Category Archives: St Andrew’s RC 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.”

St Andrew’s Nursery Class – Outdoor Learning

St Andrew’s Nursery Class are the latest nursery to embark on the Outdoor Learning Project.  Karen Thomson, Senior Early Years Officer, Falkirk Council Curriculum Support Team, has supported staff, pupils and parents in the development of this programme.

Having met with staff and identified a site within Callendar Park, Karen met with parents to offer an information session (click here for presentation).  Some of the staff also visited another nursery to see how they ran their outdoor sessions as part of the preparation to getting off-site. 

The main aim of the project is to give children the opportunity to explore and play in the natural environment, using it as a stimulus for learning.  The children are actively encouraged to self-assess the risks and challenge themselves in this new exciting environment.  During the first session, the children took part in a number of activites:-

Measuring – children used a variety of materials to measure their hand, arm, leg and height and compare the sizes.  (I have experimented with everyday items as units of measure to investigate and compare sizes and amounts in my environment, sharing my findings with others – MNU 0-11a).

Sorting and Matching – the children found a variety of objects and brought them back to camp.  They were then involved in the discussion how to categorise these – this became a detailed discussion as some children were wishing alternative categories.  “I want to put the green leaf in the green pile and not with the other brown leaves”.  The children also discussed at great length how to sort the varying sizes of sticks and how to tell the difference between a stick and a twig.  (I can match objects, and sort using my own and others’ criteria, sharing my ideas with others – MNU 0-20b).

It was then decided that the children would go exploring to see what else we could find.  A group of children found a huge puddle that ran all the way under the bridge and had a fantastic time splashing and playing the water – they were very wet!!  We also found frog spawn at the side of the water which has brought to life the Spring/Life Cycle Topic they are currently investigating in nursery.

A great first session in the woods!

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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.

Quality Physical Education -2 hour target

Morag Young, Physical Education Lead Officer,  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 Denny and Graeme 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.

ICT Resources to Support Physical Education in the Primary School

Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer in the Curriculum Support Team of Falkirk Council Education Services, presented a session with class teachers and visiting specialist teachers of physical education on ICT resources to support teaching physical education in the primary school.

Dance

The session started by everyone having go at the dance steps provided with the dance mat to all Falkirk primary schools (along with the free software installed on all PCs). More information about that can be found here: http://glo.li/L7znnN

Glow Groups for teachers of PE 

The session included time to browse the planning and support materials for teachers of PE which can be found in various Glow groups which included the following:

Falkirk Glow group for teachers of PE http://glo.li/e2ZeBf

Curriculum for Excellence Expanded Experiences & Outcomes (Falkirk Planners) PE http://glo.li/WKnowe

Falkirk PE resources in Glow group for Health & Wellbeing http://glo.li/gov97Y

National Glow group for teaching PE http://glo.li/Y93cGJ

Online Resource Sites

Online resources which were highlighted included the following:

www.kidnetic.com ideas for classroom, hall, outdoors or in the home – includes on-screen dance robot simulator

http://cybraryman.com/physicaled.html Cybraryman resources by category

www.pescholar.com PE Scholar

www.physedsource.com PhysEdSource – categories include gymnastics, sport/games, individual, outdoor, dance, health, research

www.thephysicaleducator.com/resources/ includes games skills cards/infographics posters, apps, blog, podcast, pupil recognition cards

www.teachingideas.co.uk/pe/contents.htm crowd-sources ideas shared by teachers, warm-up and cool-down ideas, games, sports.

Smartboard Smart Notebook Resources

SMART Board SMART Notebook PE resources can be found in Notebook by clicking on “Gallery” – enter “sport” in search box http://glo.li/rQ3eRl

Blog about class PE

Creating a class PE blog can help raise profile of PE, promote positive pupil esteem, share learning of PE activities Resources to get staretd blogging can be found here: http://glo.li/qMeQl3

Activity Timers and Random Name Selectors

A host of online or downloadable countdown timers & stopwatches, and random name, group or activity selectors, can be found here: http://glo.li/jU9ja0 

Teachers of PE on Twitter

Twitter provides access to a Professional Learning Network of colleagues sharing PE teaching ideas. Resources and a guide to setting up a Twitter account and how to use can be found here: http://glo.li/qpaM79. A short video guide “Twitter for PE Teachers” including how to get started, how to find others, use of Hashtags and more can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMjGcrBJK-c

QR codes and PE

QR codes provide quick access via smartphone QR code scanner to videos or explanatory onlien resources without any need to type in long website addresses. For examples of use of printed Step-by-step guides linked by QR codes to associated PE skills demonstration videos follow this link:

http://www.thephysicaleducator.com/resources/skill-posters/

This Video shows a report of one teachers use at a school fitness trail http://glo.li/YU4beZ

For resources to find out how to make you own QR codes follow this link here: http://glo.li/z1JVmB

Making Videos to show PE skills

Use digital video cameras for pupils to see their performance after they have finished and to compare it against their peers or against videos of professional athletes. Resources here for video cameras: http://glo.li/gTmdzS. Resources for editing video: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2010/09/16/video-editing-with-windows-live-movie-maker/Resources here for making videos from still image photographs: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2011/03/09/photostory-3/ 

Comments from participants included:

“I intend to use Photostory 3 especially for gymnastics.”

“Excellent course!”

Getting Ready for Employee Review and Development!

  • All our schools are moving forward on implementing the new Employee Review and Development (Glow login required) process( ERD). Some have already begun while others are getting ready. Anne Hutchison (CPD Co-ordinator in the Curriculum Support team of Falkirk Council Education Services) co-leads the implementation strategy at service level along with Anne Pearson (Service Manager: Curriculum Support team) and today they were out and about in schools across Falkirk working with staff from Grangemouth High, Graeme High, Laurieston, Hallglen, Victoria and Westquarter primary schools. Preparation is key to getting this effective way of working off on the right foot. So what were we doing?
    1. Speaking to support staff to let them know that they are key players in supporting the delivery of high quality teaching and learning for all children and young people
    2.Raising awareness of what an ERD meeting looks, feels and sounds like. Big thanks to Hazel Cunningham (Primary Probationer Supporter:Curriculum Support team) and Fiona Anderson (HT:  Head of Muir PS) who bravely modelled the role of a self evaluator whilst Anne H and Anne P acted as Validators. The role of a validator is to support, extend and challenge the self-evaluator.
    Everyone has a role in this important improvement priority. During January and February of this year all Headteachers and Early Years Managers are using their work profile as a self evaluation tool in preparation for their ERD meeting. To support them in their preparation a series of 90 minute training sessions have been designed and delivered by the Curriculum Support team . By session 2014-15 the aim is that:
  •  all  Falkirk schools are implementing the revised scheme
  • the revised ERD scheme is integrated with schools’ ongoing self evaluation and quality improvement processes
  • we can see evidence of cultural change in relation to self evaluation
  •  GTCS registered staff are well prepared for Professional Update
  •  we can see evidence of the impact of ERD on our children and young people’s learning experiences