What is the best way of reducing foot flow to the school office?

It is an interesting fact of life that some schools do virtually no advertising while others spend considerable sums – and yet both get the same level of applicants.

It is also interesting that in some schools the school office is terribly overloaded with phone calls and email enquiries from parents and prospective parents while in others it is not.

And what is most interesting is that these two findings are not related to a school’s size, Ofsted report, or level of exam results. It is down to something quite different.

That something is, rather curiously, the state of the school’s website.

Three years on from the School Information Regulations it seems that around 40% of school websites don’t contain all the information they should. Which not only means that the school is in breach of the regulations (obviously) but also that parents are calling the school or waiting to speak to someone in the office in search of information which could easily be displayed on the school’s website. For example, how many of your parents say ‘my child has lost their permission slip?’ Placing a generic form on the school’s website for them to complete and return would help.

Nearly 90% of the school websites reviewed by Raise Education do not provide information which is commonly sought by parents, while 98% of them rather embarrassingly contain spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors – not really the best advertisement for the school.

Even more frustrating, 76% of school websites contain at least one link that does not work, while 73% contain information that is seriously out-of-date (such as a staff contact list for a previous year).

But what is perhaps most interesting is the fact that in 95% of cases where schools have a serious error on their website, the person who is in charge of the website asserted that everything was ok.

Which, by and large, is why Raise Education developed the Web Review Challenge. For we realised that where the person who updates the website is also the person who checks the website, then problems are likely to continue. As publishers of books and digital media will always say, “You can’t proofread your own work”.

So we’ve now created a service that checks every aspect of a school website, checking on statutory content, good practice, spelling, grammar, links, and the currency of the data. We then produce a detailed written report, not only specifying any errors or incompleteness we find, but also exactly noting exactly where they are and what the problem is.

Over 1000 schools have now used this service, and it has fast and firmly become embedded as the one review of the school website which means you can rest assured that your school website is fair on you. You can see what some have said about us by clicking on testimonials.’

Click on example report to give you an idea of what the report will look like.

Click on web report to find out further information for governors’ duties on ensuring key content is published.

If you’d like to have your website reviewed then reply with the words ‘Web Rev HH’ in the subject box and confirm your school’s website address. The fee is £235 for primary schools and £265 for secondary schools and colleges. However if all the statutory content is in place the cost is £117.50 for infant, junior and primary schools and £132.50 for secondary.

Our best wishes
Jazz from the Raise Education team

Contact details
Email: jazz@raiseeducation.co.uk
Website: www.raiseeducation.co.uk
Tel: 0843 362 4834

Calling all primary history teachers and subject co-ordinators! HA Primary Survey 2015:

Historical Association

Make your voice heard. Take part here and have your say.

A message from Jerome Freeman, Chair of the HA primary committee…

The HA is committed to representing teachers’ views – making your needs and concerns known to policy-makers, and demonstrating the impact of their decisions on you and your pupils. That’s why we need your help!

The HA primary history survey 2015 is now live and we are asking you to please spare a few minutes to fill in the survey.

Tell us how you are finding the new primary history curriculum. Are you happy with the new programmes of study and enjoying teaching some of the new history content contained within them? Or are you finding parts difficult to resource?

How are you assessing your children’s progress now that the level descriptions have disappeared?

Whatever you think we would really like to hear from you. Your views are vital in helping us provide effective support for primary schools from the content of our journal, Primary History, through to our CPD events and the HA website.

This is your chance to tell us what matters most – so that the HA can use its voice to support you.

Please take just a few minutes to fill it in to make sure our knowledge of history in primary schools is bang up to date and you can be entered for a prize draw to win £100 of M&S vouchers.

To participate in the survey, click here

Thank you.

FAO the Chair of Governors

What is the single most effective way of hugely reducing your school’s electricity bills this year, next year and every year?

There are of course several ways of cutting electricity bills, from the obvious turning off of lights that are not required, to switching from one supplier to another.

Both of these ideas are worthwhile, of course, but there is another approach which a growing number of schools are now using, and which can make a much, much bigger dent in your annual electricity bill.

Better still there are no set up costs, no special fees, nothing at all.

And even better, the resultant approach is one that will be utterly fascinating for everyone in the school and will be an excellent advertisement for the school for years to come. Indeed it is not unknown for parents to be very clearly influenced in sending their children to a school that uses this type of energy.

As you may have gathered from that last paragraph I am talking about solar energy. But before you move away because of traditional issues about installation costs etc, let me reassure you, there are no set up costs.

Absolutely none.

The solar panels are free, the maintenance is free, the savings directly reduce your mains electricity costs and you get low cost renewable energy, thus putting into practice the message of the need for renewable energy.

This approach to school energy uses government funding to incentivise the uptake of rooftop solar panels, and obviously is dependent on government policy. Project are currently viable with schools seeing great savings. But we can’t say how long the government will back new projects, especially after the General Election.

So we do suggest you take a look at this now, rather than at some time in the future, when the government funding of the scheme may have come to an end.

To find out more please call Ann on 07946 245 556 or email a.flaherty@engynious.com or better still visit our website and register to find out more at https://www.engynious.com/en/ukschools/schoolssolarprogramme/howtojoin/

There is no commitment to registering and you may find a great project for your school.

Adding to the school’s profile

Enhancing pupil and parent enthusiasm for, and appreciation of, the work of your school

Of course, the prime concern of the school is the education of the children. But when this can happen alongside an activity which will gain a significant amount of positive local publicity, and enthral the parents at the same time, this is never a bad thing.

For the past five years growing numbers of schools have found that they can enhance the status of their school locally while offering their pupils engagement in an exciting and stimulating event: Voice in a Million.

What these schools have done is take pupils to join a choir of thousands, supporting some of the UK’s most talented young singers in a show at Wembley.

These children rehearse and take part in an awe-inspiring musical event which not only can be a life-changing experience for the children, but also have a major impact on their parents – and gain significant publicity locally.

Better still, entry to the event is free – the only cost is for the rehearsal materials and the t-shirts that all participants in the event wear.

There are no auditions and no requirement of particular singing talent or level of ability. Voice in a Million provides everything needed for the rehearsal, including backing tracks, lyrics, etc.

What’s more, if you and your colleagues wish, talented children from your school can attend auditions for the opportunity to perform as a soloist. Additionally a workshop can be held in your school during which the repertoire is run through with your choir and potential soloists can be auditioned.

Also I must add that Voice in a Million is dedicated to raising awareness for adoption and fostering throughout the world. So in taking part everyone will be involved in supporting a stupendously important cause.

There is more on Voice in a Million (including clips from previous shows and events) on www.voiceinamillion.com. You can also register on the site by clicking on “Taking Part” and read comments from those who took part this year.

For the first time, Voice in a Million will be taking place on two dates, 2 and 3 March 2016. If you would like to discuss your school’s possible involvement in the next Voice in a Million on either date, please do call us on 07872 591409, or 01932 859667, or email me on jo.garofalo@voiceinamillion.com.

I’ll be very pleased to hear from you.

Jo Garofalo

What’s the simple, effective and low cost solution to the problems of students turning up for lessons and exams without pens, pencils, rulers, etc………..?

It’s bad enough in lessons when there’ll be wasted time, disruption and reduced productivity, but if this sort of thing happens just before exams then DISASTER could be staring some pupils in the face!

NOW THERE IS A SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE SOLUTION………..

It’s the “STUDENT ESSENTIALS SET”

Consisting of three quality black ink pens, two full length HB pencils, a 15 cm ruler, metal sharpener, eraser, all contained in a clear “exam friendly” wallet with a zip slider.

From just 75p each ex vat, it’s a simple and effective way of improving productivity in lessons and exams.

Student Essentials Sets” are particularly useful at exam times when they can be handed out to ensure that your students have all they need to sit their exams. They’re also handy to give or sell to students at other times to avoid the problems mentioned above.

Full details can be found at: http://signposteducational.co.uk/student-packs/ or you can contact them on:

Tel: 020 7515 1797 Fax: 020 7515 4420 or email: signpost@talk21.com

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

PS. You can order by phone, email, fax or post. Next working day delivery is often possible, depending on what time they receive your order.

