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 enquiries@groupline.com.

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

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 http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/economics/T1824

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 sales@concordmedia.org.uk  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 info@positivelymad.co.uk

We look forward to hearing from you soon.


The Positively MAD Team