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Items filtered by date: December 2012

Junior Life Skills

The Junior Life Skills course at Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary is always a Year 6 class favourite. The course teaches those who are heading to secondary school in September key skills, such as how to stay safe in the sea, how to use a safety rope to rescue someone from a river, how to stay safe online and, very importantly, how to make clear, precise 999 calls in the event of an emergency.

As always, the class were very enthusiastic and enjoyed meeting the police, fire and coastguard officers who ran the course. They felt that the knowledge that they learned will be invaluable in future and has given them confidence for what they would do in difficult situations.

Overall, this was a productive and helpful day – rounded off nicely with lunch next to one of the donkey enclosures!

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Yr 6 Dragon's Den

Year 6 return to the Dragon’s Den!

As the project ended, the employees of the 10 companies on the Global Enterprise Challenge once again braved the Dragon’s Den - comprised of Mr Bishop, Mr James and the particularly terrifying Mrs Rothery! Having already presented to the dragons at the beginning of the project, to gain their start-up funding, each company was given the brief of explaining to the dragon’s the successes that their companies have had and what they had learned. The areas that were scrutinised by the dragons were: profitability, advertising, teamwork, product quality and sales approach.

All the companies were able to show that they had broken even, with some companies (Trendy Ts and Mad Batter) making more than £200 in profit! In a particularly heart-warming gesture, Mad Batter have chosen to donate their profits to Cancer Research UK, in order to support the fantastic work that they do. As part of the presentations, each team showed their video adverts, visible on the digital signage around school.

The shortlist of international teams will be released soon by the judges and the winners of the local Broadclyst competition will be announced in the end of year assembly.
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Exeter Library Trip

Last week the Junior Librarians with Mrs Sansbury, Miss Dawdry and Miss Pearson went to see the Exeter Book at Exeter Cathedral.

The Exeter Book was written in down in about 970AD and is the largest, best preserved and the oldest manuscript of Old English poetry in the world.  It was given to the cathedral by Bishop Leofric in 1072.

The children were fascinated to learn that the book contains poetry, riddles and even little doodles scratched in the margin.  It is written on parchment, with ink made from oak apples.  The scribe would have needed a good pen-knife, to sharpen the point of his goose quill!

We were also able to see some other manuscripts including the entry for Broadclyst from Exeter’s version of the Domesday Book.
This autumn the Exeter Book will be travelling to London to the British Library.  It will be part of a major exhibition which will bring together the 4 principal Anglo-Saxon manuscripts of poetry for the first time, together with the Domesday Book and other exceptional books.





Kingfisher Awards

Year 4 children attended the Kingfisher Awards Picnic on July 4th, after a month of hard work designing displays around Pollinators in the Orchard for the competition. At the Awards Picnic the children had to present their work to a panel of judges, visiting parents, teachers and students, discussing the scope of the project and explaining how they created many of the pieces of artwork, games, graphs and cake.

After being asked to design two displays for the awards this year, the children suggested splitting the work into Day and Night. One display contained mod rock bees, a 3D hive, an elaborate orchard scene and creative board games. For this display, Year 4 investigated the hedgerows of hour school grounds in search of pollinators – tallying and recording these results into line and bar graphs. Some children also filmed themselves in the studio making vital speeches about the importance of bees. The other display, about Night, explored moth pollination, beeswax candles, fruit pressing and the importance of sheep in the orchard – the class even constructed a life sized sheep with a buzzing digestion game. The children wrote detailed pieces of writing around a shrinking school bus traveling through a sheep’s four-stomached digestion system and a diary in the life of a moth. They also created a moth trap in order to create detailed graphs on the presence of moths around the school allotment. 

Achieving second place was an excellent result for the Year Group and they should be incredibly proud of the work they put into the Kingfisher Awards Project.

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Facilitating Global Collaboration with Technology

Here is a recent article at Education Technology, covering many of the approaches we take in school to using IT to support learning across the curriculum.


