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Getting started with IT
March 6, 2017
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St. Patrick's Primary School, a UNICEF partner school, in Coatbridge, in Glasgow, Scotland, on 27 March 2015.

I was asked recently why I persevere with learning to use IT in my teaching, especially when I seem to be coming up against one problem after another.  At the time, my simple answer was “It’s because I have a degree in IT”. However, I have been thinking about it, and I am no longer sure that is the reason.

I have decided to share my thoughts on this because I see teachers who want to use more IT and really don’t know where to start, and there is always the element of fear of ‘what if it doesn’t work’.

To put things into context, I came into teaching from Industry. I have a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and a Masters in IT, and have worked across both industries for 18 years, before becoming a maths teacher – which I have now done for 3 years.

I have found the biggest issue with using IT is getting started – there are always teething issues in learning how something works. But just as we ask pupils to persevere when they are learning something new so should we – because it is through making the mistakes that we deepen our learning. (Hmmmm where have I heard that before??). Sometimes when things don’t work the way I want, I might use a work-around to try and get round the problem. This probably does come from being an Engineer but ultimately it’s problem solving – again something we are teaching our pupils.

The other big issue is knowing what apps/ software etc to use. The best suggestion I can offer here is to ask around / research on the internet / twitter.  What I am doing is starting within my comfort zone – which scarily enough is Glow.  I have used Sharepoint in industry, and know its potential as a forum for saving and sharing information.  While I am getting the pupils used the the basics, I am investigating the features of Glow and thinking about what I can try next, and how it will fit into my teaching in a meaningful way.

So in answer to the original question about why I persevere, I think part of it is because I am fairly new to teaching, and the fear of things going wrong is ever present, so to me many aspects of teaching are new, so I am not scared to try different things, and to be honest I hope I keep that state of mind throughout my teaching career. In the early days of my teaching career, I was less fearful of the technology than I was of the teaching!!!

Secondly I have come from Industry where I see a digital world.  Technology is everywhere, and pupils will see a big jump in the use of technology between school and either further education or employment.  Many pupils primarily see technology as a means of communicating with their friends or playing games.  The best way to teach our pupils to use technology responsibly is to show them that there is more to tech than Facebook/snapchat or improving their kill/death ratio, and the way to do this is by getting them to use it, as a regular part of their learning.

Wee Pedagoo
March 5, 2017
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Good things come in small packages.

Talking about teaching and learning is a magical thing. Get a bunch of teachers together and they spark off one another like pieces of flint. Inspiring, creative, curious conversations happen that lead to practice-changing ‘I-never-thought-of-it-like-that-before’ moments. This much we know.

We also know teachers are busy. Crazy busy.

So how are we supposed to make space for all this sparky flinty goodness in amongst the noise of everything else that happens in schools? Welcome to Wee Pedagoo, the pocket-sized Pedagoo event that really packs a punch!

One conversation. One hour. One huge difference.

Wee Pedagoo is about one conversation that really matters. No name tags, no presenters, no PowerPoints. Just teachers talking. A Wee Pedagoo event is about carving out a wee space to talk about the big stuff. It’s really easy to organise (even if this is your first time planning an event), super-flexible and guaranteed to give teachers the feel-goods. You can have a Wee Pedagoo whenever and wherever teachers get together. You can set the topic for the conversation yourself or choose from our ever-growing ideas page full of #haveaweegoo questions to get teachers talking. You can have a Wee Pedagoo with as many or as few teachers as you want- it’s the quality of the conversation that matters. So what are you waiting for? Have a wee goo and sign up today!

Interested?

Great! Hop over to the Wee Pedagoo page to find out more and register your event now- then get ready for the sparks to fly!

Farewell to 2016
December 20, 2016
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OK, so 2016 has thrown a few unwanted curveballs at the world but, in the cosy and kind world of pedagoo, 2016 has been rather lovely if I may say – here are my best bits:

  • I became a pedagoo moderator, along with three other lovely ladies and started sharing the responsibility for moving this valuable movement forward.
  • I met said lovely ladies: there has been cake, pizza, more cake, coffee, cocktails, more cake, wine, more wine…
  • It has not been all about the gluttony, oh no, it has been all about the sharing – round the table, twitter, blogs…
  • Talking of blogs, I started mine, inspired by Susan Ward to try to share regularly (even if not as eloquently as Susan does!)
  • Talking of inspiration, a colleague of mine got into twitter – big time – and credited me and my “pedagoo stuff” as her inspiration! In a weird feedback loop this continues to inspire me to tweet and blog, cause even when you feel like you are getting nowhere, you might be having a drip drip drip effect.
  • We had pedagoomidlothian and pedagoomuckle – which was indeed muckle, and was a chance to connect, reconnect and share with many many lovely people.

