Welcome back⤴

from

This week I did a welcome back assembly for my S4 year group. I had a lot to say. I decided against doing the usual ‘this year is massively important/pile on the pressure’ approach and instead to give a message about individuality. I asked them for feedback. It ranged from ‘hot’ (temperature in library) and ‘boring’ to ‘inspirational’, ‘helpful’ and ‘moving’.

So I think I made a difference to at least some. Here’s what I said:1

I hope you had a lovely summer. Some of you may have not and that is difficult; we all expect holidays to be a time to relax, have fun.

2

The other day, I was asked this question – are you going to do one of those…., Mrs C??

And I thought about it. And I decided that maybe not. Because as I thought about it, I realised that maybe not all of you need to hear that message just now.

3

Some of you may well need the first approach just now. You may well need to be told that ‘this is an important year’…and get the proverbial kick up the backside

But others may KNOW THAT IT IS IMPORTANT AND HAVE KNOWN IT SINCE S1. Me telling you is unlikely to help and may indeed make things worse.

Each one of you in S4 is an individual and each one will have a slightly different aim this year:

4

Some of you, as you know from the PSE work we did on teenage brain, may be finding it hard to have any sort of plan and may struggle to think beyond tomorrow!!

6

 

5

It is the job of the adults in this school to help you keep going in the right direction.

7

Prelims are the ‘practice’ exams you do if you are doing National 5’s. They may also help you and your teachers decide whether you should do N4 or N5. And they can be useful if you get struck down with an illness during the actual N5 exams – for example if you get glandular fever, which can affect people of your age and may or may not be caused by snogging……..

8

Here is another example of how one bit of advice does not work for all people. This looks quite sensible. This is the poster of the week for S2 this week.

9

For some of you, who lack motivation and can ALWAYS find an excuse for not doing things (“I’m too tired!!”), this might be great!

10

If Mo Farah had given up when he was tired after 4 laps, he would not have gone on to win an Olympic gold. Equally, if he had given up when he fell over, he’d never have got the gold…….

BUT I was terrible at your age and at university for pushing myself TOO hard – always working until I was ‘finished’ and not listening to when I was tired. I was always worried that I wasn’t doing enough, that there were always more books to read and I nearly made myself ill. Some of you may be like me. In some (most) jobs, there is always more work you COULD do.

But fact we all know, if we go back to Mo Farah, that for athletes, training is all about pace. Not doing too much or too little, listening to your body and stopping when you are injured or tired. It is the MOST competitive thing but it is also a field where it is MOST important to know what YOU can do.

11

Tom Daly gave a good example in the Olympics of how things don’t always go to plan, even when we work our hardest. He got a bronze medal in the Olympics which is beyond what most of us in the room could even dream of! But he felt he had failed.

12

He gives an important message about how we can fall and get up again (like Mo), learn and try again.

In fact Tom Daly is a very interesting example of how hard it can sometimes be to keep going to achieve what we want:

He competed in the Bejing Olympics aged 14.

His father, Robert, died from a brain tumour on 27 May 2011, aged 40 when Tom was 17.

He was also bullied at school and actually moved school after the 2012 Olympics when people called him ‘Speedo boy.’

He took his GCSEs in small batches to fit around his diving commitments. He persuaded supermodel Kate Moss to pose for a recreation of an original portrait by David Hockney, as part of a GCSE photography project recreating great works of art, after meeting her on a photo shoot for the Italian version of Vogue.

He obtained one A and eight A* grades in his GCSEs

In 2012, he did A-level studies in mathematics, Spanish and photography.  He received an A* in his photography A-level, and an A in his Spanish and maths A-levels.

In 2013 he came out and once again was the victim of horrific online homophobic bullying.

He is 22 and worth 4 million pounds.

Where are the people who were abusive now?

Another person recently who has spoken out about bullying is Nadiya Hussain. Last year’s Bake-off winner. Speaking on Desert Island Discs, she said she has experienced racist abuse throughout her life, had things thrown at her and been pushed and shoved.

She said: “I expect to be shoved or pushed or verbally abused because that happens. It’s been happening for years.”

Asked by host Kirsty Young how she reacted, she said she did not retaliate.

‘Be the better person’.

“I feel like there’s a dignity in silence, and I think if I retaliate to negativity with negativity, then we’ve evened out,” she said.

“And I don’t need to even that out because if somebody’s being negative, I need to be the better person.

This leads me to a message I want you all to hear in S4:

13

And if you are experiencing abuse or hurt from others, whilst I encourage you not to retaliate and to have dignity in silence, please DON’T suffer in silence. We will be doing more on this in S4 PSE this term as we look at hate crime.

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Leadership Award: Gaelic Education⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Social Enterprise Academy, with support from Education Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig, are delivering an Institute of Leadership and Management Award for teachers of Gaelic Education. The next Leadership Award for Gaelic Education will commence on 11 and 12 November  2016.  If you wish to enrol for this award, or require more information, please contact kate@socialenterprise.academy.

 

What holiday?⤴

from @ School Leadership - A Scottish Perspective

Two weeks in since our return from the summer break and it is easy to ask the question that forms the title of this post. However, when I or others say this, I don't think this is a bad sign. Already it feels as though we haven't been away. Yet, we all have. As soon as staff returned to school they shared stories about what they had been up to over the summer break. I eagerly joined in, trying not to boast too much about my adventures in Australia. When the children came back, they did the same. We heard lots of tales about holidays, visits to grannies and grandads, camping, playing out and having fun, from children eager to share. Of course, there were those who didn't have much to tell about their break, or who didn't want to share. We must never forget that for some the long school holidays are not something to look forward to, and who are happier when they are over, so that they can get some familiar routine back into their otherwise chaotic lives. Generally, though, batteries had been re-charged and emotional and physical well-beings refreshed and everyone was ready to go.

Both staff and learners were, I'm sure, a mix of nervousness and excitement as the first day of thenew school year approached. Staff worried a little bit about whether they could still cut it, still deliver, no matter how experienced and how many times they had started a new school year. What if they could no longer teach? Learners were nervous about new teachers, new classmates, new classrooms and about whether they had forgotten everything they'd ever learned over the holidays. Some also worried because they found so much of school work and organisation difficult to deal with, even though they knew we understood this and had supported and helped them to deal with how they felt. Would we still be the same? What about new teachers, would they think the same? Some learners were starting school for the first time. Very young, but able to pick up the anxiety and nervousness of mums and dads, as they arrived on the first day. 

Staff were excited by the prospects of a new school year. New classes, new learning and new ideas teeming around inside their heads, as well as looking forward to catching up with friends and colleagues they hadn't seen over the holidays. Learners excited  about new classes, different teachers, new learning and also being with all their friends and classmates again. There were lots of shiny new shoes, school bags, sweatshirts, pencil cases, haircuts amongst learners, and staff! I am sure all would have also liked to have had another week or two on holiday, especially as the weather has been generally sunny and hot since our return, but we were ready for the new school year.

I know this because of how quickly learners settled and staff started to produce. This week, our second, I have been so proud to see some of the learning that has been going on already in each class as I visited them all, in both the schools I lead. Our first-year primary pupils obviously feel comfortable and happy to come into, and be in each school. Our priority in the early days is always in allowing them to settle, get to know their teachers as well as the school and it's routines and rhythms. It helped that they and their parents all took part in regular transition activities last session, so they already knew us and the school well. Seeing them keen and eager to come into the school, with big smiles and bubbling excitement, tells us we have got them off to the best start of their school journey. The fact that we are embracing more of our nursery approaches to learning through play has, I am sure, made a difference too, and we need to keep developing this further. Visiting other classes and speaking to teachers, support staff and pupils, I found more evidence of how quickly we have returned to making progress in learning and re-establishing the individual communities and relationships in both schools. All of this is core business, keeping the main thing the main thing, as you might say.

In these first two weeks we have already started to move forward on school improvement plans, not because I have particularly been driving this, but because staff themselves identified some things they could do that would help them, as well as the schools. As I left school tonight I heard voices and laughter in a classroom and found four teachers, including an NQT, sitting collaboratively planning. I told them to go home. "Yeah, we will but we just want to finish off this bit of planning." The thing about that is that they understand they are not planning for me they are planning for themselves and their learners. They are doing this not because they have been told they have to, but because they want to. I know which motivator, or driver, I prefer. Earlier in the day I had been across to the other school I lead and found myself helping all the children make 'gardens on a plate' for the local flower show happening this weekend. They were working with school staff and members of the local community. Already I have seen parents and grannies in both school helping provide further learning opportunites for the children. After helping with the gardens I then had a meeting with the chair of the Parent Council to explore how she could help the school not just this year but in the future as well. This was amazingly affirming and inspiring to see and hear the pride in and commitment for the school from such parents.

In truth I feel that both schools are already buzzing with excitement and learning, and this will only increase in the coming weeks. It is like we have never been away as we continue to build on all we achieved last session. That is not down to me, but down to people. It's down to relationships, commitment, attitudes, values, ethos, culture and professional expertise. It is why I still love the job I do and the people I have the good fortune to work with, of all ages. Long may it continue, and it's my job to make sure it does, because all of this is what is required to give our learners the best chance to succeed, and that is the least they should expect from us all. 

How was my holiday? What holiday? 

A Discussion with John Swinney MSP⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

John SwinneyJoin us in Glow TV on Monday 29th August at 12.45pm for an opportunity to put your views and thoughts to John Swinney, Depute First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.

The Depute First Minister wrote: “When I took the role of Education Secretary I was determined to speak to as many teachers as possible. I have been able to meet a good number during visits to schools in my first three months but it would take a lot longer to be able to visit every school across the country. That is why I am inviting you to take part in a Glow Meet with me and Bill Maxwell HM Chief Inspector of Education so you can ask about our plans for education in Scotland.

Teachers are the most important asset to our education system and I want to hear directly from you how we can make the system better and how the Scottish Government can support you. If you can’t take part on Monday please send a question in advance. Please send this to jennifer.mckay@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk.

I will do my best to answer as many questions as I can during the Glow session and we will publish answers to any questions that we don’t manage to address during the time.”

Sign up now to take part live in Glow TV – A Discussion with John Swinney MSP

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

A Discussion with John Swinney MSP⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

John SwinneyJoin us in Glow TV on Monday 29th August at 12.45pm for an opportunity to put your views and thoughts to John Swinney, Depute First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.

The Depute First Minister wrote: “When I took the role of Education Secretary I was determined to speak to as many teachers as possible. I have been able to meet a good number during visits to schools in my first three months but it would take a lot longer to be able to visit every school across the country. That is why I am inviting you to take part in a Glow Meet with me and Bill Maxwell HM Chief Inspector of Education so you can ask about our plans for education in Scotland.

Teachers are the most important asset to our education system and I want to hear directly from you how we can make the system better and how the Scottish Government can support you. If you can’t take part on Monday please send a question in advance. Please send this to jennifer.mckay@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk.

I will do my best to answer as many questions as I can during the Glow session and we will publish answers to any questions that we don’t manage to address during the time.”

Sign up now to take part live in Glow TV – A Discussion with John Swinney MSP

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Parallel Reading with the Parallel Books app-A Way into Literature and Translation?⤴

from @ My Languages

Matt Thomas contacted me a while ago to trial his Parallel Books app. The principle is simple, you get a text that is in the public domain, you get a good translation and you use the app the read both texts side-by-side.
Easy? Well... Thank you to Matt for telling us about the story behind the development of this great app that is just fantastic to get our higher ability pupils to dare reading in a foreign language just as literature and translation have re-appeared in the new GCSE specifications. The books are well known classics so although the texts are complex, it gives pupils a sense of confidence as it is known territory.

 
"I started making Parallel Books a couple of years ago, although it was only released in December last year. I've done it at the same time as been the main care giver for 2 toddlers, so it's been lots of nights programming from their bedtimes till midnight!

You were asking about the reason I started. I was wanting to challenge myself to make a high quality app, so I was looking for ideas.

I spent my whole adult life as a professional musician with a popular band in NZ. When touring Europe one time, I met my wife, who was the singer in another band on the same circuit.

We both ended up leaving our bands and working together playing music. I moved to Switzerland, and found that I needed to learn some new languages!

I have a number of English speaking friends here, and one day one of them told me how he was reading Roger Federer's biography, and that he had bought it in both English and German to read at the same time.

That's when the lightbulb went off in my head, that I could make an app that makes this process easier. It's a great method to practice a new language, but keeping the two books in sync is a bit of a pain, and I realised that I could make this part of it easier within an app.

It turns out that it is actually quite complicated to program this, and there is a lot going on behind the scene to make it appear so simple and user friendly on the surface.

Currently all books in Parallel Books are free. This means that I can only use either texts that are public domain (copyright free) or that I acquire permission to use.

 
If you know of any good Spanish texts I could include, do let me know! Essentially the author AND the translator have to have been dead for 70 years in order for them to be out of copyright.

I'm also interested in finding very beginner level texts I can use, which have also proven allusive."
 
Anything else you need to know about "Parallel Books"? Oh yes... It is free :)

App store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/parallel-books/id1045596664?mt=8
Facebook page (includes screen shots and demo video): http://www.facebook.com/parallelbooksapp
Twitter: https://twitter.com/parallelbooks
Website: http://www.parallelbooks.com

Parallel Reading with the Parallel Books app-a Way into Literature and Translation?⤴

from @ My Languages

Matt Thomas contacted a while ago to trial his Parallel Books app. The principle is simple, you get a text that is in the public domain, you get a good translation and you use the app the read both texts side-by-side.
Easy? Well... Thank you to Matt for telling us about the story behind the development of this great app that is just fantastic to get our higher ability pupils to dare reading in a foreign language just as literature and translation have re-appeared in the new GCSE specifications. The books are well known classics so although the texts are complex, it gives pupils a sense of confidence as it is known territory.

 
"I started making Parallel Books a couple of years ago, although it was only released in December last year. I've done it at the same time as been the main care giver for 2 toddlers, so it's been lots of nights programming from their bedtimes till midnight!

You were asking about the reason I started. I was wanting to challenge myself to make a high quality app, so I was looking for ideas.

I spent my whole adult life as a professional musician with a popular band in NZ. When touring Europe one time, I met my wife, who was the singer in another band on the same circuit.

We both ended up leaving our bands and working together playing music. I moved to Switzerland, and found that I needed to learn some new languages!

I have a number of English speaking friends here, and one day one of them told me how he was reading Roger Federer's biography, and that he had bought it in both English and German to read at the same time.

That's when the lightbulb went off in my head, that I could make an app that makes this process easier. It's a great method to practice a new language, but keeping the two books in sync is a bit of a pain, and I realised that I could make this part of it easier within an app.

It turns out that it is actually quite complicated to program this, and there is a lot going on behind the scene to make it appear so simple and user friendly on the surface.

Currently all books in Parallel Books are free. This means that I can only use either texts that are public domain (copyright free) or that I acquire permission to use.

 
If you know of any good Spanish texts I could include, do let me know! Essentially the author AND the translator have to have been dead for 70 years in order for them to be out of copyright.

I'm also interested in finding very beginner level texts I can use, which have also proven allusive."
 
Anything else you need to know about "Parallel Books"? Oh yes... It is free :)

App store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/parallel-books/id1045596664?mt=8
Facebook page (includes screen shots and demo video): http://www.facebook.com/parallelbooksapp
Twitter: https://twitter.com/parallelbooks
Website: http://www.parallelbooks.com

Parallel Reading with the Parallel Books app-A Way into Literature and Translation?⤴

from @ My Languages

Matt Thomas contacted me a while ago to trial his Parallel Books app. The principle is simple, you get a text that is in the public domain, you get a good translation and you use the app the read both texts side-by-side.
Easy? Well... Thank you to Matt for telling us about the story behind the development of this great app that is just fantastic to get our higher ability pupils to dare reading in a foreign language just as literature and translation have re-appeared in the new GCSE specifications. The books are well known classics so although the texts are complex, it gives pupils a sense of confidence as it is known territory.

 
"I started making Parallel Books a couple of years ago, although it was only released in December last year. I've done it at the same time as been the main care giver for 2 toddlers, so it's been lots of nights programming from their bedtimes till midnight!

You were asking about the reason I started. I was wanting to challenge myself to make a high quality app, so I was looking for ideas.

I spent my whole adult life as a professional musician with a popular band in NZ. When touring Europe one time, I met my wife, who was the singer in another band on the same circuit.

We both ended up leaving our bands and working together playing music. I moved to Switzerland, and found that I needed to learn some new languages!

I have a number of English speaking friends here, and one day one of them told me how he was reading Roger Federer's biography, and that he had bought it in both English and German to read at the same time.

That's when the lightbulb went off in my head, that I could make an app that makes this process easier. It's a great method to practice a new language, but keeping the two books in sync is a bit of a pain, and I realised that I could make this part of it easier within an app.

It turns out that it is actually quite complicated to program this, and there is a lot going on behind the scene to make it appear so simple and user friendly on the surface.

Currently all books in Parallel Books are free. This means that I can only use either texts that are public domain (copyright free) or that I acquire permission to use.

 
If you know of any good Spanish texts I could include, do let me know! Essentially the author AND the translator have to have been dead for 70 years in order for them to be out of copyright.

I'm also interested in finding very beginner level texts I can use, which have also proven allusive."
 
Anything else you need to know about "Parallel Books"? Oh yes... It is free :)

App store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/parallel-books/id1045596664?mt=8
Facebook page (includes screen shots and demo video): http://www.facebook.com/parallelbooksapp
Twitter: https://twitter.com/parallelbooks
Website: http://www.parallelbooks.com

Food Education News September 2016⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Please find attached up to date food education news that may be of interest to you .

Food Health news SEPTEMBER 2016food for thought pic

Got good news to share around food education?

Join our #foodedfriday campaign. Share your stories and pictures on a Friday linking in with @EducationScot and any of your business partners.

Also..

Join our **NEW** Health & Wellbeing Yammer on Glow group to discuss food education and        other HWB organisers. It couldn’t be easier to join in the conversation.

HWB logo

  • Download YAMMER onto your mobile device.
  • Login using your Glow username and password.
  • Join the National Health & Wellbeing Community
  • Follow this easy guide to navigate around the conversation and share learning with national colleagues.