Monday, 12 January 2009

Bett,Primary Review,News, Begin the year with a Blog

Max Wainwright from 2Simple shows 2DIY for the first time

Welcome back and happy 2 oh 9. Its going to be another exciting year for Primary ICT, with even more innovative gadgets and software filling the shelves of this weeks BETT show. And as always Redbridge ICT people will be carrying on the innovation and consolidation of good ICT Tech and Teaching

In this weeks issue:

Diary Dates
Primary Review Initial thoughts
Begin the year with a blog
Redbridge Primary ICT @ BETT
In the News

Diary Dates

The following dates are on RedbridgePDC , but they may have passed you by:

  • 04 February 2009 - London MLE Show and Tell 14:00 - 1600 find out how the MLE / Fronter is being is used in London schools. Also that day for your technicians there is a MLE: Administrators' Workshop from 10:00 until 13:00 -further details and for queries please email Alex Rees

  • 11 February 2009 - Teaching the Control Element of KS2 ICT - a course lead by Gary Stevens of 147 group pm Logo, Lego and Control - a very popular, stretching and worthy course- places till available

  • 12Th March 2008 - Primary ICT Subject Leaders Meeting - Supply cover paid - an excellent, high quality day of input and hands-on learning from Nicholas, Anthony and Doug Dickinson - be there or miss out- more details and agenda to follow soon - so far we have taken 22 bookings - roughly 50% of our schools - is that you and if its not why not - why are you missing out on supply cover paid networking, cpd and up to the minute news and ICT inspiration

  • 18Th March 2009 ICT and Renewed Frameworks in Literacy lead by Rebecca Stainsby and Anthony Evans - places still available

The Primary Curriculum Review - Initial Thoughts

(note there should be a video from the Telgraph under here- be patient)

Last December saw the publication of the interim report of the Primary review, headed up by Jim Rose. This is very exciting and important for ICT as the report recognised that ICT needed to take a greater part in children's learning. In terms of ICT the report raised this and other key points,mainly:

  • The curriculum and teaching and learning has not always kept pace with children's passion for and agility with ICT

  • Many of the topics for ICT @ KS3 could move into KS2

  • There still needs to be a good balance of both discrete and cross-curricular teaching

Currently we are waiting to see what the new guidelines for ICT @ primary will look like, but by September 2011, we will be teaching a revised and a more fit for audience Primary ICT curriculum. This is surely well overdue, when you consider the publication of the QCA schemes of work for ICT was 1st of January 1998! It is interesting to note that the whole issue of 21st Century skill has been given a lot of debate around the blogosphere of late. While Rose has published his review a US document was published in 2007, that tries to categorise the skills needed for 21st Century learners. This was been put togther by Education Authorities and organisations such as Cisco, Adobe and Miscrosoft. Have a look at

We will of course keep you posted with developments..

Begin the year with a blog

Many Redbridge Primary schools are dispensing with a reliance on the static polished website and choosing blogging as a means of quick publishing of news and events. This is in line with the advice that both Redbridge Primary ICT and Mina Patel from the LGFL give. We recognise that the Digital Brain Platform can be difficult and cumbersome to use as a platform to publish regular weekly class or whole school news, and therefore one model is to have a website as a sort of E prospectus, alongside a school blog, for weekly and even daily updates.

Some schools have taken this even further and are experimenting with blogging as a way to engage children with writing through commenting on each others ICT or Literacy work.

Look at the examples below and consider whether your school would benefit from having a blog, speaking as a regular borough and personal blogger I find it a far easier and quicker way of publishing news than a conventional website.


The definitive Redbridge school blog is run by Fairlop Primary, where every class has a blog linked to the main school blog. Parents at the school look forward to the regular news updates. The school news comes in the form of either images, videos, text or links to the school podcasts. Through embedded widgets in this website they are able to track their readers from across the globe.

Have a look at Fairlop blogs here

A new blog on the block comes from John Bramston Primary, which started last term. It is a packed site, with regular updates, which include both images,text and video. Alongside the main page of whole school news, there is also a individual class pages, which cover such topics as 'Star of the Week' and a description of the Literacy that has been covered.

See the example below, where the class combined science and literacy to look at changing materials through recipe instruction writing.

I am sure you'll agree the blog is a great way of creating better home school links, as children now have an easier way to answer the question, 'What did you do @ school?' - now they can guide their parents/carers mouse to the answer.

There are other schools worth looking at as an example of what your blog may look like, these are:

Oakdale Junior

Parkhill Junior

Gearies Infants

Ripple Junior in Barking and Dagenham was shown to us at a recent Consultant meet- Gillian from B and D showed us a Blog that wasn't just about news sharing but used the commenting function to promote writing and editing. Have a look at the sidebar guidance for children on how the teacher would like the pupils to write using standard English.

Have we forgotten you ?

Give me your blog address, name and school, and we'll include you in our next issue:

Cleveland Blogs Buzz

By far one of the most exciting schools blogs to come to my attention recently has been the Cleveland Junior school blogs. Here the children are really participating by using the comment function and judging each others entries in online animation competitions. The school is also facilitating it's own safe online chat room, which is proving a very popular online hang out and place where children can share tips and ideas for animation. What's more children are using this as a place for friend sourcing and those that might not find talking to others in school very easy, are instead finding the online room a safer and easier place to talk. I recently visited the school and used my Flip to record Anjum and Simon (network manager) describing how they have been using both the blogs and the chat room and how the children have responded.

Fancy making your own blog click here

Redbridge P ICT @ BETT

This week we will be at Bett, Nicholas and I are there on Friday, and you may also see me on a certain stand on Saturday. We have a rough itinerary as follows:

  • Visit the RM stand and the Steljes stand to see an Interactive Table- The RM stand will have real children using the Microsoft Surface There will also be other gadgets and tools and we want to talk to the children, not the sales reps about their value - stand D60

  • We will of course visit the Fronter stand to talk about how schools are using the London MLE stand K9

  • Each of the main IWB platforms deserve a visit and I am keen to see the Activ Expression from Promethean in action - stand B30

  • The Net book is the device to have at the moment, but which is the best model for a primary school and should one buy Linux or Windows, Fizzbook or Asus- the Microsoft stand features a giant wall of Netbooks and other suppliers like Tag learning will be showcasing robust netbook, designed for the classroom. We'd like to see as many as we can in order to be better informed. see the Microsoft stand at D40

  • The 2Simple Stand will showcase new French Software and 2DIY - games and electronic drag and drop making software. see my film of 2Diy on my blog here and visit the stand on F59

One of the high points of Bett will be Teachmeet - last year this event inspired us to run our own successful event at Redbridge and begun our exciting work with Asus devices and games consoles. It was here that Nicholas and I heard Derek Robinson talk about his work in Scotland with the Nintendo and Brain Training.

Who knows what we'll learn form the mini and nano presentations and in the networking with great ICT minds.


Redbridge ICT in the News

This week Redbridge Primary schools have appeared in the Wanstead and Woodford Guardian for their work with Nicholas Hughes on Video Conferencing - read more here... Nicholas's work builds on the long established tradition of Video Conferenicing in the borough pioneered by Alison Seagrave at Parkhill and others. Long may it carry on.

Other media stars of the moment include our very own Lynn Bailey from Redbridge Primary in the December edition of 'Sharing Good Practice', the weekly ICT magazine. (Heat magazine for Geeks)

Lynn wrote about a mini digital USB microscope and how she and others had used it across the school.

Read the article below and if you haven't already, then sign up to receive the weekly edition of Sharing Good practice.