We are proud to announce our new corporate chosen charity for this year is Alzheimer’s Society, a partnership where all employee fundraising monies will help Alzheimer’s Society achieve their vision of a world without dementia. We are very excited to kick off the partnership in earnest and make a positive and tangible impact with the Society over the next two years!
We want to kick off our relationship with Alzheimer’s Society in style, so our first big fundraising event will be held on Saturday 13th May. The ‘Hero Challenge’ is a team tournament day where teams of four from all over the business come together and completes a variety of mental and physical activities to compete for the Heroes Trophy. In last year's Capita Challenge, we helped raise over £30,000 and this year we’re hoping to do even better! And we won’t stop there, throughout the year we have lots of fundraising opportunities lined up, including; Charity Bingo, Cupcake day, Payroll Giving, Employee volunteering and Dementia Awareness days- all in aid of Alzheimer’s Society.
This year, we are supporting Capita in working with several charities and community organisations in different ways, both in the UK and overseas. We will be exploring ways of working collaboratively with other charities, volunteering our skills and expertise and allowing us to make an even greater impact in our communities!
Top Tips: Technology in Early Years
Top tips: Technology in the Early Years
In the Early years foundation stage (EYFS), technology goes way beyond tablets, laptops and computers. Here are some top tips for activities which will support children’s technology skills.
Smile! You’re on camera
Demonstrate using a camera to record children’s learning and teach children to do the same. For more advanced learners, teach children to download an image from the internet or use a video recording device to record a weather report or role-play.
Let’s find out more!
Use QR codes in continuous provision for children to hear or read learning intentions for the area. For more information go to QR codes in the classroom, click here.
How does it work?
Whatever their age, talking about how and why something works encourages children to sequence their thoughts. This will help them to get ready for the key stage one computing curriculum.
Bugs in the system
Change words in nursery rhymes and encourage children to identify when they don’t sound right. This will help them to identify bugs in computer programs later on.
Patterns, patterns, everywhere
Patterns are the precursor for programming and using apps on tablets. Encourage children to make patterns using a wide range of resources. Model and ask children to describe the pattern. What comes next? Encourage children to follow then develop multi-step patterns and routines.
Encourage children to sequence events, routines or events of a story. This will help them with algorithms and computing as they progress.
Wide, wide as the ocean
Involve parents in understanding what technology looks like in the EYFS and gathering evidence from activities at home from a wide range of situations.
Entrust offers a Top Tips to Succeed in EYFS Technology session. Why not book on to find out more?
Supporting Students to make Well Informed Decisions
I haven’t a clue what I want to do in the future. Where do I start?
Most of us want a career that we are likely to enjoy and be successful at and so it makes sense that you should start by thinking about your interests and skills. What do you like to do in school/ outside of school? What are your strengths, qualities and skills and which careers may utilise these? There are careers matching programmes available to help you if you are struggling with this.
My mum says A Levels are best - is this correct?
A Levels have been around for a good while and are certainly a well-respected, academic qualification. They are assessed by an exam at the end of a two-year course. Some people prefer more ongoing assessment or a more vocational way of learning and can therefore be better doing something more work related like a BTEC. These can still provide access to wide range of HE courses and other options. It really does depend on you as an individual learner.
Why do Careers Advisers always talk about having a back-up plan?
If you have seen a Careers Adviser you may well have heard them talk about considering a back-up plan. This may seem rather negative or annoying as you clearly want to focus on your chosen career aim. However, we are realists and understand that often life throws a spanner in the works and having a range of well researched ideas/ options that can provide an alternative or safety net can be valuable. It also means that should something unforeseen happen like you not getting the required grades for your chosen course you can happily run with ‘plan B’ knowing that you have carefully considered this option as well rather than making a hasty decision in a state of panic.
How much will I earn?
