On 2nd of December, Claire Quigley, head teacher of Whitecross PS and her staff hosted an unusual celebratory event on the 60th anniversary of the opening of their school.
This involved visitors in making a terracotta clay tile which was personal to them. These will be dried, fired, and added to a tiled display in the foyer of the school. Every pupil in the school has already made their tile, and many were primed and ready to help their parents and guests make one too. Pupils from Graeme HS supported their primary colleagues in making their tiles, and Henry Meldrum, art teacher has fired them all.
Visitors were taken into the school hall, and shown examples of the pupils’ tiles. Claire and colleagues demonstrated how to make the basic tile slab, then guests could decide how it should be decorated. Tony Bragg, team manager – performance management, and Eddie MacLennan, team manager – workforce development, joined in, and Yvonne McBlain, curriculum support officer, was delighted to make the “1955” date tiles which will be part of the commemorative display.
Jessie Dick came along and worked with her granddaughter Diane Balloch to make a tile. Both are former pupils of the school – Diane’s maiden name is Bryson, and her gran was known as Janet Reid, winner of the school dux medal in 1941-42. Jessie lives locally and enjoys return visits to the school, Diane said “It hasn’t really changed that much – the cloakrooms are gone – they’ve been made into classrooms now.”
Claire, staff colleagues, and pupils, will host a formal launch event to unveil the tile display when installation is complete.
Postscript from Claire 15th December 2015:
We are sad to say that in the short time since this event Jessie Dick sadly passed away. Our thoughts are with her family.
Yvonne McBlain, Curriculum Support teacher with Falkirk Council Education Services has helped to co-ordinate partnership work between Bo’ness primary schools and Falkirk Community Trust. The Trust has appointed Hanneke Scott van Wel and Lindsay Lennie to take forward their Kinneil Museum Engagement for the Future Project. On March 25th, Lindsay and Hanneke began working with primary 5, 6 and 7 pupils from each Bo’ness primary school to explore their links with their local heritage. The learning experience involved studying a range of old maps of Bo’ness and opened pupils’ eyes to the many changes which have taken place in their landscape over the last 400 years!
Observations from Kinneil PS p6/5 pupils included:
“We’ve found out that Bo’ness was called something different long ago.”
“We can find Kinneil School in this one (map) and can’t in the other one.”
“They(person who made the map) haven’t got the two potteries and they don’t have the gas works…we found a football ground but they didn’t have it.”
The pupils had brought in a picture or object from home and were asked to consider whether it connected to the places they had identified on the maps. One group said: “We found the town hall ‘cos that’s where the Fair takes place.”
Hanneke and Lindsay will ensure that each class taking part in the project has these learning experiences to prepare them for a whole cluster working day on 20th May in Bo’ness Town Hall. On that day each class from each school, will contribute/pool their expertise on their specialist aspect of Bo’ness history, and use this to co-create a historical timeline of their town. This process and its end product will form the pupils’ contribution to the wider community consultation taking place in order to ensure that the new museum displays reflect a true picture of the interests and experiences of the community they are designed for.
Falkirk’s Teaching for Deep Learning programme is now available to support school-based professional learning. This programme consists of 19 sessions focused on aspects of effective teaching which are essential to the promotion of deep learning in our pupils. The sessions are active, intellectually stimulating and designed to be experienced by collaborative groups of practitioners such as Teacher Learning Communities.
“Teaching Scotland’s Future” said that the “foundation of successful education lie in the quality of teachers and their leadership. High quality people achieve high quality outcomes for children.” Without a doubt what it means to be a teacher is being re-conceptualised. Enabling our teachers to operate as enquiring practitioners and encouraging their self efficacy is at the heart of this programme.
Trialling in a range of establishments this session has demonstrated how flexible the content of the programme is, and that there are varied ways in which it can be used. View these variations in the document at the end of this post and consider if any are useful to you as you self-evaluate and create your school improvement plans.
The programme was created by Susan Dyer, Head teacher at Bankier Primary School, Gillian Campbell, PE teacher from Braes High School and Sharon Wallace and Yvonne McBlain from our Curriculum Support Team. Colleagues across our service have helped the team revise and improve the programme and we have a team of 16 facilitators currently training to deliver it.
I am confident that the programme aligns with the recommendations of the Donaldson Review, the new suite of GTCS standards & Professional Update and our own Employee Review and Development process. I recommend it to you.
To discuss how this programme might support your School Improvement Planning in more detail, contact firstname.lastname@example.org . Click here to view a summary of programme sessions.
Gayle Martin, Arts & Culture Offiicer, Curriculum Support Falkirk Council Education has been working in partnership with Clare Hoare at Stirling Council to develop Creative Conversations. The lastest event was led by Paul Collard. Paul has over 25 years experience of working in the arts and is an expert in delivering programmes that use creativity and culture as drivers of social and economic change. He joined the U.K government’s flagship creative learning programme, Creative Partnerships in January 2005 and played a crucial role in clarifying the purpose of Creative Partnerships and streamlining the delivery of the programme in schools. Paul delivered our latest Creative Conversation ‘How do we Capture & Measure Creativity’ on Wed 17th April at the Tollbooth.
Throughout the session Paul discussed how to identify and recognise creativity in order to measure. As part of the Creative Partnerships work in England Cambridge University carried out research examining the pedagogy of creative practice, as part of this they outlined the following:
Pupils need risk for motivation – this gives learners incentive to work. Schools can be too low risk – pupils need high visibility outcomes. High functioning pupils will be physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually engaged equalling high performance pupils.
Other Creative indicators are:
Essential Psychological Needs
Informed Scotland – Issue 9 March 2013 is the first issue of this digest to be circulated within Falkirk Council Education Services. We have taken a subscription for a year and will review towards the end of year 1. The digest is designed for professionals who need to keep abreast of what is happening in the world of learning and skills.
Carol Paton, Curriculum Support Officer Secondary, Falkirk Council Education Services Curriculum Support Team will review this from responses.