Category Archives: Parents

Mariner Support Service Open Afternoon

Mariner invitationYvonne McBlain enjoyed popping into the Mariner Support Service Christmas Open Afternoon. Staff, pupils and parents have been working hard over the last weeks to prepare for this event and there was lots to see.

The event opened with a celebration of learning by pupils, with prizes for good work done this term. The young people demonstrated their enterprise and social skills during the event – selling home baking, raffle tickets, and meeting and greeting. Brandon was particularly welcoming, polite, and charming. WP_20151209_001[1]

The parents’ group have been creating all sorts of crafts in school on Wednesday afternoons. These were all for sale to help raise money for school funds, and included Christmas tree decorations, wreaths, jewellery, and home baking. This is one of the ways in which Mariner Support Service builds connections with parents and carers.

This event was a valuable way to build the life and ethos of the school, while progressing young people’s skills and experiences.

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Whitecross Primary invite parents and community to celebrate their anniversary

WP_20151202_001 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. WP_20151202_002

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. WP_20151202_003

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.”  WP_20151202_005

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.

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Whitecross PS

IMG_4653Whitecross Primary School celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. The actual date is 5th December, but pupils, staff and parents are preparing to create a very special memento of the occasion.

Claire Quigley, head teacher at Whitecross PS , is collaborating with colleagues in Graeme HS and Camelon Education Centre to create a permanent clay tile installation for the foyer of the school. They are solving practical problems like how to get 250 plus tiles made and fired! But they are also building effective links between schools and their communities, as well as individual pupils. This all contributes to the life and ethos of both schools and the wider experiences of pupils. All of this is in addition to the art and design skills being developed by pupils.

Henry Meldrum, art and design teacher at Graeme High School saw an opportunity for his S2 class to support groups of Whitecross pupils in their creation of terracotta clay tiles for the installation. Each pupil will make at least one tile which shares their interpretation of their local area. On Friday 11th September, the first group of 12 primary 6-7 pupils from Mrs McNeill’s class in Whitecross PS visited Graeme HS to make their tiles.

IMG_4651After watching Mr Meldrum’s demonstration of clay techniques, the S2 pupils advised the primary pupils on how best to create their tile. They offered practical advice on techniques, and artistic advice on how the tile looked.

Daniel in S2 acted as photographer and Yvonne McBlain gathered the thoughts of the pupils involved:

Connor “I’m enjoying being in the high school, and I like using the clay. Also having a nice person to help me do shapes and have ideas about different things.

Abbie “It was very good that we had people to help us”

Thomas “I did it myself with no help!”

S2 also valued the experience:

Demi ” I’m enjoying working with the clay and the kids. It’s helping me knowing and understanding the clay…cos we’ve never used it in second year before.”

William “It’s fine – fun. Not helping me, but helping him”

Aimee ” I think it’s good because our class was chosen to help with this. It’s something different and it’ll give us an experience in working with younger ones.”

IMG_4654 Yvonne McBlain, curriculum support teacher, will lead a practical workshop with staff and parents on 30th September, to support them in making sure that everyone in Whitecross School, and its local area can create a tile for the installation.

On 2nd December, the school will be hosting an open afternoon and evening when pupils will be able to use new skills gained from their visits to Graeme HS art department to “teach” their parents, friends, former pupils, and wider community how to make their tile.

A date for the grand opening will be decided once everyone who wishes to be involved in the 60th birthday celebration has had the chance to contribute.

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Bookbug

Carolyn Sharp, Learning Resource Service, Service & School Improvement Team, Falkirk Council Education Services.  Bookbug provides free book packs to children aged 0-5 years.  During 2013-14 we gifted the following packs to children in the Falkirk Council area;

  •  1576 Bookbug baby packs
  •  1720 Bookbug toddler packs
  •  1767 Bookbug pirate packs
  • 1953 P1 family packs

For more information on the Bookbug programme, please visit the Scottish Book Trust website.

Bookbug logo

Inchlair Nursery learns about the Commonwealth Games

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.

Reading is Rubbish?! Engaging Families in the Learning

 Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer, Curriculum Support Team has taken part in a recent workshop activity held at Falkirk High School.

The title of the event was ‘Reading is Rubbish’ and was aimed at parents and families of pupils in Falkirk schools. There were several workshops on offer at the event, which was led by author and patron of reading at Falkirk High School, Catherine MacPhail.

Sharon delivered two workshops to several parents, carers and pupils entitled: ‘Using Chocolate Cake to Demonstrate Reading Strategies’. Sharon used Michael Rosen’s poem ‘Chocolate Cake’ as a stimulus for developing reading and writing skills.

Participants engaged in several activities which addressed the six key comprehension strategies in active literacy reading. They were tempted by the lure of a piece of rich, icky-sticky, ooey-gooey, scrumptious chocolate cake and used fabulous adjectives to describe the treat.

Feedback from the workshop was extremely positive and families went away learning several new strategies to help their children with the development of reading skills at home.

Feedback included:

“I just wanted to say how much we thoroughly enjoyed the “Reading is Rubbish” event on Wednesday. Having attended the “chocolate poem workshop” – My daughter, who is 3, stood up in nursery and told all of her peers that “reading is not rubbish, it’s great fun and you even get chocolate cake!”  My son who is P5 (and my reluctant reader) actually enjoyed it more than I thought he would have, he was telling everyone how great it was. I thought the workshop I attended was excellent.”

Edinburgh International Book Festival Outreach Programme

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Yvonne Manning, Principal Librarian, Curriculum Support Team, Falkirk Council Education Services has arranged for author Pippa Goodhart and James Carter to visit Falkirk Council in August 2013 as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival Outreach Programme. Pippa Goodhart has written many wonderful picture books, including ‘Just Imagine’ and ‘You Choose’. She is also the author of the very popular books ‘Winnie the Witch’, written under the name Laura Owen. James Carter is a poet and brings his poems alive with music at his appearances in nurseries and schools. His books include ‘Hey Little Bug, Poems for Little Creatures’. Yvonne is working in partnership with Community Learning and Development and Pippa will be leading a session with young families from adult learning groups, while James will be visiting Denny Nursery.

Bookbug

Carolyn Sharp, Early Years Librarian, Curriculum Support Team Falkirk Council Education Services, in the past year has gifted 1906 Baby Bookbug packs, 1954 Toddler Bookbug packs, 1934 Pirate Bookbug packs and 1947 Primary 1 family packs to children in the Falkirk area.

Bookbug provides free book packs for every child in Scotland from birth to primary 1 (5 year olds).  Each local authority area has a Bookbug co-ordinator who tries to ensure that all children in their area receive their packs. The Bookbug programme is operated by the Scottish Book Trust.  For more information about the Scottish Book Trust and the Bookbug programme please visit the Scottish Book Trust website.

 

Animated about Curriculum for Excellence

Stuart Lennie, ICT Curriculum Development Officer in Falkirk Council Education Services Curriculum Support team, has created a short animation to explain the key concepts of Curriculum for Excellence to Parents.

The animation, scripted by Carol Paton of the Curriculum Support Team and voiced by St Bernadette’s Primary pupil Rosie Wallace, explains the key changes to the curriculum and how we are implementing them in Falkirk Council education establishments.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/TJod0TZu6oI" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]