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Monday, 17 December 2012

Guest Post - James Grummett

Inspired by Professor Stephen Heppell’s ideas of inflatable classrooms and my own personal love of small individual spaces; I decided to create an ‘Art Shed’. With the help of many students we have transformed a very average looking shed into a light, visually interesting space which can continuously evolve.

The Art Shed has a part Perspex roof to allow lots of light in, it also has a sculpture of the Island created by students during the challenge your mind event. Small windows are placed at different points to allow for unusual observations.

Most people love sheds, it’s a chance to escape, acquire some personal time, contemplate, relax, a place in which to become fully absorbed in an activity, a non classroom environment. It creates opportunities for independent study, research, a quiet zone to draw/sketch, a place in which to see things differently.

Who is it for?
The shed is available for any student wishing to use it during their Art lessons and also during lunch. Around 4-5 students can work comfortably at any one time allowing the perfect space for group work.

Future Spaces
I hope in the near future we develop a range of individual small spaces within the Arts Faculty that will encourage all of the above. The Art Shed is just the start.

For more ideas on amazing spaces checkout this link to architect George Clark, another Mackam (someone from Sunderland) -

Guest post written by: James Grummett (Learning Director for Art & Design)

Friday, 14 December 2012

e-Advent Calendar

At IPACA we have been running our own electronic advent calendar, this has proved a fantastic hit and includes Christmas images from across the different campus sites. If you would like to see the advent calendar, please visit - and scroll through the lovely selection of photographs.

For those interested, the site was made using which is a site developed by Special Moves in collaboration with Friendship Works (a US-based charity). The site allows you to easily create a calendar by dragging and dropping images from your computer or Facebook. Finished calendars can be shared online (as IPACA has done) or downloaded as a screensaver.

Google Docs - Intermediate

For my fourth IPACA Engage, Innovate and Inspire CPD session I led colleagues on a session entitled 'Google Docs - Intermediate Level'. The session built on the session at Brackenbury on 27/11/12 and focused on the collaborative element of Google Docs while introducing new tools in the form of Google Gadgets. Below you can see a recording of this session made on Tuesday 11th December, 2012 at Grove Campus -

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Year 7 - 100WC

I am currently working once a week with a Year 7 intervention group at IPACA with a focus on developing writing skills. As part of this work the learners have written responses to the ‘100 Word Challenge’ (more information available at:, these now form a blog -

At the end of our lesson today I asked the learners a couple of questions about the 100WC and include below a selection of their responses:

Q. What did you learn today?

A. That I have a good imagination.
A.  How to feel surprised from lots of comments from people in Russia and other countries.

A. How to write a comment
A.  That people all over the world can see your work.

 Q. What do you think of 100WC?

A. I fell happy that an audience can see my work. This is so cool!
A. I thought it was an amazing experience and I love reading people's comments.

It would be fantastic if you could spare one minute to check this site occasionally to see the writing produced by this group and comment on the work. I would encourage you to make a positive comment on the efforts made but also add a question or thought to foster improvement.

It is hoped that this will be a running project that more learners could benefit from in the future.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

"Say Hi!" - S.E.N.D App

I was exploring technology to support pupils with a range of S.E.N.D needs today and came across the App -  "Say Hi! AAC". Many of you will be aware that I have a great passion for seeing digital technology support children who have particular barriers to learning and this augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tool does just that - FOR FREE! The app brings the world of basic communication to people with severe physical disabilities, limited movement, and/or challenged dexterity. See the below video for more information:

Say Hi! AAC was developed by the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (theGSF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to opening the world through technology for those with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and other physically challenging conditions.

30 iPad Apps in 30 Minutes

On Tuesday 4th December, I shared 30 iPad Apps in 30 Minutes at Underhill Campus as part of my IPACA Engage, Innovate and Inspire C.P.D Sessions. The session gave a whistle stop tour of 30 great and free iPad Apps to use in the classroom. After the presentation there was plenty of time to download and explore the Apps. 

At the bottom of this page you can see a recording of this session and below I include a list of the 30 iPad Apps shared with colleaguea. As always comments welcome below.

