Thursday, 16 December 2010

Redbridge Network Nominated for Award

The Redbridge Games Network has been nominated for an award for Hero Innovators & Innovations for Learning. The Network has been working on how games based learning can be used effectively in the classroom. This is an exciting opportunity and its all down to the public vote!

Text REDBRIDGE to 07950 080 667
(Its charged as a normal txt so don't worry about that!)

So get voting!

Check out the rest of the nominees here and more about the awards here.

Thanks

LGFL Next Generation Learning - Spring dates

There are four opportunities for school leaders to benefit from the Next Generation Learning programmes in the Spring term. These are open to school senior leaders as well as ICT subject leaders. However, it is strongly recommended that at least two people attend from each school so as to take full advantage of the opportunity the programme provides for planning the integration of Digital Technologies across a full range of school activities. Wherever possible, one of those attending should be the head teacher.



The programme is delivered in the context of:

In an outstanding school:
  • Use of Digital Technology has a significant impact on OFSTED grades
  • Digital Technologies are fully integrated, ensuring pupils have the necessary digital skills to succeed
  • Excellent management of Digital Technologies ensures high levels of safeguarding for pupils, staff and data
  • Digital Technologies promote quality engagement with parents and the broader community

To book places please email julie.walker@lgfl.org.uk and provide the following information:

  1. Full name, job title, School, LA, email address
  2. London MLE user name (Fronter) if you have one. (For access to programme resources)

Further information can be found at http://www.ngl.lgfl.net/

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

New York and Oaks Park video conference

Students from Oaks Park spoke at the opening ceremony of the London-New York video conferencing partnership, set up by Mina Patel from London Grid for Learning.

Representatives and students from London and New York schools and local government were linked by video conference at the Tower Hamlets City Learning Centre. There was a ceremonial cutting of the ribbon by Lord Jim Knight (former Minister for Schools) in London and Charles Dedrick (District Superintendent) in New York.

Both Lord Knight and the Mayor of Havering were impressed with our students and they also found an appreciative audience in the New York students.

Here is the link to the news on Teachers TV taken by ITN

http://www.teachers.tv/news/82891

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Redbridge school sees Africa United


Pupils from Beal High School were invited to the Mayfair Hotel in Central London on October 15th to interview the actors of Africa United and watch the movie. The interview trailers featuring Beal High pupils can be found here:

Filmstreet - Africa United
(Click bottom left of the screen.)

Film Street is delivered by a partnership of http://www.artistsatwork.org/ and the London Grid for Learning.

Mina Patel

Monday, 22 November 2010

Secondary Fronter User Network

The next meeting of the Redbridge Secondary Fronter User Network meeting will take place at Wanstead High School on the 30th November 2010. The meeting will start at 4:15pm and will last for about 1 hour. It is an opportunity for staff to share news, experiences, highs and lows of managing the Fronter MLE in their environment. The meeting will be chaired by Wanstead High School. If you would like to attend please see your MLE project manager or email me directly.

Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Education City offer for Redbridge

Following an opt-in scheme arranged in Autumn 2008 the London Borough of Redbridge currently holds a licence for 38 schools to have access to the Education City online content. Information about the product is available at http://www.educationcity.com/. The current licence arrangement is due to expire for the majority of these schools December 2010.

We are aware that many Redbridge 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. It is not our 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.

If you would like details of this arrangement please email me directly. I will only be able to provide the offer details to known Redbridge schools' ICT contacts or your school's Headteacher.

Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Redbridge ICT Subject Leaders - THIS THURSDAY!

Final reminder to book yourself on this terms subject leaders course. http://redbridgepdc.org.uk/

Can I remind everyone that you shouldbring a laptop, there will be a limited supply to borrow as normal.

Also more importantly can you bring with you your staffmail username and password.

Thanks

Nic

Sunday, 24 October 2010

ICT Subject Leaders Agenda - 4th November

Hopefully you have all booked on though PDC. If not what are you waiting for. Got to http://redbridgepdc.org.uk/ and search for ICT subject leaders.

The exciting Agenda this time is as follows.

9:00am - Welcome and News


Where we will be feeding back on a wide range of issues across the borough. Including USO and Educationcity.

9:30am – 10:30am

Key theme: Planning your school’s ICT Curriculum -

How do you start reinvigorating your ICT curriculum?

10:40am – Here’s something new…

Whats PurpleMash? 2simple will be along to demo their newest product.

11:00am - Training Experience – Hands-on with online tools

Have you heard of these? Prezi, Busy things, j2e, iBoard

- A chance to learn a new tool.

12:00pm - News from the floor

How have we have saved money?

