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Digital Leader Training

Our digital leader training courses are very popular with secondary, middle, junior and first schools. We run training for two different groups – online safety and computing/technical. Look at the training programme for each to see which you wish to implement first.

Digital Leaders Schools

“Through constructive dialogue it encourages pupils, parents/carers, other stakeholders and the wider community to contribute to ongoing developments in e-safeguarding policy and practice, and helps them to deal with e-safeguarding challenges they encounter.” ictmarklogo
“There is coordinated and robust implementation of e-safeguarding policies by all staff, governors and pupils within and beyond the school and practice is monitored. The school engages regularly with stakeholders to promote the e-safeguarding of pupils and staff within and beyond the school.”360es
“Young people are themselves involved in e-safety education eg through peer mentoring.”

Find out more at 

Brett from Catshill Learning Partnerships came in to school for a day and worked with our year 7, 8 and 9 Digital Leaders in order to help them support the e-safety work we are engaged with. It was a very worthwhile and exciting day; the pupils found the experience meaningful and were able to create some great resources that will help the John Henry Newman community stay safe online. This work was invested back into school life to enable a proper coherent e-safety campaign designed and led by the Digital Leaders using Brett’s expertise.
Daniel Harvey, Head of Computing, John Henry Newman Catholic College, Solihull

We were given ideas and questions about The Chantry’s ICT state that were thought provoking and really helpful. Our consultant had great speaking and teaching skills; we learned a lot! He was very enthusiastic and motivational with the pupils and encouraged everyone to contribute! We now have lots of ideas to add to our progression with BYOD in the school. We would definitely recommend Catshill Learning to other Digital Leaders looking for some great training! We are going to keep in touch with Brett and his company and look forward to giving him a checkup on our progress in the future.
Jan Dowding, Head of Computing, The Chantry School, Worcester and the Digital Leaders Team

Progression in computing

If you’ve managed to map the computing curriculum and your teachers are delivering exciting lessons, how do you assess what is going on and ensure that there is progression?

A common myth is that progression is demonstrated by using different software. Moving from from Beebots to ScratchJnr to Scratch to Kodu to Python to PHP does NOT mean progression.

You can deliver A-level courses with Scratch and year two lessons with Scratch.  You may wish to consider progression pathways but is there a less challenging way to look at progression?

Progression at KS1 and KS2 Computing

KS2-3 progession

The above screen shot is an alternative representation of the assessment grid that can be found in the excellent Computing in the Curriculum guide produced by our friends at CAS. We believe our version improves on the original. It doesn’t have numerical levels but shows steps for success. It also uses colour to identify the three themes of  computing (blue), IT (red) and digital literacy (green).

Download the KS1/2 and KS2/3 versions.

How do you turn these statements into ideas for use in the classroom?
We are also developing a dynamic version of the progression map with every statement hyperlinked to practical advice. So when you are asked what “Use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs” means, you can click on the text that will take you to a page that explains (with pictures!) what it all means.  These open in J2e but you do not need J2e software to use the.  Get the KS1-2 version here and the KS2-3 version here.

Make sense of the new computing curriculum with the new Day of Curriculum Planning

1:1 CPD for every teacher to get all staff up to speed with the new computing curriculum!

Find out more

planning materials

BBC Microbit

Due to demand, Catshill Learning Partnerships have developed a BBC:Microbit training course for schools. Find out more.

The BBC have produced  a pocket-sized, computer that allows children to get creative with technology. The aim is to inspire digital creativity and develop a new generation of tech pioneers.

This ambitious education initiative gave a million devices to every 11 or 12 year old child in year 7 or equivalent across the UK.

The school based course is a great introduction that is suitable for staff and pupils and can be run in the school day or as a twilight after school.


Key features of the micro:bit include:

 • 25 red LEDs to light up, flash messages, create games and invent digital stories.

• Two programmable buttons activated when pressed. Use the micro:bit as a games controller. Pause or skip songs on a playlist.

