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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One teacher commented:

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

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

 

European day of Languages 26th September 2019

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

It is celebrated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rugby World Cup 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Code Week EU 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Each lesson contains:

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

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

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

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

For more information and to book go here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The resource features:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International Day of Democracy – September 15th 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

#poweredbyPledge2020

Roald Dahl Day 2019

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

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

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

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

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

To listen to a book follow the steps below:

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

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

The Dahl books on offer are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

International Literacy Day 8th September 2019

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.

International Literacy Day 2019 is an opportunity to express solidarity with the celebrations of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages(link is external)and the 25th anniversary of the World Conference on Special Needs Education, at which the Salamanca Statement on Inclusive Education was adopted.  International Literacy Day 2019 will focus on ‘Literacy and Multilingualism’. Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist, distributed unevenly across countries and populations. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing these literacy challenges and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

On the occasion of International Literacy Day 2019, the main characteristics of multilingualism in today’s globalised and digitalised world will be discussed, together with their implications for literacy in policies and practice in order to achieve greater inclusion in multilingual contexts.

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:

j2write J2write enables schools to meet the literacy requirements of the national curriculum programmes of study for KS1, KS2 and KS3. From writing to animation, recording speech, mixing it up and blogging. 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. There are sections on learning objectives and outcomes, cross curricular links, extension activities, and assessment. The detailed lesson plans help you though classroom use of the tools, step by step. They can easily be adapted to work with whatever topic your class is currently working on

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. Using their USO log in means that children can access the resource at home and at school.

 

Busy Things have a vast range of resources that support Literacy across the Primary phase.

In teacher mode – teachers are able to use either the Curriculum search and find activities linked to the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2 as well as the EYFS framework or able to enter a search term e.g. phonics and find a range of activities that meet this search.

Phonics maker enables teachers to create their own phonics resources for their students, the resource includes grapheme cards, letter formation, missing letters and matching all linked to Letters and Sounds Phases 1-5 as well as teachers being able to choose their own content if they follow a different scheme. The video below gives an overview on how to make the most of this fantastic resource.

Busy Paint and Publisher has 100 of templates to use across the curriculum with easy to use features. The video below gives an overview of how to make use of this fantastic resource:

Linked into the theme of multilingualism, BusyThings resources also cover French and Spanish with a range of activities that can be used across the key stages.

Or why not get creative with Adobe Spark, we loved seeing a tweet from @FunkyPedagogy, who shared her Word of the Week resources they used last year all using Adobe Spark and all kindly uploaded for teachers to look/use adapt/ignore as you like! You can find them via her tweet here. You can see an example below, but this is just one of the many great ways that you can make use of Adobe within the classroom, don’t forget to claim your Adobe licences as part of your LGfL subscription here.

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 or for those who need some calming down time for their wellbeing. Listening Books is a charity and these books must only be used with students who have an illness, physical or learning disability of mental health condition which impacts on their ability to read or hold a book.

To listen to a book follow the steps below:

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

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

Alongside Listening Books, 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 A Midsummer Night’s Dream,  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, all set in London Zoo another great resource to use not only on International Literacy Day but throughout the year.

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 and Twitter or in the comments below.

The Spirit of Endeavour: Encouraging creativity in our schools

The film First Man is well-crafted and an exciting watch that features excellent performances and realistically depicts the preparations and risks associated with the launch of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. To a certain extent, the film is less about the events of the mission and more about the pressures, dreams and realities of the spirit of endeavour during the cold war within the backdrop of the race between the Soviet Union and USA to conquer space. Throughout the film, the theme of mortality is explored both within Neil Armstrong’s own immediate family and within the broader context of the NASA team preparing for their mission.

Watching it made me realise how similar the story of the Apollo missions are to LGfL’s Space Adventures  which takes learners through the different stages of a mission from pre-launch preparations, to inflight challenges and eventual return back to earth. It features support for the Science, Literacy and Maths curriculum with a whole section created by Max Wainewright mapped to the Computing curriculum.

Virtual Reality is used to provide learners with the part of the mission on the moon where the intrepid astronaut Tazz is required to mine the raw material Dysprosium, a mineral prized back on earth for use in the construction of our smart phones. Our partners at Inspryo recently provided an update to our new KS1 AR resource Significant People; it now has a VR element – a Lunar VR experience which places you in the space suit of Neil Armstrong and allows the viewer to explore the surface of the moon and view the experiments that were completed during that first expedition to the moon.

Within the Space Adventures resource, there are many opportunities for learners to explore issues of mortality, morality and environmental issues through poignant video content and through the unique narrative created by award winning author Cath Howe. It has been fantastic to see how the resource has captured the imagination in schools recreating the spirit of adventure and endeavour.

The Polar Exploration in the Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery produced in partnership with the Scott Polar Research Institute covers similar themes of Scientific exploration on the limits of human knowledge and understanding within the context of the time. The extraordinarily primitive equipment is often a revelation to our smart phone generation of learners in schools today. Exning Primary School used their recent investment in Chrome books and Class VR headsets to recreate their own polar landscapes to demonstrate their knowledge learned.

As LGfL launches its bold partnership with Adobe to provide the Creative Cloud Suite of professional creative tools to schools, we hope that teachers and learners will accept our very modern challenge and aim to pioneer in the way that many of our hero’s from the past did through their own creative endeavours. There are plenty of support opportunities on offer via the LGfL training portal to equip teachers with the required insights and skills with the Adobe tools. Related to the Moon landing… our introductory course on Photoshop ‘Get started with Imaging’ at the Adobe Education Exchange is about the Apollo 11 moon landing.  The course covers the teaching basics of Photoshop with the project ‘I was there when…’ and shows how you can put yourself into a historic photo.

We want our learners and teachers to explore their own creativity in ways no one has previously, to inspire each other through their own creative adventures and focus on the issues that affect and concern them, be that climate change, politics, self-image or storytelling though images, video or sound.

By continuing to work with world class partners, LGfL hopes to help create a new spirit of creative endeavour in our schools and lead the way in what can be achieved through creative, collaborative thinking and self-expression.

We would love to see the work you with Adobe tools in your classroom via our Twitter or Facebook pages.

B.Usher, LGfL Content Manager

 

 

 

 

 

Back to School with LGfL 2019

I know as a teacher how annoying it is to see back to school signs in shops, but come on we all have to face it, the summer holidays are nearly over, it’s time to stop taking “hotdog leg selfies” and banish the afternoon siestas because it is (nearly) time to go back to school

Going back to school after the long summer holiday break can be tough. To make it easier on everyone, I have identified some ways you can use LGfL resources and services to make the reality of going back to work a tad smoother and to help you get the most out of your LGfL subscription.

Make sure you are using our curriculum resources to their fullest: by mapping our resources to your school’s 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.

Boost your bandwidth: Pledge 2020 is about supercharging connectivity across LGfL schools so they can make use of 4K streaming, virtual reality and cloud computing. The average boost to LGfL schools is 200%; this will place schools at the forefront of digital connectivity in the UK and the world. To find out how much additional bandwidth you will receive free of charge go to www.pledge.2020.lgfl.netSign in with your USO account to get a personalised update for your school or MAT. Just click on the “count me in” button to find out about the upgrade (this is a FREE upgrade and there is no requirement to renew your contract). This infographic sets out the rationale for Pledge 2020 – why it was needed for schools and what else LGfL are doing to ensure that your school/MAT can not only meet bandwidth pressures but is also future-proofed.

Read and subscribe to our blogs: to keep up to date with our latest resources, we currently have 4 blogs that you can subscribe to. We have our Curriculum Blog (which you’re reading at the moment!) This 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 (offering regular information, commentary and updates to safeguarding), the Inclusion Blog (how you can use our content to support all learners) and our newest blog Let’s get Digital (how cloud-based platforms can help transform teaching and learning).

Check out our Savings Calculator: Using our new savings calculator you can see just how much your LGfL Let’s get Digital subscription is saving your school, whilst providing you with award-winning curriculum resources and high-speed broadband.

Save the date(s) for our upcoming conferences: 

Supercloud Conference 2019 – 1st November: Get to know exactly what it means to be ‘Cloud-Ready’ and deep dive into the latest technology from our major Cloud Partners! Eventbrite page for booking this conference will be live shortly.

The LGfL Inclusion and Wellbeing Conference 2019 – 1st November: Focusing on communication to support inclusion and wellbeing. Eventbrite page for booking this conference will be live shortly.

Safeconf 2020 – Early Bird tickets for SafeConf 2020 on 6th March available here now – we will add an agenda and speakers over the next few months.

Introduce creativity into the classroom with Adobe Creative Cloud: Digital skills and the ability to solve complex problems through critical thinking and creativity, are going to play a huge role in your students’ future success. That’s why LGfL has partnered with Adobe to provide creative problem-solving technology to schools. LGfL is offering free Adobe Creative Cloud licenses for schools (120 for secondary schools and 30 for primary and SEND schools) as part of their subscription. Additionally, schools can access an unlimited number of Adobe Spark for Education licenses at no additional cost. Just click here to claim your licences.

Check out our training hub: We have added a huge range of unique training to our Training Hub. Browse and book now, or why not share the link with colleagues? Training is FREE for all LGfL and TrustNet 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 Assistants, Google and Microsoft training, and Online-Safety training featuring CEOP THINKUKNOW introduction and much, much more.

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 and news on how we can help you to keep your students safe and learn more with LGfL. We have 3 different newsletters LGfL, DSLs and Online Safety Leads and SEND. If you missed a previous newsletter you can find an archive here.

Use your USO: Make sure you and the students have access to all of LGfL content at school and home by ensuring everyone knows their 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-mail services are state-of-the-art, made for schools, and approved by selfguiding experts. But there are many other services provided to LGfL subscribers at no additional cost, 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, events and updates to our resources and support.

Check out our new updated Inclusion Resources Centre: Across LGfL, there are many resources which support inclusion. Our Inclusion resources centre means you can search for resources to support your learners faster than ever before and now has extra information You will also find two of our latest resources here: Learning Through Movement (is a staff training resource focusing on the importance of movement, handwriting & maintaining focus and CPD) and Multisensory Learning (is a resource to support understanding of multisensory learning).

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 online. While you are in the Digisafe area have a look at the fantastic new online safety posters too.

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 including after-school sessions; they generally last an hour or we can offer a whole or half day INSET. Just email training@lgfl.net to organise a date for 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. If we like or retweet your comment you can win an LGfL goodie bag!

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.

New to the Role of Subject Leader in General or Swapping Subjects?

It is now more than halfway though the summer holidays (sorry to remind you!) and inevitably for some people return-to-school thoughts will soon start infiltrating your dreams, if not your waking hours. Having, hopefully, spent the last few weeks relaxing and recharging your batteries you may be gearing up to preparing for the acadmic year ahead and for some this will involve additional roles and responsibilities.

A previous Headteacher of mine, once stated that you don’t necessarily have to be an expert in a subject in order to be a great subject leader of said subject!

Whilst I agree to some extent, I would definitely argue that if you want to be a great role model and champion a subject with your colleagues, it definitely helps to at least have some passion for the subject in question!

That said, you may recently have been asked/coerced/persuaded (*delete as appropriate) to take on the role of subject leader for a subject that is not your degree specialism and/or a subject that you either lack confidence in, or have very little prior interest. Regardless, it is now your role to actively promote and champion this subject and to encourage/support other teachers to deliver engaging lessons. You might also want to ensure that you are able to “talk the talk” through intent, implementation and impact with regards to your subject within the school’s curriculum should the “Big O” come visiting (but let’s not dwell on that ;-)). 

Here are some ways LGfL can help as you establish yourself within the role:

Firstly, take advantage of the free LGfL training you have access to as part of your “Let’s Get Digital” subscription to explore LGfL resources further and think about how they can be used to enhance your school’s curriculum.

During any of our training you will not only have the time to explore the wide range of resources available to support your subject but, and perhaps more valuable, you will be able to expand your PLN (Personal Learning Network) by talking to colleagues from other schools and Local Authorities/MATs about their experiences with leading a subject.

Visit training.lgfl.net for more information on what courses we offer. 

 

Book a school visit from an LGfL Learning Resource Consultant (LRC):

We offer a range of flexible sessions in your school at no extra cost (ie they come as part of LGfL subscription package, currently). These sessions are designed to ensure that you are maximising the use of the resources available on the LGfL grid. 

The sessions we can offer are as follows:

  • General introduction to LGfL for teachers: An insight to energising teaching and learning within your school using LGfL curriculum content, with guided supported time to explore LGfL curriculum content with some top tips and recommendations. (This can fit in to an hour but can be longer, during a twilight or an INSET session).
  • General introduction to LGfL for TAs/LSAs: A focused look at how to support teaching and learning within your school using LGfL curriculum content with guided supported time to explore LGfL curriculum content with some top tips and recommendations for Teaching Assistants, HLTAs and LSAs. (This can fit in to an hour but can be longer and can also be during school hours, a twilight or INSET session).
  • Focused training: This is normally booked in after the first school visit and is decided by the teachers’ needs and wants. (This can fit in to an hour but can be longer and can be during the school day or after).
  • Curriculum mapping (for Curriculum or Computing Leaders): This could be during the school day and involves one of our experienced Learning Resource Consultants helping the School Leaders to map LGfL content to your school’s existing curriculum map.

Subject and Topic Related Resources:

At LGfL, we host a wealth of online resources which may be relevant depending on the subject you are leading. Both Busy Things and J2eToolsuite have been the focus of many of our Curriculum blogs and are fantastic for delivering subject related content, but also as a tool for the pupils to present their work. Do remember to visit the ‘Special Events’ tab on BusyThings to check for resources for day/weeks such as National Poetry Day, World Space Week etc, should you be considering such an event across your school.

We also host many more subject specific resources for you and your colleagues to discover…

Our expanding LGfL 5 Ways Series  promotes a wide variety of LGfL materials to use for different subjects (and indeed within different school roles). Some of the 5 Ways Series documents are also supported with previously posted blogs: History, Computing, Science and English.

The EYFS Spotlight Series resource is ideal for use in primary schools and Early Years settings. Within each category you’ll find a variety of links to LGfL resources and suggested teaching ideas on how to use them within your Early Years setting. As some settings may have variations in naming of topics, please see the topic descriptions to help you search for the related content. [There are currently 8 typical topics with plans to add at least four more to be added early autumn]. 

Humanities Subject Leaders:

LGfL has many resources written in-house, to support the teaching and learning of humanities. I have summarised a few of these below:

LGfL worked with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University in creating this comprehensive resource, which provides a unique insight into the ‘Polar Exploration in the Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery’. Featuring exclusive access to the historic archive of the most famous polar expeditions of the 20th Century, the resource includes:

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

Refer back to a previous blog posted in January 2019, entitled ‘Take a Walk in the Footsteps of the Great Explorers of the Past’ for further insight in to this resource.

The Romans in London produced in association with the Museum of London, this resource features unique video explanations at locations around the City of London and of Roman objects used and found in London and a range of Roman images for you to use in your study of The Romans in London. The resource 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. LGfL has worked with virtual and augmented-reality experts at Computeam Ltd to create a series of artefacts and experiences that complement this learning resource by bringing it to life in a way that is otherwise unimaginable.

Tudors in London also produced in association with the Museum of London, aims to develop an understanding of a 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 over 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 materials.

Queen Victoria as you’ve never seen her before, this resource transports pupils into the regal world of Victoria the girl, the princess, the new queen and longest reigning monarch. What’s in a picture? Quite a lot in fact and thanks to this collection of paintings and photographs from Royal Collection Trust, you will find even more.  56 carefully collated images tell the story of one of Britain’s favourite monarchs, and is accompanied by lesson plans and curriculum notes to create memorable learning experiences for pupils. All the images are available as high-resolution downloads, ideal for studying details – even on a large screen and licensed for educational use. They are divided into four themes, each with lesson plans and general guidance to inspire teaching through images:

  • Palace in Waiting
  • Albert’s Arrival
  • All Change
  • Becoming Royal

The River Thames in London resource helps pupils to understand more about this iconic river and how it has influenced and continues to influence life in and far beyond London. The resource has lesson plans and stand alone assets for Key Stages 1-3, with high-quality materials provided by the Royal Collection Trust, Museum of London and the British Library helping to uncover the river’s secrets through paintings, maps and photographs.

