International Women’s Day – 8th March 2020

International Women’s Day on March 8th, looks at how we can help forge a gender equal world. The website states An equal world is an enabled world and encourages us all to celebrate women’s achievement; raise awareness against bias and take action for equality. The theme for this year is #EachforEqual

The IWD website explains that “Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world”.

Let’s all be #EachforEqual.

The IWD 2020 campaign theme is drawn from a notion of ‘Collective Individualism.’ We are all parts of a whole. Our individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society. Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender equal world.

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; the classroom resources cover a great deal of important content and activities.

GET READY FOR IWD 2020:

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.

Using LGfL Resources for International Women’s Day

LGfL has 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”. A simple question is posed: “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. Watch this trailer for the resource:

There are a range of videos including sections on WWII Codebreaking, Cold War Computing, Pushing the Boundaries and Inspiring the Next Generation.

Another LGfL resource Significant People and Events takes a handful of particularly important events and people and investigates their impact on history; using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to bring these events to life. The resource features nursing on the front line helping you to explore the role Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole played in modern day nursing.

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 (including those shown below) at bodyimage.lgfl.net.

Remember, there are many female authors featured on ReadingZone Live too. In the clip featured below, author Jamia Wilson talks about why she chose to write her book entitled ‘Step Into Your Power’. As part of IWD you could explore a range of different female authors, where they get their ideas from and also what themes they base their narratives on.

You could watch the Keynote from the Annual Conference 2018, ‘Looking at Gender Equality’ by Graham Andre. He and his class were at the centre of the BBC’s ‘No More Boys and Girls’ programme that explored gender equality issues in schools. 

He summarised key points on the topic of gender equality and shared his own journey towards self-reflection and progress on the issues discussed. You can access the vast range of Gender Equality resources Graham put together and mentioned in his keynote 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 of 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

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) staff have listed 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, 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. In order to access the free resources for schools you MUST register on the This Girl Can website.

So put your arms out front and STRIKE THE #EachforEqual POSE to motivate others and to make International Women’s Day YOUR day. Whatever you have planned for International Women’s Day we would love to see pictures and work, please share via our Twitter or Facebook pages #EachforEqual.

 

‘Our Diverse Planet’ – British Science Week (6th-15th March) 2020

The British Science Week, run by the British Science Association, takes place between 6th – 15th March 2020 and is for everyone to get involved with. It is a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. Applications for British Science Week 2020 grants are now closed (but make a note in diary for next year to apply by November; they especially encourage those who don’t usually engage with science to apply).

Their website has activity packs for Early Years, primary and secondary students; designed to be a one-stop-shop for supporting teachers during the week. The theme for the packs is ‘Our Diverse Planet’ – celebrating the amazing diversity we see across the world. From biodiversity to cultural and societal diversity, from the diversity of knowledge to STEM careers and subjects. There are lots of ways to explore this theme – and they would love to hear some of your ideas too!

The poster competition encourages you to Investigate and imagine ‘Our diverse planet’ and everything that makes it special. Here are some topic ideas they suggest to get you started:

Why not think about biodiversity? From the diversity in your own garden, to the diversity at the very bottom of the ocean, research all the amazing creatures and organisms that live on our planet. 

The diversity of science and STEM subjects. Have a think about all the diverse ways that science affects our lives and who you know that uses science every day. Is there science in baking and cooking? What about making a film or taking a picture? Or how about operating planes and cars? Remember that science is everywhere, you just have to look for it! 

Think about the other kinds of diversity our planet contains – from the variety of the molecules that make up essential parts of life, to the different ways our towns and cities are built, and the variation of people’s tastes and interests. 

Our planet is unique, but why not investigate what makes it different from the other planets in our solar system?

Andy Warhol once said, “I never read, I just look at pictures.” A poster competition is exciting way to spark creativity with students, engage them with a specific topic and get started with your free Adobe licenses (available to all LGfL schools). Adobe Spark for Education offers tools that are very easy to use, even for primary aged pupils! Using Adobe Spark Post pupils can easily create beautiful and professional looking posters in very short amount of time. Have a look at these amazing examples for ideas (remember the competition states it needs to be the pupils’ own ideas) or go through a short 45 minute, free online course on “Creating Posters with Your Students” at Adobe Education Exchange.

If you want to unleash your and your pupils full creative powers, you might want to try Adobe InDesign. Precise colour control, thousands of font choices, effective selection and editing tools – Adobe InDesign has everything you need to create a solid design on a large canvas. Creative Cloud tutorials offer you quick an easy way to get started with basics of all the Creative Cloud applications.

Over 900 schools have claimed their Adobe Creative Cloud licenses with LGfL last year, but if have not already done so, you still can at: https://www.lgfl.net/services/adobe-creative-cloud. There is also an exclusive opportunity for any LGFL school/teacher to join LGfL and Adobe’s Creative Jam on 27th February. The jam is about storytelling and will be organised in partnership with the Ocean Agency (fitting nicely in with the theme Our Diverse Planet for BSW). The people attending will be presented with a challenge involving creation of a video aimed to save the world’s coral reefs. There are very few places left, so if you are interested register without delay!

Furthermore, you may want to inspire your pupils to consider producing clips relating to Our Diverse Planet. There are a brilliant series of science videos on COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards website which demonstrate how best to use video during science week. (N.B The site restricts views, so recommends visiting You Tube to view them at https://www.youtube.com/user/COBISScienceAwards/playlists).

There are many resources that LGfL schools can use during this time to help you further explore the theme of Our Diverse Planet:

In the British Science Week KS2 activity pack there is an activity called “Diverse Places – Journey to Antarctica”. It states, 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of the first sighting of Antarctica. Since then it has been a destination for explorers and scientists whose voyages help inform us of the role this continent plays in our world. In their activity they suggest you will write a diary based on what you know about the explorer Bransfield’s journey to Antarctica. 

You could also use LGfL Polar Exploration resource to explore Shackleton’s adventure. 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’.

 

The resource features exclusive access to the historic archive of the most famous polar expeditions of the 20th Century, including:

 

 

  • 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 expeditio
  • Interactive map of the Polar Regions with plotted locations of the multimedia asset
  • 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.

If you are considering further investigation into what makes Earth different from the other planets in our solar system then you could explore LGfL’s Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon.

The resource is based around the intrepid astronaut Tazz Anderson and her on board computer (MIC) on her journey to the moon. Her mission is to bring the valuable, raw material ‘Dysprosium’ back to planet Earth for use in smart devices.

This unique and engaging cross-curricular resource is based around an original story, commissioned by LGfL, from the award-winning author Cath Howe. The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for maths, English and science and even a computing unit created by Max Wainewright. Watch the clip below about how you can take the resource even further, by experimenting with greenscreening with your pupils:

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.

Dramatised 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. This may be rather too close to current real events for some, with regards to current Coronavirus!

