Wondrous Windwhistle!

| April 4, 2007 | 5 Comments 

Today was a bit of a “homecoming gig” for me, in that I spent some time with old colleagues and new friends from Windwhistle Primary, Weston-super-Mare.

I taught for eight years at Windwhistle, and they were eight of the most enjoyable, challenging and rewarding years of my career.

I have so many happy memories: our big scale productions; trips to the Isle of Wight; Windwhistle TV where we made half an hour of TV content including adverts, weather reports, documenteries, pop videos, news, and even had David Amos (the head then) leading a MrMotivator style fitness class!

… and so much more!

During my time at the school, I taught in one of the upstairs classrooms for a while, and, each day, passed the huge mural of Noah’s Ark that has been on the staircase for many years.

It was lovely to see that it still there.

Many of my friends from that time are still working at the school and remain an incredibly positive and bubbly bunch through the challenges they can sometimes face. It was lovely to spend more time in their company again.

It was at Windwhistle that I first tried out the idea of using one of Myst games as a stimulus for discussion. At that time, we didn’t have any interactive whiteboards or projectors so I sat with a 13″ monitor on my lap, with the children (Year 5s at the time) sat on the carpet.

I had not even thought then, I have to admit, that it might motivate writing. However, one of my class got up off the carpet and started walking away. When I asked him to come back and sit down, he said “I’m just going to get my book. I want to write this down.” A-ha! 🙂

Then, we were investigating the ages of Riven. I had been recommended to try exploring this incredible landscape, by Debbie Smith, daughter of our dear friends Russell and Gill. At the time I was beginning to experience the first stages of a condition that is attacking my central nervous system. ( Forgive me if I start to sound like the bloke at the bar talking about his hip replacement!) Debbie said to me then “If you’re finding it hard to walk… try this!” She was right and as many people will know, it has since proven to be an empowering experience for many physically impaired children too.

The game had not long been released and I was still grappling with the early stages but, myself and my Windwhistle wanderers, did explore everything from the revolving room, to the little school building that could only be reached by submarine.

So, I thoroughly enjoyed today. We took the next steps, as it were, and explored Myst III: Exile (the sequel to Riven)

I really appreciated that all of the LSAs were involved in the training day, as these visual literacy ideas are something that is proving really valuable, on a one-to-one basis, or as part of small group work, as well as in a whole class context.

Humour is one of my over-riding memories of Windwhistle and it was great to see that there are still huge smiles on the Bournville Estate.
We certainly laughed!!

We most definitely had a giggle making a soundtrack!

Thank you so much to Lyn, Pat, Perry, Jenny, Julie and ALL OF THOSE INVOLVED in organising a fun way to start my Easter holiday.

It was lovely spending time with you all. Thank you.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (5)

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  1. Naomi says:

    Hi Tim,
    What a wonderful site you have and thank-you for a very inspirational day. Had a great time and I’m sorry for making so much noise.
    Take care and look forward to seeeing you again at school.
    Naomi

  2. blog says:

    You are more than welcome. Don’t worry about the noise. It is always great to see people get hooked on what we are doing. I had a great day today and look forward to the opportunity of coming and doing some lessons with the children. A special place. Special people. All the best. Tim

  3. Sarah N says:

    What a fantastic day – I had heard so much about you from one of your past pupils, who was so pleased that you remembered her (comma) and I wasn’t disappointed. It was a truly inspirational day and I am hooked on MYST (now that I found the blooming rabbit !!!!!!

    I look forward to your return to Windwhistle.

  4. Jenny says:

    Hi Tim,
    Lovely to see you again and thanks so much for the day. You haven’t changed a bit – still the infectious little lad – who can inspire children and adults! I have been playing with Myst – instead of doing other things – like cleaning, ironing etc. much more fun! Please keep in touch, I know you are busy, but we’d all like to think that you could drop in if you’re passing and also try out some of your lessons on the children – I am sure they will be better behaved than we were. See you soon. Jenny x

  5. pat says:

    Hi Tim
    It was so good to have you back at Windwhistle to entertain and indeed inspire us. You embraced the technology back in the early days that most of us loathed and my how you have used it to advantage! We are now really looking forward to watching you motivate our children and enjoy their delight at your humour and skill.

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