STEMCast North Somerset

Mission Accomplished

This year’s STEMCast North Somerset competition was dominated by the outstanding videos submitted by Priory students .

After tucking into popcorn and fizzy pop, all entries were shown on the big screen at The Curzon Theatre, Clevedon. Priory were up against stiff competition from schools across North Somerset and both Priory Films were shortlisted.

First place went to
The Science Sisters – How to light a Bunsen burner. Year 7

Second place went to

Matt filer and his team – Escape from acid rain. Year 8 

All students and a very pleased Mr Coles can be seen in the picture below.


Planning arguments using iPads

My Year 10s enjoyed using iPads to prepare for an English Language GCSE controlled assessment on rants.
The title of the CA is ‘Don’t Get Me Started On…’ and the brief is to write a 500-800 newspaper column on an aspect of modern life that annoys them. Charlie Brooker and Jeremy Clarkson write professional examples of such columns.

The learning objective was: “to be able to research and plan my rant”. In threes, students were given an iPad for 50 minutes. In that time they each had to research and come up with a topic to rant about and decide on 10 reasons why this topic really annoyed them. Many used the internet to research ideas. They then had to plan their rant by selecting their top 6 reasons, placing their strongest reason at the top and their second strongest reason at the bottom. They had to present their plan using iPad software or an iPad application, e.g. using iMovie, Sock Puppets app., Comic Life etc.

The students loved it and it really helped them decide on what to rant about and to plan in detail – something students often fail to do in exams, class written work or other English CAs. In my opinion, the best plans were created using Comic Life and students enjoyed being able to mine scenarios, photograph them on the iPad and import them into Comic Life. The speech bubbles were a useful tool for presenting their main reasons too.

At the end of the lesson students were able to upload their work to either my computer or to my private YouTube channel to be peer assessed in the next lesson. My ITT student showed me how to do this – thanks Eva!

Dee Murphy PCSA KS3 English Leader

Not long from now, in an educational establishment very, very close….

Apple held an education event in New York on Thursday last week. If you have any concerns about whether iPads might be fad it may be worth watching.

In particular, for anyone using a Mac with OS X Lion installed you can start writing your book now. Will it be someone at PCSA who writes the educational equivalent of Angry Birds?

Ok, my first iPad lesson ….

LO: to be able to research and plan an angry rant about a topic with at least 5 strong reasons

PLTS: All 6

1. Researched ideas for something to rant about – internet / Youtube
2. Researched reasons to include in rant and facts to ‘be expert’
3. Plans presented using any iPad piece of software or app. e.g. filmed on iMovie, sock puppet animation, Comic Life strip
4. Peer assessed with yellow stickers, in groups, using headphones if necessary.

Awesome and kids loved it!


iPads for supported Independent Revision

iPads for supported Independent Revision

On Wednesday after school an enthusiastic bunch of Y10 arrived for Core Physics revision. They used the iPads in pairs to access the core physics question books posted on the VLE and/or BBC Bitesize. The big advantage was giving every student access to a large question bank at no cost. Normally you would either have to anticipate numbers and produce resources or display questions on screen with a one size fits all approach.

Two points arising from this session; there is currently no easy way for students to overlay answers on the question books and watch out for students standing the iPads up too close to the edge of the desk, they are easily knocked over and a drop to the floor is a likely death sentence.

We should look into ways to make entering answers easier. I’ll see what I can find.


Internet Searches

10BP used the ipads to research some distinction work from their assignments. This was the first time that this group had used ipads in Science, so they were very excited. This meant that it took a while to get them on task with them and I have to take them off a few groups until they could get focused again. The searches allowed them access to some great information and ideas for their assignments. I rewarded some groups with 5 minutes free time with the ipads at the end when they had completed their work, which soon spurred on other groups to finish.
I’m sure next time when we are using more fun apps to work (other than just internet researching) it will be easier to focus the group.
All in all they were awesome!