Monday, 27 April 2015

What's it like to learn?

After Teacher action day 2, I was very much inspired by the young chap in New Zealand describing what it's like to learn.

We are well on the road to becoming a Visible Learning school, no beavers as yet building dams, children can talk much better about their learning and their next steps.

I did get to thinking about WHY we are doing this.  Yes, better end of key stage assessments and better reading and maths etc etc. but at the crux of it all is that we want our pupils to love learning, really love learning, become a bit addicted to the buzz of success and triumph.

So the wonderful Mrs Jones, year 1 teacher and delivery team leader for Inspired and Passionate Teachers asked the infants today to describe what it's like when you learn something new, succeed when faced with a challenge

The answers:
like you can do everything
Tickly inside
All the right ideas inside you
Happy, I want even more work
Like a rainbow
It makes you proud

I feel all the above writing this blog.  This is a question we definitely need to talk to the children about more.  I can feel a display coming on.........

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Strategic planning is like a game and now we are on the next level 😉

The masterplan

With Visible Learning implementation, you are often in the 'Pit' 
What do we focus on? How shall we start? What are our priorities? 
We sent off for our VL survey to New Zealand and it came back (see above) I ironically put First Attempt as a nod to the fantastic work we saw at Pembroke Dock earlier in the week. 
At SLT yesterday, we decided to go through each strand and discuss it further.  We could see where things could be sorted quickly, the areas that were in place and what needed more time and energy 
Our three year aspiration is for all areas to be blue, no rush, using the processes that have been designed by Visible Learning.  However, not too slow that the learners are ahead of these processes.
As mentioned in a previous blog, we are using the work of Sir Michael Barber to design our plan.  I will post that when its finalised.
So we decided that each member of SLT will become a delivery team leader, one. team to develop Inspired and Passionate Teachers, one for Feedback and one for Know Thy Impact.  I'll do the strategic planning, staff meetings, appraisals.  
Each team will have time (team time!) to work on their own areas and gather evidence over the next two years then a year to reflect and embed.  We will also have a Guiding Coalition, a group of people associated with the school for the team leaders to report back to.  Our GC hopefully will consist of parents, governors, community and high school teachers.  They will meet, I think, every 10-12 weeks but that needs sorting.
Our next step now is to finalise the plan, carry out our next impact cycle and continue strengthening our Visible Learners

Friday, 17 April 2015

From the mouths of babes

In Learning Club this week we reviewed the impact of what we had done so far with Visible Learning.  These two boys are in year 2.  They talk about the learner dispositions, the learning pit, strategies for learning, visual feedback  sand how learning makes them feel.

This is after approximately 10 weeks of real intervention, you be the judge! 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Taking stock..VLAT Day 2

Today all the staff went to Maes Y Mynydd in Wrexham to undertake teacher day 2.  
The first part of the day was spent with the teachers and learning support assistants feeding back on their first impact cycle.
It was brilliant to hear all the great work that had been done in the first three months of the year.  

On reflection the Visible Learning at the four schools was making a huge impact already on the lives and futures of over 1000 pupils...amazing!

Mind frames came next, there are nine that we are working on.  We need now to make a decision on how we assess mind frames and develop them.

I am very lucky that all the staff at Ysgol Merllyn are inspired (and inspirational) and passionate about learning.  They were so ready to embark on this journey.  It will be interesting to judge whether our learners think we're inspired and passionate too!

Our plans for this week include myself and three teachers travelling to Pembroke Dock for a VLUKNetwork meeting with schools from England and Scotland joining us to continue collaborating and sharing excited

And finally, if this wasn't enough excitement, I've just scored two tickets for an audience with John Hattie and Peter Hill next Tuesday in London.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Friends in high places...get me!

Spent the first week of the Easter break reading this book

Recommended by Craig Parkinson, our Visible Learning trainer.
I was very taken by the structure of school improvement and how you set aspirations and set targets and trajectories.  Then having the Guiding Coalition.  I asked Craig if he knew any schools we could collaborate with who have used this model.  Craig said why don't you ask Sir Michael Barber himself through his Twitter account.  Which I did and he responded...twice!

Also I have spoken to Incerts who design our templates for our end of school reports.  We had taken feedback from our parent focus group and they have now changed to include Visible Learning statements.  The draft will go back to the parents next week for their approval before we roll them out in the summer 

We are also planning a Visible Learning day in school but I want the Learning Club to lead that.  More updates as the day is planned.