Schools and education resources

[I haven’t updated this page in several years (it was already 3-4 years old by the time of the pandemic in 2019), and therefore some things are impossibly outdated. It feels a little like one of those web directories from the early days. This, from Quinn Norton, was a nice snapshot at the time.]

Here’s a list of a few sites and services I have found interesting or useful in relation to my children’s primary schooling in the UK:

Curriculum-enhancing schemes for schools to participate in:
Rights Respecting Schools – human rights and child rights integrated into the curriculum [there is a Canadian version, and Unicef’s overall Child Rights Education toolkit is here]
– Human rights resources for schools from Liberty and Amnesty International
Philosophy for Children – promoting discussion of deep and tricky questions (here’s EEF’s 2015 evaluation of the P4C programme in the UK, and what outcomes it brings for disadvantaged pupils in particular)
Lab13 – a UK network of student-managed science & investigation laboratories within primary schools, supported by a scientist-in-residence
Into Film – free national film club for primary/secondary schools, youth clubs, libraries (PDF guide for parents)
docacademy – free documentary film resources (incl lesson plans) for KS3-5 teachers and parents
MediaEd – guides and resources on making film in schools
Noisy Classroom – speaking and listening across the curriculum, including debates
Learning Outside The Classroom – including information about forest schooling and school outings
Language Assistants in Schools – a British Council scheme to strengthen language teaching from primary onwards (costs here – e.g. £3,742 for a Chinese-language Assistant for the academic year)
– Or become a Confucius Classroom – Mandarin in primary schools
Teaching and Learning Toolkit from the Education Endowment Foundation – including assessments of value-for-money of different kinds of approaches, and their impact
COSMOS from the Cambridge Science Centre – a travelling science roadshow in East Anglia and sometimes beyond, and a set of online and downloadable science resources for primary and beyond
– A nascent initiative to set up a ‘design thinking’ after-school club curriculum for kids in the UK: Design Club

Support for parents’ or other adults’ involvement:
PTA UK – national body providing resources and support to member Parent-Teacher Associations
Inspiring the Future – getting speakers (especially women) and governors for state primary and secondary schools (here’s a list of how primaries are using the service)
BBC – Advice for parents on how to support kids’ education
PiktoChart’s collaboration with the RSA on improving parent-teacher consultations
Co-operative Schools – a guide from the Co-operative on how schools can adopt a co-operative governance model

News and journalism in schools:
BBC’s time-honoured NewsRound programme
FirstNews – newspaper and online news for young people
The Week Junior – 8+ version of The Week magazine
Science News for Students – for older kids

Storytelling for kids:
Ministry of Stories – East London-based centre, inspired by author Dave Eggers’ San Francisco initiative, 826 Valencia

Other useful sites and resources:
My Money Sense – thoroughly-researched site providing age-appropriate financial education
LEGO Education – all manner of resources and products
JuniorLibrarian – online library, reading tracker and community for primary schools
Mindfulness in Schools – resources for schools to integrate mindfulness approaches into their practices and curriculum

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