Cowal Pilot

Professor Belle Wallace (previously Co-Director of the Curriculum Development Unit, University of Natal, South Africa; past President of the National Association for Able Children In Education (NACE) and editor of the journal 'Gifted Education International') had developed a model of support for more able pupils based upon the concept of supporting them to Think Actively in a Social Context (TASC). This model prescribed an approach to teaching and associated methodology as opposed to extended curriculum content and was educationally sound as it avoided setting limits on an individual's capacity to learn and moved away from the problems associated with labelling a specific group of pupils. In addition this model was particularly suited to many of our smaller schools and the multi composite class structures. The model provides a structure to support pupils in working collaboratively, encouraging creativity and developing thinking and problem solving skills.

The group participating in the pilot compromised of a teacher representative from each of the eleven primary schools, a depute head teacher and two staff members from Dunoon Grammar and a member of the area network support team. P3 to S3 pupils were involved in the class based work associated with the pilot.

Some of the work that was undertaken included:

Monster making linked to the novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which was being used to develop writing through the use of literacy.
School performance
Adopt a School fundraising day
Christmas magazine
Burns Supper for the local community
Language activities
Bring and Buy sale
Technology challenge
Production of newspaper based on whole school topic work
Year group prize giving
Sports tournament

The consensus of the group was that this had been a very successful pilot. Teachers and pupils had explored different ways of working that had empowered pupils, enabled them to work collaboratively to solve problems and identify solutions. Staff indicated their intention to continue developing the use of teh TASC model within their own class next session.