Teaching the Primary Curriculum book launch event

On Thursday 16th January, primary Initial Teacher Education lecturers Colin Forster and Rachel Eperjesi hosted an event to celebrate the launch of their new book, Teaching The Primary Curriculum. Other lecturers within the primary education team contributed to the book, writing chapters for their curriculum subject areas.

Colin, Rachel and the rest of the team were joined by other colleagues from the School of Education and Humanities, including the new Head of School, Dr. Graham Parton, as well as colleagues from primary schools within the University of Gloucestershire’s ITE Primary Partnership. Many of the book’s chapters include case studies of student teachers working with children in schools and Colin and Rachel were therefore keen to thank the schools and teachers involved by inviting them to the book launch.

After the event, I was able to meet with Colin and Rachel to find out more about the book…

Good to see you both and congratulations to you and the rest of the team. The book looks great. I’m going to launch straight in with the first question if that is ok.

Why did you write this book?

Rachel: We wanted to create a resource that is useful for student teachers across the country, to help them understand the distinctive nature of teaching and learning within each curriculum area. As a team, we have a lot of expertise and the book enabled many of our colleagues in the primary Education team to share their subject and pedagogic knowledge with a wider audience.

What makes this book different to other books about teaching the primary curriculum?

Colin: It goes beyond simply delivering the curriculum. We recognise children as intelligent beings with enormous capacity for learning and so learning experiences need to be authentic, relevant and suitably challenging. In addition to addressing the distinctive nature of each curriculum subject, each chapter also explores a pedagogic focus relevant to the subject, but also applicable across the curriculum. Some foci relate to teacher skills and others relate to developing learner attributes. For example, the science chapter focuses on teacher questioning and the PSHE chapter focuses on developing children’s empathy. 

Who is the book likely to be useful for?

Rachel: Anyone interested in teaching and learning in the primary school, but we had aspiring and new teachers in mind. The book includes case studies and critical tasks to engage the reader. We certainly hope that our own students find it useful. 

What was it like to work with your colleagues to produce the book?

Rachel: It was quite an exciting process at times, with a few challenges along the way, but, overall, it was an absolute pleasure and privilege to work with our colleagues and we are so proud to see the finished article. 

Colin: We would also like to thank the student teachers, schools, class teachers, children and parents who contributed to this book. We couldn’t have done it without them.

Thank you both. It sounds like a really valuable book for student teachers and new teachers.