I am the Head of Preparatory (years 2-6 British Curriculum) at St. Paul’s School in São Paulo, Brazil. As I originally did a Law degree and was a qualified lawyer before becoming a teacher, I completed two PG certificates prior to embarking on the double module for my MA in Education. This allowed me to substantially develop my knowledge of pedagogy and the major issues and discussions at the forefront of education today. For my research focus for my MA, I chose differentiation as I felt this was an area that I wanted to become much more familiar with and I also wanted to try and encourage the teachers at the school to develop their expertise and practise in this very worthwhile area. My research studies have had a positive impact across the school. I have been able to share my growing understanding of differentiation and the many associated strategies and practices with staff through workshops and Insets as well as via teacher observation and practitioner research.
I am a Lead Practitioner in a local, rural secondary school. My route to an MA started through a government scheme of having the first 3 modules of the course paid for. Although this was course was for four years it has been the most demanding area of study I have ever undertaken. The benefits of having completed are numerous but I feel that the quality of my teaching has improved and now I hope that I am positively influencing others around me. Without completing the MA I would not have been able to move out of my department level role and into the senior leadership team I am currently part of. Throughout the course I developed myself both personally and professional to a point where I was able to satisfy all the criteria to be a Lead Practitioner without having to do any extra work.
The research focus was on evaluating the quality of teaching and learning. I created a new evaluation model and that allowed me produce multiple documents that fed into the school improvement team. I was required to be as up to date as possible with current journals, publications for OFSTED and the Unions so I was able to support my colleagues improve their own teaching and learning. The students have benefited from my teaching being more focussed, more risk based and more adventurous, and thus encourages student dialogues that increase teacher student relationships. This learning has also improved the my way of working with colleagues as I am more professional and feel competant to offer support due to the research techniques involved in the MA.
I have worked in a small village school in Lincolnshire for four years and work in Reception. I am the Foundation Stage leader and also oversee Key Stage One. Last year I was a mentor for the teacher in Year 1/ 2. Over the course of my four years I have had two classes of Reception and two classes that have been mixed Reception/ Year 1; this was mainly due to numbers.
My route through the MA in total has taken many years and began in 2006 when I completed my PGCE at Bishop Grosseteste. I was sent an invitation to a course for NQT teachers which was on developing teacher presence. I thought this would be useful for me as I was, at the time, working across the county as a supply teacher which was somewhat challenging. Looking back it was really valuable experience. The first course informed me that it would be one of four which would lead to a qualification (CPSE). The work connected with the courses allowed me to reflect on my role and during the second module I developed an impact project in a school through which I had links due to placements. I then completed the work towards a diploma and the next obvious step was to take it to the master’s level. I felt that this would be beneficial as I had not only enjoyed the previous modules but they had allowed me to reflect on my experiences and roles. I also thought it would benefit me for future job roles and focus my career options.
My research focus was on handwriting in Year 1. This arose from concerns regarding the cohort when they started school and it was easy to organise as I had access. It took me a while to decide upon a focus as I wanted something that wasn’t just an interest but something that I could really get stuck into. My research project was action research in nature. I wanted to investigate possible ways to improve handwriting at Year 1 and then hopefully develop this throughout the school.
So far the research has made me more aware of my practices with regards to handwriting and I value the process from Reception. We do handwriting each day as I valued the idea that it needs to be practised to become automatic and a token lesson once a week will not make much impact. I have shared my research with colleagues and they are intrigued about how they might change their practice.
I am a year one teacher and music coordinator in a special needs primary school in Lincolnshire. The school caters for pupils with a full range of special educational needs aged between 3 and 11 years. I entered the special needs sector five years ago after completing a BA (Hons) in Music and Education, and GTP (secondary music) both at Bishop Grosseteste University. I began the MA route as an NQT to support my professional development and gain knowledge about teaching in a sector for which I was not initially trained.
I have a strong interest in how music can help pupils with SEN develop and have completed some research into the impact of developing communication through music with pupils with autistic spectrum disorders. I have recently had my first article published in ‘Special Children’ magazine, which was a review of Soundbeam 5, a piece of music technology used with children with SEN.
My dissertation research focused on developing opportunities for musical development with pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). It employed a positive collaborative-based evaluation methodology called Appreciative Inquiry (AI). It evaluated what our staff currently knew about musical development, how they incorporated opportunities for musical development into their planning, and how we could create improved opportunities in the future. It also aimed to find out how successful AI was as a methodology.
In February 2012, I presented the findings of my research at the official launch of ‘Sounds of Intent’ at the Institute of Education in London and have since written an article for the RNIB Insight magazine called ‘Improving Staff Confidence in Music’.
Completing the MA has opened up many professional development opportunities for me and my workplace. Recently, I began a secondment working for ‘Soundabout’ (a national special education needs music charity) one day a week as a Sounds of Intent consultant. This involves working across the north of England disseminating the project at conferences, schools, and special needs organisations. I am particularly enjoying collaborating with other professionals and working musically with the pupils. It has allowed me to share my research findings and develop my own and others practice to improve the musical development opportunities for pupils in and beyond my own setting.
My name is Ems Lord and I have recently completed the MA in Education programme, resulting in my new career path and further study opportunities too.
My early teaching career was based in Lincolnshire’s primary schools. I taught a wide variety of primary age groups, working as a subject leader for both mathematics and sport. However, I wanted share to share my enthusiasm for learning mathematics more widely so I became a Leading Mathematics Teacher and Chartered Mathematician. After joining the local authority as a consultant for primary mathematics, I recognised that the MA in Education programme offered an opportunity to study modules which could support my work in schools.
I started my course focusing on two specific modules: Leading and Managing Change; and, Teaching and Learning. The research elements of both modules were easily integrated into my daytime consultancy role. As the course progressed, I recognised my own growing interest in research and successfully applied for a Senior Lecturer post in Education (Mathematics) and became an Associate Consultant for the National Centre for the Excellence in Teaching Mathematics. My new roles have been supported by both the Research Skills module and Practitioner Research modules, where my mathematics subject leaders’ survey resulted in identifying the key theme for my dissertation.
The dissertation module offered a more in-depth opportunity to complete a piece of individual research. I focused on transition from primary to secondary schools with calculation in mathematics, since my earlier survey had indicated a possible lack of understanding between primary and secondary schools. I led a comparative case study based in a secondary school and one of its primary feeder schools. The study resulted in a Collaborative Transition Model for Mathematics for both schools. The teachers now have a much greater understanding about one another’s approaches to teaching and learning mathematics in their schools. The influence of family members on learning mathematics was also more widely recognised through the study, resulting in both schools revisiting their policies and approaches to working with families.
Following the successful completion of my MA in Education, I have been delighted to be accept a place to commence my PhD studies.