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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

The sessions we can offer are as follows:

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

Subject and Topic Related Resources:

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

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

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

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

Humanities Subject Leaders:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Computing Subject Leader:

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

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

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

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

Science Subject Leader:

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

 

 

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

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

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

In General:

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

Healthy Eating Week – June 10th-14th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cookit

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

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

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

Busythings

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

Switched on Science and Virtual Experiments

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

Team Marathon

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

Each training session follows the same format:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

STEAM School & LGfL Pilot Project

Meet the people who are crafting our future…

LGfL and Steam School will be collaborating on a series of live broadcasts with leading tech entrepreneurs, giving LGfL members a unique, behind the scenes, insight into exciting industries like video gaming and why young people should develop their digital making and entrepreneurial skills whilst at school, preparing them for a very digital future.

At LGfL we are looking forward to a summer pilot project we are running with Steam School. The aim is to connect schools with science and tech innovators via weekly live broadcasts and accompanying mini challenges. By showcasing the stories of young innovators, discussing tech trends and scientific breakthroughs, Steam School inspires students to develop a new awareness about how rapid technological change is transforming the world in which we live.

Participating schools will be eligible to enter our Generation Tech Challenge with the possibility to win £250 for your school’s STEM budget. The broadcasts are scheduled to take place during the month of June 2019.

The dates for the live broadcasts at 2pm are:

  • 11th June – Starship Group
  • 18th June – Draw and Code
  • 26th June – Milky Tea
  • 3rd July – A Celebration Broadcast to announce the winners of the Generation Tech Challenges).

Please visit STEAM School Pilot to register your LGfL school’s interest in taking part.

In the meantime, if you are trying to promote STEM subjects in your school, here are some resources on LGfL to inspire teachers and pupils:

Polar Exploration

British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13

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

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

Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon

Follow the intrepid astronaut Tazz Anderson and her onboard computer (MIC) on a mission to the moon to bring back the valuable raw material ‘Dysprosium’ for use in smart devices back on planet Earth. Will she achieve the mission objectives and will she encounter any problems along the way?

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

The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for maths, English and science and a computing unit created my Max Wainwright, author of the popular Espresso coding resource for primary schools.

There is even a section on how to build your own rocket and launch it with a Micro:bit as the integral data logger and how to create your own Space Adventures using green screen techniques. This resource could also be used if you are marking the Apollo 50th Anniversary in July. Watch this new video explaining how to run a live event and secure impact at school.

VR/AR Resources

LGfL works closely with the experts at Inspyro and Avantis to bring the latest Augmented and Virtual Reality content to LGfL schools. The aim is to help support the effective delivery of the curriculum through unique, engaging, interactive and affordable AR/VR experiences.

If you want a glimpse into the future of AR why not watch this explanation about how we can bring objects and people in to a classroom without even needing a trigger image:

Maths in the Real World

Maths in the Real World is a transition resource for Key Stage 2-3. The activities are ideal for use either before or after the move from primary to secondary. It offers detailed differentiation ensuring there is something for all ability levels and has been carefully designed in line with the national curriculum and natural mathematical learning.

There will be two additional units added later this term –

  • The Stock Market Challenge offers an exciting real world simulation of live stock market changes and how they can impact on the performance of shares and ultimately how much money can be won or lost.

  • The iPhone challenge explores how a deep understanding of probability could save you money when thinking of upgrading your phone.

Search and Rescue with HM Coastguard

Much more than a series of exciting, attention‐grabbing videos and images, Search & Rescue is extensively mapped to the maths national curriculum and includes detailed lesson plans and resources to enable pupils to apply their skills in context, solving problems for themselves. It features comprehensive and differentiated support materials; topics covered include Bearings, Pythagoras and Trigonometry, Algebra, Vectors and Speed, Distance and Time.

Viral Contagion Maths

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. Dramatised 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 four discrete, differentiated lessons that provide an engaging and challenging focus for Key Stage 3 and 4 maths students.

Switched on Science

Switched on Science is a flexible and creative investigation-based programme with a clear focus on working scientifically in primary science lessons. It is packed with best-practice CPD videos and supportive lessons to ensure every teacher can deliver the programmes of study with confidence. The package comes with 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.

