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Putting Daydream on the Map

Written by Stephen A. Shwab, Head of Geography Neston High School

Background
Neston High School, a Specialist College of Science and the Visual Arts is well established and respected in the community, catering for over 1500, 11-18 mixed students. Located in a semi-rural area of Cheshire, the school has a full range of soci-economic backgrounds and academic abilities. The schools mission statement and aims are as follows: Together we strive for excellence. We aim: To offer high quality education To foster a love of learning To engender a strong sense of shared responsibility and mutual respect To develop self worth and confidence To recognise we are an integral part of the community

Easy to use
The Content Packs were easy to upload onto our school PCs, projectors, interactive whiteboards, network and VLE. The set up of the packs on our Fronter VLE provides easy pathways in, through and out of the software, increasing the accessibility of resources throughout the school. The toolbar format is familiar and functional, while the easily recognisable symbols/icons increase accessibility. The software is student-friendly, robust and logical and embraces various learning styles. For teachers, the software provides a wide range of activities which can easily be incorporated into existing lesson plans. It delivers for KS3/4 Geography knowledge and skills as well as functional skills.

Stimulating Interactivity and Collaboration in the Classroom


The interactive charts can be used individually, in groups or by the whole class. Neston High School invested in the use of whiteboard pads, integrating Daydreams Content Packs into the classroom. Our students love to work together and compete whilst using the Fun Features and Quizzes. The Additional Notes, Printable Worksheets and Exam Questions are woven into lessons for collaborative learning. They can be done individually and then peer marked for collaboration and improved learning.

Promoting Creativity
The charts have colourful text and visuals that encourage students to write expressively and stimulates artistic illustrations in their work. Elements of the slides can be turned on or off to allow students to say what they see then explain the material in their own words, rather than just read from the screen. Creative tasks are embedded within the Interactive Quizzes, Worksheets and Exam Questions, whilst the Geographical Enquiry chart encourages students to ask open ended questions, allowing investigation of the topic in depth. Using the VLE, students can work at home, allowing them independent and freer thinking and expression in their responses.

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Innovation
A range of human, physical and environmental curriculum content can be found all in one package and spans key stages 2, 3 and 4. The software is accessible to all at key stage 3 and supports preparation for the new KS4 Controlled Assessment with hypothesis testing and question formulation material. The charts have added value in the accompanying features; Additional Notes, Interactive Quizzes, Fun Features, Worksheets and Exam Questions. Value is added economically and also educationally; with the softwares varied learning experiences, ready produced - by teachers for teachers. They embrace fun and enjoyment as key learning experiences and do not dumb down content or learning pathways.

Benefits - Daydream Educations Content Packs on our VLE


Accessible anywhere, students can fix their learning and understanding or practice their skills using the tasks available on our VLE. It provides homework that deepens and widens classroom learning across a welcome range of popular curricular areas in Geography. Work can be left for either teacher marking or students can get instant feedback. Parents can also access and view what and how their children are doing.

Raising standards in Neston High School


Daydreams Content Packs have dramatically increased communication and collaboration within the school and have provided more triangulation between student, parent and teacher and therefore fostering more student access. The lively challenging resources give good revision stimulus so students can do better in in-school and external assessments. There is improved classroom understanding and the software helps produce better quality of verbal and written responses. It also provides more opportunities for interactive and collaborative learning and has raised students performance in this years KS3 and SATS exams. Student behaviour has improved due to the stimulating and challenging content and tasks, allowing them to work independently and apply more thinking skills to their work.

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