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Alex Purssey: What do you do when new neighbours move in?

Everybody needs good neighbours…From Jason and Kylie down under to Hendrix and Handel in London’s West End, although they were separated by a few centuries!

Now Wandsworth has its own glittering new global superstar neighbour moving in next door to a number of our Battersea schools. So, what should you do when you know a new neighbour is coming – arrange a playdate? Offer to help unpack or move boxes, or take around some milk and sugar?  These goodwill gestures would not quite be enough when the new neighbour is the technology giant Apple! Apple are opening six floors of office space in one of London’s most iconic buildings, Battersea Power Station next year, and housing over 1400 employees…so what did we in Wandsworth, do to welcome the new neighbour?

Wandsworth City Learning Centre celebrated its Apple Regional Training Centre status and partnered with St Marys RC and Sacred Heart primary schools to devise an exciting digital project to greet their new arriving neighbour by demonstrating their skills and engagement of using iPads in the classroom. Apple were thrilled and shared their excitement in moving to Battersea by offering to support the schools further, including providing class sets of new devices, innovative day trips out for the students to the flagship Regents Street store to work with the Apple Creative Pro’s and an in-person visit to their school by some of Apple’s most senior VIPs ‘from California.

While the students were engrossed in a stimulating and special coding session with the CLC Apple Distinguished Educators, Lisa P Jackson, the former Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, appointed by President Barack Obama, and now Apple’s very own Vice President of Environment Policy and Social Initiatives, came into the classroom to work with the awe-struck students. Lisa is Apple’s CEO, Tim Cooks’ second in command. Lisa was accompanied by Alisha Johnson Wilder, Director of Apple’s $100m Racial Equity & Justice initiative. The inspirational Apple employees, delighted by the children’s work, were joined by MP Marsha de Cordova and Councillor Stock who enthusiastically participated with the learners and then freely discussed environmental issues, sustainability and future opportunities for the children and the schools. Senior Leaders from both schools and Wandsworth’s Assistant Director Michael Hallick then examined exciting plans for further development and opportunities to collaborate with Apple. Everyone enthusiastically deliberated on how the opportunities could disseminate into and support more Wandsworth schools over time. Executive Head teacher Jared Brading took time to passionately explain the needs of the Battersea community and Apple agreed the call for continued support into the area would be a real benefit to everyone.

The Apple City Learning Centre Battersea project is proving to be a real success with the involvement of many key figures and Apple forging great links and devising energising ideas to support the local community which can then be expanded upon to support the whole of Wandsworth, something all parties are very keen on providing. Teachers and students are striving ahead with their digital literacy and coding skills to ensure Apple’s future workforce is homegrown in Wandsworth. It pays to be neighbourly, and this fantastic project clearly evidences that when one neighbour helps another, we strengthen our communities.

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Susan Morgan-Jones: the FAB Book Award is back!! 

Twelve years of the Fabulous Book Award were recently celebrated in style by Wandsworth Secondary Schools.  With the disappointment of the last minute cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events behind them, students representing Wandsworth Schools eagerly gathered at the Wandsworth Professional Development Centre in Tooting for the announcement of their 2022 FAB Award Winner.  

The shock closure of schools on 19th March 2020 on the onset of the Covid pandemic had proved to be a real challenge for many libraries who struggled to provide resources for their students, many of whom were confined to home schooling during the nationwide lockdown.  However, the ever resourceful school librarians met that challenge, e-library platforms becoming a much coveted asset as quarantining procedures prohibited library loans and some libraries even had to close. 

…Difficult times for us all. 

As schools reopened in September of that year, the librarians working in somewhat challenging situations sought to return to normality with our usual book clubs and participation in the FAB and Carnegie Awards.  Sadly, more Covid setbacks with more closures late in 2020 and through 2021 meant that we could not run our awards that year, but this made us more determined to go ahead in 2022.  Late in the autumn of 2021 with Wandsworth approval, participating Schools across the borough put forward 21 books for our longlist, which were avidly read and discussed by our FAB Book groups.  Due to national Covid uncertainties and subsequent school restrictive practices, numbers participating were down, yet librarians and students persevered with the shortlist, ever hoping that the FAB event would actually happen. 

…Fingers were crossed! 

The shortlisted books covered a range of subjects including Immigration, The Second World War and Racial Injustice, using both prose and narrative to incredible effect with thought provoking story lines.  We were also very pleased that three of our shortlisted authors were subsequently shortlisted for the National Carnegie Award, a testament to our discerning teenage FAB readers. 

On the day of our FAB Event, we were very glad to have the presence of author Lisa Heathfield, FAB Winner in 2020 who brought her trophy along so that students could share in her happiness at winning with her book ‘I am Not a Number’.  Just before the 2020 lockdown we had already voted her the winner, but with no end event we sent her the trophy and were super happy to see her at our 2022 event, to applaud her in person – Better (2 years) Late than Never! 

Our students had a very hard time deciding on the 2022 winner, all on the shortlist being worthy of carrying away our trophy and everyone gathered at the Wandsworth Professional Development Centre (WPDC) for the announcement, hoping that the book that their school had championed was indeed the winner. The morning was lively with each school introducing authors and participating in a quiz that tested their knowledge of all of the shortlisted books. 

Author Lisa Williamson shortlisted for ‘First Day of my Life’ was present. She gave a spirited and witty talk on her life and her writing process and thanked all present for their love of her books, having been longlisted twice previously for ‘The Art of Being Normal’ (2017) and ‘Paper Avalanche’ (2020). 

Messages of thanks and appreciation were also read out by students from authors who could not be present and Manjeet Mann, Phil Earle and Jewell Parker Rhodes sent in video soundbites, which thrilled the students present. 

Then finally, to thunderous applause for each author, the results were announced and judging by the screaming and clapping that ensued, the winner was a universally popular choice. Every one of the shortlisted books were really winners, such was the closeness of the voting and the authors should be applauded for producing such interesting and varied books that our students actually chose and wanted to read. 

FAB Award 2022 the Results 

Results in Reverse Order:  

  • 7th When the Sky Falls by Phil Earle 
  • 6th First Day of my Life by Lisa Williamson 
  • 5th Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewel Parker Rhodes  
  • 4th The Crossing by Manjeet Mann 
  • 3rd A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik 
  • 2nd Ace of Spades by Faridah Abike-Lyimide 

1st The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 

Jennifer Lynn Barnes, who is American based, was sadly not at the ceremony, so the FAB Trophy was sent to her publisher in New York, who reported that she was thrilled and honoured to receive the Award. 

After the results, much celebratory cake was eaten, books were bought, selfies with authors were taken and the multicoloured balloons that graced the occasion found themselves bobbing back to schools across the borough.  

We all agreed it was such a happy day. The sun was shining and our FAB Award was well and truly back…. 

Teenage fiction goes from Strength to Strength!……Roll on year 13 of our Ever So Popular FAB Award! 

Happy Reading Everyone…. 

Special Mentions Go to:  

The magnificent team at the WPDC who under the guidance of Catherine Green, rose to the occasion and worked so hard to make the day so special. We truly could not achieve any of this year on year without you. Thank You All. 

Cheryl John for the truly FABulous cakes, which is so much a part of our FAB Award. 

Bronnie and Bob Mayo of Bookwagon, who had experienced some difficulties getting to us on the day, but who still managed to arrive in time with smiles, total professionalism…and lots and lots of books.. 

…To all of the Librarians…FAB Year 12 was such a gamble but we did it everyone!! 

…and to the students, who read, debated and voted on the books. The FAB Award is truly Their Own Book Award. The authors always say it is so very special because it is the students who read their books, it is the students that they write for and that is means so much when their books are voted onto the FAB Long and Shortlist 

 ….High Praise indeed! 

Susan Morgan-Jones, LRC Manager at Ashcroft Academy and FAB Event Co-ordinator. 

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Keisha Bellingy: Value of Work Experience

Work experience is an opportunity for a young person to experience the world of work first hand. Up until that point they may have heard about the world of work from family, friends or on television but they get to see it for themselves and experience the good and bad side of working. 

I once worked with a year 10 student who had always wanted to be a hairdresser. I placed her in a hairdresser, and she called me on the second day to tell me that she wanted to leave. She had not expected to be on her feet all day and thought that she could start styling straightaway. They were in for a shock when they realised that this was not the case. Despite me warning them about the realities of hairdressing they thought that it would a different experience for them. I encouraged her to remain on the placement for the rest of the week and when she came back to school, she told me that she no longer wanted to be a hairdresser. In my eyes this was a successful placement because even though the student no longer wanted to be a hairdresser, the placement had taken them one step closer to deciding their future career option. Without work experience, this student may have chosen to pursue hairdressing in the future and only then realised that it was not for them

These are the further benefits of work experience:

  • Helps students to understand employer expectations
  • Students can add the experience to their CV
  • Students develop their employability skills
  • Students may get a part time job because of their placement

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 Wanda Gajewski: Click With Care

Subject: Information and Communication Technology

Topic: E-Safety

Age Group: Upper KS2

Synopsis: Most children are familiar with basic internet safety rules. However, these are simply not enough to keep them safe online. This fantastic pack features all the resources which you could need to raise the awareness among KS2 pupils about online risks, safety and behaviour. It will provide interesting topics for discussions about being online and e-safety. Pupils will learn how to use internet comfortably, safely and responsibly and consider the hazards and risks in their activities online, writes Wanda Gajewski from our Brilliant Learning, Learning Resources Service.

Exploring the topic of e-safety has the potential to inspire your pupils’ ambitions to become the computer engineers and inventors of the future.

Wanda Gajewski
Wandsworth LRS

Librarian’s view:

There are also more than 800,000km of underwater cables carrying Internet data across seas and oceans.

All through history humans have invented things. We create new ideas and technology to help us in our everyday lives. These inventions often lead to huge changes. When William Caxton brought the printing press to England in 1475, he changed the lives of thousands of people, putting reading and education within their reach for the first time. When Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web over 500 years later, he changed the world all over again.

The digital world offers many benefits for children, helping children to learn virtually, entertaining children and helping friends to stay connected. However, the internet brings significant challenges when it comes to how to keep children safe online.

All evidence indicates that children who are taught how to use the internet safely and correctly gain valuable skills and are more successful at everything they do. It is also critical that constructive online habits are established by the age of 10 or 11 to help prevent sexting, bullying and hurt online.

Birth of the World Wide Web (WWW)

Tim Berners-Lee was born in 1955, when the world was a very different to the one that your pupils know today. People didn’t have computers or game consoles in their homes. Tim loved science and maths, so after leaving school he went to Oxford University to study physics, the science that looks at natural matter and energy.

Tim wrote some computer programs that helped him take information from one computer and put it on to another one. He wondered if all the computers could be linked together so that information could be shared quickly and easily. However, he knew that the computers could not give us all the information that we wanted, but they could help by making the information easier to find. They could even give us the information at the touch of a button.

Tim had to build a framework  that would connect all the world’s computers together. He decided to call the framework World Wide Web. In 1991, he launched the world’s first website – http://info.cern.ch. It was a giant stepping stone towards reaching the internet that we have today. Tim Berners-Lee’s idea was so brilliant that it spread around the world quickly. Today it’s hard to imagine a world without it.

Staying Safe Online

The world of computers is often called the digital world. Children sometimes think that the digital world and the real are separate. But they will learn that the digital world and real life are connected. Just like in real life the main danger on the digital world comes from people who are dishonest.

Children will develop their knowledge on how computers and the Internet work together.

Almost all computers use the internet. The internet is a network of computers that covers the whole world. It allows computers to communicate with each other. Children who have a computer, tablet or phone can connect to the internet and socialise with friends, watch videos and play games. They need to be sensible and careful to keep themselves safe when they download and upload information.

Your digital footprint

Your pupils may be surprised by the idea that almost everything they do on a computer adds to their digital footprint. The digital footprint is made up of information about how someone behaves online. It might include what they have searched for on the internet, pages they have visited and even their location. The pupils will learn that someone’s digital footprint makes it possible to build up a picture of what kind of person they are. It shows things they are interested in, how many friends they have and the area where they live. Therefore, children need to be careful what they say online.

Personal spaces

Children will learn that a person’s online identity is not the same as a digital footprint. An online identity contains all kinds of information. Often it is based on popular social networking sites, which allow users to set up a profile.

Children will learn that in order to open their pages to post updates, photos and messages they will have to log in. The most important way of keeping information safe is by using a password. The password should be a mix of letters and numbers. The strong password is a nonsense word that will still be easy to remember. But if someone else guesses or finds their password, they can pretend to be them. This is called identity theft.

Click with care
The internet is used by people with widely varying interest. Children will come across materials that are not suitable for young people. Some adult material is sexual, and some of that is pornography. If children feel upset by materials that are not suitable for them, they should close the page and move on. However, they must notify the teacher or parent/carer. If children use a search engine to look for information, they need to read the little block of text about the pages found before clicking on the link.

And don’t be fooled! Facts on websites are not always true or up-to-date, so always be careful when you are searching for information.

