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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

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.

The Skills Network repositions to revolutionise online learning industry

The Skills Network, one of the UK’s largest technology and content houses, has repositioned its brand to drive a new vision of transformative learning, sustainability solutions, and make online learning experiences more enjoyable and accessible to everyone.

 

The online learning provider is revolutionising its business model through various developments, such as enhancing the future of education through its use of extensive learner insights and most notably, its commitment towards listening to market demands. With growing demand to learn skills in sustainability and eco literacy, courses have since been developed to reflect this.

 

Having created award-winning content for over ten years, The Skills Network is levelling up through using learner insights and modern technology, to create the ultimate bespoke learning experience at scale. In line with the ongoing transformation of learning, a huge brand focus is on course accessibility and inclusion of generational nuances.

 

After in-depth research and greater understanding of its learners’ behaviour, the online learning provider has enhanced its technology and content whilst adapting its online experiences for every kind of learner from varying generations, genders, abilities, and backgrounds.

 

The rebrand is changing the perceptions of The Skills Network, reintroducing an avant-garde “technology business” that delivers the highest quality learning and skills to both the education and business-to-business sector while also providing to individual learners.

 

Driving the vision of transformative learning, The Skills Network is introducing a new predictive analytics tool, developed in response to the 2019 updates to the Ofsted Education Inspection Framework (EIF), new courses in sustainability, tailor made to reflect the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as content tailormade for different generations dependant on preferred learning styles.

 

Kyle Fedyszyn, Director of Ecommerce and Marketing said: “The business is evolving like never before and with our latest technology and commitment to listening to the market, we recognise the needs of those working in education and the importance of adapting the way in which individuals can access learning.

 

“With the latest news on job vacancies being at a record-high due to the widening skills gap, our recent Skills Trend Report has helped reveal where the current skill shortages lie. Using this insight, our future business model will ensure the relevant courses are developed to help learners gain qualifications for the most in demand skills.

 

“Our rebrand is also dedicated to listening to our learners, which is why we’ve developed a sustainability course in response to the growing need of training and resources in this area. We all have a social responsibility, and at The Skills Network, we’re proud to be in a position to educate other businesses, schools and universities on ways energy usage can be managed and monitored.”

 

 

New research reveals where in the UK teachers are paid the most, with Scottish teachers receiving the highest annual salary, outside of London.

The research, by Promethean, studied the annual salaries of full-time employees in teaching and education professions, by analysing how these compare across regions in the UK, and also on a global scale. 

The regions where teachers earn the most in the UK 

Rank Region in the UK Average annual salary for teachers
1 London £43,488
2 Scotland £41,350
3 Wales £40,038
4 North West £39,973
5 South East £39,447
6 South West £39,050
7 East £38,681
8 East Midlands £38,291
9 West Midlands £38,032
10 North East £36,793
11 Yorkshire and the Humber £35,306
UK average £40,038  

 

Findings from the study include: 

  • While London ranked highest for the highest-paid salaries for teachers in the UK, Scotland was the second highest paying region for the education sector, with teachers and educational professionals earning £1,312 more than the UK average annual teaching salary. 
  • Yorkshire and the Humber reported the lowest salaries among teachers and educational professionals in the UK, with an annual average salary of £35,306.
  • Outside of London, the second highest paying region in England is the North West, with teachers earning up to £39,973 per year. 

 

For the full research, including the top ten countries with the highest-paid teaching salaries in the world, please see here: ​​https://www.prometheanworld.com/gb/resource-centre/articles/teacher-salaries/ 

Only one in three teachers feel equipped to help stop cyberbullying

Despite the pervasiveness of cyberbullying, victims still have very little support that is proven to work  

 

A survey of 4,336 secondary school teachers, conducted by Teacher Tapp for the Early Intervention Foundation in October 2021, has found that only one in three teachers (33%) feel equipped to help stop cyberbullying amongst pupils. Classroom teachers were far less likely than headteachers to feel equipped to support pupils.   

 

Despite the lack of confidence, especially amongst frontline teaching staff, 60% of secondary school teachers have not had any cyberbullying-related training in the past 12 months. Private school teachers were more likely to have completed training than teachers at state-funded schools.   

 

Older teachers and headteachers were the most likely to have received training related to cyberbullying.   

 

A lack of understanding of what works 

 

review of the evidence of secondary school-based interventions, designed to promote wellbeing and prevent mental health or behavioural difficulties among teenagers, has revealed an absence of robust evidence and understanding of what support works to prevent cyberbullying. The report from the children’s charity, the Early Intervention Foundation, says: “We did not identify any primary studies examining the impact of cyberbullying prevention interventions.” 

 

The lack of robust evidence and understanding of what works to prevent online bullying, is all the more shocking given its prevalence. The latest available figures from the Office for National Statistics show 764,000 10-15 year olds were cyberbullied in the year ending March 2020.  

 

The Early Intervention Foundation’s study did provide some room for optimism. The very limited evidence that there is, points to the potential of some school-based support being able to effectively help young people.  

 

Dr Jo Casebourne, chief executive at the Early Intervention Foundation said: “Whilst we don’t know enough about what works to prevent cyberbullying, teachers and schools can play a greater role in helping develop young people’s resilience and ability to cope with the stresses that being bullied frequently creates.  

 

“Efforts to reduce cyberbullying will be hamstrung while we continue to have little real knowledge of what works to effectively reduce online bullying. We urgently require more research that can then lead to teachers and schools taking the right action.” 

 

Cyberbullying responses from the Big Ask survey 

 

The Children Commissioner’s report ‘The Big Answer’ report quotes a 14-year-old girl saying: “I don’t feel I was informed of my online safety from a young age and that it was considered a priority. Technology and social media are constantly developing so why aren’t our laws and protections for children on these platforms updating with it?” 

 

Another response was: “Mental health is important and it should be supported more in schools. For a lot of people, school is their safe place!” 

 

Martha Evans, Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, commented: “We know that cyberbullying among children more often than not starts in school and continues online. So it’s vital that teachers within schools are fully able to play their part, and understand how to intervene effectively whenever a pupil is suffering cruel and harmful behaviours, online or in the classroom or playground. 

 

Solutions to the cyberbullying pandemic:  

1) More research is needed into cyberbullying and the research should take into account the lived experience of young people, including both victims and bullies.  

 

2) The teaching of social and emotional learning (SEL) in both primary and secondary schools should be prioritised, to build young people’s resilience, to limit the damage caused by cyberbullying. Through SEL, pupils can build resilience, strengthen their mental health and learn skills that can reduce the impact of being bullied online. Examples of SEL include teaching social awareness and empathy, respecting diversity, understanding social behavioural norms; as well as teaching young people about self-awareness and relationship skills. 

 

Amazon Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tours bring real-world learning to the classroom

Amazon is supporting teachers and young people with a new series of Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tours, which form part of Amazon Future Engineer, a purpose-led childhood-to-career programme designed to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from low-income backgrounds to build careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

 

This school year, Amazon is providing teachers with the chance to immerse their pupils in a real-world learning environment with their free Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tours. Students will discover how computer science, state-of-the-art engineering and incredible people each play a part in delivering customer orders at Amazon.

 

The free tours are now available to all UK primary and secondary schools and provide students with the opportunity to put STEM and computer science into context, covering topics such as cloud computing, algorithms, machine learning, and quality control. To see what to expect on an Amazon Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tour, watch this video.

 

Alongside the Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tours, teachers can engage their students with computer science concepts before and after the tour using a free downloadable Teacher Toolkit, which includes interactive curriculum-linked slides, worksheets and videos supplementing tour topics, offering students insight into the world of Amazon’s customer fulfilment process.  Amazon is supporting teachers who are looking to showcase the opportunities a career in STEM can offer.  Students will get the chance to find out a host of interesting facts, see life behind the scenes and hear from Amazon’s very own engineers in a live Q&A session after the tour.

