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AUGMENTED REALITY IN THE CLASSROOM
CHOOSING A BOOK DEALING WITH MISBEHAVIOUR INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS The Free Education Magazine For Teachers
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contents Innovation Update
Augmenting reality in the primary classroom
Choosing a book: part of the fun of reading
The basics of good classroom management, part two - bad behaviour
Developing international partnerships at George Abbot School
Making the most of your visit to an education show
Adapted Cycling at Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College
Reducing energy consumption and costs at large schools
Read other articles on the Innovate My School website, such as: Preparing children for the real world, 5 ways to have a digital classroom in 2012, A school for the future or just a building for the future? Director - Michael Forshaw email@example.com Editor – Tim Miles firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising – Angela Gallagher email@example.com Graphic Designer – Alison Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org Asst. Graphic Designer – Emma Kelly
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Welcome to the latest edition of the Innovate My School Magazine. Free-wheeling into this month’s issue, Martin Moorman, Headteacher at Ravenscliffe High, describes how a cycling programme revolutionised life for the disabled pupils at his school and benefited the local community as a whole. Jane Jackson returns with some top tips for displaying books appealingly to young readers, and chemistry teacher and behaviour expert Ed Whittaker is also back with part two of his guide to dealing effectively with misbehaviour and creating a temperate classroom climate. On the subject of climates, Sarah Honeywell takes us through the international adventures of the pupils at George Abbot School, as part of a case study conducted by The Key. Closer to home, IT teacher Patrick Carroll explains how to augment reality in the primary classroom with the help of the latest mobile technology, and, explaining the benefits of technology on a larger scale, Chrissie Turkington extols the virtues of virtualisation at Bolton School. Finally, if you’re attending an education show this year, don’t go without studying Jay Bell’s essential guide to getting the most out of your visit. We also have our regular Innovation Update column, which this month covers phonics, Dickens and open source schooling. Please send your comments, questions and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org - we’d love to hear from you.
Tim Miles Editor, Innovate My School Magazine 3
Superphonics? This February, the world marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. And with the generosity of a rich patron in a Dickens novel - albeit, in this case, a patron who has staggering debts and is generous with other people’s money - the government is providing funding to schools that purchase equipment for teaching synthetic phonics. So far, over 3000 primaries have taken up the offer, which is open to all state-funded schools with Key Stage 1 pupils. Every penny up to £3000 that each school spends on phonics products from an approved catalogue will be matched by the Department for Education. Systematic synthetic phonics might sound unlikely to instil a love of reading that would compel children to choose the world of Dickens over the World of Warcraft. Its title could easily have been devised by Mr M’Choakumchild. But the skill it teaches - that is, the ability to “sound out” and decode unfamiliar words - is surely essential if children are to understand and enjoy Dickens’ often extravagant prose: particularly the phonetic spelling he uses to convey accents.
age of nine, George Orwell recalled that “the mental atmosphere of the opening chapters was so immediately intelligible to me that I vaguely imagined they had been written by a child”. What is perhaps even more intriguing is that when Orwell reread the book as an adult, he found that the same scenes and characters, though just as evocative as he remembered, conjured very different images in his mind.
This suggests not only that Dickens is highly accessible to children, but that reading him as a child is a unique experience which should not be missed. This suggests not only that Dickens is highly accessible to children, but that reading him as a child is a unique experience which should not be missed.
The teaching of synthetic phonics might not weaken the pull of soap operas and smartphones, or convince children to delve into Dickens as early as Orwell did. But, by enabling them to decode unfamiliar words, it provides a key to the Some might argue that Dickens is altogether too difficult (or too frightening) treasury of the English language - whose for children. In fact, he had an unmatched wonderful sounds and stories can seem all the more magical in the mind of a child. ability to empathise with the young. Having read David Copperfield at the 4
Open Source Cornered by Schooling a question? There's usually Wikipedia
Michael Gove has called for schools, universities and businesses to devise and share their own computer science programmes and exams.
Speaking at BETT 2012, the Education Secretary resolved to do away with central IT direction that “[seeks] to capture in leaden bureaucratic prose the restless spirit of technological innovation”, and to embrace a “democratisation of knowledge” in which educational institutions all over the world share their lessons, experience and teaching techniques. Given the abundance of online lessonsharing videos and resources - such as O2Learn, Khan Academy and iTunes U success with the open-sourcing of IT could result in the same approach being applied to other subjects, too.
