Author Archive: Sarah
If you would like to make your own 3D, rotatable, book with your own images and texts, try this website.
Titled “Motivate and Inspire in Education” we are delighted to be presenting at The Gloucestershire Association of Primary Head teachers (GAPH) 2013 Annual Head and Deputy Head Teachers’ Conference at Cheltenham Racecourse, a prestigious venue with excellent facilities.
As well as our keynote, David Mitchell, practitioner, presenter, and dear friend, who showcased the power of audience, with real examples, of how linking writing, to an authentic global audience, changed the lives of his learners, and the impact this had on standards and the global blogging phenomenon – QuadBlogging.
With over 250,000 pupils involved since 2011 from 40+ countries QuadBlogging has given a global audience to classes across the world.Great stuff.
We were joined by Ofsted Inspector, David King, who shared his experiences in leading schools out of challenges.
The day was ended, in style, by Roger Black MBE who, having respresented Great Britain at the highest level in the world of athletics, motivates and entertains audiences throughout the country.
A theme of sustaining success, flowed through the day, and, appropriately, Roger picked up that baton, and ran with it!
Roger’s talk was an entertaining, and motivating, race through some inspiring stories from the world of athletics, and his personal journey. One key theme was that having talent, and gifts, is only one element in success. Applying those skills, effectively, is the key. Breaking his foot showed him that talent and hard work were never going to be enough. Behaviours and attitudes, as they are about to put a metal screw in your foot, are where learning to perform, come back, achieve, and sustain, your best are formed. Courage in the face of adversity, in athletics, and education. Champions are not reactive. They are proactive.
“The essence lies not in the victory but in the struggle”.
All Head teachers & Deputy Head teachers from the 230 Primary Schools, Special Schools and Academies in Gloucestershire helped make this a very exciting & informative event, & what fun we had! Thanks all.
An honour to do “top and tail” keynotes, at the Dorset ICT Conference 2013, a full-on event, with the joyous title of “Pure Imagination” which was held, appropriately, at Merley House, an enchanting Georgian Manor House, overlooking the town of Wimborne Minster in Dorset.
The conference had some imaginative, & interesting aims:
- Develop creative and engaging teaching strategies for exploiting the power of ICT to engage and deepen learning
- Extend knowledge and confidence through sharing ways in which innovative practice can enhance all areas of the curriculum
- Learn about a range of tools and resources that colleagues can use in their practice the next day
Education can sometimes be a little slow in its uptake of new technologies.
Whatever format, whatever degree of complexity, there has been a slight history of initial reluctance, before, eventually, some have involved “this new stuff” in their classroom environments. Whether it is a stick and sand, wax tablets, scrolls, books, slides, film, video, computers, PowerPoint, YouTube films, and beyond, …they have all been integrated in to teaching sessions, in some way though.
All the way through, however, these new tools have often been used to modify the way a teacher presents facts, and information, to their pupils.
They have had more impact on TEACHING, than on LEARNING.
In many educational settings, the relationships, and interactions, stay unchanged: A teacher, as “Sage on the Stage”, imparting their wisdom, information, and knowledge, to an unsuspecting audience sat in front of them.
Are we training our children how to come to school, sit, bored, for a few hours, and get away with it without being spotted?
In the same way, challenges (or, sadly, what we more often call “Tasks”), the independent elements of a lesson, can remain, rooted to the spot, for a long time: children still wading through printed text books, step-by-step, and completing units set by teachers, in, and out of, the classroom?
How much ICT has impacted upon, and benefited this part of the education process, is still debatable.
Is there a chance that ICT can still be thought of as “When students go to the computers”, or “When they get to do some typing”.
Students might take notes in an electronic fashion. They might study, and research, through the internet, then use a word processor to write up that research. They may, even, produce a PowerPoint slideshow, and potentially email it to a teacher, before it is shown to a class.
On a basic level, very little has changed.
Today, we explored some of the potential for imaginative, inventive and INNOVATIVE, “creative” use of technology, to bring our learning environments alive.
As well as our input, there was a video link up with Stephen Hepple, sessions on KS3/4 Programming, Learning in the Cloud, j2e, mobile Devices, E-Safety, 3D Modelling, SWGfL and even one called “20+ resources that cost less than a Bobby Moore”!
