It is not often that I hear news of a new directive from the European Commission that I can get excited about. Frequently, new rules from the EU are loaded with lots of administration or additional layers of red tape that seem more of burden than a benefit. But talking with legal expert Paul Henty recently, he told me of a new legislation that is set to come into force ...
The iPad has been a great tool for teaching children to become better readers. There are many apps available that parents can use to help their kids improve their reading skills significantly, whether they’re just starting out or brushing up on some basics. Here are some of the best: Sentence Reading Magic Developed by Preschool University, Sentence Reading Magic helps your child read and build sentences. With this app, ...
For some time, I had been considering how we could get students to play a more active role in understanding their own data and setting their own targets. Would it be too much for them and a distraction from their learning? Or could it make them more ambitious to reach challenging targets? Prior Attainment and Performance data has become vital and with seemingly ever-changing guidelines and retrospective adjustments to performance ...
No-one would argue against the place of CPD in schools today, but I believe that for many years there has been a lack of coherent processes and management systems guiding it. This means that many CPD activities may not be as effective as they could be because many schools do not have a clear idea of exactly what works - and what doesn't. Despite spending £180 million on staff development and ...
Never be stuck trying to explain to students how to make a poster, create 'spoken' research or learn vocabulary words on the iPad. These 3 workflow posters show how to use 5 different apps step by step via a visual and written guide. Students love to share how they do things. This is especially true when they are working on iPads. I have started to collect and document some of these workflows ...
In July the 'School Food Plan' was published, which provided an independent review of school catering across the UK. The overall emphasis focused on increasing the quality and take-up of school meals, with the aim of diverting parents' spend from packed lunches back into healthy school food. It provides a comprehensive look into what changes can be made – not only looking at the menus, but also taking into consideration the ...
The real-time commenting tool in Google Drive provides a handy tool for peer to peer assessment - and it's now appeared on its own iPad app. In his creative writing class, Jarod describes how his students love to post meaningful comments on each other's work after swapping their drafts at the end of every lesson. Even the teacher can chip in! Google Docs has been around for a few years, ...
There is an art to observing lessons, just as there is an art to teaching them. Observing and evaluating the effects and impact of teaching requires particular skills that in many cases need to be developed through practice. Performed well, lesson observation can be a hugely empowering process that gives recognition to the unique skill set required for highly effective teaching. Undertaken poorly, it could cause a dent in teachers' ...
In 2010, the primary school I was Headteacher of gained seven grade ones in an ESTYN inspection, while several sector leading examples of practice were highlighted by ESTYN and the Welsh Government. Shortly after, I reflected on the previous twelve months, which had been hectic to say the least, and challenged myself to take the school to the next level. But how? After talking to a group of eleven year old ...
Developing an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for ICT should include usage of school-based equipment, both wired and wireless networks and infrastructures, for both BYOD and BYOA. Establishing an overall policy framework for electronic communications should recognise the convergence of communications functions and services. It should also clarify the applicability of law and other school policies such as data-protection, safe-guarding, health and safety and computer misuse.
Mobile learning is gaining momentum. Over the next two years, 12 to 17 year-olds will be the second largest adopters of smartphone technology according to eMarketeer. At the same time, an increasing number of schools are providing smartphone and tablet technology to aid 'anytime, anywhere' learning. The mobile classroom provides many benefits: convenience; the ability to repeat specific parts of any training until a topic is understood; using familiar platforms; and empowering ...
I love the inclusiveness of games; how any focused activity can draw in people of all ages. I love games that require creative and strategic thinking. It is refreshing to play a game where the emphasis isn't on winning and losing - but then again, I love it when they are. I especially love seeing teachers demonstrate how flexible and innovative teaching approaches can be by incorporating games, puzzles and ...

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