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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One teacher commented:

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

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

 

European day of Languages 26th September 2019

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

It is celebrated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rugby World Cup 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

International Day of Democracy – September 15th 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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International Literacy Day 8th September 2019

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

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

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

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

j2e Tool suite offers a range of resources including:

j2write J2write enables schools to meet the literacy requirements of the national curriculum programmes of study for KS1, KS2 and KS3. From writing to animation, recording speech, mixing it up and blogging. J2write adds a framework around the most popular writing tools within j2e providing lesson plans and examples. Whether you are using JIT with early years, j2bloggy with Year 6 or above, or something in-between, there is a set of lesson plans to help you get started. There are sections on learning objectives and outcomes, cross curricular links, extension activities, and assessment. The detailed lesson plans help you though classroom use of the tools, step by step. They can easily be adapted to work with whatever topic your class is currently working on

Spell blast is a fantastic interactive way of learning spellings, pupils can either go live, choose from a level and teachers can also set their own spelling lists for classes/year groups. Using their USO log in means that children can access the resource at home and at school.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listening books offers over 100 curriculum based audio books, titles can be streamed direct for group listening in class or for individuals to listen with headphones. These are excellent to listen to in class or to support SEND learners with literacy or for those who need some calming down time for their wellbeing. Listening Books is a charity and these books must only be used with students who have an illness, physical or learning disability of mental health condition which impacts on their ability to read or hold a book.

To listen to a book follow the steps below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For creating, Super Action Comic Maker is great for Art and for Literacy, allowing pupils to bring their own superhero to life and not only add and customise backgrounds and superheroes, but also speech and effect bubbles to create a narrative.

Picture book maker is an online tool that allows children to create their own picture books based on the children’s illustrator Sarah Dyer, all set in London Zoo another great resource to use not only on International Literacy Day but throughout the year.

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

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

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

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

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

The Spirit of Endeavour: Encouraging creativity in our schools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

B.Usher, LGfL Content Manager

 

 

 

 

 

Pledge 2020 – Supercharge your LGfL broadband for free

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

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

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

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

SAVE THOUSANDS BY CLAIMING FREE LICENCES FROM LGfL

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

 NEW !!!! FREE ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD LICENCES

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

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

USE THE FSM CHECKER TO CLAIM FUNDS

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

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

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

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

LGfL IS HERE TO HELP

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

Customer Service Contact – enquiries@lgfl.net

Education Team – inspire@lgfl.net

Or Ring Us On 0208 408 4455

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

Healthy Eating Week – June 10th-14th

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) are once again holding a healthy eating week from June 10th – June 14th. Registration is open to all schools/nurseries, universities/colleges and workplaces and is a great way to show your commitment to supporting the health and wellbeing of your pupils, students and employees.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cookit

The primary purpose of Cookit is to improve pupils’ skills, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating. The site provides support for the teaching and learning of a wide range of basic skills and processes. It encourages and inspires learners to explore cooking and to create and share their own recipes, using both the site and mobile devices.

The site also has strong cross curriculum links to History (Prehistoric to Modern), Citizenship, Sciences, Literacy (instructional writing), Maths (measures) and RE (celebrations), as well as a rich bank of modern recipes ranging from simple “no cook” recipes to complex, multi-step dishes.

Healthy eating messages underpin the site. Cookit is well used by schools and is a cross-phase resource. There are recipes suitable for KS1-KS4, searchable by difficulty to encourage inclusion and to increase access for SEN learners and other groups.

Busythings

BusyThings has a range of activities connected with healthy eating, from finding out where food comes from to designing a healthy meal there is something to suit EYFS – KS2. They have grouped them all within their special events button so that it is easy to pin the resources during the week or to dip in and out of the resources.

Switched on Science and Virtual Experiments

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

Team Marathon

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

Each training session follows the same format:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Pyjamarama 3rd – 9th June 2019

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

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

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

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

Listening Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

All these features clips and several more regarding the Listening Books resources can be found on LGfL TV. Listening to audiobooks allows children and young people to listen to the same books their friends and peers are reading, improve comprehension and word recognition as well as helping to instil a greater understanding and enjoyment of literature.

Talking Stories

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

P.B. Bear Interactive Adventures

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

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

ebooks by Rising Stars

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

EYFS Spotlight

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

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

ReadingZone Live

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

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

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

London History Schools Day

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

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

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

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

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

The resource is divided into 6 thematic ‘lessons’, each one having a mix of filmed explanations of surviving remains and of objects, both real and replica. This offers a large amount of resource material to enable teachers to tell the story of Londinium without leaving the classroom and for students to access information to enable further research when learning from home. LGfL has worked with virtual and augmented-reality experts at Computeam Ltd to create a series of artefacts and experiences that complement this learning resource by bringing it to life in a way that is otherwise unimaginable.

