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.