Acer Brings Windows 11 for Education to its TravelMate B3 and TravelMate Spin B3 Laptops

Acer yesterday announced that it will begin carrying PCs which run on Windows 11 SE, starting with the Acer TravelMate B3 and Acer TravelMate Spin B3 laptops. The portable 11.6-inch laptops were built to survive the school-day, boasting military-grade durability certifications[[i]] and a 10-hour battery life[[ii]], and now come pre-installed with Windows 11 SE or Windows 11 Pro Education. Additionally, the devices’ chassis have been constructed with over 14% post-consumer recycled plastic.

Acer has been working closely with Microsoft in order to provide devices for pilot programs that bring Windows 11 SE to schools around the world. It is one of the first brands to carry devices featuring the new operating system.

Acer TravelMate B3 and Acer TravelMate Spin B3

Featuring the latest Intel® Pentium® Silver and Celeron® processors, the TravelMate B3 and TravelMate Spin B3 are dependable laptops that were built to support the needs of K-12 schoolchildren. The laptops are MIL-STD 810H[[iii]] certified and feature shock-absorbent bumpers, making them tough enough to withstand up to 60 kg (132.28 lbs) of downward force and drops from up to 4 ft (1.22 m). A unique drainage design helps to protect internal components from moderate spills[[iv]]. A mechanically-anchored key design provides a double benefit: The entire keyboard can be easily replaced by administrators, but individual keys are well-secured so that they won’t be dislodged by restless fingers.

 

Durability aside, a number of thoughtful features help the laptops find their place within the classroom. Intel® Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) with 2×2 MU-MIMO technology helps with connectivity in multi-user environments, and optional 4G LTE provides students with a connection when away from a router. A webcam makes the laptops suitable for taking classes from home, while a 10-hour battery life means that they can make it through the full school day, too. Teachers will appreciate the battery indicator on the device’s front cover, allowing them to tell at a glance if a student’s device needs to be charged.

The Acer TravelMate Spin B3 comes equipped with Acer Antimicrobial Design[1,2] — it features not only an Antimicrobial Corning® Gorilla® Glass[1] touchscreen, but also an antimicrobial (silver-ion) coating on commonly-used high-touch surfaces (including the keyboard, touchpad, and palm-rest surface) to protect these surfaces. Users can further opt to include a dockable Wacom AES pen and 5 MP HDR world-facing camera, allowing schools to customize their laptops in order to suit their students’ specific needs.

Windows 11 SE

A new, cloud-first Windows edition built for inclusive and accessible learning, Windows 11 SE offers the performance and reliability of Windows 11 in addition to a simplified design and modern management tools that have been optimized for low-cost devices in educational settings. Featuring an easy-to-use interface plus an education-first menu of curated apps, Windows 11 SE comes on affordable devices that are pre-configured for student privacy and remote management. And, with a cleaner interface and fewer distractions, Windows 11 SE helps students focus on learning while preserving valuable class time for instruction.

The TravelMate B3 and TravelMate Spin B3 laptops are also available with Windows 11 Pro Education.

More information about Windows 11 SE is available here, or on Microsoft’s Education blog.

 

Pricing and Availability

 

The TravelMate B3 (TMB311-32) will be available in EMEA in Q1’22, starting at EUR 359; and in the UK from £210.

The TravelMate Spin B3 (TMB311R-32) will be available in EMEA in Q1’22, starting at EUR 539 and in the UK from £259.

Exact specifications, prices, and availability will vary by region. To learn more about availability, product specifications and prices in specific markets, please contact your nearest Acer office via www.acer.com.

[i] MIL-STD-810H is a testing protocol conducted in controlled settings and does not guarantee future performance in all situations. Do not attempt to simulate these tests, as damage resulting from this will not be covered by Acer’s standard warranty.

[ii] Battery life claim based on MobileMark 2014. Actual battery life varies depending on product specifications, computer settings and applications or features launched. All batteries’ maximum capacity diminishes with time and use. Battery life varies depending on product model, configuration, power settings and usage, among other factors.
[5]Up to 330 ml (11 fluid ounces) of water

[iii] Sand and Dust testing based on MIL-STD 810F.

[iv] Up to 330 ml (11 fluid ounces) of water

1 in 8 children say time online harms their school work

Nearly one in eight children in the UK say their online life harms their school work according to a survey by The Children’s Society. 

 

The survey is among the evidence considered in the national charity’s new report, Net Gains? Young People’s Digital Lives and Well-Being.  

