School of Education

Adult Education Online Programme

The University of Nottingham has organised 34 special online discussion classes in response to the needs of the communities of Nottingham and the East Midlands. At a time when we are isolated by the coronavirus epidemic, the sessions provide an opportunity to discuss and learn about important topics.

The topics are of two kinds. Some are related to the coronavirus epidemic and the issues it raises. Others are of much more general interest. However, we hope all will provide an opportunity for intelligent and informed discussion of important matters.

Each session will last for one hour. After a very brief introduction by a session chair, the session tutor will give a presentation on the topic; this will last about ten minutes. Following this, there will be a discussion facilitated by the chair.

Registration is open to all adults. There is no fee. However, to facilitate free discussion, the number who can register for any session will be limited, and each discussion will be chaired by an expert adult educator from the University’s School of Education. You must register separately for each session you wish to attend.

Future events

For details of future events currently open for registrations, please visit the event webpage

Past events

Thursday 2 July - A Path to Sainthood? The Self-Isolators of the Early Orthodox Church

Historically, self-isolation has been a path to spiritual as well as physical healing. In this discussion with Dr Monica White we will explore some of the early Christian saints who practised extreme forms of isolation – and the perils and benefits of this unusual form of asceticism.

Chair and facilitator

John Holford and Jo-Anna Russon


The Oxford Dictionary of Saints provides a good introduction to this subject. It may be available online through your library. (If not, there are links below to openly-available versions; you may have to scroll through each to find the particular entry.) Monica will be talking about three saints:


Wednesday 1 July - Digital Storytelling: Communicating and Capturing Life's Stories in the Age of Lockdown

Dr Charlie Davis explores the potential for digital technologies to connect people across geographical and generational boundaries as they share life stories in an effort to cope with the challenges of living in isolation during the age of lockdown.

Chair and facilitator

Sharon Clancy and Deborah Costley


  • The StoryCentre - This is an American organisation which has been at the forefront of digital storytelling as part of life history approaches. They have a fantastic Digital Story Cook Book available on their website.
  • People at Players - Dr Dan O’Neill created a website to preserve the stories of people who worked at the Players’ cigarette factory.
  • Michael Rosen’s Word of Mouth – The Power of Storytelling - This is an episode where Michael Rosen talks to professional storyteller Clare Muireann Murphy about essentially what makes a good story.
  • Thinking Allowed  - In this episode Laurie Taylor, an excellent storyteller himself, talks to American Sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild about her work around Deep Stories which informed the writing of her book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. While this is an academic book, it doesn’t seem like one given the way it is presented. There are no references, citations etc. It is a very accessible book and written in a manner which is engaging.

Tuesday 30 June - The Shropshire Adult Education College, the Spirit of the 'New Age' and the Residential Experience

Explore with Dr Sharon Clancy the experience of being a live-in staff member or student at an isolated residential adult education college in a country mansion, led by the charismatic Sir George Trevelyan, a pioneer of spiritual education. Was the residential experience profound, personal and transformational for staff and students, a space away from the ‘workaday world’ – or was it a source of social and emotional isolation? 

Chair and facilitator

John Holford and Volker Wedekind


Thursday 25 June - Working with Bees

Explore with Dr Jane Medwell how humans have manipulated the lifecycle of the honeybee for thousands of years, and examine how some innovations in beekeeping have allowed humans to work with the natural characteristics of bee behaviour. A small group of bee scientists and beekeepers are now looking at more “natural” ways of beekeeping. What have been the effects of the recent, massive expansion of beekeeping? For bees? For us?

Chair and facilitator

Simon McGrath and John Holford


Wednesday 24 June - Reimagining public education in the light of Coronavirus

In this session, we shall discuss with Professor Simon McGrath what has happened to education in the pandemic, and what this time tells us about what education adults, youth and children need for the future – and what role the state should play.

