Living Streets launches new tool to help children stay active at home

Living Streets launches new tool to help children stay active at home

Immediate release

Living Streets, the UK charity which runs the biggest walk to school project in the country, has today (25 January 2021) launched the new WOW Activity Tracker to help children stay active while schools remain closed to most pupils.

The Tracker allows children to log their daily physical activity, whether that’s a walk with family or skipping at home.
Children who meet the level of activity set by their school will be given a monthly badge award.

The WOW Activity Tracker is based on the charity’s award-winning WOW Travel Tracker, which monitors how pupils travel to school, prompts behaviour change and rewards those who walk, cycle or scoot.

The WOW Activity Tracker is available to primary children at the 2,000 schools taking part in WOW, Living Streets’ year-round walk to school challenge.  Pupils who are still attending school can use the WOW Activity Tracker in the classroom.  

Sport England data released this month showed a 22% increase in the number of children going for a walk last summer. Living Streets has launched the WOW Activity Tracker to encourage children and families to keep walking.

Mary Creagh, Chief Executive, Living Streets said:

“With schools, leisure centres and swimming pools closed, walking is vital to helping keep children mentally and physically well during lockdown. 

“Walking is simple, cheap and free to all. Many of us have rediscovered the joys of walking throughout the pandemic. We hope the WOW Activity Tracker will inspire children to keep walking during lockdown – and beyond.”
Notes to editor:

Contact: Kathryn Shaw, Media and Communications Manager, Living Streets / / 07545 209865

·     WOW badges are made in the UK from recycled yoghurt pot material. See our recycling pledge;  

·     When running WOW, schools see an average 23 per cent increase in pupils walking to school and a 30 per cent drop in cars driving all the way to the school – reducing congestion outside the school gates, increasing safety and helping in the fight against air pollution;  

·     With WOW, pupils log their daily journeys to school each day on the WOW Travel Tracker tool. Those who walk to school at least once a week for a month earn a WOW badge, with 11 to collect across the academic year.

·     Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, has been running its walk to school campaign for over 20 years and currently runs WOW in schools across England, Scotland and Wales.

We are Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking.

We want to create a nation where walking is the natural choice for everyday, local journeys;  free from congested roads and pollution, reducing the risk of preventable illnesses and social isolation. We want to achieve a better walking environment and to inspire people of all generations to enjoy the benefits the simple act of walking brings.

For over 90 years we’ve been a beacon for walking. In our early days our campaigning led to the UK’s first zebra crossings and speed limits. Now our campaigns and local projects deliver real change to overcome barriers to walking and our groundbreaking initiatives such as the world’s biggest Walk to School campaign encourage millions of people to walk.


Between May – July 2020, 22% more children walked for leisure. Children’s activity levels down but many embrace new opportunities | Sport England

Maths and English lessons get the Joe Wicks treatment as free active lesson plans are given to teachers

25th January 2021: Every primary teacher in the country will have the chance to put a little more ‘Joe’ into their home school lessons with the release today of free active lesson plans from Teach Active.  


Designed to be taught via Zoom, Google Classroom or Teams these lesson plans provide teachers with ideas they can use to teach children maths or English while keeping them active and are a perfect anecdote to screen fatigue. 


Jon Smedley, a former teacher and founder of Teach Active, said: “Children are going from a Zoom lesson straight to watching YouTube or a stint on their PlayStation before logging on to their next lesson.  


“They are simply not getting enough physical activity, and this has an impact on their ability to learn. By adding activity into lessons, we can reverse that trend and give children more opportunities to have fun so they take more of their lessons onboard.” 


During the first lockdown only 1 in 5 children participated in the recommended daily hour of sport and activity. The free lesson plans aim to get children moving more by encouraging them to learn to add and subtract whole numbers while bouncing a tennis ball or learning to measure by running around the house or flat to find out the size of items of furniture.   


The plans are available for pupils from foundation stage through to year 6. They have been carefully selected so that they can be delivered to children studying at home or used with keyworker and vulnerable children attending school.  


