|Image thanks Maxxl|
Friday, 26 February 2016
Thursday, 25 February 2016
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
Friday, 19 February 2016
I much admired John Hull's social activism, but was less sure on his stand against the use of drones in warfare. But now I come to admire his foresight too, wondering just where use of drones is going - separating out human decisions from military actions.
Wednesday, 17 February 2016
Tuesday, 16 February 2016
|Food - the essential building bricks of a school|
Saturday, 13 February 2016
|Mirror, mirror on the wall|
Snow White, 1937
It's a problem for staff and students, both in recognition and understanding of their 'enterprising endeavour', and, perhaps more importantly, on reflection.
How are our students reflecting, and do we, as staff, lead, promote, demonstrate reflective practice?
Friday, 12 February 2016
|The other Darwin|
Would it be too bold to imagine, that in the great length of time, since the earth began to exist, perhaps millions of ages before the commencement of the history of mankind, would it be too bold to imagine, that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which THE GREAT FIRST CAUSE endued with animality, with the power of acquiring new parts, attended with new propensities, directed by irritations, sensations, volitions, and associations; and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering down those improvements by generation to its posterity, world without end! Zoomania
Thursday, 11 February 2016
|Under my bed|
Interesting to consider what there is to 'uncover' under a bed particularly, perhaps, for children. For children's lives exhibition it identified the importance of 'under the bed' as one of the few 'private' spaces a child might have. The 'present day' part of the exhibition worked with young people to re-create a teenagers bedroom, including boxes under the bed. Birmingham children's hospital provides boxes for 'toys and special things'.
'Toys and special things' are what you might expect to find under a bed, and much can be learned from toys and special things of children, both to find out about them, and as a starting point for stories and other work developing from children presenting a little about themselves. For Paganel Archive project launch event we encouraged children to bring in something for our archive, among other activities. We carefully managed around 300 items, all with deposit slips completed by the children - to include a description of the item presented in very different ways in each class. The exhibition was a fascinating insight into the lives of the children, with many toys and special things, and now preserved digitally in our archives. Each item documented by the owner - a perfect snapshot of the school.
And what's there under my bed I hear you ask? An old DVD player, a book I'll never finish (Tom Paine, Rights of Man - my red under the bed), a tape of my old band from Uni, and a Ventolin inhaler!
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
|Accidents on Swan Corner in past 10 yrs|
Consultation on road changes can be challenging - Who should be involved? How important is their perspective? Swan Corner Community Group grew from the first (failed) consultation for roundabout improvements in 2013-14. How likely could the views of a school (parents and children), a pub (both the owner and customers), road users and local residents be properly taken into consideration to make our roads safer?
It appears Garry Dalton, Hall Green District Engineer, has succeeded in gaining approval for plans - improvements based on the previous plan from two years earlier - to make road improvements for 'Safer routes to school'.
So what's been different from last time? Here's some of the differences
- 20mph campaign, raising awareness of our dangerous roads. Swan Corner Community Group (SCCG) have also successfully campaigned for Brook Lane to be included in Kings Heath 20mph zone, being implemented as I write.
- SCCG initiated work with Swanshurst School to develop conversations between residents and Swanshurst school on issues important to both, in particular Travel to Swanshurst.
- SCCG ran it's own transparent online survey to contribute to Garry's paper form, open for all to see online - Plan for Safer route to Swanshurst and results from responses,
- We also organised a public meeting to solely discuss the road improvements, and was a main agenda item on many more SCCG meetings
Part of #29daysofwriting - http://staffrm.io/stories/discover
Tuesday, 9 February 2016
|A Rode dead cat|
"The key point, says my Australian friend, is that everyone will shout 'Jeez, mate, there’s a dead cat on the table!'; in other words they will be talking about the dead cat, the thing you want them to talk about, and they will not be talking about the issue that has been causing you so much grief." (Boris Johnson talking about his friend Lynton Crosby)So is there a similar phenomena in the classroom? It'd be nice to think there is, if only to make good use of a currently popular simile.
In Birmingham we have our 'dead horse' or 'trojan hoax' - although some insist the original letter was not a hoax, following four separate enquiries into 21 schools no evidence that anyone caught up in the 'Trojan horse row' has acted illegally. In fact, there's not much evidence of anything. The Kerslake report instigated following 'Operation Trojan Horse' led ultimately to Sir Albert Bore, Council leader, forced to resign and the Council itself under threat of being broken up.
But that's in education, or politics, and not in the classroom. Here's my 'dead cat':
'An attempt by a student to distract the teacher by encouraging the teacher to talk at length on a different topic.'
When I was at school, there was a period of time when this was something of an artform. First you needed to know your teacher's weakspots - a penchant for rock climbing, or baroque music. And then you had to use an opportunity to ask a question to introduce the subject, flatter the teacher and encourage them to talk. It's only since then I realise the teachers were probably complicit in the 'dead cat strategy' I hope dead cats (and not horses) are still being thrown at teachers.
Sunday, 7 February 2016
Thursday, 4 February 2016
Wednesday, 3 February 2016
when charity began at home
Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Although we spend a lot of time 'learning' at Woodcraft Folk, it isn't 'school' and we have to take a very different approach. The children will have spent many hours in a regimented, safe, learning environment at school before they arrive at Woodcraft Folk. They are likely to be tired, but also looking forward to meeting and playing with friends. As adult leaders we have an agenda: we want 'learning' to happen, but it has to be led by the children themselves, and as we all know, leadership can be a very political thing.
Monday, 1 February 2016
|Sellywood Bugle first edition online, September 2001|
Today is the first day of #29daysofwriting, and being the first of the month, I've been putting together our work newsletter - with authors once again asking, 'is this OK or too personal'?