24 May

New Curriculum Update – Six tips!

This post follows on from this which charted the beginning if our new curriculum journey.

Since then we have spent several staff meetings reviewing and working on our curriculum map. Here I thought I’d share six points that have worked!

Remember – keep what makes your curriculum special! What are your drivers?

  • Create a working party!

It will be far easier to get all involved!


  • Link the literacy curriculum to books (and damn the genre recommendations!)

The literacy curriculum can look a little ‘bare’ – and there is plenty of grammar and punctuation to get in there. Spend some time assigning books to year groups and topics – something that will give a focus for the staff.

  • Give staff time to be creative!

Giving staff an overview of expectations for the new curriculun means that you can then sit down and decide how the map will look – e.g. An extended study in history could be a look at War or the Ancient Civilisation you study in depth could have some connections to an already established partnership country. Give them this and then let them discuss creative topics!

  • Share resources – little and often

There are lots of resources and ideas out there – share these:

The Historical Association are currently building unit plans and resources
The BBC are conntinuing to create and share great resources for history
The Geographical Association – lots of ideas and resources (membership)
Human Evolution (BBC)
Information from Geogspace about Geographical Enquiry
Computing and coding
  • Make expectations explicit for core subjects!
Many of the changes will require some thinking about the aims for the end of the year – maths / english especially. Share these and start the conversation over how we can fit all this in. For example will you have a ‘World Week’ with quizzes and competitions to share (and assess) geographical knowledge? Do staff know enough about the history they will be teaching? What challenges might there be with the new expectations for maths?
  • Start the conversation about assessment….

There is an excellent post here by Heather Leatt which sets out what we know. Talk to cluster schools and begin to think about the language the school will use for assessment. We can’t use NC levels, so what should we do? We’re working on end of year descriptions for foundation subjects, and looking into how we can pass that information up so it’s not lost in transition!

 

 

Other information and links you may find useful:
Headteacher Update Article
Michael Tidd is single handedly introducing the new curriculum here...

 

19 May

Looking into the future… 3 trends for edtech!

3 things to watch for Education Technology….

In an ever-changing technological world schools can often seem to be behind the curve, however pockets of innovation mean we can begin to see what the future of a connected classroom may look like… Here’s what i think we will see lots more of in the future!

 

Augmented Reality!

Augmented reality has been around for some time, though it’s only recently becoming educational news. It’s not all about Google Glass though. Plenty of apps make use of codes and pictures to bring models to life, or to overlay information on to ‘real life’. One of my favourites for art and writing is Colar Mix, I also really enjoyed using NASA’s Spacecraft 3D which can bring real models of the various crafts and rovers onto the school desk. Google’s Night Sky is another way augmented reality can be used in the classroom!

 
 

It’s a trend worth watching as more and more handheld devices turn up in classrooms…

 

 

Robots!

The new computing curriculum coupled with cheaper technology means that we are seeing an ever increasing choice of ‘programmable robots’ in the classroom.. Lego have always had a great range, and they’ve increased that recently with the brilliant Weedo’s. BeeBots seem to have been around for ever, but even they are becoming more sophisticated. And we’re only scratching the surface of what’s becoming available – take a look at the intorobotics.com site to see what could be heading our way..

Coupled with cheap and cheerful mini-computers robotics could be the way forward…

Skype!

I know, I talk about Skype lots… But that is because I haven’t found a more simple, yet truly innovative addition to the classroom. The fact remains that there really is no easier way to bring a world of experts, experiences and ideas to your pupils. Perhaps not Skype, but video calling – facetime or whatever the service will be, it means our schools will be connected. Professional development can be shared and teachers can hold staff training with experts from across the globe. Business has taken this on, and it’s a matter of time before schools do too…

 

 

08 May

Using Classroom Data – A Haiku Deck