Friday, 22 May 2015

Summer Photography Challenge

Please see my other blog for information about a Summer Photography Challenge - week one is Oil and water

Wednesday, 13 May 2015


Thank you to @wallaceisabella for nominating me for the #Twitteratichallenge -  I'm honoured and love the support that is available on Twitter. We are still trying to raise money for #kakuma and so spreading the word through any means is great!

There are so many people that I work with regularly that I would love to include but that's against the rules! (see below) Plus it would take me ages are there are so many of you! You know who you are :) There are also other people I would love to nominate but know they have already been included (late to the party as ever) 
I have bent the rules a little though! My 5 nominees are 

@musicmind - Nina Jackson
Quite possibly the loveliest and most supportive person on twitter. The Ninja is always there if you need her - advice, information, compassion or fizzy sherbet lemons - what would I do without her?

@betsySalt - Emma 
Fridays would just not be the same without her 'hugs' for people on twitter!

@theheadsoffice - Julia S thousands of children each week respond to her prompts, hundreds of comments, shared working and real human support 

Always positive, always motivational - ready with support and a listening ear.

@renoonog37 Rachel
I first 'met' Rachel on a 365 photo challenge and we share images and comments most days - we have a love of images, nature, children and Yorkshire in common.

I think my world on twitter is one where I surround myself with supportive people - kindness is so important.

 Here are the rules of the challenge (as set out by @TeacherToolkit ):


There are only 3 rules.
  1. You cannot knowingly include someone you work with in real life.
  2. You cannot list somebody that has already been named if you are already made aware of them being listed on #TwitteratiChallenge
  3. You will need to copy and paste the title of this blogpost and (the Rules and What To Do) information into your own blog post.

What To Do?

There are 5 to-dos you must use if you would like to nominate your own list of colleagues.
    1. Within 7 days of being nominated by somebody else, you need to identify colleagues that you rely regulalry go-to for support and challnege. They havenow been challenged and must act as participants of the#TwitteratiChallenge.
    2. If you’ve been nominated, you must write your own #TwitteratiChallengeblogpost within 7 days. If you do not have your own blog, try @StaffRm.
    3. The educator nominated, that means you reading this must either: a) record a video of themselves (using Periscope?) in continuous footage and announce their acceptance of the challenge, followed by a pouring of your (chosen) drink over a glass of ice.
    4. Then, the drink is to be lifted with a ‘cheers’ before the participant nominates their five other educators to participate in the challenge.
    5. The educator that is now (newly) nominated, has 7 days to compose their own #TwitteratiChallenge blogpost and identify who their top-5 go-to educators are.

Sunday, 10 May 2015


I was kindly invited into Springwell School on Friday morning to lead an assembly about Kakuma Refugee camp and to enlist their support in fund raising. I had been into the school before my visit and the pupils had made some posters for me to take with me.

We were trying to think of an unusual challenge and as luck would have it I was sent a link to which is the charity set up and organised by @WallaceIsabella (Isabella Wallace) - there were lots of ideas on there but one sparked an idea for us to be sponsored to cover the mileage between Barnsley and Kakuma. A quick check on Google and the #4000milechallenge was born.

Pupils and staff will divide up the mileage between classes and be sponsored to cover their share in any way they can - exercise bike, staff wearing pedometers during the day ...

This idea has the advantage of being fairly easy to organise and divide the 'labour' between staff. You can easily include Maths and Geography as well as the empathy that is needed to understand why they are doing this.
Classroom one has already been funded and thanks to pupils like the ones at Springwell we have made a start on classroom two!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Calling all Northern Rockers

If you are reading this then the chances are that you will be attending the second ‘Northern Rocks’ conference in June. Last year was a mixture of thought, rain, conversation, laughter oh and more rain! It was however, a meeting of like-minded people with one aim – to be the best educators that they can. 
Knowing the sort of people who attended last year I feel hopeful for my plea to you all. As many of you know Debra Kidd and myself visited Kakuma refugee camp in March  –  Debbie's write up can be found on her blog - funds have already been donated to build a new classroom and our aim is to fund as many as we can. I will be running a stall on the day with postcards and images to buy but would also like to run a raffle. Hopefully it can be a raffle with a difference – just 3 prizes – each one a box/hamper – one containing bottles the other books. #bottlesandbooksraffle. and a hamper which has been donated by Belmas which is worth £500. 
 At the moment I have a copy of my book in the books box and nothing else! Yet again I would ask for your help – if you are coming to Northern Rocks and could donate a bottle (can be anything!)  or a book (again can be anything!) please can you tweet (@janeh271) or leave a message on here and let me know  then simply bring your donation on the day.

Here’s to another brilliant day ‘up north’ x

Less than 24 hours on twitter and I have offers of books/bottles from @lisa7pettifer , @debrakidd @hywel_roberts @musicmind @carole_XLIX @realdcameron and even offers of a workshop by @Emmabramley75 

Our Kauma visit and fundraising are supported by 

Friday, 1 May 2015


...something happens that just stops you in your tracks, that makes you so proud of a child who has just acted instinctively. This morning I visited an amazing primary school to lead an assembly about Kakuma and the situation that children there find themselves in. At no point did I ask the children to donate anything - we mentioned a non uniform day but that was all. At the end of the assembly a little girl quietly motioned me over and I sat on the floor in front of her. She must only have been 7 or 8. She solemnly took off a white beaded bracelet and handed it to me. 'I want you to give it to one of those children'. With a huge lump in my throat I explained that I couldn't sent 'things' all we could do was raise money and send that. She put her hand in her pocket and pulled out the 7p that was in there and held out her hand. The widows's mite came to mind. Not only had this young girl understood she had been moved to do something herself - not ask an adult for money but to give what she had. I looked at one of the other teachers and wondered which one of us would cry first!
It is humbling to look at how children respond. In a Special school yesterday a young boy said 'we couldn't raise that amount' when we were discussing how much a classroom cost. The response of one of his peers was 'Why not? No one can tell us we can't if we set our minds to it'