Exceptional Languages Teaching Resources

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Lighthouse Professional Development

There is still time to secure one of the remaining places on our “Memory Activities for the MFL Classroom” course taking place in London.

We also are running practical CPD on “How to make MFL accessible to pupils with SEN”, “Developing Speaking Skills in MFL”, “Using Grammar to Empower Learners in MFL, Practical Strategies for Success” and “Expert in a Day: ipad/tablets in the MFL Classroom”

Lighthouse are running training on becoming a successful Head of Department and Deputy/Assistant Head, as well as “Practical Counselling Skills for Teachers and Support Staff”.

You can find more course information, including dates, times and locations, at http://www.lighthouse.tv/cpd-courses/modern-foreign-languages

Email: info@lighthouse.tv
0800 587 8880
Postal address:
Lighthouse Courses Ltd, Suite 3, 163 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1EJ


Carel Press

Succeed in English: EAL Posters – a vital visual support for English as an Additional Language to help students remember.



Interactive MFL Software – 13 titles packed with hundreds of stunning curriculum 3D animations describing difficult to understand concepts for MFL. There are texts, voice-overs, quiz zones, drag and drops, multiple choice quizzes and more. Request your 14-day free trial of MFL Educational Software Solution.


First and Best in Education

Deutscher Wiederholungskurs – provides material for revision for the GCSE speaking and writing tests and helps to bridge the gap between GCSE and ‘A’ level. The course presumes the knowledge of grammar and vocabulary that a proprietary course will have covered.

How to get A* in French? – analyses the writing and the speaking criteria of various exam boards and presents a simple and clear summary of these criteria written in a student friendly language.

How to get A* in Spanish? – analyses the writing and the speaking criteria of various exam boards and presents a simple and clear summary of these criteria written in a student friendly language.

How to get top marks in your French speaking & listening exams –  deals with knowledge, confidence and the application of knowledge in relation to Foundation and Higher Tiers GCSE and Core and Extended IGCSE French.

Learning Spanish – a 143 page, copiable manual for secondary school students of Spanish at beginner to intermediate level.

Perfect the Past Tense for GCSE French – a resource which will give your students structured practice in a complex grammatical area which is vital to their success at GCSE.

Email: sales@firstandbest.co.uk
01536 399007
Postal address:
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Rd, Corby, Northants, NN17 4HH


Signpost Educational Ltd

Student Packs for Lessons and Exams – Handy for your students and especially useful for exams. Consists of a clear plastic, “exam friendly” zip up wallet containing:  Three quality ballpens  (black ink), two HB pencils, 15 cm ruler, metal sharpener, eraser. approx, size:  224 x 157 mm.

Telephone: 020-7515-1797
Postal address:



Search Taster Day Events – helps Languages teachers to discover an array of events to book students on to, such as university and college taster days, workshops, residentials, open days, outreach events and widening participation opportunities.

Email: info@unitasterdays.com
+44(0)208 798 0982


ZigZag Education

Languages Teaching Resources – from verbs and vocabulary to exam practice and essay support, you’ll have your students speaking, listening, reading and writing like natives before you can say un, deux, trois!

Email: sales@ZigZagEducation.com
0117 950 3199
Postal address:
ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol, BS10 5PY


You can find more Exceptional Teaching resources at exceptionalteaching.org.uk.

Free population super quiz from Doddle

Try a free population super quiz with your class today.

This quiz will test your students’ understanding of the factors which influence a country’s population including birth and death rates and economic development.

It also challenges them to use the population pyramids, graphs, maps and even equations which are crucial to understanding global and national populations.

Try it free on our Doddle Geography page!

Would you like to be able to set this presentation as home revision for your students?
Doddle resources can be used outside the classroom! With Doddle you can assign your students presentations, activities, and self marking quizzes to do in their own time.

For a free and flexible tour of all the Doddle features, book a free in-school visit with one of our Educational Consultants.


Provide extended STEM activities for your Gifted, Able, Talented, and Enthusiastic students this summer

Some Heads of Science are able to provide provisions for their Gifted, Able, Talented, and Enthusiastic students, even when the core curriculum governs lesson time, by organising events outside school for students to take part in to enhance their knowledge of science.

Which is why we will be helping schools to run STEM activity days over the summer period.

Our STEM Summer Schools will give your Gifted, Able, Talented, and Enthusiastic students (across the year groups) the opportunity to participate in STEM-themed activities that simply cannot be delivered during the normal school day or curriculum.

If your school can provide the facilities for three to five days during the summer we will deliver an well-planned event and all the equipment required.

There will be a choice of two STEM Summer School Programmes:

Dead on Time – an activity in which students learn to use real-life forensic techniques such as DNA extraction, DNA electrophoresis, and DNA analysis to solve a mysterious death.

Target Mars – an activity in which students learn about Semi-Conductor Electronics, Robotic Construction, and Programming to build prototype vehicles, analyse Mars soil, and learn life-saving techniques needed to be able to colonise Mars.

Furthermore, our STEM Summer School can be delivered ‘cost-free’ to the school where parent contributions or pupil premium funds are used. A grant may also be available in your area.

For more information about our STEM Summer School Programmes, please visit: www.thinkersineducation.co.uk/stem-summer-schools/

Alternatively, please do call us on 01603 520866 or email us at events@thinkersineducation.co.uk.

Maths, Physics and Medicine Summer Schools – Last Few Places Available

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools, now in their twelfth year, 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 2016 for students interested in science:

The five-day Maths and Physics Summer Schools for students aged 15-18 who will have completed AS Level Maths by the summer. These courses offer a chance to explore some challenging undergraduate level material together with our friendly and knowledgeable tutors. Topics are selected to engage and inspire bright students keen to push themselves beyond the school curriculum.

The Medicine Summer School for students aged 15-18. A fun and interactive introduction to the world of medicine, allowing students to learn the theory and also to begin to develop the practical skills involved in being a doctor. This course is split into several separate two-day parts, each of which covers one or more particular areas of medical specialism. Students may attend the full course, or select whichever sections best match their interests.

The Dentistry Summer School for students aged 15-18. A two-day introduction to medical and cosmetic dentistry, including seminars on patient interaction, diagnosis of dental problems, orthodontics and maxillofacial surgery.

The Young Doctors Summer School for students aged 11-14. An introduction to the world of medicine for younger students. Each part of the Summer School is structured so that more academic sessions are interspersed with fun and enjoyable exercises which are designed to test and apply the theoretical knowledge gained. Students will take part in practical activities, like learning how to suture a wound, and in role-play and case study scenarios where they take the role of practitioners and consultants – diagnosing and recommending treatment options. There will also be experiments, group work and quizzes on each day

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 2016. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

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

To book a place please visit www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/, call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Activity Days on a budget

!cid_238612b9b25283670c81fd2bedc795d2     We come to you – no expensive transport costs

  • All equipment provided – Purpose built, user friendly equipment
  • Set up on your school grounds, indoor or outdoor, large or small spaces – Fields, playgrounds, hard court areas and even sports halls, gyms and classroom can all be utilised
  • New activities and sessions every year – Team Building, Bushcraft, Archery, Orienteering and Assault Course are just some of the activities on offer
  • Mixed sessions and multiple day programmes available – A combination of activities can be done on the same day or over several days
  • Stress free booking process – Our qualified instructors run the day from start to finish
  • Educational & Fun – Each day links into different aspects of the national curriculum
  • Personalised programme – We plan the day around your school timetable and incorporate any specific school values or aims
  • All group sizes catered for – From 5 students to over 500
  • !cid_16a5a939eb32d5c5f61289683999043e

    Ideal for:

  • Primary to secondary transition
  • Reward days
  • Enrichment days
  • Collapsed time table days
  • Teacher Inset
From £5.50 Per Person
Contact details:

01892 784842!cid_1d8dc15f18ab7e91c73aa5140d32e469

PE to the ready! (and yes, every step really does count).

With the end of term weeks away, I’d like to share with you today a great idea to give your pupils extra motivation as they run, swim, bat and field. After all, you work hard every day making the benefits of sport available to all your pupils. And our passion is helping injured and disabled people to walk again, very often using sports as a rehabilitation tool.

So here comes your Every Step Counts challenge, which will change the lives of people like 8-year-old amputee Nirmala! It could be a ‘race for rehab’ on sports day, an Every Run Counts cricket match, a sponsored walk or ‘stepathon’.

And until 18th July, all the money raised by your school will be doubled by the UK government. So there’s never been a better time to get involved – request your Every Step Counts pack today at www.handicap-international.org.uk/pack

Our Every Step Counts campaign is raising essential funds to provide life-changing rehabilitation to disabled people around the world. With every donation doubled, the money you raise will go that much further, helping twice as many injured and disabled people.

Please order your pack today online at www.handicap-international.org.uk/pack, by calling me on 0870 774 3737 or emailing john.mcgeachy@hi-uk.org.

By organising an event your school will play an amazing role in this special campaign. Every step your students take, and every pound you raise, counts!

Best wishes,

John McGeachy

Supporter Engagement Officer
Handicap International UK

P.S. To see who your support could help, why not read Nirmala’s story, who lost a leg in the Nepal earthquake last year. Nirmala has bravely taken her first steps with her prosthetic leg – will you please take your first step with us today?

Co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Handicap International is an independent charity working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work tirelessly alongside disabled and vulnerable people to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights. It is a UK registered charity (no. 1082565). www.everystepcounts.org.uk

Survey results ahead of LOtC Week (27 June – 1 July 2016)

What percentage of teachers have been engaged in at least one LOtC project during the past year? What is the most popular type of LOtC? What do teachers aim to achieve through offering LOtC? What factors limit the amount of LOtC that teachers can offer?

These are just a few of the questions that we, as sponsors of LOtC Week 2016, asked primary and secondary school teachers across the UK in a recent survey. And now we have the answers.

You can find the full Learning Outside the Classroom report which contains analyses of the survey results at www.learningoutside.info/index.php/lotc-survey-results.

However, in this email I would like to give particular focus to the question ‘What factors limit the amount of LOtC that teachers can offer?’. Clearly if we can offer a solution, more students and pupils will be able to reap the various and numerous benefits that LOtC offers.

In the survey both primary and secondary school teachers stated that transport was the main issue (50% secondary, 34% primary). Or more specifically, the cost of transport.

So how can this be overcome?

You might want to get your school involved with LOtC Week which is running from the 27 June to the 1 July 2016 as in doing so you will be privy to a wealth of information about how to overcome this issue, including transport costs, restrictions, legalities and regulations.

This information has been supplied by Benchmark Leasing – a company which specialises in the leasing of school minibuses and without whom, LOtC Week and the research conducted ahead of the Week’s launch would not be possible.

I do hope you will take a look at the LOtC Week website (www.learningoutside.info) and take advantage of all it has to offer.

And, if your school is looking to acquire a minibus, you can find more information about our school minibus leasing packages by visiting our website. Or, if you’d prefer, you can call us on 01753 859944 or email us at minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk.

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street



Tel: 01753 859944

Why I chose Doddle Progress: The experience and impact at Firth Park Academy

Last year we used Doddle to launch a weekly homework system across all year groups for all teachers. The change was a huge success; staff were really glad to have the extra time using Doddle created, mitigating their need to mark regular homework. It also gave year 11 teachers a great overview of skills and abilities in different topics when it came to revision time.

So, naturally we were keen to explore the Doddle Progress system with some classes to see if we could develop another whole school process.Read more

Otis McFadden from Firth Park Academy describes how they have been using Doddle to track progress and lead meaningful interventions across the school.
Read his blog on how Doddle has enhanced teaching and assessment in his school and watch the video of his recent presentation.

Read his blog here:

See what Doddle could do for your school!
To discuss your school’s assessment requirements in person, book a free in-school visit from a Doddle Educational Consultant for your next SLT meeting.


Viking assembly and writing workshops


Bring the Vikings to your hall with an interactive assembly followed by writing workshops. Pupils will go on a Viking raid, meet the skald (storyteller) – and hear tales of heroes, myths and monsters. Finally two bands of Vikings do battle with a fun quiz.  I’m a children’s author who teaches creative writing in schools, so I can also answer their questions on writing and perform short extracts from my books Beowuff and the Dragon Raiders.

The assembly is a perfect primer for story writing workshops where pupils will write their own stories. We’ll use the innovative Accelerated writing method (as used by Creative Writing Club).

As well as the Vikings, other topics include: the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age Celts, the Greeksthe Egyptiansthe Romansthe Celtsthe Anglo Saxons, the Aztecs, Mayans, the Great Fire of London, Flooded world (natural disasters), the Normans, the Tudors, the Victorians, Shakespeare, Traditional tales, the Rainforest and many more.  I’m an ex-BBC editor and I can also offer workshops on factual writing (using a historical frame).

About me
I’ve written 14 books for children, over a wide age range (Y1-Y9) including: Spartapuss (Romans), Beowuff (Anglo Saxons vs Vikings) Olympuss Games (Greeks), Boudicat (Celts), Cleocatra’s Kushion (Egyptians).  My graphic novel ‘London Deep’ was chosen as a Recommended Read for World Book Day. I co-wrote the musical version of Julia Donaldson’s books The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom. I’ve led writing workshops for Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust and The Young Archaeologists Club. Check out my profile on Love Reading For Kids:

  • No school is too large or too small
  • I am DBS checked and I have insurance cover.

For dates and prices please call 0845 838 5526 or email robin@mogzilla.co.uk

Please reply to this email with ‘Vikings’ in the subject line and I will send you my free PDF
‘7 Tips for story writing
and a Viking writing frame.

Today the prime issue for many Headteachers is managing and reducing an ever growing workload. But how?

Managing workload is often a personal matter with each Headteachers finding her/his own solution.  But there is one approach that is becoming more common, not least because it can be introduced step by step and is applicable in almost every school.

At its simplest this approach focuses on one time-consuming area and deals with it once and for all.

So, rather than trying to deal with a whole range of areas, you spend just a little time focussed on resolving one area.  Then, when that’s sorted you move on to the next, looking at each time-consuming area of work, one at a time, and finding a way to reduce the time spent on it.

From that moment on, time is saved.

To give a practical example of this, take your school’s policies. They have to be checked, updated, monitored, and re-worked as circumstances change.  And that’s before you have even contemplated adding new policies that have never been necessary before.

But imagine a scenario in which you could find a full, up-to-date, comprehensive policy on each and every subject you wanted on a single website.  You could then download it, and then have it up and running in your school – all within minutes.

Add to this the fact that if there wasn’t a policy that you needed already on the site, you could ask for it to be written, again saving you time.  Plus as legislation and expectations change, so the policies could be updated without you having to re-write anything at all!

That is perfect time management.  The endless issue of school policies is identified and brought under control.

The website that hundreds of schools across the UK use in this way is Policies for Schools.  It has over 280 school policies, and you can see all the policies that are available and some sample school policy documents by visiting our website.

Subscribers have access to all the policies on the site and the option to ask for any new policy that is not already there.

You can subscribe to Policies for Schools here, or if you require any further information:

  • Phone: 01600 891 506
  • Email: sales@policiesforschools.co.uk  
  • Or write to: Teachers Resource Centre Ltd, Wyastone Business Park, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, NP25 3SR

Young Lawyers Summer School – additional dates now available

The Young Lawyers Summer School is an opportunity for students aged 11-14 who are keen to learn more about the legal world, and to have a go at arguing a legal case for themselves.

The four-day course will include games, and workshops, on diverse areas of law, from family to contract law, as well as lively debates and a full mock crown court trial.

This course will develop several important cross-curricular skills. The Mock Trial element of the Summer School, for example, develops vital skills of analysis, teamwork, public speaking and confidence (as well as teaching students about criminal law and the courts).

Highlights will include:

  • Criminal justice – from the moment a crime is committed to the point at which the offender is   sentenced
  • Debates and discussions on current legal issues
  • Advocacy skills – how to make speeches in court, question witnesses and build your case
  • Contract law – drafting a legal agreement and what to do in case of disputes
  • Human rights – balancing conflicting rights and defending your rights
  • Family law – how the law regulates marriage, adoption and divorce
  • Full Mock Crown Court criminal trial

You can view a full schedule for the course, details of tutors and lots more feedback from last year on our website – www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/young-lawyers-summer-school/.

Feedback from previous Young Lawyers:

Had a great time, learnt so much and met some GREAT people.

The Young Lawyers school is very interesting and effectively teaches students about the law in a fun and friendly way. The tutors are very nice and good at explaining the intricacies of the law.

I really enjoyed this course. Apart from helping me learn loads more about law I had loads of fun participating into the mock trial and the debates.

A really fun way to find out about law and life as a lawyer. I was surrounded by lovely people and have had a chance to express my views and listen to others. I now have a clear perspective on law and can see which parts I would enjoy and which parts I would like to work in in the future.

It’s a really good course for learning new things and building confidence. It is also very good for making new friends and learning to work in a team with people you don’t know. And all the teachers were really good and friendly.

I went from knowing very little about Law and the different types such as Family Law to feeling like I knew quite a lot! The teachers were very friendly and informative, and most importantly, made learning fun! I will definitely be coming back to more Debate Chamber courses! Thank-you!

Practical Details

This event will take place on 1st-4th August (and repeated 15th-19th August and 22nd-25th August).

The cost of the four-day course is £345 and will be held at the University of London in Bloomsbury (please note that this course is not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required).

There will be a limited number of bursary spaces available for those who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see www.debatechamber.com for details.

Students can book a place by completing the online form on www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/young-lawyers-summer-school/, or by calling us on 0845 519 4827, or by emailing info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Using the interest in Wimbledon to develop an enthusiasm for tennis

There is no better way to make use of this enthusiasm than with a tennis net (that can also be adjusted to be suitable for badminton) which can be used inside and out to maximise its use.

Our 6m tennis (and badminton) net can be set up and taken down in moments, and is ideal for regular use in the playground and the sports hall. It comes in its own storage bag which makes transportation and storage easy too.

To complete the set of equipment, we have available a set of four Plastic Tennis Rackets plus two balls for £7.95 plus VAT.


And, as always, you can place an order with Edventure in a variety of ways, including:

  • on the website www.edventure.co.uk
  • by faxing us to 01323 50 10 41
  • by calling us on 01323 50 10 40
  • by emailing us at sales@edventure.co.uk       
  • by post to Edventure Ltd, Hargreaves Business Park, Hargreaves Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 6QW.

Quote HH0515 when you place your order and we will deliver it for FREE!

(Without quoting the code the charge is £3.95.)

It’s simple, it’s low cost and it’s an effective solution

It’s simple, it’s low cost and it’s an effective solution to the problem of students turning up for lessons  or exams without pens, rulers, pencils etc.

The “Student Essentials set” contains all your students need for most lessons and exams.

Three quality black ink pens, two full length HB pencils, metal sharpener, 15cm rule and an eraser, all contained in a clear “exam friendly”  PVC wallet with a zip slider.

From just  75p each, (ex vat) the “Student Essentials set”  is an economical and effective way of ensuring that students don’t miss out because they’ve forgotten to bring the right kit to lessons or exams.

Details at: www.signposteducational.co.uk/student-packs/

If you need more information please email: info@signposteducational.co.uk or phone 020 7515 1797 and ask to speak to Martin Evans who will be pleased to assist.

PS.  Orders can be made via email, phone, fax (020 7515 4420) or post.

The three factors that ensure that students get top marks in French speaking and listening exams

There is no doubt that some students underperform in their French speaking and listening exams, not because they don’t have a knowledge of the language that is suitable to the level of study, but rather because the setting of the speaking and listening exams results in a lack of confidence.

Of course you will be working with your students to ensure that they are used to the situation they will face, but beneath that there is still the issue of feeling enough at ease to use the knowledge of the language that he/she possesses.

Indeed we might compare this to many people in later life who have studied French at school and who can speak enough to get by, but who regularly report that they need a few days in France before they have the confidence to start speaking again.

To help resolve this problem the copiable volume, “How to get top marks for my French speaking and listening exams,” deals with this emotional response to speaking the language.

As the book stresses to students on the first page, “Success is deliberate.”  In these exams, the author says, intonation, exam skills, and vocabulary are the key.  Along with a real motivation to get better at speaking French.

And because motivation is considered so important, the book starts with exercises in motivational techniques.  It may seem unusual that in the opening few phrases there is no French, but the fact is that without motivation and a sincere desire to pass the exam the student will not improve.

As part of this there is a constant focus on the nature of the task in hand. Listening is made a central part of the task in hand, and from here the work in French begins to flow.

In all there are 100 copiable pages, provided either as a copiable text or on CD Rom so that they can be loaded onto the school’s learning platform for all students to access.

The sheer variety and down to earth honesty of the book will enthuse the students, and they will particularly appreciate the section on “bluffing and improvising” which shows them how to deal with unknown words and phrases.

Indeed it is sections such as this that enthuse the students to work in much greater depth and with much greater focus when they work through the dialogues.

How to get top marks for my French speaking and listening exams is available as a book or CD and comes with a full photocopy license for use of the book within your school so yiou can share it with colleagues. You can see a sample pages at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/modlang/T1780.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1780EMN      ISBN: 978 1 86083 815 6


  • Photocopiable book: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Book and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1780EMN

What slows down the progress of EAL pupils more than anything else?

What EAL pupils need most of all is bi-lingual books written at the right interest and reading level.

The problem is however obvious.  Books cost money and having the right language alongside English, and having the story at the right level for the pupils, is very difficult.

You might well have some dual language books in your school, but often that is not enough to keep the child engaged and reading more and more both at school and at home.

But now there is a solution.

For now there is an e-book library of over 400 books in English and 37 languages; books that pupils can read and hear, and which they will enjoy to the end of KS2.

Each book is in two languages and can be accessed via iPads, tablets, whiteboards, and computers at school or at home. All the text is spoken in English and the home language.

And, of course, parents too can use the library to improve their English, leading to greater involvement with your school.

Well-known titles such as The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Pandora’s Box, and reference books like Key Terms in Maths, Science, English, come in English with Polish, Arabic, Spanish, French, Urdu, Romanian and many more languages.  English only copies are also available.

Each story is supported with a video and follow-on interactive activities. This means that children who have just joined the class can quickly get started in a highly imaginative and absorbing way.  They can also share with their parents what they are learning at school.

The dual language e-books are also a perfect way for the school to show Ofsted that it is connecting with parents in an engaging and measurable way.

You can buy one book from £3.50 for one year or licence the whole collection of over 400 e-books for every classroom for £350 per year.  Parents can access the library for just £1 per term.

Please take a look at this short video to see our e-books in action.

Alternatively, please click here to get free trial access to 35 books in nine languages.

If you would like any further information, please email brandon@mantralingua.com  or phone 0208 44 55 123 x109.

Robene Dutta
Managing Director

School Finance without a finance background Online Training Program starting 9th June – 1 hour per week for 4 weeks

Do you have finance staff that don’t have a background in finance? Lots of schools do, and it can be tricky to understand it all and to have a full appreciation of the importance of the processes, without this background.

To this end we have created a new online training course – delivered over the internet – and consisting of 4 x 1 hour sessions over 4 successive weeks.  Each week provides a live, interactive online presentation with accompanying notes (the live session being recorded so anyone can watch it after the event, at a time of their choosing)

The aim is to provide a basic overview of what the terms mean, what needs to be done, what’s important to know about and what the reports tell us. This isn’t an in-depth study of bookkeeping or management accounting – it’s a clear, simple overview to give school finance staff a grounding in accounting.

Each session has an optional assignment which will help consolidate the information covered, and on completion of all 4 assignments a Certificate in Basic School Finance will be awarded.

The 4 sessions are as follows :

Session 1 –  Introduction to finance and the need for accounts.  Introduction to finance terms used in schools.  Legal aspects & segregation of duties. Financial controls and audit. Record keeping & filing.

Session 2 – The Bookkeeping process. Accounts, Assets & Liabilities, Double Entry accounting, Credits & Debits, The Ledgers.

Session 3 – Financial Statements and Reports – what they are, what they mean, general accounting reports and school specific reports.

Session 4 – Period End  – The Control accounts, Month and Year end processes, Orders & Commitments, Creditors & Debtors, Prepayments & Accruals, Gift Aid. VAT.

The whole 4 session course costs £99 per school and multiple staff can attend from each for in this price.   Sessions are on 9th June, 16th June, 23rd June and 30th June.

To book on, please click here or email us on info@istekuk.com or call 01722 413255.

 Istek UK Ltd  3 St Ursula’s Close, Salisbury SP1 3FY

W: www.istekuk.com  E: info@istekuk.com   T:  01722 413 255  F: 01722 568262

Can you imagine a party without music?


A world without music? Learning without music?

In education today it’s easy to put music to one side – it’s something for the ‘specialists’. We teach numeracy and literacy ourselves – others can do the music.

However, current brain research shows that learning to play a musical instrument creates pathways in the brain that strengthen literacy and numeracy skills and make children more intelligent. The actual size of the brain grows.

At Ocarina Workshop we have known this for over 30 years, which is why we left our regular teaching jobs to develop the Ocarina, Ocarina music and Ocarina teaching resources for everyone to enjoy.

Our award last year for Best Music Education Product is like a lifetime achievement award for us. We’d love to share with you the success of this simple instrument that can revolutionise music-making in any school. Here’s what the expert panel of judges said…

The Ocarina “combines creative potential, ease of use, affordability and practicality” Best Music Education Product WINNER in the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence

So if you don’t know what you are missing… go to www.ocarina.co.uk to find out more.

Can EVERY Child really play a Musical Instrument in Class?

Yes, especially when Class Teachers do the teaching!

If children see their teachers are uncomfortable with maths, they will be uncomfortable. If children come from homes where reading is non-existent, their reading suffers. If teachers engage happily with music, children ‘catch music’ and all its benefits…

All your children will love the Ocarina and play tunes straight away. And all your teachers can confidently teach whole-class music with Ocarinas, whether they ‘feel musical’ or not.

The Ocarina is child-friendly, the holes small enough to cover, each note is easy to produce with a steady breath, and ocarina music shows exactly which holes to cover. Ocarinas are UK-made, colourful, robust and fun to wear – for boys as well as girls.

Tuned, Accessible, Musical and Ready-to-play

Order an Ocarina Class Set today. Hand them to any teacher and within half-an-hour their class will serenade you with ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ and play eight notes – seven more than they would play in half-an-hour on any other instrument! Or give them to the staff first and let the fun begin!

David Liggins B.Ed (Hons) | Christa Liggins BA (Hons), PGCE

music@ocarina.co.uk | ocarina.co.uk | 01536 485 963

Ocarina Workshop, PO Box 56 Kettering, NN15 5LX

With music, it’s not just the child’s talent and enthusiasm that counts. It’s also the parents’ support.

Well, we’ve all seen it time and time again. The enthusiasm and excitement about the opportunity for the child to learn a real musical instrument.

But when the initial vision of an instant ability to play the instrument fades, the notion of practising at least five days a week loses its appeal – and ultimately another budding musician, who had the ability to achieved a lot as a musician, gives up.

So what, practically, can be done to reduce the drop-out rate?

There’s been a huge amount of research into this issue, and the best answer focuses on giving the parent the tools to motivate and encourage the young musician week by week and day by day.

In this way, “go and practise the violin” becomes an engagement between parent and child.

However, like so many ideas, this is one that can sound great in principle but is not always that easy to put into practice.

Which is why Caswell Strings has developed a series of short articles each of which can help parents to encourage and motivate their children to keep practising and keep playing – no matter what the instrument and no matter what style of music is being taught.

This series of articles is now appearing on the Facebook page of Caswell Strings, and I do hope that you will have a moment to look at them.

Then either print them off to give to parents or you can simply direct the parents to the page, so they can read for themselves.

The first article on “How can I persuade my child to practise?” is now on the site, and new articles will be added each week to build up into a full set of ways of enhancing the enjoyment and success of pupils and students as they learn to play an instrument.

You can find the first article by clicking here.

New Anti-extremism and Human Rights Classroom Software

Free Full Version 14-day trial

Schools and academies are now required to ensure pupils are aware of the risks associated with radicalisation and extremism.

Our new Anti-extremism and human rights classroom software delivers the topic sensitively using stunning 3D animation, professional voice-over and subject specific interactive exercises, quizzes and games. 

All delivered in a controlled environment, avoiding potentially unsafe web searches!

If (and only if!) after your 14 day trial you would like to keep the software, it’s just £199 (rrp £250) for a whole school/academy site licence over a network or on unlimited PCs/Whiteboards. Technical support, should you need, it is free.

The software arrives on DVD. Just follow the simple installer wizard and you will be ready to use the software in your classroom within minutes

To request a free 14 day trial please CLICK HERE


Professional Yearbooks Delivered In 10 Working Days

Get your yearbooks in a flash and make sure your students never forget their time at your school!

It’s not too late to get your yearbooks before term ends and with Leavers’ Books it’s super quick and super easy.

With a huge range of designs and layouts to choose from, you can tailor your yearbook to suit your school. From traditional, formal layouts to fun, quirky designs like our new Superhero theme, there’s something for everyone.

  • Great value starting from just £7.99 with no deposit or pre-payment.
  • Professionally finished and printed in just 10 working days.
  • Service you can trust from your sidekicks at Leavers’ Books.
  • Create your yearbook using our easy online creator.

Request a sample pack and start your yearbook today!

What a complex mess! Solving the Problem of Punctuation

Of the many issues faced by teachers in recent times, it was a tiny punctuation mark that forced the government to make a change!

The traditional media were incensed. The Independent told us the ’excitable, text speaking youth of today are being told to curb their exclamation by the Government’ with ‘strict new rules on use of exclamation marks’.

‘How strange!’ wrote The Guardian, it was ‘…effectively proof that the government wants to penalise enthusiasm!’

The Telegraph described it as ‘Nonsense!’ that would take ‘writing back to the 19th century’.

BBC Breakfast debated the issue with linguistic experts who agreed in their ridicule.

Meanwhile a mighty battle erupted on social media between the punctuation pedants and the grammar anarchists, until both sides realised that neither agreed with the government’s stance.

The mounting outrage drove the Department for Education to issue a ‘clarification’ and just to be sure, the Minister of State for Schools published his personal guidance that:

“the exclamation mark will continue to be acceptable in children’s responses in the test” and “pupils will not be marked down for using an exclamation mark for emphasis”…however should they be asked to write an exclamation using the “correct sentence format, starting with ‘what’ or ‘how’, will be required”.

While the exclamation mark was safe, teachers now found themselves charged with teaching not only exclamative sentences but also the ‘variety of sentence forms’ that might end with an exclamation mark!

For many primary school teachers, particularly those without a specialism in English, the new pedantic code is a complex and scary beast. Thankfully teachers can now recruit their own monster: the Punctuation Monsters!

Designed to help teachers retain an emphasis on creativity while meeting the needs of the new curriculum, the ‘Unpunctuated’ series uses a theme of ‘Mermaids & Water Monsters’ to challenge students to rewrite unpunctuated sentences and then consolidate their learning with further creative thinking and writing challenges.

After completing the Challenge Sheets, students can mark their own work (and their friends) with the ‘Sentence Check’ sheets. The whole class can then take part in class challenges to add their own punctuation and rewrite the sentences using the powerpoint challenges included with each module.

Teachers can take confidence from the simple step-by-step guidance to each form of punctuation and they may take a particular interest in: http://thinkythinky.com/shop/exclamation-marks/?ref=33

I Can Write Exclamative Sentences http://thinkythinky.com/shop/introducing-exclamations/?ref=33 How to Use Exclamations (which includes a template to create an Exclamation Comic!).

At just £3 each the modules are excellent value for teachers with plenty of activities to use throughout each term. Full details can be found at www.monsterpunctuation.com


Complete Unit: Module 1 Capitals, Full Stops, Exclamations, Question Marks


“A great resource – well differentiated and suits my intended purpose of using with intervention groups in Year 2. I particularly like the ‘unpunctuated’ texts as some of my target children struggle to use capital letters and full stops accurately. This was a great time saver! “

How fully have your pupils mastered the demands of the National Curriculum?

The new, challenging, literacy and numeracy requirements of the National Curriculum mean that it is ever more important to check your pupils’ depth of learning as they progress. With the new curriculum, there is now even less chance to catch up on unlearned knowledge, through remedial teaching.

Which is why it’s essential to check that all pupils are fully engaged with these challenges each step of the way.

To help ensure that this is the case, we have worked with former Chief Examiner, Sue Hackman, to produce the friendly new Annual Primary Tests, from Imaginative Minds.

These pupil-friendly assessment checks are written specifically for the new National Curriculum. As well as helping children get used to working under test conditions, they also help you see what each pupil has learned and needs to learn.

The tests are easy to use and to mark. They will help you crosscheck your children’s knowledge and progress across Reading, Writing and Mathematics.

Using objectives taken directly from the National Curriculum, the tests give you a clear indication of the strengths and weaknesses of pupils and classes, and allow you to confirm on-going teacher assessments.

Additionally, the tests are organised by strand to reveal patterns of strength and weakness in different subject strands, e.g. SPAG, geometry and statistics. This will be beneficial for arranging help and catch-up afterwards.

Priced at only £125 for a year pack covering 35 children, the tests are costed to help you keep your expenses low.

Order the tests today and receive a spare Teacher’s Manual absolutely free.

The Annual Primary Tests cover years one, three, four and five. The tests for years four and five are available now from the Teaching Times bookshop: see Year Four here; and Year Five here.

100% money back guarantee

I am sure that you will find the tests are simple to use, pupil-friendly and easy to mark. But if for some reason you’re not happy with them, simply return them and I personally guarantee you a refund on your purchase.

If you would like to order by email, or have a question about the tests, you can email me at james@imaginativeminds.co.uk. Or call me on my direct line at 0121 224 7584.

Don’t forget: you will receive a free extra teacher’s manual, when you order either the Year Four or Year Five tests today.

I look forward to hearing from you.

James Mason
Teaching Times
Tel: 0121 224 7584 | Fax: 0121 224 7598

james@imaginativeminds.co.uk | Annual Primary Tests

PS Order today to get the complete test pack for either years four or five, plus an additional Teacher’s manual, at no extra cost

‘University Entrance: a parent’s guide to UCAS and more’

by Jonathan Watts & Cora Saint, Price: £19.99

15% discount code – ucas15

Whilst your sixth formers are grappling with summer exams, many of their parents are already looking ahead to the next hurdle – the university application.

Clued up parents realise the summer will be an essential time for their teenager to polish up their CV, start drafting personal statements, and make final decisions about which universities to apply to, and for what courses.

University Entrance: A parent’s guide to UCAS and more’ is a new guide for parents explaining every step of the university application process together with how, and when, parents can offer useful and supportive advice. 

John McParland, Principal, The John Wallis Church of England Academy, says,

“This book will guide parents to help their children make the correct choice of career path, and to be successful in their UCAS application.  I would recommend all schools and colleges with a sixth form to place multiple copies of this book in their libraries.”

With step by step advice about every aspect of applying to university the guide is packed with practical advice for parents and students, including:

  • What is UCAS?  Key dates in the application year
  • What makes an applicant look good on paper?
  • 10 Do’s & Don’ts for a great personal statement
  • Ways to boost your CV
  • How important is choosing the right subject?
  • What to expect in an interview?
  • Preparing to apply for Oxbridge
  • Preparing to apply for Medicine

The guide also doesn’t hesitate to tell parents when to ‘stand down’, and not to try write their teenager’s personal statement!

To order copies using the discount code please click here.

Please pass the discount code and web link – ucas15 – onto your parents.

To see the full range of The Parent Brief books visit www.theparentbrief.com

For more information please email: info@theparentbrief.com or call 01983301144

What’s the most effective way of ensuring that no new school equipment is “lost”?

It is strange to think that there is a very simple process which, if carried out at the right time, will eliminate the chance of equipment being “lost” from the school premises.

Strange, because not only is it simple but also very low cost – and yet not every school follows the process.

All one has to do – and this is what increasing numbers of schools do each year – is order enough SILVER MARK security labels ready for the new equipment that arrives in September or during the summer break.

Sadly, what does happen in some cases is that the labels are not ordered until after the new equipment has arrived and been put to use – which can of course be a little too late.

ID SILVER MARK are precision cut stencil labels which are ideal for labelling IT equipment (including iPads, tablets, and mobiles) as no one can remove the label without it fragmenting and even if they get peeled off, the UV paint still shows the school name and postcode.

This system is also ideal for tracking equipment if it goes missing. Thus the ID SILVER MARK enables you to protect your valuable equipment with a permanent visual security mark and to keep a record of each item so marked.

Better still, the police and insurance companies have noted that the ID MARK conforms to Home Office Guidelines – by using your school name and postcode as a way of identifying your property, this helps with item recovery in case of theft.

ID SILVER MARK is available in black or silver materials with permanent adhesive. All Dantech asset identification labels are personalised with your school name as well as sequential numbering.

There is more information on our website.

