Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Posterous- Perfect for collecting evidence of progress?

I had a discussion with Doug Belshaw a while ago where I had suggested that posterous could be used as a kind of e-portfolio because of its ability to absorb so many media types and the ease of publishing. John Johnston introduced me to posterous a while ago indirectly as I just liked the simplicity of how it collected anything that grabbed his interest-photos from walks, audio from mountain tops etc. All a student really needs to be able to do is e-mail. Posterous will support text, images, video, audio files (making it an ideal podcasting platform too via the rss feed) and will also take documents. Images can be submitted as galleries, and can cross-post to a number of places, such as flickr, wordpress, blogger, youtube etc if you wished. Furthermore, you can send mixed file types to a single post. For school use, there are a number of appealing features, such as the ability to password protect the page so that only readers you want to see your blog can see it, and even better, you can protect individual posts by e-mailing to Sites can also easily be created as group sites where a number of people can easily publish to the same place too. Students could also potentially use the bookmarklet to grab pieces of text from web pages and talk about them-a much better alternative than the open plagiarism that a class recently confided to me. Possible limitations could be the 1GB of storage if this was being used over a long period of time, but the founders are clear that they are willing to discuss this if it becomes an issue and John has consistently underlined how supportive they have been to him (as recently as yesterday).
I was chatting to the PT Computing today and showed him posterous by setting one up. It took literally a minute. He was highly impressed that he could set up a blog simply by sending an e-mail, without any coding knowledge and was also surprised by the variety of media that the platform could handle when I showed him my own posterous,. He basically thought that this is the kind of thing that a) his classes should be doing in s1 computing and b) would act as a great record of a students work over a period of time. From that discussion, I'm going to do two things. With Fred's agreement, I'm going to set the s1 computing class up with posterous tomorrow and load it with their individual slides that formed the whole of the class presentation last day. Anything we produce in class, I am going to ask that the children post it to their record. Further to that, I think it would be very useful to share the information across the school. Just from working today to set up a Wiki page for a Singapore school link, there is so much less to worry about in publishing to posterous and it gives work a much wider audience including, most importantly, keeping parents in the loop with their childrens progress. It would also allow students to demonstrate progress in more than just one way i.e. paper based evidence. I would love to hear what other people think about this?

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A day in the life

One of the things I worry about is dividing my time properly and effectively between my role as a classroom teacher and PT Development. My job is one where you can have intensely busy periods, followed by lulls. During the busy periods, it's finding time for the former that's important. Work experience, for instance, places a big demand on my time during (and sometimes after) the working day. At other times, although it seems quiet, it's important that I use my time to plan ahead and tie up loose ends. I decided to think yesterday about what I do in a day to see if I'm achieving that goal, as I'm probably between big events:

Monday Morning

I wanted to catch up on some of the work I've been doing with the learning and teaching group in the school around literacy. I have recently been working closely with our librarian, who has a fantastic enthusiasm for what we are trying to do as a group. We discussed the outcome of a previous literacy working group that I was part of 4 years ago. Looking at the returns, I wondered how many staff were aware that they existed. All of the strategies are still relevant, so we decided to publish the summary findings to the staff shared area and make individual departments aware of their previous input. I will memo departments about this during the week. Donna has also set up a wiki page with useful links to CfE and other relevant literacy documents, as well as creating space for departments to fill over time. I noticed that I have been promoted to PT of English too as she informed me that my recent presentation was his!

Later in the morning, I caught up with the DHT who is my line manager. I wanted to confirm that our enterprise group had the OK to go ahead with sourcing and selling hooded sweatshirts as an extension of the PE kit. This is something that they had presented to him before Christmas and he had then taken to the senior management team. He also has responsibility for IT matters, and this allowed me to ask about a fledgling link with a school in Singapore which a member of the Computing department has established. We discussed the use of Skype and alternatives, should IT support not allow its installation. I am still not sure if there would be anyway for the classes to meet through Glow and how that would work at the other end, something I'll need to find out. Finally, I wanted to ask about a possible fundraising activity using the upcoming winter olympics as a stimulus for a Wii tournament. I thought this would help the enterprise group raise some capital, and I intended to raise it at their meeting later in the day. My DHT also asked aboot progress with editing the radio show and I have arranged to meet the group leader period 4 tomorrow for what is hopefully a final edit.

