Christmas Crackers 2019

‘It’s’ nearly here and we know as teachers how hard it is to get through the final weeks of the Autumn term. It’s cold, dark and wet, you are exhausted because of grotto duty at the Christmas Fair, you have been trying to get the glitter out of your hair for several days, sorting out yet again who gets the toy from the cracker during the Christmas lunch or going to yet another Christmas production practice! It leaves gaps in your day which you may not know how to fill, which is why we are offering you a range of stocking fillers to help you fill those moments!

Busy Things offers a range of fun, festive 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), writing a letter to Santa, exploring symmetry through making your own snowflakes, or building a digital snowman you can use the many fun, interactive tools.

Busy Things have just released an updated ‘Santa’s Sleigh Ride’; in this fun game the pupils help Santa to get as many presents delivered as possible! In the daytime, they collect as many presents as they can using the ‘giddy-up’ button to keep him in the air (on a desktop computer you can use the space bar too). They should make sure they avoid the red monsters or else it’s game over! At night time, they drop the presents down the chimneys by pressing the ‘throw present’ button (on a desktop computer they can use the space bar too). There are 3 other ways to play the game: ‘Words’ within this mode at night time you must select the present that matches the label on the chimney, ‘Mental Maths’ they must select the present that match the amount on the chimney and ‘Shapes and colours’ during night time you must select the present that matches the shape/colour on the chimney.

Also, newly added are more fun colouring sheets which you can use digitally via Busy Paint or simply print them out.

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The j2e Tool Suite has a Christmas winter wonderland tab where you can access a bumper pack of festive treats. Why not try playing a game of digital noughts and crosses festively named ‘Shepherds and Wise Men”, play a word matching game or create your own digital nativity scene?

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Did you know that all of these resources are made with the powerful j2e5 application? If you select the edit button on each activity you can see how the activity was made and then ask your students to edit the activity.

Many J2e tools have also had a Christmas makeover:

  • J2data (Branch): a Christmas set of resources to sort – elves, reindeer, gingerbread men etc. – plus a Christmas background and the clothes category are all winter clothes.
  • J2Pictogram: a set of high-quality Christmas clip art images to use.
  • JIT: Both Write and Paint have had a festive makeover, with a Christmas background in Write and Paint having high-quality Christmas clip art images to use.
  • J2code: Visual has a reindeer instead of the usual penguin sprite (also a new update enables you to search via safe search where you find more Christmas sprites with ease).
  • 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 time in the past. Let them search The Guardian and The Observer Archives, they 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. Look at my previous post on other ways to use this resource too.

Widgit has 3 ready-made activity packs you can download for Christmas, which can be found in the activities area of the Widgit resource.

  • Christmas Cards: 3 ready to print and fold Christmas card designs. Provided in the pack is a full-colour card for each of 3 designs or to make it more personal, each design also has a ‘colour your own’ version. Each card features Widgit Symbols and pictures and a symbolised greeting message on the front.
  • Christmas Pack: Worksheets and activities from the Symbols Inclusion Project, This pack contains a range of 21 activities based around the secular aspects of Christmas, suitable for children of different ages and abilities. The more difficult activities are numbered towards the end of the list. included in the pack is an interesting German folklore story about why we put tinsel on a Christmas tree.
  • Nativity Pack: Worksheets and activities from the Symbols Inclusion Project, 12 Nativity and Christmas themed activities and stories: colouring, word search, letters to Santa.
  • There are also ready-made packs for St Lucia (the Swedish Festival of Light) and Hanukkah. These resources are for whole-class work, small groups and independent workers. There are symbol–supported stories, text-only stories, information sheets, recipes, crosswords, word searches and much, much more.

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

Here are my 5 top picks from the Christmas jukebox:

  • Swingle Bells: who needs the Michael Buble Christmas album when you have this up-tempo Christmas classic? (Cocktail, swing, jazz with crooning male vocal).
  • Swing Merry Gentlemen: Jazz trio arrangement of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’.
  • The Holly and the Ivy: Traditional English Christmas carol played by a brass band.
  • Rockin’ Wizards: A very familiar-sounding glam rock tune.
  • Warm And Toastie: Display an open fire video on the IWB, get out the marshmallows and put on this warm and cosy song.

We also have Espresso Faiths to look at 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?

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If you love an advent calendar (I know I do; I have 6 in my house!) have a look at the wonderful work of one of our Digital Excellence Award Winners, Simon Pile, with this wonder ‘Doodle-a-day’ book (designed for anyone aged 4 to 94). This book contains 25 Keynote doodle challenges to put you in a festive mood. Day-by-day you can build your skills using Keynote and move from adding a simple drawing to creating a whole animated movie with sound and music. So, download the book today and get ready to doodle!

and dont forget its never to late to send a Christmas card, unlock creativity this festive season and design your electronic (and environmentally friendly) Christmas greetings using #adobespark. Start your design from scratch or use the ready-made template Christmas Card designs, available here

Whilst we are sorry to say we can’t get round to everyone’s house to drop something in their stockings, we can give you to the gift of Pledge2020. We are giving schools a bandwidth boost, putting more security into our network and putting in fantastic equipment AT NO ADDITIONAL COST – to help enhance the use of hardware within your school all you have to do is push the “count me in” button #PoweredbyPledge2020.

Also, a quick reminder that we also have this blog post about using Christmas media within school.

However you fill the last weeks of this school year, we at LGfL want to give you a massive round of applause and thank you for all of your hard work and support this year. We hope you have a restful break and are ready for an exciting 2020! Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Please share your Christmas creations with us on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook. 

 

It’s That Time of the Year! Using Christmas Media with LGfL Content 2019

We are all, like it or not, currently being exposed to a plethora of Christmas media campaigns (advertising the latest must-have toy, must-watch movie or the supermarket who can deliver the most magical Christmas for you and your family and friends). Over the past months, you will have been exposed to a deluge of expensive media campaigns – which has been the most effective for you, I wonder?

Every year, I write this blog post and honestly I wasn’t sure this year if I could see a theme, or find something to latch onto … that was until (with a flash of Christmas lights) I saw this year’s Tesco advert and then it all came together! So, how does an advert for a supermarket and our award winning LGfL curriculum content link? Read on to find out!

This Tesco advert is a brilliant stimulus to get your students thinking about the past and to think about how people of different eras lived and celebrated Christmas. It’s vital to honour our past and pass on knowledge and experiences  through the generations; looking back on the past allows us to study the nature of ourselves and helps us recognise why we do what we do and hopefully learn from the experiences of others. 

Don’t worry, you and your students don’t need access to a DeLorean travelling at 88 miles per hour to see what has happened in the past at Christmas, 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. I have researched many fascinating and stimulating Christmas themed articles that offer a window into a sometimes very sad past.

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I have used the j2e5 tools, found within the j2e Toolsuite, to highlight how you can use the archives with your students. 

First off I used a powerful letter sent to the Manchester Guardian from a group of German prisoners during World War 2, ask your students to first read the article with small parts of the text covered up, ask your students how the letter makes them feel? Ask them to question who the letter writer might be? After this show your student the article with the full text, ask your students to reread the text again, does knowing who wrote the letter affect how they feel about the person? Ask your students to think about what it may be like to be a prisoner of war at Chrismas, using the template in j2e can students write a letter?

In the second file, I have used an article explaining the Tate’s museum tradition of commissioning a private artist to create Christmas tree decorations and cards for Christmas. Can your students research some of the artists mentioned in the article and make their own themed decorations or Christmas cards using the artist as inspiration?

Finally, ask your students to explore these articles looking at how different countries celebrate Christmas in different ways, can your students pick a country and make a presentation about that country within j2e5?

What better way to see how people celebrated Christmas than to find out what they ate?! Cookit has a range of old and odd festive recipes to explore, here a few recipes to whet your appetite (or in some cases not!)

Sweet Frumenty: This is a standard dish appearing in many variations over the centuries. It makes a lovely side dish, especially with strongly flavoured meats. It was a symbolic dish in winter, a sign that spring would come. It later came to be served as a festival dish on Twelfth Night (5th of January).

Pottage: People ate a lot of pottage throughout the ages since they had first made cooking pots that would withstand heat. In Tudor times, it was still the main part of an ordinary person’s diet. It is basically a vegetable soup, flavoured with herbs and thickened with oats. 

Roast goose: usually with added apple and was often served as the centrepiece of celebrations. It was traditional at Christmas and at Harvest suppers throughout the Victorian era. In Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’, Scrooge sends for a goose to be bought for the Christmas meal.

The aim of Cookit is to improve pupils’ skill, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating. The site supports the teaching of a range of basic skills and processes. It encourages and inspire learners to explore cooking and supports ways for students to create and share their own recipes.

For a free great resource looking at how Londoners have celebrated Christmas have a look at Layers of London, this is a crowd-sourced online resource blending geography, history and technology. By gathering historic maps from across London and layering these on top of each other with fade in/out functions, users can discover how areas and streets have changed throughout time. Maps include WWII bomb damage sites, Charles Booth’s Victorian Poverty map and the 18th Century Rocque map covering 10 miles around the City of London.

Anyone can add any content at any time, however, the project also runs focused campaigns to build themed based collections. December’s theme is #25DecLondon – regardless of your culture, background or religion, how do you spend Christmas Day? Do you celebrate it? Is it a big family gathering? Do you go for a walk or bike ride whilst the streets are quiet? Or is it a chance to relax and binge watch that latest boxset? Layers of London is looking for people to share their stories of how they spend the 25th December, mapping these stories to create a visual representation of London on one day. For more information go here

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In the new year, Layers of London launches its #HistoryOfMySchool campaign. As the name suggests, the idea is for any school in London to contribute a record about the history of their school. When was your school built? Has it changed throughout time? Do any old photos of the school exist? Has anyone famous been a pupil at the school? Are there any interesting stories about the school? Whether it’s an after school club, a class’ local history project or even a team activity for teachers, They would love to see as many schools of all types get involved. For more information go hereClick here for more information about Layers Of London’s education programme and to contact a member of the Layers Of London team and for more information email: layersoflondon@london.ac.uk.

And finally … if you really do want your students to drive (okay, sit in) a DeLorean then Avantis is giving you the opportunity to win a ‘Back to the Future Experience Day’ for your school with a visit from an actually DeLorean. To enter, simply upload a 2-minute vlog to Avantis Class VR Facebook or Twitter page with your students and teachers telling Avantis why they love ClassVR (UK schools only). For any schools outside of the UK, they would still love to see your entries and you have the possibility of winning a 360 camera for your school. The competition ends on 28th February 2020.

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 and don’t forget we have our Christmas Media posts from both 2017 and 2018 as well which may provide you with further inspiration.

LGfL Digital Excellence Awards 2020

 

We are pleased to announce that the Digital Excellence Awards 2020 competition in now open; celebrating best practice and innovative approaches in using the wide range of learning resources and services provided by LGfL.

We will be accepting entries to the five categories as detailed here (follow the links for entry forms):

Category 1 – Digital Excellence Award: Innovative Use of LGfL Content Form 1

Category 2 – Digital Excellence Award: Inclusive Practice Using LGfL Resources Form 2

Category 3 – DigiSafe Excellence Award: Keeping Children Safe Online – A Joined-up Safeguarding and Curriculum Approach Form 3

Category 4 – Digital Excellence Award: Whole School Cloud Transformation Form 4

Category 5 – Digital Excellence Award: Innovative Use of Adobe Creative Cloud Form 5

This year we have included a cash prize of £1000 in addition to the physical award and an image you can display on your school website. The closing date for entries is 28th February 2020.

Why do schools enter the LGfL Awards?

Schools will have different reasons for entering, but one common theme is usually the desire to receive validation and recognition for the school’s digital journey with the support of LGfL and this year of course there is a cash prize too!

What impact might winning the LGfL Award have on your school?

Previous winners (and those who were highly commended) comment that not only did it give the school a boost and recognition for the work they have done, but it also provided them with a platform to build on and further embed the use of technology and LGfL resources throughout the school and support others to do so too. 

The previous winners would urge others to just give it a go! They say it gives you the opportunity to reflect on what your school has implemented in terms of a digital strategy and may also help you to prioritise future plans. So what are you waiting for?

For more like this visit LGfL TV where you can listen to a range of winning schools talking about the reasons why they entered, the impact the awards have had and much more.

Please let us know  of any suggestions for blog posts or indeed if you would like to write a guest post by contacting us on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook. 

 

 

Promoting Reading for Pleasure with Author Interviews

Last month, a new “The Demon Headmaster Series” started on the CBBC channel (and it is also available on the BBC iPlayer). The new series replicates much of what was terrific about the original series – playing into school children’s concerns about feeling like an outsider, with genuinely great twists. There are also nods to this new series taking place in 2019, with references to social media, hashtags and overpriced hot chocolate. 

You may be wondering, “what this has to do with an LGfL curriculum blog post?” Gillian Cross, the author of The Demon Headmaster is one of the many authors featured in our ReadingZone Live resource on LGfL. So, if the pupils in your class are currently enjoying this children’s series on the television you could explore Gillian’s interview on ReadingZone Live with them. 

The huge range of author interviews hosted on LGfL’s ReadingZone Live resource can be the ideal place to start if you are looking to encourage reading for pleasure with the pupils at your school. The resource will enable the pupils to explore where published authors get their ideas from and also to have a better understanding of a range of approaches to developing story plots, characters and settings.

Recently, Sibel Pounder’s interview has been added to this extensive collection; in her much loved Bloomsbury series, she writes about fabulous mermaids, witches and feisty fairies. You may be using Sibeal’s series of books whilst studying fantasy narratives or have chosen one as a class read whilst you explore topics such as ‘Enchanted Woodlands’ or ‘Oceans and Seas’. 

Many other resources hosted on LGfL can complement a study of such literature. If you want your pupils to design a book jacket or create a storyboard for planning out their ideas for their own narratives featuring a mermaid, witch or fairy you could do so using Busy Things. Watch Sibeal talk about how she uses story maps in her writing in the clip below. 

BusyThings hosts a wealth of exciting activities to explore within the topic of traditional fairy tales too. The stories included are “The Three Little Pigs”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, “The Gingerbread Man”, “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”. Each story is retold in a fun manner, with follow up activities such as sequencing, picture ordering and building your own story scene.

In addition, remember there are a whole host of other activities available in Busy Things too. The geography section, for example, contains ‘maps and locational knowledge’ and ‘human and physical geography’ sections. Once your Headteacher has completed the data declaration release to allow LGfL USO log-in to work with Busy Things you can use the “curriculum browser” function (available in the “teacher mode”) where you can explore different search terms and this will also enable access to Busy Things at home for pupils and teachers alike.

You could further explore the story blueprints of fairytales with your pupils by listening to several of the six traditional tales featured in this resource. The pupils could then complete the accompanying activities included with each fairytale (matching, sequencing, spelling, comprehension, prepositions and pronouns etc).

The LGfL EYFS Spotlight series features a “Fairytales” topic where you will find further suggested activities to complete with younger pupils. One suggests using JIT Infant Toolkit “Paint, Animate and Mix” tabs to retell a familiar tale and to then ask the children to remix the fairy tale. The pupils could change the settings by choosing one of the many different backgrounds found within j2e or they could change the main characters by exploring the characters found in j2e clip art folder. Click here for an example. The possibilities are endless!

Within the resource Widgit you can also find pre-made resources to support traditional tales including ‘The Three Pigs’, ‘Snow White’, ‘Red Riding Hood’, ‘Goldilocks’, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’. Each story has a fully comprehensive pack with a variety of differentiated activities, which include the story, sequencing activities, worksheets, crossword, matching activities, drawing, storyboard and play-script, all using the Widgit communication system as a scaffold to support all learners.

Remember, if you are based in a primary school you can claim 30 Adobe Creative Licenses with your Let’s Get Digital Subscription; with this creative tool the pupils could explore different designs for the worlds the characters inhabit  and so much more. 

Please let us know if you would like to write a guest blog for your use of LGfL resources and the impact they have had with your pupils and the school. Remember to share these examples via our Twitter and Facebook pages too.

 

 

Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) 2019

You may wonder, how far can you go in one hour? Hour of Code believes that you can change the world! 3rd-9th of December is Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) — it is an annual event aiming to get students excited about computer science by trying “an Hour of Code” (no prior experience needed).

