13th May 2011 at 01:00


Remove barriers to reading

Castles and family trees help those with moderate needs

The category of moderate learning difficulties (MLD) is wide ranging and covers a spectrum of pupils and needs. This collection of resources will extend learning in many curriculum areas. They can also be adapted to meet the specific needs of learners.

Included in the collection is a resource on short sentences for pupils with reading difficulties (languageisheartosay) and a PowerPoint on castles that can be used as an introduction to a visit or a topic on them (danielleb). Although the wedding is now a distant memory, a royal family tree can introduce the family to pupils, as well as highlight family relationships. It also gives an opportunity to pupils to create their own resource using photographs (Niels Bilcliff).

A PowerPoint on push and pull forces features pictures of objects and asks pupils to discuss how each one moves, from which they can produce their own pushpull Venn diagram (anngie).


Video equals success

Making the most of mathematical software

This collection of videos has been put together by maths teacher Craig Barton to demonstrate the potential in Autograph, a piece of mathematical software.

Many schools have Autograph on their network, but it is often only used to draw straight lines or curves, the equivalent of using an iPad as a coffee mat. The software can do much more, enabling teachers to demonstrate topics as diverse as transformations, cumulative frequency diagrams, the fundamental theorem of calculus and the outcomes of rolling several dice.

Autograph can be used with all ages and abilities, from primary school right up to further mathematicians with eyes on a mathematics degree.

These videos aim to give you ideas of how you can use Autograph in class. There are tips and suggestions for beginners and advanced users. A new video will be added each week. If you have any requests for specific topics to be covered, email Mr Barton at

Video 6 in the collection looks at how you can use Autograph to combine reflections, rotations, translations and enlargements, and includes a puzzle for pupils to tackle at the end.

Video 10 looks at working with raw data, illustrating how to import data from the web or Excel into Autograph to analyse it by quickly creating a series of mathematical diagrams.

Global citizenship

Children of war

Conflict, climate change and Fairtrade

An earthquake, tsunami and impending nuclear disaster in Japan, revolution and upheaval in the Middle East and a civil war in Ivory Coast - global citizenship has rarely been so pertinent. This collection contains everything you need to get students to think about and reflect on their position as part of the human race.

A climate change teaching pack, put together by experts at Manchester Metropolitan University, includes five lessons, covering the greenhouse effect, carbon dioxide, ozone, the effects of climate change and slowing down global warming, and can be used with key stage 3 and 4 pupils (pinknoodles).

Conflict-related resources include a case study put together by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust on the genocide in Darfur. The pack focuses on individuals and villages and can be used in conjunction with the book Tears of the Desert, a first-hand account of the atrocities. A lesson on child soldiers includes activities and videos (Brummy Boy), and the charity War Child has uploaded a series of lessons on the issues surrounding conflict-related poverty.

Lesson plans uploaded by Google look at Fairtrade, including what the word means, identifying Fairtrade products and the advantages of operating within a Fairtrade partnership.


Crafty idea

The Crafts Council and the UK Hand Knitting Association have launched their second Hook 1 Pass it On scheme. There are now more than 300 clubs teaching young people crafts across the UK and the aim is to double this number by 2012. For details, visit

CILT merger

The National Centre for Languages, CILT, has merged with education charity CfBT Education Trust. The majority of CILT's services, including its graduate teacher programme, will transfer as a unit to CfBT.

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