Author Archive: Sarah
Following last year’s whole day conference with the great bunch of Hampshire Computing Coordinators, it was an honour to be invited back this year , to The Holiday Inn, Winchester to carry on the exploration of digital learning in so many wonderful ways.
Big thanks to Sue Savory, County Computing Inspector/Adviser, Elearn Eteach Manager and Virtual School Inspector/Adviser, and to Caroline Cain, Workforce Development Support Officer, supporting training provision for HTLC and Children’s Services, Sue Whittaker, IT Consultant, Hampshire IT (Children & Schools) for coordinating our contribution to this superb event.
Thanks to Sue for sharing her thoughts:
It is that time again when the Hampshire Computing/ICT Conference is happening. For the second year in a row we invited Tim Rylands and Sarah Neild to inspire and motivate us when using technology as a tool for learning. For those who left with such fantastic ideas last year and are returning this year we are glad they came prepared to be further inspired and add to their collection of resources and good ideas. The format was very different from last year not least because Phil Bagge, Jon Audain and Emma Goto delivered sessions where they shared resources and lesson ideas that they find work well at KS1 and KS2. So we are glad delegates came prepared to listen and play.
Today, rather than leading the whole day, as we did last year, we shared the input with three stars from the Hampshire firmament:
Well done to Emma Goto, Senior Lecturer in Primary Education, Faculty of Education, Health and Social Care, at The University of Winchester, for leading a session asking big questions about computing:
In my session I asked the Hampshire computing co-ordinators to consider what Reception children in their schools should be learning in terms of Computing. The answer was ‘not computing’! However we consider the role of toys and technological tools in aiding children’s communication, overcoming barriers to learning, accessing expertise, enhancing engagement and providing an audience. We also discussed the need to help children understand the digital world around them and develop skills that support them to be independent learners. We went on to consider the kinds of activities that help children to think computationally. We identified a range of problems that help children to think computationally, from completing a jigsaw, to moving water from one container to another, most of these had very little to do with technology! Finally we went on to discuss the challenges when building on this learning in Key Stage One. We focused on the need to not lose the rich uses of ICT, ensure appropriate challenge and consider carefully how we develop persistent learners.
Here is the list of ideas delegates had for activities linking them to computational thinking approaches and concepts – https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5RYhuKkh3OHbGxOSmEzdUFtY3c/view?usp=sharing
Here is my Powerpoint from the day – https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5RYhuKkh3OHLTdKTnVWOXdpODQ/view?usp=sharing
Phil Bagge, (Computing Inspector/Advisor HIAS, CAS Regional Coordinator, CAS Primary Computing Master Teacher, CAS Primary Group facilitator, Computing Planning @ http://code-it.co.uk/, http://www.pythoncode.co.uk/, and http://www.ictvideohelp.co.uk/
Working at Ringwood Junior School, Calmore Junior School, and Otterbourne Primary School) ran a session entitled “Recipe for Computing Success”
Phil shared a recipe for computing success by highlighting the importance of developing algorithms into code and the benefits of increased pupil buy in at home of having a real output for their algorithms. He encouraged teachers to avoid a shotgun ICT approach to programming languages and build some depth in a language whilst dipping into others. He stressed the need to teach programming elements but provide lots of investigation time for pupils to make the learning their own through repurposing and adapting. He advised teachers to take a longer term view on training and assessing, discovering what is possible before locking in assessment. Phil was passionate about using computing to promote resilience and independence. Encouraging teachers to build learning communities that embrace failure, see it as normal and learn from it. He shared about spotting learnt helplessness, explained what it is and encouraged the conference to challenge it where they find it. He also shared practical debugging tips.
