How can you ensure that your students are performing at their best on the day of the exam?

One of the biggest arguments against timed linear exams is the requirement for students to demonstrate what they have learnt during two years of study in just a few hours – which is somewhat unjust when we consider that adolescents are prone to having a bad day.

It is for this reason that we have devised Exam Buster – a workshop that is delivered on the morning of the exam(s) which will get your year 10 and 11 students geared up and ready to take on any challenge that they may face in the exam hall.

The workshop is short, sharp and to the point, offering your students advice on how to manage stress in the exam hall and demonstrating good exam practice, such as the importance of reading questions carefully.

One session lasts for 45 minutes and can be delivered to as many as 100 students at a time.

For more information, please do take a look at our website. Alternatively, you can call us on 01536 399010 or email us at

What is the best way to ensure that art and design students present a good case study?

For anyone who has never previously presented a case study or undertaken their own research, the whole notion of what they are being asked to undertake can be completely overwhelming and daunting.

Indeed, if there is one question on their lips at that moment when the issue is first raised, it is most likely to be “What am I supposed to do?”

The problem is, of course, that they find themselves not just coming to terms with the issue of what GCSE art is all about, but simultaneously with the question of what research is and how it can be presented.

A lack of understanding can lead to a lack of confidence in what one is doing, and as a result some students can dither, unable to start for fear of doing the wrong thing or present work that is inappropriate or way below the standard that you know they could achieve.

To help overcome this problem Pam Bradshaw has produced Presenting Research in Art and Design.

It starts by examining what a case study is and how to research, structure and present a comprehensive and successful piece of work.

It goes on to work through four separate examples with workpacks on a painter (Van Gogh), a designer (Vivienne Westwood), an art discipline (African masks) and an art movement (Pop Art).

Each workpack contains sections on contextual studies, objective description and subjective response, with worksheets on the compilation and ordering of information and its presentation.

There is also a section on both solo and group oral presentations – an area which is often a source of extreme anxiety for students. This section includes tips and exercises on research, structuring and the presentation skills required.

Presenting Research: Art and Design GCSE
Publisher’s reference: T1598emn       ISBN: 978 1 86083 637 4
Sample pages can be viewed on


  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £26.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the book…

How can you organise transition days for Y6 pupils and prepare your Y9 pupils with study skills for KS4 at one of the busiest times of year?

At this time of year it is natural to dedicate any spare time to preparing your GCSE students for their upcoming exams. Yet on your list of ‘things to do’ it is likely that you will also have the task of organising Y6 transition days and preparing Y9 pupils with study skills for KS4.

To help you in completing these tasks at one of the busiest times of year, we can visit your school and deliver transition and/or study skills days on your behalf with our popular Double Session STEM Workshops – on which we are offering a 30% discount in April and May.

Our Double Session STEM Workshops last for two hours and will be delivered twice in a day to 30 pupils at a time. You can choose from a range of STEM workshops, including:

Space Pioneers – Cadets must work as a team to cope with high pressure situations – fixing failing electrics to ensure safe touchdown before analysing the alien surface upon which they have landed.

CSI – Blood Pool – With a dead woman found in a pool of blood, forensic scientists must analyse blood types and DNA fingerprints to identify the killer. But one mistake could contaminate the evidence and lead to a miscarriage of justice.

Body in the Box – Partial human remains have been found in a box within a derelict house. Teams must analyse the bones to determine any similarity to profiles of missing persons and conduct DNA tests with suspected relatives in an attempt to identify the body.

Towering Ambition – Rival mechanical engineering firms compete to design and build the most prestigious structures in the world. Limited special materials and tight deadlines mean only the most creative teams with good project management and economic sense will claim glory.

You can find more information about the Double Session Workshops that we host in schools by clicking here. Alternatively, you can call us on 01603 520866 or email us at

Multimedia Workpacks for Design and Technology

The Design & Technology Multimedia Workpacks provide the equivalent of a factory tour and explore different aspects of production from a real world perspective. Each Workpack includes worksheets and a series of short film clips that can be shown to the whole class via a DVD player or viewed by individual pupils across a network. They provide an insight into the issues faced by designers and technologists in real companies.

Worksheets expand on the topics and issues.  These are available as printed sheets for duplicating and also in an electronic version that can be adapted to fit within existing schemes of work. The materials can be used in the classroom but are also appropriate for homework, cover lessons, revision, and to help students who have missed lessons.


Issue 1: Job Production – “Tailor Made”

This workpack looks at handmade products, where the designer and maker are the same person.  Two different businesses, a jewellery maker and a wedding dress designer are profiled to illustrate the process of commissioning by a client, the choice of materials and production method, to the completed product.

Worksheets on: An introduction to job production, Researching your ideas, Design for function, Selecting materials – textiles, Job production – jewellery, Prototyping, Joining materials

Issue 2: Mass Production – “It’s a Plastic World”

Paperfeel designs and manufactures co-extruded polyethylene film to meet the technical, functional, economic and aesthetic requirements of its customers.  These films will typically be used within the packaging industry in the form of sacks, bags, and food wrappings.

Worksheets on: Mass production, Manufacture of polyethylene film, Ensuring quality production, Types and usage of plastics, Materials testing, Selecting materials in packaging

Great value at £42.50 each (plus VAT). P&P is included in the price. If you wish to put the resources on a school-wide network, you will need a site licence for each product priced at £30.50 (plus VAT).

To download brochure, click here

Visit for further information or email

Holdsworth Associates, Century House, Market Street, Swavesey, CB24 4QG 01954 202789

What’s the most effective method to help young children overcome speech problems?

We’d all agree that repetition of key phrases and sounds is crucial and of course if we can encourage parents and carers to continue this practice at home, the results can often be spectacular.

The problem is twofold; first we have to inspire the parents/carers and then we have to make it simple for them. Bearing in mind that most parents/carers have a full day and many of them feel they don’t have extra time to spend doing speech exercises.

But what if we could make it fun and easy? What if it could be done first thing in the morning, at breaktimes, at lunchtime and just before going home.

We believe we have the answer! A collection of songs specifically aimed at young children with speech and language problems. A collection of songs composed by a well known children’s songwriter in association with a team of Speech & Language Therapists. A collecton of songs that won an award as an innovative project.

If you’d like to know more go to:

Where you’ll be able to hear samples and purchase & download this wonderfully effective collection of songs. They can be used on media players and smart phones or you can burn your own CD with the songs in any order you choose.

The collection of songs costs £6.99 and school workshops/teacher training sessions are available for £195 plus travelling expenses. You’re also very welcome to invite Parents/Carers along to the workshops. The more the merrier!

If you have any questions or queries about these Speech Development Songs or Workshops please do call me on 07801 067386. Or  email:

Vo Fletcher

SOFTPLANET LTD – Sibelius Site Licenses

AVID official resellers and agents

Sibelius 8 Multi-Site Licenses at only £19.00 per upgrade!

Add new seats to your Sibelius License – Now discounted to only £69.00 per seat.

Photoscore and Audioscore Bundles Available.

Sibelius 8

Sibelius First

Sibelius First for your pupils only £75.00

FREE Ongoing School Support Through SOFTPLANET and AVID


Purchase orders accepted – 1 month net.

Order by email –

by phone 01334 461244

By post:

SOFTPLANET LTD, Greenbank House, Prior Muir, St Andrews, KY16 8LP

Prices subject to VAT and Delivery.

It’s strange to think of the winter in spring, but action now can cut costs throughout the winter.

All organisations have a duty of care to keep their entrances and exits safe – which for schools means having them well lit for pupils, students, and staff, and for adult education classes coming and going in the evening.

And the thought of additional lighting to meet modern safety requirements might sound like an expensive operation – except for one thing.   For it is now possible to install external lighting that has zero energy costs.

Now to be clear, that is not “next to nothing” (meaning it costs you something but it may not be as much as you are paying now) but is in fact zero.  Not a penny.

This can be achieved by installing solar bollards that are charged by solar energy and which retain their energy especially well by giving off a low level light until someone approaches.  At this point the level of light is increased before dying away once the individual has moved on.

Better still, installation is very easy – there are no trenches to be dug, no cabling needed, and thus no resurfacing after installation.

There are pictures and summary details on our website and there is a complete set of information about installation and technical specifications here.

If you have any questions about the use of zero energy cost solar bollards for walkways, please do call us on 01280 701 093 or email

Michael Barnes