Educate Magazine September 2020

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Educate Contents Welcome...

18 21-23

Welcome to the September edition of Educate. One-way corridors, hand-washing stations and ‘bubbles’ – the new normal faced by schools, colleges and universities as they fully reopen for the new academic year. Listening to headteachers and leadership teams, it is clear a huge amount of preparation and hard work has been undertaken during the summer, enabling the new term to begin at full speed by creating safe and happy places to welcome students back to.



Features 8-11 T-levels A guide to the new post GCSE qualification

As the new academic year starts for students, it also does for newly appointed headteachers as they begin new chapters in their leadership journey. Hitting the ground running at Deyes High School is Mrs Victoria Beaney, where she starts her new job as head of school, ready to continue developing the school’s vision to: ‘Engage, Enable and Empower’

The future of learning A revolution in education

55-65 In pictures A-level and GCSE results days

13-15 Interview with Patrick Ottley-O’Connor, headteacher of Westhoughton High School

30-31 Interview with Mrs Victoria Beaney, head of school at Deyes High School

67-69 Back on track Hitting the ground running - a new academic year

83-85 Careers Exploring nursing as a career

36-37 Championing governance The heart of organisational improvement

40-41 Interview with Ricky Boleto, CBBC Newsround presenter


In the face of Covid-19 and throughout the last six months, the teaching profession has continued doing extraordinary things to help children and their parents navigate a world of home learning. However, with a return to physical classrooms, will some of the changes and movement to the remote world of digital learning stay? This issue Educate interviews several education professionals to find out if the pandemic has perhaps unleashed a revolution in education, redefining the future of learning.

88 Book review Must-have reads

82 My school days Heidi Thomas – Dramatist and writer

Appointments Appointments and recruitment news

50-53 Published by CPMM Media Group, Suite 4 Pacific Chambers, 11-13 Victoria Street, Liverpool L2 5QQ. Tel: 0151 709 7567 Twitter: @EducateMag Website: Email: Executive Editor: Kim O’Brien @ExecEdEducate Editorial: Alan Birkett Elle Foster and Hannah Fowler Advertising Sales and Sponsorship: Sam Lawrence Louise White Social media support: Lawrie O’Brien, Will Lawrence Photography: Robin Clewley, Alan Humphreys, Steve Samosa, Jim Donnelly and Steve Dock. Front cover image: Alsop High School Design and Production: CPMM Media Group Distribution: Barbara Troughton Tel: 0151 733 5492 Printed by Acorn Web Offset Limited The contents of this magazine are fully protected by copyright and nothing may be reprinted or reproduced without permission. Disclaimer The information contained within Educate we believe to be correct at the time of printing, no responsibility can be accepted for errors or omissions. © Copyright CPMM Ltd 2009.

Alongside the amazing teaching professionals and non-teaching staff working in schools, attracting thanks and praise for working tirelessly as well as selflessly during the unprecedented times we have faced, the outpouring of support and pride towards our national health service (NHS) has also been amazing. With a return to school and many students perhaps thinking about their career options, we explore nursing in our special choosing a career feature. More than ever the value of our healthcare professionals has been highlighted and there is a wealth of opportunity for young people interested in careers in this vital area. Choosing a career path can often begin by deciding which qualifications to take. From this September, a new post GCSE option has been added to the mix of Alevel, vocational qualifications, traineeships, and apprenticeships – T Levels. Educate has put together a simple and straight forward guide to help explain this new qualification.

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Primary News

Leaving a legacy Teacher reflects on 19 years of service As the final few weeks of term drew to a close Mrs Maureen Hillsdon, headteacher of Our Lady of Lourdes, Birkdale, reflected on her 19 years of service at the school: first as deputy head and then as head. Maureen has been involved in a number of school improvement initiatives and nine inspections but the time since 23 March has probably presented the most challenging circumstances in her entire career. Before Mrs Hillsdon left she had one final achievement to celebrate - Our Lady of Lourdes is the first primary school this year to have gained Digital Schoolhouse status. This means that they will be able to offer fun, free computing workshops for primary schools in the local area. Digital Schoolhouse together with Nintendo UK, uses playbased learning to engage the next generation of pupils in order to ensure they are equipped for the future digital economy. All of the workshops engage pupils through the use of creative resources, whilst upskilling and inspiring visiting teachers to deliver the new computing curriculum. “We were thrilled that we were successful with our Digital Schoolhouse application. I cannot wait to begin delivering

exciting workshops which I know the children in the local area will love”, said Mrs Jo Hodge, Digital Schoolhouse lead teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School.

Locals give views on pupils school street designs Cycling charity Sustrans have been asking local residents in West Derby to give their views about new designs on streets around four schools in the area. The design proposals are based on a child’s eye view from children who use the streets every day to travel to school. Children worked with the Sustrans team to survey their school streets. They assessed what they liked about the environment on the streets around their schools. And they looked at what they

found dangerous or unpleasant. They suggested changes, such as slowing down traffic, closing streets or stopping inconsiderate parking, to make their streets more attractive for everyone. Sustrans are working with nine schools in a two-mile area of West Derby, to help tackle the challenges of traffic congestion, air pollution and road safety. Recently four of these schools won £20,000 to implement their design ideas. The winning schools were: St Paul’s and St Timothy’s Infant School; St Paul’s

Simon O’Brien talks to pupils about the benefits of safer roads.


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Junior School; Mab Lane Mixed Primary and St Mary’s CE Primary. The designs create more safe spaces for people to walk and cycle and include colourful street art and places to sit, temporary school street closures, oneway streets and building out pavements or slowing traffic. Usually, consultations are held through public events and meetings. But due to the coronavirus outbreak, they are seeking feedback online and via postcards. Lou Henderson, project officer for West Derby said: “The children worked hard to help our design team understand what problems they face every day when they travel to school. “These new street design proposals are a result of their ideas. We then asked residents who lived on these streets to make sure the designs will work in practice and to see how they can be improved. Ryan Scarr, teacher at Mab Lane Primary School said: “We are absolutely amazed and so thankful that we have received funding to make our school a safer place.” Simon O’Brien, cycling and walking commissioner for Liverpool City Region said: “Now more than ever it’s important to look at how the way we travel affects our health and wellbeing and this project is a fantastic opportunity to do just that”.

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Primary News

A positive start for the new year Following a robust risk assessment process, Liverpool Diocesan Schools Trust (LDST) headteachers have worked with Compliance Education (health and safety) to write and consult on detailed re-opening plans. Headteachers and their teams have worked tirelessly to ensure a safe re-opening for all pupils which has resulted in all 16 of their schools opening fully at the start of term. Laurie Kwissa, CEO at LDST said: “Attendance has been extremely positive so far. The new year 7 cohort at St Michael’s benefitted from planned transition activities in the summer holidays and since the start of the new term there has been 100% attendance for this group! We are so proud of all our pupils returning to school or starting in LDST schools for the first time. “Recognising that many pupils had not been in school since March, we met regularly in the summer term with our headteachers to plan for their full return and identified three core priorities to aid this.” This term they are focusing on: • Supporting schools in securing good mental health and wellbeing for staff and pupils • Supporting schools in mitigating the impact of school closure upon disadvantaged pupils • Supporting schools in considering and overcoming the implications of school closure upon curriculum and assessment Laurie said: “Our headteachers and senior leaders have collaborated in working parties to plan actions and signpost resources to support each other in addressing these priorities. “Our pupils have settled in well and our schools are once again filled with laughter and friendship and enjoying purposefully planned experiences across the wider curriculum”.

Laurie Kwissa, CEO at LDST

Are you an NQT concerned about finding your first teaching role? After all of your hard work qualifying as a new teacher, you may be wondering how to take the next step in your career? How do you apply for your new role? What specific skills do you need to demonstrate to land the perfect job? Throughout the period of school closures, CER has been working closely with local universities supporting NQT’s by delivering support videos, mock interviews and live question and answer sessions. They are there to offer support and offer guidance to ensure NQTs have all the 6

tools they need to choose the right school to start their career. So what are the options? As an NQT, a role in supply teaching is a great first step towards a rewarding teaching career. It can offer a great work life balance and a variety of experiences in a number of school settings. It will give NQTs the chance to explore different classroom settings so they can decide how they want to progress in their teaching career. At CER, they can provide short or long term work to suit NQTs. There are many benefits to both, which will help them

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gain exposure to a range of different learning styles and receiving great training opportunities first hand. Last year, they placed over 75% of all NQT’s recruited in long term or permanent positions in their first year on supply, so they are confident that they can help NQTs secure that perfect position. CER is there to take NQTs step by step into their new career, offering guidance and providing the best support for a new role. Get in touch with their friendly recruitment consultants today and see how they can help. / 0151 242 6036.

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Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School Cedar Road, Aintree, Liverpool L9 9AF T: 0151 525 9600 F: 0151 525 2998 W:

Places available in all year groups We offer: • 2 year old provision • 30 hour offer • Breakfast Club and After School Club • Fantastic EYFS provision If you have any further enquiries please contact the school office on 0151 525 9600 or check out our website

From our November 19 Ofsted Inspection: Blessed Sacrament is a happy school. Leaders are highly ambitious and determined to give every pupil the best possible start to their education. Pupils develop into resilient and independent learners. They are ready for secondary school and their place in the wider community. ‘Aim High - Live Life to the full’ (John 10:10)

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A guide to T Levels

by Hannah Fowler

After years of demanding study and hard work, students can finally celebrate finishing their GCSEs. But what next? Students in England have to stay in education until they are 18, either going on to college, sixth form, an apprenticeship or studying part-time while volunteering or working. From A levels, vocational qualifications, traineeships to apprenticeships, the educational landscape can be hard to navigate. And from this September, a new post GCSE option is being added to

the mix – T Levels. Whilst this brings exciting opportunities for future careers, it can also be daunting for students and their parents who are overwhelmed with the many options available.

For those confused on the best path to take, here is our guide to T Levels, and a reminder of the other routes available after GCSEs.

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A guide to T Levels

What are T Levels?

• Digital business services

Levels) T Levels (T Technical echnic e are new courses coming in September 2020 for 16-19 year olds who have completed their GCSEs. The two-year courses, equivalent to three A levels, have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for the world of work.

• Digital support and services

T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement. The new qualification has been launched to provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship. Students will be able to take a T Level in 25 subject areas when they are fully rolled out by 2023, such as accounting, catering, hair science and beauty y, healthcare healt and legal. But the first three T Levels launching in 2020 include: • Design, surveying and planning for construction • Digital production, design and development • Education and childcare Followed by these subject areas in 2021: • Building services engineering for construction

• Health • Healthcare science • Onsite construction • Science Schools, colleges and training providers can set their own entry requirements for each T Level, but they commonly ask for five GCSEs at grades 4-9.

requirement or expectation that students will be paid while on the industry placement, it’s designed to give students a broader idea of what it’s like to work in a certain sector with the opportunity to specialise later. If a student knows what occupation they wish to pursue and wants to earn a wage while learning, they may be better suited on an apprenticeship. What can I do after T Levels?

How will T Levels be taught? T Level courses are made up of the following elements: 1. A technical qualification which will include core eory y, concepts and theory skills in a chosen industry area, and specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career 2. An industry placement with an employer for at least 45 days (315 hours) 3. A minimum standard in maths and English (if students have not already achieved this) Unlike apprenticeships, where students spend most of their time in the workplace, students on T Levels will be classroombased for 80 per cent of the time and on an extended industry placement for the remaining 20 per cent. There is no legal

Students who complete their T Level will receive an overall grade of pass, merit, distinction or distinction*. The nationally recognised T Level certificate will include an overall grade as well as confirmation that the student has met the minimum requirement for maths and English and completed the industry placement. If a student leaves a T Level early y, or does not pass all of the elements, they will receive a statement of achievement confirming which requirements have been met. After completing a T Level, students can find employment in a skilled occupation in their chosen career or continue their studies with a higher apprenticeship or degree at university y. To help students stu get into higher education, T Level qualifications can be converted into UCAS points, in the same way as A levels.

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A guide to T Levels

UCAS tariff points

T Level overall Grade

A Level


Distinction* (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)









Pass (C or above on the core)



Pass (D or E on the core)





T Levels have been designed with leading businesses and employers, such as Fujitsu, Morgan Sindall and Rolls Royce, to give students the knowledge and skills to succeed in the competitive job market.

During the industry placement, students can make connections, gain a valuable reference for their CV or UCAS application, and improve a range of technical and personal skills that employers value.

Students will gain a real insight into the industry they are training to enter. This is a fantastic head start when applying for job roles after completing a T Level, or choosing which higher education option is right for them.

To ďŹ nd a T Level near you, visit

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A guide to T Levels Where can I study T Levels in the North West? Provider offering T Levels


Provider offering T Levels


Blackpool and The Fylde College


SCC Group


Cardinal Newman College


Trafford College Group


Nelson and Colne College


Wigan & Leigh College


Oldham Sixth Form College


Ashton Sixth Form College


Priestley College


Birchwood Community High School


Runshaw College


Birkenhead Sixth Form College


Bolton College


Carmel College


Burnley College


Crewe Engineering and Design UTC


Bury College



Cheshire College South and West


Genii Engineering & Technology Training Limited

Furness College


Hope Academy


Hopwood Hall College


Macclesfield College


Hugh Baird College


Reaseheath College


Kendal College


Riverside College


Lakes College


Southport College


LTE Group trading as The Manchester College


St John Rigby RC Sixth Form College


Tameside College


Oldham College


The City of Liverpool College


Preston College


Wirral Metropolitan College


What other post-GCSE options are available? A levels – A levels (Advanced Levels) are a subject-based qualification that can lead to university, further study, training or work. Students normally study three or more A levels over two years. Studying a selection of A levels can be a good option for students who are unsure what career or job they want to go into or wish to progress to university (although many universities will accept vocational qualifications such as NVQs, BTECs and the new T Levels). Apprenticeships – An apprenticeship is a work-based training opportunity that let’s young people earn money while they train in a specific industry, such as motor vehicle or health

and social care. Apprentices will spend 80 per cent of their time in employment and the remaining 20 per cent in ‘off the job training’, often at a college, university or with a training provider. Apprenticeships are available at companies large and small, and can last anything from one to six years to complete, depending on the type and level of apprenticeship chosen. Vocational study programmes – Many school sixth forms and further education colleges offer vocational qualifications which are designed to teach students in a practical way about a particular job area, such as construction, engineering, hairdressing and retail. They are a good option for those who have a clear idea of what type of

career or trade they would like to work in. Some schools and sixth form colleges may let you mix vocational qualifications, such as BTECs with A levels. Traineeships – A traineeship is a course that includes a work placement, and can last from 6 weeks up to 6 months. Traineeships help 16-24 year olds (or 25 year olds with a EHC plan) get ready for an apprenticeship or job if they don’t have the appropriate skills or experience. CV writing, digital skills, maths and English are all taught on a traineeship, alongside a work placement of at least 70 hours and an interview for a job if available. If not, students will still receive an exit interview with written feedback to help them secure an apprenticeship or employment.

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Interview with: Patrick Ottley-O’Connor, headteacher of Westhoughton High School

Moving on to pastures new After two years spent at North Liverpool Academy, executive principal Patrick Ottley-O’Connor is now set to embark on a new challenge at a school in Bolton. Educate finds out more about his short but transformational time at the Anfield secondary school; how these unprecedented times have brought school communities together and why retirement is currently on hold.

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Interview with: Patrick Ottley-O’Connor, headteacher of Westhoughton High School

In respect of the social distancing guidelines, the interview more than meets the two-metre rule, in fact Patrick is located in Beziers, south of France, for the video call where he is with his family, enjoying a well-deserved break and continuing to work remotely. Patrick’s leadership journey started in 2000 when he joined a school in Rochdale as a deputy head. During a nine-year period, he took on two substantive headships and then over the last eight years he has been at schools that have either lost a headteacher, have been in Ofsted categories or have serious financial issues. Since 2018, Patrick has headed up North Liverpool Academy. He was brought in to work alongside the deputy headteacher, Emily Vernon, until it was time for her to take the helm. He said: “I came in to help the deputy head, Emily, who became acting principal during my time there. Together, we were able to redefine what the school stood for and the vision-based values by carrying out a staff perception questionnaire. The feedback was that they needed to revisit the values and why they do what they do. “There was a very strong team ethos and everyone wanted to be aspirational for their students. They wanted to help the students own their own destiny.” In the shadow of the Liverpool FC’s ground, North Liverpool Academy boasts 1,350 students, with 70% pupil premium children, and 202 members of staff. “We soon developed four key areas that we wanted our school community to work towards: aspire, experience, community and achieve. We set about really raising aspirations for apprenticeships and universities. In my first year, 11% of students went to Russell Group universities, in 2019 this rose to 20% and this year, we were touching over 30% - with our first going to Oxbridge!” The school is a centre of learning and works closely with the local community and the wider academic community. With an extensive alumnus, the academy intertwines local businesses and university into 14

school life. They employ a professor from the University of Sheffield threedays-a-week, who brings in his PHD students to work alongside the year groups. Patrick said: “We are giving our students unique experiences and exposure to exciting opportunities. For example, there are year groups that are currently taking part in undergraduate level research. We have Year 10 and Year 12 students studying mealworms and the way they eat and digest polystyrene, whilst our Year 13s are looking after 10,000 bees and making honey whilst extracting DNA and looking into the sustainability of bees.”

I’d like us, as a profession, to be kinder to ourselves and kinder to each other

With many innovative projects, staff are encouraged to turn the curriculum on its head and look at what they want students to learn, rather than what they have to teach them. But how has the academy been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? Patrick said: “There has never been anything like it, in the 37 years since my training, that has affected schools like this. “The mass long-term absence from school buildings has been hard but fortunately we had some good online learning in place beforehand. The Northern Schools Trust (which includes the North Liverpool Academy, Liverpool Life Sciences UTC and The Studio) kept a close eye on the work that was submitted and shifted governance priority from attendance to engagement.” Impressively, the academy had one of the highest levels of online engagement in Liverpool at 90%. Patrick said: “Our pastoral teams were in regular contact with families and visited the homes of vulnerable children. Fortunately, we were able to send students home with computers

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just as lockdown occurred and found ourselves buying more for students who were experiencing technical issues at home.” As a trust, they also spent thousands of pounds on free school meals, on top of the government vouchers, ensuring that no child went hungry during lockdown and the summer holidays. The team also continued to implement the school’s reward system by offering Just Eat vouchers to those with good engagement - it was even extended to members of staff. Patrick is a big advocate for looking after the mental health and wellbeing of staff and colleagues. He said: “Colleagues must look after themselves first before helping others, so that they can make the biggest possible difference for our learners.” Patrick continued: “We have something called ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing Star of the Week’ whereby staff nominate a colleague who has supported them. During lockdown, we were receiving up to 50-60 nominations a week for people who had made a positive difference to their mental health and wellbeing. “This was especially important for those colleagues who were struggling to home educate and do their jobs, living independently at home or those who were self-isolating. We had staff quizzes and ‘Big Brenda’s Virtual Coffee Bar’ which was named after our wonderful tea lady who is in her 70s and runs the staff canteen – she’s a legend within the school!” Patrick quickly added that she is affectionately called Big Brenda as her daughter, also called Brenda, works at the school and is known as Little Brenda. He went on: “The virtual coffee bar allowed staff to drop in and catch up with one another during break times. I also made a number of welfare calls every day and caught up with staff to check they were ok.” With the start of the new academic year, Patrick understands that the mental health and wellbeing of the entire school is of the utmost importance. He said: “The Year 10s going in to Year 11 are worried about whether they have been able to do enough for

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their exams next year - likewise for the new Year 13s. For many there is also the worry of whether it will be safe when there is lots of people back together.” Patrick beams with pride as he concludes talking about the academy’s work over the past few months. He said: “I have to say I’m very pleased with the work done during lockdown. It was a time when the school community made the biggest difference to the lives of our students. “All schools will face criticism from time to time, especially when parents are not happy, but we’ve really gone the extra mile during this time for our students and their families. There has been a mass outpouring from them, and the community, as they all feel loved. I think the benefit of this will be felt for many years to come in terms of people’s understanding of the work schools can do. “I don’t use this word very often but I am very proud of the effort we have made and the service we have done. I can’t praise Emily Vernon, the now headteacher of NLA, enough. I’m an experienced headteacher but I have learnt so much from her moral purpose and integrity. It really has been a pleasure to serve alongside her.” Patrick is a well-known figure on #Edutwitter. He recently announced to his 15,000+ followers that at 55years-old he had the option to retire but didn’t feel like it was quite right. Instead he has decided to take on a 12-month headship at Westhoughton High School in Bolton. He said: “I could have stayed on (at North Liverpool Academy) as there is still a job to do and I could have supported the other schools within the trust but the piece of work that I came in to do was complete. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and I can’t praise enough the incredible work of Geoff Wainwright, the chair of trustees, CEO Nigel Ward and the principals of each school. “Quite often because of the nature of the job I do, I regularly receive offers to go into schools which I often turndown but when the offer of the job in Bolton came up and I was very interested in the prospect of doing it for a year, so the time felt right to

move on to the next challenge.” Retirement for Patrick will come in a few years when his wife, who is an assistant headteacher within a secondary school, reaches 55, although he doesn’t envision being fully retired as he also provides coaching to aspiring new and experienced headteachers and CEOs of multi-academy trusts (MAT). Collaborative Leadership Ltd was established after headteachers, chair of governors and CEOs began reaching out to him for advice and support. His vast knowledge and expertise sees Patrick work with schools and MATs across the UK.

I don’t use this word very often but I am very proud of the effort we have made and the service we have done

He said: “We are currently lobbying government and other organisations to make sure that free headteacher support or funded coaching support is put into place for all, not just new, headteachers. We have a duty of care as headteachers to look after our staff. The duty of care for headteachers lies with governing bodies and some do it beautifully well, whilst some don’t and that’s the concern. It’s a tough gig for whoever you are. “One of the things that has become much bigger in my head over the last five years, in a position of influence, is the inequity we see within education in terms of our leadership. Only 3% of leaders of schools are BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) in this country. There is also a disproportionate amount of men that lead in education.” Patrick talks openly about these issues on Twitter through hashtags such as #HeForShe, #Ally, #LGBTed #BAMEed #DisabilityED, #WomenEd and #DiverseEd. You can follow his musings at: @ottleyoconnor.

As he looks forward to his one hundredth school term, he explained more about this new role: “The current head is retiring and my job is to go in for 12 months, make some changes and recruit a new headteacher. It’s all about creating sustainable leadership and recruiting the right people for the right schools and levelling things outs. “During the transition, my job is to offer the stability that the school needs to move the school forward and work alongside the two very talented deputy head teachers, the senior team and the rest of the staff to help them make that continuous improvement.” He continued: “I have already sent out a staff perception questionnaire. I’m going to do the same for students and their families so I can listen to what people are saying and treat that feedback as a gift, even though that gift might not be a nicely received one, you must act upon it. “With all this in place we can quickly start to put the children back on a recovery curriculum and revive the learning journeys everyone has been on. We can identify if any gaps have opened any wider during the lockdown, or if things need consolidating and misconceptions need challenging. He said: “There needs to be safety nets in place and we know there is going to be an increased amount of need so we need to prioritise spending towards these. We may have made some savings during lockdown for things such as, supply cover and photocopying etc, and so these savings need to be rediverted back to our students and staff.” As we come to the end of the interview, Educate couldn’t help but ask what his overall personal vision for education is? Without hesitation, Patrick said: “As a whole, I’d like us as a profession, to be kinder to ourselves and kinder to each other. “Arguments tend to fall into binary in education these days when people fall out, you’re either traditional, progressive or you’re this or you’re that, but actually it shouldn’t be, it’s about finding out what suits your community the best and using that values-based vision to drive forward every single decision you make.”

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Secondary News

Well read students A novel way of borrowing books at ASFA The Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) is delivering library books to students in a unique way this term. As the academy’s library has been unable to open as normal to students, librarian Ms Wade has created a novel way of sharing ASFA’s huge array of books. With a decorated trolley jam-packed with fiction and non-fiction, Ms Wade has been making her way around the school playground during breaktimes, allowing students to take books to read in school or at home. Once read, the books are then returned to the quarantine box. Students can also request a specific book which Ms Wade will deliver to them on the trolley’s next outing. Ms Wade said: “Although the library is closed for the time being, the idea of not having a thriving space, which is so valued by our students, deprives them of the vital cultural experiences which are important to their development. So, I decided to bring the books to them! “Everyone has been really positive about this new way of borrowing and it’s been an excellent way to introduce the library to the new Year 7s and to reestablish the relationship with the older

year groups. “The trolley is cleared every day and the conversations evoked in the playground are a pleasure to hear from early in the morning until school closes.”

Mr Kevin Maddocks, head of school, said: “The school has a strong belief in the value of reading for pleasure and the students’ eagerness to borrow the books indicates that they value it too.”

A ‘wheely’ kind gesture from Rainford High Rainford High has continued to give back to the local community and has donated its old minibus to the Rainford Boys’ Brigade. The school usually allows the group to borrow the minibus during the summer months for their annual retreat. Unfortunately, they have been unable to do so this year due to the pandemic. As the school has recently welcomed two new minibuses, Alexandra Marsh, director of business and finance, has kindly donated one of their preloved vehicles to the group. She said: “We love to help out our local community and we have built a great relationship with the Rainford Boys’ Bridge. They have used our minibuses during the summer for many years as the vehicles aren’t in use whilst the school is closed. “We now don’t have the need for this particular bus and so we have happily donated it to the group. We are sure they will get lots of use out of it.” 16

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Secondary News

Virtual tour for students St Cuthbert’s goes online for prospective student visits St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School is taking a different approach to its traditional open day this year, in light of the ongoing global pandemic. As changing COVID-19 restrictions continue to cause uncertainty, the St Helens school has taken an innovative approach to welcoming prospective students and their parents into its community, creating a microsite offering various levels of access to the school building, its staff and students. Parents and children will be able to access the school at any time by taking a virtual tour of the school, while also being able to watch online interviews with teachers, course leaders and its headteacher, Catherine Twist, as they answer some of the most popular questions from families considering the school. For those seeking a more personal experience, there will also be opportunities to participate in a Q&A session led by St Cuthbert’s senior team - 10 student-appointed Year 11s who liaise with other student year heads and represent the voice of the school’s young people. There will also be a series of live ‘Meet the Teacher’ Q&A sessions with the headteacher, heads of year and specific course leaders and video calls with individual teachers will be offered for parents who have specific questions about the school and curriculum. The school has already tested the digital approach with its new Year 7 intake by creating a dedicated ‘transition’ area on its website that features introductions from current Year 7 students, form tutors and headteacher. As the work was undertaken during lockdown, audio recorded by each teacher has been accompanied by animations of the teachers, students and the school itself. Catherine Twist, headteacher at St Cuthbert’s High School, said: “In a year where there has been so much uncertainty and disruption for young people in our community, we wanted to ensure that we remained open for all prospective students and their parents. “We have always taken an innovative approach to education and community engagement, but this year we have really pushed the boundaries to ensure that people can access us at any time, from wherever they are and whatever their circumstances. “We want to provide reassurance that 18

whatever happens St Cuthbert’s, its students and staff team are always here at the heart of our local community.” Senior team member, Jessica Morris, added: “Being appointed to the senior team during the COVID-19 outbreak has been a strange but exciting experience. The best thing about being a student at St Cuthbert’s is that we pull together and we always find ways to stay connected and keep on learning. I can’t wait to

welcome our virtual visitors during open week.” St Cuthbert’s open week takes place from Monday 21 to Friday 25 September and information about how to book appointments and join tours can be found on the school website. Physical visits to the school are permitted, but booking will be required, spaces are limited and not all teachers will be available at all times.

Community language success! Once again School Improvement Liverpool’s (SIL) community language students continue to shine despite lockdown! SIL’s community languages project offers a number of students the opportunity to study for GCSE and A-level in four of their community languages Arabic, Bengali, Polish and Chinese. The classes are delivered centrally and in the students own time. Lockdown halted classes and their committed tutors moved to online delivery. During lockdown the project manager worked collaboratively with tutors and schools to gather the required information and liaised with exams officers throughout. Exams officers, in turn, liaised with the exam boards to ensure that all of the information was submitted to ensure students were awarded the grades which they had worked so hard to achieve. A completely new way of working! It achieved some fabulous outcomes, maintaining the high standards achieved year on year. 55 students were entered for GCSE Arabic, GCSE Chinese and GCSE Polish and an impressive 66% were awarded top grades 9, 8 and 7 and 98% were awarded 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4. A-level results were equally impressive with 25 students entered achieving 88% A*-C grades. The progress made by their students from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities, as increasingly evidenced in exam data, reflecting the sustained positive partnerships built between families, schools, community groups and the Community Languages Project.

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New ways of working

An An interview interrv view w with ith

Improvement Liiverpool (SIL) talk to Educate about their new ways of working, challenges they have encountered and how they are moving forward. Sue Killen from the Primary Learning Team e s said: “The g Team e at SIL Primary Learning provides teaching, learning and leadership support across the majority of subjects within the 20

throug gh face to face contact butt in March 2020, this came to an abrupt halt due to ‘lockdown’ and it became necessary for us to quickly adapt to the situation and discover new ways of working. “Zoom, which to a lot of people was just a 1980’s pop song, became central to our working day and the main way to communicate with each other

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unmute ourselves!), we w were up and running and modified our sessions to reflect the requirements of online training.” Sue added: “Our aim was to ensure that our offer to schools was not compromised but we understood that with everything else schools were having to contend with, uptake of CPD might be low. We need nee not

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S Sponsored ponsored Content Content have worried, staff in schools are hugely dedicated and resilient. Alongside running hubs, providing online learning, ordering free school meal vouchers, PPE equipment and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable learners, teachers and leaders have accessed our online sessions in their hundreds. “As a team, we have turned a necessity into an opportunity and have increased our social media presence to communicate with schools in new and different ways. The number of twitter followers we have on @SILPrimary continues to grow and followers are enjoying engaging with new initiatives such as #howtoin2, #CPDin3, #knowmorein4, all developed to support both school and home learning.”

classrooms, staff rooms and even, on occasion, the most convenient storage cupboard! We have delivered training across Liverpool and further afield having received requests from neighbouring authorities. We have even delivered on a national scale in partnership with nasen through SEND Masterclasses funded by the DfE. To have been able to reach such a wide audience and discuss the views and experiences of our early years colleagues from across the city as well as beyond has been both insightful and rewarding.” Kim continued: “The great

continue to offer support in a variety of accessible ways for our schools and nursery settings. We have more online training planned including a new Boys’ Attainment Network and a series of SEND Masterclasses. We will be offering suppor su t through a range of platforms including phone calls, emails, social media, Zoom sessions meetings. and Teams e meetings We are here and we look forward to continuing to evolve as we move towards a new normal.” Kim goes on to thank everyone who has stayed in contact and offered support, in spite of their own challenges. She said: “Thank you so much for all the useful information and support at this crazy time and for adapting your ways of working! “

“W “We We are here and we look forward to continuing to evolve as we move towards a new normal.”

Sue concluded: “W We are a team that embraces change and despite the recent rate of change being unusually fast, we have responded swiftly to ensure that our partnerships with schools in Liverpool and beyond have remained as strong as ever!” Upon speaking with Kim Salisbury from the he Early Ye ears Team, e “ she said: “This year has been a challenging one for all and one in which we have had to reflect on the ways in which we work and adapt to change at a rapid pace. It is a year that has helped us to identify ways to proactively do things differently. Moving our training and support online is just one example of the adaptations we have made and we appreciate the support and feedback from those whom have attended our training sessions; “W We have had par pa ticipants join us from their living rooms,

Kim m Salisbury Salisbury, y, Early Years Ye ears Team Team e

benefit of online training is that it can be accessed anywhere. No public transport or parking spaces to worry about. Those who find it difficult to attend training under normal circumstances have welcomed the opportunity to join us online. Pre-recorded sessions have also proved very popular. The ability to log onto a session without the need for supply cover can be very appealing. She added: dded: “W We always aim to enthuse and inspire those who attend our training or receive support from us and we are delighted that this has continued while using online models. When you are part of a great teaching session, you feel like you can take on the world! “As we reflect on lock down and think back to lessons learned along the way we will

“W We look forward for to meeting you, supporting you and training with you, whether this be on the screen or in real life, in the near future.” Yvonne v Sutton, who works in the SEND and Inclusive Learning Team e at SIL , said: “I think that recent months can be encapsulated in an assembly song lyric I remember from my school days of long ago, that being ‘Each day different and every day new’. “For the children and young people with SEND, their families and the professionals supporting them through the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent ‘lockdown’ presented a set of additional challenges. Navigating the myriad of rapidly changing guidance and advice could be confusing, complicated and often open to interpretation. If ever there was a need for a ‘Graduated Approach’ to decision making this was it.

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New ways of working

As a team we had to quickly assimilate the new information in order to help colleagues support this particularly vulnerable group of children. Due to the changing landscape, at times I only felt one step ahead, However, by embracing an ‘assess, plan, do and review’ approach and assimilating it to an ‘evaluate, formulate, action and reflect’ process I found adapting to new ways of working developed naturally.”

email from an Educational Psychologist following the session, calm above the water whilst paddling frantically underneath: ‘Just wanted to say well done to you for this afternoon’s webinar. You both did a great job despite the technology issues and were

provides an opportunity to review, reflect on and strengthen processes and systems through coproduction and with transparency to ensure the vision becomes reality.” Next, we speak with Derek Stanley from the Secondary Team. He said “The lockdown period forced me to get to grips with the delivery of science CPD online. The challenge came in the form of a request for five sessions for a group of science teachers in April not long after the schools closed. Having never attempted this before I was quite apprehensive. The range of considerations included things like how to take questions and encourage discussion and collaboration; how will I come across as a ‘talking head’ in the corner of the screen! But the thing that was worrying me most was how to communicate practical science activities in a meaningful way. After discussions with colleagues and some basic training in how to use the zoom platform I set about planning and delivering my first zoom based CPD sessions.

“The lockdown period forced me to get to grips with the delivery of science CPD online.”

Yvonne went on: “From those early days of supporting Liverpool Hubs to co-producing guidance and facilitating meetings the recent restrictions imposed meant that all aspects of the role had to be approached in a different way. Although it could be viewed that these changes were foisted onto us, the SEND and Inclusive Learning Team have for some time explored different ways of offering support and training. As such I prefer to think of the changes as an acceleration of change into an exciting future which will combine virtual meetings, online training and face to face interaction.

“Working days now consist of conference calls sprinkled with online training and webinars delivered via a range of virtual platforms. With the help of wonderful colleagues at SIL my skill set in using the necessary technology is slowly developing. Not knowing how it all ‘works’ my ever- present worry is that the internet will fail me at a key moment. Unfortunately it did just that recently when delivering a Masterclass for nasen and the DfE. “The image of a swan came to mind when I received a lovely 22

Derek Stanley, Secondary Team

beacons of calm and serenity!’ She concluded: “In just the same way that children and young people each have a unique set of strengths and areas for development and also a unique set of responses to the current situation then so too do adults. Colleagues across settings and agencies have shown resilience, determination, flexibility and innovation in their plans to support the children and young people in their care. Managing expectations and perceptions has become a key aspect of my role in conjunction with offering advice and guidance, being a critical friend offering supportive challenge, as a trainer or a facilitator. Sometimes what is needed is reassurance, and that is always on offer too. “The foreword of the Special educational needs code of practice:0-25years sets out the vison for children with special educational needs and disabilities as being the same as for all children and young people. The aim is that they achieve well in their early years, at school and in college, and lead happy and fulfilled lives. This unprecedented situation

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“The five sessions covered a wide range of topics under the heading ‘Curriculum and Pedagogy in Science’. Some sessions involved turning my dining room table into a lab bench and propping the laptop on a pile of books so I could practically demonstrate the science that was being discussed. “The learning curve was steep but the feedback from colleagues was overwhelmingly positive. This has given me the confidence to continue developing my online offer of science CPD for both primary and secondary teacher colleagues which will be

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Sponsored Content available through SIL from the beginning of the autumn term.” Finally, we chat with Gill Rowlands from EMTAS (Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service ) . She said: “EMTAS strives to work in partnership with our parents and families, supporting as much as we can through ‘drop in’ sessions and family programmes. Usually, our sessions are delivered face to face and support families in navigating their way through the education system as well as offering support and guidance to our pupils. “Lockdown meant we needed to do things differently. Daily blogs and translated weekly newsletters offering helpful tips to support families and home learning were shared through a variety of mediums, throughout Liverpool and more widely across the UK and beyond.

successes. It felt like an online family committed to mutual support during a difficult time. “We will definitely continue to offer online sessions as a channel to connect with our families. Firm friendships have been formed and it was heart-warming to hear from our families on results day and celebrate the students’ successes! So, although in some ways lockdown meant we were physically distanced, it actually brought us together more closely!” Sisters Dalea and Marwa Al Motlak attended the

“The zoom sessions provided a greater connection and intimacy.”

“But we still wanted that ‘face to face’ interaction. What better way than zoom online sessions! Through our strong partnership with the Liverpool Arabic Centre, we were able to offer a series of sessions. The sessions meant we could connect with families more frequently during this difficult time. We also had the amazing bilingual support of Neda Ahmed from the Arabic Centre. We didn’t need to book any venues and families didn’t need to worry about child care!” She continued: “The zoom sessions provided a greater connection and intimacy. Families were able to share their concerns and celebrate their

Gill Rowlands, EMTAS

zoom sessions on Careers and Pathways. They said: “As students who had had our GCSE exams cancelled during lockdown, we were much in need of support and guidance for our next steps after GCSE. We were stressed about our exams and what will happen to our future. “We are very pleased to say that we received all the support we needed when we had the online zoom sessions with Miss Rowlands and the graduates. We were able to ask about anything that worried us during these difficult times and the time they spent with us is very much appreciated. We would also like to say a big thank you to Miss Neda from the Arabic Centre

for organising plenty of zoom sessions with the University students and graduates. As young people, who are always seeking guidance, we need a lot of people like Miss Rowlands and Miss Neda in our lives!” Gill added: “EMTAS were also delighted to work alongside the Liverpool Educational Psychology Service to support our families during this difficult time. Both teams have always linked up but have never co-delivered. “The Educational Psychology Service were able to offer helpful advice to our families at the EMTAS led zoom sessions. The Educational Psychology Service were also able to share ‘Top Tips’, useful guidance to support parents over the summer break and help children to become ‘school ready’. This was shared across the City and also was translated into some of our community languages!” Dr Alice Tilley, Educational Psychologist from Liverpool City Council, said: “Working with EMTAS has enabled the Educational Psychologists in Liverpool to be accessible to more families across the city. We were grateful for the opportunity to share our thoughts about how parents can support their children during the summer break via Dr Lee Robinson’s blog post. Building strong relationships with other LA teams during the period of school closures has been a positive experience and we are looking forward to being involved in more joint work in the future.”

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Secondary News

Marathon effort Teachers ‘mari-thon’ effort raises funds for charity Teachers at Maricourt Catholic High School in Maghull held a ‘mari-thon’ event – running over 100km and raising over £2,000 in aid of the international development charity CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal. Mr Ken McCabe, the chaplain of Maricourt, took up running in earnest as a result of lockdown when his wife suggested that he should aim to do a 10km run for charity, Ken was uncertain – he didn’t think he would even be able to run 5km! However, some weeks later, CAFOD launched their coronavirus appeal and Ken saw an opportunity. Ken said: “I sent out an email to staff in the school to see if anyone would be interested in doing a run or walk for CAFOD. “In Maricourt, social justice is integral to our mission as a school – as students and staff, we have always been committed to caring for those in need in our local community and throughout the world, so I knew that I would get a response.” Consequently, a number of staff joined together to form “Team Maricourt” and took up the challenge. As a result, the team walked and ran over 110km and has raised a staggering £2,200. Ken said: “The staff really challenged themselves. We never expected to raise this much money, but people have been so generous.” Mr Joseph Mangan, headteacher at Maricourt Catholic High School, said: “We are all really proud of the efforts of our colleagues and appreciative of the generosity of those who supported them. It’s an incredible amount raised for a very

worthy cause.” Siobhan Farnell, CAFOD’s local representative in Liverpool, said: “The efforts of the teachers and staff at Maricourt has been amazing. We know that they’re contribution will really make a bit difference to the lives of families who are struggling during this difficult time.”

A journey for life Students look to the Education at Liverpool Life Sciences is one that’s designed to prepare you for life according to principal Jill Davies. Jill said: “Ours is an educational journey with a destination at the end, whether that is a university place, apprenticeship, degree apprenticeship or job. “We work hard to make sure that all of our students have access to placements, industry contacts and work experience, so that all of our young people are well versed in the requirements of their chosen career in engineering, life sciences, health and medicine or wider science fields. “Our average A-level grade this summer was a B- and we continue to have a 100% pass rate at A-level. 100% of UTC students achieved A*, A or B in English literature and further maths this year, plus 100% recorded A* – C in art, computing and geography. “At GCSE, students perform incredibly well in our specialist vocational subjects like childcare, healthcare and animal care. 70% of our students achieved a level 4 or above in maths GCSE, alongside 81% gaining a level 4 or above in English. “Every single one of our students achieved a level 4 or above in all three separate sciences, whilst 94% achieved a level 5 or above in biology, 79% in chemistry and 85% in physics. Applying for Life Sciences UTC gives you unparalleled opportunities in your chosen field. You’ll learn more about careers in the sector, and gain valuable experience in the workplace”. 24

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next generation in tech Jill Davies, principal of The Studio Liverpool has been praising the school and informed students that many students from the school go on to brilliant things. Jill said: “Life at The Studio is focused around three core pathways – creative, digital and entrepreneurship – leading our students to careers in gaming, coding, cyber tech, arts and creative careers. “We also offer NextGen Level 3 extended diplomas in games, animation and VFX skills, one of only a handful of colleges across the country to offer them. “In the most challenging of circumstances, it’s been a good summer for our students. Our average A-level grade was a B+ this summer, with our students achieving a 100% pass rate. “We continue to excel in our

core subjects, with 100% gaining an A* – B in art, further maths and history, and 100% of our psychology students awarded an A*. All of our students studying biology, computing, graphics and criminology received grades between an A* and a C. “Our young people excel in the creative and digital subjects that are at the core of our curriculum. 64% of our GCSE students achieved a level 4 or above in English and maths GCSE, with 73% achieving a level 4 or above in maths GCSE. 95% also achieved a level 4 or above in our core creative subjects of fine art, graphics or photography GCSE. “Joining The Studio is like joining a family. Our pastoral care and support from teachers is a feature of our work, and always praised in our Ofsted assessment, which rank us a as a ‘good’ school”.

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Secondary News

Head praises commitment College celebrates excellent results in a year of disruption Students and staff at St Mary’s College in Crosby are celebrating an excellent set of GCSE results despite the widespread disruption to the education sector caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Almost two thirds (61 per cent) of all GCSE grades at the school were at the highest 9-7/A*-A grades, and more than half of candidates (52 per cent) achieved seven or more passes at these top levels. Just under a quarter (24 per cent) of pupils recorded ten or more 9-7/A*-A grades, and of these, eight candidates achieved 11 or more top grades. Overall 88 per cent of students recorded ten or more GCSE passes, with many achieving 11 GCSEs. Staff believe these results reflect the broad and balanced curriculum at St Mary’s, and the fact that the school does not restrict the number of GCSE subjects students can choose to take. In terms of individual achievement the two star performers were 16-year-old Evie Clark from Crosby and 15-year-old Jack Miller from Formby, both of whom recorded the highest possible ‘9’ grade in all 11 of their GCSE subjects. Before joining the senior school Evie and Jack both attended St Mary’s Prep, where Jack was moved up a year, which means he has taken his GCSEs a year early. Evie achieved ‘9’ grades in biology, chemistry, physics, English language, English literature, mathematics, further mathematics, German, music, art and design and religious studies. Evie said: “I am absolutely ecstatic about my GCSE results and really appreciate the immense support I have had from my teachers throughout my time at St Mary’s. “I am looking forward to continuing my studies in the Sixth Form, where I will be studying maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.” Jack achieved ‘9’ grades in biology, chemistry, physics, English language, English literature, mathematics, further mathematics, German, history, ICT and religious studies. He is also joining the Sixth Form at St Mary’s and plans to study mathematics, further mathematics, history and physics or

English literature at A-level. Jack said: “I am delighted with my results and glad all my hard work has paid off. I am really grateful to everyone at St Mary’s and looking forward to doing my A-levels here. “I would like to say a big ‘well done’ to everyone else in my year. We have all worked really hard to achieve these results.” St Mary’s principal, Mike Kennedy, said he was very pleased with the results, but criticised the lateness of the Government’s U-turn on using teacher-assessed grades, which had caused unnecessary anxiety to both A-level and GCSE candidates. He said: “These results, which are well earned, are based on our teachers’ in-depth knowledge of their pupils, and the progress they have made, rather than the probably flawed way an algorithm had been programmed. “They also reflect the commitment and hard work of our students who responded brilliantly to the challenges of studying at home during lockdown, and were determined to ensure that their learning continued.” Mr Kennedy also pointed out that GCSE results are an important milestone in a student’s educational journey, saying: “Achieving excellent grades in their GCSEs is a firm foundation on which young people can build future success.”

Huge congratulations for The Blue Coat students as they gain university places Staff and students from The Blue Coat School were celebrating after another impressive round of A-level results. Then headteacher Mrs S Yates, said: “It was fantastic to welcome our Y13 students into school to collect their results. We are so immensely proud of the way these students have shown such strength of character, fortitude and patience through the significant disruption to their last year at Blue Coat. “They have had to accept not being able to sit their exams and have had to wait for results that informs their next steps in life. When we look back in the future we will hold a unique and special pride for the class of 2020! “We offer huge congratulations to our students whose hard 26

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work over the last few years means that around 93% of students have accepted and secured a place at university, a tremendous achievement. “I am also proud to share that 16 students have gained entry to Oxford or Cambridge – one of the highest number we have had. “It has been a joy to see our students again and to see them enjoying themselves as they celebrate with friends. “After such challenging and difficult months our students deserve unreserved congratulations and we wish them all the very best for their next steps, whether that be university or other avenues of their choice.”

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Secondary News

Deyes High School is destination success Deyes High School are delighted with the fantastic performance from their ‘Classes of 2020’ in GCSE, A-level and vocational qualifications. Head of school at the time of exam results, Peter Duffy, said: “This is a set of results of which the whole Deyes High community can be proud. This constitutes a superb achievement by the year group under the most extraordinary circumstances and is testament to their diligence, commitment and hard work over the past five years. “This impressive set of results could not have been achieved without the relentless support of parents, staff and governors. Thank you and well done to all involved.” Deyes High School are delighted that so many students will now continue their A-level and Level 3 studies at College@Deyes. The College Level 3 results were once again excellent and as sixth form students celebrated their achievements they were also looking forward to the next exciting step towards their successful futures. Rachel (pictured) saw her fantastic A-level results take her to Leeds University to study chemical engineering, whilst friend Phoebe (also pictured) accessed her course at University of Liverpool to study economics. Director of Sixth Form, Paul Delaney, in congratulating the students, said: “College@Deyes students should be very proud of their results, in extremely difficult circumstances. Our students, with the support of our teachers, have battled against the odds this year and secured amazing destinations at some of the best universities in the country”. Many other students were successful in securing places at further education or in taking their first steps into the world of work via the apprenticeship route and everyone at Deyes High School wishing them continued success in the next phase of their education.

Childwall students celebrate in style After an unprecedented school year which saw them in lockdown and adapting to learning in a very different way, the students of Childwall Sports and Science Academy have really earnt the right to celebrate in style. Ms Vincent, headteacher at the school applauded the hard work put in by everyone to ensure the best possible outcome. “Staff have worked hard to develop the curriculum and adapt their teaching to meet the needs of all learners. “Our students have responded by working tirelessly to bring their hard work over the past five years to fruition. They have been rewarded with a great set of results which reflects their true abilities and potential”. A-level grades at the school have increased for each of the past three years and GCSE outcomes also reported a significant improvement with great progress across the school. Many students are looking forward to going to study at university, move into further education or enter the world of work for the first time. Tom Chen will be studying chemistry at the University of Manchester and Sam Holbrook has already started his apprenticeship as a chartered surveyor with Krol Construction. Achieving outstanding GCSE results this year were Emmy Edwards and Matthew Hughes, who landed 17 Grade 9s between them! Miss Wilde, assistant headteacher, added her congratulations to all of the students. She said: “The results this year across the entire cohorts reflect the commitment of our students to their studies throughout the period of lockdown. The support they received from staff is evident in their success .” 28

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Interview with: Mrs Victoria Beaney, head of school at Deyes High School

Mrs Victoria Beaney is only four days into her new job when Educate sits down with her to chat about her leadership journey to-date and her plans to strengthen the ‘already perfect’ vision for the school.

Hitting the ground running This September marks Victoria’s 24th year of teaching, a career she knew she wanted to go into after her first year of university where she studied English and History at Manchester Metropolitan University. Originally from Marple, near Stockport, Victoria describes herself as a ‘homebird’ as she has always been in and around the North West of England. She said: “I was heavily influenced by my primary school education and the memories that teachers created for me there. So, after graduating I went on to do my PGCE and on the first day of my induction in the school I thought ‘This is really what I want to do’.” “I was no angel at school myself and that made me want to focus on secondary education straightaway as I thought I can do that and I could have a positive impact there.” Victoria has always had a love of literature and so naturally she started her journey as an English teacher. She said: “I have always loved the subject and I have always wanted to be able to have the connection with it. The challenge that every teacher faces is, ‘Can you share that passion and ignite that in somebody else?’. This has always been at the heart of why I wanted to be a teacher.” As a newly qualified teacher (NQT), Victoria started teaching in a rural school on the boarder of Derbyshire. 30

“As it was a very small school, I was something of a unique thing as they hadn’t had an NQT at the school for 10 years but it was such a great experience! “I worked with the head of English who completely inspired me to be the best teacher I could be and to also start my leadership journey early because she didn’t think it was ever too soon. This is something I firmly believe in too as a leader now.” Four years later, and after getting married, Victoria moved to Wigan. That’s when her main leadership journey began. She said: “My first leadership promotion was head of English in a comprehensive in Wigan. For 18 years I have managed teaching and learning, to some degree, and the important thing for me is that I have never come away from teaching. Being in this job now is the first time I’m probably not going to be in a classroom.” Asked how she feels about this, Victoria said: “It is very exciting because it is the job I have always wanted and it’s in a place that has an ethos that I have always wanted. I have only applied for two jobs at this level and now I’m in this position. I think that’s because I knew that this role was the right fit. It’s about personality and the way you can build relationships.”

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There are amazing people who work in schools, who seem to have an endless capacity to improve things for students

Deyes High School is part of the Lydiate Learning Trust. Victoria explained: “As soon as I met the board of the trust I was really drawn to their ambition and their commitment to learning and professional learning. It just felt like this is where I could belong.” Looking back at the inspirational leaders and headteachers she has had chance to work with over the years, Victoria said: “I have been extremely fortunate to be developed by them and I have learnt key qualities. These include being eternally optimistic about what we can do in schools. “It can sometimes be daunting and we’re not always framed in the best light but there are amazing people who work in schools, who seem to have an endless capacity to improve things for students. I’m very optimistic and even in this situation

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now I feel that we can do it.” Victoria is a people person and this is where a lot of her focus lies. She continued: “Putting people first and developing positive relationships is the real way forward. It’s also about building wider relationships with parents, the community, governors and those within the trust. It’s about having that positivity, openness and honesty and being ready to work really hard because you believe in what you’re doing.” For Victoria, leading a school is not a ‘one fits all’ formula. She explained: “Not everything works for every school. This is my fifth school in my journey and they’ve all been very different and the solutions for each school are different. You’ve got to be very agile in your leadership and be prepared to change the way you do things sometimes. “I have that flexibility about me –

it's not my way or the highway! It’s about what is the best way for Deyes High School to move forward and looking for those opportunities to find solutions.” Whilst her official start date was on Tuesday 1 September, Victoria was appointed on 20 April. She said: “Since that point, I have been working with the executive team and the senior leadership team. [The pandemic] has obviously made things very complicated but in other ways it has really been an opportunity for me to get to know people on a different level before the students returned. “Talking to staff on Tuesday morning, some of which haven’t been here [in the school] for sixth months, my key message was all about reassurance and that we can all do this. We can make it a safe and happy place, and we can still learn in the ways that we want to and develop

ourselves and our students, but we just have to do it in a slightly different framework for the moment. She continued: “We are trying not to think of it as the things that we’ve lost or things that we’re having to catch up on. Our wellbeing is going to be a massive priority and we'll come back stronger.” For many new headteachers, they will set about developing a new vision for the school when they arrive, but for Victoria she was delighted with the one already in place; ‘Engage, Enable and Empower’. Victoria said: “I was really lucky to come to a school where I didn’t feel the need to create a new vision – it encapsulates everything that I would want to do with the whole community at Deyes High School. Being part of the trust means we can collaborate with the best and we can share our academic excellence with others. She continued: “This vision is about making sure that everybody knows the starting point, knows what we’re all about and are ready to start a journey with us. “You can use the term ‘engage’ in so many ways but really I see it as that you’re committed, taking part and that you’re on board. The ‘enable’ is everything that we do in the middle - it’s the quality of teaching and learning, together with the focus on people and relationships. It’s about giving the students the best opportunities that they can have.” Victoria said: “The result of that is that you’re ‘empowered’. Every school has the responsibility, in my opinion, of empowering a student through the curriculum, through the social and emotional education and through extracurricular opportunities. “Empowerment for me is about the day that they do have to leave us. There will be doors open everywhere for them and they’ve opened them for themselves, with our support. Their futures should be limitless and I just want them to know that they have that chance after the seven years of being with us. She concluded: “If you have got the power at the end of your journey at Deyes High School to do what you want to do next, then we have lived our vision.”

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Education News

Joining up the dots Schools to celebrate creativity despite COVID-19! As children and young people go back to school this term, teachers have been working hard to adapt their classrooms and schemes of work to deliver a new recovery curriculum focussing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student’s mental health, rather than purely ‘catching up’ on core subjects. Acknowledging that art is a key way for students to process their thoughts and feelings to try to make sense of the pandemic, dot-art invite teachers to participate in the dot-art Schools programme as part of that recovery process. The positive impact of their programme on students’ well-being has been proven. Research carried out by Hope University and Curious Minds last year, showed that taking part in dot-art Schools can nurture children and young peoples’ creativity and boost their confidence. Carolyn Murray, dot-art Schools project manager, said: “We learnt that the

students gain a measurable sense of selfrespect from the process. “Participating in our competition can also raise students’ aspirations and engage student’s families.” The annual dot-art Schools interschool art competition is a wellestablished fixture in the academic calendar which is in its ninth year this autumn. The programme was established in 2012 in response to demand from local schools and the side-lining of the arts in the curriculum and to date over 8000 children from 481 schools have taken part. Carolyn added: “We don’t know what next year holds but our hope is that we can go back to a face to face exhibition and prize giving event. If not, we will once again offer a virtual exhibition and online prize giving. We are very grateful for the support of the Arts Council of England, along with our sponsors Medicash and Arriva North West, which enabled us to present the 2020 exhibition online in a new virtual gallery

environment. See for yourself by visiting “I’ve been absolutely amazed at the ways digital platforms (like dot-art Schools) have allowed for creativity during lockdown. As we begin to recover from the pandemic, I hope that schools embrace these new ways of learning and new ways of working”. Victoria Merriman, from Arts Council England, said: “I also hope that the arts and creativity will be key drivers in restoring a broad and healthy curriculum that helps our young people rediscover their confidence in learning and build their cultural capital”. Registration is now open for primary, secondary and special schools across Liverpool City Region and beyond to join the next ninth annual dot-art Schools competition taking place in 2021. To find out more and sign your school up now for the competition email, call 0345 0176660 or visit

Three social media apps recommended by the experts A new academic year brings new ideas and strategies. For many schools and colleges, they will be rethinking or continuing to enhance their communications approach, and social media will no doubt be high on the agenda. With this in mind, CPMM Media Group’s PR and social media management team has recommended three apps to help support schools’ social media channels. What’s more, they’ve taken into account school budgets and they are all free to use. 1. Canva If you want to create more engaging social media graphics then Canva is the app for you! Whether you want to make inspiring quotes, design posters or if you just want to make sure all communications are uniform and ‘on brand’, Canva will help you achieve all of this and more. It has a variety of images and backgrounds available to use for free as well as the option to upload your own graphics such as the school logo or staff and student pictures. Simply download the finished graphic and upload! 2. InShot This app is ideal if you have lots of photos you want to share. As Twitter limits tweets to four photos per post, InShot allows you to create a slideshow/video containing all the images you want to share. It will even edit the size according to the social media 32

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platform you want to share it on so that it displays correctly. You can upgrade to a pro version but the free version is more than adequate for everyday needs. 3. Management tools There is a variety of social media management tools on the market that can keep social media accounts in order. Programmes such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Tweetdeck allow you to schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so that they go out at your preferred time, for example in the morning before school or after school hours in the evening. Some programmes let you track engagement and interactions so that you can monitor what types of posts work best and at what time. Many are available as an app for iPhone and Android mobiles as well as desktop internet browsers. If you would like to chat more about the expert social media or PR services that CPMM Media Group offer, call the team on 0151 709 7567.

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Case Study:

City of Liverpool College DCE Engineering were recently tasked to carry out annual servicing of the commercial catering equipment across all five of The City of Liverpool College campuses which includes, Duke Street, Vauxhall Road, Clarence Street, The Arts Centre and The Learning Exchange. Our Director, Brendon Doyle, states: “The City of Liverpool College are a fantastic customer to have, whilst being very enjoyable to deal with, they insist on efficiency and a high level of support at all times. DCE are happy and proud that such an organisation would choose them to make sure their equipment is efficiently maintained at all times.” The college servicing is usually due in February, during half term, to make it less troublesome for the college. Our system notifies us six weeks before the due date so we can liaise with the always accommodating Rob Grugel and get the required servicing booked in at a time that suits the client. All of the relevant information is uploaded to our EMS (electronic management system) in preparation of the Engineers attendance. The college has state of the art catering facilities at their Duke Street site, which kept the team busy due to the fact that there are well over 200 appliances located within the bakery and training kitchens.

arranged through me with minimal fuss, with certain dates and tight deadlines being adhered to. The engineers are knowledgeable, friendly and always happy to help or answer queries. The reporting of breakdowns and the subsequent response times are equally impressive. I’m very happy with the agreement currently in place and would have no hesitation in recommending DCE to any potential clients.” If you run a commercial kitchen that needs maintenance or servicing DCE can help. We have a team of expert accredited engineers who have years of experience in installing, servicing, repairing and maintaining commercial catering equipment. We insure all your appliances are working to their optimum performance and kept in line with safety regulations. Contact DCE today to discuss your business requirements and arrange for servicing at a time that suits you.

The engineers are knowledgeable, friendly and always happy to help or answer queries

Once the servicing is completed, we begin to compile the reports and remedial quotes immediately. Our aim is always for customers to receive their reports, certificates and quotes no later than three days after the service is completed. Electronic copies of these reports were sent to Rob and we made him aware of any remedial works that are required. We do stock a large quantity of parts at our premises and in any occasion when we don’t have a particular part, we have a very efficient chain of suppliers. Rob Grugel of Liverpool City College says: “The servicing is

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Education News

Educate Awards receives high volume of entries

The team behind the Educate Awards has revealed they received an incredible amount of entries this year, despite the challenging times. Hundreds of schools and colleges from across the North West have proudly shared their achievements for the 2019/20 academic year and entered one or more of the 21 categories available. Due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the team has confirmed that the announcement of the shortlist will take a little longer than usual. Founder of the Educate Awards, Kim O’Brien said: “Like many organisations around the UK and the rest of the world, we have been affected by the virus and have been working from home, although we are now back in the office one day a week. “Because of this, our usual way of preparing the shortlist for the judges has had to change and is taking more time to complete. Therefore, we expect to announce the shortlist sometime in October.” The Educate Awards, in partnership with Copyrite Systems and Ricoh, is set to take place on Friday 20 November at the Liverpool Cathedral. Kim continued: “We would still very much like the ceremony to take place in November, however, given the current situation and changes to the guidelines we do have a provisional date booked for the end of January. “Of course, we hope it won’t come to this as now, more than ever, we need to honour the education sector and the hard work of leadership teams, teachers and support staff in our schools and colleges around the region.” Without the support of organisations and businesses, the Educate Awards wouldn’t be what it is today. A huge THANK YOU goes to this year’s associate sponsors, which include: All About Stem, Angel Solutions, Careers Inc, CER Education, CPMM Media Group, Liverpool Diocesan Schools Trust, LJMU, LSSP, Satis Education, Supply Well and Winstanley College.

When you need to talk A new service aimed at people who are feeling anxious or depressed has been launched in Merseyside. Talk Liverpool is a free NHS psychological therapies service run by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. As we start to ease out of lockdown it’s important to acknowledge that what we once knew as ‘normal’ is now changing. The trust work with people who are feeling depressed and/or anxious and are registered with a Liverpool GP. Talk Liverpool have different treatment options available, based on individual need, aiming to help you to develop skills to overcome their problems. At the moment, the trust are able to offer computerized cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) and short online courses which can be accessed flexibly, as well as appointments over the telephone, through Attend Anywhere (a secure video call platform), and face to face sessions where possible. To refer yourself or to find out more, including whether this service is right for you, please visit their website at You can also self-refer by calling 0151 228 2300 (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm), or alternatively your GP can make a referral on your behalf. 34

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Brook to host the UK’s biggest RSE lesson The UK’s biggest online sex education lesson is set to take place on Wednesday 16 September. Brook – the leading young people’s sexual health and wellbeing charity – will host the online lesson as part of its 2020 Sexual Health Week campaign. With many schools introducing Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) this September, Brook’s Big RSE Lesson will be available to all secondary students’ in year nine and above. The one-hour virtual lesson will be broadcast to thousands of schools, students and parents across the UK through online platform Learn Live. To date, more than 2270 people have registered to tune in on the day with thousands more expected. The lesson will encourage open conversations around healthy relationships and touch on the effects that lockdown has had on young people. These topics will enable students to recognise what a healthy relationship looks like covering key areas such as consent, relationship behaviours, online relationships and where and how to seek advice and support. This year’s Sexual Health Week theme, ‘Get Your RSE in Gear’, celebrates inclusive and inspiring RSE, and this lesson is just one of the many activities Brook will be delivering throughout the week. The week-long campaign aims to prepare and equip teachers with the tools and confidence required to deliver inspiring and inclusive RSE that young people will love. Dougie Boyd, head of education at Brook said: “As RSE is to become compulsory in schools in England, we wanted to kickstart the academic year with a super engaging and informative lesson that will set the tone for the year ahead. At Brook we believe all young people have the right to high quality, inclusive RSE, and we are proud to provide teachers with the skills and confidence they need to deliver just that. “Brook’s Big RSE Lesson is exciting for so many reasons, not only is it an innovative way to deliver core RSE topics, it will boost teachers’ and parents’ confidence, enabling them to start engaging in challenging conversations in the classroom and at home.” The lesson will take place on Wednesday 16 September from 10 – 11am and can be live streamed via Learn Live. It will be available to view for 12 months following the broadcast day. To sign up to Brook’s Big RSE Lesson, head to

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The heart of organisational improvement


in academy trustts. Educate magazine catches up with the two companies to find out more about their new governance review service, and how they are supporting academies to ensure their governance is effective and fit for purpose. Good governance is at the heart of organisational improvement, but is all too often overlooked. For the education sector of especially y, the effectiveness eff governance is a key element to strong leadership and providing quality education to students. For academies – independent, selfgoverning schools that are funded directly by the government – the need for robust governance has dominated national headlines in the wake of high-profile failures within the sector. 36

With over 1,000 Multi Academy Trusts in England alone (BESA, 2019), parents need to be assured that leaders at the helm have the right governance in place so that children can thrive. Satis Education and Wrigleys Solicitors have launched a new comprehensive governance review service for academy trusts which improves decision making, reduces risk and gives those that govern an academy the skills and confidence to challenge and support. The two companies are no stranger to the educational landscape. cape. Educate Aw wards sponsor Satis Education is a social enterprise which offers executive leadership recruitment

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recognised team of de edicated lawyers who work with a range of academy trusts and have encountered and resolved many different governance issues. “The service combines the complementary sector expertise of Wrigleys Solicitors and Satis Education to provide academy trusts with a thorough review of their governance function and targeted recommendations and support where action is required,” said Helen Stevenson, co-founder of Satis Education. “Academy trust governance has become increasingly important as the academies programme has expanded and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESF FA) A has sharpened its focus on the effective governance and compliance of academy

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Governancee trusts to ensure the future success of the government’s flagship policy,” Helen added. Wrigleys Solicitors and Satis Education have created a governance review service which comprises of three levels of service. Option one focuses on the effectiveness of governance and includes an analysis of areas such as board, committee and local governing body minutes, terms of reference and the scheme of delegation, interviews with key individuals, observation of a board meeting and a review of the most recent skills audit. Option two centres on compliance with key regulatory requirements, including a review of the articles of association, funding agreement(s), audited accounts, registers of interests and related party transactions. Option three combines the reviews provided in options one and two to provide a comprehensive assessment of effectiveness and compliance across all key areas. Each option concludes with a written report on the findings and recommendations and support where action is required. The two firms say conducting an independent and external governance review has many benefits. “They provide academy trusts with a more objective diagnostic assessment than their own self-evaluation and help them look dispassionately at what is working well and what is not and what needs to change or improve,” said Helen. “It will also provide important evidence to refute any suggestion or view by the ESF FA that the academy trust is not being governed effectively and so must be subject to intervention and re-brokerage.” The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is being felt in all areas

of our lives, and the world of school and academy governance is no different. “Covid-19 has not only required academy trust boards to hold their meetings by phone or video conference and so understand the rules of engagement for virtual meetings, but has also drawn the roles of trustees and local governors and their responsibility for staff into sharp focus,” said Helen. “We have seen academy trusts achieve some amazing things and this will continue. Academy trusts therefore need to understand how effective governance can support them and this is where our governance review service can provide them with the understanding and insight they need. Many executive tive leaders within MA ATs have commented that without the support of their boards during this time their role would have been much more difficult. Having an effective board means that executive leaders receive support and challenge in equal measure, which is key to good decision making,” added Helen. The consequences of poor governance are troubling and far-reaching, with a recent report by the Public Accounts mittee (P PA AC) calling for better bette Committee governance of the academies sector and greater transparency and accountability to parents and mmunity y. “Poor governance governanc the community undermines the effectiveness of academy trusts in securing the best education outcomes for their students and their financial sustainability,” said Helen. “Effective governance must therefore be a core focus of every academy trust if they are to ensure their future success. Where poor governance reveals itself in the performance and

attainment of students, the finances and/or non-compliance with the Academies Financial Handbook, the Department of FA will Education and the ESF invariably intervene which will lead, where they are so minded, to a Financial Notice to Improve and ultimately the re-brokerage of the academy trust. The ramifications of this are farreaching, with students paying the ultimate price,” Helen added. The new service takes away the guesswork and provides academy trusts with a thorough review which identifies areas that can be improved and recommends key actions to ultimately ensure success. With years of combined experience in the sector, Satis Education and Wrigleys Solicitors have a detailed understanding of the governance and compliance frameworks so leadership and management teams can rest assured that they are in safe hands. Alongside regularly conducting governance reviews, Helen says leaders in academy trusts should also educate themselves with the latest guidance and focus on recruitment. “It may seem tedious but taking the time to ensure you are compliant with the Academies Financial Handbook and your funding agreement(s) will avoid catching the attention n of the ESF FA for a minor infringement. Also, ensure you recruit trustees from a range of backgrounds and ensure they receive a strong induction, along with ongoing training.” To arrange a governa governance review for your academy trust or for further details on the service, please contact Helen Stevenson at Satis Education on helen@ or Graham Shaw at Wrigleys Solicitors on