 

It found 13% of young people aged 10-17 said their life online had a ‘mostly negative’ impact on their school work, including homework, while 37% said it had a ‘mixed impact’ with both positive and negatives. In contrast, 35% reported a ‘mostly positive’ impact, while 16% said there was ‘no impact’. 

 

Around one in 11 children (9%) reported that time online had a ‘mostly negative’ effect on family relationships, with 35% reporting a mixed impact, 35% a positive impact and 21% no impact. 

 

Overall, children reported both pros and cons to time spent online. 

 

Almost half (46%) said that the impact of being online was mostly positive for their relationships with friends and more than four in ten (42%) said the same for the impact on how they felt overall. 

 

Nearly 4 in 10 (39%) children reported that being online had a mixed impact on how they felt about themselves (36% reported a ‘mostly positive impact, 7% a ‘mostly negative impact’, and 18% no impact) and a similar proportion (38%) said the same about how they felt overall.  

 

The Children’s Society’s report says that building a better understanding of how young people use technology and the effects this has on them is essential for improving the quality and safety of young people’s digital lives and for boosting digital equality – including not only the ability to access online content but also digital skills and the ability to appraise it.  

 

Young people were also asked to score out of 10 how happy they were with different aspects of their digital lives. They were most happy with things they did online, scoring on average 8 out of 10, and least happy with how they came across to others online and the amount of time they spent online, both scoring an average of 7.4.  

 

The Children’s Society says some children’s views about how they appear to others online could reflect unhappiness with their appearance or uncertainty over what they should say or how they should behave. It says unhappiness about the amount of time spent online could stem from concerns children have heard in media debates or restrictions their parents have imposed on them. 

 

The report also reviews international research on young people’s use of digital technology, the effects of time spent online and the influence of parents on how they use the internet.  The Children’s Society found that evidence of the impact of the digital world upon children has many flaws, often failing to account for the sheer number of things young people do online, consider the impact of things going on in their lives ‘offline’ or include young people’s views.  

 

Phil Raws, a Senior Researcher at The Children’s Society, said: “We wanted to know what young people themselves felt about their digital lives and how being online affected them, their relationships and some of the things they do offline. This was partly because their views have been missing from research and debates around safety, education, mental health and well-being and other issues which are often linked to their use of digital technology. 

 

“The survey responses tell us that many young people recognise that being online can have good and bad impacts on different aspects of their lives, although some feel that their digital life has no impact at all. This points to the challenges of understanding the effects of time spent online. We need to do more to explore this – to understand why some felt that the impact was negative on their school work, for example, and whether this has changed with the dependence on virtual schooling during recent lockdowns or when young people have been in isolation at home.   

 

“Young people’s ratings of what they do or experience online suggest that most of them are relatively happy, but some are having mostly negative experiences and may be developing a pessimistic outlook about their lives online. We need to find out more about this group – about who they are, why they are unhappy online, and what needs to change to address this.   

 

“One thing that came across clearly from our review of international research was that we need to widen our focus if we want to improve young people’s health and happiness overall, and reduce online harms in a sustainable way.  There is emerging evidence that negative online experiences or excessive time spent online may be symptoms rather than the cause of mental ill health.  Similarly, online harms seem to be more likely to be experienced by young people who come from a disadvantaged background.  

 

“Learning more about this can help us to not only make sure that all young people have the same opportunities and benefits online and feel safe and happy when using digital technology, but also to support better well-being in general.” 

 

Managing poor ventilation and CO2 levels in today’s ‘Covid world’

Today it is widely accepted, important and encouraged to keep indoor working spaces as well ventilated as possible to reduce the risk of Covid-19, other viruses and disease spreading. 

This is vital in many working environments where people congregate: such as education environments (e.g. schools and universities), hospitals, doctors’ rooms, hotels, restaurants, manufacturing and production facilities, and offices – the list is almost endless. Therefore, managing this problem for staff and customers entering these areas is crucial. 

During winter seasons, this challenge is worsened by the fact that cold weather results in people preferring to keep windows closed, in favour of warmth and comfort over fresh air. 

Chris Potts, Marketing Director, ANT Telecom explains how organisations can improve air quality by managing CO2 levels within working environments more effectively. He covers how manual approaches are time consuming and less accurate and how the Internet of Things (IOT) is currently solving this ventilation problem. 

What is the guidance on CO2 levels?

One of the challenges most organisations face here is that they don’t have a true gauge of how bad air quality is. This issue can be simply addressed by monitoring CO2 levels within air, as high concentrations would indicate stagnate or poor air quality. But, how is CO2 measured? 