The entire primary ‘Switched on Science’ scheme, offers full coverage across both Key Stage 1 and 2 and is available with LGfL. It 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, pupil workbooks, ideas for differentiation, and much more.

Virtual Experiments for Years 1-6, are soon to be retired on LGfL due to being flash-based. Please read the guidance related to this by clicking on the link and note that any resources labelled “legacy” on lgfl.net will be affected.

These resources (arranged for Years 1&2, 3&4 and 5&6) 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 have once again made things even simpler for you. They have 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 including writing projects, interactive worksheets, graph projects and printables. To begin your search, remember to click on the “Special Events” tab from the home page; this can then be used to look for resources relating to the British Science Week.

 

Remember also, that if you have created “new set ups” (ie your Year Groups or class names within Busy Things) you can pin their “Britsh Science Week” on to your class page; making it easier for you and your pupils to navigate to the suggested activities.

 

 

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 available to you 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.

Look in WidgitActivities for visual, varied and differentiated worksheets which include Widgit symbols to help you making the curriculum accessible for all learners. The example below is from “Gases Around Us” in the Science section of Widgit Activities:

The ever-popular j2e Tool Suite can also be used during Science Week, for a range of activities. Why not get pupils to create a book in j2e about Shackleton’s journey to Antarctica, or make an animation of our diverse planet in JIT’s j2animate? Below is an example of a bean diary in j2animate:

You could also download our Significant People and Events resource for KS1 and KS2? This resource takes a handful of particularly important people and events to help pupils to investigate their impact on history. Using Augmented Reality you can simulate the spread of the Great Plague, or explore the first powered flight test and even touch down on the surface of the moon with a 3D animation of the Eagle landing. The resource is further explained by the creators below:

For the classroom why not download the collection of STEM role models posters celebrating women innovators illustrated by women artists? There are eight 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.

The PSTT regional mentors’ role is to support primary schools with all aspects of science including curriculum development, teaching and assessment. They provide 1-2-1 mentoring for Science Leaders, deliver CPD to teachers and develop new science teaching resources. Tom Holloway and Kulvinder Johal have both said they are open to Science Leaders and teachers contacting them directly via email: Tom.Holloway@pstt.org.uk and kulvinder.johal@pstt.org.uk

Tom suggests the following activity for Science Week:

“A Science selfie competition where the children are challenged to bring in a photo of themselves doing something science related is another easy and engaging activity to run during science week. With this it’s nice to emphasise to children the ubiquity of science and how they can be really creative – science really is everywhere! Getting all teachers to do an Explorify activity at the start/end of every day is another easy way celebrating science week for busy teachers. Also showing their children the latest edition of reach out reporter, https://www.reachoutreporter.com/ is another great and easy way of celebrating science during science week.” 

Whatever you are doing for British Science Week we would love you to share your work using @LGfL resources on our Twitter or Facebook pages #BSW20.

Take Part and Make Maths Count – Friday 7th February 2020

Since it launched 20 years ago, over 3,500 schools have got involved with Number Day and raised nearly £2 million and this money has been used to protect children from harm. Join thousands of schools for a mega maths-inspired fundraising day and raise money for the NSPCC. Whether you dedicate a day or an hour to being a maths maverick, every pound you raise counts towards our fight for every childhood.

Join them in celebrating 20 years of Number Day on Friday 7th February!

Schools can register for a pack including:

  • 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 has a range of resources that can complement your teaching of Number Day.

J2eToolsuite has a range of maths tools that can be used in class.  Why not get your students to use TtBlast Live? If you are a two or bigger form entry school perhaps the classes in Key Stage 2 could compete against each other? You could also see which pupil manages to win the most often and is the ultimate winner; perhaps all the class/year group winners could then go on to compete in a whole school assembly to see who the ultimate TtBlast Champion is.

You could also get your Year 2 and Year 6 children to practise in the SATsblast (mental arithmetic) and establish which maths topics they find most tricky. In J2Vote, they could conduct a school survey and then present the data in J2Data or you could use the J2Database to look at the examples (e.g the Titanic passenger list, Countries (area, population etc) or a dinosaur database all of which have been made by users). 

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? 

BusyThings have a huge range of maths games and quizzes that can be used from EYFS to KS2; use the curriculum browser or the search tool to find games related to Number to use with your class as we have only featured a few of the examples below:

Have fun testing children’s knowledge with Busy Things’ quizzes (over 60 available) – 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 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 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.

The Busy Things Maths Resource Maker means you can make your own customised worksheets (including tens frames, counting and sequencing worksheets and even maths displays); this is easily found from the home page!

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.

Maths in the Real World does exactly what its title suggests; it puts maths into real-world problems and contexts. The detailed differentiation and detailed lesson plans and resources ensure there is something for all ability levels. Some of the real-world topics covered in the resource include: Search and Rescue (with the HM Coastguard), Nutrition, Sporting Decisions, Round the World and Viral Contagion (this may be a bit too close to imitating real-life currently though!)

Other resources you may want to use:

BBC Bitesize has 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.

MathsBots.com from Jonathan Hall@StudyMaths are tools for maths teachers including ‘GCSE Resources’ and ‘Manipulatives’ (pictorial images to support the Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract CPA approach to the teaching of maths).

Mathlearningcenter.org (note the American spelling!) based on the visual models featured in Bridges in Mathematics.

I See Maths by Gareth Metcalfe has a great range of free and subscription resources. If you want to look for the free resources click on the “Free Resources” tab; the Early Years drop-down has a large bank of visual games.

Remember 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; included within the collection is “Maths Bootcamp” and the winners of the award for “The Use of J2e Toolsuite” explaining how they make the best use of this award-winning tool.

Please also remember we are delighted to be supporting Maths Week London, taking place 22-26 June 2020. Join in the celebration and register to take part by clicking here.

Visit the Maths Week London website to:

  • download a range of free resources
  • register to attend free events 
  • take part in the Maths Week London Contest
  • apply for funding to support your school take part in Maths Week London

Finally, whatever you are doing to celebrate Number Day 2020 – why not share with us on our Twitter feed or our Facebook page #NumberDay?

Dive Into Data Science – A GIS Champions Pilot Project

We are pleased to announce that LGfL and Esri UK are offering all LGfL schools the opportunity to take part in a Champions Pilot Project that focuses on the use of maps, apps and data visualisation. Through the free ArcGIS Online platform, you can easily make sense of complex data for meaningful teaching and learning.

You can:

  • Collect primary data quickly and accurately
  • Access high quality secondary data at local and global scales
  • Make data meaningful through easy to create maps and infographics
  • Create interactive, narrative driven resources for your classroom using Storymaps
  • Work with us to develop appropriate pedagogy around teaching with ArcGIS Online

This world leading GIS technology powerfully supports the effective delivery of the geography and wider curriculum in Primary, Secondary and SEND Schools.

