Estonia, Finland and Latvia trip

Baltic trip I've just returned back from a six day trip to Estonia, Finland and Latvia, with my daughter, Laura. We travelled by ferry, bus, tram and plane and managed to fit so many things in in such a short space of time including visiting the capitals of all the three countries along with seeing their major tourist attractions.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Gordons Numeracy Teaching Resources

Gordons numeracy ITPsHere are over 100 simple Flash resources to support the teaching and learning of Maths. These are produced by the Coventry Primary Numeracy Team for use by teachers and pupils and are known as Gordons (due to the little superhero character included within them). They are ideal for class or small group teaching and cover the majority of areas of the primary maths curriculum.

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Installing Pygame on Ubuntu 12.04

Python, Pygame and Ubuntu 12.04 I've had a lot of trouble trying to get Python working with Pygame on Ubuntu 12.04 recently so I've documented the process which finally got it up and running. Hopefully this will save someone else lots of work trying to get Python3, Pygame and Ubuntu 12.04 running together.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Tunisia trip

Tunisia trip One of the countries on my list of places to go was Tunisia, so when we found a reasonable deal on a trip there we decided it was time to pack our suitcases and go. Our base in Tunisia was Port El Kantauoi, a purpose built leisure port close to the city of Sousse, on the north west coast of the country.

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Missing money grid

Missing Money GridA printable worksheet which helps to develop KS2 children's monetary skills. The children have to work out what the missing coins are which add up to the totals of all the columns and rows. Teachers can click on the coins themselves to remove them and generate their own worksheets using random coins. This can be left on the whiteboard screen whilst the children have printable copies themselves to work through. When the children are finished, they can mark their own work by revealing the missing coins on the Interactive Whiteboard.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Teaching KS2 children how to write scripts on the Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Scripts Last week I worked with a group of 10/11 year olds at the Raspberry Pi command line, using my speaking weather script to show them what can be done with the Raspberry Pi at the command line. This week I went a step further and got them to write a script to create a menu which incorporated the speaking weather forecast and also showed them some other cool things that the Raspberry Pi can do at the terminal.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Creating epub ebooks without Calibre

Creating an epub ebook without Calibre This guide demonstrates how to create your own epub files using Libre Office (or Open Office) on Linux, Windows or a Mac. This is handy if you have some text that you'd like to read on your book reader but your book reader doesn't support the format that you have it in. Or if you have written some text yourself which you'd like to publish. EPUB stands for 'electronic publication' and is the open standard for digital ebooks.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

ipad apps for teaching programming at primary schools

ipad apps I went to an IT conference for Primary Schools today organised by the hard working team at Wawne Primary School and discovered a lot of information about using ipads to teach children programming concepts, from early years through to upper KS2. When you're looking for apps it can be really time consuming so I thought I'd put them all in one place for an easy reference to save people time and effort.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Warsaw and Krakow Trip

Poland trip Here is a trip report of our recent trip to Warsaw and Krakow - two very different cities in Poland. I travelled with Steve, an old friend of mine, and we went for four days at the end of March 2014. We managed to cram a lot in during this time with the highlight of the trip being a Segway tour around Krakow. Why can't we have these machines to ride on the roads (or even pavements) in England?

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Using PHP with Pelican

PHP and Pelican I've been using PHP to develop websites since the mid 90's and, even though I'm really happy with my Raspberry Pi and Pelican setup, I really wanted to add some php code into some of my scripts. After spending a while testing a few approaches out, I finally found one that worked and seamlessly integrated into the Pelican framework.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

KS1 and KS2 Computing keywords display

Computing curriculum display images I've just come across this website which has a set of downloadable posters containing key words from the 2014 computing curriculum for KS1 and KS2. The posters are in "pupil speak" and contain computing keywords such as algorithms, debug, process and program. Very useful for the computing area in your primary school.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Increasing the volume on a Raspberry Pi

Volume on Raspberry Pi If you plug your speakers into the 3.5mm jack on the Raspberry Pi, the volume that you get is really low. I wanted to make the volume louder so I used this script that I found on the Raspberry Pi forums to do just that. By increasing the analog volume and saving these changes in the correct place, you can increase the volume to a level that works for you.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

