It’s been a long year of Cars Maths in Motion activities and the children have become dedicated fans of the software practicing and competing against each other throughout the year.
Bankfoot Primary once again kept the Bradford flag flying in the World Final Event held in June this year by finishing a wonderful third.
Today is the last day of the Bradford Challenge with children competing for the Bradford Champions trophy. A 2 hour competition with limited teacher support is presently being undertaken with the final to be run at 11.15 this morning.
I love the fact that this software / competition is the only one I am aware of where children are given some basic track information then work feverishly and independently for the best part of 2 hours applying a whole range of maths knowledge and skills to make their car competitive. An update with details of the winning school will be available shortly.
Today we headed to the National Media and Science Museum in Bradford for the 2017 screening. We had schools from our key stage two film Literacy project and one school from our key stage one project took the chance to attend. This is the chance for the children in our project to watch their films on the big screen. It was clear to see how excited the children were as soon as they walked through the door and saw the screen. Flowery Field Primary travelled from Hyde and sent this tweet showing us how excited they were.
The cinema started to fill up…
…and we got started. Each school had the chance to stand on the stage and tell us about their films and the creative process.
Then it was showtime.
The children really enjoyed the day as can be seen in these tweets from Flowery Field Primary School.
The running order included some scary films, here is the audience reaction to a film called Why So Serious?
We all had a great time and are looking forward to next year already.
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For years Alex Fellowes has brought his innovative drama days to schools in Bradford and beyond. Alex combines a range of improvisation techniques with his own brilliant acting skills to get incredible performances from children. Many years ago I used to work with Alex and jumped at the chance to work with him again.
Alex and I have developed a half day on the topic of the Bradford Poisonings. We use drama and technology to help children discover what life was like in Bradford in the 1830s. We based this around a real event where twenty one people died as a result of arsenic being used to adulterate sweets instead of harmless gypsum. Our first booking was at St Columba’s Catholic Primary school working with year six. The children came up with some amazing drama which will kick start their Victorian topic.
Here are some some images and videos from the session.
Mill brutality tableaux using a green screen.
We created a market place where sellers were trying to get you to buy various revolting foodtsuffs. Alex makes an appearance in role as Humbug Billy.
We used conscience alley to decide if Humbug Billy should adulterate the sweets by replacing sugar with gypsum to save money.
We improvised as on the spot reporters interviewing Bradfordians about the spate of mysterious deaths.
In April, I had the privilege of visiting the Digital Leaders at St Anthony’s Clayton in Bradford. They are participating in the Bradford Digital Leader Academy programme and I was visiting to see how they were getting on and was warmly welcomed by Year 3 teacher Miss Falconi who leads the Digital Leaders at the school.
The first thing I noticed during the visit was a file containing all the information from Digital Leader meetings and the activities they had undertaken including pictures of the recent assemblies they had delivered. This is a great way to record all the activities they are involved in. The children meet every couple of weeks and record actions from each session on an action plan to ensure they can achieve their intended outcomes.
The children had already delivered two assemblies since our last training session and are considering some training sessions for staff around specific technologies. The school has a focus on blogging and the children were discussing how they might deliver some staff CPD around this.
The first assembly was to introduce themselves as Digital Leaders to the whole school and explain their roles as Digital Leaders across the school. They also launched a technology ‘help box’ with custom made slips aimed at staff who can submit slips for help with anything related to technology. They have had some responses already but feel they need to raise further awareness of this across the school.
The second assembly was around Online Safety delivered to the whole school and covered the theme of what personal information was and who you should share it with. They used the Smartie the Penguin resource from Childnet (www.childnet.com/resources/smartie-the-penguin) to demonstrate what children should to do when they come across online content they are unsure about. The feedback from staff and pupils was very positive after this assembly and they have clearly covered the criteria for the Presenter Level 1 badge.
The children have also worked successfully with some classes using Green Screen technology and iMovie and have been asked to create some basic instructions for staff and children to help them use the Green Screen technology themselves. They have also supported a ‘Creative Minds’ KS2 after school club using Green Screen for performance poetry around the poem Jabberwocky that was well received.
Some of the children have started communicating with me about their activities on Edmodo and I expect some requests for Level 1 badges shortly and Miss Falconi has seen an improvement in the children’s confidence in technology and in general since the training.
I look forward to hearing more from the school in the near future.
Our very successful Digital Leader Academy will be running again next year and we are putting the final touches to the programme as we speak. We are also in the process of launching a second programme called Advanced Digital Leader Academy for pupils who attended the first year’s training and want to continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of technology over the coming years.
The Advanced Digital Leader Academy will provide training to pupils to help them achieve the more difficult level 1 online badges and some level 2 badges. The draft agenda for the programme is below and will be finalised and open to registrations in the coming weeks.
Advanced Digital Leader Academy programme
This programme is aimed at accredited Digital Leaders in year 5 and year 6 who have attended and completed the original Digital Leader Academy programme including achieving several online badges. This builds on the knowledge and understanding of the previous programme and enables them to achieve several of the level 2 Digital Leader online badges. We run 2 cohorts of this programme over the year where a member of staff and six children (from years 5 or 6) receive two half-day training sessions, regular updates through Edmodo and a celebration event.
Revisit their Digital Leader role as an ambassador, communicator and technologist and share their experiences of being a Digital Leader through a formal presentation.
Analyse and identify key aspects of presenting though interpreting examples of presentations, highlighting the key areas of successful presentations and then creating and presenting a quality presentation to the group.
Understand the need to develop and use simple action plans to ensure their Digital Leader activity is effective and begin the process of action planning to meet their school’s needs.
Recording and sharing your successes as a Digital Leader using Edmodo.
School blog post
Between training sessions I will work the Digital Leaders through Edmodo to help the children create a quality blog post about their Digital Leader activity in school and post this online through our team blog as well as respond to the children through Edmodo with regard to their general Digital Leader activity. The children will also receive regular Digital Leader updates though Edmodo suggesting ideas, activities and online training opportunities to help develop their role as Digital Leaders.
Recap session 1 and deliver a short presentation about their activities since session 1 demonstrating the presenting skills learnt in session 1.
Discuss how children, teachers and the public now learn online through a variety of online learning systems and that the majority include video content. Discuss how this content is created including online safety issues relevant to the content and where it is stored / streamed from.
Evaluate examples of online video and identify the key aspects of successful online videos.
Create their own video casts demonstrating how to use a specific software or online content through free screencast creation software
Share their screencasts with others including via QRcodes
Full details will be released to schools shortly and we hope you can come and join one of the most successful Digital Leader programmes in the country!
Our second training day for our key stage one film literacy project started with Philip Webb. developing a ‘pop up working wall’ to plan a teaching sequence based on the Heffalump Movie.
We then looked at how we can use the Book Creator app to build a short story using specified camera shots. If you save a master template online to Google Drive you can then download the file onto each iPad. Children then have a structured book they can use as the starting point for their own book. You can see some of the template examples below. This helps children construct sentences with some support. They also have to use the camera to film each shot and record themselves reading the sentence using the ‘add sound’ facility. Children have already been taught about different camera shots and made their own short films on our pupil training day.
You can see a very short example made by teachers on our training. This was the most sensible one we managed to make!
Earlier in February, I had the opportunity to visit Digital Leaders at St Clare’s Catholic Primary School in Bradford to see how they were progressing after their first day of training at the Bradford Digital Leader Academy.
The first thing the children did when they returned to schools was to create a wonderful Digital Leader board with details of themselves and their roles for the whole school to see. They also bought some green screen material so that they could us e the skills they had learnt at the first training session in school. They used the Green Screen app on their iPads to create a video introducing themselves to show to the rest of the school. The children were hoping to post the video to myself on Edmodo so that we could share it with the other Digital Leaders.
The children were very impressed with the Green Screen app and had plans to work with teachers across school to provide them with some training on how to use the app in their lessons. They already had a session booked in with the Year 4 teacher and her class in the coming week and had previously worked with the Year 3 class creating some green screen videos around the theme of a beach holiday. They were also working to use the Green Screen app in the library so that children could be videoed discussing their favourite books in front of an image or character from the book. They discussed linking the videos they make to a QRcode so that they could be accessed on mobile devices in the library.
The children have recently taken ownership of a Logit sensor / logging kit and have been tasked with going through the accompanying manual to understand how it works at their next weekly meeting; they were very excited about this.
The children have been very busy, are enjoying their roles as Digital Leaders, and are looking forward to our next training session.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of working with the year five children at Greengates Primary School. I wanted to show how we can create exciting learning experiences using technology. We started off by watching the amazing film Astonish Me from the World Wildlife Fund.
In partners, children talked about the message the film wanted to get across. Once we had identified the theme of endangered animals I asked the children to find out the names of at least four endangered creatures. We could have just got the children to search online but I wanted to use a different source than Google. We used DK Findout and Q Files to do this. Due to time shortages I directed the children straight to pages on endangered animals. I used QR codes on the board. The children scanned them on iPads to go straight to the relevant pages.
After this I challenged children to find as many synonyms for endangered as possible in five minutes. We used thesauri, searches on the iPads and our own knowledge.
I then asked the children to make memes on the theme of endangered animals. I introduced the app Adobe Spark Post. This allows users to blend images and text to quickly make very slick looking images. The app comes with an impressive online library of images that can be used. We added our synonyms to images of endangered animals as you can see in the examples below.
The only issue with using Adobe Spark is that you need to sign in with an email account. Users should be thirteen or older to create an account too. With this in mind I followed the advice of posters on the Adobe Community boards and used an email I had set up for the purpose. All the iPads were logged in to the same address.
We saved each of these images to the camera roll on the iPads. I then asked the children to write a sentence following a formula of verb, adverb, preposition, expanded noun phrase to fit each image of an endangered animal. I put the image below on the board in several slides in a presentation. You can see my example sentence below. This example was just to demonstrate how to create the sentence. The children weren’t making these .
Once we had written our sentences we used a second Adobe app, Adobe Spark Video. The children added each of their memes and narrated their sentence over each one before sharing their final video to Google Drive. You can see a couple of examples below.
It’s fair to say that we could have done with more time to complete this work as we managed to get all this done in an hour and fifteen minutes. The children worked hard throughout the activity and were engaged in the process throughout.