Igenso Opus What is the single most effective way of handling an unexpected incident or emergency in the school?

“incident” in the school could be an accident involving a pupil, student or member of staff.   Equally an incident could be the sudden arrival of a parent who is particularly aggravated or abusive and is facing an administrator who is alone in the office.

Or again it might be the arrival of an outsider who it is suspected has no reason for being in the school.  Or it could be a power failure which has taken out the school’s phone system.

In all such events the most important point is communication – immediate communication between the individual handling the incident and a designated member of staff who can then quickly arrange a suitable response to events.

By far the most simple, cost effective way of arranging such cover is a compact two-way radio that provides fast and direct communication across a campus.

This ensures that staff and teams remain co-ordinated and informed at all times.

There are also of course more complex systems available – and it is obviously important to select the right system for your school.  But the key point is to have a facility that allows someone in the school (for example the administrator) to have the ability to summon help at the press of a button if there should be a sudden problem.

There is information about the various systems that we offer on our web site and if you would like to discuss your school’s requirements in detail, please do call us for free on 0800 084 27 99.

Alternatively you can email sales@nrsupplies.co.uk and we’ll get straight back to you.


A classic film that does not date at all.



10 Minutes

Cartoon about personal hygiene aimed at teenagers.

An animated cartoon in which two teenagers, Buster and Isla discover that life is sweeter if ‘all of their bits are nice’ – and that includes the bits you can’t see! The need to keep hands, hair, teeth, feet, body and clothes clean is presented in a lively way calculated to appeal to teenagers and adults alike.

A review in International Movie DataBase

Wow, I can’t believe this was made in 1982! I honestly thought it was a late sixties-early seventies production, with the stark animation, the white, minimalist backgrounds and the cynical style – it reminded me of Disney’s iconoclastic (for the Disney studio, at least) ‘It’s Tough To Be A Bird’ (I think that was the title) short. Hosted by one Mike Roscope (groan), this educational cartoon preached the importance of good grooming, regular baths, brushing your teeth, changing your clothes and generally being a ‘clean teen’, and the schools I attended from age nine upwards showed it so often, I can still rattle off huge chunks of it to this day.

Roscope telling us “There ain’t nobody that don’t sweat”…”Dirty clothes on a clean Ida don’t make sense”…and that hilarious melancholy ‘WHAAAOWWW’ synthesizer sound that kicked in whenever the boy told the girl (or vice-versa) that “Some of your bits ain’t nice”! A cult classic in the making, I can’t believe there isn’t an internet site devoted to this little beauty. There can’t be a single British schoolkid of my age group (born 1974) who doesn’t remember it.

£32.60 plus postage

You can easily order by going to our website www.concordmedia.org.uk/products/some-of-your-bits-aint-nice-1128/ or you can order by e-mailing us at sales@concordmedia.org.uk Please put ref HH1 in your order.

Are the days of the printed book numbered, or are eBooks a flash in the pan?

As you can imagine, many of the customers of Admiral have printed books.  And when they come to move house, they often have more books than space.  So sometimes they are faced with having to store books with Admiral for a while, or simply give them away to the local charity shop.

Now I must admit that for some time I’ve been thinking that this is the sort of situation which over time will come to an end what with people using Kindle, Kobo and other eBook readers.  It seems eBooks make up a fair old slice of book purchases in the UK.  Maybe a half of the fiction purchased, although a much smaller percentage of the non-fiction.

But now stories have started to emerge about how the book stores have stopped selling eBook readers, and indeed stopped dealing in eBooks too.

It turns out it all started to go wrong for eBooks a couple of years back when the first serious studies were undertaken which showed that readers who used a Kindle were significantly less able to remember what they had read, than people who read regular printed books.

The survey, which took place right across Europe showed that book readers were far better at recalling the events that were recounted in printed books than those who read the book in a digital version – irrespective of the type of book they were reading.  In fact, the finding was replicated both with fiction (such as detective stories) and non-fiction.

Readers who read on paper report more empathy and immersion in the book.  It seems they are more distanced from whatever they are reading if they read a digital book.

The technical explanation of this is that the tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for the mind processing what is read as a printed book generally does.  The research also seems to suggest that the movement of turning the pages somehow helps us see the story or explanation develop (both in fiction and non-fiction).

These research findings have been replicated in various studies.  One study gave all the participants a novel to read.  Another in Norway gave year 10 students books to read in print or on the screen.   The results were always the same.

Another finding that has also emerged is that the amount of time spent reading long-form texts is declining, while reading is becoming more intermittent and fragmented.

Of course the manufacturers of eBook readers are not too happy and I am told they have been doing more and more research on this issue, but the results still keep coming in against them.

Indeed, even when they turn their research on the digital generation it seems they are finding that younger people are now changing their attitudes and have started to believe (in ever larger numbers) that that there is useful information that’s only available offline.

Students (whom we might assume are all too happy to read online all day and night) are much, much more likely to buy printed volumes for their studies by a ratio of about 9 to 1.

Indeed, students tend to opt for physical copies of books, even when digital versions are available for free.   This is particularly emphasised for humanities studies.  Science and maths students have a different view, but this could in part be due to the fact that increasingly research papers are being issued only online.

Yet another study showed that teenagers prefer printed books for personal use, too and have re-learned the old tradition of browsing in bookshops and libraries – indeed they rate these activities above hearing about a book on a social network.

And not surprisingly we come back to the issue raised earlier about connecting with what they read.   Students don’t connect emotionally nearly so much with on-screen texts as they do with printed books.

Meanwhile teachers who value the printed word are rejoicing in the fact that teenagers comprehend less of the information presented in digital books.

Parents are also still buying printed books to read with their children as it makes the story telling a shared activity.

And just to put the boot in further, it seems that eBooks can negatively impact your sleep – according to a study at Harvard University.

Last of all, there is that great excuse of those who can’t focus on one thing at a time (“I can multi-task”).  People who read digital books invariably find themselves engaged in far more multi-tasking than those who read printed text – often engaging in three times as much multi-tasking.

The problem with that is that although many people believe they can multitask quite happily, what all the scientific surveys show is that multi-tasking is a myth.  All one does is complete two tasks half as well as when working on a single task.

Of course that scientific finding which has been replicated over and over doesn’t stop people believing in multi-tasking – nothing is going to do that – but it helps explain why whatever one reads on an eBook sinks in far less.

Thus I set my worries aside.  The Admiral storage facilities which hold books will be holding books for some time to come.

You can find more information about our facilities on our website at www.admiralstorage.co.uk. Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 7839 516.

Admiral Self Storage Ltd
Bloxwich Lane
Tel: 0800 810 1125

Email: info@admiralstorage.co.uk 


Dans Ma Chambre

Are you tired of creating your own PowerPoint presentations, only to find that you are forced to use uninspiring cartoons or internet images to convey your messages?  These images are often just not quite right.  Well, no more!  Our presentations use authentic resources in their proper French context.  These particular resources should be used initially with 11-12 year olds during their first year of learning French but then can subsequently be used as a revision tool for older students if necessary.

The presentation should be used to teach learners to describe their bedroom and also to use various (5) prepositions to say where items are in relation to other furniture.  These materials are to be used within the context of learning about the house/home in French.

The resources are multi-faceted in that they are used interactively from the beginning of the PowerPoint presentation to teach the required vocabulary to the class in a fun way.  Students work in pairs, individually and as a whole class throughout the lesson using visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities to engage and motivate them.  The pace can be fast or slowed down as necessary for the students to assimilate the required lexis and can be used equally well with SEN learners.

They will enjoy the variety of activities, the competition, 2 written exercises and use the 4 skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing in this lesson.  These resources have been developed by an experienced language teacher, used with a class and have consequently been proven to be effective, fun and engaging.

Dans Ma Chambre  26 Powerpoint/slides plus 4 word documents, 2 worksheets and 2 answer sheets.  £ 24.99 (including VAT £29.99  )  Order Code : H9232

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 H9232.

You can order the Dans Ma Chambre in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone or fax on 0117 940 6409
  • By email (quoting a school order number) to info@classroom-resources.co.uk
  • By post to: Classroom Resources, 9 Logan Road, Bristol, BS7 8DU

Exceptional School Supplies


The Buying Agency

The Buying Agency offers a new, unique service by comparing the markets’ suppliers for the products you require. How do you know you are getting the best price from the best supplier? You don’t, until you have used The Buying Agency to Compare the Market and the service is Free to use! Don’t buy at catalogue prices, we know suppliers can always do better. We Compare, You Save. Send us your enquiry today.

Contact: John Moulton
Email: john@thebuyingagency.org
Telephone: 01803 607440


School Bottle

School Sport Bottles – NDA Packaging Services are an established, leading UK schools and business water bottle supplier.

Email: sales@ndaps.com
01792 863331
Postal address:
NDA (Packaging Services) Ltd, PO Box 516, Swansea, SA8 3YN, UK.


First and Best in Education

Aprons – cream aprons with pockets, cream aprons without pockets, navy aprons with pockets, navy aprons without pockets.

Email: sales@firstandbest.co.uk
01536 399007
Postal address:
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Rd, Corby, Northants, NN17 4HH


Signpost Educational Ltd

Dictionaries, Thesauri & the Essential Students’ Companion – Collins English dictionaries, the “Essential Students’ Companion”, Word Power dictionaries, Word Power thesauri, Word Power Pocket English dictionaries, School English dictionaries.

Calculators – basic calculators, Casio scientific calculators, LK 183 scientific calculators, Sharp scientific calculators, Texet scientific calculators and Aurora scientific calculators.

Calculator Storage Boxes – Gratnell’s storage boxes (with transparent clip-on lids and foam inserts for 30 basic or scientific calculators) are a convenient way of storing your classroom calcs.  The slots in the foam mean that you can see at a glance if any calcs are missing as well as providing protection for your calcs.