Chair and facilitator

Sharon Clancy and Volker Wedekind


Tuesday 23 June - Chemistry at Nottingham University: From Silicone Invention to Exploding Pianos

From the initial gift of land to form the University Park campus by Jesse Boot (of Boots Chemists), to the development of Ibuprofen by Dr Stewart Adams, chemists have always been integral to the University of Nottingham, contributing to the locality and the world. Discuss some of the notable discoveries and achievements of chemistry at Nottingham University with Dr Samantha Tang

Chair and facilitator

Jo-Anna Russon and John Holford


Links to accompany the session. All three are freely available.

  • Frederic Kipping, inventor of silicones, was married to one of three Holland sisters, all of who married eminent chemists, and a book has been published about their lives. Whilst the author has made it factually accurate, he has taken some poetic licence to make for better storytelling, and the first two pages can be read here: The Holland Sisters 1988
  • Much more information about Frederic Kipping can be found in this downloadable publication by Prof. Neil Thomas, himself an academic at the School of Chemistry at Nottingham: Frederic Stanley Kipping—Pioneer in Silicon Chemistry: His Life and Legacy 
  • A video about the Billy Cotton Band Show court case involving BD Shaw as expert witness, and his tests that caused pianos to explode next to the Chemistry building, is here: Exploding Pianos - Periodic Table of Videos

Thursday 18 June - Remembering the First World War: How Societies Remembered the Trauma of the Conflict

In this session we will explore how individuals and communities mourned the loss of family and friends after the First World War. With Dr Ross Wilson, we shall examine remembrance through memorials, monuments, film and literature.

Chair and facilitator

Sharon Clancy and Simon McGrath


Todman, D. 2014. Remembrance and memorials  


Tuesday 16 June - What Kind of History should we Teach in Schools and how should we Teach it?

What kind of history should we teach in schools and how should we teach it? Discuss with Gary Mills how what is taught in schools has changed over the years, and why it has changed. How important have academics, government ministers, parents and teachers been in making decisions about this?

Chair and facilitator

Volker Wedekind and Deborah Costley


Thursday 11 June - The Crisis of Democratic Governance. What we can Learn from Managing the Pandemic?

In this session, we will consider with Professor John Holmwood how governance over the last two decades has shifted from hierarchical bureaucratic management with local government oversight to a dispersed, networked form of governance by multiple agencies and actors but without strong local government involvement.

Chair and facilitator

Sharon Clancy and John Holford 


This session is about the changing nature of governance, introduced under the ideas of ‘new public management’.

This has placed more emphasis on a variety of providers of services, with local authorities acting as commissioners of services rather than providers. Increasingly, however, local authority oversight has also been removed and assigned to independent agencies with regional organisations that are different across agencies making coordinated working more difficult.

The new ‘networked governance’ is praised for its dynamism and innovation, but appears to have fallen apart during the pandemic crisis. The contrast here is with Germany where governance during the crisis has performed very well.


Wednesday 10 June - Developing my Family Tree

This session, led by Professor John Beckett, is aimed at those who have already been working on their family tree, and would like to share their findings with others and/or to discuss possible source materials they have not previously worked on.

Chair and facilitator

Volker Wedekind and Sharon Clancy 


Tuesday 9 June - Bees and Humans – Surviving Together in a Crisis

Honeybees are sophisticated social insects, with huge value to human life through pollination. But they have also come to be dependent on humans. We will discuss with Dr Jane Medwell the role honeybees play in human agriculture and how massive industrial agriculture exploits them. It also explores how honeybees themselves have become dependent on human intervention for their very survival. How can we co-exist with bees to our mutual benefit? What costs will there be for each species? 

Chair and facilitator

Jo-Anna Russon and Simon McGrath

Session presentation

Bees and Humans powerpoint presentation


Talking Bees: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations hosts a discussion on the importance of bees for World Bee Day 2020

A very simple guide to types of British Bee can be found at or at friends of the 

Learn more about wild bees at the Bumblebee Conservation trust 

Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production:  IPBES (2016). The assessment report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on pollinators, pollination and food production. S.G. Potts, V. L. Imperatriz-Fonseca, and H. T. Ngo (eds). Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Bonn, Germany. 552 pages. 

The British Beekeepers Association is the home of British Beekeepers.

The National Bee Unit (part of FERA) does a marvellous job of regulating, supporting and managing disease across the UK. 

