31 July 2013

Help Honeylands and bag yourself two great prizes

In a bid to raise some much needed funds for Honeylands Children’s Charity, Paritor have two prizes which are up for grabs, a round of golf for four at Tiverton Golf Club and a Weekend Stay at the Holiday Inn.

The money raised will go directly to the music therapy unit which supports pre-school age youngsters with complex special needs including autistic spectrum disorder, life limiting conditions and physical and developmental conditions. It no longer receives any funding from the NHS and is entirely dependent on fundraising and support from external sources to continue its work
Anyone can get their hands by bidding on these prizes through a silent auction. The bidding is open until 15th August 2013.
Weekend stay at the Holiday Inn. Starting bid: £20
Round of Golf at Tiverton Golf Club. Starting bid: £40
Please email Jodie@paritor.co.uk stating the name of the prize and your bid.

26 July 2013

Paritor Open Lunch is a fantastic success

Bellydancers and Jazz musicians entertained guests at our charity open house today.

The event was held at our brand new offices in Exeter Business Park to raise money for our Charity of the Year, Honeylands Children’s Charity.

The lunch was a fantastic success, attracting parents and children as well as staff from the charity, local business people and the press. It featured performances from the Alkimiya Dance Troupe and the Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra, as well as hot food and drink, a novelty photo booth, raffle and silent auction, much of which was donated by local businesses.
Over the course of the year employees of Paritor, which designs software to help schools and colleges manage the performing arts, will be undertaking a series of fundraising initiatives as well as volunteering their time and expertise to the unit.

A massive Thank You to the following companies for their donations:

Taste Catering Exeter

Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra

Alkimiya Dance Troupe

Reed Hall, Exeter University

Crisp - CPD

Halo Hair and Beauty

Kelly Bros

B & Q, Sowton

David Lloyd Gym

Sw Comms

John Sculpher Photographic Studio

Rodean Restaurant, Kenton

Ivor Dobble Jewellers

Bicton Park Botanical Gardens

24 July 2013

Alkimiya Dance Troupe will perform at Paritor Open Lunch

See Alkimiya Dance Troupe at Paritor Open Lunch in aid of Honeylands Children's Charity on Friday (26th)!

Paritor Open Lunch supported by Bake, Eat, Love

Bake, Eat, Love  have kindly donated cupcakes for our Charity raffle.  

Want to find out more about them? …
Put simply, our passion lies in creating delicious treats that are kind - to animals, to the planet and to sensitive tums!

We bring happiness and friendship to our cooking- everything in our food is about enjoyment. We love to cook and we're excited to share our treats with people who already love kind food, or who are new to the scrumptious food vegans enjoy! We feel it is important to take an ethical approach to our cooking and as such we use as many fairtrade and local ingredients as possible.
We cater for many different events including birthdays, christenings, baby showers and weddings.

If you would like us to cater for your event please message us on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/bakeeatlovetreats or email us at BakeEatLove@live.co.uk to discuss all your options.

We are in the South West, based in Devon. All our food is vegan.

Paritor Open House Lunch, 26th July

22 July 2013

Silent Auction in aid of Honeylands Children's Charity

We have 3 auction lots which will up for Silent Auction in order to raise themuch needed funds for Honeylands Children’s Charity. Everyone will get the opportunity to bid for the following:  

  • A round of golf at Tiverton Golf Club for 4 people (value £144.00)
  • One weekends stay at a Holiday Inn Express
  • One cake courtesy of Vintage Lace Cakes

How the silent auction works:

The silent auction allows you to compete openly against one another for the auction lots. A list of each bid will be placed in front of the item and you can return as often as you like. The total that the item sells for is dictated by how much the other bidders have pushed the price up.
The auction will close at 2pm on 26th July.

Paritor raffle in aid of Honeylands Children's Charity

We have been overwhelmed by the kindness of local business who have donated some amazing prizes for our Open Lunch on 26th July (12 - 2pm). Here are just a few:
  • Training Course from Crisp Professional Development
  • Smoothie from Five Juice Bar
  • 2 course lunch with coffee for 2 people at Reed Hall, Exeter University
  • £20 free voucher for the Barn Owl, Exeter
  • Box of 6 Cupcakes courtesy of Abi Pring
  • Halo Hair Saloon to the value of £40
  • Stone massage to the value of £30
  • One day at a cookery school on fast Asian suppers to the value of £90
  • 2 x Sweet Treats
  • 1 x Bottle of Whisky courtesy of Kelly Bros
  • A garden chair from B &Q
  • One weekend pass from David Lloyd
  • Two tickets to an Exeter Chiefs Premier match courtesy of SW Communication
  • Meal for two at the Rodean Restaurant, Kenton
  • Voucher for photographic portraits by John Sculpher, Professional Photographer from Ide.
The raffle will take place at 2pm on 26th July at our new offices, Elizabeth House, Exeter Business Park, Exeter, EX1 3QS. Looking forward to seeing you!

