Canford’s collaboration with Ivy House

What do you want your life to look like in five years? Have you decided who you want to be, not just what you want to do? Do you know what you’re really good at? Do you know how to turn it into a career? Do you know how to build a network? Do you want to become the leader of your own life?

These are just some of the questions posed to pupils who take part in the unique Ivy House Award programme.  For 20 years Elke Edwards, Founder of Ivy House, ran one of the leading executive development businesses in Europe. She and her team worked with senior leaders at over 40% of the FTSE 100, developing extensive knowledge about how to become an extraordinary leader and lead an extraordinary life.  She has now brought her expertise to the education sector, to give “promising young people the kind of life-changing learning that is normally only available to a handful of senior executives – at a time when it really can make all the difference.”

Canford is one of a small number of schools which is involved in the first year of The Award.    The course is run weekly, and is based on 3 key principles – self-knowledge, self-empowerment and self-leadership – designated as the hallmarks of an extraordinary life and what pupils taking The Award aim to develop.  The first 10 sessions focus on ‘The Storyboard’ with pupils thinking about their own unique story and creating their own personal brand, with the second 10 sessions then moving on to ‘The Game Plan’, which involves ways to make a positive impact, build relationships and understand your own leadership potential.

The entire Lower Sixth year group of 140 pupils are involved in the 2019/20 academic year.  They meet in groups each Friday afternoon for 45 minutes, guided by one of 14 Canford staff facilitators.  On completion of the award pupils will receive a certificate and a digital badge which they will be able to add to their CVs and LinkedIn profiles.

Headmaster Ben Vessey who has worked in close collaboration with the team at Ivy House to develop the programme, commented:

“In the 21st century the world of work is ever changing, as are the pressures on our personal lives and it is vital that we equip our pupils with the skills and confidence to give them the best possible chance of making the right choices so they can find success and fulfilment in whatever fields they choose.   They are highly likely to have more than one career, and will need to respond and adapt which requires motivation, a belief in one’s own abilities and a recognition of one’s strengths.   The Ivy House Award is a fantastic opportunity to work with specialists with a wealth of experience in leadership and I am delighted that we are able to include it within our Sixth Form programme this year.   The facilitators at Canford and the Ivy House team are all looking forward to seeing how the sessions develop over the coming weeks.”

For more information about the Ivy House Award, please visit

Teacher Dashboard 365 is now integrated with Microsoft Teams

Teacher Dashboard 365 have integrated with Microsoft Teams to create a powerful set of tools which work seamlessly together.

This term sees the brand-new TD Assignments app hit Microsoft Teams. A set of complementary tools to use in Microsoft Teams, teachers can use TD Assignments to create a single workspace to keep their resources, tools, and conversations together in one place.

The new app allows teachers to open the Teacher Plan version of Teacher Dashboard 365 directly inside of Teams, so they can create, set and mark assignments as part of their Teams experience.

TD Assignments also brings notifications within Teams, meaning teachers will receive instant updates when students have submitted assignments or asked questions, without having to login to their emails.

Using TD Assignments teachers can send work and monitor progress; choose how they want to assess assignments and interact with their students and colleagues in real-time online. This makes it a powerful tool for teachers as it brings so many of their daily activities directly inside of Teams.

“We’re proud to have been a Microsoft Education Partner for over 4 years. Our aim with Teacher Dashboard 365 was to provide a simple and safe digital solution for those schools using Office 365 to manage their assignments.

Now with over 100m schools using Teams alongside Office 365, we wanted to ensure our customers were able to utilise Teacher Dashboard 365 directly inside a tool they use daily”

– Luke Harrop, Director at Teacher Dashboard 365

Available in the app store within Microsoft Teams, TD Assignments aims to help take the admin out of assignment, freeing teachers to do what they do best – teaching.

Find out more about the TD Assignments app and download –

About Teacher Dashboard 365

Fully integrated with Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, with single-sign on and instant access to Microsoft tools, Teacher Dashboard 365 provides a simple and safe digital solution for schools to manage their assignments.

Designed to reduce the admin for teachers; from assigning work, to visibility of students’ progression, through to marking, our family of products frees you up to do what matters most – teaching.

Find out more about Teacher Dashboard 365 –

S. Anselm’s welcomes new Head

One of the leading Headteachers in the country with an outstanding track record in educating young people of all abilities and backgrounds has taken up the appointment of Head of S. Anselm’s Preparatory School and College, Bakewell. 

Frank Thompson has a wealth of experience in leadership posts in both the independent and maintained sectors.  The 53-year-old was chosen after a rigorous selection process. 

Mr Thompson joins the school from Stoke College, Suffolk where he transformed the academic attainment of the school and revitalised the pastoral and boarding provision. The GCSE 5A*-C pass rate rose from 46% in 2015 to 100% in 2018 during his leadership. 

He was previously Director of Admissions at Ampleforth College, near York, one of the country’s leading co-educational boarding and day schools. 

Prior to this Mr Thompson was Principal of Kilgraston, an award-winning 3-18 independent boarding and day school in Perthshire.  During his time there, Mr Thompson oversaw the opening of a £1 million science centre and a new, state-of-the art study space for sixth formers.  

Under his leadership, a record-breaking number of pupils received offers from Oxbridge and other top universities. The school was also named by the Sunday Times as Scottish Independent School of the Year for its 2014 exam results at key stage 4. 

A graduate of Cambridge University, Mr Thompson holds an M.A in Philosophy and Land Economy and an M.Phil Economics and Politics of Development. He also holds the National Professional Qualification for Headship. He spent his early career teaching Economics and Business Studies in London and Manchester. 

He is married to Tara, a BBC journalist working for network BBC Radio 4, and has two grown-up daughters who both attend universities in the region.  

Mr Thompson said: “I am delighted to be joining S. Anselm’s at such an exciting time. I believe its unique character of strong pastoral care for every pupil is the fundamental foundation on which the school can ensure each one will develop their unique talents. It is a great privilege to be joining such a committed team of staff and governors and I am looking forward to getting to know all the pupils and their parents during this term.” 

Richard Bowker CBE, Chairman of Governors, said: “It was very clear to the governors throughout the rigorous recruitment process that Mr Thompson has the required experience, personal qualities and skills to provide strong leadership to S. Anselm’s at this important time. These leadership skills combine with a real and evident understanding of the nature of our school and our student body. 

“We are confident that Frank will lead S. Anselm’s superbly, bringing exciting and new ideas whilst supporting our student body, staff and our traditional yet informal approach to educational success in its widest sense.” 

S. Anselm’s has a very limited number of spaces for this academic year and are also registering children for the Michaelmas term, 2020. If anyone is interested in attending their Open Morning on February 1st, or would like to arrange to view the School on an alternative date, please email

Brighten up your National Storytelling Week

From 01st – 08th February 2020, thousands of people from all around the UK will be celebrating National Storytelling Week, an annual event that promotes the educational and social benefits that storytelling brings to children.

A powerful and comprehensible way of communicating, stories will not only provide an understanding of cultures and emotions but also improve important skills such as listening and creative writing.

To enhance the storytelling experience for both children and the storyteller, NBB Recycled Furniture has created a vibrant and comfortable storytelling chair. Made using 100% recycled plastic, the eco-friendly seat can be left outdoors all year round and comes with a guarantee to remain free from natural defects, including splintering, rot and decay, for a minimum of 25 years.

The use of bright colours in the design makes the chair an attractive addition to any children’s play area, with the high back and arms ensuring an enjoyable and relaxing reading position.

Find out more and take advantage of free UK mainland delivery on all recycled furniture orders at, or call the NBB team on 0800 1777 052.

New AI digital handwriting app from Kaligo helps identify writing difficulties and provides individual intervention in minutes

At Bett 2020, see the new AI digital handwriting app from Kaligo on stand FS25.  Kaligo combines years of neuroscientific research with the latest AI technology and is a new tool that will help teachers highlight handwriting difficulties in a few minutes.  Teachers choose their preferred handwriting scheme and either a pre-set lesson or set their own lesson for their pupils. 

Pupils progress using a self-paced approach, then Kaligo displays a series of real-time arrows and colours on the screen to show the child if they are on track with their writing.  If their strokes are accurate the green colour indicates success, if they are not correct the red arrows show the child how they can get on track.  Kaligo then provides teachers with records of each child’s ability to write and will also monitor their ongoing progress, giving teachers a true picture of a child’s current writing skills.

This new development is set to revolutionise how younger children learn the fundamentals of handwriting.  Through Kaligo teachers can deliver the lesson, provide instant and individual interventions, as well as actively monitor the progress for every child in the class. All without adding to their workload.

Developed over the last 6 years by researchers at the Laboratory IRISA/INSA, Kaligo has collected and analysed 15,000 handwriting strokes.  It this machine learning which provides pupils with real-time, automated and corrective feedback.  Each handwriting stroke is analysed based upon shape, direction and order, and identifies any difficulties children as young as age 3 may have with forming letters, numbers or even if they have an issue with pencil control.

“Kaligo gives us much more than a handwriting app.  Kaligo enables our pupils to progress at their own pace using our chosen handwriting scheme.” Said Claire Jones, Deputy Head at Layton Primary where the tool has been successfully piloted.

Kaligo then stores the data so teachers can easily monitor progress and provides teachers with the deep dive knowledge they need through its constant classroom assessment.

With Kaligo, pupils find handwriting more fun as the colourful and intuitive screens on tablets most pupils are already familiar with, making the task of handwriting more exciting.

Faisal Hamid, Director at Kaligo explains: “The AI technology checks the strokes the child writes around the letter or number on the screen.  By analysing how and where the strokes are placed the technology shows the child how to auto-correct their work.  By the same method, it also highlights whether there are any issues with the formation of a particular letter or number. Teachers who have piloted Kaligo said that it’s what they have been waiting for and it offers teachers a new insight into the neuro processes a child goes through whilst writing.”

The ongoing individual assessment and interventions means that there is no need for daily checking, and there is no impact on teachers’ workloads.  Results and records are analysed and updated automatically, then they are stored in the Kaligo teacher portal, saving many hours of teacher’s admin time.

“The real time feedback allows students to work independently yet self-correct their work and as a result we are seeing impressive results with written work in their textbooks.  It doesn’t just tell teachers the letters or numbers that they can’t write yet, it tells them exactly where the pupil is struggling.  Teachers can immediately put the correct intervention in place to help the child improve, then easily track their progress. It’s quick and straightforward and easy to manage within the daily school routine.”  Abdul Chohan, a teacher of 17 years, EdTech Consultant and former Principal. 

Approved by the DfE Hungry Little Minds campaign, Kaligo has also been recognised by many awards organisations, including the GESS Education Awards and has also been selected as a finalist in the BETT Awards 2020 for Early Years and Educational Apps.  Kaligo is a member of the National Handwriting Association and a member of the latest cohort of the UCL Educate programme.

If you’re a teacher or senior leader, you’re invited to visit stand FS25 at BETT to try out their innovative handwriting technology.  They will also be running some exciting competitions during Bett.  Visit for more information.

Primary academies in Oldham recognised for wellbeing

Coppice and Roundthorn Primary Academies receive Wellbeing Award for Schools

Two popular and well-respected primary schools in Oldham have been awarded with the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) for 2019 to 2022 following their commitment to promoting emotional wellbeing.

The award was presented to Coppice and Roundthorn Primary Academies by Optimus Education after they completed an evidence-based framework that drives a change in long-term culture and puts both pupil and staff mental health at the heart of school life.

By completing this framework, each school focused on reducing the stigma around mental health; improving pupil behaviour and wellbeing; enhancing staff wellbeing and morale; and developing parental wellbeing.

This work has seen a number of long-term initiatives be implemented at the schools including tailored one-to-one sessions with pupils, emotional literacy support assistant sessions, play therapy and detailed staff training courses.

Head of Coppice Academy, Andrew Hulmes led the award and said: “Over the past year we have been working hard to ensure that mental health and wellbeing became instilled in our schools’ culture and curriculums, making our schools a happy place for all our pupils and staff and communities.”

Executive Principal, John Taylor said: “For both schools it is great to see how they can work together to share best practice and help each other thrive, developing our children into the best they can possibly be.”

Both schools operate as part of Focus Trust – a charitable multi-academy trust which is based in the North West of England with a vision of providing an engaging and challenging learning environment where the children are happy.

A new solution for the professional display of site safety information

Displaying site safety information so it is accessible to all staff and visitors is a legal requirement in any commercial premises. Leading manufacturer of safety signage, SafetySigns4Less has developed an innovative solution that allows essential site safety information to be readily available in one visually appealing place, with their new Site Safety Notice Boards.

What’s on the board?

SafetySigns4Less site safety notice boards have been specially designed to provide on the spot site and safety information as well as equipment for first aid emergencies, all in one unique product. Each site safety notice board comes with an integrated health & safety law poster to inform employees of their rights and obligations under health & safety law, personal protective equipment labels for on-site requirements and reminders, fire action procedures, logbooks and policies. This not only saves space but also creates a professional appearance and clear access to your necessary safety information.

The hassle of equipping your board has been removed by the provision of a fire logbook as standard, allowing you to document fire safety responsibilities complying with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Also included is an accident book, which is mandatory if you have 10 or more employees, that is fully compliant with GDPR, RIDDOR and HSE guidelines.

To fulfil workplace first aid requirements, a large BS8599-1:2019 compliant first aid kit that exceeds HSE requirements comes as standard, as well as a dry wipe marker, making it easy to personalise the board with relevant company information such as first aiders and fire assembly points. Simply print your organisations policies and add them to the document holders provided to complete your site safety notice board.

A more durable solution

As with all SafetySigns4Less products, the site safety notice boards were subjected to rigorous R&D testing to ensure a superior finish and longevity, regardless of whether they are statically placed or used in more mobile environments. This testing led to the board being manufactured from lightweight Palboard instead of Correx, making it stronger and more durable than available alternatives.

Innovative folding allows for easy transportation

An innovative inward folding design allows for the boards to be easily moved to another location without the worry of dirt of misplaced items, whilst the perfect fit delivery box can be stored and reused for additional protection whilst in transit.

Make your mark

All site safety boards can be customised with your business name and company logo, giving added appeal and professionality to your display.

To find out more and to order your site safety notice board, visit or call the SafetySigns4Less sales team for free on 0808 1699 147.

All-New Schooling Success Workshops – Everything Students Need to Succeed

Schooling Success is offering new student workshops that address all the major root causes of underperformance. Whilst most other companies focus on study skills, Schooling Success’ workshops also cover such topics as growth mindset, self-esteem, procrastination, establishing habits, self-control, and mental fortitude.

Every student has different barriers to reaching their potential and Schooling Success aims to address the majority of these within their workshops.

Schooling Success helps students become self-motivated by empowering them with the belief that they can succeed and then giving them the tools to do so. The skills learnt in the workshops will not only be invaluable throughout students’ academic lives but helpful in their future careers too.

The workshops are held at schools and further education institutions. They vary in length from forty five minutes to one and a half hours and can be tailored according to requirements. The number of students attending a workshop can also be tailored to suit needs – from small groups to the full year in one sitting.

Visit to learn more.

Contact information:


Telephone: 03337721819