Blog

Inclusivity from the perspective of a teacher and a mother

Inclusivity is heard to find, says Hilda Bernier – pictured here with son Emilio

As an educator certified in teaching students with disabilities, Hilda Bernier knows how tough it can be to guarantee inclusivity in education for children, including her son Emilio. Now she and her husband Olivier are set to make a film that will help other parents and children.

All any parent wants for their child is for them to be included. But for millions of children across the world that's not their reality. Studies suggest that there are anywhere between 93 million and 150 million children across the world living with a disability, and around half of them are out of school.

Child mental health diagnosis: the need to be trauma informed

Dr Margot Sunderland, Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health

Dr Margot Sunderland, Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health, writes about trauma and loss and how teachers and other agencies must be well-informed to ensure correct diagnoses…

 

Of course many diagnoses given to children are accurate. Moreover, for some conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder, there is indisputable neurological evidence. That being said, what follows is a concern with misdiagnosis, which, in so many cases is utterly preventable if we are trauma informed.

Teaching pupils emotional intelligence – behaviour management in schools

Lynn Hamblin of Supply Desk discusses behaviour

The behaviour of pupils in class has been proven to have a direct link to their educational outcomes. Here, Lyn Hamblin, former Leader of Student Personal Development and Wellbeing at St Albans Girls’ School and current Regional Director for Supply Desk Ltd, discusses the importance of helping children build their emotional intelligence skills as part of teachers’ approach to behaviour management…

Behaviour can affect learning 

Using student portfolios in your classroom

student portfolios

Simon Adams, Regional Director for Teach In – specialists in matching school staffing needs with the best available teachers and teaching assistants using creative recruitment solutions – gives his thoughts on using student portfolios as a method of assessment…

Use of portfolios of student work is becoming an increasingly popular assessment for learning tool.

In its simplest form, a portfolio is a collection of student work featuring key pieces that encapsulate the learning journey. There are many different types of student portfolios, but effective portfolios all have commonalities.

Features of effective student portfolios include:

They are tied to a learning goal

Why schools use supply agencies

Supply Desk

Clare Othman, Operations Director, Supply Desk, specialists in matching school staffing needs with the best available teachers and teaching assistants - permanent, long-term and supply - gives her reasoning on why many schools choose supply agencies, such as Supply Desk, to fill teaching vacancies.

Education recruitment agencies, including supply agencies, have become an integral part of most UK school recruitment strategies.

It’s Your Story - personalised books for young children

Itsyourstory

Planning a prizegiving, graduation or welcoming a new student? If so, mark these all-important milestones with beautifully illustrated personalised Alphabet books from Itsyourstory. Not only a fantastic teaching aid which brings numbers and the alphabet to life by making them the star – but also a perfect keepsake which includes a personal message from you to the child at the front.

Called ‘From A to Z” and ‘From 1 to 10’ are this ideal gifts for young children. Every letter is accompanied by a picture and a simple, fun sentence which emphasises the sound – for example, ‘Freddy’s Dinosaur is Daring and Dangerous’, ‘Oliver Octopus has Orange Socks’. The child features in the illustrations and text on every page making it a fun, engaging and relevant read.

How can a supply teaching agency help a Newly Qualified Teacher?

NQT advice

Caroline Cafferty, Operations Director, justteachers, specialists in matching school staffing needs with the best available teachers, teaching assistants and SEN staff - day-to-day supply, long-term and permanent - gives her advice to Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT) who are unsure how to progress their teaching career.

Being a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) can be daunting especially in the first term as you establish yourself with your colleagues and your class.

Education leaders say new printing technologies vital for educational success

A boy using a virtual reality headset in class after the study commissioned by Ricoh Europe

According to a new study commissioned by Ricoh Europe, 88% say that new skills learnt through the use of technologies such as digital fabrication and 3D printing are vital to educational success and preparing students for the graduate job market.

David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe, says:

“Digital fabrication and 3D printing provide the ability to illustrate complex concepts across a variety of subjects. As the way people and machines work together continues to evolve, integrating technical abilities into the learning process helps ensure the skills required of the future workforce become second nature for today’s students.”

Successful transition to work programme to more than double in size

A successful transition to work thanks to Project SEARCH

A successful transition-to-work programme, Project SEARCH,  for young people with special educational needs plans to double in size over the next three years, it was announced today (Thursday 21 June).

The programme, called Project SEARCH, originated in the United States and is now established in the UK through partnerships with local authorities, NHS trusts, and businesses including GlaxoSmithKline and Marriott Hotels.

A new charity called DFN Project SEARCH is being established by businessman and philanthropist David Forbes-Nixon to facilitate the expansion of Project SEARCH in the UK and parts of Europe with the aim of increasing the number of students taking part from 500 to more than 1,000 by 2021.

Guardian at Wynstones Steiner Waldorf School

Wynstones ideas for school trips

Wynstones School has taken their children on trips for many years, with key trips throughout the different age groups.

Although they are not set in stone, there is a framework that creates stability and expectation, as well as a bank of knowledge within the staff on how to organise particular trips and what has worked and what can be improved the following year.

The youngest classes do local walks to the woods and fields; by age nine they have regular work mornings on a local farm, and then at the end of the year possibly have a night’s camping on the farm. As they get older, the trips get a bit longer and further from home. They are all related to the Steiner curriculum and age appropriate.

Side By Side Inclusive Nursery and Special Needs school

Integrated Nursery

Side by Side Integrated Nursery and Special School was founded by Mrs Rebecca Rumpler OBE, an Orthodox Jew, in 1997. Following her son’s diagnosis of Downs Syndrome, she realised that there was no school that could cater for his special educational needs in a supportive environment that encouraged the Jewish, religious ethos that was present in her own home. Mrs Rumpler envisioned a nursery that provided a specialist education for children with learning difficulties and disabilities learning alongside mainstream children, whilst maintaining Jewish ethos, culture and knowledge so that pupils could become contributing members in their local community and in the wider society.

Young Boccia champs officially open new school playground

Creative Play

YOUNG Boccia champions have celebrated their win by helping to officially open their school’s new Creative Play playground.

The Kent County winning youngsters from Greenfields Community Primary School in Maidstone were picked to join the school’s Chair of Governors, Pam Payne, to officially open the new outdoor equipment, designed, manufactured and installed by outdoor play experts Creative Play.

Boccia, which is a precision ball sport related to bowls, is primarily a disability sport and schools, such as Greenfields, also have teams for children who have learning difficulties.

Greenfields has found that being part of a Boccia team has given those pupils a real confidence boost and created friendships that have made them feel more inclusive.

Innovative teaching helps students overcome hurdles

PiXL Edge

PiXL Edge helps teachers and students to develop attitudes and skills that will help them in life and beyond.  We can easily take life-skills like booking train tickets or opening a bank account for granted. To most, they might seem simple, but if you haven’t been shown or been given the confidence, these everyday tasks can suddenly become a hurdle in life. 

Students at Ashcroft have significant barriers in life. Many have struggled to cope in education because of their mental health or life experiences and 46% of students are looked-after children. As part of their work to ensure their students develop essential life skills to help overcome these barriers, Ashcroft have signed up to the PiXL Edge programme.

Lifesaving app combating mental health and bullying in schools

Tootoot

Recently, a Year 6 pupil in a Manchester based Primary School used tootoot to get in touch with a member of staff to seek support as she had been having suicidal thoughts. At a time when at least half of suicides amongst young people relate to bullying, and half of the people bullied in the past year have never told anyone due to fear, embarrassment or lack of faith in existing support systems (Ditch the Label’s annual survey 2017), it is more important than ever that we address the problem of bullying and cyberbullying in our schools, colleges and universities.

Safeguarding in schools is fundamental to protecting students’ wellbeing and attainment. When bullying or mental health issues go unresolved, students are increasingly turning to self-harm. 

Plastic tokens promote good behaviour in children with additional needs

Plastic tokens promote good behaviour in children with additional needs

Token economy and other ‘concrete aids’ can have a measurable impact in the classroom for children with additional needs, according to experts. 

The use of non-tangible rewards, such as verbal or written praise, is typical in schools. How ever, children with additional needs can experience difficulties understanding that such praise equates to future rewards.

The exchange of tangible rewards – objects that pupils can see and physically hold –is known to help enforce that the praise is both real and contemporaneous with the displayed behaviour, forming a ‘contract’ between the teacher and pupil.  

Mental health, friendships and bullying amongst top pupil concerns, data from 650 schools finds

Tootoot

More than 11,500 reports were gathered from 650 schools over a two-year period from users of Tootoot’s award-winning anti-bullying and reporting app. Pupils were given the opportunity to use the app to anonymously report issues that were troubling or concerning them. Similarly, teachers used the platform to log pupil incidents and concerns they had observed.

Imaginary Friend Makes It Real For Author

Sunflower Dreams Academy

Christine Fox (53) from Middlesbrough, is the founder of The Sunflower Dreams Academy which helps children to believe in themselves, provides a safe environment in which to encourage the development of ideas, aspirations and hopes and helps them to successfully face any challenges head on.

Indeed Christine has already beaten two major challenges in her life. Firstly, she was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age 48 resulting in poor literacy and mathematical skills which gave her a distinct disadvantage compared to her peers. Secondly, in 2010 she was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) after being involved in a major road traffic accident.

Book your school trip now to KidZania London’s 2018 STEM Fair!

KidZania

Launching on Wednesday 20 to Friday 22 June, KidZania - the indoor city run by kids - will be hosting an action-packed STEM Fair, promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills and careers through curriculum-based activities to bring the school syllabus to life.

Collaborating with STEM organisations and businesses including; the Aviation Skills Partnership, Usbourne Books and national charity Remap, KidZania will be enhancing the activities in the city to support the learning criteria of pupils in Key Stage 1–3.