The Frog Blog

Recent events have caused schools around the world to find changes in the way they work.


For many Frog schools, moving to a virtual school model of operation is nothing new. Frog works with schools around the world and our community has encountered closure through everything from natural disasters, to severe weather patterns and even social upheaval.

Business continuity planning means not just finding new ways to facilitate learning but finding ways to keep the whole school running. Here we are sharing some of the ways in which schools use Frog to carry on with business when the world closes down...

How to Better Engage with Parents | Virtual Event

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In the second free virtual event brought to you by Frog Education – bringing you different perspectives on a range of topics under a blended learning focus – we will be hosting a range of talks based on the all-important parent community - register here!

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Personalised day plans for pupils at Finton House School
May 19, 2020, 7:45 AM

Keen to create structure for their pupils adapting to learning from home, Finton House School created personalised day plans to support the teaching and learning experience...

Personalised plans

Each day pupils login to a remote learning dashboard where they will find their plan for the day. The schedule includes links to registration, zoom lessons, tutor groups and Frog subject pages with pre-recorded videos and activities for the afternoon sessions.

 

FintonTimetable

 

Whole school content, for example assemblies, clubs & enrichment and Wellbeing sessions are embedded in timetables so they appear in each class's schedule.

Personalised links for 1:1 sessions, messages and resources from the teachers help pupils feel better connected. The day's plan also includes a shared folder with any resources requiring printing and a list of equipment the pupils need to have ready for the day.  

Connecting teachers with their class

To set up the personalised daily planners, teachers start with a standard template and edit to add their own content.

FintonHouseSchedule_Post3

 

Pupil ePortfolios

The school is also rolling out ePortfolios for each year group as a way for pupils to manage and display their work. 

FintonHouseSchedule_Post2


The clever Set Keyword Widget notifies teachers when there's something new to see and they have visibility of their whole class too. Feedback is given to the children in the comments, with children also able to respond to marking.

A pupil's ePortfolio is shared with their parents, so they can monitor their child's work and teacher feedback. For exemplary work, teachers have the ability to send an ePortfolio direct to the Headteacher for commendation at the touch of a button.


The Winston Churchill School - RWL Series
May 18, 2020, 11:15 AM

Discover how The Winston Churchill School are using Frog to teach multiple subjects during the current Coronavirus lock-down!

This is a series of nine videos that teachers have taken of themselves showing us how they are helping their children to learn from home. 

If you’re a Frog school, it would be great to get similar videos from you to share with other schools.

Some are leading the way during these challenging times, but in truth, most are catching up. Let’s aim to get everyone on the front foot as quickly as we can.

As ever, if there’s anything you need from us at Frog to help you get the best during these times, you know where we are.



Capturing your clips
If you haven't done this before, one bit of software we've found useful is Flashback Recorder. You can send your clips to us in any way you choose - WeTransfer, GoogleDrive or simply upload to your Frog platform.


About the school

The Winston Churchill School is a secondary comprehensive school based in Surrey, has a long-established relationship with Frog. Through this close partnership, many positive changes have emerged with all stakeholders much more engaged in teaching and learning.



How the different departments at the school have been using Frog:


Science

Watch a video showing how M North is using Frog to teach students Science.

 


Watch video on Youtube.

 

Music

Watch a video showing how C Drake is using Frog to teach students Music.

 


Watch video on Youtube.

 

Maths

Watch a video showing how J Ray is using Frog to teach students Maths.

 

 

Watch video on Youtube.

 

Physical Education

Watch a video showing how A Daniels is using Frog to teach students Physical Education.

 

 

Watch video on Youtube.

 

English

Watch a video showing how G Collins is using Frog to teach students English.

 

 

Watch video on Youtube.

 

Computer Science

Watch a video showing how D Falleiro is using Frog to teach students Computer Science.

 

 

Watch Computer Science video on Youtube.

 

Geography

Watch a video showing how S Harris is using Frog to teach students Geography.

 

 

Watch Geography video on Youtube.

 

Film Studies

Watch a video showing how N Parsons is using Frog to teach students Film Studies.

