A free National Curriculum for your school

“What?” I hear you cry, a non-allotment based blog post? Yes indeedy… Well, if you head over to the Scholastic site, you’ll be able to order yourself a free copy of the National Curriculum in printed format.

As it says, the “National Curriculum for 2014 has now been released, but for the first time, it is available from the DfE in digital format only.

At Scholastic, we’re aware that a paperback copy of the Curriculum is a staple in many classrooms, so we’re giving away a FREE printed copy to every primary school in England”

So head over to the site and get a copy ordered.


How To: Look Up Tables

I helped @chris_1974 out recently adding look up tables into an excel document.  I did promise then to do a How-To on it, and here it is.

I have put together a google spreadsheet that goes through it in step-by-step, but here are the instructions!
Step 1 – add names.
Step 2 – Set up the sheet.  In the example I have put in, there are two assessments and one homework. It is always much easier if you know what the sheet needs to look like before you start.  The look-up tables at the bottom are the grades. At this stage we haven’t done any formulae.
Step 3 – Add the data. Once you have your student’s scores in the table, you can add percentages (not important for vlookup, just FYI). Note, I the formula I have put in =C2/$C$9 has two dollar signs.  If you put the dollar signs around the letter of the cell that is going to stay constant, you can drag the formula down to the rest of the cells.
Step 4 – Once the percentages are in, start on the grades.  In the same way as I added dollar signs earlier, they become crucial here.  The formula for the first cell is: =VLOOKUP(C2,$C$12:$D$18,2).  What does this mean?  C2 – is Adam’s score. C12:D18 is the data range we want to look up, and the 2 is the column you want to return in your cell.  Once you have the first cell done, you can copy the formula down to the rest of the cells.  Remember, when you are copying it to the ‘homework’ column, you will need to reset where you want the formula to calculate or it will give you duff results!
That is it!
If there are any other areas that I can help with, shout – more than happy to expand on the above!

My BETT report – much shorter than I intended!

Last week, a few of you may have heard that I was at the BETT show. It was pretty cool – in fact, I would go so far as to say the best exhibition I have been in charge of (and I have worked on nearly 100 of them).  Here are just some of my highlights, I am sure there will be more to come in the next few days/weeks as they come back to me, but at the moment here you go…

The show
Wednesday daytime was quiet, it started with snow and therefore issues getting visitors and our choir to the show. The day itself did help us though iron out the presentation niggles and help (I hope) the rest of the week go well.  I had committed a long time before the show started to try and upload a highlights video every night – this meant quick script writing and late night editing, but it got there.  One thing we found out pretty quickly is that we have a quite terrible camcorder, especially the audio – so the first video especially was pretty hard to understand! After that, things got better and we learned lessons. Quick, interesting presentations led to more people on the stand, and better conversations!
Thursday at the show was much busier and was the start of our round of TeachMeet Takeover sessions, the choir turned up and it was the start of BETT proper!  Throughout the show, I only managed to get off the stand once (to see Ollie Bray do his TeachMeet Takeover on Google Maps) – but that didn’t mean that I didn’t learn anything. The TeachMeet sessions were amazing, I learned a lot and couldn’t get over the buzz that it created!
Of the whole show, I would say the Friday afternoon was stunning – by far the best exhibition experience I have had. We kicked it off with a TeachMeet Takeover from Ian Yorston and Tom Barrett, then moved on to the Class PET party.  This meant the afternoon was not only inspirational, but we managed to talk to an amazing range of people.  I had so many good conversations with people, including Tom Barrett, Tim Rylands and Ollie Bray – and so, so many more!
The evening events, however, were what kept me up late, and kept me going! TEDx Orenda on the Wednesday night was as good as I had hoped it would be. I have been a fan of TED for a long time, so actually attending a talk was fantastic!  AmplifiED on the Wednesday night was enjoyable in a different way!  There was a smaller group of us, but that didn’t stop us having a good time! I sat in on the play based learning talk with John Mayo et al. Finally, the piece de resistance on the Friday night – TeachMeet BETT 2010.  I loved every second of this!  The three hours went in a blink, and I walked back to my hotel more awake and invigorated than I had at any time during the show!  The capacity for teaching and learning in the room was only matched by the enthusiasm and sheer passion that it was delivered.
I finished the week completely shattered and exhausted, BETT does that to you…but I have started this week with new ideas and a new energy –  you did that to me, and thank you for doing so!
PS – if you have any suggestions for me on our stand, let me know – I am happy to set up a wallwisher!!!

Social networking presentation – take 2. Now I need your help!

Six weeks ago, I did a presentation to the IPG on social networking.  The presentation went well and it was the sum of my knowledge on social networking and emarketing up to that point.  I am doing the presentation again in January to the team in Scholastic but I have learned a huge amount of things in only a month.

I have lots of new things to add in – my thoughts for example on how social networking is just the same as normal networking for example, but it would be really good to add in one thing that I need your help for.  I would like to get an understanding of the total number of blogs/wikis/networks you belong to and contribute toward.  It would give me a feel for how ingrained the web is into the way that we work in our everyday lives.  To open myself up first, I actively use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Posterous, You Tube, Picasa and Delicious. (I have got Wave, but I think it needs a critical mass of people for it to work properly!)

So, if you could let me know to my twitter (@chrisrat), or add a comment below, it would be really helpful.

Thank you!

TeachMeet Takeover thoughts and ideas…#tmtakeover

Wow! How quickly did this happen?! I am very excited to be a small part of the Teach Meet Takeover plans for BETT 10. I promised on @tombarrett’s blog and on the wiki, that I would put up an idea as to the layout of the Scholastic stand (G40) so that you have a clue what you have to work with when talking.

  • There is a large stage/presentation area
  • There are two plasma screens with these, we are aiming to tick over a couple of slides to show who is talking at the time.
  • There will be an Promethean interactive whiteboard.
  • There is a lecturn area housing a PA system and the laptops.
  • The PA system has a couple of radio mic’s  /  CD-player etc.
  • Internet connection
  • If there is anything else that is needed, let me know.

For other presentations on the stand, I was planning on recording and uploading to YouTube – I am more than happy to do the same for #tmtakeover – and equally happy to put the camera in a box and lock the lid!

As mentioned on Tom’s blog, when I was talking to Tom about this last week, I was very conscious of the concern about commercialism, and expectation about being sold things. One of the best things about TM (from a non-teacher perspective, but someone very interested in education) is that teachers inspire other teachers, without a hint of bias or overt commercialism, and I wouldn’t want that to be watered down at all.  I am more than happy to look at what we can do to ensure independence and to try to mitigate the thoughts from people that they are being sold to.  Now as you can see, it will be tough to take down the Scholastic logos, but I am happy to put up the #tmtakeover logo onto the plasma screens either side of the whiteboard (and on the iwb if that isn’t going to be used!), and to hand out fliers to explain what TM is all about. Let me know! You can get to me through twitter, skype (c.ratcliffe), email, smoke signals…