Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Learning Journal

Impressive learning journal by student in the "Why does music matter?" project available for public exhibition on Saturday.

From Freight to Furniture

Public Exhibition of student final products from the freight to furniture project. The final outcome carefully planned around a careful description of the process by the students too.

Writers of the Round Table

Here are a few shots of the Exhibition stall from the Writers of the Round Table project - a group of very well organised Year 9 students who created their own project.

Check out their website where you can buy a copy of their 95 page anthology of fantasy writing:  http://thewritersoftheroundtable.weebly.com/

Cakeworld Exhibition Success!

The Cakeworld project made three incredible cakes from scratch and entered them into a national competition.  Here's the report:

"Sunday’s Tea & Cake Planet was a huge success.  Out of our 3 cake submissions the students were awarded the BRONZE AWARD after being judged by RIBA President Stephen Hodder who presented The President's Edible Medal for architectural authenticity and creativity.  The students were up against professional bakers and sugarcraft artists and as you can see from the pictures, it was a busy event with tough competition.   An excellent event where our Cramlington students represented us highly and as always made us very proud!"

The Military Marching Band - performance on Exhibition Day

The Year 9 students of the Military Marching Band project worked with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Band to not only learn to play unfamiliar instruments in two weeks but to create this stunning marching display too.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Crammy Wipeout Project

What a great project:  learn about maths, athletics, nutrition, fitness to create an assault course at school:

Find out more here:   http://crammywipeout.weebly.com/

The project team have a great strapline:
'Whatever the weather, we're in it together'

Press Release The Writers of The Round Table Project

Young writers at Cramlington Learning Village have published their own anthology of short stories.

The 13 budding writers created the book as part of the school’s annual Project Fortnight. Every year students are asked to undertake a project that interests them from a range of choices on offer. But the year nine students decided that none of the projects appealed so they wrote to the school’s Deputy Head asking for permission to write and publish their own book instead. One of the young writers in the project, Elisha Dodds, said: “The projects this year just didn’t inspire us. There was nothing that jumped out like in previous years. So we spoke up and something amazing came from it.”

The students had to write the fantasy stories and produce the anthology in just two weeks. In order to perfect the work, they met an author and a story teller, visited Newcastle city centre libraries and bookshops for inspiration and underwent several brutally honest critique sessions.’
Head teacher, Mrs Heslop said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for students to fully immerse themselves in writing and to develop their English skills. The one quality that makes this project unique is the fact that, with minimal help from staff, these students have completely planned and implemented every aspect of this entire 2 week project. One of the teachers involved, Mr Mead, told us: “When I first heard about this my first thought was: it’s about time. Their email was eloquent and persuasive, and I’m glad that this could happen. It’s great to see students collaborate so intensely, professionally and so well. I am looking forward to reading the full anthology.” These students have, by all accounts, truly accomplished something exceptional.

The anthology will be available to order for £5 by emailing thewritersoftheroundtable@gmail.com and contains several short stories and a short comic strip, created by one of the writers.

A great student website- Fatasy writing project


Recipe for success

Summary of day plans

P1 - Our main objective was to start forming the cakes. So after everyone did a little bit more writing in their logbooks they were sent to Imagine to start. First of all everyone was set to plan where their cakes were going to be on their boards. The pyramid and Petra groups had to use some of the math that they had learned to do this. The Petra group learned that their cakes stacked up on one another was not high enough so they had to calculate how many more cakes to bake and baked them before period 2. The Machu Picchu group also discovered they needed one more cake and baked this before period 2.
P2 - After planning everyone was sent to start cutting the cakes and making the marshmallow crispy cakes. Then when one or two groups were making these supervised the other groups got icing to start binding their cakes together. This ran into period 3.
P4 - Everyone started to reflect what they did and set individual or group objectives for tomorrow.  
P1 - When everyone was present they were sent to imagine to start adding the icing on their cakes. The pyramid group placed their marshmallow rice crispy cakes on the top of the pyramid bases and spread butter cream around it to stick the icing to the pyramid. They had a few people doing this and the others were making and rolling out the icing. The Machu Picchu group used their one more cake to form more of the shape and started moulding the marshmallow rice crispy cakes into the ruins around the cakes. Then the Petra group were adding more layers to their cake. Finally the Sphinx group were either helping the Pyramid group or butter creaming their sphinx. A problem that the pyramid group had was that the 5 by 5 pyramids crispy's could not fit so they had to find a solution and decided to make it out of ginger bread. This ran into period 2.
P2 - All of the groups started rolling out their icing and started to stick them on the cakes. Then some people from all of the groups started to use some icing to make trees and people. Many of the groups showed resilience in their work since there were times when people started to get agitated at how things were working out.
P3 - Everyone returned to Explore and started to reflect what they did today and what they need to do tomorrow.

Beach Clean at Blyth Wednesday 9th July 5-7pm

A student led, in student time community and environmental motivated event from the media for surfers project.  It would be great to see you there supporting the student action and our local beach. This is  a super example of an authentic outcome to project based learning. Please spread the word.

"I want to take it home and stick it on my wall"

I've just been told that the student in the "Wind power? I`m a massive fan" project. wants creating this, wants to "take it home and stick it on my wall". This is true student ownership and engagement. This student is one of a small group who have asked if they can present at the school Teachmeet tonight to showcase their work. Of course they can!

I can wait to hear how and why they have been completely sol on this project and all it's technical glories. 

From freight to furniture taking shape!

The Archeology to artist Project

Displaying image.jpeg

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Nice drafting following a critique


A processor is a small chip that goes in computers and other electronic devices. Modern processors can handle trillions of calculations per second and its basic job is to receive input and provide the appropriate output. The processor handles all the basic system instructions, such as processing mouse and keyboard input and running applications. Furthermore, most desktop computers contain a CPU developed by either Intel or AMD. Modern CPUs often include multiple processing cores, which work together to process instructions.


A CPU (Central Processing Unit) is like the brain of the computer. The CPU does all of the computers calculations; it commands the different components by assigning tasks. The CPU works by combinations of logic gates to process electric signals. The processor uses these electric signals to represent these numbers in binary. The CPU can work extremely fast through the calculations and this generates heat. To keep the CPU cool it often has a heat sink and fan attached. The heat sink removes the heat quickly from the CPU. The fan is there to cool down the heat sink. The CPU is often the most expensive component inside a computer.  

It's Ghana be alright project - from Success criteria to rubric

Book layout
Below Standard
Working Toward Project
At Standard
Above Standard
Random cover

No chapter page

No Introduction

No Glossary

Front cover has title, and who has written the book

Back cover exists

A chapter page is written but has no page numbers

The introuction is too brief and miss important ideas, sentiments and a welcome.

Chapters randomly organised.

Glossary included but does not explain clearly the key terms
A front cover to summarise the north east

A back cover with “blurb” summarising the book.

A Chapter page with page numbers.

An introduction- purpose of book, written by, written for, an introduction/ welcome to the North east.

Section on ABOUT THE NE- History, Geography, landmarks

Section on CULTURE OF NE all others

A map of the north east is included.

A glossary of technical terms

Page Layout

a random selection of backgrounds

Title position and size changes from page to page

odd page has random background
or title and page number varies.

Page contains no image

Page contains too many images

Additional facts are in the same style as the text.

consistent backgound/ colour scheme

Consistent font size for titles, subheadings  and text

Position of page title should be consistent

Position of page number should be consistent.

Minimum of one picture per page.

Additional facts in fact boxes.

Pictures/ images
All pictures are the same size.

Pictures are too small.

Contains too many large pictures.

Pictures  are purloined from internet

Pictures are blurred, need cropping.

Pictures have unclear caption
Most pictures will be around half a page.

The smallest pictures will be a third of a page.

The most important pictures may take a full page. (only a few per book)

Pictures must be yours or copyright free.

