Sunday, 26 April 2015

Jigsaw Postcards

One thing I use to love about Melbourne was you could often get your hands on free postcards. They would be at cafes, local library, information centers or randomly scattered at points around the city. It was usually a form of advertising, with designs frequently roaring. I use to always pick them up to use in the classroom. One nifty use was to group students. I would get a different designs and cut them into pieces. In class each student got a piece and had to find their group.

I use to like them as they had bold colors and designs and were made of study card so you could reuse them easily. Now I can't get my hands on them, and lift images off the net. There is one major advance is that I can choose images to link with the content - so once they have their groups they can turn and talk to their peers about why i chose that image and relevance to the topic. However, unless I get them laminated, usually its a single use resource. I find its always good to sometimes use something like this to mix up groups randomly.

Time Out Day 2014

Going through my iPhone I found some photos form Time Out Day. Time Out day is named after the popular publication called Time Out which keeps people up to date of events, attractions and cool stuff happening in their city.

The Grade 8 team teachers broke off in pairs to design a day where students can experience a different side of London. We had groups doing: Masterchef with a former contestant of the show, HMS Belfast, Design and Tate Museum, Outdoor Gardening and British and Portrait Gallery. We were in change of the last group. Below is a collage of the day!

We started out day gong over formalities such as the itinerary, reminders and what they might expect of the day. We then used the rest of our time to unleash their inner artist! Enter plasticine! We got them in groups to do some self portraits. Then showed them some high lights of the British Museum and National Portrait Gallery we got them to recreate famous artifacts - such as Hoa Hakananai'a using plasticine. We wanted them to interact with pictures we were showing them and wanted it to be interactive. The plasticine was a nice addition to the day - even if it meant I had to travel all around London trying to find it!

We set off by tube to the British Museum where they did a treasure hunt (fence competition with highly sought after prizes), we then went to the National Portrait Gallery and then the Real Food Market at Southbank. Yum!

All round a fun interactive day for all where we got to explore and appreciate some great sights that are right on our door step of this great city!

5 Pictures...Getting to know you

One activity I do with my advisory is 5 picture. They get a blank sheet of paper and have to come up with 5 pictures (preferably drawn) which shows different aspects of them.

As an example, I did one for me:
Picture of Melbourne (my home town), field hockey (I love playing sport - especially team sports), Angkor Wat in Cambodia (it was a very special trip for me), UK & Australian flag (my big life choice in moving over here), Travel Bag (one of my passions is hearing peoples stories and continually be amazing by the world).

Friday, 24 April 2015

Trip Packs

I have found my "thing" when it comes to excursions. Trip packs have essential information, but can be quite fiddly and frustrating when you quickly flip past a sheet your trying to find. My best solution has been to use the small Post It Notes as index tabs. An easy and effortless quick reference system! Boom. To prevent the pages being messed up (or blown away on an outside excursion) I hole punch and use two ring clips to keep it all in place. Our Grade level aid is a star, and she also puts them in a plastic water proof folder. Voila! 

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Teaching in the UK

Since I have been over here for a while, its now started to become common for friends of mine to ask me to give advice to others on teaching in the UK. Here are a few main points:

I don't know how much you already know but, I was an Australian trained teacher who moved over to London about 2 years ago. I started teaching in the UK school system through agency work, before getting a short term contract at an international school which turned into an ongoing position and loving it.

Employment Options:
There are a range of employment options. You can apply directly to the school or work through a agency. Agency work can be short term supply (daily supply or substitute teacher), long term supply (term, semester etc placements) or permanent work. Short term supply and long term supply may give you a higher rate but you may not get paid for days you don't work or holidays (pro rata) - so make sure you ask your questions to the agency or school to clarify. You can choose what best suits you or mix it up. When looking at schools its good to do your research. There are MANY school in the UK and many different types of schools, areas, specialist schools, demographics and standards. Schools get inspected by OFSTED where you can see their rating and report. There are comprehensive (public school), grammar (select entry), catholic and independent schools.

UK Curriculum:
The UK has introduced a National Curriculum for math, science and english. The UK system uses "Key Stages" describe levels - if your high school, you will be looking at Key Stage 3 and higher. They have GCSE's and A levels for university entry. It all sounds confusing at the start but it makes sense eventually. When you get to interview round its good to have a little background and familiar with the terminology. If overseas, interviews can be conducted via Skype or phone.

International Schools in the UK:
As for international schools, they recuits mainly from recruitment expos, which I have heard are an experience in themselves - but they also use agencies to fill placements, like in my initial situation. I was a "local hire" as i was already in London and was found through one of their London based agencies. International school may follow the IB program or their own curriculum (i.e. US education system etc).

Teaching Agencies:
As far as teaching agencies go - it can be a real mix! Don't be frightened to sign up to a few - after all the wider the search, the better chance to find a school that fits you! Some can promise the world and deliver very little - best to go from others personal recommendations! ;)