Saturday, 27 February 2010

Fronter Administrators - how good are you?

Fronter have designed a self-readiness assessment designed for MLE users who wish to book onto an intermediate administrator course. To access the assessment please go to:

The username and password to access the assessment are available from Tina Pennells (

Redbridge provides a variety of Fronter courses available for administrators and teachers:

Fronter Training Hands On: 24 March 2010
Fronter Adminstrator: Intermediate 11 June 2010
Fronter Administrator: Basic 15 June 2010
Fronter Administrator: Advanced 18 June 2010

(The 24th March course for teachers does not carry a charge whilst administrator training does. )

Please go to to book on the courses or contact Tina Pennells for further details. We are also able to offer tailored support for Redbridge Fronter schools. Please get in touch if this is of interest to you.

Alex Rees

Friday, 26 February 2010

Home Access Grant: Latest Information 03

Link change
The previous link that was issued giving a summary of eligibility has changed. Please direct parents to More usefully, please copy the criteria into your school newsletter to ensure that parents without computers (the target audience!) have access to it.

Assistive Technologies
Becta have confirmed that there is little take up of 'Assistive Technology' applications. These are applications that request further technology to support children with special needs. To do a Home Access grant application for assistive technologies the school must fill in section 5c of the form, this task is usually completed by the SEN Coordinator and information for them is available here:

One Stop Shop
The One Stop Shop service based in Lynton House, Ilford, is being inundated with parents asking for proof that they receive free school meals. They have advised me that the proof they can provide is no different from that that a school can provide. If you are running support events, or briefing school office staff relating to this grant could you arrange to provide proof for parents if necessary. If parents are part filling out the form with your support and then having to travel to Ilford for proof that they are eligible it may well prevent some parents from completing their application.

National Association of Teachers of Travellers
This organisation has produced some additional support material available here. This includes a post card for distribution (see right) and some traveller specific information.

Looked After Children
Looked After Children who are deemed to have a Home Access need can be in years 1 to 13 inclusive, as opposed to years 3 to 9 for the main programme. Grants will be issued to the foster family and they will then use this to buy a Home Access package from an approved supplier. This application will then be endorsed and verified by the relevant professionals – usually the designated social worker. The borough CLA Support Service 020 8708 3913 will be able to advise further.

More suppliers on board
Four more provisionally approved suppliers have just been announced. DA Computers, Micro P, NS Optimum and Stone Computers will soon be joining the six other approved suppliers. All four suppliers have had to undergo a stringent accreditation process to gain provisional approved supplier status. They are working to Becta guidelines to try and achieve full approved supplier status in April. (Press Release)

Proving Child Benefit
An original Child Benefit award letter must be included in every application for a Home Access Grant, and three different types are acceptable:
• Initial Child Benefit award letter. This must be dated from 1 December 2008.
• Child Benefit Statement of Entitlement. This also needs to be dated from 1 December 2008 and will only have the first name of the child the application relates to.
• Child Benefit uprating letter. This should have been received by the applicant in December 2008 or January 2009 and will have advised them of the annual increase in benefit payment.

The most important information to get out to parents is still the telephone number 0333 200 1004 as this is the easiest way for parents to get hold of an application form. The most important site for schools to find out detailed information is

You may like to read previous updates on the Home Access Grant published on this blog:

Further questions for Redbridge schools that are not answered by any of these posts can be sent to me directly.

Alex Rees

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Fronter's 2010 conference and implementation awards

When: 23 April 2010
Where: York Race Course – more info
Time: 10:00 – 16:00
Cost: £75 (£90 for non-Fronter users)

Fronter UK Implementation Awards 2010
The Fronter Implementation Awards celebrate good practice and innovative approaches to implementation of Fronter. There are 3 categories for which schools can enter. Winners will be announced at during the National Conference - enter here.

  • Primary Implementation
  • Secondary Implementation
  • Special School Implementation

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Redbridge Schools at BETT2010

Cleveland Junior School very kindly contacted me recently to share how they enjoyed taking part at BETT2010 and as a result appeared on the BBC report of the event:

" Cleveland Junior School in Redbridge, Year 6 pupils have been busy designing their own computer games.
"We made a storyline and introduced characters and designed the backgrounds,"explained 11-year-old Rezwana.
"More schools should use the software because you can put your own personal thoughts into the game," added classmate Pawan, also aged 11.
The games the children made were sent to a nearby infant school where Year 2 pupils played them and suggested improvements via Skype. "

Clevelands Junior School had partnered with Gearies Infants School on this project and students from Gearies were also invited to appear at BETT to outline the work they had done on the "Stephen Heppel Playful learning" stand.