Carl Sheen, Head of Training and Development at Genee World, talks us through how innovative use of technology can bring about connected learniing.


In the UK, the Government spends more than £900m a year on education technology in the classroom. As this technology has continued to revolutionise the classroom, there has been a shift in teaching and learning away from the more traditional format of teachers lecturing students from the front of the classroom to a more collaborative learning environment, where teachers and students work together.

The investment by the Government has had a massive impact in the classroom, enabling a more student-led approach, allowing the teacher to assume a facilitating role rather than an instructing one. Student-led learning develops cognitive skills such as problem solving, teamwork, listening skills and the ability to apply what they have learnt in practice.

This student-led approach is something championed at Broadclyst Community Primary School (BCPS) in Exeter. The school has developed an exceptional reputation for its innovative use of IT and digital media, allowing pupils to take charge of their learning and collaborate on a scale beyond the classroom walls; an approach which is apparent in its Global Enterprise Challenge (GEC).

The GEC is a business initiative run by the school, and open to pupils aged between 9 and 15 across the world. It teaches them highly valuable skills including product design, market research, manufacture and marketing, putting pupil’s learning into a real-life context.

This year children from over 20 schools across the globe worked together in teams to select a product which would be developed and eventually take to the market. Throughout the process, they collaborated with each other using Office 365 software including Yammer, Skype for Business, Teams and more.

There has been a shift in teaching and learning away from the more traditional format of teachers lecturing students from the front of the classroom to a more collaborative learning environment - Carl Sheen, Head of Training and Development, Genee World 

Broadclyst School wanted to take this collaboration a step further, showcasing the next stage of the challenge through the use of interactive AV technology. Pupils at the Genee World stand at Bett 2018 were able to conduct a live lesson with the rest of the class back at the school.

Matt Pitts, a teacher at Broadclyst School, explained how the interactive technology allowed them to work together on the same projects: “The kids were at the stage where they needed to be able to advertise their product to the wider community. To decide how best to do this, they started a brainstorm using interactive boards with multi-authoring ability, allowing them to work together and analyse texts, facilitate communication between different groups and share ideas virtually. Using the software on the interactive boards allowed a number of pupils to use the touch screen at one time, meaning each individual could get down their ideas, annotate work, share it with the other groups in the various locations and start to find solutions to any problems they came across when planning.”

Giving pupils the freedom to take ownership of their learning means that they can share experiences and skills beyond the classroom. Utilising technology to do this on a global scale will ensure pupils gain a greater understanding of other cultures, appreciate alternative interpretations of tasks and build their communication skills.

Technology has also helped to increase pupil engagement, with many immersing themselves in new environments without even having to leave the classroom. For example, the introduction of VR in the classroom and similar cost-effective technologies, including 360⁰ video, are ways that independent learning has become revolutionised in the classroom.

When it comes to technology though, Matt believes that it must take learning to the next level and provide a value-added experience: “We are not necessarily a school that adopts everything that’s new. I think it is really important to be quite discerning over what you put into the classroom. For us, the technology allows us to teach the curriculum we want to teach better than we could without it.

“Projects like the GEC and the use of technology has allowed our pupils to easily access their work wherever they are,” he continued. “While this kind of project-based learning can happen without the use of technology, we generally find that our pupils become a lot more engaged, excited and willing to learn and it allows them to create outcomes that they simply couldn’t have created any other way.


Netherlands Residential

The much-anticipated annual trip to the Netherlands was another great success this year. A group of twenty-seven Year 6s enjoyed a week of Dutch culture and cuisine in the glorious sunshine. It also provided the opportunity for the children to be reunited with their friends from Daltonschool Elserike, whom they had got to know during our week at Heatree Activity Centre when we visited their school.
After a flight from Exeter airport to Amsterdam and then a show train journey to Apeldoorn, the group arrived at their accommodation and enjoyed an evening of exploring the local area. The next morning saw  the children enjoy a traditional Dutch breakfast of ‘Hagelslag’, otherwise known as sprinkles! This was followed by a trip to the ‘Open Lucht’ museum, a museum all about the history and life of the Netherlands. This was an informative and interactive visit, the highlight being the ride around the museum on a traditional tram.

After another sprinkle-filled breakfast, we visited our link school, Elserike. The children of the school were very welcoming, giving a tour of the school and even allowing the use of their brand-new VR headsets! The two school groups then set off together to visit the ‘Kamp Vught National Memorial’, This combined memorial centre and museum features various exhibitions, a memorial room and wall of reflection to commemorate it’s history as a Transit Camp in the Holocaust. This was both an interesting and moving experience and provided a unique insight into a prevalent moment in European history.

The final day of the trip provided the opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Amsterdam and the jam-packed schedule led to a very high step-count indeed! Taking in the city from a canal boat tour provided the best views possible, spotting landmarks such as the narrowest building in the city, which is only 1m wide. A visit to the Rijks Museum was also on the cards and the children particularly enjoyed seeing the famous ‘Night Watch’ by Rembrandt, which they have studied in class, as well as Van Gogh’s ‘Self-Portrait’.  After sampling some delicious ‘Stroopwafels’, the final stop of the day was to visit Anne Frank’s house, before taking the train back to the hostel in time to watch England vs. Belgium.

A great week was had by all and a particular thank you goes to our hosts at Elserike who we look forward to seeing again next year.

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Junior Maths Challenge

Year 5 and 6 take part in the Junior Maths Challenge at St James’ School

Eight pupils – Harrison, Annelise, Martha and Lewis from Year 6 and Ben, Sofia, Jack and Otto from Year 5 went to St. James’ School in Exeter on the 20th June to take part in the Junior Maths Challenge semi-finals 2018.

There were three rounds in the challenge. Firstly, there was the multiple choice round. Second, the Sudoku round and thirdly a construction round. Running throughout these were the ‘Marathon’ questions which were particularly fiendish and worth additional points. The challenges were all problem-solving brain teasers that pushed the children’s maths abilities to the limit – such as these two examples:
• In a netball league a team gets some points for a win, fewer for a draw and none for a loss. After 10 games, my team won 7 and drew 3. We have 44 points. My sister’s team have won 5, drawn 2 and lost 3. How many points do they have?
• The first and third digits of the five digit number ?6?are the same. The number is exactly divisible by 9. What digit does the ? represent?

Annelise said that the event was good fun, but was also very challenging. Sadly, the teams did not make it into the top four (to qualify for the finals) this time, but we look forward to next year’s challenge!

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Exeter Primary Swimming Gala

The Exeter Primary Swimming Gala was a fantastic event with races in all strokes!

Broadclyst’s Swimming Squad went to race at Pyramids pool in Exeter, competing in the Exeter Primary Schools’ Swimming Gala on Tuesday the 19th of June. They arrived at the pool, prepared themselves well for their races and took their seats in the stands to watch the heats unfold. The children all competed fantastically in their heats – most of them making it into the finals!

The children had a short break to note down their times and ready themselves for the fastest races that would be the finals. There were races for Year 4, 5 and 6 in every stoke and in both boys and girls – we had a swimmer in every race but two – fantastic start! The children were diving from professional blocks into the pool and sprinting their one length (25m) in the strokes in around 20 seconds! The finals went brilliantly and many of the children finished in podium places – including a few gold medals! The relays followed the finals and the swim squad swam a girls 4x25 freestyle and boys 4x25 freestyle with pace and great teamwork!

After all the races were completed the organisers gathered all the swimmers together to announce the winners! It was very exciting as the shield is huge. Our highest ever finishing position is 4th so we were delighted to be announced as the 2nd placed team – a magnificent achievement, well swam everyone!
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