Category: 4) Well Done!

Farewell… Chew Magna

| July 16, 2007 | 0 Comments 

I was more than a little sad to be making a trip to the Millennium Hall in Chew Magna, for a farewell “do”.

I thought that, as I had been on a year long sabbatical from Chew Magna school, I would slip out quietly, but, …no.

I am very grateful to Phil Hammond, (chair of governors at the school) Sue Taylor, Annie Spencer, the staff, pupils and others, for organising a really wonderful and relaxed evening. Touchingly, there were so many of my ex pupils there… and they are now all so much taller than me!

[rockyou 77262481]

We all sang some of the songs from the two musicals that we performed and recorded at school. When I say “sung”… well, even I forgot most of the words. 🙂

Debbie and I had still been writing A Brand New Paige as we started rehearsals etc for the original performance!

Carl Sorensen did the design for the CD and posters.

For the party, he had done a fantastic photoshop job on the poster, substituting my head for that of Paige!

Quite disconcerting but thank you to all those who signed the back of it.

It was great to get three of the four main characters back together, to pose again for the poster.

Thank you Sophie, Stephen and James for recreating the scene.

(Sorry you couldn’t make it Lucy. It just meant I had to have a go 🙂 )

Ellie’s school, Churchill Primary, are staging the musical this year with Ellie playing the part of Dagan, so it was good for her to meet the original.

Thank you to all of the staff, parents and pupils for the very generous gifts of a replacement Mr Walker, and a spectacular trip in a hot air balloon – one of my ambitions for years.

I am still introduced as Tim Rylands ” from Chew Magna Primary school” and know that I probably always will be.

Thank you for allowing me to take off and fly. I know you will do too.

Riven ‘ritin

| July 15, 2007 | 0 Comments 

Thank you to Sue Clamp, of Wheatfields Primary school, in Cambridgshire, for sending a link to some superb writing from her Year 6 after-school writing club, “The Write Pod”

They used Riven (the sequel to Myst) as a stimulus for some really original pieces. Well done Oliver, Bradley, Ryan L , Eden, James, Ryan W, Jordan, Jessica and Emma. Great stuff!

Read their dramatic texts HERE

Just follow the “Next” button at the bottom of the page to move on to more…

More doors…at Bryncethin.

| June 6, 2007 | 0 Comments 

The doors idea seems to have really caught some people’s imaginations as I have a had quite a few emails from teachers over the last few weeks. It was also very good timing for those who had to inflict SATs on their Year 6s!

Luke, from Bryncethin Primary in Bridgend, Wales, was one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to go through that process but I appreciate the link he sent, to some of the work his children have been doing:

“Hi Tim, I sent you a mail a few months ago congratulating you on your work, and how I enjoyed your seminar in Bryngarw (I was the big guy who helped instal the Myst discs.) I have been using your strategies to great effect, and they have definitely improved writing and the willingness to write. I have a lovely display, I’ll send a picture to you. I have also used the multimedia images of doors to great effect, some results can be seen on our website: Bryncethin Primary

I have shared the techniques with other staff and also Welsh Assembly, which will be published in a forthcoming document. I would very much like to meet again and ‘pick’ your brains about some other ideas when you are around.

Kind regards, and Thanks again
Luke Chaeter.”

Thanks Luke and well done to you and your class!

Also had a good long chat with Paul Hutton, the Primary Teaching and Learning Consultant from Luton, about all of the exciting work they have been doing with Exile. Watch this space!

Keep coming with your ideas and examples of some of the great work you have been doing.

Write on…

| May 4, 2007 | 0 Comments 

It is always lovely to get sent work springing from one of my visits. Folk have sent me everything from art work to films. So, thank you, today, to Helen’s class, at Oxford school, Muenster, Germany

After thoroughly enjoying your training at the ICT conference in Hamm, I’ve boldly (or baldly 🙂 ) led some training in school following your example. I felt so exhilarated by the positive response from the teachers at school, but more importantly from the response from the kids in my class. I teach year 6 at the moment, and I just wanted to share with you some of their writing.



I love the idea that the marble ledge was worn down by centuries of intrigued elbows! Spot on! That really conjures up a picture of people standing in that room, surrounded by beautiful mystery doesn’t it?
Well done to P.F and C.C


Keep ‘em coming folks…


| March 29, 2007 | 1 Comment 

Run out of steam so will be updating today’s (and Tuesday’s!) entries when I… well, Samson grew some hair… maybe I should try that!