12:15pm - Close

What events are coming up?


--------------------------------------------------------------------


1.20pm - 3.30pm - Afternoon Session

Choice of 2 sessions.

1. What is G2? How can the class teacher use this flexible tool?

2. Stuck with your learning platform? Not sure where to go next? How to get unstuck!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Redbridge ICT Subject Leaders - 4th November

Sign up now for the first ICT Subject Leaders of the year.

Go to redbridgepdc.org.uk and search for ICT Subject Leaders. Its on Thursday 4th November.

The agenda will be posted on Thursday this week.

Hope to see you all there.

Nic

Highly Commended: Churchfields Infants’ School

ICT Excellence Awards 2010: Best Whole School - London

In the best whole school category, schools must demonstrate that their strategy and vision for ICT stretches across the whole school and beyond and is having clear impact on the outcomes for pupils, staff, parents and the wider community. This award recognises schools that are at the very forefront of transformational use of ICT, who are keen to share this practice and continue to find new ways of working.


Highly Commended: Churchfields Infants’ School and Nursery, South Woodford

Highly commended for continuous professional development and advanced use of their learning platform.

Find out more about this school at: http://www.churchfieldsinfants.redbridge.sch.uk/

Monday, 18 October 2010

ICT guidance for Ofsted inspectors

It is important to note that this guidance is intended only to inform the judgements made by specialist inspectors carrying out subject survey visits. It is not for use on Section 5 whole-school inspections. The statements copied below refer to what is considered to be Outstanding practice. If you are interested in the other ICT statements or other subject guidance notes click here.
This advice was published 30 September 2010.


Achievement in ICT

Pupils show exceptional independence and discernment in their use of ICT. They are able to think for themselves and take the initiative in, for example, asking questions, carrying out their own investigations and in working constructively with others. They show significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity in their understanding and skills within the subject. Appropriate to their age and ability, they make highly effective use of a wide range of equipment and software. Their knowledge and understanding of how to keep themselves safe when using new technologies is extremely thorough and comprehensive. They are highly enthusiastic about using ICT.


Quality of teaching in ICT

Teachers of ICT communicate high expectations, enthusiasm and passion about their subject to pupils. They have a high level of confidence and expertise, both in terms of their specialist knowledge and technical skills and their understanding of effective learning in the subject. As a result, they use a very wide range of innovative and imaginative resources and teaching strategies to stimulate pupils’ active participation in their learning and secure outstanding progress across all aspects of the subject.


The Curriculum in ICT

The imaginative and stimulating subject curriculum is skilfully designed to match to the full range of pupils’ needs and to ensure highly effective continuity and progression in their learning. All strands of the statutory ICT National Curriculum are covered extremely well for all pupils, in ICT lessons or in a planned and monitored way across the school curriculum. Pupils are able to use their ICT skills in realistic and challenging situations. Excellent links are forged with other agencies and the wider community to provide a wide range of enrichment activities to promote pupils’ learning and engagement with the subject. Students in KS4 have access to a wide range of appropriate ICT qualifications, including vocational options.


Effectiveness of Leadership and Management of ICT

Leadership is informed by a high level of subject expertise and vision. There is a strong track record of innovation. Subject reviews, self-evaluation and improvement planning are well-informed by current best practice in the subject and in education generally. Subject leadership inspires confidence and whole-hearted commitment from pupils and colleagues. There are effective strategies to delegate subject responsibilities where appropriate and to share good practice and secure high quality professional development in the subject. The subject has a very high profile in the life of the school and is at the cutting edge of initiatives within the school. Access to ICT equipment is outstanding, and the school is likely to have promoted the use of mobile technologies. The school has a virtual learning environment (VLE), which gives pupils and staff very good access to their work and to the school’s learning resources at all times, and has a significant impact on pupils’ achievement.


Overall effectiveness in ICT

Overall effectiveness in the subject is likely to be outstanding when:
Achievement in the subject is outstanding, or achievement is good and outstanding leadership and management underpin the capacity for sustained improvement in the subject. At least one, of teaching or the curriculum in the subject, is outstanding, and neither is less than good.

Course info: FITS training

The London Borough of Redbridge is an accredited FITS provider, and will be repeating the FITS Practitioner course 4 times this academic year.



  • 11-12 November 2010

  • 23-24 February 2011

  • 3-4 March 2011

  • Cancelled: 31 May - 1 June 2011

  • Replaced with: 16 - 17 June 2011

This course is a 2 day course for ICT technicians and network managers responsible for supporting the school's network. It provides a range of strategies and management approaches to ensure the delegates run an effective support service for their school.







The benefits shown are recorded by schools who have already completed FITS training.


FITS is based on the industry standard ITIL framework and it is a certificated course with a formal exam on the second day. The examining board is SQA and the resulting professional qualification for successful candidates is NQF level 4.




It costs £200 per Redbridge delegate and you can book online using the http://www.redbridgepdc.org.uk/ website.




Alex Rees

Friday, 15 October 2010

Course info: eSafety awareness

On the http://www.redbridgepdc.org.uk/ website listing this course is repeated on three mornings this academic year:
  • Wednesday - 1st December
  • Tuesday - 1st March
  • Tuesday - 14th June
The course is being coordinated by the Local Safeguarding Children's Board enabling education and non-education professionals to attend together. To book on this course you need to use this link to the Redbridge i LSCB training catalogue, and complete this nomination form to register on the course entitled: "Safeguarding Children in a Digital World:e-Safety & Cyberbullying".

The "Safeguarding Children in a Digital World" course is ideal for eSafety Coordinators in schools or other organisations to give a strong grounding in all the key eSafety issues.
On the afternoon of each of these days there will be the opportunity to stay on and formally do the Child Exploitation and Online Protection training, which allows you to use police made education resources with young people. The course is entitled "Half day CEOP Thinkuknow Training Course". It is a requirement of the police that all who attend this course must be able to present a valid CRB form or a warrant card, and current id with a photograph on it.




For further information about these courses please follow the links above, contact the LSCB directly or get in touch with me on the email address below.

Alex Rees






Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Fronter training in Redbridge

We have once again pre-arranged Fronter trainers to be in Redbridge throughout this academic year. They are running courses on Fronter Administration (Basic/Intermediate/Advanced) and Webfronter - the tool that enables schools to create public websites using the Fronter system. (It is always valuable to have several trained administrators in a school to provide backup in case of illness.)

Most of these courses are charged to schools at the subsidised rate of £95 per delegate. To book onto them please use the Teachers' Centre website http://www.redbridgepdc.org.uk/.

Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Which is the best whole school?

Following recently news from the political front line Becta have unfortunately not been able to trumpet the ICT Excellence Awards 2010. That hasn't changed the fact that judging has been done, inspectors have visited and a short list has been published. Two of our own Redbridge schools are waiting to hear the final decision on who is the best whole school for the London area.

Best whole-school - London

  • Churchfields Infants' School, South Woodford, London
  • Gearies Infant School, Ilford, Essex
  • Scargill Infant School, Rainham, Essex
We are incredibly impressed that Gearies Infants and Churchfields Infants have been shortlisted. There are well over 2200 schools in London and for two Redbridge schools to be in the top 3 is a incredible achievement. It is worth mentioning that the third school in the list is from neighbouring borough Havering so here in the East there is clearly much good practice.

The winners will be announced in October and we look forward to hearing the final result. In the meantime, these 3 schools deserve the praise that is due for being shortlisted. Well done!




Thursday, 23 September 2010

Home Access ICT Grant - Thanks a million!


This government grant was designed for families with students studying at KS2 and KS3 who did not have access to ICT at home. Each family could apply for a computer and a year's worth of internet connectivity fully paid for by the Home Access Grant scheme. Many of our schools were very proactive in ensuring their students who were eligible put in strong applications.


Across Redbridge we supported 2080 successful applications across 67 schools. In addition Social Services and the Children Looked After Support Service made a further 30 successful applications on behalf of foster carers.

Given that each grant was worth £528 the success of this project is equivalent to an amazing £1,114,080 additional ICT funding to support students studying in Redbridge.

Well done all those of you who supported this project. The impact of this project is already being seen by the teachers who work with these students, but it will only become truly measurable as these students reach the end of KS4 and start taking public exams. Let us wait with hope to see what a £1m seed into the collective futures of Redbridge children will grow into.

Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Fronter Training`Hands On`@ RTC

Fronter Training (Primary and Secondary hands on workshop )– Tuesday Oct 12th, Teachers Centre

  • The course will run from 9. 15am -3.45pm at the Redbridge Teachers Centre.
  • The training is for teachers with all different levels of experience in using Fronter.
  • Please go to www.redbridgepdc.org.uk to book your place.
  • The workshops will be ran by Mina Patel (LGfL). Rosemary Hunt( Fronter), Rob Spriddle ( Redbridge Primary) and Alex Rees (Redbridge LA).
  • The day course will consist of four different hands on workshops where you may choose which workshop to attend.
  • Please bring your own lap tops with you to enable you to access the wireless internet connection at the Teachers Centre.
  • Agenda below:

