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Launched today: Schools STEM challenge to build accessible flight simulator

 

The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) has today launched a new competition, Falcon2, aimed at young people aged 6-19 to design and build an accessible mobile flight simulator.

 

The Falcon2 challenge builds on the success of the previous RAeS build-a-plane challenge which was designed to enable young people to develop and demonstrate key skills which future employers and training providers look for and to learn more about opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and aviation.

 

Alongside the Royal Aeronautical Society the partners in Falcon2 are Boeing, the disabled flying charity, Aerobility, and Middlesex University.

 

We are today inviting young people aged 6-19 to use their science and engineering skills to design, develop and build a real-life mobile flight simulator which will travel to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) schools and public events around the UK to introduce people from all backgrounds to the wonder of flight.

 

For many people, the opportunity to fly a plane may seem impossible, particularly to those with disabilities. However, Aerobility has developed a range of programmes and aircraft adaptations that allow many disabled people to do just that – learning to fly an aircraft and gain their pilot’s licence, providing the ultimate feeling of freedom, pride and independence.

 

The challenge is split into two phases:

 

PHASE 1 – The Design Brainstorm Challenge

A poster competition to present design and technology ideas for an accessible flight simulator, with the chance to win prizes for school or youth groups. Prizes include fully funded educational visits and vouchers for schools and groups.

 

There are two age categories for Phase 1 – one for primary ages 6-11 and one for secondary ages 11-19.

 

PHASE 2 – The Big Build

The winning build teams will take on one or more fully funded work packages for the flight simulator, culminating in the final assembly FlightSimCamp at Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire in summer 2023 where teams will integrate the different components which they have worked on into the flight simulator.

 

This phase is open to secondary ages only, and we particularly welcome entries where mainstream schools, colleges or youth groups along with industry representatives team up with SEND schools whether virtually or face-to-face.

 

There are ten work package which break down the flight simulator build into key engineering and technology projects which schools or youth groups can bid for, for example creating accessible seating for the motion platform, visual displays, flight controls or leading the build of a roadworthy trailer to safely transport the simulator around the UK once it is complete.

 

David Edwards FRAeS, Chief Executive of the Royal Aeronautical Society, said,

“Falcon2 is a great opportunity for schools and industry to get involved in a really unusual, but incredibly interesting project. Not only will young people be able to work on and possibly even build a mobile flight simulator, but they will be helping to encourage disabled people to get involved in aviation and change lives.”

 

Prof Mehmet Karamanoglu Head Design, Engineering and Mathematics at Middlesex University, said:

“We are very proud and privileged to be part of the Falcon2 programme. This is such a great project, providing inspiration and opportunity for all to get involved and help those who would not otherwise have the chance to experience the joy of flying. Our team of experts can’t wait to see the new entries and get stuck in to advise and assist the budding engineers, scientists and innovators of tomorrow.”

 

Mike Miller-Smith MBE FRAeS, Chief Executive of Aerobility, said:

“Disabled people don’t always get the chance to access fun and educational activities such as flying a flight simulator. This competition will not only deliver a first-class simulator which will be accessible to all, but all the competition entrants will be considering and learning about inclusive design – a key part of STEM. The Big Build also promises to be great fun!” 

How EdTech can help facilitate better mental health support

Al Kingsley, CEO, NetSupport

According to the Centre for Mental Health, the state of the nation’s mental health is at a “tipping point”. And, following a recent UK government report which found that one in six children in England suffer from poor mental health and that two-fifths of children experienced a decrease in their mental wellbeing from 2017 to 2021, the organisation is calling for greater investment to urgently prioritise mental wellbeing support for students.

Exacerbated significantly by the impact of the pandemic, a similar picture can be seen amongst school staff with rates of burn-out, depression and anxiety soaring and a growing exodus from the profession.

Ahead of World Kindness Day on 13th November, which encourages us all to prioritise genuine moments of kindness and connection in the face of the current mental health crisis, EdTech presents an opportunity for us to be mindful of the real and substantial benefits for students and teachers as they use it to connect and collaborate.

Supporting teachers

When introducing any EdTech solution into the classroom, it is key that it is accessible and user friendly; teachers can do without the stress of having to get to grips with complex or hard-to-navigate platforms. By ensuring that new systems are co-produced with teachers, schools can be confident the solution will make teachers’ lives easier whilst supporting students’ learning and engagement.

Easy-to-use EdTech tools such as classroom management platforms and online learning resources can play an important role in reducing multiple areas of operational stress for teachers whilst still prioritising students’ academic and wellbeing needs. These tools can save time and help to reduce teachers’ workloads. For example, automated online assessment tools can make marking work and providing feedback to students a much simpler and faster process than marking tests individually. In the same way, being able to send work out to selected students in a single click (and collect it back in after it is completed), show the teacher’s screen to everyone in the class to help with explanations, or simply monitor students’ screens to gauge progress and engagement with the lesson activity, all help teachers to make incremental time gains to make their lessons more efficient, effective and less stressful.

Supporting students

Using EdTech solutions to build a trusted rapport and reinforce connections not only helps to better engage students in lessons but allow teachers to support their academic and mental wellbeing. This is particularly true for those students who may respond better to the teacher directly on a one-to-one basis via chat or messaging tools, rather than speaking out in front of their peers. And let’s not forget the value of such tools when students are learning remotely; they create a vital connection to the teacher and play a significant role in ensuring learners are supported, even when they are not all together in school.

Support in and outside the classroom 

Technology-led assessment and feedback systems help teachers to recognise areas where students may be struggling. With a report from youth mental health charity, stem4, finding that academic stress is the number one cause of mental health distress amongst young people, schools can use these tools to proactively identify and support students before the academic pressure becomes overwhelming and impacts their wellbeing.

 

In addition, cloud-based solutions can host learning resources that allow students to access them outside of school hours and in a manner that suits them. This helps to support each student’s preferred way to learn – improving their understanding of topics and helping to further reduce academic stress.

For students with wider mental health or wellbeing struggles, some edtech solutions can provide an additional avenue to gain support from trusted teachers. Not only this, but the inclusion of lists of external digital mental health and wellbeing resources empowers them to ask for help when they need it, even outside of school hours. This option offers students more privacy and anonymity and can be a lifeline for those who feel embarrassed or unable to talk to someone they know.

EdTech for good

EdTech processes, platforms and resources, when accessible and easy to use, provide an effective support mechanism that can reduce stress for teachers and students. With the help of technology to make classroom management easier, staff members can better focus on engaging with and supporting students. Digital learning systems also help to reduce students’ academic stress by ensuring they can learn in a way that suits them, for example, enabling them to look at resources as many times as they need to.

With skilful application, intuitive classroom management tools can help to free up teachers’ time and allow them to build stronger relationships with their classes, as well as encourage a more positive learning environment where students and teachers can thrive, academically, professionally and emotionally.

 

National recruitment and training provider Qube Learning partners with The Prince’s Trust to help thousands of young people into employment

Qube Learning: Get Started with Healthcare, in partnership with The Prince’s Trust

 

Leading national recruitment and training provider Qube Learning has partnered with youth charity The Prince’s Trust to recruit and place young people into care sector roles. Through a scheme funded by the Department for Health and Social Care and in partnership with Health Education England, the charity and education organisation are aiming to fill a large number of vacancies over the next three years.

The number of roles available in the social care sector increase by around 1% per year (an average of 17,000 new roles per annum) and Skills for Care have noted that there are at least 112,000 social care vacancies that need to be filled on any given day. Consequently, both organisations are committed to driving employability within such an important sector, providing more sustainable opportunities for young people, vitally contributing also to driving down the average age of those working within the sector as a result.

The youth charity founded in 1976 by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, helps vulnerable young people get their lives on track. Supporting young people 11 to 30-year-olds all over the UK to build their confidence and skills to support them into jobs, education and training. Qube Learning, an expert in the further education sphere, is a seamless fit for the charity as they look to assist in kickstarting the careers for those looking to work in the healthcare and adult social care industry. Qube Learning will provide essential careers guidance and the development of employability skills for people, linking them to Employers who have live job vacancies.

 

Joe Crossley, CEO of Qube Learning, says:

“We are thrilled to be working with The Prince’s Trust. Working with such a reputable charity, we are keen to nourish this relationship, move it forward and engage and recruit talented people with a desire to succeed through the scheme. It isn’t about who they know or where they are from, it is about what they can give to a role in an area of work that is crying out for gifted, brilliant people. We look for raw talent, to nurture someone’s abilities, we want them to be successful and see a future in care, while learning and building on their skill set. This is an exciting opportunity for us, we have a huge amount of knowledge in this space and look forward to seeing the results.”

 

Rebecca Price, Senior Head of Service Delivery of Health and Social Care at The Prince’s Trust, says:

“We are excited to be collaborating with Qube Learning on such an important initiative, giving young people the opportunity, skills and necessary support to start meaningful careers within the care sector. Our work will give more young people access to the right opportunities to fulfil their potential and into sustainable careers they can be proud of; at a time when both the sector and young people need us the most.”

With many roles available, all jobs and Apprenticeships within health and social care organisations and their supply chains are within scope for the programme. The encouraging partnership looks to place people in healthcare assistant, support worker, IT support, catering, finance, administration, facilities management, and health logistics roles, to name a few.

 

About Qube Learning

Qube Learning is proud to be an OFSTED grade 2 (Good) Training Provider and works with hundreds of Employers across the country to deliver a range of training and qualifications to a multitude of Students. If you are interested in finding out more about the positive opportunities an Apprenticeship or Traineeship can bring, either as a Student or an Employer during the pandemic and after, then speak with the experts at Qube Learning.

 

About The Prince’s Trust 

The Prince’s Trust helps young people all over the UK to build their confidence and skills and supports them into jobs, education and training. Founded by The Prince of Wales in 1976, the charity supports 11 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed, struggling at school and at risk of exclusion.  

Many of the young people helped by The Trust are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness, mental health problems, or have been in trouble with the law. The courses offered by The Trust give young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilise their lives, helping develop self-esteem and skills for work.     

The Trust has helped over a million young people to date. Further information about The Prince’s Trust is available at princes-trust.org.uk or on 0800 842 842.  

 

Taking the world by storm.

Sensory and Active Floor Graphics are taking the world by storm, as a way of providing Physical Literacy to schools. With a fun spin on education, there’s no wonder why! This is where ActivPath™ comes in; asking children to follow a path, balance, jump and follow numbers/letters is a perfect way to keep their minds active, improve motor skills and aid their learning development.

Sensory or Active Paths are an amazing tool for primary schools to help children’s development in this area.  Outside of the PE class these floor graphics can be utilised as part of other lessons ensuring maximum opportunity is provided to develop the physical literacy of their pupils throughout the school day.

Key Benefits,

  • Develops gross motor skills such as balance and movement control
  • Develops hand eye co-ordination
  • Develops spatial awareness
  • Gets kids to be active
  • Helps them to focus
  • Helps with sensory processing
  • Grows confidence

ActivPath™ floor graphics are designed to integrate learning with play. Kids can learn the alphabet, numbers and even planets in the solar system whilst being active.

We have installed ActivPath in a few schools and have been delighted on such a positive response from the schools.  Within the first couple of weeks they have seen the stimulation these graphics are providing the pupils.  Says Jackie Hamilton, Business Development Manager

ActivPath™ has been designed to stimulate and encourage activity indoors, similar to the painted line markings in playgrounds, but placed in corridors, hallways, or open indoor areas to allow children to participate as part of classroom learning or whilst moving around the school.

To launch the range Visual Group have developed a white paper to help schools understand how these sensory and active floor graphics can support a primary schools Physical Literacy program.  The white paper is free to download at www.visual-group.co.uk

ActivPath™ can easily be used in schools without requiring skilled installers to fit them reducing the cost to schools.

The range has been developed to encourage movement and offer a supporting resource to teachers who are introducing a programme of Play Strategies into their curriculum and we will look to expand the range in the new year.

For more information contact sales@visual-group.co.uk

How one primary school is building a more inclusive environment for its pupils

‘The number one thing is the inclusivity benefits of the resources. Not having pupils question who is playing football and building a much deeper level of respect for each other.’

Creating an inclusive environment for pupils is a top priority for many teachers and their schools. Adam Walker, a teacher from East Stanley Primary school, talks about how using the Rainbow Laces resources from Premier League Primary Stars helped create a more inclusive environment for his pupils – increasing their understanding of gender stereotypes and the LGBTQ+ community. 

“We had an incident at a football match a few years ago where a pupil from our school called a player from another team a homophobic slur. It was at this point we realised that we needed a solution that we could use to support our pupils in understanding the importance of being inclusive. After a long search to find the right solution, we came across the Rainbow Laces resources from Premier League Primary Stars. A bank of free resources that could educate our pupils around the importance of inclusivity, challenging stereotypes and being a good ally – it was exactly what we were looking for.

At East Stanley we are seeing more girls wanting to get involved in sport. So it was great to see Premier League Primary Stars use male and female professionals in their resources to show balanced representation of real sport. Activities such as ‘Do it like a…’ and ‘Be an ally’ have been popular with the pupils. It has especially given the girls something to look up to and through challenging stereotypes we have mixed teams playing football with a deep level of respect for each other.”

East Stanley has used the Rainbow Laces resources in PSHE lessons at the school to create a more open environment: “The Rainbow Laces resource pack helped us in our PSHE lessons when talking about what it means to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community or discussing gender stereotypes. Now all the pupils are aware of different types of representation; they know that it doesn’t matter if you are homosexual or heterosexual, a boy or a girl, your ethnic descent, or what your first language may be.”

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Adam appreciates the difference that resources like Rainbow Laces make: “Now that I have these resources I reflect and think that if material like this had been available when I was in school, it would have helped me to identify and feel more comfortable as a result of inclusive topics being spoken about openly. The more we use material like this in primary schools, the more we will create a better environment for everybody to live freely. It is only going to have a positive influence.”

Speaking about whether he would recommend the resources to fellow teachers, Adam said: “I would 100% recommend them. Knowing how the PSHE curriculum works, Rainbow Laces has been great for us. For other teachers who are looking to increase inclusivity at their school, we have loved the outcomes the resources have given us. Premier League Primary Stars has a wide variety of resources too and there is also the opportunity to build Rainbow Laces – and others resources – into additional lessons around Maths, English and PE. We have seen a real difference and our pupils are happier as a result.”

As part of the Rainbow Laces 2021 campaign, Premier League Primary Stars have launched a brand new resource titled Rainbow Laces – This is everyone’s game. The resource includes an educational film, and supporting resources, that celebrates LGBTQ+ football fans and showcases the power of football to bring people together. The film tells the story of a young Sheffield United fan and member of the LGBTQ+ community, who talks about what football means to her and how it has played a part in helping her to feel proud of who she is. 

Premier League Primary Stars is available to teachers at primary schools in England and Wales for free, supporting English, Maths, PE and PSHE. The programme is already in 83% of schools and has over 50,000 teachers signed up. For any schools yet to get involved, head to the website today to sign up and join the Premier League Primary Stars community. 

Prioritising financial education will add £200bn to the UK economy by 2050

Prioritising financial education will inject an extra £6.98 billion into the UK economy each year

  • Brits who didn’t receive financial education as a child are more likely to be unemployed, or earning less today, than those who did
  • Kids who receive financial education will be £70,000 richer in retirement

 

LONDON (25th November 2021): Prioritising financial education will add an extra £6.98 billion to the UK economy each year (£202 billion by 2050), according to new analysis commissioned by GoHenry, the prepaid Visa debit card and financial learning app for kids aged 6-18.

To coincide with the launch of GoHenry’s new in-app, gamified financial education lessons, ‘Money Missions’, the research, conducted in partnership with Censuswide and Development Economics, shows that if all adults had the opportunity to receive financial education when they were school age, the boost to annual business formation in the UK could amount to an additional 76,400 businesses each year. This would result in an annual increase of 123,000 direct jobs which could reduce unemployment in the UK by over 8%*. 

 

Kids who were taught money lessons are earning more as adults

 

The research also demonstrates the impact financial education can have on an individual’s future career prospects. Brits who didn’t receive financial education as a child are now more likely to be unemployed, or earning less, than the national average*:

  • Of those currently unemployed and actively seeking work, 41% didn’t receive any financial education vs 9% of those who did.
  • Nearly half (46%) of those who didn’t receive any financial education as a child are earning £15,000 or less annually, less than half of the national average income.
  • Of those earning between £55,001-£65,000, more than three-quarters (77%) received some level of financial education, nearly twice the national average income.

A richer retirement

 

Those who received financial education as children are also likely to be far richer in retirement. Adults who learnt money lessons are saving on average 43% more into their pension plans per month compared to those who did not. 

The table below sets out a calculation of what such a difference in savings effort could mean in a working lifetime. The increase in the average pension pot for someone saving £149 per month compared to someone saving £104 per month would amount to £71,250 over a 40-year working lifetime. Someone earning the national average would need to work more than two years extra to make up this shortfall.

Average monthly savings into pot Final value of pension pot at age 67**
£149.60 £234,000
£104.02 £162,750
£45.58 £71,250

**Calculation assumes that the average annual growth rate of the pension pot (i.e., the value of the funds invested) is 3% per annum. 

 

Kids who don’t learn about money form negative saving habits in adulthood

 

Adults who don’t learn about money when they are young are less able to save and more likely to fall into debt.

