Tag Archives: busy

Gosh four days without an update, how remiss of me

Well a change of attitude at the weekend saw me take more control of my situation. I would keep busy, do more things, useful ones. Stop being lazy and be helpful around the house.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday all positive days, some low points in conversations at home in the late evenings. Gardening – leaf collecting, drain clearing, drainpipe cleaning. Starting to rediscover outbuildings features with extreme gardening or just excuse by me – yesterday was in garden in shorts and sports sandals (top modestly covered). Shopping  – tumble dryer, cd/radios, did bits and bobs, sideboard, dining room chairs. Exploring centre of Poole without getting lost (in geography speak: exploring). Yesterday afternoon I attempted to kayak at Studland beach – not much distance but wet, cold and invigorated. Been to coach junior rowers on Monday. Actually completed majority of open rowing training on Tuesday. Walks around Studland bay – so a lot more positive.

This morning started well despite being awake from 5am, read book, did ironing, retail, went to direct a delivery Lorry which  drove up the footpath trail rather than main drive and passed me on its way out. Started to consider options for working outside and put some “feelers” out. Enquired about and booked self on open day about Outdoor Pursuits instructor course on next Autumn. But in trying a third place at 4pm to get mother in law a late paper, drove past “the” school, realised it was yr 7 parents evening where I “should” have been teaching and talking to parents. Lost plot, ranted openly on FB, lots of support messages from friends and also returned favour for some as well. Lost several hours but recovered for family to viewing of recorded show, although aspergers review of series one and catching up voiceover from armchair made it a burying at times. 

Now blogging and several jobs identified for tomorrow to stay busy.

Thanks for reading. Some canvas prints from pictures taken down here on my expensive camera (mobile phone actually).


September flies past …

The month of September seems to be disappearing rapidly. So why no blogging? I seem to be busier than ever and the first few weeks of term have been very busy:

Promethean Advocate application
– through Twitter I heard about this recruitment for keen Promethean users. I left it to close to the deadline, then submitted my case and current teaching examples that show I use my IWB and not an idealised example.
– the result – tell you when I know.

– invited to join a group of ICT keenies at a local pub on a Sunday evening for informal chat. It was great and now glad that although cool in the pub garden it was dry compared to this week. Lots of topics discussed including local proposed Teachmeets.

– another invite, this time to meet a local head teacher and a fellow tweep. The idea to propose an Essex teachmeet. We met on Monday 17/9/12. Now, just 6 days later, we have 19 presenters (/20) signed up and over half of our 100 tickets booked. The pace has been amazing and the calibre of colleagues we have drawn in promises a great evening.

– a new term, a shift from setting to mixed ability teaching. Group work and peer support has started well alongside the new school NU HOPE expectation strategy. Literacy emphasis in marking is starting to bear some fruition.

Staff CPD
– delivering IWB training to staff in-house. From beginners to experienced users seeking new tools like Tickertapes and timer tools.

Team building trip
– standing in for an absent colleague to lead 129 year 7s up the hill to a fun packed day of shelter building.

New clubs (not for MrWilshaw’s benefit but our students and mine)
– Digital Leaders issued with new laminated badges and lanyards. DLs also. Received their school leadership house ties. A matched training session so now we have 11 pupils with IWB training basics to support. New blood already appearing.

– ICT club – lets make more use of your links says Line manager- somehow I end up leading new ICT club- Scratch discovery session on Thursday was good.

– Rowing club – new termly meeting with London Youth Rowing and our aspirations for NJIRC in March 2013, new members and a club total of 2,000,000m plus by the end of July 2013.

…. So those have been “some” of the things I’ve been up to, so many points to expand on in future posts. All feedback gratefully received on here or @aknill on Twitter.

Dear readers I have sinned …

Yes, I have sinned! I have neglected my blog in the pursuit of multiple interests and now some catching up. So why so busy? Well as those who teach will know the summer holiday approaches in inverse proportion to the amount of activities attempted not helped by the current summer’s climatic conditions (it’s rained a lot).

Over the last five weeks I have been privileged to be allowed time at a number of Havering SIS (@haveringict) meetings for a mixture of reasons:

– Digital leaders; I have moved from promoting the idea of Digital Leaders in my own school to addressing two meetings of local primary ICT leaders and today I spoke to the corresponding secondary group as well.
I now have a co-ordinating role for the borough linking different phases together to share ideas, experiences and promote progression amongst our local pupils. The image below comes from my presentation on what forms the commitment will involve.


I have posted my first input in the Havering ICT blog and had an upto date photo taken – very surreal. I am contacted most days by Elm Park primary and their DL developments via Twitter (@EPPS_ICT). This initiative is great to be involved in.

My own DL team at Bower Park school have compiled two ICT use surveys in survey monkey which now have clearance to go live to staff and pupils so a direct comparison of perceptions about current use and future possibilities can be made. The resulting data will help to direct the work of our DLs from September.

– international links; see previous post – a chance to meet local primary colleagues again and identify opportunities to develop global links, including DLs. Elm Park primary again provided a magnificent example with a shared FaceTime session on iPad with Elm Park school in New Zealand during a Year 5 sleepover event.
My own links with the #geogsolo work showed how Twitter is a useful global tool allowing free CPD that shares new ideas on a scale previously unheard of.

– coding and programming; a new initiative between Havering and Redbridge with a link to Computing in Schools (CAS). This saw a meeting to start developing staff and pupil confidence in the use of coding in the manner identified by Mr Gove this year in the changing identity for ICT in our schools. It made me realise how lucky I had been to be exposed to this at University as I had at least some relevant experience. I look forward to this network drawing in teachers from other areas under the auspices of CAS and providing additional DL opportunities.

– Teachmeet East, 14/7/12; it seems a long time since I last spoke at a Teachmeet and this opportunity has allowed me to update my mishmash presentation including my wordle of current activities and the presentation is still incomplete!



– new technology in my classroom; the school has invested in replacement LCD projectors and Promethean Activboard 300s for those IWBs which were no longer operational but used by their teachers. The new board is being used actively immediately with the dual pen use feature allowing easier pupil recording of discussion outcomes, freeing me up to move around during subsequent tasks. The projectors provide a much clearer and brighter image which allows more natural light in the room as well. IPad use is glorious on the 95″ screen and new opportunities are opening up.

– Creative media week; this year the school specialist weeks linked to our specialist status and involving the whole school population in our production of The Tale of Two Cities. Activities divide into one day on: production ( making props, scenery), performance (drama aspects) and promotion ( advertising, programmes, ticket sales). Staff have offered a range of activities that run for between 2 and 3 lessons (1h 40m and 2h 30m).

I am delivering promotion work using the iPad apps of Puppet Pals HD and Sock Puppets to produce a promotional video – day one: some teenage reticence, some well planned pieces and developing skills in analysing examples of adverts for shows, using I- technology, developing storyboard planning, acting/ VoiceOver / narration, use of resources and photo editing, sound clips …oh and fun too.

– Mission Explore Food; finally, I think(?)! I belong to a group known as the Geocollective (@geocollective) who produce the Mission Explore books, website, and app. This was the launch of the latest book – flooding at the printers means paper copes will be launched in September, but e-versions are now available on Amazon and iBooks.

The launch was held at Hackney City Farm and a variety of activities linked to the book meant a fun packed afternoon was enjoyed by those attending.