1. Toy Story: Read Along 
2. iOS6 Maps
3. Photo Booth
4. Clock - Timer

5. Pic Collage
6. Puppet Pals HD
7. Motion Maths: Wings 

8. NASA App HD
9. Google Drive
10. Mobile OCR
11. ScreenChomp
12. Bee-Bot
13. Paper by FiftyThree 

14. Video FX Live
15. QR Code Scanner

16. Recorder Plus HD
17. Find Me (Autism)
18. iDough! HD
19. Let’s Create! Pottery HD Lite 

20. Magnetic ABC
21. FREE Sound Effects! 
22. Extreme FX
23. SkyView Free 

25.FaceGoo HD
26. iSpeech
27. iMotion HD
28. iMotion R
29. GreenScreen Lite 

30. Aurasma

Friday, 7 December 2012

Inspiring Year 6

On Tuesday 4th December I had the opportunity to work with Y.6 at one of our Campus sites. We had a fantastic afternoon of shoeless learning with all learners engaged in their learning about e-safety. Please see the bottom of this post for my lesson plan from the afternoon.

In the main activity, children worked independently to create 'E-Safety Campaign Videos' using iMovie on the iPad. The following is a selection of their work:

The children were so engaged in this process that one group even put the following sign up to warn others that they were learning:

 Lesson plan:

An Update

I have been meaning to share a more general update about my role and work but haven't had the chance to write anything down yet. I attended a Teaching and Learning meeting at RM Campus on Wednesday night though and shared my role with the Head of Departments. I think the minutes of this meeting give a great overview of my role and work, I include them below for everyone to see:

The ‘Digital Learning Revolution at IPACA ‘– Gary Spracklen

- Gary introduced himself and described his work so far at IPACA.  

- A major thrust for the new academy will be to exploit the advantages that greater use of technology can bring to T and L practice. Focus will be on the learners and how using technology in lessons can impact positively on student outcomes.

- 120 students across the academy how applied to become digital leaders.

- Current focus is on ensuring that the ICT infrastructure is robust enough to support all that we will need it to do – as yet no ICT supplier. Will go out to tender in February 2013.

- Core group meets every fortnight. Next meeting in library at RM -3.30pm on Thurs 13 Dec. ICT vision for academy currently under discussion. Anyone interested urged to attend.

- Gary emphasized the importance of balancing need with wishes.

- Gary re-iterated his wish to work closely with staff. CPD sessions have begun and will continue to support staff to develop increased confidence in the use of advanced technologies.

Also in this meeting a colleague shared her experience using iPads with Business group in Year 11. ‘Socrative’ is a useful free app enabling maximum student engagement and teacher feedback and generating faster-paced learning. Students comment on how organised it seems, and on how much they appreciate the instantaneous feedback. It is possible to record students.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

iMotion HD

I have long loved exploring film and media applications in the classroom and for me you cannot beat working with students on their own stop-motion animation. The focus, concentration and sheer determination involved in making a film using this technique is incredible. In previous years, stop-motion animation in schools often involved an array of equipment (sometimes expensive, sometime not), specialist knowledge and a fixed working environment. Times have changed though and there are now a series of Apps that can be used to create professional style animations without any previous experience.

 iMotion HD is one of these Apps and I find it an intuitive and powerful tool for time-lapse and stop-motion work. For those of you who do not know, time-lapse is a cinematography technique which accelerates movement. It can be used to photograph cloudscapes, plants growing, crowds, etc, etc. Stop motion is an animation technique which makes a physically manipulated object look like it’s moving on its own. iMotion HD is free to download and I recommend everyone giving it a go. Check out the below video to see it in action:

Friday, 30 November 2012

The Flipped Classroom

On the 18/12/12, I will be running an IPACA Engage, Innovate and Inspire C.P.D session entitled: 'The Flipped Classroom - A Beginner’s Guide'. IPACA colleagues can still sign up for this session by clicking here. This session will explore how many educators are exploring the flipped classroom model which uses technology to deliver instructions online which can be used outside of the classroom. The session will be held at RM Campus and will explore the model and provide practical examples of things to try out in your classroom.
In advance of this session I wanted to give a stronger overview of what is meant by the term 'Flipped Classroom'. After a little searching I feel Wikipedia gives a good definition which supports my understanding and application of the term:
'Flip teaching is a form of blended learning which encompasses any use of Internet technology to leverage the learning in a classroom, so a teacher can spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing. This is most commonly being done using teacher-created videos that students view outside of class time. It is also known as backwards classroomreverse instructionflipping the classroom, and reverse teaching.[1]
The traditional pattern of secondary education has been to have classroom lectures, in which the teacher explains a topic, followed by homework, in which the student does exercises. In flip teaching, the student first studies the topic by himself, typically using video lessons created by the instructor[2][3] or shared by another educator, such as those provided by the Khan Academy. In the classroom, the pupil then tries to apply the knowledge by solving problems and doing practical work.[4][5][6] The role of the classroom teacher is then to tutor the student when they become stuck, rather than to impart the initial lesson. This allows time inside the class to be used for additional learning-based activities,[7] including use of differentiated instruction and project-based learning.[8]
Flip teaching allows more hands-on time with the instructor guiding the students, allowing them to assist the students when they are assimilating information and creating new ideas (upper end of Bloom's Taxonomy).[9]'
Extract taken from:
For some local examples of 'Flipped Teaching', check out the DASP (Dorchester Areas Schools Partnership) Maths website. This website contains
 short video clips of DASP students explaining how they do a particular sum.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Year 7 use Socrative