You can find Phil’s online resources at http://code-it.co.uk/csplanning.html, Primary Debugging Strategies at http://code-it.co.uk/assessment/debugging.pdf. You can sign up for notification about Phil’s book at http://code-it.co.uk/scratchbook.html. His slides from today can be found at http://code-it.co.uk/rcs.pdf His original blog post on learned helplessness can be found at http://code-it.co.uk/articles.html
Jon Audain @jonaudain, Author and Senior Lecturer in Primary Education (ICT/Computing & Music) at The University of Winchester had some more computing fun:
So who’s afraid of the Big Bad Computing Wolf now? The first session after lunch and what to do with a group of teachers who are full up with delicious food? There’s only one answer…a class story! The story told of a princess with a large and generous heart who later on through fond memories splits her heart into many pieces so the people connected with her life could remember her as she marries her prince. However she ends up empty and trying to regain the pieces to restore balance.
The same could be expressed for computer science. Have we given too much of our heart away whilst the subject of ICT is vast. We explored the range of the ICT subjects connected to the 6Cs of Education and how ICT can address all those needs.
Stories and DIY cutting and sticking were the next order of the day as within the tables we constructed a paper tree to represent the ICT involvement not only in one school but collectively in our schools from around the table. We then looked at work from the other tables and considered our future practices exploring opportunities for networking and ideas.
Superb, to be asked to join Sir Ken Robinson, Sugata Mitra, Richard Gerver and EwanMcIntosh in providing a keynote for The Digital Education Show UK 2015 at the Olympia, London.
We provided a session for the introduction of the event, and Launch Dinner at Kettners last September, so enjoyed meeting up with those gentlemen, and many superb workshop leaders (including David(Deputy) Mitchell, Dawn Hallybone, Dan Roberts, Andy Hutt, and others) to look at Empowering learning through technology.
The event was organised by Terrapinn and thanks go to Amy Radley and Emma Williams for coordinating our involvement, over two days here at Olympia Level 2, London.
Our session, entitled “Out of this world: Tech to inspire” focussed on recapturing enjoyment, inspiration, creativity and fun in the classroom, recognising the need to inspire young people and fire their imaginations, enhance their creativity and confidence, encourage resourcefulness through challenge and motivate a love of learning for life. We explored a huge and accessible range of ways to engage and motivate students of all ages and abilities, examining the essential elements for quality learning experiences and how these can have a massive impact on standards, achievement and enjoyment
One of the main speaker highlights was the keynote address by Sir Ken Robinson who talked about leading a culture of innovation. Keeping up and staying ahead of the game depends entirely on continuous and sustained innovation. We all know that’s true, but what do company leaders have to do to make it happen? Sir Ken Robinson has worked with some of the world’s leading creative organisations – in the corporate, educational and cultural fields. In his presentation, Ken identified three myths about innovation that hold many organisations back, and the basic practices that drive the most innovative organisations ahead of the pack.
We shared practical ideas and tips on how to use technology to inspire creativity in the classroom. “Children need to be inspired if they are going to pick ideas up and start to juggle with them.” We hope folk left with plenty of practical pointers and ideas of how to use technology to enhance learning that they can implement in their class tomorrow.
Some of the other topics included using augmented reality to enhance learning, enhancing learning through online quizzing, gamifying learning, using social media for learning, transforming teaching and learning, implementing a digital learning vision into the classroom, bridging the digital skills gap, preparing pupils for a super-intelligent future, tweeting teachers and much more.
We were proceeded by Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology, Newcastle University. Sugata is recognised for building a ‘School in the Cloud’, a creative online space where children from all over the world can gather to answer ‘big questions’, share knowledge and benefit from help and guidance from online educators. We heard about about Sugata’s controversial ‘minimally invasive education’ philosophy and why we should all plant the seeds of his global education experiment that lets children learn on their own, and from each other, by tapping into online resources and their inner sense of wonder.
Mobile Learning Experience 2015 from June 10-12, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona it’s THE chance to “Experience tools, techniques, and inspiration for teaching the mobile generation.” We delivered Wednesday’s after dinner Keynote entitled “Beyond a Game – Tech to Inspire” in the Grand Ballroom of The Westin La Paloma Resort, Tucson.
Thank you to Tony Vincent for organising our involvement in this superb event. Thanks too to Valerie Lombardi, Business Manager Cheryl Bokowski, Director of Operations, Sara Crawford, Technology Director at the Arizona K12 Center. …and so many more. And here is a link to the wonderful creatures created today!
Whether you are new to mobile learning or looking to sharpen your skills, you are invited to join us in Tucson, Arizona for the premier mobile learning conference, Mobile Learning Experience 2015.
Educators from across the globe will gather June 10-12 to share, collaborate and explore the many facets of mobile learning. In addition to traditional breakout sessions, we have inspiring keynotes, fast-paced Ignite presentations, many networking opportunities and a concluding game show. This year’s topics include project-based learning, assistive technologies, Common Core State Standards, Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) and the open content revolution. Those crucial topics are in addition to basic sessions on the most compelling apps, device deployment, and training tips and hints.
While mobile learning isn’t about one specific device, many sessions will have an iPad focus. Mobile Learning Experience 2015 will also address other devices like laptops, Chromebooks and Android tablets.
Please bring your fully charged device to the three-day conference and be prepared to plunge into the Mobile Learning Experience. Visit mobilelearningexperience.org/ today to learn more, taking advantage of the early bird rate. Bookmark the site and come back often, as it is there where you will find updated conference details.
- Connect with other mobile-minded educators
- Be inspired to make tech classrooms more student-centered
- Learn how to integrate the latest and greatest apps for teaching and learning
- Consider solutions for working around tech barriers and challenges
- Celebrate creativity and innovation by teachers and students
– See more at: http://www.azk12.org/event/28880/details#sthash.AL0j1YHA.dpuf
Mobile 2015 has international speakers and participants, with 55+ breakout sessions and 3 keynotes. Registration includes the opening dinner (right before our keynote) Participants have the option of spending one evening “speed apping” and stargazing.
Keynotes will also come from Adam Bellow, and Tony Vincent. Featured speakers include Wes Fryer, Erin Klein, Sara Martinez Crawford, Felix Jacomino, Katherine Burdick, Rodney Turner, and Jonathan Nalder.
Mobile Learning Experience is a professional development opportunity from the Arizona K12 Center. The Center is part of Northern Arizona University and its Executive Director, Dr. Kathy Wiebke, is on a mission to support teachers, and she knows that mission includes helping teachers leverage technology in and out of their classrooms.
Delighted to be invited to present one of the Arizona’s K12 Center’s Mobile Learning Experience 2015 breakout sessions at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson, Arizona, before our after dinner session this evening. The event hosts dozens of breakout sessions over the course of this three day learning experience, with topics focusing on classroom experiences, leadership, vision, and deployment.
MobileLearningExperience has been going for a while now. The first one was in April 2011. Back then there were great mobile-themed conferences in the U.K. (Handheld Learning) and in Australia (Slide2Learn), but the U.S. didn’t have a national event dedicated to mobile learning. Katherine Burdick approached Tony Vincent and thought they should host one in Arizona. They asked the Arizona K12 Center to be involved, and it went from there. This is the fourth Mobile Learning Experience in Arizona. They’ve hosted national and international speakers and attendees over the year. There is a great program, but probably the best thing is the networking. The people who gather at Mobile Learning Experience are passionate about reaching students, and are willing to use whatever technology is at hand. Even if there were no keynotes or sessions, having this group of people gathered to share and learn from each other would be an amazing experience. For that reason, all sessions have round tables–to facilitate networking. That’s also why the event includes breakfast and lunch. It’s a great time to network, chat, and share.
Their website can be found at mobilelearningexperience.org
Thank you to Tony Vincent, for organising our involvement in this superb event. Thanks too to Valerie Lombardi, Business Manager Cheryl Bokowski, Director of Operations, Sara Crawford, Technology Director at the Arizona K12 Center. …and so many more.
