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 minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk.

Link to article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35418346

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 www.tempopublishing.co.uk
Alternatively ring me on 07564 291815.  Purchase orders can also been emailed to sales@tempopublishing.co.uk 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: http://smsc.opeus.org/home

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 info@classroom-resources.co.uk 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 info@classroom-resources.co.uk
  • 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 http://www.carelpress.co.uk/exclusive#Eng

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 www.policiesforschools.co.uk.

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 sales@policiesforschools.co.uk,  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 http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/drama/T1840.pdf

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 www.concordmedia.org.uk or you can order by e-mailing us at sales@concordmedia.org.uk Please put ref HH1 in your order.