July 2015 highlights

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July 2015 – not the best of months weather wise but keeping on top of the garden watering the hanging baskets, tubs and pots was quite a tall order often resulting in late night watering.

The colours seem even more vibrant at night and it was great fun to test out my new camera. Thanks to Jane Hewitt and Sharon Abbott for their advice on what to buy.

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Having celebrated Dad’s 90th in June, more celebrations ensued with Mum’s birthday and also their 49th wedding anniversary.

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As long as the sun shone, we have taken every opportunity to be outside in my garden. Day by day it changes as flowers come and go and the sweet peas are picked.

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This year I planted some nasturtium and they seem to have taken over some of the tubs, drowning the other bedding plants. However, they are good in a salad.

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A few new pairs of heels appeared in July and I came across some amazing stiletto attachments that prevent you sinking into grass…. ORRsome little things called heel stoppers!

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Having discovered Mason’s gin via Twitter contacts, I also discovered the seemingly small corner shop beside my hairdressers also has the most amazing selection of gins. It’s like walking into the tardis. It seems fitting that each visit to the salon should also result in a quick trip to the gin section.

At the last visit I came away with a change of hairstyle and two new gins – Gin Mare and Bathtub Gin.

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Gin Mare is particularly nice and after looking up a few recipes for serving it, a slice of mango with milled pepper was especially nice.

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July lasted around two and half weeks in school as we managed four sports days for the different departments, again with some changes from the previous year. Hard to believe I have now been in post two years. During the first year you explore how a school ticks and how events take place etc… Equally being faced with ‘we’ve always done it this way’. Changes to sports day we’re definitely needed. The previous year it seemed all about containing children and containing parents. I observed EYFS/KS1 children sitting on mats for an inordinate amount of time waiting while every class took their turn for every race. Staff were frazzled trying to keep them on the mat. Parents were ‘contained’ on one side of the track aside from those who crowded the finish line. How awful it was for the three year old heading towards that finish line with a sea of cameras and shrieking parents. KS2 was equally as awful as the children only participated in a handful of races and then sat throwing grass at each other – I’d be doing the same if I were that bored too. It didn’t seem to be about the children at all. To me it was all very archaic and smacked of a school stuck in the past.

The comments from the children about their sports days this year say it all……and also an amazing response from one parent.

“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the reception/yr1/yr2 sports day last Thursday. My child finds things like sports day/Christmas/dress up days very daunting and a challenge because they are anxious of people looking at them. But the different style of sports day really helped them because it was only parents of their class watching each race, rather than the usual 200 parents. I really enjoyed the afternoon and so did my child which is the most important thing to me.”

“I can’t wait to be involved in every activity this year rather than just three things.” Year 5 pupil

“It’s going to better than sitting waiting ages for your turn to race. Everyone gets bored and starts to mess around throwing grass.” Year 6 pupil

“Wish we had done this last year.” Year 4 pupil

“It’s great being in year 3. We were the first children new to KS2 to have new toilets and now sports day where we can have a go at everything.

Two years on and we have achieved such a lot in school.

As the holidays started, Andrew Cowley posed a summer holiday challenge to share new recipes and pictures for #teacher5adaycook

I’m a fiddler in the kitchen and very rarely follow any recipe at all. It’s often about using up what is heading towards its sell by date.

#teacher5adaycook – my contributions so far include:-

Seared clicked with mango and chilli salsa
Slow baked pepper encrusted salmon with onion flower and cucumber
Stuffed red pepper – turkey mince chilli
Sushi
Halibut fish platter
Red and white quinoa with olives

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The rain has fallen frequently which has eased a little of the watering, although, the hanging baskets, tubs and post are so full now the rain simply runs off the flowers and leaves.

My little piece of heaven…..

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July has come to an end and tomorrow August 1st arrives – month 8.

Make it a good one.

ORRsome blog posts July 2015

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ORRsome blogposts from July 2015

Kev Bartle
https://dailygenius.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/the-tree-doesnt-plead-with-the-poorly-placed-palisade/

https://dailygenius.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/a-boxer-rebellion-en-route-to-the-knackers-yard/

Julia Skinner
http://www.brilliant-insane.com/2015/07/iste-and-100-word-challenge-founder-collide.html

Chris Chivers
http://chrischiversthinks.weebly.com/blog-thinking-aloud/marking

Daniel Edwards
http://www.educate1to1.org/what-will-primary-school-children-expect-of-secondary-school-edtech/

Teacher Toolkit
http://teachertoolkit.me/2015/07/06/training-teachers-to-be-resilient-by-teachertoolkit/

http://teachertoolkit.me/2015/07/27/the-inconsistency-of-tesresources-by-teachertoolkit/

Andy Tharby
https://reflectingenglish.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/planning-for-next-year-subtract-three-and-add-three/

Michael Tidd
https://michaelt1979.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/how-dare-they/

Tom Sherrington
http://headguruteacher.com/2015/07/19/built-in-cpd-our-new-model/

http://headguruteacher.com/2015/07/24/finding-your-voice-in-the-on-line-edusphere/

Martin Robinson
https://martinrobborobinson.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/does-nicky-morgan-really-value-the-arts/

Mary Myatt
http://marymyatt.com/blog/2015-07-19/seven-things-i-hope-are-in-the-assessment-without-levels-commission-report

James Theobald
https://othmarstrombone.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/the-final-comedown-nothing-prepares-me-for-the-end-of-term/

https://othmarstrombone.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/conspicuous-work-do-we-compound-the-workload-issue-ourselves/

Carol Webb
https://carolslearningcurve.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/use-traffic-lights-for-quick-asssessment-of-learning/