Category Archives: Pupil Voice

Developing pupil understanding of the curriculum

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:

  1. Help pupils learn the difference between knowing about something, and really understanding it.
  2. Let pupils discover how they reach deep understanding – what works for them (based on David Perkins & Harvard/Tapestry Teaching for Understanding programme)
  3. Help pupils review their own understanding so far and how it helps them build a good life
  4. 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)
  5. Help pupils see how they apply their understanding in different contexts
  6. Enable pupils to see the natural connections and overlaps between curriculum subject areas
  7. Let pupils see how their school learning articulates with wider achievement
  8. 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. yvonne.mcblain@falkirk.gov.uk

RED Book Award

 

Yvonne Manning , Principal Librarian, Service and School Improvement Team of Falkirk Council Education Service led the 8th RED Book Award ceremony on the 29th January  2014 in the Falkirk Town Hall.

 The shortlist this year was Mortal Chaos by Matt Dickinson, Torn by David Massey, Mister Creecher by Chris Priestley and Slated by Teri Terry.

This year there was an international dimension to the Book Award with young people from Nairobi (International School of Kenya and Mathare North Library) shadowing the award. It was very successful and they have renamed their book group The RED Book Club!

250 pupils from  the secondary schools in Falkirk Council participated in the Book Award reading, enjoying and debating the shortlisted books. Along with the Kenyan young people, they voted in December for their favourite book and planned a creative interpretation of one of the books to be performed at the award ceremony.

The Award ceremony had a wonderful atmosphere thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of the young people. The performances showcased the creativity and  confidence of the young people. We particularly enjoyed the performances from Nairobi sent to us electronically. At the ceremony the radio broadcast team from St Mungo’s High School recorded interviews, pupil journalists from Graeme and Larbert High Schools wrote a news report which will appear in The Falkirk Council News, a film team from Braes High School filmed the event and a pupil from Falkirk High School, interested in photography, shadowed the council photographer.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Feedback from the some of the authors:

“Thank you so much for everything this week. I had the best time at the RED book awards. I think having the colour red as part of things added such a fun element to the day. I really enjoyed myself, and was amazed at how good the presentations by the schools were. ” Teri Terry

“Could I just say a big thank you, on behalf of David and myself, for the hospitality shown to us during our time in Falkirk. We enjoyed our visit to Scotland so much and are looking forward to returning when we have more time. Some of our favourite moments were seeing the children act out parts of the shortlisted books – especially Torn of course!” David Massey

And the winner of RED 8 is Slated by Teri Terry

Denny High School Pupils film local sporting celebrities

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.

Reading Champions

 Yvonne Manning, Principal Librarian, Curriculum Support Team, Falkirk Council Education Services organised a project with looked after and accommodated young people who worked with storytellers and an animator to create a film. The project was funded by Awards for All and is an example of very effective partnership work between Education, Social Work, Lisa Kapur Forde (Arts Development Officer, Falkirk Community Trust), storytellers – Ruth Kirkpatrick and Claire McNicol, musicians and Wrighteye film makers. The launch of the film took place in Falkirk Town Hall on 22/3/13. It was a wonderful occasion to celebrate the achievements of the young people. The storytellers and the young people told the story that they had created and then the film was shown. The film shows the group in Meadowbank Library working together on the story, making the characters, shooting the scenes and then viewing the animation of the story. The song that accompanies the story was written and sung by one of the young people. The film can be viewed by clicking this link – Tear Drops on the Wings

Feedback after the launch was exceptional, here is just a snapshot of what people said:

‘What a fantastic and moving film.  The music was wonderful and fitted perfectly with the story and the animation.  I was blown away by the whole event and by the talent and ability of the young people.  Thank you.’ Chief Governance Officer, Falkirk Council.

‘This has by far the best thing that’s happened for me for ages, thanks for sharing your work, talent and experiences.  I would be delighted if you would be prepared to show the film and tell the story at the Falkirk Parents and Families Workshop on 9th October 2013.  I think you could inspire so many more people there!, Thank you!!’ Co-ordinator, Children’s Services, Falkirk Council.

‘Incredible! I was unbelievably impressed with the quality of the film.  Thank you so much for giving us the chance to see it.  You are all brilliant.  Well done!!’ Clinical Psychologist.

‘Well done all involved.  A brilliant team effort.  Hope to see your film again soon.  Thank you so much!’  Child Health Commissioner, N.H.S. Forth Valley.

‘Excellent show, the young people have shown how much talent they have.  Through this film they have hopefully addressed some issues they have, they worked very well together, social skills proven, feelings revealed etc.  Well done to everyone who encouraged and taught, helped make this film.  What next for these young people, they need to get to the next stop.  BRAVO!!’ A Grandmother

‘…  Wow! Wonderful achievement to everyone who participated in the movie.  It was a lovely story well written.  The film makers were great and the music was showstopping! Simply stunning! Wonderful music.  To all of you, I wish you every success in the future.  Keep working hard; Keep positive: Keep doing good work and Thank You I loved it.’ Councillor, Falkirk Council.

And what next?

To nominate the film for an Award.

The young people will tell their story and show the film at a Parent and Families Workshop event in Falkirk Council in October 2013.

CELCIS (Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland) are very interested in showcasing the film at their annual conference in October 2013.

Education Scotland are very interested in sharing the project as an example of good practice.

A connection has been established between the Homes and Meadowbank Library. The young people all received a library membership card and borrowed books from the library. The plans  to reinforce this connection include a trip to the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August; library staff will visit the Homes in advance of the trip to read ‘tasters’ from the books by the author(s) with whom the young people will meet.

At least two of the young people have been offered opportunities to further explore  their musical interest and talent from the musicians and producer involved in the project.

The young people who were involved in this project wanted it to continue  and other young people are now very keen to be involved in a similiar project. With this in mind, Yvonne Manning, Lisa Kapur Forde and Jenny Kane (Leaving Care Service) are looking at other potential funding sources and build on the success.

Exciting changes at Denny Town Centre

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.