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introTextFinding new ways to teach!
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In normal circumstances before the coronavirus pandemic, a highlight this term for P2 has been our trip to Craigmillar Castle. One of our topics for this term is castles and as a teacher I’ve always thought: what better way for children to learn about the different features of a castle from battlements to moats to crenelations than to see them in real life and at full scale. The visit to Craigmillar Castle always presented a wonderful opportunity for the children to experience a medieval castle first hand. It has been a tradition for several years now to collaboratewith Castleview Primary School on this trip. The Castleview children have done live reenactments of castle life in the past and have been incredible, fully costumed tour guides for their Cargilfield contemporaries. 

With the above in mind, the Coronavirus pandemic and its consequent limit on school trips posed a unique challenge for us in P2. How do you bring castles to life, off smartboards and out of picture books without leaving your classroom or your COVID bubble? How do you teach castles when your class has a limited understanding of castles on which to ‘peg’ their learning? 

Our solution: through creative art. Over the past few weeks P2 have been reusing all sorts of materials from toilet rolls to cereal boxes to create their very own castles. They have learned about castles as they have made them themselves. They have learned about crenelations as they cut them out; they have learned about drawbridges as they lowered them themselves and; they have learned about moats as they got out the paintbrushes, painted them and added shreds of blue cellophane with a touch of ‘bling’. 

As we have been building these castles, I have had a key lesson reinforced in my mind. Children learn best when they are enjoying themselves. Learning takes root in the excitement and imagination of creating. Learning is in the conversations that bubble up as they describe their designs to their peers. Art should never be viewed as separate from learning. Art and creativity should be viewed as another tool at a teacher’s disposal to help children learn better.

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In normal circumstances before the coronavirus pandemic, a highlight this term for P2 has been our trip to Craigmillar Castle. One of our topics for this term is castles and as a teacher I’ve always thought: what better way for children to learn about the different features of a castle from battlements to moats to crenelations than to see them in real life and at full scale. The visit to Craigmillar Castle always presented a wonderful opportunity for the children to experience a medieval castle first hand. It has been a tradition for several years now to collaboratewith Castleview Primary School on this trip. The Castleview children have done live reenactments of castle life in the past and have been incredible, fully costumed tour guides for their Cargilfield contemporaries. 

With the above in mind, the Coronavirus pandemic and its consequent limit on school trips posed a unique challenge for us in P2. How do you bring castles to life, off smartboards and out of picture books without leaving your classroom or your COVID bubble? How do you teach castles when your class has a limited understanding of castles on which to ‘peg’ their learning? 

Our solution: through creative art. Over the past few weeks P2 have been reusing all sorts of materials from toilet rolls to cereal boxes to create their very own castles. They have learned about castles as they have made them themselves. They have learned about crenelations as they cut them out; they have learned about drawbridges as they lowered them themselves and; they have learned about moats as they got out the paintbrushes, painted them and added shreds of blue cellophane with a touch of ‘bling’. 

As we have been building these castles, I have had a key lesson reinforced in my mind. Children learn best when they are enjoying themselves. Learning takes root in the excitement and imagination of creating. Learning is in the conversations that bubble up as they describe their designs to their peers. Art should never be viewed as separate from learning. Art and creativity should be viewed as another tool at a teacher’s disposal to help children learn better.

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Cargilfield

Importance of art and fun in learning

Finding new ways to teach!

Read More


Posted on

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perch_page_path/teaching-and-learning/news/archive.php
introTextMaking Maths fun!
image/cms/resources/problem-solving.jpg
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One of the most enjoyable aspects of mathematics teaching is working with pupils on Puzzles and Investigations. Witnessing young minds grappling with puzzles and teasers and seeing the eventual joy at solving a problem is very rewarding for us teachers. 

Mathematical problem-solving skills are recognised as fundamental to a solid mathematics education and is one of the three core aims of the 2014 National Curriculum for Mathematics. It requires that pupils ‘can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety or routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions,’

Here at Cargilfield we think that problem solving should be a core focus on mathematical teaching.

