Free books for schools


The Times and The Sunday Times newspapers are offering every school in the country the chance to increase the number of books in their library for free, through the Books for Schools promotion.

Each day during the school terms in 2009, readers of The Times and The Sunday Times can collect tokens that can be redeemed for free children’s books. Books are available for as few as 10 tokens and include works by some of the most popular children’s writers. There is no limit to the number of books a school can order during the year, as long as they have the correct number of tokens.

Schools must register with the scheme by 31 January 2009.

See the Books for Schools website for more information.

January 29, 2009. Tags: , . 1. Leave a comment.

PSE Citizenship and Health and Wellbeing resources for primary schools


Go Givers is a FREE PSE, Citizenship and Health and Wellbeing resources for primary schools. Although produced for English schools it has lots of good resources that could be used here.

The ‘Go-Givers’ cartoon characters, who represent children from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, have inspired the stories for younger children. For older children there are modules on challenging topics such as Rights & Responsibilities and immigration.

The lessons consist of downloadable PPT presentations, and ‘Learning Activities’ in pdf format. The site also includes a motivational electronic ‘Kindness Kit’ and a collection of innovative web tools, for example the Ballot Box, the Time Line and a Decision Making Tool.

You will need to register on the site to receive a password by email to use the material.

January 27, 2009. Tags: , . 1. Leave a comment.

Robbie Burns – Online Resources.


Robert Burns is famous around the world as Scotland’s national poet. A pioneer of the Romantic movement in his writing, Burns’s progressive views on politics, religion and class inequalities provided inspiration for both the liberal and socialist movements.

On the anniversary of Burns’s birth, 25 January, Scots at home and abroad hold Burns Suppers to celebrate his life and poetry. This year that celebration will be bigger, and more varied, than ever before as 2009 marks the 250th anniversary of Burns’s birth and is the inspiration behind the year of Homecoming.

The following selection of learning resources, images and information on Burns has been compiled to give you some ideas on how your school or centre can join in this national celebration.

January 21, 2009. Tags: , . 1. Leave a comment.

Safer Internet Day 10th February


‘Safer Internet Day’ is a global event which takes place each year in February 10th with the purpose of promoting safer and more responsible use of online and mobile communication technology. There is a Safer Internet Day site with a dedicated quiz (including very random questions related to European geography and with no answers), but to be honest, I thought that raising awareness could be so much more engaging than a visit to a quiz site or putting up a poster.

This could be an event that encourgages pupils and staff to have a go at new online tools, explore and create something which uses ‘Internet safety’ as a context for learning . It also might enable staff in schools to work with pupils to explore new tools for collaborative learning that they too might find useful.

So, this year during the week commencing the 9th February schools in Highland are being encouraged to hold their own Internet Safety discussions, events and activities to make pupils and parents aware of the importance of being good ‘digital citizens’ and ensure they know how to keep themselves safe. Having fun as well as reinforcing the benefits of using the internet safely is the purpose of the iniative. Here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling, feel free to add more in the comments.

Registering with the Highland E-Safety Group endorsed website which provides free curriculum resources, screen savers and leaflets.

Ensure all computers in the school have the Thinkuknow screensaver for the week

Obtaining ‘Childnet‘ resources free through NHS Highland’s, Health Information Resources Service (open to Highland school communities only)

Holding your own discussions in classes about new technologies, what’s the most popular sites, Facebook v Bebo?

Use the Childnet’s Cyberbullying class resource to look at issues surrounding bullying and technology ( has resources for download)

Use the internet to search for sources of text and discuss the pros and cons of doing so including ‘reliability’ of information further developing literacy skills

Design your own school internet safety poster using an online tool such as glogster  Discover how to make your creative posters easily online

Looking at different search engines to develop skills in learning how to search the internet safely and effectively such as google scholar

Investigate the history of the internet and prepare presentations using an online tool such as animoto and search safely for images exploring licenses for usage such as creative commons

Creative a short animation telling a story about using the internet safely using a tool such as ToonDoo

Have a practical session about how to set privacy settings on favourite social networking sites

Create an online collaborative mindmap of all the points relating to internet safety using Mindmeister

Make sure all the library internet access points display information on internet safety

Create an online list of school favourite sites and discuss why they are good using tools such as Delicious

If you have a school website/newsletter put a news item on about internet safety.

Have the whole class make a cartoon avatar image of themselves and then play ‘guess who?’ Faceyourmanga is just one of a few easy to use avatar creators.

I hope this has given you a few ideas!! Please do let Louise Jones or myself know if you have an event or discussion with points of view or photos to share you’d like to share with the E-Safety Group in Highland. Enjoy your events. Keep an open mind and remember the benefits above all else.

January 20, 2009. 1. Leave a comment.