Why is the moon sometimes out in the day? Why is water wet? How do aeroplanes stay in the air? If you struggled with any of those, you’re not alone. According to a survey for the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair, they are among the questions parents most dread being asked by their inquisitive children. No one can know everything. Instead of stumbling through a pseudo-explanation or standing in stumped silence, why not take the opportunity to teach your enthusiastic child how to find the answer on the internet? (Just hope that there isn’t a Wikipedia blackout at the time.) Then you can move on to worrying about more important questions - such as when search engines will become so powerful and accessible that it will be considered rude to ask another human being a question in the first place. Let me Google that for you...
News written by: Tim Miles, Innovate My School www.innovatemyschool.com
AUGMENTING title here REALITY
Ca Sch se oo St l ud y
in the primary classroom Like many schools across the world, Shaw Wood Primary in Doncaster is discovering the benefits that mobile technology can bring to its curriculum. Introducing mobile technologies at Shaw Wood was something of a venture into the unknown. As the school’s IT Coordinator, I decided to use the eTwinning collaboration tool to work closely with Anne McMorrough and her primary class at St Martin de Porres National School in Dublin, which was also experimenting with mobile apps. Since September 2011, pupils at the two schools have exchanged reviews and advice about the apps that they have used, communicating via Skype, email and blog posts.
One app that has been used particularly frequently is the free augmented reality application Aurasma. Aurasma enables a user to take a photograph of a real-world object – such as a building, newspaper headline, billboard, etc. - then to “overlay” that photograph with images, videos or Aurasma animations. Other Aurasma users can, by hovering their mobile phone over the real-world object, view the overlaid image, video or animation. For instance, using Aurasma,Year 6 pupils took a picture of their class photograph and added to it an animation providing information about the pupils – such as their favourite sports, singers and animals. Visitors to the school who come across the class photograph are invited to view it through Innovatemyschool
the Aurasma app on their phones. When they do so, the animation plays, informing them of what the Year 6 children like to do, what their favourite sports and animals are, etc. The children also used Aurasma to create a programme for the Christmas concert. Each pupil photographed a friend, then videoed that friend talking about what he had enjoyed during rehearsals for the concert. Some of the photographs were included on the concert tickets and in the programme. By scanning a picture using camera phones running the Aurasma application, parents were presented with the associated video and could see the pupils in the photos talking about what they enjoyed in rehearsals. The main hall at Shaw Wood (above) contains a display of all of the mobile apps our pupils and their eTwinning partners have recommended. To find out more about an app in the display, viewers can open up the Aurasma app on their mobile and point it at the picture of that app to watch a pupil-led video review of that application. Each app in the display also has a QR code; scanning this with a smartphone leads directly to the page for that application in either the Android www.innovatemyschool.com
Market or the Apple App Store â€“ according to the device used to do the scanning.
...use of mobile technology has been extremely popular This use of mobile technology has been extremely popular with the pupils, who are looking forward to using it in their modern foreign language lessons. It has also been very well-received by parents, who are enthused by the schoolâ€™s plan to use the Aurasma application more widely - for things such as including video messages in class newsletters and associating them with pieces of homework.
Expert Article written by: Patrick Carroll, IT Coordinator, Shaw Wood Primary www.shawwoodprimary.eu
Choosing a book Part of the fun of reading
Jane Jackson 10
Choosing a book: part of the fun of reading There are many different views on educational policy, but almost everyone agrees that independent reading is a cornerstone of educational development. However, in a world where budgets, space and time are limited, and competition for children’s attention is fierce, encouraging pupils to read independently isn’t always easy. If we are serious about helping children to develop a real love of books, we must first consider how to present them so that children notice them and feel compelled to reach out and take them. Reading spaces in schools vary. But even a school with just a couple of small book corners probably has more room to display books than a local corner shop does.Yet it could be argued that the latter is often better at presenting its wares. The clear, face-out magazine displays in newsagents instantly draw children to the titles aimed at them and enable them easily to flick through a few before selecting their favourite, making the process of choosing reading material an enjoyable experience in itself. In schools, we want children to want to read: to independently find and be interested in books. But we do not always present our reading material as effectively as newsagents do. Publishers spend millions each year on designing interesting and attractive front covers.Yet in an effort to stock as many books as possible, we often put them on shelves with only their spines facing outwards. In addition to hiding the attractive front covers, this approach can leave children www.innovatemyschool.com
feeling overwhelmed: with so many books to choose from, they don’t know where to start. Selecting furniture designed specifically for children’s books can help to ensure that this doesn’t happen. If books are properly presented then the children will be among them straight away, reaching out and picking them up. On-shelf solutions designed to display books with their front covers facing outwards are an excellent way of making books the stars of the show in a room. And because they work with existing shelving, they are cost-effective, too.
