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Calling all young explorers!

Children get chance to visit a wind farm, dairy farm and factory without leaving the classroom  

  

  • Nestlé has developed an interactive virtual school trips platform for children aged 7-12.  
  • The three trips are presented by well-known children’s TV presenter, Rhys Stephenson.   
  • The online sessions, created with Nestlé’s partners Community Windpower and First Milk, are available from today – tl/KS2VirtualTrips  

 

With school trips off the timetable for many children during the last two school years, Nestlé UK & Ireland has created a series of virtual tours for children to show them around a wind farm, dairy farm and a coffee factory, at no cost.   

  

Aimed at children aged 7-12 years old, the school trips platform is a free resource available for schools and parents, featuring a series of interactive videos with quizzes and games.    

The guided tours, hosted by children’s TV presenter Rhys Stephenson, give children the chance to see the inner workings of a wind farm – which powers electricity for all three sites, inside a cow milking parlour – and how the milk crumb can be used to make frothy coffees and hot chocolate in the factory, and how the coffee is roasted from bean to cup. All without leaving their classroom or home.  

  

Presenter Rhys explains in a child-friendly and engaging way, how the sites are all connected through Nestlé to bring people food and drink. He also explains how the locations are set up to work collaboratively to improve sustainability practices, such as reducing carbon emissions and preserving local habitats – all of which was found, in a recent survey by Phunky Foods, to be very interesting to children.  

  

The videos feature three sites in the UK:   

 

The interactive sessions, about 15-20 minutes long, are delivered through a self-guided touring platform that can be projected into a school classroom, or as an individual on a computer, laptop, or tablet. The videos are designed for the children to feel that they are having direct interaction with Rhys and the contributors, through activities, interactive quizzes, interviews with the experts and thought-provoking questions centred around the sites, sustainability, and biodiversity. As the children progress through the platform, they can collect stickers, producing a certificate at the end.  

   

Schools from across all corners of the UK and Ireland can have this experience at no cost, increasing access and sharing invaluable knowledge.     

  

Dr Jennie Cockroft, Director of Nutrition at Phunky Foods, said:     

  

“At PhunkyFoods we work with primary school children up and down the country every day, and I know how much kids have missed out on during this school year as a result of the pandemic.  

  

“School trips are a really important part of learning, and it’s great to see that Nestlé is offering a series of virtual excursions for children across the UK & Ireland. As well as providing stimulus and stoking their sense of adventure, the platform gives kids the opportunity to learn more about where their food comes from and encourages interesting conversations about sustainability and biodiversity.”   

 

Nestlé UK&I Director of Corporate Affairs, Cristina Macina, said:   

   

“Climate change and the future of our planet is something that we are all passionate about and this is a great way to share some of those challenges, in a fun way, with our future generations.

 

“After the last eighteen months, we are delighted to be able to give children the chance to visit places they normally wouldn’t be able to. As a parent of a primary school aged child myself, I know that the interactivity of the platform makes it lots of fun, with games and quizzes throughout each learning episode. My son has really enjoyed visiting the wind farm, factory and in particular, the dairy farm. His favourite part was learning about how the calves are born on the farm and the farmer Rachel helps look after them when they’re young. I’d encourage any teacher or parent to take a look at the videos as it could be fun and interesting for them too.” 

 

Developed in collaboration with partners, Community Wind Power and First Milk, the three online, educational school trips are for use in primary schools and will be available from the end of the summer term and beyond.     

    

To access the virtual school trips, click here

The majority of teachers and educators do not believe science education is fit for the future

Furthermore, fewer than half of the respondents (46 per cent) who took part in The Evolution of Science Education survey by Oxford University Press believe that the science curriculum in their country prepares children for the challenges our world will face in the future.

 

Only 31 per cent of teachers surveyed believe that science education in their country is fit for the future, according to a report published by Oxford University Press, the world’s largest university press.

 

The Evolution of Science Education includes insights from 398 teachers in *22 countries and regions—with most respondents from the United Kingdom (44%) and India (19%). While there are local nuances, there are also notable consistencies in key areas such as the science curriculum’s relevance in the future and how well it prepares pupils to navigate and address challenges the world will face, such as climate change and the evolving role of technology.

