All posts by kevin

Phonics Fun in the Jungle! PP238

In a great fun episode this week, Tara meets ‘The Jungle Master’ and ‘Kiosk Keef’ AKA Chris and Lewis from Hillcrest Early Years Academy in Lincolnshire.

The Jungle Master, Keef and friends

Chris and Lewis are both Key Stage 1 teachers and they make what they describe as ‘fun phonics videos’. The origins of the approach were in a whole-school phonics focus which promoted the fun and love of phonics in the school by introducing the concept of The Jungle Master who had to take part in the spelling challenges in the events called ‘I’m A Celebrity – Spell Me Out Of Here!’

In order to help the children further, The Jungle Master and Keef took to YouTube to create fun videos to cover as much of the phonics curriculum as possible. You can see the results below and feel free to use the videos in your own teaching!

Tweet of the Week

Why Design is crucial for humanity – PP237

Supporting the National Curriculum for Design and Technology and tailored for key stages 2, 3, 4 and 5, the Design Museum offers students and educators world class design education facilities supporting a vibrant and relevant programme connected with the wider ecology of design practice, networks and communities.

This week Tara speaks to Sevra Davis and Sebastian Conran about the educational work of The Design Museum and the importance of design in the present school curriculum and how it can help all of humanity to solve its problems and make everyone’s lives better.

The Design Museum is a campus for design education in the twenty first century, harnessing the potential of design to tackle the challenges of today’s complex world from local to global.

Reading? There’s an app for that – Poio with Daniel Senn PP236

Daniel Senn

In our first episode for the new academic year, Tara speaks to Daniel Senn whose background and skills helped him to invent a new reading app called Poio which has helped more than 100,000 children aged 3-8 crack the reading code!

Daniel also shares his research and views on the role of fun in education.

Daniel is the dad and educator behind the learn-to-read game, Poio.

Six years ago, he embarked on a journey of trying to help his own son learn how to read. He was born with a severe hearing problem and Daniel was told that he would need extra assistance to keep up with other kids. However, experts also told him that motivating young children to practise reading is very hard, and that adults who push the learning early on often make matters worse, resulting in negative learning spirals and a loss of confidence.

So together, Daniel and his family engaged in a fun project to crack the reading code through play, where his son’s ideas were the main inspiration to the method that is now called Poio. A game that is able to help all kinds of children learn how to read, whether they are learning at a regular pace, are struggling with the process, or are gifted.

Daniel says:

” Now The Poio Method has gone beyond helping my son, Leon, and our family. I have worked closely with a committed group of game developers, scientists and educationalists to make Poio what it is today. And in just a short period of time, we have helped more than 100,000 children across Scandinavia crack the reading code. I can hardly believe it, and feel so proud of what our team has achieved. Still, there is always more to do, and we’re only just getting started!

In light of Poio’s success, our goal is to help even more children learn how to read. By joining forces with the EdTech company Kahoot! this spring, we are now able to bring Poio to a global audience quicker through a newly developed English version.
The UK edition of Poio is now available from the App Store and Google Play. The US edition will be available soon! Sign up to get notified.”

Tweet of the Week

RIP STARS battling for equality! PP235

This week, Tara Elie speaks to the truly inspirational RIP STARS:

Here’s how the Disabled Young Researchers describe themselves:

We are a group of disabled young people aged 17 – 25 from Coventry, UK. We have been trained by Anita Franklin and Geraldine Brady (Coventry University) to be researchers. We lead our project – research by young disabled people for disabled young people. We have a voice and we want to give a voice to other disabled young people. We want to use research evidence to improve the lives of disabled young people.

Each member of the groups has a story to tell, from their own, personal experiences of how young people with disabilities are treated in schools and colleges.

How and why to change your culture with Maxine and Ewan from Haileybury Turnford PP234

This week, Tara Elie talks to Maxine and Ewan from Haileybury Turnford in Hertfordshire. It’s an excellent chance to hear all about how they have embarked on a process of culture change around behaviour and rates of exclusion – and their successes.

Haileybury Turnford school logo

End of Year Behaviour Progress with Lee Parry PP233

Despite serious technical challenges at his school, Lee Parry managed to join Tara Ellie to discuss the progress his school has made in behaviour after adopting Pivotal’s approach.

Lee is Head of Drama at Netherhall School in Cambridge and also a qualified Pivotal Instructor.

Netherhall School logo

Tara and Lee also discuss tips for managing behaviour at the end of the Summer term – sometimes a tricky time for classroom teachers. Lee has some great advice to share!

Pivotal Podcast’s Parade of Pops – 232

Pivotal Podcast's Parade of Pops title

Greetings pop pickers! This is a rundown of the 10 most downloaded episodes from the podcast in the academic year 2018-19.

Will your favourite make it to the top spot?

In no particular order, here are the episodes featured:

YouTube For Teachers – and Baby Sharks! – PP231

Just one of Katie’s amazing videos

This week, Tara speaks to Katie from the thriving YouTube Channel, ‘For Teachers’.

Follow For Teachers:
Instagram: @ForTeachers
Twitter: _ForTeachers

Katie has a fascinating story – originally a teacher in Manchester, she now teaches in Hong Kong and explains to Tara some of the differences she’s discovered. Katie is also passionate about promoting teaching and helping new teachers through her popular YouTube Channel.

Principal Ricky Massey and ‘The Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory of Schools’! PP230

This week, Kevin and Ollie speak to Ricky Massey and hear his fascinating story. As Principal of Glengormley High School in Belfast, he took over a school which was described as ‘The Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory of Schools’.

Ricky explains how he approached this new role and gives lots of practical tips on how to turn a school around and reach out into the community.

It’s an engaging and amusing story and we really enjoyed having Ricky on the podcast this week.

Ricky on Twitter

Dr. Todd Whitaker – (E.T.) Phone Home! PP229

In a fascinating interview, Tara Elie speaks to the influential educator, Dr. Todd Whitaker, about phone calls and how to be welcoming to parents.

Todd Whitaker

Dr. Todd Whitaker has been fortunate to be able to blend his passion with his career. Recognized as a leading presenter in the field of education, his message about the importance of teaching has resonated with hundreds of thousands of educators around the world. Todd is a professor of educational leadership at the University of Missouri and professor emeritus at Indiana State University. He has spent his life pursuing his love of education by researching and studying effective teachers and principals.

Prior to moving into higher education he was a math teacher and basketball coach in Missouri. Todd then served as a principal at the middle school, junior high, and high school levels. He was also a middle school coordinator in charge of staffing, curriculum, and technology for the opening of new middle schools.

One of the nation’s leading authorities on staff motivation, teacher leadership, and principal effectiveness, Todd has written over 50 books including the national best seller, What Great Teachers Do Differently. Other titles include: Dealing With Difficult Teachers, Ten-Minute Inservice, Your First Year, What Great Principals Do Differently, Motivating & Inspiring Teachers, and Dealing With Difficult Parents.

Todd is married to Beth, also a former teacher and principal, who is currently a faculty member of educational leadership at the University of Missouri and professor emeritus at Indiana State University. They are the parents of three children; Katherine, Madeline, and Harrison.

Todd’s website
Todd on Twitter

Tweet of the week!