5 ways with English

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 Literacy

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.

Busythings

BusyThings have a wide rang range of games, worksheets, writing templates and activities to support children from EYFS through to Upper Key Stage 2.  A phonic maker is included for teachers to create their own phonic resources as well as spelling games and reading comprehensions.  There are also writing templates available for across the curriculum,  these can be saved or printed out for display.  Children can access the resources at home as well as within school using their own USO so great to share with parents.

Grammar Explained

80 short and clear videos,made to explain every grammar point listed in the Primary National Curriculum. This resource is closely mapped to the National Curriculum appendix for vocabulary, punctuation and grammar, with every item scripted into a short, clear video to demonstrate what the term means and how it can be applied to every day situations. Videos can be searched by year group or by grammatical term. It is designed to support pupils in their understanding of the terms, empower parents to support their children and refresh the subject knowledge of teachers.

Reading Zone Live

ReadingZone Live is a development of the existing partnership between LGfL and www.Readingzone.com and brings regular interviews and live video conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors to London schools.

Antony Horowitz, Sally Gardner, Oliver Jeffers, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Pete Johnson, Sally Nichols and Alexander Gordon Smith are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live programme.

As well as joining in with a Reading Zone Live event each half term, schools can also use the resource after an event, students can listen to authors talking about what inspires their books, how they write as well as listen to the authors giving tips for students’ creativity. There is also a resource bank which teachers can use to look in more detail at the following: genre, planning, character, writing and the editing process.

j2eTool Suite

 

The j2e Tool Suite is a collection of online educational tools specifically designed to engage,motivate and inspire. j2e is an online, fun, creative environment. Text, graphics, animations,sounds, videos, and embedded objects can be combined on a single web page, with unlimited storage for files and the ability to blog at the click of a button. 

j2office -With the j2office apps you can edit your documents in the cloud and access them on any device with a simple logon. The j2office apps are all compatible with Microsoft Office formats, so after a simple upload you can save and edit your existing documents easily. J2office is designed for education, this means that you can easily share a document with your school or a class, review and assess pupils’ work

j2write – J2write adds a framework around the most popular writing tools within j2e, providing lesson plans and examples. Whether you are using JIT with early years, j2bloggy with Year 6 or above, or something in-between, there is a set of lesson plans to help you get started.

Spell blast – Spell blast encourages pupils to learn spellings while they do what comes naturally; play and compete against each other. As they progress through the levels, the words automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult. Teachers can see detailed information about the achievements of their pupils as well as which aspects they have found difficult. A word cloud shows commenly mis-spelt words. Teachers are also able to upload their own weekly spelling lists that the children can then access within the game.

Widgit

Widgit Symbols are simply drawn, colourful symbols designed to illustrate a single concept in clear and concise way. They cover a range of topics (including many curricular areas) wide enoughto make them suitable for symbol users of all ages and abilities.

Already used by many SEND departments and schools, the entire symbol database of over 15,000 images is now available to all LGfL TRUSTnet schools to search and download.

The use of these symbols increases the accessibility of written text by giving readers of all literacy levels greater access to information. As they are designed specifically for written information,Widgit Symbol users can develop a real independence in reading and writing.

There are many ways to use the symbols, but some common ideas are for:

  • Symbol Sentences this is when a regular sentence has symbols above the words illustrating the main points in the sentence. Not all of the words may have symbols, as abstract symbols are unnecessary and distracting for most symbol readers, but there should be enough symbols to ensure that the meaning can be understood even if the text isn’t.
  • Key Symbols one or two symbols that can be used with or without text to convey a single piece of information. At most, they provide the same amount of information as a short sentence of text.They can help reinforce meaning and give reassurance by acting as reminders for any level of reader.
  • Communication Grids typically these have one symbol per grid cell alongside the text. The grid can facilitate a conversation with one or more people pointing to the symbols to express their ideas.
  • Symbol Flashcards cards containing one symbol and text. They have a very wide range of uses.They can be used as educational games to learn a topic, picked from to make choices, ordered tocreate a timetable and shown to aid communication.