 

The research was undertaken alongside OUP’s active involvement in developing the science framework for the Programme for International Assessment (PISA) 2025.

 

Teachers were asked to recommend ways in which science curricula might evolve in order to remain relevant to today’s world, and that of tomorrow. Their recommendations included:

  • Science education should continue to prioritize practical skills through experimentation in the classroom.
  • Content needs to be up-to-date and prepare learners for the future.
  • There is a need for a greater connection between the science that is being taught in the classroom and what is happening in the world outside.
  • Teachers requested a rebalancing of exams – away from the current focus on knowledge, towards assessing the application of science.

 

COVID-19 has undoubtedly had an impact on science teaching in the last year, particularly restricting practical experimentation in the classroom, but the paper highlights numerous other issues that have been brought to light by the pandemic and need to be resolved.

 

Teachers surveyed believe the core purpose of science education should be inspiring learners to engage with science, teaching underpinning scientific concepts, teaching skills to enable effective experimentation, and helping learners to achieve a range of desirable outcomes through science.

 

To ensure science education evolves and remains relevant in the future, teachers believe there should be more focus on climate change as well as tackling fake news, and adapting faster to technological and societal change.

 

Dave Leach, Global Assessment Director, Oxford University Press said, “When we were first appointed as the developer of the PISA 20245 science framework in late 2019 we could never have predicted the chaos that the pandemic would bring. We wanted to elevate the voices of those teachers, to start a global conversation about how we enable learners to benefit from the lessons of the past 15 months, how we equip them for the challenges that lie ahead of us.”

 

Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said, “I always enjoy hearing teacher’s views on the future of education and welcome this report. The scientific challenges of the past year with the pandemic and the ever-growing signs of climate change mean that there has never been a more important time to focus on science, empowering students to thrive in a changing world. I look forward to continuing this conversation about the future of science education, particularly when we release the new PISA 2025 science framework next year.”

The report will be available here from Wednesday 14th July.

Estonian EdTech Respiray’s wearable air purifier device helps protect teachers from bacteria and viruses

Estonian EdTech Respiray’s wearable air purifier enables teachers and educators to remain protected from viruses and bacteria in school classrooms. This level of UV-C protection means schools can remain open during potential rises in COVID-19 infections.

Estonian EdTech Respiray’s wearable air purifier device helps protect teachers from bacteria and viruses

Countries worldwide responded to teaching during the pandemic via remote learning. Still, despite the herculean and heroic efforts performed by schools and their teachers, distance learning proved challenging and inadequate for 21st-century schooling.

Indrek Reimand at the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research commented that the Ministry is delighted to endorse innovation, and turned to its famed tech sector to innovate and provide a solution to the challenge. One such company that is innovating in the Estonian EdTech sector was Respiray.

“Respiray provides a fantastic example of how the collaboration between engineers, scientists, designers and entrepreneurs drives creative solutions for complex issues. The mixture of instrumental vehicles include vaccines, medicines, social distancing and air purifiers, that are engineered by Respiray’s product development team.”

Respiray was born in spring 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. It began when the company believed that office workers, schoolteachers, and retail staff could upgrade the ordinary face mask for the 21st century using UV technology. Respiray’s engineer believed that as UV-C LED technology has been proven to be highly effective against viruses, it could build a next-generation wearable air purifier.

Respiray’s team began working on a high-tech face mask alternative that eliminates the need to cover a face or restrict breathing. Central to this concept was that people could protect themselves while still talking and showing their facial expressions as normal – crucial when communicating and teaching with students.

Picture credit_ Rocca Al Mare school teacher Maris (1)

Persona Life Skills online platform solves three problems facing social-emotional learning

More than ever before young people need to develop social-emotional life skills that boost wellbeing, but schools and colleges face three big problems: Other curriculum priorities, lack of specialist teachers, and PSHE teacher workload. The Persona Life Skills online learning platform is one solution to all three problems.

 

By Dr Leila Khouja Walker, Chief Product Officer, Persona Education

The last 18 months has shone a spotlight on the need for secondary schools and colleges to up their game when it comes to supporting student wellbeing. There has never been a more critical time to deliver excellent social-emotional learning (SEL). 

 

Traditionally siloed in PSHE lessons or tutor time, social-emotional teaching is often delivered by time-poor, non-expert teachers with more pressing priorities (for example subject area examinations), and squeezed into an already overcrowded timetable. 

 

“No one told me how to teach PSHE. I was just the [tutor] to that group of students. That seemed wrong: a subject fundamental in the development of pupils’ social and emotional skills is randomly allocated a weekly spot in the timetable and a teacher.”
– Secret Teacher (The Guardian, 2018)

 

This simply makes no sense when you look at research on the potential impact of prioritising social and emotional learning.

 

“Good wellbeing on leaving school has a much greater impact on life outcomes than exam success.”
– YoungMinds, 2020

 

So we have a huge global education need. We need to provide young people with social and emotional life skills that increase their chances of life-long wellbeing, in learning, social and work contexts. At the same time, schools and colleges are faced with three problems preventing, or at best slowing down, the improvements required to make this a practical reality: 

 

  1. Curriculum planning prioritises exam subjects over SEL
  2. Most teachers have no training in teaching PSHE or social-emotional skills
  3. PSHE teacher workload needs to be reduced, not increased

 

In the words of one multi-academy trust CEO:

 

“An e-learning approach to life skills would be a lot easier than finding or training teachers with the ability to teach it.”
– Multi-academy trust CEO, UK

 

With interactive web technologies, personalised multi-user experiences and secure digital certification to record progress all now a reality – online learning has the potential to become the key to realising our global wellbeing mission, whilst eradicating all three school delivery issues. 

 

Optimising restricted curriculum time

 

Persona Life Skills is an online social-emotional learning platform leading the field in this area. At its heart lies a personality insights framework that is core to a student’s personalised learning experience. 

Rooted in empirical behavioural science research, the Persona pedagogy takes students on a journey in efficient lesson-sized modules, beginning with learning about their own unique mix of personality styles. Knowledge of self is a very powerful tool. 

 

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
– Aristotle

 

Starting from a personality insights perspective when developing life skills – such as open-mindedness, resilience and being realistic – informs, improves and accelerates the learning process. Life skills stem both from improved knowledge of self, as well as better understanding of others, so students become equipped to adapt to the different challenges life throws at them.

Persona Life Skills further reduces curriculum time by creating flipped learning episodes. Flipped learning is now commonplace in schools which see the value of optimising teacher-student time. The flipped classroom provides students with readiness exercises to be completed independently, prior to class time, eliminating wasted teacher time in lessons.

 

A student can take a Persona Life Skills learning module (or ‘Island’ in Persona parlance) following a brief teacher set-up, recording their answers and observations in the app. 

They then return to the classroom to discuss key points of interest with their teacher and classmates, and try out newly acquired skills. 

 

Making the most of non-specialist teachers

 

Persona Life Skills has been built with the knowledge that relatively few teachers are trained specialists in social-emotional learning. Some PSHE voices have even commented that schools must have knowledge of PSHE pedagogy so as not to cause unintended harm (SecEd, 2018). 

 

A curriculum (‘Archipelago’) of Island modules and shorter micro-learning modules are available in the app, and any teacher can facilitate the learning. Built-in contextual teacher guidance makes it quick and easy for a non-specialist teacher to set students on the right path to learning.

 

Each Island takes students on a trip through an age-appropriate life challenge, such as dealing with the unexpected, managing homework, getting along with teachers, use of social media, and self-love. 

 

The Island modules have been carefully designed with input from PSHE experts, school inspectors and students, so that learners feel able to explore a range of topics whilst remaining safe. A code of conduct and safeguarding policy are important reference points both for teachers and for students. 

Using engaging, interactive activities, students are taken through a range of scenarios with the aim of developing – through a personality insights lens – 22 life skills, across six skillsets: 

 

  1. Being realistic
  2. Communication
  3. Open-mindedness
  4. Problem solving
  5. Resilience
  6. Self-control

 

These map to Ofsted, Independent Schools Inspectorate, Cobis, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge iGCSE, VIA Character, GL Assessment, Skills Builder and other frameworks.

 

Reducing PSHE teacher workload

 

Looking at the final, ever-present problem of workload, Persona Life Skills online learning provides some relief to over-stretched PSHE teachers. 

 

The need to prepare for lessons is minimised. This is partly thanks to the self-directed nature of the e-learning modules, which students are able to work on independently, or cooperatively with one-another. 

And there is no marking or manual progress checking – students receive instant feedback on interactive activities as they go along, and the app records their activity and progress, which are presented in a dashboard at individual, class, year group and school level.

So, instead of spending time preparing and marking, teachers can maximise their time and teaching impact by focusing on facilitating and discussing student reflections once modules are completed. 

 

To equip teachers with the confidence to facilitate Persona Life Skills for a flipped classroom, there’s a 30 min online Teacher Onboarding Island. 

That’s all! After completing the Teacher Onboarding Island, any teacher is ready to choose and unlock Islands for their group or individual students to work on, in class or independently.  

 

And for those teachers who wish to play a more active role, the in-app teacher guidance within every module allows them the flexibility to facilitate as much or as little as they like.

 

 

Persona Education is offering a six week free trial of its Persona Life Skills e-learning platform for secondary schools and colleges interested in developing their students’ social-emotional life skills, to boost wellbeing. www.persona-life.com

 

About the author: Dr Leila Walker has been working in the education sector for 25 years. An ex-teacher and pastoral deputy head, she is now a respected edtech and pedagogy thought leader, leading development of the personality insights life skills e-learning app Persona Life Skills, at the Bristol based edtech company Persona Education Ltd. www.persona-life.com

 

 

EVERFI & TEACHER TAPP RESEARCH FINDS 97% OF TEACHERS STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF FINANCIAL EDUCATION

As part of their newly launched Understanding Money Month this June, EVERFI a leading education company who are committed to closing the education gaps that lead to long-term inequality, in partnership with popular app Teacher Tapp, has discovered that an resounding 97% of teachers feel that it’s important to teach students about finance.

To succeed in the modern world requires key skills like managing finances and teachers recognise the importance of the subject (97%). The 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 in the UK. succeeding 

However, of those that 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. 

EVERFI created Understanding Money Month to directly support teachers in delivering financial literacy to their classes to ensure students learn critical skills that will help them in years to come. EVERFI have created free downloadable planners to  help teachers to plan and use their free, interactive and time efficient courses to help students make informed and smart decisions in the future. 

The interactive programmes, classroom activities, weekly planners and challenges make it easy for  teachers to deliver financial literacy education to their students that have been created in partnership with 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;

  • 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. EVERFI are offering Waterstones Vouchers for schools that sign up to Understanding Money Month by the end of June. 

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”

Martin Finn, EVP Global Operations at EVERFI spoke about the idea behind the launch of the campaign: “Understanding Money Month came to life to help make it easy for teachers to embrace financial education. We know that they see it as important, but often find it hard to access and deliver. 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.”

Head to the EVERFI Teachers website today to explore Understanding Money Month further and the EVERFI courses available.

Maths Summer Learning Challenge Launched

 

10 June 2021:  Whizz Education, provider of the award-winning virtual tutor Maths-Whizz, has launched an exciting summer learning challenge for all 5–13-year-olds.  This new initiative is open to all schools and parents, designed to encourage students to continue ‘doing’ maths whilst having fun over the six-week summer holiday period (mid-July to the end August).  The aim of the challenge is to ensure measurable learning gains are made, helping students get ‘back on track’ by September and have fun doing so both on screen and outdoors. 

 

Fiona Goddard, Senior Education Consultant explains: “It’s been a hugely stressful year, with teachers facing unprecedented pressure as many students struggle to keep up despite the heroic commitment of staff.  The Summer Learning Challenge is being launched as a response to the extraordinarily difficult circumstances faced over the past 12 months and will support our schools, teachers, and parents keeping children’s maths learning simmering whilst away from the classroom.

 

“Our research shows that when students switch off over the summer, they tend to lose around two-three months’ worth of maths knowledge, known as summer learning loss.  Yet with just one hour per week of focussed individualised Maths-Whizz instruction, they can expect to move their learning forward by around eight-nine weeks over a six-week summer period.  In all gaining a 4-month advantage with just one hour a week; helping to turn learning loss into learning gains.

