Visualising a vision

It’s been 16 months since I took up my first headship at the wonderful Torquay Academy and it’s time to open up the blog again…  It’s been a (steep) learning curve, but I will save that for another post in the future.  I think it is sufficient to quote Leo McGarry from the West Wing “fake it till you make it”; I hope I am now starting to make it!

We had the pleasure of welcoming our Regional Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, to school yesterday.  During our tour Sir David took a photo of our school vision and tweeted it.  This led to me getting a number of messages asking to see a full image.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 20.46.02

 

The image is based upon our Vision 2020 document that was written by our staff and other stakeholders.  I used the INSET session on my first day to gather the ideas of colleagues as to the type of school they wanted to work in by 2020.  I highlighted 12 areas of the school and our work grew into a rather lengthy document (TA Vision 2020 v12).  I wanted a rather more digestible Vision 2020 that could be shared with students, parents, governors…  I contacted the brilliant Joel Cooper, who I had met at a SSAT conference, in the hope he could bring our vision to life.  He produced this version initially:

torquay final small

 

Joel then made some adjustments so it would fit on our 8 x 2m wall.  It was fitted by local sign writer, Dean.  We are delighted with the results.  I will often talk to students during the day in front of the wall and discuss various aspects of our vision.  I also love the images and often use them in assemblies.

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A new job in January

TA

 

I was recently delighted to have been appointed as Principal of Torquay Academy; I will be joining the school in January.  During my three days of interviews I met some wonderful students, colleagues and governors.  It is a very exciting time to join the Academy: results are increasing, it is located in a £26m state of the art building with outstanding sporting facilities and it formed a multi-academy trust with the local Boys’ Grammar School.  I am looking forward to spending time in my new school over the coming months and excited about the  arrival of the new year.

I will be very sad to leave the wonderful Devonport High School for Boys after four years.  In addition to spending time with the most inspiring students and staff, my time at DHSB has been the perfect apprenticeship for my first headship.  We have achieved during my time at the school; that is thanks to a wonderfully supportive staff and leadership group.  My departure does present an opportunity for somebody to join DHSB as Deputy Headteacher – you can find more information about the post on the school’s website.

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Thinkspace – an inspiring student story

STEPHENFRY!!!!! The above picture is of three of my students who recently met Stephen Fry in London whilst they were attending the National Finals of the Teen Tech Awards.  James, Kamran and Ollie had a discussion with Stephen about a project they are working on called Thinkspace. They describe Thinkspace as being ” a space in schools around the world where students can come and learn how to create these websites and apps – and it is student led. We’re hoping to pick out the next Jack Dorsey’s, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg’s and we believe this is possible with Thinkspace”.  I think this video, feating messages from Stephen Fry, Steve Wozniak, Jimmy Wales (to name just a few of their supporters) is the best way of explaining it…

They launched Thinkspace last Thursday and it attracted even support from their celebrity bakers; 12 million people will have been exposed to the tweets supporting them from Richard BransonRory Cellan-Jones plus the line up from the video.

They appeared on BBC regional news.

 

There have been lots of articles written about the boys and Thinkspace:

 

Pictures of the Thinkspace at DHSB:

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Thinkspace TES 1 Thinkspace TES 2

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SMSC – a guide for the classroom

SMSC 3

More information can be found in two related posts about SMSC here and here.

 

SMSC provision isn’t a new bolt on that needs to be added to lessons, it is already embedded in the curriculum. This document will hopefully help you identify what you are already doing that contributes to SMSC outcomes.

 

Enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self- confidence

 

Probably doing Possible opportunities
Teachers should be acting as role models of the values desired in pupils Where pupils already have religious or non religious beliefs, support and encourage these beliefs in ways which are personal and relevant to the pupils
Value pupils’ questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas, and concerns Encourage pupils to explore and critically analyse what interests and inspires themselves and others
Ensure an environment is created where every child may reach their potential
Help pupils to be aware of their potential and support them to achieve it
Encourage pupils to reflect and learn from reflection
Encourage individual endeavour and celebrate achievement and success
Encourage pupils to work and cooperate as part of a team
Provide opportunities for pupils to develop leadership skills and challenge, and develop self-reliance

 

 

 

Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the law

 

 

Probably doing Possible opportunities
Provide a clear framework of values and behaviours which is promoted consistently, with teachers as role models; Teach pupils how today’s legal system has evolved and why it is important, and help them understand the law and the importance of abiding by it;
Reward good insight and behaviour Give pupils opportunities to explore and develop moral concepts and values
Address discrimination and promote equality Teach pupils about citizenship, and the importance of being a good citizen
Discuss in an informed and balanced way breaches of agreed moral codes where they arise, and their impact on society and themselves
Provide models of virtue through literature, humanities, sciences, arts, assemblies, relevant role models, and acts of worship;
Reinforce the importance of a cohesive, harmonious, law abiding society though images, posters, classroom displays , exhibitions, etc;

 

 

 

Encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute to community life

 

 

Probably doing Possible opportunities 
Foster a sense of community, with common and inclusive values which ensure that everyone can flourish School linking or partnership work to give pupils the chance to mix with pupils from different areas/cultures/faith
  • Encourage pupils to work co-operatively

 

Help pupils to develop personal qualities which are valued in society, for example, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect for difference and sound moral principles
Provide positive group activities Provide opportunities for participating in different communities
  • Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their actions

 

Ensure opportunities are provided for pupils to demonstrate initiative, develop their interests and organise activities for themselves and others.
Provide opportunities for pupils to exercise leadership and responsibility

Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of public institutions and services in England

 

 

Probably doing Possible opportunities
  • Ensure that all pupils have a voice that is listened to

 

Teach pupils about democracy and citizenship, and the importance of being a good citizen
Provide positive and effective links with the world of work and the wider community Ensure that pupils are aware of their rights and the rights of others as human beings
Teach pupils about what public institutions and services are available
Provide opportunities for pupils to learn about and engage in local and national democratic processes

 

 

Assist pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions

 

 

Probably doing Possible opportunities 
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to explore their own cultural assumptions and values

 

Provide opportunities for pupils to participate in cultural events and encourage pupils to reflect on their significance
Provide opportunities for pupils to mix with children from other cultures
Give pupils the opportunity to explore different values, beliefs, and cultures
Present authentic accounts of the attitudes, values and traditions of diverse cultures
Develop partnerships with outside agencies and individuals to extend pupils’ cultural awareness

 

 

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SMSC – what is it?

SMSC 2

More information can be found in two related posts about SMSC here and here.

 

What is SMSC?

Important to provide some basic definitions of the components of SMSC:

 

Spiritual development –It is about the development of a sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose. It is about the development of a pupil’s spirit, soul, personality or character.

