Category: 4) Well Done!

Myst III: Exile at Park Mead Primary School

| June 28, 2016 | 0 Comments 

A huge well done, and thank you, to Mr Driscoll, from Park Mead Primary School. We have heard from Jack before back in 2013 when he has sent us his pupils creations – Some Crazy Cranleigh Creatures.

Here are some more of his celebrations, this time using Myst III:Exile.

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I just wanted to contact to say how continually surprised I am with the results of using Myst 3 in the classroom. Even with the graphical improvements today it is still hands down the kids favourite part of English during the year. I’ve attached some writing that my class did this week! #proudteachermoment

We have used Myst 3 in Year 4 since Tim visited a few years ago. It continually surprises me just how fantastic the writing is from it. My class are always eager to return to the lands and their descriptions of it are vivid, showing the high level of engagement they have. I have also loved using Myst III as a teacher because each class you have come up with slightly different ideas and descriptions of the landscape and wonderful scenery the game has to offer.

Attached are a few pieces of work from my Year 4 class, who showed a great deal of pride and enjoyment in their writing.

Mr Driscoll
Park Mead Primary School
@parkmeadprimary

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Still flying, at Kingfisher School

| December 2, 2013 | 0 Comments 

We were blessed to work alongside the teachers, & children of Kingfisher Primary School, in Doncaster, and Nathan Atkinson, their head teacher. Nathan has been kind enough to keep in touch, and share some of the things that followed on from our visit.

I thought about you today when I was doing a lesson observation today. It was a lesson you would have been proud of! It contained so many great aspects that were a result of the training you provided for us just over two years ago!

There was open talk, QR codes, video clips, audio samples, truly effective questioning with quality thinking time given for children to respond and role play.

Although your input was delivered such a long time ago it is great to see so many of the ideas that you shared being used so effectively to inspire learning (I also check in on your blog weekly to pick up and share new ideas for the staff).

Yesterday I observed a Y1 maths lesson and saw a pre recorded Alien Morfo being used to question the children about odd and even numbers, the children were so engaged! Just one more… This afternoon I used telegami to produce my end of concert speech for the Christmas productions (this may sound like a cop out and a lack of the “personal touch” but I will still be there in person!)

We were inspected in October and moved from Satisfactory to Good in all areas (we almost got outstanding for behaviour!). We will continue in our drive to achieve outstanding!

I enjoyed seeing your China photos, I visited last October and as a result have set up a partnership with a school in Dalian. Two colleagues made a trip over this October, in fact your paths almost crossed! We have a member of staff from our sister school working with us this year and we are teaching Mandarin to children in Y2 and Y3!

Well that’s enough for now, remember to check our school website for more of our news, we passed 100,000 visitors today (in just under 2 years).

Nathan Atkinson – Headteacher
Kingfisher Primary School
Coventry Grove
Doncaster

Thank you Nathan, and well done indeed for your OFSTED steps too. Outstanding is well within the grasp of the Kingfisher team, too. Great to hear that you’re all still bringing some great magic in to your learning experiences. Keep in touch.

Reflections of a Head ~ The flight of the Kingfisher

| June 23, 2013 | 0 Comments 

I have just returned from an unexpected journey! Where, why and how? Simply by logging on to www.timrylands.com . I love to catch up with the blog from time to time and when I do the links take me to the most wonderful, magical and thought provoking places that I never imagined!

I first became aware of Tim’s work a number of years ago when a colleague returned from a training day that had been organised by the Local Authority, they were buzzing with excitement and had an enthusiasm that I’d previously not seen! Continue Reading

Epic Citadel in action

| June 21, 2013 | 0 Comments 

Hello again Tim,
As promised I just thought I’d drop you a line to let you know how my observation went.

I used your pickpocket story to begin the lesson, stopping to predict what happens next, reading the 2nd part and hot seating the 2 pickpockets ( I used an interactive dice off smart notebook with key words such as : relationship, future, baby..etc & we spun the dice & selected children to ask questions). Continue Reading

Learning from (& with) some remarkable experts in Utrecht

| April 22, 2013 | 0 Comments 

When I saw your presentation “Back to Their Future” at the BETT-show in London, I got inspired. I thought it would be nice if my students, from Bernadetteschool, could meet you and work with you. I talked about this idea with Bob Hofman.

Sometimes a wish seems meant to be. After a few weeks it was certain: Tim Rylands is coming to the IPON “gewoon speciaal” conference in Utrecht. This was the start of something great that happened on April 10th.

My students, pupils with special needs, were invited, just like some students from other special need schools. Our connection was the social media circle from ICT+E where pupils designed their own social media protocol.

My students were a bit nervous because they are not speaking English and they are not used to big crowd. But your little film on Facebook helped them a lot. This teacher looks like a friendly one. We practiced some small English talk and we prepared us to work with the programs Lino-It and Tagxedo. We wanted to do some interviewing and present the answers in a lino- it.

Then you, Tim, started the program of the day. And they understood. Your sense of humour helped them to feel confident and inspired and after that they flowed out to the crowd, to interview people attending the IPON event.

There they revealed themselves to be confident students. They walked much more straight and their voices sounded more confident than ever before. They did the whole process by themselves. And they worked it out together. I didn’t have to help much. My task was to observe and to be proud.

After a long day we drove home. There was a lot of excited talk in the bus.” I did things I thought I wouldn’t dare” said one of them. Another boy told me, it was the day of his life. “After today I understand English,” said the third one. And they were proud that they participated in this special day.

Thank you for this Tim and we hope to meet again.

Diana Aben
Bernadetteschool, Oss (Take a look at our brand new website maybe).

A day later my students wrote a short impression about this day in Utrecht: Continue Reading

Sonja Weed ~ OUTSTANDING ~ Thinking out of the box

| April 20, 2013 | 8 Comments 

We had an OFSTED inspection and I was being observed doing literacy by the inspector and by the head. The premise was that a mysterious parcel arrived in the classroom marked “do not open” “top secret” “danger”. Oh the FUN we had passing it round, shaking it, smelling it – trying to decide WHAT it could be. At this point, the head and inspector were NOT in the room.

The kids were climbing the walls when we decided to open up the box, in which was a threat from some spies who had been watching us (CIA – a letter written with an official Whitehouse letterhead).

They had heard that the teacher (AKA – me) had stumbled upon a secret plant testing facility (the previous day’s lesson, which included some great video as stimulus) and unless the children wrote some detailed descriptions of the plants there would be serious consequences…

So usual vocab a-la Tim Rylands style illicitation ensues (head and inspector now arrive) and the kids wrote the most AMAZING descriptions. So, the rest of the lesson ran really well.

I knew it was OUtstanding, support staff knew it was outstanding, my head said it was EASILY Outstanding but the OFSTED man said it was Good, with elements of Outstanding.

The reason? The fact that I didn’t use ICT as the stimulus instead of the box – he said it should have come as an email or a text.

No matter what we argued, he wouldn’t have it!! The WHOLE lesson, all the resources etc etc came out of that box. The whole reason the kids wanted to write was because of the BOX -an email just would NOT have done it!

So my point is (sorry for rambling on!) that somewhere, the function of ICT got lost in translation. Somewhere, people are forgetting that it doesn’t HAVE to be in every lesson, sometimes slate and chalk do just as well.

I know you agree, I just wanted to give you a real life example 🙂

Thank you for sending this thoughtful, thought provoking, post Sonja. We were blessed to work alongside you, back in your days at Diocesan and Payne Smith School, in Canterbury, and we have followed your amazing exploits in imaginative, creative, powerful, use of technology. Folk might like to read your post about some of the things that flowed from your Myst III:Exile based project.

It is even more remarkable, then, to find that someone who values, (as you said, in the same way as we do) the remarkable things that can come from a cross between analog and digital experiences, got utterly misunderstood by someone who should be open to quality learning in ANY form.

Well done you, and we would like to wish you all the best in your new venture, and pastures new, and The Whitstable Cake Company. The world of education has lost a remarkable teacher, and learner…

The analog, and digital, world has gained a remarkable mind, mum, and inspirer. Go for it! 😀

Gewoon Speciaal ~ What a day!

| April 14, 2013 | 0 Comments 

Two months ago we were invited to go to the IPON conference for ‘Gewoon Speciaal’ Simply Special, that happened on Wednesday April 10th. Nothing special for so far, you might think, but because my students (with special educational needs) in coordination with the Social Media Circle, ICT&E, some of them could go with me to make it really special.

At the first meeting we heard about your participation, so I warmed up my kids and began to think about our interpretation for the day.

Four of my enthusiastic pupils came up with the idea to make an Animoto. We had worked with it in the Social Media Circle, so that could be a good way to present.