Geometry Sets – consists of a metal compass with 1/2 pencil, ballpen (black ink), 45 and 60 degree set squares, 180 degree protractor, 15 cm ruler, pencil sharpener, eraser, packed in a robust tin box.

Student Packs for Lessons and Exams – designed to provide your students with the equipment they need for most of their lessons and exams. Consists of a clear plastic, “exam friendly” zip up wallet containing: Three quality ballpens (black ink), two HB pencils, 15 cm ruler, metal sharpener, eraser.

Telephone: 020-7515-1797
Postal address:


You can find more Exceptional Teaching resources at exceptionalteaching.org.uk

Exceptional Art Teaching Resources


First and Best in Education

Aprons – cream aprons with pockets, cream aprons without pockets, navy aprons with pockets, navy aprons without pockets.

Art Aid for Key Stage 3 – comprises a set of project sheets which have been especially developed for KS3 level by practising Art teachers. The approach involves encouraging students to be more independent in their research by giving them the opportunity to choose, select and make decisions as they become independent enquirers and learners.

Art and Design at Key Stage Three – this book will provide your students with support, advice and information about Art and Design at Key Stage 3. It will provide them with invaluable guidance on skills, methods and materials and will show them how to do well in the subject at this level.

Arty Tasks – incorporates step by step instructions for 35 separate projects each of which requires pupils to produce a piece of artwork based on the work of a selection of artists as diverse as Georgia 0’Keeffe and Joseph Cornell.

Teaching Art to KS3/KS4 – Teaching Art to KS3 / KS4 is a highly illustrated book of lesson ideas. The bulk of the book covers a series of 10 skill based lessons for KS3 & 4, a series of projects involving working with industry and reports on making links with art schools.

Cross Curricular Art – contains over 40 project sheets and links art to seven different subject areas.  Within the Art, RE and Citizenship section, for example, there are projects which encourage pupils to consider what makes a good citizen, faiths and communities, the architecture of Gaudi and other design ideas.

Presenting Research in Art and Design – This book is an effective and invaluable guide to putting together a case study, something which can often present difficulty to students due to lack of confidence and lack of the necessary skills for the successful completion of work.

Email: sales@firstandbest.co.uk
01536 399007
Postal address:
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Rd, Corby, Northants, NN17 4HH



Search Taster Day Events – helps Art teachers discover an array of events to book their students on to, such as university and college taster days, workshops, residentials, open days, outreach events and widening participation opportunities.

Email: info@unitasterdays.com
+44(0)208 798 0982


ZigZag Education

Art Teaching Resources – Art teaching resources for KS3.

Email: sales@ZigZagEducation.com
0117 950 3199
Postal address:
ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol, BS10 5PY


You can find more Exceptional Teaching resources at exceptionalteaching.org.uk

It’s simple, it’s low cost and it’s an effective solution to the problem of students turning up for lessons or exams without pens, rulers, pencils etc.

The “Student Essentials set” contains all your students need for most lessons and exams.

Three quality black ink pens, two full length HB pencils, metal sharpener, 15cm rule and an eraser, all contained in a clear “exam friendly”  PVC wallet with a zip slider.

From just  75p each, (ex vat) the “Student Essentials set”  is an economical and effective way of ensuring that students don’t miss out because they’ve forgotten to bring the right kit to lessons or exams.

Details at: www.signposteducational.co.uk/student-packs/

If you need more information please email: info@signposteducational.co.uk or phone 020 7515 1797 and ask to speak to Martin Evans who will be pleased to assist.

PS.  Orders can be made via email, phone, fax (020 7515 4420) or post.

How can schools create a manageable computing journey at Key Stage 2 when there are so many free tools to use?

In the run up to the launch of the new computing curriculum, as well as after it was phased in, there was a collective intake of breath from teachers up and down the country as they absorbed what it all meant.

For many teachers the notion of writing and debugging programs or explaining simple algorithms was well beyond their every-day experience and certainly not in their training.

Fortunately at the time there was already a string of free web based tools out there to use and a couple of these have proved really successful like Scratch from MIT & Daisy the Dinosaur.

Thankfully, it also seems sometimes that many children tend to be a little more fearless with technology – a strength when it comes to Computing!

With all the free tools that some school enthusiasts started to champion it soon became apparent that while they were free there was little if any support or influence on how products developed – how could there be if the tool was free?

The result for some schools has been a bird’s nest of logins for different tools, varying user interfaces, unreliable work saving and patchy levels of school service. Factors like these undermine teacher confidence who just want it to work. Schools love saving money but when the cost is not having a reliable learning environment then its surely too high.

The mission at Blippit has been to get key elements of the computing curriculum under one roof and to help develop curious learners through authentic learning – even to the point of publishing apps (with the teacher’s approval) on our free app store, Planet Blippit.

Blippit IO, through its powerfully simple tools, opens the door to computational thinking, logical reasoning and unexpectedly – writing.  You can use our templates or just create your own.

To try Blippit IO for your school just visit us here and if you decide that Blippit IO would serve your schools needs you can upgrade here.

If you have any questions or queries about Blippit IO please do call 01772 657 100 or email support@blippit.co.uk  John Bidder

What exactly are ethics, and how to do they change?

From Utilitarianism to Deontological Ethics, from Virtue Ethics to Free will and Determinism there are a lot of ethical systems around.

And that is before we get to environmental ethics, medical ethics (including abortion, euthanasia and embryo research) and business ethics.

So what are they all, and how exactly they relate to religious ethics?

That is the question that “Religious Ethics” by Francis Beswick examines, considering ethical thinking in relation to various religious traditions, while considering how religious and secular ethics differ from each other.

The book commences with the phrase “I ought to …” and notes that from this kind of statement ethics, whether it be secular or religious ethics, begins.

Throughout the book the student is aided by a large number of questions presented for consideration which take the student back to the various topics that have been covered in order to ensure that each different ethical system and viewpoint is understood.

Religious Ethics is available as a copiable spiral bound book or on CD Rom. The book comes with an unlimited photocopiable licence for the school, and costs £21.99 plus £3.95 delivery for either the book or CD. If you wish to buy both together the price is £28.98 plus £3.95 delivery.

You can order in four different ways. In each case please quote our reference T1697emn. Sample pages and a contents list can be viewed prior to ordering on http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/re/T1697.pdf

GCSE Revision Guide for AQA Unit 2: Human Geography

This 39 page set of revision notes for GCSE Geography, Unit 2, Human Geography (written specifically for AQA A but suitable for all students studying the topics) is another good value for money download from Natalie Adams.

The 39 pages of notes come with colour illustrations that bring the “human geography” to life at each stage of the student’s revision.

The revision notes cover the following topics:

  • Population Change
  • Development Gap
  • Tourism

Throughout there are summary points such as “what you need to know” and “key terms” so that students can see at once the key points of their study, and ensure that they have the basics before moving on to more complex issues. In addition each topic contains common exams questions taken from previous past exam series.

There are sample pages at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/authordownloadsamples/T1829samples.pdf

GCSE Revision Guide for AQA Unit 2: Human Geography is published as a download so that you can receive immediately a copy onto your computer which you can print out for colleagues as often as you want.  You can also put it on your school learning platform so all staff can access the document – and indeed you can make it part of the induction documentation for new members of staff.

You can obtain GCSE Revision Guide for AQA Unit 2: Human Geography by going to http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=30&products_id=796 Other downloadable resources by the same author can be seen at http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk/index.php?cPath=76_112

The price is £10 plus VAT (the VAT can be reclaimed in most cases by the school).

GCSE Revision Guide for AQA Unit 2: Human Geography is published by First and Best in Education, part of the Hamilton House group.  If you have any enquiries you can call 01536 399 011, or email sales@firstandbest.co.uk or write to us at First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Rd., Corby, Northants NN17 4HH.

The full range of First and Best books can be seen at www.shop.firstandbest.co.uk

What is the most effective way of helping all students become effective writers?

One of the most curious things about learning to write in one’s native tongue is that at the same time as learning to use the language one is actually using the language.

Which is why the learning tends to be twofold. On the one hand one learns the rules and logic of the language in a systematic way, but on the other hand issues suddenly arise that show that further explanation is needed.

For example, we might take the old favourite of homographs and homophones. They can cause endless confusion, so what should one do?

The answer, of course, is to have a lesson or a part of the lesson on this particular topic – quite possibly throwing in some homograph and homophone puns along the way just to make it more lighthearted.

The same is true with every other part of the language. From the indicative, imperative, and subjunctive mood to the use of a comma with adverbials of frequency.

This is what the 200 page copiable volume “Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stages 3 and 4″ covers. Over 170 different items and topics, each dealt with, along with examples.  It offers teachers invaluable assistance in familiarising their pupils with those grammatical and punctuation principles relevant to Key Stages 3 and 4 and rooted in national literacy strategies.

In this way Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stages 3 and 4 performs a dual function: it is both a grammar book and an editing handbook, utilising authentic examples collected from a variety of written sources.

It pays particular attention to those areas with which authors of all ages tend to have difficulties and offers an abundance of examples of current usage highlighting these areas.

Such examples are then followed by suggested improvements and by explanations justifying those improvements. Finally the relevant principles are practised through activities designed for pupils.

Anna Nolan, the author of Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stages 3 and 4, has spent many years running public examinations, developing national qualification, carrying out linguistic research and writing books on English grammar, punctuation and usage.

This copiable book is available both in spiral bound printed form and on CD.  It is a revised and updated second edition of the book Grammar and Punctuation at Key Stage 3.

There is a sample chapter available on-line at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1844.pdf

Cat No: 978 1 86083 867 5;  Publisher reference no: T1844emn


  • 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 book…

Make 2017 SATs even better

Now that the SATs are completed for this year, prepare to do even better in 2017. Implementing the Turnabout Programme is the fastest way to improve results in the primary school.

