LGfL Digital Excellence Awards 2019

We are delighted to be launch our LGfL Digital Excellence Awards for 2019.  These awards will celebrate best practice and innovative approaches using the wide range of learning resources and services provided by LGfL.

Last year we had an excellent field of entries across all the categories, our winning schools all had their own reasons for entering, however a common theme across all was the desire to receive validation and recognition for the digital journey that the school had been on with LGfL resources being at the heart of this.

As a result of winning the awards, the impact on the schools has been profound, all schools have commented that not only did it give them a boost and recognition but it provided them with a platform to build on and push the use of technology and LGfL resources further throughout the school.

All schools who won last year were equivocal in their advice of just go for it.

You can hear from all our winning schools here.

All LGfL schools are invited to apply for one or more awards from the following categories:

Whole school use of LGfL

Inclusive practice using LGfL resources and services

Parental engagement using LGfL

Online Safety

LGfL Cloud Transformation

Use of j2E Tools

Bob Usher, LGfL Content Manager said:

 “The LGfL Education Awards are a key part of our strategy to share the innovative and effective use of technology across LGfL schools and beyond.”

To enter, head to our awards page, decide which category or categories you would like to apply for and complete the entry form.  The closing date for entries is Friday 1st March at 5pm.  Shortlisted schools will be contacted by 11th March to arrange a short visit from LGfL staff to see their submission in action, this will take place between 18th March and 3rd April 2019.

Winners will be announced at the LGfL annual conference in April 2019.

LGfL Christmas Crackers 2018

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

Busy things offer a range of digital content that you can use to get that much-needed magical moment of peace within in your class. From designing your own digital Christmas card, decorating your own tree (perfect for fine motor control in the EYFS) and it’s never too late to write a letter to Santa

Or if you want to explore symmetry you can making your own snowflakes, using this fun interactive tool.

The j2e Tool suite has a Christmas winter wonderland tab which you can use to access a bumper packed bag of festive treats, why not try playing a game of digital noughts and crosses festively named ‘Shepard’s and wise men”, play a word matching game or create your own digital nativity scene.

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 also have has a Christmas makeover:

J2data: Branch has a Christmas set of resources to sort – elves, reindeer, gingerbread men etc. – plus a Christmas background. And the clothes category are winter clothes.

J2Pictogram: has a set of high-quality Christmas clip art images to use.

JIT: Both Write and Paint have had a festive make over, 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 (And now with the new update to search via safe search 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 in the past, just let them search The Guardian and The Observer archives, the archives go all the way back to 1791 and offer a window into celebrations from years gone by, great for your students to research and compare modern traditions with those in the past.

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. 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 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 many more.

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

Rockin’ Wizards: A very familiar sounding glam rock tune

Warm And Toastie: Turn on 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 how Christmas is celebrated why not compare this with how different communities celebrate festivals and ask your students to explore the common links that they can see in the religious celebrations?

Remember we also have this Blog post about using Christmas media within school, However, you fill the last weeks of the school year we at the London Grid for Learning want to give you a massive round of applause and thanks for all of your hard work and support this year and we hope you have a restful break and are ready for an exciting 2019! Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

It’s that time of the year ! Using Christmas media with LGfL content 2018

It’s that time of the year when like or not we are all exposed to Christmas media campaigns, be it advertising for a toy, a movie or supermarket. Over the past months you would have been exposed to a deluge of media campaigns, but the one advert which continues to stick in my mind is one that hasn’t been on TV, a billboard, or on a bus but has instead been banned, it’s this year’s Iceland advert. So, how can an advert for a supermarket be linked to LGfL curriculum content? Read on:

The advert, which highlights the impact of palm oil on rainforests and the affect it has on orang-utans, was banned but has gone viral. The advert, which was released on social media 2 weeks ago, now has had five million views on Iceland’s YouTube channel, 16 million views on its Facebook page and more than 92,000 retweets from its Twitter handle and has inspired many people to learn more about the anti-palm oil movement.

Lee Parkinson(@ICT_MrP ) in his keynote speech at our LGfL conference 2018, shared how powerful it was to explore the idea of using media to foster engagement and create and inspire students to start campaigning and how it can be used to increase the scale of aspiration, audience and outcomes for all learners.

In the edited clip of his keynote above, (watch here for the full-length video) Mr P speaks of the 3 key points to encourage writing

  • Use an exciting stimulus
  • Don’t leave writing useless on a page
  • Let them write for the world

Mr P also mentions Ron Berger’s Hierarchy of Audience, the idea that introducing an authentic audience changes the perception of the work for the student and this affects the amount of effort they put into the final outcome.

LGfL have a range of resources to support you in creating digital content as well giving you the tools to share your students work with the world!

Growing up around the world aims to help children in the UK understand the realities of childhood in the different contexts and follows the lives of 11 children in 10 different countries for more than 20 years in the wake of the Rio Earth Summit. The films in this resource provide a unique insight into growing up around the world; the challenges, hopes and dreams of these children. They also show how the world around them has changed and the impact that this has had, it also has a fantastic page which offers tips on how children can take action and some suggestions to get children started, here are just a few examples:

  • Write a blog
  • Organise an event
  • Write to decision makers and influential people
  • Organise a debate – invite people (parents, community, etc.) to be an audience. Choose an issue you are passionate about and research it. Prepare arguments for and against. Keep in mind that the issue you are debating could be controversial or personal for some people so be sensitive to other people’s opinions and feelings.
  • Make a film
  • Design posters
  • Make a calendar – highlighting issues each month raises awareness and you could also sell your calendar to raise funds
  • Hand out leaflets
  • Make a comic book
  • Create a magazine or newspaper on the issue

Why not start by resourcing Palm oil by using this website created by Iceland here, using the powerful resource j2e5 you can share a j2e5 file with the Iceland site already embedded, so that children access the key facts and then re-write them and use the j2e inbuilt safe search feature to find images to show/share the facts.

From researching and showcasing their knowledge, your students could use Busy Things which has a simple but powerful range of publishing templates within Busy Publisher to make their own newspapers headlines or leaflets to hand out to raise awareness of the topic.

Also within Busy Publisher why not get your students to use the postcard template, you could get your students to design, make and send postcards to local shops which might stock palm oil telling them all about the dangers of palm oil within the environment.

Your students could also make posters, with either j2e5 or jit5 paint, with the latest updates within jit5  you can create amazing posters with text and textures all within the paint app.

You can also get your students to create their own animations using the jit5 animate app, using their own drawing or using clipart from safe search, remember you use the microphone to add audio to your animations, and now with the option of being able to export the file as a gif it is easier than ever to share the animations.

You could also use the jit5 tools to make your own comic-book using the mix app, or to how about making a “no palm-oil cook book” highlighting how you can use countless other ingredients instead of Palm-oil within cooking.

 

Once you created all of your work within j2e Toolsuite your students can publish their work using j2webby, within this platform you can view & manage the blog site including previewing, publishing, and approving posts and comments. It’s best to start using the j2e software tools first and wait until children have saved several pieces of work. They can then choose the piece of work they consider their best to blog to the school blog site. All work within j2e Toolsuite can be posted with a simple click of a button to j2webby, with this simple click your students can have the whole world as an audience!

If you want more support with Blogging and understanding how it can improve writing, we have Blog Central explaining the techniques of blogging and the rationale behind blogging for literacy, again it talks about the audience being key, for a quick introduction here is David Mitchell, the founder of Quadblogging, explaining the importance of blogging and the impact it can have on literacy in schools (the video mentions levels but you can see the idea of the improvements it gives)

Why not video your students campaigning, you can store and share the videos safely within Video Central HD, because VCHD automatically generates HTML code, you can embed the video into your schools website and share your campaign within your school community.

Writing for a purpose provides the students with an audience and therefore a REAL purpose to write. Knowing their work would be shared outside of a book or class, that their work will be read and seen by different people adds a real incentive to create a high standard of work, so go start your campaign it doesn’t have to be about palm oil but it’s a great one to start, perhaps it be about Christmas food waste? Or plastic use, just ask your children how they want to change the world!

I couldn’t end this blog post without mentioning at least one other of the ‘other’ Christmas adverts, did you know that researchers have already said that there will be a record number of pianos and musical instruments being bought this year (I I wonder why?) why not share with you students the Gigajam resource when they get back in the new year? Within this resource students can learn to play keyboard, guitar, bass or drums  with award winning video play along tracks and automated feedback.

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

ReadingZone Live with Holly Bourne

Our next ReadingZone Live features the author Holly Bourne on 5th December  from 2:20 pm.

Holly started her writing career as a news journalist, where she was nominated for Best Print Journalist of the Year. She then spent six years working as an editor, a relationship advisor, and general ‘agony aunt’ for a youth charity – helping young people with their relationships and mental health. Inspired by what she saw, she started writing teen fiction, including the best-selling, award-winning ‘Spinster Club’ series which helps educate teenagers about feminism. When she turned thirty, she wrote her first adult novel, examining the intensified pressures on women once they hit that landmark.

Alongside her writing, she has a keen interest in women’s rights and is an advocate for reducing the stigma of mental health problems.

This ReadingZone Live event is for Secondary School students and will focus on topics of mental health and well being.

ReadingZone Live is a partnership with ourselves and Reading zone bringing regular interviews and live videos conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors and illustrators to London school.

Antony Horowitz, Sally Gardner, Jaqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Henry Winkler, Oliver Jeffers and Lauren Child are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live Programme, which helps to inspire young people to explore new authors and genres and help children to develop their own creative writing.

LGfL schools are linked to our live author events via video conferencing, with one school selected to host the author event, during each event, authors discuss their writing process before answering the student’s questions via video. Schools that have video conferencing facilities can join the event and have their questions answered.

Schools can watch the broadcast via live webcast starting at 2:30 pm on 5th December, more details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here.

 

Children’s Grief Awareness Week UK 15th -21st November 2018

Children’s Grief Awareness Week UK runs from 15th – 21st November 2018 starting with Children’s Grief Awareness Day on the 15th November, a global day designed to help us all become more aware of the needs of grieving children — and of the benefits they obtain through the support of others.

1 in 29 school age children in the UK have been bereaved of a parent or a sibling. The week is designed to raise awareness of bereaved children and young people in the UK, and how providing those affected with free, professional support can make the world of difference to their future.

Children’s Grief Awareness Week UK 2018 will be an opportunity to acknowledge the painful impact that the death of a loved one has on the life of a child, and an opportunity to make sure these children receive the support they need. The theme for the week is #RememberWhen – encouraging families to share memories together of the person who has died. Whether it’s a place, a joke, a food or a story, giving children and young people a chance to talk about their loved one, and to find out more about them from friends and family.

The Child Bereavement Network have partnered with Grief encounter to co ordinate a week of activities and ideas around the theme of #RememberWhen

LGfL have partnered with Child Bereavement UK to produce a series of advice videos, guidance and links to support schools in managing a sudden death in the school community. Grief is a normal and natural response to loss, yet how pupils are supported can have significant impacts on long term outcomes. Young people have told Child Bereavement UK that how their school responds is something they never forget.  The resource aims to provide an accessible support gateway to the effective response to death within a school community.  Simple, short guidance through quotes, external links and video interviews with experts helps provide the information schools need at the right time to ensure the whole school community can work together to support each other. Child Bereavement UK are experts in supporting schools within the context of bereavement within a school community.  Through their work they have identified some of the key barriers in responding appropriately and quickly to the needs of those affected by a bereavement.  By working in partnership with LGfL, this open access portal has been designed to bring the key information in both a video and text format with a quick and accessible interface.

There are two ways in which this resource has been designed to be used:

  • General Staff CPD  raising staff awareness.
  • Use in time for need

The Support Gateway includes the following topics:

  • The first 30 minutes
  • Breaking bad news
  • Supporting a bereaved family
  • Supporting the school staff
  • Traumatic deaths
  • Social media and media relations
  • Looking to the future

Video clips, information packs and external links are provided for staff to deliver comprehensive support, they include assembly plans as well as sample bereavement policies for schools to use and adapt.

