Editorial #162 – Strategic planning for autumn 2021

In this week’s Editorial#162, strategic planning for autumn 2021, the government’s new Online media literacy strategy, free NT project for primaries, what parents think about phone bans, Mozilla Explains, age verification, Seeing Music, and more...

News and resources update

New online media literacy strategy

The government published its new Online media literacy strategy yesterday. It aims to tackle the spread of misinformation and disinformation by giving people the skills to think critically about what they see and read online and help children navigate the internet safely. The UK is currently 10th out of 34 European countries for media literacy rates and studies by the National Literacy Trust have shown that just 2% of children have the critical thinking skills needed to tell fact from fiction online. The headlines from the strategy are £340k to upskill teachers, library workers, youth workers and carers in media literacy and the creation of an Online Media Literacy Taskforce, bringing together key stakeholders to take collective action to remove the barriers to increasing people’s media literacy. There is also an online portal of media literacy and online safety resources, which we heartily recommend (you’ll see that the CLC appears high up on the list of recommended resources). We’ll be covering the strategy as a whole in more depth in a blog post next week. For now, read the strategygo to the resource list

ProjectEVOLVE evolves

The very useful ProjectEVOLVE, which we’ve mentioned in previous newsletters, from SWGfL and UK Safer Internet Centre, now has a Knowledge Map feature for years 1,3,4,5,7 and 10. Its aim is to reduce workload by recommending resources relevant to the children you teach while giving valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses in their online development. Find out more

Discover Story Seekers

The National Theatre and the Unicorn Theatre have got together on a free online project available to all UK state primary schools. Story Seekers, a six-week creative literacy project, includes filmed theatre performances to guide pupils through the Story Seeker quest, workshops and performances by professional storytellers and training and resources to support teachers to lead the project. It focuses on supporting children to develop their communication and language skills post-pandemic, promoting self-expression and wellbeing. It sounds great – find out more

Phone bans, again

A couple of weeks ago we highlighted ministerial moves to ban mobile phones in schools (even though most schools already have policies). Parent Ping has found out what parents think about the matter. They support a ban on phones in the classroom, although 8 out of 10 say this is already not allowed so, as PP says, ‘it’s a bit like making a law against diving in the shallow end of the swimming pool!’ Only 4 in 10 do not support an outright ban given that lots of parents of secondary school students think a phone is necessary for the journey to and from school. There isn’t even overwhelming support for banning social media on phones in schools. See the PP bar charts

In other poll news, Teacher Tapp revealed that 31% of primary teachers and 38% of secondary teachers have to bring their own coffee to school… Don’t worry, at CLC HQ we always provide teachers with good quality coffee for free!

Mozilla Explains

We like this series of YouTube videos explaining different technologies (and their issues) without using jargon. From ‘what is AI?’ to ‘Is YouTube watching me?’ there’s some good content for all ages. Be explained to

BlendEd – latest resources

Discover the latest BlendEd webinars and self-paced courses. These bite-sized resources are packed full of ideas that can be applied in the classroom.

Latest blog posts

Strategic planning for autumn 2021 and beyond

Strategic planning while simultaneously fire fighting is not the easiest of scenarios but it’s one that our schools are getting very familiar with, writes CLC’s Peter Lillington. We’ve got some bigger picture resources that might help. Read the blog post.

Want more? Check out CLC blog and BlendEd blog

We're listening, watching, reading...

"A technical solution to a social problem?":
Interesting blog post from CAS London exploring the contentious topic of verification of social media users and possible ramifications of a move to linking accounts to real names.
"Can facial analysis create a child-safe internet?":
The Guardian’s Alex Hern takes a look at the various options for age verification using selfies – it’s closer to reality than many realise, he suggests.

Give it a try

Our weekly pick of the best free or low-cost apps, tools and resources to explore

Seeing Music

There’s lots to explore in this interactive digital exhibition on music, visualisation and communication. Can you help an alien AI understand our human music? Or match scribbles to sound? As well as the games (actually an academic research project exploring ‘interdisciplinary collaboration across music, linguistics, cognitive science and art’) there is also a digital exhibition that uses a series of custom interactive slideshows to help you learn more about sensory experience, sensory diversity and how our senses make us human.

Want more things to try? We’ve handily rounded up all the recent Give it a trys – find them in one place in our Give it a try roundup blog post.

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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.

- 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.

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Headteachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
- 14:25

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

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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