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.

Some may simply have woken up late and left home in a rush. Some might benefit from being better organised while others need to learn to be a bit more responsible.

What we do know, however, is that time is often wasted at the start of lessons while some students try to borrow what they need to benefit from their lesson.

All it needs is for a few students to forget a pen, ruler, pencil, etc and what was supposed to be a well planned, interesting lesson can become unproductive if some students are ready & able to work while others are not.

But  now  there’s a  simple, effective and low cost way of solving the problem       ….it’s 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….not to mention making life easier for teaching staff.

Staff might like to keep “Student Essentials” sets in the school or department office and then sell or give to students when the need arises.

More details at: www.signposteducational.co.uk/student-packs/

Contact them on: Tel: 020 7515 1797  or email: signpost@talk21.com

Your orders are usually delivered within 1-3 working days.

Signpost Educational Ltd   PO Box 999   London  E14 6SH

PS.  “Student Essentials” sets are also useful to hand out to students before their exams.

Guidance for graduates: recommended reading

In the next couple of months, many will find themselves finishing up their degrees at university and bound for graduation. Even if you graduated last year, it may still feel like it’s just you and your trusty degree against the world? Feel reassured in the knowledge that you won’t be the first nor the last person to find yourself in this situation… feeling fairly daunted by the prospect of what’s on the horizon. It can be an emotional journey and so, we’re here to offer some guidance with our top five books for recent graduates. Find a title that works for you…

“So, What are You Going to Do With That?”

The title of Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius’ self-help style script is something you’re going to have to get used to hearing over the next matter of months. For an adult, who has ‘got their life sorted’, this is their favourite question. Coming towards the end of your final academic year, and throughout the following year, unless you have already landed the job of your dream, you are going to be debating staying on in education. As the authors explain, remaining with academia is in no means a negative, however don’t feel afflicted to stay, and certainly don’t if you’re only doing so to fill time. The book goes on to respond to the question with a solid answer, giving you clarity in what your post-graduate life will entail.

“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”

Not all the successes in your graduate life will hinge upon your ability to develop a killer curriculum vitae. At university, you may have realised that you ended up putting yourself under unnecessary stress, simply because you couldn’t find the book you were looking for. As opposed to tidying on a daily basis, Marie Kondo walks us through her guide in how cleaning up once and for all will have one of the most significant impacts on our day to day lives. The author suggests how a thorough decluttering will translate into massively increased productivity.

“Make Your Bed: Little Things that Can Change Your Life”

Admiral William McRaven, a retired US Navy SEAL, delivered a speech to the University of Texas, which has received more than ten million views on YouTube. Talking about his career, he noted how when he was training, he seen the task of making a perfect bed every morning fairly mundane and in some respects pointless, as he was going on to become a fighter. Now however, William, the author of Make Your Bed, sees carrying out that simplistic task at the start of each and every day as the most important thing — as that is the first challenge of the day achieved. The book goes on to talk the reader through the ten ‘life-changing principles’ which Admiral McRaven picked up during his time in service, and how these steps will help create a better you and give you a better relationship with the world.

The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster

Steve Dalton’s 2012 manual will prove a trusted companion to graduates, and anyone currently seeking work alike. Despite the fact the internet has provided us with the opportunity to sift through a wide range of jobs that previously we might never have known about — actually managing to find the one for us can prove to be a rather complex task. Organisation is the key focus of Dalton’s piece of work, as he points to the different ways in which technology can be used to whittle down their search.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Okay, so once you’ve managed to land a job, despite the fact it may only be a stop-gap, you need to make friends, otherwise your journey is going to be an incredibly tedious one. Unlike university, this isn’t going to be an easy experience. The first day in a new job isn’t going to be like the first day walking into university, because frankly, at this stage, not everyone will be in the same boat. You might be the most likeable person on this side of the Atlantic but that doesn’t mean everyone will warm to you.

