Get cracking with our Easter resources!

Hopefully with the last blast of bad weather gone and the clocks going forward it really looks like winter is finally over and spring is here, it’s the season of baby lambs, daffodils, chocolate, fluffy chicks, chocolate, longer days and new life. Did I mention chocolate? So, here are a few sugar-free egg-cellent ideas to use with your students this Easter. (sorry you will have to buy your own chocolate and put up with my egg-stremely bad puns!)


Busy things offer a range of Egg-ceptional digital content that you can use to explore the concept of Easter within in your class. From designing your own digital Easter Egg (perfect for fine motor control in the EYFS) exploring the story of Easter in more depth or recreating your own Easter Sunday story.

To explore faith in greater depth you could use Espresso Faiths to look how Easter is celebrated. Why not compare this with how different communities celebrate other spring festivals and ask your students to explore the common links that they can see in these celebrations?

Just 2 Easy has a range of digital tools to support you in making your own Easter resources, here are some ideas to get you cracking!

  • Why not create your own Easter egg hunt (you could use real eggs or printed out eggs) and then collate the data into j2Pictogram.
  • Hold an Easter egg popularity test (maybe with a small taste test) with j2Vote and then collate the data into a graph using j2graph.
  • Use j2Paint to design your own Easter eggs, great for fine motor skills.
  • Research the concept of Easter celebration across the world and create a presentation with j2e5, why not add an interactive quiz?
  • Finally, why not create a stop frame animation using j2Spotlight on the subject of growth (using play-dough or paper) you can create a seed to plant video or even make you own egg-ceptional life cycle of a chicken video.

Widgit Have an egg-stremely good set of activities from the Symbols Inclusion Project, Within the pack are two symbol supported stories about the events of Easter designed for different levels. The large symbol cards can be used in small group work to help re-tell a simple story. The longer story is supported by the vocabulary list for children to re-write their own version of the story on the Easter writing and drawing paper.

As Easter is also a time of rebirth and growth, why not use some of our science resources to kick start some egg-ploration into the topic of growth? The ever popular i-Board has range of life cycle activities such as Hatching a chick or planting a seed.

Switched on science have various units such as “Young Gardeners” which cover the concept of plant and animal growth, Switched on Science is a flexible and creative investigation-based program with a clear focus on working scientifically. It is packed with best practice CPD videos and supportive lessons to ensure every teacher can deliver the curriculum with confidence.

Virtual Experiments also has a range of growth related science activities, these ever-popular online resources are idea for demonstrating difficult scientific concepts with the added benefit of minimising the time, mess and fuss involved in many experiments and allowing to repeat, slow down, stop or vary the conditions of the experiment.

However, you fill the last week before the Easter holidays we at London Grid for Learning want to give you a massive round of applause and thanks for all of your hard work so far this year and hope you have a restful break and are ready for an egg-citing Summer term!

If you do use any LGfL content in your school to inspire your students do let us know by posting them on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook pages

5 Ways with Early Years

Introducing another in the 5 ways series of resources to help you access LGfL content quickly and help your students learn more.

The aim of 5 ways is to showcase five ways to use LGfL resources across the curriculum that you can take and use and share for example, they can be shared in the staff room, at INSET sessions and also given to parents so that they can support their children’s learning at home.

5 Ways to support EYFS The resource shows you 5 resources that you can use straight away in your classroom, we would love to know what you think about them and how you have used them in your setting.

Busy Things: A wide range of fun and creative games and activities to engage children. With the ability to change from pupil mode to teacher mode you are able to search via curriculum content and strands, being in teacher mode also gives you access to a powerful tool Phonic resources with this you can make your own paper-based phonics activities. Simply choose the Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence you want to use, select from the pictures and words generated, choose your favoured layout and press print!

Audio Network: A wide selection of music professionally recorded music, use the online search to find themed music then download to your computer, pre-cleared and ready for use in your classroom, this resource is great to use before reading a story, set the mood by finding a key image and adding mood music and ask your children what kind of book they think they are going to hear?

Easy Login: An easy simpler way for young children to log into LGfL, ask your Nominated Contact to make a support case asking for easy log in.  The school must be exporting the relevant data sets using the USO Auto Update exporter. Your Head teacher will also need to sign the online declaration.

