All posts by Tony Attwood

Pupils’ Mental Health – TWO issues – which is most important?

The consultation on the Green Paper Transforming Children’s and Young Persons’ Mental Health has raised a bit of a furore. Over 2000 responses have been made.  Will the government listen?  We’ve picked out two of the most important points.

It’s important to distinguish the two different responsibilities for primary schools that require rather different sets of skills:

i) Pupils with social, emotional, behaviour or diagnosable mental health issues that are impairing their learning capabilities and their future life prospects. These make up on average 20% of all pupils in the UK.  They require individual clinical help.

ii) Teaching good mental health for all pupils as a part of the curriculum.

Unfortunately, some schools are using programmes that meet ii) to put a ‘tick in the box’ for i).  Even worse some others are using school staff with inadequate training by on-line or videos and with no clinical supervision to carry out therapeutic work on the basis that it’s a cheap option.  This can be dangerous for the children.  If there is a complaint against someone who is not on a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) for working with children the complaint will come directly to the school – with possible devastating consequence.  You wouldn’t send pupils to an unregistered doctor, dentist or nurse would you?

The Green Paper completely missed the need for regulation.  We hope that it will now be made a condition that only therapists on a PSA accredited register or with Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) will be employed or contracted in schools.  Over 1500 schools in the UK have school staff trained to the required standards, most haven’t – www.playtherapy.org.uk and www.playtherapyregister.org.uk

The Green Paper referred to the need for evidence based practice but didn’t specify what this should be.  The existing medical models of evidence base are not suitable for psycho-social interventions.  There is a crisis of reproducibility.  However, Play Therapy UK has an evidence base of over 59,000 measures collected over 12 years clearly showing the positive outcomes of between 74% and 84% that have been achieved year on year for a large variety of presenting conditions. As observed by teachers and parents.

So, although it might appear that responsibility i) is harder to fulfil, it needn’t be with PTUK’s help and we don’t need to hold our breath on the forthcoming White Paper.

Contact Monika at mokijep@majemail.com for more information on placement and training opportunities.

What is the most effective way of overcoming the Word Gap that many students now appear to have?

Recent research by OUP has established that increasing numbers of young people have what the publisher is calling a “Word Gap”.  This occurs when children don’t read for pleasure and don’t have much chance to expand their vocabulary.

Initially this was thought to be a primary school problem with just under half of the children in primary school suffering from a noticeable Word Gap.

However further research has shown that by Year 7 that gap still remains for 43% of those in school.

Reading is obviously fundamental to education, but it also affects self-esteem and behaviour, according to the OUP report, as well of course as life chances after school.

In the research 60% of secondary teachers reported that they were working with students with limited vocabulary, and 80% agreed that this affected the student’s self-esteem.

According to OUP one of the main ways in which some schools are overcoming the Word Gap problem is by giving pupils and students access to a wide range of quality texts.

This is where Wordsworth Editions come in, as we have a wide range of books from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from HG Wells to Dickens, from Jane Austen to the Brontës.

If you want to see the full list of over 400 titles currently in print along with a ready to use order form, should you need it, then we have a page with those details.

We also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before.  (Or indeed just in case the notion of books at £1.88 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true.)

So, to receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

Two of the best dual power scientific calculators for KS 3, 4 and  GCSE maths  plus scottish maths lessons and exams …… 

The Casio FX 85GT+ and the Logik LK 83XP are excellent choices for your GCSE maths students.  They both benefit from battery power with solar power back-up  to provide extra reassurance for your students. Both calcs have a “natural display” function which enables students to enter expressions and data as shown in textbooks.  As you would expect the build quality of both calcs is excellent and both calcs benefit from a THREE year warranty. (excludes damage to the LCD).

The Logik  LK 83XP has similar features to the Casio FX 85GT+  but without the “verify” and “recurring decimal” functions. Both calcs  feature  prime factorisation, random numbers, algebraic logic, multi-line replay, standard deviation, log / anti-log, hyperbolics etc and have a three year warranty and are available at short notice from Signpost Educational Ltd., The  Logik LK 83XP  is available from £ 5.29 each  ex vat while the  Casio FX 85GT+  starts from £ 7.45 each ex vat. 

In addition,  with orders for 100 or more of the LK 83XP   you have the option of obtaining the popular  “Value Maths set”   for  just 95p  (ex vat)

Normal  price  £ 1.25 (ex vat)

For more details & prices please see: www.signposteducational.co.uk  or email to: info@signposteducational.co.uk    or phone: 020 7515 1797

Signpost Educational Ltd  PO Box 999  London E14 6SH 

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

FREE WORKSHEETS FROM   OPEN-ENDED MATHS INVESTIGATIONS

Naturally the mathematics programmes of study puts a great deal of emphasis on number and functions; yet there is much less emphasis on problem-solving, and consequently teaching resources have been written to reflect this.

However, the ability to problem-solve is fundamental to maths attainment, and a lack of it can grind pupils’ progress to a halt, despite their comprehension of number and functions. Which is why we have made six worksheets from the Open-ended Maths Investigations Series available to you, free of charge.

Click here to request your FREE copies of the worksheets from Open-ended Maths Investigations

The activities in the Open-ended Maths Investigations Series encourage pupils to apply higher order mathematical strategies, creatively and effectively. The investigations become increasingly complex as you progress through the series, enabling pupils to develop proficiency in a wide range of problem-solving strategies.

The books in the Open-ended Maths Investigations series will provide you with open-ended investigations matched to the following strands of mathematics: Number, Money, Measurement, Space, Chance and Data, and Patterns and Algebra.

For more information or to order the Open-ended Maths Investigations bundle for £40.00 (hardcopy), please visit www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/open-ended-maths-investigations-for-primary-schools-603.

Alternatively, you can place an order:

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

Which of these popular Casio GCSE and A level calculators would be best for your students ….. ?

 

FX 83GT+                       FX 991 EX                           FX 85GT+

For KS 3, 4 and GCSE exams the FX 83GT+ and FX 85GT+ have been  favourites for several years.   Excellent build quality, a THREE year guarantee and competitively priced, they are highly recommended.

For A and AS level and scottish exams, (as well as for GCSE) the FX 991 EX, introduced in 2017 has quickly made a name for itself.  With   “natural textbook display”  an easy menu function, spreadsheet, binomial and normal distribution, metric conversions, equation solver, numeric differentiation and integration to name just a few of its 552 functions.  The FX 991 EX is dual power and has a hi-res LCD screen, slide-on protective case, auto power off and online visualisation via a QR code, PLUS Casio’s usual THREE year guarantee.  It’s a remarkable new calculator which has been very well received  and in a short space of time has received excellent reviews.

All  these Casio calculators can be obtained from Signpost Educational Ltd., at competitive prices.

FX 83 GT+    £ 6.49  (200+)    £ 6.55  (100+)   £ 6.65  (40+)   £ 6.75  (1-39)
Class set of 30 calcs in a Gratnells box, foam and lid   £  221.50

FX 85 GT+    £ 7.75  (100+)  £ 7.85   (40+)    £ 7.95  (1-39)
Class set of 30 calcs in a Gratnells box with foam and lid  £  252.50

FX 991 EX   £ 18.75 (50+)   £ 19.15  (30+)   £ 19.45  (10-29)  £ 19.75  (1-9)

Class set of 30 calcs in a Gratnells box with foam and lid  £ 587.50

Order or enquire by phone on 020 7515 1797  email:info@signposteducational.co.uk
or fax on 020 7515 4420 or visit their website:  www.signposteducational.co.uk

Prices exclude VAT, delivery extra (usually within 1-3 working days)

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

PS.  Ask for your very useful  FREE  teacher’s “Survival Pack” when you order 50 or more of any of the above calcs…see details on the website.

 

Free activity materials from the Grammar and Punctuation Series Pack

Year 1: Nouns are names

Year 2: Noisy verbs

Year 3: Preposition opposites

Year 4: The Problem of ‘me’ or ‘I’

Year 5: Hyphens

Year 6 Words that help your writing

The Grammar and Punctuation Series Pack contains six photocopiable books (one for each year group) and teaches grammatical and punctuation concepts in a fun and memorable way which will challenge and stimulate the whole class. The sheets are designed for the practice, reinforcement and consolidation of grammar and punctuation skills and they address the requirements laid out in the Programmes of Study in the September 2014 National Curriculum.

The books will provide you with the tools you need to teach grammar effectively, including an assessment checklist, and will complement other language and literacy schemes of work.

To order the Grammar and Punctuation Series Pack for just £79.00 (hardcopy), visit http://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/brilliant-activities-for-grammar-and-punctuation-series-pack-584.Alternatively, you can place an order:

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

Are your students ready for their  GCSE maths exams? 

It’s perhaps easy to assume that all your students will turn up to  their maths exams with the equipment they need….but what happens if there’s a panic on the morning of the exam?

