Northumberland ICT & eLearning
As we come to the end of Summer Term and begin to look ahead to the new academic year, please take a few minutes to look through our new training and support guide for 2022-23 to put some key dates in your school diary.
Many of these sessions run online so that they're easy for you to join from school or from home but as always, we're still running face to face training sessions in school on request, we can also come in to have a chat with you about your plans and priorities for the coming year and how we can best support you with this.
We'd like to draw your attention to the School360 Taster Sessions running from the end of September through to November. These sessions will introduce you to the fantastic apps you can access via School360 to enliven and enhance your lessons across the curriculum. Each session lasts no more than an hour and we have some great guest presenters from organisations such as Canva, Adobe and j2e who will show you how to get started and then make the most of these great cross curricular tools.
School360 & The New School year
Most information, including your class names, teacher and pupil usernames will be pulled through from your MIS so please ensure that these are as you would like them to appear in School360 before September.
There are a few small tasks you'll need to do manually such as checking through your staff list and removing any members of staff who may have moved on over the summer.
We've put a short housekeeping guide together for you covering a few important but fairly quick tasks to ensure you're all set for the new school year. You'll find this linked below.
First Lego League
A huge thank you to the fantastic schools who came along to the Northumberland Lego Challenge and Explore events this year. We've been bowled over by the incredible projects your pupils put together showcasing great teamwork, problem solving, creativity and very clever coding! This wouldn't be possible without the dedication of the brilliant teachers and teaching assistants who facilitate the team sessions in school and make arrangements to come along to the events. Seeing the impact of these projects on the young people you work with, we know you'll agree it's really worthwhile!
This year we'll be running both events again and we're pleased to say we're able to provide the kit free of charge to participating schools.
Whether you're a returning school or will be new to First Lego League this year, please ensure you register your interest as soon as possible with email@example.com as we have limited spaces for these events.
New EYFS Learning Journal Case Study: Abbeyfields First School
The School360 Learning Journal is really going from strength to strength with this year's developments including full integration with the Northumberland School Readiness Passport.
Abbeyfields First School in Morpeth have very kindly worked with us to produce a case study which gives you a teacher's perspective on introducing and embedding this new method of recording teaching and learning. They also explain how they have successfully engaged the families they work with as part of the process. We really recommend you give this a read whether you're already an EY Learning Journal user or are thinking of getting involved next year.
The Children's Wellbeing in a Digital World Report: 2022
The Children’s Wellbeing in a Digital World: Index Report 2022 is the culmination of a year-long project developed with the University of Leicester and Revealing Reality on the impact of digital use on children and young people in the UK.
Key findings include:
- The impact of how much time children spend online and what they're doing.
- The Impact of vulnerability.
- The impact of family life and parental support.
We know that over the summer holidays some children will be spending a lot of time online and this extra time online, perhaps with extra freedom as families try to juggle work and childcare, may lead to higher instances of Cyberbullying.
Internet Matters have very recently published an article which outlines what Cyberbullying is and how to deal with it, which you might like to share with parents.
You'll also find details of the Stop, Speak, Support Code which encourages children to stop when 'friendly banter' turns unpleasant.
Online At Home
In relation to the item above, we'd like you to remind your pupils who have access to School360 at home, that they have a range of links and tools available to them through the learning platform. One of these being the Report A Concern tool. Please ensure that you know which member/s of staff will check for incoming concern reports during the holidays.
In addition to this, children will find links to Childline and Worried About Something? by CEOP in the Online Safety Section of School360 Resources.
In the Wellbeing section of Resources, they will find a link to Ollee, a digital friend as well as a range of activities to help with stress and anxiety.
Snap Chat - Meet Up
Snapchat have recently introduced a new feature: Meet Up which adds another element to the existing Snap Maps. The new tool allows a user to easily navigate to a Snapchat friend by linking to either Google or Apple Maps. This may be a really useful tool for older teens or adults who have a carefully curated friends list but it raises concerns for younger users and those who are not vigilant about their Snapchat friends list or their Snapchat settings.
INEQE have created a simple guide which you might find useful, you can find this HERE.
WhatsApp - View Once
There are already concerns around the way WhatsApp and Facebook use end to end encryption, meaning that they are unable to detect and report illegal posts.
WhatsApp has now introduced View Once which, as you'd expect, means you can only view the image or video once before it's deleted. You might find this article interesting. It outlines what this new feature does and why as teachers and parents we need to be aware.
We hope you all have a lovely summer break. Please get in touch to make bookings, arrange to borrow equipment or arrange an initial catch up during Autumn term. We look forward to seeing you then!
ICT & eLearning Team, Northumberland Schools