Premier League Primary Stars launch new PE Planning Toolkit for teachers

The Premier League is launching the first phase of new PE planning and delivery resources through its flagship education programme, Premier League Primary Stars. The Premier League Primary Stars PE Planning Toolkit is a complete package of teaching and learning materials, designed to increase primary school teachers’ confidence in planning PE lessons and helping them to deliver a more inclusive, engaging and high-quality experience for their pupils. 

The Planning Toolkit uses a step-by-step approach to guide teachers through the process of creating a scheme of work that meets the individual needs of their pupils when it comes to physical education. Supported by real-life examples and explanatory training films, teachers can use the toolkit to embed the three domains of learning – thinking, social and emotional, and physical – into their lessons. It will also encourage them to incorporate differentiation, inclusion, modelling, questioning and assessment for learning into their PE sessions. 

Sonia Bell, Teacher at St Gabriel’s Primary School, who have a member of staff from Chelsea FC Foundation deliver in-class Premier League Primary Stars sessions, said “The new Premier League Primary Stars PE Planning Toolkit complements many other schemes of work that schools use. The resources, such as the video and wall charts, are up to date and current and can improve the quality of delivery.”

Alongside the teacher training materials, Premier League Primary Stars has developed an uplifting educational film for pupils, which encourages them to get excited about participating in PE, wherever they are in their learning journey. Structured around the Premier League’s four core values – Be ambitious, Be inspiring, Be connected, Be fair – the film features football players demonstrating values-based behaviours and highlights the importance of working hard, supporting teammates and showing kindness, on and off the pitch. 

Speaking about the inclusion of the Premier League Values in the video and toolkit, Sam Mardle, School Education Manager at Chelsea FC Foundation said “The thing I like most about the Premier League Values is how closely aligned they are to most school values, making it a seamless incorporation into session delivery.”

Primary school teachers can request a free copy of the Premier League Values Wallchart for their classroom, which supports Ofsted’s Character Education requirement and encourages pupils to celebrate their positive behaviour.  

All Premier League Primary Stars resources are mapped against the National Curriculum and are suitable for use in primary schools across England and Wales. Resources are free to download and can either be used off-the-shelf or tailored to suit teachers’ needs. 

About Premier League Primary Stars

Premier League Primary Stars is a national primary school programme that uses the appeal of the Premier League and professional football clubs to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills. Clubs provide in-school support to teachers, delivering educational sessions to schools in their communities. Free teaching materials ensure the rounded programme, which covers everything from PE and maths to resilience and teamwork, is available to every primary school in England and Wales. 

The Premier League currently funds 105 Premier League, English Football League and National League clubs in England and Wales to provide in-school support for teachers. 

For more information or to register, visit:www.plprimarystars.com 

 

Nottingham Pupils Take Centre Stage at National ‘RSE Day’ Livestream Event

Pupils from a Nottingham special school took centre stage today, in a nationwide assembly which was broadcast live to hundreds of UK primary schools.

 

Children from Rosehill School in Nottingham had a starring role in RSE Day, a national event which celebrates good Relationships and Health Education. Organised by Nottingham City Council and Discovery Education,  a worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place, the day-long livestream on 24th June was beamed to schools across the country and featured a host of special events and workshops.

 

Rosehill pupils took part in ‘The Big RSE Day Assembly’, where they spoke about the importance of good friendship. The children were excited to reveal their ‘friendship tree’, with leaves displaying their ideas about ‘what makes a good friend.’ The special tree was recreated online during RSE Day and schools around the UK were encouraged to get involved by adding friendship words of their own.

 

The children at Rosehill School have been learning about friendship this term using Discovery Education Health and Relationships, a digital programme which helps primary schools deliver the new RSE curriculum. The popular programme also teaches children about healthy bodies, different types of families and mental wellbeing.

 

Cheryl Steele, Headteacher at Rosehill School said,

“The children really enjoyed presenting the assembly for RSE Day. Good Relationships and Health Education helps young people to make responsible and well-informed decisions in their lives and for children with special needs this is especially important. We’ve recently started using Discovery Education Health and Relationships and it is enabling us to bring these difficult topics to life at Rosehill. It’s helping us to prepare our pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.”

Councillor Eunice Campbell-Clark, Portfolio Holder for Schools at Nottingham City Council, said:

 

“RSE Day is now an annual event celebrated by schools right across the country and I’m so proud that it started three years ago here in Nottingham. We know from our on-going work with headteachers how important this is for children and young people in terms of highlighting the need for safe and healthy relationships. The lessons in schools are all age-appropriate and pupils are taught by experienced staff who understand how to deliver these messages.  I’m delighted that we teamed up this year with Discovery Education Health and Relationships, which has kindly sponsored RSE Day 2021. It’s also fantastic that children from Nottingham’s Rosehill School took part in the national assembly.”

 

Discovery Education is providing schools with no-cost access to Health and Relationships until 31st October 2021. Primary schools are encouraged to register here: www.discoveryeducation.co.uk/rse

Top texts to engage reluctant readers revealed in new teacher insight report

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Wonder and Captain Underpants are the top three books suggested by teachers to engage pupils who are reluctant to read, according to a new insight report published by Laburnum House Educational.

 

Laburnum House, which has supplied heavily discounted books to schools for over 25 years and offers a wide range of titles for primary and secondary, fiction and non-fiction, reached out to its community of Headteachers, subject leaders, literacy co-ordinators, teachers and librarians to learn more about their approaches to the teaching of reading.

 

The follow-on report, Reading for pleasure & reading initiatives, summaries responses from 147 school-based professionals who completed the survey up to and including the end of the spring term in April 2021. It explores issues such as the time given in school to reading for pleasure (and the barriers), the use of schemes such as whole class reading, Accelerated Reader and Tutor Time Reading, as well as books to grab the attention of reluctant readers.

 

Whilst most schools (28%) allocate 15-20 minutes to reading for pleasure in school every day, only 12% give more than 25 minutes. Over half of respondents (53%) say they do not encourage reading for pleasure in the school day as there is not enough time. This suggests that more could be done during class time to generate a love of reading, the report says.

 

The overwhelming majority of respondents (90%) already use Accelerated Reader in their school as a supporting reading initiative. Over two thirds of schools (69%) also undertake whole class reading, or whole class guided reading, but less than half run Tutor Time Reading. Other popular reading initiatives include book clubs, reading buddies and paired reading.

 

The report also includes a link to a list of the Top 40 bestselling titles of 2021 so far, as purchased by schools for their libraries.

 

Laburnum House Educational are specialists in supporting schools running Accelerated Reader. Everything is half price, all Accelerated Reader books are pre-labelled with the quiz details free of charge, and there is free delivery on all orders over £50. School can also build out a full set of resource materials with the provision of dictionaries, thesauruses and atlases.

 

To download the full report go to:

https://images.scholastic.co.uk/assets/a/40/57/laburnum-house-educational-reading-report-summer-2021-2017602.pdf

 

Persona Life Skills online platform solves three problems facing social-emotional learning

More than ever before young people need to develop social-emotional life skills that boost wellbeing, but schools and colleges face three big problems: Other curriculum priorities, lack of specialist teachers, and PSHE teacher workload. The Persona Life Skills online learning platform is one solution to all three problems.

 

By Dr Leila Khouja Walker, Chief Product Officer, Persona Education

The last 18 months has shone a spotlight on the need for secondary schools and colleges to up their game when it comes to supporting student wellbeing. There has never been a more critical time to deliver excellent social-emotional learning (SEL). 

 

Traditionally siloed in PSHE lessons or tutor time, social-emotional teaching is often delivered by time-poor, non-expert teachers with more pressing priorities (for example subject area examinations), and squeezed into an already overcrowded timetable. 

 

“No one told me how to teach PSHE. I was just the [tutor] to that group of students. That seemed wrong: a subject fundamental in the development of pupils’ social and emotional skills is randomly allocated a weekly spot in the timetable and a teacher.”
– Secret Teacher (The Guardian, 2018)

 

This simply makes no sense when you look at research on the potential impact of prioritising social and emotional learning.

 

“Good wellbeing on leaving school has a much greater impact on life outcomes than exam success.”
– YoungMinds, 2020

 

So we have a huge global education need. We need to provide young people with social and emotional life skills that increase their chances of life-long wellbeing, in learning, social and work contexts. At the same time, schools and colleges are faced with three problems preventing, or at best slowing down, the improvements required to make this a practical reality: 

 

  1. Curriculum planning prioritises exam subjects over SEL
  2. Most teachers have no training in teaching PSHE or social-emotional skills
  3. PSHE teacher workload needs to be reduced, not increased

 

In the words of one multi-academy trust CEO:

 

“An e-learning approach to life skills would be a lot easier than finding or training teachers with the ability to teach it.”
– Multi-academy trust CEO, UK

 

With interactive web technologies, personalised multi-user experiences and secure digital certification to record progress all now a reality – online learning has the potential to become the key to realising our global wellbeing mission, whilst eradicating all three school delivery issues. 

 

Optimising restricted curriculum time

 

Persona Life Skills is an online social-emotional learning platform leading the field in this area. At its heart lies a personality insights framework that is core to a student’s personalised learning experience. 

Rooted in empirical behavioural science research, the Persona pedagogy takes students on a journey in efficient lesson-sized modules, beginning with learning about their own unique mix of personality styles. Knowledge of self is a very powerful tool. 

 

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
– Aristotle

 

Starting from a personality insights perspective when developing life skills – such as open-mindedness, resilience and being realistic – informs, improves and accelerates the learning process. Life skills stem both from improved knowledge of self, as well as better understanding of others, so students become equipped to adapt to the different challenges life throws at them.

Persona Life Skills further reduces curriculum time by creating flipped learning episodes. Flipped learning is now commonplace in schools which see the value of optimising teacher-student time. The flipped classroom provides students with readiness exercises to be completed independently, prior to class time, eliminating wasted teacher time in lessons.

 

A student can take a Persona Life Skills learning module (or ‘Island’ in Persona parlance) following a brief teacher set-up, recording their answers and observations in the app. 

They then return to the classroom to discuss key points of interest with their teacher and classmates, and try out newly acquired skills. 

 

Making the most of non-specialist teachers

 

Persona Life Skills has been built with the knowledge that relatively few teachers are trained specialists in social-emotional learning. Some PSHE voices have even commented that schools must have knowledge of PSHE pedagogy so as not to cause unintended harm (SecEd, 2018). 

 

A curriculum (‘Archipelago’) of Island modules and shorter micro-learning modules are available in the app, and any teacher can facilitate the learning. Built-in contextual teacher guidance makes it quick and easy for a non-specialist teacher to set students on the right path to learning.

 

Each Island takes students on a trip through an age-appropriate life challenge, such as dealing with the unexpected, managing homework, getting along with teachers, use of social media, and self-love. 

 

The Island modules have been carefully designed with input from PSHE experts, school inspectors and students, so that learners feel able to explore a range of topics whilst remaining safe. A code of conduct and safeguarding policy are important reference points both for teachers and for students. 

Using engaging, interactive activities, students are taken through a range of scenarios with the aim of developing – through a personality insights lens – 22 life skills, across six skillsets: 

 

  1. Being realistic
  2. Communication
  3. Open-mindedness
  4. Problem solving
  5. Resilience
  6. Self-control

 

These map to Ofsted, Independent Schools Inspectorate, Cobis, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge iGCSE, VIA Character, GL Assessment, Skills Builder and other frameworks.

 

Reducing PSHE teacher workload

 

Looking at the final, ever-present problem of workload, Persona Life Skills online learning provides some relief to over-stretched PSHE teachers. 

 

The need to prepare for lessons is minimised. This is partly thanks to the self-directed nature of the e-learning modules, which students are able to work on independently, or cooperatively with one-another. 

And there is no marking or manual progress checking – students receive instant feedback on interactive activities as they go along, and the app records their activity and progress, which are presented in a dashboard at individual, class, year group and school level.

So, instead of spending time preparing and marking, teachers can maximise their time and teaching impact by focusing on facilitating and discussing student reflections once modules are completed. 

 

To equip teachers with the confidence to facilitate Persona Life Skills for a flipped classroom, there’s a 30 min online Teacher Onboarding Island. 

That’s all! After completing the Teacher Onboarding Island, any teacher is ready to choose and unlock Islands for their group or individual students to work on, in class or independently.  

 

And for those teachers who wish to play a more active role, the in-app teacher guidance within every module allows them the flexibility to facilitate as much or as little as they like.

