The Literacy Academy is a central change idea of the Forth Valley and West Lothian Regional Improvement Collaborative Literacy Plan informed by the National Improvement Framework, the EEF toolkit and Hattie’s meta-analyses of “what works” in closing the socio-economic gap in literacy. Like many others, we have had to move our programmes on line since the start of the lockdown and, consequently, we’ve been running on-line training sessions and webinars for teachers in our four local authorities (Stirling, Clacks, Falkirk and West Lothian) as well as creating and collating resources. We’ve been delighted by the response.
In this Guest blog post, Claire McVittie, Teacher of English from St Kentigern’s Academy in West Lothian, Forth Valley and West Lothian shares on how she has created a OneDrive page for English specialists to share resources and ideas.
As a Teacher of English, it’s safe to say that my skill set does not rest in technology. However, I am always keen to learn how to use it both inside and outside of the classroom in order to best support pupils and colleagues. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with staff who are always willing to share resources. I am a big believer in working together in order to learn about different teaching styles and different approaches. This said, given that there was only twelve of us in the department, our resource bank was somewhat limited.
I was becoming increasingly interested in how much time Teachers of English could save, if only we worked together from a shared bank or resources. On Sunday 11thSeptember, I decided to do something about this, and created my OneDrive page (which I recently synced up with Teams). The OneDrive page/Teams page is a safe place where people can share ideas, resources and expertise. I need to add people through their Glow email address – feel free to get in touch if you’d like me to add you.
Currently, the page has 1,398 members; teachers ask to join daily and, most importantly, it gets people sharing resources. I am always impressed with the different resources I find on it and I am very grateful to everyone who has taken the time to upload their own work – we all know how long it takes to produces high-quality resources!
Given the current climate, teachers are working harder than ever to ensure that our young people are receiving the best possible support in so many different areas. I am delighted to see that my OneDrive page is being utilised and is supporting people during these unprecedented times and can’t wait to watch it grow.
Bathgate Early Years Centre, West Lothian, has always demonstrated a strong supportive ethos for our families, young children and staff. We have aimed to continue this during this uncertain time. One of the essential focuses has been mental wellness; we created this Mental Health Awareness Sway as a reference point for anyone who may need ideas to help regulate emotions and feelings for themselves or children and access helplines or websites for support. This is continually being updated each week.
We communicate regularly with parents/carers through the Online Learning Journal message feature where we provide the opportunity for a chat and suggest try at-home activities to help keep the children busy and active. Staff members regularly film themselves reading their favourite stories to the children ensuring the children are still seeing our familiar faces and hearing our voices. We then document these activities through our Glow blog and Twitter account @WLBEYC.
Our young children have always been co-creators of the learning in our Early Learning and Childcare Setting and during this time it has been no different. Following learning from home we currently have a Planting & Growing Project Sway and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sway. These are filled with activities set from staff members and also include lots of fantastic input from our families.
Bathgate Early Years Centre was awarded a Digital Schools Award a few years ago now, and our digital journey is constantly adapting and changing. During this time our staff team have really supported one another to adapt to working from home. We discuss and communicate every day using Microsoft teams and have weekly meetings using the video call feature. Digital Technology really has brought us all together and we are continually working together to support every staff member develop their digital thinking and skills.
Our ELC blog was set up to support and maintain relationships with our children and families while spending time at home. It is vibrant and updated daily to provide opportunities for children to be curious, creative and inquiring.
We offer a variety of:
YouTube links to support learning
COVID-19 Support Resources for Children
During this time, Digital Technologies have been the core to learning with ELC staff sharing ideas and activities to their families through the use of Sway, Twitter and Microsoft Teams, embracing a sense of community across West Lothian.
You may also be interested in previous blog posts sharing practice from primary 1 and ELC digital learners: