£30 is all it costs for your pupils to gain a comprehensive understanding of art and develop a vast range of transferable skills

As part of Topical Resources Summer Sale of 2016 we are offering our popular Step-by-Step Art series for just £5 a book until the end of August (or while stocks last).

The Step-by-Step Art series includes:

Step-by-Step Art for Reception Classes (£5)

Step-by-Step Art for Key Stage 1 Classes (£5)

Step-by-Step Art for Lower Key Stage 2 Classes (£5)

Step-by-Step Art for Upper Key Stage 2 Classes (£5)

Step-by-Step Art: Christmas in the Classroom (£5)

Step-by-Step Art: Working with the Computer (£5)

The Step-by-Step Art series is just one of many series that we have in our Art range – you can find more art teaching resources for just £5 a book at https://www.topical-resources.co.uk/category/art/

And, as always, you can order any of our resources by:

  • visiting our website
  • calling 01772 863158
  • faxing 01772 866153
  • emailing sales@topical-resources.co.uk            
  • or by sending your order in the post to Topical Resources, P.O. Box329, Broughton, Preston, Lancashire PR3 5LT


Why schools should be making the most of every method of communication that is available to them

Last month I went to pick up my friend’s children from school and was surprised to find that the school noticeboard had only two notices on it, one of which was about last year’s Christmas party.

Since then I have discovered that this is a common occurrence and that many other school noticeboards across the UK are similarly out-of-date and uninformative.

Why this surprises me is simple given that I am often approached by school leaders who complain about how incredibly difficult it is to communicate with parents (which I don’t doubt).

But surely this means that schools should be making the most of every method of communication that is available to them, including the school noticeboard.

If your school is thinking about buying a new school noticeboard, Greenbarnes has a range of styles of outdoor noticeboards which you can see on our website.

Alternatively, please do call us on 01280 701093 and we’ll be pleased to discuss our boards, send you a brochure, and give any advice and guidance that you may require.

Confidence and having an open mindset is everything in learning.

As the work of Carol Dweck has proved, no matter how able, a child’s perception of themselves as a learner will determine their academic career. If it is poor, it will:

  • Undermine their resilience, so that they give up at the slightest obstacle
  • Make them defensive learners, unwilling to challenge themselves
  • Make them over-reliant on teachers and on received opinion
  • Write-off successes as ‘flukes’
  • Under-perform in exams and tests
  • Have low aspirations and under-achieve in life

The acclaimed self-perception test Myself As a Learner Scale 8-16+, by Robert Burden, gives teachers, psychologists and researchers a proven technique to gain access to this important aspect of learning development. In fact, the test is the only one that measures a child’s perception of themselves, specifically as learners.

Using it will enable you to:

  • Uncover, beneath external shows of confidence, which children have poor views of themselves as learners and therefore will be liable to under-perform
  • Pinpoint exactly where their problems are
  • Measure progress in developing ‘open-mindsets’ in children

Myself as a Learner Scale 8-16+ is easy to administer, score and interpret. It can be used for gaining information on large cohorts of students or for more clinical purposes with individuals.

It is a valid and reliable scale that can provide a valuable addition to any school’s assessment programme or educational psychologist’s repertoire of assessment techniques.

This is why MALS has gone around the world as the key test to use to measure a child’s image of themselves as learners and thinkers.

You can find out more about the test and order your copy at our bookshop.

Or if you have any questions, or would like to order directly with me, you can email me at james@imaginativeminds.co.uk. Or call me on my direct number: 01211 2247584.

I look forward to hearing from you.

James Mason
Teaching Times

Tel: 0121 224 7584 | Fax: 0121 224 7589
james@imaginativeminds.co.uk | TeachingTimes.com

PS: If you would like to order by invoice, you can order your copy of MALS on the bookshop and select ‘Invoice Payment’ at check out.

Online Safeguarding Training for OFSTED requirements

SSS Learning’s CPD accredited secure online safeguarding training is created specifically for school and academy settings to meet the OFSTED Common Inspection Framework, offering a perfect solution to promote best practice and evidence training to OFSTED.

Accessible anytime/anywhere on PC, MAC, Tablet or Smart Phone, our online training takes approximately one hour per course to complete and is by far the most cost-effective way to train your staff both quickly and easily.

To find out about our current online safeguarding courses for staff in schools and academies, please click on a course title below:








SSS Learning Ltd, Suite A, St Hilary Court, Copthorne Way, Cardiff, CF5 6ES, 02920 597000.

What can be done to help pupils and students, who want to learn a musical instrument, learn more effectively?


Next term a new, national, School Music Week is to be launched.  Not a Music Week to celebrate what the pupils in schools across the UK have done, but rather to encourage them in their work in the coming year and also to encourage more to make the musical journey

It is a website to help music teachers encourage pupils and students to practise and keep learning their chosen instrument.  It is also there to help parents and non-music teachers understand the huge benefits that accrue both to the school and to the pupils and students from the study of musical instruments.

Its aims also include helping parents understand the process of learning an instrument, how to go about buying an instrument, and how to maintain the enthusiasm for learning an instrument.

As part of our preparation for School Music Week next term, we are also undertaking some research into the range of instrumental tuition in secondary schools, looking at any difficulties schools might be facing due to falling pupil numbers and budget cuts –  and the opportunities for expansion.

The survey is, of course, completely anonymous but if you wish we can send you back a copy of the results once we have them analysed.

The questionnaire will only take two to three minutes to complete and doesn’t ask for any details about your school.  I do hope you will spare a moment to help us gather this information.

To take the questionnaire please just click here.

If you have any questions about the questionnaire please email hq@schoolmusicweek.co.uk or call us on 01536 505 622.

Outdoor learning helps children develop and improve social skills, says new report

A Kent environmental education centre that works with schools across the UK and Europe has been praised for improving children’s self-esteem, confidence, and social skills through its residential trips.

According to a new report assessing the effectiveness of outdoor learning at Rippledown, in Ringwould near Deal, the centre’s residential programmes allow children to “gain a sense of their own individual interests, strengths and abilities” as well as “nature connection, hope and dietary awareness”.

The report follows a study by Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) and leading environmental education charity The Bay Trust, which runs Rippledown, on the impact and influence of the centre’s programme on children’s learning and wellbeing.

Three primary schools took part in the study, one from a rural part of Kent and two from an urban and suburban area of London. Some 50 children aged between 9 and 10 participated in team activities such as shelter building, using navigational tools such as map and compass, a walk to the beach, treasure hunting, and mini beast hunting.

Data gathered from an anonymous questionnaire, which was completed a week before, a week after, and a month after the children’s residential stay, suggests that their experience enabled them to gain a greater sense of their own competence, connection to nature, hope, and resilience, as well as developing a healthier dietary awareness.

Using hand-written journals created with natural objects, youngsters were also encouraged to give their opinions of Rippledown and describe their feelings inspired by photographs set in a natural environment.

The findings highlight how children view and interact with the outdoors, with responses including “being outdoors makes me happy” and “my actions will make the natural world different”. They also demonstrate the children’s positive coping skills while away from home.

If you are looking for LOtC ideas, please take a look at our Facebook & Twitter pages. But if you want to take a look at who we are and what we do before you call, you’ll find more information about leasing at www.minibusleasing.co.uk.

Email: minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk
Tel: 01753 859944

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street



Tel: 01753 859944

Free song reminder

FREE Limited Offer!

 Autumn’s round the corner – yikes! So, to help you out, we have a limited number of easy-sing Harvest Song Packs to give away FREE (normally £9.95) – perfect for your harvest festival! But they won’t be around for long, so get yours by 15 July 2016


Surprise your children with these fantastic, contemporary sounding Harvest songs – they’ll love singing them and you’ll love how easy they are to teach (even if you’re not musical!)

You’ll receive your songs as an instant download. You’ll even get a free performance licence, so you can use them in your harvest festival – yippee!