 

Moral development – enabling pupils to build a framework of moral values, aligned with the law of the land, which regulates their personal behaviour. It is also about gaining an understanding of the range of views and the reasons for the range. It is also about developing an opinion about the different views.

 

Social development – young people working effectively with each other and the development of the inter-personal skills necessary for successful relationships. It is about functioning effectively in a multi-racial, multi-cultural society and making a positive contribution to the school community and wider society.

 

Cultural development – helping pupils to develop an understanding of their own culture and other cultures in their town, region and in the country as a whole. Promoting pupils’ cultural development is intimately linked with schools’ attempts to value cultural diversity and prevent racism.

 

The Importance of SMSC

Ofsted state “the most important role of teaching is to promote learning and to raise pupils’ achievement”.  This is immediately followed by teaching “is also important in promoting their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development”.  We can expect that all observations will have a clear focus upon SMSC provision in the classroom.

 

The focus upon SMSC is important as a school can be judged as ‘requires improvement’ because there are “weaknesses in the overall provision for pupils’ SMSC”.  If Ofsted observe “important weaknesses in the overall provision for pupils’ SMSC” then the school will be judged to be ‘inadequate’.

 

SMSC provision is outlined in each of the four key judgements and the overall judgement.

 

Implementing SMSC into the classroom

There are five parts to the SMSC regulations, which are shown below:

  • Enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self- confidence
  • Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the law
  • Encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute to community life
  • Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of public institutions and services in England
  • Assist pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions

 

I expect that almost all of your lessons currently provide opportunities for SMSC. You can pick from the following examples to highlight how you are providing opportunities to develop SMSC.  These should be highlighted in your lesson plans.

 

Enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self- confidence

Possible actions

  • Promote teaching styles which value pupils’ questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas, and concerns;
  • Teachers should be acting as role models of the values desired in pupils
  • Ensure an environment is created where every child may reach their potential regardless of gender, race, disability, or other equalities issues;
  • Help pupils to be aware of their potential and support them to achieve it;
  • Where pupils already have religious or non religious beliefs, support and encourage these beliefs in ways which are personal and relevant to the pupils;
  • Provide opportunities for spiritual development through learning outside the classroom, for example drama, music, art, visits to museums, historic buildings;
  • Encourage pupils to explore and critically analyse what interests and inspires themselves and others;
  • Encourage pupils to reflect and learn from reflection;
  • Encourage individual endeavour and celebrate achievement and success, both within and outside the classroom, such as through drama, sports, music and outdoor pursuits;
  • Encourage pupils to work and cooperate as part of a team;
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to develop leadership skills and challenge so they can take care of themselves and others, and develop self-reliance.

 

Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the law

Possible actions

  • Teach pupils how today’s legal system has evolved and why it is important, and help them understand the law and the importance of abiding by it;
  • Provide a clear framework of values and behaviours which is promoted consistently through all aspects of the school, with teachers as role models;
  • Inform parents of school ethos and procedures so that what is learnt at school can be supported at home, and ensure this ethos aligns with the law of the land;
  • Give pupils opportunities across the curriculum to explore and develop moral concepts and values, such as right and wrong, justice, personal rights and responsibilities;
  • Reward good insight and behaviour;
  • Teach pupils about citizenship, and the importance of being a good citizen;
  • Discuss in an informed and balanced way breaches of agreed moral codes where they arise, and their impact on society and themselves;
  • Provide models of virtue through literature, humanities, sciences, arts, assemblies, relevant role models, and acts of worship;
  • Reinforce the importance of a cohesive, harmonious, law abiding society though images, posters, classroom displays, exhibitions, etc;
  • Address discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and other criteria, and promote racial and other forms of equality.

 

Encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute to community life

Possible actions

  • Foster a sense of community, with common and inclusive values which ensure that everyone, irrespective of ethnic origin, nationality, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and religious or non-religious beliefs, can flourish;
  • Encourage pupils to work co-operatively;
  • Provide positive group activities, for example, through assemblies, team activities, residential experiences, school theatre and music productions;
  • Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their actions, for example, respect for property, care of the environment, and developing codes of behaviour;
  • School linking or partnership work to give pupils the chance to mix with pupils from different areas/cultures/faith;
  • Help pupils to develop personal qualities which are valued in society, for example, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect for difference and sound moral principles;
  • Provide opportunities for participating in different communities – for example, religious, cultural, local and global;
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to exercise leadership and responsibility;
  • Ensure that through lessons and other formal and informal settings opportunities are provided for pupils to demonstrate initiative, develop their interests and organise activities for themselves and others.

 

Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of public institutions and services in England

Possible actions

  • Teach pupils about democracy and citizenship, and the importance of being a good citizen;
  • Ensure that all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to;
  • Ensure that pupils are aware of their rights and the rights of others as human beings;
  • Teach pupils about what public institutions and services are available, what they are for, and how they are funded;
  • Provide positive and effective links with the world of work (for example, shadowing, work experience, and visits from professionals) and the wider community (for example school visits, including to public institutions, taking part in community events);
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to learn about and engage in local and national democratic processes, including having democratic processes within the school such as a school council whose members are voted for by the pupils.

 

Assist pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions

Possible actions

  • Provide opportunities for pupils to explore their own cultural assumptions and values;
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to participate in literature, drama, music, art, crafts and other cultural events and encourage pupils to reflect on their significance;
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to mix with children from other cultures, for example through school linking programmes;
  • Give pupils the opportunity to explore different values, beliefs, and cultures through a variety of approaches, including discussion and debate, in order to gain understanding;
  • Present authentic accounts of the attitudes, values and traditions of diverse cultures;
  • Develop partnerships with outside agencies and individuals to extend pupils’ cultural awareness, for example, theatre, museum, concert and gallery visits, resident artists and foreign exchanges;
  • Audit the quality and nature of opportunities for pupils to extend their cultural development across the curriculum, particularly developing an understanding of the cultures of the UK.
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SMSC – Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Education

SMSC

I have been spending time looking at the SMSC guidelines and how they impact upon our school.  I wanted to clarify my thoughts about SMSC so I went about putting together a document for my own benefit.  I shared this with SLT before providing a reduced version for our Middle Leaders.  I finally put together a list of suggestions that teachers could easily implement into their own lessons.  We also added a SMSC section on our lesson observation form.

 

The Importance of SMSC

Schools that ignore SMSC do so at their peril. A school can be judged as ‘requires improvement’ because there are “weaknesses in the overall provision for pupils’ SMSC”.  If Ofsted observe “important weaknesses in the overall provision for pupils’ SMSC” then the school will be judged to be ‘inadequate’.

SMSC is outlined in each of the four key judgements and the overall judgement.

