Ada Lovelace’s birthday

Today (10th December) would have been Ada Lovelace’s birthday. Sadly, a lot of people don’t know who she was but when you do a bit of research she is quite an amazing woman. It is well worth setting her as a research project for your pupils.

Environmental sustainability in schools survey

Here is a very interesting survey to capture pupils attitudes towards, and experiences of, environmental sustainability in schools. It is aimed at Year 5 and above, you get a report on your contribution and entered for a cash prize. It takes between 5 and 15 minutes, needs completing before Christmas. Green Schools Project and NUS […]

Green Screen and the Iceni

This week I have been introducing some Year 4 pupils to using green screen techniques. This particular class were pretending to be part of the Icena tribe and they had made some horses in order to go in search of the Romans. Time was limited but we managed to produce this short story which will […]

A good life for all ….

… within planetary boundaries. This is the title of a new website set up by Leeds University that attempts to “quantify the national resource use associated with achieving a good life for over 150 countries. It shows that meeting the basic needs of all people on the planet would result in humanity transgressing multiple environmental […]

Leeds Poverty Truth Commission’s HuManifesto

Yesterday I was privileged to be able to attend the closing event of the 2016-18 Leeds Poverty Truth Commission and the launch of their HuManifesto. The event powerfully communicated how poverty dehumanises us and how we can all play a part in breaking down barriers, reducing isolation and increasing communication between people so that we […]

Blog of the week

This has to be class blog of the week. This crazy teacher has written a whole blog post in haiku – that is pretty dedicated! http://4dm.aceprimary.co.uk/friday-19th-january

Using blogs to celebrate work

Children love an audience to show off their work to and to get positive responses. In fact, not just children! Classroom walls are good for showcasing good or excellent work but the audience is limited to pupils and staff in school and perhaps parents a few times a year. School or class blogs can create […]

Air pollution and children

Children are some of the most vulnerable to dirty air. The health effects include: asthma, reduced lung capacity and can even impact their brain development. Friends of the Earth have just relaunched their Clean Air Schools Pack, designed with teachers, it aims to transform KS2 pupils into budding scientists. It provides engaging lesson plans that take […]

Lego Animations

I have been doing Lego animations with children for many years now particularly with year 5 and 6. I usually use I Can Animate with Hue web cams but sometimes use much simpler software and more basic cameras. This week, in one of the after school clubs that I run, I was pleasantly surprised by […]

Poppy Art

An interesting dilemma today – year 1 children, using 2Paint a Picture teach them to use different size brushes, improve their mouse skills and, as it was Remembrance Day at the weekend, draw some poppies. And what is the dilemma? Should I just let them loose and see what they produce or should I show […]

Tim Rylands – an inspiration

It was with great sadness that we learnt that Tim Rylands passed away last Monday. Tim was an amazing inspiration to many educationalists and children, he was full of creative ideas and resources involving computing that made learning fun and effective. His presentations at events and his sessions in the classroom were not to be […]

Ghostly goings on with Pivot

I often use Pivot to introduce animation, it is a nice, simple to use program with no cameras or wires, clay or scenery. You can very quickly get across the idea of a timeline and the need for small movements to give smooth animations and children can produce stunning results in a very short time. […]

“Share to Classroom” extension for Chromebooks

If you are a user of Chromebooks then you may like the “Share to Classroom” extension that allows you to easily share a webpage from your device to the whole class with a couple of clicks. Sometimes it can be so difficult to get your class all on the same page! This extension helps to […]

Sliced heads

Google Team Drives

Earlier this year Google released “Team Drives”. These are a very useful addition to Google Drive but at first it may not be clear why. What is the point of Team Drives when you can share any folder with anyone you like? One of the issues with sharing folders in a community such as a […]

Using blogs to engage boys in learning

We all know that it can be quite difficult sometimes (or all the time) to engage boys in learning. One strategy being used at Allerton CE Primary is to use a “Football Manager” blog to encourage boys who are interested in football (and girls) to write and do arithmetic. I well remember working for 6 […]

Pivot Football

When teaching animation the early lessons are focused on getting quick results with a story line and smooth animation. Making the Pivot stick characters move realistically and smoothly isn’t easy, the first results are often jerky and lack meaning. I like to challenge the children in their second session to use one or two characters […]

Using blogs to engage parents

Often schools struggle to communicate and engage with the parents of their pupils and the wider community. We have found that blogging has an amazing potential for improving communication and engagement without too much extra work. Most blogging tools will interact with other social media such as Facebook and Twitter so it is relatively easy […]

Call for schools to register for aggregated tablet procurement by 6th May

The Department for Education is facilitating a procurement of tablet devices through the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) Aggregation team. The pilot procurement made a saving of 12% for participating schools. The procurement will offer 4 tablet options: Apple iPads, Microsoft Surface Pro, LearnPads and a generic tablet, along with associated items eg. covers, security marking, […]

Scratch your Roamer

I am a great fan of Scratch and use it a lot with pupils in KS1 and KS2. Scratch has many experimental extensions which allow you to connect Scratch to all sorts of devices. One I have recently come across is Roamer ScratchX which allows you to use Scratch to control the new Valiant Roamer. Valiant […]