Twinkl partners with schools for the Bears of Sheffield Trail

Sheffield-based Twinkl has partnered with The Children’s Hospital Charity to support schools during the lead-up to the exciting Bears of Sheffield sculpture trail this summer.

The educational publisher will create resources for all schools taking part and provide design support for a select number of participating schools, helping to bring to life 100 Little Bears for the trail.

The ‘Bears of Sheffield’ is the latest fundraising campaign of The Children’s Hospital Charity. This is following the success of its hugely popular ‘Herd of Sheffield’ elephants in 2016, which saw sculptures created by Sheffield’s own Pete McKee, Geo Law and even one signed by the Arctic Monkey themselves.

The aim for the 2020 Bears is to raise even more money than the Herd which generated an impressive £610,000. Each school that has signed up to the project has been tasked with raising £750 for their bear and this is where Twinkl comes in. 

Twinkl is thrilled to be supporting schools by offering free specially-made educational resources, created in-house by professional designers and teachers.

The resources will support teachers and children throughout the project, helping them with fundraising as well as designing and decorating the bear. There will also be fun activities to be used in the classroom such as making bear masks.

Twinkl’s reading education pack will feature a range of engaging information about the charity. This will not only demonstrate the work and importance of The Children’s Hospital Charity, it will also help raise lots of money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital Cancer and Leukaemia ward.

Those requiring extra help or inspiration for the design of their bear will have the opportunity to be visited by professional artists and qualified teachers from Twinkl, the creative team behind the company’s globally renowned resources and books.

Jonathan Seaton, Co-founder and CEO of Twinkl, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be the Official Education Partner of the Bears of Sheffield. Not only will it bring together the wonderful community we have in the city, but the money raised will transform the Cancer and Leukaemia ward, which will help make a vital difference to children here and across the UK.”

The ward provides treatment for cancer and blood disorders in children from babies through to 19-year-olds in South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire but sees patients from across the UK for treatment and surgeries including bone marrow transplants.

The redevelopment will see the ward transformed into a brighter and refreshed space for both patients and their families staying there. Under the plans, more private patient bedrooms with en-suite facilities would be created, giving more children a place to make their own as well as increase the space for a parent to sleep comfortably alongside them.

Jonathan continues: “We are also excited to be working with schools throughout the process. We hope that the resources and help from our illustrators will encourage schools across Sheffield to get involved with the campaign and support such a worthwhile cause. The elephants created by schools in 2016 were incredible so I can’t wait to see the different designs that are created this year!”

Abbie Pervin, Regional Fundraising Manager and schools lead for the bears, said: “I’m very pleased to be able say Twinkl will be helping schools. For some schools decorating a bear will be second nature, but for others they might encounter difficulties. We want every school to feel they have the support and guidance they need to not only decorate a beautiful bear but to enjoy the process and take away a new set of skills.

“As much as the bears are about raising money for charity, they’re also about giving schools the opportunity to work together as a team, develop their knowledge and skills and have a great time in the process.”

100 Little Bears will be joining the sculpture trail this July alongside 60 big bear sculptures, which will be decorated by chosen artists and sponsored by local businesses. After the trail, each Little Bear will be returned to the school, nursery or college as a permanent memento of the project.

If you would like to be kept up to date with everything Bears, you can sign up to their mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/gMtHVD

You can also follow their social media accounts to be updated on a daily basis:

Twitter: @BearsofSheff

Facebook/Instagram: @bearsofsheffield

For more information about Twinkl, please visit twinkl.co.uk

How Teenagers and Students can Overcome Dyslexia for Better Results

Human Intelligence Entrepreneur, Jonathan Kemp, didn’t know he was dyslexic until he was in his late 40’s and invented a next generation form of note taking called SmartWisdom, that gives dyslexic students a real advantage during lectures and exams. SmartWisdom overcomes a core problem for dyslexics – a barrier to learning.

Students with dyslexia often experience distress arising from their own condition and they require a special knowledge management method to reverse this tendency. SmartWisdom note-taking has been designed with the needs of dyslexics in mind. It’s scientifically proven to increase understanding in dyslexics by an average of 23% [1]. At present many solutions given to dyslexics are technology based to help reading or writing skills. SmartWisdom is the first solution to solve the great challenge of understanding new information when studying and upskill for  the workplace.

Dyslexics often experience difficulty reading and listening. Their reading and writing ability can be low and labour-intensive and can include difficulty spelling and poor handwriting. A person with dyslexia will often go out of their way to avoid activities that involve reading, listening to certain types of information (e.g. theoretical, conceptual, jargon intensive) and taking notes. They will often mispronounce or not understand certain names or words and have problems retrieving information. This can make lectures, writing reports and exam time even more of a challenge than it should be. Dyslexic, Jonathan Kemp had experienced all of this from a young age and became the driving force behind his unique invention, SmartWisdom.

SmartWisdom is a next generation form of note-taking that increases 10 key cognitive skills real-time, allowing dyslexic students to achieve their true potential™.

This unique system enhances listening, concentration, real-time comprehension (by an average 23% to 87% understanding, 3% above what non-dyslexics achieve) [2], deeper questioning, spotting patterns and links, critical and analytical thinking, and accurate and detailed recall. The SmartWisdom template® transforms your Glance Access™ during a meeting or presentation, so you can see all the information you have captured for up to 60 minutes in real-time, which increases your short-term memory by 100% or more. It also takes the stress out of lectures and meetings as you don’t have to capture every word.

Personal wellbeing also improves; users feel more relaxed, confident and excited by their ability to manage more information at a new level. It trains students to listen and concentrate at a high level for at least an hour, in meetings, lectures, and interview situations. The biggest advantage is that it puts dyslexics more in control of the information in lectures and exams, than anyone else there.

Students can use their increased knowledge gained in real time, which gives them an immediate edge, and afterwards quickly review their high quality lecture notes that are more concise, more detailed and easier to recall, even a year or more later. The focus is on meaning and the relationships between words and topics rather than just recording. It means that students are more able to focus simultaneously on listening, recording, understanding and questioning – something few humans attest to being able to do.

The SmartWisdom® course costs £99 for children from age 12 and students and £399 for non-students, and takes 5 hours. You can enrol in the SmartWisdom University at www.smartwisdom.com

Adobe Champions Creativity in the Classroom at Bett 2020

Adobe celebrates landmark year for education initiatives, driving creativity in the classroom

London, UK – 22 January 2019 – Today, Adobe has announced that more than three million students and teachers in the UK have access to Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Following a landmark year for education initiatives, Adobe returns to BETT with 40+ training sessions hosted by teachers at the Adobe Creative Academy on stand 5G30 to help teachers get the most out of its applications, as well as hosting sessions at the Tech in Action Theatre showing how creative learning techniques can apply across a wide range of subjects. 

Adobe is reinforcing its ongoing commitment to creativity in the classroom by continuing to invest in developing relevant resources for teachers across the curriculum to bring digital into the classroom. The company is devoted to supporting educators and institutions to teach more creatively by driving digital literacy in the classroom; its Creative Cloud applications and teaching resources empower students to think imaginatively and communicate expressively, so they can turn their classroom ideas into university and career opportunities.

Adobe’s education initiatives grew in size and scope over the course of 2019 with the Adobe Education Exchange now hosting more than 700,000 members worldwide and almost 9,000 free teaching resources to help teachers ignite creativity in the classroom and integrate Creative Cloud applications into lesson plans across all subjects at all age groups.

The technologies changing the world of work are providing educators with more opportunities than ever to integrate digital learning into classrooms – no matter the subject. At Adobe, we believe it is our responsibility to ensure teachers have the resources and support they need to ensure creativity is at the core of the curriculum,” said Simon Morris, Education Programme Lead, Adobe EMEA. “Creative teaching methods can improve student engagement and outcomes, in addition to preparing the next generation with the critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills they need for the workplace.” 

Adobe also developed relationships with London Grid for Learning to provide Creative Cloud Licenses for free to its over 2,000 primary and secondary school members and the Royal Shakespeare Company to provide free digital learning packs to help English teachers integrate Creative Cloud apps into their lesson plans. To-date almost 1,000 schools have adopted Creative Cloud applications via LGfL and Adobe has built more than 10 digital learning packs in partnership with RSC to help highlight the relevance of Shakespeare’s plays in the 21st century.

Find Adobe at stand SG30 at Bett and for further details on Adobe’s Education programme, check out: https://adobe.ly/385HTQG

Kura kicks off school run revolution with BETT 2020 launch

Kura the leading transport management provider helping St Bede’s College to optimise its school transport, making its school run both greener and safer for students, and more efficient for staff

Kura, a game-changing suite of apps and technologies designed to revolutionise the school run, is officially launching today at leading education technology (EdTech) conference BETT 2020.

Kura harnesses powerful tracking and app technologies to provide schools with a safer, greener and more cost-efficient school run service, increasing pupil uptake of school transport and in turn reducing traffic congestion, both on the roads and at the school gates.

Using advanced geofencing technology, Kura allows schools and parents to keep track of when pupils get on and off the bus, while also providing transparent, real-time journey updates when the school bus passes through pre-determined journey markers, such as local bus stops or journey landmarks.

Schoolchildren can “tap” on and off the school bus using a NFC (Near Field Communication) fob. The system then notifies trusted family members, guardians or friends in real-time when the children are boarding or alighting, in turn significantly easing parental concerns about their children’s safety during school hours.

Using Kura, parents feel reassured in opting for school buses as their child’s means of transport between home and school each day, removing cars from the road and substantially decreasing a school’s carbon footprint. A single 49-seater Kura-powered coach can take as many as 31 cars off the road, reducing a school’s carbon emissions by as much as 75% per 20-mile shared journey.

As well as its safeguarding features, Kura has the ability to analyse routes and identify the quickest, most efficient travel times whilst avoiding areas of congestion. The technology subsequently allows routes to be adapted, further reducing journey mileage and related emissions.

Manchester independent school, St Bede’s College, is leading the way by becoming one of the first schools to partner with Kura to manage and optimise its home-to-school transport, catering for in excess of 300 pupils a day across six different travel routes. Most notably, by using Kura St Bede’s College has already further improved its pupil safeguarding when children are travelling to and from the College, among other areas.

Mathew Hassell, founder and CEO of Kura, said: “Home-to-school transport, which has remained largely unchanged for decades, needs a revolution. Safe, sustainable, cost-efficient school transport is not a far-flung future concept, but something that we can deliver today, and we’re partnering with schools across the country to make this a reality. 

“The school run is currently responsible for a quarter of all vehicles releasing harmful emissions during rush-hour, and that’s not even taking into account the flood of emissions from cars idling outside school gates across the country. This has contributed to air pollution being one of the deadliest threats facing our schoolchildren today, and it’s clear that more must be done to stop this problem in its tracks.

“With the right technology, practices and partners in place, we truly believe that a completely green, zero-emission school run could be a reality in as soon as three to five years, without compromising other crucial areas, such as pupil safeguarding, and saving increasingly-stretched school budgets. This would have a major, positive impact on our schoolchildren, schools and, indeed, the country as a whole.”

The Kura technology is backed by a seven-figure investment from Souter Investments, the private family investment office of Stagecoach founder Sir Brian Souter, with the aim of making school journeys across the UK safer, greener and more efficient.

For more information, please visit www.ridekura.com or visit stand NN53 at BETT 2020. The business will be exhibiting on all four days of the show (Wednesday 22nd January – Saturday 25th January), and Mathew Hassell, Kura’s founder and CEO, will also be at the stand on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd.

The UAE Ministry of Education visits the UK to showcase innovation and technology in education within the region

10% per cent rise in UK students studying in UAE

The UAE Ministry of Education is bringing its ‘Study in UAE’ campaign to the UK to promote the UAE as a prime destination for international students to pursue their degrees in acclaimed UAE based universities. After having invested more than £2 billion in its education sector in 2019, with a particular focus on innovation and technology. It will be taking part in Bett (22 to 25 January 2020), the world’s largest educational technology event which this year is being hosted in London.

As the first nation with a government minister dedicated to AI and with plans to test the introduction of a robotic police officer, innovation is key for the region. The Ministry has introduced fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies such as robotics and blockchain into its education system so students can have an opportunity to learn more about these pioneering technologies. The region is also pioneering Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Series (AIR – a programme which has been created to help students develop their AI knowledge and set them up for the job market in the near future. With so much technology and innovation it’s an ideal place for ambitious students to study.

The region is becoming an increasingly popular destination for students from the UK, with officials reporting an overall 10% rise in UK students studying in the UAE since 2016, joining 50 establishments as undergraduates begin to take advantage of the diversity of courses on offer.

Latest official data also shows over 32,000 new business formed across the UAE in 2019, bringing in exciting new opportunities and roles for students looking to stay on in the UAE after graduating.

Commenting on the participation in BETT, HE Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, said that the UAE has become one of the prominent and attractive global destinations for visitors from different countries to visit, work, study or live in, due to its social stability, cosmopolitan environment, human and development capabilities and strategic plans that enhance individual progress, which aids in its society development. This is due to the wise leadership support and their continuance guidance to achieve a comprehensive human-based development and future investment.

His Excellency also added that the Ministry of Education’s participation in BETT stems from the importance of this event and the educational and leadership experience it offers its participating partners, in addition to the educational solutions it provides that serve the education sector in UAE. The UAE worked hard at maintaining a continuous work pace based on technology, innovation, artificial intelligence, smart learning system and plans that enhance advanced skills, as well as establishing an educational methodology for the coming years for the public and the higher education sector to become the best country worldwide in sustainable education that provides qualitative outputs and contributes to the country becoming the best worldwide in all sectors, working towards a knowledge economy and keeping pace with the requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution through preparing a young knowledgeable generation that is exceptionally ambitious and able to compete in vital scientific disciplines.

His Excellency also added that BETT is an opportunity to showcase the UAE’s achievements across all levels, especially in the education sector that is devoted to a modern learning vision, and what it includes from higher education institutions that have come to the forefront in global competitive indicators, pointing out that The Ministry of Education, through launching its “Study in UAE” campaign, is looking to attract students to study in its universities, meet their academic and professional aspirations, achieve a unique learning experience, and to open broad horizons of excellence, development and work that the UAE offers to international students.

Dr. Sheikh Ammar Al Mualla, Director of Department of Educational Organizations and External Relations, says, “The trend in UK students coming to take advantage of what our universities have to offer looks set to continue. We’d love to see more students from the UK and the wider international community follow in their peers footsteps and study here to get a taste for UAE life and open the door not only to a new, exciting culture but to exciting and lucrative career prospects.”

The UAE has established the Emirati School Model few years ago to raise the standards of teaching and learning, enabling all schools across the country to operate under a standardised framework, developed according to the best international practices, and aiming at keeping up with future changes and developments that compete with international education systems.

The Emirati school Model consist of seven pillars, each focusing on a different aspect of mainstream education. By streamlining processes across all schools, the UAE has taken a 360 view which puts technology at the heart of education. The seven pillars are:

  • A curriculum designed to create a comprehensive scientific mindset in students, blending different sciences, critical analysis, discovery and practical experiences
  • Activities including the Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Series (AIRseries). The AIRseries aims to promote interest and development in robotics and artificial intelligence and to raise the UAE’s presence globally in this field
  • Learning streams including an Elite Track for distinguished students, in addition to the General and Advance Streams, and forward thinking Technical Career Paths
  • Each Emirati school classroom will be equipped with a high specification laser projector, to maximise learning opportunities
  • Incorporating regular monitoring of students’ progress ensures they are supported on an individual level
  • Training to support students in perfecting their strengths
  • Evaluating students’ achievements by measuring the quality of learning experiences and developing a comprehensive evaluation framework to measure the quality of schools performance

The Ministry of Education stand at Bett will include a Study in UAE section, with the participation from 6 leading UAE universities, namely: UAE University, HCT, Zayed University, Khalifa University, Ajman University and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University. There will be a theatre area for presentations, display areas for projects from curriculum, AIR Series, and Universities, and the Study in UAE Photobooth. Activities will promote the country and its unique offerings as the preferred destination for students from all over the world to pursue their undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Supporting partners will also be in attendance: Etisalat, UAE Space Agency, Khalifa Empowerment Program and Alef Education.

During BETT, the Ministry of Education will present the “Advanced Skills Strategy”, which was previously announced by H. E. Dr.  Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, aims at establishing the concept of “Lifelong Learning” for all UAE nationals and residents. The “Advanced Skills Strategy” provides students, fresh graduates and experienced individuals with the most important skills required to prepare them for the fast-changing future. The skills include advanced skills identification and measurement, target segments identification, policies and program setting and movement creation, which all help create a “Lifelong Learning” environment. The strategy sets out 12 skills that can be acquired and students can apply in all practical sectors. The list of skills, which appears in the form of an interactive electronic game, include scientific literacy, tech literacy, financial literacy, critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, adaptability, leadership, social and cultural awareness, empathy and growth mindset.

In addition, Emirati university students will be participating through showcasing their cutting-edge projects, based on technology and innovation skills they gained from the Emirati School Model that prepares them and improves these skills in them from early ages. These projects are Vita-Cam, which is a smartphone AI application that detects vitamin deficiencies of the user from photos they take of themselves without the need for blood samples then suggests a compensational diet; Eyelid based steering control in vehicles, which is a novel method for medical emergencies; and The Smart Kaytoub, which is an intelligent solution developed to monitor students as they board and leave the school bus and that can be monitored by parents and school officials.

For those interested in finding out more about studying in the UAE, visit the BETT event’s website for further details: http://www.bettshow.com/

‘CUE Cards’ Launched by Avid Games Entertains and Educates Children and Adults Alike

CUE Cards by Avid Games is designed to inspire curiosity in all ages. With an emphasis on culture and STEM (*Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), the game features an ever-expanding supply of knowledge and trivia titbits, from Lions to Meteorology, from Pi to the Bayeux Tapestry, from Napoleon to the Parasaurolophus and beyond.

View teaser: https://youtu.be/lphThQa-e3c

The game makes a point of not taking itself too seriously. Players use their card-based knowledge to take each other on in head-to-head ‘duels’, where cards compete across a series of arenas, ranging from the Deep Ocean to Outer Space. Adding friends and family to challenge them directly is easy.

According to Ofcom statistics, time spent playing games increases with age, growing from 6 hours 12 minutes per week (for 3-4-year-olds) to 13 hours 48 minutes (for 12-15-year-olds)*.  Players of CUE Cards (Cards, the Universe and Everything) spend an average of 30 minutes per day in the game. CUE Cards app delivers time well wasted for kids and adults alike – asthe worst outcome is that users may learn about String Theory or Ancient Greece.                                             

The app is free and available to download here:
https://go.onelink.me/ulB8/af841ac6

Managing Director at Avid Games, Paul Mayze said:

“Educational games often sit at the worthy end of the spectrum and forget to ‘bring the fun’.

“We set out to make a game that channels trading card gameplay into real-world subjects. The truth is that fantasy and science-fiction can’t begin to compete with our actual universe – so we’ve got an endless source of awesomeness underpinning CUE.

“The cards remind you how utterly fascinating the world is – but they also play a role in the game, with different cards having special abilities that can give you the edge during battle. It’s wholesome. It’s silly. It’s fun!”

Springwell Learning Community, Barnsley, wins ‘Trauma and Mental Health Informed School Award’

Barnsley school demonstrates its commitment to pupil and staff mental health

Springwell Learning Community in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, is celebrating being named one of the first schools in the UK to receive a ‘Trauma and Mental Health Informed School Award’ for its commitment to children’s mental health as well as its relational approach to wellbeing and behaviour management. The award was presented by not-for-profit The Centre for Child Mental Health (CCMH) and Trauma Informed Schools UK (TIS UK), providers of trauma and mental health training for teachers and education staff across the UK.

Springwell Learning Community is a partnership providing special and alternative education for some of Barnsley’s most vulnerable children with emotional, social and mental health difficulties who struggled to have their needs met in mainstream settings. Comprised of Springwell Special Academy and Springwell Alternative Academy and catering for 4-16 year olds, Springwell is a mixed academy school partnership with approximately 165 pupils on roll. Springwell Special Academy received an Ofsted rating of ‘Outstanding’ in 2018 and Springwell Alternative Academy was awarded ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ features in 2017.

To address their unique challenges, Springwell Learning Community implemented a relational approach to challenging behaviour and interventions to support whole school cultural change ensuring improved school bonding for pupils, optimizing feelings of belonging, and actively supporting psychological as well as physical safety for all. Through this personalised approach and strong values linked to unconditional positive regard, Springwell has become a haven to young people who previously struggled within the school system.

Springwell’s intervention resulted in significant improvements in behaviour, academic attainment and staff wellbeing; as well as reduced disruptions and exclusions. The environment provides a sensory-rich experience for children, with access to green space, quiet rooms and beautifully decorated classrooms. Staff emotional wellbeing is also of paramount importance, with the school’s warm atmosphere meaning adults are supported and look out for their colleagues.

Director of Education and Training at the CCMH and Co-Director of TIS UK, Dr Margot Sunderland, said Springwell Learning Community had met a very high proportion of the ‘Mentally Healthy School’ criteria evidencing key interventions to support the very best staff–pupil relationships known to markedly improve learning and academic attainment. 

“You can really feel the sense of emotional well being as you walk around the school and the calm caring yet playful relationships that adults engage in at all levels promotes emotional regulation across the whole school culture,” said Suzie Franklin, Education Consultant and TIS UK Awards Assessor.  “The school’s ethos is focused around learning as the foundation for life, rather than league tables or exam results. Underpinning this is a comprehensive vision for students’ social, moral and cultural development. There is Relationship Policy (for staff to ensure that interactions with pupils are reflective regulating and warm) and the school really understands the evidence-based role that relationships play in shaping daily experiences.” 

Commenting on their award win, Vikki Hazell, Assistant Principal and Executive SENCO at Springwell said:  “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Trauma and Mental Health Award for our ongoing care for the emotional wellbeing of our young people. The approach has transformed our school’s culture and reduced incidents of disruption, conflict and internal exclusions. It is a key strategy for facilitating school improvement and has been at the forefront of our work in terms of behaviour and wellbeing. Receiving this award continues to validate our approach and we are extremely proud to be recognised as a Mentally Healthy School.”  

Schools can apply for a Mentally Healthy School Award or a Trauma and Mental Health Informed School Award by demonstrating that they have met a range of mental health and wellbeing-focused criteria.  The Implementation Checklist centres around four key values which underpin mentally-healthy relationships between school staff and pupils: protect, relate, regulate, reflect – and schools are marked on evidence, awareness, emerging practice and embedded practice in a range of measures under each section. The overall score determines whether the school is deemed ‘Mentally Healthy’.

To apply for a Mentally Healthy School Award or a Trauma and Mental Health Informed School Award, contact info@traumainformedschools.co.uk. For more information on the awards, and how to apply, go to https://traumainformedschools.co.uk/awards.           

Save Money by Leasing Your Interior Requirements from AJ Products

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No budget for a required expansion or upgrade? 

Does your budget fall short of your “ideal” solution?

Would you like to complete a project now without waiting for the money to come in?

AJ Products now offers a leasing solution for all your workplace furniture and equipment requirements. From office furniture, breakout spaces and conference furniture to pallet racking and materials handling solutions, AJ Products has the solutions to help your business improve workplace productivity and employee wellbeing.

We can lend to businesses of all types from established global brands to start ups and even sole traders with no upfront payment. Leasing is a solution that makes sense no matter your financial circumstances.

No Deposit Required: With no upfront payment required, you can move forward with projects more quickly without the need to wait for money to come in or dip into future budgets.

Affordable Monthly Payments: Spread your project cost across the chosen term asa fixed monthly payment with a fixed interest rate that won’t change throughout the duration of the lease, allowing you to budget effectively from Day 1.

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Flexible Lease Terms: Choose the term that best suits your business plan. AJ Products offers finance leases from 2 to 5 years so can arrange regular manageable payments over a time period of your choice.

Tax Advantages: All leasing payments made are tax deductible. Whether you are a global business, an educational establishment or a start-up company, this solution makes sense to your bottom line.

Improved Cash Flow: Keep your cash in your bank and avoid overdrafts and loans. This gives you opportunity to use your available cash to invest in other important areas of your business.

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Complete Projects: Get a simple solution that allows you to complete financially-phased projects immediately or part-fund projects where needed. Lease deals are available from £1000 to £1,000,000.

Up-to-date Furniture and Equipment: Improve productivity and staff retention by having the best, most modern equipment for your business instead of settling for cheaper solutions that won’t give you the same return and may not last you as long.

Peace of Mind: Security is levied on the equipment not your property.

Simplicity: At the end of the lease, you can choose whether to…

  1. Keep the products
  2. Return the products
  3. Upgrade to new products.

So, whether you want to finance your requirements completely, part finance a purchase, upgrade to a higher specification product that will outperform your original budget-driven choice or simply wish to be more tax efficient, AJ Products has the total solution for you in terms of product choice and payment options.

AJ Products is a full-service supplier of furniture and interior solutions for offices, schools, warehouses and industrial facilities. Established in Sweden in 1975, the AJ Group covers 19 European countries and opened in the UK in 1999. AJ Products supplies the right products at the right prices in order to be a one-stop shop for all your workplace needs. Our combination of over 20,000 quality products, expert knowledge, in-house design and manufacturing, and high service levels allows us to offer smart solutions for your workplace. We can provide everything from design suggestions and planning to quick delivery and installation.

www.ajproducts.co.uk

info@ajproducts.co.uk

01252 359760

SCHOOL CHILDREN DEVELOPING SOLUTIONS FOR DEMENTIA, AUTISM AND CLIMATE CHANGE

  • School students lead the way in tackling global challenges like climate change and ageing populations through ground-breaking innovations
  • The Longitude Explorer Prize semi-finalists include a robot turtle that cleans up beaches, an AI therapy dog to help autistic children in social situations and an app that detects online bullying
  • Ten new places in the final are up for grabs and young entrepreneurs and innovators are being urged to submit innovative ideas by 14 February 2020 for their chance to win £25,000

Tuesday 21 January 2020 – A robot turtle that cleans up beaches and could one day help tackle plastic pollution, a ‘Dementia Prevention Phone’ that uses family members’ voices to help someone stay mentally active, and an app that detects online bullying, have today been named as some of the semi-finalists of the Longitude Explorer Prize.

Nesta Challenges and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have named 60 semi-finalists from secondary schools and youth groups from across the UK. Breaking the boundaries of what is possible, these teams showcased how new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), can be used to create innovative solutions to some of the biggest grand challenges of our time – including climate change, ageing populations and sustainable transport.

Other ideas include a bin that scans people’s rubbish informing them of what could be recycled, an AI therapy dog designed by autistic children for autistic children to help them in social situations, a device that reduces congestion through AI by adjusting traffic lights in real time, and a ‘Wastebot’ toilet that tracks the bodies vital signs.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: “I have been hugely impressed by the quality and creativity showcased by the semi-finalists of the Longitude Explorer Prize. The 11-16 year olds involved in the competition have the potential to become the future scientists and engineers that will grow our reputation as a world leader in science and innovation.

“From a robot that cleans up our beaches and AI therapy dogs to help autistic children navigate social situations, this competition is helping knock down barriers while teaching our future generation that anything is possible.”

Owing to the high volume and quality of entrants, today Nesta Challenges also announced it is creating 10 new places in the Longitude Explorer Prize final and is inviting schools and youth groups to enter innovative ideas before the closing deadline of 14 February 2020. Entries must feature inventive and innovative solutions that use AI, machine learning or technology. This will also allow entrants who were unsuccessful the first time around to refine their ideas and apply again.

Constance Agyeman, Head of International Development and Communities, Nesta Challenges said: “The ingenuity and inventiveness of the young teams who have already entered the Longitude Explorer Prize has been astounding. From tech-enabled toilets to track your vital signs to robot turtles that seek out and pick litter from the beach, the semi-finalists announced today demonstrate the capability and genius that is brimming over in our nation’s young people.

“It’s this wealth of creativity and innovative thinking that has inspired us to re-open entries and increase the number of places available in the final. We want to give even more young people, who have a passion for harnessing technology to make the world a better place, a chance to win £25,000 for their school or youth group.”

The Longitude Explorer Prize from Nesta Challenges, in partnership with BEIS, supports young people to learn creatively about STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) whilst honing important entrepreneurial life-skills that do not usually get taught in the classroom.

The 60 semi-finalists from the first round of entries will attend an all-day event in London at the end of January. There they will meet the other competing teams and inspirational role models and take part in workshops to help develop their ideas to become one of the finalists at the end of the spring school term. There will now be 40 finalists in total who will receive resources, mentoring and support to develop their concepts into detailed ideas and finally a product in the hope of winning the grand prize of £25,000 in July. Three runners-up will also receive £10,000.

Nesta Challenges is passionate about welcoming teams from diverse backgrounds and the Prize is completely free to enter and take part in from start to finish, with resources made available to the supervising teachers and adults.

For more details about all of the semi-finalists announced today and to find out how to enter a team ahead of 14 February 2020, visit longitudeexplorer.challenges.org or search: Longitude Explorer.

HIGHLIGHTS REVEALED AS BETT SHOW EXCITEMENT BUILDS

Countdown is on to The Bett Show, 22-25 January, London ExCeL

London, 20/01/2020: The Bett Show 2020 has six key themes of Innovation, Wellbeing, Empowering Teaching & Learning, Future Tech & Trends, Skills and Inclusion (Social Mobility and SEND) and the programme has been designed to provide thought-provoking, engaging discussion around each of these areas. With just two days to go until the doors open to Bett 2020, the world’s biggest gathering of education, at 10am on Wednesday 22 January, we take a look at some of the speakers, awards, events and exhibitors that will make this year’s show bigger and better than ever before.

Speaking Up

The speaker programme at Bett 2020 has something for everyone with over 380 speakers across four days and a significant increase year-on-year in educator speakers. Leading the charge in the Arena is the UK’s best known experimental physicist, Professor Brian Cox OBE, who will deliver his keynote speech on Exploring the Universe at 4.30pm on 22 January. Big brands will also take to the Arena stage with keynotes on ‘Hybrid Intelligences: Amplifying Human Potential’ from Microsoft (1.25pm Wednesday 22 January) and the ‘Importance of Creativity’ from Apple (2.50pm Wednesday 22 January).

Further noteworthy sessions include: ‘Educating workforce of the future’ led by Made by Dyslexia; ‘The Learning Amplifier: an immersive journey with mixed reality technology’ from Discovery Education; ‘Digital tools to give children a voice’ from Dot Com Digital; and ‘Expanding the nature of school: rethinking teaching and learning in a non-linear way’ with Beaver County Day School. To review the full speaker programme visit https://www.bettshow.com/bett-seminar-programme-2020  

The welcome return of a comprehensive programme of international and UK Teach Meets and regular meet-ups in the Staff Room will offer further networking opportunities to attendees.

Exhibitor Highlights

With over 40,000 square feet of floor space within Bett there is an eye-catching exhibit at every turn.  Worldwide Partner Microsoft will be hosting a range of activities on their campus as well as showcasing their joint venture with jp.ik –  their Community Learning Centre. In addition, Lego Education will be celebrating their 40th anniversary in education with their very own on-stand museum!

Bett’s Aspiration Partner, KidZania, will bring interactivity to the show.  KidZania believe in ‘Learning by Doing’ and will bring this to life with an aspiration trail, designed to introduce immersive and experiential learning to educators. Dr Ger Graus, OBE, Global Director of Education for KidZania will take to the stage to discuss the need to connect teaching with ‘Learning by Doing’ at 12.30pm on 23 January.

Much anticipated exhibits from Google, SMART, Promethean, Spotify, HP, BBC Learning, Sparx and AWS (Amazon Web Services) will see crowds gather at their stands. With start-up village Bett Futures showcasing some of the most innovative up-and-coming start-ups.

Bett supports Mind

It’s not all learning and observing for teachers attending Bett this year. Teachers will be taking part in EduFootyAid – a charity football tournament in partnership with Mind UK kicking off at 11am on Saturday 25 January. One of Bett’s major themes for 2020 is Wellbeing. With increasing workload on teachers and social pressures on pupils, ensuring the wellbeing and mental health of both students and staff across schools in the UK is central to providing positive learning environments where teachers and learners alike are able to flourish.  By working with Mind UK, EduFootyAid will shine a light on the work they do in this area, and give teachers the chance to get active too.

Recognising achievements in EdTech

The four day show will see two sets of awards recognising the best in EdTech. 

The Bett Awards, in association with BESA, are a celebration of inspiring creativity and innovation that can be found throughout technology for education. The awards are an integral part of Bett each year and the winners will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday 22 January. With 20 awards recognising everything from innovation to collaborations with schools to devices, the shortlist features established players and breakthrough brands, ensuring an exciting evening of presentations.

The Global EdTech Startup Awards (GESAwards), are designed to identify, showcase and recognise the world’s most promising EdTech startups of the year. After sifting through 3,000 entries, a panel of judges will watch pitches from fifteen finalists at Bett at 5:15pm on Thursday 23 January. Many of the finalists will be exhibiting in the Bett Futures area of the Bett Show that showcases small tech start-ups with big ideas.

These are just a few of the highlights of Bett 2020, the world’s biggest gathering of education professionals and businesses.  For full details of the show visit www.bettshow.com

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