I offer the following seminars/workshops in any combination to school groups, individual departments, clusters or authorities. They are customised to suit your own particular needs and priorities, and can be delivered as half-day, whole day or twilight sessions. Contact me to talk about how I can help you.
Reading Strategies to Improve Literacy
Improving Literacy is a key feature of most education improvement plans, yet there is often a lack of clarity about how it can be achieved. Motivation, and understanding the key strategies involved in developing higher order reading skills, are the route to success. Over the past couple of years I have been looking at what some of the world’s leading educational thinkers have been saying about reading development, and at the key strategies we employ as we move from acquiring basic reading skills to becoming sophisticated readers. These strategies are often regarded as instinctive but in order to be effective they need to be made explicit to learners, and before they can be made explicit, teachers need to be aware of what they are and the ways in which they can be developed.
Improving Literacy through Moving Image Education
This is an area which has huge potential for teachers as they come to understand the re-definition of “texts” in the context of Curriculum for Excellence. By using the kind of texts which almost all of us engage with on a daily basis, and which young people experience before they are familiar with the written word – moving image or film – they can acquire an understanding of the film-making process, while at the same time developing critical thinking skills and a better understanding of modern media, as well as the “traditional” literacy skills of talking and listening, reading and writing. As one of Scottish Screen’s Lead Practitioners in Moving Image Education, I can help you introduce film texts or film-making into your school or classroom.
Using Web 2.0 Technologies to Improve Learning and Teaching
Working in Learning and Teaching Scotland has given me the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge of new technologies, internet and networking tools – such as blogs, wikis and social bookmarking – which can make learning much more fun for the learner, and easier and more effective for the teacher. Finding the right resources ( most of them free!) for the modern classroom need not be an issue if you know where to look, and with a few simple lessons, learning and teaching becomes much more creative and purposeful.
From Inputs to Outcomes
As one of the original writing team for the Literacy and English framework in the new Scottish curriculum, I have a comprehensive understanding of the thinking behind the experiences and outcomes, and of Curriculum for Excellence generally. I have presented extensively on various aspects of CfE over the past couple of years to a wide range of audiences, always attracting very positive feedback. Whether you are looking at specific outcomes, beginning to investigate interdisciplinary approaches, or trying to ensure that literacy is at the centre of learning and teaching in your area of responsibility, I can offer you excellent support and advice.
Developing Literacy in the Secondary School
Curriculum for Excellence is quite clear that the development of literacy skills is the responsibility of all teachers, no matter their subject specialism, but what does that mean in reality? Who has the ultimate responsibility? What should a literacy policy look like? What strategies can you use across the school to ensure that all young people are motivated and working to their full potential? Find out how you can raise achievement and attainment through a focus on literacy skills.
There Are No Reluctant Readers (Only the Wrong Texts)
Many young people are switched off from reading – or never switched on – because they have not been introduced to the right text at the right time. In this seminar you will learn where to find the right texts, how to develop a reading culture in your classroom and much more. Make the term ‘reluctant reader’ a thing of the past and watch the reading habit impact on the rest of your classroom activities.
Mind Your Own Language
“There can be no doubt that prospective teachers should model high standards of literacy and numeracy for their pupils. Current requirements relating to Scottish Qualifications Authority qualifications in English and mathematics do not seem to provide a sufficient guarantee of the levels of competence which are required for teaching.” Donaldson Review of ITE December 2010
Many of today’s teachers have come through an educational system where they were never taught formal grammar, and consequently they lack the confidence when it comes to teaching it in the classroom. If you want to improve the language skills of your teachers I can help. A series of twilight sessions where teachers can refresh their knowledge of the basics of grammar in an enjoyable and non-threatening context could be just what you need to boost the confidence of your teaching force.
Developing Literacy through Transmedia Texts
The future of reading is electronic, and the nature of the book is changing before our very eyes. Find out what is meant by ‘transmedia’ and discover how it is changing the way we analyse and create our popular media. It is only by preparing our young people for the digital revolution that they will be full participants in this exciting new world. But first, we have to prepare their teachers!
The Connected Educator
Increasingly, the most successful educators are those who are able to harness the power of social networks to connect to like minds in a spirit of sharing, co-operation and collaboration. Learn how, by following these simple steps, you can move from feeling isolated in the classroom to mixing it with the biggest innovators in your particular areas of interest.