Category Archives: Laurieston 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.”

Good Grammar = Good Manners – your thoughts?

Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer, Falkirk Council has been examining the area of grammar in relation to developing literacy attainment in Falkirk Schools.

Sharon started this project off by talking to pupils fro P5, P6 and P7 at Stenhousemuir and Laurieston Primary Schools. Here is a collection of their thoughts:

The pupils then went on to explore a wide range of grammar resources which included: books, games, websites, grammar literacy maps, CD containing grammar songs and grammar dictionaries.

 They really enjoyed the grammar games and websites and thought they would be most effective to support with their learning of grammar.

The pupils were really enthusiastic about the resources and developing a blog to support other learners.

Here are a few of the websites we looked at:

http://www.dreaded-apostrophe.com/

http://www.apostrophe.org.uk/page2.html

http://www.spellingsociety.org/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/

Watch this space for further developments! Thanks to the pupils from Stenhousemuir and Laurieston for their active involvement in this exciting project!

Active Literacy Packs Distributed to Falkirk Primary Schools!

 

Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning teacher, Curriculum Support Team delivered an overview session on Active Literacy second level to 90 colleagues at Camelon Education Centre.

Colleagues from P6/7 classes and members of  Senior Management Teams received the new second level packs to take back to their establishments.

Sharon provided an overview of the strategies and methodologies contained in the new pack. Colleagues who have been involved in the trials of these new materials spoke about the impact of the new resources and how their pupils have responded to the content delivered so far.

Carol Ann MacLeod, P7 Class teacher from Laurieston Primary shared her experiences of delivering reading, spelling and vocabulary building lessons. Her pupils have really enjoyed the lessons, with vocabulary building work on affixes proving the most popular.

Susan McLeod, P7 class teacher from Bankier Primary also spoke of how her pupils enjoyed the challenge of working with prefixes, root words and suffixes.

Alan Willox, DHT from Head of Muir, spoke on behalf of their P7 class teacher who has been working on some of the writing lessons. He said the pupils certainly enjoyed the lessons.

Maria McNally, P6/7 class teacher from St. Bernadette’s shared some videos of her pupils incorporating spelling rules and strategies into drama scripts and performances.

Colleagues took their new resource back to their establishments and Sharon is keen to hear how colleagues would like their training to be delivered. Sharon can be emailed or colleagues are invited to leave posts on this forum.

The second level pack develops and extends the strategies and methodologies introduced at earlier stages.

Spelling lists contained in this new pack can be accessed via the Active Literacy section on GLOW.

Sharon is also working with Secondary Schools to develop, consolidate and extend the Active Literacy skills and strategies taught at Primary School

Sharing the Learning of Active Literacy – A Collaborative Approach to Achieving!

Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning Teacher, Curriculum Support Team has been investigating the role of other stakeholders to support pupil attainment in Active Literacy. Sharon has devised a series of sessions useful for Support for Learning Assistants in order to share the Active Literacy Programme. These two sessions have already been delivered in establishments across Falkirk and proving popular, as these quotes demonstrate:

“I wish the sessions were longer, I have learned so much already this morning!”

“I am excited to try out some of these ideas with the pupils I support!”

The two sessions look at spellings and phonics, and reading and writing and Sharon provides participants with useful handouts on activities which consolidate classroom learning in Active Literacy. Support for Learning Assistants are given a brief overview of the programme, along with practical tips to use with the pupils they support. These are hands-on sessions with Support for Learning Assistants having a go at some activities such as the five finger strategy, Elkonin boxes and diacritical marking.

The impact on pupil learning is that Support for Learning Assistants are able to use the same language associated with the Active Literacy programme and look at alternative ways to enhance the learning e.g. through the use of the outdoor environment, Smart boards, CD-roms and other sensory experiences.

These sessions are proving very popular and have so far been delivered at St. Bernadette’s, Bainsford (incorporating Drumbowie Primary) and Laurieston.

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.