Bee Informed Partnership. (2019). “Winter Loss Survey 2018-2019: Preliminary Results.” Delaney, D. and D. Tarpy (2008). 

Gallai, N. et al. (2009). “Economic valuation of the vulnerability of world agriculture confronted with pollinator decline. Ecological Economics 68(3): 810-821“The Role of Honey Bees in Apple Pollination.” North Carolina State University.

News report from three years ago gives a succinct account of almond pollination

Ropars L, Dajoz I, Fontaine C, Muratet A, Geslin B (2019) Wild pollinator activity negatively related to honey bee colony densities in urban context. PLoS ONE 14(9): e0222316


Thursday 4 June - Making Sense of Religion and Pop Culture

Explore some of the questions about religion and pop culture that academics wrestle with – and how they do it – with Dr Tim Hutchings.

Chair and facilitator

John Holford and Sharon Clancy


Wednesday 3 June - Viking Invasions and Settlement in the East Midlands - People and Places

What evidence can we use from the East Midlands to find out who the Vikings were, where they went and what traces they left behind? Discuss these and other questions with Professor Judith Jesch.

Chair and facilitator

Sharon Clancy and Volker Wedekind


  • Vikings in the East Midlands - browse at pleasure!
  • The Danelaw  - Link to BBC Radio 4 programme: Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Danelaw
  • Viking Nottinghamshire (2017) - Book by Rebecca Gregory. Published by Nottingham's own Five Leaves Bookshop, available by mail order.
  • Professor Judith Jesch is also doing a podcast for BBC History Magazine, a Q&A about Vikings. We will provide details here as soon as it is available.

Tuesday 2 June - Faith Online: Religion and the Pandemic

What is happening to religion in the pandemic? Discuss with Dr Tim Hutchings what faith groups are doing right now to respond to the crisis. How are they staying in touch, and what's happening to them?

Chair and facilitator

Sharon Clancy and Volker Wedekind



Thursday 28 May - The 1918-19 Flu Pandemic – What Happened in the East Midlands: 2: Carrying On?

In 1918-19, very little closed down (in wartime, it was people’s duty to ‘carry on’). Pubs, churches, factories, businesses and public transport were kept open. Drawing on her Nottingham PhD thesis, Dr Joan Knight will explore what this tells us about how society should balance public health and economic cost.

Chair and facilitator

Simon McGrath and John Holford


Influenza Pandemic 1918-19:

Covid-19 Pandemic:

In addition to the news media (newspapers; broadsheet and tabloid/tv/websites) the following are suggested:

  • TV programmes (all currently available on catch-up tv)
    Channel 4
  • News Special - Coronavirus: What Next? Friday 3 April 8pm and 15 April 9pm
  • A Day in the Life of Coronavirus. Monday 6 April 9pm
  • Coronavirus: How Britain is Changing. Wednesday 8 April 9pm
  • Coronavirus: Q&A. 13 April 8pm
  • Coronavirus: World in Lockdown. 30 March and 15 April 
  • Panorama – The Week that Changed Britain. 30 March
  • Horizon Special – Coronavirus. 9 April
  • Coronavirus: What you need to know. 10 April

There are many other programmes participants could choose to watch either live or on catch-up which would be useful for the sessions.

Newspaper/TV Websites:

News articles:

  • Too few have realised the true cost of this ruinous new economic Ice Age, by Alistair Heath. The Telegraph, Wednesday 15 April
  • Virus threatens to hit economy harder than war and flu in 1918. Financial Times, Wednesday 15 April, front page
  • The world economy is now collapsing. Financial Times 

Wednesday 27 May - Routine: Friend or Foe?

From the beginning of the lock-down the advice coming our way stressed the importance of having a routine within our daily lives, even if we were confined to our homes. In this session we will discuss the nature of ‘routine’ with Dr Anne Emerson. Is it as important as people say –and if so, why?

Can understanding more about the nature of routine help us to adopt its positive aspects, without being overwhelmed by ‘sameness’? Anne builds on her work with people on the autism spectrum who experience a need for predictability, and consider the extent to which this applies more broadly.

Chair and facilitator

Sharon Clancy and Debra Costley


Professor Nick Chater talks in The Conversation on Why most people follow routines

TED talk by Sabine Doebel who studies the developing mind to understand how experience shapes our thinking and executive control skills

An article written in the current epidemic by Barbara J. Howard, MD: Making something ordinary out of the extraordinary


Tuesday 26 May - Why do Some People not Vaccinate their Children or Pets?

Vaccination is often regarded as a medical success story, yet some people choose not to vaccinate their children or pets. In this session, we can explore and discuss the reasons why with Dr Pru Hobson-West.

Chair and facilitator

Jo-Anna Russon and Volker Wedekind



Thursday 21 May - My Family Tree

Have you always meant to prepare your family tree, but never quite got around to it? With the lockdown, maybe you really have no further excuses. Explore how to do it with Professor John Beckett

Chair and facilitator

Jo-Anna Russon and Sharon Clancy


Wednesday 20 May - Pharmacy at the Heart of your Community

Pharmacy has been at the forefront of the pandemic as more and more people consult about their symptoms – seeking reassurance, buying over-the-counter medicines, making sure they have enough prescription medicines.  Discuss the changing role of pharmacies with Professor Claire Anderson. Situated in the heart of most communities, pharmacies are often open when other health care professionals are unavailable. Their traditional role of compounding and dispensing prescriptions has recently developed into clinical services such as stopping smoking, vaccination, contraception and sexual health.

Chair and facilitator

Sharon Clancy and Deborah Costley


You may like to watch two videos:


Tuesday 19 May - How British Soldiers Coped on the Battlefields of France and Flanders during the First World War

In this session we explore with Dr Ross Wilson how the soldiers of the British Army adapted to endure the experience of the Western Front: morale, camaraderie, discipline and courage – “Tommifying the Western Front”.

Chair and facilitator

Volker Wedekind and John Holford



Thursday 14 May - 1918-19 ’Flu Pandemic – What Happened in the East Midlands: 1: Prevention and Cure

A hundred years ago, millions died from ’flu. Hospitals were overcrowded. There was a call for volunteers. Drawing on her Nottingham PhD thesis, Dr Joan Knight will discuss the similarities and differences between responses then and to Covid-19. What can we learn from the comparison? 

Chair and facilitator

Simon McGrath and John Holford


Influenza Pandemic 1918-19

  • History of the 1918 Flu Pandemic
  • The Great Influenza Outbreak 1918-19 (by Joan Knight)
  • Spanish Flu: a warning from history (University of Cambridge video 11 minutes) 
  • 1918 Spanish Flu historical documentary/Swine Flu Pandemic/Deadly Plague of 1918 (Youtube video 40 minutes)

In addition to the news media (newspapers, broadsheet and tabloid/tv/websites) the following are suggested:

TV programmes (all currently available on catch-up tv)

  • Channel 4: News Special ‘Coronavirus: What Next?’ Friday 3 April 8pm and 15 April 9pm 
  • ‘A Day in the Life of Coronavirus’ Monday 6 April 9pm
  • ‘Coronavirus: How Clean is Your House?’ Thursday 9 April 9pm
  • ITV: ‘Coronavirus: Q&A’ 13 April 8pm
  • BBC: ‘The Most at Risk’ 6 April 
  • Horizon Special – ‘Coronavirus:’ 9 April
  • ‘Coronavirus: What you need to know’ 10 April
  • What is the true cost of the coronavirus lockdown? By Paul Dolan
  • ‘Coronavirus: Military to build nine more emergency hospitals in UK’ by Kim Sengupta, Thursday 9 April
  • ‘Coronavirus: Principality Stadium field hospital gathers pace’, 14 April
  • Coronavirus: Nine out of 10 dying have existing illness’ By Nick Triggle, Thursday 16 April
  • ‘Covid-19’ - The Conversation

News articles

  • ‘Military draws up plans to build 17 new coronavirus field hospitals, with nine already cleared’, by Dominic Nichols, The Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 8 April
  • ‘Warning as virus leads to surge in home deaths.’ The Guardian, Thursday 16 April 
  • ‘Danger of working in care homes.’ I newspaper, Thursday 16 April

Wednesday 13 May - Learning to have a Better Relationship with Ourselves: Our Potential for Growth through Crisis

Explore our inherent potential for growth, even in a crisis, with Emma Tickle. Crises are opportunities for transformation: human beings have an inherent capacity to change and adapt even to painful events. In social isolation, economic pain, even grief and anxiety generated by coronavirus, we want to connect with others. Connection with ourselves is also an important resource: self and inter-personal awareness help us make more appropriate and creative adaptions to reality.

