Cig-Arrête stand alone flame detector and voice alarm

Smoking in the toilets is a problem that schools have attempted to deal for as long as there have been cigarettes and school toilets in which to smoke them. Staff can’t be expected to constantly check what’s going on in the toilets and conventional smoke alarms are not sensitive enough to pick up on the first puffs, or the brief heat of a lighter flame.

Children usually try their first smoke with the encouragement of their peers, thus  making it almost impossible to smoke while at school may help to delay or reduce the take up.

Cig-Arrête® antismoking alarm is a simple and highly effective deterrent that clearly displays a school’s commitment to legislative compliance. The Cig-Arrête® detector will automatically sound a prerecorded warning whenever cigarette smoke is detected, thereby helping to prevent illicit smoking on the premises and providing a visual and audible re-enforcement of the school’s commitment to creating a smoke-free environment.

When smoke is detected, the antismoking alarm announces: “This is a no smoking area. Please extinguish your cigarette. A member of staff has been contacted”.

Claimed benefits are:
•    Helps schools and any other establishment to comply with legislation
•    Visual deterrent – catches smokers before they light up
•    No need for human intervention, helping to avoid confrontation
•    Patented sensor is specially designed to detect flames from a match or lighter
•    Range of sensitivity settings to suit the location where it is installed.
The stand-alone device is ceiling mounted and battery operated. Coverage is 25 mm flame within one second at six metres distance (120° field of view). The warning announcement is 92 dB, with a volume control.

According the manufacturers, UK-based Radal Technology, schools report that smoking in the toilets had stopped within days of Cig-Arrête® antismoking alarms being installed.

Ivan Myers
Co-Med Pty Ltd
tel 0420 989 490

Fred Hollows Foundation has new lesson plans
The Fred Hollows Foundation continues to save and restore eyesight in Indigenous communities in Australia, across Asia and in East and South Africa.

The foundation’s website is a comprehensive resource for teachers. Current lesson plans include:
•Cataract Blindness. Suitable for Art/English/Geography/Science, this lesson looks at cataract blindness, what it is, how it occurs, and what The Fred Hollows Foundation is doing to prevent and treat it.

• Children and Blindness is suitable for English/Geography/HSIE. This lesson aims to explore the impacts of blindness on children who are blind, and children who are caring for a blind person.

• Global Blindness is suitable for Art/English/Geography/HSIE/Maths and aims to explore blindness around the world and its impact on communities and individuals.

• Partnerships and Sustainability is suitable for Art/English/HSIE. This lesson aims to highlight the importance of partnerships in The Foundation's programmes and in ending avoidable blindness and improving Indigenous health.

• Poverty and Blindness is suitable for Art/English/Geography/HSIE. This lesson aims to highlight the relationship between poverty and blindness.

Specific to NSW Board of Studies are: State 4 – Geography, State 5 – History and Stage 5 – Geography.

There is a lesson plan for each topic with notes for teachers. All plans include either stories from the field (with photo galleries) or PowerPoint presentations. Photo displays are also available on loan from the Foundation.

Salary packaging makes pay go further
Do you want to take home more of your hard-earned money? The good news is – you can. Many teachers are already taking advantage of the benefits salary packaging can offer. In fact, over 78,000 employees across Australia currently use SmartSalary to maximise their tax savings.
SmartSalary helps to make the process of salary packaging simple and stress-free by tailoring a package to suit individual needs regardless of age, job title or income.
Items available for salary packaging include
• Novated car leases
• Superannuation
• Laptops
• Home office items
• Mobile phone expenses
• Newspapers, magazines and journals.
For a complete list of what teachers can salary package, as well as other relevant information, visit the SmartSalary website or call toll free. Note: Only applies to employees from the Department of Education & Early Childhood Development, Education & Training NSW, and Education & Children’s Services SA.
Customer Service Centre 1300 476 278

Skydeck educational programme linked to Vic Essential Learning Standards
Eureka Skydeck’s education programme Education with Altitude takes learning beyond the classroom and offers unique learning opportunities for students of all ages.

Skydeck Educator Abbey Dusink says “The Skydeck is such a great resource that you can apply it to all types of topic areas; from learning about Melbourne’s cultural landmarks to psychology students learning about visual perception. Visiting Skydeck means that students can venture out of the classroom and apply their knowledge to the outside world.”

Skydeck now offers a new wide range of excursion activities for students for all levels over a number of topic areas which are linked to the Victorian Essential Learning Standards.

For information about Eureka Skydeck’s education programme visit:

RMIT doubles emphasis on primary maths
The School of Education at RMIT University has acted on growing community concerns about primary mathematics by revising all its primary teacher education programs and doubling the time spent on numeracy.

