Ofsted and the digital natives

It is a requirement of Ofsted that pupils need to develop an engagement with and commitment to learning. As such the school needs to use well-judged teaching strategies which both challenge pupils and match individual pupil needs accurately.

In developing such strategies, however, one needs to bear in mind that children not only engage with digital media, they prefer digital media. For them the medium through which a message is transmitted affects their willingness to engage with the message.

For yourself this impacts on the Ofsted requirements for the achievement of pupils at the school. Ofsted states that in outstanding schools pupils read widely and often across all subjects while developing and applying a wide range of skills. In other words they become exceptionally well-prepared for the next stage in their education, training or employment.

As a result, engagement with digital media can be found to generate a greater commitment to learning and a greater willingness to accept the challenges that the material they work with gives them.

Our aim, therefore, is to give access to a wide range of resources that allows pupils across differing abilities to be challenged and to progress at their own pace within a lesson/learning plan using the digital skills that they already have.

Autology is able to offer this support and challenge because it contains over 4,500 Education Sites linked to the curriculum, plus access to hundreds of E-Textbooks and Encyclopaedia from the leading publishers across all subjects, exam boards and examination levels.

As this is an on-line service these resources are available for pupil access both at school and at home, via PC, Tablet and Smartphone.

Through a series of simple user interfaces and resource filters, Autology promotes independent learning which allows children to both research and learn independently. It is, in fact, a most significant step towards an outstanding grade from Ofsted.

Because the learning is under the control of the pupil, guided by the teacher in a manner that the child welcomes, grades, commitment and enthusiasm in relation to learning are invariably seen to rise. Additionally, parental engagement is enhanced as a result of parents seeing their child’s renewed commitment to the work.

At the same time, parents are assured of the safety of the site since the walled garden approach means that while the pupils can access over 4,500 Education Sites indexed to the curriculum, the pupil is simultaneously safeguarded.

Autology is available for just £99 for a 1 year school licence, and as a promotional offer will also provide 30 Days free trial access to premium resources from Heinemann, Letts Lonsdale and World Book. For more details please see http://uk.autology.org/promo/

Alternatively if you would like to talk through any aspect of our service please call 01244 560966 or email keithe@autology.org

Using flights to take students on music study trips can be cheaper than travel via the traditional coach and ferry

This sounds like a surprising claim – but it certainly can be true. School journeys for music students via air can be less expensive than travel by conventional methods.

The reason is that the bulk booking of a school can push down airline prices, especially where there is little flexibility over when the flight is taken.

And of course there is a second bonus of timing. Instead of a third or even a half of a school overseas trip being taken up by travel, the journey can be reduced to just a few hours.

This is turn reduces costs (in that coaches may be cheaper to hire, but your trip will be booking a coach with driver/s for a longer period).

Given that it is normally possible to fly from an airport near to the school, to an airport close to the final destination, such arrangements can add up to three more days spent in the desired destination, rather than on the road and at sea.

Additionally you have the option of choosing the hotel that is right for you and your students, rather than one selected by the tour operator. You can choose the price range, and you can choose a hotel near the airport or within the city or region that is your final destination.

At GTC Travel Group we understand that each group is unique and we know the importance of finding out the exact needs of your individual group and so we will offer you the best advice to make your journey as stress free as possible.

Better still, our reservation technology enables us to give you the most up-to-date travel options, all the time. We book and issue our own tickets enabling us to keep full control of your booking and ensure your journey meets your needs.

What’s more, as we are ABTA and ATOL holders you can be assured that you and your students are fully protected should the airline fail (as recommended by the Health and Safety Executive for schools).

Because we have so many locations to and from which we can fly, the best way to explore the possibilities is to either call one of our specialist group reservation advisors on 020 8429 2900 or email us at groups@gtctravelgroup.com with the details of your requirements.

You can also go to our website – www.gtctravelgroup.com/info/school-groups/ for more information.

Either way we’ll come back to you with our suggestions and prices. You’ll be surprised how much time can be saved and how low group air fares can be.