Edition 1, 2014
Jenny Dwyer on instilling a ‘Can do’ attitude. see page 14.
Are schools interested in engineering? page 22
ASA launch new school website page 16
Programming for Primaries page 24
A look from the political angle page 18 Don’t just block; monitor and act page 20
How can we put the bounce back into school fitness? page 28 Teaching children with Hemiplegia page 30
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Contents 2 News 14
‘A can do attitude’
Talking to Jenny Dwyer, Head of Sherborne Girls in Dorset.
20 Don’t just block; monitor and act
The steps schools should take to manage e-safety in 2014
22 Are schools
interested in engineering? By Neil Broad, FSL Aerospace
16 ASA launch new
How can we put the bounce back into school fitness?
30 Teaching children with Hemiplegia
Neelam Dongha from HemiHelp
18 A look from a
An opinion piece by Robert Pettigrew, FRSA, MCIPR, MILT a previous national chairman of the Conservative Education Society
24 Programming for Primaries
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New government drive to improve standards of school governance School governors will in future only be appointed if they have the skills and experience to drive school improvement, under plans announced by the government. As part of the Department for Education’s commitment to a more professional standard of school governance, governing bodies will be expected to act more like corporate boards, and only appoint people with the skills to help their schools succeed. Lord Nash said: The best businesses have a skilful board of directors keeping them on the right path. I want to see the same approach in schools. Our proposals will ensure governing bodies in local-authority-run schools have the people they need to drive up standards. Currently, there is no requirement on governing bodies of local-authorityrun schools to prioritise the skills of a prospective governor. Academies and free schools are already free to appoint the best people for the role. New guidance also published today makes clear the vital role of governing bodies as non-executive strategic leaders, and sets out
Strict new guidelines say any sexual misconduct should lead to teachers being banned from teaching Any teacher who receives a criminal conviction or caution involving indecent images of children should be banned from teaching, say strict new guidelines. Changes to the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) ‘Teacher misconduct: the prohibition of teachers’ advice was published on 17 January 2014 by the Department for Education. The advice gives clear guidelines to the NCTL panels which consider cases of teacher misconduct. The panel’s recommendations are then referred to senior officials, who act on behalf of the Secretary of State, for a final decision. The changes published today make clear our expectation that any sexual misconduct - not just ‘serious sexual misconduct’ as set
their core functions clearly for the first time. Lord Nash added: School governors have an incredibly important role in setting high standards, holding headteachers to account and ensuring money is well spent. I want all governors to live up to these expectations. Stronger governing bodies will drive aspiration in schools and help young people get on in life. The government is working with organisations like the Confederation of British Industry, National Governors’ Association, the Education and Employers Taskforce and the school governor recruitment charity SGOSS to attract more high-calibre governors and encourage more employers to support their staff to volunteer. Emma Knights, Chief Executive of the National Governors’ Association, said: The National Governors’ Association wholeheartedly supports the government’s proposals to focus governing bodies on their strategic functions. Being a school governor is an important responsibility akin to being a non-executive director of a trust or company; indeed many of those governing in academies are now directors and trustees.
out previously - and any criminal conviction or caution involving indecent images of children should lead to prohibition. A Department for Education spokesperson said: Nothing is more important than ensuring children are protected when they are at school. We have already improved the system to make it tougher than ever before. This revised advice sets out our expectation any sexual misconduct and any criminal conviction or caution involving indecent images of children should lead to prohibition from teaching. High standards are expected of all teachers, and when making decisions panels should always take into account the need to maintain high levels of public confidence in the profession. The publication of the revised advice follows an 8-week public consultation launched in July last year. The results showed 86% of respondents agreed that the advice should be revised to toughen guidance on cases involving sexual
Organisations with good governance do not fail, and we need to ensure that schools have the best governance possible. This starts with the recruitment of a good group of diverse people with the time, the necessary range of skills and experience and the commitment to improving the education of children and young people. The NGA looks forward to responding to the consultation. Chris James, Professor of Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Bath, said: This new advice and the proposals for regulatory reform are very welcome. All governing bodies will find them useful. They help to clarify the role and the responsibility and give guidance on how to improve governing body capability. Likening governing bodies’ role to that of a board of charity trustees or company directors is very helpful. This is a big step in the right direction for school governing. The Department provides funding to www. sgoss.org.uk, the governor recruitment charity, to work with employers to recruit highly skilled new governors and broker their placement in schools and academies that need their particular skills. SGOSS recruited over 3,200 governors in 2012 to 2013. The CBI published a report on school governance and leadership on 27 November 2013 promoting the benefits to schools, staff and business of firms supporting their employees to volunteer as governors.
misconduct, while 90% supported revisions to clarify that panels should give serious consideration to evidence that a teacher has committed activity involving indecent images of children. In June 2013, the Department for Education announced its intention to revise the ‘National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) teacher misconduct: the prohibition of teachers’ advice. Professional conduct panels act in a quasijudicial capacity and properly assess the facts of any case before them. The advice makes clear that each case will continue to be considered on its own merits. Each panel consists of at least 3 members, all of whom are recruited through a public appointments process. At least one panel member will be a teacher or someone who has been a teacher in the past 5 years. At least one panel member will not be from the teaching profession. The number of prohibition orders has risen since the abolition of the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) and the introduction of the NCTL.
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Six new university technical colleges and 5 new studio schools also approved Eight mainstream schools, a sixth form and an alternative provision school join the 174 schools already open, and the 115 already in the free schools programme pipeline. Once full, all open and approved free schools will provide 150,000 extra school places, with this latest wave providing a boost of about 5,000 places. All of the mainstream schools are in areas facing a shortage of school places. Forty-five per cent will be in the 30% most deprived communities in Britain. The schools have been set up by a range of passionate and talented groups, with 1 common aim - to improve state education provision and choice for parents. Four of the proposals are from parent and community groups, including the Ealing Fields Free School in West London. Seven proposals are from teachers and existing schools, including 2 from the successful Harris Federation. The Eddie Davies Educational Trust in Bolton has been supported by Phil Gartside, chairman of Bolton Wanderers Football Club. Due to the popularity of free schools, the Department for Education has changed the application process to allow parents and other groups 3 opportunities per year to submit proposals compared to just 1 previously. Not only does this provide flexibility to proposers to submit their application at the time that suits them best, it also means the government can consider applications throughout the year. Education Secretary Michael Gove said: I am delighted with the quality of the proposals we have received. Free schools
are driving up education standards across England. They are hugely popular with parents, providing more choice and freedom and, crucially, they are benefiting children from all backgrounds. With almost three-quarters of those inspected so far rated good or outstanding, they are a significant boost to communities poorly served for generations. Like academies, free schools have greater freedom than local-authority-run schools, giving headteachers more power to make decisions that are right for local children. It has allowed schools like the Brighton Bilingual School, with its dual Anglo-Spanish curriculum, and the Free School Norwich, which opens from 8am to 6pm, 51 weeks a year, to open. The government also today announced the approval of 6 university technical college (UTC) and 5 studio school proposals backed by major employers and industrial partners including Network Rail, the National Space Centre and the James Dyson Foundation. There are now 50 UTCs and 46 studio schools open or in development. Once all are open, these UTCs and studio schools will provide more than 45,000 extra places for young people. The free school proposals approved today are: Ealing Fields Free School Harris Federation Free Schools The Eddie Davies Educational Trust School (Bolton) East Birmingham Network (EBN) Free School Didsbury CE Free School The Langley Primary Academy Lodge Park Primary School King Solomon International Business School Maiden Erlegh in East Reading Bolton UTC Greater Peterborough UTC Global Academy UTC Humber UTC Sir Simon Milton UTC
SOS Children brings Wikipedia into the classroom
Warrington UTC Aldridge Centre for Entrepreneurship Studio School (ACE) Atrium Studio School in South Devon Bicester Technology Studio Space Studio West London The STEM Studio School in Bath,
Education vital to stop offending The disturbing findings in the latest MoJ survey of prisoners (Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction Survey – SPCR) come as no surprise to Nacro, and the leading crime reduction charity is calling for greater focus on education to prevent offending and reduce crime. Two-thirds of SPCR prisoners are not in paid employment, nearly half have no qualification and 13 per cent report never having had a job. Nacro knows from experience that providing quality education, skills and work-based opportunities for offenders in critical to reducing offending. Nacro’s Education Principal, Josh Coleman, comments: “These are shocking statistics and highlight how vital it is to intervene early before a would-be offender actually descends into crime. Through our own rehabilitation work in prison and communities, Nacro sees first hand the low levels of educational achievement among offenders. “Nacro is calling for better coordination of services before and after people leave prison. Greater engagement between schools and specialist providers like Nacro is vital so young people on the cusp of trouble can have their educational needs addressed before it’s too late.”
to ensure material is suitable for children and relevant for the classroom. Any inappropriate material, from gratuitous bad language to unnecessary sexual content, is removed, while content key to children’s learning is left untouched.
A child-friendly version of Wikipedia, specially designed for use in the classroom, has been launched by children’s charity SOS Children(‘s Villages) UK. Wikipedia for Schools is a selection of articles from the Wikipedia website organised around core school subjects.
Safe learning for every child Wikipedia for Schools is targeted at secondary-level students. However, the breadth of content - 6,000 articles, 50,000 images and 26 million words - makes it useful to children of all ages. It also contains a range of carefully-selected articles chosen to reflect the interests of children more broadly. Better still, teachers and parents can download it if they wish children to learn away from the dangers of the net.
The internet is a fantastic educational resource, but many parents and teachers are concerned about the numerous hazards young people face when browsing the web. Even Wikipedia can present difficulties at times. Because content is written and edited by users, articles are vulnerable to vandalism. And its encyclopaedic nature means that many articles are on subjects which some parents would consider unsuitable for their children. Occasionally, information is inaccurate, and the sheer volume of content makes it easy to get distracted.
“Wikipedia for Schools brings safe learning within the reach of every child,” says Alistair Barry, acting CEO of SOS Children UK. SOS Children began work on Wikipedia for Schools in 2005, and the new version is the fourth edition of the project. It was originally intended as an offline learning resource for children in developing countries. The project has been immensely successful in countries such as India, Kenya and South Africa, but is also used in schools in the UK, Australia and the US.
SOS Children wanted to overcome this problem. As a global charity providing quality education to over 130,000 children worldwide, SOS Children wanted to turn Wikipedia into a safe environment for school-age children. Articles are checked by staff and volunteers
NEWS News News News NEWS News NEWS News Courses backed by Royal Academy of Engineering, JCB, Rolls-Royce and Siemens Details of capital
investment for 2014 to 2015 to maintain and repair the school estate announced.