 

“As a solutions provider accountable for learning outcomes through a holistic approach, we offer a range of services to help pupils achieve learning gains.  Therefore, as part of the Summer Challenge, schools will be supported with three learning initiatives:

 

  1.  Virtual Tutoring: one hour a week of Maths-Whizz for students and a minimum of three Progressions for six weeks during the summer securing learning gains.
  2. Make Maths Stick: a set of recreational outdoor maths activities for children and families. Two activities a week for six weeks.  Yes, it involves sticks. And yes, it’s really fun!
  3. Daily Challenges: brain-busting maths teasers for students, parents and teachers alike.  Five challenges per week for six weeks.  The fun maths teasers get children thinking outside the box. There are ‘easier’ or ‘harder’ options to get them reasoning and problem-solving at their level of understanding.

 

A prize will be awarded to the school that achieves the highest number of Progressions per student, which includes an amazing half-day maths enrichment session in the Autumn, delivered by our experts at Whizz Education, in-person or online.

 

A ‘Golden Ticket’ invitation to an online Maths Extravaganza, an hour of fun-filled maths activities with Dr Junaid Mubeen, Director of Education and Fiona Goddard, will also be awarded to individual students who achieve 60 mins and three or more Progressions over the six-week summer period in each of the six weeks.  Golden Ticket invitations will also be offered to students who receive a shout-out from our marketing team after sharing an interesting Making Maths Stick activity photo or a solution to the Daily Challenges.

Goddard continues: “We understand the summer is an essential time for teachers, parents and students to relax and recharge.  Therefore, this initiative is intended to secure learning and engagement with minimal effort and maximum fun!   With just 60 minutes per week the potential impact on learning gains is significant.”

All activities are fully supported with quality resources including: implementation plan for schools, personalised progress tracker chart with QR codes for easy access to the activities for the students, resource packs, instructional guide, and school and parent webinars all detailing how to participate.

 

Goddard confirms: “We believe that every child deserves a learning experience that caters to their individual needs and pace of learning.  Our expertise lies in designing and overseeing implementations that embrace the unique context of each environment. We work in close partnership with schools and parents, to provide engaging and interactive content pitched at the right learning level, so progression can be a positive experience.  We are now looking forward to collaborating with more schools, parents and students looking to take up the Maths Summer Learning Challenge!”  

To find out more about the Whizz Education. Sign up for the Summer Learning Challenge please see https://www.whizz.com/summer-challenge-signup/    

Investing in a Distance Learning Solution: The Future of Educational Technology

By Nadav Avni, Chief Marketing Officer at Radix Technologies

With vaccination programmes in place and Coronavirus infections rates dropping, economies are reopening, people are going back to work, and students are back to school. Educational technology adopted during the height of the pandemic, helped schools make the transition from in-person schooling to remote learning, but what happens to these investments once the pandemic ends? And how can classroom technology remain flexible no matter the educational setting?

An Educational Technology Overhaul Is Due

Given its importance, many educators believe that remote learning will enjoy the biggest growth in the next three years. Many school systems will focus on addressing the divide between students with access to those without while being inundated with requests and recommendations for equal access to the internet when students are at home.

Educational technology is a means to achieving the goal of providing equal access to education. Given the possibility that COVID-19 will linger a while longer, it makes sense to adopt systems that do not have a singular method. Post-coronavirus, schools should feature learning systems that can accommodate in-person training, remote learning, or a hybrid of both.

After the Pandemic, Hybrid Learning Will Follow Remote Learning

Because of the stay-at-home orders called for by the pandemic, schools undertook large-scale efforts to utilise education technology in support of remote learning. It enabled teachers and students to remain connected regardless of distance.

Now, schools are open and welcoming back students, pandemic or not, remote learning isn’t going away soon. Therefore, having a choice of educational technology modalities is important. Ideally, these systems work pre and post-coronavirus.

Post-COVID, hybrid learning offers the best way to combine in-person classes with online learning. A special set of tools for teachers is required. This includes an intuitive classroom management solution that allows access to learning materials for both in-person and online students. This helps teachers stay in control of their hybrid classes. At the same time, students, whether in-person or online, receive the same degree of attention and access. As such, they won’t feel that the method of learning seems to favour the other group.

Managing the Post-Pandemic Classroom

Unless the pandemic disappears tomorrow, learning methods will be subject to change depending on the COVID-19 situation. In times like these, it’s best to have both the school system and the educational technology capable of switching between in-person, remote, or hybrid learning modes in an instant.