The free remote learning lesson plans are available for all teachers and can be downloaded from 


Medical Research Scotland, Scotland’s largest independent medical research charity has launched a new digital learning series encouraging S5 and S6 pupils to study STEM subjects as part of the newly formed Medical Research Scotland Academy.

Following successful in-person events in 2020 in Glasgow and Dundee, the MRS Academy programme for 2021 will be delivered online through four, 45 minute live and on-demand bitesize sessions streamed simultaneously into science classrooms across Scotland.

Each session is provided to schools free of charge and will feature an inspiring young scientist at the cutting edge of their field as well as University lecturers and industry leaders from across medical research, science and technology.


Pupils will be able to put their science skills to the test by doing their own practical experiments, using kit delivered to schools by MRS and following on screen instructions from MRS researchers.

Professor Philip Winn, Chair of Medical Research Scotland said: “At a time where the importance of medical research has never been more evident, we hope to inspire the next generation of scientists through our Academy programme. Scotland has a proud tradition of delivering world class medical research and today’s secondary school pupils could one day be leading their field with cutting edge laboratory work.

“Following the success of in-person events last year across the country, we’re delighted to be able to make the programme available digitally for 2021, helping us to reach students who might not have been able to benefit otherwise”.

Rebekah Hodson, teacher at Strathallan School said: “In a year which has seen students, teachers and parents have to adapt to new ways of learning, programmes such as the Medical Research Scotland Academy series provide a fantastic source of inspiration for our students. We signed up our pupils confident that the Academy series will ignite their passion for science and provide them with a taste of the career opportunities open to them through STEM study”.

For more information, please contact Tara D’Agostino, Sinead Donnelly or Tom Hallam at, available on 07966 841 982, 07464 473 510 or 07590 333 253 respectively

COVID Eliminator: World’s first antimicrobial spray that eradicates COVID-19 on surfaces for more than six weeks launches in UK

A biotech cleaning company has released a domestic version of its antimicrobial treatment, which provides continuous protection against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pathogens on surfaces for up to six weeks after one spray application. Independently verified by the Global Virus Network, laboratory testing showed pre-coated surfaces achieved a 99.9% kill rate against the COVID-19 virus within 10 minutes of contact, even after six weeks! Traditional disinfectants would need to be continually applied to a surface every five minutes to achieve the same level of protection of just one application of Zonitise Surface Antimicrobial, making it a world first. The company has also launched an alcohol-free hand sanitiser which actively protects against coronavirus for up to eight hours.

A biotech company has brought to market a new antimicrobial protectant spray which can kill and protect against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) for up to six weeks, and an alcohol-free hand sanitiser which actively protects for up to eight hours.

The products, marketed and distributed by Zonitise, are being launched to the public after laboratory tests revealed just one spray kept surfaces still able to eliminate 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 more than six weeks later.

Laboratory Tests of the Zonitise Surface antimicrobial spray have been independently verified by the Global Virus Network, a coalition of the world’s preeminent human and animal virologists from 53 Centers of Excellence and ten Affiliates in 32 countries. The results mean it’s the first product in the world to offer this proven level of protection against SARS-CoV-2. Traditional products would need to be continually applied to a surface every five minutes to achieve the same level of protection of just one application of Zonitise Surface.

Members of the public and businesses can now buy Zonitise Surface antimicrobial spray here: 

Zonitise Surface Antimicrobial Spray differs from competitor products by offering continuous protection from multiple harmful pathogens, mould and fungi for up to 60 days after just one application. Other products may kill pathogens, but are only effective for a moment in time, and once a surface has dried there are no residual properties to stop those surfaces harbouring and transmitting harmful disease again. Surfaces sprayed with Zonitise antimicrobial have been laboratory tested to reveal the coating kills 99.9% of SARS COV 2 and many other harmful pathogens such as E-coli and MRSA, for more than six weeks after initial application.