Turnabout is for the ‘hard to move’ pupils and those with dyslexic characteristics. It requires just one hour a week for 12 weeks and is usually delivered by support staff. This is a practical programme to improve memory and concentration and as a result, progress in literacy and numeracy is greatly accelerated. Expect at least a one year advance in this short time, some pupils make much more.

Our user schools can explain how it operates better than us.

“We have been using Turnabout for about 3 years now.

It is scripted and formulaic, so whoever you deploy to deliver it needs to use very little initiative.

The children LOVE it, and the staff delivering it love the progress, teachers love impact they see in the classroom, and I love it because it is an intervention with measurable results. (NB Pupil Premium).

Although developed for dyslexic children, we use Turnabout with anyone who is falling behind at all, in any subject. We use it from Y2 –Y6. We use it for vulnerable children who benefit from the confidence they gain. Children have 3 X 20 minute sessions per week. We are putting 10-15 children through each term, depending on need.

The results were fab. We didn’t pre/post-test for the first round, and couldn’t believe what we could see, so we now use the Sandwell maths test and the Salford reading tests to measure impact.

We are seeing an average of 14 months’ progress for a 3 month intervention. We regularly see pupils make 20+ months progress in the 3 month intervention. We have some children who make less than that, but these are usually the older children, and the Salford test stops at 11yrs Reading Age.” HEAD TEACHER

To discuss how Turnabout can help your school contact response@turnabout.education

Or view http://turnabout.webplus.net

Get out and about with John Lewis and the big butterfly count


I’d like to invite you to take part in the world’s biggest citizen science project – the big butterfly count 2016, which will take place between 15th July – 7th August.

Whilst the counting period falls over the summer holidays, we’ve created four activities that will help pupils to learn about eco-systems, sustainability, life-cycles, conservation and why the big butterfly count is so crucial.

This summer term, your class could:

Why butterflies? And why should you take part?
Butterflies react very quickly to change in their environment which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators. Butterfly declines are an early warning for other wildlife losses. That’s why counting butterflies can be described as taking the pulse of nature – and we need your help to ensure the big butterfly count covers as much of the UK as possible. Click here to find out how to get involved.

We hope you enjoy using these activities, and please forward to colleagues who may find them useful too.

Kind regards,

Shanthini Carrick
Manager, Sustainable CommunitiesThe big butterfly count is a survey run by the Butterfly Conservation. John Lewis is proud to support it this year. 


SEN Press’s first ever giveaway – receive your two free books in return for…

SEN Press are giving away two free books to all schools/teachers who ‘like’ our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/senpress1/ – and ‘share’ the post which is pinned to the top of our Facebook Page.

Once you have done this, simply email jenny@hamilton-house.com with your Facebook name (so we can confirm), and your contact details (your name and the school’s postal address) so that SEN Press can send your two free books on their way to you.

The first book is Travelling by Yourself from our Everyday Challenges Series, and the second book is Scared of Bullies from our Scary Things Series.

If you would like to know more about our teaching resources or place an order with us, please visit www.senpress.co.uk, call 01582 833205.or email info@senpress.co.uk.

What is the best way to help Down’s Syndrome and Autistic children understand and handle relationships?

If you were asked to name half a dozen aspects of life that were difficult for teenagers you would surely put relationships high up on that list.  And this is undoubtedly doubly the case for students with Down’s Syndrome and autism.

Which is perhaps why the relationships series of booklets for students and the associated interactive resources for classroom use from SEN Press are always extremely popular.

We have produced six highly illustrated booklets which deal with different aspects of relationships, including everything from mum’s new boyfriend, to seeing a date from both sides; from sisters at war to staying out late.

These are in fact just part of the Relationships Activity Pack from SEN Press, which include interactive activities to use with whiteboards and classroom PCs, editable electronic versions of all six books, copiable resources for homework and classwork, teaching notes, and so on.

With such a wide range of resources it is of course possible to pick and choose the resources that are best suited for the young people you teach, and to guide them through this most difficult of areas.

You can find more information about all of the materials from SEN Press relating to relationships on our Relationships web page

Relationships is of course just one of the topics we cover and you will find details of all the other subject areas for Down’s and Autistic teenagers linked from that page.

Alternatively, if you have any questions about our work or you are looking for ways to teach specific issues please do email me at info@senpress.co.uk or call 01582 833205.

Janie Nicholas

Why and how to organise a trip to the theatre between now and the end of term for your autistic students


It came to our attention that many autistic students have never been to the theatre due to the sensory overload that it can cause and difficulties with leaving and re-entering an auditorium mid-performance (to name just a couple of reasons).

Yet, the educational benefits of watching a stage production at the theatre are tremendous, more so for students with autism.

Thus, we are inviting people who may benefit from a more relaxed environment, including people with autism, sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability to our Relaxed Performance of The Railway Children at King’s Cross Theatre in London at 2.30PM on Wednesday 22 June 2016.

Our Relaxed Performance of The Railway Children has been adapted especially for autistic children with invaluable guidance and support from the National Autistic Society.

Adaptations include adjustments to the production’s sound and lighting levels, and if a student needs to leave and re-enter the auditorium, they can do so with ease. We have also devised a chill-out area in the foyer which your students can use as and when they need.

Furthermore, ‘Visual Stories’ (detailed information and photos) of both the theatre and the show will be sent to you in advance, and members of the National Autistic Society will be on-hand to help out on the day.

You can find more information about the Olivier Award-winning production of Mike Kenny’s stage adaptation of E. Nesbit’s novel, The Railway Children, at www.railwaychildrenlondon.com/ticket-info/access or by calling 0844 815 7121 (calls cost 7p/min).

The relaxed performance is open for general sale as usual and there are no restrictions other than the usual age related ones (children under 2 will not be admitted, children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult). There are access rates of either £24.75 or £12.50 (with the usual complimentary companion seats).

Equip students for the 21st century workplace with new teaching resources


Dear teacher

The Government is placing increasing emphasis on the importance of developing students’ resilience, grit and character1. Skills which employers are actively looking for in new recruits.

To support you, we’ve developed a suite of new resources to help you deliver these 21st century skills in your teaching and get your students ready for the future workplace.

Remember that the LifeSkills employability programme is suitable for 11-24 year olds and is completely free for you to use, with all resources curriculum-linked to help you embed employability easily into your lessons.

By signing up to LifeSkills you’ll be able to download our 21st century skills lesson plan packed full of activities and worksheets.

And watch this space for two additional new resources coming soon:


Discover the trends and skills that could shape your students’ future
Explore jobs of the future in emerging labour markets

The recent launch of the BBC micro:bit also provides a great opportunity to get your students excited about making and undertaking hands-on projects which help them develop 21st century skills like problem solving, creative thinking and communication. Check out our introduction to the micro:bit here. For access to all this and more curriculum-linked resources, all you have to do is sign up. We’re looking forward to welcoming you to LifeSkills*.

Sign up now

Yours sincerely,

Kirstie Mackey

Kirstie Mackey
Director of LifeSkills

Exceptional Languages Teaching Resources

Exceptional Banner - Bigger

Lighthouse Professional Development

There is still time to secure one of the remaining places on our “Memory Activities for the MFL Classroom” course taking place in London.

We also are running practical CPD on “How to make MFL accessible to pupils with SEN”, “Developing Speaking Skills in MFL”, “Using Grammar to Empower Learners in MFL, Practical Strategies for Success” and “Expert in a Day: ipad/tablets in the MFL Classroom”

Lighthouse are running training on becoming a successful Head of Department and Deputy/Assistant Head, as well as “Practical Counselling Skills for Teachers and Support Staff”.

You can find more course information, including dates, times and locations, at http://www.lighthouse.tv/cpd-courses/modern-foreign-languages

Email: info@lighthouse.tv
0800 587 8880
Postal address:
Lighthouse Courses Ltd, Suite 3, 163 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1EJ


Carel Press

Succeed in English: EAL Posters – a vital visual support for English as an Additional Language to help students remember.



Interactive MFL Software – 13 titles packed with hundreds of stunning curriculum 3D animations describing difficult to understand concepts for MFL. There are texts, voice-overs, quiz zones, drag and drops, multiple choice quizzes and more. Request your 14-day free trial of MFL Educational Software Solution.


First and Best in Education

Deutscher Wiederholungskurs – provides material for revision for the GCSE speaking and writing tests and helps to bridge the gap between GCSE and ‘A’ level. The course presumes the knowledge of grammar and vocabulary that a proprietary course will have covered.

How to get A* in French? – analyses the writing and the speaking criteria of various exam boards and presents a simple and clear summary of these criteria written in a student friendly language.

How to get A* in Spanish? – analyses the writing and the speaking criteria of various exam boards and presents a simple and clear summary of these criteria written in a student friendly language.

How to get top marks in your French speaking & listening exams –  deals with knowledge, confidence and the application of knowledge in relation to Foundation and Higher Tiers GCSE and Core and Extended IGCSE French.

Learning Spanish – a 143 page, copiable manual for secondary school students of Spanish at beginner to intermediate level.

Perfect the Past Tense for GCSE French – a resource which will give your students structured practice in a complex grammatical area which is vital to their success at GCSE.

Email: sales@firstandbest.co.uk
01536 399007
Postal address:
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Rd, Corby, Northants, NN17 4HH


Signpost Educational Ltd

Student Packs for Lessons and Exams – Handy for your students and especially useful for exams. Consists of a clear plastic, “exam friendly” zip up wallet containing:  Three quality ballpens  (black ink), two HB pencils, 15 cm ruler, metal sharpener, eraser. approx, size:  224 x 157 mm.

