Parent Information Update

Thanks to Parents and Pupils who attended the Parent Information session last night from 6-7pm; we hope you found it useful.

For those not able to make it, the update included information and discussion from:

  • P5-7 Christmas Cards (coming soon)
  • New Scholastic and School books bought for Accelerated Reader library
  • New Projector and Screen bought with funds from the Community Council (thanks again)
  • Our School Rationale and Yearly plans
  • Pending updates to the school blogs

The second half of the session was used to explain how our new technology is making an impact on learning. Much of the changes have come about due to each pupil in P5-7 now having a dedicated tablet, although much of the learning is happening throughout the school and can still continue at home, if required, due to the resources being on the Internet.

Mr Archibald gave a description of how we approach spelling practice in the school using Spelling City and Schonell’s Essential Spelling List. Setup correctly, Spelling City gives each pupil the right words to practice every week and a choice of fun activities focused upon their words. Whilst it’s taken a bit of time to get setup we are now taking this forward for all pupils ready for the Essential Spelling List. Along with in class, Mr Archibald wants his Pupils to practice spelling at home using Spelling City and Parents and Pupils who attended felt that this was achievable. Spelling City offers many advantages to practicing words which will have an impact on learning however Mr Archibald felt that its greatest advantage was that it freed up his time to teach, such that he could ask some of his pupils in class to practice a Spelling City assignment, whilst he read or taught with another group. As Spelling City logs every piece of work, Mr Archibald is then able to check or mark the work later on, all through the internet.

iXL was discussed next which offers very similar benefits to learners and teachers as Spelling City except in Maths. Nearly all of our pupils have a login and it is available on the Internet (so at home and school). The benefits of iXL are more pronounced in a class with 1:1 tablet access where it is very convenient to login and start learning. Mr Archibald explained that iXL is used to consolidate work, or practice work that he has already taught and that again he can see exactly how every Pupil is developing.

The last significant change that was discussed was Kid Blog. Each pupil in P5-7 has a a blog, very similar to this site, which allows them to share their work, from in school and any achievements or learning from home. Kid Blog is the site we use to manage the blogs and it is setup specifically for classes. Kid Blog, coupled with a dedicated tablet and an appropriate approach to learning, gives a window into each Pupil’s learning. It is a brilliant way to exchange and record feedback and also to organise prior learning. At the moment the P5-7 blogs are private however last night Mr Archibald gave parents access codes and explained how to login, through the Internet or free iPad app and to access the class blogs. Parents attending last night managed this and were then able to look at work and also comment, which is fantastic. I would like all P5-7 Parents to have access to our class and comment on our work, this gives Parents a far more up-to-date picture of our learning and also gives our class an audience.

Mr Archibald also explained about how the developments above were funded, the New Digital Agreement, unfiltered Internet access, how the school uses data, including images and video and the associated websites. This was managed all in 1 hour too.

Thanks again to all who attended.

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