Tag Archives: education

free creative writing course for kids celebrating stories literacy scottish curriculum for excellence

FREE Curriculum for Excellence literacy classroom resources

Very soon I’ll be launching a new ten-week series of classroom resources for teachers called ‘Celebrating Stories’. It’s based around the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence but many of the learning opportunities and outcomes will be relevant within other curricula as well.

Our focus?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The primary focus will be on literacy (as you would imagine, coming from an author). However, over the course of the ten weeks, pupils will also encounter challenges and opportunities to learn within other spheres as well; including maths, community engagement, art, and some components of design and technology. (You can find a full list of curriculum areas covered by downloading this document: Celebrating Stories Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes for planning learning, teaching and assessment)

Your class will be taken through something like a miniature course in creative writing/ self-publishing. The class will choose the nature of the end result but the aim is that it will take the form of a class-published set of work which can be utilised to raise funds for the school.

Given the duration and level of work involved each week, this is an ambitious project for a class. Completing the set activities could take 2-3 hours of class work per week (or more) depending on your pupils’ level of interest.

I don’t want to be too specific about weekly time at this point as the programme is still untested. However, your class’ participation will decide how much things progress on their chosen project.

What do teachers get?

I will contribute both a teacher’s guide and relevant pupil printouts each week via email but the work will primarily be in the hands of pupils (with support and guidance from their teacher).

The course offers pupils the chance to develop teamwork and leadership skills, along with encouraging creative output, critical analysis, and developing their young enterprise capacities.

PLEASE NOTE: I can offer virtual and/or in-person support for schools (e.g. help with editing or formatting) but this isn’t a standard part of the ‘Celebrating Stories’ programme. I’m more than happy to help where I can but additional arrangments will need to be made if more involvement is needed (please contact me for details).

Will this work alongside normal classroom activities?

Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

All activities are checked against concrete outcomes within the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence so that the project doesn’t detract from their ongoing educational goals. (A list of key areas covered will be included in your welcome e-mail.)

Core activities are all aimed at level two outcomes, primarily within the Literacy component of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. Additional components, drawing on other skills, have also been checked against the relevant level two outcomes in the curriculum.

I should note that Celebrating Stories has no affiliation with Education Scotland, However, measures have been taken to ensure that this course will fit within normal classroom activities for pupils working in level two (p6/7).

What does ‘level two’ mean, who is this for?

This programme will primarily be of interest to teachers of p6 and p7 pupils in Scotland. (That’s around 10-12 years old, for those who are unfamiliar with the Scottish system for year-groups).

It has been designed for a single class (of around 30) but could also be used as a year-group project with minimal changes.

COST DISCLAIMER:

I should note here that there is no cost for joining the programme. No funds will be requested  (nor expected) on the part of Green Flame Books in relation to the e-mail based version of ‘Celebrating Stories’.

However, you may choose to pursue certain formats of media that (outside of the programme) will cost money (e.g. printing costs if you choose to hire a local printing company to print a booklet for you).

Though this may initially cost the school funds, the young enterprise component of ‘Celebrating Stories’ is aimed at helping pupils consider ways in which they might recoup any costs which arise from their activities. A whole section of the course looks at how pupils can use this as an opertunity to raise money for their school.

Any and all funds you raise are purely for your school.

Want to get in early?

If you would like to be one of the first to use this resource (or if you would just like to keep up with what I’m working on for/ with educators) you can subscribe to my teachers’ mailing list by following this link.

If you have any questions please post them in the comments below or as a reply to the welcome e-mail you receive from me.

Hope to hear from you soon,

All the best, John

The three Rs

image

My teachers were fantastic but there were limits to what we could do in the old curriculum. Things have changed a lot since I was a kid and, though I might be in the minority, I’m happy to see it.

There’s a lot more creative expression and personal engagement between children and their work. I’ve seen this at my son’s school and at my book talk at Our Lady’s in Stirling too. Across the board children are being encouraged to interact with their subjects on a personal level.

Not only are kids producing class demonstrations and talks but they’re also engaging with media via technology which offers a broadening of knowledge of their subject.

I have never been the biggest advocate of ‘three Rs’ learning (reading, writing, and arithmetic). For starters, whoever named the program clearly didn’t know how to spell (it’s r, w, and a, anyone with a basic capacity for anagrams could get ‘RAW’ from that).

Anyway, I think ‘RAW’ should be taught in the way that it’s used, viz. in the act of expressing ideas and investigating the world. Every time a new challenge arises that highlights concepts in maths or English this provides an opportunity for a deeper learning experience with much higher chance of retention.

Probably more important is the function that education is supposed to perform. Most people agree that education is intended to provide a degree of preparation for adult life.

The new skill set needed in the world our children are going to is radically different than it was when I was in school. Presentation and information processing skills are becoming vital components of so many careers, if we tried to teach this on top of the three Rs then they’d be on an eight hour day. Something had to go.

What do you think? Would solely concentrating on the three Rs in this new information orientated world be misguided? or do you stand by the more rigid education methods of the past?