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Coram’s education charities launch free resources to support children’s wellbeing, literacy and learning at home

Coram’s education charities, Coram Life Education, Coram Beanstalk and Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation, have developed a programme of free online resources for teachers and parents to use during the lockdown, helping to boost children’s emotional wellbeing as well as their academic learning at this time. 

 

Coram Life Education, the UK’s leading provider of children’s Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, has launched SCARF at Home, a programme of activities for primary school teachers to share with parents, helping children to learn the valuable life skills needed to help them be happy, healthy and safe.  

 

The activities, developed by teachers, are part of the charity’s online SCARF programme, promoting the values of Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience and Friendship. Over 45,000 teachers across the UK are now SCARF subscribers, and they have told the charity that what they most need during this time is engaging, fun and memorable activities to share with parents.  

 

SCARF at Home focuses on the ways children can keep themselves healthy and safe, including staying safe online, and the skills needed to help them look after their bodies. Older children learn about assertiveness, recognising the influence of friends and how to think critically about the decisions they make and managing risks safely. 

 

The activities are designed for different age groups and include body bingo, bedtime routines, online safety activities, games and films and bullying discussion points. The resources also include the return of ‘Harold’s Daily Diary’, launched during the first national lockdown in March 2020, encouraging children to read about and send their ideas to Coram Life Education’s healthy-living giraffe mascot Harold, as he describes his experiences of staying safe and happy at home. 

 

Feedback from teachers who have tried the SCARF at Home resources has been positive, with one commenting: “When I received the SCARF alert I had to email you to say a big thank you! Really looking forward to the return of Harold’s diary in addition to all the lessons and resources.” 

 

Harriet Gill, Managing Director of Coram Life Education said: “Schools, children and parents have experienced so much disruption and uncertainty. With schools’ restricted opening, offering easy-to-access, free resources from reputable sources is invaluable, particularly as SCARF at Home focuses on children staying safe and well, both on and offline”. 

 

The SCARF at Home activities are suitable for children aged 3-11. To find out more and to access the toolkit, school teachers can visit coramlifeeducation.org.uk/scarf/scarf-at-home. ‘Harold’s Daily Diary’ is freely available to all at coramlifeeducation.org.uk/harolds-daily-diary. 

 

In addition to the SCARF at Home programme, Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation has launched resources for Key Stages 2, 3 and 4, which can be taught directly or explored independently, focusing on the language and history of Shakespeare.  Teachers can access these at shakespeareschools.org/resources-for-schools.  

 

National reading charity Coram Beanstalk is providing regularly updated tips and fun book-based activities to help children with their reading at home, including tips for ‘Growing A Love of Reading’, Story Dice illustrated by popular illustrator Nick Sharratt, video story readings and monthly #BeanstalkBrilliantBooks, all available at beanstalkcharity.org.uk. The website also features a ‘Stay Home And Read Every Day’ poster which families can display in their windows to ‘SHARE’ the books they are enjoying together as a family over the lockdown period. 

SUPPORTING LOCKDOWN LEARNING: VODAFONE OFFERS FREE AND DISCOUNTED ACCESS TO ONLINE LEARNING RESOURCES TO HELP FAMILIES WITH HOME SCHOOLING

Vodafone today announced it is providing additional home learning support by offering free and discounted access to four leading online education platforms – AzoomeeMarcoPolo World SchoolSchoolOnline.co.uk and New Skills Academy – via its loyalty programme for customers VeryMe. 

 

Vodafone customers can now get three months’ free access to Azoomee, an award-winning multimedia platform targeting primary school kids. Azoomee offers hundreds of fun educational videos, brain-boosting games and inspiring TV shows that are all designed to encourage kids to learn.  

 

Customers can also benefit from a 60 day free trial of MarcoPolo World School, an award-winning early learning app that is perfect for children aged 3-7 years and contains more than 500 video lessons and 3,000 interactive learning games. New lessons are added regularly and will help to keep kids engaged and motivated during lockdown. 

 

Vodafone customers can claim 33% off a subscription to SchoolOnline.co.uk[1]. The leading platform provides top quality learning through video tutorials from expert examiners and educators including, over 1,350 videos to support English and Maths at KS2 (Y5-6) and GCSE (Y9-11).  The platform is ideal to use alongside home learning materials provided by schools. 

