National Non Fiction November 2019


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

The theme they have chosen for National Non-Fiction November (NNFN) for 2019 is ‘Transport and Travel Around the World’. A lot of young people are fascinated by different modes of transport – and most experience travel for one reason or another – ranging from a visit to the shops, their journey to school, a day out in the countryside, or a long haul flight to visit oversea relatives or a holiday destination. They hope that this year’s theme will provide children with the opportunity to find out more about travelling both locally and around the world.

They have published a book list grouped into the following three themes: Travel, Transportation and Space, you can download it here. They are also running a competition this year in partnership with Lonely Planet Kids, and have taken inspiration from the work of internationally renowned artist and illustrator James Gulliver Hancock, creator of How Airports Work and How Trains Work.

The competition is for children to design a vehicle of tomorrow – showing how and where it moves, including brief labels about the design coupled with the name of the vehicle of the future. Entires will be judged in 3 groups: KS1, KS2 and KS3 and they have some fantastic prizes for both the winning school and child, you can find more information and how to enter here. The closing date is the 6th December so there is plenty of time to come up with a winning design either in class or as part of an after school club activity.

They also have a whole page on their website with ideas for activities, lesson plans, bunting and posters to download.

LGfL have a range of resources that can support Non-Fiction November and this years theme of Travel and Transport.

Thames in London – There are many reasons why towns and cities spring up around rivers, and it is these reasons that make them exciting to study. The River Thames in London resource helps pupils to understand more about this iconic river and how it has influenced and continues to influence life in and far beyond London. The resource has lesson plans and stand alone assets for Key Stages 1-3, with high-quality materials provided by the Royal Collection Trust, Museum of London and The British Library.

The Royal Mews – This is a unique resource about the daily work of the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace featuring video explanations of centuries-old techniques and historic documents. Working in partnership with The Royal Collection LGfL were granted exclusive access to film staff members as they went about their daily work.  The resource features extensive video resources showing the techniques and rationale as to why centuries old traditions continue to support the Royal Household and the significance they have for wider society. The videos and images are also supported by a range of teacher resources and links to the theme of transport and travel by looking at The Royal Stables, Saddlers and Cars.R

During non fiction November you could also make use of the j2e tool suite within school in the following ways:

    • could use JIT and j2e5 to create books about transport through the ages, they could produce an animation involving different modes of transport, or write instructions for a trip or a journey
    • they could use the paint features to design their mode of transport for the future
    • They could use j2vote to vote for either their favourite method of transport or which country around the world they would like to visit.
    • Using the graphing tools they could also tally up how they travel to school or what forms of transport would be the most popular.
    • Coding – make use of JIT and j2code to write instructions and code for spaceships/rockets and cars in fact the only limit is their imagination – there are also examples available like the rocket game below that children can use as a starting point.

Busythings have a range of resources that could be used during the month including graphs to record travel, travel in French and Spanish and customisable cars for early years. You could also make use of the extensive maps within Geography to recap countries around the world and use Busy Paint and Publisher to produce transport of the future as well as writing about their favourite destination to visit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maths in the real World has a range of activities that could be used to complement work for Non Fiction November, there is Search and Rescue all based around HM Coastguard including a cross-curricular topic for KS2, Space Adventures for cross curricular travel and why not plan a trip around the world, all the resources are supported by teacher guidance as well as activities for children from KS2-KS5

Big day out  has a range of London based activities which incorporate English, Maths, Geography, Science and History, each activity is designed primarily for KS1 pupils and presents a scientific, mathematical or geographical challenge for investigation or exploration.

Thinking skills for life is a set of inclusive multimedia resources to support young people including those with SEND, access important areas within Life Skills, including a section on Travel and Leisure – perfect to link in with the theme of Non Fiction November. The topics are addressed using videos, sound files, discussion questions, role play suggestions, differentiated worksheets and additional activities. There are 3 categories of worksheets for each activity which require different levels of literacy, thinking and comprehension skills.  This includes worksheets which use Widgit symbols to support understanding for many young people with SEND, EAL and lower literacy levels. Teacher notes, answer files and curriculum mapping documents are provided for staff to provide comprehensive support.

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

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

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

The 2019 Big Draw Festival with LGfL Energise Resources

October is nearly upon us which means it is time again for The Big Draw Festival, this international festival is for anyone who loves to draw, as well as those who think they can’t! It’s an opportunity to join a global community in celebration of the universal language of visual literacy. Uniting people, pencils and pixels across the globe for the 19th colourful year.

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

Every year, during The Big Draw Festival, thousands of drawing activities connect people of all ages – artists, scientists, designers, illustrators, inventors with schools, galleries, museums, libraries, heritage sites, village halls, refugee organisations and outdoor spaces. Over 400,000 people take place in this annual festival that is hosted in 26 countries around the world.

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

LGfL have a range of resources that can help support art in the classroom, from digital tools to helpful tutorials we have you covered!

Culture Street is a one-stop destination to introduce young people to contemporary artists, writers, curators and performers and their amazing work. The resource is jam-packed with interactive activities to inspire. There’s everything from making a clay coil pot to understanding what the Turner prize is all about.

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

Speech bubbles and text can now be added to the digital canvas, vastly improving the learning possibilities, enabling storyboards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. Also the new stamp feature takes the creativity on to new levels, you now have the ability to create your own digital stamps which can be saved in a ‘My Stamps’ area and be used across the JIT platform.

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

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

Busy Things offers a range of activities to suit any age, it encourages young children to create art and music through experimentation. Choose from a large array of unusual tools and allow a picture or sound composition to evolve in front of you. No experience is necessary – just click or touch and watch or hear what happens! There are also ready-made templates and clipart to help you design a monster, superhero, a fashion item and much else!  Older children can use Busy Paint to create artwork on a chosen topic. Busy Paint is an easy-to-use art tool offering drawing tools, brushes, shapes, stamps, clipart, symmetry options and more. Just search for The Big Draw in the special events calendar to get you started.

