Do you need to deploy online learning in January?

Are you looking to put a safe, powerful and proven teaching methodology in place?

If so, Microsoft Teams and Zoom are not right for you. This is simply because they are not safe, they are not powerful and they are not proven to make a difference to learning. Want proof? Ask yourself whether your teachers will continue to use either of these service after the pandemic is over. If the answer is no, then don’t implement them now.

In order to meet the (crazily last minute) requirement for secondary schools to ensure they have their online provision sorted for the new term, the YouTeachMe team wanted to highlight how our platform enables you to swiftly put a safe, powerful and proven teaching methodology in place.

Firstly here’s how YouTeachMe benefits your school:
  • It’s entirely safe – there’s controlled video viewing, no interaction between students, eliminating inappropriate chat in the chat boxes OR comments whilst the teacher is delivering the lesson.
  • All teaching is pre-recorded – this makes it safe, accessible 24/7 and re-visitable as often is needed (perfect for supporting learning now and revision in the future).
  • You can use teaching videos made by teachers working in schools already using YouTeachMe OR record your own teaching – teaching can then be shared with targeted learners,  personalising home learning for students of different abilities. This includes hundreds of videos covering KS2 maths and English!
  • Fixed cost per student on roll (of £15+VAT) – no hidden extras and lots of added benefits (like access to deaf teaching and SEND lessons)
  • It’s a great workload reducer  – teaching content made by one teacher is accessible and usable in lessons by all other staff members in your school.
  • Easy to access; students just need WiFi and an internet browser so it will work perfectly on a phone, tablet or laptop.
  • It was designed by teachers, to revolutionise teaching and learning in a pre-COVID world, so YouTeachMe enables you to teach during this pandemic and will continue to transform your whole school community, long-after COVID is gone.
Secondly here’s how YouTeachMe is deployed:

We use Wonde (Wonde | Simplifying technology in the classroom) to extract the information needed to recreate your entire school on the YouTeachMe platform. In less than 30 minutes you are good to go and your teaching can commence.

There’s nothing complex to learn. YouTeachMe was used massively successfully by secondary schools throughout Lockdown 1. Typically, teachers in these schools were confidently teaching after a demo lasting less than 30 minutes. There are of course, tutorial videos available to support less confident staff, as well as access to the YouTeachMe support team should you need them.

Students simply log in to their secure, personalised account on whatever tech they have to hand. Staff can instantly track which children have accessed the teaching.

YouTeachMe is a simple solution that is highly effective. Experienced and successful headteachers such as Helen Shepherd, at The Royal School for the Deaf Derby, have spoken about the impact YouTeachMe can have on your school. (RSDD covers secondary and they use YouTeachMe to help with GCSE revision too!).

Please don’t be fooled into thinking that YouTeachMe’s simplicity reduces it’s impact. Like everything in school, the more effort you put into it, the more powerful results you will see. However, unlike Teams and Zoom, your staff and students continue to be rewarded in the future, for their efforts today.

If you’re interested in seeing YouTeachMe for yourself, book a brief demo over the festive period and you can have a safe, powerful and proven teaching methodology in place in your school if you are starting back on January 4th 2021.  Simply hit the blue demo button on our homepage youteachme to book a time that suits you.

Can I just talk to you about snow angels and snowmen?

It’s a serious topic from my perspective. I’ve seen things published recently saying that the new found ways to access education could mean no more ‘snow days’. That’s not what YouTeachMe would advocate and it’s definitely not where I stand as a teaching professional. Yes, we provide video teaching. Yes, you can send it home to learners. Yes, they can sit in a warm room and learn with the support of their parent or carer. But can we all stop and ponder for a moment on whether tech and teaching should replace joy and fun?

One Friday lunchtime, quite a few years ago, we got ‘the call’. As I was interrogated it started snowing, heavily. It got so bad that the lead inspector called me on Saturday morning to ask if I wanted to postpone the Monday start on Health and Safety grounds.  I’d spent 3 hours writing risk assessments for the snow play activities my teaching team had just planned, so I said no! The interesting thing is that I was a new head, we were a school in real difficulty and the extra time we could have bought ourselves would have been very useful. But no, as a team we decided it was more important for our infant children to be wrapped up and outside, learning (playing) in the snow.

Why? Well it was more than just ‘we don’t get enough of the white stuff over the winter’. It was about quality learning. It was to do with fun, laughter, letting children be children. Allowing them to lead their play and get excited about it.

