Author Archives: rporritt

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

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:


More Brilliant Animators!

An endless supply it would seem as today we welcome St Josephs RC (Loftus) and Wynyard Primary to the centre with their Y2 children. Very few of them have done any animation before but that does not matter. What we are developing is teamwork and effective listening skills. That is showing in abundance. Although they are only 6 or 7 years old we have insisted on a high level of detail in their work; no dodgy camera angles filming the table, care with movement, speech bubbles lasting a decent enough time to read and so on. They have taken these key ideas and then applied their own creativity so as I type they are producing some magnificent pieces of work. Using the Stop Motion app (free on iOS) the mechanics were simple, the execution needed care.

Have a peek at their working:

You might also notice some of the fantastic ambassadors we have from Hillsview Academy in some of the images. Their help at multiple events over the last few months has been invaluable for us and a great opportunity I hope for them to develop their skills. They certainly have been a great advert for their school.

So the videos! I’ve pulled them all into one long masterpiece. Some have music, some don’t but enjoy them either way. I also want to point out that some of the children had nothing of any merit to show by 1.30pm and I told them so (nicely) because by recognising what was wrong, they learned really well how to make it work better. Well done.

Brilliant Animators

Today we welcomed the fantastic Y2 children from Yarm Primary. After a last minute jiggle around with dates we managed to squeeze them into an event because they had been on our waiting lists for a loooooong time. Hopefully the wait was worth it and we certainly enjoyed their enthusiasm and creativity. They had done some animation before but this was their first time with Stop Motion app.

As you can see they planned a simple story and created characters and props to tell it. However, when you watch the videos below I would like you to appreciate the progression in their work during the day. Their first attempts were pretty much binned at lunchtime. I played Mr Grumpy to really bring home the fact that there was no excuse for having the camera showing lots of table, for characters to move too fast, or for words to be left on the screen for a split second. Absolutely there are some slips in what you will see below but the difference between what they managed to achieve and the level at which they were performing just an hour earlier is really awesome. Well done to every group who managed to get something completed. It was a fast paced day with high expectations that you met brilliantly.

As always the teachers and assistants who attend these days make all the difference. The staff today were brilliant and really got into the spirit of what we were trying to achieve. In addition we had four of the creative ambassadors from Hillsview Academy who got stuck in all day and made a real difference to what the children produced. That wasn’t an easy job so well done to you! Now for the animations:

Our Young Enterprisers….!

What a fantastic team I have here! Due to unfortunate circumstance I was only able to work with the fabulous St Paulinus and Rift House for part of today but my wonderful team led by Gabriella took the reins wonderfully. The children probably had a better day because of it!

The theme was enterprise and as usual our focus for upper KS1 is to give children opportunities to think about how other people think. Designing a product for a specific audience is our way in. So today, after a few warm up tasks they designed Christmas biscuits and cakes for people that they know. Yes it was an edible glitter fest once the designs were created as they children busied themselves making their designs into real products. These are some of the images from today:

As you can see, the level of engagement, on task commitment and pride in their work was plain to see. I think some of their designs could easily grace the shelves of any of our local bakeries!

Unfortunately Rift House had to leave a little early to get back to school on time but St Paulinus then had time to showcase their work to camera. Well done to everyone today, it was a real treat to come back at the end and see how much you had all achieved.

XR experience

We head into our final week of events at Inspire2Learn for schools in 2018 and what a busy year it has been. Today the fantastic pupils from St Benedicts and Acklam Whin spent time exploring how we can manipulate experiences to create impact through digital means.. HP Reveal, iMax projection, Minecraft collaborative tasks and using our Vive VR set were all on the menu. The morning focussed on a collaborative task where our intrepid pupils were colonists in space who had landed on a Goldilocks planet. They had to divide up their labour into creating the essential elements of a new settlement, watched over by three of the boys who took the role of administrators, allocating land and sorting disputes. The result was phenomenal to watch as a new town slowly emerged from the landscape with clear rationale behind each development. In many ways we could have planned this session to last all day. Here are some of the images of them working:

The settlement was planned on a master list and map and each pair around the room took responsibility for things like houses, school, water supply, energy and so on. These are the result:

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The organisation and teamwork involved was immense and brilliant to see.

Following lunch the children were split into three groups. Three activities – iMax style projection, using HP Reveal and experiencing a full VR setup with our Vive allowed pupils top try different ways of experiencing the technology that is fast becoming a part of everyday life. We were particularly keen to link the activity that they were doing with the very real fact that Teesside University is one of the best institutions in the world for teaching this type of work and it is on their doorstep. With the growth in companies now coming from the university graduates locally, the area is certainly looking very promising for pupils interested in developing their interest in XR and making a career of it.

Inspiring STEM

IMG_5288How do you get pupils interested in STEM subjects?

I think it is fair to say that our STEM Days are often the first events that get completely booked up when we release dates each year. To try and compensate for this we have upped the numbers by 20% this year and still the waiting list grows!

A fantastic day saw the usual amazing support by Connor from Cleveland Bridge, Julie from Inspiron Learning, Teesside University (both Student Ambassadors and Dale) and the fantastic ladies from WSP. 120 children from 3 schools were split into smaller groups and spent nearly an hour with each of three workshops. The feedback has been brilliant and pupils seem to love the fun aspect but also having meaningful interactions with adults that that they wouldn’t normally come into contact with. In essence, that is why we create these days. To inspire but also broaden the social and cultural capital that is developing fro each child.

As usual we finish the day with a science showcase in the auditorium with some bloke in a fancy jacket and top hat. And no he isn’t Willy Wonka! The aim of this is not just to leave a really exciting memory of the day, it is also an opportunity to build in some of the really exciting information about the local area in terms of developments and ultimately employment for the children in their futures. And after this week’s announcements that information gets even more exciting!