West Barns Primary School was inspected in November 2013. The lead inspector during the feedback challenged the school community to develop the curriculum to make it the ‘West Barns Curriculum’. Over the past 18 months, the school community has worked to develop the curriculum – moving from ‘a blank wall’ to a shared understanding of the rich West Barns Curriculum experienced by the learners. Follow the link to the West Barns Curriculum Magazine to look at how the school has outlined the curriculum for parents:
What have you been doing?
I’ve been writing a class blog about things we’ve been up to in Primary 1.
In what ways does this relate to Curriculum for Excellence?
I think that the blog allows the children to share their success in school at home. Also I feel it covers ‘I enjoy exploring and using technologies to communicate with others within and beyond my place of learning’ (TCH 0-04a) quite nicely!
What were the reasons for doing this?
It’s a way to communicate to parents what their children have been doing in school. By looking at the blog with their parents the children are able to talk about what they have been learning about in school. Sometimes I write the posts with the children, so they are keen to look at the pictures at home. The blog also links to the children’s learning logs, which they take home every Friday. I often comment that a piece of learning a child has written about can be found on the blog.
What has happened as a result?
I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from parents. They enjoy using the blog to stimulate discussion at home about what their children have been doing. The comments left are brilliant to share with the class, and allow me to assess what the children have remembered about activities we have undertaken. This encourages them to ask their parents to look at the blog again and leave more comments!
What would you do differently next time?
I think it’s an ongoing, evolving process. Last year I had a separate page called Onion’s Patch which I had big plans for, but never got round to getting it up and running properly. I think I am going to try again this session. Also the class have been writing notes for my dog to read ever since I posted a picture of him in the snow. I was thinking about posting pictures of him with their work – to encourage independent, spontaneous writing in class, and engage more reluctant writers.
Thanks to Mr Dagger for sharing!
If you haven’t got a blog going with your class, perhaps it’s something to think about? You can sign up to eduBuzz here.
If you’d like to share your interesting practice go ahead and download the form…
Many of us in East Lothian now have access to Google Apps through eduBuzz. This is such a powerful tool and people are thinking of more and more uses for it in education all the time.
Tom Barrett is harnessing the power of the crowd and the cloud to put together lots of examples of how Google Forms are being used in classrooms. This is changing all the time as people add to it, but at the time of posting this was up to 57!
Tom’s got lots more of these in his blog, click here to view them.
The next few CPDMeets are now good to go:
- Next up is CPDMeet17, a discussion on using Wikis in Learning, led by Ian Stuart, DHT in Islay High School.
- CPDMeet18 focuses on Internet Safety where Louise Jones of Highland Council’s e-safety strategy group will share the approach taken to this issue in her authority.
- With a few details for 19 and 20 still to finalise we then jump to CPDMeet21 which is led by Dr Dan Tierney of Strathclyde University on the Primary Languages situation in Scotland.
To take part, select the link above [Glow Login required] and look for the enrol in this CPDMeet button.