What did pedagoo do for you in 2016? And what did you do for pedagoo? Tweet all about it to end our year with a festive bang. #pedagoo2016

Closing the mindset gap!

HOW DO WE INCREASE THE ATTAINMENT AND CONFIDENCE OF OUR LEARNERS ACROSS SCOTLAND?

While there is no overall magic bullet, I believe that by creating a growth mindset culture within our schools; we can do much to improve children’s attainment and mental health.

Let’s focus on the issue of closing the attainment gap. The link between attainment and poverty is well documented in education research, including the Joseph Rowntree report on closing the gap. However, working to support parents and teachers to embed a growth mindset culture transcends social class. It does so by raising the bar of expectation, in a way that is realistic, based on credible feedback that is supportive, friendly and person centred. Having increased confidence, resilience, appetite for learning and understanding by working hard and practising different strategies can bridge the deficit when there may be little aspiration or value attached to education in the family home.So, how do we make it practical? Growth mindset has the potential to act as a way of supporting vulnerable learners by working on their resilience and using a growth mindset to increase appetite and engagement with learning and allowing those who have reached a good command of a subject to achieve mastery while enabling everyone to improve. Teachers can fulfil this role as well by thinking about the language they use in class and how they differentiate work for pupils – thinking through their own judgements that are applied to student potential (such as avoiding the use of ‘sets’ at too early a stage; using mixed ability groupings to encourage learning, peer learning opportunities, etc).

Mindset activities within the school should be included within school plans but not necessarily as a separate area for improvement. Think what can growth mindset can do within the context of literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing. Standing back and looking at all activities that happen within the school can create the opportunity to think about teaching and engagement strategies that help learners to seek help, understand their intelligence is not fixed and that everyone can improve in their education.

We need to pay attention to transition points, to language, to the curriculum and in ensuring that everyone across the school community is working hard to promote growth mindset consistently and based on a plan that is right for your particular school and community.

So, what are you going to do today to make mindset real within your school for your pupils, fellow staff and parents? Comment below if you are using mindset to help attainment in your school.

John Paul

Unleashing Learners
December 6, 2016
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At the start of October I attended the Pedagoo Muckle in Glasgow. One of the learning conversations I took part in was led by Fearghal Kelly about “Unleashing Learners” which was about the pupils leading the learning of a unit of work – I was instantly intrigued! The thought of handing over a whole unit of work to a class to plan was a scary thought but I could see how great it could be. So, I took the plunge and selected one of my Higher Administration classes to be unleashed!

When we were ready to start a new topic, about effective teams (quite appropriate!), we all sat around a table, just like a business meeting. I explained what we were going to do and they were interested in the idea that they could decide how the lessons would go. Each pupil was given some post-it notes to record their thoughts which were added to the planning sheet (see below).

I first of all asked them what they already knew about the topic of “Teams” – they knew a reasonable amount already which was pleasing. I then asked what questions they had about the topic – this they found a lot tougher – and we spent quite a bit of time on that. They worried that their questions were too silly or irrelevant – no such thing I cried! Every day I now give them a random topic (eg bananas, abbreviations, etc) and they have to come up with one question they would like answered about it.

We then looked at the Outcomes for the topic and looked to see where and if the questions fitted in with them, which coincidently most of them did. The class then decided that the success criteria for this topic would be the ability to successfully answer at least 4 past paper questions about effective teams. To reach this stage took about 40 minutes.

img_20161205_1615361

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The following period we then looked at the order we would like to look at the topic – not the order I would have picked, but they decided! I then asked them what kinds of activities would they like to do to cover the topics – they wanted to take notes, watch relevant videos, make a presentation, work in teams and have a speaker in. I was able to arrange for our Rugby Coach to come in and speak to them about working in a team, the skills involved and they did some team building activities. On this occasion we did not need any research teams.

img_20161205_1616281

All in all, the planning took 2 periods – was it time well spent? Yes, it was, the pupils enjoyed telling me what they wanted to learn and how (after being suspicious of my motives, I was the teacher after all, was I not just going to tell them what to do). After one of the activities, a pupil said that they really like learning that way. Pupils are engaged in a topic they are finding interesting, they are displaying their own team skills and supporting each other.

Will we be planning the next topic of the course this way – absolutely yes!

Winter Wellbeing

What is Our Winter Wellbeing Calendar all about?

Whilst the Christmas period is seen as the time of the year for joy and celebration, what’s often not recognised, is that it can be a particularly tiring and stressful time of the year for school leaders and teachers.

The plays and special assemblies are all wonderful cause for celebration. However, the continuous run of late nights, mixed in with the everyday pressures of school life can take their toll!

That’s why this year, we thought we’d try to lend a ‘virtual’ helping hand! To help make December just that little bit less stressful and more joyful for you, with our first ever, Winter Wellbeing Advent Calendar.

What can you expect?

The Calendar will involve 24 days of mini-blogs/thoughts for the day designed to offer you encouragement, support and useful advice to help you stay positive right through to Christmas day.

These mini-blogs will be provided by inspiring educators, focused around a different theme of Well-being in education. We have enlisted top educational thought-leaders, bloggers, coaches, authors and inspiring school leaders to bring you a fantastic calendar of wellbeing wisdom, thought-provoking questions for reflection, and words of encouragement and inspiration.

Here is the list of the first 12 days of blogs for the Calendar:

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Our Calendar will also be run in collaboration with #Teacher5aday (Twitter Teacher Wellbeing initiative set up by Martyn Reah) and @Tim_JumpClarke’s Winter challenge calendar, which consists of 24 winter challenges, to help you relax and be more compassionate to yourself and those around you this Christmas.

teacher5aday-wintercalendar

How does it work?

The window will be opened every day between 6:30Am and 11:30AM, on our Twitter account,  where we will be announcing when the day’s window on the advent calendar has been opened and the new mini blog/thought for the day has been released –  click here to follow us on Twitter

Even if you don’t have Twitter, when the window has been opened you’ll be able to read the day’s mini blog by following the link on the calendar itself or via our homepage.

Alternatively, you can now sign up to receive every day of the calendar by following the link below.

Sign up to receive everyday of the Winter Wellbeing Calendar straight to your Inbox

How can I get involved?

We’d love you to get involved with the calendar as much as possible, so if you have any reflections on the winter wellbeing thoughts of the day, please do share them via Twitter using the #WinterCalendar hashtag.

Likewise, if you have any photos, snippets of wisdom or quotes that have inspired you and think would inspire others through the month of December, please do share these too.

Just be sure to use the #WinterCalendar hashtag!

Sharing our Learning Across Oceans
November 25, 2016
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Sharing learning is one of the things I love about teaching. I just completed a project within my classroom and attended a conference with the purpose of sharing and learning for others. While at the Teacher Learning and Leadership Program Conference (#TLLP2016) in Ontario, Canada, I met with Fearghal Kelly and now I have this platform where I can share with like minded teachers across the ocean.

My project revolved around the idea of having an outdoor classroom and how we could document the student learning outdoors. We have 30 students in the class and we have them for the two years they spend in the Early Years. They can begin at age 3.8 and when they leave us they can be 6.6 years old. In the classroom, I have a partner who is a Registered Early Childhood Educator, the RECE and I plan and devise an environment that we hope will engage and provoke learning for our students. We also want to communicate that learning to the parents; because who does the documentation belong to? Who is it for?  So we use Instagram and Twitter to share our learning with the parents and beyond the walls of our classroom.

Instagram offers us immediacy. Our parents know what the learning was before they even pick their child up at the end of the day. They initiate conversations, elicit vocabulary around the learning and often contribute and extend the learning in their home, ready to be shared the next day. It affords parents the chance to comment on the learning and offer support for the next steps in the child’s learning.

We also share those pictures/videos with the child in a quiet moment and document their own words about what they were thinking, what their plan for learning was and what their next step was. Sometimes several weeks pass before we look at the picture and this gives the child the chance to reflect back on the learning and discuss what if anything they did to extend that learning. We also share that learning/pictures with the rest of the class. This is twofold; we celebrate the learning but it also works to inspire and provoke other students in the class.

I hope that we can connect with other educators interested in documentation and outdoor learning.