On the 24 January 2014, the Department for Education published the school capital maintenance and Devolved Formula Capital (DFC) allocations for 2014 to 2015. Capital investment in schools must be targeted to where it is most needed and it must be spent effectively so that every child has a good quality school place in buildings which are safe, fit for purpose and well maintained. The Department for Education will fund repairs and maintenance through £1.2 billion of maintenance allocations and £200 million of Devolved Formula Capital grant to local authorities and schools in 2014 to 2015. This includes funding for the repair and refurbishment of academies through the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund (ACMF), and for sixth-form colleges through the Building Condition Improvement Fund. This total of £1.4 billion is the same as last year. Local authorities will receive the maintenance allocation for their schools. Academies will access their funding through applying to the ACMF. The share of the funding for the ACMF has increased in proportion to the number of pupils in academies since 2013 to 2014. The DfE continue to gather a comprehensive picture of the condition of every school building. From next year they will target maintenance funding based upon the condition of school buildings. In the meantime, funding for condition and maintenance will be allocated on a simple and transparent per-pupil basis.
table system creates perverse incentives for some schools to put pupils on courses which might boost their table positions - but are not qualifications which benefit pupils’ prospects. Mr Hancock will announce 73 new qualifications that meet the government’s demanding requirements and will come in to performance tables from January 2017.
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock announced rigorous new vocational courses in engineering and construction for 14- to 16-year-olds as part of the government’s long-term plan for the economy. The qualifications have been specifically designed by industry leaders and will help Britain’s teenagers compete in the global jobs market. New engineering courses have been designed by the Royal Academy of Engineering and backed by world-leading businesses like JCB, Rolls-Royce and Siemens. The demanding qualifications focus on engineering design, and electronics and computer control technologies - vital skills for the industry. Three challenging construction qualifications have also been developed by a 14 to 19 Advisory Committee made up of employers, exam boards, professional bodies and higher and further education. All these qualifications reflect the skills and knowledge necessary to meet employers’ requirements and the demands of the sector. They will count in the secondary school performance tables from January 2017 alongside a further 175 high-quality vocational qualifications that meet the government’s new strict requirements. It follows the decision to strip more than 3,000 lower-value qualifications from the tables, following the recommendation in Professor Alison Wolf’s ground-breaking report on vocational qualifications. She highlighted how the current performance
New Schools Network will provide preapplication support to those hoping to open free schools Following a competitive bidding process, the Department for Education has approved grant funding for New Schools Network (NSN) to provide pre-application support to parents, teachers and community groups and others hoping to open free schools. The grant will also allow NSN to support free schools in the pipeline and open free schools. NSN is a registered charity.
These cover a wide range of sectors including computing, health and social care, and digital technology. They are equivalent in value and size to GCSEs. These qualifications will be taught from September 2014 - and will be included in the 2016 secondary school tables published in January 2017. Schools will remain free to offer any other qualification accredited and approved for study by 14- to 16-year-olds. Teachers will still be able to use their professional judgment to offer the qualifications which they believe are right for their pupils. But only those meeting the department’s rigorous requirements will count in 14 to 16 tables. The characteristics of high-quality qualifications set out by the government are that:
they offer pupils proven progression into a broad range of further qualifications or careers post-16, rather than narrowing students’ options
they are the size of a GCSE or bigger
they have a substantial proportion of external assessment and require students to use knowledge across their subject
they have grades such as A*-G (those with simple pass or fail results will be excluded)
they have good levels of take-up among 14- to 16-year-olds, if taught for at least 2 years
published in due course. The grant was awarded after a rigorous bid assessment conducted by senior department officials.
The grant will be for the financial years 2014 to 2015 and 2015 to 2016. There is an option to extend the grant for 1 year beyond this. The grant is expected to commence on 1 April 2014, subject to final negotiations on the grant agreement. This will be
Some 15 groups requested information about how to bid for the grant, with 3 applications being made. NSN was judged to have submitted the strongest bid as evaluated against the published award criteria. For more information visit: www.newschoolsnetwork.org/ New Schools Network, 8th Floor, Westminster Tower, 3 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SP | 020 7537 9208
Mobile phone tracking designed for school trips “Around the world and around town” Developed with schools for schools, Locuro provides cutting edge parental peace of mind and parental interaction by providing permissions based access to their children’s school trips.
Details available at www.locuro.com
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250,000 fewer pupils in underperforming secondary schools Performance tables published in January show that the government’s education reforms are raising standards in secondary schools - with hundreds more schools meeting tougher targets. This year, schools are below the floor if fewer than 40% of their pupils achieve 5 or more GCSEs, including English and maths, at C or better, and are behind on progress measures. The government raised the floor from 35% for last year’s performance tables. The statistics show that 154 secondary schools are below the floor this year. That is down from the 195 schools below the floor last year. And had the same high standards been in place in 2010, 407 secondary schools would have been below the floor. This improvement has meant the number of pupils being taught in underperforming secondary schools has fallen by 50,000 since last year and by 244,000 since 2010. Figures based on the old floor standard show a similar picture. In 2010, 216 schools teaching 179,000 pupils fell below the 35% floor standard. If that floor was in place now, this year only 65 schools teaching 41,000 pupils would have fallen below it - a fall of 138,000 since 2010.
The figures also show how results in sponsored academies, which have replaced previously underperforming schools, continue to improve. In sponsored academies, the proportion of pupils who achieved at least 5 good GCSEs (including in English and maths) rose by 2.3 percentage points, compared to 1.8 percentage points across local authority schools.
in the bottom 5% five years ago.
The results for sponsored academies also demonstrate how they are increasingly entering pupils for the key academic subjects of the EBacc.
“Education minister Elizabeth Truss is right to say that the issue for girls is not competence but confidence” says Girls’ Schools Association president Hilary French, commenting on today’s announcement from the Institute of Physics that 49 per cent of co-ed state-funded schools are strengthening gender imbalances in maths and sciences while just 19 per cent are countering them.
The proportion of pupils in sponsored academies taking the EBacc has doubled since last year to 22%. Across all local authority mainstream schools, 34% of pupils entered the EBacc, up 13 percentage points. Education Secretary Michael Gove said: These figures are a credit to the professionalism and hard work of teachers. Thanks to their efforts, the number of children taught in underperforming schools has fallen by almost 250,000 since 2010. This progress has been achieved at the same time as our EBacc has ensured many more young people are taking the core subjects which will most help them find a good job or go on to university.
This improvement has been achieved against a backdrop of an increasing number of pupils taking a combination of academically rigorous subjects - the English Baccalaureate (EBacc).
‘Excellent progress’ for pupil premium students at EWS
Pupils achieve the EBacc if they get a C or better in the core subjects of English, maths, history or geography, the sciences, and a language. These are the subjects most valued by universities and employers. This is the first year that the effects of the EBacc are fully reflected in the tables.
The Elizabeth Woodville School (EWS) in Northamptonshire, part of the Learning Schools Trust, has been named among the top 108 schools in the country in terms of the progress of pupil premium pupils.
The statistics show that:
72,000 more pupils took the EBacc than in 2012. In total, 202,000 pupils entered the EBacc (35% of the total), up from 130,000 (23%) in 2012 in 735 schools, at least half of the pupils took the EBacc - more than double the 334 schools where that was the case in 2012 no pupil entered the EBacc in just 37 secondary schools - down from 120 in 2012 23% of pupils in state-funded schools achieved the EBacc this year, up from 16% last year
Schools below the floor and with a history of underperformance face being taken over by a sponsor with a track record of improving weak schools.
In a letter confirming the school’s “excellent progress”, Rt Hon David Laws MP, Minister of State for Schools, said it was clear that EWS was providing “disadvantaged young people with a good start in adult life and a strong springboard into the next stage of their education, and the world of work”. This achievement follows the results of the 2013 national key stage 4 tests which were published on 23 January 2014. The pupil premium is additional funding given to publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers. Last week, EWS was named as one of the top 7% of schools in England in the latest national Performance Tables for 2012/2013 after being 10
In the Summer 2013 exams, 91% of Year 11 students on pupil premium gained 5 A*-C grades while 41% achieved three or more A* or A grades.
Girls can do well in Maths and Physics
The picture in independent girls’ schools is very different, suggesting that there IS a way for schools to get this right. Girls at Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) schools achieve a disproportionately large share of the top grades in maths and physics. They are 75% more likely to take Maths A-level, 70% more likely to take Chemistry, two and a half times as likely to take Physics. In 2012, there were slightly over seven and a half thousand girls at GSA schools taking A-levels, (5.2% of all girls taking A-levels nationally), but 21.6% of GSA entries were awarded an A*, as opposed to just 7.9% of entries doing so nationally. Bucking national trends, over 55% of girls at GSA schools take a STEM subject at A-level. Just under two fifths take Maths and just over two fifths take at least one science.
In Physics, 13.4% of all entries from girls come from GSA schools, (above the 5.2% baseline), but they are awarded 25.9% of the A*s and 20.5% of the A or A* grades.
In Chemistry, girls at GSA schools comprise 8.9% of entries, but they are awarded 19.8% of the A* s and 15.4% of A or A* grades.
In Further Maths, girls at GSA schools comprise 15.9% of the entries, but they are awarded 24.7% of the A* grades and 20.1% of the A or A*s.
GSA president Hilary French said: “The girls’ school experience shows that, with the right environment and the right teaching, it IS possible for girls not only to choose to study maths and science, but also to do well at them. In a girls’ school, the pressure to opt for the subjects which are perceived as more ‘feminine’ just doesn’t exist and so the potentially talented female scientists, mathematicians and linguists are able to pursue their interests and achieve their full potential.”
Unrivalled schoolwear options from John Cheatle John Cheatle offers the widest choice when it comes to school uniforms. An independent group, leader in the independent schools sector (three times larger than its nearest competitor), and a growing force in the state schools and academy sector, John Cheatle is a familyrun firm that prides itself on service, attention to detail and value. John Cheatle doesn’t just offer online or John Cheatle provides the mail-order services, or retail services from most flexible schoolwear and the nearest High Street shop, or on-site sportswear solutions for schools school shops. This experienced schoolwear specialist offers almost any combination of these options, so your school’s unique needs are met in Reply full, parents are delighted and your pupils look smart. John Cheatle also No. 12 provides excellent advice on updating uniforms and sports kits.
