As a school leader, I know that the key to any student’s success is often their teacher. If this is true, would having two teachers mean double the chance of success? We decided to test this idea in a reorganization of the Business Studies programme at VRG. Working from our strategic vision, we began to brainstorm, prioritize and plan.
Introduction: Why get out of bed in the morning?
I do not think there is such thing as a ‘motivated person’ or a ‘lazy person’ - we are just motivated by different things. Motivation is not linear. I was, and remain, motivated by learning. I love reading widely and learning more about the world in which I live. I am really not motivated by team sports, singing or marking books. There are some things that I really want to do (and see value in) but have to be persuaded to do; I want to be good at the piano and I want to run half marathons in a vaguely respectable time. I REALLY want to do these things. I have all of the equipment needed. I have peers who will practice with me and I have access to people who will give me expert feedback and teach me.
The run-up to the Christmas holidays is always an exciting period: winding down school for the term and taking part in fun class activities is all part of the seasonal excitement. This time presents opportunities for all manner of activities, with crafting being a long-running favourite. Take this special time of year to explore a variety of crafting activities, and see how simply children can create lovely gifts, cards and decorations to be taken home and treasured for the holidays.
One thing that always interested me about History was the growing realisation that even the supposedly simplest and most straightforward facts are quite often shrouded in a mystifying narrative; a trail of sources that leaves the true story open to a range of opposing interpretations and outcomes. Whilst we may think we have answered all the questions and arrived at the correct conclusions about the sequences of events, a differing theory or discovery of a contradictory source can suddenly debunk the accepted.
Project-based learning (PBL) is far from a new fad - it has been around much longer than most of us would imagine. In fact, PBL has been around a lot longer than structured learning, as inevitably, PBL puts learners in the situation of needing to solve a problem, challenge or complex question, much as people have been in real-life problematic situations throughout time.
What is more exciting than returning to school…? The return of Strictly, of course! In excess of 12.5 million viewers tuned in to see the final in Dec 2015. After the Bake Off, this made it the most popular TV show in Britain adding sparkle and sequins to dark Saturday evenings. I know there are many open and closeted fans in schools across the country, and here I’ll outline how teachers could take some steps in the direction of the glitter-ball providing a “magnificent” SEVEN to keep you “en pointe!”
Writing and filmmaking maestros A Tale Unfolds have announced the early release of Frightful Film Trailer, their brand-new, free resource made in collaboration with The Literacy Shed. This week-long literacy project encourages teachers to use film and filmmaking in the classroom as a purposeful way to engage children with writing. Using animations from The Literacy Shed as well as original videos starring The Write Brothers, teachers and pupils are guided step by step in creating their own trailer.
Pupils of Walton School in Stafford have been some of the first to acquire their seeds from space, as part of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) / UK Space Agency co-organised Rocket Science project. The seeds were in space for six months with British astronaut Major Tim Peake, and were returned to Earth in March by the former commander of the space station, Scott Kelly. The aim of the project is to compare the seeds with ones that have not been in space, in order to study the horticultural possibilities available to astronauts.
As a child, I was actively encouraged to read. I’d spend evenings going to bed reading about the Mary Lennox, the isolated and closed off child sent to live in a remote manor on the desolate moors of Yorkshire, or about Carrie, the evacuee who embarks on a new adventure to Wales to escape the bombing of London. The skill of the authors hooked me into reading further about their experiences. I felt myself being transported into the fresh valleys of Wales, where Carrie would spend time weighing out rationed items in the shop, and experienced the difference in social classes in Victorian England alongside their understanding of medical ailments.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is calling all Primary schools to take part in an Easy Peasy Pea Challenge, part of the ongoing Plant2Plate campaign. This project aims to help pupils to learn about nature and healthy eating. Any child can have a go at 'sowing, growing and showing' homegrown green peas, either in a window box or small growing patch. Every school that registers for the challenge before the end of April will receive a free Easy Peasy Pea Seed Kit. The kit includes a pack of Sugar Ann pea seeds, a simple growing guide and a tasty pea recipe card from Alpro.