Tag Archives: derby
I love a bit of Shakespeare. Even more so when I can see that a group of junior school children are equally lapping it up. To end last week, we had a debate: Who is responsible for the death of King Duncan?
We spent some time looking at persuasive language and how to structure a one-sided argument. We also looked at how to counter an argument; the vocabulary used and the way in which you could pick at your faults and negative aspects if you can then use them to strengthen your original case. The children already knew the story of Macbeth very well by now and used the Andrew Matthews’ Shakespeare stories as our text – very useful, even in KS3, I think.
After looking at the evidence, my group decided that four possible people were responsible: the meddling, deceitful wyrd sisters, the manipulative Lady Macbeth, the heroic-but-flawed Macbeth or the dopey guards…
They each had their own group (a 4-sided dice determined their fate) and they had to put together an argument for their ‘client’. They had two tasks: prove their client’s innocence and pin the blame/responsibility on someone else.
The TA took a small group of three to be the judge and jury. They had to listen to all the evidence before them (they were not allowed to take anything not heard into consideration – even though they knew it from the story) and had to listen to how persuasive they were too. Finally, behind closed doors, they made their decision.
This year, Lady Macbeth was found to be responsible. In previous years, it has been Macbeth himself and the Witches.
Such a fantastic few lessons, the children learnt so much, enjoyed it tremendously and were brilliant on the Friday.
There are a few photos of them in action HERE.
Don’t get too excited, but here is a piece of homework I set my group today. We have three groups and are focusing on some of the more tricky and intricate aspects of grammar so we can then feed it into our writing during the week.
Using the grammar in our writing is far more important than circling nouns and ticking verbs.
Feel free to use/abuse/tweak.
More to follow.
If you like it, please share or leave a comment. 🙂
So, on Tuesday I am to do my first presentation to parents and staff on e-safety. It should have been done some time ago but got postponed for many reasons. Of all the meetings that I’ve led (and I’ve led a few) this one has taken me the longest to prepare. Maybe it’s because it was my first dip into Prezi, maybe it was because there was just a wealth of information available or maybe, it was simply down to the fact that I know it is so important, that I didn’t want to take it lightly.
I have included a link to my prezi and the notes that I will use along with it as well as some of the resources I’m giving to parents. If you want to use any of them, feel free to tweak/use/abuse just let me know what you thought.
I’ll follow up this post with my reflections on how it went… we shall see.
Big thanks to Alan Mackenzie (esafety adviser) for all his help and ideas.
Any comments below would be greatly appreciated 🙂
A little late in coming but I’ve been busy with projects – some new, some recycled.
The mini-enterprise project. Working with year sixes on aspects of running a mini-business. They have to work in teams, partners and individually to work through a series of tasks (like the Apprentice but without the firing). This has worked really well in all the years I’ve ran it and gives the children a chance to showcase skills they might not always get to use in the classroom. We always finish with an interview, where each one of them has to have an individual chat with two professionals: sometimes local business people, sometimes teachers loaned from other school, sometimes governors. This is a brilliant ending to the project and gives them an opportunity to grow in confidence, perfect before our summer performance. I also take them to Frankie & Benny’s as their treat.
Summer performance. End-of-year shows/productions/performances are an integral part of any year six and a sort of reward after the hard work and slog through the cold start of the year in preparation for SATs. In previous years, we have put on Shakespeare 4 Kidz versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth (scroll down to see all posts on the link)- challenging indeed. When I tell people we are doing Shakespeare, they look at us in amazement and raise their eyebrows in disbelief/respect/prospect of exhaustion? This summer I am toying with either The Tempest or Romeo & Juliet – we will see.
Grammar Test. The lovingly-named #spagtest is coming this May and, after seeing the sample tests, have had a mild panic. It was going to be hard work ensuring our sixes achieved the levels they needed in maths and writing and now they have to sit this beastly, boring test too. I know they should know what’s in there, that’s no excuse, but it just seems so intense. I will be posting some of the resources I make on here, soon.
Chrome Books. So, after seeing a tweet stating that they were getting a load of Chrome Books on trial, I jumped on that digital bandwagon and our shipment are expected soon. I will be posting about what we get up to when they arrive. Am pretty excited, just hope our WiFi can cope with it.
Investors In Pupils. Our PSHE lead and learning mentor are working towards the IIP standard and as part of it, we are doing several different things, such as: children writing their own non-curriculum targets (I can tie my shoelaces, I will tidy my room once a week, I will bake my teacher a delicious cake etc); sharing what the school budget is for and how it works and giving them a class budget; instead of class rules, we have rights & responsibilities – works well; I also introduced jobs, nothing new, but if the children want to do a school-based job: tidying book shelves, toy monitor, audio-visual team, hall monitors, they have to apply for it. Application Form. We are just starting out on this but know that no school in Derby has the standard yet. Exciting.
ICT revamp. My biggest job this year has to be the complete overhaul of the ICT curriculum. I have burnt the QCA folder and scattered the ashes so am in mid-completion of the long term plan for ICT across KS2. I want it to incorporate the new skills that children have and make it relevant and engaging. I have used @ianaddison’s ictplanning.co.uk to help with this.
E-safety. Alongside the new ICT curriculum, I wanted to make children and parents aware of how important e-safety is. I am running a couple of events this year and am hoping that it is something that will have a real impact on all.
#batttuk. I am working alongside my not-so-twin-like wingman @mrlockyer on a project called battt – basically, we are aiming to get more teachers involved in twitter (bring a teacher to twitter), we know how useful twitter is and want other teachers to reap the benefits of the digital staffroom. We are presenting at the teachmeet following Bett 2013.
There is a load of other stuff, but this will do… for now.
Lots of schools have an Investors In People (not just schools, all sort of companies do) and it was only sensible that the right people put the emphasis where it counts: on the pupils. Hence, the Investors In Pupils standard. A few schools across the country have worked on this and now fly their logo on the letterhead:
There are currently no schools in Derby that have this, so we are very excited to be going for it.
We already have a school council, which most schools do, but the IIP model runs deeper and wider than that. The children have academic targets and we wanted to give them personal ones too: Can I tie my shoelaces? I promise to tidy my room once a week; I will bring my teacher a rosy red apple every Friday; I will score five goals this season etc. We also look at budgets, where does the money go? How much is a pencil? We reward the class for careful use of their stationery by giving them a chunk of budget to spend on… whatever they like. One of the first things that we did was to advertise the jobs we do in school: toy monitor, bookshelves organiser, audio-visual team, they are all worthwhile jobs and we wanted to ensure that the children doing them really wanted them. They had to apply for the jobs and include a reference. We didn’t do an interview process this time – maybe that’s something we will consider in the future. See the forms below, download and use.
More updates to come soon.