All aboard! Pupils set off for a trampoline adventure in shiny new minibus!

Kids sat outs the Variety Sunshine Coach

Special needs pupils at a local primary school hit the road in their brand new minibus, from Variety Sunshine Coach, – hours after it was presented to them by Canary Wharf Contractors Fund (​CWCF), its generous donor.

Alison Helm, headteacher of North Beckton Primary School was handed the keys to the minibus by Tom Kelly, Head of Construction Operations, during a special ceremony, at the school, last Friday.

CWCF joined forces with Variety, the Children’s Charity to secure the school’s new minibus, which is officially known as a Variety Sunshine Coach.

Ms Helm said:Kids sat outs the Variety Sunshine Coach

Edtech opens up the possibility of an Eton education for all

Edtech - a phone with books illustration

Alongside print management software providers United Carlton, Education for Everybody explores how technology is improving education and where edtech is heading in the future…

Technology has had its fair share of nay-sayers, with worries that the new digital age would cause robots to take over the world. But what about all the positives of technology? 

Nearly every sector has seen a boost thanks to new technological advances, and that includes education. From ditching chalk for whiteboard pens, then from that to digital boards to bring all manner of visuals and interactives to presentations and lessons, the classroom has definitely had a technological makeover! 

Technology’s place in the classroom 

Five priorities to improve teacher recruitment and retention

Monarch Education MD Esme Bianchi-Barry on teacher recruitment and retention

Esme Bianchi-Barry, Managing Director at Monarch Education, discusses the education staff shortage and how teacher recruitment and retention affects the SEND world in particular…

Recent reports have highlighted the chronic shortage of teaching staff in the UK. It is arguable that this is particularly keenly felt in the SEND sector, especially with the rising demand for SEN teachers. The latest Government figures on the percentage of pupils with special educational needs in England has increased to 14.6%, and 2.9% for those with a statement of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Discovery and Science Mad

Discovery and Science Mad

Hugely appealing to the STEM-conscious family, the 'Discovery' and 'Science Mad' range of toys from Trends UK encourage children to have fun outdoors and learn from the natural world!

The Discovery Pocket Scope (£9.99rrp) is a wonderful introcuction to the micro world of mother nature. A handheld microscope for outdoor investigation, the Pocet Scope opens up the garden to an unlimited number of fantastic finds and educational marvels. The Nightlight Illuminated Globe (£19.99rrp) is a superb educational nightlight, showing the world, its seas and oceans, countries and capital cities; perfect for learning abouyt planet Earth while dropping off to sleep!

A Lack Of Real-World Experience Is Putting Children At Risk

School Children in classroom

A new report released on Outdoor Classroom Day proves the importance of getting outdoors on children’s mental health and environmental awareness. Outdoor Classroom Day is a world-wide campaign which calls on millions of children around the world to get outdoors and prioritise outdoor learning and play.

This year, over 530,000 children across the UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI) will be ditching their desks for the school grounds in support of the global initiative. 

Children take part in biggest wildlife survey in schools    

Little girl taking part in biggest wildlife survey in schools    

School children across the UK will be filling up bird feeders, turning classrooms into bird hides and creating wildlife friendly bakes in preparation for watching and counting the birds in their school grounds for the 2019 RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch.

The Birdwatch – which takes place during the first half of the spring term (2 Jan – 22 Feb) – is a chance for children to put down their books and discover the nature that lives in their local community. The Birdwatch involves children spending an hour watching and counting the birds that visit their outdoor space, before sending the results to the RSPB.

Time travel learning & multi-sensory teaching

multi-sensory teaching at Hampton Court

Taking multi-sensory teaching outside the classroom develops literacy and life skills whilst having fun, says Neil Mears, a SEND teacher at St Philips School.

One thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that, as a teacher, I need to teach the student, not just the subject. 

This is true for all children, but it’s a particularly pertinent point for those working towards, or at, Entry Level 1. 

What is inclusive cycling?

Wheels For Wellbeing

As part of their 10th birthday celebrations, Wheels for Wellbeing launched possibly a world first with their Guide to Inclusive Cycling at a well-attended conference at London’s City Hall In October. Neil Andrews Campaigns and Policy Officer at the inclusive cycling charity outlines what the Guide is, who it is for and how it can be used.

Why the Guide?

Wheels for Wellbeing’s Guide is the product of years of campaigning to make cycling more inclusive. Its roots can be traced back to a talk they gave at a London Cycling Campaign seminar in 2014, where some of its key principles were first developed, and more recently with the launch of our Beyond the Bicycle manifesto in 2016.

The challenges of recruiting SEND teachers

Supply Desk recruit SEND teachers

Schools across the UK are currently in the midst of a recruitment and retention crisis, with low numbers of candidates and teacher trainees. Applications for teaching training courses fell by one-third this year – plummeting from 19,330 in December 2016 to just 12,820 in 2017, according to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. Additionally, high numbers of teachers are leaving the profession – 81% of teachers surveyed by the National Education Union (NEU, 2018) said they had considered leaving the profession in the last year.