Celebrating 18 years of Inspirational “Hands On” Stage Lighting Workshops

Don’t take my word for it, here are some reviews by drama teachers. 

“This was one of the most exciting and innovative workshops I have ever seen. The students were entranced from beginning to end and are still talking about it. It was informative and entertaining, as well as excellent value for money. I would thoroughly recommend this to other teachers.   Every word sincerely meant John – thank you very much indeed. All the best for the new year,  Kind regards   Sue Ball Drama Teacher  Expressive Arts Department   Casterton Business & Enterprise College 

And from Ms Nancy  McClean   Head of Drama  The Royal Grammar School, Guildford 16th Nov “John’s workshop was the reverse of peeling away at onion layers, he literally built the “layers” of a theatre in front of our eyes and then using totally interactive techniques showed us the “hows and whys” of lighting.  This was learning that was digestible, kinesthetic, revelatory and fun!”    Thank you again for a fantastic day today.I felt it was pitched really well for our students.  I will certainly recommend you on to colleagues.
“A Sorcery with light! A fantastic, engaging workshop which introduced the students to stunning yet achievable lighting effects with generic lighting found in most schools. The workshop covered much more than just lighting and included set construction tips; set design considerations; Model making; Health and safety; Theatrical language/ cues and anecdotes. The whole workshop was backed by years of first hand experience which John has obviously gained in the profession and was delivered in a way which captivated the students and ourselves from the outset. I would recommend this workshop for any school, college or establishment staging theatrical performance or involved in developing technical theatre.”   Phil Bell, Teacher of Btec level 2 extended certificate in performing arts (Production), Melior community Academy, Scunthorpe. 11 February 13  I hope this goes some way to showing our appreciation for your time and skill. I look forward to working with you again soon.

Relevant for: GCSE , A level Theatre studies and GNVQ, Btech,

  • Also “get into technical theatre” a taster event for younger students, and your technical teams.
  • Inset training days can also be run at your school and training on your equipment.     

For In-school workshop  1st workshop has to be 3 hours, for up to 40 students per workshop  If you want a 2nd workshop on the same day 2 hour workshop

So inspire your students, plan your workshop day now.   

Booking (call anytime)  01773 712130  mobile 07966 491 543 

For prices and more information EMAIL: john.l.watson@live.co.uk     

Visit :  www.creativelightingdesign.co.uk for pictures and more information. Inset days and technical advice, lighting hire, and training, for details visit the website.

John Watson is a member of the Association of Lighting Designers

Does your school have classroom chairs with a “fair wear and tear” guarantee that lasts until 2023 ?

One obvious advantage of this guarantee is that there’ll be no maintenance costs for a decade. That could mean significant financial savings as well as savings in staff time.

But that’s not all……..

The Postura Plus classroom chair is the first choice for many schools, academies and colleges. Not only do these chairs come with a ten year guarantee but they are designed to encourage good posture and discourage leaning back, as well as being easy to stack and move from room to room. The Postura chair is manufactured here in the UK and is available in all EN sizes and in a range of 12 attractive colours.

The ten year guarantee (and its associated benefits) means that these chairs can be one of the best financial investments that your school or college could ever make.

Further information about Postura chairs can be obtained from:

Central Educational Supplies Ltd
PO Box 999
E14 6SH

Tel: 020 7515 1797
Fax: 020 7515 4420
email: signpost@talk21.com
website: www.centraleducational.co.uk

How offering a foreign language at KS2 can help your school’s image and popularity

There is no doubt that when children learn that they are going to start lessons in a foreign language, they become motivated and excited by the prospect.

Parents too find the notion of learning a second language as a child interesting and indeed it is something that many see as a positive reason for choosing one school over another.

Clearly, offering the study of a foreign language is a good way for a school to differentiate itself from others, but many struggle with the level of staff skills available for teaching the foreign language.

Our series of starter packs for French, German and Spanish are specially designed to support non-specialist teachers as they start teaching their pupils another language.

Indeed from lesson plans and songs to activities and intercultural ideas – there is everything the teacher will need to start teaching French, German or Spanish at Key Stage 2.

Each starter pack contains:

  • A flexible scheme with lesson plans, worksheets, and an audio CD – everything you need to start teaching each language.
  • 20 catchy, original songs, specially written to teach core vocabulary and language structures
  • Festivals and Traditions – integrate intercultural understanding into your classes with the background information, activity ideas and worksheets in this book
  • 100+ Fun Ideas for Practising Modern Foreign Languages in the Primary Classroom – full of fun, practical suggestions for teaching vocabulary using puppets, flashcards, toys and much more!

If you are in the lucky position of having staff confident in teaching languages and so have successfully introduced the subject into your school, we have also developed extension and games packs to take your pupils learning beyond the basics.

Click on the web links below for more information.

French starter pack

German starter pack

Spanish starter pack

You can order in any of these ways:

  • On our website at the above web links
  • By phone on 01449 766629
  • By fax on 01449 767122
  • By email to orders@tradecounter.co.uk



Having one minibus might seem to be a bonus. But does any school really need two?

The answer is that increasing numbers of schools have two, three or even more minibuses on their books for the simple reason that, once heads of departments see their colleagues making use of the transport, they suddenly realise just how much more they could do given half the chance.

So minibuses themselves create a need for another minibus. But where on earth can the money come from?

Indeed, if you have watched a PTA or other grouping work for years to raise the money for a bus, it would seem utterly churlish to go back to the parents and friends of the school and invite them to do it all over again.

And yet, there is a solution.

Leasing a minibus means no money needs to be paid up front – you know exactly how much money the bus will cost you month by month, and if that money is in the school’s account or is arriving as income, then the minibus can be yours.

What the bus then gives access to is the ability to participate in ever greater levels of learning outside the classroom as well as adding the certainty that the school will be able to participate in inter-school events, away sports matches, A level geography trips, and so forth.

It is noticeable that the actual price of leasing (which can include all maintenance) is often considerably less than might be imagined, and this is the factor that often moves a school to take on an extra minibus after having previously thought that such an option was not on.

If you would like to know more do take a look at our website.

Alternatively call us on 01753 859944 for more information.

Art Aid for Key Stage 3

Tone, texture, pattern, shape, colour… undertaking Key Stage 3 Art and preparing the students to move on to Key Stage 4 is a significant step for students.

Which is why “Art Aid For Key Stage 3” was developed. It is a Key Stage 3 volume which encourages the transition to independence and confidence during the KS3 course.

The volume contains numerous project sheets which can be used as starting blocks to write a scheme of work, used as starter activites, or used to run alongside the current scheme of work so that your students learn to work independently before getting to the KS4 syllabus.

The projects can also be used as homework sheets and to provide work for cover lessons.

As a result of this approach students will learn throughout the KS3 course how they can reveal ever greater independence in their work and have a greater level of confidence in what they do is also expected.

Projects include topics such as “About Me – and Picasso), “The human figure”, “My environment – and LS Lowry”, “Still Life”, “Printing” and so on. In fact there are over 40 separate projects within the volume.

In this way pupils find that by year 9 their knowledge, experience and security while using a range of materials is at the right level to allow a peaceful transition into the independence of enquiry and research that is required for a successful year 10.

Better still, time that might otherwise be taken up during the Key Stage 4 years with enhancing independence and confidence is no longer required, leaving more time for the exploration of the curriculum.

Art Aid is available as a black and white copiable book with an accompanying CD. The CD contains the text of the book plus some of the projects in colour.

The copyright licence allows the copying from either the book or the CD, so that all students can have pages relevant to their study at any time. It is also possible to place the CD on the school’s learning platform, so that students may access it at any time.

ISBN: 978 1 86083 789 0

Price: £24.95 for the book and CD, plus £3.95 postage.

You can order in four different ways. In each case please quote our reference T1764emn. Sample pages and a contents list can be viewed prior to ordering on http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/art/T1764.pdf

  • By post to First and Best, Hamilton House Mailings plc, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Rd., Corby, Northants NN17 4HH
  • By fax on 01536 399 012
  • By phone with a credit card or with an official school order number on 01536 399 011
  • On line with a credit card at http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=740