If you would like to know more please do get in touch – we are very happy to discuss your marking requirements throughout the school. Just call Dantech on 01354 688 488 or email us at dantech@btconnect.com for free and unbiased help and advice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are details here including sample pages

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

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

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

The Dyscalculia Centre
Hamilton House Mailings
Earlstrees Road
NN17 4HH

Website: www.dyscalculia.me.uk
Email: admin@dyscalculia.me.uk

Olympic Games free poster

The Rio Games are this summer! This set of 36 Olympic Spotlight posters traces the history of the games from ancient to modern times. These print-your-own pdf posters focus on key aspects such as the Olympic spirit, the first marathon, the role of women, the opening ceremony, the Olympic oath, Paralympics and much more!

Download one free and order the set here


Ann Batey
Office Manager
Carel Press
(01228 538928)
Follow us on Twitter:


We hear so many times from schools about the wonderful plans to develop their school playgrounds – be they outdoor learning areas, outdoor shelters & classrooms, play equipment, natural play etc – but the discussions always end up talking about money! We know budgets are tight and we know your time is not exactly in plentiful supply either…..but we have a solution to all of this.

We have invested a lot of our time working alongside schools and their PTAs to help you find alternative ways of funding our products. We, alongside our strategic partners, can help you put together a funding programme which could include:

* Grants
* Unique PTA events such as a pedal powered disco or film night
* Help with letting/renting out your existing school facilities – schools who are already doing so are earning an average of £30K per year
* Corporate sponsorship
* Crowdfunding websites
* Operational leases

All we need from you is a bit of dedication but where there is a will, there is a way!

Please therefore have a look at our website www.hideouthouse.com to see exactly what we do but we are always open to new ideas if you don’t see exactly what you are looking for on there.

And then give us a tinkle to discuss how we can help you.

Look forward to hearing from you

With kind regards

Simon Fearnehough

Email: simon@hideouthouse.com   Telephone: 01865 858982  

With SATs all finished, what have you got on the agenda between now and the end of term?

Now that SATs have finished, you and your colleagues have a bit more freedom to work outside the constraints of the National Curriculum. So what will you do?

Some schools find that choosing a topical theme as a focus for lessons can be highly effective (particularly for those transitioning to secondary school) in enhancing engagement, building confidence, and restoring a love for learning.

!cid_3f35e2b6a14251ac79bc617009eb5a21So the next question is, which theme to choose? The big event this year is, of course, the Olympics, but before that we have the Euros. And lessons built around the theme of football are great for enhancing engagement among boys and also for getting more girls interested in the sport.

In literacy lessons pupils can write newspaper reports and a pundit’s commentary. In maths calculations can be based around ticket sales and the capacity of the ten host stadiums in France. And in PSHE lessons equality, respect, and sportsmanship in football can all be explored.

Then there is PE in which you can teach pupils how to kick, dribble, pass, tackle, mark, defend, shoot, and also how to play strategically. Furthermore, you could buy football equipment for the playground so your pupils can practise their (newly-learnt) football skills at playtimes.

There are Football Training Packs that contain a Soccer Target and 6 x 19cm Footballs at http://www.edventure.co.uk. And if you quote HH0515 on your order, delivery will be free.

You can place an order with Edventure for Football Training Packs at the link above, by phone on 01323 50 10 40, by fax to 01323 50 10 41, by email at sales@edventure.co.uk, or by post to Edventure Ltd, Hargreaves Business Park, Hargreaves Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 6QW.

Exceptional Literacy Teaching Resources

Exceptional Banner - Bigger

Fisher-Marriott Software

StarSpell – From Early Phonics through to KS3/4 exam preparation, StarSpell’s graded word lists support all stages of learning. It also has support for the 2014 National Curriculum in England.

Based upon the proven Look-Cover-Write-Check routine, StarSpell’s Spelling mode has sound, pictures and sentences to create a powerful audio-visual activity.

The six-step word-lists support progressive, systematic learning of letter-sound matches in basic phonics through to the exploration of spelling rules, word origins and families. The curriculum-themed section supports revision and further study.

Designed for interactive whiteboard in the classroom as well as for individual learning, StarSpell can help both teachers and students.

Contact form
+44 1242 523365
Postal address: Fisher-Marriott Software, Richmond, West Approach Drive, Cheltenham, GL52 3AD



Complete Reading & Spelling Programme – teach, assess and monitor progress with MSL’s Structured Literacy Programme.

Bumper Books of Literacy Fun – four books for minimal supervision activities, each one packed full with creative, structured puzzles and games.

Handwriting for Windows v 3.0 – learning to touch type brings many benefits to dyslexic individuals.

Rhyming Spells – provides a wide selection of ingenious rhyming spells for improving spelling.

Email: msl@schools.co.uk
Telephone: 01536 399017
Postal address: Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH.


Carel Press

‘Just Read!’ PDF Poster Set – motivational posters about the power of books.

Complete Primary Library Collection – everything you need to run an outstanding primary school library.

‘Learn about your library’ Posters – explain library terms successfully.


Dysgraphia Help

The Online Dysgraphia Test – consists of 50 questions. After completion of the test and submitting a handwriting sample you will receive a dysgraphia test report. If we believe dysgraphia to be present you will also receive supporting activity materials free of charge.

Overcoming dysgraphia workbook – contains 100+ A4 sides of activities, worksheets and games that aim to improve language processing, visual spacing, fine motor skills, pen/pencil grip, handwriting posture and memory retrieval.

Email: admin@dysgraphiahelp.co.uk
Postal address: Dysgraphia Help, 1 Oathill Close, Brixworth, Northamptonshire, NN6 9BE.


Signpost Educational Ltd

Wooden Alphabet Letters – for children who have specific learning difficulties or those whose literacy skills are below their peers. Whatever their age, these alphabet letters can be very helpful.

English Readers… by Word Power – these classic novels are abridged versions of the originals, retold by John Kennett who felt that many people were missing out on some great stories as the original novels were too long.

Telephone: 020-7515-1797
Postal address: SIGNPOST EDUCATIONAL LTD, PO Box 999, London, E14 6SH, UK


You can find more Exceptional Teaching resources at exceptionalteaching.org.uk.

Topical Resources’ annual Summer Sale: up to 75% off all teaching resources

Last year we launched our first ever Summer Sale, offering a 35% discount on all teaching resources. This year, we are offering a discount of up to 75% on all teaching resources (at just £5 a book) to make our 2016 Summer Sale even better than the last.

Furthermore, in contrast to last year’s Summer Sale where we asked you to like and share our Facebook page in order to qualify for the discount, this year we are offering up to 75% off all book titles for absolutely nothing in return – just your custom.

If however, you’d like to share this offer (which we would appreciate very much), please do forward this email and/or share our Facebook post about Topical Resources’ 2016 Summer Sale which you will find pinned to the top of our Facebook page – Topical Resources.

You can see and order all of our book titles (at just £5 each) on our website at: https://www.topical-resources.co.uk/.

Or, if you’d prefer, you can place an order by phone on 01772 863158, by fax on 01772 866153, by email to sales@topical-resources.co.uk, or by post to Topical Resources,
P.O. Box329, Broughton, Preston, Lancashire PR3 5LT.


Plays with a difference

The English language is full of plays – which is not surprising really since people have been writing them for around 1000 years.

The trouble is that many have cast requirements or subject matter that mean they are not at all suitable for the classroom or theatre with the right amount of engagement per candidate and the right number of students involved within the cast.

What’s more, given the need to find scenes and settings which are not just extracts from published plays and the need for the play to have a unified sense, finding suitable plays gets even more difficult – especially if one wishes to avoid using the same plays as last year.

This is the problem that “Here comes Godot now!” by Lindsay Jones solves. It contains 12 plays that engage with themes not often found in other sources, such as dark comedy, fantasy, horror, humour and urban myths.

Thus the themes in this volume avoid some of the social topics such as drug taking which other volumes (and indeed assemblies and PSHE lessons) will already have covered extensively and looks instead at more difficult topics such as FMG, death, child sexual abuse, and social class.

As for performances, the plays are written for a variety of combinations of participants from two boys or two girls up to four boys and four girls.

Because the volume is photocopiable (or printable from a CD rom) only one copy of the book need be bought, and it can be used among the class without further cost.

ISBN: 978 1 86083 856 9 Order code: T1820emn – please quote with order.

Sample pages incorporating one complete play can be viewed at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/drama/T1820.pdf

  • Photocopiable book, £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD £36.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

Safety over cost, a practical example of the problems faced by mathematicians, engineers and businesses.

So that students can see how important maths is to our businesses and to our building industry we have put together a practical problem solving exercise called The Oil Rig Platform.  It is designed to simulate the workings of a team of engineers, trying to find a solution to a problem by building an oil rig platform.

The students are divided into small teams and challenged to build a model of an oil rig platform and work out how much it costs to build using only set materials.  To test for safety the platform must be able to support the weight of a brick!  Will your students design it so cheaply that it collapses or will they spend more money to make it strong and sturdy?

The exercise is suitable for both KS3 and KS4 students and runs over one lesson.  Each team is given the student brief, a set of resources and a deadline.  The winning team is the one who can build the oil rig, support the weight of a brick and is the cheapest to build.  A great learning experience and good fun for everyone.

What’s more – we have made it really easy for the teacher to deliver too!

This resource contains: clear teachers’ guidance notes that explain how to run the exercise, the students exercise brief, resources checklist and the assessment criteria.