 

 

Persona Education is offering a six week free trial of its Persona Life Skills e-learning platform for secondary schools and colleges interested in developing their students’ social-emotional life skills, to boost wellbeing. www.persona-life.com

 

About the author: Dr Leila Walker has been working in the education sector for 25 years. An ex-teacher and pastoral deputy head, she is now a respected edtech and pedagogy thought leader, leading development of the personality insights life skills e-learning app Persona Life Skills, at the Bristol based edtech company Persona Education Ltd. www.persona-life.com

 

 

WWF teams up with TrilbyTV to bring ‘WWF Facts’ to schools digital signage

Monday 21st July 2021 –  Digital signage software company TrilbyTV has announced an exciting new partnership with the Worldwide Fund for Nature! The new partnership will bring facts from the globally recognised organisation to school digital signage nationwide. Schools can now access ‘WWF Facts’ via TrilbyTV, which shows one of over 40 stunning images each week and alternates daily between five different wildlife and ecology facts. 

 

WWF-UK Primary Education Officer, Amy Ball had this to say on the partnership,

 

“We are delighted to be able to work with TrilbyTV and their wonderful school focused digital signage product. At WWF-UK we believe that a connection to nature is crucial for our younger generations, as experiencing the nature around them can improve wellbeing and empower young people to take action to protect our amazing planet.

 

WWF Facts is full of fantastic wildlife information from across the globe to inspire curiosity in the natural world. It’s packed with up to date scientific information on environmental issues such as climate change, plastic pollution, biodiversity loss and deforestation, as well as simple tips on how we can all make planet-friendly choices. This partnership with TrilbyTV will bring these important topics directly into schools across the UK, increasing pupil’s environmental awareness and encouraging young people to fight for our planet at the time when it needs it most!”

 

TrilbyTV Director Neil Emery added,

 

“How can you partner with WWF and not be excited? They are one of the most recognised organisations in the world. How fantastic that our education customers will be able to share and showcase this beautiful content in their schools. Content focused on important subjects such as Polar Regions, Oceans and Climate Change. From someone who has visited the Amazon Rainforest a number of times, I absolutely know the importance of educating the next generation to look after this planet we live on.”

 

‘WWF Facts’ can be added to digital signage screens via TrilbyTV’s Content Catalogue which works as if you had added the content yourself. You can add or remove slides, edit times and dates, and add your information to the mix.

 

It’s great to expand students’ understanding of conservation and for using as starter topics in biology and other eco studies. You can use the facts to inspire pupils to think about the World around them. ‘WWF Facts’ work well on screens around school, but if you have a digital display in your Biology department, it would be an excellent content item to share there.

 

ABOUT TrilbyTV

 

TrilbyTV, created in 2015, is the number one digital signage platform made for education. Founders Ben Stanley & Neil Emery were technology trainers, who were fed up of walking into reception areas and seeing TV screens switched off. After investigating further and plugging in a cable or two, they’d usually find the Christmas play pictures from five years ago. When looking into why the screens were switched off initially, there seemed to be a pattern; the software was too hard to use and had to be constantly micromanaged by the IT department. This is why they created TrilbyTV, the easy to use digital signage software that gives users ownership and control of their own content. 

The platform offers a full range of content options for digital signage including video, slideshows, Twitter feeds and web content. It also contains a content catalogue, full of education-focused ready to use content from well known and trusted organisations.

Find out more about TrilbyTV here

Education technology provider launches first facial recognition software to UK secondary schools

 

CRB Cunninghams, provider of cashless catering, online payment, and identity management solutions to education establishments in the UK, is the first education technology company to launch Facial Recognition software for UK secondary schools. The first of its kind software offers pupils the ability to collect and pay for school lunches without the need for physical contact, providing a fully contactless meal collection method.

 

Contactless recognition method

Joining Fusion, CRB Cunninghams’ existing range of identity recognition options, including biometric smart card and PIN, Facial Recognition is developed to offer secondary schools a truly contactless identification method. The new software reduces the need for students to carry any form of identification, such as a card or PIN.

 

With Facial Recognition, pupils select their meal, look at the camera and go, eliminating any contact at the point of sale. Intuitive technology enables the POS operators to quickly identify the pupil’s cashless account whilst payments are instantly adjusted in the same way as all other identification methods in CRB Cunninghams Fusion software.

Developing Facial Recognition

CRB Cunninghams has used biometric data since 2008 to identify pupils on the cashless system to pay for school meals and began exploring the development of Facial Recognition as a new identification method in late 2019.

 

When we developed Facial Recognition, we focused on creating a straightforward contactless solution for all pupils and providing a long-term safe and secure transaction method post-COVID-19.” Said Carl Lewis, Release Manager at CRB Cunninghams. “There has been a huge shift in the way schools operate over the past year, especially regarding the way pupils order and pay for their lunches. We built Facial Recognition to help schools adapt to these changes and offer a unique and effective enhancement to their lunch service.”

