Category: 4) Well Done!
Feeling very conscious, after spending my second day with Tim and Sarah, of my lack of ‘gorgeous language, similes and metaphors’-but ‘not worrying about my spelling’ (not because of Tim’s reassurance that it’s not always the most important part, but in this case because of the spell checker), I embark on summarising yesterday’s experience from an early years teachers perspective.
Wednesday’s teacher training left me feeling a mix of excitement and overload of ideas. I needed little encouragement to go home and play around with some of the apps and pages we had talked about and think of ways to link them in to my teaching. But for me today was the most inspiring part as it really gave us an opportunity to see some of the software in practice and become part of the class to experience how it can be delivered in such a powerful way. Continue Reading
Hutton North Somerset, Durham, Derby, Helsingør, Denmark, København, Denmark, Newcastle upon Tyne, Penarth, Wales, Cowbridge, Wales, Pentrepoeth Wales, Evesham, Brøndby, Denmark, Uttlesford, London Stansted, Warsaw, Poland, Copenhagen, Denmark, Stockport, Doncaster, Wirral, Blackpool, Doha, Qatar, Cheddar, Somerset, Wirral, Birmingham, Geneva, Berlin, Brislington Bristol, Swansea, Taunton Somerset, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, Knockholt, Kent, London, Hendon, London, Chepstow, Wales, Doha, Qatar, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Middlesbrough, Mumbai, India, Keswick, Cumbria, Huddersfield, Cardiff, Tidworth, Wiltshire, Kirkby, Knowsley, Chorley, Exeter, Devon, Salisbury, Canterbury, Voorschoten The Netherlands, The Hague The Netherlands, Derbyshire, Brislington, Bristol, Cefn Coed, Wales, Ynysowen, Wales, Hutton, North Somerset, Clevedon School, North Somerset, Birmingham, Istanbul, Turkey, Kirkby, Plymouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Goole, North Yorkshire, and Gateshead, (& other places in between, such as Egypt, Andalucia, Tunisia &, occasionally, a little village called Biddisham, tucked away in deepest Somerset).
Thank you to all those we have spent time with, friends old and new, and to all of our readers of the blog. …
We recently had an absolutely superb visit to Clevedon School in North Somerset, nestled in the beautiful, green, Swiss Valley in Clevedon, and discovered a school that is far from hidden away.
If it is looked for, it is because it is now sought out for guidance, by an increasing number of other establishments, & offers advice and support on everything from finances, rolling out a 1:1 iPad program, through to inventive curriculum design.
Ofsted rated the school is “Outstanding” –what we saw certainly justified this.
We went with the aim of fact finding and filming.
The chance to spend some time investigating innovative use of technology, alongside the teachers and students there, was a great honour, and we are very grateful to them all for organizing a packed day. Continue Reading
The report, about a new five-year plan aimed at raising poor literacy standards in Welsh schools, which has just been published, included some familiar faces for us.
We were lucky to work alongside the folk of Cwm Garw School, developing ways of bringing words alive, in Welsh and English. It was a joyous visit and one that broke new ground for us – recording some wondrous writing in both languages.
You can hear some of the children’s superb reading of their descriptive narrative, with harp accompaniment, HERE.
Assembly Education Minister, Mr Leighton Andrews, visited the school today, to launch the National Literacy Framework.
The Minister was treated to a year 5/6 lesson using the Myst computer game and follow up descriptive writing work on iPads. The BBC, ITV, S4C and Real Radio covered the event which went very well and helped to emphasise the Ministers message regarding the importance of reading and writing.
The National Literacy Programme sets out what the Welsh government will do to improve results and change the way literacy is thought about in schools.
Mr Andrews told BBC Wales: “The National Literacy Programme will introduce greater consistency and clarity into the way we track pupils’ progress while also providing the support, challenge and accountability needed in our schools.”
“What we must do is ensure that all learners benefit from excellent teaching of literacy and develop the skills that are so vital to their future success”
Well done Cym Garw, & great to see you still exploring possibilities so inventively, 5 years after our first steps together.
