Developing Teaching Assistants – new opportunities, new responsibilities  

Academic achievements are very important, but schools are about more than just that. For pupils who have SEN or any other emotional or behaviour issues it is vital that these are solved as early as possible. Parents of this children also need support and re-assurance that your school is doing its best for them.

Over a thousand schools have developed TAs into multiple roles by training them as Practitioners in Therapeutic Play Skills to do both of these tasks.  They are achieving success rates of between 75% and 84%. Consider this opportunity if your school is not yet one of these or you are not already employing a registered Play Therapist.

The training takes place over five weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) to minimise time away from school at 13 venues in the UK.  It’s at post graduate level, validated by Leeds Beckett University.  Qualifies for the Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

Improved learning; pupils with better emotional well-being and mental health; happier parents; good staff development; excellent use of your budgets.

Learn more about the skills needed and our training methods on a one-day Introduction to Play Therapy course.

More information: to fix a time for a chat.

Yours sincerely,

Jeff Thomas – Registrar Play Therapy UK


How can the tale of a veteran inspire students to try harder?

Students are always interested in people who come from significantly different backgrounds from themselves – sports stars, celebrities, entrepreneurs…people whose lives are totally different from their own.

We currently have a team of military veteran speakers touring the country and are on a mission to inspire students to increase their aspirations and motivate them to be the best they can possibly be.

Our speakers draw upon their unique experiences of success and failure to convey the value of hardwork and commitment to get the best in life.

Schools and academies regularly invite us to work with their Year 11 students prior to the new year, so our study techniques can be incorporated early in preparation for the exams ahead.

The good news is that we are making our sessions even more affordable by offering a one hour seminar to 100 of your students for £399.

During the session we cover:

– How to be self motivated

– Inspirational stories of success

– Strategies to plan your work

– Study skills to ‘get the edge’

– Revision techniques.

If you are interested and would like to know more, then please feel free to contact me for a no obligation chat.

In addition, if you know of any other schools or academies which would benefit from one of our military speakers working with their students, I would be very grateful if you were to forward my details across to them.

Many thanks

Nasir Unia

07830 208725

What is the most frustrating yet most common obstacle to learning that we see among pupils and students?

Of course we all get frustrated with pupils and students who are not using their natural talent or native ability and who could do so much better at school, but simply won’t settle down to work.

However, such a lack of application is not just something that is observed in the classroom or with homework.  It gets reported in all walks of life.

Employers constantly see young staff who could really get on in the business but who have a certain resistance to being told what to do. The same is found in sport – athletes, footballers, swimmers, etc – all with a natural ability that could give them a career in the sport, who simply will not train properly or refuse to look after their bodies.

And then again it is there in the arts – the talented actor who won’t focus in rehearsals, the musician who won’t practise…

So it is probably not surprising when we find it in school, when attitude gets in the way of what could be achieved.

The problem is, with all these cases, that once the poor attitude sets in it is quite hard to shift, not least because attitude is a habit, and habits are incredibly easy to pick up and very difficult to remove.

Difficult – but not impossible.  For with a clarity of purpose it is possible to make a change in attitude and behaviour happen in virtually every individual – as long as we can encourage parents to play a central role in the issue of the changing attitudes and behaviour of pupils and students.

Our argument is that if ways can be found to bring parents who might not normally associate strongly with the school, into the school’s approach, then change can happen more quickly and become more solidly embedded within the school and within the pupil or student.

From these concepts emerged a series of formal school policies and everyday approaches which are set out in detail in our report “Improving attitudes, managing behaviour and reducing exclusions.”

The volume is available as a download only for £14.95, inclusive of VAT, with the right to reproduce the volume in full or in parts to colleagues in the school.

Sample pages can be viewed at

ISBN: 978 1 86083 845 3 Order code: T1813

You can obtain the download by:

Debate Chamber Summer Schools 2019

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students age 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 the older age-group, about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university), but the atmosphere will be relaxed, with plenty of discussion, debate, and opportunities for students to shape the direction of classes. It is an environment conducive to getting to grips with new ideas.

Working in small groups (usually around 14 students per group) over several days offers participants a real chance to get to know tutors and fellow students and to explore the topics or questions that particularly interest them.

Highlights for students aged 15-18:

The Summer Law School in three distinct five-day Parts to allow time for more cases, more analysis and more debate on some of the most intriguing legal questions. Students can choose to focus on Criminal Law, Civil Law or International Law, or to attend all three Parts for a comprehensive introduction to legal study.

The International Relations Summer School will introduce the central theories involved in the academic study of IR – realism, liberalism, constructivism and Marxism – and will then look at a range of detailed case studies in order to apply, test and explore these theories. Topics covered will include military intervention, international law, development aid, feminism and foreign policy, regional sessions looking at China and the Middle East, and the European response to the migration crisis.

The Medicine Summer School offers a series of two-day events with specialist sessions on cardiology, paediatrics, oncology, emergency medicine and many other topics – enabling students to attend a wide-ranging introduction or select the sessions most relevant to their interests.

Our Mathematics and Physics Summer Schools now offer options for students at GCSE, and also for those who have completed the first year of A Level study. These five-day events offer a challenging and rigorous exploration of theory and application, with a focus on developing practical problem-solving skills.

We also have courses in Economics, History, Classical Civilisations, Philosophy and Politics (all for students aged 15-18).

Last but not least, we also have a smaller number of courses available for younger students (ages 11-14) in Law, Medicine, Creative Writing and Science subjects.

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 2019. 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

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 us on 0845 519 4827, or email Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Rise like lions after slumber

There comes to some students a moment when they suddenly realise that tucked away within the poetry they are invited to read there is something so radical, so exciting, so different, that it seems to turn the whole world upside down.

Then, at that moment, they want to read more.

It might happen when a student suddenly comes across “the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom” and interprets Blake in her or his own way.

Or they might find an inspiration in Keats with “The sculptured dead on each side.”

And while one might not want to start a student revolution in school, there are lines from past centuries which can still stir many an active young mind.  Who knows what some might do with the thought:

‘Rise like lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number;

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you.

Ye are many, they are few.’

Scouring poetry in order to find individual lines that mean something to the student is, of course, not the same as properly studying the poetry but it can be a way into the subject.  In such a situation all that is needed is for the student to have access to the poetic works themselves.

But that raises the question, can we really afford to have copies of all the key works of the major poets available for any student who suddenly wants to know more?

And the answer is yes, when the cost of editions is very modest.

If you would like to see our list of poetry collections each at under £4, this page from our website gives the full details.

There will be no unexpected surprises, I can assure you – at least not until the students open one of the books and start developing their own unique interest in the greatest poetry in the English language.

Also available on the site is an order form showing all the books (poetry and otherwise) that we have available.

And, of course, besides the poetry we have reprints of the classics from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from Conan Doyle to Oscar Wilde, Jules Verne to James Joyce.

For a selection of the 50 texts most regularly bought by schools, taken from our full range of 400 titles, please do click here.

I do hope you will have a moment to look at what is on offer and try some of our titles.

The Romans never understood “zero”. In an average class there will be one or two young people who have the same problem.

For around 1000 years Roman numerals was the counting system of western civilisation. Which is odd considering it is so clunky and difficult to use.

It’s biggest problem, of course, is that it has no zero – one moves from IX (9) to X (10).  And without zero maths gets at best frustrating, at worst fiendish.

But when we ask “what is zero?” and answer “nothing” we are merely using one word to explain another – we are not saying what zero is, as happens when we ask “what is a chair?”

To make sense of zero, and thus our whole numbering system, we each need a particular part of the brain to be able to decode the concept of number in general.

And where that brain function isn’t working properly, no matter how much teaching in the standard way continues, the individual will struggle to learn.

But just as with dyslexics and the spelling of words, teaching in the conventional way does not work – the pupils and students need a different approach, which deals with the concept of maths in a totally new way.

This is why the Dyscalculia Centre not only offers a diagnostic test for dyscalculia, but also provides an analysis of that person’s areas of difficulty and a range of teaching materials suitable to that individual.

The Dyscalculia Diagnostic Test is taken on-line, and generally lasts about 15 or 20 minutes.  When it has been completed you will receive a detailed report identifying the problem areas and the actions that can be taken to help the individual overcome these issues and the relevant teaching materials.

The materials can also be copied so that, where appropriate, the parents can also work with the pupil at home.  You’ll find more information about the Dyscalculia Centre’s on-line test for dyscalculia on our website.

Testing costs £59.95 per individual.  Where three tests are booked together the price is £49.95 each.  When 10 tests are booked together the price is £45.95 each.

However if you are working in a school which rejects the notion of dyscalculia or which for other reasons will not fund the use of our test, please get in touch with details as we may be able to help you through our Bursary scheme.

Once you have purchased the test/s each one can then be used at any time.  The cost includes taking the test, a specific report in relation to the individual taking the test, and resources relevant to that individual which can be used to aid progress in maths.

You can order the test:

Tony Attwood C.Ed., B.A., M.Phil (Lond), F.Inst.A.M.

For almost 1000 years maths was held back by one simple problem. Now it’s been solved… except 4% of children don’t get it.

It’s not a trick question, but it might be one you’ve never thought about.  Why did counting with Roman numerals come to an end after almost 1000 years of use.

The answer is nothing to do with all that XL and VIII business – it is something quite different from that.  In fact it wasn’t something in Roman counting that caused the problem, it was the lack of something.

And that something was zero.

The Romans didn’t think of nothing, because for them there was always something.  If there was nothing, there was nothing to count, nothing to discuss.  If Lucius owed Marcus five apples and had the five to give his pal, that was the end of counting.  It wasn’t that Lucius now had zero apples.  There was no number 0 so there was no issue.  Apples were gone from the agenda.

Now of course we have zeros and everything is fine – except for around four children in every 100 who find the whole issue of zero very odd, and rather disturbing.  Indeed some of these youngsters find the whole concept of number rather bizarre.

Fortunately, there are ways of teaching the meaning of number and time to young people who suffer from this type of problem; young people who are often called dyscalculic. But these ways are somewhat different from the conventional approaches to maths.

Understanding Dyscalculia: An Introduction for Schools examines the origins of dyscalculia and sets out the methods of working available which can help those with dyscalculia overcome their problems with maths.

The book can be copied to give out in full or part to other members of staff in school, to worried parents, and to governors, so that everyone can share in the awareness of what dyscalculia is, and how it can be tackled.

Research suggests that most children who gain appropriate help in school can overcome their dyscalculic difficulties and achieve an acceptable grade in secondary school examinations, thus allowing entry into further and higher education.

Understanding Dyscalculia: An Introduction for Schools is available as a download which can be printed out, copied and given to colleagues within the school for £14.95, including VAT.

ISBN: 978 1 86083 614 5   Order code: T1628 – please quote with order.

You can purchase the download copy of the volume

The UK’s growing population: how much will need to be invested into the economy?

UK ISA specialist, True Potential Investor, investigates the effects of the growing population. Click here to see the infographic.

The UK population is growing, reaching an estimated 65.1 million people in 2015 and projected to pass 70 million people by 2026. What effect will a growing population have on the amount that will need to be invested by the government into the UK’s economy, though? Here, we take a look at key stats of previous generations to try and forecast the same parameters but for generations to come…

Understanding Gross Domestic Product

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is used throughout this infographic. It represents the monetary value of all the finished goods and services that is produced within a country’s borders within a specific time period.

All private and public consumption is included within GDP, as does investments, government outlays, private inventories, paid-in construction costs and foreign balance of trade — whereby exports are added and imports are subtracted. In essence, GDP broadly measures the overall economic activity of a nation and indicates its economic health and gains an idea of its standard of living.

Silent Generation

Also known as Traditionalists, the Silent Generation were named as such as they were expected to be seen and not heard. Due to growing up through the Great Depression and the Second World War, this is a generation who considered work a privilege and held the belief that you earn your own way through hard work.

Date period: Born during 1945 or prior

All of this generation were 16 by: 1961

UK population (estimated) in 1961: 52,807,400

UK’s GDP (chained volume measure and seasonally adjusted) in 1961: £529,152m

Great Britain’s Historic CPI inflation rate in 1961: 4.37%

UK real households’ disposable income per head in 1961: £5,979

*Employment and unemployment rates unavailable for 1961

Baby Boomers

Baby boomers were named as such as there was a ‘baby boom’ in the years that followed the end of the Second World War. Due to witnessing both the Women’s Liberation movement and the Civil Rights movement, this generation is known to challenge the status quo. They also like to seek immediate gratification and attempt to fulfil personal goals.

Date period: Born between 1946 and 1964

All of this generation were 16 by: 1980

UK population (estimated) in 1980: 56,329,700

UK’s GDP (chained volume measure and seasonally adjusted) in 1980: £859,674m

Great Britain’s historic CPI inflation rate in 1980: 15.12%

UK real households’ disposable income per head in 1980: £9,188

UK’s employment rate (aged 16 to 64 and seasonally adjusted) in 1980: 70.8%

UK’s unemployment rate (aged 16 to 64 and seasonally adjusted) in 1980: 6.8%

Generation X

Sometimes referred to as the MTV Generation as they witnessed the growing popularity of music videos and, more specifically, the emergence of the MTV channel, Generation X also lived through the fall of the Berlin Wall. As a result, this generation is independent, skeptical and self-sufficient, not to mention valuing a work/life balance.

Date period: Born between 1965 and 1976

All of this generation were 16 by: 1992

UK population (estimated) in 1992: 57,584,500

UK’s GDP (chained volume measure and seasonally adjusted) in 1992: £1,138,538m

Great Britain’s Historic CPI inflation rate in 1992: 2.54%

UK real households’ disposable income per head in 1992: £12,905

UK’s employment rate (aged 16 to 64 and seasonally adjusted) in 1992: 69%

UK’s unemployment rate (aged 16 to 64 and seasonally adjusted) in 1992: 9.9%


Also known as Generation Y, Millennials experienced an upbringing where they were increasingly surrounded by computers and technology. TV shows became popular during their childhood too, while they also witnessed the girl’s movement. As a result, this generation is confident, sociable and optimistic. They also don’t always understand their limitations and value a sense of achievement and multi-tasking.

Date period: Born between 1977 and 1995

All of this generation were 16 by: 2011

UK population (estimated) in 2011: 63,285,100

UK’s GDP (chained volume measure and seasonally adjusted) in 2011: £1,729,121m

Great Britain’s Historic CPI inflation rate in 2011: 4.20%

UK real households’ disposable income per head in 2011: £17,991

UK’s employment rate (aged 16 to 64 and seasonally adjusted) in 2011: 70.3%

UK’s unemployment rate (aged 16 to 64 and seasonally adjusted) in 2011: 8.1%


Often also referred to as Generation Z, iGen and Post-Millennials, this group lived through 9/11 and its aftermath, witnessed a worldwide economic recession and read countless news reports about war. As such, Centennials are known to be more self-aware, self-reliant and driven, as well as socially minded but cautious.

Date period: Born from 1996 to the current day

This generation began turning 16 during: 2012

UK population (estimated) in 2015: 65,110,000

UK’s GDP (chained volume measure and seasonally adjusted) in 2015: £1,888,737m

Great Britain’s Historic CPI inflation rate in 2015: -0.44%

UK real households’ disposable income per head in 2015: £18,770

UK’s employment rate (aged 16 to 64 and seasonally adjusted) in 2015: 73.7%

UK’s unemployment rate (aged 16 to 64 and seasonally adjusted) in 2015: 5.4%

Thoughts for generations to come

From analysing the trends of previous generations, here’s a few points to consider for what might be to come for the generations to come…

  • As well as the UK’s population continuing to grow, so too has the nation’s GDP and real households’ disposable income per head.
  • Following a dip as the Baby Boomer generation was reaching adulthood, the UK’s employment rate has continued to increase.
  • The UK’s unemployment rate did increase as the Baby Boomer generation reached adulthood too. However, in the generations that followed, the unemployment rate has continued to drop.
  • It would be very difficult to forecast the nation’s rate of inflation in the years to come. As showcased when analysing the previous generations, Great Britain’s Historic CPI inflation rate has altered in a manner that doesn’t appear to follow a trend and certainly cannot be compared with the trends of any other parameter covered.



How serious do you need to be about developing thinking skills in your students?

At the end of the last ‘Target: Mars’ summer school for upper KS2 students this year, I was approached by the mother of one of the participating pupils. She was eager to express how closely the skill sets listed on the certificates awarded to students matched those her company looked for during candidate selection – and how valuable those skills really are in the workplace.

She was talking to me in a personal capacity but was from one of the giant science-led pharmaceutical companies based in London.

Our corporate division reports that the majority of employers are looking for a certain set of skills in prospective candidates – including critical thinking, creative thinking, communication and the ability to meet deadlines when under pressure.  The earlier we start to develop these skill sets the more beneficial it is.  It helps children during their education and helps to broaden their career options.

The approach used by Thinkers in Education has proven to increase engagement, raise aspirations, deepen learning, and build the ever so important thinking and social skills.

These school workshops are focussed around STEM subjects and are available throughout the year. They enable pupils to get their hands on science activities that support the curriculum but go beyond the scope of KS2 – which helps to ignite and fuel curiosity in STEM subjects.

Your pupils can use a wide range of equipment, from DNA fingerprinting to advanced electronics, and be taught by one of our STEM specialist teams – who are all highly experienced teachers too.

As a primary school you can choose to host half-day sessions or host a workshop during one of our UK tour routes.  Both options significantly reduce the cost.  It is also possible to host a student workshop followed by a staff team building session (as delivered to our corporate clients).  Plus, there are free activities that your teachers can use in their own lessons.

It takes less than a minute to sign up for the updates.  Simply click here to have a look.

If you would like to discuss any of these options, we would be delighted to talk with you.

You can also email me:  or call us on 01603 520 866

How to get some really imaginative resources that help you develop thinkers in science.

Discovering if toy robots will be crushed when kids race them across an unopened stretch of motorway – by analysing the motion of the robots and oncoming steamrollers – has made thousands of pupils smile whilst improving their interpretations and calculations from speed graphs.

A little rebellious and a hint macabre, the approach has never failed to generate engagement in physics.  There is a wealth of engaging contexts and challenges for biology and chemistry too, from CSI themed activities to the exploration of alien worlds.  And they are all free.

Complete lessons, starters and plenaries are available. There are teaching screens, student worksheets, online quizzes and homework challenges that can be emailed to you a few times each term – ready to insert into your teaching as and when the time arises.

These curriculum linked resources are specifically designed to develop critical thinking, creative thinking and communication skills – the very skills the OECD report are in high demand by employers but in increasingly short supply.

Based on the approach and questioning style that has proven so successful in workshops delivered by Thinkers in Education since 2001 the activities will save you time, challenge your most able students and help to increase engagement for all via the unusual contexts and competitive challenges included.  Plus, you will receive exclusive discounts on a wide variety of workshops too.

It takes less than a minute to sign up for the updates.  Simply click here to have a look.

If you would like to discuss ideas, we would be delighted to talk with you.

You can call us on 01603 520 866 or email:

Poor communication skills always hinder learning. But how can we improve a child’s communication skills?

