Helen Caldwell, from the University of Northampton, on using technology with SEN pupils

University of Northampton, Special Educational Needs, Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Computing, Net-Aware,

Helen Caldwell, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Northampton, who’s also an Apple Distinguished Educator, shares her thoughts on the use of technology for education and outlines some ideas for implementing technology in outdoor sessions…

Our children are increasingly spending less time outdoors exploring their environment. They spend more time engaging with the world around them in a digital format - through the various mobile devices now available to them at home and in the classroom.

They’re mixing learning, gaming, watching video content and using social media to communicate in a more interactive way than ever before. They are often way ahead of the curve in understanding technology, compared to parents, and some educators. 

Acheivement for All - Sonia Blandford

Achievement for All

Professor Sonia Blandford, CEO at Achievement for All, tells Education for Everybody editor Victoria Galligan about the charity that works to improve outcomes for all children and young people who are vulnerable to underachievement.

Tell us about Achievement for All and the work it does…

Achievement for All is a leading not-for-profit organisation that works in partnership with early years settings, schools and colleges, improving outcomes for all children and young people vulnerable to underachievement regardless of background, challenge or need through bespoke partnerships across our wide range of programmes.

What more can policy makers do to ensure every child is included?

The early bird catches the (book) worm

Book Monster

Encouraging and supporting your child in their reading can sometimes be a monster task, let the Book Monster (RRP £24.99) by Thinking Gifts come to the rescue! This brilliant book holder can be propped on to any surface and keeps the book or tablet firmly in position with monster teeth to mark each page.

This gentle giant, available in green and blue, can accommodate most sizes of books, e-readers and tablets and has handy pockets at the back for storing items such as bookmarks, power cords and ear phones. Book Monster can now also accompany you on holiday – the new, inflatable Bookmonster Air (RRP £14.99) is waterproof and perfect for story-time on the beach!

Welfare Call celebrate G-Cloud 10 listing

Welfare Call Limited

South Yorkshire based, Welfare Call Limited, have just been confirmed as listed on the Government's G-Cloud 10 framework and are on track to reach their ambitious expansions plans.

Welfare Call has been providing safeguarding services to Local Authorities since 2002 by contacting more than 14,000 schools every day to monitor the attendance and attainments of Looked After Children and vulnerable groups during their time in education.

Now considered the market leader and specialists in the collection and management of this data, their ePEP (electronic Personal Educational Plan) has assisted authorities achieve marked improvements in quality and completion rates of their PEPs and subsequently been acclaimed by Ofsted.

Why RSBi’s ASL vocational learning programme is top of the class

City Building

City Building is one of Scotland’s largest construction firms, with over 2,200 staff. The Glasgow business is underpinned by a unique social ethos which includes providing sustainable employment for a diverse range of people including those with disabilities and other under-represented groups.

As part of its socially inclusive approach the organisation has established a comprehensive youth employment policy, which includes a dedicated additional support for learning (ASL) schools programme.

Explore, discover and learn on-board budget friendly coach hire!

Explore, discover and learn on-board budget friendly coach hire!

If you are looking for safe, reliable and high quality coach hire that doesn’t dent your school travel budget, then look no further. Our fantastic school saver discounts enable you to save up to and over 15-50% on school coach hire, whether you ‘Book More, Save More’ or you meet our School Smart Checklist for our ‘School Smart Discount’ where coach hire prices start from as little as £240!

Book More Save More

Top Dundee visitor attractions win coveted Sandford Award for education

Sandford Award 2017 winners

Dundee's Verdant Works and Discovery Point - two of Scotland's favourite visitor attractions - have won the coveted Sandford Award.

Independently judged, the Sandford Award is a stamp of approval for education at a heritage site. It recognises the hands-on learning, workshops and facilities at Verdant Works and RRS Discovery, which both make social history a large part of the visitor experience.

Both venues are run by Dundee Heritage Trust, an independent registered charity dedicated to preserving and portraying the city's heritage for current and future generations. The Trust has clocked up numerous awards for the top visitor attractions.

Wren Kitchens design Competition


This week, Yorkshire kitchen specialists Wren Kitchens have launched their first children’s design competition on their website and social media channels named WrensLittleBuild 

With links to STEM, PSCHE, art and DT, the WrensLittleBuilds competition aims to captivate children’s creativity and challenge their imaginations by letting them take full control of their kitchens – designing dream spaces and inspiring them to create wild and wacky kitchens to concoct their favourite meals in.

Snubbing tech in schools is failing disadvantaged pupils, finds think tank

Teacher and student talking using the Reform think-tank

Education technology can help transform outcomes for disadvantaged pupils but is being neglected, according to a new report from the public services think-tank Reform. Reform analysis shows how using video tutoring apps instead of one-to-one tutoring could allow 300,000 additional pupils to make ‘significant progress’ at school. With the right input from schools and DfE, technology has the potential to narrow the opportunity gap. 

Former school pupil helps to break communication barriers

Go>Grow group

A former student at a Newcastle school has returned to her roots to help break down communication barriers thanks to a free training initiative, Go>Grow.
Debbie Jervis, who is a profoundly Deaf native BSL user, has returned to Northern Counties School where she was once a student, to deliver British Sign Language training to staff. 
Northern Counties School in Jesmond, supports Deaf children as part of the Percy Hedley Foundation. They also support children and adults with complex disabilities, including cerebral palsy and speech and language disorders.

Winsford school is setting the standard in reading

Oak View Academy

Oak View Academy, in Cheshire, has been commended by a national charity for ensuring all pupils are fully supported as they learn to read.

Beanstalk, an organisation which recruits, trains and assists volunteers to give one-on-one support to children who need extra help with their reading, have been working alongside the Winsford school for six years.

Now they have presented a special partnership plaque to recognise the hard work the primary does to promote children’s literacy.

In the latest Government School Performance Tables, the school was named as the most improved primary in Cheshire West and Chester, for progress in reading.

Pioneering day service provides work experience for young people and adults with autism

The new Orbis Education workplace

Orbis Education and Care has opened a new day skills facility in Swansea, providing young people and adults with autism with a way to gain hands-on experience in the world of work.

Located in Morriston’s High Street, The Orb is a shop, a café, an office and a laundry. The individuals who volunteer at The Orb have complex needs associated with autism and a learning disability.

Lucy Pottinger, Director of Education at Orbis Education and Care, said of the facility:

Sally Phillips at FestABLE: ‘The SEN world is a treasure chest’

FestABLE speaker Sally Phillips

Having a child with special needs enables parents to understand and appreciate the important things in life, says actress and writer Sally Phillips. The well-known British comic was speaking at FestABLE, a festival celebrating specialist learning staged at National Star College in Cheltenham. 

It is the first time a festival dedicated to specialist learning has been staged in the UK.

“We are sitting on a treasure chest in the SEN (Special Educational Needs) world. Not only do we have freedom from some of the standards that the world operates with which are completely bogus but there’s a lot of living in the moment,” said Sally, who has a son with Down’s Syndrome. 

Crest Nicholson supports children’s charity, Variety

The children stood outside with their new Variety Sunshine Coach

Award-winning developer Crest Nicholson is proud to announce the donation of three Variety Sunshine Coaches to St Francis Special School and Mary Rose Academy in Portsmouth.
Crest Nicholson’s South Division presented the coaches to the schools, following a children’s fun day of activities and games earlier this month at Silvermere Golf Club in Cobham, Surrey.
Each Sunshine Coach will provide pupils with a vehicle to help them to visit their local parks, theatre and wider community during term time, whilst also supporting able-bodied children to take part in exciting sporting activities each day.

New Research Reveals Our Children Are Out Of Touch With Nature

The Play More campaign kit

Sudocrem set up the award-winning Play More campaign because playing outside and discovering the world of nature is part of growing up - or is it? Do children still push aside logs to see what’s crawling underneath? Are daisy chains part of playground life or a relic from the past? 

Children are spending more time indoors than outside and they are missing out on exploring the natural world. In fact, research found that 1 in 9 British children have not visited a beach, park or forest in twelve months, and on average a British child only spends 4 hours a week playing in the great outdoors.

Chroma sees an increase in demand from schools to provide art therapy sessions

Boys playing the drums in a Chroma therapy session

Chroma, the UK’s only national provider of arts therapy services, has seen an increase in demand from mainstream schools to provide art therapy sessions for pupils requiring more supported learning or with special education needs. 

Over the past year Chroma has seen a shift in attitude from mainstream schools to the use of arts therapy as an effective means of supporting SEN pupils. 
The use of arts therapy is proven to better engage with pupils, achieve higher levels of development and provide additional support not previously seen outside of independent special needs schools. 

Future First brings working world to life for young people in social mobility ‘cold spots’

Girls doing science after Future First revives government funding

The education charity Future First has been awarded a second round of government funding to extend its work  improving young people’s employability skills and boosting their ambition in areas where careers advice is lacking.

The new money from The Careers and Enterprise Company means Future First is the only organisation working in all the government’s 12 opportunity areas benefiting 50,000 state school and college students by broadening their jobs horizons.

The new funding will help an additional 10,600 students at 19 state secondary schools and colleges in Bradford, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on-Trent, areas identified by the government as careers ‘cold spots’ where careers advice is lacking.

Pupils win space challenge with NASA module design

Generation Beyond

Five UK primary school pupils are reaching for the stars after winning a competition to design a spacecraft for NASA, for the Generation Beyond Challenge.

The young scientists, from London and Surrey, are the winners of this year’s Generation Beyond Challenge - organised by Lockheed Martin and Discovery Education.

The challenge - a UK first - was launched to schools last year as part of a new STEM education programme to inspire the next generation of astronauts. Children were asked to stretch their imagination by designing a habitation module for Orion, the NASA spacecraft which will take the first crew to Mars in the 2030s.