The coating is non-toxic, non-mutagenic and non-leaching, and is suitable for all surfaces, whether in the home or in a public space, including carpets and furniture. The long lasting nature of the spray makes it ideal for busy areas with high footfalls, but particularly shops, schools, and nurseries, where multiple children can interact with each other at any time, coming into contact with the same surfaces and touchpoints.

Zonitise Surface antimicrobial spray is available to the public online from £10.79 for 250ml, £17.99 for 500ml or £119.99 for a 5L supply.

Alongside its groundbreaking antimicrobial protectant spray, Zonitise’s hand sanitiser is also certified to kill 99.99% of Coronavirus tested to EN14476 standards, and has proven efficacy of up to 8 hours on hands, whereas traditional sanitisers are only effective for a matter of minutes. It’s alcohol-free and keeps hands moisturised rather than drying them out as alcohol-based sanitisers can do.

Zonitise Skin antimicrobial hand sanitiser is available from £4.40 for 50ml, £9.25 for 250ml or £96.25 for a 5L supply.

Zonitise is a biotech and microbial control company, specializing in antimicrobial protection against bacteria, viruses, mould, mildew, and odours. Zonitise’s mission is to reduce cross contamination risk on surfaces and touch points to keep people healthy. Zonitise antimicrobial coatings are used across the UK and have been professionally applied in many locations since the pandemic started last year. Zonitise protected surfaces can be found in many places including London City Airport, Gatwick Airport, schools, hotels, NHS health centres and even public transport. The coating has a proven efficacy to inactivate SARS COV 2 virus that comes into contact with any treated surface or touchpoint.

Edward Tennent, a director at Zonitise, said,

“The launch of these products, particularly Zonitise Surface Antimicrobial, means we’re able to give every industry, household, school, and workplace in the country more protection against COVID-19 than ever before. The recent rise in cases and hospitalisations in the UK and the closing of schools while we wait for the vaccine roll out shows just how important a product like this is to help make the environments we spend time in safer.

“We’ve worked hard to bring products to market that go above and beyond just eradicating COVID-19 at point of use, by offering independently proven residual protection from harmful pathogens long after you have applied them.  We’ve seen the success of our professionally applied surface treatments in the last year in many different environments, so it’s excellent that we can now make that same proven treatment widely available to help keep people safe in their homes and environments too.”

Record number of kids turn to the BBC for education and entertainment

– Record-breaking 40.8m requests for Children’s shows on BBC iPlayer
– 5.8m unique visitors to BBC Bitesize website for home schooling help
– 971k requests for Bitesize Daily on BBC iPlayer
– 800k visitors for CBeebies apps

Last week (11-17 January), children’s programming on BBC iPlayer was requested a record breaking 40.8m times as children turn to the BBC for education and entertainment during lockdown. The figures are the highest BBC Children’s has ever achieved on iPlayer, beating last year’s record of 40.2m requests.


The BBC’s education offer, Lockdown Learning, which rolled out across more platforms last week, attracted 5.8m users to the Bitesize website, an increase of 12% from the first week of Bitesize Daily on 20 April 2020.


On BBC iPlayer, Bitesize Daily was requested 971k times with lessons for 5-7 year olds proving the most popular, accounting for 439k requests.


Lockdown Learning on BBC Two and CBBC also saw a big increase in audience numbers, with CBBC’s average audience for the slot increasing by 355% across the week. The overnight average audience for BBC Two was 290k, a 5% increase vs the slot average over the previous 52 weeks.


CBeebies programming performed particularly strongly on BBC iPlayer, breaking its own record for number of BBC iPlayer requests in a single week. In total there were 32.3m requests for CBeebies programming.


The four CBeebies apps had more than 800,000 unique visitors last week, proving Playtime Island, Go Explore, Get Creative and Storytime continue to attract pre-schoolers in their droves.


Patricia Hidalgo, Director of BBC Children’s and Education, says: “As with the last lockdown, BBC Children’s and Education continues to provide vital support, entertainment and educational resources for parents and children across the UK. We are thrilled that millions of households are making use of these services for home-schooling help and some much needed entertainment.”

