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New year… new skills….

28 Aug

don' t panicThe new academic year heralds a change to Skills sessions across both Junior and Senior Academies. Tracy Hart takes on the oversight of Skills in Junior Academy and Katherine Blueman takes it on for Senior Academy. Along with my input for Literacy, Sue Squires and Sven Rees will provide materials and resources for PSHE across the school. We hope that this will provide a balanced and relevant tutor-led Skills curriculum for all our students.  Posts will focus on aspects of our teaching and our students’ learning and how we can engage them to consider their wider world and the importance of being able to communicate in it. Please scroll through previous posts – lots of groovy info on reading, boys, feedback, book trailers (LOVE THEM) and little literacy nuggets.

First off this term will be your own – your very own – literacy e-box, downloadable resources to support you and your tutees with everyday literacy and reading for pleasure. Watch.This.Post.

Our HOUSE…..

12 Jan

PrintHOUSE Magazine is now here! A term of planning and two terms of encouragement, hard work, drafting and refining have produced the first ever SBL House Magazine. Jenny and I are so happy with it – it looks incredible, and paves the way for a bigger, better and even more beautiful issue at the end of Term 4. Thank you to all tutors who stuck with the project – it will be easier now to see what all that hard work can produce. Our students will finally be able to link what they have been doing in Skills to their final product, and the 3 REALS (REAL product, REAL audience, REAL purpose) will be understood far better!

Many of our students lack confidence and self-esteem – more on that in the next blog post – but this will surely go some way towards demonstrating to themselves what they can do. BELIEVE! Copies will be with tutor groups this week.

Thanks to Jon Tooby for putting it together. Awesome job Jon. Not just a pretty face.

And HUGE thanks to Jenny for coordinating it all, and to you awesome tutors for sticking with the project.

(NB a couple of typos in this version which will be corrected for general consumption – prize for spotting the 3 teeny-weeny errors)

Click on the link below:

HOUSE!

Telling the Truth About Youth – writing competition

12 Dec

Fancy something different for your Skills arsenal? The National Literacy Trust is joining forces with the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) to provide teachers with a competition and resources to engage young people in writing, and to teach them about copyright and the importance of protecting their own and others’ creativity.

Research has shown that there is a relationship between attitudes towards writing and writing attainment; 75% of young people believe that to be a good writer means you have to enjoy writing but less than 50% of young people say that they enjoy writing.

Write On aims to put the enjoyment factor back into writing by using an engaging form of writing—poetry—and by focusing on a topic that is sure to be interesting and relevant to young people: themselves!

The challenge is simple: Students must write an original poem expressing their thoughts about perceptions of and attitudes towards young people in today’s society.

Then just submit students’ finished poems to the judging panel.

Write On poetsTo provide some inspiration for our students, the LLT have linked up with four fantastic young poets who have penned their own poems on this topic especially for them. These poems are a great stimulus for discussion around the topic, and also provide an opportunity to introduce the importance of copyright and the boundaries around it. I’ll post the poems on here as soon as they’ve been uploaded onto the NLT website.

There’s also a:

Bonus category: It’s Slam Time!

“Think you could pull out a performance that would blow the competition away? Film yourself performing your poem for the chance to win more prizes”

A poetry slam (performing poems in front of a live audience) is an exciting and accessible way to engage young people in poetry. For the chance to win some great bonus prizes, students can hold a poetry slam in school and send in videos of their performances to the judging panel.

To help you, the NLT is producing some practical advice for setting up and running a poetry slam, as well as performance tips for  students from professional poet and slam champion, Nathan Thompson.

Poetry slam resources coming soon

Written entries: main category

A winning poem will have a:

  • strong voice – we’re looking for a piece of writing where we can hear the poet when we read it
  • strong sense of rhythm (although it doesn’t necessarily have to rhyme!)
  • creative structure and layout

Video entries: slam bonus category

A winning performance will:

  • be confident
  • be well-rehearsed
  • be interesting – have the audience hanging on every word
  • make the audience feel something – whether it’s happy, sad, angry, frustrated, reflective, inspired…or any other kind of emotion

All tutor groups can take part – KS3 for the second issue of the Magazine (as well as also obviously being submitted to the competition), and KS4 for assemblies (Slam Poetry good for performance/speaking and listening skills) as well as also for submitting. Lesson plans, resources, posters, promotional materials, slam poetry performance toolkits will all be ready here in January.

All entries will have to be in by 29th March 2013.