Ofsted provide the following examples of where SMSC can be found within the school: “where pupils:

  • are reflective about beliefs, values and more profound aspects of human experience, using their imagination and creativity, and developing curiosity in their learning
  • develop and apply an understanding of right and wrong in their school life and life outside school
  • take part in a range of activities requiring social skills
  • develop awareness of and respect for diversity in relation to, for example, gender, race, religion and belief, culture, sexual orientation and disability
  • gain a well-informed understanding of the options and challenges facing them as they move through the school and on to the next stage of their education and training
  • develop an appreciation of theatre, music, art and literature
  • develop the skills and attitudes to enable them to participate fully and positively in democratic modern Britain
  • respond positively to a range of artistic, sporting and other cultural opportunities
  • understand and appreciate the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life.”

School inspection handbook from September 2012

 

What is SMSC?

Important to provide some basic definitions of the components of SMSC:

 

Spiritual development – the development of the non-material element of a human being which animates and sustains us and, depending on our point of view, either ends or continues in some form when we die. It is about the development of a sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose. It is about the development of a pupil’s ‘spirit’. Some people may call it the development of a pupil’s ‘soul’; others as the development of ‘personality’ or ‘character’.

 

Moral development – enabling pupils to build a framework of moral values, aligned with the law of the land, which regulates their personal behaviour. It is also about the development of pupils’ understanding of society’s shared and agreed values. It is about understanding that there are issues where there is disagreement and it is also about understanding that society’s values change. Moral development is about gaining an understanding of the range of views and the reasons for the range. It is also about developing an opinion about the different views.

 

Social development – young people working effectively with each other and participating successfully in the community as a whole. It is about the development of the skills and personal qualities necessary for living and working together in harmony and making a positive contribution to the school community and wider society. It is about functioning effectively in a multi-racial, multi-cultural society and developing into a tolerant and helpful human being. It involves growth in knowledge and understanding of society in all its aspects. This includes understanding people as well as understanding society’s institutions, structures and characteristics, economic and political principles and organisations, roles and responsibilities, and life as a citizen, parent or worker in a community. It also involves the development of the inter-personal skills necessary for successful relationships.

 

Cultural development – helping pupils to develop an understanding of their own culture and other cultures in their town, region and in the country as a whole. It is about understanding cultures represented in Europe and elsewhere in the world. It is about understanding and feeling comfortable in a variety of cultures and being able to operate in the emerging world culture of shared experiences provided by television, art, theatre, travel and the internet. It is about understanding that cultures are always changing and coping with change. Promoting pupils’ cultural development is intimately linked with schools’ attempts to value cultural diversity and prevent racism.

 

There are five parts to the SMSC regulations, which are shown below:

  • Enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self- confidence
  • Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the law
  • Encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute to community life
  • Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of public institutions and services in England
  • Assist pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions

 

It is possible demonstrate that these are met in a variety of ways, for example through the school ethos, religious and cultural activities, and also through formal teaching.

 

Desirable Outcomes and Possible Actions

It is possible to identify a number of desirable outcomes and possible actions for each of the five parts of SMSC.  The ideas listed below provide examples of behaviour/abilities/understanding that can be expected in pupils as a result of schools meeting their SMSC obligations.

 

Enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self- confidence

Desired outcomes

  • Respect for themselves and for others;
  • Awareness of their own and others’ beliefs, feelings, and values;
  • Develop a set of values, principles and beliefs, which may or may not be religious, which inform their perspective on life and their patterns of behaviour;
  • Ability to articulate their feelings and justify them through discussion, debate, and presentations to others;
  • Readiness to question things that could limit their self-knowledge, self-esteem, and self confidence – for example, lack of aspiration, discrimination (such as sexism, racism, etc), injustice, bullying, and so on;
  • Acquire the skills to be self-reliant and work independently or in a team;
  • A readiness to take on responsibility for their own actions;
  • Value a non-material dimension to life and consider the questions at the heart of existence (such as who am I, where am I going?);
  • An appreciation of the intangible – for example, beauty, truth, love, goodness, order – as well as for mystery, paradox, and ambiguity;
  • An increasing ability to reflect, and to learn from this reflection.

 

Possible actions

  • Promote teaching styles which value pupils’ questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas, and concerns;
  • Teachers should be acting as role models of the values desired in pupils
  • Ensure an environment is created where every child may reach their potential regardless of gender, race, disability, or other equalities issues;
  • Help pupils to be aware of their potential and support them to achieve it;
  • Where pupils already have religious or non religious beliefs, support and encourage these beliefs in ways which are personal and relevant to the pupils;
  • Provide opportunities for spiritual development through learning outside the classroom, for example drama, music, art, visits to museums, historic buildings;
  • Encourage pupils to explore and critically analyse what interests and inspires themselves and others;
  • Encourage pupils to reflect and learn from reflection;
  • Encourage individual endeavour and celebrate achievement and success, both within and outside the classroom, such as through drama, sports, music and outdoor pursuits;
  • Encourage pupils to work and cooperate as part of a team;
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to develop leadership skills and challenge so they can take care of themselves and others, and develop self-reliance. celeberty rogane propecia

 

Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the law

Desired outcomes

  • Understanding of and respect for the laws of the land;
  • Ability to distinguish right from wrong, based on a knowledge of their own values, those widely held by society, and the laws of the land;
  • An understanding that ‘society’ is held together by a communal understanding of right and wrong, which may change over time;
  • Ability to think through the consequences of their own and others’ actions, and the confidence to act consistently in accordance with agreed principles, and especially to understand the impact that their own actions can have on others;
  • Respect for others’ needs, interests and feelings, as well as their own, and a desire to explore these;
  • Ability to make responsible and reasoned judgements on dilemmas of right and wrong;
  • Willingness and confidence to express their views on ethical issues and personal values;
  • An ability to respond appropriately to the immoral and the illegal;
  • An understanding of the need to review and reassess their values, codes and principles in the light of experience.

 

Possible actions

  • Teach pupils how today’s legal system has evolved and why it is important, and help them understand the law and the importance of abiding by it;
  • Provide a clear framework of values and behaviours which is promoted consistently through all aspects of the school, with teachers as role models;
  • Inform parents of school ethos and procedures so that what is learnt at school can be supported at home, and ensure this ethos aligns with the law of the land;
  • Give pupils opportunities across the curriculum to explore and develop moral concepts and values, such as right and wrong, justice, personal rights and responsibilities;
  • Reward good insight and behaviour;
  • Teach pupils about citizenship, and the importance of being a good citizen;
  • Discuss in an informed and balanced way breaches of agreed moral codes where they arise, and their impact on society and themselves;
  • Provide models of virtue through literature, humanities, sciences, arts, assemblies, relevant role models, and acts of worship;
  • Reinforce the importance of a cohesive, harmonious, law abiding society though images, posters, classroom displays, exhibitions, etc;
  • Address discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and other criteria, and promote racial and other forms of equality.

 

Encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute to community life

Desired outcomes

  • Show respect for people, living things, property and the environment
  • Work effectively and respectfully with other pupils;
  • Share their own views and opinions with others, and work towards understanding and cohesion;
  • Participate in activities relevant to the communities they belong to;
  • Take part in democratic processes available to them, for example, voting or running for a student council;
  • Adjust to a range of social contexts by appropriate and sensitive behaviour;
  • Develop the ability to live alongside those from different cultures and beliefs;
  • Appreciate the rights and responsibilities of individuals within the wider social setting;
  • Reflect on their own contribution to society;
  • Understand how societies function and are organised in structures such as the family, the school and local and wider communities;
  • Understand the notion of interdependence in an increasingly complex society, and also understand that communities and societies function at a variety of levels;
  • Know about sections of society and other people less fortunate than themselves, and what they can do to help.

 

Possible actions

  • Foster a sense of community, with common and inclusive values which ensure that everyone, irrespective of ethnic origin, nationality, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and religious or non-religious beliefs, can flourish;
  • Encourage pupils to work co-operatively;
  • Provide positive group activities, for example, through assemblies, team activities, residential experiences, school theatre and music productions;
  • Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their actions, for example, respect for property, care of the environment, and developing codes of behaviour;
  • School linking or partnership work to give pupils the chance to mix with pupils from different areas/cultures/faith;
  • Help pupils to develop personal qualities which are valued in society, for example, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect for difference and sound moral principles;
  • Provide opportunities for participating in different communities – for example, religious, cultural, local and global;
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to exercise leadership and responsibility;
  • Ensure that through lessons and other formal and informal settings opportunities are provided for pupils to demonstrate initiative, develop their interests and organise activities for themselves and others.

 

Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of public institutions and services in England

Desired outcomes

  • A thorough understanding of British public institutions and services along with knowledge of how to use them and willingness to do so;
  • Understand what the public institutions and services do for people throughout the country;
  • Take part in democratic processes, for example, voting for or joining a student council;
  • Understand how citizens can express their views through the democratic process so they can influence decision makers;
  • Appreciate the rights and responsibilities of individuals within the wider social setting
  • Understand the strengths and advantages of democracy and how democracy works in the context of Britain and Europe in contrast to other forms of government

 

Possible actions

  • Teach pupils about democracy and citizenship, and the importance of being a good citizen;
  • Ensure that all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to;
  • Ensure that pupils are aware of their rights and the rights of others as human beings;
  • Teach pupils about what public institutions and services are available, what they are for, and how they are funded;
  • Provide positive and effective links with the world of work (for example, shadowing, work experience, and visits from professionals) and the wider community (for example school visits, including to public institutions, taking part in community events);
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to learn about and engage in local and national democratic processes, including having democratic processes within the school such as a school council whose members are voted for by the pupils.

 

Assist pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions

Desired outcomes

  • An ability to recognise and understand their own cultural principles and values, and the dynamic and developmental nature of these;
  • An understanding of the influences which have shaped their own cultural heritage;
  • An ability to appreciate cultural diversity and accord dignity and respect to other people’s values and beliefs, to challenge racism, and to value race equality;
  • Tolerance of people with different cultural, religious, and non-religious beliefs;
  • Ability to interact positively with people of different cultural, religious, and non-religious beliefs.

 

Possible actions

  • Provide opportunities for pupils to explore their own cultural assumptions and values;
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to participate in literature, drama, music, art, crafts and other cultural events and encourage pupils to reflect on their significance;
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to mix with children from other cultures, for example through school linking programmes;
  • Give pupils the opportunity to explore different values, beliefs, and cultures through a variety of approaches, including discussion and debate, in order to gain understanding;
  • Present authentic accounts of the attitudes, values and traditions of diverse cultures;
  • Develop partnerships with outside agencies and individuals to extend pupils’ cultural awareness, for example, theatre, museum, concert and gallery visits, resident artists and foreign exchanges;
  • Audit the quality and nature of opportunities for pupils to extend their cultural development across the curriculum, particularly developing an understanding of the cultures of the UK.

 

 

Improving the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development of Pupils.  Non-Statutory Guidance for Independent Schools

 

Sources

  • DCSF.  Improving the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development of Pupils.  Non-Statutory Guidance for Independent Schools
  • Ofsted.  School inspection handbook from September 2012
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Buying your iPads

iPads

There are three key factors in determining your supplier: price, availability of stock and support. I also include location as a fourth, but slightly less crucial, factor.

There are a number of suppliers available, from Apple direct to a wide range of Apple resellers.

 

Price

You should expect to secure a discount on the iPads and any accessories that you need. The size of discount you will get will vary, but the chances are you will be able to persuade any Apple reseller to price match their competitors. My experience was that Apple direct are unwilling to match the price of the resellers.

 

Availability of stock

Most of the Apple resellers will probably suffer from shortages of iPads and other Apple products at certain times of the year. This is especially the case around Christmas and following the release of a new product. It is worth discussing with any potential supplier whether they will be able to fulfil your needs and if they can what is the timescale.

 

Support

Many of the larger suppliers will have a dedicated education team with an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) on the staff. The ADE will be able to provide support and training. If you spend enough money in one go you will be able to receive a day’s free training.

 

Location

There are advantages in having a supplier on your doorstep as it will make accessing the support much easier. For the majority of schools their suppliers will all be located some distance away, but it is still worth considering if they are located close enough to make visiting the school in one day a possibility.

 

Choosing which iPad to buy

At the moment there are two types (generations) of iPads available: the iPad 2 and the iPad (whilst Apple simply call it the iPad it is referred to by many as the iPad 3, iPad retina display or 4th generation iPad!).

The key differences between the two can be summarised by the following:

 

iPad 2 iPad Verdict
Display A good quality screen, but not quite as sharp as the iPad 3 “Retina” display where individual pixels can’t be seen. iPad 3 screen is beautiful and sharp. Will it make a difference to teaching as the iPad 2′s is certainly adequate.
Processor 1Gz dual core processor with 512MB of RAM 1Gz dual core processor with 1000MB of RAM and a quad core graphics unit. It means that the iPad 3 will run a bit quicker (although some bench marking tests show the iPad 2 is quicker). You will notice the difference playing high end games
Siri Not available A voice activated assistant You maybe glad of its absence in the classroom!
Price (16GB) £329 £399 Not an insignificant difference especially when buying in bulk.
Camera 0.7 megapixel 5.0 megapixel Whilst the iPad 2 can record video in HD the iPad 3′s is significantly better.
Battery life Lasts longer in all of the tests. The better screen and processor use the bigger battery quicker. An obvious advantage for the iPad 2

The prices quoted in the table above are the recommended retail prices that include VAT. I have already mentioned that you should secure a discount and the school will not have to pay VAT.