CO2 levels are measured in Parts Per Million (ppm). Typically, outdoor areas will have around 400 ppm and guidance suggests organisations should keep as close to that as possible, without exceeding 1500 ppm where people gather (e.g. meeting rooms, bars, restaurants, cinemas), or 800 ppm where people congregate for long periods of the day (e.g. open plan offices). 

What is more, for office, hospitality and education environments, the law states, “employers must ensure an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of the workplace.” Not only is this crucial for Covid-19 safety, but it is vital for employee wellbeing – as well as other people entering these environments. 

Aligning with these requirements, though, means CO2 levels must be measured accurately and consistently throughout the day with findings recorded.  In doing this, the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) warns and advises organisations: “Single or ‘snapshot’ readings can be misleading. Take several measurements throughout the day, when the room is occupied, to represent changes in activities, the number of people using it and ventilation rates.” This then raises important questions for many firms about the best methods to use to track CO2 levels accurately?

Methods used to measure and record CO2 levels 

In many cases, organisations depend on manual, time consuming, paper-based monitoring processes to collect and record findings. These are not only inefficient, but also have a high likelihood of inaccuracy. With pressures increasing on organisations to improve productivity and streamline operations, they need a means of performing these critical processes in a way that not only saves valuable time, but also provides peace of mind that checks are timely and accurate, in line with HSE. 

For example, one approach that many organisations deploy is to use handheld CO2 monitors. This manual approach is less effective as CO2 levels develop over time, based on the number of people in a particular area (e.g. the office) – furthermore, the spot checks on ventilation in the morning won’t be sufficient to provide the useful consistent data advised by the HSE through the day either. 

Often, many companies already monitor equipment, appliances and environmental conditions with sensor technology for compliance and safety purposes. So the use of this technology to support here is not new either. However, the problem experienced today is that many older systems used make use of hardwired sensors, that are difficult and expensive to install. If equipment needs moving, sensors must usually be rewired, which is time consuming and costly. 

Moreover, these older sensors become less accurate over time and must be recalibrated regularly to provide reliable data to drive decisions. These systems and the data provided are not easily accessible either, making processes time consuming and inefficient. Even straight forward tasks like ‘creating a report’ to share with colleagues can be challenging – and simple requirements to change reporting intervals can be complex to implement too, so not ideal.

Cloud and IoT are game changers

This is where modern IOT monitoring solutions and sensors can improve operational efficiency and increase productivity – they help to replace traditionally manual processes. In the past, people would have carried out these labour intense tasks. But, automated monitoring systems using IOT technology provide accurate 24/7 data measurements in real-time, improve decision making and reduce costs. They also help to free up staff time to work in other areas of the business more productively instead.

Often infrastructure and sensors used here are low-energy and cloud-based too. The sensors are wireless too, making them easy and cost effective to install. Effective integration into organisational IT networks is not required, making it easy to overcome IT security concerns. Connectivity has generally been raised as an issue for many systems in the past, but today’s sensors are sophisticated. Many do not require WiFi or mobile data coverage, meaning they can be used within any number of CO2 monitoring situations and will even work in air ducts. 

Additionally, the array of wireless sensors available to organisations means that firms can expand their monitoring capabilities into other important areas if necessary. For example, to help with temperature monitoring on fridge / freezer and cryogenic containers; or to monitor energy consumption; or to ensure water safety and compliance, to reduce the risk of legionella.

£25 Million ventilation fund for Scottish Companies

The Scottish Government has recently made £25 million in funding available to improve ventilation and air quality in business premises, to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. Small and medium-sized businesses, where people come into close proximity, such as in the hospitality and leisure sectors, can claim back costs of up to £2,500 to undertake work. 

This could include the installation of carbon dioxide monitors and remedial improvement work to windows and vents. Businesses will be able to fill in a self-assessment form to receive advice on improving their current ventilation systems and identify if they are eligible for financial support. The Business Ventilation Fund was opened to applications the week beginning the 22nd November 2021.

This investment in air quality solutions highlights the importance of solving this air quality issue in Scotland. But, it’s not just Scottish organisations where investments in air quality and CO2 monitoring must take place. This is a UK industry- and sector-wide issue to deal with. 

Conclusion

Through the pandemic, as many schools and workplaces opened, Covid-19 spread. Government guidance has broadly maintained that fresh air helps to mitigate the risk of infection, along with other measures – it lists good air quality, ventilation and CO2 monitoring as one of the most important measures to control the spread of infections,  and health experts confirm this. So as organisations look to protect their workforce, their productivity and their bottom line, it becomes important to consider, too, the best ways to monitor the amount of CO2 in the air, in order to ensure that employees (and customers) are breathing good quality air as much as possible. IOT systems and sensors play an important role here, as they can often be used to help track air quality more accurately and in real time.  

