Category Archives: School News

The Megaton Bomb: A Guide to Armageddon

DVD 30 Minutes

With the debate about Trident and the pros and cons offered by both sides taking place,  Concord have released a DVD which looks at the effects a 1 Megaton bomb would have if detonated over St Paul’s in London.

A single missile fired from a trident submarine carries three nuclear bombs with a total strength stated to be the equivalent of a 1 Megaton bomb. This is pretty big when you consider 1 Megaton equals 1000 kilotons and the Hiroshima bomb totalled 15 kilotons.

Using U.S. Congress and British Home Office official data, this programme shows what would actually happen if a one megaton warhead burst a mile above St Paul’s cathedral in the centre of London

Within 30 seconds houses six miles away would be reduced to rubble, winds of 80 – 90 miles per hour would toss objects pell-mell, and shatter windows, sending shards of glass through the air at 120 feet per second, slicing skin.

Paper and other light material would ignite spontaneously. Those in sight of the light would suffer severe third degree burns, charring skin to black carbon and causing permanent retinal burns.

Two couples carried out civil defence measures to see how effective these measures would be. For ten days they lived in temporary constructions following government guidelines. The film looks at how they fared, but suggests that after an actual explosion it is highly unlikely they would emerge at all.

This programme which is ideal as an introduction to a number of subjects can be rented on our Video on Demand system for £1.63. For this you can view as often as you like within a 48 hour period of your own choosing.

Cost of a DVD  £16.30 plus postage

You can easily order by going to our website www.concordmedia.org.uk or you can order by e-mailing us at sales@concordmedia.org.uk Please put ref HH1 in your order.

 

What is the most effective way of getting students to retain the information you’ve imparted during a lesson?

We all know that the students who are able to focus for the longest periods of time on what we’re saying without their attention wandering are the ones most likely to retain the information.

Conversely the students with short attention spans are also the ones most likely to be disruptive in class. No news there.

We would all dearly love to be teaching classes full of students who behaved well and hung onto our every word. Realistically, a totally perfect teaching/learning scenario is unlikely, but can we improve the situation?

We believe we can! We’ve developed extremely quiet background music designed specifically to enhance information retention and improve concentration. Also, as a bonus, disruptive behaviour is reduced.

If you’d like to know more, go to: Further information and media

Where you’ll be able to see a Teacher’s TV programme explaining why and how it works, listen to samples and purchase downloads of 12 hours of Calmer Classrooms Music for £79.99.

Calmer Classrooms music can be used and is effective across all age ranges, nursery, primary and secondary schools.

If you have any questions or queries about Calmer Classrooms Music please do call me on 07801 067386 or email: vo.fletcher@btinternet.com

Vo Fletcher

The importance of having a comprehensive literacy programme, not only in each school, but across the whole of the UK.

With reports suggesting that one fifth of children are failing to meet the expected Level 4 standard in at least one of the “three Rs”, it highlights the importance of having a comprehensive literacy programme, not only in each school, but across the UK.

Which is why MSL has devised The Complete Reading and Spelling Programme

This programme covers all 90 different spelling and sound rules and adds in ten sections on issues such as word patterns, suffixes, prefixes, homophones, and irregular final syllables, making 100 topics in all.

The 90 rules and associated topics can be seen on our website where you can see the structured order of teaching that we have introduced.

What we have then done is broken these 100 topics down into 20 modules, presented in an order which allows students to use the spelling rules as soon as they have learned them.

As a result of this structured approach, which includes placement & progress tests, you can introduce a pupil to the sequence from the very start. You can also begin work at a point where the individual will be revising key points, before moving on to areas of weakness.

A copiable printed version of each module costs £29.99, or you can order five modules together on a CD for £80 plus VAT. All 20 modules (including the 4 CD’s) are available for £450.

You can order the Complete Reading & Spelling Programme in a variety of ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 01536 399017
  • By fax to 01536 399012
  • By email to msl@schools.co.uk       
  • By post to Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH

Active reading strategies: free Boardworks presentation

Help your students become active readers using our free presentation!

The presentation covers seven active reading strategies, including empathising and inferring, using an engaging animation that provides helpful images to denote each strategy.

Packed with discussion questions to encourage critical thinking, this presentation is an ideal way to familiarise your students with active reading techniques.

Download the presentation from our English free stuff page!

Regards,

The Boardworks team

What is the most effective way of getting every single child to contribute to a discussion and writing activity?

How does one get every pupil involved in a discussion?

Obviously if one tries to do this with 30+ children in the class one can end up with such short contributions that “discussion” is hardly the word for it.

Besides which, some children love to talk – others, not so much. Some can write amazing stories at the drop of a hat, but will hardly say a word in class.

The solution involves giving children a voice in collaborative learning in a new way. One starts by posing an interesting question, before allowing the children to document (by writing or drawing) their ideas on their tablets or similar devices.

Nureva™ Span™ classroom collaboration system, for example, lets children capture their thoughts in a variety of ways – words don’t have to be the focus. Even those who are always first to raise their hands can benefit from the time to think and reflect before sharing.

Of course, one also wants to help the children order and control their ideas, and this is where the sharing comes in: by letting all the children see what  others have produced and then weaving other people’s ideas into their own.

This of course also helps teach children that to some questions there is no right answer, and that quite often one answer is as valid as any other.

On an interactive surface like the Nureva Span system, ideas can be moved around, regrouped and adjusted by the teacher or the child. It’s another way of inviting children to take an active role in the collaboration process.

After this the work can be saved and then children can go back online and add a few more notes and ideas.  Because everything is recorded it’s easy for the notes from one session to become the starting point for a makerspace project or for a small group to take a closer look at one aspect of a bigger topic.

The Nureva Span classroom collaboration system is available from Smarter Interactive – approved suppliers of the software for the UK.  We provide both pre- and post-sale training, helping schools make the right choices in terms of the products they buy and also making sure the equipment we supply is implemented and used effectively.

To see Nureva Span in action, please click here.

If you would like any further information, please do call 0118 336 0010, email enquiries@smarterinteractive.co.uk or fill in in our contact form by clicking here.

KS3 vs KS4: How can we stop relegating KS3 assessment to the back seat?

Ofsted’s recent report ‘Key Stage 3: The Wasted Years?’ calls into question the lack of priority that is placed on KS3 after 1,600 inspections judged that “pupils’ progress and achievement were not good enough”, with schools often placing greater focus on KS4.

So how do we bring the focus back to KS3 to ensure our assessment systems are robust and rigorous, and those ever important foundations are laid? [Read more]

In our latest blog, Gemma, one of our Senior Education Advisers, reflects on how we can balance attention between KS3 and KS4 by using a consistent, all-through assessment system.
Read the full text here:  www.doddlelearn.co.uk/blog/KS3-KS4-Balance

To discuss your school’s assessment requirements in person, book an in-school visit from a Doddle Educational Consultant for your next SLT meeting: www.doddlelearn.co.uk/bookavisit

Alice
Doddle

How to video lessons without a technician, without an obvious camera, and without a nervous teacher.

To be of real use, lessons that are recorded need to be real lessons – not lessons that look and feel as if they have been staged for the camera.

Both pupils and teachers need to be relaxed, and that means that there should be nothing in the classroom (such as a large camera, a tripod or a technician) that reminds everyone that, “This lesson is being recorded”.

When such a lesson takes place, the reactions (both from teachers and pupils) are remarkable.  They are impressed that was all so easy to do, that there was no complex set up, no stranger in the room.

And the teacher, now more relaxed about the procedure, often says, “I can already see what I could do better.”

What’s more, the Lessonbox Mobile recording equipment is portable and can be used by any teacher in any room or building. There’s nothing to stop it being used to record a number of lessons by different teachers each day even in different schools.  In effect, the recording of lessons quickly becomes the norm.

Once recording is complete, schools can use the Lessonbox Cloud platform to save it securely, share, add comments, and attach related documents.

You can even use the Cloud’s desktop recorder to record your own screen and add video and commentary to PowerPoint presentations.

Recorded lessons can be kept for CPD, self-evaluation, and examples of excellent teaching and learning.  In addition, the Cloud can be used to deliver lessons to students away from the classroom, if required, using the flipped classroom model. And if you have any concerns about having enough space to store all the resultant content, we can solve that too.

In fact, it has never been easier to share good practice.

If you would like to know more you can watch a teacher set up the equipment and prepare to record here, and see just how extraordinarily easy the whole process is. If you would like to know about our Lessonbox Cloud options click here.

