ORRsome blogposts from April 2015!
The Primary Head
ORRsome blogposts from April 2015!
The Primary Head
Fourth month already!
Began this month with the disappearance of one shed and the arrival of another. I do love it when you have a great opportunity to do some sorting out. The new shed still needs some work as in shelving inside, painting and some stonework. That will have to wait until the next holiday time or a decent weekend where the weather is fine and the paperwork not so much!
Easter is such a wonderful time of year and the first week in April, especially, with a clear focus on Holy Week.
Had a lovely time with Mum and Dad.
Bank holiday Monday – what a glORRious day!
The weather was superb, the G and Tea flowing and the flowers blooming.
Shed chaps recommended I painted it within 6 months. The weather has been so glORRious it was just perfect painting time!
Fabulous day with Mum and Dad. Shifted 15 x 25Kg bags of gravel while Dad sorted BBQ etc…
I do love clematis and have planted two MORR this year – pink champagne and fireworks. I had to lose two when the old shed was dismantled and couldn’t rescue them.
While the BBQ was still hot we popped some nectarines/pears soaked in Cointreau and muscavado sugar in foil on it. Good family friend popped round for a glass of vin rouge as we discussed a piece of commissioned stained glass. He’s a retired art teacher and now works in stained glass. I am having a piece made to go above a doorway and it’s Angels. Draft drawing and spent afternoon choosing from a selection of glass.
Final days of Easter holidays with a little MORR fence painting and aerial shot of the finished garden prepped for summer.
First week back after the Easter break has been very productive. I had the privilege of visiting four schools to observe teachers who had been shortlisted for interview. So much to be learned seeing teachers in their own schools – the environment, relationships with children and colleagues, work scrutiny and being able to talk to the children about their learning. By the end of the week we had made a cracking appointment. Very exciting for Aeptember 2015.
Poldark features very highly at the end of each weekend…….
I invested in a spiraliser and have been experimenting with courgettes, carrots and sweet potato.
Having attended the Independent Thinking training Big Day Out North East last month and winning the video competition for summing up the day, Charlie from Vision for Education visited school to drop off my prize. An iPad mini!
Huge highlight of this month has to be listening to Noah Stewart at the Sage Gateshead. Great to catch up with old friends and Noah after the concert.
The ‘shed’ has featured a lot lately and has been given a new look since I painted it green during the Easter break. I have a really good friend who is a retired art teacher. He’s currently working on a piece of stained glass on angels for a small window I have at home.
He has painted camellias trailing all over the shed. I love it!
It’s been a busy month for appointments too. We have been very privileged to welcome three new teachers to our school in September. Exciting times ahead.
Cocktail time with the Nutribullet has been great fun….
What will May bring, apart from SATs week? Heading towards a bank holiday and then half term.
Oh, and of course, Star Wars Day – May the Fourth be with you! Great excuse to wear these……
Hope you’re April has been an ORRsome one! Here’s to May tomorrow.
Following my original article on the impORRtance of offering good training oppORRtunities for teaching assistants, our staff have participated in three sessions over the past few weeks.
Session one – SPaG
This session was very well received. It was fascinating to see how competitive some of the TAs were. Several had come armed with a glossary of terms and definitions which had stemmed from one TA finding a document she felt was useful and subsequently emailing it to all her colleagues. This was a great start to the session for me as it meant they really did want to learn for themselves and also to get it right for the kids. We were arranged in four small groups and because there weren’t any teachers present aside from myself, the atmosphere was relaxed, full of laughter but most of all, an environment in which the TAs felt comfORRtable and confident to ask any question. We played several games to gain a greater understanding of grammatical terminology and understanding how and when to use punctuation as well as teaching spelling and not simply learning words for spelling tests.
We did look at SPaG tests which was very well received and TAs commented how much it really made them think about things they do naturally. We had the debate about correct pronunciation as well as using correct terminology and not using over simplified kid speak that really undermined the whole philosophy of learning.
Conversation moved on to discuss the ‘grammar peeves’, which is something that is a non-negotiable for me. We discussed the need to speak correctly and use grammar correctly when modelling. The pet hates of there, their and they’re came out as well as to, two and too and explaining yous is not the plural of you.
We could laugh about many things even when TAs admitted they hadn’t realised certain things they were saying or writing were totally incORRect. It made for good banter because the TAs were at ease sharing their mistakes and inaccuracies with each other and weren’t embarrassed by it. They asked questions to seek clarification and were comfORRtable saying when they simply hadn’t a clue.
Session too focused on reading and the fact that reading is taught and not caught. It was interesting how many TAs said a lot of their time supporting reading is simply hearing a child 1:1 and they didn’t feel they were having as great an impact doing that. We shared ideas for good practice in teaching reading and looked at videos of guided reading and effective questioning.
The third session focused on writing and in particular, talk for writing. A lot of time was spent developing a writing toolkit for supporting children in improving writing through Pie Corbett’s model.
I’ve blogged about that here…… highheelsandhighnotes.wordpres…
We created an area on the staff server for resources linked to each training session sharing the videos, handouts and interactive activities that would be adapted for differing needs from nursery to Y6.
The feedback from staff made it so worthwhile. Overwhelming!