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, from Falkirk Education Service Support and Improvement team has been exploring pupil understanding of the curriculum with colleagues in St Bernadette’s RC PS and Bankier PS. Click here to see the Bankier version of the learning experience shared with pupils on 13th June 2014, and here to see Yvonne’s analysis of the impact gained.
Maria McNally and her primary 6/7 pupils were the first to trial this experience earlier this session – click here to read Yvonne’s evaluation of these. Pupils were able to explain things they understood, and how they had come to understand these things. They were offered an opportunity to explore how they reached this understanding so that they could apply successful approaches for new learning too.
The whole set of experiences is designed to:
- Help pupils learn the difference between knowing about something, and really understanding it.
- Let pupils discover how they reach deep understanding – what works for them (based on David Perkins & Harvard/Tapestry Teaching for Understanding programme)
- Help pupils review their own understanding so far and how it helps them build a good life
- Ensure that pupils know what the curriculum is and how curriculum for excellence and the four capacities relate to their lives present and future (helps with pupil profiling too)
- Help pupils see how they apply their understanding in different contexts
- Enable pupils to see the natural connections and overlaps between curriculum subject areas
- Let pupils see how their school learning articulates with wider achievement
- Develop pupils as independent learners
Yvonne will continue to trial and develop this set of learning experiences to complement the methods other Falkirk schools are using to enable their pupils to build independent learning capabilities. Click here to see some pupil understanding charts made during the lessons, and see how pupils connected their understanding across curriculum subjects below. Yvonne would be happy to hear from any teachers wanting to be involved in exploring this further. firstname.lastname@example.org
Yvonne McBlain of Falkirk Education Services Curriculum Support team is working with 4SIG2 and their Creative Digital Media teacher Sarah Felton to create a pupil version of our education policy Learning to Achieve. The 4th year pupils in this class are in the production phase of creating a magazine-style digital presentation which we hope will bring the paper version of the policy to life for secondary pupils all over Falkirk Council. The class decided that interviewing successful people who had attended our schools could be a really inspiring part of this presentation. Following lots of research, they organised and filmed Asia Bailey, former pupil of Larbert HS, and Jack Hamilton former pupil of Denny HS. Asia is about to become a full-time Tae Kwon Do athlete, and is currently German and Dutch Open Champion. Click here for more information on her career so far. Jack has had a very successful junior football career for his club and national teams and is now a goal keeper with Hearts Football Club – click here for more information . Click here to see the design brief the pupils are working from – this includes the paper version of section 4 of the policy which was written by pupils from a range of our schools. The pupils were really grateful that Asia and Jack could give up some of their training time to be interviewed, and thrilled to meet these local sporting celebrities. One of the next jobs that these pupils have scheduled is to organise and film “Vox Pop” style interviews with pupils at all of our other secondary schools.
Daniel Barrie, Quality Improvement Officer with Falkirk Council Education Improvement Team attended the Bo’ness Children’s Fair Festival on Friday 28th June.
This retinue this year were pupils from St Mary’s Primary School and the theme for the fair was “The Railway Children”.
Well done to Mrs Hanlon, staff, pupils and parents who had worked very hard in preparing for the fair day – all that effort was very worthwhile – everyone looked fantastic and the crowing ceremony was very enjoyable.
Congratulations also to all of the Bo’ness schools for the excellent entertainment provided by the presentees who performed very well and looked fantastic.
Even the less than favourable weather couldn’t take away from “the best day of the year”
Gayle Martin, Arts & Culture Officer, Curriculum Support Falkirk Council is working in partnership with Stirling and Clackmannanshire Council to develop Creative Learning. Gayle recently attended a presentation by Sheila Paige of Education Scotland who is leading Creativity Across Learning, which is a creative review across a range of education establishments in Scotland. The review will complete in June and results will be published in September. As part of this Sheila was able to share how Education Scotland has defined Creativity, which is listed below:
Definitions of Creativity
Creative skills, sometimes referred to as capacities, include being:
- Able to harness imagination
- Able to identify and solve problems
We also define people who have well-formed creative skills as being:
- Confident in their right and ability to influence change
These organisers are used to describe more fully those key learning behaviours which will support the development of these skills and capacities. The following list aims to expand these concepts. It is not exhaustive but includes:
- Being curious
- Registering patterns and anomalies
- Drawing on previous knowledge
- Researching productively
- Formulating good questions
- Defining problems
- Exploring multiple viewpoints
- Functioning with uncertainty
- Lateral thinking
- Synthesising and refining multiple options and viewpoints
- Crafting, delivering and presenting solutions
- Applying discipline and resilience
- Evaluating impact and success of solutions
- Identifying next steps in refinement or development of process
We would also expect children and young people to become increasingly:
- Motivated and ambitious for change
- Confident in validity of their own viewpoint
- Able to apply a creative process to other situations
- Able to lead and work well with others
Lynne Lauder, Enterprise Co-ordinator, based at Camelon Education Centre attended an exciting meeting with Jacquie McArthur, Economic Development Officer within the Council’s Economic Development, Growth and Investment team today.
Plans are moving along for the new Denny Town Centre and Jacquie and Lynne will be meeting in early April to design a twilight CPD session aimed at staff in the Denny Cluster (but open to all) on utilising the town centre development as a context for learning.
The session, which will be held in Camelon Education Centre on 22nd May, will include information on the plans, suggestions of how this can be tied into lessons and opportunities to consider skills development around the activities.
The descriptor will be out to schools post Easter, so watch this space! This could be just what you were looking for to make those crucial My Future’s in Falkirk links for your Enterprise Awards.
A small group of primary and secondary pupil council members are working with Yvonne McBlain and Christine Snedden from the Curriculum Support team to decide what the pupil version of Learning to Achieve should be. With the help of pupil council co-ordinators and other staff in schools, they have great plans to create this policy as a video production. They are hoping to involve as many pupils as possible from across Falkirk council in the making of the video. They also have great ideas for how the video could be launched across our authority. Everyone invovled in this sub-group is hoping that this policy will really make a difference in all of our schools and centres.