HoP’s Highlights 1: second year adventures in space and time (and other dimensions!)

Hello. My Name is Peter Raymond and welcome to “HoPs Highlights” –  my part of the Primary Education blog at York St John University. What is a HoP? A Head of Programme,  as that is my role; Head of the BA (Hons) primary Education programme at YSJU. There is a saying that there is a first time for everything. In this case, for me, this is the first time I have ever blogged and I am hoping that this will become a regular part of the Primary Education blog, bringing you some of the highlights at various points through our year.

Before coming to work at YSJU, I was a primary teacher and Headteacher for 21 years in five different schools across Leeds and North Yorkshire. There are two big highlights in that time for me. The first was simply getting my own first class – a year 5 class in Pudsey, West Leeds. I can still remember that mixture of feelings – excitement, trepidation, privilege, all rolled into one. the other was very different and much later when, in my first Headship I had the pleasure of working with a great set of colleagues and children, helping a school on the journey form Special Measures (before I went there!) to “Good” – what a stressful but genuinely exciting journey that was! I returned to the school just last week to do final appraisal for two of our student teachers and the school is still there and still successful, as indeed our two student teachers were on their final placements.

However, that is all by way of introduction. The main focus of this blog is one element of university based learning on which I want to focus as a recent highlight. In February, all of our second year student teachers on the 5-11 route, had to prepare and present as a small group for assessment, a teaching and learning resource that would support effective learning and teaching in one or more foundation subjects of the national curriculum. These were presented in large gathering in Temple Hall, where 80 students in about 20 groups were all set up at the same time, to be assessed by a group of tutors. Naturally there was something of a buzz! It was great to be able to go round and see the diversity of work and, as for the 3-7 assessments, the effort, creativity and professionalism that went into the resources and presentations. There was such a diversity of subjects and resources that hopefully all of the students were inspired by each other’s work, as it was all very much on show.

I have captured a few examples here; I do not intend to leave anyone out but it is simply that these are the ones where groups sent me photos of their resource.


Here, a geography and history orientated resources, based on Vulcan, the Roma god of fire.

Here, a geography and history orientated resources, based on Vulcan, the Roma god of fire.

In this one, somewhere behind the cheeky selfie, is a suitcase resource (full of resources!) based on a topic all about India.

In this one, somewhere behind the cheeky selfie, is a suitcase resource (full of resources!) based on a topic all about India.

Finally, we have a student made “Big Book” all about the Masai (or Maasai – both spellings are acceptable) to help pupils to compare lives in very different places.

Finally, we have a student made “Big Book” all about the Masai (or Maasai – both spellings are acceptable) to help pupils to compare lives in very different places.




















Thank you to those student teachers who sent me photos and the fact that all three are rather geographical in focus, and I taught geography in year 2, is ENTIRELY coincidental!

I look forwards to blogging again, this time with some reflections from third year student teachers as they near the end of their course.

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