17 July 2013

Hints and Help Blog: Publishing SLA’s using the Publish Document Tool

Another academic year is about to pass, so now begins the preparation for the next. This blog will describe the process of Emailing your Service Level Agreement out to your Schools using the Publish Document Tool.

The SLA’s can be produced through: Schools (Menu Bar) > Schools Contract SLA

Once this Report is produced you will then need to send it to be signed by your Schools. Ensemble offers a hassle free solution to this using the Publish Document tool (Shown below).

Clicking on publish document will bring up this window.
From here you can select ‘Use my Organisations SMTP Server’, enter your details and select OK. User credentials allow you to select which email address is displayed on the outgoing email. This gives the School a chance to reply to your personal inbox.
You can use the Test function to email yourself and support@paritor.co.uk.

SLA’s sent using the Publish Document tool will be displayed in the Correspondence Tab on a school record.
Select ‘Publish using the default method for the document and recipient’, this will send all emails to the School Email displayed in the Detail Tab of a School Record. Once you have selected this option click Next.

This screen allows you to enter your message to each school, which will form the body of your email, with the SLA attached. Once you have typed your message click Next.

Techincal Blog: Rob Sinden, Software Developer - Should we be apprehensive about Windows 8?

 Windows 8 was released as Microsoft’s new and vastly improved operating system that would work for laptops and desktop computers and also would be able to propel Microsoft towards obtaining a significant share of the worldwide market for tablets and mobiles. However, the uptake on this flagship system has been poor and sales of new laptops has decreased as a result of people being sceptical of Windows 8. In this blog, I will assess whether this scepticism is well-founded or not. 

 One of the main differences between Windows 8 and the previous versions, is the apparent lack of a start button and menu. The start menu has become the most common way of accessing the most frequently used programs and your personal libraries of files and media. This may initially appear to be lacking from Windows 8, but they have merely been replaced with a different way of accessing these programs and files. With regards to the files, all of the libraries can be viewed using Windows File Explorer (see previous blog for tips on how to optimise the use of this).

The programs can be opened by using the new Start Menu. This can be accessed by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard or by moving your mouse to the bottom left hand corner of the screen until the Start peek view appears (see to right) and clicking. The resultant screen can be customised to show your favourite programs in different groups and also to hide unused programs to reduce the clutter on the Start screen. A well organised start menu means that all commonly used apps and programs are easily accessible and ordered (see below). As can be seen, with groups such as “Work”, “Office”, “Personal”, “Sport” and “Media”, it is easy to navigate and find the desired program or app.
Another misconception that many people have is the apparent swing towards the use of “apps” rather than conventional desktop programs for the majority of processes. This idea can be a daunting prospect to many, but apps are merely designed to make separate programs for different and specific processes. For example, how many websites do you visit regularly? For frequent internet users this can number about 10, with examples such as Facebook, Twitter, BBC News and National Rail Enquiries. With Windows 8, each of these has a separate, well-designed and easy to use app. This may seem a step backwards from a web browser that can do all of this, to multiple programs. However, it is very much a step forward, especially for touch usage. Having each app only one finger press away is of massive benefit with regards to time-efficiency and ease of use, as typing a web address on a touchscreen is a much slower process. This also enables laptop and desktop users to access everything with fewer mouse clicks than previous.
However, despite this progression towards app based usage of computers, the concept of a desktop and conventional programs is very much here to stay with Windows 8. By using the “Desktop” link on the start screen users are taken to the recognisable view that has evolved throughout the previous incarnations of the Windows operating system. With a taskbar along the bottom with open programs marked, and with the common system tray to the bottom right displaying volume, power, network and the date and time (see above). Many programs, including Microsoft Office and Paritor Ensemble, have stayed as desktop programs despite the inclination to move towards app based software. This is fundamentally due to the familiarity for the user that is obtained by using the desktop and also that the functionality of both systems lend themselves more to the use of a mouse and keyboard than to touch on a tablet or mobile device.
Therefore in conclusion, the misconceptions and apprehensions surrounding Windows 8 are for me largely unsupported by evidence as the use of Windows 8 does not differ significantly from previous versions. This means that familiarity can be gained quickly and easily so that the benefits of Windows 8 can be seen for all users whether they are using touch devices or maintaining the use of a keyboard and mouse.

Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra confirmed to play at Paritor Open House Lunch on 26th July.

Paritor are delighted to announce that Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra will be performing at our Open House Lunch on Friday 26th July (12- 2pm). DYJO will perform in the newly built conference room on the ground floor of the building, where guests can listen whilst enjoying a hot lunch, drinks and cupcakes.

DYJO comprises the best of Devon’s musicians, receiving national accreditation by the FMS and Jazz Services as well as playing at the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham, and prestigious Schools Prom in the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The Open Lunch is in aid of Honeylands which provides a music therapy service to support pre-school age youngsters with autistic spectrum disorders affecting how they interact with others. Unfortunately, it no longer receives any funding from the NHS and is now entirely dependent on fundraising by Honeylands Children's Charity and support from external sources, such as Paritor, to continue its good work. Dozens of children with complex special needs benefit from music therapy at the centre every year – it helps them with their communication, social interaction and emotional expression and also heightens motor skills and self-awareness.
The event is FREE to attend so please come along, we would love to see you!

Paritor, Elizabeth House, Emperor Way, Exeter Business Park, Exeter, Devon, EX1 3QS.

8 July 2013

DfE document on government-backed music education opportunities

The DfE have pubished a document which details 'the range of government-backed cultural education opportunities open to all young people in England.'

Michael Gove said:
"No education can be complete without the arts and creativity playing a central role in a child’s life.
Successful schools put culture at the heart of their curriculum. I want all schools to be able to emulate, indeed surpass, those which are currently outstanding.
I hope schools will be excited by these opportunities and will use them to offer all children a cultural education that will engage and inspire them to take part in cultural activity throughout their lives."
Darren Henley said:
"Ensuring that children gain an excellent cultural education really does matter, so this new government publication which responds to one of the recommendations in my independent review is an exciting step forward. The ‘Cultural education’ document is both aspirational and pragmatic. It affirms the importance of the contribution that cultural education subjects make in developing the next generation of well-rounded and culturally enriched young people."

2 July 2013

Paritor host exciting ‘Open House Lunch’ in aid of Honeyland’s Music Therapy Unit

Paritor are hosting an Open House Lunch with live music/dance, delicious hot lunch, cupcakes, raffle and entertainment. Local business people will be invited to the office at Elizabeth House based in Exeter Business Park on Friday 26th July between 12pm and 2pm.

Honeyland’s Music Therapy Unit is our Charity of the Year 2013. Music therapy provides a much needed therapy for children who have difficulties with communication and interaction skills.  It helps children to explore their emotions in a non-verbal way without the need for speech. Music therapy, carried out by a specialist registered music therapist is an established part of the multidisciplinary team at Honeyland’s Specialist Child Assessment Centre. It is solely reliant on charitable funding so the 80 children that benefit from this therapy each year at Honeyland’s would not be able to carry on without charitable help.

For more information please email jodie@paritor.co.uk

1 July 2013

Paritor attend Devon MIX Festival 2013

Last week Ken Parr invited us to attend one of Britain’s biggest school music festivals, Devon MIX organised by Babcock LDP Music Service. The day was a thoroughly inspiring one, with thousands of school children taking part in open air workshops run by; Magnets Trio, Samba Marcianas, Kagemusha Taiko and The Collective. Babcock also invited a mix a professional and community musicians to perform throughout the day on the main stage. The day was a massive success and real evidence of a successful Music Education Hub in action.  A big thank you to Ken for inviting us, we had a fantastic time!   

Paritor commission Music Hub research

Over 120 hubs now dominate the world of music education provision and it is their responsibility to ensure that every child aged 5 – 18 has the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument. This move away from an almost pure reliance on local authority based services has meant a massive shake up to the way that music education is managed. Here at Paritor we have commissioned a research survey to build a comprehensive picture of how members of these hubs work together, the challenges that they face and how they are going to face the future. If you would like to take part in this survey please email Jodie@paritor.co.uk.