DEN Community Member of the Week: Katy Lakes

This week’s community member of the week is Katy Lakes from Wawne Primary School in East Riding of Yorkshire, UK. Katy has been teaching for 7 years, in Year One and Year Two and more recently nursery and reception class. She is a creative teacher with a particular interest in sport, art and technology.

How do you start your day?
Personally I like to wake up early and go for a run; I was training for a half marathon I ran at the end of June. Once at school we begin the day with activate to wake the children up with morning exercises for ten minutes. We are then straight into phonics and make great use of the Discovery Education Espresso phonics resources online.

Why did you become a teacher?14791429951_d41c59eebd_o
I became a teacher as I enjoy a challenge and making a difference to children’s lives. No two days are the same in teaching and it is such a rewarding job. While I was at school I always volunteered in schools and after school clubs and realised that this was a career I wanted to pursue. Being a teacher is like having a huge family as even on the weekend and after school I am thinking and researching what I can do next with the class, reading blogs or checking Twitter.

What is one of your favourite ways to use Discovery Education Espresso?
Discovery Education Espresso is a fantastic teaching resource and my class love the characters, when we play the phonics videos in the morning they are excited to see the next sound! I use the resources both as a whole class teaching and individual on the iPads or the classroom computers. I also think the News Bites are great way to share current news with the children that is suitable for their age group.

What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
In our classroom we have a travelling bear who goes home with the children weekly sometimes he even travels abroad with the children. This is a great way to get younger children talking about themselves. We also have a “dough Disco” everyday this is to work on the children fine and gross motor skills, we put on some music, get the disco light on, turn out the lights and with playdough have a disco working on pushing, pulling, twisting and turning playdough to improve handwriting. The children and parents find it very exciting.

As a school we have stars of the week, each class picks 2 children that have gone the extra mile in school to be stars. We then put this onto the school website for parents to see.

How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?
I have been a moderator for the East Riding. I went to America last year for the Discovery Education Summer Institute which was a fantastic and rewarding experience; on the back of this I now have a huge creative partnership worldwide with teachers. We have used FaceTime to communicate with a school in Canada.

I am also a teaching governor for the school.

What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?14801530452_a071b09ac4_k
It is very easy to get carried away with all the new technology that is around today and to some teachers who may be hesitant to where to start, I say pick one thing you would like to use and concentrate on small steps then begin to introduce another aspect once their confidence is built up. Also speak to other teachers and find out what is a good resource that will capture and excite the classroom.

What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?
There is a huge array of sites depending on what I am looking for…
To find teaching resources to support lesson planning I use so many things… Pinterest, Twinkl, TES, Communication 4 All, Scholastic, Discovery Education Espresso, SparkleBox, Google, teaching blogs and Facebook.

For the children to do learning activities: Discovery Education Espresso, 2Simple, Mathletics, Reading Eggs, Phonics Play and various iPad apps like Puppet Pals.

Connect with Katy via email: klakes at


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