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A world first in Cambridge: IB special autism school to open in 2021

The Cavendish School, the world’s first International Baccalaureate (IB) special autism school is set to open on the outskirts of Cambridge in Autumn 2021. Based in Impington, The Cavendish School will also be Cambridgeshire’s first state maintained special free school provision for young people with autism.

Initially admitting up to 40 students in Years 3 to 7, intake at the school will grow year on year, to a maximum capacity of 80 students from Year 3 to 13. The Cavendish School will be accessible and available to many families who cannot be catered for within current state provision in the county.

Ryan Kelsall, Deputy CEO of The Learning Alliance – a new multi-academy trust of which The Cavendish School is a member – said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to announce the plans for The Cavendish School to the public. Through our bespoke curriculum and teaching methodology, we will provide the educational environment that young people with autism need to thrive and succeed when their needs cannot be met in a mainstream school.

“The Cavendish School will celebrate diversity and accept, respect and recognise neurological and developmental differences to support each individual student through a differentiated programme that builds and focuses on their skills. Through the knowledge and expertise of The Learning Alliance, The Cavendish School will deliver exemplary education provision for students with Educational Health Care Plans.”

The first of its kind, The Cavendish School will be an IB World School, which means that it will follow the IB programmes and accredited qualifications, alongside specific therapies or interventions as appropriate for individuals. In an ever-changing world, the IB equips students with the skills, confidence and lifelong learning needed to thrive and make a difference. Each of the programme frameworks allows teachers to personalise learning to the unique abilities of their students.

Leah Cooper, Assistant Principal for SEND/PP and SENCo at the co-located Impington Village College, currently seconded to The Cavendish School, said: “Through our IB offering, we will provide our students with the skills and knowledge they need to become globally aware citizens, achieve a range of accredited qualifications and make measurable progress towards their own personal outcomes. Our individualised approach will ensure that we are offering the support and guidance needed to all who study with us, as well as helping families throughout the process. We will be drawing upon the success of our co-located mainstream schools (Impington Village College and Impington International College) to provide excellent opportunities for the students, through shared use of support staff and bespoke extra-curricular activities.”

At the heart of The Cavendish School will be relationships and the important ways in which they can support the growth of each student. Throughout the planning stages for the school, the team has drawn on the latest research into autism and used its expertise in education and experience of working with young people with autism and their families. Beyond high-quality teaching, therapeutic support will be offered, so that all students have full access to the curriculum, to learn and to achieve. The Cavendish School will offer students the opportunity for multidisciplinary support, which will be carefully matched to the explicit needs of the individual student.

Julie Bailey, Chair of Governors at The Cavendish School and doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Education within the University of Cambridge, said: “The Cavendish School aspires to remove the barriers to inclusion and achievement that many young people with autism face in their education. We’ve built on the best of current provision and the very latest research throughout the design and planning stages. The Cavendish School is set to have a transformative impact, giving its pupils an educational environment in which they will thrive.”

BRIDGING THE EDUCATION GAP NEW ‘CONNECTED EDUCATION’ PILOT LAUNCHES IN NEWBURY SCHOOL

  • Vodafone launches Connected Education: a suite of digital tools and services including tablet devices, connectivity and security.
  • Includes mobile Wi-Fi to boost school connectivity and specialist training to help teachers with digital skills.
  • Incorporates Microsoft Teams for Education.
  • Pilot will run for six months in Newbury, Berkshire.

Vodafone today announced trials of ‘Connected Education’, a new suite of digital services for teachers and pupils. It includes tablet devices for teachers and children, mobile Wi-Fi connectivity, advanced-grade security and technology consultancy for educators. It also incorporates Microsoft Teams for Education, an online classroom environment where students can connect with teachers and classmates easily and safely. The pilot will be running for six months at St Joseph’s primary school in Newbury.

With an estimated one million children and young people in the UK with inadequate access to technology at home[1], providing digital devices and connectivity can help bridge the digital divide. For children, access to education platforms at a young age will help them gain vital digital skills, essential for many jobs of the future[2].