There are lots of resources to support schools in dealing with grief within the school community, we have listed them below and we hope that you find some of these helpful in supporting children, parents and staff in the event of a death.

Child Bereavement UK: The death of a pupil, a parent or a member of staff can have significant impact on the school community. Schools have a unique role in helping grieving children and young people. Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement, and has a wide range of information, resources and training for schools. They launched a video campaign #onemoreminute what would you say if you had one more minute:

Children’s Grief Awareness Day: Posters and fact sheets, suggestions for bulletin or newsletter announcements, and logos and other graphics are all available.

Childhood Bereavement Network: Has key messages for staff, parents and young people and ideas of how to support within school.

Cruse Bereavement Care: Cruse offers face-to-face, telephone, email and website support including information on: what you can do to help a child or young person who is grieving, how to understand the concept of loss in children and young people of different ages, how to recognise potential complicated grief. They have a Freephone national helpline and local services, and a website (hopeagain.org.uk) specifically for children and young people.

BBC: The BBC have a range of articles and videos that can be used within school, Talking about Bereavement details the work that Children in Need have supported.  Talking about death with your little one is an excellent video from Cbeebies that looks at the fact that when someone close to you dies, there will always be some difficult questions asked by your little ones regarding death. The video shoes how one parent has learnt to talk openly about why ‘Mummy’ died, in a way that makes sense to his two young children.

Winston’s Wish: Is the first charity that was set up to support bereaved children, their support for schools is extensive and includes a charter for bereaved children, an information pack and information on helping children create a memory box.

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

 

UK Parliament Week 12th – 18th November 2018

UK Parliament Week which runs from 12th – 18th November 2018, sees people of all ages across the UK, from Orkney to the Isle of Wight, take part in events and activities that engage them with the UK Parliament, explore what it means to them, and empowers them to get involved. You can also get involved on Twitter by following @YourUKParl.

There are lots of resources to support you in schools during this week.

How Parliament works

UK Parliament have created some short and handy videos explaining how the UK Parliament works for you to use during your event, or to brush up on your facts before hand!  The video below describes how Parliament works in nearly 60 seconds. You can find all the videos on their YouTube page.

Vote 100

UK Parliament Week 2018 forms a part of the UK Parliament’s Vote 100 programme, which celebrates 100 years since the first women got the vote. They have compiled some resources to help you explore the struggle for equal suffrage during your UK Parliament Week event or activity.

As part of Vote 100, women share their personal stories of how laws passed by Parliament have changed their lives for the better.  #YourStoryOurHistory, are three short films focusing on laws that have contributed to women’s rights and continued to empower them.

They also have lots of age-specific learning resources about the UK Parliament, its work and its history at parliament.uk/education.

The resources cover lesson plans, assemblies, booklets and games including MP for a week. Challenge your students to survive a week in politics and keep their party, their voters and the media happy. Students are scored according to the decisions they make. The game adapts to players by setting less or more demanding tasks depending on how well they’re doing. The game gives young people a virtual taste of life as an MP. Highlighting the range and value of MPs’ work, the game builds students’ understanding of the role of a Member of Parliament.

Why not invite your local MP into school, they can offer excellent insight into the work of Parliament, as well as answering questions that your students may have. Find out who your local MP is and how to contact them.

LGfL has worked in partnership with The Royal Collection to create a unique resource about the daily work of The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace.  Exclusive access has been granted to LGfL to film the key staff members as they go 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, including the State Opening of Parliament.

In the ‘Pupil Parliament’ resource, students can see how one London school has modelled its student council on the British Parliament. This includes the inner-workings of raising an issue and how it might develop to become a parliamentary motion. Pupils give insight into their roles, ambitions and achievements as Cabinet Ministers. ‘In the Community’ showcases how, through developing speaking and listening skills, young people’s voices can reach wide-ranging audiences and how they can make a difference! The Lewisham Young Mayors’ Group is one such example.

You can also research Parliament via The Guardian and The Observer News Archive.  The LGfL News Archive is an online collection of the Guardian and Observer newspapers.  It contains every Guardian newspaper printed from 1821 and every Sunday Observer from 1791, making it the oldest Sunday newspaper in the world.  The newspapers are an amazing historical record of all the events over the past two centuries and an extensive resource to be used across the whole of the Secondary curriculum as well as at UKS2.

What ever you chose to do for UK Parliament Week, why not share your work on our Twitter or Facebook pages

 

 

 

Inspyro VR and AR content on the ClassVR LGfL portal. 

We are pleased to announce as part of our strategic partnership with Avantis to accelerate Virtual and Augmented Reality learning across nearly 3,000 schools in the UK, that all of our Award winning Inspyro VR and AR content is now live on the ClassVR LGfL portal.

The Virtual reality experiences available range from the trenches of World War 1, to a sand encrusted Egyptian tomb to a snow-covered barracks on Hadrian’s Wall, all of our Virtual reality and Augmented reality content has been remastered by Inspyro to deliver a smooth experience using the Class VR headsets.

Hannah Davis, Head of Educational services at Avantis share her excitement about the partenship “We’re excited to make Inspyro apps available to all our schools in the LGfL Community. The ActiveLens apps help place history in context, and the range of immersive VR experiences add an interactive dimension. Making them available via ClassVR Portal has made it so easy for LGfL schools to launch specific apps and manage these fantastic resources in the classroom.

Controls within the application are very easy to master – you can walk around the VR experiences by clicking the select button on the left-hand side of the headset and interact with objects by looking at them until the loading circle fills up.  To exit the application, you will need to use the ‘head shake’ gesture, rather than the back button.

The ActiveLens AR worksheets will be needed to use the AR tracks; just look at the pages and watch the source materials come alive!

Phil Birchinall , Managing Director of Inspyro talks about the latest update: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have our content available on ClassVR through the LGFL portal. There is no doubt that the combination of their leading headset with classroom management system delivering the LGfL / Inspyro resources is a step change in how schools access and use VR and AR content. We’re really looking forward to seeing how schools will use and adapt the resources for themselves.”

All of the Inspyro content is now live on the Class VR portal, the content in full is:

  • Maya ActiveLens
  • Archaeology ActiveLens
  • Prehistoric Britain ActiveLens
  • WW1 ActiveLens
  • Ancient Egypt ActiveLens
  • The Romans ActiveLens
  • Sigurd and the Dragon ActiveLens
  • The Sigurd and the Dragon VR
  • Space Adventures VR
  • Ancient Egypt VR
  • WW1 Trenches VR
  • Cold War Bunker VR

Don’t forget to keep checking on our latest VR/AR news with our LGfL TV  dedicated VR/AR channel.

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

If you have any questions regarding using the Inspyro content, or have any questions about your ClassVR kit, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Further pricing information about the Class VR can be found here

National Nursery Rhymes week 19th – 23rd November

Over 2.5 million children have taken part in World Nursery Rhyme Week since its launch in 2013. Open to parents, Early Years practitioners and anybody who works with children under the age of 7, participation and resources are provided free, the event will run from the 19th – 23rd November.

As an Early Years practitioner, 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 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 are all linked via the LGfL USO log in

  • Word processing
  • Animation
  • Graphing
  • Painting
  • Pictogram
  • Turtle control
  • Mix of all the above into an e-book

Get the students to recreate their favourite scene from the nursery rhyme either using Paint or Animate to create a simple picture or animation.

All Junior Infant Tools have the ability to add sound 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 toolsuite 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 story boards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. A new stamp feature takes the creativity on to new levels, you now have the ability to not only create your own stamps but these are then all saved in a new My Stamps area and these can then be used across the jit program (for example the Incy Wincy spider seen below was made in paint, was made into a stamp and used within animate)

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. Your free resources are available now, the following resources will be made available to participants: Welcome letter, MP3 song files, Colouring Story Rhyme Sheet, Cutting Exercise, Borders Collection, Craft/Art Activity, Pencil Control, Playdough Mats, Rhyme Card Colouring Sheets, Rock Stickers, 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 2018 are:

Monday 19th November – “Five Currant Buns”

Tuesday 20th November – “Humpty Dumpty”

Wednesday 21st November – “A Sailor Went to Sea”

Thursday 22nd November – “I’m a Little Teapot”

Friday 23rd November – “Round and Round the Garden”

Why not video your students singing the songs each day and make your own Rhyme a day challenge video, you can store the video safely within Video Central HD, because VCHD automatically generates HTML code, you can embed the video into your schools website and share your celebration of Nursery Rhymes with your school community.

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

Anti-Bullying week 12th- 16th November 2018

Anti-bullying week takes place from the 12th November to 16th November – the theme this year is ‘We choose respect’.

The aims of this week are to support schools and other settings to help children and young people, school staff, parents and other professionals who work with children to understand:

  • The definition of respect

  • That bullying is a behaviour choice

  • That we can respectfully disagree with each other i.e. we don’t have to be best friends or always agree with each other but we do have to respect each other

  • That we all need to choose to respect each other both face to face and online

There are resources for both Primary and Secondary schools, these include assembly plans, lesson ideas and cross curricular ideas.

On Monday 12th November, the Anti-Bullying alliance is encouraging schools to have an odd socks day, an opportunity for children to express themselves and appreciate individuality.  They have produced a school pack around the song below.

Children could use a range of tools within j2e tool suite to say why they choose respect, either using one of the animation tools or the write packages to show what respect means to them and how we can show it.

This Anti-Bullying Week, the alliance are also holding their first ever Stop Speak Support Day on Thursday 15th November to highlight the issue of cyberbullying. The day is supported by the Royal Foundation and the Royal Cyberbullying Taskforce set up by the Duke of Cambridge. They have developed a poster and a school pack for Key stage 3 and 4.

There are also a wide range of resources from DigiSafe to support schools in delivering lessons and messages around cyber bullying and bullying in schools.  bullying.lgfl.net.  is a collation on LGfL of a range of resources to support schools including online bullying, it really is a one stop place to find resources to share with children, parents and staff in school.

40,000 pupils took part in this year’s LGfL DigiSafe pupil online safety survey about their online lives.  We found out what they love and what they hate, what really goes on behind closed  screens, and who they trust when things go wrong. You can discover what we learned and what it means for schools, parents, industry and government in our new report “Hopes & Streams”.

You can watch the video below which highlights the main themes of the report:

As a result of the survey, they have added the first two of a series of presentations for schools to use as all-staff CPD sessions on the issues raised by the survey.  They are ready to use but can be edited to suit individual school needs.  You can now download a powerpoint for a designated safeguarding or mental health lead to deliver to all staff on Livestreaming and Self Harm Bullying, both are available at safecpd.lgfl.net now. As well as the CPD for staff they have also produced a range of awareness posters for both Primary and Secondary schools to be displayed and to use as a starting point for discussions.

Bullying UK also have a fantastic range of resources to support Cyber Bullying day, including advice on what to do if you have been bullied and how to stay safe on social media sites.

Although the video below is an advertisement for a phone, I think it is brilliant to show to children to discuss the power of technology that we have in our hands and how our actions can have an impact once we decide to share things online.

Another amazing resource is Own it from the BBC, dedicated to help you be the boss of your on line life, from support and guidance to developing skills and inspiration it has a range of short videos that are great to share in class and with parents.

Be Internet awesome from Google, teaches children the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence. Why not travel to Kind Kingdom where it’s cool to be kind. The Internet is a powerful amplifier that can be used to spread positivity or negativity. Kids can take the high road by applying the concept of “treat others as you would like to be treated” to their actions online, creating positive impact for others and disempowering bullying behaviour.

There are lots of resources to support this week within schools, we have selected a few below:

Bullying UK has a range of resources, which include downloadable posters, flash cards, debate activity, comic strips and problem pages to use in the classroom. They also have presentations, interactive anti-bullying videos, posters and more.

Everyone Matters from LGfL has been produced to raise awareness of the problems of homophobic bullying in schools. Developed in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Wandsworth and Waltham Forest local authorities, these resources feature role play scenarios to challenge both students and teachers to reflect on their own attitudes to this form of bullying.

Why not listen to a book during this week, Bullies, big mouth and so called friends by Alexander J is available to listen to via Listening Books. You know the types. Bullies push you around, bigmouths make sarcastic comments about you. So-called friends turn their backs on you without saying why. You can end up feeling like a loser. But you don’t have to. You just need to build up your defences, so the bullies can’t get to you. This audiobook shows you how.

Burger king launched the video below last year but the message is still important and a really good one to show as part of an assembly or PSHE lesson

When I worry about things from the BBC  is a collection of animated films that use personal testimony to explore mental health issues from the perspective of children, including the effect of Bullying. Alongside each, there is more information about the content of the film, and suggestions of how it could be used in the classroom. These resources are suitable for use with pupils aged 8-13. Araina’s story below is one of the films that looks at Bullying.

Say Bye Bye to Bullying with CBBC! Is a collection from CBBC that includes  anti-bullying clips, guides and advice.

64% of young people across the UK have experienced and been affected by bullying whilst at school. The average young person spends 11,000 hours in school. The Diana Award is on a mission to make those hours as happy and safe as possible. They have a schools pack and an assembly template that schools can use during the week.

Films are a great tool to use to provide a framework for discussion and to look at issues and Into film have a wide range of lessons plans and films that can be used in the classroom to discuss the theme of Bullying for both primary and secondary schools.

Ditch the label has put together a range of Anti-bullying activities for KS3 and KS4 students and teachers, these include lesson plans, and assemblies looking at challenging attitudes and debunking the myths.

Please let us know what you are doing for the week, you can share via our Twitter and Facebook pages, using the hashtags #AntiBullyingWeek #ChooseRespect

Bett Award Finalists 2019

We are really pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted in three yes three categories for this year’s Bett awards.  The prestigious awards, which are a key part of the educational technology year, are awarded at a gala ceremony during the annual Bett Show in January.

Our first shortlisted category is for Primary Content for Space Adventures, this unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe. It features dramatic content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative.  The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for Maths, Literacy, Science and Computing and is also LGfL’s most accessible yet with text transcripts, audio books, flashcards and subtitled videos.

Max Wainewright author of computing resources for Space Adventures

“It’s great to see a cross curricular resource that encourages creativity recognised in these awards. Many elements of this resource have been developed by teachers working in London classrooms. Its fantastic that the work of London teachers and resource makers have been identified.”

Our second shortlisted category is for Secondary content for Explore Geography, this resource produced in association with Inspyro, uses augmented reality to convey Geographical concepts and is directly mapped to the National Curriculum.  This resource is designed to help students and teachers understand a range of fundamental geographical principles and ideas that some students find difficult to grasp.

Phil Birchnall – Inspryo Managing Director

‘We’re thrilled to be shortlisted, along with LGfL for a Bett Award. Partnering with LGfL has brought AR and VR to thousands of pupils across the capital and beyond. LGfL’s commitment and leadership in this area has enabled us to focus on developing for outcomes in the classroom, levering the growing capabilities of immersive technology on devices accessible to schools. The VR champions programme now brings Avantis / ClassVR into the mix with their world first VR headset and classroom management system. As we reflect on the success of being shortlisted, we are looking forward with excitement to projects that we are already working on alongside LGfL and pushing the boundaries further.’

Our final shortlisted category is for Free Digital content or Open Educational resources for Managing a Sudden death in the school community produced in association with Child bereavement UK. The resource aims to provide an accessible support gateway to the effective response to a sudden death within a school community.  Child Bereavement UK are experts in supporting a school faced with bereavement within the school community.  Through their work they have identified some of the key barriers for school in responding appropriately and quickly to the needs of those affected by a bereavement. By working in partnership with LGfL, this open access portal has been designed to address those barriers by bringing the key information to schools in both video and text format with a quick and accessible interface.

Ann Rowlands – Child Bereavement Uk

“Child Bereavement UK  have greatly valued the opportunity to work with LGfL, drawing on their experience in online technology to create this resource for schools. Every day our national helpline takes calls from schools who  face the challenging situation of manging a sudden and unexpected death in the school community. Being able to link them to this resource which gives  easily accessible guidance through the use of short video answers to key questions can help manage the pressures for school leaders  and make a significant difference as to  how this experience impacts on both pupils and staff ”

Bob Usher – LGfL Content Manager

“It is a privilege to work with such a committed and highly skilled range of partners to bring innovative new learning resources and teacher support materials to the wider educational community in the UK. Our three nominations cover an eclectic range of topics and feature the latest techniques in integrating augmented and virtual reality into everyday teaching and learning. It is particularly important to have secured the recognition for the partnership activity with Child Bereavement UK; sadly this is a challenging issue for many schools across the UK each and everyday.  Our work with our CBUK partners to help teachers, children and parents with managing sudden death within a school community is entirely in keeping with our charitable aims at LGfL and our aspiration to help all children succeed while promoting well being for the whole school community.”

 

Congratulations to all those companies and schools who have been shortlisted, the ceremony will take place on 23rd January 2019.

 

 

 

Remembrance Day 2018

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 the 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”.

100 years ago the First World War ended, and a new world began. The example and experience of those who lived through it shaped the world we live in today. This year, The Royal British Legion is leading the nation in saying Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world. The video below explains more, there are six videos in total where you can find out more about the stories of people such as: Olive Edis, the first female war photographer, who worked for MI5, Marie Curie, who made x-rays mobile, Flora Sandes, who was the first female soldier, Eugent Clarke, who paid his own way from the Carribean to become and labourer, and Walter Tull, who was the first black soldier to become an officer. Watch the full videos here:

They have  partnered with the National Literacy Trust to create a series of downloadable lesson plans and teacher support materials that are free to use.  They have developed six sets of five lesson plans, two each for Key Stages 2, 3 and 4, accompanied by an assembly plan each for primary and secondary schools.

The lessons are planned to take place in the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday with each set of plans building to focus on an individual.  The week culminates in a lesson where children write a thank you letter to that individual, paying tribute to their huge contribution both during the war, and also for how they helped shape the world after the war ended.

They hope to bring the First World War to life for pupils and to raise pupils’ awareness of the golden threads linking their lives today back to the First World War generation, ensuring that Remembrance is understood and available to all, and handed to the next generation.

You can download the lessons, resources and assembly plans here, and join in the conversation on Twitter using #THANKYOU100

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.

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. 

Passchendaele – Modern Foreign Languages resource pack – This pack has been published to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele which took place between July and November 1917. It enables teachers to explore the First World War in their classrooms whilst also developing modern language skills in their classroom through a series of creative, memorable and engaging activities. The pack is part of Passchendaele at Home – a nationwide research-and- remember project inviting schools and community groups across the UK to discover servicemen buried or commemorated in the UK who were wounded at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. Suitable for ages 7-14

World War 1 – This collection from BBC schools has a range of videos, activities and assemblies for both primary and secondary schools.

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

The Salvation Army – have a range of. resources to be used when looking at Remembrance Day these include, assemblies and presentations.

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 roomThe 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 computingWomen 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. #THANKYOU100

 

 

National Non-Fiction November

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 this special 50th anniversary year is ‘Food and Festivals Around the World’. Food is a necessary requirement for keeping healthy and, in the case of children, for growing and developing. It is also associated with celebrations and festivals around the world. Young people enjoy having the opportunity to grow their own food and to learn how to prepare food and cook for themselves, and they hope that one of the outcomes of NNFN will be the creation of some fabulous recipe books to share. They also hope that the theme will provide an opportunity for children to explore the everyday food enjoyed at home and by different cultures, in addition to finding out about the special foods associated with the festivals of the major religions.

To tie in with this year’s Food and Festivals Around the World theme, they are running a competition, open to children’s book groups, schools and libraries in the UK, the challenge is to design a birthday cake for their very special celebration – the Golden Anniversary of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. The design can be for a single, double or triple tier cake, or if preferred, a shaped cake. It could include the FCBG logo, feature their mascot bear #FedTed or be decorated with gold. Alternatively, the cake could be inspired by a favourite book, book character or author, or based on the Federation’s aim to bring children and books together.  You can find out more details and how to enter the competition here.

Perfect to use during this month to help children create their own recipes would be Cookit from E2BN.  The primary purpose of Cookit 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.

 

Once children have researched and found out about different recipes they could then use the j2write tools within the j2 tool suite to produce their recipe books.

Espresso faiths would be perfect to use with children to explore different festivals during Non-Fiction November.  Espresso Faiths covers the six major world faiths – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism – by looking at these faiths within London communities.  This is a joint production with espresso and is available to all LGfL-connected schools, irrespective of whether or not they take out a subscription to espresso.

Busythings have a range of resources that could be used during the month including making a Pizza or a tasty pancake game for Early years to a writing template for older students to write about their favourite meal.

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 2 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.

Non- fiction texts also feature in Talking Stories, Talking stories 1 is perfect for KS1 and one of the stories is all about the Great Fire of London, while Talking stories 2, features cooks and cooking that perfectly ties in with the theme for this year, lesson plans for Year 3 and 4 are also included for this book.

 

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.

 

Five ways to support History

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

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

5 Ways to support history

Mixed Reality

LGfL have a wide range of both Augmented and Virtual Reality to bring your History teaching to life and enable children to go back in time.

Topics covered include the following:

The Romans in London

This resource on Roman London is divided into 6 thematic ‘lessons’, each one having a mix of filmed explanations of surviving remains and of objects, both real and replica. This offers a large amount of resource material to enable teachers to tell the story of Londinium without leaving the classroom and for students to access information to enable further research when learning from home. The resource also features Augmented reality images, that creates a series of artefacts and experiences that complement this learning resource by bringing it to life in a way that is otherwise unimaginable. You can download the app for iOS and android. All trigger images can be downloaded from within the resource.

The resource also contains Virtual Reality placing the students on Hadrian’s wall on a snowy winters night, thousands of years ago, allowing the students to capture a snapshot of the life of a Roman soldier, you can download the app for iOS and android.

The Cold War,

The LGfL Cold War resource spans borders, ideologies and even realities; interviewing spies, journalists and dissidents: visiting prisons, concentration camps and museums; filming underground, above ground and from the air; and uncovering documents, images and secrets never before revealed.  The Cold War is divided into thematic and curriculum sections, but all documents, images and videos are searchable via the resource bank, allowing teachers to fully disaggregate this wealth of primary and secondary-source material. To bring the era to life, 22 state-of-the-art augmented reality artefacts can be viewed the mobile iOS or android app. All images can be downloaded from within the resource.

The resource is further supported with the Nuclear Strike Virtual reality experience, for both iOS and android,  you can view a walk though of the resource below:

Ancient Egypt,

Updated in May 2018 with an improved user interface and enhanced content, Key Stage 2 History  learners can experience the ancient Egyptian civilisation in ‘mixed reality’ (augmented and virtual reality) and with expert video explanations from a real life Egyptologist from the Manchester Museum.

As always, the augmented reality objects available via iOS and android, are embedded in the worksheets (these can be downloaded from within the resource), while the Virtual reality for iOS and android recreates the experience of discovering an ancient Egyptian temple, half buried in the desert. What will you discover when you go inside?

The resource also now features a detailed case study showing how one experienced teacher combined the   AR, VR and video content to achieve better literacy outcomes for all learners.

Maya,

A journey through the Maya world includes 10 cross-curricular activities, as well as a teacher guide and the Active Worksheets – these sheets not only contain historical information but also include the Augmented reality triggers available for iOS and android.

Trench experience,

This innovative new virtual-reality app brings life in the trenches to life and is ideal for teachers covering World War 1 and trench life and warfare in general. Available for iOS and Android, the resource also come with a stimulus writing activity.

WW1

The Active Worksheet pack 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, the app is available on iOS and android devices.

Vikings 

The tale of Sigurd and the Dragon is told using immersive virtual reality, through the iOS and android app you embark on an impossible and unforgettable field trip to an authentic Viking Longhouse the hear the classic Norse tale of how Sigurd killed the greedy dragon Fafnir.  The story is carved on a Christian cross in a churchyard in Halton, Lancashire and pupils will also visit the cross, viewing it as it remains today.

