LGfL and Avantis Education announce Strategic Partnership

LGfL and Avantis are delighted to announce a strategic partnership to accelerate Virtual and Augmented Reality learning across nearly 3,000 schools in the UK.

The initiative will save an estimated £500,000 and provide free access to the award-winning ClassVR portal containing hundreds of VR and AR resources, CPD opportunities and access to discounted equipment.

Launched alongside the partnership is a VR Champions Programme which will provide 50 schools with the opportunity to embed Virtual and Augmented Reality within their classroom. The Champions will be VR centres of excellence and drive best practise of VR and AR usage in the classroom and support other schools who are benefiting from this new generation of technology.

The VR Champions project launched last week with a special event inviting all schools participating in the pilot to a day of training and inspiration with the Class VR team at Camden CLC.

Both ClassVR and LGfL are highly excited about this new partnership, with John Jackson, CEO for London Grid for Learning commenting “‘With this new partnership with Avantis, LGfL is delighted to be able to offer LGfL schools advantageous pricing for the innovative ClassVR product to accelerate the development of AR and VR in the capital and beyond. Our Let’s Get Digital team of former teachers will kick-start this programme with the aim of leading the UK education community in the largest regional implementation of VR in schools across the UK.”

Huw Williams, Marketing Director for Avantis Education commented:

“It’s great to work with LGfL on this exciting new initiative. The technology offers so many different learning experiences and with the support of the VR Champions, we’re looking forward to seeing how the schools will innovate their teaching and learning through the use of VR. The engagement from user schools to date has been incredible and this is another great step to making VR and AR an integral part of UK classrooms.”

To coincide with the Launch of VR Champions, LGfL has also launched a new channel on LGfL TV, as Content Manager Bob Usher explains:

“The new AR VR Channel on LGfL TV offers a unique insight into the latest developments in both Augmented and Virtual Reality from those leading the development within the schools sector. The future of AR and VR is in fact a mixture of both realities and the opportunities for collaboration within a ‘mixed reality’ are becoming very real for both teachers and leaners.”

Follow us on our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter to follow our VR Champions on their VR journey.

 

Summer Projects

As Teachers we have almost finished our countdown to the summer holidays but for parents the countdown hasn’t even began Six weeks, 42 days or 1,008 hours, the summer holidays are coming and LGfL are here to help fill some of that time and help your students keep learning.

Keeping children entertained in the school holidays is not for the faint-hearted. But sometimes, simply sitting down and helping your children to make and create is more satisfying then taking them to expensive attractions – and most importantly keeps our children learning.

Your students can get access to all the great LGfL resources from the comfort of their homes by using their USO’s and passwords, so why not set them some interesting and fun challenges to complete over the summer with their parents/carers.

Just share this blog post via you school website or post/share on your schools social media, to help your students join in with these exciting projects.


Create and open your own restaurant:

First take a walk down your local high-street to help your children research restaurants locally, then get your children to start thinking about what kind of restaurant they would like to open, then get them to customise their own restaurant, thinking of name, theme, menu and place mat.

Use our amazing Cook it resources to help plan out a menu with lots of yummy recipes, the recipes are designed to help improve pupil’s skills, understanding and enjoyment of cooking and healthy eating.

If you need more recipes or want to explore in more detail various kitchen processes, then you can find out more with our most popular resource Busy Things, just search cooking for more fun food activities.

Once you have decided on the menu, get you children to design their own logo and menu using the award-winning IT tools within just2easy toolkit, jit is perfect for younger children to develop basic IT skills and for older children let them explore graphic design deeper with the j2e5 tool.

Remember there is so much mathematics to think about when opening a restaurant, from up scaling recipes to putting out the right amount of knives and forks or weighing out the correct amount of ingredients, for older children why not get them to use the  Maths in the Real World nutrition unit to help analysis the nutritional value of the menu and make sure the menu is well-balanced and healthy. 


Make your own family newspaper:

First why not explore our LGfL News Archive, this archive is an online collection of the Guardian and Observer newspaper, with every page of every edition of both papers from 1791! The newspapers are an amazing historical record of all the events over the past two centuries, why not look at events that have happened on the same date as you are creating your newspaper for, or together explore the features of a news story and how it has changed over the years, features to look at include headlines, by-lines and use of images to enrich and enhance stories.

Once you know the features, get thinking about what news is happening around your home, it could be anything what the cats have been up to, a local event or just write a report on the local weather.

You can use Busy Things Publisher within Busy things to combine text and images to create simple news articles or use j2e Office writer to create a digital newspaper combining pictures and text.

Make your own action movie:

There is nothing better than watching a great summer blockbuster, well apart from making one! LGfL has a range of tools to support planning and making movies.

Start by watching an appropriate movie and then think about breaking down the important aspects of the story, most stories have five components. These five components are: the characters, the setting, the plot, the conflict, and the resolution. These essential elements keep the story running smoothly and allow the action to develop in a logical way that the reader can follow. The characters are the people that the story is about.

Once you have explored the aspects then get cracking on making your action packed story by creating your story board perhaps using Super hero comic book maker or use Busy Things simple short story maker, you could also just use a pencil and some paper.

Once your story is planned , depending on your children’s age either use the story board you made (if the child is younger) or use the storyboard as a template to a  script, once done you can use j2e jit Animate to make an animation or use j2e Spotlight to create a stop motion masterpiece, and then to finish your film, add some sound effects from BBC Sound Effects a large database of audio sound effects which can you use for videos and presentations and to make it a perfect movie experience ‘score’ your movie using Audio Network a music database of over 50.000 individual audio files.

Go and Explore London

London offers a range of fun exciting activities every day so why not use LGfL resources to help support and guide you around the many unique locations around London.

The Big Day Out offers fun activities focusing on Numeracy, Literacy, Geography, Science and History, why not use The Big Day Out Attractions database activity to study the various London attractions and then visit them and compare data or even make your database used j2e Database. You could use the The Big Day Out London Transport activity to support a trip to the London Transport museum or just plan a trip around your local area using some of the modern modes of transport.

Explore historic London through the ages, from Roman beginnings, to Tudors we have a range of resources that allow you to view local locations via Google maps. Why not search your local area for areas of interest and then plan a trip to some of the locations.

Or why not explore our unique resource The Royal Mews about the daily work of the Royal Mews at Buckingham palace featuring video explanations of centuries-old techniques and historic documents, and then plan a trip to Buckingham Palace or, you can also use Image Bank to prepare yourself for a visit to the Queens Gallery at Buckingham Palace, for information about the latest exhibition you can read our blog post about the Royal Collection Trust.

Join the j2blast Maths Summer Challenge

Every school is welcome to take part –  all LGfL schools  already have the Just2easy Tool Suite in your school. You can Click here to get the parent information pack.

Every student who plays at least 10 games on j2blast Go Live! will be entered into a prize draw for one of several £20 Argos vouchers. Every school will be entered for a prize of £200 to be spent on any resources they want. The j2blast Maths Summer Challenge begins on July 20th and ends on 3rd September.

