1 year ago

The Bridge newsletter 2 180117

A Focus on Five

A Focus on Five Placement Bursary Scheme Tea Teachers involved in the Placement Bursary Scheme gave us an insight into their decisions to expand their experience of working cross-phase. Not to mention revealing a few surprising facts too! In the midst of their busy lives, these five teachers took the time to share some of the moments that make teaching so worthwhile. Name: Pauline Burgess School: St Malachy’s High School, Castlewellan Name: Kenny Baldrick School: Newbuildings PS, Londonderry Placement school: Lisneal College, Londonderry One surprising fact about you! I played Senior rugby for City of Derry for several years. Before this I played rugby for Foyle and Londonderry College, and in 1987 we reached the semi-finals of the Schools Cup. As the school last won the Schools Cup in 1914 this was a great achievement for a school our size. Four of the players from the team went on to play for Ulster. The funniest/most memorable moment in your classroom Many years ago my class joined Film Club. We got the DVD ‘Big’ starring Tom Hanks. We had only recently replaced the video recorders within the school with new DVD players so the technology was new. Having watched the film first to ensure there wasn’t anything inappropriate I noted a time when an innocent enough exchange took place between the two main characters. When I got to the scene I thought I was fast-forwarding, but put the film in slow motion and when I frantically started pressing buttons the film froze at the scene I wanted to skip. Why did you apply for a placement? As a Primary 7 teacher I have always wondered what the first year of post-primary school was like for the children who left my class. I wanted to work closely with a post-primary school to see what skills and strategies they thought the children should have coming into their Year 8. I also wanted to look at how they use data in post-primary school and what strategies they use for underachievers and what type of assessment and data they would find beneficial coming from primary school. What are you looking forward to most about the placement? Underachievement in Protestant boys is one area that has continually been highlighted as a major issue, not only within Londonderry, but across the whole of Northern Ireland. I would like to ensure that we use data effectively and that we can share this data and the strategies that we use, to jointly address the area of underachievement in boys as well as girls. As well as being Numeracy Co-ordinator I am also ICT Co-ordinator within the school and I would like to explore how we could develop the use of ICT within Numeracy across both schools, as possibly a means of addressing this underachievement by promoting Numeracy through ICT. Placement school: St Malachy’s Primary School, Castlewellan One surprising fact about you! I went to primary school at the foot of ‘Narnia’ – or more precisely, Rostrevor Forest, which inspired C.S. Lewis’s imaginary world. One day our teacher was reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to us and it started to snow outside. She told us to look out at the magical world behind us and I will never forget that moment because that was the day I decided I wanted to become a writer. And I did! Today, as well as teaching, I am a published author and I write mainly (though not exclusively) for children. I am still trying to capture that perfect moment and recreate it in my writing; to inspire a new generation of children in the way that Lewis did. If I come even close, then I will be very, very happy. The funniest/most memorable moment in your classroom There have been so many funny moments I really should have kept a log! Apart from regularly being called Mummy, or having my surname written down as something that would resemble fast food, one that sticks in my memory is when I took a trip to Stratford Upon Avon. There was a very flash red Porsche parked near Shakespeare’s birthplace which prompted one of my students to ask ‘Is that Shakespeare’s car?’ At no point in the build-up to our trip had she clocked the fact that he had died 400 years before our visit! Why did you apply for a placement? As a teacher and a parent I am genuinely curious about how much joined-up learning the children actually face at KS2 and KS3. Having taught in the secondary sector for 25 years, I feel that I am lacking in knowledge about learning and teaching experiences within the primary model. The collaboration with teachers at KS2 will hopefully help me to promote curriculum continuity between the two key stages. I really wish to drive forward literacy strategies in my own school as Literacy Co-ordinator, and develop better practices to reflect the needs of pupils at transition. What are you looking forward to most about the placement? Working with children of a younger age and tapping into their learning potential and enthusiasm which sometimes diminishes at secondary level. I’m also looking forward to experiencing the joined-up learning approach which is prevalent in primary schools, where Numeracy, Literacy, PDMU and The World Around Us can all coalesce under one topic such as ‘The Titanic Story.’ 8 - The Bridge

chers Name: Susan McCullough School: Ballyclare Secondary School Name: Colin Devine School: Strandtown Primary School Placement school: Ashfield Boys Placement school: Templepatrick Primary School One surprising fact about you! In my spare time I like to relax by doing scrapbooking. One surprising fact about you! As a 6 year old, I was in the video for ‘Mull of Kintyre’ by Wings. Can’t remember a thing about it and still can’t pick myself out in the video but my parents assure me I’m in there somewhere. The funniest/most memorable moment in your classroom There is always something that will make you laugh (or cry!) on a daily basis. Perhaps the funniest moment was actually during an after school club. First week of rugby practice and the boys are getting warmed up. I’m making my way around the group asking if they play for certain clubs at weekends. One kid holds up a sheep puppet and says, ‘Can I come to rugby too? Baaa!’ As I looked at him in a state of bewilderment, the kid beside him mutters: ‘The sheep can stay, but you can clear off!’ He said what I was thinking. Very funny! Why did you apply for a placement? This was the perfect opportunity to strengthen links with one of our nearest post-primary schools. We already have a cluster group with a focus on extending children’s writing so this was a natural opportunity to move the project forwards. We, as a school, are keen to see how well we prepare boys for the transition from P7 to Year 8 both within literacy (especially writing) and pastorally. The placement will also allow us to share resources and expertise which we hope will open up new and exciting opportunities for both schools within literacy. What are you looking forward to most about the placement? I’m looking forward to talking to past pupils in focus groups to see how we as a primary school have prepared them for the transition. I’m sure I’ll be reminded of a few stories from their Strandtown days. The funniest/most memorable moment in your classroom Year 9 Geography class singing “The Water Cycle Song” with great gusto! Why did you apply for a placement? As Literacy Co-ordinator I am very interested in the delivery of literacy at primary school level and how this can be continued and further developed in the post-primary setting. Also, to further develop links with one of our feeder schools and to have an opportunity to see literacy in action via classroom observation. What are you looking forward to most about the placement? I am looking forward to collaborating with Templepatrick Primary School and putting into practice literacy techniques and strategies that will develop the literacy capabilities of pupils. Name: Caroline Smyth One surprising fact about you! School: St. Louise’s College, Belfast Placement school: St Joseph’s, Slate Street, Belfast During my first year of university, my flatmates and I starred in an Irish reality TV show! The funniest/most memorable moment in your classroom As an enthusiastic young teacher in my first year of teaching, I thought I would teach a particularly difficult topic to my GCSE students through a catchy rap. Needless to say, I wasn’t as ‘hip’ as I first thought, and we all ended up in fits of laughter during the lesson! (I am still convinced it helped them learn how to estimate the mean from a frequency table though!) Why did you apply for a placement? I am eager to see the strategies applied by our primary schools in teaching numeracy, which will enable my department to implement them into our Year 8 and KS3 teaching. This will ultimately smooth the transition from primary to post-primary for our students. What are you looking forward to most about the placement? Having recently been named as the 6th best country in the world for maths skills in primary pupils, I cannot wait to see the fantastic work that is being done by primary schools in teaching numeracy, in particular how they foster a positive attitude to the subject. The Bridge - 9

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