 

STEM-based careers will grow to be an integral part of our future and educating pupils about the opportunities available to them is important. Research commissioned by Amazon from Capital Economics showed that the UK needs an additional 38,000 workers with computer science-related skills, including 21,000 computer science graduates, to meet labour demands every year – or the economy could lose out on an estimated £33 billion a year by 20301. Amazon Future Engineer was established to help close that gap and has since launched initiatives such as bursary schemes for women computer science students, free virtual coding programmes, supporting the recruitment and training of secondary school computer science teachers and more. 

 

Lauren Kisser, Director at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge, said: “There is a greater need for STEM skills than ever before as technology continues to transform careers, industries and every sector of our economy. By launching the Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tours specifically for students as part of our Amazon Future Engineer programme we hope to showcase the variety of exciting opportunities available through a career in STEM and inspire the next generation of engineers and computer scientists.” 

 

The tours, which have seen over 5,000 students take part to date, provide a way for students to experience a class trip and be exposed to real-world learning, without leaving the classroom. Feedback from teachers who have signed up and attended a Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tour has been positive with an average satisfaction score of 4.3 out of 5. 

 

By signing up for a free Fulfilment Centre tour before 30 November 2021, teachers who attend a tour will be entered into a prize draw to win a £1,000 Amazon Gift Card for their school. There is no better time to book a Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tour and educate the next generation about the opportunities available with a career in STEM. T&C’s apply.

 

Digital Workspace becomes top IT priority for education sector, Softcat report reveals

  • 80% of education organisations are prioritising Digital Workspace solutions in the year ahead –

 

  • 22% now say sustainability is key to their IT decision making – 

 

 A new report from Softcat offers an exclusive snapshot of the education IT landscape and what technologies organisations are prioritising in the year ahead.  

 

The findings are based on the views of nearly 1,250 organisations in the UK and Ireland, across 23 industries including education. 

 

Looking at a sector level, the report reveals 80% of organisations in the education sector are now prioritising Digital Workspace solutions above all other technology areas. 

 

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the planning, provision and delivery of education, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic and government ordered restrictions on in-person teaching. 

 

Exceptional user experience and frictionless workflows are becoming key to supporting students and employees to work easier, from anywhere, requiring investment in new Digital Workspace solutions. 

 

Digital Workspace solutions put people first and technology second. They enable true collaboration and deliver a great user experience by securely connecting people, applications, data and devices together, helping employees to do their job seamlessly – wherever they are. 

 

 Cyber Security is the second most cited technology investment area for the next year, with 68% of education organisations saying it’s an important part of their IT strategy. 

 

Maintaining robust cyber security is a pressing challenge for the education sector, as demonstrated by the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021. While primary schools are relatively close to the typical business in terms of how many identify breaches (36% vs 39%), secondary schools (58%) and further education colleges (75%) are much more likely to identify breaches. 

 

Universities have also become lucrative key targets for cybercriminals in recent years, mainly (but not soley) due to the huge amounts of non-public research information they hold. A report published by the National Cyber Security Centre shows that the university sector was the third most vulnerable to cyberattack

 

And as education becomes more digitalised, the sector will only attract more interest from cybercriminals looking to exploit vulnerabilities for monetary gain. Therefore, cyber resilience in education is now a high priority and organisations are being encouraged to take a proactive rather than reactive approach to securing networks, devices and data. 

 

Networking is ranked as the third most important IT priority within education, according to the study, with 43% of respondents citing it. 

 

Importantly, organisations were also able to rank sustainability as a focus for the first time. And 22% of those in the education sector (compared to a 10% cross-sector average) cited sustainability as an important factor in their IT strategy for the coming year, signalling a shift towards greener and more ethically conscious decision making. 

 

Technology has a vital role to play in supporting organisations in meeting their sustainability goals, to ensure compliance with tightening legislation and help the global community meet science-backed climate targets.  

 

Richard Wyn Griffith, Managing Director of Softcat commented on the findings: 

 

“Over the past 18 months or so, the education sector has been heavily challenged; working hard to limit the impact on business-as-usual or respond to unprecedented restrictions on in-person teaching.  

 

“People, empowered by technology, have made navigating this uncertain and disruptive period possible. And this will only continue as we learn to live and thrive with new ways of working.” 

