A Parents’ / Carers’ Guide to Home Learning

Readers, this is a slightly different blog aimed at parents and carers – please, if you can, share the blogpost with parents/carers via your chosen communication channels.

As a parent and as a teacher with 2 primary aged children, I can fully understand the daunting task of having to home school children for a period of time. With schools in the UK closing for most children, I have put together a guide on how to establish Home Learning and the best ways to use LGfL Content to support this.

But first, let me introduce to who I am: my name is Bradley, a father of 2 children both in Primary school, I was a primary school teacher specialising in Computing and Early Years for over 12 years before working with LGfL as learning resource consultant.

LGfL is an education Charity that focus on supporting technology use within schools, we provide broadband to many schools in London and nationwide, with this service we also provide schools access to a range of award-winning online learning resources. It may be that your child recognises the online tools and learning resources because many are already used in their school but for others, they may be unfamiliar. 

Normally to access our content you would need a username (USO) and password provided to you via your student’s school due to school closures, we have oped up many of our resources so that you can access them without needing to use a username/password and we have groups our best resources for use for home learning which you can find via this link:  hlresources.lgfl.net

You will note the home learning can also be organised in Key Stages. This will help you to find resources suitable for the age of your child. 

Now, what can you do at home? Here are some key tips to help with home learning.

Establish routines:

We are all in the same situation here. Everyone’s anxious. No one was planning on this, you need to come up with a structure to your day because children thrive on structure and routine, this will be the things that children will miss the most, set a timetable up, you may find this pack from our resource Widgit useful.

Simply-drawn, colourful symbols to illustrate concepts in a clear and concise way. (for more details on this resource please follow the link) the pack contains a Visual Timetable, as well as a behaviour chart or if you want a head start you may want to use a timetable which I have created for my children, here it is in a Word doc and also the same timetable with Widgit symbols.

You can also find useful printables activities with the activities section of Widgit.

You are not a teacher and your home isn’t a school:

Learning at home is not replicating school at home. It’s not necessary to do six hours of learning like in school with lessons being one-on-one and being more intense, activities will be over much quicker. I know a lot of parents are going to focus on not just supplementing the schoolwork but teaching life skills, like here’s how you clean a toilet, here’s how you make your lunch, with one on one teaching you don’t need to do as much.

One of the things I am encouraging in my home is the idea of cooking and helping with planning meals we are going to eat, LGfL has a great resource to help with this called Cookit.

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.

The new 3 “Rs” Repetition, Revision and Retrieval:

Don’t jump into a new area of learning, remember much of what children do in school is based on going back over what they have already learnt. Children are comforted by familiar activities and will want to continue them. Many young children may start the day with a morning routine be it morning excise, songs, etc ask them what they do and see if you continue this at home.

For EYFS/KS1 students you may want to keep a simple phonic scheme going, revisioning sounds that they have already learnt, Busythings have a bank of digital resources to support phonics and also have printables activities you can use.

You may want to also practise general number skills by counting objects and adding and subtraction, again Busy things has some great resources to help with this.

For KS2 it’s important to make sure each day your child reads, it doesn’t matter what (magazine, comics, picture books, chapter books) you may want to ask them to explore the story with you (be gentle you don’t have to test them) or maybe ask them to write a reading journal or write a book review. 

Daily practising of timetables and also spelling common keywords are vital. The just2easy platform has excellent revision tools that use exciting games to help aid the revision of spelling and time tables

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. Spellblast does the same but with Spelling.

Users can choose to practice or take part in a live game. 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.

You children may not do things to the way you did when you were at school:

It may be the first time your child shares with you the methods/tools that they use at school, for this may be the first time you have heard about an Apostrophe Contracted or finite Verbs or how about explaining Commutative Law don’t worry we’ve got you!

Grammer explained offers 80 short and clear videos, made to explain every grammar point listed in the Primary National Curriculum. Ideal for teachers, parents and pupils.

We also have Maths at home which is designed to provide support for parents that wish to help their child with their mathematical development at home. A video has been made for every single National Curriculum descriptor for the whole of Key Stage 1 and 2, as well as an overview video for Early Years. This provides coverage for the entire Mathematics Primary curriculum. Each video is a snapshot of how many schools may teach the particular strand, and also provides examples of how parents could support their child at home. Where appropriate, video content is reinforced with a selection of downloadable resources.

