20th January 2021

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Paul and I wish you a belated happy new year and hope this blog finds you well during what we know is a challenging time for everyone.

What we’ve been up to over the last year

Like most people the last year hasn’t quite gone as we planned! All our usual face to face training and other work has been cancelled for the last year, with no sign of when we might be able to start up again, and we had to make the difficult decision to stop all of the free work we normally do in order to focus on identifying other sources of income. That’s why there's been no blogs or newsletters, very few social media posts and no new free resources such as our TechDoodles and #ThinkDo cards.

In addition to the work situation, we moved house from Nottingham to New Brighton on the Wirral two weeks before the first lockdown. Not the best timing, especially as our new house needs a big refurbishment and most of our stuff went into storage, so when lockdown hit we had hardly any furniture and only a week’s worth of food and clothes!

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The last year has been chaotic at times, especially as we’re now having to try and do as much of the refurbishment as we can ourselves.  Online training and meetings have been carefully delivered to hide the chaos around us but finally getting central heating just before Christmas at least means we are warm! Our saving grace has been the fact our new house is 8 minutes walk from the beach, something that has helped keep us sane. 

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What next?

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To be honest we’re not totally sure where things will go from here. Like many of us, we’ve learnt not to plan too far ahead and to just go with the flow. Before Covid we’d been investigating online courses and distance learning but the pandemic made those plans a reality sooner than we expected! After the success of the ones we did in 2020 we’re working on developing more online training and distance learning modules and more details on these will be released as they become available. 

The last year has taught us we need to streamline our systems, particularly as much of the work we do is unpaid e.g. the website and our free resources. We want to work a little ’smarter’ you’ll see a few changes in how we work compared to in the past but we’re still aiming to provide as much free support as we can. 

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Developing the website

Our website is constantly growing and will be one of our main focus areas moving forward. There will be less focus on our free #ThinkDo cards and TechDoodle resources (they’re still part of the plan so don’t worry they’re not going anywhere) and instead we’ll focus on updating a couple of pages on the website each week, including adding a lot of our resources that have only previously been available through our courses. As this is unpaid work updating the website has to be done over time so there’s a long journey ahead! To get things started we’ve updated the ‘timbers’ section of the ‘materials and components' folder. In particular, the ‘Introduction to timbers’ page has new downloads that have only previously been available on our courses. 

Timbers downloads

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The blog and newsletter

Our blog and newsletter will continue but in a more slimmed down version mostly sharing links to updated pages on our website and new resources, along with course information. Our social media platforms such as Facebook will be more focused on daily D&T news and updates so follow the page if you want to see regular updates - don’t forget it’s an open business page so you don’t need a Facebook account in order to access the page.  Recent links on Facebook include:

  • Links to various other home learning resources by various organisations
  • Recent information released by JCQ on the completion of the NEA
  • An extensive range of free #ThinkDo and Techdoodle resources that were released at the beginning of the pandemic and which are still available to download
20th October 2019

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Our Product in a Tin competition

Product in a tin competition

It was a challenge finalising the Product in a Tin competition in 2020 because so many entries didn’t have the appropriate paperwork because of school closures. Teachers and students had clearly worked so hard and we didn’t want their work to go to waste so all entries were transferred over to 2021 to give us time to get the paperwork sorted. The competition continues for this year and the changes to entry rules we introduced in 2020 because of Covid will continue (including allowing design only and photo entries although these can’t win the main prizes). The competition was very popular in 2020 as a home learning activity and it was interesting to see how many entries used materials easily found at home to develop their idea. The competition is open to years 5 - 11. Find out more. 

Product in a Tin competition Boyd Education copy 2

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Our CPD courses

Hopefully at some point we will be able to return to our face to face courses but Covid has accelerated our plans for online and distance learning. The dates are still being planned but information will be released soon. We have several face to face courses at the National STEM Learning Centre in the spring and summer 2021 but only time will tell if they are able to run. See all current course details. 

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Thank you for your support

thank-you-2204270  340Thank you to those of you who have made donations to our work over the last few months, either by choosing to pay for the ‘pay what you want resources’  or by using our ‘donate’ page. These have been challenging times for our small business and your kind words and donations, no matter how small, have lifted our spirits and motivated us to continue to support the D&T community as best we can. 

Click here to see the up to date course calendar. New courses, dates & venues added all the time. Sign up to our newsletter for course updates.

All resources including images, text & names, are the copyright of Boyd Education & can only be used by teachers in their classrooms, or by students as part of their studies. Resources must not be shared, sold, or used in any other way, without permission. 

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© Boyd Education  2012   text, images & ideas on this website are the copyright of Julie Boyd & may not be copied or reproduced without permission.. All rights Reserved.