 

The full findings from the 2021 Softcat Business Tech Priorities Report, including expert analysis, can be downloaded here. 

 

New guidance launched to help schools improve children’s money skills

New financial education guidance for primary and secondary schools in England has been launched today, with the support of the Department for Education (DfE). The guidance, which has been developed by the(MaPS) in its role as coordinator of the 10-year UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, is aimed at encouraging conversations about money in the classroom by setting out ten steps schools can take to boost the delivery of financial education.

 

The launch coincides with this year’s Talk Money Week campaign, which has highlighted the importance of money conversations in the home, alongside more formal financial education, in developing good money habits in childhood which will last a lifetime.

Children who say they learned about managing money in school are more likely to save up frequently and be more confident managing their money. With only 37% of 7- to 17-year-olds in England recalling having had any financial education at school, equipping teachers to have conversations about money in the classroom is vital. Learning about topics such as budgeting, saving, and managing credit in schools is essential to ensure children gain the skills and confidence they need to manage money now and in later life.  

 

Developed in consultation with financial education experts and DfE, the guidance is designed to support school leaders and education decision makers to enhance the financial education currently delivered in their schools to make it memorable and impactful.

 

Instead of adding to teachers’ workloads, the guidance highlights the links between financial education and the existing curriculum. Suggestions include introducing a financial education lead, putting in place targeted support for children with additional needs, consulting parents and students, and approaches to embedding learning about money throughout school life. The guidance also points to a range of financial education services and resources to help schools, including those targeted at children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities.  

 

The Minister of State for School Standards, Robin Walker MP said: “Building knowledge of money and financial matters from an early age can support resilience and wellbeing through life and it is important that children and young people develop strong financial knowledge, skills and habits to stand them in good stead as they prepare for life in the modern world.

 

“Many schools already deliver excellent finance education through their mathematics and citizenship lessons and today’s guidance will support schools to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum.”

 

Caroline Siarkiewicz, Chief Executive at MaPS said: “Less than half of 11- to 17-year-olds feel confident managing their money, and almost a fifth of 16- and 17-year-olds report feeling anxious when thinking about their money. Financial education in school – alongside support at home and in the community – is key to helping children build the foundations needed for their future financial wellbeing and resilience. This guidance will equip schools with the tools they need to bring financial education to the forefront within the classroom and ensure it is impactful and engaging.

 

“Financial education plays an important role in helping children and young people make the most of their money as adults, whether that is understanding how to read a payslip, how to decipher a bill or the importance of planning ahead. The financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic means that building money skills, confidence and resilience have never been more vital.”

 

Jonathan Baggaley Chief Executive at the PSHE Association said: It is vital that children and young people learn early on how they can make informed financial decisions to help them prepare for the financial risks and responsibilities that exist in adult life. PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) education can play a vital role in financial education, starting in primary school. Whilst it’s fantastic that health and relationships education is now compulsory, teachers should also be encouraged to focus on economic wellbeing as a core part of PSHE lessons. The MaPS guidance will support our membership of teachers greatly in this respect.”

 

Liz Moorse, Chief Executive of the Association for Citizenship Teaching said: “Teaching pupils about money matters and how the economy works is more important than ever. We welcome the publication of this new guidance for schools which highlights the importance of Citizenship education in equipping pupils with the essential knowledge, concepts and skills to make informed and responsible financial choices in their lives today and to understand the importance of good decision making and planning for their future.”

The guidance forms part of a broad programme to expand financial wellbeing provision in schools across the UK as part of the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing goal of two million more children and young people receiving a meaningful financial education by 2030. MaPS funds the Financial Education Quality Mark, delivered by Young Money part of Young Enterprise, which helps teachers find quality assured resources to teach children and young people about money. To support schools to take part in Talk Money Week 2021, MaPS published the first Talk Money Week Toolkit for Schools, giving education settings easy access to programmes and resources that can help them bring conversations about money to life.