Find out more about ArcGIS Online inside and outside of the classroom here.

The Pilot

Join us on the 25th February at LGfL offices near Liverpool St between 1:30pm and 4:00pm to get an introduction to the platform and develop a focus for its use in your school. Receive ongoing support from the Esri UK and LGfL team and return in the summer term to share experiences and celebrate achievements.

Attached to the project is a maths specialist who will be available to work with schools of any kind to develop the application of the platform within the context of the maths curriculum. This element can include in school support for schools wishing to focus on the numeracy curriculum.

How much does it cost to use ArcGIS?

The ArcGIS platform is free for all schools in the UK.

What will I achieve by taking part in the pilot?

  • Become a leader in effective teaching with GIS in the geography curriculum and beyond.
  • Understand how the broader service mix from LGfL can also help deliver this and related parts of the curriculum.
  • Collaboration with other LGfL schools in developing pedagogy around Edtech.

For further information about the pilot, please email contentsupport@lgfl.net

To sign up for the pilot and attend the first day on the 25th February, please go to www.arcgispilot.lgfl.net 

To view the new Arc GIS portal on LGfL go to: www.arcgis.lgfl.net

Young Carers Awareness Day 2020

Supporting Young Carers in Schools

Across the UK, as many as 1 in 5 children and young adults in secondary schools are young carers. That means it is highly likely you will have some young carers in your school. Furthermore, how do we identify a “young carer” and what are the challenges they face at home and at school?

A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol. The help they provide may include practical tasks such as housework and shopping. Or it could be emotional support, physical care, looking after siblings because the parent is not able to do so, helping someone to communicate, accompanying someone to appointments, administering medication, and much more.

‘A young carer becomes vulnerable when their caring roles risks impacting upon their emotional or physical wellbeing and their prospects in education and life’ Department of Health and Social Care – Care Act Statutory Guidance, 2014

All too often, children with caring responsibilities think they are just doing the right thing and don’t understand that they are in fact young carers. This makes early identification and support for young carers at school all the more important if they are to reach their full potential. 

Young Carers Awareness Day takes place this year on 30th January. Carers Trust is asking schools to do more to identify their hidden young carers so that they receive the support and recognition that they deserve.

Being a young carer can have a big impact on education and future opportunities:

  • It can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence.
  • Many young carers struggle to juggle their education and caring which can cause pressure and stress.
  • 27% of young carers (aged 11–15) miss school or experience educational difficulties (40% where children care for a relative with drug or alcohol problems) (Dearden, C, Becker, S, 2004).
  • A quarter of young carers said they were bullied at school because of their caring role (Sempik, J & Becker, S, 2013).
  • They are more likely than the national average not to be in education, employment or training (NEET) between 16 and 19 (The Children’s Society, 2013).
  • They have significantly lower educational attainment – the equivalent of nine grades lower at GCSE level (The Children’s Society, 2013).

Early identification and support at school is crucial in helping young carers these challenges. Simple measures, such as flexible homework deadlines, exceptions to mobile phone policies, a Carer’s Passport Scheme, or career advice which takes the skills developed through caring into consideration, can have a hugely positive impact. Formal assessment by a Local Authority, facilitated through a local young carers service, can safeguard young carers from taking on unreasonable care responsibilities and identification at school can be a step towards this.

First steps to support young carers in your school

If you would like to start identifying and supporting young carers in your school, here are three first steps that you can take:

  1. Get in contact with your local carers service to find out what support they can offer you and the young carers at your school: https://carers.org/search/network-partners?postcode=
  2. Complete a baseline review of what your school is already doing to support young carers and map out what else can be done: https://carers.org/young-carers-schools
  3. Explore our #CountMeIn resources and host a Young Carers Awareness Day event on 30 January: https://carers.org/young-carers-awareness-day-2020

About Carers Trust

Carers Trust is a leading national charity for carers, currently reaching more than 25,000 young carers around the UK. We work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.

If you are interested in hearing more about Carers Trust and our work to support young carers, please contact youngandyoungadultcarers@carers.org or visit the Carers Trust website: carers.org 

Please let us know if you have a suggestion regarding other subjects to cover in blogs by sharing on our Twitter feed or our Facebook page #CountMeIn

 

 

National Storytelling Week 2020 – February 1st-8th 2020

National Storytelling Week 2020

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” Brandon Sanderson

The Society for Storytelling is a UK-based society founded in 1993. They are hosting their annual National Storytelling Week soon (this year it runs from 1st-8th February). They have helpful FACT SHEETS that will give you guidance on many aspects of Storytelling. Click here to see what is available on their site.

The society’s 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.

There are also two other literacy-based competitions running during the spring term. Read on, to find out more.

The BBC’s 500 Words

The UK’s largest story writing competition for kids, organised by the BBC, is back for its tenth year. 500 Words is supported by Oxford University Press in a co-production partnership. Here’s everything you need to know to get involved:

How to enter:

All stories must be submitted via the online form on our website. Parents, guardians and teachers can register for a SUBMITTER ACCOUNT and terms and conditions can be found here. There is also a BRAND NEW Prize for 2020 where one entrant will be selected at random to receive a fabulous book bundle and an invite to the final (for child plus a parent or guardian). They will also win 500 books for their school – so the more pupils a school has that has entered the more chances they have of winning a brand new library.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

– Originality
– Plot
– Characterisation
– Language
– Enjoyment

Dates for your diary

All entries must be received by Thursday 27th February at 8pm. This year’s 500 Words Final will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 from Buckingham Palace, on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, on Friday 12th June. Download a learning pack from the BBC’s LEARN section, where you can also find advice from their celebrity judges Frank Cottrell Boyce and Charlie Higson in the 500 Words Live Lesson.

Christopher Edge (who is just one of the many authors featured in LGfL’s ReadingZone Live resource) wrote ‘Finding the SPARK in your story’ for the launch of last year’s competition. You can read this and discover other tips to create terrific tales in the 500 Words Blog.

You can also watch more from Christopher Edge by visiting his author interview on RZL and watching the entire interview or short clips anwering specific questions.

Wicked Young Writer Awards

To submit your entry to the 2020 Wicked Young Writer Awards, you will need to complete an individual entry form or multiple schools entry form. Visit Wicked Young Writer Awards for further details. The entries have a 750-word limit (not including the title words) and entrants must be aged between 5-25 years old (when entering). Watch below for Cressida Cowell’s writing tips as shared on their website. (N.B Cressida Cowell is also featured on LGfL’s ReadingZone Live Resource).

LGfL Resources

We have a range of resources that can support you and your students during National Storytelling Week or to inspire them prior to entering either of the writing competitions (remember though that the storyline ideas must be the pupils’ own).

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. This 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. 