Please contact Signpost Educational Ltd, for more details.

Here today, with you tomorrow

There is only one thing that you need in order to buy toner at the lowest price

And that one thing that you need is…

A phone.

Just call JEM Sales on 01785 606 034 at any time and we’ll give you an immediate price.

Alternatively if you prefer you can email us on enquiries@jemdirect.co.uk

There’s even a fax if that is your cup of tea: 01785 814 036

Whatever toner you want, in whatever quantities, we can guarantee to give you the best price.

That phone number again: 01785 606 034

And here’s where we are: JEMDIRECT, PO BOX 2339, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8ZD

The medical student in summer

What is the most productive thing that a student who wants to be a medic can do this summer?

Going into medicine for a career is different from choosing any other career. Especially in the summer holidays.

Because increasingly universities that offer medical courses are looking for students who have had work experience in the field of medicine.

Of course, such summer work is not a pre-requisite for entry to university, but it certainly can help both in terms of impressing admission tutors and in terms of helping students decide if this really is what they want to do.

Which is one reason why Gap Medics exists.

For Gap Medics offers students the opportunity to shadow real life dentists, midwives, nurses or doctors in one of four locations: Thailand, Croatia, Poland and Tanzania.

The 2015 summer placements, which students can start on any Sunday of their school holidays, provide students over the age of 16 with 23+ hours per week of invaluable hospital work experience.

Gap Medics ensures that the students’ experience is tailored to their desired medical profession. They will be assigned to relevant departments, depending on their interests, and will be matched with a mentor who will guide them through their time in the hospital, explaining each case in detail.

Popular departments include paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, surgery and internal medicine; however we also offer opportunities in smaller, more specialist departments.

So far over 1,000 students have signed up for a Gap Medics programme this summer, representing over 700 UK schools, colleges and universities.

It’s not too late for your students to sign up and gain some unforgettable hospital work experience this summer which will set them apart from the rest.

If you have any students who are interested in a career in medicine, please either forward this email on to them or ask them to take a look at www.gapmedics.co.uk/summer-2015-hospital-work-experience

Alternatively they can call us on 0191 603 1111 or email us at info@gapmedics.com and we’ll send them a brochure in the post.

Regards

Mark Hinksman
Programme Director

Design your own classroom

Design a classroom that will meet the school’s practical and student’s learning needs.

There are of course many different ways of setting up a classroom, from the traditional ranks of desks through to informal groupings of seats and tables.

Different arrangements imply different room layouts and indeed different shapes, and this is why The Learning Escape exists – to design and build bespoke classrooms tailored to your school’s practical, and students’ learning, needs.

However you want the room to look inside, we can arrange the physical structure to make that arrangement possible.

After all, it is you and your colleagues who know what classroom set up is most effective in terms of teaching specific subjects and specific groups of students.

By way of example, here is just one of the many classrooms that has been designed recently by a school and constructed by The Learning Escape.

 

In short, you and your colleagues can take control of how you want the classroom to appear while we take on the building to meet your requirement, ensuring the classroom’s acoustics are just right, the natural lighting is perfect for your needs, the temperature is maintained at the right level throughout the year, and so on.

Thus The Learning Escape look after the build, all the way from planning permission to the final handover. And because of the way we work, the classrooms we have worked on previously have invariably been built for much less than a traditional building would cost.

What’s more, our lease financing options on a permanent, architect-designed Learning Escape can actually cost less per month than hiring a temporary solution!

To see more of what schools have designed, and what we have built recently, just click here.

To discuss any aspect of your project or to book a free survey, just call us on 0800 917 7726.

You can find more information on our website.

What is the best way to teach rhythm, melody and harmony at key stage 3?

This 130 page volume presents rhythm, harmony and melody as separate sets of activities which can be incorporated into lessons of any length. Each lesson plan sets out the purpose of that lesson, the materials needed, the method employed and the tasks to be done.

Activities are supported by specially composed short practice segments covering a range of styles, for example rock, reggae, jazz and funk.

Each activity and its accompanying music includes easier and more advanced elements for classes with a range of abilities.

The CD illustrates the text and provides accompanying music for student tasks with at least one CD track for each lesson. Students are guided through scores and lines of music, encouraged to get a feel for the flow of the piece and to sing or play at every opportunity.

An early example from the volume contains explanations and musical examples to show how the 8th note of a major scale becomes the first note of the next octave. Examples are generated and then joined together as a song.

By the middle of the volume, in Lesson 27, students progress from block harmonies into the harmonies that can occur in a free flowing song – in this case a round. The CD contains a recording of the round, which consists of eight two bar segments, each of which can be introduced at two bar intervals.

You can see the presentation of this lesson by clicking here.

Towards the end students combine everything learned about rhythm, harmony and melody into a series of pieces for which the music is provided.

Details of how to order are given below. The format of the book is a Ringbinder plus CD. The price is £34.95 plus £3.95 delivery.

  • Publisher’s catalogue number T1614emn
  • ISBN: 978 1 86083 603 9

Methods of ordering – please quote catalogue number T1614emn

A perfect reminder of a special day

With summer fast approaching, now is perhaps the best time to start planning school sports events, including Sports Day!

Sports, games and physical activities in general play an essential part of a child’s development. Sports Day is a fun way for a child to compete against their peers and can boost self-esteem, which in turn can vastly improve a child’s confidence and school performance.

Of course, there is a certain element of competition on Sports Day and it is always a lovely idea to encourage the students to perform well by rewarding them with a prize at the end of the day.

Capital Badges specialise in the design and manufacture of die struck medals, of the highest quality. The medals are struck in copper and can either be embossed (3D) or single level (2D). The plate is then added in gold, silver or bronze, depending on your requirements.

Double sided medals are a great way of keeping the medals simple, but if you wanted some text, or a picture or logo on the back, we can of course do this at no extra charge. We can also supply you with ribbons!

The great news is that we are now able to offer FREE POSTAGE AND PACKING with orders over £50 (UK only) AND a 5% discount on orders placed with us before the end of May! (UK only).

For more details, prices and pictures….

http://www.capitalbadges.co.uk/collections/custom-products/products/medals

** Please do quote HH1 when contacting us **

or you can…

  • Email us on: info@CapitalBadges.co.uk
  • Phone us on: 01462 678314
  • Place an order by fax to: 01462 678315
  • Or write to us at:
    Capital Badges
    Business Centre West
    Avenue One
    Letchworth Garden City
    Hertfordshire
    SG6 2HB

#GE2015: All the information your A Level students need on the UK General Election 2015

From the moment the exit polls were revealed, thie election turned out to be political dynamite. We have certainly seen many events that will rewrite the textbooks and affect how your students may answer in their exams:

  • The SNP landslide in Scotland (as well as the failure of Labour)
  • The collapse of Liberal Democrat support
  • UKIP becoming the new 3rd party in terms of vote share (but not seats)
  • The near-simultaneous resignation of 3 party leaders in less than an hour!

However, you don’t have to rewrite those textbooks, because we’ve done it for you with the…

AS Politics: The UK General Election Update 2015

To make sure students are in tune and up to date, we’re providing full analysis of all aspects of the 2015 General Election, from the background issues and build-up, the campaigns and the election itself, right up to analysis of the final result. Written by best selling Government & Politics author René Cochlin.

This pack is not just an update, it also relates all the events to essential AS exam topics: improve your students’ exam knowledge and technique, with exam-style questions and exam tips throughout.

Cross-referenced to every main exam-board specification, and supported by learning grids and worksheets to help engage your students, this is essential reading for AS Government & Politics students of all exam boards.

Praise for our 2010 Election Update
‘It is detailed, well set out and easy to follow. It is also incredibly thorough and leaves no stone unturned… It is so up to date… there is nothing else like it on the market!’
R Baker, Head of Politics and Independent Reviewer

View full inspection copies and prices right now at zzed.uk/UK-Election-2015

The AS Politics: The UK General Election Update 2015 is available as a photocopy master with site licence (£39). Also available in:

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

Preview and order now at zzed.uk/WP72


ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY
T: 0117 950 3199 | f: 0117 959 1695 | Politics-WP72@zigzageducation.co.uk

Give your promotional code WP72 to get free postage!

Not enough space. Not enough funds.

What is the most cost-effective way of offering pupils the opportunity to play a multiplicity of sports?

There are typically two things that determine the number and type of sports that a school can offer to their pupils: space and funds – and there cannot be one without the other.

Yet space and funds are both things that the average primary school has a tendency to be short of, and thus the number and diversity of sports on offer to pupils is not as great as one might perhaps wish for.

Which is why a number of schools are turning to Notts Sport to design and install a bespoke Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA). It is a space-efficient and cost-effective solution to offering pupils the opportunity to try to play a multiplicity of sports.

Notts Sport’s synthetic surfacing systems are suitable for all types of sports including football, tennis, hockey, basketball and netball, to name just a few.

The self-contained Multi-Use Games Area requires minimal maintenance and can be used all-year round, whatever the weather, during lessons, playtimes and outside of school hours.

Which brings the added benefit of being able to generate some additional income by hiring out the facility in the evenings and at the weekends to local sports enthusiasts looking for a pitch or court to practise on.

What’s more, Notts Sport can fund your entire facility via Fast Track Funding which is a proven mechanism for schools, local authoritys and academys.

Our service is tailored to meet your school’s budget by creating a funding arrangement (funding periods and payment schedules) to fit in with your school budget.

Additionally, the Design & Advisory Service will ensure products are always installed to the highest standards and that every project is a success.

For more information about Notts Sport’s Multi-Use Games Areas, please visit our website. Or indeed, if you have plans for the improvement of your outdoor playgrounds/sports areas and would like our professional advice free of charge please contact Notts Sport by emailing us at info@nottssport.com or by calling us on 01455 883 730.

Online Maths Diagnostics and Support

What is the most cost effective way of finding a students’ area of difficulty in Maths and resolving it?

In a recent survey it was found that one particular approach to maths gave children a 54% increased improvement over expected results. A quite remarkable achievement.

Now of course when anyone makes such a claim the question is always, “how was it done?”

The answer in this case is through a straightforward on-line diagnostic approach followed by the use of online material geared around those test results.

The students each undertook a short diagnostic test and from that point on the on-line program took each student to their primary area of weakness, and started to work with the student to resolve it.

Naturally, such an approach can be undertaken manually, without any IT support, but allowing students to use the online approach does mean that, within minutes, any lack of understanding by any student in the class, on any point can be identified and remedial work undertaken.

The approach in question is Conquer Maths, and the best way to understand how it can work for your students is to try it for free. It will only take a few minutes for you to see exactly how the approach works.

To see a very quick demo of a diagnostic analysis, and then go into the whole system and experience the teaching and learning program for yourself go to http://conquermaths.com/try/

Alternatively if you would like to see a full demonstration then please go to http://conquermaths.com/school/
To see the whole range of maths topics covered by ConquerMaths please take a look at http://conquermaths.com/contents/

Finally, there is the issue of the cost. This is based on the number of students you are enrolling .We normally look for a minimum of 30 students for Primary Schools and 60 students for Secondary Schools and the price is £5 per student for a full years’ subscription.

For more information please call 0191 228 6027 or email info@conquermaths.com

FAO the Numeracy Coordinator

Why is it that children struggle with their times tables when the concept is one of simplicity?

Many children find learning their times tables to be somewhat problematic, yet the concept of times tables is one of simplicity. And it isn’t the concept that children can’t grasp, but rather the task of committing multiples to memory.

It is therefore important that a learning approach is used whereby, through problem-solving, they can relate the times tables to their everyday routines and environment. Using this approach enables children to more efficiently learn and retain the multiples of each number.

The Mighty Multiples Times Table Challenge resource has been designed to do just this, with pupils required to apply their times tables knowledge to better understand and manipulate real life situations.

The resource is suitable for all abilities, and includes and challenges each individual.

Furthermore the activities within the resource are responsive to the demands of the three key learning styles; kinaesthetic, visual and auditory.

Activities for kinaesthetic learners include finding the 3x table pathway across the playground and a long jump multiplication challenge. Activities for visual learners include pictorial worksheets, number fans and bingo. And activities for auditory learners include listening (and singing along) to the songs and poems on the CD.

