Only one in three teachers feel equipped to help stop cyberbullying

Despite the pervasiveness of cyberbullying, victims still have very little support that is proven to work  


A survey of 4,336 secondary school teachers, conducted by Teacher Tapp for the Early Intervention Foundation in October 2021, has found that only one in three teachers (33%) feel equipped to help stop cyberbullying amongst pupils. Classroom teachers were far less likely than headteachers to feel equipped to support pupils.   


Despite the lack of confidence, especially amongst frontline teaching staff, 60% of secondary school teachers have not had any cyberbullying-related training in the past 12 months. Private school teachers were more likely to have completed training than teachers at state-funded schools.   


Older teachers and headteachers were the most likely to have received training related to cyberbullying.   


A lack of understanding of what works 


review of the evidence of secondary school-based interventions, designed to promote wellbeing and prevent mental health or behavioural difficulties among teenagers, has revealed an absence of robust evidence and understanding of what support works to prevent cyberbullying. The report from the children’s charity, the Early Intervention Foundation, says: “We did not identify any primary studies examining the impact of cyberbullying prevention interventions.” 


The lack of robust evidence and understanding of what works to prevent online bullying, is all the more shocking given its prevalence. The latest available figures from the Office for National Statistics show 764,000 10-15 year olds were cyberbullied in the year ending March 2020.  


The Early Intervention Foundation’s study did provide some room for optimism. The very limited evidence that there is, points to the potential of some school-based support being able to effectively help young people.  


Dr Jo Casebourne, chief executive at the Early Intervention Foundation said: “Whilst we don’t know enough about what works to prevent cyberbullying, teachers and schools can play a greater role in helping develop young people’s resilience and ability to cope with the stresses that being bullied frequently creates.  


“Efforts to reduce cyberbullying will be hamstrung while we continue to have little real knowledge of what works to effectively reduce online bullying. We urgently require more research that can then lead to teachers and schools taking the right action.” 


Cyberbullying responses from the Big Ask survey 


The Children Commissioner’s report ‘The Big Answer’ report quotes a 14-year-old girl saying: “I don’t feel I was informed of my online safety from a young age and that it was considered a priority. Technology and social media are constantly developing so why aren’t our laws and protections for children on these platforms updating with it?” 


Another response was: “Mental health is important and it should be supported more in schools. For a lot of people, school is their safe place!” 


Martha Evans, Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, commented: “We know that cyberbullying among children more often than not starts in school and continues online. So it’s vital that teachers within schools are fully able to play their part, and understand how to intervene effectively whenever a pupil is suffering cruel and harmful behaviours, online or in the classroom or playground. 


Solutions to the cyberbullying pandemic:  

1) More research is needed into cyberbullying and the research should take into account the lived experience of young people, including both victims and bullies.  


2) The teaching of social and emotional learning (SEL) in both primary and secondary schools should be prioritised, to build young people’s resilience, to limit the damage caused by cyberbullying. Through SEL, pupils can build resilience, strengthen their mental health and learn skills that can reduce the impact of being bullied online. Examples of SEL include teaching social awareness and empathy, respecting diversity, understanding social behavioural norms; as well as teaching young people about self-awareness and relationship skills. 


Amazon Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tours bring real-world learning to the classroom

Amazon is supporting teachers and young people with a new series of Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tours, which form part of Amazon Future Engineer, a purpose-led childhood-to-career programme designed to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from low-income backgrounds to build careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


This school year, Amazon is providing teachers with the chance to immerse their pupils in a real-world learning environment with their free Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tours. Students will discover how computer science, state-of-the-art engineering and incredible people each play a part in delivering customer orders at Amazon.


The free tours are now available to all UK primary and secondary schools and provide students with the opportunity to put STEM and computer science into context, covering topics such as cloud computing, algorithms, machine learning, and quality control. To see what to expect on an Amazon Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tour, watch this video.


Alongside the Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tours, teachers can engage their students with computer science concepts before and after the tour using a free downloadable Teacher Toolkit, which includes interactive curriculum-linked slides, worksheets and videos supplementing tour topics, offering students insight into the world of Amazon’s customer fulfilment process.  Amazon is supporting teachers who are looking to showcase the opportunities a career in STEM can offer.  Students will get the chance to find out a host of interesting facts, see life behind the scenes and hear from Amazon’s very own engineers in a live Q&A session after the tour.


