Innovate My School: October 2014

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chers And Experts

Innovative Practices From Tea

Issue 10 Innovate My School

EdTech: What's hot in 2015 Eyes on the Olympic Prize Living as an Citizen The Innovation Magazine For Teachers

Outstan ding schools are singing schools Sing Up Membership offers everything you need to create a stimulating and fun learning environment across the whole school Our Award-winning Song Bank offers




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contents Innovation update


EdTech 2015


3D Printing


Adaptive Learning


Product round-up


Eyes on the Olympic prize 26 The school with 42 languages




Soaring imaginations into space


Living as an iCitizen


10 tips for teaching abroad 44 10 tips for running a successful STEM club Poundland Pedagogy and the power of play Augmented learning: Using Augmented Reality in schools Magazine Editor – Rachel Johnson Website Editor – James Cain Graphic Designer – Alison Kelly

If you would like to advertise in this magazine, please email, phone 01244 312 720 or visit

The leaves may be falling and the dark nights drawing in, but here at Innovate My School we’re celebrating the golden autumnal colours quite literally in this issue by bringing you an inspirational story from an Olympic athlete. Natasha Jonas has been talking to us about how she’s engaging with young people at school to get more pupils into sport And that’s not all.This latest edition of our popular magazine is packed full of insight from some of the industry’s finest figures, including one of Twitter’s most influential speakers on EdTech, Russell Stannard, and renowned digital citizenship author Mike Ribble. 3D printers are now starting to make small ripples through the education system, and the process is predicted to become the next trend for schools over the coming terms. Our piece on how the technology will enhance the teaching experience is a great overview into this area, and well worth a read. We also see Adaptive Learning expert Charlie Harrington explore how this technique enhances the way pupils are taught, and we hear from a veteran international-teacher giving her priceless knowledge of how to get that teaching job abroad. Other highlights include our Twinterview with a Lego Papert Professor of Learning on how technology is engaging young people, a headteacher explaining how they cope with 42 different languages in the school, as well as another teacher who’s inspiring her pupils to take more interest in science by introducing them to an astronaut! We hope that you enjoy reading the magazine as much as we loved writing it. As always, we welcome feature ideas for future editions, so if you, your school or educational company are doing great things you think the education world needs to know about, get in touch. See you all in 2015!

Rachel Johnson Editor, Innovate My School Magazine 3

innovation update

The Digital Divide? New research suggests only a small percentage of teachers are computer savvy, but are educators keeping up with the latest education trends after all? Technology surrounds us in the classroom. From the reception desk where TV screens adorn pictures of the latest school trips and events, to tablets on desks, interactive whiteboards in classrooms, and the group down the corridor having a shared lesson over Skype with a class halfway across the world. I challenge any teacher working at the moment not to encounter technology in their roles in at least several places every hour, let alone day. Innovation encapsulates us. It drives us to achieve more for our pupils, and it allows us to inspire pupils to a level never possible even just one decade ago. But with technological change, there does always come the degree to which teachers and schools decide to embrace it. This is necessary, to a certain extent, but how far do you go in your teaching?

76% of those surveyed were using technology in most or all of their lessons, but only a tiny 15% admitted to being totally computersavvy 4

It was with this in mind that I read the latest YouGov survey on innovation in education with much interest – and I have to say – astonishment. According to the latest research of just over 1,000 teachers across primary and secondary schools, 76% of those surveyed were using technology in most or all of their lessons, but only a tiny 15% admitted to being totally computersavvy. In an age where technology drives us, both in personal and work life, I find it difficult to see how so many teachers asked couldn’t agree to that statement. Even if it’s on a basic level, the internet, emails, video calling and simple gaming are now part of most people’s every day lives. These things are on our phones, they’re in our cars, they’re on tablets or laptops, or even on TVs. All teachers have access to email and the internet on school grounds, most applications are now done electronically and videophone interviews are becoming more commonplace, especially at a recruitment agency level. I treat these pieces of research quite carefully as they can often be skewed for a desired effect. And while I’m not suggesting for one moment that this is the case here, what I think is important to highlight is that the use of technology in education should be celebrated, whatever degree to which it is used. The teachers I work with want to achieve the very best lesson plans for their pupils. They want them to succeed. They Innovatemyschool

innovation update want them to leave school with as many of the technological skills they need for the world of work as they can possibly fit in to the curriculum. So while a survey may say that only 15% of teachers are “totally computer-savvy”, I argue that the reality is far different. We live in a world that evolves hour-byhour, day-by-day. Lesson plans are updated on a termly basis, or even less in some cases, to reflect new technologies that are coming into existence all the time. Yes, we’re

not all going to all be experts straight away, but what I hope we all agree on is that we will always give it a try, muddle our way through sometimes, and get there in the end. Everyone admires those who give it a go, and teachers are no exception. So the next time you see research like this and big headlines to go with it, just remember that the reality behind the words is often far more complex than the press would lead you to believe.

