Subject Leader Network Notes

Network No Comments »

(Posted by Fiona)

Here are the notes, presentations and handouts from last week’s ICT network meeting for those who couldn’t make it. There were presentations from Clare Askew and Victoria Turner (YHGfL) and Allan Qualters (AST) as well as updates from Dughall and myself.

Clare Askew spoke about the services available for Kirklees schools through YHGfL. Kirklees will be part of the regional grid for the next three years. This means that YHGfL will provide the broadband connection from Kirklees to the National Education Network (NEN). Clare also mentioned other services which are available, including free Sophos antivirus software, and a VPN solution using text messaging for security. The VPN solution is available to schools for £200 initial setup per school and then £4.50 per year for each user.

Victoria Turner demonstrated an audit tool for eSecurity, which is available on the YHGfL website here. The tool assesses how effective current arrangements are for keeping confidential data secure. She also mentioned the free blog (Classblog, which this blog is written on), podcasting tool, and upcoming video hosting which will be available shortly.

Allan Qualters, Advanced Skills Teacher for ICT, Lydate J&I School gave a presentation on effective use of visualisers. You can download it below:

Using the Visualiser

I gave an update on Gmail for schools, Google Apps for Education (Moople), ICT Mark and the future of support for schools from Kirklees Learning Service. The main points can be found in the presentation below:

ICT Network March 2011

There was an opportunity for those attending to complete a survey on the future of ICT network meetings, as these may change slightly when the new traded Learning Service begins in April. If you couldn’t attend, please give us your opinions using the online survey at:

Dughall discussed renewal of DBPrimary for the next 12 months, and suggested small schools group together to reduce costs.

Please get in touch with us if you would like further information about any of the presentations.

Primary ICT Network Meeting Notes

Meetings No Comments »

(Posted by Fiona)

This term’s network meeting took place last Thursday (18th Nov) and proved to be a full and interesting afternoon. The first guest speaker was Diana Monahan, Kirklees Sensory Impairment Service who gave a presentation on adapting computers for visually impaired children. The excellent introduction had us all simulating impaired peripheral vision, which really brought home the challenges for children with this type of visual impairment. Diana explained the different types of visual impairment, and how computers can be adapted as appropriate for individual children. Here is the presentation and some useful information and handouts:

VI Inset for Primary ICT Coordinators


VI technicians handout on vision

Wordprocessing Without a Mouse

Providing Access to ICT

Helen Daykin from Espresso gave an update on the latest features in the product. She showed how straightforward it is to extract videos from Espresso to use in pupils own work, or to embed in a learning platform. She also demonstrated the latest search tools, which allow teachers to locate relevant lesson resources more quickly. Espresso are currently offering a free trial of the full product for Kirklees schools.  See the flyer below for full details:

Espresso Kirklees Flyer

The final guest was Andrew Flowerdew from Innovicity. Andrew first worked in Kirklees as a consultant for Tribal on the BSF project. He also works with other LAs across the country. Andrew explained the changes to school email accounts which will happen over the next few months. All Kirklees schools will be switched over from the current Squirrel Mail system to Google Mail by the end of January 2011. Accounts will be set up for free for teachers with the email address; it will also be possible to set up pupil email accounts for a charge, schools can have pupil accounts set up for £100 so long as they express an interest by the end of the month. Staff accounts will be put in relevant groups such as office, head and ICT to ensure that people receive relevant emails from Kirklees.

Andrew also demonstrated Moople, which is a portal to access the new email system. Moople also provides another way of accessing free online applications and Google Apps for Education.

For further information on Gmail for schools contact Tim Green in the ICT Projects team:

Tel: 22(860)5731

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 10th March 1.15 – 4.15 pm. An agenda will be sent to schools several weeks before.

ICT Network Meeting

Meetings, yhgfl No Comments »

(Posted by Fiona)

I had good intentions of  posting about the latest ICT network meeting the day after it happened, but I blinked and suddenly it’s 2 weeks later! It was an enjoyable meeting with several presenters. Victoria Parsons from YHGfL demonstrated free resources available from YHGfL and the National Education Network (NEN). She showed the NEN Grid for searching the free resources by subject and key stage. Here are a few of the best freebies:

Audio Network – a huge bank of high quality copyright free music

NEN Gallery – free high quality images, sounds and video clips

e2bn Myths and Legends – includes a myth creator

The Birdbox Project – a selection of live birdbox webcams

Simon Briggs and Elliott Moores from Smarter Solutions demonstrated the Fizzbook Spin working with SmartSync software. The software allows documents, web addresses and video clips to be sent straight to each child’s  computer over the nerwork. It also has useful classroom management tools such as being able to send messages or freeze screens when it’s time to listen. For more details see their website.

