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Archive for the category “weekends”

Jerry Springer returned!


The one and only Jerry Springer my crazy springer spaniel returned home last night! He has been in “foster” care with my friends for far too long! They offered to keep him until after our honeymoon and arranged to return him last night! First walk at 7am with hubby, just done a second walk and got caught put by the rain! However he is now dry and restored to his favourite position overseeing events in the street through the window! Bless him!!!


Open day…..

A lovely dry Saturday morning for open day at St Dominic’s HSG. We have had a very busy morning with 30 tours. Yesterday was a very busy day with 15 tours on working open day so a successful session.
The Young Enterprise girls are working hard on their company report which is due in at the end of next week. They are also thinking ahead to their presentation evening in two and a half weeks! Busy girls!
There have been mixed feelings about the AS and A2 results by students and staff alike. The results came out on Thursday and we would like decisions about summer entries by Monday. This has required intensive discussions with some pupils and given them a great deal to think about over the weekend!
However despite the subject commitments, YE pressures and decisions about the next exam series there was a wonderful atmosphere in the “pink room” today!
I have a speaking and listening moderation visit on Wednesday so will turn my attention to the GCSE English Language specification tomorrow….


Saturday afternoon was spent at the trade fayre in Stone where the Young Enterprise competition was held. There were seven teams participating with a variety of different products. The standard was especially high this year and the competition was fierce! I heard a report on BRMB today about the value of Young Enterprise and how it encourages sixth formers to start their own businesses in the future. In fact a YE participant from seven years ago has started his own business and is supplying his products to the Jamaican team at the forthcoming Olympics! This success is testament to the success of the YE programme!
Consequently I am delighted to have been asked to go on the Staffordshire YE Board and attend my first meeting next Monday the 12th March! This is a real accolade for our school, especially our sixth form!
There were many members of the B for B breakfast meeting present at the trade fayre too! Dave from DK Design, Steve from Lilac Films, Jonathan from Baswitch Consultancy, Stuart the Regional Director, Anna, Steve, Emily… The list goes on – all testament to how altruistic and committed these business people are to developing and nurturing the next generation!
Back to Tempo! The girls were out in force! A fantastic turnout all in their matching hoodie tops! The stand looked great and the girls felt their interview with the judges went well!
Despite the weather the St Dominic’s girls were impressive and consequently came second in this event!
What a successful day!!



Friday was a hectic day at school! The girls are building up towards the big trade fayre next Saturday 3rd March. To this end, they filmed another video with Steve Cranston from @lilac media. The first film was an advert which aimed to show the watches in different contexts with different users. In contrast, this second advert is setting a challenge to the audience to(hopefully)  make them respond and interact. Overall the girls are doing really well and need to make every second count this week as they make their final preparations for the big event!

Similarly, I have been making good use of my time this weekend (tempo time!) I have finished reading “Media Convergence” which I really got into and found sections that really resonated with me. The discussion of “Julie and Julia” On P.95 was interesting as I had mentioned that in a previous blog…..(I’ve still yet to see “Contagion” though) In particular, the best two chapters for me to use in my classroom teaching were: Chapters 2 and 5.

Chapter 2 “Convergent Media Industries” will be so useful when I move onto teaching Institutions in two weeks time to my AS Media group. I thought the case studies on News Corporation, Google and the BBC were really illuminating and can see myself using this material with them in class. Similarly Chapter 5 “Creative Audiences” is great for bringing our study of audience right up to date. We have obviously looked at the history of audience theory from the early days of the “uses and gratifications” models right up to the present day “produsers”. I feel this Chapter is an excellent overview of many of the ideas and discussions involved in my module on film theory last year: I have been reflecting on how much of the knowledge gained from that unit has filtered through into my teaching this term….

Another aspect I have been reflecting on with that particular AS group is my intended use of blogging next year with the practical production element of their course. This is worth 50% and we constantly emphasise to the girls the importance of logging the process down in the exercise books provided for this task. The idea is that they will have plenty of research material and also a log of their processes to refer to. This is vital for the reflection stage of the evaluation. After reading the Bragg article, this is an obvious area we could use blogging in next year. I liked the five part sequence that Bragg used as did Fish in her blog (Thanks Fish for alerting me to what I had missed on moodle! Much appreciated!)

Another area in sixth form we are trying to incorporate blogging into is the reflection of sixth form life. I will be talking to the Head Girl and the recently returned work experience girls to see how we could make this work…..

I embarked on Buckingham again (after that previous disastrous attempt in Asda) and to my relief found it very readable and informative. I am currently half way through at P.93 focusing on “The Digital Divide” and finding this text really useful. The first Chapter on BETT was interesting as this is something that John mentioned to us in London on our first meeting back in January….I have tweeted a colleague from my Breakfast Meeting about this and am sure we will further discuss this when I see him at the Breakfast meeting on Tuesday. In fact, much of the text resonated with me after a talk that this contact Phil Oakley @OutserveWeb did to my girls for enrichment earlier in the school year. He encouraged the girls not to be anxious about the use of social media and instead to focus on using this participatory media to represent themselves in a positive way.

The Buckingham article from the MacArthur series relates to many of the ideas in the book and I found this useful to try to embed some of these new ideas in my thoughts. I especially liked the five approaches to thinking about identity. I know need to decide whether I am Goffman or Giddens or A. N. Other……

Fancy seeing you here!!!! Small world!!

After a hectic but fruitful week in sixth form I was looking forward to the weekend. I was attending a family wedding with my new husband and his family. Despite the freezing conditions, it was a beautiful venue and a lovely day!

Imagine the expression on an eight year old boy’s face when he bumps into his Deputy Headteacher at this event! It made me reflect on the important role that outward facing professions such as teachers and nurses have in the context of their community. Conversation with my new “cousin” led me to discover that my newly acquired Cowley surname has been adapted on her nursing ward to “Cowbag” at certain times in her career! Imagine my horror! I knew there was a reason why I wanted to keep my maiden name……

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