There are also a range of Widgit activities for teachers to use, including a range of differentiated activities on Cinderella, Charles Dickens, e and Red Riding Hood.

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

 

 

Walk to school week – 21 – 25 May 2018

The national walk to school campaign is organised by Living Streets, a national charity that promotes walking. Each year Living Streets puts together a fun themed challenge to take on while walking to and from school. In 2017 400,000 children and their families joined the challenge and got a taste of the many benefits the simple act of walking can bring.  Their vision is that every child that can, walks to school.

A generation ago, 70% of us walked to school – now it’s just over half. Why have we engineered walking out of our lives? Some of the reasons include:

  • Towns and cities built to accommodate cars.
  • Unsafe crossings.
  • Uneven pavements.
  • Congestion and overcrowding at school gates.
  • Air pollution.

They have produced a short video which you can watch below detailing reasons why children like to walk to school, this could be used alongside the assembly they have also produced to help you introduce the week.

They are also promoting a Happy Shoesday on Tuesday, 22 May 2018 where children will be allowed to wear any shoes for the whole day. They can decorate them, wear odd shoes or even come to school in their slippers! Living Streets would like schools to raise money for their charity, but you can take part just by organising an activity for your school.

There are also a number of resources from LGfL that can be used during this week:

Thinking skills for Life from LGfL in partnership with Axis education, includes a section on travel and transport,there are 3 categories of worksheets for each activity which require different levels ofliteracy,thinking and comprehension skills. This includes worksheets which use Widgit symbols tosupport understanding for many young people with SEND, EAL and lower literacy levels.

Children could also use JIT or J25 to create either an animation or a poster to encourage pupils to walk to school, they can see if they can improve on the one produced by Living Streets. They could also write to their local council and ask what is being done in their areas to encourage children to walk to school, or to encourage parents to park and stride.

Using J2data children could create data on traffic in their local area around schools and use this to encourage more people to walk to school.

Think from the Department of Transport have websites for Primary and Secondary both feature sections for teachers, pupils and parents. Topics include Road rangers, Stepping stones, Map your journey and small changes which link perfectly to the Walk to school week theme.

STARS is TfL’s accreditation scheme for London schools and nurseries. STARS inspires young Londoners to travel to school sustainably, actively, responsibly and safely by championing walking, scooting and cycling. STARS supports pupils’ wellbeing, helps to reduce congestion at the school gates and improve road safety and air quality.

STARS is open to all London schools and nurseries. To take part in the scheme, you first need to create a STARS Online account. This will put you in touch with your local borough officer who will support you throughout the accreditation process, help you create a School Travel Plan (STP) and select the most suitable activities for your school to address your travel issues and reach your active travel targets. A great resource to use Walk to School Week.

Please let us know what you are doing for the week, you can share via our Twitter and Facebook pages.

 

National Numeracy Day – May 16th 2018

Wednesday May 16th is National Numeracy Day – this is the UK’s first ever National Numeracy Day, the day will be an annual celebration of the importance of numbers in everyday life and will bring together individuals, employers, educators and influencers to improve numeracy.

The day aims to celebrate numbers and the role they play in everyday life. National Numeracy Day is all about recognising the importance of numbers and helping people sharpen their skills and build their confidence. They have a range of activities here, that can be used in class or sent home to encourage the conversation around numbers and the importance of them.

LGfL have a range of resources that can complement National Numeracy Day

  • Why not use the day to blast off with our brand new Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon resource 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. Maths topics include: rounding to 100, co-ordinates, angles and sequences all within a cross curricular resource.

  • j2e Tool suite has a range of maths tools that can be used in class.  Why not get your students to use Tt Blast to see who can complete the most games and earn the most points on that day? Or use j2Vote to find out what their favourite number is? j2data and j2measure can also be used during the day to look at measuring distances from school e.g. how many places are with 5cm or 10 cm on a map from school?