A big thank you to Katherine Burdick, co-organizer
#mobile2015, for taking us out to explore the area and the many cacti too (yesterday).
A massive well done to Martin Bailey of Animate 2 Educate for gathering together “The Dream Team – The Ultimate Primary Computing XI'” at the Newcastle Utd, Bamburgh Suite, St.James’ Park, Newcastle. “On the ‘ead mate!”
Martin Bailey is the director of Animate 2 Educate Ltd and works with schools in the North East of England and beyond delivering pupil workshops and staff training sessions on all aspects of Primary Computing.
At their 2014 conference, Animate 2 Educate were delighted to have Tim Rylands and Sarah Neild as their keynote speakers and feedback from delegates in attendance that day was excellent. Of 75 feedback forms completed, 74 of them scored Tim and Sarah 5 out of 5 . . . . the other gave them a 4! Acting on feedback from delegates, it was clear that people wanted Tim and Sarah to return for the 2015 conference and also for them to be joined in the North East by other top quality presenters.
This was a full on event, kicking off in style and continuing in a game of two halves, where everyone was the winner.
“Animate 2 Educate are delighted to bring to the North East eleven of the best speakers in the world of Primary Computing, for what is sure to be a magnificent event. Back by popular demand from the 2014 Conference is the truly inspirational Tim Rylands and he will be joined by names such as Miles Berry, Dughall McCormick, Lee Parkinson and many many more!”
Animate 2 Educate like to think big, and rather than just simply going with two or three keynote presenters, they decided to try and put a whole team of speakers together from the amazing people who they had seen present throughout the UK.
From this initial idea, ‘Dream Team’ was born and with the kind backing of official sponsor Rising Stars, the Ultimate Primary Computing XI was soon assembled.
Kicking things off in the Dream Team XI is North East headteacher Rachel Orr who described her journey towards a digital school and ended her presentation with a stunning operatic performance! Glorious musical style with her wondrous voice.
Rachel says:- “When I first took up my post as head teacher of Holy Trinity Rosehill VA CE Primary School in September 2013 there were pockets of technology but no whole school approach. Shiny tech alienated some staff and it became an add-on to learning and I discovered we had very expensive tech kit sitting the cupboard with very few people knowing how to use it.
For me, this is when we began our journey towards becoming a digital school.
Being a digital school is not necessarily about how many iPads you have. It’s about looking at ways in which we can simplify technology and embed it across the curriculum and into the everyday fabric of learning. It’s not an add-on.
We needed to peel back layers and look at what our common ground was and where the expertise lay in order to reORRganise how we were moving fORRward. We needed an all inclusive approach looking at children, staff, governors and parents. Changing staff responsibilities by using their expertise was at the fORRfront of the big shift in mindset. An all for one, one for all approach. We have streamlined systems for children, staff, governors and parents and continue to evaluate and refine our practices.
We still have further to go and continue to share in the good practice of others to improve our own learning. Exciting times ahead for everyone.
Dughall McCormick – explored what it means to be ‘Educating the Digital Citizens of Tomorrow’ ~
Dughall presented a session entitled ‘Educating the Digital Citizens of Tomorrow’. Whilst deftly mixing the light-hearted and the serious, Dughall spoke about current trends in young people’s use of social media and the responsibility we have to ensure that they are best prepared for an ever-changing world. He reminded us that we are responsible for making sure they are both safe and ‘literate’ in a world where digital literacy is perhaps more important than ever.
In his usual humourous style, Steve Bunce chortled us through a session entitled ‘Blankety Blank – Developing Computing in Your School Using Blank or Blankety Blank’
Steve entertained the audience with his session on ‘Bees’. Linking computational thinking to a bees theme, he used drawings, songs, flowcharts and bells to explain about key concepts. Steve has been working with schools to support computing and has co-written resources for schools with the ‘Scholastic 100 Computing’ series and a new book from Bloomsbury ‘100 ideas for primary teachers’, released this August. He caused quite a buzz!
Andrea Carr of Rising Stars Edu who were sponsoring the event, gave a quick background to their involvement “I’ve always jumped at the chance of travelling up to the North East. Some of my favourite people live there and the schools and teachers I meet always give me a booster shot of energy, enthusiasm and real life. This event was all about learning from the best in primary computing with an impressive dream team taking to the stage. The introduction of computing into the curriculum is one of the most important changes in education we’ve seen in over 20 years.When Rising Stars were asked to sponsor the day I was delighted; it was four yeses from me!”
Bob Harrison shared how ‘Using Technology to Enhance Learning is Not Rocket Science . . . it’s Much Harder Than That’ ~ ” In his usual provocative,yet humorous way, Bob challenged delegates to become paradigm pioneers and rethink the use of technology for teaching and learning in his presentation “Will Investment in ICT improve learning outcomes-is the WRONG question” Instead we should be asking “what is the opportunity cost of NOT investing in the digital skills of our teachers and learners in an increasingly competitive and digital world”
Miles Berry shared his throughts on How to Teach Primary Computing’ In addition to his day job, training the next generation of outstanding teachers at the University of Roehampton, Miles has been a driving force in designing and implementing the primary computing curriculum. He’s the author of the BETT and ERA award winning Switched on Computing scheme from Rising Stars, adopted now by around 5000 schools. He wrote the primary curriculum guidance notes and the DfE funded QuickStart computing handbook. He’s consulted on the Barefoot Computing Project and for Code Club Pro, Microsoft and the BBC. Miles is also taking the computing message abroad: in the last year he’s visited Ljubljana, Brussels, Madrid, Seoul and Singapore.
Lee Parkinson got creative exploring ‘Bringing the Curriculum Alive Using Augmented Reality’ This presentation demonstrated how Augmented Reality can enhance and inspire learning across the curriculum. Showing different apps that will inspire writing through producing real WOW moments in class, such as Quiver, AR Effects and StARz AR. Lee proudly shared the wonderful work children created using these apps as a stimulus.
He then looked at how other AR apps allow you to create your own Augmented Reality. Focusing mainly on Aurasma, Lee shared how his classes have turned displays interactive, brought home-reading books alive, flipped the classroom and even decorated his house with Augmented Reality!
David Andrews‘ session was entitled “Show Me Something That Matters, Not That Glitters!” How can technology be used to transform learning outcomes for children? This presentation explored the role of mobile technology in schools and how it can make a genuine impact on learning, if schools have a strong, clear understanding and purposeful end goal, of how technology can (or can’t in some cases) support their work as well as keeping to what matters: teaching, learning and progress. The role of technology in the home was explored and how this led to genuine transformation on teaching and learning in the classroom. Examples of cross curricular projects from the classroom were shared and how the use of technology enabled instant access to real audiences for meaningful feedback.
Also covered were examples of schools David hassupported through INSETs and classroom based CPD (EYFS to Year 6) on a whole school approach, underpinned by spoken language, which was developed for the National Literacy Trust on using mobile technology to impact on writing standards.
Peter Rafferty took us ‘From Wooden Plank to Golden Room’ to complete a stunning team!
Peter spoke about how teachers and pupils inspire each other to create a purpose for using technology. These people can be called Firestones because their enthusiasm to try things that are different and creative.
The keypad on the hotel door in Porto was the moment when Peter recognised that there are teachers who find the whole concept of technology and using it as part of their classrooms scary because they don’t know what to do.
Mixed in with this was done with particular reference to his own school and Liverpool Football Club and especially Djimi Traore!
In addition to this brilliant line-up of speakers, there was also a large market hall, allowing us to view products from many of the top educational companies in the UK.
