Blog

Story-telling helps boys close ‘literacy gap’ with girls

Story-telling at school with teacher and students

A story-telling approach can help boys aged two to five-years-old catch up with the literacy levels of girls in the same class, research by Goldsmiths, University of London has found.

Tales Toolkit is a storytelling programme, currently used for children up to age seven in more than 120 schools across the UK and eight countries worldwide, that encourages imagination and creativity. It provides schools with child-led resources based around symbols to represent story structure of character, setting, problem and solution.

Supported Employment course kicks off for 5th year

Group of students at Supported Employment course

Optalis’ Supported Employment service has successfully launched the fifth year of its Ace@Optalis course, welcoming young students from the learning disability department at Reading College who are looking to secure employment. 

The ultimate goal of the Ace@Optalis course is to support students to achieve paid employment and work towards gaining independence in their role.

Thirteen students looking to secure careers in a variety of industries – including catering, retail and horticulture - have joined the course this year, which is held at social care provider Optalis’ Head Office.

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.

Exam Stress: 5 tips to help your kids keep their cool

Exam Stress

Pressure on students to succeed is higher than ever, with fierce competition for university and school places. This pressure is heightened with exam results looming.

The hype means that results day can present a mix of emotions – joy, regret, stress or euphoria. And this isn’t just limited to the children! However, it’s important to support your child in the best way you can – which includes keeping them healthy and reducing their stress in the build up to the day. 

1. Talk things through 

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. 

Dance teacher at West London specialist school scoops national Inspirational Teacher Award

Jonathan - Dance Teacher

The dance teacher who founded street dance sensation Autism With Attitude (AWA) from Hillingdon Manor School – an independent specialist provision in Uxbridge, West London for children aged 3½-19 with autism run by Options Autism and part of Outcomes First Group – has won the Inspirational Teacher Award at the 2018 National Association for Special Educational Needs (Nasen) Awards. Professionally trained Jonathan Baron introduced dance to the school to provide a unique expressive outlet to help students develop skills both on and off the dance floor, with amazing results!

House of Commons Nursery Wins Gold Award

Toddler playing in House Of Commons Nursery

House of Commons Nursery run by London Early Years Foundation Wins Gold Award for Healthy Early Years London

The House of Commons Nursery operated by London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) has been awarded the Healthy Early Years London Gold (HEYL) award for its outstanding achievements in child health, wellbeing and development in Early Years settings.

The awards scheme, which is funded by the Mayor of London, is aimed at reducing health inequalities by supporting a healthy start to life across themes that include healthy eating, oral and physical health and early cognitive development. 

Disability at School: Overcoming Barriers to Education

Disability at School: Overcoming Barriers to Education

A disability can have a hugely significant effect on a child’s experience at school. Many disabled adults describe their experience at school as an ultimately negative one.

A study carried out by the University of London’s Institute of Education (IOE) showed that around 12 percent of special needs pupils at age seven felt like they were bullied ‘all of the time’.

However, bullying of disabled children is often ignored. The same study said disabled youngsters had been "largely neglected" in research assessing the impact of bullying.

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.