Thursday, 25 November 2010

Another useful e-safety resource re mobile phones

One in five children aged 8 to 16 has had their mobile phone stolen, often by another child or group of children [Office for National Statistics]!

With Christmas just around the corner, many of your pupils will have the latest mobile phone handset at the top of their wish list; download your FREE teaching resources now from Out of Your Hands to ensure they stay street smart and safe from involvement in mobile phone crime.

Activities and Resources: 7-11 year olds - Explore the impact of mobile phone theft; the art of communication and find out about information exchange, with resources for English, ICT and PSHE.

Download the FREE parent and student leaflet: Watch it! Safety Tips for 7-11years:

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Great new financial education resource from the Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide Education is part of Nationwide's commitment to the community. It is primarily a web-based programme designed for use online with computers and interactive whiteboards in schools. It's designed to be stimulating and engaging whilst providing information and hints and tips. Children will enjoy using the interactive games and can use the downloadable fact sheets and work sheets to further their understanding about personal finance and how important it is in their daily lives.
Its Financial Capability programmes for the primary age range include:
The resources can be accessed from the bottom of the page this link takes you to.
Each of Nationwide Education's Financial Capability programmes links directly to guidance on the teaching of personal finance - provided by the then Department for Children, Schools and Families (now the Department for Education DfE); the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and Basic Skills Agency (BSA) - for all ages, as well as the curricula for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Nationwide Building Society employees also visit schools and colleges to deliver lessons and talks on the three core themes of the Nationwide Education web site: Financial Capability, Sustainable Living and Safety.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Save £100 on a new StoryPhone system - existing users

If you are looking to add to your StoryPhone sytems we have just learned of a fantastic offer which is exclusive to existing StoryPhones users.

You can now save £100 on every system that you buy before the end of November 2010

4-way StoryPhones System: Offer price £395 + VAT + P&P

6-way StoryPhones System: Offer price £495 + VAT + P&P

StoryPhones was created by a teacher to give children an easy and versatile way to listen to stories and songs and at the same time develop vital skills for learning.
For current customers only, they have dropped the price of both 4-way and 6-way StoryPhones systems by £100 until the end of November letting you add to your StoryPhones system for less than £400.

Not only that, if you would like to let even more of your children listen with StoryPhones, for orders of two or more systems, they will give you £25 of content credit free, allowing you to add to your MP3 collection from the download store.

This offer is only available to current customers until 30th November 2010. Contact Joanne or Ashleigh at StoryPhones on 0845 652 0906 who will be pleased to discuss your needs.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Good news on Activ Expression voting system pricing

I have just been informed by David Edmunds of  LEB Partnership Ltd that Promethean have recently reduced the price of Activexpression to £1599 rrp per set of 32 and they have continued the special offer on four sets at £5700 (£1425ea) till Christmas... Obviously LEB's two sessions of training, and on going support, is included as normal.
Contact David on Mob: 07809 496547; E-mail:; Tel: 01254 686552

Monday, 13 September 2010

Opportunity to join a visualiser pilot group

We have the offer of 20 visualisers to put into Worcestershrie schools from all phases.  The principle is that you make use of the visualiser for a few weeks and then have chance to buy the unit at an advantageous price.  The only thing we require from you in return is a short case study exemplifying how you used the visualiser and the impact on learning and teaching.
Contact us for further information on
Don't delay... you'll miss a great opportunity to try before you buy!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Steljes will be providing 2 FREE SMART product training sessions for Worcestershire schools already using SMART boards and software.  The sessions are on November 10th (Finstall Centre) and November 15th (Pitmaston House) from 1 to 4pm.  They are designed to support schools to get the most out of their  SMART products and to introduce additional resources which may be of interest. 

Book by e-mailing to reserve a place.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Important information about Promethean Software Support

Promeathean board users are strongly recommended to update their software to the latest version as previous versions will soon not be supported. At the moment the update is free to Promethean users. The following is a statement from Promethean:

Promethean constantly strives to provide its customers with the best possible products to support the challenges they encounter in today’s educational arena. A key component of this process is the withdrawal of older products that no longer meet customer requirements. Promethean would therefore like to inform you that from the end of September 2010 they will therefore no longer be providing support for versions 1 and 2 of ActivStudio and ActivPrimary software. In the longer term support for version 3 of ActivStudio and ActivPrimary software will be withdrawn in September 2011. Promethean however would like to announce that customers can upgrade to its award-winning ActivInspire software free of charge before the end of September 2010.