This is backed up by five interactive worksheets that display augmented reality artefacts, via iOS and android app, exploring themes in Viking history from ‘Raiders and Traders’ to ‘Pagans’. The experience culminates in  an activity covering green screen video and animation techniques, enabling the pupils to either re tell the story or use the images and sounds to tell their own tales of Norse Mythology.

 Prehistoric Britain.

Using augmented reality, Prehistoric Britain: ActiveWorksheets bring this abstract period of history to life.  Available on both iOS and android, the Augmented reality enables pupil to view 3D models, listen to mini podcasts and watch videos or animations. The resource not only provides key information on how prehistoric people lived and developed, but also can provoke discussion of evidence and act as a primer for historical thinking and analysis.

The Tudors in London

The Tudors in London resource  aims to develop an understanding of historical context in which to appreciate how events of 500 years ago still impact London life today.  Featuring over 140 high quality video clips and 60 high resolution images from the Museum of London Archaeological Archive, Royal Collection Trust and key Tudor locations in London, the extensive digital collection is further enhanced by a framework of curriculum-linked material.  Lesson plans suggest classroom-based activities to help teachers make the most of the wide range of resources within the historical archive.

The structure of support material is specifically designed to meet the needs of History teachers working with Key Stage 2 pupils, detailed lesson plans are provided, offering a complete support package to maximise the benefit of this digital collection.  You can watch a trailer for the resource here.

Widgit

Widgit Symbols are simply drawn, colourful symbols designed to illustrate a single concept in clear and concise way.  They cover a range of topics wide enough to make them suitable for symbol users of all ages and abilities.  The use of these symbols increases the accessibility of written text by giving readers of all literacy levels greater access to information.  As they are designed specifically for written information, Widgit Symbol users can develop a real independence in reading and writing.  There are 21 activity books and worksheets available to support the history curriculum, covering among others Ancient Greeks, The Victorians and Anglo Saxons.

BusyThings

Busy Things has a wide range of resources and games for use in Early years, KS1 and KS2 there are over 70 activities that are linked to the history curriculum. These include a range of labelling activities as well as writing frames and time line activities. You can search both via subject and topic using the curriculum browser.

Viking adventures at the British Museum

‘Viking Adventures at the British Museum’ started life as an educational film screened in cinemas around the UK with professional recreations of Viking life, raids and death.  This resource not only includes original footage from the film, but also new, exclusive LGfL filming of curators handling Viking artefacts in the British Museum vaults, plus high-resolution images, new explanatory texts and a series of cross-curricular lesson plans for KS2 teachers.  Although the focus of the resource is History, it also has lesson links to English, Geography, DT and Computing. You can watch the trailer below

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

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

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

 

Explore Geography AR

Explore Geography AR aims to demonstrate Geographical concepts that are studied at KS2, KS3 and KS4 in a visual and interactive way making use of the latest technology.

The National Curriculum for Geography at all Key stages states that: A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.  This statement is at the heart of this resource, Augmented Reality can help convey a complex concept like no other technology and Explore Geography does this with 9 different concepts.  We believe in blending technology seamlessly into the learning experience, ensuring that when technology is used in the classroom, it enhances pupils’ learning whilst still providing the engagement and wow factor.

The ‘Active worksheets’ have the AR triggers embedded so they can be printed out and distributed to students to support group or individual investigations. They cover a range of topics and concepts within both the KS2 and  KS3 curriculum and are perfect for using to cover specifications of the GCSE curriculum with students.

Spinning Planet looks at the Coriolis effect and is an interactive 3D model of the globe with students able to observe Hurricanes, Cyclones and Typhoons in action across the globe. With a Divided Planet , an interactive 3D model of the Earth enables pupils to examine lines of longitude and latitude alongside the tropics and Equator, these can be switched on and off and highlighted, something you are just not able to do on a physical globe or diagram.

Urbanisation triggers a mini app allowing pupils to control and view the effects of over time of urbanisation with a focus on key urban development variables and ‘tipping points’. Pupils can hypothesis about  urban growth and can develop a deeper understand of how the development of a sustainable urban environment has to be carefully balanced. Enabling group discussions around what happens to an area as it becomes urbanised? It also enables pupils to explore what kind of developments take place and how it affects the population, the environment, the economy and the social structure.  Our Changing climate tackles an incredibly complex subject matter of climate science through an interactive mini app that is triggered allows pupils to see the effects of climate change to this point and then model the possible outcomes on certain elements such as temperature and see level over time, something again that more traditional methods of teaching can not convey.

You can watch a walkthrough of the video below:

The Explore Geography resource features context based resources that are a blend of clear  and concise information and cutting edge Augmented Reality technology on the same page. A teacher guide is provided with instructions for activities the class can complete, or the resource can be used as a starting point with teachers developing their own lessons around them.  The free Geography ActivLens Augmented reality app for ioS and Android brings the information sheets to life with videos, audio, 3D models and animation.

 

 

World Mental Health Day – 10th October

10th October is World Mental Health day, the charity YoungMinds is calling on schools across the country to take part in #HelloYellow to show young people they’re not alone with their mental health. Schools that register for #HelloYellow will receive a free pack, including a mental health assembly plan as well as a range of activities. They have also recently partnered with the Beano to provide content for Under 12s, Meet Mandi, looks at getting your first phone and some top tips.

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

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


The resource is split into the following sections:

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

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

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

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

EduKit is a social enterprise that helps schools to track student wellbeing and pupil premium impact and to analyse and benchmark customisable cohorts of students within each school and against national trends.

This is why EduKit created Insight. Schools using EduKit Insight Plus can:

  • Identify vulnerable learners and to track their progress over time
  • Create bespoke cohorts of students to compare wellbeing across 14 key areas including aspiration, home life,internet safety, resilience and self-esteem
  • Access over 1,300 EduKit partners able to offer free and low-cost support both across the UK and internationally.

All LGFL schools who sign up before the end of July will receive FREE access to the ‘Plus’ package (usual average cost £500) for one year. Click here for more details or to reserve your licence. LGfL are excited to make this offer available to schools. Please note this offer does not represent an endorsement of Edukit and the Edukit partners by LGfL.

The PHSE association has a comprehensive DfE funded Guidance on preparing to teach about mental health and emotional well being – as well as being a core guidance document it also includes a range of lesson plans for KS2 and KS3 pupils.  It has also produced a mental health teaching checklist as well as ground rules for teaching about mental health and emotional well being to ensure the safety of pupils when discussing this subject.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public Health England have a range of resources to support children in schools, they have a lesson plan and activities based around online stress and FOMO(Fear of missing out).

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

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

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

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

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

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

Code Week EU 2018

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

Next week is the start of Code Week EU If you are interested in bringing coding to your classroom but you don’t know where to start do not worry as we have plenty of LGfL content that can energise the teaching of computing in your school.

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

Coding is for all, not just for programmers. It’s a matter of creativity, of computational thinking skills, of self-empowerment, nothing boosts your problem-solving skills like learning how to program a computer, learning to code boosts your attention to detail, having a high level of focus can improve any part of your life!

Our National Curriculum computing programmes of study tells us “A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world” Coding isn’t just the act of programming code to control a device, it’s about being able to identify and understand problems or needs in the real world and using innovative thinking and creativity alongside logic reasoning to improve the world around them.

Computing is about teaching students about what is behind their screens and boxes and how the modern world works. With this knowledge, they can begin to see the possibilities so that they can create innovations that could one day change the world.

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

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

J2code offers a range of coding languages to enable to explore coding, each coding language offers three detailed lesson plans, each designed as a starting point for a series of lessons. Children new to coding, whether at year 1 or year 2, will need to work through the basics, starting with lesson 1. Year 2 children should be able to move through the first two lessons much more quickly.

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

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

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

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

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

Just 2 Easy tool suite also offers a block based or script based platform for the micro:bit what is great about this platform is that it offers 3 levels of differentiation, adding operators, variables and procedures, when needed.

J2data enables schools to meet the data handling requirements of the national Computing curriculum for KS1, KS2 and KS3. Starting with the youngest learners using pictogram, then progressing through chart, branch and database, there is a tool appropriate for every age from 4 years up.All the coding and data handling files can be sent to the Blogging platform built into the Tool suite System. This unique element significantly enhances the scope for broadening the audience and enables students to peer review each other’s code.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking for a creative way to introducing coding to KS2? Space Adventures is unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe.

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

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

There are two units, which are designed  to teach computing concepts in line with the Computing Curriculum, Unit 1 is aimed at Year 4/5 with unit 2 being aimed at more experienced pupils who will have a good exciting coding skills, there are six lessons in each unit.

Each lesson contains:

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

It is important to remind ourselves that introducing young people to coding gives them an appreciation of what can be built with technology. Our students are surrounded by devices controlled by computers in their everyday lives. To understand coding, is to understand how our devices work, and being able to imagine new devices and services is essential to inspire and push our students to solve the problems of the future, it was with this idea we created ‘History of Computing’

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

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

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

The resource features:

  • Unique video and photographic resources from the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.
  • An expert insight into the iconic British Computing systems from the past 70 years.
  • Curriculum material created by practising Computing teachers all mapped out the National Curriculum.

The video materials is used to support a broad range of complete lesson activities to cover Key Stage 2 to 5, however teachers are encouraged to use and modify the suggested activities and tailor them to the needs of the students and curriculum.

Here are two quick examples of how I modified the lesson plans within the unit “A Brave new world” for a year 5 group with little or no experience of computing.

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

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

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

‘These new updates reflect a broader range of women that have contributed to the development of computational thought in Britain. Each have their own unique story to tell within the societal context of the time, many of which were genuine trailblazers in progressing thinking and practice at the time’

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

You could also use the many free resources found within Barefoot Computing Project These resources will help you improve subject knowledge and understanding within computing. Giving clear definitions, examples and progression across all primary school age and ability ranges.

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

Black History Month October 2018

October is Black History month a month set aside to learn, honour, and celebrate the achievements of black men and women throughout history. The first Black History Month pack has been created and is available for distribution to all schools and educational establishments, although the pack is paid for there are a range of posters that can be downloaded to use within the classroom, these include looking at significant writers, sports figures and a timeline of events.

As well as thinking about significant figures in this country, the month also gives students the opportunities to look at significant figures throughout history:

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

Why not use the month to watch Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech, or get children to read it aloud and then for them to create their own speeches on what they would change in the world or even a poem based on Change which is this years theme for National Poetry Day on the 4th October.

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

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

The BBC have also put together a range of inspiring resources for primary schools, these look at the life of Nelson Mandela, what the Slave Trade was and a video with dads and daughters discussing history and identity. There is also a range of resources for secondary students

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

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

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

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

Scholastic have also produced a guide for Black history month, with an idea a day throughout the October, to use in class.

Other ideas could be involve the children in cooking, asking family members for recipes,  Cookit from E2BN, have recipes and information on foods that can be used in class. Students could create play lists from prominent artists to share in class or at assemblies, Audio network could be used to look at Jazz and Blues music.

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

 

World Space Week – October 4 – 10 2018

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

The theme for UN-declared World Space Week 2018 will be “Space Unites the World,” and “will celebrate the role of space in bringing the world closer together,” said WSWA President Dennis Stone.

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

If you haven’t used it yet, this week would be a perfect time to launch Space Adventures, this unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe.

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

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

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

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

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

Visual is a block based coding language in which you can freely code to create more complex coding outcomes for KS2, including for example,  creating a space themed game:

Busy Things also have a range of labelling and fact sheet templates covering the Solar System and Space that can be used in class for KS1 and KS2, whilst younger children can get creative with designing their own spaceship.

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

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

This picture which was first posted on Twitter shows all the planets in on picture – Pluto is included and the picture is not to scale, however I think it would make an excellent introduction to the topic of Space as well as being great on display – you can see the original painting here.

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

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

You can find all the resources here, including getting your students to train like an astronaut in P.E.

Your class could even borrow the moon!

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

The Moon Camp Challenge is a new interdisciplinary school project that invites students, aged 8 to 19, to team up and design their own human base on the Moon, a ‘Moon Camp’. The project will allow students to use exciting and innovative learning technologies, such as 3D modelling, to explore the extreme environment of space, in particular on the Moon, to better understand how environment affects habitability.

