To inspire greater physical activity in pupils, Public Health England (PHE) and Disney UK have launched Train Like A Jedi. This nationwide Change4Life programme sees the excitement of Star Wars - alongside Double Olympic Gold medallist Jade Jones - to encourage children to get their daily minimum of 60 minutes’ moderate to vigorous physical activity.
I recently received an invitation to chair the Westminster Insight forum in London on the assessment reform in our Primary schools. At first, I felt a little unsure; the word ‘baseline’ was being muttered on everyone’s lips in the staffroom, and I wondered if this could end up being a rather fiery forum to have to control. I realised, however, that the main reason so many teachers and parents - as well as fellow lecturers in the Teacher Education Department - seem so concerned about the new baseline testing for Reception is that there is still much ambiguity about how the testing will be done.
Looking for a way to boost writing progress amongst your pupils this year? Searching for that elusive hook to inspire reluctant writers, or a way to showcase pupils’ work to a global audience? Step forward LitFilmFest - the Primary school festival, sponsored by YouTube Kids, that offers Key Stage 2 teachers free, fully-planned and resourced literacy units on a whole range of writing genres.
Boots Soltan Sun Ready has launched the brand new Soltan Sun Ready Challenge app, a fun and interactive way to learn about sun safety. With summer fast approaching, Boots Soltan Sun Ready has developed the Soltan Sun Ready Challenge app to support teachers and parents when encouraging Primary school pupils to protect their skin and stay safe in the summer sun.
Of course it’s important for kids to learn how to read and write, and there are plenty of games to help them do that, not to mention textbooks. However, in our increasingly technological society, coding is another crucial skill — and it helps when kids learn it young.
“The Rocksteady day in our school was a wow. I had several parents say to me how inspired their children were.” - Monica Paines, headteacher at Long Ditton Infant School, Surrey
Every parent today will be able to recall their own music lessons at school. Invariably, these memories will either be coloured by the dull experience of having had reams of dry theory drummed into them, or else the sense that they were irrelevant to all but those with access to, and an aptitude for, such traditional instruments as violin, clarinet and cello.
In school, crafting needn’t be limited to the art classes; in fact, it can be a really great way to engage students with subjects in a different style. Shaking learning styles up is often very stimulating - a nice break from the norm - and art can be used to supplement learning in almost every other subject on the curriculum. Here are some ideas for injecting some creativity into Geography classes.
During the course of last year I came across A Tale Unfolds and it fascinated me. A combination of English and Computing skills combined; an opportunity to really engage the children in their learning. I had looked at those teachers who had successfully used it, such as Graham Andre and Rachel Preece-Dawson, and naturally I was keen to give it a go. When I won a trial of the scheme I was over the moon. I took it with me to my new school and trialled it in the Autumn term with my Year 5s.
Edu-software experts busythings have been bringing multiplication to life in Primary schools throughout the UK with the latest addition to their cross-curricular online resource: Miner Birds Multiplication. With the recent emphasis on times tables, this original revision game is raising the bar in helping teachers to improve engagement and attainment levels in multiplication by delighting and inspiring children with fun gameplay, high-quality graphics, animation and sound effects.
The subject of technology and education is hotly debated. For every evangelist who promotes the benefits of classroom technology, there’s a report like the OECD’s recent study, which claims that investment in edtech does little to improve pupil performance.