Tuesday, 18 November 2008

What schools need? How they do it in Havering, Safer Internet Day, Edcity

Hello and welcome to another week of ICT Updates for Primary from Anthony Evans and Nicholas Hughes.

And to begin with here's a thought provoking video from Robin Hood School and NCSL, enjoy...

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In this weeks issue:

  • Anthony and Nicholas go to Havering Subject Leaders Meeting

  • Education City - Where now?

  • Safer Internet Day

  • What every school needs?
This week we attended the Havering ICT Subject Leaders Meeting.

We came away with a few gems to share with our Redbridge Subject Leaders. It was also interesting to compare and contrast the provision for subject leaders in each of our authorities.

Here are some thoughts and observations.

  • Fronter - over 22 Havering primaries have taken the London MLE, this is almost 50% of the borough. Some exciting practice is already emerging.

  • The Havering Blogging Network - schools are encouraged to use edublogs for blogging and we where told of one school where a group of children acted as a news team for the school blog. This is a good way to facilitate blogging from children. It also take the pressure of teachers.

  • Like Redbridge Havering promotes the use of Video Conferencing and during the meet we linked up with the National Archives and also the rest of the ICT subject leaders at another school.

  • Interestingly this session was a 90 minute twilight session, unlike Redbridge which is a day, with free lunch and supply cover paid. (Now you know how lucky you are!)

  • We looked again at a range of mini-laptops including the Fizzbook and the RM Asus Minibook (windows version) A reminder from Nic - Remember if you want to network your mini-laptops they must have Windows XP Pro installed NOT XP Home. Most new mini-laptops come with XP Home. Remember to ask at Bett.

  • We also saw the Veho USB Microscope - Click the link for a review.

    It's is a nifty little microscope as the name suggests. It seemed to have really go picture quality. I have one on order and a fuller review will follow soon.

However Nic's arrived yesterday and it seems great. It is very intuitive and easy to use.

What every school needs? - By Nic

In my work I am lucky enough to visit many schools and talk to many ICT Subject Leaders.

On a recent visit to a school with new subject leaders, we got into a discussion about what is essential for ICT to be successful and embedded throughout the school.

These are the 5 things that we felt needed to be in place.

  1. Hardware – need to be working and well supported – The ideal is a on site person and external support.

  2. There needs a range of good software in school to support discrete and cross curricular ICT

  3. Teachers need have confidence through....
    - Having a positive attitude.
    - Training and INSET based on identified needs based on audits.

  4. The Network/Server needs to be clearly organised.

  5. There needs to be good levels of communication.

What do you think?

Do you agree is there something that has been omitted?

Safer Internet Day - 10th February 2009

To mark European Safer Internet Day, your school can download a pack of resources including new KS2 and 3 assemblies. CEOP will be creating and signposting you to all the resources you need for SID 2009. We would also like to hear your plans for the week.Get it in your school diary NOW! February 2009.

This is the perfect opportunity to introduce Internet safety to students or to consolidate the teaching you have already implemented.

CEOP's Thinkuknow programme will be producing a pack of resources available for download.
Click here to register and CEOP will keep you up-to-date with developments. You will be able to download the resource pack early February 2009.

Education City - Where now?

School leaders and ICT Subject Leaders, should now have had the detail about our Education City offer. If for some reason You have not seen this letter from Alex Rees, then read on:

Education City licensing arrangement
The London Borough of Redbridge currently holds a licence for all primary schools to have access to the Education City online content. The licence is due to expire at the end of November 2008 and the borough cannot fund a renewal of this licence.
We are aware that several schools make extensive use of this product and are confident that it is making a significant difference to the educational experiences they are providing for their students. Education City content covers Literacy, Maths, Science and French and has material designed specifically for Foundation, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 students. At the normal listed prices subscription for Education City is £860 for 1 year or £1634 for 2 years.

Further information about the product is available at http://www.educationcity.com/.

We have been in negotiation with Education City to ensure we support our schools currently using this product, and enabling other schools not yet using the product to explore its potential. Education City have agreed that if Redbridge schools purchase together then you will be offered a discount price of £817 for a 2-year licence extension. This extension will only be applied to schools who opt in to this arrangement. This reduced price will be available up until the end of November.

If you wish to find out more about this product then three Redbridge schools have already agreed with Education City to be ‘Champion Schools’. You may wish to contact them to discuss whether the product may be useful for you. They are:

  • Churchfields Infants School

  • Clore Tikva Primary School

  • Gearies Infants School

Should you wish to take part in this offer then please contact Gary Jelks , immediately with a purchase order number for the licence. If you are using email please include the code ‘EC-renew’ in the subject line. This information must be with Gary by the 1st December 2008. He will ensure that your licence is then extended until the end of November 2010.

It is not the London Borough of Redbridge’s policy to promote individual ICT products. However an educational demand has clearly been demonstrated for this product and the Borough has therefore negotiated an arrangement to the benefit of the schools.
Yours sincerely,
Alex Rees

Last minute links

http://www.computeractive.co.uk/computeractive/video/2230140/zoostorm-fizzbook-video-review - A video review of the Fizzbook

http://www.jurassicpunk.com/ - a site containing lots of videos and movie trailer. Idea for film work within the Renewed Literacy Framework.

http://www.slamnet.org.uk/smart/defaultmaths.htm - a selection of help sheets for Smart Notebook 9.


  1. Great to see the Redbridge ICT Team joining us. Thanks for sharing the information with your schools.

    I hope to join you at your meeting in the future to compare and contrast.

    Keep-up the great work in LBR!

    Please also visit The Visualiser Forum: http://visualiserforum.blogspot.com/

    Collaboration works.

    Best regards,

    Dave Smith
    HIAS ICT Consultant

  2. With regards to what every school needs to be doing, I would strongly advocate the use of Becta's SRF as a tool to highlight weaknesses in your school's ICT provision.

    I've been privileged to assess two primaries in the borough and have seen nothing but sound provision.