Tags Used By EYFS During Live Blogging

Here are the tags that the EYFS Team came up with after examining the ‘EYFS Practice Guidance’. The tags are a shorthand form of the six areas of learning and their subsections.


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Creating Individual Blogs For EYFS Pupils (WordPress App Compatible)

Stage 1 – Adding A New Blog

  • In WordPress, log-in as ‘SuperAdmin’
  • Go to ‘Sites’ > ‘Add new’
  • Enter the site address: e.g. callums (first name and surname initial)
  • Enter the site title: e.g. Callum’s Blog
  • Enter the Admin Email , e.g. the class teacher

Stage 2 – Adding Users to the Blog

  • Locate the blog that you have just created on ‘Sites’.
  • Hover and click ‘edit’
  • Add a new user and set role as ‘Administrator’ 
  • Click ‘Update Options’

Stage 3 – Privacy Settings & Remote Publishing

  •  Locate the blog. Hover and click on ‘dashboard’ of blog.
  •  Locate ‘Settings’ (left hand menu) and then ‘Privacy’.
  •  Select the following option: I would like only logged in users who are registered subscribers to see my blog.
  •  Save changes
  •  On ‘Settings’, click ‘Writing’ and tick both boxes:

Stage 4 – Widgets (Meta, Tag Cloud, Recent posts, Recent Comments)

  • Add a ‘Tag Cloud’ widget to each blog by going on the backend of each blog. Find ‘Widget’ in the ‘Appearance’ section.
  • Drag A ‘Tag Cloud’ into the sidebar.
  • Title = Areas of Learning
  • Taxonomy = Post Tags

Stage 5 – Put Blog on iPod Touch

  • On iPod, load WordPress app. Get list of blogs.
  • Click ‘+’ (top right hand corner).
  • Add self hosted wordpress blog.
  • Put in URL, e.g. http://callums.leamoreblogs.net
  • Put WordPress username and password in.
  • Add site.
  • You can bulk upload a class set of blogs.

Writing A Post

  • Write a post by clicking on the child’s blog.
  • Click on ‘Posts’.
  • Click on the ‘Writing’ icon in the top right hand corner.
  • Fill in the title.
  • Put in the tags (standard tags for Foundation Stage)
  • Ignore categories and status.
  • Tap screen to begin writing. Write your message.
  • Clicking ‘Publish’ will send it straight to blog.
  • Clicking ‘Save’ will list your message under ‘Posts’ for editing.

Adding Photos

  • Click on ‘Posts’
  • Click on ‘Media’
  • Click on ‘+’ to add posts
  • Choose small/medium

QR Codes Lesson – ‘Outstanding’, Or Not?

Recently that has been lots of discussion on Twitter about QR Codes. I had hoped to provide a summary of tweets and blog posts here to provide a context to my post, but the hyperlinks are beyond me at the moment. One step at a time!

On Wednesday 13th October, a week before the above discussions started, I taught a QR Code Lesson to the GCSE Whizz Kids mentioned in my previous post. This is a lesson that I wish to share with you whilst wearing my leadership hat because my lesson was observed by the Local Authority’s Senior School Improvement Partner (SSIP), as well as my Head Teacher.

It’s important to mention that since completing their GCSEs in ICT, we have been conscious as a school that we have a duty to still move the children’s learning on whilst they are in Year 6. Lucy Jayes (@lj101) and Marc Richardson (@marc2044), ICT Consultants with the Local Authority, have been extremely helpful and generous in preparing a programme of activities that the children will undertake every Friday afternoon at the local Education Development Centre. This provision will start this Friday. To show that we have continually developed the children’s learning, I set up a six week intervention for the children, where they received an enrichment lesson each week last half term.

I am not proposing that the QR Code lesson that I share in this blog post is of a GCSE standard. It is merely an example of an enrichment activity that made up part of the half term’s intervention.

Anyway, back to the QR Code lesson! You will find my lesson plan below. Do you think the lesson has been accurately judged as an ‘Outstanding’? I’m not convinced. To me, the lesson is fairly straightforward in terms of skills and content.

QR Code Lesson.

 After receiving my feedback from the SSIP and Head Teacher, it got me wondering whether I got the grade I deserved. As you can see from my feedback below, evidence was recorded on an official Ofsted form. Were the SSIP and Head Teacher tricked and distracted by the technology, or am I being too self critical?


<The official Ofsted form, used by the SSIP, is particularly interesting – especially the mention of ‘spiritual’ development. I set out to achieve an ‘awe and wonder’ moment and it’s great that this can be achieved within ICT.

My Head Teacher made a comment that Year 11 teachers would have been delighted with the children’s level of attainment – but again, I’m not so sure. The children were definitely challenged, but I still maintain that the lesson was an enrichment activity and that it could have been accessed by a large number of other children.

Anyway, it would be great to read your comments. Please be honest! Although it was great to have such positive feedback, there’s definitely something that’s making me feel uneasy from a leadership point of view. What would your judgement have been?

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GCSE Whizz Kids

Last year, eight of our Year Five children studied for a GCSE in ICT (alongside their parents and three members of staff). During their ICT lessons in Year Four, I soon became aware that these children were exceptionally gifted at ICT. Whatever challenge I threw at them, they were able to do it and do it well! I was able to provide lots of enrichment activities, but felt that the children had a right to a more rigorous learning experience.

I first had the notion of primary school children studying for GCSE ICT seven years ago when I was an NQT in Wales. Bizarrely, back then I also had a group of children who I was convinced would be able to access ICT at GCSE level. I researched the possibility, but met huge resistance from the entire staff at my one-form-entry village school. The Examination Boards were not interested either. Seven years on and being somewhat wiser and a lot pushier, I was able to sell the idea to Mr Brownsword – my Head Teacher – as well as other staff. This time, before approaching the Examination Boards, I researched them thoroughly in order to identify the most appropriate for our requirements. I decided on the WJEC Board as I really liked their syllabus. Also, as someone who had no experience of marking coursework, I reasoned that the WJEC’s method for awarding marks left no room for ambiguity – the children had either achieved the mark, or they hadn’t.

I contacted the WJEC and was delighted to speak to Ian Carey, the Subject Officer for ICT, who, after describing the children’s ability to him, was also convinced that the children would be able to access ICT at this level. Ian visited me a few weeks later to run through the various elements of the GCSE, as well as spending some time looking at the administrative tasks that I would need to complete throughout the year. Not only would I be teaching the GCSE, but I would be the Examinations Officer as well!

After speaking to the children’s parents and gaining permission from them, I invited the parents themselves to study the GCSE. All eight children were represented by seven parents (two of the children are twins) and one, by one, three members of staff attached themselves to the project. After offering various timeslots, parents reached the consensus that we should study the GCSE on a Friday after school for two hours. I didn’t expect this time slot to work, but it did. Even when parents had other commitments, such as work, children attended and were supported by another adult. Missed sessions were generally made up at various slots during the week. Two of the parents in particular appeared to be living in the ICT Suite when the coursework deadline was approaching!

I am absolutely delighted with the children’s maintained enthusiasm for the GCSE project over the year and incredibly proud of the results that they achieved. In case you are wondering what grades the children got, here they are: 1A*, 4As and 3Cs (the seven parents and three staff members collected another 5As, 3Bs and 2Cs between them).

A high point of the project was the comradery that developed among the group. Parents, in particular, were a huge source of inspiration – often dashing in on a Friday afternoon straight from work and diving straight on to a computer to complete the next part of their coursework. My hunch that the children would be better at the practical elements of the GCSE, whilst the adults would be better at the revision part of the GCSE, became reality and this created a fantastically collaborative environment with each group scaffolding each others’ learning.

Coursework was another high point. As the deadline approached, it became clear that some of the candidates were doing extremely well. When marking the coursework, there was a fantastic ‘heart in my mouth’ moment when the A* grade pupil appeared to have scored the maximum 63 marks. At just ten years old, this was impressive! After an internal argument, I was able to convince myself that the full 63 marks should be awarded – “the children had either achieved the mark, or they hadn’t” and, in this instance, Cameron had achieved them all!

The low points of the project for me revolve mainly around the Examinations Officer role. This was so time consuming as I had to set up everything from scratch. For example, I had to apply for my school to be come an Examinations Centre, write policies, make the necessary security arrangements, meet JCQ regulations, learn how to access and use the WJEC’s Walled Garden, create UCIs (Unique Candidate Identifiers), send off the required paperwork at the correct timeslots over the year, and ensure that all candidates had the correct information recorded in the correct places at the correct times.

Another low point was receiving a phone call from WJEC to say that our Coursework Moderator had not received our coursework sample. This left a particularly nasty taste in my mouth as we had struggled to meet the deadline, but managed it with three days to spare. With the time remaining, I managed to mark and moderate all the coursework and then phoned WJEC to double check the procedure for sending coursework. I wanted to use a courier, but the WJEC preferred First Class Royal Mail delivery as many of their moderators do not want the inconvenience of collecting parcels from the Sorting office. Apparently, our moderator moved house during the window for coursework collection and, despite having a redirection in place, did not receive our coursework. Unfortunately, it was not a simple case of printing out the coursework again, as each section had several hand drawn drafts which would also be awarded marks.

Exam Day was probably the most stressful part of the project for everyone concerned and I attempted to keep things as light-hearted as possible by placing snacks and drinks on the tables set up in the hall (the correct distance apart, of course!). We had completed several mock exams in the hall, so everyone knew what to expect. Mr Brownsword introduced the exam (as the main teacher, I was not allowed to lead invigilation, although I could be present) and everyone opened their papers and gave the exam their very best shot. There was a moment of light relief when a JCQ Officer appeared to conduct a monitoring visit and he tripped over in the hall!

So that’s the story of our GCSE project! My next post will also involve the GCSE Whizz Kids. Please visit if you can.

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