Furthermore, the wider benefits of teaching children problem solving in maths can be seen when considering how problem-solving skills in maths are actually thinking skills that can be widely applied to other areas of learning, working and living. It is a widely held opinion by experts in this field, that not only does mathematics develop logical, deductive reasoning but - somewhat surprisingly - engagement with this subject can also foster creativity. Therefore, mathematics is an important context for developing problem-solving strategies that potentially have significance in all areas of human activity.

There are roughly 5 different types of problem in maths and these cover the range of skills that children need to practise repeatedly and explicitly in order to become excellent problem solvers. 

· Trial and improvement 

· Working systematically 

· Pattern spotting 

· Working backwards 

· Reasoning logically 

· Visualising 

· Conjecturing

All very jargony!!

Some simple problems to explain some of the above strands

Problem 1 - Rows of Coins

Take five coins:  1p, 2p, 5p, 10p and 20p.

Put them in a row using these clues.

The total of the first three coins is 27p.

The total of the last three coins is 31p.

The last coin is double the value of the first coin.

(This example can be seen as a simple Trial and improvement and Reasoning logically problem)

Younger children, especially, can look at a problem like this and panic a little. They tend to want to write the correct answer in one go and therefore not be comfortable having an attempt at the solution. First attempts can sometimes even be rubbed out leaving the correct solution!

Three important skills teachers should be assessing their pupils on and striving to improve are :-

1)  Can the child make an attempt at the start of an investigation?

2)  Can the child keep trying for a prolonged period of time, despite not having success?

3)     When stuck, can the child be able to try different approaches?


    Problem 1

    First attempt -   20p, 2p, 5p,      10p, 1p            using the fact that 27p is total for first three. 

    Doesn’t work for other clues.

    Second attempt – 2p, 5p,       20p, 10p, 1p      this satisfies the first and second clue.

    Doesn’t work for the third clue. 

    Third, fourth, fifth attempts – at this stage the 20p is fixed in the middle and combinations of 2p, 5p  on the left, can be written down with combinations of 1p and 10p on the right to satisfy the last clue.

    Of course, the pupils can by-pass a few Trial and improvement attempts by noticing that with 2p and 5p on the left and 10p and 1p on the right, that only 10p is double 5p will work.

    Interestingly, at the start, pupils who have a “feel” for numbers would recognise that the totals for the first three numbers and last three numbers would mean that 20p is “double counted” so has to be in the centre.

    Total for first three = 27p      Total for last three = 31p        Total for five coins = 38p

    Total for first three added to total for last three = 27p + 31p = 58p

    58 – 38p = 20p      The 20p has been “double counted” and therefore must be in the centre.

    (This is a skill widely used for Venn diagram problems with intersections.


    For example:       Of 50 pupils surveyed, 36 pupils play football and 29 play basketball.

    How many play both?     (36 + 29) – 50 = 15

    Solution:    21 play only football, 15 play both and 14 play only basketball)


    This simple coin problem can be seen to have tested Trail and improvement and Reasoning logically from the list above.

    (Solution - 5p, 2p, 20p, 1p, 10p)


    rightColBody


    Problem 3 – Roly Poly

    The dots on opposite faces of a die add up to 7.

    Part 1

    Imagine rolling one die.

    The score is the total number of dots you can see.

    You score 17.

    Which number is face down?

    How did you work out your answer?

    Part 2

    Imagine rolling two dice.

    The dice do not touch each other.

    The score is the total of dots you can see.

    Which numbers are face down to score 30?

    (This example can be seen as a simple Trial and improvement but possibly better to use Working backwards)

    Playing board games with dice is maybe a dying activity for some youngsters. 

    The knowledge that opposite faces add to 7 and that the probability of scoring a double with two dice is the same as the probability of scoring a six with one die, comes more easily to children playing lots of board games. (Backgammon is another blog, maybe!)

    Looking at this problem, the possibilities for the six faces can be written out:

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 

    and five numbers can be randomly added to try to get to 17.

    This is Trial and improvement but not too elegant!

    Better to look at the total of the six faces. 

    This is of course 21    3 x 7 from three pairs of opposite sides or if they are mindful of their triangular numbers, the sum of the first six consecutive numbers.