MENTAL HEALTH RATED AS BIGGEST CONCERN FOR SCHOOLS

 

*Nearly four in five schools rated mental health as having the biggest impact on their organisation in the last year

*Almost three quarters (73%) of school leaders expect mental health and wellbeing to continue to be one of the biggest challenges over the next five years

*Zurich Municipal report reveals the biggest challenges facing public and voluntary sector organisations and their future concerns

*The insurer is currently working with Fika, a mental fitness learning and skills development partner, to address mental health in education

 

Nearly four in five school leaders say mental health and wellbeing was the biggest challenge for their organisation in the last year, according to a new report, which highlights the scale of the mental health crisis facing schools.   

 

The study by specialist insurer, Zurich Municipal and YouGov, revealed that for 78% of senior decision makers in primary and secondary schools, mental health and wellbeing had a “very big” or “substantial impact” on their organisation in the last 12 months – the highest out of seven challenges facing the sector. This was markedly higher than the average of 60% when looking at all public and third sector organisations surveyed.

 

The research went on to reveal future drivers of change and concerns, and predicts mental health will continue to have a major impact in schools. Nearly three quarters (73%) of school leaders expect mental health and wellbeing to continue to be one of the main challenges over the next five years – ranking second out of seven factors. However, it is issues related to funding and government policy that will become the primary worry in the future, with 85% of school leaders believing this will impact them the most.

 

In its study – The Future of the public and voluntary sectors – Zurich Municipal explored the general sentiment about the future of the public and voluntary sectors; views on current and future drivers of change and their relative impact; and future challenges and opportunities.  

 

Across all respondents, the study found the impact of mental health and wellbeing was most keenly felt in schools, followed by further and higher education establishments (71%) and charities (53%).  But while mental health and wellbeing had the greatest impact, primary and secondary school leaders also cited funding and government policy and the changing nature of work as having had a significant bearing on them in the last year – 71% and 63%.

 

Zurich’s findings come as a recent report by the charity, Education Support, found 77% of school staff are stressed (rising to 84% of senior leaders) and that over a third (38%) of education staff had experienced a mental health issue in the past academic year. 

 

Alix Bedford, Risk Proposition Manager, Zurich Municipal comments: “Working in the school environment has always been high pressured, but for nearly two years now, education staff have experienced an ongoing situation of unpredictability and stress. It is understandable that this would have a huge impact on mental health and wellbeing.  There are also concerns over the adverse impact of the pandemic on pupils, adding to the other issues already affecting young people’s mental health.

 

“Schools have a duty of care for the mental health and wellbeing of their staff and students. Awareness and understanding of the scope of this issue is rapidly evolving, but the policies, strategies and actions needed to respond must evolve rapidly too. If left unchecked, this risk could dwarf some others.”

 

Zurich Municipal is currently working with Fika, a mental fitness learning and skills development partner, to address mental health in education and offer training.  The three-month pilot, running until March, is part of Zurich’s aim to help schools protect their people as well as their property.   

 

Dr Amanda McNamee, Senior Mental Fitness Scientist at Fika said: “The state of declining mental health in education presents a risk in academic performance and stress to learners and burnout amongst staff. Current approaches pose a significant risk by reacting to declining mental health instead of preventing it. Fika has set out to mitigate the risk of decline and improve performance through a formal, proactive education-for-all solution and online mental fitness training tool.”

 

Fig 1. Issues that have had a big or significant impact schools in the last 12 months

 

Challenge Primary / Secondary Education Average across public and third sector
Mental health and wellbeing 78% 60%
Funding and fiscal policy 71% 67%
The changing nature of work e.g. hybrid working and workforce challenges 63% 68%
Changing community expectations and needs 62% 57%
Digital, data and automation 50% 52%
Changing organisational structures 39% 40%
Adapting to climate change 10% 18%

 

 

Fig.2 Issues that are predicted to have a big or significant impact schools  in the next five years

 

Challenge Primary / Secondary Education Across pubic and third sector
Funding and fiscal policy 85% 78%
Mental health and wellbeing 73% 57%
Changing community expectations and needs 58% 63%
Digital, data and automation 48% 56%
Changing organisational structures 44% 43%
 The changing nature of work (e.g. hybrid working and workforce challenges) 33% 55%
Adapting to climate change 21% 34%

Schools tackle space crisis with outdoor canopies to extend their buildings.

