Buile Hill High School, Salford

| April 30, 2009 | 0 Comments 

salford-001Day Two of our visit to Salford LA working with Secondary Schools. Today, delivering lessons to Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 3 pupils at Buile Hill High School.

Guest Blogger, Anthony Benedict, Assistant Head, kindly recorded his reflections and experiences following the day training last year, and today’s demo lessons.

Having been thoroughly inspired by the initial training, I was keen to try Tim’s ideas as soon as possible.  I decided to see how a group of very reluctant Year 8 writers would respond.  I used the opening shot from Myst 3 and was amazed to find that I didn’t even have to move the screen to grip the students.  At the end of the lesson, when we did look ‘behind us’, they nearly fell off their chairs.    

 More impressive though, was the quality and quantity of their writing.  Students, who usually struggled to complete a paragraph or remain focused for more than ten minutes, completed a page or two in their exercise books and happily wrote for the full hour.  Ideas were buzzing around the room, discussion was original and thoughtful.

When the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance to have Tim come and work with the students at my school.  He has just completed the morning session with approximately forty year 10 students of varied ability. 

The opening quarter of an hour was a little traumatic as the students were sluggish and reluctant to join in.  Tim seemlessly changed tact and had them eating out of his hand in no time at all.  To see so many students on task, discussing writing and imaginative ideas and genuinely enjoying learning was a real treat.

Teachers from around the authority were invited to share the experience.  I think that having time after the lesson to share ideas for how these techniques could be developed was also extremely valuable.  The staff buzzed just as the students had earlier.

Thank you for sharing a superb learning experience.


ZoomIt is a screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. ZoomIt runs unobtrusively in the tray and activates with customizable hotkeys to zoom in on an area of the screen, move around while zoomed, and draw on the zoomed image.

We use ZoomIt on training days to show closeups of toolbars when demonstrating applications and how to use them.

You can download ZoomIt HERE

Using ZoomIt

The first time you run ZoomIt it presents a configuration dialog that describes ZoomIt’s behavior, let’s you specify alternate hotkeys for zooming and for entering drawing mode without zooming, and customize the drawing pen color and size. I use the draw-without-zoom option to annotate the screen at its native resolution, for example. ZoomIt also includes a break timer feature that remains active even when you tab away from the timer window and allows you to return to the timer window by clicking on the ZoomIt tray icon.

…. and a little while later:

Hi Tim
It’s Anthony from Buile – long time no speak – i hope you are well.
Just wanted to let you know, it was creative writing time with year 10 (again).  I have a C/D bordeline group (as usual) who have no confidence in writing.  We started creative writing today and i went back to Myst III.
Strangely this is a girl heavy group and it took me a while to load onto the pc in the classroom.  One girl said “Sir, i’m getting really bored now!!”
By the end of the lesson (as always with myst and your ideas) they were captivated.  Even the students who hadn’t started myst (as they wanted to write on their own) were joining in.  I think the really interesting thing was that the girls really took to it.
One girl said she had never managed to write creatively in her whole time at the school.  The one who said she was getting ‘bored’ now, said, i can’t wait until tomorrow’s lesson.  they all produced some quality writng – which i will share once complete- and they really enjoyed it.  You could feel the ‘learning’ and the creativity.
So thank you once again
I just thought I’d share …

Anthony Benedict
Assistant Headteacher
Buile Hill Visual Arts College

Category: 1) Events and Training days

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