Lark Partners, Suffolk ~ Day 2

| April 16, 2013 | 8 Comments 

A joyous second day with all the staff and children, from West Row Primary. We were also joined by the colleagues from neighbouring schools, and, following yesterday’s full on digital day, we had the opportunity to ‘push’ that to the background and go all analog.

When we say “analog”, we were actually using digital virtual worlds, but they are so immersive they act as a stimulus for some inventive analog/analogue word play.

A delightful morning with KS2 pupils and staff, followed by an equally delightful afternoon with some Foundation Stage pupils, the KS1 pupils and a few Y3 pupils.

Thank you to Stacey Kendall, Deputy Headteacher of West Row Primary, for recording some of her reflections here:

The children were thoroughly engaged from the start, sharing ideas with their peers and with little encouragement, Tim. They were totally immersed in the virtual world, using metaphors and similes to describe the setting. Before long even the most reluctant writers were chomping at the bit to have a go at getting it down on paper. I would never have believed that the children would have to be asked to stop writing in order to move on to the next activity!

The activities were language rich and modelled expertly and the children were so eager to share their work. Role – play techniques were used to further develop the ‘talk for writing’ theme, higher-order questions were asked and time was given to the children to ‘just’ develop their ideas.

The two days of training were delivered with humour and enthusiasm. The passion for engaging children with the writing process was inspiring. The staff have not stopped talking about what they have seen.

Many ideas will be taken from these two days and much will be developed as a result. Thank you.

It was a pleasure to spend time with children who are developing their skills when contributing  ideas through a ‘hands-free’ policy across their school. So valuable.

Stacey went on to explain, further, their ‘No hands up’ approach:

‘The children at West Row school have been practising ‘No hands up’ since September 2012. We found that expecting children to put their hands up to share their ideas automatically stopped half of the class trying or bothering as it was often the ‘Knowledge monkeys’ that were chosen to answer. We found it stifled conversation, stopped children building on each others ideas and limited the types of questions teachers asked.  This idea was further developed through discussions with the children and staff and a list of ‘Ways to have your say’ was drafted. This has helped us on our way to eliminate passive learners and engage every child in every lesson!

Thanks again to Geraldine Ciantar, Headteacher of West Row Primary, for her skillful coordination of these two days, (and her delicious fat free cooking!).

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (8)

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  1. Nicola Davies says:

    Thank you to Tim and Sarah for a truly inspiring 2 days for myself and the children. I have so much I want to work through and try and I can’t wait to get started!

  2. Christa Page says:

    Thank you for another great day. Great to see ideas in practise. The children got so much out of it. A truly inspiring day.

  3. Tim says:

    That’s great to hear – and thank you for taking the time to let us know too
    Enjoy what you try first and keep in touch if you need help with anything
    Well done – Go For It!

  4. Tim says:

    Thank you Christa
    The children did SO well didn’t they?
    We really enjoyed our visit. Thank you again

  5. Simon Goddard says:

    Thank you Tim and Sarah for a truly enjoyable day. You have given me so much that I am really looking forward to putting some of your wonderful ideas into practise.

  6. Sarah says:

    Thank you, Simon. Please keep in touch and let us know how you get on. All the best.
    Tim and Sarah

  7. Mark A says:

    What a great two days! I can’t wait to use so many tools from these sessions for myself.

  8. Sarah says:

    That is great to hear! Thank you, Mark. All the best.

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