As schools go back for the new term, many continue to face the challenges of overcrowding, with winter weather exacerbating the problem during break times. More schools are tackling their space crisis with outdoor canopies, to extend their buildings, economically, and quickly.

 

A growing problem

 

The average school class size for England has steadily increased over the last decade, with classes growing to an average of 24.54 pupils in 2020-21.

 

There are now almost 1 million pupils (over 900,000 according to analysis by The Labour Party) in ‘supersize’ classrooms of 31-35 pupils. The number of secondary school pupils in classes of 31+ has increased to almost one in every seven pupils.

 

The Department for Education has predicted that numbers in secondary schools will continue to rise as the population bulge primary schools have been experiencing since 2010 moves through the school system.

 

The impact of large classroom sizes on UK schools

 

Larger classroom sizes leave schools with resourcing, staffing and budget challenges, not to mention the pressure put on teachers, pupils, and the learning experience.

 

Schools must physically find the room to cater for everybody, during lessons, playtime, free time, and lunchtime.

 

 

School dining space is a major issue, say UK school leaders

 

Lunchtime is when overcrowding becomes painfully apparent. Making space for every pupil within the existing dining and playground space leads to common problems, including:

 

  • Pupils struggling to find somewhere to sit and eat
  • Canteen queues spilling into the rest of the school
  • Pupils ending up late to class or missing lunch

 

In feedback from senior school leaders, gathered by school space experts Canopies UK, 54% of heads said lack of dining space was a ‘major issue’ for them, with an average of 2.14 pupils to every available dining seat, across the primary and secondary schools surveyed.

 

Schools and colleges are extending their space

 

Commenting on the need to expand in a versatile way, Ian Hargreaves, Director at Canopies UK said:

 

“Secondary classroom sizes are set to keep growing. Schools can ease some pressure by extending their existing space and creating additional sheltered areas for seating. Outdoor dining canopies provide much needed extra space for eating and socialising, at a fraction of the cost of a building extension.”

 

Multipurpose space for lessons, learning, and more

 

Ian adds: “Creating extra room to seat pupils during lunch hours is useful throughout the school year. Beyond break times, expanding your dining space is useful for learning and extracurricular activities. Schools are using their canopies for active lessons, study groups, rehearsals, after school clubs, meetings, exams, and events like parents’ evenings.”

 

Schools are making their budgets go further with outdoor dining canopies

 

Whilst building extensions can provide a solution, they are not an economic option for every school. Outdoor canopies allow schools to get considerably more from their budgets.

 

Ian comments: “The cost of a canopy system is considerably less than an extension of the same size – around a third of the price. Unlike extensions, outdoor canopies don’t take months to build, and many don’t require planning applications.”

 

Case studies

 

How Winstanley College created their ‘garden room’

Winstanley College was crying out for extra dining and study space. They identified a need for a multi-purpose room that students could use during their free periods.

 

The college teamed up with Caterlink, their catering provider, who wanted to create more space to serve more students during break and lunchtimes.

 

They installed a freestanding canopy system with enclosed sides and a retractable roof. With heating and lighting, students use the space all year round. The college call their canopy the ‘garden room’ and use it for dining, studying, and parents’ evening.

A Winstanley College spokesperson said: “Our Cantabria canopy provides us with an outdoor dining area and a student space that’s used regularly by many of our students in all weathers. In the winter, it’s warm enough to use, as the glass sides keep out the cold, and in the summer, the roof and the walls can be opened back to let in the fresh air and sunshine.”

 

New dining hall for St Michael’s High School

 

St Michael’s in Chorley was desperate for additional dining space as rising numbers of pupils meant they’d outgrown their dining hall. They considered building an extension but decided to install a canopy instead. It met their budget and only took a week to install.

The canopy features a glass bespoke atrium and a watertight retractable roof. The interior provides 125m of covered space, including a hot food station catering for 1,200 pupils. St Michael’s now has a seat indoors for every pupil at lunch time.

 

ECOMMERCE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES SUPPLIER FINDEL REVEALS MAJOR REBRAND AND ANNOUNCES AMBITIOUS EXPANSION PLANS

Ecommerce educational resources supplier Findel Education has undergone a major rebrand to enable the expansion of its current service offer for educators and provide the platform for sustainable growth.

 

The company, which is now called Findel, owns specialist education brands Hope, GLS, Philip Harris and Davies Sports which have also been rebranded.

