Category Archives: California Primary School

Active Approaches to Numeracy

 

Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer of the Service and School Improvement Team recently organised a professional learning opportunity entitled ‘Active Approaches to Numeracy’. 57 colleagues from Primary, Secondary and the Curriculum Support team (including QIO) spent the day examining a range of active strategies to improve attainment in mental mathematics.

 Helen MacKinven, from Big Maths provided an overview of strategies including: jigsaw numbers, CLIC and partitioning. Colleagues were also treated to the experience of a ‘Beat That’ mental maths quiz.

Clusters then worked together to look at ways forward to improve attainment in mental maths. Feedback from this day has been extremely positive.

A number of colleagues have put their names forward to be part of the Numeracy Mobilisation Team. This work will inform the update of Falkirk Council’s numeracy strategy. The first meeting for this group is being held on 12th February. For further information on this, please contact Sharon Wallace at sharon.wallace@falkirk.gov.uk

Active Literacy – P6/7 Training

Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer of the Curriculum Support Team has carried out Active Literacy training over the past two weeks with 54 teachers. The two three hour sessions examined the writing programme incorporating spelling and the reading programme.

Session one looked at how teachers can support pupils in becoming independent spellers. Pupils are taught strategies to use their previously learned knowledge of phonemes and spelling rules to more complex, polysyllabic words.

 The course examined the programme for spelling strategy work, alongside the new addition of ‘vocabulary building’, homophones and common confusions. Trials of the programme so far indicate that pupils are really enjoying the investigation element of prefixes and suffixes and how these affect the meaning of words.

The session also examined the writing genres covered at second level looking at incorporating writing trios, chunking, use of genre success criteria and next steps.

Session two focused on the development of the six key comprehension strategies across a range of texts. These strategies are:
1. Prior knowledge and prediction
2. Metalinguistics
3. Visualisation
4. Inference
5. Main ideas
6. Summarising and paraphrasing.

Sharon demonstrated how to develop these skills using a traditional ‘novel’ text, moving image (film trailer) and a poem. The course also looked at using online tools such as Powtoon, go animate and twixster to develop reading skills.

Colleagues were given a ‘Stories Allways’ resource containing a range of Scottish myths and legends as well as two CDs. This is a great resource as it provides pupils with a range of challenging questions, tasks and a synopsis of each tale.

Colleagues enthusiastically participated in a range of Active Literacy activities across the course of the two sessions and feedback so far has been really positive.

“The course was delivered extremely well by Sharon Wallace and the resources provided were very useful.”

“The course was presented over 2 days in which it provided an overview of the key methodologies and strategies as outlined in North Lanarkshire’s Active Literacy 6/7 programme. I thought all aspects of the course were useful and it enhanced my knowledge and understanding of the 6/7 programme which I will now be able to confidently implement in the classroom.”

“I am new to teaching as well as the Active Literacy programme. I had very little knowledge and understanding prior to the course however I now feel I can confidently implement active literacy in the classroom.”

“Sharon is a very enthusiastic presenter and it is clear that she wholly believes in the Active Literacy Programme. Her passionate delivery and ideas instil in you, the confidence to have a go in your own classroom.”

Small Schools World of Work Day at Scottish Prison Service College

Lynne Lauder, Enterprise Co-ordinator, Curriculum Support team delivered the opening session at the latest Small School World of Work day which was hosted by the Scottish Prison Service College at Polmont Young Offenders Institute on 28th February.

The event which was  planned, resourced and  managed by a team of teachers from the Small School Cluster led by Shirley Garioch from Avonbridge PS, gathered 108 pupils  from Avonbridge, Bothkennar, Blackness, California, Drumbowie, Limerigg and Whitecross Primary Schools to undertake four work based sessions with employers. 

The focus of the day was ‘planning for choices and changes’ and the young people were looking at how the skills they are developing in school transfer to a work environment.

Workshops were provided by a Veterinary Nurse,  Childsmile Consultant,  Police Diver,  Mathieson’s Baker, Glisten Hairdresser, Scottish Prison Service  Officer, the Marketing Manager from the Helix and a farmer from RHET accompanied by Valerie, the Forth Valley model Cow!

The young people were a real credit to their schools and following the highly successful event, our partners at Scottish Prison Service said they would be delighted to welcome pupils back.

Staff booking onto CPD

Jamielee Dickson, Clerical Assistant within the Falkirk Council Education Services Curriculum Support Team deals with staff booking onto courses. Jamielee is the person at the end of the phone or sending e-mails for staff booking onto professional development.

Supporting the delivery of Quality Physical Education

Christine Snedden, Curriculum Support Officer Effective Learning and Teaching Health and Wellbeing, in Falkirk Council Education Services, Curriculum Support Team has been engaging in series of meetings supporting the delivery of quality physical education in Falkirk primary schools. These meetings with Headteachers of Braes cluster primary schools were to explore a variety of ways in which schools were able to meet the delivery of the 2 hour target to fulfil the pupil entitlement. These discussions provide the means to share different solutions to the different contexts in relation to staffing, accomodation and resources to name but a few.

Whole-school blog for sharing the learning at California Primary School

Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer in the Curriculum Support Team of Falkirk Council Education Services, supported staff at California Primary School in setting up a whole-school blog to share the learning journey of pupils.

This was set up at the request of staff at the school so that individual classes can contribute to one blog in one place, rather than separate class blogs, so they can post about what’s happening in their class and by tagging and choosing from their class on a list of categories, the posts can easily be seen by the school, parents and wider community.

Links are provided to the school website and the school’s page on the Falkirk Council website. Safety features are set up on the blog. Sharing of the learning journey in California Primary School can now take place in one more avenue – click here to visit the whole-school blog for California Primary School.