Telephone: 020-7515-1797
Postal address:



Search Taster Day Events – helps Languages teachers to discover an array of events to book students on to, such as university and college taster days, workshops, residentials, open days, outreach events and widening participation opportunities.

Email: info@unitasterdays.com
+44(0)208 798 0982


ZigZag Education

Languages Teaching Resources – from verbs and vocabulary to exam practice and essay support, you’ll have your students speaking, listening, reading and writing like natives before you can say un, deux, trois!

Email: sales@ZigZagEducation.com
0117 950 3199
Postal address:
ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol, BS10 5PY


You can find more Exceptional Teaching resources at exceptionalteaching.org.uk.

Free population super quiz from Doddle

Try a free population super quiz with your class today.

This quiz will test your students’ understanding of the factors which influence a country’s population including birth and death rates and economic development.

It also challenges them to use the population pyramids, graphs, maps and even equations which are crucial to understanding global and national populations.

Try it free on our Doddle Geography page!

Would you like to be able to set this presentation as home revision for your students?
Doddle resources can be used outside the classroom! With Doddle you can assign your students presentations, activities, and self marking quizzes to do in their own time.

For a free and flexible tour of all the Doddle features, book a free in-school visit with one of our Educational Consultants.


Provide extended STEM activities for your Gifted, Able, Talented, and Enthusiastic students this summer

Some Heads of Science are able to provide provisions for their Gifted, Able, Talented, and Enthusiastic students, even when the core curriculum governs lesson time, by organising events outside school for students to take part in to enhance their knowledge of science.

Which is why we will be helping schools to run STEM activity days over the summer period.

Our STEM Summer Schools will give your Gifted, Able, Talented, and Enthusiastic students (across the year groups) the opportunity to participate in STEM-themed activities that simply cannot be delivered during the normal school day or curriculum.

If your school can provide the facilities for three to five days during the summer we will deliver an well-planned event and all the equipment required.

There will be a choice of two STEM Summer School Programmes:

Dead on Time – an activity in which students learn to use real-life forensic techniques such as DNA extraction, DNA electrophoresis, and DNA analysis to solve a mysterious death.

Target Mars – an activity in which students learn about Semi-Conductor Electronics, Robotic Construction, and Programming to build prototype vehicles, analyse Mars soil, and learn life-saving techniques needed to be able to colonise Mars.

Furthermore, our STEM Summer School can be delivered ‘cost-free’ to the school where parent contributions or pupil premium funds are used. A grant may also be available in your area.

For more information about our STEM Summer School Programmes, please visit: www.thinkersineducation.co.uk/stem-summer-schools/

Alternatively, please do call us on 01603 520866 or email us at events@thinkersineducation.co.uk.

Maths, Physics and Medicine Summer Schools – Last Few Places Available

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools, now in their twelfth year, offer students 11-18 the opportunity to find out more about some fascinating subjects, prepare for university applications, meet like-minded peers and get to grips with some tough intellectual challenges.

The material will be challenging (for our older age-group, about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university), but a relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of discussion, debate, and opportunities for students to shape the direction of classes creates the perfect environment for getting to grips with new ideas. Working in small groups (usually around 14 students per group) over several days means a real chance to get to know tutors and fellow students and to explore the topics or questions that particularly interest each individual.

Highlights of Summer 2016 for students interested in science:

The five-day Maths and Physics Summer Schools for students aged 15-18 who will have completed AS Level Maths by the summer. These courses offer a chance to explore some challenging undergraduate level material together with our friendly and knowledgeable tutors. Topics are selected to engage and inspire bright students keen to push themselves beyond the school curriculum.

The Medicine Summer School for students aged 15-18. A fun and interactive introduction to the world of medicine, allowing students to learn the theory and also to begin to develop the practical skills involved in being a doctor. This course is split into several separate two-day parts, each of which covers one or more particular areas of medical specialism. Students may attend the full course, or select whichever sections best match their interests.

The Dentistry Summer School for students aged 15-18. A two-day introduction to medical and cosmetic dentistry, including seminars on patient interaction, diagnosis of dental problems, orthodontics and maxillofacial surgery.

The Young Doctors Summer School for students aged 11-14. An introduction to the world of medicine for younger students. Each part of the Summer School is structured so that more academic sessions are interspersed with fun and enjoyable exercises which are designed to test and apply the theoretical knowledge gained. Students will take part in practical activities, like learning how to suture a wound, and in role-play and case study scenarios where they take the role of practitioners and consultants – diagnosing and recommending treatment options. There will also be experiments, group work and quizzes on each day

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2016. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at http://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/. There is a limited amount of bursary funding available for students who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see our website for details.

To book a place please visit www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/, call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Activity Days on a budget

!cid_238612b9b25283670c81fd2bedc795d2     We come to you – no expensive transport costs

  • All equipment provided – Purpose built, user friendly equipment
  • Set up on your school grounds, indoor or outdoor, large or small spaces – Fields, playgrounds, hard court areas and even sports halls, gyms and classroom can all be utilised
  • New activities and sessions every year – Team Building, Bushcraft, Archery, Orienteering and Assault Course are just some of the activities on offer
  • Mixed sessions and multiple day programmes available – A combination of activities can be done on the same day or over several days
  • Stress free booking process – Our qualified instructors run the day from start to finish
  • Educational & Fun – Each day links into different aspects of the national curriculum
  • Personalised programme – We plan the day around your school timetable and incorporate any specific school values or aims
  • All group sizes catered for – From 5 students to over 500
  • !cid_16a5a939eb32d5c5f61289683999043e

    Ideal for:

  • Primary to secondary transition
  • Reward days
  • Enrichment days
  • Collapsed time table days
  • Teacher Inset
From £5.50 Per Person
Contact details:

01892 784842!cid_1d8dc15f18ab7e91c73aa5140d32e469

PE to the ready! (and yes, every step really does count).

With the end of term weeks away, I’d like to share with you today a great idea to give your pupils extra motivation as they run, swim, bat and field. After all, you work hard every day making the benefits of sport available to all your pupils. And our passion is helping injured and disabled people to walk again, very often using sports as a rehabilitation tool.

So here comes your Every Step Counts challenge, which will change the lives of people like 8-year-old amputee Nirmala! It could be a ‘race for rehab’ on sports day, an Every Run Counts cricket match, a sponsored walk or ‘stepathon’.

And until 18th July, all the money raised by your school will be doubled by the UK government. So there’s never been a better time to get involved – request your Every Step Counts pack today at www.handicap-international.org.uk/pack

Our Every Step Counts campaign is raising essential funds to provide life-changing rehabilitation to disabled people around the world. With every donation doubled, the money you raise will go that much further, helping twice as many injured and disabled people.

Please order your pack today online at www.handicap-international.org.uk/pack, by calling me on 0870 774 3737 or emailing john.mcgeachy@hi-uk.org.

By organising an event your school will play an amazing role in this special campaign. Every step your students take, and every pound you raise, counts!

Best wishes,

John McGeachy

Supporter Engagement Officer
Handicap International UK

P.S. To see who your support could help, why not read Nirmala’s story, who lost a leg in the Nepal earthquake last year. Nirmala has bravely taken her first steps with her prosthetic leg – will you please take your first step with us today?

Co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Handicap International is an independent charity working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work tirelessly alongside disabled and vulnerable people to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights. It is a UK registered charity (no. 1082565). www.everystepcounts.org.uk

Survey results ahead of LOtC Week (27 June – 1 July 2016)

What percentage of teachers have been engaged in at least one LOtC project during the past year? What is the most popular type of LOtC? What do teachers aim to achieve through offering LOtC? What factors limit the amount of LOtC that teachers can offer?

These are just a few of the questions that we, as sponsors of LOtC Week 2016, asked primary and secondary school teachers across the UK in a recent survey. And now we have the answers.

You can find the full Learning Outside the Classroom report which contains analyses of the survey results at www.learningoutside.info/index.php/lotc-survey-results.

However, in this email I would like to give particular focus to the question ‘What factors limit the amount of LOtC that teachers can offer?’. Clearly if we can offer a solution, more students and pupils will be able to reap the various and numerous benefits that LOtC offers.

In the survey both primary and secondary school teachers stated that transport was the main issue (50% secondary, 34% primary). Or more specifically, the cost of transport.

So how can this be overcome?

You might want to get your school involved with LOtC Week which is running from the 27 June to the 1 July 2016 as in doing so you will be privy to a wealth of information about how to overcome this issue, including transport costs, restrictions, legalities and regulations.

This information has been supplied by Benchmark Leasing – a company which specialises in the leasing of school minibuses and without whom, LOtC Week and the research conducted ahead of the Week’s launch would not be possible.

I do hope you will take a look at the LOtC Week website (www.learningoutside.info) and take advantage of all it has to offer.

And, if your school is looking to acquire a minibus, you can find more information about our school minibus leasing packages by visiting our website. Or, if you’d prefer, you can call us on 01753 859944 or email us at minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk.

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street



Tel: 01753 859944

Why I chose Doddle Progress: The experience and impact at Firth Park Academy

Last year we used Doddle to launch a weekly homework system across all year groups for all teachers. The change was a huge success; staff were really glad to have the extra time using Doddle created, mitigating their need to mark regular homework. It also gave year 11 teachers a great overview of skills and abilities in different topics when it came to revision time.

So, naturally we were keen to explore the Doddle Progress system with some classes to see if we could develop another whole school process.Read more

Otis McFadden from Firth Park Academy describes how they have been using Doddle to track progress and lead meaningful interventions across the school.
Read his blog on how Doddle has enhanced teaching and assessment in his school and watch the video of his recent presentation.

Read his blog here:

See what Doddle could do for your school!
To discuss your school’s assessment requirements in person, book a free in-school visit from a Doddle Educational Consultant for your next SLT meeting.