A wonderful second day, at Belvoirdale Primary School, Scotland’s Road, Coalville, Leicestershire
Today, we went all analog. After a full on day, yesterday, introducing ourselves to a vast plethora of digital delights, we reverted back to our “scribbly stick, put pen to paper, and concentrated on the art of bending, blending, extending and attending to the magical power of words.
To take off, and fly, with language, soaring, exploring, and roaring in to territories unknown, takes confidence, and courage. The Belvoirdale children went for it, in impressive style. Supporting that investigation, of uncharted ways, is our role as educators; helping children to know what to do when they don’t know what to do.
With the Key Stage Two group, stretching vocabulary, and sentence structure, produced some superb sonnets, and descriptive narrative that flew.
Despite using a vast, virtual, world as a stimulus, “this is old style teaching”. As Terry Pratchett once said:
“Let grammar, punctuation, and spelling into your life!
Even the most energetic and wonderful mess has to be turned into sentences.”
If we ask children to “give me three sentences with” (an adverb, let’s say) they can sometimes stuggle to come up with three sentences, three settings, three characters (or six)… “The Archbishop spoke forcibly to the curate”.
Using techniques, similar to those of today, dripping in subliminal examples; teacher modelling, and showing what “enjoying writing” looks like; demonstrating that it is OK to make “mistakes”, refine and revise and move forward; to “nick ideas off each other, polish it up, sparkle it up” is great, sharing and caring for what is generated; children can find themselves exceeding that target without almost realising it. Simile, metaphor, personification, and alliteration poured forth in abundance here at Belvoirdale. Well done all.
With a class of wonderful Year 1 and 2 children, we explored some really extended ideas, such as impromptu balanced arguments, and explored (confidently) a multitude of adverbs – inventively, expressively, supportively, chipping in ideas galore, and enacting them confidently, before getting a huge amount of thoughts down on paper in a very limited time. Well done all. The teachers were, like us, very impressed by what you achieved.
The first of two days at Belvoirdale Primary School, Scotland’s Road, Coalville, Leicestershire
Today, we had the pleasure of working alongside the school’s Digital Leaders, as well the staff, exploring “the path to exciting learning”, as head teacher Anne Bufton-McCoy called it. Lovely.
Anne built a great analogy as a little challenge to us:
Belvoirdale Primary is no longer in Special Measures but its hard to get off the hamster wheel of inspect,improve, inspect!
We want to give our kids the opportunity to get a great education. Not by blindly following the National Curriculum Sat-Nav, sticking to the fastest route to Maths and English level 4/5. But by making sure they can see the whole road atlas- the villages with weird, ancient names, the leafy lanes of real experience, the smell of new mown hay and the chance to taste real scones in an olde tea shoppe.
Yes, we will get to our destination in educational terms but lets enjoy the journey!
So there’s your brief Tim!
And, what a great mission, one that fits perfectly with our way of travelling.
We do need to reach our destination, to meet our targets, to make changes, and progress, develop, and grow. But, there are many ways to travel. Today, we explored digital, and analog, tools, methods, and ways of working, that bring learning alive.
As part of a process, and just one tool amongst hundreds, we made a little, explorable planet based around the war memorial in the centre of town. If you fancy a go at creating a Streetview Stereographic, mini world based on your school, or house, take a look at THIS POST.
Thank you, and well done, all. We really look forward to tomorrow, and a day of more analog responses to some digital landscapes. More wonders in the world of words.
Today saw another, new, step taken in the age of adventure, with the newly appointed “Digital leaders”.
The school recently “hired” 15 Digital leaders (7 in year 6, 8 in year 5) who have already set up and logged into Blogger accounts, and started in their support of teachers, fellow pupils, and each other, throughout the school. Thanks to them for their support today and “here’s to the up-for-it explorations of today”.
What fun was had, in the lands of technology today! Exploring uncharted territories, discovering distant digital domains, and generally stretching technology in wild and wondrous ways.
We set foot in the high~ways, low~ways, no~go~ways, by~ways, here~ways, share~ways, there~ways, slow~ways, up~ways, down~ways, under~ways, wonder~ways, no-wonder!~ways, plunder~ways, try~ways, wonder-why~ways, explore~ways, never~before~ways, your~ways, my~ways, our~ways, oh~the~power~ways, who’d~have~known~ways, should’ve~known~ways, newly~truly~alone~ways…
To tell a tale, of any kind, is a challenge. To do so, with access to the wondrous opportunities that technology offers, these days, surely makes it simple?! Well, it does produce a lot of potential, but also introduces challenges of their own.
