Saturday, 29 December 2012


Working on six word stories with a twist! The original idea is that Hemmingway wrote 'For sale, baby shoes, never worn.' Whether he did or not is often debated but the idea is a really good one to focus your ideas.
Here I want to look at SWOP - Six Words One Photo - I've added a photo below in various edits - all the same image! What would your six word story be?
see separate blog for lots more images

someone else has paid for coffee.

 Sit here long enough she'll return.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Vintage Collection

I've taken a few of my photographs from the last few studio sessions and given them the 'Vintage treatment', love this effect.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Panto season!

The cast of Aladdin in rehearsal!

Spent a lovely morning at Horizon CC taking photographs of dancers in rehearsal for Aladdin.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

4D Creative

Spent a wonderful day with people at 4D creative in Manchester yesterday
So impressed with their work (and they make a mean cup of coffee!)
The building itself is full of character and photo opportunities- loved it.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Take time to stand and stare.

I spent a wonderful couple of hours at the Castle Museum in York this morning. This is one of my favourite museums simply because you are allowed to look, to touch, to wander and take it all in.
One of the first things you notice is the smell. How evocative is that sense and how rarely do we use it when planning our classroom work? The Undertakers smelt of newly cut wood, the stable smelt like horse manure!
If you stand and look you begin to see lots of minor details.
The Bible, the undertakers hat, the empty mug.
The tools of the trade, the rough texture of the walls.

BUT for me the most important thing that this Museum does is that it allows you time, you aren't herded around, you can stand and stare, listen, smell and then move on in your own time.
I do think that in the past I have been guilty of hurrying pupils along when sometimes they wanted to stop and wasn't an avoidance tactic it was trying to work things out in their heads.
There are nooks and crannies that you will miss if you don't take time to explore. Down a tiny side street, with no signs is this example of a room belonging to a poorer family. It's full of amazing items which would start discussions, the roughly hewn wooden cradle, the portrait, the piece of paper tucked behind the jug on the mantle.
If we'd rushed round we would have missed this, maybe we do need to give our pupils time to stand and stare!
PS What did worry me was finding things I had played with as a child, now in a museum!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Spent some time today just for me! Yes I know that's self indulgent but sometimes you need to recharge your batteries and do something that you love. So I 'Played' with CDs, water drops and a torch - one of the results is below! I know a lot of my friends are tired and struggling at the moment - half term is nearly here - time to recharge x

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


It has been a strange 6 weeks! I have taught adults, NQTs, GCSE, year 3,4 and 6! I have been Mrs X the keeper of the diamond, I have met new people, taken photos at 4 weddings in 5 weeks! As well as all of the above I have managed the odd coffee with my mentor Hywel! I have managed to meet and feed my son on a more regular basis...and at times it has felt really strange. I have no one urging me to work other than myself but that has made me work even harder. I have had serious moments of self doubt and will be forever grateful for the support of my wonderful husband and bag carrier!
I have been working on 'branding' and how I present work to my wedding clients, see below.
There is a long way to go but I am getting used to this strange existence.
What is amazing is that whenever I have been feeling doubtful something or someone always appears and makes me feel better. When doubting my photographic abilities, Sal sent me a photo of the canvas they'd had made and displayed in their living room of one of the wedding photos I'd taken - and in an instant your spirits are raised again.
Have to go now as the 'ladies' (see below - sorry in joke) are coming round later for wine! x

Friday, 28 September 2012

Going up in the world!

Look what arrived this morning! I'm now going to put wedding photos onto branded wooden USB memory sticks, great service from 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Dylan Wiliam

I was fortunate today to attend a course run by Dylan Wiliams about Leadership for Teacher Learning. (organised by theHUBS Sheffield)
How inspirational, and challenging in terms of making me think. 'Become outstanding at what you are rather than worrying about your weaknesses' was just one of the hundreds of quotes I scribbled down. Don't say you have 20 year's teaching experience if you only have one year repeated 20 times!
The important thing is that we give our pupils a desire to learn! Lots to think about from today.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Horizon Community College Day One

Horizon opened today - a sea of green blazers and enthusiasm!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Lifestyle Fitness

Today I have been 'playing nicely'! I've been taking photos of the new Lifestyle Gym in Barnsley, and working with my son too!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

New term

It will be a very strange day tomorrow as it's my first 'real' day as a freelance! I've done work over the summer and got lots of work lined up - but I feel a little bereft! I'm not part of a school and have to make my own way and that feels like a huge leap. On the plus side the butterflies are smaller than the ones I usually have at this time of year! I'm running an inset training session at a local primary school and am actually excited! The postcard above is for all my teacher friends - remember YOU are the one who make the magic happen!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

London - Olympics

Yesterday I spent the day in London with a friend, we didn't have tickets to anything but had an amazing time and met some lovely people, including American figure skating coaches and two Croatian Silver medal winning rowers! What struck us was how friendly everyone was and even though everywhere was packed there was such a feel good factor!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

BYC & Newham Choir

Olympic Anthems
What an amazing concert!
See the rest of the photos here BYC Facebook page

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Images from Harlow Carr

RHS Harlow Carr July 2012, to look at more images or purchase, please follow the link above.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The End of an Era

