Forget Facebook, for which all your students probably already have accounts. In the social stratosphere there’s a new kid in town that has stolen the show from the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and that’s Instagram. Launched in 2010, this photo-sharing app lets users publish their own exclusively square snaps for their followers to ‘like’ and ‘share’, and it’s safe to say it’s been a big hit with the younger generation — with 53% of teens using Instagram on a daily basis.
In April 2013, the Government announced new funding of £150 million for Physical Education and sport. This funding should be used to improve the quality and breadth of PE and sport provision. The typical Primary school receives on average £9,250 a year and, schools have been very creative in which they have effectively used the funding. Initially Ofsted offered schools some examples on good use of the money, including:
Teaching Shakespeare can be at once exhilarating and terrifying; inspirational and life-threateningly tedious. I like to think that the contradictions here echo, or at least nod, to the emotional rollercoaster that was early modern drama. When speaking to students – Secondary school and university – a common stumbling block is invariably language. Besides the archaic vocabulary – ‘hautboy’, ‘nonce’, ‘tun-dish’ and ‘fardel’ come to mind – there’s also the syntax, the distinctly Christian rhetoric, and seemingly endless concerns about marriage and death. For pupils in Secondary school these subject matters, compounded by unintuitive phrasing and words, can be a categorical turn-off.
Often, after a public show, a kind member of the audience will come up and tell me that I could be a teacher. While to them this is a compliment, this runs headfirst into one of my pet peeves. No, I could not just be a teacher. Of course I perform for (and sometimes direct) children and young people, and my shows have an educational leaning, but that doesn’t mean that I could walk into a classroom tomorrow and be a teacher. It is a basic misunderstanding, and to my mind, slight lack of respect for, the amount of time, training and on the job learning that makes for a good teacher.
The best way to engage kids with History is by immersing them in it. Throwing them in the deep end of the weird and wonderful world of the past, without any armbands and letting them go. That’s where the magic in History teaching happens. Below are my top tips for how to do this. I am not claiming they are my own personal ideas. Many of them aren’t; they are built on the best practice from the last thirty years. NOTE: lots of this comes from a manifesto for decent lessons which my team and I wrote last summer.
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.
1+2 Approach (Primary Language Learning)
In Primary 1, we have been actively involved in integrating the 1+2 approach into our everyday classroom environment. We have two class mascots called Etienne (French elephant) and Jorge (Spanish giraffe), who represent the two languages which are taught. These mascots have proven to be an excellent resource to the class. The children have to look after the mascots during the day; showing them care and respect and allowing them to be part of their learning experience. On a Friday, the children are given the opportunity to take the boys home. The adventures of Etienne and Jorge are recorded via Twitter or through our adventure journals, which are put inside the boy’s travel bags.
Students from Davenant Foundation School, Essex, visited their local care home as part of a Rio-themed day on Monday 30th November. The team of teenagers travelled to Woodland Grove to take part in Zumba classes, a bowls competition, craft activities and a Rio-inspired lunch with the residents. This event was the first project to be delivered as part of Get Set for Community Action, a new UK-wide programme created by the British Olympic Foundation and British Paralympic Association.
It’s 10.30am and fifteen Year 2 boys are huddled inside an old army parachute dappled in green and brown light, the noises of gunfire rattling in the distance, while outside they are confronted with life-size images of young soldiers in battle. Each child whispers to their partner as they write down their experiences. Which of these children are unengaged? Looking at the wonder and anticipation in all of the children’s faces as they scribble words and drawings on their paper, it’s hard to tell. And while we know each child will have different levels of engagement across different learning approaches, it reminds us that everybody has the capacity to be engaged.