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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National Grid launches schools programme

Haven High Academy Lower School pupil Charlie making model pylons in Boston, Lincs., 13th January, 2020. Photos by JOHN ROBERTSON for National Grid.

National Grid has launched a three-year series of educational workshops for school pupils. The workshops will be directly linked to the National Curriculum and will feature activities relevant to the construction timeline of a subsea electricity cable – currently being built between the UK and Denmark, known locally as the Viking Link interconnector.

From Monday 13th January 2020, the National Grid project team will visit seven primary (key stage 2) and three senior schools (key stage 3) in the Lincolnshire area, over a two-week period and will follow up with the same pupils each year up until 2023.

The three-year programme, delivered twice a year, involves workshops that will support development and interest in STEM subjects and careers to encourage and inspire pupils to become the ‘next generation of engineers.’

Haven High Academy Lower School pupil Harry,(12) & model pylon in Boston, Lincs., 13th January, 2020. Photos by JOHN ROBERTSON for National Grid.

Mike Elmer, Viking Link Project Director for National Grid Ventures said, “It’s fantastic that we are able to engage with schools along the route of the project to deliver STEM workshops based on the programme of works used to build the Interconnector.

“This new subsea cable will enable more effective use of renewable energy, access to sustainable electricity generation, improved security of electricity supply and benefit the socio economy of Denmark and the UK. Construction is expected to be completed by end of 2023, and in that time through our three-year engagement programme, we hope to inspire future generations to become the ‘engineers of tomorrow’ and leave a strong legacy behind.”

In the first year of the programme, pupils will learn about the role of National Grid in providing and maintaining the UK’s high voltage electricity network and the benefits of electricity interconnection between the UK and Europe.

The Viking Link project, is a joint venture between National Grid Ventures, part of National Grid, and the Danish system operator, Energinet. The 1.4 GW high voltage direct current interconnector will be the longest in the world when completed, stretching 765 kilometres from Lincolnshire to Western Denmark.  It will have the capacity to power one and a half million UK homes.

Teamwork-Haven High Academy Lower School pupils & model pylons in Boston, Lincs., 13th January, 2020. Photos by JOHN ROBERTSON for National Grid.

Later in the year, the project team will deliver a second programme to the same set of pupils. This will include a hands-on route planning simulation where pupils will be challenged to find the most cost effective and acceptable route for a section of cable. There will also be a hands-on workshop building structures to span rivers and other obstacles.

In the following years as construction continues, pupils will be taught about the flow of electricity and renewable energy investigating how wind and sun is used to generate electricity.  Furthermore, there will be workshops on how to lay down cables, the role of interconnectors and how investing in transformative engineering and cutting-edge technology will help the country hit its net zero carbon target by 2050.

Viking Link will be National Grid’s sixth interconnector to Europe. The company already has three operational interconnectors to France (IFA), the Netherlands (BritNed) and Belgium (Nemo Link). Two further projects are under construction to France (IFA2, operational 2020) and Norway (North Sea Link, operational 2021).

Following the completion of Viking Link, National Grid will have enough interconnector capacity (7.8 gigawatts) to power 8 million homes. By 2030 90% of electricity imported via National Grid’s interconnectors will be from zero carbon sources.

For more information on the project visit www.viking-link.com.  

Woodmansterne School integrates 44 Interactive Flat Panels into new facilities

Over 40 Interactive Flat Panel (IFP) displays from global electronics manufacturer BenQ have been integrated into Woodmansterne School in London, as part of a large-scale transformative expansion and dedication to providing exceptional educational facilities to its students.

Building a state-of-the-art secondary school to accompany its primary school facility, Woodmansterne School appointed experienced education technology integrators, Partnership Education to specify and manage the AV integration for the five-fold expansion.

Increasing its student intake from 350 to 2000 pupils, Woodmansterne School specifically requested an interactive display solution which would be easy to use for students ranging in ages from 2 – 16 years, as well as its staff.

Specifying the 75” RP750K IFP from BenQ’s RP Series, Partnership Education installed 44 displays throughout classrooms, support rooms, dedicated music studios and library to encourage active learning. Featuring 4K resolution, 20 multi-touch interactivity and BenQ’s exclusive EZWrite software, Woodmansterne has future-proofed its site for students as they progress through their school years.

Sam Palin, executive headteacher, Woodmansterne school:

“We love the greater display size BenQ were able to provide, that was a key feature for us and we were also able to put a couple in the library and in the support rooms. I would also say the support we’ve had in terms of training has been really good so absolutely, I’d recommend BenQ.”

BenQ provided teachers with initial training with the IFPs as well as ongoing support and additional training twice a year, ensuring all staff felt confident with the equipment and can use the full educational software toolbox of features on offer. As a result of the large roll-out, Woodmansterne has entered BenQ’s list of “super users”.

Woodmansterne’s IT department utilised BenQ’s exclusive Account Management System (AMS) to provide teachers access to their lesson plans and materials on any display throughout the entire school, as well as gain remote access for display maintenance and service.

In addition, Partnership Education specified cutting-edge equipment across five IT suites with 3D printing facilities, to dedicated music studios and a high-tech assembly hall. The school operates on a dual fibre network system integrated by Lynx Networks, with the primary and secondary sites operating independent networks.

After the school had suffered with delays and quality issues from its previous project, the overall challenge for Partnership Education was to deliver the project on time and within budget.

Palin continues:

“What Partnership Education has done has worked in harmony with us. They’ve been completely committed to delivering on budget and delivering ahead of schedule. For me personally, we went from the worst experience a headteacher could have on a new build to one of the best experiences that you could have.”

Flagship SENCO report exposes rising administrative tide impacting support for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

**New findings from Bath Spa University, in collaboration with nasen, calls for end to overcomplicated administrative demands on SENCOs**

**The report recommends that a single, national template should be developed for the needs assessment process and for Education, Health and Care plans**

New research launched today reveals that three-quarters (74%) of Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) are being pulled away from supporting pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), to fulfil overcomplicated administrative demands and unrelated duties during allocated ‘SENCO’ time.

The Time is Now: Addressing missed opportunities for Special Education Needs Support and coordination in our schools – conducted by Bath Spa University and nasen – found that time-consuming Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan needs assessment requests, and complex paperwork requirements from local authorities, are preventing them from being able to carry out their role effectively. The lack of consistency in practice and clarity of process across Local Authorities was highlighted as a key driver behind the unnecessary weight of administration, as well as moves to leave the profession.

Despite a call to legalise the protection of SENCO time in The National SENCO Workload Survey, which was published by Bath Spa University, nasen and the National Education Union (NEU) in 2018, only 50% of SENCOs said they had been allocated the same time as the previous year to facilitate the role – but also faced more pressure from senior leaders.

Only 17% of SENCOs stated that they had been allocated more dedicated time to carry out their role, in comparison to the previous academic year.

Furthermore, two-thirds (67%) of those allocated ‘extra’ time, are spending it on administration tasks, instead of directly supporting children, families and teachers.

One of the key recommendations from the report is to create a single, national template for the needs assessment process and for Education, Health and Care plans. 

Dr Helen Curran, Senior Lecturer in Education: SEN at Bath Spa University, said: “This new research has demonstrated how SENCOs are being overloaded with needlessly complicated administrative tasks – which risks impacting on children with SEND and the level of support that they receive. We believe that SEN processes and practices across Local Authorities should be urgently reviewed to re-evaluate non-statutory paperwork requirements – and to develop a consistency of practice across all Local Authority Areas.”

Dr Adam Boddison, Chief Executive at nasen added: “We were delighted to work on this joint project with Bath Spa University, further expanding on last year’s report. These findings ignite an important discussion around the additional demands on SENCOs, and highlights the need to re-define their role, as well as reduce paperwork and provide greater support with administration.”

The report makes a number of recommendations, including specific points in response to the Timpson Review on Exclusions, which are made in relation to the development of the SENCO role at a national and local level.

Summary of Key Recommendations

  • Review of SEND Code of Practice in relation to SENCO role: SENCOs should have protected time to enable the effective facilitation of their role and it should be a statutory requirement that the SENCO is a member of the school senior leadership team.
  • Review of SEND Code of Practice in relation to provision for children: The legal definition of SEN should be reviewed in light of the rapid development in sector understanding regarding neuro-diversity, as well as the changing demographic of our school population.
  • Development of consistent, effective SEN provision nationally: To develop consistency of practice across Local Authorities and reduce administrative demands, a single, national template should be developed for Education, Health and Care plans.
  • Facilitation of SENCO role in educational setting: TheDepartment for Education should provide sufficient funding for the SENCO role for every school in the country, SENCOs should be given additional administration support and they should be placed on the leadership pay scale.

The Time is Now: Addressing missed opportunities for SEN Support and coordination in our schools focused on the current issues and priorities that SENCOs, and others, have identified in relation to the development of Special Educational Needs in their settings. Over 1,800 (1,806) individuals contributed to the study. The survey was open for just under four weeks to all those who worked in education.

To read the full report, please visit: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/media/bathspaacuk/education-/research/senco-workload/National-SENCO-Workload-Survey-Report-Jan-2020.pdf

Preparing to teach first aid and CPR in your school doesn’t have to be painful

The UK’s leading provider of first aid supplies to schools, Eureka, has introduced a full range of CPR and first aid training aids. This new range provides schools with an easy way to order the basic items they will require to teach CPR and first aid as part of the curriculum in 2020.