 

Protecting the iPads: cases

Whilst there are no moving parts to break, the iPad does have beautiful, shiny screen that must be protected. You have probably read some of the horror stories that certain newspapers like to publish about massive percentages of iPads being broken by spoilt brats!

There is a very wide range of cases produced Buy Viagra by Apple and a number of different suppliers. The iPad cases generally will protect the iPad body and have a flip cover that protects the screen when closed and can be used as a stand when open.

If buying a class set you will probably wish to purchase identical cases whereas if you opt for a 1 to 1 approach then you may want to give students the freedom to choose from a range of recommended cases. Your iPad supplier should be able to give you a generous discount on cases.

 

Protecting the iPads: insurance

To guard against damage, loss or theft it is possible to take two approaches to insurance: self-insurance or to use an insurance company.

It is possible to purchase insurance for the iPads that insures against accidental damage, loss or theft. These policies can normally be purchased for any period between one and four years. You can expect to pay around £20 a year for this insurance with the per year cost falling for longer policy lengths.

Self insurance means that you don’t have to pay any insurance costs upfront, but you would have to pay out each time for the life of the iPad. If you buy iPad 2s at a cost of £250 per unit and insurance costs £62.50 for four years it will be cheaper to self-insure if you have to replace fewer than 1 in 4 iPads over that time period. This is obviously the riskier option, but it could work out to be the cheaper option over the four years.

 

My approach to buying your iPads

I contacted a number of resellers in addition to Apple directly. I found that the resellers all quoted around the same price and were certainly willing to price match their competitors. Apple themselves were the most expensive and unwilling to price match. I was then left with making a choice based upon the other factors I have already highlighted. I found a number of resellers were very supportive of the educational market and had an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) on the staff who would be able to support us after we had made any purchases. I am delighted with the company I have chosen to work with as I feel that they genuinely want to assist our school in achieving our vision; this is something that permeates throughout the business from the owner. They are also close enough to enable the ADE to visit our school in one day.

I have purchased iPad 2s for our staff and class sets. I did not feel that the extra cost of the retina display and a faster processor could be justified (£1,500 extra for one class set).

We have also bought iPads for those students entitled to Pupil Premium. I have bought iPad 3s for these students as well as paying for the insurance for the duration of their time at our school.

I have chosen two types of cases for our class sets. Both have a protective back cover and a magnetic front cover. I avoided the Apple Smart Case due to their higher cost than 3rd party suppliers.

We have opted to self insure at the moment. We haven’t had any damage to our iPads so far – I may just have been lucky! If we move to a 1 to 1 scheme I would insure the iPads for the duration of the student’s time with us.

 

Buying your iPads checklist

  • Decide upon a supplier
  • Choose which iPads to purchase
  • Choose which case to buy for the iPads
  • Make the decision between an insurance company and self-insurance
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Why choose iPads

Best_tablets

 

Image from PC Advisor

Why choose iPads?

This is a question you will be asked a lot! There are alternatives to tablets and there lots of tablets on offer in a highly competitive market. You will need a well rehearsed statement that justifies your decision; share it as often as you can and encourage those you work closely with to do the same. This is a decision that I didn’t come to quickly or easily, but I believe the iPad offered the best solution to my school at this point in time.

 

Tablets v computer rooms

There has been a fundamental shift in the way teachers that want to use ICT; colleagues often don’t need access to computers for a whole lesson and they are often filling time with ICT tasks because they feel the need to use the computers they have booked or the layout of an ICT suite prevents the students from working in any other way. This is a wasteful use of expensive equipment and the room. A lot of teaching time will be wasted in ICT rooms given the time it takes for a class to move rooms and successfully log on

Tablets allow teachers to stay in their classrooms and use them as and when required. This will enable the computer rooms to be used by those teachers and students who need access to the PCs in there.

 

Tablets v laptops

Any teacher will tell you that every lesson is a race against the clock as we aim to complete schemes of learning in the prescribed time.  Tablets allow for a much more seamless transition between activities that require technology and those that don’t.

Laptops, compared to tablets, take longer to boot up, take up more space on the desk and weigh considerably more.  They also create a barrier between the students and teacher in the class, whereas the tablets lead to a far more open environment. Tablets don’t have the moving parts that a laptop have and are therefore more robust and less likely to break over time.

 

iPads v other tablets

The decision for me was essentially between an iPad and one of the many Android tablets available. The obvious downside to the iPad is its higher cost than the Android counterparts. Many cite that the “locked nature” of the iPad, meaning that it is difficult to modify and attach external storage to it, is a disadvantage, but with 1200 tech savvy and curious students this was perceived to be a potential advantage!

The range of apps available for the iPad that can transform teaching and learning is greater. Apple is also far more rigorous in the checks that an app has to go through before it’s allowed on the App Store than its Android counterpart; this would leave students less vulnerable as they would not have access to inappropriate apps.

I will look at Apple TV in greater detail later on, but they were another significant factor in choosing the iPad.

The other big competitor to have entered the tablet market is Microsoft’s Surface. I want the tablet to empower students and enable them to become creators of their own learning through videos, digital storytelling, and eBooks. I feel that the iPad and its apps better support this vision at this point in time. Microsoft’s Surface maybe closer to having a computer, but I believe teaching and learning can be better enhanced by having the flexibility of the iPad in the students’ hands.

The iPad performs the basic functions of a computer pretty well, but it is also a recording and editing suite for videos, music, text and images that has the ability to publish to a wide range of different platforms.

 

Dealing with the naysayers

You will no doubt hear from those who will regale tales of their youth where they managed to learn without iPads and still managed to make a success of themselves. You should remind yourself, and others, of your vision and how you are preparing students for a world in which ICT is embedded and competition for jobs is on a global scale. Patrick Larkin, an American Princpal, replied to a letter criticising his iPad pilot and the fact great minds had been productive without them with the following, “I agree with some of what you say, but the point is that none of the creators of classic work that you mentioned had is hgh a steroid the opportunity to use technology like an iPad.  While I have no problem with pencil and paper or someone who prefers to get a task done with those tools, I think we have to face the fact that the world has changed and that the jobs that our students will be working in will probably not be employing paper and pencils. Learning happens and it happens in many more ways than what you and I were programmed to think in our traditional experiences.

Having said this, I think that the role of public education is to prepare students for the real world. The fact of the matter is that the people outside of our schools, in the real world, are using these tools more and more. My doctor walks into the exam room with an iPad in his hand and the pilot who flew the last plane I traveled on also utilized an iPad in lieu of his old flight manual.

