Your free timetable for celebrity lessons in lockdown

Published: April 2, 2020

The UK’s current lockdown seems daunting, and working from home can prove difficult, with time split between conference calls, emailing, and on top of that – childcare! There’s only so much entertainment to be found in worksheets sent home from school, and you can’t just leave them to play on an iPad all day. Luckily, celebs around the UK have answered your prayers – free online lessons to keep your kids entertained, and educated. Download our free homeschool timetable by clicking here, or find out more about what’s on offer below!

P.E with Joe Wicks 

Joe Wicks, known for his work as the body coach, has become the ‘nation’s p.e teacher’, with his free 30 minute workouts for all ages, starting at 9am every morning midweek. If that’s not enticing enough for you, Joe is donating all the money made from his YouTube channel to charity (about £80,000 last month!). Tune into his lessons here.

Music With Myleene Klass 

Singer and Pianist, Myleene Klass is teaching the uk classical music via YouTube. Like Joe Wicks’ lessons, this is aimed at all ages, so whether you’re looking to entertain the kids, or wanting to pick up a new skill, this is a class worth attending. Find Myleene’s lessons at 10am, monday to friday here.

Science with Maddie Moat

Maddie Moat, children’s tv presenter and youtuber, is giving live science lessons 5 days a week from her youtube channel. With a different topic covered every week, this is a great way to keep kids entertained, and provide a wide range of knowledge. Streaming at 11am from:

Dance with Oti Mabuse 

Strictly Come Dancing champion Oti Mabuse is supplying dance classes for children and adults on her social media platforms, with help from her husband Marius Lepure. This is a great way to stay active, and use up some energy throughout the day, and if any adults want to join in, Oti is holding a class for adults every week day at 7pm. Catch the kids lesson at 11:30 on Oti’s youtube channel here.

Maths with Carol Vorderman 

Due to the lockdown, Carol Vorderman is offering access to her maths factor lessons for free! Aimed at pupils from ages 4-12, the ex Countdown presenter, is giving free access to her online courses, following the national curriculum. Log on anytime to access the courses here:

History with Dan Snow 

Historian Dan Snow is keeping the nation up-to-date with the past with his podcast, ‘Dan Snow’s History Hit’. Available on all major podcast platforms and (ad free), this is an informative show (and a chance for some peace and quiet for mum and dad!). Find Dan’s podcasts here.

English with David Walliams 

Comedian and Writer David Walliams is giving free access to a free story every day midweek during Lockdown. Taken from one of his bestselling books, each story will be available at 11:30am every day, and available to stream from his website for the next 24 hours – and don’t worry, he does all the voices! Find David’s latest story here:

Food Tech with Jamie Oliver 

Jamie’s new programme, ‘Keep Cooking and Carry On’, shows you how to make the most out of whatever you can find in your cupboard. Filmed at his home, with help from his wife and kids, Jamie guides you through easy recipes that all t he family can make. After watching Keep Cooking and Carry On, you might even be able to get your kids to start cooking tea for you! Tune in on channel 4 at 5:30 weeknights, or catch up here:

How to Teach Primary Without Being a Subject Knowledge Expert

Published: November 23, 2016

After achieving my BA QTS in Primary Education and English Language Studies in 1996 (at the seasoned age of 40), I didn’t feel qualified to teach much of anything. Despite going the ‘long route’ of a four-year teaching degree and having numerous courses on the best way to teach the curriculum subjects, I was only a subject knowledge expert in my degree specialism – English. Me teaching PE was a joke. Trying to corral a group of exuberant 10 and 11 year olds and teach them how to interpret scenarios through dance was a particular favourite (insert appropriate emoji here). Of course lack of self-confidence didn’t help and neither did having no behaviour management input at university. I was most definitely not a natural – I just wanted to teach those wonderful young people who had so much potential.
Does it even matter whether a teacher knows a subject inside and out? Just knowing enough to cover the National Curriculum is good enough – right? Anyone who’s watched a true subject expert teach a class knows the answer to that question. There’s something almost magical about having a teacher who really knows their topic. I grew up in the US and had subject specialists teaching me from the equivalent of KS2 upwards. Should the UK follow suit? Subject Leaders are super resources but your school may not be lucky enough to have a full complement. So what can a primary teacher do if knowledge is lacking?

