How to video lessons without a technician, without an obvious camera, and without a nervous teacher.

To be of real use, lessons that are recorded need to be real lessons – not lessons that look and feel as if they have been staged for the camera.

Both pupils and teachers need to be relaxed, and that means that there should be nothing in the classroom (such as a large camera, a tripod or a technician) that reminds everyone that, “This lesson is being recorded”.

When such a lesson takes place, the reactions (both from teachers and pupils) are remarkable.  They are impressed that was all so easy to do, that there was no complex set up, no stranger in the room.

And the teacher, now more relaxed about the procedure, often says, “I can already see what I could do better.”

What’s more, the Lessonbox Mobile recording equipment is portable and can be used by any teacher in any room or building. There’s nothing to stop it being used to record a number of lessons by different teachers each day even in different schools.  In effect, the recording of lessons quickly becomes the norm.

Once recording is complete, schools can use the Lessonbox Cloud platform to save it securely, share, add comments, and attach related documents.

You can even use the Cloud’s desktop recorder to record your own screen and add video and commentary to PowerPoint presentations.

Recorded lessons can be kept for CPD, self-evaluation, and examples of excellent teaching and learning.  In addition, the Cloud can be used to deliver lessons to students away from the classroom, if required, using the flipped classroom model. And if you have any concerns about having enough space to store all the resultant content, we can solve that too.

In fact, it has never been easier to share good practice.

If you would like to know more you can watch a teacher set up the equipment and prepare to record here, and see just how extraordinarily easy the whole process is. If you would like to know about our Lessonbox Cloud options click here.

To discuss how Lessonbox can work in your school please call 0845 519 3660 or if you have any specific questions please do email

Andrew Jenkins

Is there a “most effective” way to prepare secondary school students for their upcoming exams?

Primary schools across the UK have refused to take part in a series of tests because they are making children tearful. Unfortunately, this is not an option for secondary schools, even though older students can experience these same overwhelming emotions when it comes to exams.

So what is the most effective way of supporting your students in dealing with the pressure of exams?

One way which has proven to be highly effective comes from looking at how new recruits in the army prepare for combat. Many of the skills that new recruits have to acquire would be beneficial to students who are struggling to deal with the pressures of exams.

This is because everyone involved in a mission knows that success is not a possibility; it is essential. There are no second chances. This gives them the motivation and determination that students need in order to perform well in their exams and achieve their desired results.

Such skills include application, attention to detail and focus, the avoidance of excuses, and, above all, a determination to succeed, no matter what.

It is for this reason that upon leaving the army I formed Major Motivator – to share these invaluable skills (which are central to army training) with young people through a range of fun, inspiring, and motivational seminars.

Your pupils will be shown a wide range of innovative strategies to help them tackle the array of challenges that they face between now and their exams – from being overwhelmed by the sudden increase in their workload, to coming to terms with the greater onus placed on them to manage their own revision.

Whatever challenges your students are facing with regard to their upcoming exams, our team of dedicated ex-military staff will equip them with effective revision strategies that we have acquired (and adapted) from schools across the UK.

It is essential that young people today realise that their future success is under their control.

If they want it enough, if they are determined enough, they can succeed.

You can find more information about the different ways that we work with schools by visiting Alternatively, you can call us on 01536 399010 or email us at

What is the most effective way of helping your pupils not just to decode texts but to comprehend them?

When we consider the many strategies that pupils use to make sense of all the information that they encounter on a daily basis, it is logical that these same strategies should also be used when it comes to understanding what they are reading.

Of course, the problem with this theory is that it is unlikely that children will all use the same strategies.  Which is why we’ve produced the Comprehension Activity Book series for years 1 to 6.

Each activity book contains an array of texts (fiction, non-fiction, poetry…) accompanied by a range of activities to suit your pupils’ preferred comprehension strategy. Activities include circling/ticking the correct answers, composing full sentences, relating the text to their own experiences/empathising with the text, creating a timetable, and drawing illustrations.

The activity books have been designed so that no one is left behind or held back from reaching, or exceeding, their reading comprehension potential. The books ensure that each and every pupil is able to progress at the speed and to the level that is right for them.

You can see sample pages from each of the activity books by clicking on the individual books here.

We have also produced a Comprehension Activity Book for Year 7 which you can use to challenge your Year 6 pupils who have progressed above and beyond expectations.

The activities can either be used with full classes, small groups or individual pupils.

If you are looking at implementing a whole-school comprehension programme using our clear, concise, easy-to-follow and child-friendly Comprehension Activity Books, you can buy all seven books at a discounted price of £112 for the books, £105+VAT for the e-books on a CD, or £84+VAT for the download on our website.

Or if you prefer, you can order the comprehension resources:

  • By phone on 01772 863158
  • By fax at 01772 866153
  • By email to         
  • By post to Topical Resources, P.O. Box329, Broughton, Preston, Lancashire PR3 5LT

Still, the question remains, what are British values?

A few months ago the Educational Management News team raised what seems to be a very valuable point regarding the issue of British Values, questioning whether Ofsted could have got it wrong entirely.

Click here to read the article – Could it be that Ofsted got it wrong?

And we were informed that numerous teachers, administrators and school management replied to the article expressing similar concerns over Ofsted’s guidelines.

Since concerns over the issue of British values was so widely shared, we made it our mission to find a way to make the task of promoting British values (and proving this to Ofsted) less of a concern.

As a result we produced a comprehensive set of posters that promotes one value at a time – which we thought was less overwhelming than trying to look at all the values at once.

Also, we thought that by promoting British values through posters, it should make proving to Ofsted that the school promotes such values a fairly straightforward task. The posters can be found at See what you think.


Expand students’ cultural knowledge and improve linguistic ability

Current events and target-language culture have become an ever-increasing presence on MFL specifications over the years. And why shouldn’t they? It goes without saying that those with an affinity for target-language culture have greater motivation to learn the language. And ensuring students are in the loop when it comes to current events and contemporary issues is a sure-fire way to spark this passion.

With the trend set to continue with the impending accreditation of the 2016 GCSE and A Level specifications, no doubt you’re wondering how to ensure that students are sufficiently in the know without compromising on essential language practice.

Fortunately, we have created two fantastic new ranges designed specifically to meet this need!

Introducing Differentiated Topical Articles for GCSE and Topical Articles with Exercises for AS, both available for French, Spanish and German:

A series of up-to-date articles based around the latest events in target-language countries
Activities specifically designed to test the skills needed at GCSE and AS
All articles and activities inspired by the topics and requirements of the new specs – including translation!

To find out more, and to preview and order resources, visit the following links:

Differentiated Topical Articles for GCSE

Topical Articles with exercises for AS

Details of all MFL resources can be found at


ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY
t: 0117 950 3199 | f: 0117 959 1695 |

Give your promotional code WW85 to get free postage!

Is there a “most effective” way to prepare secondary school students for their upcoming exams?

Primary schools across the UK have refused to take part in a series of tests because they are making children tearful. Unfortunately, this is not an option for secondary schools, even though older students can experience these same overwhelming emotions when it comes to exams.

So what is the most effective way of supporting your students in dealing with the pressure of exams?

One way which has proven to be highly effective comes from looking at how new recruits in the army prepare for combat. Many of the skills that new recruits have to acquire would be beneficial to students who are struggling to deal with the pressures of exams.

This is because everyone involved in a mission knows that success is not a possibility; it is essential. There are no second chances. This gives them the motivation and determination that students need in order to perform well in their exams and achieve their desired results.

Such skills include application, attention to detail and focus, the avoidance of excuses, and, above all, a determination to succeed, no matter what.

It is for this reason that upon leaving the army I formed Major Motivator – to share these invaluable skills (which are central to army training) with young people through a range of fun, inspiring, and motivational seminars.

Your pupils will be shown a wide range of innovative strategies to help them tackle the array of challenges that they face between now and their exams – from being overwhelmed by the sudden increase in their workload, to coming to terms with the greater onus placed on them to manage their own revision.

Whatever challenges your students are facing with regard to their upcoming exams, our team of dedicated ex-military staff will equip them with effective revision strategies that we have acquired (and adapted) from schools across the UK.

It is essential that young people today realise that their future success is under their control.

If they want it enough, if they are determined enough, they can succeed.

You can find more information about the different ways that we work with schools by visiting Alternatively, you can call us on 01536 399010 or email us at

What’s the most effective method to help young children overcome speech problems?

We’d all agree that repetition of key phrases and sounds is crucial and of course if we can encourage parents and carers to continue this practice at home, the results can often be spectacular.

The problem is twofold; first we have to inspire the parents/carers and then we have to make it simple for them. Bearing in mind that most parents/carers have a full day and many of them feel they don’t have extra time to spend doing speech exercises.

But what if we could make it fun and easy? What if it could be done first thing in the morning, at breaktimes, at lunchtime and just before going home.

We believe we have the answer! A collection of songs specifically aimed at young children with speech and language problems. A collection of songs composed by a well known children’s songwriter in association with a team of Speech & Language Therapists. A collecton of songs that won an award as an innovative project.