Viking assembly and writing workshops


Bring the Vikings to your hall with an interactive assembly followed by writing workshops. Pupils will go on a Viking raid, meet the skald (storyteller) – and hear tales of heroes, myths and monsters. Finally two bands of Vikings do battle with a fun quiz.  I’m a children’s author who teaches creative writing in schools, so I can also answer their questions on writing and perform short extracts from my books Beowuff and the Dragon Raiders.

The assembly is a perfect primer for story writing workshops where pupils will write their own stories. We’ll use the innovative Accelerated writing method (as used by Creative Writing Club).

As well as the Vikings, other topics include: the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age Celts, the Greeksthe Egyptiansthe Romansthe Celtsthe Anglo Saxons, the Aztecs, Mayans, the Great Fire of London, Flooded world (natural disasters), the Normans, the Tudors, the Victorians, Shakespeare, Traditional tales, the Rainforest and many more.  I’m an ex-BBC editor and I can also offer workshops on factual writing (using a historical frame).

About me
I’ve written 14 books for children, over a wide age range (Y1-Y9) including: Spartapuss (Romans), Beowuff (Anglo Saxons vs Vikings) Olympuss Games (Greeks), Boudicat (Celts), Cleocatra’s Kushion (Egyptians).  My graphic novel ‘London Deep’ was chosen as a Recommended Read for World Book Day. I co-wrote the musical version of Julia Donaldson’s books The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom. I’ve led writing workshops for Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust and The Young Archaeologists Club. Check out my profile on Love Reading For Kids:

  • No school is too large or too small
  • I am DBS checked and I have insurance cover.

For dates and prices please call 0845 838 5526 or email robin@mogzilla.co.uk

Please reply to this email with ‘Vikings’ in the subject line and I will send you my free PDF
‘7 Tips for story writing
and a Viking writing frame.

Today the prime issue for many Headteachers is managing and reducing an ever growing workload. But how?

Managing workload is often a personal matter with each Headteachers finding her/his own solution.  But there is one approach that is becoming more common, not least because it can be introduced step by step and is applicable in almost every school.

At its simplest this approach focuses on one time-consuming area and deals with it once and for all.

So, rather than trying to deal with a whole range of areas, you spend just a little time focussed on resolving one area.  Then, when that’s sorted you move on to the next, looking at each time-consuming area of work, one at a time, and finding a way to reduce the time spent on it.

From that moment on, time is saved.

To give a practical example of this, take your school’s policies. They have to be checked, updated, monitored, and re-worked as circumstances change.  And that’s before you have even contemplated adding new policies that have never been necessary before.

But imagine a scenario in which you could find a full, up-to-date, comprehensive policy on each and every subject you wanted on a single website.  You could then download it, and then have it up and running in your school – all within minutes.

Add to this the fact that if there wasn’t a policy that you needed already on the site, you could ask for it to be written, again saving you time.  Plus as legislation and expectations change, so the policies could be updated without you having to re-write anything at all!

That is perfect time management.  The endless issue of school policies is identified and brought under control.

The website that hundreds of schools across the UK use in this way is Policies for Schools.  It has over 280 school policies, and you can see all the policies that are available and some sample school policy documents by visiting our website.

Subscribers have access to all the policies on the site and the option to ask for any new policy that is not already there.

You can subscribe to Policies for Schools here, or if you require any further information:

  • Phone: 01600 891 506
  • Email: sales@policiesforschools.co.uk  
  • Or write to: Teachers Resource Centre Ltd, Wyastone Business Park, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, NP25 3SR

Young Lawyers Summer School – additional dates now available

The Young Lawyers Summer School is an opportunity for students aged 11-14 who are keen to learn more about the legal world, and to have a go at arguing a legal case for themselves.

The four-day course will include games, and workshops, on diverse areas of law, from family to contract law, as well as lively debates and a full mock crown court trial.

This course will develop several important cross-curricular skills. The Mock Trial element of the Summer School, for example, develops vital skills of analysis, teamwork, public speaking and confidence (as well as teaching students about criminal law and the courts).

Highlights will include:

  • Criminal justice – from the moment a crime is committed to the point at which the offender is   sentenced
  • Debates and discussions on current legal issues
  • Advocacy skills – how to make speeches in court, question witnesses and build your case
  • Contract law – drafting a legal agreement and what to do in case of disputes
  • Human rights – balancing conflicting rights and defending your rights
  • Family law – how the law regulates marriage, adoption and divorce
  • Full Mock Crown Court criminal trial

You can view a full schedule for the course, details of tutors and lots more feedback from last year on our website – www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/young-lawyers-summer-school/.

Feedback from previous Young Lawyers:

Had a great time, learnt so much and met some GREAT people.

The Young Lawyers school is very interesting and effectively teaches students about the law in a fun and friendly way. The tutors are very nice and good at explaining the intricacies of the law.

I really enjoyed this course. Apart from helping me learn loads more about law I had loads of fun participating into the mock trial and the debates.

A really fun way to find out about law and life as a lawyer. I was surrounded by lovely people and have had a chance to express my views and listen to others. I now have a clear perspective on law and can see which parts I would enjoy and which parts I would like to work in in the future.

It’s a really good course for learning new things and building confidence. It is also very good for making new friends and learning to work in a team with people you don’t know. And all the teachers were really good and friendly.

I went from knowing very little about Law and the different types such as Family Law to feeling like I knew quite a lot! The teachers were very friendly and informative, and most importantly, made learning fun! I will definitely be coming back to more Debate Chamber courses! Thank-you!

Practical Details

This event will take place on 1st-4th August (and repeated 15th-19th August and 22nd-25th August).

The cost of the four-day course is £345 and will be held at the University of London in Bloomsbury (please note that this course is not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required).

There will be a limited number of bursary spaces available for those who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see www.debatechamber.com for details.

Students can book a place by completing the online form on www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/young-lawyers-summer-school/, or by calling us on 0845 519 4827, or by emailing info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Using the interest in Wimbledon to develop an enthusiasm for tennis

There is no better way to make use of this enthusiasm than with a tennis net (that can also be adjusted to be suitable for badminton) which can be used inside and out to maximise its use.

Our 6m tennis (and badminton) net can be set up and taken down in moments, and is ideal for regular use in the playground and the sports hall. It comes in its own storage bag which makes transportation and storage easy too.

To complete the set of equipment, we have available a set of four Plastic Tennis Rackets plus two balls for £7.95 plus VAT.


And, 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.

Quote HH0515 when you place your order and we will deliver it for FREE!

(Without quoting the code the charge is £3.95.)

It’s simple, it’s low cost and it’s an effective solution

It’s simple, it’s low cost and it’s an effective solution to the problem of students turning up for lessons  or exams without pens, rulers, pencils etc.

The “Student Essentials set” contains all your students need for most lessons and exams.

Three quality black ink pens, two full length HB pencils, metal sharpener, 15cm rule and an eraser, all contained in a clear “exam friendly”  PVC wallet with a zip slider.

From just  75p each, (ex vat) the “Student Essentials set”  is an economical and effective way of ensuring that students don’t miss out because they’ve forgotten to bring the right kit to lessons or exams.

Details at: www.signposteducational.co.uk/student-packs/

If you need more information please email: info@signposteducational.co.uk or phone 020 7515 1797 and ask to speak to Martin Evans who will be pleased to assist.

PS.  Orders can be made via email, phone, fax (020 7515 4420) or post.

The three factors that ensure that students get top marks in French speaking and listening exams

There is no doubt that some students underperform in their French speaking and listening exams, not because they don’t have a knowledge of the language that is suitable to the level of study, but rather because the setting of the speaking and listening exams results in a lack of confidence.

Of course you will be working with your students to ensure that they are used to the situation they will face, but beneath that there is still the issue of feeling enough at ease to use the knowledge of the language that he/she possesses.

Indeed we might compare this to many people in later life who have studied French at school and who can speak enough to get by, but who regularly report that they need a few days in France before they have the confidence to start speaking again.

To help resolve this problem the copiable volume, “How to get top marks for my French speaking and listening exams,” deals with this emotional response to speaking the language.

As the book stresses to students on the first page, “Success is deliberate.”  In these exams, the author says, intonation, exam skills, and vocabulary are the key.  Along with a real motivation to get better at speaking French.

And because motivation is considered so important, the book starts with exercises in motivational techniques.  It may seem unusual that in the opening few phrases there is no French, but the fact is that without motivation and a sincere desire to pass the exam the student will not improve.

As part of this there is a constant focus on the nature of the task in hand. Listening is made a central part of the task in hand, and from here the work in French begins to flow.

In all there are 100 copiable pages, provided either as a copiable text or on CD Rom so that they can be loaded onto the school’s learning platform for all students to access.

The sheer variety and down to earth honesty of the book will enthuse the students, and they will particularly appreciate the section on “bluffing and improvising” which shows them how to deal with unknown words and phrases.

Indeed it is sections such as this that enthuse the students to work in much greater depth and with much greater focus when they work through the dialogues.

How to get top marks for my French speaking and listening exams is available as a book or CD and comes with a full photocopy license for use of the book within your school so yiou can share it with colleagues. You can see a sample pages at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/modlang/T1780.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1780EMN      ISBN: 978 1 86083 815 6


  • Photocopiable book: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Book and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1780EMN

What slows down the progress of EAL pupils more than anything else?

What EAL pupils need most of all is bi-lingual books written at the right interest and reading level.

The problem is however obvious.  Books cost money and having the right language alongside English, and having the story at the right level for the pupils, is very difficult.

You might well have some dual language books in your school, but often that is not enough to keep the child engaged and reading more and more both at school and at home.

But now there is a solution.

