World Book Day 2020

World Book Day is a registered charity on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. It’s also a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

This is the 23rd year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 5th March 2020, children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.

This World Book Day the goal is to ‘share a million stories’ across the UK on Thursday 5 March. So sign up and record every time you share a story to be in with a chance of winning £1,000 worth of books every week throughout March.

The World Book Day website is packed with resources for Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools with lesson plans, activity sheets, assembly plans, discussion guides and much more for you to use on the day. 

Their is also a second series of creative, inspiring and interactive films for you to screen in class at ANY TIME that suits you. These 12 new films have been created to inspire all students aged 5-12, whether they’re reluctant readers or aspiring authors and illustrators! Featuring a sensational line-up of authors and illustrators including Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida CowellEoin ColferMatthew SyedFrancesca SimonMatt HaigMuhammad Khan and Katherine Rundell. Every film comes with FREE classroom resources too!

Introduced this year is the World Book Day Social is a fun and informed online festival for young people taking place on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th March. Over two days and evenings, we’ll be sharing fun and inspiring content and chat with bestselling authors and illustrators, all based around our theme of READING IS POWER.

Schools can access the online festival during the day on our website and social media feeds with extra content for young people at our WORLD BOOK DAY AFTER DARK after-party from 7-9pm each night.

Featuring:

  • Exclusive Reading is Power podcasts
  • Power book reading recommendations
  • Power playlists for reading and working to, as recommended by your favourite authors and illustrators
  • Instagram real-time readalongs

Reading Zone Live from LGfL is the perfect resource to use within your class on World Book Day, the site is packed with interviews with authors including Michael Morpurgo, Oliver Jeffers, Jacqueline Wilson and Cressida Cowell to name a few. Alongside interviews with the authors explaining their inspiration and writing resources, there is also a range of resources for teachers to use in class.  

Busy Things have a wide range of resources to support reading and writing across the primary range. BusyPaint and publish has 100’s of templates to choose from with easy to use features that children can use to create their own stories. They have also handpicked a series of resources for World book day, as you can see below.

Or why not use the j2etool suite to complete one of the following activities: You could have a vote on World Book Day as to who the favourite author is in your class or school, ask the children to write a book review or a biography of their favourite author using j2e and finally they could use the tools in JIT to create an alternative book cover or design their own character. The tool suite includes templates that can be used on World book day and this will be live from 1st March.

The whole story resource from LGfL aims to explore how storytelling can maximise creativity within learning activities for children. By capturing the expert advice of a professional storyteller and arranging this advice into a simple interface, it is hoped that teachers of all age groups can get inspiration on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum.

Another fantastic resource to use on World Book Day is Listening books, these popular audiobooks for KS2-KS5 pupils are fantastic for supporting SEND pupils and feature both fiction and non-fiction titles.

Or use Talking Stories 1, Talking Stories 2, Talking stories 3 from 2Simple, on World Book Day, featuring stories that include: Orpheus and Eurydice, The Wishing Tree, Sherlock Holmes, Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Great Fire of London, these resources include teacher notes and lesson plans.

Dominic Traynor our Education Evangelist for Adobe has a project perfect for World Book Day which can be found on the Adobe Education Exchange here.

“This sequence of 5 lessons can be taught at any time of year once a group of students have finished studying a book in class. Alternatively, it can be taught in the lead up to World Book Day so that they have a video book review to share with the rest of the school.

It can also be condensed into a full day project for World Book Day itself. I would recommend completing the writing in the morning and then allowing students to film and edit in the afternoon.

Here is a great example of good book reviews in a primary/elementary school setting. For an idea of how to share their work in a special, whole school community celebration, watch this video of how a school near Manchester in the UK celebrated their work.”

Why not also use Adobe spark to design your own book cover and or retell or create alternative endings for well-known stories in Adobe Spark Video?

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) has a wide range of free resources for World Book day, for tips on running a successful day, developing a Reading for Pleasure school all year round and engaging parents with books and literacy. The resources for schools contain easy and fun activities based on key themes of creating, discover, experience, explore and imagine.

BBC Teach has put together a great collection of resources for Primary and Secondary pupils, perfect for inspiring your class.  Featuring awesome authors, authors live and a selection of well-known stories retold and brought to life in short animated films there is something for everyone.

With many people, noting that World Book Day had become just a chance for children to dress up the fantastic author Jo Cotterill has come up with a fantastic range of World Book Day Alternative ideas, these include Potato and Egg characters, donate a book and build a book scene in a box you can see these ideas and more here

What do you have planned for World Book Day we would love to see your pictures and work please share via our twitter or Facebook pages #WorldBookDay2020

Original Post written by Dawn Hallybone edited for 2020 by Bradley Dardis

Fairtrade Fortnight 2020

Fairtrade Fortnight aims to put a spotlight on trade. When trade is fair it has the potential to improve the lives of the farmers and workers who grow our food and it can make the world a better place.

Through Fairtrade, millions of poor farmers and workers are already coming together to demand a change. They are working hard to close the door on exploitation and transform their communities, supported by Fairtrade.

For 2020, Fairtrade Fortnight will focus on cocoa. Farmers of this much-loved product have seen prices fall to crisis levels in the last few years, making life incredibly difficult for cocoa farmers. This is especially true in West Africa where most cocoa is grown. For these two weeks,

The Fairtrade Foundation is asking schools across the country to share the stories of some incredible cocoa farmers and their families. Through these stories, they will be talking about forest-friendly cocoa farming, the need for a living income, and how caring for people and planet come hand in hand. they have also produced brand new resources for schools, including an exciting new film ‘Guardians of the Rainforest’!

Whether it be a pop-up café, a school assembly or an exhibition, share your love of Fairtrade with parents, the community or other schools by inviting them to come on in.

 The Fair-trade website also contains a range of resources, including an assembly that can be used to introduce the fortnight in school. These resources are all completely free and cover their usual subjects areas like PSHE and Geography but also new ones including Music, Black History, Business Studies and English. You can also order an event pack including posters for your school here.

You can also sign up to become a Fairtrade school, becoming a Fairtrade School means joining a worldwide movement – a movement where young people learn that, whatever their age, they have the power to make a difference in the world. It offers a great opportunity to look at global issues such as where our food comes from and how we are connected to people around the world. Students can also learn a range of skills, from teamwork and co-operation to persuasive writing to running a stall or tuck shop.

Students could use the j2e tool suite, to write letters explaining why using fairtrade products make a real difference, produce a recipe book using fairtrade ingredients or even use JIT to create an animation that shows the cocoa growing process.  Busythings have a great labelling activity looking at the principal cocoa-producing countries, which would be a fantastic way to introduce the theme for the fortnight.

If you are looking for recipes why not use Cookit the main purpose of this resource is to improve pupils’ skills, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating. The site provides support for the teaching and learning of a wide range of basic skills and processes. It encourages and inspires learners to explore cooking and to create and share their own recipes, using both the site and mobile devices. There is a wide range of recipes all using chocolate so would be perfect to use during this cacao focussed fairtrade fortnight.  The site also has strong cross-curriculum links to History (Prehistoric to Modern), Citizenship, Sciences, Literacy (instructional writing), Maths (measures) and RE (celebrations), as well as a rich bank of modern recipes ranging from simple “no-cook” recipes to complex, multi-step dishes.