 

 

Watch Film Studies video on Youtube.

 

Design Technology

Watch a video showing how A Lighton is using Frog to teach students Design Technology.

 

 

Watch Design Technology video on Youtube.

Home Learning - North Lakes
May 14, 2020, 7:45 AM

It is strange how the summer term has started yet schools remain closed. However, at North Lakes School, like so many others, we are continuing to work hard to ensure that all of our children receive the learning they need at home.  

Teachers have been providing daily online learning resources via our “Frog” Virtual Learning Environment.  There are numerous activities to help keep everyone engaged and motivated, from setting daily assignments to uploading fun pictures to class timelines.  Activities are developing and embedding skills taught throughout the year and encouraging children to be inquisitive.  Both children and staff are busy monitoring progress and interacting with the children in their class.

Pupil feedback...


Noah, in Year 5, wrote:


“Home learning has been a massive change for my daily life. At first, I struggled with the change and missed school massively. Now that I am in the routine of logging into Frog every day, I can keep in touch with what everyone is doing, and it is not so bad really. I have just received a Bronze Froggies award for my Online Learning!

All my teachers must be working very, very hard to get all our assignments organised, and keeping in touch with us on our timelines – it’s great to be able to keep in touch with my classmates and friends throughout the school”

The children are enjoying logging on to “Frog” daily, earning team points for their school team and checking the daily Froggie awards and certificates. The staff at North Lakes understand that this change in conditions is a very difficult time for all children. Teachers are setting creative activities, fun photo challenges as well as exercise challenges on their timelines. They are encouraging the children to look after their sunflowers linked to the school campaign #NLSSTANDTOGETHER.

Lola, in Year 5, who is a member of Elterwater class, would agree that even though she is finding it difficult to learn from home, she is enjoying the use of the timeline throughout the different classrooms. She also believes that many children would agree that the assignments and online activities like Charanga YuMu are really helping them keep on track.

At North Lakes, we enjoy learning together, whether it is online or at school. We aim to achieve our best and continue to support our children the best we can.

 

North Lakes School has also produced a free Home Learning Links site for families which is available free to any reader.  It contains free, safe links to help promote home learning and also includes advice and tips for Online Safety for parents and children.

It is available from this link:

Home Learning



Virtually Open
May 4, 2020, 3:53 PM

The Edron Academy, Mexico City

Frog has been used extensively across the school during the recent pandemic and school closure to keep our students making excellent progress. Frog has been an invaluable teaching and learning tools for students, teachers and parents.

In building this platform, three elements were vital for effective, extended learning:

  • Focus on blended learning;
  • Integration of extra-curricular activities;
  • Emphasis on wellbeing.

Blended Solutions Work Best

Pedagogically, Frog is a self-contained virtual sphere and a link to other platforms, enabling a mix of live and recorded lessons, with links to interactive subject software. This keeps learning engaging and varied. Teachers can focus on individual needs by timetabling small group support sessions, using linked video communications software, such as Zoom or Google Meet. Parents can oversee their children’s work without the burdens that home schooling often brings. Online learning must be engaging and effective so as to counter parental perceptions that it is an inferior substitute to traditional schooling.

Keep it moving

Away from school, children become more physically inactive: longer screen time, irregular sleep, and less favourable diets. Without activities and the interaction with friends, the negative effects on health are greater. Isolation breeds frustration and boredom. Lack of contact with classmates and teachers has enduring effects on mood and attitude. And the normal separation of spheres, school and home, suddenly abandoned, invades a child's personal space and sense of freedom.

Frog has helped to construct social solutions of a virtual nature. Edron activity providers give home based exercise which all the family can do. Regular live lessons give Edron children a friendly face and some semblance of school. Duke of Edinburgh has moved online.

Well-being is the way

Whilst the academic and pastoral welfare of children has been the first focus of schools, the needs of parents, teachers and wider staff must not be overlooked. Mindful of the needs of all staff and parents, Frog is used to stage online activities, share useful articles and bring the community together, in parallel with zoned Whats App groups to check on staff wellbeing. All staff have access to professional counselling and full coverage of medical costs. In turn, teachers are stepping forward with sessions, such as Edron Master-Chef and Yoga for staff.

