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Dan Guiney

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About Dan Guiney

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  • Birthday 01/18/1978

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  1. Royal British Legion HM Queen Mother Great War Scholarship 2008 http://www.cfkeep.org/html/snapshot.php?id=97034364656577 I was fortunate enough to be awarded this year's scholarship which entailed spending five weeks on the Somme over the summer researching my local regiment, the Norfolks. The aim of the project was to compile a pack of written, audio, and visual sources for teachers in Norfolk to cascade to their students so that the international element of WWI can be viewed through local study. To achieve this I was given unlimited access to museums, databases, archaological trusts, historians, and British Legion expertise in France as well as having the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the Regiment. Moreover, I got to work closely with the IWM and my local regimental museum back in England. Background to the scholarship I have ran a trip with my colleague Joanne Philpott for Year 10 students to the battlefields of WWI for many years which has always been a highlight of the teaching year. Student feedback has always been positive and the trip's goals were to highlight the horrors of war and the noble sacrifice of the men involved whilst also enabling students to use higher level historical thinking. However, the trip had tended to focus on the 'big picture' ie: countries not individuals, field marshals not privates, military strategy not ground combat. Moreover, I was concerned that students would come home and feel a certain distance between their home life and their experiences on the trip. With this in mind I took some students to the local war memorial. Here they did some cliometric analysis and number crunching comparing surnames to the school register. Moreover, they picked a handful of names which they decided to do further research on using the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website. Using one soldier from the memorial, Pte. C Brunton, as an example, they discovered his date of death, his regimental number, and that he was in the 1st (Regular) Batallion of the Norfolk Regiment. From here I then leafed through the town's local newspaper records via the Dereham Antiquarian Society and the Norfolk Heritage Section of the library and looked up the corresponding entry for his date of death. This revealed further information about him such as place of employment and previous injuries and also provided a photograph as well as letters written by him to his neighbour. Further research came in the form of the 1901 online census which revealed his address, the number of people in his household (from which students could infer a little about his childhood), as well as information such as socio-economic background (his parents were basket-makers) and so forth. I then used Roy Westlake's book to provide the detailed movements for his regiment and visited the Public Records Office to gain access to military intelligence memos, trench maps, and officers' logs for his daet of death. Students then visited France, including Delville Wood where he died in a bayonet charge on 27/7/16, and finally found his name on the memorial to the missing of the Somme at Thiepval. This provided a powerful link between local and international history. It was with this in mind that I decided I wanted to furnish history teachers and more importantly children across the county with an awareness of the men who came from their areas and who fought in WWI. I applied, went to the British Legion Headquarters at Haig House on Pall Mall, and was accepted as the 2008 scholar. Highlights of the scholarship I was based, for the period of the scholarship, at the Thiepval Visitor Centre on the Somme. The visitor centre is run by the Historial de la Grande Guerre. The Legion-funded education guide, Lawrence Brown, based at the centre was the person I worked most closely with during my stay and he guided my around some amazing sites pertaining to the Norfolks, notably Carnoy (where the 8th went over the top on the first day of the Somme) and Delville Wood (where so many of the 1st died on 27th july 1916). Other sites of huge interest were Blighty Valley Cemetery where the Norfolks were on burial detail and Norfolk Cemetery in which 16 year old I A Laud was the first burial. I also had the chance to attend a series of organised events taking place in the area such as: * Irish Peace Park at Messines (Belgium) reconciliation program concerning the religious divide in Ireland, via the experiences of the 16th and 36th divisions. * The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Went behind the scenes at the Commission’s workshops near Arras as well as their educational resources to witness headstone renovation amongst other things. * The Volksbund. The German equivalent of the War Graves Commission – spent time with one of their youth camps that spend two weeks working on cemetery maintenance and reconciliation. This included teaching a group of German Year 9 students and also returfing part of La Targett cemetery and cleaning up headstones. * Spend time at The Thiepval Visitor Centre and find out what draws people there and how the site is interpreted for school groups. I also had access to the Linge database. * The Historial de la Grande Guerre at Péronne – saw a French view of the Great War and the work they