Latest News

Animate 2 Educate Dream Team Conference, Newcastle

| June 5, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 09.14.39A2E

A massive well done to Martin Bailey of Animate 2 Educate for gathering together “The Dream Team – The Ultimate Primary Computing XI’” at the Newcastle Utd, Bamburgh Suite, St.James’ Park, Newcastle. “On the ‘ead mate!”

Martin Bailey is the director of Animate 2 Educate Ltd and works with schools in the North East of England and beyond delivering pupil workshops and staff training sessions on all aspects of Primary Computing.

Martin BaileyAt their 2014 conference, Animate 2 Educate were delighted to have Tim Rylands and Sarah Neild as their keynote speakers and feedback from delegates in attendance that day was excellent. Of 75 feedback forms completed, 74 of them scored Tim and Sarah 5 out of 5 . . . . the other gave them a 4! Acting on feedback from delegates, it was clear that people wanted Tim and Sarah to return for the 2015 conference and also for them to be joined in the North East by other top quality presenters.

This was a full on event, kicking off in style and continuing in a game of two halves, where everyone was the winner.

“Animate 2 Educate are delighted to bring to the North East eleven of the best speakers in the world of Primary Computing, for what is sure to be a magnificent event. Back by popular demand from the 2014 Conference is the truly inspirational Tim Rylands and he will be joined by names such as Miles Berry, Dughall McCormick, Lee Parkinson and many many more!”

CGKQNTEWwAA8RtWAnimate 2 Educate like to think big, and rather than just simply going with two or three keynote presenters, they decided to try and put a whole team of speakers together from the amazing people who they had seen present throughout the UK.

From this initial idea, ‘Dream Team’ was born and with the kind backing of official sponsor Rising Stars, the Ultimate Primary Computing XI was soon assembled.

Kicking things off in the Dream Team XI is North East headteacher Rachel Orr who described her journey towards a digital school and ended her presentation with a stunning operatic performance! Glorious musical style with her wondrous voice.

Rachel OrrRachel says:- “When I first took up my post as head teacher of Holy Trinity Rosehill VA CE Primary School in September 2013 there were pockets of technology but no whole school approach. Shiny tech alienated some staff and it became an add-on to learning and I discovered we had very expensive tech kit sitting the cupboard with very few people knowing how to use it.

For me, this is when we began our journey towards becoming a digital school.

Rachel OrrBeing a digital school is not necessarily about how many iPads you have. It’s about looking at ways in which we can simplify technology and embed it across the curriculum and into the everyday fabric of learning. It’s not an add-on.

We needed to peel back layers and look at what our common ground was and where the expertise lay in order to reORRganise how we were moving fORRward. We needed an all inclusive approach looking at children, staff, governors and parents. Changing staff responsibilities by using their expertise was at the fORRfront of the big shift in mindset. An all for one, one for all approach. We have streamlined systems for children, staff, governors and parents and continue to evaluate and refine our practices.

We still have further to go and continue to share in the good practice of others to improve our own learning. Exciting times ahead for everyone.

Dughall McCormickDughall McCormick – explored what it means to be ‘Educating the Digital Citizens of Tomorrow’ ~

Dughall presented a session entitled ‘Educating the Digital Citizens of Tomorrow’. Whilst deftly mixing the light-hearted and the serious, Dughall spoke about current trends in young people’s use of social media and the responsibility we have to ensure that they are best prepared for an ever-changing world. He reminded us that we are responsible for making sure they are both safe and ‘literate’ in a world where digital literacy is perhaps more important than ever.

Steve BunceIn his usual humourous style, Steve Bunce chortled us through a session entitled ‘Blankety Blank – Developing Computing in Your School Using Blank or Blankety Blank’

Steve entertained the audience with his session on ‘Bees’. Linking computational thinking to a bees theme, he used drawings, songs, flowcharts and bells to explain about key concepts. Steve has been working with schools to support computing and has co-written resources for schools with the ‘Scholastic 100 Computing’ series and a new book from Bloomsbury ‘100 ideas for primary teachers’, released this August. He caused quite a buzz!

Andrea Carr Andrea Carrof Rising Stars Edu who were sponsoring the event, gave a quick background to their involvement “I’ve always jumped at the chance of travelling up to the North East. Some of my favourite people live there and the schools and teachers I meet always give me a booster shot of energy, enthusiasm and real life. This event was all about learning from the best in primary computing with an impressive dream team taking to the stage. The introduction of computing into the curriculum is one of the most important changes in education we’ve seen in over 20 years.When Rising Stars were asked to sponsor the day I was delighted; it was four yeses from me!”

