News

Playscheme goes from strength to strength with sales team expansion

Playscheme Managing Director Nick

Playscheme, the creator of bespoke play areas, is delighted to announce the appointment of Nick Chandler as Special Projects Manager.

Nick brings with him years of experience in developing play solutions in the commercial sector. As Playscheme’s work creating themed playgrounds for commercial attractions such as shopping centres and holiday parks continues to expand, Nick’s role will promote the Company’s unique capabilities to this huge, demanding market.

Local School Nature Grants Launched For 2019

Local School Nature Grants Launched For 2019

Schools in England, Scotland and Wales are being invited to apply for up to £500 worth of free outdoor equipment and two hours of professional outdoor training as part of the third instalment of Local School Nature Grants.

Delivered by the UK’s leading outdoor learning and play charity, Learning through Landscapes, Local School Nature Grants have been helping schools across Great Britain since 2017. Funded by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the grants have so far provided £900,000 worth of equipment to 800 schools. This year it will reach a further 500 schools.

Gratnells Engineering employee inspired to become STEM Ambassador  

Gratnells Engineering becomes STEM Ambassador  

Chloe Winyard joined Gratnells Engineering as Marketing Assistant in May 2017 and has seen first-hand the positive impact of promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing subjects to young people.

Historically known as the leading name in school storage in over 68 countries of the world (and the producer of the iconic Gratnells Tray) Gratnells Engineering has developed into a multi-sector manufacturer capable of providing high-volume laser cutting, powder coating and bespoke metal solutions to a wide range of customers. 

Ellesmere Primary lands a rare RAF helicopter visit

Ellesmere Primary rare RAF helicopter visit

More than 400 awestruck pupils looked to the sky as the RAF swooped on Ellesmere Primary School’s playing field on Monday.

Flight Lieutenants Tom Knapp and PJ Howard landed a Juno helicopter within the school’s Elson Road grounds as part of an unforgettable surprise for the children.

A parent at the school had arranged for the crew, based at RAF Shawbury’s training facility, to make the flying visit as part of British Science Week.

Headteacher Stuart Roberts revealed the spectacular event had been kept secret from pupils, who squealed with excitement as the chopper came into view.

He said: “They had absolutely no idea why I was taking them onto the field.

The verdict is in…no phones before bed!

Students with no phones before bed poster

Pupils at Weaverham Primary Academy have pledged to ditch their phones and smart devices before bed.

Research has shown that using the technology at the end of the day can cause poor-quality sleep, which is linked to a decline in mental health.

Pupils at the school debated over whether smart phones should be used in their bedrooms before going to sleep.

And the resounding verdict was ‘NO’!

Now the Year 6 children have promised to shut down their screens earlier in the day.

Executive Head Teacher, Fiona Whittaker, said: “It was very clear from the arguments for and against, that mobile phones and smart devices should not form part of a night-time routine.

With three children in every class experiencing mental health issues we need to tap into their emotional intelligence earlier*

EQ image showing mental health in schools slide

Mental health issues in the classroom are hitting the headlines once again. Citing an Office of National Statistics study of 7,000 children, Mr Javed Khan, Barnardo’s chief executive, warned it had become a wider issue affecting children of all classes and backgrounds. "Three children in every classroom are thought to have a diagnosable mental health problem, which is approaching epidemic proportions," he said*.

Primary school pupils celebrate diversity through awareness week

Primary school pupils celebrate diversity through awareness week

Pupils at Rudheath Primary Academy, Cheshire - one of the 15 schools within Focus Trust - have been celebrating the diversity that makes up the school and wider community through a week dedicated to providing enriching activities and the opportunity to learn about different cultures, religions, sexualities and genders.

The school-wide initiative saw each class - from Early Years to Year 6 – take part in activities that taught the importance of diversity through some of the key topical issues.  

A sensory work environment and the positive impact on teacher wellbeing

A sensory work environment and the positive impact on teacher wellbeing

According to figures recently compiled by the Liberal Democrats, 3,750 teachers (one in 83) were on long-term sick leave last year due to pressure of work, anxiety and mental illness. And more than three quarters of teachers are seriously considering leaving their job, according to YouGov research commissioned by the Education Support Partnership in 2017.

Cambridge Regional College connecting students and employers with Apprenticeship Fairs

Cambridge Regional College Apprenticeship Fair

Both Cambridge and Huntingdon campuses will be hosting apprenticeship job fairs and information evenings during National Apprenticeship Week.  The Cambridge Fair will take place at the Kings Hedges Road campus on Monday 4th March, with the Huntingdon Fair taking place at the California Road campus on Wednesday 6th March.

Leading regional employers will be attending to meet prospective apprentices and look for their new recruits across a range of professional disciplines and vocational career routes. Some of the exhibitors already confirmed include Anglia Ruskin University, Taylor Wimpey, Aqua Sana Centre Parcs, Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, JDR Cable Systems and many more. 

Ex-Ofsted Inspector, Early Years Advisor & Best Selling Author Launches #JustQuality

Vanessa - Ex-Ofsted Inspector, Early Years Advisor & Best Selling Author Launches #JustQuality

Vanessa Dooley, Founder of Jigsaw Early Years Consulting, ex-Ofsted Inspector & No.1 Best Selling Author, has launched a CPD Accredited Award - #JustQuality – in order to help Early Years staff to better prepare for Ofsted inspections, learn to add impact and self-evaluate easier in a practical, accessible and structured way.

As an ex-Ofsted inspector, Hampshire-based Vanessa was able to see that many Early Years settings were finding it hard to self-evaluate and noted that there was nothing in the Ofsted self-evaluation document, besides words, which could evidence the impact staff were making on children’s lives and how they could improve on what they were doing.

Gratnells scoops second international award for its MakerSpace trolley

Gratnells scoops second international award for its MakerSpace trolley

The GESS Education Awards were established to encourage the raising of standards in the education sector and recognise the quality and diversity of educational products, resources, and services, people and establishments. This year, the awards ceremony was held at a spectacular gala dinner at the H Hotel, Dubai on 27thFebruary.

After deliberation by a panel of independent experts and thought leaders from the global education sector, the Gratnells MakerSpace trolley came out on top in its category: Innovation Product Awards – non ICT / Equipment / Hardware.  

Game-based learning helps Wirral secondary to raises standards in maths

Kids using the Mathletics programme

Bebington High School is a specialist sports college based in the Wirral in North West England, the school’s vision is to ‘shape exceptional futures’ which it achieves through the values represented in sport: leadership, perseverance, fair play, teamwork, and loyalty, using Mathletics. The school encourages all within its community, including parents, to gain leadership and coaching awards, opening up further opportunities for students and prides itself on its position in the community. 

As the only non-faith and non-grammar school in the area Bebington High has a high proportion of pupils qualifying for free school meals as well as EAL and SEND students.

What were the challenges? 

Who Do I See in the Mirror? By Vese Aghoghovbia Aladewolu

Who Do I See in the Mirror? By Vese Aghoghovbia Aladewolu

"Who Do I See in the Mirror? is a simple, yet powerful, book written to introduce children to the concept of self-love and acceptance. It explores the various parts of the body, making the idea of self-discovery exciting for children, while encouraging them to love each part. It reminds children that they are much more than their physical appearance. This gorgeous, colour-illustrated book concludes with a strong message that it's what is on the inside that counts. A wonderful finishing touch is that it ends with a certificate that each child can hang up on their wall."

Home Appliance Brand Launches Cookery Club Scheme for Primary Schools

Children taking part in Cookery Club Scheme

UK home appliance brand Belling has re-launched Belling Cookery Club, an initiative to support primary schools and enable them to provide practical cookery classes for children.

The first phase of the initiative was a huge success, with schools in Dumfries and London winning an array of cooking appliances and accessories that have transformed their ability to provide hand-on cooking sessions, as well as supporting their local communities.

Belling Cookery Club was launched to support the estimated 75% of primary schools that don’t have a teaching kitchen. For this reason, and despite cooking and nutrition now forming part of the curriculum across the UK, it is believed that the majority of Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils don’t receive practical cookery experiences.

Educational not-for-profit LGfL translates DfE document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ into ten languages

Educational not-for-profit LGfL translates DfE document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ into ten languages

LGfL DigiSafe, safeguarding arm of educational not-for-profit organisation LGfL, is providing translations of key DfE document Keeping Children Safe in Education free of charge on its website, enabling schools to comply with their statutory duty to ensure all staff – including support staff – read and understand the guidance. 

What Ofsted’s proposed framework means for best-practice safeguarding

Dawn Jotham on best-practice safeguarding

As many educators are now aware, the new Ofsted Inspection Framework is likely to be implemented from September 2019. After the watchdog launched a consultation on the proposed framework, Dawn Jotham, EduCare’s pastoral care specialist, considers what educators need to be aware of when it comes to safeguarding the wellbeing of both staff and students.

New RSE and Health Education guidelines give subjects “status they deserve”

New RSE and Health Education guidelines give subjects “status they deserve”

The Department for Education (DfE) guidelines for Relationships Education in primary schools, Sex Education in secondary schools and Health Education for all ages are a welcome development that support Headteachers in giving these subjects the status they deserve.

Having contributed to the consultation, and personally met with the DfE to explore the best possible approaches to make RSE more relevant to modern life, I am delighted with the overall outcome. Our interest is mainly within primary education, of course, and getting the right building blocks in place to support children in today’s world. My view is the new guidelines give us a recognised platform to do just that – and I am in total agreement with what schools are required to have in place for September 2020. 

New Mesma Inquire Answers Quality Review Cycle Improvement Need

Mesma Inquire

Quality improvement specialist Mesma has introduced new Inquireto support further education and skills providers as they manage their on-going cycle of quality reviews.

The module has been designed in collaboration with Mesma’s clients by identifying solutions to better coordinate deep-dive inquiries into targeted areas of education, training and assessment. 

It resolves challenges in overseeing organisational quality reviews, designed to assure and improve provision and feed into a broader self-assessment and quality improvement process. 

Expanding the scope of education

Children taking part in holistic education

Traditional education is traditionally recognised as the teacher-centred delivery of instruction to students. It comes with the objective of developing a mastery of core subjects like maths, reading, writing, science, and social studies. Education, as most people know it, is centred around academic learning however, another definition of education frames it as ‘an enlightening experience’. This broader understanding of education carries a lot of value for students as it embraces an interconnected mindset that reflects the environment in which they exist.

Careers scheme helping disabled pupils get digital jobs

Careers scheme helping disabled pupils get digital jobs

Eight schools in Manchester are taking part in a new employability programme that will help teenagers aged 16-18 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to get digital jobs.

‘Digital Inc.’ will provide each school with 10 days of employer-led support, with experts from local digital companies coming in to classrooms to take students through a business start-up process and talk about how they themselves got a job in the creative digital sector.