Thursday, 19 December 2013

Primary - National Curriculum Guidance

CAS, in association with Naace and other partners are delighted to publish this guide for primary school teachers.  The guide explains how primary teachers can get started with the new curriculum and provides many pointers to excellent resources and ideas for building an innovative and exciting curriculum.
It's a really exciting time to be a primary school teacher. Don't be daunted by the changes in the move from ICT to computing. Rather, see this as an opportunity to develop your own knowledge about computing and to learn to program, if you've never had the chance before. Although this might sound like hard work, it's actually great fun. You'll find that you make better use of the technology you have at home and in school, and also that you start to think a bit differently, looking at systems and problems in the same way a computer scientist does.

Monday, 16 December 2013


from Rachel Jones blog  is a web based tool that lets you record a two and a half minute long screencast using either audio or video to narrate.
 teachers could use this to record feedback on student work, or to make short videos for flipped learning. I think the more exciting option for use in the classroom is to use it as an assessment for learning tool, and have students use it to create plenaries videos, revision materials, or even to set it as a homework task to make a PixiClip. The interface is very simple to use, and I think would be accessible to children of all ages. Learners could make use of it as a reflection tool to think about their own work, after uploading images of completed activities. There is also scope to use PixiClip collaboratively, as more than one learner could input on the audio or video narration.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Wildern Radio's First Broadcast

Wildern Radio's awesome team of producers, presenters, researchers and technical operators have produced their first show of the year! Featuring... Sam The Weatherman and the Year 8 Undefeated Football Team.

Click here to download and listen to the first Wildern Radio broadcast of the year. The show will also be played at lunchtime Wednesday 11th December.

See more on our Blog

Thursday, 14 November 2013


We are always learning just learnt this from my team.  Now shared and using with my class this morning.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Should Qatar be allowed to host the World Cup in 2022?

This weeks WOW comes from the world of sport

Should Qatar be allowed to host the World Cup in 2022?

Following an investigation from the Guardian there are claims that the World Cup facilities are being built by migrant workers in poor conditions and 44 people have already died. 

Moreover, there are also concerns over the heat in the summer and the health implications on the footballers

Questions to consider...

Should Qatar be allowed to continue to build stadiums in such poor facilities? Does Fifa need to step in or is it none of their business?

Are the concerns over the heat in the summertime genuine? If these are the greatest footballers in the world shouldn't they be able to play whatever the conditions? 
Does it give footballers from hooter countries an unfair advantage?

Have you considered using Talking Chips to structure this debate?
Information can be found here.. Kagan Structures

Monday, 30 September 2013

WOW of the Week - Stoptober from The Wildern Wellbeing Group

The first of October sees the start of the Stoptober Campaign, which is a 28 day challenge to quit smoking by the NHS. 

Can you stop a bad habit for stoptober, whether it is smoking or something else that you could stop during the month of October to complete the 28 day challenge? The Wellbeing Group challenges you to give up a bad habit or take up something good for October? 

Pledge your Stoptober on the postcards in your registers and display it on your tutor room display boards. Remember to say if you are starting or stopping.

Stop smoking
Stop eating lots of unhealthy food
Stop being lazy
Stop not wearing a helmet when on my bike
Stop handing homework in late by handing in on time

Start a new sport
Start eating 5 fruit and veg a day
Start being more organised 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

How To Post Tall Pictures On Blogger

Posting large images (taller or wider than 1600px) is a bit of a challenge on Blogger. This is because Blogger decides to shrink them to 1600px. In practice, I do think there isn't much need in posting images wider than 1600px. However the same can't be said for images taller than 1600px. Infographics for example are almost always taller than 1600px.

As you may know you can choose the size for each image you post from five size options: Small (200px), Medium (320px), Large (400px), X-large (640px) and Original Size (full size with the cap of 1600px).
resize tall image

