Fronter’s Summer Competition!

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In the second half of the summer term, Fronter is launching a competition to help teachers encourage pupils to become more involved in computing and the use of their Fronter installation.

First Prize winners will be invited to join us for lunch on Thursday 2nd July 2015. Here they can take in the magnificent view of London from the famous 10th floor balcony at Pearson’s headquarters in the Strand, where Winston Churchill used to stand and survey damage caused during the Second World War.

What you need to do to enter:

Pupils – create a ‘Summer’ Fronter Page
Teachers – create a ‘Summer’ Fronter Room

What the judges will be looking for:

  • Creativity
  • Original information, text and ideas
  • Interesting use of photographs or images
  • Exciting use of a range of Fronter tools
  • Carefully selected links to related info
  • Videos can be added i.e. YouTube or other

How to enter:

Submit entries via our pupil and teacher entry forms. (Teachers need to submit on behalf of pupils)

The closing date for entries is Monday 22nd June 2015, entries received after this date will not be entered into the prize draw. Winners will be notified on Thursday 25th June by email.
Download our competition flyer!

Terms & Conditions.

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A Fronter afternoon

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Woodbridge School are kindly hosting a Fronter afternoon on Friday 1st May. Would you like to find out more about the creative use of student forums and other Fronter tools? Or perhaps an opportunity to share good practice in the use of Fronter?

Sign up to come to Woodbridge School on Friday 1st May at 4pm for a session with other local Fronter schools.

For further information and to book a place please email pearson.fronter@pearson.com by 30th April 2015.

Spaces are limited so book now!

Woodbridge School
Suffolk
IP12 4JH

The Literacy Leaders’ Project at Whitefield School

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Whitefield School is a unique and exciting school and one of the most improved schools in the country with a global student body that speaks over 70 different languages. As an Academy and the first Full Service Extended School in Barnet they are renowned for their community links. Staff and students have spoken at national conferences about their community outreach work and in December 2009 they achieved the Cultural Diversity Quality Standard Gold Award.

English Leaders and Fronter – The Literacy Leaders’ Project
The project was created to celebrate the success of high achieving English students in year 11 and to promote literacy across the school. There were two types of responsibilities given to the English leaders; the first was pairing them up with year 7 students who had been identified as having low reading ages, but were receiving no intervention other than what was happening in the classroom. Each week, the year 11 and year 7 students would meet in the library where, in their pairs, they would have a guided reading session with the aim of developing word level and whole text comprehension. The second responsibility was for an English Help Forum; any students from year 7 could pose an English based question on the forum and the English leaders were then responsible for answering it accurately.

Role of Fronter in supporting the project
It was on Fronter that the forum was created. All students had access in (at the very least) and out of school, so questions could be asked and answered at any time.

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Impact
The English Help Forum has been a surprising success. The English leaders reported that they found it extremely helpful when answering these questions; they said that, in order to ensure accuracy, they first had to understand the skills fully. This often involved reference to their notes or independent research and proved beneficial, because the skills that discussed are those that will be present in their exams. They also had to adapt their language to suit their audience. This, again, is a skill on which they are examined . The year 7 students produced better homework; there was greater care in what was being produced and accuracy in their responses, because they had independently sought out what they needed. Using the forum as a mode of communication encouraged reluctant learners to problem solve and develop their own learning, in turn boosting their confidence, and fostered a sense of pride and confidence, particularly with the year 11s, in the answers they were giving and the acknowledgement of their expertise.

“The English Help Forum has been so successful that, from next year, it will be rolled out for the entire school (and teachers)!” 
Clare Thompson
Director for English

Teachers teaching and learners learning: Part 4

Individual Learning Plans…

…do what they say on the tin. A carefully thought out Individual Learning Plan (ILP) will help a teacher to look at the growth trajectory of an individual pupil; then plan and track, his or her learning and be able to say at any point in time how well (or otherwise) they are progressing towards their learning outcomes.

Used effectively, an ILP can be a fantastic motivational tool for pupils.

Practice makes perfect

Over the Christmas break, I caught sight of this interesting TED Talk from Carol Dweck and thought I’d include it in this series of blog posts about learner outcomes.  I believe Carol reminds us of a very important aspect of goal setting and progress tracking which is often lost in the busy, day-to-day considerations of keeping on top of planning for a tracking progress. In summary, her philosophy is that because young minds are growing, not static, their learning goals should reflect this. Therefore, if we give pupils static goals, then that defined target is what most of them will aim at but lacking the motivation to go further, will to easily give up. But, if we keep encouraging pupils to keep growing and to keep reaching for goals which may seem out of reach, then as long as they approach them with a ‘I can do this -but not quite yet..’ sort of attitude, instead of ‘I can’t do this because these goals are too hard and always will be’ mentality -then the goals are more likely to become within their grasp. Carol Dweck’s research shows that the best, most improved results, were achieved by pupils whose learning goals or outcomes were created as a pathway through the process of learning -not those who were only ever praised for static outcomes rather than effort.

The moral of this: the inclusion of effort based goals alongside outcome based goals allows a natural confidence and engagement with the act of learning to grow in support of the very progress being nurtured towards achievement of individual learning outcomes. As very wise lady (my Grandmother) once said, ‘practice makes perfect’.   🙂  

So, how does the ILP work?

To be absolutely honest – it’s not such an easy thing to describe how an ILP works without actually taking a walk through an example in action. So here’s one I made earlier…..

The teacher here, Sam Austin, is focusing on one pupil  – Sue Gerrard.  Sue’s progress is being tracked via a series of Computing ‘I can’ statements and motivational effort goals in her ILP.  Sam has clicked open the ILP, the Computing and effort goals are already in place and here is the screen where he selects Sue:

Fronter ILP goals

 When he clicks on Sue’s name, he can immediately see all the learning outcomes set for her in this subject and where he has already marked the status of her progress. He can add observations to this at any time until he (or another administrator -say a subject leader) chooses to ‘lock’ the ILP.

Individual Learning Plan

 From the same screen, Sue’s teacher can also see progress with effort based goals. A single click on a goal criterion will mark that goal in blue. When Sue logs on, she can see where the teacher is marking her for effort in class, for her homework, speaking & listening and teamwork goals:

Fronter ILP effort goals

The teacher decides to capture this record and email a copy to Sue’s parent. A single click produces a PDF which can be emailed directly to the parent:

Fronter ILP export button

This extract from the PDF is what the parent sees:

Fronter ILP PDF report

The ILP tool in Fronter has a range of other functionality, including viewing and batching actions on whole class records, but used in its most straightforward form as shown here it is a very quick, easy and reliable way to keep a track of any individual pupil’s progress towards achieving their learning outcomes.

 Tweet or comment on the blog to let me know how your school is using the ILP to track learner outcomes – I’d be really interested to hear from you. 🙂

Jane Harris
@virtualjane

Our Assignment Tool

The improved assignment tool has improved tremendously thanks to the feedback from its inception as the ‘hand-in beta’. Whilst in continuous development, it has now reached a point where utilising this tool gives significant benefits over the old hand-in tool.

• A fresher and more intuitive interface for both the teacher and the pupil, plus considerable improvements in workflow, makes this tool now more than worthy of consideration

• It is now possible to set group assignments, link to an assignment from a page and for pupils, receive notifications of assignments set and evaluated from the new notification tool in the Fronter top frame

notifications

• Assessing and releasing assessment evaluations to groups of pupils is now simple, as is adding audio as a form of submission or feedback

• The optional plus pack – Ephorus anti-Plagiarism gives fast and built in teacher feedback on pupil submissions

• The inline editor feature with annotations is direct and so activex controls for Windows or webdav for MAC are no longer required to produce an annotated feedback file

plagairism• Room goals can easily be associated with any assignment so that pupils can measure expectations. For teachers, assignment evaluations provide evidence for goal level assessment

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• An optional simple view for pupils just lays things out for them in a simple and direct format

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With this and more, why not test it for yourself.

Find out more on our website. Keep up to date with changes and improvements within the Recent Changes menu on our support site.

Taking the mystery out of the new Computing national curriculum

From September a new subject, Computing, will replace the current subject of ICT. This change gives schools an exciting opportunity to overhaul teaching and learning in this important area of the curriculum. To help teachers and schools adapt to this change, we at Fronter have created two new training courses – Computing with Fronter KS1 and Computing with Fronter KS2. These are designed to help you get to grips with the subject change whilst using existing resources readily available to you through your Fronter learning platform. Our courses give a clear, jargon-free introduction to the new Computing curriculum and include lots of quick set-up activities and tasks for pupils to work through using a range of Fronter tools.

The changes in the national curriculum which will be taught in schools from September aims to prepare pupils for the technologically rich world we live in. Pupils will need to be taught:

  • To understand and apply the principles and concepts of computer science
  • How to analyse problems in computational terms
  • Evaluate and apply information technology
  • Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

Our Computing with Fronter courses will encourage teachers to develop a series of Fronter-based learning activities for their pupils in order to support them in meeting the requirements of the new curriculum. During the courses we will look at different ways of using Fronter to set up collaborative group work and partner activities to meet Computing learning objectives. We will also begin to look at esafety elements of data management for young pupils with regards to the safety and security of photos and personal information online.

Computing with Fronter KS1 training course will cover 3 main areas:

  • Programming, bugs and problem solving
  • Using databases
  • Keeping safe online

KS1 Computing

Computing with Fronter KS2 training course will cover 4 main areas:

  • Design, sequence and reason (programming focus)
  • Data analysis
  • Networks and search engines
  • esafety

KS1 Programming

Each of these can be supported using Fronter tools for planning, teaching, learning, storing, communicating, sharing, coding, sequencing, recording, assessing and distributing.

Our Computing with Fronter courses aim to meet the needs of the teachers as they prepare to deliver the new curriculum in an engaging and purposeful way.

Here are some teacher testimonials:

‘I found the training really useful –I learnt how to use different types of forums which I will use with my class…I feel I know more about the new curriculum now.’
Primary School teacher

‘Very comprehensive and enjoyable – lots of new input into how to link with data handling and programming…’
Primary School teacher   

‘ Using VisualMail as part of eSafety is also an excellent idea.’
Infant School teacher 

‘It was good to see how to use and incorporate the different types of forums and use them for data handling.’
Infant School teacher

Why not take advantage of Fronter tools already available to you and your school by joining us on one of our courses? If you would like to go ahead and book your place please click here. For more information please visit our website or if you have further questions regarding these or any other training courses, please email us via training.pearsonfronter@pearson.com.

How do I measure each child’s progress now there are no longer levels of progress to measure against?

Fronter has a number of methods of measuring and tracking learner attainment.

You can use the hand-in tool* to collect, correct, comment and grade work and the portfolio tool as an electronic work book that collates all the work and results over a period of time. The statistics in the portfolio tool give an overview of all activities, progress (results from tests and courses) and all hand-ins.

Fronter also has a goal tool for setting targets and an ILP tool (Individual Learning Plan) to specify areas for improvement and document progress.

To find out more about the ILP and Goal Tool you can attend our ‘Introduction to ILP & Goal Tool‘ webinar or the ‘Using the ILP & Goal Tool‘ face-to-face training course.

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*The hand-in folder enables teachers to upload assignments where students hand in their work individually or as a group. The work can then be corrected, commented upon and assigned a grade.

The teacher creating the hand–in has the ability to specify:

  • Timeframe
  • Hand-in reminders/notifications
  • Correction format
  • Links to learning goals
  • File hand-in type
  • Anonymous hand-in delivery