...with so many books to choose from, they don’t know where to start. If you have the space and budget, it might be worth investing in a centrepiece: something with the “wow” factor that draws children’s attention to the reading area in a room. There are some wonderful units – such as mirror tunnels, magnetic playboards or cosy seating - which, as well as displaying books, add a “play” element to them. In addition to attracting children to the reading space, these help to ensure that children see books and reading as fun. If you stock reading schemes such as Big Cats or Bug Club, you’ll know what a nightmare they are to display. The books’ slim format means that when stored spine-out, they practically disappear! This not only hides their front covers, but can make the books themselves difficult to find. Using on-shelf 11
Choosing a book: part of the fun of reading displays with acrylic pockets - which hold collections of such books together and present them face-forward - can save time for pupils and teachers. As well as finding the right units to hold and display books, it is important to think about where to place them. Consider the age of the reader you’re trying to attract. Obviously, picture books and board books need to be displayed lower down so that smaller children can reach them. Use the higher shelves for older children’s books. It doesn’t matter if you mix formats on a shelf; the important thing is that borrowers can easily reach out and pick the books they want.
Remember that children will easily find popular books - such as the latest Jacqueline Wilson or Anthony Horowitz - because they know what they’re looking for; older or lessknown titles need their turn at the front to remind children that they exist, and to ensure that they don’t miss out on a good read.
change which books you display face-forward or at the front of a shelf. Giving different titles a turn in the spotlight will make it look as if you have new stock, which pupils will be eager to investigate. Remember that children will easily find popular books - such as the latest Jacqueline Wilson or Anthony Horowitz - because they know what they’re looking for; older or less-known titles need their turn at the front to remind children that they exist, and to ensure that they don’t miss out on a good read. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with your displays: it’s a great way to keep children interested and to help them develop an excitement about reading that will last a lifetime. Expert Article written by: Jane Jackson, Book Space for Schools bookspaceforschools.co.uk
The final thing to remember is to keep updating your displays. Keep them topped-up at all times (or it will look as though all the best books have been taken) and frequently 12
The basics of good class room management
The basics of good classroom management:
In my previous article I discussed ways of minimising misbehaviour and creating a positive classroom climate. But, like an English summer, even the most temperate lesson is prone to showers. The following tips are designed to help you prevent a drizzle of mischief becoming a deluge of disobedience. Keep the lesson flowing. When dealing with misbehaviour, always start off with the least intrusive intervention possible. For example, a pupil is tapping a pencil whilst you are talking. He might be doing it absentmindedly, or he might be trying to provoke a reaction. In either case, try ignoring it. (This is called “tactical ignoring”: you are making a positive choice to ignore the behaviour, not failing to act because you are unsure of what to do.) If the tapping doesn’t stop, point your gaze at the source of the noise or move towards it. That will usually be enough to get it to stop. Other low-level intervention techniques include asking a relevant question 14
(which is often all that is needed to bring the pupil back on task), and using non-verbal signals - such as a finger to the lips or even just a raised eyebrow. These enable you to maintain the flow of your lesson and not distract other pupils while ensuring that the class knows you’re monitoring its behaviour. Responding too quickly or too aggressively to minor misdemeanours can leave pupils feeling aggrieved or humiliated – and faced with a choice between defying the teacher and losing face in front of peers, many will defy the teacher. The issue then escalates, the disruption is drawn out, and the lesson flow is interrupted. Offer choices. You notice that Adele, on the back row, has her make-up out during the lesson. Rather than insist that it be handed over to you - risking an argument and extending the time it takes to deal with the situation - say to her: “Back in your bag or on my desk, Adele - your choice”. This is a win-win solution: Adele doesn’t lose face (she feels she has made a choice rather than obeyed a command), and the distraction is Innovatemyschool
gone, allowing you to get on with teaching. It is also worth adding the warning, “If I see it again, it’s going on my desk until the end of the lesson”: most pupils will readily accept such a deal - and in the event that make-up does reappear, it’s much easier to confiscate it if you’ve warned that this will happen.