Some of the new products introduced by Eureka include…

Laerdal Inflatable Resuscitation Manikin

This innovative, self-directed learning programme is perfect for teaching CPR and AED use in schools, as it allows users to learn core CPR skills in just 30 minutes. The manikin is supplied with an inflator, an instructional DVD and a foam AED template. This product will allow schools to teach the basic principles of CPR clearly and effectively. Each manikin is available from as low as £44.95 and manikin wipes are also available to purchase separately.

First Aid Training Packs

On top of the extensive range of first aid supplies already offered, Eureka have introduced a low-cost first aid training pack for schools. Each pack contains a sterile dressing, a triangular bandage, a resuscitation face shield and a pair of disposable gloves. These basic items will allow pupils to practice some of the fundamental first aid skills they may one day need to put into action.

With 20 years of experience, Eureka is a trusted name in schools across the UK and provides a wealth of service guarantees such as free delivery on all orders, 30 days interest free credit and next working day delivery.

To find out more about the range of first aid training products, visit www.EurekaDirect.co.uk and search “Training” or call the sales team directly on 0800 358 0085.

SMART Technologies Launches New Interactive Display with Revolutionary Platform – Bridging Physical and Digital Learning

Visitors to world renowned technology tradeshows will be among the first to experience “their 6th sense” via the exclusive ToolSense™ innovation, along with SMART’s entire new lineup of interactive flat panels.
CALGARY, Canada – SMART Technologies, a global leader in interactive education technology, announced that its latest lineup of solutions and services will be showcased to the public at the FETC (Future of Education Technology Conference) on January 14-17, 2020 and Bett (the British Educational Training & Technology Show) in London from January 22 – 25, 2020.
As a leader in education technology for over 30 years, SMART’s legacy of innovation is again evolving with the latest global release of its market-leading interactive displays. The timing of the two conferences is particularly exciting as attendees can personally interact with the displays and software to see and feel what makes SMART’s solutions truly unmatched.

The highly anticipated ToolSense™ technology, which bridges physical and digital learning by incorporating tactile tools, is available on the SMART Board® 6000S series. The technology is exclusive to SMART and is not seen anywhere else on the market today. Fundamental to this new technology is that it’s intuitive – like having a 6th sense – just pick up the pen, or object and interact with the board. The interactive display automatically recognises a physical object and produces a digital interaction.
“The possibilities of the ToolSense platform are quite literally endless,” said Nicholas Svensson, SMART Technologies Executive Vice President & Operations Officer. “The vision is to innovate specific tool sets for all education levels and subjects based on curricula and student abilities. The fact that we can incorporate tactile learning objects brings a new level to hands-on learning in the classroom and makes it accessible for everyone.”
At FETC and Bett, visitors will be among the first to interact with the SMART Board 6000S series and experience the full lineup of the latest releases including: the enhanced SMART Board MX series a high-value display with all the interactive essentials, and the SMART Board 7000R series designed to provide the most precise writing experience for complex subjects and detailed content. All three series incorporate the most recent advancements from SMART providing best-in-class touch, ink, and embedded iQ Android™ computing experiences.

For Bett, SMART is a global partner and visitors will have additional opportunities to engage with the technology, get hands-on practice and professional development through sessions. Attendees can visit “The Teaching Tech Zone” for a fully interactive experience or stop by SMART’s stand NH2o to experience the exclusive ToolSense innovation for a chance to spin the wheel and win a SMART Board 6000S interactive display. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend SMART’s Seminar Spotlight “Time Saving Tech Hacks for Teachers” on Wednesday, January 22nd, as well as schedule individual leadership meetings in the VIP Gallery Suite 11

(North Hall) to consult with senior leadership, as they share developments and trends in EdTech and how to improve learning outcomes. Visit www.bettshow.com/smart to sign up.
At FETC, attendees will have the opportunity to join the SMART team in booth #2813 along with special guests from Divine Savior Academy and the School District of Palm Beach County to explore the 2020 classroom ecosystem and proven ways to boost engagement. SMART presentations will be held throughout the day, and the first 10 attendees at each SMART booth presentation are guaranteed a prize.
SMART will also host a Future of EdTech Information Technology Session, “Technology Trends and the Evolving Learning Environment” with Global Education Strategist, Giancarlo Brotto for a discussion on global insights in education on Thursday, January 16th at 1:00 pm in Room 210 (second level).
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SMART is a world leader in classroom technology, providing interactive solutions to help every student and teacher discover the greatness within them. With a full range of interconnected displays, software and accessories, used in over 3 million classrooms, SMART helps students and teachers around the world achieve better learning outcomes. smarttech.com
All SMART Board interactive displays include free SMART Notebook® basic version learning software and a bonus 1-year subscription to SMART Learning Suite. SMART implementation services, professional learning and technical support resources help educators learn to use SMART solutions, hone their technology skills and improve student outcomes.

Schools wanted for RSPCA Compassionate Class competition

RSPCA is urging schools to sign up to an education scheme created to teach KS2 children about animal welfare

Do you have a class full of animal lovers who want to make a difference in the animal welfare world?

The RSPCA has launched its Compassionate Class competition for 2020 – which is an innovative programme that encourages children to develop compassion and empathy through the lens of animal welfare.

This year’s entrants will follow in the footsteps of the Year 3 class at Ysgol Gymraeg Coed y Gof who were recognised as 2019’s ‘Most Compassionate Class’ across England and Wales. 

Last year around 700 schools took part with the Cardiff school impressing judges with their  Welsh-language animation, which incorporated into a short production a number of key animal welfare messages.

Compassionate Class takes an interactive, discussion-based approach to develop emotional literacy and consider the welfare needs of animals. These PSHE Association accredited resources are designed to provide an exciting learning experience as well as supporting schools in the delivery of spiritual, moral, social and cultural education (SMSC) for 7 – 11 year olds. 

Through a series of enquiry-led activities, children will consider what it means to be compassionate, understand the needs of different types of animals, and work collaboratively to develop empathy skills for their school lives and beyond.  

The programme – which is now open and closes on 23 March – finishes with the chance to enter the Most Compassionate Class awards. 

Dave Allen, Head of Prevention and Education at the RSPCA, said: “We are very much looking forward to this year’s Compassionate Class which is about developing compassion and empathy through the lens of animal welfare and the programme encourages children to think about the needs of animals and help them to realise that animals have feelings and are sentient.

“The activities teach children about the five animal welfare needs, while the resources get them talking and debating about the importance of animals and creates an awareness of how we should respect them and each other. In turn, we hope this will help to create a kinder society in the future.

“We were just blown away with Ysgol Gymraeg Coed y Gof last year and we can’t wait to see what participating schools come up with this year.”

Ysgol Gymraeg Coed y Gof’s animated video featured the rules people need to follow to keep animals safe and healthy in a whole series of environments.

Year 3 teacher Nia Norman at Ysgol Gymraeg Coed y Gof, said: “We felt taking part in Compassionate Class would be a great opportunity for the children to build compassion towards animals and hopefully each other as a result. The children loved learning about animals, their habitats and their needs. They were all very passionate about protecting animals’ environments and what we as individuals can do to help preserve them. 

“I’m super proud of the children, they worked so hard. We were thrilled to hear that we had won.  We didn’t really enter the competition with a view to winning but to be able to complete the project with the children so that they would have an end product for which they would be really proud.  

“The children were so excited when they found out we’d won. We hope that they will always remember that they are national winners although of course they’re winners for us every day!”

For more information, or to sign-up your school, visit www.rspca.org.uk/compassionateclass  

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website.

Konica Minolta will showcase how its next generation technology innovations answer today’s educational needs at BETT 2020

Konica Minolta announces that it will be exhibiting at BETT 2020, to demonstrate to how its augmented reality, all-in-one IT solutions, intelligent video and sustainability solutions are unlocking the potential of staff, pupils, students and operations at schools, colleges and universities throughout the UK.  

The company will be on stand NH45 from 22nd-25th January 2020, at ExCeL London to provide hands-on demonstrations of its ground-breaking and class-leading technologies that are having a meaningful impact in classrooms and back-offices of education establishments today. The solutions on display at BETT 2020 will include its GenARate Augmented Reality for print, which brings a new dimension to learning and student engagement; the Workplace Hub all-in-one IT management solution, the powerful Mobotix Intelligent Video Solutions for the safeguarding of people and property, and a Virtual Reality Sustainability experience.

Jonathan Smith, Public Sector Business Unit Leader at Konica Minolta states: “Our technology is about unlocking potential. We enable educators to employ the very latest innovations to create more engaging and immersive teaching and learning experiences, delivered in a safer and more secure environment.” He adds: “What is more, our wealth of experience managing IT systems for schools, colleges and universities means we are able to provide the expertise and infrastructure to embrace the technology of today, plan for tomorrow, and do so whilst optimising operational efficiency and delivering peace of mind.”

Konica Minolta will also take the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the importance of raising awareness of mental health in education, through supporting Mind, the mental health charity. This will include the creation of a unique mosaic artwork during the event that every visitor to the stand can participate in. Jonathan adds: “Our partnership stems from the need for employers and educators to better understand mental health issues and how to provide the right support to those who need it in order to help them achieve their potential.”