The first Moon Camp Challenge will run in the school year 2018/19. It will be launched during World Space Week 2018 and it will continue throughout 2019, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.  In the future, to enable astronauts to stay on the Moon for long periods of time, new infrastructures have to be developed to solve important challenges; protection from radiation and meteorites, energy production, the extraction and recycling of water, food production and much more. The Moon Camp Challenge invites students to become Moon explorers and decode some of the complexities future astronauts may face.

The Moon Camp Challenge is an educational and inspirational programme run in collaboration between ESA and the Airbus Foundation, featuring preparatory classroom activities that focus on learning-by-design and science experimentation. Students will have to develop a number of scientific experiments related to the Moon and apply their acquired knowledge to design their own Moon Camp using a 3D modelling tool (Tinkercad or Fusion 360).

The participating teachers and students will be invited to participate in webinars with space experts and then share their designs online. A jury of experts will select the best projects.

Participation is open to teams of students aged 8-19 through two entry paths: ESA Member States or Associate Member States, and worldwide. Teams will also be able to choose between two different difficulty levels. Teams must be supported by a teacher or an educator.

The BBC have a great range of clips around Space, including this collection from CBeebies great for using with younger students and includes Dr Brian Cox reading The way back home by Oliver Jeffers.

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

Discovery Education Espresso is giving primary schools access to fantastic free resources, helping teachers to bring the wonders of space into the classroom. Taking children on a fascinating tour across the universe, the resources include interactive videos, lesson plans and activities, closely mapped to the National Curriculum. From visiting observatories to looking deep into our solar system, to tracking cosmic firestorms, meteors and shooting stars, these exciting free resources will engage younger children with space science. They’ll also help pupils to see the bigger picture, as they learn about the future of space travel and life on other planets. With spectacular clips from television network Discovery Science, and contributions from world famous astronomer Professor Richard Ellis, children will learn about space in a fun and accessible way.

The resources also include a special World Space Week lesson plan: Beyond Planet Earth – A Virtual Space Experience, culminating in an out-of-this-world virtual reality tour of the universe.

Remember we would love to see your work for World Space week – you can share via our Twitter and Facebook page #WSW2018

 

 

 

Reading Zone Live and National Poetry day 2018

National Poetry day is on the 4th October 2018 and the theme this year is Change.

To get you ready for this, LGfL are hosting a special Poetry themed Reading zone Live with Zaro Weil on the 3rd October 2018 at 2:30 pm.  Zaro Weil is and has been a lot of things: dancer, poet, novelist, theatre director, performer, teacher, publisher, historian, and a few more as well. Her latest book Firecrackers contains 101 poems, rhymes, raps, haiku’s, ballads, little plays, fairy tales and tall tales which pulse with excitement and wonder. It is a book where experience is turned upside-down: questions are answered, tomorrow is yesterday, and tears are laughter. Every page invites the reader in to an enticing world where concepts, language and rhythms conspire to spark imagination. You can read an interview with Zaro here.

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

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

To tie in with National Poetry Day we are also launching our brand new resource Poetry Workshop with Cath Howe, the resource is part of our popular ReadingZone Live resource featuring 40 authors. Poetry Workshop offers strategies for developing creative poetry activities with primary children, suggestions for learning poems by heart and then performing them.

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

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

  • Read or perform a poem – there are a selection of poems on the National Poetry day website that can get your class inspired.
  • To tie in with National Poetry day  a special competition with Hamish Hamilton, publishers of The Lost Words, has been launched. The Lost Words is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, it captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages and fascinates children. There are signed copies to be won plus £100s worth of books for your school library. The competition is open to children in two age groups: 7-9 and 10-12. You can find out more and enter here.
  • Poems grow from poems, says poet Kate Clanchy, who has created this wonderful activity to inspire new poems. Why not have a go, in class.
  • Posters to put up in class or around school and on your website to highlight the fact that you are supporting National Poetry day.
  • Use this form to sign up for packs of printed materials – Please note it’s first come, first served and National Poetry Day partners at Browns Books for Students are also distributing materials.
  • Lesson plans for KS 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 from the National Poetry day website to get you started, including a toolkit full of ideas and inspirations.

You can also join the UK’s biggest classroom at 2pm on National Poetry Day, Thursday 4th October, at bbc.com/livelessons. Featuring poetry reading, performances, and critical analysis of similes and metaphor, this free interactive show will broadcast live into schools across the UK. It will be led by award-winning performance poet, author and National Poetry Day ambassador Joseph Coelho, (who also features on LGfL Reading Zone Live you can see his interviews before the day hereand BBC presenter and author Katie Thistleton.

Using poetry from the National Poetry Day anthology Poetry for a Change, children will discover how intonation, volume and speed can affect the delivery and performance of a poem and use their imaginations to contribute to a mass Live Lessons poem.

Inspired by the National Poetry Day theme ‘Change’, the programme will encourage children to consider how they experience change in their everyday lives and how they can bring this theme to the poetry they read, write and perform.This lesson is aimed at Key Stage 2 and 2nd Level students.

BBC Teach Live Lessons bring the curriculum to life with leading experts and access to the BBC’s biggest brands and talent. The Poetry Live Lesson is one of a series of eight new half hour interactive webcasts for schools. Find out more at bbc.com/livelessons and follow @BBC_Teach for regular updates on all upcoming Live Lessons.

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

  • Use Perform a Poem from LGfL to get tips on performing poems including resources for teachers. Teachers can find clips to help with performances, tips to get pupils writing poems, and information about filming and editing videos. As Michael Rosen states in the introduction of the resource –  Poetry is the sound of words in your ears, it’s the look of poets in motion and that can be you. Make your poems sing, whisper, shout and float. Let the words make the rhythm and give the viewers a buzz to see you.
  • Reading Zone Live also features the poet Roger Stevens who founded and runs the award-winning Poetry Zone website, which encourages children to write and publish their poetry and offers guidance and ideas for teachers on how to make the teaching of poetry fun and rewarding.
  • You can also use image bank from LGfL to show children images of how London has changed over time for them to use as an inspiration to create their own poems and why not use BBC Sound effects to add different sounds to your poems.

  • J2e Tool suite can be used for children to use any of the j2write tools to write their own poem on the theme of change and why not use j2 vote to get the children to vote for their favourite poem.

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

We would love to see the work you do around Reading Zone Live and National Poetry day via our Twitter or Facebook pages, using the #nationalpoetryday

The Big Draw Festival 2018

October is upon us which means it is time again for The Big Draw Festival, the festival is for anyone who loves to draw, as well as those who think they can’t! It’s an opportunity to join a global community in celebration of the universal language of drawing. This years theme is Play! – For all, the Big Draw Festival 2018 is about letting loose, embracing happy accidents, discovery and having fun!

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

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

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

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

A great way to introduce animation to younger children is found in the J2E infant toolkit. Your students can create simple animations using  frame by frame illustrations that join together to make animations and you even add a soundtrack or narration using a microphone.

Speech bubbles and text can now be added to painting or animations, vastly improving the learning possibilities, enabling story boards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. A new stamp feature takes the creativity on to new levels, you now have the ability to create your own digital stamps which can be saved in a My Stamps area and be used across the JIT platfrom.

Busy Things offers a range of activities to suit any age, it encourages young children to create art and music through experimentation. Choose from a large array of unusual tools and allow a picture or sound composition to evolve in front of you. No experience is necessary – just click or touch and watch or hear what happens! There are also ready-made templates and clipart to help you design a monster, superhero, a fashion item and much else!  Older children can use Busy Paint to create artwork on a chosen topic. Busy Paint is an easy-to-use art tool offering drawing tools, brushes, shapes, stamps, clipart, symmetry options and more.Linking drawing with story telling is another way to inspire students, you can find multiple interviews with illustrators such as Tony RossChris Riddel and Oliver Jeffers in Reading zone live.

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you are looking at images to help inspire teaching and learning, than you may find LGfL Gallery of use.

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

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

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

Dyslexia Awareness Week with LGfL resources

This year, Dyslexia Awareness Week runs from Monday 1st October to Sunday 7th October 2018, with World Dyslexia Awareness Day taking place on Thursday 4th October 2018. This year’s theme is 21st Century Dyslexia, focussing on technology that can assist people at school, in the workplace and at home.

Because of this, I would like to draw your attention to all the resources to support learners and staff with dyslexia on LGfL, but also to share my own personal experience of dyslexia as a teacher and as a learner. Here is my story:

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

My school years were the worst time for me. School report after school report said the same thing over and over; I was “A slow starter” and apparently showed a “Lack of effort.”

Primary school was a battle every day for me as I attempted to remember things and to catch up with people around me. Simple things like remembering the order of the alphabet and months of the year escaped me. Having to write the long date on a piece of work could take a whole lesson. With little support or understanding, my school life was a blur of disappointment.

Thankfully for me, I was lucky enough to have an amazing Art teacher who could see my artistic talent. This teacher was able to see that I could organise objects on the page and show a focus that many staff didn’t think I was capable of.

Fast forward to my twenties and I decided to become a teacher, not for the love of my past school years, but instead because of how much I disliked it! My decision was based on my own personal experience that information needed to be presented using a range of media and techniques, and teaching staff needed to offer support for all types of learners. Without the (then new) technology of Interactive White Boards, I don’t think I would have had the courage to even think about presenting.

If I weren’t dyslexic, I wouldn’t have been able to be such a creative person, nor would I have become a teacher, nor do I think I would have become adept at using technology to help others.”

This year’s theme of 21st Century Dyslexia is a very personal theme for me as I have used various types of technology over the past 15 years to help me and my pupils to succeed in learning, regardless of need. This might be as simple as having autocorrect, using one of the many iPad accessibility features, tools such as WordQSpeakQ, or simply using Google Maps to help me not get lost!” 

I am just one of the staff members at LGfL with a personal and professional interest in dyslexia; as a team, we are fully committed to supporting all pupils, not just those with literacy difficulties.

We have many resources which support accessibility for all, but one which is ideal for students with dyslexia is WordQSpeakQ. This is easy to use and powerful literacy tool helps young people who can type but may have trouble with writing, grammar and spelling. It includes Word Prediction, Speech Recognition and Spoken Feedback, and can be installed on staff, pupil or school computers for online or offline use.

Find out more at wordqspeakq.lgfl.net or book our FREE ‘Getting Started with WordQSpeakQ’ session at training.lgfl.net for a chance to use this assistive technology to help learners write to their full potential on 13th November.

One way to support Dyslexia Awareness Week is to organise a No Pens Day. For many students with dyslexia, writing is a highly complex and sometimes frustrating activity. While they may have incredibly creative ideas, they often struggle to get their ideas onto paper in a formalised written manner. This can lead to students becoming reluctant writers. As teachers, we often assess knowledge and skills by looking at the final written piece, but for a dyslexic student, this will often not showcase their capabilities or knowledge.

The purpose of No Pens Day is to enable all children and adults to engage in activities that do not require writing; instead exploring other ways of showing knowledge and learning. Download information and sponsorship forms here.

LGfL offers a range of resources that can support creating stories without the use of a pen:

  • Super Action Comic Book Maker: Use this resource to create cool comic books with customisable backgrounds and superhero sprites, and use speech bubbles and sound effects to create a narrative.

  • Junior Infant Tools within the j2e Toolkitis a range of online IT tools for children to create, text, graphics, animations, sounds and videos that can be combined on a single web page. With the additional of an inbuilt or external microphone, children can add their own voices to the work, giving power to the marks they have made.

  •  Audio Network and BBC Sound EffectsAsk children to create a spoken-word poem or story and use it to enhance a spoken word story telling session, allowing children to add music and sound effects.

It is vitally important to show children that being Dyslexic doesn’t mean you can’t write or become an author. Why not use some of the clips from interviews with dyslexic authors such as Henry Winker or Sally Gardner within Reading Zone Live to inspire your children.

To find out how else LGfL can support your learners, visit our Inclusion Resource Centre or dedicated SpLD support page, or contact our wonderful SEND specialist Jo Dilworth.

You can download a Dyslexia Awareness Week school pack here – it’s fill of inspirational stories, posters, videos and useful guides on how to talk about dyslexia.

There are also competitions that students with dyslexia can enter, by creating art, prose or videos that shows their journey with dyslexia. BDA and Nessy are offering a free eBook “Dyslexia explained” covering: Understanding Dyslexia, Types of Dyslexia, What People with Dyslexia are good at, Dyslexia difficulties, Helpful Strategies and What works best for dyslexia all without the need for too many words. LGfL users can also get 15% off NESSY products. Go to Recommended Links in the SEND section for details.

Why not tell us what you are doing for Dyslexia Awareness Week? Drop us a line via Twitter or Facebook; and remember, if you like this post, please do share it!

 

J2e new features added

Just 2 Easy have announce not one but two updates to their popular suite of tools.

The first update is to JIT: Junior Infant Toolkit, part of the Just2easy Toolsuite which has a range of digital tools to help introduce basic computing skills such as word processing, animation, graphing, coding and digital publishing. The online infant toolkit allows the following features – all linked via the LGfL USO log in:

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

We are really excited to say that this popular program has had some new features added!

Pupils 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.  You can see these new features in the picture below.

 

Speech bubbles and text can now be added to painting or animations, vastly improving the learning possibilities, enabling story boards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. A new stamp feature takes the creativity on to new levels, you now have the ability to not only create your own stamps but these are then all saved in a new My Stamps area and these can then be used across the JIT progam.

Internet search has also been added to the JIT program – this is a safe search with copyright filters in place.

You can see all the features in action by watching the short video below

The second update is to Visual part of j2Code, adding a new sprite in visual is now even easier, 3 tabs have been added and you can choose from my pictures (pictures stored within your own files on j2e), shared files any pictures that have been shared with you and a web search.  Using the web search you can either search for all images, faces, pictures and clip art, once you have search for an image you can then set it as your background, making it easier to add backgrounds into visual.

If adding a new sprite from clip art, there are a new set of commands with added directions so that you can set the direction you want the sprite to move.

The video below explains the new added improvements:

 

We would love to hear what you think of these new features or if you have any examples that you would like to share with us on how you have made use of the new features via our Twitter or Facebook pages.

European Day of Languages – 26th September 2018

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

It is celebrated

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

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

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

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

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

Busy Things have labelling activities for KS2 pupils in both French and Spanish; looking at colours, food, drinks and body parts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newbury Park primary school in Redbridge have an excellent resource entitled Language of the month – which includes resource packs to be used in the classroom, activity packs and interactive video clips showing children teaching their home languages.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roald Dahl Day

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

This year Roald Dahl Day is happening on September 13th with James and the Giant Peach leading the festivities. You can find lots of brilliant ideas and activities in this year’s stupendous Roald Dahl Day party pack which is free to download from the Roald Dahl website.

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

Why not listen to some of Dahl’s Stories via Listening books. This audio book service supports the National Curriculum from Key Stage 2 all the way through to A-Level and has a huge range of fiction and non-fiction titles for both adults and children. Listening to audiobooks allows children and young people to follow the same books that their friends and peers are reading, improve comprehension, word recognition as well as helping to instil a greater understanding and enjoyment of literature.

The Dahl books on offer are:

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

On the day, you can watch also watch Roald Dahl Day show! Find out how amazing authors like Adrian Edmondson are inspired by Roald Dahl’s writing and look for gems from the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. You can register here to watch on the day.

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

Whatever you are doing for Roald Dahl day, please share your activities via our twitter or Facebook pages, it would be great to hear from you.

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International Day of Democracy – 15th September

The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of and support by the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals, can the ideal of democracy be made into a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This time of year is also when most schools are electing their school councils, there is a short overview from CBBC Newsround which explains what a school council is and the roles, perfect for showing to younger children or new Year 3 pupils. Children’s Rights Wales have also produced a great pack for schools councils, with a range of games, ideas and an activity pack for staff and pupils.

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

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

Alongside the resources, you can also book a tour of The Houses of Parliament. A range of free CPD opportunities are on offer for primary and secondary teachers as well as trainee teachers; including Westminster based CPD sessions, in-school training days, online courses and their annual Teacher’s Institute residential programme based in Westminster.

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

They also have a resource entitled Polling day for Primary and Secondary schools explains why voting matters, who’s allowed to vote and looks at democracy around the world.

The Museum of London is running an exhibition entitled Votes for Women marking the centenary of the 1918 Act that gave some women the right to vote for the first time. Dedicated to those who campaigned tirelessly for over 50 years to achieve votes for women, the exhibition features iconic objects from the Museum’s vast Suffragette collection, including Emmeline Pankhurst’s hunger strike medal. At the heart of the display is a powerful, newly commissioned film that reflects on the contemporary relevance of the militant campaign that continues to inspire, shock and divide opinion.

Museum of London – Suffragette Poster Parade 1911

What ever you are doing for International Day of Democracy, please share via our twitter or Facebook pages, it would be great to hear from you.

 

International day of Literacy – September 8th

September 8th marks UNESCO’s International Literacy day, raising awareness globally on the issues surrounding adult and child literacy. First held in 1966 and now part of the UN’s sustainable development goals program adopted in 2015, International Literacy day highlights the changes and improvements being made worldwide in literacy development.

Since 1967, International Literacy Day celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society. The International Conference on ‘Literacy and Skills Development’ will explore ways to make effective connections between literacy and technical and vocational skills in policies, practice, systems and governance.

LGfL have a range of resources to support not just International Literacy day but with Literacy throughout the curriculum.

j2e Tool suite offers a range of resources including JIT, j2e5, j2 office. J2 write also provides teachers with a range of lesson plans to get started as well as examples of use and templates. Spell blast is a fantastic interactive way of learning spellings, pupils can either go live, choose from a level and teachers can also set their own spelling lists for classes/year groups.

Busy Things have a vast range of resources that support Literacy across the Primary phase including Phonics maker, word reading, comprehension, transcription, handwriting and presentation, composition, vocabulary and grammar games, and desktop publishing templates that are cross curricular.

Listening books offers over 100 curriculum based audio books, titles can be streamed direct for group listening in class or for individuals to listen with headphones. These are excellent to listen to in class or to support SEND learners with literacy.

To listen to a book follow the steps below:

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

You can also access 15 free e books from Rising Stars for ages 7-14. These eBooks can be used on any device, from PCs and netbooks to iPads and Kindles. Each book also comes with teacher’s notes and activities meaning that they are ideal  for use with 1:1 as well as during guided reading sessions.

The Whole Story 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, it is hoped that teachers of all age groups can get inspiration on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum. Structured thoughts and examples on how to take hidden and or less obvious stimulus within an image or object offer new opportunities for teachers to explore with their learners.

Fairy tales – Each of the six fairy tales is broken down into one bite-sized sentence per scene, using the first 100 high-frequency words.

This allows learners to easily follow, understand and remember the stories, and helps ensure access to the curriculum for all. Pupils can watch at their own pace, and opt to turn on or off the accompanying text and symbols.Animated characters bring each scene to life, with differentiated activities to help include all learners. Within each story, pupils can choose their own motivator, which rewards them as they successfully complete activities, and there are four ability levels for even further differentiation.

In the same format as Fairy Tales, Early Shakespeare takes two favourite Shakespeare plays (Romeo & Juliet and AMidsummer Night’s Dream) and SEN assist have transformed them into literacy exercises that are likely to prove popular with pupils across the ability spectrum. the two plays are broken down into one bite-sized sentence per scene, using the first 100 high-frequency words. This allows learners to easily follow, understand and remember the stories, and helps ensure access to the curriculum for all.

For creating, Super Action Comic Maker is great for Art and for Literacy, allowing pupils to bring their own superhero to life and not only add and customise backgrounds and superheroes, but also speech and effect bubbles to create a narrative. Picture book maker is an online tool that allows children to create their own picture books based on the children’s illustrator Sarah Dyer.

Don’t forget we also have a 5 Ways to support Literacy , the aim of 5 ways is to showcase five ways to use LGfL resources across the curriculum that you can take and use and share for example, they can be shared in the staff room, at INSET sessions and also given to parents so that they can support their children’s learning at home.

There are also a range of tools that you can use for Literacy, one of our favourites is Book Creator, book creator one for the ipad is free as is the online version if you make 40 books. This is a great tool to use to create cross curricular books within class, there is an excellent blog post entitled 50 ways to use book creator in your classroom that has a range of ideas. Describing words does what the title suggests, students can enter nouns into the search bar and then are presented with a range of adjectives – great for inspiring descriptive writing and poetry.

Literacy Apps from the National Literacy Trust, is a guide that aims to help parents and teachers get the most out of apps that support language and literacy development. Some of the apps recommended in this guide need to be paid for and some offer further in app purchases.

Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. They curate artwork from illustrators and animators around the world and inspire writers of any age to turn those images into fresh stories, it is also free for any educational setting. You can search art work, as well completing challenges and reading guides to inspire writing of different genres. The blog also features a weekly prompt which could be used as an early work exercise or for homework.

What are you doing for International Day of Literacy, do let us know by sharing your ideas and work via our Facebook pand Twitter or in the comments below.

Back to School with LGfL

As teachers we get angry when we start seeing the ‘back to school’ signs in our local shops, but we have to face it, the summer break is nearly over, and it is (nearly) time to go back to school.

Going back to school after a long summer holiday can be tough. To make it easier on everyone, we’ve identified ten ways you can use LGfL resources and services to make the landing a little smoother and the start of school that much easier.

Make sure you are using our curriculum resources to their fullest: by mapping our resources to your curriculum, browse by subject/key stage to see everything relevant to you at a glance or search for a specific National Curriculum statement for a specific lesson need.

 

Read and subscribe to our Blogs: to keep up to date with our latest resources, we currently have 3 blogs that you can subscribe to, we have our Curriculum Blog (which you’re reading at the moment!) Our blog is updated weekly and offers a mix of topical pieces relating to how best to use LGfL content within your school setting. We also have Safe Blog which offers regular information, commentary and updates to safeguarding and our Inclusion Blog which looks at how you can use our content to support all learners. Also look out for our newest Blog let’s get Digital, which will be focusing on how cloud-based platforms can help transform teaching and learning.

Check out our training hub: We have added a huge range of training to our Training Hub offering a unique range of courses, browse and book or why not share the link with colleagues. Training is FREE for all LGfL teachers you can find out more about the courses on offer and how to sign up here. Examples of future courses include: Creative computing, Supporting Teaching AssistantsGoogle and Microsoft training, and Online-Safety training featuring CEOP THINKUKNOW introduction.

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

Use your USO: Make sure you and students have access to all of LGfL content at school and home by having your USO and password. Below is a short video to help you in acquiring staff and student USOs (just click on the image below)

Make sure you aren’t paying for a service we already provide for you: our Broadband and e-mailservices  are state-of-the-art, made for schools, and approved by self-guiding experts. But there are many other services provided to LGfL subscribers at no additional costs, from discounts on GDPR implementation services, access to the latest Malware software to Microsoft training/G suite implementation and much more!

Like and follow us on Social Media: for all of the latest news, event and updates to our resources and support

LGfL is on Facebook and Twitter

TRUSTnet is on Facebook and Twitter

Digisafe is on Facebook and Twitter

IncludED is on Twitter

Check out our new inclusion area: Across LGfL, there are many resources which support inclusion. Our Inclusion resources centre has an all new way to search for resources so you can support your learners faster than ever before and now has extra information about particular SEND subjects.

Update your online safety and AUPs: The Digisafe team have been busy over the summer updating our Online-Safety policy and AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) and have a range of differentiated templates so that all learners can stay safe on line and while you are in the Digisafe area have a look at the fantastic new online safety posters.

 

Book a free training session: it’s never too late to book a free school session with one of our Learning resource consultants, our expert LRC’s will create a bespoke training session for your staff so that your school can get the most out of the LGfL’s curriculum content. Our consultants offer flexible sessions that can be an after-school session lasting an hour or a whole day inset just email training@lgfl.net to book your free session.

How are you going to use LGfL services and resources to help energise your students learning? Do let us know by sharing your hints and tips via our Facebook and Twitter or in the comments below.

However you start the new academic year the LGfL curriculum team wish you the very best of luck and hope that we can support you and your students throughout the upcoming year.

 

LGfL and Avantis Education announce Strategic Partnership

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

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

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

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

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

Huw Williams, Marketing Director for Avantis Education commented:

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

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

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

Further pricing information about the Class VR can be found here

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

 

Summer Projects

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

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

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

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


Create and open your own restaurant:

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

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

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

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

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


Make your own family newspaper:

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

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

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

Make your own action movie:

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

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

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

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

Go and Explore London

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

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

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

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

Join the j2blast Maths Summer Challenge

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

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

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

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

 

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

Hopes and Streams – online safety report from LGfL DigiSafe

40,000 pupils took part in this year’s LGfL DigiSafe pupil online-safety survey about their online lives. We found out what they love and what they hate, what really goes on behind closed screens, and who they trust when things go wrong. Discover what we learned and what it means for schools, parents, industry and government in our new report, ‘Hopes & Streams’.

The above images feature just some of the stats mentioned – you can read the full report at pupilsurvey.lgfl.net where you can also watch an overview video which is another great way to share the report with colleagues.

LGfL DigiSafe have produced a template letter to parents that you might wish to use, detailing findings from the report but also help and support over the holidays, you can download the letter: LGfL-OS-Letter-end-of-year.

The next steps for schools have been compiled in a blog post that you can read here.  Mental health and self-harm were major themes of the survey especially with ‘self-harm bullying’. You can read about this from page 35 of the report, which you can view in an online flip book or download as a high-res pdf from pupilsurvey.lgfl.net.

Another key topic from the survey was live-streaming and this is the first downloadable CPD powerpoint which has been made using the findings go the survey to help you update staff in your September safeguarding updates.  You can find this alongside other materials at live-streaming.lgfl.net.

It would be great to hear from you if you make use of any of the above resources by sharing what you use on our DigiSafe Channels on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

Saving Schools Money and Keeping Children Safe

Over the last 12 months LGfL has 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. Further products will be added shortly which will help schools save even more money.

The products we’ve added to the LGfL subscription focus on providing additional layers of defence against cybersecurity threats, support GDPR compliance along with innovation within the curriculum. They are also products that schools have asked LGfL to provide as a priority and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to deliver.

If a school makes use of all the market leading products that are being added to the LGfL subscription, we estimate that a secondary school will save around an additional £13,000 per annum and a primary school around a further £5,000 per annum. This saving is over and above the bundle the school already receives (including web filtering, internet access, curriculum content etc.) and reinforces our commitment to ensuring we are providing the safest and most secure environment for teaching and learning. These savings have been delivered by our new LGfL procurement team called “SmartBuy” which has specialist skills to secure the best prices from bulk buying. We estimate that this team has already saved London schools over £5M this year.

LGfL SUBSCRIPTION REFRESH

The products that LGfL has added to the LGfL subscription are:-

  • Meraki Mobile Device Management – enables secure management and control of all school devices (including PCs) as well as providing features such as the remote deletion of data (a GDPR requirement). Product details can be found here. Up to 700 free licences can be claimed by secondary schools and 300 by primary schools. To claim your licences please send an email to merakimdm@lgfl.net
  • Sophos Intercept X – provides sophisticated protection for private and sensitive data ensuring schools don’t suffer ransomware attacks or lockouts. Product details can be found here. To claim your licence please contact the LGfL Helpdesk on 020 82 555555
  • MalwareBytes – finds and removes malware from devices. In some schools, up to 80% of devices have been found to be infected with malware which this software has eradicated. Product details can be found here.  To claim your licence please send an email to malwarebytes@lgfl.net
  • Sophos Server Advance – delivers added security protection for servers. Product details can be found here.  To claim your licence please send an email to SophosAdvance@lgfl.net
  • CloudReady /Neverware (from the end of July 2018) – enables old laptops to be used as functioning Chromebooks. Up to 100 subscriptions can be claimed by secondary schools and 30 by primary schools. Schools, will, however, need to purchase an associate Chrome Management Licence for each CloudReady device. Product details can be found here.  To claim your licences please send an email to neverware@lgfl.net
  • J2E – Access to the latest version of this award-winning curriculum software. This is a site licence for the whole school;From September 2018 the following products will be added to the LGfL subscription:-
  • Egress Switch – ensures secure and encrypted messaging and GDPR compliance for schools sending personal and confidential data. Each secondary school will be able to claim up to 15 licences and each primary school 5 licences. Product details can be found here.  To claim your licences please send an email to Egress@lgfl.net
  • Sophos Anti Phish – enables schools to request tests that will establish whether staff recognise phishing emails. Product details can be found here.  To claim your licence please send an email to SophosPhish@lgfl.net
  • Busythings Update – Our most popular curriculum software for primary and SEND schools will be updated to the latest version, accessible from all devices.

 

IMPROVING EXISTING PACKAGES

Alongside new products we are investing and updating the core LGfL services including web filtering (WebScreen), the Support Site (to make it more user friendly) as well as investing to increase the resilience and capacity of our dedicated education network. We have recently provisioned Soft OTP which has made USO easier to use. WebScreen, as part of LGfL’s CyberProtect strategy is being upgraded to make filtering more intuitive as well as allowing schools, MATS, Federations & Faith Schools to develop appropriate bespoke filtering policies. Improvements are planned for Remote Access to make it easier for staff to access date securely across sites and from home and we are upgrading LGfL VoIP interface to make the system more intuitive and improving ease of use.

These are exciting times for education and LGfL is determined to bring you the very best in digital innovation at a great price.

 

John Jackson CEO LGfL

Healthy Minds

Our latest open access resource is now available. Healthy Minds has been 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. Some resources are designed for use by staff and/or for parents.

It is essential to support mental health in schools as statistically 1 in 10 children between the age of 5 and 16 will have a diagnosable mental health disorder. That means that in an average classroom there are 3 pupils who have a mental health disorder. There will also be many more who are struggling with stress and anxiety, relating to school life and home life.

In 2014, Young Minds consulted with over 5,000 young people to find out the problems they are facing in their daily lives. The biggest issue that came out of this was school stress, with 84% ofyoung people saying that schools should help by teaching you how to cope when life gets tough.We know that more than half of adults with a mental health disorder were diagnosed before they reached 14, so it is vital that we help children to understand their mental health and wellbeing, and that we help build their resilience so that they are better able to cope with life.

The resource is split into the following sections:

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

Mental health and resilience activities for young people

This section includes resources for an assembly or workshop on mental health and resilience as well as a number of short activities that can be used directly with children and young people to help explore wellbeing and resilience and what things make us feel more resilient. Individual resources can be used as a one off with a class or can be built on over a whole term focusing on emotional wellbeing and resilience. These activities are designed for use with learners in upper KS2 (though not all are-please judge what is appropriate), KS3 and KS4, but can be adapted for other young people as required. Please ensure you read the outline before you start to ensure the resources are suitable for the Key stage you are working with.

Mental health and resilience resources for staff

This section includes CPD resources to help staff understand mental health issues, risk factors, supporting resilience and what they can do to help. Many staff support students with a range of mental health issues. When staff don’t have knowledge in this area and find it difficult to access external support, it can be extremely stressful and worrying. These resources have been designed to support staff for these reasons. There are also a few resources to support staff mental health as it is essential that staff receive the help they need too.

No Harm done – materials for staff, parents and young people

This section includes films and digital packs tackling the difficult subject of self-harm, as this has come up as a common issue in schools that staff are dealing with more often than ever before, but often lack the knowledge and training to deal with confidently. There are three different films and packs, one for staff, one for parents and one for pupils, all of which are voiced by real people sharing their real experiences.

Handy Websites and Apps

This is a document that can be downloaded that are recommended by Young minds to support staff.

Please share via our twitter or Facebook pages, if you use this resource in school.

 

IMMERSE YOUR PUPILS IN THE QUEEN’S ART

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Creative Writing workshop
2 hours
Key stage 2 – 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To book one of the above workshops please contact:

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Blast into Summer with j2blast

Maths skills can decline more during the summer holidays than any other subject, Harvard Graduate School of Education research suggests. With students losing up to three months of learning during the summer break, that’s almost a whole year of learning lost during their primary years.

To prevent the summer slide J2e are  inviting schools to join us for free in the Just2easy Summer Challenge! They  have some great prizes and activities for a really fun summer of learning with us.

With your school and Just2easy working together we can:

 

  • Reduce the summer slide in maths
  • Get students learning in a safe online environment
  • Develop every student’s love of maths and ICT!

 

Join the j2blast Maths Summer Challenge for FREE! 20th July – 3rd September 2018.

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

Every student who plays at least 10 games on j2blast Go Live! will be entered into a prize draw for one of several £20 Argos vouchers. Every school will be entered for a prize of £200 to be spent on any resources they want.

 

The j2blast Maths Summer Challenge begins on July 20th and ends on 3rd September.

Happy maths blasting with Just2easy!

5 Ways to support Computing

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

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

5 Ways to support Computing

Busy Things

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

J2code

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Space Adventures

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

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

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

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

Each lesson contains:

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

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

History of Computing

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

The resource features:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Python Tutor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five ways with Science

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

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

5 Ways to support science

Space Adventures

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

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

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

The science resources cover a range of objectives and lesson plans including: a science experiment which involves predicting outcomes and estimating measures, along with accurately recording times, the concept of micro-gravity, and understanding why people feel weightless in orbit, even though there is still a large gravitational pull from the Earth.

Switched on Science

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

Virtual experiments

 

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

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

Busy Things

Busy Things has a wide range of resources and games for use in Early years, KS1 and KS2 there are over 100 activities that are linked to the science curriculum. These include a range of labelling activities as well as writing frames and sorting activities. You can search both via subject and topic using the curriculum browser.

Widgit Symbols

 

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

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

Social Media for Schools

Red Box – Virtual Business Support, recently undertook some social media training for schools for London Grid for Learning (@LGfL) along with the wonderful Katy Potts (@katypotts) and Matthew Beevor (@mbeevor) from Islington Council.

They  focused on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but also looked at how to utilise your Google Local Entry.

The session covered types of content best suited for each platform; ensuring your social media accounts are optimised and set up correctly; social media policy and GDPR; then finally some best practise and practical tips for managing your social media.

A school’s social media and digital footprint is now an essential part of their marketing and PR strategy.  It is not only a great way to improve communications with parents but it is also used by prospective parents and indeed even Ofsted will search out a school online before a visit.  It is therefore essential for schools to take ownership of their online reputation rather than leave it to chance.

Social media can show your school is active and engaging as part of your local community and indeed even globally.  Many schools look for sponsorship from local businesses for their school fairs and fundraisers, and what better way than to reach out to them on twitter for example.  All small businesses are using twitter as a cost effective form of marketing so they will be delighted if your school engages with them online.

social media for schoolsSocial media is a great way of building connections with outside organisations, use it to join an already established campaign or indeed create your own campaign and hashtag.  Use it to highlight your school and your pupils’ achievements.  In this way the advantages from social media far outweigh the negatives, as long as you set out a clear social media policy.

When creating a social media policy, decide who will have access, what type of content you will share and what tone you will use.  Ensure your parents have consented to images of their children being used but also have a policy around what sort of images can be used, (perhaps you don’t allow close ups of pupils but rather cleverly set up images that convey the event without highlighting individuals).  Your social media policy should also include how school trips are represented, locations should not be divulged so perhaps share the trips images the following day rather than immediately.

Your school’s Google Local Entry is more than likely going to be the first thing a user sees when searching online, even before your website, so it makes sense to make the most of it.  Claim your entry and add good images and location details.  Google have recently created the option of ‘posting’ to your entry, this is added content that will be tagged to your entry and is a brilliant way to market upcoming events and even available school places.

There is a great deal to think about when setting up your school’s social media but using it well could greatly improve your schools profile and sharing positive content will only help to maintain your school’s online reputation.

Many thanks to Red Box for this blog post.

