Valley Road Primary, Oxfordshire ~ Day 2

| October 20, 2015 | 1 Comment 

Valley Road Primary

Valley Road PrimaryBack, for a day of lessons, at Valley Road Primary School, with the Y2 pupils and the Y5/6 pupils.

It is always a joy to watch “growded-ups” and children, take off and fly, with speaking and listening, writing, exploring, creating and more. Joined again by colleagues from schools from The Henley Partnership: Shiplake CE Primary, Trinity CE Primary, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary, Stephen Freeman Primary and Badgemore Primary.

“Verbal jazz”, the ability to make things up on the spur of the moment, is a skill that empowers every kind of person, in so many walks of life.


We need to encourage creating sentences, and ideas, as they go. Trying and flying. … … …

One of the techniques we use is to get children, or adults, to start talking when they get asked a question. For example, “Aha! A good question, my child…” said one of the characters today. He was young, but still got so much in to the role that we believed he was a grizzly, old retainer.

Valley Road Primary

levitating convincinglyThat “starting to talk”, rather than nervously umm-ing and ahh-ing whilst you wait for the words to come, means that you break your own nervous silence.

The words you want, and didn’t even know you had within you, appear to flop in to place behind those opening phrases.

“Start and the rest will follow”, seems to give confidence to even the most reluctant speakers.
The same principal also feeds ideas for even the most reluctant writers. Start, however stumbling you may feel, and you might find you are running with words in a short space of time.

(How about the lad, to the left, “hovering confidently”!)

Thanks again to Head Teacher Tim Coulson for the invitation to spend time with his delightful children and colleagues.

Thank you to the teachers for sharing their thoughts, both verbally and here for the blog:

Rosie Wilkinson from Badgemore Primary:

During the two day training with Tim and Sarah I have been excited, amazed and quite frankly, blown away by all of the new and interesting ways of including technology into the classroom. As a self diagnosed technophobe the thought of putting this into practice unnerved me, but,  I got home after day 1 and immediately downloaded some of the apps that Tim and Sarah had introduced to us and started working out how to use them and deciding on different lesson ideas and teaching techniques.
Day 2 was all about observing and joining in with Tim’s teaching and it was fantastic. I felt not only like I was learning a huge amount but I could see how much the children were gaining from the teaching and it was hugely beneficial to see how I could implement different aspects of technology and different techniques into my teaching.

Carolyne Harrison from  Stephen Freeman Primary:

I have had an incredibly inspirational and usable experience learning and applying some amazing tech and ideas. All stuff that is instantly applicable in the classroom. From using a cup to drink out of to give a child time to extend and develop their ideas to tech that allows the class mascot to speak to them. The techniques used to give the children a chance to think and process and by the time you want them to write they are chomping at the bit, ALL of them! Full immersion into a world where you can wonder what’s up there, where does that go, how long has it been there and how can we get there and acting out our verbs and adverbs with purpose. There are so many ideas it would be impossible to go through them all but I am planning to try all of them over the next millennium!

Tim Hoskins from Badgemore Primary:

I don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account and I would rather go for a walk than play a computer game. However, working with Tim and Sarah has been inspirational. I have been exposed to so many awesome computing ideas that are simple to use (minimal planning time) incredibly child-friendly (great for behavior management) and free (no need to fill in any expenses form.)
This is a must experience for any teachers who intend to carry on teaching in the future. Unfortunately, IT stuff is changing faster than the primary school curriculum.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (1)

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  1. Rachel Herbert says:

    This was a fast paced and fun two days of training. The first day was Jam packed with ideas that were practical yet inspirational for the children, the second was superb to see some of these ideas in use with the children. As a class teacher at Valley Road, and therefore knowing the children fairly well, I could see just what an affect it was having on them. All the children were fully engaged but specific children were doing more and pushing themselves harder than I’ve ever seen them before – and without even realising they were doing it! Now I just need some time to rationalise the billions of ideas into plans to use in the future – oh where to start ;0)

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