Wednesday, 2 November 2011

WorcsICT is moving!

In order to demonstrate what can be achieved with resources available to Worcestershire schools in the current procurement round this blog has been moved to the following location:

Using the simplicity of J2E to author posts and J2Webby to organise the blog we hope to show that blogging really is child's play!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Primary ICT Network meeting resources

Those colleagues who were unable to attend either of the Primary ICT Network meetings can see the main presentation and some of the resources used on Edulink... in Learning technologies... Resource Filter... Recent KS1 and 2 courses

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Should Facebook be available to under 13s? Join the debate...

DigitalME have launched the national Facebook Age Debate hub and they hope you will add your point of view, info and knowledge around the question of whether under-13s should be allowed onto Facebook - officially.

The Facebook Age Debate hub will provide space and resources for people who want to add their views and will also run a series of online polls to gather essential benchmark information around the discussion.

DigitalME are an education social enterprise, based in Leeds. They decided to build this debate hub in response to questions posed by children and teachers who have taken their Safe online safety course, supported by the Nominet Trust.

Join the debate here

Monday, 10 October 2011

The Crick Software blog is now live!

Crick are very excited to announce the launch of the Crick Software blog!
The blog will enable different members of the Crick team to share their knowledge and expertise with customers, and will include:
• Hints and tips from their Curriculum Support Consultant on getting the most out of the software
• Updates on how schools are using their other products besides Clicker5
• International news
• Help from the technical team regarding frequently asked questions
• Advice and announcements

Their current top topic is explaining how a Year 4 class has created multmedia books to record science experiments in a very novel way.

To subscribe to the blog, visit

They are also looking for any news or events that you may have as a result of using their software. This gives you access to a wider audience and an opportunity to celebarate your success.

Friday, 30 September 2011

This summer's Education City Champions!!

Congratulations to St Thomas More Catholic First School who were the top users of Education City activities over the summer holidays. The children completed a massive 2,463 activities in the 6 weeks!

They are also the third most active school in Worcestershire over the past 12 months.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

KS2 ICT Capability survey

Many thanks to the colleagues who completed the on-line survey of KS2 ICT standards. A report will be sent to you in the next few days.

Sadly less than half of primary and middle schools with Y6 pupils in them provided data but thankfully the sample was sufficient to work with.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Changing Face of Worcester

If you need photographic resources to support your teaching about how Worcester has changed over time, look no further then this link to the photo archive at Tudor House Museum
There are 70 albums and in excess of 4000 images grouped into themes such as advertising, time periods, etc.
The museum website is at

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

End of term fun

Check out these end of term fun resources freely available from the TES. Just register as a user.
You can also sign up for a weekly bulletin to receive news of resources as they are added.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Video Conferencing with the Met Office

The Met Office is hosting a series of free video conferences for schools and colleges in England. Offering a unique and interactive aid to learning in the classroom for Key Stages 1 to 4, each 45 minute presentation is bespoke, having been tailored around the questions your students want to ask and is delivered by the Met Office's own weather and climate experts.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Mr Thorne Does Phonics!

Christopher Thorne

Whatever you think about the new reading test  announced by the government to assess phonic decoding skills in Year 1 this site may be useful...
There are 250 videos on the site. At first Mr Thorne's content was all about words and pictures and did not feature himself but gradually he has started to introduce some of his own personality and now this a comprehensive collection covers over 170 different sounds and spelling patterns.
Mr Thorne says "People like them because they tap into the way children learn today. Children are used to sitting in front of a TV, computer or interactive whiteboard for 5 or 10 minutes and the videos are short enough to sustain attention. It is a 21st century way of learning."

Thursday, 23 June 2011

SMART newsletter

The latest SMART Technologies newsletter is published here
It's worth browsing through the elctronic version as there are live links to a variety of interesting resources... sadly the chance to win a Smart slate is only open to Canadian schools!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Schoolstube - a free online video storage and sharing service from TAGLearning

Whilst the popularity of using digital video cameras and video resources in the classroom has brought many benefits, it has also led to many e-safety issues:
• Issues of being able to share videos on the internet safely and easily amongst teachers, pupils and parents
• Headache of safe storage and virus protection of large video files
• Accessing an online video service that isn't blocked by firewalls
• Directing pupils to free video sharing sites where there is a risk of inappropriate material being available

Delivered through, this unique free online video storage and sharing service is specifically aimed at schools and guarantees a safe environment for pupils to explore and share videos.

