Christmas Crackers 2019

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

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

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Many J2e tools have also had a Christmas makeover:

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

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

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

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

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

Here are my 5 top picks from the Christmas jukebox:

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

World Mental health day – 10th October 2019

World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health. This year, the theme is suicide prevention. Every year close to 800 000 people take their own life and there are many more people who attempt suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and entire countries and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. Suicide occurs throughout life and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally.

The day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. Our mental health is just like our physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.

Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The charity YoungMinds is calling on schools across the country to take part in #HelloYellow to show young people they’re not alone with their mental health. Schools that register for #HelloYellow will receive a free pack, including a mental health assembly plan as well as a range of activities. They have also recently partnered with the Beano to provide content for Under 12s, Meet Mandi, looks at getting your first phone and some top tips for children. Young Minds also has a section on suicidal feelings including helplines and signs to look out for.

The Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education statutory (from 2020) guidance from the DfE  incorporates aspects of mental health including positive emotional and mental wellbeing, learning when (and how) to get help and tackling stigma. Importantly, it outlines the link between physical and mental health, and how one can impact on the other. The PHSE association has updated its guidance and lesson plans around teaching mental health and wellbeing in line with the statutory guidance.

Mentally Healthy Schools have put produced a specially designed toolkit for Primary Schools to use on World Mental Health Day. This fantastic resource provides primary schools with a range of practical resources to help inform and boost wellbeing for pupils and staff. The toolkit includes: posters, classroom activities, lesson plans, an assembly plan, mindfulness exercises, tools and guidance as well as videos and animations.

Public Health England  and the NHS have also launched Every Mind Matters to help people take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others. The video below will be shown on TV over the next week to highlight #EveryMindMatters

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

 

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

The resource is split into the following sections:

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

If you are an LGfL school you can also access free training to support Mental Health in schools, these include Mental health first aid training and Mental health designated lead training, you can find further details and book the courses here. We also have our Inclusion and Wellbeing conference on the 1st November, the theme for the conference is Communication to support inclusion and wellbeing and will feature a series of keynotes and seminars – again this is free for LGfL schools to attend, you can find further details and book your place here.

BBC Teach will also be streaming a live lesson at 2 pm on the 10th October in partnership with TES, all about emotional wellbeing, on World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2019.

In the 30-minute live, interactive lesson, they will  be exploring:

  • recognising emotions;
  • developing resilience and a growth mindset; and
  • tips for self-care.

The lesson will be hosted by Young Minds ambassador and Radio 1 Life Hacks presenter, Katie Thistleton, who will be joined by our special guest, clinical psychologist Dr Hazel Harrison. This programme will be streamed live from 2pm on BBC Teach, and will be made available to view again on the website after the live broadcast so you can re-visit it with your class at any time. There is also a teacher guide and two activities available to go alongside the live lesson.

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

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

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

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

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

The Link Programme is a national initiative funded by the Department for Education, supported by NHS England and led by the Anna Freud Centre. It will reach every school and college in England over the next four years, identifying children and young people’s needs at an early stage and equipping professionals to support them so that more children and young people get the help and support they need, when they need it. The Link Programme will be coordinated at a local level by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). CCGs are responsible for commissioning health services to meet the needs of the local population. They are elected bodies and are run by GP practices. Their involvement means that schools and colleges can use their knowledge and experience to influence future service development to meet children and young people’s mental health needs.

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

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

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

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

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

Charlie Waller are inviting Year 5 children to write a story and enter their exciting competition, which will be judged by broadcaster Mary Nightingale, who is patron of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. The theme is kindness. They are looking for stories that show how we can be kind to each other. They can be about people or animals; set in the real world or imaginary lands; be funny, serious or whimsical; adventurous or gentle. To enter, children must be in year 5 now or have been in year 5 when the competition opened in July, and stories can be any length between 100 and 1,000 words. The writers of the winning entry will have their story published on the CWMT website, receive a printed copy and have their story illustrated by CWMT’s Annabelle Martin who has illustrated this page. The closing date for entries is Friday 15 November, you can download the information here.

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

Public Health England have also released Rise Above for Schools, helping schools teach PSHE curriculum topics to KS3 and KS4 pupils, with flexible lesson plans and ready-to-use PowerPoints co-created with teachers, and video content developed with 11 to 16-year-olds. Some topics and films may also be suitable for Year 6.