Regardless of subject and age range, most teachers need to incorporate a sense of place relating to location in their everyday teaching. LGfL is working in partnership with ESRI to bring the ARC Geographical Information System to all LGfL schools to provide a comprehensive mapping tool and locational analysis. Keep an eye out for the new LGfL portal featuring the following:

  • USO log in sync to the ARC GiS system
  • Support for fieldwork through the Survey 1-2-3 tool.
  • Curriculum linked datasets to overlay on the Arc GiS system
  • Comprehensive video support for how to maximise the platform across the curriculum and age ranges

Also in development with ESRI and the Museum of London Archaeological Archive is a location based app that will allow LGfL schools to understand the history of the exact location they are in at any point in time. For further details about this new partnership contact content support@lgfl.net

Explore Geography 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 nine 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 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 cannot do when using a physical globe or hard copy diagram.

Remember Explore Geography is only one of the many mixed reality resources to be found on LGfL; visit the portal or refer back to the blog posted in November 2018 entitled ‘Inspyro VR and AR Content on the Class VR LGfL Portal’ to discover more.

Computing Subject Leader:

The Computing Resource Centre is a showcase of all the computing resources that LGfL have to offer, alongside other (free) outside resources that can support the computing curriculum within your school. These have been grouped into the following categories:

  • Information Technology
  • Digital Literacy
  • Computing Science
  • External resources
  • Research

‘Computing in the national curriculum – A guide for primary teachers’ is a benchmark document produced by the Computing at School (CAS) Organisation for schools delivering the computing national curriculum. At LGfL we have created an enhanced, media-rich, interactive version that uses the power of the web to bring it to life with hyperlinks to definitions of key terms and other useful sites, plus videos deomonstrating key concepts and links to research and resources. 

Remember that LGfL is also part of the CAS Community; Bradley Dardis (one of LGfL’s LRCs) is running a Barefoot Programming Workshop on behalf of CAS – this would be a great event to meet colleagues in a similar situation. He also offers a ‘Creative Computing’ and Ipad training (all listed on the training portal previously mentioned).

Science Subject Leader:

Ensure your teachers know that Switched on Science offers full coverage across Key Stage 1 and 2. It 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 programmes of study with confidence. The package comes with a video for each unit, teacher guide, interactive exercises, pupil workbooks, ideas for differentiation and much more.

 

 

Recently, I heard a Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) fellow talking about the support they offer to increase “science capital” within primary schools. The PSTT are a charitable trust and their ultimate aim is to see excellent teaching of science in every primary classroom across the UK. They have a network of outstanding and award-winning primary science teachers who are working to develop and disseminate excellence in primary science across the UK. They offer free advice and support to teachers wishing to improve primary science and many of their resources are free.

As a new Science Leader you may find The Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) pyramid tool a supportive structure to evaluate and develop the science assessment processes further within your school (the section also contains a growing database of updated focused assessment plans and work samples).

They also encourage and support schools to join up into clusters so that staff across schools can support one another in the development of science teaching and learning.

In General:

Whatever subject you find yourself leading on within your school, please remember there are many teachers in the same position as you and Twitter can be a great place to find support and advice as you grow and evolve as a subject leader. 

The LGfL Community are also a very supportive bunch and you can view case studies from schools about how they have used LGfL resources as part of the daily diet they offer their pupils. The case studies  can be found on LGfL TV; additionally you can view the Keynote Speakers’ presentations from the many LGfL Annual Conferences included are the likes of Chris Dyson (@chrisdysonHT) and Ross McGill (@TeacherToolkit) from the Curriculum Conference 2019.

 

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

 

 

 

Pledge 2020 – Supercharge your LGfL broadband for free

Pledge 2020 is about supercharging connectivity across LGfL schools so they can make use of cloud computing, 4K streaming, virtual reality and cloud.  The average boost to LGfL schools is 200% which will place schools at the forefront of digital connectivity in the UK and the world. To find out how much additional bandwidth you will receive Free Of Charge go to www.pledge.2020.lgfl.net. Sign in with your USO account to get a personalised update for your school or MAT. Just click on the count me in button to find out the upgrade, this is a FREE upgrade and there is no requirement to renew your contract. This infographic sets out the rationale for Pledge 2020 – why it was needed for schools and what else LGfL are doing to ensure that your school/MAT can not only meet bandwidth pressures but is also future proofed.

As part of the upgrade we’re taking the opportunity to replace old equipment with the latest technology which also means that LGfL can upgrade any primary school to 500 Mbps and every secondary school to 1 Gps without having to change the firewall or the router. As a result, schools avoid expensive and disruptive kit replacements when they simply want more bandwidth.

There are thousands of schools receiving a free upgrade and it will take time to get around to all schools.  Our intention is to have all schools upgraded over the course of 2019 and 2020 and we will be in touch with you to schedule an appropriate time for your upgrade.  If you don’t use USO then please contact us at enquiries@lgfl.net and we will be happy to provide this information for you.

Alongside Pledge 2020, make sure that your school has made use of the offers below to get the most out of your Let’s Get Digital Subscription.

SAVE THOUSANDS BY CLAIMING FREE LICENCES FROM LGfL

Find out how much you are/can save at www.savings.lgfl.net and claim your free licences too!  We estimate that primary and secondary schools making use of all the additional software saves (or achieves additional value) worth around £7,000 and £17,000 per annum, respectively.

 NEW !!!! FREE ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD LICENCES

LGfL has negotiated a ground breaking deal with Adobe for Creative Cloud.  Every LGfL school can claim an allocation of Adobe licences at adobe.lgfl.net. Don’t miss out on packages like Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver…..

LGfL’s deal with Adobe includes support for using the products and there will be more information in the Autumn regarding training, INSET and access to curriculum materials

USE THE FSM CHECKER TO CLAIM FUNDS

LGfL provides a service that enables schools to identify which children are eligible for free school meals and an additional grant.  So far this year, LGfL schools have claimed in excess of £10 million.  If you’re not already using this free service, or would like further details, then please do not hesitate to contact us at fsm@lgfl.net and we will help you get online and make us of this fantastic resource within your school.

FREE SECURE STORAGE FOR DISASTER RECOVERY WILL BE AVAILABLE TO ALL LGfL SCHOOLS

LGfL provides a service called GridStore where you can back-up your data to a secure location where it is encrypted and kept safe.  IN the event that the school has a disaster you will be able to pull down a copy of your data and load it back into the school and get going again quickly.  Nearly 1,000 schools already use this services and we are delighted to extend its availability.

Every secondary school will be given 100GB of free storage and every primary/special school will be given 50GB of storage and this will be implemented as part of a new service that will be made available to schools during the Autumn Term.  More will follow from Michael.Eva@LGfl.net shortly.

LGfL IS HERE TO HELP

LGfL wants you to get the best from your package of services and we have a team ready to ehlp you with your enquiries.

Customer Service Contact – enquiries@lgfl.net

Education Team – inspire@lgfl.net

Or Ring Us On 0208 408 4455

If you have signed up for Pledge 2020 then please share on either LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook. #WeAreLGfL #Pledge2020

Steam School Summer Pilot Final Broadcast

Live Celebration Broadcast

Wednesday, marked the final broadcast of our summer pilot project with Steam School. We hope all the schools who have got involved in the project have enjoyed the experience. Furthermore, we hope it has provided some food for thought for the pupils in terms of career paths your pupils now wish to further explore.

In the broadcast (aired on 3rd July), Jade from Steam School shared some key takeaways for all the young people who have watched these broadcasts and announced the winner of the Generation Tech Challenge.

Jade began the broadcast by thanking LGfL for sponsoring the programme of broadcasts and helping Steam Schools to showcase a unique behind the scenes look at the tech sector and reminded viewers that we have learnt so much about working in the tech sector and specifically about virtual reality, augmented reality and creating video games.

Experiment – Fail – Learn – Repeat

In our first show, with Clemens from vTime, we learnt that not every idea or project we create is successful first time around – sometimes it takes a few tries before you arrive at a winning solution – so don’t be afraid to fail, learn, keep trying and eventually you will succeed.

It’s kind of fun to do the ‘impossible’

In our second show we met Niall, who gave us some insight into creating a video game that paired with augmented reality to bring toys to life. It was great to learn about their creative process and how they plan to bring the product to life.

Create. Take risks … live your passion!

In our third broadcast we met Susie who has an amazing job as video games community manager. We were lucky to get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes, look at this fantastic new game – soon to be released on Xbox and PS4. For all you aspiring video game creators or tech entrepreneurs, we recommend that you start now, get creating and showcase your talents to the world to land that dream job!

The Winners of the Generation Tech Challenge:

A runner up prize was given to Lancasterian Primary School, based in London. They sent in lots of ideas from their Year 5 class and as a result will receive some Steam School goodies and a season pass to next year’s Steam School programme.

The final winners were Blackmoor Junior School, based in West Derby. They went the extra mile and filmed a short video showing their own designs for Swapbots characters and made into 3D prototypes.

You can now watch the final broadcast in the series below:

We hope everyone who took part in the pilot enjoyed it and gained a lot from the experience and a big thank you to Jade (from STEAM School) for hosting the broadcasts and getting LGfL involved.

Please let us know about the impact the broadcasts have had on your pupils and share their Generation Tech Challenge ideas by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Get Creative With J2Easy and the J2 Tool Suite

(*This includes some recent updates made within J2 Tool Suite*)

 

In my opinion, if you haven’t done so previously, you really should find some “spare” (ahem) time to explore the J2Toolsuite on LGfL. It brings you award winning software tools designed for education. You can explore the creativity tools, apps and games for Maths, English, Computing and cross curricular creative activities in a completely personalised learning experience and there are even guided lesson plans included for the less confident amongst you.

Below is an overiew of many of the features J2Toolsuite has to offer to you and your pupils:

Don’t delay; get exploring and get creative today (or when you next have some elusive spare time; shall we say September?!)

J2Launch:

Your School’s own Virtual Desktop – Included in the Tool Suite is a secure online file store, desktop publishing tool, stop frame animation, voting, e-safe blogging, website and file distribution system, available to everyone at home and at school using your LGfL USO. (Get in contact with J2Easy on support@j2e.com.)

A Content Management System – J2Launch allows you to manage and distribute any digital resource including web applications, content and resources created in the Tool Suite. You can use the Launch Library to create a launch button for any web application or site from the list of existing buttons or by creating a new one.

J2e Infant Tools (JIT):

J2e Infant Tools (JIT5) is a set of online educational tools specifically designed for younger learners, but should not be ignored further up the school. It has a colourful and friendly feel which appeals to reception and KS1, but tools such as chart are useful well in to KS2.

There JIT tools are outlined below:

Write:

A simple to use writing tool, ideal for stories. A choice of word banks are available to help support the younger pupils and pupils with SEND. Children will enjoy experimenting with presentation and style and different coloured backgrounds can be chosen to aid learning.

Paint:

Paint is an easy to use creative tool. Children can paint freely with different sizes and colours. Shapes and stamps are easily selected, as well as colourful template backgrounds, and pictures from a picture bank.

Turtle:

Turtle teaches children the initial concepts of direction and simple programming. Children can design their own ‘turtle’ and plan a route for it to follow. Fantastic nursery rhyme and adventure templates are also included, so for example the Big Bad Wolf has to be directed to the first, second and finallt the third of the three Little Pigs’ houses.

Chart:

Chart gives the simplest introduction to line, block, pie, and bar charts. Simply mix one or more chart type together on the page. You will see the charts update instantly as the numbers in the table are changed.

Pictogram:

A fun introduction to data handling. Pick from a range of topics such as colours, pets or favourite fruits then click the buttons to add or take away the relevant pictures. Draw your own pictures or select from the picture bank.

Animate:

Animate is a tool for creating simple but exciting animations. It is a natural progression for children to draw a picture in paint, then use animate to make part of it move. Make snowflakes fall, crabs scuttle, and cars race.

Branch:

Branch brings sorting and sequencing to life by making it very simple for pupils to create their own branching database. Select a group of images or words and use yes/no questions to sort them and create a branching database.

Mix (e-portfolio):

Blend together any of the other tools into a mini e-portfolio. Add a picture to some text on one page, then move on to an animated story on the next, for example.

************ Recent Update ************

The Just2Easy Team have just further updated J2Toolsuite. They have improved the use of images from online within their package. J2e images now have pre cut out shapes so the the images can more successfully be applied into the JIT and J2e Tool Suite. There is a new line art feature as well, increasing the range of creative options.

Watch this video below to see how this has been improved:

*********************************************************************************************

J2Blast:

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.

Already listed are the statutory word lists for Year 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 as well as Letters and Sounds Phase 2-6 but you have an additional function to add your own word lists. These can be sent out as a weekly spelling list for your pupils to practise using their LGfL USOs (if you are a two form or more entry school, the list can be shared across multiple classes and staff).

Tt Blast:

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

SATs Blast:

SATs Blast encourages pupils to learn the maths elements of the mental arithmetic SATs test for KS1 and KS2 in a games based context.

This was recently extended to include a KS3 SATs blast – you can find this addition in the tab called “LondonMaths Week”.

J2Measure:

J2measure includes a ruler, calliper, protractor, angle measurer, and scaling tools. Students can calculate the length, angle, and area of any objects on the screen.

J2Code:

The coding resource offers differentiated platforms. Following the national curriculum, it encourages students’ creativity and helps teachers fulfil the requirements of computing in the curriculum for pupils in KS1, KS2 and KS3.

JIT Turtle:

Use lesson plans from Y1-2. JIT Turtle is aimed at the youngest learners and starts to introduce all of the important concepts of programming.

Visual:

Use lesson plans from Y3-6; The Visual programming engine is a familiar, block based programming tool which works on any modern computer or tablet. 

Logo:

Use lesson plans from Y3-6, The Logo programming engine enables pupils to build varied and mathematically challenging scripts.

J2Data:

Includes detailed lesson plans, examples and videos, to help you get started with using the tools in your class. 

J2Whiteboard and J2e:

The new J2Whiteboard cloud software has been introduced for your classroom screens/IWB. It works with existing files such as word or pdf, includes whiteboard specific tools such as the screen shade and works on any device(s).

Below Jimmy Jenkins from Ranelagh Primary school explains why he finds the unique features within the J2e platform so useful at school:

J2Bloggy:

Allows students or teachers to create as many websites as they wish.

J2Webby:

J2webby is a creative platform that encourages pupils to be at the heart of the learning experience. It’s easy to use with minimal training, any member of staff can add or make changes to the site’s content with our one click publishing.

You can also find neighbouring schools who are using this already and perhaps get together to exchange advice and learn from each other’s experiences. Click here to be taken to a map of all the schools that use the software for blogging (you can hover over the pins to find the name of the school).

David Mitchell, the founder of Quadblogging, explains the importance of blogging and the impact it can have on literacy in schools in the video below (*note he makes reference to “levels” as clip pre-dates the move to assessment without levels):

J2Review:

With a renewed focus on the wider curriculum, J2review could help make formative assessment of computing easy, using any progression framework and enabling teachers to give informative feedback quickly and effectively.

Further reasons to find some precious spare time to explore the J2 Tool Suite can be seen through these videos hosted on LGfL TV:

LGfL Award Winner 2019 – Trafalgar Infants for their Use of J2e:

LGfL Awards 2019 J2e Highly Commended:

Please do share and let us know if you are making use of the J2 Tool Suite. We would especially love to hear about the impact it is having on your class/school. Do this by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

 

The THIRD Live broadcast with STEAM School

Our third LIVE broadcast with STEAM School featured Milky Tea and aired on Tuesday 25th June at 2pm.

Creating a Video Game with Susie McBeth – hosted by Jade from STEAM School:

Milky Tea is a UK based Game Development and Animation Production Studio which was established in Liverpool in 2005. The studio designs, develops and publishes digital content for some of the globe’s biggest brands including NFL, Sony, Kraft, Bose and Toyota. The studio is renowned for its work in the UK on the Lloyds TSB ‘for the journey’ advertising campaign between 2007 – 2013 and is currently working on their latest game, HyperBrawl Tournament, currently in pre-beta and scheduled to be released on Steam and Nintendo Switch 2019.

The interview took place with Susie McBeth of Milky Tea with Jade Parkinson-Hill, the creator of STEAM Schools. She asked a number of questions including:

What skills and experiences did you have before you started your career in video games?

Tell us about your job in the video games sector?

Tell us about Milky Tea’s latest game – Hyperbrawl and what makes the and what makes the game so special?

How should young people prepare for careers in video games?

During the broadcast, @LGfL schools who were watching live, were encouraged to tag in @thesteamschool and use the hastag #generationtech to share their thoughts. During this live broadcast Cheam Common Junior, part of the LEO Academy Trust, asked a couple of questions via Twitter as shown in the screenshot below:

The winners of each of the Generation Tech Challenges will receive £250 prize money for their school’s STEM budget and we are looking forward to some of the entries being shared and the winners announced on our fourth and final broadcast.

