On a day when blogging has been used so well to inspire and excite our writers (and also the staff), it only seems fitting that I should write a post this evening.
This afternoon we were delighted to welcome back David Mitchell (@deputymitchell, for the Tweeters!), blogging expert and experienced educational consultant, who started us off on our blogging journey 4 years ago. David spent the afternoon working with the children in Lotus and Orchid class to develop their writing using live sentence construction on class blogs, which he then gave immediate feedback to, thus improving and progressing the learning within a very short space of time indeed. What made it even more exciting was that everything that was being written could be seen by the entire world! Although the activity is no longer live, the fantastic evidence of great learning can be seen on lotus.westwoodblogs.org and orchid.westwoodblogs.org.
Our children are prolific bloggers and produce high quality posts each week, but this afternoon was an opportunity to take this even further and with David leading the sessions it made for a fun packed and hugely productive afternoon. Every child was completely engaged and immersed in their writing and the results made us all very proud indeed, as did the children’s superb approach to their learning.
After school it was then the turn of the staff to be inspired by David’s enthusiasm and knowledge as he took us through the process of using CoveritLive to curate a high quality writing session, as well as other tools that we can all take away to enhance our lessons and utilise blogging as a tool for writing. My huge thanks to David for a fabulous afternoon and for setting up the next stage of our blogging journey, which has us all keen to share even more of our learning with the world.
Here are some photos of the afternoon, as well as the children explaining how they have enjoyed the experience and the impact it had on their writing.
Tonight the staff and myself had the pleasure of taking part in an excellent INSET twilight training session led by David Mitchell. Those of you who use Twitter may know David as @deputymitchell – he has many, many followers and uses Twitter and blogging as a brilliant educational tool. His work on blogging has also put him at the forefront of his field and so I was thrilled when I was able to bring him to Westwood to inspire us on our journey.
Already since the year has begun, the children and staff have been blogging daily, some using photos but most of all, sharing excellent learning. Tonight was about moving beyond simple posting and commenting, although that still remains at the core of creating an audience. We now know how to use slideshows, audio into blog posts live discussion sessions and, most importantly, how to get the children’s learning noticed, read and appreciated around the world. Yes, the world. Blogging opens doors for children beyond just the audience of one or two in the classroom and I am excited by the prospect that by the end of the year our children’s work will have been viewed and appreciated by people from every continent, possible thousands of times over.
Tonight was one of those evenings when you feel so inspired that you want to go out and try it straight away. I know David will be following what we do and with support from him, commitment from the children and staff and engaging learning, Westwood school is about to go global…
I’ve had a really lovely afternoon in class this afternoon with Clover class who have been sharing their learning from this week on their blog westwoodcloverclass.schoolblogs.org. Please leave them some comments. They worked so hard.
…that I am holding a Parent’s blogging meeting tomorrow evening at 6.30pm in the school hall. Please come along to find out more, ask some questions and see how you can help your child with their digital literacy,
Another really fun afternoon in the classroom teaching and today I was working with Thistle class and Clover class teaching them how to blog. Their ideas were fantastic and they have picked it up really quickly. Here they are in action. Well done everyone!
Clover class blogging on PhotoPeach
Every now and again I manage to attend a conference and some are always better than others. Today I attended the West of England ICT conference in Bristol and came away feeling inspired. With the new computing curriculum about to become compulsory in September and a real shift more towards the coding elements, today was about listening to experts in their field and to discuss some thoughts I’ve already had in preparation for the new academic year.
Our first keynote speaker was Andrea Carr, managing director of Rising Stars, who I managed to meet up with later in the day. You may well recognise the brand as these are the fantastic and wonderfully presented exercise books that the Year 5 and 6 children have been working with since the Spring term. I wanted to pass on our feedback and thanks to Andrea as these have undoubtedly had a huge impact on the children’s learning and have helped raise standards significantly by complimenting the teaching and learning in class.
I also went to see David Mitchell, a blogging specialist and inspiration who has used blogging as a means of digital literacy and, again, has seen this result in significant gains in writing. As I have been blogging myself for a few years and have followed him on twitter @deputymitchell, I was keen to bring away some more ideas to use in school, which I undoubtedly have,
With so much information on exciting ways to code with the children and to make ICT, or Computing, as it will now be, exciting and accessible, it was one of those days that I am so glad I had and can see such potential for our children in September.
Then, of course, it was straight back to the end of year disco and what better way to see the night out than watching the children having such a fantastic time dancing, singing and getting incredibly hot with resident DJ Stuart at the helm. It’s a great job being a head…