Turing Project Overview
Mick MingStones' (Head Teacher, WDPS) Turing Project Overview
06-09-22 - Update
2022-2023 - WDPS and ttsa.nl Planned International Work
After consulting with the ttsa.nl staff team, Judith Vansambeek (Head of School) and Michelle Krenning (Lead Teacher) have decided that they wish to continue working with WDPS in 2022-2023. Unfortunately, they are not in a position to come and spend time with us in Newcastle this coming year. However, they wish to continue online collaborations between the students in both schools via online meetings, e-mails etc. as there are so many benefits for us all to enjoy.
WDPS students will continue to develop the ‘Life Manual’ and share these assets for making positive life choices with our ttsa.nl friends.
Then in 2023-2024, we will return to Amsterdam to give our WDPS students a real, cultural appreciation of a Dutch school and a first hand experience of a positive, vibrant, healthy, creative European culture.
On this visit, we will take a WDPS Press Crew in the support-minibus and they will be tasked with chronicling the whole experience for us all.
The Life Manual - Summer Term 2022 - 20-06-22
Our Phase 3 students (Y5, Y5-6 and Y6) are now working on creating assets for the 'Life Manual' which will be accessed (Via a shared platform) by students at WDPS and ttsa.nl. This will help them to make positive choices on their life journeys.
The Life Manual has the following 4 elements:
- Recipes for healthy snacks and meals.
- Ideas and techniques for promoting mental health, positive wellbeing, mindfulness, meditation etc.
- Outdoor activities
- Ideas for creative response e.g. write songs, origami, whittling etc.
My dream is that one day, young people everywhere, will be able to access the 'Life Manual' through an app on their smartphone.
Primary Times - Article - 23-05-22 - WDPS Goes Dutch
Enjoy the Second Northern Insight (Post-Visit) Article Below - 14-04-22
This has been one of the highlights in my educational career. This was an incredible team effort by WDPS staff and Governors and the impact was that our children got to experience a truly, cultural experience overseas. It enriches the WDPS culture and builds on the WDPS Life Skills Challenge Award (LSCA), WDPS Raising Aspirations Programme (RAP) and our desire to nurture global citizens.
We are now strengthening the international aspects of our learning offer for all children. In 2023 ttsa.nl plan to visit us and we will help them to appreciate the culture and heritage of the North East. In 2024 we will return to Amsterdam with more students and take a newspaper team of students to chronicle our next mobility. We will continue to work online and share ideas and resources.
I have just completed the Turing Final Report (See below)
Our students embarked on a life journey to become global citizens. The impact was maximised by spending time in another culture where they gained intercultural skills, competencies and cultural capital for their own holistic development.
The visit helped form friendships with Dutch students. By cycling to and around Amsterdam and learning together with and from Dutch students, they gained an understanding of England being part of Europe and the world. Students compared similarities/differences in our respective lifestyles including primary education and how we can promote healthy lifestyles for all.
WDPS students absorbed the Dutch school system and typical school day, enabling them to understand each other better and to compare learning in different countries. The students are more motivated to achieve academically as they now appreciate the importance
of educational attainment to maximising life choices/chances for living, studying, travelling and working overseas.
Before we went on the mobility to Holland, our students gained knowledge about Dutch students’ lifestyles through the online meetings which focused on ‘Meeting Each Other’, ‘Hobbies’ and ‘Food and Drink’. This gave them confidence to work with the Dutch students due to having minimised barriers prior to the mobility. Post mobility, they wish to strengthen these friendships.
Our children appreciate that cycling is the most popular form of transport for Dutch people and that this impacts on people's mental and physical health, reduces the need to rely on fossil fuels for transport and helps create a cleaner environment for all to enjoy. The students learnt that dedicated bike paths permit everyone to travel around safely. This challenged their thinking of what life could be like back in Newcastle and how we need to campaign for cleaner, safer and healthier way to travel to school and around Newcastle.
Students have learnt about possibilities for outdoor and creative activities, healthy snack and meal options, strategies to use in stressful/conflict situations and the importance of an active life in order to enjoy life to the full and to contribute fully to UK and overseas communities now and in the future.
Staff in both schools have the desire to build on the success of the trip and to continue to collaborate online including in the development of the ‘Life Manual’. In the first instance, West Denton Primary School (WDPS) is creating workcards/activities for all 4 areas and then ttsa will add to these in the future. I discussed safe and healthy travel networks in Amsterdam with Maud de Vries (@BicycleFuturist, Co-founder) @BYCS_org.) and also our Life Manual innovation and she agreed with me that this needs to be developed and available to all young people. Sir Graham Wylie @SirGWFoundation is of the same opinion.
Spending 2 days learning from each other in a Dutch school, sharing a meal with a Dutch family in their home, Visiting the Tropenmuseum and travelling on a ferry, canal boat and tram and walking and cycling around Amsterdam has increased our students’ cultural capital exponentially.
Benefits to WDPS students:
- Want to help other people to make healthier life choices back in Newcastle now that they have travelled and spent time in Holland.
- Appreciate the Dutch culture and widened their horizons through cycling and walking through Amsterdam.
- Able to comment on Dutch architecture
- Appreciate the green benefits of travelling on trams and canal boats and all believe that this mobility will shape their future life choices.
- Believe that in the UK the Government needs to invest in dedicated and safe bike paths like in Holland.
- Understand the importance of healthy life choices for impacting on mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health.
- Want to visit Holland again with their families.
- Have aspirations to travel, study, work and live overseas.
- Appreciate the importance of working hard at school to positively impacting on maximising choices in all aspects of their future lives.
- Appreciate that cultural holidays can shape them positively as individuals rather than thinking that a holiday overseas is limited to a package holiday (Sun, hotel, pool etc.)
Enjoy our Facebook Coverage of the Amsterdam Trip
Check out the Turing Experience on the Phase 3 Class Pages below.
Click on the link to see the Chronicle Coverage
Just had a really productive final staff meeting for the Turing Amsterdam mobility. Many thanks to WDPS staff across the school including the Phase 3 team who are supporting this initiative with their time and skills. Massive thanks to the Turing Ambassador Staff (Rachael Croll, Nick Shiel, Neil Jones, Jocasta Williams and Liz Mc Hatton) who, along with me, are putting heart and soul into making this an inspirational, lifetime, learning experience for the 11 students who are going to Amsterdam with us.
Check out the Media Coverage - WDPS Turing Project - UK, America and the World Wide Web (WWW)!!!!
Angela Mason - Teaching our Phase 3 Children Dutch Greetings - Using Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic Inputs- 23-03-22
Great News from DFDS! Read on below .........
Subject: RE: Plan & Schedule for WDPS Visit onboard King Seaways - Sunday 27 March
Staff and I can breathe a sigh of relief due to the following announcement by DFDS today:
Travel from UK to Netherlands
From 23rd March 2022, the Dutch Government have announced they will lift the testing requirements for passengers from the UK who are fully vaccinated. This means the last testing date will be Monday 21st March.
Up until this moment, we had COVID LFD tests booked for 9am on Sunday 27th March - the day of the departure!
Now we can all begin to get excited about the trip as all 6 members of staff can accompany the WDPS Ambassadors on this Turing Scheme mobility.
We are all super excited as we make the last minute preparations for our trip to Amsterdam. I have been in communication with Judith Van Sambeek (TTSA Vice- Principal) and Michelle Krenning (Teacher) and they have informed me that they have planned a 'Spectacular Program' for us all to enjoy! Roll on Sunday and negative COVID-19 tests for all staff at 9am!
Northern Insight - WDPS Feature - March 2022
As our departure coincides with the arrival of British Summer Time, I have text alerts scheduled to be sent to the families of our Ambassadors for Saturday evening and for 8am and 9am on Sunday morning !
Everyone is getting excited now for the trip. The Ambassadors have been allocated bikes and given all the bike kit to take home ready to come to WDPS at 10.30am on Sunday 27th March - Mother's Day!
Check out our WDPS Turing Ambassador T-Shirts that have been Kindly Supplied by the Ferry Operator DFDS
Click on the video link below (Talking Heads)
to hear the WDPS Ambassadors' thoughts and feelings about their forthcoming trip to spend time in ttsa in Amsterdam.
Mick MingStones, WDPS Head Teacher, gives an overview of the Turing Project and how it dovetails perfectly with the WDPS learning culture and ethos as defined by our vision statement:
WDPS Vision Statement
'At WDPS, we believe that when children are given the opportunity to foster a love of challenge, adventure and creativity in and beyond the classroom - developing skills that will equip them for all walks of life - they will become life-long learners with resilience, passion and a thirst for knowledge.'
Click on the video link below (Turing Scheme Project)
Wednesday 9th March at 3.20pm, parent meeting for Amsterdam trip.
- Show video of a previous WDPS Amsterdam trip.
- Overview of itinerary.
- Q and A session.
It was a real pleasure for me to welcome Joe Waugh back to school today, to talk to our children (Including the Turing Ambassadors) as part of the WDPS Raising Aspirations Programme (RAP). Joe inspired the children with his life story and how he grafted to compete at 2 Olympic Games and also to win a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal. He emphasised the importance of making healthy life choices and the value of cycling for exploring the world, having fun and for making life-long friendships. A true athlete and gentleman.
Mick MingStones, Head Teacher, WDPS.
Joe Waugh - Olympian and Commonwealth Gold Medal Winner for Cycling - WDPS Raising Aspirations Programme (RAP) Talk - Friday 4th March 2022
Online meetings between WDPS and ttsa students that focused on learning about how they spent their 'Spare Time'.
Exciting developments for Sunday 27th March, departure day for Amsterdam.
- 10.30 am - Ambassadors arrive at WDPS ready for the big trip.
- 11.00 am - Ride from school to Port of Tyne.
- Photo of WDPS Ambassadors with Captain, Commercial Head of DFDS on deck.
- Short tour of the ship and a visit to the bridge.
- Visit to Explorer's restaurant to try a Dutch plate of food including Bitterballen and Dutch cheese.
- Complete some Dutch-themed activity sheets.
- Go to cabins and shower and get changed.
- Out on deck for a 5 pm departure and to enjoy seeing local landmarks as we sail down the river Tyne.
Quality WDPS staff Turing planning meeting where we worked through the logistics of our mobility to Amsterdam in just over 3 weeks' time.
Useful online meeting with Sarah Edgar (School Effectiveness EAL Lead, Newcastle City Council) and other schools that have secured Turing funding. Shared experiences of using the Turing online reporting tool, logistics for our respective mobilities and top tips etc.
When we embark on our visit to ttsa in Amsterdam, we will be posting regular vlogs on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media platforms so that the WDPS community can gain a flavour of the learning experiences that the WDPS Ambassadors are enjoying.
15-02-22 - WDPS Turing Ambassadors - Excited about Amsterdam Mobility
Regular updates from me to the British Council (On-line Reporting Tool) and to the WDPS community.
Thank you to the WDPS Turing Team (Rachael Croll, Nick Shiel, Sarah Singleton, Jocasta Williams, Liz McHatton and Neil Jones) and to all WDPS admin and teaching staff for working with me to raise our children’s aspirations and to promote the importance of learning from other cultures.
This has included:
- Creating exemplar assets for the Life Manual (Shared-online platform)
- Booking ferry crossings
- Booking accommodation and meals in Amsterdam
- Booking cultural experiences
- Planning activities to deliver to the ttsa and WDPS students in Amsterdam.
- Sourcing goods and materials for the mobility
- Coaching cyclists to develop group-riding techniques, specific techniques and stamina on the bike
- Risk-assessing and route-planning
Turing Award and the 'Creative, Healthy and Natural Me' Project (Update)
This week, the ttsa and WDPS students asked and answered questions focused on 'Meeting Each Other' and they shared information that they had compiled in a workbook that staff had created.
•w/c 17th Jan – whole class introduction meetings – present our school.
•w/c 24th Jan – Student ‘Meeting Each Other’ scaffolded meeting (3a).
•w/c 7th Feb – Student ‘Spare Time’ scaffolded meeting (3b).
•w/c 28th Feb – Student ‘Food and Drink’ scaffolded meeting (3c).
•w/c 14th March – WDPS Student Ambassadors Teams meeting.
We have set up bespoke e-mail addresses that we can use for supervised Teams meetings between our Phase 3 students and the students at Theo Thijssen school (TTSA) in Amsterdam. Huge thanks to Alan Errington (IT Support Analyst – Newcastle City Council) for his resilience in actioning e-mail addresses that can be used for this project.
Life Manual Share Point
A huge thank you to Paul Bainbridge and the IT Team at Newcastle City Council for problem-solving to create a Share Point platform that WDPS staff and ttsa staff can use to upload assets for the Life Manual. Students and staff can tap into this resource to help make positive life choices.
The Life Manual will have the following 4 elements:
1. Recipes for healthy snacks and meals. See example ‘Singing Hinnies’(A1)
2. Ideas and techniques for promoting mental health, positive wellbeing, mindfulness, meditation etc. See example ‘Visualisation Meditation – Walking Through a Woodland’ (B1).
3. Outdoor activities.
4. Ideas for creative response e.g. write songs, origami, whittling etc.
Social Media and Traditional Marketing
Thank you to Mark Wright (Vice-chair of Governors) for his strong input into social media and traditional marketing meetings focused on how we can promote the Turing project; so that the widest possible audience understands the rationale for this international project.
Presentation to WDPS Governors as part of our annual Leadership Planning Day (4).
24-07-21 (First Saturday of the Summer Holidays)
Awarded the grant. See Grant Award E-mail (00) and my e-mail to WDPS Staff and Governors (00a)
Finding a Partner School in Amsterdam
(Communication = Resilience in Bucket Fulls!)
- The process to find a school was arduous. A contact I was initially given by Newcastle City Council knew nothing about the project! After lots of e-mails and telephone calls to one school, education boards, the Bicycle Mayor of Amsterdam etc., I resorted to social media.
- Carlton Reid (Freelance transport journalist) put me in contact with Maud de Vries (CEO BYCS – A company that works to strengthen the human infrastructure of cycling cities by supporting community initiatives, promoting a culture of active mobility and inspiring new citizens to take up the bicycle for daily trips.
- Maud put me in contact with Judith Vansambeek (VP- ttsa) and after two, in-depth telephone conversations, she agreed to work with WDPS.
- 25-11-21 and 15-12-21 – Teams meeting with Judith, Michelle Krenning (ttsa teacher) and the WDPS Turing Team.
- 13-01-22 – ttsa and WDPS Teams staff meetings.
I worked with the Turing Ambassadors and they completed the following questionnaires in order that I could gain some baseline data: WDPS Core Values - Baseline Self-Assessment (2a); Food and Drinks Lifestyle Questionnaire (2b) and General Lifestyle Questionnaire (2c).
Miss Croll and I interviewed the children to see who would be the WDPS Ambassadors for the visit to Amsterdam (1b).
Parent letter to inform them of the Turing Programme Grant Award and the possibility of their child being awarded a 100% funded Ambassador place on the Amsterdam trip (1a).
Received feedback from Sarah and from Brian Stobie (British Council Schools Ambassador on my first draft)
Submitted final application.
Started the first of 7 days + working on the application.
Read all the Turing documentation regarding the application process.
I contacted Sarah and she gave me a contact for a school in Amsterdam. The school replied to my initial e-mail and then avoided all my subsequent e-mails and voicemails regarding partnering with them for a joint, international project.
Online meeting with Sarah and the British Council to give an overview of the Turing Programme.
Received an e-mail from Sarah Edgar (School Effectiveness EAL Lead, Newcastle City Council) regarding the Turing Programme.