You can’t pour from an empty cup:

Make sure you are looking after yourself both in body and mind, you can keep healthy by making sure you join in with Jo Wicks in his morning PE lessons which are an excellent start to your morning, makes sure during the day you can take a moment to breathe and relax, your child may already take a moment to do this at school with a mindfulness exercise perhaps with meditation or yoga (these links to YouTubes videos are not endorsed by LGfL but are recommended by my children) or we also recommend these apps or books for EYFS/KS1 and KS2 which is part of our larger wellbeing resource Wellbeing connected. 

Create a Project:

You may want to explore our range of resources that would support a larger topic-based project, for example, looking at Roman history, a great way of starting of these type of projects is asking your child to come up 5/6 questions they want to find out the answers to, once you have these questions plan how you are going to answer them, it might be a poster, a presentation or a 3D model.

The following resources offer engaging expert video, Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences (additional apple-based hardware and software required) to may inspire a project:

Don’t bottle up worries:

It is easy for children to get worried about issues that are in the news, especially where they can see that parents/carers and teachers are worried. They may find this Coronavirus video series from CBBC Newsround reassuring: they explain what is happening in a child-friendly way. Keep your children up to date with the latest news as well as lots on the environment, entertainment, gaming and tonnes of tips and advice on keeping busy and happy at home.

Create role-play spaces:

Roleplay helps children naturally develop and use their cognitive abilities and skills. Through using their imagination regularly, they develop creativity and learn to think for themselves. In a society where we are so keen on school results, it’s even more important to create a space where children are free to express themselves.

Creating spaces like this at home may seem impossible but with some simple house objects and a few toys, you can create a world of fantasy. We have come up with ideas you can use for small world/roleplays ideas you can use within the topic of Dinosaurs in our resource Dinosaurs and fossils (you can easily adapt these ideas for other topics)

You will even find playdough recipes and how to make your very own fossil!

Be Safe:

DIgisafe (our online safety team ) are here to help, they have created a #DigiSafeDaily worksheet for every day this week and is ready for your child here print the pdf and find the answers for each sheet on the following day’s sheet.

To help ease the burden, if you are on Twitter or Facebook do look at #RemoteLearning #edtech #HomelearningUK people are being encouraged to share resources and make learning accessible by adopting this hashtag.

Remember if you need any support for our learning content you can contact the Inspire team by emailing contentsupport@lgfl.net  or contact the LGfL Switchboard: 020 82 555 555.

Get cracking with our Easter resources!

It may not feel like it but spring is nearly 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 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 at 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, (if you are wondering I am hoping for a Daily Milk Fruit and Nut Easter egg!)

You could also take a virtual Easter Egg Hunt using Turtle, here is a template you can use.

Use j2Paint to design your own Easter eggs, great for fine motor skills, you can use this template.

Research the concept of Easter celebration across the world and create a presentation with j2e5, why not add an interactive quiz? You can use this template as an example.

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 retell 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 a 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 ideal 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.

Don’t forget you have the power of Creativity at your fingertips with the whole range of Adobe Creative Cloud tools to empower students to think creatively and communicate expressively, so they can turn their classroom ideas into college and career opportunities if you haven’t already signed up to receive your licences simply go here and sign up.

To get inspired for Easter just go to the Adobe Education Exchange, created for educators by educators, the Adobe Education Exchange is a free learning platform offering instant access to professional development, teaching materials, and other tools designed to egg-nite creativity in the classroom.

Have a look at Juliette Bentley’s (Teacher) idea of using Spark to create Easter Reflective Action Cards.

They contain a reading, a prayer and a call to action. The intention is that they are used for an opening to a Religious Education lesson (Catholic/Christian), during the period of Lent so that they can approach it mindfully. Teachers might email the asset out or print them and give each student a copy. Students then create their own card using Spark and this is then printed, laminated and given to the student to take home and share with their families.

Or why not use Susan Bell’s (Instructional Designer) idea to create an ecard with Photoshop

using a picture of your face, Easter eggs and an Easter bunny picture.

However, you fill the last few weeks 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

‘Our Diverse Planet’ – British Science Week (6th-15th March) 2020

The British Science Week, run by the British Science Association, takes place between 6th – 15th March 2020 and is for everyone to get involved with. It is a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. Applications for British Science Week 2020 grants are now closed (but make a note in diary for next year to apply by November; they especially encourage those who don’t usually engage with science to apply).