Time

Trainer

Title

9.15 – 10.30 (session 1)

Rosemary Hunt

Using Fronter for Foundation and Early years

Mina Patel

Using LGfL content and Fronter

10.30 - 10.45 BREAK

10.45 -12.00 (session 2)

Rosemary Hunt

Using Fronter Learning Paths

Rob Spriddle

Using Fronter for Literacy

12.00 – 12.45 LUNCH

12.45 – 2.00 (session 3)

Rob Spriddle

Using Fronter in Maths

Alex Rees

Using Fronter for Heads for Department

2.00 – 3.15 (session 4)

Mina Patel / Rosemary Hunt

Primary Lesson Plans( KS2 )

Alex Rees

Using Fronter for Student council

3.15 – 3.45 ( END)

Rosemary and Mina

Show and tell & Fronter Tips and Tricks


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

What is a TeachMeet?

Learn something new, be amazed, amused and enthused. This is an informal gathering of those curious about teaching and technology. Anyone can share great ideas they've trialled in their classrooms, ask important questions or simply sign up to take part in learning conversations. Everyone is welcome to join in: teachers from all types of schools, teaching all subjects and age groups. The main part of TeachMeet is hearing stories about learning from teachers. It is a chance for teachers to hear ideas from each other and be inspired by colleagues, along with a whole bucket load of networking to boot!

If you have never been to a TeachMeet, then the good news is that there are two coming up in our local area.

TeachMeet Essex will be held on Tuesday 19th October 2010 at The Pioneer School, Basildon, Essex, starting at 5 pm.
For more information and to sign up-
http://teachmeet.pbworks.com/TeachMeetEssex

TeachMeet East London will be held on Wednesday 3rd November at the CEME centre, Rainham, Essex, starting at 6pm.
For more information and to sign up -
http://teachmeet.pbworks.com/TeachMeet-East-London-2010



Dawn Hallybone

Friday, 17 September 2010

National citizenship film competition for 11-16 year olds

This creative filmmaking competition is open to 11-16 year olds in schools and youth groups across the UK. The competition theme asks students: 'If you could make one law what would it be?'. With support from Parliament's Education Service, teachers and youth group leaders can help participants explore their understanding of lawmaking and its impact on their lives by producing a short film clip. Shortlisted filmmakers will be invited to Parliament for a screening, celebration and award ceremony.

On the 22nd October there will be a free one-day course that will help you combine filmmaking and lawmaking. This practical course will focus on creative cross-curricular planning using the Lights, Camera, Parliament! project as a stimulus for the delivery of Citizenship, ICT, English and Media Studies in your school.

For more information click: http://www.parliament.uk/lightscameraparliament

Thursday, 16 September 2010

LGfL Primary Schools’ Conference - 1st November 2010

There are a wide range of relevant seminars for teachers to choose from, plus key presentations in the plenary sessions. We are very pleased to welcome Professor Stephen Heppell ‘the UK’s leading online education guru’ as our opening keynote speaker.

Mark Ducker, Headteacher of Gonville Primary School, who featured at the LGfL Consortium Conference in July, will explain how he has used the London MLE to great effect to drive school improvement, as well as saving considerable time and money. This presentation follows the Ofsted framework and reveals how Ofsted inspectors came to upgrade their assessment of Mark’s school from good to outstanding before even entering the school through prior access to the school’s MLE.

While there is a strong focus on the use of learning platforms, and the London MLE in particular (the conference is jointly organised with Fronter), the event provides an invaluable opportunity for schools to increase the benefit they derive from a wide range of LGfL services and on-line content as well as the opportunity to discuss individual issues and gain ‘hands on’ experience with LGfL Curriculum Consultants and LGfL supplier partners.

The date has been carefully chosen, being the first Monday after the half-term break, when some schools may wish to take advantage of an Inset closure day and bring the entire teaching staff for a full day of CPD.

As with the successful Secondary event held in July there is a small delegate charge of £48+vat which includes lunch and refreshments through the day. There will also be an opportunity for delegates to take a conducted tour of the stadium at the end of the Conference for an additional £10 fee.

Places are limited and registration is essential (ASAP), and available via www.events.lgfl.net.

Brian Durrant, LGFL

Monday, 13 September 2010

ICT Transition Project

Woodlands Junior School, South Park Primary school and Loxford School took part in a transition project to help year 6 pupils find out more about their Secondary school. The pupils were all added into a shared room. Year 6 pupils were each asked to post questions to year 7 about life at Loxford.


The Year 7 pupils created ppt presentations to answer their questions. Year 6 then voted for their favourite presentation using a debate forum to describe why it was the best one.


