A new way to relax or have fun? – Release your inner child

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I don’t know about you but one of the best things about being a child was going to those indoor soft play centres.
Running around like a mad person is always fun & the climbing platforms, slides, swings & hidy holes just added to the excitement! But my most favourite section was always the ball pit.
I don’t know what it is about ball pits but I know practically every adult I know loved playing in them as a child. (And still would if they could get away with it!)

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You can change the world at any age

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I came across an inspiring article this morning which I would like to share.
It is inspiring for two reasons: 1) because the child is only 8 years old which goes to show that age is quite literally only a number & 2) because her parents gave her the opportunity to become involved & were genuinely interested in her answer.

The heading of this article reads:

“Eight-year-old girl Camilla Lisant suggests possible cure for cancer to her scientist father”

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Help the homeless with your smartphone

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Where I grew up it was not common to see homeless people living on the streets.
But when I was out with my mum shopping we might occasionally see someone sat outside our local Sainsburys or huddled in a corner of a building trying to keep warm.

As a young child I found these people a little scary & I often wondered what had led to them being there.
I remember that my mum never just walked passed them, she always stopped, & instead of giving them money she asked if she could buy them some food. They always said “yes”.

My mum’s actions have stayed with me & I too offer to buy homeless people food when I can. However I am often left feeling helpless even if I have done so because I do not like the idea that they are left out in the cold. I have never been told who can help them & sometimes, even if there is a local organisation who can help, it is not always obvious who they are & how to get in touch.

This can change thanks to a new service called StreetLink which asks the public to report any homeless people they have seen by using their App, phoning 0300 500 0914 or by clicking onto their website. StreetLink then contacts the local council & makes sure that each person is helped out.

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How much technology do we need in schools?

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This is something that Russell Hobby, the general secretary for the National Association of Head Teachers, has given his opinion on this week via the NAHT blog.

He writes that it is expected that by 2015/16 “the total UK school spend on ICT provision [will] be £716m” which is “equivalent to over 20,000 teachers or 140 medium size secondary schools.”

His question is simple:

“Can this possibly be justified at a time of austerity?”

When it comes to the use of technology in schools Mr Hobby splits it into two “dimensions”: teaching children how to use technology & using technology to teach children.

He believes that teaching children how to use technology makes sense as it will help them in their careers as well as their understanding of the world around them.
I agree with Mr Hobby & believe that children should be taught good habits when using technology as well as language & etiquette.
Mr Hobby goes on to say that children shouldn’t be taught specific software packages because these may well be out of date by the time they leave school. Instead children should be taught “to control technology rather than be controlled by it, to be creators rather than just users.”

In order to do this schools will need to spend a certain amount of their budgets on technology but Mr Hobby feels that too much money has been spent on technology that teachers use to teach children in non IT classes.

He recognises that for some, “transformative uses of technology” in the classroom are “genuinely exciting” but he is addressing the “average state of affairs” when he says that he thinks “we’d be better off spending the money recruiting & training great teachers.”

“I love technology as much as anyone”

Mr Hobby writes in his blog that he is a fan of technology & that his conclusion “disappoints [him]”.
He goes on to say that it is still early days & that although he expects technology to improve & become more efficient schools should try to stay clear of “fads”.

So what do you think?

When most of us were at school we sat in front of a teacher writing on a blackboard.
Does a whiteboard offer any more than a fancy way of doing the same thing?

Do schools need to invest in technology to help their teachers teach in non IT lessons, does it take away from the skills that teachers have?

I’m sure children would love to have an iPad in every classroom but is it a revolutionary teaching aid or just a distraction?

Should schools bypass the use of technology & invest more heavily in their teachers?


The Oxford Junior Dictionary & An Open Letter

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Authors, writers, broadcasters & TV producers are among those who have signed an open letter to the Oxford University Press. Why? Because they believe that the Oxford Junior Dictionary is being edited to exclude words linked to “nature & the countryside”.
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Lego’s “MoreToMaths” | Love or Hate It?

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“There’s more to maths than facts.’

– MoreToMaths slogan

Birchfield school in Shropshire has apparently become the first in the world to teach their 5 year olds maths via Lego’s MoreToMaths teaching programme.
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This Girl Can

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This Girl Can

Apparently the fear of judgement is stopping women from exercising.
This Girl Can Campaign wants to help to show that this doesn’t have to be the case.

“This Girl Can is a national campaign developed by Sport England and a wide range of partnership organisations. It’s a celebration of active women up and down the country who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how red their face gets.
This Girl Can is here to inspire women to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgement is a barrier that can be overcome.”


TGC Poster

TGC Poster