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.