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Showing posts from July, 2011

Geocaching in 2011/12

I’ve been in to geocaching for a little while now and the plan has always been to create some.  It’s there fore very exciting that the department have so far been awarded two grants to help us with this work.  More details throughout the year. A Creative Partnerships Legacy Grant – one of only a handful of schools to grab one of these.  We will be working in partnership with a number of Creative Practitioners.  Part of the brief is to develop a range of cross-curricular on-site geocaching trails. The second is a SSAT Innovation Grant. This will help us develop a range of caches linked to the 2012 Olympics – more on this later. One of the important roles that I play as a middle leader is to get in funding.  In times of ever tightening budgets, if we are to truly transform parts of the curriculum, we need investment in order to do it. 

Using iPads for learning

We don’t believe in waiting. And we do believe in taking pedagogic risks.  This resulted in a group of young people being handed iPads and asked to complete a task.  Many thanks to James Byford , who through Creative Partnerships has provided real inspiration on this. The brief was to create and share with the Headteacher an evaluation of our off timetable days.  The iPads were set up with Evernote, with the brief below (set up by James): The great thing about Evernote is that the teams of students could work independently to each other, but at the same time see what the others were up to.  In addition, I could track and see what was going on and add in ideas / suggestions / extra tasks.  This could be shared with the rest of the class.  Evernote captures audio, video, images and text. This is a whole new way of working – with a co-constructed question and open task. All I wanted was a video of less than 2 minutes.  The how, what, where, when was negotiated and created toge

Setting up iPads for learning

This post has two aims.  The first is to act as a record of how we set these devices up and the second is to provide a guide to others.  It promises to be quite a long post! The department received a number of iPad 2 devices thanks to the funding secured through winning the Jamie Oliver Dream Teachers competition . We thought long and hard about what to do with the funding and whether the iPads would just be some shiny kit.  It’s central to use that we move beyond Substitution and Productivity in the models below. We went for them because: Our pupils do not have equal access to their own technology.  Generally, older students have better access to smartphone technology.  If we are to encourage the use of personal devices, we need to avoid a two tier system where those without technology can’t access learning in the same way.  That would be unacceptable. We sat down and wrote activities that are already embedded into our fieldwork and curriculum plans for next year.  It’

O2 Learn - an uncomfortable post

Over the weekend the department and I created and uploaded a video to the O2 Learn site.  This was an uncomfortable action but, in the current climate of funding cuts, I really believe that it's worth entering even when the chance of winning is slim. During filming, HMS Illustrious steamed into Portsmouth Harbour - making for some interesting filming conditions! I'm also uncomfortable at promoting myself / doing the whole 'vote for me' thing. However, look at the site and consider the site's strap line: "Welcome to Britain's biggest classroom. A library of revision lessons from the best teachers in the country" I'm not saying that our video deserves to win, but I'd like you to consider supporting it, if you think that it's good enough.  The problem is that you need to be a registered user. I have some reservations with this and would understand if readers didn't want to do so.  The video with the highest rating / number if view

Exploring the use of mobile devices with Creative Partnerships

Regular readers will have come across the Mobile Devices policy stuff.  This project (still on-going) was developed in collaboration with Creative Partnerships.  Although the kibosh has been put on the organisation, it’s very exciting that our school have been selected to receive a legacy grant in order to continue the work started this year. This post aims to give a brief summary of the project so far, and our ambitions for the 2011/12 academic year. What was the project about? This year, our aim was to design and implement a policy that allows students to use their own mobile devices in their own time in school.  We wanted this to be co-constructed, and in the end the student council produced most of the wording.  The idea is that the general acceptance and responsible use of mobile devices opens the door to unlocking their potential within the classroom. A strong feature of our Creative Partnership project has been the co-planning and co-construction of learning with all t

Coastal Defences in Portsmouth

Thank you to Alan Parkinson for helping me to turn off the autoplay! We have put together another little coastal video to help GCSE students remember some of the coastal defences that are used in Portsmouth.  It was a bit challenging as it was a very sunny day yesterday so HMS Illustrious and sunbathing truants provided some challenging filming conditions! You'll notice that the video is uploaded to O2 Learn which runs a fortnightly competition.  In times of tight funding, schools need as much funding opportunities as possible.  The main motivation for the video is to provide a resource for learning. If the slim chance of winning takes place, I will give any personal prize money from the fortnightly competition to Help for Heroes, a charity which has is close to one of my brother's heart. Anyway, let me know what you think, and I hope that someone finds it useful! View and rate the video here.

TeachMeet @ Priory

  Priory School hosted its first TeachMeet yesterday evening.  The event went as planned with some very useful networking afterwards.  The event was rather small scale, but we think that’s what a TeachMeet should be.  It should be a regular meeting of teachers, cross phase and curriculum, that get together to chat, eat cake and share ideas. It was great that no one really focused on just one product, which has become a feature of some presentations in the past. Jo Debens (@GeoDebs) spoke about naughty learning and Guerrilla Geography.  I enjoyed this as it really does mean that the ideas and direction set by the department really is being shared with all.  I am very lucky to work with Jo and I know that very soon she will be a fantastic head of geography. I shared our department vision. You can watch the video here .  This video format was really quite challenging to make as it forced us to focus and narrow down what we wanted to do.  We added ‘challenge’ and ‘awetastic’ thi

#tmhants at Priory tomorrow. Hope to see you there!

I’m very much looking forward to the first TeachMeet held at Priory School tomorrow (Wednesday 13th July). It promises to be a great event.  It will be smaller in scale to many TeachMeets as we wanted it to reflect the desire to allow genuine conversation and collaboration between those that come along. It’s not too late to join in. Head here to sign up either to present or come along. We aim to get started at 5pm for some refreshments and a chat, with the presentations starting at around 5:30pm .  We are located in central Portsmouth, right next to Fratton train station. If you’re driving we are at PO4 0DL. Please note that we can have limited parking available – even though there are 3 car parks! There is plenty of free on-street parking surrounding the school though. If you need further directions either tweet me (@daviderogers ) or contact me using the button on the right. My thanks go out to: For providing some raffle prizes, support and money toward the