This is a guest post by Samantha MacDonald from Architecture and Design Scotland
In connection with our High Street exhibition at The Lighthouse in Glasgow we are offering free CPD sessions for teachers in how to use their local High Street as a teaching resource for interdisciplinary learning.
High Street Stories is an interactive, creative, cross-curricular project for upper primary/lower secondary students or as a P7 – S1 transition project. Comprising a series of lessons that could be a fully immersive, week-long project or spread out over a longer period to allow for further development, this project focuses on the built environment and social aspects of the High Street through almost every curriculum area. Encompassing issues such as sustainability, community, heritage and citizenship, students are guided through a challenging and enjoyable creative process with relevance to their own environment. Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes from mathematics, sciences, technologies, social studies, literacy and expressive arts are covered by the project making it truly interdisciplinary.
The 2 ½ hour twilight CPD workshops introduce teachers to the resource and guide them through the lessons giving them practical, hands-on experience and building confidence along the way. Staff will leave the session feeling more confident about their ability to teach built environment education and architecture. Teachers participating in the workshops will have the opportunity to showcase their students’ work in an exhibition at the Lighthouse and have access to a follow up Glow meet for extra support.
We will come to your school to deliver a 2 ½ hour twilight session for up to twenty members of staff in March 2012. Please call or email Samantha MacDonald on 0141 225 8351 or email@example.com to arrange your free session. Limited number of sessions available.
This is a cross curricular project inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games which will bring together international students and primary school pupils in the city of Edinburgh.
I was delighted to be invited to attend the launch of this project at Redhall School this week. Chris Holmes, Director of Paralympic Integration at London 2012, told his story and let all the pupils present have a go at trying on one of his nine Olympic gold medals. They then went out into the drizzle to try out a number of paralympic games for themselves.
50 Edinburgh schools will use the Games as a context for interdisciplinary learning, and will focus on the values which are core to the whole project -friendship, excellence, respect, courage, determination, inspiration and equality.
To support the project, well over 100 students from 33 different countries who are currently studying in Edinburgh have applied to be involved with local children, and the project has been recognised by London 2012 as an official Inspire project
All the participating schools will join the official Get Set Network which offers access to resources and sharing experience with other Get Set schools across the UK. Project
Following on from the seminar on the potential of the Learning Rounds in an inter-agency context the team has been engaging with Kersland School in Renfrewshire and Barshare Primary school in East Ayrshire to explore the potential of the model. Kersland is an all through special school which caters for children and young people with complex additional support needs and Barshare Primary has three integrated additional support needs classes. In each situation there is involvement from a range of agencies . In Kersland the Learning Round focus is on the delivery of the school policy on communication and in Barshare on practice in support of inclusion. In both schools the LR observation teams include teachers, support staff, educational psychologists and speech and language therapists.
Initial feedback from colleagues is very positive in terms both of individual CPD and the potential for enhancing collegiate understanding and response to shared “next steps”. The initiatives in both schools will continue for the remainder of the session and the National CPD team will publish a final report on the Learning Rounds on line community on GLOW.
We’ve been working hard to bring a new look to the CPDMeet experience for you! Our commitment to offer at least one CPDMeet per week (of term time) is on track and we kick off the 2011 programme on January 12th with CPDMeet18: Louise Jones of Highland Council on their approach to e-safety, a subject that no educator can afford to ignore. With a few details to finalise for CPDMeet 19 which will hopefully take place the following week on Tuesday 18th, the next in the series is CPDMeet 20 on Thursday January 27th , and it will be of interest to many educators. Graeme Logan of the Teacher Education in Scotland Review Group will lead a discussion on the findings of the review, and we are hoping that many of our colleagues in Teacher Education Institutes will be able to join us on Glow for this one.
The teacher education theme is continued in CPDMeet 21 with Dr Dan Tierney of Strathclyde University talking about the MLPS experience in Scotland – have we got it right, and inviting interested professionals to discuss and offer their own suggestions as to the way forward for primary languages in Scotland. CPDMeet 22 is slightly different as it will consist of a follow-up discussion from CPDMeet 17, where Ian Stuart inspired a group of CPDMeeters with his discussion on using wikis for collaborative learning. Ian has set up a wiki in the share area for CPDMeet 17 for attendees to experiment with. CPDMeet23 takes on technology; Brian McLaren, formerly of the Consolarium team takes us through games-based learning on February 24th and the last planned one in this series so far takes a look at interdisciplinary learning in secondary, with Mary Smith of Montrose Academy sharing her experience in CPDMeet24.
The programme will continue and further dates will be posted here and on Glow. You will notice that the sign-up process has been streamlined: the new design offers one space where you can not only sign -up for the CPDMeet, share any relevant ideas, issues,or interesting practice and meet other interested CPDMeeters beforehand; you can also make your CPD experience matter afterwards by endorsing it through CPDFind, by setting yourself a follow-up intention , by recording the experience in your CPDReflect, or by finding out more about CPDMeets and the topic for discussion. All of this brought to you cost free, straight to your desktop. Happy Christmas from CPDSanta!
In the paper below, written in 2006, I gave my view of the professional development implications which might arise from the development of curriculum for excellence. The paper outlines five essential elements that are present in excellent teaching. Although described separately, they are of course closely linked and interdependent. Taken together, I believe, they describe a model for developing teachers for excellence.
The paper is now four years old, but much of the argument is still relevant and, I hope, helpful in developing good models of teacher CPD.
As ever, Matthew shared some lively and provocative thinking about how we address the current “Conceptual Emergency”. In doing so he took us on a journey to Queensland (4 New Basics), to America (4 features of the ‘Agile Learner’) and Scotland’s 4 capacities, thus proving Thomas L Friedman’s promise that “the world is flat”. The response in Argyll and Bute to the Conceptual Emergency, prompted by Curriculum for Excellence, places at its core the belief that schools are best placed to navigate their way to the established North. 10 aeroplanes are being rebuilt while flying through the cluster plans which have been developed from the published “Our Expectations and Aspirations” overview paper.
No doubt that Argyll and Bute continues to fly high, is using its compasses to good effect and will have a map that is easily interpreted by its intrepid travellers!
Colin Grant, Director of Schools Services from Dumfries & Galloway, quietly but forcefully set the scene for the conference delegates. Pausing only to quote the legendary philosopher, Homer Simpson, “But Madge, trying is the first step on the road to failure!” he outlined 5 factors that they are taking account of locally:
Quality of workforce. Many private companies would die for a workforce that works as hard as the average teachers
Understand the caution of teachers. Previous initiatives such as 5-14 encouraged strong management not strong leadership
Time for teachers. Time to read, reflect, resolve
Our expectation of teachers. Assume that all your workforce are excellent until you have evidence otherwise!
CPD opportunities must match national rhetoric. Colin outlined steps taken in Dumfries and Galloway including:
putting more, not less, funds into building CPD capacity