**NEW** One Day Blogging Extravaganzas

Welcome back to the summer of 2017! With many schools knuckling down to a new term of learning, it’s as good a time as any to think about new strategies in which to inspire your learners in ways that will impact data. Many schools I work with book me to come in for a one day blogging extravaganza. These days typically see me working with two classes. One for the full morning and the other for the full afternoon. During these teaching sessions, teachers from other year groups are invited to get stuck in and see first hand how blogging can, not only impact immediately on engagement and enthusiasm for writing, but see how this strategy can have longer term impact on data! By the end of each session, the pupils can all:

  • Access a class blog and know how to log in.
  • Create a blog post from within school or from home.
  • Understand the eSafety issues around safe blogging.
  • Add quality comments offering peer assessment.
  • Understand how their writing can have a global audience and as a result write to the best of their abilities.

The teachers involved by the end of the sessions can all:

  • Manage the dashboard ensuring online safety for each pupil.
  • Understand how blogging can be used to impact standards in writing.
  • See first hand how pupil engagement levels and enthusiasm levels rise through effective use of blogging.
  • Develop ideas on how this tool can be used through observing an extended teaching sequence.

What’s also included in this BLOGGING EXTRAVAGANZA is a full staff meeting after school where all the staff get to hear first hand about the potential of using blogging in the classroom. In addition to this, the teachers have time to explore a number of different class blogs from across the Primary age range to see specifically how blogging can look like in their year group.

If you are looking for new ways to impact on standards of writing, please get in touch to see when I can come and work with your pupils and teachers.

DeputyMitchell works across the UK in both Primary and Secondary schools. He offers tailored IN CLASS INSET for pupils and teachers with a focus on impact on data. If you feel a BLOGGING EXTRAVAGANZA could be of interest to you and your pupils, please get in touch HERE!


What DeputyMitchell can offer you…

Book DeputyMitchell to work in your school

The writing results of DeputyMitchell’s pupils soared from 9% Level 5 to 60% Level 5 in 12 months after the implementation of simple existing new technologies and blogging.

DeputyMitchell has been a primary school teacher for 20 years teaching Reception to Year 8 and has worked at all levels of management from ICT Co-ordinator, Department Head to Headteacher of two schools. Ever since he saw the power as a Year 6 teacher of using forums to get pupils writing outside of the traditional school day as early as 2005, DeputyMitchell has seen amazing impact through technology used at the right time, in the right way, to not only inspire pupils to write, but write to the very best of their ability.


The day the nation took notice of blogging in schools…

The 14th February 2011 was such an important day for me for so many reasons!

To think that just over 14 months prior to this date, Heathfield Primary School in Bolton didn’t any form of online presence was virtually unbelievable. Some of you reading this will no doubt know the story so I won’t bore you with the details, however, the developments over the few days before this date were monumental!

Around October 2010, Heathfield Primary became an affiliated SSAT Primary school. The SSAT were an organisation that had expertise oozing through their veins. Through this affiliation, Heathfield were guided into a position to showcase blogging to other schools and the fantastic impact it is having on our pupils.

On Friday 11th February 2011, Heathfield were featured in an article in the Independent. At about 12:10pm the phone started ringing…

BBC Breakfast News were the first to contact us, followed by Channel 4 News at 12:40pm and then BBC Radio 4 at 12:45pm. The chain of events that followed were exciting and also slightly comical!

I had been invited to give a talk to the PGCE students at Manchester Met University so had to dash out of school. During the journey, I spoke to BBC Radio 4 on the phone who REALLY wanted to get an interview for their 10 o’clock news show that night on Friday – So much so, that they put on a car to pick me up from MMU to take me to the studios in Manchester and back to MMU when finished. These things just don’t happen to teachers! However, just as I was being driven into the studios, BBC Radio 4 called me to explain that President Mubarak of Egypt had that minute stepped down and all radio space would be devoted to this story! The driver turned the car around and took me back.

The BBC Breakfast News were still looking to secure a time to do some live filming from school, as a result, my return journey was spent talking to teachers at Heathfield trying to secure parental permission from a selection of pupils giving permission for those pupils to appear live on the BBC on Monday morning! By 6:00pm on Friday night, we were sorted.

BBC Breakfast News were planning to report live from Heathfield at 7:20am and 8:20am and be gone by 8:45am. The only thing left to arrange was the finer details which they told me would be discussed over the phone on Sunday. After an hour’s phone call on Sunday night with the BBC we were both clear as to what the general format would be. I was happy and they were happy!

After not sleeping for more than 10 minutes at a time, I was up at 4:15am to get sorted and into school for 5:20am so that the Satellite truck could get set up.



Graham Satchell (BBC Reporter) arrived and started to speedily run through the format of the live reports with the pupils and myself. This was REALLY interesting to watch and the pupils were fascinated to see and hear what reporters have to do behind the scenes.

At 7:20am, it all started on BBC1! Please watch the video of all the clips below:
Thanks to Simon Haughton for uploading!

The next day saw the local BBC North West team visit for some live filming from 13:30 to record some footage for their evening show at 6:30pm. The BBC Radio 5 Live interview took place on the Thursday and it was amazing to see the pupils speak so eloquently about the impact writing to a global audience was having on their aspiration levels, the quality of what they were writing and their enthusiasm for learning. There’s more to come and if only I could get all the pupils to have their say…we’d persuade the nation that:

Radio 5 Live interview with Mr. Mitchell, Miss Wiggans and Thomas!

BBC North West News Coverage:

I don’t think I have felt as proud of my pupils as I did that week! I was subsequently able to take pupils with me to conferences to present along side me. I now work across the country and beyond support schools along a similar journey and I’m still shocked as to why more schools aren’t using blogging to give real purpose to writing for their pupils. Simon Feasey (Headteacher at Bader Primary School) wrote a guest post here about the work we have been doing together. Take a minute to read it and if you think your school would like to begin a journey, please get in touch by filling out this short contact form.


Blogging in the news!

Today has been an exciting day indeed. As part of my freelance work, I have been working as a Consultant at Leamore Primary School in Walsall in the West Midlands. Today was day 6 of 7 days over a 4 week period that I have been asked to work with the innovative Leamore. Since starting about 4 weeks ago, I have worked predominantly with Year 5 and their excellent teacher Gary Ellison. We’ve worked on using Coveritlive, Voicethread and the use of images, with a heavy emphasis on impacting standards in writing. However, other opportunities have presented themselves to work with staff in EYFS, Year 3, with Teaching Assistants and two NQTs that are new to the school. One of the highlights for not only the pupils but Gary and I too was the Coveritlive session with the one and only Pie Corbett. Please click here to see it.

The school and I were thrilled when the BBC West Midlands got in touch to feature the work we had been doing on their Midlands Today programme today (11th July 2013).

Below are the two clips that I’d like to thank Simon Haughton for capturing. I’d also like to add at this point that Leamore have been doing some amazing blogging before I arrived, especially with their work in EYFS and blogs as Learning Journals. My brief was to develop blogging to more advanced level, both pupils and the staff have been so receptive to new learning. This consultancy project has been an amazing experience! Thank you to Michelle Hill (Acting Headteacher) for seeing the potential of what we could do together at Leamore Primary.

The clip from Midlands Today at 6:30pm

The clip from Midlands Today at 12:30pm