Use partial agreement. This is a useful way to beat the “It wasn’t only me” argument.
Use partial agreement. This is a useful way to beat the “It wasn’t only me” argument. For example, you see Anthony chatting instead of working.You ask him to get back on task. “But so-and-so was talking as well,” he replies. Rather than argue with him, just say “that may be true, but you are the one I saw”. By partially agreeing with Anthony, you make him less likely to argue back. This approach is also useful in quelling minor classroom squabbles: Pupil: “Sir, Darren keeps looking at me funny.” Teacher: “That may be true, but I need you to get on with your work now.”
Use positive correction. It is very easy to slip into “moaning” mode: to constantly pick up on bad behaviour. A more effective strategy is to promote the behaviour you do want. All this requires, in many instances, is replacing “Don’t do that” with “Do this”. For example, you see Melville staring out of the window instead of listening. Rather than saying “Mel, stop looking out of the window”, say “Mel, look at me, thank you”. The two statements amount to the same thing, but by being more positive you make confrontation less likely.
The basics of good class room management (Also note the use of “thank you” rather than “please”; the latter implies that you would like compliance with the instruction, the former that you expect it.) The “what-what” technique: This is useful for getting pupils who have been distracted to resume working. For example, you see Amy staring into space when she should be writing: Teacher: “Amy, what are you doing?” Amy: “Um, nothing.” Teacher: “What should you be doing?” Amy: “Um, writing.” Teacher: “Thank you.” This technique can also be used to provide positive rule reminders – eg, “Susan, what are our rules on talking?” The “when-then” technique: For example, “Aleem, when you stop shouting out the answers and put your hand up, then I will listen to you”.This tip is useful because it reinforces the desired behaviour - rather than just focusing on what the pupil has done wrong. Allow “take-up” time. Pupils are far more likely to obey rules when they feel they have chosen to comply than when they have been forced to. A typical face-saving strategy for pupils is to delay compliance with an instruction for a short while. Allow them that. It allows them to comply without losing face. Issuing ultimatums and demanding immediate compliance is more likely to prolong the disruption and provoke confrontation. Following these simple techniques should help you to maintain a positive, constructive and collaborative atmosphere in the classroom, and to manage behaviour effectively without shouting or resorting to unduly coercive methods. 16
Missed the first article? Catch up with “The basics of good classroom management: Prevention” by visiting www.innovatemyschool.com/industryexpert-articles.html
Expert Article written by: Ed Whittaker, Teacher and Managing Director of Schools Data Services www.sds.ac
DEVELOPING INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AT GEORGE ABBOT SCHOOL
Developing International Partnerships at George Abbot School l oo dy h c u S St se Ca
The internet and modern transport offer unprecedented opportunities for pupils to learn about - and even experience faraway countries, their peoples and different cultures. As part of a study in global community cohesion, we heard from the international co-ordinator at George Abbot School, a state secondary in Guilford, about the benefits of its partnerships with schools in different parts of the world. George Abbot, which has held the International School Award since 2003, has links with schools in France, Germany, Canada, Tanzania, China, India and South Africa. These partnerships have enabled its pupils to experience different cultures and engage in some truly inspiring programmes. For instance, on a recent trip to Tanzania, pupils from George Abbot worked together with pupils from Mukidoma High School on a community project which involved building a house for the family of one of the Mukidoma pupils. The Tanzanian pupils were able to translate when communicating with the family. The two schools also held a joint sports day, furthering the friendships between their pupils. Watch the video at http://bit.ly/zhrukO
These partnerships have enabled its pupils to experience different cultures and engage in some truly inspiring programmes.
In 2007, twenty gifted pupils were invited to Vancouver by the students and staff at the University of British Columbia’s “Transition Programme”, to take part in a week of workshops during the Global Citizenship Summer Institute. In 2010, pupils had an opportunity to visit the Vancouver Marine Biology unit, which is usually accessible only to university students. Watch the video at http://bit.ly/wWSnNh George Abbot’s international links have engendered many other cross-curricular programmes. Pupils embarked on a yearlong creative and expressive arts course in which Mukidoma provided inspiration for art, dance and drama, and George Abbot’s pupils based their work on videos and photographs taken by sixth formers who had visited the Tanzanian school. (Similar arts projects have been undertaken with Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya School in India and Jinyuan Senior High School in China.) Year 7 pupils took a citizenship course focusing on the treatment of albino children in Tanzania and what Mukidoma School does to support them. And coffee growing in Tanzania and water conservation at School in India have been incorporated into geography lessons at George Abbot. Pupils are expected to raise some of the money for trips to partner schools (through, for example, weekend jobs or selling cakes in school). George Abbot pupils have also raised money for projects connected with its partner schools: by, for instance, making and modelling clothes for a fashion show to raise money for a women’s project based at a school in India near Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya. Trips and communication with partner schools can also benefit those pupils not directly involved. On returning from exchanges, pupils give talks and exhibitions 19
DEVELOPING INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AT GEORGE ABBOT SCHOOL about their experiences, expanding their peers’ knowledge of peoples, cultures and languages, and encouraging empathy with others around the world. The partnerships and their rewards are further strengthened by visits by foreign students, who stay with the families of George Abbot pupils, attend lessons, and go on sightseeing expeditions. Incorporating international partnerships into school processes and CPD Internationalism is an important part of George Abbot School, and its partnerships are included in its processes of planning and evaluation. To renew its International School Award, George Abbot must evaluate all its links every three years. Information on the links is included in the Headteacher’s annual report to governors and in his report to parents. The international co-ordinator also reports to the governors as necessary – usually once every two years. In addition, the school’s improvement plan aims to address the international dimension every year.
These partnerships have enabled its pupils to experience different cultures and engage in some truly inspiring programmes. The international co-ordinator stressed that communication is key to maintaining international partnerships: schools and teachers must be able to keep in touch. She explained that George Abbot School used to use the Teachers’ International 20
Professional Development funding, provided by the Department for International Development through the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. This funding enabled teachers to be involved in the links with schools in foreign countries and to build up personal contacts, making them more engaged with the partnerships and meaning that they had a contact if they wanted to develop a curriculum project. Although this funding is no longer available, George Abbot School aims to continue developing its international dimension.
Although this funding is no longer available, George Abbot School aims to continue developing its international dimension. For more information about George Abbot’s international partner schools and to see more videos of the school’s student exchanges, please visit the school’s website. www.georgeabbot.surrey.sch.uk
Expert Article written by: The Key, The Service for School Leaders www.usethekey.org.uk
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR VISIT TO AN EDUCATION SHOW
Making the most of your visit to an education show In all aspects of education, technology is playing an increasingly prominent role. Think how many IT systems and solutions schools use every day: electronic attendance registers, management information systems, CCTV, virtual learning environments, computer-generated behaviour plans and individualised education programmes for SEN pupils. Not to mention PCs, Macs, tablets, and all the other hardware and software devices used in classrooms. All this serves to highlight the phenomenal rate at which technology progresses. The surge in IT and global communications has led to hundreds of awesome new products designed to make your life as a teacher more productive and learning a more enjoyable experience for those in your care. But where does all this stuff come from? How do schools and teachers find out about it? How can they decide what equipment is right for them? An education show can be a great place to see first-hand whatâ€™s available. These events occur throughout the year, the biggest boasting hundreds of stalls and attracting tens of thousands of visitors. However, with myriad visitors and vendors weaving through a maze of stands, stalls and coffee shops, these events can seem overwhelming. Here are some tips that I hope will help you get the most out of your day and discover products that will make your classroom an even more pleasant and productive learning environment. The first step is to plan your visit.
Know where you’re to get going a there nd how It may se em gla
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MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR VISIT TO AN EDUCATION SHOW
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An education show offer s probably th e best chance yo to-face . Never be u’ll get to talk to scared of a stand vendor s facewith few or no pe the vendor is mor ople around it. I gu e nervous and pa arantee that ranoid about the that most of the situation than yo exhibitors will ha u are! Remembe ve paid in the regio for their little patc r n of five to ten thou h of land; they re ally want people sand pounds they’ve got to of like you to be int fer. erested in what Once you have ap proached a stand , try to circumvent referring to your the vendor’s sales prepared notes an -patter by d talking about yo vendor to demon ur pupils’ specific strate how his pr needs. Ask the oduct will addres product. This will s these needs be give you a good tter than any othe feel for the prod produces it. r uct and the com pany that Also, remember that many new co ncepts are introdu open-minded an ced at these show d listen to the re s. Tr y to be search that goes wonderful things. into some of thes It’s important no e weird and t to be dismissive past experiences of new technolo : technology adva gy or tainted by nces very quickly, a software produc and a product - pa t - that once seem rticular ly ed ineffective may last saw it. be vastly improved since you While you’re talki ng to the vendor make notes in yo the answer s to yo ur pad – especia ur own questions lly, of cour se , ! If you get as far to ask for a show as talking about m discount. Don’t be oney, be sure afraid to try for m remember to ask oney off or free how long these of add-ons, and fer s are open for authorisation, etc. - you’ll need time When you have to get funding, all the informatio vendor. Before lea n you need colle ving the stand, m ct a pack from th ake sure you have did you get a quot e a note of how yo e? Is the vendor u left things: going to send yo Or is the produc u answer s to a sp t now str uck from ecific quer y? your list? Staple information for sa your notes to the fekeeping. vendor’s
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b ave re ber are throb nce you h a reasonable num O t. Your feet e y d e h se is o n l. o fi o h ’t o c n h work is notes and in your sc are you e to see iew your show, rev that you’d really lik ocuments or softw eed ts gd s you n of produc urriculum mappin and figure ng around ts c c fa r e u o th Using y ther all nd choosi 4 sheet able to ga recomme ucing an A such should be y the purchases. I ro and p d t stif is tl ju r o lp headings e sh h to uld have for your o ts sh c uld t u e d e ro y we sho . The sh three p how); Wh each one d Budget g n n t; a si c u ri o a d h summ efits (w st of pro n o e B C ; ); n o ts ti in p po as: Descri ve bullet tion. roduct (fi r informa e th O buy this p d n a ll; a tf r Sho want to available; from will g in en d n fu ou are ke ed for ow that y re looking approach sh is ll o e h w w s a Anyone If you a You may em ready. r to se things. know the anised by having th uisition, remembe q c rg es. a o v s ti lld n e e e e w c n in and ment specialrn a e r v other o fo g g m ll a in o oney fr laimed for fund c m e g v g a in h tt e u of g t yo be makin check tha ate the possibility at should th ts r n e e v ig e st ar tm lly, n Also, inve from dep eeds. Fina s. e school r special n ational businesse la u ic rr u pots in th n -c r ss o l ro a c c n to of lo hool a donatio te the generosity d with sc e affiliate a b im nsor a o to st d sp re u e und keen to are pro y s rl ie la n n in a u c p ti m r d mentio en pa Many co nd are oft used in SEN. A kin published a ip h rs sponso that is hen it’s py of it w quipment ture . piece of e ewsletter and a co pproachable in fu a n l re o o the scho panies m make com will likely
Expert Article written by: Jay Bell, Director at Tweezy Online Limited www.tweezy-online.com
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Adapted Cycling at Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College 28
Cycling has long been a passion of many staff at Ravenscliffe, a secondary special school in Calderdale that educates children with complex, severe or moderate learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorder, and physical disabilities. Unfortunately, a lack of local facilities had meant that there was little chance of the school’s pupils developing a similar passion - or even getting the opportunity to cycle at all. In 2004, a group of staff members decided to do something about this. That year, as part of a Comic Relief “Cycling Fun Day”, Ravenscliffe had been visited by Wheels For All, a national charity that aims to introduce people with all types of disability to cycling. Our pupils enjoyed the day so much that we were inspired to investigate ways of providing cycling at the school on a more permanent basis. We quickly realised that we had an opportunity to make a really positive difference to our pupils and the wider community. In 2006, the Freewheelers adapted cycling programme at Ravenscliffe High School funded through the efforts of the Friends www.innovatemyschool.com