 

These provide resources for primary school, secondary school and early years teaching; school business managers; science teaching resources; and PE and sport equipment respectively.

 

Findel’s origins as an educational resources supplier can be traced back to 1817. Today, its brands and websites offer more than 32,000 products to educators and parents based in the UK and overseas with the business exporting to 130 countries.

 

Headquartered in Hyde, Greater Manchester, the company has a distribution centre and offices in Nottingham and employs around 300 people. Findel’s new brand positioning line following the rebrand, which reflects its heritage and future evolution, is ‘Growing education for generations.’

 

At the same time as the rebrands, Findel has announced it will be actively expanding its service offer during 2022 through new initiatives and acquisitions of complementary education sector businesses.

 

Findel was acquired in April last year from Studio Retail Group plc following a management buy-out (MBO) supported by private equity firm Endless.

 

Chris Mahady, Findel’s chief executive, said: “Since the MBO, independent ownership has allowed us to shape the business as we want and begin to realise its full potential.

 

“The rebrand project is a critical element of achieving that goal and it heralds a bright new dawn for Findel. This was not simply about refreshing some logos, it was about undertaking a thorough strategic review of our business over a six-month period.

 

“We now have a new strategy, vision and direction that will drive us towards becoming a highly successful, multi-faceted, national and international education resources business and a trusted and valued partner to our customers.

 

“What we have done has energised and inspired everyone at the company. Colleagues now fully understand our business and brands and, most importantly, what they mean to our customers. We now have a collective purpose, clarity and strength about who we are and what we do.

 

“This will play a huge role in the delivery of our expansion plans as we launch new initiatives, products and services to achieve our ambitious growth plans for the benefit of educators worldwide.”

 

The rebranding programme brings together a clear and distinct modern set of customer-facing educational resources brands sitting under one corporate brand of Findel.

 

All the brands are unified in their commitment to setting and achieving market-leading sustainable practices and standards.

 

Chris continued: “The rebranding process involved distilling our brands’ distinct qualities and points of difference so we can communicate them clearly with direction, both internally and externally. This, in turn, will underpin our sustainable national and international growth plans.

 

“Most importantly, it means we have made buying easier for schools through great websites, increased convenience and enhanced procurement tools, all of which are underpinned by fantastic service.”

 

Since the MBO, and in addition to the rebrand project, Findel has implemented a multi-million pound investment programme.

 

Initiatives include recruiting 30 more people to cope with increased demand in key areas such as technology and digital marketing, transforming the office accommodation in Hyde and Nottingham and developing new digital and ecommerce technologies alongside a new inventory management system.

 

At the same time, the business has continued to improve customer experience and distribution centre systems to meet new customer requirements whilst supporting overall growth.

 

For more information visit www.findel.co.uk

Three resources from Premier League Primary Stars to encourage discussions on wellbeing in the classroom or at home

Pupil wellbeing is a top priority for teachers and Premier League Primary Stars is supporting discussions about this topic with flexible and accessible resources that encourage pupils aged 5-11 to think about the importance of self-care and helping others.

 

Leading wellbeing practitioner Dr Hazel Harrison, Clinical Psychologist and Founder at ThinkAvellana, who works with Premier League Primary Stars, spoke about the importance of wellbeing as millions of pupils return to the classroom during current Covid-19 related uncertainty: “Supporting young people’s mental health is really important, perhaps now more than ever. A healthy mind has a direct link to increased engagement in lessons and building positive relationships with others.”

 

Helping teachers increase pupil knowledge and understanding of wellbeing through resources that are engaging is an important way to make school a more positive experience for everyone, now more than ever. Premier League Primary Stars resources help pupils explore themes around wellbeing through relatable concepts and the power of football.

 

Here are the top three wellbeing resources:

 

  1. Wellbeing – feelings and emotions Pupils are encouraged to identify the different emotions people typically experience, including during times of transition and change. Pupils will explore ways to take care of their own and each other’s emotional wellbeing, while learning that it is normal to experience different feelings at different times. In this pack teachers can also download an emotional check-in poster for their classroom!
  2. Wellbeing – managing our emotions We all experience emotions in different ways. Managing our emotions encourages pupils to talk about their feelings and emotions and to use what they have learned to identify changes that a character could make to their lifestyle to help their mind and body. This resource can be used as a standalone lesson or as a follow on activity from the Wellbeing – feelings and emotions pack. The resource pack includes an uplifting film that shows Premier League players expressing a range of emotions on the pitch. As part of the resource, players also give their personal tips on what they do to help manage their emotions.