To discuss how Lessonbox can work in your school please call 0845 519 3660 or if you have any specific questions please do email info@lessonbox.co.uk

Andrew Jenkins

Is there a “most effective” way to prepare secondary school students for their upcoming exams?

Primary schools across the UK have refused to take part in a series of tests because they are making children tearful. Unfortunately, this is not an option for secondary schools, even though older students can experience these same overwhelming emotions when it comes to exams.

So what is the most effective way of supporting your students in dealing with the pressure of exams?

One way which has proven to be highly effective comes from looking at how new recruits in the army prepare for combat. Many of the skills that new recruits have to acquire would be beneficial to students who are struggling to deal with the pressures of exams.

This is because everyone involved in a mission knows that success is not a possibility; it is essential. There are no second chances. This gives them the motivation and determination that students need in order to perform well in their exams and achieve their desired results.

Such skills include application, attention to detail and focus, the avoidance of excuses, and, above all, a determination to succeed, no matter what.

It is for this reason that upon leaving the army I formed Major Motivator – to share these invaluable skills (which are central to army training) with young people through a range of fun, inspiring, and motivational seminars.

Your pupils will be shown a wide range of innovative strategies to help them tackle the array of challenges that they face between now and their exams – from being overwhelmed by the sudden increase in their workload, to coming to terms with the greater onus placed on them to manage their own revision.

Whatever challenges your students are facing with regard to their upcoming exams, our team of dedicated ex-military staff will equip them with effective revision strategies that we have acquired (and adapted) from schools across the UK.

It is essential that young people today realise that their future success is under their control.

If they want it enough, if they are determined enough, they can succeed.

You can find more information about the different ways that we work with schools by visiting www.majormotivator.co.uk. Alternatively, you can call us on 01536 399010 or email us at info@majormotivator.co.uk.

Why the requirements of the New Ofsted Common Inspection Framework for SMSC may not be as demanding as you think.

SMSC is a big feature of the New Ofsted Common Inspection Framework.  Given that you are probably already providing your pupils with an abundance of SMSC education in a less formal way, this should make meeting the requirements of the CIF fairly straightforward.

The difficult bit, of course, is proving to Ofsted that you are actively providing SMSC learning.

So the first step to ensuring that you are meeting the requirements of the CIF is to analyse each and every aspect of your pupils’ education to identify exactly where and when SMSC learning is taking place.

The second step is as simple as logging this SMSC. And the third step is to evaluate the effectiveness of these SMSC provisions so that they can be developed and ultimately meet Ofsted’s demands – which can be slightly more challenging.

To ensure that this three-step process doesn’t take up too much of your time we have developed SMSC Gridmaker – a time-efficient way of auditing SMSC across the whole school.

Thus, SMSC Gridmaker allows you and your colleagues to focus more attention on implementing SMSC learning itself, rather than the bureaucracy and paperwork that comes with it.

It is an online tool which makes it possible to log SMSC activities in a matter of seconds, analyse whole-school SMSC at the click of a button, and share evidence of SMSC in the form of dynamic bar charts and PDF reports with others.

Furthermore, SMSC Gridmaker can be tailored to your school’s areas of SMSC priority to include criteria such as British values, PSHE, Citizenship, and so on.

To see how SMSC GridMaker can help your school to collect evidence of your SMSC provisions and evaluate these provisions to create an SMSC improvement

What is the most effective way of responding to the needs of your visual learners?

When we consider that 65% of the population are visual learners, it is clear that the use of visual materials in lessons is going to be highly beneficial for teaching and learning.

For not only will the use of such materials ensure that your pupils can identify relationships and distinctions between one concept and another, but it will also ensure that they will remember and recall the knowledge that they have learnt more readily in the future.

And so it is for this reason that we have developed the Graphic Organisers Set of 3 books, each containing 60 open-ended graphic organiser sheets.

Our Graphic Organisers encourage learners to organise their ideas visually, which in turn enables them to process, analyse, and synthesise ideas in a wholly different way. As a result, your pupils’ understanding and critical thinking skills will be enhanced, leading to greater attainment in assessments.

Graphic Organisers for Any Subject contains 60 open-ended graphic organisers to support your pupils’ learning in an array of subject areas.

The subject-specific graphic organisers for Reading and Writing support your visual learners in remembering and recalling the various concepts in literacy more readily.

Graphic Organisers for Reading contains 60 graphic organisers for fiction and non-fiction, literary elements and genre, and reading in any content area. The organisers can be used to reinforce important reading strategies.

And Graphic Organisers for Writing contains 60 graphic organisers for writing fiction and non-fiction and integrating explicit elements of good writing. The organisers can be used to produce excellent writing.

You can order the Graphic Organisers Set in a variety of ways, including:

  • By visiting the website
  • By phone on 01449 766629
  • By fax on 01449 768047
  • By email to orders@tradecounter.co.uk
  • Or by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.

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

website: www.brilliantpublications.co.uk
email: orders@tradecounter.co.uk

phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 768047

What are five things that can and often do go wrong on school trips?

It is almost inevitable that things will go wrong on school trips because, as you will know if you have ever had the pleasure to organise one, there are some things over which you have little or no control.

A couple of weeks ago TES set out five things that are expected to go wrong on school trips, some of which you may be able to relate to. Here they are in TES’ own words:

1) Permission slips – You told them they would need one numerous times, you told their parents they would need one numerous times, and you emailed/texted/posted a letter saying exactly the same thing. And yet, here they are: excited, grinning with enthusiasm, all their kit ready and not a single permission slip in sight.

2) The packed lunches – You’ve spent 30 minutes travelling in a 1970s living room (complete with curtains) masquerading as a coach, and for some reason every child has already eaten their lunch. Quite why school trips cause insatiable hunger, no one knows, but what you do know is that your carefully prepared meal is going to be shared into 30 equal parts.

3) The lost items – Yes, they’ve had the spiel about the school not being responsible for lost or stolen items, but guess who is running back through every exhibition room searching for a missing iPod? Wide-eyed and frantic, you interrogate anyone who looks vaguely official, only to eventually get a call from another teacher to say that the iPod has been found. At the bottom of the child’s bag…

4) The vomit – Excessive excitement, excessive sugar, excessive tiredness and excessively aggressive driving by the coach driver. There is no combination more accomplished at causing vomit than that. You reach for the sick bag, but you know it’s too late. The children in the seats behind scramble for safety as the stream of sick winds slowly towards the back of the coach.

5) Missing parents – You begin to think that, this time, things are going to be different. But then you spot them: the one student stood on their own. A phone call, some swearing, and then a screech into the car park. The frantic parent loads the student into the car with profuse apologies and protests that they are “sure it said 5pm not 4pm”. And with that, you finally head home, vowing never to do this again but knowing full well you’ll be repeating the process next term.”

However there is one thing that has to be every teacher’s nightmare scenario but which is one thing over which they do actually have some control:  and that is the possibility of the minibus breaking down.

For you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a breakdown by ensuring that the school’s minibus is enrolled on a full maintenance programme – just one of the services that Benchmark offers as part of the leasing arrangements they have with schools.

And another benefit of leasing a minibus with Benchmark is that it can often work out to be cheaper than buying a minibus outright (especially if one takes into account the re-sale value of a school bus at the end of its working life), or hiring a coach each time.

It is an arrangement which makes it possible for schools to fund the minibus through a small payment each month, which benefits both the budget and cash flow.

For more information about leasing a minibus with Benchmark Leasing you can go to our website, call us on 01753 859944 or email minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk

Link to TES article: https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/friday-five-things-always-go-wrong-school-trips

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street
Eton
Berkshire
SL4 6AS

www.minibusleasing.co.uk/school-minibus.php

minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk

Tel: 01753 859944

Practical, hands on and a great way to introduce problem solving and management skills

Ideal for STEM and re-usable at only £39.95
So how do you give young people the opportunity to solve problems and develop creative thinking skills whilst they are still at school?

STEM resources have been developed to provide teachers with a way of giving students experience of solving problems and gaining confidence in how to respond to challenges. Good maths based problem solving exercises are hard to come by.

So in order that students might see how things can easily go wrong and how, by working together and sharing information they can go right, we’ve put together a business exercise called Safe Delivery which is designed to give students experience of solving a difficult maths based problem and to develop creative thinking skills.

The exercise is suitable for small teams of KS4 and 6th form students who will each act as managers in a business.  Each manager will have individual briefing notes which they must read carefully and then communicate to the rest of their team.

The Scenario – The MD has ordered a huge fire resistant storage cabinet for the business that will house a new ‘server’ on which information will be stored. It is Friday afternoon and the cabinet is being delivered Saturday morning. It must be installed in the General Office by Monday morning – an office floor plan of the building is provided.  A team meeting is called and the managers sit down to work out how this problem will be undertaken.

