Category Archives: Shieldhill Primary School

Pupils as Digital Leaders at Shieldhill Primary School

Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer within the Curriculum Support team of Service and School Improvement, Falkirk Council Education Services, supported a session with the Digital Leaders group of pupils in Shieldhill Primary School.

These pupils are being supported for them to then support classes around the school in the use of technologies in their classrooms. They are led by teacher Chiara Sportelli. This session let the pupils explore different apps within a specially created SharePoint site for them in Microsoft Office 365 (which is accessed via their Glow username).

This included the use of a picture gallery, a discussion app (which provides the facility for pupils sharing work with the teacher who has set the work, and for asking questions in a controlled class environment – that’s the point of the discussion page in Glow for each class, where the teacher can set the task, the pupils can attach their work, ask questions, and peers or the teacher respond in the confines of a private class area), weblink sharing, and a document store (where documents were created using Microsoft Word 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).

The pupils then shared their documents with each other, inviting their peers to comment and add comments to the documents online. Then they all collaborated on the same document online all at the same time from their own PCs – and there were squeals of surprise when they could all see the same document being edited in front of their eyes with different coloured flags appearing on screen to show who was editing the different parts of the document!

The pupils then used a collaborative OneNote file which had been created in their online space – each pupil created their own page within this online ring-binder tool and added their thoughts on what they felt their contribution could be in taking the group forward in supporting the use of technologies in Shieldhill Primary School. OneNote works online or via a deskop PC or a mobile device (and is also part of the suite of tools included for all users of Glow). For more information about OneNote click here.

More information about Digital Leaders can be found here: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2014/04/23/pupils-as-digital-leaders/

Braes Cluster Day of Dance

Morag Simpson and  Morag Young, PE Lead Officers and Marian Boyle, Support Officer for Health and Wellbeing,  all within Falkirk Council Curriculum Support Team organised and delivered a Day of  Sottish Dance for the Braes Cluster. Avonbridge Primary kindly agreed to host the event with Wallacestone Primary and Sheildhill Primary also attending. The day was a great success with lots of fun had by all and some fantastic dancing on display. The pupils from all schools worked well together, helping each other through the dances.

A huge thank you to Avonbridge for hosting and to all participants for performing so well on the day.

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

The Thinking Reader – Active Literacy

Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer, Curriculum Support Team has delivered a CPD session to 22 teachers entitled ‘Active Literacy Reading – The Thinking Reader Approach’.

The aims of the session were:

To provide an overview of the thinking reader approach

To provide an overview of the six comprehension strategies in reading

To examine ways forward for the teaching of reading using active approaches.

After examining the benefits of reading, Sharon explained that the thinking reader approach is used to teach children reading strategies to improve their ability to understand what they read. It is an approach which can be applied to a range of ‘texts’.

Sharon demonstrated the thinking reader approach using the text ‘Chinese Cinderella’. Colleagues gained a deeper understanding of this text through the following activities:

  1. Using prior knowledge – what do you already know about Cinderella?
  2. Metalinguistics – colleagues were asked to include the word ‘unwanted’ in a sentence and highlight words/ phrases they like/ don’t understand in an identified paragraph
  3. Visualisers – colleagues were asked to produce a visualiser of the character Naing using the information in the extract
  4. Inference – two questions were posed about the text relating to inference e.g. What is the relationship between Naing and Jun-Ling
  5. Main Ideas – What are the main themes from the text you can gather using the information you have already been given
  6. Summarising – summarise the character of Naing in a tweet

Sharon then explored how the thinking reader approach relates to the key reading skills which are assessed in the context of the Scottish Survey for Literacy and Numeracy.

Sharon then shared how she had previously used the thinking reader approach with the following texts:

P2 – The Daily What article/ Beware of the Bears

P3 – The Wish Cat

P4 – Michael Rosen’s poetry

P5 – Moving Image Education film

P6 – Poetry from the Active Literacy Pack

P7 – Poetry from the Active Literacy Pack

S1 – Chinese Cinderella

The course also looked at the comprehension triangles from the Active Literacy programme:

Sharon then examined ways to use effective questioning in reading lessons, examining the role of Blooms fans and how these can be used at different ages and stages.

The course was well received and feedback included:

“I wanted to thank you for the CPD last night. It’s really helped me work out a plan of action for all of my reading groups and not just the group that weren’t ‘getting’ the Bloom’s Fans work. It was good to have input on the key comprehension strategies and I’m going to start as of Monday”.

“I really enjoyed the course last night and I think (or hope!) that I am starting to understand the type  of questions and activities that the pupils should be completing”.

This course will be re-run on Tuesday 11th March from 4 til 5.30pm for any colleagues who didn’t get an opportunity to attend this one.

Active Literacy Workshop for Parents and Carers

Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer of the Curriculum Support Team has developed some helpful materials to support Falkirk establishments in sharing the learning at home. This active literacy workshop provides parents, carers and extended families with an overview of the active literacy strategies and methodologies from P1 to P7. It looks at the areas of spelling and phonics, reading and writing and how children can be supported with these at home.

Parents and carers are also invited to be ‘reciprocally taught’ by their children in a series of different workshop activities which include:

  • phoneme stories
  • Elkonin boxes
  • rainbow writing
  • spell-er-cise
  • diacritical marking
  • fun spelling tasks

So far this session, the following schools have already hosted workshops:

  • Maddiston Primary
  • Shieldhill Primary
  • Kinneil Primary

 

These workshops are accompanied by parental leaflets aimed at P1-3, P4-5 and P6-7 parents.

For more information, please contact Sharon Wallace.

Sharing the Learning with Parents and Carers at Shieldhill Primary School

 

Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer of the Curriculum Support Team has recently been working with a group of children from P2 to P4 in Shieldhill Primary School. The children were very enthusiastic and keen to be helping out at an upcoming session for parents and carers. Pupils demonstrated their knowledge of active literacy strategies and methodologies with confidence. They are very much looking forward to being ‘reciprocal teachers’ to their visitors at the active literacy workshop.

The children were able to eloquently explain about a range of strategies including: the five finger strategy, Elkonin boxes and diacritical marking.

Other activities on the agenda for the workshop are spell-er-cize, fun spelling tasks for their common/ tricky words and looking at their favourite ‘texts’.

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.

A Curriculum for Eggsellence!

Egg Incubator
Live Stream of the Egg Incubator

Shieldhill Primary School are eggs-ploring the life cycle of chickens through their Living Eggs Project- and now they’ve become Internet stars with their own live show! The project, following the development and incubation of the eggs through to hatching, is being streamed live over the Internet. The live video stream, facilitated by Stuart Lennie of the Curriculum Support Team, allows the pupils and a worldwide audience to monitor the process via the school website.

The eggs are on the verge of hatching, so pupils and staff are now able to keep “round-the-cluck” surveillance on the eggs from school or at home!

The streaming service is free to use, and can easily be adapted to other projects, so tune in while it’s going “cheep”!

To view the stream, click on: http://www.shieldhill.falkirk.sch.uk/ and click on the “Living Eggs Webcam” link.

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.