Interim reports

Education Learning Log

Great teaching at Stonelaw High

Great to see Alan Byrne at Stonelaw High in the Cambuslang Rutherglen area of SLC recognised in the TES awards. The full article about the awards  is here

The following quote from the TESS explains about Alan

“A South Lanarkshire teacher has won the top honour for a lifetime’s achievement in the first UK-wide TES Schools Awards, presented yesterday at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Alan Byrne is no stranger to Scottish teachers and pupils, having worked with thousands of them in his 40 years as a PE teacher. For 27 of them, he has taught at Stonelaw High, putting the school firmly on the national map with countless sporting victories.

In the past year alone, Stonelaw produced four Scottish Cup-winning teams in volleyball (two), cross-country and football, and seven internationalists from six sports. Three of the current Scottish volleyball team come from the school.

Mr Byrne’s pioneering approach to setting sport in S2 won media recognition four years ago for boosting the achievement of the best athletes while increasing the fitness of the young citizens of Rutherglen, who sported pedometers with enthusiasm as they strived to raise their exercise levels and enjoyed sessions on the trampoline or running through the local heritage park.

School inspectors have praised his PE department’s “new and creative approach to improving the health and well-being of young people”, recommending it as an example of good practice. And Stonelaw has won bronze, silver and gold awards for being a health-promoting school.

His Higher course materials are used by more than 100 schools and he leads national and local authority inservice training. He has also, through “caring counsel and motivation to students who struggled elsewhere”, produced some of the best PE exam results in Scotland.

On top of that, Mr Byrne, whose teenage daughter died 15 years ago after years of 24-hour care, has helped other similarly-afflicted families and managed to fundraise over £80,000 for charity.”

The school’s nomination drew a vast range of testimonials from colleagues past and present, which reflected their admiration and affection for him. The words “inspiration”, “energy”, “commitment”, “passion” and “enthusiasm” ran through them, as did “respect” and “regard”.

Uddingston teacher Jean McLeod said: “He epitomises the phrase ‘Deeds, not words’, leading by example in teaching, managing his department, moderating for SQA or taking extra-curricular activities. He shares knowledge and experiences.”

Another teacher, Lisa Polombo, said: “In leading the curriculum, Alan is informed and his opinion valued. Revered across Scotland, he comes into lives and makes big differences, whether you’re a pupil, colleague or friend.”

His headteacher, Brian Cooklin, simply added: “I know of no other colleague who deserves this award more. Alan is unique.”

The TES judges were overwhelmed by Mr Byrne’s achievements, saying: “The sheer range of sport that he’s taught is impressive – but it’s even more impressive when you see so many of his teams have succeeded at such a high level. And on top of this, he has done unstinting work for charities. He’s done it all.”

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June 18, 2010 Posted by | Creativity, education, learning, Making a Difference | , | 1 Comment

Cathkin Community Nursery Update

Nice write up about the HMIE report on Cathkin Community nursery on bbc website

Brian McLaren writes about their eyepet project on the consolarium blog

May 28, 2010 Posted by | education, learning | , , | Leave a comment

Best Nursery in Scotland!

The most recent HMIe reports for primaries in the  Cambuslang and Rutherglen Area of South Lanarkshire are those for:  St Anthony’s Primary, St Bride’s and also Calderwood Primary with the follow through on Loch also recently published, all showing the fantastic quality of schools in the area. Fabulous work going on and we are all ever so proud of the children, parents and staff in the area. All of these establishments are well on their journey to excellence.

The latest nursery publication in the area, is the HMIe report on Cathkin Community Nursery which came out today. The nursery has been evaluated as excellent in all the QIs in the report. I’m not ashamed to admit that I bubbled all the way through the feedback dialogue session the other week. It was just fantastic to hear the hard work of the team being praised to the hilt. Every word was deserved.  Last year the nursery was graded across the board at 6 by the care commission. As far as I am aware this is the first Scottish nursery to have achieved all 6’s from care commission then have all excellents the next year from a joint HMIe/Care Commission Inspection. Pretty special! The start the children are given in their educational journey at the nursery is outstanding. Well done to everyone involved with the nursery. I mustn’t forget to mention Liz and Karen – two very special leaders who are providing something immeasurable for the children in their care. Something which is making a difference not only to the children there now but as Patrick Duignan talks about – to future children in ways we will never know.

Southlanarkshire is now on twitter you can follow the LA @SouthLanCouncil

May 26, 2010 Posted by | education, leadership, learning, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

Lots of abbreviations in this post…

Brian McLaren did an enjoyable session at Loch Primary yesterday evening. Staff had the chance to try out lots of the goodies from his travelling bag – games on the wii, PS3 etc. I wasn’t able to get there as quickly as I wanted (but caught the second half). Prior to this I was up at Cathkin High where they were planning a student project with UWS commercial music students, Calderwood Primary will also be involved – exciting work will culminate in pupils developing a myspace type web presence with their recorded musical artefact. David Scott from UWS as always just fantastic to work with.

