Yvonne McBlain, curriculum support officer with Falkirk Council, enjoyed hearing how Cathy Quinn and staff colleagues at St Bernadette’s RC PS are developing pupil awareness of their learning across the curriculum. Over the last two school sessions, Yvonne has worked with staff to explore whether pupils understand what the curriculum actually is. Read more about the initial enquiry project by clicking here.
Staff have devised learning experiences which develop pupil understanding of the subjects within the curriculum, and piloted these during “Focus Weeks” so that children could :
- consider how the knowledge and skill in one curricular area links with knowledge and skills in other curricular areas; make connections in their learning
- identify their strengths and development needs and know what they should do to improve.
- connect their learning in school to the skills they will need for learning, life and work
All school staff are therefore beginning to build a toolkit and simple processes which should help pupils and staff to track progression of learning across the four capacities and the four contexts for learning. Yvonne and Cathy agreed that other schools will be working towards this also, and would be glad to hear from anyone wishing to collaborate and explore further – firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The photo above shows the characters which John Cloherty, principal teacher, primary 6/7 pupils created. They are: Robbie the responsible citizen, Elizabeth the effective contributor, Sam the successful learner, and Carly the confident individual. John and his class felt that using a storyline approach and having characters would help even the youngest children in their school understand what the 4 capacities actually mean.
Teachers in St Bernadette’s PS are following up on Yvonne’s initial work to build pupil understanding of the curriculum by designing new learning experiences suitable for their pupils in every stage. The photo on the left shows John’s simple but effective method. His pupils have made a simple curriculum subject display on their class room window. They have subdivided each curriculum area into its subjects and its organisers. At relevant points during their learning, they can then look at the display to help them discuss and understand how their learning is connected.
Stuart Lennie, along with Lynne Lauder and Anne Hutchison of the Falkirk Council Education Services Curriculum Support team have been working to commission and implement a new way for staff to search, request, and record CPD opportunities.
The new CPD Manager Portal, provided by Gateway, replaces the existing paper based CPD course catalogue and booking system, and will allow Education Services staff to browse and request CPD from anywhere with an Internet connection- either in or out of work. In addition, the system will support the Employee Review and Development process and automate Professional Update for GTCS registered staff.
The Administration Team, made up of Ann Peoples, Fiona Dyson, Elaine Hunter, Kate Hotchkiss, and Jamielee Dickson, are currently processing the courses for next session in time for the launch in August!
At the start of the new session, all Education Services staff will receive an email containing their login for the new portal.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/dwxmPrBdIcQ" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]Yvonne McBlain, Effective Teaching and Learning Support Teacher in Falkirk Education Services Curriculum Support team has been working with class 4C2 at Falkirk High School and their English teacher Laura Fyfe. Laura wanted to support 4C2 as much as possible in their study of Macbeth as a text for their Higher English exam critical essay paper. Laura consulted with her pupils to see what they felt they needed to revise, she then worked with Yvonne to devise a support programme around their wishes to give the pupils a deep and flexible knowledge of the play. On 13th March the pupils created mind-maps to help them review their knowledge and understanding. On 20th March, Yvonne designed a lesson to help pupils realise the difference between high and low order questions. The pupils used Bloom’s question fans to work in pairs and trios to create questions about the play. Next Wednesday pupils will pose their questions to another pair/trio. This will allow them to self assess their questions and get peer validation of this. Our plan then is to create a bank of higher order questions which form a quiz for our last lesson on 17th April. Today, pupils were observed looking back through their notes in order to gather information to make their questions. They were obviously drawing on their knowledge, collaborating with peers to develop their understanding, and applying all of this to their creation of the questions. The pupils found it difficult to understand the categorisation of questions at first, but the video above was helpful to them as part of the lesson. Click on Anderson’s revision of Bloom’s taxonomy below to see the lesson power point.
Here is a selection of the questions pupils have composed so far:
Remembering – Can you recall who said “Is this a dagger I see before me?” ?
Understanding – Can you explain what is meant by “none of woman born can harm Macbeth”?
Applying – What examples can you find to show the effect Lady Macbeth had on Macbeth?
Analysing – Why did Macbeth choose to kill Duncan?
Evaluating – How would you evaluate Macbeth’s mental breakdown?
Creating – How would you improve the plot?