As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts The research is clear: Summer learning loss is a significant problem for all children, but especially for children with low income backgrounds, and plays a surprisingly large role in creating the achievement gap. Low-income kids can find summer hard when they don’t have access to the same enriching activities as their higher-income peers, such as vacations, visits to museums and libraries, or even just time spent with family discussing academic concepts or everyday events., so why not use LGfL resources to help your students and parents over the summer holidays.

If your students don’t have access to their USO’s this simple video below will show you how you nominated contact can print out the USO’s and passwords for each student, and do please remind students about the importance of keeping their passwords private.

 

Please do let use know what you think of our summer projects in the comments section below or on our Social media channels on Facebook or Twitter.

IMMERSE YOUR PUPILS IN THE QUEEN’S ART

Splendours of the Subcontinent: Multiple online and offline learning opportunities from LGfL’s longstanding partnership with The Royal Collection Trust.

We are delighted to announce a series of new opportunities for schools in collaboration with the Education team at the Royal Collection Trust.

Firstly, we have all new images added to the LGfL Image Bank.  The 14 images have been specially selected for their relevance and interest for schools and come from a new exhibition called ‘The Splendours of the Sub content’ at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Place which is open to the general public and schools’ groups until the 14th October.

All images are available to download for educational use* in Super high resolution for studying in preparation for a school visit.

LGfL Image Bank is a growing collection, with  unique access to collections from The Royal Collection and The British Library, It’s purpose is to provide a free repository of high quality materials copyright cleared for use in teaching and learning*.

All of the resources in the Image Bank are archived at the highest quality available so they can be used on whiteboards, printed materials, animations and for any other educational application. All of the resources are copyright cleared so they can be downloaded, edited and re-purposed for educational use, both within the classroom and at home*.

High resolution scans allow you to print large version of the pictures in high quality. All images from the LGfL Image Bank will print out at large scale and in good quality.

This may prove to be useful in a classroom setting if you are fortunate enough to have a high resolution, large scale printer.

Because the High resolution scans have so much fine detail – you can zoom in on a part of the picture without losing image quality.

This is very useful if you want to print out just a part of the image or focus attention on one aspect of the picture. What separate stories can these smaller sections of a picture tell the viewer?

You could if you have access to Apple Keynote use the ‘magic move’ transition  or if you have Office 365 use the Powerpoint transition ‘Morph’ to zoom in and out of the chosen image, and save this as video (the video does not have sound)

 

At first many of the images might seem like a random selection, but they all feature or are linked to a contemporary artwork The Royal Collection Trust have been working on with two artists, The Singh Twins,  in response to the exhibitions. The schools’ programme (see below) heavily features this new artwork.

Within the images there is much to explore, here are just a few ideas on how on how you could use the images:

  • Research and learn more about how the Prince of Wales represented Queen Victoria on the 1875-6 tour of India and link this with examples of this happening in a modern context, such as Prince Harry’s upcoming tour of the Commonwealth countries.

 

  • Explore the historical context of lion hunting and forced elephant fights using the images from the The ‘Padshahnama’ (‘Book of Emperors’) or the use of ivory to create artefacts, again this could be linked to more modern contexts of animal welfare and hunting.

 

  • Use the images from the beautifully depicted book: the Hindu text the Bhagavata Puran, to explore the Hindu faith and perhaps attempt to tell your own rendition of the epic tale , perhaps making and using your own shadow puppets or creating own animations using J2e’s spotlight tool or JIT

 

  • Have group discussions focussing on the historic and geographical context of the exhibition, exploring the role of Queen Victoria and considering terms such as ‘continents’ and ’empire’.

Though-out the year schools can arrange visits or attend special workshops with the education experts at The Royal Collection Trust (In London, Windsor and Edinburgh)In addition and timed to concede with The Splendour of the Subcontinent Exhibition, the RCT is hosting unique sessions at the Queen’s Gallery, the sessions provide a number of inspiring routes into the curriculum for children to develop creative writing, drawing skills and drama opportunities.

Creative Writing workshop
2 hours
Key stage 2 – 5

This workshop focusses on the vivid characters on display and highlights the many possibilities for inspiring Creative Writing from works of art, in comparison to more familiar sources such as books and the internet. Focussing on the paintings featured in the  exhibitions, pupils will examine sources to inform their writing and explore the themes of description, dialogue and monologue. Pupils will leave the workshop with new ideas, insightful notes and short written pieces to enable them to develop a completed story back at school.

Creating Art: Singh Twins Style
1 hour 30 minutes
Key stage 2 – 5

Explore the exhibitions with a professional artist, discover how some of the amazing works of art on display were created, learn how similar styles have inspired contemporary artists such as The Singh Twins and be inspired to create your own artwork in their style.

Themed Week: A Tour of India’s Splendours (1st – 5th October 2018)
1 hour 15 minutes
Key stage 1

Explore the dazzling objects on display in the Prince’s Tour of India 1875-6 exhibition and examine the exotic materials and beautiful craftsmanship on display as part of this educator led session.

The Royal Collection Trust have worked closely with the Singh Twins on an artistic installation which explores the interconnected themes of maritime trade and exploration, cultural exchange, the British Empire, colonialism, as well as its legacies, the RCT have created to an interactive digital version to help ‘de-code’ it, which links with the many school sessions mentioned above.

For further information on visiting the Queens Gallery with a school group visit our essential information pages for:

To book one of the above workshops please contact:

These are free of charge, run by experts, open to all schools, and the ideal complement for working alongside our image bank.

Are you using the LGfL Image Bank with your school? Let us know how by posting your work on our twitter of Facebook pages.

*Please note: Adherence to the licensing terms of use by teachers and learner is essential. This will ensure that content providers continue to partner with LGfL and offer unique resources for teachers and learners connected to the National Network.

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to support Computing

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 Computing

Busy Things

Busy Things includes a wide range of digital resources and fun interactive activities linked to the computing curriculum for use in EYFSKS1 and KS2.

IT tools such as Busy Publisher and Busy Paint can help children to develop their basic IT skills whilst doing project work:

You can test algorithmic thinking and debugging skills with “Path Peril”, always a firm favourite in class:

Fun and interactive games like “Body Boggle” and “Tree Keys” are great for practising mouse and keyboard skills:

 

“Busy Graph Maker” can be used to answer you data handling needs:

And remember, you can search both via subject and topic using the curriculum browser – just select the computing strand to see more great interactive activities!

Coming soon: From September LGfL users will be able to access a NEW Busy Code area including lots of fun coding tutorials activities and challenges!

 

J2code

J2code, part of the award winning platfrom j2e offers a range of coding languages to enable all students to explore coding:

JIT is a turtle based coding language in which you can code freely or use spite (Or more then one spite using advanced mode) and background templates to create simple stort based animations for KS1.

Visual is a block based coding language in which you can freely code to create more complex coding outcomes for KS2, you can see examples here.

Logo is a script based platform that you use to complex procedures perfect for upper KS2 and can be used as a transition platform for KS3.

J2e also offers a block based or script based platform for the micro:bit, what is great about this platform is that it offers 3 levels of differentiation, adding operators, variables and procedures, when needed.