Mina Patel

Friday, 10 September 2010

Churchfields Infants’ School, MLE Good Practice

Churchfields Infants’ School in Redbridge have been using the London MLE extensively for all their classes. Three video tours include examples of parental engagement, showcasing work and extending learning from Nursery to Year 2. See examples on the Embedding ICT good practice page.


Mina Patel

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Multimodal Literacy at KS3

Year 8 pupils at Wanstead High School and Oaks Park High School both created multimodal books using windows movie maker and MS PowerPoint. The books were uploaded into a shared room in the MLE. Pupils voted for their favourite books and wrote reviews for each other’s presentations. Sarah Dyer, children’s book illustrator, also wrote her review onto the forums and met the pupils via Video conference to discuss their stories.



Mina Patel

Primary TA ICT Course BOOKING NOW!

Starting next week will be the Primary ICT TA Course.

Over six sessions TAs will be taught a wide range of ICT skills that they will be able to use in the classroom.

We will be covering:
  • How to use Interactive Whiteboards
  • How to use digital cameras in the classroom.
  • How to use a range of Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 and Foundation software.
  • How to effectively use Web resources.
  • How to support SEN and LA children using ICT.
Each school can send a maximum of 2 TAs. No more than 15 schools will be able to attend so places are limited.

They will need to come with a digital camera which is charged and the correct cables and a USB Key to save any work.

If you are interested can you please book all sessions via PDC. (Seach for ICT TA) TA's are expected to attend all sessions and complete some short gap tasks within school. Sessions run from 9AM till 3PM.

Primary ICT TA 1 (six day) 16 September 2010

Primary ICT TA 2 (six day) 24 November 2010

Primary ICT TA 3 (six day) 20 January 2011

Primary ICT TA 4 (six day) 23 March 2011

Primary ICT TA 5 (six day) 18 May 2011

Primary ICT TA 6 (six day) 22 June 2011

Thanks

Nic Hughes

ICT AST and Advisory Teacher

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Maths Transition Project - Manic Measuring

Beal High School working with its two feeder schools, Redbridge Primary and Parkhill Juniors, all took part in a manic measuring project. The year 7 and 6 pupils had to collect data about their schools and add it to a forum in a shared room. Then the pupils were given the task to present their data, and interpret it. They then uploaded their findings into a folder for each other to see.



Mina Patel
mina.patel@lgfl.org.uk

Monday, 6 September 2010

ICT Consultancy 2010-11 - what's on the menu?

Within Redbridge there is a range of additional ICT consultancy available to schools - the 'menu' is listed below. All support packages can be tailored to suit your own school context. If you would like access to one of these packages please email tina.pennells@redbridge.gov.uk in the first instance who will be able to send out a detailed description of what each heading might entail. She will also collate the requests for termly prioritisation.


The list of consultancy packages is as follows:


1: STRATEGIC ICT COORDINATION AND LEADERSHIP
1.1 Whole School ICT Leadership & Management
1.2 Planning Your School’s ICT Curriculum
1.3 Ensuring Quality ICT Learning
1.4 Robust Assessment Of ICT Capability
1.5 Sustainable ICT Professional Development
1.6 Resourcing ICT In Your School

2. MAXIMISING LEARNING PLATFORM EFFECTIVENESS
2.1 MLE Initial Implementation Meeting
2.2 Learning Platform Progress Review
2.3 Teaching With Fronter: Basic Training 1 & 2
2.4 Teaching With Fronter: Advanced Features

3: HANDS-ON PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
3.1 Interactive Whiteboard Usage
3.2 New/Inexperienced Subject Leader Support
3.3 ICT Teaching Support

4: OTHER
4.1 Innovative Technology In Learning Projects
4.2 Games Based Learning Projects
4.3 eSafety Strategy Review
4.4 eSafety Parents’ Presentation
4.5 Enhancing Learning Using LGFL Services4.6 Cluster Projects


All Redbridge schools continue to access ‘Universal Support’ for ICT in the shape of:

(ICT Technical Support can be obtained from the IT Unit by contacting gary.jelks@redbridge.gov.uk.)


Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

Monday, 30 August 2010

Attend a 30min Fronter Webinar


Fronter are putting on some free webinars over the next few weeks.

08/09/2010 - How to...create a test
14/09/2010 - How to ...create hand-ins
15/09/2010 - How to ...use the new ILP
22/09/2010 - How to...use the new Goal Tool
29/09/2010 - How to....use Fronter and Elluminate for learning games and competitions

06/10/2010 - How to....use Creaza for shared multimedia projects
13/10/2010 - How to....run effective Fronter forums
20/10/2010 - How to....use Fronter and Elluminate for creative writing projects

They take a bite-sized 30 minutes of your time for a Fronter trainer to take you through some of the Fronter tools online and after school. For more information click here.

Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

Monday, 16 August 2010

The app-store for Fronter?

Following the recent presentation at the Primary ICT Subject leaders event, the Resource Gateway, from Pearson, is now available for our Fronter schools.

The Resource Gateway provides a straightforward new tool to access and use digital resources within our Fronter platform. There is the opportunity to work with free resources and a useful preview of hundreds of other assets to support teaching and learning across the curriculum. Think of it as the app-store of the Fronter world - your school can add professionally made resources and share them with staff and students to access from home and school. If you already have licences for some of the resources in CD-ROM format, Pearson will give you access to the online versions for no extra cost.

To find out more, please open the Fronter e-newsletter: http://www.fronter.info/uk/news/UK_Resource_Gateway2.html

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Engaging girls - a quick how-to...

A nice 15 minute TeachersTV video of ideas from the secondary ICT environment to get the thinking going at the beginning of a new term. Some key messages that come out of it are:
  1. Context: make it relevant - not exclusively gender-biased
  2. Collaboration: enabling team and pair work
  3. Creativity: set tasks that allow students to show flair and difference





The programme also extols the virtues of setting up a CC4G club (with resources prepared for KS2 and KS3) and points out that when girls do opt to engage in ICT - most obviously at KS4 and KS5 - they often outperform boys with regard to the grades achieved. Also when you take ICT out of the ICT classroom, girls claim to be enjoy using it more.

Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

ICT CPD for free


Naace, the professional association for those interested in advancing education through ICT, has made available FREE on-line continuing professional development opportunities for ICT practitioners. Online courses have been developed and fully evaluated and can be accessed by anyone, simply by registering on the site http://www.ictcpd4free.co.uk/.

Current courses:
  • Monitoring Using ICT –BRAND NEW!!
  • Web 2.0 Visual Learning Collaboration Tools (Primary) –NEW!
  • Web 2.0 Visual Learning Collaboration Tools (Secondary) –NEW!
  • Assessment of ICT in the Primary Phase
  • Assessment of ICT in the Secondary Phase
  • Developing Higher Order Thinking Skills Utilising ICT
  • Embedding e-safety in the Curriculum (short course)
  • Embedding e-safety in the Curriculum (long course)
  • Introduction to finding Digital Resources
  • Exploring Digital Media
  • Finding Digital Resources
  • High Interaction, Reflection and Peer Assessment Through Online Forums
  • ICT Subject Knowledge in QCA Primary Framework
  • Modelling and Models for Learning
  • Monitoring Using ICT
  • Using ICT in Innovative Ways
I have checked some of these out and they are brilliant! If you have a spare hour and you are pondering how to enhance your career - this is a brilliant place to start.

Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

Monday, 9 August 2010

Home Access Grant - final update

If you thought it was all over read this from the Home Access team, written on 5th August 2010.

"Limited funding is still available for around 10,000 grants mainly due to some families choosing not to return their application forms. The telephone lines are reopening to send out additional application packs; as before, grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. Families that have already received application forms, or have been asked to provide further evidence, should return their completed documents as soon as possible or run the risk of missing out. To request an Application Pack families should contact the Home Access helpline on 0333 200 1004."

Could you still make use of this grant?

Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Facebook advice for parents and young people

Several schools have requested a simple guide-sheet that can be given to parents to enable them to have an informed conversation with their children about their Facebook settings. The first version of that guidance is available here.



Please feel free to distribute to parents if you feel it is relevant in your school. Remembering that it is not meant to be an exhaustive "how to..." but it is meant to ensure the parents have an informed discussion with their children, knowing the sorts of settings that can be changed.

If you are a Redbridge school and would like the original document to customise to suit your own school, or you would like to offer some comments on how this guidance should be adjusted, please get in touch.

Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

What does DfE think about ICT in schools?

The Department for Education have just released a paper entitled:
Department for Education addresses £1bn of unrealistic inherited spending commitments

In it they state:
"We have previously announced small cuts of £8m to specialist schools capital, of £15m to the extended schools programme, and of £50m to Harnessing Technology grants, as contribution to the Chancellor’s £6.2bn fiscal consolidation, and in order to make progress this year on the government’s commitment to free schools."

The go on to announce that they will further reduce the Harnessing technology grant as follows:
"Harnessing Technology: £50m. a further saving is being achieved. The programme will now be worth £100m to all local authorities. They have received the first quarterly payment and will get the second, giving them time to plan to reconfigure their broadband and IT infrastructure programmes."

The DfE attempts to pre-empt some key questions:
"Q Does this mean that you do not see IT as a contributor to the improvement of educational standards – you have just also disbanded Becta?
A Appropriate IT is a strong supported of good teaching and learning. It is however now well embedded in schools, and we do not think that further hypothecated capital investment is needed."
Q Does this mean that schools will have to abandon broadband contracts that are essential to a data rich IT environment?

A These contracts are a call on revenue, not capital, funding."


Whatever your opinion might be of the DfE's position LBR will necessarily invest "time to plan to reconfigure their broadband and IT infrastructure". If you wish to share your opinion - you are welcome to comment on this blog. You may well wish to read today's news within the context of the LGFL executive position previously published on this blog.


Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

Help - there are videos of our students on Youtube!

A number of schools have discovered parents busily uploading their memories of children's sports days and school performances up onto the video sharing site: youtube.com. Such videos containing other students can be cause for concern, both to the school and to other parents.


What can be done now that it has happened?

Firstly the school unfortunately has little right of recourse with youtube if you want to remove footage of school events that includes your students, unless the footage for some other reason breaks youtube's Community Guidelines.

However, the students are data subjects, and under the data protection act youtube will remove footage of identifiable children upon their parent's request. On the youtube site there is a Privacy Complaint Report that parents of other children in the footage can use to get videos removed.


How can I prevent the situation from occuring in my school?

Your school policy could outline that footage of school events can be used for personal memories, but must not published onto any public area of the internet, including social networking sites. A reminder of this policy can be put at the bottom of programmes for events. (If you are particularly concerned you could ban parents from using cameras completely but this might be detrimental to parents enjoying and celebrating their child's achievements.)


As with many eSafety concerns the easiest way to remove any content from the internet is always to ask the person who uploaded it to delete it. They will often comply when they realise that it breaches your own safeguarding rules. Most schools ask permission from parents on an annual basis before using their children's images on publicity, prospectuses or any other public material. Given that you have taken care with their child's privacy, most parents will agree to show similar care.


Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

Friday, 2 July 2010

LGfL and Harnessing Technology Grant

The following information has been provided directly by the LGFL trust:

On 18th June, the DfE website published an announcement that £50m would be cut from Harnessing Technology Grant (HTG) in the current year. There could be some concern or speculation that this element of the £200m grant would threaten the continuation of services supplied by LGfL to all London maintained schools. The purpose of this note is to clarify the position and set aside any concerns.

Using funds provided by agreement, by all London LAs, LGfL provides centrally a range of services to all London maintained schools, including the LGfL core network (in effect the ‘power station’ which feeds all schools’ broadband connections) and many other services and resources set out in the LGfL Services Guide (online at www.services.lgfl.net). Also at this URL is a report on the savings achieved for schools by London LAs through the LGfL regional collaboration – over £100m per year.

LAs agree and commit in advance to contribute the necessary funds to supply and maintain these services, under the contracts in place between LGfL Trust and each LA. Each LA will be working to establish how to manage funds locally in order to accommodate the reduction in HTG and to ensure the continuation of LGfL services for schools, meeting the agreed and contractual LGfL contributions, which in fact the great majority have already settled.

I hope this note is helpful in allaying any concerns regarding any impact on LGfL services from the recent DfE announcement.

LGfL has been active in writing and lobbying in a number of ways to draw the attention of Government to what can only be regarded as an ill-informed decision, and is currently arranging for a parliamentary question to tabled in respect to the Government’s future intentions in respect to HTG, and asking the Minister to make a statement.

LGfL has been consulting schools, and LAs have been working together for some time, looking at different approaches to maintain the best possible services, at the best possible prices, whether or not there is, in future a continuation of HTG. Further detail on this will be addressed in the near future in consultation with LAs.

A new publication for schools helping them to make the most of LGfL will be distributed with each copy of the TES in the London region on 9th July – watch out for yours!


Brian Durrant
Chief Executive
London Grid for Learning Trust

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Getting Fronter ready for the end of the school year

During the summer term a number of schools will be in the process of updating their MIS system to prepare for the next academic year. To ensure that the Fronter MLE does not reflect those changes in advance of September, Fronter strongly advise disabling the import of data until such time as a school wishes their next year’s rooms to be created.

Fronter issue guidelines directly to every school explaining sensible steps to ensure the correct data is being used, and to ensure that teaching resources are not lost and ready for next year. It is, in many ways, a digital equivalent of organising your classroom for next year.

In Redbridge there are several opportunities to get support on this procedure.
  1. At the 7th July Fronter Hands-On training session there will be a 30 minute workshop for teachers relating to end of year (EOY) procedures.
  2. On the 21st July there is a EOY workshop for Fronter Administrators to attend. The workshop will be run 3 times to enable administrators to attend at either 8:30am, 11am or 1:30pm. Book on at the www.redbridgepdc.org.uk website.

Alternatively please email Tina Pennells in order to request an additional copy of Fronter's EOY advice sheet.

Alex Rees

Thursday, 10 June 2010

One week to take part in the big consultation

The Redbridge 2010 eSafety Survey

"The rapid growth of the internet and a wide range of personal communication technologies is both exciting in their potential use for building learning and community networking opportunities and concerning in the myriad of new ways for our children to encounter new dangers. Children and young people need to be protected from these risks where possible and need to be educated and supported to develop the skills to keep themselves safe when using technology."

These lines are taken from the opening paragraph of the recently released Redbridge eSafety strategy. The child protection staff within your schools have been briefed on the strategy, the Local Safeguarding Children's Board have endorsed it and set up an eSafety sub-group to action it and all Head Teachers will receive a briefing on the 30th June. As the strategy is enacted there are many things the borough's eSafety team will provide to ensure your school is meeting or exceeding the safeguarding expectation.

Initially we would like you to get involved in the following: The Redbridge 2010 eSafety Survey

The Redbridge eSafety team would like to have a true snapshot of the eSafety landscape here in Redbridge. We would also like to provide for you an outline of the eSafety landscape within your school. An online survey has been set up which we would like at least one class from each key stage from each school to complete. Please email me directly to get access to the survey.

It is intended that students from Key Stage 2 upwards complete the survey although you may want to support younger children to complete it too. It takes about 7-10 minutes to complete, although younger children may take longer. You may like to use it at the beginning or the end of an ICT or PSHE lesson and it will undoubtedly stimulate some interesting discussions.

We will feed back to you the results summarised across the borough and also individually for your school. To do this we would like all surveys to be completed by the end of the school day on the 18th June. Obviously the more children you get involved from your school the more accurate a statistical picture you will have. The immediate results of this survey we will outline back to schools by the end of the month, and a more detailed analysis for your school will be sent to your school by the end of the term.

Thank you very much for getting your students involved in this initiative. We look forward to serve you pragmatically and effectively in ensuring our children across Redbridge are kept safe online.


Alex Rees
alex.rees@redbridge.gov.uk

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Primary ICT Subject Leaders - Friday 25th June

New subject leaders is approaching on Friday 25th of June.


We hope that if you haven't already booked on via PDC, you will do now.


ICT Subject Leaders is for just then morning session again, but we have worked hard to provide some extra opportunities in the afternoon that you will have a choice of.



Agenda.

  • Welcome and News

  • Key theme: Assessment - We will spend on final session looking at this issue and tie it back into what ICT assessment should be based on the NEW Becta Self Review Framework Guidelines. I would be great if you could bring along once again some example of the assessment work you have done with your children.

  • Resource Gateway - New opportunities for Fronter Resources

  • Project Feedback from the Redbridge Games Network

  • Improving your school

  • Training Experience - A whirlwind of ideas of how to use ICT outside the classroom.

  • New from the floor

In the afternoon after ICT subject leaders finishes you will have three opportunities.

1. EducationCity will be running a training session on how to use this resource effectively, as well as explaining some of the new features. (This was requested by a number of schools) You need to email nicholas.hughes@redbridge.gov.uk to state if you would like to attend. This way EducationCity can prepare packs. They will be covering :-

  • effectively navigate through the product & find relevant activities quickly

  • use key features of the resource relevant to your key stage, such as Topic Tools

  • use tests and Revision Pathways

  • plan differentiated lessons to support personalised learning goals

  • monitor whole class and individual children’s progress in SuccessTracker

  • use advanced feature management e.g. Setting a myCity

If there is anything else you would like covered either email me and I'll pass this on to the Trainer.

2. Has your school shown a commitment to ICT? Do you want recognition for the work you have done on ICT? We will be running a session where you can work in a stress free environment to develop your schools response to the Becta Self Review Framework. The new changes to the SRF will be explained and a ICT Mark assessor will be on hand.

3. Go back to school. - Where you will miss out on all the opportunities the above sessions give.

REMEMBER

1. Bring a charged laptop, though there will be a limited amount to borrow.

2. Some examples of ICT assessment that you have done.

We look forward to seeing you on the 25th.

Nic and Alex.