What is the most effective way of encouraging dyslexic pupils and struggling readers to write with enthusiasm?

One of the most effective ways of helping your struggling readers and dyslexic pupils learn  is to teach via topics and for them to develop an understanding of each topic using active learning techniques such as activities or games alongside the text that has to be read.

At the same time, there needs to be encouragement to write; using notes to reinforce specifically what is being learned for each topic.

In this way, the reading, activities and note taking combine to reinforce key words and concepts while making the learning relevant and accessible.

Oaka topic packs contain full colour illustrations and use short words and simple sentence constructions that the pupils are likely to understand. Key points for each topic are covered in a clear, straightforward manner so any reading difficulty does not get in the way of understanding.

Many Oaka topic packs are endorsed by the ISEB (Independent Schools Examinations Board) and the packs are being used in over 370 UK schools.

To see more about how Oaka works, and to review our KS1 and KS2 resources, please click here.

Best wishes

Bambi Gardiner

Founder, Oaka Books

With exceptionally tight curriculum time and budget cuts is it still possible to support the mental health and wellbeing of post 16 pupils?

Research has shown that there is no doubt in the importance of mental health education within society and in particular the affect that it is having on student performance, however with 1 in 4 students suffering from anxiety and depression how is it possible to tackle such a vast problem on the limited resources within schools and colleges?

Part of the answer may be in understanding and addressing where the roots of many issues start, especially during the leap to responsible adulthood that takes place for many students post 16.

The mental health foundation carried out an extensive research study and report in 2016 and the title is a clear indicator for all educators:

Relationships in the 21st century: the forgotten foundation of mental health and wellbeing.

“Relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives, yet we can often forget just how crucial our connections with other people are for our physical and mental health and wellbeing”

Unfortunately relationship education is extremely difficult to deliver, and as pupils get older and the topics get more sensitive and extreme, although possibly more important than ever, the resources and school commitment to this area decrease.

Having worked with nearly ½ million students across the UK on SRE and mental health topics Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company have spent the last 3 years developing their most mature and extensive relationship project.  The project includes an hour’s live production that is followed by a range of talks or interactive workshops (bespoke delivery varies depending on budget, time and number of pupils).  “Exposed” is a 6th form PSHE experience that supports OFSTED findings on PSHE and has met with rave reviews from both pupils and teachers.

“Our students saw ‘Exposed’ and it was incredible! It is an extremely hard-hitting show with very adult themes running throughout but our students appreciated the opportunity to explore the issues together.” Hannah McSherry, St Albans High School for Girls. 

“We are a school who have had nothing but praise and amazing feedback from the students and staff.” Helen Price, Ramsey Academy.

The story unfolds as part of a police investigation and the play follows a year in the life of three 18 year olds to uncover the truth behind an incident that connects them all.  Everyone has a different perspective, they all have a motive, and none of them can be objective when it comes to their relationships. The storyline includes scenes around control, sexual pressure, consent, abuse, sexting, pornography, communicating feelings, rape, self-esteem, respect, and sexuality.

The prime aspect of “Exposed” as a package is that it carefully creates real life characters whose mental health, personalities, desires and influences can all be explored by students and therefore really assists in educating them on healthy relationships and supporting behaviour that encourages positive mental health.

“In raising awareness that healthy relationships help us thrive, we also give a warning of the impact that toxic relationships have on our health and wellbeing. Bullying and abuse are explosive in their destruction of mental health”
Jenny Edwards OBE, Chief Exec, Mental Health Foundation

Using our performance as a springboard our follow up discussions and workshops allow students to examine their own attitudes, ideas and behaviour in relation to difficult, contentious and sensitive topics. The knowledge the students gain helps them develop as students, people and members of society throughout their lives.

The project can be delivered for up to 250 pupils per day and there are a range of delivery options and packages.

Prices start at £575 + Travel + VAT

This academic year the tour runs from the 21st Feb 2018 to 23rd March 2018 and there are still some spaces available.

You can download a flyer here:


If you would like further information and an exact quote please contact me directly:

Tel: 07849743595

Email: tourbooker@tipoftheiceberg.biz