Manor House School Lays 300 Wooden Crosses in Honour of Remembrance Day

Pupils at Manor House School in Bookham laid individual wooden crosses on the edge of the front lawn facing the Manor House in a moving tribute to family members who had served or died in the First World War.
On Friday 9 November, Manor House pupils celebrated the 100 year anniversary of WW1 with a special Remembrance assembly. Students had spent recent weeks researching their ancestry to identify family members who had served or died in the First World War. To the chorus of the Military Wives Choir, pupils arrived to assembly carrying the small wooden crosses that they had been given with the name of their chosen relative, written onto the wood.
Headteacher, Ms Tracey Fantham, led the assembly which featured girls from different year groups recounting their personal stories of their ancestors who had served during war-time. Although Manor House School was not located in Bookham during the First World War, it was located on the current site during the Second World War and School archives show that it was then a boarding school. A number of girls boarded during war-time when the bedrooms were moved downstairs for safety reasons and the School had nominated volunteers who were responsible for ensuring that all eight-four windows were blacked-out at dusk!
At the end of the assembly, pupils were invited to place their individual crosses on the edge of the lawn, facing the school to form a poignant line of remembrance crosses. To the sound of the emotive ‘Last Post’, the School then observed a minute of silence.

“What does it mean to be a man?” is the hot topic at inspirational teenage boys event

What better way to celebrate International Men’s Day and Anti-Bullying Week, than by inspiring and engaging a room full of teenage boys, helping them to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions, tackle bullying and grow their confidence and self-esteem?
Rocking Ur Teens is teaming up with Thomson Reuters to do just that at its one-day energetic and interactive event for 13 and 14-year-old boys. Bringing together teens from different backgrounds from across the UK, the event aims to nurture our leaders of tomorrow, by providing them with positive male role models to inspire them through their experiences and raise their aspirations, showing them that anything is possible when they have the courage and confidence to find their own identity and work hard. Taking place on 12th November at Thomson Reuters’ London offices, the event will be hosted by presenter and TV star, Dean Quinton. Attendees will hear from keynote speakers including Andrew Hulbert, CEO of Pareto; Asif Sadiq, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Ernst and Young and Kamal Hyman, Motivational Youth Speaker and Peter Jones’ National Entrepreneur of The Year Winner. They will share their career stories and learned wisdom, as well as how they have become the successful people they are now.
The teens will also take part in a spoken word workshop with Ragz-CV, a session on body image with the Self-Esteem Team and an energetic dance workshop with Dance West.
Participants will also hear from a panel of Apprentices, Interns and Graduates, who will talk about their experiences and offer advice to their 13-year-old selves – with the benefit of hindsight.

Founded in 2015, Rocking Ur Teens is a social enterprise that equips young people with the skills that leaders of the future need. It does this through its annual events. To date, Rocking Ur Teens has welcomed over 1,000 students and teachers at its conferences. Over the next five years Rocking Ur Teens aims to host these on a global level with a view to forming a revolutionary teen community.
Talking about our last boys conference and what they took away from it, students said:
“This morning I learnt about mental illnesses, it was eye-opening… I’ve suffered with depression and I’m going to ask my head teacher if I can do an assembly about that… Being a man is about being in touch with your feelings.”  
And: “Until now, I thought failure was a bad thing… Kamal said failure can be good as you can learn from your mistakes.” And: “’I learnt that it’s good to speak your mind and not be afraid to tell anyone your feelings.”
Sponsored by Thomson Reuters, the conference is highly subsidised and tickets cost just £20 per student or teacher, which includes a light lunch.
To find out more about the conference and how to sponsor the event or book a ticket see

Last Christmas – I gave you my heart

Keep moving for the “New KIDneys On The Block!”

REAL ORGANS IN BOXES ARE COMING…. Real organs posted first class for ‘at home educational dissection experience’.

Forget X factor, the creators of the internationally renowned and critically acclaimed touring show Anatomy Lab Live and stars of BBC Dragons’ Den have launched a programme we can’t wait for you to get your fingertips on.
Introducing the calling card that will leave you with the chills. Yes, ‘Anatomy Dissection’ brings trophy-taking remains to the next level, packing and posting organs in sophisticated anatomy containers called a ‘BIOX’. Each one is shipped to your home under the supervision of our bio-technicians. Step into the shoes of an anatomist as you dissect your way through any specimen of your choice from your very own humble abode. Don’t worry, we won’t let you go it alone – using the online licence key follow our trained anatomists to help you get the best out of your hair-raising souvenir. Scrap off Saturday nights out for this adrenaline pinching do it yourself experience – from complete novice to pro, we’ve got you covered.
Each BIOX comes complete with a specimen of your choosing, gloves, hat, apron and mask so you don’t get messy. All you will need are a few items from the kitchen to get started. Don’t be alarmed however, the BIOX’s are completely safe and all safety instructions on how to store and dispose the goods are inside the BIOX.
Our goal is to get you hyped about the human body that leaves the text books on the shelf and brings the learning experience to life. We consistently strive to deliver a first-class educational experience.
Finally, be assured, no body- snatching has taken place in the acquisition of these specimens. Equally, we take animal welfare seriously and only use products that serve in the food industry.
Which specimen will you choose? Head over to – purchase and then wait for the spine tingling sensation as the next time the doorbell rings it could be for you…

CYPHER LEARNING releases “Team Games”, a new gamification feature for NEO LMS

CYPHER LEARNING, the company that specializes in providing learning platforms for organizations around the world, today announced the launch of several new gamification features for its learning management systems (LMS), NEO, designed for schools and universities.

NEO, the word-class LMS for schools and universities, is a powerful platform that delivers a great user experience, while incorporating all the essential tools schools and universities need to support efficient teaching and learning.

The gamification feature available already in NEO allows teachers to create games for classes, learning paths, and site-wide games. Gamification is based on automation, a powerful feature that makes it easy for teachers to trigger actions such as awarding badges and points to students when they complete classroom tasks. For example, teachers can trigger actions to award points and badges when students complete a lesson or assignment.

Adding a gaming element to a classroom can encourage students not only to learn more, but also to stay motivated throughout the entire learning process. Most of all, they get a sense of achievement as they tackle challenges, get out of their comfort zone and become more involved in their studies.

NEO’s gamification feature allows users to create games and define levels with how many points are required to pass each level in the game. Levels are a fun way for students to see their progress and it gives them something to look forward to as they learn.

Through ‘Team Games’ teachers can create team games by adding groups from the platform to class, path and site-wide games. This is a great way to encourage students to participate in a fun contest together with their classmates. Teachers can see an overview of each team in the game and the contribution of each team player to the team’s ranking.

Students can also see their team ranking, team members, and the badges and points earned so far.

Graham Glass, CEO of CYPHER LEARNING, said:
“Gamification is a great way to boost student engagement. Our new Team games feature enables educators to create new interactive activities where students can participate in teams and learn how to work and collaborate together to achieve set goals.”

For more details about CYPHER LEARNING products and the new Team games feature, please visit or contact

Rio Ferdinand, Olly Murs, Lauren Child and Joseph Coelho team up to judge ‘Premier League Writing Stars’

The Premier League Writing Stars poetry competition returns for its second year to inspire children aged between five and eleven to get creative and pen their own poem on the theme of diversity.

The campaign, which is open to all primary schools in England and Wales, is supported by stars from the worlds of football, entertainment and literature. Last year’s inaugural Writing Stars competition encouraged more than 25,000 primary school pupils to write a poem.

The judging panel includes former Premier League footballer Rio Ferdinand, singer and songwriter Olly Murs, Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Lauren Child, poet Joseph Coelho. Casia Wiliam, current Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh-language Children’s Poet Laureate) will guest judge all Welsh-language entries. All judging will be overseen by National Literacy Trust Director Jonathan Douglas.

To inspire children taking part in the competition Joseph Coelho has created a bespoke poem titled ‘Beautifully different, wonderfully the same’.

Entries will be considered against a range of criteria including creativity, tone and originality. The winning poems will be published in a limited-edition book. Other prizes include author-led writing workshops and Premier League trophy school visits, as well as winning poems being read aloud by some of the competition judges. The first 1,000 primary schools to enter will receive a poetry book bag containing 12 different titles.

Premier League Executive Chairman, Richard Scudamore, said: “We were thrilled by the response to the inaugural Premier League Writing Stars poetry competition. To receive more than 25,000 poems written by primary school children from across England and Wales was extraordinary. We hope that with the excellent judging panel we have this year, more children will be encouraged and inspired to write creatively.