I had a superb day today at Lyneham Junior and look forward to telling you all about it, meanwhile…


WATCH THIS SPACE ——————————>

Cornwall: Lights! Camera! Upton!

| March 22, 2007 | 0 Comments 

school_exterior_med.JPGUpton Cross again, and, Years 5 and 6 are a lucky lot.

“Mrs E”, their teacher is an imaginative, spirited soul with a great sense of humour.

As do all her colleagues.

We had a superbly creative, fun day today developing the ideas for some short films with a powerful message. I often find that the most effective way of motivating involvement in a lesson is generating a sense of ownership and enthusiasm for a subject. The theme of “Teamwork” seemed to spring naturally from our opening discussions. Some excellent thought about when teams might be needed/ beneficial; the qualities of a team member; and the features of a good team. It didn’t take much to spark a conversation about the conflicts that might arise, but, more importantly, how the strengths of a group could be used to resolve them.

logo.gifWe didn’t even get on to the possibility of making a film until the idea was mentioned by “M” as the optimum way of getting our message across. There was still no access to the internet so I wasn’t able to show them some examples of public information films, from the National Archive, as planned.

It turned out to work well, as, when we looked at a couple of examples of “public information films” children have made with me in the past, the “Upton Cross film school crew” showed some good critical skills in analysing the way that those films had effectively portrayed their powerful messages in under 30 seconds. There lay the seeds of a “self generated” challenge building on “M”s idea.

“The Hat” chose some groups and we were off!

It may have to be a case of watch this space for the end results to be able to be broadcast on the “interweb” but it will be well worth the anticipation.

Thankyou indeed, to ALL of the staff at Upton Cross, and our visitors, for a memorable couple of days.

Tim – I just wanted to thank you for baldly going into the infrequently explored wilds of Upton Cross, nestled as we are on the inhospitable nomansland at the edge of Bodmin Moor, to bring your magic to both staff and pupils. ICT to inspire? Well that is only one of your skills and qualities that inspired us and I think ICT should be exchanged for ‘everything’, as the depth of your inspiration was only equalled by its breadth. A great couple of days where pace and purpose were explored critically and were found to be (in the words of Goldilocks) just right.
Thanks again – til we meet again!

Look carefully…

| March 2, 2007 | 2 Comments 

Muhammad Abdul Bari, Patch Adams, Sir David Attenborough, Quentin Blake, Malorie Blackman, Bono, Bill Bryson, Jimmy Carter, Shami Chakrabati, Sir Arthur C Clarke, Bill Clinton, Richard Curtis, HE XIVth Dalai Lama, Leonardo Di Caprio, Placido Domingo, Anne Fine, Arun Manilal Ghandi, Bill Gates, Sir Bob Geldorf, Jane Goodall, Mikhail Gorbachov, Al Gore, Seamus Heaney, Quincy Jones, Robert F Kennedy Jnr, Alicia Keys, George Lucas, David Lynch, Cameron Mackintosh, Nelson Mandela, Michael Morpurgo, Andrew Motion, Ben Okri, Jonathon Porrit, HRH Prince Of Wales, Anita and Gordon Roddick, Michael Rosen, Joanne Rowling, Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, Tim Rylands, Dr Jonathan Sacks, Steven Spielberg, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Earth Wind And Fire, John Williams, Rowan Williams, Jaqueline Wilson, Oprah Winfrey, Naomi Wolf, Stevie Wonder, Tiger Woods…

All will be revealed…

Bexley Bashers!

| February 6, 2007 | 0 Comments 

Another good trip back to Bexley today and a training day with Barrington Primary school, joined by colleagues from nearby Orchard school. I was impressed that so many governors also joined the day and contributed with perceptive enthusiasm.

We had a day of exploring and spent a while trying to work out what the little rabbit-like creature, which we encountered behind the “Tiffany granny flat”, was doing. All about interdependence and adaptation.

The composition challenge that ended the day was …um…loud! 🙂

I have never heard so much volume and oomph before.

Well done Claire for trying to organise, what turned out to be, a heavy metal band! Barrington Pheloung (look him up) we definitely were not. However, humour and full-on gusto were the mark of this composition. “Less is more” went out of the window… but we had a good laugh!

Atrus even popped in to complain about the noise!

Thank you to Jacqui and her colleagues for a fun day.A day that was only matched by… the next day.

I had a great second day with the children of Barrington school. They showed that they, too, have a great sense of humour and are “up for a challenge” I look forward to a return trip someday.

“Nigh Swan!”

There’s no business like snow business!

| January 27, 2007 | 0 Comments 

Wednesday this week started out looking like it could have been a challenging day.
It turned out to be a real delight.

I arrived at Northend Primary, in Bexley, in the middle of a snowblast. I plugged my laptop in and …nothing but buzz. The first class I was due to teach came into the room understandably buzzing as well, because of the scenery outsidesnowflake-1.jpg and the snowballs they had evidently thrown at each other.

I breathed in and started the game. A soggy round of “We’ve been here” rang out. Anything else to go wrong I wondered.

That was it though. The rest of the day was, as I say, an absolutely cracking day. They were hooked. It is really energizing to find that children of all abilities respond magically to these simple ideas. The last class I visited had had maths, literacy, science and been swimming… and then a bald bloke with a walking stick arrives and starts playing computer games and getting them to write extended descriptive narrative! They were still up for it. Believe it or not they had a bucket of snow from the morning that had not melted.

Things like snow, water, heat… make a powerful sensory stimulus for children who find it difficult to express themselves when we are exploring the visually rich MrRylandsIslands as somebody, wonderfully, called it today. Paper towels were another sensory way of representing leaves in one of the locations we visited. I had a great day working with four classes and then had an after schooloct30a_a_sm.jpg session with the staff. I realise that it is these practical times with children (and staff observing the lessons) that I enjoy the most. Ideas just snowball!

I had a longer drive than I had anticipated to get a replacement laptop, but it was well worth it. Thanks to all those at Northend for a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Any of my minor technical problems were nothing compared to those of “Website Clive” in Normandy. He awoke to discover his whole hard drive had imploded. Thankfully, he has been a diligent chap with his back ups but the speed that he works on websites meant that, even then, he has lost a lot of data and hours of work. A salutary prompt to us all, me included. They too had a snowfall, so Clive appears to have worked off some of his frustration with a romp with Basil, the Les Rouges Terres snow-hound.


Today’s link is an appropriately snowy one: Make your own, virtual snowflake.

Let us snow how you get on!

Writing off the wall…

| January 1, 1999 | 0 Comments 

In fact, this a page where you can read some examples of work I have been sent recently.
If you would like to see your own examples here, I would love to add them to the gallery. Send them via
I look forward to reading even more, like the gems below from
Oxford School, Muenster, Germany

Tomahna was left empty as if to die alone. The wind howling, the rocks eroded from many years of rain. A falcon ready to snatch its prey from the ground. From the silk-blue sky shone the rays of the sun through the intricate stained glass. (J.S.)

As I looked out into the lifeless landscape I saw a bird circling ahead; it’s blue eyes narrowed as if it had seen something scurry along. Its black long feathers gave off the faintest smell. “Breathtaking isn’t it?” said a voice that seemed to come from nowhere. Suddenly I spun round and saw a door. Each and everything was carefully engraved. (L.D.)

The lantern-lit bridge of green envy hung motionless above the icy waters. The door creaked as it swung open easily. Before me sat a lever, old and rusted, where many hands had touched. The next door was harder to open and made a spine-tingling screech like nails on a blackboard. (C.C.)

Scattered pebbles crumbled beneath my feet while the gentle lapping of the water soothed me. To my left, a glass house stood at the foot of a lantern-lit bridge; beautifully carved with patterns that seemed to twist the imagination in and out. A calm breeze fell over this strange land. As terrifying as it was, I kept going. (C.L.)

The music sounded far away from an unknown place. The bridge was made from neatly formed stained glass plates for each step. The sand was rippled by heavy winds. The door looked like thousands of weeds had carved its beauty. (D.M.)

I listened closely to hear the splashes of water spreading over the rocky sand. I walked over to the sea’s edge and I came to a golden bridge. Each part of the floor was shaped like a candy wrapper. As I stepped on to the unsteady bridge danger increased with every step I took. (J.L.)

The silky sand was covered in ripples curving in all directions. Smooth rocks surrounded me and tiny pebbles were encrusted and looked as if they had been lying there for generations. I could hear the murky waters ebbing with the strong breeze. The clouds looked heavily laden and the dim light was just breaking through. (M.E.)

I Will Be Lyrics