STEM-based careers will grow to be an integral part of our future and educating pupils about the opportunities available to them is important. Research commissioned by Amazon from Capital Economics showed that the UK needs an additional 38,000 workers with computer science-related skills, including 21,000 computer science graduates, to meet labour demands every year – or the economy could lose out on an estimated £33 billion a year by 20301. Amazon Future Engineer was established to help close that gap and has since launched initiatives such as bursary schemes for women computer science students, free virtual coding programmes, supporting the recruitment and training of secondary school computer science teachers and more. 


Lauren Kisser, Director at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge, said: “There is a greater need for STEM skills than ever before as technology continues to transform careers, industries and every sector of our economy. By launching the Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tours specifically for students as part of our Amazon Future Engineer programme we hope to showcase the variety of exciting opportunities available through a career in STEM and inspire the next generation of engineers and computer scientists.” 


The tours, which have seen over 5,000 students take part to date, provide a way for students to experience a class trip and be exposed to real-world learning, without leaving the classroom. Feedback from teachers who have signed up and attended a Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tour has been positive with an average satisfaction score of 4.3 out of 5. 


By signing up for a free Fulfilment Centre tour before 30 November 2021, teachers who attend a tour will be entered into a prize draw to win a £1,000 Amazon Gift Card for their school. There is no better time to book a Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tour and educate the next generation about the opportunities available with a career in STEM. T&C’s apply.



St Denis’ primary school in Glasgow is teaching pupils the importance of hand hygiene through a brand new schools programme developed by Dettol alongside educational and medical experts. As the official hygiene partner of this year’s UN Global Climate Change Conference (COP26) Dettol has been active in the community during the conference working with local schools to embed long-lasting hygiene practices in children aged 6-8. Now in Glasgow, the programme has already launched in Nigeria and Italy with Australia and South Africa set to follow early next year.

As we see COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationally there’s never been a more important time for children to understand how good hand hygiene can prevent illness transmission. Dettol’s new schools programme, Dettol Hygiene Quest, has been created to help teachers demonstrate the importance of good hygiene and has already been adopted by over 50 schools in the Glasgow area.

The engaging, story-led programme being piloted in Glasgow takes pupils on an exciting hygiene adventure exploring the importance of hand hygiene. This new initiative has been created in collaboration with medical experts, curriculum designers, gamification developers and behavioral change specialists to ensure that it’s engaging and educational whilst also embedding life-long hand hygiene practices.

In advance of COP26, St Denis’s primary school took part in an interactive workshop session based on the programme which included a visit from a real-life mascot featured in Dettol Hygiene Quest! It was a huge success and popular with both students and teachers. St Denis’ primary school had smiles all around as the pupils learned the basics of hand hygiene.

Eilidh Barry from St Denis’s primary school said: “Our pupils are so excited to be a part of bringing Dettol Hygiene Quest to life during COP26 and had a great deal of fun learning about the programme. This is a great opportunity for them to be a part of one of the worlds’ largest conferences fighting worldwide issues and it is so great to see an organisation like Dettol making a difference on important global issues”

Dettol is committed to leaving a legacy in Glasgow and alongside their involvement at COP26 are offering a further 10 live sessions, like the one at St Denis’, to primary schools in Glasgow as they get ready for a wider launch of the programme across the UK. Dettol will also be donating a portion of the hand sanitiser stations used at COP26 to local government offices, universities and communities in need.

Pupils from St Denis’s and Carronshore primary schools visited the Green Zone at COP26 to see Dettol bring to life the new Dettol Hygiene Quest during a live show in the Science theatre. Also in attendance during the live show was Hamzah Sarwar, Global Social Impact and Partnerships Director at Reckitt.

Speaking about the innovative programme, Hamzah Sarwar said ‘We created Dettol Hygiene Quest to engage young people in the importance of daily hygiene habits in a fun and engaging way. It is paramount that we support teachers and their pupils in embedding these behaviours during formative years to prevent infection and keep children thriving at school.”

