Blue Kazoo in USA.

This year, Tom received a grant to visit schools, museums and heritage sites in Massachusetts, USA. He spent a month researching the methods of history re-enactments in popular tourist attractions to develop a bespoke classroom workshop for schools in Nottinghamshire. This is thanks to the support of Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship and with funding from Nottinghamshire County Council.

2019 was a huge year for Blue Kazoo. We have had the pleasure of working with lots of talented and enthusiastic teachers and pupils. We launched our RH Notts project in Sherwood Forest and our local heritage project with Ashfield District Council and the Byron Society. Next year is already shaping up to be pretty special with Byron making another appearance and a couple of other big projects we’re eagerly awaiting to announce to you all. We have also received some funding to expand our range of characters and invest in some new equipment to make our workshops even more special.


Schools visited in 2019

What BLM has Taught us about Teaching

History education has (quite rightly) been under serious scrutiny this past week. It’s something I have been studying over this past few months since evaluating the education system in the USA and their approach to the story of thanksgiving, which is deeply troubling.

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White-washing History.

Shakespeare’s STD and the colonisation of USA. Which parts of history can we afford to lose when condensing a piece of history?

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Effective Fact-Learning Techniques

I’ve always found images to be a lot more memorable than words. The amount of detail that can be crammed into a single image can be so much greater and emotive than language alone. Combining images (particularly using this overhead camera rig) with voiceover was a bit of an experiment to see how much more effectively I could remember facts when there was a logical narrative and visual stimulus throughout.

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The Power of a Name

Picking a name that suits your character is crucial. Yet, the opposite is true as well: characters can be built from something as simple as a name.

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COVID-19’s Impact on Learning

The Coronavirus has introduced some truly unexpected side effects to learning. Aside from missing those crucial final months of the academic year, it has forced teachers to reconsider teaching techniques and the impact of learning from home. This will be summarised in three categories: digital resources, exams and transitions, and learning environments.

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The Perfect History Topic You Don’t Teach

Most of the time, I look for interesting approaches to topics that are done in almost every classroom every single year. However, this is one topic that you are probably less familiar with, and definitely don’t teach to your class.

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Enthusiasm is Contagious.

Many teachers spend too long focussing on how to keep every child in their class engaged in their lessons. If they switch the focus to finding new ways to keep themselves (the teacher) engaged, the class will follow. Enthusiasm is contagious.

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The Return of Byron

A new collaboration with Miner2Major project will see Lord Byron making a return to primary schools across Nottinghamshire. 

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What is a Trebuchet?

Preparations are underway to make 2020 even bigger and better. A new range of props and costumes are being introduced as part of our ‘School Takeover’ series.

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Bloop Success

The final video of our Bloop series was released this month. The responses to the videos has been overwhelming and we are so pleased to hear that they are being used in schools across the country.

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School Takeover!

New for 2020! Live Encounters for the whole school. Following the success of our award-winning Live Encounters series, we have made them bigger so every class can experience it.

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Back to College

Tom returns to his old college to speak to students about teaching opportunities and career options once they’ve finished their A Levels.

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World Book Day 2019

WBD is always a highlight of the school year. It’s your chance to get your class excited about reading. Many schools and parents are restricted by budgets as the prices of children’s books seem to be increasing.

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The REAL School of Rock

A school in Bradford, UK has recently performed one of the biggest U-turns in primary school history by coming from a state of ‘Special Measures’ and into a the top half of performing schools in Britain. How? An extra six hours a week of music for every child. 

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Robotic Teaching

The national curriculum has been updated – but not enough. There, we said it. Whilst technology is being advanced constantly, our education system hasn’t changed that much since Queen Victoria was on the throne.

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Turn Your Classroom Into Hogwarts?

As a child I loved reading, Roald Dahl or otherwise, and this has led me to where I am today – about to start a PhD in English Literature at the University of Nottingham. But it all stemmed from being read to and reading at home, and in school.

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Tiny Green Planet proved to be a success in schools across Nottinghamshire. The aim of the project was to engage children in a conversation about conservation. Classes were encouraged to think about the impact they have on the world and were asked what they would change if they could design their own planet. The project was such a success in one school that we actually left the planet with them for an extra week because the children had so many brilliant ideas!