Whether we like it or not, I think that the our students need experiences utilizing modern resources like tablets or whatever comes next. While I do not think technology can be used to do everything (i.e. DaVinci’s masterpieces), I am pretty sure these great minds would have taken advantage of modern technology. In fact, I am thinking that Plato would have been much happier with a pencil that had an eraser instead of something along the lines of a metal stylus that was probably in his hands at the time.”

 

My approach to why choose iPads

My school doesn’t have enough computer rooms to match the demand by teachers. Almost every computer room is used to full capacity and there is a greater need for ICT facilities. We don’t have the space to convert classrooms into computer rooms as the school is full and every room is fully utilised. This, coupled with my belief about how computers are being used in school, meant that increasing the number of computer rooms wasn’t an option.

Given that my vision is based upon the movement towards a 1 to 1 scenario, I felt the weight of laptops was the main reason to discount them. The other option I looked into was Google’s Chromebooks. These were an attractive option as the school has moved to Google Apps and students and staff are making increased use of the Google suite of products. The downside for me of the Chromebooks (and additional disadvantages of laptops) were the barrier they placed between the teacher and student in the classroom and the number of moving parts in them that could be broken.

This left me convinced that tablets would be the best option for the school. They are light, turn on instantly, sit on the desk like a book and have two way facing cameras. This left the question of what tablet to go for.

I have explained my choice of tablet above. This proved to be the most controversial of my choices. There were a few individuals who felt that Android was the better option or that we should wait and see what happens over the next couple of years. I am confident that I have made the best decision at this point in time. I am not naive enough to say that the iPad will always be my tablet of choice, but it certainly is now. I am also confident that there are gains to be enjoyed in teaching and learning now and they are significant enough to justify making a decision now whilst others sit on the fence.

When I was asked the question about why was I looking at introducing mobile technology into the school I would refer to my vision and belief in the fact that it would benefit teaching and learning. I also felt that it was a significantly cheaper and more appropriate way of introducing more ICT into the school. If we hadn’t moved towards the iPad pilot we would have been looking at ways of adding an additional computer room into the school. That would have been extremely expensive, very difficult to do, but I would bet it would have generated fewer questions about costs!

 

Why choose iPads checklist

  • Have a clear rationale for choosing iPads over competing technologies.
  • Share that rationale and encourage those you work with to do the same.
  • Prepare your answer to the question of why do you need mobile technologies at all.
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Getting the infrastructure right – Introducing iPads into a school

Image from Mashable

In order to unleash the true potential of the iPads you will need to have a wireless network that is capable of supporting whole classes accessing large amounts of data at the same time. Plugging a domestic wireless router into a network point won’t do the job. I can also tell you from experience that plugging in four wireless routers still won’t do the job!

You will need a bespoke wireless solution that is capable of handling the number of iPads that you want to introduce anywhere on the school site.

It is also inevitable that you will see an increase in the amount of Internet traffic so make sure you check your broadband connection. Depending on the size and type of connection you have it might be advisable to upgrade it.

 

The tender process

Given the probable cost of a new wireless network for site you will almost certainly be required to undertake a tendering process.

 

Choosing a broadband connection

Increasing the number of devices that are able to access the Internet across the school site will lead to an associated rise in the amount of Internet traffic flowing in and out of your connection. It is important to speak to your network manager to confirm the connection that you presently have and how close you are to using all of that bandwidth with your existing ICT infrastructure. You may have the capacity in your connection to undertake the iPad project without an upgrade, but you should ask your network manager to keep a close eye on this connection.

The danger of reaching capacity on your connection is that all of your existing computers and iPads will see a dramatic decrease in the speed that they can receive and send information to the Internet.

 

My approach to getting the infrastructure right

We had recently upgraded to a 40MB dedicated line and there was plenty of capacity in our connection when we started the pilot so I felt there wasn’t the need at that point to upgrade our broadband subscription. Our Network Manager keeps a close eye on the usage ensuring that we don’t “max out” the network. We allow students to bring their own devices into school and connect to the wifi system which has contributed to the fact that we have now, six months after its installation, regularly reached the limit on our broadband connection. We have had over 1,300 separate devices use the wifi system and in the past week there have been times when connection speeds have slowed. This is not due to the wifi system, but down to our 40MB line. We are now going to be upgrading to a 100MB line and the network manager will continue to monitor usage. There are pinch points viagra suppliers in the uk of usage during the day, but it is lunchtimes that are consistently the busiest times. I acknowledge that not all of this usage will be for educational purposes, but I feel this is something I I have to accept.

The governing body gave us permission to undertake the tender process for the school wide wifi. A tender document was produced (see appendix 1) and sent out to a number of suppliers who were invited to tender for the project. You can expect the companies tendering for the installation to make a site visit that will enable item to produce a map of the site showing where the wifi access points will need to be located. This sort of planning is required to enable them to accurately cost the project and to reduce the danger of any dead spots appearing in the school (places where you can’t get access to the wifi).

The tendering process was run our School Leadership of ICT (SLICT), which I oversee, and it reported to our SLT and governing body. Each of the tenders were marked against the following criteria:

  • Location
  • Platform
  • Modus operandi of business
  • Survey type
  • Recommended No of Access Points
  • Total Cost
  • All inclusive Cost per AP
  • Annual Support and maintenance costs
  • Wired infrastructure upgrade
  • Access to training and support

 

We then met with two suppliers before making a final decision.

The installation took place over the summer holidays.  I was delighted with the quality of our install; the wifi access points were discreetly placed and all cabling was well hidden. Upon our return in September there were some adjustments that had to be made, but we had chosen a local company so a member of their technical team was able to visit to overcome the minor issues.

There were some minor improvements that had to be made to our existing infrastructure; some cabling and network switches had to be upgraded, but this was identified during the site survey.

Students and staff are able to log onto the wifi by using their network username and password; the system remembers devices so users only have to login the once. Guests are able log on using guest usernames and passwords using a similar system to what you would find in a hotel or conference centre.

 

Getting the infrastructure right checklist

  • Check the size of your existing broadband connection.
  • Check the usage statistics of the existing connection.
  • Decide upon whether an upgrade to the connection is required before rolling out new iPads onto the network.
  • Seek approval from the governing body for the capital expenditure that will be required for the wifi installation.
  • Produce a tender document for the wifi installation.
  • Review the tenders in a systematic fashion.
  • Interview short listed businesses.
  • Decide upon the best installation period.
  • Continue to monitor the broadband usage.

 

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Creating a vision for the future use of ICT – Introducing iPads into a school

Your vision will present a compelling rationale for change. It will describe the benefits of committing time and funds to the project. You will return to it frequently to check the principles behind your decision making. The following list will provide you with some starting points for your vision:

  • To enhance the learning that takes place both within and outside of the classroom.
  • To provide students with an easily accessible Internet connection that will enable them to take advantage of the world of online learning.
  • To reduce spending on other areas of ICT hardware in the school.
  • To respond to the offer being made by competitor schools.