As the official hygiene partner for COP26, Dettol wants to highlight the link between planetary and public health, emphasising the importance of human health in ensuring the sustainable, long-term health of our planet. Schools can still sign up to be a part of Dettol Hygiene Quest today here

Tree – mendous – Wesleyan grant to create four sustainable UK Woodlands

Wesleyan, the Birmingham-based financial services mutual, has donated £25,000 to Small Woods Association (SWA) to create four sustainable woodlands across the UK.

The partnership between Wesleyan and the SWA, based in Telford, will produce four woodlands designed to benefit local communities’ health, wellbeing and education in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The first woodland has begun development in Shropshire, within the grounds of Charlton School in Telford, forming part of an outdoor learning area.

Jessica Wilkes-Ball, social responsibility lead at Wesleyan, said: “As a mutual it’s important to us to give back to our community through our Foundation, and support the charities that matter to our members and customers, including those organisations that are building a greener future for us all.

“We are proactively seeking opportunities to be a positive force for change when it comes to sustainability. The extension of our partnership with Small Woods forms a key part of our activities to help improve the natural environment and reduce the impact of carbon well as supporting our goal to be operationally carbon neutral by the end of next year.


“Many of our customers are teachers so we’re especially pleased that much of the SWA woodland spaces are used for improved educational and wellbeing purposes which makes this partnership a natural fit for us.”

Julia Allinson, Small Woods Association Development Officer, said: “We are extremely grateful to Wesleyan for extending their support by asking us to deliver four tree planting woodlands in the four nations they serve.

“Wesleyan is a great example of what can be achieved when a corporate organisation works together with locals to ensure benefits can be brought to the community.

“For us, it’s particularly important to see that their values align with ours, specifically to support health, education and the environment.”

The four new woodlands will be part of a wider project by the Small Woods Association to develop more woodlands across the UK with the goal of making them accessible for local communities while also promoting the conservation of the forests.

In 2019 Wesleyan started its relationship with the Small Woods Association providing £6,000 in funding to create a new woodland learning area at Southall School in Telford, a secondary school for pupils with complex needs. The project was designed to promote outdoor learning into the curriculum and a woodland learning area for all abilities, while also encouraging students to look after their own local woodland.

As of this year, Wesleyan has awarded more than £3.5 million to causes across the UK, helping more than 100,000 people through the Wesleyan Foundation


For more information about the Wesleyan Foundation and to apply for funding, visit



19 shortlisted schools from across Scotland came together during the UN COP26 Climate Summit to pitch their social enterprise ideas to a panel of experts at a special COP26 themed Dragons’ Den event at Glasgow Strathclyde Union.


Kirkhill Primary from Newton Mearns were crowned overall primary school winners by a panel of experts, including Diana Ellis from WOSDEC, Sarah Wagner from After the Pandemic, Bayile Adeoti from Dechomai Events and Angela Halliday from Sodexo. Kyle Academy from Ayr presented their social enterprise virtually and were crowned the winners of the secondary school category. Renfrew High School and Uig Primary were also highly commended.


The pupils from Kirkhill Primary pitched their Development of Climate Justice Education programme which would see the creation of informative, creative resources for teachers to use in class and an online training programme. They also want to deliver live online lessons for children in schools.

Paul Tyler, Principal Teacher at Kirkhill Primary, said: “The pupils are absolutely delighted to be crowned the winners at the COP26 Dragons Den event here in Glasgow. The whole process of getting children to think about Social Enterprises and Climate Justice has been inspiring and we are honoured to be part of such an amazing opportunity for young people, giving them invaluable skills for life. We have made connections and had opportunities that we couldn’t have had in any other circumstance”.


The Dragons’ Den event is being delivered as part of the After The Pandemic programme for COP26 in partnership with Development Education Centre WOSDEC, who work closely together to ensure all educators across Scotland have access to high-quality Professional Learning opportunities and innovative learning and teaching practices. The Dragons’ Den event in particular was organised by Social Enterprise Academy, which since 2007 has delivered Social Enterprise Schools, innovated in partnership with the Scottish Government. 