 

 

Growing up around the world from LGfL can also be used during this fortnight to support your teaching. Over more than two decades, the charity tve followed the lives of 11 children in 10 different countries to make a series of groundbreaking films. A precursor to the BBC’s “Child of our Time” series, this resource provides a unique insight into what it means to grow up in different parts of the world; the challenges, hopes and dreams of the 11 children and the impact of the world around them.

Growing up around the World aims to help UK children understand the realities of childhood in different contexts. Strikingly, many of the struggles and challenges the children encounter are universal, from the UK to South Africa to India.

Designed for use in Citizenship, PSHE or Geography lessons, the videos introduce Key Stage 2, 3and 4 pupils to human rights, building an understanding of the issues facing people around the world. The resources come with a comprehensive teacher pack with full lesson plans, starter activities, sample worksheets, a dictionary of key terms and tips for expanding on the material provided in the resource.

The tve:Relay resource offers an insight into how young people across the world communicate their ideas about the environment.

Originally produced in partnership between tve and Bloomberg, the original tve: Relay saw 22young people from across the globe create short videos about issues of concern to them about the environment. The relay started in the UK – and then the relay challenge worked its way around 22 different countries. Each video provides a different focus, style and message, offering a unique insight into a range of issues that matter to the next generation. Some videos are made about concerns in other parts of the world, and others focus on issues closer to home. Some humorous, some minimalist, some complex and some simple…each video offers a unique message about issues of concern to children around the world.

Whatever you have planned for Fairtrade fortnight please share via our twitter or Facebook pages #fairtradefortnight

Original Blog post written by Dawn Hallybone edited by Bradley Dardis

International Women’s Day – 8th March 2020

International Women’s Day on March 8th, looks at how we can help forge a gender equal world. The website states An equal world is an enabled world and encourages us all to celebrate women’s achievement; raise awareness against bias and take action for equality. The theme for this year is #EachforEqual

The IWD website explains that “Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world”.

Let’s all be #EachforEqual.

The IWD 2020 campaign theme is drawn from a notion of ‘Collective Individualism.’ We are all parts of a whole. Our individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society. Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender equal world.

There are lots of resources that schools can use both on the day and throughout the year to educate and inspire pupils about the role of women in society as well as challenging gender stereotypes and bias. The International Women’s Day website has a huge range of resources for schools.  From celebrating women’s achievements through to challenging gender stereotypes and bias, there are many useful classroom resources available to support International Women’s Day activity; the classroom resources cover a great deal of important content and activities.

GET READY FOR IWD 2020:

There are also a range of inspiring and thought-provoking International Women’s Day videos available from around the world that you can use a classroom discussion starters as well as teaching resources.

Using LGfL Resources for International Women’s Day

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

“It is as important for boys to understand that girls are equally able to achieve within the computing industry as it is for girls to aspire to work within the sector”. A simple question is posed: “What does the historical role of women in computing tell us about the society of the time?”  Framing the question in this way allows us to look at the contribution of women unaffected by prior judgements we might have made. We seem to have little difficulty in accepting that machines make history – steam engines in the 19th century, cars, aeroplanes … and of course computers.  But machines do not come to be, nor do they function in a social vacuum. Part of the question this resource addresses is how history makes machines. The fascinating interviews contained within the resource situate gender roles in computing in the larger context of society. Watch this trailer for the resource:

There are a range of videos including sections on WWII Codebreaking, Cold War Computing, Pushing the Boundaries and Inspiring the Next Generation.

Another LGfL resource Significant People and Events takes a handful of particularly important events and people and investigates their impact on history; using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to bring these events to life. The resource features nursing on the front line helping you to explore the role Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole played in modern day nursing.

There are a series of resources from DigiSafe that look at promoting a positive body image among girls and boys, these resources include videos, lesson plans and would be great to use to explore how women are presented in the media – you can find the whole collection (including those shown below) at bodyimage.lgfl.net.

Remember, there are many female authors featured on ReadingZone Live too. In the clip featured below, author Jamia Wilson talks about why she chose to write her book entitled ‘Step Into Your Power’. As part of IWD you could explore a range of different female authors, where they get their ideas from and also what themes they base their narratives on.

You could watch the Keynote from the Annual Conference 2018, ‘Looking at Gender Equality’ by Graham Andre. He and his class were at the centre of the BBC’s ‘No More Boys and Girls’ programme that explored gender equality issues in schools. 

He summarised key points on the topic of gender equality and shared his own journey towards self-reflection and progress on the issues discussed. You can access the vast range of Gender Equality resources Graham put together and mentioned in his keynote on this padlet.

BBC Teach have also collated a range of resources to be used in both Primary and Secondary schools for International Women’s Day, they include a range of videos highlighting achievements of women across a number of fields.

Into film are also celebrating the amazing achievements of female filmmakers and the on-screen heroines that highlight strong women, alternative forms of femininity, and promote gender equality. They have a selection of film lists, articles, film guides and other resources – including their International Women’s Day assembly resources – that each highlight strong female characters and important female voices in the film industry, you can browse the collection here

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) staff have listed their favourite books for younger readers featuring independent girl characters. A list of books for older children focusing on women’s history will appear later in March, you can view the list here.

Sport England has worked with the Association for Physical Education to produce a range of newly updated resources to support you to bring This Girl Can into your school. In order to access the free resources for schools you MUST register on the This Girl Can website.

So put your arms out front and STRIKE THE #EachforEqual POSE to motivate others and to make International Women’s Day YOUR day. Whatever you have planned for International Women’s Day we would love to see pictures and work, please share via our Twitter or Facebook pages #EachforEqual.

 

‘Our Diverse Planet’ – British Science Week (6th-15th March) 2020

The British Science Week, run by the British Science Association, takes place between 6th – 15th March 2020 and is for everyone to get involved with. It is a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. Applications for British Science Week 2020 grants are now closed (but make a note in diary for next year to apply by November; they especially encourage those who don’t usually engage with science to apply).

Their website has activity packs for Early Years, primary and secondary students; designed to be a one-stop-shop for supporting teachers during the week. The theme for the packs is ‘Our Diverse Planet’ – celebrating the amazing diversity we see across the world. From biodiversity to cultural and societal diversity, from the diversity of knowledge to STEM careers and subjects. There are lots of ways to explore this theme – and they would love to hear some of your ideas too!

The poster competition encourages you to Investigate and imagine ‘Our diverse planet’ and everything that makes it special. Here are some topic ideas they suggest to get you started:

Why not think about biodiversity? From the diversity in your own garden, to the diversity at the very bottom of the ocean, research all the amazing creatures and organisms that live on our planet. 

The diversity of science and STEM subjects. Have a think about all the diverse ways that science affects our lives and who you know that uses science every day. Is there science in baking and cooking? What about making a film or taking a picture? Or how about operating planes and cars? Remember that science is everywhere, you just have to look for it! 

Think about the other kinds of diversity our planet contains – from the variety of the molecules that make up essential parts of life, to the different ways our towns and cities are built, and the variation of people’s tastes and interests. 

