Flakefleet Primary School dared to dream of being the Christmas No. 1 – Headteacher Interview

This December has been a big one at Flakefleet Primary School where, hot on the heals of winning the UK Happiest School Award, the seed of a dream was sewn in an assembly.  That seed has now become a full-on raging express train of a mission to do the seemingly impossible: To be No. 1 this Christmas 2018 with their single ‘Light Up’ with all proceeds going to Alzheimer’s UK.

As part of our School in the Fast Lane Podcast, we wanted to share the power of what can happen when a community gets heart and soul engaged in a common goal using social media, particularly Facebook, as a platform. 

John Bidder (Blippit Social founder whose services support Flakefleet) interviewed Dave McPartlin (Headteacher) in early December 2018 about the part played by social media in this school community-wide mission that also raises money for Alzheimer’s.

Listen to the podcast & subscribe for notifications of new episodes on all platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts & Anchor

Along the way Flakefleet has managed to gain local and national celebrity endorsements from far a wide generating press, tweets, videos and photos. Who couldn’t support a cause like Azheimer’s? 

Pre-order ‘Light Up’ for 59p today!
Official Release Date 14th Dec 2018
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2RhcSkU
iTunes: https://apple.co/2AChJ99
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PyAIHf

Silver fox Philip Schofield doing his bit for Alzheimer’s and the #daretodream Chrismas No. 1
Daring to dream!
https://www.facebook.com/flakefleet/videos/1955317947894612/
Sir Chris Hoy gets behind the dare to dream mission!
Bobby Ball joins the #daretodreamcampaign

Over the moon to have the full support and backing of the one and only Bobby Ball and his lovely wife! They are two of the nicest people I have ever met and thrilled to have them on board!

Posted by Flakefleet Primary School for Christmas No.1 on Sunday, 2 December 2018
LEGEND Bobby Ball gets behind the dare to dream mission!
Press coverage on Flakefleet’s bid for No. 1 in 2018
Watch the ‘Light Up’ video

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS ARTICLE ARE COPYRIGHT FLAKEFLEET PRIMARY SCHOOL 2018 AND ARE USED WITH PERMISSION. 

What has fake news got to do with your school?

Schools, much like any other organisation these days, can’t exist in a bubble when it comes to reputation management and engaging with parents.

Ofcom’s 2018 study of where teenagers go to get their news is very insightful and just as interesting is where the adults (parents) go.

What are the implications?  Here are our initial thoughts.

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Related:

Pudsey Bear Children in Need

Pudsey Bear

To help with Children in need we’ve created 3 Pudsey Bear Facebook profile Frames.  Here’s what they look like & if you want to jazz up your Facebook profile temporarily just follow the links

 
Pudsey Bear

Augmented Reality Children in Need Glasses

Get yourself some Children in Need augmented reality specs for your camera on Facebook.

Now live! App Maker Coding & Other New Features

The Blippit App Maker has just become an even more flexible, creative tool for curious minds!

With a renewed focus on coding using HTML we’ve done our utmost to retain the App Maker’s simplicity, keeping the drag and drop principle to make light work of complex tasks, while boosting more advanced features.

The Headlines

  • Every widget now has it’s own unique Widget Code so that you can now link to anything from within a Writer widget
  • Linking can be now done using text and images
  • Writer widget has a new colour-coded Source view for coding
  • Images are now managed for each app project in a gallery that collates all images uploaded across all widgets for ease of use
  • Images can now be uploaded directly into a Writer widget
  • Widgets can now be hidden from view in an app so that they can be worked on & included when ready or hidden to help users follow a set navigation path

Here are some new videos to support you if you’re looking to take advantage of the new features.

School in the fast lane – a new podcast series

In this new series we’ve called ‘School in the fast lane’, Blippit Social’s John Bidder talks about the reality for schools of being in the fast lane & having the mindset/tools to engage with parents through social media.

Subscribe to ‘School in the fast lane’ today using any of these popular podcast platforms for free.

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Here’s Chapter 1

STEM App Maker Projects in the Emirates 2018

UAE

The new United Arab Emirates Design & Technology Curriculum is well under way with STEM themed app making projects and fabulous learning happening in schools such as this leading girls’ school.

