LGfL and Avantis Education announce Strategic Partnership

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

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

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

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

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

Huw Williams, Marketing Director for Avantis Education commented:

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

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

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

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

 

Summer Projects

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

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

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

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


Create and open your own restaurant:

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

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

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

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

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


Make your own family newspaper:

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

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

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

Make your own action movie:

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

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

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

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

Go and Explore London

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

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

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

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

Join the j2blast Maths Summer Challenge

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

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

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

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

 

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

Hopes and Streams – online safety report from LGfL DigiSafe

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Saving Schools Money and Keeping Children Safe

Over the last 12 months LGfL has been working closely with schools and education leaders to build a new generation of cloud based digital services that provide fantastic value, keep children safe and support innovation in schools.

As a result of this collaboration we are delighted to announce a positive and fundamental refresh of the LGfL subscription. For schools the changes mean that a number of new market leading products are now available at no additional cost and form part of the LGfL subscription. Further products will be added shortly which will help schools save even more money.

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

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

LGfL SUBSCRIPTION REFRESH

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

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

 

IMPROVING EXISTING PACKAGES

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

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

 

John Jackson CEO LGfL

Healthy Minds

Our latest open access resource is now available. Healthy Minds has been produced in partnership with the leading mental health charity for young people Young Minds. They feature a range of teacher led activities involving group work promoting self reflection and video content with supporting activities.

The main activities are designed for use with learners in upper KS2, KS3 and KS4. Some resources are designed for use by staff and/or for parents.

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

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

The resource is split into the following sections:

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

Mental health and resilience activities for young people

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

Mental health and resilience resources for staff

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

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

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

Handy Websites and Apps

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

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

 

IMMERSE YOUR PUPILS IN THE QUEEN’S ART

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Creative Writing workshop
2 hours
Key stage 2 – 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To book one of the above workshops please contact:

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

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

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