A Parents’ / Carers’ Guide to Home Learning

Readers, this is a slightly different blog aimed at parents and carers – please, if you can, share the blogpost with parents/carers via your chosen communication channels.

As a parent and as a teacher with 2 primary aged children, I can fully understand the daunting task of having to home school children for a period of time. With schools in the UK closing for most children, I have put together a guide on how to establish Home Learning and the best ways to use LGfL Content to support this.

But first, let me introduce to who I am: my name is Bradley, a father of 2 children both in Primary school, I was a primary school teacher specialising in Computing and Early Years for over 12 years before working with LGfL as learning resource consultant.

LGfL is an education Charity that focus on supporting technology use within schools, we provide broadband to many schools in London and nationwide, with this service we also provide schools access to a range of award-winning online learning resources. It may be that your child recognises the online tools and learning resources because many are already used in their school but for others, they may be unfamiliar. 

Normally to access our content you would need a username (USO) and password provided to you via your student’s school due to school closures, we have oped up many of our resources so that you can access them without needing to use a username/password and we have groups our best resources for use for home learning which you can find via this link:  hlresources.lgfl.net

You will note the home learning can also be organised in Key Stages. This will help you to find resources suitable for the age of your child. 

Now, what can you do at home? Here are some key tips to help with home learning.

Establish routines:

We are all in the same situation here. Everyone’s anxious. No one was planning on this, you need to come up with a structure to your day because children thrive on structure and routine, this will be the things that children will miss the most, set a timetable up, you may find this pack from our resource Widgit useful.

Simply-drawn, colourful symbols to illustrate concepts in a clear and concise way. (for more details on this resource please follow the link) the pack contains a Visual Timetable, as well as a behaviour chart or if you want a head start you may want to use a timetable which I have created for my children, here it is in a Word doc and also the same timetable with Widgit symbols.

You can also find useful printables activities with the activities section of Widgit.

You are not a teacher and your home isn’t a school:

Learning at home is not replicating school at home. It’s not necessary to do six hours of learning like in school with lessons being one-on-one and being more intense, activities will be over much quicker. I know a lot of parents are going to focus on not just supplementing the schoolwork but teaching life skills, like here’s how you clean a toilet, here’s how you make your lunch, with one on one teaching you don’t need to do as much.

One of the things I am encouraging in my home is the idea of cooking and helping with planning meals we are going to eat, LGfL has a great resource to help with this called Cookit.

The aim of Cookit! is to improve pupils’ skill, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating. The site supports the teaching of a range of basic skills and processes. It encourages and inspire learners to explore cooking and supports ways for students to create and share their own recipes.

The new 3 “Rs” Repetition, Revision and Retrieval:

Don’t jump into a new area of learning, remember much of what children do in school is based on going back over what they have already learnt. Children are comforted by familiar activities and will want to continue them. Many young children may start the day with a morning routine be it morning excise, songs, etc ask them what they do and see if you continue this at home.

For EYFS/KS1 students you may want to keep a simple phonic scheme going, revisioning sounds that they have already learnt, Busythings have a bank of digital resources to support phonics and also have printables activities you can use.

You may want to also practise general number skills by counting objects and adding and subtraction, again Busy things has some great resources to help with this.

For KS2 it’s important to make sure each day your child reads, it doesn’t matter what (magazine, comics, picture books, chapter books) you may want to ask them to explore the story with you (be gentle you don’t have to test them) or maybe ask them to write a reading journal or write a book review. 

Daily practising of timetables and also spelling common keywords are vital. The just2easy platform has excellent revision tools that use exciting games to help aid the revision of spelling and time tables

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

Users can choose to practice or take part in a live game. 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 your place in the class, school and world.

You children may not do things to the way you did when you were at school:

It may be the first time your child shares with you the methods/tools that they use at school, for this may be the first time you have heard about an Apostrophe Contracted or finite Verbs or how about explaining Commutative Law don’t worry we’ve got you!

Grammer explained offers 80 short and clear videos, made to explain every grammar point listed in the Primary National Curriculum. Ideal for teachers, parents and pupils.

We also have Maths at home which is designed to provide support for parents that wish to help their child with their mathematical development at home. A video has been made for every single National Curriculum descriptor for the whole of Key Stage 1 and 2, as well as an overview video for Early Years. This provides coverage for the entire Mathematics Primary curriculum. Each video is a snapshot of how many schools may teach the particular strand, and also provides examples of how parents could support their child at home. Where appropriate, video content is reinforced with a selection of downloadable resources.

You can’t pour from an empty cup:

Make sure you are looking after yourself both in body and mind, you can keep healthy by making sure you join in with Jo Wicks in his morning PE lessons which are an excellent start to your morning, makes sure during the day you can take a moment to breathe and relax, your child may already take a moment to do this at school with a mindfulness exercise perhaps with meditation or yoga (these links to YouTubes videos are not endorsed by LGfL but are recommended by my children) or we also recommend these apps or books for EYFS/KS1 and KS2 which is part of our larger wellbeing resource Wellbeing connected. 

Create a Project:

You may want to explore our range of resources that would support a larger topic-based project, for example, looking at Roman history, a great way of starting of these type of projects is asking your child to come up 5/6 questions they want to find out the answers to, once you have these questions plan how you are going to answer them, it might be a poster, a presentation or a 3D model.

The following resources offer engaging expert video, Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences (additional apple-based hardware and software required) to may inspire a project:

Don’t bottle up worries:

It is easy for children to get worried about issues that are in the news, especially where they can see that parents/carers and teachers are worried. They may find this Coronavirus video series from CBBC Newsround reassuring: they explain what is happening in a child-friendly way. Keep your children up to date with the latest news as well as lots on the environment, entertainment, gaming and tonnes of tips and advice on keeping busy and happy at home.

Create role-play spaces:

Roleplay helps children naturally develop and use their cognitive abilities and skills. Through using their imagination regularly, they develop creativity and learn to think for themselves. In a society where we are so keen on school results, it’s even more important to create a space where children are free to express themselves.

Creating spaces like this at home may seem impossible but with some simple house objects and a few toys, you can create a world of fantasy. We have come up with ideas you can use for small world/roleplays ideas you can use within the topic of Dinosaurs in our resource Dinosaurs and fossils (you can easily adapt these ideas for other topics)

You will even find playdough recipes and how to make your very own fossil!

Be Safe:

DIgisafe (our online safety team ) are here to help, they have created a #DigiSafeDaily worksheet for every day this week and is ready for your child here print the pdf and find the answers for each sheet on the following day’s sheet.

To help ease the burden, if you are on Twitter or Facebook do look at #RemoteLearning #edtech #HomelearningUK people are being encouraged to share resources and make learning accessible by adopting this hashtag.

Remember if you need any support for our learning content you can contact the Inspire team by emailing contentsupport@lgfl.net  or contact the LGfL Switchboard: 020 82 555 555.

School Closure: Home Learning with LGfL Support

It’s important at the beginning of this blog to note that each school has its own context, and all are at different stages regarding their digital transformation journeys and the adoption of online technologies. Planning for widespread school closure is complex and it is vital that schools ensure that as well as setting meaningful learning activities during school closure, pupils also are kept safe and secure online at all times. 

We have summarised key advice from experts within the LGfL community:

  • The focus should always be the health and wellbeing of school communities. 
  • While providing education remotely, focus on retrieval/revision/consolidation rather than attempting to cover new material. 
  • Ensure your communication channels (whatever they are) are working effectively.
  • Make the best use of the platforms and technology you are currently using, be realistic about the technological infrastructure you have in place and your staff and learner skills and their abilities with that technology.
  • Be mindful that some learners will have more support and better access to technology than others. 

To help you identify the advice relevant to your school, we have identified stages as outlined below:

Schools at stage 1:

  • No rollout of USOs to pupils and/or parents awareness of this is low/non-existent
  • Headteacher Data Declaration not complete
  • No adoption of cloud

Schools at stage 2:

  • USOs have been given but only to KS2 pupils (in a primary)
  • Headteacher Data Declaration completed, able to use/login to Busy Things + Just2Easy Toolsuite.
  • Partially adopted cloud implementation; but relatively new to pupils/staff

Schools at stage 3:

  • USOs have been given to all pupils on roll and are being used
  • Headteacher Data Declaration completed, able to use Busy Things + Just2Easy Toolsuite.
  • Fully adopted cloud implementation

Stage 1

Careful consideration is required prior to adopting a fully-featured cloud platform such as GSuite or Microsoft 365. The journey to adopting cloud technology takes time and needs adequate training for staff.  The ability for teachers to rapidly adopt new products and ways of working, particularly at times of heightened stress, should always suggest a gradual and careful adoption. Your IT staff will already be maxed out trying to prep for remote working & may also struggle to implement and there is always a danger that a rushed implementation could result in important safety and security settings being misconfigured. However, now is a good time to remind/inform ALL stakeholders that they have access to a range of resources online with the school’s LGfL Let’s Get Digital subscription, you may want to send a simple letter home signposting certain resources.

Stage 2

Remind ALL stakeholders that they have access to a range of resources online with the school’s LGfL Let’s Get Digital subscription. If your EYFS/KS1 pupils have not been aware that resources such as BusyThings are hosted on lgfl.net perhaps their teachers could do a lesson on this? Then if parents are attempting to access these from home with very young children may recognise the thumbnails.

Stage 3

Your school is digitally aware and so all stakeholders are used to using cloud platforms. Whether you are using GSuite and Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams or Apple platforms, there are resources you could point your pupils towards on the lgfl.net platform via your platform of choice.

Changes to access to LGfL Learning resources 

In support of continuing meaningful educational activities, LGfL has given open access to the majority of LGfL Learning Resources (no login is required) for members of the LGfL community to support schools during the school closures relating to the Coronavirus. LGfL content partners have kindly agreed to suspend the normal LGfL access control to facilitate teacher and pupil access when working from home.

 Please note that the access control will change but the licence terms will not.

Further details of licence conditions can be found in the individual summary page for each resource found at curriculum.lgfl.net 

FAQs

How can I stay up to date with the latest guidance from LGfL?

All LGfL teachers are advised to sign up for the LGfL curriculum blog (see the subscription box on the right) and newsletter which is updated with the latest advice, guidance and resources developments.

LGfL uses Twitter and Facebook to send the latest messages out to the LGfL community.

Can anyone use these resources when the access restrictions have been removed during the Coronavirus school closures?

No – the access controls will be temporarily removed but the licences will have not changed and are for authorised users only as before. Authorised users in this context are for any pupil or member of staff in an LGfL school.

Are all LGfL learning resources suitable for home learning activities in the event of school closures?

You can be assured that any learning resources featuring the LGfL and London Grid for Learning logos are safe and appropriate for teachers to use in the delivery of the national curriculum. 

However, it is worth keeping in mind the portfolio is designed to be used by qualified teachers as part of their daily approach to supporting teaching and learning in a school context. Some resources have material that some parents may consider unsuitable for a child to be using unsupervised at home, particularly of primary school age.

The Inspire team have gone through all of the curriculum resources at curriculum.lgfl.net and curated resources suitable for home learning, You can find them by using the new home learning filter or by using this quick link: hlresources.lgfl.net

Why will some resources still require a log in despite schools being closed?

Some content providers have not been able to release the access controls to their resources for commercial reasons these include the following:

  • Audio Network
  • Cyber Pass
  • EAL e-Learning / Young Interpreter Scheme 

Other resources require a login to function adequately and alternative arrangements are not feasible at this point in time, so the LGfL USO is the only realistic way of providing personalised access to the resources to support home learning. These platforms include:

These two platforms are particularly useful for primary age children to support home learning activities. Both of these companies have won multiple awards and have been long term strategic suppliers to LGfL. Their staff are focussed on providing excellent customer service and highly relevant tools and activities in support of the wider curriculum.

Click on the links above for further information about how to make the best use of these platform in the event of school closure

What topic-based resources offer useful support for home learning?

The following resources offer engaging expert video, Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences (additional apple-based hardware and software required) 

Should teachers consolidate their learning activities online into a few resources/platforms?

Yes, if you already have a platform, the LGfL curriculum team advises teachers to continue to use existing online platforms and ways of working rather than taking on too many new technologies. The rationale for this is that at this pressured time for teachers, children and parents existing platforms and ways of working will be better understood, not require training/support and allows the focus to be on defining learning outcomes rather than then extensive new features within unfamiliar online platforms. Using existing resources also minimising safeguarding mistakes online that could occur with unfamiliar systems.

Are there any particularly recommended SEND resources for LGfL teachers to consider using to support home learning activities?

There are a number of resources within the LGfL Inclusion Resource Portal which can be used at home to support learners with additional needs.

Widgit symbol platform provides:

A searchable library of 1000s of symbols which can be download as image files and used to support learners with communication difficulties and a bank of 100s of ready-made books and activities which are symbol supported covering a wide range of curriculum topics and other learning areas.

Multisensory Learning is an adult learning resource with loads of great advice about meeting the needs of learners with sensory needs and creating sensory areas and experiences on a shoestring budget.

Learning Through Movement is an adult learning resource that focuses on topics such as developing handwriting and using structured and safe movement breaks to help learners maintain focus during learning.

Even if your school has been an LGfL customer for as long as you can remember, you may find visiting onboarding.lgfl.net a useful place to start to refamiliarise yourself with the service we offer. You could also print/share the 5ways documents with staff.

 

We have also made a simple letter which you can use to share the resources with your parents, please do fill free to modify the wording to suit your school setting.Our friends at Pobble have put this guide together and have given permission for us to share with our community:(They are some fun, non-screen activities that can be done at home and support independent learning).

The wonderful team at TTS have created curriculum-focused independent learning resources with over 40 home learning activities for each primary key stage all planned and all prepared with no tech needed.

To help ease the burden, if you are on Twitter do look at #RemoteLearning #edtech – people are being encouraged to share resources and make learning accessible by adopting this hashtag.

Remember if you need any support for our learning content you can contact the Inspire team by emailing contentsupport@lgfl.net  or contact the LGfL Switchboard: 020 82 555 555 .

Get cracking with our Easter resources!

It may not feel like it but spring is nearly here, it’s the season of baby lambs, daffodils, chocolate, fluffy chicks, chocolate, longer days and new life. Did I mention chocolate? So, here are a few sugar-free egg-cellent ideas to use with your students this Easter. (sorry you will have to buy your own chocolate and put up with my egg-stremely bad puns!)

Busy things offer a range of Egg-ceptional digital content that you can use to explore the concept of Easter within your class. From designing your own digital Easter Egg (perfect for fine motor control in the EYFS) exploring the story of Easter in more depth or recreating your own Easter Sunday story.

To explore faith in greater depth you could use Espresso Faiths to look at how Easter is celebrated. Why not compare this with how different communities celebrate other spring festivals and ask your students to explore the common links that they can see in these celebrations?

Just 2 Easy has a range of digital tools to support you in making your own Easter resources, here are some ideas to get you cracking!

Why not create your own Easter egg hunt (you could use real eggs or printed out eggs) and then collate the data into j2Pictogram.

Hold an Easter egg popularity test (maybe with a small taste test) with j2Vote and then collate the data into a graph using j2graph, (if you are wondering I am hoping for a Daily Milk Fruit and Nut Easter egg!)

You could also take a virtual Easter Egg Hunt using Turtle, here is a template you can use.

Use j2Paint to design your own Easter eggs, great for fine motor skills, you can use this template.

Research the concept of Easter celebration across the world and create a presentation with j2e5, why not add an interactive quiz? You can use this template as an example.

Widgit Have an egg-stremely good set of activities from the Symbols Inclusion Project, Within the pack are two symbol supported stories about the events of Easter designed for different levels. The large symbol cards can be used in small group work to help retell a simple story. The longer story is supported by the vocabulary list for children to re-write their own version of the story on the Easter writing and drawing paper.

As Easter is also a time of rebirth and growth, why not use some of our science resources to kick start some egg-ploration into the topic of growth? The ever-popular i-Board has a range of life cycle activities such as Hatching a chick or planting a seed.

Switched on science have various units such as “Young Gardeners” which cover the concept of plant and animal growth, Switched on Science is a flexible and creative investigation-based program 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 curriculum with confidence.

Virtual Experiments also has a range of growth-related science activities, 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 many experiments and allowing to repeat, slow down, stop or vary the conditions of the experiment.

Don’t forget you have the power of Creativity at your fingertips with the whole range of Adobe Creative Cloud tools to empower students to think creatively and communicate expressively, so they can turn their classroom ideas into college and career opportunities if you haven’t already signed up to receive your licences simply go here and sign up.

To get inspired for Easter just go to the Adobe Education Exchange, created for educators by educators, the Adobe Education Exchange is a free learning platform offering instant access to professional development, teaching materials, and other tools designed to egg-nite creativity in the classroom.

Have a look at Juliette Bentley’s (Teacher) idea of using Spark to create Easter Reflective Action Cards.

They contain a reading, a prayer and a call to action. The intention is that they are used for an opening to a Religious Education lesson (Catholic/Christian), during the period of Lent so that they can approach it mindfully. Teachers might email the asset out or print them and give each student a copy. Students then create their own card using Spark and this is then printed, laminated and given to the student to take home and share with their families.

Or why not use Susan Bell’s (Instructional Designer) idea to create an ecard with Photoshop

using a picture of your face, Easter eggs and an Easter bunny picture.

However, you fill the last few weeks before the Easter holidays we at London Grid for Learning want to give you a massive round of applause and thanks for all of your hard work so far this year and hope you have a restful break and are ready for an egg-citing Summer term!

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

Pi Day 2020

What is a maths teacher’s favourite dessert? Pi of course! And what better day to have a large slice of Pi than on Pi day!

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.

Each year on 3/14, teachers in classrooms across the world take a break from the normal routine to plan a special celebration in honour of pi, or the number 3.14. March 14 also happens to be the birthday of Albert Einstein which makes the day an extra special one for planning maths challenges and math fun!

Pi Day activities are meant to enrich and deepen students’ understanding of pi and mathematic concepts with real-life mathematical hands-on experiences.

Pi Day gives ample opportunity for creative math fun and offers students to study real-world maths problems. This amazing activity, for example, allows your students to play pi as a musical sequence! (You will need flash installed) Simply pick ten notes, which are then assigned to integers, and then listen to what pi sounds like! Try  Cutting Pi, a hands-on activity in which students measure cylindrical objects in the classroom with string, cut their measured string into three equal pieces, and then figure out how to measure the leftover piece. They’ll see for themselves how pi comes up every time! Learn how to make a circle from three points on a plane and have fun manipulating nested circles with this interactive tool that shows students that circles are awesome.

Maths in the Real World is a comprehensive maths resource for Key Stage 2 to 4 that seeks to bring engaging and relatable real-world contexts into everyday teaching.

The activities are clearly signposted through the curriculum search feature and include detailed differentiation to ensure there is something for all ability levels. It has been carefully designed in line with the National Curriculum and natural mathematical learning; this helps equip pupils for their continued Secondary studies, as well as honing the life skill of problem-solving!

For more real-world examples of mathematics Maths in the Real World offers activities based in the real world, the real-world topics covered in the resource are:

The real-world topics covered in the resource are:

  • Algorithms
  • Arena and Events
  • Nutrition
  • Round the World
  • Speed Camera Investigation
  • Sporting Decisions
  • Search and Rescue with HM Coast Guard
  • iPhone Challenge
  • Stock Market Challenge
  • Broadcast Engineering and Maths
  • Viral Contagion

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

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

The updated version of this resource now includes related templates and activities created in the G Suite platform for schools. This helps to make use of to further increase student engagement and quantify their achievements in a more dynamic and immediate way than via traditional textbook approaches.

To plan a very timely maths event for Pi day why not use the Viral Contagion resource to inspire you to create a large-scale maths event or use the resource to recreate the event yourself. Viral Contagion explores the real-world maths that would occur as a result of a biological virus outbreak in an urban area and as you can imagine you can use the current real word events to place this unit into context.

Maths at home also offers a range of videos exploring the mathematical concepts involved with Pi, the resource is designed for busy parents but can also be used by teachers to explore and explain mathematical concepts from Early Years to Key Stage 1 and 2.

The Maths at home resource is designed to provide support for busy parents that wish to help their child with their mathematical development at home. A video has been made for every single National Curriculum descriptor for the whole of Key Stage 1 and 2, as well as an overview video for Early Years. This provides coverage for the entire Mathematics Primary curriculum. Each video is a snapshot of how many schools may teach the particular strand, and also provides examples of how parents could support their child at home. Where appropriate, video content is reinforced with a selection of downloadable resources.

Maths at home videos are designed to feel like they are taking place on a table at home, encouraging communication, conversation and lots of fun while working on them.

The video resources are designed to bring Maths to life, highlighting learning opportunities within cookery, play, decorating and gardening. Most importantly, they are designed to ignite conversations between children and parents and to make Maths a positive and enjoyable experience outside of school.

Maths raps offers an unforgettable rap about circles, Maths raps is a series of rap videos from BEAM on Numbers and Calculations, shape and space and solving problems covering the KS2 Numeracy as the raps say “Yeah, you’ve got it, don’t forget it, rap with confidence!”

Math Raps offers a series of rap videos from BEAM on Numbers and Calculations, Shape and Space, and Solving Problems covering basic rules for KS2 Numeracy.

Can you make your own Maths raps for Pi Day and upload them into j2e tool suite for share/blog it to share other Schools to view?

 For Younger Students, you can Introduce ideas such as size, shape, circumference and diameter, and fractions by making pizzas, Busy Things has a Pizza recipe to follow as well as an online pizza making activity or explore fractions by playing against the computer or against friends to correct by answering fraction-based questions.

Whatever you have planned for Pi Day please share via our  twitter or Facebook pages and remember the #piday hashtag

Sport Relief 2020 It’s game on with LGfL resources

Sport Relief is when the British public comes together to get active, raise money and change lives.

This time, it’s bigger than ever and there is a whole week of epic activity lined up from the 9th to 13th March 2020. Sport Relief is a great way to get your whole school moving and having fun together. By joining in, you’ll also be raising money to change lives across the UK and around the world. 

There are support packs for Primary, Secondary and Nurseries to download, From running a mile to dancing all day, a healthy snack to a moment of mindfulness, they have got fundraising idea for every energy level!

LGfL have a range of resources to help support the day week and to support your students getting moving!  

Team Marathon for KS1 and KS2 the resource follows a group of children through a programme of six training sessions leading to the Team Marathon event, which involves children running together to complete the marathon distance. The final two updates cover the event itself and reporting on it. The materials also offer support for a number of cross-curricular activities related to organising and reporting on the event and issues from the SEAL agenda like target setting and teamwork.

Each training session follows the same format:

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

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

Or why not use the week to focus on dance using the brilliant BalletBoyz resource for KS2-4.

BalletBoyz leads the field in using digital technology in its output and to disseminate to wider audiences, and this expertise, in partnership with LGfL, has resulted in new, digital content to aid the delivery of dance in schools in London.

The purpose of this content is to enable London teachers to access high-quality digital dance resources to assist and enhance their teaching. BalletBoyz has always believed that dance education in schools is most engaging when students have direct access to the performer.

This unique online resource provides tailor-made resources to support both specialist and non-specialist teachers deliver dance at Key Stages 2-4. Resources for curriculum lessons consist of short expert videos with voiceovers featuring company dancers as they break down moves and then show students how to join them together in sequences. Detailed lesson plans are also provided for teachers explaining how to use the videos. In addition, inspiration clips from theBalletBoyz company repertoire are included to further encourage and inspire students and teachers alike.

LGfL has worked in partnership with Siobhan Davies Dance to create a unique resource offering support and guidance for teachers to deliver a creative curriculum using dance.

Swish and Stamp looks at ways of exploring movement and dance using painting and printing stamps as a starting point.

The lesson is interactive and starts with a physical experience e.g. getting children to explore an action, such as noticing how the body moves whilst using a paintbrush – then transferring this action to create dance.

This resource includes a downloadable lesson plan as well as extensive video resources which cover:

  • a warm-up session
  • exploring movement
  • working with a partner
  • practical teaching tips

Curriculum links support teachers to use this dance lesson to enhance children’s learning of other curriculum topics including English and Maths.

And don’t forget if you are looking to find music to dance to then we have Audio Network.

Teachers and learners have access through Audio Network to an extensive database of professionally recorded music by a wide range of professional composers and performers.

Updated in Autumn 2019, the Audio Network database includes:

  • A very wide selection of music professionally recorded music
  • Ability to access the resource via the LGfL USO login when “off-grid” from home or another location not in school (Please set up guidance mentioned below)
  • Improved interface and facilities e.g. playlists – all linked to your USO account profile
  • Searchable by genre, style, instrument, artist, tempo and mood
  • Use the online search to find and audition music; individual music tracks can then be downloaded to your computer or curated into a playlist, pre-cleared and ready for use in your classroom.
  • Mobile compliant interface viewable from any internet-connected device
  • A simple audio matching tool where a URL of an existing audio track can be suggested in the search feature and an equivalent track within the Audio network database is suggested

The LGfL licence with Audio Network allows teachers and students to download any of the music files free of charge with the condition that the downloaded files must not be used for any commercial purposes

Premier League Primary Stars offer a range of resources for P.E., P.H.S.E, Maths and English, teachers can access these resources by signing up via their website. Registration is needed before the resources can be downloaded, alongside lesson plans there are also assembly ideas.  Teachers registered on the site can also apply for free kit for their schools as well.

Also from the Premier League and BBC, is Super Movers the aim of this resources is to encourage teachers to adopt an active approach to learning and include physical activity throughout the day with Fun curriculum-linked resources to get your class moving while they learn.

Super Movers gives teachers video content-led ideas and simple solutions to help children learn while they move – all free, fun, and easy to use in the classroom. No extra equipment is required.

Some of the exciting things Super Movers offer include:

  • Top tips and bright ideas about how to best use Super Movers from active schools and football clubs across the UK
  • Stars from the worlds of football and television will come together to capture children’s imagination in a series of videos that will enhance children’s learning
  • Premier League-inspired rewards including prizes, certificates and stickers to help incentivise children
  • Live Lessons broadcast on BBC platforms

Super Movers can also be used at home too with a range of fun videos and games designed to get children and grown-ups moving together in their living rooms, so parents, as well as teachers, can join in. 

Teachers can sign up to the Super Movers newsletter now to be the first to know about latest video releases, get exciting news and information about upcoming Super Movers events and hear from other teachers.

Whatever you do for Sport Relief 2020 please share via our twitter or Facebook pages.

World Book Day 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featuring:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t forget you can also listen to a range of books with Listening Books If you are not aware of Listening Books, it is a charity providing a service for people with print impairments. Reading is essential for any child’s success. All too often, the barriers faced by children with difficulty reading outweigh their desire to read and, without proper guidance, they never may never overcome them. Listening Books offers audiobooks which can be used with children and young people who struggle to read books in the usual way due to an illness, disability, learning or mental health difficulty.

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 Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  • Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apple Books has a wide range of  Digital children’s books to download and read in primary and secondary classrooms usually you may not know that there are plenty of free books available too. To find books, try opening the Top Charts section where you will see the most popular paid-for and free books and don’t forget that when using iPad there is a range of accessibility features within Apple Books, including the ability to change the font size, background colour and have words read aloud when selected.

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

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

Fairtrade Fortnight 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Original Blog post written by Dawn Hallybone edited by Bradley Dardis

Start your year well with#LGfLresolutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enter your school into the LGfL Digital Excellence Awards 2020: The Digital Excellence Awards 2020 are now open for entries. These awards celebrate best practice and innovative approaches in using the wide range of learning resources and services provided by LGfL. This year we have included a cash prize of £1000 in addition to the physical award and an image you can display on your school website. You can enter by clicking the links next to each category. Go here for more details  on how to enter and the categories. The closing date for entries is 28th February 2020. 

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

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

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

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

 

Christmas Crackers 2019

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

Busy Things offers a range of fun, festive digital content that you can use to get that much-needed magical moment of peace within in your class. From designing your own digital Christmas card, decorating your own tree (perfect for fine motor control in the EYFS), writing a letter to Santa, exploring symmetry through making your own snowflakes, or building a digital snowman you can use the many fun, interactive tools.

Busy Things have just released an updated ‘Santa’s Sleigh Ride’; in this fun game the pupils help Santa to get as many presents delivered as possible! In the daytime, they collect as many presents as they can using the ‘giddy-up’ button to keep him in the air (on a desktop computer you can use the space bar too). They should make sure they avoid the red monsters or else it’s game over! At night time, they drop the presents down the chimneys by pressing the ‘throw present’ button (on a desktop computer they can use the space bar too). There are 3 other ways to play the game: ‘Words’ within this mode at night time you must select the present that matches the label on the chimney, ‘Mental Maths’ they must select the present that match the amount on the chimney and ‘Shapes and colours’ during night time you must select the present that matches the shape/colour on the chimney.

Also, newly added are more fun colouring sheets which you can use digitally via Busy Paint or simply print them out.

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The j2e Tool Suite has a Christmas winter wonderland tab where you can access a bumper pack of festive treats. Why not try playing a game of digital noughts and crosses festively named ‘Shepherds and Wise Men”, play a word matching game or create your own digital nativity scene?

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

Many J2e tools have also had a Christmas makeover:

  • J2data (Branch): a Christmas set of resources to sort – elves, reindeer, gingerbread men etc. – plus a Christmas background and the clothes category are all winter clothes.
  • J2Pictogram: a set of high-quality Christmas clip art images to use.
  • JIT: Both Write and Paint have had a festive makeover, with a Christmas background in Write and Paint having high-quality Christmas clip art images to use.
  • J2code: Visual has a reindeer instead of the usual penguin sprite (also a new update enables you to search via safe search where you find more Christmas sprites with ease).
  • J2e also offers analogue activities such as making yummy festive biscuits. Remember to go back every day to open the advent calendar to see the latest activity!

Your students don’t need to be visited by the Ghost of Christmas past to see what has happened at Christmas time in the past. Let them search The Guardian and The Observer Archives, they go all the way back to 1791 and offer a window into celebrations from years gone by; great for your students to research and compare modern traditions with those in the past. Look at my previous post on other ways to use this resource too.

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

  • Christmas Cards: 3 ready to print and fold Christmas card designs. Provided in the pack is a full-colour card for each of 3 designs or to make it more personal, each design also has a ‘colour your own’ version. Each card features Widgit Symbols and pictures and a symbolised greeting message on the front.
  • Christmas Pack: Worksheets and activities from the Symbols Inclusion Project, This pack contains a range of 21 activities based around the secular aspects of Christmas, suitable for children of different ages and abilities. The more difficult activities are numbered towards the end of the list. included in the pack is an interesting German folklore story about why we put tinsel on a Christmas tree.
  • Nativity Pack: Worksheets and activities from the Symbols Inclusion Project, 12 Nativity and Christmas themed activities and stories: colouring, word search, letters to Santa.
  • There are also ready-made packs for St Lucia (the Swedish Festival of Light) and Hanukkah. These resources are for whole-class work, small groups and independent workers. There are symbol–supported stories, text-only stories, information sheets, recipes, crosswords, word searches and much, much more.

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

Here are my 5 top picks from the Christmas jukebox:

  • Swingle Bells: who needs the Michael Buble Christmas album when you have this up-tempo Christmas classic? (Cocktail, swing, jazz with crooning male vocal).
  • Swing Merry Gentlemen: Jazz trio arrangement of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’.
  • The Holly and the Ivy: Traditional English Christmas carol played by a brass band.
  • Rockin’ Wizards: A very familiar-sounding glam rock tune.
  • Warm And Toastie: Display an open fire video on the IWB, get out the marshmallows and put on this warm and cosy song.

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

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If you love an advent calendar (I know I do; I have 6 in my house!) have a look at the wonderful work of one of our Digital Excellence Award Winners, Simon Pile, with this wonder ‘Doodle-a-day’ book (designed for anyone aged 4 to 94). This book contains 25 Keynote doodle challenges to put you in a festive mood. Day-by-day you can build your skills using Keynote and move from adding a simple drawing to creating a whole animated movie with sound and music. So, download the book today and get ready to doodle!

and dont forget its never to late to send a Christmas card, unlock creativity this festive season and design your electronic (and environmentally friendly) Christmas greetings using #adobespark. Start your design from scratch or use the ready-made template Christmas Card designs, available here

Whilst we are sorry to say we can’t get round to everyone’s house to drop something in their stockings, we can give you to the gift of Pledge2020. We are giving schools a bandwidth boost, putting more security into our network and putting in fantastic equipment AT NO ADDITIONAL COST – to help enhance the use of hardware within your school all you have to do is push the “count me in” button #PoweredbyPledge2020.

Also, a quick reminder that we also have this blog post about using Christmas media within school.

However you fill the last weeks of this school year, we at LGfL want to give you a massive round of applause and thank you for all of your hard work and support this year. We hope you have a restful break and are ready for an exciting 2020! Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Please share your Christmas creations with us on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook. 

 

It’s That Time of the Year! Using Christmas Media with LGfL Content 2019

We are all, like it or not, currently being exposed to a plethora of Christmas media campaigns (advertising the latest must-have toy, must-watch movie or the supermarket who can deliver the most magical Christmas for you and your family and friends). Over the past months, you will have been exposed to a deluge of expensive media campaigns – which has been the most effective for you, I wonder?

Every year, I write this blog post and honestly I wasn’t sure this year if I could see a theme, or find something to latch onto … that was until (with a flash of Christmas lights) I saw this year’s Tesco advert and then it all came together! So, how does an advert for a supermarket and our award winning LGfL curriculum content link? Read on to find out!

This Tesco advert is a brilliant stimulus to get your students thinking about the past and to think about how people of different eras lived and celebrated Christmas. It’s vital to honour our past and pass on knowledge and experiences  through the generations; looking back on the past allows us to study the nature of ourselves and helps us recognise why we do what we do and hopefully learn from the experiences of others. 

Don’t worry, you and your students don’t need access to a DeLorean travelling at 88 miles per hour to see what has happened in the past at Christmas, just let them search The Guardian and The Observer Archives. The archives go all the way back to 1791 and offer a window into celebrations from years gone by, great for your students to research and compare modern traditions with those in the past. I have researched many fascinating and stimulating Christmas themed articles that offer a window into a sometimes very sad past.

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I have used the j2e5 tools, found within the j2e Toolsuite, to highlight how you can use the archives with your students. 

First off I used a powerful letter sent to the Manchester Guardian from a group of German prisoners during World War 2, ask your students to first read the article with small parts of the text covered up, ask your students how the letter makes them feel? Ask them to question who the letter writer might be? After this show your student the article with the full text, ask your students to reread the text again, does knowing who wrote the letter affect how they feel about the person? Ask your students to think about what it may be like to be a prisoner of war at Chrismas, using the template in j2e can students write a letter?

In the second file, I have used an article explaining the Tate’s museum tradition of commissioning a private artist to create Christmas tree decorations and cards for Christmas. Can your students research some of the artists mentioned in the article and make their own themed decorations or Christmas cards using the artist as inspiration?

Finally, ask your students to explore these articles looking at how different countries celebrate Christmas in different ways, can your students pick a country and make a presentation about that country within j2e5?

What better way to see how people celebrated Christmas than to find out what they ate?! Cookit has a range of old and odd festive recipes to explore, here a few recipes to whet your appetite (or in some cases not!)

Sweet Frumenty: This is a standard dish appearing in many variations over the centuries. It makes a lovely side dish, especially with strongly flavoured meats. It was a symbolic dish in winter, a sign that spring would come. It later came to be served as a festival dish on Twelfth Night (5th of January).

Pottage: People ate a lot of pottage throughout the ages since they had first made cooking pots that would withstand heat. In Tudor times, it was still the main part of an ordinary person’s diet. It is basically a vegetable soup, flavoured with herbs and thickened with oats. 

Roast goose: usually with added apple and was often served as the centrepiece of celebrations. It was traditional at Christmas and at Harvest suppers throughout the Victorian era. In Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’, Scrooge sends for a goose to be bought for the Christmas meal.

The aim of Cookit is to improve pupils’ skill, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating. The site supports the teaching of a range of basic skills and processes. It encourages and inspire learners to explore cooking and supports ways for students to create and share their own recipes.

For a free great resource looking at how Londoners have celebrated Christmas have a look at Layers of London, this is a crowd-sourced online resource blending geography, history and technology. By gathering historic maps from across London and layering these on top of each other with fade in/out functions, users can discover how areas and streets have changed throughout time. Maps include WWII bomb damage sites, Charles Booth’s Victorian Poverty map and the 18th Century Rocque map covering 10 miles around the City of London.

Anyone can add any content at any time, however, the project also runs focused campaigns to build themed based collections. December’s theme is #25DecLondon – regardless of your culture, background or religion, how do you spend Christmas Day? Do you celebrate it? Is it a big family gathering? Do you go for a walk or bike ride whilst the streets are quiet? Or is it a chance to relax and binge watch that latest boxset? Layers of London is looking for people to share their stories of how they spend the 25th December, mapping these stories to create a visual representation of London on one day. For more information go here

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In the new year, Layers of London launches its #HistoryOfMySchool campaign. As the name suggests, the idea is for any school in London to contribute a record about the history of their school. When was your school built? Has it changed throughout time? Do any old photos of the school exist? Has anyone famous been a pupil at the school? Are there any interesting stories about the school? Whether it’s an after school club, a class’ local history project or even a team activity for teachers, They would love to see as many schools of all types get involved. For more information go hereClick here for more information about Layers Of London’s education programme and to contact a member of the Layers Of London team and for more information email: layersoflondon@london.ac.uk.

And finally … if you really do want your students to drive (okay, sit in) a DeLorean then Avantis is giving you the opportunity to win a ‘Back to the Future Experience Day’ for your school with a visit from an actually DeLorean. To enter, simply upload a 2-minute vlog to Avantis Class VR Facebook or Twitter page with your students and teachers telling Avantis why they love ClassVR (UK schools only). For any schools outside of the UK, they would still love to see your entries and you have the possibility of winning a 360 camera for your school. The competition ends on 28th February 2020.

Are you using Christmas media with LGfL content in your school to inspire your students? If so, let us know by posting them on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget we have our Christmas Media posts from both 2017 and 2018 as well which may provide you with further inspiration.

Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) 2019

You may wonder, how far can you go in one hour? Hour of Code believes that you can change the world! 3rd-9th of December is Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) — it is an annual event aiming to get students excited about computer science by trying “an Hour of Code” (no prior experience needed).

The Hour of Code is an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour. You can also teach the Hour of Code all year-round. Tutorials work on browsers, tablets, smartphones, or “unplugged.”

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code” to show that anybody can learn the basics and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of activities within school communities and beyond.

The goal of the Hour of Code is not to teach anybody to become an expert programmer in one hour but is designed to make coding accessible for all and show that it can be both creative and fun.

Computing.lgfl.net has a range of resources to support you, not just for the week of the hour of code or for computing science, but for the whole of your school’s computing curriculum.

Firstly, the original Busy Code resources found inside the award-winning Busy Things resources has just had a makeover just in time for CSedweek! Beard Man is now sporting a brand new sparkly tie at a disco! At your command, he is now strutting his stuff on several different dance floors. The Code Disco resources are a great way for children to learn coding basics through to repeat loops, conditionals, events and variables. Code Disco programs are built by linking simple blocks together (you simply drag and drop the blocks to assemble a program and they will snap together like jigsaw pieces)! Not only is Busy Code a great resource for students to gain the fundamentals of coding but it also helps teachers gain a better understanding of computer science and gives a sense of progression in computing.

Not only has the original Busy Code been updated but there are also new units! Get on your explorer’s hat and join Beard Man on his adventures to find treasure; there are 9 adventures in total with over 45 levels. In each level, children must write code to direct Beard Man through a series of chambers, avoiding hazards such as trap doors and lava pits. To complete a level, children must help Beard Man solve a puzzle to open a treasure chest, and then escape a final chamber before the gate closes. Beard Man Adventures includes short tutorials to introduce the new concepts and blocks used in the adventures. The adventures are designed to get progressively harder, beginning with basic programming, moving onto repeat loops and more advanced programming concepts. Working through the levels in the order they are presented is recommended.

You can use the award-winning j2e resources to create and store all of your coding projects within an online portfolio in J2Code. Each J2Code coding platform has a set of detailed lesson plans which you can use to support your students during Hour of Code.

JIT has a turtle based coding language allowing you to code freely or use sprites and backgrounds to create simple story animations, perfect for Reception and KS1. 

Visual is a block-based language in which you can freely code to create more complex coding outcomes for KS2. You can also convert, store and share Scratch files within J2E and for more complex procedures you can use Logo a script-based platform that can be used for KS3. 

The Micro Bit coding platform can also be used to create a physical computing project or if you don’t have an actual Micro:Bit you can just use the virtual Micro:Bit emulator.

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Hour of Code offers a range of fun coding activities for your students to explore and you can find a range of resources for your students here. (Many of the resources are platform agnostic so you can use the coding platform of your choice to deliver the lesson). For those of you who can’t look through all the suggested projects because of time constraints, I have cherry-picked a handful of creative projects to try with your students.

My top picks for The Hour of Code:

  • Google has worked with Scratch so that you can turn an everyday hero from your life or community into a superhero by programming them to fly over buildings, spin, work with a sidekick, and score points by touching objects in a game. In Code Your Hero, show off your hero’s special powers and your own creativity with CS First and Scratch.
  • Microsoft The new Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial is now available in Minecraft: Education Edition for Windows, Mac, and iPad. Learn the basics of coding and explore AI with your students! Explore basic coding concepts and learn about artificial intelligence (AI) in this free Hour of Code lesson in Minecraft: Education Edition! Help the Agent prevent forest fires with Minecraft and MakeCode. Follow the steps below to get started!
  • Code.org in partnership with Amazon Future engineer has updated its very popular Dance Party, Code a Dance Party to share with your friends. Featuring updated tracks from Katy Perry, Shawn Mendes, Lil Nas X, Panic! At The Disco, Jonas Brothers, and many more!
  • and finally… we have also come up with our own simple Hour of Code project with j2e code Visual, can you help our very own CEO, John Jackson, choose a shirt?

 

               

This fun animation/game uses simple inputs and broadcasting to change sprites/costumes, We know this is a very simple project and your students can do much better so why not challenge yourself and them to remix the project? Why not make your own shirts designs? Or can you make the shirt designs move? Can you change the background when the buttons are clicked? Here is the project in j2e to get you started! The most creative use of code from a school will win a small grab bag of LGfL/computing goodies, just share your examples on social media and tag LGfL into the post for a chance to win.

The Hour of Code happens as part of Computer Science Education Week. This is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, an inspiring female figure in the world of computing science. For more inspirational female computer scientists, LGfL has created Women in Computing which recognises the many and varied achievements of women in computer science and hopes to inspire future programmers.

Earlier this week Apple unveiled a completely redesigned Everyone Can Code curriculum to help introduce more primary school students to the world of coding. Now available, the new curriculum includes even more resources for teachers, a brand new guide for students and updated Swift Coding Club materials. Everyone Can Code Puzzles is an all-new student guide to Swift Playgrounds where each chapter helps students build on what they already know, experiment with new coding concepts and creatively communicate how coding impacts their lives. A companion teacher guide supports educators in bringing coding into their classrooms with helpful ways to facilitate, deepen and assess student learning.

Additionally, starting today, learners around the world can register here for thousands of free Today at Apple coding sessions taking place in December at all Apple Stores to learn to write their first lines of code to celebrate Computer Science Education Week, Apple will also support Hour of Code with a new Hour of Code Facilitator Guide to help educators and parents host sessions using Swift Playgrounds and some of the more than 200,000 educational apps available from the App Store.

Remember The Hour of Code does not cover all of the computing science strands of the computing curriculum but does offer a range of highly structured, fun activities to help both students and teachers gain confidence with computing science. Coding isn’t just for an hour, it should be an ongoing journey – for support look to see how Computing.lgfl.net can support with other areas of the computing curriculum. If you have time, you can watch this video exploring Computing.lgfl.net in more detail.

If you want to gain some more knowledge and support on using a block-based coding platform, have a look here and here for a free interactive workshop introducing you to the Scratch programming environment and taking you through the concepts of sequence, repetition and selection through a series of fun coding challenges.

Also if you are a Computing Leader you may also be interested in booking a place on our Creative Curriculum training day. This is a whole day course showcasing how to use Computing.lgfl.net to support not just your school’s curriculum but also your curriculum as a whole. For more details and to book a place go here.

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

And don’t forget about our latest campaign Pledge 2020, where we are giving schools a bandwidth boost, putting more security into our network and putting in fantastic equipment AT NO ADDITIONAL COST – to help enhance the use of hardware within your school all you have to do is push the button #PoweredbyPledge2020.

World Nursery Rhyme Week 2019

Over 3.1 million children have taken part in World Nursery Rhyme Week since its launch in 2013. Primary Schools, Nurseries, Preschools, Childminders, Kindergarten, Parents, Grandparents, Guardians, Nannies, Home Educators, Speech and Language Practitioners, Librarians, or anyone who works with or has a child under the age of 7 participation all resources are provided free and the event will run from November 18th to 22nd.

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

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

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

  • Rock on Humpty: Offers a rock version of this classic tune.
  • Incy Wincy Spider: A traditional music box style version of this rhyme.
  • Little Rock Star: An exuberant upbeat version with female vocal.
  • Fish Alive: A beautiful rendition of the classic nursery rhyme with 3 part female harmony & percussion.
  • MacDonald Rock: Old MacDonald gets rocky with this banging tune!

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

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

  • Word processing
  • Animation
  • Painting
  • Early data handing skills with Pictogram
  • Early Coding skills

Why not get your students to recreate their favourite scene from the nursery rhyme either using Paint or Animate to create a simple picture or animation and don’t forget all Junior Infant Tools have the ability to add audio via the microphone feature (which can be found next the file title bar) you can use this feature to capture the children’s voice retelling the rhyme (hit play on the video below, to hear the dulcet tones of my daughter singing Incy Wincy Spider.)

With the recent j2e tool suite updates you can now paint or fill using textures as well as solid colours, the colour picker and pen sizing have all been improved and an eraser has also been added. Speech bubbles and text can now be added to painting or animations, vastly improving the learning possibilities, enabling storyboards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. 

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

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

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

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

You can ‘register your interest’ for the National Nursery Rhymes week initiative here. Were you will access to a range of free resources such as a Welcome letter, MP3 song files, Colouring Story Rhyme Sheets, Cutting Exercises, Craft/Art Activites, Playdough Mats, Rhyme Card Colouring Sheets, certificates, Sequencing Activity and much, much more.

World Nursery Rhyme Week also has the ‘Rhyme A Day’ challenge, which challenges you to join in and sing one Nursery Rhyme a day with your children. The 5 rhymes and dates for 2019 are:

  • Monday 18th – Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • Tuesday 19th – Down In The Jungle
  • Wednesday 20th – Incy Wincy/Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Thursday 21st – Row Row Row Your Boat
  • Friday 22nd – Two Little Dickie Birds

Why not video your students singing the songs /rhymes each day and make your own Rhyme a day challenge collection of videos? You can store and host the video safely within the j2e Toolsuite within the ‘my files’ section and you can also share the video with others in your community via a safe weblink or for quick access by creating a QR code see the video below for more details on this.

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

And with all of this talk of downloading, uploading and streaming video and audio files don’t forget about our latest campaign Pledge 2020, Where we are giving schools a bandwidth boost, putting more security into our network and putting in fantastic equipment AT NO ADDITIONAL COST -to help enhance the use of video and audio streaming as well as hosting files all #PoweredbyPledge2020

 

 

Everyone Can Create with LGfL Energise Curriculum Resources

In this first of a series of blog posts, I will look at how you can use Apple’s ‘Everyone Can Create’ creative guides with LGfL’s award-winning Energise curriculum resources to enhance and enrich your students learning.

“By unleashing the creativity of students through interactive exercises, they’ll learn how to develop and communicate ideas, become better problem solvers and discover new ways they can leave their mark on the world” – Apple

The Everyone Can Create curriculum is a collection of project guides (broken down into music, drawing, photo and video) that bring creative expression to every subject. They are designed to help students develop and communicate ideas and use free apps available on any iPad; taking advantage of the built-in camera, microphone, speakers, Multi-Touch display and Apple Pencil. 

 

Over my next four blog posts, I will look at each guide and demonstrate how to use these creative guides alongside LGfL’s award-winning Energise curriculum content.

The only things you will need are: an iPad running iOS 11 or later, the free Apple Books from the App Store and of course a ‘Let’s Get Digital Subscription’. Students can complete all of the activities using their fingertips, but for more accurate drawing the Apple Pencil is the perfect accessory. If your students are younger, they may have difficulty holding the slim Apple Pencil, so the Logitech Crayon may be more suitable for education use. For more details on procuring iPads, Pencils or Logitech Crayons visit here

What’s in the guides?

Each chapter starts with objectives, giving the student(s) a clear purpose for each task and comes with screenshots, illustrations and videos for additional support. As students work through each task they will build a toolkit of creative skills that they can use for the last project at the end of each chapter.

Everyone Can Create comes with a teacher guide designed to help educators infuse creativity in every year group with fun activities that can help to deepen student’s learning. It includes lesson ideas for projects in maths, science, literacy and literature, history and social studies and coding. Apple has also provided rubrics to help you evaluate student’s work in each medium. 

In this post, we will look at the Drawing unit. The activities use Apple’s free, built-in apps (Keynote, Pages, Camera and Photos) and also a free drawing app, Tayasui Sketches School, which combine to help develop students’ confidence with different creative techniques and styles using apps they’ll already be familiar with.

First Chapter

The first chapter covers the concepts and techniques used when creating word art. Students start off with the basics, drawing freehand circles and making lines and patterns, before building on all the skills they’ll learn in the chapter to complete an expressive piece of word art. 

Why not ask your students to create their own word art using some of the Energise curriculum content titles as a theme? For example, use the theme of Ancient Egypt, Space Adventures or The Tudors in London to create word art to start their topic off or explore in detail the type of letting or styles found within that era of history.

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Second Chapter

In this chapter, students have the chance to explore sketch noting and how to use shapes and doodles to represent an idea or concept and to emphasize ideas such as a story or even a recipe

Cook It and use sketch noting to explain or demonstrate a recipe? The aim of Cook it is to improve pupils’ skill, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating. The site supports the teaching of a range of basic skills and processes. It encourages and inspire learners to explore cooking and supports ways for students to create and share their own recipes and what better way than creating their own sketch note.

You could also ask your students to explore SEND Fairytales (or Early Shakespeare for older students) and use sketch noting to retell or explore a story? Or use the History of Computing resources “Brave New World ‘ to get students to explore parts of a computer and than sketchnote their knowledge or You can have them sketchnote a science experiment from Switched on Science or the timeline of the Roman empire from The Romans in London. Sketchnoting is perfect for the classroom because it can be used with all levels and all subjects.

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Third Chapter

This chapter shows how to create stimulating images by combining shape, shadow and shading to bring depth and power to images. To enrich this activity, and to find more fun drawing exercises and explore these techniques, why not use Art Skills for Teachers? It contains simple and effective advice for non-specialist art teachers to inspire creative art activities at school and is suitable for all Key Stages. The resource aims to inspire teachers and children to try out and achieve the creation of artwork beyond their own expectations. The resource is full of unusual and easily accessible techniques to make art a truly inclusive activity for all members of your school community.

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Fourth Chapter

The fourth chapter focuses on drawing inspiration from the view around you, be it a rural wilderness or an urban cityscape; the activities in this chapter will focus on how to frame a scene, apply perspective and depth to give the artwork a realistic appearance.

Ben Uri: Art in the Open offers the ‘Sense of Place’ unit which contains information and points of discussion about works from the collection under the theme of landscapes with teachers’ notes for each unit/project, exploring how you can use the pieces of work to inspire students 

  • Sun and Snow
  • Night Scenes
  • Landscapes
  • City Sights
  • As Far As The Eye Can See.

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Fifth Chapter

This chapter focuses on creating expressive portraits by not just capturing the likeness of the person but also the character and personality within. To explore the concept of portrait and identity further, our resource Ben Uri: Portraits & Identity contains starting points for portraiture and identity projects in the classroom, including the teacher’s notes about selected works from the Ben Uri collection, suggestions and lesson plans for 2D and 3D activities in the classroom.

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Sixth Chapter

The sixth chapter focuses on still composition using a balanced composition and light & shadow to highlight a subject and create a mood. You can improve your drawing skills by adopting the tips and techniques you can find within Culture Street . This uses interactive resources to inspire young people to get started and share their creativity. 

Culture Street is a one-stop destination to introduce young people to contemporary artists, writers, curators and performers and their amazing work – for example watch how the artist, Louise Bradley, demonstrates a great range of drawing techniques with charcoal, wax crayon, rubbers and textured paper.  Also within Culture Street you can find a step-by-step drawing guide. Play the ‘How-to Video’ first and then remind yourself with the individual steps clips; a foolproof way to success! Then you can also try more ambitious drawing projects.

Seventh Chapter

This chapter looks at architectural design; focusing on how architects plan and design by showcasing how to develop basic architectural drawing skills such as floor plan, bird’s eye view and being able to use vanishing point to create depth. 

For expert architectural insights, captured in over 50 videos about three unique buildings in London, look no future than Opening Up Architecture. This resource offers an insight into three unique buildings in London. With help from three architects who have a deep understanding of each building, they unlock the vision behind each one and how it meets the needs of the clients and daily users. This resource asks many key questions such as “How often do we consider the influence that the built environment has on our daily London lives?” and “How do the materials, use of light, layout and construction methods impact on our work and leisure?”

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Eighth Chapter

The eighth chapter asks you to think like a graphic designer and learn about colour, typography, hand lettering and images to create a logo for a business. Why not use the key skills mentioned in this unit to redesign our own LGfL logo, or have a look at our new brand identities and see if your students can design their own?

Ninth Chapter

In the ninth chapter the focus is on how to design and illustrate a hand-drawn infographic, choose a topic, gather data and organise the information. Why not inspire your students with some pre-prepared data that you can find within our resource ‘Maths in the Real World’ (within the unit called Sporting Decisions)? Students can be engaged through applying maths to analyse sport. Pupils will cover a wide range of data-handling techniques over the course of three lessons to help them pick a winning team. By adopting the role of the club manager, they will also apply fractions and percentages to help their decision-making process. The resource contains three lesson plans and accompanying resources and are perfect to inspire some sporting infographics.

J2e data found within the Just2Easy Toolsuite offers further examples of data and tools which can help explore complex data on a range of subjects such as dinosaurs or the  populations of countries.

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Final Chapter

In the final chapter, students are learning how to plan, publish and illustrate focusing on the aspect of publishing a children’s book. Why not get your children inspired by looking at ReadingZone Live where you can explore a wealth of authors and illustrators such as Anthony Horowitz, Henry Winkler, Sophie McKenzie, Michael Morpurgo, Sally Nichol, Lauren Child as well as Oliver Jeffers who this year teamed up with Apple Education for Earth Day, encouraging students to draw the world the way they want to see it. Find out more about the campaign here.

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To get hands-on with Everyone Can Create projects why not visit a ‘Today at Apple Session’? Based on the Everyone Can Create curriculum, you’ll work hands-on with creatives in a 60-minute session to learn how to enhance assignments in any subject or year group with video, music, drawing and photography. Sessions are recommended for educators of students aged 5‑18. Find the sessions for teachers here.

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

And don’t forget about our latest campaign Pledge 2020, Where we are giving schools a bandwidth boost, putting more security into our network and putting in fantastic equipment AT NO ADDITIONAL COST -to help enhance the use of devices such as Ipad within your school all you have to do is push the button #PoweredbyPledge2020

The 2019 Big Draw Festival with LGfL Energise Resources

October is nearly upon us which means it is time again for The Big Draw Festival, this international 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 visual literacy. Uniting people, pencils and pixels across the globe for the 19th colourful year.

The Big Draw team invites you to join them in celebration of their flagship month-long celebration of creativity, The Big Draw Festival. The festival theme this year is Drawn To Life: Creativity & Wellbeing. This theme works to encourage events and conversations around the role of mark-making and drawing – in its widest possible interpretation, as a life-enhancing tool not only to help express and navigate the challenges of life around us but also as a tool for healing.

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. Over 400,000 people take place in this annual festival that is hosted in 26 countries around the world.

Founded in 2000, The Big Draw is a visual literacy charity that promotes the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention. They lead a diverse range of programming including The Big Draw Festival which takes place in October, as well as The John Ruskin Prize which is the fastest growing multi-disciplinary art prize in the UK.

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 the idea of the creation of digital art for younger children is found in the j2e Tool suite, first off within the tool suite for your youngest students you can use jit5, students can create a range of marks by using a palette of tools/brushes, clip art and also have the ability to import images.

Speech bubbles and text can now be added to the digital canvas, vastly improving the learning possibilities, enabling storyboards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. Also the 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 platform.

By using the microphone feature (which works as long as you have either an inbuilt microphone or an external microphone for your device) your students can add their voice to their own of art to explain their work/feelings or why not try to import various interesting works of art into the  j2e Tool suite and allow children to explore being an art critic by talking about how the artwork makes them feel.

For older students, j2e Tool suite offers j2e5 a powerful digital tool, Students use j2e5 intuitively, just like a sheet of paper. The ease of use encourages their natural creativity. Combine text, graphics, animations, sounds, videos and embedded objects. j2e5 is an online, fun, creative tool, children create their own line art or use j2e5 to explore other works of art or artists.

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. Just search for The Big Draw in the special events calendar to get you started.

Linking drawing with storytelling is another way to inspire students, you can find multiple interviews with illustrators such as Tony Ross, Chris Riddel and Oliver Jeffers in Reading zone live, exploring their feelings on creating works of art that explore moods, emotions and tell epic stories.

For images to explore and to inspire  LGfL Image Bank and LGfL Gallery are an ever-growing collections Image Bank has, 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.

LGfL Gallery is a growing collection, at present containing over 60,000 images. 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 In Partnership with the Ben Uri Gallery. 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.

We also offer 2 other art units:

Ben Uri: Art in the Open This teaching resources contains information and points of discussion about works from the collection under the themes of Relationships, Movement and A Sense of Place. Also included in the resources are examples of how schools have used the content in a number of innovative and creative ways. 

Ben Uri: Portraits & Identity Starting points for portraiture and identity projects in the classroom, including teacher’s notes about selected works from the Ben Uri collection. It also offers activities suitable for Key Stages 2-4.

The Big Draw is also again working with the Today At Apple programme. The 2019 event programme which aims to explore the possibilities of digital drawing and combines The Big Draw with The Everyone Can Create create curriculum.

Drawing enthusiasts and reluctant doodlers alike are invited to try their hand at a range of fun workshops led by some of the world’s most innovative creative talent.  These Big Draw/Apple partnership sessions will focus on the 2019 ‘Drawn To Life’ theme which explores the benefits of a more creative life for wellbeing. These sessions also serve to give visitors a fascinating insight into the many careers in which drawing plays a pivotal role.

Each store will host:

Art Lab for Kids: Draw Your Own Emoji.

Art Walk: Discovering Colour.

Art Walk: Drawing from Observation.

To find a session at an Apple store near you this October click here

The Everyone Can Create curriculum is a collection of project guides broken down into Music, Drawing, Photo and Video that bring creative expression to every subject, designed to help students develop and communicate ideas. Students use free apps available on any iPad and take advantage of the built-in camera, microphone, speakers, Multi-Touch display and Apple Pencil, look out for my series of blog posts exploring this creative curriculum in more depth coming in the month of October.

And don’t forget about the abundance of creativity opportunities you have with Adobe Spark for Education and Adobe Creative Cloud; you can support your students’ creative journeys from primary and secondary education and beyond with this package of creative tools.

Adobe Spark for Education makes it fast and easy for students and teachers to turn ideas into beautiful graphics, web stores, and video presentations with free app accessible from anywhere and on any device.

Adobe Creative Cloud gives you and your students access to a comprehensive set of the worlds best creative desktops apps including Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC and Premiere Pro CC so that they can create and communicate anything they can imagine.

We would love to see how you are going to use LGfL services and resources to help energise your students learning, let us know by sharing your evidence of impact (it could be photos or students work) via our Facebook and Twitter and if we like and retweet your work you could win an LGfL goodie bag! and don’t forget The Big Draw 2019 hashtags #TheBigDraw #DrawnToLife #BDF19

Code Week EU 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Each lesson contains:

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

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

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

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

For more information and to book go here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The resource features:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Roald Dahl Day 2019

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

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

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

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

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

To listen to a book follow the steps below:

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

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

The Dahl books on offer are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

Back to School with LGfL 2019

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

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

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

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

Read and subscribe to our blogs: to keep up to date with our latest resources, we currently have 4 blogs that you can subscribe to. We have our Curriculum Blog (which you’re reading at the moment!) This blog is updated weekly and offers a mix of topical pieces relating to how best to use LGfL content within your school setting. We also have Safe Blog (offering regular information, commentary and updates to safeguarding), the Inclusion Blog (how you can use our content to support all learners) and our newest blog Let’s get Digital (how cloud-based platforms can help transform teaching and learning).

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

Save the date(s) for our upcoming conferences: 

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

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

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

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

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

Sign up to our newsletters: Every month we send out a newsletter via email to everyone who has signed up, this is a great way to hear about updates to our online learning resources, updates to education legislation and news on how we can help you to keep your students safe and learn more with LGfL. We have 3 different newsletters LGfL, DSLs and Online Safety Leads and SEND. If you missed a previous newsletter you can find an archive here.

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

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

Like and follow us on Social Media: For all of the latest news, events and updates to our resources and support.

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

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

Book a free training session: It’s never too late to book a free school session with one of our Learning Resource Consultants. Our expert LRC’s will create a bespoke training session for your staff so that your school can get the most out of the LGfL’s curriculum content. Our consultants offer flexible sessions including after-school sessions; they generally last an hour or we can offer a whole or half day INSET. Just email training@lgfl.net to organise a date for your free session.

How are you going to use LGfL services and resources to help energise your students learning? Do let us know by sharing your hints and tips via our Facebook and Twitter or in the comments below. If we like or retweet your comment you can win an LGfL goodie bag!

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

10 Steps to a successful summer term ☀️

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘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.

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)

 

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?

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!