27 students have left some or all of their kit at home and it’s too late for them to go back and get what they need!

Fortunately there is a solution. There’s a “one stop shop” where schools can get Casio and Logik calcs, geometry sets, Value Maths sets, “Student Essentials” sets etc…all designed to equip  students and help them succeed.

Why not order some of these Value Maths sets,  from just £ 1.22 each, ex vat in advance of the exams, so they’re ready to hand out on (or before !) exam days… just in case!

Full details on the website:  www.signposteducational.co.uk

or contact Signpost Educational  Ltd., by phone;  020 7515 1797 or

email:  info@signposteducational.co.uk       Fax:  020 7515 4420

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

To express themselves creatively in a foreign language, your students may find a multilingual word discovery tool invaluable.

Here’s an easy way to help them.

Wordipedia is the only multilingual deep word discovery tool on the Internet.

What do we mean by ‘deep discovery’?

Deep discovery is finding words in the desired language:

  • By meaning or topic
  • By category
  • By class
  • By sound or pattern
  • By relationship
  • By context
  • By implication, such as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ connotation
  • And by a combination of these criteria

With Wordipedia, you don’t need to know a word to find it. You specify your criteria and Wordipedia’s  search algorithms return suggestions and allow you to refine your search as well. Regardless of the language (English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Hindi, Russian, etc.) Wordipedia will provide suggestions matching detailed criteria. Students will extend their foreign language vocabulary and express themselves with creativity, clarity, and impact.

You can try Wordipedia yourself for free by simply joining with a trial membership on our JOIN page, as well as clicking this link to see more details of the Benefits for students and teachers. YouTube tutorials are available by clicking on the LINKS tab of our site.

Also, we provide low-cost access for school libraries.

“Teachers’ voice strain – a thing of the past” …

Schools across the UK are saving thousands of pounds and teaching hours by using a classroom SoundField system from Connevans.

Are you missing out on a potentially huge money saver?

There is a simple and free way to see for yourself how you can save your teachers’ voices and all the costs associated with voice strain.

A SoundField trial gives you and your colleagues the opportunity to try the equipment within your school.

The teacher will never have to raise or strain their voice, you will quickly find that all the children become more engaged, and the children with poorer hearing and attention will hear perfectly.

Simply tell us a convenient time to visit and we will bring the SoundField system to you and show the relevant teacher how to use it. Set up in the classroom takes just 15 minutes.

There is more information about the popular, easy-to-use Swift Digital SoundField system here … www.connevans.co.uk/product/3109896/

The Swift Digital SoundField system is designed by Connevans, the UK’s leading manufacturer of Classroom SoundField systems used in classrooms all over Europe.

To see how easy the Swift Digital is to use and to arrange a free three-week trial, simply call or email and leave the rest to us!

Email: phil@connevans.com     Phone: 01737 247571

As a special school trial offer there is a 10% discount on the Swift Digital.

If you would like us to have a look at your school hall or offer free advice regarding simple equipment to help ensure the school is complying with the Equalities Act for visitors who are hard of hearing, we will be pleased to help.

What part of the school day do children in your school enjoy the most?

Whether you’ve asked the children that question or not the chances are you can guess the most popular answers. Play time, lunch break, games, the reading of a story, art…

But does anyone say “Assembly”?

If any children do give that as an answer they are probably going to be in a minority, and yet it ought to be possible to generate more enthusiasm for assemblies, since the assembly is an opportunity to do something utterly different from what happens in the rest of the day.

Indeed, there is no reason why the children should not look forward to each day’s assembly in order to find out what new and exciting event is going to happen next.

And there is, of course, a bonus here, because in such a scenario what we inevitably find is that one has everyone’s complete attention.

It was with this idea in mind that I began to collect ways of delivering Assemblies that did more than meet the statutory requirement.  Assemblies that become as riveting as the TV programme that children ensure they get home in time to watch each day.

But, of course, assemblies need more than originality, for they also need to meet the social and emotional needs of the children who attend them and offer a focus on the values that the school wishes to present to the children.

As a result of this thinking we have produced a set of over 350 assemblies which are instantly available and fully scripted. And we are still working on the project with new assemblies being added every month.

These assemblies are divided into 12 categories along with an index which allows you to choose your assembly by topic. You can read a full example of one of our assemblies by following this link 

Additionally you can see the complete list of the 12 main categories and from there you can go into each category and see the details of all the assemblies on offer.

All the details are available at http://www.assemblybox.co.uk where you can also order online. The complete set of all of our assemblies costs £149 (+ VAT). If you have any questions please email enquiries@assemblybox.co.uk

Royal Wedding classroom PowerPoint: a great Citizenship/PSHE resource

All over the UK Britons are preparing to celebrate the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

This royal wedding themed PowerPoint Presentation is a highly accessible and enjoyable citizenship and PSHE resource to help classes learn more about some great British institutions.

From the wedding venue, Windsor Castle to the roles being played by the public sector, military, and the Church of England – all working together to help ensure that Prince Harry and Megan have a great day.

To purchase and download the Royal Wedding Citizenship/PSHE Classroom PowerPoint click here

To find out more about our range of British Values books and posters click here

Gresham Books Ltd

info@gresham-books.co.uk

www.gresham-books.co.uk

 

Free Tools to Support Your Active School

 

As you’ll be aware, there is a growing expectation for Primary Schools to offer more physical activity within the school day, not only in PE but across the whole curriculum. This is a totally new way of teaching, so not surprisingly some teachers are finding this concept a little daunting; you might even have colleagues who are struggling to see the importance and questioning the benefits it will have on their classrooms.

I hope the tools below will help you to change mindsets and support teachers with in getting more activity into the school day.

Physical Activity is the key to whole school improvement…

  • Active kids do better! Brains work better, they are better behaved, more focused, happier and healthier, and their learning improves.
  • Active schools do better too! With better performance, improved Ofsted results, happier learning environments, improved attendance and improved staff confidence.

In an article published last month, our very own Ian Pickles explains all… To receive a free copy of this report please email active@schools.co.uk

A teacher’s experience of imoves…

“we saw the enthusiasm for movement and dance soar”

A school in Lincolnshire have been using the imoves dance resources since 2016 (this case study is based on John Harrox Primary School and was commissioned by Youth Sports Trust).

It shows that with the right tools and resources, together we can get children more active, not only in school but also in extra-curricular activities too! Here’s what one parent told the school:

“One parent was particularly pleased that their daughter had come home pestering her to find a disco class for her to go to. She now attends disco dance weekly at a local community venue. It has increased her activity levels out of school along with her confidence”

Read full case study here >

Free Tools to Support Your School

You’ve heard what other teachers think about imoves, now try it for yourself!  Simply drop us an email and we’ll give you a free trial membership, along with some you some really useful tools to help assess current activity levels within your school and highlight areas for improvement.

Giving visitors a totally positive feeling concerning the values at the heart of your school

It shouldn’t be like this, but sadly it often is.  We live in a society in which people make snap judgements.

Indeed, even when there is a chance to revise that judgement later, the fact is the first impression lingers and can dominate.

Which is why it is so important to make sure that everyone who comes to the school – from inspectors to those delivering goods, from parents to students – has a very powerful and positive first image of the school.

Take for example the simple issue of where visitors should report.  A sign that says “All visitors go to reception” is brusque to the point of being rude, and doesn’t actually help a flustered parent or bewildered delivery man if there is no sign pointing the way.

A sign that says, “If you’re a visitor please go to our reception area; first door on the left,” is more friendly and welcoming.  It might seem a trivial point but it can make a difference.

It can also be helpful to have site plans, floor plans, 3D plans as well as signs: and all of these are exactly what we specialise in: signs and plans that not only make it clear where a room or building is, but which also say, “don’t worry, we’re friendly” at the same time.

There’s more information about making your school as friendly as possible to visitors  on our website and if you have any questions you can call me on 01746 766233.

Michael Best

Director

michael@bestwayfinding.co.uk.

What makes a student read one book and not another (or come to that, none)?

02A recent report concerning teenagers and their phones told the story of a couple of young ladies of around sixth form age, who were clambering over some rocks at the edge of a beach.

The activity wasn’t particularly dangerous, although a slip might well have caused grazing or cuts, or even a sprained or broken ankle.

Both teenagers carried shoulder bags, which was sensible, except that each climbed with their mobile phones in one hand, thus seriously impeding their mobility.

As to why they did this, one can only surmise, but the most likely explanation would seem to be that so deep was their anxiety about missing a phone call, even placing the phone in a bag at their side felt like creating too great a distance between the self and the phone.

The story is, I feel, relevant to those of us concerned to introduce classic English literature to students, for it emphasises the battle that we can have just to get some students to focus on literature that is more than a few lines long.

However, we think we have found a way of encouraging students to consider the classics further by producing English literature texts in thoroughly modern covers and by reducing the price to just £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order), meaning that you can offer the students a wide choice of books to read.  

The authors in the catalogue range from HG Wells to Dickens, from Jane Austen to the Brontës, covering more than 200 of the greatest works of classic literature.  Indeed not only does each volume have the full text, but with all of our classics there is also a set of exclusive introductions and notes.

If you would like to see a list of over 60 titles that are set texts on various curricula and are available from as little as £1.88 that is available here.

Then if you want to see the full list of over 400 titles currently in print along with a ready to use order form, should you need it, then we have a page with those details as well.

And here’s one final offer of a free book.  Just in case the notion of books at £1.88 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true, we’d like to assure you of the quality of our publications and the speed of our service.

So, to receive a free sample of one of our classics just email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

It is self-evident that even a minor mental health issue can compromise a young person’s ability to learn.

So what do we do?

Medical professionals generally concur that one in four adults in the UK experience mental illness at some stage in their lives, and in half of these cases the problems take root before the age of 15.

Thus if we can improve and help support the emotional, social, and physical health and wellbeing of pupils and students in our school we will be giving these young people two incredibly important benefits.

First we will be helping to improve their personal wellbeing, and second we will be giving those who don’t suffer from any mental health issues in later life a much deeper understanding of what mental health issues are and how their own children might one day be affected.

To undertake this task, NeuroHeadway provides resources for teachers to deliver in the classroom on the subject of Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Our resources are collected into modules each of which are focussed on a single topic that can be delivered in PSHE and Science lessons, to improve and help support the wellbeing of all pupils and students.

Content for the NeuroHeadway modules has been supplied by practising psychology and neuroscience experts from around the world and shaped by us into classroom ready materials, suitable for all secondary school pupils and students.

For information on how the resources work, please click here.

For more information, please call: (+44) 01562 730 696 or email: enquiries@neuroheadway.com

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 info@senpress.co.uk or call 01582 833205.

Debate Chamber Events 2018  

Debate Chamber Summer Schools

Debate Chamber Science and Mathematics courses are for students who enjoy being intellectually challenged and who are curious about the ways in which their knowledge can be applied to help solve real-world problems. Our courses are challenging, with an emphasis on independent thinking and collaborative problem-solving, providing a valuable insight into university level education.

Our tutors are selected for their exceptional communication skills, their charismatic and inspiring classroom presence, and their very strong knowledge base and passion for their subject. Our classes consist of a combination of lectures, group discussions, team games and practical activities, creating a comfortable environment for students to share ideas amongst their peers, and to progress from their existing knowledge toward more challenging material.

Young Scientists Summer School (New for 2018) 

The Young Scientists Summer School is aimed at students aged 11-14 and focuses on developing intellectual curiosity and critical thinking. Covering a wide range of skills from the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Engineering, students will learn how to build bridges, design spaceships, search for life on distant planets, and trace the history of the universe all the way back to a trillionth of a second after the big bang.

Physics Summer Schools

The Physics Summer School provides an opportunity for bright students to explore some of the most exciting and challenging ideas in contemporary physics. The Summer School is split into two parts: Part 1 focuses on classical mechanics and astrophysics and is open to GCSE and A-level students. Part 2 focuses on quantum mechanics and relativity and is open to students who will have completed at least one year of A-level mathematics.

‘Challenging, but great fun, the Physics course was a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into some of the fundamental principles that govern our world, giving me a better idea of what Physics at University might be like. From learning about the abstract world of Quantum Mechanics to discussing black holes and teleportation, the course left me astounded by both the amount we already know, and how much we have yet to discover!’

Mathematics Summer School 

The Mathematics Summer School explores a variety of advanced topics in pure and applied mathematics, including set theory; prime numbers; algorithms; infinites; multi-variable calculus; proofs; cryptography; probability theory and Turing machines. Part 1 focuses on number theory, algebra and geometry and is open to GCSE and A-level students. Part 2 focuses on calculus, proofs and infinities and is open to students who have completed at least one year of A-level mathematics.

‘It was a fantastic opportunity to discover new areas of maths that I would otherwise have not been introduced to through the A Level syllabus. I enjoyed the course and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in approaching more challenging maths problems.’

Medicine Summer School 

The Medicine Summer School is split into five 2-day programmes, each covering a different area of medical practice. Students will be given the opportunity to work alongside practising medical students to develop the theoretical and applied skills necessary to become a doctor.

‘Debate Chamber’s Medicine Summer School was great! I learnt in great detail about medical topics such as oncology, paediatrics and epidemiology. Suturing bananas was a highlight for me and I would thoroughly recommend the course for anyone considering medicine as a career.’ 

Bursaries 

Debate Chamber is committed to ensuring that financial circumstances do not prevent any student from attending our events. Students are able to apply for bursaries covering up to 100% of the course fee through our website. 

How can my students attend?

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 2018. 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 http://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/. 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 www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/, call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.  

Specialist support for your ambitious and able students, at little to no cost for the school

How many providers do you know that offer genuinely effective skill development programmes for ambitious and/or most able students?  More importantly, how many would you recommend?

Finding a scheme that actually makes an impact and offers good value for money can be surprisingly difficult.  Perhaps the secret is to learn from others and look at workshops hosted year after year by some of the top performing and most highly rated schools.

Thinkers in Education deliver a range of these – enriching the curriculum, identifying the strengths of each participant and developing a skill set that will be advantageous in education and the workplace. There is a strong focus on higher order thinking, team building and communication – all assessed and given as immediate feedback to the students and performance reports for the school.

It is a proven formula that can positively change attitudes and improve performance levels.  Moreover, the reports generated can provide valuable evidence for Ofsted Inspections.

Spectacular Saturdays and Holiday Workshops are easy ways to introduce the range. They offer the school a chance to host leading STEM based workshops at very little cost to the school, without affecting the timetable or adding to teacher workloads.  Most importantly, they have been recommended by every host school since 2001.

Of course, workshops are also available during term time – enabling schools to run highly effective transition days, activity weeks and challenge days to fit within the year plan.

You simply choose the date(s) you can host the workshop and provide the venue.  We send you the literature to distribute to parents so they can book a place.  If, after 21 days, you have 25 or more pupils enrolled, we will confirm the event and run the workshop on the date of your choice.   If not, there is no commitment and we release the date.

Parents pay for their child to attend, as they would for a school trip, or the school can choose to subsidise the cost and use Pupil Premium funding if appropriate.  It costs £15 per pupil for a half day and £25 for a full day.   Parents can pay online, so there is no extra work for the school.

To request an information pack you can email:  info@thinkersineducation.co.uk

Alternatively, to view details of the Spectacular Saturday Workshops click here and to find out about the Holiday Schools click here.

If you would like to discuss options with an advisor, please call 01603 520866.

How to Improve Engagement in Science through Competition and the Gamification of Learning

Science is still regarded as one of the hardest subjects.  The OECD still report a significant STEM skills deficit in the UK – and unfortunately students know X Factor can be won without either.

But for over a decade, more than 98% of participating students – of all ability ranges, in all types of schools, from Australia to the UK – have raved about a particular approach that has changed their perception of not only science but of learning.  As a result, every host school has recommended it since 2001.

The secret has been to combine intriguing contexts and gamification strategies with curriculum content, all wrapped within a competition format.   It ensures activities, from redox reactions to electronics, are made relevant to each individual and generates huge amounts of engagement and enthusiasm.

In the ‘game’ it is a matter of life and death.  In reality, pupils truly respond.  And so do staff, particularly when they form a team to challenge the pupils.

Once you have the formula, you can positively change attitudes and improve performance levels.

The Real STEM Competition is designed to challenge up to 72 pupils in a day and demonstrate the approach to staff.  It runs until science week 2019 but could well be a valuable addition to your upcoming activity weeks and transition days, especially as there is a £1000 prize available for the winners, runner-up prizes and free activities for all host schools.  Furthermore, discounts are available if you host the workshop in July.

This year’s competition is called ‘Space Pioneers’ – reinforcing and expanding upon KS3 & KS4 curriculum content within a thrilling scenario about the colonisation of Mars.  With NASA, MarsOne and SpaceX all in a real-life race to Mars, the context has never been more relevant.

The workshop is delivered on the school site – so there is no travel required.  Up to six teams of six pupils can compete in a 2-2.5 hour session that is repeated for a different group after a short break.  The competition runs within the normal timings of your day to minimalise disruption to your timetable.  It can allow the school to really challenge the high achievers in one session and motivate those that need a gentle push in another as each session is carefully facilitated for the ability of the group.

To help with funding, you can receive a £100 discount if you host an event in July and quote the promotional code RSSP18 when booking.  It brings the cost down to less than £10 per pupil.

To find out more about the competition, logistics and prizes you can visit the website.

Alternatively, you can email events@thinkersineducation.co.uk or call 01603 520866 for further details.

Thinkers in Education also offer a range of CSI themed workshops in the same format, and whilst these are not part of the Real STEM Competition you can still benefit from the £100 discount by using the code RSSP18 for July events.  Plus, the discount applies to these workshops in September too – so it is a great way to motivate pupils at the start of the school year.

