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I have been asked to write a short think piece for the Educational Blog awards by Chris Ratcliffe and John McClear. They want me to focus on the impact of school blogs on individuals.

I teach at Ferry Lane Primary School in Tottenham, London. It is a great little school with fantastic children in an area of very high deprivation. Our children tend to have very little exposure to the rest of London, let alone the rest of the country, so blogging has been an effective way to give them a window on the world.

The impact of school blogging on a population of children is clear. Engagement rises as a result, peer-marking means the quality of writing and thinking improves, and boys want to write more. Underneath the data that supports these statements of course, lie the individuals whose learning is affected. Here I will mention two individuals for whom blogging has had a significant impact in recent months.

Jozef and Sharon have very different needs. They are both 10 years old and in my Year 5 class. Jozef arrived from Slovakia to Tottenham last year. His family are all learning English. Sharon has no problem with her English. In fact, she is probably the most talented writer I have ever taught. So how has blogging made a difference to them?

We will start with Sharon. It is rare to find a child with such a flair for language. She is Eritrean and her first language is Italian. She GETS writing. Sharon is able to play with a reader’s emotions and expectations, to make one laugh, and to make one think. You can read her blogposts here. Here is an extract from a piece she wrote at home, independently, on the blog:

under: Uncategorized

brainpop article

Posted by: | January 21, 2011 | 3 Comments |

A recent article written for Brainpop.co.uk about the impact of blogging on children at Ferry Lane Primary School. Sharon wrote the bulk of the article (she is 10). Click the image below to read the article.

under: Blog development, Ferry Lane, Uncategorized


Posted by: | December 3, 2009 | No Comment |

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Posted by: | October 31, 2009 | No Comment |

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Parental access

Posted by: | May 18, 2009 | 1 Comment |

Developing a programme for pre and post school access to the internet for parents and children. Targeting those without access initially, but will open it up. I have already audited our parents (720 kids, 20% without internet access roughly). Lots of initial support from parents and staff.

Next job is to think about how to engage and train TAs to deliver the sessions. I want it to be informal and relaxed, but for support with blogging to be on hand if needed. Any ideas for how to get people on board? I would like the sessions to be half an hour each end of school.

under: Uncategorized

What is this blog for?

Posted by: | May 6, 2009 | No Comment |

This blog is meant as a document of my journey in blogging with children aged 5-7. I teach at Chorlton Park Primary School in Manchester, UK, and have been developing blogging in key Stage 1 for nearly a year.

From early diary type entries written by teachers on the school blogs, we have seen incredible change and progress.

Blogging is becoming a more and more lively and formative part of our school. We regularly get more than 200 visitors in a day, have had over 35,000 page views in the past year, and are currently the top hit in Google.com if you search for “Year 2 blog”.

All of this might sound impressive, but it is the development of the children which is the central thing here. My Year 2 class (6-7) can all comment and post on the blog. They can insert hyperlinks and images, can use external photo-storage sites such as Photobucket to embed photos, and are all adept with a video camera.

The blog is live and relevant to them and they see the point in learning the skills needed. With more than 1000 comments, they know that they are being listened to.

Having stumbled across the blogging thing by accident, I am now convinced of its power to motivate, educate and inspire children. I want to help others to get going in their schools and to document the journey that we make as we take blogging forward.

Please do have a look at our Year 2 blog, leave a comment or two, and share your opinions here.

under: Uncategorized