Of course, this is a question we all have on the tips of our tongues when looking at careers (though one we should perhaps not ask in an interview situation). Fortunately, there are ways to find this information and all the other essential titbits about careers we are considering using up to date websites. Key facts you may wish to find out about a career you are considering include: the hours, duties, prospects, qualifications and skills required. Remember no job is perfect but going in with your eyes open is vital to making a good, well informed choice.
Useful websites for research include
https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/home, www.careerswales.com and for graduate level careers www. prospects.ac.uk
Which subjects are best to choose for GCSE/ A Levels ?
You need to think carefully about which subjects will be ‘best’ for you. These are usually the ones you enjoy most and are strongest at. It is worth noting that some careers/ courses do require you to have studied certain subjects before so this is worth checking out.
What if I change my mind about a subject or course?
If you have a change of heart over a course then speak to a teacher/ adviser as soon as possible. Depending on how far into your course you are (if started) there may be scope to change or discuss your options. Remember it would be unwise to give something up without a clear plan in place, and sometimes your uncertainties can be reassured after some fact finding.
Which college / University is best?
This is very individual. While some people are very focused on league tables/ Russell group etc it is still important to check first and foremost that the course looks interesting to you and offers the progression opportunities you are looking for as well as suiting you in other ways such as location/ entry requirements. You should ideally visit, ask questions and make up your own mind as to which feels best to you! You may find the Unistats website useful for finding out some of this information https://unistats.direct.gov.uk/
What is an apprenticeship? Is it just work experience?
No, it isn’t just work experience. It’s an actual job with training. Being an apprentice means that you have a job that includes gaining recognised qualifications and essential skills whilst you are working and earning a wage. Find out more at www. apprenticeships.gov.uk
What is the UCAS tariff?
The UCAS tariff is a points system that measures achievement across a range of qualifications. It is designed so that higher education institutions can differentiate between applicants for the same subject, with different types of qualifications. Universities and colleges can also use the Tariff to set minimum entry requirements for their courses. You can find a full list of qualifications covered by the tariff on the UCAS website www.UCAS.com
Can I work part time while at school?
Yes, you can do some part time work once you are over 13 years of age but you do need to take note that there are certain rules and regulations put in place for your safety and wellbeing. It is worth checking these out on your local council website. Remember that your focus should still be on your studies but a part time job can also give you valuable experience and evidence useful skills for your CV.
Case Study- Collorative School Improvement Initiative
This is an abridged version of the end of project report from a group of Staffordshire Primary School leaders, who engaged in a Collaborative School Improvement Initiative (CSI),
Schools involved – 8 primary schools within Staffordshire LA
All the participating school leaders have attended bespoke leadership professional development programmes facilitated by Entrust associates Alistair Shaw, (AS), and Nicki Bell, (NB), and have also purchased and continue to use the Leadership Solutions Toolkit generated by AS and NB.
Rationale for the Project:
The project was commissioned by Entrust in response to a proposal made by the two consultants, to establish a pilot of this project in Staffordshire. This was building on a highly successful initial pilot run in Birmingham. All of the schools had to confirm total commitment to the project; all of the protocols; processes; proformas; dates for the year were established at the two facilitated launch days.
How the group members were selected:
The group was an ‘invited’ group of Head Teachers and their Deputy Head Teachers, from eight schools, all of whom had attended the ‘New to Headship’ training at Entrust, designed and facilitated by AS and NB.
Methodology of the Project: (dates of reviews etc.)
The project was based on the theory of Joint Practice Development as developed by Professor David Hargreaves (University of Cambridge School of Education). The notion is that this represents a ‘gift culture’ of committed equal partners who have a vested interest in supporting one another’s schools to focus on areas of school improvement identified by the host school.
The two-day facilitation launch event was entitled, ‘Establishing a truly collaborative and challenging approach towards improving our school and our collective effectiveness.’ No school was able to join the project unless they attended the two-day set-up training.
