at Manor Primary School



at Manor Primary School
at Manor Primary School
Teacher Sue Parker and her student bloggers take us
through their school blogging project, showing how blogs
help students learn valuable ICT skills, e-safety and the
ability to express themselves.
at Manor Primary School
Teacher Sue Parker and her student bloggers take us through their
school blogging project, showing how blogs help students learn
valuable ICT skills, e-safety and the ability to express themselves.
Student bloggers teach each other how to blog
Teacher Sue Parker had
never blogged before
but that did not stop her
from encouraging her
students to start. “I just
played around and
thought, if I can do this
the kids can do it,” she says. “As it turned out
it was easy to do in itslearning.”
Today, Sue’s year 6 students (aged 10-11) run the school
blog as well as their own individual ones, discussing
everything from themselves or their interests (as an
online diary) to in-class activities to upcoming school
The idea for the blog emerged when considering new
ways to approach the teaching of e-safety. Sue started by
teaching her students blogging basics, like how to set up
their own blog, embed videos and write blog posts. She
then challenged each student to create the most
interesting blog. She encouraged them to maintain the
blogs on their own initiative and write about topics
raised in class.
This approach gives the children complete ownership. It
also means they don’t have to be spoon-fed all the time.
They come into the ICT Suite at lunchtime to update the
blog on their own initiative or update them from home.
The blog project encourages students to give each other
tips on how to make engaging blog posts, as well as tools
they have found during and outside of lessons. It isn’t a
traditional classroom as the students are only started off
on the task. The children learn from each other and feel it
is empowering to show their peers something they
“That’s how children learn,” says Sue. “It’s not
one person at the front of the class any more
teaching step by step.”
Blogging teaches e-safety
Grace loves blogging about events in her
life, but she is always careful not to share
too much information.
“Blogging is a great tool for teaching them to
stay safe on the internet,” Sue says. “If they
can learn that now, then it just becomes
intrinsic for them later in life.”
She started her own personal blog in year 4 (aged 8).
She kept her blog running for five months, with some
of that time spilling into summer holiday.
Though her posts described her activities, she was
careful never to write her full name or write where she
was going and what time she would be there. Many
posts were written retrospectively to ensure safety.
Teacher Sue Parker says blogging at a young age can
help teach students the skills they need to interact on
social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It
also teaches them etiquette and what content is
Student bloggers address school assembly
When bloggers at Manor Primary School
began using the video recording function
That is how Ellie came to speak before a church full of
students, their families and teachers at the Leaver's
on their blog posts, they quickly became
recognised around the school. Hannah
was known for her relaxed presentation
Ellie says she wouldn’t have had the confidence to
present at the Leaver's Assembly, in front of all those
friends and strangers, without first having gained
style and Thomas' video posts were full of
experience with video blogging. This is a view shared by
humour and sharp ideas. Ellie, however,
teacher Sue Parker.
preferred to sit quietly next to her more
confident peers than speak herself.
As time passed, Ellie gradually gained confidence and
eventually she was expressing her views on video like
the others. Then, when the school needed volunteers to
“Her personality just shone through,” says Sue.
“She was able to project her voice. She had no
fear. Together with Thomas they were very
professional, engaging the audience with their
clear speaking and humor.”
narrate the Leaver's Assembly, all the bloggers put their
names forward.
Whiz kid ahead of the IT learning curve
As a ten-year-old, Thomas knew more
about blogging and ICT than most adults –
and he put his knowledge to good use
when blogging.
“We used to go on various websites and copy the HTML
code and embed it into our blogs,” he explains. “We used
source code to implement things like games we had
made on Purple Mash and video from Espresso.”
Thomas also added countdowns to his blog to show
how many days, hours, minutes and seconds there were
to a certain event, such as Christmas or film nights, and
then wrote a post about the event to accompany the
A computer enthusiast, Thomas was really looking
forward to his first IT class when he moved to secondary
school. So he was understandably disappointed when
his teacher used an entire period to explain how to do a
simple Google search.
Blogging about manga improves many skills
Teacher Sue Parker initially started the
blogging project so students had a space to
write about school events. But students
could also write about their personal
“It´s also a really good opportunity to improve
social skills. And since you are typing, it also
helps with your spelling. When you blog you feel
more confident to go out and talk to people”
In Ellie´s case, blogging about Manga allowed her to
share her interest in the Japanese art form while
cultivating her interest in ICT.
“The biggest reason why I started blogging is because I
love ICT,” she says, adding that it was exciting to
participate in an IT project that others could read.
She says blogging equipped her with many skills,
including how to embed videos into blog posts and
typing skills.
Bloggers: the 2nd generation
Even though the first group of bloggers
have moved onto secondary school,
As before, the range of topics and initiaives is as broad as
the children’s imaginations. They have made badges and
blog business cards. Also, with the help of a parent, the
teacher Sue Parker is keen to keep the
children made contact with their local MP in a bid to
project going. This year, another six
promote the school blogging project and increase their
students volunteered for the blogging
project, and the school blog is updated at
all hours of the day and night.
“Last year we were a bit concerned about giving
unrestricted access to the blog and logged the
children in each time,” says Sue. “Then, later in
the year, only a few were allowed to login while
supervising the others. This year all the blogger
have access and some even update the school blog
from home.”
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