 

With many adults using the lockdown and time indoors to learn a new skill, Vodafone is also offering 76% off New Skills Academy adult education courses. There are more than 750 courses to choose from, with the most popular including the British Sign Language Diploma, Floristry Academy Diploma and the Level 2 Teaching Assistant Diploma. 

 

Helping to keep children connected to education during the pandemic is a top priority for Vodafone. It launched its schools.connected programme in November, giving 350,000 data SIMs to more than 9,000 schools and further education colleges across the UK to give to children and young people who need them most. Vodafone also recently joined the Department of Education’s Get Help with Technology programme to increase data allowances for disadvantaged children.  It is also working with other UK operators to enable Oak National Academy to zero rate its online lessons. 

 

Max Taylor, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK said: “We’re committed to helping children stay connected to education throughout this lockdown.  We hope that giving access to inspiring and useful educational content via our popular loyalty programme Very Me, will be a help to families.  And to support those who don’t have the right connectivity, our schools.connected programme is helping 350,000 children and young people stay connected to online lessons, their teachers and friends. I’m proud we are supporting families at this challenging time.”  

 

Customers can redeem the e-learning resources via Vodafone’s VeryMe Rewards in the My Vodafone app. The Azoomee three months free trial is available from now until 28 February; the New Skills Academy offer is available from now until 28 February; 60 days free of MarcoPolo World School will be available from 18 January to 28 February; and reduced fee subscriptions to SchoolOnline.co.uk from 18th January to 14th March.

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Canva for Education empowers teachers during lockdown with free, easy to use resources to keep learning alive remotely.

 

Carly Daff, Canva for Education’s Director of Product, explained it’s important to equip teachers with free, easy-to-use and intuitive tools to ensure they can keep students engaged in their learnings and looking forward to every class.

 

“Even before schools moved to an online environment, one of the biggest challenges facing educators was maintaining students’ engagement and shifting their attention away from everyday distractions like their phones and computers. With many schools still online around the world, and students in the comfort of their own homes with computers and phones at the ready, it’s now more important than ever to find ways to keep students proactively engaged virtually, paying attention and keeping them on track with their education.

With thousands of education-focused templates to work with, from online whiteboards, worksheets suitable for a range of subjects, group work activities, infographics, to posters, presentations, classroom decor kits, educational videos, flashcards plus many others, Canva for Education is a free one-stop-shop for creating and collaborating in an online classroom.

Our top tips for teachers includes:

  1. Focus on tools that offer real time collaboration– it is important students and teachers can continue to work and collaborate together, regardless of where they are located
  2. Use interesting tools, elements and content to keep students engaged – with remote and hybrid learning here to stay, we know the tools and elements educators use in the classroom not only need to contribute to a student’s learning experience, the output needs to be interesting, impressive and memorable to ensure full engagement.
  3. Make the technology easier and accessible to all – instead of using multiple platforms and softwares to teach, focus on using tools that offer the most value, all in one place, that are also useful across multiple platforms and devices. Less worries about technology and difficulties accessing certain platforms means more time to focus on remote learning, class collaboration and engagement

The Canva for Education platform is driven by one simple belief, technology should break down barriers, not build them, and this has been more essential than ever during lockdown. We’re proud of the way we have been able to keep learning alive and well during this unprecedented time, helping educators and students work together, even when they’re apart, and we will continue to evolve our product to ensure it truly supports the education sector in moving forward.

Canva for Education is entirely free for teachers and their students globally. Sign up today at: www.canva.com/education

New technology is driving standards in school sport

Filming sport in schools has forever been a frustrating experience. Teachers, heads of sport, examiners, students, and parents have all felt the pain of watching back footage from an inexperienced, volunteer camera operator, shaking and shuddering through 90 minutes of unappealing, eye-level action. The lack of video footage available to learners has consistently hindered the sporting development of talented athletes, looking for scholarships abroad or even professional opportunities after education.

 

This annoyance was felt by none more so than the Independent School Football Association’s head coach, Jono Santry. In recent years, the likes of Tyrone Mings, Calum Hudson-Odoi and Fraser Forster have passed through the programme and gone on to play international football. Always looking to raise the standards of his set-ups, Santry struggled to find a solution not only at ISFA, but at his own school, City of London. A new Danish product, Veo, became available in the UK in 2019 and changed everything. Veo’s solution comprised a mounted AI camera, which captures the game unmanned by intelligently tracking the ball, before its accompanying software platform turns around quick footage for analysis after a session.

 

“Veo has literally transformed our football programme,” said Santry. “For years we have been searching for a solution to video matches, tag events, analyse the footage, and share with the staff and players. I had given up on finding a one-fits-all solution that was both affordable and not reliant upon having staff to film, edit and produce the footage.”

 

Over the past year, Veo have seen a remarkable increase of popularity within the scholastic market. Over 200 schools in the UK have taken on the solution, battling age-old budget limitations that have frequently challenged sports departments all over the country. The ability to record and analyse invasion sports automatically has given both teachers, students, and parents refreshing new access to learner development. Teachers are now able to share footage with pupils and expose them to a level of self-assessment more common in higher education, while parents can now be engaged as the recordings can be shared.

 

Chris Hogg, Director of Sport for Torquay Academy talks about the ease and benefits of using the system in and out of the learning environment:

 

“It has benefited our players and coaches by allowing our games to be filmed in all weathers, without the need for a camera operator. The set-up is so simple and you can easily do two games back to back on one charge. Once the video has been clipped by the Veo robots, you can share the game or highlights with all parents and players. This has been an amazing option for at-home analysis for players on their phones or laptops which is a huge help with everyone’s busy schedules.” 

 

The COVID-19 climate has posed complications across the curriculum. With sport, this year has been particularly challenging to keep pupils engaged in their physical endeavours during a time when they weren’t allowed on the pitch. The technology has provided something of a lifeline for this quandary, enabling students to digitally engage with themselves, self-assess and develop using the online capabilities of the analysis platform. 

 

Jamie Harrison at Gordon’s School in Surrey, one of the earliest adopters of Veo, has developed four defined use-cases for the systems. 

 

“We use Veo in four key ways: performance analysis, academically for exam moderators and self- analysis, coaching CPD, and community moments. It’s easy to assemble, and when the students see it go up, they know straight away that they are being filmed which drives them to strive to perform better.”

 

The opportunity video gives students beyond school and college is another prime reason for the heavy adoption across the market. Park View Academy in County Durham is arguably one of the strongest further education academies in England, having consistently produced footballers that go on to sign professionally and semi-professionally at clubs, providing a much-needed pathway for talented athletes to develop and thrive. This is highlighted in the story of Trey Wade, a U.S.-born footballer who recently signed with Italian club A.C. Chievo Verona. He and Park View used Veo to highlight aspects of his game and send out to potential scouts. Trey was subsequently signed by the Serie B outfit in January 2020. 

 

School sport across the state and private sectors is fast becoming an equipment arms race, and victory is vital for recruitment and the retention of students. Gone are the days of misshapen cones, sloping mud-bath pitches and ill-fitting sports kits. Turn up to a school football match now and you are likely to see a UEFA-licensed coach leading a professionally structured warm-up, the outline of a GPS-tracking sports vest underneath each perfectly fitted football shirt, and an AI camera towering above the pitch to capture every moment. Times have changed, and solutions like Veo are making these developments available to sports departments around the country.

 

Oli Perkins is UK market manager at Veo, a global leader in AI-powered sports recording and analysis

 

A commitment to focus on sustainability in food supply for 2021 and beyond

Mike Meek, Procurement Director from allmanhall, the family run independently owned food procurement expert, looks at how the food supply chain can become more sustainable at a time when the planet is at a tipping point.

 

The 2020s have been termed the ‘critical decade’ for sustainable development implementation. While the topic can be overwhelming and riddled with confusing information, what is clear is that we need to collectively improve our understanding of sustainable food systems and identify actions that we can all put in place to make a difference.

 

Food and agricultural systems contribute significantly towards environmental damage, with much of this damage threatening to destabilise future global food and agriculture systems. Every step of the food supply chain accounts for the release of greenhouse gas emissions, accelerating climate change. Meanwhile, the conversion of land for agriculture tends to mean a further reduction of biodiversity. As we move towards planetary tipping points, the human race is presenting substantial and mounting challenges on food systems. Global warming is disrupting agricultural productivity, whilst a decline in both pollinators and increases in pests and disease are reducing crop yields. Water supplies for irrigation are also becoming more scarce, and soil fertility is deteriorating.

 

Climate change presents significant threats to global food security. Despite alarming possibilities, there is still time to act, with the UN warning we have ten years left to avert catastrophe and prevent irreversible planetary damage. The 2020s have been termed the ‘critical decade’ for sustainable development implementation.

 

What is a sustainable food system?

 

“A sustainable food system is a system which delivers food security and nutrition in a way that the environmental, social and economic bases of delivering food security will not be compromised in future. Food must thus be profitable throughout, provide broad benefits for society, and have a neutral or positive impact on the environment.”

  1. Nguyen, 2018

 

Currently most food policy aimed around mitigating climate change focuses on reducing CO2 emissions within transport and energy, and eating locally. Whilst policy changes in these areas is essential, it can be short-sighted often overlooking other vital emissions within the food sector, such as deforestation, fertilisers and storage. To gain better insight, we must first fully understand where and to what degree greenhouse gas emissions are released within each level of the supply chain. There are three key areas where emissions should be considered to ensure a full understanding: agricultural emissions; supply chain emissions; consumption and waste.

 

Meat consumption

 

At the very beginning of the food supply chain is agriculture. Different foods require different quantities of land, with animal products being a key driver of land-use change over the past 50 years. Increasing populations and protein diets places strain on land-use demands. Global meat consumption has quadrupled since 1965. Livestock presents a convergence of sustainability issues. However, livestock still has a place within sustainable food systems, bringing a range of nutritional benefits and potentially aiding carbon sequestration (where grazing is managed effectively). The production of meat can also make efficient utilisation of pastures otherwise unsuitable for crop growth. However, we should remember that livestock are still increasingly being fed unsustainably on dedicated feed crops. Certain meats are also environmentally ‘worse’, than others. Globally, beef accounts for almost 60% of the planet’s agricultural land use, despite only accounting for 24% of global meat consumption and 2% of overall global calorie consumption. Beef has the most considerable land requirements and highest emissions.

 

Global estimates of emissions by species

 

  1. This includes emissions attributed to edible products and to other goods and services, such as draught power and wool. Beef cattle produce meat and non-edible outputs. Dairy cattle produce milk and meat as well as non-edible outputs.

 

Source: http://www.fao.org

 

While a sustainable food supply won’t be achieved by a reduction in meat consumption alone, it is certainly a good place to start and something that can be turned into a very tangible goal by consumers and those working in the foodservice sector, alike.

Huge numbers turn to the BBC as Lockdown Learning begins

Children, parents and teachers turned to the BBC in their droves yesterday for the launch of Lockdown Learning.

On TV, Lockdown Learning on CBBC saw the slot average (0900-1200) increase by an incredible 436% (age 4+) while BBC Two saw an increase of 29% (1300-1500). Both channels were compared to their slot averages of each Monday over the last 52 weeks.

Yesterday, Bitesize Daily episodes on BBC iPlayer were requested 275k times, 12% more requests than on launch day in April 2020, whilst Bitesize online attracted an amazing 1.6m unique visitors.

Patricia Hidalgo, Director of BBC Children’s and Education, says: “These extraordinary numbers prove that people continue to turn to the BBC in times of need. We’re thrilled to be supporting so many families and teachers across the UK with our curriculum based and edutainment content on-air and online.”

Lockdown Learning sees the BBC’s biggest ever educational offering now reaching more kids across more platforms. On CBBC, viewers can watch Bitesize Daily Primary from 9am-10am, followed by edutainment shows including, Horrible Histories, Art Ninja, Our School, Operation Ouch and Celebrity Supply Teacher up to midday.

Over on BBC Two, the channel is supporting Secondary school curriculums with episodes of Bitesize Daily Secondary complemented by Shakespeare and classic drama adaptations alongside science, history and factual titles from the BBC’s award-winning factual programming units. This week students can enjoy Professor Brian Cox’s: The Planets.

This TV offer sits alongside a wealth of online content which parents, children and teachers can access when and where they need.
Please click here for more information on Lockdown Learning.

Curriculum relevant, and native language educational content for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is available on BBC Bitesize, with educational programming also available every morning at 10am on BBC Scotland.

DISCOVERY EDUCATION GIVES PRIMARY SCHOOLS NO COST ACCESS TO NEW RHE CURRICULUM RESOURCES

 

 ‘Health and Relationships’ programme helps teachers get ready for statutory RHE curriculum changes and supports blended learning

 

A digital programme which provides complete coverage of the new RHE curriculum is being made  available to UK primary schools at no cost, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

From today, 12th January through to the 31st October 2021, Discovery Education is providing free access to ‘Health and Relationships’, a complete suite of dynamic digital resources which helps teachers to plan, deliver and evidence the new DfE objectives. Suitable for children in years 1 to 6, the programme will enable teachers to show that they are meeting the new DfE objectives and deliver lessons with confidence. The resources can be accessed in the classroom and at home, helping schools to support learning wherever it is taking place.

 

From April 2021 UK primary schools must deliver new teaching of relationships education, physical health and mental wellbeing. But, in a challenging year, many teachers have had little time to prepare. Discovery Education is responding to this by providing schools with open access to a complete RHE teaching and learning solution.

 

“We know that this is a difficult time for schools and that teachers might not be ready for the RHE curriculum changes”, said Howard Lewis, UK Managing Director of Discovery Education UK. “That’s why we’re providing free access to our popular Health and Relationships programme, which includes fully-resourced lessons and teacher support. We’re proud to help UK primary schools by opening up this exciting scheme of work.”

 

Sam Winton, Deputy Headteacher at St Margaret’s CE Primary School in Crawley, is already using Discovery Education Health and Relationships. “Discovery Education Health and Relationships is our go-to resource for RHE”, explains Sam. “When we first reviewed the statutory guidance, we realised that it covered a lot of new ground. We wanted a complete scheme of work that teachers could pick up and run with. Health and Relationships has saved us huge amounts of time and is brilliant to teach. The resources and support have given us confidence to approach challenging topics and our pupils are very engaged.”

 

Newland House School in Twickenham is using Health and Relationships to teach PSHE remotely, as teacher Andrea Taylor explains:

 

Returning to school after the first lockdown early last autumn, we used the Health and Relationships programme to supplement our Recovery Curriculum. This was useful not only for children but for teachers as well, providing resources to help us explore and address any concerns or anxieties about the return to school. In periods of home learning the platform has also proved ideal. Integrating PSHE lessons into the remote timetable is very simple and the resources work equally well as both live online lessons and static resources, which the children can easily access from home.”

 

 

Devised by subject experts, Health and Relationships’ resources are engaging and age-appropriate. Child-led scenario-based videos feature children talking about key topics while role play activities help pupils explore scenarios and develop skills to confidently deal with issues that affect their lives today and as they grow.

 

Discovery Education Health and Relationships covers 6 key topic areas: Healthy and Happy Friendships, Similarities and Differences, Caring and Responsibility, Families and Committed Relationships, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds and Coping with Change. Designed as a spiral curriculum, the programme enables pupils to revisit each topic as they progress through primary school, building upon their skills and understanding.

 

Many of the topics covered e.g. feelings of loneliness, isolation and loss and coping with change, have special relevance to the current pandemic and the challenges children face. The programme’s digital content means that teachers can easily pick up activities for children to complete at home to help them cope with the uncertainty of the situation and share positive thoughts and ideas with classmates.

 

Support for teachers includes end-to-end curriculum planning, detailed guidance and help with parental communication. The programme also sets out a series of best practice principles to help schools create a safe learning environment for teaching about healthy relationships.

 

The programme’s series editor is Lucy Marcovitch, a PSHE subject expert and former National Curriculum advisor. Lucy said:

 

“The challenges of COVID-19 mean that many schools simply haven’t had time to get ready to teach a subject which needs to be planned very carefully and delivered safely. Discovery Education Health and Relationships takes care of this. Teachers can feel reassured that they are fully prepared while children can benefit from high-quality, inclusive resources to help them lead healthy and fulfilling lives.”

 

Primary schools are encouraged to register for free access at www.discoveryeducation.co.uk/rse. Free access will be provided until 31st October 2021. Schools that do not wish to continue after this time should notify Discovery Education by 30th September 2021.

 

Discovery Education’s digital resources are trusted by thousands of UK primary schools and include the award-winning Discovery Education Espresso, Discovery Education Coding and Discovery Education STEM Connect.

NOW IS THE TIME TO PLAN LONG TERM PROTECTION FOR OUR CLASSROOMS

LONDON, 12th January 2021 – Protect Classrooms and Communities with Antimicrobials in Schools 
Following the decision by Government to close all schools, now is the time to introduce long-term protection against all viruses including Covid-19. Bromoco International, makers of Touch Antimicrobial coating, is appealing to local councils and the Government to implement a long term, sustainable plan to protect classrooms and learning environments with antimicrobial coatings. 

In recent weeks, the rise of positive cases amongst students and school staff was a strong indicator that hand-washing and cleaning of frequent touch-points was not sufficient to prevent Covid-19’s spread.  

However, there is a layer of defence that has been underutilised here in the UK that can protect against Coronavirus and most other bacterial and viral threats. Once applied, it works 24 hours a day for up to 5 years and doesn’t rely on constant cleaning after every possible contamination.

Developed in the UK in 2013, TOUCH Antimicrobial is the world’s only permanent, retrofit, hard film, crystal clear coating that provides protection against enveloped viruses & bacteria including Covid-19 (as well as SARS-CoV-2 and MSRA) for all hard surfaces. It is already being used effectively in many institutions and organisations throughout the UK, including our high security government buildings, while businesses and factories are also applying the product to help protect their employees.

TOUCH is an easy to apply coating which dries to form a permanent, invisible layer of protection, creating an environment where pathogens (including enveloped viruses such as Covid-19 and MRSA) cannot survive. It works by incorporating silver ions and sealing them onto the surface of the material treated, which disrupts the protective outer layer of the microbe so it cannot survive on contact with the coating. 

Laboratory tests and real-life studies on TOUCH protected products prove that 80% of microbes are eradicated within 15 minutes, 90% die within 1 hour of landing on the treated surface and up to 99.99% are gone within 2 hours. Every minute that passes, the chances of cross contamination reduces.

Independent accreditations support the company’s claims. Claire Kirby, Director at Innovation Hygiene Consultancy commented: “The science behind the technology in TOUCH Antimicrobial is well known and has decades of research to support it. Its effectiveness against enveloped viruses is perfect for protection against COVID-19 and Bromoco International have managed to develop this technology into a retrofit coating that is permanent, hard wearing and crystal clear that will last up to 5 years. Something no one else has been able to achieve. 

Kirby continued: “TOUCH Antimicrobial is head and shoulders above anything else currently available and offers the longest and strongest protection against COVID-19. The product is very easy to apply with detailed instructions how to clean, coat and dry cure the surface. No more finger-prints, no more bacteria or viruses…. SIMPLE!”
Antimicrobial coatings are not new – metal ion technology dates back as far as 2200 BC with the Greek, Egyptians and Romans being found to have used copper and silver for their antimicrobial properties. They were used to purify water and to create antiseptic balms. Fast-forward to today and Bromoco International has harnessed these properties in their TOUCH product, developed by a team of biochemists who are leading professionals in the field of anti-microbial technology. The coating is easy to apply and can be retrofitted to most surfaces.

The team at Bromoco is dedicated to increasing awareness of and speeding the uptake of microbe-preventative technology across all communities, starting with the educational sector. 

Tony Semple, Technical Director at Bromoco International, commented: “TOUCH Antimicrobial coating is not the whole solution, but it is a major piece of the puzzle of ensuring classrooms stay safe for both students and staff at all times.  Knowing that all surfaces in the school are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to protect everyone from getting ill will make it much easier for schools to remain open, staff to keep their jobs and students to continue to have access to the education they need. We believe the application of this extra layer of protection really is a no-brainer.”

#TouchPoints

  • Touch Antimicrobial can be applied quickly and safely to any and all surfaces in the classroom and starts working straight away.
  • Works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year to protect.
  • Studies have shown that most frequently touched surfaces that have antimicrobial protection kill 99% of bacteria.

Bromoco has added a poll on its social pages to help garner support for the countrywide application of antimicrobial technology in schools, colleges and universities. For further information go to www.touchantimicrobial.com

Parent Zone’s sister organisation, Youth Zone, launches VoiceBox: a unique content platform by young people, for young people

Youth Zone aka YZ – Parent Zone’s ‘sister organisation’ – has launched VoiceBox, an international content platform led by young people for young people.

Created by YZ’s ambitious startup team – all of whom are in their twenties – VoiceBox is a space for 14 to 25-year-olds around the world to talk about anything they want.

Max and Natalie, YZ’s USA-based International Leads, explain further: “We can see the internet changing and we want to provide the roadmap. Straightforward user-generated content has led to fake news, hate speech and content bubbles.” says Max. “We want to offer a better model. A space for young voices to be heard, with the responsible approach of more traditional media” finishes Natalie.

Whether they’re writers, vloggers, podcasters, artists or memesters, VoiceBox encourages them to share their ideas and experiences on the site and shout about them across social media.

The idea for the project goes back to 2019 – but with a fast-changing political, social and digital landscape, it couldn’t be more timely in winter 2020. VoiceBox is just one of many YZ projects designed to elevate young people’s voices in conversations that – the team argues – often happen without them.

“We see lots of well-intentioned organisations developing products and services for young people.” explains Lottie, YZ’s Engagement Lead. “But the extent to which young people are meaningfully involved or listened to really varies.”

“We want to change that.” continues Cal, YZ’s Content Lead. “Young people should be at the heart of these conversations, shouting about their ideas and experiences – and challenging everyone to do better.”

Through VoiceBox, YZ are already inviting young people to drive cutting-edge projects from the world of tech, popular culture and mental health – including Ollee, a ‘digital friend’ funded by BBC Children in Need and developed by Parent Zone. But they’re keen to grow – and reach out to young people around the world.

“Having grown up in a global digital world, the old-fashioned boundaries between one country and another, or the so-called online and offline worlds, feel less relevant to us.” notes Ed, YZ’s Business Development Lead. “VoiceBox truly is a platform for all young people – wherever they might be. We hope policy makers, organisations and – of course – lots of young people will join us and get involved.”

Visit VoiceBox at voicebox.site

APETITO LAUNCHES NEW PLANT-BASED DISHES

As the nation’s growing appetite for plant-based meals continues, fast-growing meals provider to independent schools, apetito, has launched six new plant-based dishes as part of its innovative ‘Culinary Inspirations’ series.

The increase in consumption of plant-based food is now one of the most notable food trends across the country, with 10% of children aged 8-16 years old in the UK following a vegan or vegetarian diet and a further 44% actively looking to eat a more plant-based diet.

Increasingly, families are turning to plant-based meals right from an early age and according to Plant-Based News, 70% of British children want more vegan and veggie meals served up at school, in line with their family menus and increasingly, schools are under pressure to meet this shift in demand from pupils and their parents.

apetito’s in-house chefs and dietitian worked alongside guest chef Lydia Downey, who specialises in plant-based cooking, to create this vibrant collection of dishes, which include a fragrant Thai Red Curry, creamy Butternut Squash Risotto, and an exotic BBQ Mexican Bean & Jackfruit dish.

Lydia commented:

“These new meals are packed with exciting flavours, designed to expand the palette of children, who may not have tried them before, whilst encouraging them to eat a different type of cuisine.

“Nutrition is incredibly important when creating a dish, particularly focusing on elements such as protein and fibre as well as including a varied assortment of vegetables, all of which are essential considerations when making a plant-based meal.”

apetito knows how important it is, when catering for children, to provide enough energy and protein to help them grow and develop. This includes iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and D.  Good plant-based sources of protein include soya, pulses, and beans, and a well-planned plant-based diet, such as dishes from apetito’s range, can provide children with all the nutrients necessary for good health and development, including essential fats, protein, alongside vitamins and minerals.

Furthermore, a plant-based diet is better for the environment and can reduce food-related carbon emissions by 50 per cent. Research has associated vegan diets with the lowest emissions of carbon dioxide and so increasing plant-based options helps make catering services more sustainable.

Mandy Chambers, New Markets and Innovations Manager for apetito, said:

“With more families opting to follow a plant-based diet, whether for animal welfare, environmental or health reasons, it is important to provide choice and variety to schools and responding to changing needs of pupils.  What’s more, plant-based options are suitable for almost all children and food doesn’t have to be out of the ordinary.

“And, as with all our meals, these new plant-based meals represent great value, and all dishes can be easily cooked from frozen on site by schools’ own teams”.

With over 200 meal options to choose from within the whole apetito range – there is something to suit every child’s taste and dietary needs, whilst also delivering great value at a time when cost is front of mind for all. 

 

 

 

For bursars and headteachers who would like to enjoy an apetito food sample tasting session, or discuss how apetito can support their business, please open the pop up on the site and register your details on https://www.apetito.co.uk/schools or phone 01225 562882.

 

Full list of plant-based dishes:

  • Vegan Thai Red Curry
  • Fajita Style Tempeh
  • BBQ Mexican Bean & Jackfruit
  • Vegetable Gratin
  • Beetroot & Feta Frittata
  • Meat Free Mushroom and Chicken-Style Pie
  • Katsu Curry
  • Butternut Squash Risotto