ReadingZone Live Updates

With Christmas on it way don’t think that LGfL have forgotten you! We have 3 great gifts for you and your students!

In partnership with ReadingZone Live we are proud to announce not one not two but three new updates to our ever-expanding book case of children’s authors.

ReadingZone Live is a partnership with ourselves and Reading zone bringing regular interviews and live videos conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors and illustrators to London school, you can see past events here.

Antony Horowitz, Sally Gardner, Sophie McKenzie, Robert Muchamore, Pete Johnson, and Alexander Gordon Smith are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live Programme, which helps to inspire young people to explore new authors and genres and help children to develop their own creative writing.

LGfL schools are linked to our live author events via video conferencing, with one school’s selected to host the author event, during each event, authors discuss their writing process before answering the student’s questions via video.

First up is Cath Howe Author of soon to be published ‘Ella on the Outside’ Cath Howe is an author and teacher working in a South West London school writing for, and working with, Key Stage 2 primary age children.
Her first two books were published in 2012 by Pearson in their Bug Club, “The Curse of the Highwayman” and “The Highwayman’s Revenge”. She has won prizes for stories, poems and monologues and even written a musical.

Cath speaks about how her role as an author in residence works and how it can be different to being a class teacher “A writer in residence can focus on a task in a different way to the class teacher who has all sorts of other demands on their time” and how knowledge of the students can help affect to the stories told “You have the children’s voices in your head when you are writing parts of the story as you get to know the children in school so well”

Secondly, we have Roger Stevens who was interviewed as part of his role as National Poetry Ambassador for National Poetry Day.

Roger has written over 24 books and has poem published in over 200 children’s anthologies, He is also the founder of the Poetry Zone website, which encourages children to write and publish their poetry and offers guidance and ideas for teachers on how to make teaching poetry fun and rewarding.

During the interview Roger speaks about how he creates poems and how much music influences his work “The Lyrics of Bob Dylan helped me understand that you could write about real, important topics but in a simple format” he also speaks of the importance of having a notebook to jot down what people are saying around him or when something pops into his head “You need to keep your ears and eyes open to help inspire you to write poems”

Roger also speaks about why National Poetry Day is such an important thing to celebrate “We need national poetry day to show the world that there are brilliant poems out there! That poems don’t need to be academic and can be fun!”

Last up is the wonderful author illustrator Oliver Jeffers who was interviewed by six different schools across London. Oliver spoke about his new book “Here We Are” and shared with the children the book written for his son before he was born and that at its core, has a simple message, to be kind, accept one another and to look after the planet. In the book one page depicts dozens of people nudging up to one another a lady in a burqa; a sumo wrestler wedged between a nun and a punk – and the line: “don’t be fooled, we are all people”.

Oliver was excited to share his creative process and shared with the audience the secret of writing a good children’s book ‘Try and be economic with your use of words. Say what you are trying to say with as few words as possible’ When asked how does an illustrator find their own style instead of just copying someone else he explained ‘Illustrators find their style when they stop trying to copy other peoples’

If you are interested in taking part in ReadingZone Live event or want to just submit questions to be posed to the author just contact contentsupport@lgfl.net

 

LGfL Christmas Crackers

‘It’s’ nearly here and we know as teachers how hard it is to get through the final weeks of the Autumn term, be it grotto duty at the Christmas Fair, sorting out who gets the toy from the cracker at Christmas lunch or going to yet another Christmas production practice!

Which is why we are offering you a range of stocking fillers to help you fill those moments!

Busy things offer a range of digital content that you can use to get that much-needed magical moment of peace within in your class. From designing your own digital Christmas card, decorating your own tree (perfect for fine motor control in the EYFS) or exploring symmetry making your own snowflakes and it’s never too late to write a letter to Santa!

Just 2 Easy have a winter wonderland tab which you can use to access a bumper packed bag of festive treats, why not try playing a game of digital noughts and crosses festively named ‘Shepard’s and wise men”, play a word matching game or create your own digital nativity scene, Many J2e tools also have has a Christmas makeover:

J2data: Branch has a Christmas set of resources to sort – elves, reindeer, gingerbread men etc. – plus a Christmas background. And the clothes category are winter clothes.

J2Pictogram: has a set of Christmas images to add

JIT: Write and Paint have a Christmas background and Paint has Christmas images.

J2code: Visual has a reindeer instead of the usual penguin sprite

J2e also offers analogue activities such as making yummy festive biscuits, remember to go back every day to open the advent calendar to see the latest activity.

Your students don’t need to be visited by the Ghost of Christmas past to see what has happened at Christmas in the past, just let them search The Guardian and The Observer archives, the archives go all the way back to 1791 and offer a window into celebrations from years gone by, great for your students to research and compare modern traditions with those in the past.

Audio Network has over 60,000 professionally produced tracks that can be search by keyword or mood. Why not search for ‘festive’, ‘jolly’ or ‘Christmas’. You can use them in lessons, performances and for videos you create in school – without breaking any copyright rules!

We also have Espresso Faiths to look how Christmas is celebrated why not compare this with how different communities celebrate festivals and ask your students to explore the common links that they can see in the religious celebrations?

Remember we also have this Blog post about using Christmas media within school It’s that time of the year ! Using Christmas media with LGfL content.

However, you fill the last weeks of the school year we at London Grid for Learning want to give you a massive round of applause and thanks for all of your hard work this year and hope you have a restful break and are ready for an exciting 2018! Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

Spotlight on The Tudors

The Tudors in London resource offers a range of resources to support teachers in delivering this part of the History curriculum. It aims to develop an understanding of a historical context in which to appreciate how events of 500 years ago still impact London life today.

Featuring over 140 high-quality videos clips and over 60 high-resolution images from the Museum of London Archaeological Archive, Royal Collection Trust and key Tudor locations in London. The resource also features a curriculum mapping tool and a whole range of lesson plans to support the teaching of this subject at Key Stage 2. 

The video below gives an introduction to the resource:

High quality video resources include:

  • Re-enactment of the eve of the marriage of Kathryn Parr to Henry VIII
  • The major Tudor remains including Hampton Court Palace, the Rose Theatre, Charterhouse and on the streets of the City of London
  • Replicas and real artefacts uncovered from archaeological discoveries in London

High resolution images

  • High resolution photographs courtesy of Museum of London Picture Library and Museum ofLondon Archaeology
  • Reconstructions of what Tudor London might have looked like, maps and images of artefacts courtesy of Museum of London Picture Library and the Royal Collection Trust.

The resources are structured into the following sections

  • The Geography of Tudor London
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Trade and Industry
  • Clothing
  • Entertainment
  • Eating and Drinking
  • Home Life and Houses
  • Religion
  • Royalty and Palaces
  • Crime and Punishment

Interactive Map of Tudor London

The resource also features an interactive map of Tudor London with Google Maps integration and Streetview showing the major Tudor find sites and locations or relevance.

Alongside using this resource, teachers can also make use of the fantastic Audio Network which features a range of tracks that can be used to support your teaching of The Tudors including GreenSleeves and Cloth of Gold. The tracks can be used as a background to presentations, or to listen to and compare with music today and they could also be used within dance lessons.

When teaching The Tudors, a lot of teachers also choose to study Shakespeare alongside this topic.  LGfL have a range of resources to support with this.

Early Shakespeare features Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  The two plays are broken down into one bite-sized sentence per scene, using the first 100 high-frequency words. This allows learners to easily follow, understand and remember the stories, and helps ensure access to the curriculum for all. Pupils can watch at their own pace, and opt to turn on or off the accompanying text and symbols, animated characters bring each scene to life, with differentiated activities to help include all learners.

The BBC has granted access to its collection of TV and radio programmes (over 500 from the past50 years), as well as over 1,000 high-quality photographs of some of the world’s leading Shakespearean actors and actresses in some of the most iconic performances.

The collection is only accessible in school due to licensing restrictions, but the full listings can be browsed from any location (videos and audio will not open outside school).

The archive is now live at BBCshakespeare.lgfl.net

Cambridge School Shakespeare features production photographs from a wide range of stage and film versions, designed to support students’ exploration of interpretation,staging and performance. Fully differentiated for use with students aged from 11 to 19, each play includes over 100 pages ofeditable, printable support material including lesson ideas, worksheets and production reviews.

The Museum of London are running a Tudor London Study day for KS3 students in the spring term next year. The session will cover the following:

It’s 1529 in Tudor London and Henry VIII’s break from the church and divorce from Catherine of Aragon is imminent. Explore our Medieval London gallery and handle real objects to investigate what London life was like at this critical time.

You’ll meet imposing Tudor monarch, Henry VIII, in this performance. Participate as a member of his court – and dare to advise him on the complex issues surrounding his break from the church…

You can find out more about the session and to book here.

If you have used The Tudors in your classroom we would love to hear from you, let us know using the hashtag #spotlight #Tudors on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook

 

Open check for schools

With the recent bad weather that we have experienced over the last few days, we thought it was a good time to remind you of OpenCheck. This free information service was developed by LGfL and Atomwide.

OpenCheck provides parents and pupils with convenient methods for checking whether a school is open, re-opening or closed on a given date.  The status information can be updated by appropriate school or LA staff at any time, thereby ensuring that an up-to the minute report is always available.

The primary mechanism for checking a school’s status is the OpenCheck web site at http://map.lgfl.org.uk/opencheck/ which allows the selection of a school by picking options from drop-down lists of LAs and establishments, or by using a map.  Colour-coded icons provide at-a-glance indication of the status of schools with further details appearing below the drop-down lists and also next to the user’s mouse pointer as it moves over each symbol.

