Equipping Kids Conference – connected learning

Today Maple Cross hosted an Equipping Kids conference as we welcomed colleagues from schools across Hertfordshire as well as other professionals from around the UK.

Under the theme of connected learning we explored how children engage with learning and the language they use to do so. There were opportunities to see Year 6 leading a practical outdoor activity with Year 3 and 4, visit classrooms and then in the afternoon for the children to present their learning.

It was commented on “what you are doing here is a green beacon on an educational desert”. Good to see Maple Cross on the cutting edge as they lead, share and build networks. It was repeatedly commented upon how well the children articulated their learning as well as their passion and enthusiasm for it.

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Nursery get out and about

This week Nursery had planned to visit our local farm. Unfortunately due to the extreme heat their little legs tired and we changed the plan! Walking around our local community children shared their journeys to and from school as well as pointing out other personal landmarks.

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At the park the children had an opportunity to create maps and drawings of the park. We then went to McColls where every child bought an ice lolly. We soon discovered we needed to head back quickly as ice lollies don’t last long in the sunshine!


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Parent Friday – Irish Stew

It was lovely to have Northern Ireland and Ireland represented at Parent Friday – our differences make us stronger! Thank you to Ms Mitchell and Ms Dwyer for their delicious stew and soda bread and the stories of why they were important to them growing up. Our last Parent Friday is the 6th July. I hope to see you there!

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No Marking Feedback

After developing some basic approaches to no marking feedback beginning in our inset in September, teachers have been researching and evolving approaches to fine tune their feedback. This also includes supporting children to feedback on their own and others’ work. Taking this even further, the Key Stage 2 teachers have been involved in a research pilot project with Dr. Deborah Jones of Brunel University. What skills and knowledge do teachers and pupils need to learn in order to engage in the most effective feedback?

Dr. Jones joins us on Wednesday to share the research so far…watch this space!

Best quote from a teacher so far, “The children are writing what I would have written, but immediately in the lesson. This means they can carry on driving their learning without having to wait for their worked to be marked by the teacher the next day or week!”

Exciting times at Maple Cross!

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No marking feedback

On Friday afternoon a pupil from Year 4 shared a detailed update about how non-marking feedback is changing and supporting their learning development. This insight is just a sneak peak of what is to come! Next week pupils across school will be sharing more of their learning with colleagues at a conference hosted by Equipping Kids.

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The pupil shared their thoughts on learning  . . . . .

“I used to feel confused and frustrated in my writing. I had ideas . . . . they were no good ideas. This time I select my targets in the morning. The target can not be too hard or too easy, it has to be just right.”

“You have to stop, think . . . . reflect back. I took ideas from Michael Morpurgo, our Kaspar book and then started to write short sentences to impact the reader.”

“Writing my targets gave me time to think, I need less distractions, music helps me.”

“I used to worry that I can’t do it, now . . . . . . I don’t worry, I know the teacher is around, being frustrated and confused doesn’t happen any more or if I do worry I’ll ask again.”

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Maple Cross at HertsCam Annual Conference 2018

Today 5 colleagues from Maple Cross travelled to Barnwell Middle school to join the HertsCam Annual Conference. There were key note speakers, seminars and workshops all around the central theme of teacher leadership. HertsCam participants from across Hertfordshire primary, secondary and specialist schools joined colleagues from elsewhere in the UK as well as guests from across Europe and China.

Discussions and focusses were around; pupil voice, pupil leadership and school organisations.

We were privileged to hear from students of Challney Girls school in Luton talk about their inspirational work around gender equality and some of the struggles girls and women face. Although, listening to their passionate talks we are sure they will be continuing to challenge and change this.

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Welcome to EYFS

Today it has been great to welcome families to some information sessions about the EYFS. New parents bonded over a cup of tea and had opportunities to explore learning from the perspective of a 3 and 4 year old.

We look forward to welcoming new Nursery children to stay and play sessions on Monday 9th, Wednesday 11th and Friday 13th.

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