Meadowhead Music Video

January 30, 2008


A band from Meadowhead School, The Killer Instincts, came to the CLC in November with music teacher Kerry Knight to record a music video. We used our new green screen equipment that means that you can add any background to what you film, like in weather reports. The band played their song “Realise” a number of times in front of the special screen, and chose some video backgrounds. The backgrounds were then edited into the footage of the boys playing to create a finished music video.

This technology can be used for a number of creative video projects across the curriculum, and is highly motivating for students. Once our extension is completed over summer, we will have a large space that can be used as a recording studio for such projects.

Radio programmes – Life on a plantation

January 23, 2008

Here are some radio programmes about life on a plantation. They were created by year 9 students at Newfield using mp3 players to record the audio, and the free software Audacity to edit them. They take a little time to load up, and you’ll need Quicktime to view them (you can download it for free here):

Radio Show 1

Radio Show 2

Further examples will be posted at this site –

Get rid of the annoying Snap previews

January 22, 2008

You’ll notice that when you hover your cursor over a link, a small window appears with a preview of what is linked (e.g. a website). If you don’t want to see this every time, click on the options button in the top right of the small window, choose disable in ALL sites, and when you refresh the page it shouldn’t happen any more.

Get your own blog!

January 22, 2008

WordPress who host this blog have just announced that from now on they will provide 3GB of space for free to their users. This a huge amount of space, and means that you can upload plenty of photos and documents. Unfortunately you still need to buy an upgrade to upload audio or video files, but this only costs $20 a year (around £10 at the moment).

What is a blog? – see here for the Wikipedia definition.

Why have a blog? Well they can be used in a number of ways. Here are just a few suggestions – feel free to reply with your own ideas:

1. Primary school teachers could set up a class blog in order to showcase work, keep parents better informed about what is happening, post news items etc.

2. Teachers from any subject and key stage can set up their own blog for setting homework, providing revision notes or useful links. 

3. Creative writing blogs for an English class – pupils can post their poetry or stories, with photos, and other students can then provide peer reviews using the reply option. The teacher can change the settings so that all comments are moderated, to avoid any inappropriate replies.

4. Field trip/exchange blog – pupils can write up what they do on a field trip or foreign language exchange, with photos, links and audio commentary. Students back at school can then access this and use it as material for their lesson.

5. Partner schools blog – have a blog that students in your school and a partner school (e.g. in Germany) can contribute to. Students from both countries can write posts about their school life or any other aspect of their own culture to compare lives in different countries. It’s an easy way to share photos and news.

6. Set up a blog for your department or whole staff, to share information, useful tips, resources, links etc.

Examples: – French blog from Nodehill School, with news, interviews and pupils’ speaking tasks. – Sandaig Primary School blog. – An English teacher in Portugal’s blog.

Important note: When creating a blog for students to use, it is important to make sure you (or students themselves) don’t post personal details, full names, photos of students (unless with parental consent) on a public blog. WordPress allows you to password protect posts, in case you want to limit access to certain information.

NUMU: The future of music

January 21, 2008

The website NUMU at is a dedicated safe space for young people to showcase their music, meet others and learn new skills. It is designed to support the Music Curriculum across primary and secondary and integrates with the innovative learning approaches of Musical Futures. Schools can create their own music label and upload their own original music.


Weather and Climate

January 15, 2008

Check out this fantastic site:  for information from a number of weather stations acrossWeather data England, the nearest being in Rotherham. It has an attractive, clear pictorial view of the temperature, pressure, humidity, rain rate, wind direction (and others), updated every minute for each station. You can also click on any of the images to get a graph of, for example, the temperature over the past 24 hours. Obviously ideal for teaching about the weather and climate in geography and science, but could also fit in other curriculum areas. See the Met Office Education site for ideas:

Resources for Science

January 14, 2008

Here are some interesting websites with resources for science lessons. Please feel free to comment on this post and add your own favourites.

  • – organises a large number of excellent websites in topics for key stage 3 science.
  • – a collection of video talks by the world’s greatest thinkers and doers, with a section on science. Students can listen to talks from, amongst others, Richard Dawkins, Al Gore or James Watson.
  • – listen to a number of podcasts from the New Scientist.

Talbot School Animation

January 4, 2008

Year 12 and 13 students from Talbot School came to the CLC during the autumn term to create some animations using I Can Animate and iMovie on the Apple Mac computers. They completed one film about the building of the new Talbot School, which is happening at the Newfield School site at the moment. In addition a small group created an animation called Winter (see below for screen shot). Students created and animated the plasticine models, recorded the images and decided on the effects and music for the animation, and all of them were very pleased with the results. Hopefully you’ll see the Building of Talbot School animation at the Steel City Globe Awards this year.


Google UK Schools Site

January 4, 2008

Google have created some free resources for primary and secondary geography, history and citizenship lessons, using Google tools such as Maps, Google Earth, News etc. Examples include Climate Change, Chocolate and Fair Trade, and the British Empire. To see the ideas and access lesson plans go to:

It also contains How To guides to Google applications.