Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Working together...

I really value the way that there are lots of opportunities to work together at Bradbury- for both staff and students.

It is great to be able to work as a team, to spark ideas off each other and to get instant feedback!

If I think about the ways just within the last 24 hours that I have been a part of a team, there is last night's PTA meeting, a meeting with a parent, working with a Year 6 group giving feedback on their Exhibition survey, visiting a Year 2 maths group and getting involved with their learning, popping my head into Year 1's collaborative planning session and working with Mr Fennelly on our final papers for submission to the CIS and IB, ready for our accreditation visit in May.

This is hardly an exhaustive list, basically, I just like to think that 'teamwork' is simply the way we do things here!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Using technology to make music

One big regret that I have is that I never learned to play an instrument. As much as I would like to think being able to play seven chords on a guitar counts, the reality is that it doesn't :(

Likewise reading notes or understanding the structure of music. I love music, but just on an emotional level rather than having an understanding of technical competence.

So when I saw 5HT examining the structure of songs, making comment on why a piece of music 'worked' or not, talking about verse, chorus and bridge, as well as the numerical value of the beat, all with a view to composing their own songs, I was pretty impressed!

What's more is that they were using GarageBand to compose some pretty sophisticated stuff!

In spite of my comments above, Gethyn and I will be presenting at a music conference in October. (MusicAlive Asia)
Our working title is 'Music is a currency of social change.' We will be looking at the way music influences thought, opinion and social movement.

Additionally, we will be looking at how musicians use social media to get their message out, as well as developments such as GarageBand that make music accessible to everyone.

It is an exciting project, a work in progress at the moment, and a perfect opportunity to share the great work going on at Bradbury, as well as make a contribution to the wider educational community.

Friday, 22 February 2013

1K and 1M class assembly

I always really enjoy class assemblies. The students always impress me with their confidence, poise and courage in speaking to a large audience while on stage- something many adults would find difficult! The connections that they make with the wider world and sophisticated concepts is equally impressive.

Today's Year 1 assembly was no exception. To see our youngest pupils up on stage informing us about how we can be a person who helps with examples of their own actions was fantastic and I know there were several parents with tears in their eyes as they watched. Well done 1K and 1M!

Confessions of a teacher hogger

It is always wonderful to have parents in the school! I very much enjoy talking with you about your child's progress and about how it is going for you at Bradbury. I know that 10 minutes is not a long time, and yes, I have to confess that in the past, I have been a 'teacher hogger' parent :(

I remember one parent teacher interview where I felt that my conversation with my son's teacher was so enlightening and engaging for him, that he really didn't mind chatting on into his dinner break. He was eventually rescued by the Vice Principal, who came and got him and it was only later that I realised that the poor man was just too polite to send me on my way! Oh dear!

Anyway, to save you from a similar fate, please remember that you are welcome anytime to make an appointment with your child's class teacher!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Earth hour at Bradbury and in the Webster household.

It was great to have a rep from the World Wildlife Fund come to speak with us about the upcoming global Earth Hour.The world wide celebration is March 23 at 8.30 pm- too late for us to observe as a school, so we will have our own 'Earth Hour' later in the term.

Our students were asked to consider the ways in which they can be environmentally friendly and responsible, something we all need to take on board. I have a family member who insists on leaving a light on when we go out, running the water at full strength when brushing his teeth and other practices which I have to say, I (is there a nice word for 'nag'?) ...remind him often about!

Anyway, the lights in our house will definitely be off for an hour on the 23/3!

Language Policy Meeting

Thanks to all of the parents who came along to our Language Policy Meeting. It was great to get your views on what you see as important in language learning.

We looked at the strands common to all language: reading, writing, viewing, presenting, speaking and listening. The main focus of the evening was to gather parents' ideas/ values on what is important in language learning. The ideas gathered were very closely aligned with what we as a staff also believe is important: relevance, engagement, good models, high exposure, structural understanding.

Our Language Policy Working Party will now take these ideas, as well as those we have gained from staff and students and produce a draft policy, which will also go out to you for input/comment.

It is a reflection of a changing global emphasis in education that what used to be called 'English' is now 'Language'. This is because the former is to too narrow a term, after all, many IB World Schools are taught in a variety of different languages, yet the principles, no matter what language, including Chinese, are the same.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Finally I am joining the blogging world!

Welcome to my blog! I am excited to joining the world of bloggers and to be able to share with you the many fabulous happenings around Bradbury that I am lucky enough to see everyday.
We are busy getting ready for the Year 6 Exhibition and many staff members, including me, are mentors to a group, helping them to work through their presentations. These are some photos taken on Monday on the Year 6 Art Afternoon. Lots of fun!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013