For our pupils to become able and confident mathematicians in Primary school, it is essential that they have a bank of key number facts they have learnt stored away, which they can draw on at any time. However, we must work to incorporate new ways to help them memorise these facts so that they have them at their disposal whenever they’re needed.
Education is a field ripe for change. A confluence of influences has altered both our purposes and methods. New technologies have altered what is possible, shifted our interactions with knowledge and allowed for new models of connectedness. The forces of globalisation, and with that the movement of both manufacturing workforces and increasingly routine cognitive labour away from Western nations, is altering the face of work in these nations. Our children will leave school requiring a different set of skills to those that secured them employment but a short time ago.
Imagine Mr Jones, an urban schoolteacher who has been teaching eight-and nine-year-olds for the past five years. The few times he has introduced his students to a learning app or digital game, they have nearly levitated off their chairs with excitement. But he couldn’t get past the gee-whiz factor. The feeling that edtech was entertaining, but not germane to his teaching.
The BLOODHOUND Project have announced the launch of Race for the Line’s second season. Working closely with Microsoft Education and the British Army, the Race for the Line Rocket Car Competition will be rolled out to 4,000 schools across the UK, reaching an estimated 112,000 students. Billed as the world’s largest STEM initiative, the competition will see 150 STEM school events held per year. Schools and youth groups must register by 31st October to receive their free rocket car kits.
Multi-award winning science laboratory software LabCamera, after 5M+ sold licenses, is now free for teachers. Designed by Intellisense to spice up lessons and grab pupils’ attention, LabCamera is an innovative Science exploration app which allows teachers and pupils to explore scientific concepts using either their own device’s built-in camera, or any external camera.
Digital Schoolhouse, a pioneering programme which is led and delivered by games and interactive entertainment trade body Ukie, today announced PlayStation as its lead partner for the new academic year. This new national programme will increase the reach and support offered by DSH to an estimated 15,000 pupils and over 1,600 teachers from 19 schools across England in its first academic year. The partnership with PlayStation will ensure that Digital Schoolhouse can continue to offer its fun, creative workshops for free on a national scale.
For schools, getting children to engage with learning is the first step. However, some pupils struggle with this, including disadvantaged and looked-after children (LAC) pupils, with the Department for Education (DfE) finding the attainment of LAC in KS1 and KS2 is lower than it is for non-looked after children; only 63% of LAC at KS1 achieved a level 2 or above in writing in 2015 compared to 88% of non-looked after children. Although this isn’t the case for every LAC, many can become disengaged and their attendance at school may not be as good as their peers, so as a result, they fall behind during lessons.
BP today announced the launch of its annual competition – the Ultimate STEM Challenge – for the third consecutive year in partnership with STEM Learning and the Science Museum. The competition invites young people aged 11 to 14 across the UK to put their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills to the test by tackling real-world challenges. To enter the Ultimate STEM Challenge, teams will need to create a short film or presentation showcasing their project.
As a teacher of Computing at Sandymoor School, a Microsoft globally recognised Showcase School in Runcorn, Cheshire, promoting digital literacy is a curriculum area I have been developing during the last academic year with my classes. The three main strands within Computing are mapped against Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Each component is essential in preparing pupils to thrive in an increasingly digital world. Digital literacy is about pupils building their technical knowledge and skills to ensure they become confident and competent users of technology.