Each coding language offers three detailed lesson plans, each designed as a starting point for a series of lessons. Children new to coding, whether at year 1 or year 2, will need to work through the basics, starting with lesson 1. Year 2 children should be able to move through the first two lessons much more quickly.

At the end of each lesson plan there are suggestions for further activities. It will help the children’s learning experience if they are given plenty of time for consolidation and adaption of skills learnt before moving on to the next lesson plan. J2Code is designed to be open ended rather than prescriptive in order to encourage children’s creativity and problem-solving skills.

To help both teachers and students J2E have included a glossary for the various computational terminology used, there is also a link to this in each lesson plan.

All the coding work created within any of the coding platforms can be sent to the Blogging platform built into the Creative ToolKit System. This unique element significantly enhance the scope for broadening the audience for the students Coding and facilitates peer review.

Space Adventures

This unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe.

It features dramatic video content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative. The aim is to draw the learner into the turn of events that threats the ability of our intrepid astronaut Tazz to return safely back to earth. Will her on board computer be enough to get her back safely or will she need to draw on her maths and science knowledge and understanding?

The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for Maths, literacy and Science and a Computing unit created my Max Wainwright, author of the popular espresso coding resource for primary schools.

There are two units, which are designed  to teach computing concepts in line with the Computing Curriculum, Unit 1 is aimed at Year 4 with unit 2 being aimed at more experienced pupils who will have a good exciting coding skills, there are six lessons in each unit.

Each lesson contains:

  • A presentation that can be used by the teacher with the class on an IWB.
  • An introduction video.
  • A video demonstrating the code used within the lesson.
  • A step by step PDF.
  • Extension Activities
  • An example of Scratch file for teachers to explore.

There is even a selection were you make your own rocket and launch it using a Micro:Bit as a internal Data Logger!

History of Computing

This resource features unique materials to help understand how British computing developments have influenced the world we all live in. It also provides a wide range of materials to show how British innovation in Computing Continues to impact on our world today and shape our tomorrow.

The resource features:

Unique video and photographic resources from the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.

– Offering an expert insight into the iconic British Computing systems from the past 70 years.

  • Curriculum material created by practising Computing teachers all mapped out the National Curriculum.
  • The video material is used to support a broad range of complete lesson activities to cover Key Stage 2 to 5, however teachers are encouraged to use and modify the suggested activities and tailor them to the needs of the students and curriculum.

Here are two quick examples of how you can use the lesson plans within the unit “A Brave new world”

Using the building a computer lesson Get your students  to create an animation (you could use an app called Chatterpix Kids or use Morfo or our very own j2e5) to create simple animations of parts of a computer in which the animation tells you what the part does in relation to the whole computer.

The second example is with the Code breaking lesson, Simply use the lesson plan and video to explain the historical significance of code breaking and then use ‘the explaining binary resources’ from the wonderful website CSunplugged for children to explore how computers use a special type of code to communicate with each other.

Python Tutor

Over 25 coding projects presented in single simple stand-alone lessons. Students understanding is initially developed at a conceptual level by allowing them to drag and drop parts of the code, but later they can refine their skills with specific code creation in activities.

Students watch a short introductory video. Which presents a key coding concept or problem. They then can carry out a series of related short tasks using the software, after each task is complete, the software will then present the next task in the unit.

All videos within the tutorials are downloadable and can be used outside of the resource, one way of using this would be to allow all students to complete the standalone lesson, but then let the students have freedom to impairment the key concepts but for a different purpose, creating their own projects.

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

10 Steps to a successful summer term

The Easter holidays are over and it’s time to take off the bunny ears, put down the Easter Eggs and get thinking about the summer term.

As teachers we know with Phonic test’s, SATs, GCSE’s, A Levels or just making it though the term with tired and hot students, just how hard the summer term can be.

Here are ten steps to a successful summer term to help get summer started in a positive way and helping you get the most out of the amazing content and support that LGfL can give you and your students.

Get booking: Our annual Conference is this month 30th April 2018 – We have some amazing keynote speakers and a terrific range of seminars to book, we have a few tickets left so be quick and grab the final tickets on Eventbrite.

Put this date in your diary: 25th April 2018 We will be at the Academies show at the ExCel London, The Academies Show brings together over 3,000 senior school leaders and 200 leading education suppliers for a day designed to support school business management, teaching quality and pupil outcomes.

Sign up to our newsletters: Every month we send out an email update to everyone who has signed up: to hear about new events and online learning resources, updates to education legislation, or news on how we can help keep your students safe and learn more with LGfL. We have 3 different newsletters LGfLDSLs and online safety leads and SEND.

Get you students SATS ready Using SATs Blast: SATS Blast is part of the BETT award-winning j2e Tool Suite. SATs Blast provides:

  • SATS maths games for Key Stage 1 and 2
  • Practice or test mode
  • Teacher feedback on areas of success or to highlight problem areas
  • Automatic test certificates for pupils who complete a SATs maths test
  • Gamification – Earn points to release avatars, encouraging pupil engagement

Read and subscribe to our Curriculum blog: Our blog is updated weekly and offers a mix of topical pieces relating to how best to use LGfL content within your school setting, subscribe to make sure you get the latest update straight to your inbox.

Get r-ea-d-y for the Phonics test: LGfL have a range of resources to support the Phonics test:

  • Busy Things has fun and engaging activities to help students at any phonics level. You can choose exactly which phonemes and graphemes are being used and so allow children to work at their own pace/level.  Don’t forget the super useful Phonics resource maker which enables you to create your own paper-based resources to support a systematic phonics programme and is great for group work.
  • We also have the highly used i-board phonics suite, the suite consists of 12 activity types which can be use with any combination of words from the suggested word list in each phase of letters and sounds, great for shared class work or smaller phonic interventions.

Check out our training hub: We have added a huge range of training to our  Training Hub offering a unique range of courses, browse and book or share a link with colleagues. Training is FREE for all LGfL teachers and is held on a Tuesday at Camden CLC, you can find out more about the courses on offer and how to sign up here. Examples of future courses include: Creative computing, supporting Teaching Assistants, Google and Microsoft training, including looking at Minecraft, using Microsoft tools to support pupils with additional and special needs and the Microsoft Certified Educator Programme.

Like and follow us on Social Media: Follow us on our social media channels Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date with the latest news, research highlights and benefit from a range of useful resources.

Read and subscribe to our new inclusion blog: Our Inclusion Blog is updated weekly and offers regular information, commentary and updates relevant to SEND.

Book an inset Day: it’s not too late to book a Free school session with one of our Learning resource consultants, the summer is a great time to start thinking about the new academic year and modifying your curriculum map, just email training@lgfl.net to book an inset

If you like our top summer tips or have your own top tips for starting the summer term why not share them on our Twitter or Facebook accounts.

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

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

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) (27th January) is a national commemoration day in UK dedicated to the remembrance of those who suffered in The Holocaust under Nazi Persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The chosen date is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Concentration camp in 1945

It is as important in 2018 as in any year to remember the events of the Holocaust on the International Memorial Day, and there are a number of quality LGfL resources available for use in assemblies, Citizenship, Art and History lessons for teachers at Primary and Secondary level.