You can find more information on managing your schools’s online reputation from LGfL here.

GDPR advice here.

Range of template policies here.

 

Healthy Eating Week

 

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) are once again holding a healthy eating week from June 11th – June 15th. Registration is open to all schools/nurseries, universities/colleges and workplaces and is a great way to show your commitment to supporting the health and wellbeing of your pupils, students and employees. They have a range of resources for both Primary and Secondary schools including Powerpoints to introduce the week and the five challenges. Alongside guides to recruiting pupil ambassadors and an Eatwell Guide poster.

LGfL have a range of resources that can be used to support you in schools if you are having a Healthy Eating week.

Cookit

The primary purpose of Cookit 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.

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.

Healthy eating messages underpin the site whilst avoiding a preachy stance. This has been popular feature of the site. Cookit is well used by schools and is a cross-phase resource. There are recipes suitable for KS1-KS4, searchable by difficulty to encourage inclusion and to increase access for SEN learners and other groups.

Switched on Science and Virtual Experiments

Both of these resources have units liked to healthy eating, food and movement. Switched on Science includes lesson plans, teacher guides and pupil assessments while virtual experiments enables teachers  to repeat, slow down or vary the conditions of experiments

Team Marathon

Team Marathon for KS1 and KS2 is a great resource to use when encouraging children to get active!

Each training session follows the same format:

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

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

j2e Tool Suite

There are many tools within the j2e suite that can be used within Healthy eating week. You could design a poster, collect favourite healthy breakfasts or even make a short animation to encourage people to stay healthy in JIT. Using j2e5 or j2write the children could write up their favourite healthy recipes for a healthy eating cookbook that could be shared with parents, or to design a poster to encourage children to have their 5 a day.

Appmaker

Appmaker could also be used for pupils to make their own app to share with parents. Pre populated with high-quality content from LGfL resources, the App Maker will allow students to use pertinent videos and images to illustrate their web apps, including fruit, vegetables and sport – ideal for Healthy Eating week. They would then be able to write and format their own text and styles for the app. A user-friendly graphical interface will ensure they are more engaged in their learning within a particular topic area, at the same time as covering aspects of the Computing curriculum. When the app is complete, they could publish the app within their LGfL school area, enabling other LGfL users or parents to view their app, or download it as a web-app to a smart phone or tablet. 

Busythings

BusyThings has a range of activities connected with healthy eating, from finding out where food comes from to designing a healthy meal there is something to suit EYFS – KS2

Please let us know what you are doing for the week, you can share via our Twitter using the official #BNFHEW18 and on our Facebook pages.

 

 

World Cup 2018

The 21st FIFA World Cup kicks off on the 14th June 2018 and runs until the final on the 15th July 2018.  This years competition takes place in Russia and England were the only team from the UK to qualify for the tournament this year! The World Cup provides a wide range of teaching activities to use across the curriculum, in this blog we have collated resources that can be used from LGfL as well as resources that are available free to use.

First up is ReadingZone Live – Football School

Authors Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton  discuss their groundbreaking series that teaches you about the world through the prism of football. At Football School every lesson is about football. Can you play football on Mars? What is a magic sponge? Subjects covered include history, geography, science and maths all through football. Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton, are journalists, broadcasters and award-winning science and sportswriters. Their knowledge, enthusiasm and engaging writing make them the perfect team to teach you how to score with your head. You can watch interviews with the authors as well as catching up with the video conference – the perfect way to kick off your World Cup work.

National Literacy Trust have teamed up with Walker Books to launch some free teaching resources to inspire KS2 children to get writing ahead of the World Cup. Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton, the authors behind the best-selling Football School series, have set pupils an exciting challenge to write a lesson for their favourite subject… but with a World Cup twist!

Pupils are tasked with uncovering the most entertaining facts and funniest stories about football in relation to their favourite subject. Can you play football on Mars? What were Henry VIII’s football boots like? When do footballers go to the toilet?

In true Football School style, pupils are also encouraged to include illustrations, jokes and diagrams in their lessons – which should culminate in a quiz designed to outsmart their classmates.

To help get pupils started, National Literacy Trust have created the following resources:

  • World Cup Football School teaching resource, packed with top writing tips and lesson ideas for every subject
  • Handouts for pupils, including a checklist for creating their lesson and a coach stats card template
  • A colourful poster to display in your classroom
  • Football School bookmarks
  • A certificate to celebrate when your pupils complete their writing challenges

You can also order some free World Cup football school bookmarks and posters by filling out this short form.

The author Tom Palmer is also writing a live thriller adventure set at the men’s football World Cup finals in Russia. A new ten-minute read chapter will be published each weekday morning and will be available free for schools and families to read.  It is aimed at Year 4 – Year 8 and feature dramatic cliffhangers and there will be the chance to vote and change the storyline.  As well as this live book, there are also a range of other resources linked to the World Cup that are available to download, you can find out more here.

If you attended our annual conference this year, you will have received a copy of Striker Boy.

Striker Boy is a fast paced thriller that sees 13-year-old Nat Dixon desperately trying to save his beloved club from relegation. It’s packed with action both on and off the pitch. This special not-for-profit edition is being published in memory of it’s author Jonny Zucker. In November 2016 Jonny took his own life, he was a loving husband and father and creator of the Serial Mash library for 2Simple. Jonny believed passionately in the power of creativity, imagination, and ideas. He dedicated his life to inspiring children to read, working for many years as a primary school teacher before becoming a successful children’s author. Jonny’s favourite of his own stories is a book called ‘Striker Boy’first published in 2010. The book is also raising money for Mind. Please note the book’s content is not related to mental health.I

2simple have produced a range of free teacher resources to accompany the book, including an emotional resilience pack.

They are also running a free to enter national writing competition,open to KS2/3 children of all ability levels.  This is a great activity to use during World Cup month and there are some fantastic prizes, including a World Cup Shirt, a hamper full of official football merchandise and a £100 school book token for the winning entry, the closing date is 8th July. You can find our more and how to enter hereThat’s not all, as there’s also a free emotional resilience assembly and Literacy activities, as well as being able to listen to the first chapter online

Maths in the Real World is a transition resource for Key Stage 2-3. The activities are ideal for use either before or after the move from Primary to Secondary, and detailed differentiation ensures there is something for all ability levels. Three of the sections are perfect to use during the World Cup.

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

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

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

England have decided not to have an official World Cup song this year – so this provides a great opportunity for children to create one for them! You can watch songs from previous tournaments – including my own favourite below, then using Audio Network for the backing track and j2e tools to write the lyrics you can create your own song to make the three lions roar!

J2e Tools can be used in a variety of ways including: Designing a kit for your favourite time, you can use this infographic from the Guardian for inspiration, which charts all the different kits for all the teams at the tournaments; or why not use the data bases tool to do some real time maths statistics – looking at points scored, goals scored, number of red cards etc.  The BBC website is a great source for this and there is a free lesson plan from Teachwire looking at using statistics to make predictions.

There are also two fantastic databases that have been created one looking at every team in the World Cup, and another that looks at every player in the World Cup – fantastic to use for data handling activities related to the World Cup and thanks to Paul Wright for sharing these!w

Or how about writing a guide to Russia and the cities that are hosting the matches, you can find a lot of information here, on the official welcome page for fans but what information isn’t included that the children would find useful – they could write an alternative guide! The children could use j2vote at the start of the competition to vote for who they think will be picking up the Jules Rimet trophy on the 15th July!

Teachwire also have a PDF resource features a country factfile of all 32 national football teams competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this June and July. Each country file includes the nation’s flag, its name in its native language(s), geography facts such as continent, area, population, capital city, most populous cities, major language(s), most common surnames and currency. And they also include three key players to look out for at the World Cup, and each country’s best performance in the tournament’s history. You can sign up to download the resource here.

BusyThings also have a range of resources that can be used including: writing a match report, writing about a player from their favourite team and designing a football kit.

Lightbulb languages have created a superb range of free resources for the Word cup, including mini book guides for each group, flags, logic activities and a range of language activities they can all be downloaded here.

Originally produced for the World Cup in 2014 in Brazil, Oxfam have a range of resources entitled: The World Cup – a fair game? These resources would be great within a PHSE lesson and although focussed on Brazil as the host country they can easily be adapted for use this month.

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

 

 

National Bookstart Week 2018

Every year, BookTrust organises National Bookstart Week to celebrate the joys and benefits of sharing books, stories and rhymes with your little ones from as early an age as possible – it’s never too early to start!

The theme for this year is Bookstart Bird Boogie and the chosen book is the brilliant A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins. It’s a wonderfully colourful rhyming book about being a bird for a day, full of actions to do and sounds to make – and it’s fantastic to read together.

National Bookstart Week will take place from 4-10 June and there will be hundreds of Bookstart Bird Boogie events up and down the country, including bird-themed Rhymetimes and Storytimes, craft and music sessions, face-painting and even birds of prey displays. Just contact your local library or children’s centre to find out what’s happening near you.

At each event you can get a free copy of A Busy Day for Birds, thanks to support from Walker Books. BookTrust is giving away over 450,000 copies, so be sure to head along to an event to pick up yours.

You can also watch a reading of A busy day for Birds read by Ore Oduba below, there are also craft and colouring activities and bird-themed rhymes for you to use they can all be downloaded here.

When it comes to sharing books, stories and rhymes, LGfL have a range of resources to support you not only during this week, but across the school year.

Listening books

Use your LGfL USO account to access over 100 curriculum-based audiobooks. These are a great tool for use with your students who have SEND or an illness which makes it difficult for them read. Listening Books opens up the wonderful world of books to people who find it difficult to read in the usual way. They support the National Curriculum from Key Stage 2 to A-Level and have a huge range of fiction and non-fiction titles for both adults and children. Listening to audiobooks allows children and young people to listen to the same books their friends and peers are reading, improve comprehension and word recognition as well as helping to instil a greater understanding and enjoyment of literature.

It is easy to listen to an audio book,

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

Talking stories

Talking stories from 2 Simple are available for KS1, Years 3 and 5 and also as a multi-modal resource that fits in with the Literacy curriculum. Titles include: The Great Fire of London, A trip down the Thames, Orpheus – A Greek Myth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

ebooks by Rising Stars

 

Rising Stars have joined with LGfL to offer schools 15 free eBooks from the Rising Stars range, each developed to engage reluctant readers aged 7 to 14+. Digital reading has been recognised as helping to close the gender gap in reading ability between boys and girls. These eBooks can be used on any device, from PCs and netbooks to iPads and Kindles. Each eBook features age-appropriate story lines and controlled language levels that support struggling readers and motivate switched-off readers, they also come with a set of teacher notes and related activities that can be used either one to one or as part of a guided reading group.

Reading Zone Live

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

Antony Horowitz, Oliver Jeffers, Cressida Cowell, Tony Ross and Lauren Child are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live programme, which is helping inspire young people to explore new authors andgenres and to develop their own creative writing.

You can also watch the next Reading Zone Live event on the 13th June, which features the author Philip Reeve on 13thJune from 2:20 pm. Philip Reeve is a celebrated author, best known for his multi award-winning Mortal Engines quartet, which is being adapted for screen by Peter Jackson and will be released in December 2018. He won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize with his Mortal Engines series, as well as the Nestlé Book Prize – Gold Award and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award.

His most recent series Railhead is a space opera with intergalactic trains, dazzling worlds, and extraordinary characters. The first book in the series was shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie award and the latestbook in the series Station Zero publishes in May 2018.

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

 

 

5 ways with English

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

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

5 Ways to support Literacy

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

Busythings

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

Grammar Explained

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

Reading Zone Live

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

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

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

j2eTool Suite

 

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

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

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

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

Widgit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Walk to school week – 21 – 25 May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National Numeracy Day – May 16th 2018

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

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

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

  • Why not use the day to blast off with our brand new Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon resource this unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe. It features dramatic video content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative. Maths topics include: rounding to 100, co-ordinates, angles and sequences all within a cross curricular resource.

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

 

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

  • Maths Search and Rescue – can be used on the day to give a real live context to maths. Search & Rescue is extensively mapped to the