Innovate My School: June 2014

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chers And Experts

Innovative Practices From Tea

Issue 9 Innovate My School Innovation and Inspiration

Big Data in Education Essential SEN APPS Cyber Threats: 10 things schools need to know

The Innovation Magazine For Teachers


contents Innovation update


Cyber threats: 10 things schools need to know


Product round-up


The global classroom


Do online schools really work?


Mindfulness in primary teaching




Essential 1:1 SEN apps


Specialist sports: Karting


Big Data: How can we use it in education?


Big Data: Satisfying OFSTED 30 criteria Turn to page 5 for your chance to WIN a TrilbyBookclub subscription! Magazine Editor – Rachel Johnson Website Editor – James Cain Graphic Designer – Alison Kelly

If you would like to advertise in this magazine, please email, phone 0845 034 6690 or visit

Well hello busy season! The exams may be in full swing and the end of term tensions mounting, but here at Innovate My School we’re delighted to bring you the latest edition of our magazine, brimming with innovative content to diffuse those stressful moments.The excitement we felt when we launched our first digital-only version of the magazine back in February continues thanks to the excellent feedback from that edition. We’re delighted you love the creative, forward-thinking articles and we’re thrilled to bring you our latest magazine, packed with even more technological, creative and inspiring articles that you asked for. Turn to page 28 to read about how we can use big data in education, written by an expert lecturer. There’s also a highly productive guide on how to streamline data as we move into the big data revolution. Our technology series continues with a feature on essential SEN Apps for 1:1 learning, perfect for inventive lesson planning ideas. Page 14 also displays a gripping piece from teacher Jon Tait on the possibilities of sharing and learning with schools across the world through the power of Skype. The Twinterview has travelled from Mexico to Denmark for this issue to talk 3D printers, sensors and the importance of technical skills in lessons with innovation scientist Kaspar Nielsen. Where will it land next?! As always, a huge thank you goes out to our talented and passionate contributors, who allow us to achieve our mission of inspiring educators around the globe. We’re always looking for future writers and suggestions for articles, so do please get in touch if you are looking to innovate! See you all in September!

Rachel Johnson Editor, Innovate My School Magazine


innovation update

Designing the Digital Future of Education Technology is transforming the way we teach – we all know that. But what really interests me as we pave our way through the digital teaching age is the plethora of research emerging into how we can shape education now, to deal with the technological advances that pupils will encounter 10-20 years down the line.

informative article the other day on the Design Commission’s desire for the Government to put design at the heart of the UK digital economy. According to the Design Commission, the UK digital economy won’t reach its full potential without the strategic application of design.

It’s down to the growth in the creative industries, and the report warns that design and digital should be seen as one critical Of course it’s always been the case that, function in driving the economy forward. as educators, we have to be mindful of How do they suggest this is done? You teaching pupils not only syllabuses, but life guessed it: embedding it in primary and lessons and the skills they will need when secondary education so that when pupils they leave education. However, I would enter the job market, they’re already 10 argue that now, more than ever before, we steps ahead and fuelling the rise of the are not even sure how much the technology digital markets. will have changed by the time youngsters come to the end of full-time education. Strong words, but ones I full-heartedly I find it exciting, stimulating, terrifying agree with. Times are changing; teaching is sometimes, but exhilarating nonetheless. changing. We as teachers need to continue What better time to teach than knowing to grab the digital age with both hands and that the pupils of today will certainly be prepare for a bumpy, but life-changing ride working with even more technologies in the into the digital future. I can’t wait to see future that haven’t been imagined yet? what it holds next. I was reading through an extremely 4


innovation update

Sensors boost science skills Coursework is being brought to life in UK schools thanks to a science pilot using Internet-controlled sensors. The devices monitor different environments, and allow pupils to carry out air quality checks and study the weather. Pupils at Writhlington School in Somerset have been using the technology to see how changes to the environment affect the growth of orchids. So far it’s been controlled in the school’s greenhouse, but because of the technology, the school’s future plan is to remotely monitor the same situation but this time from Vietnam. Students at North Liverpool Academy, as well as Alder Grange Community and Technology College in Lancashire, have been using the

WIN a TrilbyBookclub subscription!

monitors to check CO2 levels and learn about ventilation and the dangers of the gas. Launched in August last year, the project aims to prepare the workplace of tomorrow for the digital economy by giving students the opportunity to learn new skills. By experimenting with Internet of Things technology, students can learn about the importance of the environment and how various factors can influence it.