By signing up, your school will be able to store unlimited video and audio files, broadcast and share files around the globe free of charge. The website is specifically designed for teachers to share lesson resources as well as pupils being able access video and audio content in a safe secure online environment, both in the classroom and at home.

With an existing and ever increasing library of video clips, teachers and pupils have access to a large bank of video resources for classroom projects. Unlike other video sharing sites, SchoolsTube is moderated to ensure that all public content is suitable for a young audience.

In addition your school can create a closed private video and audio channel so that only people within the school can view the posted material, meaning the privacy of content is maintained and supports a robust e-safety policy - and all these benefits come free.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Top Education City users

Congratulations to Saint Thomas More Catholic First School, Redditch, who are the top Worcestershire First School Education City users (3rd Jan 2011 - 16th May) with 7956 scores saved.
St Joseph's Catholic Primary, Worcester, are the top Primary school with a massive 58699 scores saved and Woodfield Middle, Redditch, are the top Middle School with 8360 scores saved.

As the pupils save their scores in Education City, reports are automatically generated to inform teachers of the pupils' progress and where they are encountering difficulties. The program is an excellent tool for assessment for learning.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A wealth of resources from NASA

NASA has masses of educational resources for use by teachers and pupils. Click here to find the index of what is available.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Teaching French and/or Spanish?

For all Clicker5 users, Crick Software have announced the launch of their 3-CD resource for teaching Spanish. This adds to their much aclaimed Clicker French set of CDs and other 'Powered by Clicker5' resources.

Both sets are a carefully structured series to teach listening, speaking, reading and writing in either Spanish or French and use high quality, professionally recorded speech from native Spanish and French speakers. Special Spanish and French speech engines are also used so that pupils' own writing is read back to them with authentic sounding Spanish and French voices.

In both sets, CD1 introduces pupils to everyday vocabulary with lots of listening and speaking activities. The pupils are also able to record, re-record and listen to their own attempts at the language. CD2 builds on the first, offering a further range of activities, with more complex sentence structure in a range of relevant topics e.g. holidays, sport, weather and much more.
The third CD contains three well known traditional stories and introduces new vocabulary not met before. The pupils become language detectives as they decipher the onscreen books whilst the accompanying activities extend and consolidate the new vocabulary and structures.

You can also create your own activities with special templates automatically set to speak in Spanish or French.

Each CD can be bought separately from Crick Software for £50 (single user) or £100 (site licence) or the 3-CD Set can be bought for £250 (site licence).
Contact IBSschools (01905 765175) for a discount on these prices.

Now that the better weather has come...

What better opportunity to engage kids with their learning in the great outdoors than to get them involved with geocaching?

No idea what it is all about? Have a look at as a good starting point. For a bit more info related to education specifically try GPS & GeoCaching in Education

No GPS devices in school? No problem, we have a set available for loan to Worcestershire schools. We can also come in and help you run a session. Give us a call if you would like to know more.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


There are lots of 'post it' type sites out on the internet, but Corkboard requires no sign up or log in, but stores your work on a unique URL. Good for shared brainstorming as children can all use the same corkboard at once and see ideas beginning to develop. Useful for 'What have we learned?' plenaries as well... which can be revisited at the beginning of the next lesson.

UK children's Media Literacy Report just published

The UK children's Media Literacy Report has just been published by Ofcom and can be accessed here. There is a useful summary report as well as access to the full report and the original questionnaire, which could be usefully edited for doing your own inhouse surveys.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

HELLO The 2011 National Year of Communication

Hello, the 2011 national year of communication, is a campaign to increase understanding of how important it is for children and young people to develop good communication skills. Hello aims to make communication for all children and young people a priority in homes and schools across the UK so that they can live life to the full.

Through this website you will find out about the monthly themes that have been devised for the year, free resources to help support children's communication development and find out about events that are happening in your area.

It's easy for you to help children learn and improve their communication skills and Hello is here to help you.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Census 1911 Project

On March 27th 2011 the great census was taken and schools connected to the National Education Network are invited to join a project where they can compare the present with the census of 1911, undertaking their own research with online support and guidance. This is a great opportunity for schools to take advantage of broadband provision and join in this census based research project, that encourages schools to look not just at the census for 1911 but at their own communities in 2011. Free access for schools to the 1911 census online database is kindly provided by until the 31st July, 2011.

Download the census 2011 Training Guide for an introduction to the 1911 census and lots of ideas how to use the project within and outside the classroom.

The census 2011 website provides guidance, links and ideas about how to investigate this wealth of online historical material. Schools cannot only research, but also record, share and discuss their findings with others, using a selection of online tools including: Making the News 2 , Making the News , Discovery Box , Speechmaker , census 2011 Project Gallery .

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Special offer - Attention Small Schools in England!

Limited funding is still available for small schools in England who are applying for ICT Mark accreditation and will be allocated on a first come first served basis! Successful schools will receive a £200 discount from their final invoice. To qualify for this fabulous offer – the school must have less than 100 pupils. 39 lucky schools have gained benefit from the Small Schools Initiative so far! To find out more please contact

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Clipart and images for free

Are you confused by what is meant by 'Copyright free', 'Royalty free' and 'Creative Commons Licence'? The following may help: Royalty free is NOT the same as copyright free - it is a license to use an image multiple times following the payment of a single fee. Copyright free, whether by a clear statement on the website that the resource may be freely used or a similar license statement is just that - in the public domain and free to use in any way. Creative Commons licenses are a third way of obtaining free images but will always impose some restrictions, e.g. free to download and use in your own publications but may not be used for commercial use. You can search for images released under Creative Commons on Flickr by using the advanced search and ticking the box at the bottom. However and wherever clipart or an image is used, the source should be acknowledged as a matter of good practice and pupils should be taught and expected to do this in their work. Further information about licences can be found here: Here are four sites you may find useful for free clipart and images: More than 6000 images in 76 galleries Free clipart but requires SVG (Scaleable Vector Graphic) software to read it such as Adobe SVG Viewer. The clipart can be converted to other formats such as JPegs by using Contenta SVG Converter from . Good quality photos with good search engine. Also shows links to '' photos that are Royalty Free i.e. small cost but can be used many times. American site with world wide appeal.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Creating avatars to engage and inspire learners

Following a hugely successful Literacy and ICT course last month I thought it might be helpful for others to have some of the resources highlighted.

Voki is a free service that allows you to create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog, profile, learning platform and in email messages.  It provides pupils with a way of developing characters in Literacy, giving feedback on their learning in an innovative and engaging way and much more.  It provides teachers with an interesting way of engaging learners. Below is a video tutorial to get you started.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Future of the Self Review Framework for ICT is secured

Naace has been advised that it will be given a licence to run the ICT Mark, endorsed by The Department for Education, for the next 12 months. This is excellent news for schools...

Details have to be finalised and will be made available as soon as possible. Worcestershire schools should feel confident to continue using the SRF and consider working towards ICT Mark.

The SRF has gone through another revision and is now a much more streamlined and user friendly tool for self analysis. Any data already entered in earlier versions of the SRF will have been transferred. Click here to go to the SRF.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Smart Notebook 10.7

SMART Notebook 10.7 supports gestures if you are using a Smart 800 whiteboard allowing you to capitalise on the full capabilities of the multitouch 800 series. 
Use simple, intuitive hand and finger gestures to toss and rotate objects and pan across pages in SMART Notebook software. The software will also support single-finger touch gestures on SMART Board 600 series interactive whiteboards.  For example you can now flick an object across the page on any SMART Board by touching the object with your finger and quickly sliding it across the interactive whiteboard in a flicking motion.
Click here to download the latest newsletter with info on Version 10.7 and much more...