I introduced a new CPD publication from Becta called 21st Century Teacher, which can be used to raise teacher awareness of how they could make use of ICT. It also includes a questionnaire which teachers can use to identify areas for development. The toolkit can be dowloaded from the Becta website (publications section).

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 23rd June at the Deighton Centre.

ICT Showcase 2010

CPD, Events, Exhibitions No Comments »

(Posted by Fiona)


Following the success of last year’s event you are invited to visit the ICT Showcase where pupils from Kirklees Schools, ranging from KS1 to KS3, are presenting an exhibition of innovative ICT activity.

The pupils will demonstrate and talk about some of the exciting and innovative work they have been undertaking using a range of ICT tools. These are just some of the uses of ICT that will be demonstrated :

  • Using a learning platform
  • Video conferencing with a book author
  • Multimedia work, with sound and  animation
  • Digital video creation
  • Using Lego robots
  • Creating a virtual school guide
  • Creating video documentaries
  • Using voting pads for quizzes  and self assessment
  • Using animations software
  • Using Nintendo DS Lite and  brain trainers
  • Pivot Stick Figure Animator

Last years pupil participants really enjoyed the day as the following comments made by them on the day show:

I think it was brilliant and interesting. I liked finding out what other schools are doing.”

“I thought that overall it was really interesting and informative. I really enjoyed it, and it was very well organised.”

“I really enjoyed all the hi-tech equipment and cool software. Thoroughly enjoyable.”

Staff and Governors from other schools who attended enjoyed seeing pupils demonstrating their work :

A wonderful opportunity to see something of the vast range of ways in which ICT is being used – and enjoyed by pupils across Kirklees. It was fantastic to see the confidence and enthusiasm of pupils as they explained and demonstrated the work they have been doing.”

“Fantastic, thank you. The children were so enthusiastic. We saw some fantastic uses of software.”

“Lots of new technology we now want in our school. What fantastic confident children to explain and demonstrate it all!”

“Very impressive with great enthusiasm from the pupils.”

Please make a note of the date and be sure to save an hour in the day to visit.

We welcome anyone from school and also your governors.

To give us an indication of attendance figures we request that you make a booking through INSET online:  Course number ET20001

Non school  bookings can be made via 01484 225735

Further information from

Kirklees ICT Showcase

Exhibitions No Comments »

(Posted by Dughall)


On Thursday 4th June we held our first ICT Showcase event. The event was primarily an opportunity for schools across all phases to come and share the innovative and exciting work that they are doing in ICT.Here are just some of the areas that were on show:

  •  Multimedia work, with sound and animation
  • Digital video creation
  • ICT used to support music, art and literacy
  • Games making
  • Innovative website development
  • Creating a school radio broadcast
  • Presenting a school TV station
  • Using podcasting, blogs and wikis
  • Use of control software
  • Using the learning platform
  • Using mobile technologies such as PDAs and UMPCs

For more information and details of the schools and what they did, look at the brochure that we gave out on the day.

Visitors included representatives from the LA’s Secondary, Primary, Middle and Special Schools and also the PRUs. We also had members of CHYPs and the Learning Sevice as well as LA advisors from nearby Authorities and representatives from interested commercial parties.

Visitors gave extremely positive feedback without exception. Here are a selection of comments:

“Excellent demonstration of the power of ICT to Improve learning” – Cathy Morgan (RM)
“Excellent, thanks. A good way to see what’s going on in ICT and talk to others.”
“Very impressive with great enthusiasm from the pupils.”
“Really impressive how all the schools are doing so much creative work in lessons and enthuse kids to join after school clubs. All work was amazing, well done to everyone involved, inspirational teachers and enthusiastic pupils!” – Helen & Julie (Dewsbury Rams)
“Lots of new technology we now want in our school. What fantasctic, confident children to explain and demonstrate.”
“The session has been inspiring, interesting and enjoyable.”
“Great to see students of all ages and abilities involved.”
“I really enjoyed the hi-tech equipment and cool software.” (Pupil demonstrator)

I was able to visit most of the stands and was overwhelmed by how articulate, confident, enthusiastic and skilled the young people were. Also impressive was the breadth of examples that were shared and the range of technologies on show from Digitalblue cameras to a full blown portable TV studio, from netbook computers to ’6 worksatations from 1 PC’ solutions.

We tried to get video interviews with the young people but found on the day that the background buzz that was typical of the whole day interfered too much with the audio. Fortunately, Netherthong Primary School came equipped with an Easispeak microphone and managed to conduct some interviews with visitors. Here are a couple of examples:
While I’m on with Netherthong, they were sharing examples of their use of Comic Life software, and even used it on the day to produce this fantastic record of the goings on.

A huge thank you goes to all the schools and children that made it such a fantastic, memorable day. What was intended as a one-off is looking likely to be an annual event!

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