Our planet is unique, but why not investigate what makes it different from the other planets in our solar system?

Andy Warhol once said, “I never read, I just look at pictures.” A poster competition is exciting way to spark creativity with students, engage them with a specific topic and get started with your free Adobe licenses (available to all LGfL schools). Adobe Spark for Education offers tools that are very easy to use, even for primary aged pupils! Using Adobe Spark Post pupils can easily create beautiful and professional looking posters in very short amount of time. Have a look at these amazing examples for ideas (remember the competition states it needs to be the pupils’ own ideas) or go through a short 45 minute, free online course on “Creating Posters with Your Students” at Adobe Education Exchange.

If you want to unleash your and your pupils full creative powers, you might want to try Adobe InDesign. Precise colour control, thousands of font choices, effective selection and editing tools – Adobe InDesign has everything you need to create a solid design on a large canvas. Creative Cloud tutorials offer you quick an easy way to get started with basics of all the Creative Cloud applications.

Over 900 schools have claimed their Adobe Creative Cloud licenses with LGfL last year, but if have not already done so, you still can at: https://www.lgfl.net/services/adobe-creative-cloud. There is also an exclusive opportunity for any LGFL school/teacher to join LGfL and Adobe’s Creative Jam on 27th February. The jam is about storytelling and will be organised in partnership with the Ocean Agency (fitting nicely in with the theme Our Diverse Planet for BSW). The people attending will be presented with a challenge involving creation of a video aimed to save the world’s coral reefs. There are very few places left, so if you are interested register without delay!

Furthermore, you may want to inspire your pupils to consider producing clips relating to Our Diverse Planet. There are a brilliant series of science videos on COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards website which demonstrate how best to use video during science week. (N.B The site restricts views, so recommends visiting You Tube to view them at https://www.youtube.com/user/COBISScienceAwards/playlists).

There are many resources that LGfL schools can use during this time to help you further explore the theme of Our Diverse Planet:

In the British Science Week KS2 activity pack there is an activity called “Diverse Places – Journey to Antarctica”. It states, 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of the first sighting of Antarctica. Since then it has been a destination for explorers and scientists whose voyages help inform us of the role this continent plays in our world. In their activity they suggest you will write a diary based on what you know about the explorer Bransfield’s journey to Antarctica. 

You could also use LGfL Polar Exploration resource to explore Shackleton’s adventure. LGfL worked with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University in creating this comprehensive resource, which provides a unique insight into the ‘Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery’.

 

The resource features exclusive access to the historic archive of the most famous polar expeditions of the 20th Century, including:

 

 

  • 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 expeditio
  • Interactive map of the Polar Regions with plotted locations of the multimedia asset
  • The opportunity to meet a modern-day polar explorer and hear of his experiences living for extended periods of time in some of the world’s most extreme environments.
  • A wide range of learning materials to support KS2, KS3 and KS4.

If you are considering further investigation into what makes Earth different from the other planets in our solar system then you could explore LGfL’s Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon.

The resource is based around the intrepid astronaut Tazz Anderson and her on board computer (MIC) on her journey to the moon. Her mission is to bring the valuable, raw material ‘Dysprosium’ back to planet Earth for use in smart devices.

This unique and engaging cross-curricular resource is based around an original story, commissioned by LGfL, from the award-winning author Cath Howe. The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for maths, English and science and even a computing unit created by Max Wainewright. Watch the clip below about how you can take the resource even further, by experimenting with greenscreening with your pupils:

With Viral Contagion English and Viral Contagion Maths, students can use their maths and English skills to look at the journey and spread of a biological outbreak in South London.

Dramatised news reports describe the impact of the outbreak, challenging students to consider the use of language behind such scenarios and the need for effective communication to help save lives, alongside using their mathematical skills to understand the speed at which an outbreak can spread. This may be rather too close to current real events for some, with regards to current Coronavirus!

The entire primary ‘Switched on Science’ scheme, offers full coverage across both Key Stage 1 and 2 and is available with LGfL. It is a flexible and creative investigation-based programme with a clear focus on working scientifically. It is packed with best-practice CPD videos and supportive lessons to ensure every teacher can deliver the science curriculum with confidence. The package comes with all the additional resources teachers need to teach the entire science curriculum, ranging from a video for each unit, teacher guide, pupil workbooks, ideas for differentiation, and much more.

Virtual Experiments for Years 1-6, are soon to be retired on LGfL due to being flash-based. Please read the guidance related to this by clicking on the link and note that any resources labelled “legacy” on lgfl.net will be affected.

These resources (arranged for Years 1&2, 3&4 and 5&6) are ideal for demonstrating difficult scientific concepts – with the added benefit of:

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

Busy Things have once again made things even simpler for you. They have a wide range of resources and games for use in Early Years, KS1 and KS2. There are over 100 activities that are linked to the science curriculum that could be used during your Science Week including writing projects, interactive worksheets, graph projects and printables. To begin your search, remember to click on the “Special Events” tab from the home page; this can then be used to look for resources relating to the British Science Week.

 

Remember also, that if you have created “new set ups” (ie your Year Groups or class names within Busy Things) you can pin their “Britsh Science Week” on to your class page; making it easier for you and your pupils to navigate to the suggested activities.

 

 

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

Look in WidgitActivities for visual, varied and differentiated worksheets which include Widgit symbols to help you making the curriculum accessible for all learners. The example below is from “Gases Around Us” in the Science section of Widgit Activities:

The ever-popular j2e Tool Suite can also be used during Science Week, for a range of activities. Why not get pupils to create a book in j2e about Shackleton’s journey to Antarctica, or make an animation of our diverse planet in JIT’s j2animate? Below is an example of a bean diary in j2animate:

You could also download our Significant People and Events resource for KS1 and KS2? This resource takes a handful of particularly important people and events to help pupils to investigate their impact on history. Using Augmented Reality you can simulate the spread of the Great Plague, or explore the first powered flight test and even touch down on the surface of the moon with a 3D animation of the Eagle landing. The resource is further explained by the creators below:

For the classroom why not download the collection of STEM role models posters celebrating women innovators illustrated by women artists? There are eight in the set and each poster is accompanied by a short biography of the women featured, not only raising awareness of their achievements but also hopefully inspiring a new generation of women to work in STEM.

Terrific Scientific from the the BBC is a set of curriculum-linked primary science resources for Key Stage 2 aimed at encouraging scientific enquiry. The resources focus on a series of practical classroom investigations linked to the curriculum, so teachers can use each one as a stand-alone science project, or as part of a bigger topic. For each investigation, there is an introductory film, fronted by well-known figures relevant to the age-group; a ‘how to…’ film which demonstrates the investigation, a downloadable teacher resource (including curriculum links) and student worksheets. Perfect for using in Science Week and beyond.

Explorify is another great site for free science resources. The Explorify activities are bitesize prompts for discussion and investigation, their high-quality image, video and hands-on activities are sure to spark curiosity and get your class thinking like scientists. Choose from a wide range of curriculum-linked, low-prep activities that will set young minds whizzing and whirring.