If you’d like to know more go to:

Where you’ll be able to hear samples and purchase & download this wonderfully effective collection of songs. They can be used on media players and smart phones or you can burn your own CD with the songs in any order you choose.

The collection of songs costs £6.99 and school workshops/teacher training sessions are available for £195 plus travelling expenses. You’re also very welcome to invite Parents/Carers along to the workshops. The more the merrier!

If you have any questions or queries about these Speech Development Songs or Workshops please do call me on 07801 067386. Or  email:

Vo Fletcher

Why the requirements of the New Ofsted Common Inspection Framework for SMSC may not be as demanding as you think.

SMSC is a big feature of the New Ofsted Common Inspection Framework.  Given that you are probably already providing your pupils with an abundance of SMSC education in a less formal way, this should make meeting the requirements of the CIF fairly straightforward.

The difficult bit, of course, is proving to Ofsted that you are actively providing SMSC learning.

So the first step to ensuring that you are meeting the requirements of the CIF is to analyse each and every aspect of your pupils’ education to identify exactly where and when SMSC learning is taking place.

The second step is as simple as logging this SMSC. And the third step is to evaluate the effectiveness of these SMSC provisions so that they can be developed and ultimately meet Ofsted’s demands – which can be slightly more challenging.

To ensure that this three-step process doesn’t take up too much of your time we have developed SMSC Gridmaker – a time-efficient way of auditing SMSC across the whole school.

Thus, SMSC Gridmaker allows you and your colleagues to focus more attention on implementing SMSC learning itself, rather than the bureaucracy and paperwork that comes with it.

It is an online tool which makes it possible to log SMSC activities in a matter of seconds, analyse whole-school SMSC at the click of a button, and share evidence of SMSC in the form of dynamic bar charts and PDF reports with others.

Furthermore, SMSC Gridmaker can be tailored to your school’s areas of SMSC priority to include criteria such as British values, PSHE, Citizenship, and so on.

To see how SMSC GridMaker can help your school to collect evidence of your SMSC provisions and evaluate these provisions to create an SMSC improvement

What is the most effective way of responding to the needs of your visual learners?

When we consider that 65% of the population are visual learners, it is clear that the use of visual materials in lessons is going to be highly beneficial for teaching and learning.

For not only will the use of such materials ensure that your pupils can identify relationships and distinctions between one concept and another, but it will also ensure that they will remember and recall the knowledge that they have learnt more readily in the future.

And so it is for this reason that we have developed the Graphic Organisers Set of 3 books, each containing 60 open-ended graphic organiser sheets.

Our Graphic Organisers encourage learners to organise their ideas visually, which in turn enables them to process, analyse, and synthesise ideas in a wholly different way. As a result, your pupils’ understanding and critical thinking skills will be enhanced, leading to greater attainment in assessments.

Graphic Organisers for Any Subject contains 60 open-ended graphic organisers to support your pupils’ learning in an array of subject areas.

The subject-specific graphic organisers for Reading and Writing support your visual learners in remembering and recalling the various concepts in literacy more readily.

Graphic Organisers for Reading contains 60 graphic organisers for fiction and non-fiction, literary elements and genre, and reading in any content area. The organisers can be used to reinforce important reading strategies.

And Graphic Organisers for Writing contains 60 graphic organisers for writing fiction and non-fiction and integrating explicit elements of good writing. The organisers can be used to produce excellent writing.

You can order the Graphic Organisers Set in a variety of ways, including:

  • By visiting the website
  • By phone on 01449 766629
  • By fax on 01449 768047
  • By email to
  • Or by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
IP14 5ND.


phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 768047

Who is the best company to provide your Leavers’ hoodies?

Naturally we will say it’s but don’t take our word for it……

Our website has a list of testimonials from satisfied customers.  They are real, not made up and we show the person’s name and school if you would like to check them out.

Here are some brief excerpts but you can access them all by clicking here.

  • Such great customer service throughout dealing with our order.
  • Thank you!  They look fabulous!!
  • Many thanks for s first class order.
  • The hoodies have gone down so well with the children.
  • Your whole service has been exceptional and I could not recommend you too highly.
  • As always the quality of your hoodies were superb.
  • When I compare LeaversGear hoodies to other companies, there is no comparison.
  • The Varsity Jackets are great and everyone’s very pleased with them.
  • I have been most impressed with your service and will be recommending you
  • I receive numerous details from other companies but due to the excellent service and quality from LeaversGear I won’t use anyone else and would highly recommend them
  • Thank you again so much for all you have done – it is greatly appreciated.
  • We will no doubt be in touch again next year.
  • I will definitely recommend it to everyone I know. Everything was perfect!
  • This is such an amazing company and I really do thank you for your time and effort.
  • I have no doubt whatsoever that we will be using LeaversGear again for our next trip.

At LeaversGear, we are all set for end of term enquiries, and at this stage that is all you or the students need to do: enquire by clicking here. You will receive full information on pricing, an order form, and a draft of what your hoodies could look like.  Like this:


AND….We can even send out some FREE samples to help with colour choice and that all important task, sizing.

We make it all hassle-free and we keep you right on track throughout the process which we have simplified to one simple order form.

Remember, all you have to do is click this link and we will get back with everything you need to know.

We look forward to hearing from you.  Email us at or call us FREE on 0800 9545662.  All you have to do is ask.

Kind Regards

The LeaversGear Team
Freephone: 0800 9545662
Phone: +44 (0) 28 91853974

What are five things that can and often do go wrong on school trips?

It is almost inevitable that things will go wrong on school trips because, as you will know if you have ever had the pleasure to organise one, there are some things over which you have little or no control.

A couple of weeks ago TES set out five things that are expected to go wrong on school trips, some of which you may be able to relate to. Here they are in TES’ own words:

1) Permission slips – You told them they would need one numerous times, you told their parents they would need one numerous times, and you emailed/texted/posted a letter saying exactly the same thing. And yet, here they are: excited, grinning with enthusiasm, all their kit ready and not a single permission slip in sight.

2) The packed lunches – You’ve spent 30 minutes travelling in a 1970s living room (complete with curtains) masquerading as a coach, and for some reason every child has already eaten their lunch. Quite why school trips cause insatiable hunger, no one knows, but what you do know is that your carefully prepared meal is going to be shared into 30 equal parts.

3) The lost items – Yes, they’ve had the spiel about the school not being responsible for lost or stolen items, but guess who is running back through every exhibition room searching for a missing iPod? Wide-eyed and frantic, you interrogate anyone who looks vaguely official, only to eventually get a call from another teacher to say that the iPod has been found. At the bottom of the child’s bag…

4) The vomit – Excessive excitement, excessive sugar, excessive tiredness and excessively aggressive driving by the coach driver. There is no combination more accomplished at causing vomit than that. You reach for the sick bag, but you know it’s too late. The children in the seats behind scramble for safety as the stream of sick winds slowly towards the back of the coach.

5) Missing parents – You begin to think that, this time, things are going to be different. But then you spot them: the one student stood on their own. A phone call, some swearing, and then a screech into the car park. The frantic parent loads the student into the car with profuse apologies and protests that they are “sure it said 5pm not 4pm”. And with that, you finally head home, vowing never to do this again but knowing full well you’ll be repeating the process next term.”

However there is one thing that has to be every teacher’s nightmare scenario but which is one thing over which they do actually have some control:  and that is the possibility of the minibus breaking down.

For you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a breakdown by ensuring that the school’s minibus is enrolled on a full maintenance programme – just one of the services that Benchmark offers as part of the leasing arrangements they have with schools.

And another benefit of leasing a minibus with Benchmark is that it can often work out to be cheaper than buying a minibus outright (especially if one takes into account the re-sale value of a school bus at the end of its working life), or hiring a coach each time.

It is an arrangement which makes it possible for schools to fund the minibus through a small payment each month, which benefits both the budget and cash flow.

For more information about leasing a minibus with Benchmark Leasing you can go to our website, call us on 01753 859944 or email

Link to TES article:

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street

Tel: 01753 859944

In 20 years ADHD has moved from an American myth to a recognised issue but the debate still rages as to what to do.

According to the Care Quality Commission last year, there has been a 50% rise in England in the use of drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in six years. The watchdog warned health workers to “carefully monitor” their use as they have the potential to be “abused”.

As the consultant psychiatrist Professor Tim Kendall, said, “I think it’s a real trend. I think it’s too big to be ignored.”

Tim Kendall is certainly someone whose comments are worth considering since he compiled the national guidelines on treating ADHD, and he was one of the first people who pointed out that that there are real dangers to people who take ADHD drugs over a long period.

As he said, “I think there’s also increasing evidence that it precipitates self-harming behaviour in children and in the long term we have absolutely no evidence that the use of of Ritalin reduces the long-term problems associated with ADHD.”

Helping ADHD pupils and students through school is a volume that sets out in great detail exactly how ADHD students can be helped and supported in their day to day activities within the school without the use of drugs.

