Newsletter – April 2015

Newsletter for Computing Subject Leaders & Curriculum Coordinators

April 2015 

Q Files

This is a new free online illustrated encyclopaedia aimed at primary schools. Its main sections are prehistoric, history, culture, geography, space, technology, science, life and earth. There is also a good news section, with some striking imagery. Find it at


BBC Wildlife Magazine Schools’ Digital Wildlife Award

BBC Wildlife is on the hunt for schools that are leading the way in natural history education. The new Schools’ Digital Wildlife Award will celebrate the most innovative teachers and the most enthusiastic classrooms around the country.

The BBC is asking classes to submit a digital presentation from the classroom. It could be in the form of a three-minute video or a concise Prezi-style presentation that can combine words, video and pictures. Go to to find out more.

Prezi is a presentation package, free in its simpler form, which makes a powerful alternative to Powerpoint because information can be linked differently to just a sequence of slides. It is an online tool, so it will work on any device. Try it for yourself or better still come to the next Subject Leader Meeting, on 24 June. If you are already a Prezi user, this is a great opportunity to share your Prezis.


Technology in the New Programmes of Study: Geography

Did you know that the use of digital technology is a requirement in the Geography Programme of Study?

“use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied

use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.”

To find out good ways to meet this requirement, book a staff meeting with Learning Linked.


Naace Essential Guides (eGuides)

Naace has produced this series of Essential Guides, or “eGuides” in response to an identified gap in teachers’ CPD. That is, how to teach everything else on the 2014 Computing Programme of Study aside from Computer Science.

Furthermore, Naace believes that technology has a major role to play in raising standards in learning across the curriculum, provided teachers know how to adapt their pedagogies in order to maximise the potential gains offered by learning technologies. The eGuides help teachers do this.

Each guide has an introduction, description of key concepts, key outcomes including statements of end of year expectations, key methodologies, and links to some teaching resources.

Through the partnership between Naace and Learning Linked, North Lincs schools are able, for one year, to get free draft versions of the eGuides. The current guides available are using graphics and databases.


Summer Term Events

There are still places on the Courses. These are 12.30pm for 1.00pm start – 4.30pm and cost £95.

“How to teach difficult ideas”, 8th June 2015

“Primary Programming “, 9th June 2015

Subject Leader meeting, 24th June 2015 – this is free (until 31 March 2016). Further information coming soon.


Subject Leader Meetings

You may have missed the following resources from the last subject leader meeting:

  • Cloud (Educational Apps) Software Services and the Data Protection Act; DfE advice for local authorities, school leaders, school staff and governing bodies. This is particularly important for schools using cloud based provision
  • Advice from Facebook on safer social networking
  • Advice from the UK Safer Internet Centre: Online Safety – Protecting our children from Radicalisation and Extremism
  • House of Lords Report on the Importance of Digital Literacy, proposing that it should be core and of the same status as literacy and numeracy.


These are still available by getting in touch, and will soon be available for download from our website.

Briefing, February 2015

Briefing for Computing Subject Leaders & Curriculum Coordinators

February 2015


Launch of the New Service

We are really pleased and very fortunate to invite you to hear Mark Chambers, CEO of Naace, the National Association for the Advancement of Educational Computing, speak, as he launches the new Learning Linked service for North Lincolnshire Schools.  Through his involvement with the DfE, and the Department for Business, he will give us an overview of the national picture of support, and through the Naace partnership with global organisations including Intel, Microsoft and Google, he wil  trail future trends and their impact on schools. He will conclude by outlining support to schools from Naace, working in partnership with Learning Linked. The launch is 14th April at 4 pm.  This event is not to be missed.  Please confirm your attendance by getting in touch with Penny.


Headlines from BETT

BETT was as busy as ever this year, but in line with recent trends, it has become much more about products and less about learning.  A really interesting feature was that suppliers have started to respond to assessment without levels, in ways to keep an eye on. Frog announced a product called Frog Progress, which uses English and mathematics objectives for the new curriculum as defined by the NAHT to allow pupil progress to be tracked as they achieve the objectives. 2Simple have further developed 2 Build a Profile for the whole of primary, which uses the Rising Stars progression frameworks for English and maths, and allows really quick and easy recording of evidence related to these objectives.  J2E take a similar approach, again using the Rising Stars progression frameworks, but they go further, allowing these objectives to be linked to evidence from pupil blogs, and their programs as written in J2Code.  Finally, Capita are promising a new approach embedded into their MIS.  All of these have real potential to solve the massive problem of assessment schools are facing.

If there is sufficient interest, you can hear more from any or all of these suppliers by letting us know – they have kindly agreed to come to one of our Subject Leader meetings!  Find out more about these meetings below.


Safer Internet Day

Each year the UK Safer Internet Centre develops education packs to help schools and youth groups deliver activities for children, young people and parents and carers on Safer Internet Day.

The education packs include posters, assembly presentations with scripts, drama activities, quick activities, full lesson plans and information for parents and carers. Get the pack from

Learning Linked offers a comprehensive e-safeguarding audit if you really want to be sure you know where you are.  Send for our services list.


Technology in the New Programmes of Study

Did you know that the use of Technology is actually mentioned in some of the National Curriculum Programmes of Study?  Here is an extract from the Music aims:

learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence

There are three main parts of the music PoS where you should look to use technology; in playing, composing and listening. There are lots of resources to help, for example, there is great free software called Audacity for PCs, which allows children to compose from samples, clips and their own sounds.  To find out more, get in touch.


Code Club

Many schools are starting to use Scratch for programming with older children.  Code club is a good free resource in two ways.  It contains 6 projects with lesson plans and resources, at

and if you want support from a friendly volunteer, you can find one at


Look out for the half day primary programming courses on 24th March and 9th June to really work programming out!  For more details, get in touch with Penny.


Subject Leader Meetings

So that you can decide for yourself on their worth, for the first year of the Learning Linked service, subject leader meetings will be free. They will be an opportunity to

  • Listen to invited speakers (such as the suppliers of assessment methods)
  • Network with like minded colleagues
  • Share resources and information
  • Build on these briefings

Dates for your diary: 24 June.  Sign up now by getting in touch with Penny.