A Generation Of Change Makers

Little girls drawing for change

New research out today reveals that ‘being kind to others’, ‘people not having enough to eat’ and ‘protecting animals and their habitats’, are among the top 10 issues that UK children are most concerned about in 2019.

The poll of over 1,000 4 – 14 year-old girls and boys was commissioned by Disney UK, as part of its Dream Big, Princess campaign, which asked children to identify the issues that they most want to change or improve in the world, ranging from cleaning the ocean, to world hunger.

How to deliver an exceptional PE curriculum for all abilities

PE curriculum - a screenshot from the Youtube video of children in a PE lesson

Ronnie Heath is Managing Director of Create Development. Here, he discusses the benefits of delivering an excellent PE curriculum for children of all abilities…

Why do we want children to do PE? To encourage and enable lifelong participation; to help young people maximise their potential; to develop a range of life and learning skills that can also support whole school aims.

So what are the skills and abilities children need to achieve these outcomes? Physical skills of course, but also their confidence to move and be active, how they cope when things get difficult, how they engage with, support and learn from others, whether they can solve problems, come up with their own ideas, evaluate their own and others’ performance to name a few.

Case study: how St Giles School won SEN School of the Year at Shine a Light Awards

Shine a Light St Giles staff receive award from judge Malcolm Reeves and Sally Phillips

St Giles School in Derby is dedicated to supporting children with complex speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). The school has won the SEN School of the Year Award for its work supporting pupils' communication and independence skills at the 2019 Shine a Light Awards, organised by Pearson in partnership with The Communication Trust. The awards were hosted by Sally Phillips, with a performance from Lee Ridley, aka Lost Voice Guy.

St Giles School’s motto is to ‘inspire and achieve through creativity’ with their mission being to ‘provide pupils with effective strategies to communicate, promote independence and prepare pupils for life in the local and wider community’. Staff at St Giles definitely do that!

Parents' Guide to Autism released

Parents' Guide to Autism – mother and boy

As World Autism Awareness Week takes place, Smart Cells have issued a Parents’ Guide to Autism. The guide contains stats and facts on autism as well as information on where parents can find treatment for their children and support for themselves. This is a great resource to spread awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder, more commonly known as “autism”, which is a group of developmental brain disorders that affects around 700,000 people in the UK.

Smart Cells, a private cord blood company, released their 20th sample of stem cells collected from cord blood and tissue to a patient to treat autism last year.

FutureLearn offers new Unlimited model in response to learner demand

FutureLearn offers new Unlimited model in response to learner demand

FutureLearn, the online social learning platform committed to transforming access to education on a global scale, is offering learners a new way to engage with the platform. Unlimited is a one-off annual payment model that will give learners unlimited access to all FutureLearn short courses that offer a Certificate of Achievement, except premium courses.

Year 6 students at Nook Lane Junior School ‘take on the Dragons’ in entrepreneurial competition

Year 6 students at Nook Lane Junior School ‘take on the Dragons’ in entrepreneurial competition

Sixty Year 6 students from Nook Lane Junior School, Sheffield have completed a business enterprise challenge that saw them work in teams to form a company, design a uniform and build a model car before pitching to a panel of business owners in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style finale earlier this week. 

The programme, which has been offered to the school’s Year 6 students for the past four years, encompasses problem solving, cross curricular learning and provides an insight into running a business.

Proving a great hit with the students, the last three months has seen them perfecting every aspect of their business ready for their pitch to ‘The Dragons’ – a panel of judges comprised of parents, governors and local businesses including UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE). 

LGfL scoops Education Resources Award for ‘Not for Profit Supplier of the Year’!

LGfL scoops Education Resources Award for ‘Not for Profit Supplier of the Year’!

Educational technology charity - LGfL - wins top award in ‘Supplier of the Year: Not-for-profit’ category as well as coming ‘highly commended’ for its Key Stage 2 – 3 resource ‘Space Adventures - Mission to the Moon’

Edtech charity LGfL is delighted to be celebrating its latest success in the 2019 Education Resources Awards, having been announced as the winners in the category Supplier of the Year: Not-for-profit. LGfL scooped the top prize after impressing judges with its inspiring approach to meeting the needs of schools today as well as demonstrating outstanding customer care and an exceptional standard of service to education. 

St Giles School Wins National Accolade For Changing The Lives Of Children

St Giles School Wins National Accolade For Changing The Lives Of Children


Winners of the seventh annual Shine a Light Awards revealed by British comic actress and writer, Sally Phillips with special performance from Britain’s Got Talent winner, Lee Ridley (Lost Voice Guy)

St Giles School in Derby is dedicated to supporting children with complex speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). The school has won the SEN School of the Year Award for it’s work supporting pupils communication and independence skills at the UK-wide 2019 Shine a Light Awards, organised by learning company Pearson, in partnership with The Communication Trust. 

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.