carry out with visiting school groups. * Visited Beaumont Hamel, the Newfoundland Memorial Park and studied the work of the Canadian guides and attended induction courses for new intake of guides at Beaumont Hamel and Vimy week of 18th August. Outcomes of the scholarship Both myself as scholar and Joanne Philpott as advisor gave an initial talk about the scholarship at the history network meeting at Norwich Professional Development Centre in October 2008. The purpose of this talk was to outline the research completed and the motivation behond it. I am at present in the collation stage and will be delivering my overall findings and pack to the same group before December 2008. Further links about the scholarship can be found at http://www.thiepval.org.uk/stop_press.htm and http://www.esinet.norfolk.gov.uk/cadmin/fi...Sept%202008.pdf
  2. The powerpoint presentation can now be viewed by clicking on 'Dan Guiney' on the right hand side of the page linked below. http://www.schoolsnetwork.org.uk/Article.a...p;PageId=239400
  3. An article about this was featured in the January edition of the ASCL Leader Magazine. To read more please click on [url=http://www.leadermagazine.co.uk/article.php?id=949]http://www.leadermagazine.co.uk/article.php?id=949[/url][/color]
  4. Pictures from the presentation can now be viewed at http://www.neatherd.org/events/healthyminds.php
  5. Healthy Minds Three ex-students of mine recently spoke at a conference called ‘Healthy Minds: Turning the Tide’ at the University of East Anglia to over 150 people. Our presentation was about the CAMHS project which we took part in from 2005-2007 on social and emotional aspects of learning. Questionnaires taken at the start and the end of the project revealed a number of pleasing outcomes which are emboldened. “Healthy Schools is about more than preparing for the Olympics … it’s about healthy minds too and ensuring you keep happy and emotionally balanced and don’t let your stress get on top of you!” said Chris, one of the school’s representatives, when kicking off proceedings. Carmel then read a poem she had written at the start of Year 10 entitled ‘the true curriculum of schools’ for which she received a hearty round of applause. The poem was all about how school life can seem like a “mission” and how exams can seem to be the only important thing if you let them. It ended with the words … “A chance to shine would be a treat, For you are the one with the world at your feet. This is the most important time, For you to learn, you're in your prime, Make sure your hidden gifts are seen, For you are that ghost, just turned fifteen” She then went on to talk about her involvement in making the Year 11 leaver’s book and explained how it gave all students a chance to get involved and to have a genuine ‘voice’ in their education. “All students had a real say in how the book was published, how many pages were in it, who won awards, how much it should cost, what should go in it, and of course in writing their own personal statement” said Carmel. “It was our project and it was our success”. By the end of the project there was a 15% increase in students who felt they had control of their own school-life and weren’t simply “told” what to do. Students could express their emotions in a number of ways. Following on from this Ria showed the audience some photographs of the project’s anti-bullying and prom committees and explained how these had encouraged multi-layered friendships. “It gave us all a chance to work with people from other sets, year groups, teachers, parents, and outside agencies ranging from county advisors through to Fire Engine hire companies!” said she. Students had opportunities to make lots of different friendships and it also gave the school the chance to reward student success that wasn’t just about exams. Chris then explained how students in the year group managed exam stress by following a form time scheme about stress-busting using mental health resources and having specialist staff talk to the year group about ways to keep your cool before showing some video footage of student reflections. “It’s about getting the balance right” said Chris. “More students achieved above their predictions than in previous years and so exam results were better as a result of the work we did”. 36% of the year achieved one grade above Yellis predictions in their GCSE examinations, an increase of 24% on the previous year. I then explained why it is important for schools to care for student’s mental health and not just their exam results. The two go hand in hand. Making sure our school encourages positive mental health is especially important. Indeed, the government’s national strategy for the Key Stage tells us that “behaviour and attendance improvements start with staff understanding negative mental health”. Put simply, having ‘shiny, happy people’ means they get better results and become well-rounded adults who are able to cope with the ups and downs of life. By the end of the year student awareness of their own mental health had increased by 21% Head teachers, County Advisors, the Principal Educational Psychologist for Norfolk, and even a Government Minister all commented on how mature, well balanced, and emotionally intelligent students leaving the school had become and our student representatives were given a warm round of applause as they concluded their lecture. Any thoughts on how you are embedding social and emotional aspects of learning in your school would be very much welcomed. [/size][/size]
  6. The Challenging Class: A Solution-Focused Approach to Success Solution-focused approaches have been developed in the past thirty years as a way of collaboratively problem-solving in a range of professional contexts including social work, psychology, psychiatry and increasingly education (Berg & Steiner, 2003). As the name suggests solution-focused approaches start with solutions, developing successful strategies to reach these. Such an approach assumes that problem-owners have within them the will and resources to develop successful solutions to their difficulties when given a framework to consider what they are doing right at the moment and an opportunity to build on this. This is most certainly true of students in mainstream 11-18 comprehensives such as my own. Solution-focussed approaches work on the framework that it is easier to modify challenging behaviours by first addressing our own actions as education professionals. In this article I explore how a solution-focused approach helped teachers at an 11-18 comprehensive to build on successful strategies at managing a challenging class. A low-attaining key stage three set known to be exhibiting several whole-class misbehaviours were presenting themselves as a challenging class for several teachers. These included frequent low-level disruption as well as frequent off-task behaviour and this was leading to a negative perception of the group which in turn had an impact upon staff delivery of lessons. A number of other interventions had been used with varying degrees of success at both classroom teacher and more strategically at Year Leader level. Low staff expectations led to low student self-esteem and thus the cycle was continuing. However, I observed in lessons and on paper that some classroom teachers were using highly successful strategies but that there was no formal method of sharing this practice and that the focus tended to be on pupil misbehaviour rather than successful teacher intervention. Discussions with staff to outline the difficulties and ways forward had tended to focus on ‘problems’ of individual children, particularly in the context of a busy school day. Therefore, it was hoped that the introduction of a solution-focused approach, along with existing interventions, would empower teachers and encourage them to work collaboratively to deal with this challenging class in finding ways forward as a group of expert professionals. The Year Leader developed a questionnaire in partnership with the Norfolk Educational Psychology Service using a range of solution-focused questions. It began with goal-setting, asking teachers what they hoped the class would do differently if this approach was successful. This was later used to prioritise target setting and monitoring of behaviours by senior managers. The questionnaire went on to explore strategies that teachers were currently employing with success and asked them to reflect upon how they as professionals impacted upon the behaviour of the class. For example, teachers wrote of the use of practical activities, focusing praise on positive behaviour, use of ‘short-burst’ tasks, and setting behaviour targets at the beginning of lessons amongst many others. It was refreshing to see the enormous range of strategies being used and clear that many staff had a very high level of expertise to build on in succeeding with this class. Finally, the questionnaire asked teachers about the support they would appreciate from senior managers in working to succeed with this class. It was hoped that this would convey a spirit of professional collaboration. This was used as the basis for sharing successful strategies in managing the behaviour of a challenging class. All responses were compiled into a one-sided information sheet which was distributed to staff working with the class and staff were encouraged to feedback which straetgies they had employed as part ongoing CPD tied in with rewards. This began with a list of behaviour targets for the class based on what behaviours teachers wished to change. The writers of the information sheet acknowledged and celebrated the successful strategies which were presently being employed by all members of staff. It went on to list strategies which were being used by staff members and suggested that other teachers may like to give some of these a try. Finally, it stated the action that would be taken on a strategic level in supporting staff based on the interventions they asked for in the questionnaire. Since distributing the information sheet teachers have reported using a number of strategies employed by colleagues and have commented on their successes. The number of incidents of reported pupil misbehaviour has measurably decreased: a 39% drop in referrals (one measure of the school’s assertive discipline policy) in the 30 days after the solution-focussed initiative was implemented was a pleasing outcome. Moreover, teachers and parents/guardians have commented on improved levels of compliance and on-task behaviour and this is evidence of improved staff perceptions leading to raised student self-esteem. This ties in neatly with the attainment agenda and it is hoped the long –term benefits will included greater student academic progression. In short, this solution-focussed turned a spiral of negativity into a virtuous circle with enormous rewards for student learning and staff morale. It is hoped that this solution-focused approach will be further developed to use with other challenging classes as a way of showing best practice to enhance the implementation of the school’s behaviour policy.
  7. Biography I am Daniel Guiney. I read History (2.i Hons) at the University of Sheffield in 2000 and trained to teach under the tutelage of Bob Unwin at the University of Leeds (PGCE) in 2001. I began teaching history at Springwood High School in King's Lynn in 2001 and consider myself an exciting and dynamic classroom practioner. I then became a Year Leader at Neatherd High School in Dereham in 2003 before moving on to take on my present role as Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator in 2008. I have hugely enjoyed all my roles and presently work at Wayland Community High School, an 11-16 comprehensive in Watton. The three paragraphs below outline some of my achievements in these three fields. History. I have a genuine passion for Irish history as well as that of Industrial Britain. Some of my achievements include regular healthy exam results: my most recent GCSE results showed considerable value added including 13 A*s. I have led several history trips. These have included sites as varied as the National Archives, the British Library, IWM, local castles, universities, themed events, and a city history trip. I have also led residential trips for approximately 100 students to both Berlin and the Battlefields of France and am an established GCSE examination marker. I have also led various history projects within school. These have included working on British Council International Projects. During the summer of 2008 I was awarded the Her Majesty Queen Mother Great War Scholarship by the Royal British Legion and spent 5 weeks researching the Norfolk Regiment on the Somme, the findings of which I fed back at county network which will impact upon all schools in Norfolk. I am presently working on a Gifted and Talented project based around the research skills I developed during this work and am looking forward to the follow up exhibition which will be on display in Norwich Castle museum in July 2009. Pastoral. My pastoral responsibilities have included creating and implementing whole-school strategies to deal with challenging behaviours, the findings of which I published in the British Journal of Pastoral Education. I have also devised PSHE schemes of learning, regularly delivered enspiriting assembly programmes, organised Year 11 Leaver's Proms and Leaver's Books, and implemented stress-busting and exam-busting workshops focussed on revision skills. This also included devising a mock exam results simulation day and using data to boost student performance. 36% of my Year group achieved at least one grade above their Yellis predictions, up 24% on the previous year. I have found the application of ICT invaluable in promoting a positive ethos and in rewarding student success. Pastoral projects I have been engaged with include the CAMHS project promoting positive mental health across school settings nationwide. The objective of the project was to encourage multi-layered friendships, provide students with genuine vehicles of self-expression, and to boost student ownership. I delivered my findings in October 2007 in two 30 minute talks at the Healthy Schools conference at Carrow Road, Norwich. I have also delivered a workshop to a variety of childrens' service professionals on the subject of student self-advocacy at the Norfolk Secondary Behaviour Forum. Moreover, I have an ongoing passion for social and emotional aspects of learning. I very much hope to pursue this in the near future and am presently writing up my findings which I hope shortly to publish. This year I will be completing a TLA in collaboration with partner schools and county advisors on the issue of anti-bullying. SEN. I greatly enjoy my present role and have had real and measurable success in helping students progress with literacy and numeracy working both within classroom settings as well as through supportive withdrawal. Moreover, I work dynamically within a multi agency approach and manage a team of twenty five full and part time Learning Support Staff and three SEN teachers as well as working within a whole school approach. I aim to successfully reduce barriers to learning and to ensure that every single student is given real and genuine opportunities to fulfill their potential and to leave as independent, happy citizens who are not afraid to take appropriate risks in their academic and life long learning. I was excited to be asked to be a keynote speaker at the second annual SEN conference in Nottingham in April 2008. Moreover, I am presently pursuing a Masters Degree in Advanced Educational Practice at the University of East Anglia with a research focus on Autism which will dovetail neatly with the exciting challenges of my present post. I am in the process of compiling a 'rough guide' for future SENCos in Norfolk based upon my experiences of the role in 2008-9. I maintain an extremely professional, well-organized approach to my work and take pride in everything I do. All students have a role to play in society and inclusion is the key factor in enabling them to integrate successfully, achieve economic well-being and make a positive contribution to society as outlined in the Every Child Matters Agenda. Those who have worked with me know that I am wholly student-centred, genuinely inclusive, and have a wealth of experience working with students with a variety of learning needs including those with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, ASD, Autism, and Meares Irlen amongst many others. In order to achieve this I have written and managed hundreds of Individual Education Plans, delivered whole school in-service training on the first phase (SPLD - Dyslexia) of the Inclusion Development Plan, as well as resourcing and delivering personalized one to one and small group support sessions for students with additional needs beyond those being addressed in the classroom. I have also been specifically deployed to my strengths to teach SEN classes. I am familiar with a range of SEN software such as Successmaker, Clicker 5, and Nessy. I have developed strong strategies for motivating and inspiring students with SEN in order to raise self esteem and belief in their ability to achieve, and am in the process of organising a Presentation Evening in order that students with SEN are publicly recognized and praised for their successes and progression. I am familiar with a range of literacy testing methods and have used NEALE analysis and Youngs to monitor the progression of reading and spelling scores for my students to enable them to have ownership of their progress. I am trained in the Common Assessment Framework and I have acquired and developed a bank of experience in my first year as SENCo. In these roles I have re-written SEN policy in conjunction with county advisors and managed numerous meetings as well as liaising regularly with external agencies such as School Health Advisors, Children’s Services, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Educational Psychologist Services, Behaviour Support, Education Welfare, Housing Advisory Team, and Attendance and the Looked After Children’s Teams. I have developed excellent working relationships with local primary schools in my areas and have led many statement reviews as well as helping plan transition for students with a variety of needs. I have always found that the greatest success is achieved when parents’ contributions are welcomed and valued in collaboration with school staff. I have worked closely with parents and offer them advice and expertise in order that each student’s learning needs can be met at home as well as in school. I value and respect all members of my SEN team and understand the importance of creating opportunities to allow them to develop and use their individual skills to their best advantage. I have deployed my Learning Support Assistants using insight into their skills and personal interests. I have also worked hard to ensure they receive up to date training on a number of key areas. Personalised Learning has an important place in meeting the needs of students and I have enjoyed working as part of the Senior Management Team as well as with other Heads of Faculty and the whole school community to provide an insight of what the needs of the students on the SEN Register are in broadening the curriculum. One specific example would be the work I did with the canteen staff in enabling a student with ASD to access menu choices. Furthermore, I am able to observe and appraise members of my team and offer supportive feedback as well as to effectively integrate new staff into existing structures. I haev developed a mutually supportive relationship in particular with my SEN governor. There remain many areas I seek to develop and I am planning to self-fund myself on an OCR SPLD course this year. Outside of school I have many varied interests. I recently attended as SSAT tour which focussed on SEN and school management in Hergotenbosch in the Netherlands and am volunteering to teach English for one month at a school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, over the summer of 2009 for which I have successfully raised funds through charitable means. More specifically, I especially enjoy cookery, gardening, travelling, cricket, and particularly canoeing and indeed any combination of the above. Most importantly, I place relationships at the heart of a very child-centred approach to learning and I rather enjoy it!
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