2016 UPDATES: LINKING TO LITTLE HEATH SCHOOL
In September, a small mixed group of children took part in a Video Conference with children from Little Heath School. Our children spoke to them about their favourite topic so far this term. The children from Little Heath then discussed what they had been doing this term, describing a very exciting IT project. This project inspired us to set up our own Google Expedition day, which we are holding in early November.
The children enjoyed exchanging thoughts and ideas and this has led to the group going on to visit Little Heath (Thursday 6th Oct) . We hope to reciprocate with a follow up visit here in November to look at our Environmental Area.
Our story so far …….
We’ve been using Videoconferencing (VC) since 2013. As we are becoming more confident in using the equipment and the processes involved, the children are reaping the benefits of being able to access curriculum related content which was not previously readily available to them. During 2015, we’ve participated in the following:
We have collaborated with The Manhattan School of Music in a singing event, alongside other schools in Redbridge. The children really loved this VC as they were able to perform and then received feedback on their performance from the musicians in New York.
Our Year 1 pupils linked to Australia to meet James MacDiarmid, an Australian explorer/educator. James took them to a cave where they were able to see and hear “Flying Fox” bats in their natural habitat.
The children loved talking with James, in turn improving their communication skills and boosting confidence – from the opposite side of the globe!
Year 5 enjoyed the Jorvik Viking VC, covering aspects of their curriculum topic without having to leave their classroom! A class in Year 5 also took part in a Maths Competition (Yorkshire Vision), competing live against a school in Bridlington, East Yorkshire. This combined their mathematical skills alongside presenting/communication skills.
Year 6 children were able to learn about Apartheid in South Africa with a video link to Chris Lubbe, who once was a former bodyguard of Nelson Mandela.
Year 2 enjoyed curriculum linked VC’s with the Museum of London on the topics of The Great Fire of London and Mary Seacole.
Our School Council have participated in several debates with other primary schools in Redbridge. These have included Healthy Eating, Internet Safety and Environmental Issues. Local Police Officers were also participating in some of these debates and were happy to answer our student questions.
Year 4 enjoyed talking to a Roman Centurian (Museum of London), learning about life in a Roman Villa.
We have shared author VC’s in our network – sometimes hosting, allowing our students to enjoy a book signing! This has been a great success both for the chosen author and the schools involved. We have introduced different genres and continue to promote reading skills without the massive costs usually incurred when organising and setting up an author visit.
We are hoping, in the very near future to form a partnership with schools in Uruguay and France which we are very keen to do as it will be a great opportunity to practice language skills whilst learning about different cultures.
Our pupils are now very confident when participating in a VC session and are generally very excited to be involved. They particularly enjoy interacting with their peers from different schools/countries.
Our next aim is to promote Videoconferencing within our Teaching staff who are not always as keen to get on board as the children! We continue to search for suitable content for CPD use and hope we can complete this goal as we move along the VCfL matrix.