Monthly Archives: July 2013

Thank you


This will probably be the last posting of the year and I would like to take the time to thank you.
I have had an amazing year and have learnt so many new things from twitter, from students, from San Diego and above all from you.
Thank you for your humour and your support when I have been soooooo tired my sentences didn’t quite work or make sense. You have been amazing during this packing up and moving heatwave phase. We all now deserve some pampering – at least 3 weeks worth to revitalise, recharge re etc.
I am looking forward to the holidays – Menorca, Devon and somewhere or other.
I am looking forward to reading slowly without having to reread passages that I know I read the night before.
Here’s my Summer reading list so far:
“A Streetcar Named Desire” Tennessee Williams
“Inspirational Teachers, Inspirational Learners” Will Ryan
“Close my Eyes” Sophie McKenzie
“The Perfect Coach” by Jackie Beere and Terri Broughton
“Maggot Moon” by Sally Gardner
“Life after Life” by Kate Atkinson
“The Rock” by Matthew Davey
I’ve just bought a moleskine kindle cover with a notebook attached so I can read and write notes at the same time!!!!

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I am looking forward to the whole family wearing non-school uniform – preferably un-ironed.
I am looking forward to not having to use a hairdryer
I am looking forward to writing lists that don’t include the word ‘marking’ or data. Although I do have some Year 10 controlled assessments to look through.
I am looking forward to remembering to book dentist appointments.
I know that I won’t be able to completely switch off – and probably don’t really want to – but I am looking forward to having the space and time to think, plan slowly and even change my mind.
Take care – we’re almost there…
Clairexxxxxx

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‘Think different’ and read different (ly)

Best song I could find about moving! Good luck packing next/this week!

Hope you’ll take on the challenge and encourage students and staff to come ‘on board’. Not a new idea I know but I’m sure it will get students to think about their reading in a fun way. This weekend we had lots of fun thinking of appropriate and inappropriate places to take photographs.

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The Hub

The Hub

From September we are teaching Years 9, 10 and 11 in The Hub. Now is the time for us to be thinking about how we might use the space. Take a look this week, try out the rooms and the boards. Put yourself in the place/space of our students. Maybe even move some furniture?? ‘Think different’
What do we need to make the areas work? Imagine ideal world scenarios, money no object scenarios. Seek out the problems but think of solutions too – black and green hats needed. Perhaps one of the more enclosed classrooms could be a designated quiet study space? Could we create our own mini learning centre? What spaces do we need to ensure that students can work independently, collaboratively in small groups and in large groups? Are there ways of discouraging/preventing passivity, of enabling conversations?
Here are a couple of inspirational videos made by a Nottinghamshire school “The Park Schools Federation’ – perhaps more JA than SA but they may give you some ideas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doEqHXfMOBs and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWImnee7eRI
For the first time ever our teaching and learning will be completely transparent which may feel daunting but gives us enormous opportunities to support and learn from each other; to naturally team teach and ‘buddy’; for observations to become day to day and ordinary rather than one off ordeals.
Perhaps now is the time to think about narrowing our options for set texts at GCSE to give us the flexibility of being able to move students to different groups depending on their needs throughout the year? This would also mean that we could create launch events when studying set texts in the central space. On Friday 15th November the RSC is going to stream Richard II to schools accompanied by a live studio link hosted by Konnie Huq. Could we show this in the central area?
We need to look at our Year 9 curriculum and start building in pbl. Our new fluid space is ideal for this way of learning. I have added a new link to 21st Century Schools in our pbl section at the top of this page.
Ross would love to repeat the WW1 project next year and has asked if we can ensure that all of Year 9 will have read ‘Private Peaceful’ by Term 4. It would be great if all our groups could be involved this time especially as it is the start of the four years of planned centenary events next year http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22844330