Latest articles from the Innovate My School community.

For November and December, we’re bringing you Leading The Way, a series all about being an effective school leader. We’ll be publishing articles on the likes of staff wellbeing, school communities, curriculum planning, CPD and networking. Then there’s the case of edtech, which offers schools a variety of challenges and opportunities.

“To state the obvious, technology is now fully embedded in our lives,” says edtech specialist Terry Freedman. “It therefore stands to reason that a school in which technology is not part of the very fabric of the place is likely to be seen as somehow not quite part of the ‘real world’.

“Being a technology-rich school is no longer merely a ‘nice-to-have’ - it is essential. Put simply, why would anyone stay in an environment in which their job is made harder because of the lack of time and labour-saving software, if they have the choice of working in a better-equipped school?”

With this in mind, enjoy these amazing articles, which are powered by edtech solutions provider Groupcall.

5 key dates that offer unforgettable learning opportunities

Innovate My School

Innovate My School specialises in supplying school leaders and teachers with the latest and greatest in education. From exciting new products and services to alternative teaching and learning practices, we empower educators to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead proactively and, most importantly, feel inspired. To write for Innovate My School, or to organise a free event for your school cluster or network, contact hello@innovatemyschool.com.

Follow @innovatemyschl

Website: www.innovatemyschool.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Image credit: Kate Middleton Style. Image credit: Kate Middleton Style.

Given how exceedingly creativity the average teacher tends to be, opportunities to go a little off-script are to be relished. Here we give you a special date for each month of the 2017/18, plus activity ideas to go with them.

Tuesday 19th September - International Talk Like a Pirate Day



Image: Aardman


Pupils will no doubt be fully aware of the pirate iconography - cutlasses, pistols, sails and eyepatches. International Talk Like a Pirate Day could be utilised for various subjects across the curriculum, such as:

  • History - learn all about famous sea bandits such as the Barbarossa Brothers, Madame Cheng, Henry Morgan and Blackbeard. Discuss myth vs reality (alas, there’s no recorded evidence that pirates made scurvy dogs walk the plank) - the Aardman film The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! is an ideal source for clips.
  • Geography - Just where did these swashbuckling villains menace the high seas? Take pupils through a visual tour of the Spanish Main, Sardinia, the Barbary coast and the Persian Gulf’s Pirate Coast with Google Maps.
  • Computing - Classrooms with Minecraft to hand (or hook) can split pupils into teams and order them to design their very own pirate fortresses. Each team should have a list of necessities (dock, gallows, privy), with the Pirate Captain / teacher then assessing them in character.


Tuesday 10th October - World Mental Health Day



Image: Kate Middleton Style


It’s paramount that pupils understand the importance of mental health. Illustrate to them how illnesses such as anxiety and depression are nothing to be ashamed of by screening interviews with people who live with such a condition. UK charity Place2Be offer a selection of activities aimed at both educating and healing. You might also discuss the difference in emotional output between the sexes, as seen in the recent BBC documentary No More Boys And Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free? (starring our very own Graham Andre). You’ll obviously have to fully vet any material beforehand, especially for younger pupils. If you’re able, you may want to watch and discuss the Pixar film Inside Out, which anthropomorphises emotions - just be sure to sit at the back of the classroom because you absolutely will cry.


Friday 10th November - In advance of Remembrance Day



Image: The Holocaust Educational Trust


Lean heavily into the human aspect of Remembrance Day by getting to know the people behind the dates and figures. For example, Esprit Tour Services can facilitate visits from WWI soldier Private Parsons and D-Day medic LCpl Parsons (both played by British Army veteran Richie Parsons), who can give pupils a real insight into life in the trenches. From a civilian point of view, the Holocaust Educational Trust keeps the important lessons of the Holocaust alive by introducing schools to those who survived the genocide. One of the qualities on which they pride themselves is motivating future generations to speak out against intolerance - which seems especially vital in the current political climate. It’s also worth noting that Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 takes place on Saturday 27th January.


Friday 15th December - Christmas Jumper Day



Image: Wilbraham Primary School


Whom can deny the majestic beauty of the Christmas jumper? With schools across the country in the festive spirit, Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day is a perfect excuse to bring laughter and charity into the classroom. On top of the fundraising activities, why not have pupils design their very own Christmas jumpers? This could be anything from a classic designer (Rudolph enjoying a cup of tea) or a more contemporary take (Iron Man helping Father Christmas after an unfortunate sleigh malfunction). These drawings could then adorn the school’s corridors and social media feeds (so that pupils can’t escape parental attention)!


Monday 15th January - World Religion Day



Image: Happy Days 365


Given the diversity of Britain, why not use this opportunity to take a look at the culture behind different religions? You could liaise invite local community leaders from various beliefs - be they christian, sikh, muslim, hindu, jewish, humanist, atheist - into your school to field Q&A sessions. World Religion Day is also a prime opportunity to share fun facts and dispel myths. History lessons can look at how various religions came to be, while in Geography pupils could explore the beliefs to which different parts of the world adhere. The day would be a perfect date for introducing pupils to a book with religion as a core theme (such as Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things for older students), while Music lessons can examine how the arts can play into different religious celebrations.


In two weeks, we’ll be running through February to July. Which special days do you bring into the classroom? Let us know below!

2,500+ ideas & stories. 
Share yours.

Tweets by @InnovateMySchl

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"