Editorial (Issue 8, January 2011)

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. 

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Welcome to 2011, a new year, a new term and a new Muse. Once again you we have put together a veritable feast of wisdom, extolled and shared through this the 7th edition of our teaching and learning bulletin. With resolutions already well on the wane (my abstemiousness didn’t make it much past the afternoon of the 2nd January), now could be the time to focus on something more attainable! Why not grab a new idea by the horns and unleash it on an unsuspecting class, just to see what happens?

With this in mind there are plenty of ideas within these pages, this time written by 16 members of staff from Cramlington.

Soon we will be meeting with our chosen Professional Enquiry Groups for the first time. As we aim to personalise learning for our students so we have attempted to tailor CPD time to individual interests. With a dozen PEGS to choose from we have given a taster of what’s on offer on pages 15 and 16.

As usual the articles in this edition, though written largely within subject contexts are relevant across phase and curriculum. For example the maths department serves us up a multi-portion feast with ideas we can all benefit from. Ruth Christopher has trialled our 3d projection facility with year 8s to great effect, Andy Sargeson explains how intervention is working in sixth form for maths and David Gray looks at cooperatve learning with a couple for Kagan structures.

There has been some very close collaboration with a young SCITT student and Chris Horner in the PE department! Together they have co-penned a great piece on various roles in the world of professional sport, again with obvious benefits to other subjects.

The traditional parlour game makes a comeback this year. In Proper Scrabble, a far superior and not very related game to the classic Scrabble, students can steal, argue and justify to their hearts content whilst developing essential skills. Proper Scrabble is a great review tool as well as a useful device for developing turn taking, literacy and lateral thinking.

ICT gets a look in too with Graham Quince launching his new Frog Pad page, whilst from the English department Laura Couch and Zoe Bell use examples of social networking and independent enquiry to argue the merits of Edmodo and Real Smart.

And if that wasn’t enough Darren Mead and Jen Hill discuss some great ideas for review learning and Joe Spoor uses visual anchors to focus on learner attributes

Finally, what links Albert Einstein, Mariella Frostrup, Leslie Crowther and a muppet? No? It is of course the Demonstrate New Understanding part of the CLV cycle. Here you will find a discussion of the fifth stage of our learning model and many ideas for activities that might be employed here too.

All the best for the New Year. And a big thank you to everyone who contributed to this edition! If you would like to get involved in the next edition of the Muse there are some tips at the back to get you started. Please feel free to contact me to discuss ideas.

Fergus Hegarty



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