A fundamental view of the book is that the best approach for any ADHD child is one in which the parents and school can work together with a common purpose to help the young person – and with this in mind there is a substantial section of material at the end of the book that can be copied and passed on to parents.

This parental section contains both explanations and practical approaches to dealing with the ADHD child at home.

Of course, we all recognise that not every ADHD child’s parents will be able to work in the organised and controlled manner that will help ADHD students, and therefore we work within the school-based sections from the basis that although parental support is ideal it doesn’t always happen.

The book looks at individual behaviour, plus issues such as rewards, punishments, handling special days when behaviour may be exacerbated, overcoming impulsiveness, homework, where ADHD people can succeed and do well, ADHD and responsibility, and sport, the arts and other activities.

Helping ADHD pupils and students through school by Tony Attwood is available as a photocopiable book or on CD Rom which can itself be copied or loaded onto the school’s learning platform or intranet.

ISBN: 978 1 86083 855 2 Order code: T1789emn – please quote with order.

Sample pages can be viewed at

  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook

SOFTPLANET LTD – Sibelius Site Licenses

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Prices subject to VAT and Delivery.

What is the simplest way for a left handed person to achieve perfect handwriting?

Many left handed pupils and students find handwriting difficult.   Some reverse d’s and b’s, some smudge their work, some report physical discomfort, such as backache and hand ache as they write.

Yet although many left handed people battle on with this problem, the solution to the issue left handed people face in writing is quite simple: it is to provide them with pens that are designed specifically for those who write with their left hand.

This is the issue we have approached, and after considerable experimentation and research we evolved the ideal solution – a pen with an S bend neck and grip area.


Such a pen enables left-handed writers to hold the pen comfortably at a balanced angle and easily view all letters and words as they are written.  In other words the left handed writer and the right handed writer are now set up on an equal footing.

Indeed so successful was the experimentation that led to the production of this solution, the resultant Swan Neck Pens have passed all the requisite British Standards approvals including EN71 part 1, 2, 3 and BS7272 2008.

You can see a video of the pen being used by a left handed writer here.

Obviously these pens are now being sold to left-handed adults for their own use and for use by their children, but we are also currently offering a special 20% educational discount.  This is available to schools if you quote the reference “Learning 0124” and where we are delivering to the school address.

For more information please…

●       Call 01454 325873.
●       Email:
●       See our website at
●       Write to us at Swanneck, 151 Sydney Street, Chelsea, London, SW3 6NT

Are you finding that your male pupils are getting weaker?

An article in the Telegraph reports on a headteacher who makes the observation that the male pupils at his school are noticeably weaker than they were a generation ago.

Bob Drew, headteacher at Grearies primary school, explains: “We think that is has something to do with having too much access to soft touch like digital technology. They don’t do what boys normally do – throw balls or climb trees.

“This is very recent. We have started to see it in the last two years. (We asked ourselves) why is their handwriting so spidery? When we looked carefully their pencil grip is dreadful. They literally don’t have enough grip to control a pencil properly.”

As a result Mr Drew has set up a new outdoor physical trail where pupils are encouraged to do press ups and other physical challenges to increase their strength.

Mr Drew said, however, that this wasn’t a problem for girls. “It seems to be prevalent with boys because girls like to do a lot more tactile things. They tend to do things like playing with hair, lots of crafts and arty stuff”.

However, not all handwriting problems can be attributed to upper body weakness. To see if your male (or indeed female) pupils might have dysgraphia (a neurological disorder which can be defined as “a disorder in written expression”), Dysgraphia Help offer an online dysgraphia test for pupils over 8 years old for £32 which can act as a preliminary diagnosis.

The online dysgraphia test consists of 50 questions. After completion of the test and submitting a handwriting sample you will receive a report within 72 hours. If we believe dysgraphia to be present you will also receive a number of supporting activity materials free of charge. There is more information at

Link to article:

What is the most effective way of using World Book Day to turn reluctant readers into enthusiastic devourers of literature?

Finding new ways of celebrating World Book Day each year can be difficult – and indeed it is always a fairly safe bet that some of the schools around you will be utilising similar ideas to those which have been used in the past.

But this year there is an approach which will not only engage many children who are not already regular readers of literature, but will also announce to everyone that your school is engaging with literacy in all its modern guises.

The idea is simple: launch an eBook library in your school.

An eBook library means that you don’t have to buy in stocks of library books, check them in and out, attempt to recover lost books, or worry about marked or damaged books.

In essence, pupils simply log in using a tablet or similar device, and then download the book of their choice which they can read wherever they are.

Well over 1000 schools have now moved over to ePlatform’s eBook library – running it alongside the conventional library.  Research shows print and eBooks complement each other to enable more students to discover the joy of reading.

What’s more, reading on devices such as tablets can better engage some children who are noticeably less keen on reading.   This can particularly be the case with children with visual impairments or dyslexia.

Also some children find that the fact that they can add highlighting and notes to what they are reading, as well as instantly look up the definition of a word, is of great benefit.

Research also suggests that reluctant readers are more engaged with an eBook, read for longer with an eBook, and are less likely to become distracted.

In fact, because digital technology is part of their world they actually feel more empowered with reading in this way.

ePlatform has thousands of eBooks available ranging from Roald Dahl to David Baddiel, from Star Wars to Daisy and Jack.  You can see details of our range on the website.

To find out more, please either:

●       Phone 07971 661782
●       Email
●       Or visit

Rachel Lindsay
ePlatform Business Development Manager, UK

Boys don’t cry? Supporting the emotional and mental health of boys and young men

“Teachers should be given training in working more effectively with boys to support healthier mental and emotional development and the skills to manage health services.”

The Mengage workshop  ‘ Boys don’t cry? Supporting the emotional and mental health of boys and young men’ provides teachers, teaching assistants and others involved in work with young males on this concern with a workshop exploring:

  • Act like a boy: what research has to say about the emotional and mental health of boys and young men
  • Issues and concerns: bullying, sexuality, peer pressure, relationships, pornography, body-image, exclusion, pressure to succeed/exams…
  • Being practical: what can schools do to support and enhance the emotional and mental health of boys and young men?  Action planning and implementation.

The 3 hour informal workshop is based on research and proven practical work with boys and young men, providing teachers, support staff, and staff from affiliated professions with knowledge about a concern that not only affects school performance but can have an impact across the lifespan – and an opportunity to consider practical solutions schools can implement to address this concern.

£495 – workshop to be delivered by two facilitators.
♦ 01905 570180
♦ 07788725318


Radicalisation (Prevent Duty)

Using our CPD accredited online training module for Prevent Duty, in just an hour you can ensure you and all your staff comply with Prevent Duty responsibilities.

As a secure online service accessible from PC, MAC or any mobile device, there is no more cost-effective way to comply with Prevent Duty.

Takes just seconds to access and distribute to your staff.

Prevent Duty falls within Safeguarding, which remains at the heart of the new OFSTED Common Inspection Framework. Our module provides certificated CPD approved evidence of successful completion of the course.

To find out more please click HERE.

How the Government has recognised our pioneering work with storytelling, and how you can build on it in half a day.

Having the Minister of State for Schools attend one of our school-based storytelling events was indeed a pleasure and a privilege.

Then finding him referring to our research in a subsequent speech was not only unexpected, but also a very pleasant bonus for Snail Tales.

There are links to the Minister’s speech and our research below, but please stay with me for a moment as I’d like to tell you just a little about what we can do with you in just half a day.

Research shows that children who love reading outperform their peers throughout the curriculum. And because a love of reading starts with a love of story, Snail Tales visit schools to help develop an enjoyment of stories among all children.

Our repertoire is mind-bogglingly huge and includes topics as diverse as Ancient Greece, what causes earthquakes, and how to deal with bullies. And, of course, that makes it perfect if you’re looking to introduce your children to the art of storytelling!

All you need to do is contact us with a selection of your preferred dates, number and ages of your children, and your aims for the day. We’ll then let you know how your children will benefit from our storytelling in their classrooms.

A typical half-day visit, comprising class workshops for up to 150 children (30 children in each class) and/or assembly-style performances for any number, costs just £250 plus 25p per mile travel from the location of our nearest available storyteller – and there’s no VAT to pay either!

And there is a 20% discount on any half-day visit if you are happy for us to collect data for the research the Minister mentioned related to storytelling.  Plus there are other discounts for booking multiple days and adjusted costs for full-day events.

To get things moving please do click here for our online enquiry form. We’ll be more than happy to help ensure you get the best possible arrangement for your school. For example, some schools take two weeks of our storytelling workshops for the price of one.

Others get between £50 and £90 discount – please do fill in the form and we’ll help you find the best arrangement to meet your needs.

If you would like to see what the Minister spoke about in relation to the importance of storytelling, that is here as well.

For more information, please click here. Alternatively, you can call us on 020 328 SNAIL (020 328 76245), or email 

A Key Stage 3 play for lessons, production and learning about the intricacies of drama

There are plays and there are plays, but sometimes it is particularly helpful to have a play that can not only be developed towards a final production but can also be worked on, in classroom in segments, with each segment making a coherent lesson.