Their website has activity packs for Early Years, primary and secondary students; designed to be a one-stop-shop for supporting teachers during the week. The theme for the packs is ‘Our Diverse Planet’ – celebrating the amazing diversity we see across the world. From biodiversity to cultural and societal diversity, from the diversity of knowledge to STEM careers and subjects. There are lots of ways to explore this theme – and they would love to hear some of your ideas too!

The poster competition encourages you to Investigate and imagine ‘Our diverse planet’ and everything that makes it special. Here are some topic ideas they suggest to get you started:

Why not think about biodiversity? From the diversity in your own garden, to the diversity at the very bottom of the ocean, research all the amazing creatures and organisms that live on our planet. 

The diversity of science and STEM subjects. Have a think about all the diverse ways that science affects our lives and who you know that uses science every day. Is there science in baking and cooking? What about making a film or taking a picture? Or how about operating planes and cars? Remember that science is everywhere, you just have to look for it! 

Think about the other kinds of diversity our planet contains – from the variety of the molecules that make up essential parts of life, to the different ways our towns and cities are built, and the variation of people’s tastes and interests. 

Our planet is unique, but why not investigate what makes it different from the other planets in our solar system?

Andy Warhol once said, “I never read, I just look at pictures.” A poster competition is exciting way to spark creativity with students, engage them with a specific topic and get started with your free Adobe licenses (available to all LGfL schools). Adobe Spark for Education offers tools that are very easy to use, even for primary aged pupils! Using Adobe Spark Post pupils can easily create beautiful and professional looking posters in very short amount of time. Have a look at these amazing examples for ideas (remember the competition states it needs to be the pupils’ own ideas) or go through a short 45 minute, free online course on “Creating Posters with Your Students” at Adobe Education Exchange.

If you want to unleash your and your pupils full creative powers, you might want to try Adobe InDesign. Precise colour control, thousands of font choices, effective selection and editing tools – Adobe InDesign has everything you need to create a solid design on a large canvas. Creative Cloud tutorials offer you quick an easy way to get started with basics of all the Creative Cloud applications.

Over 900 schools have claimed their Adobe Creative Cloud licenses with LGfL last year, but if have not already done so, you still can at: https://www.lgfl.net/services/adobe-creative-cloud. There is also an exclusive opportunity for any LGFL school/teacher to join LGfL and Adobe’s Creative Jam on 27th February. The jam is about storytelling and will be organised in partnership with the Ocean Agency (fitting nicely in with the theme Our Diverse Planet for BSW). The people attending will be presented with a challenge involving creation of a video aimed to save the world’s coral reefs. There are very few places left, so if you are interested register without delay!

Furthermore, you may want to inspire your pupils to consider producing clips relating to Our Diverse Planet. There are a brilliant series of science videos on COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards website which demonstrate how best to use video during science week. (N.B The site restricts views, so recommends visiting You Tube to view them at https://www.youtube.com/user/COBISScienceAwards/playlists).

There are many resources that LGfL schools can use during this time to help you further explore the theme of Our Diverse Planet:

In the British Science Week KS2 activity pack there is an activity called “Diverse Places – Journey to Antarctica”. It states, 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of the first sighting of Antarctica. Since then it has been a destination for explorers and scientists whose voyages help inform us of the role this continent plays in our world. In their activity they suggest you will write a diary based on what you know about the explorer Bransfield’s journey to Antarctica. 

You could also use LGfL Polar Exploration resource to explore Shackleton’s adventure. 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’.

 

The resource features exclusive access to the historic archive of the most famous polar expeditions of the 20th Century, including:

 

 

  • 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 expeditio
  • Interactive map of the Polar Regions with plotted locations of the multimedia asset
  • 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 are considering further investigation into what makes Earth different from the other planets in our solar system then you could explore LGfL’s Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon.

The resource is based around the intrepid astronaut Tazz Anderson and her on board computer (MIC) on her journey to the moon. Her mission is to bring the valuable, raw material ‘Dysprosium’ back to planet Earth for use in smart devices.

