Many special needs students find language a difficult means of communication. Fortunately there are alternatives.

There are many special needs students who respond particularly well to working visually rather than verbally, and for such students film can be an ideal medium to allow them to explore and express their thoughts and feelings.

Yet there can be a problem: because self-evidently the teacher needs to feel comfortable with and experienced in the medium of film before teaching it to others.  Which is why we are writing to you today.

Supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, with the BFI’s Film Forever National Lottery funds, The Film Space is offering a two day workshop introducing film making skills to teachers of special needs students aged 14 to 18.

Also available are a limited number of bursaries to contribute towards the cost of attending.

The course focuses on developing transferable skills in film making, via a series of techniques and approaches to film making which can be passed on to your students.

At the end of the course participants will have learned the key strategies for involving students in creative moving image production, and how framing, lighting, sound and editing work together to create film.

At the heart of this is the development in the students of an awareness that film making is a series of choices from the different options available just as spoken language involves making choices between phrases to express a meaning.

Issues relating to cinematography, lighting, mood, sound, editing and planning are all covered in the course, which is taught by experienced film makers including producers, scriptwriters and film developers.

The course will take place at the University of Birmingham from the evening of Friday 13th to lunchtime on Sunday 15th of January 2017. The cost is £250 (excluding VAT), which covers not only the course content but also 2 nights accommodation and all meals.

There is more information about the course and registration at

If you have any questions relating to the course and bursary please email


Free KS3 ICT and Computing worksheet on creating a website!

Make sure that your KS3 students know all about the essential features of a website with this free worksheet from Boardworks ICT and Computing!

Complete with a full answer sheet, this resource starts by asking your students to identify what a good website needs, and which features are optional. Are quick download times more important than lots of video and animation?

A fill-in-the-gaps exercise reinforces the key processes and terminology associated with creating a website, whilst an extensive glossary is an ideal reference point when it comes to revision time.

This worksheet is the perfect homework task to test your students’ understanding of how websites work!

Download it now from our ICT and Computing free stuff page.

Kind regards,
The Boardworks team

English Literature Summer School 2017 Booking Now Open

A wonderful opportunity for students with a passion for literature to discover a range of new authors and texts, explore fresh approaches to familiar works and to prepare for undergraduate study of English Literature.

“Although I wasn’t initially sure what to expect about the summer course, I was massively surprised and impressed! – The sessions were in smallish groups of peers, and everyone was really nice and interested in the discussions – and the week was so engaging and eye opening, I felt really enriched and all of the tutors were so knowledgeable and insightful. Overall I would absolutely recommend the course, it was one of the best parts of my summer!”

“If you think this is just going to be a summer school on English Literature, you are wrong. It will also teach you about theories and ideas in Art, Theatre, and Philosophy. I came into the course disillusioned about English Literature academically but it inspired me to continue it further to A level.”

“I would thoroughly recommend attending the English Literature Summer School. It has given me a wonderful insight into texts and literary movements which are not covered on the school syllabus and has been enormous fun.”

Reviews from Summer School Students 2016

The English Summer School – Part 1 will cover literature dating from 650AD to 1790AD, including Middle English, Medieval Literature, Chaucer, The Renaissance, Shakespeare, Restoration Literature and the Rise of the Novel. In addition we will also be covering Historicist and Feminist critical approaches as part of this Summer School.

The English Summer School – Part 1 will be held on 24th – 28th July 2017.

The English Summer School – Part 2 will cover literature dating from 1790AD to the present day, including Romanticism and the Gothic Movement, Victorian Sensation Novels, Literature and the British Empire, Modernism, Postmoderism and Contemporary Literature. We will be covering the ‘Death of the Author’ and Postcolonial criticism as part of this Summer School.

The English Summer School – Part 2 will be held on 31st July – 4th August 2017.

The English Summer School – Part 3 will cover exclusively Contemporary English Literature, including prose fiction, poetry and drama. We will be focusing on Psychoanalytic criticism and questions of Identity as part of this Summer School.

The English Summer School – Part 3 will be held on 7th-11th August 2017.

Please note that students can attend all Parts of the Summer School, or just one or two, depending on their literary interests. Although the courses complement one another, they can also be treated as stand alone events and there is no requirement to have attended Part 1 in order to register for other Parts.

Thematic coverage by period, combining close study of texts with lectures on historical and cultural context, and setting major authors side-by-side with less familiar works, will help students to appreciate the development of prose, verse and drama in English from the middle ages to the present day. We will not only engage in close textual analysis of Medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, Nineteenth Century, Modernist and Contemporary writers, but also evaluate these movements in light of the authors’ own critical writing.

As well as looking at the purely written word, we will also cover literature in performance, comparing playscripts to film adaptations and reading through sections of the works using different performance theories. As an integral part of Part 1 of the Summer School we will attend a performance at the Globe Theatre on the Southbank. Literary theory and criticism will play an important role in the Summer School and students will be invited to examine texts they have studied in the light of competing theories of the nature and value of literature and the role of the critic.

This Summer School is suitable for all students aged 15-18 with a passion for literature, and will be particularly useful for those looking for a taste of undergraduate level engagement with texts and theory.

Practical Details:

The cost of booking any single five-day Part of the English Literature Summer School £465, the cost of any two Parts is £850, and the cost for all three Parts of the Summer School is £1200. The Summer School will be held at the University of London Bloomsbury campus (please note that these courses are 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 our website for details.

To book a place please visit call us on 0845 519 4827, or email Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Doddle Science has the new 2016 specifications covered


Our new Doddle Science resources have been designed to meet the 2016 specifications and include:

  • Content tailored for new AQA, OCR Gateway, OCR 21st Century and Edexcel requirements
  • Practical skill demonstrations through animations of required experiments
  • Provision for clear teaching of mathematical skills throughout the sciences

You can also keep track of student achievement by using our powerful online homework solution, with all our self-marking quizzes automatically populating your online markbook!

Book a free in-school visit with one of our experienced Education Consultants to find out how Doddle Science can support teaching and assessment in your department.


Why schools can’t provide as much learning outside the classroom as they would prefer

The problem: A survey, conducted by Benchmark Leasing as part of LOtC Week, revealed that 34% of primary schools cite the cost of transport to be the key factor which was limiting the amount of LOtC that they could offer to their pupils.

The solution: Fortunately, however, a growing number of schools are finding that they can reduce the cost of transport with two new approaches which have to be seen together; on their own they look like interesting notions – but not a solution.

The two approaches are a) to lease the minibus on a set monthly fee which includes all servicing, maintenance and repair costs, and b) to share its use with a nearby school that is in the same cluster, trust or council, so that each school has the bus for an agreed amount of time.

What’s more, many schools do then add a third element of their own to the equation – since they know how much the minibus will cost each month they sometimes ask the PTA or other support group to make a contribution to that cost each month.

Now that is often very much welcomed since it means that the parents making the contribution towards running the minibus know that is it their children who are benefitting, rather than the children in future years (as happens when the fund raising goes on for several years before a bus can be bought).

Sharing a leased minibus also has the benefit of ensuring that everyone is always driving a bus that is well-maintained – since it is the leasing company that works on maintaining the bus in tip-top condition.

If you haven’t leased a minibus or thought about sharing one, please do give me a call on 01753 859944 and I can talk you through how it all works. 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

And if you know that your colleagues are frequently searching for school trip or learning-outside-the-classroom ideas, please direct them to our Facebook & Twitter pages where they will find lots of exciting ideas.

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Teacher training opportunities with FSC

Field Studies Council (FSC) is a leading provider of fieldwork and environmental learning. We also use this expertise to deliver training to teachers, to help enable them to undertake more learning outside the classroom with their students.

  • Spend time with our passionate and experienced field teachers who love to inspire.
  • Enjoy comfortable, full board accommodation at our centres, included with residential courses.
  • Take away fresh ideas to help you back at school.

Here is a selection of the courses coming up in the FSC teacher training programme:

GCSE and A Level Geography Fieldwork Data Skills
Sat 19-Sun 20 November 2016 £50 FSC Juniper Hall, Surrey
This course offers teachers the opportunity to improve their skills in providing high quality ‘first hand’ outdoor fieldwork and is designed to support teaching of the new specifications. Run in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society.

A Level Rivers and Hydrology
Sat 11-Sun 12 February 2017 £50 FSC Preston Montford, Shropshire
Throughout the course, participants will gain practical experience of planning and carrying out Geography fieldwork research and investigations, designed to support the learning taking place in school.

Teaching GCSE Fieldwork After Controlled Assessment
Sat 20-Sun 21 May 2017 £50 FSC Slapton Ley, Devon
Develop your skills in providing first hand outdoor fieldwork for the new geography GCSE specifications.
You can find full details of these, and all our other teacher training courses at:

Life after levels: school leaders meeting

Please join us and other school leaders for our free meetings on ‘Life after Levels’ and effective whole school teaching, homework and assessment strategies.

In these meetings you will hear from expert speakers who can help your school to excel in the new academic year and tackle the big questions on:

  • how to adapt and bring together your assessment across different subjects;
  • how to ensure buy-in from staff on new initiatives;
  • how to demonstrate student progress, from KS3 through to KS4;
  • how to cover the new GCSE specifications and thoughts on introducing a 5 year key stage;
  • how and what to report to students, parents, and Ofsted.

Macdonald Burlington Hotel, 126 New Street
Date: Tuesday 15th November
: 9.30am to 12.30pm
Registration and refreshments from 9am.
Sign up for free here:

Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate
Date: Monday 21st November
Time: 9.30am to 12.30pm
Registration and refreshments from 9am.
Sign up for free here:

Or find out more at:

We hope to see you there!