Pupils across the country were challenged to create a social enterprise concept that is climate smart and future first. The programme is young people led and empowers pupils to tackle causes important to them in relation to climate change.


Neil McLean, CEO at Social Enterprise, said: “It is inspiring to see how young people across Scotland have been creating positive changes in their community. The pupils involved in the projects have shown us how their bright and bold ideas turn into innovative and profitable small social enterprises that really make a big difference.


“Congratulations to Kirkhill Primary and Kyle Academy and all of the shortlisted schools that presented in the final, it was such an inspiring day to be a part of. We’re not just seeing Scotland’s young people develop key entrepreneurial and employability skills, we’re seeing an empowered movement of young social entrepreneurs championing social issues that really matter to them. We are delighted to recognise and celebrate their achievements.”


Shortlisted schools included:

  1. UIG Primary
  2. St Margaret’s Academy
  3. Bridge of Allan Primary
  4. St Denis’ Primary
  5. Renfrew High School
  6. Mount Vernon Primary School
  7. Corpus Christi Primary
  8. Oakgrove Primary
  9. Braidbar Primary
  10. St Bernard’s Primary
  11. Kirkhill Primary
  12. St Ninian’s High School
  13. Gavinburn Primary
  14. St Francis Xavier’s Primary
  15. Woodfarm High School
  16. Hillview Primary
  17. James Young High School
  18. Kyle Academy
  19. Our Lady & St Patrick’s High School


For more information on how to get involved in the Social Enterprise Schools programme, please visit:

Digital Workspace becomes top IT priority for education sector, Softcat report reveals

  • 80% of education organisations are prioritising Digital Workspace solutions in the year ahead –


  • 22% now say sustainability is key to their IT decision making – 


 A new report from Softcat offers an exclusive snapshot of the education IT landscape and what technologies organisations are prioritising in the year ahead.  


The findings are based on the views of nearly 1,250 organisations in the UK and Ireland, across 23 industries including education. 


Looking at a sector level, the report reveals 80% of organisations in the education sector are now prioritising Digital Workspace solutions above all other technology areas. 


Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the planning, provision and delivery of education, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic and government ordered restrictions on in-person teaching. 


Exceptional user experience and frictionless workflows are becoming key to supporting students and employees to work easier, from anywhere, requiring investment in new Digital Workspace solutions. 


Digital Workspace solutions put people first and technology second. They enable true collaboration and deliver a great user experience by securely connecting people, applications, data and devices together, helping employees to do their job seamlessly – wherever they are. 


 Cyber Security is the second most cited technology investment area for the next year, with 68% of education organisations saying it’s an important part of their IT strategy. 


Maintaining robust cyber security is a pressing challenge for the education sector, as demonstrated by the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021. While primary schools are relatively close to the typical business in terms of how many identify breaches (36% vs 39%), secondary schools (58%) and further education colleges (75%) are much more likely to identify breaches. 


Universities have also become lucrative key targets for cybercriminals in recent years, mainly (but not soley) due to the huge amounts of non-public research information they hold. A report published by the National Cyber Security Centre shows that the university sector was the third most vulnerable to cyberattack


And as education becomes more digitalised, the sector will only attract more interest from cybercriminals looking to exploit vulnerabilities for monetary gain. Therefore, cyber resilience in education is now a high priority and organisations are being encouraged to take a proactive rather than reactive approach to securing networks, devices and data. 


Networking is ranked as the third most important IT priority within education, according to the study, with 43% of respondents citing it. 


Importantly, organisations were also able to rank sustainability as a focus for the first time. And 22% of those in the education sector (compared to a 10% cross-sector average) cited sustainability as an important factor in their IT strategy for the coming year, signalling a shift towards greener and more ethically conscious decision making. 


Technology has a vital role to play in supporting organisations in meeting their sustainability goals, to ensure compliance with tightening legislation and help the global community meet science-backed climate targets.  


Richard Wyn Griffith, Managing Director of Softcat commented on the findings: 


“Over the past 18 months or so, the education sector has been heavily challenged; working hard to limit the impact on business-as-usual or respond to unprecedented restrictions on in-person teaching.  


“People, empowered by technology, have made navigating this uncertain and disruptive period possible. And this will only continue as we learn to live and thrive with new ways of working.” 


The full findings from the 2021 Softcat Business Tech Priorities Report, including expert analysis, can be downloaded here. 


New guidance launched to help schools improve children’s money skills

New financial education guidance for primary and secondary schools in England has been launched today, with the support of the Department for Education (DfE). The guidance, which has been developed by the(MaPS) in its role as coordinator of the 10-year UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, is aimed at encouraging conversations about money in the classroom by setting out ten steps schools can take to boost the delivery of financial education.


The launch coincides with this year’s Talk Money Week campaign, which has highlighted the importance of money conversations in the home, alongside more formal financial education, in developing good money habits in childhood which will last a lifetime.

Children who say they learned about managing money in school are more likely to save up frequently and be more confident managing their money. With only 37% of 7- to 17-year-olds in England recalling having had any financial education at school, equipping teachers to have conversations about money in the classroom is vital. Learning about topics such as budgeting, saving, and managing credit in schools is essential to ensure children gain the skills and confidence they need to manage money now and in later life.  


Developed in consultation with financial education experts and DfE, the guidance is designed to support school leaders and education decision makers to enhance the financial education currently delivered in their schools to make it memorable and impactful.


Instead of adding to teachers’ workloads, the guidance highlights the links between financial education and the existing curriculum. Suggestions include introducing a financial education lead, putting in place targeted support for children with additional needs, consulting parents and students, and approaches to embedding learning about money throughout school life. The guidance also points to a range of financial education services and resources to help schools, including those targeted at children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities.  


The Minister of State for School Standards, Robin Walker MP said: “Building knowledge of money and financial matters from an early age can support resilience and wellbeing through life and it is important that children and young people develop strong financial knowledge, skills and habits to stand them in good stead as they prepare for life in the modern world.


“Many schools already deliver excellent finance education through their mathematics and citizenship lessons and today’s guidance will support schools to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum.”


Caroline Siarkiewicz, Chief Executive at MaPS said: “Less than half of 11- to 17-year-olds feel confident managing their money, and almost a fifth of 16- and 17-year-olds report feeling anxious when thinking about their money. Financial education in school – alongside support at home and in the community – is key to helping children build the foundations needed for their future financial wellbeing and resilience. This guidance will equip schools with the tools they need to bring financial education to the forefront within the classroom and ensure it is impactful and engaging.


“Financial education plays an important role in helping children and young people make the most of their money as adults, whether that is understanding how to read a payslip, how to decipher a bill or the importance of planning ahead. The financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic means that building money skills, confidence and resilience have never been more vital.”


Jonathan Baggaley Chief Executive at the PSHE Association said: It is vital that children and young people learn early on how they can make informed financial decisions to help them prepare for the financial risks and responsibilities that exist in adult life. PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) education can play a vital role in financial education, starting in primary school. Whilst it’s fantastic that health and relationships education is now compulsory, teachers should also be encouraged to focus on economic wellbeing as a core part of PSHE lessons. The MaPS guidance will support our membership of teachers greatly in this respect.”


Liz Moorse, Chief Executive of the Association for Citizenship Teaching said: “Teaching pupils about money matters and how the economy works is more important than ever. We welcome the publication of this new guidance for schools which highlights the importance of Citizenship education in equipping pupils with the essential knowledge, concepts and skills to make informed and responsible financial choices in their lives today and to understand the importance of good decision making and planning for their future.”

The guidance forms part of a broad programme to expand financial wellbeing provision in schools across the UK as part of the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing goal of two million more children and young people receiving a meaningful financial education by 2030. MaPS funds the Financial Education Quality Mark, delivered by Young Money part of Young Enterprise, which helps teachers find quality assured resources to teach children and young people about money. To support schools to take part in Talk Money Week 2021, MaPS published the first Talk Money Week Toolkit for Schools, giving education settings easy access to programmes and resources that can help them bring conversations about money to life.



Urban Plan, Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate School, 16th December 2015

As Talk Money Week commences (8-12 Nov) a teacher-driven research study from EVERFI, a leading education company committed to closing the education gaps that lead to long-term inequality, in partnership with popular app Teacher Tapp, has discovered that a resounding 97% of teachers feel that it’s important to teach financial education to students in the classroom.