With the biggest range of schoolwear and sportswear from the best suppliers, John Cheatle exceeds expectations. The experienced team is friendly and always goes the extra mile, providing the personal touch that means a lot in an age of faceless transactions. And, because this schoolwear specialist is so big, supplying over 1200 schools around the UK, that means priority treatment when it comes to buying – and discounts for parents. You’d be surprised how much using a specialist like John Cheatle can save your school. Contact Justin Cheatle on 0116 299 0925 for a chat, or email Justin.firstname.lastname@example.org See our website at www.john-cheatle.co.uk
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Advice on trade union facility time in schools published No teacher funded by the taxpayer should work full time on trade union work, according to advice published by the Department for Education. Trade union representatives are entitled to reasonable paid time off (known as facility time) to undertake duties such as negotiating with employers and representing members in grievance procedures. But the interpretation of what is reasonable varies widely, with some representatives spending 100% of their time on union work instead of teaching, costing the taxpayer many millions of pounds. In response to a Department for Education call for evidence, 100% of headteachers who responded said they believed union representatives should spend at least half their time in the classroom. A majority of respondents felt no more than 30% of contracted working hours should be spent on trade union duties. Examples in the department’s evidence show that it is perfectly possible for union representatives to carry out their main union duties in 1 day a week or less. Many school leaders are already reviewing their facility time budgets in order to invest as much as possible in teaching and learning, but there are still too many examples of costs appearing very high and little
accountability or transparency. David Laws, Schools Minister, said: Teachers are paid to work in the classroom. Clearly effective representation of teachers can play an important role in our schools, but taxpayers’ money shouldn’t be funding trade union representatives who spend little or no time actually teaching. This advice has widespread support from the sector and will provide greater clarity, transparency and accountability about how this money is used, and how it benefits schools. Employers, school leaders, teachers and the public were all involved in the call for evidence, and have overwhelmingly supported greater accountability and transparency for facility time spending. The advice sets out the flexibilities available to schools and the government’s expectations, as well as examples of good practice. It recommends that:
there should be no full-time union representatives all union representatives should spend the majority of their time on their school-based jobs and be held accountable for the trade union duties carried out during facility time employers should review and reduce costs where possible
Top Gear star backs book launch
The Department for Education will also set out new measures to gather information about facility time spending at a national level, and expects all employers to publish details of spending in this area. The advice has been welcomed by school leaders. Sir Michael Wilkins, Academy Principal and Chief Executive of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, said: We are really happy to see such concise and clear guidance for schools and academies on the implications of trade union facility time. The call for evidence ran between 19 September and 25 October 2013 last year, and received 247 responses. They showed widespread support for greater accountability and transparency. The overwhelming majority of respondents agreed that they should be efficient and should provide good value for money. See the full call for evidence. Elsewhere across government, efficiencies in spending on facility time are being found. The civil service is removing all 100% trade union posts and has introduced a requirement for departments to publish details of facility time annually. The Department for Communities and Local Government has advised councils to save taxpayers’ money by significantly scaling back the cost of facility time, limiting it to a set percentage of an organisation’s pay bill.
Because of his bump, one of TimTron’s circuit boards stops working and he has to discover new routines and ways of doing things in life.
Top Gear star Richard Hammond is backing a book launch in a bid to help youngsters better understand brain injuries and their hidden effects.
The book, which is accompanied by Richard’s audio-book, won the prestigious United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum innovation award and has earned enthusiastic reviews for its clever portrayal of brain injury. It was also chosen as The Book Trust’s Bookmark Book of the Month.
The BBC presenter suffered a serious brain injury himself when he was involved in a high speed car crash. Brain injury has also featured heavily in the news agenda after retired Formula One driver Michael Schumacher was involved in a skiing accident in recent weeks. Richard said he is proud to lend his support to the publications, which are now available to order and he has also made an exclusive audiobook to accompany one of the books. Talking about the creation of the publications, which includes a parents’ handbook and two children’s books, he said: “This is a wonderful, colourful way for families touched by brain injury to explore the issues they may face.”
Medikidz: What’s up with Tamara? is aimed at slightly older children and teenagers. The comic book is based around a real teenager, dealing with acquired brain injury (ABI). Readers follow superhero, Tamara as she is whisked off to Mediland for an encounter with Medikidz.
The children’s books are aimed at different age groups and are designed to empower children and help them in their rehabilitation journey.
Acquired brain injury in children: a parents’ handbook is aimed at parents of children who have ABI.
They have also been designed to encourage empathy among all youngsters towards other children or siblings who may be living with a brain injury.
The books have been developed by The Children’s Trust, the UK’s leading charity for children with acquired brain injury of which Richard Hammond is Vice President.
Heads Up, Tim-Tron explains acquired brain injury to young readers of primary school age, through the story of a mischievous little robot, who bumps his head whilst playing.
The publications have been charitably funded and are available for order for a handling charge of £3.50 for one book and £1.50 for each subsequent book from www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/books 12
Can Do.... At Sherborne Jenny Dwyer is Head of Sherborne Girls in Dorset. She attended a girls’ grammar school in Bradford before studying maths and education at Homerton College, Cambridge. Her first teaching post was at Benenden, a girls’ boarding school in Kent, where she became House Mistress at the age of 25. Her next role was as Deputy Head at Queen Anne’s School in Caversham and at the age of 35 she became Head of Prior’s Field School in Godalming, Surrey. She took up the role of Head of Sherborne Girls in 2006. Sherborne Girls has a very active population of pupils; not a week goes by without a story dropping in my email inbox about what the girls and staff have been up to. The latest concerned ‘Extreme Reading’, a campaign to encourage students to explore their love of literature. Another featured the ‘God Pod’, a moveable chapel on wheels for the girls to sit and reflect in, and there also seems to be plans afoot to scale African mountains. This all creates an impression that the students are brimming with confidence and can-do attitude. I wanted to know how the school achieves this and manages its potentially exuberant side effects. Education Magazine How would you describe the school’s ethos and how do you instil it in your students? Jenny Dwyer Our ethos can be summed simply up as ‘Making the most out of every situation’. The type of students we encourage to come to Sherborne Girls are girls who want to take advantage of all the opportunities available both at school and in life. From the earliest days we ask them to think about the sort of people they are and who they want to be, to consider their personal talents and how to conduct themselves. We have what is called the Sherborne Diploma and during their first three years at the School we assess the girls’ talents and learning styles to get a feel
for the whole person, not just their breadth of knowledge.
EM Is there a theme or tradition of this sort of activity at Sherborne Girls?
EM Your message is that you inspire the students to reach for the stars. A recent news release about your new sixth-form careers centre, stated: ‘Whether they want to be a doctor, chef, physicist or even an astronaut, this is the place to start.’ Employers are going to want people who will tackle anything and can prove it too. How do you develop the mind-set to take on really difficult tasks?
JD There is an emphasis on doing things for other people. Our philosophy for education is that girls must find the inner strength and character in their teenage years as this is the time when they work out their place in the great scheme of things. One good way of achieving this is by doing things for other people, which can be as diverse as raising money for charity to wrapping presents, carol singing in old people’s homes or decorating someone’s house. Such tasks help the girls to realise that they can and should give back to society.
JD Our students are constantly challenged through the academic and sports curriculum, but we also have a member of staff whose role is to create opportunities that enable the girls to develop skills. Our exchange programme with Canada and Australia, for example, encourages the pupils to lift up their heads up and ‘look over the parapet’. We have lots of outward-bound activities for the lower years where they are encouraged to take risks and push boundaries well out of their comfort zone. We also use the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme extensively and have 40 girls doing Gold, 40 doing their Silver and more than 60 taking part in the Bronze. This is from a school population of 440, which is a very large percentage. These extra-curricular activities contribute enormously to the confidence of the students and also to the results we achieve. 14
EM You have been Head at Sherborne Girls for seven years. Does this ethos of helping others go back further than your appointment? JD We have a tradition of old girls setting up their own charities, which I believe reflects our ethos of ‘doing things for others’. One past student, Camila Batmanghelidjh, set up the charity Kids Company, which supports some of the most vulnerable young people in society. In addition, one old girl runs an orphanage in Russia, another set up and runs a mental health clinic in Kenya, and another runs HeadSmart, a locally based project that aims to enhance the awareness of symptoms of brain tumours in children and young people.
EM You often encourage students to move out of their comfort zone. Your Extreme Reading competition organised by librarian Rachel Knight, for example, led to some students in your words being ‘quite daredevil’, from reading while rockclimbing to picking up a book under a waterfall.
learn from the mistake and move on, rather than dwell on it. I’m a mathematician and I believe that if you teach the subject in a very didactic way it’s not interesting and it’s not remembered. However, if a problem is approached from other angles and different methods are applied to learning and applying
How do you make sure things stay within your control?
it, maths is remembered. I recently joined one of our Year 11 maths lessons where the girls were devising a song to remember some algebraic terms. It worked; they were having a great time and could recall all the terms and tell me what they were. This isn’t something that is used in every lesson but occasionally doing something that is completely off the wall makes a huge difference to how a subject is remembered.
JD We constantly encourage girls to push their boundaries but they rapidly learn what is really not within their capabilities and crucially what constitutes acceptable behaviour. We are guiding them through all the complexities of teenage life and if they haven’t learnt these things alongside all the other things we teach them we have failed in our task! We also keep our school rules to a minimum. We want the girls to do the right thing because it is the ‘right thing’ and not because a rulebook says so. We have turned the usual school discipline around and said that we trust the students unless they prove otherwise; I have found that they respond to this approach really well. The same goes for when we ask them to leave their comfort zones. Empowerment is the key to helping the girls develop. EM Empowerment seems to be key in all walks of School life. For instance, I notice that your Head of Maths, Louise Orton, believes that ‘Challenge, risk taking and independent thinking should lie at the heart of maths teaching for girls’. How do you take risks with maths? Is this how you achieve such great results in the subject? JD Taking risks is all about having a go and not getting hung up on the wrong answer. We believe that students should try something and if it’s wrong they should Education Magazine
This approach is one of the reasons we get such good results – but there is also the support for students who are struggling. Any student can drop into the maths department at any time as it’s open house and the support they need is there. This puts the responsibility on the student to seek help if they need it, which is important as they then feel that they are in control of their learning process. EM Sooner or later parents are going to judge the school by results achieved in public exams. You have fabulous results year on year including those for the Baccalaureate. How much do you put these down to the ‘can-do’ attitude that you instil in the girls? JD It’s a huge part of the reason we get such good results, but it’s not the whole reason. We work hard and play hard at Sherborne Girls and I think that’s really important when it comes to results. We have structured lessons and really good teaching, and in addition to the academic work we have all the extra-curricular activities such as 15
the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme that contribute enormously to the confidence of the students and the results we achieve. EM What about its long-term effects? When old girls return to the school, sometimes many years later, have they retained this cando attitude?
JD The old girls I have met still have it - they are quite a feisty bunch of individuals too, which is lovely! The feedback we get from the girls who have gone on to university is also very positive. We prepare them academically for the rigours of university, but it’s the feedback on how well they cope with independent life and being their own person that is so rewarding. I do think it comes down to the inner confidence that we instil in them. I have also applied this across the school. Last year I challenged the school to be bold. I wanted them to try to think and act outside the box. They took risks -one even wrote to Claire Young, an Apprentice finalist, asking for work experience, which she got. All year the girls were throwing the challenge back at me as a reason for trying something. The teaching staff also took this up and talked about being bold in the classroom, on the sports field and as part of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. It was a revelation and really showed the ‘can-do’ attitude that exists at Sherborne Girls. This year our theme is ‘Looking outwards’, so we are challenging the girls to get used to taking opportunities so that the world can be their oyster. EM Thank you for talking to Education Magazine. For more information visit www.sherborne.com
ASA launch new school website School swimming is a statutory element of the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum. If your primary school is not delivering swimming provision, your school is letting your pupils down. Make sure your pupils aren’t missing out. Swimming is an excellent all round activity that exercises the whole body. Its great fun, anyone can do it and it is a skill that opens the door to a huge range of water-based activities such as surfing, water polo or even sailing. Not only this, swimming is the only sport a child will learn in school that can save their life. Swimming is one of the easiest and safest forms of exercise for children of all abilities, and school swimming is the single most effective way of teaching children how to be safe in and around water. Yet the ASA’s report into school swimming in 2013 revealed that 51% of children aged seven to 11 cannot swim the length of a typical swimming pool (25 metres) unaided. This equates to over 1.1 million primary school children unable to be safe in and around water. The report, which was the largest ever investigation into school swimming surveyed 3,501 primary schools on how many of their
children have attained Key Stage 2 swimming requirements. A lack of monitoring by Ofsted showed that schools are not required to show any evidence of their swimming programmes. With schools increasingly under pressure to
deliver good exam results there are concerns that head teachers and school governors are not allocating budget to support swimming in the national curriculum, preferring to concentrate on academic indicators instead. Almost 45% of schools stated the biggest barrier to delivering better quality school swimming was budget constraints. With drowning amongst the leading cause of accidental death of children and young people in England (according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), experts are worried these numbers could increase in future if the current issues with school swimming programmes are not addressed. In 2011 there were 407 deaths from drowning reported across all age groups, of which 47 involved children and young people under the age of 19 years old.
Where schools are achieving high attainment rates amongst their pupils it is attributed to better pupil to teacher ratios, longer lesson times and a higher number of lessons offered. The report concludes that budget constraints in schools and a lack of auditing by Ofsted to ensure schools are delivering
swimming programmes, as set out by the Department for Education, are at the heart of the problem. To coincide with the ASA report over a thousand parents of primary school children were surveyed for their thoughts on the state of school swimming. The research highlighted that despite swimming’s place on the national curriculum just four in 10 parents say their child is currently receiving lessons at school. One in 10 parents say their child only swims on holiday – presenting clear risks in terms of ability, water confidence and safety – especially when 52% of parents do not think or are not sure if their child could swim to safety if they found themselves in danger in open water. 39% of parents also told the ASA that their child was not in any type of swimming lessons.
The ASA urgently calls for the Government to instruct Ofsted to monitor compulsory swimming lessons as part of primary school inspections, as well as urging schools to invest funding into the only sport that can and does save lives – swimming. To help tackle the worrying number of Education Magazine
children aged seven – 11 years in the UK who are leaving primary school unable to swim, the ASA has launched a brand new school swimming website. The website is designed to help support schools, who are under pressure to deliver a fully rounded education for each pupil, and is aimed at school teachers and swimming teachers to help guide and support them in delivering school swimming. The ASA hopes it will become an invaluable resource to help schools deliver high quality swimming lessons and to meet the statutory requirements set down in the national curriculum; and more importantly, ensure every child has the opportunity to take part in the only sport that can and does save lives. Alongside details of curriculum requirements and how to enrol teachers onto the National Curriculum Training Programme (NCTP), the ASA has also created a range of
school swimming guides, helpful auditing information and frequently asked questions to aid the delivery of swimming lessons for primary school children, all available online. Jon Glenn, Head of Youth and Community at the ASA, said, “Many schools are delivering school swimming successfully with great results. But research from Kellogg’s and the ASA has shown that the statutory Key Stage 2 requirement of being able to swim 25 metres unaided isn't being achieved by all pupils.
“Learning to swim can mean more than just improving the physical health of an individual, it can also mean the difference between life and death. “Following the extremely worrying statistics released last year which identified that over half of school children aged seven – 11 years in the UK cannot swim 25 metres unaided – the typical length of a swimming pool - the ASA is proactively supporting
schools in bringing swimming to the forefront of the curriculum. “A huge part of this is understanding and implementing the correct delivery of lessons; this innovative website will provide the essential guidance and support that teachers need to meet their Key Stage 2 National Curriculum requirements.” To visit to site log on to www.swimming. org/asa/schoolswimming/. Swimming should be seen in the same light as reading or writing, learning is just the start of development. Parents have a huge role to play in ensuring their children can swim, and there are a number of things they can do to support their children: Children can start learning to swim earlier than you might think. Many pools offer adult and child swimming classes from six months upwards and this is an excellent way to engage your child in water activities in a fun environment. Confident toddlers often progress to a stage where they are swimming without buoyancy aids.
Starting swimming lessons is a big step for many children. If your child is nervous, don’t worry, many children go through a stage where they are afraid of water so be reassured you are not alone and try and ensure bath time and swimming are relaxing and fun experiences. Parents can actively support your child through regular swimming trips as a family. A fun environment is the best way for children to learn and grow in confidence, ensuring a successful and memorable learn to swim experience. Regular swimming trips as a family will build your child’s confidence and ensure a successful and memorable learn to swim experience. Having fun and playing games in the water will build a strong foundation for children to develop new skills. Visit swimming.org/ poolfinder to locate your nearest pool with the ASA’s Pool Finder tool - www. swimming.org/poolfinder Visit www.swimgb.org to purchase the ASA’s Learn to Swim Guide for Parents for a wealth of information on how to increase water confidence and support children throughout their swimming journey.
A look from a political angle Robert Pettigrew, FRSA, MCIPR, MILT was the national chairman of the Conservative Education Society (the officially-recognised special interest group within the party), he has long been interested and involved in education policy. Been a school governor since 1999, and sat for two years as a member of Portsmouth City Council’s Education Committee. A century ago, Europe was teetering on the brink of the war which promised ‘to end all wars’. The start of 2014 has been marked by an ugly crossfire between front-bench politicians in Parliament about how our national narrative should be presented in schools to current and future generations. But is this exchange of rhetoric symptomatic of a genuine divergence of policy substance, or just a symptom of how political debate has been degraded in recent decades? As life at Westminster crawls into the penultimate year of this current Parliament, the state of the education debate deserves closer scrutiny and a more thorough focus. Undoubtedly, the general thrust of the policy agenda for schools has earned the sobriquet ‘radical’, and ministers have encouraged a sense of vision and urgency compared only with welfare reform amongst other government departments. Ultimately, the effect of any programme of public policy reform can be measured by the outcomes that are generated, and the durability of the change implemented. Over the next fifteen months or so, politics will increasingly dominate the discourse, but I would like to take the opportunity of this new column to take stock and begin a series of short forays into just what the education debate at Westminster is likely to throw up – both in the run-up to the 2015 General Election and beyond. In many ways, the main theme of the education reform taken forward in this current Parliament has sought to extend autonomy and accountability across schools. Diminishing the lazy paternalism of local education authorities, now often overwhelmed by the broader youth services agenda, should encourage parents and communities to demand more from schools. Broadening the academy programme to enable all schools potentially to enjoy the benefits and freedoms available only to those deemed failing under the Blair government has changed the schools landscape: most particularly for secondary schools. Releasing schools to become academies, combined with empowering parents to
establish free schools, has diluted the control and oversight of burdensome local education authorities. Some schools have felt an uncertainty and anxiety at having the opportunity to make their own decisions whilst determining their own priorities without recourse to an education establishment busy running every aspect of school life. Shifting the onus of accountability offers the potential to make a big difference: it is still uncomfortable for many to consider participants in the process of education as consumers, but it is right more effectively to define to whom schools should be accountable. Successful schools should be allowed to grow and prosper, whilst those struggling to meet the challenges or failing their pupils have access to the support which can turn them around. Sadly, but predictably, local education authorities had a very poor record at delivering improvement where schools were facing some of the most acute difficulties. Yet, sink schools can be liberated to enable the best professional educators to demonstrate the full range of their capabilities, with consequent improvements for the life-prospects of those who otherwise might receive a disrupted or sub-standard experience at school. In too many cases, local education authorities were consistently lacking in responding to the needs of schools as they, too, focused their attention on the ever-changing whims of the Department for Education in its various different guises and the individual prejudices of particular ministers. Perhaps the single greatest challenge facing education in Britain is how to tackle the problems of persistent under-achievement, especially amongst deprived communities and troubled families. In that respect, the Government is right to prioritise their attention on academies and free schools over the appeals for the re-establishment of grammar schools (outside those areas fortunate enough still to have them). The argument that grammar schools delivered social mobility on a scale unparalleled may have more than a grain of truth, but policymakers should be bold in looking at solutions for those with the furthest distance to travel. 18
Enabling academies and free schools to drive social progress through a relentless focus on their pupils and their communities could spread greater benefits to a wider audience more swiftly than the risk of rehearsing the stale arguments for and against grammar schools. The changes to post-16 provision – including the raising of the age of compulsory engagement in education, training or employment – in part as a response to the burgeoning economic crisis felt across much of Europe, feels not yet to have resolved the challenges confronting young people setting out on their careers. At best, performance has been patchy – recent research found that just forty per cent of those 14-19 year olds surveyed had received any form of careers advice or guidance during the previous year – and it is to be hoped that the transfer of responsibility to individual schools will make a difference. Perhaps the Government’s plan to extend access to mentoring will achieve the step change that ministers proffer, but it is clear that majority opinion coalesces around OfSTED’s damning conclusions. We have seen a schismatic approach to the reform of qualifications: devising a system of examinations which is fit-for-purpose, meets the needs of our economy and is sufficiently light-handed so as not to disrupt the process of learning has proven to be a major challenge. Emphasis has been placed on attainment in traditional academic subjects, which is welcomed by employers but aggravates those transfixed by league tables. Reforming vocational education has been a project neglected by governments through all ages. Policy-makers in this country have neglected the value to the economy of having a skill for doing something useful, and arguments about parity-of-esteem have been presented in a somewhat lacklustre and hollow tone. Even in the development and implementation of higher education policy, there is an implicit preference over a vocational educational route; that is not the approach in either Germany or Singapore, and the real value of skills is not well reflected in our national psyche. It seems to me that 2014 will be a year where education policy will examine teachers and teaching in greater depth. The debate about greater levels of freedom for schools has raised the spectre of a break with conventional teacher training routes, and the prospect of alternative approaches to teaching being explored. Unsurprisingly, this has created some disquiet among those who look on the existing pedagogy as eminently superior. But if the driver in education policy is to be on outcomes, then some degree of ‘supply side’ liberalisation might yet achieve continues overleaf u Education Magazine
A look from a political angle continued considerable benefits. It seems reasonable to me that different approaches to teaching should be allowed if they offer the realistic prospect of engaging a dis-engaged pupil more effectively than the current teacher training orthodoxy accommodates? I wonder whether a Royal College of Teaching – increasingly spoken about at Westminster – might offer the prospect of flexibility to innovate with some degree of reassurance about quality. I believe that this debate will
intensify during the course of the year, and it promises to be an interesting exchange. Critics and enthusiasts are likely to agree that the reform programme in schools since 2010 has been considerable. The approach to schooling in general has changed radically, with the greatest freedom on matters of curriculum since the introduction of the National Curriculum in the late 1980s, and a different approach to qualifications
and accountability. Yet, for all the talk of transparency and a shift towards pupils, parents and communities, it is clear that there is much work still to do truly to empower participants and stakeholders to contribute to our schools. Making that happen will be of greater significance to securing the legacy of the current reforms – and on that the jury is firmly still out considering its verdict.
Don’t just block; monitor and act Jonathan Valentine discusses the steps schools should take to manage e-safety in 2014 At the end of 2013 the Press Association released the results of a Freedom of Information enquiry into the number of children being excluded from schools for sexual misconduct. The results proved startling. There were more than 2,000 reported incidents between January 2010 and September 2013, with many of the offences involving the accessing of pornographic websites and inappropriate online behaviour. The majority of offences were committed by pupils aged between 13 and 15 years, but shockingly the youngest child affected was just five years old. And it’s likely worse still as two thirds of the 153 authorities questioned were unable or refused to provide any figures. Cyber offences We are aware that an increasing number of students use the web to view pornography or create their own indecent images. Sexting is common, with some children coercing others into taking pictures of themselves and then using these to bully. But is it really the internet that’s the problem, or is it simply a tool through which social issues manifest? The truth is the sheer volume of content online and the number of internet-enabled devices young people own, make it easier for children to access inappropriate materials and commit sexual abuse. Teachers and parents have a duty to tackle this problem, but how? Don’t just block Many establishments block unacceptable sites, thereby preventing access. But doing this in no way dissuades students from gaining access using their mobiles, tablets or home computers when outside school boundaries. Consider also that filters have been shown to block useful websites offering sex education and advice on sexual health, and it becomes clear
that simple blocking is not an effective solution. In any case blocks are unlikely to stop a determined student - they may even encourage them to take on the challenge – and many know how to use proxy sites which render blocks useless. Put simply, locking down the web isn’t a deterrent; it doesn’t teach students that what they are doing is wrong. This is an opinion shared by Ofsted, which has stated that a managed system is more successful than a locked one when it comes to safeguarding pupils’ safety. Ofsted argued that if pupils are granted greater freedom online then they may be less vulnerable to online dangers. But what should you be doing if blocking isn’t the answer? Monitor online behaviour The first step is to closely monitor internet usage and address online misdemeanours as soon as they happen. More powerful systems will alert you to violations as they happen to save you constantly monitoring all your students. Reports provided by your IT department on a weekly or monthly basis may identify unacceptable online pupil behaviour but you shouldn’t wait this long to act. You wouldn’t wait a month before confronting students over an incident of playground bullying, and the same is true online. To do so is tantamount to sanctioning the behaviour. Monitoring flags up incidents as they occur, giving teachers the power to take control of ICT in the classroom and deal with incidents immediately. Promote awareness Some students may genuinely not know where the line between acceptable and unacceptable lies. Difficult family backgrounds and the general sexualisation of children means some find things acceptable that their parents and teachers do not. Schools must counter this by promoting awareness of the issue of sexual abuse, ensuring that students know how they can and cannot behave. The penalties for inappropriate behaviour in school should be clearly explained and then enforced. 20
Create a method of disclosure Students may be reluctant to report incidents directly to their teachers, but they might be more willing if they have an anonymous, safe way to do so. A mechanism that enables students to confide in a person of authority without placing themselves at risk should be established – whether through technology or a peer support system. Education of students – and staff PSE and ICT classes should be used to raise the subject of acceptable online behaviour, while workshops can be used to demonstrate the impact such behaviour can have. Students can also be given learning collateral such as ‘Digiducks Big Decision’, an e-safety resource for young children, or ‘So You Got Naked Online’, aimed at older students and parents. Of course teachers need training too. New technologies are being developed all the time, and a constant effort must be made to stay up-to-date with these as well as the terms students use to describe sexual acts. Doing so helps level the playing field between the teacher and pupil and gives the teacher confidence to manage the online learning environment. Policy and strategy An e-safety policy sets out actions staff should take to maintain online safety in schools and what they should do in the event of an incident. South West Grid for Learning is an excellent resource for schools in this area, providing templates to work with. If schools can improve education on the topics of internet safety and sexual behaviour the trend for students to commit online misdemeanours at school may be reversed, but conversations need to happen, and strategies for preventing and managing situations must be put in place. Above all, schools need to move away from just blocking web use; instead it should be monitored and managed in order to ensure online safety. Jonathan Valentine is the MD at e-safety software specialist Impero. Education Magazine
Sad? Sunpipes provide relief from seasonal affective disorder Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly known as SAD, is thought to be caused when a lack of natural light makes the brain produce more melatonin – the sleep hormone, and less serotonin – which lifts moods. This leads to depression and lethargy, which as many as one in 50 people suffer from. Light therapy is a proven treatment for SAD so we should not ignore the symptoms as it is a wellknown fact that SAD is known to respond to the hormone serotonin, whose production is triggered by natural daylight. Also, many scientific studies conducted in the healthcare sector now support the conclusion that natural daylight shortens patient recovery times, improves their mood and generally promotes well-being. For example, the health of patients located near windows improves more quickly, and the babies of mothers exposed to higher daylight illumination grow quicker and are released earlier.
In addition, at least 75% of electricity costs for lighting can be saved during daytime, where Sunpipes are used to replace electric lighting during daylight hours, and considerable environmental and health benefits are experienced (natural daylight is known to combat SAD) due to the much improved working environment. Monodraught produces a range of Sunpipes designed to provide natural daylighting for industrial units, warehousing, high-bay stores, etc., as well as for homes, offices, wash rooms, internal stairways and corridors.
In order to treat SAD with light therapy, most sufferers need their eyes to see light as bright as a spring morning on a clear day, for around 30 minutes a day. The light must be at least 2,500 lux, which is roughly five times brighter than a well-lit office. Users are said to feel the benefit after about seven days.
building services industry to provide an antidote to SAD and help eliminate the unnecessary use of electric lighting during daylight hours. In domestic, industrial, commercial and healthcare environments, Sunpipe systems should not primarily be viewed as a ‘cost saving’ measure. Whilst year-on-year actual savings are available there is also an energy savings achievable when Sunpipes are used in lieu of artificial lighting. Add to this the benefits to the staff working in these areas and natural lighting does provide a much more pleasant working environment than artificial lighting. In fact,
extensive work carried out in the USA by Heschong Mahone Consulting Group, found that productivity in offices served by natural daylight shows a 20% increase in output from employees, with a marked reduction in absence due to sickness. Sunpipes will provide a stress-free, soothing, and far healthier office ambience by eliminating the glare and conflict of electric lighting and computer screens.
Among the most innovative natural lighting systems is the Monodraught Sunpipe, which can eliminate the need for electric lighting during daylight hours and bring natural daylight into virtually any building – typically providing approximately three times as much light as a similar conventional rooflight. When mounted on the roof the highly reflective Sunpipe tube reflects and intensifies sunlight and normal daylight into the space below. It spreads light evenly using a patented prismatic diffuser; lighting areas without glare and eliminating heat
Sunpipes also have a considerable advantage over conventional roof lights as they are designed to diffuse natural daylight uniformly over the widest area to prevent the ‘glare’ that is often attributed to conventional roof lights. In addition, the associated heat gains with artificial lighting are not a concern with Sunpipe systems, as a Sunpipe is essentially a double-glazed system containing a column of still air. This effectively reduces heat gain in summer as warm air rises to the top of the system and expands through the condensation gasket, keeping the system cool at ceiling level. Conversely, in the winter it traps the warm air within the pipe; thus suffering the least heat loss possible. These effects are confirmed by the substantial numbers of Sunpipe systems installed by Monodraught throughout Europe, in the USA, the Middle East and the Far East. As with any type of depression, SAD can be difficult to live with, but it can usually be successfully treated with the natural light therapy provided by Monodraught Sunpipes.
transfer. The design of the diamond shaped dome ensures that dust and dirt is washed off naturally and no maintenance is required outside or inside the building. Sunpipes can even be mounted horizontally to pipe light deep into interiors and can be used in basements.
University reports show that Sunpipe natural daylighting does significantly improve the working environment, whilst natural lighting in schools has also been shown to improve students’ learning – recording 20% improvements in Maths tests and 26% in reading tests in one year. This explains why Monodraught Sunpipes are being embraced by the
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Are schools interested in engineering? Last November the Chancellor, George Osborne, visited Staffordshire earth excavation manufacturer JCB to hear the company announce a £150m investment into the business over the next five years, creating 2,500 jobs. Many of these jobs will be in engineering. Last month in his Autumn Statement he announced extra funding of £50 million per academic year for the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects at our universities, covering about 30,000 students, plus £40 million for 20,000 apprenticeships in 2013/14. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, is on record as saying: “British engineering and innovation are a part of our history that we are rightly very proud of and our engineering excellence continues to change the world that we live in for the better… We need to get more of our young people studying maths and science at school. We need to get more of our young people studying engineering at university.” You’d think with such senior support and huge investments that there wouldn’t be a skills gap in engineering (the number of engineers the county produces compared to how many it needs). However politicians have been making these noises for years, exhorting universities to train more engineers. And yet the problem is still there. So what’s going wrong?
Apprenticeship Service, SEMTA and STEMnet (the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics network). This was attended by 55 students. At the end of the presentations we asked if anyone would like experience in the aerospace industry and were swamped with requests – 23 in total.
Fatima on work experience, being shown how to use a Vernier caliper.
Why is this important? Because of the severe impact on the economy. Engineers are the people who enable us to exploit new technologies. Without them we can’t manufacture high tech, high value products such as aircraft and cars. And thereby support thousands of jobs throughout the supply chain. If we as a country can’t produce enough highly skilled engineers, companies will look overseas for the skills they need, and this can mean relocation to environments where there is a strong pool of engineering resource. In 2009, China produced over 760,000 engineering graduates. India produced around half a million. You do the math! So we know there’s a huge skills gap, and we know politicians can send the right message. But ultimately it’s the responsibility of industry and schools to up their game and solve this problem. At FSL Aerospace, a provider of quality fastener products and supply chain solutions, we have been tackling the problem head on, where it begins at school. We have been nominated for an award by SEMTA (the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies) for this work. Research from Engineering UK has shown that 49% of 7-11 year-olds believe that being an engineer would be ‘boring’ and that they would prefer more immediately visible careers such as teachers, footballers and doctors.
Fatima and Chris on the awareness event with their head-teacher (on the right)
A study last year by the Royal Academy of Engineering found that British industry will need 100,000 new graduates in STEM subjects every year until 2020, yet the country only produces 90,000. This doesn’t sound that bad. However when you consider that this 90,000 includes international students who need to return home after their courses and a quarter of engineering students choosing careers in more ‘glamorous’ sectors such as banking and consultancy. It shows that the world of UK engineering is suffering a serious skills shortfall.
FSL has engaged with local schools, running awareness raising events. For example we presented to Barnhill Community High School, which has 80% of kids on free school meals. We presented to 240 students and asked at the start how many knew anything about engineering. Six hands were raised. At the end of the presentation we asked who is now interested in engineering. This time 47 hands were held high. Now we don’t know how many of these are the engineers of the future. However it’s a step in the right direction. We followed up this event with another more in-depth look at engineering at all levels, from apprenticeships through to degrees, involving the National
The aim of the event was to encourage young people to consider a career in engineering. Sixteen students signed up to find out more about apprenticeships, of which eight were for engineering and four specifically for aerospace. After the event, 85% of students said they had a strong interest in apprenticeships and 40% said they would consider a career in engineering. They were all surprised to learn that pay for full-time engineers is in the top 30% of UK salaries. FSL Aerospace then offered two work experience placements and received 23 applications. The comments of the two successful placements are illuminating: Fatima Hashi, year 12, said:
“The amount I have learnt has really helped my development and furthered my interest in engineering. My interest in engineering has grown within the company.” Chris Wright, year 9, added: “Seeing engineering in action from the ground floor to the board room of an important aerospace supplier was a real eye opener. I didn’t realize how quickly orders could be taken and completed. It was great to be able to see engineering in practice and I’m now keener than ever to become an engineer in aerospace.” And it is only by industry engaging with schools on this level will the skills shortage be solved. And we are starting to do our bit. For example the South East & London regional council of SEMTA, of which I am vice-chair, will be setting itself three or four key objectives for next year of which half will be to increase interest and awareness in engineering. And FSL is organising a number of visits to engineering companies with school students next year. However schools have to play their part. I’ve offered to run similar sessions with three other schools and nothing has come of it. Colleagues I speak to throughout the industry have had similar experiences. So come on schools, the industry is keen to engage with your students. Let’s start solving the engineering skills gap, and help to guarantee the prosperity of the country in the decades ahead. Neil Broad, FSL Aerospace
If you want to become involved, email me email@example.com. Education Magazine
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Programming for Primaries One of the hottest topics in education today is computing in schools. In England the Education Secretary Michael Gove has set out the new curriculum for 2014 whilst in Wales the ICT Steering Group has just presented its recommendations to the Assembly. Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence leads the way in the UK but a shortage of teachers with associated skills remains an issue throughout. The UK Government’s revised national computing curriculum for 2014 puts significant emphasis on teaching children how to write code. Pupils aged five to seven will be expected to “understand what algorithms are” and to “create and debug simple programs”. By the age of 11, pupils will have to “design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems”. Most experts agree that learning to code or program is a vital ingredient for future success. Programming skills are rapidly changing our world, but more importantly learning to program teaches a child to think differently, express creativity and feel empowered. Blogger Emma Mulqueeny’s catch phrase ‘year 8 is too late’ is the clear message when it comes to inspiring and encouraging children to learn programming and coding skills, which is why ICT education specialist ComputerXplorers has earmarked 24 – 28 March 2014 to be the date for the first Programming for Primaries week to raise awareness of the issue. Programming for Primaries has been borne out of an altruistic desire to raise the profile of programming at primary level and encourage other organisations to join in. Support to engage children in all facets of computing, including coding and programming, needs to come from all aspects of the community – from teachers and schools to volunteers and industry professionals alike. An open, inclusive and collaborative approach is the best way forward. The recent International Hour of Code initiative run as part of the USA’s Computer Science Education Week in December demonstrated how a co-ordinated approach to making resources available can be successful. Although very few UK
schools held an Hour of Code, over eight million people worldwide accessed the csedweek.org website to take part in the online tutorial ‘write your first computer programme’, 1.5m looked at ‘Introduction to Java Script’ and 70,000 made a festive greetings card using scratch. Explained Nigel Toplis, managing director of ComputerXplorers: “By the time they arrive at secondary school too many children have already decided that computing is not for them. Whether that self-selection is as a result of gender, economics, interest level or lack of exposure to inspiring opportunities, they miss out. “It is vital to engage and inspire children at a much younger age. In spite of some progress in recent years too many children never grasp those vital skills that enable them to become creators and not just consumers of technology and set them on a path of great career options. Those children will forever be on the wrong side of the digital divide. “We share the belief that computer skills are central to economic progress at an individual level as well as at a national level. Those skills are just as valuable to children who go on to work outside of the technology sector as 24
they are to children aspiring to be the next Mark Zuckerberg.” Introducing children to programming at primary level requires age specific curriculum and all classes need to include an element of fun otherwise attention will be quickly lost and hard to regain. Computing innovations such as Raspberry Pi and Makey Makey are very child friendly but if teachers aren’t aware of the resources out there to help with lesson planning then these excellent aids will lie un-opened in their boxes. It may be a challenge for non specialist teachers in the Primary sector to deliver curriculum for computing and to know where to go to find resources. The aim of the week is to shine the spotlight on programming and coding support available to children and teachers in primary schools. The ComputerXplorers Programming for Primaries Week will provide a platform for like minded organisations to communicate the benefits of programming for younger children and help make teachers more aware of the rich seam of resources that are available for primary and pre-schools. Microsoft Partners in Learning is one of the continues overleaf u Education Magazine
The rise of interactive projectors Finger-touch interactivity, mobile device integration and ultra-short-throw projection are fuelling an unstoppable trend It may have become more interactive, but life in the classroom is never static. For the past decade interactive whiteboards have been installed in classrooms and helped a generation of students learn via advanced teaching methods unheard of a decade earlier, but the demand for the integration of mobile devices and for new kinds of content is creating a thirst for a new, more versatile hands-on technology fit for the progressive classrooms of the 21st century. At the vanguard of that change is the ultrashort-throw interactive projector. Enhanced by ultra-short-throw technology as well as by brighter, more efficient 3LCD optical engines, it’s a shift that’s being driven by Epson, which already has a 76% share of the ultra-shortthrow interactive brand share in Europe. As the market leader with a long heritage in the education sector, Epson believes its responsibility is to tirelessly innovate to improve a generation of classrooms. Epson’s new range of ultra-short-throw education projectors unveiled at BETT 2014 does just that, ushering-in a new era of interactive projection with some exciting new features that strive to allow for more versatile teaching methods. Pen problem is no more: Finger-touch An exciting innovation in Epson’s latest flagship product, finger-touch technology means that there is never the need to hunt for a replacement pen. Finger-touch is available on Epson’s EB-595Wi flagship ultrashort-throw interactive projector, which will go on sale in April 2014. Perhaps the most exciting technology development recently for both educators and students, finger-touch changes everything by allowing teachers and students to draw, annotate or write using just their finger. With no pen needed, it’s one thing less to lose. Finger-touch brings some magic to the classroom, but interactivity on Epson’s new EB-5 Series is no novelty; annotations and drawings made by either finger or pen (interactive pens will continue to be options for those who prefer them) can be saved as image files for later inspection. Any interactive work can therefore form part of students’ notes and records. Out of the shadows: ultra short-throw projection High brightness for all interactive projectors is a given, but Epson’s new EB-5 Series also sees the widespread use of the ultra-short-throw concept. Able to project
large images from a very short distance with minimised shadows and glare, it’s the technology that’s making possible the new trend to interactive projectors. As well as brightness and an ultra-shortthrow image, this new generation of interactive projectors are about some great new device integration software that promises to encourage adoption. Epson’s new models are great for classrooms that want effortless interactivity yet currently struggle to integrate the plethora of mobile devices in the hands of students. “With many pupils now having their own laptop, tablet or smartphone, it makes sense to have a central interactive display that can help manage students’ shared content within the classroom,” says Paul Wilson, product manager of Visual Imaging, Epson UK. Trend to interactive projectors: analysts agree Arguably the biggest advantage interactive projectors have over interactive whiteboards is a reduced cost of ownership. With the interactivity built into the projector without the need for a separate, expensive interactive whiteboard - cost is reduced, meaning that educators are able to make their money go further. In addition to this, interactive projectors can display a widerange of content types that can be edited by multiple students and then saved for later use, which makes them ideal for collaborative learning. So it’s no wonder that education establishments in emerging markets are increasingly bypassing interactive whiteboards altogether in favour of ultra-short-throw interactive projectors, while in more mature education markets there’s now a clear trend to install interactive projectors alongside interactive whiteboards or even to upgrade existing solutions to access a new improved feature set. The existing high penetration of interactive whiteboards is steadily giving way to ultra-short-throw interactive projectors across Europe and the Middle East, and Epson believes this trend is now unstoppable.
Others agree. A report in November 2013 on the Front Projector Market in Europe and the Middle East by FutureSource Consulting highlights this trend, predicting that the market share for ultra-short-throw will more than double by 2017 when it will out-sell standard short-throw models two-to-one. The same report also highlighted that the interactive projector market enjoyed a massive 12% year-on-year growth in the third quarter of 2013, with touch-based interaction gaining traction to reach a 7.4% share of the interactive total. Epson’s 76% interactive market share Epson expects these trends to continue, and with a 76% ultra-short-throw interactive market share is in a unique position to lead this shift towards interactive projectors. Epson is also the world’s number one interactive projector manufacturer , its products based around its own core 3LCD projector technology – which is up to three times brighter than rival single-chip DLP projectors – first developed in 1989. This has massively important ramifications for the visible quality of not only text and colours, but also for video. In an age where design and manufacturing are more often than not completely divorced, Epson stands out as one of the few companies that embraces design and manufacturing as nothing less than an art form, and where a long heritage in the education market informs its products. Epson is at the forefront of some exciting new technology that culminates in mobile device integration and Epson’s pen-free finger-touch interactivity. All of this will help educational institutions take advantage of – and accelerate – the unstoppable trend to interactive projectors. For more information about Epson please see www.epson.co.uk, Tel: 0871 4237766, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Programming for Primaries continued first to support Programming for Primaries and others are expected to follow. Said Steve Beswick, Microsoft’s Senior Director, Education: “Having an idea and bringing it to life for the first time on screen is a really powerful experience for young people. Through programmes like Kodu, which helps children learn to code by building games, we can give them the skills to create anything they can imagine. At Microsoft, we do everything we can to support people taking that important first step towards realising their potential.” Among the activities planned for Programming for Primaries Week by ComputerXplorers are free regional programming workshops either for teachers or for children. For more information on the Programming for Primaries week and details on how you can become involved or for details on the free regional workshops for teachers or children please contact Sandra Fitzgerald from ComputerXplorers at sfitzgerald@ computerxplorers.co.uk. ComputerXplorers pioneered the introduction of programming classes for primary school children and pre-schoolers. Since 2006 the company’s programming and coding classes have inspired children to develop and broaden their computing skills alongside a wide range of technology classes from 3D animation and modelling to Minecraft and web design - all with computational thinking, creativity and critical thinking at their core. Sandra Fitzgerald, development director ComputerXplorers.
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The Education Show 2014: Prepare for change 2014 promises to be a big year for education as schools up and down the country prepare for the introduction of the new National Curriculum. Yet this is only one challenge that educators face over the next 12 months, with many that lie ahead yet to be addressed. With a new approach developed especially to meet and anticipate the needs of the changing education sector, the Education Show 2014 is to return from 20-22 March bringing with it a wealth of content, speakers, exhibitors and resources. The School Leaders Summit at the Education Show will once again be addressing the issues most pressing for education leaders throughout the country. For two days, school leaders and business managers will have the chance to discuss, debate and share experience on topics including examination reforms, getting to grips with the new Ofsted criteria, academy conversion and implementing technology in the classroom to transform learning. Alongside this, more than 120 free to attend, CPD accredited workshops,
seminars, training sessions and discussion events will be led by practitioners, peers and industry experts on the show floor. The programme is extensive and will provide something for every educator, whether the National Curriculum seminars in association with Scholastic, practical â€˜How do I...â€? workshops or hands-on sessions with the latest technology in education. Visitors to the show will also benefit from the knowledge and advice of more than 350 leading education suppliers who will showcase the latest teaching tools and most cost-effective procurement schemes. From whole-school solutions to best-value classroom resources, visitors can try and test a range of products and services to establish which are best for them. The Education Show 2014 is free to attend, taking place from 20-22 March 2014 at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information and to register to attend, please visit www.education-show.com.
How can we put the bounce back into school fitness? The concept of ‘unhealthy’ children consumes a lot of media column inches today, but can anything more be done on a school level to help improve childrens’ fitness and wellbeing? Education Magazine’s new columnist - children’s fitness consultant and owner of fitness company onesixeight: fitness, Becky White, takes a look at how she thinks schools can make PE lessons more interesting to those taking part. I have built a successful business from beginner’s fitness, helping adults and children to improve their fitness levels and general wellbeing. Part of the reason for the success of my business is that the adults that I train and the parents and teachers of the children I train, appreciate the health benefits of the sessions I facilitate. Aside of the health benefits, my business is successful, as I have managed to make health and fitness fun – or at least more fun than my clients will have experienced previously in the sports hall or gym. Why then, is what I do more fun for children? It’s not all about me, I am just one of thousands of fitness instructors and personal trainers trying to make fitness and wellbeing more interesting, rewarding and fun for their clients and pupils. I believe it’s about the activity – which in my case, is about achieving fitness through bouncing on mini trampolines.
It works for my business and I think that more children would develop a healthy appetite for fitness if it was made more fun in the early years. In my opinion, too much of what we are taught in school PE lessons revolves around team sport, where there are winners and losers and sometimes not much room for the people that don’t enjoy the specific sport or aren’t very good at it. I’m not against competition at all, but I think that by also adding some fun fitness activities into the mix, we would get more buy in from children and subsequently get even more young people sold on fitness for life. Imagine what PE would be like if activities like Zumba, yoga, pilates or even martial arts were on the curriculum? Imagine if instead of playing in sports teams, kids had the chance to be a cheerleader for those teams? And I’m not just talking about things that can happen in school – archery, mountain biking and even the occasional snowboarding lesson could be considered! Whilst many of these activities would not be feasible financially, they could be introduced for a limited period in each term or half term, even using external organisations to help implement them. Activities such as aerobics or line dancing could be undertaken in the sports hall, much in the same way that maypole and country dancing used to feature heavily. Compared to many more traditional sports there is a lot less organisation required for the likes of Zumba and mini trampoline sessions and there would be a lot more physically activity achieved in the hour allotted and not so much time spent waiting around, as can happen with some team sports. Less traditional sport orientated PE sessions would allow students to choose between mixed gender or same gender groups, which would be useful as I have found that some girls like exercising with boys because they consider them more competitive than their peers. Some girls however will feel more comfortable in a female environment. Either way, more choice and flexibility would mean more willing participation and by proxy a greater level of fitness achieved. It’s important to remember that it’s not just the activity that determines the level of interest and enthusiasm for children, but also how comfortable they feel taking part. Clothing (for adults as well as children) can play a huge role in this. Adults and children that I work with have a universal liking for wearing their own clothes – suitable for exercise but in most cases (perhaps controversially) not a uniform! Whilst there are many valid reasons for wearing a school uniform PE kit (school branding and the sense of belonging, less 28
Becky White leads a bounce session for children.
avenues for bullying and simplicity for parents to name but a few), I would argue that willing participation in the activity should be the paramount concern. To this end, I would suggest a choice of kit (in line with the school’s uniform) of either: shorts, ¾ lengths or tracksuit bottoms; vests, t-shirts, long sleeve tops or jumpers and finally sensible footwear appropriate for the playing surface. Clothing can be like our armour and I find that if people are in control of what they wear, they are more comfortable undertaking (and hopefully enjoying) physical activity. On the subject of control, it can be fun to allow the children themselves to have some role in running the sessions. After all, this type of student-led activity can help students to develop leadership and organisational skills. Totally throwing convention on its head, would fitness be more fun and accessible for kids if they undertook a daily few minute’s exercise with an activity that didn’t require changing into kit? I think that 15-20 minutes of this exercise in the morning or the afternoon would be a good idea, given that not all children run around, or even move during break times. In general, PE lessons need to have some element that isn’t purely focused on competitive activity (for students who don’t enjoy competitive sport) and more focus on enjoyment and having fun. I do not doubt that PE teachers are currently doing a good job of teaching traditional sports and games, however, changes to the curriculum to increase participation will require innovation and it may be more appropriate for schools to source external organisations to provide activities in their specific areas of expertise. Education Magazine
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Teaching children with Hemiplegia “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” With his recent passing, it felt apt to begin with a quote from Nelson Mandela. Whilst we all recognise the empowerment afforded by education, aspects of school life can be challenging for most children at some point in their educational lives. These challenges are considerably magnified for children with disabilities. This report looks at the disability hemiplegia, how it impacts children with the condition at school and what can be done to support them. What is hemiplegia and how many does it affect?
Dr Charlie Fairhurst, Paediatric Neurodisability Chair for the UK, author of the Hemiplegia Handbook and Consultant at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital
Supporting children with hemiplegia in schools It is important for teachers and learning support assistants to be aware of the therapies the child is receiving and to liaise with the treatment team. Best practice would see the child’s teaching assistant or other staff member incorporating the interventions advised by the therapists into daily activities with the child. A ‘holistic,’ integrated approach will undoubtedly provide an optimal learning environment for the child.
Hemiplegia is a neurological condition caused by damage to the brain. In 80% of Neelam Dongha of cases it happens before HemiHelp or around the time of birth and is known as congenital hemiplegia. Parents will usually only become aware of their child’s hemiplegia gradually during his or her infancy as they display developmental delays or ‘one-sidedness.’ Some children acquire the condition (acquired hemiplegia) later in childhood following a stroke, a virus or infection such as meningitis or head trauma. Every day in the UK between one and two babies are born with hemiplegia which means that one child in 1,000 is affected by this lifelong, incurable condition. Although comparatively unknown, it actually has the same statistical incidence as Down’s Syndrome. Given the statistics and the fact that most children with hemiplegia attend mainstream schools, this implies that most teachers will experience at least one child with hemiplegia in their educational careers. Effects and treatment of the condition Dr Charlie Fairhurst, (Paediatric Neurodisability Chair for the UK, author of the Hemiplegia Handbook and Consultant at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital) explains that “the effects are similar to a stroke and it results in a varying degree of weakness and lack of control on one side of the body. In one child this may be very obvious; he or she may have little or no use of one hand, may limp severely and have poor balance. In another child it will be slight and only shows when attempting specific physical activities.”
Since hemiplegia is caused by damage to the brain, it is not just motor development that may be affected. Over half the children have additional diagnoses. Some of these are medical in nature, such as epilepsy, visual impairment or speech difficulties. Many children have less obvious additional challenges, such as perceptual problems, specific learning difficulties or emotional and behavioural problems. Treatment is based on a multidisciplinary approach and almost always involves physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Speech therapy may be required or treatment for epilepsy as this affects 1 in 5 children with hemiplegia. There are a number of therapies to aid movement ranging from botulinum toxin (botox) injections to reduce muscle stiffness to orthopaedic surgery. Most children will wear orthoses (splints) on the arm and/or leg. Furthermore, the child may receive behavioural support at school and psychological support to deal with behavioural and emotional issues. 30
Sharing information before the child starts school is crucial because hemiplegia affects each child differently. One child may have quite severe physical impairment but no problems with learning. Another may be less physically affected, but have considerable cognitive difficulties. Obviously, the earlier the issues are identified and addressed, the better the chances of successful intervention. Some whose disability is fairly mild do well with informal help with practical tasks from staff and peers whilst others will need a formal Statement. Physical support There are different forms of support that children with hemiplegia require at school, the most obvious deriving from the physical impairment. The child may need help within the classroom with using a ruler, scissors and artwork. At lunchtimes, the child may need support eating, for example cutting up food or pouring a drink. PE lessons can pose a number of challenges starting with just getting changed to actually using equipment, especially activities relating to balance. There may be mobility issues between classes with the child taking longer to contend with stairs or longer distances. This may make the Education Magazine
child late for a lesson so there needs to be some allowance for this or some assistance provided. However, Dr.Fairhurst says “teachers should encourage the child to take part as much as physically possible.” The aim is to support the child but at the same time encourage the child to use the weaker side to make them as ‘two-sided’ as possible. Learning and behavioural support As well as physical support, children with hemiplegia will need support to help them access the curriculum. However, hemiplegia is sometimes perceived as a mild physical disability and teachers are not always aware of the less obvious aspects of the condition. Robert Goodman, Professor of Brain and Behaviour Medicine at King’s College London, reports that “often the child’s everyday life is less affected by the condition itself than by associated ‘invisible’ problems affecting education, emotions, behaviour or relationships. The trouble with invisible difficulties is that people outside the family often don’t take them seriously enough.” Issues common in children with hemiplegia include dyslexia and/or dyscalculia, visual impairment and visual perceptual problems. They often also have other difficulties that will impact on their learning; for example, with short-term memory or attention span. They will also tire more quickly than
their classmates. Furthermore, studies have shown that over half of children with hemiplegia will experience emotional and behavioural problems. These can include: excessive shyness, difficulties making and keeping friends, excessive anxiety, irritability, a tendency to be easily distracted, aggressiveness, immature behaviour, fear of failure resulting in unwillingness to do tasks, obsessive-compulsive traits, difficulty coping with change, concentration problems. Understandably then, the school day can be really exhausting for a child with hemiplegia. Schools need to recognise these issues and work to minimise them. The book ‘Hands Up for Andie’ by Brenda Palmer highlights a number of these issues and is a useful starting tool for teachers to help children in the class understand how it feels to have hemiplegia. HemiHelp – support for schools HemiHelp is the national charity that provides information, support and events for children and young people with hemiplegia,
Professor Goodman, Professor of Brain and Behaviour Medicine at King’s College, London
their families and the professionals who support them. A key part of what they do is to work with schools to raise awareness of hemiplegia and help teachers support pupils with the condition. In order to assist schools, the charity provides training in schools and has put together a primary schools pack ‘The child with hemiplegia in primary schools.’ They are currently working on a secondary schools pack. To request training or a primary schools pack, please call 0207 609 8507 or visit www.hemihelp.org.uk. To see the information sheets, please visit www. hemihelp.org.uk/professionals/education. Whilst school may pose more challenges for a child with a disability, with the correct support infrastructure, these can be overcome. To end this report as we began, with a famous Mandela quote, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Article by Neelam Dongha of HemiHelp
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UK schools Dress Up and Dance to make a difference for Macmillan Macmillan Cancer Support is excited to announce that their nationwide fundraising initiative, Dress Up and Dance will return to schools and nurseries across the UK on Friday 20th June 2014. The dance extravaganza, which asks children to don their finest dancewear in return for a £2 donation to the charity, was an incredible success in 2013, with over 910 schools raising more than £92,000. This year, Macmillan is working alongside Stagecoach Theatre Arts schools to encourage even more schools and nurseries to sign up to make a difference to those living with cancer.
and Dance initiative for 2014. At Stagecoach, we aim to ensure that as many children as possible are given the opportunity to develop their confidence through singing, acting and dance. Dress Up and Dance is a brilliant way for us to reach these goals, whilst engaging children with the fantastic work that Macmillan does to ensure that no one faces cancer alone.” All the money raised from Dress Up and Dance will go towards Macmillan’s vital work providing medical, financial, practical and emotional support to the two million people currently living with cancer in the UK and help ensure no one has to face cancer alone.
Once registered, schools will receive a Dress Up and Dance toolkit, written in conjunction with Stagecoach Theatre Arts schools, which includes fun and educational activity to ensure that the event ties in with the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage. The toolkit will include teaching materials, ideas and activities to help plan a fun dance event as well as a DVD featuring Strictly Come Dancing star Lisa Riley, that is packed with all new Stagecoach choreographed dance numbers including ‘the Fairy Tale’, ‘the Superhero’ and ‘the Flamenco’. On the day, the children are invited to simply follow the dance moves on the DVD to create a simple yet fun dance number.
For more information on Dress Up and Dance or to register visit www.macmillan.org.uk/dressup or call 0845 673 0720. *PSHE – England; PSE – Wales; Health and Wellbeing – Scotland; PD & MU – Northern Ireland
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Primary school teacher Alexandra Coley said: “The children had a fantastic day taking part in Dress Up and Dance for Macmillan in 2013. Learning the Dress Up and Dance routines tied in well with the PE curriculum and helped us ensure variety within the necessary two hours of physical activity per week. I would encourage other teachers to register their school and get involved with Dress Up and Dance for Macmillan.”
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Lynda Thomas, Director of Fundraising at Macmillan said: “We were delighted with the success of Dress Up and Dance last year and are incredibly excited that we’re able to bring it back for 2014. Dance is a fantastic way to connect with Primary School children and is such an accessible way to ensure that children of all ages engage with fundraising to support those affected by cancer.” Sarah Kelly, Managing Director of Stagecoach Theatre Arts schools said: “We are really excited to be working with Macmillan’s Dress Up
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Growing Schools Conference 2014 Friday 11 July 2014 10 – 5pm Programme Includes key note speeches on delivering the School Food Plan, and developments in using the outdoor classroom. A wide choice of workshops from the practical to raising funds for new projects. A panel of experts will debate your issues … and lunch in an inspiring outdoor classroom! £100 if booked by 11 May (£125 full price thereafter) All delegates will get a free ticket to visit Kew Gardens on Saturday 12th July 2014 Venue: The Phoenix Canberra Schools Federation, The Curve, Shepherds Bush, London W12 ORQ Email: conference@phoenix. lbhf.sch.uk Tel: 0208 749 1141 ext 284
Product Showcase Gopak lime daisy tables proving a success with adults and children Children love to learn in a fun, stimulating environment, where their focus can be kept and their attention won’t wander. This is why the Gopak Enviro Reply No. Early Years Daisy Table 30 was designed with children in mind. Its fun shape and bright table tops and edges transform any classroom, playgroup or nursery into a fun, stimulating, colourful learning environment. The Daisy Table comes in a selection of 8 different colours including Signal Red and Japanese Beech. It is the lime coloured tables that are topping the popularity class, constantly proving a hit with adults and children alike. The Daisy Table is transported flat for easy transportation and storage and assembly is child’s play. All you need is an Allen key to attach the legs to the sturdy aluminum frame. To get your lime Enviro Early Years Daisy Table contact Gopak. Go to www.gopak.co.uk or call on 0845 519 2850 to find out more. Gopak has a successful 50 year legacy in producing high quality furniture in the UK.
Research finds teachers want schools to do more in their communities
Teachers recognise the benefits of engaging in social projects for learning and personal development of students A new survey of more than 800 secondary school teachers has revealed that given the opportunity, three-quarters (74%) of teachers would like their schools to do more to support students’ involvement in social action. An overwhelming 87% feel that the role played by their school in the community is important to them but over a quarter (27%) don’t currently feel that students leave their schools well engaged with their communities, which suggests that a need for better integration exists. The survey was commissioned by National Citizen Service (NCS), a government backed youth citizenship programme open to all 16-17 year olds in England and Northern Ireland. Designed with social action at its core, NCS is a unique two or three week full-time programme focused around fun and discovery, plus 30 hours committed to a community project that benefits both young people and society. To further support teachers, NCS and the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) recently launched new materials to support Citizenship teaching to 11-16 year olds across England. As part of a new partnership, NCS and ACT have worked together to create the materials which are designed to inspire students with theoretical and practical ways to engage with Citizenship and are now available to download from www. teachingcitizenship.org.uk/ncs. It’s easy for teachers and schools to get involved NCS. For more information visit the website at www.ncsyes.co.uk/teachers.
Education is fastest growing sector for DDoS mitigation Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber attacks on schools and educational facility websites are on the rise. With students often reliant on their school’s website for important information, resources and updates, this can have a detrimental effect on not only a school’s reputation, but also can pose a significant financial risk. PIR Education speaks to Mark Teolis, general manager at DOSarrest Internet Security, who offers insight into the rise of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber attacks on school websites and provides advice on how schools can protect themselves. What is a DDoS attack? During a DDoS attack, the attacker attempts to bombard a target machine with so many external communication requests that it floods the system and overloads the server to such a point that it can no longer function. This means that any content that is hosted on the website, such as school information, forms, reports and announcements, is unavailable for the duration of the attack. Why should the education sector be taking DDoS seriously? Web presence itself is very important and schools and universities need to make their websites accessible. They need a website to give out grades, information and schedules five years ago they weren’t really using their website apart from explaining where the school is located. Now, if their website goes down as a result of an attack, they can lose their SEO ranking or it could have an effect on their brand; there is a lot at stake aside from revenues. 34
Students have easy access to DDoS tools, so they may want to try it against their own [school or university]. They could be motivated because they’re failing in something, and there are enough smart kids around to access DDoS attack tools. How can I protect my institution’s website from DDoS attacks? The best start is to have a plan in place. Start by thinking about having your website down for a day to three days and how it would impact current and prospective students, teachers and the prestige of the school. The Internet is usually the first port of call when checking out an establishment, so chances are high that any disruption to your web experience won’t be favourably looked upon by prospects. While protecting yourself does come at a price, can you really afford to take the risk not to? If you want to protect yourself, there are a couple of ways to go about it. You can buy a piece of equipment, a DDoS mitigation device, which is a one-time fee and it will stop attacks, though each device has different capabilities. Another route is to go to a provider who offers protection services–again, some are better than others. In this case you are usually paying a monthly fee. However, be aware that one of the biggest misconceptions people have is if they buy a service or a device it will be able handle everything, and it’s just not true. Keep in mind- your provider is only as good as their upstream connection—if the attack is too big for the connection or the attack is too sophisticated your system will go down. So be sure to do your homework when choosing the best option for DDoS protection. For more information email: sales@DOSarrest.com Education Magazine