Extra Training

If you’re lucky and your school has the budget, you might be sent on a course that will turn you into a subject knowledge expert. The trouble with courses is that many focus on skills rather than substance. I remember roomfuls of bored teachers being more interested in what was on offer for lunch than the course content. Ironic when you think we were there to learn teaching best practices. I also recall a four-hour course on how to coach football. Even now it makes me laugh. My secret weapon was to rely on the pupils who played footy for a team – they knew more about the offside rule and what constituted a penalty than I ever would.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership fund Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses, which seem to be very worthwhile, according to a study carried out for the DfE. The trouble is that although these courses are widely available to trainees, there are only a few Teaching School Alliances in England that give access to existing and returning teachers. Another disadvantage is that a lot of the courses are aimed at secondary level, eg, biology, chemistry and physics. This means that existing teachers will be extremely lucky if they can find a relevant module and get the funding to attend.


Hurray for the internet! In-depth, online research helped me throughout my twenty years of teaching. From lesson plans to how-to videos, whatever you need to know is out there. The only downside to researching topics is the time it takes. It’s bad enough planning lessons, marking and setting targets, without having to top up knowledge – even with PPA time. There must be a better way.
This could be seen as a long-term strategy but schools should take advantage of bespoke elearning content. Edtech developers work alongside a subject expert to create dynamic, interactive content. This not only relieves pressure on teachers who don’t know enough about a subject, it also cuts down on prep time. Once content has been created, it can be shared throughout the school and beyond. To make it more cost-effective, cluster schools could join forces to cover all areas and share content. This type of elearning content focuses on the visual learner and is highly engaging. As non-experts can learn from bespoke content, it will form the basis of a more confident blended learning scheme. Eventually, you may develop into a subject knowledge expert after all.

School Blogging

Published: June 9, 2016

Communication is key to the effective running of a school. Good communication fosters good relationships and in educational institutions, with so many stakeholders, relationships are incredibly important. With this in mind, the channels a school chooses to communicate through also become important in themselves, especially as social media now offers a chance to reach people in a way that is direct and immediate.
There are, of course, inherent risks, and there is often an understandable hesitancy from schools to utilise open platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. But if this is the case, the setting up of a school blog can act as a more manageable way to put your institution’s message out there.

A school blog attached to a website can present an insight to the daily goings on behind the gates and in the hands of a curator with an eye for detail, an ear to the ground and a little talent with the written word it can offer an extremely human voice of an institution that is often viewed as being closed-off to those who aren’t teaching or learning within it. One of the complaints that parents and carers often have is that there are only a number of communication points in a year and that sometimes it can be a mystery as to what is going on (given the uncommunicative nature of many adolescents and teenagers!). An effective school blog will not only disseminate important information throughout the year in an easy-to-digest format, it can concentrate on some of the minutiae that is often lost. There may be an exceptional piece of work that deserves a wider audience, a teacher explaining the finer points of how to help the kids with their study skills for an upcoming test, or photos, video and audio from a recent volunteering event. All these and more add colour and vibrancy that often goes unnoticed. Content that includes successes, news, input from teachers, children and management in a style that reflects the ethos of the school goes a long way to offering an insight into the work that goes on and can be presented in the most positive way possible. It can also give parents and carers a chance to respond to those events, bringing the school and the local community together. And unlike other platforms, there is always a chance to moderate.
A school blog acts as a window and allows the outside world in (to an extent of the school’s choosing) and enables schools to share the fantastic things that are happening and deserve to be shared.

Top 5 Do’s & Don’ts of Teaching

Published: February 2, 2016

Teaching requires a great amount of patience, mindfulness, compassion and commitment. It is not an easy job as many would assume. Teachers usually have to play many roles and show many faces to enhance the student learning experience.
With that in mind, we have done some research on the top do’s and don’ts of teaching in the classroom, which we hope new teachers will find helpful.

