Oakham C of E Primary School, Rutland

| February 2, 2010 | 5 Comments 

Today we had the pleasure of working with the teachers and pupils of Oakham C of E Primary School, Rutland, and visiting colleagues from schools in the area. A day of demonstration lessons across the Key Stages, followed by a Twilight Training Session. A thank you to Joan Gibson, Oakham’s headteacher.
Joan excitedly told us about the plans for the their ‘new school’.

The Little Build is the working title of the exciting new project that will build a brand new facility that brings together Oakham Church of England Primary School, The Parks School, the Rutland Rotaract Family Support Centre and the Ark 2 Nursery on one shared site, due to open in September 2011.

Continuing the focus of our visit to Rutland, the day started with the Y3 classes, in the hall, exploring the landscapes in one of the Myst games. This was followed by the Y2 classes, and then the afternoon with the Y5 and Y6 classes.

A big THANK YOU to Helen Swift, a visiting Year Five teacher from Cottesmore Primary School, who accepted the challenge to put down her observations for us here:

A day in the company of Tim Rylands pulls together all those ideas you have about how to use your classroom technology to allow children to express themselves creatively both verbally and in writing.

Starting with a powerful still image he encourages children to talk about what they see, how they feel and other thoughts it evokes. He demonstrates to them the ebb and flow of good conversation and drawing your listener in, using adult language with them all the time. Actions and jokes help keep the children’s attention and draw the reluctant few in. Activities were in small bursts and moved rapidly on to the next stage. Each age group coped with the pace and produced some imaginative oral and written work.

Tim emphasises regularly throughout each session that the idea is to have a go and he sets high expectations of everybody. The session is punctuated by the seemingly still image changing like you are entering a video game which heightened the expectation and lead to new ideas flowing free and fast.By the end of each session nearly all children had actively participated and many were inspired to write some text from their own or other’s contributions. Those who were not obviously engaged probably went away feeling pleased that they had produced some work and entertained by the magical world created.

A very rewarding day spent with teachers and pupils up for challenges and fun learning! Thank you!

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (5)

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  1. Lesley Webster says:

    I have just sat in a twilight session with Tim after an exhausting day with my wonderful KS1 ASD group. Amazingly he managed to enthuse me to think creatively at 5.00pm which is almost a miracle. Thankyou for your ideas and your wit. I am going to use your ideas about the beach, using sensory mediums alongside the visual stimulation of the Myst backgrounds,the clips looked great and I am sure the children will love it. Hope to see you again in the future.

  2. As I look like the kind of bloke who would comment, I thought I better had!!

    After seeing Tim at Barleythorpe recently I warned the staff what to expect and not to make eye contact just incase you get picked on!! Actually, with all of the visuals used everyone cannot help but make eye contact and if picked out would have an imaginative and rapid response just like the first group of year three children! I was immensely proud of the children in my class for listening and taking part (As i knew they would!). Soem of their writing is superb and this was shown by Joshua in particular. The use of the word ‘ebony’ instead of black being something that we have worked on in class! (Thanks Joshua – Mrs Gibson will pay me this month!) I do use the styles of teaching shown by Tim so it’s great to see that I am doing the right thing! It’s a shame that we still feel duty bound to follow the units etc as set out in the Primary Framework. However, if brave enough we can deviate with activities such as a class visit to the beach (In class). The best writing always come from a visual/drama type activity so thanks Tim for proving that. I think the sales of Myst will go up after the twighlight! i am visiting ebay now to find myself Crazytalk6!!! How cool is that!

  3. Jayne Conner says:

    After an hour and a half with Tim enthusing 50 Year 5 children to write, both myself and the pupils were definitely “in the zone”. The idea of using virtual fantasy settings to stimulate the imagination proves to be a really successful vehicle for encouraging children to write with confidence and enjoyment. It was great to see some currently adopted techniques being used from VCOP training 2 years ago, e.g. “posh voice” and providing interesting openers to get the writing process started. However, where VCOP lessons teach the tricks and techniques for producing more complex sentence structures, using a range of punctuation and WOW vocabulary, the writing process observed today injected the most important aspect of writing of all – writing purposefully, for enjoyment! Recent reports are showing that children’s writing does not always communicate meaning in the most clear way, for example, children are tending to open too many of their sentences with words ending with -ing or -ly, taking away the flow and clarity of meaning intended. Today, the children were writing because they really wanted to; not getting too hung up on how many different punctuation marks or wow words they should be incorporating, rather just writing for pure enjoyment. I don’t even think they realised that they were learning how to develop their writing – they simply did it! Whispers of “This is ace!” and “Wow”, plus the tide of disappointment when we had to return to our classroom in preparation for hometime, said it all! So ladies and jelliebeans, I’m going to thieve some of Tim’s techniques and ideas. Scribblesticks at the ready……

  4. I am not asleep on one of those pictures! Promise!

  5. blog says:

    Wake up at the back there lad!!

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