    Working backwards from 21 we have lost a 4 which makes the total of 17.

    Therefore 4 is face down.

    Part 2 is just an extension with 2 x 21 – 30 = 12.

    The only two faces adding to 12 are the 6 and the other 6.

    These problems can be extended to use more dice where the Trial and improvement would become too cumbersome and maybe using dominoes instead of dice.

    With practice the pupils become braver, more resilient and less concerned about making mistakes and writing down “wrong” answers – these “wrong” answers are of course just stepping stones to the final solution!

    Problem for Parents

    Money Bags

    Sam divided 15 pennies among four small bags.

    He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p, by handing over one or more bags, without opening any bag.

    How many pennies did Sam put in each bag?

    ** Repeat the question but with 1023 pennies and 10 bags!! **

    RF

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    perch_introTextMaking Maths fun!
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    One of the most enjoyable aspects of mathematics teaching is working with pupils on Puzzles and Investigations. Witnessing young minds grappling with puzzles and teasers and seeing the eventual joy at solving a problem is very rewarding for us teachers. 

    Mathematical problem-solving skills are recognised as fundamental to a solid mathematics education and is one of the three core aims of the 2014 National Curriculum for Mathematics. It requires that pupils ‘can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety or routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions,’

    Here at Cargilfield we think that problem solving should be a core focus on mathematical teaching.

    Furthermore, the wider benefits of teaching children problem solving in maths can be seen when considering how problem-solving skills in maths are actually thinking skills that can be widely applied to other areas of learning, working and living. It is a widely held opinion by experts in this field, that not only does mathematics develop logical, deductive reasoning but - somewhat surprisingly - engagement with this subject can also foster creativity. Therefore, mathematics is an important context for developing problem-solving strategies that potentially have significance in all areas of human activity.

    There are roughly 5 different types of problem in maths and these cover the range of skills that children need to practise repeatedly and explicitly in order to become excellent problem solvers. 

    · Trial and improvement 

    · Working systematically 

    · Pattern spotting 

    · Working backwards 

    · Reasoning logically 

    · Visualising 

    · Conjecturing

    All very jargony!!

    Some simple problems to explain some of the above strands

    Problem 1 - Rows of Coins

    Take five coins:  1p, 2p, 5p, 10p and 20p.

    Put them in a row using these clues.

    The total of the first three coins is 27p.

    The total of the last three coins is 31p.

    The last coin is double the value of the first coin.

    (This example can be seen as a simple Trial and improvement and Reasoning logically problem)

    Younger children, especially, can look at a problem like this and panic a little. They tend to want to write the correct answer in one go and therefore not be comfortable having an attempt at the solution. First attempts can sometimes even be rubbed out leaving the correct solution!

    Three important skills teachers should be assessing their pupils on and striving to improve are :-

    1)  Can the child make an attempt at the start of an investigation?

    2)  Can the child keep trying for a prolonged period of time, despite not having success?

    3)     When stuck, can the child be able to try different approaches?


      Problem 1

      First attempt -   20p, 2p, 5p,      10p, 1p            using the fact that 27p is total for first three. 

      Doesn’t work for other clues.

      Second attempt – 2p, 5p,       20p, 10p, 1p      this satisfies the first and second clue.

      Doesn’t work for the third clue. 

      Third, fourth, fifth attempts – at this stage the 20p is fixed in the middle and combinations of 2p, 5p  on the left, can be written down with combinations of 1p and 10p on the right to satisfy the last clue.

      Of course, the pupils can by-pass a few Trial and improvement attempts by noticing that with 2p and 5p on the left and 10p and 1p on the right, that only 10p is double 5p will work.

      Interestingly, at the start, pupils who have a “feel” for numbers would recognise that the totals for the first three numbers and last three numbers would mean that 20p is “double counted” so has to be in the centre.

      Total for first three = 27p      Total for last three = 31p        Total for five coins = 38p

      Total for first three added to total for last three = 27p + 31p = 58p

      58 – 38p = 20p      The 20p has been “double counted” and therefore must be in the centre.

      (This is a skill widely used for Venn diagram problems with intersections.


      For example:       Of 50 pupils surveyed, 36 pupils play football and 29 play basketball.

