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A Royal Question for a British Astronaut

The National Space Centre, home to the National Space Academy, yesterday welcomed Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex to meet with a small number of students and staff as they begin a very exciting educational year.

The Countess of Wessex joined British astronaut Helen Sharman at the National Space Centre as part of World Space Week to meet a small number of students from the National Space Academy Space Engineering course, which this year has seen a significant growth in applications, leading to a second student group being added for the first time.

The visit included a live Q&A session with Helen, that was transmitted (via space satellites) to a worldwide audience online.

Questions were kicked off by Her Royal Highness, who asked about inspiring the next generation of children.

The National Space Academy

In 2012 the National Space Academy established the UK’s first full-time post-16 course for students in Space Engineering. It is the only course of its kind, unique both in its subject matter and in its combination of BTEC qualifications with traditional A Levels.

More than 80% of its students, the majority having no family history of progression into Higher Education, have gone on to study degree-level University courses in physics or engineering or Higher Apprenticeship programmes with some of Europe’s leading aerospace and engineering companies including Airbus and Rolls Royce.

Several students who have finished their undergraduate and MSc courses have been awarded first-class degrees.

With the success of the course and significant career opportunities within a thriving UK space industry, this year there will be two cohorts of Space Engineering students to meet demand for places.

The Academy is part funded by the National Space Centre, the UK Space Agency and the Lloyds Register Foundation, with additional support from The Ogden Trust and PPG.

Laser targeted reading intervention programme launched to help schools support pupils’ learning recovery

As teachers return to class, the need to identify and address any reading issues will be a priority. With this in mind, Lexplore Analytics has launched a ready-made reading development and intervention programme which provides teachers with proven strategies to target each child’s precise difficulties.

Lexplore Intensive has been developed by experienced teacher,  SENDCO and dyslexia specialists, Pamela Hanigan and Rachel Gelder, who co-founded Lancashire Dyslexia Information Guidance and Support (LDIGS).

With full instruction guides, marking sheets and student workbooks, the reading development and intervention programme for children in years 1 to 10, removes the need for lesson planning around interventions. It can therefore be picked up and used by reading volunteers, and support staff as well as SENDCOs or class teachers.

Dyslexia expert and Lexplore Intensive author, Rachel Gelder, said: “The task facing teachers as they return to school is a significant one. Identifying any learning gaps and supporting pupils as they work through the recovery curriculum is a big ask. With Lexplore Intensive, we have made sure teachers have instant access to a set of proven interventions matched to each child so that progress in the core skill of reading can be made quickly.”

Lexplore Intensive is relevant for all learners with strategies suitable for neurodiverse and EAL learners. Teachers will have access to interventions to develop weaker readers plus ideas to challenge the stronger readers in a class so all children can make progress.

Fellow Lexplore Intensive author, Pamela Hanigan said: “Rachel and I just simply imagined what sort of interventions guide we would want created for ourselves as teachers and that is what we set about making. We have used a range of multisensory learning techniques for each intervention so a full range of learning styles is catered for. It focuses heavily on improving working memory and metacognition so the skills children learn will stay with them beyond the initial intervention.”

The reading development and intervention programme is based on the principles of Letters and Sounds and aligns with the colour coded reading assessment results that are generated when a pupil sits Lexplore Analytics’ unique eye tracking reading assessment. Using both tools together a teacher can have within minutes a full assessment of a child’s reading and a plan of interventions to address any concerns.

Interventions for embedding letter recognition, include revising the alphabet with multisensory techniques, using physical letters (such as plastic letters or letter pebbles), saying and hearing the letters, tracing over these with a finger, tracking the letters and putting them in alphabetical sequence. Using a number of different senses in this way, means the learning is more likely to stay with the child.

An intervention aimed at a group of older children with comprehension difficulties could include cutting up the lines of an unfamiliar poem and asking the children to recreate the poem in what they believe to be the correct order. The aim of the exercise is not to see whether the children manage to recreate the poem exactly, but to explore their discussion around the meaning of the phrases and how they would logically fit together.