The school where I worked for 18 years is closing this week. It is merging with another school and opening in a new state of the art building.
This weekend has seen the celebration of 'keep the flame burning' and 25 years of the school's history. What an amazing day yesterday, an open day where I met so many past students and colleagues. I was so proud of some of my ex form who have gone on to do amazing things, Richard is a nurse, Debbie is a speech therapist, Rebecca is a fashion designer....You don't often get to see the results of all your hard work after so long but there they were these amazing talented, special people. There were several tears shed on the day ...but mainly tears of pride mingled with a tinge of sadness for colleagues no longer with us. I'm more than a little proud to have been part of such an amazing family.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

TES article

Brilliant article by @Hywel_Roberts in the TES magazine this week. If you haven't already ordered it you don't know what you are missing!
Buy Oops at Amazon here!
Oops! Helping children learn accidentally

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Where can I find the off switch please?

  Below is a Blog post that I wrote at half term...and been so busy over the last three weeks I've only just got around to uploading it...I rest my case.

After 30 years of full time teaching this is my final half term. I will be going freelance in September but this is my final school holiday where I will be returning as a full time teacher. I decided that it would be a restful half term& I would recharge batteries....all the usual clich├ęs. Penthouse apartment booked on the East coast (if you are going to do it – you might as well do it in style is my motto), books, camera .....oh and laptop, iPhone, novel for year 7 next half term, books I’ve been meaning to read....oh that’s right where is the off button I seem to have mislaid it.
So far this week I have done really well but it’s Wednesday and I’m starting to twitch! I had several conversations on Twitter about posters on resilience for our staff training next week, favourited several tweets to look at websites properly at the weekend, I’ve read a novel for my yr 7 special needs English group, I’ve taken and edited several images to turn into ‘quotes posters’, I’ve e mailed about articles, I’ve started reading ‘Dancing about architecture’(P Beadle) and Bounce(M Syed),  I’ve bought resources that will be useful for Mantle work, I’ve saved the newspapers from the Jubilee coverage because  I will be able to use them next term....
I’m regretting not sorting out Internet access as I want to update my blog so I’m typing an article to upload later...and breathe! My Husband is out walking (in the rain – it is the East coast in June after all!) and I’m thinking about how to switch off! If you are a teacher I think you adopt a different mentality.
Squirrel – you hoard and save. One pink fishing net, shells, several union Jack flags, a hat which is a tiger’s head,  the Times newspapers from the last few days – because you can and will use them in the classroom.
Hamster – there is this treadmill, you get off but the temptation to get back on is too great – just one more go, just one more article, just one more tweet, just one more e mail......
Bear – you spend the first couple of days of any holiday hibernating, slobbing out in tracksuit bottoms sloppy socks and wondering how you manage to get up at 6am normally.
The work ethic is too engrained and even when not working I’m thinking about what I should be doing and when I can fit it in. I promised myself a week off so why can’t I do it? Maybe I don’t really want to and the ‘yes’ factor of finding that one off article or the ‘lure’ that you need for you next lesson is too great.
During term time I sometimes feel overwhelmed and there is never a time when I can say I have got to the bottom of my ‘to do’ list. The app ‘do it tomorrow’ is great – it even makes a ‘whooshing’ sound when I cross something off and if I don’t cross it automatically transfers it to ‘tomorrow’. The good thing is when an item has been on my list for a couple of weeks, I’ve not done it and nothing drastic has happened as a result...I just cross it off anyway! Reminds me of a deputy I worked with who had two cardboard boxes under his desk, all correspondence went into the first and only got transferred into the one that was his ‘To Do’ box if someone asked him for it.
Is there such an animal as a sloth? If you are a committed teacher can you ever stop? I would be happy with a pause button but don’t hold out much hope.

Monday, 25 June 2012

The Olympic Torch Barnsley 2012

We were fortunate today to go and witness the Olympic Torch pass through Barnsley. What a historic occasion! A wonderful atmosphere and thanks to Ed Staton for organising this.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

New App

Loving my new APP which uses the preset that was used on the famous Obama Hope Poster, have just been playing with this but think I will make some to use in the classroom

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Olympic Torch

Look what we got to see in school today! Thanks to Graham for bringing this in for us following his run with the Olympic torch yesterday. We are going to see the torch pass through Barnsley on Monday too!
Thanks to Mr Horbury & his PE group too.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

'Tread softly...'

A personal post today as this is always a difficult time of year for me. Sometimes things happen that change you for ever. My eldest son would have been 25 on Tuesday but died when he was only 8 weeks old. I often say to people who have lost someone 'You never get over it, you just learn how to live with it', most of the time that's true but sometimes it's just hard to live with! I am blessed I have a wonderful younger son who knows he had a much loved brother, he would often confuse people when he was younger by putting on his coat and saying he was 'going to heaven to see Matthew', if only we could. The quote is one that stays with me 'Tread softly, for you tread on my dreams' because I remember reading about someone in a similar situation who said he didn't believe in gravestones but if he did that's what he would put. I often wonder what Matthew would have been like, what his character would have been - how much potential every one person has. He changed my life, made me stronger in lots of ways, happy birthday sweetheart! x