Category Archives: Third Level

Grangemouth HS Developing Practitioner Enquiry for Professional Learning

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Yvonne McBlain attended the most recent meeting of secondary professional learning co-ordinators to hear how Falkirk secondary schools are using an enquiring approach to their self-evaluation and development of teaching and learning. Yvonne provided an update on the success and impact of the practitioner enquiry element of Falkirk Children’s Services’ probationer induction programme. Co-ordinators from each school then shared how they are exploring the extent to which this approach can impact on learning. Ash Wood, depute head at Grangemouth HS wrote up the following account of what this looks like in his school.

We have purchased resources to supply a “practitioner enquiry” section for teachers in our library.  We also offer limited financial support to enable teachers to buy resources to support their enquiry.  When they have completed their findings these resources are added to the library.  We have created a one side of A4 template for teachers to complete to share their findings with their colleagues.  Mrs Laura Gallagher (Teacher of Chemistry) has developed an interactive “toolkit” for teachers to use to help them understand, prepare for and complete a practitioner enquiry.  She has also conducted a pilot of the tool with her faculty colleagues and received very positive feedback both about the toolkit and the benefits of the practitioner enquiry process.  Laura has also shared and demonstrated her toolkit to CPD Co-ordinators in the authority.

Dr Alex Fraser (Teacher of Biology) will present his practitioner enquiry on pupil voice to our Extended Leadership Team later this session to promote the benefits of practitioner enquiry and demonstrate its relevance.  His findings will support PTs who have pupil voice as part of the Faculty Improvement Plans.

Laura will promote her toolkit, and practitioner enquiry in general at our staff meeting in February.  Leanne Welsh and Amy Nichol, two of our NQTs from last session who are now with us permanently, will also share their practitioner enquiries from last session to illustrate the process and how it has benefited their practice.

We are currently considering using our core School Improvement Groups as a way of taking practitioner enquiry forward, while conscious that the voluntary nature of the exercise is key to teacher “buy-in”.

 

Mariner Support Service Open Afternoon

Mariner invitationYvonne McBlain enjoyed popping into the Mariner Support Service Christmas Open Afternoon. Staff, pupils and parents have been working hard over the last weeks to prepare for this event and there was lots to see.

The event opened with a celebration of learning by pupils, with prizes for good work done this term. The young people demonstrated their enterprise and social skills during the event – selling home baking, raffle tickets, and meeting and greeting. Brandon was particularly welcoming, polite, and charming. WP_20151209_001[1]

The parents’ group have been creating all sorts of crafts in school on Wednesday afternoons. These were all for sale to help raise money for school funds, and included Christmas tree decorations, wreaths, jewellery, and home baking. This is one of the ways in which Mariner Support Service builds connections with parents and carers.

This event was a valuable way to build the life and ethos of the school, while progressing young people’s skills and experiences.

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Glowbusters – an interactive online trail for teachers to use with pupils to introduce them to a range of tools and resources in Glow

GlowBustersFalkirkMalcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer within the Curriculum Support team of Service and School Improvement, Falkirk Council Children’s Services, presented a session for staff from a number of teaching staff from around Falkirk Council schools called: “Glowbusters – an interactive online trail for teachers to use with pupils to introduce them to a range of tools and resources in Glow

This had been devised as a collaborative activity with Chrissie Lamont (Education Scotland), Karen-Ann McSwiggan (from RM Education) and Dawn Adams (Education Scotland) as one way to provide an engaging, fun interactive activity which teachers could use as an introductory activity with a class of pupils to let them experience a wide range of the tools and resources available to Glow users.

Through a series of “missions” the pupils have to explore many of the tools and resources available to Glow users, and find clues within each, while using some of the tools to create and share with their peers and their teacher. So participants using the Glowbusters activities learn to use Word Online, Powerpoint Online, OneDrive, Outlook Mail and Newsfeed (all part of the Microsoft Office 365 for Education suite included for all users of Glow), and are able to find and explore WordPress blogs, Wikispaces Wikis and Adobe Connect video-conferencing tools available to all Glow users.

Staff and pupils in Falkirk Council educational establishments can access the Glowbusters Falkirk interactive activity trail at the link below (note that a Glow username and password is required):

http://tinyurl.com/nmjalt2

 

Falkirk Learning for Sustainability Showcase Had a “Great Buzz”

WordleOur first Falkirk Learning to Achieve Showcase took place on 4th June between 4-5.30pm at Camelon Education Centre. 64 practitioners came along to get ideas, or to share work they had done with pupils relating to the themes in the Learning for Sustainability word cloud (top left).

