Cyprus Autumn 2008 – a sunny delight.

| October 13, 2008 | 2 Comments 

Our invitation to spend six days working in Cyprus with the staff and children of the SCE (Service Children’s Education), proved to be one of the most enjoyable, challenging yet rewarding, creative experiences we have had the priviledge to be involved in.

As well as developing and extending the use of creating English across many areas of the curriculum, our role included an introduction to the power and potential of Blogging.

A practical and powerful application of blogging is when children can make their ideas public to the world instantly and offer constructive comments to their peers.

A huge joy over all the days working at both King Richard and St John’s was being involved in very professional and effective problem tackling and sharing ideas with colleagues.

The SCE schools have identified a need to develop an understanding of community cohesion, preparing their students for life in multicultural Britain, after, for some, many or all of their childhood years abroad.

Working alongside the staff we supported, in the one school, their exploration of what it means to be British and, in the other, the use of descriptive narrative to capture the features of the local Cypriot landscape.

Some of the results can be seen on the blogs found HERE and HERE.

SCE Secondary English Advisor, Cynthia Symon, was pivotal in getting this project off-the-ground and organised. She is a remarkable spirit, fully of energy and fun, yet with a thorough perception of what is needed to support developments in teaching and learning.

All the staff were up for challenges and new ideas too.

The multimodal writing frame concept was enthusiastically embraced by colleagues and student alike. The technique was applied effectively throughout our stay on the island, with, amongst other things, children recording their responses and evaluations into attractive, interactive, teacher produced templates.

We are sure this is going to be popping up in many areas of the curriculum.

With the teachers, we used those multimodal writing frames to gather some valuable feedback from the pupils.

Here are just a few snippets:

“Firstly, I have learnt how to correctly use similes and metaphors. Secondly, how to proof-read my work. Thirdly, how to add fantasy and mystery into my future piece of work.
I enjoyed it when we worked in groups to co-operate and what I enjoyed the most was writing what we saw about the picture of the garrison and the part of the game at the very beginning because it was tense.

I wouldn’t change anything I found it perfect the way it was.

My writing has become more exciting and interesting through using more similes. I also use more paragraphs.

I would just like to thank  Mr. Rylands and all the other staff for giving us such a miraculous English lesson. It definitely changed the whole idea of a lesson into an educational adventure. Thank you.

I have learnt to let people share my sentences beginnings and ideas. I have been listening more to my friends to take in good advice.

I wouldn’t change anything in the lessons because, the activities we did were fun. I think they were fun because we worked in groups and improved our work.

My writing has improved dramatekly after these lessons. With a bit of fun I can write a proper mystery story!

 My writing has become more complex by using similes,metaphors and adjectives.

In the two days I think my writing has improved when Mr. Rylands taught us becuse he has showed me a different side of my writing.

Everything, really. From the game to the writing. The day was a complete miracle- especially with Mr. Rylands sharing his ground-breaking ideas! Most of all, improving my writing by adding much more description.

As part of my ambition, I want to become a journalist and these skills will, hopefully, help me in future.

During the past two days, I have seen a completely different side of my writing. It has become much more descriptive and interesting to read.

I have learnt take my turn and listen to other people. Give other people a chance to do what I/we think. Sharing can be exceptionally useful in subjects like this. Tell other people my ideas to maybe get them put down.

It will give me more confidence to write better and won’t stop me.

I have learnt that working together with my mates makes me smarter!!!!!

I enjoyed coming up with the silly ideas for why Mr Rylands broke his arm and talking about Mr. Walker (what different uses he could have) I also enjoyed having Mr Rylands. He was very funny and I think it was a privellige to have him!

I think I now have a more vivid imagination. I also started to use better vocabulary. My favourite word that I started to use is ‘engulf’ which means to cover something.

Now that I’m using better vocabulary, I can use them in all sorts of pieces of writing to make them sound better. And in English, where we have to write fantasy and fiction pieces, I think I can be more imaginative!

I will continue to look up more advanced words and learn what they mean. Hopefully, if I manage to use some in my work, I will surprise some teachers! I also will read more fiction and fantasy books to make my imagination even more vivid!

As I have said, I have learnt some more vocabulary. I have also learnt to pick to work in groups with people I know I can’t be silly with, and that way I can work better. I also learnt not to slack off and just get on with it. Otherwise, the outcome of your work won’t be very good.

I don’t think it’s my place to change these lessons. Mr Rylands made these lessons fun & enjoyable, but at the same time, educational. Any child would enjoy these lessons, and learn a lot from them. I definitely enjoyed them, and I think I learnt a thing or two!

(I think Mr Walker had holes for an Apartment with 30 floors… for worms!)

I enjoyed the three way conversation. I also liked the game because there were so many places to go and different things to do.

I will now think to describe things so people will read on and not get bored.

To talk to my partners and listen more so I don’t miss anything and share my ideas with everyone.

It made my writing more descriptive and interesting. It also helped having Mr Rylands as our teacher because he made everything more exciting.

It will help me concentrate when I am writing because I will have more to think about.

That if you talk with people and share your ideas it will improve your writing, and others’ writing.

With his teaching I can go from nowhere in my writing to now-here.

I have learn’t to listen to other people’s idea’s and take their suggestions into mind. And also that talking is also really important to help your work.

That everyone has a right and time to say what they think and you shouldn’t always have to put your hand up just to say something.

I have learnt that sometimes its ok to just drop in my ideas.But at the same time it has taught me not to shout ideas out.I learnt that many other people have very extraodinary ideas so we can listen.”

A big thank you to all of those involved, at St John’s School, King Richard School, as well as Episkopi and Akrotiri primary schools, for making our visit a sunny soaring success.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (2)

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  1. Mike Chislett says:

    Hi Tim – just to say what a great impact the work that you and Sarah led in our schools in Cyprus has had – far more than I had hoped for and way beyond expectations. It has touched a lot of students and teachers. Thankyou again for all of it. This blog account is a wonderul write up of it as well. I am sure we’ll be working on a ‘Cyprus 3’. All the best – Mike

  2. Cynthia Symon says:

    An enormous thank you to Sarah and Tim for outstanding work in Cyprus. Teachers have already started to borrow your ideas and use the training;they are shining it up until it sparkles! I am so excited about the impact on teaching and learning that I am seeing already. Pupils and teachers will never forget Tim, Sarah and Mr Walker.Everyone wants you back!

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