Give it a try – our pick of the best free apps and tools

Each week in our newsletter we highlight a favourite free or low-cost app/tool/resource/piece of software and give a brief rundown of how you might use it in the classroom. Every month we’ll be rounding them up here on the blog. We’d love to hear what you think about them if you give them a go, and any others you’d like to share – leave a comment in the box below.

Introduction to Explorify from Explorify on Vimeo.

Exploring science
Explorify is a new free science resource for primary teachers from the Wellcome Trust that uses high quality content from the Science Museum, BBC and Eden Project.  It’s perfect for screens in the classroom and to use a little or a lot (there are new activities every week).

Busy Shapes 2
This new app from Edoki Academy, who create apps based on Montessori methods, have brought out this mesmerising and engaging app aimed at EYFS for exploring shapes and developing reasoning skills. There has been much talk of the power of computational thinking and approaches, this app will start pupils reasoning and problem solving skills early on. It may be designed for children but be careful, it is very addictive!

Post-its
Padlet
is a free online tool that digitises a wall of post-its. Once you’ve signed up, you can create a page with a shareable link onto which your students can post ideas, favourite facts or links to interesting things. It’s a fantastic tool for collaborative research and the page can be saved and revisited at any time, making it a really useful way of showing progression and evidencing learning. There is also a paid-for, more secure version aimed at schools.

Creating YouTube playlists: why you need them and how to make them
Ever thought of uploading a screencast to YouTube, adding it to a playlist, and then sharing that playlist? This video tutorial walks you through it.

Moving words
Remember magnetic poetry? Now you don’t need magnets…or a fridge. One of our favourites is the
Word Mover app which takes all the fun of fridge magnet poetry and puts it on the iPad. You can also try a similar, but slightly more limited, online version of the original.

Can’t wait for the roundup? Sign up to our newsletter to get a new ‘give it a try’ in your inbox every Thursday. (Sign up via the big box on the home page!)

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Upcoming CPD

Maths and digital technology forum for primary teachers
Maths and digital technology forum for primary teachers

The maths forum provides an opportunity for maths subject leaders to share their expertise and investigate new opportunities for digital technologies to support maths teaching and learning in class and online at home. The forum combines discussion with colleagues about school-wide progress in mathematics, with hands-on activities led by a CLC teacher, demonstrating how technology can be used to support maths. Activities will include programming in Scratch 3, which offers a practical way to illustrate and explore key mathematical concepts such as shape, space, position and direction.

03/11/21,
09:30
- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...
Using technology to enhance assessment and feedback in primary schools
Using technology to enhance assessment and feedback in primary schools

Discover how digital technology can change the way we assess pupils’ work. We will demonstrate how teachers can use technology to monitor, evidence and respond to pupils’ progress in school and learning online remotely, and how pupils can use technology to present and reflect on their learning. We will outline a range of approaches to help assess and evidence learning across the curriculum.

16/11/21,
09:30
- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Headteachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
25/11/21,
09:30
- 14:25
KS2

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

The Garden Museum
21/02/22,
-
KS1

The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.

Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.

  • How are they planted?
  • How do they spread?
  • What is inside them?

 The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.

These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.

There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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