Mary Mahler

#pedagoomuckle -supporting change through the staff room
October 28, 2016
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I was trying to unpick some of the things I do in my practice, things I believe make a difference, and talking with a non-teacher friend, I realised that as a profession we tend to like a nice new shiny concept, approach, package, programme or resource. Now I’m not implying that’s wrong, far from it, many of my teacher friends are fantastic advocates of a wide number of approaches, you only have to look at the # tags that some of the prominent tweeters in Scottish Education follow, to see that good practice means having many different tools and options available so that we can meet and support ALL of the children in our classes. But I’m not sure that these approaches and methods are the real crux of why we have our own success stories of children we have nurtured. It’s a common mistake I think, to take a resource that appears to be the reason for success and then wonder why the success hasn’t been as great when implemented in a different environment. I have a feeling that it is in the approach of the person delivering and the school community in which they work. With this in mind I was keen to explore ‘Supporting change through the staffroom’ at the Pedgaoomuckle event in October.

As Outdoor Learning is my soap box, I wanted to ensure that there was some space in the learning conversation to give a gentle nod to the health benefits from being outside, better still being near greenspace (http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/6636651036540928) and the impact this can have on pupils learning and attainment. So we all put on our coats and went on a #walkandtalk . I encourage schools to try and have at least one staff meeting outside every term. Not only does this benefit the staff from a health point of view, but how many staff really know the environment the children in their class are walking through every day. We drive into the carpark, go into the building and at night get back in the car and drive out of the school again. There are so many learning opportunities right on the doorstop, from times tables on buildings, angles in our environment to social studies of house styles, age of buildings and types of materials.

How many coffee jars are in your staff room?

I had written questions on lolly pop sticks and folk quickly fell into a comfortable pace of walking and talking freely and enjoyably with their partner. The first question, how many coffee jars?, I hoped would spark a conversation around what kind of place their staff room was. I have heard many ‘horror’ stories from visitors to school staff rooms ranging from adults being told they are sitting in someone’s seat, to ‘huffs and puffs’ when they’ve not brought their own mug! Surprisingly our group began counting and sharing the different teas they all liked. But through discussion standing under the trees on Sauchihall Street, we pulled out thoughts and feelings about how a staff room represents the school community; is it a welcoming place, is the tea and coffee for all to share, offer and use? Do visitors feel welcome and gauge a sense of belonging? We discussed ideas to help promote the sense of community in the staff room. Here’s what we came up with;
• Social events
• Swap shops; bring a handbag and take home a different one!
• Communal drink fund
• Cake Friday; taking it in turn to bring/bake the cakes
• Staff library/bookshelf of books to read
• Social Fund

What fundraising do you do?

Swapping partners and making our way slowly through the Saturday shoppers in the sun, we shared all of the success and failures that we have tried, in order to raise funds for our schools. We spoke of the Tesco and Asda grant schemes http://www.tesco.com/carrier-bags/ https://www.asdafoundation.org/applying-for-funding the http://fundingscotland.com web page and then suggestions such as garden parties, fashion shows (M&Co, Matalan both offering stores after closing time with discounts for shoppers) race nights, sponsored walks/silences/jumps and fundraising websites such as https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk We all acknowledged that taking part in a communal fundraising activity usually made us feel more ‘together’. Speaking with staff members that we don’t usually talk too happens more naturally and freely at a social event, we can find commonalities between us, these can then be built on back in the staffroom.

What’s on your staff noticeboards?

As we passed by the Pavillion theatre discussing our staff room noticeboards, it was hard not to reflect on some of the things that we maybe haven’t quite got right. If our staff room boards are a reflection of the staff, are they saying who we really are? Are we simply about how to report Health and Safety Issues and when and what will the next collegiate meeting be?
Boards that are useful were discussed;
• Examples of sharing good practice; this worked for me, here’s a good website
• grab and go ( worksheets photocopied and ready to grab in a last minute emergency, or lesson plans that can be easily differentiated)
• Millionaire Moments; post-its on a board that are little successes that have made you feel like the best teacher in the world
• Apps to Action; Place to write up apps that are good and work eg CfE app, plickers, animoto, photohunt, Project Noah, any of the OPAL citizen science ones.