We hope that all the pupils and schools who have taken part in the pilot study have enjoyed the experience and that the people who have been interviewed have opened their eyes to possible career paths they could follow using technology.

LGfL hosts a number of resources that pupils can experiment with from AR, VR and Mixed Reality resources, AppMaker to Busy Code (in Busy Things) and J2Code  in the J2Toolsuite to name just a few. Below is our ‘Explore Geography – Augmented Reality’ trailer.

‘KS1 – Significant People and Events – Augmented Reality’ trailer:

For more like this, visit the AR VR Channel on LGfL TV . It offers a unique insight into the latest developments in both Augmented and Virtual Reality from those leading the development within the schools sector.

If you have taken part in a Generation Tech Challenge or indeed have participated in the STEAM School pilot study, please do let us know by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Our second LIVE broadcast with STEAM School

Our second LIVE broadcast with STEAM School featured SwapBots and aired on Tuesday 18th June at 2pm.

The British startup SwapBots brings toys to life using the magic of augmented reality. By swapping pieces of the SwapBots, the player can influence the video game. The toy is ‘scanned’ by a mobile device to unlock it in the game using an advanced version of marker-based augmented reality. As the digital animation is overlaid onto the physical toy, it gives the appearance that the video game has broken out of the screen and arrived into the real world. The SwapBots toys can be assembled in hundreds of combinations, each of which results in differing in-game abilities.

See ‘The Making of SwapBots‘ below:

During the broadcast, @LGfL schools who were watching live, were encouraged to tag in @thesteamschool and use the hastag #generationtech to share their thoughts. Here are some examples from LGfL schools below:

The creator of STEAM Schools, Jade Parkinson-Hill hosts all the broadcasts; she asked Niall (from SwapBots) a number of questions including:

Why did the team at SwapBots want to create a tech toy?

What are the first steps in creating a tech toy and video game?

What creative and technical skills do you need to create a video game?

What are the key job roles in the SwapBots team?

How do you think young people should best prepare for a creative careers in tech?

What do you think are some of the most exciting augmented technology applications of augmented reality technology?

Schools taking part in the STEAM School pilot project are invited to submit questions for the broadcast, interact LIVE and compete in a ‘Generation Tech Challenge’ (set at the end of the live broadcast). The winner of the challenge will receive £250 prize money for their school’s STEM budget.

                             

We hope that the second broadcast has inspired you and your pupils; perhaps some will undertake the Generation Tech Challenge to build and create a prototype toy. Remember it is not too late to sign up to this exciting pilot project; visit lgfl.steam-school.com and we hope even more LGfL schools will join the next LIVE broadcast on 25th June.

To continue the discussion about augmented reality with your pupils, remember to explore LGfL’s mixed reality resources with them. Below is a video on LGfL TV entitled – ‘How can AR be used to enhance educational outcomes?’

Bob Usher​ Content Manager for LGfL shares why the AR VR channel on LGfL TV is so vital “The 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 learners”. 

If you do take part in the Generation Tech Challenge (building and creating prototypes) or indeed have participated in the pilot study, do let us know by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

Maths in the Real World

Today (Monday the 17th June), we launched the new and improved ‘Maths in the Real Worldresource on LGfL. The resource aims to inspire the evolution of pedagogy away from textbook based theoretical maths exercises to a more immersive experience, where the learner is put in a range of engaging real life situations and can see the reason why maths is needed. These range from ‘Search and Rescue with HM Coastguard’ where the maths involved is a matter of life and death, to the maths behind poor behaviour on a football pitch, to exploring the life expectancy of an iPhone and even contagion rates behind a biological outbreak of a virus.

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

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

With the new resource are embedded case studies that exemplify how schools have made use of the resources and the impact this has had on the learners involved.

Stock Market Challenge:

Space Adventures Live:

LGfL Maths Bootcamp:

A couple of other popular resources on LGfL have had maths updates too, see below:

Busy Things

Do you love Busy Things Phonics Resource Maker? They have just added a maths one! The new Maths Resource Maker allows you to make your own printable maths resources for children aged 3 to 11.

There are nine different kinds of resources to make with multiple customisation options (e.g you can choose your own content and formatting and there are 27 styles of numerals to choose from):

  • Enumeration and counting
  • Number formation
  • Number sequences
  • Number bonds
  • Addition and subtraction
  • Times tables and multiplication

       

J2Toolsuite – J2Blast

Just2easy recently teamed up with Mathsweek London 2019 to bring you a range of exciting maths activities; old favourites in J2Blast such as TtBlast and SATsBlast KS1 & KS2 (mental arithmetic for KS1 and KS2) but they also introduced a new SatsBlast KS3. 

The new SatsBlast KS3 can be found by clicking on the tab at the top entitled ‘Mathsweek London’.

It has similar functionality to the other SatBlasts in that you are given the option to choose the degree of challenge:

Click on the “have a practice” icon and this will generate a sliding toolbar from which you choose the level: Pythagoras Theorem (entry level 1) up to Sequences (level 7), with trigonometry, percentages, standard form, indices and averages (levels 2-6).

Alternatively, the pupils can take a 30 minute test:

Once the test is completed you can see individual’s scores as well as class data.

We hope you like these updated resources and features. If you use any of them do let us know by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

Our First LIVE Broadcast with STEAM School

Many of the LGfL community have signed up to take part in the STEAM School pilot project this summer term; the Liverpool based Steam School is connecting students directly to Liverpool’s most forward thinking entrepreneurs through a series of live broadcasts.

Schools taking part are invited to submit questions for the broadcast, interact LIVE and compete in a ‘Generation Tech Challenge’; the winner of the challenge will receive £250 prize money for their school’s STEM budget.

Tuesday 11th June marked the first of four broadcasts. ‘Exploring Virtual Reality’ was an interview with Clemens Wangerin from vTime.

During the broadcast, schools watching live, were encouraged to tag in @thesteamschool and use the hastag #generationtech to share their thoughts. In addition, Clemens told the viewers about the company’s free app (available on iOS and Android) called ‘vTime XR- The AR & VR Social Network’ (he said it was amazing with a VR headset but could also be used without – in 2D or augment modes).

The creator of STEAM Schools, Jade Parkinson-Hill hosts all the broadcasts and asked Clemens a number of questions including:

Can you explain the difference between AR, VR and XR?

How do you think you people should best prepare for careers in tech and specifically virtual reality?

What do you think are some of the most exciting applications of mixed reality technology?

What do you love most about working in a dynamic tech company?

Here are some screenshots of the live event:

At the end of the live broadcast participating schools were set their first Generation Tech Challenge. Use your log in details to remind yourselves of this:

It is not too late to sign up to this exciting pilot project; visit lgfl.steam-school.com.

Below is a reminder of the upcoming LIVE broadcasts. The next being “Creating a Tech Toy” on Tuesday 19th June at 2pm.

LGfL TV has undergone something of a makeover recently; the aim being to ensure you are able to find relevant video clips with greater ease. There are a number of clips regarding STEAM School on there, so do investigate. Below are a couple to showcase what you can watch:

What positive impact is there for schools who take part in Steam School?

How does Steam School promote gender equality?

If the live broadcast has whet your pupils’ appetites for mixed reality resources, do remember that LGfL host many mixed reality resources. Visit the augmented and virtual reality portal on LGfL (as shown below) and click on the images to find out more. Then why not explore some of these resources during the last term of this academic year?

Remember if you do use any of our mixed reality resources, or take part in the pilot study, let us know by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

Healthy Eating Week – June 10th-14th

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) are once again holding a healthy eating week from June 10th – June 14th. 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.

At the heart of BNF Healthy Eating Week are five health challenges:

  • Have breakfast
  • Have 5 A DAY
  • Drink plenty
  • Get active
  • Sleep well – NEW for 2019

Schools can choose to focus on one challenge throughout the week or take on all five focussing on a different challenge each day during the week. They have a range of resources for both Primary and Secondary schools including Powerpoints to introduce the week and the five challenges. You can also download a poster to advertise what you are doing in school throughout the week as well handing out certificates to those who take part.

They are also running a series of events throughout the week that schools can join in with:

  • Cook-a-long (primary schools) – Crunchy chickpea sandwich. Join the live cook-a-long on Tuesday 11 June 2019.
  • Cook-a long (secondary schools) – Mexican pockets. Join the live cook-a-long on Thursday 13 June 2019.
  • National Sleep Survey – the survey took place from 14-17 May 2019. We had over 7,500 responses! We will be sharing the survey results during BNF Healthy Eating Week (10-14 June 2019).
  • Sleep webinar – watch our sleep webinar and learn more about the importance of sleep for good health.

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. 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.

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. They have grouped them all within their special events button so that it is easy to pin the resources during the week or to dip in and out of the resources.

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 for themselves

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.

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.

The interactive Eatwell guide from NHS,  shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet. With advice on how to get your 5 a day as well on as on all the main food groups.

Public Health England have a range of flexible nutrition resources across different subject areas – designed for use throughout the school year to encourage pupils to build healthier habits for life. Develop pupils’ literacy skills – including phonics, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, and creative and persuasive writing – while exploring Sugar Smart World. These resources will help pupils learn how much sugar is in everyday food and drink, and find out about tasty, healthier swaps. There is also an engaging maths lesson exploring how much sugar is in everyday food and drink with the Sugar Cube Invaders taking over Sugar Smart World. You can search and download all the resources here, including printables and a take home pack.

A lot of schools are already registered for the London Healthy Schools award and this week would be a good time to look at the work that is taking place and undertake a review within the school.  The Healthy Schools London website provides information about the programme as well as useful resources, examples of activities that schools might undertake as well as contacts for Healthy Schools Leads in each London borough. HSL is managed by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and supported by the Mayor of London.

Please let us know what you are doing for the week, you can share via our Twitter using the official #BNFHEW19 and on our Facebook pages.

 

Pyjamarama 3rd – 9th June 2019

This week is Pyjamarama from The Book Trust– it is all about celebrating bedtime stories and sharing fantastic books and rhymes, with fun-filled events and activities from 3-9 June 2019.

The chosen book for Pyjamarama 2019 is, Car, Car, Truck, Jeep by Katrina Charman and Nick Sharratt, published by Bloomsbury. The Book Trust partners are helping to give out 450,000 copies of this book, so head to your local library, Children’s Centre or community setting this June to get your hands on one! You can also listen to a copy of the book below:

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There are also some fantastic activities and handy resources to help you celebrate at home or at a special event. There’s a starry headband to make and decorate, a pair of PJs to colour in and great bedtime rhymes to say or sing.  On Friday 7th June, they are teaming up with some of your favourite children’s characters – Matilda, Ben and Holly, Horrid Henry and Tracy Beaker – to get the nation’s children (and adults) wearing pyjamas for a day. You can register 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

Listening Books was founded in 1959 as a charity, and was originally set up for hospital patients who couldn’t read after an accident. Today, they cover the full range of print impairments, so are for anybody who finds it difficult to read. To learn more about the service LGfL and Listening Books provide, watch the clip below:

The books hosted on LGfL’s Listening Books are directly linked to the national curriculum in some way, as well as other books chosen with the children in mind. There are currently 95 books (this portfolio is constantly expanding) that can be streamed from the LGfL website directly for group listening in class or for individuals to listen with headphones.

There is a great range of fiction and non-fiction available to support pupils from Key Stage 2 up to A-Level, in subjects such as history, PSHE and English, many of which are exclusive to Listening Books! Titles available include:

  • An Inconvenient Truth: the Crisis of Global Warming (Young Adult Version) by Al Gore
  • My Friend Walter by Michael Morpurgo
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Face by Benjamin Zephaniah
  • Made on Earth by Wolfgang Korn
  • Math Magicians by Johnny Ball
  • The Great Depression and the America’s 1929  1939 by Nick Fellows
  • How 2 Be Happy by Jenny Alexander
  • Tales From Africa by Kathleen Arnott
  • Wise Guides: Self Esteem by Anita Naik

Louise Barling (Library and PR Manager at Listening Books) explains more about the access to Listening Books depending on the type of school you work in:

She also discusses the advantages of listening to audio books (in conjunction with the printed text) in terms of decoding and comprehension. This is particularly true for students who struggle with reading as the service allows the pupils to access age appropriate texts that independently they would struggle to access.

All these features clips and several more regarding the Listening Books resources can be found on LGfL TV. 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.

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.

P.B. Bear Interactive Adventures

Books and stories are familiar starting points for cross curricular work, allowing children to make connections in their learning and to put their learning in a relevant context. P.B. Bear’s interactive adventures uses video in the same way.  Each story is surrounded by activities linked to early learning goals and to literacy or numeracy objectives.

The videos can be used in two ways: you can watch straight through, or click on one of the ‘hotspots’, this will stop the video and an activity, coming naturally out of the story, will appear over the video.

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.

EYFS Spotlight

EYFS Spotlight is a way of highlighting the many varied resources that LGfL offers to help your Early Years Foundation Stage setting by providing topic maps and planning. This resource aims to filter the extensive collection of LGfL content into popular EYFS themes / topics. The resource is ideal for use in primary schools and Early Years settings.

Within each category you’ll find a variety of links to LGfL resources and suggested teaching ideas on how to use them within your Early Years setting. The Fairy Tales topic covers story sequencing and structure, retelling and creating traditional tales as well as looking at real life royalty, perfect to use during this week.

ReadingZone Live

ReadingZone Live brings regular interviews and live videos conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors and illustrators (Jaqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Lauren Child and Oliver Jeffers to name a few) to London schools through our partnership with ReadingZone. The aim of the programme is to help inspire young people to explore new authors and genres and to develop their own creative writing.

Our next ReadingZone Live event is on the 12th June from 2:30pm and features the author Christopher Edge who writes science-based fiction for 9/10+ readers. It is really easy to take part in one of our ReadingZone Live events and they can have a real impact on both the students and reading within your school. For more detailed guidance please read this updated information. You can also view the event on the day here: www.rzlwatch.lgfl.net starting at 2:30 pm. More details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here. We also have a collaborative question document here where your students can pose their questions for Christopher.

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.

Child Safety Week – 3rd to 9th June 2019

Child Safety Week is an annual event run by Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented. This year’s Child Safety Week runs from Monday 3rd June to Sunday 9th June 2019.

The theme is Family life today: where’s the risk?

They are highlighting the new dangers facing families today from our modern lifestyles and are offering simple solutions to keep children safe.

CAPT provide a range of resources to help practitioners run local activities and events. You can download the free action pack which includes tips, advice, activities, competitions and quizzes as well as information about some of the most common causes of child accidents and how to prevent them.

 An example of one of the resources included:

You could start the week by asking your pupils to discuss their top tips for keeping children safe around the following topics (links to the action pack from CAPT are included):

  1. Burns and scalds
  2. Stopping breathing
  3. Poisoning
  4. Falls
  5. Road Safety
  6. Drowning
  7. Fire Safety

Then, there are many ways you can delve further into the theme ‘Family life today: where’s the risk?’ with LGfL resources. Following a discussion about the possible dangers and risks children may be exposed to, pupils could design posters/booklets to highlight ways to keep safe and avoid potential dangers/hazards around the home. These information booklets/posters could be designed and produced in either BusyThings or JIT& J2e5 in the J2Toolsuite. (Many of the topics above, lend themselves to this type of activity; there are templates for road safety posters in Busy Things too).

Also in Busy Things there is Busy Oven’. This simulates different oven temperatures and cooking times to explore the effects these have on different foods; you could discuss the importance of children standing away from ovens, saucepans on the hob and kettles to avoid burns and scalds in addition to ensuring food is prepared in a safe manner.

Perhaps your pupils will have the opportunity to prepare cooked food as part of the topic and learning how to keep safe in the kitchen and avoid burns. They can record the recipes they have followed and particulary highlight any safety aspects/advice. (There are four ready-made templates children can choose from where they can describe a recipe using simple image sequencing or to write a detailed description).

You could also explore Significant People and Events which uses augmented reality and interactive 3D to explore important events and people and investigates their impact on history; included in the series is Florence Nightingale and her nursing endeavours during the Crimean War and the Great Plague of London. You could explore the role of today’s nurses in keeping children safe, explore diseases from the past and discuss the importance of medicines and vaccines in preventing and combatting modern day illnesses and diseases.

