Archive of: December, 2020

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introTextGetting outside is a breath of fresh air!
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With Covid restrictions preventing us from our usual factory or business trip, the F8 Geography crew were still keen to get some field work experience. After a few options were discussed, we decided on a river trip so the children could get some hands-on experience of measuring the speed of water around a meander. 

In class we prepared a number of wooden floats to send down the river, trying to keep them the same in order for fair test. 

IMG 3335

IMG 3334

IMG 3332

IMG 3333

Armed with our smart new floats, we set off up the River Almond.

20200922 101849

We stopped for a couple of group shots on the way.

IMG 3366

IMG 3403

Once we got to the meander, the children worked in groups to complete three tasks.

Flow velocity on the inside bend.

IMG 3374

IMG 3394

IMG 3379

        rightColBody

        Flow velocity on the outside bend.

        IMG 3446

        IMG 3434

        IMG 3410

        A field sketch to find evidence of erosion and deposition.

        MBMS8682

        IMG 3427

        IMG 3376

        After our morning in the field collecting data, the children made their way back to school to start their reports. Set out in sections, the children prepare a 1000-word document that is sent on to their secondary schools and which makes up 20% of their final Geography CE exam. There was some excellent analysis of the data, which accurately linked the slower water velocity on the inside bend to evidence of deposition. Likewise, the faster water on the outside was linked to clear evidence of erosion. 

        Although, for their fieldtrips, I tend to prefer taking the children somewhere where they can see ‘real people’ working and they can begin to get an idea of what working life is actually like for most people, it was a worthwhile trip. It gave the children the chance to do some learning outside of the classroom and showed them that there is lots to learn from what is around us in our everyday lives. We all enjoyed getting out into the woods and to spend the morning along the beautiful River Almond. 

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        perch_introTextGetting outside is a breath of fresh air!
        perch_image/cms/resources/img3394.jpg
        perch_imageAltCargilfield
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        With Covid restrictions preventing us from our usual factory or business trip, the F8 Geography crew were still keen to get some field work experience. After a few options were discussed, we decided on a river trip so the children could get some hands-on experience of measuring the speed of water around a meander. 

        In class we prepared a number of wooden floats to send down the river, trying to keep them the same in order for fair test. 

        IMG 3335

        IMG 3334

        IMG 3332

        IMG 3333

        Armed with our smart new floats, we set off up the River Almond.

        20200922 101849

        We stopped for a couple of group shots on the way.

        IMG 3366

        IMG 3403

        Once we got to the meander, the children worked in groups to complete three tasks.

        Flow velocity on the inside bend.

        IMG 3374

        IMG 3394

        IMG 3379

              perch_rightColBody

              Flow velocity on the outside bend.

              IMG 3446

              IMG 3434

              IMG 3410

              A field sketch to find evidence of erosion and deposition.

              MBMS8682

              IMG 3427

              IMG 3376

              After our morning in the field collecting data, the children made their way back to school to start their reports. Set out in sections, the children prepare a 1000-word document that is sent on to their secondary schools and which makes up 20% of their final Geography CE exam. There was some excellent analysis of the data, which accurately linked the slower water velocity on the inside bend to evidence of deposition. Likewise, the faster water on the outside was linked to clear evidence of erosion. 

              Although, for their fieldtrips, I tend to prefer taking the children somewhere where they can see ‘real people’ working and they can begin to get an idea of what working life is actually like for most people, it was a worthwhile trip. It gave the children the chance to do some learning outside of the classroom and showed them that there is lots to learn from what is around us in our everyday lives. We all enjoyed getting out into the woods and to spend the morning along the beautiful River Almond. 

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              Cargilfield

              Value of outdoor learning!

              Getting outside is a breath of fresh air!

              Read More


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              perch_page_path/teaching-and-learning/news/archive.php
              introTextWhat it means to be a teacher
              image/cms/resources/cargilfield-preparatory-school-7o7a9072-photograph-by-angus-bremnerc.jpg
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              leftColBody

              Have they got it?

              During the remote learning period, I found myself reflecting upon what it really meant to be a teacher. Whilst the dictionary defines teaching as simply “giving information about a particular subject to a class or pupil”, our job is so much more than this. We are employed to facilitate learning in pupils, a task far more complex than simply giving out information. This is one of the first lessons taught during teacher training – just because something has been taught, doesn’t mean that it has been learned.

              Teaching is, and should be, an interactive process, with staff using formative assessment data to adapt their lessons to the needs of the class and those of individual pupils. However, with up to 18 pupils, and a myriad of formative assessment methods, what is the best method of collecting this feedback from pupils? In this blog post, I will evaluate a number of formative assessment techniques, drawing on my experiences in the classroom.

              1. Questioning
              2. Self-assessment poll
              3. Short exam-style questions

                Questioning is perhaps the best-known formative assessment technique. However, the teacher faces a choice about which style of questioning to use. For example:

                1. Should an individual be chosen to answer, or should pupils be allowed to volunteer answers by putting their hand up?
                2. Should the pupils be allowed to discuss the question before giving an answer?
                3. Should mini-whiteboards be used to get answers from the whole class?

