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Group activity

  • Tony Greer published a blog post Mid Year Coordinators Update
    A brief reflection on our year so far as co-ordinators
  • Key Issues emerging- timely reading particularly for older children and their skills/access/ability that may not necessarily have the citizenship values, start with the protection and gradually teach them to protect themselves - remove the...
  • Jacqui Frost published a blog post Information Literacy Skills
    The Information Fluency Meeting and our lead teacher meeting have forced me question what our students think and what we take for granted that they know.  My generation grew up with encyclopaedias and talking to ‘experts’ to source...
  • Kate Dare published a blog post National Goal 3 Reflective Summary 2012
    The following is a summary of National Goal 3 for 2012 for the Mantar Cluster (Milestone 5). National Goal: Teachers to integrate e-learning effectively into their practice creating an innovative and exciting learning environment for all...
  • Tony Greer published a blog post Kath Murdoch PD Reflection
        The cluster teachers attended a fantastic session on Inquiry based Learning with Kath Murdoch at Marton School on 3.5.12. Upon discussion, all Lead Teachers found the PD very motivating and beneficial for their staff and where...
    • Sophia Douglas


      The Kath Murdoch professional development was an inspiring day for the staff at TES. The questions for prompts and learning conversations that Kath provided were one highlight of the day. In our new entrant room this gave a guide to add a selection of relevant starters to their thinking box. The thinking box mainly focuses on good questions, key words and do Bono’s thinking hats. We found the list provided on the Kath Murdoch day encourages children’s voice rather than teacher talk.

            Thinking Toolbox - TES Room 3    Room 3’s thinking tool box.

      Children being the centre of the learning and encouraging them to be inquisitive and want to discover things for themselves was another aspect taken from the day. Using the prompts of I wonder…, I see…, I think …have been used and will continue to be used within the school to help nurture our children’s way of thinking.

      Finally, the point that Kath made to remember to take time and make the most of the unexpected that can arise when working with children, was also taken on board. Too often we are caught up with getting through our timetables and teaching those core areas, not taking opportunities where real-life learning can occur. We had one such occasion in one of our rooms at TES. Their chrysalis had hatched and a monarch butterfly was discovered under a table. The class took the time to look closely at their new friend, taking photos and trying to release him. This prompted many ideas and questions from the children especially those children who are not always forthcoming with talk.

      Monarch Buttefly 1Monarch Butterfly 2

      Pictures of the Monarch that hatched in Room 5 – One of those teachable moments.

  • Tony Greer published a blog post Guidance for Teachers
    Over the year so far  Kate and I have put together several documents in order to assist all cluster staff members with new technologies and practices such as the VLN contributions and participating in/leading e-Shares. Examples...
  • Kate Dare published a blog post Information Literacy Skills
    Last term, Mantar Cluster PD has helped teachers develop their understanding around what information literacy skills are and how they can be planned for and used by learners and which will help our students develop high levels of information...
    • Tony Greer

      Impact at Somerset Crescent.

      This PD was also valuable and timely for staff at Somerset Cres. The Information Fluency/Literacy components have been directly imported into the planning format that we use when preparing our Inquiry topics. Teachers fedback on the use of this and said it was user friendly and good to have the key info lit points there to keep them in their mind when planning and designing programmes for their learners.

      SCS Inquiry Planning Format

      Also revised was the whole inquiry process that we use here and the breakdown of what students and teachers can be doing at each phase of any given inquiry. Key words and concepts of information literacy are incorporated throughout this document to serve again as a guide and focus for teachers during inquiry planning.

      Inquiry Rocks!



    • Sophia Douglas


      The national library professional development was good learning for the staff at Terrace End school. Having skills that children needed to learn to become information literate, outlined was helpful to all and gave some specific teaching focus for our teachers during inquiry. However, the different search engines that were provided at the workshop were what made the biggest impact on our staff. Having more than just google available to search for information was new learning to our staff and being able to browse these sites during the workshop was good visual learning.
      Our SENCO has discussed how they would benefit our ESOL children and these sites are currently in the process of being introduced to these children. The following blog posting further outlines what our teachers gained from the PD.



    • Jacqui Frost

      I was not part of the National Library Workshop.

      The Information Fluency Meeting and our lead teacher meeting have forced me question what our students think and what we take for granted that they know.  My generation grew up with encyclopaedias and talking to ‘experts’ to source information.  We have watched the internet evolve into a source of information. We have seen it created and taken part in making it the tool it is today.  We forget that for our students is has always been a part of their life.  That they don’t question the authenticity of information or the motives behind the search engines. This has led us to question the students about what they inherently believe about some of our tools and to challenge some their thinking.  This is enabling them to think in a more critical manner and not just take things at face value. (I am aware that this is something that we need to apply to all our students understanding, don’t take for granted that the students know something). Triangulation is a big part of this and some of the learning around this has been really useful.


  • Kate Dare published a blog post E-Shares
    This term the Mantar Cluster has introduced e-shares as a way of sharing good e-learning practice across the Cluster. E-shares are workshops where e-learning practice is shared by teachers. One school hosts and a number of teachers share each time....