Exning Primary School, Suffolk, wins LGfL 2019 Digital Excellence Award for ‘Cloud Transformation’!

Exning Primary School in Newmarket, Suffolk is celebrating winning a 2019 LGfL Digital Excellence Award in the ‘Cloud Transformation’ category for their use of cloud-based technology to reduce teacher workload and increase pupil collaboration in lessons. Run by edtech charity LGfL, the Digital Excellence Awards celebrate the innovative ways schools use LGfL’s services and digital learning resources to improve teaching and learning.

Based in the fast-paced setting of the City of London, the awards ceremony took place at LGfL’s Annual Curriculum Conference on 25 April which addressed teacher and student wellbeing, the computing curriculum and LGfL’s landmark deals with IT giants including Adobe, Apple and Microsoft. Presented for the first time this year, the ‘Cloud Transformation’ award aims to recognise schools for creative use of the new cloud-based tools provided through the LGfL ‘Let’s Get Digital’ subscription, including Google (G Suite) for Education – software that increases learning opportunities, reduces administrative tasks and encourages critical thinking.

At Exning Primary, G Suite has reduced teacher workload and revitalised lessons through live formative feedback. The judges commended Exning Primary for the “clear evidence of transformation through the cloud-based tools that enable new styles of teaching and learning, such as formative assessment, pupil collaboration and working at home. These activities have clearly enhanced the children’s learning.”

Natasha Warren, Deputy Headteacher at Exning Primary, said “We are thrilled to be the first recipients of the ‘Cloud Transformation’ award. We’re committed to providing our pupils and staff opportunities to benefit from the latest technological innovations because it makes us more effective teachers and helps our pupils achieve their full potential. Last year we attended our first LGfL conference which inspired us to develop a cloud-based digital strategy.”

John Jackson, CEO, LGfL commented on the award win, “It’s fantastic to see how our schools are using cloud-based software to infuse creativity in the classroom and reduce administrative tasks for teachers. As the pressures on teachers continue to grow in the face of dwindling budgets, LGfL is committed to helping schools through providing the latest cutting-edge software at no extra cost to schools.”

Submissions for the 2020 LGfL Digital Excellence Awards open in October. To find out more, please visit https://www.lgfl.net/learning-resources/awards.

Winner of the 2019 Education Resources Award (ERA) in the category ‘Supplier of the Year: Not-for-profit’, LGfL is committed to the advancement of education through digital innovation. Serving a growing community of over 3,000 schools throughout the UK, LGfL is focused on saving schools money, tackling inequality, promoting wellbeing and keeping children safe.

Cambridge students win work experience at Arm through FXP Extended Challenge

                                                             Cambridge students win work experience at Arm through FXP Extended Challenge

Two students from North Cambridge Academy (NCA) and one student from Chesterton Community College (CCC) have been announced as the winners of this year’s FXP Extended Challenge, organised by FXP Festival in collaboration with Arm, the Cambridge-headquartered global technology leader. Vanessa, Gino (NCA) and Luca (CCC) have all secured a week’s work experience at Arm this summer.
To complete the challenge, students worked independently, from 21 January to 25 March 2019, to design a mobile app that gamifies a solution to one of three global problems linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Zero Hunger, Good Health & Wellbeing and Climate Action. App ideas were judged by representatives from Arm and FXP, who evaluated the most innovative, appealing and practical apps.
FXP Festival is a local education initiative which uses computer games to increase interest and uptake of STEM subjects, build young people’s digital skills and provide an insight into what careers in the technology, creative digital and related industries might offer. The competition comprises three key strands – computer games concept design, computer games development and, new for 2019, creative writing and illustration. Arm supports the initiative every year financially and with the provision of industry mentors to help guide the students over the festival weekend.
Simon Humphrey, senior manager, sustainability at Arm, commented: “At Arm, we want to encourage young people to explore the exciting opportunities a career in technology can offer, and this competition uncovered several diverse and creative ideas. The three winners really stood out for the way in which they used technology to solve real-world problems in simple and intuitive ways.”
Alison Taylor, founder of FXP and managing director at Conscious Communications, commented: “FXP Festival is all about providing exciting learning opportunities for the young people in our region. Each year, the competition takes place over a weekend in July at Cambridge Regional College and, while many students spend months preparing to compete in the competition, it has been fantastic to run the Extended Challenge as an additional activity during the quieter months too. One of our key motivations for organising FXP is to help drive social mobility in the region, so enabling three students to secure work experience placements at Arm is another step towards this goal.”
FXP 2019 will take place from 6– 8 July, at the Rizing Games studios at Cambridge Regional College and is open to schools, colleges, home school groups and out-of-school clubs across East Anglia. Teams can register their interest by emailing joanna.colley@consciouscomms.com.