BettFest 2021: Engaging all learners, anytime and anywhere

Words by Barbara Holzapfel

The past year has been a time of unprecedented change, complexity and ambiguity, and educators, students and parents had to embrace new ways of teaching and learning. But through it all, it’s been inspiring to see the incredible work the education community has done to keep students engaged.  

Schools and systems had to respond to the crisis quickly, transition to the new school year, and are  reimagining education for the future – all with a focus  on student-centered learning, critical skills, social learning, safety & security, and scalability, to bring pedagogy and technology together.  

Today more than ever, powerful devices, collaborative environments, analytical tools, and immersive experiences are critical, and we’re excited to announce new devices and features for collaboration and social-emotional learning.

New for the next school year: keeping students engaged with affordable, connected, secure Windows 10 Devices and new Classroom Pen 2   

One of the key lessons of the past year has been that learning can happen anywhere. Affordable, easy-to-use devices are key to empowering all students . 

In a recent survey, 61% of teachers selected “Better devices and internet access” as a primary way to improve remote learning for students. @MicrosoftEdu







At BettFest, we’re unveiling an expanded portfolio of new Windows 10 devices for the upcoming school year, many with LTE connectivity. These are our most affordable LTE connected devices yet, with the ability to power engaging, collaborative learning experiences anytime and anywhere.  

The new LTE capable devices are:

  • Acer TravelMate Spin B3, starting at $329
  • AcerTravelMate B3, starting at $239
  • Asus ExpertBook BR1100, starting at $279
  • JP-IK Leap Connect T304, starting at $229
  • JK-IP Leap T304, starting at $185

To stay connected and engaged in remote and hybrid learning environments, students need a device with all day battery life, an HD camera, and a high-quality mic, as well as the speed, power, and storage to keep up with their inquisitive minds. One of the most unique models in our portfolio is the new Dell Latitude 3120 2-in-1, which puts the power of learning in students’ hands with the latest Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage.

To learn more about all of our Windows 10 devices, take a look at our Windows Device Finder.

Students have become used to keyboards and touchscreens, but for tasks like working out a math problem, jotting notes, or drawing a diagram, a pen can be the best tool f. In fact, research shows that student performance improved as much as 36 percent when using a pen interface, compared to only using a keyboard.

We’re excited to announce an updated Microsoft Classroom Pen: the Microsoft Classroom Pen 2 has a longer enclosure and the same great experiences you are used to, at the more affordable price of $19.99 US MSRP. Now, more students can have the option to type, touch, or write – whichever works best for them, and for their specific learning situation.

Prioritizing student well-being and inclusive learning environments

Today, more than 200 million students, faculty, institutional leaders, and teachers are actively using Microsoft Education products—with Teams for Education as the hub—to engage students in remote and hybrid learning.

Recently, we completed a survey with YouGov that asked more than 1,500 students and 1,500 teachers in the US, the UK, and India to share their perspective about remote and hybrid learning. Teachers said that the most important information they need to support students during remote learning is to understand what motivates them, what complexities they face in their lives, and their emotional state.

With Reflect, an app that is available directly in Microsoft Teams, educators can deepen the critical student/teacher relationship and help develop social emotional skills by checking in with individual students and inviting them to share how they are feeling in general, or about specific topics, such as learning from home, an assignment, current events, or a change within their community. Starting this Spring, Reflect will have it’s own app in Teams, and will integrate with Education Insights.  

Last year proved that everything can change without warning. In education, the importance of personal connection was highlighted, the integration of technology was accelerated, and the role of teachers was amplified.

It’s encouraging to see the dedication to moving learning forward, to a future where all students have the opportunity, the support, and the tools to be creative, confident and optimistic learners, realizing their full potential.

As always, we love hearing from you and value your feedback. To join the conversation, follow us on Twitter at @MicrosoftEDU. And, register for Bettfest, a free, three-day virtual event packed full of inspiring keynotes, professional development, and solution discovery with education leaders and industry experts.

Thank you for being on this journey with us!




Action must be taken to reduce airborne risk of COVID-19

Schools and colleges are being urged to take new measures to improve air quality in the fight against COVID-19.