Finally, I caught up with the colleague who is setting up the Singapore links and brought him up to date with the Skype request and afterwards, helped him set up a pbworks wiki to provide a working space for ten children from each class. We just had time for the basics as both of us were teaching the next period and plan to create a structure for the pages over the coming days and weeks.

Lunch (12.20 to 13.00)

Monday Afternoon

As I teach all three periods in the afternoon on a Monday, most of my other work goes on after school. This is usually the time for my Environmental and Life Sciences meeting, but I have been fortunate enough to be able to juggle meetings so that I can attend the Enterprise group most weeks. A PE colleague came to the meeting to speak about the hooded tops and present an alternative supplier. The group discussed the idea, but seem keen on the original supplier for quality and their ability to keep control over sale of the product. We discussed 'gifting' the sales to future Enterprise groups, making the group sustainable in the long term and giving them start up funds for whatever ventures they wished to pursue. There was a brief review of group finances and I suggested my fundraising idea (not sure it was that well recieved, so I might take it to the ASDAN group instead and see if they want to do it for charitable causes). We also had a really good input from the PT of business studies, who sometimes stays in on the meetings too. Finshed up here and left school about 4.30, 4.40pm

Monday Evening

As well as planning my lessons for Tuesday, I am a bit of a twitter addict. It can sometimes be an almighty distraction, but I have also been involved in some great professional discussions which started here. Tony Cassidy had created a resource which challenged students to come up with an iphone app idea which might have been relevant in the recent cold snap. I thought that there was a lot of potential in this for enterprise-what if a student had an idea which they could then see developed through to the app store? I made a few enquiries on twitter and found app developers, some great advice about low cost ways to do this and a brilliant suggestion from a contact in the USA to promote a school/college partnership to develop it. This is very much just an idea at the minute, but it's encouraging to note that the reality is not so impossible to achieve.I then had the opportunity to put my tuppence worth into a discussion about Glow via the SQA. Glow sometimes gets a hard press as it is not very user friendly, but I think it will definitely evolve over time, and would hope that the creases can be ironed out to see through its potential. Earlier in the evening, I had collected a variety of examples of ways in which schools are using twitter as a news feed, as I think this has definite appeal for parents and benefits the school in promoting that partnership. I would hope to be able to take this to my head teacher or DHT at some point in the coming week to hear their thoughts

Late O'Clock

Football highlights, Mario Kart and bed. I can't go to sleep straight after work, so I always have to unwind a bit. Unfortunately, my lust for gadgets has seen me comandeering my sons Nintendo DS too often. Overall, when I look back on the day, I probably do more than I think I'm doing, but also see where there are some areas I need to develop. I am a sucker for a big idea and don't always see the difficulties that I might face in realising them. For instance, the iphone app is a great idea, but how will I react if, for example, colleges don't want to know? I also see instances where I could have followed something through to the finish e.g. Why not memo about the literacy document in the shared area while I'm doing it? I am satisfied though that, in a whole school role, I managed to work with such a wide range of staff and students. Anyway, where's that D.S.?

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Embryonic Journey - A two year assessment snap shot

I was asked recently to participate in a meeting with colleagues looking at future models of assessment. The meeting was convened by Gordon Brown, an assessment manager with the SQA . I found the notion quite daunting, as the people present where ones I regarded as true innovators, players in education circles with a degree of experience and expertise that I didn't possess. Furthermore, our presentations were to an audience of interested people from SQA and LTScotland. I was pleasantly surprised by the reaction to the s1 work we have been doing, where we have made a concerted effort to shift the assessment focus from the end of unit test to continuous reflection. Of late, my thoughts have turned towards my current s3 class.

Is the vehicle important?

When I listened to others talk at the meeting, a lot of focus was around the vehicle for collecting the assessment evidence. Neil Winton and Caroline Breyley talked about the work they have been doing involving wikis. I have used wikis in a number of ways in the past, but mainly as a way for students to collaborate on exam style questions. I like the format and the ease of use. Robert Jones talked about moodle and Jaye Richards, while exploring the idea of students setting questions and e-portfolios, spoke of her own experiences in using Glow with classes. I love the idea of Glow, but the roll out has been very slow in my authority and, although I expect it to get better with age, the user experience is quite confusing. Moodle is something a lot of the people in my twitter network swear by, but I have never really had the time to explore it. Ian Stuart talked about one note, which looked absolutely fantastic and something that I personally could think of a plethora of uses for but, sad as it seems to say, because it isn't free, and budgets are tight, I didn't think it was something which would appeal financially to my school. I suppose what I am leading towards here is that, despite the obvious merits in each, I couldn't help thinking that the method of collecting the evidence is less important than the evidence itself. Each of the presenters convincingly sold the merits of the platform, clearly illustrating that there is more than one way to skin a cat. It also reminded me of the work I had been collecting via edmodo.
I started using edmodo almost exactly a year ago with my then s2 class. I love it because it is so uncomplicated, yet provides the scope to do so much with a class. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that students have actually created a convincing record of evidence to suggest they have met both the outcomes of the second year course and, more importantly for future assessment, the outcomes for their certificate course in third year. What's more, they have done this through a variety of different media, which I think is vitally important in terms of skills development and evidence of a flexible learner.

