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

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

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