curriculum intends to provide an holistic learning experience, informed by strong values which emphasise equality, compassion, courage, within a community in which everyone’s voice is welcome and valued” James said.

Further information:

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Faculty Environmental Award

Bronze award

Thursday 11 September
In trying to raise awareness of the environmental issues at the study and workplace, the Faculty of Education has been awarded a Bronze Award by Green Impact, the University's environmental engagement programme and accreditation scheme.

Auditors commented on the Faculty’s effort:
The team did an excellent job going above and beyond the requirements of this award. Their enthusiasm and pride in what they have achieved was infectious. The commitment to teleconferencing to reduce the environmental impact of such an international institution is an example for others. Monitoring the paper consumption per person and offering alternatives such as a shared pool of tablet computers is an innovative response to paper waste.

The Environmental Officers at the Faculty will aim at achieving the next level of accreditation during this new academic year.

Green Impact Environmental Engagement Programme

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LEARNING WORLD: Curriculums broadcast today

LEARNING WORLD: Curriculums broadcast today

Friday 5
Christine Doddington appears in the report LEARNING WORLD:
, which will be broadcast today at 17.45 CET, then several times during the week-end until the following Tuesday.
It is also available on the EuroNews website.

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Why teach oracy? Sept 2nd Radio 4 'Word of Mouth' and associated article

primary school child at talking

Tuesday 2
Professor of Education Neil Mercer on BBC Radio 4's 'Word of Mouth' September 2nd at 4pm, argues that ‘talk’ needs tuition; state schools must teach spoken language skills for the sake of social equality.

'Our research shows that when students learn how to use talk to reason together, they become better at reasoning on their own'. Neil Mercer

The value of effective teamwork has become widely recognised in recent years. At their best, teams are excellent creative problem-solving units, demonstrating that two heads are better than one. Psychological research now encourages the view that human intelligence is distinctively collective, and that language has evolved to enable collective thinking: not only do we use language to interact, but we also use it to interthink.

Full article at:

Website: Thinking Together

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New LfL Publication - Transforming education through teacher leadership

Book Cover

Monday 1
This book illuminates and exemplifies teacher leadership through authentic narratives. The authors include teachers themselves and those who facilitate and support them. Collectively these accounts explicate a theory of non-positional teacher leadership and its role in educational transformation. The theory is embedded in the narratives and key insights are highlighted in the editorial commentary that runs throughout.

'This is a book which deserves a wide audience. It cultivates optimism about teachers and what they can achieve in schools and their communities. It is important because at the heart of the book are teachers’ voices and stories written in an engaging and accessible way. It would be wrong to assume however that it is just a collection of stories. It carries a theory about school leadership and school improvement which is challenging'.

From the Foreword by Jo Mylles, Deputy Headteacher

David Frost is the editor and member of the Leadership for Learning group at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education. His research focuses on teacher leadership and the development of strategies to support teachers as agents of change. As a founder member of Leadership for Learning: the Cambridge Network, he is committed to democratic values in educational settings.

EARLY BIRD OFFER - £12 (save 20%)
Published Sept. 2014 - offer ends Oct. 15th 2014
Available to purchase at

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Thursday 1

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News Archive

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