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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

The sessions we can offer are as follows:

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

Subject and Topic Related Resources:

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

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

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

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

Humanities Subject Leaders:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Computing Subject Leader:

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

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

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

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

Science Subject Leader:

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

 

 

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

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

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

In General:

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

Our First LIVE Broadcast with STEAM School

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some screenshots of the live event:

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

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

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

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

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

How does Steam School promote gender equality?

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

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

 

Busy Things – NEW features and content

Today, we are pleased to announce that the updated version of Busy Things, packed with NEW features and content, has been released to LGfL schools.

N.B We suggest that the Computing Leader/Head teacher (or the Network Manager, if you have one) ensures they are the first person in your school to log in – whoever completes the initial set up steps will then be required to take responsibility for disseminating the teacher log in password etc.

In order to help you manage this process we have produced a guide called LGfL Busy Things 2019 Update’ and further information can be found on the Busy Things summary page.

Below is a brief summary of the updates in Busy Things.

Get the most out of BusyThings with a host of help!

BusyThings is packed full of powerful content and versatile features. To help you discover what’s available and make sure that you get the most out of it please do utilise the help button found in the teacher bar.

NB: The teacher bar is only visible when lyou have logged in with the school’s teacher password.

Within help there is a comprehensive user guide and a brand NEW videos area hosting ten tutorials covering the many features of Busy Things and how to get the most out of this resource.

NEW Teacher Tools Area (REMEMBER: Teacher tools are only accessible with a teacher login)

A brand new welcome screen has been designed to help you get the most out of Busy Things! The dedicated teacher tools area will house your search features, resource maker and other useful tools. Teachers can also customise BusyThings throughout the year with a range of seasonal and topical theme backgrounds!

Curriculum browser

Speed up your lesson planning with easy to find curriculum aligned content -use this powerful curriculum search tool to find exactly what you need to match the objective for your lesson plan, quickly and easily! You can add activities that match your objective to the  favourite area for quick access during your lesson too.

N.B The Curriculum browser is only available in Teacher Mode. You will need to use your school’s teacher password to access this.

Search tool

The search tool is great for quickly finding activities for particular topics and events – from the Romans to Rainforests, there’s a huge variety of writing and picture templates. Just type in a search term and filter down your results by selecting an age range, subject and activity types.

NEW Filters in menus

Finding content is now even easier! Within activity menus you can now hide or display activity types by using the filter buttons in the top right.

The NEW assignments area can be used with content from all age bands. It is located within Teacher tools on the welcome screen.

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.

 

The quizzes cover the majority of the KS2 maths curriculum with quiz topics broken down into year groups to match the curriculum objectives.

There are also some fun grammar quizzes testing knowledge of nouns, verbs, subjects and objects, plus a Shakespeare and Tudor clothing quiz (and more topics on the way!)

 

NEW Maths Games for ages 5-11:

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.

 

Busy Code – a whole NEW programming area:

The funky Beard Man character is sure to create pupil engagement as children learn to program him to walk, dance and collect stars – or in more technical terms they will learn coding basics through to repeat loops, conditionals, events and variables! They’ll be creating their own “call and response” game in no time!

Busy Code programs are built by linking simple blocks together – drag and drop the blocks to assemble a program, they will snap together like jigsaw pieces!

 

Religious Education area expanded with NEW Judaism resources:

Busy Things now includes a comprehensive set of resources all about Judaism!  Six NEW labelling activities are available to you and twelve NEW writing projects covering many different aspects of Judaism including Yom Kippur, Shabbat and Passover.

See below for the titles to the labelling activities:

 

100+ NEW Interactive worksheets across the curriculum

There are over 100 NEW worksheets available across the whole curriculum; children can label diagrams, classify and categorise items and put things into order. Teachers can assign worksheets giving you the ability to test knowledge and monitor children’s progress AND all the interactive worksheets can also be saved as PDFs for use away from the screen.

Project work made easy with NEW Busy Paint and Publisher

Children will love creating project work with the NEW Busy paint and publisher. There are hundreds of templates to choose from with lots of new, easy to use features.

The brand NEW set of paint tools includes a wide range of brushes and effects enabling children to easily create imaginative pictures.

 

Children can now import photographs of their own, utilise the Busy Things photobank or the comprehensive clipart library! Clipart can be rotated, scaled and flipped with the NEW easy-to-use interface. Even more exciting – Busy Paint and Publisher can now be used on tablets as well as desktops and laptops.

Make fabulous charts & graphs with the NEW Busy Graph Maker

The Busy graph maker lets children quickly enter data they have collected and see it displayed in a colourful chart or graph. Children can easily switch between chart types to see their data displayed in different ways.

More options become available as children get older.  Start with simple pictograms, then move on to bar charts, line graphs and pie charts. Older children can even compare up to four data sets.

  

Graphs can be saved and edited in a later session. Save as PDF and print options are available for creating classroom displays. This tool is so easy to use – teachers you will have your pupils creating wonderful graphs in no time at all!

French and Spanish Flashcards and Interactive Worksheets

60+ Flashcards and interactive worksheets covering vocabulary and simple sentences. Topics include animals, body parts, classroom objects, colours, food and drink, months of the year and numbers.

Quickly find resources for special events

Looking for some topical inspiration? Check out the NEW special events calendar with cross-curricular activities grouped under a selection of festivals, day, week and month long events – from National Storytelling Week to Halloween, Christmas to the European Day of Languages!

Find inspiration in the Top 40

Want to know what other schools are using? Get a glimpse of the most popular games and activities across the thousands of schools using Busy Things in the NEW Top 40 area.

We hope that you enjoy all the new and exciting features in Busy Things. Please provide us with feedback, or should you require any support, at lgfl@busythings.co.uk or trustnet@busythings.co.uk.  Alternatively, you could call the Busy Things office phone number on 01332 364963 (8:30 to 16:30)

 

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

5 Ways to support Computing

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 Computing

Busy Things

Busy Things includes a wide range of digital resources and fun interactive activities linked to the computing curriculum for use in EYFSKS1 and KS2.

IT tools such as Busy Publisher and Busy Paint can help children to develop their basic IT skills whilst doing project work:

You can test algorithmic thinking and debugging skills with “Path Peril”, always a firm favourite in class:

Fun and interactive games like “Body Boggle” and “Tree Keys” are great for practising mouse and keyboard skills:

 

“Busy Graph Maker” can be used to answer you data handling needs:

And remember, you can search both via subject and topic using the curriculum browser – just select the computing strand to see more great interactive activities!

Coming soon: From September LGfL users will be able to access a NEW Busy Code area including lots of fun coding tutorials activities and challenges!

 

J2code

J2code, part of the award winning platfrom j2e offers a range of coding languages to enable all students to explore coding:

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

Visual is a block based coding language in which you can freely code to create more complex coding outcomes for KS2, you can see examples here.

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

J2e 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.

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 J2E have included a glossary for the various computational terminology used, there is also a link to this in each lesson plan.

All the coding work created within any of the coding platforms can be sent to the Blogging platform built into the Creative ToolKit System. This unique element significantly enhance the scope for broadening the audience for the students Coding and facilitates peer review.

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 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 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.

There is even a selection were you make your own rocket and launch it using a Micro:Bit as a internal Data Logger!

History of Computing

This 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.

– Offering 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 material 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 you can use the lesson plans within the unit “A Brave new world”

Using the building a computer lesson Get your students  to create an animation (you could use an app called Chatterpix Kids or 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.

The second example is with the Code breaking lesson, Simply use the lesson plan and video to explain the historical significance of code breaking and then use ‘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.

Python Tutor

Over 25 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.

All videos within the tutorials are downloadable and can be used outside of the resource, one way of using this would be to allow all students to complete the standalone lesson, but then let the students have freedom to impairment the key concepts but for a different purpose, creating their own projects.

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

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.

Codeweek.EU

After two weeks of coding inspiration 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.

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

London Grid for Learning supports this view which is why we made the resource “History of computing”, the resource promotes the idea that by understanding our digital heritage we can better understand our digital future.

This 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.

– Offering 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 material 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”

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.

Finally, another why to support the ‘History of computing” content is use the many 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.

I hope you have enjoyed the focus on computing within the curriculum blog these last two weeks, please do let me know what you would like to see more of in the comments section.

Tell us what you are have done for EU Code Week in your school and remember you can share your work either on our Twitter or Facebook pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Code week.EU

There is still time to join with EU Code Week before it closes on Friday, you can use a range of LGfL resources to help support your coding activities, today we are going to focus on resources within Python Tutor and Web Tech tutor.

Combined both resources offer 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”

All videos within the tutorials are downloadable and can be used outside of the resource, one way of using this would be to allow all students to complete the standalone lesson, but then let the students have freedom to impairment the key concepts but for a different purpose, creating their own projects.

Coding was introduced to help drive creativity within students, using these resources can help build up student’s confidence so that they can translate it into innovative and creative outcomes. We look forward to seeing your students doing this for EU Code Week and please remember you can share your work either on our Twitter or Facebook pages

CodeWeek.EU

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

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, Decomposition is another key skill learned when coding. In decomposition, you break a big problem down (like a complex program) into several smaller problems or actions, Decomposition is another incredible life skill.

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 entering code into a device, it’s about teaching students how to identify and understand problems or needs in the real world and using creativity alongside logic reasoning to improve the world around them. It’s about teaching them 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.

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 add it to the codeweek.eu map.

Europe Code Week is now launching the “CodeWeek4all challenge” to contribute to increase the penetration of coding in schools. Schools are invited to register online for free to get a unique code to be added to the description of all Code Week events organised in the school preferably between October 7th and October 22nd 2017, you can see here a list of all UK events.

The challenge consists in getting involved as many students/pupils as possible during Europe Code Week 2017. The unique code associated with the school will allow Code Week organisers to sum up all the participants to the events organised in the same school and to compare the sum with the total number of students declared in the application form. Schools achieving a participation rate greater or equal than 50% will be awarded a personalised “Certificate of Excellence in Coding Literacy” and will be announced in the Europe Code Week website.

Apply now, share the unique code with all the teachers in your school, and ask them to provide a coding experience in their classrooms during code week. remember to fill in the application form here

We will be being looking at how LGfL content can help support EU Code week each day on the blog so please do Come back.

Tell us what you are doing for EU Code Week in your school and share your work either on our Twitter or Facebook pages