News

Literacy intervention in West Yorkshire boys’ school improves reading age by more than a year 

Literacy intervention at school

Head teacher at Upper Batley High School Samantha Vickers explains how Supply Desk’s literacy intervention programme ‘Love to Read’ improved pupils’ reading age across the school, which has a high proportion of English as an additional language (EAL) and special educational needs (SEN) students. 

About the school

The key components of a mentally healthy school

The key components of a mentally healthy school, Centre for Child Mental Health

Dr Margot Sunderland, Director of the Centre for Child Mental Health(CCMH) and Co-Director of Trauma Informed Schools UK– discusses the key components of a mentally healthy school. 

We have health and safety policies for children’s bodies in our schools – so why don’t we have health and safety policies for children’s minds? We have all the evidence we need on the adult-child relationship experiences that cause mental health problems and those that heal. 

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

Future Fit Training partners with Fit for Sport

Future Fit Training logo

Future Fit Training partners with Fit for Sport to offer an industry leading Children’s Fitness Qualification

Future Fit Training has joined forces with Fit for Sport - UK experts in educating and engaging children and young people through physical activity - to offer an exclusive Children’s Fitness Qualification – the first of its kind to include a nutritional module as a standard. A leading provider of quality assured fitness courses in Personal Training, Pilates and Nutrition, the course from Future Fit has been established in response to rising childhood obesity levels across the country.

Improving Opportunities For Students With Special Needs

Improving Opportunities For Students With Special Needs

Industry and education to work together to improve opportunities for students with special educational needs and disabilities

Employers, government officials and education providers across the country pledged support for a brand new campaign, centred around providing work experience opportunities for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). 

How can we provide meaningful SEND training for trainee teachers?

Emma Hollis - SEND Teacher

Ever since the Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training in 2015, which reminded us that “good teaching for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) is good teaching for all children”, practitioners and policy-makers have highlighted the variability in coverage of SEND in Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in this country. 

Innovative resource for schools that helps children make sense of the news

Innovative resource for schools that helps children make sense of the news

The 24/7 news cycle, social media and 'fake news' make it hard for even the savviest to keep up with what’s really happening in the world. Picture News is the simple yet brilliant new resource that enables schools to encourage children to question what they hear and read, to think around key issues and topics and develop ‘healthy’ news mindsets.

The Picture News team consists of qualified teachers. Each week they choose the latest big news story, turn it into a vibrant A2 poster with a thought-provoking question and create an assembly plan with British values, Key Stage1 and Key Stage2 focus cards. The materials are available to schools as a download or printed and posted direct to the school.

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.

68% Increase in Incidence of Self-Harm Amongst 13-16 Year Old Girls

Teenage girl listening to music after participating in self-harm

According to a recent study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ)1, a 68% increase in self-harm incidence was found amongst girls aged 13-16 between 2011 and 2014 in the UK, with an annual incidence of 77 per 10,000 (or 0.77%) in that specific group of age. The study also highlights that self-harm is the strongest risk factor for subsequent suicide, with suicide being the second most common cause of death before age 25 worldwide. According to the authors, these revealing results indicate an “urgent need to develop and implement effective interventions for girls in their early-mid teens”. 

Getting the right specialist equipment in SEN schools

specialist equipment in SEN schools

Knowing and using the right moving and handling practices in SEN schools is very important. Making sure you have the best equipment at your fingertips is equally important to providing the best support and care for students of varying needs and abilities. Here are a couple of things that will help.

Flexible Hoist Systems

Overhead hoist systems can help with moving pupils around the school, and they can even be used for gait training and other physiotherapy exercises. Choosing a flexible hoist track layout will help staff to move students wherever they need to. 

3D Printing Finds Its Mark

3D Printing Moonray

Like many technologies 3D Printing has taken its time to find its true vocation where the gains in digital processing are discovered by both leaders and followers. Often, new technologies need time to be matched with other skills and processes in order to be fully efficient. The advances in software, 3D scanners and 3D printers and light sensitive resins has now certainly reached this point.

Awesome Apps Ltd is a European Distributor for the new MoonRay series of DLP printers that are revolutionising the worlds of dental production, investment casting applications and rapid prototyping, among others.

What Chill? Kids Opt For Outdoor Sports This Half Term

What Chill? Kids Opt For Outdoor Sports This Half Term

As the weather turns colder this October half term, new research has revealed that kids are not going to let this dampen their fun when it comes to the sports they will take part in. A survey of more than 7,600 UK adults published by Decathlon in the Decathlon Activity Index 2018, shows that the majority of the top 10 sports children intend to take part in over October half term take place outdoors.

In fact, the data found that children will play sport four times on average over the half term week in October.

Despite the colder weather at this time of year, predominantly eight of the top ten list are outdoor activities, with swimming and football found to be popular activities that children intend to take part in this half term.

Priory Group invests £2.5 million in new Devon school for young people with autism and learning difficulties

Priory Group new Devon school for young people with autism and learning difficulties

A new independent school for young people with autismand learning difficulties, to help meet local need, is to open in Tavistock, Devon. The school will be run by Priory Education and Children’s Services, which runs schools, colleges and homes across the country for children and young adults with specialist needs.

The new site is set to open just after half term on 29 October- with an official opening planned for later in the academic year - and its senior leadership team has announced it will be admitting 25 young pupils aged between 7 & 19 years old. Admittance to the school will be staged, to ensure all students are receiving the right support for their individual needs, prioritising young people from the local area.

Start a New Chapter

Start a New Chapter

Whether you are blind, partially sighted, dyslexic or have another disability that makes you unable to read standard print, Calibre Audio Library brings the joy of audio books to everyone.  

Calibre was set up over 40 years ago by a mother whose partially sighted son struggled to read the printed word. To solve the problem, she set up an audio library so he could enjoy books just like his friends. Since then, Calibre Audio Library has grown into a national charity that has over 14,000 members across the UK.

Why are audio books so important?