17 pupils from St Bernadette’s RC PS, St Francis Xavier’s RC PS, Deanburn PS, Larbert HS & Stenhousemuir PS – stole the show with their enthusiastic and passionate explanations of their work. They very naturally demonstrated that they were confident individuals, successful learners, effective contributors and responsible citizens. Ellie Williams, a pupil from Bo’ness Academy, held the room spellbound with her performance of her own song “Train Track” then “Ae Fond Kiss”. Her music and lyrics powerfully communicated her feelings about her own community and were so evocative when combined with her beautiful, note-perfect singing.  IMG_4660

Anthony Hutcheson, Development Officer for Learning for Sustainability, Education Scotland opened the event with a brilliant, concise presentation of what LfS is all about. He really set the scene for the event and has been a great support for our LfS mobilisation team (Jane Jackson ,Yvonne McBlain, Megan Farr & Tony Bragg) and our emerging Falkirk Learning for Sustainability network.

IMG_4682During the short formal part of the event programme we were delighted to celebrate the achievements of 7 teachers who have gained Professional Recognition from GTCS for their Global Storyline development work. Kim McAuley, Global Education Advisor with the West of Scotland Development Education Centre (WOSDEC) kindly presented the following teachers with their certificates Liz Stephen & Laura Beattie (Deanburn PS), Heather Nicol (Carron PS), Holly Keenan (Bonnybridge PS), Brenda Bennie & Gemma Douglas (Kinnaird PS), Jennifer Main (Wallacestone PS). Our education service is proud to recognise this achievement, and it was great that the audience attending were able to help us celebrate their contribution in a public way. IMG_4658

Jane Jackson linked the content of Anthony’s presentation really well to set the scene for Ellie’s performance and then the mingling and sharing of good practice began.

17 establishments were represented at the event: Mariner Support Service, Kinnaird PS, Rannoch Nursery, Bonnybridge PS, Deanburn PS, St Francis Xavier’s RC PS nursery class and their SCIAF project, Stenhousemuir PS, Larbert HS, St Bernadette’s RC PS, Carrongrange School, Larbert Village PS, Wallacestone PS, Slammanan PS, Limerigg PS, Denny HS, Airth PS and Grangemouth HS. Our own Learning Resource Service took over room 13 and turned it into a wonderful cornucopia of resources useful for supporting teaching and learning around Learning for Sustainability – as always, these were beautifully presented and selected.   Visitors could circulate from this room, via the sustainably decorated improvised café (where consultation on LfS in Falkirk could be left, and leaflets could be picked up) into the main market place, then into the foyer where all of the stalls and displays were set up.

IMG_4680The event was made even more valuable by the participation of a number of organisations who support teaching and learning through Learning for Sustainability, and/or can provide professional learning for practitioners. These included Communities along the Carron (CATCA), Scottish Development Education Centre (SCOTDEC), Project Trust, the British Red Cross, and Grounds for Learning. The John Muir Trust, and Traidcraft were kind enough to send in leaflets and materials for distribution at the event. Yvonne McBlain and Jane Jackson would like to thank everyone involved for their enthusiastic participation, and for creating that lovely BUZZ.

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Sign up for the Falkirk Learning for Sustainability Showcase!

Word cloudFalkirk Council Education Services will hold a Learning for Sustainability Showcase event in Camelon Education Centre on 4th June between 4-5.30pm.

Jane Jackson and Yvonne McBlain are working with colleagues in schools and in the Service Support and Improvement team to make the programme for the event as rich as possible.

So far, we know that Scotdec will be there to share the professional learning they can offer and lots of wonderful resources teachers can use with their pupils. We are thrilled that Anthony Hutcheson, development officer from Education Scotland will welcome everyone AND will be sharing the new LfS professional learning area in Glow. Organisations like Opal, the John Muir Trust, Royal Highland Education Trust are all coming along to share how they can contribute to learning for pupils and for staff. CATCA will be there, and members of the Outdoor Learning Network will show how they have developed learning outwith the classroom.  Wosdec will also attend to help us celebrate the achievements of teachers and pupils taking part in the Global Storyline training programme.

We know that Falkirk teachers and early years officers use the Learning for Sustainability theme across many areas of the curriculum and are pleased to have a growing number of applications to share this work at the showcase. We know there is lots more good practice out there though so please click here for an application form and instructions if you would like to share your work too. The word cloud above shows just how diverse Learning for Sustainability is, and with your help, we are keen to show as wide a range of work as possible. LfS snip

Don’t worry if you don’t have anything to share this year at this event – you can always sign up using code LfS1 in CPD Manager. We would love to see you there to help build a strong and appreciative audience at the event. The more, the merrier – we look forward to seeing you on the 4th June!

Developing collaborative online class spaces in Office 365 in Glow

FGStMsitesMalcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer within the Curriculum Support team of Service and School Improvement, Falkirk Council Education Services has worked with key staff at Denny High School, Graeme High School, Falkirk High School, Braes High School, Grangemouth High School, Bo’ness Academy, Larbert High School and St Mungo’s High School to develop online collaborative class spaces with Microsoft Office 365 in Glow.

Office 365 in Glow

One part of Glow is Microsoft Office 365 which includes sites created within SharePoint (all accessed via their Glow username). So, in collaboration with key staff in each establishment, sites were created specific to each school for each curricular area, subject department or faculty as appropriate to each school.

Class Shared Resources

All curricular areas, faculties or subject departments have their own online space created for them within Office 365 in Glow. These spaces include:

  • a discussion app (which provides the facility for pupils sharing their work with the teacher who has set the task, and for asking questions in a controlled class environment, peer to peer or teacher-pupil in the confines of a private class area);
  • a links section for sharing weblinks;
  • a document store (where files of any kind can be uploaded form elsewhere, or can be created online using Microsoft Word Online, Powerpoint Online or Excel Online as part of Office 365, meaning that the document can be created online without need for the software to be installed on the PC or mobile device);
  • a media gallery (where, for example, videos or audio recording can be uploaded and which play without the need to download the recordings). With unlimited storage space, and files uploaded by a quick drag and drop, either singly or multiple uploads, this is ideal for teachers using the flipped classroom concept to share videos explaining concepts for pupils.
  • navigation links back to the school’s main Glow site, as well as to the main department or faculty sites.

Further apps can be added to these class spaces (so some include a class calendar, or tasks app for tracking tasks set for groups), and each page is easily editable by the class teacher. In most cases sites are set up so that pupils can automatically access the sites but cannot anywhere except the discussion section (where the pupils can ask questions, tasks can be set for them, and pupils can add attachments or links to work completed by them elsewhere such as their own OneDrive cloud storage in Glow).

Access rights can be changed by staff should they so wish. Staff can add and edit throughout the class sites as they are given full administrator rights in their sites.

Task Workflow – easy, secure sharing of pupil work with their teacher

Each Glow user (pupils and staff) has an Outlook email account as part of the Microsoft Office 365 account included in Glow where each user has 50GB storage, and each email can have attachments up to 25MB, and their own secure cloud storage (each user has unlimited storage in this OneDrive).

  1. A task can be set by a teacher (perhaps using the discussion webpart in their class site)
  2. Each individual pupil can then create their response in their own OneDrive using Word Online (so Word does not need installed on any device)
  3. Each pupil then shares their completed task with their teacher (just by clicking on “Share” within the document, adding the teacher’s Glow username and clicking “share” to automatically both send it by email to the teacher, and making it available in the “Documents shared with me” part of the teacher’s OneDrive for easy access)
  4. The teacher, with whom the pupil’s document has been shared, can then either edit the document in Word Online or simply click on “Insert” in the edit menu to add comments at appropriate parts in the pupil’s document, to provide feedback, encouragement and suggestions for change. All of this is able to be seen by the pupil instantly the changes or comments have been added.

Pupils collaborating on a joint Powerpoint presentation using Office 365 Powerpoint Online

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Paul Casey, a Computing Science teacher, has described the process he followed with his S1 pupils using Office 365, and specifically the use of Powerpoint Online so that pupils could collaborate on joint Powerpoint presentations, and add comments during the process, which he, as the teacher, was also able to see as the work was progressing.

Access via Mobile Device

OneNoteAll parts of Glow can be accessed via a mobile device either via the mobile device browser or via different apps for each tool, including Office Mobile (in order to be able to edit Word or Powerpoint for example) and OneDrive for Business (the ordinary OneDrive app is for the likes of a personal Hotmail account).

Setting alerts for changes

The sites include a guide to setting alerts on the sites – users can set an alert in their class site so that they get sent a message whenever anything gets added or changed in their site.

Resources to support Staff in Using Glow

Staff can click on the following link to access support material for using Glow: http://tinyurl.com/l5zmeqw (Glow login required – access restricted to staff); as well as at the national Glow Connect site: http://connect.glowscotland.org.uk/

How to add further class sites

As a template site has been created for each of these schools then a teacher can create additional sites, should there be a need to do so, within just a few minutes. The video below provides a step-by-step guide to creating a new class site, where a template site has previously been created for that school.