Linking the Learning with Mr Shanks

We have been linking and applying different types of learning to new situations recently, some very different situations!

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In literacy, we have been looking for meaning in texts – the things characters were saying in our class novel, Fantastic Mr Fox, and also what the illustrations were telling us. We noticed that the author and illustrator always gave us lots of clues and the clues helped us to understand what might happen next in a story. So, being a story detective looking for clues has been very important to us.

In outdoor education, we also look for clues – clues of what lives around us. We have had a few visits to the Helix and taken lots of photos of the things that live there – sometimes a photo of a bird, sometimes a photo of a plant, but also photos of things we weren’t sure of – things which were like clues… We spent two sessions looking for clues as to what animals were making unusual tracks through the reed beds, very narrow tracks with hoof prints. We also walked around one of the ponds and explored the trees, noticing that the bark was peeled from the lower part of the younger trees and that the buds from the lower branches had also been taken – or eaten! Wherever we found hoof prints, we also found that there were tracks through the reed beds, bark missing and plants nibbled. We very quietly, almost silently, followed the tracks two weeks ago and came across fresh animal droppings, which we photographed and researched. All of these clues came together to tell us that there are deer living at the Helix, in the middle of a very busy park! The last week, having learned how to track and spot clues, one of our young people led the expedition and managed to find the exact point that the deer entered the reed beds by looking at the direction of the prints. We also discovered that there are adult deer and younger deer, the size of hoof prints in the mud gave us that information. We also know that there are birds of prey living by the big pond because we managed to find a large, fresh bird pellet, complete with digested feathers and small bird bones.

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So, looking for clues is a skill which we use everywhere in life, whether checking the fruit or bread to see if it is still fresh, or inspecting trees and mud for signs or animal visitors, or even reading more deeply into a book to see if the author is hinting at what is about to come in our stories.

We are life detectives!

Developing phonological awareness

Children’s Services have posted a range of simple but effective strategies to help support children’s early phonological awareness.  These excellent resources may be used by classroom practitioners and parents alike.  If you would like any further advice on how to support your child at home then please get in touch with Miss Fulton, Miss Addy or Mrs Haddifon.  We’re always happy to support our young people with their learning.

Free Microsoft Office for Pupils

If you received a new digital device (whether smartphone, tablet, PC, Mac or laptop) at Christmas time it might be a useful reminder that all Falkirk pupils are entitled to FREE Microsoft Office for use at home and on mobile devices – this works on all mobile devices and PCs (on multiple devices per person) – the following link describes how to get it:

https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/mobiledevices/2015/06/17/microsoft-office-free-for-all-falkirk-council-childrens-services-staff-and-pupils-with-a-glow-account/

Merry Christmas!

All the staff at Oxgang School and Support Service would like to wish our families and partners a very Merry Christmas.  We look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

If you’re looking for family activities to try out over the holidays why not try:

  • Taking a tour of the Christmas lights with your family
  • Designing your own Christmas wreath
  • Watching a Christmas movie with your siblings
  • Making a popcorn garland
  • Going for a walk
  • Creating your own homemade Christmas baubles
  • Taking part in a gingerbread house party

 

Christmas Preparations

In class we have been preparing for our Celebration Event which takes place on the 19th of December.  We are looking forward to welcoming our families and partners along to this event to celebrate all our achievements this term.  This event takes place at 2pm and we look forward to seeing everyone there.

Classroom Learning

At Oxgang School and Support Service we realise the importance of reading to our pupils daily.  Not only does it help with learning vocabulary but also with working memory and thinking skills. Our younger pupils are reading The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle. It is a chapter book about little Gigglers who get revenge on adults every time they are mean to children. The pupils are reading in class every day and then talking about what has happened in the chapters they have read.

‘I like it because it is a funny book and I was laughing.’ – Airyn.

We are also demonstrating how we are responsible citizens by getting out and about to  Bandeath Dog Shelter helping them walk all the dogs.

‘I like Coal, he is my favourite. He is called Coal because he is black.’ – Airyn.

We are really looking forward to our Christmas activities and hope to see you soon!

 

Children in Need 2018

We were delighted to welcome visitors to Oxgang School on Friday, 16th November for our Children in Need fundraiser.  All of our pupils helped to organise a coffee and cake sale to raise funds for this worthwhile cause.  This included creating poster, inviting the wider community, baking cakes and decorating the hub.  We raised £60 for this event and are looking forward to receiving our certificate soon.

  

Did you know that Children in Need has now raised over £1bn since it began the annual fundraiser in 1980?  A fantastic event which supports so many charitable organisations in Britain.

 

Open Afternoon

We recently invited our parents and carers to attend an open afternoon in our school.  This gave them a chance to meet with staff and find out all about the learning that’s been taking place in the classrooms.

 

This term our pupils are learning all about Night and Day within their topic work.  Each classroom has their own focus area they are exploring.  We look forward to sharing more about this over the next few weeks.

Online Safety Event

Children’s Services are hosting two online safety events for parents and carers. The dates and venues of both events are as follows:

  • Thursday 6th September (6.30 – 8.30pm, Bo’ness Academy
  • Thursday 13th September (6.30 – 8.30pm, Camelon Education Centre)

All parents and carers are welcome to attend either event.

Numeracy

Some games are worthy of playing in their own right because they stimulate mathematical thinking and strategy development. However, to take full advantage of the educational benefits of playing games we often need games that fit particular mathematical objectives.  So, our senior pupils worked together to create their own maths game.  Together they communicated, negotiated and worked as a team.