As a school, we are always ready to learn from and with others. Our creative and challenging curriculum, which we are incredibly proud of, has only been able to become as successful as it is through the work that we have done with other schools. Through local, national and global partnerships, we have been able to learn so much about ourselves and that is why we value collaborative learning so much, for both pupils and teachers.
The 4 Cs of Education - Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Critical Thinking - are well embedded in lots of schools. The principles of each do not always have to incorporate technology, of course, but I am going to focus on that angle as I think it's really crucial to how students approach technology use beyond their school years also.
Is there such a thing as “work-life balance” in teaching?
As teachers, we know that it can be difficult to find the off switch. A teacher’s job is never done and that is what makes finding a good work-life balance so difficult. I have always strived for perfection in my job as a secondary mathematics teacher, but I have also always been a sociable and active person. When I began my career I found it hard to achieve both. I soon learnt to work smarter rather than harder, allowing me to reduce my workload and gain a great work-life balance. So, here are my tips on how you could achieve this for yourself.
Facilitating rewarding learning experiences for children in a kindergarten classroom to further their understanding is a huge task; a wide range of abilities, different exposures to skills, variety of languages spoken, all contribute to the need to provide high quality, individualised learning activities.
This is where the iPad shines as a platform to transform learning to a new level. The range of apps available is overwhelming, however, taking things back to basics and using a small range of key, good quality, apps is essential.
On the outside, Compton appears like any other Primary School in the UK. However, it has long had a reputation locally of doing things just a little bit ‘differently’. Shortly after arriving at the school in 2014, I was offered the chance to visit Brussels and work with the innovators at the Future Classrooms Lab as part of a research project into how technology can be used to redefine teaching in the 21st Century. Details about this project and the final report can be found here. This project introduced me to the world of Google, and it was at this point my view of technology in the classroom was turned on its head.
Teachers across the UK are using an innovative resource to remove the burden of lesson planning by making collaborative planning and sharing schemes of work easy, wherever they are based. Teacherly frees teachers to focus on delivering engaging lessons that their pupils enjoy. Teachers are allocated responsibility for planning schemes of work (either partial or complete), which the rest of the team can access and easily adapt to their own class. This is particularly useful for teachers across multi-academy trusts or teaching school alliances. Because Lumici Slate is online, planning together can be virtual.
At Bett 2017, the focus will be on education game changers, with sessions and discussions exploring how educators from across the world can help transform the future of education. Collaboration is key. After all, no one understands the sector and what schools need more than the people who work in them: the headteachers, senior leadership teams, classroom teachers and reception staff. These are the people who experience and witness first-hand the challenges within schools on any given day.
This article is based on a presentation given at Teaching and learning Leeds (#TLLeeds) held at GSAL (The Grammar School at Leeds) on Saturday 2nd July 2016. Collaboration was the central theme of the conference.
“Great schools rarely go it alone. The most successful schools are not isolated and separate from their local community and other schools but actively encourage and embrace interaction with others. This approach has led to complementary benefits.” (Buck, 2016)
Thirty head teachers from Lithuania visited a Birmingham school to learn how to provide pupils with a top education, in an event organised by the British Council. The visit to Rockwood Academy in Alum Rock was part of a Government drive to build relationships with Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. During their six-day stay in the UK, the head teachers visited five schools and learned about how the British education system works.