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

There are many benefits to using audiobooks to support mental health, such as distracting from negative thoughts, reducing stress and helping with sleep.  Students can make use of Listening books via LGfL to have precious quiet time but still benefit from the educational content on offer.  Some of the books on offer at the moment that may directly help include How 2 be Happy by Jenny Alexander and Notes on being Teenage by Rosalind Jana

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

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

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

Time to Change is a growing social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. They have  a selection of straightforward, tried-and-tested resources and free materials to get young people in your school talking.

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

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

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. 

 

Rugby World Cup 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lightbulb Languages have produced a range of resources in English, Spanish and French for the World Cup, these include the languages of the World Cup, activities, and displays.

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schools using EduKit Insight Plus can:

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

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

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

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

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

National Storytelling week 27th January – 3rd February 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

World Mental Health Day – 10th October

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

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

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


The resource is split into the following sections:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black History Month October 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Summer Projects

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

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

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

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


Create and open your own restaurant:

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

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

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

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

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


Make your own family newspaper:

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

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

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

Make your own action movie:

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

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

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

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

Go and Explore London

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

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

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

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

Join the j2blast Maths Summer Challenge

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

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

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

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

 

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

World Cup 2018

The 21st FIFA World Cup kicks off on the 14th June 2018 and runs until the final on the 15th July 2018.  This years competition takes place in Russia and England were the only team from the UK to qualify for the tournament this year! The World Cup provides a wide range of teaching activities to use across the curriculum, in this blog we have collated resources that can be used from LGfL as well as resources that are available free to use.

First up is ReadingZone Live – Football School

Authors Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton  discuss their groundbreaking series that teaches you about the world through the prism of football. At Football School every lesson is about football. Can you play football on Mars? What is a magic sponge? Subjects covered include history, geography, science and maths all through football. Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton, are journalists, broadcasters and award-winning science and sportswriters. Their knowledge, enthusiasm and engaging writing make them the perfect team to teach you how to score with your head. You can watch interviews with the authors as well as catching up with the video conference – the perfect way to kick off your World Cup work.

National Literacy Trust have teamed up with Walker Books to launch some free teaching resources to inspire KS2 children to get writing ahead of the World Cup. Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton, the authors behind the best-selling Football School series, have set pupils an exciting challenge to write a lesson for their favourite subject… but with a World Cup twist!

Pupils are tasked with uncovering the most entertaining facts and funniest stories about football in relation to their favourite subject. Can you play football on Mars? What were Henry VIII’s football boots like? When do footballers go to the toilet?

In true Football School style, pupils are also encouraged to include illustrations, jokes and diagrams in their lessons – which should culminate in a quiz designed to outsmart their classmates.

To help get pupils started, National Literacy Trust have created the following resources:

  • World Cup Football School teaching resource, packed with top writing tips and lesson ideas for every subject
  • Handouts for pupils, including a checklist for creating their lesson and a coach stats card template
  • A colourful poster to display in your classroom
  • Football School bookmarks
  • A certificate to celebrate when your pupils complete their writing challenges

You can also order some free World Cup football school bookmarks and posters by filling out this short form.

The author Tom Palmer is also writing a live thriller adventure set at the men’s football World Cup finals in Russia. A new ten-minute read chapter will be published each weekday morning and will be available free for schools and families to read.  It is aimed at Year 4 – Year 8 and feature dramatic cliffhangers and there will be the chance to vote and change the storyline.  As well as this live book, there are also a range of other resources linked to the World Cup that are available to download, you can find out more here.

If you attended our annual conference this year, you will have received a copy of Striker Boy.

Striker Boy is a fast paced thriller that sees 13-year-old Nat Dixon desperately trying to save his beloved club from relegation. It’s packed with action both on and off the pitch. This special not-for-profit edition is being published in memory of it’s author Jonny Zucker. In November 2016 Jonny took his own life, he was a loving husband and father and creator of the Serial Mash library for 2Simple. Jonny believed passionately in the power of creativity, imagination, and ideas. He dedicated his life to inspiring children to read, working for many years as a primary school teacher before becoming a successful children’s author. Jonny’s favourite of his own stories is a book called ‘Striker Boy’first published in 2010. The book is also raising money for Mind. Please note the book’s content is not related to mental health.I

2simple have produced a range of free teacher resources to accompany the book, including an emotional resilience pack.

They are also running a free to enter national writing competition,open to KS2/3 children of all ability levels.  This is a great activity to use during World Cup month and there are some fantastic prizes, including a World Cup Shirt, a hamper full of official football merchandise and a £100 school book token for the winning entry, the closing date is 8th July. You can find our more and how to enter hereThat’s not all, as there’s also a free emotional resilience assembly and Literacy activities, as well as being able to listen to the first chapter online

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

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

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

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

England have decided not to have an official World Cup song this year – so this provides a great opportunity for children to create one for them! You can watch songs from previous tournaments – including my own favourite below, then using Audio Network for the backing track and j2e tools to write the lyrics you can create your own song to make the three lions roar!