Tudors in London also produced in association with the Museum of London, aims to develop an understanding of a historical context in which to appreciate how events of 500 Years ago still impact London life today.  featuring over 140 high-quality video clips and over 60 high resolution images from the Museum of London Archaeological Archive, Royal Collection Trust and key Tudor locations in London, the extensive digital collection is further enhanced by a framework of curriculum-linked materials

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Topics covered include Trade, Transport and the Slave Trade.

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

 

 

Walk to School Week 2019

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

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

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

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

They are also promoting a Happy Shoesday on Tuesday, 21 May 2019 where children will be allowed to wear any shoes for the whole day. They can decorate them, wear odd shoes or even come to school in their slippers! Living Streets would like schools to raise money for their charity, but you can take part just by organising an activity for your school.

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

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

Children could also use JIT or J25 to create either an animation or a poster to encourage pupils to walk to school, that can be displayed around school and the local environment. They could also write to their local council and ask what is being done in their areas to encourage children to walk to school, or to encourage parents to park and stride.

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

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

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

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

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

Think from the Department of Transport have websites for Primary and Secondary both feature sections for teachers, pupils and parents. Topics include Road rangers, Stepping stones, Map your journey and small changes.

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

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

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

National Numeracy day 15th May 2019

Wednesday May 15th is National Numeracy Day – the day aims to celebrate numbers and the role they play in everyday life. National Numeracy Day is all about recognising the importance of numbers and helping people sharpen their skills and build their confidence. They have a range of activities and challenges here, that can be used in class or sent home to encourage the conversation around numbers and the importance of them.

LGfL have a range of resources that can complement National Numeracy Day within school, for use in assemblies, in class and for engaging with parents on National Numeracy Day.

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

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

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

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

For teachers Mult e Maths has both starter and main activities for Years 3 to 6 that can be used on the interactive whiteboard as well as lesson plans and activities that can be used in the classroom.  Or why not get the class rapping with Maths Raps from Beam, the children could even create their own number raps using Audio Network as a backing track and then uploading the raps into Video Central HD to share with the wider community.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mental Health Awareness week 13th-19th May

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

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

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

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

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

Mental Health Foundation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading Zone Live – Fleur Hitchcock 20th May

 

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

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

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

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

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

Lytchett Minster School

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

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

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

For more detailed guidance please read this updated information.

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

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

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

Schools can watch the broadcast via live webcast starting at 2:30 pm on 20th May, more details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here.

Let’s Get Digital Conference 2019

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

NEW

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

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

EYFS Spotlight

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

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

Computing Resource Centre

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

These have been grouped into the following categories:

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

 

Learning through Movement

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

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

 

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

Coming Soon

Maths in the Real World Update (Arriving May 2019)

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

Steam School

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

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

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

ESRI- ARC GiS

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Arctic Live 2019 1st-8th May 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Explore Geography resource is Highly Commended at GA Publishers’ Awards

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

You can watch a walkthrough of the video below:

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

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

Bob Usher – Content Manager LGfL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multiplication tables check – how TTblast can help!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Bob Usher, LGfL Content Manager, said,

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

 

Busy Things – USO authentication and access at home!

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

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

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

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

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

Should you require further assistance then please contact Busy Things directly

Enjoy getting Busy at home and school!

 

 

Shakespeare Week

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

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

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

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

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

Early Shakespeare

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

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

BBC Shakespeare Archive

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

Summary of the archive content

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

Cambridge School Shakespeare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Women’s Day 8th March 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resources include:

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

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

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

British Science Week – 8th-17th March 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Schools can watch the broadcast via live webcast starting at 2:30 pm on 15th March, more details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here.

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

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

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

Dates for your Diary

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

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

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

 

 

ERA Award Finalists 2019

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck to all fellow nominees.

World Book Day – 7th March 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fair Trade Fortnight 25th February-10th March 2019

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ReadingZone Live with Karen McCombie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

This ReadingZone Live event is for aged 10+ students.

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

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

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

Schools can watch the broadcast via live webcast starting at 2:30 pm on 13th February, more details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schools using EduKit Insight Plus can:

  • Identify vulnerable learners and to track their progress over time
  • Create bespoke cohorts of students to compare wellbeing across 14 key areas including aspiration, home life, internet safety, resilience and self-esteem

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

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

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

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

Number Day 1st February 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Splash Dash

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

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

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

The real-world topics covered in the resource are:

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

Maths Raps – why not use the day to do a spot of rapping in class, these raps from BEAM have a range of raps related to Number that can be used, or why not get the children to create their own maths raps, use Audio Network as a backing track and upload your raps into Video Central HD to share with the wider community.

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

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

 

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

National Storytelling week 27th January – 3rd February 2019

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

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

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

You could use Space Adventures Mission to the Moon as your story of the week, this unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe. It features dramatic content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative.  The aim is to draw the learner into the turn of events that threatens the ability of our intrepid astronaut Tazz to return safely back to earth. Will her on board computer be enough to get her back safely or will she need to draw on her maths and science knowledge and understanding?

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference

 

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

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

Keynotes from:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free School Meal checking service

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

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

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

What the service does for parents:

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

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

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

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

We have made a couple of enhancements to the website:

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

How it works for schools:

As the government has now introduced free school meals for all children in Key Stage 1, it is more important than ever for schools to know how many pupils would otherwise be eligible for free meals as this may allow schools to apply for extra funding. These funds enable schools to take on more staff, invest in additional equipment, resources and activities to benefit all their children.

Schools wishing to encourage applications can promote the online eligibility checker to parents by publicising the following web address: fsm.lgfl.net.

Services available for LGfL and TRUSTnet schools:

After parents have submitted their details online, a suitably authorised school administrator will be able to facilitate the submission of claims by clicking on the ‘Administrators’ button and visiting the school administration section. The head teacher is an authorised school administrator by default but would normally nominate one or more staff members as additional administrators via this section of the site. Data will only be made available securely via this site. In order to use this FREE service, schools already subscribing to LGfL 2.0 or TRUSTnet services need to ensure  that MIS data is exported regularly and that the school has configured an information status in the free OpenCheck service found at opencheck.lgfl.net.

By way of thanks for your application and support, and regardless of whether the answer returned is a yes or a no, The London Grid for Learning (LGfL) and its connected schools would like to provide parents of children attending LGfL-connected schools with Sophos AntiVirus software, free of charge, to protect the computers used by pupils at home. To gain access to this software, a short registration process is required, at which point other services related to your children’s school will be explained. Don’t worry, its straightforward, there is absolutely no advertising, and you won’t be asked to buy anything! There is no catch, LGfL (a UK education charity) is providing this service to support schools.

Schools can find out more and how to set this up by downloading the guide for schools. This includes a template letter that schools can send out to parents to inform them off the service.

All submitted data is stored securely in compliance with the Data Protection Act. For additional information regarding data please see our privacy statement.

 

BETT 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tech for Teacher Awards 2019

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Bob Usher – LGfL Content Manager

 

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

 

 

LGfL Digital Excellence Awards 2019

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

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

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

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

You can hear from all our winning schools here.

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

Whole school use of LGfL

Inclusive practice using LGfL resources and services

Parental engagement using LGfL

Online Safety

LGfL Cloud Transformation

Use of j2E Tools

Bob Usher, LGfL Content Manager said:

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

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

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

ReadingZone Live with Holly Bourne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Support Gateway includes the following topics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

UK Parliament Week 12th – 18th November 2018

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

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

How Parliament works

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

Vote 100

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Anti-Bullying week 12th- 16th November 2018

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

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

  • The definition of respect

  • That bullying is a behaviour choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bett Award Finalists 2019

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

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

Max Wainewright author of computing resources for Space Adventures

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

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

Phil Birchnall – Inspryo Managing Director

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

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

Ann Rowlands – Child Bereavement Uk

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

Bob Usher – LGfL Content Manager

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remembrance Day 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

National Non-Fiction November

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Five ways to support History

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

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

5 Ways to support history

Mixed Reality

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

Topics covered include the following:

The Romans in London

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

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

The Cold War,

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

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

Ancient Egypt,

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

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

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

Maya,

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

Trench experience,

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

WW1

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

Vikings 

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

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

 Prehistoric Britain.

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

The Tudors in London

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

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

Widgit

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

BusyThings

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

Viking adventures at the British Museum

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

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

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

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

 

Explore Geography AR

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

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

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

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

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

You can watch a walkthrough of the video below:

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

 

 

World Mental Health Day – 10th October

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

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

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


The resource is split into the following sections:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black History Month October 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

World Space Week – October 4 – 10 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your class could even borrow the moon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Reading Zone Live and National Poetry day 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

J2e new features added

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

The video below explains the new added improvements:

 

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

European Day of Languages – 26th September 2018

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

It is celebrated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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