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Decomposing language teacher hoping to recompose his life with a song or two
Interests: music, wine, I play the guitar, scaring local cats as I muck around with garageband: french cinema, cuisine: enjoying the local derbyshire scenery with my wife and dog, definitely in that order! all things web2: singing - thinking of joining a small choral group: going to see blues-rock bands at the derby flowerpot in
Recent Activity
Hi Caroline. Sorry to have only just noticed your comment but I haven't been on this blog for a while or the email address attached to it. I would gladly help your daughter but can't give out my contact details on this site. If you look for me on Facebook and have a Facebook page yourself I can send you contact details via private message. Glad you enjoyed the session - it seemed to go all to quickly. I would have loved to have done a workshop with you to show you how to do this kind of thing in practice. If the opportunity arises perhaps that can still happen!
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Hi. Not quite sure if i understand what you mean. Sorry to be so slow responding but have been on a break from teaching.
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Thank you Bjorn for your kind words. Sorry it has taken so long to respond but I haven't been active on this blog for a while due to other things going on that are very exciting. Where are you teaching?
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These are the files linked to the Sing Up Training given at some Derbyshire Primary Schools. Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2012 at Souffler - a breath of fresh air
The greatest educators are the ones who simply serve. Their only motive is to stir and release the talents of their charges. They accept this can be 'messy'. They accept the element of adventure this entails. Unless we find the breathing space in our educational systems that allow teachers to be like this and children to truly develop their creative thinking, then we will remain nations who are very very poor in our spirits and consequently increasingly poor in our pockets. Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2012 at Souffler - a breath of fresh air
Some weeks back a creative genius died. Steve Jobs' life was a life of creativity unleashed. Whatever his faults, the impact of his vision and ideas have been fundamental in allowing me to write this blog, on this machine and communicate with (in my dreams!) a potential audience of millions. True creativity is an explosion of abundance. It isn't a limited or a limiting force. It is generous, even unecessarily, wastefully so. So what might happen if we were able to create the kind of classrooms which nutured thousands of children bursting with the same elemental creativity, where the exception of one became the expectation of the many? Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2011 at Souffler - a breath of fresh air
Hi Simone! Let me know how it goes - the kids love it. All best
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Thanks Willem and hope you get some people travelling to your interesting site as well.
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I believe that singing together is an essential part of living together as communities. It has been one of the glues that have bonded tribes since the dawn of time. Sharing a common song has always been a mark of identity. It is something personally I feel we need to recover far more widely in western society. In September I'm talking at a Modern Languages Show and Tell at Cramlington Learning Village just north of Newcastle. I decided that I wanted to talk more about the whole concept of building class cohesion and identity through songs and chants. My own limited experience of trying some of these ideas out have deeply impressed me with the response from the children and the positive atmosphere they help establish in lessons. The title of my talk is "The Singing Tribe - MFL class cohesion" so if you want to know a bit more maybe I will see you there. Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2011 at Souffler - a breath of fresh air
Great! Let me know how you get on with it.
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If there are any people who read this blog who have ever toyed with the idea of buying a holiday home in France, then this post might be of interest. If any of you don't really know the Basse Normandie, it is a lovely lush area of rolling hills and beautiful beaches, well worth discovering. Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2011 at Souffler - a breath of fresh air
Thanks for the comment Renee and congratulations on taking the blogging plunge! Share links to posts that you know will be of use to other teachers on Modern Language Forums.
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MARK PURVES is now following Lingualicious
Jul 22, 2011
Blogging is a great way of building up your personal bank of ideas and resources. Talking about the things that inspire you helps you to define and refine those areas that you particularly are brilliant at. So here is a link to Sean Terry's blog. If you would like me to mention your own blog, especially people launching into the blogosphere for the first time, send me a link in the comment section below and will try and lend any profile I might have to get you going. Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 22, 2011 at Souffler - a breath of fresh air
I would be grateful if any colleagues from any country could send me links to any international link projects in Primary / Elementary schools that they have been involved with or know of that had a significant impact on their curriculum. If it's of interest for anyone I have written a brief rationale for promoting such programmes in schools here. Click on the image to go to the document. Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2011 at Souffler - a breath of fresh air
Thank you Neil for stopping by to comment. I agree about the need for effective leadership. Without this any change in this direction will be piecemeal. So where in the UK is this happening? We need to get the educational blogging community celebrating those that do this and showcase the results. Happy to do this if anyone wants to point me in a school's direction.
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Agree John. To make the point to politicians is hard. They tend to get into power when they are of a certain age. As with all of us SOGs we tend to be more rigid as we get older and slower to respond to things. We see problems through the prism of what worked for us in the past which can be very limiting of you are trying to peek into the future. At least Gove has seen the need to bolster languages by thinking of including it in the Ebac. It's just that the whole concept of an Ebac is a HarkBac (get it!) solution based on the concept that there are a core of worthwhile subjects absolutely vital to the national interest and that you promote those yet hang the rest. Total baloney of course as I'm sure an awful lot of UK income comes from industries such as film, arts, tourism, music. I don't want languages to be in the 'good boys' club to the exclusion of the others. I don't actually believe this is the intention but that will be the effect. To argue differently requires more than words though. Where are the schools proving that an inter-connected curriculum delivers very high performance? Please put me in touch with them!
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Hi Ian I agree that ICT is a great cross-curricular tool. What do you feel are the inhibiting factors that stop teachers change the way that they do things? ICT was meant to be a cross-curricular glue in the school I taught at but quickly became a separate subject fighting its own corner against the rest largely because the aspiration to deliver ICT through other subjects was way beyond the knowledge and competencies of the teachers. Has that changed yet? I was staggered to find someone a few months ago who wanted to know how to insert sound into powerpoint.
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Why can't we have a curriculum where connections are being made to many subjects throughout a child's day, where in PE I'm reminded of what I was taught in Science or French? Why should cross-curriculum models still be seen as the prerogative of the quirky and brave instead of the norm? Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2011 at Souffler - a breath of fresh air
I see music, song and rhythm as kind of de-frag software for language learning. They 'slide' new language into children's brains, flying under the radar of their stored responses. They help penetrate into parts of their consciousness where new information can be retained without having to pass through all of the border controls of stored cultural and linguistic filtering. Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2011 at Souffler - a breath of fresh air
Thanks Mel! Very encouraging to know that the good ol' US of A are appreciating a fun tune. I'll add your notebook file to this post when you send it.
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Children love a bit of fun in a song, a chance to look and sound ridiculous. You can inject this element into songs that you already use with a bit of imagination. Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2011 at Souffler - a breath of fresh air
MARK PURVES is now following David Winston
Jul 12, 2011
This blog has been created by the Language College Partnership (LCP) of All Saints RC School and Millthorpe School for teachers of modern foreign languages. It pools resources created by the LCP to share with our partner schools across the... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 12, 2011 at Souffler - a breath of fresh air
The people we desperately need to sell languages to are our pupils, NOT the government, that is the PR campaign we haven't been very successful at winning. If the government was faced with a generation of pupils buzzing with excitement about their experience of learning a language they would back the curriculum to the hilt. Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2011 at Souffler - a breath of fresh air