Tuesday, 13 May 2008
We hope you are all well.
Anthony and I hope that you are getting-on well with your VC activities as discussed during the meeting on 12th March 2008 – please see the link below for details:-
Next ‘Virtual’ Meeting - Wednesday 2nd July 2008 at 4pm
We would like to schedule a ‘meeting over VC’ on Wednesday 2nd July 2008 at 4pm – please can you register via JANET at
Then we will set-up the meeting online. We can then all join the meeting over VC, removing the need to travel from our own schools.
Please can you confirm your attendance at this session by Wednesday 21st May 2008 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org?
Dave Smith (Havering) and Anthony Evans (Redbridge)
Sunday, 23 March 2008
If your school is too far away to make a visit to the National Archives, we are able to offer many of our workshops via videoconference (both IP and ISDN). We aim to give students of all ages and abilities (from KS1- KS5), the opportunity to work as real historians with some of the most famous and important original documents in history. Videoconference sessions vary from topics as diverse as the Great Fire of London and the Tudors, to Jack the Ripper and the Rise of National Socialism.
Most of our sessions are led by members of the education service, all of whom are qualified teachers with recent classroom experience. Our ’special event’ videoconferences, held at specific dates in the year, are led by historical interpreters, who base their characters on thorough historical research from the archives. Examples of these sessions include: a videoconference on the First World War, where pupils are given the opportunity to talk to an actor playing the role of Private Henry Fairhurst from a Pals Battalion; a debate style session that takes your students back in time to 1642, where Puritan Adam Wright and Bishop Richard Hyde discuss the causes of the English Civil Wars, and a workshop that introduces pupils to a member of the government’s Employment Commission of 1842 as he gathers evidence of children’s experiences of working in the mines.
A pack of preparation materials is available for many of our videoconferences, and this can either be downloaded from our website The Learning Curve, or sent to you via post. These packs help to encourage discussion and debate during the session.
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
But all the great ideas won't always work! The proposed sharing of our Science week "Big Bug Show" just won't be logistically possible. We have been in our hall with the VC equipment and find that there is no way we can successfully show a whole year group doing the activities, it would be chaos!
However, we have this idea instead; we will be filming the day, taking photos etc. We would therefore like to offer a VC, with anyone who is interested, where we will get the children to present their experiences of the day. We feel this would be a more organised activity.
If anyone is interested please email back and we will set dates for some time after Easter.
JANET Collaborate is a 'one-stop-shop' for teachers and lecturers looking for opportunities to work collaboratively, especially using videoconferencing.
The website is free to join and use. Members can search through the catalogue of Opportunities to collaborate:
with museums, galleries, archives and other content providers
with other teachers in schools in the UK and further afield
The site is arranged in three main sections: Find, Share and Organise.
Find out about Global Leap at...
MOTIVATE is a real-time videoconferencing project for schools, providing maths, science and cross-curricular videoconferences and linked projects for students of all ages (5-19) both in the UK and internationally.
Thursday, 13 March 2008
Clockhouse Primary (LBH) and Chadwell Primary (LBR) have had great success in Year One sharing information about their classes and school and in Year Four linking for joint topic work.
A Park Ranger visited Clockhouse Primary and Chadwell Primary were able to find out about their role. A great use of the technology to share a human resource between two sites.
Ardleigh Green Junior (LBH) and Parklands Junior (LBR) have enjoyed linking-up and sharing outcomes.
Gearies Infants (LBR) and Engayne Primary (LBH) have made a number of successful connections over VC to share similarities and differences between the schools as part of the Knowing Me, Knowing You Activities.
Where to next?
1. The schools discussed joint projects on which they would like to work collaboratively and it was agreed to keep the existing school partnerships to develop these further.
2. It was decided that all schools should try linking with an external provider - a list of this will be provided in a separate posting on this blog.
3. Please can all schools who have not already done so sign-up to the JANET VC booking system to allow links to schools/providers outside of the London Grid for Learning as well as to allow a 'multicast' linking more than 2 venues at a time.
4. It was agreed to hold the next meeting of the Project VC group over VC - to reduce travelling,
Gill from Chadwell Primary listed the following benefits of VC from her experience of using it so far...
"It develops a pride in the school, as pupils want to show their school in its best light over VC."
"It is great for joint topic work, as pupils can link across schools to share knowledge and ideas to achieve a joint outcome."
"It raises pupils' expectations as they want to work to create higher quality work."
Parkhill and Ardleigh Green
This was a good opportunity for Ardleigh Green and Parkhill to get together and talk about joint projects that they could collaborate on. There were some good ideas flowing between schools and these included:
Both schools allowing each other to share in their Romans Day, this will mean that children will have a chance to see how the other school celebrates Roman culture. Children each school will be dressed in Roman costume and will share some of their work. Apparently Parkhill have some excellent Boudicas.
In June Parkhill are hosting a circus skills session, so Ardeligh Green will be able to learn all about how Parkhill children learned to juggle (and tame lions).
Similarly, in April Ardeliegh Green are hosting a musical entertainer. This regular visitor to the school is a banjo playing singer will be sharing some of his songs to both schools, and providing another good context for speaking and listening as children interview him over VC.
Ideas for the future use of VC included:
- to link a group of gifted and talented pupils from all schools into a debate using the JANET VC network - with the pupils controlling the VC kit under adult supervision (to develop pupil autonomy)
- to use VC for cross-school continuing professional development
- to teach music over VC - recorders would be ideal for this
- to develop language teaching over VC
It was also announced that the North Romford School Improvement Consortium have the following 12 schools coming on board with VC kit.
The Mawney School
Rise Park Infant
Rise Park Junior
St Patrick’s RC Primary
As well as this Branfil Junior (Upminster) and Hacton Primary (Hornchurch) are to have VC kit installed to enable them to participate in a VC project linking with Engayne Primary and Gaynes School (both Upminster) to develop pupils' Modern Foreign Languages skills...
Thanks for your continued input and efforts to make VC a success across Redbridge and Havering.
Dave Smith - Havering ICT Consultant Anthony Evans - Redbridge ICT Consultant