Shakespeare Day 27th April 2017

What a fantastic day we have had today remixing Shakespeare. We were joined by year 9 students from Jarrow School and Hebburn Comprehensive School.

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The students have studied sections of Macbeth with a focus on the three witches scenes.

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We had an immersive storytelling experience in Story World.

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Students have made some fabulous Lego animations using ipads, interpreting the scene in new and imaginative ways.

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The students also performed “Live Tweets” in our media studio where they identified with their favourite Shakespearean character in 140 characters or less.

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live lessons

Welcome to the micro:bit – Live Lesson

Date: Wednesday 24th February 2016

Time: 11.00 – 11.45am (approx.)


(Simply visit the website on the day and follow the instructions to tune into the lesson.)

micro bit


The BBC micro:bit project is an initiative to inspire digital creativity and develop a new generation of tech pioneers. The micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that you can code, customise and control to bring your digital ideas, games and apps to life – and it’s being given to every year 7 child or equivalent across the UK, for free.


To introduce you to the micro:bit, BBC Learning is hosting a special Live Lesson, aimed at students in Key Stage 3/3rd Level. Live from the People’s History Museum in Manchester, the lesson is hosted by Dan Walker (Football Focus and Radio 5 Live) and Ana Matronic (Scissor Sisters) and features a host of expert guests. It focuses on stimulating students’ digital creativity, asking them to get involved in making their own digital creations, ranging from games and secret messages to digital pets and robots.


Live Lessons are streamed live to classrooms across the UK through our website, and we’re inviting students and teachers to get involved. You can pose questions to our experts before, during and for up to 24 hours after the lesson. Students can adapt the code for the digital projects used in the lesson and teachers can send in their work to for a chance to be featured in the live programme. Please refer to our website for the full terms and conditions.


Here’s how you can get involved…


Visit the Live Lessons website, where you’ll find a lesson guide for teachersactivity sheets and more information on how your school can get involved. Many of the activities can be carried out on the micro:bit website, so don’t worry if you haven’t got any micro:bits to hand.


Let us know if you’ll be watching by emailing, and your school could be named live on the webcast.


And if you miss it, don’t worry. The full lesson and clips will be made available for you and your class to view online after the programme ends.


Any questions? Contact the BBC Live Lessons team at and we’ll aim to get back to you as soon as we can.




We are pleased to announce that we have managed to get our hands on some Micro:bits!

Nick Cook from Computing at School has 10 and he has very kindly offered to run a FREE familiarisation session using Micro:bits at OpenZone on

Thursday 3rd March 2016 from 4:00 – 5:30pm.


As supplies are limited there are only 20 places available on this session.

Please sign up as soon as possible via Eventbrite to avoid disappointment. Please note this session is available to other CAS users and is not limited to South Tyneside Schools.

Here is the link to sign up

Book your place here!


Epinay 6th Form – Bede’s World

I had a lovely morning yesterday delivering an e-safety workshop to the Epinay School Key stage 5 students based at Bede’s World.

It was great to meet the students and we had lots of fun talking through how to use social media in a responsible way.

All of the students wanted to know how  to get the best out of the fantastic technology available for communication and entertainment with the minimum of risk.

A smashing group of young people with a great attitude.

Many thanks for making me so welcome I look forward to working with you all again soon.

Inspire Me

I have been working with a fantastic group of students from Mortimer Community College on a video project to produce a Drugs awareness video. They have story-boarded, acted, filmed, edited and directed the movie.

They have shown amazing determination and persistence as well as working well as a team. 12310626_983555098369297_2118474357684754134_nThey have been a credit to the school.

The project is part of a 12 week program delivered by Shah Amin of Inspire Me.

These students have certainly inspired me.

Well done guys!

Updated – BBC Micro:bit


I have scheduled two training sessions for December for staff to get them started

Tuesday 8th December 2015 @ OpenZone CLC 13:00 – 16:30

Thursday 10th December 2015 @ OpenZone CLC 13:00 – 16:30

These sessions will be free and you only need to attend one.

