1 year ago

The Bridge newsletter 2 180117

Parent Workshop Proves

Parent Workshop Proves Partnership Success A successful cross-phase workshop for Primary 7 parents and carers has grown out of the conversations that took place between schools participating in the CPD Transition Project partnership. The ‘Positive Endings and New Beginnings’ evening was hosted by St Joseph’s Primary School, Carryduff. The event created an opportunity for parents and teachers to interact in an informal way and to relay hopes and concerns regarding the transfer. The event was welcomed by parents and carers experiencing transfer for the first time. The partnership schools which include St Colman’s High School and Sixth Form College, St Patrick’s PS, Ballynahinch and Christ the King, Drumaness, were delighted by the glowing comments received from parents in their evaluation of the event. As a result of the positive feedback provided, St Colman’s will host a similar event in the next academic term. “The CPD Project allowed us to strengthen our relationships beyond the periphery of the classroom,” Mrs Paula Clarke the Literacy Coordinator at St Colman’s explained. “The Parenting Workshop enabled us to communicate to parents the expectations we as teachers have of post-primary students,” she added. Other innovative cross-phase events are also planned. A joint P7/ Y8 ‘Poetry Slam’ for Term 3 under the theme of friendship has been scheduled. “In this second year of the partnership, our focus will be on Speaking and Listening. It is anticipated that this joint approach to developing oracy in our schools will embed skills in KS2 that we can build on in KS3,” Mrs Clarke added. Mrs Mary Early, Vice-Principal of St Joseph’s Primary School, Carryduff is delighted with the results of the partnership so far. “We thoroughly enjoyed our work in literacy with the link primary schools and St. Colman’s. The discussions have been open, with lots of sharing of ideas and experiences. We have followed through on our action planning and we are looking forward to our next joint venture linked to Speaking and Listening,” she said. The schools are eager to work together again on the ‘Poetry Slam’ which is planned for the summer term where P7 and Year 8 pupils will recite poems about friendship, one of the biggest anxiety areas P7 pupils have regarding the transition period. Another of the partnership school’s foci has been to standardise writing forms according to the Levels of Progression. “As part of our cross-phase partnership we worked collaboratively at samples of L3, L4 and L5 writing from P7 and Year 8 pupils,” Mrs Clarke explained. Cullybackey College Teachers’ Superhero Transition Challenge! With armfuls of graphic novels and picture books, Cullybackey teachers certainly created the wow factor in Broughshane Primary School delivering lessons on how to write superhero graphic novels. Mrs Paula Stronge, Head of English and Mrs Rachael Armstrong, Literacy Co-ordinator from Cullybackey College taught P6 and 7 pupils about graphic novels, as part of the schools’ transition partnership focus. Discussions with Miss Carol Neill, P7 teacher at Broughshane Primary School led to the graphic novel focus. Miss Neill agreed that her pupils were really engaged and had enjoyed the process. The Cullybackey College teachers attended the CPD Transition Project training last year and particularly enjoyed the picture book sections of the days. “We liked the strategies and we were keen to try them out within a primary context,” Mrs Armstrong explained. The competitive Broughshane Primary School pupils vied with each other to win prizes for the best graphic novel idea. The Cullybackey teachers were impressed by the pupils’ existing knowledge of superheroes. “We used the discussion cubes from the training sessions to look at the positives and negatives about having super powers.” The teachers then taught the classes about the structure of a graphic novel. The idea had also been inspired by Year 9 pupils in Cullybackey College and their enthusiasm for graphic novels. The teachers adapted work from the Year 9 Scheme of Work for graphic novels which was condensed into two hours in Broughshane Primary School. Mrs Armstrong found the dynamic of the KS2 classroom very informative and plans to incorporate some of Miss Neill’s ideas into the KS3 classroom. In particular, aspects of Miss Neill’s approach to teaching spelling will be incorporated into a cross-curricular review of spelling accuracy at KS3 in Cullybackey College. “We are really looking forward to collaborating again,” Miss Neill added. The Cullybackey College teachers plan to extend their partnership focus to poetry this year. Miss Neill was inspired by the recent CPD Project training on Creating Cognitive Challenge which she attended in October, and this prompted her decision to teach the Year 8 pupils in Cullybackey College the “Image to Text” activity from the training day. “I have taught this lesson to my own P7 pupils and they loved it.” Miss Neill added. In keeping with the Levels of Progression for Communication the schools say they continue to closely monitor writing samples so that bridging units for KS2 and KS3 can be developed. Joint training was also offered for teaching assistants cross-phase when they explored how to use and integrate iPads into teaching and learning effectively for KS2/KS3. The teaching assistants linked apps to develop literacy and numeracy in their own school setting. “The training will be offered again as the second year of the CPD Project funding has allowed us to continue to build on last year’s actions,” she added. Exciting developments are also evident across the curriculum because of the schools’ partnership. “Cross-curricular literacy was developed in science lessons. Primary schools were invited in to make use of the science apparatus and carry out experiments with St Colman’s science teachers. We looked at the way P7 pupils write up scientific experiments and compared them to our own Year 8 pupils. This element of our Action Plan was very informative for post-primary cross-curricular literacy,” Mrs Clarke said. Miss Neill adapted the ‘Image to Text’ training session to have a Victorian focus. This was part of the Transition Project’s Thinking Skills TPL days held in October. 4 - The Bridge

Teacher Placements Extending and Enriching Cross-Phase Classrooms Across Northern Ireland A group of 45 teachers from schools all over Northern Ireland have embarked upon the CPD Transition Project’s Cross- Phase Placement Bursary Scheme. The scheme is aimed at Key Stage 2 teachers and teachers of English and Maths at Key Stage 3. The bursary will provide an opportunity for teachers to nurture and build on cross-phase partnerships in a primary or post-primary school setting; thereby supporting the exploration of learning and teaching in English and Mathematics at KS2 and KS3. The placement scheme teachers gathered together for the first time in the Fortwilliam Resource Centre, as detailed planning got underway. The teachers involved will have an opportunity to focus on cross-phase transition over a five day period. The initial three days will be spent in a partnership school to learn more about the host school’s approach to literacy and numeracy. The teachers will then have one day to write a report on their experience and the fifth and final day will involve sharing the outcome of the placement with teachers and other interested parties. Regional Manager of the CPD Transition Project, Dr Aidan Lennon hopes the placement scheme will develop primary and post-primary school partnerships in order to improve understanding and address issues in literacy and numeracy at transition between KS2 and KS3. He stressed the point that the scheme was an opportunity to enhance professionalism through engaging in dialogue and sharing strategies and resources between KS2 and KS3. Dr Lennon suggested that the placement scheme could also help to develop effective collaborative learning approaches, including the use of ICT. “English and Mathematics resources could be shared through the Project’s virtual learning hub on Fronter, as there will be a dedicated space created there for the Placement Bursary Scheme teachers to share the results of their partnership work,” Dr Lennon explained. A range of ideas on how to use the placement time to the greatest advantage was suggested by Dr Lennon to the teachers. “You could choose to observe learning and teaching or opt for a team teaching activity. This might include teaching a lesson or part of a lesson,” he added. Dr Lennon proposed that one-to-one meetings with the Literacy or Numeracy Co-ordinator or the Head of Department may also prove enlightening. He advised that placement scheme teachers could request to sit in on Key Stage meetings, department meetings or planning meetings. In terms of gathering evidence for writing the final report of the placement which is due in March 2017, Dr Lennon suggested the incorporation of formal interviews with teachers and or students at the end of KS3 or the beginning of Year 8. He also stressed to the teachers that a range of approaches can be used when gathering evidence, including samples of work, using video footage, classroom displays, photographs and pupil questionnaires. Highlights of the outcome of the Placement Bursary Scheme will be available through the CPD Transition Project website. The Bridge - 5

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