Got it in the bag Innovative inventors create a solution for the lack of school desks in developing countries An international social enterprise has launched a revolutionary new bag that also converts into a school desk. It’s hoped the invention will transform millions of children’s educations for those that live in rural areas of the globe, where access to educational resources and infrastructure can be limited. The YELO desk, which not only carries belongings in all weather conditions, but also folds down into a fully functional 30-35 degree desk. To combat limited light sources and frequent power cuts in remote areas, the bag also comes with an LED light that lasts for around 6-8 hours, to allow students

to continue studying. A solar panel on the bag charges the light back up after use, as well as having the option of using an AC socket if power is available. Prayas Education has capitalised on statistics that shows millions of school children are missing out on proper education because of a lack of resources and infrastructure. The company designed the bag to allow pupils to study more efficiently and create happier and healthier students. The Indian-based enterprise was set up to address challenges faced by society and improve the quality of life for people in developing countries with low-cost innovative products.


innovation update

Appy pupils succeed worldwide A non-profit organisation set up to help educate marginalised children across the globe is celebrating after its educational app has proved just as successful with children in the UK as abroad. Psychologists at the University of Nottingham launched an international study on the Onebillion maths app, designed to boost the education of children in Malawi, but then also tested it with UK children, with the results proving extremely interesting. The study has found that in just six weeks of using the app on personal tablets in the classroom, children in both Malawi and the UK made as much progress as would be expected in 12 to 18 months of class teaching.

The University’s Dr Pitchford, who led the study, said: “We found the app boosted the children’s maths knowledge to a much greater extent than we expected. Indeed it was so effective in Malawi that it begged a comparative test on children in the UK. Dunkirk Primary in Nottingham agreed to take part and allow us to carry out an identical study. What was so incredible was that in both countries we saw the same gain. One week of working on the tablets for 30 minutes a day equalled three months of formal education. We were amazed at the results.” The app is fun, but also rigorous by not letting users progress to the next stage until they have 10 out of 10.

Onebillion developed the software to teach maths, reading and English through carefully structured games in multiple languages and start at a level where no previous knowledge of the subject is assumed. Children in the African country often only receive a very basic education, with classes of 90 pupils or more to one teacher, so the results of the randomised controlled trial were significant.

News written by: Rachel Louise Johnson Editor of Innovate My School Magazine



! d e l l e c n a c is s a m Christ


“Children voted 5/5. Thought it was excellent and covered important issues about friendship etc very well” Sarah Boddy, All Saints Primary

Katie and all of the other children around the world have just received the news that every child fears… Christmas is…CANCELLED! Thieves have broken into Father Christmas’ grotto and stolen all of the presents, and with only a few sleeps left until the big day, there is no time to make any more. All seems lost until Katie hitches a ride on a magical bird to The North Pole, determined to help Father Christmas save the day! Will Katie solve the clues in the mysterious advent calendar? How will she find her way through the snowy North Pole? And who did steal the presents? Join Katie on this interactive seasonal treat and help her and Father Christmas save Christmas for everyone. Written especially for children aged 3-7 (and their big people too) ‘Sorry, Christmas is Cancelled…Katie Saves the Day!’ is told using their unique style of dynamic storytelling, hand crafted puppets, original music and stunning scenery and is guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit.

Topsy Turvy Theatre is a company specialising in high quality productions aimed at 3-7’s. We have been producing and touring shows since 2010 to nursery, primary school and theatre venues. Visit our website to see video clips and pictures of our work. Full Day £615 x 1 performance plus up to 4 follow on workshops & teacher resource pack Or x 2 performances plus up to 2 follow on workshops & teacher resource pack Half Day £415 x 1 performance (AM or PM only) Taking bookings NOW for November – December 2014. Early booking recommended to secure your preferred date. Travel contribution required for venues over 100 miles away from our company base. Tour Mobile: 07544 012 524 e-mail: web: “The children were mesmerised by the puppets. Lovely story & stag ing” L. Jennings, BGSG Infants

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Cracking the Computing Curriculum Innovative educator launches CPD courses for teachers to master new lesson requirements. David Andrews is at the forefront of delivering pioneering technology lessons across the UK, making the subject accessible to all educators. As a result, his blog has been recognised as one of the top 3 blogs in the UK for impact in education at the 2014 National UK Blog Awards and influences classroom practice with technology around the world. David is a national speaker on creative use of technology and presents his work for the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT). Due to overwhelming demand from teachers, he has now launched a series of events across the UK, designed to give teachers the confidence to work within the new curriculum using iPad Apps. He tells us: “I believe mobile technology should be used as a cross-curricular tool to support subjects, including computer science, in a creative way. Based on my own experience working alongside headteachers and teachers, I have created a course to address the current demands facing many primary schools.This is an accessible, high-impact and relevant session which will ensure whole-school impact.” Featuring proven lesson ideas designed to engage, challenge and enthuse Key Stage 1 & 2 pupils’, the course will give teachers ideas and strategies that they can immediately implement 8

in their own classrooms.They will also be shown how to effectively embed computing into other areas of the curriculum, as well as how to use apps creatively for both assessment for learning (AFL) and summative assessment. The former teacher has been working extensively with schools across the UK on delivering outstanding lessons with the help of mobile technology. He has recently presented his work on computing at NAHT and Focus Education conferences. The events will be held in • London on 14th October, • Birmingham on 24th October, • Manchester on 7th November, • Newcastle on 14th November, • Nottingham on 21st November • Bournemouth on 28th November The course features the use of iPad Minis, which will be provided on the day. No experience with these devices is necessary. David has also written a scheme of work for Primary Schools titled Programming Made Easy - 35 lessons for Key Stage 1 & KS2. Teachers who attend the events will be given a 20% discount for Programming Made Easy, which is currently priced at £149.99 + VAT. For more information, visit Alternatively, contact or call 0845 003 0896. Innovatemyschool


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EDtech 2015

EdTech 2015 What’s hot?