Four kids, from my colleague Erik Lagraauw’s class, could come to the convention. In the Circle, his students worked with video camera and interviewing, so that would be their involvement. Continue Reading

The Ken Loach of Educational ICT? (!!!?!)

| March 9, 2013 | 0 Comments 

Thank you to Bob Harrison, for this very thoughtful reflection on our session at the Education Innovation event.

Ken Loach has been the filmtrack to my life. His portrayal of the PE teacher in the film KES always has me in stitches and at the same time makes me cry as he drives home a serious and profound point.

So it is with Tim Rylands.

I have seen Tim perform (and it is a performance) on many occasions over the past few years.

We worked together on the BSF Leadership programme and have shared many a conference line up.

So I was delighted to see he was on the agenda for the Education Innovation conference in Manchester (why don’t education conferences come to Manchester more often) and his session started just after mine finished.

Mine was a dull and boring update on the Teaching Schools and what they are trying to do with ICT whereas Tim’s was a kaleidoscope and magical mystery tour through how digital technologies can engage and inspire children to be creative, collaborative co-constructors and producers not just consumers.

Unlike some other well known headline conference presenters whose presentations I have now memorised word perfect and could deliver the punchlines on cue Tim’s performance is never the same and is always fresh and brings new perspectives as well as new technologies.

So when you look at the images of smiling faces on Tim’s website do not be fooled. At the very moment Sarah has snapped the laughter a very serious learning penny is about to drop and some profound learning takes place.

Whilst Tim is highly amusing he also recognises that the education of our children to prepare them for the digital future is a serious and that technology can and does really inspire, engage, motivate and enhance learning.

He has dedicated his life to  sharing that message and for that I am grateful.

Wow! Thank you Bob for your kind words, and perceptive thoughts. We are so glad you found things useful too. I cannot always promise that everything will be new, and different, (“I am eco friendly and do try to recycle a certain amount of my material” : – D ) but we do try to be up to the minute, and include as much fresh, and different for each session as possible. This Back to Their Future presentation has been a delight (and a lot of joyous struggle) to develop, and we look forward to sharing, and expanding, it some more. Again, thanks for your thoughts, Bob.

Bob Harrison, Education Adviser, Toshiba Information Systems (UK) Ltd – Consultant, National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services- Chair,Teaching Schools Technology Advisory Board.

“Thank you for two wonderful days!”

| March 8, 2013 | 6 Comments 


Thank you to Gary, Sam & Martin for sending us their thoughts on our 2 days at  St Thomas More RC Primary, Hull.

Absolutely fantastic! Words are not enough to describe the fun the children have had playing with words. Inspiring, stimulating, enjoyable! We were all expecting a technology overload to help stimulate learning within our school. Hang on… What is that noise? As the children entered the hall to the sound of a howling wind it was clear this was going to be very special.

In the background, the teachers began wittering… “He’s actually having to tell those boys to put their pencils down!” “Look at him having a go!” “Have you seen the smile on her face!” “Listen to the vocabulary they’re using and that argument was amazing!” Throughout, Tim used a range of classroom management techniques that we couldn’t wait to steal and add a little sparkle.

A day later, faces aching from the smiles, minds reinvigorated, resources sorted, twitter and a blog ready to share our writing with the world and each other. Pupils and staff are all eager to develop our minds. Translators, experts, interviewers, the magical landscape of Myst to explore – we can’t wait.

Some Crazy Cranleigh Creatures ~ Build Your Wild Self

| March 3, 2013 | 0 Comments 

Hi Tim,

I’m one of the teachers who was at the Cranfold confederation insets you did, both times around. (1 Day 1, 1 day 2, and the full on 2nd visit). This week my Year 4 class have had a go using www.buildyourwildself.com (which we found from your blog here).

Once their creatures were created, we decided some would make hilarious pets so the children were asked to create a care guide for them.

They absolutely loved the tasks, as each creature was unique and their own, meaning a lot more pride (and enjoyment) was taken in their work.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Jack Driscoll (@mr dribble)

Park Mead Primary School, Cranleigh

Thank you Jack, for sending these gorgeous creations through. Well done Year Four, for some deliciously creatures, and care guides, too. Nicely spicely.

How about, (Year 4 vets, carers and zookeepers) you had a go at recreating your animals in Switcheroo Zoo, where you could also investigate things such things as the diet, habitats, (and so much more) of each part of your composite animule. Again, WELL DONE & THANK YOU.

Exploring Mamallapuram, Chennai, South East India

| February 24, 2013 | 2 Comments