Both schools run their own active blogs and if you want the full story please follow the following links:

Thank you Anjum Razaq (ICT Coordinator at Cleveland Junior) for passing on the links to what must have been a very exciting event to be involved in. Please feel free to contact Anjum ( to find out further details about the project and how you may be able to replicate this work in your own school.

Alex Rees

Monday, 22 February 2010

Ofsted's official view on eSafety

Ofsted has recently reviewed eSafety in schools across the UK and (as is their particular skill) they have published a report. The first key finding they list is "In the five schools where provision for e-safety was outstanding, all the staff, including members of the wider workforce, shared responsibility for it. Assemblies, tutorial time, personal, social, health and education lessons, and an age-appropriate curriculum for e-safety all helped pupils to become safe and responsible users of new technologies."

There are many other findings worth reading through if you are the member of the senior management team responsible for eSafety. Their key recommendations for schools are:

  • audit the training needs of all staff and provide training to improve their
    knowledge of and expertise in the safe and appropriate use of new

  • work closely with all families to help them ensure that their children use new
    technologies safely and responsibly both at home and at school

  • use pupils’ and families’ views more often to develop e-safety strategies

  • manage the transition from locked down systems to more managed systems
    to help pupils understand how to manage risk; to provide them with richer
    learning experiences; and to bridge the gap between systems at school and
    the more open systems outside school

  • provide an age-related, comprehensive curriculum for e-safety which
    enables pupils to become safe and responsible users of new technologies

  • work with their partners and other providers to ensure that pupils who
    receive part of their education away from school are e-safe

  • systematically review and develop their e-safety procedures, including
    training, to ensure that they have a positive impact on pupils’ knowledge
    and understanding.

The full report is available here:

You may like to send this link on to the relevant senior manager within your school. If you are a Redbridge school and have questions directly related to your school please get in touch I can link you in with the borough's eSafety Officer.

Alex Rees

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Win up to £3,000 worth of ICT equipment



- Primary schools across the nation encouraged to take the challenge in the Next Generation Learning National Schools Quiz-

The Next Generation Learning National Schools Quiz is being launched by Becta and the NEN (National Education Network) on Friday the 12th March. Schools can win up to £3,000 worth of ICT equipment or training along with spot prices for those taking part.

School's interested in registering can do so at


Mina Patel



Thursday, 18 February 2010

National Schools Quiz - 12th March 2010

Why should I take part in the National Schools Quiz? The National Schools Quiz has the potential to set young minds alight with a thirst for knowledge. Having seen how computer games can enthuse children, using similar technology to expand a child’s knowledge of the curriculum in a fun and interactive way is a great way to increase learner attainment. The quiz also allows children to participate on a national scale and learn together.

Who can enter the National Schools’ Quiz?
The quiz is only open to 8 or 9 year old primary school children from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

What are the prizes?
Highest scoring pupil - £250 of latest technology of their choice
Teams (restricted to 10 members) – up to £2,000 for the winning team. Each member gets to choose up to £200 worth of the latest technology of their choice
Best overall school – £3,000 worth of latest ICT kit or training for the school

How does the National Schools Quiz fit into school curriculum?
The questions are based on subjects being taught to 8 and 9 year old primary school children, although there are some general knowledge questions. The quiz itself is not a mandatory part of school curriculum, but can help inspire children to learn more about any subject.
What are the terms and conditions?

Find out more:

Register your school:

The quiz itself will take place at 11am on the 12th March, and will last for approximately 65 minutes.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Becta's Latest News and features

Becta's news is available on the Schools website.

Home access takes off...
Equipping our current and future generations with the necessary skills to compete in a digital world is crucial to our future. Through innovative programs such as Home Access, Becta is driving this development. Find out more about applying for the Home Access grant and take a look at some case study stories.

Get the bigger picture
How committed are you to ICT? Take our 30 minute survey and discover the impact that ICT is having in your school.

Has your school signed up to the Next Generation Learning Charter?
A booklet outlining the features and benefits of the Charter and the four stage journey towards effective use of technology is now available for schools. You can order or download the publication here. A map is also available which shows all schools on the Charter and the level they have achieved.

Upcoming improvements to the Self-review framework
We have been working on improvements to the Self-review framework which will be implemented this Spring.

Digital literacy: teaching critical thinking
This new publication aims to help teachers to teach the skills, knowledge and understanding that young people need to participate fully and safely in an increasingly digital world. The publication is accompanied by a planning tool which will help you to incorporate digital literacy into your teaching.

New secondary resource for online reporting
This booklet and interactive DVD provides substantial information around the online reporting agenda as an aid to secondary schools to help them meet the expectation of implementing online reporting to parents and carers by September 2010.

Get started with your learning platform
Used effectively, learning platforms open up learning opportunities for all pupils in school and extend learning outside the classroom and school. This publication presents the key steps to a whole school approach to learning platforms.

Are you a 21st century teacher?
Newly published ‘The 21st century teacher’ booklet is designed to help teachers develop their professional use of technology. You can also find links to helpful resources and an online self review checklist on our website.

Narrowing the gap
This report and accompanying videos focus on exploring the ways technology can support approaches to ‘narrowing the gap’ for low and underachieving learners in secondary schools.

2010 ICT Excellence Awards now open!
The 2010 awards are now open for entries until 24 March 2010. To enter your school, please complete our online application form.

Management information systems market review
Modern schools require sophisticated Information Management solutions to address ICT issues. We are conducting a review which will enable us to issue guidance on management information systems.

Procurement framework consultation
Over the past year, we have been looking at the best ways to allow you to put ICT services in place in a way which will support cash savings, efficiency and save staff time. Find out how you can input into the scope of this procurement frameworks consultation.

Becta launches new NVQs
We have launched the Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS), providing National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) to IT technicians in schools.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

LGFL ICT Technicians’ Conference - 29th March

This packed, full day, conference will be helpful to all those who are involved in embedding or supporting the use of the wide range of LGfL services and resources now available to all London schools. The purpose of the day is to assist schools in gaining the maximum benefit from LGfL services, many of which are ‘free to schools’ having been provided region-wide by London local authorities working together as The London Grid for Learning.

Programme - 29th March 2010

Booking for places is now open by visit to

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Fronter Training`Hands On`@ RTC

Fronter Training (Primary and Secondary hands on workshop )– Wednesday, March 24th

  • The course will run from 9.30am -3.30pm at the Redbridge Teachers Centre.
  • The training is for teachers with all different levels of experience in using Fronter.
  • Please go to to book your place.
  • The workshops will be ran by Mina Patel (LGfL). Tanya Hurst(Loxford High), Rosemary Hunt( Fronter), Rob Spriddle ( Redbridge Primary) and Alex Rees (Redbridge LA).
  • The day course will consist of four different 1 hour hands on workshops where you may choose which workshop to attend.
  • Please bring your own lap tops with you to enable you to access the wireless internet connection at the Teachers Centre.
  • Agenda below:




9.30 – 10.30 (session 1)

Rosemary Hunt

Using Fronter as a Collaborative tool

Mina Patel

Using Video in Fronter

10.30 - 10.45 BREAK

10.45 -11.45 (session 2)

Tanya Hurst

Coursework Management

Rob Spriddle

Using Fronter for Language enrichment

11.45 – 12.45 LUNCH

12.45 – 1.45 (session 3)

Rob Spriddle

Using Fronter in Maths

Alex Rees

Using Fronter for Heads for Department

1.45 – 2.45 (session 4)

Rosemary Hunt

Using Fronter for Early years

Mina Patel

Using Fronter as a Staff communication Tool

2.45 – 3.30

Rosemary and Mina

Show and tell & Fronter Tips and Tricks

Mina Patel

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Video Conference with China - all over!

The live videoconference event finished at 12.30 pm yesterday and was a huge success. Pupils in our participating schools had the opportunity, through technology, to develop their speaking, listening and presenting skills as well as beginning to acquire the attributes fitting for a global citizen in the 21st century.

We were delighted that our Redbridge Mayor, Cllr Thomas Chan, who is the first Chinese Mayor in Britain, attended the event and talked to schools and other participants across Britain and the world . He wholeheartedly endorsed our messages.

The event was the culmination of many activities that have taken place in our schools since October 2008 when teachers spent one week in their partnership schools in Beijing.

Congratulations to all the teachers and students who have worked so hard to keep the partnership alive.

Annette Carlon

Monday, 8 February 2010

Redbridge LIVE linking to China RIGHT NOW

If you are in a London school, and today is the 8th Feb, follow this link to watch the live Redbridge/China celebration of Chinese New Year - mms://

Programme Feb 8th 2010

  • 8.50 - 9.00
    Welcome from Presenters

  • 9.00 -9.10
    A Chinese Tale from 125 School Beijing
    KS2/3 - 125 School Beijing, China read a traditional story. What does the Year of the Tiger mean to the Chinese?

  • 9.10 - 9.20
    Mayor Chan (the first Chinese Mayor in Britain) welcomes schools to the video conference
    All Key Stages - The Mayor of Redbridge - Councillor Thomas Chan - Ask the Mayor a question

  • 9.20 - 9.30
    Beal High School - A Chinese Drama
    KS3/4 - An interactive Chinese Drama

  • 9.30 - 9.45
    An Interview with Angela May - Fullwood Primary School
    All Key Stages - Put our Oriental presenter on the hot spot

  • 9.45 - 10.00
    Glade Primary School - Chinese Exercise
    KS2 - Get ready to exercise with the pupils from Glade Primary

  • 10.00 - 10.15
    A Chinese Calligraphy lesson
    All Key Stages - Learn to write some Chinese letters. Get your pens and paper ready!

  • 10.15- 10. 30
    Mayfield School
    KS3/4 - The Olympics - 'Then and Now'

  • 10.30 - 10.45
    Oaks Park High School, Chop Stick Championships
    All Key Stages - A Chopstick Games and other Chinese activities

  • 10.45 - 11.00
    More questions for Angela May
    All Key Stages - Do you have any questions for Angela?

  • 11.00- 11.15
    Chinese Lion Dancers
    All Key Stages - A Chinese Lion Dance live

  • 11.15-11.30
    Seven Kings High School - A play in Mandarin
    KS3 – The pupils of SKHS act out a play ‘Finding Friends’ in Mandarin

  • 11.30 - 11.45
    Redbridge Primary School - International Food
    KS2 - International Food

  • 11.45 - 12.00
    A lesson in Thai Chi with Siman Yue
    All Key Stages - Take part in a Thai Chi lesson with a Thai Chi professional

  • 12.00 - 12.15
    Snaresbrook Primary School - Learn to speak some basic Mandarin
    KS2 – Learn some basic Mandarin language with Snaresbrook Primary

  • 12.15 - 12.30
    Wanstead High School - Take the Chinese Challenge
    All Key Stages - A quiz about China

  • 12.30

You are very welcome to join in by watching and letting us know how you have used this link.

Annette Carlon

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Free Online Reporting Briefings for Primary and Special Schools

Becta are setting up free online reporting briefings in London and Manchester where you will be able to hear from fellow primary and special school leaders about how they are exploiting ICT to improve parental engagement. In the last year we have seen a huge increase in demand from schools looking to exploit ICT to improve parental engagement and an increasing appetite to move beyond the core expectations for online reporting.

These events are free to those schools who are leading thinking in the wider use of ICT, such as ICT Mark schools and for school leaders who value being part of a cadre of peers.
As well as hearing from key national speakers, you will talk with them, share experiences and see practice in action – a practical, pragmatic and engaging event that can equip you to do even more in your school and to encourage and support peers in your own area.

Places are limited so please book as soon as possible by visiting our registration sites here:

Please note that these conferences are free of charge. Travel expenses for the day may be submitted - forms will be available on the day – please keep all receipts in advance of claim. Further information can be obtained by emailing


Thursday, 4 February 2010

Redbridge celebrates Chinese New Year - 8th February 2010

The London Grid for Learning, working in partnership with Redbridge, will be hosting a videoconference for primary and secondary schools to celebrate the Chinese New Year on 8th February 2010 (8.50am - 12.30pm), live from the Redbridge Teachers’ Centre.
LGfL is preparing to link up live by video to schools across London, the UK and China.
The first Chinese Mayor in Britain –
Mayor Chan will be opening the conference and welcoming schools from China and all over the UK.

here to view the programme for the event. Schools that are directly involved in presenting on the day are:

  • Beal High School

  • Fullwood Primary School

  • Glade Primary School

  • Mayfield School

  • Oaks Park High School

  • Seven Kings High School

  • Redbridge Primary School

  • Snaresbrook Primary School

  • Wanstead High School

We would, however, like to invite all of you to watch the live stream on the day, so please, click on this link on Monday Feb 8th - mms://

Mina Patel