To post a tall/wide image your only option is to choose "Original Size". But "original size" here holds true only  for images no larger than 1600px. For larger images, they will be resized down to 1600px! No kidding.
Does that mean you might as well give up on posting your awesome 4000px tall infographic? No, that's not necessary because there is still hope. Checkout this post:
Notice how tall the infographic is? (It measures 466px x 2560px. Click on it to view an even larger image, which is the original size of 700px × 3,843px).
Here is how you can post your own tall image or infographic on Blogger:
  1. Upload the image and set it to "Original Size".
  2. Switch the post editor to HTML and locate the code for the image. The code should look something like this:
    <a href=""><img border="0" src=""></a>
    The second URL is the source URL for the in-post image ie. the image that appears in your post. The first URL is the hyperlink to another version of the same image, which is viewable separately upon clicking on the in-post image. 
    Notice that both URLs are exactly the same, and they are resized to 1600px tall, indicated by the size variable "s1600" (highlighted in red) in the URLs.
  3. Modify the hyperlink (first URL) so that it links to the original (full) size image. This can be done by replacing "s1600" with "s0". Setting the size variable to "s0" will get you the full size, no matter how big it is. This will let your readers see the full size version when they click on the in-post image.
  4. Next, let's fix the in-post image. To increase the height (thus making the image larger), you simply replace the size variable with a larger value. I know many blogs say that you can only resize up to 1600px, but they are wrong.You can actually resize it up to 2560px (s2560)! Say you want to resize the in-post image to 2000px, then simply replace "s1600" in the second URL with "s2000".
    (You don't usually use "s0" for in-post image because most of the time a full size infographic is wider than your post area.  Besides a  full size infographic takes longer to load due to it's large file size).
    So in the end your image code will look like this:
    (this is the actual code used for the infographic in the demo post)
    <a href=""><img border="0" src=""></a>
  5. Preview your post before hitting the Publish button.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


Just something I stumbled across. Video for Arcade Fire's new single has been created with Google and other tech stuff to be user-controlled

"Reflektor" (which you can watch at takes user interactivity one step further, by having users effectively be the special effects editor for the video, using a mouse or a mobile device, and also using the computer's webcam.

Info about the technology behind it is here, which can also be accessed when the video finishes (all 7 mins of it!)

Might be useful for something...

online poster creation

Good online poster creation website, year 7s liked it

Remove your social media from Google search

About to interview for a new job or just tired of your every thought landing in Google search results? Here's how to stop that from happening in the future.

(Credit: created on by Nicole Cozma/CNET)
Many social media sites offer options to help protect your privacy on the Web. You can make your profile private, which won't allow anyone you haven't approved to see your information, or you can remove your name from the account and use a different nickname that only friends would look for.
However, these changes will only affect your content moving forward, not the stuff you've posted in the past. So if you're just seeking a quick fix to get your personal thoughts and pictures of past and present out of the results, this is how you can do that.
First you'll need to copy the URL for your profile. Using my Twitter profile as an example, the link would look like this: Once you have the link you'll need open Google's Content Removal page -- you may need to log in to Google services again when you get there. Click the Create new removal request button and paste the link. On the next page that loads, you'll be able to remove cached content associated with the page you're having removed. In order for Google to allow this, you'll need to provide a piece of information that appears on the cached version but not the live version.
(Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)
After submitting the cached information (if necessary), you will see the status page load again detailing your request along with the date. You can also cancel the request if you've changed your mind.
There's no set time on how quickly the information will be removed, so if you need your information hidden from results because you're interviewing for a new job soon, submit your request as soon as possible. Also, Google notes that not all links will be removed from search (detailed here), so you may just want to be mindful of the thoughts and pictures you share on the Web if they will impact you negatively elsewhere.
Not enough separation of social media and search engine for you? Check out Dennis O'Reilly's five ways to depersonalize Google search results.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

pressure cookers, backpacks and quinoa, oh my!

It was a confluence of magnificent proportions that led six agents from the joint terrorism task force to knock on my door Wednesday morning. Little did we know our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching. Someone whose job it is to piece together the things people do on the internet raised the red flag when they saw our search history.
Most of it was innocent enough. I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack. And maybe in another time those two things together would have seemed innocuous, but we are in “these times” now. And in these times, when things like the Boston bombing happen, you spend a lot of time on the internet reading about it and, if you are my exceedingly curious news junkie of a twenty-year-old son, you click a lot of links when you read the myriad of stories. You might just read a CNN piece about how bomb making instructions are readily available on the internet and you will in all probability, if you are that kid, click the link provided.
Read More on this article by 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Heatwave Bananagrams

YouTube Copyright Basics

Colleague of mine just heard from a parent of one of our  year 7 pupils that they are being threatened with being sued because of something they uploaded to their YouTube account

You might want to show this YouTube guide to copyright with your classes

Friday, 5 July 2013

The life of Pi: how Britain's biggest hardware hit for a generation came to be

This article was taken from the July 2013 issue of Wired magazine. Be the first to read Wired's articles in print before they're posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online.

Moments before Amy Mather is due to give the closing presentation at the Raspberry Jamboree being held in Manchester, the creator of the computer which inspired her talk faces a fresh challenge.

Pete Lomas has created a credit-card-sized micro-controller that sells for £16, but his current problem can't be solved with a soldering iron: he needs to figure out where Mather should stand so she can use her computer while still visible to the audience. Mather -- who goes by the Twitter handle@MiniGirlGeek -- is just 13 and not tall enough to be seen when standing behind the podium.

Read more here

Welcome to computing - Get into Teaching

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Buzzer training for Python

# Receive and Return
# Demonstrates parameters and return values

def display(message):

def give_me_five():
    five = 5
    return five

def ask_yes_no(question):
    """Ask a yes or no question."""
    response = None
    while response not in ("y", "n"):
        response = input(question).lower()
    return response

# main
display("Here's a message for you.\n")

number = give_me_five()
print("Here's what I got from give_me_five():", number)

answer = ask_yes_no("\nPlease enter 'y' or 'n': ")
print("Thanks for entering:", answer)

input("\n\nPress the enter key to exit.")

Computer mouse inventor Doug Engelbart dies at 88

The inventor of the computer mouse, Doug Engelbart, has died aged 88.

Engelbart developed the tool in the 1960s as a wooden shell covering two metal wheels, patenting it long before the mouse's widespread use.
He also worked on early incarnations of email, word processing and video teleconferences at a California research institute.
The state's Computer History Museum was notified of his death by his daughter, Christina, in an email.
Her father had been in poor health and died peacefully on Tuesday night in his sleep, she said.
Doug Engelbart was born on 30 January 1925 in Portland, Oregon, to a radio repairman father and a housewife mother.
'Mother of all demos'
He studied electrical engineering at Oregon State University and served as a radar technician during World War II.

He then worked at Nasa's predecessor, Naca, as an electrical engineer, but soon left to pursue a doctorate at University of California, Berkeley.
His interest in how computers could be used to aid human cognition eventually led him to Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and then his own laboratory, the Augmentation Research Center.
His laboratory helped develop ARPANet, the government research network that led to the internet.
Engelbart's ideas were way ahead of their time in an era when computers took up entire rooms and data was fed into the hulking machines on punch cards.
At a now legendary presentation that became known as the "mother of all demos" in San Francisco in 1968, he made the first public demonstration of the mouse.
At the same event, he held the first video teleconference and explained his theory of text-based links, which would form the architecture of the internet.
He did not make much money from the mouse because its patent ran out in 1987, before the device became widely used.
SRI licensed the technology in 1983 for $40,000 (£26,000) to Apple.
At least one billion computer mouses have been sold.
Engelbart had considered other designs for his most famous invention, including a device that could be fixed underneath a table and operated by the knee.
He was said to have been driven by the belief that computers could be used to augment human intellect.
Engelbart was awarded the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT prize in 1997 and the National Medal of Technology for "creating the foundations of personal computing" in 2000.
Since 2005, he had been a fellow at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

He is survived by his second wife, Karen O'Leary Engelbart, and four children.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Stop Frame Fish Tank

Here is the fish tank some of my Year 8's made today for their stop frame project.  Rather cool isn't it?

Tuesday, 2 July 2013


Snap! is a site that is ideal for MS/HS learning how to program.  The site is a spin-off of Scratch and works very similarly w/ a drag-n-drop interface of "snapping" pieces of blocks together.  These blocks are commands and a user can see on the right side of the screen what is happening as they put these blocks together.

I recommend checking out Snap! by clicking here!!!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Flipping with Doddle

The idea of the flipped classroom, and how Doddle can make it a reality

If there's one buzz phrase that buzzed a little louder than all others in 2012, it was “flipping the classroom.” It’s a term I first heard in the US, but the idea is old – indeed many of us have used it in our own teaching to a greater or lesser extent. 
Inverting the traditional idea of setting tasks for homework, in the flipped classroom model, teachers assign introductory material like videos or presentations as homework. This means that the teacher can spend more time in lessons overseeing group work and working with specific examples.
If put into practice effectively, it seems to me that the advantages of the model are clear: teachers spend less time presenting ideas and more time giving targeted feedback, while students spend more time actively learning and putting ideas into practice. If done successfully, it leads to greater ownership, engagement and motivation – in short, it’s just better.
But it also clearly has limitations. When you set homework introducing a concept to students and are greeted by half-a-class of blank faces, it can feel as though you’ve made a rod for your own back. Without proper materials, students can struggle to grasp ideas, meaning lessons can be held back and differences in student understanding can grow wider. And without the right monitoring tools, you can’t tell which student is familiar with a new idea, and who is totally new to it.
So while I very much believed in the concept, I found that the extent to which it was practical was held back by the resources and tools that I had. And this is where Doddle comes in. You can use Doddle to assign presentations and let your students discover ideas independently:
  -  Presentations set out all the key concepts in a clear, reliable and intuitive way;
  -  Assigning a mini quiz along with a presentation gives students a quick recap of what they've just seen, provides instant feedback and allows the teacher to see who’s understood it; 
  -  Students can rate their confidence after completing revision, so you know who needs extra help; 
  -  In the markbook, you can see who's read the presentations you assigned (including when they read it), and the breakdown of results by question lets you see which ideas need to be reviewed in class. 

Or, (with apologies to the pun-phobic), as one of our Educational Consultants put it, “we make it a flippin’ Doddle”. 

Flip the Classroom

Two nations divided by a common language

This year at BETT, one of the most interesting talks I attended was given by Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann, pioneers of the flipped classroom movement.
Enthusiastic and passionate educators, I was struck by Sams and Bergmann’s focus on the educational theory that led them to develop the technique of flipping the classroom. 
As I sat listening to them dropping in casual references to Bloom’s taxonomy and the Universal Design for Learning, I was struck, not for the first time, by the difference in the way UK and US educators talk about the ideas behind their methods. In the US, everything has a formalised, theoretical grounding; in the UK we talk in slightly more prosaic terms about what we do.
Recognising this, here’s my guide to the educational theories that lie at the heart of the flipped classroom movement.
Bloom’s taxonomy
Starting with a classic, this educational model defines the stages a student needs to progress through before you can assess whether they’ve mastered a topic or not. 
In the flipped classroom, the stages of ‘remembering’ and ‘understanding’ are moved outside of the classroom. At home, students access instructional materials (videos, presentations, etc.) that introduce new topics; in class, students should be able to recall and demonstrate understanding.
Taking these first two stages out of the classroom allows you to spend less time instructing and more time working on the higher-level skills of application, analysis, evaluation and creation. 
Mastery learning
Belying the jargon, this is a pretty straightforward concept: students begin a unit together, a formative assessment is taken, students who’ve achieved the necessary understanding move on to enrichment activities, students who haven’t are given greater support to get them to the mastery level. 
The flipped classroom is an effective supporter of the mastery learning model because it makes differentiation possible, earlier in the learning process. 
In the traditional classroom, one way students differentiate themselves is by their level of engagement. Delivering the same information in the same way to students of different abilities, you run the risk of boring higher-ability students, confusing lower-ability students, and only really engaging those at the mid-level.
In the flipped model, such issues are removed because every student learns at their own pace, outside of the classroom. Higher-ability students can steam through material, whilst lower-abilities can work through things more slowly, aided by support materials. 
Then, when students come into the classroom, you can assess their level of understanding and address it accordingly; differentiated groups can be doing different things, or you can employ greater intervention to get all students to the mastery level.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
The new kid on the block, this concept is steadily gaining ground in the States. 
Essentially, the UDL is based on the idea that each learner is unique and therefore must have access to: different ways of acquiring information, different opportunities to demonstrate their understanding, different forms of stimulation to maintain engagement.
Implementing the UDL means taking the idea of flipped learning to another level. Having tasked students with taking responsibility for the instructive phase, the UDL gives students further freedom; encouraging them to figure out what helps them to learn and finding the resources they need to do this.
With the theory dealt with, let’s look at the practicalities of flipping the classroom. Key points to remember are:
Availability – make sure the material you want students to access is available to them all; locating it in a central place online is a good way of doing this.
Visibility – come up with a way of checking that students have done the work. Using an online automatic markbook is a really effective way of doing this.
Variety – make sure your students have access to a wide range of different resources.
Ultimately, the benefits of flipping the classroom are clear: it helps you make the most of your face-to-face teaching time, which in turn helps students remain motivated and engaged by what they’re learning.
Happy flipping!


Following on from last weeks assemblies and in preparation for NON UNIFORM DAY this coming Friday ( July 5th) please take a look at the following you tube videos and select whichever you believe to be appropriate for your tutor group. 

Please use these as a starting point for discussion about the value of a unit in a hospital specifically for teenagers.

Information about the progress of the Southampton Teenage Cancer Trust Unit can be found at: 

The lad in the blue and white striped shirt is one of our ex pupils,Nick Illston, who is recovering from a brain tumour. Nick has been a tremendous ambassador for the Teenage Cancer Trust since his diagnosis. 

The community focus group will be selling TCT merchandise from the d.@rt at break and lunchtimes and on Friday 5th July the day has been designated as a non uniform day by SLT. 

There will be a concert in the outdoor performance space ( weather permitting) on Friday when we will be doing a bucket shake. Please bring in a few extra pennies for this amazing charity.

Thursday, 27 June 2013


F1 in Schools Ltd is a not-for-profit company established with committed partners to provide an exciting yet challenging educational experience through the magnetic appeal of Formula One.Pulse with hamilton  F1 in Schools is rapidly realising its potential of becoming the only truly global educational programme that raises awareness of Formula One among students and school children in every region, in every country, on every continent.  Spanning age ranges of 9 to19 its main objective is to help change perceptions of engineering, science and technology by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, Formula One, science, marketing and technology.

34 countries....   12 million students....  1 experience of a lifetime !

Where could F1 in Schools take you?

Wednesday, 26 June 2013


Javi and Richard have made some 'How 2' movies to support with using the new VLE.  New features like creating an image gallery (called the lightbox) and general tips on how to upload with folders etc... to keep your subject areas looking good and easy to use feature on the films.

Please find the link to the movies on the new VLE below

The new VLE welcome page is:

Friday, 21 June 2013

Cabinet Office sets up cyber security challenge

The Cabinet Office has set up a cyber security schools programme that will be delivered by Cyber Security Challenge UK and invites secondary school pupils to compete in a national code breaking challenge

The Cabinet Office has set up a cyber security schools programme that will be delivered by Cyber Security Challenge UK and invites secondary school pupils to compete in a national code breaking challenge to demonstrate their potential for a career defending the UK from hackers and computer viruses. The competition will start in September and is designed for key stage 4 students who will break coded messages designed by industry experts and develop their own for other schools to crack.

This is the first schools programme run by Challenge. It will be delivered in association with employers to ensure it tests practical and usable skills that are in demand from industry and is supported by new Cabinet Office funding. The winning team will earn a £1,000 cash prize for their school.

To help teachers spark students’ interest and start to hone their skills, schools who register for the competition will receive a pack of ciphers and code breaking exercises. These will be accompanied by learning support materials and lesson plans that not only teach classes how to crack the codes, but also get them working in teams to develop their own ciphers.

The students’ ciphers will be submitted to the Challenge and points attributed to each by a panel of industry experts, who will judge them on ingenuity and difficulty. The ciphers will then be shared with other schools for them to crack in order to gain further points in the initial virtual tournament. At the end of the virtual tournament the top scoring teams will be invited to a face-to-face final battle at the start of next year to find the first ever Cyber Security Challenge Schools Champion.

The competitions and teacher packs will be made available to over 2,500 schools in the south west through a partnership between the Challenge and South West Grid for Learning. Schools in other regions can take part by signing up on the Challenge website at

Monday, 17 June 2013

Bring computer programming to your school

Since February we've heard from 12,000 schools asking our help to teach computer programming. We've avoided responding until we had a worthwhile announcement. This is NOT a monthly newsletter, you'll only hear from us rarely. Many have asked us for a brief update.

We're working on a broad program to bring computer science curriculum to all schools. We hope to unveil our program this fall. In the meantime, we want to tell you about some 3rd-party options that are worth pursuing.

If you have feedback for how can help schools and educators, please give us your ideas at our UserVoice forum.

To teach Computer Science in High School

Options for high schools, ranging from full courses to clubs:

Berkeley's 6-week workshop to teach Computer Science. Spend a summer learning the course, teach it next year. Generous stipends included. Starts June 17 or June 24

Amplify's online course in AP CS. A MOOC designed for the classroom, offer Advanced Placement CS using a remote/online teacher, local mentor.

Codecademy after-school clubs - a complete program for starting an after school code-club with an online-based curriculum

CodeHS - online curriculum designed to teach JavaScript in high school classrooms. ($ required)

Add computer programming to math class with Bootstrap - a curriculum that teaches computer programming using algebra and geometry

Teach coding to make games with Globaloria - Globaloria can help schools offer a full class or an after school club, with a curriculum designed around making games ($ required)

For Elementary or Middle School

Options for elementary and middle schools:

6-week workshop on teaching computing with Scratch - an online workshop offered by members of the Scratch team at Harvard University. Scratch is an enormously platform for teaching introductory programming

Tynker - a full coding platform for elementary and middle school - visual programming designed for students, complete with curriculum and walk-throughs

CS Unplugged - curriculum ideas for teaching basic computer programming concepts in classrooms without computers.

That's all for now.  We hope you have a great summer! And if you have feedback for can help schools and educators, please give us your ideas at our UserVoice forum.

Hadi Partovi