Our team from the University of Northampton would like to invite you and your staff to join our free online course on What if the sea level rises? Exploring language and culture in a future setting. This course has been developed as part of a European funded project, ‘Digital Learning across Boundaries’, that brings together teachers, student teachers and lecturers in Norway, Denmark, Belgium and England to connect classrooms, and to explore and share technology-related themes.
This is a fantastic FREE resource for primary and lower secondary teachers. It includes case studies of lessons and an international online community sharing ideas. We hope you can join in to develop and share your own ideas on our themes of survival, communication and sustainability.
The course runs for one week starting on May 6th and will remain on our website for teachers to dip in and out of as much as they want.
We hope that this is of interest. You can find out more and sign up here:
Alongside this free opportunity, I would like to let you know that we are recruiting for a new Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Leadership, starting on 20th May 2019. This is a one-year, part-time, fully online course that leads to 60 Master’s credits and can form part of an online Masters pathway open to an international audience. It is intended to develop both subject and leadership expertise, and is designed to accommodate complete beginners as well as those with some existing knowledge in the field. You can find more information here: https://www.northampton.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-certificate-in-digital-leadership
Do contact me if you have any queries about either of these courses:
This week in the FDLT Year 1 groups we have been using the stop motion animation app iMotion and the video editing app iMovie. The students devised, scripted and designed short animations to explain an idea or process. After they had made their film they added music and sound effects from iMovie and sounds made themselves.
The films can be watched here:
It was interesting to see the skills, knowledge and understanding that students used as they worked in teams of three or four. They had to check their subject knowledge and understanding of the ideas and concepts they were presenting. Sometimes as they worked this evolved as they added detail: vocabulary and visual examples. They worked effectively as teams, taking different roles, co-operating, sharing ideas and solving problems. Cross-curricular approaches were evident as students worked across the subjects design, art, science, English, mathematics and computing.
Making stop motion animations allows people to move from passive users of technology to creative makers where the technology is a tool to create.
There are signs of spring all around us! The Woodland Trust has lots of great resources to encourage children to be nature detectives.
With older pupils you might track the effects of weather and climate change by using the nature’s calendar resources here.
With younger pupils you might use the Nature Detective resources to observe and explore outdoors here. This spotter sheet focuses on noting the first signs of spring.
Another useful set of resources is available from The House of Illustration, who have made a set teacher and pupil resources called ‘Illustrating Science’ based around plant life cycles and spotting nature outdoors which can be found here.
Woodland Trust. (2019) First signs of spring. [online] Available from: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/naturedetectives/activities/2016/01/first-signs-of-spring/ [Accessed 20/03/19]
You may have seen in the news recently that the DfE have released details about an ‘Activity Passport‘. The announcement reads:”Primary school children will be challenged to go on a nature trail, visit a local landmark or make a treasure map through a new ‘passport’ of activities launched by the Education Secretary to encourage more family time and help build children’s character and resilience.
Endorsed by organisations including the Scouts, Girlguiding and the National Trust – as well as children’s charity Action for Children – the list of activities is intended to support parents and schools in introducing children to a wide variety of experiences and fulfilling activities like flying a kite, learning something new about the local area or putting on a performance.” (DfE, 2019, lines 1-9).
Many of you will have been aware of the National Trust’s “50 things to do before you are eleven and three-quarters” which you explore here.
You can access an editable version of the passport here.
Those of you working on PDT1o64 or PDT2016 will be considering how we enrich learning and access resources and places to bring learning to life. What would be on your list of 50 things to do before 11? If you work with pupils over the age of 11, what would your list of 50 things pupils should do between 11 and 18 years?
Michael Rosen provides an alternative view to this initiative here.
DfE. (2019) Activity ‘passport’ to inspire schoolchildren and boost resilience. [online] Available from:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/activity-passport-to-inspire-schoolchildren-and-boost-resilience [Accessed: 1/2/19]
This is an interesting radio programme, especially if you are in FDLT Year 2, and thinking about the curriculum and how we organise learning in schools. As you listen, think about what the presenter finds out about cross curricular approaches, creativity and how current ways of working relate to future changes in employment for our pupils.
It was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 28th October at 1.30pm. Check here to see if it is available on iPlayer and if not you can listen to it through Box of Broadcasts.
Here is the supporting information:
“Sathnam Sanghera investigates how children can compete with machines for jobs in the future.
We live in a world where robots, algorithms and the incredible speed of computing have replaced jobs that used to be common. Secretaries, bank clerks and factory workers are becoming rarer. In the future, as robots and computers develop, whole new areas of work will be impacted. Even traditionally safe professions like accountancy, medicine and law could be under threat. So how do we make sure our children get the education they need to compete against machines that haven’t even been invented yet?
Sathnam hears from people who have a vision of how to prepare children for the modern world. They include Daniel Charny, the co-founder of Fixperts which gets children to solve practical problems using traditional making skills. Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of NESTA, the UK’s innovation foundation, talks about what the job market of the future might look like. Andreas Schleicher from the OECD explains how we should begin to measure our children’s skills when thinking about the careers they might have in future.
American educationalist Michelle Garcia Winner teaches what she calls social thinking, the kind of skill that no robot could ever match. Sathnam visits the XP school in Doncaster which is dropping some subjects in favour of getting children to conduct “learning expeditions”.
Sathnam considers whether, in the end, the best way to beat the robots will be to become more human.” (BBC, 2018, lines 1-15)
BBC (2018) How do our kids beat the robots? [online] Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b9z4ng#play [Accessed: 28/10/18]
Last week the FDLT year 1 students went on field trips to explore different ways of supporting learning outdoors. Led by Ken Bland and Georgina Hand, they explored fieldwork around a river including mapping the meander, measuring depth; testing speed of flow and exploring water quality. They also took a kick sample of the animal life in the water and used magnifiers to look at the creatures they had found. They explored the clues to the history of their location around the landscape.
Students also used the outdoors as inspiration for poetry and art. As a starter the students played a digital find it activity in pairs. Each pair was given a grid with things to look for, photograph and present as a PicCollage. The grids were based around subject content, subject specific vocabulary, and could be differentiated to the learning of the pupils. It is a good way of getting a group to explore the outdoor where they will be working in without unnecessarily collecting and damaging the environment.
parts of a plant
parts of a tree
parts of a tree
parts of a tree
We also looked at the work of artist Richard Long. The students then had a go at making walking poetry by setting a rule to walk, collect words and explore the outdoor environment. Some students walked ten steps and then looked up and looked down; others set rules related to collecting certain groups or patterns of words. This gave them the opportunity to use grammatical knowledge in a creative context.
two adjectives, noun, verb
number, colour, noun
two adjectives and a noun
two adjectives and a noun
Students also collected one leaf and tried to identify it using books and an identification app on the ipad. After this they had a go at writing a poem around the edge of the leaf. We discussed using scientific as well as poetic language.
We also looked at The Lost Words – see earlier blog post.
This day connects forwards into the PDT2016 learning beyond the school site module that the students will study in 2018/19.