At a glance headlines: October 17, 2013

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New government work experience guidance, Parliament Week 2013, literacy support from Dyslexia Action and a languages competition are among the SecEd At a glance headlines for October 17, 2013.

Work experience

Work experience guidance has been published for school 6th forms and colleges following a two-year pilot project providing placements for 16 to 18-year-olds in 25 further education colleges. Work experience is no longer mandatory at key stage 4, but the government has accepted a recommendation in the 2011 Wolf Report that work experience should be “an integral part of programmes of study for all 16 to 19-year-olds”. The new study programmes came in this year. The guidance says appointing a specialist co-ordinator will raise the status of work experience, while feedback from employers to students after placements is vital and the length and timings of placements should be flexible, it adds. Visit: http://bit.ly/1aswGFC

Parliament Week

A range of events are taking place across the UK to mark Parliament Week 2013. The aim is to help young people to connect with democratic life and help them make their voices heard. Co-ordinated by the House of Commons and the House of Lord, the event will see activities at Portcullis House in Westminster including a Young Person’s Question Time and workshops exploring this year’s main theme – Women in Democracy. Listings are online. Visit: www.parliamentweek.org

Literacy support

A free literacy support programme to support year 7 students with their transition to secondary school has rolled out this term. Delivered by teachers from Dyslexia Action, Units of Sound is a “second chance” phonics-based reading and spelling computer programme suitable for all ages. It is being trialled with year 7 students who were below Level 4 in English at key stage 2 and who are on free school meals. The charity has received funding from the Education Endowment Foundation and is delivering the intervention across 44 schools this year. The programme is then to be formally evaluated. Visit: http://dyslexiaaction.org.uk/project/units-sound

Language challenge

The Foreign Language Spelling Bee, launched this month by Routes into Languages, is challenging year 7 students to improve their vocabulary and spelling in French, German or Spanish. The competition is sponsored by Vocab Express, which is giving participants free access to its online learning applications during the competition. It runs in four stages: class and school competitions, followed by regional and national finals. Students will have one minute to translate a word from English and spell it in the target language. Visit: www.flsb.co.uk

Sport relief

A free fundraising and learning resource pack has been published ahead of Sport Relief, which is due to take place on March 21 next year. The event uses sport to help raise money for disadvantaged children across the UK and the world. Last time around schools raised £5.8 million. Visit: www.sportrelief.com/schoolpack


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