Once articulated, the vision should be shared with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), in the first instance, to test and establish its credibility before being shared more widely.

It is also vital to ascertain whether the project is financially viable. There are cost savings to help justify expenditure over time but there will be significant start-up costs in the first few months. Calculating these costs is covered in detail in later sections; your decisions will be shaped by your budget.

It is important to keep your governors fully informed; you will be asking them to commit funds over the coming months. Get them on board and engaging with your vision from the outset. Attend governing body meetings, model the use of the iPad for presentations and demonstrate their advantages. It is likely that you will be known as an “early-adopter” but the iPad’s ubiquity today will be compelling. You may be fortunate enough to have Governors who use them professionally.

The vision should also be shared more widely: heads of department, pastoral leaders and the whole staff. Listen to their feedback and be prepared to answer their questions and discuss their concerns.

I would also advise you to share your thoughts with parents. You may be able to do this via a parents’ forum or PTFA group. Bring the community’s words into the vision statement when possible. Few will argue that doing nothing is the answer.

My approach to creating a vision for the future use of ICT

I spent some time putting together the vision for the direction of ICT in school:

As an outstanding school with outstanding teaching we are exploring ways to improve teaching cialis online and learning in our classrooms.  It is my belief that tablets provide this opportunity, but we must undertake a full evaluation of their use and potential rather than introduce them simply because they are available.

The main teaching and learning drivers for developing an iPad 1:1 delivery model are:

  • an additional tool to enhance learning in the classroom
  • provide access to technology and the internet 24/7
  • to support personalised learning in school and at home.

I then wrote of the need for us to invest in a high specification wifi network that would require a full site survey.

It was then important to highlight the possible next steps we could take once the wifi network was established in school:

  • Enable students to utilise their own devices – a bring your own device approach.
  • Set up a scheme that allows parents to buy a device that their children will be able to use in school and at home.
  • The school buys each student a device that they can use in school and at home.

I provided a number of different costing scenarios for purchasing iPads and outlined my commitment to Free School Meal students (this was later amended to Pupil Premium students).

This is the timeline that I followed in the early stages of the iPad pilot.

When Action
March Wrote the ICT vision
Shared with SLT
April Shared the vision with all governors, staff and parents.
May Search for suppliers of iPads.
Advertised for interested staff to take part in the iPad pilot.
June Set up classroom with wifi for the pilot
Training given to pilot staff by Apple Distinguished Educator.
Pilot in one classroom begins.
Put together tender document for school wide wifi.
Weekly meeting with teachers involved in the pilot.
July Review the tenders and select a company to undertake the wifi installation.
Summer Wifi installation takes place

 

Creating a vision for the future use of ICT checklist

  • Create vision
  • Discuss vision with SLT
  • Calculate approximate costs
  • Can the school afford to go ahead with this project?
  • Share vision with governors
  • Share vision with staff
  • Share vision with parents

 

* I shared the outline for this series of posts about introducing iPads into schools in a previous post:  “a commitment to write a guide to: Introducing iPads into your school”

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A commitment to write a guide to: Introducing iPads into your school

Apple Store Covent Garden

Wooly Matt via Compfight

Will a public declaration to do something encourage me to actually do it? I hope so.  The following is my planning – I have highlighted chapter headings and sub headings.  These may change as I go on, but they will hopefully guide me as I progress.

I will publish each chapter on here as I go and I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do with the final version.  I will try and ensure it is accessible to other.  I would welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Introduction

Creating a vision for the future use of ICT

  • My approach to creating a vision for the future use of ICT
  • Creating a vision for the future use of ICT checklist

Why choose iPads?

  • Tablets v computer rooms
  • Tablets v laptops
  • iPads v other tablets
  • Dealing with the naysayers
  • My approach to why choose iPads
  • Why choose iPads checklist

Getting the infrastructure right

  • The tender process
  • Choosing a broadband connection
  • Type and size of connection
  • My approach to getting the infrastructure right
  • Getting the infrastructure right checklist

Buying your iPads

  • Price
  • Availability of stock
  • Support
  • Location
  • Choosing which iPad to buy
  • Protecting the iPads: cases
  • Protecting the iPads: insurance
  • My approach to buying your iPads
  • Buying your iPads checklist

Apple TVs

Staff training

  • My approach to staff training
  • Staff training checklist

Ongoing support for staff and students

  • Genius Bar
  • Digital leaders
  • Teacher learning communities
  • My approach to ongoing support for staff and students
  • Ongoing support for staff and students checklist

Setting up the iPads

  • My approach to Setting up the iPads
  • Setting up the iPads checklist

Running a pilot

  • Pilot with teacher enthusiasts
  • Pilots with a nominated class
  • My approach to running a pilot
  • Running a pilot checklist

Moving towards a 1 to 1 roll out

  • Paying for the 1 to 1 roll out
  • My approach to moving towards a 1 to 1 roll out
  • Moving towards a 1 to 1 roll out checklist

A bring your own device policy (BYOD)

  • My approach to a bring your own device policy (BYOD)
  • A bring your own device policy (BYOD) checklist

A guide to 11 essential apps

  • Safari
  • Keynote
  • Quesco
  • Popplet
  • iMovie
  • Explain everything
  • Google street view and maps
  • Book creator
  • Evernote
  • Socrative
  • Showbie

Other apps that can be used across the curriculum

  • iTunesU
  • Pages
  • Numbers
  • GarageBand
  • Camera
  • iBooks
  • QR reader
  • Puffin
  • iPlayer
  • Twitter
  • Evernote
  • Skitch
  • Google drive
  • Comic Life
  • I can animate
  • Skype
  • Khan Academy
  • TED talks
  • Quickoffice
  • Prezi

Flipped learning

Appendix 1: A tender document for a school wide wireless system

 

 

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Bett 2013

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I arrived at bett 2013 on the packed DLR surrounded by hundreds of colleagues ready to be wowed by the hundreds of exhibitors and speakers. My plan for the day is to visit as many stands as possible and hope to learn something new about what is on offer to our school community.

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ExCeL is big. Very big! I’m going to dive in and make a note of those I speak to. I have listed those I spoke to in order, with the exception of my chat with showbie. This app has made me very excited!!

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For a long time I have been trying to figure out an effective workflow for the iPads in school. I had a long chat with Colin Bramm, the Canadian President of Showbie, and he took the time to show me all of its features. He was also kind enough to give me a promo code – enter “steve” into the promo code box when you sign up you will be given double the usual 100 assignments that you get.

I think this could be the solution. Teachers can share work with a class – files can also be uploaded and shared. Students can then submit work for assessment. This appears in a really smart interface for teachers who can then add comments. It is also possible to give audio feedback. I will write a longer blog post on this showing off its features in the near future.