Chair and facilitator

Debra Costley and Sharon Clancy


The International Focusing Institute was set up in 1979 and builds on the work of Eugene T. Gendlin. There is a wealth of free resources, including videos of focusing sessions.

The Person-Centred Association offers accessible summaries of Carl Rogers and Person-Centred theory and therapy, as well as a list of useful references and websites.

The Counseling Tutor provides some of Carl Rogers’ quotes, which provide a taste of his accessible writing style, and references for further reading. 

A very accessible introduction to focusing and how to do it is E. T. Gendlin, Focusing, Bantam Books, 1982. See The International Focusing Institute.

Three seminal books written by Carl Rogers that describe his theory of personality and person-centred practice:

  • Rogers, Carl (1967) On Becoming a Person. London: Constable
  • Rogers, Carl (1980) A Way of Being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
  • Rogers, Carl (1951) Client-Centered Therapy Cambridge Massachusetts: The Riverside Press

Tuesday 12 May - Telling Stories about Grief: Learning from the Greeks and Romans

In the ancient world, storytelling could form part of a process in which negative emotions became catalysts for positive change. In this session, we discuss with Professor Helen Lovatt what we can learn about handling crisis and grief from Virgil’s account of the Fall of Troy and the founding of Rome.

Chair and facilitator

John Holford & Volker Wedekind


In this session, we will be discussing storytelling and grief by looking at a Latin epic poem in which the hero Aeneas tells the story of the fall of Troy to his admiring hostess, Dido. This narrative takes up the whole of Aeneid Book 2, and in Book 3 he tells about the wanderings that eventually led him and his people to be ship-wrecked in Carthage. This is part of my project on The Power of Sadness which uses Virgil’s Aeneid to reflect on ancient models of loss and resilience, and to think about the negative emotions associated with grief as a potential source of energy, a catalyst for action.

translation of Virgil’s Aeneid by Tony Kline.

A much more literary, classic version by the poet John Dryden.

If you wanted to buy a translation to enjoy reading the whole poem, I’d recommend the Oxford World’s Classics version by Fred Ahl, which my students find stimulating and readable.

A brief introduction to the Aeneid from the Open University

My own blog on the Power of Sadness project. I will be adding more posts to this as I reflect on the project during the build up to the session.


Thursday 7 May - Multiculturalism and integration: the problem of Islamaphobia

In this session, we will discuss claims that ‘multiculturalism’ has failed, and that British Muslims lead separate lives, with Professor John Holmwood. He believes these claims are false and have fuelled a ‘nationalist’ discourse that risks polarisation, and will use the Birmingham ‘Trojan Horse’ affair as an illustration. 

Chair and facilitator

Sharon Clancy and Jo-Anna Russon


David Cameron’s Munich Security Conference speech in 2011 set out that ‘multiculturalism had failed’. This involved the argument that Britain’s Muslim communities lived separate lives and had failed to integrate, though it provided no evidence for the claim. This view influenced media reporting and government inquiries into the Birmingham Trojan Horse affair of a plot by teachers and governors to ‘Islamicise’ schools in Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester. The ‘plot’ was the only example provided in 2015 for the need for a new Counter Extremism Strategy and a new duty on schools to teach fundamental British values.

A legal case against the teachers collapsed because of misconduct by lawyers acting for the Department for Education, something that was argued by commentators and right wing think tanks such as Policy Exchange as a technical issue and not an indication that there was a problem of evidence.

An introduction to the affair and difficulties with it by John Holmwood and Therese O’Toole can be downloaded from Bristol University Press. A play by LUNG theatre, Trojan Horse, has been on national tour, now brought to an end by Covid-19.