“This year’s theme, diversity, is hugely important to us as an organisation and to all our clubs. The Premier League has players and fans from all over the world and the competition is open to everyone, everywhere. We hope that comes through in the poems written for this year’s Premier League Writing Stars and look forward to reading the entries.”

Former Premier League footballer and BT Sport presenter, Rio Ferdinand, said: “Diversity is a really important topic for young people to explore and write about, so I’m very excited to be a part of this year’s Premier League Writing Stars judging panel.

“As a former Premier League footballer, I’ve shared a dressing room and a pitch with people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. Football has an amazing ability to unite us, as players, as fans and as people. As a parent with an interest in poetry, I think Writing Stars can inspire children to openly discuss and celebrate their differences and similarities both at home and in the classroom.”

Overall winners and 9 regional winners will be selected from across both Key Stages 1 (ages five to seven) and Key Stage 2 (ages seven to 11). In Wales, two winners will be chosen from each Key Stage – an English language and a Welsh language winner – with support from Casia Wiliam, current Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh-language Children’s Poet Laureate). Poems can be entered in all forms, including lyrics or a rap, and teachers and parents can register or nominate their child’s school to take part at

Waterstones Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child, said: “Poetry gives children a creative way to express themselves and have the freedom to talk about personal and moving subjects in an unrestricted way. I am already looking forward to reading what this year’s young poets write.”

Poet Joseph Coelho said: “Poetry provides a fantastic way for children to explore all manner of themes in interesting and imaginative ways. Diversity is a hugely important topic for everyone to explore and one that children in particular are able to delve into with joy and creativity. Last year’s Writing Stars Competition led to a surge of fantastic entries and I look forward to reading the amazing entries we are sure to get this year. I wish all the young poets out there the best of luck and lots of writing smiles.”

Singer and songwriter, Olly Murs, said: “I love writing songs, so I hope that Premier League Writing Stars will encourage children across England and Wales to get writing. I am a massive football fan, so this poetry competition brings together two of my biggest passions and I can’t wait to read the poems. Good luck!”

Casia Wiliam, current Bardd Plant Cymru, said: “What better way to celebrate the theme of diversity than by welcoming entries in Cymraeg (Welsh) too. My goal as Bardd Plant Cymru is to introduce literature to children in an energetic, dynamic and exciting way. Linking up with friends from the world of sport on projects such as this will definitely help to widen the reach and accessibility of literature.”

The Writing Stars competition is supported by the National Literacy Trust and is part of the Premier League Primary Stars education programme, which engages more than 16,000 primary schools in England and Wales.

National Literacy Trust Director, Jonathan Douglas, added: “Poetry has the power to unlock children’s imaginations, unleash their aspirations and help them flourish at school. It also enables children to express themselves in a multitude of ways, from raps and lyrics to free verse and traditional poems. Combining football and poetry is a wonderful way to explore the theme of diversity and to think about, embrace and celebrate our differences. I can’t wait to read the children’s poems. Good luck to all those taking part.”

All poems are submitted via schools either online or by post. Teachers have until Friday 21 December to submit their pupils’ work. Winners will be announced in March 2019.

#PLPrimaryStars @PLCommunities

Prowise Presenter entirely free of charge


With the objective to make digital education accessible for everyone, Prowise takes an incredible step forward. The education software Prowise Presenter, in which you can easily create interactive lessons or presentations, is now freely available to all users.
Prowise has made all the unique education possibilities that Prowise Presenter has to offer accessible to everyone, for free. This applies to non-paying, paying and new users. From now on, everyone has free access to all the functionalities the education software has to offer. This way the company, based in Birmingham, makes progress towards their ambition to make digital education accessible for everyone, globally.

New dimension

Director Michael Ahrens states that “offering the entire Prowise Presenter software for free adds a whole new dimension to our complete solution for education. Presenter runs perfectly on our hardware devices such as Prowise Touchscreen, Chromebooks EduLine, All-in-One PC and EduBook 360. Moreover, it plays an integral role in our online learning environment Prowise GO for teachers (instruction) and students (collaborative learning and completing tasks). This makes the interactive Prowise solution extra appealing to schools.”