Make your life easier with School Jotter, a great content management system and hosting solution that provides you with the necessary tools and apps to make your teaching outstanding.
Imagine a classroom, seemingly ordinary, where every student is deeply engaged, their eyes alight with curiosity. This isn’t a scene from an idealistic movie; it’s the reality created by a teacher who understands the subtle art of influencing young minds. This teacher knows that in the world of education, akin to Malcolm Gladwell’s concept of the ‘tipping point’, small things can make a big difference.

 1. Do: Connect Beyond the Curriculum In a small town, there was a teacher who found a way to reach a disinterested student by talking about skateboarding, a shared passion. This simple connection transformed the student’s attitude towards learning. Like the ‘stickiness factor’ in Gladwell’s theories, personal connections make ideas and lessons more engaging and memorable. Teachers who find common ground with their students create an environment where learning extends beyond textbooks.

 2. Don’t: Underestimate the Power of Expectations Consider the ‘Pygmalion Effect’ – a psychological phenomenon where higher expectations lead to an increase in performance. A study once showed that students, randomly selected but touted as ‘likely to succeed’, actually performed better. This wasn’t due to their inherent abilities but the changed expectations of their teachers. In teaching, the expectations set can either be a barrier or a catalyst for student growth.

 3. Do: Embrace the Mavericks There was once a student who constantly challenged conventional methods. Instead of suppressing this unconventional thinker, a perceptive teacher encouraged this curiosity. This encouragement led the student to excel in a project, inspiring peers to think differently. Like Gladwell’s ‘law of the few’, a teacher’s support for the mavericks can create a ripple effect, fostering a culture of innovation and critical thinking in the classroom.

 4. Don’t: Neglect the Small Moments Gladwell’s concept of ‘thin slicing’ – making quick judgments – is often seen in teaching. A teacher’s spontaneous decision to praise a student’s work can boost confidence significantly. These small moments, though seemingly insignificant, can be pivotal in a student’s academic journey. Teachers need to be mindful of these interactions, as they hold the power to change a student’s perception of learning and self-worth.

 5. Do: Cultivate a Culture of Curiosity A creative teacher once turned a rigid lesson plan into a journey of discovery, allowing students to explore topics beyond the syllabus. This approach resulted in heightened student engagement and deeper understanding.

Teachers who encourage exploration understand the ‘law of the few’; they act as connectors, mavens, and salesmen, spreading the virus of curiosity among their students.

In the world of teaching, just as in the dynamics of social change that Gladwell describes, the smallest actions can be the tipping points.

Whether it’s through creating personal connections, setting high expectations, encouraging unconventional thinking, paying attention to the little things, or fostering curiosity, teachers have numerous opportunities to make a significant impact. Just like a carefully placed domino can set off an entire chain, a teacher’s actions, no matter how small, can set the course for a student’s future.

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Webanywhere Podcast Episode 3 is now available for download

Published: December 14, 2015

Coming to you slightly early this month so as to keep you company over the frosty nights, the Webanywhere Podcast this month takes a look at Christmas traditions around the world, the PiZero & online security. So pull up an armchair, pour yourself something mulled and enjoy this month’s podcast:

Christmas in Literature – Ideas for Lessons

Published: December 9, 2015

The tradition of Christmas in fiction is one that has permeated throughout the ages, and many famous stories and poems have been written with a festive theme as a core component. Here our our favourite examples, and ideas for lessons based around some of the most cherished Christmas literature

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

This classic ghost story of a withered, mean old man realising that he should embrace the joy in life and be a good person, else face the scorn and misery for the rest of his life, is one of the most adapted stories of all time. The structure of being visited by the three ghosts of past, present and future is a wonderful literary device that essentially gives us the life story of a character without breaking the flow of the narrative or becoming long winded. While the prose is a little advanced for some younger children, KS2 upwards should be able to read the story, and then discuss it. Here are a few ideas for lessons for A Christmas Carol:

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts – What is Scrooge really frightened of?

Although this is a ghost story, not all of the ghosts are scary. Do the ghosts represent something other than supernatural beings? Ask students to investigate what is really scaring Scrooge, and ask why ghosts are used to make this point. If they were to be visited by the ghosts of past, present and future what would they be scared to see? Get students to write a short story about their own visits from the three ghosts, and what lesson they would learn.

