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Rachael Blazewicz-Bell

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Secondary and Continuing Education


Rachael Blazewicz-Bell works on the PGDE and School Direct Secondary Initial Teacher Training programmes and is responsible for looking after and promoting good practice to PGDE and School Direct Computing trainees. She is also the course leader for the MSc Computing in Education which is aimed at supporting primary, secondary and F.E teachers with the new computing curriculum in schools. She also teaches on the PGCHE course and actively promotes good practice around the University by running CPD sessions on digital literacy and the use of collaborative technologies, including Web 2.0 technologies to raise teaching and learning across the University.

Rachael is also active in developing and supporting the East Midlands Computing at Schools provisions by providing regular CPD events and CAS hub events for teachers across the East Midlands to share and upskill themselves in areas of the KS1 – KS4 computing curriculum. Rachael is currently training towards becoming a person-centered psychotherapist to work with children with mental health. Rachael was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Award in 2015.

Career overview

Prior to working at NTU, Rachael held departmental responsibilities at two inner city schools in Nottingham; The Nottingham Bluecoat School and Trinity Roman Catholic School. Rachael completed her teacher training at NTU in 2003.

Research areas

Rachael's recent research includes:

  • Boulton H and Smith R, Cross cultural comparison: the introduction of new technology with post-graduate students in Hong Kong and in the United Kingdom, Higher Education Academy, 2014.
  • Smith R, Implementation of an online element of computing into the KS3 curriculum to support secondary teachers, Nottingham Trent University, 2013.
  • Smith R Boulton H, How ICT can be used to support SEND students, raise literacy and engage disaffected pupils in core secondary subjects, Teaching Agency, 2012.
  • Smith R, What does Critical thinking mean to PGCE Students, Nottingham Trent University, 2012.

* In the maiden name of Smith.

Rachael's research interests also include:

  • Teaching and Learning in Secondary Schools: Researching effective teaching and learning strategies in a secondary school environment and promoting good practice within secondary school classrooms.
  • Initial Teacher Training in Higher Education: Researching key aspects of initial teacher training in higher education.
  • Effective Practice in Higher Education: Researching into effective practices in higher education and enhancing the student experience.
  • Supporting learners with SEND: Researching into supporting young learners with special educational needs and mental health issues.
  • Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy.
  • Promoting positive well-being with children and adults with mental health issues.

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD exist and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity

  • Member of DfE Education Technology Advisor Group (ETAG) which is aimed at advising and supporting government ministers with how Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) can support personalised learning in education.
  • Member of the NCTL and DfE National Curriculum Computing in ITT Expert Group to develop core resources to support Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers in ensuring that primary and secondary trainees become proficient in teaching the new curriculum and supporting schools with required CPD.
  • Member of Computing and Schools and the CAS Network of Excellence.
  • BACP member.


Publications and Conference Proceedings:

  • The use of Pinterst to support the professional development for PGDE and School Direct Student's prior to ITE Induction and beyond. Smith R, Annual Course Leaders Conference, Nottingham Trent University, September 2013
  • A contrast between the current (disapplied) ICT PoS and the proposed Computing PoS. Smith R, DfE & NCTL, May 2013
  • How ICT can be used to support SEND students, raise literacy and engage disaffected pupils in core secondary subjects. Smith R, Information Technology in Teacher Education (ITTE), March 2013
  • Using Twitter to Support Teaching and Learning in the Secondary and H.E Classroom. Smith R, Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, Nottingham Trent University, January 2013
  • Using wiki's to enhance collaboration between undergraduate and postgraduate students. Smith R, Blended and ELearning Technology (BELT), Nottingham Trent University, November 2012
  • An introduction to Learning via Twitter. Smith R, E-Learning Showcase Conference, Nottingham Trent University, March 2012
  • Transition into placement: Collaborative wikis and the effectiveness of uploading audio feedback. Smith R, E-Learning Showcase Conference, Nottingham Trent University, March 2011

*In the maiden name of Smith.