Following the success of the Decoding the Future conference organised by the trust last September, we have begun Skyping events from school hall. A recent parent consultation was very well-attended, both physically and virtually, and parents have given us excellent feedback – particularly those who were unable to attend because of childcare issues.
Physical attendees report that they enjoyed the interaction with online participants.
As a result of this positive outcome, future parent events of all kinds will be available via Skype at the time, and may well be recorded so that you can watch them later via Clickview or the school website.
IT training workshops for all parents have been run by Anthony Lees and Matt Pitts since last April. The topics covered have included Office365, OneNote, literacy and maths websites, programming, eSafety, how to access your child’s targets and school work at home. Feedback has been very positive.
Held in the new hall, the workshops utilise parents’ own devices, or some of the school’s Microsoft Surface computers. Each is typically repeated at 2.30pm, 5pm and 7pm, offering maximum opportunities for all parents to attend, and in future one session will be available to attend via Skype and recorded for later viewing.
More workshops are planned, and will include sessions on how programming, and sandbox worlds like Minecraft, Kodu and Project Spark, are and will be, used across the school to support both the computing curriculum and other subjects.
Pupils from the school have competed in a range of sporting events, across a diverse array of sports and disciplines, achieving some brilliant successes so far this term.
We have made it through to the Devon Team Athletics competition after a fantastic day at St Luke's in the qualifiers and will be traveling down to Plymouth Life Centre for the finals to compete against teams from across Devon on 26 February.
Our tag rugby team enjoyed an excellent start to 2016, winning two World Cup competitions, one at Sandy Park run by the Exeter Chiefs and another at Lady Seaward’s school.
Cross country runners from years 3 and 4 qualified for the Exeter cross country finals after they achieved very high places in a field of over 100 competitors running around the Killerton Estate last November. The young racers overcame the 1.5km distance in the hammering rain at amazing speeds!
BCPS has involved ten of the Global Enterprise Challenge schools in the annual Sing Up day, organised by Sing Up, an organisation that provides singing resources for schools.
The annual event sees schools all over the country learning the same song. This year, ten of the GEC schools around the world recorded their classes singing the song too, and we put together the clips with our own to produce a film.
We also performed live to a conference in Amsterdam via Skype.
The composer of the song tweeted: “This is amazing, one song, 10 schools, 10 countries. You did a great job with my song. Honoured.”
Sing Up will also be including the story on its website.
BCPS has run a business enterprise project with its Year 6 pupils for ten years. Hugely motivational for the children, and exciting for the teachers, the enterprise project incorporates business skills including product design, market research, manufacture and marketing and it encompasses many different elements of the curriculum, putting the children's learning into a real-life context. Having gone global last year, thanks to funding from Microsoft, the Global Enterprise Challenge (link to http://globalenterprisechallenge.education) has helped the children to increase their awareness of cultural diversities and gain an understanding of world markets and currencies.
Last year, after six months of hard work, innovation, creativity and team work the Bookmark Team from R N Podar School, Mumbai took the prize for their work as the most successful company. They were invited to receive their award in Seattle and presented with their trophy and certificates at the Microsoft Global Forum for Education at the E2.
This year 1200 students across 21 schools in 10 countries have connected to run ten international companies, each with ten regional offices/teams. The students have completed their mid-term report as part of Stage 6 of the project had the nerve-wracking experience of facing the Dragon’s Den. Now they are manufacturing and advertising their products and are getting ready for their first big sale. Many of the teams are now communicating globally as part of daily school life and are participating in meetings through Skype for Business with their partner teams. The children are sharing their ideas through each stage of the challenge with the use of the collaboration tools found within the Office 365 platform.
Each year we are consistently amazed by the hard work and dedication that goes into making this project a success on a global scale. To follow the project please see the GEC Facebook page www.facebook.com/gechallenge and Twitter @GEChallenge.
Broadclyst Community Primary school is participating in an exciting new two-year project - Media Meets Art - funded by the European Commission. The project began in Volksschule Gutenberg, Austria and now it encompasses four other European schools - BCPS in England, plus schools in Denmark, Finland and France. All the teachers involved aim to gain new insights and knowledge in the fields of media competence and new technologies specifically based around the teaching of art and art history.
During the project, two teachers at BCPS will travel to each school participating in the project to gain experience to enrich their teaching and include a global dimension. They will be leading activities based in their host country, bringing their culture and language to the children, but will also be job-shadowing, visiting classrooms where technology has been embedded into the teaching. The teachers will watch new, dynamic and engaging teaching methods using technology in the classroom and observe best practice in each school setting.
The first of these visits happened during November 2015 when Mrs Lees and Miss Farrant travelled to Austria and visited Volksschule Gutenberg, near Graz. They kept a blog of their trip on the BCPS website and were inspired on their return to teach the children about new European artists using some of the methods they had observed.
The year 3 and 4 children have begun learning about two new Austrian artists, Klimt and Hundertwasser. They have participated in a range of activities based on these artists over the past few weeks, covering the breadth of the curriculum. Many of the children have been working on maps, creating quizzes, writing booklets and critiquing artwork as well as painting and creating art using a variety of mixed media. They are looking forward to Skyping with the classes in Austria and France soon and meeting the children they are working alongside.
This month, two more teachers will be observing best practice in France and can’t wait to gain further insight into new and exciting classroom practice.