Our World in Words
2015 sees us embark on a brand new collaborative project funded by the British Council. We are working with three schools:
Nr.9 School, Elblag, Poland
XIV Istituto Comprensivo Karol Wojtyla, Siracuse, Sicily
L’école Marcel Lacoma, Guadeloupe, (France)
Our project involves promoting the teaching and learning of writing in each of our partner schools in order for children and staff alike to learn from each other and raise standards in this key skill. Children will embark on different writing projects to share between the schools, each with a global theme. Staff from each school will hold regular project meetings to discuss and share elements of our teaching, planning and assessment strategies.
Project Meeting 1 Lincoln 25/1/16 - 28/1/16
Writing task 1: Children have developed explanatory writing skills by writing about various aspects of their school, in a task we have called, 'A day in the life'. following this week we will share writing (written in their own language and translated into English) from children in our partner schools and compare and contrast.
We have had a very busy week during our first project meeting. Teachers from the partner schools have visited BJA. Together we have observed lessons, shared the national requirements in writing at each age range and analysed writing In terms of standards and expectations. We have also made exciting plans for the near future, including holding a competition to design a logo for the project. It has been such a positive start and we look forward to working together as a team to promote writing skills, develop confidence and enthusiasm in our children's literacy skills.
Project Meeting 2 Syracuse, Sicily 18/4/16 - 22/4/16
Writing task 2: The theme of this task has been sport. Children in all four schools have written instructions for sports they have played. At BJA we have focused on a range of sports, including bench ball, football, scatter ball. Children in our Polish partner school have focused on goal ball, a very popular sport in their country. We have also written reports and profiles about popular sports people and held Skype meetings and sent emails to swap information with other children involved in the project.
The second project meeting proved to be a very busy and constructive week. Mrs James and Miss Kisby travelled to Syracuse, Sicily to meet with staff from our partner schools. We were also accompanied by Chris Williams who is a local British Council Ambassador and supports our school in our international work. The school has pupils from age 8 to 13 (primary and middle school). We were welcomed by students from the school playing music, a range of dance groups and singing from the school choir. A speech was made by the mayor of Syracuse and by the Head Teacher of the school. We watched a range of lessons and also visited the elementary school (Children aged 3 to 7).
The focus of this meeting was to share the ways in which teachers plan lessons and activities leading up to a final piece of writing. Each school had the opportunity to present the teaching sequence for the writing of instructions, methods were discussed and compared. It was really interesting to see the differences. Each school have agreed to take on elements of the practice of other schools in order to positively impact on the teaching of writing. We particularly liked the way teachers in Guadeloupe presented students with all the steps they would go through to reach the final piece of writing at the beginning of a unit of work. This is noted in the children's books as a reference. We have decided that this is something that we will adopt in our work to go alongside our working walls in the classroom.
Project Meeting 3 Elblag, Poland 3/10/16 - 7/10/16
For our third writing task, children have written and shared a local legend. At Branston Junior Academy we wrote story boards for the story of Robin Hood. We had great fun doing this and it was clear that children put in maximum effort in terms of content and presentation because they knew it was going to be read by the children in our partner schools. During the writing process we held Skype meetings with children in Guadeloupe and Poland and shared the work that we were doing. Mrs James, Miss Tysoe and Mrs Coates took this work to Poland where we exchanged it for the writing completed by the children in the other three schools.
During our project meeting we spent a lot of time in the Polish school. We observed lessons and spent time toalking to the children about their learning, about their school answering questions about our school. Children in the school are aged between 6 and 12. We also visited a local Kindergarten and a specialist music school.
The focus of this meeting was to share classroom resources that we use to support the teaching and learning of writing. We made comparisons between education systems and shared good practice. We have come away with some great ideas of things we can add to our every day teaching and which will have a positive impact on the way in which our children develop skills in writing. We specifically liked the way the children in Sicily created their own personal dictionary of technical vocabulary, sentence structure and spelling so that they could refer back to this in their work. We are going to use this idea to support future English lessons.
Keep following for further information on our project.
Our next project meeting will be in Guadeloupe in January / February 2017