Wednesday 6 May - Grow Your Own Easy Greens Under Lockdown

Worried about accessing fresh vegetables under lockdown?  Learn and discuss with Alison McGrath how to grow quick nutritious greens at home, with or without a garden, and share tips and ideas with others.

Chair and facilitator

Sarah Amsler and Deborah Costley


Garden Organic has a comprehensive range of resources designed for schools but equally good for adult novice gardeners. On this site you can find simple illustrated instructions for everything from sowing seeds and thinning seedlings to choosing a growing site and planting green manures. 

Alison McGrath's website - The Tired Gardener looks at gardening from a health perspective, giving guidance for people who suffer from energy limiting conditions. You will find instructions for simple, cheap food growing activities including windowsill salads, sprouting seeds and growing from supermarket living herbs and salads. 

Garden Organic podcast - a monthly exploration of organic gardening. Every episode includes what to do this month, questions and advice, plus fascinating interviews with well known growers - from Joe Swift (and his time with Gardeners' World) to Jane Perrone (houseplant expert). Plus topics such as vegan gardening, how to attract wildlife, seed saving and the health benefits of organic food.

Vertical veg website -  Learn how to maximise your crops when growing in small spaces and containers. 

Royal Horticultural Society - crop by crop advice on successful growing.

Foraging - There are many wild foods available to supplement your diet if you know where to look and what to pick. 


Tuesday 5 May - Nottingham’s Green Spaces 2: The Forest and the Arboretum

The two largest of the post-1845 green spaces were The Forest and the Arboretum. In this session we will discuss their value and public use with Professor John Beckett, and ask questions about what role green spaces play in modern urban settings.

Chair and facilitator

Volker Wedekind and Sharon Clancy


Nottingham's Green Spaces 2 presentation


There is lots of further information on the Nottingham Green Spaces website.


Tuesday 28 April - Making sense of Coronavirus statistics: A navigation guide to the quantitative news on coronavirus

Every day, the media provides statistics about the epidemic: how many new cases, cumulative cases, deaths, cumulative deaths, masks, tests, etc. Dr Valeria Rueda will discuss how to make sense of these statistics. Why do the numbers differ across sources? How far can we trust the official figures of confirmed cases? Are mortality data better? (This session is designed especially for those with no background in statistics or maths.)

Chair and facilitator

Volker Wedekind and John Holford


Some sources of reliable quantitative information on the Coronavirus:
Our World in Data updates their reports on confirmed cases, testing, and mortality every day. They collect data from official sources, which they cross-examine. Their presentations are the most pedagogical and invite to think critically about their results.

Financial Times’ COVID-19 tracker. Since this is a daily updated report for a news outlet, the emphasis is less on pedagogy and more on communicating facts. They are less critical about sources, but the sources and methods are transparently communicated.

You can also try to look at raw data, and “raw-er” reports from official sources. These agencies gather and compile the data that is then used by research and education outlets. They also regularly publish reports for the public:
International agencies: European Centre for Disease Prevention and ControlWorld Health Organisation 
Research institutes: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center
National statistical agencies in the UK - Office for National Statistics. You can also check other European statistical agencies that report daily on the COVID-19 (France’s Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques and Italy's  Italy’s Istituto Nazionale di Statistica, for instance).


Wednesday 29 April - Coping with home schooling: strategies and ideas

Dr Debra Costley will suggest and discuss some strategies that could be used by all parents to support children learning at home during a period of uncertainty, drawing especially on her experience of teaching and research with children on the autism spectrum.

Chair and facilitator

Sarah Amsler and Simon McGrath

Resources to support parents and children learning at home

General information about Covid-19
An excellent book illustrated by Axel Scheffler (of Gruffalo fame) gives primary school aged children the information they need about coronavirus. It is free to download and can be read on the screen or printed to read together.

For children who need a more structured approach Carol Gray has developed two Social Stories that can be shared with children of primary and secondary age.

Resources for Learning
Structure and routine are very important to children, so it is worth investing time in the construction of an age appropriate timetable. Visual timetables work well for many young people including those with special needs. You can get some ideas about how to make a visual timetable from the National Autistic Society.

BBC Bitesize has online content for every key stage of education and every subject, including videos, and links to exam boards for GCSE content. They also have a dedicated TV programme available on BBC iPlayer or the Red Button that will be on every Monday morning.

Collins free resources to support learning at home for primary and secondary aged children. Includes free worksheets, books, including free access to the Collins dictionary, revision resources, and over 400 songs to sing with children.

Hamilton Trust are sharing free learn at home packs for English and maths for Reception through to year 6. These include some excellent resources developed by experienced teachers.

Oxford Owl for home includes access to a library of free e-books for primary aged children as well as a video of a story teller to enjoy together. They have a range of resources for all primary aged children, including fun learning ideas.

General interest
Future Learn is an excellent MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) provider. They have a vast range of short courses available for free. Some of these will be of interest to all adult learners but could provide a basis for new learning for older children in order to support their interests. Courses range from 4-8 weeks with an average of 3 hours a week of material. There is everything from learning Norwegian to writing your first song or fiction, or learning to program a mobile game.


Thursday 30 April - Amazon vs the corner shop: What Coronvirus tells us about the geography of the economy

Explore with Professor Andrew Leyshon how the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed important vulnerabilities in economic distribution networks. They are often long-distance and fragile, and their rise has had important implications for our economy in general, and the long-term resilience of local economies in particular.

Chair and facilitator

Jo-Anna Russon and John Holford


Bloomberg article: Sophie Alexander et. al (2020) “Jeff Bezos gains $24 billion while world’s rich reap bailout rewards’, Bloomberg April 14th

Channel 4: The Truth about Amazon, 21 April 2020

Financial Times Editorial Board (2020): Companies should shift from ‘just in time’ to ‘just in case’, Financial Times, 22.4.20

Paul Langley and Andrew Leyshon (2017): "Platform capitalism: the intermediation and capitalisation of digital economic circulation." Finance and Society 3(1): 11-31. (Open access)

Dave Lee and Patricia Nelson (2020): Amazon auditions to be ‘the new Red cross’ in Covid-19 crisis, Financial Times, 31 March

Emily Maitliss: Introduction, Newsnight, BBC 2, 8th April 2020

Jay Raynor (2020): “Interview (with Tim Lang): Diet, health, inequality: why Britain's food supply system doesn't work” The Observer March 22nd

Segro Logistics Park (DE74 2BB)

Derby Evening Telegraph


Thursday 23 April - Nottingham's Green Spaces 1

What led the Victorians to set aside ‘green spaces’ in their growing towns? The Nottingham Enclosure Act (1845) made provision for several ‘green spaces’ in the fast expanding town. In this session Professor John Beckett will look at where the ‘green spaces’ were, and the reasons for laying them out in the first place. What was the point of them? 

Chair and facilitator

Simon McGrath and Jo-Anna Russon


There is a lot of further information on the Nottingham Green Spaces website


Wednesday 22 April - Learning from Experiences of Lockdown

Learning from Experiences of Lockdown. What challenges does COVID19 bring for professional carers?  Based on his experience working in prisons and secure environments like Broadmoor, Dr Gary Winship will discuss the parallels between incarceration and the lockdown we face today in our homes:  experiences of trauma, ‘serving time’, thwarted experiences of mourning and loss, the impact on democracy and citizenship. What happens to our sense of time? What are the threats and what are the possibilities?

Chair and facilitator

Sharon Clancy and Volker Wedekind


Some films you may like to watch:

About time turning, or getting stuck

  • Inception
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Groundhog Day
  • Looper
  • All of Doctor Who
  • End Game

About Lockdown

  • 28 Days Later
  • Simpson’s Movie
  • Shawshank Redemption
  • Contagion

Tuesday 21 April - Coronavirus Testing Methods: What we Should Expect

The World Health Organisation is advocating testing for coronavirus disease to minimise infections, deaths and tackle the current pandemic. Explore with Professor Melissa Mather the stages involved in test development and what we can expect in terms of their clinical implementation.

Chair and facilitator

John Holford and Debra Costley




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