In addition to LGfL resources you may want to look here:

If you are interested in promoting the Arts in addition to STEM subjects too, read more about SteamCo’s work (they are another non-profit organisation). They are campaigning, celebrating and connecting pupils with the arts and their communities. One of the schools they have visited as part of their ArtsConnect19 tour is Parklands, Leeds. Many of you will have seen Chris Dyson, the Headteacher, deliver a keynote at our recent LGfL Curriculum Conference. Here is a video clip posted by Nick from SteamCo in case you missed Chris’ Keynote.

Also remember to visit EduBlocks; to make the transition from blocks to Python easier. Josh (15) is the creator of Edublocks and he was a huge hit at the recent LGfL Curriculum Conference when he delivered a keynote.

Finally, the BP Educational Service is a free, online STEM teaching resource that was established to inspire young people to pursue a future in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM). The BP Educational Service website provides an extensive range of free teaching resources to accompany the curriculum including videos, lesson plans, posters, quizzes and worksheets and the opportunity to take part in the annual Ultimate STEM challenge. If you would like to know more please visit https://bpes.bp.com/

Remember if you do use any LGfL content (especially relating to STEM) to inspire your students do let us know by posting them on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

Take a Walk in the Footsteps of the Great Explorers of the Past

Now that winter is upon us, are you considering a topic exploring the triumphs and tragedies of the great Polar Explorers of the past? If so, LGfL’s Polar Exploration in the Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery is a comprehensive and unique cross-curricular resource tracing the Great Explorers’ endeavours from the first half of the 20th century.

The LGfL resources were written in partnership with Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University (SPRI – a centre of world excellence in the study of the polar regions). The online portal features insights into the epic adventures undertaken by British polar explorers through SPRI unique collection of artefacts, journals, paintings, photographs, clothing equipment and maps which document the evolution of different approaches to polar exploration.

The resource features lesson plans and resources which have been devised by experienced Primary and Secondary teachers, offering a wide range of ideas and activities to incorporate the learning resource in to your teaching. Do you want to learn about a school’s recent  experience of using the resource? Then watch the case study from Exning Primary School case study by following the link  here. You can learn more about the schools wider approach to using technology to maximise learning from here  too via  www.casestudies.lgfl.net.

The Terra Nova expedition is perhaps the most famous, where Captain Scott not only failed to reach the South Pole before his rival Amundsen, but died on the treacherous journey home. Through this story you can compare Robert Scott’s survival kit with a modern-day explorer and perhaps gain a new-found respect for the conditions and equipment these pioneers had to endure.

The Endurance remains one of the all-time great survival stories where Shackleton and his crew became stranded on ice and watched their precious ship become crushed over several months. In a heroic feat of survival, all crew members survived even though their path to safety took them over a year across cruel conditions both at land and sea finally ending up in the remote island of South Georgia.

You can explore the maps of these arduous journeys via the interactive map 

created by the Fitzwilliam Museum specifically for the resource; click on locations en route and see accounts written or photographic evidence of what happened when and where and sometimes to shocking effect. Children can follow the journey of the Nimrod expedition, using the interactive map and use the links to the actual photographs, artefacts and diary entries and this will really bring the adventure to life!

Children have the opportunity to study old equipment from expeditions and the modern counterparts including how approaches to navigation have evolved.

You could download the app for Google Expeditions for a 360 immersive experience that allows teachers and students to explore the world through over 800 virtual-reality (VR) and 100 augmented-reality (AR) tours. Why not try LGfL’s new Explore Geography AR –  the latest Active Lens collaboration with Inspyro, which uses augmented reality technology?

Furthermore, you could explore different environments through the Class VR Virtual Reality headsets and explore the Gentoo Penguins in their environment. You can challenge the children with tasks to identify features of the penguins and explore how it has helped survive in their environment. Remember to look at the planning documents available to you, if you are part of the ClassVR community. If you want to take it further still, you could link your computing curriculum with the topic  and use Co-spaces; the children can code their own Antarctic ‘worlds’ and then ‘create’ a ‘newly discovered species’ and put that into their Co-spaces world.

To get your class empathising with the great explorers of the past, they could put themselves in to a polar explorer’s walking boots, starting with some drama activities, click here to see how one school turned their classroom into a windswept, freezing landscape. The children can explore further the risks accompanied to being exposed to frostbite and all the risks associated to that.

If your aim is for the children to write fantastic descriptions as part of a narrative, they can use some of the images to ‘say as much as possible in as few words as possible’ as Anthony Horowitz states when asked, “How do you turn inspiration in to writing?” taken from LGfL’s ReadingZone Live resource.  