And a play which as well being an event that can be staged in front of an audience can be used in class to examine how the central character (a detective) works and where she is going, as well as how she is characterised, how character motivation is explored, what costumes could be used, etc, etc.

In short, what we have here is a play that can be performed, dissected, re-worked, analysed, considered in terms of its structure, turned into a game, have a different ending (it is a murder mystery, so the outcome is a key element), have audience interaction, become a radio play, and be the basis for research of the genre.

All of these alternatives are available with “Murder at Masons Hotel” a play script complete with associated activities. It is supplied in copiable format so that each student can have his/her own copy of the script, or part of the script, to work on at all times.

The play is set in the 1960s and revolves round the murder of a New York crime boss who is visiting London with his family.  He is shot in his room the night before the announcement of changes to his will, and the play centres around the attempts by two characters to solve the mystery of his death.

An initial investigation by Harriet Hemmings of Scotland Yard fails to make progress until Veronica Holmes (rumoured to be the great great granddaughter of Sherlock) is called in.

The play retains a real sense of drama while also including numerous comic moments.  Many of the characters can be played by either male or female actors.

Murder at Masons Hotel is available as a copiable book, or on CD or as a download.  Each edition comes with unlimited reproduction rights for use within the school. Sample pages can be viewed here

ISBN 978 1 86083 827 9; order code T1838EMN


  • Photocopiable spiral bound book, £16.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £16.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD: £23.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

When ordering the book please quote the reference T1838EMN.

Practical, hands on and a great way to introduce problem solving and management skills

Ideal for STEM and re-usable at only £39.95
So how do you give young people the opportunity to solve problems and develop creative thinking skills whilst they are still at school?

STEM resources have been developed to provide teachers with a way of giving students experience of solving problems and gaining confidence in how to respond to challenges. Good maths based problem solving exercises are hard to come by.

So in order that students might see how things can easily go wrong and how, by working together and sharing information they can go right, we’ve put together a business exercise called Safe Delivery which is designed to give students experience of solving a difficult maths based problem and to develop creative thinking skills.

The exercise is suitable for small teams of KS4 and 6th form students who will each act as managers in a business.  Each manager will have individual briefing notes which they must read carefully and then communicate to the rest of their team.

The Scenario – The MD has ordered a huge fire resistant storage cabinet for the business that will house a new ‘server’ on which information will be stored. It is Friday afternoon and the cabinet is being delivered Saturday morning. It must be installed in the General Office by Monday morning – an office floor plan of the building is provided.  A team meeting is called and the managers sit down to work out how this problem will be undertaken.

This resource contains: For the students:
A memo that sets out the task
5 detailed briefs for different managers in the business and one scribe
A floor plan of the office building showing all the obstacles that need to be overcome

For the teacher:
Clear teachers’ guidance notes that explain how to run the exercise
A snapshot crucial information chart
The written solution
The solution on a power point presentation

There are more details at…

You can pay and download the exercise direct from our website using Paypal or you may wish to pay with a purchase order number. Simply e-mail your purchase order number to us and we will send the exercise to you along with the invoice for payment.  For more information e-mail

The perfect complement to Shakespeare: plays by Jonson, Marlowe, Webster and…erm… Sheridan

While all Stage on Screen plays feature regularly on school and higher/further education curriculums in the UK and across the world, you don’t have to be studying our specially staged and filmed productions to benefit from them. Anyone who loves or who is learning Shakespeare will profit from seeing plays by his good friend Ben Jonson, later contemporary John Webster, plus major influencer – and ‘real’ Shakespeare candidate – Christopher Marlowe.

Our current titles are as follows:

Dr Faustus – themes from this Marlowe classic are echoed in Macbeth in particular, but also Othello, Timon of Athens and other plays. Marlowe heavily influenced Shakespeare, and with this, probably his finest play, it’s easy to see why.

Volpone – another play that has echoes in Othello, but which is also interesting for comparison of Jonson’s more classical approach to drama when compared to Shakespeare, his contemporary and great friend.

The Duchess of Malfi – this dark masterpiece by John Webster finds many echoes in Shakespeare with its themes of corruption, cruelty and class, while the use of madness makes an interesting comparison with its treatment in Hamlet.

The School for Scandal – this Richard Brinsley Sheridan comedy of manners was written much later of course, and we can’t by any stretch describe it (let alone him) as a Shakespearean companion. However, we mention it here as it makes up the fourth of our current available titles and, like the others, it’s on many curriculums in its own right. As we currently offer all four titles for a special price, you may wish to consider it.

Approved texts – and all round approval

Each play uses full approved texts (other filmed productions are often heavily cut or adapted), and each is staged and recorded live in front of an audience at London’s Greenwich Theatre.

They’ve all received excellent reviews from students, teachers and academic journals plus mainstream and specialist press.

Here are just a couple:

‘Pitched perfectly to suit both casual and academic audiences, Stage on Screen offers an unparalleled array of material on these productions that will be a welcome addition to those who wish to study early modern dramatists.’ (The Shakespeare Bulletin)  

‘..Unlike many modern productions of the classics, Stage on Screen productions are rarely cut, putting pupils who see them at a distinct advantage.’  (Times Education Supplement)

You can see clips from each play at

Buy all four titles and enjoy big savings

Each play is available in special Education Packs, which include three DVDs: the play (with optional subtitles); extensive interviews with the theatre company; and a master-shot recording, invaluable for teaching stagecraft, lighting and blocking. Our DVDs play on any system worldwide.

Available for £35.98 for each 3-disc title on Amazon, this special offer gets you the box set of all four titles for just £100 plus P&P, and VAT (if applicable). To order, just email with your completed order form Alternatively, call us on +44 (0) 20 3174 3249.

If ordering from outside the UK, we’ll automatically convert the cost to your currency at that day’s exchange rate. (Currently, £100 is around US$145 or €130.)

Best wishes,

Phil Rees

Director, Stage on Screen

It’s not too late to have a free solar panel system

Join our schools and together we can make sure you get solar power in your energy mix in 2016.

We have over 50 systems in schools nationwide.

“We are lucky to have the support of governors with the vision and confidence in the management team that allows us to embrace new initiatives, which are for the long-term good of the school,” Linda Davies, Parkside Academy 150kWp

Register with us. Discover how you can get solar panels even if you have no capital.  There is no commitment to registering.

Act before all subsidies disappear. Find out if you can:

  • Get a free solar panel system and renewable power for at least 20 years
  • Cut your energy bills in the medium to long term
  • Cut your carbon emissions
  • Have a teaching resource that demonstrates your commitment to being more sustainable as a school.

Our commitment to you is that despite huge government cutbacks in supporting solar for 2016, we will find a solar panel solution for you, ideally at no cost to yourself.  Make sure you are all signed up before the summer so you can enjoy solar power.

Do the right thing to reduce your impact on the environment. Put renewable power into your energy mix and show your students that the school is acting in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

Kind regards,

Helen and Ann
Solar for Schools Team

Government warning: Government has once again cut its support of solar power in 2016 by over half. If your school is serious about getting renewable power into your energy mix, you need to act now before the support disappears completely.

The complete online touch-typing training service for schools

A survey conducted by the Chartered Institute for IT a few years ago revealed that most schools – over 80% – thought that it was important to teach children how to touch type.  Yet the survey revealed that only around 15% of schools actually did so.

The same survey showed that, on average, secondary school children were using a computer for around 3 hours every school day.

Today, computers are being used in schools even more often, and with computer-based exams an inevitability waiting to happen, typing skills have never been more important.

By learning to touch type, your pupils will be able to work much more quickly and accurately whilst increasing their ability to focus on the subject matter rather than the mechanics of using the keyboard.  And by keeping their eyes firmly on their computer screen when they type, they will avoid damaging long-term neck and upper back injuries caused by constantly looking down at the keyboard.

So why do so many schools steer clear of offering any touch-typing training for their pupils?

At Type&Test, typing training is our business.  We speak to many schools and most say that whilst they recognise that learning to type is important and beneficial, they don’t have the timetable space or the teaching resources for it. And of course it is not presently included in the National Curriculum.

So to help, we have decided to offer schools a complete solution that handles everything for them.

Called ‘Total Typequick’ it provides a total service, all delivered remotely, including the enrolment of pupils, through to the monitoring of progress, handling of queries and the final completion of assessments leading to the award of a certificate customised for your school.

We’ll provide you regular reports on progress, and you will have access to the progress tracking software that is included if you want to see how things are going for yourself.  Otherwise there is nothing for the school to do other than to encourage pupils to use the course as often as possible, at home or in spare time at school.

For more information, email using the subject line ‘Total Typequick’ and we will send you a link to our electronic brochure and our Price List.  Or call 01480 861867, or visit  To make an enquiry via our web site, click here.


Teaching children about British values is one thing, but how can you teach your pupils to accept them?

The answer to this question lies in them knowing exactly why British values are what they are, which can be readily understood through the study of literature based on and around the Second World War, such as Goodnight Mister Tom.

