Pupils' Work
Written by Lesley   
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 12:29

KS1 pupils we have worked with are very proud of their computer games; what do you think of them? Please enjoy looking at them and if you have any comments, get in touch using our Contact Us form. The selection below are by Y2 and based on the story 'The owl who was afraid of the dark.'

We are future computer game developers
Written by Lesley   
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 11:37

This term we worked at Garrett Hall Primary, for 12 weeks, as their specialist ICT & Computing teacher, delivering 4 lessons a day to KS1 & KS2 pupils. Working with both teachers and pupils, we implemented a series of CPD support strategies, including demonstration lessons, team teaching, reflection and planning next steps, along with intensive teaching for the pupils. Evaluations of the programme are still being collated, but initial feedback can be found here.

Working on a fortnightly cycle with teachers and Y1, Y2, Y4 and Y5 classes, we blitzed a great chunk of the new Computing curriculum, with planned, cross-curricular computer game making and programming taking place. All lessons were planned into the classes' curricular themes:

KS1 - Ourselves and other animals, Science and PHSE&C: Healthy Eating, Literacy: 'The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark', Geography - a visit to the seaside

KS2: History: World War Two and Geography: Mountains and Rivers

We are great believers that Computing must still be taught in a cross-curricular way, wherever possible. Our evidence shows that this helps pupils make connections within their learning and they remember more in doing so.

In this photo on the right, taken by a pupil, Lesley is seen supporting pupils in Lower KS2 in evaluating their Scratch programs. The photo was taken by a pupil! Incidentally, also, the display above the pupils shows the work completed by KS1 pupils, focusing on computer game making with 2DIY.

In the final photo you can see some LKS2 pupils debugging their programs in Scratch. Pupils naturally debug (all the time!!) as they are developing their programs because they just cannot resist testing their work and playing their games! However, we have found that a more formal approach to debugging is also required, to ensure pupils think through the alternatives and select the best method of improving algorithms, otherwise progress can be slow going and pupils can become disheartened when they know what they want to do but can't work it out for themselves.

While we have seen both boys and girls make progress generally in computer programming, particularly understanding terminology and application, girls have really thrived. We have a few ideas about why this is and one suggestion is in the nature of programming, the use of logic, discussion needed and understanding of language itself. When we have more evidence of this we will share our findings.

To view some of the KS1 games click here.


If you would like to find out more about how we can help your school with the Computing curriculum, please do get in touch, we will be only too pleased to offer support.

What is Safer Internet Day?
Written by Lesley   
Thursday, 21 November 2013 11:03





Safer Internet Day (SID) is organised in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre in February of each year to promote the safe and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones for children and young people. Safer Internet Day 2014 will take place on Tuesday 11th February 2014, with the theme ‘let’s create a better internet together’. The day offers the opportunity to focus on both the creative things that children and young people are doing online, as well as the role and responsibility that all stakeholders have in helping to create a better internet.

The UKSIC provides Safer Internet Day specific resources and support for children and young people, parents and carers as well as teachers and school staff and facilitates a wide range of organizations to join together to amplify the safer internet message.



Every year we support the UK Safer Internet Centre by promoting their SID events and organising some of our own. Click here to find out how we do this.

The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading charitable organisations, Childnet International, the South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). These organisations are committed to working to make a safer and better internet. All partners recognise the unparalleled opportunities the internet offers and actively encourage its positive use for social, leisure, economic and educational advancement. The partners all work towards the Childnet target; to make the Internet a great and safe place for children.

The UK Safer Internet Centre is online at www.saferinternet.org.uk. How can you get involved? Click here to find out.

Supporting Safer Internet Day 2014
Written by Lesley   
Thursday, 21 November 2013 10:24

Every year we look to offer schools a selection of support for e-safety and to support and raise the profile of Safer Internet Day.

Let's Create A Better Internet Together

While Safer Internet Day is a one off event, its key messages are of daily and year-long importance. We (parents, teachers, grandparents...) need to keep reminding pupils of ways to keep safe online, while also recognising the true value of the internet. The internet does change, rapidly, but scaremongering of its dangers is not always helpful; rather we should celebrate the positive elements of the internet, while reinforcing its safe usage. Being a CEOP Ambassador, Lesley, our consultant, is keen to work with schools and support CEOP and the UK Safer Internet Centre, in as wide a variety of ways, to continue sharing these important messages, helping to keep children safe.

How do we do this?

Last year we ran a series of e-safety events, some pre-arranged and some requested by schools

  • Our first ever Internet Safety Event in February, supporting schools with their preparation for Safer Internet Day and meeting Ofsted's expectations, attended by 18 senior leaders and e-safety leaders
  • 5 half day courses looking at the e-safety curriculum for TAs, KS1 and KS2 teachers, where we explored the wonderful resources freely available on the web along with a selection of materials we collated
  • 4 parent e-safety workshops
  • 4 e-safety assemblies with KS1 & KS2 pupils
  • A Cyberbullying Day consisting of assemblies, lessons and staff meeting
  • An inset day
  • 5 e-safety staff meetings, including some Thinkuknow training courses
  • All our ICT Subject Leader courses included an element of e-safety
Phew! So, what are we doing this year?

Our Internet Safety Event was so popular last year that we have decided to re-run it on the afternoon of the 23 Jan 2014. This time we have a new venue, St Peter's Pavilion, Hindley, in a large airy room with plenty of light and space to relax and work. The event will aim to
  • Help schools prepare for Safer Internet Day
  • Update colleagues on Ofsted's latest expectations
  • Inform colleagues of general e-safety updates to be aware of (and there are quite a few!)
  • Share some of the newest resources out there for learning and teaching
The course is almost full, so don't leave it too late if you want to book. We expect the course to be full by the end of term.
In addition, we have already led an INSET and two staff meetings on e-safety, one CEOP Thinkuknow training course, and been booked for the following:
  • An e-safety audit in a Leigh primary school
  • An afternoon parent workshop on Safer Internet Day itself, in a Hindley school
  • A full afternoon Safer Internet Event at a Leigh school in January consisting of 2 assemblies, a parent workshop and staff meeting
All before 2014 even arrives. Wow, we are going to be busy!
To find out more about Safer Internet Day and what it is, click here.


We are programmers!
Written by Lesley   
Thursday, 07 November 2013 14:15

At day 1 of our 2 Day Intensive Subject Leader Course yesterday teachers became computer programmers!

We looked at a number of programs available and considered how we could create computer programs that link with our teaching plans.

Here you can see some of our enthusiastic delegates writing algorithms to program dancing snowmen!

This delegate had loops going on in her program.

Here is the same delegate applying her skills to an interactive Christmas scene.

And finally, a shot of me supporting colleagues!


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