 

  • Busy Things – have a range of maths games and quizzes that can be used across the school from EYFS to KS2
  • Maths at home Support for busy parents – is great to share with parents on this day to show them different ways that they can support their children at home.  The site includes short videos as well as activity sheets that can be used at home.
  • Mult e Maths – have both starters and main activities for Years 3 to 6 that can be used on the interactive whiteboard, as well as lesson plans and activities that can be used in the classroom.
  • Maths Raps – why not use the day to do a spot of rapping in class, these raps from BEAM have a range of raps related to Number that can be used, or why not get the children to create their own maths raps, use Audio Network as a backing track and upload your raps into Video Central HD to share with the wider community.

  • Maths Search and Rescue – can be used on the day to give a real live context to maths. Search & Rescue is extensively mapped to the National Curriculum and includes detailed lesson plans and resources to enable pupils to apply their skills in context, solving problems for themselves. Featuring comprehensive and differentiated support materials, topics covered include Bearings,Pythagoras and Trigonometry, Algebra, Vectors and Speed, Distance and Time.
  • Maths in the real world – This is a transition resource for Key Stage 2-3. The activities are ideal for use either before or after the move from Primary to Secondary, and detailed differentiation ensures there is something for all ability levels. Some of the real-world topics covered in the resource include: Nutrition, Arena and Events and Round the world – perfect to use on National Numeracy day for the children to apply their mathematical knowledge to real life problems. Each topic contains detailed lesson plans and resources, there is also a curriculum mapping tool so that teachers are able to see where the resource relates to both the KS2 and KS3 curriculum.
  • Viral Contagion Looks at the real world maths that could occur as a result of an outbreak of a biological virus in an urban area. Dramatized news reports describe the impact of the virus outbreak across South London, challenging students to consider the maths behind such scenarios. This resource offers a collection of 4 discrete, differentiated lessons that provide an engaging and challenging focus for Key Stage 3 and 4 maths students.

There is also the Mathematics Shed curated and organised by Graham Andre one of our Keynote speakers at this years annual conference.  The Shed is a collection of videos and resources to help you teach maths in an engaging way, there are a huge number of ‘sheds’ including the warm up shed, addition shed and a maths topic shed to name a few.

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.

 

 

Shakespeare’s Birthday – 23rd April 1564

The exact birthday of William Shakespeare is unknown, however church records show that he was baptised on 26th April 1564 so it is believed that his date of birth is the 23rd April, the same date on which he died in 1616.

Shakespeare is studied heavily throughout both Primary and Secondary schools and this date is a good time to explore his life and find out more about the man behind the plays.

LGfL have a range of resources for you to access Shakespeare within the classroom.

Early Shakespeare

Early Shakespeare is an innovative new introduction to the Bard for learners with SEND and EAL, and is likely to prove popular with all pupils. SEND specialists at SEN Assist have taken two favourite Shakespeare plays (Romeo & Juliet and Midsummer Night’s Dream) and transformed them into literacy exercises that are likely to prove popular with pupils across the ability spectrum.

In the same format as SEN Assist’s Fairytales, the two plays are broken down into one bite-sized sentence per scene, using the first 100 high-frequency words. This allows learners to easily follow, understand and remember the stories, and helps ensure access to the curriculum for all. Pupils can watch at their own pace, and opt to turn on or off the accompanying text and symbols. Animated characters bring each scene to life, with differentiated activities to help include all learners as well as being able to listen to the text from the plays.

The site contains hundreds of TV and radio programmes from the BBC’s Shakespeare collection,as well as more than a thousand photos from classic Shakespeare productions and can only be accessed within school, however it is possible to search the database at home just not view the resources.

Summary of the archive content

  • Online access to the BBC’s Shakespeare collection of hundreds of TV and radio programmes from the 1950s to 1989
  • Includes performances, sonnets, documentaries, interviews and more, dating from the 1950s.
  • Over 1000 photographs of classic Shakespeare productions and performers.
  • All cleared for use in the classroom.
  • Suitable for teaching of English and Drama.
  • Includes all major texts across the English Literature curricula.

Cambridge School Shakespeare

The LGfL online Shakespeare Picture Collection features production photographs from a wide range of stage and film versions, designed to support students’ exploration of interpretation,staging and performance.

Fully differentiated for use with students aged from 11 to 19, each play includes over 100 pages of editable, printable support material including lesson ideas, worksheets and production reviews. These include teacher notes (above) so that teachers can structure the use of the resource within the classroom.

BusyThings also have a range of resources linked to Shakespeare for you to use in the classroom these include labelling the Globe and completing a timeline alongside fact files and exercises based on Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.  You can find all the resources linked to Shakespeare by using the search tool within BusyThings.

Or why not use one of the many tools within j2eTool Suite, children could use spotlight to create their own short animation of a William Shakespeare, they could use j2e5 or j2office to create their own Shakespeare insults or to create a presentation on the life of William Shakespeare.

The Tudors in London resource can also be used where you can find out more about the Globe Theatre.

There are also a range of resources online that teachers can use within the classroom.

Shakespeare’s Globe

The Globe theatre is running a range of events to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday these include: a unique performance of Shakespeare’s poetry in Westminster Abbey. Families can enjoy a wonderful storytelling session in the Playhouse and discover more about Shakespeare in our Exhibition & Tour.Teachers can also use brilliant Teach Shakespeare website which has hundreds of free learning resources including audio files, video, lesson plans and exam revision lesson plans.

 Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company has a huge range of resources for schools, including this year a free broadcast of Macbeth. The play will be broadcast to schools around the country on 26 April, along with student activities and a live Q&A with the actors. Schools can find out more and register here. There are also a range of teacher resources that will help bring Shakespeare to life in the classroom.

BBC

The BBC site has a huge range of resources for pupils, for primary pupils there are a range of radio plays available on school radio, you can watch Shakespeare shorts, or find out more via quizzes on the Cbeebies site – you can see the primary Shakespeare resources here. There are also a range of resources for Secondary school pupils including those from BBC Bitesize and a Secondary Shakespeare playlist you can see a collection of resources for Secondary schools here.

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.

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

British Science Week 9th-18th March 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Book Day 2018

World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

This is the 21st year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 1st March 2018, children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. That’s why World Book Day  will be sending schools (including those nurseries and secondary schools that have specially registered to participate), packs of Book Tokens and age-ranged World Book Day Resource Packs (age-ranged into Nursery/Pre-School, Primary and Secondary) full of ideas and activities, display material and more information about how to get involved in World Book Day.

The Wold Book Day website is packed with ideas for dressing up,  resources, and the chance to sign up to watch live streamed shows on World Book Day.

Reading Zone Live from LGfL is the perfect resource to use within your class on World Book day, the site is packed with interviews with authors including: Michael Murpurgo, Oliver Jeffers, Jacqueline Wilson and Cressida Cowell to name a few. Alongside interviews with the authors explaining their inspiration and writing resources, there are also a range of resources for teachers to use in class.  Our next Reading Zone Live event is with the author Mini Grey on the 21st March 2018, you can find out more information and how to watch here.

You can also use the j2etool suite to complete one of the following activities: Why not have a vote on World Book Day as to who the favourite author is in your class or school, ask the children to write a book review or a biography of their favourite author using j2e and finally they could use the tools in JIT to create an alternative book cover. The tool suite includes some templates that can be used on World book day.

Book creator app is a fantastic app to use on World Book day, you can use either the tablet or web based version to get children to create their own books, combining text, image, audio and video to create their own interactive stories that they can share.

The author Jo Cotterill has come up. with a fantastic range of World Book Day Alternative ideas, these include Potato and Egg characters, donate a book and build a book scene in a box you can see these ideas and more here.

Night Zoo Keeper also launch their World Creative Writing month on World Book day, this is a month long competition where classrooms around the world work together to write as money stories as possible. Last year schools from 30 countries wrote over 6 million words. The very best writing is showcased each week with prizes up for grabs – you can find out more about this and how to register here.

What do you have planned for World Book Day we would love to see pictures and work  please share via our twitter or Facebook pages #WBD18

 

Wonderful Winter Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics begin this Friday in Pyeongchang South Korea, although the first week of the Olympics takes place in half term, it continues until the 25th February, we have highlighted some resources to use in school to introduce children to these sports and activities based around the games.  Newsround have a great short video to introduce the Winter Olympics to children.

Another great video from the BBC highlights past moments of the Winter Olympics using Lego figures you can watch it here. This is a great way of introducing sports to the children as well as getting them to create their own animation perhaps using the animation tool in JIT or you can use this outline lego figure to get the children to create their own outfit for the GB team, or use the paint package also contained in JIT. Another art and design idea could be to use images from the amazing Skeleton Bob helmets worn at the 2014 games to get the children to design their own ones.

 

 

By the time the children return after half term there will be a range of data that the children could look at, they can use the data tools contained in J2e Tool suite, they could do a medal count tally, vote for their favourite sport or graph timings in a particular sport.  They could also do a presentation comparing Ancient and Modern Olympics or research the athletes competing. The Team GB website has a fact filled website with profiles of sports and competitors. You can also get them to write a report on a particular sport, using the tools in j2office, or j2write, or why not get them to record a ‘live’ commentary and then upload their videos into Video Central HD or film a short segment on what they have enjoyed watching or a recap of the games so far using music from Audio Network to add to their film.

Virtual Reality is not just for the classroom it is also being used by US athletes competing at the Winter Olympics this year in skiing, you can read more about this in a report by the BBC and watch a video of the Virtual Reality run here. Great to use as a discussion with children as to why the athletes benefit from Virtual Reality and why it is being used and what other sports may benefit from using this technology.

The Mascot for the Winter Olympics this year is Soohorang, which took its motif from the white tiger. The white tiger has been long considered Korea’s guardian animal. You can find out more about the mascot here, why not ask the children what they would have chosen as the mascot and why.

 

The Olympic Museum has produced the “Experiencing discovering the Olympic Games: Special PyeongChang 2018” kit which includes:

  • Essential information about the 23rd Olympic Winter Games;
  • An introduction to Korean culture as it affects the Games;
  • Classroom activities for pupils aged 6 to 11 and 12 to 15.

The purpose of this kit is to show how the Olympic values and the culture of the host country have been incorporated into the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The themes are designed to link with educational curricula in a variety of ways. The Get Set network has produced a range of resources including a quick fire quiz and an assembly and activities on team work, you will need to sign up to Get Set to access these resources.  Teaching Ideas also have some more great ideas to use across the curriculum.

If you use any of the ideas we would love to see the work, please let us know via our  twitter or Facebook pages.

Blast into the new term

What better way to start the new term by letting you know about a new and updated resource.  LGfL schools have access to the Just2Easy tool suite and J2Blast has now been updated to include Spelling!

The new Spell Blast encourages pupils to learn spellings while they do what comes naturally; play and compete against each other. As they progress through the levels, the words automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult. There is always a challenge, if no other live players are waiting for a game, robots take over, so it always appears that there are multiple players. The scoreboard shows your place in the class, school and world.

Feedback is built into this tool and teachers can see detailed information about the achievements of their pupils as well as which aspects they have found difficult. A word cloud shows commenly mis-spelt words.

As the users progress, they earn points which unlock new premium Pirate based characters. This makes learning fun and increases motivation.

You can find out more about spell blast and the features including being able to add your own word lists in the video below:

J2Blast has been renamed as Tt Blast,Tt blast encourages pupils to learn maths while they do what comes naturally; play and compete against each other. As they progress through the levels, the questions automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult.

Again feedback is built in,teachers can see detailed information about the achievements of their pupils as well as which aspects they have found difficult.

The final tool in the blast series is SATs blast, this builds on the success of TT blast, SATs blast encourages pupils to learn the maths elements of SATA test for KS1 and KS2 in a games based context. With the same feedback involved in both Tt Blast and Spell blast.

So why not use these new and updated tools to blast your students into the New Year.

Remember as ever, if you use these tools i in your classroom we would love to hear from you, let us know using the hashtag #Blast #J2e on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook

 

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!

Road Safety Week 20th-26th November 2017

Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event, involving thousands of schools, organisations and community groups every year. Set up in 1997, the event is coordinated annually by Brake each November, and aims to encourage grassroots action on road safety and raise awareness about the part we can all play in preventing tragedies and making roads safer. The theme for this years Road Safety Week which runs from the 20th – 26th November is Speed Down Save Lives.