 

RESEARCH FINDS 97% OF TEACHERS STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF FINANCIAL EDUCATION

Urban Plan, Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate School, 16th December 2015

As Talk Money Week commences (8-12 Nov) a teacher-driven research study from EVERFI, a leading education company committed to closing the education gaps that lead to long-term inequality, in partnership with popular app Teacher Tapp, has discovered that a resounding 97% of teachers feel that it’s important to teach financial education to students in the classroom.

The modern world requires a host of key skills, including money management, in order to succeed and providing students with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage their money is important. EVERFI and Teacher Tapp’s research also highlights that 83% of teachers feel that it is their role to upskill their class as they transition into adulthood, in order to help bridge a gap that sees one in five adults having less than £100 in savings or investments – a historically low level for the UK.

However, although teachers understand the need to educate students on financial matters, only 54% say they have enough time to plan and deliver these lessons, meaning students could be missing out on developing key skills and understanding in their formative years. The EVERFI and Teacher Tapp research also reveals that 37% of teachers say that financial education isn’t a current focus at their school.

Laura McInerney, Co-Founder & CEO, Education Intelligence, who worked with EVERFI on the findings said “As a former PSHE teacher I was unsurprised to see so many people saying that financial education was important. Most adults wish they’d learned more about it at school and knowing more about finance is a way of boosting pupil’s real-world confidence”

EVERFI brings together national and regional partners so students can access high-quality learning resources, at no cost to schools. The platform offers self-paced online lessons with built-in assessments free to schools with unlimited student licenses and ongoing support.

On the EVERFI platform teachers will find interactive programmes and classroom activities, to make it easy to deliver financial literacy education to their students that are accredited by Young Enterprise. Available on EVERFI’s own platform the ready to go resources are split into three age-specific courses; Vault, Thrive and Aspire.

Each course helps primary and secondary school students make smarter decisions; (include specific links to site pages)

  • Vault builds a financial foundation for nine to 9-11 year olds, teaching them how to borrow money responsibly, the basics of budgeting and the difference between stocks and shares.
  • Thrive helps students 11-16 years old plan for their financial goals by teaching key financial skills through relatable connections to everyday life and socio-emotional learning skills e.g. self-awareness, prioritising, self-control.
  • Aspire helps students aged 14-18 year olds prepare for their financial future by teaching about the economy holistically through different perspectives: as a consumer, an employee and an entrepreneur or employer, and understand its relevance to their lives.

Speaking about the ease of using Vault, Melanee Rose, Head of Maths at King’s House School Richmond said: “Managing money and learning how to save are vital skills to learn at a young age. The built-in lessons in Vault made the course very accessible to me as a teacher and I’m excited to teach pupils about the value of money.”

All EVERFI courses help create a more equal society by providing pupils with critical skills that prepare them for a brighter, happier, safer and more resilient future. The EVERFI platform helps teachers plan interactive lessons on financial education to help students make informed and smart decisions in the future.

Martin Finn, EVP Global Operations at EVERFI spoke about the idea behind the launch of the campaign: “At EVERFI, we are here to support teachers with high quality courses and planning tools. With our Vault, Thrive & Aspire courses, we use real-life scenarios and interactive games to show learners how to make smart financial decisions, ensuring all students have the critical financial skills they need for the future.”

Schools can register to access EVERFI’s  free platform and get access to the financial education courses – and many others – here: https://uk.everfi.com/our-platform/

ZEISS Digital Classroom Sevenoaks School, UK

Sevenoaks School is a prestigious independent school set in a beautiful, 100-acre campus in  the Kent countryside. The school’s new state-of-the-art Science and Technology Centre, with  its sunlit atrium, was described by the Royal Institute of British Architects as “a great cathedral of a space, full of life and light”. It is here that the pupils of Sevenoaks explore science and technology. The pace of discovery accelerated in March 2021, when the Biology department installed a ZEISS Digital Classroom comprising a suite of 10 networked Primostar 3 microscopes.

Transforming the student experience

 The school has a strong tradition in Biology, says Karen Mylod, the Head of Biology at Sevenoaks whose department boasts 10 teachers. All pupils take the International GCSE Biology, and of the 400 or so pupils in the sixth form, more than half have chosen Biology as part of their International Baccalaureate diploma programme.

Already, the ZEISS Primostar 3 microscopes are transforming the  student experience, says Karen, through their combination of powerful optics, built-in WiFi cameras and networked iPad displays. “The system is great for collaborative work, which students really like to do. For example, when a student finds something interesting under their microscope, the rest of the class doesn’t need to queue up to stare into the eyepiece – they can just look at the iPad.” The ZEISS Digital Classroom also allows the teacher to monitor the images on each pupil’s microscope and highlight interesting examples on a bigger screen, for the whole class to see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Mylod, Head of Biology at Sevenoaks School

Inspiring student projects

 

The ZEISS Digital Classroom is also having a big impact on how Sevenoaks sixth formers carry out their research projects, Karen explains. “Our students do an individual project for which they come up with a research question, formulate a hypothesis, and design a practical experiment. The ZEISS Digital Classroom setup is great because collecting good numerical data is so important, and students being able to document their images is a key part of that. It takes away the guesswork, and having to rely on sketches of what they have seen. Instead, students’ images can now be included with their work.”

Karen offers an example of a student who decided to investigate the bold claims of a brand of hair-thickening shampoo. He took five hairs from the heads of 15 other boys and examined those hairs using the ZEISS Primostar 3 microscope. He then had the boys use the shampoo for a week, before taking new hair samples and imaging again. “With our previous set-up, using manual microscopes, this project would have been difficult to achieve, but because we now have the digital microscopes, the pupil could measure easily in micrometres using  the Labscope app.” All well and good, but what about the important question: did the shampoo deliver on its promise? “I didn’t think    the shampoo was going to work, but the difference in the hair – its appearance in his ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures, and also in the thickness measurements – was amazing.”

 

 

Simple ‘plug and play’ setup

 One goal of the ZEISS Digital Classroom is  to make teaching as frictionless as possible. The ZEISS Primostar 3 microscopes are designed to be robust and straightforward, and the accompanying Labscope software effortless. “The ease-of-use of the ZEISS software was absolutely vital,” says Karen. “After all, we’re biologists, not IT specialists! And our students, they just download the app straight on to their iPads and they are up and running. They find it all very intuitive.” Each of the microscopes in the ZEISS Digital Classroom are used in conjunction with several sets of dedicated iPads, says Karen, but each microscope also has a QR code  that students can use to link the microscope to their personal devices if they prefer.

So    how    is    teaching    with    the   new microscopes? “The teachers really love  them. They think that they’re really easy to use. And the optics are fantastic: especially at the highest magnification, we get really clear images. It is so much better than the microscopes we replaced.” They are also a lot easier to set up, Karen notes. Teachers and students at Sevenoaks no longer need to  spend  valuable  learning  time  manually

configuring the microscopes, because getting up and running with the Primostar  3 is as easy as plug and play.

The ZEISS Labscope Teacher app also allows the teacher to specify the set-up required for the task at hand, and the microscopes simply configure themselves. That said, manual calibration is still possible within the software, if required.

 

Making microscopy more accessible

 “It’s funny,” says Karen. “One of the other teachers said to me, ‘Surely, the students should still be learning to calibrate the microscope manually?’ I said, ‘Why?’.

It’s clear to me that making microscopy more accessible – and less  fiddly  and boring – boosts student engagement. The laboratory and scientific workplace of the future is digital, and we are teaching to this future.”

And the future for Biology students at Sevenoaks is all about curiosity. “This  new ability to see and capture such tiny differences has our students exploring questions about the living world that  may not have been possible before these

microscopes became available,” says Karen “It has opened new doors of curiosity and investigation for them.”

Adding a new dimension to teaching

How does Karen sum up her experience   of the ZEISS Digital Classroom? “I think it’s brilliant – and the students love it. It adds  a new dimension to teaching microscopy, and it clearly demonstrates the importance that Sevenoaks School places on science.”

 

The ZEISS Digital Classroom was supplied to Sevenoaks School by K-Tec Microscope Services Ltd, a trusted microscopy partner of ZEISS.