This week I have been in primary schools, high schools and with small groups of coordinators working together in partner primary schools, with larger groups of SLT and LA representatives, with transition groups (can't call them clusters any more). What is really apparent and I knew it already but it was really striking this week - one size does not fit all!
Plus everyone has ideas and wants to share them and wants to build on the ideas they have and adapt and adopt other people's ideas.
Do we need to step away from a straight jacket approach and look at how we can have a common thread in school /s but use and adapt as is necessary - always able to come back to the centre to reflect and build upon good practice? We are building a learning network that is immediate, local, virtual and personal.Thank you to all who contribute and hurrah for our VLE!
The reactions this week from HTs, from HODs from subject coodinators in primary and from class teachers and associate teachers has all been remarkably positive about the ways they are learning to use the VLE.
As I said at the start of the blog post - one size does not fit all and the VLE is allowing me to reach so many different colleagues. A simple SOW with sound files, lesson plans, support and resources already to go - well there you are!A SOW plus because we want to move on and trial deeper learning - well here are the ideas and the links and the resources!A step away and into the World of the Creative Curriculum - well the VLE allows you to do this too and all can be stored safely in your own folders and shared as you wish! Transition groups have their own secure areas and with a click of a button can upload and add to their own group's blog posts. The VLE is taking on a life of its own!
But it's not just the VLE! It's the language learning tools, the depth and range of additional resources we are able to share, the alternatives we are happy to suggest and most noticeably this week-, it has been the Assessment and the knowledge we have built up over lots of years. (Don't be fooled by the statement that the network has been around since 2011 - quite a few of us in this network go back much further than that!) You see we want to share and celebrate progress and we don't want the children to stand still. We need common dialogue and progress descriptors which can help us all, help the children and build self efficacy! Now we have a wrap around machine for assessment and it is still growing and being adapted.You may find this blog post interesting .
This morning I have been helping a colleague to adapt our units of work to suit the timetable requirements of a local school - it's all there - we just need to make the best fit for the school! Brilliant.Yesterday at a transition group meeting I was able to share key learning tools and a shared text for a special event to allow colleagues to discuss effectively what soft data they have when they come to the next meeting. The day before at a Transition group meeting we looked at how demands, skill sets and challenges of different ages and key stages and how they can be met if we look for common ground and use this as our central focus point.
I like to say "it's not rocket science!" and I really believe that it isn't but I do think and this week has certainly reinforced this that one size has never fitted all and that as professionals we need learning networks, listening ears, wise owls and young excited new teachers to build appropriate learning for our specific learning environments. I am excited about the future in the network and the use of the VLE and language learning machine it helps us to build and hope you can tell that too!