The children showed some remarkable, mature, problem solving techniques, through which we all learned a lot ~ the mark of great digital leaders. To teach is to learn. To be open to learn teaches us a lot.
Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
John Cotton Dana
“Digital Leaders” is a fascinating concept, and one that is gathering strength, and pace, in schools far and wide now. The Digital Leader Network, draws together those who are exploring the ideas, power and potential, of this movement.
Empowering learners, teachers and sharers of discovery in so many ways.
The Digital Leader Network is a collaborative blog where digital leaders and teachers can showcase the inspirational work that is going on in their schools. It was started by passionate teachers in 2012 and has gone from strength to strength thanks to the community of people who contribute to it.
The network aims to spread the good work of digital leaders far and wide in an attempt to create more sustainable solutions to ICT developments in schools. Each Thursday at 9pm (gmt) members of the network join in #DLchat, on Twitter, and share their thoughts, ideas and what their digital leaders have been doing.
Have a read of this collaborative document where people have shared their experiences of starting digital leader projects in their schools.
The challenge today? To carry on a story of discovery, in small groups, and retell that tale with the support of some inventive, digital delights.
To work in a group adds additional challenges that these children experimented with ways to master ~ finding a common path; valuing strengths and supporting weaknesses; assessing the best way to allot time, resources, and “man-power”; getting something “done well”, inventively and in the most remarkable and effective way.
Well done all. More to follow…
Today took the theme of travel, discovery, and exploration in to Key Stage One, for a couple of adventures with two groups of 60 Year 2, and then 60 Year 1, voyagers.
Discovery isn’t just about movement though. To discover, to contemplate, to consider, to question, to wonder ~ also takes a bit of standing still. That is something we, as human beings, can often overlook. In the world of education, too, we can sometimes forget the power, and potential, for “holding back”, for “waiting a while” before rushing onwards. The pressures of time, of timetables, of curriculum structures, of targets, can lead us, too easily, in to constantly “moving on”.
It was a joy to “not travel too far, geographically” with some intrepid children, and teachers, but to cover great distances in ideas, imaginations, and more wanderings in the wild wonders of words.
The first, of three, full on days at Linaker Primary School and Children’s Centres, a superb two, form entry, Primary School, Nursery and Children’s Centre in the heart of Southport, the seaside town in the north of the Borough of Sefton. The school provides for around 500 children aged between 3 and 11 and the centre is considered as one of the most successful in the north of England.
This three day project is taking place during the school’s annual Arts Week and the theme this year is “Discovery”. This topic also lends itself to looking at challenges. The children, and staff, at the the school are no strangers to exploration and challenge*.
The travels, today, happened in the company of two classes of adventurous Year 6 children for a long morning of discovery in some virtual worlds, followed by another trek in in the world of digits with two classes of Year 5 explorers.
Well done, all, for some powerful, brave, and inventive wandering in the world of words, and beyond!
Linaker is proud of its international links. At present they have links with schools in China, Canada and Ghana. The school is also a proud recipient of the International Schools Award, issued by the British Council in recognition of their commitment to global education. The school also welcomes, annually, Foreign Language Assistants from all over the world – recently from Sweden, Spain and China.
Linaker has had links with Long Menhao Primary School in Chongqing, China, since March 2008. Long Menhao is a primary school in Nan’an District and serves over 1000 students aged between 5 and 11 years of age. In 2008 both schools undertook a project on the theme of ‘Olympics’ and in November 2008 Linaker returned to China to share their achievements.
In November 2009 ten children from Linaker visited Long Menhao as part of the on-going programme of exchanges.
Linaker has had a link with Ekwaso Presby School, in Ghana, for nearly four years now. Over that time they have been involved in curriculum exchanges between children in both schools.
In 2008 the school undertook to help re-build the Primary School in the village. You can find out more about the village and the re-building of the school by visiting the website.
*That “up-for-a-challenge-ness-nicity” isn’t stopping soon either: six members of staff will be embarking on a trek to the North Pole next year!
A massive thank you to Colin Coleman, head teacher, and Nick Dempster, ICT Co-ordinator, for organising this visit.
In terms of ICT resources, the school are pretty well stocked too. Some of the technology they have at their disposal includes Year 5 and 6 all having their own iPads; there is also a class set of iPads for the other Year groups; The ICT suite is Apple Macs, there are 30 in the suite; a portable green screen; a radio room which can be operated by two or three children at a time; all classrooms have large (60″+) touch screen televisions; laptops throughout the school – enough for 1 between 2 in most classes and more cameras, flip cam recorders etc than you can shake a stick at!
Tables charting the chemical elements have been around since the 19th century – but this modern version, Periodic Videos .com, has a short video about each one. Yes ~ all 118! ~ AND, like neutrons, there’s no charge!
All these videos are created by video journalist Brady Haran, featuring real working chemists from the University of Nottingham, but they say their job’s not finished: “Now we’re updating all the videos with new stories, better samples and bigger experiments, plus we’re making films about other areas of chemistry, latest news and occasional adventures away from the lab”.
They’ve also started a new series – The Molecular Videos – featuring some favourite molecules and compounds.
Education Innovation Conference & Exhibition~Manchester iThink Therefore iPad & Raspberry Jam ~ February 2014
A long way in the distance, we know, but it’s good to plan ahead & book early eh?
We are delighted to confirm that we will be delivering a keynote speech at “The Education Innovation Conference & Exhibition, (EICE) 2014″ event at Manchester Central on February 27th next year, as part of their 2 day event. (27th/28th Feb 2014)
Achievement through Innovation
Now in its second year, EICE aims to help education professionals to raise levels of achievement by making more effective use of innovation and technology. It will feature over 50 free practical workshops and CPD seminars, delivered by some of the most inspiring individuals within education. The event will also include discussion and debate from ministers and sector leaders.
New features of this two-day event, will include a dedicated ‘innovation in practice’ centre, where educators will showcase the latest ideas and demonstrate how they put to practical use to raise achievement.
Education Innovation is proud to be co-located with the iThink therefore iPad 2014 conference and the Raspberry Jamboree festival.
Event manager David Ventris-Field said: “Building on the success of last year’s Education Innovation, we’re really focusing on how innovation can be used to raise achievement with lots of practical, hands-on workshops and some inspirational speakers. We are delighted that Tim will be working with us once again to make Education Innovation a huge success.”
Thank you to Bruce Waelend, for sending his thoughts on our day of practical fun, with the Hampshire heads:
What a great day!
The normal format for head teacher conferences is that someone will sit and talk to us about whatever it is – safeguarding or how to spend the Pupil Premium or zonal defence in lacrosse!
Normally there’s a PowerPoint involved and a fair wad of paper handouts.
Speakers tend to be into three categories: there’s the ‘hilarious and inspiring at the time, but I can’t remember a word that they said now’; the ‘serious and interesting with no jokes and lots of research evidence, which leave you feeling that you really need to read more about this but, even if you get the book, don’t’ and finally there is the ‘genuinely inspiring at the time and also has a huge impact in the long term, even to the point of helping you to see the world differently forever’. The third one is rare.
This was none of those. Instead, it was really refreshing and different, forcing head teachers to get off their behinds and do some of the stuff that we are constantly asking children to do – writing, working together, facing deadlines and presenting. However, this was all done in the context of using a range of great free, web-based tools in a real writing context.
I certainly had to face what we ask children to do all the time – the reluctance of working in a group (I’d rather have done it by myself initially), struggling with a task that has just been presented to you that you’re not exactly confident with, and then working with a group of people to produce something under pressure.
I’d quite forgotten the way that you seem to have so much time until you realise that the last few grains are heading to the bottom of the sand-timer.
It was excellent – rather unlike our finished presentation.
I’ve been to great meetings where people have given me all kinds of resources or ideas that can be freely used from the web but without having a context in which to use them, they are rather easily forgotten.
I’ll be able to recommend them, knowing that they work – or at least I know the problems associated with them.
So thanks Tim and Sarah – a cracking day, which got us off to an excellent start to the conference.
Bruce Waelend ~ Hampshire District 2 Headteachers’ Conference, Sandbanks