Today took the theme of travel, discovery, and exploration in to Key Stage One, for a couple of adventures with two groups of 60 Year 2, and then 60 Year 1, voyagers.
Discovery isn’t just about movement though. To discover, to contemplate, to consider, to question, to wonder ~ also takes a bit of standing still. That is something we, as human beings, can often overlook. In the world of education, too, we can sometimes forget the power, and potential, for “holding back”, for “waiting a while” before rushing onwards. The pressures of time, of timetables, of curriculum structures, of targets, can lead us, too easily, in to constantly “moving on”.
It was a joy to “not travel too far, geographically” with some intrepid children, and teachers, but to cover great distances in ideas, imaginations, and more wanderings in the wild wonders of words.
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The first, of three, full on days at Linaker Primary School and Children’s Centres, a superb two, form entry, Primary School, Nursery and Children’s Centre in the heart of Southport, the seaside town in the north of the Borough of Sefton. The school provides for around 500 children aged between 3 and 11 and the centre is considered as one of the most successful in the north of England.
This three day project is taking place during the school’s annual Arts Week and the theme this year is “Discovery”. This topic also lends itself to looking at challenges. The children, and staff, at the the school are no strangers to exploration and challenge*.
The travels, today, happened in the company of two classes of adventurous Year 6 children for a long morning of discovery in some virtual worlds, followed by another trek in in the world of digits with two classes of Year 5 explorers.
Well done, all, for some powerful, brave, and inventive wandering in the world of words, and beyond!
Linaker is proud of its international links. At present they have links with schools in China, Canada and Ghana. The school is also a proud recipient of the International Schools Award, issued by the British Council in recognition of their commitment to global education. The school also welcomes, annually, Foreign Language Assistants from all over the world – recently from Sweden, Spain and China.
Linaker has had links with Long Menhao Primary School in Chongqing, China, since March 2008. Long Menhao is a primary school in Nan’an District and serves over 1000 students aged between 5 and 11 years of age. In 2008 both schools undertook a project on the theme of ‘Olympics’ and in November 2008 Linaker returned to China to share their achievements.
In November 2009 ten children from Linaker visited Long Menhao as part of the on-going programme of exchanges.
Linaker has had a link with Ekwaso Presby School, in Ghana, for nearly four years now. Over that time they have been involved in curriculum exchanges between children in both schools.
In 2008 the school undertook to help re-build the Primary School in the village. You can find out more about the village and the re-building of the school by visiting the website.
*That “up-for-a-challenge-ness-nicity” isn’t stopping soon either: six members of staff will be embarking on a trek to the North Pole next year!
A massive thank you to Colin Coleman, head teacher, and Nick Dempster, ICT Co-ordinator, for organising this visit.
In terms of ICT resources, the school are pretty well stocked too. Some of the technology they have at their disposal includes Year 5 and 6 all having their own iPads; there is also a class set of iPads for the other Year groups; The ICT suite is Apple Macs, there are 30 in the suite; a portable green screen; a radio room which can be operated by two or three children at a time; all classrooms have large (60″+) touch screen televisions; laptops throughout the school – enough for 1 between 2 in most classes and more cameras, flip cam recorders etc than you can shake a stick at!
Tables charting the chemical elements have been around since the 19th century – but this modern version, Periodic Videos .com, has a short video about each one. Yes ~ all 118! ~ AND, like neutrons, there’s no charge!
All these videos are created by video journalist Brady Haran, featuring real working chemists from the University of Nottingham, but they say their job’s not finished: “Now we’re updating all the videos with new stories, better samples and bigger experiments, plus we’re making films about other areas of chemistry, latest news and occasional adventures away from the lab”.
They’ve also started a new series – The Molecular Videos – featuring some favourite molecules and compounds.
Education Innovation Conference & Exhibition~Manchester iThink Therefore iPad & Raspberry Jam ~ February 2014
A long way in the distance, we know, but it’s good to plan ahead & book early eh?
We are delighted to confirm that we will be delivering a keynote speech at “The Education Innovation Conference & Exhibition, (EICE) 2014″ event at Manchester Central on February 27th next year, as part of their 2 day event. (27th/28th Feb 2014)
Achievement through Innovation
Now in its second year, EICE aims to help education professionals to raise levels of achievement by making more effective use of innovation and technology. It will feature over 50 free practical workshops and CPD seminars, delivered by some of the most inspiring individuals within education. The event will also include discussion and debate from ministers and sector leaders.
New features of this two-day event, will include a dedicated ‘innovation in practice’ centre, where educators will showcase the latest ideas and demonstrate how they put to practical use to raise achievement.
Education Innovation is proud to be co-located with the iThink therefore iPad 2014 conference and the Raspberry Jamboree festival.
Event manager David Ventris-Field said: “Building on the success of last year’s Education Innovation, we’re really focusing on how innovation can be used to raise achievement with lots of practical, hands-on workshops and some inspirational speakers. We are delighted that Tim will be working with us once again to make Education Innovation a huge success.”
Planning, sharing, repairing, preparing. In the meantime, did you miss, Sir?
Thank you to Bruce Waelend, for sending his thoughts on our day of practical fun, with the Hampshire heads:
What a great day!
The normal format for head teacher conferences is that someone will sit and talk to us about whatever it is – safeguarding or how to spend the Pupil Premium or zonal defence in lacrosse!
Normally there’s a PowerPoint involved and a fair wad of paper handouts.
Speakers tend to be into three categories: there’s the ‘hilarious and inspiring at the time, but I can’t remember a word that they said now’; the ‘serious and interesting with no jokes and lots of research evidence, which leave you feeling that you really need to read more about this but, even if you get the book, don’t’ and finally there is the ‘genuinely inspiring at the time and also has a huge impact in the long term, even to the point of helping you to see the world differently forever’. The third one is rare.
This was none of those. Instead, it was really refreshing and different, forcing head teachers to get off their behinds and do some of the stuff that we are constantly asking children to do – writing, working together, facing deadlines and presenting. However, this was all done in the context of using a range of great free, web-based tools in a real writing context.
I certainly had to face what we ask children to do all the time – the reluctance of working in a group (I’d rather have done it by myself initially), struggling with a task that has just been presented to you that you’re not exactly confident with, and then working with a group of people to produce something under pressure.
I’d quite forgotten the way that you seem to have so much time until you realise that the last few grains are heading to the bottom of the sand-timer.
It was excellent – rather unlike our finished presentation.
I’ve been to great meetings where people have given me all kinds of resources or ideas that can be freely used from the web but without having a context in which to use them, they are rather easily forgotten.
I’ll be able to recommend them, knowing that they work – or at least I know the problems associated with them.
So thanks Tim and Sarah – a cracking day, which got us off to an excellent start to the conference.
Bruce Waelend ~ Hampshire District 2 Headteachers’ Conference, Sandbanks
Something we have used for quite a while now, and involve as just one step in the process of bringing worlds alive, with the schools we work alongside, is the wonderful Google Street View Stereographic. This joyous gem makes your very own, free, explorable, mini planets!
Visit your location, in StreetView Stereographic, & then learn to fly, as it is possible to move around within your world.
Just one way remember, but a fantastic stimulus for talk, discussion, talk for writing, and a whole lot more. Fun!
Together, we explored the progression that can be taken using artifacts and images, then we had a VERY hands-on, have-a-go-day with 22 headteachers, from the Hampshire District 2 Headteachers’ group, in the incredible setting of Sandbanks, near Poole. We had a fun filled investigation of how images, living texts and sound effects, can bring story (re-)telling alive. In groups, we set off in to the picturesque setting of Sandbanks in Poole, capturing scenes to support the telling of a tale, then returned to do some wizardry.
We were joined by colleagues from Barncroft Primary, Denmead School, Emsworth School, Fairfield Infant, Hartplain Infant, Horndean Infant School, Horndean Junior School, Mengham Infant, Mengham Junior, Mill Rythe Infant, Moreland Primary, Petersgate Infant, Purbrook Junior, Sharps Copse Primary, Springwood Infant, Springwood Junior, St. Peters School, and Riders Infants, Queens Inclosure Primary School, St. James C of E Primary and The Federation of Millhill and Woodcroft.
Thank you to Sarah Court, headteacher of Mill Rythe Infant,
Tools explored today included;
Tiltshift Maker bringing miniature characters into life within the locality, or focusing on a significant portion within a landscape, or portrait.
Psykopaint, whisking photographs into paintings. Great artists styles can be
stolen borrowed to enhance aspects of the photos. By darkening, hardlighting, multiplying, overlaying, and manipulating, different feelings, and messages, can be accentuated.
Tagxedo, playing with words, picking them up and juggling them. When used in its full screen (“player only”) mode, it means you can explore your carefully chosen collection of vocabulary, bringing it alive, as you speak.
Music can breathe life in to a story too. Chosen, and crafted carefully, an arrangement of sounds, and instruments, can bring out just the right sensations, and emotions, in a yarn. Soundation was the tool of choice for generating some stunning soundtracks which really enhanced the performances of the sagas.
CleVR creates still, and moving panoramas, from your photos… and a LOT more…
AppMakr is a cool web tool that enables users to easily and instantly build a rich content based app. Just paste in the URL of the website you have, and then start customizing it the way you want. You can add images, videos…etc. The free version is ad supported (and there is a paid version with no ads), but worth giving it a go first, as a learning experience alone.