Highcliffe school joins HISP Multi Academy Trust

A Christchurch secondary school and sixth form has joined a multi academy trust (MAT) in a bid to expand facilities, resources and to improve investment in staff training.

 

Highcliffe School has partnered with HISP Multi Academy Trust to receive access to its extensive school improvement network and to receive funding to improve some of its buildings. 

 

HISP MAT currently works with schools across wider Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth areas. 

 

The partnership has brought in funding for staff training and development, as well as new facilities and opportunities for students – for example from the Solent Maths Hub and the Science Learning Partnership. 

 

 

Headteacher Patrick Earnshaw said he is excited to be working with HISP MAT and can’t wait to welcome the positive impact it will have on the students, teachers and overall quality of Highcliffe School. 

 

Acting CEO of HISP MAT Amanda Parry said: “Our partnership with Highcliffe School will uphold their outstanding standards of teaching and will provide students, teachers and staff with even more opportunities to succeed. 

 

“It is fantastic to see the students and teachers making use of our wider support and resources such as the Solent Maths Hub. 

 

“I am really excited about the future we are shaping for Highcliffe School.”

 

Patrick Earnshaw added: “Working with HISP will consistently ensure we are providing our pupils and staff with the resources they need to flourish. HISP is helping us lay the foundations for success.”

HISP MAT also works with Tanners Brook Primary, Portswood Primary and Thornden School, however it has five further schools set to join the trust in the near future. 

 

To find out more about HISP MAT, visit its website: https://www.hispmat.org

 

Cost of living is dramatically impacting key workers as new research finds nearly 37% of teachers are struggling financially

  • 37% of teachers are struggling financially
  • Yet, using discount schemes can save key workers over £2,200 a year across every area of household expenditure including the weekly shop, holidays, broadband, mobile phones, clothing, household goods, motoring, eating out, leisure, any many other categories
  • Of the 2.7m key workers who use Network’s discount schemes:
    • 91% say they have a better quality of life
    • 46% say they feel more loyal to their role
    • 37% are more likely to recommend their workplace to others

 

A new study has highlighted the acute financial burden on teachers amidst the cost-of-living crisis with 37% saying they are struggling financially.

 

Concerned about the impact of the cost of living crisis on its members, Network, providers of discount schemes for key workers commissioned research to understand the effect of the enormous pressures facing teachers in the current climate.

 

The research has found that 37% of teachers are in financial difficulty and describe their financial situation as either; ‘making ends meet, but no more’; ‘falling a little behind, relying a bit on credit’: or “a very difficult situation-heavily in debt’.

 

Prisha, a teacher, said: “Cost of living is constantly on my mind and it is stressful. Finances are always difficult to manage and no matter how much I cut down, I always feel like I’m not making any headway.”

 

Network is calling on policymakers to make key workers more aware of the availability of discount schemes so that all staff working across education are able to take advantage of the additional helping hand that these schemes provide.

 

Discount schemes also have the additional benefit of boosting morale at a crucial time when recruitment and retention are among the biggest challenges facing the education sector.

 

A teacher, Laura, added: “My workload is never-ending, and no matter how much time I have it never seems to be enough…I absolutely love teaching and working with young people, I am passionate about making a difference, but I am tired…I know I can’t keep this up.”

 

Significantly, the research reveals that 91% of key workers who have access to one of Network’s discount schemes have a better quality of life and save an average of over £2,200 a year. The study also shows the impact of discount schemes on recruitment and retention, with 46% saying they feel more loyal to their role and 37% are more likely to recommend their workplace to others.

 

Commenting on the impact that discount schemes have, teacher Maria said: “Being a member of the discount scheme does influence my attitude towards my job; it makes me feel a lot happier about my job and it makes me feel supported and as if my job is important and I do matter to people.”

 

Storm Postlethwaite, Managing Director of Network said: “Our frontline workers make an extraordinary and invaluable contribution to the country every day, and yet many are faced with financial hardship and increasing pressures due to workforce shortages and the cost of living crisis. 

