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Pupils at St Mary’s College Preparatory School had an exciting time in their phonics sessions recently as they were filmed during lessons as part of a collaboration with Edge Hill University to create training material for current and future student teachers.
St Mary’s has a long-standing relationship with Edge Hill University, training several student teachers each year and collaborating on research projects. A number of the current staff are alumni of the university and completed part of their initial teacher education and training with the school.
One of those alumni is Headmaster, Mr Jonathan Webster, who said: “It was lovely to be asked to provide training material for Edge Hill University. It has been a great experience for our teachers, who have seen this as an opportunity to reflect on their phonics teaching, and for our children who can feel that what they do in class is ‘important’ enough to be filmed. We firmly believe that phonics is the key tool that enables children to make rapid progress with their reading and writing and we are continually working to ensure our delivery is of the highest standard.
“I know from my membership of the Primary ITE Programmes Board at the university, the amount of thought and dedication that is put into the provision for student teachers from the staff at Edge Hill University in order to give them the best possible experience during their training. I am acutely aware that this must have been tremendously difficult during the recent pandemic but putting together this type of material will be a benefit both now and for future cohorts.”
Reading is the keystone of the curriculum at St Mary’s College Preparatory School with the children having access to individual reading sessions four times a week, reading each night, a library and an outdoor library that can be used when they desire.
Assistant Head of Primary Education at Edge Hill University, Nichola Grimshaw said, “I have worked closely with St Mary’s for many years and the priority that the school places on every child learning to read and developing as a life-long reader is apparent as soon as you walk through the door. Our student teachers often comment on the amount of time dedicated to reading and the focus on reading for pleasure. I'm thrilled to now be able to use video of such high-quality exemplar phonics lessons that showcase our own past students to support the professional development of our current and future students."