You might want to get children exploring the J2e tools in JIT for infants and J2E. They can complete different activities including making animations or even try coding setting different backgrounds in Visual 2Code.

The eBooks by Rising Stars is a resource developed to engage reluctant readers aged 7 to 14+. For example, the ‘Mystery Mob’ are six boys who get into scrapes and unravel mysterious happenings. One the titles in the series is ‘Mystery Mob and the Abominable Snowman’.  

Arctic weather conditions have an impact on our lives in the UK. The sort of data collected by early equipment is still collected today and helps Meteorologists to predict weather forecasts here and around the world. Real life maths activities could be explored through such data and positional maths activities using compass and coordinates are other possibilities.

Geology including fossils can be explored in Science. Remember to visit Switched on Science for further ideas about reversible and irreversible changes, conductors and insulators and how plants and animals adapt to their environments.

The extreme cold in Antarctica means that your body burns much more energy than it would at home, so you need a special high energy diet. The average adult normally needs 2000-2500 calories a day but when you’re out in the field in the Antarctic you will need over 6000 calories a day.

Ever fancied trying your hand at green screening? This was once a technique only available to professionals; you will be surprised by the basic equipment now needed to produce some great films directed by the children themselves; possibly equipment you already have in school? Children will undoubtedly learn a great deal from the experience of planning and writing for a film shoot! If you are wanting to give it a further professional touch, you can add sound effects from the BBC and background music from Audio Network the LGfL music database. Scott’s hut and related images within the LGfL resource can be used for authentic backgrounds.

Podcasting is an excellent way for pupils to gain confidence in public speaking and can provide a new sense of audience for children, as part of a podcast or radio broadcast. The pupils of Chalgrove Primary School in Barnet have posted a number of podcasts listed under Shackleton’s Expedition. (You could use the timeline to provide the historical facts and chronology for the basis of these podcasts.)

As part of the exploration your pupils could develop their poetic talents; once they have written and edited their poems they could share their performance on LGfL’s ‘Performa poem’ platform. To enhance the performance, remember to make use of the sound effects mentioned previously above. Included in the Performa Poem resource are clips to help with performances, tips to get pupils writing poems, and information about filming and editing videos.

If you are planning on developing your pupils’ art skills perhaps you could explore different media. The pupils could get inspired by artwork of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from Pinterest boards.

Further to the wealth of resources you can find on LGfL there are plenty of other places to supplement these ideas with. The BBC website has many links to historical figures and scientific explanations (requires Flash).

In addition, the Scott Polar Research Institute sometimes run free events. For example they have ‘Twilight at the Museums on Wednesday 20th February 2019 (4:30-7:30) for a FREE after-hours event for families.

Visit their website on https://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/museum/events/ for more information.

 

Explore – Engage – Inspire … with LGfL’s learning resources!

World Space Week – October 4 – 10 2018

World Space week runs from the 4th – 10th October, and is an international celebration of all things Space and focuses on science and technology and its role in the past, present and future of mankind, a way of not only promoting the work that countries do together to explore space but also how important space technology is to life on earth.

The theme for UN-declared World Space Week 2018 will be “Space Unites the World,” and “will celebrate the role of space in bringing the world closer together,” said WSWA President Dennis Stone.

There are a number of resources for educators to use during the week from the official World Space Week website.

If you haven’t used it yet, this week would be a perfect time to launch Space Adventures, this unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe.

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

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

J2e have a range of tools that can be used within Space week, the children could use any of the tools in j2write, to complete research into the planets, space and the Solar System as well as creating fact files on famous astronauts. They could also use JIT to explore branching databases, sorting aliens.

J2code has a range of resources and examples that can be used.

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

Visual is a block based coding language in which you can freely code to create more complex coding outcomes for KS2, including for example,  creating a space themed game:

Busy Things also have a range of labelling and fact sheet templates covering the Solar System and Space that can be used in class for KS1 and KS2, whilst younger children can get creative with designing their own spaceship.

You can find lesson plans and activities from Switched on Science – The Out of this world Unit for Year 5 is perfect to use during World Space Week.

If you are running an event in school, you can register this on the World Space week website as well as finding a whole range of resources including: A Space nutrition activity sheet and an activity leaflet from Tim Peake.

This picture which was first posted on Twitter shows all the planets in on picture – Pluto is included and the picture is not to scale, however I think it would make an excellent introduction to the topic of Space as well as being great on display – you can see the original painting here.

