A Devon headteacher emphasised the importance of project-based learning using both physical and digital tools in the education of young people when he gave a major presentation at BETT, the annual education technology event in London, on 27 January.
Jonathan Bishop, headteacher of Broadclyst Community Primary School, and chief executive of the Cornerstone Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), discussed the future of education in a presentation entitled Future Gazing: Developing a Digital Academy.
Accepting that most new-build schools would, for budgetary reasons, be of a standardised design, Mr Bishop explained his view that what is therefore needed is the creation of learning spaces – some of them physical with digital tools, and others digital with physical tools.
“The physical space of a 21st century classroom allows a rich mix of media, with multiple projection points and inputs, controlled by teachers. The digital tools are there to support pupils’ needs, and help them to collaborate across classrooms and countries, allowing them to gain knowledge and skills through investigation and exploration within a specific project, known as project-based learning. The use of digital ink (using a pen-like stylus on a device) allows teachers to provide a personalised education for each child, with quick responses and targeted feedback, while ensuring a secure online environment and access for parents to see what their child is learning.
“At the same time, there are digital spaces, such as Microsoft OneNote, where teachers can upload lesson content and children can add and share information, ideas and work in a cloud-based, collaborative virtual environment. These spaces can be used to collate portfolios of evidence so that children’s work can be tracked against targets.
“Even in Early Years education, children can use face recognition software such as Windows Hello to log in to devices, and digital signage is embedded within their environment.”
Mr Bishop ended his presentation by recognising the need also to craft the 21st century teaching profession: “We need a workforce able to design a curriculum that gives both skills and knowledge; we need teachers able to embrace project-based learning.”
The Cornerstone MAT currently comprises Broadclyst Community Primary School, Westclyst Community Primary School and the Cornerstone Teaching School, which offers training and development for teachers. A further primary school in Monkerton will open in 2019.
It’s World Book Day on Thursday, 2 March and Broadclyst Community Primary School has a whole week of celebrations planned!
Today, Monday 27 February, we have a visit from former pupil Lucy Volpin, who is now a book illustrator. She will be talking to the children in the Reception class and year 3 as well as signing copies of her books in the library.
On Tuesday, Kate Scott, author of the Spies in Disguise books as well as children's television programmes, radio plays and poetry, will be talking to all year groups as well as the junior librarians.
Many of the children have entered the BBC 500 words competition, and we have been running our own, internal, competition too, when all the entries have been judged by the school Leadership Team members. On World Book Day itself, during a whole-school assembly, we will announce the school winner of the 500 words competition.
Everyone will, of course, be dressed up as a character from a book that day, and the theme for the school dinner will be The Gruffalo. The menu includes Roasted Fox, Scrambled Snake and Gruffalo Crumble.
We are looking forward to the whole-school photo in the playground on Thursday afternoon!
Finally, on Friday, C J Busby, who writes fantasy fiction for children, including the SPELL series, will be visiting years 4, 5 and 6, and signing copies of her books too.
The winners of the 2016 Global Enterprise Challenge, an annual worldwide business enterprise initiative run by Broadclyst Community Primary School (BCPS) in Devon, were flown from Lebanon to visit the school at the end of January. They spent two days at Broadclyst, visiting classes and meeting some of the 2017 competitors before going to BETT, the annual education technology event in London.
The Lebanese team won the contest with their business making and selling recycled products, which they started in response to the political challenges in Beirut, where rubbish is no longer collected. The five girls said: “We wanted to be the change.” Their school, the Makassed Khalil Shehab Primary School, ran an event, called Hearts and Hands, to which over 350 came to buy the products. All their profits were donated to the Makassed Hospital Cancer Fund Unit.
Some of BCPS’s year 5 children are entering this year’s Challenge with their own recycled products company, and found the advice of their Lebanese peers during the visit very interesting and useful, not just for their Challenge work, but also to understand more about a different country and culture.
Michael said: “The Lebanese team were incredibly kind and generous,” and Isla added: “It was very interesting to hear about their country and how different their school is to ours.”
Lucy found the tips the girls offered very useful: “They encouraged us to work globally and not just to think about our school,” she said. Keira explained: “They talked to us about teamwork and the importance of hearing others’ ideas. This was one of the reasons why they succeeded.”
Holli commented: “I really liked interviewing them in the studio – their English was amazing!” Alfie agreed: “We are very grateful for the answers that they gave us when we interviewed them. They even gave us some tips on how best to make our products.”
The Lebanese team’s teacher, Rana Sabbidine, accompanied the children, and was delighted with the additional opportunity they had to meet Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education at Microsoft when they visited BETT. She said: “Because we think and dream big, and GEC is that big, we decided to participate whereby our students could develop distinctive features of leadership, communication and collaboration. The journey that our students have embarked on has definitely left an outstanding impact on the evolution of their personality and has given them a global perspective on business development. Visiting the UK was an exciting experience for them where they met new peers, enjoyed navigating in the new country and understood a new culture. Meeting with Mr Salcito was uplifting and it resonated in our pupils’ inspiration, while the BETT show was an unforgettable learning experience for them.”
Steve Hodge has been chef at BCPS since the new hall and catering kitchen opened in May 2015.
His parents ran a bakery in Lympstone, but Steve didn’t like the idea of 3am starts and chose not to follow his family into baking. Instead he went to Exeter College, where he studied catering in the same class as Michael Caines. Having done work experience at the Royal Marines Commando Training Camp (CTC) at Lympstone, he got a job there, in the Officers’ Mess, where he stayed for nearly five years before going travelling. As he went around the world, his many jobs included cooking in Australia, New Zealand and the US. On his return, he worked for over 24 years at Exeter University, in a variety of roles including head chef for the halls of residence, where, with a team of 12 chefs, he produced three meals a day for around 700 students - 2000 meals a day! His last role before joining BCPS was running the hospitality from Cornwall House providing event catering across Exeter University.
Did you know?
Steve’s job is to design and prepare a full balanced menu of tasty 'home-cooked food'. The concept is one of 'family dining' where older children will sit with younger children and help serve the food that has been brought to the table in a family-style dining experience.
But Steve’s responsibility isn’t just preparing school dinners for 450 children. He and the team also feed up to 40 members of staff every day and run the Academy Café, where parents meet every afternoon for a range of great foods and drinks such as paninis, lattes and freshly-baked cakes. On top of that, Cornerstone Academy Trust also runs a Teaching School at BCPS, offering courses and conferences that have to be catered. These are often three or four times a week and can range from tea, coffee and a selection of homemade cakes, to buffet lunches or a three-course table-served lunch.
Steve tells us about a typical day
I start here in the kitchen at 6.30am to receive delivery of all our supplies of fresh meat, fruit and vegetables as well as our dry store ingredients. I see everything in, check it all, sign it off and deal with storing it. Then I go through the fridges and decide what ingredients I need for the day’s café menu as well as the school dinners and any buffet or hospitality menus I have booked in.
Then it’s time for preparation – marinating, roasting meats, bread-crumbing fish, making fresh Bolognese sauces, getting the jacket potatoes, with a selection of fillings and fresh salads, ready.
Jamie, the sous chef, arrives at 8.00am, by which time I’ve got most things underway. We look at the menus for the day together, and Jamie looks after the vegetarian meals while I get the main course, potatoes, breads and vegetables prepared and ready for cooking. That takes a good couple of hours, from around 8.30am to 10.30am. Every day is different, but if there’s a school trip for any classes, this is when we’re making packed lunches. This is also the time when any hospitality items, like cakes, sandwiches and paninis are prepared. I also receive my confirmed staff lunch numbers at this time and prepare the hot meal choice for our staff who dine from midday daily in the Academy Café.
Between 10.30am and midday we start the final steaming and cooking of all our vegetables, potatoes, rice and breads and then serve all the food into service containers. By about 11.30am we’ve potted up all the vegetable and potatoes into 31 separate containers – 15 for each sitting, and one for the nursery children. The containers are put onto a hotplate to keep warm.
We have numbered sheets that show where every child sits in mixed age groups for lunch, and between 11.00am and midday the appropriate meal for each child is portioned and served then labelled in the right container, and put into the hotplate ready for service. There are several children in school with special dietary requirements, so we check carefully to make sure we have the right meals prepared for them and label these dishes so they are easily recognised by the mealtime assistant appointed to that child.
At midday, with everything laid up in front of the climbing wall, and all the salads, fruits, yoghurts, fresh fruit salad, and jacket potato fillings in the chiller, Jamie passes the food from the hot cupboards to the mealtime assistants, who serve everything to the correct children seated at their tables.