The modern world requires a host of key skills, including money management, in order to succeed and providing students with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage their money is important. EVERFI and Teacher Tapp’s 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 for the UK.

However, although teachers 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.

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”

EVERFI brings together national and regional partners so students can access high-quality learning resources, at no cost to schools. The platform offers self-paced online lessons with built-in assessments free to schools with unlimited student licenses and ongoing support.

On the EVERFI platform teachers will find interactive programmes and classroom activities, to make it easy to deliver financial literacy education to their students that are accredited by 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; (include specific links to site pages)

  • 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. The EVERFI platform helps teachers plan interactive lessons on financial education to help students make informed and smart decisions in the future.

Martin Finn, EVP Global Operations at EVERFI spoke about the idea behind the launch of the campaign: “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.”

Schools can register to access EVERFI’s  free platform and get access to the financial education courses – and many others – here:

ZEISS Digital Classroom Sevenoaks School, UK

Sevenoaks School is a prestigious independent school set in a beautiful, 100-acre campus in  the Kent countryside. The school’s new state-of-the-art Science and Technology Centre, with  its sunlit atrium, was described by the Royal Institute of British Architects as “a great cathedral of a space, full of life and light”. It is here that the pupils of Sevenoaks explore science and technology. The pace of discovery accelerated in March 2021, when the Biology department installed a ZEISS Digital Classroom comprising a suite of 10 networked Primostar 3 microscopes.

Transforming the student experience

 The school has a strong tradition in Biology, says Karen Mylod, the Head of Biology at Sevenoaks whose department boasts 10 teachers. All pupils take the International GCSE Biology, and of the 400 or so pupils in the sixth form, more than half have chosen Biology as part of their International Baccalaureate diploma programme.

Already, the ZEISS Primostar 3 microscopes are transforming the  student experience, says Karen, through their combination of powerful optics, built-in WiFi cameras and networked iPad displays. “The system is great for collaborative work, which students really like to do. For example, when a student finds something interesting under their microscope, the rest of the class doesn’t need to queue up to stare into the eyepiece – they can just look at the iPad.” The ZEISS Digital Classroom also allows the teacher to monitor the images on each pupil’s microscope and highlight interesting examples on a bigger screen, for the whole class to see.








Karen Mylod, Head of Biology at Sevenoaks School

Inspiring student projects


The ZEISS Digital Classroom is also having a big impact on how Sevenoaks sixth formers carry out their research projects, Karen explains. “Our students do an individual project for which they come up with a research question, formulate a hypothesis, and design a practical experiment. The ZEISS Digital Classroom setup is great because collecting good numerical data is so important, and students being able to document their images is a key part of that. It takes away the guesswork, and having to rely on sketches of what they have seen. Instead, students’ images can now be included with their work.”

Karen offers an example of a student who decided to investigate the bold claims of a brand of hair-thickening shampoo. He took five hairs from the heads of 15 other boys and examined those hairs using the ZEISS Primostar 3 microscope. He then had the boys use the shampoo for a week, before taking new hair samples and imaging again. “With our previous set-up, using manual microscopes, this project would have been difficult to achieve, but because we now have the digital microscopes, the pupil could measure easily in micrometres using  the Labscope app.” All well and good, but what about the important question: did the shampoo deliver on its promise? “I didn’t think    the shampoo was going to work, but the difference in the hair – its appearance in his ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures, and also in the thickness measurements – was amazing.”



Simple ‘plug and play’ setup

 One goal of the ZEISS Digital Classroom is  to make teaching as frictionless as possible. The ZEISS Primostar 3 microscopes are designed to be robust and straightforward, and the accompanying Labscope software effortless. “The ease-of-use of the ZEISS software was absolutely vital,” says Karen. “After all, we’re biologists, not IT specialists! And our students, they just download the app straight on to their iPads and they are up and running. They find it all very intuitive.” Each of the microscopes in the ZEISS Digital Classroom are used in conjunction with several sets of dedicated iPads, says Karen, but each microscope also has a QR code  that students can use to link the microscope to their personal devices if they prefer.