For now there is an e-book library of over 400 books in English and 37 languages; books that pupils can read and hear, and which they will enjoy to the end of KS2.

Each book is in two languages and can be accessed via iPads, tablets, whiteboards, and computers at school or at home. All the text is spoken in English and the home language.

And, of course, parents too can use the library to improve their English, leading to greater involvement with your school.

Well-known titles such as The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Pandora’s Box, and reference books like Key Terms in Maths, Science, English, come in English with Polish, Arabic, Spanish, French, Urdu, Romanian and many more languages.  English only copies are also available.

Each story is supported with a video and follow-on interactive activities. This means that children who have just joined the class can quickly get started in a highly imaginative and absorbing way.  They can also share with their parents what they are learning at school.

The dual language e-books are also a perfect way for the school to show Ofsted that it is connecting with parents in an engaging and measurable way.

You can buy one book from £3.50 for one year or licence the whole collection of over 400 e-books for every classroom for £350 per year.  Parents can access the library for just £1 per term.

Please take a look at this short video to see our e-books in action.

Alternatively, please click here to get free trial access to 35 books in nine languages.

If you would like any further information, please email brandon@mantralingua.com  or phone 0208 44 55 123 x109.

Robene Dutta
Managing Director

School Finance without a finance background Online Training Program starting 9th June – 1 hour per week for 4 weeks

Do you have finance staff that don’t have a background in finance? Lots of schools do, and it can be tricky to understand it all and to have a full appreciation of the importance of the processes, without this background.

To this end we have created a new online training course – delivered over the internet – and consisting of 4 x 1 hour sessions over 4 successive weeks.  Each week provides a live, interactive online presentation with accompanying notes (the live session being recorded so anyone can watch it after the event, at a time of their choosing)

The aim is to provide a basic overview of what the terms mean, what needs to be done, what’s important to know about and what the reports tell us. This isn’t an in-depth study of bookkeeping or management accounting – it’s a clear, simple overview to give school finance staff a grounding in accounting.

Each session has an optional assignment which will help consolidate the information covered, and on completion of all 4 assignments a Certificate in Basic School Finance will be awarded.

The 4 sessions are as follows :

Session 1 –  Introduction to finance and the need for accounts.  Introduction to finance terms used in schools.  Legal aspects & segregation of duties. Financial controls and audit. Record keeping & filing.

Session 2 – The Bookkeeping process. Accounts, Assets & Liabilities, Double Entry accounting, Credits & Debits, The Ledgers.

Session 3 – Financial Statements and Reports – what they are, what they mean, general accounting reports and school specific reports.

Session 4 – Period End  – The Control accounts, Month and Year end processes, Orders & Commitments, Creditors & Debtors, Prepayments & Accruals, Gift Aid. VAT.

The whole 4 session course costs £99 per school and multiple staff can attend from each for in this price.   Sessions are on 9th June, 16th June, 23rd June and 30th June.

To book on, please click here or email us on info@istekuk.com or call 01722 413255.

 Istek UK Ltd  3 St Ursula’s Close, Salisbury SP1 3FY

W: www.istekuk.com  E: info@istekuk.com   T:  01722 413 255  F: 01722 568262

Can you imagine a party without music?


A world without music? Learning without music?

In education today it’s easy to put music to one side – it’s something for the ‘specialists’. We teach numeracy and literacy ourselves – others can do the music.

However, current brain research shows that learning to play a musical instrument creates pathways in the brain that strengthen literacy and numeracy skills and make children more intelligent. The actual size of the brain grows.

At Ocarina Workshop we have known this for over 30 years, which is why we left our regular teaching jobs to develop the Ocarina, Ocarina music and Ocarina teaching resources for everyone to enjoy.

Our award last year for Best Music Education Product is like a lifetime achievement award for us. We’d love to share with you the success of this simple instrument that can revolutionise music-making in any school. Here’s what the expert panel of judges said…

The Ocarina “combines creative potential, ease of use, affordability and practicality” Best Music Education Product WINNER in the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence

So if you don’t know what you are missing… go to www.ocarina.co.uk to find out more.

Can EVERY Child really play a Musical Instrument in Class?

Yes, especially when Class Teachers do the teaching!

If children see their teachers are uncomfortable with maths, they will be uncomfortable. If children come from homes where reading is non-existent, their reading suffers. If teachers engage happily with music, children ‘catch music’ and all its benefits…

All your children will love the Ocarina and play tunes straight away. And all your teachers can confidently teach whole-class music with Ocarinas, whether they ‘feel musical’ or not.

The Ocarina is child-friendly, the holes small enough to cover, each note is easy to produce with a steady breath, and ocarina music shows exactly which holes to cover. Ocarinas are UK-made, colourful, robust and fun to wear – for boys as well as girls.

Tuned, Accessible, Musical and Ready-to-play

Order an Ocarina Class Set today. Hand them to any teacher and within half-an-hour their class will serenade you with ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ and play eight notes – seven more than they would play in half-an-hour on any other instrument! Or give them to the staff first and let the fun begin!

David Liggins B.Ed (Hons) | Christa Liggins BA (Hons), PGCE

music@ocarina.co.uk | ocarina.co.uk | 01536 485 963

Ocarina Workshop, PO Box 56 Kettering, NN15 5LX

With music, it’s not just the child’s talent and enthusiasm that counts. It’s also the parents’ support.

Well, we’ve all seen it time and time again. The enthusiasm and excitement about the opportunity for the child to learn a real musical instrument.

But when the initial vision of an instant ability to play the instrument fades, the notion of practising at least five days a week loses its appeal – and ultimately another budding musician, who had the ability to achieved a lot as a musician, gives up.

So what, practically, can be done to reduce the drop-out rate?

There’s been a huge amount of research into this issue, and the best answer focuses on giving the parent the tools to motivate and encourage the young musician week by week and day by day.

In this way, “go and practise the violin” becomes an engagement between parent and child.

However, like so many ideas, this is one that can sound great in principle but is not always that easy to put into practice.

Which is why Caswell Strings has developed a series of short articles each of which can help parents to encourage and motivate their children to keep practising and keep playing – no matter what the instrument and no matter what style of music is being taught.

This series of articles is now appearing on the Facebook page of Caswell Strings, and I do hope that you will have a moment to look at them.

Then either print them off to give to parents or you can simply direct the parents to the page, so they can read for themselves.

The first article on “How can I persuade my child to practise?” is now on the site, and new articles will be added each week to build up into a full set of ways of enhancing the enjoyment and success of pupils and students as they learn to play an instrument.

You can find the first article by clicking here.

New Anti-extremism and Human Rights Classroom Software

Free Full Version 14-day trial

Schools and academies are now required to ensure pupils are aware of the risks associated with radicalisation and extremism.

Our new Anti-extremism and human rights classroom software delivers the topic sensitively using stunning 3D animation, professional voice-over and subject specific interactive exercises, quizzes and games. 

All delivered in a controlled environment, avoiding potentially unsafe web searches!

If (and only if!) after your 14 day trial you would like to keep the software, it’s just £199 (rrp £250) for a whole school/academy site licence over a network or on unlimited PCs/Whiteboards. Technical support, should you need, it is free.

The software arrives on DVD. Just follow the simple installer wizard and you will be ready to use the software in your classroom within minutes

To request a free 14 day trial please CLICK HERE


Professional Yearbooks Delivered In 10 Working Days

Get your yearbooks in a flash and make sure your students never forget their time at your school!

It’s not too late to get your yearbooks before term ends and with Leavers’ Books it’s super quick and super easy.

With a huge range of designs and layouts to choose from, you can tailor your yearbook to suit your school. From traditional, formal layouts to fun, quirky designs like our new Superhero theme, there’s something for everyone.

  • Great value starting from just £7.99 with no deposit or pre-payment.
  • Professionally finished and printed in just 10 working days.
  • Service you can trust from your sidekicks at Leavers’ Books.
  • Create your yearbook using our easy online creator.

Request a sample pack and start your yearbook today!

What a complex mess! Solving the Problem of Punctuation

Of the many issues faced by teachers in recent times, it was a tiny punctuation mark that forced the government to make a change!

The traditional media were incensed. The Independent told us the ’excitable, text speaking youth of today are being told to curb their exclamation by the Government’ with ‘strict new rules on use of exclamation marks’.

‘How strange!’ wrote The Guardian, it was ‘…effectively proof that the government wants to penalise enthusiasm!’

The Telegraph described it as ‘Nonsense!’ that would take ‘writing back to the 19th century’.

BBC Breakfast debated the issue with linguistic experts who agreed in their ridicule.

Meanwhile a mighty battle erupted on social media between the punctuation pedants and the grammar anarchists, until both sides realised that neither agreed with the government’s stance.

The mounting outrage drove the Department for Education to issue a ‘clarification’ and just to be sure, the Minister of State for Schools published his personal guidance that:

“the exclamation mark will continue to be acceptable in children’s responses in the test” and “pupils will not be marked down for using an exclamation mark for emphasis”…however should they be asked to write an exclamation using the “correct sentence format, starting with ‘what’ or ‘how’, will be required”.

While the exclamation mark was safe, teachers now found themselves charged with teaching not only exclamative sentences but also the ‘variety of sentence forms’ that might end with an exclamation mark!

For many primary school teachers, particularly those without a specialism in English, the new pedantic code is a complex and scary beast. Thankfully teachers can now recruit their own monster: the Punctuation Monsters!

Designed to help teachers retain an emphasis on creativity while meeting the needs of the new curriculum, the ‘Unpunctuated’ series uses a theme of ‘Mermaids & Water Monsters’ to challenge students to rewrite unpunctuated sentences and then consolidate their learning with further creative thinking and writing challenges.

After completing the Challenge Sheets, students can mark their own work (and their friends) with the ‘Sentence Check’ sheets. The whole class can then take part in class challenges to add their own punctuation and rewrite the sentences using the powerpoint challenges included with each module.

