ICT to Inspire Conference Day 2: Ynysowen Primary

| May 18, 2012 | 4 Comments 

Following yesterday’s training at the ESIS Conference Centre, Ty Dysgu, Cefn Coed, near Cardiff, we are today at Ynysowen Community Primary School, Aberfan.

First lesson in the hall, (the same hall the Queen and Prince Philip were sat in just two weeks ago!), with more that 60 Year 3 and Year 4 pupils with 30 plus visiting teachers, for an exlporation of the one of the landscapes in Myst IV:Revelation, a place that could be described as ‘a village clinging to the side of a mountain’.

Next, two classes of  Year 1 and Year 2 pupils, and their teachers and the visiting teachers, explored a landscape from Myst III: Exile, journey along a path and up a structure to discover a …..

The afternoon we were joined by the rest of Key Stage 2 and visitors for further exploration of Myst VI, this time to a land that could be ‘on the edge of time itself’.

Lovely to get some observation, feedback and thoughts from folk here over the last couple of days:

Excellent use of the coffee cup, really does help the pupils to explore their thoughts and talk more. Loved the way pupils had the confidence to speak and showcase their work without beig asked. Seeing year 3 and 4 reading their work out aloud listening patiently to the person reading and following in with their input afterwards was excellent. Kirsty Davies

After the course yesterday, we couldn’t switch off. We were just dying to get home and try everything out – practicing on our own children. So many valuable things that would work from Nursery right through to Year 6 and beyond. Definitely will think about slowing things down a bit during “talking time” and “standing still” a bit more. Some of the simpler ideas like the “sorting hat” and the “timer” I’ll use daily in my Reception class, so I’ll definitely be following the blog. Today, at the school, one of the things I will take with me is how proud the children were of their writing. Rachel English

The wow moment in observing the lessons for us was when the year 3s and 4s were asked to read out their work by just ‘jumping in’ and reading out all or some of their work whenever they felt like it for us to hear. The children were chomping at the bit to have the opportunity to read their work to their peers. The idea of ‘silence’ and body language to encourage extended speaking and writing from the children was incredibly effective, and the children immediately took this forward into their own work. The role playing from the children demonstrated how much they were involved in the scenario, and how much better they are at using their imaginations than we are! The websites shared with us were brilliant and wide ranging. We loved the way a simple snazzy idea was used to fit neatly into the curriculum. A few of the ideas (such as the PowerPoint shows) were great, but are perhaps a little inaccessible for some staff that are less IT savvy. But we’ll give it a go! Jennie, Melissa and Mandy.

I have spent this morning watching Tim teaching two very different classes and using somewhat similar strategies that worked well for both age groups. What I will take from this day and use within my own tracking will be a few of the strategies that Tim used such as; reading out a child’s worn pretending it is mine, after modelling an idea such as ” the air smells…” follow up with it doesn’t really but I’m not fraud to say it! The sitting ovation and the way in which the children were given ownership of reading put their work at the end and being brave to do so was excellent. The quality of writing that came out of the first lesson was remarkable and I think that should be celebrated! Thank you for a fantastic 2 days which I think all of us have benefitted from and so will the children that are in our classes in the future when we implement your ideas into our own teaching practise! Elise Evans Heolycelyn Primary

There are many ideas from the 2 days to be taken back to school. Some of the most inspiring:-many,many, many websites to encourage creativity, language, talk and writing;giving pupils simple gestures and using facial expressions to demonstrate listening;letting pupils read their own work out in their own time, without putting their hands up to take turns. So many ideas to take forward. Tracey

We have valued the opportunity to learn so many fantastic strategies over the course of the two days. We have admired the energy that is invaluable to engaging the children in language. The boys were engaged at every point, especially when the children were given the opportunity to act out the verb/abverb. I will also be using acting and voice to embed specific vocabulary, for example, simile. The children with hearing problems lost interest often but we believe this was due to the class size. We all will trying to use the empty mug strategy to encourage the children to extend their answers. Something that we will find difficult is staying still but the benefits of doing so are obvious. Alison Watters, Ysgol Cynwyd Sant, Hayley Davies, High Street Barry, Andrea Rees, Brecon Road Infants and Sarah Lucas, Tendu Primary.

After yesterday we found it so useful and inspiring! When we went home we tried different websites. The websites we liked we’re Spicy Nodes! I do dog tricks! Visuword, Tag Galaxy, pyskopaint etc? Yesterday went so quickly and we were all focused and interested in the activities. There were a wide range of activities for all age ranges.

Today one child had told another child he couldn’t write. When the children went back after their discussions the boy who said he couldn’t write was able to write about the scene. He felt so proud of his achievements.

We thought the debate was very good and every child opinions were valued. We enjoyed how keen and excited the children were when they were reading their writing out to the whole class.

Mrs Vicky Nicholls, Mrs Sue Davies, Mrs Rachel English, Mr Mike Hurford – Coety Primary

Making pupils believe that they are actually in the scene and not watching the scene was very effective in engaging the pupils in their writing. A wealth of resources shown that can be used in the classroom to capture the imagination of the children. Leanne Hunt, Jo Rivers from St Gabriel and Raphael RC Primary

Myst – no longer a mystery! It has been great to see the children actually interact with the resources – something which is rarely offered on courses.
Children were all fully engaged with the tasks the game, and were listening carefully to each other’s comments and responses.
Pupils were given plenty of time to think, an important skill that is sometimes overlooked because of time constraints.
The talk produced during the sessions was high level and influenced the pupils’ writing. Sharon Smith and AnnaDavies from Abercynon Community Primary

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (4)

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  1. Mike Hurford says:

    Thank you for an amazing couple of days. You bring teaching to life. I, along with my colleagues and the children were hanging on your every word. This is what teaching is all about and it has inspired me immensely. I cant wait for Monday.

  2. Tim says:

    Thanks Mike
    What thoughtful words
    We are really glad you found the days useful
    let us know how you get on with whatever you try
    All the best for now and keep in touch

  3. Simone Roden says:

    Hi Tim

    May I just thank you for an absolutely wonderful day last Friday. It was one that the children (and staff) of Ynysowen will remember for a very long time.
    Earlier today we had a staff meeting and the topic which dominated the conversation was your INSET. Staff were extremely complimentary and enthused with your ideas and delivery. The shared view was that the children thoroughly enjoyed their lesson and were eager to continue it when back in class.
    The timing of the event could not have been better for us either, as writing across the curriculum with a particular focus on boys is a key feature in our SDP this year. Next summer we are due to be inspected and therefore I have no doubt that many of your ideas will be ‘borrowed’!
    Once again, many thanks from myself, the staff and the children. You are a lesson to us all!!

    Kindest regards,
    Simone
    P.S I have a job advertised on e-teach – please apply!!!!

  4. Tim says:

    Thank you Simone
    You, as head teacher, have a right to be very proud of your children, and of your colleagues.
    We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to your “right royal school”.
    We do hope that you find things useful as carry on forward
    Keep in touch and let us know how things go for you
    Tim
    p.s. Good luck with appointing your new member of staff – we would love to but are very lucky people to do what we do at the moment 😀

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