Individual/peer reflection

One of the ways in which the class has used edmodo is as a reflective space for lessons. Students have used traffic lighting to show their understanding of particular lessons. For instance, after a lesson on adptation of plants and animals to the desert, I wasn't sure that the class had grasped the main lesson outcomes- easy to check via edmodo. Students can send a note to the entire group or just to me, so if they had not understood some parts of the lesson, they were not exposing that to the class:This feature also allows students to ask questions discretely, and has been well used for aspects of the work which individuals did not fully understand, removing the stigma of asking in class. We have also experimented with peer assessment on a number of occasions. One example which springs to mind is a recent exercise about coasts, where students had to record a commentary to this clip on posterous. The commentaries were then placed on edmodo and the group were invited to feed back to me on each effort on content and presentation.

Again, as this was anonymous, I felt that students were very honest in their appraisals:
The next stage is for me to collate all of the responses and I have told students that I will wordle the outcome to each of them so that they can see at a glance the strengths of their work, but also the areas for development. What I liked about this was that it concentrated on more than just rote learning the content. Other examples of peer assessment can be found in class voting, where we set criteria for an exercise about Dubai and sustainable development. The students had to design a building and then choose a suitable site, using an exercise created by Noel Jenkins. I offered a small prize for this, but took no initial part in the judging of the work. The students voted on design traits and location and became quite vocal about some of this. Once a shortlist had been established,I asked a colleague in the design and technology department to pick a winner on design merit, while I assessed the location. The winning design was the first picture in the post here.This also embraced cross-curricular working.
The most recent example of peer assessment is taking place right now as the class are working on primary pad to collaborate on typical exam style questions in preparation for a NAB. Students have been encouraged to question statements that they don't agree with, possibly through the chat function, while collaborating to create an answer which will hopefully present them with a good revision template. As they have named themselves and their contribution is by colour, I can see at a glance who has contributed what, so as the teacher, I have the option to use either the pad or private messaging through edmodo to encourage deeper responses/ correction of errors. Here is the early stages of one pad:

I think one of the added benefits of work like this is the development of responsible use of the internet. Where chat is available, it's easy to stray from the task, and I have only recently started using exercises like this outwith the classroom, but have been delighted with the response of the students. It's all too easy sometimes not to take the risk, but when the benefits are palpable, I think we have to trust students a bit more.

Teacher feedback

Most of the activities that I have set through edmodo have been individual assignments. Edmodo allows you to keep a record of these, including the marks. Although I have set past paper style questions and kept the marks record through the platform (something I still think is a useful barometer of student knowledge and certainly a good indicator of competence against current course arrangements), most of the work I have set has been 'marked' via a comment. Initially, students did not like this, but I think some of them now find the comments a very useful measure of their progress but also something which will help them with the next steps. A good example of this would be their recent 'limestory'. Sometimes, teaching the physical environment topic at Intermediate becomes very samey, so I decided to create an exercise based around developing literacy skills . This is going to become even more important in the coming years as students will be assessed in literacy and numeracy as well as their subject choices. I gave each student an individual comment, like the one below:Some students, of course, for whatever reason, sometimes can't access the internet, but I don't think that's a barrier to keeping evidence in this way. I posted a hand written exercise and an audio story to posterous, where students work was deservedly given a wider audience, and this could easily be added to edmodo by the student in class.
I have also been able to assess different skills which appear in the arrangements, such as the abilty to interpret photos and diagrams, and a broad knowledge of physical landscapes (via the students own digital maps courtesy of umapper). Previously, I have used edmodo to challenge students to thinking skills activities, such as diamond 9 exercises, and have given a grade based on how well students have met the assessment criteria we set. Here is an example of feedback from one:
Can the whole class work together?