For, and on behalf of, Popcorn School Ltd. Registered address: 9 Yelverton Close, Walsall, WS3 3XE. Company number: 08534985.


School fundraising opportunities to make the most of between now and the end of the year

Schools will soon be inviting members of the local community to join them at their annual summer fete, not least because it’s an occasion that creates a sense of community cohesion (generating good PR), but also because it presents a perfect school fundraising opportunity.

But whilst almost every school hosts a summer fete in order to raise funds, only a small number of schools are making the most of the lead up to Christmas to raise funds, despite schools having great fundraising success at this time.

Indeed, schools that are successful at raising funds in the lead up to Christmas typically join the School Christmas Card Project – I know Christmas seems a long way away, but registration for our 2016 School Christmas Card Project is now open.

With the School Christmas Card Project an average school of 250 pupils can easily raise £500 or more and there is absolutely no upfront cost, whatsoever, to the school.

The School Christmas Card Project allows children to create their own artwork which is then printed on to professionally produced cards which the school sells at a profit to parents.

Parents place their orders and pay the school before we ask for any payment at all, and as we offer very competitive prices for our high quality products, you can maximise the earning potential for your school.

You will find everything you need to join our School Christmas Card Project on our website, including:
How it works
A free information pack
And our price table 

If you are unlikely to be the person to get involved in co-ordinating this kind of school fundraising project, please do forward this email onto a member of staff or a member of the PTA who is likely to be responsible.

Kind regards,

School Christmas Card Project
Start your 2016 School Christmas Card Project now!
Tel: 0114 453 9562
Ecclesall Print, 237A Ringinglow Road, Sheffield S11 7PU.

Postura Plus stools and high chairs …. an attractive choice for the science department…. and with a FIVE year warranty.

Ever since Postura chairs were introduced to UK schools and colleges in 1996 they have been a remarkable success……. and not without good reason.

a.   Excellent ergonomics to provide comfortable seating for your students.
b.   Now in 15 attractive colours.
c.   Available in a range of seat heights.

Postura Plus stools and high chairs have a skid base design which discourages leaning back and is kind to floor surfaces…. PLUS a FIVE year warranty.

Postura Plus stools and high chairs can be obtained from:

Central Educational Supplies Ltd., PO Box 999, London E14 6SH

More information and pricing can be seen on their website:


Contact them on: info@centraleducational.co.uk or telephone: 020 7515 1797 and ask for Martin Evans who will be pleased to assist.

2016 Specification Geography: Summer Spotlight Resources!

July Spotlight Resource: 2016 GCSE AQA Teaching Packs

The first in the range of our brand new Teaching Packs for the 2016 GCSE AQA specification is available now. Scheme of work, lesson plans and activities designed specifically for the new 2016 GCSE AQA specification for Unit 1: Section C: Physical Landscapes of the UK.

Engaging and well-thought-out schemes, designed by teachers around the specified learning objectives. Each resource covers a particular section of the specification. Ease your planning and cultivate pupils’ love for Geography!

  • All the specification key ideas covered in a structured manner
  • Lesson plans match weighting of the specification for a full GCSE
  • Varied activities including starters, mains, plenaries, homework and extension
  • Accessible worksheets with innovative activities to tackle each topic

Simplify your planning, preparation and marking: structured lesson plans, all resources and answers provided.

“A brilliant resource, has made me feel a lot more relaxed about teaching the new specification as this resource covers everything you need for this section.”
–  L. Keeley, HoD & Independent Reviewer

More unit sections coming soon! Look out for new ZigZag Education order forms in your school for September teaching.

ZigZag resources are available as ‘copy masters’ or in editable format and come with a site licence, allowing you to pay once and copy as often as you need, or put on your server for multiple use.

Our resources are also available in:

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

Preview and order now at http://zzed.uk/XA16

ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY
t: 0117 950 3199 | f: 0117 959 1695 | GeographyXA16@zigzageducation.co.uk

Give your promotional code XA16 to get free postage!