Wear it Wild: Young ones become wild ones for WWF


What: WWF is calling for youngsters across the UK to sign up and take part in Wear it Wild – WWF’s unique annual fundraising event.

School children up and down the country will wear their wildest clothes to school to raise money and awareness for WWF’s work to protect endangered species and their habitats. Sign up now at wwf.org.uk/wild
When: Friday 27 May 2016
Where: Across the UK. It’s open to everyone – whether you’re a school pupil or a CEO, you can help protect our incredible planet and wildlife by wearing it wild.
How: Wear it Wild challenges the nation to be as wild as they dare. Some ideas to get you started, you can:
• Wear an animal inspired outfit to school
• Paint your face as your favourite animal
• Have a Wear it Wild party or animal themed sports day

So help WWF raise vital funds to help protect our beautiful planet. To support schools WWF will be providing a wide range of curriculum related resources to link your Wear it Wild activities to the curriculum.

Why: Sometimes you just have to let loose and go wild to show your passion for a cause. In the past 40 years, the planet has lost more than half of its wildlife populations. That’s why on Friday 27 May WWF is asking people to take part in WWF’s ‘Wear it Wild’.

Why take part? What’s the urgency?

• Populations of incredible species have declined by 52 per cent in just forty years
• 95% of wild tigers have disappeared in the last century to just 3,200 in 2010
• Rhino poaching has increased by 9300% in the past 8 years
Money raised from Wear it Wild will help support WWF’s work to protect endangered species around the world. So go wild and be part of something that will really make a difference!

Sex education in schools not inclusive of same-sex relationships, new research finds

Secondary schools in Britain claiming to incorporate sexual diversity into their sex and relationship education (SRE) are in fact upholding heteronormativity, university researchers have found.

Researchers at Birmingham City University and Sheffield Hallam University discovered that same-sex practices are being positioned outside of the classroom, potentially leaving young people without a comprehensive and inclusive sex and relationships education.

Interviews conducted with SRE teachers in eight secondary schools across Yorkshire, all claiming to be inclusive of young people’s sexual diversities, almost always constructed young people as heterosexual in their discussions.

“In terms of the promotion of homosexuality and lesbianism, we don’t really get into all that”, said one teacher, who has been teaching SRE for over eight years.

“If they openly want to discuss homosexuality, I don’t think the classroom is the best place to do it”, the research participant added. “It’s something that we say if you have concerns about, we have the drop-in clinic with the school nurse.”

Current legislation for SRE in UK schools advocates inclusive provision when delivered, but isn’t obligatory.

Keeley Abbott, lecturer in Social Psychology at Birmingham City University and research lead, said: “Our findings highlight a lack of understanding amongst teachers around what constitutes real inclusivity within the context of sex and relationship education.

“Lesbian, gay and bisexual students could be being left vulnerable here with a lack of any sex education provision that is relevant for them.

“We need the Government to step in and make SRE statutory with a policy, ensuring that teachers reflect on all aspects of their SRE practice and work to an inclusive curriculum that takes account of young people’s varying sexual identities, relationships and cultural backgrounds.”

Dr Sonja Ellis, lecturer in Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University, added: “Teachers also need to be aware of the various ways of imposing heteronormalizing practices through their use of terminology, and should be using words such as ‘partner’ instead of ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’.

“Teachers currently have no restrictions when deciding both their approach to and delivery of SRE. We hope that our research encourages individuals at a policy level to see that they play a crucial role in establishing a clear curriculum framework from which teachers can gain clarity and confidence.”

New Funding…

National deafblind charity Sense today (25 November) responded to the publication of the Comprehensive Spending Review and the Government’s promise to increase the amount of free childcare available to parents.
Deputy Head of Public Policy, Kate Fitch said:
“We are pleased that the Government has announced an additional £300 million of funding for the Nursery sector, alongside the previously announced extension of free childcare. This will be a huge relief to many providers who have been struggling to supply the free childcare scheme and stay afloat.
“However, we are concerned that the parents of the disabled children we support may not be able to access the free childcare on offer due to a chronic shortage of suitable childcare and play provision in their local area. This is unacceptable.
“The Government must urgently consider how it will ensure that all eligible children, including families with disabled children, are able to access the 30 hours free childcare, before the plans are rolled out.”

EasiLume’s LEDs fit the bill for Focus School

EasiLume lighting at Focus Learning Trust School, Stoke Poges

EasiLume has just completed an LED lighting project for the Focus Learning Trust School at Stoke Poges. Commissioned by Atlas Solutions Ltd, EasiLume designed, supplied and managed the complete lighting project as part of the refurbishment of the school.

The school was fitted throughout with LED lights, using LED panels and fittings from EasiLume’s Cavona and Loreo ranges. Atlas Solutions chose EasiLume for its extensive range of LED products, ideal in a varied school environment. The lighting is fully controllable and at least 50% more efficient than conventional lighting. LEDs save on both energy and maintenance costs – a significant economy for the school over the years. As well as providing more lumens for fewer watts, a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours means maintenance costs are slashed too. The Focus Learning Trust can expect to save around 50% on its current bills.

But it’s not just economy which makes LED lighting ideal for the Focus Learning Trust. The ill effects of flickering fluorescent lights have been recognised for years. Studies suggest children who spend too much time studying under poor quality lighting and missing out on natural light are more likely to develop myopia. Quality LEDs in a well-planned, evenly distributed lighting design minimise those health risks. They give a light closer to natural daylight, increasing comfort and productivity throughout the day, helping the students to concentrate.

The school environment is perfect for LED lighting as each area can tailor the system to its needs. The installation is versatile, dimmable and fully controllable, easily integrated into smart technology. Instant-on lighting can be paired with motion sensors, so it’s only on when needed. Individuals can have complete control of their surroundings. The enormous potential of LEDs for saving energy becomes clear with a simple calculation: If everyone in Europe switched to LED, it would save the equivalent amount of energy produced by 10 nuclear power stations.

To find out how EasiLume can help you get the most from your lighting call Stuart Dixon, Head of Sales on 0333 800 5555, follow @EasiLume and visit www.EasiLume.com.

Holroyd Howe shares how it’s tackling sugar reduction across its schools at Food Matters Live

Leading UK school caterers, Holroyd Howe, spoke about the sugar reduction programme, Half Measures, they have introduced into their schools at the Food Matters Live conference on the 17th of November at the ExCel Centre in London.
Focused on improving health and nutrition amongst pupils, the company has designed a simple yet extremely effective way to cut sugar content in school meals in half.
The Half Measures sugar reduction programme was first introduced in late 2014 at More House School in Surrey – a school that provides high quality education and pastoral care for boys who might be bright, but struggle in mainstream schools due to a Specific Learning Difficulty.
Since then, it has been rolled out across all of Holroyd Howe’s schools with much success, contributing to the company being awarded Education Caterer of the Year 2015. The campaign has also sparked a wider conversation around sugar intake within schools, and pupils are now also being restricted on their access to added sugar at mealtimes.
Seen to be taking a positive stand against the spiraling health crisis facing our youngest generations, Holroyd Howe was invited to speak at the event by the organisers. Ronan Harte, Managing Director at Holroyd Howe, was joined by Dan Collier, a Holroyd Howe Development Chef, on the day and spoke to around 80 delegates as part of the session on: “Practical lessons learned: sharing best practice in sugar, salt and fat reduction”.
Managing Director, Ronan Harte comments:
“Sugar is now increasingly referred to as harmful by the experts. If we can reduce sugar by 50% in our desserts without our pupils noticing, we can reduce their intake and subsequently teach them to avoid excess sugar content in the future.
We are delighted to have been asked to speak at the Food Matters Live conference and we hope that many others will join us in this campaign to reduce the amount of sugar our children are being given access to at school.”


Teachers from some of the UK’s leading digital schools will gather at a major new digital education conference on HMS Belfast in London next week (Friday 27th November).

DENapalooza London is organised by Discovery Education, the UK’s fastest growing provider of digital content and professional development for schools.

Over 65 of Discovery’s partner teachers, who all use pioneering digital technologies and content in their classrooms, will attend the event, which will showcase the latest strategies for using digital media in education. They will also network with members of Discovery’s global network of education professionals, including visiting teachers from the US.

This is the first time that a DENapalooza conference has been held in the UK. The event has already been running in North America for 10 years and the annual tour across US and Canada typically attracts over 1000 teachers.

Schools from across London, the South East, Yorkshire and the Midlands, will be attending the inaugural UK event on Friday.

Christine Terrey, Head teacher of Harbour Primary and Nursery School in Newhaven, East Sussex said:

“We’re delighted to be invited to attend and speak at the DENapalooza conference. We’ve been using interactive technologies such as green screen filming in our lessons for some time now, and they have had a huge impact in bringing learning to life for our pupils. We’re looking forward to sharing our knowledge with other progressive digital schools from across the UK.”

Susanne Thompson, Vice President and Head of Schools Partnerships at Discovery Education said:

“ We’re really excited to be bringing our flagship community-led conference to London for the first time. DENapalooza is a fantastic opportunity for schools who are enthused about using digital resources to connect with one another, and share ideas and best practice.”

“ The demand for good quality, curriculum-matched digital content has never been higher, and we are delighted to be helping so many schools to transform their classrooms into dynamic digital learning environments. The Discovery Education Community in the UK is really growing, and gives teachers access to a global network of education professionals who are passionate about bringing teaching to life through digital media.”
The Discovery Education Community, which reaches over 2 million teachers worldwide, is one of the fastest growing online networks for teachers in the UK. The Community connects members in their own school, across the country and around the world through events, networking, idea-sharing and inspiration.
Discovery Education empowers teachers and captivates pupils by providing high-quality, dynamic, digital content to primary and secondary schools across the UK. Through its award-winning digital content, interactive lessons, virtual experiences with some of Discovery’s most talented presenters and contributors, classroom contests and challenges, professional development and more — Discovery Education is leading the way in bringing learning to life. Part of Discovery Communications, the world’s leading non-fiction media company, Discovery Education is one of the fastest growing providers of educational services in the UK.

NI school leaders attend the inaugural Inspire conference showcasing latest education technology

More than 400 education experts gathered at the Titanic Centre in Belfast on the 17th November for Inspire 2015, a conference showcasing some of the world’s leading educational technology. Supported by Google for Education and HP Inc, the event was the first Capita and C2k Inspire Conference for School Leaders.

Delegates – including teachers from 350 schools – heard from leaders in education who work with government and schools around the world. The conference was opened by John O’Dowd MLA, the Northern Irish Minister for Education. Speakers included Tim Rylands an internationally recognised teacher famous for his work with Web 2.0 and Professor Stephen Heppell, the renowned new media and educational technology expert, who spoke to delegates via a live stream from Australia.

The importance of ICT skills to the NI economy was outlined by Tom Gray, Vice-Chair of the Matrix Group and CTO, Kainos. Another of the main focuses of the conference was the issue of e-safety in school. Geraldine Donnelly, Principal of St Joseph’s Grammar School in Donaghmore, shared her experiences and the importance of ensuring students remain safe while using technology.

Delegates also celebrated the achievements of schools in the Capita Managed IT Solutions and C2k Education Network ICT Excellence Awards. The new awards, running for the first time in 2015, celebrate the innovative and collaborative use of technology in schools across Northern Ireland and its positive impact on students and their wider communities.

The winning school in the category ‘Transforming Teaching & Learning Through Technology’ was Cumran Primary School in Clough, County Down. The school has fully integrated technology in the learning experience from the interactive use of projection to stimulate ‘carpet time’ discussion, through the use of coding/control and Green Screen technology cleverly integrated with topic work to bring elements of the curriculum to life, to the use of Augmented Reality/QR codes to make display interactive rather than passive.

The winning school in the category ‘Developing Excellence in the Use of Technology Through Partnership’ was St. Canice’s Primary School in Feeny, Londonderry. The school is engaged in partnerships with several other schools aimed at improving teachers’ confidence and the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.

It uses the systems and resources available through the C2k Education Network and makes particularly effective use of the Fronter VLE and Equella content management system, Collaborate conferencing tool and C2k Newsdesk. Having built up this base of good practice, the school has encouraged and enabled the ICT Coordinator to share their knowledge and experience with others.

Stephen Moss, Innovation Forum Chair, was one of the judges of the ICT Excellence Awards. He said: “It was a pleasure to have been involved in the judging of these awards, which enabled schools to demonstrate the impact that their use of ICT has had on teaching and engagement with pupils, staff and wider schools communities. The quality of the entries was extremely high and all schools should be proud of their achievements.”

Paddy Mackey, C2k’s acting director, said: “This was a wonderful opportunity for our schools to demonstrate how they are involved in some fantastic initiatives to integrate ICT into their teaching. It was fascinating to hear about the next generation of educational technology and how it will continue to have a growing role in classrooms over the coming years.”

Ed Brown, managing director of Capita Managed IT Solutions, said: “It was great to welcome so many leading education technologists to Belfast. Northern Ireland has led the way with building cutting edge technology into its schools. This conference demonstrated the passion that our school leaders have for using technology to enhance the teaching experience.”

Nureva announces the Span™ classroom collaboration system

Calgary, Alberta — November 19, 2015 — Nureva Inc., an award-winning collaboration-solutions company, announces two models of the Span classroom collaboration system, the WM210e and the WM220e. Designed for use in classrooms, media centers and innovation labs, the Span classroom collaboration system draws upon familiar, simple and flexible tools already widely used in paper-based creative processes in the classroom including sticky notes, sketches, images and flip charts. The system uses a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model to enable collaboration on an expansive 40′ (12.2 m) digital canvas. Students create their input on their personal devices, either a computer or a tablet, and share it on the digital canvas in the cloud. The single-projector WM210e model or dual-projector WM220e model transforms classroom walls into a 10′ or 20′ (3.1 m or 6.1 m) interactive panoramic workspace for small-group or whole-class collaboration on the digital canvas.
The Span system is ideal for developing 21st-century skills including creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. Students use their personal devices to capture their thoughts and when ready, they add these ideas to the shared virtual canvas that is accessed online and projected in panoramic view on a wall. A group or an entire class can then work together to classify, discuss, debate and refine ideas. Everyone’s contributions are visible, enabling all students to actively participate in discussions and learning. Best of all, collaboration doesn’t end when class does. One session can easily lead to further exploration, and students can continue to work on the canvases in real time from other computers, tablets or large-format interactive displays anywhere.
“Educators today are looking for solutions that make the most of the technology already in place in their schools,” said Nancy Knowlton, Nureva’s CEO. “The Span system addresses these needs while giving students the means to actively collaborate anytime, anywhere.”

Additional product details
Shared canvas
The canvas offers 40′ (12.2 m) of digital space (10′ [3.1 m] visible on the WM210e model and 20′ [6.1 m] visible on the WM220e model) that can be panned horizontally. Students and teachers contribute content in the form of notes, sketches, flip charts and images, and organize content by moving and grouping.
Devices and displays
A variety of apps are available for students and teachers to access the service using Span hardware as well as tablets (iOS 8.1+, Android™ 4.4+), laptops, Chromebooks™ and a variety of large-format displays, such as interactive whiteboards, interactive projectors and interactive flat-panel displays connected to computers (Chrome™ v.44+ and Windows® 8.1+).
Digital artifacts
Multiple types of digital artifacts can be created on a personal device or at the canvas:
• Note – A digital 5″ x 3″ (12.7 x 7.6 cm) note allows students to enter up to four lines of text
• Sketch – A digital 12″ x 9″ (30.5 x 22.9 cm) page for sketching comes with three different ink colours and an eraser
• Flip chart – A large digital 30″ x 42″ (76.2 x 106.7 cm) flip chart for capturing notes and questions comes with three different ink colours, a highlighter and an eraser. One flip chart can contain multiple pages.
• Image – Any screen capture, photo or stored image can be contributed to the canvas
Panoramic projectors
The HD panoramic projector creates an ultra-wide display in a 16:6 aspect ratio at 3000 lumens. A contrast ratio of 1800:1 (native)/10,000:1 (APM) provides consistent, high-performance colour and a rich viewing experience. Solid-state illumination (SSI) means instant-on/off and no costly bulbs to replace, delivering the same 25,000 hours of useful life as most flat-panel displays. Touch and pen interactivity are provided by a touch module at each projector, supporting simultaneous multiuser and multi-touch activities.
Image-alignment module
The image-alignment module joins the two images of the two-projector WM220e model together through an on-screen alignment process performed at the time of installation to create one seamless 20′-wide (6.1 m) image.
Availability and pricing
Both the WM210e and the WM220e models are available today. Schools that are interested in learning about pricing options for the service plan and hardware can email Nureva at sales@nureva.com, or call direct at + 1 587.774.6647.
To learn more about the product features and specifications, visit www.nureva.com/span-classroom-collaboration-system.
Explore the many features of the Nureva Span classroom collaboration system in this video.
Download an image of the Nureva Span classroom collaboration system.


− New units in Python and HTML in Discovery Education Coding allow teachers to extend their pupils’ learning beyond block coding into real-life coding languages. −


United Kingdom, 16 November 2015— Discovery Education released two new coding units which introduce pupils to Python, an open-source language with many commercial applications, and HTML, a language commonly used to create web pages. Discovery Education Coding, which is aligned to the new Computing Curriculum, is used by over 4000 schools across the UK. The programme’s simple, progressive design and compelling game-like activities motivate primary school pupils learning to code for the first time, and teachers are provided with extensive support through lesson plans. This new content is designed to be used at Key Stage 2, to extend and challenge more able students.


Bidston Avenue Primary School in Birkenhead, already using the HTML units, say “Excellent step by step instructions are provided by the help videos.” Whilst Simon Haughton from Parkfield Primary school in Manchester is excited by the Python content and says, “It’s a great emulator.”


“Teachers and students alike tell us they love using Discovery Education Coding. To keep up with the fast pace of young pupils eagerly learning to code, we’re adding this new more advanced content so that they can start using simple but real-life coding languages,” said Victoria Cottrill, Head of Primary Content at Discovery Education. “By scaffolding the experience and by offering professional development opportunities for teachers, we’re helping everyone broaden their understanding of this relatively new area of the curriculum.”


For two consecutive years, Discovery Education has hosted a summer Coding Camp − a free, virtual professional learning event − for its school partners. This year’s Coding Camp focussed on computational thinking so that educators can feel more confident guiding pupils to understand the foundational concepts behind coding. It also encouraged teachers to deliver coding in a cross-curricular way, helping students to connect coding with more real-life scenarios.


Discovery Education’s mission is to continue to inspire and support teachers as they engage their pupils in coding, so that they respond like this year 5 student from Harbour Primary & Nursery School in East Sussex: “Discovery Education Coding is fun because you make your own coding and you have lots of games and pictures. It makes me feel like I’ve achieved something new.”


For more information on Discovery Education Coding and the new Python and HTML units visit www.discoveryeducation.co.uk/coding




HCSS Education, one of the UK’s leading education finance specialists, has appointed an experienced school business manager to its school outreach team to help forge strong relationships with schools and academies and provide them with expert financial guidance.

Karen Rudd will join the Macclesfield company as an account manager, where she will be responsible for building long-term relationships with hundreds of schools and academies across the Midlands area, making sure staff have the tools, support and guidance they need to ensure effective financial management.

Boasting over 14 years of experience in the education sector, Karen previously worked as a school business manager at St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, a large Catholic secondary school with over 1,500 students. Prior to this she worked for the Birmingham Catholic Primary Partnership, a group of 80 Catholic primary schools, also as the school business manager.

Commenting on her appointment, Karen Rudd said: “I’m very excited to be working with HCSS Education. With my previous experience working in the sector I am looking forward to building strong relationships with schools and academies to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction and to grow the HCSS Education network.

“Having worked previously as a school business manager, I have an in-depth understanding of some of the key strategic issues and challenges faced by schools and academies, so will be able to provide customers with financial solutions that truly cater for their needs.” 

Howard Jackson, CEO of HCSS Education, said: “We are continually investing in exceptional talent to ensure we can provide the best possible service to all of our customers. Karen has extensive experience working amongst decision leaders in schools and academy chains, so will be integral in building long-lasting relationships with our customers and understanding their unique requirements.” 

HCSS Education is making a large investment in its workforce in the coming months after revealing ambitious new growth plans and reporting a 48 per cent increase in turnover.  The growth has been fuelled by the company’s investment in developing software, training and consultancy services that benefit the education sector.

 For more information, please visit http://www.hcsseducation.co.uk/