Search and Rescue with HM Coastguard

This resource was developed predominantly for real life maths lessons, however, it features exclusive footage of real-life rescues at sea, lifeboat and helicopter searches, and rescue coordination at the National Maritime Operations Centre. You could therefore discuss the importance of staying safe when near water, ways to prevent drowning and explore the work of the HM Coastguards.

Growing Up Around the World

Growing up around the World aims to help UK children understand the realities of childhood in differnt contexts. Strikingly, many of the struggles and challenges the children encounter are universal, from the UK to South Africa to India. Your students could compare their lives with those of children being brought up around the world and dicuss what additional hazards they might face as a result of where they are living and growing up.

Exploring the theme ‘Family life today: where’s the risk?’ further, you could discuss how to develop a healthy mind and mental attitude. The Healthy Minds resource was produced in partnership with the leading mental health charity for young people – Young Minds. It  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, with some resources are designed for staff and/or for parents.

We hope that whatever you do for Child Safety Week, your pupils understanding of how to lead safer lives is further developed. Please remember if you do use any LGfL content to inspire your students for this week or in general, do let us know by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

ReadingZone Live – Christopher Edge 12th June

Our next ReadingZone Live event features the author Christopher Edge on 12th June from 2:30pm.

Christopher Edge writes science-based fiction for 9/10+ readers and is an award-winning children’s author whose books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

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

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

His novel The Many Worlds of Albie Bright won several children’s book awards and was also nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, as was his novel The Jamie Drake Equation, which was also selected as one of the best new children’s books of 2017 for Independent Bookshop Week. His novel The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day has been shortlisted for the STEAM Children’s Book Prize and was also chosen by The Times as their Children’s Book of the Week.

You can find resources for his books, including book trailers, author videos, teaching notes, interviews, articles, reviews, sample chapters and even playlists for the book soundtrack by clicking here to be taken to his new resources page.

Below is the trailer for The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day:

ReadingZone Live brings regular interviews and live videos conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors and illustrators (Jaqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Lauren Child and Oliver Jeffers to name a few) to London schools through our partnership with ReadingZone.

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. It is really easy to take part in one of our ReadingZone Live events and they can have a real impact on both the students and reading within your school. For more detailed guidance please read this updated information.

We want as many schools as possible to experience the ReadingZone Live programme in a live, interactive way.  You can also view the event on the day here: www.rzlwatch.lgfl.net starting at 2:30 pm on 12th June. More details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here. We also have a collaborative question document here where your students can pose their questions for Christopher.

This live event is most suitable for Upper Primary (Year 5 & 6) and possibly Year 7s too.

Remember if you do take part in the ReadingZone Live event, or use any LGfL content to inspire your students, do let us know by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

London History Schools Day

This Friday is the third London History Schools Day. London History Schools Day is the sister event to London History Day (May 31st) led by Historic England to celebrate our city’s unique history and heritage: its historic buildings, sites, communities and heroes.

The London Curriculum team, along with Historic England and Museum of London, launched London History Schools Day in 2017 to encourage schools to bring London’s unique characters, past and present, to life with a dress-up day and activities. It aims to inspire young Londoners to learn more about the city’s cultural heritage and communities.

This year the themes will be Celebration and Local Culture, supporting the Mayor’s wider #LondonisOpen campaign, showing that London will always be open to the world and to celebrate its culture and diversity. There’s a great teachers’ guide full of information on famous Londoners and local icons as well as activities to carry out on the day or during the month of May.  There are also a wealth of resources for KS2 and 3 that can be found here to use when studying London – from Explorer trails to going underground to bringing communities to life.

LGfL have a wealth of resources to use when looking at London and its rich and varied history, suitable not just for London History Schools day but throughout the year.

The Romans in London produced in association with the Museum of London, this resource features unique video explanations at locations around the City of London and of Roman objects used and found in London and a range of Roman images for you to use in your study of The Romans in London.

The resource 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. LGfL has worked with virtual and augmented-reality experts at Computeam Ltd to create a series of artefacts and experiences that complement this learning resource by bringing it to life in a way that is otherwise unimaginable.

Tudors in London also produced in association with the Museum of London, aims to develop an understanding of a 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 over 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 materials

The Museum of London has its own Teacher Network that is free to join. It gives free advance access to book sessions and activities, a regular email with resource and activity ideas, private views of our exhibitions and 10% off in our museum shops. You can sign up here. As well as offering interactive sessions at the museum, it also offers in- school sessions and range of online resources for teachers to use in class.

Queen Victoria as you’ve never seen her before, this resource transports pupils into the regal world of Victoria the girl, the princess, the new queen and longest reigning monarch. What’s in a picture? Quite a lot in fact and thanks to this latest collection of paintings and photographs from Royal Collection Trust, you will find even more.  56 carefully collated images tell the story of one of Britains favourite monarchs, accompanied by lesson plans and curriculum notes to create memorable learning experiences for pupils. All the images are available as high-resolution downloads, ideal for studying details – even on a large screen and licensed for educational use.

They are divided into four themes, each with lesson plans and general guidance to inspire teaching through images:

  • Palace in Waiting
  • Albert’s Arrival
  • All Change
  • Becoming Royal

The LGfL Image bank is an expanding collection of high-resolution images from a range of cultural institutions, featuring the British Library and the Royal Collection Trust, that can used when looking at the History of London.

Please note: Adherence to the licensing terms of use by teachers and learners is essential. This will ensure that content providers continue to partner with LGfL and offer uniques resources fro teachers and learners connected to the National Education network.

The Royal Mews is a unique resource about the daily work of the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace featuring video explanations of centuries-old techniques and historic documents, perfect for looking at the history behind the traditions that continue to support the Royal Household and suitable for KS1-KS4 pupils.

This resource gives an exclusive insight into the life of the Royal Mews and the work of Royal Household staff. It features archive photography, historic documents and unique filmed interviews with members of the Royal Household. The Royal Mews is a working stable and home to many of the beautiful royal carriages which are used on state occasions. The 1902 State Landau, for example, was the carriage used in April 2011 to take The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from their wedding service at Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace.

The Big Day out has a range of activities for KS1 and presents a scientific, mathematical, geographical and historical challenge for investigation or exploration, perfect for using during a study of London.

The River Thames in London resource helps pupils to understand more about this iconic river and how it has influenced and continues to influence life in and far beyond London. The resource has lesson plans and stand alone assets for Key Stages 1-3, with high-quality materials provided by the Royal Collection Trust, Museum of London and the British Library helping to uncover the river’s secrets through paintings, maps and photographs.

 

Topics covered include Trade, Transport and the Slave Trade.

Whatever you choose to do for London History schools day, you can share your activities and pictures via our Twitter and Facebook pages. #londonhistoryschoolsday #LondonisOpen

 

 

STEAM School & LGfL Pilot Project

Meet the people who are crafting our future…

LGfL and Steam School will be collaborating on a series of live broadcasts with leading tech entrepreneurs, giving LGfL members a unique, behind the scenes, insight into exciting industries like video gaming and why young people should develop their digital making and entrepreneurial skills whilst at school, preparing them for a very digital future.

At LGfL we are looking forward to a summer pilot project we are running with Steam School. The aim is to connect schools with science and tech innovators via weekly live broadcasts and accompanying mini challenges. By showcasing the stories of young innovators, discussing tech trends and scientific breakthroughs, Steam School inspires students to develop a new awareness about how rapid technological change is transforming the world in which we live.

Participating schools will be eligible to enter our Generation Tech Challenge with the possibility to win £250 for your school’s STEM budget. The broadcasts are scheduled to take place during the month of June 2019.

The dates for the live broadcasts at 2pm are:

  • 11th June – Starship Group
  • 18th June – Draw and Code
  • 26th June – Milky Tea
  • 3rd July – A Celebration Broadcast to announce the winners of the Generation Tech Challenges).

Please visit STEAM School Pilot to register your LGfL school’s interest in taking part.

In the meantime, if you are trying to promote STEM subjects in your school, here are some resources on LGfL to inspire teachers and pupils:

Polar Exploration

British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13

LGfL worked with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University in creating this comprehensive resource, which provides a unique insight into the ‘Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery’. Featuring exclusive access to the historic archive of the most famous polar expeditions of the 20th Century, the resource includes:

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

Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon

Follow the intrepid astronaut Tazz Anderson and her onboard computer (MIC) on a mission to the moon to bring back the valuable raw material ‘Dysprosium’ for use in smart devices back on planet Earth. Will she achieve the mission objectives and will she encounter any problems along the way?

It features dramatic content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative. The aim is to draw the learner into the turn of event 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, English and science and a computing unit created my Max Wainwright, author of the popular Espresso coding resource for primary schools.

There is even a section on how to build your own rocket and launch it with a Micro:bit as the integral data logger and how to create your own Space Adventures using green screen techniques. This resource could also be used if you are marking the Apollo 50th Anniversary in July. Watch this new video explaining how to run a live event and secure impact at school.

VR/AR Resources

LGfL works closely with the experts at Inspyro and Avantis to bring the latest Augmented and Virtual Reality content to LGfL schools. The aim is to help support the effective delivery of the curriculum through unique, engaging, interactive and affordable AR/VR experiences.

If you want a glimpse into the future of AR why not watch this explanation about how we can bring objects and people in to a classroom without even needing a trigger image:

Maths in the Real World

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. It offers detailed differentiation ensuring there is something for all ability levels and has been carefully designed in line with the national curriculum and natural mathematical learning.

There will be two additional units added later this term –

  • The Stock Market Challenge offers an exciting real world simulation of live stock market changes and how they can impact on the performance of shares and ultimately how much money can be won or lost.

  • The iPhone challenge explores how a deep understanding of probability could save you money when thinking of upgrading your phone.

Search and Rescue with HM Coastguard

Much more than a series of exciting, attention‐grabbing videos and images, Search & Rescue is extensively mapped to the maths national curriculum and includes detailed lesson plans and resources to enable pupils to apply their skills in context, solving problems for themselves. It features comprehensive and differentiated support materials; topics covered include Bearings, Pythagoras and Trigonometry, Algebra, Vectors and Speed, Distance and Time.

Viral Contagion Maths

Viral Contagion looks at the real world maths that could occur as a result of an outbreak of a biological virus in an urban area. Dramatised news reports describe the impact of the virus outbreak across South London, challenging students to consider the maths behind such scenarios.

This resource offers a collection of four discrete, differentiated lessons that provide an engaging and challenging focus for Key Stage 3 and 4 maths students.

Switched on Science

Switched on Science is a flexible and creative investigation-based programme with a clear focus on working scientifically in primary science lessons. It is packed with best-practice CPD videos and supportive lessons to ensure every teacher can deliver the programmes of study with confidence. The package comes with all the additional resources teachers need to teach the entire science curriculum, ranging from a video for each unit, teacher guide, interactive exercises, pupil workbooks, ideas for differentiation, and much more.

In addition to LGfL resources you may want to look here:

If you are interested in promoting the Arts in addition to STEM subjects too, read more about SteamCo’s work (they are another non-profit organisation). They are campaigning, celebrating and connecting pupils with the arts and their communities. One of the schools they have visited as part of their ArtsConnect19 tour is Parklands, Leeds. Many of you will have seen Chris Dyson, the Headteacher, deliver a keynote at our recent LGfL Curriculum Conference. Here is a video clip posted by Nick from SteamCo in case you missed Chris’ Keynote.

Also remember to visit EduBlocks; to make the transition from blocks to Python easier. Josh (15) is the creator of Edublocks and he was a huge hit at the recent LGfL Curriculum Conference when he delivered a keynote.

Finally, the BP Educational Service is a free, online STEM teaching resource that was established to inspire young people to pursue a future in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM). The BP Educational Service website provides an extensive range of free teaching resources to accompany the curriculum including videos, lesson plans, posters, quizzes and worksheets and the opportunity to take part in the annual Ultimate STEM challenge. If you would like to know more please visit https://bpes.bp.com/

Remember if you do use any LGfL content (especially relating to STEM) to inspire your students do let us know by posting them on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

Walk to School Week 2019

The national walk to school campaign is organised by Living Streets, a national charity that promotes walking and runs from 20th – 24th May 2019.  Each year Living Streets puts together a fun themed challenge to take on while walking to and from school. This year is Living Streets’ 90th anniversary, and with this special occasion, the theme they have chosen is that of taking pupils on a special walking journey re-tracing the steps of their greatest achievements over the course of the last 90 years. The classrooms packs and activities are built to make the pupils feel empowered to change their walking environment for the better: they’ll experience first hand the importance of walking to school.(The classroom packs are charged at £10 each)

It’s been proven that children who do some form of exercise, especially a walk before school, do better in class because they arrive refreshed, fit and ready to learn. During morning peak traffic times, one in five cars on the road are taking children school, contributing to congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions. The school run alone is responsible for generating two million tonnes of CO2 per year. I

Living Streets have recently published a report entitled Swap The School Run For The School Walk this report lays out 21 recommendations for decision-makers at all levels to enable more children to walk to and from school.

The Walk to School week is part of the year round WOW challenge to encourage children to walk to school, the site has lots of free resources that can be used to promote walking to school.

They are also promoting a Happy Shoesday on Tuesday, 21 May 2019 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 of literacy, thinking and comprehension skills. This includes worksheets which use Widgit symbols to support understanding for many young people with SEND, EAL and lower literacy levels.

Children could also use JIT or J25 to create either an animation or a poster to encourage pupils to walk to school, that can be displayed around school and the local environment. 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.

Busythings also have a template that can be used during the week and throughout the year  to capture details of how children travel to school

EYFS Spotlight is a way of highlighting the many varied resources that LGfL offers to help your Early Years Foundation Stage setting by providing topic maps and planning. This resource aims to filter the extensive collection of LGfL content into popular EYFS themes / topics.

The resource is ideal for use in primary schools and early years settings. Within each category below you’ll find a variety of links to LGfL resources and suggested teaching ideas on how to use them within your Early Years setting. As some settings may have variations in naming of topics, please see the topic descriptions to help you search for the related content. My Home and Local Area would be perfect to use during the week it covers making connections with the local area, talking about directions, exploring maps of the local community and the wider area.

BBC Teach have a great assembly that schools could use to introduce the week, that includes a video, suggested songs and discussion points.

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.

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

STARS is open to all London schools and nurseries. To take part in the scheme, you first need to create a STARS Online account. This will put you in touch with your local borough officer who will support you throughout the accreditation process, help you create a School Travel Plan (STP) and select the most suitable activities for your school to address your travel issues and reach your active travel targets. A great resource to use during 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 15th May 2019

Wednesday May 15th is National Numeracy Day – 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 and challenges 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 within school, for use in assemblies, in class and for engaging with parents on National Numeracy Day.

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

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

BusyThings have a wealth of resources to support Number both at school and at home, from flashcards, to games, printables and interactive worksheets there are over 200 activities that can be used for extend numeracy skills from EYFS to KS2.

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?

For teachers Mult e Maths has both starter 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.  Or why not get the class rapping with Maths Raps from Beam, the children could even create their own number raps using Audio Network as a backing track and then uploading the raps into Video Central HD to share with the wider community.

Maths in the real world –  this resources does exactly what its title suggests it put maths into real world problems. The activities are ideal for use either before or after the move from Primary to Secondary, and detailed differentiation ensures there is something for all ability levels. Some of the real-world topics covered in the resource include: Nutrition, Arena and Events and Round the world – perfect to use on National Numeracy day for the children to apply their mathematical knowledge to real life problems. Each topic contains detailed lesson plans and resources, there is also a curriculum mapping tool so that teachers are able to see where the resource relates to both the KS2 and KS3 curriculum.

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

CREST Awards aren’t just about Science & Engineering, there are numerous projects you can use to excite your students about maths!

Along with the Star, Superstar, Discovery, Bronze, Silver & Gold projects in the CREST Resources Library, CREST have many accredited resources from their partners. Take a look, download everything you need and start your projects…

IET: IET Faraday Challenge Resources
Maths in Motion: Maths in Motion Challenge for Schools
MP Futures: Pyramids
CITB: Building Bridges Challenge
Canal & River Trust: STEM Programme
Engineering in Motion: F1 in Schools: Development Class – nationalF1 in Schools: Professional Class
EDT: Go4SET

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

Mental Health Awareness week 13th-19th May

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 will take place from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2019. The theme for 2019 is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.

Body image issues can affect all of us at any age. During the week they will be publishing new research, considering some of the reasons why our body image can impact the way that we feel, campaigning for change and publishing practical tools.

Last year the Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s almost 1 in every 3 people.

Body image issues can affect all of us at any age and directly impact our mental health. However there is still a lack of much-needed research and understanding around this.