Pupils carry out air quality checks The project is funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, and supported by a consortium of technology companies and universities.

Find me and win!

To celebrate the second edition of our digital-only magazine, we’re giving one lucky winner the chance to win a TrilbyBookclub subscription of 12 Bookcases,, with each bookcase holding up to 30 books each. This subscription is worth £29.99. TrilbyBookclub is a simple way to share ebooks created on your iPad. It has been designed for teachers and students, and is the simplest way to collect all your student’s books in one place. All you need to do is find a copy of the front cover of the magazine that’s been hidden on one of the pages of this edition. To enter, just email your name, school, contact number and the page the cover is hidden on to with competition in the subject line. We’ll pick a winner out at random from the list of correct entries. Entries must be received by 31st August 2014. Any entries received after this time will not be counted. Terms and conditions on the Innovate My School website.


innovation update

UK education flying the flag across the world The UK has the second best education system in Europe according to the latest research. In a further boost, the global education league table also shows that we retain the title of being in sixth place in the world, reaffirming the fact that the UK has a strong and dynamic world-class schooling system. The education and publishing firm Pearson, who conducted the rankings, also took into account higher education and international schools for the results. John Fallon, Chief Executive of Pearson, said: “One of the most pervasive and endemic problems in education in just about every country is the lack of attention paid to skills provision. In rich countries and emerging economies, the demand for better skills is urgent - as governments strive to create rewarding jobs for their citizens. As educational debates shift from a focus on inputs to learning outcomes, we hope what we have discovered will drive others to take up the baton and do more work in this field.”


Education correlates with economic growth The research demonstrates that education correlates with economic growth, with the average time spent in school now statistically linked to the nation’s labour productivity for the last two decades.The researchers say developing countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia, who have had very strong economic growth in recent years, perform less well in the Learning Curve results. Pearson say in order to sustain strong economic growth, a stronger focus on educational outcomes and skills may be needed. A full breakdown of the league table can be found here. http://thelearningcurve.pearson. com/index/index-ranking

News written by: Rachel Louise Johnson Editor of Innovate My School Magazine Innovatemyschool



CYBER THREATS 10 things schools need to know



CYBER THREATS Getting computer security right in a school is much trickier than doing so in a business. How much money can you spend? How much time can you devote to the problem? Should you have a regime in which you enforce, or merely guide? How do you win the co-operation of parents, principals and students? Security Expert David Booth writes exclusively for us on the principles of information security for schools. 1. Understand Your Risk Identify your most sensitive information and mark documents containing this data clearly as “confidential” or similar. Decide who is responsible for managing the risk. Work out how much risk you face and how much risk you want to take. Allocate security responsibilities clearly to other staff and ensure staff understand the importance of working securely. 2. Teach Good Practices Remind staff regularly about good security practices, especially when the risk or the policy changes. If you use social media, you should ensure that all staff know that no sensitive material should be disclosed and that users behave responsibly while using it, bearing in mind that they directly or indirectly represent the school.

Don’t write passwords down or share them between users.

