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Video Conferences - March 2015

Class 3Ba with Dawud Wharnsby in Canada

Tuesday 31st March 2015


The children were very excited to meet Dawud Wharnsby. 


  • "Dawud is a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, performer, educator and television personality. A multi-instrumentalist, he is best known for his work in the musical/poetic genre of English Language nasheed and spoken word." Courtesy of Wikipedia


    To find out more about Dawud please visit his website on the link below.



    Dawud played his guitar and sang the children a song.  He asked them how they felt and they said “tired!”  He sang a song called “Give a little love yourself.”  Later in the video conference Dawud took his web cam and showed the class where he writes music in his home music studio.

  • Dawud and the children had a discussion about how everyone has something special to give back to the world.  We looked at finger prints and how each person has a different set of fingerprints.  We are all equal and totally different at the same time.


    The children then asked Dawud some questions:-


    How many times do you practise a day?  Not as much as I should, I try and play for about an hour a day.


    Do you believe that people should be honest to earn money for their families?  Absolutely.  The best way we can work and earn our livelihood is to do things that are honest and good.  Dawud told the children that he likes to be self sufficient where possible and he keeps chickens (for eggs) and bees (for honey). 


    What job do you do?  I have so many jobs.  We teach our children at home.  I take care of my father.  My main job is writing songs and writing music;  sometimes for films.  I live through music.


    The children then took part in a word experiment, where everyone had to think of what the word "green" meant to them.  We found out that each person had a different thought about that word.


    Dawud then encouraged the children to write their own poem.  He started the poem with one word and asked the children to make a  list of related words, then put these words into sentences.  This was a very successful session and the children loved the chance to recite their poems to the class.


    Everyone enjoyed the VC with Dawud and hopefully will link again soon for some more songs and poems.


"Read Aloud" Video Conference session

Year 4 and New York


On Wednesday 25th March 2015 the children in classes 4Ow, 4Be and 4To had a video conference with Rene Carver, Distance Learning Coordinator - GST BOCES, USA. 


He read the book  "Owen and Mzee" by Isabella Hatkoff, a true story about the unlikely friendship between a baby hippo and a very old giant tortoise.


Year 4 were joined by children in America from Odessa-Montour School District, Bette VanDerzee (US) Bath School District, Laura Ford (US) Campbell-Savona, and Jessica Rose (US).


Rene used Google Earth to identify where each school was located in the world and also to show the continent of Africa and the country of Kenya where the story took place.


At the end of the session each class was given the opportunity to ask questions about school life in the USA.  We found out that the children in America do not have to wear a school uniform.  They do different sports e.g. baseball, tennis and American football is like our rugby.  Our sport of football is called “soccer” in the USA.


This was another really good VC link and everyone enjoyed the story and the Q&A session.  The only problem was that we ran out of time and wanted to ask many more questions!   So another link will be arranged very soon.

Year 4 Read Aloud VC.wmv

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Redbridge Networked Learning Community Open Week

Video Conference with Dan Freedman, Author

Tuesday 24th March 2015


The RNLC is a network of schools, which are working collaboratively, across the London Borough of Redbridge to improve teaching and learning in their classrooms.  At Highlands Primary we are part of the Video Conferencing network.  The RNLC sponsors video conferencing work in Redbridge. 


Click HERE to find out more about the RNLC.


During the RNLC Open Weeks, Highlands Primary and Oaks Park High School hosted a day of video conferences for Redbridge Schools with the Author Dan Freedman.  Three separate video conference links were held on the 24th and eleven Redbridge school took part in the VC sessions.


Dan Freedman spent the morning at Highlands with the Year 5 classes, who took part in the VC sessions with other schools across the borough


Dan Freedman is the Author of the highly popular football books about a character called Jamie Johnson.  Dan spoke of his love of the game of football and how his father took him to matches from a very early age.


In his work he has always been involved in the world of football and worked at Arsenal FC, Radio Five Live on newspapers and television (Sky Sports).  He spoke about meeting and interviewing some of the biggest stars in football and how he toured with the England football team.


Click HERE to go to Dan's website and find out more.

Year 5 and Dan Freedman.wmv

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Year 5 comments about the video conference with Dan Freedman:-


  • "I felt excited when Dan Freedman came to Highlands Primary School.  I enjoyed the part when we met different schools.  I also liked it when he talked about his different types of books about football."


  • "I felt intrigued with the amount of stuff he has been through and still being a great author.  Thanks Mr Dan Freedman!"


  • "Dan Freedman was an author in 2003 and published his first book (Kick Off) in 2004.  I enjoyed it when he gave us his autograph it was fun."


  • I really liked that all of the schools got together and did a video conference it was a good idea.  I learn lots of stuff I would never ask.  I learnt that he doesn't have a good imagination but he still writes good books."


  • "I  have learnt that it is not an easy job to publish a book and as an author your philosophy keeps on changing."


  • "I have learnt that it is not an easy thing to be an author.  I have also realised that it doesn't matter where you are writing, all that matters is where your mind is.  Dan Freedman says that he goes and watches the waves when he is writing so his mind is nice and calm."


  • Dan Freedman has shown me a shortcut to take a big step further.  After hearing his speech about his books and his series of Jamie Johnson I felt this slight craving for football when I had rejected it from my life.  Just hearing a sentence from "Kick Off" told me a whole story.  He has visited over 1000 schools and I am not even surprised by that.  He had used all that had happened in his life in his series, which I believe will create an outstanding book that will shine like flying colours."

Class 3Fo learn Spanish


On Wednesday 18th March the children in class 3Fo had a video conference with Jorge Pozo Soriano (Foreign Language Assistant for Spanish), at Oaks Park High School.


Jorge taught the children how to speak Spanish words and sentences.  The children were very enthusiastic and all joined in with the speaking and singing tasks.


This was a great opportunity for the children to learn how to pronounce Spanish words from a Spanish native.

Class 3Fo - Spanish.wmv

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"Read Aloud" Video Conference session

Class 1Kh and New York


On Monday 9th March 2015 the children in Class 1KH held a VC with Rene Carver, Distance Learning Coordinator - GST BOCES, USA.  He read to the children from the book "The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig."


The children were able to ask Rene lots of questions about living in America.