 

Due to the pandemic and the increasing demand for contactless meal collection options for schools, CRB Cunninghams developed Facial Recognition to retain the security of fingerprints whilst eliminating the requirement to touch a scanner. As an increasing number of UK schools focus on removing cash from the dining hall, CRB Cunninghams developed Facial Recognition in response to the changing landscape of school lunchtimes and to provide schools across the UK with a solution that focuses on safeguarding staff and pupils.

“When schools reopened after lockdown, we noticed an increasing number of our customers required a fully contactless lunch ordering method that guaranteed staff and pupil safety as they adapted to a new style of lunch service,” said David Swanston, Managing Director of CRB Cunninghams. “After the overwhelming success of Fusion Online, our pre-order app, we developed Facial Recognition to offer secondary schools a fully contactless lunch collection method. Facial Recognition seamlessly integrates with our existing cashless ordering solutions, helping schools increase their speed of service and simplify the payment and collection process.”

 

Kingsmeadow School, based in Dunston, was the first UK school to implement CRB Cunningham’s Facial Recognition solution and described the software as “fast, better than fingerprints.”

 

For more information on CRB Cunninghams’ Facial Recognition software for secondary schools, visit: https://bit.ly/3wuMI2z.

 

To learn more about CRB Cunninghams, visit the CRB Cunninghams website.

Rising to the reading challenge

After a year of disruption to the education of children (despite the best efforts of teachers), the demands of supporting all children, who may have had very different experiences of learning, remains paramount.  However, the disparity between the informal learning around communication and access to literature children have received, makes this even more challenging.

 

To make things more complicated, National Literacy Trust (NLT) research found children from disadvantaged backgrounds were less likely to be read to – but that just over a third of all children read more in lockdown. All classrooms have a mix of children who are ahead of expectations as well as those who are working towards these and both groups need assessment and support.

 

Establishing a baseline is crucial. A simple assessment is best – one that saves time and is easy to administer. Lexplore Analytics [add link] (used in many schools) does just this and ensures that continued progress can be monitored. Once you know where children are at, they can be supported and challenged as appropriate.

 

Fundamentally, educators must find the ‘spark’ that ignites a love of reading, so that children develop this life-enhancing skill and also their overall learning. A few simple principles will help to create an environment in which children can learn, improve and succeed.

 

Multisensory Learning

 

If learning can be approached by bombarding all of the senses and involving pupils themselves in their learning, this will ensure they enjoy what they do, and the learning is far more likely to be retained. Many educators already have wonderful ways of doing this. A few top tips include using a 

multisensory approach, encouraging children to ‘see it, hear it, feel it, say it’ as they work with phonemes and words.

 

Read to Succeed!

 

Nurturing a love of reading is the key. The material being read is not really the issue; more that children are reading something. This can be anything, from the latest Donaldson or Dahl, to ‘Lego’ instructions, recipes, magazines, comics, online articles and even subtitles on television programmes! Recent research showed turning on the subtitles could double a child’s chances of becoming good at reading.

 

Paired reading with an adult or peer is probably the most effective way of understanding text, particularly for children who think faster than they currently read. It is important to ensure that children choose their own material.

 

Reading is also about listening. The NLT suggests that audiobooks can be helpful with all readers as listening while following the text means they can access more complex material.

 

We hope these ideas, alongside many others educators already have in their toolkit, will help spark the love of reading, giving children access to a vital skill and a lifetime of enjoyment. As one child told the National Literacy Trust: “There’s not really much to do… so I read, and when I do, it makes me feel like I’m in a different place, not stuck inside.”

 

Rachel Gelder and Pamela Hanigan from LDIGS are the authors of the Lexplore Analytics free Recovery Curriculum Guide to Reading. Download the guide at http://bit.ly/LexploreRecoveryReadingGuide

 

EVERFI & TEACHER TAPP RESEARCH FINDS 97% OF TEACHERS STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF FINANCIAL EDUCATION

As part of their newly launched Understanding Money Month this June, EVERFI a leading education company who are committed to closing the education gaps that lead to long-term inequality, in partnership with popular app Teacher Tapp, has discovered that an resounding 97% of teachers feel that it’s important to teach students about finance.

To succeed in the modern world requires key skills like managing finances and teachers recognise the importance of the subject (97%). The research also highlights that 83% of teachers feel that it is their role to upskill their class as they transition into adulthood, in order to help bridge a gap that sees one in five adults having less than £100 in savings or investments – a historically low level in the UK. succeeding 

However, of those that understand the need to educate students on financial matters, only 54% say they have enough time to plan and deliver these lessons, meaning students could be missing out on developing key skills and understanding in their formative years. The EVERFI and Teacher Tapp research also reveals that 37% of teachers say that financial education isn’t a current focus at their school. 

EVERFI created Understanding Money Month to directly support teachers in delivering financial literacy to their classes to ensure students learn critical skills that will help them in years to come. EVERFI have created free downloadable planners to  help teachers to plan and use their free, interactive and time efficient courses to help students make informed and smart decisions in the future. 

The interactive programmes, classroom activities, weekly planners and challenges make it easy for  teachers to deliver financial literacy education to their students that have been created in partnership with Young Enterprise. Available on EVERFI’s own platform the ready to go resources are split into three age-specific courses; Vault, Thrive and Aspire. 

Each course helps primary and secondary school students make smarter decisions;

  • Vault builds a financial foundation for nine to 9-11 year olds, teaching them how to borrow money responsibly, the basics of budgeting and the difference between stocks and shares.
  • Thrive helps students 11-16 years old plan for their financial goals by teaching key financial skills through relatable connections to everyday life and socio-emotional learning skills e.g. self-awareness, prioritising, self-control. 
  • Aspire helps students aged 14-18 year olds prepare for their financial future by teaching about the economy holistically through different perspectives: as a consumer, an employee and an entrepreneur or employer, and understand its relevance to their lives.

Speaking about the ease of using Vault, Melanee Rose, Head of Maths at King’s House School Richmond said: “Managing money and learning how to save are vital skills to learn at a young age. The built-in lessons in Vault made the course very accessible to me as a teacher and I’m excited to teach pupils about the value of money.” 

All EVERFI courses help create a more equal society by providing pupils with critical skills that prepare them for a brighter, happier, safer and more resilient future. EVERFI are offering Waterstones Vouchers for schools that sign up to Understanding Money Month by the end of June. 

Laura McInerney, Co-Founder & CEO, Education Intelligence, who worked with EVERFI on the findings said “As a former PSHE teacher I was unsurprised to see so many people saying that financial education was important. Most adults wish they’d learned more about it at school and knowing more about finance is a way of boosting pupil’s real-world confidence”

Martin Finn, EVP Global Operations at EVERFI spoke about the idea behind the launch of the campaign: “Understanding Money Month came to life to help make it easy for teachers to embrace financial education. We know that they see it as important, but often find it hard to access and deliver. At EVERFI, we are here to support teachers with high quality courses and planning tools. With our Vault, Thrive & Aspire courses, we use real-life scenarios and interactive games to show learners how to make smart financial decisions, ensuring all students have the critical financial skills they need for the future.”

Head to the EVERFI Teachers website today to explore Understanding Money Month further and the EVERFI courses available.

Teachers fear pupils without internet at home are becoming socially excluded and falling far behind

 

Many of the half a million pupils across the UK who don’t have internet at home are becoming socially excluded from their classmates and are falling far behind in their school work, teachers have warned. 

An online YouGov survey of primary and secondary school teachers across the UK, commissioned by EdTech firm Kajeet, found that almost a third of teachers surveyed (31%) think that lack of internet access over the last year has led their pupils to be socially isolated as children lead more of their lives online. 

Some 64% of teachers surveyed told the pollsters that pupils without internet access at home have not progressed nearly as well in their learning , while 31% say that this has led to social exclusion. More than a quarter (28%) say that no internet access has been detrimental to pupils’ mental health and made them lack confidence (27%).  

At least 550,000 children across the UK have no internet access at home, while more than 910,000 can only get onto the internet through a parent’s phone, according to the latest figures from the communications regulator Ofcom*. 

It is now a legal requirement for schools to provide ‘remote education’ during the pandemic – April’s 2021 Ofsted updated inspection handbook states that a remote learning provision is now required by all schools. However, many schools now set homework that needs to be completed or researched online and pupils without wifi, a monthly broadband connection or a device are increasingly left behind. 

More than a quarter of teachers surveyed – 27% – are particularly concerned about the issue of pupils without internet access at home for the coming year, the survey found.  