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Display note offers the ability to share content to a wide range of devices. Students can then make their own notes and annotations which can then be saved to their own devices. £465 for a class license that allows up to 40 users.

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Sporting Nation is solution for managing teams and allows staff and students to manage teams as well as their own individual performance. Works with Frog OS to allow a single sign on.

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IPTV solutions great signage solution that may give a more professional look to our screens around the school. A box has to be purchased for each screen. I will wait for the email about the costs…

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One for the Head ofChemistry!

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If I had a bottomless pit of money I would give our school to learningspaces.co.uk in July and say see you after the summer holidays! Inspiring ideas.

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Unwanted ICT equipment? Not sure there can be a better place to send it than computers 4 Africa.

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Our PTFA has just funded a new radio station for our school. The equipment arrives next week…

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I don’t know too much about data loggers, but Globisen’s device looked amazing. Built in GPS and sensors allow for a very wide range of experiments that are all linked to the curriculum. $500 and the app female viagra is free.

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Gary Futcher and Jason Quiterio are brilliant colleagues from Notre Dame.  Here is Gary presenting about Big Campus. Not for us right now, but their presentations were brilliant!

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Opportunities for students to work through lessons on java and C++. Cost of €30 per student. This may fit in with in with our new KS3 curriculum and coding club.

 

The first step into app coding – I will be investigating this one further.

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Wow. On the wish list… Not a totally unreasonable price having had a long discussion with schools network Garry their MD. I can see so many cross curricular links with this sort of professional kit. I would love to invest in our students with something like this.

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I will be receiving the link to the You Tube channel with the Google presentations later on. I’m always looking for ways to enhance our Google Apps suite.

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We are already looking at ways of sharing mark books in Google with parents. Hapara appears to be the next step. I’m not sure we are ready for this just yet, but staff and students are increasingly using Google Apps so this is one for me to remember.

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Can go4schools do things that our resident SIMS/Excel genius can not already do? It’s a question I would like the answer to!

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Another opportunity for our young coders? There are four different books that contain a series of lessons with resources. I really like it, but the cost of £600 makes me think twice. I picked up a sample module, so we will see.

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Syncing and charging 32 ipads at a time for £2,500. My network technician would love me!

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A talk about Showbie – could this be the answer to my iPad workflow? I really hope so. Demonstration using notability for marking on PDFs.

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Another sync and charge option. For 16 iPads the sync option costs £900 and £1,400 with the case.

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I ended the day with a chat with Anne Duffy on the Frog stand. Surrounded by lots of people clamouring for the Frog hopper stress balls we discussed the impending release of FrogOS.

As I got to Paddington I met with my Head, Kieran Earley, who was arriving to take part in an old boys reunion. His first question was: how much had I spent? I replied none. The then asked: how much had I mentally spent? I will need the train journey back to Torquay to calculate that one. He’s supported every idea to date. I will need sometime to think about what I have seen, but I am convinced that I have found things today that will enhance teaching and learning at DHSB.

It’s been a long and exhausting day, but my mind is bubbling with ideas.

 

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Flipped Learning

What is flipped learning?

Traditional teaching is based upon the transfer of knowledge in the class and then students assimilate that information outside of the classroom.

Flipped learning puts the transfer of knowledge of outside of the classroom, thereby enabling the teacher to focus upon the analysis, evaluation and creation using that knowledge during contact time.

bloomsposter

Source: http://blog.learningtoday.com/blog/bid/22740/Bloom-s-Taxonomy-Poster-for-Elementary-Teachers

 

How I use flipped learning

I have been using techniques that are under the flipped learning umbrella for some time now, refining my technique as I read or heard from other practitioners.  I was recently privileged enough to listen to Prof. Mazur at the SSAT National Conference who really clarified my think on flipped learning.

I teach A level economics and utilize flipped learning to maximize the impact of my classroom time with the students.  Students are asked to learn the material at home using notes with questions and links to explanatory videos on YouTube.

Class time is then used ensure understanding and provide opportunities to use the acquired knowledge.

One way I am able to do this in lessons is using multiple choice questions and the Socrative App (you can read/watch my guide to Scorative as it was featured as one of my apps of the week).

I display a multiple choice question on the board and ask students to answer via the Socrative mobile site.  I am able to see their responses in real time.

When they have finished answering (I give them a specified time frame) I check the results.  I will then ask them to discuss their response with somebody else in the class.  They need to find another student with a different answer and then convince them of why their response is correct.  This enables a discussion between two students who are recent learners.  The students are more likely to be able to explain the right answer because they have only just learnt it and know what the difficulties are in understanding it.  This can help overcome the issues that some have in explaining something that comes naturally to them; this is something Steven Pinker describes as the curse of knowledge plantiffs who won their viagra lawsuit in court in 2010 (I am quite sure that many would say that I’m doubly cursed: I don’t have the knowledge and are still unable to explain something…!).

For this part to be successful you will ideally want between 30% and 75% of the students to have initially answered the question correctly.  If it’s more than that a brief explanation from the teacher may suffice.  Any less than 30% you may find the critical mass of students are convincing others of the wrong answer!

Once students have had the opportunity to discuss their responses you should reset the question and allow them answer the same question again.  Hopefully you will see a dramatic shift towards the correct answer.

There maybe a need to explain the answer at this point.  I will usually ask a student who got the answer incorrect initially to outline how they answered the question.  Again this is getting a student to use their experience of just learning something to help others in the class understand.

This process can be summarised below:

Flipped

By getting the students to take part in this form of learning they:

  • Made a commitment to answering the question / undertaking the task as they have to register a response.
  • Share their answer with others.
  • Moved from simply answering the question to having to explain their reasoning behind their answer.
  • Became emotionally involved in the question and the learning process.

 

Impact of flipped learning

When I use flipped learning techniques I find there is a different level of energy in the classroom.  Students are passionate about sharing their learning and I have seen a significant increase in the levels of engagement.

I hope this overcomes the issues that Harvard’s Professor Mazur highlighted when looking at the levels of students’ brain activity.  The chart below shows the levels of brain activity whilst studying or doing homework.

Flipped 2

This one shows levels of activity during sleep.

Flipped 3

Whilst this shows the levels of brain activity during classes.  As you can see it is almost non-existent!

Flipped 4

The only period during the day when students displayed similar levels of brain activity was whilst watching television.

Flipped 5

 

 

 

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iPad App of the Week Socrative

Socrative enables you to get real time responses from classes.  You can view responses in real time using their app.  There are great features in the app – you get set multiple choice questions, short vigrx results answer questions, team quizes.  It only takes two minutes to set up and you students don’t need accounts to use it.  Have a look at the video below to see how I use it.

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