 

Written by,

International Educator
Former Head Teacher at Edron Academy

 

Who is Simon O'Grady?
Simon O’Grady is an experienced international school leader. He has worked in five schools on four continents and has led three outstanding British international schools in Egypt, Malaysia and Mexico. He holds three academic degrees, including an MSc in Educational Leadership. He has served as a governor of two UK state schools and is a school inspector with the Independent Schools Inspectorate. He has been a Board Member of COBIS since 2008, with eight years as its treasurer, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

View profile on LinkedIn

Positive changes seen in tech engagement for high school in Greater Manchester
Apr 28, 2020, 8:15 AM

Bedford High School had been using Frog for over 6 years, with mixed success in terms of getting the whole school community to engage with the Virtual Learning Environment. When the closures were announced, they realised the one infrastructure that would remain stable during the challenging times ahead was technology. With a focus on providing  home learning support for their students, Bedford High worked with Frog on a design update of their Parent and Student portals to make them more appealing and user-friendly. 

Preparation and training

The school took fast action ahead of enforced school closures, creating a clear and coherent contingency plan for how their home learning process would work. They placed Frog at the centre of this, with all assigned work to be put through their platform.

All students received refresher training to ensure they knew how to use Frog and guidance was provided for the new virtual home learning process.

The process included the use of FrogSnap as a feedback tool for teachers, enabling them to provide whole-class feedback rather than every student individually.

To ensure parents were well-informed and engaged in the process, Frog Messaging was used to keep them updated.

The impact

"The analytics were showing we had captured the school community's attention as we were seeing a six-fold increase in users."

"We have found that our users have become more accustomed and accomplished with their use of Frog and we are dealing with significantly less technical issues."

Gabriel Calwell Assistant Headteacher

The school is also using Frog to help subject leaders (SL's) to build their refined curricula. A Bedford High School Curriculum site has been devised to ensure SL's upload key resources to support their subject curriculum. This ensures all subject resources are in one place.

Summary of approach

  • Agreed process and roll-out
  • Guidance and support provided
  • Central place for all subject resources
  • Use of communication tool - Frog Messaging - to keep parents informed
  • Curriculum site on Frog for subject leaders to upload key resources

North Lakes School launches The Froggies to boost engagement.
Apr 22, 2020, 7:45 AM

After schools had closed and home learning activities commenced, North Lakes were looking at a way to encourage engagement in addition to the existing school reward system.

The solution needed to be inspiring and visible to all children on their Frog timelines. An idea was surfaced to create an 'Oscars' themed awards which would become known as "The Froggies".

Creating a buzz

In the lead up to Easter, the Frog timelines were adorned with 'coming soon' messages so children and parents became intrigued.

 

Froggies-Tweet

 

The concept

Everyone can be awarded Froggies with 5 different types to collect:

Frog of the Day

Teachers are to recommend a child they believe deserves 'Frog of the Day' through their online learning activity. These are sent to the Online Lead via the messaging system.


Froggies-Awards

Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Froggies

Children can earn these certificates by completing their online activity on Frog. Each week the Online Lead looks at everyone's login information and awards the certificates accordingly.

The Froggies are posted to the child's personal timeline, so it appears as a notification that they can look out for. Their achievement is also posted to the class timeline and the children are encouraged to make a comment on their award.

A dedicated site called The Froggies is a place to view all of the awards that have been issued, like a 'hall of fame'. Children and staff can also share comments here and interact with one another.

Awards are also celebrated on the school's social media channels which is helping to create a real sense of excitement about who can earn a Froggie next. 

In the second week post launch, the school had received 8,000 logins which shows really positive engagement as the idea starts to take off.

Online resources shared across alternative provision MAT
Apr 9, 2020, 8:15 AM

River Tees MAT is a group of alternative provision schools. All children that attend are classed as vulnerable and therefore still attending each school each day. As many of the teachers are working from home, the learning situation is slightly more unusual compared with other schools...