The Hour of Code is an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour. You can also teach the Hour of Code all year-round. Tutorials work on browsers, tablets, smartphones, or “unplugged.”

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code” to show that anybody can learn the basics and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of activities within school communities and beyond.

The goal of the Hour of Code is not to teach anybody to become an expert programmer in one hour but is designed to make coding accessible for all and show that it can be both creative and fun.

Computing.lgfl.net has a range of resources to support you, not just for the week of the hour of code or for computing science, but for the whole of your school’s computing curriculum.

Firstly, the original Busy Code resources found inside the award-winning Busy Things resources has just had a makeover just in time for CSedweek! Beard Man is now sporting a brand new sparkly tie at a disco! At your command, he is now strutting his stuff on several different dance floors. The Code Disco resources are a great way for children to learn coding basics through to repeat loops, conditionals, events and variables. Code Disco programs are built by linking simple blocks together (you simply drag and drop the blocks to assemble a program and they will snap together like jigsaw pieces)! Not only is Busy Code a great resource for students to gain the fundamentals of coding but it also helps teachers gain a better understanding of computer science and gives a sense of progression in computing.

Not only has the original Busy Code been updated but there are also new units! Get on your explorer’s hat and join Beard Man on his adventures to find treasure; there are 9 adventures in total with over 45 levels. In each level, children must write code to direct Beard Man through a series of chambers, avoiding hazards such as trap doors and lava pits. To complete a level, children must help Beard Man solve a puzzle to open a treasure chest, and then escape a final chamber before the gate closes. Beard Man Adventures includes short tutorials to introduce the new concepts and blocks used in the adventures. The adventures are designed to get progressively harder, beginning with basic programming, moving onto repeat loops and more advanced programming concepts. Working through the levels in the order they are presented is recommended.

You can use the award-winning j2e resources to create and store all of your coding projects within an online portfolio in J2Code. Each J2Code coding platform has a set of detailed lesson plans which you can use to support your students during Hour of Code.

JIT has a turtle based coding language allowing you to code freely or use sprites and backgrounds to create simple story animations, perfect for Reception and KS1. 

Visual is a block-based language in which you can freely code to create more complex coding outcomes for KS2. You can also convert, store and share Scratch files within J2E and for more complex procedures you can use Logo a script-based platform that can be used for KS3. 

The Micro Bit coding platform can also be used to create a physical computing project or if you don’t have an actual Micro:Bit you can just use the virtual Micro:Bit emulator.

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Hour of Code offers a range of fun coding activities for your students to explore and you can find a range of resources for your students here. (Many of the resources are platform agnostic so you can use the coding platform of your choice to deliver the lesson). For those of you who can’t look through all the suggested projects because of time constraints, I have cherry-picked a handful of creative projects to try with your students.

My top picks for The Hour of Code:

  • Google has worked with Scratch so that you can turn an everyday hero from your life or community into a superhero by programming them to fly over buildings, spin, work with a sidekick, and score points by touching objects in a game. In Code Your Hero, show off your hero’s special powers and your own creativity with CS First and Scratch.
  • Microsoft The new Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial is now available in Minecraft: Education Edition for Windows, Mac, and iPad. Learn the basics of coding and explore AI with your students! Explore basic coding concepts and learn about artificial intelligence (AI) in this free Hour of Code lesson in Minecraft: Education Edition! Help the Agent prevent forest fires with Minecraft and MakeCode. Follow the steps below to get started!
  • Code.org in partnership with Amazon Future engineer has updated its very popular Dance Party, Code a Dance Party to share with your friends. Featuring updated tracks from Katy Perry, Shawn Mendes, Lil Nas X, Panic! At The Disco, Jonas Brothers, and many more!
  • and finally… we have also come up with our own simple Hour of Code project with j2e code Visual, can you help our very own CEO, John Jackson, choose a shirt?

 

               

This fun animation/game uses simple inputs and broadcasting to change sprites/costumes, We know this is a very simple project and your students can do much better so why not challenge yourself and them to remix the project? Why not make your own shirts designs? Or can you make the shirt designs move? Can you change the background when the buttons are clicked? Here is the project in j2e to get you started! The most creative use of code from a school will win a small grab bag of LGfL/computing goodies, just share your examples on social media and tag LGfL into the post for a chance to win.

The Hour of Code happens as part of Computer Science Education Week. This is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, an inspiring female figure in the world of computing science. For more inspirational female computer scientists, LGfL has created Women in Computing which recognises the many and varied achievements of women in computer science and hopes to inspire future programmers.

Earlier this week Apple unveiled a completely redesigned Everyone Can Code curriculum to help introduce more primary school students to the world of coding. Now available, the new curriculum includes even more resources for teachers, a brand new guide for students and updated Swift Coding Club materials. Everyone Can Code Puzzles is an all-new student guide to Swift Playgrounds where each chapter helps students build on what they already know, experiment with new coding concepts and creatively communicate how coding impacts their lives. A companion teacher guide supports educators in bringing coding into their classrooms with helpful ways to facilitate, deepen and assess student learning.

Additionally, starting today, learners around the world can register here for thousands of free Today at Apple coding sessions taking place in December at all Apple Stores to learn to write their first lines of code to celebrate Computer Science Education Week, Apple will also support Hour of Code with a new Hour of Code Facilitator Guide to help educators and parents host sessions using Swift Playgrounds and some of the more than 200,000 educational apps available from the App Store.

Remember The Hour of Code does not cover all of the computing science strands of the computing curriculum but does offer a range of highly structured, fun activities to help both students and teachers gain confidence with computing science. Coding isn’t just for an hour, it should be an ongoing journey – for support look to see how Computing.lgfl.net can support with other areas of the computing curriculum. If you have time, you can watch this video exploring Computing.lgfl.net in more detail.

If you want to gain some more knowledge and support on using a block-based coding platform, have a look here and here for a free interactive workshop introducing you to the Scratch programming environment and taking you through the concepts of sequence, repetition and selection through a series of fun coding challenges.

Also if you are a Computing Leader you may also be interested in booking a place on our Creative Curriculum training day. This is a whole day course showcasing how to use Computing.lgfl.net to support not just your school’s curriculum but also your curriculum as a whole. For more details and to book a place go here.

We would love to see and share your amazing Hour of Code projects, you can post them on Twitter or Facebook and with the hashtag #HourofCode

And don’t forget about our latest campaign Pledge 2020, where we are giving schools a bandwidth boost, putting more security into our network and putting in fantastic equipment AT NO ADDITIONAL COST – to help enhance the use of hardware within your school all you have to do is push the button #PoweredbyPledge2020.

BETT Awards Finalists 2020

We are really pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted in three categories for this year’s Bett Awards. The Bett Awards are a celebration of the inspiring creativity and innovation that can be found throughout technology for education. The awards form an integral part of the Bett Show each year, the world’s leading showcase of education technology solutions. The winners are seen to have excelled in ICT provision and support for nurseries, schools, colleges and special schools alike with a clear focus on what works in the classroom.

Our first shortlisted category is for Company of the Year (more than £3million turnover). This category is open to organisations whose turnover is greater than £3 million that provide educational establishments with high-quality, safe ICT products or services appropriate to their everyday teaching and learning needs. Our entry had to explain how we demonstrate outstanding customer-care and an exceptional standard of service to education aswell as outlining how our company is innovative and forward-thinking.

Our second shortlisted category is for Secondary Content for Maths in the Real World (MITRW). The resource aims to inspire the evolution of pedagogy away from textbook based theoretical maths exercises to a more immersive experience, where the learner is put in a range of engaging real life situations and can see the reason why maths is needed. These range from ‘Search and Rescue with HM Coastguard where the maths involved is a matter of life and death, to the maths behind poor behaviour on a football pitch, to exploring the life expectancy of an iPhone and even contagion rates behind a biological outbreak of a virus in Viral Contagion.

All of the resources have differentiated levels of support and include case studies of innovative ways in which they have been used to target specific learners as well as demonstrating how to enhance the materials further through the use of cloud based learning platforms.

“The reasons these resources are effective is because most students want to know why they are learning something, not just learning it for the sake of it. You need to link the activity to something real and these resources do exactly that.” Grahame Smart (LGfL Maths Consultant).

With the new resource are embedded case studies that exemplify how schools have made use of the resources and the impact this has had on the learners involved. Use this link for the Stock Market Challenge Case Study:- https://lgfl.planetestream.com/View.aspx?id=561~3z~hZBuN5 and whilst there explore some of the other case studies!

Our final shortlisted category is for Free Digital Content or Open Educational Resources for Supporting a Bereaved Pupil.; produced in association with Child Bereavement UK.. This comprehensive, free-to-access resource is aimed at empowering teachers and education professionals to support bereaved pupils and has been developed for staff in schools, to help develop their understanding, skills and confidence to support pupils and their families when they experience a bereavement.

Commenting on the three shortlistings, John Jackson, CEO at LGfL said,

‘This is a fantastic achievement! And not just for LGfL but also our brilliant community of schools who drive what we do and make us what we are today.  The fact that we’re on the shortlist recognises the progress that we’re making to save money and advance education. Thank you everyone for your support and loyalty to us. Its a privilege to serve you.’

Congratulations to all those companies and schools who have been shortlisted – you can find them all listed here. This year’s ceremony will take place on 22nd January 2020.

Please let us know if you would like to write a guest blog for your use of LGfL resources and the impact they have had with your pupils and the school. Remember to share these examples via our Twitter and Facebook pages too.

BBC Children in Need 2019

BBC Children in Need is out there making a difference from coast to coast, in towns and cities right across the UK. The amazing projects they support help change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people all over the country.

So, are you joining the thousands of schools raising money this year on Friday 15th November?

This year, Twinkl is the Official Education Partner for BBC Children in Need. They are helping schools, teachers and parents join in with the annual fundraising excitement with free-to-use resources. You can also get your free schools fundraising kit, (by clicking the link) :- packed full of inspiration and tools to help your school raise money for children in the UK.

On the official Children in Need website they suggest the following activities for the different key stages:

Nursery and pre-school: They’re inviting you to ‘Get Together’ for the Great Big Pudsey Day! 

Primary schools: Whether it’s joining their exclusive appeal day activity session with Joe Wicks, or a whole-school dress-up day –they encourage you  join the fun and make an amazing difference!

Secondary Schools: From non-uniform days, fitness challenges, to A-list productions, there’s something for everyone to get involved with.

So how can LGfL support you with this event in your school too?

J2eToolsuite offers a range of resources to help you create animations for promoting “Why Fundraise for BBC Children in Need?”. You could use JIT5 or J2Spotlight to make your very animation, which then can be embedded onto your school’s website. 

If you want to add music to your videos then look no further than Audio Network. Ask your pupils to study other charities’ videos and discuss why particular types of music have been used. Which piece of music would they pick to suit a particular scene? They can then search for suitable music on Audio Network to convey the mood they are trying to put across to their 

When discussing the need to fundraise you will no doubt want to focus on developing the children’s empathy. You could encourage them to think about what makes people happy and how young lives can be helped by projects funded by BBC Children in Need. If you would like to explore this theme further, then you should explore Growing Up Around the World;  the resource aims to help UK children to understand the realities of childhood in very different contexts. 

Busy Things have several recipes you could download and follow if you are baking with children at school. Visit the “Special Events” tab and you will find recipes for Red Monster Pizza, Monster Banana Cakes and Pinkman Cupcakes. You could also use the Busy Things Publisher to design posters to publicise the events you are holding within school and one of the maps of The British Isles to get a sense of the distance travelled by the Rickshaw Challenge.

The Rickshaw Challenge was started nine years ago; Matt Baker, from The One Show, and a team of young volunteers set off in this year’s challenge on Friday, 8th November, 2019. They will be riding 400 miles, over 8 days, across Britain. The team start in Holyhead, Wales, and are hoping to raise lots of money for Children in Need, as they make their way to the finish at BBC Elstree Studios. A team of engineers at McLaren were responsible for the custom built Children in Need rickshaw. This means that pretty much anyone can ride it.

‘I’m determined to prove that being blind should never be a barrier and I’m really looking forward to being part of Team Rickshaw.’ Kelsey , Rickshaw Challenge Rider, 2019 

By taking part in Children in Need your pupils will gain so much too!  They can be involved in planning an event, counting the money they’ve raised and so much more and will be empowered, encouraged and motivated to work as a team.

Since their first major Appeal in 1980, BBC Children in Need has raised over £1 billion to help make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people around the UK. 

This year’s Children in Need Appeal Show night will be live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 7pm on Friday 15th November 2019.

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

 

World Nursery Rhyme Week 2019

Over 3.1 million children have taken part in World Nursery Rhyme Week since its launch in 2013. Primary Schools, Nurseries, Preschools, Childminders, Kindergarten, Parents, Grandparents, Guardians, Nannies, Home Educators, Speech and Language Practitioners, Librarians, or anyone who works with or has a child under the age of 7 participation all resources are provided free and the event will run from November 18th to 22nd.

As an Early Years practitioner myself, I know how much of a major role Nursery rhymes play within childhood development and education, helping with Language and communication, supporting emergent literacy skills, as well as supporting early maths skills and developing social, physical and emotional skills.

LGfL has a range of award-winning online content that can help support this event and the use of Nursery Rhymes and storytelling though-out the year.

Audio Network has a range of Nursery rhymes to support the day , Audio Network has wide selection of music professionally recorded music, just use the online search function to find themed music and then download to your computer, pre-cleared and ready for use in your classroom, this resource has a range of  classic Nursery rhymes to use as well as some fantastic new spins on some old classics, here are my Audio Network top 5 hits!

  • Rock on Humpty: Offers a rock version of this classic tune.
  • Incy Wincy Spider: A traditional music box style version of this rhyme.
  • Little Rock Star: An exuberant upbeat version with female vocal.
  • Fish Alive: A beautiful rendition of the classic nursery rhyme with 3 part female harmony & percussion.
  • MacDonald Rock: Old MacDonald gets rocky with this banging tune!

Just search ‘Nursery Rhymes’ within the search bar to find your favourite tunes.

J2e’s Junior Infant Toolkit has a range of tools to support children recreating and retelling Nursery rhymes. The online toolkit allows the following features and is linked via the LGfL USO log in

  • Word processing
  • Animation
  • Painting
  • Early data handing skills with Pictogram
  • Early Coding skills

Why not get your students to recreate their favourite scene from the nursery rhyme either using Paint or Animate to create a simple picture or animation and don’t forget all Junior Infant Tools have the ability to add audio via the microphone feature (which can be found next the file title bar) you can use this feature to capture the children’s voice retelling the rhyme (hit play on the video below, to hear the dulcet tones of my daughter singing Incy Wincy Spider.)

With the recent j2e tool suite updates you can now paint or fill using textures as well as solid colours, the colour picker and pen sizing have all been improved and an eraser has also been added. Speech bubbles and text can now be added to painting or animations, vastly improving the learning possibilities, enabling storyboards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. 

You could even use the Paint app to create a background which you then add to the Turtle coding platform to create your own Nursery rhyme animation.

Ask children to vote on which Nursery rhyme is their favourite and use the Pictogram tool to show the results.

You can then with the Mix app create a Nursery rhyme book combining all of the files above into one online e-book.

For a less familiar range of songs and rhymes, we have Sing me a Song, a range of songs and rhymes from around the world sung by Haringey Parents, carers and teachers recorded in 2007/2008 by Haringey Council, this resource captures songs and nursery rhymes from a range of cultures and is fantastic to support knowledge and understanding of the world.

You can ‘register your interest’ for the National Nursery Rhymes week initiative here. Were you will access to a range of free resources such as a Welcome letter, MP3 song files, Colouring Story Rhyme Sheets, Cutting Exercises, Craft/Art Activites, Playdough Mats, Rhyme Card Colouring Sheets, certificates, Sequencing Activity and much, much more.

World Nursery Rhyme Week also has the ‘Rhyme A Day’ challenge, which challenges you to join in and sing one Nursery Rhyme a day with your children. The 5 rhymes and dates for 2019 are:

  • Monday 18th – Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • Tuesday 19th – Down In The Jungle
  • Wednesday 20th – Incy Wincy/Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Thursday 21st – Row Row Row Your Boat
  • Friday 22nd – Two Little Dickie Birds

Why not video your students singing the songs /rhymes each day and make your own Rhyme a day challenge collection of videos? You can store and host the video safely within the j2e Toolsuite within the ‘my files’ section and you can also share the video with others in your community via a safe weblink or for quick access by creating a QR code see the video below for more details on this.

We love to see what you are doing for World Nursery Rhyme Week on either our Twitter or Facebook pages and please do use the hashtags #rhymeweek and #WeAreLGfL

And with all of this talk of downloading, uploading and streaming video and audio files don’t forget about our latest campaign Pledge 2020, Where we are giving schools a bandwidth boost, putting more security into our network and putting in fantastic equipment AT NO ADDITIONAL COST -to help enhance the use of video and audio streaming as well as hosting files all #PoweredbyPledge2020

 

 

Everyone Can Create with LGfL Energise Curriculum Resources

In this first of a series of blog posts, I will look at how you can use Apple’s ‘Everyone Can Create’ creative guides with LGfL’s award-winning Energise curriculum resources to enhance and enrich your students learning.

“By unleashing the creativity of students through interactive exercises, they’ll learn how to develop and communicate ideas, become better problem solvers and discover new ways they can leave their mark on the world” – Apple

The Everyone Can Create curriculum is a collection of project guides (broken down into music, drawing, photo and video) that bring creative expression to every subject. They are designed to help students develop and communicate ideas and use free apps available on any iPad; taking advantage of the built-in camera, microphone, speakers, Multi-Touch display and Apple Pencil. 

 

Over my next four blog posts, I will look at each guide and demonstrate how to use these creative guides alongside LGfL’s award-winning Energise curriculum content.

The only things you will need are: an iPad running iOS 11 or later, the free Apple Books from the App Store and of course a ‘Let’s Get Digital Subscription’. Students can complete all of the activities using their fingertips, but for more accurate drawing the Apple Pencil is the perfect accessory. If your students are younger, they may have difficulty holding the slim Apple Pencil, so the Logitech Crayon may be more suitable for education use. For more details on procuring iPads, Pencils or Logitech Crayons visit here

What’s in the guides?

Each chapter starts with objectives, giving the student(s) a clear purpose for each task and comes with screenshots, illustrations and videos for additional support. As students work through each task they will build a toolkit of creative skills that they can use for the last project at the end of each chapter.

Everyone Can Create comes with a teacher guide designed to help educators infuse creativity in every year group with fun activities that can help to deepen student’s learning. It includes lesson ideas for projects in maths, science, literacy and literature, history and social studies and coding. Apple has also provided rubrics to help you evaluate student’s work in each medium. 

In this post, we will look at the Drawing unit. The activities use Apple’s free, built-in apps (Keynote, Pages, Camera and Photos) and also a free drawing app, Tayasui Sketches School, which combine to help develop students’ confidence with different creative techniques and styles using apps they’ll already be familiar with.

First Chapter

The first chapter covers the concepts and techniques used when creating word art. Students start off with the basics, drawing freehand circles and making lines and patterns, before building on all the skills they’ll learn in the chapter to complete an expressive piece of word art. 

Why not ask your students to create their own word art using some of the Energise curriculum content titles as a theme? For example, use the theme of Ancient Egypt, Space Adventures or The Tudors in London to create word art to start their topic off or explore in detail the type of letting or styles found within that era of history.

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Second Chapter

In this chapter, students have the chance to explore sketch noting and how to use shapes and doodles to represent an idea or concept and to emphasize ideas such as a story or even a recipe

Cook It and use sketch noting to explain or demonstrate a recipe? The aim of Cook it is to improve pupils’ skill, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating. The site supports the teaching of a range of basic skills and processes. It encourages and inspire learners to explore cooking and supports ways for students to create and share their own recipes and what better way than creating their own sketch note.

You could also ask your students to explore SEND Fairytales (or Early Shakespeare for older students) and use sketch noting to retell or explore a story? Or use the History of Computing resources “Brave New World ‘ to get students to explore parts of a computer and than sketchnote their knowledge or You can have them sketchnote a science experiment from Switched on Science or the timeline of the Roman empire from The Romans in London. Sketchnoting is perfect for the classroom because it can be used with all levels and all subjects.

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Third Chapter

This chapter shows how to create stimulating images by combining shape, shadow and shading to bring depth and power to images. To enrich this activity, and to find more fun drawing exercises and explore these techniques, why not use Art Skills for Teachers? It contains simple and effective advice for non-specialist art teachers to inspire creative art activities at school and is suitable for all Key Stages. The resource aims to inspire teachers and children to try out and achieve the creation of artwork beyond their own expectations. The resource is full of unusual and easily accessible techniques to make art a truly inclusive activity for all members of your school community.

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Fourth Chapter

The fourth chapter focuses on drawing inspiration from the view around you, be it a rural wilderness or an urban cityscape; the activities in this chapter will focus on how to frame a scene, apply perspective and depth to give the artwork a realistic appearance.

Ben Uri: Art in the Open offers the ‘Sense of Place’ unit which contains information and points of discussion about works from the collection under the theme of landscapes with teachers’ notes for each unit/project, exploring how you can use the pieces of work to inspire students 

  • Sun and Snow
  • Night Scenes
  • Landscapes
  • City Sights
  • As Far As The Eye Can See.

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Fifth Chapter

This chapter focuses on creating expressive portraits by not just capturing the likeness of the person but also the character and personality within. To explore the concept of portrait and identity further, our resource Ben Uri: Portraits & Identity contains starting points for portraiture and identity projects in the classroom, including the teacher’s notes about selected works from the Ben Uri collection, suggestions and lesson plans for 2D and 3D activities in the classroom.

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Sixth Chapter

The sixth chapter focuses on still composition using a balanced composition and light & shadow to highlight a subject and create a mood. You can improve your drawing skills by adopting the tips and techniques you can find within Culture Street . This uses interactive resources to inspire young people to get started and share their creativity. 

Culture Street is a one-stop destination to introduce young people to contemporary artists, writers, curators and performers and their amazing work – for example watch how the artist, Louise Bradley, demonstrates a great range of drawing techniques with charcoal, wax crayon, rubbers and textured paper.  Also within Culture Street you can find a step-by-step drawing guide. Play the ‘How-to Video’ first and then remind yourself with the individual steps clips; a foolproof way to success! Then you can also try more ambitious drawing projects.

Seventh Chapter

This chapter looks at architectural design; focusing on how architects plan and design by showcasing how to develop basic architectural drawing skills such as floor plan, bird’s eye view and being able to use vanishing point to create depth. 

For expert architectural insights, captured in over 50 videos about three unique buildings in London, look no future than Opening Up Architecture. This resource offers an insight into three unique buildings in London. With help from three architects who have a deep understanding of each building, they unlock the vision behind each one and how it meets the needs of the clients and daily users. This resource asks many key questions such as “How often do we consider the influence that the built environment has on our daily London lives?” and “How do the materials, use of light, layout and construction methods impact on our work and leisure?”

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Eighth Chapter

The eighth chapter asks you to think like a graphic designer and learn about colour, typography, hand lettering and images to create a logo for a business. Why not use the key skills mentioned in this unit to redesign our own LGfL logo, or have a look at our new brand identities and see if your students can design their own?

Ninth Chapter

In the ninth chapter the focus is on how to design and illustrate a hand-drawn infographic, choose a topic, gather data and organise the information. Why not inspire your students with some pre-prepared data that you can find within our resource ‘Maths in the Real World’ (within the unit called Sporting Decisions)? Students can be engaged through applying maths to analyse sport. Pupils will cover a wide range of data-handling techniques over the course of three lessons to help them pick a winning team. By adopting the role of the club manager, they will also apply fractions and percentages to help their decision-making process. The resource contains three lesson plans and accompanying resources and are perfect to inspire some sporting infographics.

J2e data found within the Just2Easy Toolsuite offers further examples of data and tools which can help explore complex data on a range of subjects such as dinosaurs or the  populations of countries.

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Final Chapter

In the final chapter, students are learning how to plan, publish and illustrate focusing on the aspect of publishing a children’s book. Why not get your children inspired by looking at ReadingZone Live where you can explore a wealth of authors and illustrators such as Anthony Horowitz, Henry Winkler, Sophie McKenzie, Michael Morpurgo, Sally Nichol, Lauren Child as well as Oliver Jeffers who this year teamed up with Apple Education for Earth Day, encouraging students to draw the world the way they want to see it. Find out more about the campaign here.

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To get hands-on with Everyone Can Create projects why not visit a ‘Today at Apple Session’? Based on the Everyone Can Create curriculum, you’ll work hands-on with creatives in a 60-minute session to learn how to enhance assignments in any subject or year group with video, music, drawing and photography. Sessions are recommended for educators of students aged 5‑18. Find the sessions for teachers here.

We would love to see how you are going to use LGfL services alongside the Everyone Can Create guides and resources to help energise your students’ learning? Let us know by sharing your evidence of impact (it could be photos or students work) via our Facebook and Twitter and if we like and retweet your work you could win an LGfL goodie bag! 

And don’t forget about our latest campaign Pledge 2020, Where we are giving schools a bandwidth boost, putting more security into our network and putting in fantastic equipment AT NO ADDITIONAL COST -to help enhance the use of devices such as Ipad within your school all you have to do is push the button #PoweredbyPledge2020

Cracking Ideas Competition 2019 (closes 24th April 2020)

The Cracking Ideas Competition is back and is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Wallace and Gromit! This year they’re asking young people to ‘Make Life Better’ and to ‘Get Those Mundane Jobs Done Quicker’!

The competiton is aimed at 4-11 year olds across the UK and the aim is to build on everyday inventions to improve the lives of themselves, friends, family or wider collective groups and this will be the tenth year the competition has run.

Cracking Ideas was designed with the help of Aardman, whose invention loving duo Wallace & Gromit feature in the learning materials, and aims to provide curriculum-led activities that get children engaged with product design and the importance of protecting intellectual property.

The Intellectual Property Office and Aardman want you to have a look at the world around you. Imagine a cracking idea that can help get mundane jobs done quicker, better and most importantly from the comfort of a warm armchair/school seat!

The resources can be used in the classroom, self-directed or any other learning setting (e.g. after-school club, youth centre or Scout/Brownie groups). They are intended to be used flexibly to adapt to different ages, spaces and interests. Children can learn about research development and product design, explore the core phases of design and technology, to come up with a new invention or rework an existing object. During this process, children will be introduced to Intellectual Property and the importance of sharing ideas.

So what is “Intellectual Property”? According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) it refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

IP is protected in law by, for example, patentscopyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.

LGfL can help you further explore the idea of copyright with your pupils and have a range of resources that you can use to ensure that you are compliant with copyright.

Did you know that the Department for Education (DfE) buys copyright licences for all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England – covering schools for almost all their copyright requirements? Purchasing these licences directly means that DfE can save schools money and the administrative time involved in applying for many different licences. The licences mean you can copy, re-use and share content from a wide range of sources within your school for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Your school leadership (Headteacher and Chair of Governors) needs to make sure that:

  • all intended activities are covered adequately by the licences
  • all staff follow the terms and conditions

The copyright licences cover a range of content from printed materials to radio and TV broadcasts, for more information on what content you can use, and how to gain other permissions, see the guidance from the DfE here.

The Coypright Licensing Agency has also produced the short video guide below:

You can also check permissions on the site as well as registering your interest to access the Education Platform which enables you to quickly create, share and store copies from books to support your teaching. Access digital versions of books your school owns, to create and instantly share high quality, copyright-compliant copies and store them for future use. Print copies for colleagues or students, or share straight to a student’s device. The platform is a more flexible way to work and is available to licensed schools at no cost. The video below gives an overview of the platform.

Digizen have a  great lesson plan and Powerpoint to use in school for teaching about copyright and there is also great guidance from Childnet that includes tips for teachers, jargon busting and what copyright is and why it is important which you could explore as part of the Cracking Ideas Competition.

The Gallery is a growing collection, at present containing over 60,000 image, audio and video resources covering a range of topics relevant to the curriculum.  Its 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 gallery are saved at the highest quality available so they can be used on whiteboards, printed materials, animations and for any other educational application whilst medium resolution versions of every file are also made available for review and preview. The  resources are copyright cleared for LGfL schools so they can be downloaded, edited and re-purposed for educational use, both within the classroom and at home.

The gallery is free to browse and explore online, the resources are searchable by topic and searchable by keyword, phase and subject.  As the resource is web-based it can be accessed at school and at home by teachers and pupils.  Everything placed within the gallery is moderated before being made live by a team of regional moderators and trusted educational professionals.

 

The LGfL ImageBank is an expanding collection of high resolution images from 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 mapped images, please search for resources by programme of study to see if there are any for your subject and Key Stage.

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

Audio NetworkLGfL’s online music database featuring over 60,000 individual audio files. The Audio Network schools’ licence is an innovative partnership between industry and education bringing UK schools a vast catalogue of originally composed recorded music for use across the curriculum and for all ages. Audio Network and the Education network (NEN) have worked together since 2003 bringing quality recorded music for digital production and performance in schools throughout the UK, meaning that teachers are able to use the same materials as professional film makers and broadcaster while remaining within copyright law.  All the music in this vast catalogue of tracks has been specially composed by Audio Network’s partner composers, performed by top musicians and recoded to exacting industry standards for media production.  The music catalogue spans music of many different styles, cultures, type and instrumentation – just browsing through is an education in itself!

The Audio Network database includes:

  • The ability to access the resource via the LGfL USO login when “off-grid” (e.g. from home or another location)
  • A very wide selection of music professionally recorded music
  • Improved interface and facilities (e.g. folders to store your selections  all linked to your USO account profile)

You have the ability to search the database and individual music tracks can be dowloaded, the LGfL licence allows students and teachers to download any of the music files free of charge with the condition that the downloaded files must not be used for any commercial purposes.

The Creative Commons website is also a great site to use within school to search for images for sounds and images that are copyright free and that can be modified and adapted. They have also released the  CC Search, a search engine that indexes over 300 million images from 19 image collections.  All of the indexed images are in the public domain and released under Creative Commons licenses–meaning the images are generally free to use in a non-commercial setting. Head here to start searching.

The two blog sites below are also worth a read as they link to other places where you can search for copyright images, videos and sounds.

I got it off Google Images…

A Guide to Finding Media for Classroom Projects

We hope this will provide a good starting point to explore copyright in school and for you to enter the Cracking Ideas Competition. To do this you can register online and upload your entry to the website or send your entries in by post to Cracking Ideas, Freepost CF4185, Newport, NP10 1BF.

Please let us know if you use any of these resources or indeed have suggestions for how LGfL could further support you in school by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

Wellbeing Connected

We are pleased to announce our new resource, Wellbeing Connected – Promoting Mental Health and Well Being support in Primary Schools. This open access resource has been designed to bring the key information in both video and text format with a quick and accessible interface for schools.

An NHS Survey in 2017 found that 12.8 percent of five to 19-year-olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed, with emotional disorders being the most common disorder among school-age children, affecting 8.1 per cent.

The Teacher wellbeing Index 2018 found that more than three-quarters of teachers surveyed experienced work-related behavioural, psychological or physical symptoms and more than half were considering leaving the profession due to poor health.

Schools are in a unique position when it comes to the mental health of the children in their care, to shape and influence the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils and prepare them for the challenges and opportunities ahead. As school staff juggle a multitude of demands, it is essential that everyone within a school community is given the right support so that they in turn can support the pupils in their care. In addition to having a positive impact on colleagues and children, staff wellbeing can improve performance and job satisfaction, which can lead to reduced staff turnover. It can also help to reduce absence (both short and long term), increase productivity and promote staff engagement resulting in a flourishing school environment.

The Wellbeing Connected for Primary Schools resource has been designed to bring the key information featuring experienced practitioners through video and text format with a quick and accessible interface. The resource is grouped into the following areas:

The portal is designed to be used by staff within schools to plan their whole school approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing and how all parts of the school community can be supported. The expert video clips, information packs and carefully curated external links are provided for staff to deliver comprehensive support.

The video below is just one from many featured on the resource and looks at the importance of Mental Health in schools.

Alongside videos, there are also template policies, wellbeing questionnaires and guidance for schools to use and adapt as well as thinking points that can be used as part of staff development looking at the importance of wellbeing for staff, the community and for the video below the importance of Mental Health and Wellbeing for pupils.

Alongside the videos and guidance are top tips from school leaders who have been recognised for their work in promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing. There are also book lists for EYFS/KS1/KS2 and staff that include a range of books that can be used in the classroom as well as to further support all staff in school. An app list is also included featuring a range of free apps for use by students and staff.

“This important resource for all primary schools is the result of our insights working across schools in London and beyond, day in day out. LGfL is uniquely placed to work across a wide range of different contexts and the guidance provides captures the best approaches that we have seen and think others will benefit.  It features practical and replicable approaches that can be adapted to each school context for the benefit of the whole school community”. Bob Usher Content Manager LGfL

We hope that this open access resource can be used by all schools to enable them to plan for and deliver effective wellbeing approaches in their schools. Please let us know on either our Twitter or Facebook pages if you use this resource in school.

Remembrance Day

Armistice day or Remembrance Day is on the 11th November, it marks the day that World War 1 ended at 11 am on the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918. Ceremonies are held at the Cenotaph in London as well as at War memorials and churches across the U.K. and overseas. A 2 minute silence is held to remember the people who have died in all wars – WW1, WW2, Falklands, Gulf war as well as the conflicts in Argentina and Iraq.

King George V held the first 2 minute silence on 11 November 1919 and made the request for the silence to be observed so:

“thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead”.

The Royal British Legion have partnered with the National Literacy Trust to create a series of free to use lesson plans and assemblies aimed at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 that can be used to explain to children of different ages and backgrounds why, how and who we Remember.

There are many ways of remembering with pupils, for younger pupils Busy Things have a template poppy to paint, for older students they could make their own poppies – from hand prints and then use these to write poetry on.  In Flanders Fields and Ode to Remembrance are two poems that could be shared with older students, they could use copies of these to create their own ‘black out poetry’ this is when a page of text, is coloured over so that only a few words are visible, these words then create a new poem, great to get the children thinking about the choice of their words. Pupils could use J2E to research and write about the impact of the wars on their local community after perhaps visiting their local war memorial.

Our ReadingZone Live resource features Michael Morpurgo talking about Private Peaceful, there are 6 short interviews that can be watched and used as discussion points looking at why he wrote the book, discussing the conflict and the morality of war and what Michael would like people to take away after reading the book.  Into film also have a range of resources linked to the film adaptation of the book with resources linked to a range of curriculum subjects including Citizenship, English and History.

You can also listen to an abridged version of the story in 13 chapters via BBC School Radio (you will need to sign in to BBC iplayer to listen) there are programme notes, episode summaries, literacy activities and a gallery of images, like the one below great to use for writing and drama prompts.

This resource is just one of many that BBC Teach have collated for both Primary and Secondary students that include Assembly plans as well as radio and tv programmes. Historian and presenter Dan Snow also introduces some of his favourite clips from the BBC archive, perfect for exploring WWII with KS3 and KS4 students the short films are split into two categories – The Home Front and The Holocaust.

Widgit – have a range of Activities and books on Remembrance Day as well as WW1 and WW2 to support learners in class.

First World War – The Active Worksheet was produced in response to the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1. The resource pack uses augmented reality to produce a genuine ‘wow’ moment in the classroom and bring virtual artefacts to the desktop. This is backed up by mapped curriculum activities focussing on history, literacy, music and art.

Poppies – is a beautiful animation from Cbeebies following a young rabbit through the poppy fields, great to use with younger children.

The author Tom Palmer has a range of resources available to use within the classroom all around the theme of remembrance, linked to books that he has written. Reading War, is an online resource packed with information on WW1 and exploring the themes of Over the Line by Tom Palmer and Tilly’s Promise by Linda Newbery.

Trench experience – this innovative virtual-reality app from LGfL brings life in the trenches to life, and is ideal for History and English teachers covering World War 1 and trench life and warfare in general.

The M room -The M Room resource from LGfL gives exclusive access to secret World War II listening sites where the British Secret Service bugged high-ranking German Military prisoners. The resource features an interview with one of the original secret listeners and extensive primary-source material from the Ministry of Defence, relatives of those involved, and The National Archives.

Women in computing -Women in Computing from LGfL aims to recognise and promote the achievements of women in British computing within the social context of the time. The work of women as code breakers during WW2 is one of the areas that is covered within this resource.

Activehistory – There are a collection of Remembrance Day materials here for Years 7- 13, including an assembly, put together by Russell Tarr.

The War and Peace shed from the Literacy Shed, has a range of short films that could be used when looking at the theme of Remembrance. There is also an excellent blog post from the Literacy Leader, including more book and film ideas and resources.

‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.’

If you would like to share work with us on our Twitter or Facebook pages, it would be great to see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Non Fiction November 2019


National Non Fiction November is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual. Born out of National Non-Fiction Day, the brain child of Adam Lancaster during his years as Chair, the whole month now celebrates all those readers that have a passion for information and facts and attempts to bring non fiction celebration in line with those of fiction.

The theme they have chosen for National Non-Fiction November (NNFN) for 2019 is ‘Transport and Travel Around the World’. A lot of young people are fascinated by different modes of transport – and most experience travel for one reason or another – ranging from a visit to the shops, their journey to school, a day out in the countryside, or a long haul flight to visit oversea relatives or a holiday destination. They hope that this year’s theme will provide children with the opportunity to find out more about travelling both locally and around the world.

They have published a book list grouped into the following three themes: Travel, Transportation and Space, you can download it here. They are also running a competition this year in partnership with Lonely Planet Kids, and have taken inspiration from the work of internationally renowned artist and illustrator James Gulliver Hancock, creator of How Airports Work and How Trains Work.

The competition is for children to design a vehicle of tomorrow – showing how and where it moves, including brief labels about the design coupled with the name of the vehicle of the future. Entires will be judged in 3 groups: KS1, KS2 and KS3 and they have some fantastic prizes for both the winning school and child, you can find more information and how to enter here. The closing date is the 6th December so there is plenty of time to come up with a winning design either in class or as part of an after school club activity.

They also have a whole page on their website with ideas for activities, lesson plans, bunting and posters to download.

LGfL have a range of resources that can support Non-Fiction November and this years theme of Travel and Transport.

Thames in London – There are many reasons why towns and cities spring up around rivers, and it is these reasons that make them exciting to study. The River Thames in London resource helps pupils to understand more about this iconic river and how it has influenced and continues to influence life in and far beyond London. The resource has lesson plans and stand alone assets for Key Stages 1-3, with high-quality materials provided by the Royal Collection Trust, Museum of London and The British Library.

The Royal Mews – This is a unique resource about the daily work of the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace featuring video explanations of centuries-old techniques and historic documents. Working in partnership with The Royal Collection LGfL were granted exclusive access to film staff members as they went about their daily work.  The resource features extensive video resources showing the techniques and rationale as to why centuries old traditions continue to support the Royal Household and the significance they have for wider society. The videos and images are also supported by a range of teacher resources and links to the theme of transport and travel by looking at The Royal Stables, Saddlers and Cars.R

During non fiction November you could also make use of the j2e tool suite within school in the following ways:

    • could use JIT and j2e5 to create books about transport through the ages, they could produce an animation involving different modes of transport, or write instructions for a trip or a journey
    • they could use the paint features to design their mode of transport for the future
    • They could use j2vote to vote for either their favourite method of transport or which country around the world they would like to visit.
    • Using the graphing tools they could also tally up how they travel to school or what forms of transport would be the most popular.
    • Coding – make use of JIT and j2code to write instructions and code for spaceships/rockets and cars in fact the only limit is their imagination – there are also examples available like the rocket game below that children can use as a starting point.

Busythings have a range of resources that could be used during the month including graphs to record travel, travel in French and Spanish and customisable cars for early years. You could also make use of the extensive maps within Geography to recap countries around the world and use Busy Paint and Publisher to produce transport of the future as well as writing about their favourite destination to visit.

ReadingZone Live also features non-fiction authors that could be used during the month. Oliver Jeffers who published his first non-fiction book Here we are, earlier this year said:

“It started off as a book about the realisation that new life is a blank slate (trying to explain what a door is, and what a kitchen is for), and the strangeness of being a new parent. But as the book unfolded, so did the global events of the last year or so, and it felt like it became more urgent to reinforce some basic things my parents taught me about the simple principles of humanity. I wanted my son to know that while we are all unique individuals, we are all in this together.”

You can watch the part of the Reading Zone Live featuring Oliver Jeffers below:

As well as Oliver Jeffers there are other authors within Reading Zone Live that look at non-fiction resources, why not look at Andy Seed to look at how you can make non-fiction books interesting as well as what advice he would give for someone writing a non-fiction book.

You can also use your LGfL USO account to access over 100 curriculum based audio books, through Listening books. These are a great tool for using with your students who have SEND or an illness which makes it difficult for them to read.  There are several non fiction books available that you can listen to during the month including: Horrible Histories, Coming to England, Mathmagicians and Why is snot green and other extremely important questions.

As well as listening to books, you can download two non fiction books from within our Ebooks from Rising Stars, Graphic novels and fast cars are available to download and both books also come with teacher notes and guidance, perfect to use in guided reading sessions.

Maths in the real World has a range of activities that could be used to complement work for Non Fiction November, there is Search and Rescue all based around HM Coastguard including a cross-curricular topic for KS2, Space Adventures for cross curricular travel and why not plan a trip around the world, all the resources are supported by teacher guidance as well as activities for children from KS2-KS5

Big day out  has a range of London based activities which incorporate English, Maths, Geography, Science and History, each activity is designed primarily for KS1 pupils and presents a scientific, mathematical or geographical challenge for investigation or exploration.

Thinking skills for life is a set of inclusive multimedia resources to support young people including those with SEND, access important areas within Life Skills, including a section on Travel and Leisure – perfect to link in with the theme of Non Fiction November. The topics are addressed using videos, sound files, discussion questions, role play suggestions, differentiated worksheets and additional activities. 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. Teacher notes, answer files and curriculum mapping documents are provided for staff to provide comprehensive support.

The Literacy Shed blog has a great post entitled: With Google at our fingertips, do we still need non-fiction texts? The post includes a short video and recommendations of non-fiction books for the primary classroom.

Whatever you decide to do during National Non-Fiction November, the month provides a great opportunity to promote reading non-fiction for pleasure, to allow young readers to indulge in fascination for facts and to celebrate, the breadth, depth and richness of non-fiction writing, illustrating and publishing for children and young people. (NNFN website)

Please let us know via our Twitter and Facebook pages or leave us a comment here to let us know what you are doing for Non Fiction November #NonFictionNovember.

ReadingZone Live With Author Jamia Wilson

Jamia Wilson is one of the latest authors to be added to the collection on ReadingZone Live. Jamia has been a powerful force in the social justice movement for nearly a decade. She is an activist, a feminist, a storyteller, a media-maker but more than anything she is a natural-born thought leader. 

She is a leading voice on feminist and women’s rights issues and her work and words have appeared in, and on, several outlets. These include New York Magazine, The Today Show and The Washington Post.

In her interview, hosted on ReadingZone Live, Jamia talks about giving young people a sense of hope and inspiration and an understanding of their innate sense of their own self-worth.

She holds Anne Frank up as an inspirational role model; she talks about how she had a strong voice even when some people wanted her to be less vocal. 

Her new book ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ is aimed at inspiring readers from all types of backgrounds to get a glimpse into the contributions and lives of black people who have made a real difference in the world (both the familiar household names and some lesser known individuals). Her aim is also to give them a resource to go to when they need to feel a sense of empowerment. 

LGfL hosts a number of resources you could use with pupils to explore some of the issues Jamia explores in her narratives.

For example, if you want to discuss fairness, rights and responsibilities with your class you could use Developing British Values. This resource provides high-quality, safe and relevant teaching materials that foster deeper understanding and informed debate amongst young people.

‘Developing British Values’ is both a standalone learning resource in its own right (via the Core Ideas menu) and also as a gateway to other ideas, assets and materials (via the Related Themes and Further Assets and Resources menus) that can be used for one-off, dedicated activities, or for embedding core themes into a planned series of lessons.

Perhaps the endeavours of the pioneering explorers of the twentieth century could help pupils to further understand how self-determination and aspiration can help people to overcome even the most taxing of circumstances. Polar Exploration in the Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery resource provides a unique insight into the ‘Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery’.

LGfL worked with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University in creating this comprehensive resource, which 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 expreme environments. 
British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13

If you want to further explore the idea of inspirational female role models then Women in Computing explores the role of women in codebreaking at Bletchley Park; they quickly learned the skills necessary to survive in this area and showed tremendous capacity for computational thought.

For a fictional, strong female character you could look at some of the vlogs produced for Space Adventures. The resource is based on the story of Tazz Anderson on her mission to the moon to bring back the valuable raw material ‘Dysprosium’ for use in smart devices back on planet Earth.

Jamia Wilson believes schools could encourage more conversations about difference, inclusion and presentations where they talk through the issues facing society and working towards solutions. She encourages young people to define themselves through their own life rules and by doing so, to live their most powerful life.

Therefore one further resource you may like to further explore with your pupils is Growing Up Around the World; it aims to help UK children understand the realities of childhood in different contexts. Strikingly, many of the struggles and challennges the children encounter are universal, from the UK to South Africa to India.

Please let us know if you use any of these resources or indeed have suggestions for how LGfL could further support you in school by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

*NEW* Fossils and Dinosaurs resource

Utilising the combined talents from the team at Inspyro (now Discovery Education), an expert Palaeontologist from the Manchester Museum and specialists within the curriculum team at LGfL, we have created Fossils and Dinosaurs for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 learners.

Fossils and Dinosaurs guides you through the development of life on our planet over billions of years. From the very first signs of life 3 billion years ago, through the ‘Cambrian Explosion’ of life 500 million years ago, the emergence and demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago to the final evolution of Homo Sapiens, a mere 2 million years in the past. This period of time spans the existence of the Earth as it developed over 4 billion years, which in itself is a difficult and abstract concept to teach due to the vast amount of time involved. The video below is a walkthrough of the resource:

Fossils and Dinosaurs is broken down into topics to help teach this fascinating and exciting subject that explains our appearance and dominance on our planet as well as the impact and threat to its very existence as we consume fossil fuels left behind by the incredible story of life on Earth.  With activities linked to the EYFS framework as well as covering elements of the English, Maths, Science, Art and Computing curriculum at both KS1 and KS2.

The resource is a blend of videos, still images, teacher plans, immersive Augmented and Virtual Reality. Working with Dr David Gelsthorpe from the Museum of Manchester, the curator of one of the most important fossil collections, with over 100,000 specimens, we have chosen a selection of fossils and other specimens that help tell the story. 

The resource for KS1 and KS2 is split into two sections: the first looks at Paleontology and the second looks at Dinosaurs both use expert videos filmed with Dr David Gelsthorpe, the curator of one of the most important fossil collections in the UK. Alongside Augmented Reality through Active Worksheets making use of Active lens technology the topics covered include: Planet Earth, Early life, Fossil remains, Fossil to fuel, Jurassic depths, Feathered friends, Tyrant Lizard King, Extinction and Humans all of these are aligned to the Primary Science curriculum.

The information is presented in an engaging way for example, using Augmented Reality, the children can ‘see’ fossils come to ‘life’ and compare fossils in a way that use of 2D pictures can not possibly convey, making the resource both distinctive and innovative, ensuring that the learning is literally in the hands of the learners. The teacher guide gives an overview for use in class, listing the resources including a brief description of each Active worksheet and what is covered as well as linking to cross curricular lessons. The guide also provides teachers with an explanation of how to download and access the resource. 

The Museum of Manchester is home to the world’s most complete Plesiosaur fossil skeleton and alongside the Active Worksheets, the resource features  a VR experience that brings this beautiful marine reptile to life. Plesiosaur Encounter VR takes pupils on a journey back in the TimePod to 150 million years ago to see this magnificent creature swimming in the early Jurassic seas. Children are tasked with observing the plesiosaur in its natural habitat and report back, this can either be a scientific or a journalistic report. 

Children are natural scientists. Their curiosity leads them to ask open-ended questions, explore by interacting and observing with the world around them and try to figure out how everything works by exploring and playing with the things around them. Dinosaurs are one of the topics that fascinate young children. Whether it is their truly larger-than-life image or the fact that you can’t visit a live dinosaur in a zoo, children tend to have lots of questions about dinosaurs. This is why Fossils and Dinosaurs is the first resource from LGfL to include an EYFS section, complete with 6 lesson plans covering the following topics:

Each lesson plan is supported with a powerpoint that asks a simple question and allows children to explore their own thinking before the teacher gives them new information and allows them to explore the knowledge with a carpet-based activity, the lesson plans and notes also include key questioning and vocabulary cards to use with each lesson (some of the Powerpoints also come with embedded audio and animations) The lessons are designed to be taught once a week for 6 weeks so that it can easily slot into either literacy or topic lessons. 

Alongside the powerpoints and lesson plans the EYFS section is further complemented with how the resource can be used alongside other LGfL resources as well as songs, apps and printables for both home corners and use within the lessons.

Fossils and Dinosaurs is also our most inclusive resource produced to date we have sought to employ the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) throughout the production process. With UDL in mind, the mixed reality features of the resource and suggested learning activities help meet the need for multiple means of engagement and multiple means of action/expression.  We have also created additional resources to ensure teachers are able to provide multiple means of representation to learners with a broad range of needs and strengths. 

All sections of the resource contain companion texts created in two variations. The first is heavily simplified, for learners working at pre KS2 cognitive ability. The second is in an Easy Read format for those who may have difficulty accessing the written content but are cognitively able to understand the concepts and vocabulary in the resource.  Each of these differentiated text levels has also been produced in a number of formats to meet a range of needs. This includes screen reader compatible, visual supported and plain text (for use with Braille printers). We have also included all differentiated text versions as a OneNote Notebook which can be viewed online and offline by downloading the free OneNote App.  This enables users to access “Immersive Reader” which provides a large number of powerful accessibility features such as reading support and language translation.

In addition to these specific resources, Fossils and Dinosaurs contains inclusion support throughout its online content. This includes captioning/subtitling of all video content, descriptive “alt text” for all images (for use with screen readers), Widgit Point symbol support tool and a number of on page font options.

Fossils and dinosaurs combining expert advice alongside the latest technology enables all primary learners to reconstruct the past in an innovative and meaningful way. 

At the time of commissioning this resource, Dinosaurs was the most requested teaching resource from LGfL schools that was missing from the LGfL portfolio, so we were keen to resolve this in an effective way.

Utilising the combined talents from the team at Inspyro (now Discovery Education), an expert Palaeontologist from the Manchester Museum and specialists within the curriculum team at LGfL, we are proud to offer Fossils and Dinosaurs for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 learners. Like LGfL’s Space Adventures, this resource aims to model best practice in supporting a range of online and immersive technologies, whilst offering support for all learners regardless of development age or learning context.

Part of the reason for working with experts in their field when developing LGfL topic-based resources is that sometimes non expert teachers can inadvertently reinforce mis conceptions, but these can be avoided through expert input during the creation of a specialist new resource such as Fossils and Dinosaurs. Through the use of a wide range of engaging and immersive technology, we hope that learning progress with pupils can be secured faster and deeper than more conventional teaching methods. For further examples of how LGfL topic based immersive resources feature experts in their field go to www.casestudies.lgfl.net.’ Bob Usher LGfL Content Manager

We hope that you enjoy using the resource as much as we enjoyed producing it – please let us know via either our Twitter or Facebook pages or in the comments below if and when you use the resource in class.

World Mental health day – 10th October 2019

World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health. This year, the theme is suicide prevention. Every year close to 800 000 people take their own life and there are many more people who attempt suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and entire countries and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. Suicide occurs throughout life and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally.

The day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. Our mental health is just like our physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.

Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The charity YoungMinds is calling on schools across the country to take part in #HelloYellow to show young people they’re not alone with their mental health. Schools that register for #HelloYellow will receive a free pack, including a mental health assembly plan as well as a range of activities. They have also recently partnered with the Beano to provide content for Under 12s, Meet Mandi, looks at getting your first phone and some top tips for children. Young Minds also has a section on suicidal feelings including helplines and signs to look out for.

The Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education statutory (from 2020) guidance from the DfE  incorporates aspects of mental health including positive emotional and mental wellbeing, learning when (and how) to get help and tackling stigma. Importantly, it outlines the link between physical and mental health, and how one can impact on the other. The PHSE association has updated its guidance and lesson plans around teaching mental health and wellbeing in line with the statutory guidance.

Mentally Healthy Schools have put produced a specially designed toolkit for Primary Schools to use on World Mental Health Day. This fantastic resource provides primary schools with a range of practical resources to help inform and boost wellbeing for pupils and staff. The toolkit includes: posters, classroom activities, lesson plans, an assembly plan, mindfulness exercises, tools and guidance as well as videos and animations.

Public Health England  and the NHS have also launched Every Mind Matters to help people take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others. The video below will be shown on TV over the next week to highlight #EveryMindMatters

LGfL have partnered with Young Minds to produce Healthy Minds, these materials have been designed to support staff and young people to understand mental health better and help build resilience to prevent mental health issues from developing.

 

The open access resource features a range of teacher led activities involving group work promoting self reflection and video content with supporting activities. The main activities are designed for use with learners in Upper KS2, KS3 and KS4. Some resources are designed for use by staff and/or for parents.

The resource is split into the following sections:

  • Mental health and resilience activities for young people
  • Mental health and resilience resources for staff
  • No Harm done – materials for staff, parents and young people
  • Handy Websites and Apps

If you are an LGfL school you can also access free training to support Mental Health in schools, these include Mental health first aid training and Mental health designated lead training, you can find further details and book the courses here. We also have our Inclusion and Wellbeing conference on the 1st November, the theme for the conference is Communication to support inclusion and wellbeing and will feature a series of keynotes and seminars – again this is free for LGfL schools to attend, you can find further details and book your place here.

BBC Teach will also be streaming a live lesson at 2 pm on the 10th October in partnership with TES, all about emotional wellbeing, on World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2019.

In the 30-minute live, interactive lesson, they will  be exploring:

  • recognising emotions;
  • developing resilience and a growth mindset; and
  • tips for self-care.

The lesson will be hosted by Young Minds ambassador and Radio 1 Life Hacks presenter, Katie Thistleton, who will be joined by our special guest, clinical psychologist Dr Hazel Harrison. This programme will be streamed live from 2pm on BBC Teach, and will be made available to view again on the website after the live broadcast so you can re-visit it with your class at any time. There is also a teacher guide and two activities available to go alongside the live lesson.

Striker Boy – republished in memory of the author Jonny Zucker who took his own life in November 2016. He was a loving husband and father, and creator of the SerialMash library for 2Simple. Jonny believed passionately in the power of creativity, imagination, and ideas. He dedicated his life to inspiring children to read, working for many years as a primary school teacher before becoming a successful children’s author. Jonny’s favourite of his own stories was ‘Striker Boy’ first published in 2010. Striker Boy is a fast paced thriller that sees 13-year-old Nat Dixon desperately trying to save his beloved club from relegation. It’s packed with action both on and off the pitch.

2simple have produced a range of free teacher resources to accompany the book, including an emotional resilience pack.That’s not all, as there’s also a free emotional resilience assembly great to use on World Mental health day.

Mind Moose have produced an assembly that schools can use. It introduces mental health in the context of being as important to look after as physical health before discussing ways that we can all look after our mental health. It also discusses how children and adults in a school community can help each other to look after mental health.

The Anna Freud National centre for families and children have produced an excellent booklet for supporting mental health and well being in schools – you can download it here: supporting-mental-health-and-wellbeing-in-schools. They have also produced an excellent animated video below to encourage talking about mental health in schools, great for use in assembly and in class:

They have also produced this booklet for supporting mental health and well being in Secondary schools. They have also just launched a short animation and toolkit aimed at Secondary pupils in year 7-9, you can view the resources here.

The Link Programme is a national initiative funded by the Department for Education, supported by NHS England and led by the Anna Freud Centre. It will reach every school and college in England over the next four years, identifying children and young people’s needs at an early stage and equipping professionals to support them so that more children and young people get the help and support they need, when they need it. The Link Programme will be coordinated at a local level by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). CCGs are responsible for commissioning health services to meet the needs of the local population. They are elected bodies and are run by GP practices. Their involvement means that schools and colleges can use their knowledge and experience to influence future service development to meet children and young people’s mental health needs.

Schools in Mind is a free network for school staff and allied professionals which shares practical, academic and clinical expertise regarding the wellbeing and mental health issues that affect schools. The network provides a trusted source of up-to-date and accessible information and resources that school leaders, teachers and support staff can use to support the mental health and wellbeing of the children and young people in their care. You can sign up to the network here.

Mentally Healthy Schools is a free and easy to use website for primary schools, offering teachers and school staff reliable and practical resources to support pupils’ mental health. Staff can access 600+ quality assured mental health resources to support the wellbeing of their pupils, including lesson plans, assemblies, guidance documents and measurement tools, alongside easy-to-understand practical information about supporting the mental health of children.

There is clear guidance on the site for what to do if anyone has concerns about a child’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as guidance on promoting and supporting the wellbeing of staff.

The vast majority of the resources are free and available to access via the site. There are a small number of evaluated, mostly licensed programmes that carry a fee, but have stronger evidence of benefiting children – either through promoting children’s social and emotional skills, or preventing or helping children recover from poor mental health.

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust – The Trust was set up in 1997 in memory of Charlie Waller, a young man who took his own life whilst suffering from depression. Shortly after his death, his family founded the Trust in order to educate young people on the importance of staying mentally well and how to do so. They have a range of free resources for schools including booklets, posters and teachers can also sign up to a book club for school mental health leads, where they can opt in to receive a book and accompanying resources once a term. These aim to enhance the skills, confidence and knowledge of those who work with children and young people, by providing them with resources they can use to promote positive mental health.

Charlie Waller are inviting Year 5 children to write a story and enter their exciting competition, which will be judged by broadcaster Mary Nightingale, who is patron of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. The theme is kindness. They are looking for stories that show how we can be kind to each other. They can be about people or animals; set in the real world or imaginary lands; be funny, serious or whimsical; adventurous or gentle. To enter, children must be in year 5 now or have been in year 5 when the competition opened in July, and stories can be any length between 100 and 1,000 words. The writers of the winning entry will have their story published on the CWMT website, receive a printed copy and have their story illustrated by CWMT’s Annabelle Martin who has illustrated this page. The closing date for entries is Friday 15 November, you can download the information here.

Adolescent resilience – LGfL have teamed up with Public Health England to provide links to some school-ready resources from a range of different organisations. These include information on academic research, materials for whole-school approaches as well as lesson series and one-off resources, plus targeted support for specific problems, and signposting. Links do not imply endorsement of one approach over another. Please note that not all resources have been formally evaluated, although many have been developed with schools and experts in the field. These resources are suitable for KS3, KS4 and KS5.

Public Health England have also released Rise Above for Schools, helping schools teach PSHE curriculum topics to KS3 and KS4 pupils, with flexible lesson plans and ready-to-use PowerPoints co-created with teachers, and video content developed with 11 to 16-year-olds. Some topics and films may also be suitable for Year 6.

You can also download a range of calming music for use with either meditation, assemblies or in class from Audio network.

There are many benefits to using audiobooks to support mental health, such as distracting from negative thoughts, reducing stress and helping with sleep.  Students can make use of Listening books via LGfL to have precious quiet time but still benefit from the educational content on offer.  Some of the books on offer at the moment that may directly help include How 2 be Happy by Jenny Alexander and Notes on being Teenage by Rosalind Jana

Islington Mental Health and Resilience in Schools (iMHARS)  describes a whole-school approach to mental health and resilience. The iMHARS framework helps schools to understand the seven aspects (components) of school life that can support and contribute to pupils’ positive mental health and resilience.

The seven components have been distilled from a wide body of evidence and have been developed and tested in Islington schools.

iMHARS can be used in schools to research current practice, identify where things are working well, areas for improvement and next steps. Schools are encouraged to reflect on what support is in place to meet the needs of all pupils; for the most vulnerable pupils, for those at risk, and preventative measures for all pupils.

Time to Change is a growing social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. They have  a selection of straightforward, tried-and-tested resources and free materials to get young people in your school talking.

When I worry about things is another excellent resource from BBC Teach it is a collection of animated films that use personal testimony to explore mental health issues from the perspective of children. Alongside each, there is more information about the content of the film, and suggestions of how it could be used in the classroom. These resources are suitable for use with pupils aged 8-13.

Tell us what you are doing for mental health day on either our Twitter or Facebook pages. #WorldMentalHealthDay

Maths Week England (11th to 16th November 2019)

Maths Week England will take place during the week of the 11th to 16th November 2019. According to the Maths Week England website, the 3rd April 2019 was its “official birth date”, and Twitter was the birthplace!

The week is being privately funded this year and the organisers envisage that it will start off quite small. They are hoping “with enough help and support to grow [the event] annually until every child has a chance to engage with the beauty and magic of mathematics“. {Please note that should you subscribe to the site – we believe you may get marketing emails from the sponsors!}

If you are planning on taking part in the week, LGfL have a range of resources that can support you, for use in assemblies, in class and also for engaging with parents.

Our ever popular Busy Things; has a host of maths quizzes, games and their latest addition, the Maths Resource Maker means you can make your own customised worksheets (including tens frames, counting and sequencing worksheets and even maths displays).

J2eToolsuite has a range of maths tools that can be used in class.  Why not get your students to use TtBlast Live? If you are a two or bigger form entry school perhaps the classes in Key Stage 2 could compete against each other? You could also see which pupil manages to win the most often and is the ultimate winner; perhaps all the class/year group winners could then go on to compete in a whole school assembly to see who the ultimate TtBlast Champion is.

You could also get your Year 2 and Year 6 children to practice in the SATsblast (mental arithmetic) and establish which maths topics they find most tricky. In J2Vote, they could conduct a school survey and then present the data in J2Data or you could use the J2Database to look at the examples (e.g the Titanic passenger list or a dinosaur database which have been made by users). 

For teachers Multe Maths has both starter and main activities for Years 3 to 6 that can be used on an interactive whiteboard as well as lesson plans and activities that can be used in the classroom and are supported by the Toolbox.  Or why not get the class rapping with Maths Raps from Beam? The pupils  could then go on to create their own number or maths raps using tunes from Audio Network (which is soon to be updated) as a backing track. 

Maths at Home is a fantastic resource to share with parents the resource is designed to provide support for busy parents that wish to help their child with their mathematical development at home.  A video has been made for every single NC descriptor for the whole of KS1 and 2 as well as an overview video for Early Years. Each video is a snapshot of how many schools may teach the particular strand, and also provides examples of how parents could support their child at home.  Where appropriate, video content is reinforced with a selection of downloadable resources.

Maths at Home videos are designed to feel like they are taking place on a table at home, encouraging communication, conversation and lots of fun while working on them.  The video resources are designed to bring Maths to life, highlighting learning opportunities within cookery, play, decorating and gardening. Most importantly, they are designed to ignite conversations between children and parents, and to make Maths a positive and enjoyable experience outside of school. It would be a great resource to highlight to parents on the day perhaps by inviting parents in for a special number assembly.

Maths in the Real World does exactly what its title suggests; it puts maths in to real world problems and contexts. The detailed differentiation and detailed lesson plans and resources  ensure there is something for all ability levels. Some of the real world topics covered in the resource include: Search and Rescue (with the HM Coastguard), Nutrition, Sporting Decisions and Round the World.

Other free resources that you could access in order to further promote maths in your schools:

MathsBots.com from Jonathan Hall@StudyMaths are tools for maths teachers including ‘GCSE Resources’ and ‘Manipulatives’ (pictorial images to support the Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract CPA approach to the teaching of maths).

Mathlearningcenter.org (note the American spelling!) based on the visual models featured in Bridges in Mathematics.

I See Maths by Gareth Metcalfe has a great range of free and subscription resources. If you want to look for the free resources click on the “Free Resources” tab; the Early Years drop-down has a large bank of visual games.

There is also the EdShed; within this is the Mathematics Shed curated and organised by Graham Andre . It 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.

Remember you can view case studies from schools about how they have used LGfL resources as part of the daily diet they offer their pupils. The case studies can be found on LGfL TV; included within the collection is “Maths Bootcamp” and the winners of the award for “The Use of J2e Toolsuite” explaining how they make the best use of this award winning tool.

Please let us know if you use any of our resources to support your Maths Week England or indeed have suggestions for how LGfL could further support you in school by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook. 

 

 Black History Month 2019

October is Black History month a month set aside to learn, honour, and celebrate the achievements of black men and women throughout history. As well as thinking about significant figures in this country, the month also gives students the opportunities to look at significant figures throughout history:

Jamia Wilson is the latest author to feature in ReadingZone Live, Jamai Wilson has been a powerful force in the social justice movement for nearly a decade, in the video below she talks about her commitment to inspiring young people.

As well as being a thought leader, an activist, a feminist, a mediamaker, she is also a storyteller, her book Young, Gifted and Black published last year features 52 icons of colour from the past and present.

The books celebrates the inspirational achievements from figureheads, leaders and pioneers such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, to cultural trailblazers and sporting heroes, including Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams. Strong, courageous, talented and diverse, these extraordinary men and women’s achievements will inspire a new generation to chase their dream… whatever it may be.

The book and these clips  would be perfect to use during Black History month, the video below gives further advice on how schools and support children from diverse backgrounds.

There are a range of other resources listed below that could be used in schools throughout the month, either in individual lessons, or as a discussion point for assemblies.

George Bridgetower – art, liberty and slavery: in this website and resource pack from LGfL it enables students to take a close look at George Bridgetower and his relationship with Beethoven. Students can also examine other artists, writers and musicians who were working at the same time as Bridgetower, with a special focus on their relationship to the anti-slavery movement. This resource can be used with KS3 and KS2 pupils.

The life of Nelson Mandela –  from CultureStreet.org this resource and  the lesson plans focus on the life of Nelson Mandela using the work of South African comic book company Umlando Wezithombe.  This resource can be used by KS1 and KS2 students.

The life of Mary Seacole from the BBC School Radio, is a series of three short video episodes, that tell her life story.  Mary begins her story with her journey from Jamaica to London – and then onward to the Crimea during the Crimean War and her meeting with the journalist William Howard Russell. After the War ends Mary tells of her time back in London, impoverished and apparently forgotten by the British public.

There are also activities related to the videos on the site. Significant People from LGfL also features Mary Seacole on an active worksheet all about the contribution of nurses.

The BBC have also put together a range of inspiring resources for both primary and secondary schools, around black history, heritage, culture and achievements. There are also a range of teacher notes and the content is suitable for KS2 through to GCSE. The resources include videos, assemblies and lesson plans.

bbc teach black history

Walter Tull – was a professional football and was the first British-born black army officer and the first black officer to lead white British troops into battle. The video below tells his story and is perfect for KS2 and KS3 pupils looking at WW1 and the impact that Walter had.

As well as researching significant figures, this month provides pupils the chance to reflect on tolerance and inclusivity in society, Developing British Values from LGfL – looks at this topic and provides short video clips for discussion in class. True Tube provides videos that cover RE, PHSE and citizenship and have a collection of videos that can be used as discussion points for Black History month. UK Parliament have also put together a collection of resources that can be used to explore diversity and the changing nature of representation in the UK. This series of videos with supporting teachers’ packs allows students to find out about Parliamentarians’ experience of changing diversity and to consider what diversity means to them.

Into film have created a list of films for Black History Month, the list aims to highlight the tremendous range and diversity of black filmmaking talent in front of and behind the camera. It also looks to celebrate black culture more generally and draw attention to its rich, and often painful history. Film is a hugely powerful medium to elicit empathy and understanding, but also to provoke debate. Lots of history is covered within the list, alongside films also celebrating the vibrancy and style of much black music and culture, demonstrating tremendously exciting work from younger artists. There are films featured for all ages.

Last year also saw the first Windrush day on 22nd June to celebrate 70 years since the first 500 Windrush migrants arrived from the Caribbean in Tilbury Docks in Essex, abroad the MV Empire Windrush. “A Windrush Day will allow communities up and down the country to recognise and honour the enormous contribution of those who stepped ashore at Tilbury Docks 70 years ago,” said Lord Bourne. “It will keep their legacy alive for future generations, ensuring that we all celebrate the diversity of Britain’s history.”  There are lots of videos and information available on the Windrush Day website.

The Empire Windrush Education Resource, prepared by education practitioners and community advocates, and published by Windrush Foundation, includes more than 150 pages of information, activities, photographs and data for students, teachers, parents, guardians and anyone keen to know some of the interesting post-war stories of Caribbean people in the UK.

You can claim your copy of this resource for KS2 here.

Black History 4 Schools contains a wide range of links to useful resources (including fact sheets and ppts) all separated into historic sections:

  • Black presence in Tudor times
  • Transatlantic Slave Trade and Abolition of slavery
  • Black presence in the 18th and 19th century
  • Black presence in the 20th century

What will you be doing for Black History month? Please share your work with us via our Twitter and Facebook page #BlackHistoryMonth

The 2019 Big Draw Festival with LGfL Energise Resources

October is nearly upon us which means it is time again for The Big Draw Festival, this international 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 visual literacy. Uniting people, pencils and pixels across the globe for the 19th colourful year.

The Big Draw team invites you to join them in celebration of their flagship month-long celebration of creativity, The Big Draw Festival. The festival theme this year is Drawn To Life: Creativity & Wellbeing. This theme works to encourage events and conversations around the role of mark-making and drawing – in its widest possible interpretation, as a life-enhancing tool not only to help express and navigate the challenges of life around us but also as a tool for healing.

Every year, during The Big Draw Festival, 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. Over 400,000 people take place in this annual festival that is hosted in 26 countries around the world.

Founded in 2000, The Big Draw is a visual literacy charity that promotes the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention. They lead a diverse range of programming including The Big Draw Festival which takes place in October, as well as The John Ruskin Prize which is the fastest growing multi-disciplinary art prize in the UK.

LGfL have a range of resources that can help support art in the classroom, from digital tools to helpful tutorials we have you covered!

Culture Street is a one-stop destination to introduce young people to contemporary artists, writers, curators and performers and their amazing work. The resource is jam-packed with interactive activities to inspire. There’s everything from making a clay coil pot to understanding what the Turner prize is all about.

A great way to introduce the idea of the creation of digital art for younger children is found in the j2e Tool suite, first off within the tool suite for your youngest students you can use jit5, students can create a range of marks by using a palette of tools/brushes, clip art and also have the ability to import images.

Speech bubbles and text can now be added to the digital canvas, vastly improving the learning possibilities, enabling storyboards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. Also the new stamp feature takes the creativity on to new levels, you now have the ability to create your own digital stamps which can be saved in a ‘My Stamps’ area and be used across the JIT platform.

By using the microphone feature (which works as long as you have either an inbuilt microphone or an external microphone for your device) your students can add their voice to their own of art to explain their work/feelings or why not try to import various interesting works of art into the  j2e Tool suite and allow children to explore being an art critic by talking about how the artwork makes them feel.

For older students, j2e Tool suite offers j2e5 a powerful digital tool, Students use j2e5 intuitively, just like a sheet of paper. The ease of use encourages their natural creativity. Combine text, graphics, animations, sounds, videos and embedded objects. j2e5 is an online, fun, creative tool, children create their own line art or use j2e5 to explore other works of art or artists.

Busy Things offers a range of activities to suit any age, it encourages young children to create art and music through experimentation. Choose from a large array of unusual tools and allow a picture or sound composition to evolve in front of you. No experience is necessary – just click or touch and watch or hear what happens! There are also ready-made templates and clipart to help you design a monster, superhero, a fashion item and much else!  Older children can use Busy Paint to create artwork on a chosen topic. Busy Paint is an easy-to-use art tool offering drawing tools, brushes, shapes, stamps, clipart, symmetry options and more. Just search for The Big Draw in the special events calendar to get you started.

Linking drawing with storytelling is another way to inspire students, you can find multiple interviews with illustrators such as Tony Ross, Chris Riddel and Oliver Jeffers in Reading zone live, exploring their feelings on creating works of art that explore moods, emotions and tell epic stories.

For images to explore and to inspire  LGfL Image Bank and LGfL Gallery are an ever-growing collections Image Bank has, 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.

LGfL Gallery is a growing collection, at present containing over 60,000 images. All the resources are copyright cleared so they can be downloaded, edited and purposed for educational use, both within the classroom and at home and offer a range of images to start your drawing journey off.

If you need to brush up on your art skills or terminology then you can with Art Skills for Teachers In Partnership with the Ben Uri Gallery. This resource 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.

We also offer 2 other art units:

Ben Uri: Art in the Open This teaching resources contains information and points of discussion about works from the collection under the themes of Relationships, Movement and A Sense of Place. Also included in the resources are examples of how schools have used the content in a number of innovative and creative ways. 

Ben Uri: Portraits & Identity Starting points for portraiture and identity projects in the classroom, including teacher’s notes about selected works from the Ben Uri collection. It also offers activities suitable for Key Stages 2-4.

The Big Draw is also again working with the Today At Apple programme. The 2019 event programme which aims to explore the possibilities of digital drawing and combines The Big Draw with The Everyone Can Create create curriculum.

Drawing enthusiasts and reluctant doodlers alike are invited to try their hand at a range of fun workshops led by some of the world’s most innovative creative talent.  These Big Draw/Apple partnership sessions will focus on the 2019 ‘Drawn To Life’ theme which explores the benefits of a more creative life for wellbeing. These sessions also serve to give visitors a fascinating insight into the many careers in which drawing plays a pivotal role.

Each store will host:

Art Lab for Kids: Draw Your Own Emoji.

Art Walk: Discovering Colour.

Art Walk: Drawing from Observation.

To find a session at an Apple store near you this October click here

The Everyone Can Create curriculum is a collection of project guides broken down into Music, Drawing, Photo and Video that bring creative expression to every subject, designed to help students develop and communicate ideas. Students use free apps available on any iPad and take advantage of the built-in camera, microphone, speakers, Multi-Touch display and Apple Pencil, look out for my series of blog posts exploring this creative curriculum in more depth coming in the month of October.

And don’t forget about the abundance of creativity opportunities you have with Adobe Spark for Education and Adobe Creative Cloud; you can support your students’ creative journeys from primary and secondary education and beyond with this package of creative tools.

Adobe Spark for Education makes it fast and easy for students and teachers to turn ideas into beautiful graphics, web stores, and video presentations with free app accessible from anywhere and on any device.

Adobe Creative Cloud gives you and your students access to a comprehensive set of the worlds best creative desktops apps including Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC and Premiere Pro CC so that they can create and communicate anything they can imagine.

We would love to see how you are going to use LGfL services and resources to help energise your students learning, let us know by sharing your evidence of impact (it could be photos or students work) via our Facebook and Twitter and if we like and retweet your work you could win an LGfL goodie bag! and don’t forget The Big Draw 2019 hashtags #TheBigDraw #DrawnToLife #BDF19

National Poetry Day – October 3rd 2019

National Poetry day is on the 3rd October and the theme this year is Truth, 2019 is the 25th anniversary of National Poetry day so expect the celebrations to last all year long not just on the 3rd October.

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 Truth from the National Poetry day website:

  • There are a range of poems around the theme of truth that can be used by pupils on the 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.
  • Posters for display

The #MyNPDPoem poetry writing challenge is now open, after being launched by Forward Arts Foundation at the CLiPPA ceremony.

In association with CLPE and with the support of ALCS, #MyNPDPoem encourages schools everywhere to create poems, performances, displays and even special poetry books as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations for National Poetry Day. To take part, children aged 6 to 13 are invited to write a poem on the NPD theme Truth. They can write individually or with friends and topics could include; the truth about their family, or their school; nature might provide inspiration, provoking a poem about the truths the natural world reveals; perhaps young poets will want to share hidden truths about the way they feel about the world. Or maybe they’ll want to explore the opposite of truth – lies!

CLPE have created a resource to help spark ideas which you can download here. There are also other competitions that students of all ages can take part in you can view all the competitions here. You can also download a certificate of participation to hand out to all students who write and perform a poem

Poets Karl Nova, Michael Rosen, Rachel Rooney, Victoria Adukwei Bulley and Joseph Coelho have produced inspirational films, full of advice and ideas.

Once children have written poems, share the best on National Poetry Day by tagging pictures on Instagram or Twitter (@PoetryDayUK) with #MyNPDPoem. Why not hold your own poetry show on National Poetry Day by inviting everyone to perform their poems aloud. Present each young poet with an NPD certificate which can be downloaded here. Schools are also invited to publish the poems as books for pupils to take home to their friends and families, using Scholastic’s We Are Writers scheme. The books can be sold to raise money for the school or other charities.

Everyone who writes an original work automatically owns the copyright, regardless of their age, and #MyNPDPoem is supported by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). Find free resources and information explaining copyright to young people on the ALCS website.

The National Literacy Trust have teamed up with National Poetry Day to create two classroom resources for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. The National Poetry Day lesson plan resources provide a set of activities about fake news versus truth. Students are given an example poem and asked to create their own in a similar style, then perform it.

Each lesson plan includes:

  • A starter to get pupils involved and discussing the topic of fake news
  • A poetry relay activity
  • A writing activity where pupils create their own poem

The activities are clearly linked to the national curriculum for Key Stage 2 and 3. They support learning and developing confidence in writing, storytelling, working together and performance.

They have also worked with professional poet Simon Mole to create a Key Stage 2 lesson plan all about truth, with an accompanying video below, so that you can have a poet in your classroom this National Poetry Day!

The lesson plan includes:

  • A warm up game to introduce the theme of truth
  • A writing activity which asks pupils to write a narrative poem based on a true story
  • Further suggestions for poetry activities and games

They also have lots more brilliant poetry resources from Simon Mole – and they’re all completely free! They also have a book list of brilliant poetry books for children aged 0 to 11 – that you can share with parents so that they can join in with the celebrations.

LGfL also have a range of resources to support you in teaching National Poetry Day:

Our latest Reading Zone Live was with the wonderful Michaela Morgan she is a National Poetry Day Ambassador  and writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry and regularly visits schools to perform and to run story writing or poetry workshops. Her book – Reaching the Stars written in collaboration with the poets Jan Dean and Liz Brownlee, is a collection of poems about extraordinary women some famous, some anonymous, some individual, some representative, some historic, some mythic.

In the videos below you can see a celebration of Poetry and how to get started with writing poems – great to share on National Poetry Day during an assembly or in lessons. The first two are short trailers and the third video explores what is a poet, how do you start to write a poem and does it need to rhyme? Just some of the questions answered by Michaela Morgan during this event celebrating all things poetry, and National Poetry Day, with pupils from Cheam Common Junior Academy. Head to Reading Zone live to see all the videos from the event.

Poetry Workshop with Cath Howe,  is also part of our popular ReadingZone Live resource featuring over 40 authors. Poetry Workshop offers strategies for developing creative poetry activities with primary children, suggestions for learning poems by heart and then performing them.

Special-guest material features award winning poet Joseph Coelho. There are five pages of tips for exploring and sharing poetry, learning poems by heart, performing poems, prompts to use when writing poetry and tips for learning poetry by heart. Each page features a teaching point as well as short videos.

There are a range of poets within Reading Zone Live that can be used as a starting point for teachers to use when looking at writing poetry and the themes within them. Zaro Weil one of the poets featured in Reading zone Live explains how she begins writing a poem:

 

Reading Zone Live also features the poet Roger Stevens who founded and runs the award-winning Poetry Zone website, which encourages children to write and publish their poetry and offers guidance and ideas for teachers on how to make the teaching of poetry fun and rewarding.

J2e Tool suite can be used for children to use any of the j2write tools to write their own poem on the theme of truth and why not use j2 vote to get the children to vote for their favourite poem. Busythings also have a template for children to use to write their favourite poems – you can find this within the special events on the home page.

Listening Books have a collection of favourite classic poets that children can listen to as inspire them on the day, reminder that Listening books is a charity and provided for LGfL subscribers, these books must only be used with students who have an illness, physical or learning disability or mental health condition which impacts on their ability to read or hold a book, and are offered for non-commercial use only.