For assessment purposes, this might not seem that important, but on a social level and for the future development of students, I think it is vital that they are able to work in a group, large or small. I am aware it is a subjective measure that I am employing here, but it was interesting to see the different responses and levels of response when we set a collaborative mindmap as a homework exercise for the class:

This served as a great snapshot of individual understanding, but also enabled the class to learn from each other. We have since used it as the sole revision source for a past paper exercise. When students evaluated how well it had served them, they identified the primary flaw, which was a lack of case study exemplification.

So where is the evidence?

The other thing I like about edmodo is that, if I were to use it with a class from s1 through to s6, the student would have an entire portfolio of their work with grades and comments. I am able to look at a students work in isolation to see their overall progress. I can measure that progress against the rest of the class should I wish, and I can share work through the public timeline, whould I wish to celebrate success. All in all, I think it is purely another way to keep a record, but one where students don't always have to make their mistakes in public, and by public, I include their classmates. My own questions would lead me to ask am I being rigorous enough? Does this kind of assessment adequately replace the need for exams and end of unit tests as a record of evidence? I honestly don't know, but media like this gives teachers the ability to keep the work that might provide that all in the one place for scrutiny.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Arrested Development? Part 2: Subject Sabbatical and making up the lost ground

I said in my initial post on this blog that one of the things I hoped to pursue this year was a Principal Teacher of subject post. I enjoy working in the school that I am in very much, and there are many elements of my development post that I enjoy. However, like many people that come into teaching late, I had a real desire to reconnect with my subject after several 'lost' years where I had barely used it. After graduating from Strathclyde in 1994 with a BA Hons in Geography and Politics, I spent six months unemployed. It was a pretty depressing time, on the wheel of constant interviews and applications, trips all over the country and appointments at the dole. In December of that year, I was recruited by Ladbrokes as a Unit Manager. My trips around the British Isles stopped, but my trips around Glasgow and Lanarkshire didn't. I managed fairly quiet shops, so any time there was an absence in a busier outlet I was like the relief manager. I suppose then, I had to use some kind of knowledge of place, but in reality, I had no use for my subject knowledge in this job! I moved on in the summer of 1998 to work in credit, and again, was out and about a lot, this time doing home visits around mostly the southside of Glasgow and then a wide patch of North Lanarkshire. I had wanted to pursue teaching for a long time and in 2002 I finally had the financial freedom to take a year out of working and retrain at Jordanhill.
I have never regretted my decision. Like any other job, it has it's ups and downs, but there are so many satisfying outcomes for me as an individual. To talk about things in which I have a genuine interest every day, to build relationships with my students in the class and to see them progress, even when it's tiny steps has an immensely powerful effect on me. Over the past couple of years, I have dabbled with the notion that I might be capable of managing a department. I know there would be major challenges, but I feel that I have benefited from a number of opportunities which have fallen my way recently, many in the last year. Although I have my responsibilities for development within the school, I would like to think that I could continue to develop my subject role in the coming year too.
Some of the initiatives that I was involved in last year and before which I think have helped me prepare for that next step are as follows:-
1) Representation of my department (environmental and life sciences, or Biology and Geography to you!) at Geography Subject group meetings for the last 3 and a half years. I have also in the past presented to the group on use of wikis and blogs in Geography.
2) Attendance at SAGT conference and subsequent involvement in the organisation of the conference in Glasgow for 2010
3) Curriculum mapping for a Boardworks resource against Experiences and Outcomes for CfE.
4) Collection of possible texts for the assessment of literacy in Social Subjects for the SQA. This has led to the opportunity to participate in resource development in the new year.
5) Participation in a teachers forum for Geography resources to link with BBC programming
6) Involvement in a group looking at future models of assessment, again via the SQA. I attended and presented at the last meeting of the group and will hopefully be able to continue that involvement in the new year.
7) Using Glow and Glow meet to enhance learning in Geography- I am one of two people in the school who requested a Glow password before they were given a wider release, and have used it as a platform to allow students to participate in a live session from the Copenhagen Climate Change conference, as well as using the glow meet function as an extension of home supported study. I also shared this at whole school level with two of the deputes and the rest of the school community through the school website.
8) My use of my lessons and resources blog to share with colleagues and students, as well as giving me a space to reflect on lessons and gain feedback from others. This is essentially a detailed record of work for me.
9) Building a network of other educators and individuals/organisations who will help me develop my knowledge of subject and pedagogy through twitter.
10) Although this is fledgling, I have been part of a collaboration on a unit of work aimed at s1 students using the Pixar films as their background. This has seen the contribution of ideas from several colleagues around the country, and I have set up a google wave and a wiki page (to be completed as the ideas progress into lessons).
11) Attendance and contributions at the regular Geography Flashmeetings set up by Tony Cassidy. This has, for me, been the best source of subject CPD that I have had in the last year, and takes my head out of my own classroom and curriculum to see the range of ideas, resources and strategies that others are using in the subject field.
I hope to see the list above develop and ideally grow as the new year progresses, and I think the biggest challenge in doing this will be managing my time effectively, especially ensuring that my family remain at the top of that priority list at all times.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Arrested Development? Part One