Aimee Cave a SENDCO and assistant head at Pocklington Junior School who has used the workbook said:Lexplore Intensive allows me to provide small, targeted interventions most days. Even if I have just five spare minutes, I can pick it up and work with a pupil.  It ensures everyone progresses with their reading.”

Lexplore Intensive is currently available for download as a paper workbook. From October 2020 it will be available digitally from Lexplore Analytics’ new online portal.

Lexplore Intensive is available free of charge to existing Lexplore Analytics assessment users and also available to purchase as a stand-alone reading development and intervention programme. Teachers and school leaders can find out more about Lexplore Intensive at  https://www.lexplore.com/gb/lexplore-intensive/

NURTURING POSITIVE MENTAL WELLBEING IN THE COVID-19 WORLD: TOP TIPS FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS

Dr Libby Artingstall and Dr Sile McDaid (Team Mental Health) are the medical experts behind Wellbeing Through Sport, a unique programme developing mental and physical wellbeing in primary age children.

After months without the routine, support systems and social benefits provided by the school environment, the negative impact on children’s mental health is another unwanted legacy of the coronavirus pandemic.

Researchers in this area are warning of major adverse mental health consequences, presenting yet more difficulties for primary schools who are already facing an incredibly challenging day-to-day environment. The situation is still evolving but we have already seen evidence that COVID-19 has impacted on the mental health of children, and in our opinion, we can’t afford to overlook this. The Co-SPACE study recently undertaken by experts at the University of Oxford provides some insight, with the parents/carers of primary school children taking part reporting an increase in their child’s emotional, behavioural, and restless/attentional difficulties.1

Ahead of COVID-19, we were already seeing alarming signs of child wellbeing in the UK reducing or becoming stagnated, with a 2018 UNICEF report revealing that the UK performed ‘average’ or ‘below average’ compared to other rich countries.2 There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the problem, meaning we are now at a critical point for the mental health and wellbeing of primary age children, which must be prioritised and protected throughout and beyond the pandemic.

As evidence suggests that 50% of all mental health problems are established by the age of 14 years3, we believe it really is important for schools to help with the promotion of good health and the prevention of poor health, and primary schools are uniquely placed to play a pivotal role in supporting children to be mentally and physically healthy, now and into the future.

With the government now requiring that children learn about their mental health and wellbeing, more emphasis is now rightly being placed beyond the traditional academic and educational outcomes. Here are our top tips for primary schools developing their wellbeing programmes:

  1. Ensure a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing

A whole school approach is a key component of the Wellbeing Through Sport programme as we believe that for real and meaningful differences to be made, the promotion of good mental health and wellbeing needs to extend beyond the programme curriculum and be embedded across the whole of a school.

This means prioritising mental health and wellbeing and delivering a systematic approach to support this. We believe that being proactive to drive positive mental and physical health outcomes, in pupils and staff, is just as important as being reactive when problems arise.

  • Recognise the importance of, and take steps to enable organisational confidence and capability

Provide training, as part of continuing professional development, and resources to equip staff members with the understanding and skills they need to drive positive change.

  • Strive to develop and maintain an environment that is safe, affirming, and which creates a sense of belonging

The right school environment can enable pupils and staff to stay safe, keep healthy, and empower self-care. Foster an open culture where mental health and wellbeing is promoted.

  • Ensure an open-door policy for pupils and staff

It’s important to listen to the voices of the children, young people, and staff in your school so they feel safe and able to raise concerns.

  • Make sure there are clear and effective early-help pathways in place

To avoid any delays in accessing professional support, take steps to understand what support might be suitable and how to access local support services. Staff should feel part of a multi-agency working team and understand their role.

  • Work in partnership with families and your local community

Support parents and carers to recognise their role in supporting children and young people to be mentally and physically healthy, and ensure there are clear communication channels in place.

  • Promote wellbeing through physical activity

It goes without saying that activity is good for children physically, but studies also suggest it plays an important role in building resilience and supporting recovery from mental health problems.4 Programmes such as Wellbeing Through Sport have been specially designed to generate positive outcomes for both physical and mental health and we recommend combining wellbeing learning with physical activity for this reason.