As an alternative, the status of a school can be checked by calling the OpenCheck phone line.  An automated system prompts for the schools seven-digit DfE code, then responds by reading out the appropriate status message and last update time.

For each school, keeping status information up-to-date is easily achieved through the LGfL support site. Suitably privileged staff users, including the Head Teacher and USO Nominated Contacts, can access a page within the secure area of the site that allows the current message to be changed – either to one of a range of standard options, or alternatively to a completely custom sentence. The date and time of the last update, along with the name of the person making that change, is automatically recorded. The revised status is made available to end users almost instantly.

For more information: OpenCheck

You can download a PDF with key information here: SF_USO-OpenCheck

Spotlight on BalletBoyz

BalletBoyz leads the field in using digital technology in its output and to disseminate it to wider audiences, this expertise, in partnership with LGfL has resulted in a range of content to aid the delivery of dance in schools in London.

The purpose of the content is to enable London teachers to access high-quality digital dance resources to assist and enhance their teaching.  This unique online resource provides tailor made resources to support both the specialist and non-specialist teachers deliver dance at Key Stages 2-4. All the lessons are mapped to the National curriculum and a curriculum mapping document can be downloaded from the site to enable teachers to plan effectively.

Resources for the curriculum lessons consist of short expert videos with voiceovers featuring company dancers as they break down moves, brilliant for introducing the moves to students and acting as an inspiration. The moves are then broken down into a series of short tasks, again all explained via video and voice over and finally students are shown how to join them together in sequences.  Detailed lesson plans are also provided for teachers explaining how to use the videos.

There are five lesson plans for KS2, K23 and KS4, which can either be used as stand-alone lessons linking to topics e.g. caves and jungles in KS2 linking to the rainforest, or can be used to make up a half terms dance programme for the students.

Introduction videos to the all the units are available for teachers to gain an overview as well as case studies from schools to show the impact that BalletBoyz has had within their schools and how they have used it, an example from KS2 can be seen below:

Inspiration clips are also included from the BalletBoyz company repertoire to further encourage and inspire teachers and students alike.

BalletBoyz are currently crowdfunding to support the partnership with Strathmore school, their local secondary school for students with complex learning difficulties. They have seen the impact that their involvement has had on the students including increased independence, confidence and well-being as well as the students’ increased confidence in communicating and forming relationships with new people. You can find out more about the Dance Together crowd funder project here: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/dancetogether

If you have used BalletBoyz in your classroom we would love to hear from you, let us know using the hashtag #spotlight #BalletBoyz on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook

 

 

 

 

David Jason’s Secret Service and The M Room

A new spy documentary – David Jason’s Secret Service airs next Tuesday 5th December at 9 pm on More 4 (Freeview 14).  This series links with our resources to support both the KS2 and KS3 History curriculum – The M Room, History of Computing and Women in computing.

Passionate espionage enthusiast Sir David Jason reveals the secret places, the people and the compelling stories behind Britain’s incredible spy history from the 20th century to the modern day. Episode one begins with the formation of the British Secret Service in 1909 by maverick spy master Sir Mansfield Cumming – code name C – who turned a group of amateurs into the country’s first secret agents. Five years later when World War One broke out, their spying was pivotal to the Allied victory. Belgian refugees were recruited as they arrived in Britain and Folkestone became a key battleground for British spy organisations.

The historical consultant for the series is the eminent historian Dr Helen Fry, who was our consultant and lead presenter for The M Room, this resource gives LGfL and Trustnet schools exclusive access to World War II listening sites, as well as featuring an interview with one of the original secret listeners and extensive primary-source material from the Ministry of Defence and the National Archives.

The M Room was so secret that only the secret listeners who operated it and some intelligence officers knew of its existence. The letter M stood for ‘miked’ and reflected the fact that the room was set up with the latest listening technology. Access was gained through two locked doors and the keys given only to designated staff. From here the operators could listen into the conversations of the prisoners in their cells or in one of the interrogation rooms. Sometimes the interrogations were recorded if prisoners started to give away important military information.The monitoring of prisoners’ conversations continued every day of the year, including Christmas Day, so that nothing was missed.

The resource targeted at the KS3 History curriculum features 50 high quality video clips filmed on a range of locations including declassified military sites as well as images of personnel, maps, locations and previously classified documents.  The resource also includes a curriculum mapping section including lesson plans for Key Stage 3 and 4.  A trailer of the resource can be viewed here:

The history of computing also includes a section focussing on code breaking during WW2, looking at the impact of Alan Turing and his work at Bletchley Park, a place of exceptional historical importance as it is the home of British code breaking and the birthplace of modern information technology.  It played a major, yet highly secret role in World War II, producing intelligence which had a direct and fundamental influence on the outcome of the conflict. The role of women during this time can also be looked at in our Women in computing resource.