      How many play both?     (36 + 29) – 50 = 15

      Solution:    21 play only football, 15 play both and 14 play only basketball)


      This simple coin problem can be seen to have tested Trail and improvement and Reasoning logically from the list above.

      (Solution - 5p, 2p, 20p, 1p, 10p)


      perch_rightColBody


      Problem 3 – Roly Poly

      The dots on opposite faces of a die add up to 7.

      Part 1

      Imagine rolling one die.

      The score is the total number of dots you can see.

      You score 17.

      Which number is face down?

      How did you work out your answer?

      Part 2

      Imagine rolling two dice.

      The dice do not touch each other.

      The score is the total of dots you can see.

      Which numbers are face down to score 30?

      (This example can be seen as a simple Trial and improvement but possibly better to use Working backwards)

      Playing board games with dice is maybe a dying activity for some youngsters. 

      The knowledge that opposite faces add to 7 and that the probability of scoring a double with two dice is the same as the probability of scoring a six with one die, comes more easily to children playing lots of board games. (Backgammon is another blog, maybe!)

      Looking at this problem, the possibilities for the six faces can be written out:

      1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 

      and five numbers can be randomly added to try to get to 17.

      This is Trial and improvement but not too elegant!

      Better to look at the total of the six faces. 

      This is of course 21    3 x 7 from three pairs of opposite sides or if they are mindful of their triangular numbers, the sum of the first six consecutive numbers.

      Working backwards from 21 we have lost a 4 which makes the total of 17.

      Therefore 4 is face down.

      Part 2 is just an extension with 2 x 21 – 30 = 12.

      The only two faces adding to 12 are the 6 and the other 6.

      These problems can be extended to use more dice where the Trial and improvement would become too cumbersome and maybe using dominoes instead of dice.

      With practice the pupils become braver, more resilient and less concerned about making mistakes and writing down “wrong” answers – these “wrong” answers are of course just stepping stones to the final solution!

      Problem for Parents

      Money Bags

      Sam divided 15 pennies among four small bags.

      He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p, by handing over one or more bags, without opening any bag.

      How many pennies did Sam put in each bag?

      ** Repeat the question but with 1023 pennies and 10 bags!! **

      RF

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      Cargilfield

      Puzzles and Investigations

      Making Maths fun!

      Read More


      Posted on

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      introTextGiving children the chance to speak
      image/cms/resources/cargilfield-preparatory-school-7o7a8654-photograph-by-angus-bremner.jpg
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      We all enjoy a good catch up with friends and family; staying connected and putting the world to rights. Especially within the current climate when face to face contact is limited and more people than ever are communicating though virtual mediums. As adults we speak without giving much thought to the process; dialogue just flows as we open our mouth and speak. However, for children this process isn’t quite as easy and from that first gasp of breath, children need to be taught how to talk.

      Talking to children frequently from the day they are born is one of the most important ways to help them be prepared for school. A famous study conducted by researchers Hart and Risley, found a positive correlation between the number of words a 3-year-old child hears and their literacy development, often referred to as the “word gap.” The Hart and Risley study, and others completed since, have established a connection between poor early literacy skills and lifelong academic challenges.

      It also identified that there is a 30-million-word gap between children in a language-rich home environment compared to children in a language-deficient home environment. Furthermore, the more parents talked to their children, the faster the children’s vocabularies were growing and the higher the children’s IQ test scores were at the age of 3 and later.

      Put simply, the more words a child hears, the more prepared they are when they enter school. By the age of 8, children who hear more words tend to have bigger vocabularies, be stronger readers and perform better on tests.

      So, how can we ensure that our children are immersed in a language rich environment?

      Tune in, talk more and take turns.

      Tune in by paying attention to what your child is communicating to you. 

      Talk more with your child using descriptive words to build their vocabulary. 

      Take turns by encouraging your child to respond to your words and actions. 

      If you find that your child is struggling with areas of speech and language, the important thing to remember is that it’s never too late. There are many avenues available to support and encourage your child’s language including the NHS Lothian’s website “lets-talk” and specialist speech and language therapist. 

