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Clatford CE Primary School, Clatford, Hampshire ~ Day 1

| January 19, 2015 | 2 Comments 

Clatford C of E Primary

Clatford C of E Primary SchoolClatford C of E Primary SchoolToday, we took a journey in to the land of creative technology, alongside the staff of Clatford CE Primary School,  (Goodworth Clatford, near Andover, in Hampshire) and guests.

This a school who are already giving superb opportunities to their children. Together, we investigated a vast range of inventive ways of extending their curriculum even further, through the use of technology. Well done all.

Thank you to Angela Rice, Headteacher, for sharing these thoughts:

‘Learn and Grow Together’ is the motto which captures the very essence of Clatford CE Primary School. Our core values of Love, Respect and Belief provide the bedrock for our ethos whilst our Learning Friends support us in becoming good learners ready for the world around us. We aim to provide an exciting and challenging curriculum matched to the needs of the child. Through our creative hooks and exciting opportunities we try to inspire and engage

Aldar Academies, Abu Dhabi ~ full on feedback

| December 14, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Aldar Academies December 2014

Great, to get news, and reports on successes, from work we have done in the past, with Aldar Academies, Abu Dhabi, The United Arab Emirates.

Tagxedo in ArabicIt was lovely to get some superb feedback when we were last in Abu Dhabi, but we asked the question: “…how are we going to take this further, and how is the school to continue to make sure that the impact is sustainable?”

Aldar Academies aspires to be a leading educator that embraces technology to the benefit of all learners.

Aldar Academies aims to harness technology to ensure our students are resilient, reflective, creative and independent learners supported by empowered teachers and effective schools.

تطمح أكاديميّات الدّار بأن تكون المؤسّسة التّعليميّة الرّائدة الّتي تحتضن التّكنولوجيا وتسخّرها بما فيه مصلحة المتعلّمين.

تهدف أكاديميّات الدّار إلى إعداد طلّاب يتّسمون بالمرونة والاستقلاليّة والإبداع وذلك من خلال تسخيرالتّكنولوجيا مدعومة بمدرّسين أكفاء وبيئة مدرسيّة فعّالة.

Just a few ideas included:

We use Padlet regularly for homework. This week in maths I’ve asked the kids to make an instruction video for how to convert fractions to decimals with a calculator and post it on a Padlet.

Love thinglink to start topics and add learning.

At home LaurieKids loved 3d exploration of rainforest using google maps.

Also use a little thing I found on Tim’s site. The HAT! Love it. ~ Laurie

(Doing some of this via Skype, means we ended up with some diverse costumes whilst we communicated!)

I used 360 arounder, tagxedo, pixabay and more. I loved the way of story telling , how to encourage students in the lesson and having them excited. Thing link was wonderful to introduce my Arabic lesson in a interactive way. Kefah

We have set up a Winter Break padlet for the kids to upload photos of what they’re up to over the winter break. We can then use this for discussion when we get back in the new year.
We’re also having one to replace the homework book in term 2. The kids are planting their own seeds and using Padlet as a blog which they will update each week. It allows children to showcase their work to their peers and gives a little bit of competition.

We have used Scratch Jr. a lot in my class for creating characters and rebelling the story of The Gingerbread Man.

The children designed their own Gingerbread Man, Fox and setting. We discussed what they looked like and wrote character descriptions and then when we were retelling the story, they animated their interpretation and re-wrote the story. Kirsty

As an ICT team we decided to introduce some of the websites/tools during a staff meeting. We introduced Padlet, Tagxedo and Myst. We gave all the staff an iPad so that they could explore the tools as we spoke about them which was very successful and gave staff the confidence to try these tools in their lessons.

We have used Padlet throughout Al Mushrif. It has been used in classes, year groups and departments. It has been successful because it is easy to set up an account and easy to create a new Padlet. ~ Rose

The Digital Education Show Middle East, Dubai ~ Workshop Day

| December 10, 2014 | 15 Comments 

Beautiful People

Joyous… two, half day, post event workshops titled – Learning Without Frontiers for The Digital Education Show Middle East, in Dubai.

We had a practical, hands on, and hands off, time… exploring a range of digital delights, and the analog learning that flows through them. You had to be there… a group of sunshine~itself, contributive laughter, smiles, inventive, supportive, warmth~alive voyagers!

Digital Education Show Workshop Day

We shared our fantasy journeys with a group of intrepid explorers, and set off to distant lands, beyond even the huge range of places they joined us from. We stood still, and pondered, in beautiful, virtual territories, but also set off to discover those who lived beyond.Beautiful PeopleBeautiful People

The Digital Education Show Middle East, Dubai ~ Keynote

| December 9, 2014 | 1 Comment 

Digital Education Show ME

Dig Ed Middle EastAn honour to be invited to The Digital Education Show Middle East, at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre, in Dubai, The United Arab Emirates.

Today we shared a keynote speech entitled “Back To Their Future” – Leveraging the creative potential of technology to make learning FUN, & indomitable superheroes of everyone.


“Change the way you teach forever” – The Digital Education Show Middle East looks in detail at how leading education organizations – K12 and Higher Education institutes – can leverage technology to create truly personalised and relevant learning experiences

There were lots of new techniques being demonstrated, to equip the digital teacher engage, inspire and educate – make their students unstoppable

A big Thank You, and Well Done, to Conference Manager, Jessica Salawu; Experience Manager, Pragna Patel, and rest of the Terrapinn crew, for making this a great first.

Ewan McIntoshEric SheningerOther keynote speakers over the two day conference included our dear friend Ewan McIntosh – Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age ~Rethinking the method and practice of teaching when using technology to enhance learning;  and Eric Sheninger – Opening Minds  to Embrace and effectively use technology in schools to engage Gen Z learners and inspire staff at all levels of digital engagement.

Sugata Mitra on Self Organised Learning Environments and a Revolutionary New Learning Landscape; and Mr Phil Redhead, Senior Advisor Digital Learning, GEMS Education – The secrets to unlocking transformation and normalising the digital learning process.

Mr Phil Redhead
Senior Advisor Digital Learning
GEMS Education

- See more at:

As a digital aside, click on the image below, to go to a HuUUUuUUge 45 giga pixel panorama of Dubai. Fascinating.


Digital Education Show ME

Tenterden Rural Alliance Schools at Homewood School, Ashford, Kent ~ Day 2

| November 21, 2014 | 6 Comments 

Tenterten Rural Alliance

Homewood SchoolAfter our sessions, working alongside children, yesterday, we were joined by a vast number of teaching staff, from across the Tenterden Rural Alliance, for an INSET -  looking at Using ICT to Inspire: Raising levels of creativity in children of all abilities, at Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre.

Tenterden Rural AllianceThank you, again, to Rachael Harrington, Headteacher Woodchurch CE Primary and to Debra Faulkner, Head of Administration & PA to Principal at Homewood School, for coordinating 145 (plus a few) from primary Schools, 270 from Secondary and 100 who stayed all day. A big event to organise, and what fun we had!

Well done to all the folk, from Wittersham CEP School, Charing Church of England (Aided) Primary,  High Halden C of E Primary, St Michaels C of E Primary, Woodchurch CE Primary, Tenterden C of E Junior School, Rolvenden Primary, Biddenden School, Egerton C of E Primary, Homewood School, Bethersden Primary and Repton Manor Primary.

Thanks to Chris, from Homewood School, for letting us know about their story:

Homewood school is a learning community with 2,200 students 270 staff.  We are proud to have one of the longest running and most effective e learning schemes in the UK.  Over the past decade we have given one to one access to students enabling them to have a mobile device to support their learning.

We currently have over 1,200 students with access to apple I pads, I tunes u and ever growing collection of I book learning resources.

Tenterden Rural Alliance Schools at Woodchurch CE Primary, Ashford, Kent ~ Day 1

| November 20, 2014 | 2 Comments 

Woodchurch CE Primary

The first, of two days, working alongside the Tenterden Rural Alliance Schools. Today, at Woodchurch CE Primary, near Ashford, Kent. Our focus was on “Inspiring Writing. We set forth, on some daring adventures, in the world of words, our eyes firmly fixed on picking up those words, and juggling with them. Children, and staff, from across the Alliance, showed some great style in facing a big range of challenges. Well done all.

Again, well done all, for tackling the challenges we offered. Some imaginative, thoughtful and inspired thinking, talking, caring, sharing, inventing, creating, collaborating, building, developing, writing, laughing, experimenting… and SO much more.

The VillageThe morning with the KS2 pupils and their teaching staff and visiting colleagues from neighbouring schools, exploring the ‘hooks’, ‘nooks’ and ‘crannies’ that engage pupils in sharing their ideas with confidence and style. We explored a ‘Village’ setting in Myst 4: Revelation. Talk. speculation, sharing, thinking and taking ownership of this place, brought it from the virtual, into reality. Similes, and silences, enabled their ideas to flourish and take shape, forming images in our imaginations – gorgeous! We met characters, children up for tackling new ideas and risk-taking, found themselves becoming confident in their roles, expanding on fictional happenings with great detail and flare.

Edanna Spiral PlantOur afternoon, we adventured with KS1 pupils, and teachers, adventuring through their creations, notions and persuasions, as we wandered through caves, climbed trees and became intrepid explorers. The children in this group wondered, and enthused, about strange objects as we investigated Edanna, the helix plants and the birds inhabiting this beautiful world, talking and writing with passion and interest – WELL DONE. The children made suggestions and proposals regarding the origins and purpose of items found; they considered different ways to ascend the plants and what might be at the top… and then, we went and found out. Would YOU like to know?…

A ha! That would really be telling. Why not have a look yourself one day?

Thank you, to Headteacher, at Woodchurch, Rachael Harrington for sharing her thoughts:

Woodchurch CE PrimaryAt Woodchurch Church of England Primary School ‘we shine together in God’s light, learning, exploring and challenging to inspire our futures.’ Woodchurch CE Primary School’s vision is at the forefront as we continually strive to raise the levels of skills, attainment and enjoyment of writing for all our children.  We are a good school and so are all the other schools in the Tenterden Rural Alliance but we are always looking to further the Learning and Teaching in our collaboration.

Through the inspirational agenda for Tim Rylands’ day with our children, at our school and the staff training at Homewood School, I hope our teachers will learn, explore and be challenged. The staff within the collaboration are looking for new ways to motivate our children to achieve greatness in their writing without losing the enjoyment. Our children are e-natives in a 24/7 digital world and we have a wonderful opportunity to tap into the best global resources to enable them to learn in a way that is exciting and relevant to them.

I contacted Tim because I recently used Myst III in a lesson with my Year 4s and I was reminded of some amazing training we had with Tim previously.  I loved the way he used technology to inspire the children to write and be so creative.  I invited Tim to our collaboration to bring back the enjoyment of teaching and show the children that they can write and use their imagination, whilst giving the staff the tools to facilitate this.  I am hoping that the use of technology with Tim will really encourage them and staff and children alike will learn without realising it!

EMBC Autumn Conference at Derby County FC iPRO Stadium, Derby

| November 19, 2014 | 12 Comments 


emPSNembc logoToday at Derby County FC iPRO Stadium, Pride Park, Derby for the ‘embc Autumn Conference: enthusing and inspiring learners using ICT’ We explored, through our keynotes and workshops, how tech can enthuse and inspire and have an impact in the classroom.

From British Pathe we have Alistair White who will talk about the amazing film footage available online to all embc schools in particular their coverage of WWI and their tools for teachers.

With a packed workshop programme hosted by our suppliers and presenters there is something for everyone whatever your role in your school.

Workshops include suppliers Ark, Capital Bytes, Capita, eSafety Advisor – Alan MacKenzie, Kcom, KBR, Wave9,  presenters Tim Rylands and Sarah Neild, and Derbyshire Educational Technologist Katharine Childs.

- See more at:

From British Pathe we have Alistair White who will talk about the amazing film footage available online to all embc schools in particular their coverage of WWI and their tools for teachers.

With a packed workshop programme hosted by our suppliers and presenters there is something for everyone whatever your role in your school.

Workshops include suppliers Ark, Capital Bytes, Capita, eSafety Advisor – Alan MacKenzie, Kcom, KBR, Wave9,  presenters Tim Rylands and Sarah Neild, and Derbyshire Educational Technologist Katharine Childs.

- See more at:

British_Pathe_Ed_logoJoining us today, from British Pathe, was Alistair White who talked about the amazing film footage available online and a collection of useful workshops, including: eSafety Advisor – Alan MacKenzie, Kcom, KBR, Wave9, and Derbyshire Educational Technologist, Katharine Childs.

Thank you to Jane Barker, Marketing and Communications Manager emPSN, for inviting us and for her thoughts:

The embc Autumn Conference: enthusing and inspiring learners using ICT at home of Derby County FC, brings together technology and learning into one space to enthuse and inspire technicians and teachers alike. The fusion has been deliberate. Technology won’t improve children’s learning without the passion and enthusiasm of those who use it so we have deliberately kicked off the day with renowned motivator Tim Rylands whose determination to spread the word about the use of ICT to improve standards knows no bounds. Tim makes a perfect partner for embc; whilst embc provide the underpinning connectivity and services to make it all work, Tim is able to show how the technology can be used to deliver teaching that reaches out to all children and gives them hooks to learn from. How the tools technology delivers can fire their imagination, can entice the reticent learners and can engage the whole class so that learning becomes fun and exciting.

embc have been around for the last 15 years when the first ideas to put broadband into schools were mooted in 1999. Since then we have connected schools across the East Midlands on ever increasing bandwidth, with a wider and more flexible range of services and more choice of providers and contracts. We currently connect 1,100 schools sites and 1,100 corporate sites. We remain owned by the public sector including the schools to whom we provide services, and many corporate sites we connect along with the schools sites making a huge carefully managed and monitored network. Many corporate sites are PSN enabled which is why in 2012 the company was renamed emPSN whilst retaining embc as the brand for schools.

We partner with many organisations; British Pathe is an old favourite we continue to work with so that schools across embc can access their amazing historic footage.

We are founder members of the NEN (National Education Network) who work with national organisations, the government, Janet and other RBC’s (Regional Broadband Consortia) to achieve the best outcomes for schools. With a connection into Janet our embc network reaches schools, universities, government offices and the many national institutions such as the BBC – connecting them all together safely without going over the internet.

We keep safety and security in mind. With a centrally managed firewall our network is secure from attack whilst our suppliers provide a range of security and esafety products and consultancy to meet every school’s requirement from filtering to policy guidance.

embc gives schools the secure foundations on which to build their ICT strategy, gives teachers the confidence to explore ICT in their lessons, and give pupils the ability to enjoy into their learning plans for years to come.

embc is owned by you the community of schools which makes up embc. We are always looking for ways to improve and to learn, from and with you as your requirements change, the suppliers change, the challenges grow, as the way children learn and use technology continues to develop.

St Andrew’s CE Primary School, Oswaldtwistle ~ Day 2

| November 14, 2014 | 1 Comment 

St Andrews CE Primary

header-e1407573574837The second of our two, full-on, days at St Andrew’s CE Primary School, in Oswaldtwistle.

After a great day with the staff yesterday, splattering them with a huge plethora of online methods of bringing lessons alive, we looked at the learning that flows from responding to a digital stimulus, and with a beam shining brightly on…

analog learning ~ impact in the classroom.

A delightful morning with the  superheroes of Year 5 and 6′s and …

… an equally gorgeous afternoon with even more superheroes, princesses and Pudseys from Year 2!

The school have a focus on the children enjoying their writing, having a belief, and confidence to believe they can do it, understanding that creativity is possible alongside the pressures that raising standards can put on teachers, and children. Feedback marking has its place, and benefits. We explored ways of developing enthusiasm to write, to enable that feedback to be based on real writing, for purpose, and building the desire to take off and fly.

This is a group of teachers who are up for anything. A bubbling passion can make the difference between a mundane, meandering, unfulfilling session and an incredible, meaningful learning experiences.

Writing can sometimes feel like something we inflict upon children and, whilst they do it, we go off and do something else, far more mysterious, intriguing and interesting, almost as if writing is beneath us. Not here. The teachers mucked in, sat amongst the children and wrote, showing that getting stuck, and making changes, is OK.

It is vital to join children in whatever, essentially challenging, enjoyable task we set. Modelling can be one of the best ways of scribing. Some children don’t know what enjoying working looks like. Much in the same way that if we read a newspaper in front of a toddler we might find that they are imitating us and doing the same thing (O.K. It’s upside down but it’s the idea) it can be valuable to sit, amongst our pupils and rise to challenges ourselves.

Foundation Phase Training, Ysgol Glan Gele Infant School, Conwy

| November 12, 2014 | 11 Comments 

Foundation Phase Training Ysgol Glan Gele Infant School Conwy

Ysgol Glan GeleA Foundation Phase Training Day at Ysgol Glan Gele Infant School, Abergele, Conwy. A morning with children and colleagues and then an afternoon with just the adults.

Thank you to Lynne Jones Foundation Phase Training and Support Officer and Julia Buckley Jones, Headteacher of Ysgol Glan Gele Infant School for coordinating today’s event.

Thank you to Lynne Jones for sharing these thoughts:

The Welsh Government has a clear, coherent vision for education in Wales. We must give our children a solid foundation in the Foundation Phase, from aged 3 to 7.

“Giving our children the tools today to build tomorrow’s future.”

We are looking forward in Conwy for Tim Rylands to work with the Year 2 pupils at Ysgol Babanod Glan Gele to fire their imagination and inspire creativity for an exciting Literacy experience.

Currently using ‘Book Creator’ and ‘Poplets’ naming but a few of Ysgol Glan Gele’s IT tools, the staff and pupils are engaged by learning that develop, stretch and excites their imagination. Tim’s wealth of ideas will progress them further on their continued journey of learning.

‘Happy and secure as we learn together.’

In the Foundation Phase, (the statutory curriculum for all 3 to 7 year old children in Wales in both maintained and non-maintained settings) children are challenged with open-ended questions and given opportunities to explore and share their ideas for solving problems.

The curriculum has a focus on learning from experiences, active involvement and developing each child’s:

  • creative, expressive and observational skills to encourage their development as individuals
  • personal, social, emotional, physical and intellectual well being to develop the whole child
  • positive attitudes to learning so that they enjoy it and want to continue
  • self-esteem and self-confidence to experiment, investigate, learn new things and form new relationships
  • activities in the outdoors where they have first-hand experience of solving real-life problems and learn about conservation and sustainability.

So, we had some digital, and analog, fun today, looking at ways of motivating, and engaging, children through creativity, indoors, and out.

“No Strings Attached!” Epsom, Surrey

| November 6, 2014 | 1 Comment 

No Strings Attached

Babcock“No Strings Attached!” a Babcock Education Event at Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey. So, a fast paced canter, no, gallop, though just some of the digital delights available in this remarkable day and age.

  • Thinking of goiEpsom Downs Racecourseng mobile?
  • Which tablet/device should you use?
  • What about ‘Bring your own..’?
  • Can it be done safely?
  • Is it cost effective?
  • Will your WiFi cope?

Epsom Downs Racecourse is a great place to hold a ‘No Strings Attached!’ event: we let go of the reins and went for it!

‘No Strings Attached!’ is a platform agnostic, realistic look at mobile learning in our schools. It is a must for any school who has started or intends to start the journey towards mobile learning. Focusing on pupil learning and raising attainment this event explores the issues with internationally renowned speakers, a wide range of seminars and all the usual fun, games and prizes!

The day featured inspirational speakers: Miles Berry, Principal Lecturer, Computing Education, University of Roehampton; and Jeff Smith, Director IET Associates & Consultant to Brent Schools

Miles BerryMiles surveyed some of the history of technology in education, looking at lessons learned from earlier uses and considering the extent to which any technology may be seen as transformative. He provided a summary of some of the research into the use of iPads and other 1:1 devices, drawing out some of the key findings and exploring some of the questions which remain open. He concluded by linking the
 use of mobile technology to the new computing curriculum.

Thank you to Isobel Bartle-Tubbs Conference Producer, for organising our involvement today.

Finding our names linked so often with the iPad app Epic Citadel, it was a joy to head back there today. Here is a reminder, to those who may not have walked through the market, out on to the ramparts, and down to the tents by the river, that whilst you can explore, it is vital to stand still too.

Remember to take your time. Each location can bring alive so many different genres of writing, and more. But, you have to BE there. Take in the atmosphere outside the castle gate. Breath the sea air, and taste the ozone, from the bridge.

The Raglan Schools, Enfield ~ Day 2

| November 4, 2014 | 0 Comments 

The Raglan Schools

The Raglan Schools, a Federation of Raglan Infant School and The Raglan Junior School.

Thank you to head teacher, Martin Kelsey, and the staff, yesterday, for coming with us on a whistle stop tour of a huge amount of digital delights, some old, some brand, spanking new, and for thinking about how they can be applied to bring learning alive, even more, across the curriculum.

As a Mac school, there were some great Apple~centric delights to explore too… … … …

Myst IVToday, alongside the children, we went on some wondrous wanderings in the world words. Who would’ve guessed, 12 years ago, that the simple ideas of using a computer game, and it’s remarkable, peaceful, beautiful experiences, to inspire children’s writing, would have such a long-lasting, widely spread effect. After all this time, that simple concept remains powerful. The idea has been developed even further than could have been imagined back then, by others, in their classes, and great heights have been reached.

Back then the original lessons took place, noone could have guessed the world of the web would take off in such a way too!  The simple starter, of using these experiences to motivate some incredible descriptive narrative, simile, metaphor, and flights of fantasy, is just that: a beginning.

Well done indeed, to the children today, who took off, and flew, putting their scribbly sticks paper, to record some stunning ideas.