Posted by: carlsumner | September 2, 2010

Great Expectations

First day with the children today and the emphasis was almost entirely upon our expectations. What do the children expect from their time in Year 6 and ultimately what are their aspirations for the future, although we’ll address that more, further down the line?

What are my expectations of them as children at the top-end of our school? What am I looking for from them, in terms of their attitudes and behaviours and their learning?

I always find their responses fascinating – you can gain valuable insights into how they see themselves when they express their hopes and fears.  I see an essential part of our roles as educators, to create an environment whereby children see the value of learning and embrace its possibilities based upon their own desires and interests.

This neatly linked with the #ukedchat discussion via Twitter this evening which posed the question – What are the primary / essential skills of the ideal 21st century educator and how can we achieve that?

I loved the fact that even this pointed to higher aspirations – attempting to achieve an ideal.

The fundamental point that was repeatedly maintained was that the role was to facilitate opportunities for learners to embrace and utilise the relevant resources, technologies and values of the day to prepare them for the choices that they may make in the future.

A noble aim and one that began in earnest again today.

Posted by: carlsumner | September 1, 2010

Diving In!

Most people in education would admit that they could find work to do 24/7 and by definition can never feel fully prepared.  By my own admittance, I feel like I fly by the seat of my pants most of the time.   I enjoy the feeling of being prepared but need the pressure of limited time or impending deadlines to really get the ideas flowing.  Or maybe i’m just lazy!

Either way it’s time for a new year to start and I genuinely feel a huge sense of excitement.  There are so many new projects and ideas to work on (not least our implementation of a more flexible and creative  delivery of the curriculum that everyone is excited about), new staff to welcome, support and learn from and a new class of children to be enthralled and amazed by!!

A new scheme of work for ICT was introduced to staff today that breathes fresh air into our use of technology and media across the curriculum.   For most it looked slightly intimidating but I was encouraged by everyone’s willingness to learn any new skills required in order to enable the children to progress.

I also feel a new sense of motivation after the refreshing break.  I Will keep this blog updated.  I Will find the time for regular bike rides.  I Will get up to take Buster for a walk before work.

Prepared or not, its a good time to take a deep breath and dive right back in.

Posted by: carlsumner | August 8, 2010

Settling In

Originally uploaded by cjs1976

It didn’t take long for Buster to feel right at home.

Posted by: carlsumner | July 16, 2010

A Creative Spark!

A creative curriculum. Striving to encourage children to be more creative learners, independent thinkers, taking ownership of their own education. As educators (i’m debating whether I prefer this term to teacher) finding and developing innovative ways to engage children and help them to understand new and difficult concepts. This is our aim and one which at Flakefleet we have undertaken with renewed relish in the last few months as we seek to move the school forward after the dramatic progress made in the last 18 months.

It can be daunting and more than a touch confusing, trying to weave your way around the curriculum, checking progression, monitoring skill delivery – is everyone where they should be? It’s benefits will be seen when the web is embedded and allowed to flourish as the school gets to grips with the openness and complexity of a new and dynamic period of learning.

I experienced the first real sparks just the other day when discussing the potential of a new theme with a colleague and in that moment fresh ideas and a new direction for the learning opened up. The Lightbulb Moment’ when it just clicks. I actually laughed because it felt so good to feel that and that will fire me on as it is the feeling you want the children to experience and cherish.

Posted by: carlsumner | June 16, 2010



Beginning to get to grips with all the variety of Web 2.0 materials out there – there’s just so many and so much to remember and so little time!!
I have a personal goal to have tried a variety of tools with the children before summer – we are blogging, and using Prezi as if our very lives depend upon it!

Posted by: carlsumner | April 30, 2010

Killing creativity

Noted speaker Ken Robinson, hilariously, yet with more that a sense of seriousness, explains how schools kill creativity.

Posted by: carlsumner | April 28, 2010

How sad

The saddest element of the whole bigotgate drama today seems to be the reaction that people have had to either the use of the word by the poltician and/or the views held by the ‘dear old lady’.  Politicians are scared stiff of honesty because someone, somewhere will take offence or object to what has been said – and this may cost votes (either popular or real).  why did he not challenge her views when he had the opportunity? – because it was loose and couldn’t be managed/manipulated? GB would have earned respect by engaging with the lady even if it meant disagreeing with her.

Following on from the fall-out was the reaction from ‘ordinary’ folk to the drama.  General consensus was that she was correct – where did these Eastern Europeans come from? Who did they think they were taking all our jobs?  Television cameras in the area frequently panned across the streets and play areas where many young people stood around in the middle of the day.  Presumably it was their day off.

Posted by: carlsumner | April 27, 2010

Hello world!

Whole new world of possibilities have opened up.  Amazing how the world shrinks at the touch of a button – you don’t really notice this until you try for yourself.

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