Reach out CPD is free science CPD for UK teachers, there are 30 courses for teaching 5-11 year olds covering everything from plants to planets. Each one provides teachers with concise topic knowledge and a whole raft of resources to use in class, including captivating short videos, practical activities and experiments, whiteboard visuals and more. Well worth checking out and sharing with colleagues.

The PSTT regional mentors’ role is to support primary schools with all aspects of science including curriculum development, teaching and assessment. They provide 1-2-1 mentoring for Science Leaders, deliver CPD to teachers and develop new science teaching resources. Tom Holloway and Kulvinder Johal have both said they are open to Science Leaders and teachers contacting them directly via email: Tom.Holloway@pstt.org.uk and kulvinder.johal@pstt.org.uk

Tom suggests the following activity for Science Week:

“A Science selfie competition where the children are challenged to bring in a photo of themselves doing something science related is another easy and engaging activity to run during science week. With this it’s nice to emphasise to children the ubiquity of science and how they can be really creative – science really is everywhere! Getting all teachers to do an Explorify activity at the start/end of every day is another easy way celebrating science week for busy teachers. Also showing their children the latest edition of reach out reporter, https://www.reachoutreporter.com/ is another great and easy way of celebrating science during science week.” 

Whatever you are doing for British Science Week we would love you to share your work using @LGfL resources on our Twitter or Facebook pages #BSW20.

Take Part and Make Maths Count – Friday 7th February 2020

Since it launched 20 years ago, over 3,500 schools have got involved with Number Day and raised nearly £2 million and this money has been used to protect children from harm. Join thousands of schools for a mega maths-inspired fundraising day and raise money for the NSPCC. Whether you dedicate a day or an hour to being a maths maverick, every pound you raise counts towards our fight for every childhood.

Join them in celebrating 20 years of Number Day on Friday 7th February!

Schools can register for a pack including:

  • resources you can use in class
  • fundraising tips and ideas to help pupils and teachers raise money
  • maths activities for children of all ages
  • printed posters to promote your event
  • access to teacher resources to keep children safe from harm, supporting your school’s safeguarding.

LGfL has a range of resources that can complement your teaching of Number Day.

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 practise 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, Countries (area, population etc) or a dinosaur database all of which have been made by users). 

J2vote can be used to see what is the favourite number within the school or you can use j2measure to look at measuring distances from school e.g. how many places are within 5cm or 10 cm on a map from school? 

BusyThings have a huge range of maths games and quizzes that can be used from EYFS to KS2; use the curriculum browser or the search tool to find games related to Number to use with your class as we have only featured a few of the examples below:

Have fun testing children’s knowledge with Busy Things’ quizzes (over 60 available) – perfect as a front of class resource or for children to independently try to beat their previous scores! Teachers – you can assign quizzes too, giving great visibility of how children are progressing.

Miner Birds – Addition and Subtraction The popular Miner Birds suite has a wide variety of calculations customisable for children between the ages of 5 and 11. As with all the Miner Birds games, the aim is to be the first to collect twenty worms by correctly answering maths questions – so not only will children have fun practising their maths skills, they must also employ strategy and logical thinking to succeed!

Splash Dash Help children to improve their addition and subtraction skills with Splash Dash; starting with simple number sentences and progressing right up to 5 column addition and subtraction, the game can be played with children between the ages of 5 and 11.

The Busy Things Maths Resource Maker means you can make your own customised worksheets (including tens frames, counting and sequencing worksheets and even maths displays); this is easily found from the home page!

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 into 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, Round the World and Viral Contagion (this may be a bit too close to imitating real-life currently though!)

Other resources you may want to use:

BBC Bitesize has a wide selection of videos for both KS1 and KS2 to use on Number Day including learner guides and activities.

NRICH also have a range of games and activities for EYFS to Secondary that would be great to use on Number Day or to set as challenges for at home or through the school.

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.

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 also remember we are delighted to be supporting Maths Week London, taking place 22-26 June 2020. Join in the celebration and register to take part by clicking here.

Visit the Maths Week London website to:

  • download a range of free resources
  • register to attend free events 
  • take part in the Maths Week London Contest
  • apply for funding to support your school take part in Maths Week London

Finally, whatever you are doing to celebrate Number Day 2020 – why not share with us on our Twitter feed or our Facebook page #NumberDay?

Children’s Mental Health Week 3rd – 9th February 2020

Place2Be launched the first ever Children’s Mental Health Week in 2015 to support children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Now in its 6th year, they hope to encourage more people than ever to get involved and spread the word.

The theme for this year is Find Your Brave. Bravery comes in all shapes and sizes and is different for everyone. Bravery can be about sharing worries and asking for help, trying something new or pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. Finding Your Brave can build your confidence, self-esteem and make you feel good about yourself. Place2be have produced a range of resources for: 

 

LGfL are continuing our ambition to embed inclusion and wellbeing in everything we do.  This year, our Annual Curriculum Conference has an inclusion and wellbeing strand running through it including workshops from schools who will share their excellent work on supporting mental health and wellbeing in their settings. Free tickets are available for staff from LGfL schools.

 

LGfL have a range of resources that can support you during this week:

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.

 

 

A parent of a child 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.

 

Healthy Minds was

Healthy Minds was produced in partnership with the leading mental health charity for young people – Young Minds.  They feature 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, with some resources designed for staff and/or for parents.

Young Minds also have a range of resources to support schools. Their 360° schools programme helps you to put wellbeing at the heart of your schools’ improvement. By joining their YoungMinds 365° Schools’ Community, you’ll receive free tips, advice and handy resources straight to your inbox.

 

Audio Network has 60,000 audio files which can be used within the classroom as a calming down tool, to uplift or to inspire.  Audio files can be searched either by topic of theme.

 

Look, Think, Do contains a range of editable social stories that can be used within the class, with groups or individual students .These resources facilitate social development by using reduced language, visual support and images, structure and small steps, a positive focus, and, when appropriate, choice. The photo-based, visual resource is divided into four key sections: Learning to Play; Learning to Say; Learning to Change and Learning to Help Myself. Editable storyboards bring difficult situations to life in a non-threatening manner and enable pupils to discuss solutions and strategies, and alternative and ideal endings.

 

The Islington Mental Health and Resilience in Schools resource (iMAHRS) sets out the components of school practice and ethos that effectively develop resilience, promote positive mental health and support children at risk of, or experiencing, mental health problems. You can view the framework here.

 

Mind Moose is another excellent resource that can be used within schools. It is a fun, digital platform that teaches children how to keep their minds healthy. Children go on a journey of discovery with Mind Moose and his friends as they learn how to look after their minds, keep their brains healthy, deal with emotions, develop resilience and flourish. The fun, interactive animations and activities are underpinned by theory and tools from the field of positive psychology and beyond. 

 

Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has a range of resources for schools, including some fantastic booklets that look at supporting mental health and wellbeing in schools. The website also features a fantastic talking mental health animation (see below) along with a teacher toolkit to help begin conversations about mental health in the classroom and beyond.

Mentally Healthy Schools is a free and easy to website where schools can find a range of expert and practical information and resources to help all staff understand, promote and deal confidently with children’s mental health issues. It includes jargon-free information on what can undermine and what can help emotional wellbeing; tips and strategies to help; and specific advice on vulnerable groups.

