Editorial #163 – Schools out for summer

In this week’s post, to catch up or not catch up, lockdown learning parent survey results, risky digital design, digital parenting week resources, I Am a Festival, thumbs up for emojis, being an older teacher, and a fun prime numbers game.

This is our last newsletter until 2 September and we wish you all a very relaxing summer break. Why not spend a few minutes of it browsing our new brochure and plan some rewarding fun for next term? It’s packed full of exciting computing curriculum and technology-based workshops for primary children and CPD for teachers.

News and resources update

Bett awards 

There was a rare summer appearance for the Bett awards ceremony and, as proud finalists in the support and service to schools category (having won it the previous two years running), we are pleased to congratulate the winners, Plum Innovations.

School’s out for the summer

A survey of 1,150 primary and secondary school school leaders has found that, despite the government’s exhortations, fewer than one in five are planning to run “catch-up” provision during the summer holiday. Just 18% of those who took part in the poll said they would be offering voluntary catch-up provision during the six-week break, while only  5% said they would ask pupils to do extra homework over the summer. Wellbeing concerns are at the heart of the decision with 88% said they felt their staff needed a proper break over the summer and 70% said their pupils needed a break.

Separate research from National Foundation for Educational Research, interviewing senior leaders in 50 schools in deprived areas in England, found that the current approach to learning recovery was “misconceived and inadequate”, with reports of deteriorating wellbeing and mental health among pupils. The report argues that school catch-up plans should give equal emphasis to both emotional and academic support. Read more

  • What are the rules? This handy guide from the BBC sets out what teachers and parents need to know about isolating, testing and masks in schools for the coming term.
Big lockdown-learning parent survey

Now to parents, with more survey data, this time from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Parent Ping, looking at the success – or otherwise – of home learning from parents’ viewpoints. It found four clear challenges that influenced how parents felt about home learning and the top one was the digital divide, with families without enough devices reporting very low success. Balancing remote learning with other responsibilities was also a factor, with 62% of parents saying they struggled to combine home schooling with other commitments. Confidence in supporting learning makes a difference, with parents who said they struggled to understand the work set feeling less confident about supporting learning, behaviour and emotions and reporting lower success of learning at home. The final success factor was parental perceptions of their child’s attitude towards learning and how keen the child is to complete the work independently. Read more

Does digital design put children at risk?

Revealing Realities’ new report, written for the 5Rights Foundation, lays bare how the commercial objectives of digital companies to produce features that maximise time spent, reach and activity translate into design features that impact on children. As well as hearing from children about their experiences, the researchers set up 13-year-old avatars online to validate those experiences. Despite being registered as the age of a child, the avatars were served up sexual content, requests from adults for contact, self-harm and suicide material, crash diets and other extreme body image content. Read the report

Digital parenting week

Looking ahead, Digital parenting week from Parent Zone runs from 11-15 October and teachers can register now to receive free resources, activities and support to hold their own DPW2021 events for parents. Find out more

  • Parents might also find helpful this screen use guide from Compare the Market. It covers recognising the signs and symptoms of unhealthy screen time and gadget use plus practical tips to develop healthier screen habits

Latest blog posts

End of term roundup: media literacy, online safety and Bett awards

Peter Lillington reflects on the past few weeks, from robot and Scratch challenges at our schools to the government’s online media literacy strategy and the Bett awards. Read the blog post

Want more? Check out CLC blog and BlendEd blog

We're listening, watching, reading...

"‘There was a freedom to try things out and see what happened’":
we really enjoyed reading this lovely blog post and heartwarming video about I Am Festival from our friends at A New Direction. The festival was a celebration and empowerment of D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent young people and highlights use of film and VR as tools to engage these students.
"Thumbs up":
emojis can help you connect better, says Adobe and NPR. We certainly know that a lot of teachers used them very effectively during remote learning.
"Jacking in journalism to become a teacher so late in life wasn’t brave – it was desperate":
Lucy Kellaway, who quit the FT to become a teacher in her 50s, is everywhere at the moment promoting her book Re-educated, but this is a nice look at the benefits of being an older teacher.

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Funded programmes

Our large funded programmes offer free courses, events and multimedia resources to develop the skills of school leaders, teachers, students and the whole school community. Our current projects include BlendEd, which helps teachers, school leaders and other educators design effective teaching and learning that makes the most of digital technologies.

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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