Interim reports

Education Learning Log

Primary 2

I had a great time taking P2 this morning. I was really impressed with how well trained they now are in self registration and going straight to active learning activities – they certainly let me know how they were to go about this. P2 and young children are very strong on rules and soon let you know if you’re doing something wrong. I was also delighted with how well their learning in mental maths is going. Unfortunately it was a wet playtime so it was less relaxed after playtime!

My hat goes off to the teacher and if I were 6 again I’d love to be in her class. I’m not sure I left them as calm as she’s used to….But we had a good time.

After making my escape bid in the afternoon I attended a network meeting about our rich task group. It was interesting to hear how the other ASG groups and CfE groups are getting on. There are 41 groups going at the moment in SLC which is remarkable! The diverse areas being covere are interesting. It will be fascinating to read the final reports from all the different groups.

January 29, 2008 Posted by | learning | Leave a comment

Duncanrig Learning Community blogs

Here are the links to the blogs now going about our Africa/Malawi rich task. These are pupil blogs and I’m really pleased with how well they are getting on. Hopefully the pupils and teachers involved will feel a community of learning starting to build and will continue this in the future.

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Rich tasks | , , | 1 Comment

Catching the blogging bug!

Caroline the P7 teacher is a star! She’s curently setting up Glow and running a rich task amongst other things. Her recently started learning log is worth reading, it shows a reflective practitioner constantly developing how they do things! P7 were really excited that they got comments on their rch task blog and Southpark are also rip roaring away with their rich task blog too.

We were all back to school today and the heating was all sorted out. I’m feeling a bit busy just now as I only have two weeks left at Castlefield before I move on. Trying to catch up with lots of little jobs I haven’t completed is puffing me out!

At home I’m living in chaos – a new kitchen seemed like a good idea. However the building work prior to the kitchen going in has turned into an archaeological excavation…. First a big bed recess cupboard was dismantled, then a fireplace removed etc etc however the most fascinating bit was peeling back the layers of paper and paint to the original paint work from over a hundred years ago. Trends go in circles – it was chocollate brown and a sort of mushroomy, terracota colour with blank bits where it looked like ikea-esk chunky shelves had been. I could have wept however when I saw the size the original huge wooden fireplace had been – it must have been beautiful.

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Rich tasks, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment


I’m feeling CRABBIT!!
(cra-bit) Dialect, chiefly Scot. ~adj. 1. ill-tempered, grumpy, curt, disagreeable; in a bad mood [esp. in the morning]. ( often used in ” ken this, yer a crabbit get, so you are”) ~n. by their nature or temperament conveys an aura of irritability.

I’m in need of buying one of these mugs to bandish at people in general, as they’d then know I’m a grump!

A fuse went in the heating last night and so we were feeling chilly first thing. There’s nothing worse than making a decision to send the children home, as it causes so much hassle for parents, the children and the local authority and its hard for our staff too when they are ready for children for the day. However even with fast boosted heating, we were still  shivering in the afternoon. The staff in the school however are made of hardy stuff and beavered away all day with their jackets, scarves and by blowing regularly on their fingers. They’re real troopers. All those things we try to fit in got done, bits of planning, photocopying, making resources etc. You suddenly realise when you have no children in just how much work staff are squeezing into their busy schedules. So anyway, not just crabbit but in a fankle first thing too! But the builders, council helpers etc were fabulous and sorted out the problem very quickly.

January 22, 2008 Posted by | Nonsense | | Leave a comment

P7 Bloggers

P7 were having a good time today. I went in to help them get blogging. They’d love some comments if anyone has time to drop by their blog! They are looking at aspects of functional writing and non fiction reading at the moment with their Africa rich task and have been working hard already. Southpark are up and running with their blog too – it’s on the sidebar of this page – Mossneuk are also up and running -they’re looking for comments too! The children really start to understand the power of this as a learning tool when they get feedback so I know they’d appreciate it.

