Your ICT provision and support function play a key part in the effective running of your school, but as a senior leader, how well do you know your network? If ICT in your school is a bit of a ‘black art’ and your ICT team talk in a language more akin to Klingon than classroom, then it’s important that you ask your network manager to share the answers to the following questions, so you know the potential impact and reach your ICT has on teaching and learning in the school.
Collaboration between schools has recently been said to be the key to raising standards, with experts sharing good practice whilst learning from one another. Throw in an international element with two schools collaborating across the globe and you’ve got some pretty excited students and staff! How often do students in the UK get to meet, chat and dance for students on the other side of the world and then have the technology available to immediately judge and give feedback on these performances? Well that’s exactly what happened at Woodham Academy in County Durham and Merton Intermediate School in Wisconsin, America earlier this year; sharing good practice and resources, and collaborating on creative and innovative projects.
The traditional Scheme of Work grid is perhaps well past its sell-by-date for 21st Century learning. Consider instead a Learning Plan to promote independent learning and to underpin the introduction of Flipped or Blended learning as wished. The Learning Plan also dovetails well with the Big Picture Lesson plan by setting key questions which can easily be carried forward into the classroom.
As discussed in Cazzypot’s article on teacher-blogging from earlier this year, teachers are often very active in their communities. Twitter plays a huge part in this; here, Mark ‘@ICTEvangelist’ Anderson explains why he considers tweeting to be a crucial part of being a modern teacher.
That’s right - I’m that teacher in your staffroom talking about people, not by their first names, but by their Twitter handles. Have you seen @headguruteacher’s latest blog post on assessment? Yes, I simply loved his Pedagogy postcards. Such a brilliant collection of advice from him. What? That post about Christmas term and how you can make it to the end of term whilst still capturing the magic of Christmas…? So positive and full of great advice - let’s make it so we get the best out of all our community in the run up to Christmas. How can we do that?
Christmas is extremely motivating for many learners with SEN, and it can definitely be a time to mix learning with fun (good teaching should always be perceived by pupils as fun). Innovative uses of technology bring education alive and create a positive climate for learning. Here are my favourite resources for teaching SEN at Christmas:
When it comes to health and safety, it’s particularly important for schools to be as prepared as possible. Drew Griffiths gives a concise rundown of what kind of training teachers should seek.
All workers need to be aware of the safety risks associated with their jobs, but for some people this is especially important. For example, as well as protecting themselves from any dangers, teachers have to look after the pupils who are in their care. Protecting students is a big responsibility, and it’s not one that can be taken lightly.
Earlier this year, Roscoe Primary School headteacher Amanda Anders spoke at one of our events, telling attendees how she brought her school out of special measures. Here, she goes into detail about the specific technology that allowed her and her colleagues to bring the school from ‘special measures’ to ‘good’ in four years.
In 2009 Roscoe Primary School, Liverpool was placed in Special Measures. ICT was considered to be inadequate, and in November 2010 an Ofsted monitoring report stated: “Pupils’ attainment and achievement in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is inconsistent and does not equip them well enough for the next stage of their education and life beyond school. The school realises that there is now an urgent need to take decisive action to address underachievement in ICT.”
Plenty of teachers use Google apps in their classrooms, but is Google Classroom as widely used as it should be? Kings Monkton Private School teachers Adam Speight and Fiona Thomas explain how it’s been innovating their classroom this year.
In 2006 Google introduced a product known as Google Apps for Education to the world. This product became a game changer, as schools no longer had to stick with using the traditional Microsoft Office Suite; there was now a free variable alternative product available to them. Zoom forward to 2014, and Google have once again transformed the world of Education. This latest initiative comes in the format of a virtual learning environment (VLE), and is known as Google Classroom. Furthermore, it is free to anyone using Google Apps for Education. This product weaves together both Google Drive and Gmail, so it is a tool which helps teachers organise classes, provide feedback, save time and improve organisation so that the learning experience is fully enhanced.
We’ve been lucky to feature a host of enthusiastic SEN teachers on IMS, all of them fighting to make sure that pupils with such hurdles are afforded an excellent education. Here, freelance musician and music educator Jonathan Westrup discusses what best practice looks like for SEN pupils in music education.
The question posed by that title would no doubt have given many music services professionals the jeebies even a few years back. Put simply, there were not many music teachers out there with the requisite experience and ongoing professional support to address it satisfactorily. And when we use the term ‘SEN’, what do we precisely mean? Is it a group of children with dyslexia in a mainstream secondary? Or a small class of children with PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties) in a special school? They all have a right to an enjoyable, consistent music education but they all need different approaches and equipment to help ensure that happens.