University of Essex selects Rohde & Schwarz to equip main Electronic Engineering teaching lab


The newly refurbished Electronic Engineering teaching laboratory at the University of Esssex has selected Rohde & Schwarz test instruments for each workstation

Rohde & Schwarz wins contract for test equipment in the newly refurbished teaching laboratory

Fleet, UK, 14 May 2019 — Rohde & Schwarz today announced that it has won a contract to supply test equipment for the newly refurbished Electronic Engineering teaching laboratory at the University of Essex. With 16,500 students from over 140 countries situated across three campuses, the University of Essex is internationally diverse and rated as one of Britain’s top universities. The new lab is central to the University’s teaching of Electronic Engineering, and is used by undergraduate, MEng and Masters Students.

Professor Anthony Vickers, Head of the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE) at the University of Essex, commented, “We have made a considerable investment in our main teaching laboratory and created a facility that we are truly proud of, which fully meets the expectations of our new cohorts of students. Rohde & Schwarz stood out as delivering exceptional quality, service and measurement performance. Its test solutions are smart and connected, with specific features to help our teaching staff guide the learning experience.”

Phil McCluskey, Sales Engineer, University Business Development, Rohde & Schwarz UK added, “We are delighted that Rohde & Schwarz has been chosen to equip the main teaching lab in one of the UK’s top electronic engineering schools. This laboratory is used by over 450 students a year as they start their careers in this wonderful discipline, and we are excited that they will be learning their subject on Rohde & Schwarz equipment.”

The University of Essex has equipped each workstation with an R&S RTB2000, which offers an oscilloscope plus logic and protocol analyzer, waveform and pattern generator and digital volt-meter in a single compact case. This not only reduces the overall investment in test equipment, but also saves valuable space at each workstation. The built-in web server functionality enables students and lecturers to display their oscilloscope screen content to the classroom and over a network. Other features of the oscilloscope that appeal particularly to students include gesture recognition.

The university has also implemented a lab management software solution with Rohde & Schwarz to streamline lab setup between classes. It automates lab bench assignment and instrument configuration, as well as presenting remote screen content.

The R&S NGE100 DC Power supplies purchased by the University of Essex offer high efficiency combined with low ripple, plus a variety of comfort functions that are not usually found in this class of power supplies. R&S HMC8012 Digital Multimeters are also installed at each workstation.

Bringing ideas to life – our educational resources
Rohde & Schwarz continues to develop its partnerships with universities worldwide to make sure that the next generation of engineers have the support and state-of-the-art instruments they require to optimise the present and shape the future. In addition to test equipment, Rohde & Schwarz provides literature, offers expert guest lectures, as well as seminars and training courses for academics and students, and also sponsors student competitions with test equipment and awards. For further information, go to: www.rohde-schwarz.com/ad/press/education

New on-trend panel designs from Fibo

Fibo UK, leading manufacturer of high-performance wall panels, has significantly expanded its range of panel designs and colours. Nine all-new designs have been added, reflecting design trends for marble and natural stone effects, and soft greens and neutrals. Four further panels (sea blues and greys) that were previously only sold in Europe have also now been introduced to the UK.

The introduction of the new designs coincides with a refresh and rebranding of Fibo’s collections: Scandinavian Tile Effect (replacing Marcato), Contemporary Tile Effect (including previous Classic and Colour Splash ranges), Signature and Timeless. “Our new ranges are pictured in our latest A3 brochure and give stockists, installers, specifiers and contractors more choice than ever when it comes to transforming bathroom and kitchen walls,” says Scott Beattie, Managing Director of Fibo.

The new designs include four on-trend marble-effect panels in White, Silver Grey, Black and Golden Brown, available with and without grouting lines for a tile effect or a seamless panel wall. Grey Cement is a warm shade with a silk finish with grouting lines, while Soft Cement is a seamless panel with a slightly cooler tone. The new extra matt colours are Olive Green, Light Sand and Warm Grey, while London, Sea Breeze, Kingston and Svalbard are blues and greys that have sold well in Europe and have now been introduced to the UK. Both are available with and without grouting. “The recent additions are included in our Scandinavian and Contemporary Tile Effect Collections, and in our Signature Collection,” adds Scott.

“It’s important we support our stockist customers with stand-out products and a wide range to help them sell. Our latest panel designs mean builders and installers now have more choice and more opportunities to transform walls – and their projects – with stylish, durable panels. Whether it’s for home improvements, community projects such as schools, or professional settings such as offices, restaurants and hotels, our panel collections help create smart, practical interiors that stay looking good for many years.”

For more information on Fibo’s new panel designs or to request a copy of its new brochure, call 01494 771242 or email sales@fibo.co.uk. Follow on Twitter @Fibo_UK.

Teenage victim of Manchester bombing becomes first Youth Ambassador for Mindfulness in Schools Project

Marking the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, a national mindfulness charity announces today that a sixth form student from Huddersfield who was involved in the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attack becomes their first Youth Ambassador, having found vital support in her meditation practice following the bombing.

Emily Brierley was 15 at the time of the suicide attack, in which twenty three people died and 139 were wounded, more than half of whom were children. She says mindfulness and meditation changed her life. Having struggled to deal with the psychological trauma following the event she used mindfulness to learn to accept her feelings and accept what she was going through.
“Now, if I hear loud bangs, alarms, sirens, certain music or other things that could trigger difficult emotions I can be mindful of that and prevent those feelings from progressing. I have also been able to take many lessons away from the bombing and recognise how strong I am as a result.”
Emily first discovered mindfulness when she was 13 and suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. She now practices formal mindfulness meditation about three times a day for up to 30 minutes each time, which she says not only helps energise her but also allows her to be positive and grateful during the day. ‘I can feel a big difference in myself if I haven’t meditated’ she reports. ‘Sometimes, just taking a few deep breaths can make a big difference and allow you to bring yourself back to your body so you can recognize how you feel and what you might need in that moment.’
Since the bombing Emily has become a trained meditation teacher and has helped lead a mindfulness workshop for victims of terror at the Warrington Peace Foundation, which included those involved in the Tunisia beach attack, the London Bridge attack, the Warrington bombing as well as war veterans. She is now passionate about bringing mindfulness to more young people and using mindfulness to support people through difficulty and trauma, and will train to teach the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) curricula to other children in schools.
MiSP is a national charity which aims to improve the lives of young people by providing them with high-quality, research-based classroom lessons. They train teachers to teach secular mindfulness in schools, providing a life skill that children can come back to time after time to help them manage difficulty and flourish. Nearly 5,000 teachers have already attended their life-changing training, and their curricula is used worldwide, having been translated into 12 languages.
‘Mindfulness is an amazing tool for young people… to use to relax before an exam or be present in a classroom (for example) can then be your biggest means of learning about yourself as a person and also other people’ says Emily. ‘The way mindfulness stopped me comparing myself to others, creating drama, giving me clarity and focus and so many other things is priceless’.
MiSP is launching its Youth Ambassador programme to mark Mental Health Awareness Week and as part of its ‘A Million Minds Matter’ appeal, which aims to reach a million young people over the next five years.
To find out more, visit mindfulnessinschools.org, email enquiries@mindfulnessinschools.org, visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @dotbschools

Primary school children encouraged to get Sun Safe and design a slogan with Boots Soltan


This summer, the Soltan Sun Ready Schools programme from Boots is encouraging primary school children to get creative and design a campaign poster and slogan featuring sun safety behaviour and practices.

This year’s Sun Ready Challenge encourages primary school children to put pencil to paper and design a poster and slogan of how they stay safe and have fun in the sun, whether that’s putting on sun cream, wearing their best sunglasses or donning their favourite summer hat. The competition is part of Soltan Sun Ready Schools, a curriculum-linked programme providing free teaching resources that help to equip teachers and pupils with all the knowledge they need to stay safe on warmer days. All of the resources can be used in school, as well as back at home so that parents can also practice sun safety behaviours with their children.

Boots Soltan is the only leading brand that offers 5* UVA protection to prevent permanent skin care damage, and by educating young people aged 5-11 about how to stay safe in the sun, the campaign is ensuring that they adopt healthy sun safe tips at an early age that will last a lifetime. This is even more important as 23% of sun damage occurs before the age of 18.

Michelle Pytlakowska, Global Assistant Brand Manager at Boots Soltan said:

“So far, we have reached over half a million primary school children with the campaign and this year we hope to reach many more. We can’t wait to see the kinds of designs the young people come up with! By taking part in the Sun Ready Challenge, they have the opportunity to get creative and demonstrate their knowledge on how to stay safe in the sun, which is so important during the summer months. The lucky winner will see their design displayed as a poster in a Boots store in their local area.”

Adam Jensen, Teacher at Chaddlewood Primary School, Plymouth said:

“My class love getting creative, so I know they’ll be really excited about this competition from the Soltan Sun Ready Schools campaign. Educating children in sun safety practices is really important, and having them design their own poster will really show their knowledge of how to stay safe in the sun.”

As well as the competition, the Soltan Sun Ready Schools resources include lesson plans, teachers’ guides, student- facing videos and homework activities that are available again to use this year. With fun, creative and engaging content, the materials include ideas for Sports Day, Summer Fairs, assemblies, science experiments, writing tasks and information for parents, all designed to educate about sun safety.

The first 100 schools to sign up to the resources site will be sent a Soltan Sun Ready Registration Pack, and the first 100 schools to enter the Sun Ready Challenge will receive a Soltan Sun Ready Competition Pack.

The Sun Ready Challenge opens for entries on 29th April. All designs must be submitted by 14th June. To enter visit: www.soltansunready.com/for-schools/competition

To download the fun, free, curriculum-linked resources go to: www.soltansunready.com/for-schools

Minimise the spread of germs with vomit bags from Eureka!

When sickness occurs in your school, it is vital to protect your staff and pupils from the spread of germs. With the CareBag® vomit bag available from Eureka! you can ensure that the risk of contamination is minimised, sickness odours are eradicated, and splashing is avoided.

CareBag® vomit bags have a super absorbent core that will quickly turn up to 450ml of bodily fluid into an easy to dispose of gel. The draw string closure system allows for hygienic sealing and eliminates vomit leakages.

Ordering vomit bags for your school couldn’t be easier than with Eureka! Both standard packs of 20 and travel packs of 3, complete with fresh wipes for hand and face cleansing, are available with free next working day delivery to UK mainland addresses.

Find out more and order yours at www.eurekadirect.co.uk, or call the team on 0800 358 0085 quoting product code VOM1 for the standard pack or VOM2 for the travel pack.

About Eureka!
Eureka! has been a well-trusted leading supplier of first aid, hygiene and safety supplies to UK schools for nearly 20 years. The drive to ensure complete customer satisfaction is clear with its 30-day no quibble guarantee on all products, easy free returns process and free delivery on all orders, regardless of the order quantity. The dedicated and longstanding sales team have a wealth of knowledge to answer any questions you may have and will ensure your order is processed quickly and correctly. Find out more at www.eurekadirect.co.uk.

Discover the new range of children’s learning posters from Eureka!


Trusted schools brand Eureka! has launched a new range of fun learning posters designed for children from 2-12 years on its website www.eurekadirect.co.uk.

The “Know Your” posters cover a range of topics suited for younger children including animals, numbers, shapes, colours and seasons, as well as an older-children’s range that focuses on learning goals such as multiplication, addition and telling the time.

Printed in bright eye-catching colours the range is designed to attract and hold a child’s attention and make your learning environment look exciting and fun. There are even 3D versions to encourage child interaction within the classroom.

Posters are available in A2 & A3 formats and printed on a variety of material types from standard to heavy-duty, so you can be sure to find the most suitable version for your wall. You can even conveniently purchase a display frame if required.

To view the full range, visit www.eurekadirect.co.uk.

Mind the mental health gap: Employees are THREE times more likely to discuss physical ailments over mental health issues at work

The disparity in physical and mental health at work is laid bare in new research from the ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ campaign, as it launches its new Workplace Manifesto1 ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May 2019). A OnePoll survey of 2,000 employed adults reveals that, on average, 42% of employees feel comfortable discussing prevalent physical conditions, compared to just 14% who feel they can talk about common mental health issues.

Commissioned by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England and Bauer Media UK for the ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ campaign, the research also shows that:
• Only around 1 in 10 workers would feel comfortable speaking about self-harm, psychosis, eating disorders, postnatal depression or schizophrenia
• Almost 40% of employees would be ok talking to their manager about cancer compared to just 12% who feel they could discuss bipolar disorder
• We would rather talk about diarrhoea [29%] than depression [26%] with our manager

The research shows the persisting mental health gap in the workplace, with first aid skills a clear indicator of this. Over 7 in 10 employees know basic physical first aid, such as how to bandage a finger or treat a minor burn. But just over a third [36%] feel confident talking to colleagues about common mental health struggles with stress and depression in the workplace – a basic part of Mental Health First Aid training.

The findings illustrate that there must be a fundamental change to ensure we treat mental and physical health equally in the workplace. In response to this, and to mark the ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ campaign’s first birthday, its new Workplace Manifesto is setting out a bold call for leaders to strive for an understanding and commitment to workplace wellbeing.

From today employers up and down the country will be encouraged to sign up as official supporters of the Manifesto and commit to recognising the need to prioritise mental health, build diverse and inclusive workplaces, treat mental and physical health equally and turn mental health awareness into positive action.

Commenting on the findings Simon Blake OBE, Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England said: “Despite the increased awareness around mental health in the workplace, employees are telling us that there is still a significant gap in how we think and act about physical and mental health at work.

“To address this gap, employers are being encouraged to translate awareness into action and stamp out the stigma of mental ill health in the workplace. The manifesto we are launching today gives employers the opportunity to show their commitment to protecting and supporting their people’s mental health.”

“This manifesto is a mission statement for a healthier working world, where people’s mental health is supported and protected and where wellbeing is at the heart of all we do. By signing this manifesto organisations from all sectors, and of all sizes, will join us in striving towards healthier working environments for everyone.”

Paul Keenan, President of Audio Bauer Media Group commented: “Our manifesto is a call for change: a call for fellow employers and MPs to join us in striving to do more for mental health care in the workplace for the benefit of our people and our businesses. The ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ campaign is putting a spotlight on mental health in the workplace and we hope this movement will deliver true cultural impact and create a seismic change in society.”

Karl Simons, Chief Health, Safety and Security Officer at Thames Water, and a signatory of the Workplace Manifesto, said: “Our mental health first aiders are a catalyst for engagement and have inspired a cultural revolution at Thames Water. Confidence has grown throughout the company with people now much more willing to come forward, talk and seek support at their time of need, with records showing we’ve had five mental health first aid interventions for every physical one over the last year.”

Natasha Devon MBE, campaigner and author said: “Whilst many employers are claiming to take mental health more seriously, the feedback I’m getting on my travels around the UK is that many of them are paying it lip service. Our research shows that people still feel the stigma of discussing mental health in the workplace, fearing they will be seen as ‘unprofessional’ if they do disclose a mental health issue. That’s why, one year on from when we called for a law change to make mental health first aid mandatory in the workplace, we have expanded the range of recommended actions employers can take. We spend a third of our lives at work and we can’t leave our mental health at the door – it’s essential businesses get this right”.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, Bauer Media UK and Natasha Devon MBE are calling on employers, business leaders and MPs from across the country to sign up to support the ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ Workplace Manifesto. The goal is to sign-up 50 leading employers by the end of Mental Health Awareness Week. Visit: http://www.wheresyourheadat.org/

Maths on Toast ‘Bites’ – showing how maths is creative, fun and for everyone.

Maths on Toast – the family maths charity – today launches ‘Bites’, a series of short ‘How To’ creative maths videos presented by children aged between 8 and 11. Aimed at primary school children and their families, our group of enthusiastic ‘maths advocates’ demonstrates a range of fun, hands-on maths activities that families can try together.

The 5 short films, along with accompanying activity instructions, are available on Maths on Toast’s website www.mathsontoast.org.uk/bites

Maths on Toast’s mission is to promote positive attitudes to maths.

Bites will broaden children and their families’ view of what and where maths is, and show that maths can be creative, family fun. An instruction sheet for the activities demonstrated in each film will be available to download. Families can try them together at home – they could also be used in school or community settings. Trying them, enjoying them, and being aware that this is maths, will change the whole family’s perception of maths; learning together through play and discovery will increase confidence and create positive memories of maths.

Bites was developed in partnership with The Winch children’s charity and youth centre, and funded by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.

45 children from The Winch took part in the films, which were directed by Sebastian Thiel at Upshot Entertainment.

Participation in fun, creative, interactive maths activities and being given the time and space to explore mathematical concepts helps build positive experiences – the first step towards changing attitudes towards maths and addressing maths anxiety. Defined as a debilitating emotional reaction to maths, maths anxiety can reduce confidence, motivation and achievement in maths and is a difficulty that can be passed through generations of families or even passed on in the classroom (Carey, Devine, Hill, Dowker, McLellan & Szucs 2019, Understanding Mathematics Anxiety: Investigating the experiences of UK primary and secondary school students).

Lucy Davis, CEO, Maths on Toast “Maths on Toast Bites illustrate perfectly that ‘maths is everywhere and for everyone’. The films show fun, creative, hands-on activities that we hope will be shared far and wide to inspire children and their families to look at maths in a different light and explore the many possibilities that maths has to offer. The enjoyment of maths in its many forms provides the first step to creating a positive attitude to maths that can help counter maths anxiety and a lack of confidence in maths.”

Rashid Iqbal, CEO, The Winch “Maths on Toast is showing that children love to learn when learning is child-centred, and that we can nurture an intrinsic joy to mastering maths. I am always delighted to see projects in action that assert the value of informal education and champion the principles of community-driven pedagogical practices.”

Sebastian Thiel, Founder, Upshot Entertainment “Working with Maths on Toast and the young people was beyond amazing! All of the young people were fully engaged and found every maths game and activity extremely fun. As someone who hated maths growing up, I was astonished to see how fun maths can be, especially for young people.”