Interim reports

Education Learning Log

Stonelaw Fairtrade and Land of Me

Wow! Sat through two of our learning community management meetings today. First of all Cathkin learning Community then the Stonelaw Learning community. Sometimes you’re just gobsmacked when listening to the fantastic work going on around you! For instance Brain Cooklin from Stonelaw high today told us that the school’s fairtrade group have broken through the £100 000 trading barrier.Impressive for a school group, add to that the fundraising work which goes on there to support 300 orphans schooling in Africa and you get just a flavour of some of the work going on there on global citizenship. Anyone interested in this kind of work would be well advised to give the school a ring!

Listened to some P4s from Cairns Primary who presented to the Heads with their teacher on the project they have been doing linked to the ClydeGateway Regeneration work going on in the area. They have been involved with the M74 development in particular around the building of a new bridge – making site visits, getting involved in the ecological issues. Wonderful piece of work. Currently they are designing 3d art sculptures linked to bridges, painting bridges by different designers and investigating wildlife in the Clyde – who knew there are otters, salmon and deer down there?

Listened to lots of things going on in lots of schools from world at work events in the primaries, to outdoor area developments, to numeracy dvds being made for parents and thats just the tip of the iceberg, to banks being set up within school run by the children. In the pm the Heads talked about some of the grants they have been awarded recently from groups such as Pride of  Place, Awards for all, RBS etc etc. This money went into tens of thousands – real entrepreneurial leadership in action.

Loving this link from @DerekRobertson via twitter for early years practitioners – lovely! Its the land of me – interactive online games to inspire creativity in young children story time, rhyme time, numbers etc. Well worth a look as is the great site around Games Based Learning

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March 29, 2010 Posted by | education, leadership, learning | , , , , , | Leave a comment

RM Drop In

Attended the RM drop in for the secondary ICT co-ordinators in SLC. Really interesting afternoon, Trying to learn quickly just now for the new ICT aspects of my remit, so the drop in was really useful. Hope to attend more in future and will think more about how this kind of update/info could be extended in some way for others. The offices where I work were part of a cc4 upgrade during the week by RM as we are attached to a primary school.Brian K from RM was a star in the face of our demands from the area and extended team offices – the school upgrade was easy in comparison to us! Anyway lots of nice new features in the upgrade which can be seen here . Its currently being rolled out across SLC primaries by the summer – at the moment 50 primaries have already been upgraded – at its height 8 schools a week will be being upgraded – quite a feat for RM and the authority’s IT team who are also heavily involved in the primary schools modernisation programme too with a lot of movement over the summer in particular.

Trinity High will have their official opening in the Camglen area this Monday coming. The Glow team and ICT folks here are working away with them for some interesting things at the opening on Monday! This week I attended the official opening of Burgh Primary and just loved the performances by the children – wee p1s with their teddy bears stole the show! Fantastic stuff. The plaque was unveiled by Councillor Pam Cleary who had attended the Burgh when she was at school – she put into perspective really nicely just what great opportunities the children in our schools are offered by the learning environments which are being built for them, but also reminded us that its not just about the building its about the staff and community within it – thats what makes the biggest difference. It was also the school Jeremy Paxman visited when he did his “Who Do you Think You Are?” family tree. His great grandfather John McKay was janitor there at one point. Unfortunately couldn’t attend Loch’s official opening this week, but it too sounded great – loved the mementoes they gave out made by the children with pictures of the school – keyrings etc. At that point  I was in a meeting learning about my primary staffing remit – I think I may need to buy a huge calculator for this bit!! Said goodbye to several colleagues on Friday who are leaving the council and who have been committed to education for many years between them, its sad to see them go but it was fantastic to hear about just a few of the  pieces of work they had undertaken which have made a difference to the lives of many children and families – whether as heads, when they were education officers, managers, advisors etc.

