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.
Yvonne McBlain, curriculum support teacher with Falkirk Education Service, is continuing the filming process for Falkirk’s pupil version of their education policy Learning to Achieve. For the past two years, pupils from as many Falkirk schools as possible have been contributing to the creation of the policy in collaboration with Yvonne, staff in their schools and at the centre. Click here to see the paper version. Pupil council members have played a leading role in the organisation of the tasks at every stage. They suggested that the policy should be digital, and as dynamic and visual as possible.
Yvonne offered all schools the opportunity to be involved in this creation process and currently, secondary pupils are sharing their thoughts on their role in getting the most from their education. Many pupils are taking the opportunity to share and celebrate the educational experiences they have had so far.
On Friday 21st March, St Mungo’s RC HS S5/6 sociology students were filmed in conversation about their role in their own education. These students spoke eloquently about what they would like their lives to be like in 10 years time, and how their education has equipped them for this life. Paul and Martin from Baby Grand Productions are the media partners providing technical support for the creation of the policy.
Carrongrange High School pupils were filmed during their Enterprising Fridays and Life-Long Learning experiences. Each Friday pupils develop their skills for learning, life and work within a range of elective groups.
At Braes HS in the afternoon, a small group of S3 drama pupils were also filmed in conversation. They had prepared some thoughts on how best to conclude the policy video and “acted” out a conversation which they felt would do that well. Their vital task was to persuade and communicate a summary of the policy message to their target audience – every Falkirk pupil!
Mariner Support Service pupils will be filmed on 31st March sharing some of their diverse learning experiences and then all of these parts will be edited with the content already created by S4 Denny HS Creative Industries pupils in conjunction with Baby Grand Productions.
Yvonne McBlain from Falkirk Education Services curriculum support team is working with the nursery team at Deanburn Primary School on a Jack Frost storyline. Caroline McKay, principal teacher, and Karen Stewart, Senior Early Year’s Officer wanted to explore how the storyline approach could help their children learn about winter in a creative way. The whole nursery team were keen to explore new ways to fit in all of the essentials of planning, assessment, observation and recording of pupil progress. For the last two weeks Yvonne has supported the team in the nursery for one half day per week. The team have then developed, observed and responded to the children’s interests over the rest of the week in order to evaluate impact on learning and develop next steps. For more information about what has been done so far, click on the documents below.
Click here to see the planned learning for 20.1.14
Click here to see the planned learning for 27.1.14
Click here to see the planned learning for 3.2.14
These simple plans are put into the large-scale floor books where the team are recording how the children use the Jack Frost character to develop their understanding of winter. This story started the storyline off, and the team intend to use Twitter as one of their ways to involve parents in the learning.
Yvonne McBlain from Falkirk Council Education Service Support and Improvement team heard an item about Bonnybridge PS on Radio Scotland on Tuesday 21st January 2014. She was delighted to hear about P.6/7 from Bonnybridge Primary and their work with the BBC Commonwealth Class project. Michelle Cairns and her class worked on their debating skills and learned about issues and topics affecting countries within the Commonwealth.
The debates were fun and interactive and allowed the children to voice their opinions and thoughts appropriately. The project gave the pupils a fantastic platform for learning about tolerance, equality and working together in a real life context which will be valuable lifelong. Being part of this learning has had a huge impact on the children involved. The BBC contacted the class following their participation in previous debates, asking if they were happy to be filmed debating “in action” for the BBC.
The motion for the filmed debate was homelessness in Commonwealth countries and how this related to the Commonwealth games. The children took part in a Skype call with a school in India in which they were able to ask questions and interact with another Commonwealth country. This experience enabled the children to see themselves as a part of the wider world and to really think about how they can contribute as global citizens. Click here to link to the television broadcast in BBC Iplayer, here for the Good Morning Scotland radio piece, and have a look at the written piece here on the BBC website.
This interdisciplinary learning experience offered the children an opportunity to apply their debating, talking and listening skills within the Commonwealth context. It also offered them a valuable opportunity to develop new knowledge and skills through partnership working with the BBC. Isn’t it great to see Falkirk schools featuring so prominently in the media!
Yvonne McBlain and Malcolm Wilson of Falkirk Council Service and School Improvement Team have created a new interdisciplinary learning blog. Yvonne will develop and maintain this blog as a major element of support for IDL across Falkirk Council education establishments. She is working hard to fill the blog with useful material and valuable IDL practice. Click here to visit, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions, ideas or interdisciplinary learning practice to share.
Yvonne McBlain from Falkirk Curriculum Support Team met with Ray McFadyen, Education Officer from the Museum of Scottish Railways on 12th November. Ray shared the new museum education support pack (click to view) which he has just completed, and described the themed artefact handling boxes he has created (click to view). Yvonne and Ray talked about the range of steam and diesel-driven machinery and artefacts which could stimulate ideas for teachers of technology. Consequently, they will collaborate to create and organise a CPD Manager course offering secondary DET teachers the opportunity to visit the museum collection after hours. A visit to the museum and railway station next to Bo’ness harbour offers a whole range of creative teaching possibilities (click to explore how a visit could look). Yvonne and Ray will work with Sharon Wallace, Primary Curriculum Support Officer to plan and deliver an innovative series of CPD sessions which will include a site visit. These sessions will allow teachers to explore how the museum collection and location could be used to progress literacy skills across learning, in an active, engaging and creative way – within and outwith the classroom! Keep your eye on CPD Manager – we hope to upload these descriptors soon.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/dMCFFRirHds" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]
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.
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.
Yvonne McBlain of Falkirk Curriculum Support Team was thrilled to attend the first of a series of cross-sector cluster interdisciplinary planning sessions on Tuesday 17th September 2013. As chair of the Commonwealth Games Interdisciplinary Project sub-group, Linda-Anne Reid worked with colleagues to co-ordinate this collegiate planning. Early year’s practitioners and primary 1 teachers met in Stenhousemuir PS, first level teachers met in Carron PS, and second and third in Kinnaird PS. All staff were given relevant planning materials and information in advance, including the cluster plan, NAR planning flow chart, NAR planning flow chart instructions and Falkirk Community Trust/Active Schools Going for Glasgow Accreditation paper. Isobel Edmond provided early level practitioners with a very clear introductory overview of the potential benefits of this interdisciplinary learning context. Morag Carson then explained that each of the 3 hour-long planning sessions would involve same stage groups planning within 3 bundles of E & Os. This means that the Larbert cluster will generate at least 3 interdisciplinary plans per level which meet experiences and outcomes from: Social subjects & Expressive Arts, Social subjects & Technology, & Social subjects and Science. They are more than happy for these plans to be made available across the authority when complete. Once these groups were established, their first task was to identify the small bundle of E & Os they felt could be progressed by this context, for their learners. Yvonne and Linda-Anne enjoyed a whistle-stop tour of the nursery and primary 1 groups, and then nipped up to Kinnaird PS to pop into the second and third level groups. The staff involved had already made choices about their E & Os , and begun to consider learning intentions, and the best activities to develop knowledge, understanding and skills within the Commonwealth Games context. There will be 2 further planning sessions on 30th October and 21st November, but some groups have opted to do one double session instead. Although clearly linking into national events taking place in 2014, this way of working across-cluster offers potential benefits on many levels: the planning of robust interdisciplinary learning, development of understanding of skills progression, and the sharing of practice generally. All in all, a really active, purposeful form of collegiate professional learning!