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Sal McKeown

Sal McKeown is a freelance journalist for special needs. She is the author of two books: Brilliant Ideas for Using ICT in the Inclusive Classroom (co-authored with Angie McGlashon) and
How to help your Dyslexic and Dyspraxic Child: A practical guide for parents. You can get in touch with her via her website: www.sallymckeown.co.uk.

Educational, creative storytelling kits: Pojo’s Adventures

I met Pojo recently. He is a small dog puppet and was at the House of Lords with his creators Tonya Meers and Natasha Dennis. They are sisters and run an award winning company Little Creative Days which sells curriculum story telling kits to teach literacy and other subjects in a fun and memorable way. (more…)

Teaching children to code with Code Kingdoms

Coding has been a big feature of this school year but while many teachers are getting to grips with Scratch and buying in resources and lesson plans to support the less confident teachers, some are taking their first steps with Java Script. (more…)

Engage and Accelerate: Reading resources for KS1 and KS2

It's hard to find a one stop solution which will help children really take off with their reading. This is especially true if you are looking at resources for early KS2 where many children will be aware that they are 'not very good at reading.' They see it as a chore and it is vital to find high interest books with attractive designs so I was interested to receive a bundle of books from Engage Literacy. (more…)

Teaching Chinese the Easy Way

I have just been interviewing KS1 teachers at RJ Mitchell Primary School in Essex. They are teaching Mandarin, using resources from a company called Dragons in Europe. These include books, an online portal and activities packs. (more…)

Review of ‘Max the Champion’ – An Inclusive Storybook

Do you remember a few years ago when there was a fashion for books about disabilities? They had snappy titles such as My Sister has a Visual Impairment.  You could be sure of finding them on the library shelf because they were not popular with young readers.  Then there was the 'books as therapy' genre.  These had straplines such as, 'a story for children who have Anger Management Issues'. They weren't best sellers either.   (more…)

Music and Maths: A Winning Combination

I used to teach multiplication tables by getting people to sing them out loud. The five times table fitted very nicely to Greensleeves I seem to remember so I was intrigued to see that Sing Up has some maths themed songs. Sing Up is a not-for-profit organisation which helps teachers weave music into all areas of the primary curriculum. (more…)

Supporting Quiet Children: Book Review

Michael Jones is a well known writer and journalist. He led the Every Child a Talker initiatives in Luton, Thurrock  and Bedford. For many years he was a colleague on Special Children magazine and I have enjoyed many of his articles about speaking and listening.

 

Lawrence Educational have now published two of his books. Let's Get Talking was written with Jo Belsten who led the Every Child a Talker in Bracknell Forest and Supporting Quiet Children which he wrote with Maggie Johnson (more…)

The Big Schools’ BirdWatch

The Big Schools' BirdWatch is taking place from 21 January - 1 February.  Is your school taking part? I recently saw a news item about a group of schools in East Sussex that had been engaged in a birdlife survey. These schools found that the starling was the most common visitor to playgrounds with blue tits coming in second place and woodpigeons third. This started me thinking.  How did these children know? Most of the children I know are city dwellers who can just about recognize a pigeon and a magpie. They know lots about mini beasts but birds are almost a foreign species. (more…)

Online report writing with ReportBox

I warmed to ReportBox straightaway because it was created in my home town by a real teacher in a real school. Rachel Johnston was working in a primary school in Coventry and was struggling to produce school reports on the system the school provided.  (more…)


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