Connected Education provides straightforward access to classwork, school materials and resources suited to a range of learning styles. It enables a teacher to provide an in-classroom and remote learning experience at the same time, using tools such as video and creating digital exercise books. This ensures children forced to miss school due to illness or quarantine can continue to join the class if they are well enough. 

Time-consuming tasks – such as lesson preparation and analysis of data to monitor a child’s progress – can be partly automated via the Microsoft Education platform, giving teachers an estimated 30% more time for student-focused activities such as developing relationships or supporting those who need more help[3]

The Connected Education package includes technology consultancy from independent provider Tablet Academy to help Heads understand how to digitise their school and get the most from technology.  Teachers also benefit from digital skills training to help ensure they can get the best from the solution.  Vodafone provides telephone support so issues can be quickly resolved. 

Michael Robinson, Deputy Head Teacher at St Joseph’s School said: “We are delighted to be working with Vodafone and excited about the opportunities this pilot could present. We hope it will provide teachers with new and creative ways to deliver teaching; and enable Year Six children at our school to experience something they wouldn’t normally have access to. We recognise that using such tools as a part of their school day will help develop vital digital skills without them even realising.”

Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK, said: “We are excited to be working with St Joseph’s in Newbury to trial our Connected Education solution. The recent months have highlighted the importance of digital education platforms that children can access whenever they need to.  We hope this pilot will showcase the effectiveness of such provision. By incorporating devices, connectivity, specialist training and advanced security, we can help increase vital digital skills and ensure no child is left behind, whatever their circumstances.”

Connected Education has been developed by Vodafone Business Ventures, which combines social purpose and technical expertise to change lives for the better. A full commercial proposition of Connected Education is due to be available to educators and councils across the UK during 2021.

Vodafone recently announced it is working with Coventry University to trial state-of-the-art virtual reality learning for student nurses and health professionals over the next phase of 5G technology.


[1] Nominet Trust 2019

[2] DCMS reported in 2019 that 82% of online job advertisements require digital skills.

[3] Microsoft and McKinsey & Company 2020.

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

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


Key Messages:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

West Yorkshire Primary School receives Anti-Bullying Award UK

Image courtesy of The Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Wilsden Primary School praised for anti-bullying efforts

Bradford based Wilsden Primary School has received the ABQM-UK Bronze Award after successfully establishing effective and sustainable anti-bullying policies and strategies which has become a part of the school’s everyday life.

The school were presented with the national award after staff, pupils, parents, and governors demonstrated that anti-bullying is a priority which they play an active role in through range of procedures including a peer support scheme.

The bronze level shows that the school has a clear understanding about how to prevent all forms of bullying including cyber-bullying and that the safety, mental health and wellbeing of its pupils is of the highest importance.

The school is now working towards achieving the ABQM-UK Silver Award.

Andrew Chadwick, Head of School commented: “The recognition from ABQM-UK shows the continued hard work of everyone at Wilsden Primary School to create a culture where bullying is not acceptable.

“I would like to give special thanks to Rebecca Fortune who has helped establish our ways of working to prevent bullying.

“Our schools’ motto is start small, dream and achieve big, so we will carry on working until we have developed a community ethos of anti-bullying and emotional wellbeing.”

Wilsden Primary School operates as part of Focus Trust – a charitable multi-academy trust which is based in the North West of England with a vision of providing an engaging and challenging learning environment where the children are happy.

Find out more about the ABQM at http://www.abqm-uk.com/

BookLife Publishing provides exclusive offer to TAP Schools

TAP is a free-to-use social thanking platform designed for parents and carers to thank and praise school staff, as well as raise much-needed funds.

TAP (Thank And Praise) is partnering with BookLife Publishing to offer its award-winning titles to TAP Schools as part of a match funding scheme.

According to BESA, 1 in 4 schools lack basic teaching resources and £136 is spent on classroom materials per year by teachers. This means that match funded donations from parents and carers provide staff and their pupils with additional and much-needed resources.

Now schools registered on TAP’s free thanking platform can also benefit from BookLife Publishing’s beautiful and inspiring books which educate children of all ages and cover all the key subject areas including science, geography, history and STEM.

BookLife Publishing was born from a simple idea: putting children at the heart of their books. Their unique, award-winning style and creative approach means their books are loved by children all over the world.

“BookLife Publishing are excited to be working in partnership with TAP to exclusively offer our titles as part of a Match Funding scheme for the first time. This means that BookLife Publishing will pay 50% of your school’s book order,” said Nick Ison, Managing Director, BookLife Publishing.

To see the books included in the match funding scheme, exclusive to TAP Schools, please go to: www.booklifepublishing.co.uk.

“I’m absolutely delighted that we’re partnering with an award-winning publishing company. Not only does BookLife Publishing provide an extensive range of quality books, they are also a mission-led, socially-driven organisation like TAP,” said Matt Findel-Hawkins, CEO of TAP.

In order for your school to benefit, simply register your school on TAP’s free-to-use thanking platform at www.thankandpraise.com/organisations   and start collecting funds on its digital donation platform.

The TAP thanking platform allows people to send private messages of thanks to members of school staff, praise a school publicly on a digital thanking wall, as well as raise match funding.  

TAP’s underlying mission is to support and improve the well-being and mental health of all those working in education, by encouraging people to show appreciation to them.

If you’d like your school to benefit from TAP, please:

  • Send a message with your full name and organisation name to 07871 064296 on WhatsApp
  • Or visit our Organisation page on our website

A Royal Question for a British Astronaut

The National Space Centre, home to the National Space Academy, yesterday welcomed Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex to meet with a small number of students and staff as they begin a very exciting educational year.

The Countess of Wessex joined British astronaut Helen Sharman at the National Space Centre as part of World Space Week to meet a small number of students from the National Space Academy Space Engineering course, which this year has seen a significant growth in applications, leading to a second student group being added for the first time.

The visit included a live Q&A session with Helen, that was transmitted (via space satellites) to a worldwide audience online.

Questions were kicked off by Her Royal Highness, who asked about inspiring the next generation of children.

The National Space Academy

In 2012 the National Space Academy established the UK’s first full-time post-16 course for students in Space Engineering. It is the only course of its kind, unique both in its subject matter and in its combination of BTEC qualifications with traditional A Levels.

More than 80% of its students, the majority having no family history of progression into Higher Education, have gone on to study degree-level University courses in physics or engineering or Higher Apprenticeship programmes with some of Europe’s leading aerospace and engineering companies including Airbus and Rolls Royce.

Several students who have finished their undergraduate and MSc courses have been awarded first-class degrees.

With the success of the course and significant career opportunities within a thriving UK space industry, this year there will be two cohorts of Space Engineering students to meet demand for places.

The Academy is part funded by the National Space Centre, the UK Space Agency and the Lloyds Register Foundation, with additional support from The Ogden Trust and PPG.

Laser targeted reading intervention programme launched to help schools support pupils’ learning recovery

As teachers return to class, the need to identify and address any reading issues will be a priority. With this in mind, Lexplore Analytics has launched a ready-made reading development and intervention programme which provides teachers with proven strategies to target each child’s precise difficulties.

Lexplore Intensive has been developed by experienced teacher,  SENDCO and dyslexia specialists, Pamela Hanigan and Rachel Gelder, who co-founded Lancashire Dyslexia Information Guidance and Support (LDIGS).

With full instruction guides, marking sheets and student workbooks, the reading development and intervention programme for children in years 1 to 10, removes the need for lesson planning around interventions. It can therefore be picked up and used by reading volunteers, and support staff as well as SENDCOs or class teachers.

Dyslexia expert and Lexplore Intensive author, Rachel Gelder, said: “The task facing teachers as they return to school is a significant one. Identifying any learning gaps and supporting pupils as they work through the recovery curriculum is a big ask. With Lexplore Intensive, we have made sure teachers have instant access to a set of proven interventions matched to each child so that progress in the core skill of reading can be made quickly.”

Lexplore Intensive is relevant for all learners with strategies suitable for neurodiverse and EAL learners. Teachers will have access to interventions to develop weaker readers plus ideas to challenge the stronger readers in a class so all children can make progress.

Fellow Lexplore Intensive author, Pamela Hanigan said: “Rachel and I just simply imagined what sort of interventions guide we would want created for ourselves as teachers and that is what we set about making. We have used a range of multisensory learning techniques for each intervention so a full range of learning styles is catered for. It focuses heavily on improving working memory and metacognition so the skills children learn will stay with them beyond the initial intervention.”

The reading development and intervention programme is based on the principles of Letters and Sounds and aligns with the colour coded reading assessment results that are generated when a pupil sits Lexplore Analytics’ unique eye tracking reading assessment. Using both tools together a teacher can have within minutes a full assessment of a child’s reading and a plan of interventions to address any concerns.

Interventions for embedding letter recognition, include revising the alphabet with multisensory techniques, using physical letters (such as plastic letters or letter pebbles), saying and hearing the letters, tracing over these with a finger, tracking the letters and putting them in alphabetical sequence. Using a number of different senses in this way, means the learning is more likely to stay with the child.

An intervention aimed at a group of older children with comprehension difficulties could include cutting up the lines of an unfamiliar poem and asking the children to recreate the poem in what they believe to be the correct order. The aim of the exercise is not to see whether the children manage to recreate the poem exactly, but to explore their discussion around the meaning of the phrases and how they would logically fit together.

Aimee Cave a SENDCO and assistant head at Pocklington Junior School who has used the workbook said:Lexplore Intensive allows me to provide small, targeted interventions most days. Even if I have just five spare minutes, I can pick it up and work with a pupil.  It ensures everyone progresses with their reading.”

Lexplore Intensive is currently available for download as a paper workbook. From October 2020 it will be available digitally from Lexplore Analytics’ new online portal.

Lexplore Intensive is available free of charge to existing Lexplore Analytics assessment users and also available to purchase as a stand-alone reading development and intervention programme. Teachers and school leaders can find out more about Lexplore Intensive at  https://www.lexplore.com/gb/lexplore-intensive/

Teachers Invest in Child Mental Health Training Ahead of World Mental Health Day

Following the surge in online training undertaken by teachers during school closures, new trends have emerged highlighting the critical issues currently affecting the education sector.

Teacher training on the topic of child mental health has increased 510% this year compared to 2019, according to the latest reports shared for World Mental Health Day (10th October). The subject has been the cause of debate within the sector, with concerns raised regarding the impact of virtual learning and COVID-19 related procedures on a child’s mental wellbeing.

With more time spent online this year than ever before, and many children still unable to return to school, training on internet safety has seen the biggest increase of all among teachers this year, with an uptake of 960%.

Demand for online training courses among teachers has been at an all-time high according to the reports shared by High Speed Training. School closures provided a unique opportunity to invest in skills and CPD increased by 114% on average in 2020 compared to 2019 across all topics.

The online training provider is responding to rising safeguarding concerns by creating new mental health training and supporting content that will be available for teachers for free, set to launch later this month.

Dr. Richard Anderson, Head of Learning and Development at High Speed Training, said: “This year has brought with it new challenges and the impact that these will have had on children in education cannot be underestimated. Teachers have a valuable role to play in a child’s wellbeing and our thanks go to all that have gone above and beyond to try and bridge the gap created by moving to a ‘virtual classroom’, and that have invested in developing their skills, particularly those that support mental health. While schools have officially reopened, the challenges are far from over, and we must not forget that there are many young people facing extraordinarily difficult times ahead and who may not yet be able to return to class. This World Mental Health Day is an important reminder for all of us to take extra care.”

For more information and to be informed of new course content going live, simply visitwww.highspeedtraining.co.uk/education.

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