The attention to detail in these apps is very noticeable, as is the thought that has gone into the preparation for the learning, supported and emphasised in the new MoE created teacher & student handbooks.

Here are some images of the girls’ activity and work from the classroom where students are seen presenting to peers the key features, content and design considerations.  It’s good to also see the creative use of Google Forms in a number of the apps – you can see this in a screenshot of one of the apps lower down this article.

Considering that the UAE only began using Blippit in mid-January 2018 we’re  impressed with the rate of progress.  Congratulations to everyone involved.

Emirati App STEM App feedback app feature

 

 

Is social media disconnecting us from society?

Digital human

One of the major criticisms of social media is that it’s disconnecting us, as individuals, from society and from real physical interactions.

But if a key element of ‘tribe’ is communication and connectivity then the digital world arguably holds unlimited bounds for tribes.

If the internet has heralded the death of distance, what do these new kind of tribes look like? And do we relate to each other in different ways now that so much of our lives are lived online?

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Tribe: Listen to the broadcast (30 mins)

Digital Human Radio 4
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In this episode of The Digital Human (BBC Radio 4.), Aleks Krotoski asks if rather than separating us, the digital world is helping us revive old tribal connections.  It’s a fascinating way to look at schools and their parental communities for many reasons so do have a listen.

Blippit goes live for the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education

UAE

The curriculum for schools in the United Arab Emirates is changing rapidly in response to the UAE Vision 2021.  Critically the UAE wants to be among the best countries in the world by 2021 and for us its been a pleasure to work colleagues at the Ministry of Education to make Blippit part of the new Design & Technology curriculum.  The pace has been remarkable.

[rule style=”rule-thin” ]”…the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda emphasises the development of a first-rate education system, which will require a complete transformation of the current education system and teaching methods. The National Agenda aims for all schools, universities and students to be equipped with Smart systems and devices as a basis for all teaching methods, projects and research.” Read: First-Rate Education System[rule style=”rule-thin” ]

Personalised Blippit

The MoE has an Office 365 integrated sign in for their schools to use with Blippit to make life easier.  Uniquely, theirs is a bespoke Blippit App Maker cloud that’s only accessible to schools in the UAE to bring performance enhancements and meet their data requirements.

Resources

Design & Technology

A new publication has been created thanks to teachers in the UAE supported by colleagues from the Ministry of Education.  Teachers are now using this publication thanks to their in-country training in 2018.

As the schools in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Northern Emirates  get to grips with the App Maker and begin their learning, we  looking forward to seeing how they progress with their new digital skills, explorations of app making, coding and creativity.

Not enough teachers & parents know about ‘Guided Access’ on iPad / iPhone

‘Guided Access’ is not new but just speaking to parents & teachers it seems to me that not enough of them know they can temporarily restrict their iOS device to a single app – perfect for those occasions where their children may ‘borrow’ their phone/iPad or even just be on their own device if they’re lucky to have one.

Apple describe Guided Access as “helping you to stay focused on a task while using your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Guided Access limits your device to a single app and lets you control which app features are available.”

  • Disable areas of the screen that aren’t relevant to a task, or areas where an accidental gesture might cause a distraction
  • Disable the hardware buttons

Here’s how you do it in a video I shared recently with schools we support via our Blippit Social services on Facebook.

Double tap this video on a mobile device to fill your screen.

If you want a more generous option that gives a user more rope, take a look at apps like Our Pact.

How do reluctant writers respond to writing in the Blippit App Maker?

For years we’ve kept the app writer as a completely open ended tool so that people aren’t immediately channeled in to predictable and boring pathways like trying to create a restaurant app.

The result is has been that teachers are able to, for example, focus on their own curriculum subject areas like vikings to extend, consolidate and publish the children’s learning to the whole world with a literacy focus.

A few weeks ago one teacher we worked with (year 4 & 5) told us about a reluctant writer of hers and the impact that writing in Blippit’s App Maker had on him.  You can listen to her here…

Here’s a quick view of the apps once they were published to our App Store on Planet Blippit.

Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY