Monthly Archives: December 2014

#Nurture 1415

Five positives from 2014 and five wishes for 2015

Positives:

Twitter I say it every year; Twitter is invaluable for all working in education! The conversations and the sharing of ideas, research, initiatives and developments that this form of social media enables through linking with people in the UK and globally is significant, rich and should not be underestimated. I continue to learn new things and explore new ideas, much of which I seek to share with colleagues. The teaching and learning at our school continues to benefit as a result of others sharing without being precious about great initiatives and ideas. I respect fellow professionals for their views, their honesty and at times their very deep vulnerability in being real about their experiences and challenges which they share via Twitter. My sincere thanks to fellow Tweeters – it is a community that I value greatly, not just in the ‘virtual’, but also when we meet in person at events.

National TeachMeet Day 2014 It was great to link with a good number of educationalists and sponsors across the UK to facilitate more that 1000 teachers coming together for a National TeachMeet Day in February. It was a very special day and really good to see a number of people running their first TeachMeets. Many thanks to everyone who got involved and contributed, in particular to @ICTmagic! Please use the following link to read more and see associated resources TeachMeet UK

Developments at school Two areas that have been particularly enjoyable and beneficial for the children have been: The on-going progress of Forest School (including a parents and pupils’ bush craft weekend). The growing scope of involvement/pupil leadership of Digital Leaders – supporting pupils and staff, contributing to assemblies and our first KidsMeet. Also, blogging by each year group weekly (by pupils from Year 3 upwards) has become embedded increasingly, although there is scope for this to develop more.

Amazing colleagues Without the commitment, energy and ideas of colleagues, school would not continue to develop in the positive way it does year on year. There are always ‘challenges’/’opportunities’, this goes without saying, but a strong team with a high level of collegiality enables much to be achieved. I do not take this for granted and I am grateful for everyone in our staff team, across all areas of the school, they give so much!

#PairandShare This is an initiative I came across via Twitter, set up by Steve Taylor @tambotaylor – ‘linking schools together to share good practice’ and ‘collaboration between schools to improve pupil outcomes’. It was refreshing to take time out away from school and reflect . . . We visited a school that shared many of the things that are fundamentally important to us too, yet a very different school. It was a very positive experience and I very much recommend this imitative to fellow Heads.

Five wishes for 2015 I have gone for – quality time with family and friends – passion in all I do – enabling and supporting others – encouraging greater risk taking and resilience in our pupils – and a commitment to continuing to build community.

Wishing you good health and happiness in 2015!

Global Adventure 2015

We live in such a diverse and interesting world. One of things that I am very passionate about is that we enable children to widen their horizons globally. Through links we can not only gain knowledge, but also develop greater understanding of cultures and faith groups, and hopefully have an increased awareness of issues around the world and have a greater sense of care towards other as a result.

In 2015 we will be linking our school (a primary school for 4 – 11 year olds) with several scientists/research projects, museums/galleries and hopefully a number of schools around the world.

My initial thought was to achieve one link a month, with opportunities across the continents. I quickly realised that this would be too much and would be impractical, so I refined my thinking. Currently, we have 3 key link opportunities in place.

The links will enable learning and enrichment opportunities for the students and/or the staff.

Through a link one of more of the following will be facilitated:
• sharing knowledge/ideas/resources
• setting a challenge
• carrying out research
• a shared project
• a charity initiative
A link could be during one day, across a month or something that is initiated and completed within the year. The technology used to achieve this could be any of the following blogs, video conferencing, Twitter or email, depending on what is accessible to you and most practical.

Engagement will initially be via School Committee, so that the children can be involved in discussions and decisions at form group level and feedback ideas and questions in a whole school forum. I am very conscious of teachers’ workloads and hopefully this will help to keep the initiative manageable and not too much additional work for colleagues.

The tashtag we are going to use is #GobalAdventure2015

Currently, we will link with 2 scientific research projects and have a museum/galleries month. Our scientific research projects are located in 2 different continents (more of these anon) and our adventure will spread even further worldwide when linked with museum/galleries. We hope to add one or two schools as the year progresses too.

Our first link arrived on the day we set up the project, via @AshleyMNaranjo a museum educator @SmithsonianEdu who has shared their Quests http://bit.ly/1ITVJ7J offering a variety of challenge prompts for students. We will promote the Quests to students in our museum month. Hopefully it will encourage them to explore American history and culture as well as science, nature and art. Thank you to Ashley for responding so quickly!