Highbury Primary and Nursery School, Portsmouth ~ Day 1

| September 12, 2013 | 0 Comments 

The first of two days working alongside the staff, and pupils, at Highbury Primary and Nursery School, in Portsmouth.

Today, a morning of lessons with 60+ KS 2 pupils and an afternoon session with 60+ KS1 children.

At Highbury, they plan for children’s learning according to their attainment not age and staff endeavour to ensure that the activities are carefully crafted to challenge every child.


Emphasis is given to speaking and listening, reading and writing as well as key number skills through a rich curriculum. Creativity is promoted throughout the school day, with teachers planning motivation starting points at the beginning of themes, at the beginning of weeks and within lessons themselves.

Each of these two days will have a different focus. We are exploring the opportunities of both digital, and analog, ways of extending those ways of bringing learning even more alive.

Tomorrow, the amount of technology we will encounter might leave us crackling. Today it disappeared in to the background: an immersive virtual world as stimulus, but picking up our “scribbly sticks” as the medium to record our experiences.

When we write in digits, we expect to be able to change things, to adapt and revise. This can be empowering and energising. It can also mean we aren’t as focused on the best words first time. We don’t craft as much in the initial draft, as we do when we are writing in long hand. Neither is better than the other. They are just different.

There are many other ways of recording our output. Recording audio and transferring that in to written text (or not) can be a release for those who find recording ideas in text difficult.

Typing can, strangely, slow things down for some. So too can a fear of picking up a pencil and making marks.

We discussed editing marks today and the school has an approach to this in place. Introducing these, early in children’s writing, encourages experimentation, because it is OK to make mistakes, and changes. Let’s make better mistakes tomorrow. The school USE such marks. They also encourage confidence in “making mistakes”. It IS OK to make mistakes, to learn from them, build upon them and move on.

Well done, all, for the superb confidence to “go for it” today. Seventy folk at a time, gathered together, introduces challenges. They flew through those challenges and came up with some inventive, creative and imaginative ideas.

One big thing that makes a difference is the talk around the writing, whether that writing is computerised, or pencil.

A big Thank You to Headteacher, Sarah Sadler, for organising our pair of days at Highbury. A plethora of digital delights tomorrow…

Category: 1) Events and Training days

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