Posts Tagged With: Education Show

Making a Difference

‘Have a growth mind-set’. ‘You can if you think you can’. ‘Go the extra mile’. It is often talked about but what does it look like in context within schools?

In one example, at Bowling Park Primary School, the whole school promotes a ‘can do’ ethos, which is embedded through the ‘Going the Extra Mile’ or ‘GEM’ approach. Talking about future aspirations with children encourages them to push themselves, work hard and rise to challenges. This ties in very neatly with Dweck’s research about Growth mind-set.

The other week, I joined in a very thought provoking #aussieED chat about research:
* What is meant by the word research?
* Who carries it out?
* Is it really useful?

There seemed to be a difference of opinion in that some people said that research is done over a period of time and is a collection of a range of data. However, @mairinglenn made a good point about ‘drawing theory from our practice’. Whilst all points were valid and research is not solely restricted to a school environment, it does seem that ‘research’ can be collected on a daily basis when working with a class of children.

@Hywel_Roberts talks about ‘accidental learning’. “Some of the best learning takes place when, rather than imposing on young people a pre-determined curriculum, you find the stimulus that is relevant and engaging for them and build from there.” (Hywel Roberts
The other day at Queensway Primary School in Leeds, I had the pleasure of witnessing this first hand.
During a maths session, a group of Y1 children had chosen to work in the sand tray. The task was to pick numbered lollipop sticks out of the sand and compose number sentences.
However, much to the excitement of the children, a problem had arisen; there was a hole in the sand tray!

Despite observations of teachers taking place and the temptation to hush them away quickly before it caused a fuss, staff allowed the children to continue their exploration of the problem.

The level of engagement and interaction between the four children at that time was a prime example of accidental learning. Children took turns, collaborated and suggested ideas: “We need tape!”. They went through the problem solving process, measuring Sellotape to cover the crack, moving the sand away to stop the constant flow pouring onto the floor and swept the sand after borrowing the brush from Y2.
Even then, they weren’t finished as one little girl said, “We need to test it!” They put lots of sand back over the crack once the tape had been applied and refined their ideas by deciding that they would add more tape as there was still a small leak.

What had started as one thing very quickly evolved into something else, entirely child-led and with real purpose.

I was lucky enough to attend the @EducationShow in Birmingham this weekend with a fellow professional, Suzi Hunt. Special mention to @nightzookeeper as their creative writing month has generated lots of excitement for young writers, ensuring that learning continues to be almost ‘accidental’. Keep up the great work!
As I meandered up and down the aisles, collecting flyers and learning about educational products and services, it dawned on me just how many educators were prepared to give up their Saturday with a view to improving their own practice and development. All this to try to make a positive difference to the lives of the children in their respective schools!
Ideas were shared at the Teach Meet (#tmedshow15) too. Great ideas came from @gazneedle about art across the curriculum, Claire Lotriet about #proudofmyselfie and @charliedean about how she use the fabulous @classdojo for parental engagement.

Unfortunately, I missed Guy Claxton at the event on Friday. However, what he said is what I continue to see in many learners, young and wise; “School is a place where kids pick up attitudes about learning”. So let’s ensure that we model a ‘can do’ approach and inspire the future generation. After all, it all goes to show that with the right mind-set and attitude, we have the power to do anything…

Steve Jobs

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Springing into Action

This post is dedicated to the inspiring, wonderfully creative @bevevans22, who sadly passed away last month. I was fortunate enough to have met Bev on a few occasions over the past couple of years since embracing the world of Twitter and was always impressed by her warmth and creativity. For many teachers, they may not know her name, but they will have a Bev Evans resource somewhere in their classroom. Bev’s legacy can  be judged through countless downloads of the free resources she uploaded to the TES SEN site. That said,  it’s her dedication and commitment to improving the lives of children that will be remembered most.

The impact that Bev had on the world of education encourages me to continue to be creative and innovative through my own practice.
Recently, I have asked my Y1 children to demonstrate their creativity through topic lessons. In a recent music session, I introduced them to a website called ‘Incredibox‘, whereby they got to compose their own song through assembling various sounds. By using Incredibox to maintain a steady background beat, we built on it and composed a variation of a well know farm-themed song. Visit the Bowling Park Primary website to listen to the final composition and to view our iPad art based on the work of David Hockney.

As Spring is well and truly here, I thought it an appropriate moment to take time to reflect on the first months of 2014. As my theme for the year is ‘change’, I was inspired by various people at #EdShow14 in Birmingham last month. As I walked up and down the aisles, I saw so many innovative products, ideas and people, which further inspire me to make a difference in the lives of children. I enjoyed learning about the latest news from #BETT award winners @Showmyhomework, catching up with @chrisrat on the @scholastic stand and listening to the ever inspiring @stevebunce demonstrating just how easy the Computing Curriculum can be.

Bradford have had different holiday times to other authorities, which has meant that I have enjoyed this past week considering what the Summer Term might look like for children in my class. Discussions with fellow educators has led me to consider developing the idea of #DigitalLeaders and @OpenBadges. Watch this space…

Making the most of my alternative week off, I took myself down to London for some rest and relaxation, beginning my trip with a lovely catch up at South Bank for #pizzaed. Many folk attended including @mberry, @digitalmaverick, @gillbudgell, @dawnhallybone to name a few. It was here that I learned more about how Mary Farmer @ebd35 has been using technology in her school and about the insightful work that @oliverquinlan is doing at @nesta_uk. Special thanks go to @andreacarr1 for organising the event.
From one lovely evening to another, other meet-ups included a good old chat with @tonyparkin about the wonderful city of #York and @jachapman82 and her brand new blog which can be found at

And so, full of the joys of spring after a lovely break, I look ahead to this week and seeing the smiling faces of my Y1’s tomorrow morning. Let’s hope that they too have had a fantastic holiday and are ready to spring into action from 8:45am…




Categories: Apps, Education and learning, Technology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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