It’s That Time of the Year! Using Christmas Media with LGfL Content 2019

We are all, like it or not, currently being exposed to a plethora of Christmas media campaigns (advertising the latest must-have toy, must-watch movie or the supermarket who can deliver the most magical Christmas for you and your family and friends). Over the past months, you will have been exposed to a deluge of expensive media campaigns – which has been the most effective for you, I wonder?

Every year, I write this blog post and honestly I wasn’t sure this year if I could see a theme, or find something to latch onto … that was until (with a flash of Christmas lights) I saw this year’s Tesco advert and then it all came together! So, how does an advert for a supermarket and our award winning LGfL curriculum content link? Read on to find out!

This Tesco advert is a brilliant stimulus to get your students thinking about the past and to think about how people of different eras lived and celebrated Christmas. It’s vital to honour our past and pass on knowledge and experiences  through the generations; looking back on the past allows us to study the nature of ourselves and helps us recognise why we do what we do and hopefully learn from the experiences of others. 

Don’t worry, you and your students don’t need access to a DeLorean travelling at 88 miles per hour to see what has happened in the past at Christmas, 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. I have researched many fascinating and stimulating Christmas themed articles that offer a window into a sometimes very sad past.

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I have used the j2e5 tools, found within the j2e Toolsuite, to highlight how you can use the archives with your students. 

First off I used a powerful letter sent to the Manchester Guardian from a group of German prisoners during World War 2, ask your students to first read the article with small parts of the text covered up, ask your students how the letter makes them feel? Ask them to question who the letter writer might be? After this show your student the article with the full text, ask your students to reread the text again, does knowing who wrote the letter affect how they feel about the person? Ask your students to think about what it may be like to be a prisoner of war at Chrismas, using the template in j2e can students write a letter?

In the second file, I have used an article explaining the Tate’s museum tradition of commissioning a private artist to create Christmas tree decorations and cards for Christmas. Can your students research some of the artists mentioned in the article and make their own themed decorations or Christmas cards using the artist as inspiration?

Finally, ask your students to explore these articles looking at how different countries celebrate Christmas in different ways, can your students pick a country and make a presentation about that country within j2e5?

What better way to see how people celebrated Christmas than to find out what they ate?! Cookit has a range of old and odd festive recipes to explore, here a few recipes to whet your appetite (or in some cases not!)

Sweet Frumenty: This is a standard dish appearing in many variations over the centuries. It makes a lovely side dish, especially with strongly flavoured meats. It was a symbolic dish in winter, a sign that spring would come. It later came to be served as a festival dish on Twelfth Night (5th of January).

Pottage: People ate a lot of pottage throughout the ages since they had first made cooking pots that would withstand heat. In Tudor times, it was still the main part of an ordinary person’s diet. It is basically a vegetable soup, flavoured with herbs and thickened with oats. 

Roast goose: usually with added apple and was often served as the centrepiece of celebrations. It was traditional at Christmas and at Harvest suppers throughout the Victorian era. In Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’, Scrooge sends for a goose to be bought for the Christmas meal.

The aim of Cookit is to improve pupils’ skill, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating. The site supports the teaching of a range of basic skills and processes. It encourages and inspire learners to explore cooking and supports ways for students to create and share their own recipes.

For a free great resource looking at how Londoners have celebrated Christmas have a look at Layers of London, this is a crowd-sourced online resource blending geography, history and technology. By gathering historic maps from across London and layering these on top of each other with fade in/out functions, users can discover how areas and streets have changed throughout time. Maps include WWII bomb damage sites, Charles Booth’s Victorian Poverty map and the 18th Century Rocque map covering 10 miles around the City of London.

Anyone can add any content at any time, however, the project also runs focused campaigns to build themed based collections. December’s theme is #25DecLondon – regardless of your culture, background or religion, how do you spend Christmas Day? Do you celebrate it? Is it a big family gathering? Do you go for a walk or bike ride whilst the streets are quiet? Or is it a chance to relax and binge watch that latest boxset? Layers of London is looking for people to share their stories of how they spend the 25th December, mapping these stories to create a visual representation of London on one day. For more information go here

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In the new year, Layers of London launches its #HistoryOfMySchool campaign. As the name suggests, the idea is for any school in London to contribute a record about the history of their school. When was your school built? Has it changed throughout time? Do any old photos of the school exist? Has anyone famous been a pupil at the school? Are there any interesting stories about the school? Whether it’s an after school club, a class’ local history project or even a team activity for teachers, They would love to see as many schools of all types get involved. For more information go hereClick here for more information about Layers Of London’s education programme and to contact a member of the Layers Of London team and for more information email: layersoflondon@london.ac.uk.

And finally … if you really do want your students to drive (okay, sit in) a DeLorean then Avantis is giving you the opportunity to win a ‘Back to the Future Experience Day’ for your school with a visit from an actually DeLorean. To enter, simply upload a 2-minute vlog to Avantis Class VR Facebook or Twitter page with your students and teachers telling Avantis why they love ClassVR (UK schools only). For any schools outside of the UK, they would still love to see your entries and you have the possibility of winning a 360 camera for your school. The competition ends on 28th February 2020.

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 and don’t forget we have our Christmas Media posts from both 2017 and 2018 as well which may provide you with further inspiration.

Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) 2019

You may wonder, how far can you go in one hour? Hour of Code believes that you can change the world! 3rd-9th of December is Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) — it is an annual event aiming to get students excited about computer science by trying “an Hour of Code” (no prior experience needed).

The Hour of Code is an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour. You can also teach the Hour of Code all year-round. Tutorials work on browsers, tablets, smartphones, or “unplugged.”

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code” to show that anybody can learn the basics and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of activities within school communities and beyond.

The goal of the Hour of Code is not to teach anybody to become an expert programmer in one hour but is designed to make coding accessible for all and show that it can be both creative and fun.

Computing.lgfl.net has a range of resources to support you, not just for the week of the hour of code or for computing science, but for the whole of your school’s computing curriculum.

Firstly, the original Busy Code resources found inside the award-winning Busy Things resources has just had a makeover just in time for CSedweek! Beard Man is now sporting a brand new sparkly tie at a disco! At your command, he is now strutting his stuff on several different dance floors. The Code Disco resources are a great way for children to learn coding basics through to repeat loops, conditionals, events and variables. Code Disco programs are built by linking simple blocks together (you simply drag and drop the blocks to assemble a program and they will snap together like jigsaw pieces)! Not only is Busy Code a great resource for students to gain the fundamentals of coding but it also helps teachers gain a better understanding of computer science and gives a sense of progression in computing.

Not only has the original Busy Code been updated but there are also new units! Get on your explorer’s hat and join Beard Man on his adventures to find treasure; there are 9 adventures in total with over 45 levels. In each level, children must write code to direct Beard Man through a series of chambers, avoiding hazards such as trap doors and lava pits. To complete a level, children must help Beard Man solve a puzzle to open a treasure chest, and then escape a final chamber before the gate closes. Beard Man Adventures includes short tutorials to introduce the new concepts and blocks used in the adventures. The adventures are designed to get progressively harder, beginning with basic programming, moving onto repeat loops and more advanced programming concepts. Working through the levels in the order they are presented is recommended.

You can use the award-winning j2e resources to create and store all of your coding projects within an online portfolio in J2Code. Each J2Code coding platform has a set of detailed lesson plans which you can use to support your students during Hour of Code.

JIT has a turtle based coding language allowing you to code freely or use sprites and backgrounds to create simple story animations, perfect for Reception and KS1. 

Visual is a block-based language in which you can freely code to create more complex coding outcomes for KS2. You can also convert, store and share Scratch files within J2E and for more complex procedures you can use Logo a script-based platform that can be used for KS3. 

The Micro Bit coding platform can also be used to create a physical computing project or if you don’t have an actual Micro:Bit you can just use the virtual Micro:Bit emulator.

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Hour of Code offers a range of fun coding activities for your students to explore and you can find a range of resources for your students here. (Many of the resources are platform agnostic so you can use the coding platform of your choice to deliver the lesson). For those of you who can’t look through all the suggested projects because of time constraints, I have cherry-picked a handful of creative projects to try with your students.

My top picks for The Hour of Code:

  • Google has worked with Scratch so that you can turn an everyday hero from your life or community into a superhero by programming them to fly over buildings, spin, work with a sidekick, and score points by touching objects in a game. In Code Your Hero, show off your hero’s special powers and your own creativity with CS First and Scratch.
  • Microsoft The new Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial is now available in Minecraft: Education Edition for Windows, Mac, and iPad. Learn the basics of coding and explore AI with your students! Explore basic coding concepts and learn about artificial intelligence (AI) in this free Hour of Code lesson in Minecraft: Education Edition! Help the Agent prevent forest fires with Minecraft and MakeCode. Follow the steps below to get started!
  • Code.org in partnership with Amazon Future engineer has updated its very popular Dance Party, Code a Dance Party to share with your friends. Featuring updated tracks from Katy Perry, Shawn Mendes, Lil Nas X, Panic! At The Disco, Jonas Brothers, and many more!
  • and finally… we have also come up with our own simple Hour of Code project with j2e code Visual, can you help our very own CEO, John Jackson, choose a shirt?

 

               

This fun animation/game uses simple inputs and broadcasting to change sprites/costumes, We know this is a very simple project and your students can do much better so why not challenge yourself and them to remix the project? Why not make your own shirts designs? Or can you make the shirt designs move? Can you change the background when the buttons are clicked? Here is the project in j2e to get you started! The most creative use of code from a school will win a small grab bag of LGfL/computing goodies, just share your examples on social media and tag LGfL into the post for a chance to win.

The Hour of Code happens as part of Computer Science Education Week. This is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, an inspiring female figure in the world of computing science. For more inspirational female computer scientists, LGfL has created Women in Computing which recognises the many and varied achievements of women in computer science and hopes to inspire future programmers.

Earlier this week Apple unveiled a completely redesigned Everyone Can Code curriculum to help introduce more primary school students to the world of coding. Now available, the new curriculum includes even more resources for teachers, a brand new guide for students and updated Swift Coding Club materials. Everyone Can Code Puzzles is an all-new student guide to Swift Playgrounds where each chapter helps students build on what they already know, experiment with new coding concepts and creatively communicate how coding impacts their lives. A companion teacher guide supports educators in bringing coding into their classrooms with helpful ways to facilitate, deepen and assess student learning.

Additionally, starting today, learners around the world can register here for thousands of free Today at Apple coding sessions taking place in December at all Apple Stores to learn to write their first lines of code to celebrate Computer Science Education Week, Apple will also support Hour of Code with a new Hour of Code Facilitator Guide to help educators and parents host sessions using Swift Playgrounds and some of the more than 200,000 educational apps available from the App Store.

Remember The Hour of Code does not cover all of the computing science strands of the computing curriculum but does offer a range of highly structured, fun activities to help both students and teachers gain confidence with computing science. Coding isn’t just for an hour, it should be an ongoing journey – for support look to see how Computing.lgfl.net can support with other areas of the computing curriculum. If you have time, you can watch this video exploring Computing.lgfl.net in more detail.

If you want to gain some more knowledge and support on using a block-based coding platform, have a look here and here for a free interactive workshop introducing you to the Scratch programming environment and taking you through the concepts of sequence, repetition and selection through a series of fun coding challenges.

Also if you are a Computing Leader you may also be interested in booking a place on our Creative Curriculum training day. This is a whole day course showcasing how to use Computing.lgfl.net to support not just your school’s curriculum but also your curriculum as a whole. For more details and to book a place go here.

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

And don’t forget about our latest campaign Pledge 2020, where we are giving schools a bandwidth boost, putting more security into our network and putting in fantastic equipment AT NO ADDITIONAL COST – to help enhance the use of hardware within your school all you have to do is push the button #PoweredbyPledge2020.

*NEW* Fossils and Dinosaurs resource

Utilising the combined talents from the team at Inspyro (now Discovery Education), an expert Palaeontologist from the Manchester Museum and specialists within the curriculum team at LGfL, we have created Fossils and Dinosaurs for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 learners.

Fossils and Dinosaurs guides you through the development of life on our planet over billions of years. From the very first signs of life 3 billion years ago, through the ‘Cambrian Explosion’ of life 500 million years ago, the emergence and demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago to the final evolution of Homo Sapiens, a mere 2 million years in the past. This period of time spans the existence of the Earth as it developed over 4 billion years, which in itself is a difficult and abstract concept to teach due to the vast amount of time involved. The video below is a walkthrough of the resource:

Fossils and Dinosaurs is broken down into topics to help teach this fascinating and exciting subject that explains our appearance and dominance on our planet as well as the impact and threat to its very existence as we consume fossil fuels left behind by the incredible story of life on Earth.  With activities linked to the EYFS framework as well as covering elements of the English, Maths, Science, Art and Computing curriculum at both KS1 and KS2.

The resource is a blend of videos, still images, teacher plans, immersive Augmented and Virtual Reality. Working with Dr David Gelsthorpe from the Museum of Manchester, the curator of one of the most important fossil collections, with over 100,000 specimens, we have chosen a selection of fossils and other specimens that help tell the story. 

The resource for KS1 and KS2 is split into two sections: the first looks at Paleontology and the second looks at Dinosaurs both use expert videos filmed with Dr David Gelsthorpe, the curator of one of the most important fossil collections in the UK. Alongside Augmented Reality through Active Worksheets making use of Active lens technology the topics covered include: Planet Earth, Early life, Fossil remains, Fossil to fuel, Jurassic depths, Feathered friends, Tyrant Lizard King, Extinction and Humans all of these are aligned to the Primary Science curriculum.

The information is presented in an engaging way for example, using Augmented Reality, the children can ‘see’ fossils come to ‘life’ and compare fossils in a way that use of 2D pictures can not possibly convey, making the resource both distinctive and innovative, ensuring that the learning is literally in the hands of the learners. The teacher guide gives an overview for use in class, listing the resources including a brief description of each Active worksheet and what is covered as well as linking to cross curricular lessons. The guide also provides teachers with an explanation of how to download and access the resource. 

The Museum of Manchester is home to the world’s most complete Plesiosaur fossil skeleton and alongside the Active Worksheets, the resource features  a VR experience that brings this beautiful marine reptile to life. Plesiosaur Encounter VR takes pupils on a journey back in the TimePod to 150 million years ago to see this magnificent creature swimming in the early Jurassic seas. Children are tasked with observing the plesiosaur in its natural habitat and report back, this can either be a scientific or a journalistic report. 

Children are natural scientists. Their curiosity leads them to ask open-ended questions, explore by interacting and observing with the world around them and try to figure out how everything works by exploring and playing with the things around them. Dinosaurs are one of the topics that fascinate young children. Whether it is their truly larger-than-life image or the fact that you can’t visit a live dinosaur in a zoo, children tend to have lots of questions about dinosaurs. This is why Fossils and Dinosaurs is the first resource from LGfL to include an EYFS section, complete with 6 lesson plans covering the following topics:

Each lesson plan is supported with a powerpoint that asks a simple question and allows children to explore their own thinking before the teacher gives them new information and allows them to explore the knowledge with a carpet-based activity, the lesson plans and notes also include key questioning and vocabulary cards to use with each lesson (some of the Powerpoints also come with embedded audio and animations) The lessons are designed to be taught once a week for 6 weeks so that it can easily slot into either literacy or topic lessons. 

Alongside the powerpoints and lesson plans the EYFS section is further complemented with how the resource can be used alongside other LGfL resources as well as songs, apps and printables for both home corners and use within the lessons.

Fossils and Dinosaurs is also our most inclusive resource produced to date we have sought to employ the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) throughout the production process. With UDL in mind, the mixed reality features of the resource and suggested learning activities help meet the need for multiple means of engagement and multiple means of action/expression.  We have also created additional resources to ensure teachers are able to provide multiple means of representation to learners with a broad range of needs and strengths. 

All sections of the resource contain companion texts created in two variations. The first is heavily simplified, for learners working at pre KS2 cognitive ability. The second is in an Easy Read format for those who may have difficulty accessing the written content but are cognitively able to understand the concepts and vocabulary in the resource.  Each of these differentiated text levels has also been produced in a number of formats to meet a range of needs. This includes screen reader compatible, visual supported and plain text (for use with Braille printers). We have also included all differentiated text versions as a OneNote Notebook which can be viewed online and offline by downloading the free OneNote App.  This enables users to access “Immersive Reader” which provides a large number of powerful accessibility features such as reading support and language translation.

In addition to these specific resources, Fossils and Dinosaurs contains inclusion support throughout its online content. This includes captioning/subtitling of all video content, descriptive “alt text” for all images (for use with screen readers), Widgit Point symbol support tool and a number of on page font options.

Fossils and dinosaurs combining expert advice alongside the latest technology enables all primary learners to reconstruct the past in an innovative and meaningful way. 

At the time of commissioning this resource, Dinosaurs was the most requested teaching resource from LGfL schools that was missing from the LGfL portfolio, so we were keen to resolve this in an effective way.

Utilising the combined talents from the team at Inspyro (now Discovery Education), an expert Palaeontologist from the Manchester Museum and specialists within the curriculum team at LGfL, we are proud to offer Fossils and Dinosaurs for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 learners. Like LGfL’s Space Adventures, this resource aims to model best practice in supporting a range of online and immersive technologies, whilst offering support for all learners regardless of development age or learning context.

Part of the reason for working with experts in their field when developing LGfL topic-based resources is that sometimes non expert teachers can inadvertently reinforce mis conceptions, but these can be avoided through expert input during the creation of a specialist new resource such as Fossils and Dinosaurs. Through the use of a wide range of engaging and immersive technology, we hope that learning progress with pupils can be secured faster and deeper than more conventional teaching methods. For further examples of how LGfL topic based immersive resources feature experts in their field go to www.casestudies.lgfl.net.’ Bob Usher LGfL Content Manager

We hope that you enjoy using the resource as much as we enjoyed producing it – please let us know via either our Twitter or Facebook pages or in the comments below if and when you use the resource in class.

London History Schools Day

This Friday is the third London History Schools Day. London History Schools Day is the sister event to London History Day (May 31st) led by Historic England to celebrate our city’s unique history and heritage: its historic buildings, sites, communities and heroes.

The London Curriculum team, along with Historic England and Museum of London, launched London History Schools Day in 2017 to encourage schools to bring London’s unique characters, past and present, to life with a dress-up day and activities. It aims to inspire young Londoners to learn more about the city’s cultural heritage and communities.

This year the themes will be Celebration and Local Culture, supporting the Mayor’s wider #LondonisOpen campaign, showing that London will always be open to the world and to celebrate its culture and diversity. There’s a great teachers’ guide full of information on famous Londoners and local icons as well as activities to carry out on the day or during the month of May.  There are also a wealth of resources for KS2 and 3 that can be found here to use when studying London – from Explorer trails to going underground to bringing communities to life.

LGfL have a wealth of resources to use when looking at London and its rich and varied history, suitable not just for London History Schools day but throughout the year.

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

The Museum of London has its own Teacher Network that is free to join. It gives free advance access to book sessions and activities, a regular email with resource and activity ideas, private views of our exhibitions and 10% off in our museum shops. You can sign up here. As well as offering interactive sessions at the museum, it also offers in- school sessions and range of online resources for teachers to use in class.

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 latest collection of paintings and photographs from Royal Collection Trust, you will find even more.  56 carefully collated images tell the story of one of Britains favourite monarchs, 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 LGfL Image bank is an expanding collection of high-resolution images from a range of cultural institutions, featuring the British Library and the Royal Collection Trust, that can used when looking at the History of London.

Please note: Adherence to the licensing terms of use by teachers and learners is essential. This will ensure that content providers continue to partner with LGfL and offer uniques resources fro teachers and learners connected to the National Education network.

The Royal Mews 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, perfect for looking at the history behind the traditions that continue to support the Royal Household and suitable for KS1-KS4 pupils.

This resource gives an exclusive insight into the life of the Royal Mews and the work of Royal Household staff. It features archive photography, historic documents and unique filmed interviews with members of the Royal Household. The Royal Mews is a working stable and home to many of the beautiful royal carriages which are used on state occasions. The 1902 State Landau, for example, was the carriage used in April 2011 to take The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from their wedding service at Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace.

The Big Day out has a range of activities for KS1 and presents a scientific, mathematical, geographical and historical challenge for investigation or exploration, perfect for using during a study of London.

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.

 

Topics covered include Trade, Transport and the Slave Trade.

Whatever you choose to do for London History schools day, you can share your activities and pictures via our Twitter and Facebook pages. #londonhistoryschoolsday #LondonisOpen

 

 

Mental Health Awareness week 13th-19th May

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 will take place from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2019. The theme for 2019 is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.

Body image issues can affect all of us at any age. During the week they will be publishing new research, considering some of the reasons why our body image can impact the way that we feel, campaigning for change and publishing practical tools.

Last year the Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s almost 1 in every 3 people.

Body image issues can affect all of us at any age and directly impact our mental health. However there is still a lack of much-needed research and understanding around this.

The good news is that we can tackle body image through what children are taught in schools, by the way we talk about our bodies on a daily basis and through policy change by governments across the UK.

Mental Health Foundation

From 13-19 May they will be running a body image challenge. Simply post on social media a picture of a time or a place when you felt comfortable in your own skin – this could be now, five years ago or at the age of five. It can be a photo of yourself or something else that reminds you of the moment along with #BeBodyKind #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

There are a range of resources on the Mental health Foundation for use in schools, including publications, covering topics including: How to look after your mental health, the truth about self harm and how to overcome fear and anxiety. The make it count campaign with guidance for teachers, parents and children and their Peer Education Project.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has put together a range of themed, simple, and mostly cost-free activities below to help you take part in Mental Health Awareness Week. Each activity is something you can do together as a team and it takes only 30 minutes! #EmpowerHalfHour

The DigiSafe team have collected a range of resources that can support the theme of this week at bodyimage.lgfl.net, with resources for KS1-KS5 it is a great starting point for assemblies and PSHE lessons during the week.

The Diana Award Anti-Bullying Campaign has teamed up with ASOS to run #MySenseOfSelf, a project exploring body image, body confidence and self-esteem. From speaking to young people and staff across the country through their Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Programme, they understand the importance of equipping young people with the tools they need to tackle social pressures on body image and develop self-confidence. As part of this project they have created a lesson plan for teachers or staff members to use: this resource aims to encourage students to open up a discussion with their peers about body image and is packed full of interactive activities.

It contains everything you need to run a 1.5-hour class or a number of shorter sessions, and explores 3 core themes: social media and its impact; celebrating difference; and developing self-esteem. Register on the #MySenseOfSelf website to download these free resources. The resources have gained the quality mark from the PSHE Association, who said “#MySenseOfSelf provides the opportunity to promote positive body image in a highly engaging and thought-provoking way”.

The PHSE Association has published practical guidance for teachers about the safe and confident teaching of body image in schools, as part of the PSHE curriculum. The guidance aims to enable schools to promote positive body image with pupils by supporting teachers to develop their own teaching materials or adapt existing high quality resources for use in the classroom, a range of which are recommended in the guidance. Suitable for Key Stages 1-5, the resource includes sections on establishing ground rules for a supportive learning environment, using visitors in the classroom and addressing the needs of vulnerable pupils. The document, downloadable here, draws upon input from over 350 teachers as well as focus groups of experts and young people.

Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools – The Be Real Campaign’s mission is to change attitudes to body image and help all of us put health above appearance and be confident in our bodies.They have produced a toolkit for schools because they know that in order to tackle body confidence later in life, it is essential that it begins from an early age. Secondary schools are a key setting for young people to discuss and challenge body confidence issues, with both teachers and students playing an important role in how this happens.

Their Somebody Like Me and In Your Face research show that body confidence has a direct impact on students’ academic performance and general wellbeing. Working with a team of experts and teachers, the Be Real Campaign created the Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools to help develop body confidence in all your students so they can thrive both in and out of the classroom.

Mentally Healthy Schools have also curated a collection of resources for Primary schools on the topic of body image, which includes lesson plans as well as a guide to spotting the signs and protective factors: what schools can do. You can read more and find the resources here.

Body image and Advertising resources from Media Smart – Supported by the Government Equalities Office and accredited by the PSHE Association, the resources are designed to build pupils’ emotional resilience as they learn to engage deeper with the messages and methods of advertising. These high-quality resources were created by leading independent experts and will support you in teaching engaging and interactive lessons with key curriculum links to PSHE. They include teacher’s notes and a guide for parents and guardians so that they can discuss this subject at home. We have also created a supporting film featuring young people discussing this issue which you can watch below. Teachers can illustrate the lesson with the suggested case studies or, they can choose their own.

Off the back of Credos (the Advertising industry’s think tank) research, Media Smarr saw a need to create educational materials that focus on the effects of negative body self-image on boys (as most are more girl focused).

To accompany the teaching resources, the team created the film below called the Boys’ Biggest Conversation, with First News and TV medic – Dr Ranj Singh. They interviewed secondary school boys, inviting them to share how they feel about their appearance, and exploring why they feel that way. Parents or guardians can use the free guidelines to support in discussions at home.

Public Health England have also produced a Body Image in a digital world plan pack for KS3 and KS4 pupils, the pack has been produced to explore with students what body image is, how social media can influence it and how to reduce stress caused by online pressure. The resources include videos, lesson plan and powerpoints and can be downloaded here.

Pooky Kingsmith is is the current vice chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. Pooky regularly posts a blog and newsletter featuring advice on Mental Health for both parents and professionals, she has a brilliant YouTube channel with videos covering a range of topics including Mental Health, such as the one below which looks at 4 tips for teachers and parents promoting a positive body image – perfect to share at a staff meeting and with parents.

You can also stay updated by following @MentalHealth Foundation on Twitter using the #BeBodyKind during Mental Health Awareness week.

Arctic Live 2019 1st-8th May 2019

AXA XL Arctic Live is a unique education event linking student with scientists exploring the frozen north from 1-8 May, 2019.

Students around the world will be able to the join the AXA XL Arctic Live research team who are investigating marine plastics and ocean acidification. The science team from the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory will be based at the NERC Arctic Research Station in the northernmost permanent community in the world, Ny Alesund, on the Svalbard archipelago. Schools can sign up for a range of live broadcasts  here.

The Arctic is changing rapidly. It is experiencing the highest levels of warming of any region on the planet, and the chemistry of the Arctic Ocean is acidifying more rapidly now, than at any time in the past 300 million years. Arctic Live offers the chance for young people to explore the issues and put into context news headlines about climate change.

The broadcast sessions will run from the 1st to the 8th May. Classes and families will be able to interview the scientists and members of the expedition team, take part in Ask-me-anything sessions, and join the experiments explaining some of the changes occurring in the Arctic.

Activities range from interviews with experts to live investigations and Arctic Q&A sessions. Each broadcast has a host of supporting resources from activities and lesson plans to galleries and virtual reality content here. You can view all the planned sessions and sign up here.

You can also follow the event on Twitter by following Encounter Edu and you can use  the #ArcticLive to see updates.

Polar Exploration from LGfL would be a fantastic resource to use alongside this event. 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 video below provides a case study of how Exning Primary schools made use of a range of technologies  to support enhanced learner outcomes using the Polar exploration resource for their topic based work.

BusyThings also have a range of resources linked to the Arctic and Polar that could also be used to support your work during Arctic Live. Children can label the Arctic habitat and then after watching one of the live sessions could use the information gathered to write an Arctic fact file using the template in Busythings.

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.

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

Explore Geography AR

Explore Geography AR 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 9 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 the 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 are just not able to do on a physical globe or diagram.

Urbanisation triggers a mini app allowing pupils to control and view the effects of over time of urbanisation with a focus on key urban development variables and ‘tipping points’. Pupils can hypothesis about  urban growth and can develop a deeper understand of how the development of a sustainable urban environment has to be carefully balanced. Enabling group discussions around what happens to an area as it becomes urbanised? It also enables pupils to explore what kind of developments take place and how it affects the population, the environment, the economy and the social structure.  Our Changing climate tackles an incredibly complex subject matter of climate science through an interactive mini app that is triggered allows pupils to see the effects of climate change to this point and then model the possible outcomes on certain elements such as temperature and see level over time, something again that more traditional methods of teaching can not convey.

You can watch a walkthrough of the video below:

The Explore Geography resource features context based resources that are a blend of clear  and concise information and cutting edge Augmented Reality technology on the same page. A teacher guide is provided with instructions for activities the class can complete, or the resource can be used as a starting point with teachers developing their own lessons around them.  The free Geography ActivLens Augmented reality app for ioS and Android brings the information sheets to life with videos, audio, 3D models and animation.

 

 

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

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.

 

 

National Bookstart Week 2018

Every year, BookTrust organises National Bookstart Week to celebrate the joys and benefits of sharing books, stories and rhymes with your little ones from as early an age as possible – it’s never too early to start!

The theme for this year is Bookstart Bird Boogie and the chosen book is the brilliant A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins. It’s a wonderfully colourful rhyming book about being a bird for a day, full of actions to do and sounds to make – and it’s fantastic to read together.

National Bookstart Week will take place from 4-10 June and there will be hundreds of Bookstart Bird Boogie events up and down the country, including bird-themed Rhymetimes and Storytimes, craft and music sessions, face-painting and even birds of prey displays. Just contact your local library or children’s centre to find out what’s happening near you.

At each event you can get a free copy of A Busy Day for Birds, thanks to support from Walker Books. BookTrust is giving away over 450,000 copies, so be sure to head along to an event to pick up yours.

You can also watch a reading of A busy day for Birds read by Ore Oduba below, there are also craft and colouring activities and bird-themed rhymes for you to use they can all be downloaded here.

When it comes to sharing books, stories and rhymes, LGfL have a range of resources to support you not only during this week, but across the school year.

Listening books

Use your LGfL USO account to access over 100 curriculum-based audiobooks. These are a great tool for use with your students who have SEND or an illness which makes it difficult for them read. Listening Books opens up the wonderful world of books to people who find it difficult to read in the usual way. They support the National Curriculum from Key Stage 2 to A-Level and have a huge range of fiction and non-fiction titles for both adults and children. Listening to audiobooks allows children and young people to listen to the same books their friends and peers are reading, improve comprehension and word recognition as well as helping to instil a greater understanding and enjoyment of literature.

It is easy to listen to an audio book,

  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!

Talking stories

Talking stories from 2 Simple are available for KS1, Years 3 and 5 and also as a multi-modal resource that fits in with the Literacy curriculum. Titles include: The Great Fire of London, A trip down the Thames, Orpheus – A Greek Myth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

ebooks by Rising Stars

 

Rising Stars have joined with LGfL to offer schools 15 free eBooks from the Rising Stars range, each developed to engage reluctant readers aged 7 to 14+. Digital reading has been recognised as helping to close the gender gap in reading ability between boys and girls. These eBooks can be used on any device, from PCs and netbooks to iPads and Kindles. Each eBook features age-appropriate story lines and controlled language levels that support struggling readers and motivate switched-off readers, they also come with a set of teacher notes and related activities that can be used either one to one or as part of a guided reading group.

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, Oliver Jeffers, Cressida Cowell, Tony Ross and Lauren Child are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live programme, which is helping inspire young people to explore new authors andgenres and to develop their own creative writing.

You can also watch the next Reading Zone Live event on the 13th June, which features the author Philip Reeve on 13thJune from 2:20 pm. Philip Reeve is a celebrated author, best known for his multi award-winning Mortal Engines quartet, which is being adapted for screen by Peter Jackson and will be released in December 2018. He won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize with his Mortal Engines series, as well as the Nestlé Book Prize – Gold Award and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award.

His most recent series Railhead is a space opera with intergalactic trains, dazzling worlds, and extraordinary characters. The first book in the series was shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie award and the latestbook in the series Station Zero publishes in May 2018.

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.

 

 

Walk to school week – 21 – 25 May 2018

The national walk to school campaign is organised by Living Streets, a national charity that promotes walking. Each year Living Streets puts together a fun themed challenge to take on while walking to and from school. In 2017 400,000 children and their families joined the challenge and got a taste of the many benefits the simple act of walking can bring.  Their vision is that every child that can, walks to school.

A generation ago, 70% of us walked to school – now it’s just over half. Why have we engineered walking out of our lives? Some of the reasons include:

  • Towns and cities built to accommodate cars.
  • Unsafe crossings.
  • Uneven pavements.
  • Congestion and overcrowding at school gates.
  • Air pollution.

They have produced a short video which you can watch below detailing reasons why children like to walk to school, this could be used alongside the assembly they have also produced to help you introduce the week.

They are also promoting a Happy Shoesday on Tuesday, 22 May 2018 where children will be allowed to wear any shoes for the whole day. They can decorate them, wear odd shoes or even come to school in their slippers! Living Streets would like schools to raise money for their charity, but you can take part just by organising an activity for your school.

There are also a number of resources from LGfL that can be used during this 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 ofliteracy,thinking and comprehension skills. This includes worksheets which use Widgit symbols tosupport understanding for many young people with SEND, EAL and lower literacy levels.

Children could also use JIT or J25 to create either an animation or a poster to encourage pupils to walk to school, they can see if they can improve on the one produced by Living Streets. They could also write to their local council and ask what is being done in their areas to encourage children to walk to school, or to encourage parents to park and stride.

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.

Think from the Department of Transport have websites for Primary and Secondary both feature sections for teachers, pupils and parents. Topics include Road rangers, Stepping stones, Map your journey and small changes which link perfectly to the Walk to school week theme.

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 Walk to School Week.

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

 

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.

 

 

ReadingZone Live with Philip Reeve – June 13th.

Our next ReadingZone Live features the author Philip Reeve on 13thJune from 2:20 pm.

Philip Reeve is a celebrated author, best known for his multi award-winning Mortal Engines quartet, which is being adapted for screen by Peter Jackson and will be released in December 2018.He won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize with this series, as well as the Nestlé Book Prize – Gold Award and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award.

His most recent series Railhead is a space opera with intergalactic trains, dazzling worlds, and extraordinary characters. The first book in the series was shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie award and the latest book in the series Station Zero publishes in May 2018.

Philip also creates young fiction with Sarah McIntyre. Their adventures include Oliver and the SeawigsCakes in SpacePugs of the Frozen NorthJinks and O’Hare: Funfair Repair, and a brand new series The Legend of Kevin, publishing in September 2018.

This Reading Zone Live event would be most suited for Upper Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 children.

ReadingZone Live is a partnership with ourselves and Reading zone bringing regular interviews and live videos conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors and illustrators to London school.

Antony Horowitz, Sally Gardner, Jaqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Henry Winkler, Oliver Jeffers and Lauren Child are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live Programme, which helps to inspire young people to explore new authors and genres and help children to develop their own creative writing.

LGfL schools are linked to our live author events via video conferencing, with one school selected to host the author event, during each event, authors discuss their writing process before answering the student’s questions via video. Schools that have video conferencing facilities can join the event and have their questions answered.

Schools can watch the broadcast via live webcast starting at 2:20 pm on 13th June, more details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here.

 

Arctic Live – May 4th – May 10th

Currently in it’s fifth year, XL Catlin Arctic Live is the northernmost live education stream that connects classrooms globally to members of the UK science expedition team based at the UK Arctic Research Station in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard.

This live education event is designed to ignite students’ curiosity for extreme environments; develop their scientific literacy and skills; point them toward STEM careers and inspire their environmental stewardship.

Between 1 and 10 May 2018, the expedition team will be in the frozen north studying ocean acidification and microplastics. Arctic Live will have sessions appropriate for students from age 5-18. You can take part with your class, as an assembly, or as a STEM club activity.

Through a series of YouTube Live broadcasts, there are a range of activities that you will be able to take part in:

Live investigations direct from the Arctic –  these are practical activities guided by the expedition team. They can be replicated in the classroom simultaneously. Topics include: Arctic food webs, insulation materials, ocean acidification, microplastics ice core sampling and sea level rise. You can view the lesson materials here.

Interviews with the polar science team – students can ask researchers and explorers about their work and lives. To increase a chance to get questions answered it is recommended that these are submitted  by the end of April. You can find out more about the speakers here.

Open Q&A sessions – classes can speak to polar educationalist, Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop, about life and science in the Arctic.

More Teacher guidance and advice on signing up to sessions can be found here. They have also produced a pack for teachers working with KS1 children which can be found here.

You can also follow the event on Twitter by following Digital Explorers  and you can use  the #ArcticLive to see updates.

Polar Exploration from LGfL would be a fantastic resource to use alongside this event. 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

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.

Sport Relief 17th – 23rd March

Sport Relief is when the British public comes together to get active, raise money and change lives. This time, it’s bigger than ever and there is a whole week of epic activity lined up from 17th to 23rd March 2018.

There are support packs for Primary, Secondary and Nurseries to download, these include challenges including the daily mile, fundraising ideas, posters for schools. a guide for school councils and a new song and dance that pupils can learn ‘Step it Up for Sport Relief!’

Team Marathon for KS1 and KS2 from LGfL can also be used, the resource follows a group ofchildren through a programme of six training sessions leading to the Team Marathon event, which involves children running together to complete the marathon distance. The final two updates cover the event itself and reporting on it. The materials also offer support for a number of cross-curricular activities related to organising and reporting on the event and issues from the SEAL agenda like target setting and teamwork.

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.

Or why not use the week to focus on dance using the brilliant BalletBoyz resource for KS2-4. BalletBoyz leads the field in using digital technology in its output and to disseminate to wider audiences, and this expertise, in partnership with LGfL, has resulted in new, digital content to aid the delivery of dance in schools in London.

The purpose of this new content is to enable London teachers to access high-quality digital dance resources to assist and enhance their teaching. BalletBoyz has always believed that dance education in schools is most engaging when students have direct access to the performer.

