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The positive uptake of the YouTube channel prompted further investigations on how to creatively use technology to showcase pupil work. In the early part of 2021, whilst in the second national lockdown, Dr Christie trialled the use of digital books (ebooks) to present student work which was based on picture books, poems and short films that could be found on our school YouTube channel. Four separate ebooks were published and their impact convinced our Senior LeadershipTeam to provide the funds to set up an ebook website that would enable The Leys, plus all the other schools in the cluster, to share student work electronically.
This creative approach was well received and Dr Christie was subsequently invited by the British Council to give a keynote speech at the Schools Now 2021 international online conference on the topic of ‘Collaboration for learning’.
Pre-Covid, The Leys had established a good link with the then Mayor of Stevenage and Stevenage Borough Council, with preliminary discussions taking place on the possibility of expanding the town’s link with Kathmandu, primarily through further international school partnerships. This was placed on hold with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, but the link with local civic leaders was maintained. In Autumn 2020, Stevenage Borough Council held a Climate Change Citizens Panel and asked for input from local primary school children. The questions posed were shared with Nepali partner schools and an ebook was created to showcase the collaborative work that was produced.
Given that the United Nations’ summit on climate change (COP26) was scheduled to take place in Glasgow later in 2021, we decided to next look at Sustainable Development Goal No. 13 (Climate Action). Our pupils participated in ‘The World’s Largest Lesson’ Climate Changemakers campaign where they reflected in 100 words or less why learning about climate change mattered to them. This was accompanied by climate change graffiti slogans created by our Year 6 pupils.
In May 2021, the Stevenage project team learnt from one of the Nepali teachers that the Covid-19 situation had taken a turn for the worse in Nepal. This galvanised the Stevenage team into action with local pupils writing to our MP, in the hope that much needed medical supplies could be diverted to help the nation of Nepal in its time of need. An ebook was created to highlight this endeavour: https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/65677200/support-for-nepal