The good news is that we can tackle body image through what children are taught in schools, by the way we talk about our bodies on a daily basis and through policy change by governments across the UK.

Mental Health Foundation

From 13-19 May they will be running a body image challenge. Simply post on social media a picture of a time or a place when you felt comfortable in your own skin – this could be now, five years ago or at the age of five. It can be a photo of yourself or something else that reminds you of the moment along with #BeBodyKind #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

There are a range of resources on the Mental health Foundation for use in schools, including publications, covering topics including: How to look after your mental health, the truth about self harm and how to overcome fear and anxiety. The make it count campaign with guidance for teachers, parents and children and their Peer Education Project.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has put together a range of themed, simple, and mostly cost-free activities below to help you take part in Mental Health Awareness Week. Each activity is something you can do together as a team and it takes only 30 minutes! #EmpowerHalfHour

The DigiSafe team have collected a range of resources that can support the theme of this week at bodyimage.lgfl.net, with resources for KS1-KS5 it is a great starting point for assemblies and PSHE lessons during the week.

The Diana Award Anti-Bullying Campaign has teamed up with ASOS to run #MySenseOfSelf, a project exploring body image, body confidence and self-esteem. From speaking to young people and staff across the country through their Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Programme, they understand the importance of equipping young people with the tools they need to tackle social pressures on body image and develop self-confidence. As part of this project they have created a lesson plan for teachers or staff members to use: this resource aims to encourage students to open up a discussion with their peers about body image and is packed full of interactive activities.

It contains everything you need to run a 1.5-hour class or a number of shorter sessions, and explores 3 core themes: social media and its impact; celebrating difference; and developing self-esteem. Register on the #MySenseOfSelf website to download these free resources. The resources have gained the quality mark from the PSHE Association, who said “#MySenseOfSelf provides the opportunity to promote positive body image in a highly engaging and thought-provoking way”.

The PHSE Association has published practical guidance for teachers about the safe and confident teaching of body image in schools, as part of the PSHE curriculum. The guidance aims to enable schools to promote positive body image with pupils by supporting teachers to develop their own teaching materials or adapt existing high quality resources for use in the classroom, a range of which are recommended in the guidance. Suitable for Key Stages 1-5, the resource includes sections on establishing ground rules for a supportive learning environment, using visitors in the classroom and addressing the needs of vulnerable pupils. The document, downloadable here, draws upon input from over 350 teachers as well as focus groups of experts and young people.

Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools – The Be Real Campaign’s mission is to change attitudes to body image and help all of us put health above appearance and be confident in our bodies.They have produced a toolkit for schools because they know that in order to tackle body confidence later in life, it is essential that it begins from an early age. Secondary schools are a key setting for young people to discuss and challenge body confidence issues, with both teachers and students playing an important role in how this happens.

Their Somebody Like Me and In Your Face research show that body confidence has a direct impact on students’ academic performance and general wellbeing. Working with a team of experts and teachers, the Be Real Campaign created the Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools to help develop body confidence in all your students so they can thrive both in and out of the classroom.

Mentally Healthy Schools have also curated a collection of resources for Primary schools on the topic of body image, which includes lesson plans as well as a guide to spotting the signs and protective factors: what schools can do. You can read more and find the resources here.

Body image and Advertising resources from Media Smart – Supported by the Government Equalities Office and accredited by the PSHE Association, the resources are designed to build pupils’ emotional resilience as they learn to engage deeper with the messages and methods of advertising. These high-quality resources were created by leading independent experts and will support you in teaching engaging and interactive lessons with key curriculum links to PSHE. They include teacher’s notes and a guide for parents and guardians so that they can discuss this subject at home. We have also created a supporting film featuring young people discussing this issue which you can watch below. Teachers can illustrate the lesson with the suggested case studies or, they can choose their own.

Off the back of Credos (the Advertising industry’s think tank) research, Media Smarr saw a need to create educational materials that focus on the effects of negative body self-image on boys (as most are more girl focused).

To accompany the teaching resources, the team created the film below called the Boys’ Biggest Conversation, with First News and TV medic – Dr Ranj Singh. They interviewed secondary school boys, inviting them to share how they feel about their appearance, and exploring why they feel that way. Parents or guardians can use the free guidelines to support in discussions at home.

Public Health England have also produced a Body Image in a digital world plan pack for KS3 and KS4 pupils, the pack has been produced to explore with students what body image is, how social media can influence it and how to reduce stress caused by online pressure. The resources include videos, lesson plan and powerpoints and can be downloaded here.

Pooky Kingsmith is is the current vice chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. Pooky regularly posts a blog and newsletter featuring advice on Mental Health for both parents and professionals, she has a brilliant YouTube channel with videos covering a range of topics including Mental Health, such as the one below which looks at 4 tips for teachers and parents promoting a positive body image – perfect to share at a staff meeting and with parents.

You can also stay updated by following @MentalHealth Foundation on Twitter using the #BeBodyKind during Mental Health Awareness week.

Reading Zone Live – Fleur Hitchcock 20th May

 

Our next ReadingZone Live features the author Fleur Hitchcock on 20th May  from 2:30 pm.

Born in Chobham, by an airfield, and raised outside Winchester on the banks of the river Itchen, Fleur Hitchcock grew up as the youngest child of three. She spent her smallest years reading Tintin and Batman under her brother’s bed, and searching for King Alfred’s treasure in the river. She grew up a little, went away to school near Farnham, studied English in Wales, and, for the next twenty years, sold Applied Art in the city of Bath. When her younger child was seven, she embarked on the Writing for Young People MA at Bath Spa and graduated with a distinction.

Now living outside Bath, between parenting and writing, Fleur Hitchcock works with her husband, a toymaker, looks after other people’s gardens and tries to grow vegetables. Her latest book is the Boy is The boy who flew and you can read a review of the book here.

It is really easy to take part in one of our ReadingZone live events and can have a real  impact on students and reading within your school.

I can’t thank you enough for working with our school.  The author events and books that you send us are really helping us to promote reading for pleasure.

Lytchett Minster School

We want as many schools as possible to experience the ReadingZone Live programme in a live, interactive way. We do not want technology to be a barrier to participation. Therefore, we have configured the technology to be open to all schools. It is no longer necessary to have dedicated Video Conferencing equipment.

You are able to join the RZL event by using Google Hangout with this link on the day  http://lgfl.link/RZLhangout

You will need a Google account in order to join. You can also view the event on the day here: www.rzlwatch.lgfl.net We also have a collaborative question doc here where you can pose your questions for Fleur.

For more detailed guidance please read this updated information.

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 20th May, more details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here.

Let’s Get Digital Conference 2019

Many thanks to all who attended the conference last week, it was a great day with lots of inspiring keynotes and workshop sessions. 

NEW

Launched at the conference were a range of updates and new resources for LGfL customers. j2whiteboard is the latest addition to the j2e tool suite included with your LGfL subscription.

This cloud software for your whiteboard works with existing files such as word or pdf, includes whiteboard specific tools such as the screen shade and works on any device(s) and displays simultaneously on the whiteboard. The short video below gives you an overview of this fantastic new addition for teachers.

EYFS Spotlight

EYFS Spotlight is a way of highlighting the many varied resources that LGfL offers to help your Early Years Foundation Stage setting by providing topic maps and planning. This resource aims to filter the extensive collection of LGfL content into popular EYFS themes / topics. The resource is ideal for use in primary schools and early years settings.

Within each category you’ll find a variety of links to LGfL resources and suggested teaching ideas on how to use them within your Early Years setting. As some settings may have variations in naming of topics, please see the topic descriptions to help you search for the related content.

Computing Resource Centre

The Computing Resource Centre is a showcase of all the computing resources that LGfL have to offer, alongside other (free) outside resources that can support the computing curriculum.

These have been grouped into the following categories:

  • Information Technology
  • Digital Literacy
  • Computing Science
  • External resources
  • Research

 

Learning through Movement

Learning through Movement is our latest resource as part of our IncludED portfolio. Movement is fundamental to learning.  Without movement, young people will fail to develop a whole range of skills, and find it much more difficult to learn and concentrate, especially if they have additional needs. Understanding the role that movement plays in learning and how to support learners who have additional needs is vital in being able to create the best conditions needed for learning to take place.

Learning through movement has been produced by LGfL in partnership with a Senior Paediatric OT and other expert advisors.  The aim of the resource is to provide an overview and starting point for classroom practitioners.  The resource has been structured into the modules below and staff can dip in and out or they can view sequentially depending on the user’s preference.

 

The LGfL IncludED team is dedicated to helping you support learners who have additional educational needs; they are currently conducting a survey, by completing this survey you will help them understand what is working well for you and where they can make improvements to the current service.

Coming Soon

Maths in the Real World Update (Arriving May 2019)

Featuring new maths content for KS2, 3 and 4 including a new curriculum mapping tool Maths in the Real World includes an iPhone Challenge and Stock Market Challenge bringing engaging real-world maths scenarios to support the numeracy curriculum, alongside examples of how cloud platforms can enhance the resources further. Find out more www.mitrwinfo.lgfl.net  

Steam School

We are looking forward to a summer pilot project with Steam School; connecting schools with science and tech innovators via weekly live broadcasts and accompanying mini challenges. By showcasing the stories of young innovators, discussing tech trends and scientific breakthroughs, Steam School inspires students to develop a new awareness about how rapid technological change is transforming the world in which we live. We hope through this collaboration to connect many students across the globe with STEAM innovators and to inspire them to create positive global change with science and technology.

LGfL and Steam School will be collaborating on a series of live broadcasts with leading tech entrepreneurs, giving LGfL members a unique behind the scenes insight into exciting industries like video gaming and why young people should develop their digital making and entrepreneurial skills whilst at school, preparing them for a very digital future.

Participating schools will be eligible to enter our Generation Tech challenge and win £250 for your school’s STEM budget. The broadcasts are scheduled to take place in June 2019. You can register your interest here.

ESRI- ARC GiS

Regardless of subject and age range, most teachers need to incorporate a sense of place relating to location in their everyday teaching. LGfL is working in partnership with ESRI to bring the ARC Geographical Information System to all LGfL schools to provide a comprehensive mapping tool and locational analysis. In the autumn a new LGfL portal will feature the following:

  • USO log in sync to the ARC GiS system
  • Support for fieldwork through the Survey 1-2-3 tool.
  • Curriculum linked datasets to overlay on the Arc GiS system
  • Comprehensive video support for how to maximise the platform across the curriculum and age ranges

Also in development with ESRI and the Museum of London Archaeological Archive is a location based app that will allow LGfL schools to understand the history of the exact location they are in at any point in time.For further details about this new partnership contact content support@lgfl.net

Trilobites to Tyrannosaurs: Fossils, Dinosaurs and Evolution (Arriving Autumn 2019)


Targeting EYFS, KS1 and KS2 this unique new resource features augmented and virtual reality, original artwork and video footage from a palaeontologist showing how fossils can provide insights to unlock our understanding of the past.

Presentations from the workshop sessions and the keynotes have been uploaded here. Many thanks to all those who have already completed the evaluation form that was emailed to those who attended the conference last week, the form is open until Thursday and everyone who completes will be entered to the prize drawn for 100 Adobe licences or 1 of three pairs of tickets for the FA Cup Final thanks to Atomwide for sponsoring these tickets.

Remember you can stay up to date with all news, resources and ideas from LGfL by:

 

 

 

 

 

Victory in Europe Day – Wednesday 8th May

Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) commemorates Tuesday, 8 May 1945, the date when the Allies of World War II formally accepted the Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces. (The formal surrender of the German forces occupying the Channel Islands did not occur until the following day, 9 May 1945). It thus marked the end of World War II in Europe.

Many schools choose to commemorate the day through assemblies or by undertaking research in class. We hope this blog will support you to explore how people reacted at the end of the war in Europe and how the British celebrated on the Home Front with your pupils.

To introduce the day perhaps you could use the BBC Sound Effects resource. You could explore which sounds your pupils recognise from the “mystery sounds” you play. There are many sounds to pick from including: Doodle Bugs, gunfire, air raids and tanks.

Then to explore and learn more about WWII, the Widgit resource has WWII ‘Books’ and ‘Activities’. The titles in the books include: World War 2, The Blitz, War in the East, Life at Home and Life for Children. These short books contain simple sentences and pictures, with each covering a separate topic. Each book is available at 5 different levels and has relevant vocabulary cards at the back and has an activity pack (with six activities – matching activity, missing vowel, quiz, sentence matching, spelling and wordsearch) to download also. 

Busy Things has a ‘World War 2 warfare’ resource which explores the question, “What was it like for soldiers to fight in the war?” In addition, you could use the new Comic Strip resource in BusyThings with your pupils. They could storyboard the announcement that the war was over, the way people celebrated VE Day or even the causes of WWII by choosing from the preprepared templates for comic strips. The example was completed in BusyThings in English>composition>storytelling and poetry.

Should you want to explore the work of women as code breakers during WWII then our resource ‘Women in Computing’ aims to recognise and promote the achievements of women in British computing within the social context of the time. The pupils can learn about the important role they played in the eventual victory of WWII.

To explore the Holocaust and Nazi era in greater depth, you could use the Documenting the Holocaust resource. LGfL has been given unique access to the Wiener Library’s collection (a world leading and extensive archive on the Holocaust and Nazi era). This powerful resource is aimed at Key Stages 2-5 PSHE, Citizenship, History and R.E.

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

Further resources not hosted on LGfL which are free to access can be found below: 

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 World War II (including ‘German in the Woods’, ‘The Piano’ and ‘Beyond the Lines’.)

Visit the Imperial War Museum site for “What you need to know about VE Day” and the “10-photos of VE Day Celebrations”.

In addition, you could play Winston Churchill’s announcement below:

We hope this blog proves useful, should you be exploring VE Day with your pupils. If you complete any of the activities why not share what you did on our Twitter or Facebook accounts?

Arctic Live 2019 1st-8th May 2019

AXA XL Arctic Live is a unique education event linking student with scientists exploring the frozen north from 1-8 May, 2019.

Students around the world will be able to the join the AXA XL Arctic Live research team who are investigating marine plastics and ocean acidification. The science team from the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory will be based at the NERC Arctic Research Station in the northernmost permanent community in the world, Ny Alesund, on the Svalbard archipelago. Schools can sign up for a range of live broadcasts  here.

The Arctic is changing rapidly. It is experiencing the highest levels of warming of any region on the planet, and the chemistry of the Arctic Ocean is acidifying more rapidly now, than at any time in the past 300 million years. Arctic Live offers the chance for young people to explore the issues and put into context news headlines about climate change.

The broadcast sessions will run from the 1st to the 8th May. Classes and families will be able to interview the scientists and members of the expedition team, take part in Ask-me-anything sessions, and join the experiments explaining some of the changes occurring in the Arctic.

Activities range from interviews with experts to live investigations and Arctic Q&A sessions. Each broadcast has a host of supporting resources from activities and lesson plans to galleries and virtual reality content here. You can view all the planned sessions and sign up here.

You can also follow the event on Twitter by following Encounter Edu and you can use  the #ArcticLive to see updates.

Polar Exploration from LGfL would be a fantastic resource to use alongside this event. LGfL worked with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University in creating this comprehensive resource, which provides a unique insight into the ‘Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery’.

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

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

The video below provides a case study of how Exning Primary schools made use of a range of technologies  to support enhanced learner outcomes using the Polar exploration resource for their topic based work.

BusyThings also have a range of resources linked to the Arctic and Polar that could also be used to support your work during Arctic Live. Children can label the Arctic habitat and then after watching one of the live sessions could use the information gathered to write an Arctic fact file using the template in Busythings.

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.

10 Steps to a successful summer term ☀️

The Easter holidays are over and it’s time to take off those bunny ears, put down the Easter Eggs (well go on have just one more!) and get thinking about the summer term.

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

Listed below are our top tips on how to best plan a successful summer term, help get summer started in a positive way and helping you get the most out of the amazing content and support that LGfL can give you and your students.

Get booking: Our annual Conference is this month 25th April 2019 – We have some amazing keynote speakers and a terrific range of seminars to book, we have a few tickets left so be quick and grab the final tickets on Eventbrite.

See how much you save: Using our new savings calculator you can see just how much your LGfL Let’s get Digital subscription is saving you school as well as providing you with award winning curriculum resources and high speed board band.

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

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

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

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

G-e-t ready for the Phonics test: LGfL have a range of resources to support the Phonics test:

Busy Things has fun and engaging activities to help students at any phonics level. You can choose exactly which phonemes and graphemes are being used and so allow children to work at their own pace/level.  Don’t forget the super useful Phonics resource maker which enables you to create your own paper-based resources to support a systematic phonics programme and is great for group work.

