Oh, oobee doo . . . everyone can be like zoo-oo!!

Blackpool Zoo has launched a brand new series of animal experiences, which include some aimed at children and adults with additional needs.

The half-day packages have been devised to ensure everyone can enjoy getting up close and personal with the really wild residents.

‘Wanna be’ keepers will shadow the zoo’s dedicated and caring staff in a thrilling three-hour session where they may mingle with monkeys, lounge with the lemurs and serve snacks to the pelicans and penguins.

The Junior Keeper Experience is available to children and young adults aged eight to 17, while the half-day experience is open to anyone over 18.

The Assisted Keeper Experience will be a unique programme devised by the zoo’s Animal Experience Co-ordinator, Connor Blackburn following a personal consultation.

And, as the 23-year-old keeper took part in the zoo’s first ever Zoo Keeper Academy eight-years ago, he is the perfect man for the job.

He said: “I have been passionate about animals all my life and always wanted to be a zoo keeper.

“The Zoo Keeper Academy cemented my passion for the job and I worked at the zoo in almost every department, from catering to admissions, in the years following while I completed my studies.

“I have just finished my Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals and was delighted to learn I have been selected for the role of Animal Experience Coordinator.

“The Junior Keeper Experience is the perfect introduction for anyone considering a vocation with animals and the Half Day programme has been launched as a shortened alternative to our full day offering.

“I am very excited that, for the first time ever, we are able to offer the Assisted Keeper Experience for children and adults with a disability or additional needs, and we will work closely with these people to ensure they get the most out of their time at the zoo.”

All experiences include the following:

  • Feeding time at the zoo! Help to prepare and hand deliver healthy meals to the animals
  • Muck in with mucking out – don’t worry, gloves will be provided
  • Get up close and personal with many of our friendlier residents
  • Let your creativity flow as you and our keepers come up with new and exciting enrichment ideas

Each experience is different and visitors could be working with – tortoises, giraffes, anteaters, tapirs, aardvarks, lemurs, lorikeets, spider monkeys, otters, farm animals, reindeer, pelicans or penguins.

Please be aware – the half-day experiences do not include any activities with tigers, lions, orangutans, gorillas, elephants or sea lions.

Inaugural Executive Dean of new King’s Business School appointed

The Executive Dean of King’s College London’s new business school has been announced as Professor Stephen Bach.

The appointment will see him leading the creation of the King’s Business School which will become the ninth faculty at the university from next month.  As the current Head of the highly regarded School of Management & Business at King’s, Stephen’s leadership has been instrumental in making this vision of transforming the school into reality.

Provost & Senior Vice President of King’s Professor Evelyn Welch said:  ‘We are delighted to announce that Professor Stephen Bach has been appointed as the inaugural Executive Dean. This is testimony both to the significant progress that has been made under Stephen’s leadership over the past 15 months, but also to the clarity of his vision and the level of his ambition for the School as a business school. We are very excited about the future of the new School under his leadership.’

Stephen began his career in NHS management and then undertook his MSc and PhD at the University of Warwick. He has held visiting positions at Cornell University and spent more than a decade at Warwick Business School. His research interests include comparative public service employment relations, the international migration of health professionals and the growth of interim management roles in public services.

He has led several EU-funded research projects on the consequences of austerity and the role of service users in shaping human resource management practice. Professor Bach has acted as an advisor to the International Labour Office, Migration Advisory Committee, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Scottish Office and the World Health Organisation. He joined King’s in 2000.

King’s Business School will be based at Bush House, Aldwych (the former headquarters of the BBC World Service) and will be a standalone faculty which complements King’s portfolio of law, medicine, policy and social science.

Professor Bach said: ‘I am thrilled to be appointed as the inaugural Executive Dean. The School will combine the agility of a start-up with the heritage of King’s. We will build upon the success of the success of our thriving School of Management and Business and aim to build the premier undergraduate business school in conjunction with specialist masters programmes.

‘The times we are in are creating new challenges which require socially responsible leaders. King’s ability to draw upon our inter-disciplinary strengths, will enable us to create the next generation of leaders properly equipped to meet those challenges facing both business and society.’

CYPHER LEARNING responds to schools and universities’ needs with major upgrade to its ‘Learning Paths’ feature for NEO LMS

CYPHER LEARNING, specialist provider of learning platforms for organizations around the world, has announced a major upgrade to the ‘Learning Paths’ feature of NEO, its learning management system (LMS) for schools and universities.


NEO is an LMS for schools and universities that is known for its intuitive user interface, extensive feature set, and strong return on investment. NEO provides a refreshingly new way to teach and learn that boosts student engagement and makes teaching easier.

Learning paths, usually comprised of a set of related classes, are a set of goals that a student must accomplish to master a subject or skill. Due to this, they are used by schools and universities to motivate students to achieve goals.


Learning Paths were already a powerful feature and differentiator for NEO LMS because of its innovative set of options such as gamification and automation. With automation, teachers can define actions that occur when the path is completed, such as awarding certificates, sending custom messages, and more. Gamification introduces a fun, competitive spirit that allows students to gather points and badges as they advance through the classes in learning paths.

As part of the upgrade, CYPHER LEARNING has made Learning Paths a first-class item in NEO and added new features such as path templates, archiving, copying, exporting, and importing.”


Graham Glass, CEO of CYPHER LEARNING explained why the major upgrade was a priority: “We’re constantly focused on innovation and we wanted Learning Paths to be as powerful and comprehensive as Classes are in NEO LMS. We believe that Learning Paths now give us a clear advantage on the market, due to its new features.”


For more details about CYPHER LEARNING products and the Learning Paths feature, please visit www.cypherlearning.com and www.neolms.com or contact info@cypherlearning.com.



Ever-increasing pressure on the budgets of schools around the country means optimised energy performance is key to maximising the funds available for educational resources rather than the running costs of the building. Pete Mills, Commercial Technical Operations Manager at Bosch Commercial and Industrial, explains some of the most important considerations to make when it comes to heating and hot water, and which technologies are best-suited to delivering reliability and energy efficiency:


Finding the funds for repair or replacement can be a daunting challenge for schools suddenly faced with a heating system breakdown, so when it does come to deciding on an alternative system, energy efficiency and ROI should be top of the agenda to ensure any money saved can be spent elsewhere on site.


Legacy boilers can be costly to repair and often, if restored, are unable to deliver the expected energy efficiency of today’s schools. Therefore, when a school’s heating system breaks down, generally, the most straightforward solution is to replace any inefficient boilers with modern, efficient alternatives.


Even though many older systems operate at temperatures of 82°C flow and 71°C return, condensing boilers can be made to work efficiently for educational buildings through the use of weather compensation and effective control. Consideration can also be given to the possibility of rebalancing the system to 80°C flow and 60°C return for further savings. With energy efficiency a top priority, schools should be turning to boilers which can automatically modulate their output down to as little as 20 per cent in order to precisely match the demand for heat, helping to reduce fuel consumption and improve overall seasonal efficiency. This is ideal for periods like the summer holidays where there may only be limited demand for heating and hot water. For schools planning development to include further facilities, a cascade system can also help to future proof a school to cater for increased heating demand.


Ageing schools and their challenges

With some of the UK’s school buildings dating back to the sixth century however, it’s no wonder that some of these buildings are struggling to cope with the use demanded of them. Heritage school buildings, despite their beauty, come at a cost and present certain challenges when trying to incorporate modern energy efficient technologies. Their ageing infrastructure means installers are often welcomed with narrow plant rooms, and old pipework to contend with when trying to install new boilers. However, concerns with mixing the old with the new shouldn’t stop schools from replacing their heating system with a more efficient alternative.


Fortunately, the modern condensing boiler is also the perfect fit despite these restrictions. Bosch Commercial and Industrial’s GB162 boiler for example has compact dimensions when cascaded in systems up to 800kW, which make it especially suitable for plant rooms which are difficult to access and restricted in space. This in turn reduces installation time so there is minimal disruption to staff and pupils.


Integrating new boilers with pre-existing pipework can affect the operation and efficiency of any new heating appliances, but this can be easily avoided with the addition of a plate heat exchanger. This provides two elements of protection by separating old and new systems allowing them to work efficiently together.


Coping with fluctuating demand


With schools roughly shut for 12 weeks throughout the year, it can be difficult for school leaders to ensure they have a heating system in place that caters for fluctuating demand for hot water while a school is open and a significant drop in demand outside of term time. For example, showers for PE lessons and after-school sport, along with the wash-down of kitchen equipment, plates and cutlery after lunch, can cause dramatic peaks in the amount of hot water required. This rise and fall in demand can take its toll on older heating systems, which can struggle to cope and bring costs through the roof.


A continuous flow hot water system is ideal for coping with these peaks in demand, providing instantaneous hot water at a set temperature to ensure regulations are adhered to and only using energy when hot water is required to maximise efficiency. Providing heating and hot water via two separate systems will ensure than any peaks in demand for hot water can be easily catered for.


This continuous supply of hot water is perfect for schools with cafeterias, bathrooms and changing rooms with showers that can all demand hot water at the same time. What’s more, the instantaneous water heating technology frees the need for a storage cylinder, which saves space, reduces energy loss, and lowers the risk of Legionella contamination. The condensing technology also allows for greater energy efficiency of up to 105% resulting in significant energy savings.


The water heaters can be installed as single units or in a cascade of up to 12 units to provide a combined flow rate of up to 247 ltrs/min. This makes it ideal for schools which can have surges in demand for domestic hot water depending on the occupancy of the building.


With energy saving a major objective for schools and pressure on budgets increasing, condensing boilers and a continuous flow hot water system could be the ultimate partnership to ensure a school can cater to demand, enhance its energy efficiency credentials and ultimately, stay open whilst improving the learning environment for students and staff.


For a more in-depth look at the considerations that need to be made when investing in a new heating system, ‘Out of sight, out of mind? A report on the heating and hot water challenge in UK schools’ is available to download from: http://bit.ly/heatinginschools   


For more information on Bosch Commercial and Industrial and its dedicated offering for the education sector, visit www.bosch-industrial.co.uk. Alternatively, follow Bosch Commercial and Industrial on Twitter (@BoschHeating_UK) and LinkedIn (Bosch Commercial and Industrial UK).




As the first manned mission to Mars draws nearer, UK students are being offered a unique opportunity to join the race to the red planet- by designing a space habitation module for NASA.  

The challenge – the first of its kind in the UK – is being launched today by Lockheed Martin and Discovery Education as part of a new national STEM education programme: Generation Beyond. Unveiled at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in Gloucestershire, the exciting initiative will deliver space exploration resources to UK schools, inspiring the next generation of innovators, explorers and astronauts to pursue STEM careers.

The Generation Beyond programme combines technology and education to bring the science of space into classrooms as never before, equipping today’s pupils to make tomorrow’s missions a reality. Global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin has supported every NASA mission to Mars over the last four decades and is currently developing technologies to send humans to deep space in the 2030s. Discovery Education is one of the UK’s leading digital learning services, providing dynamic content which enriches the delivery of STEM education.

Open to primary school pupils age 9-11, the Generation Beyond Challenge asks students to create a short video, explaining how they would design a habitation module for the first crew to Mars. Pupils can enter individually or as a group, with two £5,000 STEM grants and iPads among the prizes.

Peter Ruddock, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin UK said:

“As a child, I always dreamed I would go to the moon but for today’s young people, thanks to the advances made in space exploration by companies like Lockheed Martin, getting to Mars in their lifetime could become a reality. We want to inspire our next generation of engineers, space explorers and astronauts and Generation Beyond is a great way to teach pupils about the opportunities that STEM careers can offer and help them to develop new skills in a fun and innovative way.”

Lewis Bronze MBE, Founder and Director of Content at Discovery Education UK said:

“Discovery Education is delighted to be partnering with Lockheed Martin to bring this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to UK schools. Generation Beyond will bring pupils ever closer to a new era of space exploration, helping teachers to ignite interest in STEM subjects and preparing today’s pupils to lead tomorrow’s innovation and discovery.”

Available at no cost to schools, the Generation Beyond programme includes an online space curriculum for teachers and families, with digital resources such as lesson plans, educator guides and family activities. The dynamic content will introduce a wide variety of STEM-focused careers in space exploration, compare and contrast differences between life in space and on Earth, and illustrate the challenges of a future Mars mission.

Generation Beyond was launched in the US in August 2016, where it has already reached over 1.5 million students.

The UK Generation Beyond Video Challenge opens today – 14th July 2017 – and closes on 15th December 2017. Schools should visit www.generationbeyondinschool.co.uk/challenge to enter.

Subsea UK unveils new teaching resource for schools in England and Wales

Primary school pupils across England and Wales will benefit from a new teaching initiative that aims to encourage youngsters to take an interest in science and the natural world around them.


Subsea Channel is a set of resources that aim to capture the interest and imagination of primary pupils in science subjects, supporting teachers to deliver the science curriculum in a way that makes it relevant and accessible to more young people.


Developed by industry body Subsea UK, in partnership with teachers from North Tyneside Learning Trust (NTLT) Subsea Channel will be available to access by teachers across England and Wales from today (Wednesday 12th July).


Aligned to the National Curriculum, this addition to the Subsea Channel suite of resources will provide teachers with lesson plans and videos that bring to life the real-life applications of the scientific principles they teach.


The resource is made up of five topics: Marine Biology, Surveying the Seabed, Vessels, Diving, ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) and Robotics. The lesson plans have been developed to enable teachers to deliver the lessons in sequence, as a scheme of work or as individual programmes. Each come with teaching notes, information sheets and videos.


Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK said: “The industry’s continued success is, to a large extent, dependent on having the scientists and engineers who will meet the ongoing and future technological needs of the UK subsea sector. In order to inspire the next generation, we must start that learning journey as early as possible, given that research shows that primary school is the best place to start nurturing an interest in science and technology.  The challenge therefore is to capture young people’s imagination and interest before they make those important subject choices.


“The resource is a combination of technical knowledge from industry professionals and the educational objectives of teaching professionals. At Subsea UK, we understand that we have an important role to play in supporting education and this initiative demonstrates what can be achieved by industry working in partnership with education.”


Prior to developing the resources, Subsea UK asked teachers what would help them to deliver the science curriculum more effectively. Their feedback included: putting science into context, showing how it solves real world problems, captures children’s imagination and material that is flexible enough to incorporate easily into schemes of work.  Subsea UK therefore set about working with teachers to develop materials that combined examples of the fascinating environments, technologies and equipment the industry experiences everyday with the scientific principles and concepts that underpin them and that teachers are required to explain.


Kehri Ellis, chief executive of North Tyneside Learning Trust added: “Working with Subsea UK has presented a fantastic opportunity for North Tyneside Learning Trust to transform science teaching and learning in our schools. The new resources that have been developed are a brilliant example of what can be achieved when education and industry work together to bring Science teaching and learning to life


Hannah Osueke, science and STEM leader at King Edward Primary School in North Tyneside, said: “As a science leader I was very excited about developing the resources as they provide children with an opportunity to develop their understanding of scientific concepts in a real-life context.


“The schemes of work will be extremely useful to teachers when delivering elements of the science curriculum as we have provided detailed lesson plans alongside practical activities that can be carried out in the classroom environment.”


The resources enable teachers to use examples from industry to explain key scientific principles in a clear and meaningful way and in doing so capture interest of children and stimulate their imagination.


Vicky Raynor from Stephenson Memorial Primary School who also developed the resource commented: “The Subsea resource is an ideal tool to support experienced and newly qualified teachers alike.  It provides a context for the children’s learning, it covers several areas of the National Curriculum and will inspire and engage the children, making their learning both relevant and fun”


The resource is free and available to all schools throughout England, Scotland and Wales and can be accessed via a dedicated page on the Subsea UK website. Teachers will be asked to register by providing their details, which will also allow Subsea UK to inform them of any updates, send on additional materials and gather feedback.


Subsea Channel is now available to access by teachers across England and Wales. For more information, visit the Learning Resources page at www.subseauk.com


Do you have what it takes to win a Best of Britain Award?

Business energy comparison specialists, Love Energy Savings, are on a mission to recognise the best businesses in Britain.


They’ve partnered with EDF Energy, Opus Energy, British Gas, Scottish Power and npower to discover businesses across the country who are going above and beyond and deserve to be recognised for their outstanding services and overall business ethos.


There will be a winner for each region in the UK, the awards are completely free to enter and there’s £300 prize money available for each winner to spend how they wish.  You can submit your entry and find out more details here.


Phil Foster, Managing Director of Love Energy Savings, commented on the awards:


“The Best of Britain Awards were established to celebrate businesses large and small for their commitment to a job well done. If you pride yourself on being a great organisation, whether you’ve given back to your local area, introduced innovation or simply want to be recognised as a leading example of success, no matter how big or small your achievement, then the Best of Britain Awards are your chance to shout about what you’ve done and we can’t wait to hear about your efforts.”


Do you have what it takes?


Have you gone the extra mile recently – do you truly believe your business stands out from the crowd? Perhaps you know of another business that is doing amazing things, then why not put them, or yourself, forward for the 2017 Best of Britain Awards?


Nominations are open until Monday 25th July so there’s plenty of time to put a business forward and have its achievements recognised.


Forest Park Preparatory School rejoice, as they are crowned winners of LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre’s #MyMINILANDSchool Search!

LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Manchester is proud to announce that Forest Park Preparatory School in Sale, Greater Manchester, is the winner of the attraction’s #MyMINILANDSchool competition.


The school and all its pupils and teachers will be immortalised in LEGO® and will join the attraction’s MINILAND® display; a re-creation of landmark locations and buildings throughout the North West, made out of more than 1.5 million LEGO® bricks! The winning school will also receive their logo made entirely out of LEGO®, Kids Go Free vouchers for all pupils and a box of LEGO® for to enjoy.


Forest Park took part in LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Manchester’s #MyMINILANDSchool campaign, which saw students across the North West, along with the help of their teachers, being asked to sketch a picture of their school, for the chance to win their place in the attraction’s MINILAND® display.


On Thursday 13 July, winning pupils from Forest Park will help start the build of their school in LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre’s all-new Creative Workshop – with the one and only resident Master Model Builder, Alex! The final brick will be added at the school’s grounds on the last day of term (Tuesday, 18 July) before making its way back to the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground to be displayed in MINILAND, just in time for the school holidays!


Forest Park Preparatory School pupils are no strangers when it comes to LEGO®, with a dedicated after school club running in the school since April 2016 for children in Early Years and Key Stage 1.


Headteacher at Forest Park Preparatory School, Nick Tucker, said:

LEGO® is obviously great for children to hone their fine motor skills but it also encourages them to be creative, problem solve and helps to promote teamwork, as they always split off into little groups to work on a build.”


He added: “The children really enjoyed making their creations and are so thrilled to have won the competition.  They can’t wait to visit LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Manchester to help build the school!”


Jenn McDonough, General Manager of LEGOLAND® Discovery Center said: 

“We would like to sincerely thank all the teachers and students who entered into this year’s competition, we had some brilliant entries!


“We are really thrilled to announce Forest Park Preparatory School as the winners of our #MyMINILANDSchool competition, they will be a fantastic addition to our MINILAND® display!”


With more that 3 million LEGO® bricks, the interactive attraction is bigger and better than before, with even more fun to be had for all the family; plus there’s three LEGO® Rides (Kingdom Quest, Merlin’s Apprentice and LEGO® City: Forrest Pursuit) MINILAND®, City Builder, LEGO® Studios – 4D Cinema, DUPLO® Farm, Factory Tour and a LEGO® Shop.


Families planning their next visit should book online, to guarantee entry and for the best price around, with prices start from just £11 per child and £15 per adult when purchased in advance online. For more information and to buy tickets, please visit www.legolanddiscoverycentre.co.uk/manchester and for regular news, fun LEGO® ideas and fantastic competitions join us on Facebook/ldcmanchester and Twitter @ldcManchester

London students create artwork to celebrate the launch of Elizabeth line trains

  • Local design students have created artwork showcasing the benefits of state-of-the-art Elizabeth line trains
  • Campaign features on-board the new trains and on stations along the route
  • Key features of the trains include air-conditioning, walk-through carriages, wheelchair spaces and CCTV for passenger security.


Design students from East London have helped create a new advertising campaign that has been launched on board Transport for London’s (TfL’s) new Elizabeth line trains to explain to customers the benefits they will enjoy while on-board.


Students from Barking & Dagenham College and Redbridge College, which are close to the TfL Rail line where the new trains will initially run, were picked to create the designs. The artwork selected, by Hayden Shields, Egle Lenceviciute and Jesse Thraves from Redbridge College, and Jelizaveta Sergejeva and Inga Tenyte from Barking & Dagenham College, comprises five posters. Each reflects the individual artistic style of the students, and brings the benefits of the Elizabeth line to life.


These include walk-through carriages, improved accessibility, CCTV and air-conditioning. The trains also feature three sets of double doors along each carriage for quicker and easier boarding and alighting and improved travel information for passengers to plan their onward journeys.


Eleven of 66 new trains will be introduced on the route by the autumn and will initially be 160 metres long and made up of seven carriages. They will later be extended to nine carriages and the full length of 200 metres to carry up to 1,500 people. The trains will begin running through central London when the tunnels open in December 2018 and the Elizabeth line opens, transforming travel across the city.


The campaign will progress as London’s newest railway opens in stages, with the next key moment coming in May 2018 when TfL takes over Heathrow Connect services between Paddington and Heathrow. Students from colleges along this section of the route will be asked to create artwork for this phase of the launch.


Miranda Leedham, TfL’s Head of Marketing Operations, said: “We wanted to recognise a new generation of Londoners and the part they play in the city’s creative life. The young people who have created this artwork will be enjoying the benefits of the Elizabeth line for many years to come. They represent the city’s future, and I hope they enjoy seeing their artwork when out and about on the network as the trains and new Elizabeth line services begin to make a real difference to the lives of millions of people.”


The Elizabeth line will transform travel across the city, providing for London’s growing population by reducing journey times and serving the West End, The City and Docklands. When fully open it will run from Reading and Heathrow in the west across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.


When the route is fully completed in December 2019, the trains will carry 200 million passengers a year, bringing an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London.


St Swithun’s school to host pupil resilience conference


St Swithun’s School Winchester is hosting a conference for secondary school teachers and pastoral staff, called Getting to GRIP with resilience on Tuesday 3 October 2017. The event is being run in partnership with the mental health charity Place2Be.

The event brings together experts and specialists from schools and charities for a day of workshops, speeches and presentations. It will focus on promoting good mental health in the classroom and exploring well-being strategies for young people.

Key note speakers include Dr Sue Roffey from Growing Great Schools, Emma Judge from How to Thrive and Dr Ann Hagell from the Association for Young People’s Health.

During the afternoon workshops, participants will be able to investigate further topics raised in the morning’s speeches. Workshop themes include developing the mentally healthy classroom and how do teachers get wellbeing right? – the pupils’ perspective.

The GRIP conference will be held at St Swithun’s School, Alresford Road, Winchester, SO21 1HA. Booking is available at www.stswithuns.com/forthcoming-events.