What are you great at?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

We are often, not good at saying what we excel at. We don’t really feel comfortable saying “I taught that lesson so well, they totally grasped what I was trying to teach”. If we want to change things then we need first to start with ourselves. We need to recognise what we are good at, we need to share it and then nurture and support others to feel confident about what they do well. Creating that supportive environment can be difficult at first particularly if we have ‘dementors’ (Harry Potter reference) in our staffrooms, the ones who sit in the corner finding difficulties and problems with every new day. The people who, put simply suck the life from you with their negativity! So start small – find your number 2, your first follower, who will join you in your new dance and make your staffroom something you are proud to let visitors into.

They need subtitles, don’t they? A PedagooMuckle learning conversation
October 16, 2016
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Short films are brilliant contributions to literacy-rich classrooms. Combining storytelling, culture, creativity and tech all in one fabulous package, a short film is a carefully constructed text that can engage learners in the most unexpected ways.

And some aren’t even in English!

In this conversation we shared experiences and ideas for watching and making short films in languages other than English.

So no, they don’t need subtitles … well, not all the time.

N.B. This post contains far more than was covered in the learning conversation itself precisely because of all the chat on the day.

Introduction

There’s a clue in the name, the beauty of short films is that they’re short and as such they can be watched more than once.

In terms of film literacy, there are six important features. The 3Cs – character, colour, camera – and the 3Ss – sound, setting and story. Particular films, whether short or feature length, will merit exploration of different Cs or Ss.

World cinema is a culturally and linguistically rich source of texts for our classrooms. In the workshop I shared three ways of engaging learners with short films by film-makers from other countries or about other cultures.

1. Cheat a little bit

No dialogue, no need for subtitles! Take the fear out of watching ‘foreign’ films by watching ones which don’t have any spoken dialogue at all but which have a healthy dollop of cultural interest.

In the workshop we did a ‘sound on, vision off’ exercise to start using the first two minutes of El Caminante (Glow login required). We listened to the soundtrack of the film, without the seeing the images, then afterwards we shared what we had heard, what we thought was going on and where we thought it might have been taking place. Then we watched the same two minutes of the film and discussed the extent to which our initial thoughts had been borne out. In the event, it’s the discussion that matters more than the ‘accuracy’ of the original predictions.

Bring in some target language by expressing straightforward opinions about the film, characters or the story or creating a poster for a cinema screening of the film.

Alternatively, challenge confident language learners in your class with a ‘vision on, sound off’ activity. Watch the images with the audio muted and afterwards discuss what the characters might say and what sound effects they would expect to hear. Watch the film again with the sound on to hear the soundtrack of sound effects and/or music. Discuss the effect/impact of the soundtrack on the audience. Does it add anything to the images?

Pupils could then prepare spoken dialogue for the characters in the target language and perform it as the film plays on screen.

Intrigue your learners, focus on culture and location rather language to begin with.

2. Pave the way.

Preparation, preparation, preparation! Before watching a film, it’s helpful to give learners opportunities to explore the characters, colours, setting or story in advance so that their curiosity is piqued. Before long, they are desperate to watch the film and are unphased by the subtitles because they have a pretty good idea of what’s coming.

Start by looking at stills from the film and talking about what you can see. Discuss who and what you can see and where and when you think it might be set.

For example: La queue de la souris based on a traditional French tale by de la Fontaine.

First give pairs of pupils a selection of still images from this French language short. Discuss the characters and setting, try and sequence the stills to tell a story.

Then pupils match English captions to the images.

Lastly, pupils match the French captions.

A whole class discussion about the various elements of the film and also the skills and techniques used to match the French captions will reveal the extent to which learning in literacy and languages is being applied.  Consider reasons why Benjamin Renner, the animator might have chosen to use only four colours in the film – black, white, red and green.

Finally, watch the film with or without English subtitles. Afterwards, discuss the effect of the colour choices – black (lion, bad), white (all other animals, innocent), red (danger, environment around the lion) and green (among the trees, away from the lion) and the impact of the instrumental soundtrack – Why string instruments? Why sometimes plucked and sometimes bowed?

By accessing this film through www.languagesonscreen.org (Glow login required) you have the choice to stream or download it with or without subtitles. You could watch it without subtitles the first time and then with subtitles on a second viewing.

3. Create and be comfortable.

Intuitive tech and local creatives can make film making easy – regardless of language.

Live action movies are easy to edit with move maker software and for animations, free iPad apps such as Sock Puppets, Yakit kids, My Talking Avatar, Chatterpix Kids, Tellagami and Voki Ed are very simple to use. Depending on the app, you can create an animated background and character(s) then record your character(s) taking for anything from 10-30 seconds. To make a longer film, save several clips to your camera roll then stitch them together to make a longer film using iMovie or equivalent.

