Thursday, 15 January 2015

looking forward to Scottish Literacy Week

Next week, in the run up to Burn's Night on Sunday 25th, is Scottish Literacy Week at the school. I believe this is a cross-Scotland thing.
Dressing up for world book day: Merida, Doctor Proctor, and one of the Daisy Meadows Fairies (does it matter which one?)
I love that there is such a big focus on literacy in the schools here. Memorising poems, as well as the big focus they have at school on sentence construction, is brilliant for creative and thoughtful writing, and for critical reading. Both of which are really useful skills. 

Growing up in Yorkshire in the 80s we did do English language, but there wasn't so much of a focus on the nuts and bolts of it. I also don't remember memorising any Yorkshire poems, which is a shame with such wonders on offer. I did of course learn Ilkla' Moor B'ah T'at, but that's the national anthem.

Next week, the children will be memorising their poems for the big poetry competition. The little girl has the same poem as last year, so that's easy. As I write this we don't yet have the poems for the big kids, but I know that they'll be in Scots dialect, that I will, as always, attempt to help the children with their poetry, and that I will, as always, be laughed at for attempting Scots dialect with a Yorkshire accent. Last year the big girl had a poem about a rammie in the street. I had no idea what it was going on about, but it sounded dreadful. 

What would I know? I can't even say 'Ayr' properly.

During Scottish Literacy Week, the school also tends to give us some family homework. This year it's all about Scottish castles. One of the options is to build a Scottish castle. I don't know if we're going to go for that, but I'm hoarding cereal packets just in case. The school displays all the family homework, and you can see that some families really go to town on it. Sometimes the parents can get a little competitive.

Just before we left rainy town, where we lived before moving here (which I should probably call windy town), the boy was doing a class project on the Titanic. We were given family homework to build a model of the ship. 

The boy being the boy we had to build an 'accurate' model. We did a LOT of googling to find out all about the Titanic, and made sure that it was to scale ish, and had the right number of decks. We also put four chimneys on top of it, and had cotton wool steam coming out of three of them (because one was just for show). It looked like it had been glued together from cardboard boxes, and painted by a kid. Because it had. When we took it into school we sat it down next to the boy's friend's model. It was MUCH better painted than ours, and it had balustrades around the deck, made from matchsticks. It was beautiful. This was noted by the boy who congratulated his friend on a job well done. He then turned to me and whispered, “look, he has smoke coming out of all four chimneys,” and he grinned.

On the day we left rainy town, the boy's teacher gave him that Titanic model to take with him. The children sat with it across their knees. It was the first thing into the new house.

Thanks then.