Pictures are HQ and clear

Pictures require an describing or explaining caption


One person does the bulk of the writing

One person does not contribute to the writing.

The odd lapse into familiar or 1st person writing.

odd lapse to present tense.

Incomplete sentences.

Punctuation good, but does not add to the clarity of the writing.

Keyterms used, but no explanation.
or Too many Key terms.

Subheadings do not make it clear what the paragraph is about.

the topic sentence confuses the subject and object

the second sentence has the same subject.

A few connectives have been used.
Every person writes at least one paragraph

Written in a formal 3rd person style to inform.

Written in the past tense.

Full sentences

Punctuation and grammar need to be 100% accurate and useful in making the information clear.

Key terms/ technical/ specialist language in bold ( these word would appear in the glossary.

each section has a clear useful subheading.

each paragraph starts with a topic sentence. SVO or SVN

The second sentence uses the Object or Noun of the topic sentences as its subject.

A wide variety of connectives are used to add information, emphasise information, explain or sequence information.

Emerging Success Criteria from "What's inside a computer?" Project

Monday, 23 June 2014

Project Successes So Far.... (2)

On Monday Project Leaders were asked to provide a few lines about the successes in the project so far.... Here's a sample of what teachers feel is going well in the projects which was read out to the whole campus....

PROJECT: Dogs with Jobs with Laura Couch and Amy McVay

We met the deadline for the calendar to be prepared ready for exhibition Saturday. All the photos were taken by the students after learning about how to take action photos of dogs from a professional photographer. A special thank you must go to Katherine Sayer for her hard work editing and uploading the photos in her own time.
Also a massive thank you to Owen George who is doing work experience with us, he's mature, thoughtful and incredibly hard working!

PROJECT: Childs Play - You're Hired with Charlotte Hodgson, Sarah Shepherd, Lisa Keenlyside

We are very proud of our year 9 group, they have been committed to the project from day one. We have been out and about last week to soft play, Team Valley and interviewing shoppers at manor walks and a local baby group. Their enthusiasm and behaviour has been fantastic throughout these trips and they have worked hard to create an original product for the baby/toddler market. This week, they are pitching their idea to JoJo Mamma Bebe and Mothercare and we wish them all the best of luck in doing so. Keep up the good work!

PROJECT: Bewitch the Mind and Ensnare the Senses with Helen Black and Claire Mark

The girls doing the Bewitch the Mind and ensnare the Senses project have worked incredibly well last week and are ahead of schedule with their children's books! They visited Newcastle Central Mosque and Newcastle City library and were a real credit to our school, listening well and asking questions. Well done! W can't wait to perform for Hadrian school.

PROJECT: World Challenge Ghana with Miss Williams and Miss Shiell

Building, Plastering and painting two classroom blocks with educational murals for the Perfect Peace primary school in Essaman. Running the entire expedition themselves including managing the budget so well we have money left to give an extra donation to the school. We've all landed safely back at Heathrow this morning and can't wait to share our experiences with the 'It's Ghana be alreet pet' project on Wednesday.

PROJECT: Media For Surfers with Mr Bing, Mr Martin, Ms McGee.

After an amazing first week of surfing and research, the group are now totally in control of the project and are using their expertise as a basis to campaign on real life issues they care about. They are going to be using to media to make our oceans cleaner and safer places. There will be an opportunity for all to get involved in a couple of weeks time. Watch this space.

PROJECT: Clued Up with Miss Smith and Miss Wilkinson

The whole group have been fantastic. The highlights have been;
· the way they planned and produced a healthy, balanced and nutritious meal on a budget. They were all different and all absolutely delicious, prepared and cooked from scratch.
· the Boot Camp we did on the beach which was really challenging but huge fun

PROJECT: Was ist das? (Northumberlandia Project) with Mrs Clark Miss Crawley

We have been overwhelmed by the group’s enthusiasm as a whole, they are beginning to show a real eye for detail and an awareness of what makes great quality work. Also impressed with their dedication, organising a sponsored walk or run to raise money for the charity which runs Northumberlandia and also to fund extra resources which the students will make and print.

PROJECT: CakeWorld with Miss Dyer, Mrs Patrick and Mrs Hodson

Cakeworld is off to a self-raising start with students using maths, creativity and teamwork skills to design and structurally plan their cake creations. This week the Pyramids, Sphinx, Petra and macho Piccu will start to take shape and we will literally be up to our elbows in cake mix and icing! Join us at the National EAT festival, Sunday in Newcastle, to see our cakes on the Cake Planet!

PROJECT: From Archaeology to Artist with Miss Carmichael and Miss Elsy

A super group of students who are working really hard. They have created a clay sculpture, tile and fossil all in one week inspired by their Archaeology field trip last Monday. The students are sensible and have been really resilient in using a new material. Well done and keep up the great work this week!

PROJECT: Military Music Project with Miss Watson and Mr Rigby

· Fantastic camaraderie within the band, everyone is pulling together and persevering incredibly well. We have seen some amazing resilience from students as they teach themselves their instrument. Biggest success is that we can already play 3 pieces very well and have one more to learn this week! The band now have 6 gigs lined up for this week!

PROJECT: Get Active On A Shoestring with Miss Joyce-Gibbons, Mr Pooley, Mr Horner and Mr Best

A great start to the project. The group approached all activities enthusiastically and with a ‘can-do’ attitude. On Friday, we asked the students to reflect on the highlights of week 1. They were: the 6 mile walk at Ingram Valley, Pitch and Putt at Whitley Bay, the team building challenges, Mr Horner’s shoestring bootcamp and obviously the fish and chips at South Beach.

PROJECT: Trash to Cash Mr Morris & Mr Wright

Well done guys for working great together, you are starting to become better organised and planning ahead which is really improving the quality of your outcomes.

Project Successes So Far....(1)

On Monday Project Leaders were asked to provide a few lines about the successes in the project so far.... Here's a sample of what teachers feel is going well in the projects which was read out to the whole campus....

PROJECT:  It's Ghana be alright pet with Miss Parnell, Mrs Arthur and Miss Peters
Three excellent trips to understand the culture of the North East in more depth- the students were true representatives of the school. Their work room has a brilliant supportive learning atmosphere due to all the positivity from the students. Keep up the good work!

PROJECT:  Life as a professional athlete with Mr Horrocks Mr Rooney
Kerry Leonard "mugging off" Chris Cassidy by catching the American Football above him Bradley. Lloyd. Denon. Adam. Leading every warm up. 1st interception touch down to. Taylor!

PROJECT:  I dig plants with Mr Middleton and Mrs Smeaton
Really great displays starting to come together using information gained from out trips last week. Some really good examples of resiliency and acting on advice being shown in our drafts of work.

PROJECT:  Crammy Wipeout with Mr Bowman, Miss Devin, Miss Taylor and MrChandler

Crammy Wipeout have set themselves high expectations and have recently completed their fifth draft of the assault course that we'll build on exhibition day. Everyone is making a great effort, both physically and academically. Highlights are Craig Lamb's team spirit in the gym, William Morris' scale drawings of the course, Daniel Plant's and Karhr Bamrah's contribution to the website and Josh Martlew's determination in every practical challenge. Keep up the hard work lads!

Project: Wind Power.... I'm a massive fan with Dr Kemp/Mr Kilpatrick
All 6 groups have already constructed and tested prototype turbine blades and all have successfully carried out complex performance calculations that go beyond the A-Level Physics specification! Designed and constructed bases for final turbines using recycled plumbing plastics- awesome problem solving skills. After a site visit last Wednesday, their work has received interest from a number of different renewable energy companies including NAREC (National renewable energy centre), the world's leading researchers for blade testing. As a result, the project is due to be in the local newspaper later this week after a press release on Friday!
PROJECT: Harry Potter meets the 21st Century with Miss Rowe and Mrs Sutherland

Our greatest success from last week was producing a fantastic app that will go on Google Play for everyone to use, that tells people how Harry Potter is connected to Alnwick Castle.  Students went on an information gathering day at Alnwick Castle taking photographs and making notes for the app.  Then students have worked independently and collaboratively to put the work together. This week we are going to be using Raspberry Pi's to create a quiz using computer programming, language to see what people have learned about Harry Potter and Alnwick Castle using the app.