This unique and engaging cross-curricular resource is based around an original story, commissioned by LGfL, from the award-winning author Cath Howe. The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for maths, English and science and even a computing unit created by Max Wainewright. Watch the clip below about how you can take the resource even further, by experimenting with greenscreening with your pupils:

With Viral Contagion English and Viral Contagion Maths, students can use their maths and English skills to look at the journey and spread of a biological outbreak in South London.

Dramatised news reports describe the impact of the outbreak, challenging students to consider the use of language behind such scenarios and the need for effective communication to help save lives, alongside using their mathematical skills to understand the speed at which an outbreak can spread. This may be rather too close to current real events for some, with regards to current Coronavirus!

The entire primary ‘Switched on Science’ scheme, offers full coverage across both Key Stage 1 and 2 and is available with LGfL. It is a flexible and creative investigation-based programme 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 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, pupil workbooks, ideas for differentiation, and much more.

Virtual Experiments for Years 1-6, are soon to be retired on LGfL due to being flash-based. Please read the guidance related to this by clicking on the link and note that any resources labelled “legacy” on lgfl.net will be affected.

These resources (arranged for Years 1&2, 3&4 and 5&6) 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 have once again made things even simpler for you. They have 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 including writing projects, interactive worksheets, graph projects and printables. To begin your search, remember to click on the “Special Events” tab from the home page; this can then be used to look for resources relating to the British Science Week.

 

Remember also, that if you have created “new set ups” (ie your Year Groups or class names within Busy Things) you can pin their “Britsh Science Week” on to your class page; making it easier for you and your pupils to navigate to the suggested activities.

 

 

Widgit Symbols are simply drawn, colourful symbols designed to illustrate a single concept in a 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 available to you 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.

Look in WidgitActivities for visual, varied and differentiated worksheets which include Widgit symbols to help you making the curriculum accessible for all learners. The example below is from “Gases Around Us” in the Science section of Widgit Activities:

The ever-popular j2e Tool Suite can also be used during Science Week, for a range of activities. Why not get pupils to create a book in j2e about Shackleton’s journey to Antarctica, or make an animation of our diverse planet in JIT’s j2animate? Below is an example of a bean diary in j2animate:

You could also download our Significant People and Events resource for KS1 and KS2? This resource takes a handful of particularly important people and events to help pupils to investigate their impact on history. Using Augmented Reality you can simulate the spread of the Great Plague, or explore the first powered flight test and even touch down on the surface of the moon with a 3D animation of the Eagle landing. The resource is further explained by the creators below:

For the classroom why not download the collection of STEM role models posters celebrating women innovators illustrated by women artists? There are eight in the set and each poster is accompanied by a short biography of the women featured, not only raising awareness of their achievements but also hopefully inspiring a new generation of women to work in STEM.

Terrific Scientific from the the BBC is a set of curriculum-linked primary science resources for Key Stage 2 aimed at encouraging scientific enquiry. The resources focus on a series of practical classroom investigations linked to the curriculum, so teachers can use each one as a stand-alone science project, or as part of a bigger topic. For each investigation, there is an introductory film, fronted by well-known figures relevant to the age-group; a ‘how to…’ film which demonstrates the investigation, a downloadable teacher resource (including curriculum links) and student worksheets. Perfect for using in Science Week and beyond.

Explorify is another great site for free science resources. The Explorify activities are bitesize prompts for discussion and investigation, their high-quality image, video and hands-on activities are sure to spark curiosity and get your class thinking like scientists. Choose from a wide range of curriculum-linked, low-prep activities that will set young minds whizzing and whirring.

Reach out CPD is free science CPD for UK teachers, there are 30 courses for teaching 5-11 year olds covering everything from plants to planets. Each one provides teachers with concise topic knowledge and a whole raft of resources to use in class, including captivating short videos, practical activities and experiments, whiteboard visuals and more. Well worth checking out and sharing with colleagues.

The PSTT regional mentors’ role is to support primary schools with all aspects of science including curriculum development, teaching and assessment. They provide 1-2-1 mentoring for Science Leaders, deliver CPD to teachers and develop new science teaching resources. Tom Holloway and Kulvinder Johal have both said they are open to Science Leaders and teachers contacting them directly via email: Tom.Holloway@pstt.org.uk and kulvinder.johal@pstt.org.uk

Tom suggests the following activity for Science Week:

“A Science selfie competition where the children are challenged to bring in a photo of themselves doing something science related is another easy and engaging activity to run during science week. With this it’s nice to emphasise to children the ubiquity of science and how they can be really creative – science really is everywhere! Getting all teachers to do an Explorify activity at the start/end of every day is another easy way celebrating science week for busy teachers. Also showing their children the latest edition of reach out reporter, https://www.reachoutreporter.com/ is another great and easy way of celebrating science during science week.” 

Whatever you are doing for British Science Week we would love you to share your work using @LGfL resources on our Twitter or Facebook pages #BSW20.

Christmas Crackers 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many J2e tools have also had a Christmas makeover:

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

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

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

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

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

Here are my 5 top picks from the Christmas jukebox:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Promoting Reading for Pleasure with Author Interviews

Last month, a new “The Demon Headmaster Series” started on the CBBC channel (and it is also available on the BBC iPlayer). The new series replicates much of what was terrific about the original series – playing into school children’s concerns about feeling like an outsider, with genuinely great twists. There are also nods to this new series taking place in 2019, with references to social media, hashtags and overpriced hot chocolate. 

You may be wondering, “what this has to do with an LGfL curriculum blog post?” Gillian Cross, the author of The Demon Headmaster is one of the many authors featured in our ReadingZone Live resource on LGfL. So, if the pupils in your class are currently enjoying this children’s series on the television you could explore Gillian’s interview on ReadingZone Live with them. 

The huge range of author interviews hosted on LGfL’s ReadingZone Live resource can be the ideal place to start if you are looking to encourage reading for pleasure with the pupils at your school. The resource will enable the pupils to explore where published authors get their ideas from and also to have a better understanding of a range of approaches to developing story plots, characters and settings.

Recently, Sibel Pounder’s interview has been added to this extensive collection; in her much loved Bloomsbury series, she writes about fabulous mermaids, witches and feisty fairies. You may be using Sibeal’s series of books whilst studying fantasy narratives or have chosen one as a class read whilst you explore topics such as ‘Enchanted Woodlands’ or ‘Oceans and Seas’. 

Many other resources hosted on LGfL can complement a study of such literature. If you want your pupils to design a book jacket or create a storyboard for planning out their ideas for their own narratives featuring a mermaid, witch or fairy you could do so using Busy Things. Watch Sibeal talk about how she uses story maps in her writing in the clip below. 

BusyThings hosts a wealth of exciting activities to explore within the topic of traditional fairy tales too. The stories included are “The Three Little Pigs”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, “The Gingerbread Man”, “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”. Each story is retold in a fun manner, with follow up activities such as sequencing, picture ordering and building your own story scene.

In addition, remember there are a whole host of other activities available in Busy Things too. The geography section, for example, contains ‘maps and locational knowledge’ and ‘human and physical geography’ sections. Once your Headteacher has completed the data declaration release to allow LGfL USO log-in to work with Busy Things you can use the “curriculum browser” function (available in the “teacher mode”) where you can explore different search terms and this will also enable access to Busy Things at home for pupils and teachers alike.

You could further explore the story blueprints of fairytales with your pupils by listening to several of the six traditional tales featured in this resource. The pupils could then complete the accompanying activities included with each fairytale (matching, sequencing, spelling, comprehension, prepositions and pronouns etc).

The LGfL EYFS Spotlight series features a “Fairytales” topic where you will find further suggested activities to complete with younger pupils. One suggests using JIT Infant Toolkit “Paint, Animate and Mix” tabs to retell a familiar tale and to then ask the children to remix the fairy tale. The pupils could change the settings by choosing one of the many different backgrounds found within j2e or they could change the main characters by exploring the characters found in j2e clip art folder. Click here for an example. The possibilities are endless!

Within the resource Widgit you can also find pre-made resources to support traditional tales including ‘The Three Pigs’, ‘Snow White’, ‘Red Riding Hood’, ‘Goldilocks’, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’. Each story has a fully comprehensive pack with a variety of differentiated activities, which include the story, sequencing activities, worksheets, crossword, matching activities, drawing, storyboard and play-script, all using the Widgit communication system as a scaffold to support all learners.

Remember, if you are based in a primary school you can claim 30 Adobe Creative Licenses with your Let’s Get Digital Subscription; with this creative tool the pupils could explore different designs for the worlds the characters inhabit  and so much more. 

Please let us know if you would like to write a guest blog for your use of LGfL resources and the impact they have had with your pupils and the school. Remember to share these examples via our Twitter and Facebook pages too.

 

 

Remembrance Day

Armistice day or Remembrance Day is on the 11th November, it marks the day that World War 1 ended at 11 am on the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918. Ceremonies are held at the Cenotaph in London as well as at War memorials and churches across the U.K. and overseas. A 2 minute silence is held to remember the people who have died in all wars – WW1, WW2, Falklands, Gulf war as well as the conflicts in Argentina and Iraq.

King George V held the first 2 minute silence on 11 November 1919 and made the request for the silence to be observed so:

“thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead”.

The Royal British Legion have partnered with the National Literacy Trust to create a series of free to use lesson plans and assemblies aimed at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 that can be used to explain to children of different ages and backgrounds why, how and who we Remember.

There are many ways of remembering with pupils, for younger pupils Busy Things have a template poppy to paint, for older students they could make their own poppies – from hand prints and then use these to write poetry on.  In Flanders Fields and Ode to Remembrance are two poems that could be shared with older students, they could use copies of these to create their own ‘black out poetry’ this is when a page of text, is coloured over so that only a few words are visible, these words then create a new poem, great to get the children thinking about the choice of their words. Pupils could use J2E to research and write about the impact of the wars on their local community after perhaps visiting their local war memorial.

Our ReadingZone Live resource features Michael Morpurgo talking about Private Peaceful, there are 6 short interviews that can be watched and used as discussion points looking at why he wrote the book, discussing the conflict and the morality of war and what Michael would like people to take away after reading the book.  Into film also have a range of resources linked to the film adaptation of the book with resources linked to a range of curriculum subjects including Citizenship, English and History.

You can also listen to an abridged version of the story in 13 chapters via BBC School Radio (you will need to sign in to BBC iplayer to listen) there are programme notes, episode summaries, literacy activities and a gallery of images, like the one below great to use for writing and drama prompts.

This resource is just one of many that BBC Teach have collated for both Primary and Secondary students that include Assembly plans as well as radio and tv programmes. Historian and presenter Dan Snow also introduces some of his favourite clips from the BBC archive, perfect for exploring WWII with KS3 and KS4 students the short films are split into two categories – The Home Front and The Holocaust.

Widgit – have a range of Activities and books on Remembrance Day as well as WW1 and WW2 to support learners in class.

First World War – The Active Worksheet was produced in response to the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1. The resource pack uses augmented reality to produce a genuine ‘wow’ moment in the classroom and bring virtual artefacts to the desktop. This is backed up by mapped curriculum activities focussing on history, literacy, music and art.

Poppies – is a beautiful animation from Cbeebies following a young rabbit through the poppy fields, great to use with younger children.

The author Tom Palmer has a range of resources available to use within the classroom all around the theme of remembrance, linked to books that he has written. Reading War, is an online resource packed with information on WW1 and exploring the themes of Over the Line by Tom Palmer and Tilly’s Promise by Linda Newbery.

Trench experience – this innovative virtual-reality app from LGfL brings life in the trenches to life, and is ideal for History and English teachers covering World War 1 and trench life and warfare in general.

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

Women in computing -Women in Computing from LGfL aims to recognise and promote the achievements of women in British computing within the social context of the time. The work of women as code breakers during WW2 is one of the areas that is covered within this resource.

Activehistory – There are a collection of Remembrance Day materials here for Years 7- 13, including an assembly, put together by Russell Tarr.

The War and Peace shed from the Literacy Shed, has a range of short films that could be used when looking at the theme of Remembrance. There is also an excellent blog post from the Literacy Leader, including more book and film ideas and resources.

‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.’

If you would like to share work with us on our Twitter or Facebook pages, it would be great to see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victory in Europe Day – Wednesday 8th May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

British Science Week – 8th-17th March 2019

British Science Week, run by the British Science Association runs from the 8th – 17th March 2019 and is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths.

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 theme for the packs is ‘journeys’, from creating tunnels, time capsules and perfume to keeping a nature loaf and mummifying an orange, there’s something for everyone.  The activities include both lesson plans and assemblies.  There is also a poster competition, students can make their poster about anything involving journeys.

There are several resources that LGfL schools can use during this time all around the theme of journeys.

Why not download our new Significant People resource for KS1 and KS2, this resource takes a handful of particularly important events and people and investigates their impact on history. Using Augmented Reality and interactive 3D you can see the route taken by Christopher Columbus, or explore the first powered flight test and touch down on the surface of the moon with a 3D animation of the Eagle lander.

Or journey to Antartica with our Polar Exploration resource. 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

Follow the intrepid astronaut Tazz Anderson and her on board computer (MIC) on her journey to the moon to bring the valuable raw material ‘Dysprosium’ for use in smart devices on Planet Earth in Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon. This unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe. The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for Maths, Literacy and Science and a Computing unit created by Max Wainewright.

With Viral Contagion English and Viral Contagion Maths, students can use their Maths and English skills to look at the journey and spread of a biological outbreak in South London. Dramatized news reports describe the impact of the outbreak, challenging students to consider the use of language behind such scenarios and the need for effective communication to help save lives, alongside using their mathematical skills to understand the speed at which an outbreak can spread.

The entire Primary ‘Switched on Science’ scheme, offering full coverage across Key Stage 1 and 2  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. 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. These include writing projects, interactive worksheets, graph projects and printables.

Widgit Symbols are simply drawn, colourful symbols designed to illustrate a single concept in a 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, for a range of activities. Why not get pupils to research a famous journey and create a book in j2e, or make an animation of the water cycle or life cycle in JIT.

For the classroom why not download the collection of STEM role models posters celebrating women innovators illustrated by women artists, there are 8 in the set and each poster is accompanied by a short biography  of the women featured, not only raising awareness of their achievements but also hopefully inspiring a new generation of women to work in STEM

Terrific Scientific from the the BBC is a set of curriculum-linked primary science resources for Key Stage 2 aimed at encouraging scientific enquiry. The resources focus on a series of practical classroom investigations linked to the curriculum, so teachers can use each one as a stand-alone science project, or as part of a bigger topic. For each investigation, there is an introductory film, fronted by well-known figures relevant to the age-group; a ‘how to…’ film which demonstrates the investigation, a downloadable teacher resource (including curriculum links) and student worksheets. Perfect for using in science week and beyond.

Explorify is another great site for free science resources. The Explorify activities are bitesize prompts for discussion and investigation, their high-quality image, video and hands-on activities are sure to spark curiosity and get your class thinking like scientists. Choose from a wide range of curriculum-linked, low-prep activities that will set young minds whizzing and whirring.

Reach out CPD is free science CPD for UK teachers, there are 30 courses for teaching 5-11 year olds covering everything from plants to planets. Each one provides teachers with concise topic knowledge and a whole raft of resources to use in class, including captivating short videos, practical activities and experiments, whiteboard visuals and more. Well worth checking out and sharing with colleagues.

 

What ever you are doing for British Science Week we would love you to share your work on our  twitter or Facebook pages #BSW19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembrance Day 2018

Armistice day or Remembrance Day is on the 11th November, it marks the day that World War 1 ended at 11 am on the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918. Ceremonies are held at the Cenotaph in London as well as at War memorials and churches across the U.K. and overseas. A 2 minute silence is held to remember the people who have died in all wars – WW1, WW2, Falklands, Gulf war as well as the conflicts in Argentina and the Iraq.

King George V held the first 2 minute silence on 11 November 1919 and made the request for the silence to be observed so:

“thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead”.

100 years ago the First World War ended, and a new world began. The example and experience of those who lived through it shaped the world we live in today. This year, The Royal British Legion is leading the nation in saying Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world. The video below explains more, there are six videos in total where you can find out more about the stories of people such as: Olive Edis, the first female war photographer, who worked for MI5, Marie Curie, who made x-rays mobile, Flora Sandes, who was the first female soldier, Eugent Clarke, who paid his own way from the Carribean to become and labourer, and Walter Tull, who was the first black soldier to become an officer. Watch the full videos here:

They have  partnered with the National Literacy Trust to create a series of downloadable lesson plans and teacher support materials that are free to use.  They have developed six sets of five lesson plans, two each for Key Stages 2, 3 and 4, accompanied by an assembly plan each for primary and secondary schools.

The lessons are planned to take place in the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday with each set of plans building to focus on an individual.  The week culminates in a lesson where children write a thank you letter to that individual, paying tribute to their huge contribution both during the war, and also for how they helped shape the world after the war ended.

They hope to bring the First World War to life for pupils and to raise pupils’ awareness of the golden threads linking their lives today back to the First World War generation, ensuring that Remembrance is understood and available to all, and handed to the next generation.

You can download the lessons, resources and assembly plans here, and join in the conversation on Twitter using #THANKYOU100

There are many ways of remembering with pupils, for younger pupils Busy Things have a template poppy to paint, for older students they could make their own poppies – from hand prints and then use these to write poetry on.  In Flanders Fields and Ode to Remembrance are two poems that could be shared with older students, they could use copies of these to create their own ‘black out poetry’ this is when a page of text, is coloured over so that only a few words are visible, these words then create a new poem, great to get the children thinking about the choice of their words. Pupils could use J2E to research and write about the impact of the wars on their local community after perhaps visiting their local war memorial.

Our ReadingZone Live resource features Michael Morpurgo talking about Private Peaceful, there are 6 short interviews that can be watched and used as discussion points looking at why he wrote the book, discussing the conflict and the morality of war and what Michael would like people to take away after reading the book.  Into film also have a range of resources linked to the film adaptation of the book with resources linked to a range of curriculum subjects including Citizenship, English and History.

You can also listen to an abridged version of the story in 13 chapters via BBC School Radio (you will need to sign in to BBC iplayer to listen) there are programme notes, episode summaries, literacy activities and a gallery of images, like the one below great to use for writing and drama prompts.

Widgit – have a range of Activities and books on Remembrance Day as well as WW1 and WW2 to support learners in class.

First World War – The Active Worksheet was produced in response to the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1. The resource pack uses augmented reality to produce a genuine ‘wow’ moment in the classroom and bring virtual artefacts to the desktop. This is backed up by mapped curriculum activities focussing on history, literacy, music and art. 

Passchendaele – Modern Foreign Languages resource pack – This pack has been published to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele which took place between July and November 1917. It enables teachers to explore the First World War in their classrooms whilst also developing modern language skills in their classroom through a series of creative, memorable and engaging activities. The pack is part of Passchendaele at Home – a nationwide research-and- remember project inviting schools and community groups across the UK to discover servicemen buried or commemorated in the UK who were wounded at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. Suitable for ages 7-14

World War 1 – This collection from BBC schools has a range of videos, activities and assemblies for both primary and secondary schools.

Poppies – is a beautiful animation from Cbeebies following a young rabbit through the poppy fields, great to use with younger children.

The Salvation Army – have a range of. resources to be used when looking at Remembrance Day these include, assemblies and presentations.

The author Tom Palmer has a range of resources available to use within the classroom all around the theme of remembrance, linked to books that he has written. Reading War, is an online resource packed with information on WW1 and exploring the themes of Over the Line by Tom Palmer and Tilly’s Promise by Linda Newbery.

Trench experience – this innovative virtual-reality app from LGfL brings life in the trenches to life, and is ideal for History and English teachers covering World War 1 and trench life and warfare in general.

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

Women in computingWomen in Computing from LGfL aims to recognise and promote the achievements of women in British computing within the social context of the time. The work of women as code breakers during WW2 is one of the areas that is covered within this resource.

Activehistory – There are a collection of Remembrance Day materials here for Years 7- 13, including an assembly, put together by Russell Tarr.

The War and Peace shed from the Literacy Shed, has a range of short films that could be used when looking at the theme of Remembrance. There is also an excellent blog post from the Literacy Leader, including more book and film ideas and resources.

‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.’

If you would like to share work with us on our Twitter or Facebook pages, it would be great to see. #THANKYOU100

 

 

Five ways to support History

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

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

5 Ways to support history

Mixed Reality

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

Topics covered include the following:

The Romans in London

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

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

The Cold War,

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

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

Ancient Egypt,

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

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

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

Maya,

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

Trench experience,

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

WW1

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

Vikings 

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

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

 Prehistoric Britain.

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

The Tudors in London

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

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

Widgit

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

BusyThings

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

Viking adventures at the British Museum

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

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

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

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

 

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

5 ways with English

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

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

5 Ways to support Literacy

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

Busythings

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

Grammar Explained

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

Reading Zone Live

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

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

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

j2eTool Suite

 

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

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

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

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

Widgit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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