Explore Alternative Education

Students in mainstream education can tap into a unique form of learning thanks to a programme offered by YMCA Lincolnshire.

YMCA Lincolnshire’s The Showroom Activity and Conference Centre on Tritton Road, Lincoln works with local schools to provide young people with a chance to explore a bespoke learning experience outside of a regular school environment.

The Alternative Provision programme provides support and education to students in need of additional assistance, or those with specific interests that are not available to mainstream curriculum students.

Elizabeth Lilley, Alternative Curriculum Development Officer, said: “We offer two types of learning schemes within our Alternative Provision programme: a 12 week re-engagement project and Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) courses.”

The re-engagement programme at The Showroom focuses on tackling barriers that young people who are coping with emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) and low self-esteem face on a regular basis, such as anger management and vulnerability.

Elizabeth explained: “Schools refer students who may be at risk of exclusion – due to disruptive behaviour, poor attendance, bullying – onto our intensive re-engagement programme to help them develop the necessary skills they may lack when dealing with everyday situations and school surroundings.”

This programme is unique and tailored to each young person depending on the arrangement the service providers have with the school or the individual. Examples of lessons include team building activities, practical workshops, discussions focusing on subjects relating to respect and communication.

In addition to working in small groups or on an individual tutorial basis, the sessions also incorporate the use of the additional resources available at the £3.5 million site, including the sports cage, dance studio, music recording studio and Lincolnshire’s largest climbing wall.

“The flexibility of the programme allows students to learn and develop at their own pace, helping to build their confidence levels and reduce their behavioural difficulties,” said Elizabeth.

“Students who struggle with classroom structures sometimes find it disruptive and it causes them to lose focus. As a result many of the students I have worked with have expressed how much they have enjoyed their sessions at the centre as it is a different environment from their school setting. 

“Along with gaining qualifications, our results show a lot of our service users were able to fully reintegrate back into full-time education, enrol into college or even gain employment.”

In addition to the re-engagement programme and QCF qualifications, such as Level 1 and 2 Awards in the arts and Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training, the programme also provides industry-standard qualifications, such as First Aid, COSHH, Food Safety and Fire Safety Awareness.

“These qualifications are useful to young people moving into the employment market, making them more attractive to prospective employers,” added Elizabeth.

For further information about the Alternative Provision programme please contact Elizabeth Lilley on 01522 508360 or email Elizabeth.Lilley@theshowroom.org.uk.

Charity launches free BeDogSafe workshops for kids

PDSA sessions aimed at preventing dog bites

Leading vet charity PDSA is launching new BeDogSafe workshops which, thanks to £550,00 funding from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, will be available free of charge from September 2015 for schools and community groups.

PDSA has reached over 150,000 children through its workshops between 2010-14, and this new dog safety element has been developed in response to growing concerns about the increase in dog bite incidents involving children. Sadly, children under nine are more likely to be admitted to hospital due to dog injuries than any other age group.*

PDSA’s Education Programme Manager, Rachel Sutherland, said: “Dog bites are still seen far too frequently and sadly this can have horrific, sometimes even fatal, consequences. At PDSA we believe that prevention is vital and we are committed to tackling this issue head on.

“In addition to educating dog owners, we want to help children to recognise the subtle body language that can precede a bite incident and understand how to react appropriately.”  .

The workshops will be delivered by PDSA’s team of Community & Education Veterinary Nurses (CEVNs) – six specially-trained staff who travel the length and breadth of the country, sharing their expertise both within schools and communities. The BeDogSafe sessions will cover understanding dogs’ body language, respecting dogs’ space, key dos and don’ts around dogs, and how children can protect themselves if they are scared by a dog’s behaviour.


Rachel added: “Children are the pet owners of the future; by helping them to better understand animals’ welfare needs we can turn their affection into positive action, improving the lives of generations of pets to come.”