Air-care experts at facilities services provider phs Group warn that as awareness grows about how COVID-19 spreads through the air, action needs to be taken to enable schools and colleges to reopen safely.

Working with Cambridge University Fluid Mechanics Professor Paul Linden, phs reports that evidence is exponentially growing about the risk of COVID-19 transmission through aerosols which are not contained by masks and linger in the air for up to hours at a time. And, worryingly, this risk is not being effectively addressed by the current ‘Hands, Face and Space’ infection control measures.

In the new phs Index report on air quality, Prof Linden explained: “The longer you spend in an indoor environment, the greater the risk. If, for instance, you have one child infected with COVID-19 entering a classroom, the risk to the 30 other children in the class increases throughout the school day as more infected aerosols enter the environment and are spread around the room. These infected aerosols are entirely invisible to the human eye meaning you could be breathing them in without even realising it. Unfortunately, this all means that by only focusing on the ‘Hands, Face and Space’ message, we risk of leaving a gap in our defences – despite best efforts. Improving indoor air quality must be at the forefront if we truly want to create COVID-19-safe environments.”

In response to growing concerns about indoor air quality, phs has seen a significant rise in demand for its range of air purifiers which clean the air by physically removing impurities such as viruses, germs, allergens, dust, mould and VOCs. phs’ AERAMAX air purifiers remove 99.7% of airborne pollutants from the air, emitting cleaner and fresher air back into the indoor environment and can change the air within a room up to five times per hour.

While it’s too soon for research to guarantee air purifiers eliminate COVID-19, the evidence so far is promising; AERAMAX air purifiers are proven to be effective on viruses from flu and colds to the norovirus and also capture particles of TB, measles, mumps, whooping cough and chicken pox. Meanwhile, genetic similarities have been found by researchers between COVID-19 and the SARS virus, which AERAMAX is able to capture.

phs air-care expert Astley Shields said: “The airborne risk of contamination urgently needs addressing to enable people to spend time in indoor settings more safely. Keeping schools and colleges closed is not sustainable; but neither is bringing together a classroom of students and teachers in a confined space in the midst of a pandemic. Comprehensive infection control is absolutely critical to the safe reopening of the education sector. Used in partnership with hygiene measures including regular hand washing, sanitisation, cleaning and social distancing, air cleaning creates a robust line of defence as we all battle against the risks of COVID-19 and work towards the safe reopening of the education sector.”

For more information, visit phs’ coronavirus support pages. You can also visit the phs website and follow @phsGroup on Twitter and phs Group on LinkedIn 



Recognising the need to provide diverse, nutritious options for school meal boxes, school catering stalwart Pasta King has developed single and two-portion pouches of pasta sauces in 300g and 500g portion sizes, suitable for home use. The sauces are nutritionally balanced and are vegetarian and can be used with pasta or rice or to make soups or pizza toppings. 


Commenting on the development, Pasta King CEO Mark Stone said, “We have been working for some time on a smaller portion option to suit those who want to use our freshly-prepared, chilled sauces to provide a nutritious solution when trying to feed children at home during lockdown and holidays.”


With more than 25 years’ experience of supplying top quality, award-winning school meals, Pasta King is a trusted supplier to schools and contract caterers. For further information and details of how to order, please email or tel 07792 645515.

Celebrating National Handwriting Day

Let’s be honest, this year we need things to celebrate, and nothing can be better for your mental health than putting pen to paper or stylus to tablet and getting those thoughts down. So, we must teach children the skill of handwriting. 

We spoke to Andrew Clark, Apple Teacher and Deputy Head at Chorley St James C.E. Primary School, who gave us his seven simple steps for achieving handwriting mastery in the classroom.



Seven simple steps to achieve handwriting mastery

  • Start at the very beginning it’s a perfect place to start

Can the pupil hold a pencil correctly? Do they have control of the pencil? Start by assessing them to see if they can write necessary lowercase letters.  Making it fun for pupils is the key to keeping then engages.


  • Letter formation

Ensure that letters are being formed in the right way.  Bad habits picked up now can carry on into secondary school, so it’s essential to get this right.  EdTech can help you track letter formation for every child and see who needs extra support.

  • Short sentences

Look at short sentences about the world around you, for example, in the classroom this could be ‘I sat on the mat’ if working at home this could be ‘My cat is good’.  Get the pupil to come up with some of their own short sentences and try those.

  • Moving to cursive

As the pupil masters individual letters, it’s then time to move onto cursive.  With cursive writing, repetition is key.  Firstly, trace each letter one by one.  Then start with short words to get the formation right, such as bat, cat, may, boy, girl etc.  With cursive, it’s all about practising to get the flow right.

  • Write your own story

Nothing gives me more joy than writing their own stories and at this stage, pupils should be able to start writing their own short stories, which is, after all, where all the great authors such as David Walliams and JK Rowling started their writing journey.

  • Look to technology

One tricky thing with handwriting is monitoring letter formation and writing progress when you have a class of 30 pupils.  Technology has been a lifeline through COVID, as our pupils and we took to home learning like ducks to water.  But now as we head back to the classroom, edTech can help teachers gain something that will be desperately needed, more time.  We use technology to helps us with handwriting, and we’ve seen some fantastic progress, the children are more engaged, and we’ve seen a massive improvement in handwriting.

  • Other useful places for resources

There are so many useful places to look for resources, here’s a few I use. 

  • @Twinkl
  • @NHA_News
  • @UKEdChat
  • @Teachhandwriting

So this National Handwriting Day (23rd January), why not help your class celebrate the joy of handwriting by treating your class to some free handwriting lessons on a tablet – they’ll love it, and you’ll see a positive impact on engagement and attainment.

Andrew Clark is a Deputy Head and Apple Teacher from Chorley St James C.E. Primary School who use Kaligo App to help their children master handwriting in the classroom.  You can sign up for your free eight-week trial here.


Amazon offering free resources to help families with home learning

What is Amazon offering?


  • Amazon Maths4All now offers hundreds of free maths games, apps and challenges on Alexa, worksheets for Kindle and Fire Tablets, and caters for a range of ages across primary and secondary school, learning styles and abilities.
  • Students can tune into a maths lesson from Rachel Riley, Countdown presenter and the nation’s favourite mathematician, who joined our Very Important Breakfast Clubs to play the numbers game and show that maths is ‘easy as Pi’.
  • You can even involve Alexa in learning from home. Get started by saying, “Alexa, ask the Maths Coach to start a test”, or “Alexa, ask the Maths Coach for a hard addition test”.
  • Amazon has injected some fun into times tables lessons with free games available to download on Amazon Fire Tablets. Older students can try out Timestables Rockstars while younger learners can play ‘Meet the Numberblocks!’.



  • The Hour of Code Dance Party is the perfect feel-good Friday finish after a long week of remote learning. This interactive dance-themed online coding tutorial gives students the opportunity to build their computer science skills while have some fun coding characters to dance to songs from leading artists.
  • Dr Ranj Singh, the NHS doctor and BAFTA award-winning TV presenter, is providing a short brain-busting lesson in biology. Children in years 1 -7 can learn about the growing brain and how to keep your brain healthy.
  • Amazon Future Engineer is our comprehensive childhood-to-career programme designed to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to try computer science. Earlier this year, Amazon Future Engineer launched free virtual coding programmes to help young people build computer science skills while learning at home.
  • Those aged 11-16 can enter the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, which challenges students to develop technological innovations to help solve some of the world’s biggest issues (entries close 12th February 2021)


  • Young people and parents can listen to stories at, with specially curated categories such as ‘Littlest Listeners’ and ‘Elementary’ offering free audio books. Get whisked away to Alice In Wonderland (read by Scarlett Johansson), Jane Eyre (read by Thandie Newton), Anne of Green Gables (Read by Rachel McAdams) and Frankenstein (read by Dan Stevens).

Physical Education

More information can be here: