Safer Internet Day 2018

In assembly today, we talked about what being ‘safe online’ means.

We also discussed what ‘Social Media’ is and whether any of you have used it. You were very honest; lots of you said that you had used it and I saw a sea of shocked faces when I told you how old you are supposed to be to use various social media platforms (see below).

So, given that a huge number of KS2 children put their hand up to say they’ve used social media, but you have to agree to being over 13 years old to get an account (older for some), what questions does that raise?

Some very difficult ones!


Maple Cross Children: We will be following this up in class. Your teachers will be finishing the quiz we started in assembly with you.

Parents: Social Media is an absolute minefield. We are looking to work much more closely with you on e-safety, More to follow, but in the meantime, please refer to our e-safety page or



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Leading and learning

Tonight colleagues from Maple Cross travelled to Amwell View School to join the HertsCam Network event. Ms Heydarzadeh shared a poster about a project she is leading in Reception. Ms Heydarzadeh is using Edward DeBono’s thinking hats to support and develop pupils self-regulation. She spoke with a range of other practitioners from primary, secondary and specialist provisions to gain insight and ideas into her project.

Ms Thanki, Mr Flint and Ms Scourfield led workshops around their project themes including developing reasoning skills, use of technology and the computing curriculum and creating music makers and pupil leadership.

Speak to them to find out more.

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Y3 and Y5 ICT

Today Y5 came into Y3 as ICT experts to show us how to use the explain everything app which links to our class project of fire safety. Y5 used everything they know about communicating clearly when explaining, to help the Y3 children use the app.

Year 3, what was your favourite feature you learnt to you on the app?


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Collaborative Learning – The Bee Bots with Nursery and Year 5

This morning Nursery were challenged to operate the Bee Bot machines. Through carefully questioning from Year 5 the children experimented with different controls and watched to see what happened!

Nursery explained to how the Bee Bots move;

“press the buttons”

“press GO!”

“make the wheels move”

Many thanks to your 5 for your support. Year 5 what surprised you this morning? What challenged you? Why?

How could we challenge Nursery next?

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Google Expeditions: KS2 go on a virtual school trip!

The whole of KS2 went on a virtual school trip today using Google Virtual Reality Headsets! To tie in with their topic learning, Years 3 and 4 went to a tropical rainforest and Ancient Greece, while  years 5 and 6 took a tour of a Lancaster Bomber and then went to Africa to look at the Namibian Desert, The Cape of Good Hope and the Kruger National Park.

After that, we went off topic and went to a variety of places including Antarctica, under the sea at the Galapogos Islands, prehistoric earth (dinosaurs!), the International Space Station, the solar system and lots more. We went to so many places i’ve forgotten them! Can you remind by commenting below?

Huge thank you to Rumana from Google Expeditions for bringing all the equipment and helping the morning run so smoothly.

What did you think? Did you enjoy learning in a different way? Was it better? Why?

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Y5/6: Alan Turing – Mathematical & Computing Genius

Today, during maths, we will be learning about Alan Turing. Alan Turing was a mathematician who, with an excellent team around him, cracked the ‘Enigma Code’ (secret code used by the German Army during WW2).

This website gives us some fantastic information about Alan Turing:

If you want to extend your learning – the website below gives more information about how Alan Turing created modern ‘computing’.

(in class: stop after approx 1 min)

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Skoolbo – Maple Cross students gain international recognition!

Skoolbo-Hi-res-logoI knew that the children of Maple Cross loved Skoolbo; we’ve been using it for a while now. However, I  had no idea how well this school years re-launch would go! What has made the difference this year? Is it that we have a leaderboard on our school blog? Maybe. Is it that we all VALUE learning so much that we willingly do it in our own time? Possibly. Is it that Skoolbo is brilliant fun – not too easy, not too hard? You’ll have to let me know.


imageNo 1 in the World!

Andy H, as I write this post,  is currently at THE TOP OF THE WORLD LEADERBOARD! That means no-one, anywhere in the world, has answered as many Skoolbo questions as Andy, this week. This is an incredible achievement – you are really putting Maple Cross on the map! What attributes have you had to use, Andy?



Special recognition needs to go to  2 other children – Bianca N in Y6 and  George C in Y2. You have made it onto the top 100 WORLD leaderboard this week (Top 40 on the UK leaderboard). That is a fantastic effort  – there are hundreds of thousands of Skoolbo users – just like you – and you are leading the way!

A question…

What I really want to know is: Is this having an impact in the classroom? If you use Skoolbo (which is most of you) – Do you feel like you’re that little bit sharper in maths? Are some of those words slightly easier to read? How is it helping you?

Parents – what do you think? Is it having an impact on your child’s learning? Do let me know.

A final thought…

I love Skoolbo – but do make sure you take regular screen breaks, don’t stay up too late playing it, keep reading normal books too and get out into the fresh air to play. It’s all about balance. Good job Maple Cross.


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