The differences

Previously, Prowise offered two types of accounts: Free accounts and Pro accounts (£25 per person annually). The difference was the storage possibilities and access to the Prowise Community, where teachers can save and share ready-made lessons. In addition, the Pro account enables access to the Presenter Touch Table tools: interactive touch applications that teaches students to actively work together in a playful way.

Prowise Presenter

With Prowise Presenter you create lessons or presentations easily, quickly and interactively. This smart education software is 100% free for everyone. Presenter is bursting with educational content and interactive options for teachers (instruction), groups (collaborative learning) and students (tasks and assignments). For both primary and secondary education. Consider, for example: images, videos, tools, Touch Table tools and 3D models, but also ready-made curriculum strands, quizzes and mind maps.

Don’t be a data dinosaur


Robert Dagge, Managing Director, Dynistics, examines why dashboard technology is the future.

In today’s pressurised environment, decisions not only have to be right, but they also have to be made quickly. But with so much information coming from numerous different sources, it can be hard to pinpoint the important data.
Since its launch in 1985, Excel has undoubtedly transformed the way businesses operate. However, over 30 years later it has not evolved to meet the speeds and efficiencies of other, more automated, solutions. Recording, analysing, categorising and reporting thousands of changing data points back to stakeholders is far more complex than plugging numbers into a table. Consequently, the cutting-edge technologies of yesterday are now seen by many employees as archaic and prehistoric when compared with today’s instant digital information experiences they have come to expect in their personal lives.

The problems with legacy IT
The inefficiencies of using spreadsheets and other legacy IT systems can’t be ignored. Research shows that almost 40 minutes per day are wasted by employees in UK offices, costing businesses over £2,100 per employee a year, or 21 days a year, due to slow or inefficient technology. Poor IT means poor productivity; but it is no longer necessary to rely on outdated technology that doesn’t meet business needs. Automated dashboards provide a single, unified view of data across a business, focusing on delivering specific business outcomes and meeting KPIs.
Robert Dagge, Managing Director, Dynistics, gives five ways that dashboards beat Excel spreadsheets hands down.

1. Data capability
At our current pace, we are creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data; 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. To accommodate the massive data troves that most businesses must handle today, dashboard solutions were built. Social media, transaction data, customer records and web analytics are just a few examples of the mushrooming data that pushes beyond Excel’s capacity limits every day.

2. A single view
Dashboards have the advantage of allowing you to see all of your data on one page, enabling all the factors that impact a question to be viewed together. Establishing filters and drop downs that are easy to create and navigate makes it easy to interact directly with your information. Not only do dashboards reveal relationships between key analyses, but they also let you drill down in real-time to specific data points and calculations to answer questions that are raised by seeing your information in one place.

3. Real-time data exploration
As much as we try to account for all the possible inputs we will need and all the questions we will ever want to pose, it’s impossible. Yet in today’s fast-paced world, accurate decisions need to be made faster than ever – in real time, 24/7. The more regularly your data is refreshed, the more accurate your results will be. This not only saves you time and reduces human error, but it allows you to make decisions without having to depend on a report that would have taken weeks to compile.

4. Accessibility and transparency
Our brains can process images 60,000 times faster than text, so having a visual representation of data that can be viewed on the move is essential. Additionally, Excel spreadsheets offer no way to dig deeper for further information. While dashboards provide you with quick snapshots that can be completely understood at a glance, they also let the reader choose the level and complexity of the data they want to view so that nothing gets overlooked. Transparency and accountability is crucial; if something looks out of place, dashboards enable you to quickly discover why.

5. Map your efforts
Geographical mapping is standard functionality in dashboards – an option that isn’t available in Excel. Mapping your data reveals patterns – from product profitability to customer penetration and everything in between – to inform your decisions and guide next steps.
While spreadsheets can still have their place, as businesses require deeper analysis and insights, dashboards provide the edge. If you’re looking to upgrade your reporting, dashboards will not only save you money, ensure you keep up with the competition, have the tools to attract and retain the best talent, but also provide hidden insight. Simple.


Sphero Heroes ambassador programme application opens 5th November

London, 6th November 2018 ‒ Sphero, the technology company utilising play as a powerful teacher, has announced the opening of its 2019 Sphero Heroes ambassador programme, designed to recognise and celebrate the great work of pioneer teachers around the world.

After receiving an overwhelming response to last year’s programme, Sphero has collaborated with 18 Sphero Heroes around the world on product development, content creations, events and more. Building on the successes of the inaugural year, Sphero are welcoming entries for this year’s programme that allows educational professionals from around the world and across disciplines to share their classroom findings within a Sphero-supported community.

Once selected, these educators will continue their work as a Certified Sphero Hero and be a representative for Sphero Edu. As the programme continues to build, the existing Heroes will remain an active part of the group and help inspire the new ambassadors.

“Our inaugural 17 Heroes are global, innovative, and talented and have inspired our company mission with their unique backgrounds and experiences,” says David Millage, vice president of education at Sphero. “Sphero Edu continues to push the envelope to provide access to STEAM learning. We aim to give kids an educational journey that embraces the world around them, while having fun with our robots. Coding is a global language, and this ambassador programs allows us to connect and foster growth in all regions; we want more Heroes from around the world to join our current Heroes from Iceland, New Zealand, the UK, and more”.

Applicants will be tasked with showcasing their knowledge of Sphero robots and abilities to use the robots to transform teaching and learning in their classrooms and beyond. For more information about Sphero Heroes or to apply, visit:

Call for entries announced for prestigious global education awards

Organisers of the GESS Education Awards are calling on teaching professionals, schools and companies to submit their entries to this year’s edition of the prestigious global recognition programme.
There are two distinct categories of awards that are open for nominations – one honours outstanding achievements by schools, teachers and education professionals; the other recognises suppliers of products and solutions geared for the education market.
Since its inception, the GESS Education Awards have received entries from around the world. For the 2018 edition, entries came from 46 countries including the UK, Denmark, South Africa, Colombia, Pakistan, Australia, Spain, India, Finland, Canada and the United States; as well as countries from the Middle East and Africa, including Kenya where the inaugural GESS Leaders in Education Summit is scheduled to take place this month.
The awards programme is an integral part of GESS Dubai, the premier education exhibition and conference in the Middle East, which is scheduled to take place on 26-28 February 2019 at the Sheikh Saeed Halls of the Dubai World Trade Centre.
GESS Education Awards continues its partnership with leading education school operator Táaleem for the GESS Lifetime Achievement Award which will recognise an individual who has had a significant impact on the education landscape in the Middle East. The winner is selected by a panel of individuals who are leaders in various fields of education. They are tasked with choosing a person who has made an extraordinary contribution to the ‘World of Education” over a prolonged period of time.’
Deadline for submission of entries is on 14 December 2018. The complete list of categories, including new ones being introduced this year such as Best Sustainable/Eco-Friendly Product, Best CSR Programme for Education, Best Initiative for Inclusion and Wellbeing and Best Product to Promote Arts, Music and Drama in the Classroom; as well as other important submission information are available at


Digital news service for primary schools shortlisted for prestigious industry prize

Discovery Education Espresso News has been announced as a finalist at next year’s prestigious BETT AWARDS, in the Primary Digital Content category.

Produced in partnership with ITN Productions, Espresso News brings the world’s biggest news stories to thousands of primary school classrooms every day – delivering dynamic age-appropriate content to help children engage with current affairs.

Featuring daily and weekly video bulletins, and a range of on-demand resources including newspaper articles, feature stories and photography, Espresso News helps pupils to make sense of the world around them. It also guides children to become critical consumers, building skills to identify fake news and providing support to help them deal with difficult stories.

Closely mapped to the National Curriculum, the popular service brings the news into every lesson. Special content also helps schools to promote fundamental British Values, shining a light on UK institutions and democracy while encouraging respect for different faiths and beliefs.
Hazel Carter, Director of Marketing at Discovery Education said:
“We’re delighted to be shortlisted for a prestigious BETT award, one of the highest accolades in the education industry. Espresso News offers powerful opportunities to bring current affairs and world events to pupils of all ages, providing children with access to reliable sources and helping teachers to infuse the news throughout the National Curriculum.”
The 21st annual BETT Awards will take place on 23rd January in London. Recognised by many as the most important awards in the industry, BETT finalists are seen to be at the cutting edge of ICT provision in schools.

Discovery Education Espresso is a video-rich digital learning service for primary schools. With nearly 23,000 digital media resources, which can be applied to any lesson, the service supports the delivery of the National Curriculum and helps teachers to integrate digital media into everyday learning.