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 msl@schools.co.uk     
  • By post to Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH

Easy to use communication platform

SchoolCal is an easy to use communication platform that enables schools to connect with parents, governors, teachers and support staff.

With unlimited contacts, messages and reminders we think you’ll love SchoolCal almost as much as your governors, parents and staff will.

We are so confident you can try SchoolCal for free for 30 days, no opt outs, obligations or catches just a chance to see if it’s for you plus be in with a chance to win an annual subscription and tablet.

Set up your trial account www.school-cal.co.uk/schoolcal30

3 ways SchoolCal is redefining engagement across the whole school

1. Supporting two-way engagement across the whole sector by providing a safe, accessible and personalised experience for everyone.

2. Reducing the cost of communications, allowing more conversations to take place with the right people and focus more resources into the classroom.

3. Providing a platform that people can enjoy using, seen as the go to place for school conversations and to be a product organisations can be proud to share with all their stakeholders.

Involved in more than one school? You will love our Multi-School feature, if you are a MAT or a Headteacher in one school with a child in another all of your schools are brought together into one newsfeed that can be viewed separately or as one.

SchoolCal has been designed from the ground up with the specific goal of being a platform that you will be proud to share with anyone connected to your school that represents your vision, ethos and goals.

Set up your trial account www.school-cal.co.uk/schoolcal30

I wondered lonely as a cloud….

“I think what you actually mean in that subject line is ‘wandered’ not ‘wondered’.   It’s ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’…”

“No, I’m contemplating isolated cognitive water vapour.”

It is the miracle of language that we can use it to go anywhere.  We can not only wonder at the miracle of life, but wander about in our own minds, finding the most extraordinary and outrageous ideas.

Exactly as Cædmon supposedly did in the 7th century in the first ever English poem, and millions have been doing ever since.  To play with words is very much to be human.

And indeed today the game goes on.  I can write a paragraph beginning with a joining word, and find that you haven’t (as yet at least) deleted this email in disgust.

Or I can use a more formal type of prose, attempting (as best I can) to obey the rules of English grammar.  That is our inheritance: the athleticism of our brains, the infinite potential of our language.

In a sense this is why the Christopher Tower Poetry Competition has run so successfully every year since 2001, and perhaps also why this year the judges decided that the theme should be “Wonder”.

The competition, organised as always by Christ Church, University of Oxford, offers the UK’s most valuable prize for poets aged 16 to 18.

The judges this year are Alan Gillis, Katherine Rundell and Peter McDonald.  The cash prizes are, as always, more than significant, and the closing date is 19 February.

Details are on the Tower Poetry website and entries can be emailed directly to us, so there is no need to gather your students’ work together and post it in.

You can also download an entry form from the website.  If you want to know more or discuss any point of detail, please do email me at info@towerpoetry.org.uk or call me on 01865 286 591.

Kathryn Grant

Tower Poetry Administrator

To Kill a Mockingbird – An Abridged Text

To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee and is a famous American novel about a girl called Scout Finch. The novel is set in the 1930s in the U.S.A. One of the most important themes in To Kill a Mockingbird is racism.

In the novel an Afro-American is accused of raping a white lady. It is clear that he is innocent but because he is black he is found guilty. To Kill a Mockingbird is set in a town called Maycomb in the southern states of the U.S.A.

During the 1930s racial discrimination was a big problem in the U.S.A. Black people were poor and they were not treated fairly by most white people. Scout and her family are different. They treat black people with respect. In the 1930s the law did not help Afro-Americans. Many had to go to prison for crimes they did not commit. In to Kill a Mockingbird an innocent black man has to go to prison.

Quite often the content of the National Curriculum can be intractable for pupils who speak English as a second language.  The teaching of English can now be made wholly accessible using these resources.  Set texts have been effectively differentiated so that they can be understood by pupils who may find the original versions difficult.

The texts chosen have been widely used in English and Special Needs classrooms and promote the development of reading, writing and listening skills.

They have proven to be very popular because of the accessibility. At the end of each section there is a series of stimulating exercises, which are designed to enhance language acquisition.  The texts available are studied for the Certificate of Achievement, in years 9-11.  As teachers, we know that understanding the text not only activates interest but, ultimately, that all pupils can obtain encouraging grades in their Certificates of Achievement.