J2e Tools can be used in a variety of ways including: Designing a kit for your favourite time, you can use this infographic from the Guardian for inspiration, which charts all the different kits for all the teams at the tournaments; or why not use the data bases tool to do some real time maths statistics – looking at points scored, goals scored, number of red cards etc.  The BBC website is a great source for this and there is a free lesson plan from Teachwire looking at using statistics to make predictions.

There are also two fantastic databases that have been created one looking at every team in the World Cup, and another that looks at every player in the World Cup – fantastic to use for data handling activities related to the World Cup and thanks to Paul Wright for sharing these!w

Or how about writing a guide to Russia and the cities that are hosting the matches, you can find a lot of information here, on the official welcome page for fans but what information isn’t included that the children would find useful – they could write an alternative guide! The children could use j2vote at the start of the competition to vote for who they think will be picking up the Jules Rimet trophy on the 15th July!

Teachwire also have a PDF resource features a country factfile of all 32 national football teams competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this June and July. Each country file includes the nation’s flag, its name in its native language(s), geography facts such as continent, area, population, capital city, most populous cities, major language(s), most common surnames and currency. And they also include three key players to look out for at the World Cup, and each country’s best performance in the tournament’s history. You can sign up to download the resource here.

BusyThings also have a range of resources that can be used including: writing a match report, writing about a player from their favourite team and designing a football kit.

Lightbulb languages have created a superb range of free resources for the Word cup, including mini book guides for each group, flags, logic activities and a range of language activities they can all be downloaded here.

Originally produced for the World Cup in 2014 in Brazil, Oxfam have a range of resources entitled: The World Cup – a fair game? These resources would be great within a PHSE lesson and although focussed on Brazil as the host country they can easily be adapted for use this month.

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

 

 

5 Ways with Early Years

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

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

5 Ways to support EYFS The resource shows you 5 resources that you can use straight away in your classroom, we would love to know what you think about them and how you have used them in your setting.

Busy Things: A wide range of fun and creative games and activities to engage children. With the ability to change from pupil mode to teacher mode you are able to search via curriculum content and strands, being in teacher mode also gives you access to a powerful tool Phonic resources with this you can make your own paper-based phonics activities. Simply choose the Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence you want to use, select from the pictures and words generated, choose your favoured layout and press print!

Audio Network: A wide selection of music professionally recorded music, use the online search to find themed music then download to your computer, pre-cleared and ready for use in your classroom, this resource is great to use before reading a story, set the mood by finding a key image and adding mood music and ask your children what kind of book they think they are going to hear?

Easy Login: An easy simpler way for young children to log into LGfL, ask your Nominated Contact to make a support case asking for easy log in.  The school must be exporting the relevant data sets using the USO Auto Update exporter. Your Head teacher will also need to sign the online declaration.

JIT: Digital tools to help introduce basic computing skills such as word processing, animation, graphing, coding and digital publishing. The online infant toolkit allows the following features – all linked via the LGfL USO log in:

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

 

Widgit: These are simply drawn symbols designed to illustrate a simple concept in a clear and concise way. The symbols cover a range of topics including many curricular areas. Also, has over 1000 premade worksheets.

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

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

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

Wonderful Winter Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics begin this Friday in Pyeongchang South Korea, although the first week of the Olympics takes place in half term, it continues until the 25th February, we have highlighted some resources to use in school to introduce children to these sports and activities based around the games.  Newsround have a great short video to introduce the Winter Olympics to children.

Another great video from the BBC highlights past moments of the Winter Olympics using Lego figures you can watch it here. This is a great way of introducing sports to the children as well as getting them to create their own animation perhaps using the animation tool in JIT or you can use this outline lego figure to get the children to create their own outfit for the GB team, or use the paint package also contained in JIT. Another art and design idea could be to use images from the amazing Skeleton Bob helmets worn at the 2014 games to get the children to design their own ones.

 

 

By the time the children return after half term there will be a range of data that the children could look at, they can use the data tools contained in J2e Tool suite, they could do a medal count tally, vote for their favourite sport or graph timings in a particular sport.  They could also do a presentation comparing Ancient and Modern Olympics or research the athletes competing. The Team GB website has a fact filled website with profiles of sports and competitors. You can also get them to write a report on a particular sport, using the tools in j2office, or j2write, or why not get them to record a ‘live’ commentary and then upload their videos into Video Central HD or film a short segment on what they have enjoyed watching or a recap of the games so far using music from Audio Network to add to their film.

Virtual Reality is not just for the classroom it is also being used by US athletes competing at the Winter Olympics this year in skiing, you can read more about this in a report by the BBC and watch a video of the Virtual Reality run here. Great to use as a discussion with children as to why the athletes benefit from Virtual Reality and why it is being used and what other sports may benefit from using this technology.

The Mascot for the Winter Olympics this year is Soohorang, which took its motif from the white tiger. The white tiger has been long considered Korea’s guardian animal. You can find out more about the mascot here, why not ask the children what they would have chosen as the mascot and why.

 

The Olympic Museum has produced the “Experiencing discovering the Olympic Games: Special PyeongChang 2018” kit which includes:

  • Essential information about the 23rd Olympic Winter Games;
  • An introduction to Korean culture as it affects the Games;
  • Classroom activities for pupils aged 6 to 11 and 12 to 15.

The purpose of this kit is to show how the Olympic values and the culture of the host country have been incorporated into the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The themes are designed to link with educational curricula in a variety of ways. The Get Set network has produced a range of resources including a quick fire quiz and an assembly and activities on team work, you will need to sign up to Get Set to access these resources.  Teaching Ideas also have some more great ideas to use across the curriculum.

If you use any of the ideas we would love to see the work, please let us know via our  twitter or Facebook pages.

National Storytelling Week – 27th January – 3rd February 2018

2018 marks the 18th Year of National Storytelling week and is celebrated by all ages enjoying- Folk tales, fairy lore, figments, phantoms, dragons, serpents, storms at sea. The week is held by The Society For Storytelling, their mission is to promote the oral tradition of storytelling which was the very first way of communicating life experiences and the creative imagination.

Storytelling has been shown by studies to aid learning in children for history, increase interest in science and have a positive effect on memory. When the students do the storytelling, it can encourage higher-level thinking skills, such as analysis and synthesis, as well as skills in oral composition.

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

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

Why not re tell the Story of Sigurd and the Dragon, a classic Norse tale of how Sigurd killed the greedy dragon Fafnir, using both AR and VR the children can be transported back 1,000 years to listen to this tale and then make use of the green screen pack that is included can re tell this ancient tale.

Children can use Audio Network to search for music that will form the back drop to their own stories, the network features over 50,000 individual audio files, or as a backdrop to stories that they are re telling and then their stories and audio can be uploaded into Video Central. Video Central HD offers an easy-to-use web-based solution which allows teachers in London to share video and audio files with students, colleagues and partner schools.Video and audio files are uploaded using a secure web interface then encoded automatically for fast, efficient web streaming.

Children can also get advice on how to create their stories by well known authors in ReadingZone Live, children can get tips on writing from Anthony Horowitz, Oliver Jeffers and Cressida Cowell to name a few.  They can also listen to stories via Listening books and also Talking stories.  For inspiration in the Early years, why not use Fairy Tales and ask the children to re tell their favourite tale.

The Society for Storytelling also has a range of resources to support schools during this week and there are a range of lesson plans from Mensa for Kids on The Art of Storytelling.

500 Words from the BBC is another great resource to use to help children tell their story, the site has a range of resources and ideas as well as being able to listen to previous winning entries that children can use to inspire their own story writing.

The Wicked Young Writer Awards are also open until 18th March – Now in its 8th year, the Wicked Young Writer Awards is a chance for young people aged between 5 and 25, to write about absolutely anything! It’s their  chance to get creative and write on any theme that interests them. You can find out more about the awards here

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

LGfL Christmas Crackers

‘It’s’ nearly here and we know as teachers how hard it is to get through the final weeks of the Autumn term, be it grotto duty at the Christmas Fair, sorting out who gets the toy from the cracker at Christmas lunch or going to yet another Christmas production practice!

Which is why we are offering you a range of stocking fillers to help you fill those moments!

Busy things offer a range of digital content that you can use to get that much-needed magical moment of peace within in your class. From designing your own digital Christmas card, decorating your own tree (perfect for fine motor control in the EYFS) or exploring symmetry making your own snowflakes and it’s never too late to write a letter to Santa!

Just 2 Easy have a winter wonderland tab which you can use to access a bumper packed bag of festive treats, why not try playing a game of digital noughts and crosses festively named ‘Shepard’s and wise men”, play a word matching game or create your own digital nativity scene, Many J2e tools also have has a Christmas makeover:

J2data: Branch has a Christmas set of resources to sort – elves, reindeer, gingerbread men etc. – plus a Christmas background. And the clothes category are winter clothes.

J2Pictogram: has a set of Christmas images to add

JIT: Write and Paint have a Christmas background and Paint has Christmas images.

J2code: Visual has a reindeer instead of the usual penguin sprite

J2e also offers analogue activities such as making yummy festive biscuits, remember to go back every day to open the advent calendar to see the latest activity.

Your students don’t need to be visited by the Ghost of Christmas past to see what has happened at Christmas in the past, just let them search The Guardian and The Observer archives, the archives go all the way back to 1791 and offer a window into celebrations from years gone by, great for your students to research and compare modern traditions with those in the past.

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

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

Remember we also have this Blog post about using Christmas media within school It’s that time of the year ! Using Christmas media with LGfL content.

However, you fill the last weeks of the school year we at London Grid for Learning want to give you a massive round of applause and thanks for all of your hard work this year and hope you have a restful break and are ready for an exciting 2018! Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

Spotlight on The Tudors

The Tudors in London resource offers a range of resources to support teachers in delivering this part of the History curriculum. It 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 videos clips and over 60 high-resolution images from the Museum of London Archaeological Archive, Royal Collection Trust and key Tudor locations in London. The resource also features a curriculum mapping tool and a whole range of lesson plans to support the teaching of this subject at Key Stage 2. 

The video below gives an introduction to the resource:

High quality video resources include:

  • Re-enactment of the eve of the marriage of Kathryn Parr to Henry VIII
  • The major Tudor remains including Hampton Court Palace, the Rose Theatre, Charterhouse and on the streets of the City of London
  • Replicas and real artefacts uncovered from archaeological discoveries in London

High resolution images

  • High resolution photographs courtesy of Museum of London Picture Library and Museum ofLondon Archaeology
  • Reconstructions of what Tudor London might have looked like, maps and images of artefacts courtesy of Museum of London Picture Library and the Royal Collection Trust.

The resources are structured into the following sections

  • The Geography of Tudor London
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Trade and Industry
  • Clothing
  • Entertainment
  • Eating and Drinking
  • Home Life and Houses
  • Religion
  • Royalty and Palaces
  • Crime and Punishment

Interactive Map of Tudor London

The resource also features an interactive map of Tudor London with Google Maps integration and Streetview showing the major Tudor find sites and locations or relevance.

Alongside using this resource, teachers can also make use of the fantastic Audio Network which features a range of tracks that can be used to support your teaching of The Tudors including GreenSleeves and Cloth of Gold. The tracks can be used as a background to presentations, or to listen to and compare with music today and they could also be used within dance lessons.

When teaching The Tudors, a lot of teachers also choose to study Shakespeare alongside this topic.  LGfL have a range of resources to support with this.

Early Shakespeare features Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  The two plays are broken down into one bite-sized sentence per scene, using the first 100 high-frequency words. This allows learners to easily follow, understand and remember the stories, and helps ensure access to the curriculum for all. Pupils can watch at their own pace, and opt to turn on or off the accompanying text and symbols, animated characters bring each scene to life, with differentiated activities to help include all learners.

The BBC has granted access to its collection of TV and radio programmes (over 500 from the past50 years), as well as over 1,000 high-quality photographs of some of the world’s leading Shakespearean actors and actresses in some of the most iconic performances.

The collection is only accessible in school due to licensing restrictions, but the full listings can be browsed from any location (videos and audio will not open outside school).

The archive is now live at BBCshakespeare.lgfl.net

Cambridge School Shakespeare features production photographs from a wide range of stage and film versions, designed to support students’ exploration of interpretation,staging and performance. Fully differentiated for use with students aged from 11 to 19, each play includes over 100 pages ofeditable, printable support material including lesson ideas, worksheets and production reviews.

The Museum of London are running a Tudor London Study day for KS3 students in the spring term next year. The session will cover the following:

It’s 1529 in Tudor London and Henry VIII’s break from the church and divorce from Catherine of Aragon is imminent. Explore our Medieval London gallery and handle real objects to investigate what London life was like at this critical time.

You’ll meet imposing Tudor monarch, Henry VIII, in this performance. Participate as a member of his court – and dare to advise him on the complex issues surrounding his break from the church…

You can find out more about the session and to book here.

If you have used The Tudors in your classroom we would love to hear from you, let us know using the hashtag #spotlight #Tudors on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook