Speech bubbles, talking, connecting, opinion, sharing ideas, questions

Researchers at the Plymouth Institute of Education are interested in all kinds of learners and how to support different kinds of learning in formal and informal contexts. Time spent trying new activities, engaging in familiar routines or reflecting on recent experiences can increase people’s self-confidence and deepen relationships. It is also important to encourage lifelong involvement in developing skills and pursuing interests, which can help to sustain physical and mental wellbeing.

We have shared ideas that we have found useful to support different kinds of learning in school, in the community and at home, as well as some reflections on learning within and beyond the curriculum. These include writing and drawings by children from University Practice Partnerships and projects inspired by community members. Feel free to browse the learning resources, find inspiration and create your own work to share with us by email at uppscale@plymouth.ac.uk. We would love to know what has inspired or intrigued you.


Home learning for children with disabilities

An interview with Mill Ford School headteacher explores how they experienced lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. The school created personalised remote learning packages for children and families, and shared some of the resources with researchers at Plymouth Institute of Education. 

Find out more about individual home learning packages

Boy with Down Syndrome smiling at picture exchange communication

Community Book Share Project

A group of students on the BA (Hons) Education course at the Plymouth Institute of Education were inspired to create community book share boxes to be placed in strategic places in communities. The project’s ethos was to provide local communities with a tool to start conversations, share books and enjoy turning the last page of a fantastic novel.

These boxes can now be found across Plymouth and the surrounding areas and are free for all to use.

Read more and find a Book Share Box near you

Community book share box


‘Connecting’ with clay is a collaborative partnership with RIO and Ocean Studios.
The idea was to invite art coordinators and leads to Rolle art studios, where they would make cylinders in porcelain with Caroline before returning to schools with a bag of clay to roll out the project with their own invention and creative twist.
The BEd second year art specialists have trialled the making as part of their specialist modules and will go into schools and assist as part of their final year extended project.
Caroline has been teaching via YouTube. Schools are given a bag of clay to start, and commit to the exhibition at Ocean Studios. 
Some schools use the training as continuing professional development or for small intervention groups, while other schools are buying more clay and using a whole school approach. Some schools are involving their local community.

We reframed the focus to capture this time of change and model how making, in isolation, can still connect us.

‘Connecting’ with clay

Brightening the community

Dr Heather Knight, lecturer on the BA (Hons) Education degree, is one of several different artists brightening the community as part of the government’s Safer Streets Programme. Local artists painted 30 green cable boxes and a range of large murals in North Stonehouse. The local organisers are aiming to create a community art trail with an illustrated map which will encompass the boxes, new large murals, and pre-existing artwork in the community.

Researchers at the Plymouth Institute of Education are interested in supporting all different kinds of learning in formal and informal contexts. As well as promoting art, this fun and informal activity is a great opportunity to develop mental health and wellbeing, increase self-confidence and pursue different interests.

Find out more about this community art project

Heather painting her cable box. Image courtesy of Brett Lockwood.
Heather painting her cable box. Image courtesy of Brett Lockwood.

Learning through play

Emma Legg and Kelly Kinch, BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies students designed and created resources for children, families and practitioners to promote learning through play. During a work based learning module in the second year, the students were approached by an early years practitioner for help with how to encourage learning through play. 
Getty. children.

Early Years Covid Chronicles

Second-year BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies students conducted research during their Work Based Learning module under the guidance of researchers in the Institute of Education. They interviewed young children to find out about children’s perspectives of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The results include insights into the knowledge and understanding of very young children. This sharing of children's experiences forms part of the Plymouth Institute of Education's research into the effects of COVID-19 in the South West.

Read more about Early Years Covid Chronicles

Early Years Covid Chronicles UPPScale girl child learning from home

Covid Chronicles

Year 6 children from Ermington Primary School, one of the University of Plymouth’s practice partners, share their experiences of life in lockdown and returning to school through art and audio recordings.

This sharing of children's experiences forms part of the Plymouth Institute of Education's research into the effects of Covid-19 in the South West. By finding out how different groups respond to the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic, we hope to determine how to prepare for future disruptions.

Listen to the Covid Chronicles

Covid Chronicles

The Passion Project

An exploratory project that applies the independent learning techniques used across the university practice partners to the construction of a rock garden.

The project demonstrates how the very latest research on education during the Covid-19 pandemic has informed the design of the activities recommended by the Plymouth Institute of Education for use by parents and teachers.

Learn more about the Passion Project

Rock garden