Tag Archives: Priory

How did I spend my Saturday night?

BBC school reportAfter a heavy day of house clearing and cleaning that left me emotionally weary and physically exhausted and grimy I was expecting to have a quiet Saturday evening in with my siblings, some friends, a large glass of wine and a very welcome delivery of Dominos pizza. However, no sooner had the opening credits of the latest Sherlock Holmes movie started rolling than the twitter-sphere starting pinging and I had to force my brain back in gear.

My previous post was about the BBC News School Report and what we have been up to in the past. Well we are starting to gear up again for 2013 and have been considering what projects to include this year. One of our big ongoing whole school projects has been mobile@priory – the introduction of our (at times controversial) Mobile Device policy at Priory School. For more information on this see David Rogers’ blog for various posts, e.g. the Mobile Device cookbook  or Mobile Secret Classroom. Or if you are at BETT on Friday 1st Feb then pop along to the Learn Live session that David is leading with me as the ‘glamorous assistant’ – here BETT Learn live . I’ve written about the use of mobile devices in lessons and we are keen to include them and other tech when it is appropriate and will serve to facilitate learning. Anyway, I digress slightly.

We are lucky enough to be reporting live from Action Stations at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth on the BBC news school report live day (21st March) and this is also the venue for TeachMeet Pompey on 6th March. If you are local and interested / involved in education then come along to #tmpompey – informal CPD, share ideas, eat cake – see the sign up page and come along! At the teachmeet, students from Priory School will be sharing their use of mobile devices in lessons and how it has helped empower their learning. Basically students become the teachers for the evening. Then we all get to play laserquest but that’s another story! This will be recorded for the BBC News School Report and be a chance for our students to showcase what they have been up to in front of a ‘grown up’ audience of professionals.

So yesterday evening we were discussing this event via twitter. @fubar2u_2000 is the Education Manager for Action Stations and as an ex-teacher himself understands some of the possibilities and challenges. What started as a simple discussion of this rapidly evolved (with some steering by @daviderogers ) into us deciding we would try something new. For 2013 we are going to attempt to hold what we think will be the first local ‘kidsmeet’Basically, we are inviting local schools to come to Action Stations on the live report day bringing a selection of students and a willing staff member to come and take part in activities based on co-construction and collaborating, to generate lessons / learning activities that will use mobile devices and ‘guerilla learning’. Students will work with teaching staff and other professionals to share their own ideas and experiences, and plan how to use mobile devices in a positive way to enable and empower learning.

Scary? Exciting? I think both. Logistically it will be interesting coordinating so many different parties on an MoD site and still maintaining the BBC School Report momentum. Our roving reporters will record and interview students and staff taking part, and it will all be shared via the final news bulletin (uploaded to school site), a live posterous blog, twitter feed @priorysouthsea and @priorygeography, and will hopefully be included in BBC Radio Solent  and South Today broadcasts.

It gave me a real buzz of excitement last night and lifted my spirits while the twitter feed kept churning through ideas and suggestions – a live stream evolution of unplanned planning! It will be interesting to see how ‘kidsmeet’ compares with ‘teachmeet’. And maybe it will become a regular thing!

Although logistically it may well be a nightmare, it is still hugely exciting. Never a dull day for @priorygeography ! I hope that the quote below would never be true of me or the department I love working in.

“I feel sorry for the person who can’t get genuinely excited about his work. Not only will he never be satisfied, but he will never achieve anything worthwhile.” (Walter Chrysler)

If you are local or want to be involved somehow with ‘kidsmeet’ then drop me an email or DM on twitter or use KidsMeet sign up page. Let’s be controversial en masse! Twitter feed

BBC News School Report

Priory School has a tradition of taking part in the annual BBC News School Report and

logo has had great success in the past including our children interviewing Huw Edwards live from the BBC South Today studio, quizzing Lord Sebastian Coe at the Copperbox of London2012, and creating and planting geocaches at Box Hill along the Olympic road cycle race route with our very own BBC South Today media team shadowing us for the 6pm news edition. The school report project involves taking our Year 8 students and giving them the skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to act as journalists and reporters to research, write, film, edit and upload their own news reports by the live day. Generally we have a trip somewhere for the lead feature, then on the live day itself the children work together to write topical and ‘breaking news’ features which are then moulded into a 5minute long news report video. This video is uploaded to the school site from where the BBC taps in live at the deadline, then choosing which schools are worthy of being aired on local or national news shows or on the BBC website. It is a very rewarding project. I have led it ever since my enthusiastic Head of Department (@daviderogers) ‘suggested’ I take it on as a project in my NQT year and have seen it evolve and morph each year. I thoroughly recommend all schools take part in this.

