Inspire2Learn Animated Film Academy

What a BRILLIANT day!

On Thursday, we had a fantastic day with Year 1 children from Lockwood Primary School and Year 2 children from Chaloner Primary School. During the day, the children made letters write themselves and paper faces move. Finally, the children worked as a team to design a background, create characters and make a short, animated film. 

Have a look below at the films they made:

Lego & Scratch Day at I2L

Hummersea Primary School enjoyed a day of Lego & Scratch programming fun with Dr Alan Brennan @DoctorABee today using Wedo2.

Lego bricks
Photo by Rick Mason on Unsplash

Quotes from the days feedback forms:


“I liked how we learned without it being boring.  I really enjoyed this whole session!  I enjoyed making all the models move and making them emit sounds!  Would recommend!”

“I enjoyed the way we learned without it being boring.  Would recommend everyone who loves Lego”

“It was really fun!  I loved the food”

“I enjoyed building models and all of it I enjoyed.  I relieved my stress”

“I enjoyed it he taught us in a very fun way”

“I enjoyed it because you made us laugh”

“I enjoyed everything there because I found out how to make Lego move and how to make our own models”

“I loved coming to do the Lego challenge.  I recommend lots of other people to come it was amazing”

“I enjoyed using the computers to programme the model.  The food was 10/10 and the worst part was at the end going home.”

“I enjoyed making the crocodile because we used our imagination and the coding was brilliant.  My favourite part was how we learned about different scientific parts”


“The children had a great day.  Worked well in groups and were excited for the whole day”

“The children and adults had a fantastic day building and coding and problem solving.  The link to biodiversity and environment was great for the children.”

“Brilliant day – appealed to all children and all abilities- made children think but the activities were achievable”  

Lego at I2L

St Margaret Clitherow’s enjoyed a day of Lego learning and fun with Dr Alan Brennan @DoctorABee today using Wedo2, Boost and Dash robots.

Lego Day I2L
I2L Lego Day

Quotes from the days feedback forms:


“I really enjoyed the education, learning and imagination.”

“I enjoyed seeing our creation work.  It was also fun building and programming it”

“I enjoyed programming and engineering with the Lego”

“I enjoyed every bit of being here.  I had fun because I love Lego”

“I really enjoyed today.  I also really enjoyed making the models with my partner”

“It was the best day ever when I built a helicopter.  Thank you!”


“The session was  paced just right.  We had a mixed ability group who all managed well and had a really enjoyable day”

“The children were very engaged for the whole of the session.  Although I thought it was challenging they all succeeded and had lots of fun”

“A great start/introduction to the session.  Children had lots of opportunity to build and become familiar with the Lego sets and ipads.  Thank you so much!

Understanding the importance of literacy in Redcar and Cleveland

Understanding the importance of literacy in Redcar and Cleveland

Mike Askew Expert Event

To Book your place email

Tales of the Tees 2019

Good morning, good morning!

Welcome to this year’s Tales of the Tees Challenge Day where you get to lead your own learning for the day and teachers get a day of from teaching! The focus as usual is based on life in the Tees Valley from a pupil point of view. Watch the video.

So, now you have a little glimpse into some of the fabulous new developments and industries in the area. Regardless of what you want to do in later life, all of these developments will help to make the area more prosperous with lots of opportunities to be whoever you want to be if you work hard at it. But how can school help you best to achieve that. What lessons are missing that will give you the best chance of a brilliant career? What do you think you need to know about for when you are an adult that isn’t taught in school right now?

And how can lessons be more …er….educational? Is there a better way of helping you to have all the knowledge, skills and attitudes that you will need in your career by the time you leave school?

I would love your responses to be engaging. A short filmed play, an animation, a song, huge diagrams, green screens flash forwards to the future classrooms, models, dioramas….I want to see you being creative to get your point across. I would also love to see some photos of you all working along the way throughout the day.

I can’t wait to see your suggestions for our new local school curriculum. Please send me photos, videos, texts or whatever by the end of the school day.

Here are some links that might help:

Sirius Minerals youtube channel:

South Tees Development Site video:

And Paul Rodger’s Track ‘A Place Called Home’

GreenPower Electric Cars at Croft Racing Circuit!

Hello everyone and welcome to the GreenPower Electric Car Competition day at Croft Racing Circuit. There will be live broadcasts throughout the day until the rain comes! See below for updates…

Well overall the teams have had a fantastic day. The schools that we managed to support for the event: Wynyard Primary, St Augustine’s, Hartburn, St Joseph’s, Ormesby and Beverley all had a fantastic experience and some of them even won some prizes (see pics below). The challenge of building a car, even with a set of instructions, is not an easy one let alone trying to ensure everything is optimised for the fastest result. However, with a bit of help from people like Amit the cars pretty much all ran today and ran well. It is unfortunate that there are at least 10 cars sat in cupboards in schools today, doing nothing but perhaps we can get some of them up and running next year. For now enjoy the clips and images from today.

