Learning Outside the Classroom

New website launched to help schools link up with parents

A new website designed to boost communication between parents and teachers has been released.

EES for Schools has announced the launch of its new website, Target Tracker Link. 

The site will work alongside existing Target Tracker software that is already being used by a quarter of UK schools. 

This new site will enable teachers to create pupil observation reports while in the classroom or by using the app while on the go. 

Once the reports have been completed, they will be quality checked before being made available to parents. 

Other family members can also be granted access to the reports.

Schools can also customise the way in which parents see observations by including school branding or logos.

BBC announces return of popular literary competition for children

rsz_bbc_500_words.jpgChildren across the UK are being called to tap into their imagination and put pen to paper as a celebrated writing competition is launched once again. 

The BBC has announced the opening date for its popular storytelling competition 500 words. 

Over the past seven years almost half a million children have taken part in the competition which is judged by an expert panel of top authors including Malorie Blackman, Francesca Simon and Frank Cottrell Boyce, in addition to last year’s honorary judge, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall. 

Brexit impacts santa’s stockings!

boy with toys

Christmas stockings might be feeling a bit lighter this Christmas according to a survey of out today by Childcare.co.uk.

Nearly eight in ten parents (76%) want to embrace a new trend of buying only four presents for their child this Christmas.

The premise is to buy:  one gift a child wants, one they need, one they will wear and one they will read.

And despite the ongoing competition at the school gates, 7 in ten parents say they will not feel pressurised to ‘conform’ and splash out this year.  The average price for one large ticket item will be £50 (33%).

"Edu-Vacation" - the latest trend in modern parenting?

Road school book

NEW BOOK: Road School - The story of a family who pulled their kids out of school for a home education adventure, back-packing across the world

Generation X-ers will remember the fun they had inter-railing in Europe or backpacking around Asia, escaping the daily grind before knuckling down to study or work… and what better way to recreate that carefree time than by taking their kids on the same odyssey?!

Frustrated by a school regime of statutory testing, and keen for a mid-life adventure, Sue Cowley and her partner took their children out of school to educate them on the road. Road School is the story of their family's adventures around Europe and across China.

Primary school pupils explore law at the University of Bolton

Bolton primary school children

Pupils from Moorgate Primary School in Bolton recently took part in a brand new educational workshop with the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law (NCCL) at the Moot Courtroom at the University of Bolton. This two hour Law and University Life courtroom workshop helps school children to develop a deeper understanding of the law and raises awareness of higher education options.

The aim of the visit was for students to enhance their knowledge of the court system and to help pupils to understand ‘British Values’ such as law and democracy.

Pupil wins national competition and Discovery channel tour

Pupils from a High Wycombe primary school

Pupils from a High Wycombe primary school stepped behind the camera at Discovery Channel on Friday, after their classmate scooped first prize in a national competition.

Lauren Croucher from Hughenden Primary School was the winner of the Make Your World Bigger competition – part of a Discovery Education and Discovery Channel initiative to keep children learning during the summer holidays. 

St Mary’s students give advice to schools on going ‘green’ at Colchester Council’s Building Resilient Communities Event

St Mary’s students

Tips on making school more eco-friendly were offered by members of the student Eco Team from St Mary’s School, Colchester as part of Colchester Borough Council’s ‘Building Resilient Communities’ conference, held at the Mercury Theatre on 11 November.

Ambassador Eco-School St Mary’s partnered the Council to run the event, which attracted hundreds of delegates from the public and private sectors across the region and covered a variety of topics aimed at improving sustainability in the community.

Beach schools south west & south west water team up for free winter safety & education sessions

Award-winning outdoor learning company Beach Schools South West have teamed up with South West Water to help promote clean water, conservation and seaside safety to youngsters in the region this winter.

The Exeter-based water company is adding its weight to a new pilot education project which will see children being taught both on the beach and in schools about taking care not only of themselves but also the life cycle of water and how to keep it clean.

It will be part of free winter-time school sessions from Beach Schools South West who are offering to go into schools to give children talks on how to stay safe on the beach.

New reform for improved apprenticeship Levy control

apprenticeship levy laptop

A NEW easy-to-use online diagnostic and action planning resource enables colleges and other FE providers, universities and independent training providers to better prepare for implementation of the forthcoming Apprenticeship Levy, being introduced from April 2017. 

Reform has been developed in partnership by online improvement planning specialists MESMA and apprenticeship experts Strategic Development Network (SDN) and is available on a subscription basis, tailored to meet specific requirements.

How Holiday Childcare Promotes Education

Whilst you’re spending your hard - earned money on childcare during the holiday season, it’s great to feel assured that your child isn’t just spending hours being mindlessly entertained. It’s vital that their minds are being stimulated while having fun! 

Putting your children into a high - quality childcare environment can greatly help with their educational development and help them improve their habits in school. 

The team at Barracudas Camps explain just some of the ways your child is getting educated while spending their time at a childcare camp. 

Art and Development

Synthetic surface specialists, Bradleys Surfacing Systems

Edenhurst school children & teachers

Synthetic surface specialists, Bradleys Surfacing Systems were recently commissioned by Edenhurst Preparatory School in Newcastle-under-Lyme to install a new multi-sport facility. 

The new AstroTurf has converted the school’s former tarmac tennis courts into a multi-use games area suitable for football, hockey, netball and tennis.

Former Stoke City FC footballer, Ricardo Fuller officially opened the new AstroTurf pitch during a special opening ceremony on October 14th in front of staff, pupils, parents and VIP guests. 

Knowledge for Life: Educating children on the importance of good nutrition

Educating children on the importance of good nutrition in schools


"Helping to shape the health, wellbeing and self-esteem of current and future generations through motivational workshops and talks in schools across the country”

The benefits of teaching school-age children good eating habits to promote health, wellbeing and self-esteem and optimise potential


Teenage eating habits are poor and getting worse, the Department of Health has claimed.  The statistics are overwhelming:

•      1 in 3 children will go on to develop diabetes

•      31% of children age 2-15 are overweight or obese, leading to long-term heart disease and other health implications

Life after exams: How vital is academic success?

Military Preparation College 2


This year has seen the largest ever year-on-year decline for GCSE results. With grades down to the lowest level since 2008, this is undoubtedly a very worrying time for many teenagers across the country. 

But for any young person that has not received the grades they were aiming for, it is far from the end of the journey. I know this from experience.

Growing up, I struggled to thrive within a traditional classroom environment. My personal disappointment at failing to gain the qualifications I’d hoped for was one of the driving forces behind my idea to develop a college that promotes a different – active – type of learning.

Mayor’s Fund for London supports legal education project with primary schools in London

Mayor’s Fund for London supports legal education project with primary schools in London


Almost 1000 primary school pupils have gained an insight into the workings of the justice system through taking part in the Mayor’s Fund for London Theatre of Law project during this academic year. This innovative legal education project is delivered by the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law (NCCL) who have an education team based at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

The project works with primary school pupils from London and aims to improve students’ understanding of the law and the contemporary justice system. The project consists of two days – one at school and one at the Royal Courts of Justice.