Bob HarrisonBob Harrison shared how ‘Using Technology to Enhance Learning is Not Rocket Science . . . it’s Much Harder Than That’ ~ ” In his usual provocative,yet humorous way, Bob challenged delegates to become paradigm pioneers and rethink the use of technology for teaching and learning in his presentation “Will Investment in ICT improve learning outcomes-is the WRONG question” Instead we should be asking “what is the opportunity cost of NOT investing in the digital skills of our teachers and learners in an increasingly competitive and digital world”

Miles BerryMiles Berry shared his throughts on How to Teach Primary Computing’ In addition to his day job, training the next generation of outstanding teachers at the University of Roehampton, Miles has been a driving force in designing and implementing the primary computing curriculum. He’s the author of the BETT and ERA award winning Switched on Computing scheme from Rising Stars, adopted now by around 5000 schools. He wrote the primary curriculum guidance notes and the DfE funded QuickStart computing handbook. He’s consulted on the Barefoot Computing Project and for Code Club Pro, Microsoft and the BBC. Miles is also taking the computing message abroad: in the last year he’s visited Ljubljana, Brussels, Madrid, Seoul and Singapore.

Lee ParkinsonLee Parkinson got creative exploring ‘Bringing the Curriculum Alive Using Augmented Reality’ This presentation demonstrated how Augmented Reality can enhance and inspire learning across the curriculum. Showing different apps that will inspire writing through producing real WOW moments in class, such as Quiver, AR Effects and StARz AR. Lee proudly shared the wonderful work children created using these apps as a stimulus.

Lee ParkinsonHe then looked at how other AR apps allow you to create your own Augmented Reality. Focusing mainly on Aurasma, Lee shared how his classes have turned displays interactive, brought home-reading books alive, flipped the classroom and even decorated his house with Augmented Reality!

David AndrewsDavid Andrews‘ session was entitled “Show Me Something That Matters, Not That Glitters!” How can technology be used to transform learning outcomes for children? This presentation explored the role of mobile technology in schools and how it can make a genuine impact on learning, if schools have a strong, clear understanding and purposeful end goal, of how technology can (or can’t in some cases) support their work as well as keeping to what matters: teaching, learning and progress. The role of technology in the home was explored and how this led to genuine transformation on teaching and learning in the classroom. Examples of cross curricular projects from the classroom were shared and how the use of technology enabled instant access to real audiences for meaningful feedback.

Also covered were examples of schools David hassupported through INSETs and classroom based CPD (EYFS to Year 6) on a whole school approach, underpinned by spoken language, which was developed for the National Literacy Trust on using mobile technology to impact on writing standards.

Peter RaffertyPeter Rafferty took us ‘From Wooden Plank to Golden Room’ to complete a stunning team!

Peter spoke about how teachers and pupils inspire each other to create a purpose for using technology. These people can be called Firestones because their enthusiasm to try things that are different and creative.
The keypad on the hotel door in Porto was the moment when Peter recognised that there are teachers who find the whole concept of technology and using it as part of their classrooms scary because they don’t know what to do.
Mixed in with this was done with particular reference to his own school and Liverpool Football Club and especially Djimi Traore!

CGKPVFJWUAA_NoBIn addition to this brilliant line-up of speakers, there was also a large market hall, allowing us to view products from many of the top educational companies in the UK.

On the eve of the Conference, last night, Animate 2 Educate also held their very own TeachMeet-style event ‘Talk on the Tyne – A Night of Geet Canny Teaching Ideas’. This was held at The Jury’s Inn Hotel (Gateshead Quayside) and was a FREE event. It featured a keynote presentation from Mr Ideas Factory himself (Julian S Wood), and the event also gave the opportunity for teachers and small businesses to share teaching ideas through a series of short presentations.

The 2014 Animate 2 Educate Summer Conference was a complete sell out and tickets for the 2015 sold fast. Here’s to the next one!

Over 250 people booked to attend the two events and whilst there are people from all parts of the UK attending, Animate 2 Educate is delighted that the events are so heavily supported by the schools in the North East whom they work with throughout the year. It is not always easy for North East teachers to be able to travel the long distances to London for BETT or Birmingham for the Education Show etc and so Animate 2 Educate is therefore delighted to bring to the North East a line-up that rivals anything in the UK in 2015!

A fantastic event on the doorstep for North East schools and a chance to give a warm Geordie welcome to those from outside the region!

Inspiring Science Education

| June 3, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Inspiring Science EducationInspSciEd Logo [] is an online portal which hosts innovative learning resources. Combining digital resources with an online delivery tool, it allows teachers to use enquiry-based learning scenarios in their lessons and keep track of the students’ assessment results. The aim is to make science education more imaginative and inspiring for students of all ages.

The UK National Coordinator is Dr Chris North [], from Cardiff University.

CInsp Eci Ed webhris can support UK teachers with getting started with the project and the tools. The learning scenarios developed showcase the use of the tools in the classroom or science, technology, engineering, and maths~STEM club, and cover all of science – from particle physics and cosmology to honey bees and school gardens.

SPACE TELESCOPEIf you’re interested in astronomy you can, for example, use a lesson plan that covers the lifecycle of stars, combined with the award-winning online tool “Star in a Box”. Alternatively, you could follow a lesson which investigates the cosmos across electromagnetic spectrum using Chromoscope, and then go on to design your own space telescope.

If those don’t quite meet a teacher’s needs for a specific lesson, then they can copy and edit the lesson plans using the authoring tool. For more information about the project, and how to take part, visit the website (, or contact Chris North at or on Twitter here.

Forest Way Teaching School Alliance, Coalville, Leicestershire ~ 2

| June 3, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Forest Way Teaching School Alliance

A full on day’s conference for Forest Way Teaching School Alliance at Ashby School. Wow indeed. This was a remarkable day, full of phenomenal ideas and how to apply them

Ashby School

A big well done and thanks to Phil Newman Deputy head of science, for coordinating today. Staff from Ashby School led workshops on some of their already superb use of technology:

Jenny Hatcher led a Powerpoint masterclass – How to get more from powerpoint: using screen shots, photo albums, colour schemes, actions, triggering audio files etc.

Vic Foster explored Memrise – using this web 2.0 technology to turn learning fact and definitions into a competitive, fun challenge that really engages students. A fun experience students can’t get enough of.

Ben Clarke showed a glimpse of some of the great things they have done with Youtube – How to set up and use you own youtube channel to engage with students and parents outside the classroom. having your own department’s or school’s YouTube channel can allow students or parents to access key information, support and guidance in video form, anywhere and anytime.  This could provide opportunities for parents to learn how to support their children’s learning and to support students on their path to becoming independent learners.

Fiona McCafferty demonstrated some imaginative use of Tablets –How using portable technology can be used to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom. Using QR codes to make a fun challenging way to learn, using socrative for summative and formative assessment.

Kirt Richardson  and Ali Jackson took us for a remarkable set of flights of fancy in Ashby school’s remarkable 3D Immersive hub – See how open space learning and technology can combine to provide inspirational learning experiences.

Following a brilliant day yesterday, where Tim and Sarah inspired pupils and teachers alike, the teachers who attended Day 2 at Ashby School were overwhelmed with resources and ideas to take away and use tomorrow! From panoramas to citadels and green screens, delegates were swept into realms of learning and teaching ideas. Tim’s engaging teaching style kept the audience rapt and on their toes with lots of interaction expected. Delegates were also treated to a carousel of 5 informative workshops led by Ashby School technology PLC staff.  A brilliant day – let’s do it again soon!
Helen Joy
Lead Practitioner Forest Way Teaching School Alliance

Thanks again to Helen, Phil, and Rachel Hall, Eddie Green, Head of Ashby School, for looking after us and for making this remarkable collection of tech run so smoothly.


| June 2, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

CurrikiCurriki is a global community for users to create, share, and find free learning resources. Curriki contains thousands of free lessons and curricula built by educators that are shared throughout the Curriki community using collaborative networking groups. All resources have been vetted and organized to better serve you and your students. Find out more at the Curriki Blog. Curriki’s Mission – Open Educational Resources for educators, students, and parents around the world.

Forest Way Teaching School Alliance, Coalville, Leicestershire ~1

| June 2, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

All Saints Primary School

Today, we had the delight of spending time in lessons with pupils from All Saints Primary School, and staff from the Forest Way Teaching School Alliance. The morning with KS2 and and the afternoon with KS1.

Thanks to Heather Sewell, Headteacher at All Saints Primary School and Helen Joy, Lead Practitioner at Forest Way Teaching School Alliance, for sharing their thoughts:

Forest Way School is a large area special school in North West Leicestershire with an excellent curriculum and facilities for pupils with a wide range of special educational needs aged 3-19.

Forest Way has 16 classrooms with additional withdrawal and group rooms. There are several curriculum rooms for specific subject areas; Science, Art, Food Technology, the hall for PE and studio for Music, Dance and Drama, swimming pool and a life skills bungalow and flat. There are sensory rooms including moonlight (dark) and starlight (light) and a soft play room. It also has various outdoor areas including an interactive playground, a bike track, ball court, garden for growing produce, a pond and a Forest School’s area.

In 2011 Forest Way became a teaching school and has now formed a teaching School Alliance (FWTSA) of 48 Primary, Secondary and Special schools and as many preschool providers. FWTSA provide teacher training, CPD, leadership development and school to school support as well as engaging in research. It has a clear moral purpose of ‘achieving excellence by working together’.

FWTSA 2 day technology conference is to taking place in two of FWTSAs schools, All Saints Primary School (4-11 years)  Coalville and Ashby School (14-19 years) in Ashby de la Zouch.

All Saints Primary School Coalville is a primary school in Coalville NorthWest Leicestershire, an ex mining town. In fact the school is right opposite the original town mine – now Snibston Discovery Centre which hosts a wealth of information about the history of the mine.

All Saints C E Primary school is a growing school with new building work currently taking place. “We look forward to the future as we grow both physically and develop new and exciting ways of learning. We are pleased to be part of the hosting team for this conference and hope that delegates will enjoy working with our children”.

Andy Dickenson, (@Andyisatwork) Creative Education Director and Senior Consultantant learnNEWstuff  joined us for the day, leading workshops on creative use of animation, over the road at Snibston Discovery Park Ashby.

Andy describes himself in a chortle worthy fashion:

Andy DickensonAndy Dickenson is dyslexic, an enormous Lego fan, Star Wars nut, comic book and superhero fanatic and an Apple ADE. He’s also a graphic artist, silversmith and motorbike customiser. He used to be a disruptive ninja but recently gave that up to become a grey-bearded psychedelic  monk.  

When he’s not jetting off to Denmark to write materials for Lego’s after school clubs, Andy consults on how to use technology creatively in schools and lectures on New Technologies to a new generation of student teachers, across the country.

He’s a huge fan of filmmaking, animation and sound recording to promote learning. So much so, he wrote the film/animation/creative bits for the BFI recognised Visual Literacy project.

His bespoke, creative, interactive publications have be recognised by ofsted as making a difference to boys reading and writing, as well as engaging girls in higher level maths.

He’s recently been showing schools that coding is hugely entertaining not at all scary and that Robots are getting ready to take over the world.

Space Shuttle Audio Collection

| June 1, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Space audioThe Space Shuttle Audio Collection ~a fascinating glimpse in to life beyond the pull of Earth. An archived site, through the WayBackMachine, well worth browsing & to use as inspiration for  inventive writing maybe? What would it feel like? To affinity & beyond.

Kompoz ~ Collaborate with musicians across the world

| May 19, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 


Kompoze is one for those of you who …compose… from time to time, but are short on people to play with, to bring that music alive. Create songs with a bass player in Birminham, a drummer in Dortmund, and a guitarist in Goa…or from across the street?

Woking Schools Learning Partnership at Sythwood Primary ~ Day 2

| May 19, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Sythwood Primary

Following yesterday’s INSET today lessons and training at Sythwood Primary School with visiting colleageus from …

In the morning we were joined by two classes of intrepid year five explorers. An explore we did. Move we didn’t. Much

A morning with the Year 5 pupils …

… an afternoon with the Year 2 pupils …

“Standing here,

So much wrapped in two words and a simple punctuation mark ~

~it implies being, and remaining HERE, static yet alive with thought.

~it’s STANDING HERE rather than heading off in to a string of and then I, and then I

~it explores the comma

~the use of a passive entence starter (or starters e.g. standing here, and looking out) requires more action from the following sentences

WE stand. “Standing here, looking out at a village that looks like it is clinging to the side of this valley…”

“The weight of mystery rooted me to the spot”… or “The weight of wondering…”

WE stand whilst some of IT leaps. The landscape moves around us. Dancing leaves ~ torrents of swirling, frenzied foliage, cavort, carefree, through this cavern.

In the distance, clouds scud, coastwards, like excited holiday makers keen to escape the familiar and head off to lands unknown.

Gamification. No. There is a definite distinction between making these sessions like a game and experiencing the game as reality.

This is not “gamification”. We definitely don’t make these sessions “like a game”. In fact, we work hard to ensure that thoughts of gaming don’t enter our minds. These experience we shared today were REAL. The scent of mystery hung in the air. For REAL.

At last, we move…

“Turning, I wondered what lay beyond where I stood.”

With the younger chidren we moved a little more and they too could startle. “I think this is the idea I shared with you on the carpet just over there, but since I got here, it got even wetterer!”

“…I am going to write my ideas, but, first I might start by chewing this pencil, gazing contemplatively skyward, mmmmmmming to myself in an unnervingly stuck fashion, before surprising everybody, including myself, by bursting in to a decisive flurry of boisterous writing activity, that fills this whole, previously daunting, blank page with inventive ideas that you could lose yourself in for hours. I may be SIX, and use spellings like “creekie” “slyming,” hyooooog”, and some not even I can read) but I am now full of ideas and I will give it a go… before I pop”!

Thank you to the Sythwood Primary School team, Nicola Wilmshurst Assistant Head  (Curriculum), Bev van Rensburg (Assistant Headteacher (Organisational Support) and Sue Tresilian, Head Teacher, and to Adie Gould Administrator, Woking Schools Learning Partnership, for coordinating our days. Well done all.


| May 18, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

mp3mymp3_sound_recorder_logoHere’s one for PC users: Take sounds from any source quickly and easily. Recording from your sound card with MP3 my MP3 means you can record or sample sound from streaming audio or video on the internet, or Skype calls, create MP3’s from Vinyl or Cassette maybe. Happy listening.

Record from any source quickly and easily. Recording from your sound card with MP3 my MP3 means you can record or sample sound from streaming audio or video on the internet, record Skype calls for business, create MP3’s from Vinyl, easily create ringtones from any source and much more.

- See more at:

Record from any source quickly and easily. Recording from your sound card with MP3 my MP3 means you can record or sample sound from streaming audio or video on the internet, record Skype calls for business, create MP3’s from Vinyl, easily create ringtones from any source and much more.

- See more at:


Record from any source quickly and easily. Recording from your sound card with MP3 my MP3 means you can record or sample sound from streaming audio or video on the internet, record Skype calls for business, create MP3’s from Vinyl, easily create ringtones from any source and much more.

- See more at:

Woking Schools Learning Partnership at Sythwood Primary ~ Day 1

| May 18, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 


Sythwood Primary SchoolFollowing our day with Woking Headteachers in Poole back in February, we are honoured to be invited back for a couple of days working alongside colleagues, and children, at Sythwood Primary School with colleagues from across the Woking region, including Barnsbury Primary School, Beaufort Primary School, Broadmere Academy TrustBrookwood Primary Goldsworth Primary School, The Hermitage School, The Horsell Village School, West Byfleet Junior School, Connaught Junior School, St Lawrence C of E Primary School, Mytchett Primary and Tomlinscote School.

woking schools logoThank you to the Sythwood Primary School team, Nicola Wilmshurst Assistant Head  (Curriculum), Bev van Rensburg (Assistant Headteacher (Organisational Support) and Sue Tresilian, Head Teacher, for making sure that this superb day ran smoothly.

Thank you too to Adie Gould Administrator, Woking Schools Learning Partnership, for coordinating the two days training here in Woking.

Today, we splattered folks with a vast amount of, mostly free, online ways of extending their learning experiences.

Nicola shared here thoughts on this visit:

Situated in Woking, Sythwood School and Children’s Centre caters for children aged 2-11. It is part of the Woking Schools Learning Partnership (WSLP). WSLP works collaboratively with its member schools to provide an outstanding educational system for all children living in the town of Woking.

Over the past two years, Sythwood School has embraced all aspects of technology to engage pupils, collaborate effectively and rehearse speaking and listening skills. Apps and websites are used across both key stages to enhance learning opportunities. Pupils participate in class blogs, use iPads regularly and have even created their own stop motion videos. Parents have also attended a Family Learning session covering e-safety, educational websites and using technology to further enhance learning.

At a headteachers’ conference in February, Tim presented a fantastic day on ‘Creating Composite Creatures’. This left the headteachers feeling so inspired that they knew more teachers in Woking would benefit hugely from participating in this. Immediately, he was booked to visit Woking in June. Since then, three teachers organised an ‘AppSmash Saturday’ for children across Woking. During the day, the children used a range of apps and websites (inspired by Tim) to create their own zoo animal and produce a documentary.

We were excited to welcome Tim and Sarah to our school and use ICT to Inspire teachers all over Woking. Children at the school are enthusiastic about working with Tim and Sarah on day 2 (tomorrow) to enjoy plenty of ‘Great Learning, Great Challenge, Great Fun’ – our school motto.

Jam With Chrome

| May 8, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

JAMJam with Chrome is a collaborative live music experience in your browser, allowing you, and up to three others, to jam together in real time

For the best viewing and audio experience, use Chrome so you can make use of Web Audio and Web Socket required to run the site. Get Google grooving. Enjoy!