Ophelia Vanderpuye

Award-winning teacher Ophelia Vanderpuye opens horizons with learning and technology

Television sitcom and National Theatre thespian Peter Egan was working with the most flexible actors imaginable. The Year 4 and 5 pupils at Oakington Manor Primary School, Wembley, were using his drama workshop to develop their film on bullying. They were thinking and talking about bullying, empathising and role-playing, and sparking the magic and dynamism of the theatre.

But that was just a starter. Peter then went into the radio studio in Ophelia Vanderpuye's cutting edge classroom to be interviewed by three Year 5 girls for a part-scripted, three-way 'conversation' for the Celebrity Corner on the school's radio station. It was as interesting as anything you'll hear on Radio 4.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder as Tony Parkin reviews the work of John Davitt   
John DavittJohn Davitt: 'passion for outdoor learning'Having had enough of Europe’s cold, wet winter, John Davitt jetted off for the summery climes of Australia, and Penang, Malaysia, offering teachers there the chance to laugh and learn, and try out the latest version of his fine creation, the Learning Event Generator (LEG).

The Learning Event Generator is a “fruit machine for learning” that John invented for teachers, parents and learners. A shake-me-up box of delights for the iPhone, it generates a fresh learning challenge each time it is shaken. You shake it, the cards spin and you are presented with a learning challenge. “Do three types of cactus as a haiku,” might seem tricky at first – but don't worry as links to web resources help you through the first stage of research.

Anthony SalcitoAnthony Salcito: 'focus should be on the teachers'Many visitors to BETT 2013 could be forgiven for thinking that the tablet revolution has changed learning forever and that Apple is now calling the shots. But anyone considering 1:1 projects for their school would do well to check the Microsoft stand.

Not just to find out about Windows 8, the new tablets and Surface, but for the message: “the learning comes first, and then think about the devices”. And Microsoft’s education boss Anthony Salcito, in London for the Education World Forum and BETT, puts it well.

Ever wondered how dyslexic teachers cope? Sal McKeown finds out why it was love at first sight when Joe Beech met his iPhone 
Joe BeechJoe Beech: 'The Little Book of Dyslexia'There is plenty of media coverage about the problems facing students with dyslexia but imagine how it affects a teacher. How on earth do you cope with the reports and lesson plans?

One person with the inside story is Joe Beech who will qualify this summer as a secondary school PE teacher. He has written a book about his experiences called The Little Book of Dyslexia: Both Sides of the Classroom, published by Independent Thinking Press.

Former colleagues and his widow, Jill, mark the passing of Robin Ritzema, who unlocked many doors for ICT in schools
Robin RitzemaRobin Ritzema: 'brilliant strategist'Robin Ritzema, the senior civil servant who took charge of successive Government policies to bring schools into the age of the Internet and digital convergence has died aged 65.

Robin will perhaps be remembered in professional circles most for his visionary and enthusiastic commitment in creating and developing the UK’s National Grid for Learning with appropriately associated programmes for schools’ ICT infrastructure, broadband, content creation and teacher training.