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Open Evening


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#1 Stephen Drew

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Posted 08 November 2002 - 12:32 AM

Just got back from Open Evening! (Last parents came round at 9.45pm).

I have a group of Year 8s as helpers, and set them up as experts on 16th & 17th century portraits. They ahve done the Portraits unit from the QCA SoW over the last six weeks, so I was confident of their skills.

I set out a large table in the middle of the room (made up of eight double desks) and set out 5 different portraits of Elizabeth I, the Capel Family, Mr and Mrs Andrews and Holbein's Ambassadors on the desk in A4 versions. I made up sheets that said "Come and ask our Year 8 experts about the historical portraits" and posted the up in the corridor and laid them on the large desk as well.

The kids were absolutely fantastic - at one point the Head came in and sat down with two of them and really put them on the spot about the Rainbow Portrait. The two were fantastic and he went away really impressed. :)

Parents were really impressed too as the kids spoke clearly and confidently on the images and meaning of the portraits. These were not the brightest kids, but they did really well.

Lots of parents seemed confused at first and thought they wer in Art or English (Shakespeare?). This allowed me to explain about the Portraits unit and how it allows discussion and a different way of accessing the Tudor and Stuart periods.

Well worth considering I think. :)
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

#2 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 08 November 2002 - 12:46 AM

Well worth considering I think. :)

Sounds a really good idea.

Involving pupil helpers is always a good idea I think. They are usually your best ambassadors and I know when I was trawling around schools for my own two it was the thing I took most notice of. If the kids were enthusiastic about what they were doing and articulate it counted for an awful lot more than whatever the HM's intro had said.

Great stuff :)

#3 Richard Drew

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Posted 08 November 2002 - 12:53 AM

sounds like a great idea - i'll recommend it to my HOD next week, sure some of our history club nerds would be happy to offer their services :lol:
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#4 Dan Dyson

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Posted 08 November 2002 - 01:27 PM

We use an ICT room with a variety of machines showing a powerpoint display, about history in the department and have a few pupils working on learning games from schoolshistory and activehistory sites. We also have either a fling the teacher or walk the plank game set up on the interactive whiteboard - nice easy one and encourrage parents and pupils to have a go. All went really well this year - except when we discovered that schoolhistory games were being updated and offline :angry: at which point we sent the helpers out and locked the door to stop parents coming in to our non-existent site. Next year I will repeatr the same but make sure we have downloaded the games on to the network so we don't have the same problem.

We have found that this generates genuine interest from parents where in the past because of the schools reputation - we are in special measures - parents are coming looking for reasons why their child should not come here.
This year several parents commented that as a result of this display - and what they had seen going on around the school that they actively wanted their child to come here rather than our nearby sister school - which tends to do quite well. :D
Beware of the History Teacher,
Cause of many a pupilís sorrow,
Though he drones on about the past
His homework is due in tomorrow!

#5 Stephen Drew

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Posted 08 November 2002 - 07:20 PM

Still brimming with joy over my Year 8 stars today, and have spent all day telling everyone so!

Decided to send a letter to their parents as well. I also gave a copy to the HoY to put on their file.



Dear parents

We are writing to let you know about the outstanding manner in which Elizabeth represented herself and the school at last nightís Open Evening.

As you will be aware Elizabeth was helping in the History Department for the evening. She was working with three other students as an expert in 16th century portraits. Parents on their tours around the school came into the History classroom and Elizabeth was one of four Year Eight students who answered their questions about a range of portraits.

Elizabeth showed great skill and understanding in the way she answered the parentsí questions. We were most impressed with the way in which she spoke at length and held the adultsí attention as she spoke to them.

Elizabethís efforts played a large part in what was a most successful evening for the school and the History Department. We heard many parents comment on the maturity and confidence shown by Elizabeth and the other students as they were leaving the room.

We felt sure that you would wish to be made aware of this information.

Yours faithfully




Mr S Drew (Head of Humanities Faculty) & Miss A Cunningham (History teacher)
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

#6 neil mcdonald

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Posted 08 November 2002 - 08:18 PM

Brilliant letter - mind if I copy it. I have an open evening for prospective Year 7 parents soon. I tried to download some games recently but I am not able to download yet (I'll email Andrew about it). The idea about helpers is always a good idea. God loves a helpful student after a long day teaching. Now I just want to find one that can make a decent cup of tea...heres hoping.
Bernard Woolley: Have the countries in alphabetical order? Oh no, we can't do that, we'd put Iraq next to Iran.

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Bernard Woolley: That's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I give confidential security briefings. You leak. He has been charged under section 2a of the Official Secrets Act.

#7 Stephen Drew

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Posted 08 November 2002 - 08:57 PM

Brilliant letter - mind if I copy it.

Anything to get praise going to the ones who deserve it. :idea:
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

#8 neil mcdonald

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Posted 09 November 2002 - 07:07 PM

Let this be a lesson to all of us - in the face of mass ICT technolgy trial and error rule supreme - To download the game I waslooking for a download function - I actually should have looked at the 'save target as' funtion (I think - Yes i just checked!)

best instructions are

1) If you don't have Flash on your PC download it from the overall Games page
2) The go to the game you want.
3) Right click and click on 'save target as'
Bernard Woolley: Have the countries in alphabetical order? Oh no, we can't do that, we'd put Iraq next to Iran.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernard Woolley: That's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I give confidential security briefings. You leak. He has been charged under section 2a of the Official Secrets Act.

#9 Jacko

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Posted 17 November 2002 - 06:43 PM

Just had our open evening this week.

I had the usual displays around the room but no access to computers (as usual!). I got two groups of Year 8 pupils (6 in each group) and gave them a task to work on. They had to pretend that they had the job of doing a lesson on the Spanish Armada for Year 6 pupils who knew nowt about it. In order to make it interesting, they had to design and produce a board game which taught the topic! They were given loads of sugar paper, card, felt tips, glue, etc and told to get on with it! Parents and prospective pupils who came in were encouraged to ask about what was going on and get involved in the production of the games. It worked really well - but it did make a hell of a mess and I had to keep running round every 10 minutes with a bin collecting rubbish!




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