The Story of Mallory Twitch

A story written by Carolyn Kelly, a Play Therapy UK registrant, for a little boy who just couldn’t ask for help. It starts:

Once upon a time there was a sailor called Mallory Twitch who lived on a little red boat in Pebbletown.  Mallory Twitch was a very talented sailor and his skills were admired by everyone who saw him.

All the sailors moored their boats in the safety of Pebbletown Harbour.  But Mallory Twitch kept his boat anchored outside the harbour because Mallory Twitch did things his own way.  He spent every morning sailing and every afternoon eating cheese and chutney sandwiches. 

But there’s much, much more to play therapy than being able to tell a story.  Every child is different so different therapeutic stories must be produced individually.  Some children in therapy will choose sand tray or clay or puppets or music or other media so the therapist must be trained to communicate with the child (not just observe) in all of these.

It’s essential that schools only employ or contract Play Therapists that are on a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority and clinically supervised, to quality assure their work.

Otherwise the school is taking a big risk.

Overall 20% of the UK’s children have issues that are effectively treated by play therapy.  Investing in training a member of your teaching staff will soon be repaid through less disruption in classes, motivated pupils, better learning, reduced staff stress, happier parents and a better deployment of the pupil premium funding.

If you want to know the rest of Mallory’s story, how play therapy is already working in over 2000 primary schools in the UK and the training that is available in 13 centres all over the country, please email Monika at

Maximum Engagement is Vital

Which workshop is best for your transitioning students, for your ambitious students and for those in need of additional motivation?

If you wanted to see a fantastic adventure movie, you wouldn’t buy a ticket to see ‘La La Land’ at the cinema this week – even though it is supposed to be excellent.  Similarly, you wouldn’t book a spa weekend if you wanted some high adrenalin action over the Easter break.

Booking a workshop to motivate a particular group of students or to hit a specific target is no different.  One glove really does not fit all.  You need specialist options designed for the distinct purpose.

To maximise the achievement of every student, you need to ensure they are fully engaged and motivated to a high enough level that they actually want to learn.

It is precisely why Thinkers in Education has devised a wealth of far-reaching STEM and skill development workshops over the past decade with movie-like scenarios and game-like structures.  Students cannot help but be drawn in by the experience and find themselves benefitting massively.

And, with a huge 20% discount on any of the Double Session workshops hosted in May and June 2017, you could include two vastly different groups of learners in two separate sessions within the same day – in an extremely cost effective way.

Our Double Session workshops are perfect motivational experiences for science week, activities week, transition days and induction programmes – and options are available for pupils in year 5 through to year 13.

To take advantage of this offer you simply need to register you interest before April 7th and quote the code HHDS17.  If you go on to book a Double Session workshop in May or June, we will automatically do so at the discounted rate.

For more information you can call us on 01603 520866 or email us at

We will be delighted to discuss your requirements and advise you which of the workshops will best meet your particular purpose.

Alternatively, you can go online and view the options yourself:  Click here.  You will see the range of activities and scenarios available.  You can even try our incredibly easy to use ‘How to select an event’ guide from the drop down menu if you want a good overview.

We endeavour to make the whole experience, from discussion to delivery, as easy and useful as possible.  The Double Session workshops are an ideal place to start exploring the specialist options available.

Matt Hackett

It’s tough being a teen

What does it mean to an autistic student to be a teen?

The word “teen” originally meant (in the 17th century) injury, harm, suffering or grief.  Later it came to mean irritation, annoyance, anger or rage.

By the 18th century it came to have the current meaning of being the period of life between being 13 and 19 – a handy mix of the end of each number (fifteen etc) and the perceived behaviour of young people of that age range.

It was not until the 1920s that the word “teenager” was added to the lexicon, but the combination of meanings remained – being between 13 and 19, and expressing undue amounts of irriTation, annoyance, anger, etc.

The teens can of course be difficult years for many school students, but for those who suffer from autism spectrum disorder the period can be especially troubling as information and advice for teenagers generally doesn’t cater for those who view the world in a wholly different way.

Which is why SEN Press has produced the Teen Issue Value Pack, suitable for students aged between 14 and 19 with autism or other special educational needs and a reading age of around seven.

The Teen Issues Value Pack consists of six story books, each exploring a different teen issue, with relevance to the ASDAN award programmes ‘Transition Challenge’ and ‘Towards Independence’.   Also included is a CD-ROM providing digital versions of the above titles, which are ideal for interactive whiteboard presentations and for students who would also benefit from listening to the text.

It is possible to edit and save the text to make your own differentiated texts, and there is also an extensive range of activity worksheets and interactive activities that encourage reading comprehension, including page-by-page notes for all the stories and assessment resources (feedback sheets and student record sheets).

The complete set of resources containing two copies of each of the six readers, the complete teacher book, and the CD Rom is available for £139 plus VAT.  Individual elements from the pack are also available separately.

You can see more details and sample pages from the readers, and details for ordering individual items as well as the full pack on our “Teen Issues” web page.

For further information, please email or call 01582 833205.

Janie Nicholas

Pinot! The Musical – Only 3 Shows Left

June 14/16 Wimbledon.  French through music and theatre!

Out of 16 performances of Pinot! The Musical only 3 are now left!

  • Wednesday 14 June 10.30am
  • Wednesday 14 June 1.30pm
  • Friday 16 June 1.30pm

Pinot! The Musical is the latest thing in language learning. An exciting musical show which gets pupils and teachers singing along in French!

The show is just one hour long and is especially effective with   6 – 12 year olds.    The show takes place in the New Wimbledon Studio Theatre

Booking Pinot! The Musical

  • Book through ATG tickets at the New Wimbledon Studio Theatre box office,
  • School groups pay £12.00 per pupil seat (Note: sponsored / funded seats have all been allocated for 2017 – email if you wish your school to go on the waiting list for funded seats for the next season in 2018)
  • Schools qualify for one FREE teacher place with every 10 pupils – maximum 70 pupils per performance
  • Please email when you have booked through Wimbledon Theatre so that you can claim your FREE CD/Songbook pack and FREE mp3 files of show songs.

Pinot! The Musical, the fun-packed comedy musical that makes learning French exciting, is coming to the New Wimbledon Studio Theatre this summer.  Don’t miss this wonderful ‘sing along in French’ musical show!

Set in Paris, the story of Pinot! The Musical follows the adventures of a young Russian cyclist with a dream – to win the Tour de France!  Follow him and his Cossack dancing friends on their thrilling journey!  On their way they meet colourful characters, including a beggar and a bag lady who tell the story in English, and a clumsy policeman who keeps chasing them. The show’s catchy songs make learning French easy for children of all ages – and pupils and teachers will not be able to resist singing along!

French songs cover the following curriculum topics:

  • days of the week
  • alphabet
  • numbers
  • months of the year
  • verbs Etre and Avoir – to be and to have
  • phrases ‘qu’est-ce-c’est’ (what’s that?);  ‘je ne sais pas’ (I don’t know); ‘c’est la vie’ (that’s life) ;
  • question words
  • opposites (big/small grand/petit etc.)

Schools will receive a FREE CD/Book pack plus FREE mp3 files of all the French show songs as soon as they book so pupils start to prepare to sing along lustily on the day!

Yours sincerely


P.S. Don’t forget, if you are interested in sponsored/funded seats for your school for the 2018 season, please email to go on the waiting list.

Interactive Story-Telling and Song Workshops for Primary Schools

Top Traditional Story-Teller Jim MacCool is visiting Primary Schools throughout the Summer Term 2017.
Bards in the true sense, Celtic Yarn-Spinners enrich and entertain all ages with interactive stories, poems and songs.
Mr MacCool’s tried and tested workshops are a wonderful cross curriculum activity mixing music, literacy, speaking and listening skills in a fun learning experience for pupils and staff.
Should you be interested in having Jim MacCool and his Traditional Story-Telling Workshops come to your school, please telephone me, Joy Atkins, on 020 8688 6951, or you may prefer to email:  for more information.
The Stratford Festival of Salon Arts organises
The National Tour of Traditional Celtic Story-Tellers
running from Mon. 20th March through to Friday 21st July 2017
Dates of Interest
World Story-Telling Week Starts on Mon. 20th March 2017.
October is National Poetry Month
Joy Atkins
Stratford Festival of Salon Arts
15 Warwick Road Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6YW
Tel. 0208 688 6951

Engage boys in education and maintain their interest

What is the single most effective way to engage boys in education and maintain their interest?

According to the DfE, “Girls are outperforming boys in all the main attainment indicators at ks4” which is what makes it so important to implement a whole-school strategy that will not only engage boys in education but that will also maintain their interest.

Which is precisely why Mengage has devised a workshop entitled
The Boy Problem: Raising boys’ achievement – what can schools do?

The Boy Problem: Raising boys’ achievement – what can schools do? is an evidence-based, experiential workshop in which your staff will be taught about the most effective ways to close the widening gap between girls’ and boys’ attainment in education.

This workshop offers practical solutions and covers five main areas of concern, including: male learning styles, boys’ participation in education, addressing literacy concerns, a male-inclusive classroom, and the importance of creating a whole-school strategy.

The Boy Problem: Raising boys’ achievement – what can schools do? is delivered in three hours and costs £895. For more information or to discuss a booking, you can contact Liam by email at or by phone on 07788725318.

Alternatively, you can visit our website at to see what else we offer with regards to mental health and accredited mentoring.

What is the single most effective way of utilising pupil premium funding?


There is of course one fundamental issue that affects every other aspect of student’s education: their level of literacy.

The problem is that once a student starts to slip behind it can be difficult to tailor instruction towards individuals within a group.  What each student needs is help and support in his/her specific areas of difficulty.

At this point a highly accurate and rapid system of placing students according to their current literacy ability is required which precisely notes the progress they are making.

Every school needs this analysis, without it taking up more of that most precious resource: time.

One particularly effective solution to this problem is to implement an auto-placement approach which analyses individual ability level and reveals exactly what each student needs to be focussing on in order to ensure literacy progress is achieved.

Then, if the student can have one-to-one tuition in a way that is utterly engaging and responsive to her or his immediate literacy needs and within the school’s budget, the issue is resolved.

All of this can be done using Lexia Strategies Reading Skills software.  The analysis, the comparisons with other students, the progress, the remedial work – each and every element of the anecdotal work is tracked and provided by Strategies.

If you would like to read the case studies involving UK schools which are already using the system please click here. You will then also find on the right of the page the route to having access to the full program for 30 days without any payment or commitment.

If you want to know more about the program, we have all the information you’ll need available here. Alternatively, if you would like to talk first, call 0191 482 1939, or email

Rob Kay

LexiaUK Software Consultant

Looking to save on your Teacher Planners?

Well, I think I can help.

Our range of Budget Teacher Planners are designed to meet the changing demands of our customers and budget constraints many schools are up against.

Starting at only £4.95 our Budget Teacher Planners come in B5 or A4 and include the following;

  • Durable twin loop wire binding
  • Double sided fold out dated year planner
  • Undated diary pages printed in black
  • 6 period day layout
  • Attendance & assessment registers

If you’d like to receive more detail and a tailored quote for your 2017/18 planners simply let me know your requirements and I’ll be in touch right away.

Alternatively, you can contact me on 0113 231 0995, I’d be delighted to help.

Kind Regards



Olaf Surtees
Education Planning Consultant
tel: +44 (0)113 231 0995