One for the mathematicians!

Posted in Fun Stuff

Something to make you smile! 

A secondary school teacher was arrested today at London’s Heathrow International airport as he attempted to board an international flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a pair of compasses, a slide-rule and a calculator.
At a press conference, a UK Border Control spokesman said he believes the man is a member of the notorious extremist Al-Gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the Police with carrying weapons of maths instruction.
‘Al-Gebra is a problem for us’, the Spokesman said. ‘They derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.’ They use secret code names like “X” and “Y” and refer to themselves as “unknowns;” but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philosopher Isosceles used to say, “There are three sides to every triangle.

When asked to comment on the arrest, Opposition Leader Ed Milliband said,”If God had wanted us to have better weapons of maths instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes.”

Fellow Labour colleagues told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the Opposition Leader.

Thanks to my friend Julian!

Online safety

Posted in Uncategorized

Internet safety

This article by Keir McDonald MBE reminds us of the importance of keeping children safe on line.

We spend so much time teaching kids to look both ways before crossing the street, not to talk to strangers and what to do if they get lost in a shopping mall.

But how much time do you spend telling kids how to make safe choices online?

For today’s generation of children, making safe choices pertains to physical as well as cyber environments. Children today don’t know life without the Internet, and need guidance navigating life online as much as offline.

While it can be challenging for teachers to work e-safety into their classroom curriculum, the topic has never been more important.

Here are three ways for educators to effectively introduce e-safety to young students.

Help Children Understand Safe Sharing on the Internet

Begin by clearly illustrating to children that the Internet is public domain. Many children don’t understand the consequences of sharing inappropriate information on the Internet.

Introduce children to the concept that some things, such as photos or content that could be hurtful to someone else, should not be shared online.

An effective way to teach children about appropriate sharing on the Internet is to use real-life examples. Consider sharing with students a specific example where someone shared something inappropriate on the Internet. Start by citing mistakes made by public figures such as one of David Cameron’s many Twitter gaffes or Miley Cyrus’ numerous online mistakes.

Older students can also write or talk about a time they personally shared something online and regretted it. It’s very important to also discuss the consequences of these actions.

After sharing, engage in role-play to identify both good and bad examples of what to share online. Start by having students share with whom they have emailed recently and what they talked about in the email, followed by something that would be inappropriate to talk about in an email to that same person. This is simple but extremely effective in that it gets kids thinking about the fact that it’s not safe or smart to share some things online.

Understand With Whom Specific Information Can Be Shared

Talking to students about confidential information, such as passwords, is also a critical component of e-safety.

Children create online usernames and passwords for things like school programmes, game websites, social networking, and posting photos every day. Because parents and teachers often monitor these passwords, children don’t think twice about sharing this information with their friends.

Kids need to understanding when it’s ok to share passwords and other confidential information, and with whom, so they can learn how to keep passwords safe and secure.

Here teachers can role-play scenarios like sharing passwords with friends, discussing where passwords get written down or when and what it’s ok to share via email.

Identify Safe and Unsafe Websites

Part of teaching kids e-safety includes introducing new vocabulary. Terms like download, computer virus, block, stranger, personal, cyber bullying, and bullying are all important for children to understand.

Teachers can begin this conversation by creating a list of specific websites that students visit while in school. Together, the class will create a list of safe and appropriate websites.
Consider keeping this list of safe websites as a resource that kids can use when browsing the Internet. If possible, photocopy the list so that students can take them home to share with their families.

About the Author

Keir McDonald MBE is founder and Director of EduCare, an online training solutions company that specialise in child protection, exploitation and online safety, and bullying and child neglect. EduCare is associated with both Kidscape and Family Lives and customers include over 4000 schools and colleges and 12000 pre-schools as well as councils, NHS, charities and more.

A history of the world in 2 mins!

Posted in Thoughts
Hold onto your seat, don’t blink your eyes for a second! This is amazing.
Seventeen year old Joe Bush got a high school assignment to make a
video reproduction.  He chose history as a theme and tucked it all into two minutes.
Took pictures from the internet, added the track Mind Heist by Zack Hemsey (from
the movie Inception) and then you get this.
Hold on tight!


#Nurture 1415

Posted in Thoughts

This will be my third year of taking part in the Nurture posts. As @chocoTzar says, in twitter terms that is a LONG time! I’m quite proud to still be in there and certainly social media has given me some great moments. The ‘rules’ for this year have been set to make posts a little less like War and Peace and more like a review and some hopes. If you have the time and inclination have a look at my past nurture posts see HERE.

Some of the many positives from 2014:

  1. 100 Word Challenge has exploded! It has an average of 1500 entries each week from across the globe and the interaction between classes has been wonderful to see. This has given me quite a high profile across social media and in real terms with me visiting schools to share my passion for creative writing.
  2. This high profile, through 100wc, has given me the chance to meet some wonderful people and have some amazing experiences. We went to Ireland ( see Irish Odyssey series), Sheffield, Durham, Hampshire and Wales among other places and worked with staff and children. I discovered that I quite like it! Having the chance to keynote at conferences was also great fun and it was great to meet up with so many amazing educators.
  3. My blogging profile has also got me noticed. This brought me the chance to meet Gok Wan and also to appear in Woman and Home. Who would have thought that little old me would be in such company! To meet up again with Alexander McCall Smith was a great delight especially as he is now supporting 100 WC.
  4. My confidence is slowly growing. There have been lots of wobbly times but they don’t seem to last as long and I’m learning to listen to Nick and my body to get myself into a better place sooner.
  5. The year has shown me that being a pensioner is no barrier to doing anything. It may take a bit longer or more planning but it is doable if you want it!

Hopes for 2015:

  1. Continue building my confidence so that my tummy ‘dropping in fear’ does not happen so often.
  2. Visit more schools to share 100 WC and show how children can really fly with an extended audience (Working with Julia)
  3. Continue to provide support  whether that is in person through my governance work or school visits or virtually through social media. It is a wonderful feeling that I can still make a difference!
  4. Learn how to have ‘empty head’ days when I can devote myself to Nick and our life together. He is a very considerate chap and knows that 100WC or the blogs are still there in my head when I’m supposed to be relaxing!
  5. Properly enjoy the opportunities life offers me and develop the strategies that we have already started to avoid me carrying everything around in my hear all the time.

Whether you are in education or not, I do hope your 2015 will bring lots of learning and great experiences!


A VERY useful book!

Posted in Governors' Corner, Resource Centre

You know when you go to a conference and there is a book stall  and you would love to buy at least 5/6 of them because they all have some bits in them that would be useful? Well this book is the answer to having to ‘multi’ buy.

It has been curated by Rachel Jones and contains ten tips, hints and suggestions on a variety of topics from a variety of educational folk.


So you have ideas on technologies, teaching art, blogging, learner voice, RE, Maths-  to name a few. The back cover shows you the extent of the expertise inside the covers and the depth of cross curricular, cross phase collaboration to be had.


I passionately believe every NQT whatever school they are in and whatever age group they teach should have a copy of this book. It is a great comfort with all it’s suggestions, none of which are rocket science. All the proceeds are going to a charities to help the most vulnerable children in our society. Order from Amazon

Oh and my bit? Well that’s about my other passion which is governance. you can find it on page 76-77!