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Tech start-up Wonde launch ‘TestRegister’ to aid schools with new COVID-testing regime

  • British tech start-up Wonde is launching a new platform to help schools automatically record and report COVID-19 test results
  • TestRegister will help save valuable school hours every day so teachers can concentrate on catching up pupils 
  • New platform will support Public Health England to manage the spread of the disease, by improving the speed and accuracy of schools test data reporting. 

 

British tech start-up, Wonde is today launching TestRegister, a new platform to help schools manage the new COVID-19 school testing system and help manage the spread of the disease. From 8 March, schools will need to make sure that test results from staff and pupils are safely and securely recorded and reported to the Government. Wonde will help them to do this automatically, saving valuable school hours so teachers can concentrate on catching up pupils who have lost out on education due to the pandemic. 

 

According to the new Government guidelines, pupils and staff will need to take two COVID-19 tests every week to prevent the virus spreading in schools. Wonde’s TestRegister is designed to save teachers time and help schools to record and report the data to the Government. The new platform will help Public Health England to manage the spread of the disease, by improving the speed and accuracy of schools test data reporting. 

 

TestRegister, which is launching in hundreds of schools, will help to manage and report the significant quantities of data in a safe, secure and timely manner. 

 

The portal will:

  • Give staff, students and parents a single portal to submit test results to – this can be done on desktop or mobile.
  • Allow schools to monitor and track who is and isn’t completing tests, and automate reminders to students, parents and staff. 
  • Allow for daily reporting of results to Public Health England, the Department for Education and local authorities, plus a further real-time positive test alert to notify the school and authorities if students or staff are required to self isolate. 

 

Wonde works with 21,000 schools across the UK to help them protect pupils’ data while using external applications, such as Google for Education. On a daily basis they handle the data of 33 million students, teachers and parents with the highest security accreditations. 

 

TestRegister, which Wonde built following the announcement on the 22 February, in response to requests from schools and local authorities, is the latest in a number of new services the start-up has created in response to the crisis. 

 

At the beginning of the pandemic, Wonde lept into action and built a platform to provide 750,000 families in need with Free School Meal vouchers. While the selected provider, Edenred, system crashed, Wonde was able to step in, identify eligible children and get them the vouchers quickly and securely. 

 

During the school holidays, Wonde’s voucher platform helped local authorities distribute vouchers through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme. Wonde supported over a third of local authorities in England to get vouchers to vulnerable families to access food and essential items – quickly and at scale. 

 

Peter Dabrowa, founder of Wonde said: 

 

“Headteachers and school staff are facing an enormous task in helping Public Health England to manage the spread of COVID-19 through the new schools testing system. We have built TestRegister to help schools with this task, saving them valuable teaching hours every day and improving the accuracy of reporting for the Government.

 

“TestRegister will help to ease the burden of schools so they can concentrate on catch-up teaching and getting pupils back on track.”

 

Peter Naudi, Head Teacher at Cheam High School said:

 

“Cheam High School has over 2,000 students. As a large secondary school we are always looking for systems to improve school wide efficiencies. Wonde’s voucher platform saved the school administrative staff a huge amount of time and stress, and vouchers were delivered to parents on time. We are confident that Wonde’s Test Register platform will save us significant time each week, in our delivery of the DfEs return to school COVID testing programme” 

 

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: 

 

“We know the best place for children and young people is in the classroom – not only in terms of their educational needs, but also their emotional wellbeing needs. As a Local Authority, our priority has been to support pupils transition back to on-site education and help all schools and colleges across the county to implement mass testing of secondary-age pupils as per the latest Government guidance.

 

“We absolutely support and encourage the roll out of increased testing as an additional protective measure for managing the potential spread of COVID-19 in the school community, however we also recognise the additional administrative pressure that this would have placed on schools in terms of logging and managing pupil’s test results. As a result, we have worked hard and at pace with Wonde to develop and implement an effective solution to save schools and colleges time and allow colleagues to continue with their important role in educating and supporting children and young people.

 

“Implementing the new Wonde TestRegister system across Essex will mean school colleagues can focus on creating a smooth and sustained transition back for their pupils. It also provides us with the intelligence and assurances that we need as a Local Authority to ensure appropriate processes are in place and being managed effectively.”

 

BenQ unveiled as hardware partner to government initiative, Oak National Academy

BenQ has partnered with Oak National Academy, an organisation providing free online classroom resources in the UK, to make their portfolio of over 10,000 videos, lesson slides and pupil worksheets available across its series of Interactive Flat Panels for learning environments.

 

Oak was created in response to schools closing during the pandemic to help educators’ transition to hybrid teaching models with resources for remote teaching, to aid in-school catch-up, assist lesson planning and subsequently lower teacher workload. 

 

BenQ is the first manufacturer to partner with Oak and has made the resources available on the BenQ Suggests store, so users can download it to their IFP and access the materials natively from the android operating system. Teachers who have been using the Oak lessons while teaching remotely can seamlessly continue their work as they transition back to the classroom. 

 

The Oak resources are created by teachers, for teachers and are completely free. They cover a broad range of subjects from Reception up to Year 11, and 600 lessons for students who normally attend specialist settings. In most subjects, there are enough lessons for the whole year that can be adapted by teachers, making the materials as flexible as possible. 

 

These can now be accessed on BenQ’s series of IFPs and in collaboration with EZ Write Live, BenQ’s proprietary interactive whiteboard software, that lets students annotate and collaborate on the materials from any location in real-time via the Cloud. 

 

Nicola Pearce, Head of Education at BenQ explains: 

 

“Through this partnership with Oak National Academy, we are extending our commitment to inspiring learning  and ensuring the best possible access to teaching resources, whether that is in the classroom or at home. As pupils return to school, they will be able to continue their work with no disruptions, using their classroom displays to collaborate and enhance the experience. 

 

“As well as pioneering healthy learning environments through BenQ’s Healthcare+ features, including antibacterial screens to prevent touch-based transmission within the classroom. Smart Eye-Care Solution combining Flicker-Free, Anti-glare and Low Blue Light features to reduce eye strain and fatigue.” 

 

Jonathan Dando, Director of External Relations,  Oak National Academy comments: 

 

“Since April 2020, pupils have taken part in over 100 million lessons while transitioning between the classroom and remote learning. Through this partnership with BenQ, we are excited to keep supporting teachers as all pupils return to the classroom. We hope teachers  are able to access our videos, lesson slides and worksheets inside classrooms in a user-friendly way, reducing teacher workload and helping children learn.” 

 

BenQ are encouraging existing IFP users to download the Oak National Academy app from the BenQ Suggests store to maximise use of Oak’s resources. As well as offering virtual demonstrations to new users. 

VODAFONE DONATION PLUGS CONNECTIVITY GAP FOR THOUSANDS MORE SCHOOLCHILDREN AS FOCUS TURNS TO REOPENING OF SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION CATCH-UP

 

 

  • Vodafone is donating 10,000 dongle devices to help children access online learning and catch-up classes from home.
  • It is also making a £200,000 donation to the Raspberry Pi Foundation to enable it to distribute 500 computer kits to disadvantaged young people.
  • The donations follow consultation with head teachers and education trusts who highlight the continuing need for connectivity to access online learning and catch-up classes.

 

Today, Vodafone announced it is donating 10,000 dongle devices to Business2Schools, which will distribute them to schools in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales*. Heads can give them to children who still lack the connectivity they need to access online learning and catch-up classes, which are likely to play a key role even as schools reopen from 8 March.

 

Vodafone also announced it has made a £200,000 donation to the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s ‘Learn at Home’ campaign. This donation will enable it to distribute 500 computer kits to disadvantaged young people and provide specialist training to youth workers so they can teach digital and coding skills.

 

Head teachers and education trusts report that while many schools have received laptops, a significant number of children still lack the connectivity they need to access online learning and catch-up classes. The donations follow Vodafone’s successful schools.connected programme which gave 350,000 SIM cards to 9,000 schools and colleges across the UK. Schools that received SIMs via the programme can pair them with the dongle devices**.

 

Business2Schools is one of the fastest growing charities in the UK and is currently working to distribute thousands of laptops donated by businesses to schools that need them. To date, it hasn’t had access to dongles, which will help children with limited broadband access at home. More than 4,000 schools are already registered with Business2Schools.

 

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has helped millions of young people learn at home by delivering direct-to-student learning experiences, supporting teachers to deliver remote lessons, providing online coding clubs and by getting computers into the hands of children who previously didn’t have one at home.

 

Ahmed Essam, CEO, Vodafone UK, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the tragedy of digital poverty and its impact on the most disadvantaged children and young people. As the education recovery mission begins, both face-to-face and online learning will be crucial, so it’s vitally important that every young person has access to connectivity.

 

“These donations will give thousands more children access to the internet and I’m delighted we’re working with specialists in tackling digital exclusion – Business2Schools and the Raspberry Pi Foundation – to deliver connectivity where it is needed most.”

 

Lindsey Parslow, CEO, Business2Schools said: “We’re pleased that in addition to laptops, we can now provide Vodafone dongles to schools and children that need them. Many of the schools registered with us have already requested an allocation, highlighting the ongoing need for connectivity as well as devices.

 

“In addition to the obvious benefit of access to remote learning, the digital skills children gain by using tech in their day-to-day lives is invaluable.  Any school that would like to register with Business2Schools can do so here.”

Philip Colligan, CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, said: “Having a computer and connectivity to learn at home is transformational for young people. The pandemic has highlighted the digital divide that already existed and that will continue to hold back young people unless we solve it. 

 

“Vodafone’s donation to our Learn at Home campaign allows us to provide Raspberry Pi computers for young people who need them the most, along with the support and training that makes sure they can use them to learn.”

 

This programme is being supported with a radio campaign in which Vodafone again asks the public to donate unwanted smartphones and tablets as part of its Great British Tech Appeal.  Vodafone will cover the cost of postage and packing, add six months of free unlimited data connectivity, and send the devices to disadvantaged families via charity Barnardo’s. To donate visit: vodafone.co.uk/techappeal

 

Vodafone is also part of the Government’s Get Help With Technology programme to increase data allowances for children in need and is giving unlimited data to Vodafone customers who join the scheme.  In addition, it has ‘zero rated’ the Department for Education-funded Oak National Academy so its customers can access the online resources and lessons without using up their data allowances.  

Kramer Makes Education Accessible for Everyone with Two New Hybrid Learning Solutions

Kramer has launched two new hybrid education solutions designed to help teachers get back to the classroom to educate in a professional quality and in real-time, while at the same time ensuring those in-class and remote students have the same great experience.

 

Kramer EDU-Hybrid-ZR is a Zoom Rooms solution that starts lessons at the touch of a button with no personal device needed. Kramer EDU-Hybrid-1 is a software agnostic wireless presentation and collaboration solution. It provides educators the flexibility of running any Windows® based conferencing application like Zoom™ or Microsoft Teams.

 

Both facilitate unique integration with Kramer Control to allow all classroom devices to be controlled from one user interface, streamlining the presentation process.

 

EDU-Hybrid-ZR

 

EDU-Hybrid-ZR creates an intuitive learning environment with one display utilized for video conference participants, and a second separate screen for sharable lesson content. This supports up to 4K resolution and can be combined with any of Kramer’s professional quality powered speakers for crystal clear audio and an incredibly immersive learning environment.

 

Using a dedicated Kramer KT-107Z touch panel, teachers simply launch Zoom Rooms to begin the session. The solution uses dedicated Zoom Rooms™ hardware so no additional personal devices, like a laptop or PC, are needed, saving time and ensuring that lessons start promptly. In-class teachers can also connect wirelessly to the display, for real-time content sharing.

 

EDU-Hybrid-1

 

EDU-Hybrid-1 is a software agnostic wireless presentation and collaboration solution that enables teachers to easily connect and present lessons from any wireless device to in-class and remote students simultaneously.

 

Lecturers launch their preferred Windows™ based video conferencing platform and automatically connect to professional grade microphones and speakers to enhance the two-way communication. This integrates with their preferred in-room teaching displays including projectors and interactive whiteboards and provides access to cloud storage for saved documents.

 

At the heart of the solution, Kramer’s VIA Campus2 displays and streams full, uninterrupted 4K video and displays six user screens simultaneously, ideal for keeping classes connected. A relay screen allows teachers to see their remote students as they present.

 

Lessons are transformed into interactive and engaging sessions with the multiple screen sharing support and whiteboard functionality, allowing participants to view, edit and comment on documents in real-time.

 

At any point, a collaboration session or a lecture can be recorded, shared or archived.  Alternatively, the same session can be streamed over the network to live servers such as Kaltura®, Panopto® or YouTube® Live, allowing remote students to follow the lesson.

 

 

Kramer Control

 

Kramer adds additional value to the EDU-Hybrid-ZR learning set up with built-in integration with Kramer Control, the manufacturer’s agile, cloud-based control platform. The Kramer Control BRAINware allows integration with all other controllable devices and infrastructure, giving the teacher complete control of the learning environment without having to move around the room. Some of these integrations include the camera position, the lighting, AC, projectors, interactive whiteboards, and the speaker volume to enhance the two-way communication.

 

 

Yael Chicheportiche, Director of VIA Offering Solutions at Kramer, explains:

 

“Our hybrid education portfolio is helping to bring teachers back to the classroom and environments that they feel comfortable in. They don’t need to worry about the technology, at the touch of a button they can resume their lessons in familiar surroundings using their preferred in-room teaching aids and their chosen application like ZoomTM, or Microsoft TeamsTM.

 

“Both EDU-Hybrid-ZR and EDU-Hybrid-1 are complete end-to-end solutions designed to suit the desired space and are scalable, to grow as teaching requirements do. Both are agnostic when it comes to the peripheral AV devices, working with all recognized cameras, microphones and speakers, enhancing the flexibility, and making them accessible to a wide range of budgets.”

 

Make Back to School Safety a Priority with AirPop Face Masks

AirPop Kids masks are designed especially for children aged 3 to 12-years-old and have been given the seal of approval by the BSI Kitemark scheme, alongside the Pocket mask – ideal for teens, older students and teachers

As thousands of children return to school next month, and with mask wearing recommended in secondary schools and higher education, how to keep youngsters safe from the risks of COVID-19 will be at the forefront of parent’s minds.

Award-winning air wearables brand AirPop has designed a range of masks with a two-way barrier giving children and teachers the defence they need against airborne threats, such as COVID-19, as well as providing optimum comfort and breathability.

The Kids mask, for children aged 3 to 12-years-old, has been specially engineered to suit smaller features, whilst delivering over 99% particle filtration.

AirPop’s Pocket mask also provides the same level of protection and offers the perfect solution for teenagers at secondary school, those in higher education such as college, and teachers and support staff.

 AirPop Kids Pink Lifestyle Image

The Government recommends the use of face coverings in Higher Education, Further Education and secondary schools.

Both the Kids and Pocket ranges fit in AirPop’s handy case, available in black and white and ideal for children to store their mask safely and hygienically in-between uses. The vent at the top of the case allows any moisture to evaporate naturally between wears, keeping the mask dry and fresh, ready for its next use. 

The Kids and Pocket masks have been awarded the prestigious BSI Kitemark, acknowledging AirPop has gone above and beyond to ensure its products provide appropriate levels of protection.

AirPop Pocket Black

Available in a range of colourful finishes such as pink, blue and white, the Kids mask, alongside the Pocket mask, is fitted with filters which last up to 40 hours. The Pocket is available in black and white.

Made of hypoallergenic materials as well as non-toxic dyes, both masks are also ideal for sensitive skin, even when wearing for long periods of time.

The masks have a unique 3D structure which creates a canopy of air, keeping them off the face for effortless breathability. Paired with low resistance materials, the range delivers unrestricted airflow for easy breathing, making them comfortable to wear all day.

Each mask is fitted with an ultra-soft, ergonomic foam nose seal cushion which conforms around the nose and promotes proper alignment, reducing fogging of eyewear for glasses wearers.

Reinforced, welded ribs provide compression strength during wear but also act as flexible folding joints for easy collapsibility when stowing.

AirPop Founder, Chris Hosmer, said: “For parents, protecting our children is always our number one priority. After my own children suffered the ill-effects of air pollution, respiratory health became hugely important to me. I created AirPop to protect people from the increasing threats posed by airborne pollution and to give people control over what they breathe.

“As children start to return to school, it’s important we take every precaution to protect them and those around them from transmitting COVID-19.”

AirPop Case

AirPop Kids masks come in blue, pink or white colours and retail for £14.99 for a 2-pack; £24.99 for a 4-pack. Compatible with Pocket carrying case.  Pocket case sold separately, in either black or white, for £9.99.

The Pocket also comes in black or white colours and retails for £14.99 for 2-pack; (£24.99 for 4-pack; £99.99 for 20 pack)   

The AirPop Difference

AirPop delivers superior performance by solving three key issues that plague most masks: fit, filtration and breathability. All of the materials used to manufacture our masks are tested by accredited 3rd party labs to exceed the World Health Organisation and FDA medical mask material performance standards. 

Fit: An accurate, close fit is essential to prevent the inhalation and exhalation of small particles and droplets. AirPop masks feature a patented soft-seal and frame that responds to different fit profiles to help ensure a snug, but comfortable fit. And the tented, 3-D Air Dome shape keeps the filter away from the face, increasing airflow and improving breathability and comfort. 

Filtration: When it comes to harmful pollutants, size matters. Anything smaller than 2.5 microns is known as “fine particulate matter” (PM 2.5) – think airborne bacteria, for example.  AirPop masks create a barrier down to 0.1 microns with greater than 99% effectiveness at this scale. Our unique combination of 4-layer filter material provides an effective 2-way barrier against particles and droplets.

Breathability: Superior breathability is also vital – consumers won’t wear what isn’t comfortable or doesn’t work. AirPop masks “give and take” in sync with your natural breath. And they have four layers of protection – from the droplet-resistant, non-woven outer layer to the filter and skin-friendly inner layer to ensure security and comfort.

About AirPop

AirPop is the world’s first Air Wearables company. Since 2015, the company has harnessed filtration science and technology to build high-performance products that deliver unrivalled comfort and breathability for millions of people worldwide. AirPop masks deliver superior performance by solving three critical issues: fit, filtration and breathability. The revolutionary mask design includes a patented seal ensuring a secure fit, while the 3D Air Dome increases airflow for better breathability and comfort. Furthermore, AirPop masks combine a 4-layer filter material to create a barrier down to 0.1 microns, and their filters deliver greater than 99% effectiveness. For more information visit: www.airpophealth.com.  

You can find all AirPop multi-use disposable masks at Amazon.com or the AirPop website (www.airpophealth.com).

Back to school but not just with a new pencil case; this term students will need a mask, a flow test, hand sanitiser & schools will need to disinfect as they never have before

8th March 2021 a confirmed date that parents around the country can put in the diary.  Finally, our children can be reunited with friends and teachers in the school environment.   But school life will have a different feel and lack the spontaneity that our young are craving.  Not only will they have to respect social distancing and wear masks, but they will be living in a highly sanitised world where washing their hands several times a day is the norm and schools disinfecting classrooms after every lesson is standard. 

Government guidelines stipulate that schools should ‘maintain enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents.’  But at what cost to the health of our children and their teachers do we disinfect?  How can schools ensure that what they are using to keep their students and staff free from the virus does not pose other threats to their health? 

Covid-19 has forced us to look at infection control in a new way; and right now this focus is firmly on the school setting. There is mounting concern that many commonly used disinfectants may not be up to the job of dealing with a pandemic; contact time may be too long, efficacy questionable with often a moderate pathogen control and many include chemicals that could be harmful to our health and the environment, especially when used with the frequency required to prevent spread of the virus.

Enter MicroSafe®, a non-toxic, non-corrosive, non-harmful but highly efficient disinfectant distributed by Purazine in the UK.   The active ingredient of MicroSafe is HOCl, a weak acid that occurs naturally in the human immune system.   

MicroSafe is 99.9999% (Log 6) effective in killing viruses, bacteria and other pathogens within a contact time of 30 seconds and has a proven track record of combatting epidemics around the world (MERS, SARS, Ebola) as well SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in Australia and the Middle East. Purazine introduced MicroSafe to the UK in 2020 in direct response to the pandemic.

The result of twenty years’ research, the patented and internationally approved Microcyn® technology that makes MicroSafe so unique, uses an electrochemical process to produce Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) similar to the natural HOCl produced by the human immune system to fight infection.   This process results in a pH balanced disinfectant, that is free of harmful chemicals such as additives and alcohol.  MicroSafe can be ‘fogged’ as a fine mist to ensure that no surface is left un-sanitised.   Historically, HOCl disinfectant’s shelf life was very limited but uniquely, MicroSafe remains shelf-stable for a minimum of two years, needing no special storage, handling or disposal and is kind to the environment.

Dr Hugh Martin, recent former Head of Agricultural Science at RAU and consultant with HOCl Trust says:

“With this level of efficacy, contact time, shelf life and being non-corrosive, MicroSafe sets the gold standard in disinfectants making it ideal for use in school settings where it will be safe to be used all in areas such as classrooms, labs and dining halls as well as for general disinfection application.”

In preparation for pupils returning to Chippenham’s Abbeyfield School on the 8th March, Deputy Head, Mr Spencer Cutler has been in touch with Purazine to request a new portable, battery operated fogger and additional MicroSafe to help disinfect sports equipment which needs a fast turnaround time. He says:

“Keeping our school community safe is a priority during this challenging time and having the opportunity to use MicroSafe has been beneficial in doing this. Sanitising a school is an enormous task, the advantage of using MicoSafe is that large areas can be sanitised quickly and efficiently with no impact on the learning or safety of our students, staff or equipment. MicroSafe has given us an additional level of security that we didn’t have before; paramount especially in this phase of the pandemic.” 

Dr David Cox of Purazine who distributes MicroSafe in the UK says;

“It is clear that we are going to have to learn to co-exist with Covid-19 and other viruses in the future but it’s vital that our solution to the virus does not cause additional problems especially for our children in the school setting.  MicroSafe needs to be part of all schools’ mitigation measures to keep Covid at bay; it is a product that is free of harmful chemicals, efficient and easy to use, limiting further interruption in students’ education.  They have waited long enough to get back to school, now let’s make sure that they can stay there and continue with their education but safely.” 

For more please visit: www.purazine.co.uk

HOW PARADIGM TRUST IS BRIDGING THE SCIENCE GAP

– Improvements in teaching and learning for British Science Week –

To celebrate British Science Week (5th to 14th March), Paradigm is revealing the secret to improved results and greater engagement with the subject in all their schools by bridging the culture gap between primary and secondary school.

 

Since Paradigm began working this way more students have been successful in science GCSE, and more high grades are being achieved. The number of students choosing to study a science subject at further education level has increased, and at every level of schooling it is noticeable that children are achieving better results and becoming more engaged in the subject.

 

Firstly, the Trust adapted the way science is taught throughout primary schools so it is reflective of the approach used in secondary schools. Currently teaching approach to science is varied in primaries which can cause a disconnect in the skills and knowledge attained in primary and those valued and required to learn effectively at Key Stage 3 and beyond. Science as a subject has less classroom time compared to other core subjects and there is a lack of teachers at primary stage who have a science background.  Only 40% of primary science leads have a science A-level nationally.  The majority of teachers with science qualifications are working at secondary level and the one or two days that teacher training spends on science fails to fill the gap. Paradigm also found the common enquiry-based learning approach to be ineffective in its current form because significant scientific knowledge needs to be in place before the correct questions can be asked, resulting in reduced comprehension.

 

When children reach secondary school, the focus typically shifts to teaching what the pupil needs to know to pass the GCSE, rather than exploring the full uses of science, so students can be left with a narrow comprehension of the subject that is more weighted towards succeeding in an exam than having a good understanding of science.

 

Paradigm Trust has worked to overcome these traditional challenges and raise student attainment levels in science by ensuring all six of its schools are working from an effective science curriculum, using consistent, evidenced-based teaching methods. This ensures there is continuity across the board, and teachers are using techniques which are proven to be effective to deliver the material.

 

The Trust also makes sure that children are taught the necessary scientific knowledge first, whatever the age of the child. It is only with this as their foundation that the pupil is able to get the most out of any enquiry activities, maximising their learning time and gaining a better understanding of science. This enables children to develop essential skills such as problem solving, understanding scientific texts or extrapolating accurate conclusions from results.

 

Paradigm continues to improve its science teaching and learning through a Trust-wide subject group that prioritises implementing ways in which children can be better prepared for the move from primary to secondary school, and how to make science effective from Nursery to Year 11.

 

For more information, please contact Lena O’Shea on E: lena@agencyforchange.co.uk or T: 07971910843.

Children urged to thank teachers by drawing them

Teachers have endured their toughest ever year, facing increased workloads because of the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic. Children are now being encouraged to create a special drawing to be in with a chance of winning a thank you gift for their teacher and resources for their classroom.

 

School stationery pioneer Maped Helix wants children to draw their teacher and those pictured in the five winning entries will receive an Oxford Metallics Premium Writing Gift Set. The prize will also include a range of stationery suitable for the child’s class, such as colouring pens for younger winners and maths sets for older pupils, plus Maped Picnik water bottles.

 

The Thank Your Teacher portraits can be created from pencil, felt tips, crayons, chalk, glitter, paint or anything else the children would like to use! The deadline for entries is Sunday 21st March.

 

Maped Helix marketing manager Lianne Fletcher commented: “It’s been a very difficult year for everyone but particularly so for teachers, facing the challenges of looking after key workers’ children in class and overseeing home schooling at the same time. With schools reopening to all pupils, we feel it’s a good time for children to show their gratitude by creating a picture for their teacher which may even win them a prize. We’re looking forward to seeing lots of colourful and creative portraits and rewarding teachers for their dedication and enthusiasm.”

 

Parents of children entering the competition should post the portraits on Facebook @MapedHelix or Instagram @maped_helix with the hashtag #ThankYourTeacher to be in with a chance of winning one of the five prizes for their teacher and class.

Maped Helix is based in The Black Country where innovative stationery has been created since 1887, most notably the Oxford Maths Set which has been used by children since the 1930s. Many of the company’s world class stationery products are designed to inspire and stimulate children’s creativity, such as the Maped Creativ and Color’Peps ranges.

 

For more information about Maped Helix please visit www.mapedhelix.co.uk, email info@mapedhelix.co.uk or call 01384 286860.

 

Landmark test result released for surface sanitiser which offers real proof of COVID-19 protection over 24-hours

  • Product first to have solid evidence of real success in frequent-use areas against viruses – 99.9% reduction after 24 hours
  • News comes as millions of businesses and public spaces prepare to reopen over the next few months
  • Test data provides assurance to organisations aiming to welcome back customers, students, visitors and employees

Infection prevention company Byotrol plc is today announcing that its 4-in-1 Multi-purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant has successfully passed the test confirming COVID-19 protection on frequently touched hard surfaces over 24-hours. 

 

The news comes after Byotrol plc announced it had successfully developed a new test method to verify whether a disinfectant will provide long-lasting protection against viruses in ‘real-life’ conditions. 

 

It’s the first time that users can have confidence that the disinfectant they have purchased will provide 24-hour protection against coronavirus on frequently-touched hard surfaces in public spaces – from lift-buttons to worktops, light switches to door handles. 

 

The new test standard was developed to replicate in-use conditions rather than the perfect laboratory environment typically used in such tests and makes this a significant step forward for the testing of disinfectant products in the future.

 

Byotrol plc, which developed and performed the new test, has a team of virologists and microbiologists who have worked on the project over several months, to ensure that the data is robust, resulting in Byotrol declaring that its 4-in-1 Multi-Purpose Cleaner & Disinfectant is proven to protect against coronavirus on hard surfaces for 24-hours after application.

 

Professor James Stewart, Chair of Molecular Virology at the University of Liverpool reviewed and verified the results externally. Professor Stewart was keen to comment on what the result means for the future of disinfectants: “A validation of the effectiveness of surface disinfectants against viruses using this test is an important step forward for the industry and consumers alike.” 

 

In 2014, Byotrol’s technical team, with the help of independent industry experts, established the BSI approved PAS 2424:2014 method for confirming long-lasting protection of disinfectants against bacteria. The PAS 2424:2014 test is currently being reviewed by the CEN Committee for approval as a new European EN test standard.

 

Whilst other disinfectant manufacturers have claimed long-lasting protection against Coronavirus over the course of the pandemic, this is the first time the claim has been supported by such rigorous test data, performed to a long-lasting test method against a relevant virus – and crucially, using abrasion to mimic the ‘real-life’ conditions of the product in-use.

 

Byotrol’s 4-in-1’ is fast-acting, it kills 99.99% of bacteria and viruses and offers long-lasting antimicrobial protection for up to 24 hours, even in frequently touched areas. It contains the ActizoneTM polymer technology from Solvay, which anchors antimicrobial actives to the surface enabling the residual antimicrobial nature of the formulation.

 

ActizoneTM technology traps antimicrobial actives to form a protective film on surfaces. The actives initially kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses and go on to deliver 24-hour protection and peace of mind to consumers while ensuring excellent shine and a residue-free finish.

 

The product is supported by a full microbiological test data pack including efficacy against coronavirus, influenza A (H1N1) and rotavirus in just 60 seconds, tested to UK and European standard test methods. It is compliant with the European Biocidal Products Regulation and can be used safely in a multitude of environments.

 

The business says that the test results will give its customers and end-users more confidence in which products on the market are proven to be effective.

 

Rick Hayman, Managing Director of Byotrol’s Professional Sales Division, said: “Many organisations and distribution channels have expressed concern over the mysticism of claims made by suppliers in the disinfection market. This latest test development will provide the necessary assurance to those organisations seeking proof of residual efficacy against viruses and other micro-organisms, whilst protecting their stakeholders as lockdown relaxes in the UK.”

Stronger Than Hate: Anti-Hate Challenge for UK Secondary Schools

 

USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education empower students to build empathy through the power of story

 

A powerful challenge which empowers children to tackle hate within their communities and take action for a better future is being launched to UK secondary schools.

 

Created by University of Southern California (USC) Shoah Foundation, in partnership with Discovery Education, the Stronger Than Hate Challenge invites pupils to use their creativity to bring communities closer together. Students aged 13-18 are being asked to submit a project showing why united communities are stronger. This can take the form of a video, poem, song, blog or piece of art – and a first prize of £5000 plus iPads is on offer.

 

The Stronger Than Hate Challenge demonstrates the power of learning from the past and using your own voice to counter hate. The Challenge is presented by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education and Discovery Education – the global leader in curriculum-aligned digital resources, engaging content, and professional learning for primary and secondary classrooms.

 

Founded after the making of Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List, USC Shoah Foundation collects audio visual testimonies from survivors and witnesses of genocides around the world, preserving their stories for future generations. Pupils taking part in the Stronger Than Hate Challenge can listen to these stories and be inspired to produce a piece of work which reflects the power of testimony to tackle hate.

 

Already a high-profile challenge in the US and Canada, Stronger Than Hate is being launched in the UK along with special classroom resources to help teachers and pupils recognise and counter hate and discrimination. Freely available at TeachingWithTestimony.com, these expert resources and videos will empower students to employ empathy, build critical-thinking skills, and become inspired to create a brighter future after listening to first-hand accounts from survivors and witnesses of genocide.

 

Discovery Education has also collaborated with USC Shoah Foundation to produce special age-appropriate resources for younger children in the UK. These are available to primary schools through Discovery Education Espresso – an award-winning, cross curricular digital learning service for teachers and pupils supporting the delivery of the National Curriculum and the successful integration of digital media into teaching and learning.

 

Lesly Culp, USC Shoah Foundation’s Head of Programs for Education said:

 

“The Stronger Than Hate Challenge empowers youth voices by connecting students with the impact of testimony in overcoming hate. In continued partnership with Discovery Education, we are helping inspire new ideas and spark student imagination to foster a more just and equitable society.”

 

Lori McFarling, President of Corporate and Community Partnerships at Discovery Education said:

 

“The resources from Teaching with Testimony, including the Stronger Than Hate Challenge, exemplify the impact of connecting students to social and emotional learning as a catalyst for change. We commend USC Shoah Foundation for their continued leadership in fostering inclusivity and are proud to join forces in igniting student curiosity through the power of testimony.”

 

The Stronger Than Hate Challenge UK winners will be announced in June 2021. First prize is a £5,000 grant, awarded to the winning school to help teachers implement positive change. £1,000 and £500 grants will be similarly presented to the second and third place schools. iPads are also on offer for up to four pupils on the winning team.

 

Schools should visit teachingwithtestimony.com/challenge-uk to enter.

 

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.co.uk.