 

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust is a charity that hosts a free mental health book club for school mental health leads.  Schools 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.  The trust has also produced two excellent lists of book recommendations for both a Primary and Secondary Wellbeing library as well as a model policy for schools to use.

They have also produced a series of webinars that staff can use. The sessions cover a wide variety of topics and offer plenty of practical advice and signpost recommended resources.

If you are taking part in Children’s Mental Health week, we would love to hear from you on our  twitter or Facebook pages #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek

Dive Into Data Science – A GIS Champions Pilot Project

We are pleased to announce that LGfL and Esri UK are offering all LGfL schools the opportunity to take part in a Champions Pilot Project that focuses on the use of maps, apps and data visualisation. Through the free ArcGIS Online platform, you can easily make sense of complex data for meaningful teaching and learning.

You can:

  • Collect primary data quickly and accurately
  • Access high quality secondary data at local and global scales
  • Make data meaningful through easy to create maps and infographics
  • Create interactive, narrative driven resources for your classroom using Storymaps
  • Work with us to develop appropriate pedagogy around teaching with ArcGIS Online

This world leading GIS technology powerfully supports the effective delivery of the geography and wider curriculum in Primary, Secondary and SEND Schools.

Find out more about ArcGIS Online inside and outside of the classroom here.

The Pilot

Join us on the 25th February at LGfL offices near Liverpool St between 1:30pm and 4:00pm to get an introduction to the platform and develop a focus for its use in your school. Receive ongoing support from the Esri UK and LGfL team and return in the summer term to share experiences and celebrate achievements.

Attached to the project is a maths specialist who will be available to work with schools of any kind to develop the application of the platform within the context of the maths curriculum. This element can include in school support for schools wishing to focus on the numeracy curriculum.

How much does it cost to use ArcGIS?

The ArcGIS platform is free for all schools in the UK.

What will I achieve by taking part in the pilot?

  • Become a leader in effective teaching with GIS in the geography curriculum and beyond.
  • Understand how the broader service mix from LGfL can also help deliver this and related parts of the curriculum.
  • Collaboration with other LGfL schools in developing pedagogy around Edtech.

For further information about the pilot, please email contentsupport@lgfl.net

To sign up for the pilot and attend the first day on the 25th February, please go to www.arcgispilot.lgfl.net 

To view the new Arc GIS portal on LGfL go to: www.arcgis.lgfl.net

Young Carers Awareness Day 2020

Supporting Young Carers in Schools

Across the UK, as many as 1 in 5 children and young adults in secondary schools are young carers. That means it is highly likely you will have some young carers in your school. Furthermore, how do we identify a “young carer” and what are the challenges they face at home and at school?

A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol. The help they provide may include practical tasks such as housework and shopping. Or it could be emotional support, physical care, looking after siblings because the parent is not able to do so, helping someone to communicate, accompanying someone to appointments, administering medication, and much more.

‘A young carer becomes vulnerable when their caring roles risks impacting upon their emotional or physical wellbeing and their prospects in education and life’ Department of Health and Social Care – Care Act Statutory Guidance, 2014

All too often, children with caring responsibilities think they are just doing the right thing and don’t understand that they are in fact young carers. This makes early identification and support for young carers at school all the more important if they are to reach their full potential. 

Young Carers Awareness Day takes place this year on 30th January. Carers Trust is asking schools to do more to identify their hidden young carers so that they receive the support and recognition that they deserve.

Being a young carer can have a big impact on education and future opportunities:

  • It can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence.
  • Many young carers struggle to juggle their education and caring which can cause pressure and stress.
  • 27% of young carers (aged 11–15) miss school or experience educational difficulties (40% where children care for a relative with drug or alcohol problems) (Dearden, C, Becker, S, 2004).
  • A quarter of young carers said they were bullied at school because of their caring role (Sempik, J & Becker, S, 2013).
  • They are more likely than the national average not to be in education, employment or training (NEET) between 16 and 19 (The Children’s Society, 2013).
  • They have significantly lower educational attainment – the equivalent of nine grades lower at GCSE level (The Children’s Society, 2013).

Early identification and support at school is crucial in helping young carers these challenges. Simple measures, such as flexible homework deadlines, exceptions to mobile phone policies, a Carer’s Passport Scheme, or career advice which takes the skills developed through caring into consideration, can have a hugely positive impact. Formal assessment by a Local Authority, facilitated through a local young carers service, can safeguard young carers from taking on unreasonable care responsibilities and identification at school can be a step towards this.

First steps to support young carers in your school

If you would like to start identifying and supporting young carers in your school, here are three first steps that you can take:

  1. Get in contact with your local carers service to find out what support they can offer you and the young carers at your school: https://carers.org/search/network-partners?postcode=
  2. Complete a baseline review of what your school is already doing to support young carers and map out what else can be done: https://carers.org/young-carers-schools
  3. Explore our #CountMeIn resources and host a Young Carers Awareness Day event on 30 January: https://carers.org/young-carers-awareness-day-2020

About Carers Trust

Carers Trust is a leading national charity for carers, currently reaching more than 25,000 young carers around the UK. We work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.

If you are interested in hearing more about Carers Trust and our work to support young carers, please contact youngandyoungadultcarers@carers.org or visit the Carers Trust website: carers.org 

Please let us know if you have a suggestion regarding other subjects to cover in blogs by sharing on our Twitter feed or our Facebook page #CountMeIn

 

 

National Storytelling Week 2020 – February 1st-8th 2020

National Storytelling Week 2020

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” Brandon Sanderson

The Society for Storytelling is a UK-based society founded in 1993. They are hosting their annual National Storytelling Week soon (this year it runs from 1st-8th February). They have helpful FACT SHEETS that will give you guidance on many aspects of Storytelling. Click here to see what is available on their site.

The society’s mission is to promote the oral tradition of storytelling which was the very first way of communicating life experiences and the creative imagination. Storytelling has been shown by studies to aid learning in children for history, increase interest in science and have a positive effect on memory. When the students do the storytelling, it can encourage higher-level thinking skills, such as analysis and synthesis, as well as skills in oral composition.

There are also two other literacy-based competitions running during the spring term. Read on, to find out more.

The BBC’s 500 Words

The UK’s largest story writing competition for kids, organised by the BBC, is back for its tenth year. 500 Words is supported by Oxford University Press in a co-production partnership. Here’s everything you need to know to get involved:

How to enter:

All stories must be submitted via the online form on our website. Parents, guardians and teachers can register for a SUBMITTER ACCOUNT and terms and conditions can be found here. There is also a BRAND NEW Prize for 2020 where one entrant will be selected at random to receive a fabulous book bundle and an invite to the final (for child plus a parent or guardian). They will also win 500 books for their school – so the more pupils a school has that has entered the more chances they have of winning a brand new library.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

– Originality
– Plot
– Characterisation
– Language
– Enjoyment

Dates for your diary

All entries must be received by Thursday 27th February at 8pm. This year’s 500 Words Final will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 from Buckingham Palace, on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, on Friday 12th June. Download a learning pack from the BBC’s LEARN section, where you can also find advice from their celebrity judges Frank Cottrell Boyce and Charlie Higson in the 500 Words Live Lesson.

Christopher Edge (who is just one of the many authors featured in LGfL’s ReadingZone Live resource) wrote ‘Finding the SPARK in your story’ for the launch of last year’s competition. You can read this and discover other tips to create terrific tales in the 500 Words Blog.

You can also watch more from Christopher Edge by visiting his author interview on RZL and watching the entire interview or short clips anwering specific questions.

Wicked Young Writer Awards

To submit your entry to the 2020 Wicked Young Writer Awards, you will need to complete an individual entry form or multiple schools entry form. Visit Wicked Young Writer Awards for further details. The entries have a 750-word limit (not including the title words) and entrants must be aged between 5-25 years old (when entering). Watch below for Cressida Cowell’s writing tips as shared on their website. (N.B Cressida Cowell is also featured on LGfL’s ReadingZone Live Resource).

LGfL Resources

We have a range of resources that can support you and your students during National Storytelling Week or to inspire them prior to entering either of the writing competitions (remember though that the storyline ideas must be the pupils’ own).

The Whole Story resource features a professional storyteller offering his advice to teachers on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum using images, objects and structure. This resource aims to explore how storytelling can maximise the creativity within learning activities for children by capturing the expert advice of a professional storyteller, and arranging this advice into a simple interface. 

Why not re-tell the story of Sigurd and the Dragon, a classic Norse tale of how Sigurd killed the greedy dragon, Fafnir? This resource uses both AR and VR so that the children can be transported back 1,000 years to listen to this tale. You could even make use of the green screen pack that is included to retell this ancient tale, making use of the high quality graphics and audio included to bring their story to life.

You could also explore Space Adventures Mission to the Moon. This unique and engaging cross-curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe. It features dramatic content and a Virtual Reality (VR) 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 Mic, the onboard computer, be enough to get her back safely? Or will she need to use her maths problem-solving skills and science knowledge and understanding to get her back to safety?

Children can use Audio Network to search for music that will form the back drop to their own stories or to stories that they are retelling. This resource has recently been updated and features over 50,000 individual audio files. In addition, you could make use of the BBC Sound Effects Archive – this large database of audio sound effects can be used within a wide range of applications in an educational context.  Many sounds have multiple versions to suit different uses and help enhance videos and stories.

LGfL Image Bank contains high resolution licence images from a variety of LGfL content provider partners including the Royal Collection Trust and the British Library. These would be an excellent way to stimulate the pupils imaginations and could provide the setting for their narratives.

Children can also get advice on how to create their stories by well-known authors in ReadingZone Live, (already referenced in sections above; Cressida Cowell and Christopher Edge are both authors featured in this resource). There are specific sections focussing on genre, planning, character and writing which can be searched via the writing area.

Early Years practitioners could make use of our Fairy Tales resource and then re-tell their favourite Fairytale suing the Pdf images included within the resource.  You could also make use of Talking Stories during the National Storytelling Week. Talking Stories 1 is ideal for KS1 and covers a range of online talking books also available in a variety of languages. Talking Stories 2 contains multi-modal resources that cover Shakespeare, Coleridge and Sherlock Holmes, whilst Talking Stories 3 has a range of interactive stories and traditional tales including Orpheus and Eurydice, The Parrots and the Raja and The Wishing Tree, downloadable resources and planning are available for all stories.

Another fantastic resource to use during this week is Listening Books; these audiobooks are great to appreciate stories read aloud. There is a great range of fiction and non-fiction available to support pupils from Key Stage 2 up to A-Level, including:

  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • An Inconvenient Truth: the Crisis of Global Warming (Young Adult Version) by Al Gore
  • Dates with History: 6th August 1945 The Bombing of Hiroshima by John Malam
  • My Friend Walter by Michael Morpurgo
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

The fantastic Literacy Shed have also got a great blog post (Stories for Pleasure – Choose Your Vessel written in November 2018) about prefering to talk about ‘Stories for Pleasure.’ and using a range of vessels to deliver them! 

We would love to read some of your pupils’ stories – why not share them on our Twitter feed or our Facebook page #NationalStorytellingWeek.

 

Stand Together on Holocaust Memorial Day – 27th January 2020

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is a national commemoration day in the UK dedicated to the remembrance of those who suffered in The Holocaust under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The 27th of January marks the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp and therefore the HMD is on 27th January, 2020.

This year’s theme is Stand Togetherand is a landmark anniversary; marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau but also the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Bosnia

Genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups. Now more than ever, we need to stand together with others in our communities in order to stop division and the spread of hatred in our society. 

Sadly, news stories like ones found on the BBC in November 2019, suggest we still have a long way to go fighting against bigotry and hate. The BBC reported that Liliana Serge, who was sent to the notorious Auschwitz death camp at 13, was subjected to a barriage of anti-Semitic messages [in November 2019]. This came after Ms Serge, an Italian life senator, called for parliament to establish a committee to combat hate. The motion passed despite a lack of support by Italy’s right-wing parties.

Stories such as this make it more important than ever to teach our young people about the atrocities in the past so that they may stand together to stop division and the spread of hatred.

Back in October 2019, I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau; a trip I would urge everybody to take if they can. Despite having read many historical narratives and other literature about Auschwitz, I was still shocked by how vast the camps were, particularly Auschwitz II – Birkenau. The guided tour was incredibly moving and informative; we were told by the end of the Holocaust, six million Jewish men, women and children had been murdered in ghettos, mass-shootings, in concentration camps and extermination camps.

Below are a few of the photographs I took during the tour (n.b. cameras without flash are allowed on the tour, but there were certain areas I committed to memory rather than photgraphing).

Photograph 1 – A watchtower at Auschwitz; Photo 2 – Kitchen pots and pans (as people believed they were being sent to a work camp); Photo 3 – The “beds” at Birkenau; Photo 4 – the railtrack which brought prisoners to the middle of Birkenau (where many were sent immediately to their death).

If you are planning on completing your own Holocaust Memorial Day activities, there is an Activity Pack to help facilitate activities. The free Activity Pack is now available to order, along with sticker sheets, metal HMD pin badges and ‘About HMD’ booklets to use. You can order the resources using this link. (There are activities suitable for (primary, secondary and SEND pupils).

Their resources aim to help students to:

  • Learn more
  • Feel empathy
  • Be inspired to take action

Whilst you are waiting for physical resources to arrive, download ‘Your Guide to Holocaust Memorial Day’ to help you plan your HMD activity. If you have any questions about this, please email enquiries@hmd.org.uk or call 020 7785 7029. 

Perhaps you could consider preparing a commemorative display, using the image of one of the memorial flames and your pupils could contribute artwork or poetry towards it? @TimAllwood tweeted recently, “My 10-year-old daughter is doing WW2 at school. She painted this watercolour last night. I’m really impressed with it. There’s a “darkness” to it.” 

I have included it below (with his permission) in the hope it inspires both you and your pupils (see also @LGfL Holocaust Education though the Ben Uri Art Collection)

LGfL offers a range of resources that can support your HMD activities, and all have been carefully created with experts to ensure accuracy, appropriateness and sensitivity about the Holocaust and genocides for teachers at both primary and secondary levels.

