Coding event with JTRS Ltd

When we went to the Bett Show – back in January – we met some people from JTRS, next to the Apple stand. Miss Castle and Mrs Jones got talking to them and ended up ordering some iPads through them. They then visited the last Digital Leader Academy we held (back in March with Mark Anderson) and were impressed with our school.

Following on from that they held a Coding and Programming event at our school on Thursday 16th June, which was attended by lots of Primary and Secondary teachers in the North West. We got to try out: Spheros, Drones, Parrots, Lego Education kits, discovered lots of Apps that will support programming and coding and in addition we ran a Makey Makey session! As Digital Leaders, we run lots of different clubs at lunch times and one of them has been a Makey Makey club for Year 4 pupils, which Mrs Rollinson helped us run. It was a great experience for us to share with adults how Makey Makey can enhance lessons such as science and teach pupils about circuits.

The adults all had HotPot too, which they said was delicious! We hope JTRS will come back and hold similar events.

Year 6 Digital Leaders πŸ™‚

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Digital Leader Academy – Day 1

After several months of planning, today saw β€˜Day 1’ of our Digital Leader Academy, which was hosted by the one and only (drum roll please)… Mr Mark Anderson (ICTEvangelist). Having successfully established the role of Digital Leaders at Layton, I’m passionate about sharing their success with other schools and the impact they have on using technology in school to support learning and staff! The aim of the Digital Leader Academy is to support other schools in setting up Digital Leaders and start a support network for the leaders and staff to meet regularly to share ideas.

Today we had five schools attend: Revoe, Claremont, Boundary, St Kentigern’s and Haweside. The day started by discussing roles and responsibilities of Digital Leaders, children were given time to discuss roles they wish to take on, and boy did they want to do every job going! I wish you could bottle children’s enthusiasm!

By 10.15am adults were in need of coffee, wondering how they will find time for all the clubs etc their new leader’s want to run! After break children were given time to design a logo for their new Digital Leader’s group, there were some amazing designs, which were used using PicsArt and Typorama. Next, was the challenge of setting up a Digital Leader blog for each school. Mark showed everyone SeeSaw, which empowers pupils of any age to independently document what they are learning at school. Pupils capture learning with photos and videos of their work, or by adding digital creations. Everything gets organized in one place and is accessible to teachers from any device. Pupil’s work can then be shared with classmates, parents, or published to a class blog. School’s then used WordPress to set up their blogs – St Kentigern’s have never had a blog and were super proud of theirs https://stkentigernblognet.wordpress.com/.

A quick Kahoot quiz then followed, as schools hadn’t heard of it! Children were again buzzing with ideas of how it could be used in lessons. If teachers want to know what to teach then involve children and ask them for ideas… I shared how we used Minecraft for genres in literacy and Maths, every school was then pleading with their teachers to use it.

Lunch saw the largest amount of food, Layton certainly know how to put on a good spread! It was great to sit with other teachers to discuss and share ideas and also how we’re going to continue working together after today. Enthusiasm continued all afternoon with the Digital Leaders using the Shadow Puppet App to create screen casts and put on their new blogs. The Gazette photographer popped in too, to share with everyone the fantastic work children are (and will be) carrying out within our schools. By 2.45pm the Digital Leaders were exploding with ideas and raring to get back to school to: lead clubs, run staff meetings and blog! Staff didn’t get away lightly and were set the challenge of setting up Twitter accounts for the best, free CPD they can have. If staff took just one thing away it would be to set up a Twitter account!

I cannot wait for tomorrow and Day 2 where we have another six Primary schools and one Secondary school attending the Digital Leader Academy. I’m so excited to be on the Digital Leader journey and see where it goes next; through Twitter I have come across many inspirational Digital Leader advocates such as: Sheli Blackburn, Simon Johnson, Louise Stone, Alan Frame, Chris Sharples, Rebecca Layton, James Gibbons, to name just a few, and today would not have happened without meeting Mark Anderson, through Twitter. I feel today has been the start of a new partnership with other schools and look forward to our first #KidsMeet and who knows what the future holds for our inspirational Digital Leaders.

I will add all photos tomorrow…

Mrs Jones πŸ™‚

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Bett 2016 in London

On Friday 22nd January, six of our Digital Leaders along with Miss Castle, Mrs Maddocks Mrs Sheldon and myself had a very early start (7.23am to be precise for them and 7.38am for me) to travel to the 2016 Bett Show at Excel in London. Two hours on the Virgin Train flew by and before we knew it Miss Castle was marching us from tube to tube to DLR to get us to Excel, in London’s Docklands.

I think the Digital Leaders cleared out most stands of sweets and anything else that wasn’t nailed down! We learnt lots and were truly inspired by the Year 2 Digital Leaders from Recreation Road Infant School along with secondary school Digital Leaders from King Edward VI School and Lady Lumley Secondary School’s Leaders. We also got to see Mr Hurst From Leverhouse Primary School (part of our Kaizen network) who was presenting on the Apple stand.

Miss Castle and Mrs Sheldon wanted to have a look round at tech, which will allow visitors at our school to sign in electronically when they arrive, and so Mrs Maddocks and I took the Digital Leaders to a Q and A session at #BettFutures with the fab Mark Anderson. I was extremely impressed with how they joined in his session and they couldn’t resist a selfie with him, which resulted in them winning a copy of Book Creator App.

After waving Goodbye to Bett for another year, and our Digital Leader’s wanting to return on the stage next year, we set off back to the city for Miss Castle’s whistle stop sightseeing tour. We managed to fit in: The Shard, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St James’ Park, Buckingham Palace – where we had a chat and selfie with the most polite police officer in London – tea at Hard Rock Cafe, on Old Park Lane, a quick dash to Leicester Square for some souvenir purcahses – including postcards for our up and coming British Values display then back to Euston! Not bad for a day in London!

As we boarded the 7.30pm train home everyone was still smiling, giggling and sharing memories of ‘the best day ever!’. I couldn’t be prouder of the Digital Leaders we took, not only for all they do in school but for their impeccable manners on the day and their maturity, they were an absolute pleasure to be with and I’ll remember Bett 2016Β  for a very long time!

Mrs Jones πŸ™‚