Every child with poor communication skills has, quite obviously, difficulty in listening, understanding, and self-expression.  Which is to say, that child has difficulties with every aspect of learning.

As research has shown, this problem affects a huge number of children.  Ican, for example, has suggested that at least 10% of young people across the UK have communication difficulties severe enough to be hindering their learning.

These children invariably also have difficulties in areas such as problem-solving and maintaining relationships.

Many agree that what is needed in order to overcome such problems is a way to learn effective two-way interactive communication so that they can participate both in the formal side of their education and the social side of being at school.

But the problem is, how can this be arranged within the current financial situation?

We know that it is vital for children to be able to express themselves openly and articulate their thoughts and feelings.  We know that language is an integral part of our processing of daily events through our thoughts.

And beyond this we know that if we do not have the skills to process daily events internally then our mental health and well-being suffer.

But that still leaves the question, how can change be effected?

NLP4kids works in this area with many schools around the UK, and our work includes helping schools access government funding specifically set aside for this sort of project – thus effectively making our services available free of charge to the school.

If you would like to know more about our work in improving students’ communication skills and about the funding, please do have a look at our communication skills webpage.

To discuss the options without any obligation please do call 0345 3192 666 or 0203 6677 294 or email me at

2018 Low cost Play Therapy Placement Scheme

If you your school is not already employing a registered Play Therapist, you could use the Play Therapy UK placement scheme provided by our accredited training providers APAC in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University.

This year there will be about 300 trainees from all over the UK looking for placements to work therapeutically with primary school pupils who have emotional, behaviour and mental health issues.

They will be clinically supervised in providing 100 hours of sessions (typically seeing 8 pupils throughout the year).

All you have to provide is a safe, confidential play room and a budget of about £300 for equipment and materials. ie a cost to the school of roughly £3 per session.

In addition, the placements will conduct parent interviews, assessments, measure outcomes for the children and also for your objectives – how you want therapy to benefit your school and provide regular progress reports.


First come, first served.  Last year our Autumn cohorts were fully placed by the end of October.

More information: to fix a time for a chat.

How the idea of secret codes hidden within the texts can stimulate student interest in Shakespearean comedies

The notion that the world is not as we see it, is as old as humankind.  Carvings, markings, pictures, commentaries – these can all be seen as relating to deeper hidden meanings, and for most teenagers this is indeed a fascinating notion.

Indeed the concept that there is more to the world than can be seen, fascinates many teenagers – quite possibly the majority of teenagers.

Whether they have been told of hidden meanings within Renaissance paintings, of have watched the Da Vinci Code or any of its multiple spin offs, the fact that the world is not what it seems is a notion that appeals to many teenagers at a fundamental level.

So when they find that Shakespeare seriously may also have worked with arcane knowledge, and when they hear that some of the mysteries and anomalies in his works can be explained through references to alchemy, Renaissance magic, Celtic mysticism, the Cabala and so on, their interest in Shakespeare and his works, peaks.

Of course this is not to say that the students see the whole of Shakespeare as an elaborate code.  But it does mean that when students find that some of the more difficult to understand texts and settings can be explained in different ways, their appreciation of the works can be enhanced..

In this regard “Secret Meanings in Shakespeare” is an excellent source book for any teacher looking to find additional explanations for some of Shakespeare’s more convoluted theatrical moments.

Indeed the incorporation of just a few of the “Secret meanings” into the students’ study of Shakespeare can also give them a sense of holding knowledge that others do not have.

From there on all they need is to practice the introductory phrases such as “It has also been argued that…” and they can show examiners that they not only know the play but also can appreciate that in all things Shakespearean different explanations are possible.

“Secret Meanings in Shakespeare” examines the Shakespearean comedies from the point of view of materials and ideas to which he was most likely to have had access.  The exploration of the plays then helps enlighten the students and their understanding and gives them a sense of holding their own inside knowledge.

The book is available both as a paperback for £29.99 and as an ebook for £9.99.

To order a paperback or Kindle copy please click here.

To Order as an ebook please click here for apple devices.

For more information please email or call 01992 586279

How a revolution in the design and manufacture of classroom chairs can save your organisation hundreds of pounds as well as reduce maintenance costs and improve your students’ comfort & concentration……… 

Introduced  in 1996  the “one piece” Postura chair was the first classroom chair to be manufactured from a single mould of polypropylene.  Today hundreds of thousands of these chairs are in use throughout the UK in schools, colleges and nurseries.

What’s so special about the “one piece” Postura chair…..?

Before the introduction of the Postura chair, most classroom chairs were  made either of wood or  a metal frame  which was fixed to a polypropylene “shell” (the seat)  by screws or rivets.  If you have ever worked in a school then you will almost certainly  have come across broken or vandalised chairs ………How do they get broken?

The weak link is the fixings which join the shell to the frame. They can usually be unscrewed or damaged, either deliberately or by the constant stresses and strains of wear by students for several hours everyday, week after week, month after month and year after year.  Sometimes they can be repaired using a replacement shell or frame but more often than not such repairs tend to be of a temporary nature.

The Postura chair has done away with all this.   Its one piece design means there are no screws or rivets to be broken or damaged.  When you take delivery of Postura chairs you get a TWENTY year warranty with each one. That’s how confident are the manufacturers that you’ll get at least twenty years of trouble free use from each chair.

How can the Postura chair save us  hundreds  of pounds?

Simple. The warranty covers any possible manufacturing defects for 20 years.

This means that you’ll get 20 years of trouble free classroom seating from as little as 35p per term per chair…and this cost is based on the largest size, being used by ages 11 upwards…for primary and nursery schools the cost is even less !  So you can wave goodbye to broken and vandalised chairs… more time wasted in repairs, no more “wonky” chairs, no more expenditure for replacements when they have become unrepairable. It all adds up to big savings when you switch to Postura classroom chairs from the traditional classroom chair.

What about improving students’ concentration….?

If you’ve ever sat on an uncomfortable chair you’ll know….well, how uncomfortable it is. You  change your position, you fidget, you can’t sit comfortably and if you’re in a meeting the chances are you’re just as concerned with your sitting position than concentrating on what is being said.  It’s no different with your students, which is why the Postura chair was designed to be ergonomically beneficial …… to be comfortable and encourage good posture, so students can concentrate on lessons rather than continually trying to make themselves comfortable.

………..and here’s an additional reason to order Postura chairs now.

Central Educational Supplies Ltd., one of the leading distributors of Postura chairs in the UK, have held their 2017 prices throughout 2018….so your organisation can make even greater savings when ordering from this company.

If you’d like to know more about these excellent chairs or make an order, please visit the website of: Central Educational Supplies Ltd,

or phone 020 7515 1797 and ask to speak to Martin Evans.  If you prefer to email then it’s or fax  020 7515 4420

P.S. orders are usually delivered within 7-10 working days.

Anger is a primitive response that everyone has, but when students can manage their anger life is so much better

There are several ways of classifying emotions, and one that is often found helpful contains four emotional pairs: joy-sadness, anger-fear, trust-distrust, surprise-anticipation.

Psychologists have long argued about the best way to list all emotions, but whatever approach is used anger most certainly is one of the fundamental human impulses.

And because anger is so basic to the human psyche it is hard to control simply by saying “don’t get so angry.”

The tendency to get angry is innate, automatic, and, when triggered, very fast and we have it, because in earlier times getting angry automatically could enhance one’s chances of survival.

But, obviously, the classroom is not a life or death struggle, and thus anger in the classroom  is not helpful.  However helping students control angry reactions not just to everyday experiences but to accumulated problems across time can be difficult.

For anger expressed in the classroom can leave the teacher in an invidious position, wanting to offer emotional support to a student in difficulty, while at the same time having a duty towards everyone in the class.

And yet it is possible for students with anger issues to be fully integrated back into mainstream schooling.

This approach involves not just managing a student’s behaviour but also seeking out and dealing with the issues that are causing this behaviour as well as helping the student find the best emotional coping strategies to resolve the problem.

And this is what NLP4Kids offers: helping students communicate their thoughts and feelings with others, helping them make meaningful relationships, and ultimately helping them improve their employment opportunities all through bringing their anger under control.

If you feel that you have some students in your school who are not reaching their full potential because of anger and related issues, you may find our website helpful.

We have already worked with numerous schools across the country and now have additional time and funding available to come to your school and work with the students you nominate. There are more details of our work at

If you would like to discuss the options without any obligation please do call 0345 3192 666 or 0203 6677 294 or email

Gemma Bailey 

Director of NLP4Kids


How to break into fashion as a clothing designer

Working in fashion is a dream for many people — some have a creative flair when it comes to clothing and others aspire to learn the workings behind creating a garment. But how do you land a job in this field? Is there any preparation you can do to better your chances of landing this sort of role?

Retailers of men’s blazers and other menswear essentials, QUIZMAN and retailers of maxi dresses Quiz Clothing give us their top tips for breaking into the industry:

The UK fashion industry

Globally, the fashion industry is worth 2% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and between 2006 and 2016, it grew steadily at 5.5% annually, despite economic turmoil. With this growth, comes a range of employment opportunities. In the UK, around 555,000 people are employed in fashion, textiles and fashion retail. And, with the growth of online usage by consumers, more opportunities have become available for people to get involved in the industry remotely.

One key role in the industry is a clothing designer.

What does a clothing designer do?

As the title suggests, the main role of a clothing designer is to create designs for garments before they go to production. There are a range of industries that you could work in; high fashion, designer ready-to-wear fashion, high-street fashion, children’s wear or costume designer. The role of a costume designer is different as it’s the creation of looks for TV, film and theatre. This might involve designing pieces from scratch or pulling together outfits from a costume wardrobe. You may find a niche that you focus on too such as menswear, hats or accessories.

