Sunday, 28 April 2019

Primary Writing Magazine: the name

The votes are in, and the magazine now has a name!

Google Form
Write Now!
Write Away!
Write On!
Getting It Write
Write Bites
Let’s Write!

So Write Away!  it is.

More news coming soon.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Primary writing magazine: the next steps

Many thanks to everyone who contributed their thoughts to the Google Form (see last blog post), which has helped to shape what we would like the magazine to look like.

The first thing to do is to vote on the title.  (You can also vote in the Languages in Primary Schools Facebook group)

Here are the results of the other questions:

Question 2
Would you like the magazine to be just for Key Stage 2 (age 7-11) or include Key Stage 1 (age 5-7) as well?

The focus will therefore be Key Stage 2, with some Key Stage 1 work to be included as appropriate.

Question 3
How often do you think the magazine should be published?

Once a half-term it is!

Question 4
How many pieces of writing should we include in each issue?

The vast majority of respondents said 10.  This can of course be reviewed once the magazine gets underway and we see how much interest there is from teachers and children.

Question 5
Should the magazine feature the original pieces of writing, or typed versions of the children's work?

This will be an opportunity for children to show off their handwriting.  Showing an original might be difficult for some more creative pieces of writing such as the various kinds of minibooks.  The original pieces should be OK as long as we can get a good quality copy and the writing can be made large enough to be legible.

Question 6
Would you like the magazine to include children's illustrations as appropriate?

Question 7
Would you like the magazine to include notes from the teachers whose children's work is included?

I think this will be important for colleagues, to give an idea to readers of the sequence of lessons that led to the piece of writing, the support that the children had to enable them to complete it, and other information like how long the children have been learning the language and how long their lessons are.

Question 8
Should the magazine include the names, schools, LAs and towns/cities of the children? Please select more than one answer if appropriate. If you can advise on safeguarding, please do so in question 9 :)

I think we will probably include each child's first name, year group, town or city.  International schools and British schools overseas can contribute as long as they follow the same curriculum so as to provide a parity of experience, so we may have to include country names as well!

I have made an initial contact with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) about the GDPR implications, and they have given me some links to look at:

"ico_ciarah: Thanks for waiting. In order to process the information of the students for this purpose, you will need to identify an appropriate lawful basis for processing. Please see our lawful basis guidance here - 

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) individuals have the right to be informed about how their data will be used and processed, often referred to as privacy information. We have guidance about the Right to be Informed available here -
We also have guidance on children and the right to be informed here -"

If anyone is able to advise on the GDPR minefield or knows anyone who can, I'd be very grateful for any advice or assistance!

Thank you for all the comments in Question 9, which was the "anything else" question.  One respondent suggested including a crossword or wordsearch in each issue, while another suggested including some QR codes in order to listen to songs or speaking work.

My next steps now are going to be to work on a logo once the title has been decided, and to plan a basic layout.  I'd like to publish the first magazine at the beginning of June, the second at the end of September and the third in November ready for Christmas.

All comments welcome!

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Primary languages writing celebration magazine

Have you listened to the latest episode of the #MFLTwitterati podcast?  I thoroughly recommend it, and the preceding 3 episodes!  One item in episode 4 of the podcast which really appealed to me was the Revista Literal magazine for Spanish learners which is put together by Martina Bex, who is a US-based teacher. 

If you look at one of the editions of Revista Literal - this month's for example - you can see that it's students' creative writing in Spanish, presented with a vocab list at the side so that it is both a celebration of writing but also a reading resource. 

I'd love to put together something like this for Key Stage 2, across the languages. It would be a celebration of all the great work that our children do, as well as a useful resource for teachers and learners.  It would be my intention to publish it free on Light Bulb Languages.

I'd be really grateful if you could respond to some of the questions in the embedded questionnaire below to help me to get an idea of what the magazine will look like, and what people would like to see in it.  

Many thanks, and watch this space!

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

British Council Language Challenges

At the Language Show last month, I dropped by the British Council stand and found this gem - the Great Spanish Language Challenge.

If you go to the website given in the bottom left corner, you get to the Languages Challenge page, which includes similar sheets for Arabic, French, German, Mandarin and Welsh.  There is also a general challenge about all languages, and a blank proforma for students to make up their own challenge.