Minibuses are not just for solving problems. They are also there to create new opportunities.

There are two very different ways of deciding who should use the school minibus and for what.

For most of us, the use of the minibus is obvious. A school team has an away fixture, and has to get to the ground where the match is played. The obvious solution is to use the school minibus.

The school doesn’t have its own swimming pool, but there is one that can be hired for school use just three miles away. On Mondays half the class go for their swimming lesson, on Thursday’s the other half goes. In each case the minibus can take the group.

But there is another way of using the minibus – an approach that creates journeys because the minibus is there – and which ultimately enhances the quality of education and experience offered by the school.

Take for example the school that has a lunchtime chess club. The club takes place in one classroom, there’s never any trouble, and a small group of enthusiasts turn up and play their games on allocated days.

No one has ever thought of running a school chess team – since that would mean arranging events away from the school. And yet with the minibus and either a parent or a member of staff who is keen on the game, this could be arranged. Suddenly the school has one more activity on offer, and the opportunity to extend the skills of the best players in the school.

Or, to give a different example, one school had struggled with its end of term plays, Christmas carol service, and so on, because the hall and the staging that it had available were quite inadequate and inappropriate for the sort of events that were wanted.

Although it was possible to put on the final events at a neighbouring school, getting the students to the final rehearsals was always problematic, and so the arrangement of sharing the facilities of the local school was ultimately dropped.

It was not until two years after a minibus was brought into the school that the idea arose that this policy could be re-thought, that the sharing of the nearby school’s facilities could resume. Now the students could be taken to the neighbouring school for rehearsals in the minibus. As before parents and relatives could be used to get the pupils to the actual performance.

There are a lot of reasons to see the minibus not just as a way to solve obvious issues, but as a way to expand the range of activities the school takes on.

Once the bus is there, all sorts of previously unthought of possibilities arise.

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street

Tel: 01753 859944

Enhance PSHE and support your SEAL objectives with free lesson plans and curriculum resources

Are you and your colleagues constantly looking for exciting ways to inspire your students without compromising on educational content?

We are currently offering free lesson plans and a free curriculum pack to all primary schools who book a show in our summer 2013 tour of Carlo Collodi’s Classic children’s story of ‘The Adventures of Pinocchio’. In addition, there is a huge £40 discount and a free copy of the Puffins Classic version of Pinocchio if you book before the 15th March.

The performance, together with the free supporting resources, will enhance PSHE and support your SEAL objectives. With a strong moral storyline, which will teach students about the perils of succumbing to peer pressure and the consequences of being led astray, Pinocchio is the perfect classical story for all primary schools to explore.

Running between 15 April and 24 July, performances are available for as little as £1.80 a student (based on a full audience of 150 students).

Retaining much of Collodi’s original language and using soft toys and puppets, our 45-minute storytelling performance has a whole host of free resources to assist in the integration of the play into your everyday learning – after all, as a Theatre in Education company, we firmly believe that education should be at the heart of all our shows. To support the play, which is designed to inspire young minds in Foundation years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, we offer:

A free structured curriculum pack with ‘themed’ ideas

  • Free lesson plans linked to all compulsory subjects within the current national curriculum
  • A free copy of the Puffin version of Pinocchio for the first 20 schools who book
  • A free interactive Q&A session with the cast and characters
  • Optional add on workshops to further enhance the educational benefits (would most benefit the older pupils watching our performance).

Don’t worry, we don’t need a stage – just an empty space large enough to perform in. We will transform your hall into a magical theatre environment.

You will find plenty of information on our website, but if you would like to receive a leaflet, we’d be more than happy to send you one. Just send us an email at or give us a call on 01908 418804 and we will pop one in the post quicker than Pinocchio can say ‘I want to be a real boy!’.

We would love the opportunity to come to your school and inspire your young minds. If you have any queries at all, we would be only too happy to answer them.

Best wishes

Mark Stratfull
JMS Creative Theatre