44 Photocopiable masters £29.99 + 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 H5257.

You can order the To Kill a Mockingbird – An Abridged Text 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, 9 Logan Road, Bristol, BS7 8DU

Classroom Resources Ltd
9 Logan Road,


Tel: 0117 940 6409

The Little Box of BIG Questions

Philosophical and meaningful conversations with children and young people

Professor Irvine Gersch & Dr Anna Lipscomb

Children/young people need time, space and kindness to speak openly about the things most important to them and listening can help facilitators understand better the root of children’s thinking and behaviour, and can give an insight into how to better support them to reach their potential. Use these cards to provide prompts for a meaningful, stimulating and positive conversation about the ‘bigger picture’ in life. They will help children and young people understand their views about life, school and people important to them, which is enlightening for the facilitators too.

There are four areas for discussion:

Identity – allows the child to consider what is special about them as individuals & includes: How would you describe the person you are?

Important people – children are encouraged to consider who is important to them through questions such as: Who is special to you?

Meaning & Purpose – questions covering our mission and purpose in life, for example: Do you think that people’s lives are set out for them?

Thinking & Planning – the final set of questions allows individuals to think about how they reflect and make big decisions, for instance: How do you calm your mind, relax and think best? Have you ever experienced a big change in your life?

Contents: 17 A5-size cards, includes instruction booklet with ideas for use


Post: Small World, 9 Burnham Place, Syresham, Northants, NN13 5HT
Tel: 01280 850 305
Fax: 01280 830022

Email: orders@smlworld.co.uk

To obtain a 5% discount on your order, please quote HH14 on your purchase order form or add the discount code whilst purchasing online.


How to host your own Science Week workshops during Science Week 2016.

Hosting your own Science Week workshops can very often work out to be a more cost-effective option than hiring external presenters every day of Science Week (11-20 March) and can be a great opportunity for you to try out new approaches.

Of course, in order to inspire a love for science among your students it’s vital to differentiate your workshops from the typical science lessons that your students attend on a daily-weekly basis.

This can be readily achieved by, for example, inviting other teachers and classes to join your workshops and jettisoning the usual lesson format/routine and curriculum for a short period of time.

Furthermore, organising exciting new experiments, perhaps with equipment that your students haven’t used before, can be highly effective in encouraging your students to explore new concepts and will provoke discussions and generate excitement.

And this is where we can help, as Thinkers in Education (who regularly host STEM workshops in schools) have selected a range of fantastic cost-effective resources and activities that you can use for your own science workshops, not only during Science Week but throughout the year.

The STEM Box 1 Collection contains all the resources you need to host three entirely different hour-long through to day-long workshops, including the apparatus, worksheets, presentations, lesson guides, quizzes… and so on.

Workshop titles include: “The Amazing Mirascope Experiments”, “Water Rockets Away” and “Caving Conundrum Investigations”.

You can find more information about our STEM workshop kits and order The STEM Box 1 Collection from our Resource Shop at www.thinkersineducation.co.uk/superb-science-week-activity/. Or, if you’d prefer, you can order the workshop resources and activities separately.

If you would like to know more about our STEM resources, or indeed, if you would like to host any of the STEM workshops that we run, please call us on 01603 520866 or email events@thinkersineducation.co.uk

How to avoid time-consuming administration, bureaucracy, and cash flow problems when procuring a brand new school sports facility.

It would be an understatement to say that having a brand new sports facility installed in your school is costly. And, in addition to the expense, such a project typically comes with a significant amount of time-consuming administration, bureaucracy, and cash flow implications.

So how can you get a brand new cricket facility (for example) installed in your school without encountering any such problems?

The answer: Notts Sport and the Fast Track Funding Scheme.

Notts Sport will design a bespoke cricket facility (or refurbishment) that’s perfect for your needs. Then, using Fast Track Funding, we will provide you with a flexible funding solution with monthly, quarterly, or annual repayments to suit you.

This means that no (or very little) payment is required until the facility is complete, and we won’t expect you to pay it all back at once, which will help to minimise the impact on your cash flow.

If you have any questions about the Fast Track Funding Scheme, please don’t hesitate to contact us, either by calling us on 01455 883 730 or emailing us at info@nottssport.com.

There is further information about Fast Track Funding on our website.

What’s more, you can find out more about the various pitch surfacing systems designed and developed by Notts Sport, by visiting http://nottssport.co.uk/.

What is the most effective way of helping your pupils make sense of learning?

It is normal for children to grasp the various concepts of the curriculum at different stages throughout their primary education. Yet the curriculum sets out the timeframe that pupils have to fully understand these concepts with very little room for compromise.

