Volcanoes, dunes and cities

Of all the subjects on the curriculum, Geography must be the one that most demands its students to get out of the classroom and into the field.

As well as the ever popular Iceland, we offer tours to Germany to study urban planning and coastal geography.

Take a look at Geography study tours to whet your appetite, then give us a call to talk through your needs.

Culture Trails

Travel House, Llwynmawr, Llangollen LL20 7BB

Tel: 01691 886161 e: geography@culturetrails.co.uk

 

Accredited online keyboard skills training for pupils with an optional funded qualification.

Learning to type with speed and accuracy is one of the most useful skills a young person can learn.  It increases their confidence in using a computer, whilst enabling them to concentrate on learning content rather than typing mechanics.

For sixth-formers looking forward to entering further or higher education or employment, it is a skill that will prove to be invaluable.  A skill that will give them an advantage in the short term and then last a lifetime.

At Type&Test, we’re the UK’s foremost provider of online typing training and assessment tools for learners of all ages and abilities.   We offer engaging online learning, delivered through a dedicated secure portal, with up to 60 hours of varied content, pre and post assessments, tracked and measurable results, and an optional accredited qualification that is eligible for funding.

To find out more, with no obligation, please complete and submit our schools enquiry form.  Or just browse our website at www.typeandtest.com

Regards,

Andy Stevenson, Director.
Type&Test Ltd

017683 42821

enquiries@typeandtest.com

www.typeandtest.com

History Summer Schools 2019

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students age 11-18 the opportunity to find out more about some fascinating subjects, prepare for university applications, meet like-minded peers and get to grips with some tough intellectual challenges.

The material will be challenging (about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university), but the atmosphere will be relaxed, with plenty of discussion, debate, and opportunities for students to shape the direction of classes. It is an environment conducive to getting to grips with new ideas.

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

Highlights of Summer 2019 for students (aged 15-18) interested in History:

The History Summer School is an intensive five-day course which looks at historiographical questions and historical methods, using seminars, lectures, activities and informal discussions. Topics are selected to challenge and broaden the historical outlook of participants, and give a taste of what the subject is like at undergraduate level.

See more details of the History Summer School here.

The Classical Civilisations Summer School looks at the ancient worlds of Greek and Rome from a range of perspectives, including politics, international relations, literature and philosophy. On this course we try to convey both the radical strangeness of the classical world, and to look at the legacy in modern times of ancient thinkers, ideas and institutions.

See more information about the Classical Civilisations Summer School here.

In addition to the those highlighted above, we also have Summer Schools in International Relations, Politics, Economics, Philosophy, English Literature, Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Maths and Physics.

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2019. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at 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 0800 810 1058, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

 

What is the single biggest problem that comes from the need to deliver a new assembly every day? 

During the course of their primary school lives most children will take part in over 1000 assemblies.

Which provides a significant challenge.  How can one ensure that each day’s assembly has an immediate impact on each child, and then additionally ensure that some of these assemblies have such an impact that they will be remembered for months (and sometimes even years) to come?

This is the issue that schools face every day through the school year, and it is the issue we looked to solve when we created Assembly Box.

The aim has been to create a series of 350 outstanding assemblies that really engage the pupils and which they will remember over time.

Each assembly is fully scripted and the collection comes with a complete index so that you can choose your assembly by topics as diverse as community and citizenship, saints’ days, black history, social and emotional stories and so on.

What’s more each assembly comes with its own supporting presentation material, and a set of ready-to-use key word cards.   The assemblies can be downloaded and printed out, thus making them immediately usable without further preparation.

You can see a complete list of the 12 main categories our assemblies are divided into here on our website, and from there you can go into each categories and see  the details of all the assemblies on offer.  Just visit http://www.assemblybox.co.uk/

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

The complete set of all of our assemblies costs £149 (+ VAT).  Order on line at www.assemblybox.co.uk

If you have any questions please email enquiries@assemblybox.co.uk

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Let’s make Shakespeare come alive for the next generation

Responding to a number of enquiries, I’ve been busy working on a new interactive production for younger students who are about to embark on their Shakespeare studies. Working title: Introducing… Mr William Shakespeare

The concept is straightforward – make Shakespeare come alive through an exciting, fun session that imparts knowledge and encourages creativity. I’m planning a production that fills up a half day, has actors playing out short scenes, is full of fun facts and has students thinking and working creatively with each other. In other words, a session that leaves students enthused about the bard and prepared to study his works.

I’d love to talk to you about this, and how bringing the production to your school might help your students get ahead of the game when it comes to working on their Shakespeare texts.

The fist draft of the content is currently with colleagues at a couple of local schools for their feedback. We will be finalising this soon and then touring the production during the summer term.

In the meantime, there’s still time to book our touring productions designed with the needs of GCSE students in mind. These are…

JEKYLL AND HYDE     A CHRISTMAS CAROL 

MACBETH     ROMEO AND JULIET

Feel free to call me on 01789 777612 or email: ad@fred-theatre.co.uk to discuss any aspect of Fred Theatre playing at your school.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director
Fred Theatre

PS: For more information, please visit our web site: www.fred-theatre.co.uk/schools

Major anniversaries in 2019

Hard to believe that it’s 2019 and there isn’t a child in the world who was alive in the twentieth century!

So many anniversaries this year, all of which give even more reason, if you need more reason, to take your students on a study tour.

Amsterdam will be celebrating Rembrandt, and Paris (Louvre) – Leonardo.

The centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus suggest that this is the year to visit Berlin, Weimar and Dessau.

Take a look at Art study tours to whet your appetite, then give us a call to talk through your needs.

 

Culture Trails

Travel House, Llwynmawr, Llangollen LL20 7BB

Tel: 01691 886161 e: art@culturetrails.co.uk

Why reading poetry on-line is not reading poetry

If we consider the works of the great poets of the language – Blake, Burns, Byron, Chaucer, Keats, Shelly, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Shakespeare etc etc – all of it is available to read on-line.

But in a sense it is also not available on-line.   By which I mean it is there, but not in a way that the student can use.

Of course, one can find a particular poem and read it on the screen.  One can also print the poem out – but interestingly very few students do this.  What they do is read on-line, and then, if asked to write a commentary or critique, they cut and paste.

None of this activity takes them anywhere near the words as the poet intended. The overall impact of the poem as a unified whole is lost, and the value of the work in our culture is reduced to the same level as the distracting Facebook message that pops up in the corner of the screen while the student is reading on-line.

There is in fact every reason to encourage students to read poetry in book form.  And of course, not just the poetry that is part of the syllabus but other poems written by those whose work is being studied.

Which is why printed editions of the works of poets are still very much required if the student is to get a serious understanding of what the poet was saying.

And thankfully the printed editions are not only still available, they are available at very modest prices, so every school can have new editions of the collected works of the greatest poets throughout the history of English literature.

Not just those poets listed above, but also Kipling, Owen, Wilde, Whitman, Yeats and many more.

Our works include reprints of the classics from as little as £2.99 each, after deduction of our 25% school discount, with no delivery charge and no minimum order.

If you would like to see our full list of poetry collections please take a look at this page from our website.

Ordering our books couldn’t be easier, as they are supplied for us by Bookpoint Ltd, where nearly all schools will have existing accounts. You can find full details on our website.

And we also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before.  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.

What is the simplest way of ensuring that parents fully appreciate the excellence of your students’ work on stage?

 

While most of the energy in drama productions is taken up with rehearsals there is one factor that can hugely affect how the final work is appreciated by the audience.

And it is, unfortunately, a factor that can on occasion is overlooked because of the sheer volume of work involved in putting on a production.

This factor, quite simply, is the lighting; a factor which can totally transform any stage event from something that is rather good, into something that is extraordinarily brilliant.

However, lighting can be forgotten, it is not necessarily seen as being instrumental in enhancing the quality of the event and the enjoyment of the audience. There are, after all, enough other issues to worry about.

This is the key subject we specialise in: the installation of lighting systems into schools that will transform any production from the smallest school nativity play to the largest all-school end of year show.

But there is more for we also understand how value for money is essential. We don’t over engineer a project but we will leave room for expansion. And we’ll ensure that the end user is able to operate the system with confidence and always offer backup and support.

We stay in touch with the latest technology and we’ll do the research so you don’t have to. Plus we have our own team of installation and service technicians with a proven track record and reputation.

However perhaps the best bit is that you can also have a free no obligation site visit for schools within 60miles of our Birmingham base. And we are happy to quote for venues further afield.

You can take a look at some of our recent work here

or to start the exploration of what possibilities there are simply drop us an email with details of what you have in mind.

dgh@centraltheatresupplies.co.uk   Or you can call us on 0121 778 6400

Are you looking to pursue a career in the jewellery industry?

From goldsmiths to CAD designers, read on as we look at the various career paths you could follow to be involved with creating stunning pieces like wedding rings and necklaces.

The UK jewellery industry could be one that you find yourself working in if this is a passion of yours. In fact, over 55,000 people are employed within this industry and make up over 16,000 businesses. Have you considered the different roles in the sector?

Goldsmiths/silversmiths

To be a goldsmith, you need to enjoy being practical by working with your hands, as you’ll be forming metal into different shapes. Patience is also required, as you’ll need to be concentrating for long periods of time on one object. You may also be asked to make changes to jewellery to meet a client brief, so persistence is also key. Being able to create technical drawings is an advantage too and something that is sought after by some employees, depending on the company.

It’s important that you’re a team player too, but happy to work independently as well. It’s likely that you’ll be working with other craftspeople on different projects but will also spend time perfecting pieces on your own.

This is a highly skilled job, so training is necessary. On the job experience is key here and although gaining qualifications will help develop your industry knowledge, it may not help develop your skills in the way that you need them. The best way is to learn from other professionals, either through an apprenticeship or by spending time in industry.

As their names suggest, goldsmiths and silversmiths are skilled in making jewellery out of gold and silver respectively. A Master goldsmith is highly skilled in working with precious metals using a variety of techniques.

Independent jewellers

Some people decide to go solo when it comes to making jewellery and set up their own business. This is usually done as an additional job or a hobby, but some people are successful in making a career out of it.

There are many sites out there that focus on arts and crafts and appeal to a market that wants something truly unique. You can teach yourself how to make jewellery pieces, and experiment with different materials to find your niche.

If it’s something that you’re passionate about, you can start your own website and possibly supply your goods to others in the future! If you want to be your own boss, this could be for you.

CAD designer

Developments in 3D printing and Computer Aided Design (CAD) means that there are more technical roles becoming available in the jewellery industry. There is now a requirement for people who can use these digital tools with precision in the design and manufacturing process.

These types of software are able to create prototypes of models, which go on to be made into 3D designs and castings. Jewellery that is designed with this sort of technology uses state-of-the art equipment and is drawn with precision like no other. The designs are then sent to mills, printers and growing machines, where they come to life with the help of 3D wax or resin.

How can you get CAD training? There are courses online and ways that you can gain a CAD qualification from home. Alternatively, get in touch with your local vocational college and see what related courses they have to offer.

Jewellery designer

Jewellery designers are usually involved right at the start of jewellery creation. Depending on the size of the business, designers may have to discuss a brief with the client and liaise with them through to completion. Individuals in this profession use their artistic abilities to bring an idea to life, either by hand or using Computer Aided Design, also known as CAD (see below).

Many designers create models out of the jewellery, which will go on to be mass produced in a business-to-business trade or given to the customer for a bespoke design. It could also be part of the designer’s job to source gemstones, metals and other jewellery parts to create their proposed piece.

This is a role that’s very competitive and not often advertised, so networking and building contacts in the field is a good idea to get started. You’ll find that many jewellery designers have foundation degrees, or bachelor’s degrees in related subjects which looks at modules such as metalwork, design and metal design.

For students who learn best on the job, apprenticeships are also available. Again though, these are increasingly competitive. And, for those who are looking to learn jewellery design alongside other commitments, there are short courses available at colleges and private providers, but these aren’t usually as in-depth or may take longer to get to the level that an apprenticeship or degree qualification would provide.

More specific roles

In larger jewellers that deal with making a lot of new products or making repairs and alterations, there are a lot of specific roles. You might find your niche in jewellery making and find that you want a more specialised job. These roles again require patience and working with your hands.

  • Engravers — skilled in the art of engraving, they can engrave lines words and other markings onto jewellery pieces
  • Enamellers — apply powdered glass and heat to the metal to create decorative finishes
  • Bench jewellers — make, repair and alter items
  • Model makers — design and create models which are used to make numerous copies or an item through the casting process
  • Casters — generate multiple casts for the production process

Do any of the roles discussed in this article take your fancy? Start networking and build your portfolio to better your chances of breaking into the industry.

Sources

https://icould.com/stories/careers-in-jewellery/

https://www.ucas.com/ucas/after-gcses/find-career-ideas/explore-jobs/job-profile/jewellery-designer

Mathematics Summer School 2019

Our Maths Summer School offers bright and aspirational students the opportunity to study a variety of advanced topics in pure and applied mathematics that are not typically covered by the school syllabus. The course is particularly appropriate for students who may be considering further study of mathematics, but is also a great addition for those interested in related disciplines, such as physics, computing or engineering.

This Summer School offers the chance to explore some of the most exciting ideas in contemporary mathematics. As a general structure, students will develop a theoretical understanding of a particular branch of mathematics in the morning session, before exploring the practical applications of these ideas in the afternoon. 

Mathematics – Part 1 focuses on Number Theory, Algebra and Geometry and is open to all students aged 15-18. Topics will include prime numbers, Riemann-zeta functions, polynomial equations, non-Euclidean geometry, group theory, statistical methods, probability theory, algorithms, Turing machines and code-breaking. As part of this programme, students will explore some of the most fascinating and famous unsolved problems in mathematics, including the Riemann Hypothesis, Goldbach Conjecture and Twin Prime Conjecture.

Mathematics – Part 2 focuses on Calculus, Proofs and Infinities and requires that students have completed a minimum of one year of A-level study in Mathematics (or equivalent) at the time of the course. This programme offers a university-style approach to the topics of linear algebra, modular arithmetic, limits, multi-variable calculus, mathematical induction, set theory and cryptography. During the course, students will explore some of the most exciting modern-day applications of these ideas, including quantum encryption, RSA algorithms, Google PageRank, the Black-Scholes equation and Gödel’s incompleteness theorem.

Classes are small, typically containing twelve to fourteen students, all of whom should have a passion for mathematics, a curiosity to build on their existing knowledge and be keen to embrace and exchange new ideas. Classes will focus on problem questions and exercises, creating a comfortable environment for students to share ideas amongst their peers and to progress from their existing knowledge toward more challenging material.

The Mathematics Summer School will be held in late July 2019. You can find detailed schedules, available dates, costs, student reviews and tutors on the course webpage – here.

Feedback from previous students:

If you love Mathematics and are thinking of taking the subject at A-level and beyond then do not hesitate to attend this course. I came away from this week with crazy enthusiasm for maths as well helpful guidelines and knowledge to support my career in the subject. I made some great new friends and met inspirational maths-minded people who I will never forget!’ 

‘Even though we only spent one day on each topic, they were taught at a surprising level of depth. I felt that in in my time at Debate Chamber, the main focus of the tutors was for you to learn about new topics you wouldn’t usually study at school. In school, the main focus of the lesson is to learn a topic to a level that is sufficient for you to be able to solve problems in a test. Instead, in the summer school I felt encouraged to ask questions, to understand the logic behind the mathematics, why it works, and the underlying importance of the concepts learned in the real world.’ 

‘You won’t regret it! If you love the subject, you’ll love the entire week. It gives an unparalleled taster into university mathematics and allows you to explore some absolutely fascinating concepts – some of which will be almost entirely alien to you! The teachers were excellent, and the friendly atmosphere ensures that everyone has a great time. I wish I could go again’ 

‘The Mathematics Summer School is a great introduction to maths at university. During the five days, I was presented with a variety of new topics in mathematics which had not been covered in the A level course. I would highly recommend attending the Debate Chamber Summer School, as it gives you a great opportunity to look at other areas of maths.’ 

‘This is a great event as it gives you lots of exposure to university style teaching and ideas, really testing your knowledge and dedication to your subject. The tutors guide you through it, pushing you to your full potential but in a fun and engaging manner. This course is definitely worth taking part in.’

Bursaries 

Debate Chamber is committed to ensuring that financial circumstances do not prevent any student from attending our events. For details of how to apply for bursary funding, please see here. 

Practical Details

All of our courses will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

The Mathematics Summer School will be held in late July 2019. You can find detailed schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors on the course webpage – here.

To book a place students can complete the online booking form, call us on 0845 519 4827, or email us at info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

A guide to offering extra support to pupils with musculoskeletal disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders compromise of sore joints to aching bones and inevitably, this can have a significant bearing on a person’s quality of life. It’s important for schools to look at how many of their own students are affected by these sorts of conditions and consider carefully what they can do to help.

Do you have procedures in place to cater to students with such problems? If not, then it’s something you should consider developing and implementing for 2019. In addition to that, you must also ensure that such conditions aren’t caused by the environment of your school premises.

Read on to find out more about ways that schools can help those who suffer from such pain, as well as preventative action they can take to stop these types of disorders developing.

Musculoskeletal disorders can cause attendance issues

Research shows that 45% of musculoskeletal disorders are to do with the upper limbs or neck, 38% to do with the back, and 17% involve the lower limbs. There is a downward trend of musculoskeletal disorders per 100,000 from 2001 to 2017, but it’s still an issue that must be considered. If one of your students suffers from a musculoskeletal disorder, they might have issues with their attendance.

How can schools take action?

What can schools do to make learning and achieving goals more possible for these students? And potentially reduce the number of days missed from attending school?

Can your pupils complete some of their work at home?

Completing class work exercise at home is one area that you could look into if your students with musculoskeletal disorders have issues with attendance. Provide them with learning materials in a digital format and a face-to-face chat via Skype, to ensure they don’t fall behind which could lead to further pressures and strains.

If the students are not based close by the school, alleviating them from a commute to school every day could be beneficial. Instead, students can stay at home where they may feel more comfortable and get on with their studies — reducing stress and promoting wellbeing.

If you create a system, allowing your students with musculoskeletal disorders to complete their work at home when necessary, they’re likely be more flexible and attend any doctors and physio appointments in their own time. Perhaps their rehabilitation centre is closer to home than it is from school, and less time may be spent getting to and from their sessions than if they were travelling from school lessons.

Can you buy specialist equipment for your students?

To help make your students more comfortable in the classroom, why not buy specialist equipment to help them out? Examples of these include:

  • Sitting or standing desks — Giving students the option of a sitting or standing desk is one way to help. For some, standing upright may be more comfortable than sitting in the same position for a prolonged period.
  • Ergonomic keyboard — These are designed to reduce muscle strain and should be offered to employees. For sufferers of musculoskeletal disorders, tasks that may be easy for some such as using a keyboard, mouse or pen can be difficult for someone who suffers with repetitive strain injury for example. Those with arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome may also struggle with these types of tasks.
  • Lifting assistance — Where lifting and carrying books or art materials is concerned, to and from class or the library for example, offering assistance with heavy lifting can be helpful. A trolley for example can help students transport objects that they might be struggling with. This may relieve shoulder pain for example and can help prevent further injury and strain.
  • Other equipment — By talking to students, teachers can find out about other types of specialist equipment that could be helpful — tailored to each person and their needs.

Could your school offer free therapy?

For back pain relief and mental wellbeing, could you potentially offer your students complementary therapy? Your school may already offer different types of therapy but is it specific to sufferers of musculoskeletal disorders?

This could also help reduce stress levels for individual students and increase the number of days spent in school. There is a clear link between musculoskeletal disorders, mental health and lifestyle productivity. In fact, depression is four times more common amongst people in persistent pain compared to those without pain. Ensuring that all students have someone to talk to if they are feeling under pressure is important and encouraging positive energy throughout your group of students with social events can also help. If students are feeling extra stress, it could be worth looking into hiring extra teaching assistants or referring the students for therapy for example.

Why not encourage yoga lessons too? There are many ways that schools could encourage their students to participate in this exercise — through organised classes at lunchtimes or after work, or through funding the classes. Although expensive, it’s possible that this extra exercise will help manage pain levels and offer relief, boost wellbeing and reduce the number of days missed from school.

Other ways that you can support your students

Making sure that your students feel valued is essential. What else can schools do to support their students with musculoskeletal disorders?

  • Promote good communication inside and outside of school — teachers should take time to learn about each of their students and their individual issues and requirements. This way, appropriate changes can be made within the school environment, which can encourage students to come to their teachers with problems and suggestions.
  • Recognising and being aware of the conditions early on — If a student has recently been diagnosed with a musculoskeletal issue, they should be encouraged to tell their school as soon as possible. This allows for the school to intervene early and get the measures in place that will encourage the student to return to school and learning as soon as they can.
  • Creating a ‘return-to-school’ programme — For those who have sustained an injury, creating a phased return could be beneficial for them. This reduces the risk of them taking a long period of leave from school through appropriate adjustments in their learning environment.
  • If you have someone with such conditions, you must be aware of the triggering factors. Teaching staff should encourage their students to take breaks or move away from their desks/chairs frequently (at least once every hour).

Author bio

Lee Dover is a senior copywriter at Mediaworks with an interest in healthcare as well as researching into healthier ways of living. He has a BA (Hons) in Magazine Journalism.

Sources

http://www.hse.gov.uk/Statistics/causdis/musculoskeletal/msd.pdf

https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/ltc-op-eolc/ltc-eolc/our-work-on-long-term-conditions/si-areas/musculoskeletal/

State of Musculoskeletal Health 2017 report — Arthritis Research UK

https://wellbeing.bitc.org.uk/sites/default/files/business_in_the_community_musculoskeletal_toolkit.pdf

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 some 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 by email:  signpost@talk21.com  or by phone on tel: 020 7515 1797

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

What is it that the very best assemblies do at the very start?

Of course there are many answers to that question, but there are two answers that always seem to stand out.

Two issues which, if met, really enhance the chances of the children understanding and remembering the core message within the Assembly.

First there is the issue of how the assembly starts, which determines how much focus the child gives to the proceedings that follow.  And second there is the way the child’s attention is kept, which of course determines if the child follows the proceedings all the way through.

Obviously you don’t need me to tell you this, but the problem is that with the pressure to think up a new assembly every day it is occasionally possible to focus primarily on what the assembly is about, rather than how one is gaining and holding attention.

It was in thinking about this issue of not only providing assemblies that deliver an important and interesting message to the children about their lives, but also of producing assemblies that grabbed and held attention, that my colleagues and I began to work on the Assembly Box.

We wanted to create assemblies that were original, which met the social and emotional needs of the children who attend them, and which grabbed and held the children’s focus from the start to the finish.

In working through this idea we have produced a set of over 350 assemblies with each one categorised and indexed, each of which is instantly available and fully scripted.

You can read a full example of one of our assemblies by following this link.  Additionally you can see the complete list of the 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

Debate Chamber Summer Schools 2019 – Booking Now Open

Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students 11-18 the opportunity to find out more about some fascinating subjects, prepare for university applications, meet like-minded peers and get to grips with some tough intellectual challenges.

The material will be challenging (for 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, debate, and opportunities for students to shape the direction of classes 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.

Highlights of Summer 2019 for students interested in current affairs:

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, constructivism and Marxism – and will then look at a range of detailed case studies in order to apply, test and explore these theories. Topics covered will include military intervention, international law, development aid, feminism and IR, regional sessions looking at China and the Middle East, and the European response to the migration crisis.

See more details about the International Relations Summer School here.

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 the emerging 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 here.

The Politics Summer School for students aged 15-18. This five-day course will include seminars on key questions within political theory and philosophy, workshops on important policy areas, and analysis of 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 here.

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2019. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at http://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/. Please note that there is a limited amount of bursary funding available for students who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending.

To book a place please visit http://www.debatechamber.com/, call us on 0800 810 1058, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Jigsaw PSHE: The only PSHE Scheme you will ever have to buy

Jigsaw PSHE is now being used in over 2600 schools in the UK and overseas to deliver a comprehensive Personal, Social, Health Education  programme with creative lesson plans and all the teaching resources needed.

This innovative, stand alone, evidence based whole-school programme covers all the required content for Relationships and Sex and Health Education.

Jigsaw the mindful approach to PSHE 3-11, guarantees your school will be fully compliant, takes away any concerns about forthcoming statutory status, and has a proven significant impact.

Click here to download the Meeting Expectations report – How Jigsaw the mindful approach to PSHE, delivers the draft RSE and Health Education Guidance.

https://www.jigsawpshe.com/meeting-expectations-jigsaw-pshe-3-11-meets-dfe-2018-draft-rse-and-health-education-guidance/

To claim your FREE USB stick or learn more about how you can get started with Jigsaw click here:

https://www.jigsawpshe.com/request-an-inspection-copy-of-jigsaw/

Or email:

elaine@janlevergroup.com

Major anniversaries in 2019

Hard to believe that it’s 2019 and there isn’t a child in the world who was alive in the twentieth century!

The centenary of the Armistice is barely behind us and already we are into the eightieth anniversary year of the outbreak of World War 2 and the seventy-fifth of D-Day.

To mark this, and in addition to our regular programme of tours focusing on various aspects of the Third Reich, from the founding of the NSDAP through to the fall of Berlin, Culture Trails is introducing two brand new study tour itineraries tracing the conduct of the war in Poland.

If you are teaching any aspect of German history from Weimar to Cold War, at GCSE or A level, then we have tours to help explain it to your students.

Take a look at Germany and Poland tours to whet your appetite, then give us a call to talk through your needs.

Culture Trails

Travel House, Llwynmawr, Llangollen  LL20 7BB

Tel: 01691 886161       e: history@culturetrails.co.uk

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

 

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

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

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

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

Further details on:   www.signposteducational.co.uk 

or phone 020 7515 1797  or email: signpost@talk21.com 

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

What is the most effective way of teaching the new PSHE curriculum?

One of the most common talking points by educators is how PSHE is integrated differently into everyday school life. Some schools opt to have collapsed timetable days and others weave it through form periods and one-off sessions.

I’m sure you join us in applauding the government in the changes to the statutory safeguarding guidance for schools and colleges.

PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said: “The world our children are growing up in offers huge possibilities but significant risks too and the school curriculum should prepare them for that world. This aim is exactly what PSHE education is designed to achieve, emphasising the key skills and characteristics – such as resilience, critical thinking and the ability to manage risk – which pupils need if they are to thrive in a changing world.”

Unfortunately, many schools are concerned about their overpopulated timetables and the pressures of the curriculum for academic subjects.

Thus the question arises: how can we maintain our busy school term and meet the new statutory obligations?

This is something we have invested a lot of time in supporting. As a result, we have 21 workshops available within the PSHE sector, catering for every subject area within the personal, social and health education framework.

Using various mediums of high-octane and energised delivery, our workshops support and enhance your own current PSHE programme.

If you would like to browse the workshops available, please visit the website – www.qsworkshops.com/workshops

And if you have any questions or queries about our workshops, please do call 020 8088 0717 or email me personally rosie@qsworkshops.com

Can you help Fred Theatre make Shakespeare live in 2019?

Everyone at Fred Theatre hopes you had a great break over the festive period and that 2019 will be a successful new year for you and your students.

We want to reach as many students as possible this year with our great in-school performances of:

ROMEO AND JULIET   and   MACBETH

Both of our 90-minute Shakespeare adaptations are available for in-school performances through till mid-April, as are our productions of:

A CHRISTMAS CAROL   and   JEKYLL AND HYDE

 The diary has been filling up, but there is still space for your booking. To discuss your requirements, and how we can help your students through one or more of our performances, either:

e-mail Helen in our office: helen@fred-theatre.co.uk

or visit our web site for more information: www.fred-theatre.co.uk/schools

Alternatively, you can call me for a chat about any aspect of Fred Theatre playing at your school on 01789 777612.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director

Fred Theatre

PS: We’re starting to think about 2019-20 and we’d love to hear your ideas for additional productions we can add to our repertoire. Email your ideas to Helen today.

Security on campus and access control

Many people have the time of their lives at university.  However, some recent stories have built up negative connotations for parents and students. For example, a video that went viral earlier this year recorded students at Nottingham Trent University in the UK chanting racist comments in front of the door of another student in their university accommodation (halls).

You might have seen this recent viral video that highlighted the negative, and potentially dangerous, side of residing in  university accommodation. Thankfully, with the advancements in technology and the implementation of access control systems in university halls, Rufaro was physically safe from any threat. But now, expectations must be higher to ensure that this type of behaviour, or risk, does not happen again.

In this article, security experts 2020 Vision investigate how useful security mechanisms – like access control systems – are for protecting students.

What is an access control system?

Essentially, an access control system offers two big benefits when it comes to security.  The first has a more basic yet effective approach and can enable or prevent someone from entering or exiting a location — this could range from the whole site, a wing of a building, or a singular room that needs protecting from unauthorised personnel.

The second benefit is that location movements can be tracked while a compliance audit can be completed.  It can also detect any areas where improvements could be necessary.

In addition to key cards, ID tags can also be incorporated into the access to a university hall of residence.  The purpose of having such security measures in place is to help protect students from unauthorised access, which could potentially threaten their wellbeing or put their possessions at risk.

With universities becoming ever-increasingly like businesses, and with the cost of entering university at an all-time high, the expectations are that student living standards and safety are paramount, especially with students – initially – having to live with strangers. According to a survey carried out by Save The Student, the average cost of renting is £131 per week, which leaves students with £8 to live on after deducting the payment from their maintenance loan.

Although university culture does play a large part on student life, excessive and unordinary behaviour is not acceptable. It was found that 52% of students have noisy housemates, 37% of housemates steal food (considered as theft), 8% have dangerous living conditions, and an astonishing 6% have experienced a break in or a burglary.

These stats highlight that there are many students who don’t view their accommodation as value for money.  Now, there is a demand for larger investments into suffering areas — accommodation providers are under extreme amounts of pressure to make changes otherwise they could encounter detrimental damages that will impact them in the long run.

What are the benefits of access control?

There are many potential benefits to having a campus access control system.  Evidently from the story above discussing the racist chants, it has become critical to ensure the safety and protection of young people as unsolicited actions can be carried out without any prior detection.

It’s true that some universities offer students the opportunity to choose their new living quarters with factors like gender, age and drinking preferences taken into consideration.  However, there are still many faults. Universities should be looking at implementing more personal options that enable young people to properly filter down the type of roommates they are looking for — such as language, religion, race, and more to create a safer and more familiar environment for all.

Advanced Credentials — smart phones are now a part of daily life for students.  Locked areas can now be accessed via security info/credentials stored safely on a phone. 

The neutralisation of old Key Cards —university accommodation keys – unlike regular keys – cannot be copied.  Once a student has left, each card can be deactivated. This removes the risk of any unauthorised entry and heightens the safety of the new tenant after the previous lease is up.

Access Limitation — an access control system means only eligible students can access the premises. As they require the swipe of a unique key card for entry permissions which are given only to students, this will make it difficult for anyone other those who are enrolled as residents to enter.

It’s clear that university accommodation should have enhanced security.  This is even more pertinent if it can be used in a lockdown process that helps reduce the obvious risks that come with fast-moving incidents (i.e. firearm attacks).

Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-43328566

http://www.net-ctrl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/AAAC_Discussion_Paper_Students_fv-1.pdf

https://www.savethestudent.org/accommodation/national-student-accommodation-survey-2018.html

 

Fred Theatre’s no-fuss Shakespeare shows are back on the road

The cast of our current schools’ tour is returning to the rehearsal room to prepare this year’s Shakespeare productions: Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. These will both take to the road early in 2019, giving students the tangible advantage of live performance.

Each of our 90-minute adaptations is designed to be a great introduction to the text, or a useful revision tool. Watching one of the productions really helps your students understand the narrative arc of the text, and they will hear those all-important quotes in context. They see and hear the text rather than just reading it, and, of course, there’s the simple joy of live theatre.

Last year, praise for Macbeth included lovely comments such as this from Parmiter’s 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.”

Although our diary is filling up, there’s still time to book an in-school performance from Fred Theatre for the current academic year. We are touring with four exciting productions:

Jekyll and Hyde     A Christmas Carol 

Macbeth     Romeo and Juliet

Please note, Jekyll and Hyde is a 60-minute adaptation.

We are very cost-effective. Booking a performance from Fred Theatre is a whole lot cheaper than paying for theatre tickets + travel costs + the time of staff and helpers.

All four productions are fresh and exciting re-tellings of the familiar and much-loved stories, and feature a cast of six professional actors. We concentrate on the original 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.

And we don’t leave our involvement with just the performance. We send out regular newsletters for students that build up to the performance with lots of great information on the show. We give students feedback cards which can be used as a valuable tool in the classroom after the show. And, we also arrange workshops if that’s of interest, as well as Q and As with the cast post-performance.

You can call me to discuss any aspect of Fred Theatre playing at your school on 01789 777612. Alternatively, email Helen in our office: helen@fred-theatre.co.uk. We’ll have a chat about how we can help, collect a few details from you and respond with more information.

 For more information, please visit our web site: www.fred-theatre.co.uk/schools

Academic Summer Schools – July and August 2019

Debate Chamber Summer Schools are great for bright students who enjoy an intellectual challenge, and who are curious about the ways in which their knowledge can be applied to help solve real-world problems.

Our courses are rigorous, with an emphasis on independent thinking and collaborative problem-solving, providing a valuable insight into university level education.

Debate Chamber tutors are selected for their exceptional communication skills, a charismatic and inspiring classroom presence, and a true passion for their subject (typically they are Masters or PhD students, and so young enough to relate easily to school age students, at the same time as offering exceptional subject knowledge).

Group sizes for these courses are 12-14 students, and teaching involves a combination of mini-lectures, seminar discussions, team tasks and practical activities. The comfortable and welcoming environment makes it easy for students to share ideas amongst their peers, and to progress from their existing knowledge toward more challenging material.

Highlights for students aged 15-18:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2019. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at www.debatechamber.com.

There is a limited amount of bursary funding available for students who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see here for details.

To book a place please visit 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.

We really look forward to hearing from you!

Every day the playground is becoming more and more important.

The introduction of the government’s Childhood Obesity Challenge last year required that all children should have an extra 30 minutes a day of activity in addition to the PE lessons already mandatory through the national curriculum.

This came about after a report was published by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health which revealed that 40 percent of children in the country’s most deprived areas were diagnosed as overweight or obese in 2016.  Even in more affluent areas 27 percent were considered overweight or obese.

What’s more, the reports associated with this initiative showed quite remarkably that rather than reducing the academic performance of pupils, diverting 30 minutes a day away from classroom learning into a greater level of activity not only improved the children’s physical well-being, but also improved their academic performance.

One straightforward way to encourage activity and enhance positive play in the school grounds and simultaneously encourage children to meet the 30 minutes a day activity schedule is by teaching the children one game a week which they can then work on together.

Some games will catch on and become continuing favourites. Others by the nature of things will fade after a few days.  But if the games that catch on are then passed on to parents, perhaps by being put on the school’s website, the impact of the game can be extended further and further.

What’s more because the game is initiated by the school, its uptake in the playground can be tracked very easily, as the government’s new “30 minute a day” programme requires.

PSHE in the Playground is a downloadable book which both looks at enhancing activity and enhancing positive play behaviour.  It can be copied and circulated among your colleagues, and indeed parents if you so wish.

The book incorporates enough games to last a full school year and includes games that are suitable for both key stage 1 and key stage 2 children.  Most games can be taught to children in a matter of minutes.

Publisher’s reference: T1691
ISBN: 978 1 86083 726 5

The book costs £14.95 and can be purchased:

 

Supporting personal development, behaviours and attitude through promoting mental health and wellbeing

The recent consultation on transforming children and young people’s mental health provision has highlighted the essential role that the education sector can play to support mental health and wellbeing. We recognise the real and positive differences staff working in education can make and we also understand the challenges this can present.

Team Mental Health provide an expert led, whole school approach developed by medical doctors who specialised to become consultant psychiatrists and a headteacher. As part of our multidimensional approach, we offer a whole school mental health awareness programme.

We don’t expect those working in education to become experts in mental health. However, we do want to empower all staff to continue to make a positive difference through prevention, detection, early intervention and stamping out stigma associated with mental health.

Our unique approach will also support schools to evidence to Ofsted their commitment in relation to the new inspection judgements set out in the 2019 framework.

Our next Advanced Mental Health Masterclass event is on Thursday 6th December 2018 at the MacDonald Burlington Hotel in Birmingham.

  • 9.00am: Coffee and registration
  • 9:15am: Start
  • 4:30pm: Finish
  • Also included: Refreshments breaks & lunch / Supporting documentation / Attendance CPD certificates
  • Cost – £185 / delegate (exc VAT)

This intensive, fast paced, CPD UK accredited event is delivered by consultant psychiatrists. It is recommended for those working in the education sector who hold a position of responsibility relevant to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils and staff and implementing development plans and policies.

More information about this masterclass can be accessed here: https://www.teammentalhealth.co.uk/courses/view-module/57b7b8d0-29c3-11e7-800e-0ad59815a061

To reserve a place please email: training@teammentalhealth.co.uk

Dr Libby Artingstall
Co-Founder & Director Team Mental Health
Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist

www.teammentalhealth.co.uk

@GoTeamMH

Debate Chamber Summer Schools

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 passion for their subject (generally they are Masters or Doctoral candidates, and so young enough to relate easily to school age students, but with excellent subject knowledge).

Group sizes for these courses are 12-14 students, and teaching involves a combination of lectures, group discussions, team games and practical activities. The comfortable and welcoming environment makes it easy for students to share ideas amongst their peers, and to progress from their existing knowledge toward more challenging material.

Young Scientists Summer School (ages 11-14) 

The Young Scientists Summer School is aimed at younger students, 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.

‘It was a great experience with fun, engaging activities, lots of good advice from the teachers and they were very nice and welcoming.’

Physics Summer School (ages 15-18) 

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 (ages 15-18)

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 (ages 15-18)

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.’

We also have a Young Doctors Summer School, which covers some of the more accessible medical topics for students aged 11-14.

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 90% 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 2019. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at www.debatechamber.com. 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, call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Making your garden an exciting classroom

Many children spend the majority of their time in front of an electronic screen, cooped up indoors. Getting them out for a spot of fresh air can be a challenge. But you needn’t struggle to get them to enjoy an expensive day out. In this article, ericaceous compost supplier Compost Direct will show you how all the fun of the outdoors can be found in your garden.

In the early-years stages

Early-years skills can be developed through playing in the garden. Messy play is a great way to improve sensory and cognitive development, whilst having fun. There is an abundance of research behind the advantages of messy play and how this unstructured form of activity can really help your child develop. This can be done in the garden with sand, water or even mud! It’s all about breaking down the usual rules that your child might face, such as being restricted to a play mat or not being too disruptive with toys. Encourage your child to draw shapes with different (child-friendly) tools and their fingers in various materials — this can help children to build up their finger and arm muscles, which is useful for when they come to hold a pen.

Your child can come into contact with so many new textures in the garden. They become used to handling solid objects, such as toys, and these are easy for children to learn because they don’t change shape. For example, letting your child come into contact with mud, a softer material, lets children broaden their knowledge and allows them to compare and understand new textures.

Overall learning experience

Doing homework out in the garden on a nice evening can be a great way to get some fresh air. Your child might have spent all day behind a desk at school doing their work and it’s nice to have a break from this when they come home. Make it easy for your child to work outdoors by purchasing a gazebo or having a table and chairs outdoors where homework can be done. 85% of teachers reported that they saw a positive impact on their pupils’ behaviour when they were taught outside. In addition to this, 92% of pupils said that they preferred their lessons to be outdoors. In a study between pupils who learnt indoors and those who learnt outdoors, those who were outside were found to have a better understanding of their responsibility to care for the environment.

Healthy diet

Research has revealed how children are more eager to eat fresh fruit and vegetables that they have had a hand in growing. This can be a great way to improve their diet and get them outdoors. Easy fruit and vegetables to grow include: strawberries, cabbage, radishes and potatoes. You can decide on the size of your patch and watch as your child runs outside to see what has grown that week.

Tasks for your children

Children like to have little tasks and jobs in order to feel responsible. Give them some tasks to do daily, or even weekly, and it’s likely that they’ll start to look forward to spending time in the garden. One simple task to get children outdoors could be to grow a sunflower. Each day your child can head outdoors to see how their plant is growing and practise some maths skills through measuring. This can be exciting for a child, as often the sunflower will grow taller than them!

If you are mowing the lawn or potting plants, why not get your child involved with keeping the garden tidy. Let them trim the edges of your garden, water the plants or do some de-weeding — it’s a nice way to spend time together, too.

Sources

http://www.peecworks.org/peec/peec_reports/01795CA8-001D0211.32/CYE_FactSheet3_Benefits%20of%20Gardening%20for%20Children_August%2020.pdf

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 £ 5.25 each  ex vat while the  Casio FX 85GT+  starts from £ 7.75 each ex vat.

For more details & prices please visit:

    www.signposteducational.co.uk    

or email to: info@signposteducational.co.uk  or phone: 020 7515 1797 and ask for Martin Evans who will be pleased to assist with queries or orders.

Signpost Educational Ltd  PO Box 999  London E14 6SH

P.S.  orders are usually delivered within 1-3 working days.

What is the most effective way of offering positive, creative experiences for young children?

There are some aspects of human behaviour which virtually every child finds engaging, encouraging, helpful, and positive.

Children don’t have to be tutored in any way to get enjoyment out of these activities – it is just a natural element of self-expression; a part of growing up.

For example, drawing and painting can be considered one such area that virtually all children seem to enjoy and benefit from experiencing.  Movement and dance is another, while a third is singing, and yet another is writing lyrics to songs.

Building on this natural desire for artistic expression among children, SEALSONGS was created by a well-known songwriter, working with a group of London primary schools, using children’s ideas.  It is now used in hundreds upon hundreds of schools across the country and has become a firm favourite in assemblies.

What’s more, in addition to the songs, SEALSONGS gives advice to non-specialist teachers on teaching songs and leading singing.

Indeed Sealsongs also acts as a classroom resource for SEAL, with notes on how each song relates to its topic, while explaining how pupils may explore their ideas by writing new lyrics to the songs.  Thus it gives children the positive experience of working with others in creating new songs within the SEAL framework.

The SEAL themes include New beginnings, Getting on and falling out, Say no to bullying, Going for goals, Good to be, Relationships and Changes.  Two further general songs – one about writing songs and one providing a Rhyme Game – are also included in the pack.

SEALSONGS was written by David Stoll, the well-known composer of music for the concert hall, the theatre, television and radio. David often also writes songs and other works for children, and he designs projects in creativity for schools, higher education and the corporate sector.

The complete pack including music, lyrics, backing tracks and teachers’ notes is available as a download.  The price is £24.00, which includes a licence for printing, copying and using the products in a non-commercial way within schools; the price also includes VAT.

Sample pages are available to download from www.schools.co.uk/samples/SEALSONGSSamples.zip

SEALSONGS is available for immediate download from www.schools.uk/index.php/on-line-shop/item/13-sealsongs

Two simple, cost effective products which can transform teaching and learning in schools and colleges throughout the UK……  

Over the years I’ve spoken to various teachers (mainly in secondary schools) and one topic seems to crop up more than others. It’s the problem of students  turning up to lessons without a pen, pencil, ruler etc.  Apparently this leads to a measure of disruption and wasted time at the start of lessons while students try to beg, steal or borrow what they need to benefit from the lesson.

Fortunately there are now a couple of simple, low cost  products which can help to  solve this problem.

The first is the “Student Essentials set”  consisting of three good quality black ballpens, two full length HB pencils, a 15 cm ruler, eraser  and a pencil sharpener  …all packed in an A5 size “exam friendly”  clear PVC zip slider wallet. From only 85p ex vat it will almost certainly prove useful for students and teachers alike.

The second is the “Value Maths set”…and once again it comprises the same  A5 size

“exam friendly”  clear PVC zip slider wallet  but with some components which are specific to maths lessons: a metal compass and half pencil, 180 degree protractor, 15 cm ruler, sharpener, eraser,  two good quality black  ballpens and a full length HB pencil. From just £ 1.25 ex vat it should help restore a bit of order at the start of maths lessons!

Both these products can be obtained from Signpost Educational Ltd  via their website:

www.signposteducational.co.uk or by phone (020 7515 1797)

or email: info@signposteducational.co.uk

We understand that the firm holds good stocks of these products and  usually deliver  within 1-3 days of receiving orders.

Debate Chamber Summer Schools

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students age 15-18 the opportunity to find out more about some fascinating subjects, prepare for university applications, meet like-minded peers and get to grips with some tough intellectual challenges.

The material will be challenging (for the older age-group, about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university), but the atmosphere will be relaxed, with plenty of discussion, debate, and opportunities for students to shape the direction of classes.

Working in groups of 12 – 14 students over several days offers participants a real chance to get to know tutors and fellow students and to explore the topics or questions that particularly interest them.

Highlights from our Summer Schools 2019 programme include:

Law Summer School

The Law Summer School offers an exciting and challenging introduction to the legal profession, and is aimed at students who wish to take their first steps towards a legal career or Law degree. With options top specialise in particular areas of interest, this course includes mini-lectures on key areas of the law, seminar discussions on tricky and controversial legal questions, lively group negotiations and activities, and concludes with a full mock trial in which students take the role of barristers for the prosecution or defence.

‘The Summer Law School was an exhilarating and unforgettable five days. It gave me great insight into the theories of law and how they are implemented in real court cases; and also provided me with the opportunity to meet other young people with similar interests to me.’

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.’

Physics Summer School

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!’

In addition to these highlighted courses, we also offer courses in English Literature, Philosophy, Economics, International Relations, Politics, Mathematics and Dentistry.

Bursaries

Debate Chamber is committed to ensuring that financial circumstances do not prevent any student from attending our events. Students can apply for bursaries covering up to 95% 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 2019. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at http://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/.

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.

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

The Casio FX 83GT+ and the Logik LK 83XP are excellent choices for your GCSE maths students.  They are in use in thousands of schools and colleges throughout the UK.

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 and reliability of these calcs is excellent and they both benefit from a THREE year warranty. (excludes damage to the LCD).

The Logik LK 83XP has similar features and functions to the Casio FX 83GT+ (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 £ 5.22 each ex vat while the Casio FX 83GT+ starts from £ 6.55 each ex vat.

Even though both calcs have a THREE year guarantee there is however, one significant difference. The Logik LK 83XP benefits from both battery and solar power (thus prolonging battery life) while the Casio FX 83GT+ is battery power only. 

For more details & prices please see: www.signposteducational.co.uk   

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

Signpost Educational Ltd PO Box 999 London E14 6SH 

P.S. Orders are usually delivered within 1-3 working days.

History teachers: save time and money

Your ideas matter…

Judith Loades has been publishing materials for schools for nearly 30 years and many of those titles have been suggested by teachers.

To celebrate the new website going up in January I am launching a new discount programme saving you money on advertised prices.

For instance a single paperback is yours for £3.50 rather than £6.99. If you buy five sets of Notes in soft covers (many teachers buy more because they save you time) then £100 becomes £60.

How do you qualify for these discounts? Simply email your name and school to judithdavenant@gmail.com or telephone Oxford reception on (01865) 292148 with the same information and you will receive your first pack.

Please contact me now and start saving, see www.davenantpress.co.uk

What is the single most important factor when it comes to supporting pupils and students with ADHD?

There have been many takes on this question and one of the most common responses across the years has been that the school should work with parents to ensure that the young person in question takes the behaviour modification drugs prescribed.

Only when this is done, it is argued, can the individual modify her or his behaviour enough to be able to settle into mainstream education.

However recent research has cast doubt on this approach. Indeed research from the University of Exeter Medical School has found that the greatest progress of all occurs where the school undertakes three actions related to the pupils and students.

First, this most effective approach needs to include ensuring that all colleagues throughout the school understand ADHD and support the approach being used to help the pupil or student.

Second the approach must be undertaken with the wishes of parent. If  the parent is very keen on constant medication, then this alternative approach will simply cause difficulty.

Third the approach needs to be talked through regularly with the pupil or student.  This is not just a case of a single session where what is happening is explained.  Rather opportunity needs to be found to return to the topic and the approaches used on regular occasions, helping the pupil or student reflect upon the progress being made.

But what is particularly interesting is that although this approach was designed as a way of working with students and pupils who are not taking medication it now turns out that these three fundamentals are just as important when working with those who are taking medication to modify their behaviour.

Where these three factors are all in place then, whether it is with or without medication, better progress and exam results can be expected.

It is to help with the multiplicity of such issues that relate to ADHD that we have produced “Helping ADHD pupils and students through school”.

It is a book which is available as a download, which means that you can then take any of the short articles that appear in the book and make them available for colleagues without any further charges for reproducing the information.

To see sample pages please click here

ISBN:  978 1 86083 855 2   Order code: T1789 – please quote with order.

You can purchase the download copy of the volume for £14.95 including VAT

  • On the phone with a school order number at 01604 880 927
  • By email to sales@schools.co.uk with a school order number
  • With a credit card via PayPal at our on-line shop

Anxiety is the leading cause of lower than expected grades and exam results.  So what can be done?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fortunately one short-term intervention programme with students who suffer in this way can result in a wholly different outcome.  One in which anxiety is reduced to more normal levels.

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

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

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

If you would like to discuss the options without any obligation please do call 0345 3192 666 or 0203 6677 294 or email gemma@NLP4Kids.org

Our 2018-19 tour is on the road with great reviews

The first two productions on our current menu hit the road last week, and we asked students what they thought of them.

Meghan, a year 11 student in Evesham, says of A Christmas Carol what she’ll remember most is: “Everything!!! It was incredible. The comedy was impressive. Would love to see it again.”

Harrison, a year 11 student in Birmingham, says of Jekyll and Hyde what he’ll remember most is: “The portrayal of the characters and the accuracy of the performance in relation to the book.”

Staff have been posting great feedback on Twitter too. One teacher Tweeted about Jekyll and Hyde: “It was wonderful! Great learning experience for our boys who thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to your Macbeth performance already :)”

There’s still time to book an in-school performance from Fred Theatre for the current academic year. We are touring with four exciting productions:

Jekyll and Hyde     A Christmas Carol 

Macbeth     Romeo and Juliet

Each of our 90-minute adaptations is designed to be a great introduction to the text, or a useful revision tool. Watching one of the productions really helps your students understand the narrative arc of the text, and they will hear those all-important quotes in context. They see and hear the text rather than just reading it, and, of course, there’s the simple joy of live theatre.

Jekyll and Hyde is a 60-minute adaptation.

All of this at a very cost-effective price too! Booking a performance from Fred Theatre is a whole heap cheaper than paying for theatre tickets + travel costs + the time of staff and helpers.

All four productions are fresh and exciting re-tellings of the familiar and much-loved stories, and feature 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.

And we don’t leave our involvement with just the performance. We send out regular newsletters for students that build up to the performance with lots of great information on the show. We give students feedback cards which can be used as a valuable tool in the classroom after the show. And, we can also arrange workshops if that’s of interest.

You can call me to discuss any aspect of Fred Theatre playing at your school on 01789 777612. Alternatively, email Helen in our office: helen@fred-theatre.co.uk. We’ll have a chat about how we can help, collect a few details from you and respond with more information.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director
Fred Theatre

PS: We are more than happy to engage with the audience via a QandA session after the performance, if that would be helpful.

Simple study hacks for students

If you’re anything like the teachers I know then I can almost guarantee you are constantly hit with the feeling that there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done.

I want to be respectful of your time so I’ll keep this short. I am in the process of creating some study hack posters which will look great on classroom walls and will be of great value to students. If you would be interested in receiving free pdf copies to print out then please do email me.

I’ve included 3 of the hacks below:

  1. Go Cold Turkey – The website ‘getcoldturkey.com’ is essential for those who are easily distracted by surfing the web.  People use Cold Turkey because once you start a block, there’s no turning back. By default, timers are locked until your timer is up and the weekly schedule can be locked until a certain time.
  2. Pomodoro Technique – Set a timer, get serious about studying for 25 minutes and off you go. Reward yourself with a five-minute break afterwards. Repeat 3 times and give yourself an hour off. It’s easy and very effective.
  3. Maths Genius –  khanacademy.org is a fantastic website that allows students to repeat a particular topic multiple times and become really confident with the subject matter.

The videos incorporate all learning styles, and many people have used them to study up to degree level mathematics in their own time.

If you are still reading this then I hope you’ve found this helpful so far. We share many different and effective study techniques in our motivational seminars delivered by our team of military veterans. They relate their personal stories too which students find incredibly inspiring and helps motivate them to try harder. We deliver one hour seminars for up to 100 students for £399.

If you would be interested to find out more then feel free to contact me.

Nasir Unia
07830 208725

info@armykeynotespeakers.com
www.armykeynotespeakers.com

My mate Ed used to be a teacher……….  

Ed had been a teacher for more than thirty years,  working in several London boroughs. He started out as a supply teacher, then moved on to be a subject teacher,  head of year and head of department.

Now and again he would recount some of the more “grisly” goings on in whichever school he was working  at the time…..and it wasn’t only the students he got “naffed off” with…… (but that’s another story, as they say).

If there was one thing he felt strongly and got so angry about it was when students came to his lessons without the basics, i.e. they turned up without a pen, pencil, ruler, etc.

He was well read,  an experienced teacher and planned his lessons carefully, so he regarded any delay in starting a lesson as a personal insult.  His view was “If I take the trouble to plan my lessons and make them  relevant and interesting, then why the heck can’t my students bring a pen and pencil with them?”

Thankfully, a couple of years before he retired, he found out about the “Student Essentials” set.

“If I’d known about this product thirty years ago then my life as a teacher would have been much easier and my students would almost certainly have got a lot more benefit from my lessons.”

The “Student Essentials” set is all about providing students with the basics they need and cutting out wasted time at the beginning of lessons….result:  Improved productivity in both teaching and learning.

The “Student Essentials” set consists of three quality black ink ballpens, two full length HB pencils, an eraser, pencil sharpener and a 15 cm ruler, all packed in a clear “exam friendly” PVC wallet with a zip slider (size: 230 x 155 mm). It’s ideal to sell to your students (or maybe even give them away !) or use as prizes or incentives.  From only 85p each, ex vat  it’s a simple, yet cost effective way of helping both teachers and students be more productive.

The “Student Essentials” set can be obtained from  Signpost Educational Ltd.  who can be contacted on: email:  signpost@talk21.com  or tel  020 7515 1797  or you can visit their website:

www.signposteducational.co.uk

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

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

Debate Chamber Summer Schools

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students age 15-18 the opportunity to find out more about some fascinating subjects, prepare for university applications, meet like-minded peers and get to grips with some tough intellectual challenges.

The material will be challenging (for the older age-group, about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university), but the atmosphere will be relaxed, with plenty of discussion, debate, and opportunities for students to shape the direction of classes.

Working in groups of 12 – 14 students over several days offers participants a real chance to get to know tutors and fellow students and to explore the topics or questions that particularly interest them.

Highlights from our Summer Schools 2019 programme include:

Law Summer School

The Law Summer School offers an exciting and challenging introduction to the legal profession, and is aimed at students who wish to take their first steps towards a legal career or Law degree. With options top specialise in particular areas of interest, this course includes mini-lectures on key areas of the law, seminar discussions on tricky and controversial legal questions, lively group negotiations and activities, and concludes with a full mock trial in which students take the role of barristers for the prosecution or defence.

‘The Summer Law School was an exhilarating and unforgettable five days. It gave me great insight into the theories of law and how they are implemented in real court cases; and also provided me with the opportunity to meet other young people with similar interests to me.’

History Summer School

The History Summer School gives students the opportunity to ask some of the deeper and more philosophical questions about how we relate to and interpret the past. A combination of engaging discussions, formal debates, lectures, group presentations and close individual reading of primary and secondary source material will help students to get a realistic sense of what undergraduate study is really like. This is also a really social course, and students often make friendships which continue on into university.

‘I enjoyed every minute of this Summer School and would recommend it to anyone who has a passion for history! I was able to learn about parts of history which I had never encountered before. The variety of topics and the fantastic tutors definitely made the course worthwhile.’

Mathematics Summer School 

The Maths Summer School is an opportunity for very mathematically able students to indulge their passion for problem-solving and stretch their understanding of a range of topics in pure and applied maths. This Summer School is particularly appropriate for students who may be considering further study of mathematics at undergraduate level, or who are interested in related disciplines such as physics, computing or engineering.

The Maths Summer School is great fun! Everyone is so friendly and I learned so much. It is a great opportunity to expand your mathematical knowledge beyond the school syllabus. I would definitely recommend it!’

In addition to these highlighted courses, we also offer courses in English Literature, Philosophy, Economics, International Relations, Politics, Physics, Dentistry and Medicine.

Bursaries

Debate Chamber is committed to ensuring that financial circumstances do not prevent any student from attending our events. Students can apply for bursaries covering up to 95% 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 2019. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at http://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/.

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.

Pupils and students find it incredibly hard to discuss their mental health with teachers.  So what can be done? 

A recent study by the Youth Mental Health First Aid in Schools programme has confirmed what many of us have seen day by day: the taboo surrounding mental health issues remains a fundamental barrier which stops pupils and students speaking openly about any problems they perceive.

Indeed research by the NASUWT union last year revealed that, although 98 per cent of teachers have contact with pupils who they believe are experiencing mental health issues, 46 per cent report never having received any training on youth mental health.

However the report has shown that a small number of schools are making progress in facing the issue of helping pupils and students to deal with the problems they are facing.

And thus the question is asked, how can we help improve the mental well-being of pupils and students?  It is a most important question, not least because pupils and students who have the ability to prevent mild conditions from becoming major problems cope better than those who don’t have this skill.

And this is what NLP4Kids offers.  Helping pupils and students communicate their thoughts and feelings with others, helping them make meaningful relationships, and ultimately helping them improve their employment opportunities.

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

We have already worked with numerous schools across the country and now have additional time and funding available to come to your school and work with the children you nominate. There are more details of our work at http://nlp4kids.org.uk/positive

If you would like to discuss the options without any obligation please do call 0345 3192 666 or 0203 6677 294 or email gemma@NLP4Kids.org

 

Explore activities that transform a knowledge regurgitator into a scientific thinker.

To excel in exams students need to be able to think critically and creatively when under pressure.  It is not enough to simply regurgitate a concept or rule.  They need to be able to apply ideas to situations they may not have encountered before – whilst meeting tight deadlines.

You can receive a set of curriculum linked resources that are specifically designed to develop these skills through science – the very skills the OECD report are in increasingly high demand by employers but in short supply.

It is all part of the new Thinkers in Education Update that is going live this term and costs absolutely nothing.

Starters, plenaries, full lessons and projects – supported by teaching screens, student worksheets, online quizzes and homework challenges – can be emailed to you a few times each term to download ready to insert into your teaching as and when the time arises.

The activities will save you time, challenge pupils to learn by problem solving and help to increase engagement via the unusual contexts and competitive challenges included.

More importantly, they will help you to identify and transform those students who are fabulous at regurgitating information but then fall short under exam pressures.  It is an approach that has proven hugely successful with thousands of pupils in our STEM workshops since 2001.

You will receive a range of classroom activities throughout the year, find out about student workshops in your area and have first access to any upcoming promotions.

It takes less than a minute to request the updates.  Simply click here to have a look.

Alternatively, you can email me with any queries you have:  joseph@thinkersineducation.co.uk

Developing Teaching Assistants – new opportunities, new responsibilities  

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

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

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

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

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

More information:  mokijep@majemail.com to fix a time for a chat.

www.playtherapyregister.org.uk

www.playtherapy.org.uk

Yours sincerely,

Jeff Thomas – Registrar Play Therapy UK

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

During the session we cover:

– How to be self motivated

– Inspirational stories of success

– Strategies to plan your work

– Study skills to ‘get the edge’

– Revision techniques.

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

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

Many thanks

Nasir Unia

07830 208725

info@armykeynotespeakers.com

www.armykeynotespeakers.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sample pages can be viewed at http://www.schools.co.uk/samples/T1813.pdf

ISBN: 978 1 86083 845 3 Order code: T1813

You can obtain the download by:

Debate Chamber Summer Schools 2019

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students age 11-18 the opportunity to find out more about some fascinating subjects, prepare for university applications, meet like-minded peers and get to grips with some tough intellectual challenges.

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

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

Highlights for students aged 15-18:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2019. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at 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 http://debatechamber.com/call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Rise like lions after slumber

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

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

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

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

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

‘Rise like lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number;

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you.

Ye are many, they are few.’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can order the test:

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

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

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

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

And that something was zero.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can purchase the download copy of the volume

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

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

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

Understanding Gross Domestic Product

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

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

Silent Generation

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

Date period: Born during 1945 or prior

All of this generation were 16 by: 1961

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

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

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

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

*Employment and unemployment rates unavailable for 1961

Baby Boomers

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

Date period: Born between 1946 and 1964

All of this generation were 16 by: 1980

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

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

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

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

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

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

Generation X

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

Date period: Born between 1965 and 1976

All of this generation were 16 by: 1992

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

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

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

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

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

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

Millennials

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

Date period: Born between 1977 and 1995

All of this generation were 16 by: 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

Centennials

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

Date period: Born from 1996 to the current day

This generation began turning 16 during: 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts for generations to come

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

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

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/gdp.asp

https://genhq.com/faq-info-about-generations/

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/workplace-characteristics-silent-generation-2164692

https://managementisajourney.com/understanding-and-managing-the-4-generations-in-the-workplace/

https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/tapping-generation-z

https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/5505402/millennials-baby-boomers-generation-groups-z-y-x-explained/

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/articles/overviewoftheukpopulation/mar2017

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/timeseries/abmi/pgdp

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/timeseries/lf24

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment/timeseries/mgsx/lms

https://www.inflation.eu/inflation-rates/great-britain/historic-inflation/cpi-inflation-great-britain.aspx

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/timeseries/ihxy/ukea

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can also email me: joseph@thinkersineducation.co.uk  or call us on 01603 520 866

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can call us on 01603 520 866 or email:  joseph@thinkersineducation.co.uk