News

THE 2019 SHINE A LIGHT AWARDS LAUNCH SOON

Shine a Light Awards

Pearson and The Communication Trust have once again joined forces to launch the seventh Shine a Light Awards.

Entries for this year open in September with the awards ceremonytaking place on Thursday 21st March 2019. Britain’s Got Talent winner, Lee Ridley, also known as the Lost Voice Guy will be performing at the event alongside a soon-to-be-announced celebrity host. 

The awards not only celebrate the hard work and determination of children and young people with SLCN but also seek to recognise the incredible contributions of teams, schools, settings, young people and individuals across England who champion innovative work and excellence in supporting children and young people's communication development. 

Crazy Noodles Colouring Book, by Emily Gray (Troubador, £7.99)

Crazy Noodles colouring book

While seven-year-old Lily Gray struggles in maths and English due to dyslexia, her creative abilities soar far and beyond not only her years, but most other people on the planet. For as long as mum Emily can remember, her beautiful daughter has been drawing, tearing things up and creating art that stands on its own.

In the most unique of projects, Lily and Emily have now teamed up to release Crazy Noodles, a kids’ colouring book unlike anything else on the market. There are no rules, expectations or convention – just a volume that allows children (and adults!) to unleash their talents and explore creativity in a fun and memorable way.

Arts therapy boost for neurology rehabilitation

Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT)

Company director and arts therapist Daniel Thomas tells Education for Everybody about the work Chroma does with children…

Tell us about Chroma and what you do.

We are the UK’s leading national provider of arts therapies working across a range of sectors to improve the lives of every person who works with us. Our 70+ team of experienced therapists provide a national service covering education, health and social care. We provide art psychotherapy, music therapy, neurologic music therapy and dramatherapy. 

We work with social care partners and local authorities supporting adopted children and their families, in healthcare for people who need rehabilitation from brain injuries but also those with dementia or other neurological diseases. 

Special Educational Needs Conference: Innovations in inclusive learning

SEND professionals

SEND professionals are invited to attend the Special Education Needs Conference in Manchester on November 14th.

The conference at the University of Salford will focus on the key challenges set out by the Education Committee’s recent inquiry into the support for children and young people with SEND. 

Speakers will examine whether the Government’s stated ambitions for simpler, improved and consistent help for youngsters with SEND have been met. Presentations will provide practical solutions and examples of best practice from across the age range of provisions.

Alongside this inquiry, councils are set to benefit from a £50million funding boost to create additional school places and state-of-the-art facilities for children with SEND. 

The Prologue personalised books aim to create educational and social change

The Prologue free personalised books scheme

Luke Swann, founder of The Prologue free personalised books scheme which aims to engage even the most reluctant readers, explains how the books work and why he feels the landscape of literacy learning needs to change in order to include children from all backgrounds…

When did The Prologue begin, and why did you set it up?

Just over a year ago, I set up The Prologue as a way to create the educational and social change I think is urgently needed. I grew up in an impoverished area where education simply didn’t work for a lot of young people. I’ve work as a teacher and a children’s author before but I had to solve some of these issues on a wider scale and so The Prologue has become my primary means to achieve that necessary change.

Athena Fund Provides over 400 Special Education Teachers and Kindergarten Teachers in Israel’s Bedouin Sector with iPads

Athena Fund

Israel’s Athena Fund today announced that more than 400 school and kindergarten special education teachers in the Bedouin sector have received iPads in recent months as part of the “iPad for Every Special Education Teacher” program. In addition to computers, the teachers will also receive 120 hours of techno-pedagogical training.

The distribution of iPads was carried out in the communities of Rahat, Hura, Neve Midbar Regional Council and Bir al-Maqsur.

Athena Fund Provides over 400 Special Education Teachers and Kindergarten Teachers in Israel’s Bedouin Sector with iPads

Athena Fund

Israel’s Athena Fund today announced that more than 400 school and kindergarten special education teachers in the Bedouin sector have received iPads in recent months as part of the “iPad for Every Special Education Teacher” program. In addition to computers, the teachers will also receive 120 hours of techno-pedagogical training.

The distribution of iPads was carried out in the communities of Rahat, Hura, Neve Midbar Regional Council and Bir al-Maqsur.

For students with dyslexia, speech recognition unlocks new opportunities in education

The Dyslexia Association

Of the learning challenges facing students with dyslexia, reading difficulties are amongst the most prominent. It is believed around 10% of the population have the condition which usually sees suffers struggling to process information whether written or spoken, which can hamper their natural ability to share and document their creative ideas, knowledge and enthusiasm for a subject. This could potentially have an adverse educational and psychological effect on this group and possibly negatively impact their engagement with education. Encouragingly though, through dedicated study and research, great advances have been made in understanding dyslexia, how it affects individuals and what needs to be done to provide support for them from an early age.

Becoming a Thinking School helped our pupils become self-motivated learners

Becoming a Thinking School helped our pupils become self-motivated learners

Our journey to becoming a Thinking School began back in 2008; it has been a complex and demanding process, but the impact on our school and its pupils has been dramatic. 

What prompted it?

We had observed that a vast number of our students, who are aged 11-19,  were passive learners. They were being given information in order to pass exams but there was little opportunity for them to discover things for themselves. What we wanted was to raise the level of challenge and for them to become self-motivated and lead their own learning. 

Safeguarding apps rolled out to schools nationally after Sunderland trial

MOMO

School children who receive extra support could be given access to apps created by Mind of My Own (MOMO) to help them talk about and influence the care they receive and share concerns and worries about their lives.

The two apps – MOMO One, for children and young people aged 8+ and MOMO Express, for younger children and those with learning disabilities – are to be offered to children in contact with Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENco) and safeguarding leads in schools following a successful trial at Oxclose Community Academy in Sunderland. 

Helen Caldwell, from the University of Northampton, on using technology with SEN pupils

University of Northampton, Special Educational Needs, Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Computing, Net-Aware,

Helen Caldwell, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Northampton, who’s also an Apple Distinguished Educator, shares her thoughts on the use of technology for education and outlines some ideas for implementing technology in outdoor sessions…

Our children are increasingly spending less time outdoors exploring their environment. They spend more time engaging with the world around them in a digital format - through the various mobile devices now available to them at home and in the classroom.

They’re mixing learning, gaming, watching video content and using social media to communicate in a more interactive way than ever before. They are often way ahead of the curve in understanding technology, compared to parents, and some educators. 

Acheivement for All - Sonia Blandford

Achievement for All

Professor Sonia Blandford, CEO at Achievement for All, tells Education for Everybody editor Victoria Galligan about the charity that works to improve outcomes for all children and young people who are vulnerable to underachievement.

Tell us about Achievement for All and the work it does…

Achievement for All is a leading not-for-profit organisation that works in partnership with early years settings, schools and colleges, improving outcomes for all children and young people vulnerable to underachievement regardless of background, challenge or need through bespoke partnerships across our wide range of programmes.

What more can policy makers do to ensure every child is included?

The early bird catches the (book) worm

Book Monster

Encouraging and supporting your child in their reading can sometimes be a monster task, let the Book Monster (RRP £24.99) by Thinking Gifts come to the rescue! This brilliant book holder can be propped on to any surface and keeps the book or tablet firmly in position with monster teeth to mark each page.

This gentle giant, available in green and blue, can accommodate most sizes of books, e-readers and tablets and has handy pockets at the back for storing items such as bookmarks, power cords and ear phones. Book Monster can now also accompany you on holiday – the new, inflatable Bookmonster Air (RRP £14.99) is waterproof and perfect for story-time on the beach!

Welfare Call celebrate G-Cloud 10 listing

Welfare Call Limited

South Yorkshire based, Welfare Call Limited, have just been confirmed as listed on the Government's G-Cloud 10 framework and are on track to reach their ambitious expansions plans.

Welfare Call has been providing safeguarding services to Local Authorities since 2002 by contacting more than 14,000 schools every day to monitor the attendance and attainments of Looked After Children and vulnerable groups during their time in education.

Now considered the market leader and specialists in the collection and management of this data, their ePEP (electronic Personal Educational Plan) has assisted authorities achieve marked improvements in quality and completion rates of their PEPs and subsequently been acclaimed by Ofsted.

Why RSBi’s ASL vocational learning programme is top of the class

City Building

City Building is one of Scotland’s largest construction firms, with over 2,200 staff. The Glasgow business is underpinned by a unique social ethos which includes providing sustainable employment for a diverse range of people including those with disabilities and other under-represented groups.

As part of its socially inclusive approach the organisation has established a comprehensive youth employment policy, which includes a dedicated additional support for learning (ASL) schools programme.

Explore, discover and learn on-board budget friendly coach hire!

Explore, discover and learn on-board budget friendly coach hire!

If you are looking for safe, reliable and high quality coach hire that doesn’t dent your school travel budget, then look no further. Our fantastic school saver discounts enable you to save up to and over 15-50% on school coach hire, whether you ‘Book More, Save More’ or you meet our School Smart Checklist for our ‘School Smart Discount’ where coach hire prices start from as little as £240!

Book More Save More

Top Dundee visitor attractions win coveted Sandford Award for education

Sandford Award 2017 winners

Dundee's Verdant Works and Discovery Point - two of Scotland's favourite visitor attractions - have won the coveted Sandford Award.

Independently judged, the Sandford Award is a stamp of approval for education at a heritage site. It recognises the hands-on learning, workshops and facilities at Verdant Works and RRS Discovery, which both make social history a large part of the visitor experience.

Both venues are run by Dundee Heritage Trust, an independent registered charity dedicated to preserving and portraying the city's heritage for current and future generations. The Trust has clocked up numerous awards for the top visitor attractions.

Wren Kitchens design Competition

WrensLittleBuild

This week, Yorkshire kitchen specialists Wren Kitchens have launched their first children’s design competition on their website and social media channels named WrensLittleBuild 

With links to STEM, PSCHE, art and DT, the WrensLittleBuilds competition aims to captivate children’s creativity and challenge their imaginations by letting them take full control of their kitchens – designing dream spaces and inspiring them to create wild and wacky kitchens to concoct their favourite meals in.

Snubbing tech in schools is failing disadvantaged pupils, finds think tank

Teacher and student talking using the Reform think-tank

Education technology can help transform outcomes for disadvantaged pupils but is being neglected, according to a new report from the public services think-tank Reform. Reform analysis shows how using video tutoring apps instead of one-to-one tutoring could allow 300,000 additional pupils to make ‘significant progress’ at school. With the right input from schools and DfE, technology has the potential to narrow the opportunity gap. 

Former school pupil helps to break communication barriers

Go>Grow group

A former student at a Newcastle school has returned to her roots to help break down communication barriers thanks to a free training initiative, Go>Grow.
 
Debbie Jervis, who is a profoundly Deaf native BSL user, has returned to Northern Counties School where she was once a student, to deliver British Sign Language training to staff. 
 
Northern Counties School in Jesmond, supports Deaf children as part of the Percy Hedley Foundation. They also support children and adults with complex disabilities, including cerebral palsy and speech and language disorders.