What’s more, The Mighty Multiples Times Table Challenge motivational reward system can be built in to whole school assemblies by presenting pupils with Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Awards as they progress through the levels.

To further help with progress there are helpful tips to get parents involved with practising times tables at the park or in the car, making learning maths fun for the whole family.

You can order the Mighty Multiples Times Table Challenge resource in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 01449 766629
  • By fax on 01449 767122
  • By email to orders@tradecounter.co.uk
  • By post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
Mendlesham,
Suffolk,
IP14 5ND.website: www.brilliantpublications.co.uk
email: orders@tradecounter.co.uk

phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 767122

FAO the Head of Politics/Government Studies

#GE2015: All the information your A Level students need on the UK General Election 2015

From the moment the exit polls were revealed, thie election turned out to be political dynamite. We have certainly seen many events that will rewrite the textbooks and affect how your students may answer in their exams:

  • The SNP landslide in Scotland (as well as the failure of Labour)
  • The collapse of Liberal Democrat support
  • UKIP becoming the new 3rd party in terms of vote share (but not seats)
  • The near-simultaneous resignation of 3 party leaders in less than an hour!

However, you don’t have to rewrite those textbooks, because we’ve done it for you with the…

AS Politics: The UK General Election Update 2015

To make sure students are in tune and up to date, we’re providing full analysis of all aspects of the 2015 General Election, from the background issues and build-up, the campaigns and the election itself, right up to analysis of the final result. Written by best selling Government & Politics author René Cochlin.

This pack is not just an update, it also relates all the events to essential AS exam topics: improve your students’ exam knowledge and technique, with exam-style questions and exam tips throughout.

Cross-referenced to every main exam-board specification, and supported by learning grids and worksheets to help engage your students, this is essential reading for AS Government & Politics students of all exam boards.

Praise for our 2010 Election Update
‘It is detailed, well set out and easy to follow. It is also incredibly thorough and leaves no stone unturned… It is so up to date… there is nothing else like it on the market!’
R Baker, Head of Politics and Independent Reviewer

View full inspection copies and prices right now at zzed.uk/UK-Election-2015

The AS Politics: The UK General Election Update 2015 is available as a photocopy master with site licence (£39). Also available in:

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

Preview and order now at zzed.uk/WP72


ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY
T: 0117 950 3199 | f: 0117 959 1695 | Politics-WP72@zigzageducation.co.uk

Give your promotional code WP72 to get free postage!

We are all products of our environment

Why is giving young children meaningful outdoor play experiences so important?

The interests that children acquire come, of course, partly from their parents’ input and activity and partly from their environment.

We’ve always known this, but what has made it an issue of concern of late is the increase in the number of children who spend much of their non-school time in the house, and often quite inactive.

Which is what makes it so important that we offer children meaningful outdoor play experiences – to give the child from a young age a more balanced experience of life and the possibilities that the world offers.

Edventure provides nurseries with an extensive range of outdoor games and activities that contribute to the development of all-important transferable skills, such as motor skills, dexterity, teamwork, hand-eye co-ordination, attention span…

Among these are Soft Bowling, Mini Football and 2 Dimensional Boules, to name just a few. To see our full range of games and activities, please visit www.edventure.co.uk.

You can place an order in a variety of ways, including:

  • on our website at www.edventure.co.uk
  • by fax on 01323 50 10 41
  • by phone on 01323 50 10 40
  • by email at sales@edventure.co.uk
  • or by post to Edventure Ltd, Hargreaves Business Park, Hargreaves Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 6QW.

What’s more, if you quote HH0515 on your order delivery will be free.

Without quoting the code the charge is £3.95 if ordered online or £6.95 if ordered by fax, phone or post.

Supporting your newcomers

What is the most effective way to support your upcoming year 7 pupils with the transition from primary school?

DfE research suggests that some transitioning Year 7 students struggle to achieve their academic potential – particularly those on free school meals.

When school starts they will inevitably be preoccupied with getting to grips with the new routines, the school site layout, lesson structures, teacher and peer names, and rules and responsibilities.

