Whole Island Training, Amherst Primary, Guernsey ~ Day 1

| April 8, 2013 | 14 Comments 

An honour, to be invited to the island of Guernsey, and Amherst Primary School, to deliver a two day session for the States of Guernsey Education Department. We were joined by teachers from across the island, and beyond, for a day looking at how technology might be harnessed to motivate, and inspire, children of all ages, and abilities. We will return, tomorrow, to work alongside children from the school, joined by colleagues from across Guernsey.

We were joined by colleagues from Amherst Primary School, St Peter Port, St Mary & St Michael Catholic Primary School, St Sampson’s,  Vauvert Primary School, St Peter Port, Le Rondin School & Centre, Forest; St Sampson’s Infant School, St Sampson’s, La Mare de Carteret Primary School, Castel and La Mare de Carteret Secondary.

Today, the department is holding an INSET day, for all teachers on the Island, choosing between a few different training opportunities. As well as our day on ICT To Inspire (with a focus on developing boys writing), there were sessions on Science Investigators (Developing science enquiry in the primary classroom), Cooperative Learning in the Classroom (The Kagan Approach), Mindset (Success in (and out of) the classroom), Moving On (ensuring good progression from KS2 Mathematics & Literacy), Supporting Children’s Literacy, and one on Developing Heads of Department and Middle Level Leaders.

A huge thank you to Liz Falla, Professional Development Manager; Ali Loveridge, Travel Consultant and Simon Barrett, Education Officer (Learning Through ICT) The States of Guernsey Education Department, for organising this trip. Thanks too to Victor Lane, IT advisory teacher for Guernsey, for supporting our technical needs.

Amherst was first opened in 1901 as separate Boys, Girls and Infants Schools.  In 1940 it was closed and occupied by German forces, reopening again in 1945 as a mixed Junior School and a separate Infant School. In September 2003 the Infant and Junior Schools amalgamated to become Amherst Primary School.

The School Crest was designed in 1989.  It represents the keys of St Peter and an anchor for the port. Their motto is “Every child, every chance, every day”.

The Guernsey Education Department also has a motto, of “Today’s Learners; Tomorrow’s World”

Their vision is to create an education system for the Bailiwick of Guernsey “which will meet the challenges and demands of the future and provide the island’s greatest asset, the people, with the knowledge, skills and tools to face a complex and challenging future with enthusiasm and confidence”.

The Department is responsible for approximately 9,000 pupils in two infant, one junior and 11 primary schools; an all age school in Alderney, three high schools, the Grammar School & Sixth Form Centre and the College of Further Education. The Department operates two special needs schools, a Centre for pupils with Social, Emotional and Behavioural difficulties and grant aids three Colleges.

Motivating and inspiring even the most reluctant learners, is a challenge that the educators here tackle head on, in inventive, and imaginative ways. Our aim was to share some inspiring, accessible tools and ideas, for raising the level of writing, speaking and listening, and creativity in children of all ages.

As well as showing a huge, and accessible, range of ways to engage, and motivate students of all ages, and abilities, we reinforced how these elements are not only essential for quality learning experiences to take place, but how they can also have a massive impact on standards, achievement… and enjoyment!

Technology is not the only answer… but, it does open up some remarkable opportunities, to extend teaching and learning styles. We investigated styles of teaching, where quality learning is the focus rather than the latest gadget; ‘What is said, rather than what is used to say it’.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (14)

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  1. What a fantastic day! INSET training can usually start off well and then drag onto boredom for all…yawn.. NOT TODAY!! Maybe it’s because I have an interest in this subject matter but even so, I can’t imagine that engaging me for so long. What inspired me for 6 short hours today was the delivery and content of this course, making us want to hear more and more. The examples given seemed so easy to do and yet could be so effective. I can’t wait to get back into my classroom and try things out. I just wish I had a tenth of the charisma of Mr Rylands! Thank you Tim & Sarah – hope you come back to Guernsey!!!

