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 2018

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.

Busy Things – NEW features and content

Today, we are pleased to announce that the updated version of Busy Things, packed with NEW features and content, has been released to LGfL schools.

N.B We suggest that the Computing Leader/Head teacher (or the Network Manager, if you have one) ensures they are the first person in your school to log in – whoever completes the initial set up steps will then be required to take responsibility for disseminating the teacher log in password etc.

In order to help you manage this process we have produced a guide called LGfL Busy Things 2019 Update’ and further information can be found on the Busy Things summary page.

Below is a brief summary of the updates in Busy Things.

Get the most out of BusyThings with a host of help!

BusyThings is packed full of powerful content and versatile features. To help you discover what’s available and make sure that you get the most out of it please do utilise the help button found in the teacher bar.

NB: The teacher bar is only visible when lyou have logged in with the school’s teacher password.

Within help there is a comprehensive user guide and a brand NEW videos area hosting ten tutorials covering the many features of Busy Things and how to get the most out of this resource.

NEW Teacher Tools Area (REMEMBER: Teacher tools are only accessible with a teacher login)

A brand new welcome screen has been designed to help you get the most out of Busy Things! The dedicated teacher tools area will house your search features, resource maker and other useful tools. Teachers can also customise BusyThings throughout the year with a range of seasonal and topical theme backgrounds!

Curriculum browser

Speed up your lesson planning with easy to find curriculum aligned content -use this powerful curriculum search tool to find exactly what you need to match the objective for your lesson plan, quickly and easily! You can add activities that match your objective to the  favourite area for quick access during your lesson too.

N.B The Curriculum browser is only available in Teacher Mode. You will need to use your school’s teacher password to access this.

Search tool

The search tool is great for quickly finding activities for particular topics and events – from the Romans to Rainforests, there’s a huge variety of writing and picture templates. Just type in a search term and filter down your results by selecting an age range, subject and activity types.

NEW Filters in menus

Finding content is now even easier! Within activity menus you can now hide or display activity types by using the filter buttons in the top right.

The NEW assignments area can be used with content from all age bands. It is located within Teacher tools on the welcome screen.

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.

 

The quizzes cover the majority of the KS2 maths curriculum with quiz topics broken down into year groups to match the curriculum objectives.

There are also some fun grammar quizzes testing knowledge of nouns, verbs, subjects and objects, plus a Shakespeare and Tudor clothing quiz (and more topics on the way!)

 

NEW Maths Games for ages 5-11:

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.

 

Busy Code – a whole NEW programming area:

The funky Beard Man character is sure to create pupil engagement as children learn to program him to walk, dance and collect stars – or in more technical terms they will learn coding basics through to repeat loops, conditionals, events and variables! They’ll be creating their own “call and response” game in no time!

Busy Code programs are built by linking simple blocks together – drag and drop the blocks to assemble a program, they will snap together like jigsaw pieces!

 

Religious Education area expanded with NEW Judaism resources:

Busy Things now includes a comprehensive set of resources all about Judaism!  Six NEW labelling activities are available to you and twelve NEW writing projects covering many different aspects of Judaism including Yom Kippur, Shabbat and Passover.

See below for the titles to the labelling activities:

 

100+ NEW Interactive worksheets across the curriculum

There are over 100 NEW worksheets available across the whole curriculum; children can label diagrams, classify and categorise items and put things into order. Teachers can assign worksheets giving you the ability to test knowledge and monitor children’s progress AND all the interactive worksheets can also be saved as PDFs for use away from the screen.

Project work made easy with NEW Busy Paint and Publisher

Children will love creating project work with the NEW Busy paint and publisher. There are hundreds of templates to choose from with lots of new, easy to use features.

The brand NEW set of paint tools includes a wide range of brushes and effects enabling children to easily create imaginative pictures.

 

Children can now import photographs of their own, utilise the Busy Things photobank or the comprehensive clipart library! Clipart can be rotated, scaled and flipped with the NEW easy-to-use interface. Even more exciting – Busy Paint and Publisher can now be used on tablets as well as desktops and laptops.

Make fabulous charts & graphs with the NEW Busy Graph Maker

The Busy graph maker lets children quickly enter data they have collected and see it displayed in a colourful chart or graph. Children can easily switch between chart types to see their data displayed in different ways.

More options become available as children get older.  Start with simple pictograms, then move on to bar charts, line graphs and pie charts. Older children can even compare up to four data sets.

  

Graphs can be saved and edited in a later session. Save as PDF and print options are available for creating classroom displays. This tool is so easy to use – teachers you will have your pupils creating wonderful graphs in no time at all!

French and Spanish Flashcards and Interactive Worksheets

60+ Flashcards and interactive worksheets covering vocabulary and simple sentences. Topics include animals, body parts, classroom objects, colours, food and drink, months of the year and numbers.

Quickly find resources for special events

Looking for some topical inspiration? Check out the NEW special events calendar with cross-curricular activities grouped under a selection of festivals, day, week and month long events – from National Storytelling Week to Halloween, Christmas to the European Day of Languages!

Find inspiration in the Top 40

Want to know what other schools are using? Get a glimpse of the most popular games and activities across the thousands of schools using Busy Things in the NEW Top 40 area.

We hope that you enjoy all the new and exciting features in Busy Things. Please provide us with feedback, or should you require any support, at lgfl@busythings.co.uk or trustnet@busythings.co.uk.  Alternatively, you could call the Busy Things office phone number on 01332 364963 (8:30 to 16:30)

 

BETT 2019

From Wednesday 23rd January to Saturday 26th January 2019, the Excel centre in London will be home to Bett. This is the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape bringing together 800+ leading companies103 exciting new edtech start ups and over 34,000 attendees from the global education community. They come together to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education, as well as the role technology and innovation plays in enabling all educators and learners to thrive.

LGfL will once again be at the show you can find us on stand D260, this will be a great opportunity to come along and meet the whole team.

You will be able to see our latest resources including demonstrations of the latest AR/VR technology from Inspyro, once again you will be able to recharge with a FREE coffee from our very own barista.  It will also be chance to chat to the whole team and find out more about our resources and services from LGfL to ensure that you are making the most of what you have. From resources, to services to in school support and free training, there will be members from all our teams on hand to help you.

We will be officially launching our Let’s Get Digital Subscription at BETT, this subscription service to schools is not only saving schools more than they spend, but is also transforming teaching and learning, while keeping children safe.  Schools are at the moment under considerable pressures financially, with workload as well as understanding how to ensure that schools are using technology efficiently and ensuring that systems are safe and protecting schools and pupils.  LGfL as a charitable not for profit trust are dedicated to reinvesting back into schools which is why at the heart of our subscription service is the fact that we will save more than you spend and keep children safe.

LGfL team members will be on hand throughout the three days to offer advice for example, on moving to the cloud, be that going google, making the most of Microsoft, or using the j2e tool suite across the curriculum, as well as offering advice on how to change practice and reduce teacher workload using cloud based technologies. Our Energise team will be on hand to share with you all the resources that you have as part of your subscription including BusyThings, and Switched on Science as well as news on our upcoming conferences that are all free to staff at LGfL and Trustnet schools.

Our Send and DigiSafe consultants will also be available over the four days a great opportunity to have your questions answered or just find out more about the range of resources and how these can help support and safeguard all learners in your class.  news on our upcoming conferences that are all free to staff at LGfL and Trustnet schools.

We are also looking forward to the Bett Awards on the Wednesday night as we have been shortlisted in three categories – Primary resource, Secondary resource and Free Digital content. We wish all those shortlisted all the best ahead of the ceremony.

Neverware will be hosting a drinks reception for LGfL schools and their partners on Wednesday the 23rd at 5:30pm at Zero Sette, directly across the street from the Excel.

Please join us for our Networking Drinks Reception on Thursday 24th January, 2019 on the stand for a beer or one of the best cups of coffee at BETT 2019 you can sign up here.

LGfL  are thrilled to be sponsoring the Friday night TeachMeet at Bett. Taking place at TAPA TAPA next to the Excel on Friday 25th January from 7pm, this informal gathering is a great chance to get talking and share ideas with others in the education community. The best part? Drinks are on us! So make sure you get your free ticket, and enjoy a casual networking evening in the cool down from the noise at Bett.

We look forward to welcoming you to the stand and please share your visit on our twitter of Facebook pages.

Tech for Teacher Awards 2019

Tech for Teachers is an annual awards scheme, run by the publishers of Technology & Innovation and Teach Secondary. It is a unique education awards scheme, with genuine classroom impact at its heart. In order to be recognised by the judges, products and resources must be as effective as they are innovative, demonstrating clear benefits for teaching and learning, value for money, and genuinely long-term potential.

For the 2019 presentations, entries were invited in September 2018 across five curriculum-linked categories, and – in order that as wide a range of submissions as possible could be considered – were absolutely free. Following a rigorous shortlisting process, a panel of expert judges with direct experience of the secondary sector have now assigned five-, four- and three-star winners in each category, as well as two worthy runners up.

We are pleased to announce that Women in Computing from LGfL and E2BN was a 3 star winner in the Computing category.

‘This is a great resource for teaching about the history of computing and I think, for encouraging girls to take the subject up’ Terry Freeman Judge for Computing Category.

 

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 women 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 

The resource features a Meet the Experts section with videos featuring those who worked at Bletchly Park during the War, a female intelligence officer who was based in Berlin during the 1980’s and Marta Kwiatkowska who is currently Professor of Computing Systems and Fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford to name a few.

There is a section on WW11 Codebreaking, Cold War computing, an achievement timeline and a resource bank that can be filtered by teachers and students looking for specific resources.

‘Although on the face of it, Women and Computing supports the broader Computing curriculum, in reality there is at least as much to be gained by using it within the context of the Citizenship curriculum. If used as a framework to explore the role not only of women in society in the last 70 years, but as an exploration of how people maximise their potential within societal constraints and opportunities of their time, it has the potential to offer inspiration and challenge. For this reason, the resource should prove to be of value to all learners across a range of ages, hopefully inspiring the next generation of pioneers that don’t let their circumstance negatively constrain their aspirations or achievements’

Bob Usher – LGfL Content Manager

 

The full list of categories and winners can be found here.

 

 

Start your year right with #LGfLresolutions

The holidays are drawing to a close, and we all have to face putting down the Ferrero Rocher and getting ourselves ready to go back to school. Did you know that by the end of this week, more than 60% of people will have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions? We know how hard it can be to keep those resolutions up so at LGfL HQ we have come up with simple easy to keep resolutions that will help you start the New Year in a positive way and help you get the most out of the amazing content and support that LGfL can provide.

  • 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.

 

  • 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 and if you subscribe you get the latest post sent to straight to you.

 

  • Put this date in your diary: 23th – 26th January 2018 We are looking forward to Bett in January 2019. The whole LGfL team will be there on stand D260 so please come along and say hi and find out more about how we can support you in school. You can sign up to visit Bett here.

 

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

 

  • Check out our training hub: Our LGfL Training Hub offers CPD at its best, offering a unique range of courses, we have updated our training portal ready for the Spring term. Training is FREE for all LGfL teachers and is held on a Tuesday at Camden CLC, or at one of our partner venues, you can find out more about the courses on offer and how to sign up here. Examples of future courses include: Supporting Maths and English teaching using LGfL resources, Online Safety training, Creative Computing, Using LGfL to support Teaching Assistants as well as Google and Microsoft training, browse and book or share a link with colleagues

 

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

 

  • Put this date in your diary: 25th April 2019-Our annual LGfL conference, We’d be delighted if you could join us at this year’s annual LGfL TRUSTnet CPD Conference, where we will be running a series of valuable sessions free to all staff details on how to book and the sessions available will be advertised soon.

 

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

 

  • Put this date in your diary: 11th March 2018 – LGfL DigiSafe conference – online and beyond. A free conference for DSLs and online safety leads, you can find more information and how to book here

 

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

 

  • Make sure you are up to date on our latest services: Over the last year we have been working closely with schools and education leaders to build a new generation of cloud based digital services that provide fantastic value, keep children safe and support innovation in schools. As a result of this collaboration we are delighted to announce a positive and fundamental refresh of the LGfL subscription. For schools the changes mean that a number of new market leading products are now available at no additional cost and form part of the LGfL subscription find out more here.

Whatever resolutions you have made we wish you a very happy new year and an exciting 2019! If you like our #LGfLresolutions– why not share them on Twitter or Facebook?

Hidden Gems…

In schools up and down the country, many Teachers and Teaching Assistants can currently be heard fretting that they “simply do not have enough hours in the school day to fit everything in”.

Unfortunately, this blog will not suddenly relieve all the pressure you feel under, BUT it may remind (or possibly even introduce) you to some hidden gems that you have access to within your ‘Let’s Get Digital’ subscription.

1-2-3, We Have Blast Off!

The first hidden gem waiting to be uncovered is to be found in the ever popular  j2e Tool Suite. Hopefully it hasn’t slipped under your radar; if it has, I would suggest you take a look at j2blast and this video: J2blast gives you four options to choose from Spell blast, Tt blast, SATs blast KS1 And SATs blast KS2:

 

Encourage Your Pupils to Become Spelling Bees:

Spell blast encourages pupils to learn spellings whilst playing and competing against each other. As they progress through the “levels”, the words automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult. There is always a challenge, if no other live players are waiting for a game, robots take over, so it always appears that there are multiple players. The scoreboard shows the pupil their place in the class, school and world.

Feedback is built in to this tool and teachers can see detailed information about the achievements of their pupils as well as which aspects they have found difficult. A word cloud shows commonly misspelt words.

As the user progresses, they earn points which unlock new premium pirate characters. This makes learning fun and increases motivation.

As well as being able to access the Statutory Word Lists for Year 1&2, Years 3&4, Year 5&6 and ‘Letters and Sounds – Phase 2-5’ words, you have the ability to create and add your own word lists. These can then be shared with other colleagues and your class or you could limit it to a particular target group of pupils.

Tt blastRapidly Recall Times Tables Facts:

Maths teachers recognise how important times table recall is to later success in maths lessons; yet it can be hard to find easy and engaging ways to get pupils completing daily practice. Tt blast encourages pupils to rapidly recall their times tables by presenting a mixture of multiplication and division questions. As the pupils progress through the “levels”, the questions automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult. This can successfully boost times table recall speed when used regularly.

Remember your current Year 3 cohort will be the first pupils to take the online times table check to be administered by schools to Year 4 pupils in 2019/20 academic year onwards.  

Again, like with Spell blast, feedback is built in and teachers can see detailed information about the achievements of their pupils as well as having which aspects they have found difficult being highlighted.

Prepare Year 2 & 6 Pupils by Using SATs Blast:

SATs blast is also part of the BETT award-winning j2e Tool Suite.

SATs blast KS1 and KS2 provides:

  • SATs maths games for both Key Stage 1 and 2
  • ‘Have a Practice’ or ‘Take a Test’ modes
  • 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 thus encouraging pupil engagement
  •  

Do remember that your pupils will need their USO to access these resources from home but by highlighting them prior to the Christmas holidays some pupils may surprise you and get hooked on the competitive nature.

The dates for the Year 6 SATs are 13th -16th May 2019.

Get R-ea-d-y for the Year 1 Phonics Checker:

LGfL host a range of resources to support with phonics (and Year 1 pupils with getting ready for the ‘Phonics Checker’). The date for the 2019 Phonics Checker is 10th -14th June 2019.

Busy Things has fun and engaging activities to help students at any phonics level. With the ability to change from pupil mode to teacher mode you are able to search via curriculum content and strands and 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. Simply choose the Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence you want to use, select from the pictures and words generated, choose your favoured layout and press print! In January, watch out for the release of phonics flashcards in the updated version of Busy Things on LGfL.

I do hope that these hidden gems are like an early Christmas present to you and that you will start to encourage your pupils to begin competing against one another but also with pupils from across the country and event the world, to encourage the basic skills.LGfL understand that demands placed on schools and all stakeholders (especially in the form of accountability measures) mean that some of the more creative subjects can get squeezed out of the daily diet provided to primary aged pupils. Hopefully, as well as saving some of your school’s budget (by not having to buy additional subscriptions) these fantastic resources may even help to free up some additional  time in your busy schedule to encourage the next Georgia O’Keeffe, Usain Bolt or Elton John develop their creativity.

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

LGfL Digital Excellence Awards 2019

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

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

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

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

You can hear from all our winning schools here.

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

Whole school use of LGfL

Inclusive practice using LGfL resources and services

Parental engagement using LGfL

Online Safety

LGfL Cloud Transformation

Use of j2E Tools

Bob Usher, LGfL Content Manager said:

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

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

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

LGfL Christmas Crackers 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Many J2e tools also have has a Christmas makeover:

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

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

JIT: Both Write and Paint have had a festive make over, with a Christmas background in Write and Paint having high-quality Christmas clip art images to use.

J2code: Visual has a reindeer instead of the usual penguin sprite (And now with the new update to search via safe search you find more Christmas sprites with ease)

J2e also offers analogue activities such as making yummy festive biscuits, remember to go back every day to open the advent calendar to see the latest activity.

Your students don’t need to be visited by the Ghost of Christmas past to see what has happened at Christmas in the past, just let them search The Guardian and The Observer archives, the archives go all the way back to 1791 and offer a window into celebrations from years gone by, great for your students to research and compare modern traditions with those in the past.

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

Christmas Cards: 3 ready to print and fold Christmas card designs Provided in the pack is a full colour card for each of 3 designs. To make it more personal, each design also has a ‘colour your own’ version. Each card features Widgit Symbols and pictures and a symbolised greeting message on the front.

Christmas Pack: Worksheets and activities from the Symbols Inclusion Project, This pack contains a range of 21 activities based around the secular aspects of Christmas, suitable for children of different ages and abilities. The more difficult activities are numbered towards the end of the list. included in the pack is interesting German folklore story about why we put tinsel on a Christmas tree.

Nativity Pack: Worksheets and activities from the Symbols Inclusion Project, 12 Nativity and Christmas themed activities and stories: colouring, word search, letters to Santa.

There are also ready made packs for St Lucia (the Swedish Festival of Light) and Hanukkah,These resources are for whole class work, small groups and independent workers. There are symbol – supported stories, text only stories, information sheets, recipes, crosswords, word searches and many more.

Audio Network has over 60,000 professionally produced tracks that can be search by keyword or mood. Why not search for ‘festive’, ‘jolly’ or ‘Christmas’. You can use them in lessons, performances and for videos you create in school – without breaking any copyright rules! Here are my 5 top picks from the Christmas jukebox!

Swingle bells: who needs the Michael Buble Christmas album? When you have this up-tempo Christmas classic. cocktail swing jazz with crooning male vocal.

Swing Merry Gentlemen:Jazz trio arrangement of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’

The Holly and the Ivy: Traditional English Christmas carol played by brass band

Rockin’ Wizards: A very familiar sounding glam rock tune

Warm And Toastie: Turn on an open fire video on the IWB, get out the marshmallows and put on this warm and cosy song.

We also have Espresso Faiths to look how Christmas is celebrated why not compare this with how different communities celebrate festivals and ask your students to explore the common links that they can see in the religious celebrations?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Are you using Christmas media with LGfL content in your school to inspire your students? If so let us know by posting them on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook

ReadingZone Live with Holly Bourne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Support Gateway includes the following topics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

UK Parliament Week 12th – 18th November 2018

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

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

How Parliament works

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

Vote 100

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

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

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

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

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

LGfL has worked in partnership with The Royal Collection to create a unique resource about the daily work of The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace.  Exclusive access has been granted to LGfL to film the key staff members as they go about their daily work.  The resource features extensive video resources showing the techniques and rationale as to why centuries old traditions continue to support the Royal Household and the significance they have for wider society, including the State Opening of Parliament.

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

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

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

 

 

 

Inspyro VR and AR content on the ClassVR LGfL portal. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further pricing information about the Class VR can be found here

National Nursery Rhymes week 19th – 23rd November

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

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

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

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

Rock on Humpty: Offers a rock version of this classic tune.

Incy Wincy Spider: A traditional music box style version of this rhyme.

Little Rock Star: An exuberant upbeat version with female vocal.

Fish Alive: A beautiful rendition of the classic nursery rhyme with 3 part female harmony & percussion.

MacDonald Rock: Old MacDonald gets rocky with this banging tune!

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

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

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

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

All Junior Infant Tools have the ability to add sound via the microphone feature (which can be found next the file title bar) you can use this feature to capture the children’s voice retelling the rhyme (hit play on the video below, to hear the dulcet tones of my daughter singing Incy Wincy Spider.)

With the recent j2e toolsuite updates you can now paint or fill using textures as well as solid colours, the colour picker and pen sizing have all been improved and an eraser has also been added.

Speech bubbles and text can now be added to painting or animations, vastly improving the learning possibilities, enabling story boards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. A new stamp feature takes the creativity on to new levels, you now have the ability to not only create your own stamps but these are then all saved in a new My Stamps area and these can then be used across the jit program (for example the Incy Wincy spider seen below was made in paint, was made into a stamp and used within animate)

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

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

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

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

You can ‘register your interest’ for the National Nursery Rhymes week initiative here. Your free resources are available now, the following resources will be made available to participants: Welcome letter, MP3 song files, Colouring Story Rhyme Sheet, Cutting Exercise, Borders Collection, Craft/Art Activity, Pencil Control, Playdough Mats, Rhyme Card Colouring Sheets, Rock Stickers, Sequencing Activity and much, much more.

World Nursery Rhyme Week also has the ‘Rhyme A Day’ challenge, which challenges you to join in and sing one Nursery Rhyme a day with your children. The 5 rhymes and dates for 2018 are:

Monday 19th November – “Five Currant Buns”

Tuesday 20th November – “Humpty Dumpty”

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

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

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

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

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

Anti-Bullying week 12th- 16th November 2018

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

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

  • The definition of respect

  • That bullying is a behaviour choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bett Award Finalists 2019

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

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

Max Wainewright author of computing resources for Space Adventures

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

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

Phil Birchnall – Inspryo Managing Director

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

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

Ann Rowlands – Child Bereavement Uk

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

Bob Usher – LGfL Content Manager

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remembrance Day 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you would like to share work with us on our Twitter or Facebook pages, it would be great to see. #THANKYOU100

 

 

National Non-Fiction November

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

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

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

Perfect to use during this month to help children create their own recipes would be Cookit from E2BN.  The primary purpose of Cookit is to improve pupils’ skills, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating.  The site provides support for the teaching and learning of a wide range of basic skills and processes.  It encourages and inspires learners to explore cooking and to create and share their own recipes.

 

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

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

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

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

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

You can watch the part 2 of the Reading Zone Live featuring Oliver Jeffers below:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Five ways to support History

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

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

5 Ways to support history

Mixed Reality

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

Topics covered include the following:

The Romans in London

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

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

The Cold War,

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

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

Ancient Egypt,

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

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

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

Maya,

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

Trench experience,

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

WW1

The Active Worksheet pack was produced in response to the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1. The resource pack uses augmented reality to produce a genuine ‘wow’ moment in the classroom and bring virtual artefacts to the desktop.  This is backed up by mapped curriculum activities, the app is available on iOS and android devices.

Vikings 

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

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

 Prehistoric Britain.

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

The Tudors in London

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

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

Widgit

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

BusyThings

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

Viking adventures at the British Museum

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

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

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

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

 

Explore Geography AR

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

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

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

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

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

You can watch a walkthrough of the video below:

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

 

 

World Mental Health Day – 10th October

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

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

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


The resource is split into the following sections:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Code Week EU 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Each lesson contains:

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

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

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

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

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

The resource features:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black History Month October 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

World Space Week – October 4 – 10 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your class could even borrow the moon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Reading Zone Live and National Poetry day 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Big Draw Festival 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dyslexia Awareness Week with LGfL resources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

J2e new features added

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

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

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

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

Pupils can now paint or fill using textures as well as solid colours, the colour picker and pen sizing have all been improved and an eraser has also been added.  You can see these new features in the picture below.

 

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

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

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

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

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

The video below explains the new added improvements:

 

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

European Day of Languages – 26th September 2018

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

It is celebrated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roald Dahl Day

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

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

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

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

The Dahl books on offer are:

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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International Day of Democracy – 15th September

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Museum of London – Suffragette Poster Parade 1911

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

 

International day of Literacy – September 8th

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

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

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

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

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

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

To listen to a book follow the steps below:

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

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

The Whole Story resource aims to explore how storytelling can maximise the creativity within learning activities for children. By capturing the expert advice of a professional storyteller, and arranging this advice into a simple interface, it is hoped that teachers of all age groups can get inspiration on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum. Structured thoughts and examples on how to take hidden and or less obvious stimulus within an image or object offer new opportunities for teachers to explore with their learners.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to School with LGfL

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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