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BESA CORNER


This month, in our ongoing feature highlighting the work of members of the UK education suppliers’ trade body BESA, we hear from BROADGREEN PRIMARY SCHOOL in Liverpool; and educator MARK MARTIN MBE offers three ways to innovate your lessons and invigorate your students during uncertain times.


Health and Relationships: Teaching RSHE with Discovery Education at


Broadgreen Primary School, Liverpool Broadgreen Primary School uses Discovery Education’s Health and Relationships programme to deliver the new RSHE curriculum. Assistant Headteacher SUZANNE EVANS shares how the resources have helped teachers to prepare for curriculum change and deliver with confidence.


High quality resources Discovery Education Health and Relationships provides a complete package for teaching the new RSE curriculum and we’re very happy with it. The digital content is engaging and teachers find it easy to use. Each topic has a lesson plan, video and linked activities..


Teacher confidence, pupil progression Some of our teachers felt less confident to deliver the new curriculum, especially in terms of assessment. Health and Relationships helps us to assess skills and knowledge because it supports and tracks progress. The content is split into 6 channels Healthy and Happy Friendships, Families and Committed Relationships, Caring and Responsibility, Similarities and Differences, Healthy Bodies Healthy Minds and Coping With Change. Pupils revisit these each year and we love the spiral curriculum approach.


Real life learning The resources are designed with children in mind. Many of the clips are presented by children and the learning reflects their lives. They enjoy activities where they can put themselves in another person’s shoes. This promotes skills including active listening and reasoning. Health and Relationships also introduces children to key vocabulary in a contextual way, and there are lots of opportunities for collaboration and talking.


Diverse and inclusive One of the key aspects of this programme is that it teaches the importance of diversity and reflects Britain’s communities. It’s great to see lots of different children, families and relationships represented in the videos. It’s inclusive on every front.


Supporting pupil wellbeing PSHE has always been a priority for our school. During the pandemic, it’s become more important than ever. Health and Relationships is a key part of our recovery curriculum. Having been away from school, children might need help with building positive relationships and reminding about what a good friend is. They might also need support with healthy eating and better sleep routines. Health and Relationships covers all of these themes.


Families and relationships The programme explores the importance and diversity of families and the characteristics of positive family relationships. As a Stonewall school, this is something we champion, so it was great to find resources that look at different sizes of families, same sex families, intergenerational families, families where there are different faiths and so on. We really like how Health and Relationships covers this. It fits with the ethos of our school.


Reflecting pupils’ lives I’m really pleased with Health and Relationships and would definitely recommend it to other schools. The programme supports teachers and enables children to learn in a way that reflects their lives. The resources are engaging, easy to use and bring learning to life. It’s great when you find something that you know will make a difference and help pupils.


Explore Discovery Education Health and Relationships at: u www.discoveryeducation.co.uk/rse


14 www.education-today.co.uk


Three ways to innovate your lessons and invigorate your students during uncertain times


Comment by MARK MARTIN MBE


In a recent survey about schools’ readiness for remote learning, just 20% of teachers said their schools had a significant body of curriculum and other types of content for remote delivery. But teachers have always been experimenting with new ideas to engage our students. Perhaps a silver lining of COVID-19 is the innovation teachers have brought to their practice. I recently participated in an inspiring new gathering for educators


called SMART360, an in-person conference that was virtual and interactive. I had the opportunity to share my insights and strategies to energize our students while also better preparing them for the future.


1) Don’t think of tech as a distraction, rather use it as a tool to encourage exploration and creativity among students Tech is a tool that is normally used to solve problems or keep us entertained. During lockdown schools complained that less than 20% of students had engaged with their online classwork and internet providers were concerned that online gamers were sucking up their bandwidth. Despite the mixed picture of how young people use tech, there was clear evidence many of them were using it to solve problems in their local communities. Granted, not every young person is making front-page news, but


some are creating and innovating way beyond the school setting. As teachers, we need to show students their potential outside the classroom. This can be done by connecting the video games or tech they love to use and show them how they are using analytical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and resilience. The challenge is to fold these new ways of thinking into lessons: “We


need to connect their passion and purpose to increase their productivity.”


2) Prepare students for jobs that will exist in the future When I collaborate with big tech companies, I ask leaders what skills my students need to get a job with them. “Well,” they say, “they’ve got to be able to jump on the jungle gym and take a seat on the rocket ship.” Translation: Future computer programmers must understand more


than SQL: they’ll need agility for evolving technology and flexibility to handle shifting responsibilities. The pandemic has created an unexpected moment to teach these


“soft skills.” We must help students take ownership of their own learning, by giving them the opportunity to explore topics that interest them. It’s that self-agency that won’t only help them get through the pandemic, it’ll prepare them for our ever-changing digital economy. We should ask ourselves every day: what have I done to help my


students understand that change will be the biggest force to reckon with in their professional lives?


3) Leverage what they’re passionate about to teach them something new This summer, young people worldwide witnessed the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. I was amazed by the quality of the artwork on posters, murals and websites that young people had produced to express their views. As educators this was a defining moment to support young people with their artwork and activism. Students shouldn’t feel that they have to leave their passions and


identity at home. When they embrace activities that they’re passionate about outside school, we get automatic buy-in inside our classrooms.


November 2020


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