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Locality G ~ Oughtibridge Primary School, Sheffield ~ Day 1

| September 15, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Oughtibridge Primary School

A great day near Sheffield in Yorkshire, at Oughtibridge Primary School and visiting Tech Coordinators from Locality G – a learning community with style.

It is always good to work alongside ICT/Tech Co orinators, especially when they have the open “up for it” understanding of those here today. Because, even though a lot of what we do is subtitled “TECH To Inspire”, it is the impact that any technology can have on raising many levels of literacy, and confidence, in children of all abilities and ages, that is essential. Speaking and listening, feeds in to writing in so many ways. The opportunity to drip vocabulary, and sentence structure, in to an exploration (or rather, more often, a “standing ssclogo1till in” ) of a virtual world.

A huge THANK YOU to Patricia Munt Headteacher, Oughtibridge Primary School, Oughtibridge, Sheffield, for inviting us and coordinating our two day visit, plus including so many of her colleagues from her school and beyond:
Malin Bridge Primary School, Bradfield Dungworth Primary SchoolNook Lane Junior SchoolStannington Infant School, Deep St John CE Junior School, Royd Infant School, Stocksbridge Nursery Infant School, Stocksbridge Junior School, Shooters Grove Primary School, Wharncliffe Side Primary School, Rivelin Primary School, Marlcliffe Primary School and Loxley Primary School.

Locality G – a learning community with a shared sense of direction that benefits from local school to school support, the sharing of good practice and joint CPD.

Headteachers and teachers from across the locality want ICT to be an integral part of children’s learning, enhancing activities and tasks and enthusing and engaging children. Tim Rylands and Sarah are leading the way, working with teachers inspiring them to use ICT as a tool for exciting learning.

Two days of activities allowing teachers to network, learn together, question, distil and synthesis. What ‘wonder’ it is to be a learner.


Self Portraits in the style of Julian Opie

| September 14, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Experiment with another ArtisanCam creative delight, and their Explore Self Portraits, for the chance to create your own portraits in the style of Julian Opie.

Julian Opie’s style is a very distinctive one, using as few lines as possible, & with limited colours & textures.

When you have finished, remember to label your picture in an authentic style: first name of the subject, job, and date.

Wikisky and Stellarium

| September 10, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.

It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.

Wikisky allows you to imagine yourself viewing the Universe through one of the most powerful telescopes in the world. By changing the scale with your mouse, you can watch the entire sky in one window and receive the detailed images of distant galaxies and nebulas in another. Click on an interesting object and you will get the detailed scientific information about it.

Combine Stellarium and Wikisky and you’re a star! (Sounds like a fascinating cocktail too, eh? Hic!)

If It Were My Home

| September 9, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

If It Were My Home .com offers a fantastic chance to compare aspects of life between almost any two countries in the world.

Initially, the site has the US as the default country to compare others to. This is not fixed and you could compare Morocco with Guatemala if you wished.

You are able to see the two countries overlayed on top of each other for comparison of size

To have Great Britain as your base country start HERE

This is a superb tool when carrying out a geography unit, or as a Start-The-Day thought provoking investigation. Continue Reading

Primary Games Arena

| September 8, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

With thousands of organised links to learning games, Primary Games Arena is a great resource to add to your school bookmarks. All of the games are FREE and could be embedded in your school website or blog. The collection is categorized into subject, unit area & year group appropriate games.

A handy “Top 5 Games” widget is useful for blog sidebars and a clever badge system encourages children to engage with their exploration. Another imaginative tool from the Primary Technology team.

Kuller culler…Colour color

| September 7, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

We may disagree about the spelling of colour/color, but we can all agree that it is a fascinating subject to investigate. is an original way to look at colour and colour palettes*.

How we perceive colour, is a good summary of the scientific process.

The site links to two really good web exhibits, investigating why things are coloured, and colour vision and art, a look at vision science and the emergence of modern art.

*Try for some delicious colour palette collections.

The app isn’t free but the online site is

A pigment of your imagination.

The FreeSound Project + ccMixter + diggccMixter

| September 4, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

ccMixter is a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.

Remixers If you’re into sampling, remixing and mash-ups grab the sample packs and a cappellas for download and you can upload your version back into ccMixter, for others to enjoy and re-sample. All legal.

Looking for music for a video, school project, game you’re developing, podcast or just for a new listen? Find exactly the music you’re looking for – podsafe, liberally licensed – using dig.ccMixter Music Discovery tool.

The Freesound Project is a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds. Freesound focusses only on sound, not songs. Read the What is Freesound page to learn more!

Caradon Co-operative Educational Trust, Upton Cross Primary, Cornwall

| September 4, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Upton Cross INSET

A full on and up for it Ani~smiles/animals Day with The Caradon Cooperative Educational Trust at Upton Cross Primary, Upton Cross, Liskeard, Cornwall

We focussed on tech, but, more on the power of picking up words an juggling them. Reading is a stimulus and models building sophistication in children’s writing. Speaking and listening, come alive when we expose children to new, valid, interesting and real, whether that is through ICT, trips, or other experiences. Oral rehearsal boosts quality and confidence … sometimes, making it up as we go, verbal, or written “jazz”, produces some of the most intriguing, and fascinating results. Today, we looked at how to inspire all of these elements, through the use of technology and beyond. Well done all.

We created, researched and reported on, our own magical imaginings, and, using creative technologies, we went wild and woolly with our new, remarkable creatures.

We explored the power of inventive technologies and visual literacy elements, and saw how they can have a huge impact on raising confidence in children across the creative curriculum.

Tim worked alongside the Upton Cross Crew, before… way back in 2007 (!) (Here and Here)

Thanks to Mark Clutsom, Executive Headteacher Upton Cross Primary and St. Kew C.P. School Federation, for sharing his thoughts on where our visit today fits in to the Caradon Trust story:

Caradon Co-operative Educational Trust

Founded on 1st January 2013 by Coads Green, Delaware, Gunnislake, Pensilva and Upton Cross – five primary schools in South East Cornwall, our aim is to provide training, support, activities and raise standards for all children in all of our schools. St. Kew joined in 2014, following federation with Upton Cross in late 2013.

We regularly meet as teachers and TAs to train together, and share great practice. In the past we have had sessions on outstanding teaching, creativity in the curriculum and questioning. This year’s focus is on writing and IT.

Why the Co-op?

We all passionately believe in the values of the Co-op movement of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity, and know that by teaching these values, we will enable all young people in our schools to be better prepared for the 21stCentury. Of course a major part of modern life revolves around IT and the ways in which we can use technology to make life easier, more creative and exciting.

Because we are spread across a wide geographical area, we have started to use a shared VLE to upload ideas, resources and examples of the children’s work. We are excited to be working with Tim and Sarah today, and will be sharing our ongoing work over the coming months.

Psykopaint ~ image manipulation magic

| September 3, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Inspired by some of the remarkable scenery we have seen on our travels…here’s another goodie

Psykopaint is another fun way to manipulate & transform pictures into original works of art.

The range of “brushes” means your masterpiece can be unique.

Either use one of your photographs as a template, or start with a blank canvas, and let your creativity flow.

Be patient, experiment, adjust settings, look at the tutorial, investigate some of the artists style, and use “printscreen” or, even better, something like Gadwin to save your final image. Would love to see some.

Partnership In Malvern Schools, Worcestershire

| September 3, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 


Great, to spend a day leading INSET for the Partnership In Malvern Schools (The PIMS Partnership) at The Elim Conference Centre, West Malvern.

Thank you to Geoff Rutherford, Headteacher, Wyche CE School for coordinating our involvement.

Everybody here today was “Up for a challenge”! The aim was to have a look at some of the plethora of ICT ideas available, and how they can, even further, enhance the curriculum, particularly in the area of writing.

PIMS is a group established over 15 years ago with the express purpose of working together to ensure that every child in the Malvern area got the best education possible. It draws together the headteachers of 22 schools who meet each half term to share good practice and support each other in many areas of the curriculum. The group has developed into a very successful support network and the joint INSET days they hold is one expression of this.

Recognising that ICT has huge potential to in enhancing teaching and learning the PIMS group decided to invite Tim and Sarah to the town to lead and inspire us in this subject. We’ve been looking forward to exploring with him ways in which ICT can be integrated into our classroom practice. There are 13 schools attending all from the Malvern area. They are: St Josephs, Malvern Parish, Suckley, Eldersfield, Wyche, St Matthias, Rushwick, Pendock, St James, Malvern Wells, Leigh Bransford, Castlemorton and Somers Park.


Seaquence ~ an experimental musical petri-dish

| September 2, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Seaquence is an “experimental musical petri-dish. Adopting a biological metaphor, Seaquence allows you to create and combine musical lifeforms into unique, dynamic compositions. This is an initial alpha release and still under development”… but that’s like the primordial swamp, isn’t it?

Design, and drop, creatures into a virtual sea. Each life form can be one of five sounds (including a drum module). You can click and drag the waveform and turn notes on/off in a grid. When you have your sea full of creatures makings sounds click Share to to flood the world with your creation.

We feel that Seaquence is a powerful, yet almost hidden, introduction to many aspects of sound manipulation. It allows users to tweak various parameters of the creatures’ sounds – such as waveform, octave range, and simple melody.
Explore, and dive deeper, into a sea of sound.