of Ravenscliffe charity - attracted funding support of over £50,000. In the last five years the project has grown rapidly, and now provides a range of cycling opportunities to people with special needs from all over West Yorkshire. In addition to its on-site cycling facilities, the school acquired funding for a second fleet of adapted bikes two miles away at Spring Hall, a 400-metre track and athletics facility. At both locations, there is a range of bikes available for Wheelchair users and a variety of hand-cranked bikes for people with lower-limb difficulties. Pupils have the opportunity to progress from four-wheel quad bikes to trikes, and then to conventional two-wheel mountain bikes. We run after-school clubs, cycle coaching courses, bi-monthly coached sessions at the Manchester Velodrome, and “Gifted and Talented” sessions with the Cycling Development Team at Calderdale MBC. Local schools and charities use the facilities at both Ravenscliffe School and Spring Hall free of charge, and there are timetabled slots for former pupils and adults with learning difficulties at both sites every week. Two primary special schools use the facilities to prepare their Year-6 leavers for life at Ravenscliffe (their secondary transfer school). We believe this has made the transition to Year 7 much smoother for these pupils, and parents have expressed the same feeling. As the school and its cycling facilities have become better known, and as the general public have seen our “funky” bikes in action, we have attracted yet more interest and support. Many young adults are now taking up regular cycling sessions 29
Adapted Cycling through the Freewheelers programme. At present, twelve special needs pupils from mainstream schools use our facilities, and several primary schools use our bikes and tracks for their cycling proficiency courses. In summer 2010 the Youth Sport Trust and Sky sponsored “Gifted and Talented” cycling sessions for fifteen pupils, and in 2011 five of our staff achieved a British Cycling Level 2 Coaching Award. OFSTED graded Ravenscliffe and its cycling facilities “Outstanding” in 2008, and in February 2010 the Freewheelers programme won a Sky Sports National Achievement Award. “OFSTED graded Ravenscliffe and its cycling facilities “Outstanding” in 2008, and in February 2010 the Freewheelers programme won a Sky Sports National Achievement Award.” Our records show that pupils are achieving high levels of cycling skills. Gifted and Talented courses have even enabled us to identify a number of pupils who have the ability to progress into competitive cycling, and a significant number of children who cannot currently and may never ride twowheel bikes on their own are nevertheless confidently and competently cycling on tandem bicycles with adult help. The sight of their friends enjoying themselves, acquiring skills and becoming more independent is encouraging more and more pupils to join in and start cycling. We believe this has led to a significantly fitter pupil population. Perhaps most importantly, Freewheelers has helped our pupils become more independent. In 2006 we had just two 30
competent two-wheel cyclists; since then we have taught more than sixty young people to cycle independently on twowheel bikes. Off-site cycling is now part of our Key Stage 3 timetable, giving pupils in Years 8-11 the opportunity to develop travel skills as they journey with staff to Spring Hall via public transport . Twenty pupils now travel to and from school independently on public transport, where previously all our pupils had been provided with taxis. Improving pupil independence is a key part of the work we do at Ravenscliffe, so we see this as a particularly important achievement - one which, by increasing confidence and motivation, even has a positive effect on pupil literacy and numeracy. The success of Freewheelers is mostly down to the vision, hard work and dedication of a team of six staff. Thanks to their passion, the dream of 2004 has become a reality, and over 300 people with special needs in West Yorkshire are now cycling - and learning to cycle - every week.
Expert Article written by: Martin Moorman, Headteacher, Ravenscliffe High School www.ravenscliffe.calderdale.sch.uk
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Reducing energy consumption and costs at large schools
Reducing energy consumption and costs at large schools With 2,300 pupils, Bolton School is one of the largest independent day schools in the country. Two similar adjoined buildings house the Boysâ€™ and Girlsâ€™ Senior Schools, and there are separate junior departments for boys and girls, an infant school and a nursery. Our network infrastructure consists of: more than 1300 workstations, notepads and laptops; a VOIP system including around 250 handsets; interactive whiteboards in the majority of classrooms; 150 projectors; over 200 printers, scanners and multifunction devices; and 100 switches, routers and wireless access points.
l oo dy h c u S St se Ca
Needless to say, all this equipment consumes a considerable amount of energy and has significant maintenance and running costs. Yet at Bolton School, we are determined to increase our energy efficiency and to reduce our carbon emissions and use of consumables. Despite the complexity and scale of the school’s use of technology, we have found that, with the right technologies and initiatives, it is possible to make changes that greatly reduce costs and energy consumption, while improving IT infrastructure. Before I joined the School, Tony Fox, Head of ICT Services, instigated a project to virtualise the network infrastructure and desktop resources: over 40 traditional servers have been replaced with a Blade Centre and a storage area network in an effort to upgrade an increasingly complex system in the most affordable way. The goal of this initiative is to deliver high-availability IT systems and secure off-site access, while reducing energy, support and maintenance costs. Recent calculations, based on current energy prices, indicate that the server virtualisation already achieved could result in a saving of around £8,000 in energy costs every year. (see below).
The school’s IT, e-Learning and libraries strategy, currently in development, in part aims to build on the server virtualisation savings. Alongside our desire to be innovative, this strategy will be underpinned by the need to be both environmentally and financially sustainable. We recently evaluated printing and photocopying costs across the school and instigated a project to encourage more efficient printing practices and to use digital media and associated storage more www.innovatemyschool.com
Our recent calculations, based on current energy prices, indicate that the server virtualisation already achieved could result in a saving of around £8,000 in energy costs every year.
effectively. We have also implemented a print management solution, which monitors and reports on all network printing. Although the potential financial savings of such measures are small, they should reduce our usage of paper and printer consumables, and encourage us to be more innovative in our use of virtual learning platforms and mobile technologies. Other energy- and money-saving measures that are in place include the use of a network switch-off script to shut down 35
Reducing energy consumption and costs at large schools Power Utilisation Desktop Equipment
computers at the end of the school day, a policy of switching off projectors when not in use, recycling printing consumables, and procuring more energy-efficient LCD monitors whenever we replace old monitors or purchase new workstations.
If we replaced 100 PCs with thin clients, we could potentially save over £4,000 worth of energy per year and around 4 tonnes of CO2 – though these figures do not account for the environmental costs of disposing of old hardware or the financial costs of procuring new equipment. Along with these initiatives, the virtualisation project continues, with the phased introduction of more energy-efficient “thin clients” (low-powered network computers 36
which use the main servers for processing and data storage) and the installation of virtualised desktops and software on existing PCs to extend their life. Again, calculations based on current energy costs and research provided by our supplier show the possibility of considerable financial savings and CO2 reductions. For example, if we replaced 100 PCs with thin clients, we could potentially save over £4,000 worth of energy per year and around 4 tonnes of CO2 – though these figures do not account for the environmental costs of disposing of old hardware or the financial costs of procuring new equipment. We have a long way to go to, but we feel that with the above initiatives, accompanied by clear strategies and procurement policies, we are heading towards a superior IT infrastructure which will result in significant carbon and financial savings for the school. Expert Article written by: Chrissie Turkington, Head of ICT, e-Learning and Libraries, Bolton School www.boltonschool.org Innovatemyschool
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Shrink your utility bills Climb towards the top of the energy rating stairway Our skills and knowledge will help you to focus on the systems that are wasting your time and money. Energy waste lurks in all buildings. We help you find it and cut it back. Together we will set up action plans to minimise cost and waste.
We can provide cost effective procurement for energy, broadband, telecoms and mobiles, with best value and best service. Energy efficiency is a resource and using more of this resource is the easiest way to shrink your bills.
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Collaborative learning . . . plus full control There’s no doubt that, when used as part of a structured classroom environment, computers can significantly enhance the students’ learning experience. However, they can also prove to be a huge distraction: social networking, instant messaging, web browsing etc.
So how can you grab your students’ attention, keep them focussed – and maintain full control? Faronics’ Insight is the ultimate classroom technology management solution that allows you to educate, assist, monitor and communicate with the whole IT suite from one central computer, ipad or iphone. “It only takes me seconds to see what everyone is doing”
It’s not just one way communication either, you can share your screen with anyone or share any student’s screen with the rest of the class. You can create tests ‘on the fly’ and monitor results on the teacher console. And the chat function for questions means that everyone is encouraged to participate. Eliminate distractions with just one click by limiting access to specified programmes – or by blanking and locking all your students’ screens. Insight gives you all the tools you need to keep your students more focussed, engaged and productive. Take control with Insight from Faronics. Available for
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Published on Feb 29, 2012
Published on Feb 29, 2012
Issue 3 of Innovate My School’s online magazine, bringing the latest in educational innovation and inspiration to educators across the UK.