Blog

Yorkshire Water opens a new Education Facility at Tophill Low Nature Reserve

Tophill Low Nature Reserve

Yorkshire Water is opening the doors to a brand new Education Facility at Tophill Low Nature Reserve in May. 

The Yorkshire Water Education Team is delighted to offer primary schools free visits to the Environmental Centre, which is located at the company’s Tophill Low Nature Reserve, ahead of the official public opening in June. 

Teachers are advised to book their visit now. For more information, or to make a booking teachers should visit; www.yorkshirewater.com/educationcentres  

London Grid for Learning wins ERA Award for online-safety resource ‘CyberPass’

Cyber pass

LGfL's diagnostic online-safety tool CyberPass has received a prestigious 2017 Education Resources Award in the key category 'Primary Resource or Equipment (including ICT)'.

Educational not-for-profit the London Grid for Learning is celebrating its latest success in scooping an Education Resources Award (ERA) for its key stage two online-safety tool CyberPass in the category ‘Primary Resource or Equipment (including ICT)’. This award recognises the impact and efficacy that CyberPass had made in keeping young people safe; in the first ten weeks of 2017 alone, the tool was used to ask pupils 245,000 crucial online-safety questions.

Back to the future – spark returns to Lincoln

Spark child with remote

BUDDING engineers are being invited to spark-up their passion for the industry at an event that will showcase excellence in engineering from past, present and future.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Lincoln Cathedral for the return of the Spark Engineering Festival that’s taking place from 5 to 7 May.

This will be the third Spark festival and this year takes the theme of ‘Back to the Future’ – as organisers prepare to celebrate Lincolnshire’s pioneering excellence in engineering and its lead in engineering innovation now and in the future.  

A new chapter of school dining furniture is unfolding

school hall

Due to the unprecedented demand for primary and secondary school places, schools are more pushed than ever to provide adequate dining facilities for their pupils. 

A primary school in Oxfordshire recently completed the build of a new multi-use school hall. Using Versa’s innovative Wall Pocket system, the sports hall not only boasts a dual-zone climbing wall, but also doubles as a dining hall for the pupils.

Modular Buildings framework could achieve an average of 5% savings

Educational establishments across the UK, including nurseries, schools, universities, colleges and academies, could achieve an average of 5% savings compared to purchasing solutions direct via a new Modular Buildings framework – the only national agreement of its type, launched by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS). The Framework is free to access to all public sector organisations including local authorities and public funding bodies, such as theEducation Funding Agency (EFA) and the Department for Education. 

Ivor Novello Award winner hits a high note bringing music to study

Studytracks, the revolutionary student study app and brain child of Ivor Novello award-winner George Hammond-Hagan, has been credited with one of the education sector’shighest accolades: an Education Resource Award.

Studytracks was named Start-up of the Year at the Education Resources Awards on Friday night; the awards honour the quality and diversity of products supporting learning in schools. 

Knutsford School wins ICT equipment at education show

Knutsford School

Knutsford Academy, a secondary school based in the Cheshire town recently attended Europe’s leading education technology event, BETT, at Excel in London.

The school was keen to discover the latest technology in the education market and establish what equipment they could potentially invest in to ensure the schoolprovides students with the best opportunities possible.

Learning computing through play

Babies’ very first learning techniques are established through play; it’s how they navigate the complex world around them. The power of play is undeniable. Therefore, it makes sense that this learning technique should not be lost as children progress through the education system. Former teacher, head of computing/ICT, and head of education at Digital Schoolhouse, Shahneila Saeed, explains how computing can be demystified through play, allowing students to not only understand the subject but, more importantly, enjoy it.

Start Your Legacy with pBuzz

children playing musical instruments

Discover the joy of music in seconds, learn to play in minutes and enjoy for a lifetime.

More eye-catching than a recorder, lighter than a drum and easier to play than a xylophone - pBuzz makes for a magical, musical playtime.

pBuzz is brand new musical instrument from Warwick Music Group, the makers of the pBone and pTrumpet. Designed to encourage young children into brass playing, pBuzz is the perfect fun alternative to the recorder or other traditional first-time instruments. Easy to play, brightly coloured and lightweight for little hands, pBuzz provides the first step on any child’s musical journey. 

Solving safeguarding within virtual classrooms

Sam Warnes

Earlier this year, updated statutory guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) on ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ came into effect, which revised and replaced the 2015 guidance. This means that, once again, the spotlight is firmly on the issue of safeguarding within the education sector.  

Here, Sam Warnes, a former teacher and founder of EDLounge, a unique platform that gives students who struggle with mainstream education the opportunity to access learning, explains how virtual classrooms and online support systems can provide a great alternative provision for students which adheres to government safeguarding and wellbeing guidance.

How do virtual classrooms work? 

Cyber essentials is essential for schools

Pupils using IT

Cohort company MASS has supported The Leys and St Faith’s schools in becoming some of the first schools to achieve Cyber Essentials certification.

The Leys, the only co-educational boarding and day school in Cambridge, and St Faith’s, the largest co-educational prep school in Cambridge, identify data protection as a high priority and pursued the certification to demonstrate that they take cyber security seriously.  

Cyber Essentials certification, which is now a prerequisite in bidding for Government work, is primarily focussed at business and aims at helping protect organisations from common cyber security threats, demonstrating their understanding and approach to the issue. 

Schools meet the challenge with discovery education

Pupil with VR

Primary schools are being encouraged to take part in an exciting new digital challenge which is already engaging thousands of pupils across the UK.

Over 2200 schools have signed up to take part in Discovery Education’s ‘Spotlight on Strategies Challenge’ – a free 12-week programme which helps teachers to introduce technology across the curriculum, and see instant engagement among pupils.

The initiative gives primary schools access to a handpicked range of ideas and resources, enabling teachers to use digital media in every lesson. With topics linked to each area of the National Curriculum, Spotlight on Strategies helps teachers make every lesson digital. 

The Outdoor Classroom Revisited

 canopy roof

The multifarious benefits of outdoors learning are now generally accepted; fresh air and natural light stimulate the brain and senses, with the possibility of more flexible lessons. But a climate of reduced budgets has seen schools turning to their outside spaces to alleviate the pressures of overcrowded classrooms and there is little sign on the horizon of schools being offered any real help in addressing this problem. 

But outside classrooms are not only a solution to a problem but can be a valuable resource in their own right. Establishing an “outdoor learning hub” helps teachers shape policies and strategy for outdoor learning and encourages collaborative activity in a very natural way. 

The Impact Of Brexit On Teaching

The Impact Of Brexit On Teaching infographic

For the past 20 years membership of the EU has been at the forefront of the political debate, whether it be parliamentary sovereignty, open borders or bendy bananas.  However one side of this debate that has gathered less fanfare has been how leaving the EU will affect the teacher shortage and as a result how education recruitment agencies will evolve their businesses and business practice.