Teachers can take confidence from the simple step-by-step guidance to each form of punctuation and they may take a particular interest in: http://thinkythinky.com/shop/exclamation-marks/?ref=33

I Can Write Exclamative Sentences http://thinkythinky.com/shop/introducing-exclamations/?ref=33 How to Use Exclamations (which includes a template to create an Exclamation Comic!).

At just £3 each the modules are excellent value for teachers with plenty of activities to use throughout each term. Full details can be found at www.monsterpunctuation.com


Complete Unit: Module 1 Capitals, Full Stops, Exclamations, Question Marks


“A great resource – well differentiated and suits my intended purpose of using with intervention groups in Year 2. I particularly like the ‘unpunctuated’ texts as some of my target children struggle to use capital letters and full stops accurately. This was a great time saver! “

How fully have your pupils mastered the demands of the National Curriculum?

The new, challenging, literacy and numeracy requirements of the National Curriculum mean that it is ever more important to check your pupils’ depth of learning as they progress. With the new curriculum, there is now even less chance to catch up on unlearned knowledge, through remedial teaching.

Which is why it’s essential to check that all pupils are fully engaged with these challenges each step of the way.

To help ensure that this is the case, we have worked with former Chief Examiner, Sue Hackman, to produce the friendly new Annual Primary Tests, from Imaginative Minds.

These pupil-friendly assessment checks are written specifically for the new National Curriculum. As well as helping children get used to working under test conditions, they also help you see what each pupil has learned and needs to learn.

The tests are easy to use and to mark. They will help you crosscheck your children’s knowledge and progress across Reading, Writing and Mathematics.

Using objectives taken directly from the National Curriculum, the tests give you a clear indication of the strengths and weaknesses of pupils and classes, and allow you to confirm on-going teacher assessments.

Additionally, the tests are organised by strand to reveal patterns of strength and weakness in different subject strands, e.g. SPAG, geometry and statistics. This will be beneficial for arranging help and catch-up afterwards.

Priced at only £125 for a year pack covering 35 children, the tests are costed to help you keep your expenses low.

Order the tests today and receive a spare Teacher’s Manual absolutely free.

The Annual Primary Tests cover years one, three, four and five. The tests for years four and five are available now from the Teaching Times bookshop: see Year Four here; and Year Five here.

100% money back guarantee

I am sure that you will find the tests are simple to use, pupil-friendly and easy to mark. But if for some reason you’re not happy with them, simply return them and I personally guarantee you a refund on your purchase.

If you would like to order by email, or have a question about the tests, you can email me at james@imaginativeminds.co.uk. Or call me on my direct line at 0121 224 7584.

Don’t forget: you will receive a free extra teacher’s manual, when you order either the Year Four or Year Five tests today.

I look forward to hearing from you.

James Mason
Teaching Times
Tel: 0121 224 7584 | Fax: 0121 224 7598

james@imaginativeminds.co.uk | Annual Primary Tests

PS Order today to get the complete test pack for either years four or five, plus an additional Teacher’s manual, at no extra cost

‘University Entrance: a parent’s guide to UCAS and more’

by Jonathan Watts & Cora Saint, Price: £19.99

15% discount code – ucas15

Whilst your sixth formers are grappling with summer exams, many of their parents are already looking ahead to the next hurdle – the university application.

Clued up parents realise the summer will be an essential time for their teenager to polish up their CV, start drafting personal statements, and make final decisions about which universities to apply to, and for what courses.

University Entrance: A parent’s guide to UCAS and more’ is a new guide for parents explaining every step of the university application process together with how, and when, parents can offer useful and supportive advice. 

John McParland, Principal, The John Wallis Church of England Academy, says,

“This book will guide parents to help their children make the correct choice of career path, and to be successful in their UCAS application.  I would recommend all schools and colleges with a sixth form to place multiple copies of this book in their libraries.”

With step by step advice about every aspect of applying to university the guide is packed with practical advice for parents and students, including:

  • What is UCAS?  Key dates in the application year
  • What makes an applicant look good on paper?
  • 10 Do’s & Don’ts for a great personal statement
  • Ways to boost your CV
  • How important is choosing the right subject?
  • What to expect in an interview?
  • Preparing to apply for Oxbridge
  • Preparing to apply for Medicine

The guide also doesn’t hesitate to tell parents when to ‘stand down’, and not to try write their teenager’s personal statement!

To order copies using the discount code please click here.

Please pass the discount code and web link – ucas15 – onto your parents.

To see the full range of The Parent Brief books visit www.theparentbrief.com

For more information please email: info@theparentbrief.com or call 01983301144

What’s the most effective way of ensuring that no new school equipment is “lost”?

It is strange to think that there is a very simple process which, if carried out at the right time, will eliminate the chance of equipment being “lost” from the school premises.

Strange, because not only is it simple but also very low cost – and yet not every school follows the process.

All one has to do – and this is what increasing numbers of schools do each year – is order enough SILVER MARK security labels ready for the new equipment that arrives in September or during the summer break.

Sadly, what does happen in some cases is that the labels are not ordered until after the new equipment has arrived and been put to use – which can of course be a little too late.

ID SILVER MARK are precision cut stencil labels which are ideal for labelling IT equipment (including iPads, tablets, and mobiles) as no one can remove the label without it fragmenting and even if they get peeled off, the UV paint still shows the school name and postcode.

This system is also ideal for tracking equipment if it goes missing. Thus the ID SILVER MARK enables you to protect your valuable equipment with a permanent visual security mark and to keep a record of each item so marked.

Better still, the police and insurance companies have noted that the ID MARK conforms to Home Office Guidelines – by using your school name and postcode as a way of identifying your property, this helps with item recovery in case of theft.

ID SILVER MARK is available in black or silver materials with permanent adhesive. All Dantech asset identification labels are personalised with your school name as well as sequential numbering.

There is more information on our website.

If you would like to know more please do get in touch – we are very happy to discuss your marking requirements throughout the school. Just call Dantech on 01354 688 488 or email us at dantech@btconnect.com for free and unbiased help and advice.

Diagnosing dyscalculia is just the start. It is also necessary to identify the type of dyscalculia the student has got.

Research by the Dyscalculia Centre, which has been published in SEN Magazine, has shown that there are five different types of dyscalculia – although inevitably many young people suffer from a combination of the types listed below.

Type 1 dyscalculics report significant worries about maths.  As a result they feel themselves living in an alien world in which everyone else can grasp maths, but they can’t.  Self-doubt becomes so strong that it gets increasingly difficult to persuade the individual that with proper support they might well be able to undertake and understand mathematical calculations.

Type 2 dyscalculics also experience this deep concern but have found strategies for understanding and coping with basic maths – yet they feel that they don’t have the automatic grasp that others have and often take twice as much time (or more) to do a maths problem as a non-dyscalculic person.

Type 3 students have a profound difficulty in comprehending and dealing with the concept of time.  Sometimes this issue appears on its own, sometimes in combination with types 1 or 2 dyscalculia.  For such people time itself makes no sense and they are quite unable to estimate “five minutes” or any other time length while questions about timetables and the like are also quite meaningless.

Type 4 dyscalculics may not always be dyscalculic in the genetic sense, although they display many of the symptoms of dyscalculic people because they have short-term and long-term memory problems.  These students generally have a problem with all sequences – and this, of course, affects their ability to handle maths perhaps more than any other subject.

Type 5 dyscalculics tend not to see numbers as in any way related to the real world.  In one sense most of us have this problem; after all, what is “six”?   We know what six sheep are.  But “six” on its own is close to meaningless.   For such people, maths can be learned automatically, but when it gets to issues such as fractions, decimals, and percentages then life gets difficult.

Fortunately all these types of dyscalculics can be helped through different types of multi-sensory learning of maths, and this is the approach we have set out in our series: “Dyscalculia Activities”

Each volume contains a vast array of activities which a teacher or assistant teacher can undertake with a small group of students, and involves turning the abstract concepts of maths into physical experiences.  No special equipment is needed, apart from paper, scissors, small cards and some ludo type counters.  (We can supply the cards and counters if you don’t already have them).

Each printed volume is copiable, and so only one copy is needed per school.

There are details here including sample pages

If you have any enquiries please do call 01536 399 000 or email Tony@schools.co.uk

You can place orders on line (there is a link from each of the above resource pages) or you can go straight to the on-line shop here http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk/index.php?cPath=29 You can also order by post and fax:

  • By post to First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Way, Corby, NN17 4HH
  • By fax to 01536 399 012

The Dyscalculia Centre
Hamilton House Mailings
Earlstrees Road
NN17 4HH

Website: www.dyscalculia.me.uk
Email: admin@dyscalculia.me.uk

Olympic Games free poster

The Rio Games are this summer! This set of 36 Olympic Spotlight posters traces the history of the games from ancient to modern times. These print-your-own pdf posters focus on key aspects such as the Olympic spirit, the first marathon, the role of women, the opening ceremony, the Olympic oath, Paralympics and much more!

Download one free and order the set here


Ann Batey
Office Manager
Carel Press
(01228 538928)
Follow us on Twitter:


We hear so many times from schools about the wonderful plans to develop their school playgrounds – be they outdoor learning areas, outdoor shelters & classrooms, play equipment, natural play etc – but the discussions always end up talking about money! We know budgets are tight and we know your time is not exactly in plentiful supply either…..but we have a solution to all of this.

We have invested a lot of our time working alongside schools and their PTAs to help you find alternative ways of funding our products. We, alongside our strategic partners, can help you put together a funding programme which could include:

* Grants
* Unique PTA events such as a pedal powered disco or film night
* Help with letting/renting out your existing school facilities – schools who are already doing so are earning an average of £30K per year
* Corporate sponsorship
* Crowdfunding websites
* Operational leases

All we need from you is a bit of dedication but where there is a will, there is a way!

