Does some literacy teaching, such as SPAG, get in the way of creativity in writing?

Michael Morpugo seems to think so…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/11951518/Obsession-with-literacy-stifling-writing-talent-says-Morpurgo.html

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Respect…our new fortnightly focus from Monday

If you want to look at what respect feels like, take a look at this amazing TV ad:

Respect is a little bit of a juxtaposition; it’s a simple yet complex concept. Is respect earnt or automatic? Do you give respect to get it back?

It might be worth starting with this definition from Wikipedia

Respect is a positive feeling of admiration or deference for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected (e.g., “I have great respect for her judgment”). It can also be conduct in accord with a specific ethic of respect.

Respect can be both given and/or received. Depending on an individual’s cultural reference frame, respect can be something that is earned. Respect is often thought of as earned or built over time. Often, continued caring interactions are required to maintain or increase feelings of respect among individuals. Chivalry, by some definitions, contains the outward display of respect.

Respect should not be confused with tolerance. The antonym and opposite of respect is disrespect.

How does this definition manifest itself in school?

This article from the Echo this week is all about respect and might be worth discussing with the children?

http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/local_news/southend/13794686.Residents_living_near_school_have_had_enough/

And there are lots of resources here which might engage boys in particular:

http://www.thefa.com/my-football/player/respect

This article is more geared towards adults but a useful activity might be to consider writing a list of things you can do to earn respect:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/21-ways-you-can-earn-the-respect-others.html

And this is just a great article to read for parents and teachers alike:

http://www.connectionparenting.com/parenting_articles/respect.html

The Scourge of Social Networking

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If there were two issues that I’d happily wish way and never want to discuss again it would be the inevitable one of car parks/parking  and also the unnecessary issues that social networking can cause.

At the moment it seems like, on an almost weekly basis, we are having to talk to one parent or another about posting inappropriate things, usually on Facebook. The Facebook posts themselves are very interesting. Almost all are negative (people seem to not want to share good news). Of these negative posts,  a high proportion of them are untrue or at best a half-truth. Furthermore, in almost all cases the school has not been contacted to discuss the issue first. We have not had a chance to resolve it before someone decides to share it with the world. Unfair? You bet. I can’t think of a single example of a parent resorting to Facebook once we have met to resolve an issue.

Despite lots of information and advice having been circulated over the years, many people just don’t seem to realise exactly how many people see such posts. The ‘reach’ is incredible and because many of our staff live in our community (lots of our staff are parents of children in the school as well) it is often staff that bring this to my attention. It is demoralising for them and it happens on a regular basis

And it isn’t just negative posts that grab the headlines:

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/education/parents-criticised-for-boast-posts-on-facebook-over-childrens-exam-results-a2927181.html

However the flip side is also the responsibility of staff to make sure that their social networking activities are secure and protected and to understand that any posts they do make even with a high level of protection can find their way into the public domain. I found this article to be a useful piece of advice for all staff:

http://www.headteacher-update.com/best-practice-article/the-risks-of-social-networking/88882/

At Greenways we would certainnly agree with the zero tolerance approach recommended in the article and we issue guidance to all staff about this in the form of our code of conduct.