Take an idea and s-t-r-e-t-c-h it

Scroll down to get your FREE pdf download of Take an idea and s-t-r-e-t-c-h it from the popular resource, ‘Able Writers in Your School

It is not unlikely that your school has a sports team so that pupils’ who excel at sports can continue to practice and refine their sporting talents. But what for those who are talented at writing?

Brilliant Publications has developed Able Writers in Your School – a resource that will enable pupils who excel at writing to continue to practice and refine their writing talents, past the curriculum’s requirements.

Able Writers in Your School challenges children to raise the standard of their writing and turn their ideas into masterpieces through:

  • encouraging pupils to:
    • show rather than tell
    • stretch their ideas
    • use similes, metaphors and personification
    • utilise the power of simplicity – less is more
  • teaching pupils how to:
    • create a character and setting
    • develop plot and dialogue
    • add conflict and suspense
    • avoid clichés
    • improve descriptive writing

You can order Able Writers in Your School on our website for £14.50 as a printed book, £9.99 as an e-book, or both for a discounted price of £17.50.

Free UK delivery for all orders placed in April 

Alternatively, you can place an order:

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

What’s the simple and cost effective way to help maths lessons be more productive,  both for teachers and students…….? 

Every now and again I get to chat with  teachers and one of the topics that often crops up is why many students don’t  bring a pen, pencil, ruler etc to their lessons.  They tell me that this leads to wasted time and a measure of disruption,  even before teaching has begun.

In an attempt to solve this problem there’s  now a  product called the “Value Maths set ” which, as the name suggests, contains all the basics that students need for their  maths lessons.

Consisting of  two quality black ink ballpens, a full length HB pencil, eraser, 15 cm ruler, 180 degree protractor, metal compass and half pencil,  and a sharpener, all packed in an  A5 size, clear PVC “exam friendly” wallet with a zip slider.

From just £ 1.25 each (ex vat) the “Value Maths set”  is a convenient and cost effective solution to the problem of students who haven’t brought the correct kit to their maths lessons.  Ideal to give or sell  to students at the start of lessons or at the start of a school day………  also very useful for exams.

Full details of the “Value Maths set”   can be found on the website:

     www.signposteducational.co.uk 

You can order

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

Imagination has made us different from the rest of the animal kingdom. But is digital technology changing children’s minds?

One has to be careful of course, because wolf has been cried so many times. The TV age, digital games, mobile phones, apps… each has been blamed for a change in the way children see the world, and a decline in their imaginative powers.

The counterbalance to this decline is of course the creative arts, wherein children become involved in, and witness a professional performance right in front of them.  It is the prime way in which the spirit of imagination can be rekindled.

Which is also where crying wolf comes in, for Aesop’s tale—which was created 2500 years ago—is as vibrant and stimulating for children now, as it was then.

And that is why our team of three professional actors visit schools across the country and over the course of a day work with individual classes. The children assist with the creative preparation for a show which grows from Aesop’s tales, creating elements of the set, writing their own short stories, etc.

Once the team has spent approximately half an hour with each class, all classes come together to experience Aesop’s Fab Fables. Performed by the actors, this is a 45 minute show suitable for both KS1 and KS2 children based on three of the classic stories.

The approach works as a great introduction to live theatre as it breaks down the barriers between performers and audience, stimulates creativity, and rewards the pupils who will see the fruits of their labour employed in the show.

Aesop’s Fab Fables is available for in-school performances throughout the summer term of 2018.

To find out more, simply e-mail Helen in our office, helen@fred-theatre.co.uk, or call us on 01789 777612. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote.

I look forward to hearing from you, and I welcome any feedback you may have on this production or any of the work we do here at Fred Theatre.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director

fred-theatre.co.uk

 

SoundRanger – a portable PA system, perfect for School Sports Days & Summer Fayres.

Have you got an outdoor event coming up this summer? Will everyone hear everything that is being said?

With an easy to use SoundRanger portable PA system – everyone across the school field, children, parents, helpers and staff will hear everything easily and clearly.

Your special event will take on a really professional atmosphere as everyone will hear all of your results, information and announcements.

Built-in rechargeable batteries give you all the power you need, without mains leads trailing across the playground or field.

When you are not speaking, you can play music from your phone, that’s easy too!

Karen from Aldershot said … “Sports Day with a megaphone days are GONE! It was used today for the PTA Summer Fayre …………… oh my wow, the difference is amazing!!’

But don’t take Karen’s word for it – try the system for yourself with no charge.

Simply tell us about your event and we will put together the best SoundRanger system for you and arrange for you to try it on a 30 day Free Trial.

Set up takes just 15 minutes and then you can use it straight away.  After your event, you can of course use the SoundRanger system in your school hall as well!

There is more information about the SoundRanger systems on our website here:  www.connevans.co.uk/catalogue/3215538/

To hear what Karen heard and arrange a free 30 day trial simply call or email and leave the rest to us!

The SoundRanger Compact 4 is so reliable and robust, it has been used by the British Army to play battlefield sound effects to their recruits on assault courses!

Please reply quickly as these systems are understandably very popular during the summer!

What is the most effective way of teaching computer science to a mixed ability class?

Both teachers and students love the idea of using robots in their lessons.  As human beings we have always been fascinated with robots – the beings that have arms and legs and look somewhat like humans, but clearly are not.  Literature and films find a rich vein of stories involving robots too, which many of us have grown up with.

Being so deeply ingrained in our psyche it is no surprise that pupils and students are always fascinated by lessons that allow them to build their own robots.

To make it easier and more affordable to bring robots into your classroom we have designed a range of hands on robotics workshops. We bring all of the equipment to you and have a range of fun themes to choose from: including robot wars, robot farming and maze solving.

Students are encouraged to learn by doing and trying out their own ideas. They are given plenty of guidance when needed, but at the same time we tend not to “teach from the front”. We like to give students the opportunity to be creative and make their own mistakes.

We are currently offering an extra hour free for a half day booking, which is £300.

Or a free Arduino board with a full day booking for £400.

(Please note some travel expenses may apply depending on which area you are in, please get in touch for details.)

If you are interested, please hurry as we can only run this offer until the end of May 2018. We are nearly fully booked for the summer and are now also taking bookings for the new academic year.

For more information and to book contact me directly on 07703 294 942, email: zan@zobotics.tech or visit the website: www.zobotics.tech

Can you solve this brainteaser?

Mr Steven George stepped off the train in France and met a friend he had not seen in years. Beside his friend was a little girl. ‘Steven!’ shouted the friend. ‘How delightful to see you! Did you know that I’m married? This is my daughter.’ ‘Hello,’ said Steven to the little girl, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Same as my mother’s,’ replied the little girl. ‘So you must be Catherine,’ said Steven. How did he know?

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE ANSWER

Brilliant Activities for Stretching Gifted and Talented Children contains a wealth of brainteasers just like this one, as well as other refreshing, motivating activities, based on the latest theories and research, to stretch your pupils’ analytical, creative and evaluative skills.

Activities range from quick warm-ups, brainteasers and maths focussed activities to entertaining, open-ended exercises for pupils to complete independently. With over 100 activities, Brilliant Activities for Stretching Gifted and Talented Children will be able to keep stretching your pupils for many years to come.

You can order Brilliant Activities for Stretching Gifted and Talented Children on our website for £18.50 as a printed book, £12.99 as an e-book or both for a discounted price of £22.40.

Free UK delivery for all orders placed in April.

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

ANSWER: STEVEN’S FRIEND IS THE GIRL’S MOTHER.

It’s a combination of things. 

Children are typically very good at acting, not least because it is pivotal to make-believe play. Thus, combining drama with other subject areas, such as literacy, naturally leads to improved engagement and subsequent attainment.

 It is for this reason that we have developed the resource:

Teaching Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling through Drama

The 70 plus ready-to-use activities in the resource offer a new approach to teaching literacy and cover each of the rules that children are expected to know and use in the Year 6 SATs.

Through acting out parts of speech, letter strings, and punctuation children will internalise the language and absorb ideas, skills and understanding. They will be able to draw on this knowledge when they are being tested, but, more importantly, use it in their own writing.

What’s more, the combination of visual, aural, and kinaesthetic approaches means that the activities suit all types of learner and can be used with both large and small groups of mixed ages and abilities.

In addition to literacy understanding, pupils will also develop skills in problem solving, teamwork, and social confidence.

You can order Teaching Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling through Drama on our website for £18.50 as a printed book, £12.99 as an e-book, or both for a discounted price of £22.40.

An (almost) Free Play Therapy Service

If you are not already using a Play Therapist on a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority you could use our placement service for 100 hours to find out how well play therapy will work in your school.

Play therapy not only helps pupils with emotional, behaviour and mental health issues, it reduces stress on teaching staff caused by disruptive or ‘difficult’ pupils.  It also improves their learning capabilities: better listening, better concentration, etc.