  2. Tim says:

    Thank YOU Jerry
    Six hours COULD feel like a long time, couldn’t it
    Your smiling interaction, along with the lovely laughter of the whole group today, made for a joyous event
    We are so glad that you found it useful too
    We would LOVE to come back to Guernsey and do the next steps “There’s more!”
    Thanks again
    Please keep in touch and let us know what you try first
    Tim and Sarah

  3. Tracey Moore says:

    What an amazing day! My only complaint was that I did not want it to end.
    So many inspirational ideas that I know will have such an impact. Truly a privilege to be there. Thank you Tim and Sarah.

  4. Pete Curtis says:

    Fantastic course today, Tim. Thoroughly enjoyable and packed full of resources and ideas! They will be straight in to use in my classroom.
    I look forward to staying updated via Twitter!



  5. Mary Carey says:

    Thank you so much Tim and Sarah for a very inspiring day, full of creativity,useful resources to raise interest and achievement in our classes.
    Most of all, thank you for recognising and promoting the fact that learning should be fun and enjoyable, active and interactive.

    Refreshing,relevant,divergent and current. We need more of this in our teaching and learning.

  6. Tim says:

    Thank you Tracey
    AS head of the school, you have a right to be very proud of your school, and colleagues
    It was fun to spend a day with all of the folk there – lot of laughter and learning
    Thank you

  7. Tim says:

    Thank you SO much Mary
    What a thoughtful comment – so glad you found things useful
    Please, keep in touch and let us know what you try, and how things go

  8. Tim says:

    Thank you Pete
    We really look forward to finding out about the things you experiment with, and how you get on
    Have fun too
    Looking forward to our Twit chats

  9. Vicky Collenette says:

    You asked for feedback-so here goes!
    I woke up this morning and promptly closed my eyes again as I realised it was an Inset day. You can guess at my enthusiasm!!
    Well that all changed at precisely 9.01am as I sat up, took note of the amazing PowerPoint (finally someone who uses it for its intended purpose *yeah*) and listened to an interesting, vibrant, useful and inspirational day.
    Thank you Tim & Sarah! Not only inspiring but you’ve shown me so much that I will actually use in the classroom from improving my PowerPoint so that we can write in them in the show mode *mexican wave* to helping with simple things e.g. just as breaking the German codes during WWII showed humans are not random but you’ve shown me software that is.
    Thanks doesn’t seem enough. Xx

  10. Sam says:

    Thank you so much for an inspiring day full of fantastic ideas and resources to use in the classroom. I am sure the children will be as excited by them as the teachers were on the course today!


  11. Tim says:

    And, …what a special piece of feedback it is too. Thank you Vicky
    It seems that both aspects of the use of PowerPoint (the different use of standard, and the really different use of the hidden mysterious treasures within) were the two most noticeable aspects for you
    We’d love to know how you get on with either, and to find out what else you try next
    Thank you so much – Keep in touch and let us know what you discover
    Tim and Sarah

  12. Tim says:

    Nice one Sam
    Please keep in touch and let us know of the learning that springs from that fun
    We’d love to hear about what you explore and find
    Keep in touch
    Tim and Sarah

  13. Karen Lane says:

    Thank you Tim and Sarah for the most inspiring and useful inset I have attended for such a long time. Your ability to keep your ‘audience’ engaged throughout the whole day has demonstrated the impact your approach can have on the learning environment of a classroom. Have so many ideas of where I can utilise these in my own classroom and throughout the school in History. Have already tried using Wordle with my class. They were all keen to have a wordpicture made from their Big Write on Friday. It is the most powerful uplevelling tool I have ever seen! Thanks again

    Karen LMDCP

  14. Tim says:

    Hey! Thank you Karen
    We are so glad you found some useful things
    Thank you for your very thoughtful feedback
    Maybe, when you have had some fun with Wordle, you might try Tagxedo, for some next steps
    Keep in touch and let us know how you get on
    Cheers – Tim and Sarah

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