“It is vital that our primary teacher education graduates are confident and competent in teaching mathematics and numeracy, so we include relevant courses in each year of our teacher education programme,” Head of School, Professor Annette Gough, said. Students coming into primary teacher education programs have to have completed at least Units 1 and 2 of VCE mathematics, and many have completed Units 3 and 4. They then study the following aspects of teaching and learning in mathematics and numeracy in each year of their four-year programme:

•    Introduction to School Mathematics and Numeracy
•    Developing a Sense of Measurement, Data, Chance and Space
•    Developing a Sense of Number
•    Current Issues and Challenges in School Mathematics Education. 

These courses have been designed to complement both VELS and the directions of the Australian curriculum.

The School of Education has also introduced a double degree programme with the School of Applied Sciences to graduate mathematics and science teachers for primary and secondary schools.

Posture programme for primary classes computer users

The potential for students and teachers to suffer negative long-term effects from incorrect posture during computer usage is significant. However, implementing a few simple strategies can make sure that eye strain, RSI, forearm, neck, upper and lower back pain is avoided.
Ergonomics consultant Priscilla Rinetzky has been studying the impact of computer use on children for some years and has developed an ergonomic awareness programme to help keep students computer-fit. 

Her Time for Ergonomics programme for primary schools includes a 25-minute DVD that reinforces the benefits of good posture while using the computer, a CD-ROM with teaching notes and suggested activities and Stage 1, 2, 3 posters that guide the class through a series of pause and stretch exercises.

Jeans for Genes is on again
Jeans for Genes is turning 16 this year, on Friday 6th August. What better way to celebrate than invite all students and teachers to the wear jeans and register for Jeans for Genes Day and make a gold coin donation towards research to improve children’s health.

“Since Jeans for Genes Day started, schools can take pride in knowing that they contributed significantly towards research which has already led to some important findings,” said Nickie Flambouras, Volunteer Manager.

Recent scientific results announced by CMRI are tipped to advance the entire approach to anticancer treatments. This research identified the composition of human telomerase, an enzyme integral to 85% of all cancers. The work was made possible through the use of an expensive state-of-the-art machine, a mass spectrometer and money raised through Jeans for Genes Day contributed to this purchase. Aspiring school genies can register at:

Kids helping kids awards
Entries are now open for the inaugural Kids Helping Kids Awards. The Awards will recognise and reward the work of Australian schools and educators working to develop the next generation of strong, empowered and resilient children.

SchoolAid projects encourage empathy, philanthropy and care in Australian kids, tapping into their innate compassion for their peers and kids in need, whilst fostering leadership, resilience and independence in young Australians.

Leonie Trimper, President of the Australian Primary Principals Association, and strong supporter of SchoolAid and the Awards, says, “SchoolAid is a unique organisation, whose sole purpose is to nurture and support the next generation of Australian philanthropists. The Kids Helping Kids Awards is the first time in Australia we have had a process to acknowledge the ongoing and significant giving taking place in primary schools across the nation every day.”

Finalists for each of the six Awards categories, and the overall ‘Best of the Best’ Award, will be selected by a panel of judges representing fields of education, philanthropy and commerce.

Entries close on 30th May. For details visit:

Online health resource for teachers and school communities
Education Services Australia in collaboration with RealTime Health, has published 50 digital video clips of young people discussing their personal experiences of chronic illness.

The Speaking from Experience clips aim to provide a deeper understanding of chronic illness within school communities. They cover six topics: asthma, epilepsy, families and chronic illness, hearing impairment, mental health and type 1 diabetes.

The young people talk openly about their day-to-day challenges, coping strategies, and the impact on their families. The clips are supported by downloadable worksheets and guidance on how they can be used.

de Bono institute proposes ThinkPlus revolution
The de Bono Institute, along with its thought leader and mentor – Dr Edward de Bono, has thrown down a challenge to Australia: revolutionise the teaching of thinking in Australia’s schools or risk leaving young people inadequately equipped to deal with an ever changing world.

According to the Institute, Australia is currently at risk of leaving many school leavers inadequately equipped to cope with life in the 21st century and the demands industry and the community will place on them.

Speaking at the launch of the Institute’s education project, ThinkPlus, de Bono Institute CEO Susan Mackie said that that basic literacy and numeracy skills as well as information technology skills are no longer enough for today’s employers.

The de Bono Institute believes the development of what it calls a ‘metacurriculum’, designed to run alongside the current national curriculum, will revolutionise the teaching of thinking in Australia’s schools – first with teachers, and then pupils and parents.

The ThinkPlus metacurriculum, the result of 10 years of practical and extensive research by the de Bono Institute, will utilise carefully-researched thinking tools, specifically developed for the modern educational environment, and make use of new technologies.

The metacurriculum will enable students to be better lateral thinkers, who can effectively make sense and utilise the barrage of information and knowledge that is constantly available via the media and the Internet.

Lonely children disclose intimate information online
Lonely children and teenagers disclose more personal and intimate information on the internet than those who are not lonely, a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) study has found.

The study, based on a survey of 626 Brisbane primary and secondary school students, found those who were lonely communicated more frequently online, disclosed more intimate information and were more likely to have contact with adults on the internet.

The study of students aged 10–16, by QUT masters student Luigi Bonetti, Assoc Prof Marilyn Campbell and Dr Linda Gilmore, found lonely students compensated for their weaker social skills by using the internet to meet people.

"We discovered that kids, who did identify as socially anxious or lonely, found the internet to be a very positive experience," Assoc Prof Campbell said.

The survey found lonely children and teenagers communicated online much more frequently about how they felt, serious problems and confidential topics. Lonely children and teenagers also reported communicating online in order to belong to a group and to relax – much more so than those who were not lonely.

“Lonely kids found great company on the internet,” Assoc Prof Campbell said.

The study’s authors recommended parents and professionals should particularly monitor the internet use of lonely children and teenagers who could be at greater risk of becoming addicted to internet use.

The study also found they could also be more likely to go out of their way to meet in real life people with whom they had online relationships.

However, Assoc Prof Campbell said parents’ role in helping a child to use the internet safely could be compared with giving a child a bicycle.

“They have to educate them about the dangers but not go overboard,” she said.

Specialised programmes at WA public schools in 2011
Amateur aviators, budding baseballers and future fashionistas are urged to take a closer look at the 95 specialist programmes on offer in Western Australia’s public schools, many of which are still taking enrolments for 2011.

Acting executive director school support programmes Andrew Thompson said there was an extensive range of specialist programs available in three broad areas – academic and applied, arts, and sports.
Mr Thompson said Year 6 and 7 students with a special interest or talent were encouraged to apply and benefit from the specialist teachers and sports coaches employed by the 55 schools running the programmes.

“Programmes range from Australian football, music, drama and computer studies, there to more unique programmes such as surf science, outdoor adventure, instrumental music and voice, and aviation.

“Applications are not restricted to students living in close proximity to the school but places in the programmes are limited, so interested students should contact the relevant school promptly,” he said.
Schools manage the applications locally and many places are still available, with most closing dates concentrated around May and June. Information on which schools offered which programmes is available on the Department of Education’s website at:

Colour it Orange project aims to save Orangutan
Not-for-profit and national organisation, the Australian Orangutan Project (OAP) is launching a comprehensive educational programme. The purpose of AOP is to conserve and preserve orangutan habitat in Indonesia and Malaysia, and to assist in the rehabilitation and care of orangutans in care centres.

Colour It Orange is designed for early childhood and primary students aged between 5 and 11. A programme aimed at secondary school students plans is to be developed in the near future.

APO provides various fundraising activity ideas such as dress up in orange clothes day, writing, drawing and/or painting competitions as well as a comprehensive pack of worksheets and classroom activities.

All the worksheets and activity packs for this programme have been produced by teachers who have closely worked with AOP to ensure the accuracy of the content and relevancy to the educational system, as well as to the age group.

A diverse range of subjects such as habitat destruction, climate change, conservation, animal extinction and indigenous cultures of Indonesia are also covered through the worksheets and activities.

Register and download education packs at:

Shine the spotlight on inspirational teachers
Nominations are now open for the NEiTA 2010 ASG Inspirational Teaching Awards. This year the NEiTA programme recognises the range of leadership qualities that inspirational teachers bring both to their roles and the teaching profession with the theme Great Teachers Lead The Way.

NEiTA’s chairman, Terry O’Connell says leadership qualities are vitally important in the makeup of an inspiring and excellent teacher.

“But Australia’s educators, who demonstrate their leadership skills every day, often go unrecognised. NEiTA aims to help remedy this and shine the limelight on the host of leadership qualities that inspirational teachers possess.

Australian parents, school councils, committees of management, parent associations, secondary student councils, and community organisations may nominate teachers.

Nominees may be early childhood and schoolteachers from the spectrum of education settings.
Nominations close on on 30th July 2010.

Nominations may be completed online or download a nomination form from the NEiTA website or telephone:
free call 1800 624 487

Flexible rubber bubbler guard enhances teeth protection
A hard-wearing flexible bubbler guard designed to hygienically protect teeth has been introduced by Enware for its comprehensive ranges of vandal-resistant spring-action bubblers.

The antibacterial soft-feel guard – made from high-tensile, AS4020 compliant elastomer with UV protection for robust performance, is suitable for us in schools, universities, municipal and public facilities and rest areas.