We can all play our part in raising awareness about the dangers of driving too fast and this year’s campaign will focus on:

  • speed causes deaths and serious injuries on our roads
  • rural roads are not race tracks
  • 20mph is the only safe speed in heavily built-up areas used by pedestrians and cyclists
  • going slow = stopping in time
  • speed is scary and noisy. It stops communities being enjoyable places for children and families to walk, talk and play
  • speed cameras work. They save lives.
  • Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) is an important development that is likely to be fitted to all vehicles in the future

There are new online resources for educators for 207, free to all those who register using this online form. The free online action pack includes more advice, ideas and resources, including lesson plans, assembly presentations, activity sheets and fact sheets linked to the 2017 theme of Speed Down Save Lives.

Brake, the road safety charity have produced a guide for educators on teaching road safety, as well as specific guidance for road safety with pupils with SEND.   They have  also recorded the webcast below, full of ideas and activities for educators to use during the week:

Thinking skills for Life from LGfL in partnership with Axis education, includes a section on travel and transport,there are 3 categories of worksheets for each activity which require different levels of literacy,thinking and comprehension skills. This includes worksheets which use Widgit symbols to support understanding for many young people with SEND, EAL and lower literacy levels.

Busy things has a template to help children create a poster on how to stay safe on the roads, children could also use JIT or J25 to create either an animation or a poster to encourage parents to speed down, save lives. They could also write to their local council and ask what is being done in their areas to encourage people to speed down and save lives.  Using J2data children could create data on traffic in their local area around schools and use this to encourage more people to walk to school.

RoSPA have also got a range of resources on their website for educators to use including teacher guides, workbooks and travel training for KS3 and KS4. Think from the Department of Transport have websites for Primary and Secondary both feature sections for teachers, pupils and parents.

STARS is TfL’s accreditation scheme for London schools and nurseries. STARS inspires young Londoners to travel to school sustainably, actively, responsibly and safely by championing walking, scooting and cycling. STARS supports pupils’ wellbeing, helps to reduce congestion at the school gates and improve road safety and air quality. STARS is open to all London schools and nurseries. To take part in the scheme, you first need to create a STARS Online account. This will put you in touch with your local borough officer who will support you throughout the accreditation process, help you create a School Travel Plan (STP) and select the most suitable activities for your school to address your travel issues and reach your active travel targets. A great resource to use during Road Safety Week.

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

 

Reading Zone Live and National Poetry day 2017

National Poetry day is on the 28th September 2017, the theme this year is Freedom.

To get you ready for this, LGfL are hosting a special Poetry themed Reading zone Live with Roger Stevens on the 27th September at 2:30 pm. Roger Stevens is best known for founding and running the award-winning Poetry Zone website.  His most recent poetry collections include It’s Not My Fault (with Steven Withrow) and an anthology called Is This a Poem. Reading zone live is an excellent way for you and your class to engage with an author and hear how he creates poems and ideas as well as asking questions either before the day or during the event.

We would love you to join in with this event and there are a number of ways you can do this:

  • If you have access to Video conferencing (VC) facilities you can link with the live event by e mailing contentsupport@lgfl.net
  • If you do not have access to VC, you can e mail questions in advance to contentsupport@lgfl.net
  • You can watch the event live from 2:25 pm on the 27th September here
  • Tweet us before and during the event using the hashtag  #RZL to @LGfL.

 

 

 

There are a number of resources that can be used to help you plan and deliver lessons on or before National Poetry day based around the theme of Freedom:

  • Read or perform a poem – there are a selection of poems on the National Poetry day website that can get your class inspired.
  • Posters to put up in class or around school and on your website to highlight the fact that you are supporting National Poetry day.
  • Lesson plans for KS 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 from the National Poetry day website to get you started, including a toolkit full of ideas and inspirations.
  • Use Perform a Poem from LGfL to get tips on performing poems including resources for teachers.
  • Use J2launch via LGfl – why not blog about your favourite poem on Freedom, use J2e5 to write your own poem relating to freedom and use j2vote to vote for your favourite class or school poem.

We would love to see the work you do around Reading Zone Live and National Poetry day via our Twitter and Facebook pages.