FDLT and BALT students graduate in the winter graduation ceremonies at the Royal and Derngate theatre, Northampton. We send them all our congratulations and wish them well in their next steps!
February 11, 2019
February 1, 2019
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.
You can download the National Trust list 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]
June 13, 2018
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.
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.
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.
June 7, 2018
Great British Button Challenge!
Hobbycraft did some research and found that out of the 10,000 people they surveyed 1 in 5 could not sew on a button, with 52% never taught this at school (Hobbycraft, 2018). This summer they’re running a challenge to bring sewing back into schools.
Teachers can go along to their local Hobbycraft up to 20th July and pick up a free bag of buttons and Great British Button Challenge stickers. There are also lots of button based projects on the Hobbycraft website along with educational resources – you can download the pack here.
If you’re not sure how to sew on a button Hobbycraft have made a video guide to help!
With thanks to a BALT graduate, now teacher, for pointing this out.
Hayhurst, M. (2018)
Hobbycraft issue first Craft Report and launch Great British Button Challenge.
[online] Available from: https://www.craftbusiness.com/news/view/hobbycraft-issue-first-craft-report-and-launch-great-british-button-challen [Accessed 07/06/18]
May 31, 2018
The Springwatch team are excited to announce eight new live programmes especially for schools!
Beaming direct into your classroom, the Wild Academy will open for business at 1:30pm on Monday 4th June.
Join us Monday to Thursday for two weeks, where your host Maddie Moate will be meeting exciting guests, watching live wildlife, setting challenges and quizzes for all you nature nuts out there, all live from the National Trust’s Sherborne Park Estate.
To watch and join in, simply head to the Springwatch website from Monday 4th June and watch live online, or via the BBC Red Button service. All programmes will be available on catch-up via BBC iPlayer, so if you miss it you don’t need to miss out.
We’d love to hear from you! Have you found a mystery poo in the school playing field? Are there fragments of broken eggshell under a tree? Have you done something amazing for wildlife in your school? Are your pupils full of ideas for how to help their local environment? Let us know and we’ll mention the best ones live on air!
Live programmes will be shown at 1:30pm daily on the Springwatch website and on the Red Button (channel 301 on older style televisions) on these dates:
More information coming soon…
To get in touch, drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or tweet using #WildAcademy
(From the BBC Springwatch website)
May 4, 2018
My colleague Jeff Ollerton has written this useful advice about email addresses:
If you work in or study education Jeff makes some very good points.
Jeff’s blog is an interesting one to follow if you are interested in the environment, biodiversity and conservation.
January 12, 2018
On Monday 15th January at 2pm there’s a live lesson available to watch to inspire your participation in the BBC Radio 2 500 words writing competition. You can see information about the live lesson here.
Now in its 8th year, Chris Evans’ 500 Words is one of the most successful story writing competitions for kids in the world and is open to every 5-13 year old in the UK. Its mission is to get children excited about reading and writing, regardless of their ability.
We’re creating a literacy Live Lesson to celebrate the launch of this year’s competition on 15th January. Content and resources will be tailored to different levels, but some of the higher-level content will be more appropriate for ages 7 and up.
Joining our hosts Helen Skelton and Barney Harwood, are acclaimed authors and 500 Words Judges Charlie Higson and Frank Cottrell Boyce who will be on hand to help and inspire children. The lesson will be brimming with top tips, and will provide pupils of all abilities with an essential story-telling toolkit to get them started on their stories.
We will also be featuring a follow-up programme called Live Lessons EXTRA. This will not be broadcast live but will be published on our website a day or two after the live broadcast, and will build on the outcomes of the live programme and put more of your questions to our experts.
Closer to the lesson date, we’ll be releasing more information on this page, including a full lesson guide for teachers and downloadable activity sheets.
If you’d like to be reminded by email or sent more information about the Live Lesson, contact email@example.com. Also, please send your 500 Words related questions for our special guests, authors and 500 Words judges Charlie Higson and Frank Cottrell Boyce.
We love to hear from you and see photos of your class at work. If you are sending in any images or videos that feature children, please ensure that you have parental permission, as they may be shown during the Live Lesson and on our website.
In the email, please confirm your official relationship to the child/children featured, e.g. teacher, Brownie group leader, sports coach etc. and confirm that you have sought prior parental consent. Please also ensure the material is not sensitive or controversial.
Read our Terms and Conditions for more information.
Please note that this page is for the 500 Words 2018 – Live Lesson only. The 500 Words story-writing competition opens on 15th January and competition entries close at 7pm on 22nd February 2018. Full details on the 500 Words 2018 website here.
BBC. (2018) 500 Words 2018 – Live Lesson. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2yRxNT9ws7MkJsFvbxPfhry/500-words-2018-live-lesson [Accessed: 12/01/18]
December 1, 2017
This week the year 2 students used their phones or tablets to make short films exploring terms and ideas used when learning English.
Their challenge was to define and explain their word in a one minute film using just the materials available – their own digital devices and card, paper, scissors, tape and sticks.
Below is the YouTube channel playlist where you can see what they made.
It was interesting to see that students also used resources from their devices eg sounds, music, backgrounds and screenshots as well as some of them editing their films using imovie.
When trying this out it is important for the film makers to devise a story or presentation that will explain and define the term clearly and without leading to any confusion for the viewer. Using examples, familiar contexts, stories and combining words and pictures can be useful devices here, as can devising quiz type scenarios.
This is a practical and creative way of exploring some key subject knowledge which leads to a shareable bank of short films which can then be used for revision or as lesson starters.
November 23, 2017
The FDLT Y2 Leicester group used their creative skills and Book Creator to make a collaborative book about some unexpected happenings in the classroom.
Here’s the whole book on Google BookCreator:
Here’s a version on YouTube:
When making a collaborative book it is essential to agree on the format of the pages – landscape or portrait. This story couldn’t be included in the main book because it was made in the wrong orientation:
After the session one of the students went away and made her own book with her son.
September 4, 2017
When you begin to take part in discussion about your setting and when you begin to write assignments you will need some basic information about your school to provide contextual background. It would be useful if you could collect this information and have it to hand over the opening weeks of the course.
Type of School (LA / Academy etc)
Location of school (rural, suburban, urban)
Age of pupils
Number of pupils on roll
Number and type of staff
% of pupils with SEND
% of pupils learning EAL
% of pupils with Pupil Premium
Unusual or distinctive features