Carmel RC College Feeder Primary Schools, Darlington

| May 24, 2011 | 7 Comments 

A return visit to Carmel RC College in Darlington to spend time with four of its feeder primary schools. A morning of lessons with two groups of 60 Year 4/5/6 pupils and their teachers. The schools, St Bede’s RC Primary, St Teresa’s RC Primary, Holy Family RC Primary and Cockerton CoE Primary. Then, an afternoon with some of the teachers, followed by a twilight with all the staff from each of the schools.

A huge THANK YOU to Tom Dowling for his reflection on the morning’s lessons.

Great use of humour to hook the children’s attention at the beginning of the session. Animated actions and dramatic voices instantly had the children smiling and focused on every word.  Lots of praise to individual children, using their name and repeating their ideas back to them.

Using talk partners to get the children to share their ideas, encouraging ‘crazy’ ideas as it will lead to fictional writing. Great way of getting more out of children ‘Great! Can you explain this!’ Repeating what the children say in a very animated way was a great way of sharing the children’s ideas.

Using a lot of similes and metaphors while talking to the children, planting the seed for the teaching point later of similes and metaphors.

When a child is talking get the rest of the children to put their hands down so they can concentrate on the main discussion.

Looking at the animation in the background and giving lots of ideas about what may be happening.

‘What makes you think this? Can you explain this? This is gorgeous!’ ‘I want to know about this, tell me some more.’ ‘Splatter me with your ideas’.

I need to know your name! Thank you so much.

“That was not a good piece of writing… that was a fan-bloomin-tastic piece of writing!” Dragging out the praise to really emphasise the compliments. This worked really well and motivated the other children to share their ideas please TR.

Getting the children participate by using funny voices, this could be used in other subjects e.g. numeracy. Get the children to give a short round of applause for excellent ideas.

This worked Praised every contribution from the children, this motivated everyone else join in and try to impress.

Used a cup to pretend he was drinking which showed the children he was listening and not going to interrupt. This worked really well as the children would continue to talk while he was drinking because they knew it was ‘their turn’ to talk. Use this especially when the children are about to stop speaking or coming to the end of a sentence.

Getting the children to ‘speak’ with eyebrows was a fantastic way of engaging all of the children.

They children loved it.

The children laughed throughout the session obviously felt proud of themselves when getting so much praise.

Never stood still, the children’s eyes were constantly following him as he walked from table to table.

Used a fun activity to remember similes and metaphors by saying examples of these in a funny voice with an action, pirate voice, old lady, very posh.

Give the children a sentence starter to describe the setting, encourage the children to use similes and metaphors in their description. Put a comma in the sentence starter to encourage children to use punctuation.

Started the children off writing then after a minute stopped them to give three teaching points.

Three points at the beginning of the writing task.

  1. You can nick my ideas but I want you sparkle it up a bit.
  2. There are no right or wrong answers.
  3. Don’t worry about the spellings, try your best but don’t wait and worry about them, the world wants to know your brilliant ideas so don’t let a spelling mistake stop them hearing it, well can fix those later.

The children reacted really well to the encouragement and a hall full of 70 children fell silent as they all wrote their stories.

The computer animation ran on a loop throughout the writing task which allowed the children to get new ideas.

Without putting hands up, encourage the children to read out their work. Children take it in turns to read out their work. All of the children read out work full of fantastic similes and metaphors to describe the setting shown on the screen.


A child commentated as TR moved throughout the computer landscape. Where should we go? What is this?

Role play and hot seat activity, two of the children took a role of a character from the landscape. Tim starts questions, tell us about your crew mate, what happened to the rest of the islanders? Tell me ‘THE TRUTH’ about your crew mate…  Tell me about that TERRIBLE thing that happened here…

Then get the rest of the children to ask more questions in the ‘hot seat’ activity.

I have learnt so much from the session and am excited about going back and using some of these ideas with my class. The children were so keen to carry on writing and were obviously disappointed when the session ended.

Tom Dowling – GTP trainee (primary) teacher, Carmel College

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (7)

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  1. gill close says:

    A really useful day, so many good ideas. Can’t wait to get back and use PowerPoint.
    Good job i have a student and will be able to use some time to search this site.


  2. St. Bede's RC Primary School says:

    Inspiring day – can’t wait to try things out!

    We’ll take it one step at a time but remember to ‘stand still’ and allow for awkward silences.

  3. Clare Read says:

    A inspiring day that started with the practically and continued. I never thought ‘nice idea but it would never work with my students’ or ‘I will never have the time to do that’. I am very excited about how these ideas will enhance the learning in my own classroom. I valuable day for any teacher, whatever Key Stage they teach. Thank you!

  4. Michael Tiplady says:

    A fantastic day. Lots of wonderful ideas to try out in the classroom. Can’t wait to get back to school and start inspiring. Thanks Tim and Sarah.

  5. Hannah says:

    Thank you for a superb training day full of inspiring and fun ways to use ICT in the classroom.

  6. Emily Millward says:

    Brilliant twilight session.

    Innovative ways to use ICT to enhance creativity in school. I was inspired by Tim and am keen to try out some of the websites with my class.

  7. Tom Dowling says:

    I have learnt so much from this training day and will definitely be using some of these ideas in my teaching practice. I was amazed at the effect that the ICT resources (and how Tim used them) had on the children’s writing and they’re motivation to work. Top day, top bloke.

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