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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

The sessions we can offer are as follows:

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

Subject and Topic Related Resources:

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

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

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

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

Humanities Subject Leaders:

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

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

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

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

The Romans in London produced in association with the Museum of London, this resource features unique video explanations at locations around the City of London and of Roman objects used and found in London and a range of Roman images for you to use in your study of The Romans in London. The resource is divided into 6 thematic ‘lessons’, each one having a mix of filmed explanations of surviving remains and of objects, both real and replica. This offers a large amount of resource material to enable teachers to tell the story of Londinium without leaving the classroom and for students to access information to enable further research when learning from home. LGfL has worked with virtual and augmented-reality experts at Computeam Ltd to create a series of artefacts and experiences that complement this learning resource by bringing it to life in a way that is otherwise unimaginable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Explore Geography aims to demonstrate geographical concepts that are studied at KS2, KS3 and KS4 in a visual and interactive way making use of the latest technology. The national curriculum for geography at all Key Stages states that: A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.  This statement is at the heart of this resource, Augmented Reality can help convey a complex concept like no other technology and Explore Geography does this with nine different concepts.  We believe in blending technology seamlessly into the learning experience, ensuring that when technology is used in the classroom, it enhances pupils’ learning whilst still providing the engagement and wow factor.

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

‘Spinning Planet’ looks at the Coriolis Effect and is an interactive 3D model of the globe with students able to observe Hurricanes, Cyclones and Typhoons in action across the globe. With a ‘Divided Planet’, an interactive 3D model of the Earth enables pupils to examine lines of longitude and latitude alongside the Tropics and Equator; these can be switched on and off and highlighted, something you cannot do when using a physical globe or hard copy diagram.

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

Computing Subject Leader:

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

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

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

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

Science Subject Leader:

Ensure your teachers know that Switched on Science offers full coverage across Key Stage 1 and 2. It is a flexible and creative investigation-based programme with a clear focus on working scientifically  a core assessable element of the science curriculum. It is packed with best-practice CPD videos and supportive lessons to ensure every teacher can deliver the programmes of study with confidence. The package comes with a video for each unit, teacher guide, interactive exercises, pupil workbooks, ideas for differentiation and much more.

 

 

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

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

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

In General:

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

Steam School Summer Pilot Final Broadcast

Live Celebration Broadcast

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

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

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

Experiment – Fail – Learn – Repeat

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

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

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

Create. Take risks … live your passion!

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

The Winners of the Generation Tech Challenge:

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Get Creative With J2Easy and the J2 Tool Suite

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

 

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

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

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

J2Launch:

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

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

J2e Infant Tools (JIT):

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

There JIT tools are outlined below:

Write:

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

Paint:

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

Turtle:

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

Chart:

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

Pictogram:

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

Animate:

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

Branch:

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

Mix (e-portfolio):

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

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

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

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

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

J2Blast:

Spell Blast:

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

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

Tt Blast:

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

SATs Blast:

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

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

J2Measure:

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

J2Code:

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

JIT Turtle:

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

Visual:

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

Logo:

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

J2Data:

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

J2Whiteboard and J2e:

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

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

J2Bloggy:

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

J2Webby:

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

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

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

J2Review:

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

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

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

LGfL Awards 2019 J2e Highly Commended:

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

 

 

 

 

The THIRD Live broadcast with STEAM School

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

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

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

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

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

Tell us about your job in the video games sector?

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

How should young people prepare for careers in video games?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Our second LIVE broadcast with STEAM School

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

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

See ‘The Making of SwapBots‘ below:

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

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

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

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

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

What are the key job roles in the SwapBots team?

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

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

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

                             

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Maths in the Real World

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

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

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

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

Stock Market Challenge:

Space Adventures Live:

LGfL Maths Bootcamp:

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

Busy Things

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

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

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

       

J2Toolsuite – J2Blast

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

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

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

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

Alternatively, the pupils can take a 30 minute test:

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

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

 

 

 

Our First LIVE Broadcast with STEAM School

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some screenshots of the live event:

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

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

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

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

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

How does Steam School promote gender equality?

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

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

 

Child Safety Week – 3rd to 9th June 2019

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

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

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

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

 An example of one of the resources included:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Search and Rescue with HM Coastguard

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

Growing Up Around the World

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

Exploring the theme ‘Family life today: where’s the risk?’ further, you could discuss how to develop a healthy mind and mental attitude. The Healthy Minds resource was produced in partnership with the leading mental health charity for young people – Young Minds. It  features a range of teacher led activities involving group work promoting self-reflection and video content with supporting activities. The main activities are designed for use with learners in upper KS2, KS3 and KS4, with some resources are designed for staff and/or for parents.

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

 

 

 

ReadingZone Live – Christopher Edge 12th June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LGfL schools are linked to our live author events via video conferencing, with one school selected to host the author event, during each event, authors discuss their writing process before answering the student’s questions via video. It is really easy to take part in one of our ReadingZone Live events and they can have a real impact on both the students and reading within your school. For more detailed guidance please read this updated information.

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

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

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

 

STEAM School & LGfL Pilot Project

Meet the people who are crafting our future…

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

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

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

The dates for the live broadcasts at 2pm are:

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

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

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

Polar Exploration

British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13

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

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

Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon

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

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

The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for maths, English and science and a computing unit created my Max Wainwright, author of the popular Espresso coding resource for primary schools.

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

VR/AR Resources

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

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

Maths in the Real World

Maths in the Real World is a transition resource for Key Stage 2-3. The activities are ideal for use either before or after the move from primary to secondary. It offers detailed differentiation ensuring there is something for all ability levels and has been carefully designed in line with the national curriculum and natural mathematical learning.

There will be two additional units added later this term –

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

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

Search and Rescue with HM Coastguard

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

Viral Contagion Maths

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

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

Switched on Science

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Victory in Europe Day – Wednesday 8th May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The War and Peace Shed from the Literacy Shed, has a range of short films that could be used when looking at the theme of World War II (including ‘German in the Woods’, ‘The Piano’ and ‘Beyond the Lines’.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Hidden Gems…

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

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

1-2-3, We Have Blast Off!

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

 

Encourage Your Pupils to Become Spelling Bees:

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

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

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

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

Tt blastRapidly Recall Times Tables Facts:

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

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

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

Prepare Year 2 & 6 Pupils by Using SATs Blast:

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

SATs blast KS1 and KS2 provides:

  • SATs maths games for both Key Stage 1 and 2
  • ‘Have a Practice’ or ‘Take a Test’ modes
  • Teacher feedback on areas of success or to highlight problem areas
  • Automatic test certificates for pupils who complete a SATs maths test
  • Gamification – earn points to release avatars thus encouraging pupil engagement
  •  

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

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

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

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

Busy Things has fun and engaging activities to help students at any phonics level. With the ability to change from pupil mode to teacher mode you are able to search via curriculum content and strands and can choose exactly which phonemes and graphemes are being used and so allow children to work at their own pace/level.

  Don’t forget the super useful Phonics Resource Maker which enables you to create your own paper-based resources to support a systematic phonics programme and is great for group work. Simply choose the Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence you want to use, select from the pictures and words generated, choose your favoured layout and press print! In January, watch out for the release of phonics flashcards in the updated version of Busy Things on LGfL.

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

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