Shabaz Sayed,  Assistant Headteacher at St Mary Magdalene Academy in London, said: 

“As a school it is so important for us to ensure all our students have access to the same resources and to the same level of support and making sure everyone of our students can access great education.  We would not be fulfilling our role as educators if students were left behind.” 

St Mary Magdalene, alongside a growing number of other schools in the UK, has used the Kajeet SmartSpot, a device which allows pupils to access the internet from their homes for as long as they need without an existing internet connection. 

The wireless device, created by EdTech firm Kajeet, comes with safety features that block harmful content and has been successfully trialled in primary and secondary schools across the UK. 

Ben Mansell, Kajeet’s UK spokesperson, said: “The internet is something that many pupils, just like the rest of us, take for granted. Pupils now expect to just go online to do their homework and connect with their friends. 

“But for hundreds of thousands of pupils across the UK, this is not the case. As this survey of teachers shows, pupils without internet access at home are not just being left behind in terms of their schoolwork, teachers fear they are now being socially excluded too as pupils increasingly live their lives online.  

“We need to urgently reduce the digital divide between those pupils who have internet access at home and those who do not so that all pupils are able to do their homework and access virtual lessons, regardless of their socio-economic background.” 

The survey also found a staggering 64% of teachers who have children without internet access at home are printing out homework for them.  

Aldi and Team GB launch their new Design a Lorry Competition

To celebrate the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics, Aldi and Team GB are challenging young people aged 5–14 to get creative and design an Aldi lorry that celebrates fresh, healthy food. By taking part in the competition, students have the chance to see their designs come to life – with the two winning designs each used on their own Aldi lorry, ready to deliver produce to Aldi stores around the country! The winning student will also receive a Team GB goody bag and £50 of Aldi vouchers to spend on fresh produce or kitchen equipment, and their school will win £1,000 of Aldi vouchers for kitchen equipment or ingredients.

The competition, which is part of Aldi and Team GB’s award-winning school initiative, Get Set to Eat Fresh, encourages students to explore different ways to celebrate healthy, fresh food, and learn the skill to create a great design for an Aldi lorry.

The competition is supported by new Get Set to Eat Fresh resources that offer curriculum links to Art, Design & Technology, PSHE and sustainability. The teacher resources available for Design a Lorry include a series of adaptable activities to use with different age groups, including  compliment circle discussion game, which gets kids to discuss and get excited about their favourite healthy foods, and healthy food quizzes, which test pupils on key issues such as portion size and daily water intake. These resources help get students excited about the Design a Lorry competition and explore how their design could be seen by (and should aim to inspire) a diverse range of people from all over the country – from school children and athletes to Aldi farmers and suppliers – as the lorry makes its way around some of Aldi’s over 950 stores that reach every corner of the UK.

The winning design will be selected by a judging panel, including Aldi’s Team GB Athlete Ambassadors such as triathlete champions the Brownlee Brothers, Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock and sport climbing star Shauna Coxsey. The judges will be on the lookout for an inventive, exciting and eye-catching design that celebrates good food and will inspire others. Aldi and Team GB are encouraging students to get creative to win prizes for themselves, their schools and see their design skills on their own Aldi lorry.

Shauna Coxsey MBE, Team GB Sport Climbing Athlete, said:“It’s great to be a part of the Design a Lorry competition and to see how much passion young people have for healthy eating! Getting your own design on the side of an Aldi lorry is such an exciting prize and I can’t wait to what creative designs young people come up with.”[1] 

Mary Dunn, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi, said:[2]  “At Aldi, we are really passionate about supporting a healthy eating agenda with young people, and helping to support teachers in building their essential life skills. The Design a Lorry competition is the latest in a series of initiatives we’re delivering in partnership with Team GB to encourage young people to think about healthy eating.

“We are looking forward to seeing the entries and hope that those taking part will learn about the benefits of choosing to follow a healthy diet along the way.”

Tim Ellerton, Commercial Director at Team GB, said: “Throughout our partnership with Aldi on the Get Set to Eat Fresh programme they have continuously created new and innovative ideas to engage and inspire young people around the topic of eating fresh and healthy food.

This is a fun opportunity for school pupils to see their creativity rewarded and for their school’s to benefit also. We look forward to seeing the end results.”

Students can submit their entries up until Friday 25 June. To download the Entry Template and Cover Sheet for Entries, please visit: getseteatfresh.co.uk/designalorry

 

For more information about the Design A Lorry challenge and supporting resources visit: getseteatfresh.co.uk