3. Protect your Network and Devices Make sure that any router supplied by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) has a firewall built in and make sure it’s operational. Limit who knows the password to those who REALLY need to know. Install modern proprietary security software from mainstream suppliers like Symantec, Sophos or Kaspersky on your PC/MAC and laptops. Preferably use a suite of software which includes anti-virus, anti-spam, identity protection and other protection because they are generally easier to manage. 4. Manage IT Access Don’t write passwords down or share them between users. Use different passwords for each application. Some security software providers offer password ‘vaults’ which allow complex passwords to be generated and then stored in an encrypted form, so you don’t have to remember them. Limit administrative privileges on your network and devices to those who really need them. They might be enabled when software is installed, so be careful. 5. Keep Your IT Up-To-Date Document your IT assets so you know what you’ve got. IT assets will include hardware, software and even key IT staff. Install current software and operating system patches, firmware updates, etc. immediately when they are issued. Ensure all software is licenced. 6. Use of Removable Media If you transfer data using CD, DVD, USB, SD or any type of flash memory drive: Only permit school issued and controlled devices in your systems. 9

CYBER THREATS Issue, retrieve and track the devices - know where they all are, who has them and, ideally, what software is on each. Ensure they are encrypted and scanned for malware on each use. Many commercial anti-malware packages have the ability to scan removable media.

is available to the bad guys. Where you use data storage, applications or other services which are provided by another business, you should choose one that has security which has been independently audited (e.g. certified to ISO 27001 or IASME).

7. Mobile Working The use of mobile devices should require top-level approval. Such devices must, at a minimum, have: • Anti-malware software installed and updated, daily. • Pin, password or other authentication installed. • Encryption, wherever possible. • Capable of being remotely tracked and wiped.

9. Incident Management and Business Continuity Document any incident and decide what caused it, how much it costs to fix and whether there is anything you could do better in future.

You cannot outsource or “cloudify” all aspects of computer security.

8. Using the Cloud Cloud computing can simplify your IT operations, but there are risks. Outages in service are no longer within your own ability to fix. Data leakages are no longer within your remit to control. Security policies are no longer necessarily yours to decide and to enforce. You cannot outsource or “cloudify” all aspects of computer security. Remember that all data stored in the cloud or processed using cloud-based applications 10

You should ensure that you know what to do on the catastrophic failure of anything critical to your school, such as information, applications, systems or network. Don’t wait for an incident to try out the plan. 10. Further reading The government has issued cyber security guidance for business most recently at publications/cyber-essentials-schemeoverview, relating to basic elements of technical cyber security.

Article written by: David Booth

is Managing Director of IASME Ltd, which provides security advice and certification for small businesses and the Government.


Internet and ISP

Local Area Network

Wireless Network

Mobile Device Management

Fast, effective introductions to cutting-edge innovation To find out more about our live event that comes to you, watch the video at:


Product Round-up 10 brand new innovations to watch out for...


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Purple Mash Our multi-award winning creative website ‘Purple Mash’ has been updated to meet the needs of the new curriculum. Enjoy 2Code as well as lots of new themed publishing and paint projects. @purpleMash

Valid on new licences or licence extensions including multiyear licences. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers.

Mathletics Mathletics is a leading digital maths resource used in over 5,000 UK schools. Mathletics is designed to improve maths results, increase engagement and promote the love of learning maths. @MathleticsUK

Reading Eggs Reading Eggs is a digital literacy resource that teaches children how to read. An extensive online library, wide range of interactive activities and fun rewards help children to develop a love of reading. @readingeggs

Earwig Academic Timelines Earwig converts the teaching evidence for Ofsted into an online timeline for each pupil. Parents can view their child’s timeline and purchase the photos – generating income for the school. @earwigacademic

InfoMentor The most innovative cloud-based framework for planning, assessment, tracking and reporting. InfoMentor will help you demonstrate improvement, evidence great work, save staff time and achieve a smooth transition to the new curriculum. @infomentoruk 12 Innovatemyschool


Product Round-up 10 brand new innovations to watch out for... Toshiba Satellite Pro NB10T Easy to use, manage and secure, the compact Satellite Pro NB10t is brimming with useful features and value-added flexibility. Affordable and made for mobile learning, it’s the perfect IT solution for schools. @ToshibaUK

Whizz Education Imagine having a teaching assistant for every student in your school. Find out how Maths-Whizz, the virtual online tutor, can empower you to deliver differentiated learning in maths with ease. @MathsWhizzTutor