This, of course, presents a dilemma, particularly for those pupils who aren’t just finding one subject or topic area difficult to grasp, but are having difficulty keeping up with a wide array of concepts across the primary curriculum.

One method which has been known to aid the learning of children who are finding it difficult to keep up with the demands of the curriculum is the use of multi-sensory learning. Which is why we have produced the Multi Sensory Pack.

The Multi Sensory Pack can be used to support pupils in all aspects of their learning, from numeracy and literacy to drama and PSHE. It enables pupils to exercise a kinaesthetic approach to learning, leading to a greater understanding and improved attainment.

Using the items in the pack for learning purposes has also proven to be beneficial when it comes to engaging pupils who typically appear disinterested with their learning.

As always, you can place an order with Edventure in a variety of ways, including:

  • on the website www.edventure.co.uk
  • by faxing us to 01323 50 10 41
  • by calling us on 01323 50 10 40
  • by emailing us at sales@edventure.co.uk     
  • by post to Edventure Ltd, Hargreaves Business Park, Hargreaves Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 6QW.

What’s more if you quote HH0515 on your order delivery will be free. Without quoting the code the charge is £3.95.

Raising boys achievement – what can schools do?

A three hour workshop exploring:

‘The Boy Problem’ – boys participation in education

Male learning styles

Misreading males?

The importance of addressing literacy concerns

The male-inclusive classroom

A whole-school strategy?

Practical solutions (including the hard-to-reach)

This is an evidence-based, experiential workshop; participants will be informed of useful methods to engage and maintain boys interest in education and will be encouraged to consider a whole-school strategy to improve boys achievement.

£495 – workshop to be delivered by two facilitators.

Liam Kernan

♦ 01905 570180
♦ 07788725318

GCSE AQA PE Pre-Release Scenario Exam Pack 2016: Murton Athletics Club

The 2015 GCSE AQA PE scenario was released on the 1st February, and the topic for Section B of this year’s exam is ‘Murton Athletics Club’.  Effective exam preparation will be essential to help students get to grips with this complex scenario.

How well prepared will your GCSE PE class be? Will they be ready to answer questions on ‘Lucy and Murton Athletics Club’?

Give them the best possible opportunity with the ZigZag Education AQA PE Pre-Release Scenario Exam Preparation Pack. A unique resource, totally focused on maximising exam performance, it contains the material that students need to prepare for the scenario and includes:

1.   An introduction to the scenariowhat is there and what does it mean? With key terms
highlighted and explained.
2.   Clear and concise revision notes, related specifically to ‘Lucy and Murton Athletics Club’ and in
spec order.  Activities for every section to develop exam skills and consolidate learning.
3.    Section B mock exam questions on the scenario, with useful ‘what is the question asking you to
sections, model student answers and marking tips.
4.   Teaching PowerPoints.
5.   Structured revision cards.

“Excellent… A guaranteed grade raiser” 

H Burningham, HOD & ZigZag Customer

Also New for 2016 is GCSE AQA PE Pre-Release Scenario Practical Activities Pack. Escape the classroom and breathe new life into exam preparation with this perfect companion to the Pre-Release Scenario Pack!

The GCSE AQA PE Pre-Release Scenario Exam Preparation Pack (£59) and the Practical Activities Pack (£34) are available as photocopiable masters with site licence.
Also available in:

  1. Easy-printing PDF files (add 30%+VAT), or
  2. PDF with editable Word files (add 50%+VAT).

Pre-order this year’s pack for dispatch 29th February at http://zzed.uk/WW34
(you can also view previews of last year’s resource here)

ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY
t: 0117 950 3199 | f: 0117 959 1695 | PE-WW34@zigzageducation.co.uk

Give your promotional code WW34 to get free postage!


Free A-Level presentation on gene mutations and cancer

Teach your students about gene mutations and cancer using our brand-new A-Level biology presentation.

The presentation covers a range of topics from DNA methylation, to genetic and environmental risk factors, and uses a variety of activities, including discussion questions and an interactive multiple-choice quiz, to ensure there’s something for everyone.

Full of cutting edge science content, examples of applied science and data interpretation, this presentation is the perfect teaching partner.

Don’t hesitate to download it from our Science free stuff page!


The Boardworks team


Free KS4 presentation on probability!

Help your students build confidence in calculating probability with our free presentation!

This presentation uses a series of explanatory slides that include real-life examples, key formulae, and questions to ensure your students are fully engaged with the topic. It also features an interactive spinner that asks them to alter the number of coloured sections and calculate the probability of the spinner landing on each one!

Try out the presentation on our Doddle Maths page!

Doddle uses real-life examples and a variety of engaging activities to get the whole class actively involved in exploring mathematical skills in greater detail. To see more of what Doddle can do for your department, book a free in-school visit with one of our Educational Consultants.



When it comes to teaching not all methods are equally effective. The same is true of learning. But which methods are best?

Recently the focus in terms of methods of teaching has been on the technology used to deliver the lesson.

And yet there is a huge amount of evidence to suggest that it is not the technology that makes one method of teaching better than another.

Rather, it is the method of teaching itself.  Technology can make a difference, but it is not the prime difference.

What’s more, while a change in the method of teaching used to teach any specific subject or topic can have a benefit – that benefit won’t be maximised unless the students also get some help in understanding the best methods of learning that they ought to be using.

To put this another way, it is possible to deliver a lecture to a class using your voice on its own or your voice plus a diagram drawn on a chalkboard, displays on a whiteboard, a video, or anything else.

But the fact remains that whatever technical additions are used it is still a lecture.

Which is fine as long as the lecture is the best method of teaching the subject that you have in mind.  If it isn’t, then the effectiveness of the lesson will still be dependent on the effectiveness of the lecture as a method of teaching.

Now, of course, most of the time we don’t lecture in class because we all know that lectures are fairly ineffective ways of teaching.  But that still raises the question: what are the most effective ways of teaching?

And as we ask that question, we also have to ask, what implication does this have for the various methods of learning that the students then adopt?

These are the questions posed and answered by “Methods of Teaching”.  The book has articles which can be shared with teaching colleagues, policy statements on methods of teaching, a review of methods of learning, and 22 articles on methods of learning that can, over time, be provided to students to help them organise their own learning.

There are also eight active learning assignments for the students plus a series of articles on memory which will explain how teaching and learning can be organised in such a way that the topics and issues under consideration will be retained in the memory for years to come.

The latest edition of “Methods of Teaching” is probably the most powerful book on teaching and learning available today.  It is available both as a photocopy master and on CD (so that it can be put on the school’s learning platform or printed out from the disk).

Cat No: 978 1 86083 830 9 Order code: T1784emn – please quote with order.

Sample pages can be viewed at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/education/T1784.pdf

  • Photocopiable book, £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD £36.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Where can you find SEN books and equipment at discounts not available anywhere else?

The answer to the question is simple.  Savings for Schools only carries announcements of products and services that are relevant to teaching and learning, and which are available at a discount exclusively to readers of these services.

In between these announcements there are also occasional short summaries of education news and information that you might have missed.

The new Savings for Schools services, which are of course completely free for teachers, started earlier this term, and we’ve been getting some interesting feedback.  So now we are opening up the services to everyone, and with an extra bonus.

If you are looking for a particular product or service at a discount but can’t find one, you can write to us and we’ll do our best to locate one or more companies that have the product you want, and will make it available at a discount.

If we can find such a company we’ll email you with the details, and then place the announcement on Savings for Schools.  To make suggestions, or indeed if you have got any questions about the service, please write to Jenny@hamilton-house.com and write Savings Suggestions in the subject line.

I do hope you will find the new services of help as a way of getting the very best value for money.

You can join the Savings for Schools services by clicking on these two logos.

Jenny Burrows
Savings for Schools

Does it matter to students whether they revise using a book, a mobile, or a tablet?

There is a body of opinion that holds the view that one of the factors that can reduce a student’s willingness to revise is that the revision may well involve a textbook or set of notes.

The reasoning is that because the student’s everyday life is focussed on digital devices, such as tablets and mobile phones, this makes it less likely that they will revise during the journey to and from school, during the lunch break, or indeed when at home unless they can do so on their tablet or mobile.

Further it is argued that if revision material were to be available on digital devices it is likely that some of the more revision-averse students could be drawn into doing a bit more homework.

We’d very much like to know your views on the subject, and so we’ve set up a short questionnaire and would appreciate if you could complete it.

There are only five questions and it really will only take one minute to answer them. Your answers will be very helpful in directing the way revision materials are developed for students in the future.

Please click here to take part in the survey.

If you would like to know our findings just let us know by replying to this email, and we’ll send out the results in a few weeks.

George Webb

Revision Buddies