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Legacy 110 awards ceremony blog

utnvlru11 December 2016

The Legacy 110 programme is an initiative built around the UCL Institute of Education (IOE)’s First World War Centenary Battlefields Tour Programme, which aims to encourage pupils and schools that take part in the tours to share what they have learned with others in their schools and communities in order to help maintain the legacy of the Great War.

Legacy162

This comprehensive education programme, which allows every secondary school in England to send two pupils and one teacher to the Ypres and the Somme to witness first-hand battlefields sites, is now half way through its scheduled five years. The second annual awards ceremony, recognising some of the most outstanding projects that have taken place as part of Legacy 110, was held at the House of Lords on Thursday 8th December – featuring presentations from each of the winning schools.

The diverse and impressive range of projects that received awards showcased how the programme is about much more than simply learning about WW1 or history, and that it actually cuts across subject areas – from English, drama, music through to art, and helps encourage children to work with different groups of people.

As the programme leader, Jerome Freeman from the IOE said in his address: “this is much more than just a battlefield tour – it is a comprehensive educational programme. It goes well beyond the 1 Plus 2 on the tour – it impacts hundreds of students in every school”. He added that the Legacy projects encourage children to work with many different groups – “their communities, other schools, different generations” and encourages them to “build connections across these”.

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School trip to the WWI battlefields

utnvlru20 November 2015

P1010115-(2)Working in media/press at the UCL Institute of Education, I am dealing daily with issues and research around teaching and education. However, it is quite rare to get a chance to engage with schools, teachers, and pupils directly and witness the real-life aspect of the work that IOE is involved in.

I therefore found it a really interesting experience to be able to take part in one of the First World War Centenary Battlefields Tours Project (FWWCBTP) trips – a five year project running until 2019 by the IOE in conjunction with Equity Tours, and funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which allows every state secondary school in England to send two pupils and one teacher to the Ypres and the Somme to visit the First World War Battlefields.

It was insightful and hugely enjoyable not only to learn more about The Great War myself, but also to meet and the teachers and learn more about their jobs, the pressures and the satisfactions; as well as meeting some really engaged and bright pupils and witnessing how they immersed themselves into this experience.

The tours, which take place over four days, offer the pupils, who range in age from 14 to 18, the opportunity to see the First World War Battlefields, cemeteries and memorials first-hand. The aim of the project, as opposed to other Battlefield tours, is for the pupils to engage on a more personal level with the war; they are encouraged to research soldiers from their local areas who took part, and, where possible, any relatives from their own family. They then have the opportunity to follow the journey of these soldiers and locate their place of burial while in Ypres and the Somme.

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English Grammar Day 2014

zclef7829 July 2014

In a world where economics and technology dominate, what is the place of grammar in our society? Is it important?

The English Grammar Day 2014  (held on July 4) sought to tackle these questions. Organised by Charlotte Brewer (University of Oxford English Language and Literature) and Bas Aarts (UCL English Language & Literature) in association with the British Library, this conference brought together some of the preeminent authorities on language use: Debbie Cameron, David Crystal, Dick Hudson, Debra Myhill and John Mullan.

David Crystal

David Crystal

The event traversed the history of the “grammar debate” from Jonathan Swift’s Proposal for Correcting, Improving, & Ascertaining the English Tongue (1712) to Michael Gove’s new curriculum. Yet the overriding theme of the day was the teaching of grammar (or lack thereof) in schools.

Montaigne’s assertion that ‘the greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar’ was perhaps hyperbolic, but as Dick Hudson (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) pointed out in the opening lecture, London is experiencing a literacy crisis. Citing an article in the Evening Standard from 2011 which claimed that one million people in London could not read, he discussed the consequences of the decline in the teaching of grammar in the 20th century. “From the 1920s to the 1960s grammar research died. The effect of a subject dying at university means that the next generation of school teachers never hear about it during their undergraduate years–a recipe for disaster”, he argued.

Each speaker had their own ideas of how this could be remedied, but the prevailing opinion was that a playfulness with language is imperative. As Debra Myhill observed, British humour is often based on grammatical nuance: grammar is the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit (not an example for the primary school kids).

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Celebrating science outreach success

news editor28 August 2012

Written by Rebecca McKelvey, founder of in2scienceUK

Abrahim Ahmed

On Wednesday 22 August, the 2012 in2scienceUK cohort came together at Teachfirst’s offices in London Bridge to celebrate this year’s science placements.

The UCL-inspired scheme, now in its third year, brings together outstanding AS science students from the poorest schools in London with research scientists, for a summer placement where they can experience research science first hand. During the evening, everyone at the event found out more about why the programme exists.

Why do we need this scheme?
While just 7% of children in the UK attend private schools (Source: The Good Schools Guide), they represent 48% of those going to the most prestigious selective Universities. In comparison, just 2% of those on free school meals attend those universities, illustrating the huge distinction between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.

During the evening, we heard from Abrahim Ahmed from Leyton Sixth Form College, who was one of 68 students to have a placement this year. He said:“Carrying out  lab experiments at UCL with Dr Frances Edwards was a truly inspiring experience. I learned about the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients and how to carry out in vitro electrophysiology patch clamp recordings, which really cemented my interest in science. I cannot wait to go to university to study a bioscience degree”.

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