Goodnight Mister Tom is, in itself, a great asset and support to the curriculum, but it is also possible to draw parallels between how society created and used British values to stay strong through times of war and how we still use these values today to keep order in society.

Our Goodnight Mister Tom theatre production, set during the dangerous build up to the Second World War, offers a wonderfully uplifting tale of a young evacuee (William Beech) who forges a remarkable and heart-warming friendship with an elderly recluse living in the idyllic English countryside.

The magical stage adaptation of this world-wide literary favourite portrays themes of identity, friendship, kindness, war, and the hardships of life as an evacuee, and for this has earned itself an Olivier award-winning title.

Goodnight Mister Tom will be showing at the Opera House in Manchester between 23 and 27 February 2016 and will give your pupils the opportunity to understand why British values are what they are and why we need them, as well as what life for children was like in the war.

For more information about the production and to find out how your school can make a group booking, please visit our website.

Alternatively, if you would like your pupils to see Goodnight Mister Tom but can’t make the dates above, you can find all of our tour dates at

What is the single most effective way of revealing the excitement and elegance of science to gifted and talented students?

“The single most effective way” in this context means not only teaching sessions that really do enthuse students in the science they are studying, but also means sessions that can be run within your school.

Sessions which mean no extra work for you or your colleagues.  Sessions that require no new equipment that needs to be bought. Sessions that can be run in the school without lots of additional planning and special arrangements.

And mainly sessions that focus on the gifted and talented – a particular enthusiasm of Ofsted at the moment.  Indeed, as the inspectorate said in a recent report on the topic, “urgent action is now required. Schools should develop a culture of high expectations, provide training for staff in all key stages and raise aspirations of pupils and where they are going.”

As a result we now all need to show that we are having an impact on our more able students so that these students see that there is additional value and excitement in science which could lead them to select science in their future options through the school and beyond.

There are four different active and practical science based G&T events that your school can choose from, each one devised and arranged for students in years 7 upward.

One of the most popular is Space Pioneers which looks at electronic sensors and microchemistry redox reactions.

Then we have as an alternative CSI – Blood Pool which investigates how DNA fingerprinting and blood analysis is used in a murder case.

Towering Ambition engages students in engineering and enterprise challenges, while the Body in the Box event transports students into the world of DNA fingerprinting and anthropology to identify a missing person.

The sessions last for two hours and are delivered twice in a day, incorporating 30 students into each session. Reports for every participant are available after the event, providing valuable evidence for the level of progression achieved and helping you to measure the impact of the event.

The regular teachers of the classes involved can, of course, attend the session as an observer or can use the time for other duties – it is entirely a matter for you.

More details of these stimulating and exciting G&T events are to be found on our website.

In April and May 2016 these workshops are available at a highly discounted rate. If you are interested in this offer, would like further information on any aspect of our work, or want to make a booking please call us on 01603 520866 or email

What is the most effective way of ensuring that your pupils are on track for the new key stage two tests?

The inconsistent rate at which children develop their academic abilities makes predicting their performance and the outcomes of the new key stage two tests somewhat of a challenge.

Which is what makes measuring and tracking progress throughout Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 so important – so changes in the rate of their development can be taken into account when predicting your pupils’ key stage two test outcomes.

Of course, you and your colleagues will already have an established system for tracking the progress of your pupils in each year and subject area. However, such systems are unlikely to tell you how your school compares with others and where you should target interventions.

It is for this reason that we have developed Optional Tests – to help you assess your key stage two pupils’ progress accurately, reliably and on a much larger scale.

Optional Tests are tests that can be used alongside a wide range of approaches to assessment and reporting, which means you don’t have to abandon your current progress tracking procedure in order to improve it.

The tests will help you measure your pupils’ strengths, weaknesses, and potential, and when they are used alongside our Testbase ready-made assessments you will be able to make accurate judgements, provide support, and produce a range of diagnostic reports.

Our tests reflect the content of the new National Curriculum and the style of the new national tests for Key Stage 2. They have been through a vigorous standardisation process – we’ve worked with over 100 schools to produce the questions and the mark schemes.

Once your pupils have completed the tests, simply upload your pupils’ marks into our free online mark-capture and reporting app. We will then produce real-time diagnostics which will tell you how your school compares with others, what your pupils’ strengths and weaknesses are, where you should target interventions, and whether you pupils are on track*

*Available once the new Key Stage 2 national curriculum test (SATs) standard is established.

You can find more information about Optional Tests by visiting our website or calling us on 0845 145 1500.

Why we are extending The Railway Children’s run for primary schools at King’s Cross station.

When it was proposed that we stage Edith Nesbit’s universally popular children’s novel, “The Railway Children”, in its own theatre at King’s Cross, complete with a working steam train, we thought it was a great idea that might run for three months or so.

Little did we know that the theatre production would go on to feature Shaun Williamson, win an Olivier Award for best Entertainment, and would still be playing to packed houses four years later.

Which is why the play’s run has been extended again, meaning that we can now take bookings from 8th February – 31st October. Moreover, there is an early bird offer for schools, so if you book by 11th April, tickets will be £14.50.

The production is staged in a brand new 1000 seat theatre at King’s Cross, built around a real train track, with a vintage locomotive that steams into the theatre to really bring the show to life.

What’s more, we offer all schools a unique experience by hosting a drama workshop which lasts for just under an hour and which can be undertaken on a class by class basis at the theatre or at your school.

By bringing sections of the script to life we will enhance the children’s experience of the show, encouraging them to write engagingly about their experience of the production.

The Railway Children drama workshops are available for all primary schools that bring 60 or more children to The Railway Children stage show for an additional £3. Workshops for smaller groups are available in the theatre foyer before the performance.

Additionally our Education Guide includes classroom activities for teachers and students which can be found in our education pack.

To get a taste of what the show is about you can watch our short trailer here. There is more information on our website or you can contact us on 020 7420 9700 or email

To book a workshop or to create your very own bespoke workshop please contact Ellen Bott, West End Creative Learning Manager at 

What is the most effective way to ensure that your pupils really understand key economic principles?

This resource contains a selection of around 200 questions on microeconomics which will force your students to think, consider and then think again, the kind of mental exercise that helps to ensure that knowledge and understanding are retained for exam purposes and beyond.

There are 13 sets of explained true/ false questions which are designed to secure and strengthen an excellent understanding of key principles in economics. In doing so, many of the questions asked have been set with a clear aim of stretching and challenging students to deliver A and A* grades in their final examinations. A further objective is also to develop the skills needed to tackle multiple choice question papers set by the AQA and Edexcel examining boards. This is achieved by prompting students to interrogate every word in the question. Many of these questions turn on a single phrase or word.

Model answers are provided, which allows students to mark their own papers, if required, again making best use of teachers’ time. They also provide students with a permanent feedback record, which will prove invaluable during their final examination preparation period.

Each of the test papers covers an area of the syllabus which may be set on a weekly basis as a topic test. They can also be used very effectively as a researched homework activity.

However, these materials will work equally well as a revision tool in the second term by helping keep students’ knowledge of micro-economics fresh once the teacher has moved on to macro-economics. This will be particularly important to many teachers now that January modular exams at A level have ended. Indeed, teachers will notice that some questions contain a synoptic element for precisely this reason.

Microeconomics Assessment Tests for AS, A2, and IB provides an invaluable resource for busy teachers of AS, A2, IB and even first year university students of economics.

Sample pages can be viewed at

ISBN: 978 1 86083 871 2; Order code: T1824emn

The volume is available as…

  • Photocopiable book, £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the book or CD…


Cheer up and have a cup of tea

We are all effected by grief during our lifetimes and we deal with it in different ways, statements like the above are often not very helpful when gripped with the intensity of feelings that this very raw emotion can bring. Death and Bereavement faced by a younger person can be more apparent.

Concord Media have put together a series of DVDs which can be used to help understand grief among different age groups and are a useful aid should you be faced with such circumstances within the school, they have even included a resource dealing with grief later in life.

Do have a look at the range of resources and you can click to see more details on each DVD below.

Teenage Grief

Animated film about teenagers coping with the death of someone close.

DVD 2007 13 Minutes – £27.20 + postage

Read More

Not Too Young to Grieve

Understanding and helping bereaved under fives.

DVD 2005 15 Minutes – £27.20 + postage

Read More

Grief in the Family

This animated film looks at the ways children and young people respond to grief, and how people can help.

DVD 2002 14 Minutes – £27.20 + postage

Read More

Bereavement in Later Life

Death and bereavement from the point of view of older people.

DVD 1993 40 Minutes – £50.00 + postage

Read More

Facing Chronic Illness and Death when the Patient is a Child

Help for carers of children with terminal illness.

DVD 1982 58 Minutes – £31.30 = postage

Read More

You can order on line by clicking on the links in the copy above or by emailing us at  Please put ref HH1 in your order.


Student workshops, teacher training and world-class supportive resources

Preparing students for their next steps after school bring with it a new set of challenges, be it interviews, work experience, college, university or employment.

Qualifications are, of course, essential but alone they are not enough to guarantee success. Attitude, state-of-mind and communication skills are vital when taking that next step towards personal and career success.

If getting your students to make the link between these life skills, their qualifications and success is a challenge in your school, why not consider our Employable You workshop?

‘Employable You’ shares the art of excellent communication preparing students for the next stage in their education and their life.

In just two hours, using an interactive presentation, group work and engaging challenges, our Positively Mad presenter will motivate your students to understand how the powerful combination of learning, attitude and state-of-mind will shape their future and determine their levels of success.

The students will be empowered to plan and manage their own futures by learning how to: identify strengths, overcome weaknesses, define their USP (Unique Selling Point), sell themselves as a package and to realise that actions taken NOW will affect their future. They may even discover talents they didn’t even realise they possessed!!

‘Employable You’ raises aspirations, increases confidence and promotes effective decision making.
To discover how a Positively MAD workshop could impact your students at this important time simply click on the boxes below.


Employable You Inspiration workshops Future workshops
Employable You
If you would like to discuss any specific requirements for your school, please call our friendly office team on 0844 8094850 or simply email

We look forward to hearing from you soon.


The Positively MAD Team

A Demos Study reveals how you can enhance your pupils’ engagement levels in the classroom.

The BBC has reported on a Demos study which has revealed the extent to which school projects such as renovating a garden or hosting a school club can enhance pupils’ engagement in learning.

The study reported that there was an improvement in the behaviour of 45% of the pupils in schools that hosted projects in which teachers and pupils worked together to achieve a common goal.

Furthermore, participation in school clubs or projects was also shown to increase pupils’ confidence levels and social skills, whilst also improving teacher-pupil relations.

All sorts of activities can be organised that will achieve such an improvement in behaviour – although, of course, some schools can be restricted in the types of projects and clubs that they can offer.

Such restrictions are typically as a result of the school having limited resources and facilities of their own or in their local area, such as a garden or another school that has a sports team with which your pupils can compete.

One way to overcome this is by leasing a minibus with Benchmark Leasing so that you can travel further afield and thus offer your pupils the opportunity to take part in projects which will ultimately enhance their engagement levels and improve their behaviour in the classroom.

Leasing means that the cost of the minibus is spread over time with fixed monthly costs. The PTA can still contribute by raising money to pay for the monthly payments, but there is no longer that long wait for a lump sum to be accumulated to pay for a vehicle up front.

What’s more, as part of the leasing arrangement, the maintenance of the minibus can be taken on by the leasing company, thus keeping the vehicle roadworthy all the time.

Benchmark Leasing specialises in the supply and maintenance of school minibuses and because of this we are able to offer very competitive prices.

For more information about leasing a minibus with Benchmark Leasing you can go to our website, call us on 01753 859944 or email

Link to article:

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street

Tel: 01753 859944

How to engage students in Maths?

Dr Alan Stokers MindMaths series is a comprehensive photocopiable resource of classroom materials for developing problem-solving skills with able students aged 9-14.  The resource is very versatile and both primary and secondary schools have found the resource complements their scheme of work and curriculum.

This is a useful resource for departments…….a great type of investigational work’ –
N Macleod Mathematical association and teacher Lomond school.

The CD-ROM contains 10 units containing hundreds of tried & tested activities in worksheet format with comprehensive teaching notes and advice on preparation, planning, plenaries & extension work from well-known education advisor and author Dr. Alan Stoker.

Units include:

1: Number logic
2: Rules
3: Combinations
4: Sequences

We are pleased to be able to offer this resource at the new price of just £59.  Once purchased this resource (over 400 pages) may be used throughout the school.

View sample pages and order now at
Alternatively ring me on 07564 291815.  Purchase orders can also been emailed to or sent to:

24 St. Andrews Road, Bexhill-on-sea, East Sussex TN40 2BQ

Thank you for your time, and please do take a look at the resource.

Tempo Publishing


What is the most time-efficient way of auditing SMSC across the whole school?

The benefits of carrying out SMSC audits are boundless.

Not only because they provide the means to evaluate the effectiveness of existing provisions and improve upon these, but also because they provide the proof that Ofsted demands.

However, auditing an SMSC to respond to the demands of Ofsted and generating a SMSC improvement plan requires a great deal of time, which is something many of us are short of.

Fortunately, SMSC Gridmaker has found a time-efficient way of auditing SMSC across the whole school, which actually allows staff to focus more of their attention on SMSC provisions, SMSC auditing, and SMSC provision evaluation than before.

By watching the video here, you can see how evidence of an SMSC activity can be captured in less than 60 seconds.

The SMSC Gridmaker online tool makes it possible to log SMSC activities in a matter of seconds, analyse whole-school SMSC at the click of a button, and share evidence of SMSC in the form of dynamic bar charts and PDF reports with others.

Furthermore, SMSC Gridmaker can be tailored to your school’s areas of SMSC priority to include criteria such as British values, PSHE, Citizenship, and so on.

To see how SMSC GridMaker can help your school to collect evidence of your SMSC provisions and evaluate these provisions to create an SMSC improvement plan, please visit:

Practical science activities to enjoy during British Science Week (11 – 20 March)

Science Week presents an opportunity to do something a bit different in order to ignite a passion for science among your pupils. But, of course, it is always possible for your colleagues to offer their class stimulating and exciting science activities and still remain within the limits of the national curriculum.

Topical Resources have produced the Practical Science Activity Book Series, suitable for years one through to six, which contains a multitude of practical science activity ideas for the various topic areas – from Plants and Animals, to Electricity and Evolution and Inheritance.

The resources have been updated to meet the requirements of the 2014 (English) primary science curriculum and also contain simple planning sheets to use alongside the independent and adult supported practical science activities.

The Practical Science Activity Books are available to order individually (by year group) or as a Special Bundle (which, of course, carries a saving). Furthermore, there is the option to either have them as Black and White photocopiable books, full colour PDF e-books or you can buy them as a download or by CD.

As always, you can order any of our resources in the following ways:

How do Human Processes Interact to Influence and Change Landscapes and Environments?

Key Stage 3 Aged 11-14

Case study – Television Tourism

What impact does the filming of TV soaps have on people, place and the environment?

This topic has been designed for Key Stage 3.  It links with the human geography aspect of the National Curriculum which requires consideration of urbanisation and an understanding of how human processes interact to influence and change landscapes and environments.  It looks at the filming of TV programmes such as the ‘soaps’ and the impact of filming on people, place and the environment. This resource is based on the TV programme ‘Neighbours’ which although set in Australia, can be linked to the personal experience of the learner considering themselves as neighbours.  Fieldwork activities could be designed to link with this topic and a wealth of programmes can be considered and referred to such as Emmerdale, East Enders and Coronation Street. All of these programmes have much to offer geographically, Coronation Street, for example, is a typical inner city street with distinct lack of front garden, garages etc wheras Emmerdale depicts a rural community.

So what impact DOES television tourism have on people, place and the environment?

32 Powerpoint Slides – Price: £24.99 – (£29.99 Inc. VAT)

Once purchased the CD can be freely copied and networked throughout the school.

To see sample pages please email quoting the order code H6041.

You can order the A Case Study – Television Tourism CD-ROM in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 0117 940 6409
  • By fax on 0117 940 6408
  • By email (quoting a school order number) to
  • By post to: Classroom Resources, PO Box 1489, Bristol, BS99 3QJ

Classroom Resources
PO Box 1489
BS99 3QJ

Tel: 0117 940 6409

Free Primary English poster: Direct Speech

You can download a free poster about Direct Speech from a new set of 80 posters for Primary English.

These colourful print-your-own pdf posters reinforce key points and focus on one topic at a time.

They cover grammar, spelling, punctuation and much more.

The visual impact of these posters really helps children remember.

See all the posters, download one free and order here

Ann Batey
Office Manager
Carel Press
(01228 538928)

School Policy Update: Advice to schools from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office

Towards the end of last month (January 2016) bomb threats became very real for some 18 schools in the UK (14 of these in the West Midlands), and thousands of pupils were evacuated as a result.

And only last week Nottingham Girls’ High School was evacuated as a result of intelligence that suggested a terrorist threat.

Thankfully, that is all they have been – threats and intelligence. However, in response to these incidents the National Counter Terrorism Security Office has published a press release advising school leaders to review their protective security measures.

The problem with creating a policy (or indeed, any policy) which incorporates a procedure for what to do in the event of a terror attack on the school, is that it can take up a substantial amount of time that you and your colleagues don’t have to spare.

Which is why we create, adjust, amend, and update school policies on your behalf.

Counter terrorism and protective security school policies that we have created already include School Crisis Management Policy, School Security Policy, Intruders Policy, CCTV Policy, School Disaster Recovery Policy, and the Accidents and Emergencies Policy, to name a few.

Policies for Schools have created over 290 school policies covering 20 different statutory areas. Our policies are easy to customise and thus will save you a considerable amount of time when one or more of your school policies require attention.