How much does this all cost?  Only £20.00 and can be re-used over and over again!

There are more details at…


You can pay and download the exercise direct from our website using PayPal or you may wish to pay with either a cheque or a purchase order number. Simply e-mail your purchase order number to us and we will send the exercise to you along with the invoice for payment within 14 days.

Julie O’Brien
Creative Learning Events
0113 3909814
07977 489779


Do you sometimes wish you had that little bit extra towards that all important project?

ABC Fundraising is a charitable fundraising company specialising in helping charities and schools secure grants towards their work.

Over the past few years we have helped dozens of schools and educational charities raise well over £500,000 towards their projects, via successful grant applications to various local authorities, lotteries, trusts and foundations.

We are currently offering our assistance to schools around the country – projects we can help you achieve funding towards include:

– School playground development, or new play equipment
– New surfacing or playground markings
– Outdoor classrooms, shelters, or furniture
– Gardens, planting, or forest areas
– Before or after school clubs
– Holiday clubs, extra-curricular, and community activities
– Any other projects potentially beneficial to the development of your pupils or community

Working with us will cost the school no money up front – we will only charge a fee if your bid is successful, and you receive a grant towards the project. Everything we do is completely transparent, and you have complete control over your project direction and content of applications. However, we can of course provide experienced advice upon how to give your grant application the best chance of success.

Please get in touch if you are interested in our services – we will be happy to discuss your project and how we can help.

Contact details

Call Andy Bond at ABC Fundraising on 07598722722 or 0131 308 0687

Or email us at: andy@abcfundraising.co.uk

Want more information? Visit our website at www.abcfundraising.co.uk

It doesn’t matter where you are based. Although ABC Fundraising is based in Edinburgh, we are experienced at working with schools and charities around the UK.

“Came by Ship” Photographic and Essay Competitions:

Encourage your pupils to enter for their chance to win an Apple iPad,
Kindle, camera or
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software

Two fun, exciting and free easy-to-enter competitions which aim to expand pupil’s knowledge of shipping and inspire them to think about career opportunities within the maritime sector.

The Photographic and Essay competitions provide a great opportunity for pupils to use a combination of their creativity and STEM skills, as well as their knowledge of Geography, History and English to create a unique story or photograph that encapsulates what ‘Came by SHIP’ means to them.

For the Essay Competition pupils are required to write about anything with a connection to ships or ports, perhaps relating to the movement of ‘goods’ or the story of something that has been shipped.

Essays from pupils aged 11 and under should be 250 words in length, and essays from pupils aged between 12 and 18 should be 500 words in length.

The Photographic Competition requires pupils to take a photo with a smartphone or camera to capture something that encapsulates ‘Came by Ship’. Again, there are two entry groups for this competition – pupils aged 11 and under and pupils aged between 12 and 18.

Both competitions are now officially open for entries and will close on 30 June 2016, with a formal award of prizes later on in the year.

You can find teacher notes and more information about the competitions for pupils aged 11 and under by clicking here. And for teacher notes and information about the competitions for pupils aged between 12 and 18, click here.

Seavision has also compiled a number of facts about shipping and other teaching material which can provide a great introduction to the topic, such as “Did you know a container ship travels the equivalent of three-quarters of the way to the moon and back in one year during its regular travel across the oceans.” and “Around 20 million containers are on the move at any one time.” Seavision also offers free educational short courses where pupils can sign up to learn about seafarers, amazing containers and naval dispatches. See here – http://www.seavision.org.uk/voyages/engineering

Please do pass this email onto your colleagues if you think they might be interested and you can find more information about how to enter your pupils into the “Came by Ship” photographic and essay competitions at http://www.seavision.org.uk/competitions/

Exceptional Primary Resources for Playtimes

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Play Therapy United Kingdom

Play and Creative Arts Therapies (APAC) – a complete information resource for therapeutic play, play therapy, filial play and creative arts therapies for anyone interested in helping children with emotional literacy, behaviour or mental health problems.

Email: ptukorg@aol.com
01825 761143
Postal address:
Play Therapy UK, The Coach House, Belmont Road, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 1BP



Coloured Building Blocks – Kiblo’s unique building choices stimulate logical and deductive thinking. Building skills are developed and then natural creativity released.

Email: sales@kiblo.com
01792 863331
Postal address:
NDA (Packaging Services) Ltd, P.O. Box 516, Swansea, SA8 3YN.



Active Learning Place Mats – use a simple, self-checking method of learning and reinforcing Early Learning letter skills. They aim to speed up an automatic response to letter recognition, alphabetical order and rhyming patterns.

Email: msl@schools.co.uk
01536 399017
Postal address:
Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH.


First and Best in Education

PSHE in the Playground – includes 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.

Email: sales@firstandbest.co.uk
01536 399007
Postal address:
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Rd, Corby, Northants, NN17 4HH


You can find more Exceptional Teaching resources at exceptionalteaching.org.uk.

How can your school adopt a positive health and safety culture when there is a lack of time and resources to do so?

In accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999, all schools must recognise their responsibility for providing and maintaining safe and healthy conditions for pupils, personnel, and visitors – and so they do.

But this doesn’t mean that all schools have adopted a positive health and safety culture (which is fundamental to effective health and safety management).

Why? Because a positive health and safety culture requires constant attention, which also requires time that you and your colleagues are unlikely to have to spare. Which is why we’ve developed School Health and Safety (www.schoolhealthandsafety.co.uk).

School Health and Safety is a website providing practical, time-saving guidance and support materials covering: risk assessments, job descriptions, questionnaires, maintenance records, report forms and health and safety legislation, training, audits, inspections, checklists, action plans and development plans.

If you would like to see some of our guidance and support materials, just click here and you’ll be able to download a total of eight documents completely free of charge.

To subscribe to School Health and Safety, please do visit our sign up page: School Health and Safety Subscription

What’s more, if you sign up for a year’s subscription to School Health and Safety by the 31st May 2016 and enter the code healthsafety0516 at sign up, you will qualify for a massive discount of £45 on your yearly subscription fee.

For more information about School Health and Safety, you can either visit our website, call us on 01600 891506, or send an email to sales@schoolhealthandsafety.co.uk

What is the best way to take students from a predicted lower grade up to the achievement of an A* at GCSE?

As with the French version of this book the author has analysed the writing and the speaking criteria of various exam boards and has come up with a simple and clear summary of these criteria written in a student friendly language. These criteria have been divided into four sections; each section corresponding to a GCSE level while at the end of the booklet students can find a very useful list of recommended idioms and high level expressions.

Additionally the booklet includes the conjugation of the 50 most used Spanish verbs, including the modal verbs, into different tenses.

This is followed by different language structures which the students can use to develop their writing.

The use of this booklet is proven to improve students’ levels not only in writing and speaking, but also in listening and reading.

How to get A* in Spanish? is published as a download so that you can receive immediately a copy onto your computer which you can print out for colleagues and your students as often as you want.

There are sample pages from the book at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/authordownloadsamples/T1834samples.pdf and you can order it at  http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=814

The price is £10 plus VAT (the VAT can be reclaimed in most cases by the school).

How to get A* in Spanish? is published by First and Best in Education, part of the Hamilton House group.  If you have any enquiries you can call 01536 399 011, or email sales@firstandbest.co.uk or write to us at First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Rd, Corby, Northants NN17 4HH.

The full range of First and Best books can be seen at www.shop.firstandbest.co.uk

Are you paying too much for your Postura Plus chairs …… ?

I recently saw an “e flyer” from a large and well established company who were advertising Postura Plus chairs in a summer term promotion …. (we’ll call them company A)

I noticed that far from seeming to be “promotional prices” they were higher than the normal prices charged by another, well-established company but one which probably doesn’t have such a high profile. (we’ll call them company B)

Yes, that’s right.  Same manufacturer, same chairs, same sizes, same colours, same quantities…… but significant differences in price.

Let me give you a couple of examples……(quantity of 30 chairs in both cases)

The 430mm and 460mm seat height Postura Plus chairs were listed in the “summer term promotion” from company A at £19.99 and £21.49 respectively (ex vat).

Exactly the same chairs were available for just £16.59 and £17.41 (ex vat) from company B.

Yes ……. same manufacturer, same chairs, same sizes, same colours, same quantities but a price difference of more than £3 and £4 per chair  (ex vat).

Let’s suppose that your school or college is planning a refit or refurbishment and has decided to replace its old classroom chairs.  Even if you need only 700 new Postura Plus chairs at 430mm seat height you could be paying £2,380 (ex vat) extra for the very same chairs.

Now I appreciate that both firms probably offer quantity discounts but it seems reasonable to assume that there will still be big savings to be made by ordering from the company in the example above, which offers the same chairs but at much lower prices.

If you’d like more information about Postura Plus chairs from company B then take a look at their website:

Central Educational Supplies Ltd can be contacted on: tel: 020 7515 1797 or email: info@centraleducational.co.uk  or fax:  020 7515 4420

PS.   If you need additional information or would like to discuss a possible order please ask for Martin Evans who will be pleased to assist.

One of my best friends is a teacher………….

I’ve known Ed since about 1976. Over the years, and in several inner city locations, he’s been a head of dep’t, head of year and head of sixth form.  Vastly experienced and with a bit of a reputation as a “hard man” when it comes to classroom discipline.

Every now and then he moans about the number of students who turn up for his lessons without a pen, pencil, ruler, rubber etc. He reckons it can waste up to ten minutes of teaching time while they try to borrow what they need for the lesson.

So what can be done to reduce the  wasted time and disruption caused by pupils who turn up to lessons without the proper equipment?

One helpful product which can make life easier for students and teachers alike is the “Student Essentials set.”

Consisting of three quality black ink pens, two full length HB pencils, a metal sharpener, eraser and a 15 cm ruler, all packed in a clear plastic “exam friendly” zip-up wallet, from just 75p ex vat.  They are ideal to give or maybe sell to students at the start of a school day or at the start of lessons.

The “Student Essentials set” can be a means of ensuring that lessons will be less of a hassle and more productive in the future than they may have been in the past.

The “Student Essentials set” can be obtained from Signpost Educational Ltd., (signpost@talk21.com) PO Box 999, London, E14 6SH or visit their website (www.signposteducational.co.uk)

PS. If you’d like more information please call 020 7515 1797 and ask to speak to Martin Evans who will be pleased to help.

PPS. If you need the “Student Essentials set” in a hurry, just specify 24 or 48 hour delivery.

How can you ensure that the vocabulary of some topics isn’t forgotten as quickly as it has been learned?

There’s a general consensus that the most effective way of teaching French vocabulary is to approach it one topic at a time – so that once the vocabulary of one topic is learnt, it can be used comprehensively and to good effect.

However, there is a problem. The vocabulary of some topics can be forgotten as quickly as they have been learnt if the opportunity doesn’t arise for your pupils to cement the knowledge shortly after learning it.

With this in mind and the 2016 Olympics looming, we thought what better time to introduce your pupils to vocabulary and grammar revolving around the topic of sport. This way, many of your pupils will be able to relate their newly learnt French vocabulary to a topic of conversation which is likely to dominate most households this summer.

Which is why we have produced Olympics 2016 – French Topic Book.

Furthermore, with the excitement that always surrounds the Olympics, your pupils will be enthused and looking forward to learning more complex concepts of French with which to express their views about the Games.

Indeed, the Olympics is not only a topic that offers a wide range of vocabulary revolving around sports, but it is also likely to enhance your pupils’ knowledge of other topic areas, such as countries around the world.

Olympics 2016 – French Topic Book is a comprehensive resource which will keep your pupils occupied and eager from now (or after their assessments) until the end of term.

It contains a wealth of activities which will enhance your pupils’ French speaking, reading, writing, and listening, including: activity sheets, sentence building activities, surveys, flash cards, match the words, word search, crossword puzzles, Loto Cards, and much more.

We have also included ideas for incorporating French into PE lessons – why not have a French themed sports day this year?

To see the complete contents of Olympics 2016 – French Topic Book, click here.

All the activities are photocopiable, although if you’d prefer to print the activities out (rather than photocopy them) the resource can instead be supplied as an eBook.

Furthermore, the resource also contains answer pages so is great for teachers who have limited knowledge of French (or the Olympics).

You can order the Olympic 2016 – French Topic Book in a variety of ways, including:

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

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

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

phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 768047

What is the best way to ensure that your A level English pupils know enough basic grammar to be exam ready?

This handbook covers every aspect of grammar and its application to the analysis of text that is necessary for success in A level Language and combined Language and Literature courses, regardless of exam board.

The book assists grammatical acquisition from word class, to phrase then clause level, finally showing students how to analyse sentences in text. Sentence analysis is a stand alone requirement for students of the new linear OCR A Level Language course from 2015. Each section of this book is accompanied by clear and useful tasks which are designed to allow students to demonstrate their understanding and apply and consolidate  their knowledge.

The final section of the book is devoted to punctuation and terminology used to describe patterning in text, such as syntactical parallelism, tricolon use and antithesis, all of which are High Grade rhetorical features necessary for success at A level. Direct speech punctuation and apostrophe use are also covered in detail with useful examples of how to apply both.

This grammar handbook has often been cited by students as invaluable in assisting their learning, application and revision of grammar for A level Language and Language and Literature and is a resource created, developed and modified through many years of successful teaching.

“An A Level Language and Combined Language and Literature Grammar Booklet” is published as a photocopiable volume or on CD Rom, and individual sections can thus be readily copied and distributed to students as required. The copies can also be shared with colleagues or given to supply teachers, without any fear of the original book being misplaced.

You can see a full list of the topics and some sample pages at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1835.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1835EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 896 5


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

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1831EMN

Inclusive Access and Emergency Evacuation Made Simple

As a SENCo, ensuring your institution provides inclusive access provisions and emergency evacuation for students with special needs is a key priority. It can be daunting prospect, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. At Aspire GB, we understand that when it comes to inclusive access and evacuation it’s vital to consider safety and practicality while ensuring all students feel a sense of independence and dignity.

As experts in inclusive access and evacuation strategies, Aspire GB offers a range of innovative and flexible solutions, including stair climbers, evacuation chairs, lifts and ramps. Our devices not only make life easier for students, they also provide stress free solutions for coordinators and evacuation buddies by reducing manual handling and lifting requirements.

Aspire Success Story

In June last year, a secondary school with an electric wheelchair user joining in September got in touch. They needed help providing a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) for the student. Within a few days, we arranged an onsite meeting to assess the premises and discuss how stair travel technology could be implemented. Our experienced team recommended the MaxiMajor200 as the most suitable fit, its high loading capacity making it perfect for an electric chair user. Like all our products, the MaxiMajor200 is easy to use and allows the student to remain comfortable throughout evacuation thanks to its hydraulically tilting platform.

Full training was carried out for staff members before term began and the equipment now provides peace of mind that evacuation will be a manageable process. Most importantly, it ensures that the student feels safe, secure and as cared for as any other pupil at the school.

Need advice on inclusive access and evacuation? Give Aspire GB a call today on: 01707 44 33 00, or make an enquiry via our website. Our dedicated team will get back to you to arrange a consultation as soon as possible.

Click here to watch the MaxiMajor200 in action or click here to see product videos of all our remarkable solutions.

Aspire GB is an official sponsor of Special Needs Week.

SRE for Post 16 – we have a responsibility to get it right.

“For both men and women, school is now the most commonly reported main source of information about sexual matters” (Medical Research Council, 5.3.15)

Current research suggests that more and more the responsibility for delivering good and correct sex and relationship education is falling to schools and teachers as opposed to parents or families.

For post 16 students especially it is more important than ever for SRE to counteract the mass promotion of sexuality, love and relationships that undermines self esteem and encourages unrealistic aspirations of who we should be and what we should be doing from technology, the media and the pornography industry.

The final years at school are the last chance for young people to gain the knowledge and understanding that will help them make informed future decisions, support them on to independence and see them lead contented, healthy and safe lives.

“If you’re too ashamed to speak to young people about sex, exploitative free porn will fill the gaps” Grace Dent, The Independent, Sept 2015

According to Ofsted research, when asked what would make PSHE education lessons more useful, pupils said;

 “Rape culture. What to look for in a healthy relationship.” Female student

“The influence of the media such as porn on people’s views of sex and the human body.” Male student

It is this combination of need and lack of outside companies provision that inspired Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company to develop an SRE project aimed specifically at the 16+ age group that tackles these difficult topics in an involving, inspiring and informing way.

It is now more important than ever to create sex and relationship education that can be as compelling, as exciting and as influential as the media campaigns and products it is battling. Lisa Schulberg (Creative Director, Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company)

Having worked directly with over 100,000 young people on SRE topics Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company strongly believe, from their experience of covering sensitive and hard hitting issues, that sex and relationship education must include a much broader look at our world – the internet, technology, the whole sex industry, and attitudes to risk – you cannot separate topics into small boxes or educate on these complex subjects in a 20 minute PowerPoint presentation.  

From March 2016 Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company will be touring the following project for years 12 & 13:

“SEXPOSED” – A 40 minute live performance followed by a range of interactive workshop options.

The project takes a mature approach to the many attitudes, ideas and pressures experienced by all ages in regards to sex and relationships in Britain today.

The story unfolds as part of a police investigation and the play follows a year in the life of three 18 year olds to uncover the truth behind an incident that connects them all.  Everyone has a different perspective, they all have a motive, and none of them can be objective when it comes to their relationships. The storyline includes scenes around control, sexual pressure, consent, abuse, sexting, pornography, communicating feelings, self-esteem, respect, and sexuality.

Using the performance as a springboard the follow on workshops allow students to examine their own attitudes, ideas and behaviours in relation to the difficult, contentious and sensitive topics.  The aims are for students to learn something new about themselves that will make a positive difference to the rest of their lives.

There are different delivery formats available from assemblies to full day projects.

Prices start at £575 + travel + vat

For further information and an exact quote please contact Hazel:

Email: admin@tipoftheiceberg.biz

Tel: 07519593711

Not every chair reduces neck pain, won’t tip over, is built of the strongest materials, and looks good.

But there is one.

The way children and students sit in the classroom has long been one of debate, not least because studies reported in 2013 showed that the vast majority of school children suffer from back and/or neck pain as a result of sitting in school chairs.

There is clearly a need for chairs that enhance wellbeing, comfort, and concentration. They also have to be durable and able to withstand even the toughest of environments.

One point often overlooked, particularly within the SEN sector, is the need to design furniture that inspires a positive environment. What is needed is not a chair which looks like a relic from a 1960s asylum but a chair fit for the most contemporary of environments such as a high-end design office. This fresh approach to learning spaces has an immediate impact on the expectations of all stakeholders within a school.

This is why we have worked so incredibly hard to create the Max 2 chair. It reduces the incidence of back and neck pain, it will not rock back, and is built of the sort of materials that will ensure a long life (they come with a ten year guarantee).

Plus, the pupils and students love the look and style.

Of course, there are other positives as well, such as the zero environmental impact of the chairs (they are 100% recyclable) and delivery in just 7-10 days from order.  You can see the chairs (and all the colour options) and find out more here along with details on how to buy.

If you want any further information or if I can help in any way, please do call us on 0345 257 8850 or email info@dlb.co.uk

Tom Wates

Are you gaining maximum value from your Teaching Assistants?

Since 2003, teaching assistants have developed to become key professionals within the education workforce. Their flexibility and ability to take on a variety of roles and responsibilities enable you, as a headteacher, to provide targeted support to learners.

As time has passed the role has developed, and support staff are increasingly involved in direct support of the teacher, assisting the learning of individuals and groups as well as being responsible for a range of specific, targeted interventions, including supporting children with special educational needs.

The role of the TA is therefore vital to your school’s provision and success.

In order to succeed, it is imperative that TAs know what is expected of them, that they are trained in the relevant interventions, and are prepared to self-study regarding such things as school practice, behaviour management, the curriculum, and SEN. Ofsted are increasingly interested in the deployment of TAs, so it is vital they feel confident and clear about what they do.

So how to achieve this within a limited budget? This is where our title Supporting Primary Teaching and Learning by Fiona Hall et al can really help.

Written in an accessible style with a focus on work-based professional development, it encourages critical reflection throughout. Each chapter focuses on a key topic in education, learning, and development, considers any relevant policies and legislation, examines educational theories in relation to professional practice, and provides concise case studies to contextualise the learning. It provides up-to-date and relevant material on supporting the new national curriculum, safeguarding, SEN and inclusion issues, and schools as organisations.

You can learn more about this book on our website – just click here http://criticalpublishing.com/titles/teacher-training/supporting-primary-teaching-and-learning.html

And if you have any questions or queries about Supporting Primary Teaching and Learning by Fiona Hall et al, or would like details of special bulk prices for orders of more than 5 copies, please do call 01727 851 462 or email di@criticalpublishing.com

Di Page
Critical Publishing

Exceptional History Teaching Resources

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The Historical Association

Join us at the Historical Association Annual Conference in Harrogate on Friday 20 to 21 May 2016.  With over 50 educational workshops as well as lectures and local visits, the HA conference deals with a host of current education issues. There’s something of value for everyone, whether you are a secondary history teacher or a primary practitioner.  Harness tools to innovate in the classroom and support your whole department with subject knowledge updates. The conference is a great place to learn new approaches and enables you to return to school with useful tools and ideas to share with your colleagues.  View the full programme at www.haconference.com

Email: info@history.org.uk
0207 735 3901
Postal address:
The Historical Association, 59a Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4JH



Medieval Realms – this resource is for students with significant special educational needs and who are required to access Key Stage 3 History curriculum, within the mainstream setting.

Email: msl@schools.co.uk
Telephone: 01536 399017
Postal address: Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH.



Interactive History Software – 2 titles packed with stunning curriculum 3D animations describing difficult to understand concepts for History. There are texts, voice-overs, quiz zones, drag and drops, multiple choice quizzes and more. Request your 14-day free trial of History Educational Software Solution.


First and Best in Education

Cleopatra Textbook – for GCSE students studying Cleopatra as part of OCR Ancient History.

Primary Sources in Russian History – provides a sufficient range of sources to allow students to consider in some depth the key events and themes in the reigns of the last 5 Russian tsars without feeling totally swamped by a too large choice of sources.

The Reign of Henry VII 1485 – 1509 – enables students to analyse, explain and make judgements about events, developments and interpretations relating to Henry VII’s reign.

Thomas Wolsey – The King’s Cardinal – this guide provides a synthesis of the historical writing on Wolsey and his ministry, along with guidance on how to approach key questions.

Email: sales@firstandbest.co.uk
Telephone: 01536 399007
Postal address: Hamilton House Mailings Ltd, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Rd, Corby, Northants, NN17 4HH


You can find more Exceptional Teaching resources at exceptionalteaching.org.uk.

A GCSE Drama Course Book

This second edition of this core text covers the practical options common to all the current examination boards at GCSE level. Guided by the teacher, pupils can work their way through improvised and scripted work that will allow clear opportunities for assessment and monitoring progress throughout the course. Activities are all clearly described and are supported by guidelines for successful performance.

There is a section which helps students find the right approach to the different written elements included in the current GCSE courses. The book provides guidance on the use of terminology in written work and a glossary of theatrical words and phrases. There are extracts from scripts with comments on language, character and technical considerations. Each section is self-contained and students are given guidance on how to achieve their true potential.

Cat No: 978 1 86083 835 4  Order code: T1785emn – please quote with order.

Sample pages can be viewed at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/drama/T1785.pdf

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

You can purchase the report…

The simple solution to ensuring a hassle free start to lessons and exams……..

Every now and again I get to chat with current or former teachers and one of the topics that often crops up is why many students don’t seem to be able (or willing) to bring a pen, pencil, ruler etc to their lessons.

Apparently this causes a fair bit of disruption while some students try to beg, steal or borrow the basic kit they need to benefit from their lesson.

In an attempt to solve this problem there’s a product called the Student Essentials set,” which, as the name suggests, contains all the basics that students need for most  lessons.

Consisting of  three quality black ink ballpens, two full length HB pencils, eraser, 15 cm ruler and a metal sharpener, all packed in a A5 size, clear PVC “exam friendly” wallet with a zip slider.

From just 75p each (ex vat) the “Student Essentials set”  is a convenient and cost effective solution to the problem of students who don’t have the correct kit for lessons. It’s particularly useful at exam time……

Full details at: www.signposteducational.co.uk

You can order by email: signpost@talk21.com, phone, fax or post
Tel: 020 7515 1797 or fax: 020 7515 4420

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

Do you sometimes wish you had that little bit extra towards that all important project?

ABC Fundraising is a charitable fundraising company specialising in helping charities and schools secure grants towards their work.

Over the past few years we have helped dozens of schools and educational charities raise well over £500,000 towards their projects, via successful grant applications to various local authorities, lotteries, trusts and foundations.

We are currently offering our assistance to schools around the country – projects we can help you achieve funding towards include:

– School playground development, or new play equipment
– New surfacing or playground markings
– Outdoor classrooms, shelters, or furniture
– Gardens, planting, or forest areas
– Before or after school clubs
– Holiday clubs, extra-curricular, and community activities
– Any other projects potentially beneficial to the development of your pupils or community

Working with us will cost the school no money up front – we will only charge a fee if your bid is successful, and you receive a grant towards the project. Everything we do is completely transparent, and you have complete control over your project direction and content of applications. However, we can of course provide experienced advice upon how to give your grant application the best chance of success.

Please get in touch if you are interested in our services – we will be happy to discuss your project and how we can help.

Contact details

Call Andy Bond at ABC Fundraising on 07598722722 or 0131 308 0687

Or email us at: andy@abcfundraising.co.uk

Want more information? Visit our website at www.abcfundraising.co.uk

It doesn’t matter where you are based. Although ABC Fundraising is based in Edinburgh, we are experienced at working with schools and charities around the UK.

How can the hall in which students take examinations affect the results they achieve?

Almost every institution that runs examinations acknowledges that some students can underachieve because of a feeling of nerves as they enter and sit down in the exam room.

However, it is only recently that schools and universities have started to consider the impact on students that the room in which the examinations take place can have.

But when it comes down to it, the room certainly can have an impact. For example, if you are using a room that has no sound-absorbing material, then every chair movement, every pen drop, is going to be heard by many of the students.

For those students who are readily able to focus on their exam this will hardly matter, but for those who are suffering from exam nerves, such extraneous sounds can totally disrupt their already shaky thought patterns.

Which is why schools are now investigating the Smartsquare carpet system. It is made up of 2m x 1m tiles designed temporarily to transform a large hall into a carpeted venue so it can be used for examinations and indeed other events.

Smartsquare carpet systems come with a purpose-built Smartcart trolley designed to hold approximately 200m² flooring. The trolley is built with non-marking wheels, and the average school hall will only require between 4m² and 7m² of floor space for storage.

It is these trolleys that are the key to the efficiency of the system as they can be moved around as the tiles are being laid, enabling quick and efficient installation.

When not in use Smartsquare carpets pack neatly away into the Smartcart.

And best of all, the carpet tiles are very easy to maintain. To clean a badly soiled tile you simply take it outside, hose it down, and leave to dry.

Smartsquare can be purchased outright or bought on a lease over a period of time.  It is also available on a two-week free trial – along with a Smartcart – so you can see for yourself.

Furthermore it is not only possible to transform a sports hall or other large area into an exam hall, but such rooms can also be transformed into areas suitable for end of year awards ceremonies, conferences, etc.

You can read more about Smartsquare on our website.    Or if you would like to talk about these possibilities please do call us on 01302 836 777 or email jon@smart-square.co.uk.

Jonathan Layton

Challenge Supply Co .
Unity House, 14 Durham Lane, Armthorpe, Doncaster, DN3 3FE

Education news and product reviews for teachers