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

For images to explore and to inspire  LGfL Image Bank and LGfL Gallery are an ever-growing collections Image Bank has, with unique access to collections from The Royal Collection and The British Library, It’s purpose is to provide a free repository of high-quality materials copyright cleared for use in teaching and learning.

All of the resources in the Image Bank are archived at the highest quality available so they can be used on whiteboards, printed materials, animations and for any other educational application. All of the resources are copyright cleared so they can be downloaded, edited and re-purposed for educational use, both within the classroom and at home.

LGfL Gallery is a growing collection, at present containing over 60,000 images. All the resources are copyright cleared so they can be downloaded, edited and purposed for educational use, both within the classroom and at home and offer a range of images to start your drawing journey off.

If you need to brush up on your art skills or terminology then you can with Art Skills for Teachers In Partnership with the Ben Uri Gallery. This resource offers simple explanations of a range of art techniques in action. The resource is full of unusual and easily accessible techniques to make art a truly inclusive activity for all members of your school community.

We also offer 2 other art units:

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

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

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

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

Each store will host:

Art Lab for Kids: Draw Your Own Emoji.

Art Walk: Discovering Colour.

Art Walk: Drawing from Observation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Poetry Day – October 3rd 2019

National Poetry day is on the 3rd October and the theme this year is Truth, 2019 is the 25th anniversary of National Poetry day so expect the celebrations to last all year long not just on the 3rd October.

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

  • There are a range of poems around the theme of truth that can be used by pupils on the day
  • Lesson plans for KS 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 from the National Poetry day website to get you started, including a toolkit full of ideas and inspirations.
  • Posters for display

The #MyNPDPoem poetry writing challenge is now open, after being launched by Forward Arts Foundation at the CLiPPA ceremony.

In association with CLPE and with the support of ALCS, #MyNPDPoem encourages schools everywhere to create poems, performances, displays and even special poetry books as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations for National Poetry Day. To take part, children aged 6 to 13 are invited to write a poem on the NPD theme Truth. They can write individually or with friends and topics could include; the truth about their family, or their school; nature might provide inspiration, provoking a poem about the truths the natural world reveals; perhaps young poets will want to share hidden truths about the way they feel about the world. Or maybe they’ll want to explore the opposite of truth – lies!

CLPE have created a resource to help spark ideas which you can download here. There are also other competitions that students of all ages can take part in you can view all the competitions here. You can also download a certificate of participation to hand out to all students who write and perform a poem

Poets Karl Nova, Michael Rosen, Rachel Rooney, Victoria Adukwei Bulley and Joseph Coelho have produced inspirational films, full of advice and ideas.

Once children have written poems, share the best on National Poetry Day by tagging pictures on Instagram or Twitter (@PoetryDayUK) with #MyNPDPoem. Why not hold your own poetry show on National Poetry Day by inviting everyone to perform their poems aloud. Present each young poet with an NPD certificate which can be downloaded here. Schools are also invited to publish the poems as books for pupils to take home to their friends and families, using Scholastic’s We Are Writers scheme. The books can be sold to raise money for the school or other charities.

Everyone who writes an original work automatically owns the copyright, regardless of their age, and #MyNPDPoem is supported by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). Find free resources and information explaining copyright to young people on the ALCS website.

The National Literacy Trust have teamed up with National Poetry Day to create two classroom resources for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. The National Poetry Day lesson plan resources provide a set of activities about fake news versus truth. Students are given an example poem and asked to create their own in a similar style, then perform it.

Each lesson plan includes:

  • A starter to get pupils involved and discussing the topic of fake news
  • A poetry relay activity
  • A writing activity where pupils create their own poem

The activities are clearly linked to the national curriculum for Key Stage 2 and 3. They support learning and developing confidence in writing, storytelling, working together and performance.

They have also worked with professional poet Simon Mole to create a Key Stage 2 lesson plan all about truth, with an accompanying video below, so that you can have a poet in your classroom this National Poetry Day!

The lesson plan includes:

  • A warm up game to introduce the theme of truth
  • A writing activity which asks pupils to write a narrative poem based on a true story
  • Further suggestions for poetry activities and games

They also have lots more brilliant poetry resources from Simon Mole – and they’re all completely free! They also have a book list of brilliant poetry books for children aged 0 to 11 – that you can share with parents so that they can join in with the celebrations.

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

Our latest Reading Zone Live was with the wonderful Michaela Morgan she is a National Poetry Day Ambassador  and writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry and regularly visits schools to perform and to run story writing or poetry workshops. Her book – Reaching the Stars written in collaboration with the poets Jan Dean and Liz Brownlee, is a collection of poems about extraordinary women some famous, some anonymous, some individual, some representative, some historic, some mythic.

In the videos below you can see a celebration of Poetry and how to get started with writing poems – great to share on National Poetry Day during an assembly or in lessons. The first two are short trailers and the third video explores what is a poet, how do you start to write a poem and does it need to rhyme? Just some of the questions answered by Michaela Morgan during this event celebrating all things poetry, and National Poetry Day, with pupils from Cheam Common Junior Academy. Head to Reading Zone live to see all the videos from the event.

Poetry Workshop with Cath Howe,  is also part of our popular ReadingZone Live resource featuring over 40 authors. Poetry Workshop offers strategies for developing creative poetry activities with primary children, suggestions for learning poems by heart and then performing them.

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

There are a range of poets within Reading Zone Live that can be used as a starting point for teachers to use when looking at writing poetry and the themes within them. Zaro Weil one of the poets featured in Reading zone Live explains how she begins writing a poem:

 

Reading Zone Live also features the poet Roger Stevens who founded and runs the award-winning Poetry Zone website, which encourages children to write and publish their poetry and offers guidance and ideas for teachers on how to make the teaching of poetry fun and rewarding.

J2e Tool suite can be used for children to use any of the j2write tools to write their own poem on the theme of truth and why not use j2 vote to get the children to vote for their favourite poem. Busythings also have a template for children to use to write their favourite poems – you can find this within the special events on the home page.

Listening Books have a collection of favourite classic poets that children can listen to as inspire them on the day, reminder that Listening books is a charity and provided for LGfL subscribers, these books must only be used with students who have an illness, physical or learning disability or mental health condition which impacts on their ability to read or hold a book, and are offered for non-commercial use only.

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

Places of Poetry  is open to all readers and writers. It aims to use creative writing to prompt reflection on national and cultural identities in England and Wales, celebrating the diversity, heritage and personalities of place. The site is open for writers to pin their poems to places up until the 4 October 2019. It will then be closed for new poems but will remain available for readers. They welcome writers of all ages and backgrounds and want to gather as many perspectives on the places and histories of England and Wales. They have a range of toolkits for both Primary and Secondary schools on how to run poetry sessions within schools.

 

 Or why not use the resources from the BBC Live Lessons last year led by award-winning performance poet, author and National Poetry Day ambassador Joseph Coelho, poet and author Tony Walsh, and CBBC’s Katie Thistleton, this lesson features poetry reading and performance and critical analysis of similes and metaphors.

This is just one of many BBC Teach resources for both Primary and Secondary that can be used to bring poetry to life within the classroom, you can find the collection here.

We would love to see the work you do around National Poetry day via our Twitter or Facebook pages, using the #nationalpoetryday hashtag.

European day of Languages 26th September 2019

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

It is celebrated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rugby World Cup 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

 

 

International Literacy Day 8th September 2019

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

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

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

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

j2e Tool suite offers a range of resources including:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To listen to a book follow the steps below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maths in the Real World

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

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

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

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

Stock Market Challenge:

Space Adventures Live:

LGfL Maths Bootcamp:

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

Busy Things

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

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

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

       

J2Toolsuite – J2Blast

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

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

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

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

Alternatively, the pupils can take a 30 minute test:

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

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

 

 

 

Healthy Eating Week – June 10th-14th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cookit

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

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

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

Busythings

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

Switched on Science and Virtual Experiments

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

Team Marathon

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

Each training session follows the same format:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Child Safety Week – 3rd to 9th June 2019

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

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

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

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

 An example of one of the resources included:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Search and Rescue with HM Coastguard

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

Growing Up Around the World

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

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

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

 

 

 

National Numeracy day 15th May 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victory in Europe Day – Wednesday 8th May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shakespeare Week

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

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

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

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

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

Early Shakespeare

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

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

BBC Shakespeare Archive

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

Summary of the archive content

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

Cambridge School Shakespeare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fair Trade Fortnight 25th February-10th March 2019

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number Day 1st February 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Splash Dash

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

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

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

The real-world topics covered in the resource are:

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

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

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

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

 

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

Hidden Gems…

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

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

1-2-3, We Have Blast Off!

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

 

Encourage Your Pupils to Become Spelling Bees:

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

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

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

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

Tt blastRapidly Recall Times Tables Facts:

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

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

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

Prepare Year 2 & 6 Pupils by Using SATs Blast:

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

SATs blast KS1 and KS2 provides:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s that time of the year ! Using Christmas media with LGfL content 2018

It’s that time of the year when like or not we are all exposed to Christmas media campaigns, be it advertising for a toy, a movie or supermarket. Over the past months you would have been exposed to a deluge of media campaigns, but the one advert which continues to stick in my mind is one that hasn’t been on TV, a billboard, or on a bus but has instead been banned, it’s this year’s Iceland advert. So, how can an advert for a supermarket be linked to LGfL curriculum content? Read on:

The advert, which highlights the impact of palm oil on rainforests and the affect it has on orang-utans, was banned but has gone viral. The advert, which was released on social media 2 weeks ago, now has had five million views on Iceland’s YouTube channel, 16 million views on its Facebook page and more than 92,000 retweets from its Twitter handle and has inspired many people to learn more about the anti-palm oil movement.

Lee Parkinson(@ICT_MrP ) in his keynote speech at our LGfL conference 2018, shared how powerful it was to explore the idea of using media to foster engagement and create and inspire students to start campaigning and how it can be used to increase the scale of aspiration, audience and outcomes for all learners.

In the edited clip of his keynote above, (watch here for the full-length video) Mr P speaks of the 3 key points to encourage writing

  • Use an exciting stimulus
  • Don’t leave writing useless on a page
  • Let them write for the world

Mr P also mentions Ron Berger’s Hierarchy of Audience, the idea that introducing an authentic audience changes the perception of the work for the student and this affects the amount of effort they put into the final outcome.

LGfL have a range of resources to support you in creating digital content as well giving you the tools to share your students work with the world!

Growing up around the world aims to help children in the UK understand the realities of childhood in the different contexts and follows the lives of 11 children in 10 different countries for more than 20 years in the wake of the Rio Earth Summit. The films in this resource provide a unique insight into growing up around the world; the challenges, hopes and dreams of these children. They also show how the world around them has changed and the impact that this has had, it also has a fantastic page which offers tips on how children can take action and some suggestions to get children started, here are just a few examples:

  • Write a blog
  • Organise an event
  • Write to decision makers and influential people
  • Organise a debate – invite people (parents, community, etc.) to be an audience. Choose an issue you are passionate about and research it. Prepare arguments for and against. Keep in mind that the issue you are debating could be controversial or personal for some people so be sensitive to other people’s opinions and feelings.
  • Make a film
  • Design posters
  • Make a calendar – highlighting issues each month raises awareness and you could also sell your calendar to raise funds
  • Hand out leaflets
  • Make a comic book
  • Create a magazine or newspaper on the issue

Why not start by resourcing Palm oil by using this website created by Iceland here, using the powerful resource j2e5 you can share a j2e5 file with the Iceland site already embedded, so that children access the key facts and then re-write them and use the j2e inbuilt safe search feature to find images to show/share the facts.