At the same time, I set up all the hot food for the staff in the café and support Angela, who’s been making all the café menu cakes, paninis etc., with serving the staff till 1pm.
Afternoons from 1pm are varied, On Mondays and Tuesdays, I go back into the kitchen to start the next day’s preparation. I do the food safety paperwork, sanitise the kitchen, clean the fridges and ovens and do the daily orders. We also bring all the food containers and dishes back to the kitchen after service and begin the process of washing-up and storing items that can be reused. I also support the team with making cakes. Wednesday is the main day for ordering for the coming week; I do a visual stocktake and complete the coming week’s food orders ready to input into the digital master sheet which generates exact numbers of all food items required.
On Thursdays I teach cooking to eight children at a time – this term it’s lasagne with year 6. We prepare everything fresh, including homemade Bolognese using the best ingredients and fresh herbs, and béchamel sauces. Each child makes their own single-portion lasagne, and then the best two dishes, judged on appearance, chopping skills and taste, are selected to go through to the grand final of The Great Broadclyst bake-off!
And on Friday, I do the weekly stocktake and process the week’s invoices.
We don’t stop all day, especially on the days we have hospitality; there’s always something to do in a very busy kitchen, but that’s all part of the challenge! I usually finish at about 3.30pm.
Favourite part of the job?
Cooking with the children on Thursdays is absolutely the best part of my job! I find the children’s enthusiasm for cooking is hugely rewarding, and reflected in the amazing skills they show and quality of the food they produce.
This week we received a really lovely thankyou message from Exeter Food bank. 'to everyone who has so generously given food to help feed local people in crisis. The food you have collected is making a very real difference to many people’s lives in Exeter. Grand Total for Harvest 2016 152.4 kg' which is a really tremendous contribution to make as a school Well done children and families - thank you for your help in achieving this!
Year 2 children Alicia Woodward and Freddie Glover spent a day with South West Grid for Learning, (SWGfL), the organisation that provides the school’s internet service, during which the children were involved with the production of internet safety films for 5- to 7-year-olds.
The children met two puppet characters called Red and Murphy who helped them learn about:
How to stay safe online
They then then put all these skills together by performing in a role-play in front of the camera. In the resulting film that is being shown to the children in the school on Tuesday, Safer Internet Day (SID), Red and Murphy talk to Freddie and Alicia about watching videos online, discussing what children should do before they watch videos on YouTube and also what they should do if they see something upsetting online.
Both children loved the day and were made to feel extremely welcome by the SWGfL team, who commented: “We were all delighted with Freddie and Alicia, they were just great!”
This video shows what Freddie and Alicia thought of it.
Find out more about SID http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2017
The film Freddie and Alicia were involved in is here:
As a non-class-based teacher in the school, one of my responsibilities, which I share with Mr Pitts and Miss Clarke, is to supervise the computing curriculum. One of my specific roles is around online safety. I sit on the school’s online safety group, a steering group made up of staff and trustees, which guides the direction of online safety within the curriculum. We also review and monitor what happens in classrooms, looking for trends in the use of online resources and feeding the information back to teachers so that they can educate the children appropriately.
Because we are so proactive in our use of digital technologies as tools for education, we get very few online issues – but sometimes our monitoring will flag things like playground disputes that have been taken onto Messenger, or perhaps inappropriate searches within projects using words that are automatically flagged-up by the filtering company we use.
Aside from this monitoring, our approach is to allow children filtered access the internet. Our policy is about developing safe behaviours and habits, which is much more useful than blocking the whole internet and keeping children ‘in a box’, bearing in mind that they have unfiltered access at home and need to develop their own safe practice.
I’m also involved in the work of the Cornerstone Teaching School, delivering online safety workshops on behalf of Babcock LDP, both in-house here at Broadclyst and at other schools.
Last year I trained as a CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) Ambassador, and can train people in the Thinkuknow education response to CEOP’s child protection initiative. CEOP is a multi-agency, multinational branch of UK law enforcement, and their remit is child protection. The Thinkuknow website aims to develop safe behaviours online, including mobile, browsing and social media.
For Safer Internet Day 2017, we have made a short video in school about our golden rules of safe behaviour, talking to Freddie and Alicia, who helped make the South West Grid for Learning film about internet safety. All the children will be watching the video this week, and every class will be working on this year’s SID theme, Be the change – unite for a better internet.
We’re supporting a major fundraising campaign by Killerton House to plug the holes in its leaking roof.