The importance of having a comprehensive literacy programme, not only in each school, but across the whole of the UK.

With reports suggesting that one fifth of children are failing to meet the expected Level 4 standard in at least one of the “three Rs”, it highlights the importance of having a comprehensive literacy programme, not only in each school, but across the UK.

Which is why MSL has devised The Complete Reading and Spelling Programme

This programme covers all 90 different spelling and sound rules and adds in ten sections on issues such as word patterns, suffixes, prefixes, homophones, and irregular final syllables, making 100 topics in all.

The 90 rules and associated topics can be seen on our website where you can see the structured order of teaching that we have introduced.

What we have then done is broken these 100 topics down into 20 modules, presented in an order which allows students to use the spelling rules as soon as they have learned them.

As a result of this structured approach, which includes placement & progress tests, you can introduce a pupil to the sequence from the very start. You can also begin work at a point where the individual will be revising key points, before moving on to areas of weakness.

A copiable printed version of each module costs £29.99, or you can order five modules together on a CD for £80 plus VAT. All 20 modules (including the 4 CD’s) are available for £450.

You can order the Complete Reading & Spelling Programme in a variety of 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

Why March can be a good month for the maths department ……

If you’re thinking of ordering new calculators, geometry sets etc then there’s some good news for you. In addition to their already competitive prices, Signpost Educational Ltd are giving away FREE products with qualifying orders during March 2016

a.  With any order of 50 or more scientific calculators you’ll receive a FREE sample of the Survival Pack (a useful set of pens, pencils and rubber, all packed in a handy zip-up polyester wallet…useful for both students and teachers) with a special price if you decide to order them in bulk.

b.  When you order 100 or more of the Casio FX 83 GT+,  FX 85GT+ or LK 183 scientific calcs you can order up to the same quantity of the Value Maths set for only 95p (usually priced from £ 1.10 to £ 1.20 ex vat)

The Value Maths set is a useful resource for students in maths lessons and particularly for handing out to students at the start of exams (full details on the Signpost Educational website).

So if it’s calculators you need then below are the most popular models:

Casio FX 83GT Plus  £5.49 (100+)   £5.65 (40+)  £5.75 (1-39)

Casio FX 85GT Plus   £6.65  (100+)  £6.75 (40+)  £6.90 (1-39)

Logik LK 183   £3.49  (100+)    £3.55 (40+)  £3.59 (1-39)

Texet Albert2  £3.45 (100+)   £3.55 (1-99)

Aurora AX 595 £4.55 (100+)   £4.62 (40+)   £4.69 (1-39)

all prices are ex vat.

Check out their website:
You can order by email:   fax on 020 7515 4420 or phone 020 7515 1797 and ask to speak to Martin Evans who will be pleased to help.

Active reading strategies: free Boardworks presentation

Help your students become active readers using our free presentation!

The presentation covers seven active reading strategies, including empathising and inferring, using an engaging animation that provides helpful images to denote each strategy.

Packed with discussion questions to encourage critical thinking, this presentation is an ideal way to familiarise your students with active reading techniques.

Download the presentation from our English free stuff page!


The Boardworks team

What is the most effective way of getting every single child to contribute to a discussion and writing activity?

How does one get every pupil involved in a discussion?

Obviously if one tries to do this with 30+ children in the class one can end up with such short contributions that “discussion” is hardly the word for it.

Besides which, some children love to talk – others, not so much. Some can write amazing stories at the drop of a hat, but will hardly say a word in class.

The solution involves giving children a voice in collaborative learning in a new way. One starts by posing an interesting question, before allowing the children to document (by writing or drawing) their ideas on their tablets or similar devices.

Nureva™ Span™ classroom collaboration system, for example, lets children capture their thoughts in a variety of ways – words don’t have to be the focus. Even those who are always first to raise their hands can benefit from the time to think and reflect before sharing.

Of course, one also wants to help the children order and control their ideas, and this is where the sharing comes in: by letting all the children see what  others have produced and then weaving other people’s ideas into their own.

This of course also helps teach children that to some questions there is no right answer, and that quite often one answer is as valid as any other.

On an interactive surface like the Nureva Span system, ideas can be moved around, regrouped and adjusted by the teacher or the child. It’s another way of inviting children to take an active role in the collaboration process.

After this the work can be saved and then children can go back online and add a few more notes and ideas.  Because everything is recorded it’s easy for the notes from one session to become the starting point for a makerspace project or for a small group to take a closer look at one aspect of a bigger topic.

The Nureva Span classroom collaboration system is available from Smarter Interactive – approved suppliers of the software for the UK.  We provide both pre- and post-sale training, helping schools make the right choices in terms of the products they buy and also making sure the equipment we supply is implemented and used effectively.

To see Nureva Span in action, please click here.

If you would like any further information, please do call 0118 336 0010, email or fill in in our contact form by clicking here.

Have you ever been responsible for the making of a great teacher?

If you have ever had the privilege of witnessing a great teacher at work in the classroom, you will know that it is never about what they do, but rather it is always about how they do it.

The answer never lies (for example) in the type of work that they set, nor does it lie in the type of reward system that they use, but rather the answer lies in how they set the work and how they reward their pupils.

It is this philosophy that prompted us to develop Lessonbox – to support you in offering excellent CPD to your teaching staff that will ensure you are responsible for the making of a great teacher. And Lessonbox doesn’t just tell you what to do, but rather how to achieve it.

First of all, when it comes to recording a lesson for CPD purposes, it’s important that the lesson is real – not one that looks as if it has 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, and you can clearly identify on the recording the difference between “what is happening” in the classroom and “how it is happening” in the classroom.

From here on out it is a simple case of having teachers observe their own lessons and other teachers’ lessons in order to improve their teaching strategy.

Lessonbox makes carrying out classroom recordings very easy to do, with no complex set up and no stranger in the room. And the recording of lessons quickly becomes the norm.

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.

Once recording is complete schools can use the Lessonbox Cloud platform to save the video 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.

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

What is the easiest way to make sure that your school is always able to respond to each new issue that arises?

Towards the end of February, the Case for Play enquiry released its report which shows that 90% of parents of disabled children felt that their children did not have the same opportunities to play at school as other children did.

The report made headline news on the BBC which stated that the cause of the problem was both a lack of facilities and the attitude of other children and their parents towards the disabled.

As a result of the publicity around this issue it is more than likely that inspectors and others will be looking closely at equality schemes, accessibility plans, SEN policies, disability policies, and, of course, access policies.

Obviously your school’s policies may set out very clearly the way that you are ensuring that the sort of discrimination that 90% of parents with disabled children are reported to feel cannot exist in your school.

But if there is any doubt that the policies are rigorous enough, you may well be faced with a time-consuming bit of re-writing.

However, there is an alternative solution.

This alternative comes in the shape of Policies for Schools which has available nearly 300 completely up-to-date policy documents, all of which are already in use in a large number of schools.

If you’ve never seen any of our school policies – just click here and you’ll be able to download three of our school policies completely free of charge.

To see a full list of all the school policies available you can click here.  You will see that they include, among many others, a Disability Equality Scheme and Disability Accessibility Plan for Pupils Policy, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy, and a Disabled Access Policy.

For just £225 (plus VAT), a subscription to Policies for Schools provides a full year’s access to download nearly 300 school policies, all regularly updated, plus all additional school policies that are added to the website during the year.

To subscribe to Policies for Schools please click here.

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.

Here is a testimonial from one of our customers:

“I find Policies for Schools very helpful indeed! In addition to the very diverse range of policies, all cross-referenced and regularly reviewed, which are available on the website all correspondence is immediately dealt with and new policies provided within 5 working days. For such a modest annual cost the website is incredible value for money!” – Anthony Welch (Headteacher, Holland Park Primary School).