We also have the highly used i-board phonics suite, the suite consists of 12 activity types which can be use with any combination of words from the suggested word list in each phase of letters and sounds, great for shared class work or smaller phonic interventions.

Check out our training hub: We have added a huge range of training to our  Training Hub offering a unique range of courses, browse and book or share a link with colleagues. Training is FREE for all LGfL teachers and is held on a Tuesday at Camden CLC,or in our new Headquarters in Liverpoll street  you can find out more about the courses on offer and how to sign up here. Examples of future courses include: Creative computing, supporting Teaching Assistants, Google Microsoft. We also have new iPad training exploring th everyone can create, and everyone can code guides for information on any of our training just go to training.lgfl.net.

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

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

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

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

Explore Geography resource is Highly Commended at GA Publishers’ Awards

 

We are delighted to announce that our Explore Geography resource produced in partnership with Inspyro has been awarded a Highly Commended award at this years prestigious Geography Association Publishers’ awards.

The judges felt that this was a visually engaging resource which would provide the ‘wow’ factor for KS2 or KS3 students and a way in to exploring complex processes and concepts. Overall, a professionally produced resource which has the potential to engage a range of students.

 

Explore Geography 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 hypothesise about  urban growth and can develop a deeper understanding 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 which 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 sea 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.

‘The Explore Geography resource is designed to help students and teachers understand a range of fundamental geographical principles and ideas that some students find difficult to grasp. For example, seeing the water cycle in 3 dimensions really helps explain the inter relationships between each element. It is no longer necessary to have to use abstract descriptions such as ‘along the corridor and up the stairs ‘ when teaching grid references as the app shows live how grid references work when applied directly to a OS map. We commission resources that harness the power of modern technology to benefit all learners and help all children achieve their full potential. We are delighted that the Geographical Association have recognised the quality of the resource we produced with Inspyro to help achieve this aim.’

Bob Usher – Content Manager LGfL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multiplication tables check – how TTblast can help!

From the 2019/20 academic year onwards, all state-funded maintained schools and academies (including free schools) in England will be required to administer an online multiplication tables check (MTC) to year 4 pupils.

The purpose of the MTC is to determine whether pupils can recall their times tables fluently, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It will help schools to identify pupils who have not yet mastered their times tables, so that additional support can be provided.

Schools will have a 3-week window to administer the MTC. Teachers will have the flexibility to administer the check to individual pupils, small groups or a whole class at the same time.

Schools will be able to familiarise themselves with the tests and let pupils try them out, ahead of a national pilot between June 10 and June 28. The pilot will help to shape the final version of the tests, which will become statutory for Year 4 pupils in June 2020. Schools can access this area via the NCA Tools website, or via this quick link .

The check will focus on the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 times tables because, the DfE says, “these have been determined to be the most difficult multiplication tables”. There will be 25 questions and pupils will be given six seconds to answer each question.

Each pupil’s score out of 25 will be reported to the school – there will be no expected standard threshold. Children will be tested using an on-screen check (on a computer or a tablet), where they will have to answer multiplication questions against the clock.  The test will last no longer than 5 minutes and their answers will be marked instantly.

TTblast from Just2Easy (available as part of your LGfL subscription) has updated features that will help children practice ahead of the check. When children either go ‘live’ within TT blast, or if they use it in practice mode, a clock will appear in the top right hand corner as can be seen below.

This will count down 6 seconds and then turn red. Children can still answer the question after the clock has turned red, it just means that they have taken longer than 6 seconds to answer.

When the children have completed the live test, their final scores can then be seen, this screen has also been updated and children will be told the average time it took them to answer questions. Next to each answer there will be a green clock to denote if answered in 6 seconds or a red clock to show that they answered in longer than 6 seconds, as can be seen below:

The children can use TT blast both at home and at school logging in with their USO – a great way to get children to practice their tables ahead of the MTC.

If you are using TT Blast in school  why not share your top scores with u on our Twitter or Facebook accounts.

LGfL scoops Education Resources Award for ‘Not for Profit Supplier of the Year’

We are delighted to be celebrating our latest success in this years 2019 Education Resources Awards, having been announced as the winners in the category Supplier of the Year: Not-for-profit. We scooped the top prize after impressing judges with our inspiring approach to meeting the needs of schools today as well as demonstrating outstanding customer care and an exceptional standard of service to education.

Having won an ERA award previously in 2017 in the category Primary Resource or Equipment we are were also proud to be recognised this year in the Primary Resource or Equipment category, coming ‘Highly Commended’ for its Key Stage 2 – 3 resource ‘Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon’ which features a comprehensive set of resources for maths, literacy, science and computing.

The annual ERA Award ceremony is run by the British Educational Suppliers’ Association (BESA) to recognise the best of the UK’s educational technology sector. Now in their 21st successful year, the awards focus on the resources, services and people that make a practical impact on learning and the day-to-day work of teachers in the classroom.

As an educational charity committed to the advancement of education through digital innovation, our mission is to ‘save schools money and keep children safe’. As a community of over 3000 schools based across London and the UK, we achieve this through using its substantial economies of scale to make purchases on behalf of its schools, providing significant savings on software, training and award-winning curriculum tools provided at no extra-cost to its community.

Commenting on the award win John Jackson, CEO at LGfL said,

“It is fantastic to be recognised for the work that LGfL has done to save money for its community at a time when schools are in desperate need of support to maintain high-quality teaching in spite of dwindling budgets. This award demonstrates that LGfL, through equipping schools not just with the tools they need but by providing first-class training opportunities and promoting best-practice, is meeting the needs of the education community.”

 

Bob Usher, LGfL Content Manager, said,

“We are delighted that our most inclusive resource development – ‘Space Adventures’, has secured ‘Highly Commended’ at the prestigious ERA Awards. It offers an engaging, exciting and dynamic focus for challenging maths, science, literacy and computing curriculum activities for Key Stage 2 and 3 learners”.

 

Busy Things – USO authentication and access at home!

The updated version of Busy Things, packed with NEW features and content, was released to LGfL schools back in January 2019 BUT from today is it is now accessible from home with your LGfL USO.

In order to use Busy Things at home with your LGfL USO then the headteacher declaration needs to be signed in order for the data to be released, you will find a simple summary guide on how to configure access via the LGfL USO log in here.

If you have not yet configured the new version of Busy Things in school then this guide gives you a simple summary on how to set up for the first time on the school network.

The new updated Busy Things has a range of both new features and content and this summary document outlines them all for you.

There is also a Busy Things channel on LGfL TV that includes a range of short videos like the one below that offer guidance on a range of tools within Busy Things.

Should you require further assistance then please contact Busy Things directly

Enjoy getting Busy at home and school!

 

 

Shakespeare Week

From 18-24 March 2019, Shakespeare Week will provide another series of exciting events to give nearly 2 million children a fun first taste of Shakespeare.

William Shakespeare was never lost for words, but young people in the UK are increasingly so. A national survey published in 2018 reported that more than 60% of primary and secondary school teachers were seeing a rise in pupils with an underdeveloped vocabulary. In order to help children across the country find their words, Shakespeare Week will be embracing the theme of Language and Literacy in 2019.

2019 will also see the introduction of Will’s Word Warriors to Shakespeare Week. The Word Warriors will be recruited from all walks of life to champion Shakespeare’s Forgotten Words (the list compiled by linguist, author and academic Professor David Crystal) and promote more diverse uses of language. Children will soon be encouraging their peers to ‘drumble’ along, or accusing them of being ‘slug-abeds’, or even telling their teachers to stop their ‘bibble-babble’!

There are also fantastic free online resources that include a new Kids’ Zone on the Shakespeare Week website, which will have a series of interactive resources and videos for children to engage with online.

LGfL have a range of resources to support Shakespeare Week within the classroom.

Early Shakespeare

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

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

BBC Shakespeare Archive

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

Summary of the archive content

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

Cambridge School Shakespeare

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

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

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

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

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

Teachers can also use the brilliant Teach Shakespeare website from Shakespeare’s globe which has hundreds of free learning resources including audio files, video, lesson plans and exam revision lesson plans.

The Shakespeare Zone from The Royal Shakespeare Company gives you loads of information about Shakespeare’s plays. You’ll find key facts, key scenes, pictures from past productions, videos of actors and directors working on and performing the plays AND find out about all the main characters and how they relate to each other. Whether you want to know a little or a lot, this site has the information you need.

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

If you do use any LGfL content in your school to inspire your students do let us know by posting them on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook pages. You can also follow Shakespeare Week on Twitter

International Women’s Day 8th March 2019

International Women’s Day on March 8th, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first​ ​March 8​ ​IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the​ Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women equality.

Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained. “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.​ Make IWD your day! – everyday!

The theme for this year is #BalanceforBetter to encourage everyone to build a gender-balanced world. This year you can strike the #BalanceforBetter pose, download the selfie cards and promote via social media. You can find out more about the pose and download your selfie cards here.

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

There are two sets of resources that teachers can download, the first set produced in association with Tech starter, feature printable fact sheets, case studies about inspiring role models and activity task cards – the resources are designed for ages 5-12.

The second set of resources in collaboration with Penguin Schools, features in-depth material for an International Women’s Day Book Study covering literacy, history, drama and art objectives. It serves as an exciting and important introduction to the equality themes addressed in the “Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History” by Vashti Harrison.

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

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

“It is as important for boys to understand that girls are equally able to achieve within the computing industry as it is for girls to aspire to work within the sector”

This resource asks a simple question: what does the historical role of women in computing tell us about the society of the time?  Framing the question in this way allows us to look at the contribution of women unaffected by prior judgements we might have made. We seem to have little difficulty in accepting that machines make history – steam engines in the 19th century, cars, aeroplanes…… and of course computers.  But machines do not come to be, nor do they function in a social vacuum.  Part of the question this resource addresses is how history makes machines. The fascinating interviews contained within the resource situate gender roles in computing in the larger context of society.

There are a range of videos including sections on WWII codebreaking, Cold War computing, Pushing the boundaries and Inspiring the next generation.

Our latest resource Significant People takes a handful of particularly important events and people and investigates their impact on history, making use of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and interactive 3D to bring these events to life. The resource features nursing on the front line looking at Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole.

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

Looking at Gender Equality – you can watch the Keynote from the annual conference last year by Graham Andre who was at the centre of the BBC ‘No More Boys and Girls’ programme that explored gender equality issues in schools. In his presentation he summarises the key points on the topic and shares his own journey towards self reflection and progress on the issues discussed.

You can also access a vast range of Gender Equality resources put together by Graham on this padlet.

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

Into film are also celebrating the amazing achievements of female filmmakers and the on-screen heroines that highlight strong women, alternative forms of femininity, and promote gender equality. They have a selection of film lists, articles, film guides and other resources – including their International Women’s Day assembly resources – that each highlight strong female characters and important female voices in the film industry, you can browse the collection here.  As well as films, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) staff have chosen their favourite books for younger readers featuring independent girl characters. A list of books for older children focusing on women’s history will appear later in March which is Women’s History Month. You can view the list here.

Sport England has worked with the Association for Physical Education to produce a range of newly updated resources to support you to bring This Girl Can into your school.

Resources include:

  • Six themed workshops focused on the campaign’s emotional themes and featuring flexible and interactive tasks
  • Hints and tips to help staff and students actively implement the workshop ideas

In order to access the free resources for schools you MUST register on the This Girl Can website.

What do you have planned for International Women’s Day we would love to see pictures and work please share via our twitter or Facebook pages #BalanceforBetter

British Science Week – 8th-17th March 2019

British Science Week, run by the British Science Association runs from the 8th – 17th March 2019 and is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths.

The British Science Week website has activity packs for Early Years, Primary and Secondary students, the packs are designed to be your one stop shop for supporting teachers during the week. The theme for the packs is ‘journeys’, from creating tunnels, time capsules and perfume to keeping a nature loaf and mummifying an orange, there’s something for everyone.  The activities include both lesson plans and assemblies.  There is also a poster competition, students can make their poster about anything involving journeys.

There are several resources that LGfL schools can use during this time all around the theme of journeys.

Why not download our new Significant People resource for KS1 and KS2, this resource takes a handful of particularly important events and people and investigates their impact on history. Using Augmented Reality and interactive 3D you can see the route taken by Christopher Columbus, or explore the first powered flight test and touch down on the surface of the moon with a 3D animation of the Eagle lander.

Or journey to Antartica with our Polar Exploration resource. LGfL worked with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University in creating this comprehensive resource, which provides a unique insight into the ‘Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery’.

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

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

Follow the intrepid astronaut Tazz Anderson and her on board computer (MIC) on her journey to the moon to bring the valuable raw material ‘Dysprosium’ for use in smart devices on Planet Earth in Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon. This unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe. The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for Maths, Literacy and Science and a Computing unit created by Max Wainewright.

With Viral Contagion English and Viral Contagion Maths, students can use their Maths and English skills to look at the journey and spread of a biological outbreak in South London. Dramatized news reports describe the impact of the outbreak, challenging students to consider the use of language behind such scenarios and the need for effective communication to help save lives, alongside using their mathematical skills to understand the speed at which an outbreak can spread.

The entire Primary ‘Switched on Science’ scheme, offering full coverage across Key Stage 1 and 2  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. It is packed with best-practice CPD videos and supportive lessons to ensure every teacher can deliver the science curriculum with confidence. The package comes with all the additional resources teachers need to teach the entire Science curriculum, ranging from a video for each unit, teacher guide, interactive exercises, pupil workbooks, ideas for differentiation, and much more.

 

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

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

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

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

The ever popular j2etool suite can also be used during Science Week, for a range of activities. Why not get pupils to research a famous journey and create a book in j2e, or make an animation of the water cycle or life cycle in JIT.

For the classroom why not download the collection of STEM role models posters celebrating women innovators illustrated by women artists, there are 8 in the set and each poster is accompanied by a short biography  of the women featured, not only raising awareness of their achievements but also hopefully inspiring a new generation of women to work in STEM

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

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

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

 

What ever you are doing for British Science Week we would love you to share your work on our  twitter or Facebook pages #BSW19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading Zone Live with Sinéad Pounder, Free Author visit and dates for your diary.

Our next ReadingZone Live features the author Sibéal Pounder on 15th March from 2:30 pm.

Sibéal Pounder used to work for the Financial Times, where she researched the How To Spend It section and wrote the For Goodness’ Sake column – interviewing everyone from Veronica Etro to Vivienne Westwood. Now she writes about fabulous witches and bad mermaids in her two much loved series for Bloomsbury. Sibéal’s first book, Witch Wars, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2016.

Sibéal Pounder brings together the characters from her brilliant, bonkers, bestselling Bad Mermaids and Witch Wars series for a once-in-a-lifetime World Book Day adventure. Once every one hundred years, the mermaids of the Hidden Lagoon and the witches of Sinkville get together for a party! The Top Witch greets the Mermaid Queen, who is wheeled through the streets of Sinkville in a bathtub. Mermaids Beattie, Mimi and Zelda can’t wait to meet a real witch, but when Tiga is unexpectedly sucked down the plughole into the Hidden Lagoon before the celebrations even start, things start to go magically, marvellously, megalodon-sharkally WRONG.

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 15th March, more details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here.

FREE Author Event – Sign up by end of day on 28th March

Virginia Clay, author of Warrior Boy, is based in Kenya but will be visiting London in March. ReadingZone alongside London Grid for Learning are offering two London primary schools a FREE author event with Virginia on 26th March – a truly unmissable offer! To be entered into the draw for a free author event, just let them know why you would like to host one of Virginia’s events, and the size of audience offered, by emailing: info@ReadingZone.com (Subject: Warrior Boy) The two winning schools will be notified on Tuesday 5th March.

Virginia is offering an hour-long assembly-style event for primary audiences of 180+. Her events are aimed at years 3-6 (ages 8-11) and are entertaining as well as informative. Virginia will also handle book sales on the day.
Warrior Boy, for ages 9+, follows London schoolboy Ben, who is visiting his father’s homeland of Kenya. Ben thinks he won’t fit in with his estranged Maasai cousins but when he arrives, he finds there is a lot more at stake than his pride … In a thrilling adventure of tribal culture and elephant conservation, Ben embarks on a journey of self-understanding and friendship.

Dates for your Diary

We have two more fantastic Reading Zone Live events coming up in April and May.

3rd April with the brilliant Maz Evans author of Who let the Gods out and her most recent book Against all Gods.

