DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: LITERACY

With so many new technologies developing so fast - AI, machine learning, VR, AR, apps for everything - it can be a struggle for teachers to know which ones to focus on. What is the hottest edtech trend for 2018? For me, the focus is on empowering students.

Since I was a teenager, I have always looked forward to the In/Out List published in the Washington Post right before the start of each new year. So, as Innovate My School discusses the ‘Hottest EdTech Trends’ this month, I thought I’d have a little fun and put my own spin on the idea.

Regular readers of IMS will be familiar with nationwide literacy and filmmaking initiative LitFilmFest, which transforms the written work of KS2 pupils across the country by bringing it to life on the silver screen.

In the autumn term of 2015, headteacher Jenny Taylor ran a new, two-week initiative at her school, Horfield Church Of England Primary in Bristol. A trial of literacy platform ReadingWise saw major improvements for the 10 pupils involved; so much so that the school now runs three intervention groups of ten pupils daily, helping them to reach many struggling readers.

Here at The Kindergarten Starters in Dubai, we recently ran a collaborative venture with Laurus International School of Science in Tokyo, leading to a change in the way our students learn. Over a period of one month, both schools created storyboards. We used the Lego story starters and Scratch Junior to help construct these stories they told. The written outcomes were quite alike, but the engagement of four and five year olds as they learned to code made us adopt an exciting new approach: to begin coding in kindergarten.

There is no perfect way to lead. An effective school leader adjusts their leadership style to improve results within their school. A leader with a breadth of pedagogical knowledge, who provides hands-on support, will often win the respect of their staff. On the other hand, a relaxed school leader who delegates tasks and mentors individual teachers can also create an amazing teaching and learning environment.

There has been a wealth of studies examining what shapes the perfect leader. One of the traits of authentic leadership is the consideration of soft as well as hard data, but are decisions based on non-quantitative data possible in the current funding climate? Since Sound Training was established in 2011, we have worked with hundreds of schools with the same goal - to raise literacy levels and achievement across the curriculum. The school leaders and teachers we work with may have lots in common, but one thing that stands out is innovative leadership.

Back in September, we announced the launch of LitFilmFest 2018 – a completely free KS2 literacy & filmmaking festival developed by the team at A Tale Unfolds, and supported by YouTube Kids, in order to boost writing attainment in Primary schools. The innovative event has gathered interest from an impressive line up of organisations, including the BFI, Picturehouses, BBC GoodFood, Change.org and the Houses Of Parliament.

The Premier League has launched a poetry competition for children aged five to 11. Backed by names from the worlds of football and literature, Premier League Writing Stars open to all Primary schools in England and Wales, and aims to get young people writing poetry in different creative forms.

Celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2017, Jolly Learning continues to build confident and fluent readers and writers, both across the UK and globally. As a leading player in the fight against illiteracy, we’ve been developing a wide range of tools and resources. Our flagship Jolly Phonics & Grammar programme doesn’t simply produce results consistently - it does so on the basis of a creative, engaging and multi-sensory method. It combines visual, auditory and kinaesthetic resources to ensure children enjoy learning to read and write in a variety of ways.

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