      Here is a summary of their top tips:

      Demonstrate the right way to say a word

      Repeat what your child says in the correct speech model. Children need to feel relaxed and confident in order to experiment with sounds, so avoid asking them to repeat your pronunciation of words.

      Don’t pretend to understand

      If your child is not clear, try asking questions; Saying “show me.”

      rightColBody

      Encourage the use of gestures alongside saying the word

      Remember that it is normal for young children to use natural gestures. Research

      shows that only 2% of information from very young children is carried by the words.

      Follow your child’s lead

      Make a “special time” when you know you have 15-20 minutes to really focus your attention on them and their communication

      Responding to your child’s signals

      In your special time ensure you are at the same level as your child, to capture their attention and to find out what is fun for them.

      Interpret

      Interpret what your child is trying to say and say it as they would, if they could.

      Match + one

      Copy what your child says in their sentence and add one more word as you repeat it back to them.

      Repeat, repeat, repeat

      It requires thousands of repetitions before a child says their first word and it requires hundreds of repetitions for the next 50 words. However, it can only require 1-2 repetitions for new words to be learnt once a child has their initial 200. 

      Leaving gaps

      Leave gaps in sentences and songs, allowing your child to say the word. If they don’t’ respond then say the word for them.

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      We all enjoy a good catch up with friends and family; staying connected and putting the world to rights. Especially within the current climate when face to face contact is limited and more people than ever are communicating though virtual mediums. As adults we speak without giving much thought to the process; dialogue just flows as we open our mouth and speak. However, for children this process isn’t quite as easy and from that first gasp of breath, children need to be taught how to talk.

      Talking to children frequently from the day they are born is one of the most important ways to help them be prepared for school. A famous study conducted by researchers Hart and Risley, found a positive correlation between the number of words a 3-year-old child hears and their literacy development, often referred to as the “word gap.” The Hart and Risley study, and others completed since, have established a connection between poor early literacy skills and lifelong academic challenges.

      It also identified that there is a 30-million-word gap between children in a language-rich home environment compared to children in a language-deficient home environment. Furthermore, the more parents talked to their children, the faster the children’s vocabularies were growing and the higher the children’s IQ test scores were at the age of 3 and later.

      Put simply, the more words a child hears, the more prepared they are when they enter school. By the age of 8, children who hear more words tend to have bigger vocabularies, be stronger readers and perform better on tests.

      So, how can we ensure that our children are immersed in a language rich environment?

      Tune in, talk more and take turns.

      Tune in by paying attention to what your child is communicating to you. 

      Talk more with your child using descriptive words to build their vocabulary. 

      Take turns by encouraging your child to respond to your words and actions. 

      If you find that your child is struggling with areas of speech and language, the important thing to remember is that it’s never too late. There are many avenues available to support and encourage your child’s language including the NHS Lothian’s website “lets-talk” and specialist speech and language therapist. 

      Here is a summary of their top tips:

      Demonstrate the right way to say a word

      Repeat what your child says in the correct speech model. Children need to feel relaxed and confident in order to experiment with sounds, so avoid asking them to repeat your pronunciation of words.

      Don’t pretend to understand

      If your child is not clear, try asking questions; Saying “show me.”

      perch_rightColBody

      Encourage the use of gestures alongside saying the word

      Remember that it is normal for young children to use natural gestures. Research

      shows that only 2% of information from very young children is carried by the words.

      Follow your child’s lead

      Make a “special time” when you know you have 15-20 minutes to really focus your attention on them and their communication

      Responding to your child’s signals

      In your special time ensure you are at the same level as your child, to capture their attention and to find out what is fun for them.

      Interpret

      Interpret what your child is trying to say and say it as they would, if they could.

      Match + one

      Copy what your child says in their sentence and add one more word as you repeat it back to them.

      Repeat, repeat, repeat

      It requires thousands of repetitions before a child says their first word and it requires hundreds of repetitions for the next 50 words. However, it can only require 1-2 repetitions for new words to be learnt once a child has their initial 200. 

      Leaving gaps

      Leave gaps in sentences and songs, allowing your child to say the word. If they don’t’ respond then say the word for them.

      perch_signoff
      perch_og_titleIt's good to talk!
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      Cargilfield

      It's good to talk!

      Giving children the chance to speak

      Read More


      Posted on

      IDValue
      perch_page_path/teaching-and-learning/news/archive.php
      introTextSwitching off is important
      image/cms/resources/img20200716154804.jpg
      imageAltCargilfield
      leftColBody

      If you are wondering what remote learning looked like from a teacher’s point of view, I will not be able to help you. Everyone is different and everyone was in a different situation, however, teachers had a few common enemies: managing all the technical aspects of remote learning, not able to open pdf documents, changing formats, printing, communicating via videos, being on time (if your computers allows it) for a lessons, marking online blurred pictures… Here are some struggles most teachers (and for pupils for some of these issues) have had during the lockdown. Learning and teaching are already difficult but doing it remotely throws new difficulties in the pot. One of the positives was having to rethink how you teach, your method, find new ways of teaching interactively. But when you have to also deal with headaches and eye aches due to the number of hours spent in front of screen, the positive aspects become very small and it is sanity that you are focusing on. 

      In the end, with some getting use to, we all managed to step up our game and we kept the teaching and learning going for the children. Because, yes, in the end, what we really cared about as teachers are the children and how to help them cope with our subjects.

      All these issues made me think a lot about all the mindfulness sessions we had in class. How do you keep calm (and sane) when everything is changing around you? A lot of words were coming up in my mind and in emails: anxiety, stress. For some people, the breathing exercises work but for me it does not really (I tend to do my shopping list instead). So, what do you do then? There is no magical way, but I can tell you what ended up working for me. 

      To start with, I decided I would deal with one problem at a time. The main one being that I needed to stay away from any screens, therefore, like many others, I dig for puzzles in my closet, I also cooked a lot more. The later was to give back to my neighbours who were taking care of my hips by leaving cakes at my door (best neighbours to have during a lockdown). But when your fridge is full and you do not have any space left on your tables, then you need something else. So, I looked into fixing another issue for me: keep on fit. I researched online what people could do during lockdown. Online fitness classes were a big thing so I asked a friend if I could trial some of his class (he is the coach). I quickly realised it was not for me as everybody was talking at the same time during the class and it stressed me more than relaxed me (it took a while for gym coach to realise there was a mute button on zoom). Walking was another big one online, so I walked a bit every day, got some fresh air but being limited in distances and weather depending, something more reliable was needed. I kept on looking. I finally ended up seeing an advertisement for embroidery and for me it clicked then. Being creative is my mindfulness! 

      rightColBody

      So, I started embroidering on loops, and realised that giving to others had a satisfying and positive effect. As I cannot hang everything in my flat, I gave everything I would make to friends or neighbours. Little messages left at their doors (it would be better appreciated than my cooking I thought). I tried to create funny things to give people a smile. That’s my way of being mindful for me and to others. I then upgraded to epoxy resin, polymer clay to make objects, with Form 8 we had a stop motion team online, etc. And that was it, I was relaxed and would just sit and create. 

      In August I was so pleased to go back to school and see pupils and colleagues again but quite disappointed that clubs were not going to start again. I was hoping to show children what they can do to relax at home if a lockdown starts again and especially if the other mindful techniques learned in class do not work for them. I also hoped they would show me some of their crafts done during lockdown as I know we have many creative minds at school. So , here we are now, waiting for clubs to start again and all hoping that we will not get back to remote learning.

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      perch_introTextSwitching off is important
      perch_image/cms/resources/img20200716154804.jpg
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      If you are wondering what remote learning looked like from a teacher’s point of view, I will not be able to help you. Everyone is different and everyone was in a different situation, however, teachers had a few common enemies: managing all the technical aspects of remote learning, not able to open pdf documents, changing formats, printing, communicating via videos, being on time (if your computers allows it) for a lessons, marking online blurred pictures… Here are some struggles most teachers (and for pupils for some of these issues) have had during the lockdown. Learning and teaching are already difficult but doing it remotely throws new difficulties in the pot. One of the positives was having to rethink how you teach, your method, find new ways of teaching interactively. But when you have to also deal with headaches and eye aches due to the number of hours spent in front of screen, the positive aspects become very small and it is sanity that you are focusing on. 

      In the end, with some getting use to, we all managed to step up our game and we kept the teaching and learning going for the children. Because, yes, in the end, what we really cared about as teachers are the children and how to help them cope with our subjects.

      All these issues made me think a lot about all the mindfulness sessions we had in class. How do you keep calm (and sane) when everything is changing around you? A lot of words were coming up in my mind and in emails: anxiety, stress. For some people, the breathing exercises work but for me it does not really (I tend to do my shopping list instead). So, what do you do then? There is no magical way, but I can tell you what ended up working for me. 

      To start with, I decided I would deal with one problem at a time. The main one being that I needed to stay away from any screens, therefore, like many others, I dig for puzzles in my closet, I also cooked a lot more. The later was to give back to my neighbours who were taking care of my hips by leaving cakes at my door (best neighbours to have during a lockdown). But when your fridge is full and you do not have any space left on your tables, then you need something else. So, I looked into fixing another issue for me: keep on fit. I researched online what people could do during lockdown. Online fitness classes were a big thing so I asked a friend if I could trial some of his class (he is the coach). I quickly realised it was not for me as everybody was talking at the same time during the class and it stressed me more than relaxed me (it took a while for gym coach to realise there was a mute button on zoom). Walking was another big one online, so I walked a bit every day, got some fresh air but being limited in distances and weather depending, something more reliable was needed. I kept on looking. I finally ended up seeing an advertisement for embroidery and for me it clicked then. Being creative is my mindfulness! 

      perch_rightColBody

      So, I started embroidering on loops, and realised that giving to others had a satisfying and positive effect. As I cannot hang everything in my flat, I gave everything I would make to friends or neighbours. Little messages left at their doors (it would be better appreciated than my cooking I thought). I tried to create funny things to give people a smile. That’s my way of being mindful for me and to others. I then upgraded to epoxy resin, polymer clay to make objects, with Form 8 we had a stop motion team online, etc. And that was it, I was relaxed and would just sit and create. 

      In August I was so pleased to go back to school and see pupils and colleagues again but quite disappointed that clubs were not going to start again. I was hoping to show children what they can do to relax at home if a lockdown starts again and especially if the other mindful techniques learned in class do not work for them. I also hoped they would show me some of their crafts done during lockdown as I know we have many creative minds at school. So , here we are now, waiting for clubs to start again and all hoping that we will not get back to remote learning.

      IMG 20201029 122511 245

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      Cargilfield

      Being Mindful

      Switching off is important

      Read More


      Posted on

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      perch_page_path/teaching-and-learning/news/archive.php
      introTextSome useful strategies to follow
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      Developing Confidence for Common Entrance Maths

      Most students at Cargilfield are working towards sitting a Common Entrance maths exam in Form 8 and, although their mathematical journey begins many years earlier, in this blog I’d like to briefly reflect on their final three years and consider the path they take between Form 6 and their final examination in Form 8 and suggest some steps which can help your children as they go through these stages to complement the work they are doing in the classroom. If you only have 2 minutes then feel free to skip to the summary points at the bottom!

      In Form 6 we begin to target the ISEB 13+ syllabus, with branches of maths such as algebra coming to the fore and further operations with decimals and fractions, and of course negative numbers, ratio and many, many more topics.  We then continue to build on these areas into Form 7, finishing the syllabus in the first part of Form 8, which then allows time to develop experience and shore up any wobbly areas in the time that remains.

      For many children, their level of confidence has the biggest impact on their success in the subject but, in turn, success typically leads more confidence too.  At the start of Form 6, knowledge of the times tables can have a tremendous impact on their level of confidence and revisiting these on a regular basis with ‘top-up’ revision stints can bring valuable returns in the classroom.  With this basic addition and subtraction (e.g. 9 + 7  or  15 −8) can also boost a students assurance when tackling more complex problems.  The www.mymaths.co.ukwebsite is a great place to practise some of these skills for 15 minutes on the weekend or during the holidays.

      In Form 7 further formulae are introduced and ensuring they know these fluently will once again boost their self-belief since they know the starting point for calculating areas, circumference, speed or volume. Flash cards work particularly well for learning formulae and keeping a set of these in their pencil case (and perhaps a second set at home) means they can easily flip through these each day.

      In Form 8, ‘Quick Tens’ are made available to the students.  These comprise of short exercises tackling the basic problems which will certainly come up in a Common Entrance paper.  Doing a Quick Ten as often as possible will ensure that the children remain confident in the foundational strategies.  We encourage the Form 8’s to allocate revision time each week to their maths just as they would other subjects. The www.mymaths.co.uk website is great for working through any topics they know they find more difficult.

      At all levels, the children can always ask their teacher if they don’t understand anything and need an extra explanation.

      In conclusion, here is a summary of some out-of-classroom activities to help develop confidence:

      •   Form 5/6 - practise times tables every week (daily if necessary) - www.mymaths.co.uk
      •   Form 7 - learn formulae using flashcards, ensure times tables are quickly recalled.
      •       Form 8 - Quick 10s each week and some during holidays too.
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      perch_introTextSome useful strategies to follow
      perch_image/cms/resources/maths4.jpg
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      Developing Confidence for Common Entrance Maths

      Most students at Cargilfield are working towards sitting a Common Entrance maths exam in Form 8 and, although their mathematical journey begins many years earlier, in this blog I’d like to briefly reflect on their final three years and consider the path they take between Form 6 and their final examination in Form 8 and suggest some steps which can help your children as they go through these stages to complement the work they are doing in the classroom. If you only have 2 minutes then feel free to skip to the summary points at the bottom!

      In Form 6 we begin to target the ISEB 13+ syllabus, with branches of maths such as algebra coming to the fore and further operations with decimals and fractions, and of course negative numbers, ratio and many, many more topics.  We then continue to build on these areas into Form 7, finishing the syllabus in the first part of Form 8, which then allows time to develop experience and shore up any wobbly areas in the time that remains.

      For many children, their level of confidence has the biggest impact on their success in the subject but, in turn, success typically leads more confidence too.  At the start of Form 6, knowledge of the times tables can have a tremendous impact on their level of confidence and revisiting these on a regular basis with ‘top-up’ revision stints can bring valuable returns in the classroom.  With this basic addition and subtraction (e.g. 9 + 7  or  15 −8) can also boost a students assurance when tackling more complex problems.  The www.mymaths.co.ukwebsite is a great place to practise some of these skills for 15 minutes on the weekend or during the holidays.

      In Form 7 further formulae are introduced and ensuring they know these fluently will once again boost their self-belief since they know the starting point for calculating areas, circumference, speed or volume. Flash cards work particularly well for learning formulae and keeping a set of these in their pencil case (and perhaps a second set at home) means they can easily flip through these each day.

      In Form 8, ‘Quick Tens’ are made available to the students.  These comprise of short exercises tackling the basic problems which will certainly come up in a Common Entrance paper.  Doing a Quick Ten as often as possible will ensure that the children remain confident in the foundational strategies.  We encourage the Form 8’s to allocate revision time each week to their maths just as they would other subjects. The www.mymaths.co.uk website is great for working through any topics they know they find more difficult.

      At all levels, the children can always ask their teacher if they don’t understand anything and need an extra explanation.

      In conclusion, here is a summary of some out-of-classroom activities to help develop confidence:

      •   Form 5/6 - practise times tables every week (daily if necessary) - www.mymaths.co.uk
      •   Form 7 - learn formulae using flashcards, ensure times tables are quickly recalled.
      •       Form 8 - Quick 10s each week and some during holidays too.
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      Cargilfield

      Developing Confidence for Common Entrance Maths

      Some useful strategies to follow

      Read More


      Posted on

      Cargilfield where everyday is an adventure

      Welcome to Cargilfield! We hope this short film gives you a glimpse of what life is like for the girls and boys at our school. We would love to welcome you in person to tour Cargilfield and explain more fully exactly what makes a Cargilfield education so special and so different. Please get in touch with Fiona Craig, our Registrar if you would like to find out more; her email address is [email protected] or you can telephone her on 0131 336 2207.

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