Why not re-tell the story of Sigurd and the Dragon, a classic Norse tale of how Sigurd killed the greedy dragon, Fafnir? This resource uses both AR and VR so that the children can be transported back 1,000 years to listen to this tale. You could even make use of the green screen pack that is included to retell this ancient tale, making use of the high quality graphics and audio included to bring their story to life.

You could also explore 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. It features dramatic content and a Virtual Reality (VR) 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 Mic, the onboard computer, be enough to get her back safely? Or will she need to use her maths problem-solving skills and science knowledge and understanding to get her back to safety?

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. This resource has recently been updated and features over 50,000 individual audio files. In addition, you could 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 versions to suit different uses and help enhance videos and stories.

LGfL Image Bank contains high resolution licence images from a variety of LGfL content provider partners including the Royal Collection Trust and the British Library. These would be an excellent way to stimulate the pupils imaginations and could provide the setting for their narratives.

Children can also get advice on how to create their stories by well-known authors in ReadingZone Live, (already referenced in sections above; Cressida Cowell and Christopher Edge are both authors featured in this resource). There are specific sections focussing on genre, planning, character and writing which can be searched via the writing area.

Early Years practitioners could make use of our Fairy Tales resource and then re-tell their favourite Fairytale suing the Pdf images included within the resource.  You could also make use of Talking Stories during the National Storytelling 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 cover Shakespeare, Coleridge and Sherlock Holmes, whilst Talking Stories 3 has 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 appreciate stories read aloud. There is a great range of fiction and non-fiction available to support pupils from Key Stage 2 up to A-Level, including:

  • 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 Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

The fantastic Literacy Shed have also got a great blog post (Stories for Pleasure – Choose Your Vessel written in November 2018) about prefering to talk about ‘Stories for Pleasure.’ and using a range of vessels to deliver them! 

We would love to read some of your pupils’ stories – why not share them on our Twitter feed or our Facebook page #NationalStorytellingWeek.

 

Stand Together on Holocaust Memorial Day – 27th January 2020

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is a national commemoration day in the UK dedicated to the remembrance of those who suffered in The Holocaust under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The 27th of January marks the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp and therefore the HMD is on 27th January, 2020.

This year’s theme is Stand Togetherand is a landmark anniversary; marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau but also the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Bosnia

Genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups. Now more than ever, we need to stand together with others in our communities in order to stop division and the spread of hatred in our society. 

Sadly, news stories like ones found on the BBC in November 2019, suggest we still have a long way to go fighting against bigotry and hate. The BBC reported that Liliana Serge, who was sent to the notorious Auschwitz death camp at 13, was subjected to a barriage of anti-Semitic messages [in November 2019]. This came after Ms Serge, an Italian life senator, called for parliament to establish a committee to combat hate. The motion passed despite a lack of support by Italy’s right-wing parties.

Stories such as this make it more important than ever to teach our young people about the atrocities in the past so that they may stand together to stop division and the spread of hatred.

Back in October 2019, I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau; a trip I would urge everybody to take if they can. Despite having read many historical narratives and other literature about Auschwitz, I was still shocked by how vast the camps were, particularly Auschwitz II – Birkenau. The guided tour was incredibly moving and informative; we were told by the end of the Holocaust, six million Jewish men, women and children had been murdered in ghettos, mass-shootings, in concentration camps and extermination camps.

Below are a few of the photographs I took during the tour (n.b. cameras without flash are allowed on the tour, but there were certain areas I committed to memory rather than photgraphing).

Photograph 1 – A watchtower at Auschwitz; Photo 2 – Kitchen pots and pans (as people believed they were being sent to a work camp); Photo 3 – The “beds” at Birkenau; Photo 4 – the railtrack which brought prisoners to the middle of Birkenau (where many were sent immediately to their death).

If you are planning on completing your own Holocaust Memorial Day activities, there is an Activity Pack to help facilitate activities. The free Activity Pack is now available to order, along with sticker sheets, metal HMD pin badges and ‘About HMD’ booklets to use. You can order the resources using this link. (There are activities suitable for (primary, secondary and SEND pupils).

Their resources aim to help students to:

  • Learn more
  • Feel empathy
  • Be inspired to take action

Whilst you are waiting for physical resources to arrive, download ‘Your Guide to Holocaust Memorial Day’ to help you plan your HMD activity. If you have any questions about this, please email enquiries@hmd.org.uk or call 020 7785 7029. 

Perhaps you could consider preparing a commemorative display, using the image of one of the memorial flames and your pupils could contribute artwork or poetry towards it? @TimAllwood tweeted recently, “My 10-year-old daughter is doing WW2 at school. She painted this watercolour last night. I’m really impressed with it. There’s a “darkness” to it.” 

I have included it below (with his permission) in the hope it inspires both you and your pupils (see also @LGfL Holocaust Education though the Ben Uri Art Collection)

LGfL offers a range of resources that can support your HMD activities, and all have been carefully created with experts to ensure accuracy, appropriateness and sensitivity about the Holocaust and genocides for teachers at both primary and secondary levels.

Documenting the Holocaust: A unique resource which gives access to carefully curated artefacts from the Wiener Library, one of the world’s most extensive holocaust archives. The collection of over one million items includes press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony. The videos within the resource offers unique stimulus to be used as valuable as starters, plenaries and main lesson stimuli and support discussion in and out of lesson time.

The Holocaust Explained: Produced originally in partnership with the London Jewish Cultural Centre, but now managed by the Wiener Library, this website features a large range of media resources, historical documents and graphical representations of a wide-range of aspects of the Holocaust; the site has over 500 webpages, 1000 media assets, a glossary of 720 terms and 11 oral testimonies. Watch below the Case Study ‘The Holocaust Explained’ hosted on @LGfLTV:

Holocaust Education though the Ben Uri Art Collection: A resource designed to support GCSE History and Art and Design research into Holocaust art, the resources help to ‘deconstruct’ art works from the Ben Uri Gallery and the London Jewish Cultural Centre. The expert teacher support is some of the finest available from LGfL.

The M Room: The M Room resource gives unique access to secret World War II listening sites where the British Secret Service bugged high-ranking German Military prisoners to secure key intelligence to help win the war. The resources feature an 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.

The Cold War: The resources span borders, ideologies and even realities; interviewing spies, journalists and dissidents; visiting prisons, concentration camps, and museums; filming underground, above ground and from air; and uncovering documents, images and secrets never before revealed. Although the resource focusses on post second world war tensions between the Superpowers, there are sections that link to the topic and the influence the Holocaust had on subsequent post war events.

Other recommended (free) resources you can access:

The BBC have also created a collection of resources aimed at secondary schools to mark HMD including 6 animations based on Stories of Children who Survived the Holocaust, as well as much, much more.

Michael Rosen has recorded a series of powerful poems about the experiences of his family in the Holocaust which you can use to inspire your students.