On the eve of the Conference, last night, Animate 2 Educate also held their very own TeachMeet-style event ‘Talk on the Tyne – A Night of Geet Canny Teaching Ideas’. This was held at The Jury’s Inn Hotel (Gateshead Quayside) and was a FREE event. It featured a keynote presentation from Mr Ideas Factory himself (Julian S Wood), and the event also gave the opportunity for teachers and small businesses to share teaching ideas through a series of short presentations.
The 2014 Animate 2 Educate Summer Conference was a complete sell out and tickets for the 2015 sold fast. Here’s to the next one!
Over 250 people booked to attend the two events and whilst there are people from all parts of the UK attending, Animate 2 Educate is delighted that the events are so heavily supported by the schools in the North East whom they work with throughout the year. It is not always easy for North East teachers to be able to travel the long distances to London for BETT or Birmingham for the Education Show etc and so Animate 2 Educate is therefore delighted to bring to the North East a line-up that rivals anything in the UK in 2015!
A fantastic event on the doorstep for North East schools and a chance to give a warm Geordie welcome to those from outside the region!
A big well done and thanks to Phil Newman Deputy head of science, for coordinating today. Staff from Ashby School led workshops on some of their already superb use of technology:
Jenny Hatcher led a Powerpoint masterclass – How to get more from powerpoint: using screen shots, photo albums, colour schemes, actions, triggering audio files etc.
Vic Foster explored Memrise – using this web 2.0 technology to turn learning fact and definitions into a competitive, fun challenge that really engages students. A fun experience students can’t get enough of.
Ben Clarke showed a glimpse of some of the great things they have done with Youtube – How to set up and use you own youtube channel to engage with students and parents outside the classroom. having your own department’s or school’s YouTube channel can allow students or parents to access key information, support and guidance in video form, anywhere and anytime. This could provide opportunities for parents to learn how to support their children’s learning and to support students on their path to becoming independent learners.
Fiona McCafferty demonstrated some imaginative use of Tablets –How using portable technology can be used to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom. Using QR codes to make a fun challenging way to learn, using socrative for summative and formative assessment.
Kirt Richardson and Ali Jackson took us for a remarkable set of flights of fancy in Ashby school’s remarkable 3D Immersive hub – See how open space learning and technology can combine to provide inspirational learning experiences.
Following a brilliant day yesterday, where Tim and Sarah inspired pupils and teachers alike, the teachers who attended Day 2 at Ashby School were overwhelmed with resources and ideas to take away and use tomorrow! From panoramas to citadels and green screens, delegates were swept into realms of learning and teaching ideas. Tim’s engaging teaching style kept the audience rapt and on their toes with lots of interaction expected. Delegates were also treated to a carousel of 5 informative workshops led by Ashby School technology PLC staff. A brilliant day – let’s do it again soon!
Lead Practitioner Forest Way Teaching School Alliance
Thanks again to Helen, Phil, and Rachel Hall, Eddie Green, Head of Ashby School, for looking after us and for making this remarkable collection of tech run so smoothly.
Today, we had the delight of spending time in lessons with pupils from All Saints Primary School, and staff from the Forest Way Teaching School Alliance. The morning with KS2 and and the afternoon with KS1.
Thanks to Heather Sewell, Headteacher at All Saints Primary School and Helen Joy, Lead Practitioner at Forest Way Teaching School Alliance, for sharing their thoughts:
Forest Way School is a large area special school in North West Leicestershire with an excellent curriculum and facilities for pupils with a wide range of special educational needs aged 3-19.
Forest Way has 16 classrooms with additional withdrawal and group rooms. There are several curriculum rooms for specific subject areas; Science, Art, Food Technology, the hall for PE and studio for Music, Dance and Drama, swimming pool and a life skills bungalow and flat. There are sensory rooms including moonlight (dark) and starlight (light) and a soft play room. It also has various outdoor areas including an interactive playground, a bike track, ball court, garden for growing produce, a pond and a Forest School’s area.