 

“While times are tough, it is vital that we offer a helping hand to relieve some of the pressures and provide some additional reward and support. Discount schemes are an important way in which we can achieve this and show our appreciation.

 

“Whilst we acknowledge the pay rise for public sector workers, we recognise that that these vital workforces remain under financial pressure. It is therefore important that the role of discount schemes is not overlooked in helping to make ends meet and to recognise these people for the amazing work they do.

 

“We are therefore calling on the Government to ensure that employers are aware of the schemes available to help their staff cope with the cost of living crisis.”

What is the outlook for food in 2022?

Oliver Hall, Managing Director at food procurement specialist allmanhall, looks at the outlook for the food industry for 2022, and concludes that there are still challenges to be faced

 

Inflation

 

As the annual pace of consumer price growth in the OECD group of developed nations hit 5.8% in November, which was the highest rate since May 1996, we have seen a significant level of food inflation in the second half of 2021. This is set to continue for 2022, with some suggesting that it could further accelerate.

 

“Prices are expected to stay at high levels throughout 2022,” says Stephan Hubertus Gay, senior agricultural policy analyst at the OECD. Clive Black, Director and head of research at Shore Capital observed food chain price rises on core commodities of 35% – 45% over a 12-month period.

 

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “the acute labour shortages across supply chains, amongst other factors, led to the year ending with a notable increase; for example, fresh food saw the largest rate of inflation in almost a decade.”

 

Food commodity prices are “now supported by inflation in the general economy”, according to Rabobank, and reinforced by “astronomical” shipping container costs, rising energy and fertiliser prices, and labour shortages in ports and factories.

 

Forecasting is notoriously difficult, with many input factors impacting the level of inflation. However, for budgeting purposes we suggest allowing for between 7.5-10% food inflation over the course of 2022.

 

Work force shortages

 

The labour shortages in the UK have been well documented through the loosening of the 2021 lock down. Like food inflation, these challenges are set to continue.  Now with Omicron an additional factor adding to the already acute situation. 

 

On 14 December, during a governmental Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Meeting on ‘Labour Shortages in the Food and Farming Sector’ the challenges with take up and processing of the Skilled Worker Visa, originally set up in December 2020, were debated. Chair of the committee, Neil Parish said: ‘Employers need workers and cannot get them in time. Pigs are being culled and wasted because there are not enough butchers in the abattoirs. Fruit is rotting on trees and crops are not being planted.’

 

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said separately that: “The government needs a coherent food policy to maintain UK production, including a clear strategy for solving labour shortages throughout the supply chain.”

 

However, recent reports suggest that the government funded HGV training scheme has been widely welcomed by the haulage industry, with significant increased interest and uptake. Currently this is only due to run until the end of November, and calls are being made to develop it into a longer-term initiative.

 

Imposition of UK Border Checks

 

The 1st of January saw the commencement of UK border checks on imports from the EU.  Whilst border checks have been in place for exports into the EU since the end of the transition, they were delayed for imports into the UK to mitigate custom related delays. The first phase, which has now gone live, is the requirement to make customs declarations, give advance notification of imports of food and to pay tariffs. Physical checks on animal and meat products will be phased in from 01 July. 

 

Trade Deals – in the longer term

 

With the trade deal with Australia now signed, a precedent has been set for future negotiations.   According to NFU president Minette Batters, the “one-sided” deal, ratified on 17 December, gave Australia’s agriculture sector “all it asked for” with little in return for British farmers, who she said were already “facing extraordinary inflationary pressure and sustained labour shortages”.

 

“It’s also difficult to discern anything in this deal that will allow us to control imports of food produced below the standards legally required of British farmers, for instance on land deforested for cattle production or systems that rely on the transport of live animals in a way that would be illegal here,” Batters added.

 

With the specifics of this deal agreed, it is difficult to see how any future deals with other nations could be struck that have improved terms for the UK food and farming sectors. Other nations will surely not accept anything less.

 

Farming Subsidies – From CAP to ELM

 

Instead of paying farm subsidies based on the area farmed under CAP, the Environmental Land Management or ELM scheme will pay British farmers to use their land in what the government deems a more environmentally friendly way, including by re-wilding or planting trees as part of the government’s drive to reach ‘net zero’ by mid-century.

 

The House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee has said the government’s new Environmental Land Management scheme lacks detail and is based on “blind optimism”.

 

Defra had given “no detail about how either the necessary productivity increases or environmental benefits [demanded by the new scheme] will be brought about”

 

“We have known we were replacing the CAP since 2016 and still we see no clear plans, objectives or communications with those at the sharp end – farmers – in this multi-billion pound, radical overhaul of the way land is used and, more crucially, food is produced in this country,” said committee chair and veteran Tory MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown.  

 

A longer-term outcome to the change of farm payment may actually result in a reduction of the amount of food produced in the UK leading to lower levels of food self-sufficiency, and potential security.

 

National Food Strategy

 

The National Food Strategy, led by Henry Dimbleby, was published in July 2021. It aims to address the key challenges in the UKs food system, from food poverty to its environmental impact. It calls for serious action to be taken to escape the ‘junk food cycle’, including sugar and salt taxes on manufacturers. It also highlights the need for a 33% reduction of red meat consumption per capita by 2030 for sustainability reasons.

 

The Government is due to officially respond this month, and although unlikely, if it were to endorse and action the National Food Strategy recommendations in full, it would have a transformative impact on the food industry.

 

Calorie Labelling

 

Following on from the implementation in October 2021 of Natasha’s Law, requiring pre-packed food for direct sale to clearly label allergens, from 01 April, English hospitality businesses, such as restaurants, pubs, and takeaways, will be required to display the calorie content of the food being sold on their menus and labels.  Initially the law will apply to English businesses with more that 250 employees preparing food and drink for immediate consumption.  

 

This legislation, currently focused on the larger foodservice operations, again shows the direction of travel of providing information for the consumer at the point of purchase.

 

It appears that the challenges we saw in 2021 will continue into 2022, with further factors to be considered, too.

 

The digital revolution in teaching during the pandemic – world’s largest international study on teachers and education

15 September 2021 – T4 Education has today published a landmark report revealing for the first time how teachers around the world have turned to technology to overcome barriers to education brought about by the pandemic.

 

Launched in Spring 2021 and informed by 20,679 teachers across 165 countries, T4 Education’s survey is the largest in the world. The report findings provide a unique and untold perspective documenting how covid restrictions have inverted understandings of disadvantage among school pupils and created a new comprehension of educational inequality. 

 

The Covid-19 outbreak sparked a global crisis in education. Governments worldwide took unprecedented action in responding to the pandemic by closing schools and entering national lockdowns for long periods. Throughout, teachers and their schools have had to overcome unique challenges in continuing teaching and learning by adapting to remote or hybrid forms of education.

 

While the evidence details the overwhelming devastation unleashed by the pandemic on children’s education, the findings in this report also tell another story of how teachers stepped-up to meet the extraordinary challenges created by the pandemic. They did so by turning to technology, by embracing and mastering new digital tools for instruction and by exploring and developing new pedagogies.

 

Furthermore, it was not the generation of younger and more recently qualified teachers who pivoted to adapt to technology and remote learning and instruction. Instead, it was the most experienced, predominantly older teachers who used digital tools the most, who taught more classes online and who deployed the most sophisticated and creative types of remote teaching.

 

Faced with a once-in-a-generation challenge of switching to a new model of remote learning, the teaching profession worldwide rose to this task. But by having to do so, the digital divide has become the number one factor of inequality in education worldwide.

 

Nonetheless, despite well-known limitations such as poor internet access and inadequate supply of digital devices, the vast majority of respondents consider their experience of the pandemic has made them better and more enthusiastic teachers.

