Support for student
The Institute of Education (IOE) attracts students from a wide variety of backgrounds. At the IoE, we celebrate and support the diversity of our students through a number of initiatives:
- In our BA Primary Education programme, we invite local pupils and children, especially those from underserved backgrounds, to take part in music recitals, art workshops and global citizenship activities through children’s literature at the university. The BA Primary Education programme also works with the Reading International Solidarity Centre each year to develop students’ understanding of social justice and equality through global citizenship. This is taken through modules and school based tasks to embed its importance. Our work included co-developing a Teacher’s Toolkit which included case studies and teaching resources. We have also created a community of practice for our male students in recognition of their underrepresentation in this field.
- In our BA in Children’s Development and Learning (CDL) programme, we provide timetable support to help English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners to develop their academic English skills. We ensure our student representatives come from different backgrounds and that all students feel part of the community, by organising lunch break activities such as sharing meals and second-hand book sales for charity.
- Our BA Education Studies programme is timetabled over three days every week, allowing those who need to take part-time work to do so on the other days in the knowledge that they are not missing valuable lectures. The programme includes modules such as ‘Education for Inclusion’, ‘Society and social justice’, ‘Multilingualism and education’ and ‘Global perspectives’ in order to raise awareness of a number of the key issues that relate to diversity and inclusion.
- Our MA in Education programme has sessions at the beginning of the programme celebrating differences in terms of culture. Many of the sessions on the modules explore diversity, difference, equity, often through a philosophical, social, economic lens. Teaching happens in the day and in the evening, with a range of optional modules. We offer a range of assessment and teaching methods to suit different types of learners, including the use of personal capture.
- Our SENco programme consists of modules that discuss inclusion and diversity on different levels. It is a mixture of academic lectures and practical seminars where SENCos reflect on their professional practices and stances towards diversity and inclusion not only in relation to their children but also colleagues, families, local authorities and broader community. Teaching is done in a condensed manner to fit around students’ working commitments and we are increasingly embedding more educational technologies to support our student’s learning in a more flexible way. At the end of the year the students submit collated evidence of their progress in understanding and implementing inclusion and diversity principles in their day-to-day work in their setting.
- On the Primary PGCE we actively welcome the diversity of the cohort – our Reading Partnership teachers will teach diverse groups of children so need to understand how the celebration of diversity contributes to a thriving society. From first contact (at interview) these messages are implicit and strongly explicit. We also provide additional support for students who might perceive themselves to be at risk of marginalisation (men, students with dyslexia for instance).
- Our EdD programme includes several modules that explore notions of diversity, inclusion and social justice in relation to the education profession thus allowing participants to reflect on these issues in relation to their learning. Our teaching methods also ensure that the course is accessible to all. These include, for example, posting teaching materials on Blackboard before our teaching weekends, holding Skype tutorials in the evenings to support our weekend face-to-face programme, and collaborating with students with disabilities and specific learning needs to ensure that they are supported as fully as possible during their time on the programme.
- Our PhD programme attracts students from all around the world. We offer full-time, part-time as well as PhD by Distance.
The University of Reading and Reading University Students’ Union (RUSU) also run a wide range of student-led cultural, faith and diversity societies, including:
- Gender and Empowerment Reading Group (IOE)
- Feminist Society
- R U Mature (for mature students)
- Sign Language Society
- Open Mind (promoting mental health awareness)
- Beyond Borders (volunteering to help develop an outdoor space for with adults with mental health needs)
- Amnesty International
- Support services for international students
- University of Reading Student Welfare Team
- Never OK Campaign