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

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

Eyepet Excitement

Got a wee plot up my sleeve for a trial of eyepets in one of our standalone  nurseries. Looking forward to getting my hands on the eyepet when it arrives with the ps3s this weekend! Here’s a brief overview of our wee baby trial.


  • To raise awareness of games based learning approaches
  • To develop innovative contexts for an interdisciplinary focus
  • To enhance consultation approaches with children, parents/carers and staff related to planning learning experiences
  • To provide depth and breadth of learning in literacy, with a focus on emergent writing
  • To further develop partnership with parents/carers which impacts positively on children’s learning
  • To facilitate transition development work for pre-school children

 What we will do

  • The early years staff and home school partnership worker involved will be trained in the use of PS3 Eyepet
  • Consultation around a focus planner using Eyepet will be completed and documented (this will identify experiences related to literacy in particular emergent writing)
  • Evaluations, observation, assessment will be documented as an exemplar for future development work
  • Parent workshops will be organised by the home school partnership worker to look at the possibilities of games based learning in the home to enhance learning
  • Parent prompts will be developed around a variety of games based learning programmes
  • Early years advice and banks of ideas will be prepared to assist in future use of Eyepet
  • A follow up transition programme will be developed with a link primary school, using the Eyepet to ensure enhanced bridging across the stages
  • Dissemination of the project will take place at the area early years forum
  • All EY Area establishments will be invited to a GBL awareness raising session March 2010 with consolarium input

January 26, 2010 Posted by | education, ICT | , | Leave a comment

Persona dolls

Liz Mercer at Cathkin Community nursery has recently had an article published in Early Years Matters on LTS site about their use of persona dolls. I was interested today when I picked up some of the feedback from her parents on this initiative. Here’s a small selection –

“The use of Persona Dolls seems an excellent idea especially in our multicultural society. It can only be good learning for the children”

“we are particularly appreciative of the cultural awareness aspect of the learning experience to be gained by using persona dolls. It is clear that using them gives learners a good headstart in life in order to tackle the constant challenges that they face throughout life.”

“It makes it easier for the kids to express themselves and foster an imagination with the persona dolls”

“Very engaging and useful method”

“Valuable life skills”

April 24, 2008 Posted by | learning | , , , , | Leave a comment

Active Learning

As we all move towards a curriculum for excellence I find myself increasingly looking towards good practice in the nursery. Active, child centred learning happens in the early years and we have a lot to learn from early years practitioners!

I’ve been increasingly impressed by how teachers in our Primary 1,2 and 3 class are finding their creativity again and enjoying teaching children without the chains of 5-14 curriculum timing constraints. We no longer have 15 minute blocks of time for things like mental maths where we stopped and started something else whether or not learning was complete or appropriate.

In p3 today it was the children’s afternoon in our infant open area. The context for their play at the moment is the cafe. I particularly liked the way the teacher was developing their cafe big book. It’s magic to see teachers finding their way with more freedom to take risks. Her big book is divided into 6 sections for the 6 activities children play through over 6 weeks (free play is also included). Within each section the children’s names and groups are pasted -the teacher does a traffic light dot next to each child’s name at each activity as she assesses how they are doing. The children paste in good work examples or might write in comments or draw a picture.

In p5 they were in their open area in the afternoon carrying out the same kind of active learning after watching how the infants do it. They were using the context “The community centre” which is their current topic. Again there were 6 groups – each group carrying out an activity – designing a logo, researching on the computer, discussion groups etc. All very impressive. The difference from what previously was done is wonderful. Previously we had rigid programmes eg ICT skills programme, technology kits to be completed at certain stages – all done in the name of 5-14. However what happened was the children did activities which they did not understand the purpose of, which often were only there to tick a 5-14 grid box etc. What I saw today had clear purpse and children clearly engaged, talking and learning in a multitude of ways.

To facilitate these active learning sessions in our afternoons each teacher has a classroom assistant at this time, some may have 2. Our p6 teacher has 4 parent volunteers starting soon to assist her class at this time. Fabulous.

In the meantime I was working in the nursery all day yesterday to release the nursery nurse to see her parents for consultations. The nursery staff have been working hard on developing their planning to really reflect learning intentions. Off I trot to the painting table. In zoom the weans. I failed at the first hurdle.

“Where’s the table cloth?” asks nursery teacher after I put out all the paints and children are painting….

“Yeeha!” say the children as I produce a water pot. Never before seen by three year olds, I now know why they don’t get a water pot at painting. I won’t go into the details…..

And what was my learning intention for the children? I think it was that they would learn how to help a HT clean up a very big mess with a mop….

November 8, 2007 Posted by | learning | , | Leave a comment