 

 

 

 

 

In summary, the key findings of the report are:

 

  1. 55% of teachers with between 21- and 30-years’ experience said they taught lessons online in the year before completing the survey in spring 2021, compared with 38% who had taught for between three and five years.
  2. Linked to the point above are the findings that among teachers who said they undertook more than 10 whole days of training over the previous year, 54% were teachers with 30-plus years’ experience, falling to 31% of teachers who had been in the classroom for 5 years or fewer.
  3. Maths teachers were consistently the least likely among teachers of all curriculum subject areas to use a range of digital tools for teaching and learning.
  4. The use of digital tools for assessment is surprisingly very low. The survey found that 27% used technology for assessments daily, 29% weekly and 20% once or twice a month. Another 7% of respondents used technology for assessments once or twice a year and 17% never or almost never did so.
  5. The vast majority of surveyed teachers considered that the experience of teaching during the pandemic had made them better teachers and over half had become more enthusiastic about teaching.
  6. Teachers reported the most frequently observed group of children to suffer learning loss during the pandemic were those with less access to the internet or to technology (60%). This factor accounted for more than other indicators of deprivation including economic status, unemployment, unstable home environments or special educational needs.
  7. Schools are proving to be a greater leveller in providing children with access to digital equipment and the internet. However, the survey exposes a sharp digital divide in which children in government-funded and, especially, low-cost private schools and schools in rural locations were much more likely to miss out and their education suffered in consequence.
  8. Almost a quarter of teachers (23%) reported that their school did not have access to the internet at all. More than half (53%) said insufficient online access hindered their schools’ ability to provide high quality education.
  9. Shortages of technology hardware for instruction also constrained the capacity of schools, more than half of teachers (52%) said. More than four in ten teachers (42%) said that they brought their own digital device, whether it be a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone, into their school to teach.
  10. Schools in rural areas made less use of technology than schools in cities and metropolitan areas. While this might be expected, the digital divide between urban and rural schools is still stark and means that hundreds of millions of children lost out on their learning due to where their families live. The gap in percentage points between rural and urban schoolteachers was 14 points on whether their children’s education was hindered by poor internet access (61% versus 46%) and 13 points on inadequacy of digital resources (59% versus 46%).

 

Vikas Pota, Founder of T4 Education, said:

 

“The past 18-months have been an incredible journey for teachers worldwide. This unique report documents globally how teachers have heroically responded to the world-wide education crisis being driven by the ensuing pandemic.”

 

“This report is distinctive and noteworthy because it shows us the viewpoint from those who have been on the frontline delivering education. We see amazing ingenuity, innovation, creativity, and collaboration amongst teaching peers in every country. The results of which are not only benefitting millions of children and whole communities worldwide, but also the profession.”

 

“I am really pleased to be launching this report today and want to send my gratitude to the tens of thousands of teachers in 165 countries who have taken the time to respond. Capturing the experience of teachers, the findings present a real opportunity with teachers and schools around the world, as well as with global partners to bring about the required change.”

 

Whizz Education Calls for Virtual Tutors to Become Part of National Strategy to Help Lost Learning

25 May 2021:  Whizz Education, provider of the leading virtual tutor Maths-Whizz, is calling on the Government to use catch-up funding for virtual tutors as a cost effective, scalable option to help lost learning due to the Pandemic.

 

The Institute for Fiscal Studies states: “By the time the Pandemic is over, most children across the UK will have missed over half a year of normal, in person schooling. That’s likely to be more than 5% of their entire time in school. The unprecedented nature of the current crisis makes it hard to predict the actual effects and the negative effects are also likely to extend beyond educational attainment.”   

 

Richard Marett, CEO, Whizz Education explains: “Over 2020-21, more than £350 million of public funds will be spent on the provision of subsidised human tutoring organised by the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) as an unrivalled means of supporting student catchup.   However, there is a missed opportunity in the form of virtual tutoring.  A virtual tutor is an automated online system that simulates the most effective instructional behaviours of a human tutor.  Virtual tutors have been shown to be as effective as human tutors and far more scalable.

 

“For example, our research shows with just 60 minutes per week of the Maths-Whizz virtual tutor over a six-week summer period, students can expect to acquire a four-month learning advantage.  In addition, Maths-Whizz provides more than 1,250 pre-prepared lesson plans, reducing the burden for teachers and assisting them to deliver measurable learning gains for children with a range of abilities.

 

“The rates payable by schools for just 15 hours of 1:1 human tutoring from the NTP subsidised tutors is a typical total cost of £700 per pupil.  By comparison, virtual tutoring costs approximately £30 per child per subject per annum when deployed at an individual school level and would be substantially less if adopted at scale, reducing to around £10 per child.  Therefore, we are calling for virtual tutoring to become part of a long-term national strategy bringing real-time accountability and measurable gains.

 

“Virtual tutoring now has the potential to form an integral part of education and serve as a safety net for all students irrespective of their background, to enjoy uninterrupted access to quality education.  It offers the real chance to help to close the learning gap and help students get back-on-track in a cost effective and scalable way.”  

 

To find out more about Whizz Education and the Maths-Whizz virtual tutor please see: www.whizzeducation.com

 

Disadvantaged pupils have no less enthusiasm for science than their more affluent counterparts

UCLan researchers share first-stage findings of Blackpool-focused research project to improve engagement with science and technology

 

Primary school children from low socio-economic areas are just as interested in science as their more affluent counterparts, according to new research from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). However, a lack of knowledge about possible science careers means their aspirations for scientific roles later in life could be lost.

 

These findings, published in the Journal of Science Communication (JCOM), come from the ongoing four-year Blackpool PIER (Physics: Inspire, Engage, Research) project conducted by Professor Robert Walsh and Dr Cherry Canovan from UCLan. The research is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) as part of a Fellowship in Public Engagement held by Walsh.

 

It involves pupils from three primary and two secondary schools in Blackpool, one of the most socio-economically deprived areas of the UK, and aims to improve engagement with science and technology, especially space science, amongst a very low participation group.

 

The project is following the same cohort of pupils as they progress from Year 6 to Year 9. Initial findings, drawn from surveys, interviews and other assessments with Year 6 pupils at the beginning of the study, found that as a group the children are as interested in science as their peers from more affluent backgrounds.

 

This study suggests that attempts to increase science participation among these groups should not simply promote the subject as ‘fun’ or ‘interesting’ but could have a greater impact by demonstrating clearly how science can open up possible future career opportunities.

 

Research Associate Dr Cherry Canovan, lead author on the paper, said: “It is heartening to speak to these young people and find that they are enthusiastic about science, yet we often don’t see this interest translates into an expectation of future job opportunities involving science.

 

“There are likely a number of factors involved here. The pupils we spoke to know it is useful to study science, but don’t really know why, and have a limited understanding of the breadth of science-related careers. Many just can’t see themselves ‘being scientists’ despite saying they enjoyed the subject, with some fearing it would be incompatible with how they like to be perceived, for example being sporty, ‘girly’, or the class joker.

 

“In addition, the pupils we interviewed didn’t have science role models to emulate and while many said their parents had an interest in science, the proportion among the PIER cohort who said their parents would expect them to go to university was around ten percent lower than among the same demographic nationally*.”

 

Professor Walsh and Dr Canovan have used these results to plan a series of engagement activities with the pupils over the following three years to see if they can influence decisions to study science to GCSE level and possibly beyond.

 

Professor Walsh said: “Much government policy towards boosting science in higher education in particular focuses on an assumed lack of interest and desire in low-socioeconomic groups. However, the enthusiasm is already there and this ‘hidden science identity’ needs to be revealed and translated into real-life prospects for these young people.

 

“It is concerning that while pupils stated that science was useful, they did not have the understanding to back this up; this suggests that often methods used to disseminate this message could be lacking in practical effectiveness, information that may provide some cause for reflection among the wider science communication community.

 

“We’re recommending that programmes instead allow young people to explore their science identity more fully and provide innovative ways for them to discover the kinds of jobs that studying science may lead to.”

 

The PIER project has been conducting four different types of activities each year for the PIER participants, which translates to around 36 hours of science contact for each pupil overall. This includes ‘meet the scientists’ events, trips to UCLan’s Alston Observatory and Young Scientist Centre as well as family science events at school. All pupils will be reassessed at the end of the process to see if their attitudes, understanding and relationship to science has changed.

 

Dr Canovan is also conducting an ongoing research project into the impact of Covid-related school closures on primary science learning and said the pandemic could exacerbate scientific inequalities.

 

“We are beginning to see evidence that science learning loss due to lockdown is a much greater problem in traditionally low-participation communities. Teachers felt less able to set science work due to concerns about internet access and asking parents to provide resources for activities. For many of these children, school is their only opportunity to access science; ongoing Covid restrictions could further widen the gap between the science ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.”

 

She added: “Blackpool is just one example of a community where young people are being left behind. It is not just in the interest of the pupils themselves to see working in science as a realistic prospect, but as the government looks to increase jobs in areas such as the space industry, cybersecurity and clean energy, then the UK needs a much larger pool to draw this future workforce from.”

 

The paper, A space to study: expectations and aspirations toward science among a low-participation cohort, is available to download on the JCOM website.

 

STEVE CLARKE AND DAVID MARSHALL GIVE TOP MARKS TO SCHOOLS PROJECT THAT TAKES SCOTLAND’S UEFA EURO 2020 SUCCESS INTO CLASSROOMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

  • Scotland Head Coach supports digital teachers’ resource that allows “next generation to share in the achievement” of reaching next summer’s finals
  • Penalty-save hero Marshall says initiative underlines “importance of what we achieved” for next generation
  • Learning Through Football platform puts historic qualification on the curriculum in schools across Scotland as Hampden prepares to co-host tournament

 

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke and penalty-save hero David Marshall have given their backing to a new initiative which will enable thousands of children across the country to add Scotland’s UEFA EURO 2020 adventure to their studies. Learning Through Football, a classroom-based teaching resource, was today launched at Miller Primary School in Castlemilk and is designed to use the power of football to improve literacy and numeracy. 

 

The programme has been developed in line with the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and includes more than 40 activities centred around the UEFA European Championship for teachers to download and deliver after the Christmas holidays. 

 

Building on the excitement of the Scotland Men’s National Team qualification for the first major tournament in 22 years, Learning Through Football will launch in Glasgow – with Hampden Park one of 12 host city venues for the 60th anniversary of the UEFA European Championship – and will be rolled-out across the country as excitement builds. 

 

Pupils taking part will get an exclusive insight into the world of the Scotland National Team and the broader football industry, tailored to literacy and numeracy outcomes: from the stats behind the successes of captain Andy Robertson and goalkeeping hero David Marshall; presenting like STV’s Sheelagh MacLaren; to trying-out the art of commentary made famous by BBC Scotland’s Liam McLeod and Sky Sports’ Ian Crocker.

 

Steve Clarke, Scotland Head Coach: “It is important that football, as our national sport, is back on the national curriculum and it’s encouraging that the whole country can share in what the Scotland National Team has achieved, especially the next generation of young people we want to inspire. Whether it’s playing the game or being involved in the many jobs around football, Learning Through Football is a great initiative that will allow young people to learn all about the EUROS in anticipation of Scotland taking part and especially with Hampden Park being one of the host venues.”

 

David Marshall, Scotland goalkeeper: “It’s great to see that qualifying for a major tournament is already having a positive influence on young people through the school curriculum. Learning Through Football is a terrific initiative and one I wished was available in the classroom when I was that age.

 

“In a way it makes you realise the importance of what we have achieved and hopefully it inspires kids across the country to interact with football in a way that will help their education but also  their careers with the possibilities that now exist in and around the game.”

 

Based on the established ‘inter-disciplinary learning’ model, the tool has been developed in conjunction with Glasgow’s Physical Education, Physical Activity and School Sport (PEPASS) team and Glasgow City Council Education Services.

 

Miller Primary School in Glasgow is one of the schools already using the tool in class, with pupils trying a range of new activities from designing football strips to making their own national anthem for the tournament. Two pupils have also re-enacted the Head Coach’s post-match interview after Scotland qualified in a dramatic penalty shootout against Serbia in Belgrade.

 

Jacqueline Church, Principal Teacher at Miller Primary School: “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed bringing the Learning Through Football tool into the classroom. Everyone loves their football at Miller Primary and the activities are really flexible and allow the children to explore their own interests in the sports industry. Not only are the assignments fun and interesting, but the children are able apply a range of skills to meaningful life contexts, boosting their confidence and leadership skills.

 

“By exploring jobs within the industry, they are also recognising the teamwork, communication and perseverance skills we need to work in any job, which sets them in good stead for the future.”

 

David Weir, PE Lead Officer at PEPASS, said: “It’s been a pleasure working with the UEFA EURO 2020 Glasgow team and the Scottish FA over the past couple of years to develop this extremely valuable teaching and learning tool.  

 

“The commitment to detail and desire to create an educational resource which not only acknowledges and references many aspects of Curriculum for Excellence but specifically delivers a relevant, coherent, challenging, enjoyable and lasting tool for all, was particularly appealing.

 

“We will all be celebrating when Scotland run onto the pitch for their first game at Hampden, none more so than our young people, and this tool will really help them feel part of it.”

 

 

ABOUT LEARNING THROUGH FOOTBALL

 

The tool is accessed through a newly launched area of the UEFA EURO 2020 website, which will give primary and secondary teachers easy access to the resources needed to deliver in schools.

 

This new digital format of the inter-disciplinary learning tool allows teachers to see the cross-curricular links between project ideas, showing the wealth of learning areas that football can be part of. Alongside learning topics, there are a number of projects and assignments aligned to Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) learning outcomes in literacy, expressive arts, health and wellbeing, maths and numeracy, science, social studies and technologies.

 

Each curriculum area can be downloaded as a handy summary, as well as the whole snapshot of the curriculum and related project ideas. There is a guidance note for further information.

 

Teachers are being asked to use, share and feedback on experiences with these resources, as the Scottish FA and partners continue to develop the project.

 

For more information and to download the resources please visit https://euro2020.scottishfa.co.uk/learning-through-football. Teachers and schools are also encouraged to share their work on social media using #LearningThroughFootball, #EURO2020 and tagging @GlasgowEURO2020.

 

Primary pupils to learn how to be compassionate as first UK course launches

A new free course that teaches primary pupils how to be compassionate and resolve playground disputes themselves has launched in the UK – the first of its kind.

 

The Compassion Project, which is for Key Stage 2 pupils, teaches children to notice how others may be feeling and to think about different points of view to their own.

 

Pupils are introduced to a group of cartoon characters who are preparing for a talent show and playing games in the playground. Through interactive scenarios,  animated videos and offline activities, pupils are shown what compassion is and how to practise it to overcome disagreements and get along better with their classmates.

 

As part of the course, pupils are taught how to identify which emotions each character might be feeling and to learn that it is ok to have different feelings about things. Pupils are taught that empathy is when you can imagine how others are feeling and that compassion is doing or saying something helpful, kind or caring.  

 

The course is the only one of its kind for primary pupils in the UK and has been adapted from a US version, which was the idea of LinkedIn Executive Chairman Jeff Weiner. The original version has already reached about 20% of all primary schools in the US.

 

The course, which is linked to the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education programme of study, has been developed and tested by UK teachers. The PSHE Association has accredited the short blended learning course.

 

It has been launched in the UK by education company EVERFI and is underpinned by research from Loyola University in Chicago that shows teaching pupils compassion helps their social emotional skills as well as their capacity to learn.

 

Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn’s Executive Chairman, said: “Given the state of the world today and how much polarisation is taking place at a time when we actually need to be coming together to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems, I’m not sure I can think of anything more important than teaching compassion.”

 

Nick Fuller, EVERFI’s President (International), said: “We know from research that compassion enhances our overall well-being and our capacity to learn.

 

It is a quality that is very much in need in these troubling times and should be taught from an early age.

 

“Our hope, in launching the first UK course on compassion for primary pupils, is to help create a more equal society by providing young people with life skills that prepare them for a happier, safer and more resilient future.”

 

The course is completely free for all UK schools, with no plans to charge for any part of it in the future. It can be used in class or at home and teachers receive impact reports to show how much their pupils have learnt and understood.

 

The course has both online and offline resources, comprehensive lesson plans and pupil worksheets, all linked to the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum.

 

Schools can register to access the course – and others like it – here [everfiteachers.co.uk]

 

Teachers, parents and students must work together as Greenwich schools move back online

 

From Monday evening, all schools in Greenwich will be moving their classes online to reduce coronavirus transmissions between children in education in an effort to control the London borough’s infection rate, which is currently at its highest since March.

 

The move back to online learning follows council leader, Danny Thorpe, underlining that Greenwich is showing signs of a period of exponential growth which need immediate addressing, despite the government threatening legal action to keep schools open until the start of the Christmas holidays on Friday.

 

Following the news, Hilary Stephenson, managing director at Sigma, a user experience (UX) design agency, has offered some insight into how to make the transition online as successful as possible and why schools should be working to optimise their use of technology in teaching.

 

Hilary said: “Schools must update their approach to remote teaching based on previous lockdowns, as it moves back to online learning, while children are kept at home as Greenwich seeks to get the virus back under control.

 

“The transition between face-to-face and virtual education needs to be as seamless as possible to minimise the disruption of a child’s education. For the best outcomes, teaching staff, parents and children are going to have to work together to iron out any creases which were apparent earlier in the year, and any new issues that may arise as learning becomes remote again. Schools and local authorities shouldn’t lose sight of the need to make remote learning inclusive, with the same opportunities given to all pupils regardless of their home situation, accessibility or learning needs.

 

“Looking ahead, a blended approach to learning is the future of education as digital becomes more and more integrated in teaching. While the coming weeks will be challenging for all involved, schools in London should view the short-term closure of classrooms as a chance to assess which blending learning approaches work best for their teachers and pupils. Schools who do well to use this time to optimise their use of technology and will place themselves in an ideal position as we move to more remote, digitally-enabled ways of learning.”

 

How parents can help children improve mental health during pandemic with fun PE lessons at home

School closures, Covid-19 self-isolation and lockdown restrictions have made primary school children appreciate PE lessons and sport more than ever before.

A survey by the Youth Sport Trust found that more than a quarter of youngsters said sport and exercise made them feel better during the pandemic.

With most grassroots sports cancelled and ‘bubbles’ being sent home from school; parents are now being urged to help their children stay active during tiered lockdowns.

PE Planning, a team of experienced PE specialists, have created a free resource of ideas and tips on how primary school children can exercise safely at home, boosting their well-being and mental health.

Yorkshire-based PE Planning has published a series of free resource sheets online for both parents and teachers to keep primary aged children active.

Research by the Youth Sport Trust found that 27% of children said sport and exercise improved their mood. This was particularly true for junior school-age pupils aged eight to 11.

More than a third (37%) said sport and PE was more important in their lives now than before lockdown.

Will Smith, founder of PE Planning, said: “Since the start of the pandemic we have seen just how important PE, sport and exercise is to our children and young people.

“Not being able to burn off that excess energy and let off some steam affects how they feel and their mental health.

“With grassroots sport cancelled and school life being very different now it’s important that children still maintain regular exercise.

“Home-schooling has meant parents have been more closely involved with the education of their children than ever before and physical exercise (or physical literacy) is just as important as academic learning.”

PE Planning are specialists in delivering PE planning for primary school age children which supports National Curriculum requirements.

But the company also publishes free exercise advice for parents. There are lots of ideas for family-friendly exercise and games, all with the accent on fun.

There are indoor games, ball skills, dancing and gymnastics – and even exercises that can be done at the kitchen table. There are also family fitness plans so mum and dad can join in too.

The ideas are all simple and inexpensive so everyone can take part even without sports or other equipment at home.

“Our sessions are active, engaging and fun,” said Will. “We want everybody to have access to high quality exercise plans and much of what we offer can be done without any equipment at all.

“We aim to inspire and motivate our children to get active and that’s more important today than ever before. Parents can really make a difference to their children’s physical and mental well-being with a few simple ideas.”

The free resources can be found at www.peplanning.org.uk