Improve the uptake of STEM subjects at KS5 and beyond by implementing a comprehensive STEM programme

National STEM days/weeks/months are a highly effective way of igniting a passion for science, technology, engineering and maths. Yet it seems that this ignition may only be temporary as there hasn’t yet been a notable increase in the uptake of STEM at KS5.

Thus, students aren’t developing the specialist skills that are sought by so many UK employers in their bid to compete (and succeed) on an international level.

By implementing a comprehensive STEM programme, alongside your school’s involvement in national STEM days/weeks/months, your students will not only acquire a lasting passion for STEM, but also develop a skillset which is valued so highly by employers.

And so it is for this reason that Thinkers in Education are inviting schools to join their comprehensive STEM programme which will be fully funded by a grant for schools that have a low uptake of STEM courses at KS5.

Our all-in-one, externally funded, comprehensive STEM programme consists of:

  • A STEM activity day per year group per term for all your students
  • A STEM activity day per year group per term for your Gifted and Talented students
  • Teacher training sessions and resource kits for teachers in order to sustain the approach and improve provisions for the development of students’ STEM skills
  • Running ‘Family’ Saturdays in your school to include and educate the community about STEM
  • Providing after school STEM kits to sustain the approach and make a real impact.

We can arrange to help you with the grant application of up to £9000, but please do note that there are only a limited number of grants available so make sure to register your interest in our comprehensive STEM programme sooner rather than later.

For more information about our comprehensive STEM programme and to discuss how your school can get involved, please click here, call 01603 520866, or email us at

Solving a problem that comes with teaching secondary school pupils basic literacy

A common problem that comes with teaching secondary school pupils who require additional support in literacy is that there is often a lack of interesting, informative and age-appropriate, ready-made material available.

Fortunately, Ark Educational has produced the “Literacy Through…”  Worksheets Series, which is a resource containing an extensive range of activity worksheets designed to support your pupils on their journey to becoming confident in their literacy abilities.

The worksheets within the volume are all designed so that they can be used either as a one-off or as a series of highly varied tasks. Activities range from comprehension questions and fill in the gap exercises, to filling in forms and completing a Wordsearch (for example).

Throughout, the volume encourages the development of fundamental literacy skills, such as: comprehension, vocabulary, descriptive writing, grammar, tenses, definitions, phonics, word-building, vowels, compound words and punctuation, among just a few.

What’s more, the resource is divided up into eight sections, each of which is based on a different subject area: Literacy Through… English, Literacy Through… Geography, Literacy Through… History, Literacy Through… ICT, Literacy Through… PE, Literacy Through… RE, Literacy Through… Science and Literacy Through… Technology.

To order the “Literacy Through…” Worksheets Series, simply fill in the order form and send it by fax, email, or post (see contact details below). If you have a school order number, you can also order by phone.

  • Telephone: 01536 399 011
  • Fax: 01536 399 01
  • Email:
  • Postal address: First and Best in Education, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, Northants, NN17 4HH

Alternatively, you can order the “Literacy Through…” Worksheets Series online as a download for £20 by visiting

If you quote HH10% into the message box when you make your purchase on PayPal, you will receive a 10% refund on your order.


What is the one classroom activity that will enhance your pupils’ confidence in, and enjoyment of maths more than any other?

There are only a limited number of activities around that are designed specifically to increase children’s enjoyment of maths.  And yet the more children do see maths as an enjoyable subject the more confidence they will have in the subject – and the more rapidly their studies will progress.

Which is why we created Magical Maths.

Magical Maths is a school based workshop aimed at either KS1 or KS2 students.  It is taught on a class-by-class basis with up to five classes being taught during the course of the day, with each class session lasting 45 minutes to an hour.

The sessions are based around the notion of magic, and indeed the practitioner who leads the sessions is a member of the Magic Circle.  Children practice and perform the magic tricks that are taught during the workshop – magic which is all based on National Curriculum maths.

As a result the children gain new mathematical insights and revel in their new-found positive relationship with mathematics.

To enquire about a possible booking please call me on 07870 215675 or email with the words MAGIC MATHS in the subject line.


How can your school or college obtain FREE Collins English dictionaries?

Putting a dictionary in the hands of a student can not only help them develop their writing skills and make them a more confident speller but in some cases a few extra words spelt correctly can tip the balance between getting a grade D or a grade C at GCSE English..(and quite possibly in other subjects as well).

Collins English dictionaries are used in many UK schools and are widely respected for their accuracy and content.  They are ideal for prizes or incentives as well as for day to day use in lessons, homework and revision.

But did you know that it is now possible for schools to obtain FREE copies of Collins English dictionaries?

The Collins English dictionary lists approx. 15,000 words on 615 pages and is a normal paperback size (176 x 110 mm).  Suitable for students from KS3 up to A level, it has an RRP of £6.99 but schools and colleges can order @ £2.99 each, a saving of £4 per copy.

So what about the free dictionaries …..?

Orders of 100 or more copies will receive 50% extra copies free of charge, eg order 100 dictionaries and you’ll receive 50 extra copies free,  order 300 copies and get an extra 150 free…. and so on, pro-rata.  Schools can order any quantity but the FREE offer only applies to orders of 100 or more.

Further details of the dictionaries and this offer may be obtained from Signpost Educational Ltd., PO Box 999, London E14 6SH.  Tel: 020 7515 1797 or email:  Information may  also be found on their website:

PS. In addition to the dictionary offer, schools can also obtain “Student Essentials” sets, designed to meet the basic needs of students in most lessons.  Comprising three black ink ballpens, two full size HB pencils, metal sharpener, eraser and a 15 cm ruler…all packed in a clear “exam friendly” zip-up wallet from only 75p each ex vat.  Ideal for handing out in lessons or selling to pupils for everyday use as well as for exams.  Details on the website as above.


A Level Edexcel Unit 3 and Unit 4 Pre-Releases (Summer 2016)

How will you handle the ‘Superpower Geographies’ AIB for Unit 3?
The new Edexcel Unit 3 Pre-release topic is out and this year it’s all about Superpower Geographies, specifically 21st Century Superpowers: India and China. A side by side comparison between the two most populous nations on the planet, exploring their differing strategies as they grow and develop is sure to be an exciting and engaging topic.

At this time of year many A Level Edexcel Geography teachers start frantically researching and preparing resources for the Edexcel Unit 3 Advance Information Booklet.  This year, don’t be one of them!

Following the success of last year’s Edexcel Unit 3 Pre-Release Resource Pack from ZigZag Education we are once again helping take the pressure off teachers and give your students the best preparation for their exams.

Not only does it provide activities to walk students through the AIB and get them thinking about the synoptic links to the other topics, but teachers and students alike get material to teach the background of the topic. 2 practice papers on both sections of the Unit 3 exam are included, each with a full mark scheme, specific to the topic, and ideal for a mock exam.

Deliver the Edexcel Unit 3 Pre-release with confidence!  Pre-order now at

Don’t forget Unit 4 –‘Option 1: Tectonics’
Volcanic and seismic processes are perhaps the most influential of the Earth’s natural phenomena in shaping the landscapes we live in. Despite their incredible destructive abilities they also have the power to create new landforms, indeed new land!

The Research steer is now available and for the first time we have two new resources supporting Unit 4 to help your students to deliver the perfect essays in the Unit 4 exam.

Pack 1: The Edexcel Pre-release Teaching & Research Pack: Tectonics can be used both this year and next year to see you through to the end of the current teaching specification. It focuses on the planning, structure and execution of the perfect essay – regardless of the research focus! It’s available for immediate dispatch.

Plan for the Edexcel Unit 4 exam with confidence!  Order your Teaching & Research Pack now for immediate dispatch at

Pack 2: The Edexcel Pre-release Steer Pack: 2016 Tectonics targets the specifics of this year’s research focus material for Option 1 and helps to shape your students’ planning and research and get to grips with the most relevant aspects of the annual topic. It’s the perfect companion to Pack 1!

Get to grips with the specifics of the Unit 4 Tectonics steer!  Pre-Order your Pre-release Steer Pack now at

The Edexcel Unit 3 Pre-Release Resource Pack (£59) and both Edexcel Unit 4 Pre-release Packs (£59 each) are available as photocopiable masters with site licence. Maximise your teaching flexibility – Go Editable:

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

Preview and order now 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 WX77 to get free postage!


What is the single most effective way of raising student exam grades?

There is little more frustrating than a student who you know has plenty of ability within a subject, but who simply does not seem to be able to study and reveal his/her aptitude in exams.

Fortunately, however, there is a fairly simple way of helping such students overcome this situation so that they make far more of their study time, learn more rapidly, and develop an ability to use the knowledge that they have gained within examinations.

This approach breaks learning into two simple parts: learning how to study, and then applying this knowledge to the subject matter being studied.

Self-evidently, once the student can study in a more effective and efficient manner the student also becomes more adept at reproducing this knowledge in a meaningful way when required. Then, inevitably, the student’s grades will go up.

This is where Raising Grades through Study Skills comes in. The volume, which is available either as a photocopiable master or on CD (so that it can be placed on the school’s learning platform), focuses on the ways in which students can both be helped and can help themselves by learning more quickly and more effectively.

Since the first edition of this work was published it has been adopted in several thousand schools, in some cases being used within an individual department, sometimes across the whole school.

22 separate methods of learning are detailed in the volume, plus details of 10 teaching methods which can be used to help develop the learning approaches.

There is also a series of active learning assignments and a further 15 sections on memory and how students may enhance their own memory abilities and increase their ability to utilise the knowledge that they have gained.

Results from the use of this approach have shown that once students have been shown how to study and how to ensure that they can remember and use the material they have studied, the motivation gained from the rapid success that results becomes a factor in motivating them to ever further achievements.

The activities developed in this volume can either be set up as separate lessons or can be integrated into the existing timetable.

Raising Grades through Study Skills 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.

Cat No: 978 1 86083 845 3. Order code: T1787emn – please quote with order.

Sample pages can be viewed at

Formats, prices and delivery cost…

  • 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…