22nd May with the fantastic Fleur Hitchcock author of The boy who flew and Murder in Mid winter.

 

 

ERA Award Finalists 2019

We are really pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted in three categories for this year’s ERA awards.

Our first shortlisted category is for Primary Resource or Equipment including ICT 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.

‘We are delighted that our most inclusive resource development – Space Adventure’s, has been recognised for a prestigious ERA Award. It offers an engaging, exciting and relevant focus for challenging Maths, Science, Literacy and Computing curriculum activities for Key Stage 2 and 3 learners’ Bob Usher Content Manager, LGfL

 

“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. It’s fantastic that the work of London teachers and resource makers have been identified.” Max Wainewright author of computing resources for Space Adventures

Our second shortlisted category is for Collaboration between School and Supplier with Elm Park Primary School in the London Borough of Havering, this new category looks suppliers who have worked with schools in an innovative, personalised way to help generate operational excellence, or drive up standards of attainment.

Elm Park Primary school in Havering is one of many schools who LGfL have worked with and over the last two years this collaboration has involved many and varied strands, that have been both innovative and have supported the everyday life of the school enhancing the opportunities for both pupils and teachers within the school.  All of these have been within their current subscription which not only provides a robust and secure broadband connection to the school but also enables them to make cost savings through the purchase of associated services.

In the words of their HeadTeacher Vicki Morris “LGfL is at the heart of what we do”

Our final shortlisted category is for Supplier of the Year – Not for Profit, this category is for companies that supply educational establishments (either directly or indirectly) with high-quality, safe products appropriate to their everyday teaching and learning needs. The video below highlights why some of schools value being part of the LGfL community:

The Education Resources Awards (ERA) are now in their 20th successful year and are firmly established as the premier annual event to celebrate outstanding success for the suppliers and teaching professionals of the education sector throughout the UK.  The awards highlight and reward the quality and diversity of educational products, resources, services and people as well as the best educational establishments and the most dedicated members of the teaching profession.  The ERA aims to encourage the raising of the educational services and product standards throughout the industry and is recognised throughout the sector as the accolade of excellence.

Winners will be announced at a gala event to be held at The National Conference Centre, Birmingham on Friday 22nd March 2019.

Good luck to all fellow nominees.

World Book Day – 7th March 2019

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

This is the 22nd year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 7th March 2019, children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.

The theme this year is ‘Share a story’ to encourage everyone to share their story, and this year they have added a brand new series of creative, inspiring and interactive films for you to screen in class at ANY TIME that suits you. These 12 films are in an exciting new format which will inspire all students aged 5-12, whether they’re reluctant readers or aspiring authors and illustrators! Featuring incredible authors and illustrators including Lauren Child, Malorie Blackman, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Sibéal Pounder, Jeff Kinney and Chris Riddell, every film comes with FREE classroom resources too!

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

There is also a World Book Day – Live Lesson at 2 pm on the 7th March, hosted by CBBC’s Ben Shires, designed to tie in with the curriculum for English and Literacy at KS2. Students will be challenged to share stories and complete fun reading and writing activities in order to help Ben save World Book Day. Also joining in with the Live Lesson will be famous World Book Day authors and illustrators Malorie Blackman, Rob Biddulph and Cressida Cowell, who will be there to answer your questions. Schools can send in questions to live.lessons@bbc.co.uk for a chance to have them answered live, you can also write in if you will be watching live with a short message as well as your class and school name. There will also be a range of resources to support the live lesson published nearer the day.

Reading Zone Live from LGfL is the perfect resource to use within your class on World Book day, the site is packed with interviews with authors including: Michael Murpurgo, Oliver Jeffers, Jacqueline Wilson and Cressida Cowell to name a few. Alongside interviews with the authors explaining their inspiration and writing resources, there are also a range of resources for teachers to use in class.  Our next Reading Zone Live event is with the author Sibeal Pounder on the 15th March 2019, you can find out more information and how to watch here.

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

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

The whole story resource from LGfL aims to explore how storytelling can maximise 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.

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

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

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

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

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

Or why not go behind the scenes to learn how stories come alive in a free 30-minute classroom broadcast with Cressida Cowell, the author & illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series with Microsoft. The broadcast will air on 6th March at 2pm and also 6 pm GMT, each will be followed by a live Q and A and it is free to register.

Cressida will inspire students to tap into their boundless imagination and will show how using character development and details in stories make them more believable and fun.  There are also a range of resources to use to get your class ready or to use after the broadcast.

To celebrate World Book Day, Night Zookeeper are giving you the chance of winning a class set of books and a free school workshop from the author of the storybook series, Joshua Davidson. To enter, simply email hello@nightzookeeper.com with the subject line: World Book Day! The team will be announcing the winner of the competition on Thursday 7th March! Good luck to everyone entering!

What do you have planned for World Book Day we would love to see pictures and work  please share via our twitter or Facebook pages #WorldBookDay2019

Fair Trade Fortnight 25th February-10th March 2019

 

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

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

For 2019, Fairtrade Fortnight will focus on cocoa. Farmers of this much-loved product have seen prices fall to crisis levels in the last few years, making life incredibly difficult for cocoa farmers. This is especially true in West Africa where most cocoa is grown.  They are also launching a new 3-year campaign that will encourage everyone in the cocoa sector – consumers, companies, governments and others – to play their part and make a living income a reality for cocoa farmers.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ReadingZone Live with Karen McCombie

Our next ReadingZone Live features the author Karen McCombie on 13th February from 2:30 pm.

Best-selling author Karen McCombie was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, where the view from her bedroom was of the steely North Sea, dotted with oil rigs. But memories of childhood holidays spent in the fir and heather-covered Highlands are what’s lodged in her DNA.Karen has had more that 80 books published, with more than a million sold worldwide. She lives in London with her very Scottish husband Tom, English daughter Milly (who’s been taught to say “loch” in the correct way) and a Scottish Wildcat

Her latest book is Little Bird Flies for ages 10+ featured on Sunday Times Children’s book of the week:

It’s 1861. Bridie lives on the remote Scottish island of Torrnish, the youngest of three sisters. Although she loves her island, with its wild seas and big skies, she guiltily nurses a secret dream of flight – to America and the freedom of the New World.

But her family are struggling under the spiteful oppression of the new Laird, and it seems that even some of the Laird’s own household are desperate to leave. When the Laird’s full cruelty becomes apparent, there’s no more time for daydreams as Bridie needs to help the people she loves escape across the sea to safety.

The first in a gripping, dramatic new series from much-loved author, Karen McCombie.

For here I am, thirteen years grown. Yes, I might be scrawny still, my wings somewhat bent, but I am strong. And I may be a little bird in name only, but one day, I hope to say goodbye to this island, borne away, as my dream foretells. One day I will fly…

“Little Bird is a tale of wanting more from life and getting it the hard way. It’s about the upheaval and opportunity of emigration, but above all it’s a beautifully told adventure story that has you cheering on Little Bird from start to finish. Such a lovely book!” Editor of Little Bird flies

 

This ReadingZone Live event is for aged 10+ students.

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 13th February, more details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here.

 

Children’s Mental Health Week 2019 4th-10th February

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

The theme for this year is Healthy: Inside and Out. When we think about healthy living, we tend to focus on looking after our bodies – our physical wellbeing – through food, being active and getting enough sleep.However, in order to be healthy overall, it’s important that we look after our minds – our mental wellbeing – too. Our bodies and minds are actually very closely linked, so things that we do to improve our physical wellbeing can help our mental wellbeing as well. When we take steps to be Healthy: Inside and Out, it helps us to feel better in ourselves, focus on what we want to do and deal with difficult times. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Our bodies and minds are connected, so simple things that we do to improve our physical wellbeing can help our mental wellbeing too. Place2be have produced a range of resources for both Primary and Secondary schools, these include assembly guides and group activities both for inside and outside the classroom.

LGfL are holding their inaugural Mental Health and Wellbeing conference during this week on Tuesday 5th February at Camden CLC, the conference will include keynotes from Abigail Mann author of Live well, Teach Well alongside two other Head Teachers who will be looking at why Mental Health in schools and how to unleash your inner super hero and a series workshops looking at promoting mental health and wellbeing in schools.  FREE tickets are available for LGfL/TRUSTNET staff.

We also have a range of resources that can support you during this week. Healthy Minds was produced in partnership with the leading mental health charity for young people – Young Minds.  They feature a range of teacher led activities involving group work promoting self reflection and video content with supporting activities. The main activities are designed for use with learners in upper KS2, KS3 and KS4, with some resources are designed for staff and/or for parents.

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

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

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

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

Mind Moose is another excellent resource that can be used within schools, it is a fun, digital platform that teaches children how to keep their minds healthy. Children go on a journey of discovery with Mind Moose and his friends as they learn how to look after their minds, keep their brains healthy, deal with emotions, develop resilience and flourish. The fun, interactive animations and activities are underpinned by theory and tools from the field of positive psychology and beyond. London schools can benefit from a 14 day trial as well as a 25% discount by e mailing inclusion@lgfl.net.

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

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

Improved student wellbeing leads to better outcomes for students.  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.

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

All LGfL schools who sign up before the end of July with receive FREE access to the ‘Plus” package (usual average cost £500) for one year. Click here for more details or to reserve your licence.  You can also read about the differences between ‘plus” and their other products here.

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust is a charity that hosts a free mental health book club for school mental health leads.  Schools can opt in to receive a book and accompanying resources once a term.  These aim to enhance the skills, confidence and knowledge of those who work with children and young people, by providing them with resources they can use to promote positive mental health.  The trust has also produced two excellent lists of book recommendation for both a Primary and Secondary Wellbeing library as well as a model policy for schools to use.

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

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

Number Day 1st February 2019

Join thousands of schools for a mega maths-inspired fundraising day and raise money for the NSPCC, on 1st February. With new creative activities this year, it’s maths but not as you know it! Whether you dedicate a day or an hour to being a maths maverick, the NSPCC have a range of activities for schools, new for 2019.  Schools can register for a pack including:

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

LGfL have a range of resources that can complement your teaching of Number Day or why not use some of them to turn it into a Number week.

j2e Tool suite – has a range of maths tools that can be used in class.

Why not get your students to use the maths games in j2blast, you could use Tt Blast to see who can complete the most games and earn the most points on that day, or if they are in Year 2 or Year 6 you could get them to use Sats blast to see who can get the best score within the time limit.

 j2vote can be used to see what is the favourite number within the school or you can use j2measure to look at measuring distances from school e.g. how many places are within 5cm or 10 cm on a map from school? 

Using the animate tool in JIT, children could make an animation of their favourite numbers or facts about numbers narrating their animations and then turning them in a GIF

BusyThings have a huge range of maths games and quizzes that can be used from EYFS to KS2, we have featured just three below that are available. But why not use the curriculum browser or the search tool to find games related to Number to use with your class.

Why not Test KS2 knowledge with NEW quizzes – 60+ available!

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

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

Splash Dash

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

Maths at home Support for busy parents – is great to site share with parents on this day to show them different ways that they can support their children at home, as well as how a lot of mathematical concepts are taught in school.  The site includes short videos no longer than 3 minutes as well as activity sheets that can be used at home and covers Years 1-6

Looking to link maths to real world problems then our Maths in the real world is perfect for this especially for UKS2 or LKS3, with curriculum mapping documents available for KS2 and KS3. Lesson plans and resources are also included.

The real-world topics covered in the resource are:

  • Algorithms
  • Arena and Events
  • Nutrition
  • Round the World
  • Speed Camera Investigation
  • Sporting Decisions

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.

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

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

 

Whatever you are doing to celebrate Number day 2018 – why not share them on our twitter feed or our Facebook page #NumberDay

National Storytelling week 27th January – 3rd February 2019

The Society For Storytelling, is a UK-based society founded in 1993. Open to anyone with an interest in the form, they  coordinate National Storytelling Week, which this year runs from the 27th January to the 3rd of February, their mission is to promote the oral tradition of storytelling which was the very first way of communicating life experiences and the creative imagination. Storytelling has been shown by studies to aid learning in children for history, increase interest in science and have a positive effect on memory. When the students do the storytelling, it can encourage higher-level thinking skills, such as analysis and synthesis, as well as skills in oral composition. The Society for Storytelling has a range of resources on their website including fact sheets on hosting a story telling week as well as a list of storytellers that are available to come into schools during the week.

This year the society is posing the question what stories will you let out of the box. Remember everyone has at least one story to tell. It exists in the very air around you – Your story is the one you know best and as it is only the beginning, the stories you will tell might begin with…Once upon a time or not in my time, not in your time but in someone’s time…

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

You could use Space Adventures Mission to the Moon as your story of the week, 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 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?

Or why not re tell the Story of Sigurd and the Dragon, a classic Norse tale of how Sigurd killed the greedy dragon Fafnir, using both AR and VR the children can be transported back 1,000 years to listen to this tale and then making use of the green screen pack that is included, they can retell this ancient tale, making use of the high quality graphics and audio included to bring their story to life.

The whole story resource features a professional storyteller offering his advice to teachers on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum using images, objects and structure, the 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.

 

Children can use Audio Network to search for music that will form the back drop to their own stories or to stories that they are retelling, the network features over 50,000 individual audio files and then their stories and audio can be uploaded into Video Central. Video Central HD offers an easy-to-use web-based solution which allows teachers in London to share video and audio files with students, colleagues and partner schools. Video and audio files are uploaded using a secure web interface then encoded automatically for fast, efficient web streaming. Or why not make use of the BBC Sound Effects Archive – this large database of audio sound effects can be used within a wide range of applications in an educational context.  Many sounds have multiple version to suit different uses and help enhance videos and stories.

‘A picture paints a thousand words’ why not use one of the thousands of pictures available from LGfL Image bank which contains high resolution licence images from a variety of LGfL content provider partners including: Royal Collection Trust and the British Library. These would be excellent to pose questions such as what is happening? What happened before the painting? What happened after? Where are the people going?

Children can also get advice on how to create their stories by well known authors in ReadingZone Live, children can get tips on writing from Anthony Horowitz, Oliver Jeffers and Cressida Cowell to name a few.  There are specific sections focussing on genre, planning, character and writing which can be searched via a new writing area.

Children could make use of the writing tools with j2e tool suite to write and illustrate their story using either j2e5 or in JIT and then can blog it straight away to give their story a wider audience. Or why not use Busy things, their paint and publisher program would be excellent to use and they also have a short story template that could also be used during the week.

Early Years practitioners could make use of our Fairy Tales resource and then re tell their favourite Fairy Tale using JIT.  You could also make use of Talking Stories during this week, Talking Stories 1 is ideal for KS1 and covers a range of online talking books also available in a variety of languages.  Talking Stories 2 contains multi-modal resources that covers Shakespeare, Coleridge and Sherlock Holmes, while Talking Stories 3 have a range of interactive stories and traditional tales including Orpheus and Eurydice, The Parrots and the Raja and the Wishing tree, downloadable resources and planning are available for all stories.

Another fantastic resource to use during this week is Listening books, these audiobooks are great to use for SEND students as well as during whole class sessions.  Titles can be streamed direct for group listening or for individuals to listen with headphones.

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

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

500 Words from the BBC is another great resource to use to help children tell their story, the competition will open for the ninth year later this month. However, the site has a range of resources and ideas as well as being able to listen to previous winning entries that children can use to inspire their own story writing. Another great competition and resource is The Wicked Young Writer Awards which is open until 18th March, the Wicked Young Writer Awards is a chance for young people aged between 5 and 25, to write about absolutely anything!  It’s their chance to get creative and write on any theme that interests them. You can find out more about the awards here

The fantastic Literacy Shed have also got a great blog post about why stories are important with some brilliant practical ideas.

We would love to hear some of your stories – why not share them on our twitter feed or our Facebook page #NationalStorytellingWeek

 

‘Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs’ Resources Updated to Image Bank

Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs: 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.

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

Russia includes two exhibitions exploring Britain’s relationship with Russia through works of art in the Royal Collection; ‘Royalty, Russians and the Romanovs” and ‘Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimea, 1855’  at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace (open to the public and school groups until 28 April 2019).

We have added new images to the LGfL Image Bank. The 10 images have been specially selected for their relevance and interest for schools and come from  ‘Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs’. 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; its purpose is to provide a free repository of high quality materials copyright cleared for use in teaching and learning*.

All of the resources in the 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. Since 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 below is an example using a powerful image form (n.b. the video does not have sound)

Through war, alliance and dynastic marriage the relationships between Britain and Russia and their royal families are explored from Peter the Great’s visit to London in 1698 through to Nicholas II. Portraits, sculpture, photographs, archival documents and miniature masterpieces by Fabergé illustrate historic events and family meetings between the rulers of the two nations.

Many of the rich and varied works of art on display are unique – some commissioned as grand diplomatic gifts, others as intimate personal mementos between the royal family and the Romanovs, and they bring to life the shared patronage of artists and craftsmen from both countries.

Throughout 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, the RCT is hosting unique sessions at the Queen’s Gallery. The sessionprovide a number of inspiring routes into the curriculum for children to develop creative writing, drawing skills and drama opportunities,These are free of charge, run by experts, open to all schools, and the ideal complement for working alongside our image bank.

Learning to Look at Portraits

Friday, 9 Nov 2018 – Friday, 26 Apr 2019

KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4

History, Art & Design

Session times: 10:15 and 12:30

Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Pupils will explore Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimea and Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs with a professional artist, compare and contrast the styles of portraiture displayed between the amazing paintings and the evocative historical photographs, using both to inspire pupils to create their own portraits.

 

Dance & Music Week: A Ball at the Winter Palace

Monday, 11 Mar 2019 – Friday, 15 Mar 2019

KS1, KS2

History, Art & Design, Dance, Drama, English Literature, Music

Session times: 10:15 and 12:30

Duration: KS1 – 1 hour, 30 minutes KS2 – 2 hours

Children will have the opportunity to visit the magnificence and riches of the Russia, Royalty and the Romanovs exhibition; viewing extraordinary items of Faberge, porcelain, exotic and highly coloured furniture and stunning paintings.  Then using information they have gathered they will then create the scene of a ball in the Winter Palace during the 1860’s and learn The Grand March, a Victorian dance.

 

Power of the Image: A Creative Writing Workshop

Friday, 9 Nov 2018 – Friday, 26 Apr 2019

KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5

History, Art & Design, English Language

Session times: 10:15 and 12:30

Duration: 2 Hours

Explore Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimea and Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs with a published author to inspire your pupils’ writing. This workshop highlights the many possibilities for inspiring Creative Writing  from works of art. The session will also provide a set of comprehensive teachers’ notes and follow up ideas to aid pupils to develop their writing back at school.

 

Russian Empires: Key Stage 3 History

Friday, 9 Nov 2018 – Friday, 26 Apr 2019

Key stage 3, Key stage 4

History

Session times: 10:15 and 12:30

Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

This session explores Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs  to consider the concept of public image within the Romanov family. Using art in context  to make historical claims based on evidence, students will be able support their studies on the lead up to the Russian revolution

The second exhibition Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimea, 1855 is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on Roger Fenton’s pioneering photographs of the Crimean War. Fenton’s photographs showed the impact of war to the general public for the first time and created the genre of war photography.

At LGfL we are delighted to announce a resource that complements the current Royal Collection Trust exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery, but the workshop can be run entirely independently. Roger Fenton Finding the Truth with Photographsexplores media representation of current affairs using the war photography. This workshop is aimed at 11-15 year olds and teachers are encouraged as necessary to adapt to their student’s needs. It poses questions about how news is presented both in Fenton’s era and the current day and how recipients of news should question how reliable news stories and sources are. The ‘Scepticism spanner’ provides questions for the pupils to deliberate whilst discussing Fenton’s images and their impact.

Fenton arrived several months after the major battles were fought, so focused on creating moving portraits of the troops, as well as capturing the stark, empty battlefields on which so many lost their lives. Due to the size and cumbersome nature of his photographic equipment, Fenton was limited to producing pictures of stationary objects, mostly posed pictures; he avoided taking pictures of dead, injured or mutilated soldiers.

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

To book one of the above workshops please contact:

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.

Take a Walk in the Footsteps of the Great Explorers of the Past

Now that winter is upon us, are you considering a topic exploring the triumphs and tragedies of the great Polar Explorers of the past? If so, LGfL’s Polar Exploration in the Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery is a comprehensive and unique cross-curricular resource tracing the Great Explorers’ endeavours from the first half of the 20th century.

The LGfL resources were written in partnership with Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University (SPRI – a centre of world excellence in the study of the polar regions). The online portal features insights into the epic adventures undertaken by British polar explorers through SPRI unique collection of artefacts, journals, paintings, photographs, clothing equipment and maps which document the evolution of different approaches to polar exploration.

The resource features lesson plans and resources which have been devised by experienced Primary and Secondary teachers, offering a wide range of ideas and activities to incorporate the learning resource in to your teaching. Do you want to learn about a school’s recent  experience of using the resource? Then watch the case study from Exning Primary School case study by following the link  here. You can learn more about the schools wider approach to using technology to maximise learning from here  too via  www.casestudies.lgfl.net.

The Terra Nova expedition is perhaps the most famous, where Captain Scott not only failed to reach the South Pole before his rival Amundsen, but died on the treacherous journey home. Through this story you can compare Robert Scott’s survival kit with a modern-day explorer and perhaps gain a new-found respect for the conditions and equipment these pioneers had to endure.

The Endurance remains one of the all-time great survival stories where Shackleton and his crew became stranded on ice and watched their precious ship become crushed over several months. In a heroic feat of survival, all crew members survived even though their path to safety took them over a year across cruel conditions both at land and sea finally ending up in the remote island of South Georgia.

You can explore the maps of these arduous journeys via the interactive map 

created by the Fitzwilliam Museum specifically for the resource; click on locations en route and see accounts written or photographic evidence of what happened when and where and sometimes to shocking effect. Children can follow the journey of the Nimrod expedition, using the interactive map and use the links to the actual photographs, artefacts and diary entries and this will really bring the adventure to life!

Children have the opportunity to study old equipment from expeditions and the modern counterparts including how approaches to navigation have evolved.

You could download the app for Google Expeditions for a 360 immersive experience that allows teachers and students to explore the world through over 800 virtual-reality (VR) and 100 augmented-reality (AR) tours. Why not try LGfL’s new Explore Geography AR –  the latest Active Lens collaboration with Inspyro, which uses augmented reality technology?

Furthermore, you could explore different environments through the Class VR Virtual Reality headsets and explore the Gentoo Penguins in their environment. You can challenge the children with tasks to identify features of the penguins and explore how it has helped survive in their environment. Remember to look at the planning documents available to you, if you are part of the ClassVR community. If you want to take it further still, you could link your computing curriculum with the topic  and use Co-spaces; the children can code their own Antarctic ‘worlds’ and then ‘create’ a ‘newly discovered species’ and put that into their Co-spaces world.

To get your class empathising with the great explorers of the past, they could put themselves in to a polar explorer’s walking boots, starting with some drama activities, click here to see how one school turned their classroom into a windswept, freezing landscape. The children can explore further the risks accompanied to being exposed to frostbite and all the risks associated to that.

If your aim is for the children to write fantastic descriptions as part of a narrative, they can use some of the images to ‘say as much as possible in as few words as possible’ as Anthony Horowitz states when asked, “How do you turn inspiration in to writing?” taken from LGfL’s ReadingZone Live resource.  

You might want to get children exploring the J2e tools in JIT for infants and J2E. They can complete different activities including making animations or even try coding setting different backgrounds in Visual 2Code.

The eBooks by Rising Stars is a resource developed to engage reluctant readers aged 7 to 14+. For example, the ‘Mystery Mob’ are six boys who get into scrapes and unravel mysterious happenings. One the titles in the series is ‘Mystery Mob and the Abominable Snowman’.  

Arctic weather conditions have an impact on our lives in the UK. The sort of data collected by early equipment is still collected today and helps Meteorologists to predict weather forecasts here and around the world. Real life maths activities could be explored through such data and positional maths activities using compass and coordinates are other possibilities.

Geology including fossils can be explored in Science. Remember to visit Switched on Science for further ideas about reversible and irreversible changes, conductors and insulators and how plants and animals adapt to their environments.

The extreme cold in Antarctica means that your body burns much more energy than it would at home, so you need a special high energy diet. The average adult normally needs 2000-2500 calories a day but when you’re out in the field in the Antarctic you will need over 6000 calories a day.

Ever fancied trying your hand at green screening? This was once a technique only available to professionals; you will be surprised by the basic equipment now needed to produce some great films directed by the children themselves; possibly equipment you already have in school? Children will undoubtedly learn a great deal from the experience of planning and writing for a film shoot! If you are wanting to give it a further professional touch, you can add sound effects from the BBC and background music from Audio Network the LGfL music database. Scott’s hut and related images within the LGfL resource can be used for authentic backgrounds.

Podcasting is an excellent way for pupils to gain confidence in public speaking and can provide a new sense of audience for children, as part of a podcast or radio broadcast. The pupils of Chalgrove Primary School in Barnet have posted a number of podcasts listed under Shackleton’s Expedition. (You could use the timeline to provide the historical facts and chronology for the basis of these podcasts.)

As part of the exploration your pupils could develop their poetic talents; once they have written and edited their poems they could share their performance on LGfL’s ‘Performa poem’ platform. To enhance the performance, remember to make use of the sound effects mentioned previously above. Included in the Performa Poem resource are clips to help with performances, tips to get pupils writing poems, and information about filming and editing videos.

If you are planning on developing your pupils’ art skills perhaps you could explore different media. The pupils could get inspired by artwork of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from Pinterest boards.

Further to the wealth of resources you can find on LGfL there are plenty of other places to supplement these ideas with. The BBC website has many links to historical figures and scientific explanations (requires Flash).

In addition, the Scott Polar Research Institute sometimes run free events. For example they have ‘Twilight at the Museums on Wednesday 20th February 2019 (4:30-7:30) for a FREE after-hours event for families.

Visit their website on https://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/museum/events/ for more information.

 

Explore – Engage – Inspire … with LGfL’s learning resources!

Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference

 

Our first Mental Health and Wellbeing conference is on Tuesday 5th February 2019 at Camden CLCFree tickets are now available for LGfL/Trustnet schools for all interested in promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing in schools.

The day will consist of a series of Keynotes and workshops all designed to give staff strategies and hear first hand from schools who have promoted Mental health and Wellbeing within their schools, working with staff, pupils and parents, it will also give staff a chance to network with other professionals across London.

Keynotes from:

  • Ben Commins, Head Teacher from Queen’s Park Primary school who will be looking at Our Frame of Reference  Why Mental Health is important in schools
  • Abigail Mann is a Secondary English teacher and the author of Live Well, Teach Well: A practical approach to   Wellbeing that works. Abbie will be issuing staff with a call to action – if not us then who?
  • Meic Griffiths, Meic is an Executive HeadTeacher in London and in his keynote entitled “Unleash your Inner Super Hero” he will take us on a whistle stop tour in which you will learn how to unleash your inner super hero happiness with a mixture of wand therapy, fiddling frenzy, mental health resetting as well as the possibility of meeting Maria Von Trapp!

Delegates will also get the chance to choose four workshops some of the titles are highlighted below:

  • Resources from LGfL to support Mental Health and Wellbeing in schools’ with LGfL resource consultant Dawn Hallybone
  • Transitions  wellbeing and sustainable change with Stella Wilson  Queen’s Park Primary School
  • Exclusion, ‘self harm bullying’ and the power of the online world to drive positive and negative mental health with Mark Bentley LGfL DigiSafe
  • Is there a role for technology in talking therapies with John Galloway Tower Hamlets
  • iMHARS (Islington Mental Health and resilience in schools) for a whole school approach to Mental Health with Lil Fahey Islington Council

There will also be opportunities in the break and lunch sessions for delegates to network with the presenters as well as selected stands including from Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, Striker boy and EduKit.

You can book your tickets here, you will also be able to choose your workshop sessions.

We look forward to seeing you on the 5th February! #BeWell

Free School Meal checking service

Are you maximising income from Pupil Premium by making the most of the Free School Meals Eligibility Checker?

Since the 1st September 2018 £7 million has been saved by schools making use of this service.  This is money that has been claimed by schools this year, at a time when budgets are decreasing.

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

What the service does for parents:

After entering a few details into the website, the online application process links to the Department for Education database and gives an immediate ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.

This system is designed to eliminate the need to apply in person for free school meals and improve the claims process for schools. It also means that if you are eligible for free meals, the school is able to process your application using the information you submit.

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

From 1 April 2018 the Department for Education have made changes to the Universal Credit Thresholds. Any pupil eligible for Free school meals before this date will be protected until 31 March 2022.

We have made a couple of enhancements to the website:

  • LGfL or TRUSTnet schools can check eligibility on behalf of a parent, the parent will need to contact your child’s school, as they can run a check on your behalf.
  • A parent of a child attending any LGfL or TRUSTnet school can now use this website to check their eligibility.
  • A Certificate of Eligibility is available through our website for any child eligible for a free school meal that is attending a school in England. The Certificate of Eligibility should be taken to your child’s school.

How it works for schools:

As the government has now introduced free school meals for all children in Key Stage 1, it is more important than ever for schools to know how many pupils would otherwise be eligible for free meals as this may allow schools to apply for extra funding. These funds enable schools to take on more staff, invest in additional equipment, resources and activities to benefit all their children.

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

Services available for LGfL and TRUSTnet schools:

After parents have submitted their details online, a suitably authorised school administrator will be able to facilitate the submission of claims by clicking on the ‘Administrators’ button and visiting the school administration section. The head teacher is an authorised school administrator by default but would normally nominate one or more staff members as additional administrators via this section of the site. Data will only be made available securely via this site. In order to use this FREE service, schools already subscribing to LGfL 2.0 or TRUSTnet services need to ensure  that MIS data is exported regularly and that the school has configured an information status in the free OpenCheck service found at opencheck.lgfl.net.

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

Schools can find out more and how to set this up by downloading the guide for schools. This includes a template letter that schools can send out to parents to inform them off the service.

All submitted data is stored securely in compliance with the Data Protection Act. For additional information regarding data please see our privacy statement.

 

Holocaust Memorial Day 2019: Torn from Home

This guest post is written by Alan Fell, Project Senior Consultant for British Jews in the First World War, who has been a valued advisor to LGfL in relation to all our support for Holocaust Education.

Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January is a national commemoration day in the UK dedicated to the remembrance of those who suffered in The Holocaust under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. 27th of January is the date of the liberation of Auschwitz.

It is as important in 2019 as in any year to remember the events of the Holocaust on International Memorial Day, and there are a number of high quality LGfL resources available for use in in assemblies, Citizenship, Art and History lessons for teachers at Primary and Secondary levels.

The 2019 theme of Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘Torn from Home’. ‘Home’ usually means a place of safety, security and comfort. This year we should reflect on what it means to be wrenched from homes, communities and often countries, because of persecution or the threat of genocide, and the difficulties in finding places of refuge and begin to build new lives.

2019 also marks the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda and 40th since the end of the Genocide in Cambodia, alongside the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. But lamentably have the lessons of the past been entirely learned?

In Autumn 2018, the European Union published its second survey on antisemitism in 12 member countries  . 85% of Jews surveyed consider antisemitism to be either a ‘very big’ or ‘fairly big’ problem in their country. 90% of respondents say that they feel the levels of antisemitism have increased in their country of the past five years. And, most respondents (72%) felt that intolerance towards Muslims has increased over the same five year period. There was an unanimous agreement over all countries that the online environment, particularly social media, is most noxious.

So, the challenge is tackling not only some rare occurrence such as terrorism but everyday bigotry. We have witnessed this in the last few months with pupil-on-pupil violence on school grounds where the victim was a Syrian refuge Torn from his Home and trying to rebuild his life in Britain.

HMD offers an Activity Pack for activity organisers to help facilitate activities.

The free Activity Pack is now available to order, along with sticker sheets, metal HMD pin badges and ‘About HMD’ booklets to use at your activity. You can  order the resources using this link.

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

Scope of the theme

  • Consider experiences of voluntary migration: there was no threat, or relocating was in the same language, there was no family rupture etc What was involved in rebuilding elsewhere?

 

  • Consider experiences of coercive migration: there was a threat, danger, religious intolerance etc What was involved in rebuilding elsewhere in these circumstances? How well did victims of Nazi persecution rebuild their lives in Britain? Make use of ‘survivor testimony’ for example from the LGfL resource: The Holocaust Explained  and also view The M Room  and the contribution in their new country refugees made to the WW2 war effort.

 

  • What were the experiences and attitudes of communities receiving people torn from their homes? Make use of ‘survivor testimony’. There may be local resource material from Refuge Centres, Religious Organisations and Community Groups.

 

  • How do we safeguard against bigotry? How do we understand people from other places now living in our communities, perhaps especially when they come from a place of danger or strife? They may be living with us as they were torn from their homes.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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