 

      3. Premier League Wellbeing Stars: Pupils can watch videos that explore the concept of social action and then create their very own wellbeing week full of kind acts to support others’ wellbeing. To inspire pupils, teachers can download the special Wellbeing Stars Calendar, which features some of the kind acts carried out by the Premier League Primary Stars community as part of the challenge.

 

Premier League Primary Stars is here to help teachers support their pupils, whether that be in the classroom or at home. Wellbeing is also important outside of the classroom and these resources are designed to help engage families as well as being flexible and accessible for home learning.

 

Dr Hazel Harrison continues to discuss Premier League Primary Stars’ commitment to supporting wellbeing in more than 18,000 primary schools: “Alongside their resources that focus on improving pupils’ mental health, the Wellbeing Stars Calendar from Premier League Primary Stars is a great way for young people to spread kindness throughout their community, connect with others and focus on the good stuff.’’

 

 

All Premier League Primary Stars resources are mapped against the National Curriculum and are suitable for use in primary schools across England and Wales. All resources are free to download and can either be used off-the-shelf or tailored to suit teachers’ needs. Join over 50,000 teachers and sign up at plprimarystars.com

 

Artist Led Workshops for Schools

Georgia O’Keeffe Hayward Gallery Touring Exhibition  

The Point Gallery, South Parade, DN1 2DR 

15 January – 20 March 2022  

 

Doncaster teachers are invited to bring their pupils to the gallery at The Point in Doncaster to see Georgia O’Keeffe: Memories of Drawings – a brand new Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition presenting a remarkable collection of work from pioneering American artist, Georgia O’Keeffe.  

 

There are a range of opportunities for teachers: 

Free visits 

Teachers can bring classes and pupils when The Point is open. Our opening times are on The Point website here: https://thepoint.org.uk/visit-us/ 

Please book in so we can ensure that the gallery is available and that we can ensure the best experience for your visit. 

 

Artist-led workshops at The Point (KS1 or KS2 – can be adapted) 

Teachers can bring their classes to visit the exhibition with an artist-led workshop at the highly subsidised cost of only £100 per class of 30 pupils. During an artist-led workshop, pupils will receive an introduction to The Point, the gallery, and the artist, followed by an exploratory exercise to encourage them to look closely at the works on display. The children will then take part in still life drawing exercises within the gallery space, focusing on objects inspired by the works. The works on display are prints of drawings featuring organic forms, surreal abstractions, urban cityscapes, and organic forms including flowers and bones.  

 

This will be followed by a large-scale collaborative drawing exercise emulating an artist’s studio experience. Pupils will have the opportunity to use a variety of materials such as different grades of pencil, charcoal, oil, and chalk pastels. Pupils will be able to take their artwork back to school after the session, which can then be displayed within your school. Please book your slot. 

 

The Exhibition 

This new exhibition will showcase 21 photogravures of drawings produced by the artist between 1915-1963; the period in which O’Keeffe established herself as a major figure in American Modernism. Renowned for her distinctive balance of abstraction with figuration and tenaciously pursuing her innovative style, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) is one of the most important artists in 20th century American art. Her iconic works of surreal abstractions, rural landscapes, urban cityscapes and organic forms broke new ground for women artists.   

 

The Point is open to the public so everyone is welcome to visit the exhibition.  

 

If you have any questions about these opportunities – do get in touch! For a chat, or to book,  please contact amy@wearedarts.org.uk or telephone 01302 341662. 

Top 10 best countries for education 

Top 10 best countries for education 

 

Rank Country Primary School Enrolment (net %) Secondary School Enrolment (net %) Primary Children Out of School (%) Lower Secondary Out of School (%) Government Expenditure on Education (% of GDP) Population age 15+ with Tertiary Schooling (%) Average QS World University Rankings Score Mean PISA

Reading

Score

Mean PISA Maths

Score

Mean PISA Science Score  Education Score /10
1 Singapore 100% 100% 0% 0% 2.5% 29.7% 92.4 549 569 551 9.10
2 Iceland 100% 91% 0% 0% 7.6% 17.9% N/A 474 495 475 8.40
3 Canada 100% 100% 0% 0% 5.3% 22.7% 47.6 520 512 518 8.28
4 Sweden 99% 99% 0% 0% 7.6% 14.9% 49.8 506 502 499 8.22
5 Denmark 99% 91% 1% 0% 7.8% 15.0% 48.4 501 509 493 8.07
6 Slovenia 98% 96% 0% 1% 4.9% 13.3% N/A 495 509 507 7.97
7 France 99% 95% 0% 0% 5.4% 10.6% 50.0 523 523 530 7.94
7 Norway 100% 96% 0% 0% 7.6% 12.2% 40.0 499 501 490 7.94
9 Belgium 99% 95% 1% 0% 6.4% 17.7% 42.3 493 508 499 7.87
10 Finland 99% 96% 2% 0% 6.3% 12.4% 37.9 520 507 522 7.81

 

The UK just misses out on a spot in the top 10 ranking in 11th place with a score of 7.80, just 0.01 behind Finland. The UK has a 99% primary school enrolment rate and a 97% secondary school enrolment rate. The UK also sees education facilities receive 5.2% of Government expenditure. 

Singapore ranks as the best nation for education, with an overall score of 9.10 out of 10. Singapore has a near-perfect record when it comes to school enrolment and the number of children out of school. Singapore also has the highest level of people educated to tertiary (university) level, at 29.7%.

Ranking in second place is Iceland, scoring highly both for enrolment (99% at primary level and 91% for secondary) and government spending on education (7.6%). Education in Iceland is compulsory for those between 6 and 16, with homeschooling not allowed.

Taking third place for education is Canada, with an impressive record of nearly 100% enrollment in both primary and secondary school, meaning there are almost 0% of children out of education at both levels too. 

The study also revealed the top 5 countries with the worst education systems: 

 

Rank Country Education Score /10
1 Jordan 2.86
2 Panama 3.41
3 Dominican Republic 4.04
4 Indonesia 4.08
5 Romania 4.41

Jordan ranks as the country with the ‘worst’ education system. The country sees 20% of primary school children and 28% of secondary school adolescents out of school.

Further Study Insights: 

  • Six different countries had a primary enrolment rate of practically 100%: Canada, Singapore, Norway, Malta, Iceland, and Malaysia.
  • 23 of the countries studied can say that just under 100% of their children are in education at primary level, including New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland.
  • The nation’s government that spends the most on education is Denmark, spending 7.8% of its GDP.
  • The country with the highest percentage of people educated to tertiary (University) level is Singapore. 

You can view the full research by clicking here.

What does Veganuary have to do with Education?

Bullying & harassment

A survey published by Primary First showed that 73% of vegan pupils had been teased for their vegan beliefs at school. 16% of these pupils were teased by teachers and 12% by other school staff.

42% of respondents said they had been bullied because of their vegan beliefs. 13% of them were bullied by teachers and 12% were bullied by other staff.

Of those who had been teased or bullied, only 25% said their school had been swift and helpful to tackle the issue. Fewer than 40% of respondents feel welcome as a vegan pupil in school and less than 40% feel safe. Only 12% feel supported to take pride in their vegan beliefs, and only 13% feel valued.

Ethical veganism is a protected belief under the Equality Act 2010. We would not tolerate such shocking statistics for any other protected characteristic. Schools are failing in their Public Sector Equality Duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination. It is the responsible body of the school that is liable for any breaches of the Equality Act. Governing bodies do not realise that they are significantly exposed in this area.

Urgent work is required to include ethical veganism explicitly in the anti-bullying training provided both to school staff and to pupils. Example templates are available.

Pupils’ future

Every school will have an environmental group now, but most schools are ignoring the single biggest change they are likely to be able to make to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and reverse the nature crisis.

Since animal agriculture is a greater contributor to global warming than the entire globe’s transport infrastructure, small shifts to school meals could have a huge effect across the UK. ProVeg UK have a brilliant resource showing how schools can encourage the uptake of plant based options while still complying with the government’s school meal standard. Many of the tweaks don’t even involve changing the foods offered. Example tweaks are re-naming of veggie options, changing the order of presentation, and including planet-friendly icons for the low-carbon options. Their excellent resources are available here: School Plates | Campaign | ProVeg UK and a number of green programmes for schools are adopting them as recommendations for significant environmental impact. Local Authorities are also beginning to seek to make the changes at borough-wide levels, to meet their own carbon reduction targets.

We have only a few years to make the scale of carbon savings required to give our pupils a 50% chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Our pupils cannot be educated now to solve the crisis in the future. Schools need to act now to give their pupils a chance in the future. UNICEF have declared the climate crisis as a child rights crisis.

This is truly a child protection issue at both a national and a global level, and Veganuary is a great way for schools to start to engage with immediate child protection issues in their own school, while protecting the future of all children around the globe.

Ruth Jenkins

Programme Co-ordinator

Vegan-Inclusive Education Ltd

contact@vieducation.co.uk