With the global spend on education technology in classrooms climbing to £8billion in the latest figures, the market continues to explode at a phenomenal rate. With still so much more to come, we teamed up with one of the UK’s most influential edtech experts, the multi-award winning Russell Stannard, to give us his views on the year ahead. It is never easy to predict where things are going in the future, but my own attention is really focused on virtual classrooms. These are tools that allow people to present via the internet and are becoming more and more sophisticated. Currently my favourite tool is Adobe Connect. It allows me to present to users all over the world. I can talk through a PowerPoint presentation, play videos, show the participants the screen of my computer, share files with them, set up a chatroom and turn on the webcam so that the participants can see me. It really has a lot of potential. I have noticed that more and more organisations are coming into this territory.


EDtech 2015 WizIQ is another tool that I believe is destined for big things next year. As the internet gets faster, these tools are going to perform better and better, offering more options. We can already see that a lot of learning is now shifting online, so I really see a huge market for these types of tools. There will also be a huge market for anyone that learns to use these tools well and can therefore train other teachers to use them. Virtual classrooms are here to stay, and their potential for delivering live training over the internet to anywhere that has a good internet connection makes them a certainty for the future.

As the internet gets faster, these tools are going to perform better and better, offering more options My other recommendation would be to learn all you can about Google Docs (Google Drive and Google Docs work together). I was lucky enough to be down at the Google offices in London not so long ago, and even got a chance to try out Google Glass (and also drink some of their free beer, too!). I was told that Google are really looking to get into the educational market, so it will be interesting to see what that develops into during 2015. It’s going to be an exciting 12 months!

I was told that Google are really looking to get into the educational market, so it will be interesting to see what that develops into during 2015. It’s going to be an exciting 12 months!



EDtech 2015

The best of the last 12 months Technologies can cause a storm! This is good! Take Jing, for example. There was one particular day when my help videos for this were played 2500 times. was another. I was bombarded with emails within 24 hours of introducing the site. •

• • • •

Allows students or teachers to upload PowerPoint presentations or Google Docs and then add their voice and webcam. Compressed and ready for access on the internet or embedding. Teachers can record presentations of any description and then share them with their students. It is possible to leave comments below a student’s recording. Useful for a ‘getting to know you’ activity at the start of the course as you can share presentations with teachers and students. If teachers are looking to blend more of their lessons, or even flip them, and put the majority of the learning content outside the lesson, then this is a great tool.

Videonotes • • •

Links in with Google docs It allows you to link to any YouTube video and then use Videonotes to take notes on what you hear. Those notes become clickable, so if you click on a certain line of your notes, the precise part of the video related to those notes will play back. You do need a Google account to use this feature as Videonotes works with Google Drive and saves all your notes in Google Drive, but it is really easy.

Article written by: Russell Stannard Founder of www.teachertrainingvideos. com and winner of the British Council ‘ELTons Technology Award’ @russell1955


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MANUFACTURING THE FUTURE Expert Peter Jones shows us how the technology is taking the education industry by storm, empowering students to create, innovate and change the manufacturing process as we know it.

rubber. The entirety of this process creates a great foundation for Higher Education.

3D Printing Robots Robotics and 3D printing are closely becoming aligned, with leading robotic androids now featuring 3D printable parts. The importance of robotics within education 3D printing is steadily transforming the remains in its infancy, although sectors such world through innovation, speed, localised as warehousing, manufacturing, engineering, manufacturing and empowering the creativity finance and technology have been of the individual. Where computers and transformed. mobile technology changed the world and the landscape within Education, 3D printing 3D printable robots capture the imagination adds another dimension to learning and gives of adults, let alone students, and more rise to the next generation of engineers, importantly educates learners on a variety designers, entrepreneurs, artists and industry of key skills such as engineering, mechanics, innovators. The notion to innovate and electronics and programming. excite the classroom, to transform learning processes and to introduce the ability to Art simplify complex design processes can all be 3D printing has challenged the traditional achieved with a 3D Printer. Here, I discuss concepts and processes in art, and has taken how the concept can be used across the the modern art movement to another curriculum. level creating a new generation of artists and enthusiasts. It has helped empower the Design & Technology creativity of students to create complex and Complex designs and products can be unique pieces, from jewellery, abstract shapes printed and manufactured quickly and and concepts to replicating traditional art efficiently. The process of 3D printing enables formats such as statues, vases and interior a more seamless process, allowing the user design pieces. to modify changes to the design, tailor sizing, add additional features and bestow the user Science the option to utilise a variety of materials, The ability to innovate science can be seen ranging from traditional plastics in solid or with the rise of industry bio and medical 3D transparent colours to wood, chalk and printers. The introduction of these at an early stage will demonstrate the first foundation


3D PRINTING of how this technology is changing the landscape of medicine, healthcare and science. 3D printing can be used in a variety of formats such as printable dissection kits, to illustrate key organs and discuss how they work and fit together. Moveable joints, working mechanical hands and a pivoting solar system can also illustrate the subject area in a visual and interactive format, making the textbooks come to life, creating and necessitating group projects and activities.

With a variety of education-friendly 3D printers available, the justification of this innovating technology cannot be taken lightly, as its impact on the next generation has only just begun.

History, Geography, Maths. The possibilities are endless Learning can come to life by turning back time and creating dinosaurs, fossils and historical features such as pyramids, Roman helmets and castles. Designs can be versatile, able to be printed as a whole or in stages to demonstrate key syllabus objectives. 3D printing can capture and aid the imagination and translation of all aspects within education; it can transform the way we learn and voice our creative thoughts. Education Packs and Structured Syllabus Aids With all new technologies, the concept can seem, at times, confusing and complicated. However, we are now entering the third generation of desktop 3D printing, and the process is as simple as plug and print. The design process could also be considered daunting. However, with software such as Google Sketchup and TinkerCad, 3D CAD design has also become a simple process for all ages and skill-sets. The cost of 3D printing and printers has decreased significantly and will continue on this trend, making it an accessible and necessary tool within educational institutions. 16

Article written by: Peter Jones 3D Printing guru at PrintME3D @PrintME3D 0207 172 1740








Sherston Software’s boldest move yet After over thirty years developing award-winning software, Sherston makes one of the boldest moves in education technology history: giving away their online platform, Planet Sherston, to every UK primary school.

Back to the eighties…

21st Century technology With fresh investment and a new team, Sherston set about to create an online platform Planet Sherston, that was to use the latest technologies available and to address the fact that the standard of online gaming offered to consumers far outclassed the digital equivalent in schools.

In 1982, the Department of Trade and Industry started the Micros in Schools project, persuading schools to invest in microcomputers. In the first year, about 80% of state secondaries bought computers.

Taking the best content and breaking every activity into curriculum ‘I Can’ statements, the developers created an adaptive-learning engine that automatically selects activities for each pupil. All work is automatically marked and individual progress is tracked A year later, teachers Lou and Bill Bonham saw live, allowing teachers to constantly see the potential of ICT in primary schools, but where their pupils’ are with regards to I couldn’t find anything that effectively engaged Can statements. Teacher tools allow easy children. Working with BBC Micros to create navigation through over 3000 activities, their own programs, they founded Sherston videos and games, with a sophisticated pupil Software and their titles are now found in interface that matches the best in modern virtually every UK primary school. gaming sites.

Fast forward to the noughties… Twenty years on, with computers rooted in education, the UK government launched eLearning Credits, allocating money to schools for multimedia resources. Many developers reflect on this period as one of diluted excellence, with investors keen to capitalise. In August 2008, eLC funding ceased and the credit crunch burst the software bubble. Thanks to quality resources, Sherston’s customers remained loyal. However, Sherston fell behind the technology curve. Startups like Education City and Espresso Education (founded in the late nineties) emerged to provide whole-curriculum solutions online. 18

Social impact In 2013, Sherston Software became one of the first to receive investment from a £25 million social investment fund, Nesta Impact Investments, launched to invest in lifechanging innovations, and in this case to leverage technology to improve student attainment. Ultimately, real social impact will only be attained if every child has the opportunity to access Planet Sherston.


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Pioneering online expert Charlie Harrington gives us his captivating insight into how Adaptive Learning is revolutionising education.

Analysing data is changing business, healthcare, and now, education. Education has always had the potential to produce huge amounts of data, thanks to the nature of educational content and the amount of time students spend working with materials. Now, as students shift from using print to digital textbooks, adaptive learning technology works behind the scenes to analyse anonymised data, helping publishers personalise digital courses and textbooks to adapt to the needs of every student. Teachers can leverage this data about how students learn to better support each student. How are adaptive learning tools improving the learning experience for today’s teachers and students?

1. Students get personalised course materials. As students work through lessons online, adaptive learning tools figure out what a student knows and how they learn best, making recommendations for next steps. This helps students stay engaged and ensures that they master concepts that will be important for future lessons. Let’s say a student is having difficulty with the topic of osmosis in biology. When applied effectively, data insights will recognise this and adapt the online lesson accordingly, putting additional emphasis on this specific area.

2. Teachers gain insight into student learning. Adaptive learning tools can also provide predictive analytics for teachers — actionable metrics about each individual student’s proficiency, study habits, and more. These analytics go far beyond traditional reporting or final exams, which focus on what a student has done rather than what they know now or are likely to do in the future. Teachers use these predictive analytics to more effectively differentiate instruction and guide students toward specific learning goals. Predictive analytics can estimate a student’s future performance, detect gaps in knowledge, and help educators understand what exactly an individual or class needs to work on before a student falls further behind. 21

ADAPTIVE LEARNING Experts have called this the “Swiss cheese effect,” where holes in knowledge persist over time, haunting students as they move forward into new areas of study. For example, if a student is unable to balance equations and lacks other core algebra skills, they may suffer later in chemistry. Adaptive learning technology shows teachers exactly where students are struggling – helping educators more easily identify and close these gaps before they get worse.

3. Teachers and students can spend class time more effectively. With adaptive learning, teachers can immediately identify skills gaps and tailor lessons accordingly to aid students in need of help. Instead of constantly trying to figure out each student’s level of knowledge — which changes from day to day and even class to class — teachers know exactly what each student knows or needs to work on. Rather than spend class period lecturing or administering quizzes, teachers can assign targeted homework assignments to facilitate deeper understanding for each student. This frees up time during class for educators to introduce fun and creative lessons, encourage discussion based on common misconceptions, or set up group projects to challenge and enhance student learning.

Article written by: Charlie Harrington Charlie Harrington is the director of business development at Knewton, an education technology company that personalizes digital courses so every student is engaged. @whatrocks



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Product Round-up 10 innovations to watch out for this term...

eeZeeTrip Fed up with chasing parents for consent and payments? eeZeeTrip takes the strain out of organising school trips. Parental consent and payments are a click away with the free mobile app. eeZeeTrip also saves your school money with free messaging. @eezeetrip

Fronter Fronter is the world’s favourite classroom. Web-based with about 160 million logins per year; we think of it as a classroom in a digital school building that runs alongside your regular building, creating a world of learning. @FronterUK

iLockerz - Smart locker systems for BYOD Simple to use, easy to manage, secure and effective BYOD charging lockers now allow your school to enforce effective BYOD policies, whilst also saving space, improving security and reinforcing safety. @iLockerzUK

Story Station software Improve literacy and motivate all readers with Story Station software. Includes animated stories, educational games and over 340 hours of curriculum-linked EYFS and KS1 lesson plans and teacher resources. @lovedbykids

Wordzplay 52 Magnetic English Word Cards with pronunciation, synonyms and example sentences. 48 Play Cards containing sentences. To push barriers, improve vocabulary, develop reading, improve writing, enhance communication and build confidence.

24 @Wordzplayltd



Product Round-up 10 innovations to watch out for this term...

Robot workshops with a twist Restech’s robot workshops use a fun, problem-solving approach to teaching. Students are taught in a way that creates surprise, excitement and ownership of learning. @restech_edu

Artsbox Artsbox is a digital space and app where children and young people can record and share their arts experiences or work towards an Arts Award. It’s fun, free, and suitable for all ages. @ArtsAward

Zu3D Animation Software Bring the curriculum to life with Zu3D Animation Software. Zu3D engages students of all ages and abilities, allowing them to make complete animations quickly and easily about any topic. @Zu3D

Milk A student app providing safe communication from teachers to students and their parents, Milk encourages reflective learning by giving students access to their target / assessments, homework, teacher feedback and more. @milkappuk eduFOCUS Educational Visits and Activities Management System (EVOLVE) More than 500,000 staff in 22,000 UK schools and colleges use EVOLVE to manage educational visits, sports fixtures and co-curricular activities. We’re growing every day and would love you to join us.

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Eyes on the Olympic prize Innovate My School talks exclusively to Olympic boxer Natasha Jonas and England rugby star Heather Fisher, discussing the road to Rio and how they are inspiring secondary pupils across the UK to aim HIGH!

NATASHA JONAS Ever since I competed at the London Olympics, getting to Rio has been my dream – and as I’m injured right now it’s a dream that is keeping me going! I can’t even describe what an amazing feeling it was to be involved in an Olympics in your home country – especially as it was the first time women’s boxing had been included in the Games. It took a long time to come down afterwards, and it’s hard to imagine


anything could ever top it. But sport is all about dealing with highs and lows – and in my experience both provide their own challenges. In 2013, it took me a while to get back to top form and top shape after the excitement of London. In 2014 I had a great European Championships, winning a silver medal, and then a bit of a disappointing Commonwealth Games. When people talk about your ‘preparation for Rio’ they seem to think it can all be planned out two years in advance; but that’s not the case. Injuries, dips in form or changes in circumstances can be totally out of your control. I was preparing for the World Championships this November, for instance, until I fell and tore two ligaments in my toe. I’ve been told I can’t even put my foot down for a month and could be out of action for far longer. It’s going to disrupt my preparations for 2015 and so right now I just have to get my head around it and prepare to do everything I can to reach Rio once I’m fit.



I want to be there and I want to win a medal. So that’s the aim. But it’s not as simple as just getting fit and winning a few fights. To even get in the GB team you are competing against at least two or three other fighters for that one spot in your weight category – and then if you make it, you are up against the best in the world. In London I was in the best shape of my life and boxing well – but I came up against Katie Taylor and she is the best of the best. I gave it everything but couldn’t get past her. I was pleased in the end that she won the gold medal, so at least I could say I only lost to the champion! I’d love to get to Rio and go further this time. I want to do it for my family and also for the students I visit for Sky Sports Living for Sport. I have already shown them my European Championship medal. Actually it’s the first medal I’ve won that my parents have allowed me to keep! So I’ve been taking it into schools and showing it off. It’s great to see the reaction of all the kids. It’s a big inspiration for them and I’d love to take them an Olympic medal one day too. The whole point of Sky Sports Living for Sport is to help inspire students and show them how sport can help change your life. For me that’s certainly true. I’ve had to overcome a lot of hurdles to get where I am – and this injury is the latest example. But I’ve always come back stronger - and that’s the message I give them.

HEATHER FISHER The road to Rio for the England Women’s Rugby Sevens team starts right now; and it will require everything I have, and more. We will be based as a squad down in Surrey from now on. This will include skills training, strength and conditioning, nutrition and psychology to help us grow stronger and gel as a team. Living away from home and relocating is going to be difficult but when you are given an opportunity like this you can’t turn it down. It’s everything I’ve dreamed of since I was 14 years old. We will be in camp full-time Monday to Friday and then play club games at weekends. On top of that, the World Series is made up of tournaments around the World. It starts in Dubai in November and finishes at Twickenham Stoop in the summer of 2015 – we need to finish in the top four to qualify for Rio. Actually, it’s been a double ambition for me; because as well as playing rugby for England, I have also represented Great Britain at bobsleigh in the past - and in those days it was the Winter Olympics I was thinking of. There was even a little part of me at the end of 2013 that thought about trying for the GB team in Sochi, but then I got injured, with tendonitis in my knee, and I had to think again. But the important thing in sport is always to bounce back and stay positive. In 27

EYES ON THE OLYMPIC PRIZE the end you have to play with the cards that you’re dealt, so my focus since then has been on getting fit and representing my country again. I pushed myself through a lot of rehabilitation and hard training and eventually was part of the England squad that won the World Cup in France this summer. That was just an incredible feeling. Now, with rugby Sevens in the Olympics for the first time ever, I can start dreaming of Rio.

management, tactics – there are so many different elements that you are always trying to improve and push yourself forward. I often remind myself just how lucky I am to be playing rugby for England. It is hard work, that’s for sure. But just imagine playing the sport you love, with some of your best mates, and doing it together at an Olympic Games in one of the most beautiful cities in the world? That’s why we are all so determined to get there!