Being a fashion designer is a fast-paced and demanding role. Many designers work against a set of design instructions called a brief — this might have been set by the creative director or the party that is going to sell the garments and it’s their requirements for the design.

Naturally, you need to be able to create fashion sketches and technical drawings. This could be by hand or through computer aided design. Not only is this useful for those who might be buying your goods, but it’s essential for the manufacturers who must have accurate measurements to work against.

A creative eye will help you produce concept and mood boards. These are arrangements of images, materials, patterns and pieces of text that create a collage that can be presented to others. Mood boards can represent the theme of a design collection or one garment and it represents your inspiration behind the piece. If you are pitching a collection to a potential seller, this will help them get an idea of the type of clothing that you produce and see if it’s in line with their own brand.

You’ll also be required to do some budgeting. This is to estimate costs for materials and manufacturers and you may have to negotiate with suppliers to try and gain a better price. Many fashion designers have budgets to work against and this can also be a constraint to their creativity.

A big part of a fashion designers’ role is to spot and forecast trends. This might be trends in styles, colours and prints. Designers then need to be able to replicate these popular styles in their own work.

Although it can be a stressful role, it can also be highly rewarding to see your designs come to life. Think you’re up to the challenge? What grades and experience do you need to succeed?

Relevant subjects to study and work experience

There are some things that you can do to further your chances of becoming a fashion designer.

Studying Design, Textiles and Fashion related subjects are all good ways of building up your knowledge in the field. These subjects will also build your experience of technical drawings and fashion sketches, whilst developing your understanding of style and design.

Higher education qualifications such as an undergraduate degree will be helpful too. Courses at different universities vary but you will find degrees related to fashion design at many universities. Related topics such as fashion marketing, buying, graphic design and textiles would be useful too.

There are apprenticeships available in fashion too. You may start out as a design assistant and learn the workings of the trade before progressing yourself. This is a great way to gain hands on experience without full-time education.

Build up a portfolio of your work. This could be mood boards that you’ve made, technical drawings, or photographs of pieces that you’ve created. Many colleges, universities and employees will ask for these as you go through your career so it’s a good idea to start creating one as soon as possible.

The sector is very competitive when it comes to jobs so make sure that you’re networking when you can and meeting people in the industry. Try and get work experience in studios or workshop where you can so that you can understand what goes on in these spaces and talk confidently about it to future employees.



Information and activities to support your SEN students to demonstrate good work etiquette during their work experience placement

Organising work experience for SEN students can be something of a challenge, for not only must it be tailored to the needs of a young person, but it must also be tailored to the needs of a young person with a SpLD or who may view the world in a wholly different way.

So, to help your SEN students to succeed during their work experience placement (and to make organising their work experience placement easier for you) SEN Press has devised the Work Experience Series.

The Work Experience Series contains a wealth of information, support, and resources about what your students can expect when undertaking work experience and how to demonstrate good work etiquette in the array of situations they’re likely to find themselves in.

Not only has the value pack’s content been specifically designed to respond to the way in which students with autism typically view the world, but it will also respond to their learning needs – it has been designed for older students with a reading age of around seven.

The Work Experience Series uses an approach that we have adopted through a series of six student reading books each focussed on a particular work setting, ranging from an animal charity to a fast-food restaurant, from a garage to a supermarket.

The six reading books, each of which builds upon the themes of the series (time-keeping, showing respect, and so on) are accompanied by a set of copiable worksheets and teachers’ resources, supplied in spiral-bound format for easy use.

The teachers’ resources also include around 100 A4 pages of additional resources including keyword flashcards, word searches, and spot the difference pictures.

Finally the pack also includes a CD rom which has a set of eBooks and whiteboard resources. These include real voice audio tracks of the eBook versions of the readers and a wide range of interactive activities so that the students can practise various life skills.

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.

For further information, please click here.

Alternatively, please email or call 01582 833205.

Janie Nicholas

Get your FREE sentence builder PowerPoint from “Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofia”

A story-based scheme addressing the Foreign Language Programmes of Study for teaching Spanish at KS2

Scroll down to request your FREE sentence builder PowerPoint!

The pack includes audio-enhanced e-storybooks for each of the 14 stories. The stories are acted out by native Spanish speakers bringing the stories to life. The e-storybooks can be shared with the class using an interactive whiteboard, read individually or in small groups.The Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía 1a Parte Starter Pack is based around a story featuring a young brother (Luis) and sister (Sofía) and their friends and family. The topic-based stories are written entirely in Spanish, use simple sentences and introduce key vocabulary and language structures.

The teacherʼs book contains lesson plans for each story, translations of the stories and exercises, games and activities focusing on enabling pupils to communicate in Spanish.

The scheme is designed with non-specialists in mind and will make implementing the National Curriculum for England easy. Self-assessment sheets can be used to monitor children’s progress and ensure coverage of all the Programmes of Study.

Click here to request your FREE sentence builder PowerPoint slide from
Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía

(The sentence builder activity practises the third person singular form of the verb tener – tiene.)

For more information or to order the Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía 1a Parte Starter Pack for £47.99, simply visit 

Alternatively, you can place an order:

  • over the phone on 01449 766629
  • by email to
  • by fax on 01449 767122
  • or by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
IP14 5ND.


phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 767122

What’s the best way of  solving the problem of students who turn up for lessons or exams without a pen, pencil, ruler .. ? 

It’s not easy  to ensure that every student comes to school or college properly equipped for  lessons or exams.

But  NOW  there’s a  simple,  effective and low cost way of solving the problem       The “STUDENT ESSENTIALS” set 

Consisting of, three quality black ink pens, two  full length HB pencils,  a      15 cm ruler,  pencil sharpener, eraser, all contained in  a clear   “exam friendly” PVC wallet with a zip slider….

From just 85p each, ex vat  it’s a simple and effective way of  improving productivity and helping students succeed in their  lessons and exams.

More details at:

or you can contact them on: Tel:  020 7515 1797    Fax:  020 7515 4420   email:

Orders are usually delivered within 1-3 working days.

Signpost Educational Ltd   PO Box 999   London  E14 6SH

Anxiety is the leading cause of lower than expected grades in primary school.  So what can be done?

Because “anxiety” is such an everyday term, it can be easy to forget what it actually means.  And that can be a shame, because for some pupils anxiety means they never achieve the results in school that could and indeed should be theirs.

At its simplest anxiety is a worry about a future event. The worry does not have to be realistic to affect behaviour, and sadly, simply telling a person there is nothing to worry about or “you’ll be fine” often does not help at all.

Indeed such comments can make matters worse for an anxious child, because to the child the anxiety is completely real, as real as any pain following any injury, but quite often far more debilitating. That it is irrational, only makes it worse.

And here we see the problem that we, as teachers, face.  If we have not suffered from anxiety it is hard to appreciate how debilitating it is and how difficult to overcome.

Also we must understand that although many children do worry abut tests and exams, that “worry” or “nervousness” is not the same as “anxiety”.

Worry about the future is built in to all of us, indeed it helps keep us safe.  Anxiety however is worry that is out of control and unrealistic.  A desperate concern about what will happen in specific situations which has nothing to do with what actually happens.

Indeed no matter how many times the individual faces that worry and comes through it satisfactorily, the anxiety can be just as strong next time.

Worse, after a while, each anxiety episode builds up, so in the end it is always there, haunting the child, never allowing the child to relax or escape.

Fortunately one short-term intervention programme during the primary school years with children who suffer in this way can result in a wholly different outcome, one in which anxiety is reduced to more normal levels.

Such a change can be achieved through a short period of intervention with a small group of children – and the big bonus is that there is external funding available for this type of intervention so that there is no cost at all to the school.

If you feel that you have some children in your school who are not reaching their full potential because of anxiety or related issues, and you would like to make use of external funding to help these children, I would ask you to get in touch.

We have already worked with numerous schools across the country and now have additional time and funding available to come to your school and work with the children you nominate. There are more details of our work with pupils with anxiety at on the Anxiety section of our website.

If you would like to discuss the options without any obligation please do call 0345 3192 666 or 0203 6677 294 or email

Gemma Bailey
Director of NLP4Kids

T: 0345 3192 666 or 0203 6677 294

M: 07849 604582

What is the best way to use the interest in Vanity Fair generated by the current TV series?

Vanity Fair is set in a society that might look very different to ours, with wigs, corsets and carriages, but it was still about navigating a world with defined rules. Those rules still exist, just without the corsets.”

So said “etiquette expert” William Hanson.

And the chances are that quite a few more students this year will have a greater (although perhaps still partial) understanding of Vanity Fair than was the case a year ago, because of the seven part serialisation of the book on ITV on Sunday nights.

All that is needed as a follow up to the series is a chance to read the book.  Especially as the students come to realise that, although Becky knows she has nothing that her society recognises, hidden within herself she has so much more.

Thus she uses what society cannot understand. Is that not exactly how quite a few teenagers come to feel?

Yet there is a problem for, of course, Vanity Fair is a large book, and the chances are that many students who start it will not finish it.

That might be both frustrating and annoying if one has paid a sizeable sum to have copies of the book available for those in your GCSE or A level class who want to see what the book looks like, having seen the TV series.

But there is a way around this since a full edition of Vanity Fair is available for just £2.50 with a 25% discount and free post and packing.   Which could make it worth ordering up a few copies.  Even if students are only reading part of the book.  

Vanity Fair is just one of over 400 titles in print, covering over 200 works of classic literature and many children’s books that are offered to schools at this very low price.

To get an overview of the sort of titles we can offer please do visit our website. Or if you would like to see a list of over 70 of the most popular titles which are available direct to schools, most at the special price of £1.88, that is available here.

And when you are ready to order we have a page with all the details available here.