I said in the previous post that I have somewhat struggled with the notion of raising my profile. I wondered if this had had an impact on my delivery on our Development Plan latterly, and as I said, when I look back on the year, I felt that I had pretty much kept to the plan. However, perhaps this is a space where I can be a little more reflective on the impact of those initiatives and think about their successes and failures.

School Link (Malawi)
About a year and a half ago, I started a link through Plan-Ed with a school in Malawi. In the previous school term, I managed to start some link activities primarily with the s1 year group. We exchanged school information, worked on similar activities around a climate change theme and involved the s6 in being interviewers of groups of younger students to collate responses for a return.We also used poetry/extended writing as a way to represent our place/ lifestyle, and the English department sent a number of haikus where students had written about their home area or a place in Scotland which meant something personally to them. On reflection, I thought that, although we had established some working contact with the partner school, I personally had not been able to devote the time I would have liked to something which was very important to me. I also think that part of the reason for this was a reluctance to delegate/ involve others for no other reason than I viewed it as my responsibility.
One of the things I have tried to do this year in all aspects of my work is involve other people with enthusiasm, expertise and interest and use this as a way to take forward aspects of development. I have realised that it's impossible to do a job like this without help- its whole school, should impact on more than just a pocket of students and therefore should involve more than one member of staff. I have been very fortunate this year. We have been able to link the work with Malawi with ASDAN students skills development. We have given ownership of the link to the ASDAN group and the ASDAN teacher and I have played a supportive role in helping those students take it forward with the partner and within their own school. I have been pleased at the subsequent direction that the link has taken. Our students have just sent a meaty pack to Malawi aimed at encouraging a celebration of Robert Burns Day this year. The students were keen to help the school in Malawi understand a little more about our cultural heritage. They have collated Burns Supper Menus, Recipes, Flags and tartans, a CD of music and readings, translations, a camera to record the events and a challenge for the school to design a tartan of their own which we will display back here. During their preparations, awareness of their work was raised through an appeal via the school website for items to send and I was pleased to hear several staff ask about their progress after this. We have also asked for a display area in the school forum, an area where pretty much all student traffic passes through.
In return for the pack, the ASDAN group have asked for details about any similar celebrations of culture in Malawi which they can then organise events around themselves within our school. What pleases me most is that, although progress has been quite slow, it is the students themselves who have driven this. In doing so, they have gained knowledge not only of other cultures but their own and have had to develop organisational skills to develop their work. There are other more collaborative ideas which they have for the coming year which I look forward to seeing grow. I am also pleased that their efforts have been recognised by others, including the headteacher.

Work Experience
I will be honest and say that there are many aspects of this which I do not look forward to. At times, it becomes a paper chase- parental consents, self-found placement forms and so on, and I feel as though I am simply being an administrator. The feedback from both students and employers continues to make me think that there is a worthwhile place for it in the school. We are on our second year of using the WorkIt database to help students source their own placement and this worked significantly more smoothly thanks to the help of one of our office staff in phoning potential placements prior to my initial work experience assembly. I also felt that I had significantly more contact with students this year and was able to keep work experience on their agenda. As ever, when you have 300 students going out , some drag their heels, and I was again fortunate to have a team of teachers who had volunteered to shadow a class in preparing for Work Experience. This, I reckon, gives others an opportunity to develop leadership skills, which really should be part of what I am doing as well. I also liaised closely with the year head. One aspect of this job is that although I have a line manager, I also have dealings with all of the depute heads. It is interesting to see the different approaches that each have and I learn from the way in which they handle similar situations with varying tactics. I would love to hear about alternative approaches to work experience in other schools as I am sure this is something which could be refined and improved.

