Spring Newsletter

Oriel Square | Spring Term 2020

Here’s what (else) has been happening in education.

Here at Oriel Square, we are immersed in education policy, in new developments in pedagogy and technology, and in what teachers, learners and parents want from their resources and services. As the world moves into the virtual realm, and schools and offices around the world close, we’re here with some insights and articles to keep you connected. 

Here’s what you can expect…

  • How ‘Agile’ might apply to you and your working practices – and why we use Agile principles to lead projects
  • Upskilling online with publishing people – upcoming training events with Oriel Square to keep you connected
  • Meet our Featured Freelancer – We introduce you to one of the educational content professionals from our unparalleled network 
  • What’s happening now – where you will find us online in the coming term
  • Online resources for education and other campaigns we’re supporting – and how you can too! 

How can we help you?

Oriel Square is a trusted partner to the most successful education companies in the world. We can work for you in one or more of the three key areas of content development for school-age education. Ideally, you will involve us early to get maximum value from our expertise.

  1. Analysis and strategy. We work with you to identify and develop opportunities for new products, services or markets.
  2. Research, thought leadership and concept development. We provide a deep understanding of the potential audience, and associated customer or user needs, and recommend in detail how your organisation can best meet them.
  3. Delivery of digital development, editorial, publishing and design services. We can handle all aspects of project delivery for print and digital publishing, including any associated professional development or customer experience services.

Find out more

Why Oriel Square use the Agile manifesto and principles to lead projects and work effectively

Many organisations who are not themselves fundamentally or solely digital are interested in how ‘Agile’ might apply to them and their working practices. Many others are highly sceptical, perhaps particularly because of the often large amount of jargon that can be employed by some of Agile’s more enthusiastic supporters. This short article outlines why at Oriel Square we use the manifesto and principles of agile – rather than the rituals and technical language – to inform best practice in project leadership and personal effectiveness.

Read Sam’s article here

Upskilling online with publishing people 

If, like us, you want to stay connected with the publishing community and continue to learn without leaving the comfort of your home-desk, check out our latest training course hosted by our partners BookMachine. 

How to use agile principles to lead projects and work effectively: practical tools and ideas to strengthen personal effectiveness and project management

This series of three short, interactive online courses are for editorial professionals wanting to strengthen their project management skills and improve personal effectiveness. We will cover the principles of agile project management and how these can be translated into practical processes within your teams to help you lead from the front in both the management and delivery of publishing projects. With an emphasis on problem-solving, delegates will come away with practical tools and ideas for effective project management, as well as some inspiration for further personal development. The course will be led by Oriel Square Director, Sam Derby.

Register for the course

Meet our Featured Freelancer 

We are proud to have what we consider to be the leading network of educational content professionals in the industry. We are lucky enough to work with some incredibly talented and passionate freelancers – Isabel Thomas just happens to be both! 

Isabel is an award-winning science writer and author of more than 150 books for young audiences. She is also a journalist for The Week Junior Science+Nature and Whizz Pop Bang magazines and has recently worked with Oriel Square to produce downloadable primary science resources.

What have you enjoyed working on with Oriel Square recently? 

Recently I worked with Oriel Square to create six activities and accompanying resources for young conservationists, for a new On The EDGE Conservation campaign. 

The aim of the activities is to encourage families to find out more about the threats facing Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species, such as the kakapo, numbat and purple frog. These animals may not be as pretty as polar bears, as majestic as tigers or as well-known as rhinos, but they are just as charismatic and just as in need of our help.

It was a pleasure to work with Oriel Square, and I was impressed by how quickly we were able to progress from initial brief to final, designed and delivered resource.

See more of Isabel’s work 

Check-out On the EDGE resources

Where you’ll find us this term

While we will be keeping travel to a minimum, we’re doing everything we can to keep in touch with this term’s top education topics while events are postponed or moved online.  

Some of the events we will be ‘at’ in the coming months: 

31st March – Adobe Summit: the digital experience conference

22nd April – MyKindaFuture & Pearson: Maximising value from apprentice talent & the Levy, online webinar 

27th, 28th and 29th AprilBookMachine online: How to use agile principles to lead projects and work effectively 

Date TBC in April or May – Oxford Publishing Society and Oriel Square present Freelance and Easy?

Publishing has never been more reliant on outsourced professionals – and the freelance workforce has grown exponentially in recent years. This affects no one more so than editors – in 2015, Nielsen reported that 74% of publishers’ editorial departments outsourced services to freelancers.

Our panel of freelance and in-house editorial professionals will discuss their own experiences, give advice, and discuss how the publisher–freelancer relationship is continuing to evolve.

June (date TBC) – Adobe eLearning World virtual conference

Get in touch if you’re interested in hosting an online event with us! 

New and noteworthy 

We know that improving education transforms lives, and we want to use our expertise to help everyone involved in that – especially as home learning takes precedent. We think that these campaigns and initiatives deserve our support to get up and running. 

Join us in spreading the word on social media. 

  • LendEd – BESA and the Department for Education are updating as a national database of remote learning resources made available by BESA members to teachers, parents and schools for continued home learning. Join us in advertising any free access or trial promotions you are offering and promoting LearnEd to parents, teachers and schools.
  • ResourceOurSchools – Did you know 1 in 4 schools in England can’t afford the educational resources needed to educate its pupils? We are supporting #ResourceOurSchools to make a change. The goal of the campaign is to encourage MPs to ringfence the current national average of £265 per pupil funding for learning resources in primary schools, and £365 per pupil funding in secondary schools.
  • On the EDGE Conservation are on an important mission to protect Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species. Often overlooked, we’re supporting On the EDGE in raising awareness for these weird and wonderful creatures and supporting action to secure their future. Check out their awesome free resources, produced by Oriel Square and available on the On the EDGE website. Engaging, educational and entertaining! 
  • BBC Tiny Happy People – This time last year, Oriel Square produced the award-winning Oxford Language Report for Oxford University Press on the ‘word gap’  which received wide media coverage in the education press. Now Tiny Happy People is here to follow up on the findings of that report and help develop early-years communication skills. They have tonnes of resources, videos and advice for parents available for free on their website. We are looking forward to seeing more in the coming months. 


That’s it for this edition. Thank you for reading and best wishes for a healthy term. We would love to hear from you, so do get in touch if you think Oriel Square could help your business grow, or if you would like to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you in 2020!