Brushing up on my HTML!

With coding being at the forefront of the Computing National curriculum I decided to cast myself back to my ICT A Level where we learnt a smattering of html. I’m pretty pleased with the result, it’s basic but also simple enough skills to transfer to school, please take a look:


I’m going to put it forward to the head that perhaps I could deliver a coding club at school to some of the older year groups where they can design their own website on whatever subject interests them. Then with some basic html they can make their own website. I’ll keep you posted anyhow!

Think  I may make a few more of  my own to make sure I’m up to scratch myself 🙂

HTML is actually pretty simple to do you can use notebook on your computer or download free software notebook++.  I started on notebook then downloaded the free software which is intuitive and makes it easier to spot the mistakes in your coding.

A great place to start if you fancy a crack at it yourself is

I used these videos myself for things that  I needed a little reminding of how to do. It’s straight forward and simple to follow and  I would definitely recommend it 🙂





All the better to see you with my dear…

So today I decided to have a go at making a story map on Google maps. As I am doing Little Red Riding Hood at the start of next year that’s the story I based this map on. I got the idea from this TESConnect resource. I’m pretty pleased with the result, have a look and see what you think!

First day back: or the importance of being flexible


So after spending a fair bit of time over Easter on a planning mission and creating resources to match you can imagine my utter despair and mad panic when I couldn’t find my life, my love, the one I couldn’t live with out…(etc. etc.) my memory stick at 11pm last night! After tearing up my lovely tidy apartment, forcing my loving fiancé out of bed to join the hunt and having no luck whatsoever I came to conclusion I must have left it in school Thursday when I went in to get some displays ready.

So this morning I get to school and BOOM no memory stick! After 30 seconds of a mad panic I switch off the crazy lady part of my brain ,calm myself down and switch into teacher mode, print off a few copies of the magical 5 minute lesson plan (Lifesaver Teacher Toolkit!). Just like that I had a whole days worth of new plans (and they were pretty good lessons even if I do say so myself) and today ran as smooth as it would have without the beautifully prepared lesson plans and resources. Lucky I’m flexible eh!

Of course I still had that crazy lady nagging at the back of head my going “a terms worth of P.E, R.E, topic and 2 weeks of maths all planned and prepared, gone…GONE?!?!” I managed to squash her back in to the mental cupboard under the stairs for the rest of the day, the whole twilight staff training until I burst through my apartment door. By now I had mentally re-searched the whole of my apartment and re-traced my actions and had convinced myself they had to be n my jeans pocket. They had to be right? or bye bye sanity…

Crazy lady that lives in the mental cupboard under the stairs (or perhaps madwoman in the attic?)turns out to be great at finding things- MY SANITY IS SAVED- I found the precious!!

Am now considering wearing my usb sticks as a necklace…starting a new fashion anyone?

How to prepare for the PGCE

When I applied for my own PGCE course I left it rather later and had my interview in July. So by then the university had sent me everything in one package that they had sent to everyone else in dribs and drabs over the year. Obviously I had a lot to do and very little time to do it. However if you have been accepted for a PGCE course around this time of year, you have plenty of time!

That being said, if you are anything like me and sadly enjoy preparing and feel like a nervous wreck sitting around letting time idly pass by then here are a few things that you will find beneficial. Do these and you’ll be top of the class 🙂


The first thing you will want to do if you haven’t done so already is register with It’s free and has fantastic resources, ideas, and general help for PGCE students, new teachers and experienced teachers alike. Do it and do it now!

Behaviour management is a major worry for most. Will they listen to me? What do I do with the screaming child sitting under tables? etc etc 😉

Well there are plenty of great resources out there to prepare, a lot of great articles with advice on behaviour management can be found on the TES website as linked from above! When you get onto school placement you will be expected to follow the same behaviour management system as the school so there is little room for freedom. Having said that your observers will be looking for a balance of you being able to follow school procedure and developing your own style so here are a few of my favourite little behaviour management techniques.

  • To call a busy classroom to attention without raising your voice pre-inform the class that when you clap a rhythm you expect them to stop everything they are doing and join in with the rhythm. This is great because 1. it means they have to put everything down and won’t be fiddling. 2. it allows you to gain attention almost immediately with little effort and no shouting!
  • Whilst writing that first one I used the word ‘expect’. Clearly explaining your expectations and instructions is much more important than you realise. Unless you explain step-by-step what you want a class to do, something will go wrong! No more than 3 steps at a time is a good rule to follow.
  • STAY POSITIVE. This is important, every instruction you give must be a positive not a negative one. This is tricky at first but once you get into the swing of it it comes naturally. For example say WALK instead of DON’T RUN. Say PUT YOUR HANDS UP rather than DON’T CALL OUT. Say KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF instead of STOP HITTING. If you lead with a negative instruction it is likely the child will only hear the bit you don’t want them to do. Not only does this keep a positive, happy learning environment but the children will respond better too- no one likes a telling off 🙂

I’m not going to go on with that as like I said there is great behaviour management advice right at your finger tips on the TES website.

Ok let’s see, what else would you benefit from doing… Ah yes, brush up on your maths and science. It’s probably been a while since you’ve done either, unless you’ve just graduated and did said degree or A Levels. Anyway it won’t hurt to get to grips with what you’re going to need to know. is fab for this and regardless of what year group you think you’d like to teach in you really need to be up to GCSE standard for both of these. You certainly need to be ahead of the children anyway!

Getting to grip with some uses of ICT in the primary classroom would be a good idea. Even I (and I consider myself to be pretty tech savvy) benefitted from this. There are hundreds and hundreds of ways to enhance learning both through and from ICT. Just a few things you might want to start off with: animation, blogging :p, audacity, photo stories, windows movie maker.

Finally (all I can think of for now and this is a fair bit to keep you going) start immersing yourself with children’s literature. You need to make sure that you’re exposing your pupils to the very best books- sub standard stuff just won’t do. Here are a few to keep your eye on if you’re wondering where to even begin: Julia Donaldson, Michael  Morpurgo, Mini Grey, Anthony Horowitz and Michael Rosen. They should whet your appetite a bit 🙂


And please make sure you enjoy your free time now while you have it. You’re in for one heck of a ride with this course- There’ll be ups, downs and loop the loops. But by the end of it you’ll be caught up in the excitement and thrill of teaching and you won’t want to get off!

Miss Sykes