Each year, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust chooses a different theme to enable audiences on Holocaust Memorial Day to learn something new about the past. This year’s theme is ‘The Power of Words’ Words can make a difference – both for good and evil.

Spoken and written words from individuals, corporations, community organisations or the state, can have a huge impact, whether good or bad. This theme explores how language has been used in the past, and how it is used in the present day. HMD activities can focus on the impact that words had in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, through propaganda used to incite, through slogans written in resistance, and through memoirs written to record and respond to what was going on.

HMD offers an Activity Pack for activity organisers to help facilitate activities. It contains a set of posters, an example of our free handout materials, a sample About HMD booklet, information for educators, a set of stickers, a metal HMD badge, guidance for putting on your activity, as well as a guide to the theme for HMD 2018: The power of words.

Scope of the theme:

  • The power of words, written during the Holocaust and during the subsequent genocides, by perpetrators, by people who wanted to criticise perpetrator regimes, or stand up against them or by people who wrote to survive, or to record their experiences for the future
  • Words written as a response to the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the subsequent genocides
  • Words today
  • How we respond to words
  • The power of definitions
  • Free speech and censorship

 

LGfL offers a range of resources that can support your HMD activities and all have been carefully created with experts to ensure accuracy, appropriateness and sensitivity towards teaching about the Holocaust:

Documenting the Holocaust: A unique resource which gives access to carefully curated artefacts from the the Wiener Library, one of the world’s most extensive archives. The collection of over one million items includes press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony. The videos within the resource offers unique stimulus to be used as valuable as starters, plenaries and main lesson stimuli and support discussion in and out of lesson time.

The Holocaust Explained: Produced originally in partnership with the London Jewish Cultural Centre, but now managed by the Wiener Library, this website features a large range of media resources, historical documents and graphical representations of a wide-range of aspects of the Holocaust; the site has over 500 webpages, 1000 media assets, a glossary of 720 terms and 11 oral testimonies.

Holocaust Education though the Ben Uri Art Collection: A resource designed to support GCSE History and Art and Design research into Holocaust art, the resources help to ‘deconstruct’ art works from the Ben Uri Gallery and the London Jewish Cultural Centre. The expert teacher support is some of the finest available from LGfL.

The M Room: The M Room resource gives unique access to secret World War II listening sites where the British Secret Service bugged high-ranking German Military prisoners to secure key intelligence to help win the war. The resources feature an in interview with one of the original secret listeners and extensive primary-source material form the Ministry of Defence, relatives of those involved, and the National Archives.

The Cold War: The resources span borders, ideologies and even realities; interviewing spies, journalists and dissidents; visiting prisons, concentration camps, and museums; filming underground, above ground and from air; and uncovering documents, images and secrets never before revealed. Although the resource focuses on post second world war tensions between the Superpowers, there are sections that link to the topic and influence of the Holocaust on subsequent post war events.

There are also many other resources that the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust produces that may assist in your planning – They have materials for educators, with resources and an activity planning section

Also Michael Rosen has recorded a series of powerful poems about the experiences of his family in the Holocaust which you can use to inspire your students.

As Teachers, it is vital that we continue to pay our respect to the victims of the Holocaust by continuing to sensitively pass on the memories of the past and we at LGfL hope that our resources will support you with this important endeavour.

 

 

The Royal Collection

What’s in a picture? Quite a lot in fact! And thanks to this collection of prints and  paintings from Royal Collection Trust, you will find even more.

Royal Collection Trust looks after the Royal Collection, one of the most important art collections in the world. Their aim,  to ensure that the Royal Collection and Palaces are valued and enjoyed by everyone.

During the months of January and February the BBC will be celebrating the Royal Collection with The Royal Collection Season, a major partnership between Royal Collection Trust and the BBC, bringing both masterpieces and lesser-known works of art from the Royal Collection to audiences across the UK. The Season includes programming across BBC One, Two and Four, as well as BBC Radio 3 and 4 and local radio, over the course of January and February 2018.

To celebrate this and the opening of a new exhibition LGfL are delighted to announce a series of new opportunities for schools in collaboration with the Learning team at  Royal Collection Trust.

Firstly, a curated selection of high-resolution images has been added to the LGfL TRUSTnet Image Bank. The ten images have been specially selected for their relevance and interest for schools, and feature in the latest exhibition ‘Charles II: Art and Power” at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace (open to the public and school groups until 13th May 2018).

All images are available to download for educational use in super high resolution and are ideal for studying in preparation for or subsequent to a school visit to the exhibition.

We are proud to announce that we are running another of our highly popular training sessions with  Royal Collection Trust. “Painting at the palace: using art for cross-curricular inspiration” This twilight event will highlight the skills needed to question any painting and show how you can pass these skills onto pupils, whether you a dilettante or a master.  This is a unique opportunity to learn more skills in a unique location. Go to our training hub for more information and to book your place.

Throughout the year, schools can arrange visits or attend special workshops with the education experts at Royal Collection Trust.

Developed to coincide  with the Charles II exhibition, RCT is hosting 3 unique sessions at The Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace with a mix of stimulating and interactive sessions focusing on English, Art and Design, History and Drama. These sessions are free of charge*, run by experts, open to all schools, and are the ideal complement when used with our very own Image Bank or a planned visit.

(* School pupils receive a discounted entry rate of £1 per pupil for The Queen’s Gallery. Full details on www.royalcollection.org.uk/schools)

Dance and Music week: (19-23 February, KS1-KS2) Discover the music, dance and fashion from the period of Charles II’s Royal Court. Pupils will have the opportunity to watch and listen to specialist historical musicians play instruments from the time and explore the amazing art featured in Charles II: Art & Power at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

Pictures with power: A creative writing workshop (available until 11th May, KS2-KS5) Explore Charles II: Art & Power with a published author to inspire your pupils’ writing. Explore the idea that impressions of power can be portrayed through imagery and the collecting of art.

Art or power: What do portraits tell us? (available until 11 May KS2-KS4) Explore Charles II: Art & Power with a professional artist, discover how power was portrayed through the amazing works of art and be inspired to create your own portraits.

You can see all of the RCT education programmes available here.

If you would like to see other images from the Royal Collection Trust, you can view and down load other collections in the LGfL Image Bank.

The LGfL image Bank is an ever-expanding collection of high-resolution images from trusted LGfL partners.

The image collections have been checked for appropriateness for use in an educational context and where relevant, mapped to the National Curriculum. To access these images, just search for resources by programme of study to see if there are any for your subject.

Please do make sure to adhere to the licensing terms of use for teachers and students as this will ensure that content providers continue to partner with LGfL and offer unique resources for teachers and students

Are you using the LGfL Image Bank with your school? Let us know how by posting your work on our twitter of Facebook pages.

 

#LGfLresolutions

 Did you know that by this week, more than 60% of people will have given up on their New Year’s resolutions?

The holidays are over, and school is back in session and we know how hard it can be to keep those resolutions up so at LGfL we have come up with 10 simple easy to keep resolutions that will help you start the New Year in a positive way and help you get the most out of the amazing content and support that LGfL can give you.

  • Sign up to our newsletters: Every month we send out an email update to everyone who has signed up: to hear about new events and online learning resources, updates to education legislation, or news on how we can help keep your students safe and learn more with LGfL. We have 3 different newsletters LGfL, DSLs and online safety leads and SEND.

 

  • Read and subscribe to our Curriculum blog: Our blog is updated weekly and offers a mix of topical pieces relating to how best to use LGfL content within your school setting.

 

  • Put this date in your diary: 24th – 27th January 2018 We will be at Bett at ExCel London, you can find us on stand D260, we will be running talks and demos as well as drop ins with the consultants to help you get the most out of LGfL.

 

  • Check out our training hub: Our LGfL Training Hub offers CPD at its best, offering a unique range of courses, browse and book or share a link with colleagues

 

  • Like and follow us on Social Media: Follow us on our social media channels Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date with the latest news, research highlights and benefit from a range of useful resources.

 

  • Put this date in your diary: 30th April 2018 – Our annual LGfL conference, details on how to book will be advertised soon.

 

  • Read and subscribe to our Safeguarding blog: Our Safeguarding blog is updated weekly and offers regular information, commentary and updates relevant to safeguarding.

 

 

  • Put this date in your diary: 9th March 2018 – LGfL DigiSafe conference – online and beyond. A free conference for DSLs and online safety leads, you can find more information and how to bookhere
  • Make sure you have your USO: Make sure you and students have access to all of LGfL content at school and home by having your USO and password.

If you like our #LGfLresolutions– why not share them on Twitter or Facebook.

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!

It’s that time of the year ! Using Christmas media with LGfL content

It’s that time of the year when like or not we are all exposed to Christmas media campaigns, be it advertising for a movie or supermarket. Over the last week I’ve been exposed to two campaigns which on the face of it have little or no link, but when looked at more closely, all share an important message. So, how is an advert for a movie, supermarket and LGfL content linked? Read on.

Just before I hopped on a train at Paddington station this week I couldn’t help but notice the many Paddington Bear promotional material around the station. What drew my eye the most was the latest issue of The Big Issue with a striking cover with Paddington Bear being showcased as a ‘Migrant British Icon”

Inside the Magazine Kiri Tunks vice president of the National Union of Teachers and who teaches a Global Perspectives class at her school in Tower Hamlets, tells why she had used Paddington Bear in her teaching of British Values.

Is Paddington a migrant? A refugee? What is the difference between the two? Does it matter?

These questions were being debated in the classroom, with Paddington acting as a symbol of immigration in order to introduce children to issues surrounding refugees and immigration.

“It’s one of the popular lessons, kids really like it,” she says. “I was looking for a way of getting into the refugee question, and tackling the issue from a slightly abstract angle rather than using real-life stories, it is quite useful in representing the other view that sometimes refugees are seen as.”

“It makes the point that when you talk about people in an abstract sense, it’s easy to see them as a threat and different but once you know their story you start to relate to them.” You can download the lesson plan here, and for more Refugee resources created by the NUT go here.

At LGfL we have created a range of resources that can help support the idea of knowing the person behind the label,  Developing British Values offers unique, high quality, safe and relevant teaching resources that foster deeper understanding of keys issues that are raised with the concepts of immigration, tolerance and inclusivity. Celebrating Us looks at issues relating to cultural diversity and identity, rights, roles and responsibilities, online safety and good citizenship. Real Voices is a series of three short interviews with Syrian refugees living in Jordan; they talk about their experience having to leave home, their journey to safety and life in a refugee camp.

And if your youngest students want to go on more bear related adventures PB Bear offers stories that offer starting points for cross curricular work allowing children to make connections in their learning and to put them in to a relevant context.

And finally, Tesco’s Christmas campaign “Everyone’s Welcome”

In the clip, different families are seen celebrating the festival as they dig into a turkey. Commenting on the campaign, Alessandra Bellini, Tesco’s Chief Customer Officer, said: ‘This year, our campaign will celebrate the many ways we come together at Christmas It’s important to remember that no matter how different we are, we have more in common then we think”

To explore this idea in more depth why not use Espresso Faiths to look at different communities and ask your students to explore the common links that they can see in religious celebrations? If you wanted to look at this in the wider context you could use Growing up around the World, which aims to help Children in the UK understand the realities of children in different contexts, the resources show that many struggles and challenges are the same from South Africa to India.

If we can take one message from the many campaigns and resources is the theme of Diversity and Tolerance, and the idea of coming together as a whole, because we truly do have more in common then we think. Or as Dr Seuss wrote“Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store”

Are you using Christmas media with LGfL content in your school to inspire your students? If so let us know by posting them on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook

 

 

 

 

How to be a champion of your subject and introduce LGfL content to your school.

Finding the time to get your subject a staff meeting can be near impossible when many staff meetings are set aside for School Priorities and Moderation. So how do you do it? How can you highlight and show your staff the key updates and content for your subject?

My idea is to use flexible CPD, don’t think about training as solid one hour blocks where all staff take part at the same time, think about your day and were you can pop in small bite sized training sessions that staff can access in easier less time-consuming sessions.

Over my years of teaching I have been a subject leader for various subjects and as a leader, my aim was always the same,  to help promote my subject and give teachers the key knowledge and skills to help push children forward. It can be hard to do at the best of times, but with many schools having less time and funds to let staff go off site and pay for CCPD, in-house staff training can be vital.

The idea of offering staff a different model of CPD was introduced to me by an amazing Apple Distinguished Educator named Aaron Webb, who at the time introduced the concept of ‘Techie Brekkie’ to my school.

Techie Brekkie has been around for many years and is a short (15mins) session which can be organised on a given morning every week to highlight a resource that can be used to enhance learning within the classroom, you didn’t need to go every week or even stay for the whole session, staff can dip in and out as they wish.

I adapted this idea and used it to highlight different resources within my school setting at the time, creating lots of easy to digest CPD sessions, such as “Google Docs and Danish” and “Clips and Cold Brew”, Giving staff a great start to the day by giving them much needed training and a snack!

Why not try this idea with LGfL content you know staff are interested in but lack training in? Perhaps “j2e and Juice” or “Widgit and waffles”.

 

Introduce the content by first going to the information page where you can get a short overview of the content and then model to your staff how to use the resource, remember to allow time for your staff to use the resource themselves and for them to enjoy their Brekkie!

I adapted this idea of flexible CPD to also help promote LGfL content within my school, as many staff within my own school lacked time to dive deep into the amazing content LGfL provides, I am very proud to announce that we are bringing this idea back in an ongoing way. introducing LGfL spotlight

LGfL Spotlight, will focus (or spotlight!) on one key curriculum resource per week, allowing you and your staff to see some amazing resources that you may not have seen before, where possible we will attempt to tie the content with relevant events happening in the Education calendar.