PROJECT: Explore WW1 by bike with Mr Crick, Mr Fleming, Ms White and Mr Taylor
Greatest successes: The group has acted on feedback to grow as a cycling team by working on the communication and discipline needed to cycle effectively in a large group. Some outstanding research has been undertaken to find local WW1 sites including the sites of German Zeppelin raids which the group has skilfully mapped and navigated us to, by bike. The group were a credit to CLV at Blyth Battery and managed to make it home despite being full of fish and chips! Keep up the great work!

PROJECT: Who Could Make Kate Moss Look Good in Trash? with Mrs Young, Miss Teasdale,  Mrs Maddison

Greatest success was going to the Northumbria Uni "Reveal" fashion exhibition and then students coming back and using the ideas they had seen to make their designs and then critiquing each others work.  The resilience of this group has been amazing.  

Independence in project work

The huge highlight of today in the Transport for Media project was that the students initiated the critique process. This was round 5 of critique, students requested their work receive some feedback and they led the process amongst their peers with no input from supporting staff.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Building confidence

The "Archaeologists to Artists" project have planned in some great steps to build student's confidence and skill level so they can master new materials confidently.  Students are using their knowledge of archaeological finds at Simonside to inspire a ceramic wall tile display planned to be installed at school.

Drafting process

Great to see the progress being made in the "Tolerance" project's storyboards as they create their audio books.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

What have you done to maintain the classroom culture?

These quotes from the teachers running projects highlight three very important parts of maintaining classroom culture
1. We all need to see what the purpose of the "team" is, so that we can worrk together.
2 Community an dculture need regular attention.
3. Critique is a great way to build supportive learning communities. 

Regular critique & a culture of optimism - a 'we can do' & 'nothing is out of our reach' approach. 

Took the Crammy Wipeout students out on a trip to meet Britain's strongest man today who owns a strongman gym in Consett. Students treat him like a celebrity; taking pictures of him at the end of the workout he had designed them. This was an opportunity to show a range of fitness strategies. The activities encouraged critiquing technique and team spirit by supporting other students. I asked students to write a paragraph about the experience. Most wrote 3- 4 paragraphs. 

We have had an exciting day today! We started by reading each other's 1st drafts, offering valuable critiquing to each group. Groups were then able to make necessary changes to their work. We were then visited for a professional storyteller who explained how to read to children. Finally we visited Newcastle Central mosque, exploring the Muslim culture!
This constant team work and collaboration helps to promote a collective classroom culture of confidence and happiness, working with our new friends.

Past Present Future vintage
Briefings, regular review stops, critique. Setting up room and resources in a way that the students will engage with and respect(high quality resources).

We have encouraged students to take more of a lead in training and activities.

·         5 students have put themselves forwards as potential captains (4 slots available)
o   Students started to co-lead warm ups and help with equipment
·         Focus on a team culture – can’t win as individuals need constant critique and coaching of each other
·         Students watching video footage of their own plays to critique, soft on player hard on content
·         Skype call with coach from another flag football team from Darlington taking his team to USA.
o   Students see how he went from our stage to his over past 5-8 years ( Seeing the big picture)

 We did a gallery style show and tell and used post its to give feedback, groups then had 10 minutes to read their feedback and respond, including a to do list for the next session. We also did a literacy exercise on how to summarise information (not cut and paste!) using the funnel thinking map.

Photos of Project Fortnight

More Journal entries

Another lovely student journal

Students prepping for a gallery critique