Hands up

Back in 2010 the BBC showed a short series called “The Classroom Experiment” where Professor Dylan Williams took over a year 8 class to test out some simple ideas that he believes could improve the quality of education. One of these ideas was to ban hands up when the teacher asks a question and instead […]

Morley Newlands Ofsted

Congratulations to Morley Newlands Primary School who have been rewarded for all their hard work and care with a very pleasing Ofsted report with “good and sometimes outstanding”. Well done! You can read about the report on the Head Teacher’s new blog.

iPad Apps: Comic Strip

Comic Strip is an app which provides a simple way of producing a comic strip! Comic strips have so many possible uses and advantages including: they are motivating they are a great alternative way of telling a story – see the example below they are visual so visual learners can benefit from using them especially […]

Embed YouTube videos in WordPress – remove related videos

If you upload videos to YouTube before embedding them in your WordPress blog you may want to remove the related videos that display automatically when you get to the end of the video. This can be done by typing ?rel=0 directly after the URL eg http://YouTube.be/M_f4u4rWXHA?rel=0

Spreadsheets and food security

In primary schools I find that spreadsheets are often glossed over, staff often aren’t aware of the power of spreadsheets in modelling and performing repetitive calculations and they can’t think of appropriate examples. Likewise, food security is an issue that is hardly touched on, it is seen as a difficult concept and a political one. […]

iPad apps: Morfo

Morfo may seem a strange iPad app to use in the classroom but we have had some fun using it to improve writing and reading confidence. Morfo allows you to take an image of a face, preferably a face-on portrait, which you then line up the position and size of the different parts of the […]

Blogging from an iPad

I regularly use an iPad to blog, both for my own blogs and for blogs with teachers and pupils. I also use Windows Live Writer on a PC, and web browsers on both PCs and Apples. As I mostly use blogs based on WordPress I use the WordPress app on the iPad. Since it was […]

The Four Nations Maths Challenge 2012

Naace and Mathletics are organising the “Four Nations Maths Challenge 2012” to run on the 13-14 November. This is a free competition which will involve the largest online UK Maths event. Over the two days schools from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will compete to reach the top of the Maths leaderboard. The aim […]

iPad and Mathletics

At last it is here. Mathletics can be downloaded and run on the iPad. I will be giving it a good test run tomorrow with some pupils and will let you know how it goes, in the meantime aMathletics mad friend has been testing it out and there are no negatives so far. The iPad […]

Restoring the Earth

I’ve written about trees quite a few times on my blog so you are probably aware by now that I consider them to be quite important and that I am probably a tree hugger! Well trees are very important. Not only do they have a significant impact on our environment (the climate, soil, habitat for […]

Statutory Requirements for School Websites

You are probably aware that the websites of maintained schools now have new statutory requirements applied to them to bring them in line with academies and free schools (for once it seems that the same rules apply to everyone!) Details are on the government website but here is a summary of the information you need […]

Power and social networking

In a recent article in Resurgence Fritjof Capra wrote: To understand how power works in social networks, we need to distinguish between two kinds of power: power as domination of others, and power as empowerment of others. The most effective social organisation for power as domination is the traditional hierarchy, and power as empowerment is […]

Trees and QR Codes

I have had an exciting day today working with a small group of year 5 and 6 pupils who have been left behind whilst their classmates have gone on a residential to Buckden. Readers will know that I have long wanted to get schools involved in tree audits so today we started one. We identified […]

Fifty things to do before you’re 11 3/4

One of my first blog posts on this site was about how little contact children have with nature these days and the impact it can have on their health and wellbeing. Last night the Country File TV program on BBC referred to the National Trust’s campaign to encourage children to get out of doors, they […]

Printing from an iPad – FingerPrint

Printing from an iPad in schools can be a bit of a pain, especially if you don’t have any Apple computers or AirPrint enabled printers. One piece of software I have found particularly useful is Fingerprint from Collobus. It runs on a PC and shares whichever printers you want shared to the iPads – so […]

Fair Trade Film Competition – Finalists

Fairtrade Yorkshire and Leeds DEC ran a “Take a Step” competition during Fair Trade fortnight this year where children were invited to show the journey of a Fairtrade product in a fun and interesting way. The finalists have just been announced and you can see the videos on the Leeds DEC Facebook page or Fair […]

Books or e-books, that is the question

In Star Trek: The Next Generation Captain Jean-Luc Picard has a preference for paper books over digital books. Science fiction has now become science fact and we have access to small e-book readers such as the Kindle, and other tablets that we can read books on like the iPad that I am currently blogging from. […]

Well Done! Blogging about your successes

David Mitchell, deputy head at Heathfield CPS in Bolton, found that of the children being sent to him, for every child sent for a positive reason there were 10 for negative reasons. In an attempt to change this he set up a “Well done – Show Mr Mitchell” blog. Pupils were told that the next […]

Permaculture Course

Over the next few months I will be taking part on a Permaculture Design Course. This is partly to help me develop the “half-farmer, half-X” lifestyle I have blogged about elsewhere, but also so that I can offer more help with schools and other other organisations that I work with to reduce their carbon footprint […]

Scientific investigation

What food do birds prefer? If you have a classroom that looks out onto a green patch, flower bed or hedge why not help your children to do a scientific investigation into what types of food each type of bird prefers? The children can help to plan a fair experiment but at the simplest level […]