Ultimaker Ultimaker is committed to sharing open source 3D printing. In this emerging field there are endless opportunities for cross-curricular learning development; the CREATE Education Project provides free resources and support. @UltimakerGB / @UltimakerCREATE

Clickview Unique, complete digital media solution. Accessible anywhere on any device. Educational programmes,TV, sharing community. Upload your own video, images, audio. Simple signage included.VLE/LMS integration. Single Sign On. @ClickViewUK

Biteslide Do your students struggle to engage with work? Are they frustrated with chalk and talk? Bring your projects to life with Biteslide - research, create, and present school projects online. | @biteslide |


the global classroom

The Global Classroom How Skype is allowing lessons to take part with pupils simultaneously, anywhere in the world. Jon Tait is a teacher and leading figure in the promotion of Physical Education innovation in the UK. Here, he discusses the endless possibilities of activities being done by multiple schools across the world at the same time, thanks to the power of Skype. Collaboration between schools has recently been said to be the key to raising standards, with experts sharing good practice whilst learning from one another.

Throw in an international element with two schools collaborating across the globe and you’ve got some pretty excited students and staff! How often do students in the UK get to meet, chat and dance for students on the other side of the world and then have the technology available to immediately judge and give feedback on these performances? Well that’s exactly what happened at Woodham Academy in County Durham and Merton Intermediate School in Wisconsin, America earlier this year; sharing good practice and resources, and collaborating on creative and innovative projects.

Collaboration between schools has recently been said to be the key to raising standards



the global classroom We came up with the idea of a live ‘danceoff’ over Skype where our students would dance for each other and then judge each school’s performance, but the collaboration was not just limited to the dancing. The teachers worked together on a shared judging rubric that would be understood and accessible to students in both schools, eventually coming up with an online shared Google document that each student could use to vote on the performance of each dance. It was quite amazing to think that the work that these girls had been doing at Woodham could be beamed across the globe to another school hall in America with lots of excited students sat watching on their big screen! Although they had never met before, there was a clear mutual respect between them all – they were kids, they loved dancing and they were super excited about breaking down the barriers and working globally with each other.

students teach my year 7 boys? For students on both sides of the pond, this would be an amazing experience.With the technology of Skype, we could effectively facilitate a lesson where students from one side of the globe taught students from the other side, live and interactively. The students from Wisconsin were very excited about the opportunity to teach my students, and my group of boys were equally excited to be taught by the American students. The lesson went down a storm! The students from Merton School did an amazing job.Their instruction and delivery of the lesson was fantastic. My students really enjoyed the lesson and really improved throughout, showing enjoyment, enthusiasm and progress, all in the space of 30 minutes.

In conclusion, these are moments in school where you just know that the students are As the dancers from Woodham performed going to remember it for a long, long time! their moves, the students from Merton were The excitement, enthusiasm, commitment using their smart phones and tablets to and dedication showed by all staff in both access the online voting system that we had schools was incredible.To be able to connect created; the same then happened when it and collaborate so easily with students on was Merton’s turn to perform for Woodham. the other side of the world really shows how technology is changing the way we After the success of our first Skype work and the way we live our lives. classroom global collaboration, it was time to raise the bar again! Not content with having our girls dance off with other Article written by: girls three and a half thousand miles away, Jon Tait I spoke to Merton again about an even Deputy Headteacher at more adventurous project of teaching Jump Acklam Grange School in Rope. Middlesbrough As my UK students needed the skills that the American students already had, what could be better than having the American



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Innovation over the internet

Innovation over the Internet:

Do online schools really work? Director of Development at Online School InterHigh, Jacqueline Daniell, speaks to Innovate My School about how this new trend is working in reality. In the heart of South Wales, staff at InterHigh School wake up to another academic day, but this is a very different type of school. 300 pupils are on roll and, although it’s a complete secondary school offering pupils from Year 7 right through to Sixth Form a full education, the school exists entirely online. Absolutely everything, from exercise classes on a Monday morning, to live lessons, the school library, the common room, chess club, the games area, pupil reports and the staff room are all delivered and controlled over the Internet. Pupils, staff and teachers log in to school from their control panel to check their timetable for the day.The notice board alerts them to any events, and colleagues and classmates may pop up on live chat to say hello.There is a homework manager that reminds when essays are due, so you can upload work between classes.The lessons are very dynamic and engaging, with videos, websites, PowerPoint’s, whiteboards, breakout rooms and polls. All of these exist with the teacher leading the way so it’s a bit like having one-to-one tuition but in a group situation, giving the best of all worlds.

Technology powers learning The school users don’t require any specialist software or equipment apart from a PC or tablet, with some students even coming to school on their phone if they’re travelling or necessarily away. As an online school, learning is completely mobile and not confined to school terms, days or hours and can be accessed wherever pupils are, home or away. This fresh approach to learning was developed through systematic and sustained use of technology, rather than any experiment on learners.The school aims to take everything that is good about traditional schooling and uses technology to deliver it in an original and creative way. To find out more about InterHigh, visit:

Article written by: Jacqueline Daniell Director of Development @InterHighEd


Mind over matter

Mind over matter: How mindfulness is boosting concentration in the classroom



Reception and Year One teacher at Pott Shrigley and St John’s Church Schools Federation, Lauren Stout takes us on her journey of how she uses meditation to enhance pupils’ learning experiences. After enrolling on a mindfulness course, I embarked upon a personal journey into mindfulness and its benefits. It is something I felt so passionately about that I decided to bring mindfulness into the classroom.There are many definitions of mindfulness out there, but the one I choose to share with the children is “Mindfulness is paying attention to your life, here and now with kindness and curiosity” ( I believe that enabling children to practice daily mindful techniques in the classroom is key to teaching them how to approach life experiences in and outside of the classroom, with compassion and an open mind. I feel that by giving children room to breathe and time to reflect, they are more able to identify their strengths, address their challenges and be better equipped to see what is happening around them in a clear and objective way. I often tell my class that being mindful is the same as pausing, taking a breath and holding a mirror up to yourself and a situation and appreciating what is happening in the present moment. As teachers, I feel we are always telling children to concentrate and pay attention and we spend our days modelling to them what we want them to learn. However, we rarely take the time to teach them how to concentrate and how to focus their minds, which is surely a vital part of their learning process and one we often take for granted.

This is where I believe mindful techniques in the classroom play a huge role, as it can help develop the following skills: children are more able to calm themselves down when they are angry or upset, they learn to develop compassion, they find it easier to concentrate and ignore distractions, and it can also help them become more reflective and self aware.

We rarely take the time to teach children how to concentrate In Class One we do daily mindfulness exercises and have an open discussion about what it means to be mindful.With the help of our owl friend, Mindful Mike, we are all feeling the benefits of these short exercises. Some of our favourites include peer massage, using our gratitude rocks to discuss what we are grateful for and also taking some time to visit the special places that we have designed in our imagination in order to relax, reflect and refocus our minds.

Article written by: Lauren Stout Reception and Year One teacher at Pott Shrigley and St John’s Church Schools Federation @fcsfed


a twinterview with kaspar nielsen

A Twinterview with Kaspar Nielsen Kaspar Nielsen is a Danish developer with extensive experience in the development of research prototypes, as well as both maintaining and delivering software to schools. We’re delighted to welcome him to the Twinterview to explore his thoughts on how innovation is transforming education.

Kaspar – It is an incredibly exciting technological time for schools. What would you say is the most visible area of progression in the last year? It’s interesting that digital learning is moving back into the physical world with 3D printers and interactive kinesthetic products.

How important is it to adapt lessons to the fast-paced, tech-driven world that pupils experience outside of the classroom? Pupils are motivated by the use of new technology so it’s essential.Technical skills are very important in the real world today.

In your experience, what impact have technology advances had on teaching? Information has been set free and I think blended learning is an interesting concept. Personalised learning is made much easier.

What opportunities do developers have for influencing extra-curricular activities? Sensors and Apps are used in all kinds of activities outside of school today. Children can learn a lot without actually being aware of it.

How can developers and teachers best work together to reach children? We use a technique called participatory design, where we involve the teachers and children all they way when creating the software.

Educational software is evolving at a lightning pace. Do you think individual content to assist specific needs is essential for progressive learning? I think it’s very important for teachers (and children) to create content to fit their specific needs. It increases the motivation.


Is digital media revolutionising education for the better? Yes, information is right at hand and learning has become more fun, motivating and interactive. It gives the teacher a lot of options.

How does the Danish education system compare to the British model? Equality and democracy (DK) vs. focus on fulfilling individual potentials (UK). And of course no school uniforms

What technology innovations or trends should we, as teachers, watch out for over the next year? Watch out for physical educational computing such as kinesthetic learning on interactive surfaces and outdoor mobile learning.

What are your thoughts on the influence and popularity of Scandinavian culture in education today? Many countries are inspired by the values in the Nordic school, but it is tricky to enforce these values while achieving good test results.

What are your thoughts on teachers writing their own software versus buying it? It’s great to see that writing software is being democratized. It gives the teachers the ultimate flexibility for creating motivating exercises. Can you see schools becoming completely paperless? School communication is moving online but I still see paper being used for sketching, notes and books.

What is the most memorable moment in your career so far? Being with WizeFloor at BETT this year. It was wonderful to present it to people from all over the world and we had such a fantastic response. Can you share any top tips for creating captivating programming lessons? Use the children’s interest in a topic (e.g. football or princesses) as a starting point for programming something. Motivation is key.

What will the mobile device of the future look like? Lighter and thinner no doubt. I would love to see more powerful camera features to enable e.g. motion games on a bigger screen. Is there a link between educational learning and physical activity? Using bodily movement and social skills in education motivates a lot of children to learn better while having fun and breaking a sweat.

Article written by: Kaspar Nielsen Principal Software Architect @maquatre

Straight to Teaching

Grow Your Own Qualified Teachers Straight to Teaching is a development programme designed to help existing school staff gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS ) while they continue to work in school. Programmes are tailored to each participant based on their existing knowledge, and use a blend of online and in-school development to help them achieve QTS. For more information visit our website or call us on 0800 088 6126.


Independent QTS assessment STEP 3 Final evaluation and recommendation for QTS assessment STEP 2 Online and in-school development, monitoring and evidence building

STEP 1 Initial needs assessment and personalised preparation plan

WizeLearning - 148x105mm Advert_Layout 1 13/05/2014 13:11 Page 1

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Jump into the WizeFloor An amazing learning tool for 3-11 year olds, WizeFloor creates an interactive floor space in your school. “Children have been more motivated and engaged since the system arrived. The more fun they have, the more they seem to absorb and retain” In partnership with:

Discover the benefits and find out more T: 01638 563 595



essential 1:1 SEN Apps

Essential 1:1 Assistant Headteacher and IT and mobile learning expert Mark Anderson takes us though how technology is transforming SEN teaching. I’m a firm believer in only using technology for learning when it actually brings something to the learning.When it comes to SEN, technology can transform the opportunities for learning that are available to pupils more than any other way. I have personally seen the positive effect that having a mobile device can have on pupils. I have taught a pupil with no speech who was able to use their iPad as their communication device. I will also always remember a Year 8 pupil enthusiastically explaining to me how he felt like he could now engage more with his learning, because using Siri enabled him to not


let his dyslexia get in the way of his progress. Every child that we work with is different, and so when looking to recommend third party Apps to support SEN, it really does depend on each individual.That said, we know that regular use of a 1:1 personal device can be of massive learning benefit to all pupils. Notability This App allows you to change background colours, record audio notes and change the size of documents. Skitch This free and very handy image annotation tool can be of real benefit to dyslexic students due to its ease of use, clear writing fonts and annotation tools. Pinterest This is brilliant for asking students to share their findings on a collaborative board. You can also use the boards there as a guided resource for students to access the information and sites you want during the course of your lesson.As a reflective and sharing practitioner yourself, it’s likely that you would find it useful for finding both ideas for your teaching and classroom and for sharing your ideas back, too.


SEN Apps Explain Everything For all pupils, feedback is an essential element in the learning toolkit, but one that dyslexic students often have trouble accessing due to its word heavy content.Teachers can annotate pupil work and send it back in video format so that students can start, stop, rewind the video without having to worry about reading all of the formative feedback. Shadow Puppet / Adobe Voice These two Apps work in a similar way: they simply allow students to explain using their voice images in sequence.

with their peers and teachers, and not. For me, if my child had SEN and his school wasn’t supporting his learning with 1:1 technology, it wouldn’t be the school for my child. Would it be good enough for you? Article written by: Mark Anderson ICT Expert @ictevangelist

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list of Apps, and use of mobile technology should be used to modify or redefine rather than substitute or simply augment.That said, what might be a simple feature to pupils without SEN can be transformational to another student with SEN. It is our job as educators in this modern brave new world to give our students the best possible opportunities to explore and extend their learning. Mobile learning using a 1:1 personal device does this. For some pupils it’s the difference between them being able to effectively communicate


Focus on: specialists sports - karting

Specialist Sports:

Motor Sport can be an expensive hobby, so to encourage new drivers to come along and give karting a try, we provide novice members with a club kart and the 26



Now in it’s 27th year,Tarporley Karting Team (TKT) continues to go from strength to strength. The aim of the club is to get kids into karting, with minimal initial outlay but with their safety as the number one consideration. The club’s base is Tarporley High School in Cheshire and unsurprisingly around 75% of the 35 drivers attend the school, although increasingly we are attracting drivers from further afield such as North Wales, South Cheshire and the Wirral.



In an age where schools are continually trying to push the boundaries of sports options, we want to celebrate those who go beyond the norm and inspire others with the possibilities that can exist. This issue, we hear from Howard Malyon from the UK’s biggest School Karting Team on how the sport is inspiring pupils to think big, both inside and outside the classroom.



statutory gear such as a helmet and suit. That way if, after 1 or 2 races, the child decides that karting isn’t for them, their parents haven’t had to make a significant outlay. One of the key things we stress to prospective new members is that parents and guardians play a crucial role in supporting their child, maintaining the karts and helping with fund raising. At our Wednesday night club meetings it’s not simply a case of dropping youngsters off and picking them up later; it’s key that the adult accompanying that child stays to learn about kart maintenance and what is required for their son or daughter to fully enjoy the karting experience. TKT partake in the National Schools Karting Association (NatsKa) race series each year and it is totally dependant upon volunteers to keep it going. Children between 11-18 years are allowed to compete in the race series, which runs from September through to July and culminates in a 3 day National Finals Innovatemyschool

event. This year’s ‘Nationals’ will take place during the first weekend of July at Whilton Mill race Track in Northamptonshire. Being the largest Schools karting team in the UK, TKT has celebrated it’s fair share of success over the years and we’re looking forward to more silverware in a couple of months time. That said though, TKT is not just about children winning trophies. As a club we want children who are interested in motorsport to not only enjoy the racing element but also to get something out of the social side of the team and to learn about the mechanical side of things. During the winter months in particular there is a great deal of club kart maintenance going on during club

nights. This presents an opportunity for children who are perhaps less interested in traditional pursuits such as football, netball or hockey to quite literally get their hands dirty and develop an interest in mechanics and engineering.

Article written by: Howard Malyon Media Officer for TKT 07887 626 320



BIG DATA: How can we use it in education? Big Data is everywhere, but is it here to help or hinder the education industry? Expert Daniel Hulme from University College London provides an informative overview into the latest technology. Big Data promises so much more than merely enabling companies to sell us more ‘stuff ’. Whilst there’s still a great deal of hype around utilising Big Data for personalised product placement, the opportunities of using data to help improve our lives are potentially boundless. The term Big Data is synonymous with Predictive Analytics, Data-driven Decision Making and even Artificial Intelligence, but it simply means “more data than you can process on a single machine.” The idea is using vast amounts of private and public data (which is becoming more and more accessible) to improve our lives by personalising our health and education, but it does raise numerous social and philosophical questions. What happens with our choices? What about privacy? Who owns data about me? How can we trade off the happiness of an individual with the good of the group or society? 28

Using Big Data to improve the educational experience brings all of these questions to the fore, but I’d like to move us passed the ‘privacy debate’ that seems to bog down most discussions about the benefits of Big Data. From a practical perspective, for personalised education to be truly effective, four key questions need to be considered: 1. What data should we collect or create that will be useful? For example, how quickly students master a concept. 2. What insights can be drawn from this data? For example, what signals indicate a student who might be struggling? 3. What decisions should be made based on those insights? For example, less time should be dedicated to a particular topic. 4. How are those decisions monitored and managed? For example, what if a change of approach creates a negative educational effect?


Dashboards are ‘all the rage’ in the world of Business Intelligence - a term I struggle with. These dashboard platforms provide ways of synthesising and visualising complex data, allowing organisations to identify insights and make decisions. It’s only recently that ‘Education Intelligence’ platforms (such as Kahn Academy and Knewton) have started to appear and have yielded compelling results. These e-learning platforms gather data on the student’s engagement, provide useful visualisations, and even make recommendations on how to improve the student experience. However, the barriers to ‘Big Data in Education’ becoming mainstream aren’t technological. As with most Big Data promises, the success is dependant upon the adoption and embrace of the key drivers: the teachers and educators. It’s

too much to demand that educators become data analysts, experimenters and behavioural psychologists. We need to make it easy for the educators to adopt and demonstrate value, and to support and reward them for embracing new innovative technologies. We need to not only develop platforms that capture data about the student experience, but also to give that data to scientists who can identify new techniques that will improve the educational process.

Article written by: David Hulme Big Data Lecturer at UCL, CEO of Satalia and Co-founder of the Advanced Skills Initiative @TheSolveEngine


BIG DATA - TAME your school's data

BIG DATA: Satisfying OFSTED criteria

As we move into the Big Data revolution, it’s important to think about how school information is going to be rated by OFSTED. Paul Grubb from RM Education has given us his insight into what teachers need to know under the new DfE guidelines. The new requirements mean you need to know exactly where each child is in terms of their attainment and progress, as well as where they need to be and how they are going to get there. Schools will need to document evidence to state that they know every child’s data and they will also need to be able to show how they are helping each individual to reach their full potential. The list below is what teachers will need to demonstrate to OFSTED when it comes to school data:


· Really using data Does your data inform decisions and drive improvement? OFSTED wants to see evidence that it’s data, not guesswork, behind your plans. · Progress is the key word All children should be progressing at the same rate no matter what their background. Schools need to be able to prove this to ensure every child achieves. · Being comfortable with data Can all your teachers and SLT identify the strengths and weaknesses of every pupil, and see where improvements can be made? · Data-driven interventions Schools need to assess and identify vulnerable groups, so that interventions can be targeted correctly and prove the impact of these interventions. · Pupil achievement Can you demonstrate that the gaps are narrowing between the performances of different groups of pupils, both in the school and nationally? Innovatemyschool

· Behaviour Think about how you can demonstrate consistent management of behaviour, pupils’ attendance and punctuality. · Quality of leadership Schools must be able to easily identify strengths and weaknesses at individual, cohort, class or whole school level and use these findings to drive school improvement. By understanding your data, you’ll be able to show a clear path towards improvement based on facts, not guesswork, and that’s what OFSTED wants to see.

Article written by: Paul Grubb, Head of RM Integris @ICTBreak


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