Please notes dates may be subject to change if the release of the devices is delayed.

Keep up to date with any developments here #bbcmicrobit


We have yet to receive our Micro Bits so may have to postpone these sessions.

We will keep you updated if this is the case.



On Tuesday 6th October 2015,  I attended the CAS BBC Micro:bit training session at Newcastle University. It was a fully booked session and I was lucky to get a place.

It was great to get some hands on experience with a Micro:bit. They are pretty cool and programming them was simple too!

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We were given access to resources but sadly were unable to keep a Micro:bit.

We did get an update on release of the devices and the BBC hopes to have them in schools for teachers in December and the Year 7 student ones in the first half of the spring term.


Pupil E-safety Survey – updated


A big thank you to those students  across the borough who have completed my online survey. Thanks so much to the schools for sharing.

I would love to get some more responses from all of the young people across South Tyneside, from both primary and secondary schools.

I have lots of replies from Primary schools many thanks to those staff who have allowed students time to complete the survey.

Please continue to share the link with students.

If time is an issue perhaps you could share the link with students via the school VLE or school email system.

Many thanks



Primary Survey responses  total has reached 1516!

This is an absolutely fantastic response and will give us some great data to work with. Thank you all VERY much 🙂



Minecraft – Hour of Code

The Hour of Code site gets even better. No sooner have they announced a Star Wars module, they go even further and add Minecraft too! The Minecraft Hour of Code has been made in partnership with Microsoft and Mojang, and launches ahead of the Hour of Code event coming in a few weeks time.

Children can choose to play as either Steve or Alex and use blocks of code to take them on an adventure through a Minecraft world.


Check it out here!

The tutorial introduces learners to basic coding and guides them to mine, craft and explore in a 2-D “Minecraft” world. Players are offered a set of 14 challenges, including free play time, to explore coding concepts they’ve learned through the tutorial.



Using Minecraft to get kids interested in coding is a fantastic idea, and this looks simpler than some of the coding mods I’ve seen for Minecraft before.

This would be a great introduction to coding in a world many children know very well indeed.

Star Wars – Hour of Code


Check out the amazing new Hour of Code resources themed around the upcoming Star Wars movie The Force awakens.

What’s more exciting than making your own computer game? Why, making a Star Wars computer game, of course.

The activities begin with Blocks and then lead on to Javascript text programming.

The online lesson will teach kids how to build their own computer game and feature old favourites like Princess Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2, as well as new characters, Rey and BB-8. The tutorial will be available for free in 180 countries, translated into more than 400 languages and will be smartphone and tablet-friendly.

Users program BB8 and then move on to R2D2 and C3PO as the hour of activities progresses. by the end of the hour they can make their own interactive Star Wars game with familiar characters and sounds.

We have been using these activities this week and they have been very popular with the students.


One strength of the resource is that all the programmers and coders shown in the tutorial videos are women, which sends a really positive message to girls. said 43 percent of its members are girls. In 2014, the Hour of Code tutorial featured characters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen,” and was completed more than 13 million times. Star Wars has a cross-generational appeal, but the lead female characters who appear in the 2015 tutorial may draw in girls in a similar way that “Frozen” did.

We can code too girls!

The best thing is they are all free!

Please note the activities also work on iPads.


Lego Storytelling Animation

IMG_4231We had a great session this morning with Park View School. We were doing Lego animation with a Witches and Wizards theme. Getting spooky in advance of Halloween!

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We have made our short scenes and photographed them using I Can Animate and in next weeks lesson we are importing and editing in iMovie. We will be adding voice overs and a movie soundtrack too. Can’t wait!

South Tyneside Secondary Schools

Why not bring your class along for a similar session? These sessions are FREE.

If you can’t make it to OpenZone I can come to you!

Contact me to book in your class.