 

Over half (51%) of those who received financial education as a child have up to £5,000 cash savings in an ISA or savings account compared to under a third (30%) of those who didn’t. 40% of those who didn’t receive financial education said they have no savings at all and can’t afford to save. They could also be getting into debt via missed payments:

  • 79% of adults who didn’t receive financial education have fallen behind on utility bills or council tax payments over the last six months. 20% of those who received financial education said they would comfortably be able to pay for an increase of £100-£199 on monthly bills, but only 10% of those who didn’t receive any financial lessons said the same.
  • A fifth (20%) of those who received financial education said it would take them a short amount of time, from 7 months to one year, to save up to £20,000 for a big expenditure such as a wedding, car or a trip abroad. Almost a third (31%) who didn’t receive financial education when they were younger said that saving up for a big sum like £20,000 is unachievable for them.

 

Louise Hill, Co-founder and COO of GoHenry said: “These findings clearly demonstrate the positive impact that financial education has on individuals, businesses and the wider UK economy. The Autumn Budget neglected to recognise the importance of financial education for young people, despite the fact that poor numeracy can cost individuals up to £1,600 a year in lost earnings as an adult**. It is vital that we teach these essential life skills much earlier to bridge the financial capability gap that is costing the UK billions every year.” 

 

Commenting on the findings, Stephen Lucas, Economist at Development Economics said: “The opportunity to receive financial education clearly has powerful benefits for children later on in life. To me, the most important impact on the economy is the link between financial education and future attitudes towards starting a business. Around half of all job creation in the UK is driven by start-up and early growth stage businesses, so anything that has the potential to boost start-up rates has the potential to generate powerful effects on future levels of employment and wealth creation.”

To help address the financial literacy gap, GoHenry has launched “Money Missions’, an in-app experience providing gamified financial education lessons, designed to make learning about money a fun and interactive experience for kids and teens. Developed with teachers and financial education experts, including UK charity MyBnk, each lesson is linked to national financial education guidelines. 

To learn more about Money Missions, visit GoHenry.com.

RSPB teacher-training scheme to bring nature to life for West Midlands schoolchildren

Image: Children undertaking a bioblitz in their school grounds. Credit RSPB (rspb-images.com)

Up to 60 teachers from schools across Birmingham and the West Midlands are being given the chance to take part in a training programme that will encourage and empower them to take more of their teaching outdoors.

The Curriculum for Nature programme will support teachers to provide engaging and meaningful opportunities for 1,800 children to learn in greater depth about nature within their school grounds.

Year 1 and Year 4 primary school teachers are being offered a free place on a continuous professional development programme developed by the RSPB with support from The Association for Science Education. The course will tackle barriers that prevent more outdoor learning taking place, and support teachers to deliver curriculum-linked, nature-based sessions that encourage pupils to become active citizens in helping nature in their community.

The programme forms part of the Naturally Connected Communities Birmingham project. It is fully funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund [note 1] and will be delivered by the RSPB.

Charlotte Trigg, RSPB’s Birmingham Community Project Manager, said: “The Curriculum for Nature programme will give teachers more confidence and training to offer school children amazing, up-close moments with nature in their school grounds now and in the future. Our first connections with nature can be so memorable, so we hope that children in Birmingham and the West Midlands will be inspired to love and look after their local greenspaces.

Research shows that children who have a healthy connection to nature are more likely to benefit from higher achievement at school, better mental and physical health, emotional wellbeing, and develop stronger social skills. The RSPB’s ambition is to help more children across the country benefit from spending time outdoors discovering the natural world around them, and teachers have a key role to play in this.

“But we know that many teachers lack confidence and skills, as well as the time and resources, to plan and deliver meaningful outdoor curriculum learning. The Curriculum for Nature programme will support teachers on their journey to build more outdoor learning into their teaching, including providing them with everything they need for pupils to explore the wildlife and habitats of their school grounds and come up with a plan to create new and better homes for nature in their playgrounds.”

Teachers will experience monthly meeting points, engagement tasks and monthly support clinics over a six-month period from January to July 2022, and will be supported every step of the way by primary and outdoor education specialists from the RSPB.  

Recruitment into the programme is underway until January 10, with just 60 places available which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Teachers can find out more or reserve their place on the programme by emailing teachercpd@rspb.org.uk

Top marks for education start-up

 

 

A Star Attendance Solutions software. L/R Elaine Winder, Julie Small, Jill Robson (creator), Leanne Hood and Cllr Graeme Miller.

 

A SOFTWARE platform built to help schools improve attendance and intervention management is to be rolled out across the UK following a successful trial.

 

A Star Attendance Solutions, founded in 2018 by former local authority attendance officer Jill Robson, has developed a pioneering online platform that helps schools manage pupil attendance in a more transparent, fair and robust way.

 

Built by Durham based business and IT consultancy Waterstons, the platform is the brainchild of director and founder Jill and – following a successful trial in 12 schools – is now receiving top marks across the board after being rolled out in schools across the North of England.

 

Jill said: “Having spent the best part of 22 years working as an attendance officer, I’d witnessed first-hand the impact continuous Government cuts were having on the education sector, especially in terms of early intervention attendance support.

 

“The cuts slashed budgets and meant local authorities were no longer able to continue to provide the additional support required and were forced to focus on undertaking their statutory duty. With schools still being responsible for day-to-day management of non-school attendance, the impact of losing the additional support from the local authority was clear for all to see.

 

“I knew there must be a better way for schools to manage attendance and intervention and so, at the age of 52, I decided to take voluntary redundancy and set up on my own to address the issue head on.”

 

Initially, Jill aimed to work three days a week and provide attendance and intervention support to a few local schools, however it wasn’t long until word of mouth spread, and more and more schools began approaching her for support.

 

Within just 12 months, Jill employed a team of three members of staff and was working with schools from South Tyneside to Teesside. But as demand grew, so did the workload and the team set about further streamlining the services they offered.

 

“They say necessity is the mother of invention and that was certainly the case with the A Star System,” Jill added. “While the personal provision had helped massively reduce staff workloads and transform the way attendance and intervention was monitored, we soon realised it was very time consuming and we knew there must be another way.

 

“I decided to explore ways of improving the process and worked with Waterstons to devise a software platform to automate the entire process, eliminating any chance of human error while reducing overheads for schools, the majority of which had already seen their budgets slashed in recent years.

 

“This led to me being introduced to Sunderland City Council’s Business Investment Team, Innovation SuperNetwork and Gateshead GX, all of whom supported me as I developed the system. Their ongoing support has been invaluable.”

 

The platform is now being used by 38 schools across the North of England, with one North East secondary school in particular witnessing a 2% increase in attendance since introducing the system.

 

She added: “Our overall aim for A Star is to help schools more effectively monitor attendance, ensuring no child is forgotten and ensuring every child has the same opportunity.

 

“This will not only help young people get more from education but it will also help teachers identify issues impacting on attendance at an early stage whilst building bridges with families.

 

“The A Star System is the first and only intelligent monitoring solution that achieves this, offering a comprehensive solution to attendance monitoring, tracking, intervention, and reporting by managing every aspect of pupils’ attendance, without the need to produce endless reports and we’re delighted with how it has been received so far.”

 

Rachel Donohue, Principal at Academy 360 in Sunderland, said: “A Star Attendance has been an absolutely fantastic resource. It has given us greater opportunity to work strategically with parents and students to improve attendance by focusing on the root of the issue.

 

“In the first month alone, we saw a 2% increase in attendance figures with Pupil Premium, SEND and Boys now at National Average. The impact has been transformational.”

 

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Ensuring young people have a fair and equal opportunity to receive the best possible education is a key priority of ours as a council and we’re delighted to have been able to support Jill and the team on their journey so far.”

Team GB and Aldi inspire healthy eating in schools with Kevin the Carrot and Ebanana’s Christmas Carol resources and prizes

Get Set to Eat Fresh is excited to announce the return of Kevin the Carrot, the star of Aldi’s Christmas advert with the new healthy eating resources titled ‘Kevin’s Christmas Carol’ and ‘A Christmas Campaign’. Aldi has released Christmas-themed Kevin and friends soft toys, to be won for schools that register on getseteatfresh.co.uk and share their healthy story in a prize draw on the 8th of December.

The Get Set to Eat Fresh initiative teaches young people aged 5–14 about eating well and gives them the skills and confidence to cook fresh, healthy meals. The latest additions to the programme’s bank of free, downloadable resources, are ‘Kevin’s Christmas Carol’, a festive activity bank of challenges that can be used in the classroom with primary-aged students, and ‘A Christmas Campaign’, which challenges students aged 11–14 to use their communication and writing skills to create an award-winning Christmas or healthy eating campaign.

‘Kevin’s Christmas Carol’ explores a wide range of cross-curricular activities that offer links to PSHE, Science, Design and Technology, English and Maths subjects. Activities, inspired by Kevin the Carrot and Ebanana’s story, create festive fun opportunities for young people while building problem-solving, discussion and higher-order-thinking skills, alongside some longer creative tasks. The activities are flexible and are rated bronze, silver and gold for complexity for pupils and time required to help teachers select the right activities for their class.

For secondary students, Get Set to Eat Fresh has also developed the ‘A Christmas Campaign’ resource. Students can take a behind-the-scenes look at the techniques, skills and roles needed to create an Aldi Christmas campaign, and are challenged to apply this knowledge by developing their own advert for a school celebration or to inspire people to stay active and/or eat well over the holidays. This adaptable resource offers cross-curricular links to English, PSHE and Media Studies and can be used in the classroom and at home.

Adam Zavalis, Marketing Director at Aldi UK, said: “We know that young people love Kevin and so we’re excited about launching our new Kevin’s Christmas Carol resources. At Aldi we know the importance of healthy eating and are thrilled to support young people with flexible resources and the chance to win Kevin the Carrot toys for their schools.”

By registering on www.getseteatfresh.co.uk schools will be entered into a draw to win some limited edition Kevin the Carrot and friends soft toys. After selling out online in a matter of minutes last year, Aldi and Team GB are thrilled to have secured a small number of the Christmas-themed Kevin soft toys specifically for Get Set to Eat Fresh!

Backed by an all-star cast of Team GB Aldi Athlete Ambassadors, including Olympic gold medal-winning athletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, the Get Set to Eat Fresh programme has forged a healthy legacy that has reached over 2.1 million children since launching, through its goal of inspiring healthy eating.

Jonny Brownlee, Triathlon, double Olympic gold medallist and Aldi Athlete Ambassador said: “This year’s Kevin’s Christmas Carol campaign offers young people so many exciting activities that encourage them to eat healthy and get active. Those schools that register can also be in with the chance to win Kevin the Carrot or one of his Christmas friends!”

For more information about Get Set to Eat Fresh and the new Christmas resources visit: https://getseteatfresh.co.uk/

150 inspirational Ambassadors have joined the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK with this year’s BRIT Challenge

The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) continue to deliver their annual feelgood February fundraiser with three aims;

 

  • Support student mental health, fitness & wellbeing and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • Deliver inspiration to young adults, and destigmatise mental health, with the support of BRIT Ambassadors
  • Raise vital funds for local, regional and national charities

 

Registration is now open for the BRIT Challenge, taking place between 1st February and 3rd March 2022 (University Mental Health Day), and every UK university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union are urged to embrace the Challenge, enter teams and invite their students and staff to participate.

 

Many charities have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a collaborative charity, BRIT are inviting every university and college team taking part in the BRIT Challenge to choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT, to support local, regional and national charities. Over the past two years, almost 180 university and college teams have taken on BRIT Challenges.

 

BRIT are striving to unite the education, sport and charity sectors and a wealth of governing bodies are supporting the BRIT Challenge including Universities UK, the Association of Colleges, Colleges Scotland, Colleges Wales and the National Union of Students.

 

Olympians, Paralympians, Sports Personalities, Adventurers and Explorers continue to join the BRIT Ambassador family and support young adult mental health. BRIT Ambassadors promote the BRIT Challenge at a university and/or college of their choice, encourage student participation, share their lived experience to destigmatise mental health and champion equality, diversity and inclusion. The BRIT Ambassador family is being supported by a whole host of inspirational sports personalities including Dame Kelly Holmes and Sir Steve Redgrave.

 

The BRIT Challenge is inclusive and enables students and staff of all abilities to take part and work as a team to cover the 2,022 mile distance by either hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding). 

 

University and college teams have the flexibility to decide how they take on the BRIT Challenge; sharing the 2,022 mile distance between campuses, departments, Students’ Union sports teams and societies; involving 2,022 students and staff; challenging other universities and colleges; involving their communities and setting £2,022 fundraising targets.

 

At a time when young adult and student mental health has been further impacted by the pandemic, the BRIT Challenge is fast becoming an inspiring annual UK-wide event supported by the education, sport and charity sectors.

 

www.BritishInspirationTrust.org.uk

Media enquiries – Press@BritishInspirationTrust.org.uk

Twitter and Instagram @BRIT_Challenge

 

QUOTES OF SUPPORT

“It has been my pleasure to support BRIT for many years as they have strived to support young adult mental health throughout the UK, raise vital funds and deliver inclusive opportunities for young adults to improve their mental health and fitness.  

Supporting young adult mental health has never been so important and I applaud BRIT for delivering the annual BRIT Challenge and their visionary approach to collaborate with education and sport governing bodies and organisations.

This Call to Action goes out to all current and former Olympic and Paralympic Athletes and Sports Personalities; I urge athletes from every sport to join the BRIT Ambassador family. By uniting, we can ensure that every UK university, college and specialist college has a champion to inspire as many of their students and staff as possible to take part in the BRIT Challenge, destigmatise mental health and promote inclusivity.”

Sir Steve Redgrave CBE

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“The BRIT ethos is to be a collaborative charity. As many charities have felt the impact of COVID-19 on their fundraising efforts, I hope the BRIT Challenge inspires UK universities, colleges, specialist colleges and Students’ Unions to enter teams and choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT, to support local, regional and national charities.

We have adopted a collectively powerful approach to supporting young adult mental health by forging special relationships and partnerships with charities and national governing bodies in the education and sport sectors. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported BRIT and enabled us to grow as a charity and continue to have a positive impact on the lives of young adults and students throughout the UK.

 

I am also sincerely grateful to the 150 Olympians, Paralympians, Sports Personalities, Adventurers and Explorers, who have joined our BRIT Ambassador family this year. They have united in promoting the BRIT Challenge, supporting universities and colleges of their choice, encouraging students of all abilities to take part, destigmatising mental health and championing equality, diversity and inclusion.”

 

Phil Packer

Founder and Non-Paid Chief Executive

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“The delivery of the annual BRIT Challenge is close to my heart having lost my closest friend to suicide and having seen the challenges faced by people of all ages struggling with poor mental health.  All of us will be affected by emotional wellbeing challenges at some point in our lives.  I encourage athletes from every sport to unite and join the BRIT Ambassador family. By visiting a university or college of their choice during February and sharing their lived experience, BRIT Ambassadors will inspire teams to participate, champion inclusivity, help destigmatise mental health and it is also a super opportunity to share what our sports have to offer with students.

 

It’s great to see that the BRIT Challenge is inclusive so that students and staff of all abilities are able participate in many different ways. I wish every university, college and specialist college team the very best of luck with their distance and fundraising efforts. I hope the BRIT Challenge will also help make conversations about our mental health easier and that young people realise they are not alone.”

 

Helene Raynsford

Paralympic Gold medallist

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“Young adults struggling with mental health difficulties are highly likely to be even more vulnerable due to the COVID-19 crisis and the BRIT Challenge is an inspiring opportunity for students at every  university, college and specialist college to be part of a UK-wide feelgood February fundraising challenge to both raise vital funds for charities and improve their mental health and fitness. 

 

I know there are hundreds of current and retired Olympians, Paralympians, Sporting Personalities, Adventurers and Explorers who understand the challenges of mental health. By joining our BRIT Ambassador family, championing the BRIT Challenge and sharing their lived experience at a university or college of their choice, they will have an extraordinary impact on supporting and improving student mental health and fitness.  There are over 450 universities and colleges in the UK, so we need a collectively powerful team effort from athletes from every sport to come forward and ensure every institution has a BRIT Ambassador to help increase participation, promote inclusivity and destigmatise mental health.”

 

Sally Gunnell OBE DL

Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth Gold Medallist

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“With a deep understanding of mental health challenges in my own life, and through the work of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, I know that there are vast number of young adults and students who are living with mental health challenges. I have known BRIT’s Founder, Phil, for many years now and his vision to support young adult mental health resonates with me both personally and professionally.

 

It has been a pleasure to support BRIT over the past 10 years, as they have strived to help improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK. I am delighted that the annual BRIT Challenge has been designed to be inclusive so that students and staff of all abilities can take part in many different ways. The BRIT Challenge is a great opportunity for universities, colleges, Students’ Unions and students to enter teams, raise vital funds for local, regional and national charities, and embrace an annual feelgood February fundraiser that promotes mental wellbeing and inclusivity.

 

Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes MBE (mil)

Double Olympic gold medallist

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“BRIT exists to support and improve young adult mental health, as well as to unite the education, sport and charity sectors. I know Students’ Unions and students have amazing energy, enthusiasm and determination when it comes to raising funds for great causes, and it is infectious which is why I love supporting BRIT year on year. 

 

The annual BRIT Challenge is a feel-good February fundraiser that enables students to choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT, and take part wherever they are; on campus or at home, in whatever way they choose.  It’s a great way to improve mental health and fitness, to raise vital funds and to HAVE FUN!

 

I hope every UK university, college and specialist college will embrace the BRIT Challenge, making it a firm fixture in their annual Calendar of Events.  If every institution enters just one team or several teams, the potential impact the BRIT Challenge could have on both improving and destigmatising mental health throughout the UK is mind blowing.”

 

Naomi Riches MBE

Paralympic Gold Medallist                                             _____