embc Weekly Brief for Schools 5th January 2015

Weekly Brief for Schools
5th January 2015
In this issue:
Website of the Week
Quote of the Week
Teaching Resources
Technical Updates
Meeting dates
Meeting Dates
See below
Website of the Week
This Spring Term embc will be meeting with schools around the
region to share information about our services and new options
now available to your school.
TechFuture Classroom is a hub
of free computing resources for
your Key Stage 3, 4 and 5
students, complete with lesson
plans and mark schemes. The
resources are developed with
industry to provide authentic
projects mapped to computing,
ICT and computer science
Dates for your diary include:
• Tuesday 10th February – Gainsborough and Louth coffee
meetings (venues to be confirmed)
• Thursday 26th March – Derbyshire LA Schools Conference –
Swanwick (embc will be presenting)
• Wednesday 22nd April – Matlock and Markfield coffee meetings
(venues to be confirmed)
We will also be writing and emailing schools about the availability
of alternative connectivity services: FTTC & EAD as they become
available. If you want to ask us anything in the meantime please
drop us an email to empsn@empsn.org.uk
Quote of the Week
Teaching Resources
Between stimulus and response
is the freedom to choose.
Viktor E. Frankl, 1905 – 1997,
Austrian Holocaust Survivor,
Psychiatrist and Author
Listening Books have an exciting Stephen Fry competition for
you to enter. Send them a review of one of their titles and you
could be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of 'Stephen
Fry: In His Own Words'. The closing date is Friday 6th February
2015. More details can be found here.
Coming up from Listening Books:
Contact Us
01604 879 869
• In 2015 two new audiobooks will be added to the Listening
Books streaming service every week, and each Monday they will
be posted to their Facebook page. Follow them here to keep up to
• Every Friday, staff and volunteers will choose a book from the
library to review and their findings will be posted on their
Facebook and Twitter pages.
Please check the Listening Books website and sign up to their
newsletter to ensure you don't miss out on exciting opportunities
If you are yet to explore this valuable and free service provided by
embc to member schools, please email kyoung@empsn.org.uk for
your schools username & password.
Technical Updates
Computer security is not an exciting topic but it is ever more
critical to all of us. We should be continually reviewing and
changing our online habits to ensure we stay safe online.
On the embc network functionality introduced late last year allows
detection of suspicious traffic as it is sent towards the
internet. This service uses globally recognised information and
intelligence to determine if traffic is destined towards known
malware, control or suspicious Internet addresses. If the service
detect that hosts on your network are attempting to or are
accessing bad internet IPs we will notify you of this. We hope you
find this service beneficial and we encourage local good practise
and vigilance, as prevention is better than cure.
Service Disruptions in December
Before the end of term we posted information concerning the
issues on the 12th & 15th December on our website http://www.empsn.info/outages-update-december-2015/
The changes made to OSPF on the 15th December have
stabilised and addressed the issues we were seeing on the 12th
&15th December so the specific technical issue has been
addressed and we do not anticipate a reoccurrence of the OSPF
Investigations with technical teams are underway and reviews of
service management functions will take place in due course.
On the evening/night 22nd December we performed some
investigation and testing work around firewall failover and have
since implemented changes to improve the reliability of this on our
Internet firewalls. This is not related in any way to the service
issues of the 12th/15th December but was discovered as a result
of examinations at that time.
We are reviewing a number of items on the Internet Infrastructure
and anticipate a small number of optimisation changes to improve
service and stability. These will be actioned through standard
change processes and performed as part of the network managed
service. Details of all planned changes and maintenance are
available on the KCOM portal – https://portal.kcom.com
The State of Online Safety in Schools 2014 report concludes that
most teachers don’t have access to even basic Internet Safety
training – perhaps the start of the new year is the time to review
your safeguarding practice.
South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) and Plymouth University
published their annual assessment of the state of online safety in
schools and their readiness to safeguard children online; UK
Schools Online Safety, Policy and Practice Assessment 2014.
Using evidence from over 5,500 schools using the multi award
winning 360 degree safe self-review tool, the report discloses the
strength and weaknesses of wider e-safety provision in schools in
the UK. It concludes that strongest aspects are still ‘policy and
filtering’, whilst consistently the weakest area is still staff training.
The full report is freely available from SWGfL, just follow the link http://www.swgfl.org.uk/News/News/E-Safety/The-State-of-OnlineSafety-in-Schools-2014
With E-safety now firmly established on the curriculum at both
primary and secondary school, the e-safety website
www.internetmatters.org has created a dedicated area for
schools which makes it easy to find some of the best resources for
teaching e-safety from leading experts in the field.
Their research shows that 70% of parents look to schools for
advice about keeping their children safe online, so they’ve also
created a selection of resources to help schools promote online
safety to parents with downloadable banners, posters, leaflets and
age guides. There are also useful tools to use with parents at
school for e-safety talks and parents evenings.
Teachers will find some great ideas for videos, games and
quizzes they can share with parents to do at home with their
children. An example of this is a interactive e-book app that
Internet Matters has created with Childnet International of their
storybook ‘Digiduck’s Big Decision’. Narrated by Sophie EllisBextor and Janet Ellis, this will help younger children understand
the importance of being a good online friend and allow parents to
continue the conversation about online safety outside school.
Visit: www.internetmatters.org to find out more.
The Finance Committee meets on Wednesday 7th January to
consider the developing Business Plan for 2015-2016.
Meeting dates
emPSN Finance Meeting - Wednesday 7th January - 10am via
Conference Call
emPSN Board Meeting - Monday 19th January - 9.30am
Beaumanor Hall
emPSN Audit Meeting - Thursday 22nd January - 10am
Beaumanor Hall