About 1700 primary schools are already using Play Therapy UK therapists to support pupils with emotional, behaviour and mental health issues.  Between 75% and 84% show a positive change.

Is there a snag?  It’s not money – all you need to do is provide a suitably equipped room, usually costing about £200.  The only other problem is availability.  We have about 300 trainees from 13 training centres in all parts of the UK this year.  So it depends upon one being available in your area.  But it’s worth applying – you’ve nothing to lose.

As an alternative, a good investment would be to fund a member of your staff to train as a Registered Certified Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills. You’ll recover the cost very quickly.

Email me personally at mokijep@majemail.com  for details of both opportunities.

More information on play therapy at:

www.playtherapy.org.uk

www.playtherapyregister.org.uk

 

Classic English literature texts in modern covers, with free delivery, no minimum order, and just £1.88 each 

From Shakespeare to Dickens, from Jane Austen to the Brontës, Wordsworth Editions has over 400 titles in print, covering more than 200 of the greatest works of classic literature, and over 50 popular children’s books.

Indeed not only does each volume have the full text, but with all of our classics there is also a set of exclusive introductions and notes.

We are also adding new titles to our range regularly – with the most well-known works of HG Wells being the most recent to be included on our list.

If you would like to see a list of around 50 of the most popular titles which are available direct to schools at the special price of £1.88 that is available here.

Then if you want to see the full list of our titles in print along with a ready to use order form, should you need it, then we have a page with those details as well.

And here’s one final offer of a free book.  Just in case the notion of books at £1.88 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true, we’d like to assure you of the quality of our publications and the speed of our service.

So, to receive a free sample of one of our classics just email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

Booking is now open (with early-bird discount) for: A Christmas Carol, Jekyll and Hyde, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet

As the summer term gets under way, here at Fred Theatre we’re already planning for 2018-19. We’re looking forward to another great year of touring schools with our popular productions of GCSE texts. And, I am delighted to announce that we’re responding to requests by adding Romeo and Juliet to the menu.

Reserve your dates by the end of May to qualify for your discount.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Feedback from this year’s autumn tour included many great comments from students and staff, such as the following:

“The performance was phenomenal!  All of the pupils were extremely complimentary and positive about the performance.  The actors were truly brilliant.  The ‘faithfulness’ to the text has left the pupils engaged and ready for their English Literature studies.”

A Christmas Carol is available for in-school performances from 8 October to 14 December 2018.

MACBETH

Our highly popular production of Shakespeare’s classic tale of ambition will be touring for the third time next year. Here’s feedback from one school:

“It was fantastic! So professional and carefully engineered to give the students what they need. The actors were really impressive—they held the audience for the entire performance; no mean feat when dealing with 210+ sleepy teenagers!”

Macbeth is available for in-school performances from 21 January to 15 March 2019.

ROMEO AND JULIET

We’re always happy to hear from teachers who have suggestions for other shows we might tour with. Just recently we’ve had several requests for Romeo and Juliet. Therefore I’m delighted to announce that we’re adding this Shakespeare classic to the menu for 2018-19.

Romeo and Juliet is available for in-school performances from 18 February through to Easter.

JEKYLL AND HYDE

Finally, I’m pleased to report that great progress is being made on our new adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde. This is being written for us by Jonathan Lloyd and Abigail Walton, the team who also adapted A Christmas Carol.

Jekyll and Hyde is available for in-school performances from 22 October 2018 to 15 March 2019.

All of our in-school shows are 90 minute adaptations, fresh and exciting re-tellings of the familiar and much-loved stories. Each features a cast of six professional actors. We concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original—just a little shorter!

All we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience.

So, why not give your students the advantage of a live performance and book with Fred Theatre today? There’s no need to pay right away, and anyone reserving a date for the new academic year before the end of May will receive a 10% discount.

To find out more, simply e-mail Helen in our office, helen@fred-theatre.co.uk, or call us on 01789 777612. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote.

 

fred-theatre.co.uk

How can assistive technology support a student’s education?

Whilst there are many different types of disability in the UK, ‘people with disabilities’ are often referred to as a single population. In the UK, that ‘single population’ is approximately 3.5 million – 1.5 million people living in the UK with a learning disability, and almost 2 million people living with a visual impairment. However, of those figures, there are around 25,000 children living with sight loss, and 286,000 children who have a learning disability. With those figures in mind, students learning with a disability often require adaptive or assistive technology to support their education.

Technology has either been developed or is in development to support people who suffer with a disability – in particular children who have previously been unable to get the most out of their education. When students with a learning disability have the opportunity to use their strengths to overcome their challenges, it often results in a successful education. Assistive technology (AT) is just one approach that allows students to work around their disabilities.

Offering support through AT

You’ll be surprised at how many different types of AT is available to enhance a child’s education – with technology able to address a child’s learning difficulties and make the education experience better for the student, and teacher. AT has tools which can be used to assist those with disabilities that struggle with listening, reading, writing, math and organisation. Whether the student is visually impaired, dyslexic or any other disabilities that cause skill deficits, AT can be implemented into the education processes to help. In fact, research has proved that AT can improve certain skill deficits, such as reading and spelling.

AT tools can be used to support a disabled child so that they can experience an education as close to the same as other children as possible. The use of assistive technology in schools does not give disabled students an unfair advantage but instead give them the opportunity, in some cases, to learn alongside their fellow students by giving them the independence to learn in an environment that allows them to use their strengths to overcome their challenges, whether they are learning in a public school, a special needs institution or a blind school. Adaptive devices help to increase participation, achievement and independence of the student, by improving their access to the same general curriculum as other pupils without a disability via an assistive tool that breaks down the barriers of their disability.

Which AT tools are available?

With so many different tools available, many can be used to address certain disabilities so that students can effectively work around their peers. Around 20% of young people with a visual impairment, have additional special education needs or disabilities, with a further 30% having complex needs within the education system. Assistive technology offers support. Generally, the term assistive technology is applied to technology that is used to support children with learning difficulties – most commonly, electronic devices, computer hardware and digital tools that are available on the internet.

Visual impairment is common among children, with over 2.5 million children suffering from some degree of sight loss. For this, AT provides students with access to educational assets in a larger format, both in print and digital. For many visually impaired students, digital technology is a way for them to learn in mainstream schools – this is because text can be enlarged, and other senses can be used to aid the learning process, such as touch and sound. Around 60% of visually impaired students are educated in mainstream schools, and AT supports their learning needs, and allows students to learn at their own rate. A qualified teacher of the visually impaired is likely to support to pupil further.

Quite often, the barriers which children face because of their disability can cause a lack in enthusiasm – however, alternative keyboards have overlays which customise the appearance of the keyboard to encourage production and engagement. Not only students with visual impairment who might need braille, or larger keys, these customisable keyboard overlays can add graphics and colours to help students who struggle to type. And it doesn’t stop there – from electronic math work sheets and talking calculators to talking spell checkers, electronic dictionaries and braille technology, AT makes school a comfortable environment for students with a disability to learn in.

No two students are the same

No two disabilities are the same, meaning the needs of every disabled student are unique and individual to them. Assistive technology allows the student to take control of their learning journey and gain some independence in their education – but finding which assistive technology is right for the student can be difficult, as one student’s need may be very different to another. To find the right tool to support their education, establish which tools best address the child’s specific needs and challenges – which tool will help overcome the barriers? The AT tool must be used to the student’s strengths, be easy to use, reliable and preferably portable.

Every child’s abilities differ as well. So, you must also make sure that your student is capable and willing to use the tool – and be aware that while a tool can be used by one student, it doesn’t necessarily mean that another student can use it too. Disabilities are different for each person, and whilst two pupils might both have a visual impairment, their requirements could differ significantly.

 

Sources

http://www.rnib.org.uk/professionals/knowledge-and-research-hub/key-information-and-statistics

http://www.ukvisionstrategy.org.uk/get-involved-ways-get-involved-across-uk/sight-loss-statistics

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/learning-disabilities/help-information/learning-disability-statistics-

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/assistive-technology-kids-learning-disabilities-overview

https://www.teachingvisuallyimpaired.com/assistive-tech.html

https://www.teachingvisuallyimpaired.com/types-of-vi-at.html

https://www.teachingvisuallyimpaired.com/overview-of-assistive-technology.html

Your students’ communication skills distinguish your school and are critical to their future.

But what is the most effective way to teach them?

Whether your students are positioning for university, corresponding, meeting with potential employers, speaking or debating… how good an impression they make will depend primarily on their communication skills. Their good impression also reflects favorably on your school.

Which raises the question, how can you help your students become superior communicators?

To stand out in today’s world, your students will need not just knowledge but also a broader vocabulary than most, an ability to express themselves clearly with just the right words, and the capability readily to explore relevant topics while focusing on the most salient points.

Following this understanding, over the past several years, we have been developing a solution which allows and indeed encourages students to expand both their vocabulary and the way in which they use the language.

As a result these students become better communicators and make a more positive impression on everyone with whom they come into contact.

And what’s more they can to do this not just in English but in 30 languages as well – all of which are available through the same web portal.

Students can thus find words they may otherwise not think of, and they don’t need to know a word or its spelling to find it.  Also they can find words on any subject of interest, they can search for words by sound (ideal for finding rhymes), search for words according to the character of the words… and so on.

You can try Wordipedia yourself for free by simply joining with a trial membership on our JOIN page as well as clicking this link to see more details of the Benefits for students and teachers.

Also, we provide low-cost access for school libraries.

What is the one thing more than anything else that makes children sit up and take notice in an Assembly?

The great disadvantage of the daily school assembly is that it is… daily.   Which means it can easily become familiar, which in turn means that attention is reduced.

Which in turn means that the moment that one does something completely different in an Assembly, one has complete attention.

And this quite simply is why my colleagues and I started to create the Assembly Box – to find the most interesting and thought-provoking assemblies for primary school children.

Assemblies that would not just gain immediate attention and be remembered but would also meet the social and emotional needs of the children who attended them.

We decided to place at the centre of these assemblies, stories that would encourage a whole school focus on the values we wished to present.

In fact, what we produced, and what we have been developing ever since, is a set of over 350 assemblies which are instantly available, and fully scripted, with new assemblies being added every month.

These assemblies are divided into 12 categories along with an index which allows you to choose your assembly by topics as diverse as community, citizenship, saints’ days, black history, social and emotional stories, and so on with each assembly having its own supporting presentation material and a set of ready-to-use key word cards.

You can read a full example of one of our assemblies by following this link

Additionally you can see the complete list of the 12 main categories and from there you can go into each category and see the details of all the assemblies on offer.

All the details are available at http://www.assemblybox.co.uk where you can also order online.  The complete set of all of our assemblies costs £149 (+ VAT). If you have any questions please email enquiries@assemblybox.co.uk

 

Can you get a ‘customised’ Primary School assessment system for less than many off-the-shelf systems?

Yes you can! – with support from our Primary Progress toolkit. Our system is flexible enough to allow schools to create their own assessment policy, and for Multi Academy Trust leaderships to compare their schools’ progress and attainment.

Schools can:

pick their own subjects and curriculum statements/objectives (we can import these or provide a default set to edit).

agree their own grades, which define pupils’ steps to mastering the curriculum.

use a quick & easy way for teachers to record their assessments

set Age Related Expectations for years/classes and individual pupil Targets, for each term/year (the toolkit has a simple way to set these).

analyse progress and attainment to see which pupils are making expected progress and which need support to get them on track

the toolkit provides multiple reports e.g statements achieved, subject attainment, combined subjects, ARE, individual pupil, whole school overview of attainment and progress, EYFS)

The MAT can get:

a dashboard giving access to all the individual school toolkits, together with overview reports which summarise results at MAT level and compare schools’ performance.

The annual subscription costs just £750 per school, including setup and induction training. There is a 5% loyalty discount (max. 20%) and discounts for small schools (<100 on roll). MAT subscriptions are individually negotiated.

So, if you aren’t 100% satisfied with your current assessment tracking system, or if you have set up a system in Excel and are finding it time-consuming to maintain, why not check out our Online Primary Progress toolkit at primaryprogresstoolkit.info

If you need more information, or would like to discuss your specific needs, please email me at statsed@gmail.com. Roger Watson

We can give you free access to a demo site, where you can try out the toolkit for yourself.

Statistics for Education Ltd, 5 Bridge Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, CM23 2JU
Tel: 01279 652183; Email: statsed@gmail.com

‘WE HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO DEBATE’ – DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE?

Recently it seems that too many disagreements turn into aggressive clashes rather than constructive debates. Which poses the question, ‘Have we forgotten how to debate?’

Disagree – contrary to what some people say, we haven’t forgotten how to debate

It could be argued that a high proportion of the population can’t have forgotten how to debate if they were never taught how to debate in the first place, by their own families or when they were at school.

Fortunately, the topic of debating is now woven into the curriculum, but I do wonder whether this is enough to ensure the next generation is safe from having these unpleasant and discomforting aggressive clashes with their friends, family, neighbours and strangers.

Whilst we can’t single-handedly change the curriculum to include a Debating Programmes of Study, we have produced a resource, entitled Teaching Values through PSHE and Citizenship, containing a wealth of activities and worksheets for discussions and debates.

Section One focuses on what attitudes and values the children believe should determine behaviour towards others, on the qualities they admire in other people, on what they consider to be good manners and on what they consider when making decisions.

Section Two focuses on the rules that govern peopleʼs lives and the responsibilities they have as family members, as neighbours, at school and as citizens. It includes activities that encourage children to discuss what sort of country they want to live in.

Section Three looks at human rights, exploring issues of stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, sexism and racism. There are also activities on respecting other peopleʼs religions and cultures and on global concerns.

Visit our website for more information or to order this resource for £19.99 as a printed book, £13.99 as an e-book, or both for a discounted price of £24.19.

Alternatively, you can place an order:

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

WHY RECYCLED PLASTIC PLAY EQUIPMENT IS THE WAY FORWARD

The standard go-to material for playground play equipment, especially trim trails, has always been timber in either a round or square edged profile. The reason being? There was nothing else available on the market bar metal which doesn’t really suit school environments and is more commonly used in public play parks for example.

Timber does have its disadvantages though, especially rounded timber posts which suffer from radial cracking and which causes the timber to split quite badly especially when the seasons and ambient temperature change as it dries out from the core. And if it has not had the correct protection or treatment when dug into the ground, timber will rot below ground and thereby limit its intended life span.

But there is now a far better solution and that is to use recycled plastic play equipment as this material has so many benefits and advantages over timber. These are listed below:

  • It is virtually maintenance free which is a huge advantage to a school and can save quite considerably with on-going maintenance costs and time spent fixing faulty play equipment – especially if the warranties have expired
  • It doesn’t splinter, crack or have “shakes” like timber does – so no nasty incidents with children getting their fingers caught or splinters
  • It doesn’t rot or decay and requires no other type of protection when digging into the ground
  • It is incredibly durable and will therefore last a lot longer (typically five times) than traditional timber made trim trail play equipment
  • It is very eco-friendly as it is made out of recycled plastic bottles which of course is a big topical environmental issue at the moment
  • It is UV resistant so will not discolour over time
  • It is very hard to vandalise with graffiti and is also very resistant to any algae or insect infestation which can happen with timber

These are all very good reasons why a school should consider using recycled plastic for their next playground project.

The Hideout House Company offer a comprehensive range of playground equipment made out of this material as well as picnic tables, planters and adventure trails. An outdoor classroom is also under consideration. The company can also help with design, safety surfacing and installation.

If you would like to know how we can help your school develop its playground, then please contact the Hideout House Company on 01865 858982 or email: info@hideouthouse.com.

What is a fun way to bring your computing curriculum to life and really engage and inspire all of your students?

I’ve often heard colleagues in schools suggest how difficult it can be to teach computing and to keep their students engaged.

Often there is a large range of ability in the class, from the very bright students who have made raspberry pi weather stations in their back gardens, right through to those who struggle to grasp the basics.

Despite these challenges, both teachers and students love the idea of using robots in their lessons.  Anything that can move around, flash lights, and play sounds will help bring topics to life. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds and time it isn’t always possible for schools to purchase and use their own robotics kits.

To make it easier and more affordable to bring robots into your classroom we have designed a range of hands on robotics workshops. We bring all the equipment to you and have a range of fun themes to choose from, including: robot wars, robot farming, and maze solving.

Students are encouraged to learn by doing and trying out their own ideas. They are given plenty of guidance when needed, but at the same time we tend not to “teach from the front”. We like to give students the opportunity to be creative and make their own mistakes.

We are currently offering an extra hour free for a half day booking, which is £300.

Or a free Arduino board with a full day booking for £400.

(Please note some travel expenses may apply depending on which area you are in, please get in touch for details.)

If you are interested please hurry as we can only run this offer until the end of May 2018. We are nearly fully booked for summer and are now also taking bookings for the new academic year.

For more information and to book please contact me directly on 07703 294 942, email: zan@zobotics.tech or visit the website: www.zobotics.tech

Scroll down to get your FREE pdf download of  ‘Ideas to get your pupils forming Simple Sentences’  from the popular resource, ‘Daily Sentence Structures’ 

Children typically know exactly what they want to do and say at any given time, which can be very time-efficient when it comes to creative writing. Yet some pupils lack the confidence to apply their creativity in a way which responds to the demands of the English programmes of studies. Which is why we have produced Daily Sentence Structures.