The new normal brings new expectations as coronavirus transformed the teaching profession. With the right equipment, teachers can continue with the “over the shoulder” teaching experience even in online and hybrid situations. Sharing learning materials shouldn’t also pose a problem with modern classroom management solutions, as it incorporates popular mobile technology such as screen sharing, file sharing, and whiteboard collaboration. Integrating the communication functions instead of depending on a separate application can also provide additional convenience. Instead of requiring teachers and students to switch between applications, a single all-in-one solution can cover the functions of classroom management, learning management, and video conferencing. Finally, both students and teachers shouldn’t worry about potential breaches of private data. The optimal system should provide robust security measures that secure school and student information and keep them private and confidential.

Heightened Expectations for Education Technology

Hybrid learning offers an advantage of the flexibility needed sorely in a post-COVID scenario. It allows schools and students to continually adjust to any situation without the need to automatically suspend classes. Individual students also benefit from the flexibility of hybrid learning as they can still join classes from home when circumstances prevent them from leaving the house.

At the same time, teachers are expected to leverage modern educational technology to successfully manage different kinds of classes. Securing modern and effective classroom management solutions to help them do so should be a priority programme for educational institutions.

After all, investing in education technology isn’t a cut-and-dried operation. Instead, it should be seen as a continuous process for improvement that benefits the school and improves the students’ learning experience. Treating it as a one-time expense can potentially cause schools to fall behind over time as they deal with outdated software, hardware, and processes. Instead of choosing a singular system, it makes more sense to invest in an option that provides the flexibility and functionality needed for effective classroom management.

Academies Put Teacher Wellbeing First Trust Invests in Digital Partnership to Support Staff

A Multi Academy Trust is leading the way in supporting teachers during the pandemic by investing in a new digital partnership which puts wellbeing first. 

 

St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust – a family of 25 schools in Derbyshire and the surrounding counties – is using Pathway, a new online programme which delivers professional and personal development to primary and secondary schools. Launched by the award-winning ed-tech company Discovery Education and teaching union NAHT, Pathway is used by thousands of teachers across the UK. 

 

Designed to support ‘the whole teacher’, Pathway is a holistic programme with a strong focus on wellbeing. By bringing professional and personal development together online, it offers a unique approach to CPD, helping teachers at St Ralph Sherwin CMAT to flourish at this challenging time.

 

Written and presented by some of the UK’s leading education experts, the Pathway programme provides a wide range of easy-to-access courses, webinars, resources and tools to help teachers develop professionally and personally. Delivered fully online and available on demand, Pathway will enable teachers from the St Ralph Sherwin CMAT to access training, advice and support as they deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Jeremy Spencer, Senior Director of Performance and Standards at St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust, said: 

 

“Investing in, and looking after, our staff team is one of our absolute priorities at the St Ralph Sherwin CMAT. We looked hard to find a programme that would balance the personal development of our staff with a strong focus on their professional development. The Leadership Pathways Programme, from Discovery Education, provides staff with exactly what we were looking for. We look forward to enabling more teachers to benefit from this innovative and high-quality resource.”

 

Pathway includes a special wellbeing programme, written and presented by Professor Tim O’Brien and Dr Dennis Guiney, designed to help teachers stay healthy and motivated. A new advice hub, powered by NAHT experts, will also help schools to keep abreast of the latest education policies and guidelines. 

 

Andrew Hammond, Senior Director of Learning and Community at Discovery Education said:

 

“We believe that teachers’ wellbeing, motivation and creative ambitions deserve as much consideration as their professional skills. We’re delighted to partner with St. Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust to bring the Pathway programme to schools across Derbyshire and the surrounding counties, helping teachers to stay motivated and feel supported at this exceptionally challenging time.”

 

Pathway’s contributors are some of the UK’s leading education experts and include Hywel Roberts, Dr Debra Kidd, Professor Tim O’Brien, Pranav Patel, Julie Keyes and Professor Max Coates.

 

Teachers, leaders and schools can find out more by visiting: www.discoveryeducation.co.uk/naht  

 

Teach Active to launch the UK’s largest active learning day

As part of the Youth Sport Trust’s National School Sport Week (19-25th June 2021), Teach Active is set to host the largest active learning day for schools on Wednesday 23rd June.

 

On this day, English and maths lessons in primary schools around the country will be transformed into active lessons where children move around the classroom and have fun while they learn. Activities include setting up multiplication stations, and pupils must run to each station to pick up a multiplication problem card to solve, aiming to complete the whole course in less than 30 minutes. In another lesson, children play at being punctuation police. They march around, noting down punctuation errors written out on cards around the class or playground.

 

Jon Smedley, a former teacher and founder of Teach Active, said: “After a year of so much inactivity, we want to use the day to show that being active is not just about PE and sports but reducing the amount of time we spend sitting down overall.

 

“Any primary school can join in and see the benefits of active learning. It helps children engage with lessons, learn more effectively and improves their overall mental health by having fun with their classmates.”

 

Ali Oliver MBE, chief executive officer at the Youth Sport Trust, said: “We’re delighted Teach Active are supporting this year’s National School Sport Week.

 

“Young people have missed out on so much and had their worlds turned upside down by the pandemic. It is brilliant that Teach Active are helping more young people benefit from the important role physical activity has to play in their recovery.”

 

To help teachers prepare, Teach Active will provide 50 free active English and maths lesson plans for pupils from foundation stage through to year 6.

 

All schools who download the lesson plans and pledge to take part on social media with the hashtag #ActiveLearningDay2021 will have the chance to win £100 Decathlon vouchers to spend on school sports equipment. The top prize of a school visit from one of the Youth Sport Trust’s athlete ambassadors will be on offer for the school that posts the best video of their active learning day on Twitter with the hashtag #ActiveLearningDay2021.

 

The largest active learning day lesson plans are free to download to all schools here: https://www.teachactive.org/active-learning-day/.

 

Schools can register to take part in the Youth Sport Trust’s National School Sport Week by visiting www.youthsporttrust.org/join-us/national-school-sport-week

 

#ActiveLearningDay2021 @TeachActive #NSSW2021 @YouthSportTrust 

 

 

Whizz Education Calls for Virtual Tutors to Become Part of National Strategy to Help Lost Learning

25 May 2021:  Whizz Education, provider of the leading virtual tutor Maths-Whizz, is calling on the Government to use catch-up funding for virtual tutors as a cost effective, scalable option to help lost learning due to the Pandemic.

 

The Institute for Fiscal Studies states: “By the time the Pandemic is over, most children across the UK will have missed over half a year of normal, in person schooling. That’s likely to be more than 5% of their entire time in school. The unprecedented nature of the current crisis makes it hard to predict the actual effects and the negative effects are also likely to extend beyond educational attainment.”   

 

Richard Marett, CEO, Whizz Education explains: “Over 2020-21, more than £350 million of public funds will be spent on the provision of subsidised human tutoring organised by the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) as an unrivalled means of supporting student catchup.   However, there is a missed opportunity in the form of virtual tutoring.  A virtual tutor is an automated online system that simulates the most effective instructional behaviours of a human tutor.  Virtual tutors have been shown to be as effective as human tutors and far more scalable.

 

“For example, our research shows with just 60 minutes per week of the Maths-Whizz virtual tutor over a six-week summer period, students can expect to acquire a four-month learning advantage.  In addition, Maths-Whizz provides more than 1,250 pre-prepared lesson plans, reducing the burden for teachers and assisting them to deliver measurable learning gains for children with a range of abilities.

 

“The rates payable by schools for just 15 hours of 1:1 human tutoring from the NTP subsidised tutors is a typical total cost of £700 per pupil.  By comparison, virtual tutoring costs approximately £30 per child per subject per annum when deployed at an individual school level and would be substantially less if adopted at scale, reducing to around £10 per child.  Therefore, we are calling for virtual tutoring to become part of a long-term national strategy bringing real-time accountability and measurable gains.

 

“Virtual tutoring now has the potential to form an integral part of education and serve as a safety net for all students irrespective of their background, to enjoy uninterrupted access to quality education.  It offers the real chance to help to close the learning gap and help students get back-on-track in a cost effective and scalable way.”  

 

To find out more about Whizz Education and the Maths-Whizz virtual tutor please see: www.whizzeducation.com