Every week we will adding posts to our social media channels (Follow us on twitter here and Facebook) highlighting one resource per week, the idea is to take this post and find a 5-minute moment during your school week where all staff are together, this could be a morning briefing or at the very beginning of a staff meeting, in this time you can introduce the content via LGfL’s very handy information pages, which offer key information about the resource as well as screen shots and videos to help. During the week, we will also offer more gems of information about our spotlighted resource.

LGfL Spotlight will be supported by the hashtag #LGfLspotlight, if you have organised a whole school session take a photo of it or if you have used the Spotlight resources in school that week we would love to see the results! Post them on twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #LGfLspotlight

 

 

 

Children in Need

LAST YEAR Children in Need raised an incredible £60 million and this year the organisers are aiming to raise even more money.

 

 

The evening of frolics and fundraising fun is fast approaching, but what’s planned for schools? Here’s how your school can get involved.

This year Children in need have created a range of new learning resources, including SEND lesson materials, to involve everyone in fundraising. All resources link to the curriculum and are packed with engaging new activities.

In addition, Children in Need have produced a NEW range of disability awareness lessons and resources. They’re designed to help pupils understand that difference shouldn’t be a barrier to friendship and think about what can be done to make schools inclusive environments for all.

 

One of the teaching opportunities mentioned by Children in Need uses the theme “Why Fundraise for BBC Children in Need?” were Students need to raise awareness of BBC Children in Need’s work among young people by creating a story board and Video, j2e offers a range of resources to help you create animations you could use JIT5 or j2spotlight to make you very own stop animation, which then can be embedded onto any website and if you need music for you videos then look no further then Audio Network, ask children to study other Charity videos and assess why particular types of music have been used and which piece of music would they pick to suit a particular scene and remember the easiest way to store and share you video is with  Video Central HD.

Another lesson “Moving pictures” explores the story of Logan, a child who has cerebral palsy. After listening to Logan’s story the challenge is for students to create a ‘mood board’ on a divided piece of paper to reflect Logan’s feelings before and after his therapy.

To inspire pupils, show them examples from Ben Uri: Portraits & Identity, this resource features a range of project ideas and visual art techniques for exploring the themes of Portraiture and identity.

Another lesson ‘in my shoes’ This lesson focuses on developing children’s empathy. They are encouraged to put themselves in other people’s shoes and think about what makes people happy. They watch a video about Alana, a seven-year-old girl with painful chronic eczema, and find out how she is being helped by a project funded by BBC Children in Need

If you would like to continue exploring this theme then you should explore Growing up around the World, the resources aim is to help UK children to understand the realities of childhood in very different contexts

The money donated is used to change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK. To date the charity event has raised more than £890 million to help make a difference in the lives of the children who needed it.

It’s not only the children and young people in Children in needs own projects that benefit from fundraising; your students gain so much too. From planning an event to counting up the money they’ve raised, students will be empowered, encouraged and motivated to work as a team.

This year’s Children in Need will be on November 17 at 7:30pm on BBC1.

Please let us know what you are doing for the week, you can share via our Twitter and Facebook pages, or using the hashtag #ChildrenInNeed

Listening Books Update

The long standing partnership between London Grid for Learning and Listening Books ensures that LGfL teachers are able to have access to over 100 curriculum based audiobook by simply logging on with their LGfL username and password.

If you are not aware of Listening Books, it is a charity providing a service for people with print impairments. Reading is essential for any child’s success. All too often, the barriers faced by children with difficulty reading outweigh their desire to read and, without proper guidance, they never may never overcome them. Listening Books offers audiobooks which can be used with children and young people who struggle to read books in the usual way due to an illness, disability, learning or mental health difficulty.

Listening Books are proud to announce 2 new releases to the LGfL Listening Book catalogue of audio books. “Why is Snot Green? And Other Extremely Important Questions” and “Inventors and their Bright Ideas”

Children with special educational needs such as dyslexia often find ‘decoding’ words can be a barrier that gets in the way of their understanding and enjoyment of a text. They can end up feeling left behind, dejected and lacking in confidence. Audiobooks remove these barriers by replacing the written word with a spoken voice, enabling pupils to visualise a story and glean meaning from the words. Reading along with the audio can help with word recognition and reading speed while being able to keep up with peers can have a visible impact on self-esteem.

Listening Books support the National Curriculum from Key Stage 2 to A-Level and have a huge range of fiction and non-fiction titles for both adults and children. Listening to audiobooks allows children and young people to listen to the same books their friends and peers are reading, improve comprehension and word recognition as well as helping to instil a greater understanding and enjoyment of literature. For older members, audiobooks, as well as being an enjoyable activity, can for some provide welcome relief from pain, boredom and loneliness, lifting them out of what are often challenging circumstances.

There is a great range of fiction and non-fiction available to support pupils from Key Stage 2 up to A-Level, including:

  • British History Makers: King Henry VIII by Leon Ashworth
  • GCSE English: Of Mice and Men: The Text Guide by Coordination Group Publications
  • Secrets of the Rainforest: Predators and Prey by Michael Chinery
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming (Young Adult Version) by Al Gore
  • Dates with History: 6th August 1945 The Bombing of Hiroshima by John Malam
  • My Friend Walter by Michael Morpurgo
  • The Elements in Poetry: Poems about Fire edited by Andrew Fusek Peters
  • The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  • Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

All you need is to enter your LGfL username and password and this will bring you straight through to the Listening Books library. All of the titles here are available to stream 24 hours a day.
Any questions please get in touch.

Codeweek.EU

After two weeks of coding inspiration it is important to remind ourselves that introducing young people to coding gives them an appreciation of what can be built with technology.

Our students are surrounded by devices controlled by computers in their everyday lives. To understand coding, is to understand how our devices work, and being able to imagine new devices and services is essential to inspire and push our students to solve the problems of the future.

Doron Swade (MBE) Formerly Curator of Computing, and Assistant Director & Head of Collections, Science Museum, Tells us:

London Grid for Learning supports this view which is why we made the resource “History of computing”, the resource promotes the idea that by understanding our digital heritage we can better understand our digital future.

This resource features unique materials to help understand how British computing developments have influenced the world we all live in. It also provides a wide range of materials to show how British innovation in Computing Continues to impact on our world today and shape our tomorrow.

The resource features:

Unique video and photographic resources from the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.

– Offering an expert insight into the iconic British Computing systems from the past 70 years.

  • Curriculum material created by practising Computing teachers all mapped out the National Curriculum.
  • The video material is used to support a broad range of complete lesson activities to cover Key Stage 2 to 5, however teachers are encouraged to use and modify the suggested activities and tailor them to the needs of the students and curriculum.

Here are two quick examples of how I modified the lesson plans within the unit “A Brave new world”

First let’s look at the lesson about building a computer, My students  used an animation app called Chatterpix Kids (but you could use Morfo or our very own j2e5) to create simple animations of parts of a computer in which the animation tells you what the part does in relation to the whole computer.

My second example is with the Code breaking lesson, I used the lesson plan and video to explain the historical significance of code breaking and then used ‘the explaining binary resources’ from the wonderful website CSunplugged for children to explore how computers use a special type of code to communicate with each other.

Finally, another why to support the ‘History of computing” content is use the many resources found within Barefoot Computing Project These resources will help you improve subject knowledge and understanding within computing. Giving clear definitions, examples and progression across all primary school age and ability ranges.

I hope you have enjoyed the focus on computing within the curriculum blog these last two weeks, please do let me know what you would like to see more of in the comments section.

Tell us what you are have done for EU Code Week in your school and remember you can share your work either on our Twitter or Facebook pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Code week.EU

There is still time to join with EU Code Week before it closes on Friday, you can use a range of LGfL resources to help support your coding activities, today we are going to focus on resources within Python Tutor and Web Tech tutor.

Combined both resources offer 50 coding projects presented in single simple stand-alone lessons. Students understanding is initially developed at a conceptual level by allowing them to drag and drop parts of the code, but later they can refine their skills with specific code creation in activities.

Students watch a short introductory video. Which presents a key coding concept or problem. They then can carry out a series of related short tasks using the software, after each task is complete, the software will then present the next task in the unit.

When using these resources, it is important to understand that simply using this resource in isolation will not give your students the depth and breadth of computational skills needed to become independent Computational thinkers.

Using and moving code within these resources does create a solid scaffold for students to explore unfamiliar concepts and gives them quick on-screen results but it’s important for students to have freedom to create code outside of this scaffold, the idea of the resource is not to “copy code” but to gain practical knowledge of key concepts.

Computing Inspector and advisor for Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service Phil Bagge talks about using coding schemes of work:

 “I often start with examining the module and asking what computational thinking and problem-solving attitudes it is building I then explore ways that they might adapt that planning, chopping the instructions up, asking the students to predict what parts will do before they use them”

All videos within the tutorials are downloadable and can be used outside of the resource, one way of using this would be to allow all students to complete the standalone lesson, but then let the students have freedom to impairment the key concepts but for a different purpose, creating their own projects.

Coding was introduced to help drive creativity within students, using these resources can help build up student’s confidence so that they can translate it into innovative and creative outcomes. We look forward to seeing your students doing this for EU Code Week and please remember you can share your work either on our Twitter or Facebook pages

CodeWeek.EU

“Everybody in the world should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think”— Steve Jobs

Coding is for all, not just for programmers. It’s a matter of creativity, of computational thinking skills, of self-empowerment, Nothing boosts your problem-solving skills like learning how to program a computer, learning to code boosts your attention to detail, having a high level of focus can improve any part of your life, Decomposition is another key skill learned when coding. In decomposition, you break a big problem down (like a complex program) into several smaller problems or actions, Decomposition is another incredible life skill.

Our National Curriculum computing programmes of study tells us“A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world” Coding isn’t just the entering code into a device, it’s about teaching students how to identify and understand problems or needs in the real world and using creativity alongside logic reasoning to improve the world around them. It’s about teaching them what is behind their screens and boxes and how the modern world works. With this knowledge, they can begin to see the possibilities so that they can create innovations that could one day change the world.

EU Code Week is a grass-root movement run by volunteers who promote coding in their countries as Code Week Ambassadors. Anyone – schools, teachers, libraries, code clubs, businesses, public authorities – can organise a #CodeEU event and add it to the codeweek.eu map.

Europe Code Week is now launching the “CodeWeek4all challenge” to contribute to increase the penetration of coding in schools. Schools are invited to register online for free to get a unique code to be added to the description of all Code Week events organised in the school preferably between October 7th and October 22nd 2017, you can see here a list of all UK events.

The challenge consists in getting involved as many students/pupils as possible during Europe Code Week 2017. The unique code associated with the school will allow Code Week organisers to sum up all the participants to the events organised in the same school and to compare the sum with the total number of students declared in the application form. Schools achieving a participation rate greater or equal than 50% will be awarded a personalised “Certificate of Excellence in Coding Literacy” and will be announced in the Europe Code Week website.

Apply now, share the unique code with all the teachers in your school, and ask them to provide a coding experience in their classrooms during code week. remember to fill in the application form here

We will be being looking at how LGfL content can help support EU Code week each day on the blog so please do Come back.

Tell us what you are doing for EU Code Week in your school and share your work either on our Twitter or Facebook pages

Cold War VR Update

Einstein wisely stated, ‘The only source of knowledge is experience’.

As a teacher, we are always thinking on how can we deliver new experiences to students within the limitations of our school space and time, with many teachers finding it harder to go on school trips because of expense and time wasted travelling, we need to look at how technology can provide a range of immersive and engaging experiences that couldn’t normally happen within a normal school day.

The ClassVR by Avantis Whitepaper tells us that:

Virtual Reality, by its pure definition, can deliver experiences and interactions for students that are either not practical or not possible in the ‘real world’, provides an unparalleled way to immerse and captivate students of all ages. Virtual Reality helps students feel immersed in an experience, gripping their imagination and stimulating thought in ways not possible with traditional books, pictures or videos, and facilitates a far higher level of knowledge retention. “

With this in mind LGfL and the amazing team at Computeam have looked at updating our Cold war resource, so that it offers an experience that cannot be found anywhere else, that of a Virtual Reality Nuclear blast!

I spoke to Phil Birchinall Education Director at Computeam Ltd about this exciting update:

“Our challenge was to create a scenario that presented pupils with a realistic experience of the genuine level of fear that existed in the country during the late 70’s and in to the 80’s. Most people then considered it to be a matter of when not if, nuclear Armageddon and ‘mutually assured destruction’ would take place. We wanted to portray how life could change dramatically and instantly in the case of a nuclear strike. At the same time we don’t want to leave students traumatised! Our goal is to provide just enough jeopardy and threat to leave them feeling they have just experienced something significant.

 Also, this is a teaching resource so it has to be loaded with prompts and questions for further study and exploration. We made sure that the context is accurate. The sounds are all genuine sounds from the period, even the date it’s set, 18th July 1981. The bunker is an accurate recreation of a DIY bunker layout produced in the 1960”

 Finally, implementing VR into your curriculum fully can be hard and making sure it has an impact on learning as well as having the wow factor is vital. LGfL with help from ClassVR by Avantis have produced a prompt sheet which can help you on your class journey.

 

 

You can find the new Cold War Nuclear Strike app iOS here or for Android here

Tell us how you use VR in your class by sharing either on our Twitter or Facebook pages.

Dyslexia Awareness Week

This year, Dyslexia Awareness Week runs from Monday 2nd October to Sunday 8th October 2017, with World Dyslexia Awareness Day taking place on Thursday 5th October 2017. This year’s theme is Positive about Dyslexia. Because of this, I would like to draw your attention to all the resources to support learners and staff with dyslexia on LGfL, but also to share my own personal experience of dyslexia as a teacher and as a learner:

“I remember feeling relieved to be diagnosed with dyslexia when I was 19 years old and at art university. It had taken a long time to come to grips with it and finally be tested.

 My school years were the worst time for me. School report after school report said the same thing over and over; I was “A slow starter” and apparently showed a “Lack of effort.” Primary school was a battle every day for me as I attempted to remember things and to catch up with people around me. Simple things like remembering the order of the alphabet and months of the year escaped me. Having to write the long date on a piece of work could take a whole lesson. With little support or understanding, my school life was a blur of disappointment. Thankfully for me, I was lucky enough to have an amazing Art teacher who could see that I had a talent for art. This teacher was able to see that I could organise objects on the page and show a focus that many staff didn’t think I was capable of.

 Fast forward to my twenties and I decided to become a teacher, not for the love of my past school years, but instead because of how much I disliked it! My decision was based on my own personal experience that information needed to be presented using a range of media and techniques, and staff needed to offer support for all types of learners.

Over the last 15 years, I have used technology to support myself, and the many pupils around me, to succeed in learning, no matter what needs they had.

 If I wasn’t dyslexic, I wouldn’t have been able to be such a creative person nor would I have become a teacher”

I am just one of the staff members at LGfL who has both a personal and professional in dyslexia. As a team we are fully committed to supporting all pupils, not just with literacy difficulties.

All relevant content development and procurement in the SEND and inclusion area is guided by this mission statement.

We offer many resources which support accessibility for all,  but one resource which is ideal for students with dyslexia is  WordQ SpeakQ. This is an easy to use and powerful literacy tool that helps young people who can type but may have trouble with writing, grammar and spelling. It includes Word Prediction, Speech Recognition and Spoken Feedback and it can be installed on staff, pupil or school computers and can be used online or offline. Staff, learners and parents at Tubbenden school in Bromley have been using this tool for almost a year and report a noticeable different in the confidence and achievement of some of their learners with dyslexia. Go to www.wordqspeakq.lgfl.net to find out more or www.training.lgfl.net to book on FREE training on using LGfL tools to support reluctant writers on 14th November.

To find out other ways LGfL can support, go to our dedicated SEND page or contact our wonderful SEND specialist Jo Dilworth who can be contact here: send@lgfl.net

In addition:

  • the online resources and all updates for this year’s DAW are available to download here.

 

  • you can download a Dyslexia Awareness Week school pack here it’s fill of inspiration stories, poster, videos and useful guides on how to talk about dyslexia

 

  • there are competitions that students with dyslexia can enter, by creating art, prose or videos that shows their journey with dyslexia.

 

  • Why not organise a Sponsored Spell? This is a fun way to engage primary school children in spelling and raising awareness of dyslexia. Make it a fun event for your students to encourage them to explore a range of spelling strategies, whilst also raising awareness and funds for the British Dyslexia Association.

 

  • BDA alongside Nessy are offering a free eBook “Dyslexia explained” The book covers: Understanding Dyslexia, Types of Dyslexia, What People with Dyslexia are good at, Dyslexia difficulties, Helpful Strategies and What works best for dyslexia all without the need for too many words. LGfL users can also get 15% off NESSY products. Go to Recommended Links in the SEND section for details.

 

Tell us what you are doing for Dyslexia Awareness Week on either our Twitter or Facebook pages, and if you like this post please do share it.

The Big Draw Festival 2017

October is upon us which means it is time again for The Big Draw Festival, the festival is for anyone who loves to draw, as well as those who think they can’t! It’s an opportunity to join a global community in celebration of the universal language of drawing. This year’s theme is Living Lines: An Animated Big Draw Festival and will take place from 1-31 October 2017.

Every year, thousands of drawing activities connect people of all ages – artists, scientists, designers, illustrators, inventors with schools, galleries, museums, libraries, heritage sites, village halls, refugee organisations and outdoor spaces.

Since 2000, the annual, international celebration of drawing, which brings people together under the banner ‘drawing is a universal language’, regularly takes place in over 25 countries, involves over 1000 events and has encouraged over 4 million people back to the drawing board.

Open to a wide range of interpretations, this year’s Big Draw Festival is designed to get your marks moving! Whether you decide to get animated, theatrical, illusionary, technical or messy here are some ideas on how LGfL can support you and your school in making your lines come to life!

Culture Street Offers a range of Interactive resources to inspire young people to get started and share their creativity, you can find quick, simple and inspiring whys to make flip book animations  make a Flipbook online. Experiment with stop frame animation explore the history of early animation using a Kinora Viewer or take your students on a virtual workshop using the handy simple to follow videos to create your own ‘paper cut out animation’

A great way to introduce animation to Early Years is found in the J2E infant toolkit Your students can create simple animations using simple frame by frame illustrations that join together to make animations.

Linking drawing with illustrations is another way to inspire students, you can find multiple interviews with illustrators such as Tony Ross, Chris Riddell and David Roberts in reading zone live.

If you are looking at images to help inspire teaching and learning The Gallery is a growing collection, at present containing over 60,000 Image, Audio and Video resources covering a wide range of topics relevant to the curriculum. All of the resources are copyright cleared sothey can be downloaded, edited and re-purposed for educational use, both within the classroom and at home and offer arrange of imange to can start your drawing journey

If you need to brush up on your art skills or terminology then you can, Art Skills for Teachers offers simple explanations of a range of art techniques in action. The resource is full of unusual and easily accessible techniques to make art a truly inclusive activity for all members of your school community.

What will you be doing for the Big Draw? Please share your work with us via our Twitter and Facebook page.

Augmented Reality updates

Apple have just released iOS 11 to the public, with so many exciting new features, one of the features you may have missed is the inclusion of ARkit a software development kit to enable the creation of new Augmented Reality Apps.

Bridging the gap between the virtual and physical worlds, Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input, AR changes the way we see, imagine, and learn about the world around us.

AR in education allows students to interact with objects and concepts that they could never do without the aid of technology. Though it might be a buzz term in education circles, don’t assume that AR is just another fad. After all, profound learning occurs when students create, share, interact and explain by working with the environment around them.

LGfL have been at the forefront of using AR and have partnered with the AR experts at Computeam to create augmented reality apps for the Cold War (KeyStage 3/4), First

World War (Key Stage 2/3) and Maya and Prehistory (both Key Stage 2), and newly released this week Vikings (Key stage 2) Find out more at ar.lgfl.net

Here is what Phil Birchinall from Computeam  thinks about AR and the latest iOS11 update:

“We know that pupils react well to augmented and virtual reality stimuli. It creates a moment that they will remember. So, if that moment is structured within robust learning resources, that cognitive trigger and memory becomes associated with the subject or learning. We’ve learned a lot during our partnership with LGfL and have seen how pupils absorb and relate to this technology and how it can accelerate and deepen learning.

iOS 11 is a significant step forward. With ARkit we can now move away from trigger images (where appropriate). For example, in the LGfL WW1 resource, it’s possible to virtually drive a Mark 1 tank from 1916, but only triggered from an image (make sure you update your app!). With ARkit, that tank could be on any flat surface and could also be made to appear life size”

If you are still wondering ‘Why Augmented Reality?’ you may want to read this LGfL feature article on AR in teaching & learning.

 

How has AR in your classroom helped support learning?