What’s more, if you have a specific need of a policy which isn’t listed on the website, we will create it for you. You can find our full list of school policies by clicking here.

To subscribe to Policies for Schools, visit

Or, if you’d like to view a few sample policies beforehand, we have provided the following policies which are available to download free of charge by clicking here:

  • Calming Room Policy
  • Professional Learning Communities Policy
  • School Website Policy

Alternatively, if you would like to know more about our service, you can email us at,  call us on 01600 891 506, or write to us at Teachers Resource Centre Ltd, Wyastone Business Park, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, NP25 3SR.


A compendium of creative drama lessons and scripts for teachers working with Years 7, 8 and 9

Defining what makes a successful course of drama lessons is extremely difficult, and it is hard to imagine that any complete agreement could ever be reached, even if one undertook a long term research project into the issue with a group of fellow teachers.

But there is one factor that most drama teachers would include in their review of successful drama lessons, and that is variety.

Variety not just in the sense of considering drama from a whole variety of different thematic areas, but also through the variety using the themes with different types of dramatic activities and the different ingredients in drama.

A chance, for example, to utilise one or more types of comedy (from farce to parody, from slapstick to satire) within dialogues, relationships, monologues, sustaining a role, creating a character etc.

It is this notion of variety that the copiable volume “New Essential Drama Skills” takes as its starting point in offering a huge range of activities for pupils in years 7, 8 and 9.

The more traditional notion of focussing the drama on specific subjects such as “Life in a Mediaeval Village” or the topic of “Refugees” is thus avoided (for there are already plenty of books that do this).

Instead drama activities are sought which allow the reader to pick various drama activities, to explore perhaps mime, to look further at improvisation, as the development of the group and the syllabus demands.

Also included in the book are a set of short plays for pairs and groups, as well as a series of extended drama games which can be used over and over again in different formats, allowing young students the chance to explore a wide range of possibilities from the same starting point.

The volume also includes a diverse set of very varied activities within the field of mime and movement, activities which can be used with any year group.

The volume “New Essential Drama Skills” by Philip Jamieson is available as a photocopy master or on CD Rom, so that you copy and hand out sections of the book to fellow teachers and of course to the students.

New Essential Drama Skillsl is available as a copiable book, or on CD or as a download.  Each edition comes with unlimited reproduction rights for use within the school. Sample pages can be viewed here

ISBN 978 1 86083 842 2; order code T1840EMN


  • Photocopiable spiral bound book, £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD: £26.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

When ordering the book please quote the reference T1840EMN.

The Megaton Bomb: A Guide to Armageddon

DVD 30 Minutes

With the debate about Trident and the pros and cons offered by both sides taking place,  Concord have released a DVD which looks at the effects a 1 Megaton bomb would have if detonated over St Paul’s in London.

A single missile fired from a trident submarine carries three nuclear bombs with a total strength stated to be the equivalent of a 1 Megaton bomb. This is pretty big when you consider 1 Megaton equals 1000 kilotons and the Hiroshima bomb totalled 15 kilotons.

Using U.S. Congress and British Home Office official data, this programme shows what would actually happen if a one megaton warhead burst a mile above St Paul’s cathedral in the centre of London

Within 30 seconds houses six miles away would be reduced to rubble, winds of 80 – 90 miles per hour would toss objects pell-mell, and shatter windows, sending shards of glass through the air at 120 feet per second, slicing skin.

Paper and other light material would ignite spontaneously. Those in sight of the light would suffer severe third degree burns, charring skin to black carbon and causing permanent retinal burns.

Two couples carried out civil defence measures to see how effective these measures would be. For ten days they lived in temporary constructions following government guidelines. The film looks at how they fared, but suggests that after an actual explosion it is highly unlikely they would emerge at all.

This programme which is ideal as an introduction to a number of subjects can be rented on our Video on Demand system for £1.63. For this you can view as often as you like within a 48 hour period of your own choosing.

Cost of a DVD  £16.30 plus postage

You can easily order by going to our website or you can order by e-mailing us at Please put ref HH1 in your order.

Peterloo, Shelley and the development of British democracy.

A vivid portrayal of the Peterloo Massacre  and Shelley’s response to it in Shelley specialist and songwriter John Webster’s new DVD ‘Shelley’s Golden Years in Italy’, together with a discussion of the poet’s legacy and role in the growth of democratic institutions in GB, could make an intriguing and memorable contribution to Key Stage 3 of Citizenship studies.

The two sections, opening and concluding the 43 minute DVD, demonstrate the progress made from the tragic collision of social and political forces in 1819, referring to the Chartists and the Suffragettes and the strength they drew from Shelley’s work.

Shelley’s contribution to the development of democracy in Britain has been demonstrated by scholars in recent years,and this raises the question of how far poets, writers, and musicians can affect political events.An intriguing question in light of the frequent involvement of today’s artists in political and environmental campaigning!

More information is available at where song and narrative samples, as well as links to a discussion of the citizenship issues raised, can be accessed. The DVD costs £12.95 plus £1.95 postage


To John Webster, 57A Old Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7JZ

 Phone/Fax 01865 765436  Email:

Please supply ‘Shelley’s Golden Years in Italy’

Payment enclosed ____

Please invoice

Your name ___________________________

School ________________________________________

Address _____________________________________________________________________


Postcode ____________

A clear understanding of FGM

On the 31st October 2015 new procedures for reporting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) were introduced by government office as a mandatory duty for teachers in schools and academies.

Also, FGM forms part of the Safeguarding remit which is an OFSTED limiting judgement.

Our secure interactive online training module is designed to ensure staff in schools and academies have a clear understanding of FGM and can effectively meet this duty.

The module is CPD Certified and will ensure you and your staff are fully compliant with OFSTED requirements whilst earning valuable CPD points.

The service is so easy-to-use and will quickly ensure you comply with requirements in the most cost-effective manner from just £150 per school/academy.

To find out more please click HERE.

What more can be done to inspire a love for reading and storybooks among your struggling readers on World Book Day and for evermore?

Supporting the development of reading skills among older pupils can be somewhat of a challenge, not least because fiction books that are of interest to them do not typically cater for their current reading abilities.

So inspiring a love for reading among these pupils can also be something of a challenge.

Fortunately, World Book Day (3rd March 2016) presents a great opportunity for you to introduce your struggling readers to the ‘Go! Pack’ series, which will inspire a love for reading and thus support the development of their reading skills.

The ‘Go! Pack’ is a set of 8 fantastic titles for pupils aged 11 and over with a reading age of six, and were designed by an experienced practitioner desperate for suitable reading material for her pupils.

Each book has high quality illustrations to support the story and help the reader achieve success and enjoyment in reading.

Titles in the ‘Go! Pack’ include: “Bad luck”, “Ghost in the House”, “Lights in the Mirror”, “Lion on the Loose”, “Missing”, “Not a Good Look”, “Shut Down” and “The Wrong Wheels”.

You can order Go! Books in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 01536 399017
  • By fax to 01536 399012
  • By email to     
  • By post to Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH

Understanding the issue of extremism and the PREVENT Duty in schools

The internet brings marvellous opportunities to children and young people with the ability to learn new skills and visit websites which engage and enrich their lives.

However, the internet also brings dangers such as online predators, who will try and contact children through websites and software applications.

The new resources available from E-safety Support will guide pupils, parents and teachers through the topic, helping identify the issue of online radicalisation and giving suggestions on how to protect against the threat of online extremism.

The resources were developed by Tim Pinto, member of the Educational Advisory Board for CEOP and experienced educational e-safety consultant.


Extremism Resources
Currently Available

     √ Assembly for pupils

√ Guidance for parents

√ Training for staff


E-safety Support for Schools E-safety Support offers schools a suite of resources to help keep pupils and staff safe online. These include:

  • Resources for students – including lesson plans and assembly plans
  • Guidance for teachers – special reports, regular articles and advice on e-safety issues
  • Tools for school management – including policy templates, training, parent support and audit tools

If you are interested in finding out more, join our free membership service for a selection of assembly plans including a teacher script and presentation, special e-safety reports for you and your colleagues, a news and information widget that could be added to your school website and regular e-safety bulletins.


What is e-safety? Free Doddle quiz!

With Internet Safety Day taking place this week, now is the perfect opportunity to check that your students know how to stay safe online with our free quiz!

Do your students know what personal information should not be shared? Can they identify cyberbullying? Do they understand how to keep a computer safe? Using fill-the-gap and multiple-choice questions, each followed by a formative recap slide, this quiz will ensure that your students have a secure understanding of e-safety.

Try out the free quiz on our Doddle ICT & Computing page!

Consisting of hundreds of engaging resources to keep your students interested in key topics, both in class and at home, Doddle has everything you need to encourage your students to take an active, independent role in their learning. Book a free in-school visit and one of our Educational Consultants will give you a full tour of Doddle’s features!