Its good to see the Loch moving forward with this GBL approach. Great way to engage youngsters. Their PT talked about her work on planning an interdisciplinary project using Endless Ocean tonight at the PT drop in session, she was also showing how she uses the Glow outcome tool to gather outcomes together into a planning document. Several teachers now playing with this around the primaries in particular in the area and are finding this a great practical tool.  At Loch they’re building up to each class having a GBL interdisciplinary topic per session as a context – eg Endless Ocean, Guitar Band, Eyepet, Wildlife Safari, Nintendogs etc, alongside this they are using their Nintendo DS’ for various ongoing activities. Fascinating inputs from other PTs – other highlights included Stonelaw’s Pete Mulvey and his  ideas around using flipcams and Trinity’s Ian Gilroy talking about positive behaviour, input from Martin Frame on the work ongoing at Cathkin PS where the children run their own bank with the assistance of RBS, Jaye Richards showing how various bits of Glow are really useful in particular Glow Meet and emphasising that take tools/ideas and be creative in how you use them to enhance your teaching and learning.  The best CPD always comes from classroom practitioners.

Learned a lot this afternoon from the area SMPS who did a session with LC HTs on IEPS, ASPs and CSPs. Clarified the reasoning behind certain planning tools in schools which are used to meet pupil needs. Really enjoy working alongside the senior manager pupil support as it fascinates me how much expertise they have in this area and I always come away having learned something new.

A task for me at the moment is completing a round of CP audits in schools, looking at how schools are developing CfE work and their CfE timelines, catching up with PRDs for nursery Heads, and keeping working away with schools about where they are with evaluative statement writing of QIs. Nursery inspection finished last week and Primary one coming up in a couple of weeks. Exciting new additions to my remit coming on the horizon too which I’m going to really enjoy. I could never say my daily routine is dull, always diverse and interesting.

February 2, 2010 Posted by | education, ICT, learning | , | Leave a comment

Visiting

Out and about getting time to look at some of the interesting practice going on in the area today. Visited Calderwood Primary to meet the HT about a curriculum for excellence development work update in the school, by luck the Primary 3 class were doing something pretty neat! They have recently been completing an interdisciplinary topic related to puppets. Stonelaw pre school 3 year olds had come up from the nearby church to watch their puppet show. The children performed using the puppets they had designed to their audience and managed to hold their attention. Afterwards they showed the pre school children their displays, their puppets etc. I’ve put a few photos underneath of this and some other interesting aspects in this P3 class.

Things of particular note – the way they plan and consult together as a class before, during and after learning opportunities – you can see this for the puppet context and also their next interdisciplinary piece of work which will be in Egypt.. Lots of evidence of discussion of useful learning strategies around the room. Evidence of children setting their own individual targets. Child friendly CfE language so they can understand and articulate what CfE is about. (The next step in this would be to drill right down to the children around the language of eg what creativity means and looks like at their age, what are some of the key words in eg the literacy outcomes etc – the Head teacher is currently having a good look at this kind of work). Evidence of leadership roles across the class – with every child having a leadership role and using the language of this to explain why they are doing certain things – what is it that they are learning if they are the leader for organising the jotters, pencils etc in their group/team? Nice sensory spelling ideas displayed – but remember any such approach works well when the interaction of the teacher is such that these activities are challenging and not merely repetitious stations which are repeated daily.

Lots of interesting things and you can see the focus on learning and teaching and the reflection of  staff evident. Doing a puppet show was a great way to assess some of the skills and abilities the children had learned – could they adapt these when playing to a real audience? How did they react when explaing their work to younger children etc etc. All ties in nicely to Building the Curriculum 5. Good stuff all round!

PUPPETS, AUTOBIOGRAPHIES, PLAY SCRIPTS

CfE language, Spelling, Targets

Planning Interdisciplinary Topics – Consulting with children

January 21, 2010 Posted by | education, learning | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holocaust Memorial Day 2010

Plans are well underway for our Education Area’s Holocaust Memorial Day event on 27th January 2010. The  resource at http://www.hmd.org.uk/ gives ideas/resources/links which can be used to take this forward in schools. In Rutherglen and Cambuslang the event will be hosted by Trinity High School. Schools from each of the three learning communities in our area will be represented. Art work from local establishments will be displayed related to the theme  “The legacy of Hope”. The draft programme which has been devised by an area working group with the help of our cultural co-ordinator includes poetry written by children inspired by Ernest Levy, songs by various schools, prayers of hope, survivor monologues and reflections on a visit to Auschwitz Birkenau in September 09 by pupils from Trinity. Guests at the event will be asked to attach notes to our area’s tree of hope at the event, suggesting ways we can all make a difference in the future.

December 18, 2009 Posted by | education, learning, Making a Difference | , , | Leave a comment