There’s still a part of me that thinks about a Winter Olympics too, it definitely remains an aim. But rugby is a special sport and when I talk to students with Sky Sports Living for Sport I always tell them what a positive influence it has been on my life. More and more girls are taking up the game. It’s wonderful to see how much they enjoy it and how much it gives them.You get to go out on a pitch with your best mates and express yourself using the skills that you’ve developed. There are so many different aspects to rugby that it always keeps you on your toes.

More and more girls are taking up the game. It’s wonderful to see how much they enjoy it and how much it gives them. When I was a bobsleigher I sometimes thought ‘all I’ve got to do is run, push and jump in’. Now I have to work on my tackling, my passing, my feet, body awareness and 28

Article written by: Natasha Jonas became the first ever British female boxer to compete at an Olympic Games in London 2012 and has won Silver at the European Championships. She’s an athlete mentor of aspiring talent in schools, under the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme. Heather Fisher is not only a top-class rugby player for England Women’s Rugby Sevens, but she’s also represented Great Britain in the bobsleigh. Like Natasha, she also mentors young people wanting to get into sport through Living for Sport, showing others that you can achieve when you dream big and work hard. @SkySportsLFS


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The school with 42 languages Martine Clark, executive headteacher at Byron Court and Oliver Goldsmith Primary Schools in London, talks to Innovate My School about how her pupils learn together with global linguistic tongues. Byron Court has the advantage of being located in a desirable neighbourhood of Wembley. As an ‘outstanding’ school (Ofsted 2012) we are able to attract excellent and creative teachers, who are committed to providing our pupils with a solid education 30

as well as extra curricular opportunities that enable all children to succeed and gain confidence in their abilities. Our large staff, many of whom are also bi or multilingual, including myself, celebrate the diversity and the added value our pupils and families bring to the classroom and our school. Our pupils’ life experiences enrich the curriculum and provision within the school. International events are hugely supported and all stakeholders are able to experience a wealth of cultural knowledge, arts and crafts, as well as sampling exotic cuisine, without Innovatemyschool

having to travel too far and wide. In short, it is a world within a school. We also extend our global connections through a British Council-supported project, and over the past two years we have formed strong relations with schools in Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia and Spain. Much work has taken place between the partners, including the publication of a children’s cookery book to exemplify many international delicacies.

Our Parent Support Advisors work closely with our English as an Additional Language (EAL) families often in their home language, especially those who are newly arrived in the country.This enables the many different nationality groups to be integrated into our school quickly, and to understand our high expectations and how they can help their children to meet their targets. They are invited to attend coffee mornings, afternoon teas and talks on a variety of aspects of school life and the curriculum. We also provide adult learning for those wishing to learn English, Maths or Computing. 31

THE SCHOOL WITH 42 LANGUAGES Our rigorous systems ensure that all newly arrived pupils in the school are assessed within three weeks of their arrival so that targeted support can be put in place. We have an Inclusion Team, with an EAL Leader, who will work with the class teacher and Support Staff to implement interventions such as one to one support, group work,Talking Partners and Five Minute Boxes, to accelerate the pupil’s command of English. We also pair new EAL learners with others who speak their language, which helps them to settle into the routines swiftly.

Most importantly, we believe that every child can achieve and that not speaking English from the outset should not be a barrier to a successful education. Indeed, I did not learn English until I was seven and although EAL support was a bit of a novelty in the 1960s, I managed to secure an ‘A’ for English at A Level and joint honours degree from London University in French and Dutch. I have since thoroughly enjoyed teaching children English and take pleasure in observing both how our pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of the English language, and how in our environment they become confident learners that know their contribution is a significant and valued one. I uphold our motto: ‘Believe it, achieve it’!

Termly tracking is imperative if pupils are to be supported effectively, and these meetings involve the Year Team staff, as well as the Inclusion Team and all the senior leaders of the school. If you would like to visit the school and observe some of the practices we have We have also focused many staff insets on in place for pupils who have English as an supporting pupils with EAL. We’ve also taken additional language, you are most welcome part in accredited pedagogical learning with to contact Trudi Mooteealoo, director of the PAN EAL and currently with the Institute Brent Teaching School Alliance; of Education and our Brent Teaching School Alliance (plus other strategic partners).The depth of this level of learning has and remains a significant support in helping to raise standards in such a diverse community. Although the percentage of EAL pupils has risen significantly over the years at Byron Court, the needs are somewhat easier to manage; we are able to support pupils within groups of children who speak the same language, which decreases the pressure on our resources to some extent and makes learning support more efficient. Additionally, we now also teach Spanish from Reception, which enables pupils who do not speak English to shine equally amongst their peers, building confidence in speaking and listening.


Article written by: Martine Clark Executive Headteacher of Byron Court and Oliver Goldsmith Primary Schools in London.



How technologies can engage people in creative learning experiences 34



Twinterview with... Mitchel Resnick, a LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and the head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab Mitchel Resnick is a LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and the head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. He led the research group that developed the ‘programmable brick’, and we’re delighted to welcome him to the Twinterview to explore how new technologies can engage people in creative learning experiences. Mitchel – it’s the start of a new academic year and the excitement around implementing technology in the classroom continues to grow. In your opinion, what’s the biggest technology to change learning in the last year? I’m excited about new “coding tools” that make it easier for kids to program their own interactive stories, games, and animations.

How important is the link between computers and learning outcomes? What’s most important is deciding on the learning goals. For me, the top goal is helping kids develop as creative thinkers and learners. Is technology the key to engaging the unengaged? What’s most important is providing kids with opportunities to work on projects that they really care about. How have new technologies revolutionised the classroom dynamic? Unfortunately, many new technologies are simply reinforcing old educational approaches, not revolutionising the classroom. Technology for creativity – where do we go from here?

What is essential when designing creative projects for high tech kids?

“Create” is at the root of creativity. We need more technologies that engage kids in creating.

We should develop technologies and activities that engage kids in designing, creating, experimenting, and expressing themselves.

Will computers lead to the potential demise of the physical teachers? No, human relationships and interactions are at the core of good learning experiences.


TWINTERVIEW What inspired you to start the creative after-school centres for low-income communities? We saw that many young people didn’t have places where they could learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. What achievement in your life has made the biggest impact on society?

What’s on the technological horizon for the coming months that we can expect to hear more of? I expect many new “maker technologies” that expand the ways people can create and make things. What’s your number one tip for teachers who are writing creative lesson plans?

The development of new tools (like LEGO Mindstorms and Scratch) that help young people learn to think creatively and work collaboratively.

Give P’s a chance – provide students with opportunities to work on Projects, with Peers, in a Playful spirit, drawing on their Passions.

You’ve achieved many things in your career, but what else would you like to accomplish?

Why do you see coding as an important skill for everyone, not just computer whizzes?

I’d like to help establish coding as a new literacy. Just as everyone should learn to write, I think everyone should learn to code.

In learning to code, kids learn to solve problems, design projects, and communicate ideas – essential skills in today’s society.

What can LEGO offer STEM subjects? STEM subjects should take a more projectoriented approach, and LEGO materials are great for working on projects. How good are STEM subjects for connecting pupils across different countries? It all depends on how the activities are organised.

Twinterview with: Mitchel Resnick Mitchel Resnick is a LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and the head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. @mres



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Soaring imaginations into space Kulvinder Johal, Assistant Headteacher at Northbury Primary School in Essex, speaks to Innovate My School about how space travel is helping her pupils to learn about science and expand their aspirations.

more achievable and within this generation’s grasp. Pupils seems to be drawn to the topic of space as something that is not just out there and disconnected from them, but more a place where lots of work takes place, a possible career and one day, a viable home eventually as well.

Space, the final frontier.These are the voyages of… well pupils from my school, I hope! Our pupils and perhaps ‘our own personal children’, as I call my sons, could possibly be travelling up to space in their latter years. It’s something that is becoming

Our pupils started working on the ‘Mission X:Train like an astronaut’ programme just two years ago. Essentially, they are a series of lessons that help you train and understand the skills required to be an astronaut. It is an international programme and focuses on


SPACE agility, core strength, stamina and dexterity.The hours that day, but we could well have spent mission activities are planned weekly at school another three hours on top of that. and work well with year 5 pupils, as it is part of their science curriculum and the PE element forms part of their requirements for the term. I am also thrilled that Through this, there has been an increased interest in space and all things related to this, including meeting experts and even Major Tim Peake, the first ESA astronaut from Britain! Give it another few months and I expect the whole country will know Tim Peake. He is due to go up to the I.S.S. in November 2015. I believe he’s an inspiration to us all and he feeds the pupils’ aspirations, as well as the feeling and belief that they can one day fly up into space to a planet and moon walk. Some of the pupils have even already experienced weightlessness at the European Space centre facilities in Belgium, and because of all the inspiration around them, they are ready and keen to try it all again.

our pupils love space and they love science I write this as the second year of participation in the Mission X programme has ended, with us being awarded a Space Education Quality Mark to recognise our hard work and efforts in this area. I am also thrilled that our pupils love space and they love science.That is what us as teachers strive for and as Captain Kirk said, we strive ‘“to seek out new life” and we certainly have done that in our classroom. Who knows, some of our pupils may end up in space one day thanks to this!

What Mission X has done is open up a whole new area for the pupils. It’s so interesting for us as teachers. It has caught pupils’ imaginations, fired up their brains and their bones, and given rise to opportunities and avenues they may not have otherwise considered. When I met Tim Peake, I was awe struck - star struck even, which shows how much of an impact Mission X has had on me personally. But more importantly, our pupils engage so well in the programme that I am just so overwhelmingly proud of them, our school and the whole experience. On a space trip to the Farnborough Air Show, one pupil was a dab hand on the glider simulator, another on the helicopter simulator.The pupils generally were full of vigour, interest and keen to touch, build, explore and absorb as much as we could. We had already extended the school day by 3 40

Article written by: Kulvinder Johal 20 year’s experience working in an inner London school and has been awarded Primary Science teacher of the Year by the PSTT. @kulvinderj


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Living as an iCitizen Expert teacher Mike Ribble explores how digital citizenship is transforming the classroom, and gives advice on how schools can adopt the concept into lessons as the curriculum changes for the digital age. We have become a society that is ever more connected to our technology. Next time you are at a restaurant, in line at the store, or travelling, watch the number of people who are using their phones, tablets and other devices. We are a generation awash in technology and the information it provides us; we have become iCitizens. What are the rules, polices or laws for us as digital citizens? Little direction is being provided and without help, people are finding that mistakes are being made and often their results have a large audience. For educators these lines become ever more blurred as schools are providing or encouraging students to bring technology into the classroom. Parents and educators, as part of this society of iCitizens, can find the boundaries are not very clear. Technology brings the world to students’ fingertips, but there can be bad that comes with the good. What is needed is a program to help guide these new users in this new digital society. What we need is digital citizenship.


Digital citizenship provides a basis for how we should interact with technology as well as maintain our relationships with others around us. Nine areas (or elements) have been defined to help navigate a world where people are surrounded by technology and how to make sense of it. These elements fall under three main categories of Respect, Education and Protection (or REPs). This is how they are organised: RESPECT Digital Etiquette, Digital Access, Digital Law. EDUCATE Digital Communication, Digital Literacy, Digital Commerce. PROTECT Digital Rights & Responsibilities, Digital Safety & Security, Digital Health & Wellness. The focus is to assist users with the complex nature of technology, social media and the internet. For example, typically if you spend much time online, you leave a digital mark, or footprint/tattoo out on the digital world. These footprints or tattoos are left behind by decisions deliberately made, just like getting a tattoo. Like a tattoo, they are more permanent and if you wish to remove either one it can be a painful process. Decisions made in the “heat of the moment� stay with us, and it takes an effort to clean it up but they may never totally go away. While tools such as online social networks do provide a place to explore and express ideas across Innovatemyschool

iCITIZEN all social lines, the same tools can provide a permanent reminder of what may only be a temporary feeling. So, how do we help students and adults alike to become better digital citizens? Can we help people get to this place of becoming more deliberate in their choices? One way is to use the STEP process.

decide who we are by what they see online. As our children get involved in technology at earlier ages, we need to prepare them for becoming iCitizens.

STEP is a four-part process. 1. STOP 1st is Stop. Take a moment; take a deep breath before posting, texting or sharing. Posting, sharing or replying too quickly can get people in trouble. 2. THINK 2nd is THINK, which stands for is it True, Helpful, Inspire confidence, Necessary, Kind. 3. EMPATHISE Move to the 3rd area, Empathise. Are we interested about others and how they will react? Empathy has us think about the feelings of others, to “walk in another’s shoes”. 4. POST And finally Post. If we have been honest and reflected on the other items above then we can be happy with the post, reply or comment. Now as a member of this new iCitizenry; businesses, colleges and individuals are making decisions on what they read online. Being a digital citizen means that you are aware of what is posted about you and how it can affect your future and those around you. Everyone, including educators, need to refocus on helping our students and ourselves to prepare for a world that will

Article written by: Mike Ribble Mike is the Author of Digital Citizenship in schools and has worked in both the education and technology fields. He has teaching experience in the public and private sectors from High School to Graduate level and speaks on the subject of Digital Citizenship in the United States and internationally. @digcitizen 43

teaching abroad

10 tips for teaching abroad Maggie Hos-McGrane is an international teacher based in Mumbai. She shares her experiences and gives her top 10 tips for teaching around the world.

that my whole family developed during our experiences in international schools.

Although I describe myself as an international teacher, I’m very aware that this is different from being a global educator. As a result of In today’s world, students need to be prepared the connections I’ve made on Twitter with to compete, connect and cooperate with their teachers who have only ever taught in their peers on a global basis. They need knowledge home countries, I have come to see that it is of cultures, economies and world issues, as possible to be a global educator without ever well as the language skills to communicate and leaving your home, through reaching out and work in cross-cultural teams and to assess connecting with other educators worldwide information from different sources around who often have many different perspectives. the world. Above all, I think they need to be able to respect others and others’ viewpoints. Being open-minded is certainly something 44


teaching abroad The 10 qualities that I believe make a good 21st century global educator are: 1. Cultural literacy: Knowing that a teacher has lived and worked in a number of different countries can be an advantage for recruiters. Moving to a new country and adapting to a new culture can be daunting and stressful. 2. Teaching styles that value student participation: Many international schools follow one or more of the IB programmes where the emphasis is on constructivism, creative and critical thinking, collaboration and international mindedness. 3. Involvement in community service or action: Many schools value experience in these areas. 4. Information literacy: Schools need teachers who know where to find information, organise it and use it with their students. 5. Reflective practice: An example would be keeping a blog where you can reflect on your own growth as a learner. 6. A presence on social media: Connecting with other educators by using sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn is also seen as an important 21st century skill for teachers, allowing everyone to exchange ideas and grow professionally. 7. Inter-classroom communication: Using Skype or Google Hangout to connect classrooms around the world is a valuable skill - in fact many administrators now use Skype as a recruitment tool too. Interviews using Skype can be much easier (and less costly)

than attending recruitment fairs. 8. Networking: Schools need to see that teachers are also learners, that they are attending conferences, involved in professional development and connecting with other educators at the cutting edge. 9. Using technology to transform learning: Being able to provide evidence of how you have used technology, not just to enhance it.To transform the learning experience is definitely something school recruiters are looking for. 10. Be confident: One of my colleagues recently referred to the choice to go international as that of choosing to take a seat or get up and dance. Most international teachers would tell you that you should always get up and dance - we have never looked back on that first choice we made with regret. People often look on our lifestyle as being fairly glamorous. Bear in mind that it can be tough too - but I for one am happy that when the opportunity arose I jumped into it with an open mind and an open heart.

Article written by: Maggie Hos McGrane Maggie has been teaching for 25 years in international schools in Europe and Asia. She’s currently based at the American School of Bombay in India. @MumbaiMaggie


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