I had the real pleasure of teaching a group of Year 7 pupils this morning at RM Campus. I will be working with this group of IPACA pupils across the coming weeks to explore how new technologies can be used to support and inspire the development of their writing skills and also to provide the learners with a real audience for their work (more information on this very soon).

Today was an introduction session and together we explored various visual prompts to stimulate short bursts of writing. In the lesson, we used the brilliant (and free) App 'Socrative' as a smart student response system. Socrative is perfect for classroom use because it is safe, secure and can run on any tablet, smartphone or laptop. For more information check out: or watch the below video:

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Google Docs - Entry Level

Google Docs is a free, web-based office suite and data storage service offered by Google within its Google Drive service. It’s great for education because it allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users. On Tuesday 27th November, I led a session which explored the basics of Google Docs and showed how you can go about making your first document.

Please see below for a video from the session which was recorded on Tuesday 27th November at Brackenbury Campus. The event was attended by around fiftenn members of IPACA staff.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Clevertouch Fusion Multi 42"

Today was a great day as I had the first opportunity to work with a small group of IPACA Digital Leaders. Digital Leaders are learners who will support me in my role as Director of Digital Learning Innovation as I explore the new technologies that will support teaching and learning here at IPACA. In total, thirteen Digital Leaders from throughout IPACA visited Southwell Business Park to explore the Clevertouch Fusion Multi 42" which had been lent to IPACA by Hugh Symons.

The Clevertouch Fusion incorporates an inbuilt PC, a multi touch screen, and an electronic mobile stand. It is essentially three products in one – an interactive easel, table, or whiteboard. Please see below for reviews from our Digital Leaders (coming soon) and a video showcasing the Digital Leaders hard at work.

If you would like any further information  on the Clevertouch Fusion Multi 42" you can contact Alicia Asquith (Hugh Symons AV Account Manager) on the below contact details:

Email -
Mobile - 07989345359
Website -

Monday, 26 November 2012

Big Bad Wolf Wanted Poster

A colleague asked me today if it was possible to create some fun and engaging wanted posters for a unit of work on the Three Little Pigs. I came up with the above image using nothing other than an iPad. See below for my solution: 

I used FaceGoo HD to manipulate my image (this App is free and contains some wolf-like hair to add to the image). I then used Pic-Collage to make the poster. Pic-Collage is another brilliant free App that even the very youngest of children can use with no problem at all.

There are free 'wanted poster creators' in the App Store, however, one is a Facebook App and the other contains shooting sounds as it loads, which is not suitable for a classroom environment. Other 'wanted poster creators' are paid apps but may be worth looking at if the above is not suitable.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Twitter for Teachers

It has taken me a while to write this but on Tuesday (20/11/12) I led my first IPACA Engage, Innovate and Inspire C.P.D session This was entitled: 'Twitter for Teachers - a basic introduction for non-users'. A full recording of the session can be seen by clicking this link: or by playing through the embedded player below. I choose to start with a Twitter session as Twitter has transformed the way people connect, collaborate and share. I wanted IPACA colleagues to see how the social media platform can be used in teaching and to support CPD.

This first session was a great success and it was brilliant that people left inspired to give Twitter a go and start tweeting using the hashtag -  #IPACA. See a small sample of tweets so far below:

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Provider of the Year

EXCITING NEWS - The Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy sponsor The Aldridge Foundation was named Academy Provider of the Year 2012 at the EducationInvestor Awards, sponsored by Lloyds TSB.

This awards judging panel, which included representatives from the Department for Education and the CBI, as well as senior figures from the world of education, chose the Foundation ahead of a strong field of academy chains.  The award cites the Foundation's commitment to entrepreneurship, with one of the judges’ comments highlighting the Foundation’s "sheer innovation and clear direction."

Collecting the award with Foundation Chairman Sir Rod Aldridge was Honor Wilson-Fletcher, who said: "Our delight at receiving the award was all the greater on hearing that it was our commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation that really impressed the judges.  This is an award earned by and for all our academies. We are very proud of our family of schools, our students and the whole team that supports them."

Academy Principal Designate Alison Appleyard said: “It is a tremendous achievement and is absolutely fantastic news. It is further recognition that the children of Portland are being supported by the very best.”

The Academy was recently praised by senior Government official Adam Jackson, Director at the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation. In a follow up letter after a recent visit to Portland Mr. Jackson wrote:

“I have visited many schools in the last 4 years. I have to say that IPACA is the most impressive project I have seen. I was blown away by the commitment of all the schools in the Academy to come together to seek to transform Portland.”

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

What Kind Of Restaurant Is Your Classroom?

I love analogies and have heard lots of them but I thought this one was worth sharing and wondered what your thoughts were on the points made and how these relate to you. Comments welcome as always.

What Kind Of Restaurant Is Your Classroom?
(Originally from:

We think classrooms are like (or perhaps even should be like) a good restaurant. However, this is not always the case, sometimes they are more ‘fast food’ than ‘gourmet’

Let me explain some of the classic features of a ‘fast-food’ model of the classroom:

  • Pupils walk in with no-one to great them
  • Adults talk really quickly; they’re impatient and want answers quickly.
  • The menu is always the same.
  • A diet of uninspiring food learning is supplied daily. (it does however hit all of the APP outcomes)
  • Pupils will never remember there favourite or lesson when they’re older
  • Standards are high because the criteria for judging them is so narrow. The ‘fast-food’ restaurant makes and healthy profit and the classroom produces high ‘standards’
  • The tables and chairs never move.
  • All posters and displays are professionally made by adults.
  • Differentiation is made by the words ‘small,’ ‘regular’ or ‘large,’ or in classroom speak; ‘poor,’ ‘average’ or ‘bright.’ (Although occasionally ‘G&T is on the menu)
  • Sometimes special menus/promotions are created, in schools these are known as ‘theme days,’ this is the only time when the menu is slightly more interesting.
  • Feedback is standardised and irrelevant. In the classroom this might be ‘Good Work’ or ‘Well Done’
  • No tips are given; the children will never go the extra mile.
  • Customers can never change the menu and ask for something a little different; in the classroom children get what they’re given.
  • There is no overt way of expressing pleasure or disappointment at the service provided.

On the other hand, a gourmet restaurant (or perhaps country pub!) model for the classroom might read as follows:

  • A friendly smile when you walk in.
  • Small talk at the table with staff.
  • The menu changes regularly and there are lots of daily specials
  • The meals (learning) are well deigned by experts who truly know what they are doing.
  • Great memories are created by the quality of service and friendly atmosphere.
  • Relationships with all adults and children are positive.
  • ‘Difficult’ customers are treated with dignity and respect
  • Standards are exceptionally high, because of the attention to detail at every step of the process.
  • If something special is required or someone wants to deviate from the menu it is celebrated and explored
  • Differentiation is the choice of the customer/pupils; there is a wide variety of activities/meals set out in a variety of ways.
  • Feedback is personalised and unscripted, it feels natural but authoritative.
  • Plenty of tips! Children bring in masses of things from home because they’ve been inspired in school.
  • Pupils can personalise the menus, giving feedback to the lead adult about their performance.
  • Pupils are encouraged to think about their decisions; they have time to evaluate the menu before making a decision

And so on…

Let’s make it clear. Classrooms are not restaurants and certainly shouldn’t be run as a business; pupils are not our customers, they are learners and we should be proud to facilitate their progress.

But, we feel the comparisons can be made. We believe that too often, the standards agenda pushes schools into a ‘fast-food’ model of education. Children deserve better! Whilst a ‘Gourmet’ classroom means hard work, it does mean that the children are the most important people and they will remember their experiences.

So how do you make your classroom ‘Gourmet?’

Why do you use Twitter?