Sources

  1. Mahase, 2020 & Pearcey et al, 2020
  2. The Children’s Society, 2018 & UNICEF, 2013
  3. Kessler et al, 2005
  4. Public Health England, 2020

About the Wellbeing Through Sport programme

The Wellbeing Through Sport programme has been developed in partnership between Team Mental Health and primary sports education specialists, EdStart Sports Coaching.

The aim is to deliver a programme focused on promoting good mental health and wellbeing, and therefore reducing the likelihood of a mental health problem occurring.  Covering areas such as emotional awareness, empathy, conflict resolution and assertiveness to build emotional intelligence and resilience, children are not only equipped with the life skills needed to strengthen their wellbeing but also complete at least 30 minutes of physical activity at the same time, highlighting the importance of both mental and physical health – which has been shown to have a strong influence on mental wellbeing. Schools receive a place on the Wellbeing Through Sport Masterclass and participating staff members will learn how to promote good mental health through completing online CPD UK accredited training.

For more information about the Wellbeing Through Sport Programme, please contact enquiries@edstart.org.uk / 0300 303 4414

About Team Mental Health

Team Mental Health is headed up by two medical doctors, Dr Libby Artingstall and Dr Sile McDaid who specialised to become consultant psychiatrists. With significant collective experience of working with children, young people and adults experiencing mental health problems, they became acutely aware of how limitations in the way mental health is perceived and managed could impact on the ability of a person to realise and achieve their potential.

Libby and Sile realised that for real differences to be made, expert led support to inform and empower the frontlines of our communities was essential. They collaboratively reflected on their knowledge, experience, best practice recommendations and the evidence base, and considered carefully how these could best be combined to develop an accessible, meaningful and empowering intervention. For the last four years, Team Mental Health has been successfully working with schools, businesses and the sports sector to promote good mental health, prevent mental ill health and detect signs of mental health problems.

About EdStart Sports Coaching

EdStart provides sports coaching and extracurricular school sports clubs, delivered by a team of highly trained and qualified professional coaches. The organisation helps schools meet government targets for weekly levels of physical exercise for children, whilst lightening the load on teachers with innovative new sports software.

£60M REDEVELOPMENT OF ONE OF UK’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS COMPLETES

THE multi-million-pound redevelopment of one of the largest independent schools in the UK has completed, delivering state-of-the-art facilities for students in Macclesfield.

The King’s School employs 250 people and provides education for more than 1,200 students from pre-school through to sixth form. This £60m redevelopment scheme unites two previous sites across the town into one central area, with the new campus sitting adjacent to the school’s existing sports pitches at Derby Fields. 

21,000m2 of new academic building has been built, creating 350 rooms, along with a separate sports centre and 75-acres of sporting and outdoor facilities. 

The new sports centre houses a 25m, six-lane swimming pool, a six-court sports hall, an indoor cricket centre, a dance and martial arts studio, a fitness suite and a café. Outside, students will have use of five new rugby football pitches, a rounders field and two floodlit AstroTurf hockey pitches, and netball courts.

National independent property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard has provided full design and engineering services for the project. Duncan Green, managing partner, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have completed this large-scale scheme for The King’s School, creating a high-quality central site for its students to thrive in – especially important as pupils return to the classroom after months of online learning.”

Natalie Clemson, director and project lead, said: “We worked very closely with VINCI Construction UK, the main contractor for the scheme, from the pre-contract stage. This meant we were able to fully integrate the team into the design process early on, creating a synergy and ensuring that detailed knowledge of the scheme and design intent was retained from start to finish – something extremely important to the headmaster and governors. 

“Completing a significant project like this during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge, but it was here that our close relationship with VINCI Construction UK benefitted everyone. Like many construction projects across the UK, we felt the impact and we had to change our working methodology completely. We introduced virtual site visits during the fit-out stages to suit social distancing and safety measures and held our site project meetings remotely. Despite the challenges, this had minimal impact on the scheme itself, which is a testament to the working relationships developed throughout the project and the professionalism of all involved.”

It was important to the school that the new facilities provided a reduction in its carbon footprint, while also improving budgets through energy efficiency, so that money saved on fuel bills can be reinvested back into the curriculum for the benefit of the students. 

The new, sustainable facility has been rated as BREEAM ‘very good’, and incorporates eco-features including sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), bat and swift boxes, beehives and outdoor classrooms to further connect pupils to their natural surroundings.

Simon Hyde, who was Headmaster during the design and construction phase, said: “This has been without a doubt the most ambitious project for the school in its 518-year history, and we could not be happier with the finished product. 

“A connection to nature has been very important to us at the school, and we are incredibly lucky to be set in our rural, woodland location. The new campus will allow us to expand what we offer, for example the new floodlit netball courts will allow us to host netball tournaments, something we simply could not do before. We also have Cheshire’s only indoor cricket centre.”

Dedicated art, music, science and computing rooms for both the infant and junior divisions have been built, as well as a dedicated hall, lecture theatre and library. In the senior division, teaching and learning areas have been organised by faculty, with the science department also benefitting from 15 high-tech laboratories, prep rooms and office space.

Martin Horton, project manager at VINCI Construction UK, the main contractor, added: “The new school site sits perfectly in the landscape, and along with its spacious and naturally-lit spaces is a very impressive facility. We were very pleased to work in close conjunction with Pick Everard to deliver the new school, while ensuring the safety of all those on site.”

Preliminary works started in August 2018, with the aim of the school being ready for the start of the 2020/21 academic year. The school has now welcomed back its pupils in line with the latest government guidance regarding COVID-19. The large indoor and outdoor areas including extremely spacious corridors, are helping the school to operate in a Covid-safe way.

The project has been funded by the school selling its previous two sites in Fence Avenue and Cumberland Street to housing developers, areas which will provide sustainable and affordable homes, along with retirement and assisted living options.

Pick Everard employs more than 500 staff across its 13 offices, providing a range of project, cost and design consultancy services. For more information, please visit www.pickeverard.co.uk

‘Mindful e-learning tech’ rolled out to help pupils close COVID-19 learning gap

  • New AI education platform Shiken launches to offer students mindful learning
  • Focused on STEM content for GCSE students and undergraduate medics, it offers over 50,000 free quizzes and trivia questions to support pupils as they progress through the new academic year 
  • Using teacher-created content, the app helps to address ongoing disruption to education by acting as a remote, on-demand learning tool with integrated mental health support  
  • Designed by a doctor, a headteacher, and a video game specialist, multiple domains of expertise are brought together in one user-friendly platform 
  • It’s already being used by 4,500 pupils, with over 1,000 tutors and 200 schools on the waiting list
  • On average, users are spending 35 minutes per day on the platform, with 8 minutes dedicated to mindfulness practice

London, UK – A new AI education platform has launched, integrating mindfulness techniques with AI-driven learning tools to help students catch up on lost summer-term learning and cope with future disruption. 

The platform, called Shiken (meaning ‘test’ or ‘exam’ in Japanese), offers GCSE Maths and Science support, as well as tailored help for students studying medicine at university. There are over 50,000 teacher-created questions, quizzes and study tools currently available. 

Crucially, Shiken combines AI insights with gamification and tailored exercises to create mindful learning experiences. With academic and covid-related anxiety still at worryingly high levels amongst teens, the platform is designed to positively impact their mental health whilst easing them back into education. 

With one-in-20 school pupils still absent from the classroom, Shiken offers a balanced blend of guided and independent learning. This is designed to foster continued self-directed study – a skill designed to prepare students for A Levels as well as potential future lockdowns. Students can use the Shiken app to study alone, or join ‘groups’ to collaboratively tackle a range of fun challenges.

Animated ‘Study Buddy’ characters guide students on their learning journey, with new Buddies and accessories unlocked when progress is made. AI optimises the content for each individual learner and ensures they’re getting feedback, remaining focused, and staying on track to meet their personalised goals. 