This unique online resource provides tailor-made resources to support both specialist and non-specialist teachers deliver dance at Key Stages 2-4. Resources for curriculum lessons consist of short expert videos with voiceovers featuring company dancers as they break down moves and then show students how to join them together in sequences. Detailed lesson plans are also provided for teachers explaining how to use the videos. In addition, inspiration clips from theBalletBoyz company repertoire are included to further encourage and inspire students and teachers alike.

Premier League Primary Stars  offer a range of resources for P.E., P.H.S.E, Maths and English, teachers can access these resources by signing up via their website. Registration is needed before the resources can be downloaded, alongside lesson plans there are also assembly ideas.  Teachers registered on the site can also apply for free kit for their schools as well.

Also from the Premier League and BBC, is Super Movers the aim of this new resource launched last month is to encourage teachers to adopt an active approach to learning and include physical activity throughout the day.

Super Movers gives teachers video content-led ideas and simple solutions to help children learn while they move – all free, fun, and easy to use in the classroom. No extra equipment is required.

Some of the exciting things Super Movers offer include:

  • Top tips and bright ideas about how to best use Super Movers from active schools and football clubs across the UK
  • Stars from the worlds of football and television will come together to capture children’s imagination in a series of videos that will enhance children’s learning
  • Premier League-inspired rewards including prizes, certificates and stickers to help incentivise children
  • Live Lessons broadcast on BBC platforms

Super Movers can also be used at home too with a range of fun videos and games designed to get children and grown-ups moving together in their living rooms, so parents as well as teachers can join in. Teachers can sign up to the Super Movers newsletter now to be the first to know about latest video releases, get exciting news and information about upcoming Super Movers events and hear from other teachers.

What ever you do for Sport Relief 2018, please share via our twitter or Facebook pages.

 

 

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

Fair Trade Fortnight 26th February – 11th March 2018

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. When trade is fair, it can make the world a better place. Together we have that power, so why not get involved and be part of the difference.

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 2018, the theme is to ‘come on in’ to Fairtrade to stand with farmers and close the door on exploitation.

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. Schools can also enter the Fairtrade Fortnight Award with a chance to win £350 to spend on your future Fairtrade activities – there’s more information here.

 The Fair-trade website also contains a range of new resources, 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. There are the following resources on the site:

 Introducing Coobana Banana Co-operative – quiz and discussion to introduce Central America, Panama and the Banana trade.

  • Songs and Poems of Banana workers – Songs like Harry Belafonte’s Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) are great for assemblies, now learn what they mean and gain an understanding of the struggle of Banana workers to gain respect and fair working conditions.

Traidcraft also has a range of resources for Key stages 1-5 to support the teaching during FairTrade fortnight as well as ideas of how to involve the students including a Fair Trade Bake Off! Other ideas include selling Fair Trade produce during school snack times and visiting local shops to see how many Fair Trade products that they stock.

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Book Day 2018

World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

This is the 21st year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 1st March 2018, children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. That’s why World Book Day  will be sending schools (including those nurseries and secondary schools that have specially registered to participate), packs of Book Tokens and age-ranged World Book Day Resource Packs (age-ranged into Nursery/Pre-School, Primary and Secondary) full of ideas and activities, display material and more information about how to get involved in World Book Day.

The Wold Book Day website is packed with ideas for dressing up,  resources, and the chance to sign up to watch live streamed shows on World Book Day.

Reading Zone Live from LGfL is the perfect resource to use within your class on World Book day, the site is packed with interviews with authors including: Michael Murpurgo, Oliver Jeffers, Jacqueline Wilson and Cressida Cowell to name a few. Alongside interviews with the authors explaining their inspiration and writing resources, there are also a range of resources for teachers to use in class.  Our next Reading Zone Live event is with the author Mini Grey on the 21st March 2018, you can find out more information and how to watch here.

You can also use the j2etool suite to complete one of the following activities: Why not have a vote on World Book Day as to who the favourite author is in your class or school, ask the children to write a book review or a biography of their favourite author using j2e and finally they could use the tools in JIT to create an alternative book cover. The tool suite includes some templates that can be used on World book day.

Book creator app is a fantastic app to use on World Book day, you can use either the tablet or web based version to get children to create their own books, combining text, image, audio and video to create their own interactive stories that they can share.

The author Jo Cotterill has come up. with a fantastic range of World Book Day Alternative ideas, these include Potato and Egg characters, donate a book and build a book scene in a box you can see these ideas and more here.

Night Zoo Keeper also launch their World Creative Writing month on World Book day, this is a month long competition where classrooms around the world work together to write as money stories as possible. Last year schools from 30 countries wrote over 6 million words. The very best writing is showcased each week with prizes up for grabs – you can find out more about this and how to register here.

What do you have planned for World Book Day we would love to see pictures and work  please share via our twitter or Facebook pages #WBD18

 

The Romans – New AR and VR content.

The Romans in London resource has been a favourite amongst History teachers across the key stages for the last couple of years with over 200,000 page views since it was launched. This comprehensive resource has now  been updated with both AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) content.

Using incredible Augmented Reality, you can now see first hand examples of Roman life.  There are 10 trigger images in total that can be used alongside the Romans in London resource, they include working out calculations using Roman numerals, labelling a Roman Soldier, listening as Julius Ceasar takes us through important events as well as firing a first century Roman Balista.

You can see the AR in action in the videos below:

You can download the AR app for iOS devices here and for Android here

The VR element of the resource places the children on Hadrian’s Wall on a cold snowy night, using the app for either android or iOS devices and a compatible head set, the children can be transported back in time and are placed on top of the wall guarding the camp, to enjoy the full experience it is recommended that headphones are used.

The Romans in London resources are structured into the following sections:

  • The Roman invasion and the army
  • Boudica & the growth of Roman settlements in the London area
  • Everyday life
  • Baths & entertainment
  • Religion
  • Transport, trade & industry
  • Interactive Map of Roman find sites

The resource also features an interactive map of Roman London with Google Maps integration and Streetview showing the major Roman find sites. This simple tool allows any child in any location in London to explore the Roman Legacy wherever they live or go to school. 

High resolution images and High quality video resources including:

  • Gladiatorial battle re-enactments
  • The major Roman remains in the City of London
  • Replicas and real artefacts uncovered from archaeological discoveries in London
  • High resolution photographs courtesy of Museum of London Picture Library and Museum ofLondon Archaeology
  • Reconstructions of what Roman London might have looked like, maps and images of artefactscourtesy of Museum of London Picture Library

You can watch a summary walkthrough video below

and also the trailer can be found here:

The Museum of London also offer schools a range of workshops and sessions for schools that are studying the Romans over the next two terms, sessions include: Roman Amphitheatre, Hands on Romans and written in bone, you can find out more about the sessions here.

Wonderful Winter Olympics

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

LGfL at Bett


From Wednesday to Saturday next week the Excel centre in London will home to Bett. This is the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape bringing together 850 leading companies103 exciting new edtech start ups and over 34,700 attendees from the global education community. They come together to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education, as well as the role technology and innovation plays in enabling all educators and learners to thrive.

LGfL will once again be at the show you can find us on stand D260 and we have lots of exciting events planned.

You will be able to see our latest resources including demonstrations of the latest AR/VR technology from Inspyro, including the chance to get behind a first century Roman Ballista and see if you can hit the target using Virtual Reality, and after firing the Ballista you will then be able to head over to our own Barista for a FREE coffee and chance to chat and find out more about our resources and services from the LGfL consultants and how we can support you in school as well as finding out about free training opportunites that are available to you either in school or at our training centre at Camden CLC.

The consultants will also be offering drop in surgeries covering everything from EYFS, Google, Microsoft, j2e,Send, Safeguarding with the opportunity to have your questions answered or just find out more about the range of resources and how these can help support your learners in class.  It could be how you can use LGfL to promote inclusion, see how we can help keep your students stay safe online, transforming your education practice with the next generation of class based technologies and news on our upcoming conferences that are all free to staff at LGfL and Trustnet schools.

On Thursday is your chance to hear from schools and see how they have used LGfL to enhance the learning for their children.  At 10:30 Oli Trussell will be hosting session all about LGfL and G Suite. Schools already involved in our Google Cloud Champion project will giving micro presentations about their journey so far focussing on key themes you can sign up to attend here: https://goo.gl/forms/zyeT8tPwoSy3Jkpm2

On the LGfL stand at 11 am on Thursday, we will have pupils from St. Peter’s school in Romford showcasing their work using the j2e tool suite to create websites linked to their WW1 topic, so why not come along and talk to the students themselves as to what you can gain from using LGfL tools.

Wednesday

10:45      Expert Surgery EYFS

11: 45      Expert Surgery SEND

12:45      Expert Surgery Online Safety

13:45      Expert Surgery Making the most of LGfL

14:00     Microsoft and LGfL

15:00      j2e updates

15:45     G Suite and LGfL

Inspyro will be on the stand all afternoon – come and chat to them and see how you can use AR and VR in your classroom.

Thursday

10:30     Open to all London schools find out how to get started using LGfL and speak to our Cloud Champions this will be off stand and you can sign up here

11: 00     School Showcase with St. Peter’s school, Romford showing their work using j2e tools

11:45      Expert Surgery Making the most of LGfL

12:45      Expert Surgery SEND

13:45      Expert Surgery Computing

14:00     Microsoft and LGfL

15:00      j2e updates

15:45     Expert Surgery Online Safety

Inspyro will be on the stand all afternoon – come and chat to them and see how you can use AR and VR in your classroom.

Friday

10:45      Expert Surgery SEND

11: 45      Expert Surgery Online Safety

12:45      Expert Surgery EYFS

13:45      Expert Surgery Making the most of LGfL

14:00     Microsoft and LGfL

15:00      j2e updates

Inspyro will be on the stand all morning – come and chat to them and see how you can use AR and VR in your classroom.

Saturday

10:55      G Suite and LGFL

12:45      Keep your kids safe online: sharenting, parenting and co existing with digital natives

13:45      Using LGfL at home

14:30      j2e updates

We look forward to welcoming you to the stand and please share your visit on our twitter of Facebook pages.

Blast into the new term

What better way to start the new term by letting you know about a new and updated resource.  LGfL schools have access to the Just2Easy tool suite and J2Blast has now been updated to include Spelling!

The new 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. 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 your place in the class, school and world.

Feedback is built into 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 commenly mis-spelt words.

As the users progress, they earn points which unlock new premium Pirate based characters. This makes learning fun and increases motivation.

You can find out more about spell blast and the features including being able to add your own word lists in the video below:

J2Blast has been renamed as Tt Blast,Tt blast encourages pupils to learn maths while they do what comes naturally; play and compete against each other. As they progress through the levels, the questions automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult.

Again feedback is built in,teachers can see detailed information about the achievements of their pupils as well as which aspects they have found difficult.

The final tool in the blast series is SATs blast, this builds on the success of TT blast, SATs blast encourages pupils to learn the maths elements of SATA test for KS1 and KS2 in a games based context. With the same feedback involved in both Tt Blast and Spell blast.

So why not use these new and updated tools to blast your students into the New Year.

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

 

LGfL Digital Excellence Awards

We are delighted to be launching our new LGfL Digital Excellence awards.  These awards will celebrate best practice and innovative approaches in using the wide range of learning resources and services provided by LGfL.

All LGfL schools are invited to apply for one or more awards from the following categories:

Whole school use of LGfL: Judges will be looking for the use of LGfL resources by the whole school community, with evidence that the use has had a positive impact on educational outcomes of students throughout the school supporting teaching and learning.

Inclusive practice using LGfL resources and services: Judges will be looking for evidence that LGfL resources and services have been used to enable inclusive practice within the school, enabling a wide range of learners to achieve.

Parental engagement using LGfL: Judges will be looking for ways that entrants have engaged with LGfL resources and services in order to promote parental engagement with the school and home learning.

Online safety: Judges will be looking for ways that schools have used LGfL resources to promote online safety throughout the school, ensuring that all stakeholders are aware of the benefits and risks of being a digital citizen

Digital excellence by students: Judges will be looking at how students, these could be digital leaders have used LGfL to support learning in the school, showing leadership and excellence in outcomes.

Use of j2e tools: Judges will be looking for outstanding use of j2e resources both inside school and at home to support teaching and learning within the school.

Schools that enter will build up a community of digital excellence across London, sharing best practice and highlighting the many ways that LGfL can be used to support teaching and learning within our schools.

To enter, head to our awards page, decide which category or categories you would like to apply for and complete the entry form. The closing date for entries is Friday 23rd February at 5 pm. Shortlisted schools will be contacted by Friday 9th March. Shortlisted schools will then arrange to host a short visit from LGfL staff to see their submission ‘in action’, this will take place between the 14th and 28th March.

Winners will be announced at the LGfL annual conference on 30th April 2018.

Bob Usher, LGfL Content Manager said: ‘‘The LGfL Education Awards are a key part of our strategy to share the innovative and effective use of technology across LGfL schools and beyond. We look forward to showcasing some of the best practice across London and inspiring other practitioners to make the most of the LGfL service for to meet the needs of their learners’.

For more information click here

Let us know if you are entering the awards by posting your work on our twitter of Facebook pages.

 

 

The Royal Collection

What’s in a picture? Quite a lot in fact! And thanks to this collection of prints and  paintings from Royal Collection Trust, you will find even more.

Royal Collection Trust looks after the Royal Collection, one of the most important art collections in the world. Their aim,  to ensure that the Royal Collection and Palaces are valued and enjoyed by everyone.

During the months of January and February the BBC will be celebrating the Royal Collection with The Royal Collection Season, a major partnership between Royal Collection Trust and the BBC, bringing both masterpieces and lesser-known works of art from the Royal Collection to audiences across the UK. The Season includes programming across BBC One, Two and Four, as well as BBC Radio 3 and 4 and local radio, over the course of January and February 2018.

To celebrate this and the opening of a new exhibition LGfL are delighted to announce a series of new opportunities for schools in collaboration with the Learning team at  Royal Collection Trust.

Firstly, a curated selection of high-resolution images has been added to the LGfL TRUSTnet Image Bank. The ten images have been specially selected for their relevance and interest for schools, and feature in the latest exhibition ‘Charles II: Art and Power” at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace (open to the public and school groups until 13th May 2018).

All images are available to download for educational use in super high resolution and are ideal for studying in preparation for or subsequent to a school visit to the exhibition.

We are proud to announce that we are running another of our highly popular training sessions with  Royal Collection Trust. “Painting at the palace: using art for cross-curricular inspiration” This twilight event will highlight the skills needed to question any painting and show how you can pass these skills onto pupils, whether you a dilettante or a master.  This is a unique opportunity to learn more skills in a unique location. Go to our training hub for more information and to book your place.

Throughout the year, schools can arrange visits or attend special workshops with the education experts at Royal Collection Trust.

Developed to coincide  with the Charles II exhibition, RCT is hosting 3 unique sessions at The Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace with a mix of stimulating and interactive sessions focusing on English, Art and Design, History and Drama. These sessions are free of charge*, run by experts, open to all schools, and are the ideal complement when used with our very own Image Bank or a planned visit.

(* School pupils receive a discounted entry rate of £1 per pupil for The Queen’s Gallery. Full details on www.royalcollection.org.uk/schools)

Dance and Music week: (19-23 February, KS1-KS2) Discover the music, dance and fashion from the period of Charles II’s Royal Court. Pupils will have the opportunity to watch and listen to specialist historical musicians play instruments from the time and explore the amazing art featured in Charles II: Art & Power at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

Pictures with power: A creative writing workshop (available until 11th May, KS2-KS5) Explore Charles II: Art & Power with a published author to inspire your pupils’ writing. Explore the idea that impressions of power can be portrayed through imagery and the collecting of art.

Art or power: What do portraits tell us? (available until 11 May KS2-KS4) Explore Charles II: Art & Power with a professional artist, discover how power was portrayed through the amazing works of art and be inspired to create your own portraits.

You can see all of the RCT education programmes available here.

If you would like to see other images from the Royal Collection Trust, you can view and down load other collections in the LGfL Image Bank.

The LGfL image Bank is an ever-expanding collection of high-resolution images from trusted LGfL partners.

The image collections have been checked for appropriateness for use in an educational context and where relevant, mapped to the National Curriculum. To access these images, just search for resources by programme of study to see if there are any for your subject.

Please do make sure to adhere to the licensing terms of use for teachers and students as this will ensure that content providers continue to partner with LGfL and offer unique resources for teachers and students

Are you using the LGfL Image Bank with your school? Let us know how by posting your work on our twitter of Facebook pages.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free School Meals – eligibility checker

The Free School Meal Checking Service is an online process where parents can check eligibility for free school meals. Parents can conduct a simple online check to determine eligibility for free school meals which in turn may attract the extra funding for each of their children’s schools. Parents are not required to accept free meals but schools appreciate the help with conducting an online check.

What the service does for parents:

After entering a few details into the website, the online application process links to the Department for Education database and gives an immediate ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.

This system is designed to eliminate the need to apply in person for free school meals and improve the claims process for schools. It also means that if you are eligible for free meals, the school is able to process your application using the information you submit.

There is no need to re-apply each year, as schools can recheck eligibility as required using the data already provided – although if your child moves to a different school then you will need to update your account.

We have made a couple of enhancements to the website, for further information please see the FAQ ‘s, the enhancements are:

  •  A school can check eligibility on behalf of a parent, the parent will need to contact your child’s school, as they can run a check on your behalf.
  •  A parent of a child attending any LGfL or TRUSTnet school can now use this website to check their eligibility.

By way of thanks for your application and support, and regardless of whether the answer returned is a yes or a no, The London Grid for Learning (LGfL) and its connected schools would like to provide parents of children attending LGfL-connected schools with Sophos AntiVirus software, free of charge, to protect the computers used by pupils at home. To gain access to this software, a short registration process is required, at which point other services related to your children’s school will be explained. Don’t worry, its straightforward, there is absolutely no advertising, and you won’t be asked to buy anything! There is no catch, LGfL (a UK education charity) is providing this service to support schools.

What the service does for schools:

As the government has now introduced free school meals for all children in Key Stage 1, it is more important than ever for schools to know how many pupils would otherwise be eligible for free meals as this may allow schools to apply for extra funding. These funds enable schools to take on more staff, invest in additional equipment, resources and activities to benefit all their children.

Schools wishing to encourage applications can promote the online eligibility checker to parents by publicising the following web address: pps.lgfl.org.uk

After parents have submitted their details online, a suitably authorised school administrator will be able to facilitate the submission of claims by clicking on the ‘Administrators’ button and visiting the school administration section. The head teacher is an authorised school administrator by default but would normally nominate one or more staff members as additional administrators via this section of the site. Data will only be made available securely via this site. In order to use this FREE service, schools already subscribing to LGfL 2.0 or TRUSTnet services by ensuring that MIS data is exported regularly and the school has configured an information status in the free OpenCheck service found at opencheck.lgfl.net.

This service is provided by the London Grid for Learning and is available to parents of children attending schools which are part of the LGfL or TRUSTnet service network.

All submitted data is stored securely in compliance with the Data Protection Act. For additional information regarding data please see our privacy statement.

 

Number Day – February 2nd 2018

Join thousands of schools for a mega maths-inspired fundraising day and raise money for the NSPCC, on 2nd 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 2018.  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 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.

 

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

ReadingZone Live Updates

With Christmas on it way don’t think that LGfL have forgotten you! We have 3 great gifts for you and your students!

In partnership with ReadingZone Live we are proud to announce not one not two but three new updates to our ever-expanding book case of children’s authors.

ReadingZone Live is a partnership with ourselves and Reading zone bringing regular interviews and live videos conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors and illustrators to London school, you can see past events here.

Antony Horowitz, Sally Gardner, Sophie McKenzie, Robert Muchamore, Pete Johnson, and Alexander Gordon Smith are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live Programme, which helps to inspire young people to explore new authors and genres and help children to develop their own creative writing.

LGfL schools are linked to our live author events via video conferencing, with one school’s selected to host the author event, during each event, authors discuss their writing process before answering the student’s questions via video.

First up is Cath Howe Author of soon to be published ‘Ella on the Outside’ Cath Howe is an author and teacher working in a South West London school writing for, and working with, Key Stage 2 primary age children.
Her first two books were published in 2012 by Pearson in their Bug Club, “The Curse of the Highwayman” and “The Highwayman’s Revenge”. She has won prizes for stories, poems and monologues and even written a musical.

Cath speaks about how her role as an author in residence works and how it can be different to being a class teacher “A writer in residence can focus on a task in a different way to the class teacher who has all sorts of other demands on their time” and how knowledge of the students can help affect to the stories told “You have the children’s voices in your head when you are writing parts of the story as you get to know the children in school so well”

Secondly, we have Roger Stevens who was interviewed as part of his role as National Poetry Ambassador for National Poetry Day.

Roger has written over 24 books and has poem published in over 200 children’s anthologies, He is also the founder of the Poetry Zone website, which encourages children to write and publish their poetry and offers guidance and ideas for teachers on how to make teaching poetry fun and rewarding.

During the interview Roger speaks about how he creates poems and how much music influences his work “The Lyrics of Bob Dylan helped me understand that you could write about real, important topics but in a simple format” he also speaks of the importance of having a notebook to jot down what people are saying around him or when something pops into his head “You need to keep your ears and eyes open to help inspire you to write poems”

Roger also speaks about why National Poetry Day is such an important thing to celebrate “We need national poetry day to show the world that there are brilliant poems out there! That poems don’t need to be academic and can be fun!”

Last up is the wonderful author illustrator Oliver Jeffers who was interviewed by six different schools across London. Oliver spoke about his new book “Here We Are” and shared with the children the book written for his son before he was born and that at its core, has a simple message, to be kind, accept one another and to look after the planet. In the book one page depicts dozens of people nudging up to one another a lady in a burqa; a sumo wrestler wedged between a nun and a punk – and the line: “don’t be fooled, we are all people”.

Oliver was excited to share his creative process and shared with the audience the secret of writing a good children’s book ‘Try and be economic with your use of words. Say what you are trying to say with as few words as possible’ When asked how does an illustrator find their own style instead of just copying someone else he explained ‘Illustrators find their style when they stop trying to copy other peoples’

If you are interested in taking part in ReadingZone Live event or want to just submit questions to be posed to the author just contact contentsupport@lgfl.net

 

Spotlight on The Tudors

The Tudors in London resource offers a range of resources to support teachers in delivering this part of the History curriculum. It aims to develop an understanding of a historical context in which to appreciate how events of 500 years ago still impact London life today.

Featuring over 140 high-quality videos clips and over 60 high-resolution images from the Museum of London Archaeological Archive, Royal Collection Trust and key Tudor locations in London. The resource also features a curriculum mapping tool and a whole range of lesson plans to support the teaching of this subject at Key Stage 2. 

The video below gives an introduction to the resource:

High quality video resources include:

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

High resolution images

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

The resources are structured into the following sections

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

Interactive Map of Tudor London

The resource also features an interactive map of Tudor London with Google Maps integration