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Education News

Campaign highlights crisis The shocking extent of the hygiene poverty crisis As children in the UK go back to school following lockdown, British charity Beauty Banks has partnered with GoFundMe and Superdrug to reveal the shocking extent of the hygiene poverty crisis in the classroom. The charity has identified the stigma as ‘HYGIENE SHAMING’ and believe it to be a two-fold issue. • Self-shaming: the shame a child feels because they can’t afford to be clean • Peer-shaming: being shamed and bullied by peers because they can’t afford to be clean Jo Jones, co-founder of Beauty Banks said: “We identified the term HYGIENE SHAMING as shame is at the root of modernday poverty. The pandemic has shone a light on this issue, with the focus on cleanliness and hygiene dramatically intensified. “Now more than ever, if you can’t afford to be clean you can be stigmatized, victim-shamed and bullied and that stigma, that shame is internalized, and you shame and blame yourself. It’s a catastrophic barrier to learning.” The report also highlighted the impact that bearing witnessing to hygiene shaming has on teachers with: • 1 in 3 teachers saying they were upset and saddened from witnessing hygiene shaming • 41% have seen parents affected because they can’t provide for their children as they wish to • 1 in 5 teachers are suffering from depression as a result of dealing with hygiene poverty Educational Psychologist, Joyce Fullarton commented on the Beauty Banks findings: “There is a growing body of qualitative evidence that hygiene poverty has a very significant negative impact on school attendance, achievement, mental health and wellbeing. Recent research has reported that girls who experience hygiene poverty are more likely to experience stress, anxiety and depression, lack confidence and find it hard to socialise. They are less likely to be successful in GCSE exams and unlikely to sit A-levels. “Not only is their educational outcome affected but their sense of self can be badly damaged by their feelings of shame and by being targeted by their peers. Hygiene poverty is a long-

standing worldwide issue and one that should not exist in the 21st Century.’ Sali Hughes, co-founder of Beauty Banks, said:, “Shame makes children and adolescents feel small, humiliated and bad about themselves. The effects of shame are connected to depression and anxiety disorders – all of which make learning harder and friendships more challenging. “These matter hugely in a child’s life and consequently, in a teacher’s. We cannot in any good conscience allow children to feel life limiting shame over a lack of deodorant, toothpaste and soap. We need to help teachers to give kids the hygiene essentials they need to thrive.” The Beauty Banks, THE KIDS ARE NOT ALRIGHT campaign, exists to drive awareness of the stigma of hygiene shaming and to remove the barrier to learning it creates. The charity will be raising money to send personal care and hygiene products to children in need via their school. They will also be lobbying brands directly to donate unused products and launching a kids-4-kids programme that encourages children in schools not affected by hygiene poverty to fundraise and support a school in need with a child who needs a hand-up, not a hand-out. More information can be found at

Angel Solutions hosts Balance Live Sessions with educational specialist Mary Myatt Angel Solutions recently achieved lockdown success with their production of Balance Live Sessions. Since the launch in May, Balance Live Sessions attracted hundreds of educators weekly to watch free webinars with top educational guests. Hosted by a range of experts including Mary Myatt, Ross McGill (of Teacher Toolkit ) and The Literacy Company, the webinars have focused on a broad range of topics within education. Covering everything from curriculum, to professional development, to supporting teachers with EdTech and back again – spectators also benefited from training on Angel’s timesaving tools, some of which were made free to help schools during lockdown. Angel Solutions CEO Andy Kent said: “Due to the success of the webinars, we will continue producing them throughout the academic year and they will remain free of charge. COVID-19 has created a difficult time for educators, so we want to create a place virtually where they can be inspired, develop professionally and connect with others.” 38

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Webinar attendance has risen since the COVID19 outbreak as more events move online. Julie Ashwell, headteacher said: “I felt truly inspired by the potential and opportunities both Balance Lite offers and the excellent thoughts and ideas shared by Mary.” Angel Solutions are offering Balance Lite, their curriculum tool, free to all primary schools. Created alongside subject specialists, schools and teachers across the country – Balance Lite helps schools form a recovery curriculum. The Autumn Term is set to hold even bigger and better Balance Live Sessions with more special guests, including the return of Mary Myatt. You can sign up to the Balance Live Sessions for free via Eventbrite at: Saturday 12 September - 10am - Lucy Flower Monday 5 October - 4pm - Mary Myatt Thursday 22 October at 10am - Adrian Bethune and Dr Emma Kell Monday 26 October - 4pm - Becky Carlzon

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Interview with: Ricky Boleto, Newsround presenter

CBBC’s Newsround has been on air since 1972. The format has evolved over the years and now the team behind it has announced that it will produce an eight-minute daily bulletin to air every morning on CBBC and BBC iPlayer, while its popular Newsround website and new YouTube channel will offer more in-depth stories and features than ever before.

News is all around Educate recently had the opportunity to interview Ricky Boleto, one of Newsround’s longest serving reporters. Ricky started on the show aged just 22, after studying a degree in Journalism at Southampton Solent University. 1. What made you want to work for Newsround? I grew up watching Newsround religiously. It was part of the make-up of coming home from school and watching it, as back then there wasn’t lots of channels to choose from. For me it was the only programme out of most of the content on CBBC that I felt was relatable and something that I could connect with. I really felt that Newsround spoke to me and told me what was going on in the world in a way that I could relate to and connect with. I guess it always felt like a safe space for me and hopefully that’s why it is still relevant today. 2. What does a typical day entail at Newsround? It has changed an awful lot since I started at Newsround. The focus and 40

the emphasis were very much on the bulletins we had throughout the day especially the key bulletin we had on BBC1, and that’s obviously changed as viewing habits have changed. We don’t come to the morning meeting now to discuss what we should be doing as a report for TV, instead we have meetings throughout the day, starting from 6am, to discuss the bulletin but also the website and editorial. If it is something that I have been assigned to, I will go away and think of ideas and think of ways to make it relatable for a younger audience. 3. What areas of the news do you like reporting on the most? The big areas for me are social media, latest trends and topics in the playground that children are interested in. I’m also really keen on consumer affairs, especially things like gaming. A lot of children can get into trouble with running up huge amounts of costs because they are not savvy with them. 1. What has been your favourite memory so far at Newsround? Meeting Prince William! He was such

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The most exciting thing is that teachers can use the morning bulletin as a tool to engage with their class and spark debate

an incredible person. We did a story with him and took a cancer patient called Alice who was getting treatment at The Royal Marsden Hospital, which his mother was president of and William is now too. We thought it would be a lovely idea to get Alice to meet him and so we went to Kensington Palace and it was just us in a room with him and a camera team – it was so relaxed and informal. Prince William even told us how he used to watch Newsround as a child! 4. Have you ever been star struck when interviewing someone famous? This is something that I’m not proud to admit at all but I still watch

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Neighbours and we had Jackie Woodburne, who plays the character Susan Kennedy in the soap, on the show. I was about to get married and asked whether she would be part of the wedding video and she said yes! I was totally star struck with that! 5. Have you always wanted to be a reporter/presenter? Yes. When I was young, I used to sit in my bedroom and make pretend front covers of magazines and newspapers. I even used to pretend I had my own radio show and would record myself interviewing people. Like I said earlier, I used to watch Newsround and it was a dream for me to fill the shoes of the likes of Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Julie Etchingham and Lizo Mzimba, as you used to see them getting such great access. 6. What is the best thing about your job? The best thing about my job is being one of the first to find something out. We’re very lucky in this job to normally get the information before our audience has heard it first. Having that responsibility means we have to work out the best way to impart that information for our audience. Also, I love meeting our audience and meeting children in schools because that is sometimes where we find out our stories. It’s not always easy to find out what kids are interested in unless you are talking to parents, teachers or you have children yourself. 7. Newsround has announced some exciting new changes, how will this benefit children and schools? Newsround is going to be available for more children in more ways. Newsround is now on CBBC in the morning for an eight-minute-long bulletin which is longer than it has ever been before. This means we’re packing it with more stories and more analysis by using some of the brilliant BBC journalists that are at our disposal to explain to us what is happening around the world. The most exciting thing is that teachers can use the morning bulletin

BBC Newsround Ricky Boleto. Image Amy Brammall

as a tool to engage with their class and spark debate. Around 750,000 children are watching the bulletin in schools during term time which is huge! When something terrible happens, for example terrorist attacks, teachers turn to us because they sometimes struggle to explain in a sensitive manner what's happened and they can rely on us to do that. 8. What advice would you give to children who want to become a presenter/news reporter? The best advice is to start young and

to start writing, or if writing is not your thing then create videos and vlogs. Talk or write about stories you’re interested in, don’t just do stories because you think it is important. Look at the area around you, perhaps talk to neighbours or to people who you can get some great information out of - look into stories that haven’t been touched upon before. Journalists are all a little bit nosey! We all want to know what is going on so I think it’s good to appear interested and ready to listen.

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Education News

City ready to welcome rugby stars The Rugby League World Cup comes to Liverpool The Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) is set to take place in England next year, with three games to be held in Liverpool. The highly-anticipated fixture schedule promises to be the biggest and best World Cup in the history of the sport, as the men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams all compete at the same time in a major sporting first. Liverpool will host three fixtures at RLWC2021, starting off with an Anfield double-header, before staging the wheelchair final. The full fixture list for Liverpool is as follows: England vs Canada (Women’s) –Anfield (Saturday(Saturday 13 November) – 12.00pm Men’s Quarter-Final (Teams TBC) –Anfield (Saturday 13 November) – 14.30pm Wheelchair Final (Teams TBC) – M&S Bank Arena (Friday 26 November) – 19.30pm In June, it was revealed that Liverpool will be the team training base for the men’s teams from Tonga and Italy. The RLWC2021 is to also take the tournament’s values and the core principles of sport into the classroom as a powerful educational tool for school children across England. The RLWC2021 Education Programme will not only educate but also motivate the next generation of rugby league fans. Designed by teachers for teachers, the classroom resources will allow educators to devise and deliver themed lessons which capture the cultural and geographical scope of this unique tournament, featuring men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions simultaneously. The schools signed up to the education resources will also have access to ticket offers and competitions to win exciting World Cup prizes including trophy visits, ambassador visits, World Cup memorabilia and much more. Rob Unsworth, the new head of PE at Rainford High, said: “Rugby League is the perfect vehicle for developing the whole child. It benefits a wide range of fitness components and is the ultimate character-building activity, pushing many pupils out of their comfort zone whilst fostering; resilience, team work,

courage and confidence.” The engaging curriculum-linked resources are available to download now, as teachers plan for the return of school. Tracy Power, legacy director of RLWC2021, said: “This is a perfect example of bringing our tournament strapline of “the power of together” to life through this exciting schools programme. “By harnessing the inspirational nature of RLWC2021 with schools and children across England, we can now deliver a project which can showcase rugby league as a force for good in our core communities.” “We hope to take RLWC2021 into as many classrooms as possible through this programme as we continue to deliver on our mission to leave a lasting legacy.” To sign-up for the educational resources, visit: For more information on the RLWC2021 fixtures and tickets, head to

SupplyWell lead the way in digital education Education recruitment specialists SupplyWell have expanded its team with the appointment of Reed regional director; Robin Brabyn who joins the Liverpool based start-up as chief operations officer. Robin said: “I joined SupplyWell because of their vision to lead the development of digital recruitment in education. This will directly support the teaching community, save money for schools and enable them to direct resources where they are really needed. “Our digital platform will also deliver fairer pay for supply teachers that gives them a career that has parity with their permanent peers. I am delighted to be a part of driving this change that will directly improve education in the UK”. SupplyWell is a Liverpool based company co-founded by former teacher Mike Heverin who said: “Robin is on board to take us to the next level. We have seen rapid growth over the past 10 months and he has the drive and motivation that matches our own. We are serious about the problems we are solving. “To partner with the release of our tech this month along with our digital online health platform, Teach Healthy, we are now 42

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helping even more schools to take control of their absence and staff wellbeing”. Robin joins SupplyWell with over 16 years experience of recruitment at the highest level both in the UK and internationally.

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Appointments News School Improvement Liverpool appoints new Director of Education Taking up post earlier this year, Jonathan Jones has become Director of Education for Liverpool. This role combines Chief Education Officer and Director of School Improvement Liverpool. Jonathan’s background is long-established in education and since 2007 he has held various senior leadership posts. Jonathan has previously been an HMI with Ofsted and specialist adviser for education policy, including SEND and mental health. He was born and bred in Liverpool, although this is the first time he’s had the opportunity to work in the city. Improving the standards and

life chances of children and young people is of absolute importance to him and he is delighted to be working with Liverpool schools and staff who have deep understanding, care and ambition. Jonathan is particularly keen to ensure that children are taught how to read properly and that children with SEND have their needs met in a timely way. He is well aware of the challenges that can get in the way of this and is committed to tackling them. Jonathan is happy to be back in his home city and has been inspired by how school communities have been adapting and rising to the current challenges and their irreplaceable role in society.

New appointments for Liverpool primary schools Following the retirement of Dennis Hardiman, Liverpool’s longest serving headteacher, the Federation of St Cuthbert’s and St Sebastian’s has appointed two new headteachers. Claire Bellis Knox will be the headteacher of St Cuthbert’s and Jacqui Mulligan has been appointed headteacher of St Sebastian’s. Both teachers started their journey as new qualified teachers (NTQ) at St Sebastian’s with Jacqui starting as an English teacher in 1993 and Claire as a PE teacher in 2000. Claire said: “I will endeavour to ensure that the outstanding

provision that St Cuthbert’s is renowned for is further built upon. I am proud to say that I will be the headteacher of a school that is at the heart of our wider community. “Our school motto is: ‘In love with Christ: Be the best I can. Be kind to one another. Amen.’ United through faith, I hope that our school community will continue to commit to enabling each and every child to achieve their full potential, as will the leadership team of our school.” Jacqui said: “I am extremely excited and honoured at the prospect of being the headteacher of St Sebastian’s. It will be a huge privilege to continue to serve the community.

“Our school live by our motto of being kind to one another. I hope that all staff and pupils will continue to strive always to only do their best in everything they do, as will I. If we all continue to strive for our best, our community will continue to flourish.” Chair of governors Pat Moloney, said: “The governors are delighted to have appointed two exceptionally talented teachers as headteachers who are steeped in the culture and ethos of our schools”. The schools will continue as the Federation of St Cuthbert’s and St Sebastian’s with one governing body.

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F Four our n new ew a appointments ppointtments att R Rainford ainfor o d High High

Rainford High has announced the promotion of four members off staff. After 14 years as PE Faculty Leader, Gary Makin, has taken on the new role of director of personal development and whole school CEAIG (careers education, information and guidance).

whole school teaching and learning, early career phase teacher development and the introduction of the new School Direct programme.

programme and leading on the pastoral and academic support structures for disadvantaged students across Yea e rs 7-11.

Stephanie will also be an ELE (evidence lead in education) for Meols Cop Research School. She will fulfil this role alongside her new role at Rainford High.

Finally, Laura Wall has been promoted to director of vocational subjects. Her role is to coordinate the delivery of vocational subjects across the school and work with the school’s partners.

Personal development and wellbeing are crucial elements of the school curriculum and the whole school ethos of Everyone Matters, Everyone Helps, Everyone Succeeds. The role will ensure all students at Rainford High, and schools within Rainford Academies Trust, have access to high quality personal development and CEAIG that reaches across the school curriculum and beyond to support their development as well informed, productive and successful members of the school and wider community.

As an ELE, Stephanie will help schools across the region in implementing evidence infor o med practice. This may involve leading or co-leading twilight events to communicate latest research findings, delivering on training courses for schools, or visiting schools to support them in turning theory into practice.

Stephanie Charlesworth, who was previously NQT lead and head of French, has accepted the position of director of learning and development. The position will involve leading and supporting

Laura will be responsible for leading the whole school strategy for school events, supporting disadvantaged students accessing the support and developmen ent

Former Learning Leader, Laura Cross is to become director of stakeholder academic engagement with responsibility for disadva antaged studenttss.

Laura will be responsible for raising the profile of vocational subjects and support the teaching and lea e rning to improve student outcomes. Principal of Rainford High, Ian Young, said: “I am delighted that we have stren ngthened the senior team even further. Gary, Stephanie, Laura and Laura have been part of Rainford High for many yea ars and represent everything the school stands for. “These new roles will ensure our students and staff continue to be supported in the best possible way and I look forward to seeing how this will benefit the school as a whole.”

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Appointments News Patrick Ottley-O’Connor moves to Bolton school Patrick was originally brought in by the Northern Schools Trust which the academy is part of - to assist the deputy headteacher, Emily Vernon and support her in becoming principal of the school. Two years on, and feeling that the specific job that he came in to do was complete, Patrick has left Emily at the helm and has chosen to take on a 12-month position at Westhoughton High School. Former executive principal of North Liverpool Academy, Patrick Ottley-O’Connor has taken on a new headship at a school in Bolton.

Speaking to Educate magazine, Patrick said: “The current head [of Westhoughton High school] is retiring and my job

is to go in for 12 months, make some changes and recruit a new headteacher. It’s all about creating sustainable leadership and recruiting the right people for the right schools and levelling things outs.” Patrick and his new senior team will quickly work towards putting the children back on a recovery curriculum following the disruption to classroom learning caused by the pandemic. You can read Educate’s in-depth interview with Patrick OttleyO’Connor on pages 17-19.

Always a Whitefielder A journey of leadership for Jill Wright Jill Wright was appointed as Headteacher at Whitefield Primary School in July. Jill has had a rather unusual career path as she joined Whitefield as an NQT in 1990 and having taken on many roles in school and several secondments, she has always returned to Whitefield. Jill said: “I am very proud to now be the headteacher of this wonderful school”. One of the most interesting roles Jill has enjoyed was as a nursery

teacher in Dodoma, Tanzania. Her knowledge of outstanding EYFS provision and Swahili improved considerably during this time! It is still Jill’s belief that EYFS is one of the most important places in the school and that a solid foundation is essential to the future success of children. At Whitefield Jill is delighted to work in partnership with Early Excellence to improve the life chances of its children. Jill has also worked as an English advisory teacher for the LA and supported schools with curriculum development and English. She is a trained reading recovery teacher and reading is her passion. Gill said: “I believe that every child can and should learn to read. Reading gives our children access to a world of knowledge and experiences which will enable them to life full lives which make

the most of their opportunities.” Leading a school in the current circumstances is certainly challenging but at Whitefield Jill knows that the school is much more than a building; it is a family. Its children have returned to school excited and happy and all staff are delighted to welcome them back. Jill added: “As we move forward we have many things to look forward to. Whitefield has been shortlisted for Pearson School of the Year and we are working towards World Class Schools status. We are developing our attachment and trauma approach to learning and being assessed for the Rights Respecting Schools gold award in November. “I am very proud of the children, staff and parents and I am looking forward to growing and developing our school to provide the best possible education for our children.”

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S SK KC College ollege G Group roup a appoints ppoints n new ew Principal Principal and and Chief Chief Executive Executive The go overnors at SK College Group are pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Pierce as the new principal and Chief Executive of St Helens College and Knowsley Community College. Simon has replaced Interim Principal, Ms Monica Box. Simon undertook his first teaching role in the further education sector as a lecturer in biology at St Helens College, and over 30 years later, he is delighted to be returning to the College where his career began. Simon has over 20 years’ experience

in FE colleges, including his most recent position as deputy principal at the City of Liverpool College. He also brings his extensive local knowledge and expertise to his new role, having gained over 11 years’ experience working with government agencies, including a position as area director for Greater Merseyside Learning and Skills Council and as a senior advisor for the Department for Education in Greater Manchester and Cumbria. Commenting on his appointment, Simon said, “I am privileged to have the

opportunity to lead SK College Group. I look forward to working with students, staff, governors and other stakeholders and serving the communities and empl p oyers of both boroughs.” Susan Jee, chair of governors for SK College Group, said: “We are very pleased with Simon’s recent ap ppointment. He was, without doubt, the ideal candidate the board was hoping to secure. The expertise and experience Simon will bring to St Helens College and Knowsley Community College will rapidly accelerate our strategic ambition and secure long-term success.”

New New head head of of school school for for Deyes Deyes High High School School Victoria Beaney has been appointed the new head of school at Deyes High School. Having previously held positions at schools in High Peak, Warrington and Wigan over the years, Victoria is now settling into her new surroundings and is looking forward to working with the Lydiate Learning Trust, which Deyes High School is part of. Speaking to Educate magazine, she said: “As soon as I met the board of the trust I was really drawn to their ambition and their commitment to learning and professional learning. It just felt

like this is where I could belong.” Victoria officially started at the school on 1 September but has been working closely with her new team since the end of April, thanks to the previous head of school allowing her to get a head start. She added: “I am both honoured and delighted to have been appointed as the new head of school and to lead it in our next exciting stage of development.” To read Educate’s interview with Victoria Bea aney in full, turn to pages 30-31.

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A revolution in education

The Future of Learning by Hannah Fowler

Has the Pandemic Unleashed a Revolution in Education? One-way corridors, handwashing stations and ‘bubbles’ will all be the new normal as schools, colleges and universities look to reopen after five months of closures. But the pandemic has also

transformed the way students learn and how educators teach - moving away from physical classrooms to the remote world of digital learning and video calls. Are these changes here to stay?

Educate interviews three different providers to find out how they are preparing for a new academic year in the shadow of Covid-19.

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A revolution in education In March, UK schools and universities closed their gates to all but the children of essential workers and those deemed the most vulnerable. This presented a huge challenge for students, parents and educators, who had to navigate a new world of home learning. The UK’s internet use surged to record levels in June (Ofcom, 2020), highlighting the shift to online learning, video-calling and apps. With an increased focus on the role of technology, it has been difficult for some education providers to make the transition online without compromising the quality and integrity of teaching and learning. According to the National Union of Students (NUS), about 20 per cent of university students have been unable to access any of their learning during the Covid-19 lockdown.

coming academic year will be a great mix of the things we know and love about our courses,” said Sarah. “That on campus feeling and being able to make the most of the facilities and an enhanced digital provision - more opportunities to connect and meet online [and] enriched digital resources. Our hybrid approach will help our students make the most of the both present in person and digital experiences.”

country has been extremely high,” said James Madine, CEO of Progress Schools. “Our dedicated team of teachers and attendance officers have been making daily welfare calls and checks to students not in attendance, visiting them at their homes to offer support and guidance and ensuring that any safeguarding concerns are addressed and/or escalated where needed,” added James. The effects of social distancing, the lockdown, loss of loved ones, and stress-inducing media reports has taken its toll on everyone’s mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic. For some children, school is their only safe haven, a place where they can thrive, learn and develop – something which was taken away from many during the height of the crisis. Over two thirds of young people said that their mental health has gotten worse during the period of lockdown restrictions (Mind, 2020).

“the mental health and wellbeing of many students will be far greater than any previous start to academic year”

“We have a long history in technology enhanced learning and had key systems, such as a virtual learning environment, in place before the pandemic,” said Sarah Wright, Senior Lecturer in Primary Education and Senior Solstice Lead at the Faculty of Education at Edge Hill University (EHU). “This certainly put us in a strong position to be able to react rapidly when things began to change.” The new term will start in October for returning students at Edge Hill and the University is intending to deliver face-toface teaching in small groups alongside making full use of digital tools to provide an inperson learning experience. “I genuinely feel that our

“We’re very much about community at EHU so it was about finding ways to keep those connections and that personal approach to the university experience but in a digital way. That has ranged from digital coffee clubs and large lectures using a range of technologies right through to the option to pick up a phone for a video chat with the people you’d usually bump into in the corridor,” added Sarah. Progress Schools is a national organisation with independent secondary schools based across England. Throughout the pandemic, it has remained open to provide the most vulnerable students with access to “education, support, guidance and safety at a time when the anxiety of the

One of Progress Schools’ students, known as CM for confidentiality, has struggled during the last few months. The care home where he lives went into full lockdown and Progress School staff were keen to do everything they could to support him. The staff sent out work which involved projects such as World War II, alongside English and maths. Once completed, CM returned his work to the team and responded well to this structure and continued support while at home. And once the lockdown eased, CM returned to school

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A revolution in education and worked with a dedicated staff member, which provided stability and a constant support network. This targeted support approach has given CM, and others like him, the confidence and motivation to focus on their futures amid all the uncertainty. Andreas Schleicher from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) believes that Covid-19 has proved the need for students to develop better social and emotional skills so they can “navigate ambiguity” and take responsibility in times of crisis. James echoes these thoughts, with the organisation placing a strong focus on mental health and wellbeing in September. “After six months of anxiety, lack of guidance, support or boundaries at home, the mental health and wellbeing of many students will be far greater than any previous start to an academic year,” said James. “It is expected that this will provide a catalogue of challenges that we have worked with staff on over the course of the last half term to best prepare for. Staff will also be returning to school a full two weeks before the start of the term to ensure that they are fully ready to embrace the challenge and ensure that all schools are fully Covid compliant.” Research shows that between April and May, primary and secondary school students were spending about 5 hours a day on average on home learning (IFS, 2020). But the crisis has also highlighted existing inequalities in our education system, pupils from middle class homes were twice as likely to take part in daily live or recorded lessons than those from working class households (Sutton Trust, 2020). As the school day moved online, 52

the digital divide was clear to see, from schools lacking resources and knowhow to shift classrooms into the virtual realm to students with no internet access or support network at home to help with their learning. If education is to shift into the virtual world more permanently, these inequalities need to be addressed so that students, parents and educators can adapt to this ‘new normal’ and ultimately drive success. “The entire education profession has done a phenomenal job of responding to the emotional and social needs of learners before we even begin to think about the technological aspects we’ve got to grips with,” said Sarah. “What Covid-19 has done is expose parity of experience; one of the biggest ways in which this should change education is ensuring learners have what they need, when they need it regardless of their circumstances.” In April, the Department of Education (DfE) launched a range of support through its Get Help with Technology programme. Support included providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to local authorities and academy trusts, grants to set up digital education platforms and access to a peerto-peer support network for effective use of technology. For the new academic year, more laptops and tablets have been made available for disadvantaged children in certain year groups and those who have been advised to shield. “We have taken part in the programme launched by the DfE aimed at providing some students with both the hardware and internet access and we look forward to rolling it out next

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year even further,” said Ania Hildrey, headteacher at Abbot’s Lea School. “Where barriers persist, we would go out of our way to continue teaching and supporting students who struggle the most.” “We have already been able to access pupil premium funds for looked after children to purchase laptops and internet dongles where needed,” added James. “We are continuing to work with local authorities to best support those students who remain limited to online accessibility at home. In addition, we have accelerated previous plans to establish an online moodle system to supplement our existing English and maths online learning facility, which provided students with access to their portfolio-based qualifications.” As a school catering for students age 3-19 with Autism and associated complex learning and social communication needs, Abbot’s Lea School in Liverpool has had to adapt all areas of its approach due to the pandemic. Some students attended hub and reduced on-site provision when the school re-opened, but the vast majority of their students accessed learning from home. “We had some students with full access to the online world and others where no such access was possible at all,” said Ania. “Our support varied from weekly phone calls to every family, personal home visits to some, weekly pastoral sessions with the students and online learning platforms. We also sent printed materials home to the students and signposted families to a range of ideas and projects to meaningfully occupy their children’s time. We continued with weekly assemblies, added

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A revolution in education bedtime story reading and maintained our therapy provision to the students, families and the staff who needed it.” Ania recognises that nothing will ever be the same, and the start of Abbot’s Lea’s new term will look very different from previous years. “All of our meetings with families, including annual reviews, will be carried out remotely (with the exception of those families that simply do not have any access to the internet). As the learning onsite is also likely to be interrupted from time to time by the peaks of the pandemic, we are now more ready than we were before, to ensure that teaching simply transfers onto an online platform. We will be teaching online for more time each week than before, likely mirroring a lot of the timetabled activities,” added Ania.

one another,” said Sarah. “The physical classroom walls can sometimes create barriers; working in a more digital environment has helped educators to rethink and reinvigorate how, when and where learning can happen and that has made some real magic happen. It’s vital to understand that whilst technology has

come. “Education is going to be tested beyond recognition,” said James. “Those students in years 10 and 12, starting years 11 and 13 in September, are likely to be significantly adversely impacted as a result of a fivemonth gap in their studies, so as difficult as this year’s cohort has experienced inequality, the chances are that next year’s cohort will see even further suffering.”

“We will be teaching online for more time each week than before, likely mirroring a lot of the timetabled activities”

Many argue that the remote world is no real alternative to bricks and mortar classrooms and lecture theatres, where social cues such as facial expressions, body language and eye contact are easier to ‘read’. While technology has increased ways for us all to connect, it also highlights our distance from each other. The social togetherness of bustling campuses, cafeterias and staff rooms have been missed over the last five months, but Sarah thinks embracing these challenges give us all the opportunity to rethink education. “We’re realising that those relationships and connections that make education tick can still develop and flourish even when we’re miles apart from

been invaluable throughout this whole period, it’s less about the vehicle and more about the driver - it’s the energy and dedication of educators and learners that has kept things going. I’d hope that there’s a well-deserved and perhaps new-found respect of just how difficult teaching can be!” “Covid-19 has united people in a shared experience, I’d like to see that this - coupled with greater skill and confidence in technology use - could see collaborations beyond the physical confines of spaces, learners connecting from different environments and with different experiences to really broaden the ways in which we think about education.” The dark cloud of coronavirus may have some silver linings, but challenges still persist and are likely to be felt for years to

“Education will always prevail,” Ania added. “It is not only a statutory duty, but it is a fundamental right, too. It will change its shape, be delivered in different ways, via different media, promoting different foci, for sure. For example, we know that the Recovery Curriculum is now on everyone’s minds, with the focus during the next year on not just catching up, re-learning, but also genuinely learning to withstand the social pressures associated with the pandemic.” Alongside our health system and the economy, education has dominated headlines from the very start of the crisis. As schools and universities re-open, thoughts have now turned to the future of education – will there be an end to the predominance of exams and physical classrooms? Will the major leap forward into fully embracing digital technology continue to grow speed? Education providers from every sector have stepped up to adapt and change to fit the rapidly evolving landscape. In the heart of any crisis is an opportunity, and only time will tell how the ‘new normal’ for education will evolve for future generations.

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In pictures: A-level and GCSE results days

A-level and GCSE results days 2020 in pictures Educate was on hand across the region to capture the moment students received their centre assessed grades for GCSE and A-level results this summer. Our special results day gallery celebrates the hard work and achievements of students and staff with lots of happy faces, as well as many jumping for joy. The class of 2020 have faced unprecedented upheaval, but schools and colleges did their best to ensure students could still celebrate their well-earned results.

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In pictures: A-level and GCSE results days

Eva Carroll from Carmel College who is off to The University of Cambridge

The Blue Coat students standing proud

Another pleased Carmel College student

Students from St Margaret’s Church of England Academy compare results


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Pupils from The Blue Coat School celebrate great results

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In pictures: A-level and GCSE results days

Staff and students are pleased with their results at St John Bosco Arts College

Annabelle Robinson at The Studio Liverpool celebrates getting in to Cumbria University

A bright future ahead for this student from The Studio Liverpool

Hip hip hooray for these three Gateacre School Year 13 students Educate The Magazine for Parents and Pupils


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In pictures: A-level and GCSE results days

All the learning has paid off for this Gateacre School student as she celebrates her results

Faith flying high

Ready to receive the results at Studio Liverpool


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Samrudhi from Liverpool Life Sciences UTC ready to spread her wings

Jessica Loftus from Rainford High School sharing her results

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In pictures: A-level and GCSE results days

Rainford Sixth Form A-level students jump for joy

Smiles all round for Rainford Sixth Form students

Smiling Winstanley College student: Mohammed Ali Aerona

Tom Aspinall, Winstanley College student with his results

Winstanley College students Hannah and Oliver on A-level results day Educate The Magazine for Parents and Pupils


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In pictures: A-level and GCSE results days

Students at St Mary’s College celebrate their results

A very pleased All Saints Sixth Form College student

Thumbs up for the results at All Saints Sixth Form College

A happy group of friends at St Hilda’s


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Amy from St Hilda’s CE High School sixth form with her results

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In pictures: A-level and GCSE results days

Another excellent year for students from St Mary’s College

Very happy students from Formby High School A big thumbs up from The Blue Coat School students

Delighted pupils from Formby High School with their GCSE results

A very proud parent at The Blue Coat School Educate The Magazine for Parents and Pupils


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In pictures: A-level and GCSE results days

Proud students from The Academy of St Francis Assisi (ASFA) with their results

Delighted students from Deyes High School celebrate their GCSE results

A big thumbs up from Gateacre School


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Great results for Year 11 students from Gateacre School

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In pictures: A-level and GCSE results days

Students from St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School receive their results

A Year 11 student from Maricourt Catholic High School collecting her results

Jumping for joy, students from St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School

All smiles from an Archbishop Blanch School pupil

Maricourt Catholic High School students celebrate great results

Celebrations at Archbishop Blanch School Educate The Magazine for Parents and Pupils


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In pictures: A-level and GCSE results days

A socially distanced results day this year at Rainford High

A perfect photo opportunity at St Hilda’s CE High School

Ready set go! Rainford High Year 11 students jump for joy after receiving their GCSE results

Students from St Hilda’s CE High School received their results in a very different way this year


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Another happy St Hilda’s student

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In pictures: A-level and GCSE results days

Olivia and Emma from The Studio celebrate their results

A very happy student from Liverpool Life Sciences UTC

Celebrations for Childwall Sports and Science Academy Year 11 students

Jacob from The Studio Liverpool achieved fantastic results

A big thumbs up from The Studio Liverpool students

Childwall Sports and Science Academy students celebrate whilst social distancing Educate The Magazine for Parents and Pupils


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Hitting the ground running - a new academic year

Back on Track “What a year it has been.” We guarantee you have thought or said something along those lines even though the year isn’t anywhere nearly over. For the education sector, we now enter a new academic year which is usually seen as a fresh start, but instead of looking forward, we must also look at catching up.

The closure of schools to the majority of students back in March, meant that teaching as we knew it was put on hold. Instead virtual learning was introduced and for the most part it was very successful, but it was no replacement for the real thing. Senior leadership teams and teachers have spent the last few months deciding how to get their students back on track. The new Year 11s and 13 have had to watch the year above them collect their results without sitting any of the normal end of year exams and so what’s in-store for them and the other year

groups when they return?

In this issue, we speak to staff from a number of schools and colleges across the region to find out how they’re feeling about the new academic year and what their plans are following the interruption to the education of a generation of learners. Michael Kennedy, principal of St Mary’s College in Crosby, said: “We are optimistic for the new academic year even though we realise that we could potentially be faced with another abrupt interruption at any time. ‘Stay positive’ is the theme - we are planning for a full return to lessons but within the safety parameters set out by government in July.” Mr Kenndey continued: “Our Year 10 pupils responded excellently during the lockdown last year. They were given brilliant remote learning support by teachers in terms of personal ‘virtual’ contact, tasks to do as well as feedback on how to improve. Some pupils responded even

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Hitting the ground running - a new academic year

better than when in school! “Certainly, it is food for thought for future modes of tuition, study and assessment to complement the more traditional approaches. We are confident that our Year 11 pupils will manage to get back on track although in some of our more practical subjects such as music, PE, design and technology they will bound to have some catching up to do as these have more ‘tactile’ aspects to them and so were restricted more than most in some parts.” Over at Liverpool Life Sciences UTC, the principal, Jill Davies, and her team have adapted and adjusted their ways of teaching. She said: “We have worked tirelessly to try to reduce the impact of closure on our new Year 11s. We hit the ground running as we are already a ‘google school’ meaning that all of our students use google classroom as an integral part of their regular learning.

challenge is not impossible and we are ready for it! We have adapted our timetables, adjusted our ways of teaching and even tweaked our school days to get on track as smoothly as possible.”

from St Bede’s Catholic High School. Taking place via Zoom over two nights, head of school Kevin Maddocks welcomed new students and their families to the academy over the internet.

For the new Year 13s, Liverpool Life Sciences UTC will allow them to redo Year 12 if that is best next step for them. Jill said: “Students going in to Year 13 need to be ready for completing their level 3 qualifications in the next 8 months and some students need the

Students found out about the typical school day, the subjects they will study and the vast array of extracurricular clubs on offer. They also learnt about the uniform and academy rules and values. For primary schools, things will be equally as different and perhaps more difficult to manage when they have to explain to children they can’t work and play with their friends like the used to.

“We are optimistic for the new academic year even though we realise that we could potentially be faced with another abrupt interruption at any time.”

“I am completely aware that accessing the learning is only one track, for us the key to success is establishing and maintaining positive professional relationships with our students. Staff were in contact with our most vulnerable students every week and lessons were delivered virtually. Jill continued: “All of these efforts mean that getting back on track, whilst remaining a

opportunity to revisit the content from Year 12. “We are in the unique position to provide individual additional tuition for all students studying sciences and maths with no additional costs to the students whatsoever!” For many children they will be transitioning from primary school to secondary school. Most schools had to make the difficult decision of cancelling their taster days and think outside the box for other ways in which to welcome the new cohort. The Academy of St Francis of Assisi in Kensington held a virtual welcome evening after seeking inspiration

Deputy headteacher, Marie Beale from Whitefield Primary School, said: “We are really looking forward to reconnecting with our families and children in September and hearing their stories of lockdown, refocusing and moving on together. We know it will be challenging and some of the logistics are difficult but we will work together for the children, as we always do; our parents, staff and the wider community.” Plans have been carefully thought-out at Whitefield Primary School on how they will get pupils back on track. Mrs Beale also said: “We have been working as a staff team to think how we might best support all our children when we return to school after lockdown. Our curriculum intent written before the

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Hitting the ground running - a new academic year pandemic is full of ambition for our children, a desire to widen their perspective and give them opportunity. COVID-19 has not altered that passion and focus.

and achievement. He said: “Staff are ready to be that re-assuring face in September and persuade pupils that they are still on course to achieve their potential.

professional relationships with the amazing young people that trust us with their futures. Not only is that the biggest challenge but also the most rewarding part of the job!”

“Thus, our focus coming back will be on looking at what each child needs to flourish, grow and to rebuild from their individual experiences of lockdown so that they continue to meet their potential. That will mean focusing on the children’s social, emotional and mental health as well as their basic skills and an aspirational curriculum. We understand that rebuilding will start with a focus on relationship and reconnection, with staff and with peers. We want to ‘build back better’!

“Continuity is always at risk when a local lockdown could be imposed at short notice nearly anywhere. I am fortunate that the fellow leaders in my team

Educate also spoke to Tom o Wallace who works for Balance – a curriculum tool for teachers – to find out how this innovative programme can help teachers get back on track with their work load.

Let’s Let’s not fool ourselves that there is a magic quick fix, but see this as an opportunity opportunity to grow from, and form deeper understanding about school practices and children’s children’s learning.”

What will be the biggest challenges for schools this academic year? Mr Kennedy believes it will be re-assurance, continuity

have anticipated challenges excellently and planned accordingly. Already we have on-line provision ‘lined-up’ should we need to transfer again to a remote learning model. The aim is to maintain continuity as seamlessly as possible regardless of where and how learning happens. For Liverpool Life Sciences UTC, Jill realises there are things she can and cannot control. She said: “The biggest challenge is to focus on those that you can control and making those as positive and rewarding as possible whilst not worrying too much about the things you cannot control. “My focus is on our students, my colleagues, our families and our values, building strong, positive and

He said: “Balance’s unique curriculum tool allows schools across the country to review their personalised curriculum – examining content from March onwards. From here they’re able to determine what is vital (disciplinary) knowledge or skills (KPIs) that children need to know and secure in order to progress through the curriculum this academic year. “By using Balance’s powerful curriculum analytics, teachers can identify key children whose gaps in learning are greater than their peers, and create opportunities for specific ‘learning events’ to help close the gap.” He concluded: “Understanding children’s current attainment following lockdown isn’t easy. It takes time, planning, seeing a bigger picture with the understanding that this may take weeks, months or even years to recover from – and that’s okay. Let’s not fool ourselves that there is a magic quick fix, but see this as an opportunity to grow from, and form deeper understanding about school practices and children’s learning.”

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You will get to see what day-to-day life is really like for students at the award-winning school! You will have the opportunity to see inside the school’s state-of-the-art facilities, find out what subjects are on offer, meet the friendly students and knowledgeable staff, and understand why its ethos Everyone Matters, Everyone Helps and Everyone Succeeds is so important. To register you interest, email: or call 01744 885914 EVERYONE EVERYONE Matters Matters EVERYONE EVERYONE Helps EVERYONE EVERYONE Succeeds Succeeds

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The team at Rainford High would love to meet you face-to-face and personally show you around the wonderful school buildings, however, it is sadly not possible. So, therefore, please join Rainford High for its Virtual Open Days starting from 28 September - 2 October.

To find out more, please visit:

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EDUCATE16+ Education, training and employment

Mind the Gap UK needs young skilled people now more than ever before Caroline Arnold, senior admissions and conversion officer, Faculty of Engineering and Technology Liverpool John Moores University. Rapid technological and societal development has meant that the UK needs young people skilled in engineering, construction and technology now more than ever before. In 2019, the Institution of Engineering and Technology found that 31% of employers surveyed had expanded their engineering and technology workforce over the last three years and that recruiting engineering and technical staff with the right skills is the largest obstacle that they face now. This skills gap is because of an increased demand for skills, due to rapid sector expansion, and a replacement demand where employees are leaving the sector at a quicker rate than those joining, which threatens future industry expansion. There is currently an estimated annual shortfall of 59,000 new engineering graduates and technicians. There is such a wide range of career pathways available in engineering, construction and technology but young


people are often unaware of the opportunities open to them. Figure 1 (below) shows how subjects taught in school and college feed into the variety of career pathways in these industries. Common misconceptions about these careers often means students do not consider these pathways. Professional engineering and construction roles do not all involve working with tools and machinery. A diverse skill set is required across these industries. For example, engineering is incredibly creative; engineers are required to generate innovative solutions for challenging problems. These roles and skillsets are also not just tied to the industries you may expect. For example, graduates with data science or artificial intelligence (AI) specialisms are required in more than just the tech industry, they have a role in retail, finance, transportation, energy and even professional sport analysis. AI specialist is now one of the top emerging jobs according to Linkedin’s Emerging Jobs report and The World Economic Forum has predicted that there will be 133 million new jobs across

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Desirable Skills for Engineering, Construction and Technology • • • • • • •

Problem solving Creativity Critical thinking Analytical skills Team work Detail orientated Communication

nearly all industries as a result of AI automation. Because of these skills gaps, employment opportunities are excellent. There is an abundance of positions with not enough skilled people to fill them. Over 80% of all LJMU graduates from the Faculty of Engineering and Technology are in employment of further study within six months of graduation. There are multiple education routes open to students to pursue these career pathways, including HNCs, HNDs, and degrees. Degree apprenticeships offer an attractive mode of study by combining part time study (with no tuition fee cost to the students) and on the job experience whilst receiving a salary from an employer. There are increasing numbers of degree apprenticeships available within the engineering, construction and technology industries. The opportunity to address some of the biggest challenges facing the world has never been greater and engineering, construction and technology really are at the heart of the solutions. To find out more about opportunities in engineering, construction and technology, contact LJMU Outreach.

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Carmel College biology teacher wins wildlife art competition

All things Higher Education

Reaching out How the LJMU outreach team can help your students

Carmel College biology teacher, Daniel Wilson was named artist of the month for August by the UK based conservation charity, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF). Daniel was also named amongst the 159 shortlisted entries for the final exhibition for this year’s ‘Wildlife Artist of the Year’ competition which received 1,200 entries from artists across 53 countries. Daniel’s outstanding charcoal drawings are also available for sale in DSWF’s online shop. A portion of the sale of these stunning artworks goes to preserving endangered African and Asian species in the wild. Daniel said: “My exhibition for artist of the month consisted solely of my charcoal work. There are several pieces available in my signature style. I plan to create some new original works over the month and intend to experiment more. Hopefully, I will deliver my best work yet. “There is an assortment of animals being shown as part of the exhibition in a range of sizes, so I am hoping there is something for everyone,” Daniel’s exhibition is comprised of stunning, wolf, gorilla, cheetah, and leopard charcoal drawings. Also featured in his exhibition are tigers, elephants, lions and snow leopards – a few of the deeply threatened species DSWF works to protect. 74

As we enter a new academic year, universities traditionally support sixth form students with a variety of support sessions including personal statement workshops and thinking about university sessions. These sessions are designed to complement the Higher Education research students undertake during the UCAS Exhibition season (MarchJuly). This year has been an exceptional year with students sadly being deprived of such face to face support. Like schools/colleges, the outreach team at LJMU have had to change the way it operates, whilst continuing to offer usual services to students and teachers via online formats of delivery. Typically, the outreach role in the LJMU team consists of regular travel up and down the country to speak to students about the benefits of university and to deliver associated support sessions. Last year, up to lockdown team memebers had travelled 8220 miles delivering outreach. The team, like many universities, started to deliver a series of webinars and bespoke virtual sessions for schools/colleges so they could continue to meet their needs whilst working remotely. Before the announcement of lockdown, they produced a series of videos to support students at all stages, which was open access giving students the ability to access them at any time that suits them. aduate-students/outreach/virtualdelivery-outreach-support). September-December always proves to be a busy period for university outreach teams, but this year they plan to be more flexible than ever. They are conscious that students have missed support they usually would have received before the summer and therefore they are

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working to provide this support in a safe way, particularly for those who must make their UCAS choices in the Autumn for starting university in September 2021. LJMU is more than happy to deliver bespoke webinars to small groups, classes or full assemblies, they will also be running a series of themed online events including virtual open days. They can adapt the way they deliver face-to-face events in schools/colleges if this is permissible, with safety being their top priority, and hopefully later in the academic year they can welcome school and college students back onto LJMU’s campus. As teachers and advisers, what do you do next? Keep in touch with your university contacts. Let the LJMU outreach team know how they can support you and your students. Book sessions early as the diaries are already beginning to get busy. Let the LJMU outreach team know if you would like them to visit your school/college or deliver a virtual session (and what platforms you can and can’t use). If you’re not sure what activities LJMU can offer, then view websites such as or their own Outreach pages aduate-students/outreach. The next academic year will continue to be challenging, but LJMU are there to support in advising on all things Higher Education and LJMU. They offer more than university specific sessions, (EPQ, Study Skills, Student Life talks, what next after GCSEs etc.) to help young people make the right choices to progress to HE, so please do not hesitate to get in touch ( and organise sessions to support your students.

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Setting new standards St Helens Chamber Business School has recently implemented the new apprenticeship standards, replacing the previous apprenticeship frameworks, and two hard-working Pilkington staff have already seen great success with the new qualification. Jac Appleton and Daniel Francis completed the new team leader/supervisor apprenticeship, giving them a Level 3 management diploma, and have excelled in their results; achieving a distinction and merit, respectively. Jac Appleton, online coating production supervisor at Pilkington, said: “The training was great. The help I got from Lee Johnson and the rest of the tutors at the Chamber was really helpful – no question was too small or large and they were always willing to help guide me through my work. “I would recommend an apprenticeship with St Helens Chamber to anyone who is looking to build on their skills, I’ve already recommended the training to a couple of people in the team who have seen how well the training has worked for me.” Jac secured a promotion half way

through completing his training, and has since inspired other colleagues at Pilkington to follow in his footsteps. Matt Buckley, managing director at Pilkington, said: “At Pilkington, we are keen to invest in our staff development, so we chose to work with St Helens Chamber Business School to upskill our workforce. “We are absolutely delighted with Jac and Danny’s results. Their training was delivered to a very high standard, and they gained a range of practical skills and knowledge specific to their job roles, which helps the development of the business” St Helens Chamber Business School provided a tailored training plan for Pilkington staff, working closely with the management team to ensure it suited their business needs. Matt added: “As we’re such a

specialised business, we needed a training provider who could work with us to accommodate our needs – and St Helens Chamber did this for us. I couldn’t be happier with the results.” The new apprenticeship standards are occupation-focussed, rather than qualification-led. This means that they are employer-led and businesses can specify exactly what is needed from a trainee in their job role; and trainees benefit from gaining the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for their specific role. John Westhead, director of training services at St Helens Chamber, said: “It has taken a lot of hard work over the last couple of years to make the transition to the new apprenticeship standards, while ensuring we maintain the same highquality delivery businesses and students expect from the Chamber, and I’m proud of how our training team have risen to this challenge. “We are so pleased for Jac and Daniel, the first two management students to get their results under the new standards. It is clear that their hard work has paid off. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Pilkington to continue training and developing their workforce.”


Careers advice helping to map the way in to the medical industry Choosing a career can be a challenge at any age, but as a young student where anything seems possible, how do you narrow it down to one particular industry or specific job role? A student from Outwood Academy Valley had dreams from a young age of becoming a doctor. She had confidence that she would achieve the grades to help her progress in to this profession. The challenge for her was not choosing what career her future would hold, but choosing the right path to make her dreams come true. After spending a lot of time in a Professional Learning Community (PLC), she missed a large part of Year 10, and called upon her CareersInc adviser, Rachel, for extra support. They started sessions which took place throughout the year where they would meet up regularly to discuss the different educational routes and pathways that would best suit her. During one of the sessions, the student had informed Rachel that she preferred not to study both biology and chemistry at A-level, so they researched all of the medical schools in the UK to find out the entry requirements. Successfully achieving her grades in 2019, she went on to study biology, psychology and English literature at college and plans to do a foundation year in biomedicine in the 76

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future. Rachel recently contacted her to see how she was getting on at college. She responded:“I want to thank you again for all of your help, honestly, even at college there is nobody like you. They expect you to make your own plans and go to them when you’ve decided but that’s awful for such an indecisive person like me! Nothing tops the support you gave me.” As the designated careers adviser for Outwood Academy Valley, Rachel regularly stays in contact with students to check on their progress. Rachel said: “My job has to be up there within the top ten most rewarding job roles! Helping young people to map out their career journey and see how their skills can link to the various job roles available to them gives me the greatest feeling of job satisfaction. “I can remember how hard it was being that age and not having a clue what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” This is just one example of many young people who CareersInc have supported nationally to visualise their career journey. Careers advisers can assist school leavers with their next steps after Year 11, discuss the various routes in to higher education and help with the likes of CV writing and interview tips, as well providing careers advice and guidance. For futher information contact:

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School leading the way Abbot’s Lea School transform KS5 provision Woolton’s award-winning specialist school has announced it has transformed its Key Stage 5 provision for the new school year starting this September. Abbot’s Lea School, which specialises in the highest quality education for students with autism and a range of associated learning needs, has reviewed its curricular offer for students aged 16-19, and recognised that there needs to be even more preparation for independent life and work as the leavers enter the big wide world. Headteacher, Mrs Ania Hildrey, together with the new deputy headteacher, Mrs Emily Tobin, and other members of the leadership team, have developed a unique curriculum that focuses entirely on the transition to adulthood. The innovative school has devised a multifaceted approach, which explores how the young adults can strive towards independence, and live a healthy and happy adult life. Over several months, students will take part in a range of modules that cover: team building, mindfulness and wellbeing, personalised independent travel, budgeting and career planning. The curriculum will, unsurprisingly, concentrate heavily on the world of work. Students will be supported to create a personalised career plan, based on their talents, strengths and what they would like to do after they leave school. No plan will be seen as too ambitious, as the school believes that an autism diagnosis is not a barrier when it comes to future life opportunities. Quite the opposite – each person is cherished for what they bring to the school, society and the potential workplace. Specialist staff will help students work out which path is right for them, whether that is progressing onto a further education college, exploring options for entry into higher education, or entering the workplace via a programme such as a supported internship or an apprenticeship. Mrs Tobin said: “The new Key Stage 5 curriculum will be completely unique and personalised to our students. This year, we will have over 40 young people entering this Key Stage, which is a ringing endorsement for the popularity of our school, and the parental trust we are graced with. It is also a sign of the fantastic relationships students establish with our staff and the continuity of support and guidance we provide to our young people. “All that said, however, our approach must be increasingly outward-facing. We must work together with the students to help them move on from the safety and security of the school onto their next steps. The key is creating a transition plan with our students; not for our students and gaining family support for the next phase of increasingly independence.” Mrs Hildrey added: “Education is lifelong and it neither starts when a child enters school, nor ends when a young person leaves it upon graduation. Equally, some students are ready to leave school at 16, whilst others benefit from another year, two, three at school. “Through this more flexible approach, we hope that we will depart from a current (often unhelpful for the students’ progression) assumption that, once you enter Key Stage 5 at Abbot’s Lea, you stay until you reach the age of 19. Instead, we want to work really flexible, dynamically and in a truly personcentred way to accelerate the readiness for progression out of school and onto the new pathways of learning – be it at college, work-based learning or, indeed, the school of independent adult life! “I am confident that this new approach will engage young people more and provide them with a more self-determining and therefore, empowered, educational model. 78

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One parent said: “This yet again confirms how Abbot’s Lea views my son – as a success, someone who will live an independent, contributing and rewarding adult life. I would be lying if I said the thought of moving away from Abbot’s Lea School doesn’t worry me a little – as much for me as my son, but I know it is the right next step for him.”

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Research Circles An exciting innovation for collaboration and action Edge Hill University’s Early Years Education Department is developing the idea of Research Circles to foster better collaborations and encourage knowledge that can be adapted for practical work in the classroom. Research Circles bring together groups regularly with the purpose of exploring, through research, a common issue and possible solution for future action. They aim to foster further development of more collaborative university/early years’ workforce partnerships to: • Improve knowledge transfer • Identify collective areas of interest • Facilitate effective research collaboration • Disseminate the findings of each research project in a collaborative way One current project underway at Edge Hill University is exploring the impact of the Government’s 30 hours free childcare scheme and the impact it has on the operation and leadership of a day nursery. Others in development include a project with a community school, with a focus on communication, language and literacy (CLL), considering local issues and the impact these are having on speech development, language and vocabulary. Another is looking to explore

a nursery school’s role in developing cultural capital. As part of the development of its Research Circles work and broader commitment to partnership working, Edge Hill’s Faculty of Education is looking to build similar regional partnerships to undertake collaborative, commissioned research with different educational settings. The faculty is keen to support projects

that are highly relevant to the sector, and that have the potential to impact positively on children and young people’s lives, as well as on teachers’ practice and on institutions. The faculty is also committed to sharing the outcomes of research more widely for the benefit of the education sector. If you are interested in collaborating in this way, contact Professor Amanda Fulford:

Wargrave House LEAP College honoured at inaugural Natspec Awards Wargrave House LEAP College in Newton-le-Willows were delighted and honoured to win the ‘Partnership Working Award’ at the inaugural Natspec Awards, which took place virtually in July. The winning project ‘Post-16 and Enovert/Friends of Lyme and Wood Community (FoLW)’ was a collaboration between the college, local employer Enovert and community group FoLW to provide a range of work experience opportunities, including setting up a community allotment and maintaining the environment on site by collaboratively working with Enovert staff and following their instructions. A host of leading post-16 providers that teach students with special educational needs and disabilities were also recognised for excellence in the sector at the awards of specialist further education organisation Natspec. There were over 50 entries to the five categories, which included the partnership working award and innovative use of technology. Chair of the judging panel, former Her Majesty’s inspector for FE and skills Nigel Evans, said: “It was a privilege to judge the awards, as the standard of the submissions 80

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was very high and demonstrates the innovation, expertise and creativity within the specialist further education sector”. Head of Post 16 Learning at Wargrave House LEAP College, Julliet Doherty said: “I am very proud of the students in Post 16 and their positive attitude to working with a range of different employers and community groups. “Winning this award is a huge achievement which celebrates the success of the students collaboration with our supportive employers such as Enovert and Mercure Hotel and community groups such as Friends of Lyme and Wood and Earlestown Cricket Club”.

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There is another way

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SUPPLYWELL uses innovative, easy to use technology which dramatically lowers the cost. SUPPLYWELL saves schools thousands of pounds a year - and still pays teachers more than any agency. Whilst this is fantastic it does nothing to address why schools need lots of supply. There is a mental health and wellbeing crisis in teaching. SUPPLYWELL works with schools to ensure all their teachers are healthy and happy. SUPPLYWELL train Mental Health First Aiders in all the schools they work with: • Free of charge • Acts as a pressure valve for teachers that need help before they need to be signed off • Helps create a wellbeing culture in the school Teach Healthy is a digital health assessment tool that helps teachers understand their physical and mental health - with help and support where needed • Anonymous - teachers can trust it • School gets dashboard and recommended interventions • Fulfills key OFSTED requirement • Proven to reduce absence SUPPLYWELL helps reduce staff absence, increase retention and ultimately improve outcomes for students with consistency in the classroom. For further information contact: 0333 305 0601 or email: Educate The Magazine for Parents and Pupils


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Choosing a career and sponsor University of Liverpool to prepare students academically for careers in this sector.” Students at the school have the opportunity to study health and social care BTEC as well as completing hands on projects and professional qualifications with clinical educators. Liverpool Life Sciences UTC even has a dedicated health care suite, designed as a mock hospital ward and practical technicians that regularly teach healthcare simulations to boost practical, communication and caring skills. They focus on the 6C’s of nursing (care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment) in all of its studies and support their students to put this into practice during extensive work placements. Jill said: “This has supported

our young people to secure adult, child, mental health nursing degrees, midwifery and radiography degrees and places to study medicine at top UK universities.” With over 350 different careers in the NHS, there is a job for any ability and personality. Nursing is one of few professions that offers as much choice or opportunity for personal and professional growth. As we have seen over the few months, it is incredibly challenging but also very rewarding. With four fields to choose from; adult nursing, children’s nursing, learning disability nursing and mental health nursing, it is important to choose your area of interest first. You can start your nursing journey straight from school or college, with most people qualifying by studying a degree. Nursing degrees aren’t completely classroom

based and you will gain lots of practical hands on experience with patients in hospital and community settings – which is completely invaluable! Entry requirements vary between each university but generally speaking you will need at least two-three A-levels of equivalent qualifications at level 3, as well as GCSEs in English, maths and science (usually biology). From September 2020, undergraduate and postgraduate student nurses will also receive financial support to help fund their studies. This ranges between £5,000 - £8,000 and doesn’t need to be repaid. If a full-time university course isn’t for you, there are other routes - you could embark on a nursing degree apprenticeship. This type of apprenticeship provides a more flexible route to becoming a nurse,

The role off a nurse comes com mes with a lott of responsibility responsib and you could co ld be doing d doin tasks such as: • Taking temperatures, blood pressures and pulse rates of patients • Assist doctors with physical examinations • Give drugs and injections • Clean and dress wounds 84

• Set up drips and blood transfusions • Use medical equipment

colleagues at the end of a shift

• Monitor patients’ progress

• Work with doctors and other healthcare professionals to decide what care to give

• Update patient records and handover information to

• Give advice to patients and their relatives

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although you will still need to undertake academic study at degree level and meet the standards set by The Nursing and Midwifery Council. Firstly, you will need to have achieved level 3 qualifications and secured a position as a nursing degree apprentice. Your employer will w then allow you to study at university on a part-time basis. This course usually takes a little longer to complete as it is part-time but you will get to train in a range of practice placement settings. Vacancies for nursing degree apprenticeships can be easily found on NHS Jobs website and also on the Government’s apprenticeship website. Finally, there is also the option of becoming a nursing associate. This is a fairly new role within the field and sees you working with healthcare support

workers and registered nurses to deliver care for patients and the public. A nursing associate is not a registered nurse, but if you choose to take on further training, it can be possible to enhance your initial training and become one. Incredibly, nursing is one of the UK’s most employable type of degrees with 94% of students securing a job within six months of completing their course. Initial salaries can start from £24,000 a year and the jobs come with lots of benefits including 27 days holiday a year, a good pension and other added extras, such as NHS discount within certain shops and restaurants. But remember, this isn’t your average 9-5 office job. You o will work shifts which includes weekends,

evenings and bank holidays. There is lots of progression available within nursing too. With the right experience, you could eventually specialise in a particular area such as intensive care or operating theatre work, or become a nursing sister, ward manager or team leader. Later, you could train to become a midwife, neonatal nurse, health visitor, or district or practice nurse. You o could even move mov into management, for example a matron or director of nursing. There is no denying that becoming a nurse requires a lot of hard work - and that’s before you’ve even qualified! But the job is a fulfilling one as you are making a huge difference to the lives of many people by caring for them and nursing them back to good health.

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Compliance in the time of COVID Welcoming children back to school in the age of coronavirus has had a huge impact on our working lives. From social distancing to the introduction of the UK Government's system of controls, we are living in a truly unprecedented age

Yet, as we move towards a new model of blended learning, it’s important that schools and academy trusts continue to monitor both their buildings compliance and health and safety. Key questions during this difficult time include: • Are your staff’s health and safety needs being taken care of? • Is there a way of reducing staff workload so they can spend time on what matters? • How can you reduce the stresses and anxieties of managing an on-site and working from home workforce?

The process and automation-driven architecture of MyAGS also reduces unnecessary workload (such as chasing for information or looking for folders) allowing staff to focus on priorities and passion projects, which, in turn, has a positive effect on their wellbeing. Designed for today’s blended learning environment, MyAGS takes into account home working as well as fixed sites. As such, MyAGS provides assurance to those in positions of responsibility that their staff are safe and that their health and safety needs are being taken care of. Easy to set-up and cost-effective to maintain, the MyAGS System benefits include: Track your H&S and buildings compliance: Keeping track of staff working remotely couldn’t be easier as they can use the MyAGS app to seamlessly interact with the system to provide instant updates of their compliance status...and peace of mind. Powerful & intuitive: The MyAGS system is basic enough for anyone to use, but complex enough to give schools and trusts what they need to be effective.

If you’re responsible for managing health and safety, Alpaca Global Solutions has the compliance management tool for you. Introducing the MyAGS System The MyAGS System was designed to provide a time and costsaving digital solution to ensure your staff remain as safe as possible, even while working remotely. It will help you maintain health and safety compliance, it’s entirely cloud-based, and it can be fully customised. The powerful system provides a simple solution for managing the workflow of measures put in place to protect your staff.

Easy to use: Simplicity is key. That’s why MyAGS provides every user with full system capability, data can be rapidly extracted from the system, and it's cloud-based so only requires a Wi-Fi connection. Always evolving: The adaptability and ceaseless development of the MyAGS system means it will grow with you and never become obsolete. MyAGS, Your Way: The system’s powerful customisation capabilities allow users to design and optimise the ideal workflow for their school so they can enjoy a bespoke experience with no added costs. With schools and academy trusts facing an increased workload under exceptional circumstances, the MyAGS system offers the education sector a cost-saving, timeefficient, personalised solution for tracking compliance and keeping staff safe.

To find out more please visit call 01992 80 44 60 or email

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Book Review

In association with

5-8 Years The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons - Andy Shepherd £5.99 Eleven-year-old Tomas has a secret friend like no other: Flicker, a dragon with glittering eyes and scales that flicker from fiery orange to ruby red. But Tomas is also having to get used to Flicker being away, now that his dragon's home is back in the frosty North. Adventure is never far away for Tomas, though - as he finds out when another dragon hatches on the dragonfruit tree at the bottom of the garden! Charlie Morphs Into a Mammoth - Sam Copeland £6.99 Charlie McGuffin is an actual superhero. He's gained control over his wacky ability to change into animals - he's even able to use it to turn the tables on school bully Dylan. But there are some things Charlie can't control, like the arguments his parents keep having (which are making him more worried than ever) or the mysterious animal disappearances spreading through town (which might be connected to Charlie himself). Flat Stanley - Jeff Brown £5.99 Stanley Lambchop was just an ordinary boy - until a noticeboard fell on him. Now he's flat as a pancake! Being flat is fantastic - he can be rolled up, sent in the post and even fly like a kite. But it's not all fun and games ... there are thieves in town. Can Flat Stanley be a hero?

9-12 Years Fiction The Trials of Apollo - Rick Riordan £6.99 Things are getting very bad, very fast, for Apollo . . . The former God Apollo is having a pretty rough time of it. Well, for one thing, he's been turned into a human and banished from Olympus. And he's called Lester. But being an awkward mortal teenager is the least of his worries right now. Mic Drop - Sharna Jackson £5.99 It's October half-term and pop star, TrojKat is filming a music video in the The Tri, the high-rise block home to slueths Nik and Norva. When tragedy strikes the famous singer under mysterious circumstances, Nik and Norva set out to solve the case, with their friend George, and their impressive detective skills. The sequel to HIGH-RISE MYSTERY, another whodunnit in the phenomenal mystery series by Sharna Jackson. Dragon Mountain - Katie Tsang £6.49 When 12-year-old Billy Chan finds out his parents are sending him to a summer camp in middle-of-nowhere China he doesn't know what to expect. There he meets fellow campers Dylan, Charlotte and Ling-Fei and together they stumble upon an age-old secret: four powerful warrior dragons, hidden deep within the mountain behind the camp.

Teenage Fiction Midnight Sun - Stephenie Meyer £14.99 Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward's past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger? Cinderella Is Dead - Kalynn Bayron £6.99 It's 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over. Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she's tiny until the night she's sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball ... are forfeit. Boy Queen - George Lester £6.99 While his friends prepare to head off to University, Robin is looking at a pile of rejection letters from drama schools up and down the country, and facing a future without the people he loves the most. Everything seems like it's ending, and Robin is scrabbling to find his feet.Unsure about what to do next and whether he has the talent to follow his dreams, he and his best friends go and drown their sorrows at a local drag show, where Robin realizes there might be a different, more sequinned path for him . . . Are you a librarian, teacher or purchasing manager? Do you buy books for your school? Waterstones Liverpool offers a comprehensive account sales service. Contact Sarah Hughes, Children's Department, Liverpool ONE, 12 College Lane, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 3DL. Tel: 0151 709 9820


Educate The Magazine for Parents and Pupils

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My School Days Heidi Thomas – Dramatist and writer

My schools: My first year of primary education was in a tiny village school in Yorkshire - there was no playground, just a field full of sheep! I was terrified every playtime. After my family moved back to Liverpool, I went to Booker Avenue County Primary in Allerton, then St Edmund’s College, a C of E grammar school, now sadly closed. I then rounded things off with a degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Liverpool My favourite teacher: Mrs Bell, at Booker Avenue. She was a truly compelling educator - she could turn history, science, astronomy and even geology into the best and most exciting stories you had ever heard. My favourite subject at school: History. I can remember learning about the Great War for the first time when I was about 8, and our teacher, Mr Bailey, describing how the blood “was so thick they had to scrape it off the stretchers with a knife”. It was shocking, but I was absolutely captivated. Were you streetwise or a bit of a geek? Suburban children didn’t have to be streetwise in the early 1970’s, for which I am truly grateful. I was definitely a geek - I liked books and I went to church - but mostly just allowed to be myself. I’m not sure I would fare so well in the present day. 90

Educate The Magazine for Parents and Pupils

My favourite childhood singer/band: I loved the Osmond Brothers so much my mum was genuinely worried that I might become a Mormon. My favourite extra-curricular activity: I adored ballet - for 14 years I was a pupil at the Constance Moss School of Dance and Drama. I still love ballet as an art form, though I hung up my pointe shoes when I was 18. Do you remember your first school crush? Yes, and I’m not even going to tell you his initials! In our final year at Booker Avenue, we were both in the school play, which was The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe. He was dressed as a beaver and completely stole my heart. My favourite book: I loved Little Women and Ballet Shoes, both of which I have since adapted for the screen. School dinners: There were no options in Liverpool in the 1970’s! All the food was cooked in a central kitchen, and arrived at school in vans. You ate what you were given, and it was terrible. My ambitions at school: I was hooked on the ITV drama Crown Court, and wanted to be barrister.

Heidi Thomas is one of the UK’s top dramatists, and her acclaimed career in stage, film and television drama spans 30 years. Her award-winning theatrical work has been produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Liverpool Playhouse, Almeida, Royal Court and Chichester Festival Theatres, and seen at the National Theatre Studio, the National Theatre of Norway, and on Broadway. Her classic adaptations for the large and small screen include Cranford, Return to Cranford, Madame Bovary, Ballet Shoes, I Capture The Castle and Little Women. Her writer- creator series credits include the original period BBC drama series Lilies, and the revived Upstairs, Downstairs. Heidi created and writes the worldwide hit BBC show Call the Midwife, now in its 10th season and seen in 212 territories internationally. Her work has been acknowledged and awarded by the Emmys, BAFTA, the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain, the Arts Council of Great Britain. Heidi is also married to actor Stephen McGann, who plays Dr Turner in Call the Midwife.

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