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Education insights: Over one million devices provided to disadvantaged children, mindfulness in the classroom and youth-led mental health resources

Half-term is almost over and some of the youngest pupils in Scotland will return to school on Monday. The news this week highlights tech provision to the most disadvantaged children, how teachers are renewing motivation in their students and explores what some young people are doing to improve their school community’s mental wellbeing.

Government delivers more than one million devices to disadvantaged pupils

The number of laptops and tablets that have now been provided to the most disadvantaged children across the country has reached over one million. Part of a £400 million government investment that will support schools and young people for years to come, we’re pleased to see the government support equity of tech for disadvantaged students. Yesterday, statistics were published that show the government has delivered 1,055,745 devices to pupils to help make sure their education can continue during the pandemic.

Make children priority after Covid, Anne Longfield says

Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, has called on Boris Johnson to put vulnerable children at the heart of plans to ‘level up’ the nation. It’s encouraging to see the centering of disadvantaged children with regards to building back Britain. Longfield comments that the prime minister's commitment to putting schools at the heart of reopening society when lockdown eases would be "really welcome". She adds that she believes the PM wishes to “build back better” but thinks that the government isn’t set up to deliver that.

‘Differently abled people are just as capable’: two teachers showing pupils how being determined and adaptable pays off

Alongside the support of a mentor, drama teacher Archie Lamprell is demonstrating that impaired vision doesn’t have to rule out a career in the classroom. Archie walks us through the trials and tribulations of learning to teach with his vision impairment and how he’s found a renewed sense of optimism following the support of his mentor during his time teaching. It’s brilliant to see Archie successfully adapt to teaching whilst also teaching his students more about empathy and understanding.

Meet the new generation of science teachers sparking pupils' imaginations

From breakdancing to mindful breathing, inspirational teachers are discovering colourful ways to make teaching their lessons their own. Faraz Khan, a physics teacher who also happens to be a talented breakdancer, aligns his two passions to connect with his students. It’s inspiring to see teachers facilitate engagement by harnessing all facets of their skillset. In Kent, husband and wife teaching duo, Seshnie and Donovan Naidoo, teach sciences alongside mindfulness and breathing exercises – an effective combination!

Young people create 'Healthy Minds Haven' to improve mental health in schools

Young people in schools, faith and community groups across North East Wales have created resources to support secondary schools to improve mental wellbeing in their school communities. 'Healthy Minds Haven' is unique as it has been designed by young people who are experts by experience. It is exciting to see youth-led resources informed by experience help support others in their community. It provides a checklist of practical things schools can do to improve mental health for their student and is supported by the council.

About the author

Craig Ritchie

Craig has a passion for empowering young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and delivering campaigns with a social impact. He has a background in client-servicing and holds specialist knowledge of the STEM and Careers pathways. At Hopscotch, Craig works across Health Education England, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and DP World.

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