A new Change4Life initiative, entitled Our Healthy Year and launched by Public Health England, is encouraging schools to build healthy habits in children during the school years in which they are weighed and measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). This teaching toolkit will be distributed to help increase the number of children leaving primary school with a healthy weight. Our Healthy Year will help schools to run a whole year of fun, healthy curriculum-linked activity and, in doing so, support parents who are looking for ideas to help live healthier lives.
For schools, getting children to engage with learning is the first step. However, some pupils struggle with this, including disadvantaged and looked-after children (LAC) pupils, with the Department for Education (DfE) finding the attainment of LAC in KS1 and KS2 is lower than it is for non-looked after children; only 63% of LAC at KS1 achieved a level 2 or above in writing in 2015 compared to 88% of non-looked after children. Although this isn’t the case for every LAC, many can become disengaged and their attendance at school may not be as good as their peers, so as a result, they fall behind during lessons.
Today The Edtech Podcast announced a strategic partnership with Innovate My School. Launched in May by Sophie Bailey, the programme includes edtech interviews, trends and news, and is downloaded in 69 countries, including the UK and US, Brazil, China and Saudi Arabia. This strategic partnership will see the podcast published and shared via Innovate My School.
Learning is learning.
And good instructional design is key.
What’s good for students is good for teachers.
We are all learners.
During the past 20 years, I have been privileged to participate in some great professional development programmes. And some, not so great. I have led professional development where the teachers responded really positively and we saw direct impact on student learning. And some, not so much.
This past year I have been on an amazing learning journey. Over the summer, I had the chance to help shape the new space that I would work in this year and brainstorm all of the new possibilities it might allow for our students. Working closely with a team at my school, I was able to help transform a large storage closet into the new Imagination Destination at Episcopal Academy (I.D.E.A.) Studio. That process pushed me to think about my goals for the space and what I hoped it could scaffold and facilitate for students and teachers in terms of building new skills and mindsets and providing the resources and tools for empathy-driven projects.
It’s been a busy year for UK schools, with new edtech, academisation and changes to the exams system on teachers’ minds. As a result, we’ve been working with more educators than ever before. The 2015/16 year saw 621 articles published and 62 speed dating events run, with three major Twitter projects and a new website on top. Here are some highlights from the past 11 months:
Schools across the country are being encouraged to join the countdown to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Get Set to Eat Fresh, an exciting education programme created by the British Olympic Association in partnership with Aldi. Teachers can access a range of free curriculum-linked resources and activities that encourage 7-14 year-olds to learn about the importance of eating healthily and get them cooking fresh and nutritious meals. To help bring the programme to life and spread the Get Set to Eat Fresh word, Aldi has selected six Team GB athlete ambassadors, including boxer Nicola Adams, BMX racer Liam Phillips and Taekwondo athlete Jade Jones.
Thirty head teachers from Lithuania visited a Birmingham school to learn how to provide pupils with a top education, in an event organised by the British Council. The visit to Rockwood Academy in Alum Rock was part of a Government drive to build relationships with Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. During their six-day stay in the UK, the head teachers visited five schools and learned about how the British education system works.
Over 50% of Secondary schools across England and Wales are planning on using SISRA Analytics to support their analysis of KS4 and KS5 exam results data this year. The service has been developed to help ease workload giving staff time to put additional support in place when appropriate. SISRA Analytics provides staff, on results days and throughout the year, with a whole range of user friendly reports at the click of a button including headline figures, trend analysis as well as faculty and qualification-level analysis.
Your website is one of the most invaluable tools for communicating effectively with your wider school community, and it is the first port of call for most parents to access key information. The run up to the summer hols is a great time to get on top of your website and make sure it’s all set for the new year and it’s a popular time for schools to do an entire refresh too.