A selection of resources based around “War and Peace” from the Literacy Shed. These would be worth watching particularly if you are completing a more lengthy topic around war and peace (and not just HMD).

Back in September, I read the following blog about making responsible choices when choosing historical narratives and ensuring that pupils know that sometimes authors include historically inaccurate events in their narratives. I believe it highlights an important message to critically assess our choices for class novels and also to ensure we discuss with our pupils where narratives do not always stay true to the facts of the time.

‘Don’t be content in your life just to do no wrong, be prepared every day to try and do some good.’ Quote by Sir Nicholas Winton, who rescued 669 children from Nazi-occupied Europe.

As teachers, it is vital that we continue to pay our respect to the victims of the Holocaust by continuing to sensitively pass on the memories of the past and to try and prepare our pupils “to try to do some good”.  We hope that our resources will support you with this important endeavour. 

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. 

 

 

 

 

Free School Meals Eligibility Checker

Do you know if your school is using the LGfL Free School Meals Eligibility Checker to maximise income from Pupil Premium Funding? Read on to find out more about this LGfL service …

Since the 1st September 2019 £15 million has been identified by schools making use of this service.

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 reapply 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.

We have made a couple of enhancements to the website:

  • A parent of a child attending any LGfL 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 who is attending a school in England. The Certificate of Eligibility should be taken to your child(ren)’s school.

How it Works For Schools:

Since the Government 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 school meals (thus allowing schools to apply for the extra Pupil Premium funding). These funds enable schools to take on more staff, invest in additional equipment, resources and activities which can benefit all not just the children with Pupil Premium entitlement.

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 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 Headteacher 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 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, 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.

Savings Calculator for LGfL Schools:

Have you ever clicked on to view the Savings Calculator on LGfL.net? If you are logged in with your USO you will notice “My School Savings” directly under the login. On this page you can view the licences you have already claimed as part of your ‘Let’s Get Digital’ subscription and claim others you are entitled to but have yet to claim. Towards the bottom of this page, you will also see a link to ‘Claim your Pupil Premiums’; this tells you the average claimed by similar schools using this service.

Please do share this blog post with your Senior Leadership Team and School Business Manager/Bursar to ensure your school claims their Pupil Premium entitlement and let us know the impact it has. If you have any suggestions for what else you would like to see from LGfL or would like to write a guest blog do so by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook. 

 

 

 

Christopher Edge on ReadingZone Live

Our ‘Author in Residence’ on ReadingZone Live for December is Christopher Edge; his author interview has recently been added to the growing collection which can be used to promote a love of reading and gain an understanding of where authors get their ideas from.

Christopher is an award-winning author of The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, The Jamie Drake Equation, The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day and lots of other books too.

He 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. 

Christopher talks about what he hopes his books achieve for his readers and explains, ‘We can’t change the past, but we can all shape the future’.

During the interview, Christopher states, ‘Time has been the most interesting topic to explore. When you look at scientific explanations – you find that some scientists don’t actually think it even exists!’

Christopher’s narratives explore many scientific ideas; at LGfL we host a number of resources to help you explore some of the scientific ideas Christopher writes about in greater depth. 

Switched on Science offers full coverage of the science national curriculum across Key Stage 1 and 2. It 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 programmes of study with confidence. The package comes with a video for each unit, teacher guide, pupil workbooks, ideas for differentiation and much more.

The “teacher” videos explain an experiment you can do. Below is the video in the Year 6 “We’re Evolving” unit; great for a topic on evolution and inheritance.

Continuing with the evolution topic, you will be exploring the development of life on our planet over billions of years. Our Fossils and Dinosaurs resource can really bring this topic to life; the resource guides you through from the very first signs of life (3 billion years ago) on Earth, through the ‘Cambrian Explosion’ of life (500 million years ago), to the emergence and subsequent demise of the dinosaurs (65 million years ago) and finally to the evolution of Homo Sapiens (a mere 2 million years in the past). 

The Active Worksheet Pack includes a set of Active Worksheets and an accompanying Teacher Guide. They can be used as a starting point and then you can develop your own lessons around them or you could just follow the instructions for activities to complete using the ARtefacts in the Active Worksheets (ARtefacts = Augmented Reality Artefact). Watch the ‘Fossils and Dinosaurs’ walkthrough below:

Space Adventures 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 threaten the ability of our intrepid astronaut Tazz to return safely back to Earth. Will her on board computer be enough to get her back safely or will she need to draw on her maths and science knowledge and understanding?

The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for Maths, Literacy and Science and a Computing unit created my Max Wainwright, author of the popular Espresso coding resource for primary schools. Watch the case study below to see how the pupils at Anson Primary School, Brent have used Space Adventures.

Finally, one of our Legacy resources, Virtual Experiments can be used to revisit and revise difficult scientific concepts. The resource is organised in three versions (Years 1 & 2, Years 3 & 4 and Years 5 & 6). It allows you to repeat, slow down and vary the conditions of experiments. 

*Note: Any resource labelled with a Legacy hood will only be available until spring 2020. This is due to Flash-based resources no longer being supported in Chrome. 

For further resources to use with Christopher Edge’s books visit the new Resources page on his websiteyou can find links to book trailers, author videos, teaching notes, interviews, articles, reviews, sample chapters and even playlists for book soundtracks.

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. 

 

 

LGfL Digital Excellence Awards 2020

 

We are pleased to announce that the Digital Excellence Awards 2020 competition in now open; celebrating best practice and innovative approaches in using the wide range of learning resources and services provided by LGfL.

Please visit awards2020.lgfl.net.

We will be accepting entries to the five categories as detailed here (follow the links for entry forms):

Category 1 – Digital Excellence Award: Innovative Use of LGfL Content Form 1

Category 2 – Digital Excellence Award: Inclusive Practice Using LGfL Resources Form 2

Category 3 – DigiSafe Excellence Award: Keeping Children Safe Online – A Joined-up Safeguarding and Curriculum Approach Form 3

Category 4 – Digital Excellence Award: Whole School Cloud Transformation Form 4

Category 5 – Digital Excellence Award: Innovative Use of Adobe Creative Cloud Form 5

This year we have included a cash prize of £1000 in addition to the physical award and an image you can display on your school website. The closing date for entries is 28th February 2020.

Why do schools enter the LGfL Awards?

Schools will have different reasons for entering, but one common theme is usually the desire to receive validation and recognition for the school’s digital journey with the support of LGfL and this year of course there is a cash prize too!

What impact might winning the LGfL Award have on your school?

Previous winners (and those who were highly commended) comment that not only did it give the school a boost and recognition for the work they have done, but it also provided them with a platform to build on and further embed the use of technology and LGfL resources throughout the school and support others to do so too. 

The previous winners would urge others to just give it a go! They say it gives you the opportunity to reflect on what your school has implemented in terms of a digital strategy and may also help you to prioritise future plans. So what are you waiting for?

For more like this visit LGfL TV where you can listen to a range of winning schools talking about the reasons why they entered, the impact the awards have had and much more.

Please let us know  of any suggestions for blog posts or indeed if you would like to write a guest post by contacting us on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook. 

 

 

Promoting Reading for Pleasure with Author Interviews

Last month, a new “The Demon Headmaster Series” started on the CBBC channel (and it is also available on the BBC iPlayer). The new series replicates much of what was terrific about the original series – playing into school children’s concerns about feeling like an outsider, with genuinely great twists. There are also nods to this new series taking place in 2019, with references to social media, hashtags and overpriced hot chocolate. 

You may be wondering, “what this has to do with an LGfL curriculum blog post?” Gillian Cross, the author of The Demon Headmaster is one of the many authors featured in our ReadingZone Live resource on LGfL. So, if the pupils in your class are currently enjoying this children’s series on the television you could explore Gillian’s interview on ReadingZone Live with them. 

The huge range of author interviews hosted on LGfL’s ReadingZone Live resource can be the ideal place to start if you are looking to encourage reading for pleasure with the pupils at your school. The resource will enable the pupils to explore where published authors get their ideas from and also to have a better understanding of a range of approaches to developing story plots, characters and settings.

Recently, Sibel Pounder’s interview has been added to this extensive collection; in her much loved Bloomsbury series, she writes about fabulous mermaids, witches and feisty fairies. You may be using Sibeal’s series of books whilst studying fantasy narratives or have chosen one as a class read whilst you explore topics such as ‘Enchanted Woodlands’ or ‘Oceans and Seas’. 

Many other resources hosted on LGfL can complement a study of such literature. If you want your pupils to design a book jacket or create a storyboard for planning out their ideas for their own narratives featuring a mermaid, witch or fairy you could do so using Busy Things. Watch Sibeal talk about how she uses story maps in her writing in the clip below. 

BusyThings hosts a wealth of exciting activities to explore within the topic of traditional fairy tales too. The stories included are “The Three Little Pigs”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, “The Gingerbread Man”, “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”. Each story is retold in a fun manner, with follow up activities such as sequencing, picture ordering and building your own story scene.

In addition, remember there are a whole host of other activities available in Busy Things too. The geography section, for example, contains ‘maps and locational knowledge’ and ‘human and physical geography’ sections. Once your Headteacher has completed the data declaration release to allow LGfL USO log-in to work with Busy Things you can use the “curriculum browser” function (available in the “teacher mode”) where you can explore different search terms and this will also enable access to Busy Things at home for pupils and teachers alike.

You could further explore the story blueprints of fairytales with your pupils by listening to several of the six traditional tales featured in this resource. The pupils could then complete the accompanying activities included with each fairytale (matching, sequencing, spelling, comprehension, prepositions and pronouns etc).

The LGfL EYFS Spotlight series features a “Fairytales” topic where you will find further suggested activities to complete with younger pupils. One suggests using JIT Infant Toolkit “Paint, Animate and Mix” tabs to retell a familiar tale and to then ask the children to remix the fairy tale. The pupils could change the settings by choosing one of the many different backgrounds found within j2e or they could change the main characters by exploring the characters found in j2e clip art folder. Click here for an example. The possibilities are endless!

Within the resource Widgit you can also find pre-made resources to support traditional tales including ‘The Three Pigs’, ‘Snow White’, ‘Red Riding Hood’, ‘Goldilocks’, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’. Each story has a fully comprehensive pack with a variety of differentiated activities, which include the story, sequencing activities, worksheets, crossword, matching activities, drawing, storyboard and play-script, all using the Widgit communication system as a scaffold to support all learners.

Remember, if you are based in a primary school you can claim 30 Adobe Creative Licenses with your Let’s Get Digital Subscription; with this creative tool the pupils could explore different designs for the worlds the characters inhabit  and so much more. 

Please let us know if you would like to write a guest blog for your use of LGfL resources and the impact they have had with your pupils and the school. Remember to share these examples via our Twitter and Facebook pages too.

 

 

BETT Awards Finalists 2020

We are really pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted in three categories for this year’s Bett Awards. The Bett Awards are a celebration of the inspiring creativity and innovation that can be found throughout technology for education. The awards form an integral part of the Bett Show each year, the world’s leading showcase of education technology solutions. The winners are seen to have excelled in ICT provision and support for nurseries, schools, colleges and special schools alike with a clear focus on what works in the classroom.

Our first shortlisted category is for Company of the Year (more than £3million turnover). This category is open to organisations whose turnover is greater than £3 million that provide educational establishments with high-quality, safe ICT products or services appropriate to their everyday teaching and learning needs. Our entry had to explain how we demonstrate outstanding customer-care and an exceptional standard of service to education aswell as outlining how our company is innovative and forward-thinking.

Our second shortlisted category is for Secondary Content for Maths in the Real World (MITRW). 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 in Viral Contagion.

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. Use this link for the Stock Market Challenge Case Study:- https://lgfl.planetestream.com/View.aspx?id=561~3z~hZBuN5 and whilst there explore some of the other case studies!

Our final shortlisted category is for Free Digital Content or Open Educational Resources for Supporting a Bereaved Pupil.; produced in association with Child Bereavement UK.. 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.

Commenting on the three shortlistings, John Jackson, CEO at LGfL said,

‘This is a fantastic achievement! And not just for LGfL but also our brilliant community of schools who drive what we do and make us what we are today.  The fact that we’re on the shortlist recognises the progress that we’re making to save money and advance education. Thank you everyone for your support and loyalty to us. Its a privilege to serve you.’

Congratulations to all those companies and schools who have been shortlisted – you can find them all listed here. This year’s ceremony will take place on 22nd January 2020.

Please let us know if you would like to write a guest blog for your use of LGfL resources and the impact they have had with your pupils and the school. Remember to share these examples via our Twitter and Facebook pages too.

BBC Children in Need 2019

BBC Children in Need is out there making a difference from coast to coast, in towns and cities right across the UK. The amazing projects they support help change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people all over the country.

So, are you joining the thousands of schools raising money this year on Friday 15th November?

This year, Twinkl is the Official Education Partner for BBC Children in Need. They are helping schools, teachers and parents join in with the annual fundraising excitement with free-to-use resources. You can also get your free schools fundraising kit, (by clicking the link) :- packed full of inspiration and tools to help your school raise money for children in the UK.

On the official Children in Need website they suggest the following activities for the different key stages:

Nursery and pre-school: They’re inviting you to ‘Get Together’ for the Great Big Pudsey Day! 

Primary schools: Whether it’s joining their exclusive appeal day activity session with Joe Wicks, or a whole-school dress-up day –they encourage you  join the fun and make an amazing difference!

Secondary Schools: From non-uniform days, fitness challenges, to A-list productions, there’s something for everyone to get involved with.

So how can LGfL support you with this event in your school too?

J2eToolsuite offers a range of resources to help you create animations for promoting “Why Fundraise for BBC Children in Need?”. You could use JIT5 or J2Spotlight to make your very animation, which then can be embedded onto your school’s website. 

If you want to add music to your videos then look no further than Audio Network. Ask your pupils to study other charities’ videos and discuss why particular types of music have been used. Which piece of music would they pick to suit a particular scene? They can then search for suitable music on Audio Network to convey the mood they are trying to put across to their 

When discussing the need to fundraise you will no doubt want to focus on developing the children’s empathy. You could encourage them to think about what makes people happy and how young lives can be helped by projects funded by BBC Children in Need. If you would like to explore this theme further, then you should explore Growing Up Around the World;  the resource aims to help UK children to understand the realities of childhood in very different contexts. 

Busy Things have several recipes you could download and follow if you are baking with children at school. Visit the “Special Events” tab and you will find recipes for Red Monster Pizza, Monster Banana Cakes and Pinkman Cupcakes. You could also use the Busy Things Publisher to design posters to publicise the events you are holding within school and one of the maps of The British Isles to get a sense of the distance travelled by the Rickshaw Challenge.

The Rickshaw Challenge was started nine years ago; Matt Baker, from The One Show, and a team of young volunteers set off in this year’s challenge on Friday, 8th November, 2019. They will be riding 400 miles, over 8 days, across Britain. The team start in Holyhead, Wales, and are hoping to raise lots of money for Children in Need, as they make their way to the finish at BBC Elstree Studios. A team of engineers at McLaren were responsible for the custom built Children in Need rickshaw. This means that pretty much anyone can ride it.

‘I’m determined to prove that being blind should never be a barrier and I’m really looking forward to being part of Team Rickshaw.’ Kelsey , Rickshaw Challenge Rider, 2019 

By taking part in Children in Need your pupils will gain so much too!  They can be involved in planning an event, counting the money they’ve raised and so much more and will be empowered, encouraged and motivated to work as a team.

Since their first major Appeal in 1980, BBC Children in Need has raised over £1 billion to help make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people around the UK. 

This year’s Children in Need Appeal Show night will be live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 7pm on Friday 15th November 2019.

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

 

Cracking Ideas Competition 2019 (closes 24th April 2020)

The Cracking Ideas Competition is back and is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Wallace and Gromit! This year they’re asking young people to ‘Make Life Better’ and to ‘Get Those Mundane Jobs Done Quicker’!

The competiton is aimed at 4-11 year olds across the UK and the aim is to build on everyday inventions to improve the lives of themselves, friends, family or wider collective groups and this will be the tenth year the competition has run.

Cracking Ideas was designed with the help of Aardman, whose invention loving duo Wallace & Gromit feature in the learning materials, and aims to provide curriculum-led activities that get children engaged with product design and the importance of protecting intellectual property.

The Intellectual Property Office and Aardman want you to have a look at the world around you. Imagine a cracking idea that can help get mundane jobs done quicker, better and most importantly from the comfort of a warm armchair/school seat!

The resources can be used in the classroom, self-directed or any other learning setting (e.g. after-school club, youth centre or Scout/Brownie groups). They are intended to be used flexibly to adapt to different ages, spaces and interests. Children can learn about research development and product design, explore the core phases of design and technology, to come up with a new invention or rework an existing object. During this process, children will be introduced to Intellectual Property and the importance of sharing ideas.

So what is “Intellectual Property”? According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) it refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

IP is protected in law by, for example, patentscopyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.

LGfL can help you further explore the idea of copyright with your pupils and have a range of resources that you can use to ensure that you are compliant with copyright.

Did you know that the Department for Education (DfE) buys copyright licences for all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England – covering schools for almost all their copyright requirements? Purchasing these licences directly means that DfE can save schools money and the administrative time involved in applying for many different licences. The licences mean you can copy, re-use and share content from a wide range of sources within your school for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Your school leadership (Headteacher and Chair of Governors) needs to make sure that:

  • all intended activities are covered adequately by the licences
  • all staff follow the terms and conditions

The copyright licences cover a range of content from printed materials to radio and TV broadcasts, for more information on what content you can use, and how to gain other permissions, see the guidance from the DfE here.

The Coypright Licensing Agency has also produced the short video guide below:

You can also check permissions on the site as well as registering your interest to access the Education Platform which enables you to quickly create, share and store copies from books to support your teaching. Access digital versions of books your school owns, to create and instantly share high quality, copyright-compliant copies and store them for future use. Print copies for colleagues or students, or share straight to a student’s device. The platform is a more flexible way to work and is available to licensed schools at no cost. The video below gives an overview of the platform.

Digizen have a  great lesson plan and Powerpoint to use in school for teaching about copyright and there is also great guidance from Childnet that includes tips for teachers, jargon busting and what copyright is and why it is important which you could explore as part of the Cracking Ideas Competition.

The Gallery is a growing collection, at present containing over 60,000 image, audio and video resources covering a range of topics relevant to the curriculum.  Its purpose is to provide a free repository of high quality materials copyright cleared for use in teaching and learning.  All of the resources in the gallery are saved at the highest quality available so they can be used on whiteboards, printed materials, animations and for any other educational application whilst medium resolution versions of every file are also made available for review and preview. The  resources are copyright cleared for LGfL schools so they can be downloaded, edited and re-purposed for educational use, both within the classroom and at home.

The gallery is free to browse and explore online, the resources are searchable by topic and searchable by keyword, phase and subject.  As the resource is web-based it can be accessed at school and at home by teachers and pupils.  Everything placed within the gallery is moderated before being made live by a team of regional moderators and trusted educational professionals.

 

The LGfL ImageBank is an expanding collection of high resolution images from LGfL partners. The image collections have been checked for appropriateness for use in an educational context and where relevant, mapped to the National Curriculum.  To access these mapped images, please search for resources by programme of study to see if there are any for your subject and Key Stage.

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 unique resources for teachers and learners connected to the NEN.

Audio NetworkLGfL’s online music database featuring over 60,000 individual audio files. The Audio Network schools’ licence is an innovative partnership between industry and education bringing UK schools a vast catalogue of originally composed recorded music for use across the curriculum and for all ages. Audio Network and the Education network (NEN) have worked together since 2003 bringing quality recorded music for digital production and performance in schools throughout the UK, meaning that teachers are able to use the same materials as professional film makers and broadcaster while remaining within copyright law.  All the music in this vast catalogue of tracks has been specially composed by Audio Network’s partner composers, performed by top musicians and recoded to exacting industry standards for media production.  The music catalogue spans music of many different styles, cultures, type and instrumentation – just browsing through is an education in itself!

The Audio Network database includes:

  • The ability to access the resource via the LGfL USO login when “off-grid” (e.g. from home or another location)
  • A very wide selection of music professionally recorded music
  • Improved interface and facilities (e.g. folders to store your selections  all linked to your USO account profile)

You have the ability to search the database and individual music tracks can be dowloaded, the LGfL licence allows students and teachers to download any of the music files free of charge with the condition that the downloaded files must not be used for any commercial purposes.

The Creative Commons website is also a great site to use within school to search for images for sounds and images that are copyright free and that can be modified and adapted. They have also released the  CC Search, a search engine that indexes over 300 million images from 19 image collections.  All of the indexed images are in the public domain and released under Creative Commons licenses–meaning the images are generally free to use in a non-commercial setting. Head here to start searching.

The two blog sites below are also worth a read as they link to other places where you can search for copyright images, videos and sounds.

I got it off Google Images…

A Guide to Finding Media for Classroom Projects

We hope this will provide a good starting point to explore copyright in school and for you to enter the Cracking Ideas Competition. To do this you can register online and upload your entry to the website or send your entries in by post to Cracking Ideas, Freepost CF4185, Newport, NP10 1BF.

Please let us know if you use any of these resources or indeed have suggestions for how LGfL could further support you in school by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

ReadingZone Live With Author Jamia Wilson

Jamia Wilson is one of the latest authors to be added to the collection on ReadingZone Live. Jamia has been a powerful force in the social justice movement for nearly a decade. She is an activist, a feminist, a storyteller, a media-maker but more than anything she is a natural-born thought leader. 

She is a leading voice on feminist and women’s rights issues and her work and words have appeared in, and on, several outlets. These include New York Magazine, The Today Show and The Washington Post.

In her interview, hosted on ReadingZone Live, Jamia talks about giving young people a sense of hope and inspiration and an understanding of their innate sense of their own self-worth.

She holds Anne Frank up as an inspirational role model; she talks about how she had a strong voice even when some people wanted her to be less vocal. 

Her new book ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ is aimed at inspiring readers from all types of backgrounds to get a glimpse into the contributions and lives of black people who have made a real difference in the world (both the familiar household names and some lesser known individuals). Her aim is also to give them a resource to go to when they need to feel a sense of empowerment. 

LGfL hosts a number of resources you could use with pupils to explore some of the issues Jamia explores in her narratives.

For example, if you want to discuss fairness, rights and responsibilities with your class you could use Developing British Values. This resource provides high-quality, safe and relevant teaching materials that foster deeper understanding and informed debate amongst young people.

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

Perhaps the endeavours of the pioneering explorers of the twentieth century could help pupils to further understand how self-determination and aspiration can help people to overcome even the most taxing of circumstances. Polar Exploration in the Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery resource provides a unique insight into the ‘Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery’.

LGfL worked with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University in creating this comprehensive resource, which 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 expreme environments. 
British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13

If you want to further explore the idea of inspirational female role models then Women in Computing explores the role of women in codebreaking at Bletchley Park; they quickly learned the skills necessary to survive in this area and showed tremendous capacity for computational thought.

For a fictional, strong female character you could look at some of the vlogs produced for Space Adventures. The resource is based on the story of Tazz Anderson on her mission to the moon to bring back the valuable raw material ‘Dysprosium’ for use in smart devices back on planet Earth.

Jamia Wilson believes schools could encourage more conversations about difference, inclusion and presentations where they talk through the issues facing society and working towards solutions. She encourages young people to define themselves through their own life rules and by doing so, to live their most powerful life.

Therefore one further resource you may like to further explore with your pupils is Growing Up Around the World; it aims to help UK children understand the realities of childhood in different contexts. Strikingly, many of the struggles and challennges the children encounter are universal, from the UK to South Africa to India.

Please let us know if you use any of these resources or indeed have suggestions for how LGfL could further support you in school by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

Maths Week England (11th to 16th November 2019)

Maths Week England will take place during the week of the 11th to 16th November 2019. According to the Maths Week England website, the 3rd April 2019 was its “official birth date”, and Twitter was the birthplace!

The week is being privately funded this year and the organisers envisage that it will start off quite small. They are hoping “with enough help and support to grow [the event] annually until every child has a chance to engage with the beauty and magic of mathematics“. {Please note that should you subscribe to the site – we believe you may get marketing emails from the sponsors!}

If you are planning on taking part in the week, LGfL have a range of resources that can support you, for use in assemblies, in class and also for engaging with parents.

Our ever popular Busy Things; has a host of maths quizzes, games and their latest addition, the Maths Resource Maker means you can make your own customised worksheets (including tens frames, counting and sequencing worksheets and even maths displays).

J2eToolsuite has a range of maths tools that can be used in class.  Why not get your students to use TtBlast Live? If you are a two or bigger form entry school perhaps the classes in Key Stage 2 could compete against each other? You could also see which pupil manages to win the most often and is the ultimate winner; perhaps all the class/year group winners could then go on to compete in a whole school assembly to see who the ultimate TtBlast Champion is.

You could also get your Year 2 and Year 6 children to practice in the SATsblast (mental arithmetic) and establish which maths topics they find most tricky. In J2Vote, they could conduct a school survey and then present the data in J2Data or you could use the J2Database to look at the examples (e.g the Titanic passenger list or a dinosaur database which have been made by users). 

For teachers Multe Maths has both starter and main activities for Years 3 to 6 that can be used on an interactive whiteboard as well as lesson plans and activities that can be used in the classroom and are supported by the Toolbox.  Or why not get the class rapping with Maths Raps from Beam? The pupils  could then go on to create their own number or maths raps using tunes from Audio Network (which is soon to be updated) as a backing track. 

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.

Maths in the Real World does exactly what its title suggests; it puts maths in to real world problems and contexts. The detailed differentiation and detailed lesson plans and resources  ensure there is something for all ability levels. Some of the real world topics covered in the resource include: Search and Rescue (with the HM Coastguard), Nutrition, Sporting Decisions and Round the World.

Other free resources that you could access in order to further promote maths in your schools:

MathsBots.com from Jonathan Hall@StudyMaths are tools for maths teachers including ‘GCSE Resources’ and ‘Manipulatives’ (pictorial images to support the Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract CPA approach to the teaching of maths).

Mathlearningcenter.org (note the American spelling!) based on the visual models featured in Bridges in Mathematics.

I See Maths by Gareth Metcalfe has a great range of free and subscription resources. If you want to look for the free resources click on the “Free Resources” tab; the Early Years drop-down has a large bank of visual games.

There is also the EdShed; within this is the Mathematics Shed curated and organised by Graham Andre . It 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.

Remember 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; included within the collection is “Maths Bootcamp” and the winners of the award for “The Use of J2e Toolsuite” explaining how they make the best use of this award winning tool.

Please let us know if you use any of our resources to support your Maths Week England or indeed have suggestions for how LGfL could further support you in school by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook. 

 

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.