This resource contains: For the students:
A memo that sets out the task
5 detailed briefs for different managers in the business and one scribe
A floor plan of the office building showing all the obstacles that need to be overcome

For the teacher:
Clear teachers’ guidance notes that explain how to run the exercise
A snapshot crucial information chart
The written solution
The solution on a power point presentation

There are more details at…
http://c-l-e.co.uk/buy-teaching-resources-online/safe-delivery-exercise/

You can pay and download the exercise direct from our website using Paypal or you may wish to pay with a purchase order number. Simply e-mail your purchase order number to us and we will send the exercise to you along with the invoice for payment.  For more information e-mail Julie@c-l-e.co.uk

It’s not too late to have a free solar panel system

Join our schools and together we can make sure you get solar power in your energy mix in 2016.

We have over 50 systems in schools nationwide.

“We are lucky to have the support of governors with the vision and confidence in the management team that allows us to embrace new initiatives, which are for the long-term good of the school,” Linda Davies, Parkside Academy 150kWp

Register with us. Discover how you can get solar panels even if you have no capital.  There is no commitment to registering.

Act before all subsidies disappear. Find out if you can:

  • Get a free solar panel system and renewable power for at least 20 years
  • Cut your energy bills in the medium to long term
  • Cut your carbon emissions
  • Have a teaching resource that demonstrates your commitment to being more sustainable as a school.

Our commitment to you is that despite huge government cutbacks in supporting solar for 2016, we will find a solar panel solution for you, ideally at no cost to yourself.  Make sure you are all signed up before the summer so you can enjoy solar power.

Do the right thing to reduce your impact on the environment. Put renewable power into your energy mix and show your students that the school is acting in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

Kind regards,

Helen and Ann
Solar for Schools Team

Government warning: Government has once again cut its support of solar power in 2016 by over half. If your school is serious about getting renewable power into your energy mix, you need to act now before the support disappears completely.

Cheer up and have a cup of tea

We are all effected by grief during our lifetimes and we deal with it in different ways, statements like the above are often not very helpful when gripped with the intensity of feelings that this very raw emotion can bring. Death and Bereavement faced by a younger person can be more apparent.

Concord Media have put together a series of DVDs which can be used to help understand grief among different age groups and are a useful aid should you be faced with such circumstances within the school, they have even included a resource dealing with grief later in life.

Do have a look at the range of resources and you can click to see more details on each DVD below.

Teenage Grief

Animated film about teenagers coping with the death of someone close.

DVD 2007 13 Minutes – £27.20 + postage

Read More

Not Too Young to Grieve

Understanding and helping bereaved under fives.

DVD 2005 15 Minutes – £27.20 + postage

Read More

Grief in the Family

This animated film looks at the ways children and young people respond to grief, and how people can help.

DVD 2002 14 Minutes – £27.20 + postage

Read More

Bereavement in Later Life

Death and bereavement from the point of view of older people.

DVD 1993 40 Minutes – £50.00 + postage

Read More

Facing Chronic Illness and Death when the Patient is a Child

Help for carers of children with terminal illness.

DVD 1982 58 Minutes – £31.30 = postage

Read More

You can order on line by clicking on the links in the copy above or by emailing us at sales@concordmedia.org.uk  Please put ref HH1 in your order.

 

Student workshops, teacher training and world-class supportive resources

Preparing students for their next steps after school bring with it a new set of challenges, be it interviews, work experience, college, university or employment.

Qualifications are, of course, essential but alone they are not enough to guarantee success. Attitude, state-of-mind and communication skills are vital when taking that next step towards personal and career success.

If getting your students to make the link between these life skills, their qualifications and success is a challenge in your school, why not consider our Employable You workshop?

‘Employable You’ shares the art of excellent communication preparing students for the next stage in their education and their life.

In just two hours, using an interactive presentation, group work and engaging challenges, our Positively Mad presenter will motivate your students to understand how the powerful combination of learning, attitude and state-of-mind will shape their future and determine their levels of success.

The students will be empowered to plan and manage their own futures by learning how to: identify strengths, overcome weaknesses, define their USP (Unique Selling Point), sell themselves as a package and to realise that actions taken NOW will affect their future. They may even discover talents they didn’t even realise they possessed!!

‘Employable You’ raises aspirations, increases confidence and promotes effective decision making.
To discover how a Positively MAD workshop could impact your students at this important time simply click on the boxes below.

 

Employable You Inspiration workshops Future workshops
Employable You
If you would like to discuss any specific requirements for your school, please call our friendly office team on 0844 8094850 or simply email info@positivelymad.co.uk

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Regards,

The Positively MAD Team

What is the most time-efficient way of auditing SMSC across the whole school?

The benefits of carrying out SMSC audits are boundless.

Not only because they provide the means to evaluate the effectiveness of existing provisions and improve upon these, but also because they provide the proof that Ofsted demands.

However, auditing an SMSC to respond to the demands of Ofsted and generating a SMSC improvement plan requires a great deal of time, which is something many of us are short of.

Fortunately, SMSC Gridmaker has found a time-efficient way of auditing SMSC across the whole school, which actually allows staff to focus more of their attention on SMSC provisions, SMSC auditing, and SMSC provision evaluation than before.

By watching the video here, you can see how evidence of an SMSC activity can be captured in less than 60 seconds.

The SMSC Gridmaker online tool makes it possible to log SMSC activities in a matter of seconds, analyse whole-school SMSC at the click of a button, and share evidence of SMSC in the form of dynamic bar charts and PDF reports with others.

Furthermore, SMSC Gridmaker can be tailored to your school’s areas of SMSC priority to include criteria such as British values, PSHE, Citizenship, and so on.

To see how SMSC GridMaker can help your school to collect evidence of your SMSC provisions and evaluate these provisions to create an SMSC improvement plan, please visit: http://smsc.opeus.org/home

School Policy Update: Advice to schools from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office

Towards the end of last month (January 2016) bomb threats became very real for some 18 schools in the UK (14 of these in the West Midlands), and thousands of pupils were evacuated as a result.

And only last week Nottingham Girls’ High School was evacuated as a result of intelligence that suggested a terrorist threat.

Thankfully, that is all they have been – threats and intelligence. However, in response to these incidents the National Counter Terrorism Security Office has published a press release advising school leaders to review their protective security measures.

The problem with creating a policy (or indeed, any policy) which incorporates a procedure for what to do in the event of a terror attack on the school, is that it can take up a substantial amount of time that you and your colleagues don’t have to spare.

Which is why we create, adjust, amend, and update school policies on your behalf.

Counter terrorism and protective security school policies that we have created already include School Crisis Management Policy, School Security Policy, Intruders Policy, CCTV Policy, School Disaster Recovery Policy, and the Accidents and Emergencies Policy, to name a few.

Policies for Schools have created over 290 school policies covering 20 different statutory areas. Our policies are easy to customise and thus will save you a considerable amount of time when one or more of your school policies require attention.

What’s more, if you have a specific need of a policy which isn’t listed on the website, we will create it for you. You can find our full list of school policies by clicking here.

To subscribe to Policies for Schools, visit www.policiesforschools.co.uk.

Or, if you’d like to view a few sample policies beforehand, we have provided the following policies which are available to download free of charge by clicking here:

  • Calming Room Policy
  • Professional Learning Communities Policy
  • School Website Policy

Alternatively, if you would like to know more about our service, you can email us at sales@policiesforschools.co.uk,  call us on 01600 891 506, or write to us at Teachers Resource Centre Ltd, Wyastone Business Park, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, NP25 3SR.

 

A clear understanding of FGM

On the 31st October 2015 new procedures for reporting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) were introduced by government office as a mandatory duty for teachers in schools and academies.

Also, FGM forms part of the Safeguarding remit which is an OFSTED limiting judgement.

Our secure interactive online training module is designed to ensure staff in schools and academies have a clear understanding of FGM and can effectively meet this duty.

The module is CPD Certified and will ensure you and your staff are fully compliant with OFSTED requirements whilst earning valuable CPD points.

The service is so easy-to-use and will quickly ensure you comply with requirements in the most cost-effective manner from just £150 per school/academy.

To find out more please click HERE.

Diagnosing dyscalculia is just the start. It is also necessary to identify the type of dyscalculia the student has got.

Research by the Dyscalculia Centre, which has been published in SEN Magazine, has shown that there are five different types of dyscalculia – although inevitably many young people suffer from a combination of the types listed below.