• On-board motion detector or “accelerometer” that can detect movement and tell other devices you’re on the go. Featured actions include shake, tilt and freefall. Turn the micro:bit into a spirit level. Light it up when something is moved. Use it for motion-activated games.

• A built-in compass or “magnetometer” to sense which direction you’re facing, your movement in degrees, and where you are. Includes an in-built magnet, and can sense certain types of metal.

• Bluetooth Smart Technology to connect to the internet and interact with the world around you. Connect the micro:bit to other micro:bits, devices, kits, phones, tablets, cameras and everyday objects all around. Share creations or join forces to create multi-micro:bit masterpieces. Take a selfie. Pause a DVD or control your playlist.

• Five Input and Output (I/O) rings to connect the micro:bit to devices or sensors using crocodile clips or 4mm banana plugs. Use the micro:bit to send commands to and from the rings, to power devices like robots and motors.

Read more about the BBC Microbit project here.

Training programme

You can download a summary of all our school based training courses here.

course summary

Our cost effective, school based training allows staff to be trained with students with no staff cover required!

“We would definitely recommend Catshill Learning to other Digital Leaders looking for some great training!”

“The sessions were engaging, informative and accessible for both our children and their parents.”

“It was a very worthwhile and exciting day; the pupils found the experience meaningful and were able to create some great resources that will help the John Henry Newman community stay safe online.”

Read our testimonials at 

BBC micro:bit for sale

Finally the BBC micro:bit has gone on sale.


Although schools have been given micro:bits to give away to year 7 pupils, there are a number of reasons why schools are looking to purchase their own devices.

  • School wish to program the devices as part of the computing curriculum
  • There is no guarantee that pupils will bring them back into school
  • Primary and middle schools want pupils in other years to have experience of the micro:bit

What schools should consider

Are we going let children take their micro:bits home?

Can our digital leaders implement a school policy on our micro:bits? Our advice – This is a great way to utilise pupil voice.

How much do they cost?  Our advice – At the moment retailers are charging £13 each for just the board. Many had hoped that they would be £10 or less. Prices may come down as other manufacturers start producing them so it might be worth waiting before ordering them.

Are we going to purchase a class set and do we need to factor in the additional “extras” such as battery case and USB connector? Our advice – We think these are definitely needed.

Who do we order them from? Contact us if you know of other suppliers and we will add to the list below

Key information
The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized codeable computer with motion detection, a built-in compass, LED display, and Bluetooth technology built in. It measures 4cm by 5cm, is available in a range of colours, and designed to be fun and easy to use. It can be coded with something simple in seconds – like lighting up its LEDs or displaying a pattern – with no prior knowledge of computing. It also connects to other devices, sensors, kits and objects, and is a companion to Arduino, Galileo, Kano, littleBits and Raspberry Pi, acting as a spring board to more complex learning. Each element is completely programmable via easy-to-use software on a dedicated website ( that can be accessed from a PC, tablet or mobile.

Technical leaders in school

technical leaders

Following the successful implementation of online safety ambassadors, Greenfield School in Stourbridge has extended the concept of pupil voice by setting up a digital leaders group. Eight students applied for the position of a digital leader and after successfully completing a training programme the group is able to carry out a range of activities in school. These include:

  • Day to day maintenance of computing hardware
  • Looking after portable devices to ensure they are updated, charged and ready for use
  • Training of teachers to identify and fix common technical issues
  • Check over and tidying of the ICT suite on a daily basis
  • Identifying opportunities for technical development and making hardware recommendations

Tom Holder, Head of Computing explains why having digital leaders works for Greenfield School:

“Everyone in schools is benefiting. The self esteem of the children has increased immensely, I am spending less time having to sort out basic faults and our ICT suite is always clean and tidy. We are making fewer calls to the IT helpdesk and an added benefit is that our staff can call upon our digital leaders to support them in the classroom. It has been a win-win for us and our pupils.” 