The platform has been designed by a team of industry experts. They include a former Headteacher, an NHS doctor, and a graphic designer with expertise in creating mindful content. 

To further support remote learning, schools and tutors can create their own content to publish on the platform. This means that, should students have to return to remote learning, they will have access to engaging, teacher-tailored study materials from their smartphones. 

Nat Al-Tahhan, Creative Director at Shiken, comments:

“This is an incredibly stressful time for students. With many feeling anxious about being back in school or university and getting their learning back on track, we wanted to create a platform that empowers young people to have a less stressful, more enjoyable learning experience. Everything on Shiken – from the questions to the graphics – has been designed with mindfulness and fun at its core. Mindfulness can improve knowledge retention and recall, as well as help reduce stress. We’ve built the perfect partner for students keen to build back their confidence and find the fun in learning once more!”

Patricia Young, a former Headteacher adds:

“Young people are highly adaptable, but this year has been, and continues to be,  incredibly challenging. Many teens are worried about catching up on the learning time lost and achieving the grades they need to fulfil their ambitions. It’s important that they are handed back the control over their learning, and allowed to have some fun while they study. As a former headteacher, I’m convinced that platforms like Shiken will play an important role in tailoring educational support to each student’s needs.” 

365 Response signs three year deal to provide digital transport system to National Express Accessible Transport

Yorkshire based digital transport systems provider, 365 Response has signed a three year deal with leading transport operator, National Express Accessible Transport (NEAT).

365 Response’s innovative Smart Platform is seen as a key part of NEAT’s transformation plan to drive improvements in the operation of home-to-school transport across the West Midlands and Warwickshire.

The project will begin in October and will use advanced algorithms to plan, monitor and streamline routes to and from schools across Birmingham, Warwickshire and Wolverhampton.

Commenting on the partnership, Brendan Fatchett, Chief Commercial Officer, 365 Response said “we’re thrilled to have signed this multi-year contract with National Express Accessible Transport. Our Smart Platform will be used to digitally manage transport requirements, maximising resources and ensuring the fastest, most fuel-efficient route is taken for all journeys. Our digital dispatch software will allow National Express to plan and amend their routes, and integrated mapping will give them a live view of their full fleet, delivering complete visibility and control.”

The cloud-based software will digitise current paper processes, offering new levels of flexibility, efficiencies and visibility for staff, schools, parents/guardians and drivers. This sophisticated solution will be responsible for the journeys of over 1500 children, travelling on 320 minibuses, to and from 17 schools across the West Midlands.

Vinay Parmar, Managing Director of National Express Accessible Transport, commented “It is our ambition to transform home-to-school transport and raise the bar by delivering the most reliable, efficient and inclusive travel experience for children and young people. It is time they got the service they really deserve and not the one they have settled for.

“We’re really excited to be working with 365 Response on the roll out of their Smart Platform on our services. It is a key part of our strategy to digitise operations and bring innovation to our processes, helping to create efficiencies which enable us to deliver more value for money to local authorities as well as increased visibility and reassurance around safety and safeguarding.”

365 Response

A cloud based software solutions provider for transport services, based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. 365 Response software is responsible for the planning and management of thousands of passenger journeys annually, including patient transport services for the NHS, Special Education Needs transport for Local Authorities and private passenger transport services, including coach and travel companies.

Contact for further details: Laura Dean, Marketing Manager | laura.dean@365response.org

Further editors notes: National Express Accessible Transport operates TfWM’s Ring and Ride door-to-door transport service for more than 20,800 registered users across the West Midlands. The service is available for anybody who is unable to use conventional public transport due to mobility issues or social isolation. Those wishing to use the Ring and Ride service can register at www.ringandride.org.

NEAT also operates home-to-school contracts, providing specialist transport provision for students with special educational needs and disabilities on behalf of several local authorities.

ViewSonic Smart LED Projectors are the Go-To solution for Big-Screen Home Entertainment

ViewSonic LED Projectors Grew 30% in the First Half of 2020.
ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of visual solutions, announced today its LED projector sales grew
30% in the first half 2020 (Note 1), which is a new milestone for ViewSonic in LED projection. ViewSonic
entered the LED projector segment in 2017 and became one of the world’s top three LED projector brands
within three years. It boasted the fastest growth amongst the top five brands in the overall projector market in
2019 and continued its strong sales performance in the first half of 2020 with year over year growth of 30%.
“LED technology has now progressed to a point where it is an ideal audiovisual solution for all the activities
consumers partake in at home. ViewSonic’s mission is to deliver a feast for the senses at home,” said Dean
Tsai, Head of Projector BU at ViewSonic. “As an innovator and leader in LED projector technology,
ViewSonic is combining its advantages in LED know-how, and consumer insights to bring new smart LED
projectors to market. We are focused on redefining lifestyle-oriented, all-inclusive solutions, from mobile,
outdoor, to home. We want to light the way for more people to enjoy a new flexible big-screen audio-visual
experience in their daily lives.”
ViewSonic LED projectors’ achievements can be attributed to the continued innovation of product
development. ViewSonic began to focus on LED projector development three years ago when the
technology had advanced to an ideal level, aiming to offer consumers a more versatile option. By combining
great visuals and audio into a single, portable projector the M1 was born. Today ViewSonic provides a full
line-up of smart LED projectors for a wide range of applications, including the flagship X series for premium
home entertainment with enhanced smart functionality and the portable M series for an exciting on-the-move
lifestyle, such as the featherlight, 300-gram M1 mini Plus smart pocket cinema projector.
More than just a device, ViewSonic smart LED projectors are an audio-visual solution. ViewSonic smart LED
projectors combine the latest audio-visual technologies with smart integrated functionality and can connect
with mobile devices, home networks, and content services for a seamless viewing experience. Through four
main features – audio-visual excellence, smart capabilities, user-centric design, and eco-friendliness,
ViewSonic smart LED projectors are differentiated to deliver a new enhanced audio-visual experience for
home entertainment.
Audiovisual Excellence
ViewSonic smart LED projectors deliver true-to-life colours by proprietary Cinema SuperColor+™
Technology with 125% Rec.709, and a new level of brightness with industry-leading second-generation LED
technology. To complement their stunning visuals, all ViewSonic smart LED projectors incorporate
professional audio customised by Harman Kardon or JBL. From hardware design to rounds of audio tuning,
each projector has its own customisation to best fit each scenario.
Smart Capabilities
1/2
The smart features include wireless content casting from users’ smart devices via 5GHz Wi-Fi, and intuitive
touch control via their mobile devices as an alternative remote control. Bluetooth connectivity allows users to
broadcast audio from mobile devices with the projectors’ Harman Kardon speakers, or connect to external
Bluetooth headphones to immerse yourself in big-screen fun. Convenient voice control via Amazon Alexa or
Google Assistant, and USB Type-C connectivity offer a fun twist on streaming for direct projection from
phones, tablets, or gaming consoles.
User-Centric Design
ViewSonic places emphasis on user-centric designs to offer consumers the perfect balance of form and
functionality. By creating humanised, lifestyle-oriented products, ViewSonic has won iF Design Awards for
three consecutive years from 2018 to 2020.
Eco-Friendliness
ViewSonic smart LED projectors are more eco-friendly alternatives to other projector types, free from the
toxic mercury found in traditional projector lamps and consume significantly less power for improved
efficiency. LEDs are also a more durable light source than traditional lamps, offering a lifespan of up to
30,000 hours. As a result, it reduces the total cost of ownership.
To find out more about ViewSonic’s smart LED projectors, please visit:
https://www.viewsonicglobal.com/q/pj-new-led.php
Note 1: Source: Futuresource Q2’ 20 World Projector Market Track. The market share is assessed by the
sales volume.
About ViewSonic
Founded in California, ViewSonic is a leading global provider of visual solutions with a presence in over 100
cities around the world. As an innovator and visionary, ViewSonic is committed to providing comprehensive
hardware and software solutions that include monitors, projectors, digital signage, ViewBoard interactive
displays, and myViewBoard software ecosystem. With over 30 years of expertise in visual displays,
ViewSonic has established a strong position for delivering innovative and reliable solutions for education,
enterprise, consumer, and professional markets and helping customers “See the Difference”. To find out
more about ViewSonic, please visit www.viewsonic.com.