Bah Humbug – How A Christmas Carol has become so important

A Christmas Carol is one of the most referenced books in popular culture, with turns of phrase such as “Scrooge”, “Bah Humbug” and “God bless us, everyone” becoming part of everyday conversation. Get students to investigate how many times A Christmas Carol has been adapted or parodied by setting them a research task of finding 10 different versions of A Christmas Carol. Then ask them to discuss why they think the story is so popular, and how the phrases in the book became part of the language. Can they think of any other examples of great stories that people tell over and over again, or any phrases that originally came from books?

A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas) – Clement Clarke Moore

This classic poem is not only a great read, but arguably the origin of what we now consider the modern Santa! The first reference of Santa being all dressed in red, accompanied by Reindeer and his chimney exploration habit all come from this poem. Here are a few ideas for activities:

Twas the night before… – Parody and Understanding Form (KS2)

A Visit From St. Nicholas has been rewritten and parodied over 1000 times. You can find the full list of recorded parodies here. It’s a very fun poem to imitate, so let your students have a go! More importantly, ask them to carefully examine how the poem sounds and where the rhymes are. Demonstrate to them the AABB rhyme scheme, and (if a high enough level) discuss stressed and unstressed syllables. This poem actually has the same rhythm and syllable stress as a limerick, but not the same rhyme scheme. Get everyone to write their own night before christmas verse, and then ask them to examine how accurate it is in using the form of the original.

The Tailor of Gloucester – Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter’s personal favourite of her stories, The Tailor of Gloucester tells the tale of a humble tailor who has been hired to finish the waistcoat of the the town mayor for his wedding on Christmas Morning, only for his cat to hide his last piece of twist from him out of spite of the tailor releasing the mice he caught. The mice display their gratitude by fixing the waistcoat in the night, and save the tailor from humiliation. It’s a sweet, short story that shows how a little mercy can save you in the long run.

Public Squeaking – Anthropomorphism (KS1)

The Tailor of Gloucester is a story that has lots of characters that are different animals, and they’re all portrayed in different ways. Ask students to look at how the animals act in various “human-like” ways, including how the mice dress up in their specially made clothes. Do we find the characters more or less sympathetic and lovable once they wear human clothes? Why do we care about the cat eating the mice, and why do we think Simpkins actions are bad? As students to consider in what ways the animals are like people, and then get them to write a short story from the perspective of an animal of their choosing.

Resources like these can be stored inside our School Jotter Resources app, where you can share your own creations with other teachers and work with the community to create lessons plans. You can learn more at

Christmas Around the World – Resources & Plans

Published: December 1, 2015

Now that winter has arrived and frosted the windows here at Webanywhere it’s time to look forward to Christmas, and the celebration of friends family and far too much food. But it’s also important to use this time of year to teach children not only about the nativity story (and hopefully avoid the awkward question about how many shepherds there were for the sake of casting the school play) but also how countries around the world celebrate the season in their own unique ways. Here are some ideas for lessons about the ways Christmas is celebrated around the world.
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Anti Bullying Week – Monthly Round Up & Podcast

Published: November 26, 2015

This month to mark November’s Anti Bullying Week we’ve been producing lots of blogs to help you teach all about bullying in the classroom. We’ve covered lots of areas, from how to prevent cyberbullying in your school, through to all manner of websites you can use to help teach anti bullying. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
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Anti Bullying Week – Anti Bullying Assembly for KS1 & KS2

Published: November 19, 2015

With this week being Anti Bullying week in the UK we thought we’d help you teach students about bullying with this brief but clear presentation on what bullying is, what to do if you’re being bullied and the golden rule on being happy. It’s about 10 minutes long and includes some fun animations suitable for primary school children, KS1 and KS2. Click the link below to request a download of the presentation.

Anti Bullying Presentation

Anti Bullying Week – Helpful resources for the classroom

Published: November 12, 2015

Continuing our ongoing Anti Bullying Month, we’ve been hacking away at the Google results to find you the best resources on cyberbullying that the web has to offer. Below are what we believe to be invaluable assets in the fight against online abuse. Take a look:
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