In 2018, Warren Buffet was ranked as the third richest person in the world, and he credits this 1936 book with transforming his life. The American businessman and philanthropist found up a copy of Dale Carnegie’s guide on his grandfather’s bookshelf and suggests he has applied it through his career. Having shifted over 15 million copies worldwide, the book is ranked within the top 100 best-selling books ever and is certainly a must read, regardless of your situation.

Life is not something to fear, it is something to embrace, but hopefully with the help of these guides, you can successfully better yourself and prepare for the challenge ahead. 

 Article provided by Where the Trade Buys, a UK based provider of offset book printing for a range of industries.






Live @ your school: A Christmas Carol

“The students (and staff)  loved it – they are still talking about it. So thank you!” Winterhill School, Rotherham

Now is the best time to talk to us about bringing our popular production of A Christmas Carol to your school in the autumn term. Booking is open, and dates are being reserved for schools across the country. To ensure you have the pick of dates available, please contact us soon.

Returning for a third tour, A Christmas Carol, directed this year by Tracey Street, has proven popular with schools across the country. Either as a timely introduction to Dickens’s novella, or a great revision tool, we’ve found staff really appreciate our faithfulness to the text and our fresh and exciting retelling of the familiar story.

These are principles we follow in all of our in-school performances. This year we have have six amazing productions, for all of which you may reserve dates now.

Designed with the needs of your GCSE students in mind we have…

(available from 14 October to 20 December)

(available from 20 January to 07 February and 24 February to 08 May)

(available from 24 February to 08 May)

(available from 03 to 14 February and 02 March to 08 May)

New for next year: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
(available from 02 March to 08 May)

And for your younger students…

(available now and throughout the coming year)

Our fun-packed three hour introduction to Shakespeare, his life and works, designed for students who are about to embark on studying the Bard

Six professional actors perform our GCSE text-based productions; we feel fewer than six compromises quality. All Fred Theatre staff attending your school are DBS checked, trained in child safeguarding and experienced in the idiosyncrasies of in-school performances.

Teachers appreciate our commitment to the text and producing a faithful rendition of the original, just a little shorter! And, all we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience.

From October, we’re extending our time with you and your students to two hours. This enables us to include an interactive element between the cast and audience as part of the session. During this time there will be a discussion of the play’s themes, characters, how we approached the production, and choices made in rehearsal. There will also be a chance for you and your students to ask questions.

We are equally happy to run this as a continuous two hour session, or include a short break following the performance, whatever you feel will work best for you and your students.

Every student receives a programme that, along with cast and crew details, includes notes on the production and text, as well as support material for them to use in the interactive post-show session. Students will be able to keep these for use in class and as a valuable revision aid.

Also, from October, we will provide you with copies of information sheets, for distribution to students ahead of our being with you. These will provide valuable information about the text and production and we’re sure your students will want to keep them with their class notes to use in revision. These sheets will help build a sense of anticipation ahead of the performance, encouraging students to value our visit to your school, and make the most of their opportunity to learn from it.

As in previous years, we are happy to provide additional workshops if this is of interest to you. These are devised through discussion with you, and delivered by a member of our skilled education team. We can also arrange visits from our directors and artistic director.

To discuss any aspect of a visit from Fred Theatre to your school, please feel free to contact me or a member of our tour administration team. You can call us on 01789 777612 or email:

Helen: helen@fred-theatre.co.uk

We appreciate how tight budgets are, so we’ve been working hard to keep our costs low and add as much value as possible to our offer. We reckon we’re hard to beat!

The enquiry approach to Religious Education

Discovery RE is a comprehensive set of detailed medium-term planning for Religious Education from Nursery to Year 6 (for 3-11 year –olds).

59 Enquiry models covering Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism support the teacher to deliver engaging and challenging RE lessons with confidence.

Christianity is taught in every year group, with Christmas and Easter given fresh treatment each year, developing children’s learning in a progressive way.

Discovery RE Supports:

  • Ofsted and SIAMS Outcomes
  • Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development
  • British Values
  • Anti-radicalisation
  • Critical Thinking and Growth Mindset
  • Personal Development

Discovery RE includes:

  • 6-lesson enquiry modules for each year group covering the 6 principal religions with flexibility as to which religion is taught alongside Christianity in each year group
  • Additional Christianity enquiries fulfilling  SIAMS requirements
  • New colour-coded assessment process including Activity Sheets, attainment descriptors, exemplification and tracking process
  • Full EYFS planning with a new, clearer layout
  • New Glossary

Click here for more information and to order your free sample materials


Discovery RE Ltd, Northtown Farm, Milton Damerel, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 7DN

+44 (0) 1202 377192


Check out our PSHE resources – Jigsaw PSHE  – now in over 2600 schools


“Can this calculator take over  from the  Casio FX 83GT Plus?  

The Casio FX 83GT+ has been the UK’s best selling scientific calc…and deservedly so.  It’s been setting the pace in many UK schools and is  the first choice for GCSE exams for many students.

But now there is an alternative…… It’s the Logik LK 83XP which has almost all the features of the FX 83GT Plus (no verify or recurring decimal) and with one big advantage…… it’s dual power.  This combination of battery and solar power prolongs battery life and gives extra reassurance for your students when used in exams.

The LK 83XP has a THREE year guarantee* and is suitable for all exams where a calculator is allowed.  Features include:  252 functions,   “natural (true) display,” check, correct and replay, stats. calculations, prime factorisation, hard plastic keys, slide on case, etc.

It’s a calc which can see your students all the way from year 7 to GCSE and at a surprisingly modest price, from just £5.25 ex vat.

Further details on:  www.signposteducational.co.uk or phone 020 7515 1797  or email: signpost@talk21.com

Signpost Educational Ltd., PO Box 999   London  E14 6SH

A career in care: how to get into the industry

The forecast shortfall of almost 400,000 social care staff by 2028 due to low pay and Britain’s departure from the European Union is a staggering figure, but it came as a conclusion in the ‘Fair Care: A workforce strategy for social care’ report, from the Institute for Public Policy and Research. We’ve teamed up with Acorn Stairlifts, an award-winning stairlift provider, to highlight that there are many opportunities available for focusing your career around the care industry though. Here’s five job roles which are worth considering…

Care worker

The key aim of a care worker is to ensure that patients can live as independently as possible, providing daily assistance in everyday tasks. You will be tasked to support people with their social and physical activities, as well as matters related to personal care and mobility.

Entry requirements

There are multiple options when it comes to career routes into a care role, ranging from apprenticeships, direct application to a vacancy, through a college course or by regular volunteering.

For those select the option of a college course, a wide variety of care industry programs exist — obtaining a Level 1 Certificate in Health and Social Care, for instance, or a Level 2 Diploma in Care.

Voluntary work for a relevant organisation is another possible entry system, meanwhile both lead adult care worker advanced apprenticeships and adult care worker intermediate apprenticeships can see you securing a permanent position as a care worker too.

Often, having prior experience of working with people is a desirable attribute in candidates who apply directly to an advertised vacancy, as training will generally be provided on the job. GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (or A* to C) in English and Maths, or equivalent qualifications, may also be requested from some employers.

Essential skills

A prospective recruit will have developed the following skills:

  1. Be able to accept criticism.
  2. Be able to communicate verbally in an exceptional manner.
  3. Be able to pay attention to detail.
  4. Be able to work effectively while under pressure.
  5. Be patient and know how to remain calm even in stressful situations.
  6. Have the ability to work well with others.
  7. Showcase customer service skills.

Day-to-day duties to expect

  • Assisting a client with matters of personal care, including dressing, using the toilet and washing.
  • Assisting a client when it comes to how they pay bills, manage their budget and write letters.
  • Preparing food and then feeding a client, as well as giving out medication.
  • Taking the time to get to know a client, including their needs and interests.
  • Undertaking general tasks, such as housework, laundry and shopping.

Expected salary

According to Totaljobs, the average salary for care worker jobs is £16,622.

Jobs available*

Carry out a search for ‘care worker’ on Indeed at the moment and you will be able to browse through 35,226 related jobs.

Care home manager

Become a care home manager and both the leadership and day-to-day running of a residential care home will be your responsibility. Your tasks will ensure the facility meets industry standards, while you should also expect to manage budgets and contracts in place throughout the organisation.

Entry requirements

Going to university, completing an apprenticeship and progressing into the role by working in the care industry are all routes available which could see you becoming a care home manager.

Opt for the university route and you’ll want to study either a foundation degree, a higher national diploma or a degree in an associated subject such as health and social care management to begin with. Once you’ve completed your selected university course, you’ll want to apply for a place on a graduate trainee scheme.

Higher apprenticeships for children, young people and family managers are available too, if you would rather take this route. You can also start on an apprenticeship for care leadership and management, though take note that additional on-the-job training will be required once you’ve obtained this qualification.

If you already have a job in the care industry, there is the option to apply for training towards a role such as a deputy manager. You should be looking to begin studying for the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services, where you’ll get six pathways to select from:

  1. Management of Adult Services
  2. Management of Adult Residential Services
  3. Practice in Adult Services
  4. Management of Children and Young People’s Services
  5. Management of Children and Young People’s Residential Services
  6. Practice in Children and Young People’s Services

Essential skills

To be successful as a care home manager, you’ll need to showcase the following skills:

  1. Be able to accept criticism.
  2. Be able to understand a person’s reactions.
  3. Be able to work effectively while under pressure.
  4. Have knowledge about the English language.
  5. Have knowledge about the subject of psychology.
  6. Have the ability to work well with others.
  7. Showcase customer service skills.
  8. The ability to carry out counselling, such as active listening and how to take a non-judgmental approach.

Day-to-day duties to expect

  • Agreeing to contracts, budgeting and fundraising opportunities.
  • Assisting care home residents so that they can access local services.
  • Carrying out tasks to ensure a facility meets all legal requirement, such as those related to aspects of health and safety.
  • Delivering advice, information and support to care home residents, their families and other staff members at the facility.
  • Encouraging care home residents to participate in activities.
  • Monitoring the quality of care and business performance of a care home.
  • Promoting the rights and duties of care home residents.
  • Recruiting staff members, as well as training and supervising them.
  • Setting out practices and policies.

Expected salary

A salary prediction according to Totaljobs outlines the average pay for care home manager jobs as £37,500.

Jobs available*

If you were to search for ‘care home manager’ on Indeed at the moment, and you would be able to browse through 18,978 related jobs.

Residential support worker

The standard duties of a residential support worker include looking after the mental and physical wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults within the care system.

Entry requirements

Like a care worker, you can secure work as a residential support worker by completing a college course, an apprenticeship, direct application or voluntary work with a relevant organisation.

Choices for college courses are vast, but it could be beneficial to look for awards such as the Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce, the Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Youth Work Practice, the Level 2 Diploma in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care, or the Level 2 GCSE in Health and Social Care.

Progression from a role as a support worker within a children’s home, a care home or hostel is a route often taken to gain the role of a residential support worker, while some choose to complete an adult care worker intermediate apprenticeship instead.

If you are considering applying directly for a residential support worker position that’s become available, paid or voluntary experience within the social work and care sector is a sought-after experience for most employers.

Essential skills

Demonstrate these skills successfully in order to be shortlisted for any position as a a residential support worker:

  1. Be able to communicate verbally in an exceptional manner.
  2. Be able to pay attention to detail.
  3. Be able to work effectively while under pressure.
  4. Be patient and know how to remain calm even in stressful situations.
  5. Have the ability to work well with others.
  6. Showcase customer service skills.

Day-to-day duties to expect

  • Assisting residents when they have problems.
  • Communicating with the families of residents.
  • Educating residents about daily living skills, which could include aspects of budgeting, shopping and how to claim benefits.
  • Helping residents to become independent.
  • Hosting group therapy sessions.
  • Keeping an eye on the needs of a resident, as well as their progress.
  • Providing a resident with physical care, which might include bathing, dressing, feeding and toileting.
  • Providing counselling on a one-to-one basis.
  • Setting up creative and leisure activities within a safe and supportive environment.
  • Setting up both home and family visits for residents.

Expected salary

For residential support worker jobs, Totaljobs listed an average salary of £19,000.

Jobs available*

A current search for ‘residential support worker’ on Indeed shows 7,054 related jobs.

Advocacy worker

An advocacy worker is the port of call for patients in care homes who want to voice their opinions and wishes. As well as providing support to vulnerable people, they will also make sure each resident’s best interests have been considered whenever decisions are made about their lives.

Entry requirements

Interested in a career as an advocacy worker? There are opportunities to get into this role by studying a college course, volunteering, applying directly or taking a course which is run by a private training provider.

When looking for relevant college courses, consider that both a Level 2 Certificate in Health and Social Care or a Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care will be desired by employers. However, be aware that at least two GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (or A* to D) are often required to access a Level 2 course, while four or five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (or A* to C) are usually needed to get on a Level 3 course.

It is possible to volunteer as an advocate too. This route proves appealing as it’s a great way to obtain experience in the role, while volunteers receive both support and training so that they can develop their skills too.

For those who already work in a care home, direct application to an advocacy role is a potential way to secure a new role in advocacy. The experience that you’ve already gained from your time doing care work, social work or counselling is bound to allow you to stand out, though it’s important that you showcase an understanding of the needs of older citizens and display a positive attitude to ageing.

Furthermore, nationally recognised qualifications exist and they cover a wealth of essential modules in advocacy work, and they are generally courses provided by private training initiatives.

Essential skills

These skills are key for fulfilling an ambition to become an advocacy worker:

  1. Be able to pay attention to detail.
  2. Be able to work effectively while under pressure.
  3. Be patient and know how to remain calm even in stressful situations.
  4. Have knowledge about the subject of psychology.
  5. Have the ability to work well with others.
  6. Showcase customer service skills.
  7. The ability to carry out counselling, such as active listening and how to take a non-judgemental approach.

Day-to-day realities

  • Assisting residents to explore the options available to them and how to make informed choices about them.
  • Assisting residents so that they can speak for themselves, as well as be able to speak on their behalf where necessary.
  • Attending meetings with residents to provide moral support, as well as attend meetings on their behalf where necessary.
  • Ensuring residents always have access to their care plan.
  • Ensuring residents are always being treated in a fair manner and with dignity.
  • Negotiating with others who are involved in decisions being made at a care home.
  • Researching information regarding the care industry and then explaining the details to relevant parties.

Expected salary

Data from Totaljobs places the average salary for advocacy jobs at £29,000.

Jobs available*

Jobs in advocacy related roles are notably less than the sectors already discussed, as a search for ‘advocacy worker’ on Indeed at the moment pulls through 179 vacancies.


A nurse provides care for patients who have an injury, physical disabilities or an illness. Within the care industry, they will perform clinical tasks to assist individuals who are based within a nursing home or within the community.

Entry requirements

A University degree or an apprenticeship are recognised career paths for nursing recruits.

University courses in adult nursing are available at numerous institutions, and they are approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council. Alternatively, there could be the chance to start studying for a nursing degree on the second year of a course if you’ve already obtained a degree in life sciences, psychology, social work or a health-related subject.

Apprenticeship degrees are an ever-popular option for nursing students, as they provide a mixture of academic learning and practical experience in a care unit. It is important to be aware that support from your employer must be provided in order for you to work your way along this route though.

Essential skills

Any prospective nurse will need to have the following skill set:

  1. Be able to pay attention to detail.
  2. Be able to work effectively while under pressure.
  3. Be patient and know how to remain calm even in stressful situations.
  4. Have knowledge about the subject of psychology.
  5. Have the ability to work well with others.
  6. Showcase customer service skills.
  7. Showcase thinking and reasoning skills.

A day in the life of a nurse

  • Clean and dress wounds.
  • Monitor the progress of patients.
  • Provide advice to both patients and their relatives.
  • Provide residents with drugs prescribed to them.
  • Provide residents with necessary injections.
  • Set up drips and blood transfusions.
  • Take the blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature of a resident.

Expected salary

Totaljobs have pinpointed the average salary for a qualified nurse at £31,787.

Jobs available*

If you search for ‘nurse’ on Indeed, a staggering 48,730 related jobs appear.

This article was brought to you by Acorn Stairlifts, a reputable retailer of curved stairlifts.

*Jobs available logged as of April 2019.












Is it really possible to portray the entire PSHE syllabus in one hour… on stage???

Apparently yes, it is possible, because so far over 100,000 secondary school students have watched the theatrical presentation “Alphabet of a Teenager” in their own school.  Feedback from teachers has been universally positive.

What these students have seen is a production that covers 36 PSHE issues in one 60 minute performance.

The play follows a teenager as he reflects on how his life has changed over his time at school, the friends he’s made along the way and the trials and tribulations of teenage life. The performance encompasses drugs and alcohol education, emotional health and wellbeing, work-related learning, racism and cyber safety.

Alphabet of a Teenager was put together with a consortium of educators, writers and performers ensuring that it works for pupils and students every time – and with productions having taken place in over 800 schools, we can certainly verify that this is the case.

There are also optional follow up workshops which delve deeper into the issues raised.

To find out more about this performance please visit https://qsworkshops.com/workshops/alphabet-of-a-teenager/ or you can call me at anytime on 020 8088 0717.

What can the maths department do if its favourite calculator is no longer available?  

The Casio FX 83 GT+ was the UK’s best selling scientific calc for many years……and deservedly so.  It set the pace in many UK schools & colleges and was  the first choice for GCSE exams for many schools.

But now it’s been discontinued, having been replaced by an upgraded spec’ model at a higher price. Top grade maths students are likely to benefit from this new model (FX83GTX),  but what about the majority, for whom the FX83GT+ was perfectly adequate and available at a reasonable price?

Well, the news is positive.  There is an alternative……

It’s the Logik LK 83XP  which has a similar keyboard and  almost all the features of the FX 83GT Plus   but with one big advantage…… it’s dual power.  This combination of battery and solar power  prolongs battery life and gives students  extra reassurance, especially when used in exams.

The LK 83XP has a THREE year guarantee* and is suitable for all exams where a calculator is allowed.  Features include:  252 functions,   “natural (textbook) display,”  check, correct and replay,  stats calculations, prime factorisation, hard plastic keys, slide on case etc.

It’s a calc which can see your students all the way from year 7 to GCSE and at a surprisingly modest price.  From £ 5.25 ex vat. (*excludes LCD damage)

Further details on:   www.signposteducational.co.uk  or phone 020 7515 1797  or email: signpost@talk21.com

Signpost Educational Ltd., PO Box 999   London  E14 6SH

PS.  Your order will usually be delivered within 1-3 working days.

Free Interactive Education Resources for your School!

We have Free Interactive Educational Apps for your school, downloaded by thousands of Teachers and Students to support traditional lessons worldwide!


STEM: eptsoft.com/mobile for your Students to use on their phones and tablets at home.

Fully interactive Educational Resources published into the education community for over thirty years and now made available for your Teachers & Students completely free of charge.

Visit The Directory of Education, Lifestyle & Leisure Suppliers to download.

Thank you for your time.

Clive W. Humphris  Director of www.eptsoft.com  |  info@eptsoft.com