Stem learning have a range of resources that can be used during Space Week, with just a few materials, building a paper model of the International Space Station (ISS) can become a class project. The resource contains a brief overview of the ISS, its parts, the science that occurs on board, instructions, and extension fact sheets. Learn about the ISS, explore fun facts, simulate building the station, and learn about the international partners.

Is there anyone out there? This resource was funded by the UK Space Agency and developed by ESERO-UK and CIEC Promoting Science. It is based upon the quest to discover more about the solar system through space projects such as the European Space Agency’s Aurora programme, and NASA’s Curiosity mission seeking to gather evidence of life on the planet Mars. The students take on the role of space scientists or space engineers to discover more about Mars. The activities in this resource are designed for students aged 9-12 years.The activities are organised into three themes: life, landscape and landing. Activities in the life and landscape themes are suitable for students aged 9 to 11.

You can find all the resources here, including getting your students to train like an astronaut in P.E.

Your class could even borrow the moon!

The STFC Lunar Rocks and Meteorites Loan Scheme has been running since the mid 1980s. It has lent the NASA Moon rock discs and meteorites to thousands of schools, museums and outreach organisers. You can find out how to apply here. The site also has a vast range of resources from the National Space centre suitable for ages 5-18.

The Moon Camp Challenge is a new interdisciplinary school project that invites students, aged 8 to 19, to team up and design their own human base on the Moon, a ‘Moon Camp’. The project will allow students to use exciting and innovative learning technologies, such as 3D modelling, to explore the extreme environment of space, in particular on the Moon, to better understand how environment affects habitability.

The first Moon Camp Challenge will run in the school year 2018/19. It will be launched during World Space Week 2018 and it will continue throughout 2019, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.  In the future, to enable astronauts to stay on the Moon for long periods of time, new infrastructures have to be developed to solve important challenges; protection from radiation and meteorites, energy production, the extraction and recycling of water, food production and much more. The Moon Camp Challenge invites students to become Moon explorers and decode some of the complexities future astronauts may face.

The Moon Camp Challenge is an educational and inspirational programme run in collaboration between ESA and the Airbus Foundation, featuring preparatory classroom activities that focus on learning-by-design and science experimentation. Students will have to develop a number of scientific experiments related to the Moon and apply their acquired knowledge to design their own Moon Camp using a 3D modelling tool (Tinkercad or Fusion 360).

The participating teachers and students will be invited to participate in webinars with space experts and then share their designs online. A jury of experts will select the best projects.

Participation is open to teams of students aged 8-19 through two entry paths: ESA Member States or Associate Member States, and worldwide. Teams will also be able to choose between two different difficulty levels. Teams must be supported by a teacher or an educator.

The BBC have a great range of clips around Space, including this collection from CBeebies great for using with younger students and includes Dr Brian Cox reading The way back home by Oliver Jeffers.

VirtualiTeach – a non profit site dedicated to all things AR and VR in Education have produced a great blog post entitled Space: The Virtual Frontier, it features a list of 20 experiences across four categories: AR apps, 360 videos on YouTube, mobile VR apps and full VR experiences from Steam.

Discovery Education Espresso is giving primary schools access to fantastic free resources, helping teachers to bring the wonders of space into the classroom. Taking children on a fascinating tour across the universe, the resources include interactive videos, lesson plans and activities, closely mapped to the National Curriculum. From visiting observatories to looking deep into our solar system, to tracking cosmic firestorms, meteors and shooting stars, these exciting free resources will engage younger children with space science. They’ll also help pupils to see the bigger picture, as they learn about the future of space travel and life on other planets. With spectacular clips from television network Discovery Science, and contributions from world famous astronomer Professor Richard Ellis, children will learn about space in a fun and accessible way.

The resources also include a special World Space Week lesson plan: Beyond Planet Earth – A Virtual Space Experience, culminating in an out-of-this-world virtual reality tour of the universe.

Remember we would love to see your work for World Space week – you can share via our Twitter and Facebook page #WSW2018

 

 

 

Five ways with Science

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

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

5 Ways to support science

Space Adventures

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

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

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

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

Switched on Science

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

Virtual experiments

 

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

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

Busy Things

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

Widgit Symbols

 

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

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

Healthy Eating Week

 

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

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

Cookit

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

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

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

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

Switched on Science and Virtual Experiments

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

Team Marathon

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

Each training session follows the same format:

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

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

j2e Tool Suite

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

Appmaker

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

Busythings

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

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

 

 

Get cracking with our Easter resources!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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