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

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

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

The M Room: The M Room resource gives unique access to secret World War II listening sites where the British Secret Service bugged high-ranking German Military prisoners to secure key intelligence to help win the war. The resources feature an 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.

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

Other recommended (free) resources you can access:

The BBC have also created a collection of resources aimed at secondary schools to mark HMD including 6 animations based on Stories of Children who Survived the Holocaust, as well as much, much more.

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

A selection of resources based around “War and Peace” from the Literacy Shed. These would be worth watching particularly if you are completing a more lengthy topic around war and peace (and not just HMD).

Back in September, I read the following blog about making responsible choices when choosing historical narratives and ensuring that pupils know that sometimes authors include historically inaccurate events in their narratives. I believe it highlights an important message to critically assess our choices for class novels and also to ensure we discuss with our pupils where narratives do not always stay true to the facts of the time.

‘Don’t be content in your life just to do no wrong, be prepared every day to try and do some good.’ Quote by Sir Nicholas Winton, who rescued 669 children from Nazi-occupied Europe.

As teachers, it is vital that we continue to pay our respect to the victims of the Holocaust by continuing to sensitively pass on the memories of the past and to try and prepare our pupils “to try to do some good”.  We hope that our resources will support you with this important endeavour. 

Please let us know the impact the resources have had on your pupils and colleagues or indeed suggestions for what else you would like to see from LGfL by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook. 

 

 

 

 

Free School Meals Eligibility Checker

Do you know if your school is using the LGfL Free School Meals Eligibility Checker to maximise income from Pupil Premium Funding? Read on to find out more about this LGfL service …

Since the 1st September 2019 £15 million has been identified by schools making use of this service.

The Free School Meal Checking Service is an online process where parents can check eligibility for free school meals. LGfL has taken this initiative, at no cost to schools or LAs, with the aim of supporting schools in maximising income from Pupil Premium as well as promoting the wider benefits of free school meals. It is estimated £50m of Pupil Premium is unclaimed within the London region alone because parents do not check for eligibility. Parents can conduct a simple online check to determine eligibility for free school meals which in turn may attract the extra funding for each of their children’s schools. Parents are not required to accept free meals but schools appreciate the help with conducting an online check.

What the Service Does For Parents:

After entering a few details into the website, the online application process links to the Department for Education database and gives an immediate ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. This system is designed to eliminate the need to apply in person for free school meals and improve the claims process for schools. It also means that if you are eligible for free meals, the school is able to process your application using the information you submit.

There is no need to reapply each year, as schools can recheck eligibility as required using the data already provided – although if your child moves to a different school then you will need to update your account.

We have made a couple of enhancements to the website:

  • A parent of a child attending any LGfL school can now use this website to check their eligibility.
  • A Certificate of Eligibility is available through our website for any child eligible for a free school meal who is attending a school in England. The Certificate of Eligibility should be taken to your child(ren)’s school.

How it Works For Schools:

Since the Government introduced free school meals for all children in Key Stage 1, it is more important than ever for schools to know how many pupils would otherwise be eligible for free school meals (thus allowing schools to apply for the extra Pupil Premium funding). These funds enable schools to take on more staff, invest in additional equipment, resources and activities which can benefit all not just the children with Pupil Premium entitlement.

Schools wishing to encourage applications can promote the online eligibility checker to parents by publicising the following web address: fsm.lgfl.net.

Services Available for LGfL Schools:

After parents have submitted their details online, a suitably authorised school administrator will be able to facilitate the submission of claims by clicking on the ‘Administrators’ button and visiting the school administration section. The Headteacher is an authorised school administrator by default but would normally nominate one or more staff members as additional administrators via this section of the site. Data will only be made available securely via this site. In order to use this FREE service, schools already subscribing to LGfL need to ensure that MIS data is exported regularly and that the school has configured an information status in the free OpenCheck service found at opencheck.lgfl.net.

By way of thanks for your application and support, and regardless of whether the answer returned is a yes or a no, LGfL and its connected schools would like to provide parents of children attending LGfL-connected schools with Sophos AntiVirus software, free of charge, to protect the computers used by pupils at home. To gain access to this software, a short registration process is required, at which point other services related to your children’s school will be explained. Don’t worry, its straightforward, there is absolutely no advertising, and you won’t be asked to buy anything! There is no catch, LGfL (a UK education charity) is providing this service to support schools.

Schools can find out more and how to set this up by downloading the guide for schools. This includes a template letter that schools can send out to parents to inform them off the service. All submitted data is stored securely in compliance with the Data Protection Act. For additional information regarding data please see our privacy statement.

Savings Calculator for LGfL Schools:

Have you ever clicked on to view the Savings Calculator on LGfL.net? If you are logged in with your USO you will notice “My School Savings” directly under the login. On this page you can view the licences you have already claimed as part of your ‘Let’s Get Digital’ subscription and claim others you are entitled to but have yet to claim. Towards the bottom of this page, you will also see a link to ‘Claim your Pupil Premiums’; this tells you the average claimed by similar schools using this service.

Please do share this blog post with your Senior Leadership Team and School Business Manager/Bursar to ensure your school claims their Pupil Premium entitlement and let us know the impact it has. If you have any suggestions for what else you would like to see from LGfL or would like to write a guest blog do so by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook. 

 

 

 

Start your year well with#LGfLresolutions

 ‘Use less single-use plastic’ and ‘eat less meat’ are two of my resolutions for 2020. With a new year comes with it the idea of setting new year’s resolutions, did you know that about 45% of adults set at least one resolution for the New Year? Research has found that only 12% of people will succeed in meeting their resolutions and that more than 60% of people will have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions by the end of the first week of the new year. 

We know how hard it can be to keep those resolutions, so at LGfL HQ, we have come up with some simple, easy-to-keep resolutions that will help you start the New Year in a positive way whilst getting the most out of the amazing content, service and support that your LGfL Let’s Get Digital subscription provides. 

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

Read and subscribe to our curriculum blog: Our blog is open access, so no need to login. It is also mobile-friendly so is perfect for the morning commute to school if you travel by public transport! It’s updated weekly and offers a mix of topical pieces relating to how best to use LGfL content within your school setting. We always aim to promote inclusive practice so (as from 2020) we will now include all things related to inclusion, SEND, Mental Health and Welbeing into the curriculum blog rather than having a separate one.  If you subscribe, you get the latest post sent straight to you. 

Put this date in your diary: 22nd – 25th January 2020 We are looking forward to BETT in January 2020. The whole LGfL team will be there on stand NH30 so please come along and say hi and find out more about how we can support you in school. You can sign up to visit Bett here.

Read and subscribe to our Let’s Get Digital Blog: The Let’s Get Digital Blog series of blogs designed to support schools in their journey to using cloud-based tools and applications to energise the curriculum and boost productivity.  Additionally, it’s the place where you can keep up to date on all the latest features of G-Suite and Office 365, including case studies.

Check out our training hub: Our LGfL Training Hub offers CPD at its best, offering a unique range of courses, we have updated our training portal ready for the spring term. Training comes as part of your Let’s Get Digital Subscription, you can find out more about the courses on offer and how to sign up here. Examples of future courses include Safeguarding Leads, Online Safety training, Creative Computing, Adobe Spark training, as well as Google and Microsoft training, browse and book or share a link with colleagues. 

Make your classroom and your lessons as inclusive as possible: Visit the LGfL Inclusion resource portal to find resources which can save you time while helping to promote inclusion and wellbeing. You can also visit the training portal to find courses specifically aimed at supporting inclusion and wellbeing such as mental health first aid at school, mental health designated lead training or one of our other training topics such as supporting learners with dyslexia or supporting learners with challenging behaviour related to SEND. 

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

Put this date in your diary: 23rd April 2020 – Our annual LGfL Let’s Get Digital conference, We’d be delighted if you could join us at this year’s annual LGfL Conference, where we will be running a series of valuable sessions free to all staff details on how to book and the sessions available will be advertised soon, for a taster of what to expect have a look at 2019 event where we welcomed over 350 educators to our Let’s Get Digital Conference, Whether you could make it on the day or not, catch up with the videos and presentations here

Supercharge your schools broadband: with Pledge 2020, we are supercharging your LGfL broadband for free, We will be upgrading your school at no additional cost and there is no requirement to extend your contract. On average, LGfL schools, are receiving a 200% boost in fibre with the minimum speed for primary schools now 100 MBPS and the vast majority of secondary schools will be upgraded to between 500 MBPS and 1GBPS!!! We will be upgrading your school at no additional cost and there is no requirement to extend your contract. On average, LGfL schools, are receiving a 200% boost in fibre with the minimum speed for primary schools now 100 MBPS and the vast majority of secondary schools will be upgraded to between 500 MBPS and 1GBPS!!! Just go here to count your school in.

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

Put this date in your diary: 6th March 2020 – SafeConf is our annual safeguarding conference and will take place on 6 March 2020. SafeConf is for designated safeguarding leads, but also handy for online safety and RSHE/PSHE leads in the lead up to September 2020. Check out the agenda here and then don’t forget to book!

Make sure you have your USO: Make sure you and students have access to all of LGfL content at school and home by having your USO and password. We have made improvements to the security of USO password so that they comply with the Data Protection Act of 2018 (DPA 2018) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), just go to password.lgfl.net to find out more. 

Save your school money: We have been working closely with schools and education leaders to build a new generation of cloud-based digital services that provide fantastic value, keep children safe and support innovation in schools. As a result of this collaboration, we are delighted to announce a positive and fundamental refresh of the LGfL subscription. For schools, the changes mean that a number of new market-leading products are now available at no additional cost and form part of the LGfL subscription. Find out how much you are or can save at www.savings.lgfl.net and claim your free licences too. We estimate that primary and secondary schools making use of all the additional software save (or achieves additional value) worth around £7,000 and £17,000 per annum, respectively.

Enter your school into the LGfL Digital Excellence Awards 2020: The Digital Excellence Awards 2020 are now open for entries. These awards celebrate best practice and innovative approaches in using the wide range of learning resources and services provided by LGfL. 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. You can enter by clicking the links next to each category. Go here for more details  on how to enter and the categories. The closing date for entries is 28th February 2020. 

Promote reading for pleasure in your school: Our ReadingZone Live resource is a great portal for promoting a love of reading by showing pupils where published authors get their ideas from and how they approach the writing process. 

Access LGfL content from home: To get the most out of you subscription make sure your students can access LGfL’ award-winning curriculum content at home by checking that your Headteacher has completed the Data Release Declaration for Busy Things, Just2EasyToolsuite and our newly updated Audio Network so that pupils and teachers can access from home.

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!

Whatever resolutions you have made we wish you a very happy new year and an exciting 2020! If you like our #LGfLresolutions– why not share them on Twitter or Facebook?

 

Christopher Edge on ReadingZone Live

Our ‘Author in Residence’ on ReadingZone Live for December is Christopher Edge; his author interview has recently been added to the growing collection which can be used to promote a love of reading and gain an understanding of where authors get their ideas from.

Christopher is an award-winning author of The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, The Jamie Drake Equation, The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day and lots of other books too.

He grew up in Manchester where he spent most of his childhood in the local library dreaming up stories. As an adult he still spends most of his time in the local library dreaming up stories, but the libraries are now in Gloucestershire where he lives. 

Before becoming a writer, he worked as an English teacher, editor and publisher – any job that let him keep a book close to hand. When not writing, he also works as a freelance publisher and education consultant and has written publications about encouraging children to read. 

Christopher talks about what he hopes his books achieve for his readers and explains, ‘We can’t change the past, but we can all shape the future’.

During the interview, Christopher states, ‘Time has been the most interesting topic to explore. When you look at scientific explanations – you find that some scientists don’t actually think it even exists!’

Christopher’s narratives explore many scientific ideas; at LGfL we host a number of resources to help you explore some of the scientific ideas Christopher writes about in greater depth. 

Switched on Science offers full coverage of the science national curriculum across Key Stage 1 and 2. It is a flexible and creative investigation-based programme with a clear focus on working scientifically. It is packed with best-practice CPD videos and supportive lessons to ensure every teacher can deliver the programmes of study with confidence. The package comes with a video for each unit, teacher guide, pupil workbooks, ideas for differentiation and much more.

The “teacher” videos explain an experiment you can do. Below is the video in the Year 6 “We’re Evolving” unit; great for a topic on evolution and inheritance.

Continuing with the evolution topic, you will be exploring the development of life on our planet over billions of years. Our Fossils and Dinosaurs resource can really bring this topic to life; the resource guides you through from the very first signs of life (3 billion years ago) on Earth, through the ‘Cambrian Explosion’ of life (500 million years ago), to the emergence and subsequent demise of the dinosaurs (65 million years ago) and finally to the evolution of Homo Sapiens (a mere 2 million years in the past). 

The Active Worksheet Pack includes a set of Active Worksheets and an accompanying Teacher Guide. They can be used as a starting point and then you can develop your own lessons around them or you could just follow the instructions for activities to complete using the ARtefacts in the Active Worksheets (ARtefacts = Augmented Reality Artefact). Watch the ‘Fossils and Dinosaurs’ walkthrough below:

Space Adventures features dramatic content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative. The aim is to draw the learner into the turn of events that threaten 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. Watch the case study below to see how the pupils at Anson Primary School, Brent have used Space Adventures.

Finally, one of our Legacy resources, Virtual Experiments can be used to revisit and revise difficult scientific concepts. The resource is organised in three versions (Years 1 & 2, Years 3 & 4 and Years 5 & 6). It allows you to repeat, slow down and vary the conditions of experiments. 

*Note: Any resource labelled with a Legacy hood will only be available until spring 2020. This is due to Flash-based resources no longer being supported in Chrome. 

For further resources to use with Christopher Edge’s books visit the new Resources page on his websiteyou can find links to book trailers, author videos, teaching notes, interviews, articles, reviews, sample chapters and even playlists for book soundtracks.

Please let us know the impact the resources have had on your pupils and colleagues or indeed suggestions for what else you would like to see from LGfL by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook. 

 

 

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Please visit awards2020.lgfl.net.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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?”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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: