Helping pupils with their writing skills

Balwearie pupils experience what it's like to be visually impaired
Balwearie pupils experience what it's like to be visually impaired

PUPILS from Balwearie High School took part in a special activity day aimed at improving their writing skills recently.

The day involved over 230 youngsters who spent the morning taking part in two note taking sessions, some delivered by teachers, others by people from various organisations around Fife and Dundee.

These included Anthony Caira, the golf professional from Kirkcaldy Golf Club; Guide Dogs for the Blind; the Discovery Centre in Dundee; Mary’s Meals and Fife Society for the Blind who all gave interesting presentations on their work, with some hands on activities.

Pupils had the opportunity to try to improve their golf swing with the help of Mr Caira, to wear glasses which showed what it would be like to be visually impaired, and to meet a trainee guide dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind in Dundee.

They also learned about Captain Scott’s expeditions to the Antarctic through the Discovery Centre, and heard from Alan Suttie from Fife Society for the Blind about his experiences working with albino children in Tanzania.

A representative from the Mary’s Meals charity also spoke to them about the projects the charity is working on with people in Africa.

The pupils then had to choose their favourite topic and spent the afternoon writing up different pieces of prose on what they had learned from the various workshops.

They had the choice of how to present their work, either as a letter thanking the person for their input, as a comic strip, presenting it in a shorter format with pictures to accompany it, or as a newspaper report, teaching them about different writing styles required in the school curriculum.

Matt Montgomery, an English teacher at Balwearie, said: “It was a very enjoyable day for the pupils and the teachers who benefited a great deal and learned a lot from it.

“Over the past week or so we have been collecting evaluation forms from some of those who took part and the overall impression from these has been very positive, with all saying they enjoyed it and found it very meaningful as well as helpful in improving their note taking and writing skills.”