Some chose to lay in the snow and flap their arms and legs, then jump up with glee to see their angel in the snow. Others rolled the snow to make their snowmen (or women or dogs!); it was a bit of a challenge to have enough props on hand to make smiley faces, proper noses and hats atop misshapen heads. Then there were the snowballs. Children were allowed to make their own and for 30 seconds, pelt members of staff willing to participate (just me!). Let me tell you, half a minute really can feel like a lifetime but it was an experience they’ll never forget.

And Ofsted stood by and witnessed all this. They watched as our children enjoyed the excitement of nature and the freedom of play. And they included it in their report.

So I say yes, of course, academic progress is vital. Yes, learning should be equally supported in school and at home. But let’s not forget that any child will get more out of being in the snow with their friends, school staff (or family if the school boilers pack in) than they will get from being trapped in doors, learning ‘the curriculum’ and looking longingly at the white stuff.

I stand by snow angels, snowmen and snowballs being a must do activity for EVERY child at ANY school.

Paul Rose

Improving things for deaf children anywhere in the education system

In 2019 The Guardian reported that deaf children in England struggled at every stage of their education.

Why does this happen? What is to be done?

Well amazing things are being done if you talk to inspirational people in that sector, like we do. Then you would see there are great teachers working hard to help deaf learners succeed in life.  We are proud to be part of that effort.

The Royal School for the Deaf Derby (RSDD) have passionate, experienced, outstanding teachers like Cathie Birch who is one of the UK’s leading deaf maths teachers. Then there’s Lucy, she’s so passionate about delivering the highest quality art lessons to her students. Next comes the head, Helen, the thing she finds really good is for the filming of your lesson to happen, so it can go home and the learners can ‘get it’. Finally, there’s Sandra, a teacher at RSDD who embraces that she can deliver personalised teaching to her learners.  All of them pushing the boundaries to help their pupils.

Yes, RSDD are using YouTeachMe.

The RSDD team have, over the last 2 to 3 years, spent a lot of time producing content for their learners and they’ve kindly made it accessible to any school who subscribes to YouTeachMe. Why? To help improve things for any deaf child anywhere in the education system.

RSDD embraced one of the key functionality elements of YouTeachMe. Creating and uploading your own teaching content, which can then be safely shared with your chosen learners. They can access it on any device, in school or at home. This is where personalized teaching happens. And it’s a thing of magic for learners.

Quality teaching and learning can carry on even during ‘bubble’ self-isolation. But RSDD have done more than that. They’ve created wellbeing videos, they’ve given students videos to help them cope and understand what’s happening in the world, they’ve done fun tasks (especially Lucy!), they’ve produced signed stories for children to watch. And yes, they’ve completed their assemblies through video format too, much like other schools but not with tools that don’t give you the safeguarding and security that’s essential in education settings.

Our team have learnt much by spending time with the RSDD team. Through the number of videos they have compiled, and more importantly, the outstanding quality. That any subscriber can access them will make a difference to deaf learners across the country.

We’re exceptionally privileged to be working with such an exceptional school who aim to give the very best education to the deaf children learning with them.

Get to know more about YouTeachMe directly from RSDD

We’re running a joint event with the team from the Royal School for the Deaf Derby please join us if you are working with deaf children within a unit at your school or within a dedicated deaf school. Book online

IMAGE: courtesy of RSDD website 

Why do you get out of bed every morning?

My why? It’s always been the desire to make the world a better place.

When I taught, I did my very best for all of the kids in my class.

As a school leader I worked for the good of my whole school community; the learners, their parents and the whole staff team.

Have you had your why rocked?

I have; I was constantly frustrated as a headteacher. By the need to jump through the endless hoops of a game you simply can’t win. In education success is just temporary, rules are changed and goalposts moved regularly. Things that were measured didn’t matter and things that mattered weren’t measured.

How do you get your why back?

Today, through my company YouTeachMe, I’m privileged to work with amazing specialist and mainstream schools, improving the things that matter to us all. I’m proud to say that inclusion is at the heart of everything we do.

Together we’ve created something amazing and we’ve proven that it makes the world better for everyone involved. My why is on my sleeve, plain for all to see.

So, if game playing is getting tiring, perhaps now’s the right time to join our Founding Pioneer schools? You can find your why by making the world the place you’d like it to be for your learners, families, colleagues and most importantly, for yourself.

We’ve just launched the SEND Pioneer 100 programme. It’s free of charge and low on effort. So, if you’d like you, your learners, families and colleagues to benefit from the work we’ve been doing in recent years, just click the link to find out more and register your interest.

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