In 2011 Forest Way became a teaching school and has now formed a teaching School Alliance (FWTSA) of 48 Primary, Secondary and Special schools and as many preschool providers. FWTSA provide teacher training, CPD, leadership development and school to school support as well as engaging in research. It has a clear moral purpose of ‘achieving excellence by working together’.
All Saints Primary School Coalville is a primary school in Coalville NorthWest Leicestershire, an ex mining town. In fact the school is right opposite the original town mine – now Snibston Discovery Centre which hosts a wealth of information about the history of the mine.
All Saints C E Primary school is a growing school with new building work currently taking place. “We look forward to the future as we grow both physically and develop new and exciting ways of learning. We are pleased to be part of the hosting team for this conference and hope that delegates will enjoy working with our children”.
Andy Dickenson, (@Andyisatwork) Creative Education Director and Senior Consultantant learnNEWstuff joined us for the day, leading workshops on creative use of animation, over the road at Snibston Discovery Park Ashby.
Andy describes himself in a chortle worthy fashion:
Andy Dickenson is dyslexic, an enormous Lego fan, Star Wars nut, comic book and superhero fanatic and an Apple ADE. He’s also a graphic artist, silversmith and motorbike customiser. He used to be a disruptive ninja but recently gave that up to become a grey-bearded psychedelic monk.
When he’s not jetting off to Denmark to write materials for Lego’s after school clubs, Andy consults on how to use technology creatively in schools and lectures on New Technologies to a new generation of student teachers, across the country.
He’s a huge fan of filmmaking, animation and sound recording to promote learning. So much so, he wrote the film/animation/creative bits for the BFI recognised Visual Literacy project.
His bespoke, creative, interactive publications have be recognised by ofsted as making a difference to boys reading and writing, as well as engaging girls in higher level maths.
He’s recently been showing schools that coding is hugely entertaining not at all scary and that Robots are getting ready to take over the world.
Following yesterday’s INSET today lessons and training at Sythwood Primary School with visiting colleageus from …
A morning with the Year 5 pupils …
… an afternoon with the Year 2 pupils …
Thank you to the Sythwood Primary School team, Nicola Wilmshurst Assistant Head (Curriculum), Bev van Rensburg (Assistant Headteacher (Organisational Support) and Sue Tresilian, Head Teacher, and to Adie Gould Administrator, Woking Schools Learning Partnership, for coordinating our days. Well done all.
Following our day with Woking Headteachers in Poole back in February, we are honoured to be invited back for a couple of days working alongside colleagues, and children, at Sythwood Primary School with colleagues from across the Woking region, including Barnsbury Primary School, Beaufort Primary School, Broadmere Academy Trust, Brookwood Primary , Goldsworth Primary School, The Hermitage School, The Horsell Village School, West Byfleet Junior School, Connaught Junior School, St Lawrence C of E Primary School, Mytchett Primary and Tomlinscote School.
Thank you to the Sythwood Primary School team, Nicola Wilmshurst Assistant Head (Curriculum), Bev van Rensburg (Assistant Headteacher (Organisational Support) and Sue Tresilian, Head Teacher, for making sure that this superb day ran smoothly.
Thank you too to Adie Gould Administrator, Woking Schools Learning Partnership, for coordinating the two days training here in Woking.
Today, we splattered folks with a vast amount of, mostly free, online ways of extending their learning experiences.
Nicola shared here thoughts on this visit:
Situated in Woking, Sythwood School and Children’s Centre caters for children aged 2-11. It is part of the Woking Schools Learning Partnership (WSLP). WSLP works collaboratively with its member schools to provide an outstanding educational system for all children living in the town of Woking.
Over the past two years, Sythwood School has embraced all aspects of technology to engage pupils, collaborate effectively and rehearse speaking and listening skills. Apps and websites are used across both key stages to enhance learning opportunities. Pupils participate in class blogs, use iPads regularly and have even created their own stop motion videos. Parents have also attended a Family Learning session covering e-safety, educational websites and using technology to further enhance learning.
At a headteachers’ conference in February, Tim presented a fantastic day on ‘Creating Composite Creatures’. This left the headteachers feeling so inspired that they knew more teachers in Woking would benefit hugely from participating in this. Immediately, he was booked to visit Woking in June. Since then, three teachers organised an ‘AppSmash Saturday’ for children across Woking. During the day, the children used a range of apps and websites (inspired by Tim) to create their own zoo animal and produce a documentary.
We were excited to welcome Tim and Sarah to our school and use ICT to Inspire teachers all over Woking. Children at the school are enthusiastic about working with Tim and Sarah on day 2 (tomorrow) to enjoy plenty of ‘Great Learning, Great Challenge, Great Fun’ – our school motto.
A brilliant day of lessons and training for pupils, teachers and teaching assistants at The Court Special School. Well done all for going for it so well. Thank you again to Bev Smith and Matt Howden for supporting and coordinating another rewarding day.
The first session was with the Year 6 pupils; a discerning group of young lads who were a delight to spend time with. A real delight! The session was (deliberately) “slow” paced, in other words contemplative and thoughtful. This group showed what genuine thoughtfulness, considerate questioning and insightful commentry. This took courage, especially amongst a group who might find this form of communication challenging at times. They were a remarkable, and a reflection of some of the admirable teaching they have experienced at The Court School.
Our second exploration was a challenge for a younger group: to adventure in to unknown territory, on a Friday afternoon, and do so with self control and growing confidence. Well done all. You were great company to wander in the world of words with.
Further thanks to Bev for sharing her thoughts:
The Court School is a small special school in Cardiff for primary aged pupils 4 -11 years with behaviour, emotional and social difficulties.
As a school we have worked hard to develop our use of ICT and to keep up with developments in the rapidly changing digital / technological world. Our current Journey began to take on an interesting new phase in 2011 when we purchased our first set of I pads .Pupils have used these in a number of ways e.g. using a number of educational apps across the curriculum and by making their own animations and silent movies. We were keen to involve parents and carers in this development, so we held workshops with parents and carers and pupils in the spring term 2013 .This project proved to be a great success, imparting skills and knowledge on e- safety etc. , but also enabling parents to share digital experiences with their children in a classroom setting.
We were keen to further develop, our use of technology across the curriculum, particularly with regards to developing literacy and numeracy skills. In autumn 2013 The Court School was one of a small number of special schools chosen by CFBT and WG to support other schools in their development of the Literacy & Numeracy Framework. As a part of this programme we decided to look at how ICT could be used to develop Literacy skills across the curriculum. We conducted a mini case study using Epic Citadel to engage and encourage pupils to explore what it would feel like to live in a castle. We discovered that not only were pupils more engaged and motivated to write but that their writing was far more imaginative and descriptive.
We wanted to share this good practise with other special schools and to explore how we could extend our own practise further.
So we have been looking forward to welcoming Tim and Sarah for day 1 of our training – ICT to Inspire at Ty Dysgu, where we were joined by a number of staff from other special schools . On day 2 ,Tim and Sarah lead class based sessions, where we were again be joined by staff from other special schools.
We are glad to have other schools to join us on this journey, ~ as our school motto says~ “Learning to learn together”
A special day at a special Special school. Well done, and thank you folks.
A trip to The Conference Centre, Ty Dysgu near Cardiff for a day of inventive INSET for teachers and teaching assistants from The Court Special School, and colleagues from other similar special schools in the area: Greenhill School, Meadowbank School, Ysgol Bryn Castell, Greenfield School and Bryn-y-Deryn PRU.
As alterations work their way in over the next couple of years, it is a big time of change for education in Wales.
Thank you to Bev Smith and Matt Howden from The Court school for organising our visit. Matt shared:
We have been looking forward to Tim and Sarah enthusing us with their creative use of ICT to develop literacy skills across the curriculum. This project has been part funded by Welsh Government, through the national support framework in developing the national numeracy and literacy framework.