School Radio
At the beginning of the year, I was approached by a group of s6 students who wanted to do radio in the school. They initially wanted to do live broadcasting, but we decided to create a podcast. This has been some time in the making but requires just a little editing now. I have really enjoyed being part of this. I was pleased to give the students some direction as well as a plan for their broadcast, and have been able to give effective advice about some of the technical side of things. They have edited all of their interviews together through audacity and have an extensive bank of material to put out, including an interview with one of the 'originals', a member of staff who has worked in our school from its inception right up to this years silver jubilee. Other sessions include a slot with a student band, interviews with the school film club, the worship group and the enterprise group. The quality of the interviews is fantastic and have been linked together very well too, sounding pretty seamless. We hope to publish this on the school website some time in the coming month and the people involved are keen to now make a shorter monthly version of their podcast. I think the quality has been dictated by the potential audience and I think this is a great example of students taking the initiative with staff in a guiding and supportive, rather than controlling role.

Young Enterprise
This is one of the aspects of my role which I find most challenging. We have participated in Young Enterprise before, but have been hampered by poor experiences with business advisors. This year we had a fantastic and dedicated business advisor, but a group who couldn't agree on a product or their vision. I find it frustrating as a link teacher that I can't really get my hands dirty as the initiative is supposed to be driven by the students themselves. I have probably had a verbal input when I shouldn't have and have probably unfairly criticised the commitment of some of the group. As a result of internal wranglings and a changing group membership, decisions have been slow and meetings lacked organisation despite the advice of myself and the business advisor. As a result, we have streamlined the group, there is a definite product which the group have presented to SMT, but the scope of the product is school based and therefore, the group have withdrawn from Young Enterprise events. The group now seems settled, the meetings have a better structure, although at times can lapse into other chat, and the New Year will hopefully see the students finally selling their product with charities benefitting. I don't have a solution to this. At times I think I should be more directing, but it goes against the principles of Young Enterprise and would be my success or failure, not theirs. Perhaps these setbacks and failures provide a good lesson? I would be interested to hear others thoughts on this.

This is something for our senior students to help them prepare for potential career paths and is pretty light on students and mentors time as it is all conducted by email to and from the students school accounts after an initial face to face meeting. I don't think I would change anything about this and feel that over the past couple of years, students have indicated the worth of the relationship, even if it helps them decide not to follow that path. The one thing that I would like to do would be to source more mentors, and I think this could have very positive impacts in other areas potentially, such as work experience, careers fairs and the PSHE programme in the school.

School Newspaper
The school newspaper was previously a quarterly addition which was sold around the school. The group wanted to go paperless and to make contributions more regularly or at less set intervals. I have helped in the set up of a blog with the newspaper group as multiple authors and have helped with the settings for aspects like commenting, as well as meeting with the group to discuss the operation and set up of the blog. I think this is a far better way to publish for the students, although it could be argued that the deadlines and layout of the quarterly editions had a positive impact in terms of students learning to work to time and template. The blog is here

Learning and Teaching Group
This is what I view as the most important development for the coming year. I wanted to set up a forum for staff to share practice and standards. I tried this before with an online forum across the cluster, but think that it is much more useful if people share their experiences by meeting. We have now got a representative from each subject department as a member of our group and intend to work on themes at various times in the year, for example assessment. We have kicked off the group with a literacy theme. It follows on from a presentation at an in-service by our PT English who stressed that literacy is not only the responsibility of the English Department, but an explicit responsibility of all classroom teachers under curriculum for excellence. I had been lucky enough to have been involved with something through the SQA looking at potential texts and also had a keen interest from a subject point of view. I have set up a sharing document for members of the group to contribute ways in which their subject promotes literacy, and a colleague from the English department is looking at how we set school standards for literacy e.g. through the correction code etc. The presentation below is a shortened version of the one I used at a recent meeting of the group to encourage people to think about different ways to encourage students to read, write, talk and listen. Fuller explanation of some of the slides can be found here in a version I shared with Geography colleagues

I hope that the group becomes an open place to share ideas, although I think it would be highly beneficial over time to widen it to the school cluster. The representatives are to take the discussions we have back into subject departments, but I'd like to be involved at that level too. This will hopefully raise the profile of the group across the school.
In my next post, I'll look at things that I've been involved in this year at a subject level which will hopefully help me realise my goals this year with respect to my next career step. If you aren't sleeping by now (aplogies about the length), have a Happy New Year :)