15 Feb

If I was ‘super excited’ last week, then this week I’d have to say it was a heartwarming moment as we got our Apple Teacher programme underway and we all got ourselves enrolled. Apple Teacher Programme enrolment? Heartwarming? Let me explain. It was clear that within the team, we are all at different stages in developing our understanding of the iPad and its capabilities. For some of us, picking up an iPad, navigating around the device and making use of the apps is second nature, particularly for those with an iPhone – it’s pretty much a bigger version! For others of us, however, it can all seem quite alien. This was why it was so encouraging to see the team pulling together and supporting each other, whether it was an old pro helping out a self confessed newbie or a group of unfamiliars working together to figure it out. Working together in this way is going to be key to the success of this project; recognising that we’re all on this voyage of discovery together and drawing on the vast skill set that already exists within the team to help each other along on the journey.

Whilst it is important that we all have an understanding of the iPad, the apps that come with it and how they work, it’s pointless if we don’t appreciate how this technology supports teaching and learning. To help us with this, we’ll be spending some time on our school development day after the holiday exploring the answers to the following questions:

  • How can technology help our pupils develop the skills they need to reach the destinations they aspire to?
  • How can the use of technology enhance or transform our approach to teaching and learning?
  • How can technology help us to monitor the progress of our pupils towards their destinations?

As we develop our answers to these questions alongside our understanding of the technology and what it can do, we can begin to integrate the two, and this, we hope, is where the magic begins!

In the meantime, however, let’s hear some equally magical updates on the progress our pupils have been making this week. It’s been a very busy half term for Miss Dickson’s ICT groups..

Normally the Interactive Base group concentrate on using the switches and working on the screen..

..however, for the past few weeks they have been having fun with the BeeBots..

Some of the pupils from the Autism Base have also been doing activities around moving devices. They have enjoyed exploring the BeeBots then sending them around the group..

The Year 8 pupils in Miss Bickerstaff’s class and the Autism Base pupils have also been handling data – sorting information and creating pictograms and graphs..

Mason has been making graphs as part of his Entry Level qualification in ICT..

The Year 9 pupils in Miss Bickerstaff’s class have been writing stories and drawing pictures..

Miss Silvester’s class have thoroughly enjoyed dressing up as ‘Elvis the Singing Bull’ which was the theme of this half term’s sensory ICT story. They dressed up and enjoyed different sensory experiences – we have some future Elvises by the look of it!

Following on from the story, they pursued individual activities, typing key words and matching pictures and words..

The Year 7 pupils have been practising their skills with Control Technology, using 2go to draw a house, a robot and a car with Miss Byrne..

Nayem also wrote his name using the arrows and numbers to give instructions to the program..

Year 11 have been using Microsoft Publisher. In this lesson, we were designing new logos for Nike using shapes and only two colours, black and yellow..

On Wednesday our Activ8 pathway led a multi skills sports event for Year 3 children from 5 different Oldham primary schools. Our team put the skills they are learning in their Sports Leaders course to very good use and the morning was a great success – well done everyone, Mr Lawrence was very impressed!

Linking to our upcoming production of ‘The Greatest Showman’, our Year 9 pupils have been working on their circus skills in Drama (although you will be relieved to hear that they have not progressed to tightrope walking yet…)

We were delighted to receive a certificate this week acknowledging our contribution to ‘Remember RAF100’ during our Remembrance project..

You may remember the beautiful artwork carefully drawn by Holly for our RAF100 book that we shared with you at the time..

Finally, in this afternoon’s assembly we were treated to a few numbers by our very own Led Zenadin who certainly finished the half term off in style..

We’re looking forward to their next performance! Please remember that we are closed for a staff training day on Monday 25th February. The new half term will start on Tuesday 26th February for pupils (please click here if you need a reminder of our term dates) and I am looking forward to seeing you all then.

Have a wonderful half term break,

Gavin

You can find Dawn’s blog for the Learning Centre here

For news on our Key Stage 5 pathway groups at Medtia Square please click here

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham

You can find my previous blog posts here