Interim reports

Education Learning Log

Active Learning

The past few weeks have as always been busy at work. The new HMIe procedures are bedding in and there has been a fair amount of activity around our area. At a recent feedback I was very much struck by the increasing move to working with the establishment to assist improvement. The staff throughout the week also commented on how much they had been able to engage and how much they had learned through the process. This recent experience was encouraging.

The nurseries in the area have been thinking about backdrop planning linked to curriculum for excellence at their early years forum and the green shoots of higher engagement in taking the whole initiative to the next level are also encouraging.

One of the best experiences recently was visiting a local primary to watch teaching in the early stages. The staff at Bankhead have been working hard over a period of time to engage with active learning approaches and the visits to the infant stages there were inspiring. In one class the were working on an enchanted forest theme and there was much talk of the missing creature who they were going outside to look for later in the wooded area in their playground. The teacher was pulling huge amounts of learning out of the children through using a stimulating context and in one hour session (numeracy and mathematics) the children were weighing (animals from the forest) to see which was lightest, heaviest etc, playing games with adults to reinforce number bonds, building using technology and drawing/writing report on what they were making, doing sums related to ongoing number work, working with shapes etc etc all at their own level and all pushing their learning. Next door was a similar story at their literacvy session – excellent teaching, stimulated and interesting children, activities where children were pushing forward in their learning. In this class most of the children had been with the teacher in the nursery too as part of a looping project, and it will be interesting to see the benefits this brings over the session. The two teachers were both experienced practitioners, freed up to do what they know how to do best – teach, intervene where appropriate, assess and meet next steps. It’s exciting to see what can be done when a school uses its creativity, team work and its own context and needs to do what they know is right for that particular establishment and their children.

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November 15, 2008 - Posted by | learning

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