11 Oct

It is with great sadness that I begin this week’s blog with the unhappy news that two of our pupils passed away recently. Charlea, one of our Interactive Base pupils, passed away following a long period of illness and Kane, one of our Autism Base pupils, also passed away following a period in hospital. Losing valued and well-loved members of our community has been an upsetting time for the pupils and members of the team that knew them best. We know, however, that both passed peacefully surrounded by their family and friends who loved them dearly and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

As always though, life continues and our work here in school carries on. This week I’ve been paying particular attention to the role of assistive technology in supporting our pupils with a visual impairment to access the curriculum. I had the privilege of stepping into an ICT lesson to watch one of our pupils who is blind, explore the accessibility functions of his iPad with the support of a new Bluetooth keyboard. One particular function being explored was the VoiceOver function. This screen reading feature enables him to hear aloud what is displayed on the screen, thereby enabling him to navigate around the device as well as within specific apps and to read sections of text. The size and spacing of the keys on the Bluetooth keyboard also enables him to use touch to locate the relevant keys to control this process using his fingers and his understanding of touch typing enables him to locate the ‘home’ keys to then be able to touch type. In the meantime, he was also having fun challenging Siri with some very interesting questions!

Mr Bright has more news about how iPads are being used across the school for us..

It’s been a while since I contributed to the school blog and being an IT Curriculum Advisor for the last 12 months across the Trust has meant I haven’t had a week of lessons to share.

However, this week I have had the unexpected pleasure of teaching a number of subjects within the Nurture Group and witnessed first hand the impact the 1:1 iPad initiative is already having. For me, teaching and learning has always been about having fun but it is important technology isn’t just a gimmick.

Working at New Bridge for over 13 years I have seen so much change happen. However, the change that is happening at present with the way we are using technology to enhance learning is absolutely incredible! I am so proud to be working in a school that sees the benefit new technology can have on learning. We can often get bogged down with issues we face in school and sometimes forget what fantastic opportunities we are providing for our pupils. Of course, there are going to be challenges when rolling out new technology on such a large scale but we cannot forget how revolutionary this is going to be.

I feel I could talk about this endlessly but instead I’d like to share with you some of the work we have been doing in class this week.

Nurture Maths
Here we used an ‘Augmented Reality’ app called Magic Plan to measure length and heigh of the room. This uses the camera lens and a target to track corners of the room and give instant measurements. This allowed pupils to understand units of measure, floor plans, or just the difference between height, width and length..

Callum created a pictogram in Purple Mash from a class tally chart of our eye colour..

Nurture English
We have been learning all kinds of facts about the Titanic and the pupils know so much about the history of this beautiful ship and its unexpected demise. We have been combing apps such as Showbie, Kahoot, Pages, Safari to develop our reading and spelling skills within the topic of the Titanic. I have been amazed by how fast the Nurture class have navigated these different apps. Here are some posters designed by the class using Adobe Spark.

Nurture ICT
We learnt about green screen effects and how to record a short scene with the iPad. Pupils then used the Action FX app to create their own action scene. Here are a few shots from one of the scenes. We’ll have an Oscar winner in no time!

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Living Skills
The theme has been ‘road safety’ and ‘exploring my journey’ so we used the Maps app to locate where we live and map out our journey to and from school. Some pupils chose the satellite setting and used the 3D feature to see places that they see on their journey to school.

Sadie’s Art work
In the Nurture group there is a pupil who has a real eye for graphic design and when I showed her the app Adobe Draw, I could see her eyes widen and the possibilities were endless. Sadie is a wonderful artist and this app has allowed her to demonstrate the process and skill she has when designing characters. Take a look at her wonderful work..

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PE
Within our PE lesson we used the iPads to recorded in slo-mo the different skills we were trying to achieve and then watched them back and discussed our successes. Here is a really nice clip from Sadie’s basketball task..

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Finally, we created a couple of videos as a class from the clips we captured in lessons..

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It’s been a wonderful week where pupils have been using phrases like “mirror me to the screen sir”, “cast my work sir”, “I’ve uploaded to Showbie sir” and “I want to time-lapse my work sir”…we’re developing a whole new language and it fills me with so much excitement.

7JFN
The Year 7 class have been learning how to follow instructions and give instructions to each other. They used an app called 2GO on Purple Mash to navigate their way around maps understanding forward, left, right, north and south.

Pupils then designed a floor plan of the classroom where they used the Magic Plan app. This is an Augmented Reality app which uses the camera to make markers of different points in the room.

Watch the video as Leo creates a floor plan and works out the height, length, width in different units of measure..

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Gone are the days of metre wheels, and we enter a new age of Augmented Reality! Don’t be afraid, it’s technology that will help us in our lives.

Well, that’s my week in the classroom. This is just the very beginning, we are going to have amazing achievements over the next year as we fully embed the 1:1 iPad initiative. Have a nice weekend! Mr Bright

I hope you all have a good week,

Gavin

You can find Dawn’s blog for the Learning Centre here

For news on our Key Stage 5 pathway groups at Medtia Square please click here

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham

You can find my previous blog posts here