Alupro launches campaign to educate primary pupils about recycling

Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, has announced the launch of its 2020 primary education programme. From Monday 28September, schools across the UK and Ireland will be recruited to participate in the initiative, which aims to bring recycling into the classroom through science, art, design and PHSE.

The anime-inspired Key Stage 2 (KS2) campaign will see schoolchildren introduced to heroine Ally Minium and asked to join her quest to defeat evil villain Land Phil, who is threatening to take over the planet. Comprising an introductory video, an interactive lesson about recycling and a series of quests for pupils to complete, the creative programme will task pupils with becoming ‘masters of infinity’.  

After completing all the quests, using a series of custom-designed character cards, pupils will complete a pledge to recycle their waste and help others to do the same. The aim of the initiative is to generate awareness of the benefits of recycling all household packaging, including aluminium, as well as drive a long-term shift in recycling behaviour among young people and their families.

Rick Hindley, executive director at Alupro, commented: “Inspiring the next generation and educating students about the properties of aluminium and the role it plays within the circular economy will help contribute to ever-increasing recycling rates. At Alupro, we love working with pupils to build awareness of sustainability and support teachers as they work with their class to promote the benefits of recycling. Our resources have been designed to be hugely flexible and, as such, can even be used by students for home schooling!”

As part of the campaign, students will be invited to enter a competition (which runs between 28 September and 14 December) to complete an anime-based comic strip, for the chance to win an iPad to take home and a £1500 voucher for their school. Rick added: “We’re really looking forward to seeing the entries and the exciting adventures they design. I’d like to offer the best of luck to everyone who takes part!”

ALFED, the aluminium federation, will be part funding the programme. For more information, or to download the resources, visit: https://learningaluminium.co.uk/. For more information about Alupro, visit: www.alupro.org.uk.

What we can learn about distance learning technology in light of COVID-19

Rene Buhay, Vice President Sales and Marketing at AVer Europe, explores different approaches to teaching and learning across Europe in light of the pandemic.

The delivery of classes and lectures has been transformed all over the world because of COVID-19. Different regions have adopted different approaches to learning depending on the severity of the pandemic in the country, the digital capacity of the nation and the availability of technologies to deliver and receive content to the homes of students.

In the UK, schools have reopened and formed class or year bubbles in a bid to maintain school attendance and counter the pandemic. Across Europe, we’re seeing hybrid models and alternative methods adopted. What’s the best approach to distance learning and what can we learn from the delivery of classes in other countries?

A business conferencing approach

Classrooms in Spain and Italy are taking their lead from the business world by utilising technology that is typically seen in boardrooms in corporate environments. By using a professional video conferencing system, teachers can make the most of high-quality optical zoom, true WDR and impressive audio so that they can continue their lessons remotely for as long as they need to. Some conferencing systems – like the AVer VC520 Pro – also enable daisy-chain speakerphone capability, which means this solution can flex to a hybrid model when some students return to the classroom.

Equipping educators for delivery

While teachers and lecturers globally may have relied on built-in webcams and existing technology to deliver content to students up until now, the pandemic and requirement to deliver content remotely is not going away. These existing solutions will likely be showing their limitations, and educational institutions are investing in technology now more than ever. Higher quality cameras are being used in universities across Europe to improve the content delivered to students. While these are still plug-and-play solutions, the 4K premium quality and wide-angle lenses can offer so much more. In addition, visualizers are being utilized by teachers more and more for distance learning.

Educational establishments In the UK are making great strides in combatting the current pandemic. We are delighted to be working with many of them to provide AVer solutions to ensure continuity of learning.

About AVer Europe

AVer Europe provides intelligent technological solutions to harness the power of visual communications for business and education. With over 20 years of research, development and manufacturing excellence, AVer holds numerous international design, innovation, application, and service awards for exceptional product usability, reliability and customer satisfaction.

www.avereurope.com