So    how    is    teaching    with    the   new microscopes? “The teachers really love  them. They think that they’re really easy to use. And the optics are fantastic: especially at the highest magnification, we get really clear images. It is so much better than the microscopes we replaced.” They are also a lot easier to set up, Karen notes. Teachers and students at Sevenoaks no longer need to  spend  valuable  learning  time  manually

configuring the microscopes, because getting up and running with the Primostar  3 is as easy as plug and play.

The ZEISS Labscope Teacher app also allows the teacher to specify the set-up required for the task at hand, and the microscopes simply configure themselves. That said, manual calibration is still possible within the software, if required.


Making microscopy more accessible

 “It’s funny,” says Karen. “One of the other teachers said to me, ‘Surely, the students should still be learning to calibrate the microscope manually?’ I said, ‘Why?’.

It’s clear to me that making microscopy more accessible – and less  fiddly  and boring – boosts student engagement. The laboratory and scientific workplace of the future is digital, and we are teaching to this future.”

And the future for Biology students at Sevenoaks is all about curiosity. “This  new ability to see and capture such tiny differences has our students exploring questions about the living world that  may not have been possible before these

microscopes became available,” says Karen “It has opened new doors of curiosity and investigation for them.”

Adding a new dimension to teaching

How does Karen sum up her experience   of the ZEISS Digital Classroom? “I think it’s brilliant – and the students love it. It adds  a new dimension to teaching microscopy, and it clearly demonstrates the importance that Sevenoaks School places on science.”


The ZEISS Digital Classroom was supplied to Sevenoaks School by K-Tec Microscope Services Ltd, a trusted microscopy partner of ZEISS.



As the world’s attention is on the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, there is no doubt that teachers across the UK will be looking at ways they can incorporate the themes from the conference into everyday teaching. EVERFI, a leading and global education company driving social impact through education to address the most challenging issues affecting society, has a free course available for teachers to run in the classroom, aimed at 11 – 14 year olds.

Speaking at COP26 the Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi has expressed the importance of placing climate change topics at the heart of education, saying: ‘Empowering teachers in every school to deliver world-leading climate change education will not only raise awareness and understanding of the problem, but also equips young people with the skills and knowledge to build a sustainable future.’

The demand for education on social impact issues, such as sustainability,  is something that today’s students crave.  Some young people are even losing sleep over the thought of what our world will look like in the future1. Environmentalists like Great Thunberg, who is at COP26, have highlighted the critical importance of sustainability and the need for behaviour change in the way we live our lives.

EVERFI brings together national and regional partners so students can access high-quality learning resources, at no cost to schools. The platform offers self-paced online lessons with built-in assessments free to schools with unlimited student licenses and ongoing support.

To help teachers unlock the conversation around the topic of sustainability, EVERFI has created Sustainability Foundations, the ideal course to upskill secondary students. Students can explore environmental systems and understand how human health, climate change, global resource constraints, and animal welfare are all interconnected. The learning journey enables  students to practice making sustainable choices, reinforcing the concept that they have the agency to create sustainable change.

This curriculum-linked course provides a fascinating, hopeful introduction to the topical and important subject of sustainability, for a generation of young people who will feel the consequences of human exploitation of our planet’s resources, and must be part of finding effective solutions.

The course is is divided into four unique modules that focus on different areas of sustainability:

  • Sustaining Global Resources teaches students to identify renewable and non-renewable resources and make sustainable choices.
  • Protecting Healthy Biodiversity helps students explore the importance of biodiversity and the balance of all living organisms.
  • Positively Impacting Climate Change asks students to hypothesize about what it will take to contribute to the restoration and regeneration of a virtual place.
  • Healthy Life explores the complexity of needs required to keep human life healthy.

The course has been designed in partnership with teachers and subject experts, and needs minimal preparation: all the subject knowledge you need is built in. As with all EVERFI courses, Sustainability offers self-graded, interactive lessons to help students develop simple, actionable strategies for positively contributing to a healthy environment. Real-world scenarios prime students for long-term behavioural change using problem-solving and self-reflection activities.

Schools can register to access the free course – and others like it – here: