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“Our sector’s willingness to work towards our common goals positively does pay off – but we have to get this review right”

NASBTT has today responded to the Department for Education (DfE) Initial Teacher Training (ITT) market review policy paper https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/initial-teacher-training-itt-market-review and announcement on a new Institute of Teaching https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-institute-of-teaching-set-to-be-established

 

Executive Director Emma Hollis said: “We are pleased that the ITT market review expert group plan to work closely with the sector in developing and testing thinking as the ITT review progresses. We have been invited to meet the group later this month and look forward to being part of an open, collaborative discussion. We expect this discussion to include the new Institute of Teaching, which we broadly welcome in terms of its focus on evidence-based approaches in teacher education, as this will further support high-quality ITT. We note that when the Institute is at full capacity it will train around 1,000 ITT trainees annually. Of course, every year 35,000 trainee teachers and their mentors must be trained. In order to achieve this, multiple ITT providers, of all shapes and sizes, are needed. 

 

Since we were formed in 2000, NASBTT – and our staff, Trustees and members – have acquired arguably unrivalled experience in school-based ITT and, as per the review’s aim, we all want to ensure the sector continues to provide consistently high-quality training, in line with the Core Content Framework, Early Career Framework and Ofsted ITE inspection framework, all of which we have been involved in developing and implementing in partnership with the DfE and some members of the review expert group. Ahead of the review’s conclusion, we will represent the views of all our members: SCITTs, School Direct Lead Schools, Teaching Schools and HEIs, and underpin these views with the evidence of the impact of their provision.  

 

Our sector’s willingness to work towards our common goals positively does pay off. It was a result of this trust that we were able to work with the DfE on a number of key policy adaptations during the last academic year and into this. This included the agreement that QTS could be rewarded based on a trainee’s trajectory, the trust given to providers to ascertain who needed retrieval placements, and the additional funding that we helped secure to support those placements. It also included the relaxations to the ITT criteria, something we worked extremely hard on with the Department, as well as the assurances that we were able to secure that trainee teachers could be classed as critical workers, allowing them to work in schools and providing reassurance to placement school headteachers. We are very positive about working in partnership with the review expert group. 

 

Clearly there is a lot at stake with this review, and we have to get this right. As we have previously said, by every objective measure, the ITT sector is performing exceptionally well. Ofsted inspections have 99% of providers rated good or better, so on that metric alone existing provision must be judged to be high quality. Whilst, as with everything, progress is to be welcomed, the ITT market is not fundamentally flawed – evolution, not revolution, is the way forward.”

 

Danone’s Eat Like a Champ programme launches updated healthy, sustainable lifestyle resources for primary school pupils

Danone has revitalised it’s popular Eat Like a Champ resources, placing sustainability at the heart of the free, evidence-based healthy eating education programme. Since it’s launch in 2010, the programme has already reached over half a million children in the UK. With the updated content for 2020, Eat Like a Champ aims to engage and educate many more pupils aged 9-10 about both healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Registrations are now open for teachers to download their free resources.


Key Messages:

·The lessons and resources are designed to teach children about healthy, sustainable lifestyles in a fun and exciting way.
 

·The programme is written in collaboration with the the British Nutrition Foundation, British Dietetic Association, and Hubbub.
 

·Registrations for Eat Like A Champ 2020 / 2021 are now open.
 

The six free lesson plans and supporting resources have been developed in consultation with teachers, and the new content is written in collaboration with the British Nutrition Foundation, British Dietetic Association and everyday sustainability experts Hubbub. Topics include healthy eating, food waste, recycling, hydration, climate change and physical activity.

The need for healthier, more sustainable lifestyles has never been greater due to increasing obesity rates and an emerging sense of urgency to tackle climate change in the UK.. The Eat Like a Champ programme aims to support teachers to educate, inspire and engage the next generation to live healthy sustainable lifestyles.

The Eat Like a Champ programme offers readily available, free and unbranded resources aimed at children aged 9-10 years old. The resources are linked to the school curriculum and can be downloaded and delivered in the classroom. Each lesson is designed to last approximately one hour (although can be tailored to fit you and your class’ needs) and is supported with a variety of adaptable and engaging resources, including lesson plans, worksheets, card activities, and PowerPoint presentations.

Christopher Hillman, Head of Sustainability & Social Innovation at Danone UK said: “At Danone we have a vision to bring health through food to as many people as possible. We believe the health of people & the health of the planet are interconnected. Through our updated Eat Like a Champ programme we aim to support the next generation in adopting healthier, more sustainable lifestyles by  empowering them to change their habits and make a positive difference to the world around them”.

Claire Theobald, Education Service Manager at the British Nutrition Foundation said: “It’s important that pupils develop an appreciation of the basics of a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. The Eat Like A Champ lessons provide support to do this in actionable ways. The lessons explore healthy eating and sustainable diets and inspire young people to explore how to stay active for themselves and the planet.”

Sarah Mansfield, a primary school teacher said: “The Eat Like a Champ lesson plans are a great way of bringing the important topics of nutrition and sustainability to primary school pupils. By getting pupils passionate about sustainable eating, they have the opportunity to build healthy and sustainable lifelong habits.”

AVer Europe launches mechanical arm visualiser with impressive 322X zoom

MSRP: £799 ex VAT

LONDON – 14 October 2020 – AVer Europe, the award-winning provider of video collaboration and education technology solutions, announces the launch of the AVerVision M90UHD Mechanical Arm Visualiser. This innovative teaching tool is destined to engage students in exciting new ways with its 322X total zoom (14X optical, 23X digital) document camera. 

Enhancing the whole student learning experience, teachers can go from a massive A3 shooting area to focusing on small details, such as tiny postage stamps. The incredible zooming power is complemented by lucid imaging from an Ultra HD, 13-megapixel lens and super-quick autofocusing, displaying every subtle detail.

Along with projecting intricate live images, the AVerVision M90UHD enables one-push recording, image capturing, and playback. These options make it easy for users to create content to use instantly in class or save for creating interactive assignments or online courses later. Its convenient playback function also helps educators reflect on their own teaching methods and evolve content to help develop a dynamic learning environment. 

The AVerVision M90UHD’s long mechanical arm is highly extendable, and its weighted base lets users change the camera angle without shaking the whole device and creating a wobbly image. This stability and reach allows teachers using the M90UHD as a USB webcam for livestreaming to give distance learning students a view of their on-campus classmates, reducing the isolation of learning from home. In addition to USB connectivity, HDMI and VGA ports offer convenient versatility.

 “The M90UHD is a visualiser with an impressive line-up of features, all serving to help teachers demonstrate different types of materials in an extraordinarily vivid way, “said Rene Buhay, AVer Europe Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “What’s more, instinctive function buttons, an extendable arm, and AVerTouch software allow teachers of any subject to create fantastic collaborations in next to no time.”

AVerTouch software compatibility is an additional feature of the M90UHD. This free app connects the visualizer to student and teacher devices, and users can sync the system with the cloud to automatically save images and videos.

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/

‘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.” 

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.