What is the most effective way of inspiring outdoor play in a world filled with gadgets?

A recent survey of 12,000 parents showed that around 75% felt that their children preferred playing digital games as opposed to active outdoor play.

Many parents agree this is not ideal: which raises the question, what is the most effective way of encouraging children to engage in more active play before school, during breaks from class work, and after school? And indeed what approach is most likely to be seen and appreciated by parents?

“With so much focus on academic attainment, there can be pressure on teachers to stay in the classroom which means children are missing out on so many experiences that will benefit them through their lives.” – BBC environmental report.

“There is a clear play imbalance emerging… children need to be exposed to varied stimulus. Allow a child to be free outside with no structure and no gadgets and you will marvel at what they can achieve.” (Educationalist, Sir Ken Robinson).

This imbalance is a problem we have faced head on, and as a result we have designed a variety of resources and play equipment to inspire active play for pupils in KS1 and KS2.

With a variety of imagination play resources, strategy games, playground and after school activities, our range supports schools in the challenge to inspire active play.

By encouraging activity outside the classroom, PE and games are not relied upon as the sole source of active play.

Imagination play resources, including dens and playhouses, offer enchanting and comfortable spaces for children to play together in boundless make-believe worlds. Team games bring exciting strategy to the playground, promoting motor skills and improving communication.

Play is a wonderful revitaliser, helping pupils to feel more eager and ready to learn.

Big Game Hunters‘ selection of high quality outdoor games and equipment includes Giant Chess and Draughts, Giant Tower games, Giant Snakes and Ladders and unique wooden playground games.

If you would like to learn more or view the range, visit us at biggamehunters.co.uk.

Ordering for your school is quick and simple; simply sign up, log-in and you’ll have the option to checkout and pay later on invoice. You can also email purchase orders to sales@biggamehunters.co.uk

For guidance on choosing play equipment for your school, contact Big Game Hunters at: sales@biggamehunters.co.uk

Hannah Hemsley
Big Game Hunters
t:  +44 1865 392 439   dl: +44 1865 392 439
a:  Chadwick Farm, Garford, OX13 5PD

w: biggamehunters.co.uk

e:  sales@biggamehunters.co.uk

w: sportsballshop.co.uk

Overcoming Mental Health and Behaviour

In order to help their pupils succeed, schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy. There are a variety of things that schools can do, for all their pupils and for those with particular problems, to offer that support in an effective way.”

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Dear Colleague,

Mental health and Behaviour are both intertwined with one another and as such; schools, academies, pupil referral units and any educational establishment should work to ensure that the students that are dealing with mental health issues get the support that they need without being misinterpreted as “the naughty kids” that end up with disciplinary measures.

We have worked with the Rodillian Academy Trust for several years and with the trusts ‘Positive Discipline’ model students learn in an environment that helps to identify and support students with mental health. This model includes aspects such as a resilience curriculum…

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The document “Mental health and behaviour in schools – Departmental advice for school staff explains that “Poor mental health undermines educational attainment… disproportionately large numbers of pupils with conduct and emotional disorders fall behind in their overall educational attainment, missing school and/or being excluded.”

We at EDLounge have worked with over 50 schools, PRU’s and Academies to find ways to impact on behaviour and attainment by providing an educational support system for students with mental health issues that are school refusers and/or are on an exclusion. We are now able to provide a secure platform that allows students that are being educated off site to;

  • work through a pathway of learning catered to their academic needs;
  • work through pathways of learning designed around resilience and behaviour repair work;
  • but ultimately the system allows for a connection to your establishment.

By providing a student a live streamed video feed to a; teacher, support worker, mentor, outreach worker and/or safeguarding officer. These members of your team can work with the students directly, encouraging meaningful intervention, leading to a positive and successful reintegration back into mainstream education.

Find out more

To learn more about how EDLounge can impact student attainment and attendance by addressing behavioural and mental health issues, please contact on 01909 568 338 or email me at sam@edlounge.com with the subject “MentalHealth17”.

Kind Regards,
Sam Warnes

T: 01909 568 338
F: 01909 568 350

E: sam@edlounge.com

W: www.edlounge.com

You are responsible.

The fact is that not all students have access to mainstream education. This can be for a range of reasons, students that have been removed due to behaviour or students that have barriers due to health reasons or special educational needs. As educators we are responsible for making sure that the students who can’t access the mainstream classroom, for any reason, still access curriculum relevant education.

EDLounge has developed two systems; EDClass, designed alongside a multi academy trust, and EDVirtual, designed alongside a large pupil referral unit. By using these systems, both educational establishments have seen a vast improvement in their attendance figures.

EDClass is a remote learning platform that allows your students the opportunity to work through a unique pathway designed to suit their educational needs with online supervision from our tutors. Students are able to work through curriculum relevant work from our bank of 7,500+ lessons. There is also a comprehensive suite of lessons for behaviour repair work.

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The EDVirtual system is an online virtual classroom where your staff can support, teach and/or deliver their own content or take from the learning resources available on the system. The virtual classroom allows face-to-face communication via webcam and headset. This method has proven successful in the reintegration of long term absent students back into mainstream education.

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Our goal is to ensure that all students that are users of EDClass and EDVirtual gain a valuable and meaningful education. We will also hope to have more and more students reintegrated back into mainstream education or as close to as we possibly can.

If you would like a free demonstration or trial please give us a call on 01909 568 338 or email us at contactus@edlounge.com.

Kind Regards
Sam Warnes
Creator of EDLounge

T: 01909 568 338
F: 01909 568 350

E: contactus@edlounge.com

W: www.edlounge.com

Assessment “without levels”

Has your solution to assessment ‘without levels’ been to develop your own set of Excel spreadsheets?

Lots of schools have taken this route, because it gives them the sort of flexibility and control, which they want: but it’s not without its own problems.

Your own Excel spreadsheets can involve a lot of time consuming manual work, if you don’t have someone who can write appropriate macros or progam the worksheets using VBA.

Your school will usually be very dependent on the person who set up the spreadsheets, and vulnerable if that person leaves.

So, wouldn’t it be great to have all that flexibility and control without the associated problems?

Our Online Primary Progress toolkit has, we believe, enough flexibility to support almost any assessment policy. It’s also a modern online database system, professionally programmed, so you don’t have to worry about maintaining it.

We have designed it with two simple aims – to create a tracker which is easy to use and which can be customised to a school’s precise needs.

For instance, you can import your own curriculum, edit the National Curriculum Programme of Study statements or use the NAHT model. You can give statements different weightings or set some as KPIs or non-negotiables.

You can you set your own assessment grades, assess pupils at either Statement or Subject level or both; enter assessments at any time and set your own reporting dates.

You can filter results by groups such as boys/girls, pupil premium, SEN, first language, ethnicity or create your own groups and filter results by these.

You can report on subject attainment and progress, percent attaining an agreed level in Reading, Writing & Maths combined, or meeting your own Age Related Expectations, plus percent of statements achieved, if you assess at that level.

In addition to the standard reports by year group, class and individual pupil, we can extract data from the database and create free customised reports to your own specification.

So, if you aren´t 100% satisfied with your current assessment tracking system, why not check out our Online Primary Progress toolkit at primaryprogresstoolkit.co.uk?

If you need more information, or would like to discuss your specific needs, email me at statsed@gmail.com or ring me on 01279 652183.

We can also give you free access to a demo site, where you can try out the toolkit for yourself.

Roger Watson

Statistics for Education, 5 Bridge Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, CM23 2JU
Tel: 01279 652183; Email: statsed@gmail.com

Why Macbeth with Pictures?

A story about witches, ghosts, murders and moral values by the greatest dramatist of them all: what else does one need at KS2?

There is a growing awareness (as a recent report on young people’s reading has revealed) that children today brought up on the internet and multi-channel TV are showing less and less inclination to read.

This is an issue that we, as publishers of Shakespeare, have faced and one that we feel we have answered with a unique publication of “Macbeth” for use in primary schools.

Our approach takes the majority of Shakespeare’s original text and offers it alongside both a modern English translation and page upon page of full colour illustrations.

The value of the combination of the original text and the contemporary “translation” is obvious – but there is also an added bonus from including the illustrations throughout.

The report on the decline in reading in young people I mentioned above also reveals that where young people are provided with suitable illustrations their willingness to read, and the level of knowledge that they take in, is greatly enhanced.

In our approach Shakespeare’s characters are presented in a way that allows KS2 children to consider and debate the questions that Macbeth raises: questions about whether Macbeth is a hero, who is to blame for Duncan’s murder, and indeed, what makes a good ruler of a nation, can all be considered in a more approachable manner.

This new edition of Macbeth in full colour with both the original text and a modern English translation is now being widely used in primary schools across the UK and is available direct from the publisher.

You can get a feel for the book here. Then just click on the small pictures that run down the web page to the right of the cover picture, and you’ll see exactly what individual pages of the resource look like.

There are more details of how to order on the website.  And If you would like to know more please do email us at info@shakespearecomics.com or call 01691 770165.

I do hope you find the approach of interest.

Simon Greaves