Mr Keith Ansell

Mr Keith Ansell


Plymouth Institute of Education (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)


Lecturer in ITE and Educational Partnerships, 


I have been immersed in the world of primary education for over three decades and have a wealth of experience in many curriculum areas, particularly the broader curriculum. Although I have gained a lot of experience managing IT systems, primary education is at the heart of what I do. As well as being an advisory teacher for ICT, I have coordinated ICT, Environmental Education, D&T, History, Geography, Maths and Science in Bristol and Surrey schools. I have coordinated a wealth of fieldwork over my time in primary education and am very interested in Outdoor Learning. I am very excited by primary curriculum developments in schools. I am a member of the Design and Technology Association, the PSHE Association and Geography Association. My main subject will always be the humanities. The study of the real world, people, their history, technology and their place in the world, will always be hugely relevant to primary learners. I was inspired by my own Geography teachers at school and studied this to Honours Degree Level. I am working with international colleagues in developing PhenoloGIT, a spatial data analysis and mobile learning resource to study the signs of spring. I have taught primary Design & Technology at Bath Spa University and Plymouth University. I am excited by the possibilities of teaching non-core subjects creatively. I currently lead the Year 2 Broader Curriculum module at the Institute of Education, Plymouth University. 

I have also supervised students of all stages on placement in primary schools, special schools and early years settings. This has given me an good understanding of students, from those who are working on the earliest stages of their professional development, to those working at an outstanding level, and given insight into how students make progress. I have worked in partnership with teaching staff in many primary and special schools in Plymouth and West Devon. Prior to relocating to Plymouth, I had established a strong working relationship with schools in Bristol and Bath area over many years. I have built relationships with teaching professionals in the Plymouth and Devon area, also as a member on the Institute of Education Partnership Committee. Through this committee I contribute to the Institute’s programme for developing and enhancing the partnership with schools.

As an e-learning consultant with South West Grid for Learning in 2008/9, I supported ICT consultants from Cornwall to Gloucestershire, and represented SWGfL on the content committee of the National Educational Network. I have worked as a project manager on a number of online software projects, and coordinated an animation competition across the south-west. I supported many Wiltshire schools to set up their virtual learning environments and trained many teaching staff in Bristol on the use of the interactive whiteboard. Until recently I managed and coordinated the electronic student profiling system for the Institute of Education, which was used to track trainees’performance against the Teaching Standards. 

Professional membership

I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a member of the National Association for Primary Education 

Teaching interests

From 2009 I worked as a lecturer on the Primary and Early Years PGCE course at Bath Spa University. I was part on an ICT subject team, lecturing and leading workshops and seminars on Early Years and Primary ICT. I also coordinated Design & Technology, within the PGCE course.

Since March 2013, I have been an tutor with the Institute of Education, Plymouth University I have also taught on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for Education Studies, Geography, Design & Technology and PSHE to develop student subject knowledge and strengthen understanding of classroom pedagogy. I have developed a range of, particularly electronic, course materials, writing support and guidance materials and resources. I am familiar with current commercial publications and subject specific resources. As part of a team, I contribute to Broader Curriculum and Education Studies modules. I am module leader for the second year Broader Curriculum module. I teach PSHE, ICT and Education Studies currently. 

Research interests

Previously I worked in the Bristol area as an advisory teacher to support primary schools in teaching and learning with ICT. I have undertaken research on the adoption of virtual learning environment in local schools, trained school teams in the setup and application of virtual learning environments, and advised schools how to make use of class blogs and websites. I have developed content for, and updated, a number of content management systems, official blogs and websites. 

I enjoy writing. I have written a chapter in a book on Developing Active Learning in the Primary School which is targeted at final year students and Newly Qualified Teachers.

I have just completed a chapter on the use of ICT in outdoor learning, particularly focused on the use of webcam technology particularly in childrens' study of birds on their nests. I am a keen birdwatcher myself.

I am currently working with international partners in an Erasmus project on the subject of Phenology, or study of signs of spring. PhenoloGIT PhenoloGIT will design, build and test a collaboratively created educational environmental information platform, supported by state-of-the-art mobile technology and Geographical Information Technologies (GIT), to be used by teachers and students in primary and secondary schools

Other research

For a number of years at Bath Spa, I worked as a personal tutor, guiding and supporting PGCE students as they became primary teachers. I very much enjoy working with students. I have also acted as professional tutor at the Institute of Education, giving pastoral care and academic guidance, for a substantial number of students across the three years of university study, giving me a valuable insight into the student experience. For me, this is an area for future research as I pursue scholarly activity in the field of coaching and mentoring. 

Supporting Plymouth University students in primary schools and at an international summer school in Finland, I have also become very interested in the international student experience.  I currently look after international students who join us at PIoE from America, Finland, Germany, Denmark and France.

A contributor to 

Developing Active Learning in the Primary Classroom, ed. A Vickery, 2014 Sage

Children Learning Outside the Classroom, ed. S Waite, 2017 Sage