March 27, 2010 Posted by | education, ICT | , , , , , | Leave a comment

HMIe visit

HMIe feedback after visit to Cathkin Community Nursery was very positive. The report will be published in the next few weeks when the gradings etc are all confirmed. In May they are holding an open doors cpd event for teachers, early years workers etc in SLC. At this event the nursery staff will be running a series of workshops on topics such as persona dolls, planning and of course the eyepet project. HMIe mentioned the fabulous work going on around the pets project and were impressed by the use of the eyepet as a stimulus/motivator which led to the focus. I’ve mentioned in previous posts how the mindmapping process and consultation with parents and children is carried out for a focus in the nursery. Some lovely learning experiences which are evidenced around the  nursery over the past few weeks linking in to pets – each group with key worker, hatching/nurturing/caring for an eyepet including the youngest children under 3! Caring for goldfish in playrooms, bringing in fish from fish counters on ice and investigating these, children’s drawings and paintings inspired by pet pictures by artists such as Monet and Andy Warhol, visits to Pet shops, visitors in to nursery linked to pets, photographs by children of their own pets and home links, use of video camera and digital camera by children in playroom, pet corner made and designed by children where they dress up as pets to be sold, use money etc etc, sensory area with linked activities, emergent writing and mark making at all areas in the nursery where the children record what they are doing, the list goes on. The key however is not really about the eyepet it is about  the opportunities provided for learning – like any fantastic practitioners they listen to the children, follow their interests and balance that with staff knowledge about outcomes and direction of learning needs, then use learning tools to make the learning experiences enjoyable, exciting and challenging. The eyepet has been a great tool which has lifted motivation, interest, enjoyment and added in fun. It has not however been used as a bit of tech for tech’s sake. Its been about learning! It  has also given a means of our being able to gather evidence of how they staff go about the planning, observation, evaluation process and this will be gathered, published and shared in various ways over the next few weeks. A truly inspiring place – and the question I would ask is – would I send my own child there? The answer is that I would fight to get them a place!

March 27, 2010 Posted by | Creativity, education | , , | 2 Comments

Games

The Early Years Forum in our area meet every 6 weeks or so. Its very much a drop in session, sometimes with them doing some work together, listening to someone talk etc. Brain McLaren from the consolarium came along last night with some playstation, Wiis, Nintendo DS stuff etc.

Have a look at their recently updated Glow group, which is looking quite nifty. As always the eyepet stole the show with the early years people!

Cathkin Community Nursery are working away with their eyepets and developing a focus around the theme pets.

The following outlines the key steps in planning a focus used at Cathkin Community Nursery

Consulting the Children Using a Mindmapping The Process

Listen to:

Children’s buzzwords

Record this information

 Observe:

Children and areas

Record this information

 Have a staff/team meeting:

Discuss the findings

Make decisions

Decide on a topic/focus

 Mindmap:

Ask the children key questions – What? Who? When? Where? Why?

Children’s ideas and thoughts are recorded (these are recorded on mini mindmaps which are displayed with all other planning materials on the together we learn wall)

 Develop planned experiences:

Learning intention and outcomes are identified

Planned experiences are offered to the children

 Mindmap:

Record children’s learning

 Topic Evaluation

Staff and children evaluate the topic together

 The Together We Learn Board

Planning is displayed on “The Together We Learn Board”

The mini mindmaps are written up after discussing the children’s thoughts and ideas with them

 The buzzwords for this topic were around “Pets”

The eyepet is used as a motivating activity within the focus context and is discussed with the children at the mini mindmap stage

 The “Sunshine Board” is there with post its for parents to add ideas. These are written up into curricular areas and dated. See below – ideas from parents

 

 

Read about  Cathkin Community Nursery and others doing mini music makers here

 SLCTV are in Calderwood Primary today filming some of the recent Burns Competition Winners, so it all looks very exciting downstairs today! Later on they are hosting a small retiral tea for some of the senior education staff who are leaving SLC over the next few weeks. Lorraine Bell, Jessie McPerson and May Boyd. We’re all looking forward to catching up and wishing them luck in the next stage of their lives.

March 16, 2010 Posted by | education, learning, planning, teaching | , , , | Leave a comment

Visiting Hallside Primary

I had a great day today visiting Hallside Primary. I spent time in several classrooms and saw lots of interesting and exciting learning and teaching going on. The children are a real joy – listening really well and showing great pride in their school. The whole school has a super ethos and learning buzz about it. Lots of highlights – super language being used in p4, great fun learning fractions outside with P7, a wee bit scary in the dark learning about light and dark in p3 but they kept an eye on me to stop me being too spooked….lots of active maths, glow pages and ict in P2 and P1 left me just bursting with excitement – the teachers were doing all sorts of exciting storyline things with them to introduce mapping. A few pictures below give a little taster of some of the great stuff going on in Hallside!

Runaround fractions – problem solving right into the warp and weave of the day. Energetic p7s engaged fully in a bit of fun that was pretty hard and needed lots of thinking!

Think about it facts highlight just some of the very good work done in Hallside on global citizenship

A shared vision.


A focus on health and wellbeing. A health update newsletter.

P1 getting ready to hear about the letter left in their room by the Crumpoles…. Lovely storylines in practice.

Learning from nurseries! Using floorbooks.

You follow a map to find Crumpoletown and then you discover a bit of the Crumpoles daily newspaper….There’s been a fire and the Crumpoles have gone (but its ok they had smoke detectors no-one was injured). New plans afoot by p1 to rebuild house for the Cumpoles.

Here’s a colourful, spikey Crumpole

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Creativity, education, learning | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cathkin Community Nursery Blog

Cathkin Community Nursery are starting to use their very own blog

March 9, 2010 Posted by | education | , | 1 Comment

Parents as Partners Consulting Children

The staff at Cathkin Community Nursery are in the middle of planning and carrying out activities around the focus “Pets”. To add a bit of excitement to this context they are using the eyepet. We’re going to collect this planning so other establishments can see how the nursery goes about planning with the children, parents and all involved in the children’s lives. In May the nursery is holding an Open Doors Event which will have 8 workshops run by staff. It will be open to Early Years establishments and early stage primaries in the Rutherglen, Cambuslang and East Kilbride areas. This follows on from successful work done in EK schools trying out open doors events.

Couple of photos below show some of the planning under way. At the nursery they use a mindmap approach to planning – they listen and observe and list “buzzwords” that the children are talking about. The staff team come together talk about the buzzwords and discuss possible focus ideas and outcomes. Children work with staff to develop a mindmap of the kind of things they would like to learn, find out about, try etc. You can also see  the materials which go up on the wall so that parents can add in ideas and thoughts about the focus.

Asking for ideas from parents about the pet focus….

Information about the children’s pets from parents……

Ideas from parents about the pet focus on the sunshine display board……..

Wee bit closer….

Mindmaps written up after discussion with groups of children around the focus pets and the eyepet

The initial mindmaps are going off to Brian McLaren at the consolarium and he’ll put them up on the glow group somewhere in the future.

Saw this in Oakwood House Nursery this week. They are working on ways to record the children self and peer assessing their work. The children using individual self assessment cards and the staff record discussions with the children around learning experiensces using this format. Currently writing a follow through report on their HMIe visit a year ago. Lots of really great work going on in the partnership establishment!

Enjoyed a visit to Little Pets partner nursery who ran a health day recently – great to see them inviting down local primary 1s to visit. Good transition work going on.

Really enjoyed attending the HMIe dialogue session at the end of the visit to Calderwood primary on Friday. It has been a really positive week for the school, staff, parents and children. Well done everyone there. Looking forward to reading the report when it is published.

Enjoying learning new things. I have some additions to my remit and I’m having a great time getting my teeth into them. Have a strategic ICT role and am spending time with the IT Business manager learning about all things ICT, just great fun getting to grips with the whole picture. Also taking on primary staffing work and again loving getting my teeth into new aspects of work in the education department. Have had an invite to the official opening of one of the schools I work with – Loch Primary. They are awaiting the publication of their follow through HMIe report. The initial visit was carried out around two years ago and the HT had just taken up appointment at that time. Really pleased with the outcome of this too – and can’t wait to see it published. Amazing work done by the staff in the school. Big thumbs up all round to the impact HMIe have had working together with these and other establishments in the area!

Busy week ahead, particularly looking forward to class visits at Hallside Primary.

March 7, 2010 Posted by | education, ICT, learning, Parent Consultations, planning, teaching | , , , , , , | Leave a comment