Guidance and resources

E-Learning lead, Matt Holley has created online guidance and resources to support everyone. A Covid19 site has been shared to all stakeholders via a Frog dashboard - which Matt keeps updated, it includes:

  • School documents
  • Amended timetables
  • Links to external support websites
  • Home learning guidance
  • Past papers for older students
  • CPD for teachers to achieve during lock-down


Centralised 

The schools struggled to keep printed staff handbooks updated with the ever-changing Government advice. so this content was also moved onto Frog, meaning it could be updated dynamically and sit with all other resources.

 

Benefits of approach

  • Staff can access everything from a single login 
  • Information is easily updated to keep up with demand
  • Approved links to external content included
  • Supports remote teaching and well-being

Handing in paper-based worksheets when school is closed
Apr 8, 2020, 8:15 AM

Frog Assignments has the full complement of self-marking quizzes, file drop and text activities for work that's created on the computer, but Mayflower High School were looking for a solution to submit assignments that have been produced on paper...

 

The solution for them was to use FrogSnap.  Staff continued to set Assignments with the addition of a File Drop plus some basic instructions. Pupils can now prepare their written work on paper as usual, take a photograph of it using the free FrogSnap app on their phone and upload directly to the Assignment that was set for them. 

 

Feedback---Mayflower_blurred

Example from Mayflower High School

 

Submissions can then by annotated by the teacher using the Assignments Feedback feature or all work can be downloaded onto a local computer.

 

Get Started with FrogSnap!

 

Download FrogSnap from your app store...

Links-App_PlayLinks-App_Apple

 

Using PowerPoint with Assignments
Apr 7, 2020, 8:30 AM

Penistone Grammar were looking into developing a remote learning strategy before Covid-19 closures were announced, so Strategic IT Lead, Michael O'Brien had already been investigating their options...

Guidance

They prepared guidance on 'what good looks like' for their remote learning. The Headteacher outlined that for years 10-13, every hour of lesson time, teachers should use Frog to set assignments and include:

  • Instructions
  • The activity or task
  • Assessment


Method

With activities and assessments already being used within their Frog Platform, Michael had been looking at ways in which teachers could talk through prepared material. Having rejected live video conferencing because of technical and organisational challenges, he settled on a little known feature of PowerPoint.


Recording

MS PowerPoint includes a feature which allows voice recording with a presentation. Once saved, it creates a small video file which can then be uploaded as a resource attached to a Frog Assignment.

 

A guide to Assignments

 

Microsoft PowerPoint Recording a Slide Show

penistone - gif

After creating your PowerPoint assignment - use the 'Record Slide Show' functionality.

 

penistone - powerpoint

Record your voice-over in PowerPoint.

 

penistone - gif 2

Export your PowerPoint as a video.

Guest Blog: Central place for useful, vetted third party links
Apr 6, 2020, 9:38 AM

There has been a glut of free content available online recently, and although this can support home learning for our students, as a teacher I was overwhelmed by it coming at me in many different forms (GDPR seemingly out of the window) and could only imagine how parents and pupils must be feeling. Just because content is free, billed as 'educational' and promoted for home learning use, did not mean it was safe.

Increasingly concerned for pupils and their families, I took on a mammoth task to create a 'Home Learning Links' site. This is an ever-evolving compilation of links that I have visited and vetted (to some degree). As well as links, the site includes Online Safety advice provided by approved organisations such as CEOP, Childline and UK Safer Internet Centre.

With this resource created, I was keen to share it with our Penrith Hub (network of schools), so we could collaborate and share resources to keep the site maintained. 

I am happy to open this up as a resource for other schools to use, so many more pupils can benefit from it. I only ask that North Lakes School and Frog could be credited wherever it is shared.

Thanks!

 

Home Learning Portal

 

Martyn Soulsby

Leadership Team & DPO

North Lakes School - Charanga

How you can get involved…

Frog schools are doing amazing things already, which is why we will be asking you to help us help the schools that need it. If you’ve got something useful to pass on then please send it to us so that we can include it on here for others.


Learn more
 

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