Type 1 dyscalculics report significant worries about maths.  As a result they feel themselves living in an alien world in which everyone else can grasp maths, but they can’t.  Self-doubt becomes so strong that it gets increasingly difficult to persuade the individual that with proper support they might well be able to undertake and understand mathematical calculations.

Type 2 dyscalculics also experience this deep concern but have found strategies for understanding and coping with basic maths – yet they feel that they don’t have the automatic grasp that others have and often take twice as much time (or more) to do a maths problem as a non-dyscalculic person.

Type 3 students have a profound difficulty in comprehending and dealing with the concept of time.  Sometimes this issue appears on its own, sometimes in combination with types 1 or 2 dyscalculia.  For such people time itself makes no sense and they are quite unable to estimate “five minutes” or any other time length while questions about timetables and the like are also quite meaningless.

Type 4 dyscalculics may not always be dyscalculic in the genetic sense, although they display many of the symptoms of dyscalculic people because they have short-term and long-term memory problems.  These students generally have a problem with all sequences – and this, of course, affects their ability to handle maths perhaps more than any other subject.

Type 5 dyscalculics tend not to see numbers as in any way related to the real world.  In one sense most of us have this problem; after all, what is “six”?   We know what six sheep are.  But “six” on its own is close to meaningless.   For such people, maths can be learned automatically, but when it gets to issues such as fractions, decimals, and percentages then life gets difficult.

Fortunately all these types of dyscalculics can be helped through different types of multi-sensory learning of maths, and this is the approach we have set out in our series: “Dyscalculia Activities”

Each volume contains a vast array of activities which a teacher or assistant teacher can undertake with a small group of students, and involves turning the abstract concepts of maths into physical experiences.  No special equipment is needed, apart from paper, scissors, small cards and some ludo type counters.  (We can supply the cards and counters if you don’t already have them).

Each printed volume is copiable, and so only one copy is needed per school.

There are details here including sample pages

If you have any enquiries please do call 01536 399 000 or email Tony@schools.co.uk

You can place orders on line (there is a link from each of the above resource pages) or you can go straight to the on-line shop here http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk/index.php?cPath=29 You can also order by post and fax:

  • By post to First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Way, Corby, NN17 4HH
  • By fax to 01536 399 012

 

How to help KS3 students grasp the three fundamentals of written English

Ask most people today what the three fundamentals of written English are and they will probably struggle to define them.

And yet if students can grasp that there are just three fundamentals then they can start to see that the written language has a unified logical base, rather than being an endless stream of rules and regulations.

The three fundamentals are defined in the volume “Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stage 3” as Word Classes (adverbs, prepositions, etc), Phrases, Clauses and Sentences, and finally Punctuation.

This 300 page copiable book works through these three fundamentals, in each case breaking them down into their constituent parts.

Thus there are ten sections relating to word classes, five relating to phrases, clauses, and sentences, and eight relating to punctuation.  Each section is itself subdivided into between five and ten sub-sections, making it easy to find rules and examples on any specific topic that is required.

As such the volume is designed as a comprehensive reference source to be used throughout Key Stage 3 but it may also be used with students at key stage 4 who need remedial work.

Throughout, the book includes authentic examples collected from a variety of written sources. Through this mechanism the volume pays particular attention to those areas with which authors of all ages tend to have difficulties and offers an abundance of examples of current usage highlighting these areas.

Such examples are then followed by suggested improvements and by explanations justifying those improvements. Finally the relevant principles are practised through activities designed for pupils.

Anna Nolan, the author of Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stage 3, has worked as a freelance consultant to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and as a teacher trainer with the Edexcel National Curriculum Services.

There is a sample chapter available on-line at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1661.pdf

Cat No: 978 1 86083 594 0;  Publisher reference no: T1661emn

Prices

  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £34.95. plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £34.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £41.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the book…

You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook

What is the most effective way of helping students to higher grades at GCSE German?

In learning any language students we all go through two phases.

The first involves becoming familiar with the basic grammar and vocabulary of the language that allows the individual to engage in simple written and verbal communication – enough to ask the way to the shops and understand the answer.

That type of communication is expanded and developed through bringing in new situations and speeding up the exchanges while still keeping the subject matter very much in the every day.

That is part one. The second part then makes a conceptual leap from that position – a leap which takes the students up to a completely different level.

By this second stage the awareness of many everyday phrases is embedded in the brain and can be heard, understood and answered without translation. The language is understood as language.

And here students make the leap from a pass at GCSE to a higher grade and prepare themselves for A level, should they wish to take it.

Deutscher Wiederholungskurs will help this type of candidate make these steps forward.  It provides material for revision for the GCSE speaking and writing tests and helps to bridge the gap between GCSE and A level.

The course is divided into 8 topics drawn from the GCSE syllabus, each containing the same tasks:

  • Oral questions to revise the topic briefly;
  • Suggestions for visual stimuli for further oral revision;
  • A passage of German entitled “Fritz erzählt” which contains gaps to fill in and practice for case endings, pronouns and verb endings;
  • Comprehension exercises on the passage to be answered in full German sentences;
  • A passage of English for translation into German; and a series of questions in German, the answers to which should form the basis for a short essay.  Finally there are a series of related role-play situations.

The book is fully photocopiable for ease of use in the classroom and will prove an invaluable source of revision and consolidation for your GCSE students.

Sample pages from the book, order code T1616emn,  can be found on http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/modlang/T1616.pdf

Prices

  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £26.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

 You can purchase the report…

  • By post from First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Rd, Corby, NN17 4HH
  • By fax to 01536 399 012
  • On-line with a credit card at http://tinyurl.com/mw79zv
  • By phone with a school order number or a credit card to 01536 399 011

When ordering the book please quote the reference T1

You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook

What more can be done to inspire a love for reading and storybooks among your struggling readers on World Book Day and for evermore?

Supporting the development of reading skills among older pupils can be somewhat of a challenge, not least because fiction books that are of interest to them do not typically cater for their current reading abilities.

So inspiring a love for reading among these pupils can also be something of a challenge.

Fortunately, World Book Day (3rd March 2016) presents a great opportunity for you to introduce your struggling readers to the ‘Go! Pack’ series, which will inspire a love for reading and thus support the development of their reading skills.

The ‘Go! Pack’ is a set of 8 fantastic titles for pupils aged 11 and over with a reading age of six, and were designed by an experienced practitioner desperate for suitable reading material for her pupils.

Each book has high quality illustrations to support the story and help the reader achieve success and enjoyment in reading.

Titles in the ‘Go! Pack’ include: “Bad luck”, “Ghost in the House”, “Lights in the Mirror”, “Lion on the Loose”, “Missing”, “Not a Good Look”, “Shut Down” and “The Wrong Wheels”.

You can order Go! Books in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 01536 399017
  • By fax to 01536 399012
  • By email to msl@schools.co.uk     
  • By post to Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH

Easy to use communication platform

SchoolCal is an easy to use communication platform that enables schools to connect with parents, governors, teachers and support staff.

With unlimited contacts, messages and reminders we think you’ll love SchoolCal almost as much as your governors, parents and staff will.

We are so confident you can try SchoolCal for free for 30 days, no opt outs, obligations or catches just a chance to see if it’s for you plus be in with a chance to win an annual subscription and tablet.

Set up your trial account www.school-cal.co.uk/schoolcal30

3 ways SchoolCal is redefining engagement across the whole school

1. Supporting two-way engagement across the whole sector by providing a safe, accessible and personalised experience for everyone.

2. Reducing the cost of communications, allowing more conversations to take place with the right people and focus more resources into the classroom.

3. Providing a platform that people can enjoy using, seen as the go to place for school conversations and to be a product organisations can be proud to share with all their stakeholders.

Involved in more than one school? You will love our Multi-School feature, if you are a MAT or a Headteacher in one school with a child in another all of your schools are brought together into one newsfeed that can be viewed separately or as one.

SchoolCal has been designed from the ground up with the specific goal of being a platform that you will be proud to share with anyone connected to your school that represents your vision, ethos and goals.

Set up your trial account www.school-cal.co.uk/schoolcal30

I wondered lonely as a cloud….

“I think what you actually mean in that subject line is ‘wandered’ not ‘wondered’.   It’s ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’…”

“No, I’m contemplating isolated cognitive water vapour.”

It is the miracle of language that we can use it to go anywhere.  We can not only wonder at the miracle of life, but wander about in our own minds, finding the most extraordinary and outrageous ideas.

Exactly as Cædmon supposedly did in the 7th century in the first ever English poem, and millions have been doing ever since.  To play with words is very much to be human.

And indeed today the game goes on.  I can write a paragraph beginning with a joining word, and find that you haven’t (as yet at least) deleted this email in disgust.

Or I can use a more formal type of prose, attempting (as best I can) to obey the rules of English grammar.  That is our inheritance: the athleticism of our brains, the infinite potential of our language.

In a sense this is why the Christopher Tower Poetry Competition has run so successfully every year since 2001, and perhaps also why this year the judges decided that the theme should be “Wonder”.

The competition, organised as always by Christ Church, University of Oxford, offers the UK’s most valuable prize for poets aged 16 to 18.

The judges this year are Alan Gillis, Katherine Rundell and Peter McDonald.  The cash prizes are, as always, more than significant, and the closing date is 19 February.

Details are on the Tower Poetry website and entries can be emailed directly to us, so there is no need to gather your students’ work together and post it in.

You can also download an entry form from the website.  If you want to know more or discuss any point of detail, please do email me at info@towerpoetry.org.uk or call me on 01865 286 591.

Kathryn Grant

Tower Poetry Administrator

GCSE AQA PE Pre-Release Scenario Exam Pack 2016: Murton Athletics Club

The 2015 GCSE AQA PE scenario was released on the 1st February, and the topic for Section B of this year’s exam is ‘Murton Athletics Club’.  Effective exam preparation will be essential to help students get to grips with this complex scenario.

How well prepared will your GCSE PE class be? Will they be ready to answer questions on ‘Lucy and Murton Athletics Club’?

Give them the best possible opportunity with the ZigZag Education AQA PE Pre-Release Scenario Exam Preparation Pack. A unique resource, totally focused on maximising exam performance, it contains the material that students need to prepare for the scenario and includes:

1.   An introduction to the scenariowhat is there and what does it mean? With key terms
highlighted and explained.
2.   Clear and concise revision notes, related specifically to ‘Lucy and Murton Athletics Club’ and in
spec order.  Activities for every section to develop exam skills and consolidate learning.
3.    Section B mock exam questions on the scenario, with useful ‘what is the question asking you to
do’
sections, model student answers and marking tips.
4.   Teaching PowerPoints.
5.   Structured revision cards.

“Excellent… A guaranteed grade raiser” 

H Burningham, HOD & ZigZag Customer

Also New for 2016 is GCSE AQA PE Pre-Release Scenario Practical Activities Pack. Escape the classroom and breathe new life into exam preparation with this perfect companion to the Pre-Release Scenario Pack!

The GCSE AQA PE Pre-Release Scenario Exam Preparation Pack (£59) and the Practical Activities Pack (£34) are available as photocopiable masters with site licence.
Also available in:

  1. Easy-printing PDF files (add 30%+VAT), or
  2. PDF with editable Word files (add 50%+VAT).

Pre-order this year’s pack for dispatch 29th February at http://zzed.uk/WW34
(you can also view previews of last year’s resource here)


ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY
t: 0117 950 3199 | f: 0117 959 1695 | PE-WW34@zigzageducation.co.uk

Give your promotional code WW34 to get free postage!

 

Free A-Level presentation on gene mutations and cancer

Teach your students about gene mutations and cancer using our brand-new A-Level biology presentation.

The presentation covers a range of topics from DNA methylation, to genetic and environmental risk factors, and uses a variety of activities, including discussion questions and an interactive multiple-choice quiz, to ensure there’s something for everyone.

Full of cutting edge science content, examples of applied science and data interpretation, this presentation is the perfect teaching partner.

Don’t hesitate to download it from our Science free stuff page!

Regards,

The Boardworks team

 

Free KS4 presentation on probability!

Help your students build confidence in calculating probability with our free presentation!

This presentation uses a series of explanatory slides that include real-life examples, key formulae, and questions to ensure your students are fully engaged with the topic. It also features an interactive spinner that asks them to alter the number of coloured sections and calculate the probability of the spinner landing on each one!

Try out the presentation on our Doddle Maths page!

Doddle uses real-life examples and a variety of engaging activities to get the whole class actively involved in exploring mathematical skills in greater detail. To see more of what Doddle can do for your department, book a free in-school visit with one of our Educational Consultants.

Alice
Doddle

 

When it comes to teaching not all methods are equally effective. The same is true of learning. But which methods are best?

Recently the focus in terms of methods of teaching has been on the technology used to deliver the lesson.

And yet there is a huge amount of evidence to suggest that it is not the technology that makes one method of teaching better than another.

Rather, it is the method of teaching itself.  Technology can make a difference, but it is not the prime difference.

What’s more, while a change in the method of teaching used to teach any specific subject or topic can have a benefit – that benefit won’t be maximised unless the students also get some help in understanding the best methods of learning that they ought to be using.

To put this another way, it is possible to deliver a lecture to a class using your voice on its own or your voice plus a diagram drawn on a chalkboard, displays on a whiteboard, a video, or anything else.

But the fact remains that whatever technical additions are used it is still a lecture.

Which is fine as long as the lecture is the best method of teaching the subject that you have in mind.  If it isn’t, then the effectiveness of the lesson will still be dependent on the effectiveness of the lecture as a method of teaching.

Now, of course, most of the time we don’t lecture in class because we all know that lectures are fairly ineffective ways of teaching.  But that still raises the question: what are the most effective ways of teaching?

And as we ask that question, we also have to ask, what implication does this have for the various methods of learning that the students then adopt?

These are the questions posed and answered by “Methods of Teaching”.  The book has articles which can be shared with teaching colleagues, policy statements on methods of teaching, a review of methods of learning, and 22 articles on methods of learning that can, over time, be provided to students to help them organise their own learning.

There are also eight active learning assignments for the students plus a series of articles on memory which will explain how teaching and learning can be organised in such a way that the topics and issues under consideration will be retained in the memory for years to come.

The latest edition of “Methods of Teaching” is probably the most powerful book on teaching and learning available today.  It is available both as a photocopy master and on CD (so that it can be put on the school’s learning platform or printed out from the disk).

Cat No: 978 1 86083 830 9 Order code: T1784emn – please quote with order.

Sample pages can be viewed at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/education/T1784.pdf

  • Photocopiable book, £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD £36.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Where can you find SEN books and equipment at discounts not available anywhere else?

The answer to the question is simple.  Savings for Schools only carries announcements of products and services that are relevant to teaching and learning, and which are available at a discount exclusively to readers of these services.

In between these announcements there are also occasional short summaries of education news and information that you might have missed.

The new Savings for Schools services, which are of course completely free for teachers, started earlier this term, and we’ve been getting some interesting feedback.  So now we are opening up the services to everyone, and with an extra bonus.

If you are looking for a particular product or service at a discount but can’t find one, you can write to us and we’ll do our best to locate one or more companies that have the product you want, and will make it available at a discount.

If we can find such a company we’ll email you with the details, and then place the announcement on Savings for Schools.  To make suggestions, or indeed if you have got any questions about the service, please write to Jenny@hamilton-house.com and write Savings Suggestions in the subject line.

I do hope you will find the new services of help as a way of getting the very best value for money.

You can join the Savings for Schools services by clicking on these two logos.

Jenny Burrows
Savings for Schools

A comprehensive free guide to the requirements of the new national curriculum tests

Testbase has produced an informative guide to help teachers navigate the requirements of the new national curriculum tests.

The guide contains key information about the curriculum and how it will be assessed with all the information based on the statutory test frameworks.

Details of how to obtain a free copy are given below.

We’ve also produced a set of mid-year tests that provide progress checks within the new framework. These tests will be available to download free of charge for all schools with a current complete Testbase subscription in February. Again there are details through the links below.

What’s more, Testbase has been updated so that it is ready to help you deliver good assessment across the primary years.

You can use it to prepare targeted and differentiated resources, whether formalised topic tests, progress checking homework, or classroom assignments.

There are 12,000 questions aligned to the yearly objectives from the national curriculum and 2016 test frameworks. We have also included plenty of new items specially commissioned to fill the gaps so you know you have full coverage of the program of study.

To obtain your free copy of The Testbase Guide to the new national curriculum tests please click here

To find out more about how Testbase supports good assessment in relation to the new NC tests please click here

If you have any queries or would like to know more about our work please do call 0845 145 1500.

To order Testbase please:

Understanding what dyscalculia is can allow schools to help sufferers improve their maths and obtain reasonable results in their examinations

It is a strange but true fact that while most of us working in schools have come across dyslexic children and adults, many teachers have not had direct contact with anyone who is dyscalculic.

And yet dyscalculia is not only a genetic issue, as is dyslexia, it is also as common within society at large as dyslexia.

So why is it that we don’t come across dyscalculic children as often as dyslexic children?

The reason is probably that many schools recognise that they have a small number of children who are poor at maths because they have missed some schooling or failed to grasp specific lessons.

The nature of the subject, which is of course utterly cumulative, means that some children fail to grasp certain concepts simply because they failed to grasp what went before.

This is, of course, utterly different from English, where the fact that I might not be able to spell “was” does not mean I won’t be able to learn “because”.  In maths, however, if I can’t do division I will struggle to understand fractions.

Furthermore there can be social reasons why children do poorly at maths.  Missed time at school can be more detrimental in maths than in most subjects, and there seems to be a greater tendency for parents to suggest to their children that they never understood maths at school, so it just “runs in the family”.

In short there are many reasons why dyscalculia might not be seen as a special need but rather as a consequence of parenting, poor attendance, etc.  As a result specialist tuition and support may not be given as early as it might be with dyslexia.

Understanding Dyscalculia: An Introduction for Schools examines the five main causes of dyscalculia and sets out the methods of working available which can help pupils overcome their dyscalculic problems. The book contains short sections which can be photocopied to give out to other members of staff in school, to worried parents, and to governors, so that everyone can share in the awareness of what dyscalculia is, and how it can be tackled.

Above all the book shows that once we understand and accept the causes of dyscalculia we can adopt appropriate methods of teaching to overcome the problem. Research suggests that most children who gain appropriate help in school can overcome their dyscalculic difficulties and achieve an acceptable grade in secondary school examinations, thus allowing entry into further and higher education.

The book, which is available in copiable form so that it can be shared with colleagues throughout the school, is published by the Dyscalculia Centre, a leading provider of teaching materials for dyscalculic individuals. The Centre also publishes a range of books for special needs teachers working with dyscalculics, and provides on-line testing facilities for pupils and students who are thought to be dyscalculic.

There is a sample chapter available on-line at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/dyscalculia/T1628.pdf

Cat No: 978 1 86083 614 5;  Publisher reference no: T1628emn

Prices

  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £24.95. plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the book…

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Facebook

What is the most effective way of changing and improving the workings of the school’s administration? A free report.

I am sure that there are some school administrations where everything works well, smoothly, and without undue stress, where the working conditions are excellent, and everyone co-operates with each other to ensure things run smoothly.

And if you work in such a school administration, then I must congratulate you on your good fortune.

But if you work in an administration in which you feel some things could be improved, but in which you have found it hard to get the improvements and changes made, then the School of Educational Administration and Management has just released a free report that you may wish to take a look at.

The focus in the report is not on the sort of things that can make life difficult in school administrations, but rather on one particular method of getting changes made.

We’ve been researching the issue of how change does come about – and why quite often requests for change are not successful. Indeed it was the fact that each year a number of administrators on SEAM courses have reported that they have requested changes, only to have their requests ignored or blocked, that we have looked specifically at schools where change has come about.

Perhaps it is the endless stream of “urgent jobs”, which are not really urgent at all, but which have become urgent because the person asking us has simply left the matter too late.

Or maybe it is the equipment that is old and desperately needs updating. Or maybe a colleague who simply won’t co-operate and refuses to take on certain jobs.

It could even be the room which is too hot in summer or too cold in winter, or too small, or which has large numbers of filing cabinets which take up space that is needed for everyone to have enough room.

Whatever it is, it turns out that there is one method of getting things changed which for most people works particularly well – even in schools where the administrator feels requests for change have been turned down in the past.

So, to end the year, we’ve produced a free report which asks, and answers, the question: How can I get things changed?

If you would like a copy just click here, and you’ll be able to download it directly into your computer.

I hope you find the report useful.

Tony Attwood

What do you need from the BBC? Answer our survey!

Dear teacher,

We are conducting some research on behalf of BBC Learning. They’d like to hear what teachers across the UK have to say about the way they communicate with you and make sure you’re getting the most out of their resources.

We know you all have unique needs, and the BBC Learning team would like to understand more about you about how you plan, the pressures you face, and how they can best support you with resources and information.

Whether you currently use BBC content or not, your help is vital to make sure that campaigns and resources are relevant and useful to you and your classes.

The survey will only take a few minutes and you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win £130 of Amazon vouchers.

Kind regards,

Hopscotch on behalf of the BBC Learning team

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/M7LWQM2

Transform your pupils into exceptional storytellers during National Storytelling Week (30th Jan – 6th Feb 2016)

Teaching your pupils to tell stories with emotion and passion comes with a multitude of benefits in terms of both their academic and personal development.

First, storytelling enables your pupils to connect with a story on an emotional level, going beyond the action of simply reading words from a page. This in turn can be a powerful encouragement for pupils to read for fun whilst also improving their literacy skills.

Storytelling also does wonders for children’s confidence as it gives them the opportunity to practise public speaking. Their self-esteem is heightened when they realise that they have the ability to hold an audience and to provide entertainment through storytelling.

National Storytelling Week is an ideal time to plan for professional storytellers to come into your school to show your pupils just how they themselves can tell a story in a powerful and interesting way and how they too can reap the benefits that storytelling brings.

It is for this reason that we travel from school to school during this week (and throughout the year), telling stories – stories from different parts of the world, stories from history, stories from science, stories about overcoming bullying…

What’s more, if you would like to see the power of stories in terms of children’s learning and read about the research into why stories work as teaching aids, or indeed if you would like to know more about our work in schools, please click here.

You’ll be able to see just why hundreds of schools across the country invite us in to tell stories to different classes. Alternatively, you can call us on 020 328 SNAIL (020 328 76245), or email stories@snailtales.org

More information about National Storytelling Week www.sfs.org.uk/national-storytelling-week

School Policy Update: Government launches “educate against hate” website as part of a renewed drive against extremism

Last week the BBC reported that the DfE has launched a new website entitled, “educate against hate” containing information and advice for schools about how they can help with the renewed drive against extremism.

The website provides “practical advice to protect children from the dangers of extremism”, including the warning signs of danger, how to talk to children about extremism, and steps concerned teachers and parents can take.

NSPCC head, Peter Wanless, commented: “We are contacted daily by worried parents and children themselves on all sorts of issues including radicalisation and dangers associated with extremism.”

“Spotting the signs of such abuse has never been more important if we are to help protect children from sexual exploitation, gang-related activity or other hate crimes.”

The only problem with this renewed drive against extremism is that any changes need to be incorporated into your school’s existing policy on the matter, which can take up a considerable amount of time that you and your colleagues don’t have to spare.

It is for this reason that we create, adjust, amend, and update school policies on your behalf, including the ‘Prevent Duty – Dealing with Extremism and Radicalisation’ policy.

Policies for Schools have created over 290 school policies covering 20 different statutory areas which are easy to customise and thus will save you a considerable amount of time when one or more of your school policies require attention.

What’s more, if you have a specific need of a policy which isn’t listed on the website, we will create it for you. You can find our full list of school policies by clicking here.

To subscribe to Policies for Schools, visit www.policiesforschools.co.uk.

Or, if you’d like to view a few sample policies beforehand, we have provided the following policies which are available to download free of charge by clicking here:

  • Calming Room Policy
  • Professional Learning Communities Policy
  • School Website Policy

Alternatively, if you would like to know more about our service, you can email us at sales@policiesforschools.co.uk,  call us on 01600 891 506, or write to us at Teachers Resource Centre Ltd, Wyastone Business Park, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, NP25 3SR.

Link to BBC article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35343679

Commemorating the achievements of your pupils is an ongoing process, which comes with enormous benefits

Displaying honours boards in the assembly hall or school’s entrance instills a sense of togetherness within the school and a sense of community cohesion without. It also presents an opportunity to communicate the school’s values to parents and visitor, instantaneously.

However, these enormous benefits are only applicable if the honours boards are kept up-to-date, for both parents and students will wonder about an honours board that does not go beyond a date some way in the past.

If the honours board itself is looking a little jaded it can be a good idea to bring in a new honours board, either starting it afresh from 2016 or copying across data from the last few years from an earlier board.

Indeed, bringing in a new board can be a particularly positive activity which helps re-establish the history of the school.

Greenbarnes Ltd has a long history of creating and supplying honours boards for schools across the UK. You can find examples of what we have created on our website.

You may also be interested in our extensive range of notice boards, trophy cabinets, display cases, and house score boards. More information on all of these can be found at www.greenbarnes.co.uk.

Alternatively, please do call us on 01280 701 093 or email sales@greenbarnes.co.uk.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Michael Barnes

Understanding what dyscalculia is can allow schools to help sufferers improve their maths and obtain reasonable results in their examinations

It is a strange but true fact that while most of us working in schools have come across dyslexic children and adults, many teachers have not had direct contact with anyone who is dyscalculic.

And yet dyscalculia is not only a genetic issue, as is dyslexia, it is also as common within society at large as dyslexia.

So why is it that we don’t come across dyscalculic children as often as dyslexic children?

The reason is probably that many schools recognise that they have a small number of children who are poor at maths because they have missed some schooling or failed to grasp specific lessons.

The nature of the subject, which is of course utterly cumulative, means that some children fail to grasp certain concepts simply because they failed to grasp what went before.

This is, of course, utterly different from English, where the fact that I might not be able to spell “was” does not mean I won’t be able to learn “because”.  In maths, however, if I can’t do division I will struggle to understand fractions.

Furthermore there can be social reasons why children do poorly at maths.  Missed time at school can be more detrimental in maths than in most subjects, and there seems to be a greater tendency for parents to suggest to their children that they never understood maths at school, so it just “runs in the family”.

In short there are many reasons why dyscalculia might not be seen as a special need but rather as a consequence of parenting, poor attendance, etc.  As a result specialist tuition and support may not be given as early as it might be with dyslexia.

Understanding Dyscalculia: An Introduction for Schools examines the five main causes of dyscalculia and sets out the methods of working available which can help pupils overcome their dyscalculic problems. The book contains short sections which can be photocopied to give out to other members of staff in school, to worried parents, and to governors, so that everyone can share in the awareness of what dyscalculia is, and how it can be tackled.

Above all the book shows that once we understand and accept the causes of dyscalculia we can adopt appropriate methods of teaching to overcome the problem. Research suggests that most children who gain appropriate help in school can overcome their dyscalculic difficulties and achieve an acceptable grade in secondary school examinations, thus allowing entry into further and higher education.

The book, which is available in copiable form so that it can be shared with colleagues throughout the school, is published by the Dyscalculia Centre, a leading provider of teaching materials for dyscalculic individuals. The Centre also publishes a range of books for special needs teachers working with dyscalculics, and provides on-line testing facilities for pupils and students who are thought to be dyscalculic.

There is a sample chapter available on-line at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/dyscalculia/T1628.pdf

Cat No: 978 1 86083 614 5;  Publisher reference no: T1628emn

Prices

  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £24.95. plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the book…

A troublesome problem for students and teachers alike…. but now there’s a simple, low cost and effective solution

Have you ever wondered how many lessons each day might be disrupted simply because  a few  students forget to bring the basic kit to their lessons.

No pens, no ruler, no pencils. This usually means wasted time while some students beg, steal or borrow what they need before any teaching can take place.

It can lead to frustration among those students who DO have what they need. They want to get on with the lesson but get fed up with the delay……and quite often there’s a bit of disturbance until everyone’s ready for the lesson to begin.

It can also add to the stress experienced by teaching staff if their lessons are cut short because of  delays.

But now there’s a simple and effective solution…  The “Student Essentials” set.

The “Student Essentials” set contains all that students need for most of their lessons… it contains three quality black ink pens, two full length HB pencils, a 15 cm ruler, a metal sharpener and an eraser, all packed in a clear, “exam friendly” A5 size wallet with a zip-slider.

If “Student Essentials” sets can be made available at the start of a school day,  perhaps from the school office or library, then at least students will have an opportunity to obtain what they need for most lessons. Disruptions and delays can become a thing of the past.

Details of “Student Essentials” sets can be found on the Signpost Educational website:
www.signposteducational.co.uk

“Student Essentials” sets (from just 75p ex vat) can be obtained from Signpost Educational Ltd, PO Box 999, London, E14 6SH

Contact them by email: signpost@talk21.com or phone: 020 7515 1797 or fax: 020 7515 4420

 

The huge benefit of not rebooking the same photographer year after year.

When your school photographer comes to take pictures of the children in your school each year, it is quite likely that he or she will invite you to sign up for pictures to be taken the following year.

And if you were happy with the work, there will seem to be no reason not to.

Except that if you were to change photographers you could have the work done for the same price as you are now paying and get a full school photograph as well, at absolutely no extra cost.

Full school photographs make a superb memento of this year in the school – showing as they do all your colleagues plus all the children and their teachers.  And you can have just such a picture at absolutely no charge whatsoever.

All you have to do is not rebook your current school photographer (or indeed cancel the booking if you wish) and invite Fraser Portraits to undertake the work.

You’ll have your existing price guaranteed, we’ll undertake all the work your current supplier offers, and you’ll get the full school photo at absolutely no charge.

What’s more, we’ll produce the full school photo without disrupting the entire school, without taking everyone outside, without stopping lessons, without waiting for the right weather, etc, etc.

The full school photo can be placed in the school hall, in the waiting area so parents can see it, or indeed in your own room.

Apart from being a reminder of the school as it now is, it makes a clear statement about the school as a community – something that, of course, many parents value and like to see.  Have the picture taken each year and you can trace the developing history of the school.

Additional copies are also available for a small charge.  And here’s another bonus – you’ll find us particularly flexible over dates and willing to work across two days if that makes life easier for you.

If you would like to see an example of the result just click here.

To take a look at our new e-brochure please click here.

For more information or to make a booking you can:

  • Take a look at our website
  • Phone 01202 692433
  • Email roy@fraserportraits.com
  • Or write to Roy Fraser, Fraser Portraits Ltd, 206 The Broadway, Lower Blandford Road, Broadstone, Dorset, BH18 8DP

What is the simplest way of selling or giving away equipment and resources that the school no longer needs?

Many schools have items that are in a good condition but which for various reasons are no longer required.

However, they could be exactly what some other school wants. They might be exercise books, kitchen warmer units, equipment removed from teaching rooms during a refurbishment, some older but still fully functional computers, office furniture – in fact absolutely anything.

So how can they be offered to other schools without running up significant advertising costs?

The solution is simple: advertise on Savings for Schools – a free service for schools throughout the UK run by the School of Educational Administration and Management (SEAM).

Savings for Schools advertises services and products that will be of interest to teachers and school managers via Facebook and Twitter.  And to re-iterate the point, it is completely free.

All the advertising work is undertaken by the SEAM – all you have to do is provide us with one or more adverts for your products.

All orders and requests for further information will come direct to you, and there will be no costs for you – no upfront charges, no agency commission, no commitment to do anything else, no nothing.

Savings for Schools is a new venture, and thus far we have been putting up occasional notices from commercial companies as well as some news stories.  This is the first time we’ve offered the service free of charge to schools as well.

If you would like to see what Savings for Schools looks like just go onto Twitter and Facebook and in the search box enter Savings for Schools.

To become part of Savings for Schools all you have to do is send in your advert/s as a Word file to Jenny@hamilton-house.com and give us details of your school’s name and address, for our records.

Jenny Burrows
Savings for Schools

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‘Banter VS Bullying’ – Is there a difference?

With 10 million children heading back to school this month a recent study has shown that more than a third are worried about returning because of bullying.

It’s in the news, it’s on the TV and it is still a very real problem happening in our schools all over the country.  The question has been asked whether the media and technology is part of what seems to be an increasing problem, and if this is the case it can make it even harder for schools to tackle the influences and the resulting behaviour.

Where does a harmless joke between friends end and a more serious act against a person begin? What is the difference between banter and bullying?

Below is a section of script from a scene with Millie (age 7) and her dad, who are watching the TV and discussing the big question – BULLYING VS BANTER?

NEWS                                    …and a teenager has begun a legal battle against her schoolmates for
what she calls bullying and what they call banter. This banter has taken
the form of online abuse and worse, our reporter is on the scene…

DAD switches the news off.

MILLIE                                    Daddy, what’s banter?

DAD                                       It’s a kind of grown up joking.

MILLIE                                    So is it funny?

DAD                                       Well, yes.. if I’m with my friends and I tease them about their non-existent football skills, say, ‘You’d never get picked for the team!’  that kind of thing, you know…

MILLIE                                    So how is it joking?

DAD                                       Well, banter is joking and sort of teasing, but it can feel like someone is hurting your feelings if they say something that makes you upset.

MILLIE                                    Like bullying?

DAD                                       No, because banter makes you laugh and bullying makes you feel scared.

MILLIE                                    So when Jake says I smell and he makes a fart noise that’s banter?

DAD                                       Yes, kind of, but Jake who is this?

MILLIE                                    But when he says it over and over and over again in breaktime is that still banter even though it makes me want to cry?

DAD                                       No, that’s not banter,

MILLIE                                    But it makes other people laugh and you said that’s what banter is.

(SCENE CONTINUES)

©“Beyond the Surface – BULLIED BRITAIN”

Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company

With such a complicated and vast topic how can schools find exciting, relevant and practical sessions that explore the different types of bullying, yet also combat behaviour and help pupils to consider the root causes?

According to OFSTED “In 80% of primary and secondary schools, outside speakers made a valuable contribution by bringing a wide range of expertise and life experiences to the PSHE education programme.”

Often the difficulty with outside speakers or projects is finding one that is relevant to a majority of the pupils and that can have a lasting and memorable impact.  In the last 15 years Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company have been designing and delivering performances and workshops with this ethos at its core.  Completely funded by educational establishments their work looks to meet the needs of schools and their pupils, adapting the content to make sure that all their projects are involving, informing and inspiring.

It’s taken 4 years of research and development across the country and with over 200,000 pupils to create “Beyond the Surface” – a series of shows, based on a “fly on the wall” TV show format followed by an interactive workshop that entertains and educates to the highest standard.

Beyond the Surface –  “Bullied Britain” is a performance aimed specifically at Year 5/6 students to deal with the complex issue of bullying and the many forms it can take including; social and emotional, physical, and verbal. The 20 minute fast paced documentary format live performance serves as an entertaining icebreaker to highlight a range of issues while the follow-up workshop with trained facilitators then gives students the opportunity to relate their own lives, personalities and experiences to the events in the play, with the ultimate aim to arm students with the necessary tools and information to combat bullying in their future school life.

The show examines lots of different people and how bullying and banter affect them and their relationships, from TV show “Mates” to a serious case of cyber bullying and everything in between.

Based on the PSHE Association notes and guidance for the Core Theme of Relationships the ‘Bullied Britain’ project gives students the chance:

  • To recognise how behaviour effects other people and to respond appropriately to a wider range of feelings in others.
  • To recognise what is fair and unfair, kind and unkind, what is right and wrong.
  • To recognise what is part of positive and healthy relationships.
  • To listen to other people and play and work cooperatively (including strategies to resolve simple arguments through negotiation).
  • To identify and respect the differences and similarities between people.
  • To recognise when people are being unkind – either to them or others, how to respond, who to tell and what to say.
  • To see that there are different types of teasing and bullying, that these are wrong and unacceptable.

We also have our Interactive Friendship and Bullying workshops

A hands-on workshop with short integrated scenes to help students understand what constitutes a positive and healthy friendship and gives ways to form and maintain these friendships.

Suitable for Yrs 2-4, approx. 1hr running time for up to 50 pupils.

‘Bullied Britain’ is touring schools across the country throughout the Autumn Term. Call us for availability and a direct quote.

Prices Guide:

½ day projects start at £575 + vat
Full day projects start at £775 + vat

Email: admin@tipoftheiceberg.biz
Web: www.tipoftheiceberg.biz
Phone: 07519 593 711

 

What is the most effective way to ensure that your pupils really understand key economic principles?

 

This resource contains a selection of around 200 questions on microeconomics which will force your students to think, consider and then think again, the kind of mental exercise that helps to ensure that knowledge and understanding are retained for exam purposes and beyond.

There are 13 sets of explained true/ false questions which are designed to secure and strengthen an excellent understanding of key principles in economics. In doing so, many of the questions asked have been set with a clear aim of stretching and challenging students to deliver A and A* grades in their final examinations. A further objective is also to develop the skills needed to tackle multiple choice question papers set by the AQA and Edexcel examining boards. This is achieved by prompting students to interrogate every word in the question. Many of these questions turn on a single phrase or word.

Model answers are provided, which allows students to mark their own papers, if required, again making best use of teachers’ time. They also provide students with a permanent feedback record, which will prove invaluable during their final examination preparation period.

Each of the test papers covers an area of the syllabus which may be set on a weekly basis as a topic test. They can also be used very effectively as a researched homework activity.

However, these materials will work equally well as a revision tool in the second term by helping keep students’ knowledge of micro-economics fresh once the teacher has moved on to macro-economics. This will be particularly important to many teachers now that January modular exams at A level have ended. Indeed, teachers will notice that some questions contain a synoptic element for precisely this reason.

Microeconomics Assessment Tests for AS, A2, and IB provides an invaluable resource for busy teachers of AS, A2, IB and even first year university students of economics.

Sample pages can be viewed at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/economics/T1824

ISBN: 978 1 86083 871 2; Order code: T1824emn

The volume is available as…

  • Photocopiable book, £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the book or CD…

See whether your school qualifies for a brand new sports facility at no cost whatsoever to the school

This is true – your school can get a brand new sports facility at no cost whatsoever to the school (and indeed many schools already have), but it does require a little bit of planning – which, fortunately, Notts Sport can help you with.

So, the immediate question is, how does it work?

There are two stages. First, we develop the facility that you require on your school grounds using Fast Track Funding, which means no payment is required until the facility is complete. After that, payment is arranged over a period of time – normally five or seven years.

This is when the second part of the arrangement comes in. Schools are finding that it is not at all difficult to hire out their new facility to local clubs on occasional evenings and weekends, and through that are able to cover all the costs of the development (and more).

And there you have it – a brand new sports facility at no cost whatsoever to the school, all whilst helping to promote sport and healthy lifestyles in the local community which will inevitably create a significant amount of positive PR for the school.

Such sports facilities that we install for schools under the Fast Track Funding Scheme include a new all-weather pitch for football, cricket, hockey, etc., and at the heart of the development plan is England Hockey’s Official Facilities Partner.

Unfortunately our seminars about Fast Track Funding have now finished. However we have created a presentation for those who couldn’t make it to the seminars and are interested in Fast Track Funding. You can view this presentation by clicking here.

We will be doing live Fast Track Funding webinars in the New Year. To register your interest or if you have any questions about the Fast Track Funding Scheme, please don’t hesitate to contact us, either by calling us on 01455 883 730 or emailing us at info@nottssport.com.  

There is further information about Fast Track Funding on our website.

What’s more, you can find out more about the various pitch surfacing systems designed and developed by Notts Sport, by visiting http://nottssport.co.uk/.

Keep up-to-date with new and updated school policies at www.policiesforschools.co.uk

When we consider that the average school now has around 70 policies to cover an array of eventualities, and adds several more policies every year, it appears that there is an ever growing demand for policy changes and new policies (outlined by the DfE) to be located all in one place.

Fortunately, we have created such a place – www.policiesforschools.co.uk.

But we didn’t stop there for we also recognise that the process of creating, adjusting, amending, and updating school policies takes up a considerable amount of time that you and your colleagues simply don’t have spare. So we decided to go a step further…

Policies for Schools have created over 290 school policies covering 20 different statutory areas which are easy to customise and thus will save you a considerable amount of time when one or more school policies need creating, adjusting, amending, or updating.

What’s more, if you have a specific need of a policy which isn’t listed on the website, we will create it for you. You can find our full list of school policies by clicking here.

To subscribe to Policies for Schools, visit www.policiesforschools.co.uk, or if you’d like to view a few sample policies beforehand, we have provided the following policies:

  • Calming Room Policy
  • Professional Learning Communities Policy and
  • School Website Policy

which are all available to download here, free of charge.

Alternatively, if you would like to know more about our service, you can email us at sales@policiesforschools.co.uk, call us on 01600 891 506, or write to us at Teachers Resource Centre Ltd, Wyastone Business Park, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, NP25 3SR.

A cumulative approach to developing handwriting skills

The cause of underdeveloped handwriting in some pupils is not always immediately apparent. It could be that these pupils have poor fine motor skills, language processing, or visual perceptual skills, or perhaps it is attributable to the way that they grip their pen/pencil or to their handwriting posture.

In many instances, however, the reason for underdeveloped handwriting is because the approach that they are using isn’t cumulative, which is key to ensuring progress in the development of handwriting skills.

It is for this reason that we have produced The Handwriting Rescue Scheme – a complete programme for fully cursive handwriting containing over 300 structured exercises. It has been designed to establish the correct cursive letter formation and encourage an automatic response to frequently used spelling choices.

The programme is ideal for introducing cursive handwriting and also for correcting poor handwriting habits among pupils whose handwriting isn’t up to the expected standard for their age.

You can order the Handwriting Rescue Scheme in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 01536 399017
  • By fax to 01536 399012
  • By email to msl@schools.co.uk    
  • By post to Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH