Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School future-proofs its network with a new WiFi 6 solution from Redway Networks.

Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School future-proofs its network with a new WiFi 6 solution from Redway Networks.

Sir Henry Floyd Grammar school improves wireless connectivity and future-proofs the capability of its network with a hyper-reliable, cloud managed wireless solution from Redway Networks. The school’s new ExtremeCloud IQ WiFi 6 will support digital teaching and learning by providing a secure, robust wireless network for over 1,300 pupils.

The school is a mixed secondary and part of the Insignis Academy Trust and being a Google school, all students have their own Chromebooks for learning and with other connecting devices and teachers’ laptops, more than 3,000 devices are connecting to the network. As the number of devices grew and the school deployed more technology and newer hardware, it became apparent that the school’s existing WiFi couldn’t cope.    

John Huskinson, Chief Operations Officer at Insignis Academy Trust says: “Our legacy Ruckus WiFi solution was not ideally located or configured, and we knew it wouldn’t cope well with the school’s increase in devices and digital learning.  Our trust is committed to having the latest technology that is fit for purpose so it was obvious we needed a new high-performance WiFi solution that would seamlessly connect all the school’s devices and could support the whole end-to-end IT experience.”

To support the school’s future network capacity it decided to go for a ‘big bang’ and upgrade its Ruckus system4 with a new robust WiFi 6 solution that would future-proof the school in terms of technology for the next ten years. John says: “We wanted a single system that could provide seamless network capacity and handle our traffic requirements both now and for the future.  We also required a cloud-managed system for complete network visibility.” 

The trust evaluated ExtremeCloud and Meraki and chose Redway Networks as the solution provider.  John says: “Redway Networks came out on top for both products in terms of cost and technical knowledge and really understood our requirements.” 

After selecting ExtremeCloud IQ with 63 access points (APs) Redway Networks had to configure the solution which would normally be done through an Ekahau site survey. However, as the school was closed due to Coronavirus, the survey had to be completed on paper using a theoretical heat mapping configuration which was then verified using Ekahau Sidekick to determine signal strength and AP positioning.  John says: “I was very impressed with the amount of time Redway spent with us on the mapping to make sure all our network requirements, so we got the solution right first time.” 

John says:  We now have high-performance WiFi that will support our technology needs for the next ten years.  We were also able to reuse most of the Ruckus system in our Princes Risborough school which had an even older WiFi infrastructure than Sir Henry Floyd, so in fact, both our schools have benefitted.  In five years’ time every student at the school will be tapping into videos and streaming in high definition and teachers will be using more video for teaching and I’m confident that any amount of traffic we throw at our new network won’t kill the WiFi”.

Windows Collaboration Displays by Avocor Now Certified for Microsoft Teams

The Avocor AVW-6555 is the first WCD to be certified for Microsoft Teams, enabling everyone to increase meeting productivity and achieve more together.

Avocor, the fastest-growing global collaboration display company, today announces the first Windows collaboration display (WCD) certified for Microsoft Teams. Featuring an advanced interactive display, natural inking and innovative IoT sensor technologies, the AVW-6555 Windows collaboration display is the first Teams certified WCD and it is also now certified for Microsoft Azure IoT. Designed to enhance collaboration and accelerate teamwork, the Avocor AVW-6555 also provides meaningful analysis of meeting space utilization through integrated certified Azure IoT sensors. Ideal for focus rooms, the AVW-6555 provides seamless integration with Teams video and audio-conferencing capabilities immediately upon connection to a computer with Teams installed.

Windows collaboration displays by Avocor make it simple for teams to connect beyond the physical walls of an office to easily include remote team members allowing them to seamlessly work together and get more done. Users can immediately drive content from a laptop to the display with the innovative Type-C single-cable solution, allowing access to content, control of the integrated camera and far-field mic array for video and audio, as well as providing hardwired Ethernet connection and charging power to the laptop. This innovative connection finally delivers on the promise that meetings can start in seconds, not minutes.

The Windows collaboration display by Avocor was developed in collaboration with Microsoft and is designed to enable teamwork. It offers smooth touch with a finger, even while wearing gloves, or when using the included fine-tipped stylus and eraser. The inking is precise down to the pixel, and the native 4K resolution optically bonded glass-surfaced display creates lifelike images with exceptional depth and detail, an increasingly important feature as more meetings happen via video calls. Easy access to the full suite of Microsoft 365 productivity tools makes the WCD a room-scale extension of a user’s laptop, empowering people who are in the room, or who are participating online, can easily share and edit content, and engage in creative thinking and problem solving in real-time.

In addition to being an integrated collaboration tool for teamwork, the Windows collaboration display by Avocor is certified for Azure IoT. Featuring an array of built-in IoT sensors that can connect to Avocor Aquarius Workspace Intelligence, an Avocor subscription service based on Azure, facility managers can utilize the environmental data they collect to make real-time adjustments as well as future room and investment planning. Aquarius Workspace Intelligence software provides real-time analysis of meeting spaces by pulling data from Avocor’s innovative W series collaboration displays and existing Microsoft 365 meeting data to deliver insights through easy-to-use dashboards. By combining sensor data with Microsoft 365 meeting information, Avocor Aquarius offers a simple way for management to gain valuable analysis about meeting room utilization. It is also fast and easy to deploy, allows for Over The Air (OTA) upgrades and provides the flexible management needed to make important decisions about office facilities and increase room and UC hardware ROI. Avocor will provide access to its Aquarius WSI software for 90 days standard for its W series displays. However, all AVW-6555’s purchased in 2020 will receive an entire year of Aquarius WSI at no charge.

“Avocor and Microsoft share a goal of providing seamless, sophisticated technology to allow companies and their team members to achieve more, from wherever they are working,” said Scott Hix, CEO, Avocor. “As Microsoft Teams is well-established and continues rapid adoption, we’re seeing a market demand for collaboration technology that can support it. Being certified as a Teams device means that we’re enabling seamless communication from a device standpoint, by developing simple and easy-to-set-up solutions that reduce time spent on troubleshooting. From a collaboration standpoint, Avocor is accelerating teamwork and bringing teams together to get more done in the Microsoft ecosystem they already know and use.”

Albert Kooiman, Director of Microsoft Teams devices Partner Engineering and Certification, Microsoft Corp. said, “We are pleased that Avocor is empowering people and teams by making it easy to come together and collaborate. The Windows collaboration displays from Avocor, now certified  for Microsoft Teams, makes it easy for individuals to connect their PC , and seamlessly share Microsoft 365 and Teams on a room size display, so everyone in the room and online can work together.” 

Tracking pupil eye movements to help aid the transition between primary and secondary schools

Lexplore Analytics has released a secondary school version of their innovative eye-tracking assessment to offer schools an objective insight into students’ literacy as soon as they enter the Year 7 classroom.

Unlike other assessments, Lexplore Analytics uses the latest in AI technology. It tracks the minute movements as a student reads a portion of text to help teachers quickly determine a child’s attainment in reading. The technology is even capable of highlighting students who may be showing signs of specific reading difficulties, such as dyslexia, so that they can be referred on for further assessments.

With no marking involved, the paperless assessment also saves countless hours of administration time, allowing teachers to focus efforts on providing the support pupils need to progress and engage with reading. 

Rhiannon Chantler, assistant head at Werneth School said: “When pupils join a secondary school in Year 7 it’s a real challenge for teachers to work out what levels they are at, particularly in reading and writing. Most schools have multiple feeder schools, and there is no uniform system for progress reporting.  What Lexplore Analytics delivers in a few minutes is an accurate insight into reading, which can also help us determine whether there are any issues. 

“Establishing what level pupils are at early in Year 7 is critical to get them working at the right level, without wasting time.”

The assessment is backed by over 30 years of peer-reviewed research from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. It can offer teachers a unique insight into a student’s silent reading skills. This is invaluable in the secondary classroom, especially when it comes to gathering important evidence for access arrangements, such as extra time needed in exams.

The assessment can also help teachers closely follow student progress as well as monitor and drive whole-school literacy progress over time.

Stephen Park, managing director of Lexplore Analytics, explains: “We know from talking to schools that finding out what level their Year 7 pupils are working at will be harder than in previous years, as children will be entering secondary school without SAT scores or full details about their Year 6 attainment. By launching a secondary school version of Lexplore Analytics, we can help provide an accurate view of students’ level of reading and comprehension in minutes and identify which of these children will need additional support.” 

Teachers and school leaders can find out more at

RNIB Bookshare supports print-disabled students with almost 600,000 books

The Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) educational book service, RNIB Bookshare now has almost 600,000 books on its platform in accessible formats. 

The free service, which supports print-disabled learners, has a vast UK education collection that provides textbooks and materials to support the UK curriculum from early years to adult education. RNIB Bookshare can be accessed by teachers and students and was also made available for parents who home schooled their children during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The service offers a variety of accessible formats so books can be read electronically or adapted to suit personal reading needs. Books for leisure reading are also available.

More than 850 publishers have their publications on RNIB Bookshare’s system. This includes well-known names such as Taylor & Francis, Springer Nature, Harper Collins and Penguin. A number of these publishers have a direct feed meaning they can upload new and existing material directly on to the system, so people are able to access what they need without any delay.

RNIB Director of Services David Clarke said: “We are delighted that RNIB Bookshare continues to grow and now has almost 600,000 books on its platform in a range of accessible formats. This service opens up the world of reading in education for millions of people by giving them access to materials that allow for an entirely independent learning experience.”

Taylor & Francis is a key contributor to RNIB Bookshare with over 100,000 books on the platform.

Commercial Director & VP, Taylor & Francis Books, Mark Majurey said: “Taylor & Francis is very pleased to support RNIB as well as the wider accessible books network. This is a vital programme that enables access to readers requiring extra support in their research and studies.”

The RNIB Bookshare service was established in 2016 to help tackle the worldwide book famine, which sees less than 10 per cent of published works being made into accessible formats, such as braille, large print or audio. To sign up to RNIB Bookshare, or for more information on the service, please visit


Teachers encouraged to look out for signs of poor eye health as pupils return from lockdown

Leading High Street Optician, Vision Express is launching a national campaign to get children’s eyes tested as they return to school this Autumn, as research shows 3.4 million 4 – 16yr olds in the UK are diagnosed each year with a sight problem. Yet the lack of awareness around eye health in parents and teachers means that up to 13% of children still have an undiagnosed common sight problems that could impact their learning.

Unfortunately, with the recent COVID lockdown throughout the UK many children will have missed their regular check and may still not have been. Now that most Opticians are open for routine appointments, Vision Express is calling for all parents and carers to reschedule missed appointments and make that back to school test as high on the to do list as shopping for those shiny new school shoes; encouraging all schools, universities and colleges to remind parents and their pupils to ensure this vital health check isn’t missed, as it could have a detrimental effect on their learning.

Teachers can also look out for signs of poor eye health in pupils as they return to school by watching out for:

  • If children are complaining of headaches
  • If children are blinking a lot or rubbing their eyes
  • If kids choose to constantly sit in a certain spot and it’s not just to be near their friends, this is could be a sign that they want to move so that they can see the board properly
  • If they’re struggling to copy things from a whiteboard or are falling behind in class
  • It you notice their eyes turning, usually inwards
  • Difficulty concentrating with school work

Professional Operations Business Partner at Vision Express, Pena Govind MCOptom commented;

“Poor eyesight or eye health, left undiagnosed can have a detrimental impact on a child or young adult’s personal and academic development.

“We know and understand that the recent pandemic and lockdown has meant that so many of these regular checks have been missed. However, with services back up and running across the UK we are strongly encouraging parents and teachers to ensure it goes back on the list as a priority.

“With so many children missing out on up a term’s teaching in 2020, and screen time inevitably on the rise, no one wants to see their son or daughter’s education further impacted because of a missed simple eye check.”

For any essential or urgent eye health issues, Vision Express is here to help, call us on 0800 038 2177 or book online and our clinical team will help you get the eye care you need.

Regular advice and updated will be shared on our social media channels and on line at

Tackling the lack of activity in lockdown

As more pupils return to school in September, teachers across the country are increasingly concerned about how they will tackle the issues many children are experiencing as a result of spending many weeks away from school due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The impact on learning has been widely reported and a recent YouGov poll revealed that 70% of teachers are concerned that their pupils’ education has been harmed. But there will be other impacts too.

According to Sport England, as many as 44 per cent of the nation’s children did less than half an hour of daily activity during the coronavirus lockdown, and one in ten children getting no physical activity at all.  For this reason, many schools will need to prioritise the physical health of children as well as addressing any attainment gap.

Jumping jack maths

Colmore Junior School in Birmingham is one school that is targeting inactivity by giving children the chance to be physically active in maths lessons. The school uses Teach Active, a website that provides teachers with lesson plans for teaching primary maths and English lessons through a range of physical activities linked to the national curriculum. 

So, rather than learning how to tell the time by looking at pictures of clocks on a page or screen, pupils get out into the playground, become the numbers on the clock themselves and use skipping ropes as hands to learn the different times.

Instead of sitting at desks doing sums children become decimals and fractions and get to dance around the room until the music stops then pair up with their relevant numerical partner – so the child who is ½ seeks out the child who is 0.5.

Emma Marshall, specialist subject lead for PE at Colmore Junior School, believes that children’s concentration and energy levels will not be what they were prior to lockdown. “Schools need to help build this up again at the start of term. By introducing more physical activity, such as scavenger hunts to find solutions to a range of maths problems hidden around the school, we have found that children enjoy the activities far more, whilst still learning.”

Improving mental health

The school has noticed that being more active is helping mental well-being as well as many of the activities require children to work together in teams. “The activities will help them reconnect with friends and adjust to socialising in school once again, following what for some has been an intense period of isolation,” she continues.

Steve Tindall, headteacher at Holy Family Catholic School in Addlestone, Surrey is also a firm believer in active learning to help improve mental wellbeing. “Active learning changes the psychology of learning as children forget that it’s maths or English. They are just learning while they run round having fun with their friends.”

The impact on children’s enjoyment of the subject is palpable too. “Maths used to be our pupils’ ninth favourite subject, but since we introduced active learning in lessons, it had risen up the ranks to take third place after art and PE. We’re delighted about that.”

Luckily education secretary, Gavin Williamson recently recognised the importance of keeping active and its benefits to both physical and mental health, offering a guaranteed £320 million of funding for primary school PE. It looks like active learning is here to stay.

Useful links:

Wellbeing Curriculum launched nationwide after successful pilot

A new Wellbeing Curriculum, which has been successfully trialled in 11 schools in London and the South East, has been launched nationwide to help schools meet Government requirements for mental health, sex and relationships and give children the tools to talk about their wellbeing.

Delivered through the PHSE timetable, the iSpace Wellbeing Curriculum provides a ‘whole school approach’ to supporting children with their mental, emotional, social and physical health.

The curriculum has been devised by iSpace Wellbeing founder Paula Talman, a Director of Compliance, Health and Welfare in education, who has 25 years of experience in child development and mental health. Paula has an Msc in Nursing Science, has taken part in meetings hosted by the Department for Education and is a passionate advocate and speaker on how supporting children with their mental health enables them to ‘live life well’.

The evidence-based curriculum makes learning about mental health fun, with the KS1 and KS2 curriculums introducing engaging characters and space-based missions to help children learn about themselves, their physical and emotional health and important issues like diversity in our community and the environment. The KS3 #iWonder curriculum focuses on life skills such as managing emotions, understanding risk in a digital world, problem solving and decision-making.

Teachers benefit from full curriculum materials including lesson plans, worksheets, stories and supporting slides, learning tools such as character and planet cards that children can use to communicate emotions and full training tutorials for teachers and staff. The approach gives schools everything they need to develop a common language and consistent approach to this crucial area.

With research from Barnardos showing that nine in 10 teachers believe that the Covid-19 outbreak will damage the mental health and wellbeing of pupils¹ and data from the Chartered College of Teaching showing that only five-percent of teachers feel confident to deal with this², it is hoped that this complete wellbeing solution will benefit children, teachers and parents at a crucial time.

The curriculum has been described by its pilot schools as “the gold standard”, while parents have talked of being “empowered” to support their children and pupils have described how it has helped them to “get through problems and talk about the things you need help with”.

Paula Talman, iSpace Wellbeing Founder, said: “There has never been a more important time than now to support young people with their emotional health and wellbeing and the introduction of the new Government requirements shows that this is recognised at every level.

“We have to acknowledge though that mental and emotional wellbeing is not an ‘easy subject’. It requires real time, sensitivity and understanding, from both the adults teaching it and the children learning about it, and teachers must be supported to ensure that they have the framework, the tools and the confidence to deliver what children need.

“Our Wellbeing Curriculum provides all of that by giving children a language, a toolkit and an understanding of who and how to ask for help, while also removing the pressure on teachers to have all the answers or try to find them, during what is a uniquely challenging time.

“We’re proud of our ready-to-go cost-effective solution – which works out at just a few pounds per pupil per year – and of the response we’ve received from the schools, parents and children who have engaged with it during its hugely successful pilot phase. We’re told that the curriculum is helping to change young people’s lives and so we are delighted to be able to now offer the same support to schools and pupils right across the country.”

Christian Heinrich, Member of the Board of trustees for the Cumnor Foundation and previously Headteacher at Cumnor House Sussex, which uses the wellbeing curriculum, said: “This is an area where expertise is critical and so a tried and tested curriculum like iSpace provides reassurance and security based on proven experience.”

Nicola Harmer, headteacher at Brentfield Primary School, the first state school to use the curriculum, said: “Thanks to the Wellbeing Curriculum, the whole school is now using a common language to describe their emotions. Children are able to identify tools that can help them when they feel angry or overwhelmed. Sometimes, when I plan assemblies linked to iSpace topics, I can feel the messages resonating with me – so I know with absolute certainty that it is going to be relevant to them too.”

Paul D Spencer Ellis, Chairman of the Education Committee at Great Ballard and previously a headteacher and School Inspector, said: “Without a programme like iSpace Wellbeing we would require the investment of substantial time and effort by our own teachers in preparing a coherent scheme of work covering all year groups at a time when they are already working to ensure their own subject-specific teaching is ready, and also contributing to the busy life of the school.”

Hamish Elvidge, Founder of The Partnership for Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools added: “iSpace has created an amazing way of engaging young people in this hugely important subject, which will provide them all with such a strong foundation for their lives ahead.”

iSpace Wellbeing has also published a book, ‘Have You Ever Had a Stressor?’, which is available to schools and parents to help them continue wellbeing conversations in the classroom and at home.

To find out more about the iSpace Wellbeing Curriculum or the book, visit

Tackling Asbestos in Schools: Important Information for Duty Holders

It might come as a shock to learn that asbestos still exists in schools today, which are meant to be safe learning environments for children.

It’s important to keep children safe, so here, we’ll take a look at what asbestos actually is and procedures that should be in place for schools and how we can make sure the next generation are in safe learning environments.

The problem

Asbestos was a building material used extensively throughout the UK from the 1950s through to the 80s. However, the harmful health effects weren’t known as they are now. Asbestos itself wasn’t banned until the end of 1999. It’s well established that severe or even fatal diseases can develop when asbestos fibres are released and inhaled, often developing 30 to 40 years after exposure.

Because of the wide use across the country in all manners of buildings and facilities, asbestos was laid in schools — remains in many of these buildings today.

Asbestos Audit, who provides asbestos surveys across the North of England and Scotland, said that they are regularly called out to school buildings with asbestos in various states of repair. The main problems they come across are:

  • Old or poor-quality surveys have often not found the asbestos existing in the buildings.
  • Asbestos maintenance and regular re-inspection aren’t carried out periodically or have been forgotten, increasing the likelihood of health risks.
  • Paperwork has been lost when staff has changed or moved office.
  • There is little knowledge of the regulations and requirements or it is outdated, leaving the school liable to any harm.
  • There has been no management of contractors working on schools which has led to accidental damage to the asbestos.
  • Not knowing who the duty holder of the school is and who is responsible for the asbestos.

Problems like this shouldn’t be occurring in our day and age.

So, what procedures should a school have in place for dealing with asbestos?

Any school buildings built before 2000 fall under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. This act places a legal responsibility on the duty holder to ensure that appropriate asbestos management action is taken, and buildings are safe. Duty holders who fail to follow through with the legal requirement can be faced with legal action.

Asbestos management actions usually include:

  • Carrying out asbestos surveys and re-inspections of asbestos materials identified to assess the risk and actions required.
  • Implementing an asbestos management plan to identify and manage all the required actions and delegate who is responsible for carrying them out.
  • Carrying out removal or reduction work.
  • Review the existing asbestos management plan and make changes when necessary, for example when regulations, site conditions, duty holders, staff, or actions change.
  • Make sure that staff are correctly trained and aware of asbestos on site.
  • Make sure both contractors and visitors are safe when present in the building.
  • Seek specialist advice when it is needed.

With asbestos being a serious concern that must be addressed, responsibility of others’ health can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re not knowledgeable about the area. Many teachers and school staff are tasked with not only teaching but building maintenance that can cause a lot of stress. If you’re involved in carrying out asbestos duties, seek specialist advice to take the pressure off and to make sure you’re doing everything within your legal duty, so you are confident that you’re making the right decisions.

ClickView releases topical fake news series for secondary students

Supporting young people to improve their digital literacy skills 

Fake news – a danger to health, social cohesion and democracy or just a quick and entertaining way to learn about what’s happening in the world?

Leading the way in world-class video learning, ClickView has announced the launch of a new six-part series, The Digital Literacy: Fake News.

Helping students to spot fake news and understand its risks by analysing examples of hoaxes, scams, propaganda, satire and clickbait, Edwina Baden-Powell, Head of Production at ClickView explains the rationale behind the creation of this important original series – 

“While the ClickView Production Department has been producing educational videos for over 30 years in many curriculum-aligned subject areas, skills-based content is becoming more important for a generation of children faced with constant disruption.”

More than ever, young internet users need to be equipped with knowledge and skills to navigate digital platforms, especially social media communities, in an informed, safe and responsible manner. With children spending on average two hours online per day according to Ofcom*, digital literacy is an essential requirement for all young people.

Recent Ofcom reports have stressed the importance and significance of the new series, with 60% of 12 to 15 year olds interested in news, 89% expressing high levels of concern about going online and nearly two thirds of (28%) expressing concern of fake news when using the internet.  

Alarmingly, although social media was revealed to be the least trustworthy source of news (39%) in a study on ‘Children and parents: Media use and attitudes’, this doesn’t seem to affect its importance to children. Almost three-quarters say online is an important source of news to them – ahead of radio (65%), even though radio is considered to be twice as trustworthy (77%).

With increased exposure and interest teamed with the fact that students from Year 7 -Year 10 are among the most prolific internet users, as well as being some of the most vulnerable and impressionable; ClickView is consciously leading the way to ensure students have access to vitally relevant resources in a world of 24/7 news.

Michael Wilkinson, Managing Director of ClickView UK said –

“Pre lockdown, we know from Ofcom that students were spending close to 2 hours watching TV and just over 2 more hours online each day. This has no doubt dramatically increased, much of which the education community has had to tap into to support learning and teaching. However, as we do this, it becomes ever more imperative that we holistically consider the welfare of students online. This new series is just one of many responses we at ClickView’s can support educators with, delivered through the video medium which we know students are seeking out given the choice.” 

Teaching students the importance of understanding the psychology of fake news and how it manipulates emotions, the Fake News series has far-reaching benefits for all ages. “We are all so vulnerable during a period like this,” explains Baden-Powell. “Fake News is really a series for everyone.” 

With the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19, Brexit and the impending US elections, there is a lot to process. Fake news content generated and shared during the global pandemic has further stirred up these feelings of instability. For instance, fake news health scams, such as eating bananas, gargling vinegar, or drinking disinfectant to prevent COVID-19 have the potential to cause real harm. This is why, providing the right skills to critical consumers of news and information is so important.

Empowering students to confidently navigate the digital landscape is vital. In a world where we are constantly consuming information online, having the ability to decipher and differentiate trusted sources from fake news will not only help individuals, but also help stop the spread of false claims.

2020 has been a year of change, from the lockdown period triggered by Covid-19 to the Black Lives Matter movement and ongoing impact of Brexit. It has highlighted even more of the need to cover news outside of the school gates and how this impacts students and the world around them. This series aims to do just that, developing students’ digital literacy skills beyond the classroom, including:

  • Learning how to identify and analyse different types of fake news.
  • Understanding how persuasive and emotive language devices are used to spread false claims.
  • How to evaluate the validity of various news sources such as apps and websites to make sure they don’t fall for fake news, or spread it. 

ClickView’s new digital literacy series is due for general release on 24th August 2020.

The new series follows the recent free to use platform launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The site provided subscription free access to teachers, students and parents, ensuring they could homeschool with confidence. The six part series is now available to access via the free site.

Putting world-class teaching and learning resources at the fingertips of educators and students, to find out more about the curriculum-aligned video content and resources, visit



A new digital learning platform featuring a family of cartoon characters has been launched to improve child road safety in a post Covid-19 world.

The free-to-access service has been produced by Birmingham-based DriveSafe & StaySafe, creators of The Conies, successors to the likes of Tufty the Squirrel and the Green Cross Code Man as the new children’s champions of road safety.

The traffic cone-shaped Conies and their comic adventures have already inspired more than 30,000 children attending primary schools across the West Midlands to increase their safety knowledge using ‘The Conies: Walking to School Safely Journal’ with their teachers in the classroom.

The new digital learning platform, which has been funded by the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund, contains Conies-themed interactive resources and learning activities on road safety that can be downloaded in PDF format, as well as videos of The Conies’ adventures.

Fay Goodman, Founder and Creator of The Conies and Managing Director of DriveSafe & StaySafe, said: “As they prepare to return to school following the lengthy Covid-19 lockdown, our new resource platform will offer children support on how to keep safe when out and about. With the likelihood of pre-pandemic traffic levels coupled with continued measures for social distancing, some children may feel apprehensive about the sudden changes to their world.

“Our Conies characters are on a mission to help children understand the need for social distancing, not only to keep themselves safe but also those adults around them.  The platform will continue to be populated with ongoing support information pertinent to the circumstances in which children find themselves.”

Fay added: “We are thrilled that the new digital platform has been made possible by the support of the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund.”

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, commented: “The health and environmental benefits of children walking to school rather than being dropped off are clear, and at Transport for West Midlands we are doing all we can to encourage this. This new service launched by DriveSafe & StaySafe is a great initiative, and something that will undoubtedly help support TfWM’s work and encourage more children to walk to school.”

Fay Goodman added: “Our digital platform will provide an opportunity to help children adapt to the safety guidelines regarding Covid-19. Children are very tactile, so it is important to guide them through this unusually difficult time compassionately.  The Conies are fun but very safety conscious – as their Walking to School Safely Journal and our new online resource activity demonstrate.

“We now have a different challenge to be aware of children’s psychological needs.  Children respond well to fun and humour, so what better way to teach and guide them than using the cute Conies characters – mischief included!”

The free digital learning platform is available at The Conies are also at and at