Poetry Roundabout is the go-to place to find anything and everything about poetry for young people. Poems do not have to be written specifically for young people to be accessible to them; content is however always suitable. This is a place of fun poetry, interesting poetry, lyrical poetry, poems in all different forms and shapes and sizes!  Visit for interviews with the best children’s poets, poetry news, how to write poems, poems of course, and poetry book reviews… and more besides! For teachers, young people’s poets, and poets who are young people!

Places of Poetry  is open to all readers and writers. It aims to use creative writing to prompt reflection on national and cultural identities in England and Wales, celebrating the diversity, heritage and personalities of place. The site is open for writers to pin their poems to places up until the 4 October 2019. It will then be closed for new poems but will remain available for readers. They welcome writers of all ages and backgrounds and want to gather as many perspectives on the places and histories of England and Wales. They have a range of toolkits for both Primary and Secondary schools on how to run poetry sessions within schools.

 

 Or why not use the resources from the BBC Live Lessons last year led by award-winning performance poet, author and National Poetry Day ambassador Joseph Coelho, poet and author Tony Walsh, and CBBC’s Katie Thistleton, this lesson features poetry reading and performance and critical analysis of similes and metaphors.

This is just one of many BBC Teach resources for both Primary and Secondary that can be used to bring poetry to life within the classroom, you can find the collection here.

We would love to see the work you do around National Poetry day via our Twitter or Facebook pages, using the #nationalpoetryday hashtag.

World Space week – 4th October

World Space Week runs from the 4th – 10th October, and is an international celebration of all things Space and focuses on science and technology and its role in the past, present and future of mankind, a way of not only promoting the work that countries do together to explore space but also how important space technology is to life on earth.

The theme for the UN-declared World Space Week 2019 will be “The Moon:  Gateway to the Stars.”

There are a number of resources for educators to use during the week from the official World Space Week website.

If you haven’t used it yet, this week would be a perfect time to launch 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, entitled Space Adventures: Mission to the Moon it fits in perfectly with the theme of the Space Week this year.

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 threatens 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? You can watch a trailer below:

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

The video below shows how one school used Space Adventures and the impact that it had across the curriculum.

Space Adventures Live with CAS, BCS and LGfL for National EU Code week.

In association with CAS, BCS we are hosting a  live event on the 18th October for National EU Code Week, hosted via Hangouts/YouTube using Scratch classroom and the Space Adventures coding units, this will showcase LGfL resources, cloud based learning and outstanding computing pedagogy.

🚀Before the session: Children will need to have completed Units 1 & 2 of the LGfL Space Adventures unit of work and have stored their work on a Scratch Shared classroom (login & password will be shared with schools who sign up) which we will be able to access and view. For more information and to book:  https://community.computingatschool.org.uk/events/7239.

J2e have a range of tools that can be used within Space week, the children could use any of the tools in j2write, to complete research into the planets, space and the Solar System as well as creating fact files on famous astronauts. They could also use JIT to explore branching databases, sorting aliens.

J2code has a range of resources and examples that can be used.

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 short 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, including for example, creating a space themed game:

Busy Things also have a range of labelling and fact sheet templates covering the Solar System and Space that can be used in class for KS1 and KS2, whilst younger children can get creative with designing their own spaceship. They have grouped activities in their special events section so that they can be easily pinned to be used during Space Week.

You can find lesson plans and activities from Switched on Science – The Out of this world Unit for Year 5 is perfect to use during World Space Week.

If you are running an event in school, you can register this on the World Space week website as well as finding a whole range of resources including: A Space nutrition activity sheet and an activity leaflet from Tim Peake.

Solar System Scope is a free online model of the Solar System and the Night Sky in real time with accurate positions of objects alongside a range of facts about the planets – great for research and showing in class, there is also a desktop version as well as both android and iOS apps.

2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings and there are a range of resources that you can use to celebrate the first steps on the moon.

BBC Teach have produced a collection of resources:

Highlights include:

  • An animated film for primary pupils about Neil Armstrong’s journey to the Moon
  • A collection of space-themed songs for Early Years and primary pupils
  • A guide exploring the secrets and stories behind the Apollo 11 mission
  • A mini-documentary about Neil Armstrong for secondary students, presented by Dermot O’Leary

NASA has also collated videos, pictures and audio on the Apollo 50th Website.  These would be great to use with students to look discuss how it must have felt to be part of that historic mission 50 years ago. Or why not use Significant People resource from LGfL which features Neil Armstrong, the active worksheet displays a 3D diorama of the Eagle lunar lander touching down on the Moon’s surface. The animation is accompanied by the original mission audio detailing the landing process.

Stem learning have a range of resources that can be used during Space Week, with just a few materials, building a paper model of the International Space Station (ISS) can become a class project. The resource contains a brief overview of the ISS, its parts, the science that occurs on board, instructions, and extension fact sheets. Learn about the ISS, explore fun facts, simulate building the station, and learn about the international partners.

Is there anyone out there? This resource was funded by the UK Space Agency and developed by ESERO-UK and CIEC Promoting Science. It is based upon the quest to discover more about the solar system through space projects such as the European Space Agency’s Aurora programme, and NASA’s Curiosity mission seeking to gather evidence of life on the planet Mars. The students take on the role of space scientists or space engineers to discover more about Mars. The activities in this resource are designed for students aged 9-12 years.The activities are organised into three themes: life, landscape and landing. Activities in the life and landscape themes are suitable for students aged 9 to 11.You can find all the resources here, including getting your students to train like an astronaut in P.E.

You class could even borrow the moon!

The STFC Lunar Rocks and Meteorites Loan Scheme has been running since the mid 1980s. It has lent the NASA Moon rock discs and meteorites to thousands of schools, museums and outreach organisers. You can find out how to apply here. The site also has a vast range of resources from the National Space centre suitable for ages 5-18.

There are great range of teaching resources on Moon Camp, Moon Camp features preparatory classroom activities that focus on learning-by-design and science experimentation. Here teachers will find inspirational resources to develop curricular scientific experiments related to the Moon. The classroom resources can be combined to develop interdisciplinary projects. The infographic below would be great to use to introduce the topic of the moon to children.

VirtualiTeach – a non profit site dedicated to all things AR and VR in Education have produced a great blog post entitled Space: The Virtual Frontier, it features a list of 20 experiences across four categories: AR apps, 360 videos on YouTube, mobile VR apps and full VR experiences from Steam.

Remember we would love to see your work for World Space week – you can share via our Twitter and Facebook page #WSW2019

Supporting a bereaved pupil – *NEW* resource in partnership with Child Bereavement UK.

‘90% of teachers receive no bereavement training despite one bereaved child in every average class’ – new research

 A survey commissioned by Child Bereavement UK has revealed that only 10% of teachers have received bereavement training during Initial Teacher Training or subsequent professional development. This is despite 86% of teachers saying they have experienced a death in the school community, and nearly three quarters reporting teaching pupils affected by someone significant.

A parent of children under 18 dies every 22 minutes in the UK; this equates to around 111 children being bereaved of a parent every day. 1 in 29 children aged 5-16 have been bereaved of a parent or sibling, which on average is a child in every class. Schools have an opportunity to support children and young people in their grief, however, many teachers say they lack confidence in how to do this.

In response to the research, Child Bereavement UK has developed a learning resource for schools: Supporting a Bereaved Pupil , in partnership with the London Grid for Learning.  This comprehensive, free-to-access resource is aimed at empowering teachers and education professionals to support bereaved pupils and has been developed for staff in schools, to help develop their understanding, skills and confidence to support pupils and their families when they experience a bereavement.

“Supporting a Bereaved Pupil provides simple, straightforward and easy to digest advice from fellow professionals about a very difficult topic that most teachers will encounter at some point in their careers.  The considerations, suggestions and videos ensure that the resource is accessible and provides sound advice that can help to school community to support families at their most challenging of times.”

Drawing on the vast experience of Child Bereavement UK (CBUK) and with video footage from school leaders within the LGfL community, this resource has been developed as a tool for teachers in school to support children at this most difficult of stages in their lives. Alongside the short videos there are also a range of guides for staff to use these include looking at: ideas for capturing memories; looking at the emotions and behaviours surrounding  pupil’s expression of grief. 

“By offering them simple choices, it can give them a little bit of control back in a life which feels very much out of control.” 

There are also links to the CBUK website these include lesson plans, supporting videos and book lists so that staff are able to provide support not just for the bereaved pupil but also to enable them to address the issue of death and grief across the curriculum.

‘ Following on from the success of the Managing a sudden death in a school community resource development, we have been delighted to partner once again with Child bereavement UK to support schools on a different aspect of managing bereavement within a school context. Supporting a bereaved pupil utilises the expertise at Child Bereavement UK and the curriculum team at LGfL to produce a school focussed resource that helps develop a deeper understanding of the issues relating to bereavement for both pupils and those that support them. The resource blends expert video explanations on sensitive and complex issues, with accompanying text explanation, downloadable resources and further reading weblinks. We hope that schools find this additional bereavement support resource to be as useful as the Managing a sudden death resource, as these topics impact on schools every single day and the feedback received so far is that they provide a unique source of expert insight and support for everyone working in school contexts.’ Bob Usher LGfL Content Manager

The report, Improving Bereavement Support in Schools, funded by the True Colours Trust, surveyed over 1000 teachers and staff in pastoral, outreach and management roles within primary and secondary schools. In addition, case studies were gathered from seven schools from Scotland, South Wales, South West England, South Central England and North West England, and seventeen in-depth interviews with teachers were undertaken. The research aimed to gain a better understanding of the drivers and barriers for schools in accessing training and effectively supporting bereaved pupils.

Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals both when a child dies or is dying, and when a child faces bereavement. The charity has trained around 3,500 schools and, currently, 14% of calls to its national helpline are from teachers seeking guidance around bereavement. 92% of teachers surveyed for the report said that schools should prepare ahead in case there is a bereavement in the school. However, only a third (34%) of those teachers felt their school was equipped to manage a death when it occurred.

Despite the impact of bereavement, only 2% of teachers said that their school had a clear, practical bereavement focus with most saying that the topic was only addressed conceptually in subjects such as English, Philosophy and Ethics, PHSE and Science. Teachers surveyed called for a greater emphasis on death and bereavement in the curriculum, but many said they had not received adequate training to give them the confidence and knowledge to provide this support, and stated they were overwhelmed by other demands. Just 20% of teachers said that bereavement support and training was a priority in their school with 68% listing budget as a barrier and 34% citing time constraints.

One teacher commented:

“I can’t believe that individual teachers are not trained and in 2018 this shouldn’t be the case. We shouldn’t just focus on Maths and English. Nothing is getting better and nothing is being done and feeling your way through the issues isn’t enough.”

Working once again in partnership with Child Bereavement UK, we hope that this open access resource will enable schools to provide support to their pupils, most grieving children do not need a ‘bereavement expert’ they need people who care. Schools, just by carrying on with their usual day-to-day activities while being aware of the bereavement, can do a huge amount to support a grieving pupil.

 

European day of Languages 26th September 2019

The 26th of September is European Day of Languages. It aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone. At the initiative of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September.

It is celebrated

  • to alert the public to the importance of language learning in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding
  • To promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe
  • To encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school

The European Day of Languages website has a vast range of resources for teachers to use both on the day and on the lead up these include lessons plans, quizzes, language facts and fun, a teachers area and the chance to create the design to be featured on the official 2019 t-shirt.

This year they are inviting everyone to participate in a language challenge around the European Day of Languages! The 51 challenges contained within the hand book encourage learners to go a little outside their comfort zone and take advantage of the plentiful opportunities to practice or learn more about a language beyond a classroom context.  You can choose easy challenges that don’t take much time – such as “count from 1-10 in 3 different languages within one minute” to ones that are a bit more demanding.  You can find more about the challenges here.

The short video below would be an excellent way to introduce the day in assembly entitled Hello! Talk to me!  You could also Invite pupils and parents who are EAL speakers to give language tasters in their mother tongue and talk about their culture.

In this small booklet you will find examples of the many languages spoken in Europe, including numbers to ten and simple greetings.

LGfL have a range of resources to help with your language teaching within school these include the following: Rigolo (primary French) and Vamos Unit 1 and 2 (primary Spanish).

Busy Things have labelling activities for KS2 pupils in both French and Spanish; looking at colours, food, drinks and body parts. If you go to the special events section you will already find a range of activities already sorted for European Day of Languages that you can then pin to your class page for easy use.

Or why not invite children to come to school dressed in the colours of the flag of a European country of their choice, they could also research and present facts about their country including famous people, geographical features and famous landmarks from the country. They could use j2e tool suite to present their work. This could also include planning a trip around Europe, or a travel brochure for their country. The European Commission have a range of resources to support teaching and learning about Europe including maps and a range of information booklets.

Or why not hold a European food tasting session, a European Food Market after school or create a menu from a country or even a cookbook of Europe – the Cookit resource from E2bn features a range of recipes from across Europe.

The day would be an excellent day to launch The Young Interpreter Scheme®, this recognises the huge potential that exists within each school community for pupils of all ages to use their skills and knowledge to support new learners of English so that they feel safe, settled and valued from the start.

The supporting content, which is available to LGfL schools, supports the selection of children and young people based on specific different personal qualities they may have. The materials also offer specific training to equip learners as they begin their new role as Young Interpreters.

The support Young Interpreters can offer to a newly-arrived pupil can be very reassuring from a parent or carer’s point of view at a time when their child may be adapting to substantial changes. It also supports school staff in a variety of ways at different points during the school day. The online materials offered by LGfL support schools in implementing the Young Interpreter Scheme and training their learners.

The Hampshire EMTAS EAL E Learning resources available through LGfL provide a set of high-quality, cross-phase, interactive online training units based around catering for the needs of EAL learners.This resource is aimed at Governors, Inclusion managers, Teachers and TAs/LSAs. It has particular relevance for NQTs and trainee teachers.

  • The E Learning consists of a number of different units including Introduction, Core Principles, Working with Parents, SEND and EAL, Bilingualism and Teaching and Learning
  • The materials have been developed by specialist teachers of EAL in conjunction with senior leaders and class teachers based in local schools
  • They contain a variety of interactive learning materials supported by text, images, podcasts and video
  • There are assessable assets and free-form activities that enable learners to reflect on their current practice
  • The materials can be visited at a learner’s own pace and in their own time-frame
  • The system records progress throughout each unit
  • Completed units are certificated by the system and can form part of a learner’s CPD

Into Film have a range of resources to support European Day of Languages – this resource contains a guide to seven films, which have been specially selected to be accessible to learners aged 7-19. The guides include discussion questions and activity ideas to encourage learners to ask and answer questions about films that reflect different cultures and ways of life around the world. The flims and languages featured in the resources are; Wadjda (Arabic), La Famille Belier (French), Max Minsky und Ich/ Max Minsky and Me (German), La Juala de Oro/ The Golden Dream (Spanish), Goodbye Lenin! (German) and Carlitos y el Campo de los Suenos/ Carlitos and the Chance of a Lifetime (Spanish).

Film represents a valuable tool to support language learning; students will find themselves engaged by the characters, story, and representation of culture as well as absorbing how the language is spoken. Useful to increase vocabulary and improve pronunciation as well as enhancing listening skills, this selection of films represents the most widely studied Modern Foreign Languages as well as celebrating the film culture of France, Spain and Germany, with films for both Primary and Secondary students.

LGfL schools could also make use of the Adobe tools and either use Adobe Spark or Adobe Spark video to create their own posters and videos to celebrate languages spoken.

Lightbulb Languages is a fantastic website with a vast range of resources for use in both the Primary and Secondary classroom, packed with over 6000 language resources written by language teachers for language teachers it is one of those must book mark sites to use in class. The site includes, planning, display ideas, flashcards and games.

The Language Magician is a free primary languages assessment tool in the form of a computer game that assesses in the following languages: English, German, French, Italian and Spanish as a foreign language. Help, explanation and story is available in English, German, Italian and Spanish. As a teacher, you can select a new test language and support language for each session. The project co funded by Erasmus and with the European Union is available both through a browser as well as a free app. The video below gives a brief overview of the game:

The Association for Language learning have a wealth of links and articles to support European Day of languages including an excellent wiki to support learning languages through literary texts.

There is also a podcast that covers European Day of Languages from #MFLTwitteratiPodcast which you can listen to here.

What are you doing to celebrate? We would love to hear from you and share your celebrations via our Twitter or Facebook pages.

Rugby World Cup 2019

The 9th Rugby World Cup kicks off on the 20th September 2010 and runs until the final on the 2nd November 2019.  It is the first time that the event will be held in Asia and will feature teams from England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland alongside another 16 competing nations.

The World Cup provides a wide range of teaching activities to use across the curriculum, in this blog we have collated resources that can be used from LGfL as well as resources that are available free to use.

This term is perfect for introducing pupils to the game of rugby in PE lessons, because of the time difference the games will be on TV in the morning, the National Curriculum states that pupils should:

play competitive games, modified where appropriate, and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending

At Primary school, this will take the form of Tag rugby, players tuck coloured bands into their shorts, one at each side. A player is tackled if these bands are removed, leaving them with three seconds to pass the ball. The non-contact nature means boys and girls of any fitness level can play together on a variety of surfaces, without the fear of getting hurt. The video below gives an introduction to Tag rugby:

For more support Six Stages to Rugby has been designed to illustrate and explain the skills and techniques that are required to introduce the Game of Rugby to young players.It should be noted that these are six stages and not six lessons, but give an overview of what can be used in lessons. Teach PE also has lots of ideas and suggestions for teaching Rugby from Primary up to Secondary school, also great for ideas if running a rugby club after school.

Tagtiv8 a company that promotes physical active learning also has a range of free resources on their site that can be used in lessons to combine PE with Maths and Literacy, another great way to get started. The resources combine physical activity with English and Maths, research carried out by Leeds Beckeet University demonstrates that Tagtiv8 PAL (Physical Activity Learning) solutions tackle inactivity and obesity.  You can find out more about Physical Active Learning in the video below:

The author Tom Palmer has also produced a new Rugby Academy compilation edition and free accompanying resources to promote reading for pleasure during the tournament. Now is the time for children to read more about the game that is capturing their imagination: Websites. Fiction. Non-fiction. Newspapers. Magazines. Rugby can help children enjoy reading for pleasure. You can download free samples of the books, alongside suggested activities and games that can be used throughout the tournament.

Maths in the Real World 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. Three of the sections are perfect to use during the World Cup.

The first is called Arenas and Events, this resource engages students by applying maths to planning and organising arena events. Pupils will cover a wide range of topics over a series of 6 lessons. By adopting a variety of roles they will cover Area, Perimeter, Volume, Rounding, Translation and Rotation along with a few other strands interwoven to the lesson design. This resource contains 6 complete lessons worth of plans and resources, ready for you to deliver. There is a huge scope for easy to implement differentiation for your learners and plenty of cross curricular links, too. The sessions can be delivered in one go, or in chunks to suit your curriculum needs. You can also use this site to look at all the venues being used at the World Cup.

Next is sporting decisions, this engages learners through applying Maths to analyse sport. Pupils will cover a wide range of data-handling techniques over the course of 3 lessons to help them pick a winning team. By adopting the role of club manager, they will also apply fractions and percentages to help their decision making process.

Finally Nutrition, which looks at children planning and analysing meal plans. Students will have to apply their problem-solving and use inequalities, charts and graphs to justify their choices. It will also help students to discover what makes a healthy choice and learn the recommended daily allowance for different food criteria. The resource includes all of the necessary nutrition information, along with 3 sample menus for pupils to appraise. The resource is easily accessible for all learners, and can be extended for higher ability. The children can for example plan a menu for a World Cup player.

For Secondary students, there is a great unit from NZ maths that requires students to use statistics about the top ranked teams in the 2019 Rugby World Cup to predict the winner of the World Cup, justifying their prediction using data. It includes lesson plans and resources.

No World cup is complete without a song! World in Union was first performed at the Rugby World Cup 1991 in England and has featured at every tournament since, typically performed by a well-known artist or group from the tournament’s host country. It has been sung in a variety of musical styles from classical opera to traditional South African male vocal ensemble, and recorded in numerous languages including English, French, Welsh, Maori and Japanese. A new version of World in Union, the official anthem, has now been released featuring Japanese artist Kiyoe Yoshioka.

You could use this version and compare to previous versions and why not get the children to make their own version! Using Audio Network for the backing track and j2e tools to write the lyrics children can create their own version of what the World in Union means to them.

This would also be a perfect time to get the children to be creative making use of the amazing Adobe tools that are part of your LGfL subscription. Using Adobe Spark the children could create posters about the game or quotes to inspire the players like the image below.

Or you you could also use Adobe Spark Video and get the children to produce their own World in Union video, compose a good luck message for their team or a guide to how to play rugby the only limit with the tools is their imagination.

J2e Tools can be used in a variety of ways including: Designing a kit for your favourite time, or why not use the data bases tool to do some real time maths statistics – looking at points scored, tries scored, number of red/yellow cards etc.  Or how about writing a guide to Japan and the cities that are hosting the matches, you can find a lot of information here, on the official welcome page for fans but what information isn’t included that the children would find useful – they could write an alternative guide! The children could use j2vote at the start of the competition to vote for who they think will be picking up the Webb Ellis cup on the 2nd November!

BusyThings also have a range of resources that can be used including: writing a match report, writing about a player from their favourite team and designing a kit, although these are tagged for football they could be easily adapted.

Lightbulb Languages have produced a range of resources in English, Spanish and French for the World Cup, these include the languages of the World Cup, activities, and displays.

Please let us know via our Twitter or Facebook pages or in the comments section of this blog if you make use of any of the resources or ideas from this blog.

 

 

 

Code Week EU 2019

In just over 3 weeks  Code Week EU 2019 blasts off for another out of this world week of coding!

If you are interested in bringing coding to your classroom but you don’t know where to start, do not worry as we have plenty of LGfL award-winning Energise curriculum content via our Computing resource page, that can invigorate your teaching of computing in your school and we also have a special event planned that promises to be out of this world! read on to find out more.

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 you can even add it to the code week.EU map to show your support.

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! 

Looking for a creative way of introducing coding to KS2? Space Adventures is unique and engaging cross-curricular resource 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 threatens 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 5 with unit 2 being aimed at more experienced pupils who will have existing 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.

Space Adventures Live with CAS, BCS and LGfL for National EU Code week. 

We are very proud to announce a live event on the 18th October using Google Hangouts using Scratch classroom and the Space Adventures coding units will showcase LGfL resources, cloud-based learning and outstanding computing pedagogy all in one (inter)stellar event!

Before the session, children will need to have completed lesson 1 and 2 of the LGfL Space Adventures unit of work and have stored their work on a Scratch Shared classroom (login & password will be shared with schools who sign up) which we will be able to access and view. 

For more information and to book go here.

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 act of programming code to control a device, it’s about being able to identify and understand problems or needs in the real world and using innovative thinking and creativity alongside logic reasoning to improve the world around them.

Computing is about teaching students about 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.

I spoke to Danny Young the Managing Director of Just2easy about the importance of learning to code and children developing digital skills.

“Being digitally literate is becoming increasingly important for the future of our children and Just2easy have 2 offerings to help in that regard, j2code is a set of differentiated coding engines designed for ages 3 to 13, we made sure that there was no need to have software to install and everything is accessed via your USO login.  We also designed j2data which offers a different take on digital literacy, focusing on the data aspects, in particular, sorting, filtering and searching data”

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J2code offers a range of coding languages to enable to explore coding, 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 to encourage children’s creativity and problem-solving skills.

To help both teachers and students Just 2 Easy tool suite have included a glossary for the various computational terminology used, there is also a link to this in each lesson plan.

JIT is a turtle based coding language in which you can code freely or use spite and background templates to create simple animations for KS1.

Visual is a block-based coding language in which you can freely code to create more complex coding outcomes for Upper KS1 and KS2.

sLogo is a script-based platform that you use to complex procedures perfect for upper KS2 and can be used in KS3.

Just 2 Easy tool suite 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.

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Python Tutor and Web Tech tutor offers 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.

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, it was with this idea we created ‘History of Computing’

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

The resource promotes the idea that by understanding our digital heritage we can better understand our digital future”

The History of Computing 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.
  • 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 materials are 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.

Alongside History of computing, we also have the Women in Computing resource which has been recently updated, WIC promotes the achievements of women in British Computing within the social context of the time, it explores the issue surrounding how and where their unique contributions have developed understanding within the computing industry and wider society.

Code week EU have created a range of resources to help you organise and run coding events easier, they have prepared different toolkits and selected some of the best lesson plans, guides and other resources which you can find here.

You could also use the many free 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.

We would love to see how you are going to use LGfL services and resources to help energise your students learning, let us know by sharing your evidence of impact (it could be photos or students work) via our Facebook and Twitter and if we like and retweet your work you could win an LGfL goodie bag!

 

International Day of Democracy – September 15th 2019

We are certainly living in interesting times with regards to the democratic process in our country at the moment! The International Day of Democracy held annually on September 15th may be a perfect date to examine democracy with your students or even look at democratic processes within the school as this is also the time a lot of schools will be selecting their School Councils.

Democracy provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realisation of human rights. These values are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and further developed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which enshrines a host of political rights and civil liberties underpinning meaningful democracies.

The link between democracy and human rights is captured in article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:

“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”

The video below from the United Nations sets out what the International Day of Democracy is and why it was created, this overview also provides information on what Democracy is and the part that the United Nations plays.

A great resource to use on this day is British Values from LGfL. British Values were first defined in the Prevent Strategy as “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”. But all too often, teachers feel they have inadequate support and resourcing with which to develop this important part of the broader school curriculum.

We have sought to meet this need by providing high-quality, safe and relevant teaching materials that foster deeper understanding and informed debate amongst young people. We do not aim to deliver a definitive view for teachers and learners to ‘accept and learn’, but to enable discussion in a safe, tolerant and supportive environment. The video below explains what is democracy.

‘Developing British Values’ is both a stand alone learning resource in its own right and also as a gateway to other ideas, assets and materials (via the Related themes and Further assets & resources menus) that can be used for one-off, dedicated activities, or for embedding core themes into a planned series of lessons.

Commonwealth, Parliament and Democracy resource from The British council, created in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, will help to provide students with factual information and cross-curricular activities, enabling them to learn and think critically about the Commonwealth, its parliament, and the topic of democracy more broadly. The activities also aim to expand students’ knowledge and understanding, provide opportunities to develop their core skills, all the while encouraging them to explore and reflect on local and global issues. Each unit contains information for teachers, ideas for discussion and suggestions for cross-curricular activities. These can be used as starting points in individual lessons, or as elements of a larger cross-curricular joint project involving collaboration over a number of subjects with a partner school overseas.

This time of year is also when most schools are electing their school councils, Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) says that children and young people should have a say in decisions that affect their lives.  A school council can provide a meaningful way in which pupils can voice their opinions and have their views taken into account in decisions which impact upon them. There is a short overview from CBBC Newsround which explains what a school council is and the roles, perfect for showing to younger children or new Year 3 pupils. Children’s Rights Wales have also produced a great pack for schools councils, with a range of games, ideas and an activity pack for staff and pupils. There is also this toolkit from Leicestershire Healthy schools programme including activities, roles and guidance.

To inspire pupils why not watch a video from Kid President – the one below is entitled A Pep Talk from Kid President:

 

Parliament UK has a fantastic range of resources for looking at democracy.  The free teaching resources include videos, downloadable lesson plans, booklets, assemblies, interactive whiteboard resources, loan boxes and publications. Their interactive games are also ideal for use both in the classroom or as homework activities www.parliamentgames.co.uk.

Into Film also have a range of resources that schools can use when looking at democracy including this assembly featuring thought provoking questions and film clips based around films on the themes of democracy and debate. The assembly encourages young people to reflect on their attitudes to democracy and the portrayal of young people and politics in feature films. There are also a range of clips from the BBC entitled Democracy in Action that could from part of citizenship lessons.

What are you doing to promote democracy in your school remember you can share your work with the wider community via our Twitter or Facebook pages.

#poweredbyPledge2020

Roald Dahl Day 2019

Roald Dahl Day is the annual, global celebration of the world’s number one storyteller, his beloved stories and unforgettable characters.

This year Roald Dahl Day is happening on September 13th with Malida at the heart of the celebrations. You can find lots of brilliant ideas and activities in this year’s stupendous Roald Dahl Day party pack which is free to download from the Roald Dahl website. The 2019 Party Pack is packed full of phenomenal lesson resources, wonderful writing activities and a whole host of other excitement.

LGfL has a range of resources that can support you and your students during this week.

Why not listen to some of Dahl’s Stories via Listening books

This audiobook service supports the National Curriculum from Key Stage 2 all the way through to A-Level and has a huge range of fiction and non-fiction titles for both adults and children. Listening to audiobooks allows children and young people to follow the same books that their friends and peers are reading, improve comprehension, word recognition as well as helping to instil a greater understanding and enjoyment of literature.

To listen to a book follow the steps below:

  1. Log onto the Listening Books website with your LGfL USO account.
  2. Search the catalogue for a book to which you would like to listen.
  3. Press the ‘play’ symbol and the book will begin!

You are able to view a full list of the books available on the summary page here.

The Dahl books on offer are:

BOY: A memoir of Roald Dahl’s childhood containing some hilariously true stories, such as the great mouse plot of 1924, when an eight-year-old Dahl and his gobstopper-loving friends took just revenge on the disgusting sweetshop owner Mrs Pratchett.

MATILDA: Matilda is a very clever little girl, but her terrible parents don’t like her, and her headteacher, Miss Trunchbull, is very frightening. She isn’t very happy. Then one day Matilda starts moving things with her eyes, and after that, she isn’t afraid of anybody! The official Roald Dahl website offers planning to go with this.

THE GREAT AUTOMATIC GRAMMATIZATOR: Bizarre, amusing and grotesque, these tales enter the unexpected world of Dahl. They illustrate the different lives that people lead: a life of chance, of risk and of plain bad luck. The stories are specially chosen for teenagers to introduce them to Dahl’s work for adults.

Did you know Roald Dahl wrote many of his best-known children’s stories, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda, in a writing hut in his garden? Why not check ReadingZone live to see how other authors get their inspiration to create?

Why not use the digital tools found within jit5 ( which are part of the Just2Easy Toolsuite range of digital tools) to remix a familiar Dahl story, for example, changing James and the Giant Peach to Bradley and the Big Banana! Children could either write or record their own story via the microphone feature.

Roald Dahl was famous for the large amount of fun and exciting words he made up, Why not create a phizz-whizzing Dahl inspired dictionary like this one, using j2e5 and combining it with BBC Sound Effects to create a multimedia presentation? (with some very rude sounds!) 

You could also use j2e5 to create a Dahl interactive timeline like this one 

Ask your students to research Roald Dahl’s history via The Guardian and The Observer News Archive. For example, you could use the article below to get children thinking about who they think would be the most popular children’s author today. You could ask children to research this online or get them to create their own poll using j2vote and then collate the data with j2data.

Busy Things has a bank of book based Busy Print and Publisher templates for students to edit, why not use these templates to write about your favourite Dahl book? Or get them to write a summary of one of the books? Or even get them to redesign a front cover?

Minecraft has a number of Roald Dahl themed immersive worlds for children to access. Minecraft’s open-world environment encourages players to build wondrous things, tell stories and go on adventures in mysterious and amazing worlds. Minecraft: Education Edition brings this creativity into classrooms. Students have new ways to visualize stories and express their ideas, explore plot elements, create their own stories and immerse themselves in the world of James and the Giant Peach , George’s Marvellous Medicine, The Great Mouse Plot from Boy Masters of Invention from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

 

Why not get creative with Adobe Spark and ask your students to take a quote from their favourite Dahl book or a quote from Dahl himself and use Adobe to Spark to create a poster or social media banner? (Don’t forget to claim your Adobe licences as part of your LGfL subscription here.)

We would love to see how you are going to use LGfL services and resources to help energise your students learning, let us know by sharing your evidence of impact (it could be photos or students work) via our Facebook and Twitter and if we like and retweet your work you could win an LGfL goodie bag!