And the race round the whole track clips are below:



Today the fantastic robot ‘league’ finished off our programme for schools for 2018/19 and what a year it has been. Approximately 10 000 pupils from Y1 – Y13 have engaged in hands on, curriculum and employer linked activities from the digital sector, through logistics and every sector you could care to imagine. It has been an absolute pleasure and it was fitting that our regular robot teams who have been coming for several years have ‘closed the show’. A visitor to the Centre popped in to the room where they are working and was brimming with enthusiasm when she came out, ‘I cannot believe what they are achieving in there, the atmosphere is just buzzing’. Yes, it has been for all of our 90+ events!

You can see from the images below the level of engagement, problem solving and resilience that these young people, from St Benedicts, Sacred Heart, Hartburn, St Josephs, Saltburn and Acklam Whin have shown not just today, not just at the events here but also in the school based clubs that back top this work. They have been using VEX robots for several years but are now moving to LEGOI Mindstorms EV3 machines to broaden their understanding.

Well done to them and their teachers, it is easy to see why the Tees Valley will find it so easy to develop as a Digital Hub. This lot are world beaters.

And thank you to Issy from Hartburn Primary who even made a short video about their VEX robot.

Aiming High

IMG_3074We host quite a few events at the Centre for schools. Our stage setup and AV makes it quite an exciting space when we turn it to that purpose. To give a flavour, today we had Tees Valley Education’s ‘Book of the Year Awards’. I think it is fair to say that many schools write to authors of books to thank them and often they will get replies. TVED don’t think like that. Many of their pupils come from difficult backgrounds, often not having the opportunities that any of us would want for our children. The schools in TVED have very much taken that into account when creating their curriculum and wider offer.

Two years ago their choirs joined with other schools and played a concert at the Sage, last year it was the Royal Festival Hall with 400 children singing alongside West End stars and the Strictly Band. They are currently also leading a huge arts project with local artists and other schools across the Tees Valley.

And alongside this they also wanted to raise the profile of reading in their schools. So what have they done? Well they picked six best selling books aimed at children across the primary range and made sure that all children would get access to read them. They did the usual work around book reviews, linked curriculum work and so on but they wanted the children to really connect with the writing.

Their answer? Invite the authors to work with the children and run an inter-Trust competition for writing book reviews. They were going meet that distant, unapproachable name emblazoned on the key texts! Books that could be seen in shops, famous people! So today we hosted Em Lynas, Chris Callaghan, Gabrielle Kent, Dan Smith and Tom Palmer.

The culmination has been an event that celebrated a range of awards such as, Courage, Care, Commitment and Curiosity in each school alongside a vote for their book of the year. This year’s Book of the Year was ‘Armistice Runner’ by Tom Palmer.

I can’t wait for next year!

Aspiratio…..nope, we are ‘Developing Cultural/Social Capital’

I’m often told how valuable the work is here at Inspire2Learn to raise aspirations. On the surface, that is reasonably accurate but it actually belies the real impact that our work has. The vast majority of pupils that we work with have aspirations, a clear hope of what they might do in life. Yes there are many dreaming of playing Premiership football or packing out Wembley on a six night run but beneath that there are also lots of hopes that reach into a whole range of local careers. Today we had Y5 from Brambles attend a fantastic morning meeting people from a range of companies. Health Education England, PD Ports, EDF Energy, Sirius Minerals and Teesside University all hosted short presentations with around 15 children at a time to really get some close interaction between the children and the adults. We have a pretty strong indication from the growing research evidence, much of it over long periods of time, that these sorts of opportunities have a lasting impact on the pupils. That is what our events are really based on. Children may have aspirations but often they lack the belief that that could actually be something they could do, it feels a world away. Creating more awareness of what they could be doing in their future careers; giving them the opportunity to recognise the skills that they will need in the future through challenge based learning activities; making them aware of what jobs exist and on their doorstep…that is what will have a long term impact. The evidence form research is backing up what our experience of working with 40 000 odd pupils over the last few years has been telling us.

So no, we don’t ‘raise aspirations’ here.

We give pupils the belief that the world of work is something they can be part of, on their terms, if they work at it. Days like today are one part of a bigger jigsaw, but a vital one. One that helps children to expect to get a great job. Once you begin to expect that you will get a good job, it becomes the norm, that is what you will do and you will work towards it, even if the direction changes over time. Without knowing what even exists, how can we expect children to want and know that working hard opens up so many possibilities?

That is what today was about, developing a mindset that expects to get good things in life through effort. Judging by their feedback today, I think we had mission accomplished.