                  Personally, I feel that there is a place for all of these methods of questioning, although I tend to favour ‘cold-calling’ pupils, as this ensures that the whole class are actively engaged and attentive in the lesson. Following this, asking for another pupil to respond to the first answer gives another pupil the opportunity to disagree with, expand upon, or validate the first pupil’s response (the ‘pose, pause, pounce, bounce’ method). Mini-whiteboards are great for getting instant-whole class feedback; however, for explanation-based answers, they don’t quite hit the mark, with verbal explanations allowing more detail to be given. This is where group discussions support the explanations of all pupils, with groups coming up with a collaborative ‘perfect’ answer.

                  rightColBody

                  Self-assessment polls ask the pupils to show the teacher how confident they perceive themselves to be on a particular topic (using thumbs up/down/sideways or a similar method). This provides instant feedback to the member of staff, but requires pupils to be self-reflective and to feel comfortable admitting that they are finding something difficult. I recently observed a colleague using this method highly effectively, having clearly built up excellent relationships with her pupils. She built upon this by asking those who were less confident why this was the case (which aspect of the work were they finding challenging) before reassuring all of the pupils that it was absolutely fine to be finding the work difficult at this stage.

                  As pupils progress up the school, short exam-style questions allow pupils to practice their exam technique, whilst providing teachers with feedback on their knowledge of an individual topic. Having the pupils peer-assess these before asking the class as a whole how many marks they achieved and, perhaps more importantly, where they lost marks.

                  However, with all of these techniques, it is deciding what to do with the information which is important. Often, they will reveal a misconception, which can be quickly dealt with, but sometimes an area will need to be taught in an alternative way to ensure understanding by the whole class. Regardless of the feedback however, teachers are constantly adapting their lessons to facilitate the best possible learning outcomes for their pupils.

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                  perch_introTextWhat it means to be a teacher
                  perch_image/cms/resources/cargilfield-preparatory-school-7o7a9072-photograph-by-angus-bremnerc.jpg
                  perch_imageAltCargilfield
                  perch_leftColBody

                  Have they got it?

                  During the remote learning period, I found myself reflecting upon what it really meant to be a teacher. Whilst the dictionary defines teaching as simply “giving information about a particular subject to a class or pupil”, our job is so much more than this. We are employed to facilitate learning in pupils, a task far more complex than simply giving out information. This is one of the first lessons taught during teacher training – just because something has been taught, doesn’t mean that it has been learned.

                  Teaching is, and should be, an interactive process, with staff using formative assessment data to adapt their lessons to the needs of the class and those of individual pupils. However, with up to 18 pupils, and a myriad of formative assessment methods, what is the best method of collecting this feedback from pupils? In this blog post, I will evaluate a number of formative assessment techniques, drawing on my experiences in the classroom.

                  1. Questioning
                  2. Self-assessment poll
                  3. Short exam-style questions

                    Questioning is perhaps the best-known formative assessment technique. However, the teacher faces a choice about which style of questioning to use. For example:

                    1. Should an individual be chosen to answer, or should pupils be allowed to volunteer answers by putting their hand up?
                    2. Should the pupils be allowed to discuss the question before giving an answer?
                    3. Should mini-whiteboards be used to get answers from the whole class?

                      Personally, I feel that there is a place for all of these methods of questioning, although I tend to favour ‘cold-calling’ pupils, as this ensures that the whole class are actively engaged and attentive in the lesson. Following this, asking for another pupil to respond to the first answer gives another pupil the opportunity to disagree with, expand upon, or validate the first pupil’s response (the ‘pose, pause, pounce, bounce’ method). Mini-whiteboards are great for getting instant-whole class feedback; however, for explanation-based answers, they don’t quite hit the mark, with verbal explanations allowing more detail to be given. This is where group discussions support the explanations of all pupils, with groups coming up with a collaborative ‘perfect’ answer.

                      perch_rightColBody

                      Self-assessment polls ask the pupils to show the teacher how confident they perceive themselves to be on a particular topic (using thumbs up/down/sideways or a similar method). This provides instant feedback to the member of staff, but requires pupils to be self-reflective and to feel comfortable admitting that they are finding something difficult. I recently observed a colleague using this method highly effectively, having clearly built up excellent relationships with her pupils. She built upon this by asking those who were less confident why this was the case (which aspect of the work were they finding challenging) before reassuring all of the pupils that it was absolutely fine to be finding the work difficult at this stage.

                      As pupils progress up the school, short exam-style questions allow pupils to practice their exam technique, whilst providing teachers with feedback on their knowledge of an individual topic. Having the pupils peer-assess these before asking the class as a whole how many marks they achieved and, perhaps more importantly, where they lost marks.

                      However, with all of these techniques, it is deciding what to do with the information which is important. Often, they will reveal a misconception, which can be quickly dealt with, but sometimes an area will need to be taught in an alternative way to ensure understanding by the whole class. Regardless of the feedback however, teachers are constantly adapting their lessons to facilitate the best possible learning outcomes for their pupils.

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                      Cargilfield

                      Have they got it?

                      What it means to be a teacher

                      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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