Play

Recognised chess challenge links up with children's author to inspire youngsters

Prestigious chess competition wins support from businessman and author

A prestigious chess challenge for UK schools has won the support of a leading businessman and author. 

Lord Mark Price, Minister of State for International Trade, made the decision to support and sponsor the Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge (the UK’s leading junior chess competition) in a bid to raise awareness of the importance of chess to young children. 

The Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge, owned by previous UK Chess Champion, Sarah Hegarty, has been running for 21 years and has seen over 1,100 schools sign up to the challenge this year.  

As an avid chess player himself, Mark - who is also the former deputy chairman of the John Lewis Partnership and managing director of Waitrose - understands the importance of learning while young.

Pottery design adds value to school's ethos

Pottery design adds value to school's ethos

A Northumberland first school has commissioned a pottery painting expert to ensure that their values and ethos will be on display to pupils, staff and visitors.

Lorna Watkinson from Warkworth set up her business, Rainbow Pottery Painting in 2012 after taking her redundancy from the corporate world of advertising. Her business has gone from strength to strength after seeing success across schools in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

New report reveals that a third of primary school leavers lack basic water safety skills

New report reveals that a third of primary school leavers lack basic water safety skills

Almost a third of all primary school leavers lack basic water safety skills, a new report reveals. 

The Swim Group’s Curriculum Swimming and Water Safety Review Group has issued a stark warning after uncovering startling statistics in their recent survey. 

As curriculum pressures increase, swimming in primary schools is being placed on the back burner, but the Group warns that children will continue getting into difficulty in the water if improvements are not made. 

Pupils send Queen into space to win national coding competition

Pupils from Bury Catholic school

Two Manchester primary school pupils have won a national coding competition, after designing a computer game to send The Queen into space.

The Year 3 pupils from Bury Catholic Prep scooped joint first prize in the Discovery Education ISA Junior Coding Competition, which encouraged children to create a space themed app.

8-year-olds Imogen Linas and Zaynah Ghani took the top spot with their royal creation, which sees The Queen and her corgis land on the planet Mars. The talented pupils used Discovery Education’s Coding Service to design the game, and judges were impressed by their imagination and sense of humour. 

 

Benefits of Outdoor Play

Benefits of Outdoor Play

As the summer months approach, it is the perfect time to get outdoors and be active.  Playing outdoors and being active is extremely important for early year’s children. Only 21% of boys and 16% of girls aged 5-15 are achieving the recommended daily levels of physical activity.

The British Journal of Sports Medicine reported findings of a study which demonstrated that the interest in exercise wanes during childhood, around the ages of six. It is therefore vitally important for children to engage in play from an early age. Playing outdoors and being active, not only builds physical development but it also provides a gateway to other forms of exercise.    

              

Sparks Set To Fly At Lincoln Cathedral

Sparks Set To Fly At Lincoln Cathedral

The countdown is on for this year’s three-day Spark engineering festival which is set to fire-up the imagination of young people across the region.

 

The event is taking place from 5-7 May at Lincoln Cathedral will bring engineering to life through interactive exhibits and celebrate Lincolnshire’s engineering past, present and future.

 

As part of the run-up to the event, people are being asked to tweet their favourite Lincoln-based engineer or inventor – whether it’s a historic figure, such as Frank Whittle who invented the jet engine, or someone’s friend or relative who has encouraged them to take an interest in engineering.

 

Online Platform Set To Improve PE And Sports Delivery In Schools

Online Platform Set To Improve PE And Sports Delivery In Schools

A new online platform to help improve the delivery of PE and sport within primary schools has been launched.

Leeds based PE Partner developed SPIRALPE™ in partnership with senior teaching professionals and Physical Education specialists to provide schools with a practical and highly efficient way to engage, develop and measure progress in PE and school sport.

 

At the heart of the platform is a teaching framework and curriculum including 252 lesson plans, updated at the start of every academic year, which work together in a ‘spiral’ to build and develop the full range of physical literacy within an overarching spiral framework.   

Wooden playground equipment and why it is better

 playground equipment

The two key components of designing playgrounds is sustainability and safety. When children are playing around them their attentions tend to sway towards how ‘fun’ and interactive they are. So when it comes round to designing the playgrounds sustainability safety and fun must all be equally considered.

The development stage

Wooden play areas can bring children closer to nature. Made from natural resources such as driftwood and logs and are usually supported by natural landscapes such as small grassy hills and mud floors and these natural attributes remind children of the importance of the outdoors.

Professor of Play: Formalizing the connection between learning and play

learning and play

Play provides children important motor, perceptual, social, and neutral benefits - often described as children’s “most important work”. Despite the important role of play in the learning process, schools are allocating less time for free and open play in favor of activities that ‘teach to the test’. This deprioritization of open play is a missed opportunity to prepare kids for academic success. Cambridge University’s newly-established Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL), marks an important milestone in educational research: one that formalizes play in educational research and policy.

 

Schools called go dotty for vital sight-loss charity

Children across the UK invited to go dotty for charity

Schools across the nation are being called to go dotty this spring to raise money for a valuable sight-loss charity. 

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is asking schools up and down the UK to "Wear dots and raise lots" in support of its vital work. 

"Wear dots...raise lots" is an annual fundraiser, which will be taking place in May. It  is inspired by Louis Braille's system which features raised dots and revolutionised reading and writing for people with sight problems. 

The UK is currently home to more than two million people who are affected by sight loss, with one person beginning to lose their sight every 15 minutes. 

Schools get set for splendiferous celebrations for 20th World Book Day

World Book Day celebrates 20 years of fun

Schools across the nation will be filled with excited children dressed in their best fancy dress in the ultimate homage to some of the world's greatest literary creations.

With playgrounds brimming with Willy Wonkas and Cheshire Cats, and more wizards and witches than you could wave a wand at, schools across England, Wales and Scotland are all set to go above and beyond for this year's 20th anniversary celebrations. 

World Book Day has been a staple in the school calendar for two decades and has seen children all over the country step into the worlds of some of their favourite books. 

Over the years, the event has grown and grown with schools going above and beyond to celebrate some of our best-loved characters. 

Government announces £415m fund to support health and fitness in schools

Schools set to receive £415m to boost health and fitness

Schools across England are set to benefit from a multi-million pound scheme to help give more children a healthy and active start to life. 

A government announcement was made today regarding a new £415 million fund to improve on sports facilities and provide more opportunities for young people to get fit and healthy. 

The funding will be rolled out to both primary and secondary schools, in addition to sixth-form colleges, across England who can use the funding to pay for facilities to support PE, extra-curricular activities and health eating. 

Schools can also use the money to improve facilities for children with physical conditions or support young people struggling with mental health issues. 

New schemes announced across the UK to boost learning through football

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Worlds are colliding after sporting legends team up with young people to boost education.

Arsenal Football Club played host to education secretary Justine Greening yesterday to celebrate the launch of a joint reading initiative between Arsenal in the Community and the University College London’s Institute of Education (IOE.)

New "Facebook for seven year olds" is launched to boost internet safety

gbubble.gifA new social media platform dubbed "Facebook for seven year olds" has been launched to help protect children when they are online. 

Former police sergeant Henry Platten has designed GoBubble to provide young people with a safe alternative to Facebook following the news that increasing numbers of primary school children are logging on to social media at least once a day.