Following our Senior Roving Reporter’s account of her intrepid incursion of Planet Earth in quest of information on the outrageous theft of the magic flute of Giant Grimface, which is regarded as a national musical treasure by us all, we hear of an even more alarming discovery of great perfidy committed by this same earthman criminal in that it appears he managed to gain access to our most sacred inner sanctum, the Circle of the Secret Globes.
This “Mr. Ryelands” as he has chosen to name himself, though we believe this to be an alias, was encountered by our gracious Princess who, in her customary friendly and accepting nature, believed him to be about his lawful business.
Thus she introduced this interloper to our royal golden lizard and was not warned by the scuttling exit in alarm by this creature.
Encouraged by the warm interest of the visitor in the dazzling gem hung around her neck, she explained that it was a gift from her father, the King, thus revealing her identity, & trustingly beckoned him onwards.
Instead of following, the criminal turned on his heels and, with a gadget in his hand that is thought to be a Google-associated key of some sort disarmingly called a “mouse,” he clicked open the doors to our Innermost Retreat and proceeded to make a mental record of everything within. Noticing our Bureau of the Most Secret, it appears from later investigation that he actually opened the hidden drawer before being disturbed by the noise of approaching guards & making his getaway.
What is not yet known, and of great disquiet, is what he actually saw and recorded of our most revered items of national security and way of life.
This is “restricted” matter so that we are not able to report further upon what rested within the drawer. Be assured that, when this crime has been successfully resolved, our readers will be the first to be informed of the outcome. For the time being, there will be no further information.
We receive some very lovely feedback and photos, and are very grateful to Angela Thresh from Wawne Primary, Hull, for this very thoughtful open letter following our day of training and day of lessons there nearly two years ago:
Anyone who has heard you speak, either to adults at conferences and training days or with children in school will be in no doubt that you are one of the most inspirational speakers in education today. (Thank you) However when you spoke to the teachers at Wawne Primary School in September 2010 your influence would be felt far longer than anyone could imagine – two and a half years later the “Tim” effect can still be seen!
The original purpose of your visit was centred around ICT and Literacy and indeed it was a fantastic two days but what has really lasted, the long term effect has been how technology can enhance the learning journey. Certainly, observing you inspire our young people to write so passionately was uplifting and observing best-practise is always the best form of CPD, however the long term technological impact was founded on day one. Continue Reading
This is the third year I have been using MYST. This work is from Exile, the landscape at the beginning which we did on the training session with you, and the day of lessons. Some of the sentences we liked I’ve typed up. These are year 4 pupils. Hope you like their work!
Judith Thompson, Parklands Primary School Northampton.
Dust drifted silently across the sun-baked, sandstone rocks. The golden sun beat waves of heat down. I surveyed the lonely wasteland, a falcon zipped around beating its black wings heavily. A large dusty rock that looked like a sleeping ankylosaurus of some sort lay embedded into the golden ground and flaky cliff side, silent, unmoving. Small cacti grew upright from the rocky cliff side. Miniature bushes of some sort were planted firmly into the rocky terrain. Only then I realised, I was in the unforgiving, cruel-hearted Exile.
|… Quickly running into a cavern I sheltered for a while.…As I gaze up at the aqua blue sky, with fluffy white clouds, gracefully a bird swoops beautifully down in front of me.…Winds whispered gently across Exile…I could see little footprints a bird made on the sand.
..As purple as an aubergine the sky watched the puffy clouds go by.
..I touched the several-aged mountains, they were rough, still and fixed.
|Here I am alone, standing still near the gigantic mountains.I saw a graceful bird swooping eagerly in the lush pale sky, with creamy clouds.Here I am, in this unknown world with just a beautiful soaring bird to keep me company.Silently the bushes stand like an army ready for the battle to begin.
Spiky cacti, in all shapes and sizes, stood still on the shimmering sand.
Drifts would come past me like they were humans.
|I felt like I didn’t belong.My eyes were searching frantically for some kind of comfort.White clouds of silk were beautiful.Rocky cliffs dominated the bright yellow sand.
It was amazing, so sandy, but I realised that once it was beautiful here.
The shiny bird was gliding gracefully.
The dry sand whispered under my feet.
Thank you Judith, and well done Year Four! It is a pleasure to peruse polished prose from the Parklands posse.
Dear Mr. Tim Rylands,
I suspect that, when you visited Wilton and Barford Primary school in the company of an extremely holey walking stick of odd appearance, you were not entirely honest about the stick’s provenance. From a very reliable source who must remain anonymous, I hear that a certain Giant Grimface in a far distant mountainous region had his magic flute, of all things, removed from his castle following his rather vicious beating administered with the flute to a lazy servant, and somehow this much prized possession was secreted under the scarlet cloak of a creature of human countenance who slipped away under cover of darkness, never again to be seen in the Darklands. Later on, the trailing stems of a sturdy bean plant were discovered protruding from a dark hole leading down into the area known as Planet Earth.
As an intrepid reporter, I took it upon myself to follow this trail with great caution down to Planet Earth, to a corner of an area named Wiltshire previously known as part of the realm of Wessex in a rather delightful green island whose name was not known to me. The twisted stems led me to an establishment containing many young earthlings under tuition. Disguised as an earthbound creature myself, I discovered a large room of these earthlings listening attentively to an earthman who was displaying what I recognised immediately as the missing flute in front of a large picture of our blessed Darklands, claiming that the flute was (horrors) a walking stick. By observation and acute listening, I discovered that the earthman was named Mr, Rylands. Not wishing to be the cause of alarm among the young earthlings, I slipped away & retraced my steps.
What is not generally understood among the constellations is that Darklands has a good connection to the cyber clouds in which resides the wonder Google. Hence I am able to communicate my intense wish that you return the precious flute to its rightful owner. Giant Grimface is not always of good temper I must admit, but I must report that he is far more agreeable when he has his magic flute to play so that he can watch the trees dancing to his tunes and the birds flying a beautiful aerial ballet. Since you require a walking stick, I have attached a most serviceable and attractive one to a length of rope you will find dangling in a corner of the earthling school gardens, and I humbly beg you to tie our beloved flute to that same rope so that I can return it to its master. From this act, I shall obtain an exalted position at the office of the Darklands Gazette and there will be much rejoicing in our land.
Paula of the Red Hair, (Senior Roving Correspondent, Darklands Gazette)(Thank you to Paula Hargreaves, also a governor at Wilton and Barford Primary school, for joining the mythological spirit of our visit). Mr Walker is on his way, (Yes. Really!) though he may have lost his song, … ready to be raised for some rightful rest.
Thank you to Richard Boase, Year 6 Teacher, at Manor Fields Primary for sharing some of the successes he has had using computers games in his class
But, I “refused to move” before I got a great sentences from them! And I got many, from everyone in the room!
“I sit in the golden skeleton gondola, wondering where I’m going.” Wrote one Year 6 Girl. We then began our ride!
First off we just watched and children described what they could see. Second run and we just listened with the screen off. Finally both together. Before each run the children came up with amazing sentences! Continue Reading
Thank you to Toni Hayzen, of Clarendon Junior School, Wiltshire, for explaining her journey using games in her class.
Having been enthused about games based learning at the SWGfL ICT conference 2011, I rushed back to school to see what the Headteacher thought of it. Great news! Our Head had seen Tim’s work at her previous school and fully supported any decision to employ the strategies into our school! But where to start? Continue Reading
“That man was great! The work we did was excellent! I really enjoyed it! Thanks for bringing him into our school,” one male year 11 pupil enthusiastically summed up Tim Rylands’ visit to Pentrehafod School.
Following a brief telephone call to Tim Rylands a fortnight earlier, which was abruptly cut short when he said, “I am in Geneva, so this is probably costing you and me a lot of money,” the Deputy Head Teacher, Linda Statts and I set up the in-school INSET via email; much cheaper!
The day involved 60 pupils from Year 7 and 50 from Year 11, among whom were spread teachers and senior leaders from Pentrehafod School, teaching colleagues from Pentrehafod’s cluster primary schools and the ICT Coordinator from Sandfields Comprehensive School.
The aim: to view & discuss teaching methodology for raising literacy standards using ICT in the classroom.
Those aims were both met and surpassed, with more than one teacher after the INSET finished, more than two hours after the end of the school day, rushing to turn on the computer to try out some of the magnificent free resources that Tim had mentioned.
He had also demonstrated how this huge range of free resources could be used in different educational contexts to meet the teaching needs of different subject areas right the way across the school. Continue Reading