From researching and showcasing their knowledge, your students could use Busy Things which has a simple but powerful range of publishing templates within Busy Publisher to make their own newspapers headlines or leaflets to hand out to raise awareness of the topic.

Also within Busy Publisher why not get your students to use the postcard template, you could get your students to design, make and send postcards to local shops which might stock palm oil telling them all about the dangers of palm oil within the environment.

Your students could also make posters, with either j2e5 or jit5 paint, with the latest updates within jit5  you can create amazing posters with text and textures all within the paint app.

You can also get your students to create their own animations using the jit5 animate app, using their own drawing or using clipart from safe search, remember you use the microphone to add audio to your animations, and now with the option of being able to export the file as a gif it is easier than ever to share the animations.

You could also use the jit5 tools to make your own comic-book using the mix app, or to how about making a “no palm-oil cook book” highlighting how you can use countless other ingredients instead of Palm-oil within cooking.

 

Once you created all of your work within j2e Toolsuite your students can publish their work using j2webby, within this platform you can view & manage the blog site including previewing, publishing, and approving posts and comments. It’s best to start using the j2e software tools first and wait until children have saved several pieces of work. They can then choose the piece of work they consider their best to blog to the school blog site. All work within j2e Toolsuite can be posted with a simple click of a button to j2webby, with this simple click your students can have the whole world as an audience!

If you want more support with Blogging and understanding how it can improve writing, we have Blog Central explaining the techniques of blogging and the rationale behind blogging for literacy, again it talks about the audience being key, for a quick introduction here is David Mitchell, the founder of Quadblogging, explaining the importance of blogging and the impact it can have on literacy in schools (the video mentions levels but you can see the idea of the improvements it gives)

Why not video your students campaigning, you can store and share the videos safely within Video Central HD, because VCHD automatically generates HTML code, you can embed the video into your schools website and share your campaign within your school community.

Writing for a purpose provides the students with an audience and therefore a REAL purpose to write. Knowing their work would be shared outside of a book or class, that their work will be read and seen by different people adds a real incentive to create a high standard of work, so go start your campaign it doesn’t have to be about palm oil but it’s a great one to start, perhaps it be about Christmas food waste? Or plastic use, just ask your children how they want to change the world!

I couldn’t end this blog post without mentioning at least one other of the ‘other’ Christmas adverts, did you know that researchers have already said that there will be a record number of pianos and musical instruments being bought this year (I I wonder why?) why not share with you students the Gigajam resource when they get back in the new year? Within this resource students can learn to play keyboard, guitar, bass or drums  with award winning video play along tracks and automated feedback.

Are you using Christmas media with LGfL content in your school to inspire your students? If so let us know by posting them on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook

National Non-Fiction November

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Five ways to support History

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

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

5 Ways to support history

Mixed Reality

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

Topics covered include the following:

The Romans in London

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

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

The Cold War,

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

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

Ancient Egypt,

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

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

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

Maya,

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

Trench experience,

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

WW1

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

Vikings 

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

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

 Prehistoric Britain.

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

The Tudors in London

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

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

Widgit

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

BusyThings

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

Viking adventures at the British Museum

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

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

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

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

 

Code Week EU 2018

“Everybody in the world should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think”— Steve Jobs

Next week is the start of Code Week EU If you are interested in bringing coding to your classroom but you don’t know where to start do not worry as we have plenty of LGfL content that can energise the teaching of computing in your school.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

J2data enables schools to meet the data handling requirements of the national Computing curriculum for KS1, KS2 and KS3. Starting with the youngest learners using pictogram, then progressing through chart, branch and database, there is a tool appropriate for every age from 4 years up.All the coding and data handling files can be sent to the Blogging platform built into the Tool suite System. This unique element significantly enhances the scope for broadening the audience and enables students to peer review each other’s code.

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

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

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

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

Computing Inspector and advisor for Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service Phil Bagge talks about using coding schemes of work:

 “I often start with examining the module and asking what computational thinking and problem-solving attitudes it is building I then explore ways that they might adapt that planning, chopping the instructions up, asking the students to predict what parts will do before they use them”

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

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

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

There are two units, which are designed  to teach computing concepts in line with the Computing Curriculum, Unit 1 is aimed at Year 4/5 with unit 2 being aimed at more experienced pupils who will have a good exciting coding skills, there are six lessons in each unit.

Each lesson contains:

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

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

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

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

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

The resource features:

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

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

Here are two quick examples of how I modified the lesson plans within the unit “A Brave new world” for a year 5 group with little or no experience of computing.

First let’s look at the lesson about building a computer, My students  used an animation app called Chatterpix Kids (but you could use Morfo or our very own j2e5) to create simple animations of parts of a computer in which the animation tells you what the part does in relation to the whole computer.

My second example is with the Code breaking lesson, I used the lesson plan and video to explain the historical significance of code breaking and then used ‘the explaining binary resources’ from the wonderful website CSunplugged for children to explore how computers use a special type of code to communicate with each other.

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

‘These new updates reflect a broader range of women that have contributed to the development of computational thought in Britain. Each have their own unique story to tell within the societal context of the time, many of which were genuine trailblazers in progressing thinking and practice at the time’

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

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

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

International day of Literacy – September 8th

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

Since 1967, International Literacy Day celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society. The International Conference on ‘Literacy and Skills Development’ will explore ways to make effective connections between literacy and technical and vocational skills in policies, practice, systems and governance.

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

j2e Tool suite offers a range of resources including JIT, j2e5, j2 office. J2 write also provides teachers with a range of lesson plans to get started as well as examples of use and templates. Spell blast is a fantastic interactive way of learning spellings, pupils can either go live, choose from a level and teachers can also set their own spelling lists for classes/year groups.

Busy Things have a vast range of resources that support Literacy across the Primary phase including Phonics maker, word reading, comprehension, transcription, handwriting and presentation, composition, vocabulary and grammar games, and desktop publishing templates that are cross curricular.

Listening books offers over 100 curriculum based audio books, titles can be streamed direct for group listening in class or for individuals to listen with headphones. These are excellent to listen to in class or to support SEND learners with literacy.

To listen to a book follow the steps below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

For creating, Super Action Comic Maker is great for Art and for Literacy, allowing pupils to bring their own superhero to life and not only add and customise backgrounds and superheroes, but also speech and effect bubbles to create a narrative. Picture book maker is an online tool that allows children to create their own picture books based on the children’s illustrator Sarah Dyer.

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

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

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

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

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

Saving Schools Money and Keeping Children Safe

Over the last 12 months LGfL has been working closely with schools and education leaders to build a new generation of cloud based digital services that provide fantastic value, keep children safe and support innovation in schools.

As a result of this collaboration we are delighted to announce a positive and fundamental refresh of the LGfL subscription. For schools the changes mean that a number of new market leading products are now available at no additional cost and form part of the LGfL subscription. Further products will be added shortly which will help schools save even more money.

The products we’ve added to the LGfL subscription focus on providing additional layers of defence against cybersecurity threats, support GDPR compliance along with innovation within the curriculum. They are also products that schools have asked LGfL to provide as a priority and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to deliver.

If a school makes use of all the market leading products that are being added to the LGfL subscription, we estimate that a secondary school will save around an additional £13,000 per annum and a primary school around a further £5,000 per annum. This saving is over and above the bundle the school already receives (including web filtering, internet access, curriculum content etc.) and reinforces our commitment to ensuring we are providing the safest and most secure environment for teaching and learning. These savings have been delivered by our new LGfL procurement team called “SmartBuy” which has specialist skills to secure the best prices from bulk buying. We estimate that this team has already saved London schools over £5M this year.

LGfL SUBSCRIPTION REFRESH

The products that LGfL has added to the LGfL subscription are:-

  • Meraki Mobile Device Management – enables secure management and control of all school devices (including PCs) as well as providing features such as the remote deletion of data (a GDPR requirement). Product details can be found here. Up to 700 free licences can be claimed by secondary schools and 300 by primary schools. To claim your licences please send an email to merakimdm@lgfl.net
  • Sophos Intercept X – provides sophisticated protection for private and sensitive data ensuring schools don’t suffer ransomware attacks or lockouts. Product details can be found here. To claim your licence please contact the LGfL Helpdesk on 020 82 555555
  • MalwareBytes – finds and removes malware from devices. In some schools, up to 80% of devices have been found to be infected with malware which this software has eradicated. Product details can be found here.  To claim your licence please send an email to malwarebytes@lgfl.net
  • Sophos Server Advance – delivers added security protection for servers. Product details can be found here.  To claim your licence please send an email to SophosAdvance@lgfl.net
  • CloudReady /Neverware (from the end of July 2018) – enables old laptops to be used as functioning Chromebooks. Up to 100 subscriptions can be claimed by secondary schools and 30 by primary schools. Schools, will, however, need to purchase an associate Chrome Management Licence for each CloudReady device. Product details can be found here.  To claim your licences please send an email to neverware@lgfl.net
  • J2E – Access to the latest version of this award-winning curriculum software. This is a site licence for the whole school;From September 2018 the following products will be added to the LGfL subscription:-
  • Egress Switch – ensures secure and encrypted messaging and GDPR compliance for schools sending personal and confidential data. Each secondary school will be able to claim up to 15 licences and each primary school 5 licences. Product details can be found here.  To claim your licences please send an email to Egress@lgfl.net
  • Sophos Anti Phish – enables schools to request tests that will establish whether staff recognise phishing emails. Product details can be found here.  To claim your licence please send an email to SophosPhish@lgfl.net
  • Busythings Update – Our most popular curriculum software for primary and SEND schools will be updated to the latest version, accessible from all devices.

 

IMPROVING EXISTING PACKAGES

Alongside new products we are investing and updating the core LGfL services including web filtering (WebScreen), the Support Site (to make it more user friendly) as well as investing to increase the resilience and capacity of our dedicated education network. We have recently provisioned Soft OTP which has made USO easier to use. WebScreen, as part of LGfL’s CyberProtect strategy is being upgraded to make filtering more intuitive as well as allowing schools, MATS, Federations & Faith Schools to develop appropriate bespoke filtering policies. Improvements are planned for Remote Access to make it easier for staff to access date securely across sites and from home and we are upgrading LGfL VoIP interface to make the system more intuitive and improving ease of use.

These are exciting times for education and LGfL is determined to bring you the very best in digital innovation at a great price.

 

John Jackson CEO LGfL

Five ways with Science

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 science

Space Adventures

This unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe.

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

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

The science resources cover a range of objectives and lesson plans including: a science experiment which involves predicting outcomes and estimating measures, along with accurately recording times, the concept of micro-gravity, and understanding why people feel weightless in orbit, even though there is still a large gravitational pull from the Earth.

Switched on Science

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

Virtual experiments

 

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

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

Busy Things

Busy Things has a wide range of resources and games for use in Early years, KS1 and KS2 there are over 100 activities that are linked to the science curriculum. These include a range of labelling activities as well as writing frames and sorting activities. You can search both via subject and topic using the curriculum browser.

Widgit Symbols

 

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

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

Healthy Eating Week

 

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) are once again holding a healthy eating week from June 11th – June 15th. Registration is open to all schools/nurseries, universities/colleges and workplaces and is a great way to show your commitment to supporting the health and wellbeing of your pupils, students and employees. They have a range of resources for both Primary and Secondary schools including Powerpoints to introduce the week and the five challenges. Alongside guides to recruiting pupil ambassadors and an Eatwell Guide poster.

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

Cookit

The primary purpose of Cookit is to improve pupils’ skills, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating.

The site provides support for the teaching and learning of a wide range of basic skills and processes. It encourages and inspires learners to explore cooking and to create and share their own recipes, using both the site and mobile devices.

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

Healthy eating messages underpin the site whilst avoiding a preachy stance. This has been popular feature of the site. Cookit is well used by schools and is a cross-phase resource. There are recipes suitable for KS1-KS4, searchable by difficulty to encourage inclusion and to increase access for SEN learners and other groups.

Switched on Science and Virtual Experiments

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

Team Marathon

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

Each training session follows the same format:

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

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

j2e Tool Suite

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

Appmaker

Appmaker could also be used for pupils to make their own app to share with parents. Pre populated with high-quality content from LGfL resources, the App Maker will allow students to use pertinent videos and images to illustrate their web apps, including fruit, vegetables and sport – ideal for Healthy Eating week. They would then be able to write and format their own text and styles for the app. A user-friendly graphical interface will ensure they are more engaged in their learning within a particular topic area, at the same time as covering aspects of the Computing curriculum. When the app is complete, they could publish the app within their LGfL school area, enabling other LGfL users or parents to view their app, or download it as a web-app to a smart phone or tablet. 

Busythings

BusyThings has a range of activities connected with healthy eating, from finding out where food comes from to designing a healthy meal there is something to suit EYFS – KS2

Please let us know what you are doing for the week, you can share via our Twitter using the official #BNFHEW18 and on our Facebook pages.

 

 

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 English

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 Literacy

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.

Busythings

BusyThings have a wide rang range of games, worksheets, writing templates and activities to support children from EYFS through to Upper Key Stage 2.  A phonic maker is included for teachers to create their own phonic resources as well as spelling games and reading comprehensions.  There are also writing templates available for across the curriculum,  these can be saved or printed out for display.  Children can access the resources at home as well as within school using their own USO so great to share with parents.

Grammar Explained

80 short and clear videos,made to explain every grammar point listed in the Primary National Curriculum. This resource is closely mapped to the National Curriculum appendix for vocabulary, punctuation and grammar, with every item scripted into a short, clear video to demonstrate what the term means and how it can be applied to every day situations. Videos can be searched by year group or by grammatical term. It is designed to support pupils in their understanding of the terms, empower parents to support their children and refresh the subject knowledge of teachers.

Reading Zone Live

ReadingZone Live is a development of the existing partnership between LGfL and www.Readingzone.com and brings regular interviews and live video conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors to London schools.

Antony Horowitz, Sally Gardner, Oliver Jeffers, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Pete Johnson, Sally Nichols and Alexander Gordon Smith are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live programme.

As well as joining in with a Reading Zone Live event each half term, schools can also use the resource after an event, students can listen to authors talking about what inspires their books, how they write as well as listen to the authors giving tips for students’ creativity. There is also a resource bank which teachers can use to look in more detail at the following: genre, planning, character, writing and the editing process.

j2eTool Suite

 

The j2e Tool Suite is a collection of online educational tools specifically designed to engage,motivate and inspire. j2e is an online, fun, creative environment. Text, graphics, animations,sounds, videos, and embedded objects can be combined on a single web page, with unlimited storage for files and the ability to blog at the click of a button. 

j2office -With the j2office apps you can edit your documents in the cloud and access them on any device with a simple logon. The j2office apps are all compatible with Microsoft Office formats, so after a simple upload you can save and edit your existing documents easily. J2office is designed for education, this means that you can easily share a document with your school or a class, review and assess pupils’ work

j2write – J2write adds a framework around the most popular writing tools within j2e, providing lesson plans and examples. Whether you are using JIT with early years, j2bloggy with Year 6 or above, or something in-between, there is a set of lesson plans to help you get started.

Spell blast – Spell blast encourages pupils to learn spellings while they do what comes naturally; play and compete against each other. As they progress through the levels, the words automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult. Teachers can see detailed information about the achievements of their pupils as well as which aspects they have found difficult. A word cloud shows commenly mis-spelt words. Teachers are also able to upload their own weekly spelling lists that the children can then access within the game.

Widgit

Widgit Symbols are simply drawn, colourful symbols designed to illustrate a single concept in clear and concise way. They cover a range of topics (including many curricular areas) wide enoughto make them suitable for symbol users of all ages and abilities.

Already used by many SEND departments and schools, the entire symbol database of over 15,000 images is now available to all LGfL TRUSTnet schools to search and download.

The use of these symbols increases the accessibility of written text by giving readers of all literacy levels greater access to information. As they are designed specifically for written information,Widgit Symbol users can develop a real independence in reading and writing.

There are many ways to use the symbols, but some common ideas are for:

  • Symbol Sentences this is when a regular sentence has symbols above the words illustrating the main points in the sentence. Not all of the words may have symbols, as abstract symbols are unnecessary and distracting for most symbol readers, but there should be enough symbols to ensure that the meaning can be understood even if the text isn’t.
  • Key Symbols one or two symbols that can be used with or without text to convey a single piece of information. At most, they provide the same amount of information as a short sentence of text.They can help reinforce meaning and give reassurance by acting as reminders for any level of reader.
  • Communication Grids typically these have one symbol per grid cell alongside the text. The grid can facilitate a conversation with one or more people pointing to the symbols to express their ideas.
  • Symbol Flashcards cards containing one symbol and text. They have a very wide range of uses.They can be used as educational games to learn a topic, picked from to make choices, ordered tocreate a timetable and shown to aid communication.

There are also a range of Widgit activities for teachers to use, including a range of differentiated activities on Cinderella, Charles Dickens, e and Red Riding Hood.

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

 

 

National Numeracy Day – May 16th 2018

Wednesday May 16th is National Numeracy Day – this is the UK’s first ever National Numeracy Day, the day will be an annual celebration of the importance of numbers in everyday life and will bring together individuals, employers, educators and influencers to improve numeracy.

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

LGfL have a range of resources that can complement National Numeracy Day

  • Why not use the day to blast off with our brand new Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon resource this unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe. It features dramatic video content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative. Maths topics include: rounding to 100, co-ordinates, angles and sequences all within a cross curricular resource.

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

 

  • Busy Things – have a range of maths games and quizzes that can be used across the school from EYFS to KS2
  • Maths at home Support for busy parents – is great to share with parents on this day to show them different ways that they can support their children at home.  The site includes short videos as well as activity sheets that can be used at home.
  • Mult e Maths – have both starters and main activities for Years 3 to 6 that can be used on the interactive whiteboard, as well as lesson plans and activities that can be used in the classroom.
  • Maths Raps – why not use the day to do a spot of rapping in class, these raps from BEAM have a range of raps related to Number that can be used, or why not get the children to create their own maths raps, use Audio Network as a backing track and upload your raps into Video Central HD to share with the wider community.

  • Maths Search and Rescue – can be used on the day to give a real live context to maths. Search & Rescue is extensively mapped to the National Curriculum and includes detailed lesson plans and resources to enable pupils to apply their skills in context, solving problems for themselves. Featuring comprehensive and differentiated support materials, topics covered include Bearings,Pythagoras and Trigonometry, Algebra, Vectors and Speed, Distance and Time.
  • Maths in the real world – This 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. Some of the real-world topics covered in the resource include: Nutrition, Arena and Events and Round the world – perfect to use on National Numeracy day for the children to apply their mathematical knowledge to real life problems. Each topic contains detailed lesson plans and resources, there is also a curriculum mapping tool so that teachers are able to see where the resource relates to both the KS2 and KS3 curriculum.
  • Viral Contagion Looks at the real world maths that could occur as a result of an outbreak of a biological virus in an urban area. Dramatized news reports describe the impact of the virus outbreak across South London, challenging students to consider the maths behind such scenarios. This resource offers a collection of 4 discrete, differentiated lessons that provide an engaging and challenging focus for Key Stage 3 and 4 maths students.

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

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

 

 

Shakespeare’s Birthday – 23rd April 1564

The exact birthday of William Shakespeare is unknown, however church records show that he was baptised on 26th April 1564 so it is believed that his date of birth is the 23rd April, the same date on which he died in 1616.

Shakespeare is studied heavily throughout both Primary and Secondary schools and this date is a good time to explore his life and find out more about the man behind the plays.

LGfL have a range of resources for you to access Shakespeare within the classroom.

Early Shakespeare

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

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

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

Summary of the archive content

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

Cambridge School Shakespeare

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

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

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

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

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

There are also a range of resources online that teachers can use within the classroom.

Shakespeare’s Globe

The Globe theatre is running a range of events to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday these include: a unique performance of Shakespeare’s poetry in Westminster Abbey. Families can enjoy a wonderful storytelling session in the Playhouse and discover more about Shakespeare in our Exhibition & Tour.Teachers can also use brilliant Teach Shakespeare website which has hundreds of free learning resources including audio files, video, lesson plans and exam revision lesson plans.

 Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company has a huge range of resources for schools, including this year a free broadcast of Macbeth. The play will be broadcast to schools around the country on 26 April, along with student activities and a live Q&A with the actors. Schools can find out more and register here. There are also a range of teacher resources that will help bring Shakespeare to life in the classroom.

BBC

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

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

Get cracking with our Easter resources!

Hopefully with the last blast of bad weather gone and the clocks going forward it really looks like winter is finally over and spring is here, it’s the season of baby lambs, daffodils, chocolate, fluffy chicks, chocolate, longer days and new life. Did I mention chocolate? So, here are a few sugar-free egg-cellent ideas to use with your students this Easter. (sorry you will have to buy your own chocolate and put up with my egg-stremely bad puns!)


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

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

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

  • Why not create your own Easter egg hunt (you could use real eggs or printed out eggs) and then collate the data into j2Pictogram.
  • Hold an Easter egg popularity test (maybe with a small taste test) with j2Vote and then collate the data into a graph using j2graph.
  • Use j2Paint to design your own Easter eggs, great for fine motor skills.
  • Research the concept of Easter celebration across the world and create a presentation with j2e5, why not add an interactive quiz?
  • Finally, why not create a stop frame animation using j2Spotlight on the subject of growth (using play-dough or paper) you can create a seed to plant video or even make you own egg-ceptional life cycle of a chicken video.

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

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

Switched on science have various units such as “Young Gardeners” which cover the concept of plant and animal growth, Switched on Science is a flexible and creative investigation-based program with a clear focus on working scientifically. It is packed with best practice CPD videos and supportive lessons to ensure every teacher can deliver the curriculum with confidence.

Virtual Experiments also has a range of growth related science activities, these ever-popular online resources are idea for demonstrating difficult scientific concepts with the added benefit of minimising the time, mess and fuss involved in many experiments and allowing to repeat, slow down, stop or vary the conditions of the experiment.

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

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

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

Supporting Pi Day

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

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

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

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

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

LGfL have a range of resources that can support teaching real world maths skills.

Maths doesn’t get more real than an HM Coastguard search and rescue mission. Search and Rescue with HM Coastguard features exclusive footage of real life rescues at sea, lifeboat and helicopters searches and rescue coordination at the National Maritime Operations Centre, pupils can see mathematical problem solving in action.

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

  • Algorithms
  • Arena and events
  • Nutrition
  • Round the World
  • Speed Camera Investigations
  • Sporting decisions

 

To plan an exciting maths event for Pi day why not use the Viral Contagion resource to inspire you to create a large-scale maths event or use the resource to recreate the event yourself. Viral Contagion explores the real-world maths that would occur as result of biological virus outbreak in an urban area.

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

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

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

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

British Science Week 9th-18th March 2018

British Science Week, run by the British Science Association runs from the 9th – 18th March 2018 and is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. The theme this year is ‘exploration and discovery encouraging young people to think about everyday discoveries and how they affect their lives by exploring science in the world all around us; from their home and schools, to their local area and wider environment. It is also a chance for young people to consider how exploration and discovery can have a positive impact on the future.

The British Science Week website has activity packs for Early Years, Primary and Secondary students, the packs are designed to be your one stop shop for supporting teachers during the week.  The activities include both lesson plans and assemblies.  There is also a poster competition, students can make their poster about anything involving exploration and discovery. The five best posters from your school can be entered into a UK-wide competition with the chance for students to win an array of prizes.

There are several resources that LGfL schools can use during this time.

The first one is Polar Exploration which fits in perfectly with this years theme.  LGfL worked with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University in creating this comprehensive resource, which provides a unique insight into the ‘Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery’.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The ever popular j2etool suite can also be used during Science Week, pupils can use the data tools to collect their data and use  j2e5, JIT and the j2office tools to write up their experiments or complete a fact file on a famous explorer.

What ever you are doing for British Science Week we would love you to share your work on our  twitter or Facebook pages #BSW18

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!

Road Safety Week 20th-26th November 2017

Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event, involving thousands of schools, organisations and community groups every year. Set up in 1997, the event is coordinated annually by Brake each November, and aims to encourage grassroots action on road safety and raise awareness about the part we can all play in preventing tragedies and making roads safer. The theme for this years Road Safety Week which runs from the 20th – 26th November is Speed Down Save Lives.

We can all play our part in raising awareness about the dangers of driving too fast and this year’s campaign will focus on:

  • speed causes deaths and serious injuries on our roads
  • rural roads are not race tracks
  • 20mph is the only safe speed in heavily built-up areas used by pedestrians and cyclists
  • going slow = stopping in time
  • speed is scary and noisy. It stops communities being enjoyable places for children and families to walk, talk and play
  • speed cameras work. They save lives.
  • Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) is an important development that is likely to be fitted to all vehicles in the future

There are new online resources for educators for 207, free to all those who register using this online form. The free online action pack includes more advice, ideas and resources, including lesson plans, assembly presentations, activity sheets and fact sheets linked to the 2017 theme of Speed Down Save Lives.

Brake, the road safety charity have produced a guide for educators on teaching road safety, as well as specific guidance for road safety with pupils with SEND.   They have  also recorded the webcast below, full of ideas and activities for educators to use during the week:

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

Busy things has a template to help children create a poster on how to stay safe on the roads, children could also use JIT or J25 to create either an animation or a poster to encourage parents to speed down, save lives. They could also write to their local council and ask what is being done in their areas to encourage people to speed down and save lives.  Using J2data children could create data on traffic in their local area around schools and use this to encourage more people to walk to school.

RoSPA have also got a range of resources on their website for educators to use including teacher guides, workbooks and travel training for KS3 and KS4. Think from the Department of Transport have websites for Primary and Secondary both feature sections for teachers, pupils and parents.

STARS is TfL’s accreditation scheme for London schools and nurseries. STARS inspires young Londoners to travel to school sustainably, actively, responsibly and safely by championing walking, scooting and cycling. STARS supports pupils’ wellbeing, helps to reduce congestion at the school gates and improve road safety and air quality. STARS is open to all London schools and nurseries. To take part in the scheme, you first need to create a STARS Online account. This will put you in touch with your local borough officer who will support you throughout the accreditation process, help you create a School Travel Plan (STP) and select the most suitable activities for your school to address your travel issues and reach your active travel targets. A great resource to use during Road Safety Week.

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

 

Using LGfL to develop IT skills across the Primary Curriculum

IT skills in the Primary Computing Curriculum are as follows:

EYFS: Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. Select and use technology for particular purposes. Use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways , thinking about uses and purposes.

KS1 Use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content

KS2 Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.

Some of the skills that can be taught are listed in the image below.

LGfL have a wide range of resources to support the teaching of IT skills across the Primary curriculum. We have listed some below to help you with the teaching of IT within your schools.

EYFS

Busy Things have a range of games to develop keyboard skills. JIT is the online infant toolkit from Just 2 Easy and has a huge range of tools to support the development of IT skills including: word processing animation, paint and the ability to mix, to combine the above packages to create enabling pupils to select and choose the technology for different purposes. The big day out includes a range of activities that can be used – including researching transport in London past and present and taking a picture in London and labelling it. The Magic school was developed for Early years and includes paint, music and a sand and water room for the children to interact with.

KS1

JIT and Busy Things are both fantastic for developing IT skills at KS1 with the ability to create and manipulate a range of digital content.  There are lesson plans available for KS1 using J2Write for Years 1 and 2 that encourage creativity with writing and using the built in blogging tool to showcase and publish work. Busy things also have a range of templates to encourage writing, there are over 81 to choose from and cover topics across all curriculum areas.  Stop frame animator and Super Action Comic maker are two great tools for children to create digital content as is Picture Book maker.

KS2

J2e5 is a fantastic tool for the children to use that really meets the curriculum objectives for KS2,text, graphics, animations, sounds, videos, and embedded objects can be combined on a single web page. J2e forms can also be used as a way of creating questionnaires to gather data, comments, or other information from different groups. Data can then be displayed, shared, and saved to a file. Busy things also has templates that match the KS2 curriculum with both History and Science templates for the pupils to use.

The Romans in London, The Tudors in London and Polar exploration all support writing across the curriculum, with lesson plans and suggested activities for children to create their own digital content, including Gladiator Top Trumps, Tudor floor tiles and drawing up a list for a polar expedition. Reading Zone live and Grammar explained can be used in a variety of ways to support IT skills, the children could come up with their own questions they would like to ask their favourite author, use the information to create their own Author biographies and use Grammar explained to create their own short clips to explain grammatical concepts for their peers.

A basic knowledge of computers/tablets and or devices as listed below are skills that can be taught within the IT element.