Mental Health Issues and Syndromes – Raising Staff Awareness

A national campaign on teenage mental health has just been launched to stop students stigmatising peers who suffer from mental illness and to help parents identify the symptoms of mental health. A new national survey of 10,000 youngsters aged 2-19 and their families, to identify the mental health issues that are most common, is now being undertaken. The results of this survey are not due until 2018 and resultant improvements in services would not take place until then. So therefore it is important that in schools we keep up to date with the latest key ways we can identify and support students with mental health issues and the 3 volumes of Behaviour Solutions – A Guide to Syndromes and Conditions will be a valuable photocopiable resource to support staff in their work. All 3 volumes cover the full range of mental health difficulties listed in the Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties section of the SEN Code of Practice.

Each volume gives a guide to a wide range of conditions (there are 68 in all) and looks at definitions, symptoms and characteristics, causes, treatments, strategies to use in the classroom and a list of useful references including websites.

Volume 1, (A Revised Guide to Syndromes and Conditions), focuses on 20 conditions including Autism, Asperger Syndrome, ADHD, Conduct and Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, OCD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Dyslexia. It contains latest research findings, 3 new conditions as well as updated information on conditions relating to the recently published DSM5.

Volume 2, (A Guide to More Syndromes and Conditions), moves on to 26 conditions and issues not covered in the first volume including Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Eating Disorders, Loss Separation and Bereavement, Mental Health, Self-Harm, Substance Misuse and Cerebral Palsy.

Volume 3, (A Guide to Further Syndromes and Conditions), moves on to 22 conditions and issues not covered in the first two volumes including Selective Mutism, Joint Hypermobility, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder and Apraxia.

One particular benefit is that the books come in a photocopiable format so that if you wish to circulate details of a condition to several colleagues, or indeed to provide information to concerned parents, this is easily achieved.

Further details of the volumes and their contents are to be found on

Cost of the 3 volumes is £60 (a saving of £15 on normal price) plus £6 postage and packaging.

To order please visit or contact us at:

Behaviour Solutions Limited

15 St. Marys Close


Newton Abbot


TQ12 5QF

Phone / Fax 01626 366161


Diagnosing dyscalculia is just the start. It is also necessary to identify the type of dyscalculia the student has got.

Research by the Dyscalculia Centre, which has been published in SEN Magazine, has shown that there are five different types of dyscalculia – although inevitably many young people suffer from a combination of the types listed below.

Type 1 dyscalculics report significant worries about maths.  As a result they feel themselves living in an alien world in which everyone else can grasp maths, but they can’t.  Self-doubt becomes so strong that it gets increasingly difficult to persuade the individual that with proper support they might well be able to undertake and understand mathematical calculations.

Type 2 dyscalculics also experience this deep concern but have found strategies for understanding and coping with basic maths – yet they feel that they don’t have the automatic grasp that others have and often take twice as much time (or more) to do a maths problem as a non-dyscalculic person.

Type 3 students have a profound difficulty in comprehending and dealing with the concept of time.  Sometimes this issue appears on its own, sometimes in combination with types 1 or 2 dyscalculia.  For such people time itself makes no sense and they are quite unable to estimate “five minutes” or any other time length while questions about timetables and the like are also quite meaningless.

Type 4 dyscalculics may not always be dyscalculic in the genetic sense, although they display many of the symptoms of dyscalculic people because they have short-term and long-term memory problems.  These students generally have a problem with all sequences – and this, of course, affects their ability to handle maths perhaps more than any other subject.

Type 5 dyscalculics tend not to see numbers as in any way related to the real world.  In one sense most of us have this problem; after all, what is “six”?   We know what six sheep are.  But “six” on its own is close to meaningless.   For such people, maths can be learned automatically, but when it gets to issues such as fractions, decimals, and percentages then life gets difficult.

Fortunately all these types of dyscalculics can be helped through different types of multi-sensory learning of maths, and this is the approach we have set out in our series: “Dyscalculia Activities”

Each volume contains a vast array of activities which a teacher or assistant teacher can undertake with a small group of students, and involves turning the abstract concepts of maths into physical experiences.  No special equipment is needed, apart from paper, scissors, small cards and some ludo type counters.  (We can supply the cards and counters if you don’t already have them).

Each printed volume is copiable, and so only one copy is needed per school.

There are details here including sample pages

If you have any enquiries please do call 01536 399 000 or email

You can place orders on line (there is a link from each of the above resource pages) or you can go straight to the on-line shop here You can also order by post and fax:

  • By post to First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Way, Corby, NN17 4HH
  • By fax to 01536 399 012


How to help KS3 students grasp the three fundamentals of written English

Ask most people today what the three fundamentals of written English are and they will probably struggle to define them.

And yet if students can grasp that there are just three fundamentals then they can start to see that the written language has a unified logical base, rather than being an endless stream of rules and regulations.

The three fundamentals are defined in the volume “Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stage 3” as Word Classes (adverbs, prepositions, etc), Phrases, Clauses and Sentences, and finally Punctuation.

This 300 page copiable book works through these three fundamentals, in each case breaking them down into their constituent parts.

Thus there are ten sections relating to word classes, five relating to phrases, clauses, and sentences, and eight relating to punctuation.  Each section is itself subdivided into between five and ten sub-sections, making it easy to find rules and examples on any specific topic that is required.

As such the volume is designed as a comprehensive reference source to be used throughout Key Stage 3 but it may also be used with students at key stage 4 who need remedial work.

Throughout, the book includes authentic examples collected from a variety of written sources. Through this mechanism the volume pays particular attention to those areas with which authors of all ages tend to have difficulties and offers an abundance of examples of current usage highlighting these areas.

Such examples are then followed by suggested improvements and by explanations justifying those improvements. Finally the relevant principles are practised through activities designed for pupils.

Anna Nolan, the author of Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stage 3, has worked as a freelance consultant to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and as a teacher trainer with the Edexcel National Curriculum Services.

There is a sample chapter available on-line at

Cat No: 978 1 86083 594 0;  Publisher reference no: T1661emn


  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £34.95. plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £34.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £41.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the book…

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What is the most effective way of helping students to higher grades at GCSE German?

In learning any language students we all go through two phases.

The first involves becoming familiar with the basic grammar and vocabulary of the language that allows the individual to engage in simple written and verbal communication – enough to ask the way to the shops and understand the answer.

That type of communication is expanded and developed through bringing in new situations and speeding up the exchanges while still keeping the subject matter very much in the every day.

That is part one. The second part then makes a conceptual leap from that position – a leap which takes the students up to a completely different level.

By this second stage the awareness of many everyday phrases is embedded in the brain and can be heard, understood and answered without translation. The language is understood as language.

And here students make the leap from a pass at GCSE to a higher grade and prepare themselves for A level, should they wish to take it.

Deutscher Wiederholungskurs will help this type of candidate make these steps forward.  It provides material for revision for the GCSE speaking and writing tests and helps to bridge the gap between GCSE and A level.

The course is divided into 8 topics drawn from the GCSE syllabus, each containing the same tasks:

  • Oral questions to revise the topic briefly;
  • Suggestions for visual stimuli for further oral revision;
  • A passage of German entitled “Fritz erzählt” which contains gaps to fill in and practice for case endings, pronouns and verb endings;
  • Comprehension exercises on the passage to be answered in full German sentences;
  • A passage of English for translation into German; and a series of questions in German, the answers to which should form the basis for a short essay.  Finally there are a series of related role-play situations.

The book is fully photocopiable for ease of use in the classroom and will prove an invaluable source of revision and consolidation for your GCSE students.

Sample pages from the book, order code T1616emn,  can be found on


  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £26.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

 You can purchase the report…

  • By post from First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Rd, Corby, NN17 4HH
  • By fax to 01536 399 012
  • On-line with a credit card at
  • By phone with a school order number or a credit card to 01536 399 011

When ordering the book please quote the reference T1

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The Kaiserreich

This 150 page book will be invaluable to any student of the Second Reich at Advanced level. It provides a comprehensive, narrative chronological structure which is a prerequisite of any study of the period. Personalities and events are recounted in considerable detail and are clearly set in context.

However the book goes beyond most standard textbooks in the way it prepares students to produce competent essay responses to exam questions and provides practice in handling documentary sources.

  • Students are given key questions to consider and are encouraged to test continuously the theories of historians against their own findings.
  • Essay style questions are set at each stage in the book.
  • Documentary criticism skills are continuously tested.
  • Frequent historiographical references remind students to read beyond this text to gain a greater understanding of the subject.

What’s more, the materials are available as a photocopiable book and as a CD which can be put onto the school’s network and shared among all students for whom it is relevant.  Thus all students may use the material with the purchase of just one copy.

ISBN No: 978 1 86083 564 3 Order code: T1649EMN

Sample pages are available to download free of charge from

  • Photocopiable book: £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD: £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD plus photocopiable book: £36.94 plus £3.95 delivery

You can order… Please quote the order code T1649EMN

  • By post: Write to First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Rd., Corby, Northants NN17 4HH
  • By fax: To 01536 399 012
  • By phone: quoting a credit card number or a school order reference number: 01536 399 018
  • On line: Go to– you will need a credit card to complete the order

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