Overcoming the problems that schools typically have with storage space (or lack thereof).

To overcome the numerous and various problems that schools have with storage space (or lack thereof) not only in the school hall but elsewhere in the school, we’ve developed Benchmark.

Benchmark is a table (with built in seats) which can seat up to 20 students and which can, within seconds, be folded up and wheeled away.

Now let’s imagine that you have six of these in your school hall (enough for 120 children)… Amazingly the total amount of space taken up by the tables once packed away is… 1.5m x 2.4m… not much more than a double bed.

Providing schools (in many cases) with 56% more storage space than before which means you can use the space for storing other things, keeping your hall clutter-free.

Furthermore, the amount of setting up and tidying away time is minimal, making the benches ideal for breakfast clubs and afterschool clubs as well as lessons.

Of course, with such an innovative product there are many other interesting features. Around 100 colours are available and colours can be mixed and matched. And the lift-assist spring system makes packing up and opening out the tables the simplest thing you could imagine.

What’s more, there’s no compulsory maintenance contract (you can have one if you want) – there is a 15 year guarantee no matter what.

Here’s a picture of how the tables look when set out for lunch.


To see how they look when packed away click here.

Or for more information please call 01752 306 200 or email ideas@versadesign.co.uk.

See us at Acadamies Show – London Excel next Weds 20

Deciding what to do after 16 is the first big decision most 16 year olds will make, and both they and their parents need information

If the decision as to what a 16 year old does after year 11 is to be successful it must not only involve the student and his/her wishes, but also the student’s parents and the organisation/s that the student will use in the coming year.

Unfortunately there have already been many suggestions to the effect that a considerable number of parents are not particularly well informed on the options available.

Worse, many students seem to be ready to make only short-term decisions which do little to take into account what the student wishes to do in the longer term.

As for the notion of having a back-up plan if the first choice options don’t come to fruition – the number of students and parents who don’t even consider this seems to be frighteningly high.

Of course, in many ways this is all very understandable. For the past 11 years all the student’s educational needs, and most of the decisions that have been made, have been in the hands of the school. Both parents and students have become used to this, but suddenly there are questions to be answered and plans to be made.

Which is why “Making the Next Transition” exists. It is a copiable volume (available both on CD and in printed format) that can be used by both students and parents to help them to make the right decisions for now and to understand the long term implications of those decisions.

It is a publication that is ideal for placing on the school’s learning platform so that parents can access it and take an ever greater role in helping their sons and daughters make a successful transition to the next phase of their lives.

“Making the Next Transition” shows both parent and student what the options are and gives advice and support to the student who is preparing for the next stage in life.

Most importantly it is an activity based volume so that the student actually has to engage with the materials, answer questions, and consider where the issues raised by the book lead, rather than just reading through more text on the topic of “what next?”

In short it helps with decision-making, application forms and interview techniques, all directly in relation to the requirements that the law lays down for what students may do after the end of year 11.

ISBN: 978 1 86083 876 7;  Order code: T1825emn – please quote with order.

Sample pages can be viewed at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/careers/T1825.pdf

  • Photocopiable book, £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the bookr and the CD £26.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…


What is the best way to ensure that your A level English pupils know enough basic grammar to be exam ready?

This handbook covers every aspect of grammar and its application to the analysis of text that is necessary for success in A level Language and combined Language and Literature courses, regardless of exam board.

The book assists grammatical acquisition from word class, to phrase then clause level, finally showing students how to analyse sentences in text. Sentence analysis is a stand alone requirement for students of the new linear OCR A Level Language course from 2015. Each section of this book is accompanied by clear and useful tasks which are designed to allow students to demonstrate their understanding and apply and consolidate  their knowledge.

The final section of the book is devoted to punctuation and terminology used to describe patterning in text, such as syntactical parallelism, tricolon use and antithesis, all of which are High Grade rhetorical features necessary for success at A level. Direct speech punctuation and apostrophe use are also covered in detail with useful examples of how to apply both.

This grammar handbook has often been cited by students as invaluable in assisting their learning, application and revision of grammar for A level Language and Language and Literature and is a resource created, developed and modified through many years of successful teaching.

“An A Level Language and Combined Language and Literature Grammar Booklet” is published as a photocopiable volume or on CD Rom, and individual sections can thus be readily copied and distributed to students as required. The copies can also be shared with colleagues or given to supply teachers, without any fear of the original book being misplaced.

You can see a full list of the topics and some sample pages at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1835.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1835EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 896 5


  • 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… please quote the order ref: T1831EMN

  • By post to First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Way, Corby, NN17 4HH
  • By fax to 01536 399 012
  • By phone with a credit card or school order number to 01536 399011
  • By email to sales@firstandbest.co.uk
  • On line with a credit card at http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk

What is the most effective way of proving to inspectors that your school is reaching out to parents?

One of the things about inspectors is that they like to see proof that the school is doing what it claims to be doing.  Which, when it comes to parental engagement, can be a bit of a problem.

Unless, of course, you have an e-book collection of dual language books with videos which can be used at home by parents and children. You can also prove just how much uptake of the facility there is.

The e-books have audio content in English and the home language and links to pictures so that both children and parents can work together, irrespective of their English language capabilities. There are now over 425 books and 37 languages with English, and the list is growing.

As interactive e-books, which play back on computers, tablets and smartphones, distribution is quick and easy, with minimal administration effort – no problems of sending and managing returns, no problems of damage or loss. The e-books make reaching out to your parents very possible.

You can buy the e-books as collections – the Full collection, the Juniors collections, the Infants collection and the Nursery collection – with prices down to as little as 4p per book per year.

You can also buy the books individually for as little as £3.50 per year.

You can extend learning into the home by buying a licence for the e-book reader so that a parent can access all books in a collection free of charge. A parental licence costs only 50 pence per month and many schools either subsidise this or ask parents to contribute.

To see how these e-books work we have a short video presentation which includes “Billy Goats Gruff” in Polish and English, “Sports Day in the Jungle” in Bengali and English, and “Key Terms in Maths” in Turkish and English.
Please click here to watch the video.

Try for yourself how each book works along with the activities for building vocabulary and testing comprehension. Please take our free Trial Collection which provides a 7 day trial of 35 books in 9 languages with English. Write to brandon@mantralingua.com, quoting FREE Trial in the subject line