Introducing a literacy unit

Being a digital leader I wanted to use  my placement as an opportunity to put in to practice some of the new skills I have learned during my digital literacy sessions at university and see how these could have a positive impact in the classroom.  I was teaching a year 1 class and I decided to use iMovie to create an exciting hook for  our literacy focus; writing an information text.With the help of my daughter who posed as ‘Penny the Explorer’ I made a short  film (see above)  in which Penny asked the children to help her with her mission to create some animal fact files to publish in her new book. The children were so excited to watch the movie which mentioned their class name  as we commenced the new topic.Creating the character Penny really engaged the children with their task, the children all wanted to help Penny  and were motivated to  find out lots of interesting facts for Penny’s book. I also used the video to introduce our new class mascot Terry the Toucan who proved a big hit with the children and was used during many of our rain forest lessons across the curriculum.Following the success of  my initial video , seeing how it had motivated and engaged the children in literacy, I built on this momentum by  editing  the video to make an additional clip to set a challenge for maths. This time Terry had broken his wing and Penny was asking the children to use their doubling and halving skills  to make him a special medicine. Because i had already made the original clip it took very little time for me to edit  and add content to create a new video. iMovie is such a versatile tool to enhance a creative classroom with endless possibilities to be integrated across the curriculum. I would recommend all teachers to  familiarise themselves with the software, it is very easy to navigate with a little practice and  of course, a tool that the children can use too!

by Gemma Wade

World Book Day

by Kathryn Hamilton


Using one book – The matchbox diary, the whole school is brought together to experience and explore world book day.

The day started with a whole school assembly where the head & a pupil did some drama to set the scene of the book. Each class was then handed a matchbox containing an item from the book and then we went back to our classrooms to discuss.

We read the book and had some music to add drama to our section of the book – relating to the St. Christopher’s medal.   We discussed the significance of this with the class. They then designed and made their own medal about themselves. They wrote about a special item they had brought into school that they would put inside a matchbox as part of their own diary. In the afternoon the designed and made 3 different matchboxes for their personal items. We then joined back with the rest of the school to share all our work and what we had found out that day.

Impact on learners: Every child was totally engaged during the day. It was fun, whilst they were learning. There was literacy, drama, art all within the day.