Cyberbullying

Your pupils will learn that there are bullies online, just as there are bullies in the real world. Online bullying is called cyberbullying. Although it doesn’t cause physical harm, it is very upsetting because it can happen at any time – even when the children are at home.

Cyberbullying takes many forms. It can be nasty messages sent by phone or e-mail. It can include being abusive or ridiculing someone on a social networking site, perhaps by posting embarrassing photos or videos of them. Deliberately not letting someone join a game or chat is cyberbullying as well.

Children must remember to log out of their account when they finish using a shared computer.

Classroom activities

Classroom activities reinforcing the topic of E-safety

There are several great sites that explore the subject of staying safe online through games and videos, including:

Project Resources

To help your classroom click with care, use books such as:

Let’s Read and Talk about Internet Safety by Anne Rooney

Keeping Safe Online
by Anne Rooney

Computer Networks
by Clive Gifford

Understanding Computer Safety
by Paul Mason

Chicken Clicking
by Jeanne Willis

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Wanda Gajewski: Hands on History

Subject: Cross curricular

Topic: Learning from objects

Age Group: Whole school

Synopsis:

Why use artefacts (objects) in the classroom? Artefacts can be used in a wide variety of ways to enrich your teaching – they may be easier to understand in 3D or appeal to the senses and generally excite children’s interest.  What’s better to remember the parts of the body than by removing them from a model torso? How much easier is it to bring other cultures alive with dramatic, evocative icons and (if appropriate) religious artefacts?

This post from Wanda Gajewski, focuses on ways teachers can use objects for effective classroom teaching. Pupils will develop a wide range of deductive and analytical skills when handling objects and children with learning or language difficulties can participate fully in handling sessions.  It will enhance both your teaching and your pupils’ learning and thus provide inspiration and pleasure for all.

Librarian’s view:

Don’t we all just detest those country houses or museums which make it plain to us that we shouldn’t be touching anything? Of course, some objects should be kept behind barriers, but we like touching objects. Even replicas may inspire your children more than discussion or the written word.

Traditionally teaching has evolved around books and reading. However, the value of using real objects has been realised even within the National Curriculum. The History Curriculum requires pupils to use a range of information sources including artefacts. An object can be used for information or as a creative stimulus. Sometimes handling objects is a form of active learning that engages pupils in a way that other methods may be unable to match.

Artefacts are an ideal way to introduce a new topic or new area within any subject. They give hands-on experience and are a wonderful way of exciting children’s interest and engaging them in questioning, thus helping them to develop critical thinking skills for themselves. The questions can lead on to investigation and research as the children discover some of their own answers. For best effect, the artefacts should be presented singly or perhaps two at a time at most. The more active the presentation, the better it will be remembered, and the more questions will be asked.

Artefacts should be chosen with thought and introduced with proper planning. Think carefully how to introduce items as some may invoke laughter or perhaps distaste. For example, some children may find a made-up starched turban strange, others may dislike the bright colours typical of many images of Hindu deities.

Handling objects is a fantastic experience for pupils and it can also help them develop skills such as handling, observing, comparing, deducting and evaluating. A good way to develop close observation is to start with a familiar object. It might be a piece of classroom furniture, such as a chair. Children will be guided by you through the observation and deduction stages and finally they conclude that the chair is made of wood.

Investigate a Mystery Object

One good way of encouraging observation and deduction is to provide pupils with a mystery object. It is not always easy to find something which no pupil will have no seen before. Some objects from the Roman or Victorian period will usually suffice. Holding the objects in their hands helps the pupils to concentrate and reach conclusions based on the evidence.

The idea of sharing a mystery object is for the students to take away the knowledge about what it is called. This exercise helps pupils focus on thinking carefully and reaching conclusions based on their deduction. For the purpose of this post the names of the mystery objects are revealed.

Metal Strigil

In Roman times this unusual artefact was used after a hot bath to remove cleansing oils by scraping the skin.

Victorian Warming Pan

The warming pan was used in beds to warm them, and also to try to remove some of the damp. The pan was filled with hot charcoal or ashes and pushed into the bed.

Bring Ancient Civilizations into a Classroom

Sarcophagus and Mummy

Ancient Rome

Stone Age Flint Tools

Mayan God of Maize

Science and Geography

Chinese Utensils

African Wooden Shakers

Peruvian Musicians

Japanese Warrior

Bolivian Chullo Hat

Giant Compass

Basic Rock Set

Horseshoe Magnet Set

Religious Education

Nativity Scene

The Qur’an Set

Chanukiyah

Buddha

How did it go?

Feedback from schools has been very positive:

‘’Thank you so much for all the artefacts for his term. The prehistoric artefacts were brilliant – the kids got so much out of handling them!’’

‘’We had a very successful lesson looking at some of the Roman artefacts and trying to guess what they were, before doing research to find out.’’

Teachers from two Wandsworth primary schools

Artefact collections are available to borrow as part of subscriptions to our Learning Resources Service. To find out about what is available for your school, book a Head to Head today.

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Gwen Sinnott: Return to Statutory Assessments

We are gearing ourselves up for the summer assessment period, with Primary Statutory assessments back on the table and Secondary exam season results back in the public domain, we have much to do.

Hang on a minute… but what about all the other stuff we have started doing?!

Powered up with Power BI

Part of our growth has been in developing our expertise building tools to help support easy access to intelligence for schools. We have used Microsoft Power BI to pull data sets together and generate interactive dashboards on several intelligence themes. We are planning to embed some of these into the Research & Evaluation Unit website so you can easily find comparative and historic data about your school for specific needs.

Bringing it together

We are so looking forward to pulling the new assessment data together to bring you new presentations of school’s performance alongside established reports, more guidance and training and offer more bespoke solutions where you want them. We are looking forward to seeing comparative progress across Key Stages once we finally have a formula for this using new assessment measures, but we are like that! Join us this year to celebrate the hard work you have put into safeguarding and guiding the learning of children and young people.

Joining up

We have had a busy year developing and connecting more robustly with other teams in Childrens Services, meaning we have a more holistic (data) picture of cross service needs and outcomes. For example, the social care list for schools has been a real step forward for supporting vulnerable pupils.

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Michael Hallick: Lessons for the Future

Without warning, the Covid pandemic upended school life across the UK. Overnight, headteachers had to establish remote learning, absorb and implement an avalanche of guidelines and advice, while supporting students, parents and staff academically and emotionally. The scope of the crisis and the subsequent reopening have created distinct challenges, but also highlighted potential opportunities for whole school positive change.

The Future is Now

There is little doubt that the pandemic has stretched resources, accelerated trends and highlighted inequalities across the education sector. But while significant challenges remain, this is also a time of exciting opportunity as we learn the lessons from the largest disruption to education in living memory. 

As we step into the ‘new normal’, it is imperative that we allow room for analysis and reflection. To think about the bigger picture. Where joined-up collaborative ideas help to connect a wide range of tailored services to benefit all aspects of a school’s ecosystem.

That takes time.

And we understand that time is a precious resource. Schedules are unforgiving and workloads unrelenting. 

It is the main reason behind publishing Lessons for the Future – to start a discourse – to show that if we all collaborate to create and implement best practice, we can alleviate pressure on teaching professionals while realising the best future for schools.

A future, for example, where technology not only supports learning, but helps to realistically reduce workload, increases operational efficiencies, engages students and communities, and provides tools to support excellent teaching, monitors attendance and raises student attainment. In short, creating a smart school.

We hope you find value in Lessons for the Future. We hope it inspires ideas and sparks debate. That it opens a discussion on what is positive and achievable as we pivot to realise the opportunities of post-pandemic education. And we would like to be part of that discussion. 

Michael Hallick
Assistant Director – Business and Resources
Wandsworth Council

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Mental Wellbeing and Resilience

Responding to the changes that Covid-19 has wrought on learning requires building on what we know works, as well as looking ahead to what we know students will need.

Although it may seem overwhelming, the time to start reimagining the future of education is now.

Learning is not limited to the classroom, and its complex, multi-faceted delivery shouldn’t rest on the shoulders of any one individual. We believe brilliant learning environments are created through collaboration and a comprehensive, whole school approach. 

Mental Wellbeing and Resilience

The problem of child and adolescent mental health is large, complex and growing. Over one in three young people (34%) said that their mental health has got much worse during the pandemic. As the fallout from the pandemic unfolds, we need to be ambitious if we want young people to live happy, healthy lives. 

The challenges young people face are hugely varied – from stress and anxiety about exams to incredibly serious and debilitating long-term conditions. Schools are already working hard to support their pupils’ mental health. 

