BETTing on a tech future

Did you go to the first BETT show put on since COVID hit our shores?

With COVID still reported as an issue in many schools with high infection rates and staff shortages your answer might be NO… so allow us to give you a taster of what was on show.

The razzmatazz was in full flow with whizzy demonstrations of touchscreens, quiet moments of deep engagement with high quality audio for the classroom and of course, the usual array of robots, apps, assessment solutions, curriculum resources and the things that we know children will LOVE to have in their classrooms.

With 400+ solution providers exhibiting at BETT you can image the array of tech and tools developed specifically for the education section was fairly mesmerising.

There was also an impressive 300+ speakers at the exhibition sharing their own experiences and challenges. Nothing unusual there but the range of topics and the desire to provide hybrid access to the speeches shows the progress.

Talking of which there was also something new. Something you couldn’t see or touch like those impressive CleverTouch screens YouTeachMe were located by but something tangible if you looked carefully enough. 

It was the sense that education is fully embracing technology. The pandemic has shifted education towards the benefits of deploying technology into classrooms properly forever and at Excel last week it was fully apparent. 

Teachers visiting exhibitors were looking for technologies that build on what they’ve been using over the last two years. They were wanting to talk teaching and learning technologies. Exhibitors had quality conversations with every stand visitor.

In the arenas, discussions focused on ways to build on what’s been gained during the pandemic.  Like ‘How do we move from EdTech to PedTech?’ (i.e. from ‘technology that can be used by teachers in a lesson’ to ‘pedagogy underpinned by technology’) was one fabulous question that really hit the nail on the head. 

This change opens up the door to better education for our children. Children in any school. Technology really does help any child learn anything anywhere.

Is your day disrupted?

Over on Reddit a post from a UK secondary school teacher caught our eye, as did the comments.

In-school truancy.

Disrupted classes.

Year 7 and 8 not settling into secondary life, so going rogue.

Are your staff constantly saying “year 7s don’t know how to behave”?

Let’s take a birds eye view of this; kids who’ve been in and out of their primary school over the last 2 years. Home schooling that might have not met the mark or even been completed. Children who are already anxious becoming even more so after moving schools.

What’s our solution?

Nothing new. Just the adaption of personalised and differentiated learning that has long been at the heart of YouTeachMe.

If you’ve got internal truancy going on how can YouTeachMe help?

With a child’s account on their phone you can send messages and videos to those kids. What type? Well that’s up to you. But you could send them mindfulness videos, messages to help with anxiety, activities for them to do that are not academic. That’s all whilst they are in school, helping them to manage the daily routines. The nurturing stuff that’s perhaps not possible if they’ve not made a connection with pastoral staff or their form tutor. You can communicate with them without being face to face. Words of encouragement and support.

Then let’s think about the kids who are so behind; you knew this from primary school handover reports. Tackling this is easy with YouTeachMe. You can use our secondary maths taught in a primary style from our library. Or you can create catch up videos yourself. This can be done at home, or they can be in the usual classroom or an alternative setting to help them settle down to work.

Then those who are anxious; ones who can’t be in a classroom so that’s why they are ‘skiving’. That’s easy because you can have your curriculum on video, and they can ‘keep up’ whilst being in a safe space.

When a secondary teacher talks about safety for everyone concerned, using technology to help improve everyone’s school day could be just the ticket to help children be the best version of themselves. Without the trauma of confrontation.

All YouTeachMe requires is WiFi and a device; be it a phone, tablet or laptop. It might not solve the issue of truancy to full effect, but it can certainly help with some of the issues being faced in secondary schools today.

Book a demo to see if this is the tool you need to help with your secondary school.

Get sporty!

Are you wondering what more than new PE equipment you can spend your PE premium on?

Did you carry over your underspend for your PE premium?

Have you got outsourced PE provision but want to elevate your staff’s sporting knowledge?

Do you find your pupils are more settled and ready to learn the more physical activity your school day contains?

And more to the point why all the questions!?!

YouTeachMe is approved for use on PE premium expenditure; that’s right we are AfPE accredited. That means UK schools can spend some of the £320million PE premium on bringing in YouTeachMe to their school.

But why would you do that? Here our top 10 reasons:

  1. You can send home videos for children to watch BEFORE the new round of PE topic begins. This means learning starts before the first PE lesson.
  2. Staff without specialist knowledge can run after-school sports club at your school using video resources from our library.
  3. You can make PE accessible to all abilities in your class with personalised teaching when they need is, as often as they need it.
  4. There’s professional coaches providing lessons for your teachers to use.
  5. Lawn Tennis Association coaches have worked with YouTeachMe to produce a wide range of  videos from introductory skills to advanced techniques.
  6. Primary PE leads have produced videos teaching key knowledge and skills across a wide range of sports, helping your teachers to deliver quality teaching and learning. 
  7. Save workload for your teachers; the PE Lead can create videos for your team to use in lessons, or they can select and share the ones we’ve already made. 
  8. Create excitement for activity by producing short 2 minute inspirational videos to help all children remain active.
  9. Find the sport you want to understand how to teach, like hockey, watch the videos as a class OR share them with your children to help them progress in the lesson.
  10. YouTeachMe can be used in the classroom as well as remotely or at home. Wherever there is WiFi you can press play.

Want to learn more about PE and YouTeachMe? Book a demo or drop us an email (

Leadership change

In our current climate of Covid-19 ravaged schools Trust leaders have an opportunity to demonstrate strategic leadership.

Leadership is about change.  Setting the direction of change is fundamental to leadership.

If you are focussed on keeping the systems and structures running for normal routines and behaviours to continue, you are simply managing the situation.

Strategically you need to be changing something about the situation so that similar circumstances do not affect your normal routines as adversely in the future.

The difficult balance for leaders is between the urgent and the important.  Making sure there are sufficient teachers in school is an urgent task.  The important task is making sure that in a similar situation, at some time in the future, others know what to do to make sure there are sufficient teachers.

Of course, it is not just about teachers in school.  The number of consequences of this pandemic are many and conflicting.  It is a very tough time for schools. 

Over the last 2 years schools have seen enormous change thrust upon them, the greatest being the move to online teaching. Technology designed for business has been adapted for school.  Quickly and to a satisfactory level, teachers have coped and carried on.  Sometimes the results have been disappointing, sometimes amazing.

Leaders now need to learn from the successes and the mistakes, their own and those of others, and begin to plan.  Ask what good should look like, what needs to be done?  Ask what is right for your organisation, and ask what exists and what is new to help us progress?

When the pandemic struck our business we were about to launch our tool into the market.  During the pandemic we made attempts but we also noticed how the schools who had worked with us to develop the tool began to use it differently.  We asked what was needed and spent time during the pandemic working with these schools to add functionality they needed to succeed.

What we now have is a tool designed with schools that delivers for schools, teachers, pupils and parents.  It enables teaching to continue, and be both personalised and differentiated as required, during any interruption to school life. It is a comprehensive response for supporting in-school teaching (it’s initial function) and out of school teaching.  It shares resources, CPD, and is a communication and engagement tool with parents.

Most importantly it is so easy to use.  If you can access a web browser you can use the system.  Many teachers have been using it, without training, in under 15 minutes.

With everyone so stretched it is counter-intuitive to talk about introducing a new system.  Strategically it is the right time.  The benefits will be seen quickly and will grow.

Hybrid Schooling

When your teachers are ill then having them ‘work from home’ is far from ideal. So don’t do it.

Live lessons with a teacher suffering from COVID won’t be good enough for pupil progression, student engagement or embedding learning.

Hybrid schooling is set to be the norm though.

Sometimes a teacher might NOT be ill, they simply must isolate to stop the spread.

Sometimes a student will be in the same situation.

So when it’s OK for the teacher to be teaching and the learner to be learning how can you make that happen?

With YouTeachMe.

It reduces workload, it facilitates personalisation, it’s able to track what work has been completed, it’s easy for management to see what lessons are online, it’s easy to access for a student at a time that suits them, it’s easy for a teacher to bulk upload or do one video at a time.

All of the features offered by YouTeachMe have been designed with schools.

It’s not a system we think will work. It’s a tool that’s been developed into a way of teaching and learning with professionals working in a range of school settings today.

Hybrid schooling doesn’t need to be tricky for anyone.

Book a system demonstration TODAY to see who to make hybrid schooling work in your setting.

A letter to school and college leaders

“Take the time to make some sense of what you want to say

And cast your words away upon the waves”     

The Masterplan

When reading Nadhim Zahawi’s recent letter to school and college leaders, the opening lines of this classic Oasis song sprang to mind. You too can have a read by CLICKING HERE

Noel Gallagher knows, as does every teacher, that writing is a skill.  Meaning can easily become lost, so words must be chosen carefully.  

So, it made me ponder; if I was the Education Secretary, what letter would I have written?  

I think it would have been this…

Dear everyone who works in education,  

The work you have done to support your school communities during this pandemic has inspired our nation. 

Your heroic bravery and selfless devotion will be forever remembered by those you have supported, and respected by those, such as I, who have watched from afar. 

Some people think teaching is just a job, but you have shown that it’s much more than that. 

It’s a lifeline for so many and a route to a brighter future for all. Everyone at the DfE understands that this is why you’ve responded to this crisis in the way you have.   

We’ve now reached the end of the most difficult term our schools have ever faced, so I write to you today to offer my sincere thanks for everything you’ve done. 

It’s clear that we will face more challenges in the January, and so I will write to you early next year to share any revisions to the guidance. 

In the meantime, please make sure that you spend precious time with your loved ones. 

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.  


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