Details of the Digital Leader training program


Chromebooks in Schools

Using Chromebooks in Schools

An online Teachmeet that came about as a result of a posting on the CAS forums in which a teacher wanted to connect with schools that had Google Chromebooks.  – Suggest an idea for a future teachmeet


Topics discussed:
The move to the cloud, how they are used, cameras, schemes of work, hardware combinations, device management, keyboards, teaching mathematics, collaboration – with class and beyond, battery life, moving files, using latency hardware, mixing different hardware.

With thanks to contributions from the following schools: Parkfield, Marlborough, Avanti House, Fulham Boys, Godstow, The Weald, Overstone and the National Stem Learning Centre.

Please get in touch if you would like independent  and curriculum focused advice in  choosing portable devices for schools.

IPad Prize draw winner

ipad draw
Bethan receives her iPad from Brett Laniosh

Congratulations to Bethan Houston who was the winner of the E-Safety for Parents Prize Draw competition kindly sponsored by Zeus Computers.

Bethan attended the online safety talk at Sytchampton Primary School near Ombersley in Worcestershire.



Competition gets 1000+ entries!


Judging of the Worcestershire schools Safer Internet Day poster competition took place at Hindlip Hall, the West Mercia Police HQ on February 22nd.

Over 1000 posters were submitted from schools across Worcestershire.

poster competition

The judges were Barrie Sheldon, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Sophie Banham from Just2Easy, Paul Barber from Westacre Middle School, Brett Laniosh from Catshill Learning Partnerships and the digital leaders from Westacre Middle School.

The winning entries

Emily from Catshill Middle School, Emma from The Chantry School, Sarah Jane from Heathfield School, Jen from Sytchampton Endowed Primary School, Harriet from Westacre Middle School.









Safer Intern

Please retweet this.

The competition was a joint initiative between Westacre Computing Community (made up of Worcester and Droitwich schools led by Westacre Middle School in Droitwich) and Catshill Learning Partnerships  with support from the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner who hosted the competition judging at the police headquarters at Hindlip Hall on 22nd February.

Prize sponsors include educational suppliers Just2Easy (based in Kidderminster), County Infrastructure Services (based in Droitwich) and Catshill Learning Partnerships (based in Bromsgrove).

Weasacre school logo

Safer Internet Day 2016

We’ve plenty of ideas and tips to help you make the most of SID2016 and we are proud to be supporters of this important event.


Our E-Safety Toolkit is the perfect way to prepare and follow up SID2016,

  • School e-safety and password policy review and updates
  • School digital leader training for selected pupils
  • Parent e-safety presentations
  • Staff e-safety presentations
  • E-Safety lessons for classes
  • Whole school e-safety review and audit using the 360E-Safe tool
  • Curriculum planning to incorporate digital literacy

Find out more

Digital Leaders set up guide

Having digital leaders in school empowers pupil voice, makes e-safety learning fun and effective and has a proven positive impact on pupils – including safer online behaviours and increased e-safety knowledge.

  • Pupil involvement is a key element in promoting e-safety effectively
  • Digital Leaders gain key skills such as leadership and management, communication and collaboration
  • Engages parents and staff
  • Provides evidence of impact so you are ready for inspection
  • Digital leaders help you work towards outstanding e-safety practice in school and across your community

Our free guide will tell you all you need to know about how to set up Digital Leaders in your school. Download your copy here.

Also take a look at our Digital Leader training programme and short course

Levels and the 2014 National Curriculum

Tim Oates, the Group Director of Assessment Research and Development at Cambridge Assessment, explains some key differences in respect of the 2014 National Curriculum.

Key messages:

“It is vital not to re-invent levels”

“Levels are too general for high-quality formative assessment”,

“Chasing progress through levels does not:
fit with deep secure learning;
allow time for misconceptions to be identified and addressed.”

Find out more at


iPad winner announced

Congratulations to Lyndsey Sirrrell, parent at Forestdale Primary School in Frankley, Birmingham who won the iPad prize draw held during September.

Lyndsey attended “Online Safety for Parents” run at the school by Catshill Learning Partnerships.


Lyndsey receives her iPad from Brett Laniosh of Catshill Learning Partnerships and teacher Christine Lea

iPad Mini prize kindly donated by softcat

RiskIT week

What is Riskit Week?
In a nutshell, the Riskit strategy is about: “All staff, using ICT as a means to improve teaching”.


How does it work?
Riskit gives teachers an opportunity and framework in which they can experiment with new technologies and ideas that they have not tried before in a lesson and with a class of their choice. Success or failure of the activity is not relevant, the main purpose of the risk-taking is to throw oneself in at the deep-end, knowing there is someone with them to support them, and that they are not being judged. Just like a child learning to swim or a teenager playing a computer game: if you fail, pick yourself up and try again, as long as you learn from your mistakes.

How to RiskIt?

Staff take a risk and use a piece of technology they have not used before with their class; this can be anything from using a new interactive application or camera to simply using the IWB.

There are only two requirements:

1)     It needs to be their first time using the piece of ICT with students.

2)     You must be willing to receive visitors during that lesson.

The visitors must not be judgmental; they are not there to evaluate the lesson or the performance of the teacher. Their visit is purely to observe how technology is being used and learn any lessons from the session which they in turn can take to their own classroom.

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iPad or IPad mini?

In this interesting article New Zealand educator Richard Wells from Learning Today explains why he really rates the iPad mini for use in schools.

His conclusion is that the iPad mini is more portable, flexible and less intrusive in the classroom.

“I thought the iPad was the perfect student accessory but the iPad mini has proved me wrong.”

Richard’s summary of the iPad mini:

  • Feels more natural to hold
  • Better cameras
  • Even less intrusive in the classroom
  • Better for reading
  • Dictation and Siri
  • Less weight means less RSI issues

Read the full article here

Thank you!

This has been our best year ever!

As summer and the end of terms beckons we would like to finish this year with an announcement and a thank you.

With over 60 schools joining our learning partnership community, 2014/15 has been a record breaking year for us and we are very proud of that!

Our best year ever

As a small (but growing), independent and school based education business, we believe our flexible and personal approach and relevant content is why so many schools are choosing to use our services.

There is more to come in 2015/16. As our learning partnership community grows, we will be making some new announcements and offering lots of new, exciting initiatives in the field of digital learning and online safety.


Here are some of the things you’ve said about us:

“A superb driver in moving Computing forward” “held in high esteem by our staff” “ works hard to identify and meet our specific needs” “a valued consultant in our school and would be a valuable asset to yours too” Peter Bravo, Head Teacher, Greenfield Primary School, Stourbridge

“The sessions were engaging, informative and accessible for both our children and their parents” “Thanks you” Surinder Sehmbi, Headteacher, Blowers Green Primary School, Dudley

“worked with our year 7, 8 and 9 Digital Leaders in order to help them support the e-safety work we are engaged with” “It was a very worthwhile and exciting day; the pupils found the experience meaningful and were able to create some great resources that will help the John Henry Newman community stay safe online. This work was invested back into school life to enable a proper coherent e-safety campaign designed and led by the Digital Leaders” Daniel Harvey, Head of Computing, John Henry Newman Catholic College, Solihull

“Our Learning Partnership has provided a support package tailor-made to suit the needs of our school” “our Computing Curriculum Leader has received valuable guidance and advice in shaping an engaging and forward-thinking curriculum map” Ben Irving, Assistant Headteacher, Westacre Middle School, Droitwich

“Not only has he created a new school website tailored to the requirements of our school, but he has followed this up with training for the staff. This means that we now have the confidence to update the content regularly to let parents and the wider community know about all the exciting things going on at our school” Helen Thomas, Headteacher, Foxyards Primary School, Coseley