2014 Primary Computing curriculum guide

Computing curriculum booklet Computing at School, in association with Naace and other partners have published a guide which explains how primary teachers can get started with the new 2014 Primary Computing curriculum. It provides many pointers to excellent resources and ideas for building an innovative and exciting curriculum and can be used in conjunction with the Government's publications on the new 2014 Primary Computing Curriculum.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Getting your Raspberry Pi to speak the weather forecast

Raspberry Pi Speaking Weather Every evening, I like to know what the weather is going to be like for the next day. Should I pack a salad or have a hot meal? Do I need my coat or not? Sometimes I forget to check my phone/tablet/laptop/TV etc to find out what its going to be like the next day, so I made these wizzy little scripts to get the Raspberry Pi to tell me my local weather forecast at 10pm every night.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Tweeting from the Raspberry Pi

Tweeting on the Raspberry Pi I recently found a way to tweet from the Raspberry Pi using an app called Tweepy. I've written a tutorial below on how to do this as I've wanted to automate Twitter feeds for a while now and this looks like just the thing to enable me to do it. It took me about an hour to setup and now I've got it up and running, I'm going to look at reading data from the environment, the web and local databases and tweeting them out directly.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Pelican: A fast blog/CMS for the Raspberry Pi

Fast blog for Raspberry Pi If, like me, you're hosting a website on your Raspberry Pi, you may have struggled finding a fast blogging engine or content management system. Over the past year, I've tried a number of solutions that really on an application server and/or database server but none have been fast enough due to the amount of grunt needed to run these servers.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Running a Calibre ebook library on a Raspberry Pi

Ebook Library on a Raspberry Pi This article describes how to set up your own ebook server which will run on a Raspberry Pi or any other webserver running PHP. This allows you to give your friends access to your ebooks across the Internet without keeping the machine that manages your Calibre library turned on all the time, which costs more money and can be really slow if you have a large book library.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Berlin Trip

Berlin trip In October 2013, my family and I spent a few days in Berlin, taking in the sights of the city and soaking up the atmosphere. We stayed in a hotel just off Tiergarten which is the oldest public park in Berlin and the home of the Berlin Zoo and Bellevue Palace, the residence of the German President.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Converting images on a Raspberry Pi

Ebook Library on a Raspberry Pi I've been using Imagemagick, a really useful tool, a lot recently to convert images for my ebook collection. I use it to create smaller versions of the images that Calibre produces to run on my own ebook web server. This mini-tutorial will show you how to install and use Imagemagick on your Raspberry Pi. This could be on the command line, in batch operations or using a server side scripting language.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Southern Thailand Trip

Southern Thailand After the end of our Northern Thailand trip, we stayed on in Bangkok for a night before joining another group of friendly people and embarked upon a further trip to the islands in Southern Thailand. We travelled down on an overnight sleeper train to the port at Surrathani and, after crossing from the mainland, spent some time snorkelling and exploring the beautiful islands of Koh Tao, Ko PaNgan and Koh Samui.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Northern Thailand Trip

Northern Thailand In August 2013, my family (Sue, Laura and Lucy) and I travelled to Thailand for a week to explore the north of the country. We had an amazing time visiting Bangkok, the temples at Sukhotai, elephant sanctuaries, staying with locals and trekking through the jungles. We also explored lots of Thai culture including watchingThai boxing matches, taking part in buddhist ceremonies, visiting local schools and watching lady boy shows!

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Primary KS1 and KS2 Sublevelled maths objectives

Maths objectivesThis Maths planning tool, which is based on the UK National Curriculum APP levels, is fully searchable and categorised into different assessment focuses, including number, fractions, decimals, percentages, problem solving, shape, measures, time, angles and data handling. It gives you the sublevel for every single Maths objective and is useful to ensure coverage of the UK national curriculum.

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Stop Receiving Junk Mail

In 2002, the UK Minister of State responsible for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs estimated that direct mail promotions accounted for between 500,000 and 600,000 tonnes of wasted paper. Recycling targets were put in place by the government and the Direct Marketing Association (UK) with a goal of 55% by 2009.

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USA West coast trip

USA West coast trip In August 2007, my family and I travelled to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Yosemite Park. We took a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, went to the World Series of Poker in Vegas, visited San Diego zoo, Disneyland California, Venice Beach, Malibu, stayed in Santa Barbara, drove along the Pacific Coast Highway and even had a go on a Segway.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall