Yvonne McBlain from Falkirk Education Services Curriculum Support team has been finding out about some active and engaging interdisciplinary learning happening at Inchlair Nursery School. The pre and ante-pre school children have become immersed in preparations for the Commonwealth Games following their reading of the story “Captain Bristle’s Thistles”. This story (click to see the story video) really captured the imaginations of the children and has led very naturally into development of their knowledge within various disciplines. Isobel Edmond, head teacher at the nursery, has worked with staff colleagues to involve parents in extending and deepening pupil understanding of this international event. Click here to see one of the documents used to keep parents informed of developments with this interdisciplinary work. Click here to see how one of the children continued to develop his learning at home with his mum. Staff are responding to the children’s interest in the progress of the Queen’s Baton Relay by using a map display within the nursery. The children are developing this display by noting and bringing in photos or other items which show their links to the relay route on the map. Click on the photograph at the start of this post to watch Inchlair pupils sharing their learning.
Yvonne McBlain of Falkirk Curriculum Support Team was thrilled to attend the first of a series of cross-sector cluster interdisciplinary planning sessions on Tuesday 17th September 2013. As chair of the Commonwealth Games Interdisciplinary Project sub-group, Linda-Anne Reid worked with colleagues to co-ordinate this collegiate planning. Early year’s practitioners and primary 1 teachers met in Stenhousemuir PS, first level teachers met in Carron PS, and second and third in Kinnaird PS. All staff were given relevant planning materials and information in advance, including the cluster plan, NAR planning flow chart, NAR planning flow chart instructions and Falkirk Community Trust/Active Schools Going for Glasgow Accreditation paper. Isobel Edmond provided early level practitioners with a very clear introductory overview of the potential benefits of this interdisciplinary learning context. Morag Carson then explained that each of the 3 hour-long planning sessions would involve same stage groups planning within 3 bundles of E & Os. This means that the Larbert cluster will generate at least 3 interdisciplinary plans per level which meet experiences and outcomes from: Social subjects & Expressive Arts, Social subjects & Technology, & Social subjects and Science. They are more than happy for these plans to be made available across the authority when complete. Once these groups were established, their first task was to identify the small bundle of E & Os they felt could be progressed by this context, for their learners. Yvonne and Linda-Anne enjoyed a whistle-stop tour of the nursery and primary 1 groups, and then nipped up to Kinnaird PS to pop into the second and third level groups. The staff involved had already made choices about their E & Os , and begun to consider learning intentions, and the best activities to develop knowledge, understanding and skills within the Commonwealth Games context. There will be 2 further planning sessions on 30th October and 21st November, but some groups have opted to do one double session instead. Although clearly linking into national events taking place in 2014, this way of working across-cluster offers potential benefits on many levels: the planning of robust interdisciplinary learning, development of understanding of skills progression, and the sharing of practice generally. All in all, a really active, purposeful form of collegiate professional learning!