Interim reports

Education Learning Log

Parents as Partners, Learning, Thinking

SLC hold an annual parents as partners conference. This session’s was held on Monday. It was well attended with parent forum and council reps from across the authority’s establishments. The key themes were Curriculum for Excellence and where we are in SLC –  with talks from the Depute Director and also from a secondary Head who told the story of his school’s journey with CfE. There was a workshop session when those attending looked at possible new CfE reporting to parent formats, adding their thoughts to this development process. Great singing from John Ogilvie High pupils added a special touch to the evening.

Some really nice ideas seen when visiting Calderwood Primary. Great example of planning an interdisciplinary topic from P6 below. Classes are working on developing CfE via interdisc topics. They have done a similar piece of work to our early years forum who are in the midst of breaking down the key elements of a focus/topic planner. If the key elements are right then the paper planner will follow. But its the getting right of all the steps within planning first that important. This primary 6 example  shows great work on consulting with children.

Our EY area focus planning has decided the following are the key elements which are needed in focus planning (equally very similar 3-18!)

List of Key Elements within a Focus Planner

  • Consultation with Children Prior to Focus Planning – (What do we already know, what would we like to know and how can we learn about these aspects)
  • Consultation with Children During the Focus Planning (A response to developing interests, aspects which are assisting motivations and relevance of activities to planned experience and outcome development)
  • Consultation with parents/carers and partners
  • CfE Health and Wellbeing Indicators – Safe Healthy Active Nurtured Respected Responsible Included
  • CfE Principles – Personalisation and Choice Challenge and Enjoyment Depth Coherence Relevance Breadth Progression
  • Specific CfE experiences and outcomes – NB these can be linked to the annual Improvement Plan to ensure implementation is not overwhelming
  • List of Resources and possible activities discussed as a team after consulting with children. This would include outdoor play activities, external visitors, community involvement in the focus, enterprising activities etc
  • AiFL strategies to be used
  • Evaluation of focus by staff involved – as related to children’s development/learning in the planned experiences and outcomes
  • Children’s Evaluation of their learning
  • CfE four capacities in full – so evaluation of experiences and outcomes can show progression toward development of four capacities

Calderwood alongside other schools in the area have been working together for a number of years looking at AiFl with a focus on peronal learning planning. This can be increasingly seen in practice throughout the school. Couple of pictures below demonstrate just some of the things on the go

So there area some really nice ideas here – individual targets in different headings, targets which are current and targets achieved moved to different parts of wall etc Lots of other examples within the school –  from their plp booklets, to evaluations of specific topics (what we have learned etc)

 One of the things I’m really delighted to see in Calderwood and in other schools round about (I have to mention Loch here too!) is the increasing focus on the language of CfE with the children – they need to understand what it means to be a successful learner etc at their age and stage. This shows up mostly from talking to the children. Loch for instance have children plastered up with “ask me badges” – you may see a child who has been a successful contributor and the idea is you ask them why – the children love this. Great for home school partnership/dialogue too. Below is another great idea from Calderwood which I’m seeing in other places too – group reminders in the middle of tables re CfE language (along much the same lines as a VCOP pyramid)

Down in the infant department the children were really enthusiastic to show me their enchanted forest area. A couple of weeks ago this area was bare – awaiting the children to develop it. Some lovely work going on

They had also bought in the thinking dice which are a favourite of mine! This further developing of questioning skills can be seen embedding further across the area as AiFl becomes a more natural part of the learning and teaching process. The HT is developing booklets, ideas for activities etc around the thinking dice and blooms taxonomy. Great question starters can be found pretty easily by a spot of googling. Some below pochled from various sources

Question Cards Question Starters – these could be cut out and laminated for all staff.


(Recalling information – Recognising, listing, describing, retrieving, naming, finding)

 What do you know about….?

Can you find out about…?

Where does it say…?

Who is it about…?

Who did it….?

What is it called…..?

How many…..?

What types of….are there…..?

Can you remember….?

What happened after….?

Who was it that….?

Can you list…?

Where is….?


(Explaining ideas or concepts, Interpreting, summarising, paraphrasing, classifying, explaining)

 What do you understand…?

Why do you think….?

Can you give a reason for/explain….?

Can you explain why/how/what/when…?

Why did….?

Why does….?

How is….feeling….?

Which is….. and why…..?


(Using information in another familiar situation, Implementing, carrying out, using, executing)


Can you explain why/how/which….?

What would you have done…?

What do you think will happen/would have happened next…? What makes you think….?

What would you use for….?

How would you use….?

How would you organise….?

Why is …. an example of….?

How could ….. be improved….?

How could this….be made even better?
How would you deal with….?

What would be an example of…?

What ideas show….?

Can you explain in your own words…?

What is meant by….?

What is the main idea of…?


(Breaking information into parts to explore understandings and relationships, Comparing, organising, deconstructing, interrogating, finding)

 How would you group/sort/order….?

Can you work out the parts/structure/bits of….?

How can you show the differences/similarities of….?

What patterns can you find….?

What can you tell about…. Because of….?

What is important/not important about….?

Why would someone else think that….?

What would you say to a person who said…?

What are some of the problems….?

What caused…?

How does…. Compare with…..?


Justifying a decision or course of action, Checking, hypothesising, experimenting, judging


How successful was…?

How would you rate…?

What do you think of….?

What makes…. great/good/not so good?

What went well/didn’t go well…..?

What did you find out….?

What would you suggest…?
How would you….?

What us the most important….?

Do you agree or disagree with….why?

How would you choose…..?

If you could change one thing about….what would it be?

What are the strengths and weaknesses of….?


Generating new ideas, products, or ways of viewing things – Designing, constructing, planning, producing, inventing.

 Can you think of a better way to….?

What would you have done if….?

How would you do this better next time…?

How would you change this… to…?

Could you invent/design a new way to….?

What could you do to improve….?

What would you sort out/take away….?

Are there any ways you could….?

How many ways could you….?

Can you solve….?

How would you find out….?





November 27, 2009 - Posted by | education, teaching | , , , ,

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