Please therefore have a look at our website www.hideouthouse.com to see exactly what we do but we are always open to new ideas if you don’t see exactly what you are looking for on there.

And then give us a tinkle to discuss how we can help you.

Look forward to hearing from you

With kind regards

Simon Fearnehough

Email: simon@hideouthouse.com   Telephone: 01865 858982  

With SATs all finished, what have you got on the agenda between now and the end of term?

Now that SATs have finished, you and your colleagues have a bit more freedom to work outside the constraints of the National Curriculum. So what will you do?

Some schools find that choosing a topical theme as a focus for lessons can be highly effective (particularly for those transitioning to secondary school) in enhancing engagement, building confidence, and restoring a love for learning.

!cid_3f35e2b6a14251ac79bc617009eb5a21So the next question is, which theme to choose? The big event this year is, of course, the Olympics, but before that we have the Euros. And lessons built around the theme of football are great for enhancing engagement among boys and also for getting more girls interested in the sport.

In literacy lessons pupils can write newspaper reports and a pundit’s commentary. In maths calculations can be based around ticket sales and the capacity of the ten host stadiums in France. And in PSHE lessons equality, respect, and sportsmanship in football can all be explored.

Then there is PE in which you can teach pupils how to kick, dribble, pass, tackle, mark, defend, shoot, and also how to play strategically. Furthermore, you could buy football equipment for the playground so your pupils can practise their (newly-learnt) football skills at playtimes.

There are Football Training Packs that contain a Soccer Target and 6 x 19cm Footballs at http://www.edventure.co.uk. And if you quote HH0515 on your order, delivery will be free.

You can place an order with Edventure for Football Training Packs at the link above, by phone on 01323 50 10 40, by fax to 01323 50 10 41, by email at sales@edventure.co.uk, or by post to Edventure Ltd, Hargreaves Business Park, Hargreaves Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 6QW.

Exceptional Literacy Teaching Resources

Exceptional Banner - Bigger

Fisher-Marriott Software

StarSpell – From Early Phonics through to KS3/4 exam preparation, StarSpell’s graded word lists support all stages of learning. It also has support for the 2014 National Curriculum in England.

Based upon the proven Look-Cover-Write-Check routine, StarSpell’s Spelling mode has sound, pictures and sentences to create a powerful audio-visual activity.

The six-step word-lists support progressive, systematic learning of letter-sound matches in basic phonics through to the exploration of spelling rules, word origins and families. The curriculum-themed section supports revision and further study.

Designed for interactive whiteboard in the classroom as well as for individual learning, StarSpell can help both teachers and students.

Contact form
+44 1242 523365
Postal address: Fisher-Marriott Software, Richmond, West Approach Drive, Cheltenham, GL52 3AD



Complete Reading & Spelling Programme – teach, assess and monitor progress with MSL’s Structured Literacy Programme.

Bumper Books of Literacy Fun – four books for minimal supervision activities, each one packed full with creative, structured puzzles and games.

Handwriting for Windows v 3.0 – learning to touch type brings many benefits to dyslexic individuals.

Rhyming Spells – provides a wide selection of ingenious rhyming spells for improving spelling.

Email: msl@schools.co.uk
Telephone: 01536 399017
Postal address: Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH.


Carel Press

‘Just Read!’ PDF Poster Set – motivational posters about the power of books.

Complete Primary Library Collection – everything you need to run an outstanding primary school library.

‘Learn about your library’ Posters – explain library terms successfully.


Dysgraphia Help

The Online Dysgraphia Test – consists of 50 questions. After completion of the test and submitting a handwriting sample you will receive a dysgraphia test report. If we believe dysgraphia to be present you will also receive supporting activity materials free of charge.

Overcoming dysgraphia workbook – contains 100+ A4 sides of activities, worksheets and games that aim to improve language processing, visual spacing, fine motor skills, pen/pencil grip, handwriting posture and memory retrieval.

Email: admin@dysgraphiahelp.co.uk
Postal address: Dysgraphia Help, 1 Oathill Close, Brixworth, Northamptonshire, NN6 9BE.


Signpost Educational Ltd

Wooden Alphabet Letters – for children who have specific learning difficulties or those whose literacy skills are below their peers. Whatever their age, these alphabet letters can be very helpful.

English Readers… by Word Power – these classic novels are abridged versions of the originals, retold by John Kennett who felt that many people were missing out on some great stories as the original novels were too long.

Telephone: 020-7515-1797
Postal address: SIGNPOST EDUCATIONAL LTD, PO Box 999, London, E14 6SH, UK


You can find more Exceptional Teaching resources at exceptionalteaching.org.uk.

Topical Resources’ annual Summer Sale: up to 75% off all teaching resources

Last year we launched our first ever Summer Sale, offering a 35% discount on all teaching resources. This year, we are offering a discount of up to 75% on all teaching resources (at just £5 a book) to make our 2016 Summer Sale even better than the last.

Furthermore, in contrast to last year’s Summer Sale where we asked you to like and share our Facebook page in order to qualify for the discount, this year we are offering up to 75% off all book titles for absolutely nothing in return – just your custom.

If however, you’d like to share this offer (which we would appreciate very much), please do forward this email and/or share our Facebook post about Topical Resources’ 2016 Summer Sale which you will find pinned to the top of our Facebook page – Topical Resources.

You can see and order all of our book titles (at just £5 each) on our website at: https://www.topical-resources.co.uk/.

Or, if you’d prefer, you can place an order by phone on 01772 863158, by fax on 01772 866153, by email to sales@topical-resources.co.uk, or by post to Topical Resources,
P.O. Box329, Broughton, Preston, Lancashire PR3 5LT.


Plays with a difference

The English language is full of plays – which is not surprising really since people have been writing them for around 1000 years.

The trouble is that many have cast requirements or subject matter that mean they are not at all suitable for the classroom or theatre with the right amount of engagement per candidate and the right number of students involved within the cast.

What’s more, given the need to find scenes and settings which are not just extracts from published plays and the need for the play to have a unified sense, finding suitable plays gets even more difficult – especially if one wishes to avoid using the same plays as last year.

This is the problem that “Here comes Godot now!” by Lindsay Jones solves. It contains 12 plays that engage with themes not often found in other sources, such as dark comedy, fantasy, horror, humour and urban myths.

Thus the themes in this volume avoid some of the social topics such as drug taking which other volumes (and indeed assemblies and PSHE lessons) will already have covered extensively and looks instead at more difficult topics such as FMG, death, child sexual abuse, and social class.

As for performances, the plays are written for a variety of combinations of participants from two boys or two girls up to four boys and four girls.

Because the volume is photocopiable (or printable from a CD rom) only one copy of the book need be bought, and it can be used among the class without further cost.

ISBN: 978 1 86083 856 9 Order code: T1820emn – please quote with order.

Sample pages incorporating one complete play can be viewed at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/drama/T1820.pdf

  • Photocopiable book, £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD £36.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

Safety over cost, a practical example of the problems faced by mathematicians, engineers and businesses.

So that students can see how important maths is to our businesses and to our building industry we have put together a practical problem solving exercise called The Oil Rig Platform.  It is designed to simulate the workings of a team of engineers, trying to find a solution to a problem by building an oil rig platform.

The students are divided into small teams and challenged to build a model of an oil rig platform and work out how much it costs to build using only set materials.  To test for safety the platform must be able to support the weight of a brick!  Will your students design it so cheaply that it collapses or will they spend more money to make it strong and sturdy?

The exercise is suitable for both KS3 and KS4 students and runs over one lesson.  Each team is given the student brief, a set of resources and a deadline.  The winning team is the one who can build the oil rig, support the weight of a brick and is the cheapest to build.  A great learning experience and good fun for everyone.

What’s more – we have made it really easy for the teacher to deliver too!

This resource contains: clear teachers’ guidance notes that explain how to run the exercise, the students exercise brief, resources checklist and the assessment criteria.

How much does this all cost?  Only £20.00 and can be re-used over and over again!

There are more details at…


You can pay and download the exercise direct from our website using PayPal or you may wish to pay with either a cheque or a purchase order number. Simply e-mail your purchase order number to us and we will send the exercise to you along with the invoice for payment within 14 days.

Julie O’Brien
Creative Learning Events
0113 3909814
07977 489779


Do you sometimes wish you had that little bit extra towards that all important project?

ABC Fundraising is a charitable fundraising company specialising in helping charities and schools secure grants towards their work.

Over the past few years we have helped dozens of schools and educational charities raise well over £500,000 towards their projects, via successful grant applications to various local authorities, lotteries, trusts and foundations.

We are currently offering our assistance to schools around the country – projects we can help you achieve funding towards include:

– School playground development, or new play equipment
– New surfacing or playground markings
– Outdoor classrooms, shelters, or furniture
– Gardens, planting, or forest areas
– Before or after school clubs
– Holiday clubs, extra-curricular, and community activities
– Any other projects potentially beneficial to the development of your pupils or community

Working with us will cost the school no money up front – we will only charge a fee if your bid is successful, and you receive a grant towards the project. Everything we do is completely transparent, and you have complete control over your project direction and content of applications. However, we can of course provide experienced advice upon how to give your grant application the best chance of success.

Please get in touch if you are interested in our services – we will be happy to discuss your project and how we can help.

Contact details

Call Andy Bond at ABC Fundraising on 07598722722 or 0131 308 0687

Or email us at: andy@abcfundraising.co.uk

Want more information? Visit our website at www.abcfundraising.co.uk

It doesn’t matter where you are based. Although ABC Fundraising is based in Edinburgh, we are experienced at working with schools and charities around the UK.