Don't all school trips have a private media crew?
Don’t all school trips have a private media crew?

I tend to run it as an after-school project for students to sign up to, approximately 15-30 kids. I have found smaller groups more effective. It is cross-curricular, not just Geography led – although obviously everything is essentially ‘geography’ 😉 . The focus is on skills & experience; developing literacy, enquiry, collaboration, timekeeping, media skills, working with professionals, etc,. Prior to the live day I run workshops to develop these skills and introduce the project, these may involve: tech sessions with our IT technicians or others (e.g. for recording and editing movie, blogging, editing webpages, etc,.), literacy work (drafting and editing quality articles), film practise, running through the BBC practise exercises (via www.bbc.co.uk/schoolreport) among other activities.

On the live day itself the students run everything. I am the facilitator. We have been fortunate in the past to be able to report live from Action Stations (@seeNavybeNavy) at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth which is a great space, with Phil Wright (@fubar2u_2000) providing great support to make the day run smoothly. Logistics need thinking through carefully in advance in order to take a step back on the day. As someone who is a bit of a perfectionist it can be hard to take a back seat and allow others to be in control – but it is their day, their responsibility, a taste of real life and being professional. They have to work to tight deadlines, have to self-manage, work as a team, coordinate, prioritise. I could real off pretty much every aspect of SEAL / PLTS and it would be met through the project.

Working with professionals at Action Stations
Working with professionals at Action Stations

I would recommend creating a strict timeline for the day (see example here) with key times for getting the group together in order to reflect, evaluate, energise. Get your local press involved ; BBC and other local radio stations, contact the local tv, local newspapers, etc,. Even try the mayor! Make it big. The children feed off of the fact that this is a real event, that other ‘real adults’ who are not just teachers are interested, that their work is shown to the big wide world. We keep a twitter feed going and also live blog through posterous – all done by the students themselves. Student identity is protected by not revealing full names, and the videos / images are only available through protected youtube channel and the school website www.prioryprojects.wordpress.com.

Interviewing staff on board HMS Warrior about Dockyard changes
Interviewing staff on board HMS Warrior about Dockyard changes

We include any student who displays enthusiasm and can be responsible, it’s not for the elite or G&T or anything else. Any are welcome. I’d like to point out that in the 2012 geocache report one of our students reminded the South Today film crew how he had ‘media training’ – received courtesy of his inclusion in Super Nanny!

It can be hard work! And it can be stressful. But by 14:30 when the report is finally uploaded and you see the kids’ faces it is awesome. After all : “Learning should be a joy and full of excitement. It is life’s greatest adventure…” Taylor Caldwell

Have a look here on 21st March after 4pm to see all our hard work!

In the meantime – our projects that we are working on include:

kidsmeet Pompey : students from 5 schools across Portsmouth working together with teachers & professionals to plan activities that use mobile devices for learning

mobile@priory : how Priory students led the way constructing a groundbreaking mobile device policy

World Poetry Day 2013 : students create a poetry orienteering game around the Historic Dockyard. Poems created by our students and local poets will be displayed at exhibits around the dockyard with QR codes linking them to create a permanent record of our work.

@priorybench : the revamped school bench that has its own hashtag as it tours around

London 2012 : is there an Olympic legacy or is it a myth?

TeachMeet Pompey : what happens when kids take over and teach the teachers?

Olympic geocaching ; updating our 2012 geocaches

HMS Warrior & Mary Rose – the historic dockyard in Portsmouth

Below are some of the links for our past work – have a peek. And get involved!!

BBC South Today – Geocaching clip

Example School Report bulletin – disclaimer: this is an online upload version for the website so poorer quality!

Live at BBC South Today
Live at BBC South Today
BBC South Today studio Southampton