Archive for March 23rd, 2012

A (warm) whisper or a warning from the Wiltshire woods

| March 23, 2012 | 2 Comments 

Dear Mr. Tim Rylands,

I suspect that, when you visited Wilton and Barford Primary school in the company of an extremely holey walking stick of odd appearance, you were not entirely honest about the stick’s provenance. From a very reliable source who must remain anonymous, I hear that a certain Giant Grimface in a far distant mountainous region had his magic flute, of all things, removed from his castle following his rather vicious beating administered with the flute to a lazy servant, and somehow this much prized possession was secreted under the scarlet cloak of a creature of human countenance who slipped away under cover of darkness, never again to be seen in the Darklands. Later on, the trailing stems of a sturdy bean plant were discovered protruding from a dark hole leading down into the area known as Planet Earth.

As an intrepid reporter, I took it upon myself to follow this trail with great caution down to Planet Earth, to a corner of an area named Wiltshire previously known as part of the realm of Wessex in a rather delightful green island whose name was not known to me. The twisted stems led me to an establishment containing many young earthlings under tuition. Disguised as an earthbound creature myself, I discovered a large room of these earthlings listening attentively to an earthman who was displaying what I recognised immediately as the missing flute in front of a large picture of our blessed Darklands, claiming that the flute was (horrors) a walking stick.  By observation and acute listening, I discovered that the earthman was named Mr, Rylands. Not wishing to be the cause of alarm among the young earthlings, I slipped away & retraced my steps.

What is not generally understood among the constellations is that Darklands has a good connection to the cyber clouds in which resides the wonder Google. Hence I am able to communicate my intense wish that you return the precious flute to its rightful owner.   Giant Grimface is not always of good temper I must admit, but I must report that he is far more agreeable when he has his magic flute to play so that he can watch the trees dancing to his tunes and the birds flying a beautiful aerial ballet. Since you require a walking stick, I have attached a most serviceable and attractive one to a length of rope you will find dangling in a corner of the earthling school gardens, and I humbly beg you to tie our beloved flute to that same rope so that I can return it to its master. From this act, I shall obtain an exalted position at the office of the Darklands Gazette and there will be much rejoicing in our land.

Yours in gratitude and hopeful expectation,

Paula of the Red Hair, (Senior Roving Correspondent, Darklands Gazette)

(Thank you to Paula Hargreaves, also a governor at Wilton and Barford Primary school, for joining the mythological spirit of our visit).
Mr Walker is on his way, (Yes. Really!) though he may have lost his song, … ready to be raised for some rightful rest.

More wandering in the world of words in Wiltshire

| March 23, 2012 | 0 Comments 

Thank you to Richard Boase, Year 6 Teacher, at Manor Fields Primary for sharing some of the successes he has had using computers games in his class

The first lesson began, we all sat together and I launched the game. Having watched the introduction, the children were hooked. I explained how we’d “travel” and we began, sitting next to Yeesha.

But, I “refused to move” before I got a great sentences from them! And I got many, from everyone in the room!

“I sit in the golden skeleton gondola, wondering where I’m going.” Wrote one Year 6 Girl. We then began our ride!

First off we just watched and children described what they could see. Second run and we just listened with the screen off. Finally both together. Before each run the children came up with amazing sentences! Continue Reading

Elastoplast Stories

| March 23, 2012 | 0 Comments 

Enthusiasm can create leaks! Children often put their hands up with an excitedly loud wooshing of breath. I often, jokingly, ask their teachers if they have any sticky tape or plaster to patch up under their arm to stop the air escaping, otherwise, as they are so enthusiastic, they might be flat by the end of the lesson.

picture-3This nudges me to remember the Elastoplast Stories website.

Elastoplast, the sticking-plaster manufacturer, has designed a fun website for kids. The idea behind the interactive micro-site is that every injury tells a story. Pupils can let their imaginations run wild, by adding bears, crocodiles, dinosaurs and little snippets of text to create fantastic animated stories.

The site is easy to use with a simple click and drag of choice of background, creatures, people and of course plasters on to each of story panel. You can even personalise your panel with the editing tools.

See a delightful example called ‘The Escaped Giraffe‘ (he’s made of plasters of course) for inspiration.

West Salisbury Cluster INSET II – Manor Fields Primary

| March 23, 2012 | 3 Comments 

Today we wallowed (no… we’re not going to go all alliterative again!) in a wide range of wonderful stuff, (OK, only a little bit alliterative) at Manor Fields Primary joined by other schools in the cluster, including Wilton and Barford Primary School, Dinton Primary, Great Wishford Primary, Broadchalke Primary, Pembroke Park Primary, Woodlands Primary and Bemerton St John Primary.

Following yesterday’s lessons, we explored an increasingly speedy whizz through many analogue and digital gems. Folk were up for the challenges, and stuck with us on some quite technical wizardry, and a range of free, accessible tools that can be powerful in many contexts, in the classroom and beyond. Too many to mention in fact. Thanks one and all, for your laughter as well. Continue Reading