Day 1 had a focus on the underpinning theory behind the project and discussions to create protocols; ground rules; aims; objectives; to unpick effective partnership working; clarify expectations and to explore potential challenges.
Day 2 had a focus on the practical tools necessary to carry out the project, including identifying the working groups; guidance on identifying lines of enquiry; setting the timetable for the year and creating all of the proformas needed e.g. the evidence capture forms; staff guidance notes; pre-meeting proforma; tasks in preparation for each review; roles of host and review team; final report forms etc. The intention was that there would be minimal work for schools after these two days prior to rolling out the project. At the halfway point on day 1, schools were asked to confirm their commitment to the project and there was a shared understanding that if schools were not ready for this project, that there would be professional respect for any that decided not to join.
Outcomes from the programme review day, (feedback from participating HTs):
This project has bridged the gap to make a link with where the school sits and where government directives/Ofsted sit.
This is the best school improvement I’ve done all year with the staff.
It has put people under a microscope of what Ofsted might feel like but without the threat.
It has been very useful to enable staff and children to speak to visiting adults about their work.
This has been a huge professional challenge and rigour of having both quality assurance and challenge from people that we respected.
It has been a springboard for us to develop our planning; links with other schools etc
The day generated many answers for us which came from the reviewing team’s questioning.
Amazing evidence bank was generated and subsequently confirmed by LA monitoring visit to quality assure our grade. The inspector thought it was a good way of quality assuring own judgements – recognised it as quality evidence.
Our pupils felt it was a good experience – talked about how the team were friendly.
Governors felt that it was really positive. They recognised the good CPD.
All the middle leaders who were interviewed found it really useful – made them think about how to answer questions when challenged at that level.
This was excellent QA for our own SLT judgements
There have been many spin-off associations – things the group of school leaders that now comes together for beyond the CSI project
Stronger support network for HTs and schools created.
The success of this whole venture hinged on the ethos of the team which was developed through the 2 day facilitation of the start-up of the process.
All the HTs shared a clear vision, all wanted the best for the children
Subsequently, at our inspection, HMI thought it was a wonderful process and was keen school continued with it
This whole experience confirmed what we were doing well and gave us confidence to continue with it
Sharing of expertise was hugely beneficial to those directly involved in the reviews
Possible to take an area of weakness knowing that advice would help improve the focus, not judge it
Useful to have messages coming to staff from other professionals beyond our school.
Made a tangible impact on the subject area focus
AS and NB have subsequently facilitated the generation of additional school groups keen to introduce similar ways of working intended to generate peer led school improvement processes. If you would like to learn more about how you and a group of like-minded school leaders can receive such facilitated training then please email email@example.com
In addition, to find out more information about Leadership Solutions Toolkit contact Sarah Atkins by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07800 626 427.
Take Your Classroom on an Ancestral Journey Through Time
Flint and Fire
Take Your Classroom on an Ancestral Journey through Time…
This year, your pupils will have the opportunity to journey back through time and discover how ancient man survived in the most hostile, unforgiving of environments.
Suitable for Key Stage 2, our ‘Flint and Fire’ programme focuses on primitive living skills and nature awareness. Pupils will have the opportunity to take part in fun, practical activities designed to stimulate and awaken their senses.
Our programme links to the Key Stage 2 Prehistoric Stone Age unit. Exploring how man created fire and what tools he used to hunt, gather food and survive. At the end of the programme, pupils will be able to apply their knowledge back in the classroom when learning about prehistoric times.
Based at our Chasewater Outdoor Education Centre, we offer both 2 and 3 day programmes with a range of fun, engaging activities including:
• Flint and steel fire lighting
• Open fire cooking
• Cordage (string making)
• Caveman workshops
• Stalking and tracking games
…and much more!
Find out more
Our Flint and Fire programme starts from 1st November 2017 through to 31st April 2018
To find out more, or book your place please visit email email@example.com or visit www.entrustoutdoors.co.uk