Another option is to involve local creative companies. Last session children at Elderbank PS in Irvine and St Anthony’s PS in Saltcoats, North Ayrshire worked with animators from Halo Digital Arts. P3 and P6 pupils at Elderbank produced The Portal Loo a film in French, English and British Sign Language, while P7 pupils at St Anthony’s made ¡Go, go Globo! a film in Spanish and English (Glow login required to view both on North Ayrshire 1+2 Primary Languages Video Channel). In both cases the children did the script, artwork, music and voices while Halo staff supported the technical side of things. In both cases it is clear that the level of language in French/Spanish was appropriate to the children involved. Rather than the alternative of developing a script in English and translating it into French/Spanish which would have reflected their proficiency in English and the use of Google translate, the children developed stories which enabled them to use vocabulary, phrases and songs that they were familiar and comfortable with, but still within a highly creative context.

With a bit of understanding about the 3Cs and 3Ss, children and young people will be well informed when it comes to making their own films.

Finding short films to use in class

Looking for films to use in class? Look no further than:

    • Screening Shorts, Languages in Screen and Scotland on Screen websites have all recently had a makeover and are still free to access for Scottish teachers via Glow. Screening Shorts has some of my favourite films without dialogue. Languages on Screen features shorts in French, German, Italian and Spanish. My favourite experience of using Scotland on Screen so far was P6s adding a mechanised French voiceover to the Daleks in Glasgow clip! All three sites have lesson guides and video tutorials.
    • Film G: the home of an annual Gaelic film making competition for schools, community groups and professional film makers.
    • Literacy Shed: a wide ranging and regularly updated collection of short films in a range of languages and with accompanying teaching ideas.
    • My ‘Shorts’ board on Pinterest currently has more than 260 short films in a wide variety of countries and in a range of langauges, or indeed none at all.
    • Into Film has teaching resources related to lots of feature films in many different langauges – Love Languages Spanish being one of the newest.

 

This is a abbreviated version of a post originally posted on the PedagooMuckle wiki.

They need subtitles, don’t they? is the Prezi that accompanied the learning conversation.

Poetry By Heart Scotland 2016-17: open for registration!
October 13, 2016
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Poetry By Heart 2015-16 Finalists

 

Poetry By Heart 2015-16 Finalists

Poetry By Heart 2015-16 Finalists

Poetry By Heart Scotland was first launched by the Scottish Poetry Library in 2014 as a new, pan-Scotland competition, encouraging and maximising secondary school students’ engagement with the richness of past and contemporary poetry. Participating students are challenged to learn and perform poems from our specially curated competition database.

Feedback shows that participating students develop confidence in public speaking and also deepen their relationship with, and appreciation of, poetry in general. 2016 Joint Winner, Craig McCorquodale said:

‘I’m not sure that PBHS was about who was given first place; it was about the power of having a voice. It was about sharing something with others, and making a concentrated form of language a rather simple one.’

On the SPL website we have a short film (6 minutes) which showcases students from the 2015-2016 finals. Students, teachers and poets talk about what they have enjoyed and what the benefits are. The film’s well worth a watch to get a flavour of the competition and a sense of its varied benefits. You can watch it here.

Keen to find out more? Below are details about PBHS, including how to register. If you have more questions that aren’t answered here, please do get in touch  directly with me at georgi.gill@spl.org.uk.

WHO takes part?

  • Pupils in S4-S6 as competitors; non-competitors can also be given supporting roles in running your contest.

WHAT do competitors have to do?

WHEN is it all happening?

  • School competitions by 16 December 2015
  • Regional semi-finals Spring 2016
  • National finals to be held on 18 March 2016

WHERE is the action?

  • First rounds in any Scottish secondary school.
  • Regional semi-finals in towns and cities across Scotland, in libraries, community arts centres or museums. Already we have schools signed up in Aberdeen, Stirling, East Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth. Schools in these and other areas are very welcome to join us!
  • National finals at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh

HOW do we get involved?

  • PBHS is completely free of charge to all secondary schools in Scotland.
  • Schools MUST register in order to participate – email Gill@spl.org.uk to register or phone Georgi Gill on 0131 557 2876.
  • After registration you will receive free resources to organize your competition and have fun!

Georgi Gill, Learning Manager, the Scottish Poetry Library

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