The Daily Sentence Structures approach raises attainment in writing across all abilities and covers many of the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum, including: grammatical structures, creating effect, using commas to mark phrases and clauses, sustaining and developing ideas logically, varying sentence structures, and using semi-colons and dashes.

The exercises have been broken down into 15-minute sessions making them ideal for use at the start of the day before lessons commence, at the beginning of a lesson as a warm-up activity, or at the end of a lesson in the rare occasion that you have 15 minutes to spare.

For more information or to order Daily Sentence Structures for £18.50 as a printed book, £12.99 as an e-book, or both for a discounted price of £22.40, visit https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/daily-sentence-structures-667.

Alternatively, you can place an order:

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

Click here to get your free pdf download of  ‘Ideas to get your pupils forming Simple Sentences’

Debate Chamber Summer Schools 2018

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students 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 our older age-group, about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university), but a relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of discussion and debate, creates the perfect environment for getting to grips with new ideas. Working in small groups (usually around 14 students per group) over several days means a real chance to get to know tutors and fellow students, and to explore the topics or questions that particularly interest each individual.

We offer a wide range of subjects, including medicine, law, science and mathematics, but here I would like to take the opportunity to highlight a few of our most popular events, all aimed at students with a keen interest in understanding more about current affairs, society, and the world around them.

Humanities and Social Science Highlights for 2018:

The International Relations Summer School for students aged 15-18. This course will introduce the central theories involved in the academic study of IR – realism, liberalism and constructivism – and will 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 IR, and regional sessions looking at China and the Middle East, and at the European response to the migration crisis. Students will be encouraged throughout to consider their own responses to international affairs, and to engage actively with material through strategic exercises, policy briefings and debates.

See more details about the International Relations Summer School – https://debatechamber.com/project/international-relations-summer-school/

The Economics Summer School for students aged 15-18. Focusing on political economy and macro-economics, the five-day Economics Summer School will include seminars on a diverse range of topics, from financial and currency markets to an analysis of economic inequality and its potential remedies. We will also be looking at development strategies in emerging economies, and on the impact of Brexit on the UK and other economies. The focus throughout will be on debate and discussion, and on encouraging and supporting students to engage critically and actively with the material.

See more details about the Economics Summer School –https://debatechamber.com/project/economics-summer-school/

The Politics Summer School for students aged 15-18. This five-day course will look at both political theory and political science, giving students a great introduction to undergraduate level study. It will include seminars on questions of political philosophy – including human rights, representation, and civil liberties – workshops on what we as citizens can do to influence policy areas that we care about, and political science workshops on the emergence of populist movements and changing voter behavior in both the UK and US. The Summer School will conclude with a full day Mock Parliament, with participants taking the role of MPs, forming parties, making policy and debating legislation.

See more details about the Politics Summer School – https://debatechamber.com/project/politics-summer-school

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 2018. 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 https://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/. 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 https://www.debatechamber.com/, call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

What is the simplest way to make Assemblies engaging, relevant and also varied… day after day after day?

There undoubtedly are some teachers who can create ceaselessly varied and engaging assemblies which are also relevant to the moment, and to such colleagues all I can say is, “I salute you.”

And I say this because I know just how hard it is to undertake every other duty one has in the school, and keep coming up with assemblies that really will inspire the children and develop their thinking.

It was as a result of this thought that some of us began to build a collection of assembly stories that could meet the social and emotional needs of children.

Stories that would encourage a whole school focus on the values we wished to present.  In fact what we produced, and have been developing ever since, is a set of over 350 assemblies which are instantly available, and fully scripted, with new assemblies being added every month.

Then we divided the assemblies into 12 categories along with an index which allows you to choose your assembly by topics as diverse as community, citizenship, saints’ days, black history, social and emotional stories, and so on with each assembly having its own supporting presentation material and a set of ready-to-use key word cards.

The result is The Assembly Box.

You can read a full example of one of our assemblies by following this link. Additionally you can see the complete list of the 12 main categories and from there you can go into each category and see the details of all the assemblies on offer.

All the details are available at http://www.assemblybox.co.uk where you can also order online.  The complete set of all of our assemblies costs £149 (+ VAT). If you have any questions please email enquiries@assemblybox.co.uk

Two of the best dual power scientific calculators for KS 3, 4 and GCSE maths and Scottish exams ……

The Casio FX 85GT+ and the Logik LK 83XP are excellent choices for your

GCSE maths students.  They  benefit from battery power with solar power back-up  to provide extra reassurance for your students. Both calcs have a “natural display” function which enables students to enter expressions and data as shown in textbooks.  As you might expect,  the build quality of these calcs is excellent and both benefit from a THREE year warranty to provide peace of mind for teachers and students alike.   (excludes damage to the LCD).

The Logik  LK 83XP has similar features to the Casio FX 85GT+  but without the “verify” and “recurring decimal” functions. Both calcs  feature  prime factorisation, random numbers, algebraic logic, multi-line replay, standard deviation, log / anti-log, hyperbolics etc and have a three year warranty and are available at short notice from Signpost Educational Ltd.,

The  Logik LK 83XP  is available from £ 5.25 each  ex vat while the  Casio

FX 85GT+  starts at £ 7.75 each ex vat.

In addition,  with orders for 100 or more of the LK 83XP   you have the option of obtaining the popular  “Value Maths set”   for  just 95p  (ex vat)

Normal  price  £ 1.25 (ex vat)

For more information & prices plus other products please visit:

    www.signposteducational.co.uk    

 or email to: info@signposteducational.co.uk    or phone: 020 7515 1797

Signpost Educational Ltd  PO Box 999  London E14 6SH

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

What’s the simple and cost effective way to help maths lessons be more productive,  both for teachers and students…….? 

It’s quite possible that many people who are not familiar with the world of education…and schools in particular, would find it hard to believe that some students turn up for their lessons without the basic necessities such as a pen, pencil, ruler etc.

In an attempt to solve this problem there’s  now a  product called the

“Value Maths set ” which, as the name suggests, contains all the basics that students need for their  maths lessons.

Consisting of  two quality black ink ballpens, a full length HB pencil, eraser, 15 cm ruler, 180 degree protractor, metal compass and half pencil,  and a sharpener, all packed in an  A5 size, clear PVC “exam friendly” wallet with a zip slider.

From just £ 1.25 each (ex vat) the “Value Maths set”  is a convenient and cost effective solution to the problem of students who haven’t brought the correct kit to their maths lessons.  Ideal to give or sell  to students at the start of lessons or at the start of a school day………  also very useful for exams.

Full details of the “Value Maths set”   can be found on the website:

     www.signposteducational.co.uk

You can order by email:  info@signposteducational.co.uk    by phone

tel: 020 7515 1797  or  fax:  020 7515 4420

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

The message of who you are and what you represent always connects directly to how you look. 

When it comes to “presence” – that most indefinable of concepts – many would agree there is neither start, nor end.

For “presence”, meaning the way your cricketers look on the training field as much as in the match, from the way they appear when getting off the coach to their behaviour in the nets, comes both from a conscious attempt decision to “look good” and the state of mind that lies behind that decision.

It is something we see time and again with the top cricketers.   But how on earth does one convince young players that the way they look, the way they approach training, and the way they play, are all interlinked?

Some get it straight away: they practice hard and play well, always looking the part.  But for others, realising the link between how one looks and how one plays the game is a longer journey.

Our view is simple: the way young cricketers look, be it in training, on the way to a game, or within the match itself, deeply affects how well they play, simply because there is a direct link between a person’s look and a person’s state of mind.

In fact, one could argue that getting students to appreciate that the way they look is as important as the way they behave, is a way of helping to turn a modest player into a good player, and a good player into one of the best of players.

One only has to look at the pride with which the best players wear their team’s colours to see how it works.

Click on the image below to access our full catalogue.

catalogue image

I look forward to hearing from you.

Simon Lambourne
Owner/Director, Chiltern Leisure Limited

What is really going on in the Middle East?

Is the fighting about land, power, religion? Why are Russian, Turkish, and Iranian soldiers in Syria? Who is fighting whom? And what about ISIS (Daesh), Hamas, Hezbollah?

The talks are given by two speakers together:

  1. Sami Hussein, an expert in Middle East affairs, former adviser to the British and American governments, gives balanced explanations of these complex questions in a simple, easy to understand way.
  2. A historian, also knowledgeable in current affairs, who explains the background and history of what is happening today.

We can offer talks at your school on mutually agreed dates, and will adapt to size of group and length of session.

Cost: free.

For more details and descriptions of other talks: www.middleeastedu.co.uk/talks

To book or for more details: office@middleeastedu.co.uk

Middle East Education is a Registered Charity, and a non-profit-making Limited Company

Generating income whilst effectively maintaining the pupils’ interest in PE and sport

Many schools report that increasing the accessibility and variety of PE and sport offered in school allows them to create new and exciting lessons, with the added bonus of attracting local teams and programmes to rent the schools facilities out of schools hours, generating much needed additional income!

Kate Jones, Project Manager at Sport Surfaces UK explains,

“It can be hard to maintain the heightened interest levels generated at the start of any new facilities or sports programme.

To help we have developed a website that shows how a schools PE and multifunctional sports facility can be enhanced by following a few simple steps; including careful planning in the development phase of a new sports hall floor, the innovative use of new sports equipment and the careful maintenance and use of existing equipment. All of which make a huge difference to long-term pupil engagement and participation.

Over the years we have seen an increase in schools introducing new sports, dance or other activities, with particular emphasis on supporting and including the least active children. Research has shown that exercise is directly linked to brain development and academic performance, as well as tackling obesity, so the focus has to be on inspiring and encouraging all pupils in take part in regular physical activity”.

If you would like to learn more on how you can plan, deliver and maintain your sports facilities, to encourage more children to get active whilst also making your facilities the first choice for local sports teams, please go to www.sportssurfacesuk.com or give us a call on 01244 321200, we would love to hear from you.

 

Get your FREE copy of “SCOTT’S STORY: TACKLING CHILD MENTAL HEALTH”

‘I WAS HUNGRY AND YOU FED ME, THIRSTY AND YOU GAVE ME A DRINK; I WAS A STRANGER AND YOU RECEIVED ME INTO YOUR HOMES.’ (MATTHEW 25:35)

Children are typically able to show understanding and compassion towards children with physical disabilities, yet this same understanding and compassion cannot always be seen towards children with an ‘invisible disability’, such as poor mental health.

Which is what makes it so important to not only make children aware of poor mental health, but to also make children aware of how poor mental health can affect a child’s behaviour – so they can know to show understanding and compassion towards them.

Which is why Brilliant Publications is giving away one of the 50 assembly stories from the popular Modern Christian Assembly Stories volume, to whomever is interested.

This particular assembly story is entitled Scott’s story: tackling child mental health, and shows the struggles and behaviours of a young boy who is dealing with poor mental health.

Alongside the assembly story we have also provided some teacher notes which include links to PSMC and propose a range of questions that you can ask your pupils to get them involved. There is also a short explanation as to what the Christian view is on the topic, as well as a link to a passage from the bible (Matthew 25:35) and a prayer that you can incorporate into the assembly, if you choose.

Click here for the FREE assembly story and accompanying teacher notes

For more information or to order Modern Christian Assembly Stories for £18.50 as a printed book, £12.99 as an e-book or both for £22.40,please visit

www.brilliantpublications.co.
uk/book/modern-christian-assembly-stories-710
.

Alternatively, you can contact us by phone on 01449 766629 or by email at orders@tradecounter.co.uk

What is the easiest way of making cricket ever more popular at school?

We make choices.  All of us, all the time.  And as we get older, so most of the time our choices become increasingly rational.  And that fact emphasises the reality that teenagers in particular are highly emotional beings.

Quite simply they can choose x rather than y for reasons that are, quite often, unfathomable.

We may notice this when a pupil or student chooses to focus on (for example) athletics or volleyball, or even disco dancing, rather than say, cricket, even though he or she is potentially one of the best cricketers the school has had in the past ten years.

It is clearly not talent that directs such a person away from his/her natural talent and into something else.  Rather it normally is emotion, feeling, friends, gossip, parents, TV programmes, what someone said on Facebook…

So how can we challenge such pressure?

One approach which has been adopted by a growing number of schools is to ensure that these young people feel good about themselves each time they practise and each time they play cricket.

In this regard, having the opportunity to wear professional cricket teamwear both when training and when playing a competitive game is singularly helpful.  True, it doesn’t directly affect their performance, but it does affect their mental attitude towards the game.  And that can and will affect performance.

Such an approach also encourages those with more modest levels of natural ability to extend themselves, and this is why Chiltern Leisure exists – to bring cricket teamwear to schools in which quality of presentation is deemed important.

The range includes wide choices of cricketwear, in-house personalisation, with delivery on-time, every time.  It even includes training and leisurewear designed to be worn on the way to and from matches and on tours.

Our online catalogue runs to 24 pages of cricket wear; there is an index on page two.  Plus, bottom right the zoom button, for a close-up view of anything that grabs your attention.  For a printed copy of the catalogue or if you have any questions about any of the products we offer, please do call 01844 338941 or email enquiries@chiltern-leisure.co.uk

You can make an appointment to meet at our showroom near junction 8a (Oxford Services) of the M40, where we can show you samples of cricketwear and discuss your precise needs.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Simon Lambourne
Owner/Director, Chiltern Leisure Limited

How many provisional items do you have in next year’s budget?

There should be some items in a budget that are provisional – money that will only be spent if there is evidence that it will be very worthwhile.  One of the most important should be to prove the effectiveness of play therapy, if you are not already using it.

Play therapy not only helps pupils with emotional, behaviour and mental health issues, it reduces stress on teaching staff caused by disruptive or ‘difficult’ pupils.  It also improves their learning capabilities: better listening, better concentration, etc.

Our trainee placement scheme could help with your budget because your school can have up to 100 hours of therapy for your pupils at virtually no cost.  This will show you how well the Integrative Holistic model works in your school.

About 1700 primary schools are already using Play Therapy UK therapists to support pupils with emotional, behaviour and mental health issues.  Between 75% and 84% show a positive change.

Is there a snag?  Of course, there always is.  We have about 300 trainees from 13 training centres in all parts of the UK this year. So it depends upon one being available in your area.  But it’s worth applying.

If you have any budget left over this year for training, a good investment would be to fund a member of your staff to train as a Registered Certified Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills. You’ll recover the cost very quickly.

Email me personally at mokijep@majemail.com  for details of both opportunities.

More information on play therapy at:

www.playtherapy.org.uk

www.playtherapyregister.org.uk

Kind regards

Monika Jephcott – Chief Executive Play Therapy UK

Free Active School Review Tool

We all know that inactivity is a major issue amongst our young people – a report issued recently showed that in the worse parts of the country 44% of 11-year olds were overweight or obese, this reduced to 25% in the slimmest borough, but still these figures are alarming.

Active 30 – how will it benefit my school?

A primary school child sits for an average of 4 to 5 hours per day – this can be detrimental to their health. Activity not only makes them fitter and healthier, but it can considerably boost cognitive learning and academic performance too.  Small bursts of regular activity throughout the day will contribute to:

  • Higher grades
  • Improved behaviour
  • More focus
  • Happier and healthier children

As you’ll be aware, Primary Schools are being asked to ensure that every child gets a minimum of 30 minutes of structured activity every day as part of Active 30 – but where does a busy school even begin! 

Download your FREE Active School Review Tool…

This fantastic new tool can be used to review, assess and implement a successful active schools programme, or add to your existing programme: 

  • Activity Planner: illustrates how active each year group is throughout your school day and highlights the areas of the curriculum that are currently sedentary and have potential to be more active
  • Activity Review: asks you to rate your school using a RAG traffic light system to assess what is currently happening around activity
  • Action Plan: requires you to think about what you want to implement and how you can prepare for this.

Get your free copy TODAY!

Simply reply to this email with your school name, and we will send you a free copy of the Active School Review Tool.

Find out more…

If you’d like to find out more about how imoves can help your school become more active by upskilling your teachers, then get in touch:

You can also create a free trial account where you can try 5 active lessons for free – register here >

Girls have been outperforming boys in all the main attainment indicators for almost 100 years. 

So what can we do?

When the DfE released its figures to show that girls are outperforming boys in all the key attainment indicators at key stage 4, the question was obviously raised, “what do we do about it?”

But when one thinks about it, it is not just the fact that boys are doing worse at schools than girls, but there is something else going on.

For we live in a country in which 68% of MPs are male, and only 32% of members of the cabinet are women.  Which means not just that that male opinion continues to dominate social policy and law making, but also this comes from the minority of boys who keep up with girls in formal education.

Of course data like this needs to be considered carefully.  We need to think about what it is like to be a boy in school today, and to think about how we can create boy friendly facilities to start overcoming the recurring fact that boys in general under achieve.

In short we need to be aware of the invisible barriers that not only exist but which also reduce the chances of a boy achieving less than he could, just because he is a boy.

And what is perhaps particularly worrying as we do this is the recognition that 98 years ago an educational pamphlet was circulating among teachers with the cover reading “The Boy Problem”.  It seems we’ve been fighting this issue since the end of the first world war, and it is still there.

To help overcome this dilemma we have evolved a day long course which can be delivered to up to 25 staff in your school (although higher numbers are possible by special arrangement).

This course focuses on two overarching themes which relate to this issue and which might be summarised as “The Boy Problem” and “Boys Don’t Cry”.  You can find out more about this course on our website at  http://mengage.co.uk/ensuring-boys-matter/

If you would like to discuss your specific situation or find out more about the course, please contact me on 01905 570180 or on 07788 725318, or if you prefer email me at liam@mengage.co.uk

Liam Kernan