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New Year: New Projects

A little late in coming but I’ve been busy with projects – some new, some recycled.

Coming soon:

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.

BGW

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Posted by on January 12, 2013 in Family, Thoughts & Musings

 

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Investors In Pupils

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:

inv-pupils

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.

Rights

Shelton Junior School Job Application Form

Vacancy for book shelf organisers – Years 3-4

Vacancy for fruit stall

Vacancy for music & hall monitor

Vacancy for toy monitor

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Posted by on January 12, 2013 in Edugeneral

 

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Shoved-In-Clause: The Response

An ode to Mr Waldram – a response to his Shoved-in-clause ‘song’

Written by Mrs S Green & Mrs S Mitchell

You better try hard to make your words rhyme,

The ones you gave us are way out of time

Shoved in clause was harder this time!

We took a simple sentence,

Just like our teacher said

But the way he made his words rhyme

It made us scratch our heads. Oh…

You better try hard to make your words rhyme,

The ones you gave us are way out of time

Shoved in clause was harder this time!

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Literacy

 

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Macbeth: The Making of a Monster V

Well, today we had the first rehearsal after our half-term break. It was ok. If we had several weeks before our performance, I would be feeling nervous about completing it in time but confident we had a spell-binding show on our hands.

We don’t have several weeks!

We have 19 days!

I am not normally a man prone to panic; I feel comfortable that I can deal with most situations but the slow, creeping dread of dress rehearsal day (16 days away) looms near and shows me that we are not going to be ready…

Just to add a couple of other variants into the mix, we have three days out for our French residential and a couple of days worth of transition (by a couple, I of course mean 4 or 5). There is also sports day (Olympic-themed of course) and many other mini-things that all eat away at our all ready over-crowded and rapidly-diminishing timetable.

Having said all that, I feel good. We have a talented cast and once the make-up is applied, the blood is made and the lights are on… we will have a show.

By the pricking of my thumbs… something hectic this way comes.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Literacy, Thoughts & Musings

 

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Macbeth: the Making of a Monster IV

Just a quickie this time… click the LINK and go see the Witches.

‘…those black and secret, midnight hags!’

 
 

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