Category Archives: Best education weblinks

Monthly top 5 roundup – April 2015

The power of five

Top 5 educational news stories of the month

1. The NUT vote to boycott baseline assessment
The NUT voted in their conference to take action against the introduction of baseline assessments. They argue that baseline assessment is not in the interested of pupils and is another tool that disregards pupil needs in favour of measuring schools and teachers.
2. Children who ‘fail’ English and Maths SATS will take re-sits in Year 7
Mr Cameron announced a “zero tolerance of failure and mediocrity”. Students that fail to reach the national expected standard at the end of Year 6 will be forced to take resits in Year 7.
3. Teacher banned from the classroom for two years for changing pupils SATS papers
Ian Guffick claimed he was making answers more legible but that explanation wasn’t accepted by the panel from the National College of Teaching and Leadership who banned Mr Guffick from working as a teacher for two years.
4. UK’s largest arms manufacturer is appointed to lead a failing academy
BAE Systems have taken on the leadership of Furness Academy in Barrow, Cumbria. Rebranding the school as “BAE Systems Marine Submarines Academy Trust” the managing director of BAE Systems Submarines said it was “an extension to our commitment in helping Furness Academy provide its students with the best possible education.”
5. Free school meals pledge from Nick Clegg
Mr Clegg announced a 610 million pound pledge to provide free school meals for all primary school children in the country.

Top 5 pages from this site

1. How important is a TEFL qualification for teaching English abroad?
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English as a Second or Other Language) are often seen as important qualifications for UK teachers working overseas. How important are they in Spain and are they worth the study and expense?
2. Driving in Spain – the law
The Internet is home to lots of conflicting advice about the legalities of driving in Spain, especially as an expat from the UK.
Is your UK driving licence valid? How long can you drive a car on UK registration plates?
In the light of recent stories about an increased number of people being stopped and paperwork expectations being enforced more strictly than in the past this article explains some of the basic information about motoring law in Spain.
3. 5 things I know about language learning
Research says that language learning is facing a ‘difficult climate’ in England’s schools. A BBC report says that schools are introducing languages earlier but still students don’t wish to continue their language studies as they get older.
4. Plenary: Speaking and listening about learning
Here is an idea for a plenary that can be used in any lesson. It is a structure for encouraging pupils to speak about their learning and in so doing to reinforce the learning that has taken place in the lesson.
5. Five strategies for effectively working with a teaching assistant
Teaching assistants, classroom assistants, learning support assistants, interventionists. What’s in a name? What does research tell us about their effectiveness in raising standards and how best can other adults be used to support teaching and learning?

Product of the month

This month’s product of the month is an online TEFL course offering a fantastic 50€ discount.
i-to-i are an internationally recognised provider of TEFL qualifications and are currently offering a 50€ discount on some of their top selling products. They offer a free taster to help you decide which course is right for you and also offer a free consultation with an advisor. Their aim is to ensure that you have a worthwhile training experience and that your TEFL qualification equips you effectively for teaching English.  Click below for a list of courses that i-to-i can offer online.


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Monthly top 5 roundup – February 2015

Top five pages from the Internet, top five pages from this site and product of the month all in one convenient place.

The power of five

Top 5 pages from the Internet

1. New commission on primary assessment – After telling schools that they should work out for themselves how to assess pupils, now a commission is being set up to tell schools how they should assess.
2. The problem with lesson planning – David Didau on his blog, The Learning Spy, started the month looking at lesson planning.
3. The challenge for the DfE with workload – Michael Tidd takes a look at the government workload challenge and concludes, “At least we’re heading in the right direction.”
4. The expert in a year challenge – An illustration of the possibilities when targeted practice and growth mindset are brought together.
5. Resourceasourus.co.uk – This site gets a special mention. It looks new but sites like this are breaking with the tradition that teachers should share their work for free. It will be interesting to see if any school ever challenges on the basis of intellectual property rights. Until then, pop your teaching resources on here and receive payment each time they are downloaded.

Top 5 pages from this site

1. All the info. you need to know about teaching abroad – With over 4000 views, this collection of links to information about teaching abroad gets February’s top slot.
2. Two great ideas for displaying pupil targets
3. Teacher turnover and high performing school systems – Why is teacher turnover so low (3%) in high performing school systems?
4. Combating cyber bullying – A great free video resource for exploring cyber bullying with pupils.
5. Using a portfolio effectively on interview – What should be in an interview portfolio and how can you use it to secure your next education post?

Product of the month

This month we have been discussing display in school. We agreed a display policy and then spent time making sure that class displays were purposeful and focused on learning. We also had a staff meeting where we walked around the school and each teacher spent a couple of minutes talking about how they were using display in their own classrooms. A great resource for display ideas is the Belair series of books. The link below is for the general primary display book but there are others with ideas for specific curriculum areas.

Belair on display – The Essential Guide to Primary Display
by Noel Springett-McHugh

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Combating cyber bullying

Bullying is fast getting over taken by cyber bullying, online bullying with a far greater reach. This is what came from Year 6 (11 year old) pupils this week when I led a session to explore cyber bullying.

We started the lesson with pupils discussing what they thought constituted bullying. They came up with the usual responses of insulting behaviour or ignoring somebody. This soon spread into the difference between being unkind and bullying. Bullying required, according to the pupils, an ongoing or repetitive element.

Then we watched the following video to move our conversation forward to consider cyber bullying. This video likens cyber bullying to a virus spreading and it was this image that really succeeded in elevating the pupils’ conversations.

Children really engaged with the idea of cyber bullying being like a virus and then made the connection between that image and their earlier observation that bullying required an ongoing or repetitive element. They understood that a comment on a class “Whatsapp” group or other social media page had a reach of up to 25 pupils (our class size). Assuming just one or two of those shared, the reach would be multiplied and after the first posting the author quickly looses track of the potential reach.

The pupils themselves arrived at the conclusion that:

Only one offensive or insulting remark online may be enough to constitute bullying because of the ‘virus’ nature illustrated in the video above. The comment is already visible to a larger audience and therefore it already has the repetitive or ongoing element that makes it bullying.

Sometimes, you throw a starter into a lesson and the learning comes from the pupils themselves with little or no further guidance needed.

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Monthly top 5 roundup – January 2015

Top five pages from the Internet, top five pages from this site and product of the month all in one convenient place.

The power of five

Top five pages from the Internet

1: War on mediocrity – Hands up if you’re working in school and mediocre…Mr. Cameron is coming to get you!
2: The workload debate – John Tomsett blogs ‘This much I know about…’
3: Haiku Deck – App of the day from ictevangelist.com
4:Successful leaders are visible – Sir Tim Brighouse sharing his wisdom on why leading from behind an office door doesn’t work.
5: Dear Mrs. Morgan – Michael Rosen writes on behalf of a parent

Top five pages from this site

1: Why ‘Mindset’ is important for teachers and schools
2: A strategy for teacher self-improvement
3: Teaching in a British School in Spain – FAQ
4: Common English errors made by Spanish speakers
5: 5 things to know about renting in Spain

Product of the month

Rising Stars Switched on Computing

We began using this product this term. Making the move from ‘Information technology’ to ‘Computing’ is quite a shift for some schools, especially if teacher confidence in computer programing is low. Fortunately, this scheme of work is based entirely on products that are freely available on the Internet so carries no additional software costs. It also provides easy to follow lessons for the teacher and makes the new computing subject accessible for teachers and students. Year 6 have jumped straight in at the deep end with a project and are working towards creating an app.

Switched on computing – Year 1

Switched on computing – Year 2

Switched on computing – Year 3

Switched on computing – Year 4

Switched on computing – Year 5

Switched on computing – Year 6

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