In addition to its education programme, PDSA also promotes responsible pet ownership and works with owners to help raise awareness about the importance of proper socialisation and training. Socialisation is the process of gradually introducing puppies to everyday sights and sounds from a very early age which, when done correctly, can prevent fears from developing. Fear can often be a cause of problem behaviour and aggression in later life.

Rachel concluded: “PDSA believes that every pet deserves a happy, healthy life and that education is a vital component in this mission. Any dog, whatever its size or breed, has the potential to cause harm. We would advise anyone who is concerned about their pet’s behaviour to contact their vet for advice in the first instance. With the correct approach and professional assistance most behavioural problems can be overcome.”

Teachers and community leaders can book a workshop by contacting PDSA on 0800 917 2509, emailing education@pdsa.org.uk or going online at .www.pdsa.org.uk/education.

Special teaching resource packs are also available enabling people to run their own Pet Club, a fun and interactive out of school club. The packs comprise three progressive levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold targeting children aged between 5 and12, and cover all aspects of learning about and caring for animals, including sections on dog safety.


Staffordshire educational ICT consultancy scoops national accreditation

A recently established educational technology consultancy based in Stone has been awarded accreditation from Naace, the national charity for the advancement of learning. The NMSP – or Naacemark for Service Providers – recognises educational technology firms’ commitment to quality; offering reassurance to schools enlisting the services of JWB Consultancy.


From auditing a school’s use of technology and providing training on tools like iPads and white boards, to offering advice on the implementation of e-safety and the computing curriculum, JWB Consultancy’s services can be tailored to a school’s individual needs on a standalone basis or as part of a comprehensive annual support package.


Although recently formed , JWB Consultancy is headed up by Sally Tippett, who has vast experience in supporting schools in their use of educational technology. Sally Tippett is a former teacher and member of the Staffordshire Local Authority ICT Team, who most recently worked with ICT firm Fantastict to lead a network of consultants working with primary schools nationwide.


The new firm, which will focus on supporting primary schools in and around Staffordshire is already working with a number of local schools. Sally says:


“I’m genuinely excited to embark on this new venture, and the NMSP provides a strong foundation on which to build. While helping schools meet the benchmarks set by the DfE is a key part of what we do, my passion is getting into the classroom and working closely with teachers to effectively use the educational technology at their fingertips.”


For further details of the services offered by JWB Consultancy – including support with the computing curriculum, e-safety, ICT strategy and vision, ICT Mark, iPads and any other aspect of technology in the primary school – visit www.jwb-consultancy.co.uk.


− Six UK teachers are attending Discovery Education’s Summer Institute in Washington, D.C. to learn about innovative technologies and network with educators from all over the world. −


UNITED KINGDOM, 7 July 2015— Many teachers and pupils discuss the idea of belonging to a global community; however, few get to participate in an international group. Six UK teachers will join a worldwide network of educators who will be learning best practices for digital integration 12 to 17 July: Matt Wright from Harbour Primary & Nursery School, Andre Boulton from Claires Court School, Rachel Clark from St. Georges VA Church Primary School, Heather Libby from Green Wrythe Primary School, Phil Nottingham from Springwell Park Primary School, and Katrina Boast from Victoria Community Primary School.


These six teachers were selected to receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. (USA) to participate in Discovery Education’s Summer Institute. The weeklong professional development event for educators boasts numerous hands-on learning experiences, covering the use of digital resources in the classroom with practical techniques that are ready to implement. Teachers will learn the latest technology programmes and strategies to inspire their students to become critical-thinking, digital citizens and to empower them to become a part of a global community themselves.


“At Discovery Education’s Summer Institute, I am looking forward to learning about and trying new technologies and software, which I hope will increase both student engagement and student attainment, as well as inspire them to learn,” says Matt, a Year 5 teacher. “Furthermore, I am most excited about speaking with and learning from other educators from across the globe. I hope to learn about other educator’s classrooms and teaching strategies to help my professional development and impact my future classroom practice and students.”


Similarly, Year 6 Booster Teacher, Katrina, says, “It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to see how technology can be used in interesting and different ways in order to help children develop in the modern classroom. Additionally, it will be fascinating to see the similarities and differences in the work of international colleagues. It will be great to share our experiences and expertise.”


Deputy Head Teacher, Rachel, is just as thrilled, noting, “I am looking forward to learning about new technologies and methods which will enhance my teaching, to benefit children in my class, and also to give me ideas to share with other teachers from my school, thus enabling lots of children and teachers to benefit from the experience. Also, I am really excited about networking with educators from other countries to learn about their classrooms and their strategies. Making these links will allow me to have a global support system.”


ICT Coordinator, Heather further explains, “I am most looking forward to collaborating with colleagues from the UK and USA to learn about what strategies and technology lessons are most successful in this age of digital growth and inspiring online learning. I am delighted to share my own experience of using Discovery Education Espresso in the classroom, which motivates my students to learn more and share their knowledge with their classmates, friends, and family.”


Also, Computing Teacher Phil says, “I was amazed and overwhelmed to be selected for Discovery Education’s Summer Institute. I’m excited by the prospect of discussing pedagogy and technology with a wide variety of educators from across North America. Over the week, I am looking forward to learning new strategies and techniques to contribute to a global community of educators.”


Teacher of Design Technology and ICT, Andre, sums up: “It will be so interesting to spend time immersed in topics of interest with other professionals who are passionate about their teaching. I hope to gain insight into the collective experience and knowledge of educators from around the world and discover new methods of working and sharing experiences. Additionally, as this is my first trip to America, I shall enjoy being somewhere new and taking my first steps on another continent!”


Discovery Education encourages educators in attendance to network with one another, share techniques and lesson ideas, and build an international support system.


“Discovery Education’s Summer Institute is a fully immersive Professional Development experience, like no other. It’s a truly collaborative event that recognises teachers’ great work in the classroom and beyond. We’re delighted to support our UK teachers, to connect them with like-minded innovators and give them a platform to share best practices on a global stage,” explains Christine Major, Director of Discovery Education’s Professional Development.


To be considered for Discovery Education’s Summer Institute, the teachers shared their best practices and how they transformed teaching and learning in their school through a written summary and a two-minute video.


Follow all the UK attendees as they spend the week learning in Washington, D.C. via Twitter using #DENSI2015.


For more information about Discovery Education’s Summer Institute, please visit http://www.discoveryeducation.com/what-we-offer/community/connect-with-the-den/den-summer-institute.cfm.


Budding young photographers invited to ‘capture’ amazing animals

Animal-loving kids are encouraged to capture photos of their favourite pets and great British wildlife this summer, as PDSA launches its 2015 photo competition.

Running with the theme ‘amazing animals’ youngsters are being asked to submit their own photos to one of three age categories: under 10s, 10-13 or 14-16-year-olds.

From awesome ants and daring dogs, to cosy cats, huggable hamsters and delightful donkeys, PDSA wants to see the best snaps of the animal kingdom.

The competition is free to enter – each child’s best photo should be emailed to petprotectors@pdsa.org.uk with ‘Pet Photo Competition 2015’ in the subject, along with their full name and date of birth in the email. The closing date is 11 September 2015.Kids who are already members of PDSA’s kids’ club – Pet Protectors – should also include their membership number to receive their points.

The winner of each age category will receive an Action Video Camera with underwater case and a copy of the 2016 calendar, which is made up of the best 12 photos submitted to the competition. The overall winner across all categories will also receive a behind-the-scenes tour of one of PDSA’s Pet Hospitals, and a professional photo shoot with their pet.

Last year’s competition was won by eight-year-old Evie Connors, who said: “I was overwhelmed and proud that my photo of Millie made it onto the front of PDSA’s Christmas card!”

Evie has shared her top tips for snapping the best photos:

  • Always have your camera nearby so you can catch your pet being funny or cute
  • Practise using your camera so you know what it can do
  • Make sure the light is good
  • Take loads of pictures so you can choose the best one

PDSA’s Education Officer Jenna Small said: “We’re looking for incredible photos of all creatures great and small, so if your pet loves posing or you’re planning a visit to a safari park this summer, remember to keep your camera handy!

“Remember though, not to dress your pets up, it may look funny to us but it can make them nervous and uncomfortable. Why not capture them showing off a skill or playing ball with their best friend instead?”

For more information, plus terms and conditions, visit www.pdsa.org.uk/photocomp

Ofsted reveals new ‘Online Safety in Schools’ survey

July 3rd 2015

Today, Ofsted has revealed data from a survey of online safety practice across all HMI-led inspections during March 2015.  The survey referenced a discussion on online safety issues with senior leaders, staff, governors and staff across 39 primary schools and 45 Secondary schools’ inspections.

The data follows on from Ofsted’s landmark ‘The Safe Use of New Technologies’ report published in 2010. The survey data was presented by David Brown HMI at the Child Internet Safety Summit in London.

SWGfL have created a useful infographic to highlight the conclusions of the survey and have summarised the key findings below:

  • Over 25% of secondary students cannot recall if they have been taught about online safety over the last 12 months
  • 5% of schools do not have an Online Safety policy in place
  • Only 74% of students were aware that they had an online safety policy
  • A significant majority of schools still do not allow the use of personal devices

Other findings:

  • In terms of students influencing online safety policy, a significant majority of schools do not involve student contribution.  In 2010, Ofsted concluded that the contribution of children was a characteristic in schools with outstanding online safety practice and recommended this as a priority
  • Assemblies and computing/ICT lessons are the main focus for online safety teaching for many schools, although PSHE lessons play a significant role in the delivery of online safety in some schools
  • In 2010, the ‘Safe Use of New Technologies’ report recommended that more focus was required on “developing a curriculum for e-safety which builds on what pupils have learnt before and which reflects their age and stage of development”.  Whilst there is evidence that some schools have embedded this across the wider curriculum, there is inconsistency in the provision of an online safety curriculum with scope and sequence
  • Just over a quarter of secondary students lack confidence in their teacher’s knowledge of online safety issues
  • Staff training is inconsistent, and what senior leaders might see as training is not reflected by staff. Anecdotal feedback suggests that staff development in online safety is often reactive: “Emergency training is delivered if there is an incident”
  • Staff have confidence in recognising, responding to and resolving online safety issues.  It is slightly stronger in secondary schools than in primary schools
  • From the data presented reporting is clearly the weakest area of school practice around online safety.

The full presentation can be found here on Slideshare

UK Safer Internet Centre is proud to work with Ofsted, having provided online safety training and support to all HMI during 2014 and 2015.

Ofsted recently published the changes to inspections from September 2015 with significant provision and consideration for Online Safety.  Further information on the changes and implications can be found at www.swgfl.org.uk/ofsted2015

Should you wish to embed the Infographic on your website, here’s the embed code http://swgfl.org.uk/news/News/E-Safety/Ofsted-reveals-new-Online-Safety-in-Schools-survey

About SWGfL

SWGfL (www.swgfl.org.uk) is a charitable trust working with schools and other organisations to provide safe and secure online access and resources.  SWGfL has developed an international reputation within online safety.  It is a founding member of UKCCIS (UK Council for Child Internet Safety) and has spoken at conferences across Europe, America and Africa.

SWGfL, alongside partners Childnet and Internet Watch Foundation, lead the UK Safer Internet Centre as part of the European Commission’s Safer Internet Programme.  The Centre is the national awareness centre and is responsible for raising the nation’s attention to online safety issues as well as managing online criminal content and supporting professionals via its unique helpline.