Monthly Archives: October 2009

Pupil Voice at Hawes Side

Hawes Side is a fantastic place to be if you’re interested in learnning! I want to tell you a little bit about some of the pupils groups we have in school and how they impact on the learning journey.

ITKids – This is a new group set up this year to carry on the great work of last year’s ‘ICT Strategy Group’. Their role was to road test new IT equipment, they tried out software, set up free trials and also took home netboooks and wrote evaluation reports on how all these things could impact on learning. This year’s group have a slightly different remit as they will be looking at web 2.0 tools and apps. Last week they began to look at comic strip makers ‘Bitstrips’ and ‘ToonDoo’. They are asked to let us know which tools could be best used in the classroom to suuport children’s learning and how. Their results will then be shared via the blog – we’ll let you know what they think when we get their report.

T&L group – This group has been around for a few years now, the children change each year although we’re trying to keep links with the children who left us last year to go to high school. We thought it would be really useful to get their input and see how they view things differently now they’re in a different learning environment. The Teaching and Learning Group have been looking at how we can be more effective learners. A few years ago they began this work with a film entitled ‘The Ideal Teacher/The Ideal Learner’ that sparked a lot of interest with other pupils and staff. The following year the theme was taken a bit further with another film called ‘What is Learning?’ Last year the children (along with their partner T&L groups in our partner schools) began looking at the work of two very important educationalists, Guy Claxton and Chris Quigely. These two people have broken down the key qualities of an effective learner. Chris Quigley has identified five and Guy Claxton four – there is a lot of similarity in what they say and in school so far we have looked at three of these qualities – Reflectiveness, Resourcefulness and Resilience. Our current T&L Group are making posters to explain what resilience means and how being resilient can help you learn. We’ll be sharing their work with our partner schools very soon.

Schools United – This group is made up of children from our neighbouring schools – four primaries and one secondary. They meet each half term and are looking at some key issues over the next 12 months such as bullying, eco friendly schools, new technologies and transition. The meetings take place in a different school each half term with the host schools providing the chair person and secretary – it gives a lot of children the chance to plan and lead meetings. Schools United Reps then feed back to their own school councils and school councils feedback to classes via class councils. The councils are a great platform for student voice and provide a great forum for open and honest dicussion aimed at making our schools fantstic places to be.

At Hawes Side we also have a number of other forums that promote student voice among them are The Home-School Group, Playground Committee , Sports Council, Art Academy, Assembly Committee and Green Council to name but a few. Over the weeks and months I’ll tell you more about these groups and what they’re up to, in the meantime let me know what you think – maybe you’re on one of these groups and want to share a bit more about your work. It’d be great to hear your comments!

Meeting international visitors

Meeting international visitors

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Twittertastic!

About two months ago I started using Twitter. I’m still way off really knowing what I’m doing but here’s what I’ve find out so far.
Twitter has provided me with an ongoing dialogue about education, leadership and the use of new technologies with both colleagues here in the UK and new friends across the globe. When I began using Twitter I fumbled around in the dark, searching out interesting people to follow, a few celebs here some educationalists there. It took me a while to build up a community where I could begin to share ongoing dialogue – my kids kept telling me a was turning into a stalker!
I still don’t know if I’m using it correctly and I’m relying on some great advice from people out there in Twitterland, but it is becoming a bit clearer. Teacher Tuesday and Follow Friday have provided me with some great people to follow and I’m also building up my own followers, which is giving me the incentive I need to keep tweeting. I am retweeting when I see a great piece that’s worth sharing, I’m using direct messages to friends when it’s something that I know is of no interest to others and I’m sending tweets to Twitterworld when I think I’ve got something to say myself. I find Twitter is more of an informal professional community which is far more rewarding than using Facebook. It has taken me into a whole new world which I’m just beginning to understand. I’ve already gained so much thanks to some great follows – all in all it’s twittertastic!!