JIT: Digital tools to help introduce basic computing skills such as word processing, animation, graphing, coding and digital publishing. The online infant toolkit allows the following features – all linked via the LGfL USO log in:

  • Word processing
  • Animation
  • Graphing
  • Painting
  • Pictogram
  • Turtle control
  • Mix of all the above into an online document

 

Widgit: These are simply drawn symbols designed to illustrate a simple concept in a clear and concise way. The symbols cover a range of topics including many curricular areas. Also, has over 1000 premade worksheets.

We will also be running 5 ways as short training sessions, so if you are a subject leader or are running a leader’s forum, why not get in contact with us to talk about having 5 ways as part of your CPD programme.

Over the next couple of months, we will be adding to the series, but would love to hear your thoughts! What 5 ways would help you get the most out of LGfL resources?

Please let us know via our Twitter or Facebook pages or in the comments section of this blog using the hashtag #5ways

Sport Relief 17th – 23rd March

Sport Relief is when the British public comes together to get active, raise money and change lives. This time, it’s bigger than ever and there is a whole week of epic activity lined up from 17th to 23rd March 2018.

There are support packs for Primary, Secondary and Nurseries to download, these include challenges including the daily mile, fundraising ideas, posters for schools. a guide for school councils and a new song and dance that pupils can learn ‘Step it Up for Sport Relief!’

Team Marathon for KS1 and KS2 from LGfL can also be used, the resource follows a group ofchildren through a programme of six training sessions leading to the Team Marathon event, which involves children running together to complete the marathon distance. The final two updates cover the event itself and reporting on it. The materials also offer support for a number of cross-curricular activities related to organising and reporting on the event and issues from the SEAL agenda like target setting and teamwork.

Each training session follows the same format:

  • Warm up
  • Stretching
  • Pace activities
  • Sustained run
  • Opportunities for children to reflect and make decisions about their progress and set targets forthemselves

Through the video diaries, you can follow the progress of six children discussing their development through the training, in preparation for the Team Marathon event. There are also opportunities for children to take responsibility for planning routes, recording times and monitoring their progress.

Or why not use the week to focus on dance using the brilliant BalletBoyz resource for KS2-4. BalletBoyz leads the field in using digital technology in its output and to disseminate to wider audiences, and this expertise, in partnership with LGfL, has resulted in new, digital content to aid the delivery of dance in schools in London.

The purpose of this new content is to enable London teachers to access high-quality digital dance resources to assist and enhance their teaching. BalletBoyz has always believed that dance education in schools is most engaging when students have direct access to the performer.

This unique online resource provides tailor-made resources to support both specialist and non-specialist teachers deliver dance at Key Stages 2-4. Resources for curriculum lessons consist of short expert videos with voiceovers featuring company dancers as they break down moves and then show students how to join them together in sequences. Detailed lesson plans are also provided for teachers explaining how to use the videos. In addition, inspiration clips from theBalletBoyz company repertoire are included to further encourage and inspire students and teachers alike.

Premier League Primary Stars  offer a range of resources for P.E., P.H.S.E, Maths and English, teachers can access these resources by signing up via their website. Registration is needed before the resources can be downloaded, alongside lesson plans there are also assembly ideas.  Teachers registered on the site can also apply for free kit for their schools as well.

Also from the Premier League and BBC, is Super Movers the aim of this new resource launched last month is to encourage teachers to adopt an active approach to learning and include physical activity throughout the day.

Super Movers gives teachers video content-led ideas and simple solutions to help children learn while they move – all free, fun, and easy to use in the classroom. No extra equipment is required.

Some of the exciting things Super Movers offer include:

  • Top tips and bright ideas about how to best use Super Movers from active schools and football clubs across the UK
  • Stars from the worlds of football and television will come together to capture children’s imagination in a series of videos that will enhance children’s learning
  • Premier League-inspired rewards including prizes, certificates and stickers to help incentivise children
  • Live Lessons broadcast on BBC platforms

Super Movers can also be used at home too with a range of fun videos and games designed to get children and grown-ups moving together in their living rooms, so parents as well as teachers can join in. Teachers can sign up to the Super Movers newsletter now to be the first to know about latest video releases, get exciting news and information about upcoming Super Movers events and hear from other teachers.

What ever you do for Sport Relief 2018, please share via our twitter or Facebook pages.

 

 

International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day, this is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first​ ​March 8​ ​IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the​ Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.​ Make IWD your day! – everyday!

The theme for this year is #PressforProgress to encourage everyone to think, act and be more gender inclusive.

There are lots of resources that schools can use both today and throughout the year to educate and inspire pupils about the role of women in society as well as challenging gender stereotypes and bias. The International Women’s Day website has a huge range of resources for schools. From Doctor Who and Suffragettes, to comic strips and poems – the International Women’s Day classroom resources cover a great deal of important content and activities.

They are also running a competition for schools asking children to write about a person, in 150 words or less, who has inspired them and draw a picture of them in their own style, the prize is  framed Artist’s print plus Puffin books for there school library. The competition closes on March 30th 2018 and you can find out more information here

In honour of International Women’s Day, Google are swapping out their normal ‘doddle’ for 12 interactive doodles that celebrate the work of female artists from around the world. These could be a great way to introduce the day, a

“We hope that the combined power of words and images help bring these stories to life in a way that invokes feelings of understanding, empathy and spirit of the day,” wrote Lydia Nichols and Alyssa Winans, Google’s project leads for International Women’s Day, in this post about IWD.

LGfL have a range of resources that you can use in schools to support IWD, Women in Computing aims to recognise and promote the achievements of women in British computing within the social context of the time. It does not seek to dwell on negative aspects where woman have been prevented from contributing to the computing landscape, but it does explore the issues surrounding how and where their unique contributions have developed understanding and achievement within the computing industry and in wider society.

The video clip below from Tudors in London can be used to explore how attitudes to learning and education have changed, a great discussion point to start a discussion about the rights of women and girls in society especially as this year also celebrates 100 years since women got the vote in England. The Museum of London have an exhibition running until the end of month about Votes for Women you can find out more here.

Our Online Safety portal also has a range of resources that look at promoting a positive body image, these are an excellent resource for PHSE lessons as well as a starting place for discussions about the way that women are presented in the media.  Other resources that could be used include LGfL Gallery, which at present contains over 60,000 Image, Audio and Video resources covering a wide range of topics relevant to the curriculum. Its purpose is to provide free repository of high quality materials copyright cleared for use in teaching and learning. You can search using the tag ‘women’ to see different ways that women have been portrayed over time and Reading Zone Live which features a range of female authors including Gillian Cross Jacqueline Wilson and in our latest Reading Zone Live event on the 21st March the author Mini Grey.

Whatever you do today for IWD please share via our  twitter or Facebook pages using the #PressforProgress and remember all the resources can be used across the school year to celebrate, educate and inspire pupils about the roles of women in society.

 

Supporting Pi Day

What is a maths teacher’s favourite dessert? Pi of course! And what better day to have a large slice of Pi then on Pi day!

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.

Each year on 3/14, teachers in classrooms across the world take a break from the normal routine to plan a special celebration in honour of pi, or the number 3.14. March 14 also happens to be the birth day of Albert Einstein which makes the day an extra special one for planning maths challenges and math fun!

Pi Day activities are meant to enrich and deepen students’ understanding of pi and mathematic concepts with real life mathematical hands on experiences.

Pi Day gives ample opportunity for creative math fun and offers students to study real world maths problems. This amazing activity, for example, allows your students to play pi as a musical sequence! (You will need flash installed) Simply pick ten notes, which are then assigned to integers, and then listen to what pi sounds like! Try  Cutting Pi, a hands-on activity in which students measure cylindrical objects in the classroom with string, cut their measured string into three equal pieces, and then figure out how to measure the leftover piece. They’ll see for themselves how pi comes up every time! Learn how to make a circle from three points on a plane and have fun manipulating nested circles with this interactive tool that shows students that circles are awesome.

LGfL have a range of resources that can support teaching real world maths skills.

Maths doesn’t get more real than an HM Coastguard search and rescue mission. Search and Rescue with HM Coastguard features exclusive footage of real life rescues at sea, lifeboat and helicopters searches and rescue coordination at the National Maritime Operations Centre, pupils can see mathematical problem solving in action.

For more real-world examples of mathematics Maths in the Real World offers activities based in the real world, the real-world topics covered in the resource are:

  • Algorithms
  • Arena and events
  • Nutrition
  • Round the World
  • Speed Camera Investigations
  • Sporting decisions

 

To plan an exciting maths event for Pi day why not use the Viral Contagion resource to inspire you to create a large-scale maths event or use the resource to recreate the event yourself. Viral Contagion explores the real-world maths that would occur as result of biological virus outbreak in an urban area.

Maths at home also offers a range of videos exploring the mathematical concepts involved with Pi, the resource is designed for busy parents but can also be used by teachers to explore and explain mathematical concepts from Early Years to Key Stage 1 and 2.

Maths raps offers an unforgettable rap about circles, Maths raps is a series of rap videos from BEAM on Numbers and Calculations, shape and space and solving problems covering the KS2 Numeracy as the raps says “Yeah, you’ve got it, don’t forget it, rap with confidence!”

 For Younger Students you can Introduce ideas such as size, shape, circumference and diameter, and fractions by making pizzas, Busy Things has a Pizza recipe to follow as well as an online pizza making activity or explore fractions by playing against the computer or against friends to correct by answering fraction-based questions.

Whatever you have planned for Pi Day please share via our  twitter or Facebook pages and remember the #piday hashtag

British Science Week 9th-18th March 2018

British Science Week, run by the British Science Association runs from the 9th – 18th March 2018 and is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. The theme this year is ‘exploration and discovery encouraging young people to think about everyday discoveries and how they affect their lives by exploring science in the world all around us; from their home and schools, to their local area and wider environment. It is also a chance for young people to consider how exploration and discovery can have a positive impact on the future.

The British Science Week website has activity packs for Early Years, Primary and Secondary students, the packs are designed to be your one stop shop for supporting teachers during the week.  The activities include both lesson plans and assemblies.  There is also a poster competition, students can make their poster about anything involving exploration and discovery. The five best posters from your school can be entered into a UK-wide competition with the chance for students to win an array of prizes.

There are several resources that LGfL schools can use during this time.

The first one is Polar Exploration which fits in perfectly with this years theme.  LGfL worked with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University in creating this comprehensive resource, which provides a unique insight into the ‘Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery’.

Featuring exclusive access to the historic archive of the most famous polar expeditions of the 20th Century, the resource includes:

        • Video footage of equipment and artefacts from the most famous expeditions, complete with text transcripts of the expert explanations
        • High-resolution photographs of objects featured in the video footage
        • Journal extracts read by a descendant of a member of Captain Scott’s Discovery expedition
        • Interactive map of the Polar Regions with plotted locations of the multimedia assets
        • The opportunity to meet a modern-day polar explorer and hear of his experiences living for extended periods of time in some of the world’s most extreme environments.
        • A wide range of learning materials to support KS2, KS3 and KS4

The entire Primary ‘Switched on Science’ scheme, offering full coverage across Key Stage 1 and  is available to all LGfL-connected schools. Switched on Science is a flexible and creative investigation-based programme with a clear focus on working scientifically a core assessable element of the new science curriculum. It is packed with best-practice CPD videos and supportive lessons to ensure every teacher can deliver the science curriculum with confidence.The package comes with all the additional resources teachers need to teach the entire Science curriculum, ranging from a video for each unit, teacher guide, interactive exercises, pupil workbooks, ideas for differentiation, and much more.

Virtual Experiments for Years 1 – 6, these ever popular online resources are ideal for demonstrating difficult scientific concepts with the added benefit of:

  • Minimising the time, mess and fuss involved in experiments
  • Allowing you to repeat, slow down or vary the conditions of experiments
  • Being useful for revisiting key work pupils may have missed or forgotten

Busy Things has a wide range of resources and games for use in Early years, KS1 and KS2 there are over 100 activities that are linked to the science curriculum that could be used during your science week.

Widgit Symbols are simply drawn, colourful symbols designed to illustrate a single concept in clear and concise way. They cover a range of topics (including science) wide enough to make them suitable for symbol users of all ages and abilities. Already used by many SEND departments and schools, the entire symbol database of over 15,000 images is now available to all LGfL TRUSTnet schools to search and download. The use of these symbols increases the accessibility of written text by giving readers of all literacy levels greater access to information. As they are designed specifically for written information,Widgit Symbol users can develop a real independence in reading and writing

The ever popular j2etool suite can also be used during Science Week, pupils can use the data tools to collect their data and use  j2e5, JIT and the j2office tools to write up their experiments or complete a fact file on a famous explorer.

What ever you are doing for British Science Week we would love you to share your work on our  twitter or Facebook pages #BSW18