Tonight I will be sharing with IPACA colleagues the power of Twitter and how it can be harnessed by teachers as a tool for learning and C.P.D. I hope to record this presentation and upload it to this Blog at some point. In my preparation for this training I asked my PLN (Personal Learning Network) on Twitter how and why they use the social networking service as a teacher. Below are some screenshots of the responses I had.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Mini Grip Coming Soon

I am a fan of the Big Grips Frame™ for iPad and have used a number of them effectively in my previous role at the Prince of Wales First School. I was pleased to hear tonight from the team in California that there is news on a mini version for the iPad Mini. Kirk Mills, President of KEM Ventures Inc, the company behind the brilliant Big Grips Frame™ for iPad replied to a question I asked him about the mini version stating, 'The mini case is progressing. We are getting setup with tooling and first samples, then we'll begin production. We are still aiming for an early 2013 launch, but we'll be "leaking" additional details in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned!'

This is positive news from the company which this week also launched Big Grips Buddy for iPod touch (4th generation) in the color blue. Featuring the same fun protection as Big Grips Frame, Big Grips Buddy also comes with a handy "loop" for attaching a strap or lanyard (not included) so you can keep your Buddy close. Big Grips Buddy for iPod touch will be in limited supply for $19.95 until January.

 To get Big Grips Buddy or find out more about Big Grips, check out:!

Visit to BACA

Today I visited BACA (Brighton Aldridge Community Academy) which is the newset Aldridge Community Academy build (opened September, 2011). Throughout the day I was impressed by the open, clean and fluid space which is illustrated so well in the above picture.

I visited BACA on two grounds, the first was to attend (as a guest) the Aldridge Foundation Away Day and share my skills in Digital Learning with the Foundation. The second was to tour the school with their IT Manager and learn from their recent experience in procurement and implementation processes. The following is a visual snapshot of what I saw.

Music room:

Welcome area looking in:

Main spine:

Communal I.C.T:

Finger print enabled printing:

More communal I.C.T:

Flexible hall space:

BACA stand:

View from stage:

Posted via DraftCraft app

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Learner Voice - Digital Leaders

Last week and throughout this week I have been leading a series of assemblies for all pupils across IPACA about my role and how learners might like to help me in shaping the vision for new technologies at IPACA. As a rule I am very passionate about learner voice and as plans develop for the new technologies that will support future learning at IPACA I am keen to use learner voice to drive forward change. As an initial step, I plan to establish a cross-age 'Digital Leader Group' from December onwards.

In order to facilitate this, I am encouraging learners to apply to be ‘Digital Leaders’ - Digital Leaders will be pupils who have a particular interest in technology and want to have a say in how it will be used in their future education.

Digital Leaders is open to all ages of children and I have previously worked on similar projects with Pre-School to Y.4 Digital Leaders and also have examples of Sixth Form Colleges applying the same principles. The links below are examples of similar projects that may be of interest  -

Secondary School Example -

Primary School Example -

Finally, the below recording was taken at IPACA Southwell Campus on 12/11/12 and it gives a great sense of the learners enthusiasm for such a project.

Mobile Phones in Class

The following extract was taken from The Guardian Teacher Network (click here to read the full article) - 'From multimedia to geocaching, the possibilities for using mobiles to engage learners are endless. Teachers tell Emma Drury how and why they are using the devices in school. Jo Debens, geography teacher, Priory School, Portsmouth - 'The geography department at my school has been leading the use of mobile device in learning. Throughout last year the mobile@priory charter was created and led by head of department David Rogers and co-constructed by students to enable them to use mobile devices in learning. This was trialled through the geography department and found great success with students becoming more actively engaged with their learning.

Some of the examples of where we use mobile devices range from simply taking photos and videos to share in class or recording homework, to creating revision podcasts or animations. The point often is student choice, encouraging independent learning and allowing students to choose what approach will suit them. We have found that encouraging mobile device use has enabled our students to access resources that we cannot provide otherwise. For example, students access the internet for research (such as the internet or our department blogs/Facebook support page).

On fieldwork, students can record images, video, sound, take notes, use GPS technology and mapping software to record information essential to their coursework. In school we have used mobiles to record work, for example the students used chalk around school to leave messages or symbols regarding social spaces and guerilla messages and then used mobiles to take images or record video or sound interviews of them discussing their work which could then be shared with the class. The focus is on the learning, the discussion on what they gained from the activity not on the device.

One activity sees students investigating secret places in school - they have to find a space, and find evidence or clues about that space to share with others. Many use their mobiles to record sound or image clues to share. We also introduced a geocaching project where students hid Olympic themed geocaches at Box Hill and used mobile devices with GPS to use the website and online research before hiding their geocaches and then seeing them go live and have real people from the public able to find their work.
The benefit for us as teachers is the personalisation, and the freedom for students to access resources. Often the lower ability children find mobile devices enable them to interact more freely and use tools to learn. We find that it encourages student voices and increases engagement.

Originally some were concerned about potential cyber-bullying or disruptive behaviour but what we've actually noticed is that behaviour concerns have decreased since the policy was introduced, and that students are now being taught how to use the internet and mobile devices safely. It has never been about the devices, it is always about the learning. The devices are just the tool that enable young people.

Patrick Taylor - ICT and computer science teacher - Barnsley Academy, Barnsley -
At the beginning of the summer we began a collaboration with Microsoft. We were already incorporating products from Dreamspark into the new curriculum at key stage 3 but introduced year 8 to Kodu. They welcomed such a new interesting tool which encouraged us considerably, as we had initially been hesitant about how learners would relate to Kodu, Gamemaker and Scratch.

Microsoft and HTC provided us with handsets which opened up opportunities to support the curriculum. With this in mind I created an Introduction to Computer Science taster session covering mobile app design with resources extracted from the MTA and Microsoft school resources. This spanned over five lessons and allowed learners to decide if they would like to head down the computer science route or the ICT route. Learners will complete their MTA exams over the next academic year with some doing so at the end of this term.
Touch Develop has been written into the scheme of work and is due to commence this week. This will be done with year 10 and span over five weeks. We are looking forward to the task with the first priority being to build colleagues' understanding of the possibilities this opens up as a teaching resource.

One of the great things about working at Barnsley Academy is that colleagues are open to trying new technology and by being part of a national group, United Learning, we are able to work with colleagues across the country in different schools and academies to pilot initiatives and develop best practice'.

The above was taken from The Guardian Teacher Network 
(click here to read the full article) 
With this article in mind, I asked IPACA learners what they thought of using mobile phones in the classroom:

Friday, 9 November 2012

Ignite Teaching

A colleague shared with me today, 'Ignite Teaching' which is an exciting blog created as a collaboration between Comberton Village College and The Voyager Academy as a way to promote and share good practice in teaching and learning. The blog is currently administered by Michael Bigg. You can follow the project on Twitter @IgniteTeaching.

What strikes me about 'Ignite Teaching' is not necessarily the  great ideas but the collaboration involved in bringing this together across sites. I hope in future months we can see similar Wikis or Blogs used by IPACA and the wider Aldridge family to share best practice in our classroom. Watch this space!

 Check out Ignite Teaching now at:

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Inflatable Classroom

Saw this fantastic inflatable classroom at IPACA Grove Campus today. See below for information from Stephen Heppell: 'Companies who create exhibitions and shows often also manufacture these rapid-to-inflate little rooms children love them becuase the inflated walls dampen sounds a lot and offer a "nook" where they can work together the airpump inflates them rapidly from the storage case, and sucks them right back down again when you want them out of the way - I have seen them implemented in some pretty tough places, but so far never seen one punctured by a student - that is how much they love them! (and repairs would be easy anyway)' - Read the full page about 'rooms in rooms' at:

Pre-School links with Kenya

Yesterday while visiting Grove Campus, I had the pleasure of meeting Prof John Siraj-Blatchford ( and his colleague. They were meeting with Little Stars Pre-School to discuss a link project with Pre-Schools in Kenya (OMEP Parent Partnerships Pilot Project). The project sounds very exciting and promises to provide IPACA's youngest learners with a real global perspective that can be developed in years to come. John shared lots of pictures with us from his visit to Kenya, what really inspired me though was the learners innovative approach to making toys, some images of which I include below. I wonder if we could all take something from these children's creativity and resourcefulness? I am sure this is not the last you will hear of this project.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

TeachMeet Dorset - Hosted by IPACA

I am excited to announce that IPACA is hosting a FREE event for local teachers - TeachMeet Dorset. TeachMeet Dorset will be taking place on 22/11/12 (18:00-20:30) at the proposed IPACA (Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy) site at Southwell Business Park.  TeachMeet Dorset is a teacher-led event  meaning it is not run by IPACA or in any way compulsory to attend. The event is open to all teachers across Dorset to share ideas and see what works in practice.  TeachMeet Dorset is part of a grass-roots movement of ‘un-conferences’ that are a fun and informal way to share great teaching ideas, often about using ICT to teach.

For more information and to sign up now, check out -

The event is sponsored by Vital (and possibly others) and will include FREE REFRESHMENTS and a special prize draw! If you have any questions or would like me to sign you up for this FREE EVENT please email me at: Alternatively, you can sign up at the website:

I am looking forward to seeing lots of colleagues in the below theatre for the event.