The future lies in supporting schools to develop whole school approaches to promoting resilience and improving emotional wellbeing, preventing mental health problems from arising and providing early support where they do. Evidence shows that interventions taking a whole school approach to wellbeing have a positive impact in relation to both physical health and mental wellbeing outcomes. In addition, providing mental health awareness training for school staff has significant positive effects on their confidence, mental health literacy, and behaviour in supporting pupils. 



Community Led Recovery

School leadership teams do not have to feel alone or lost in their efforts to help pupils, families and staff regain their strength. Successful community recovery comes from the vision, dreams, hopes and challenges of community themselves. 

Smart School’s Psychology Service are providing support on various initiatives including Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH), SEMH audit and Reflective Space for teachers.

 


Data Deep Dive

Smart School’s Research & Evaluation Unit have access to a wealth of data, from national research to contextual analysis of internal assessment and testing within schools. One of the key challenges for School Leaders is understanding the nuances, which is why the REU team offer data surgeries – a 1-1 session to discuss data management or analysis questions.

 


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Re-engage Persistent Absentees

Responding to the changes that Covid-19 has wrought on learning requires building on what we know works, as well as looking ahead to what we know students will need.

Although it may seem overwhelming, the time to start reimagining the future of education is now.

Learning is not limited to the classroom, and its complex, multi-faceted delivery shouldn’t rest on the shoulders of any one individual. We believe brilliant learning environments are created through collaboration and a comprehensive, whole school approach. 

Re-engage Persistent Absentees

Every lesson that we can prevent a child from missing is another step taken to a brighter academic future. It’s why we must address the Centre for Social Justice’s findings that by the end of 2020 almost 100,000 UK pupils were missing from more than half of their lessons, even after Covid absence is accounted for. 

The causes of persistent absenteeism are complex and numerous, often relating to the most vulnerable young people in the system. While not a new problem, it has been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic which has led to some pupils becoming more disengaged. In addition, disruption to funding has led to vulnerability across support services for schools – impacting the school’s ability to tackle absenteeism. 

To pivot persistent absenteeism from ‘too difficult to fix’ to ‘all in class’ will involve a sustained commitment from all involved. Government funding is crucial, but so is having robust procedures in place for day-to-day management of attendance. Whether implementing effective tracking data or targeting pupil premium funding, Smart School Services can support schools to help break down barriers to children being in school. 



Building Attachment

A central theme for Smart School’s Education Welfare Service is building attachment between staff, parents and pupils. Promoting a strong sense of belonging and making positive human connections. Developing a School Attachment Plan might include peer support programmes, circle time, rights respecting schools, school council, friendship groups or learning mentors, to name a few. 

 


Assistive Technology for SEND Pupils

Creating a school environment that takes down barriers is a central part of addressing absentees. Assistive technology plays a key role for SEND pupils, supporting them to be more independent and maximise their potential. Offering more options for alternative recording, text to speech, graphic organisers, access to online resources, immersive readers and online manipulatives for recording in maths. Smart School’s Literacy & Numeracy Support Service can offer advice on what’s best for your pupils. 

 


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A Space for Curiosity

Responding to the changes that Covid-19 has wrought on learning requires building on what we know works, as well as looking ahead to what we know students will need.

Although it may seem overwhelming, the time to start reimagining the future of education is now.

Learning is not limited to the classroom, and its complex, multi-faceted delivery shouldn’t rest on the shoulders of any one individual. We believe brilliant learning environments are created through collaboration and a comprehensive, whole school approach. 

A Space for Curiousity

Spaces that support a school’s reading culture allow learning to flourish. According to the OECD, “Reading for pleasure is more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status.”

Ideally, the future for all schools should include an expansive library boasting the latest ICT resources, stocked with a diverse set of books from a wide variety of types and genres; coordinated by a dedicated librarian. But that simply doesn’t reflect reality. 40% of primary schools have no budget for a school library. Where libraries do exist, competition for funding means they are often under-resourced with inadequate stock and no librarian or staff members to oversee them. 

How can we close the gap and address the inequality of provision? The answer lies in working together. Supporting schools to manage their resources strategically, utilise their space intelligently and maximise independent learning opportunities. By acknowledging the role a physical space – library, reading corner or study area – plays in teaching children to be readers, we can build best-in-class provision within the parameters of what is possible.




Beyond Books

Meeting the needs of an ever-diversifying curriculum is not easy. Working hand in hand with teachers, librarians from Smart School’s Learning Resources Service research, suggest, and select books, artefacts, equipment, and DVDs from their vast library. Library staff will compile items according to your specific request. All delivered in a ready-to-go resource box. 


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