Morningside Blog

June 18, 2021
by Mrs White
0 comments

Primary 6/5 Summer Singers

The Primary 6/5 Summer Singers would like to show you something they have been working on over the last few weeks, outside, at lunchtimes.
These girls have been practising at home and in their lunch breaks and even had to record outside! What professionals!
We can’t wait to get to sing inside again. 🎶🎼🎵🎤🎸🎧
I hope their performance puts a smile on your face as we get ready to finish for the summer. Memories

March 12, 2021
by Mr Stathis
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Back to the Computer – A sustainable future


Back to the Computer 

A sustainable future


 

On this weeks blog I will be talking you through ‘what’s next?’ for Morningside Primary School when it comes to Digital technologies and online Learning platforms.

 

15TH OF MARCH 2021

This is a significant date in our road to recovery; not only as a school but as a nation that is desperate to get back to some sort of ‘normal’. The confirmation from Scottish Parliament that all Primary age children would be able to return to school on this date was very well received by all the staff at Morningside Primary School, in fact I haven’t personally spoken to one teacher who wasn’t happy or had reservations about this happening.

We can’t wait to welcome all our children back with open arms (for a socially distanced virtual hug) and get to work on supporting learning and moving our kids forward.

 

But what have we learned in this period of remote learning and what can we now use to enhance our teaching pedagogy? 

These important questions have led me to one word; ‘sustainability’. The staff in Morningside have worked so hard this past year to upskill themselves in digital technologies and have embraced Office 365 and Microsoft Teams to bring high quality teaching, learning and assessment to a remote setting. We are very proud as a school with what we have achieved and with the children coming back to the classroom we can now shut down Teams, forget about Office 365 and get those text books open, right?

Wrong!

We now have the chance to integrate these new skills that children and staff have gained over this period and use it to enhance the classroom environment and enrich the learning experiences of our young people. This leads me onto my enquiry which will look at how; as a school, we can look towards sustaining the use of digital technologies to implement a blended learning approach. I will focus on Literacy first of all and look to see how we can utilise various features of Microsoft Teams to support Asynchronous and Synchronous learning.

 

How will I know what is working and what data will I use to help inform my decisions?

Insights

I will utilise the Insights feature on Microsoft Teams to track pupil engagement. This has been a really useful feature of Teams throughout the pandemic as it has allowed us not to only track pupil engagement but to really maximise the value of the data available to identify pupils who were not engaging at different levels and offer the appropriate support to these children.

Assignments

All tasks set will be through the Assignments tab on Teams. This will allow me to track pupil submissions and engagement. Assignments is another fabulous tool that we have benefitted from as it allows teachers to set specific work to their groups, utilise the rubrics feature and to give personalised feedback to children with clear next steps.

Professional judgment and dialogue

I will liaise with class teachers to measure the engagement and productivity of a blended learning approach within Literacy. Nobody knows the children’s progress in learning better than their class teacher, therefore I will look to gather as much information and evidence from this invaluable resource to support my enquiry.

 

What will the enquiry actually involve?

  • Literacy tasks (mainly reading) will be set via assignments for the children to do away from
    the classroom environment.
  • Children will be asked to record part of their reading via assignments at home to allow class teachers to maximise teaching and task time within the class.
  • I will also look at the possibility of learners having access to short teaching videos at home, before completing a linked task back in the class.

What am I hoping to achieve and when will I want to achieve it by?

The hope is that teacher’s will be able embed the use of Teams and Office 365 within their classroom and that pupils and teachers will be able make use of all their new skills. furthermore;

  • Pupils will have carried out tasks at home (monitored via assignments and insights).
  • Teachers will have a reduced workload and more time to interact and engage with more pupils during Literacy lessons.

I will write an initial report around May/ June to share my initial findings but hope that this will just be the beginning of a bright future where Digital technologies is very much embedded throughout Morningside Primary school.

What can you do to help?

I have put together a survey for parents to complete that has been included in this week’s assembly but you can also access it by clicking here. 

If you have any other additional thoughts about anything I have talked about in this blog post you can also fill out the form below and share those thoughts with me.

 

March 3, 2021
by Mr Stathis
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Primary 4 – SWAY

Primary 4 have been busy creating more amazing Sway presentations!!

 

What a fabulous way to present your work boys and girls! 

 

🔰 Check out the presentations below 🔰

 

Go to this Sway
Go to this Sway
Go to this Sway
Go to this Sway
Go to this Sway

 

Go to this Sway

If you would like to make your own Sway then check out this quick video – Sway tutorial

March 2, 2021
by Mr Stathis
0 comments

Back to the Computer (Lockdown version 2)


Back to the Computer

January 2021


Hi everyone and welcome to Morningside Primary school’s first blog post around our Digital
Journey. Every week I will update the Blog with more things digital.

Arriving back in the digital classroom

This time around things were a bit different and as a school we were in a much better place. Microsoft Teams was well established with both children and staff having set clear foundations in the first lockdown; Class Teams were set up, children had clear guidance (written and video) of how to access Teams on a variety of devices and staff had looked at different ways to provide learning experiences for our learners.

 

So, What next?

  • Expectations
  • Consistency
  • Improved learning experiences

 

Let’s look at expectations

It was clear this time round that expectations had risen, Digital Progress phone calls from HMIE, NLC updated their Digital Guidance issued to schools of what was expected and Digital training was being thrusted upon us from all directions!

PANIC…….NOT! Well not at MPS anyway!

We had a clear plan married with a focussed and motivated staff! Ready to learn, improve and deliver on these raised expectations!

What do they want from us and how will we deliver it?

The main change from the first lockdown was that there was a huge shift from revision and consolidation of learning to new learning. But how do we deliver this online and ensure consistency across our school?

Teams! Teams! Teams!

As part of our Glow access we are lucky to have access to Microsoft Office, including the ever improving Teams. We were already lucky to have set our class Teams up in the first lockdown so this time around it was all about consistency and utilising its resources.

NLC Digital guidance were looking for a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning (fancy words for at the same time and not at the same time). What was important here was creating a sense of equity for our children within our learning experiences but at the same time ensure we were delivering engaging, challenging and suitable content to our learners.; bringing consistency across the school.

Channels

We decided to limit the number of channels on our Class Teams to keep it simple and accessible. The General Channel would be locked so important information wasn’t lost and additionally a Social channel and a Questions and support channel were created; I am sure these are pretty self explanatory and I don’t need to go into much detail.

The General channel would later have a tab added along the top to include a weekly suggested timetable for children to follow.

Assignments (class work)

We decided that all work would be issued through assignments. This meant that class teachers could issue work specifically to the correct groups just as they would in the class. It also meant they could schedule the assignments to go out at specific times of the week and it would organise the tasks for the children for ease of access.

This is where assignments gets really useful ….

Feedback

How were we going to deliver meaningful feedback just as we would in class? In the previous lockdown we would use the ‘Praise’ button to issue praise to children but this was more praise for the sake of praise and wasn’t giving children any next steps as it would appear on the channel chat for everyone to see!

Little did we know at the time that assignments had the solution all along!!

When you click on a child’s assignment you can issue feedback directly to the child where it is kept private for them so see! WOW! Game changer for sure. This allowed our staff to adopt the same approach to feedback as we do in class where we give the children two stars and a wish. A clear next step of how they can improve and better achieve their Success Criteria.

It doesn’t end there though!

Rubrics

Sound confusing, right?

Wrong!

This feature will change your online assessment and feedback for sure! Don’t believe me ? Here is what one of our teachers had to say;

‘Have just finished marking Taught Writing using a rubric – game changer!!’
Easy to set up and can be used over and over again! Here is an example of how it can be utilised to include LI and SC to show children clear expectation for their work. You can also include points for how well they achieve each of the success criteria to help give the children a clear visual representation of how successful they have been.

Wait! it doesn’t give me the option to add the little coloured dots to mine? When you are working on a computer or laptop and using windows you can insert emojis anywhere you type… just hit the windows button and period (the full stop) and it will bring up the emoji pane.

 

Improved Learning experiences

Having brought consistency to the appearance of our Teams and how we would issue our work, what would the work actually be like?

Live

We decided to go with live check ins every day that would be scheduled by the class teacher on Teams. These check in would essentially be a Health and Wellbeing check in and an opportunity for the children to ask their teacher about their work.

Teachers were keen to evolve and improve the content of live sessions, sending out forms/ surveys to their kids asking for points for improvement. This led to a wide variety of engaging activities such as quizzes through Kahoot, Number Talks strategies being discussed, virtual scavenger hunts and much more.

 

Recorded

Teachers would provide at least one recorded lesson for Literacy or Numeracy each day. This meant that children could access the recorded content when they wanted and as many times as they wanted. We felt this was important in terms of equity of access as not all children would be able to access live lessons for various reasons meaning any teaching done during lives would essentially be lost and with the record screen function disabled on Teams then this really just was not an option.

The recorded lesson would be uploaded within the assignment along with any tasks to go with it.

 

So has it worked and how do we know?

In a word, Yes!

Engagement has massively improved during this lockdown and we consistently have over 95% engagement on Teams each week which we monitor daily through the use of the Insights tab available on Teams. Along with this we also use the tracking features on both Sumdog and Active Learn to.

 

So where do we go now?

In next weeks blog I am going to begin to look at where we can go now with delivering a more blended learning approach as we begin to welcome back more and more of our children to our not so virtual classrooms.

 

If you would like to discuss my blog in any more detail please don’t hesitate to contact me at gw10stathisgeorge@glow.sch.uk

 

You can also check out our Digital Journey here.

Mr Stathis

PEF Principal Teacher

Morningside Primary School

February 26, 2021
by Mr Stathis
0 comments

Primary 4 Sway Presentations

Primary 4 are certainly out to impress this week with some amazing Sway presentations!!

 

⬇ Check out their amazing work below ⬇

Go to this Sway
Go to this Sway
Go to this Sway
Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s assembly where you will find;
  • Head Teacher update
  • Extended HT Challenge (we would love to see more people get involved this week – simply hit the upload link and upload your video)
  • Class news including video link to last week’s participants of the HT Challenge
  • Successful Learner certificates
  • Survey link

Assembly Link

🌺Wild Mountain Thyme🌺

Good morning everyone! I would like to share our Virtual Choir’s performance of Wild Mountain Thyme.
These boys and girls have worked extremely hard to learn this traditional Scottish song to share with you all. I am very proud of each and every one of them and I hope that you are too.
We hope you enjoy their performance. 😊
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