Garth Primary – Bridgend. (No snow…all go!)

| November 8, 2007 | 7 Comments 

A return trip to work with the Maesteg cluster, at Garth Primary School. This time the weather was slightly more “clement” as, last time I visited, our day had to be cut short due to a heavy snowfall. (It took me six hours to get home that day, a journey that normally only takes one and a half!)

This time, I had a superb day, finishing my first week of three in Bridgend. It is always good to work for a cluster of schools that gather teachers from all key stages, including secondary staff, together for a practical training day. I feel it broadens our discussions and the investigations of how far we can challenge and motivate children.

We started the day with a whole morning of fun and challenge with a class of Year 5 pupils. They took well to the descriptive elements we introduced, and to the idea of stretching Simile and Metaphor.

After break we focussed on developing speaking and listening techniques. Speaking, in a large group, and without your hand up, is a bit like going to school in your pyjamas (or am I the only one to have had that dream?!) “No hands” is also like doing something without a safety net.

However, I often think that, at times, putting your hand in the air can act like putting a cork in a bottle: nothing else comes out AND nothing else goes IN.

Two quiet young ladies rose to my challenge and it was a joy to watch a development in confidence as they took on the role of designers and builders of the structure we were standing in. Well done girls! 🙂

Thank you to teachers Kate, Rachel, Ann, Claire, Richard, Jenna, Jon, Deb, Annette, and the children of Colin’s class, for a great day and for your feedback (read the comments filed for this post folks.)

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (7)

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  1. Jenna Jones says:

    All of the children in this quite challenging Year 5 class were thoroughly engrossed from beginning to end. By the end of the lesson they were using quite sophisticated oracy strategies and this prompted enthusiasm for the writing task. The written work produced was of an extremely high quality and the children were quite surprised, and very proud, of their first drafts. In particular children with low self esteem and those of limited academic ability succeeded and were enthusiastic about completing their work.

  2. A really inspiring morning. It was wonderful to see the pupils so engaged and enthusiatic for learning through the use of ICT and Talk. The quality of descriptive writing showed how well pupils’ imagination and creativity had been stimulated by Tim’s lessons. I’m sure the children will always remember the morning and will never say the words ‘simile’ and ‘metaphor’ without a smile ever again!

  3. Deb Todd says:

    Children were totally engrossed in the activities and produced some very good pieces of writing. Less confident children were encouraged to discuss their thoughts and images with the rest of the classs. Very good discussion were taking place bewteen pupils within the groups. Can’t wait to try this out for myself!

  4. Richard Edwards says:

    Having seen this morning how motivating and inspirational Tim is with children has given me a fresh outlook on the teaching of literacy! The work produced was fantastic and the best part is you don’t have to be an I.T. whizz to use the games. It was extremely pleasing to see how well the boys participated in the lesson and maintained concentration for such a long period of time. It is a change in teaching styles and pupil participation which is easy to adopt and put into practice straight away! Tim is a visionary!

  5. Kate Hopkins says:

    Had the pleasure of observing a fantastic interactive lesson where Year 5 students had their imaginations ignited and vocabulary extended with the assistance of an impressive ICT programme and a unique approach by a creative and enthusiastic educator.

    The pupil’s creativity was facilitated through delicate questioning, effective “talk time” and an efficient pace that enabled a great deal to be achieved in a small time period.

    The responses that individuals articulated were mature, astute and at times, remarkable. As a secondary school teacher it was refreshing and enormously impressive to witness the confidence and abilities demonstrated within such a positive learning environment.

    The pupils development throughout the session was evident. The nature of the questioning and the level of praise and feedback supported and scaffolded the individuals creativity.

    I intend to use the ideas demonstrated today and hope to emulate such a successful lesson in my classroom….

    Thank you.


  6. ANN DARRA says:

    This has been one of the best days out I’ve had.Mr Rylands was mesmorising and the way he interacted with the children was amazing. I am certainly going to go away with millions of new ideas. I can genuinely say I have had an epiphany!!!!!!
    When I see my class tomorrow I am going to completely change my approach. I know it isn’t possible to change over night, every journey starts with a first step and I am about to take mine.
    Is Mr Rylands really human I ask myself ?
    The pupils were engrossed and produced excellent pieces of descriptive writing.

  7. Miss Jones says:

    It was extremely useful to watch Tim Rylands teach. The drama techniques he employs helped give children visual, aural and tactile cues to remember key words such as simile and metaphor. While the modelling of descriptive writing, including through individual role play, inspired children to move beyond their usual language. The class seemed genuinely surprised by what they had managed to achieve in their own descriptive writing, and were highly motivated by their sense of success. His monitoring of their progress was unobstrusive, with occasional motivators such as reading someone’s work so far aloud, but they remained on task.
    Two girls I spoke to clearly rely on each other for writing tasks and were keen to write the exact same thing. Avoiding this kind of behaviour could be tricky when you don’t know the class, but Mr Rylands told the class working together was fine but you need to put something of yourself in your writing. It could be worth saying this during the task, instead of after.
    What was clever was the encouragement of two girls who were initially reluctant to contribute during a hot seating situation. As they were not asking questions of the owner of a house, they were turned into those in the hot seat and given a different role, that of the builders. Some children could freeze when pushed into this kind of situation but the atmosphere that had been built up helped them relax and enjoy the attention.
    For both the children and myself as an observing teacher, it was a challenging but positive experience.

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