January 21, 2008 Posted by | Malawi, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Rich task start

The schools in our Duncanrig learning community have begun their rich task, this is linked to work ongoing related to Malawi and other parts of Africa. They are going to try blogging too which is a new step for many. So good luck to them all – I’ve read blogging starts from Southpark and  Castlefield – they’re on my blog roll at the side here.

I enjoyed hearing an update from Con Morris on CPD Find today and was interested to hear about a self reflection tool they are developing which will be available to staff in the future. But listening to Con and having been involved recently in school with the Glow pilot, looking at CfE roll out within our Learning Community etc, I had a flurry of butterflies in my stomach….Shift happens alright and at the moment things which have been talked about for some time are beginning to roll out.

I do worry however that it might be too easy to make some of the mistakes that we have made before. Are we all understanding CfE? For me its all about using appropriate methodologies and reflection and improvement of how we learn and teach. I’m worrying at the moment of all the talk I’m hearing  of “unpacking” outcomes and making “banks” of materials. I’d like to see teaching professionals with knowledge of “hows” at their fingertips (not more programmes of study please), who can decide what best method of learning and teaching suits their children’s needs and helps them deeply understand and move towards outcomes. Teachers who can access technologies to help with their own professional learning and that of their children. Maybe this will come and I’m just in a gloomy, worry hole at the moment.

January 18, 2008 Posted by | learning, Malawi, Rich tasks, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Dangerous things

Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School. Someone with such a cool name (and founder of the Tinkering School no less) – sounds like he should be given some award or other! I love his Tedtalk about five (and a half) dangerous things we should allow our children to do.

I’m not advocating driving lessons for our nursery children or building regular fires in the playground, however I’ve muttered about us wrapping up our children in cotton wool before. Trying dangerous things (within boundaries) helps us develop our risk taking and that’s an important thing for us as we progress through life.

I laughed a few times as Gever talked as I remembered some of the dangerous things I loved doing as a girl. And those things were the things that made me feel independent. It was great lighting bonfires  and burning various bits of food on them (most of which we ate anyway), prodding things with a Swiss army knife was also a favourite as was sitting on my uncle’s knee from the age of about three as he drove a tractor and I turned the steering wheel (My Mum would have had a heart attack had she known). My knees sound a bit like Gever’s as they bear the scars of many a fall from a tree or something sharp being knelt on!

In these days of my ban in my nursery on even a home made birthday cake being brought in (my mantra is – it must be shop bought and still in wrapper so we know it is safe to eat – that’s disregarding any chemicals which might be in the shop bought cake…..) so I comply with health and safety regulations, I continue to wonder if its not time we found a few more modern time Baden Powell types like Gever.

January 14, 2008 Posted by | Nonsense | , | Leave a comment


I grew up in a small East Coast town where the battery hen sheds and chicken factory were taken as normal. It’s something I always really just ignored as a youngster, it was just what happened, the way things were. Kind of the same as when I helped out with farming relatives – I just took for granted that at calving time the cows couldn’t give birth without a lot of assistance because the bulls they bred with made such huge calves. I could go on for a long time but we all know all this stuff and its pretty revolting and a sad indictment of our consuming habits.

Nowadays, however, I make a token effort at eating free range eggs and chicken. I watched Hugh FW and Jamie’s programmes this week and took more time to think about my consuming choices and promise to try harder! The thing that really revolted me however was thinking about liquid eggs (the broken eggs from the batteries) being in so much food I eat – the mayonnaise I love lathering on things has taken a back shelf for the moment… Here was me buying the free range eggs then eating quiche, mayonnaise and cakes probably full of the battery eggs. Hmm.

January 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Term

I’ve enjoyed my break and it’s back to school tomorrow.

This week will be busy-staff are having some time out of class to look at their literacy world and ORT resources, we’ve got a rich task meeting, one teacher is finishing some work on Apodo, a new teacher starts in P6, another teacher is back after surgery, our Robert Burns competition poems get sent home for learning and we need to get geared up for the P1 registration week. We’ve also got some wee trout eggs coming soon which we’ll be hatching to release into the Clyde and we’re planning to start getting ready for our recycled green house. Phew and its only Sunday night….

January 6, 2008 Posted by | Nonsense | | Leave a comment