ActivInspire provides users with a range of benefits not currently available within ActivStudio and ActivPrimary: ActivInspire is the ‘power behind the ActivClassroom and unlocks Prometheans entire range of hardware products, enabling greater pupil interaction. Available in 27 languages, due to increase to 30 and include Polish, Slovakian and Latvian from August 2010. Enables all existing premium and free educational content to be utilised. Offers the opportunity for users to utilise the vast array of Publisher Created Resource e.g. flipcharts. Within ActivInspire the number of Publisher Created Resources is significantly greater than those available with ActivStudio or ActivPrimary.
To learn more about ActivInspire and to download it visit

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Self-review Framework and ICT Mark

The Self-review Framework (SRF) and ICT Mark are continuing for the present and Becta is exploring ways these can carry on after March 2011.
Due to reduced Government funding and the planned closure of Becta the Next Generation Learning Charter has now been discontinued. All information about the Charter is being removed from the Becta website. It is recommended that schools continue to use the SRF and work towards the ICT Mark accreditation.

Becta will not contact schools on an individual basis. There will be no further distribution of Next Generation Learning Charter certificates. However, schools who have engaged with the earlier stages of the Charter are still entitled to display their certificate(s) and Charter logo(s).

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Are you looking for listening resources for EYFS and/or KS1?

Free downloads from StoryPhones

Even if you are not a StoryPhones user you may still download these free resources to play on any MP3 player for your learners to listen to.
Children can sing along with simple versions of traditional rhymes. (Baa Baa Blacksheep and Incey Wincey Spider). The picture resources encourage children to join in or sing the rhymes independently. Great for encouraging communication skills. Guidance is linked to EYFS and Letters and Sounds.

Other free downloads include songs and posters for 'Away in a Manger' and 'Twinkle Twinkle'. Plan ahead for Christmas!

To encourage children's listening and attention skills, StoryPhones have commissioned a special 'Listening Song' by Ingrid Sylvestre, an artist and songwriter. To accompany the song there are also PDFs of the words, a poster and guidance for using the song.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Thinking of buying Smartboards over the summer?

SMART Technologies is celebrating the arrival of summer with a £100,000 summer giveaway full of amazing prizes for your school

How to enter
If your school purchases a SMART Board™ Interactive Whiteboard* between 1st July 2010 and 31st August 2010, you will be entered into the free prize draws for your chance to win one of many fantastic prizes for your school!

Double your chance of winning!
Register your SMART Board™ interactive whiteboard serial number before 30th September 2010 on and you will receive an additional entry into the FREE prize draw - to double your chance of winning!

Grand prize draw
1st Prize: Laptop trolley filled with 30 Fizzbook Spin 10.1" mini-tablet PCs with Win7 Starter
2nd Prize: 1 of 75 sets of SMART Response PE 32 handset kits
3rd Prize: 1 of 100 SMART Slate™ wireless slates
4th Prize: 1 of 500 SMART Board for Dummies® pocket books

Weekly prize draw
Each week one lucky winner will receive a Fizzbook Spin 10.1" mini-tablet PC with Win7 Starter.
To find out more about SMART's three year onsite warranty and to enter the prize draw please visit:

Monday, 7 June 2010

Becta’s Self-review framework has been revised

Over the last year, Becta and partners have worked together on revising the Self-review framework. These changes include:
• a reduction in the number of elements, strands and aspects
• a more streamlined look and feel based on feedback from colleagues in schools
• a revision; taking account of developed use of ICT and new educational initiatives
• all ICT Mark thresholds at level 2

As this work has already taken place it has been decided to go ahead with switching over so schools can access the revised framework from 18 June 2010. Please note that this is a framework revision only and the appearance of the SRF remains the same.

What will this mean for schools?
All data schools have submitted to this date will automatically be transferred to the revised framework. The online tool will be unavailable on the 17 June so that data can be transferred.

Please note that all schools using the Self-review framework will receive an email explaining the changes and how these will affect them. All enquiries from schools are being directed to Becta customer services on 0800 877 8777.

Schools intending to be assessed for the ICT Mark
If a school is intending to be assessed or re-assessed for the ICT Mark by the 31 October 2010, and would like to continue to use the current framework, will need to contact NAACE at for further information. All schools who apply after 31 October 2010 will be required to use the revised framework.

World cup 2010 Textease CT resources

Textease have created a variety of freely downloadable resources and activities using Textease Studio CT tools based on the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
  • Find out key facts about a country participating in FIFA world cup 2010 (this can be input into the associated multi user database (below)
  • A blank multi-user database ready to have key facts inputted about each competing country
  • Locate the countries and identify their flags.
  • Spreadsheets to facilitate recording the results of group matches (with or without formulae)
  • Locate all countries competing in FIFA world Cup 2010 in South Africa and answer related questions
  • Move the name of each country to the correct continent to show its location

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Tux Paint - much improved free software download.

Katie Betteridge from Moons Moat First School has e-mailed me to remind me of a free downloadable paint program, TuxPaint.  She says it has "so many tools and magic effects, its far better than anything I've used before!".

Having revisited it for the first time for a couple of years, I can fully endorse what she says!  It has moved on incredibly and is worthy of consideration for primary school use.  You can set it to limit the tools for younger children and the stamps are a seperate download (for those who love to hate such things and might not want to bother with them!).

If you have a problem downloading it in school, just give the Broadband team a ring and they will stop it being blocked when you need it to be available.

Of course, the children can have it on their computers at home as well, so extending it's use beyond the school.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

2Simple goes PURPLE!

Have you noticed that 2Simple’s online tools have become Purplemash?

Purplemash contains all the tools as before plus 2Type, Simple City, Maths Games and 2Investigate online as well as a whole load of new apptivity templates which are currently being added to daily and are free to non subscribers. Non subscribers can save the children's work locally or print rather than save to a child's own area to edit if they did subscribe.

The free apptivities are for KS1 and 2 and can be found at put in ‘all’ into the search to see all the free activities.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Harnessing a Primary learning Platform

Ian Walford, a Year 6 teacher at Sandford Hill Primary School in Stoke-on-Trent, describes how he uses a learning platform to support learning and engage parents.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The safe use of new technologies

This report, published on February 10th, is based on evidence from a small-scale survey carried out between April and July 2009 in 35 maintained schools in England. It evaluates the extent to which the schools taught pupils to adopt safe and responsible practices in using new technologies, and how they achieved this. It also assesses the extent and quality of the training the schools provided for their staff. It responds to the report of the Byron Review, Safer children in a digital world.

Friday, 16 April 2010

BBC Learning Zone - Class Clips

Brilliant, short video clips for teaching key concepts and ideas. Search by Level (Primary or Secondary), Subject and Topic.
Some are also signed for the deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Animate to the Beat

Do you have any budding animators and/or composers in your school or are you yet to find out?

Kudlian Software are launching an exciting competition supporting the DCFS’s Tune In – Year of Music that challenges pupils to become animators and composers! There are great prizes to be won.
'Animate to the Beat' invites young animators aged 5 to 14 years from schools across the UK to create a character and introduce them through a short animation and a piece of theme music.

Don't be put off if you have no animation software as Kudlian are providing you with a free 5 day trial of their award winning animation software 'I Can Animate' to create your entries.
Follow this link to find out more:

Monday, 29 March 2010

Ofcom's annual Children's Media Literacy Audit

How do the children in your school compare with Ofcom's findings?

  • A quarter of children aged 8-12 who use the internet at home say they have a profile on Facebook, Bebo or MySpace, new Ofcom research revealed recently. These sites have a minimum user age of 13!
  • Thankfully, 83% of these children have their profile set so that it can only be seen by friends, and 4%have a profile that can't be seen. 9 in 10 parents of these children who are aware that their child visits social networking sites (93%) also say that they check what their child is doing on these types of sites. However 1 in 6 (17%) parents of this group are not aware that their child visits social networking sites.
  • Ofcom's annual Children's Media Literacy Audit provides an overview of media literacy among children and young people and their parents and carers. The report also includes internet audience data which showed that amongst 5-7 year old home internet users, just over a third (37%) visited Facebook in October 2009 (but did not necessarily have a profile).
Downloading TV programmes, films and music
  • Downloading or watching TV programmes or films on the internet has increased by 4 percentage points in the past year by children aged 8-15 who use the internet at home (from 17% in 2008 to 21% in 2009).
  • At the same time, 44%of 12-15s say they think that downloading shared copies of films and music for free should not be illegal, with 18% saying they don't know and 38% saying it should be illegal. Boys aged 12-15 are more likely to say it should not be illegal (48 per cent).
Seeing is believing
  • Blogs or sites like Wikipedia where people can add or change information are visited by 1 in 5 (18%) of 8-11s and half of 12-15s (48%) who use the internet at home. Users of these sites aged 8-11 are much more likely than 12-15s to believe that the information on these types of sites is all or mostly true (70% vs 48%) with boys aged 8-15 more likely than girls of this age to believe that all or most of the information is true (59% vs 46%).
  • 2 in 5 users of social networking sites aged 8-11 and 12-15 also believe that all or most of the information on these sites is true (38% and 40% respectively).
  • 1 in 4 12 to15year olds (27%) who use search engines think that search engines only return results from websites with truthful information.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Free Maths games

Have you heard of the free maths website, "Sumdog" from Crocodile Clips? The site is new and well worth introducing to kids. If you have an e-mail address they send you an activation e-mail following sign up. If not you can play as a guest, but you cannot customise your avatar or save your scores.  The games progress through 10 levels and keep the score for you. You can even play against other people worldwide!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Maths Maps

While this is not specifically an ICT subject related resource it is a fascinating way of using a Web 2.0 tool. Click here to try Maths Maps for yourself.

The idea is simple: you explore the Google maps for the Mathematical challenges already added, following the links to open them in a new window. The challenges are colour coded by age. Children need to know how to zoom into the map and change the view... from there on it's all about the Maths!

As a teacher you can also request premission to edit a map.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Engaging pupils with technology

Have a look at this Prezi presentation. It combines video, text slides and graphics in a different way from PowerPoint. You can zoom in and out as required, step forward and back with the arrow keys, etc, etc. It uses all the knowledge and understanding that children develop when using PowerPoint. Why not give them a different environment to work in?
It is free... on-line... and yet completed Prezi presentations can be downloaded and viewed on any computer.
The presentation itself is a remix of some things you may already have seen... and others you might not have done! Think about your school in relation to some of the challenges here

Monday, 15 February 2010

Find Smart Notebook files easily on-line

Why reinvent the wheel! There are so many Smart Notebook users out there it is a fair bet that someone has had a good idea realted to some areas of learning that you are covering. Smart is improving it's support to teachers who are looking for resources... click below to try for yourself.

SMART Exchange beta - England

Friday, 12 February 2010

The safe use of new technologies

This report is based on evidence from a small-scale survey carried out between April and July 2009 in 35 maintained schools in England. It evaluates the extent to which the schools taught pupils to adopt safe and responsible practices in using new technologies, and how they achieved this. It also assesses the extent and quality of the training the schools provided for their staff. It responds to the report of the Byron Review, Safer children in a digital world.
Download the report here

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

CEOP and Microsoft working together

Microsoft have worked with CEOP to create a version of Internet Explorer 8 with the CEOP tools built in. You can access these from If you already have IE8 you can just download a plug in to achieve the same result.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Early Years blogs

Take a few moments to delight in some of the offerings available from New Zealand via this Early Years blog. Parents must find it really valuable to ba able to see their children at work in 'kindy' (nursery) and what must it do for the children's sef esteem to see themselves in starring roles? Click here for Naketa's early childhood blog
Naketa is a qualified early childhood teacher with over 10 years of experience in the sector. She is currently working for CORE Education Ltd as a Regional ICT Facilitator Here you will find a mix of random musings about life, Pasifika/Māori delights, Music, ICT, Early Childhood Education and more.

Latest news from Crick Software (creators of Clicker5)

We have just received this news bulletin from Crick Software detailing their new offerings:

"Clicker SuperDrive
One of our top sellers at BETT, the Clicker SuperDrive delivers over £5000 worth of software for just £1200. It includes all the currently available Powered by Clicker resources on a highly desirable 320Gb USB Hard Drive. Having all this content would normally involve installing 64 CDs, but with the SuperDrive, you're up and running in minutes, and it includes a site license for the whole school!

ClozePro Version 2
With schools looking for good assessment tools, this is going to be another very successful product for 2010. ClozePro enables teachers to produce powerful assessment activities in minutes, with the results automatically recorded anywhere you like on the computer or network.

Clicker Tales
Three traditional tales beautifully illustrated and with a new range of Clicker 5 activities, specially designed for speaking and listening. Great for Early Years and very low cost too!

Clicker MFL: French
Sorry we haven't had time to put it on the website yet, but I think this is the best Powered by Clicker resource we've ever done. There's extensive use of Clicker's sound recording, so you can practise your pronunciation, and it really does work - after 4 days of showing it at BETT, all the staff here are now fluent (well, almost)!"

For further details see Crick's website at or come to the Finstall Centre and try out some of the titles from the software library. Email to arrange an appointment.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

2Simple on-line tools put to the test

A small group of children from Westlands First School have been trying out the 2Simple on-line tools for about half a term.
They were presented with the on-line tools, accessed via the Worcestershire Learning Gateway as they are now shibboleth enabled, and then left to get on with it! Apart from a little task to create a poster or programme front for their Christmas play they were very much left to their own devices to decide what to use, for what purpose and when they chose. They came together occasionally to share with each other and their ICT Co-ordinator some of the things that they had done.
They have now begun to teach other children and teachers how to get to the tools using global ids to access the Worcestershire Learning Gateway.
Have a look at the video in which they show some of their work and share their opinions of the 2Simple resources on-line.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

You know about Ictopus... What about Pictopus?

Pictopus is a sister resource to Ictopus providing a superb searchable set of photos of great use in the classroom. is the url... pass it on to the rest of you staff.

Of course, if you haven't sampled the resources on Ictopus sign up and capitalise on the Lessons2go, as well as the other goodies available to help any primary teacher.

Monday, 18 January 2010

New Hector’s World Episode

The latest Hector’s World episode titled “You’re Not Alone” is now available.

This resource is aimed at 5-7 year olds and deals with the issue of cyberbullying, encouraging children to be nice to one another.

WriteOnline in a box

Worcestershire Middle Schools especially take note -WriteOnline (WOL) is now available as an installable CD to all subscribing schools. i.e. you do not have to have internet access to use Write Online.

Not all schools experience the best in internet connections for all students which can make using WOL a little frustrating. With this installed version of WriteOnline all the features and functions, wordbars, predictive text, speech support and document analysis are still available. If you do wish to access personal or school online folders, simply click on to the folders and you will be prompted for your user name and password to give you access to the internet. Documents and wordbars can be saved to the school network or Learning Platform in the usual way if you don't have internet access. Pupils may access their work from anywhere with an Internet connection and continue with WriteOnline online.

Watch this space for news of events where subscribing schools (including all Worcesterhsire Middle Schools) can pick up their FREE CD, receive a little more training and information about the new WorkSpace feature. This is a dynamic new visual mind mapping tool that’s part of WriteOnline.
If you would like more information about Write Online for your school please contact

New titles added to the Powered by Clicker range

Are you Clicker5 user?
During my visit to BETT this year I visited the Crick stand to check out what was new in their 'Powered by Clicker' range and was delighted to discover the following:
Clicker MFL: French – The perfect language learning tool for KS 1 and 2. Its engaging with loads of activities and brilliant for the non-specialist MFL teacher. Why not learn alongside the children? Other languages are in development.
Clicker Tales – Traditional tales told the Clicker way. This CD comes with loads of supporting materials and supporting literacy activities.
Widgit, SymbolStix and Mayer-Johnson symbols are now available to use in Clicker5 and ClozePro to support learners with special needs.

If you would like training in the use of Clicker5 and/or any of the Clicker products please contact

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Why use Success Tracker in Education City?

You would be amazed how many children choose to revisit Education City activities and tests to improve their scores once they have been introduced to Success Tracker!

  • Are you getting full value for money from Education City?
  • Are your teachers using features which could help to inform their planning?
  • Are your pupils being credited with Ed City work done at home or outside the normal school day?

Many Worcestershire schools are not yet making use of the facility in Education City to track children's progress through the Success Tracker. Find out some of the features by playing the video below.

All you need to do is to send pupil data to Education City. Once they have set it up for you the system will record every attempt pupils make at any given activity. Teachers can get an overview of their performance in each activity or test and use the data diagnostically to check misunderstandings.

If your school needs help to get started, get in touch and arrange a training session by phoning Amanda Hawkins on 01527 570566 or e-mailing

Monday, 11 January 2010

Comic Life

For such a simple piece of software Comic Life has been a resounding success in many of our schools. We have examples of really interesting uses of the software ranging from anti bullying comics to Science information booklets.

If you have examples of ways in which children's learning has been supported with Comic Life please share them via the blog.

If Worcestershire schools would like to purchase licences at £1 per PC...
yes, that's ONE POUND per computer,
e-mail and you will receive download details and a licence. Payment is via internal transfer from your school budget.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

BETT 2010

Are you joining the coach for the annual Worcestershire pilgrimage to BETT this year? Going down under your own steam? However you get there leave some comments here to let other people know what you found that was interesting to the first, primary or middle phases.

Add anything you like that you think others should know about... regardless of cost, platform, etc. All schools have different budgets and needs. Sadly, many colleagues are unable to be released from school to see what is new and exciting in the world of educational ICT... share your thoughts and help others in the Worcs ICT community to keep up to date.