Archive for January 25th, 2008
The blog may go a bit quiet for a few days, depending on internet access, as I am off for a week working for the Service Children’s Education (SCE) team in Cyprus. Cyprus SCE operates 4 primary schools 2 secondary schools across Cyprus which provide schooling for the children of service families and MOD personnel. I am doing quite a lot of work forces schools across the world, including Brunei and Germany. As ever when travelling abroad to work, how much of the country I will actually get to see is probably limited but I am looking forward to the trip immensely. For the first few days I will be staying at the Columbia Beach Hotel, in Pissouri. Monday – Episkopi School Tuesday – Akrotiri School, and a joint staff meeting with Episkopi Then I will be staying at the Lordos Beach Hotel in Larnaca, where I hope to be meeting up with Dave Lowe, SCE Consultant who will be staying there too. Wednesday – Dhekelia Primary and a joint staff meeting with Ayios Nikolaos staff. Thurs – Ayios Nikolaos Fri – travel to St Raphael (back towards Limassol) for an INSET day. This will be interesting – teachers have been banned last week by Gordon Brown from removing their laptops from MoD property! For the first four days I am going to be doing demo lessons across the age ranges and also working with some staff on developing their use of blogs and other practical ICT ideas to raise standards in speaking, listening and writing. Thank you to Mike Chislett and his colleagues for organising my trip. I’ll let you know how I get on when I return. Apologies if I don’t send you a postcard.
A mightily fun second day at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Kingswood, Bristol. The children yesterday showed that they have a great sense of humour and imaginative minds. I can see where they got some of it from, as the staff are a fun bunch, up for new challenges. One of the things we did today was make soundtracks and scores to go with some of the game elements. Pictoral scores are a great way of planning or recording a composition. The school has a Mac and an iBook and is looking into developing their use of it to record a variety of audio projects. I am a big fan of using GarageBand with children of all ages. It gives them the opportunity of creating sound tracks alongside film. There are many downloadable promo films for the Myst games. These are perfect as a stimulus for a music project. Selecting appropriate timbres, timing sounds to match changes of images, creating a collage of colours within the sound spectrum to enhance the on screen images. If you don’t have access to GarageBand on a Mac, there are some superb, simple alternatives for P.C. that give children the chance to compose: 2Simple’s 2Compose includes the opportunity to compose with notation as well; More Musical Monsters(Insert: Sound from file: find it) A quick way of building a song backing track is provided by Chord Studio Try Create Bands for a laugh too! Visit the Animusic site for some excellent and imaginative digital instruments of the future. There are animated clips on the "DVD info and Clips" page It may be a cacophony we produce when we try our hand for the first time at composition, but it is SO MUCH FUN! Well done indeed to Jon for conducting one of the best soundtracks I have witnessed. Thanks, again, to ALL the staff today for making my visit such an enjoyable one. is part of the Musical monsters range from QandA and encourages children to build and combine blocks of sounds, thus creating simple but effective compositions. With both of these programs, the end result can be exported as a MIDI file which can be inserted into PowerPoint presentation.
On Wednesday, Sir Ken mentioned those people who don’t seem to have to stop to breathe when they are talking. Circular breathing is an art form! Who can spot the theme this fellow mashes up? (Slightly over long but impressive.) You can even get lessons on how to breathe in circles… HERE