However, by inviting your upcoming Ever6 FSM year 7 pupils to attend a summer school at your school it is possible for these more vulnerable newcomers to settle in before the term has even started (thus allowing them to devote more attention to their school work and fulfil their academic potential).

These summer schools are fully funded by the DfE as an additional pupil premium grant.

And as staff are not always available to work in the summer holidays one option involves inviting highly trained West End actors to host your summer school for either one or two weeks.

Pupils who attend the summer school are also given the chance to increase in confidence, make friends and improve their communication skills so that they arrive in Year 7 keen and ready to learn.

The summer school typically ends with a performance to families which is a great opportunity to welcome a new group of parents and carers into the school community.

The West End in Schools team are qualified dancers, choreographers and directors with a range of skills and strong teaching experience.

Once a booking is made we work closely with you to finalise the attendance numbers and staff requirement to ensure that the DfE’s budget allowance covers all the costs of the summer school and that there is no cost to the school itself.

Our summer schools webpage includes a one minute video which will give you more information and contains feedback from the workshop coordinator at an Academy we worked at last summer. You can see this at www.WestEndinSchools.org.uk/summer-schools

To find out more please do give me a call on 020 7395 7520, or reply to this email.

Nigel Godfrey
Director

Impressing prospective parents

What is the best way to impress prospective
parents from the off?

The process of making a decision between A and B usually starts with a Google search. And the decision over which secondary school into which a parent should enrol their child is no exception to this.

It is therefore essential that a school’s website is responsive to the demands of all its visitors in order to make a good impression, not only with prospective parents, but also with existing parents, students and stakeholders.

And although many schools do indeed have a website that is rich in content, it is not always as accessible to those viewing the site on a smartphone or tablet device.

INCO Education has worked with a number of schools on responsive web design to ensure that their school website is compatible with all the various mobile devices and offers all visitors an optimal viewing experience.

This is achieved by making the website appearance and content unique to each device in a number of different ways, such as changing the layout based on the size of the display screen, configuring buttons to make them easier to press, and hiding parts of the design so information can be presented differently.

This will improve the users’ experience, retain website traffic, increase credibility, make navigation easier, improve Search Engine Optimisation, and give your school a competitive edge over those that may not have a responsive website.

If you would like to get an expert’s view on how well your school’s website is communicating information to parents, or indeed how the process of updating the website can be made more efficient, please do visit our website: www.inco-education.co.uk

Alternatively please call us on 01902 784 800 or email info@inco-education.co.uk

You can read more about responsive web design on our blog.

Online Maths Diagnostics and Support

What is the most cost effective way of finding a students’ area of difficulty in Maths and resolving it?

In a recent survey it was found that one particular approach to maths gave children a 54% increased improvement over expected results. A quite remarkable achievement.

Now of course when anyone makes such a claim the question is always, “how was it done?”

The answer in this case is through a straightforward on-line diagnostic approach followed by the use of online material geared around those test results.

The students each undertook a short diagnostic test and from that point on the on-line program took each student to their primary area of weakness, and started to work with the student to resolve it.

Naturally, such an approach can be undertaken manually, without any IT support, but allowing students to use the online approach does mean that, within minutes, any lack of understanding by any student in the class, on any point can be identified and remedial work undertaken.

The approach in question is Conquer Maths, and the best way to understand how it can work for your students is to try it for free. It will only take a few minutes for you to see exactly how the approach works.

To see a very quick demo of a diagnostic analysis, and then go into the whole system and experience the teaching and learning program for yourself go to http://conquermaths.com/try/

Alternatively if you would like to see a full demonstration then please go to http://conquermaths.com/school/
To see the whole range of maths topics covered by ConquerMaths please take a look at http://conquermaths.com/contents/

Finally, there is the issue of the cost. This is based on the number of students you are enrolling .We normally look for a minimum of 30 students for Primary Schools and 60 students for Secondary Schools and the price is £5 per student for a full years’ subscription.

For more information please call 0191 228 6027 or email info@conquermaths.com

Why do we have Fathers’ Day?

Why do we have Fathers’ Day, and
what can we do about it?

It might be thought that Fathers’ Day is a recent addition to the older celebration of Mothers’ Day.

But in fact that this not the case; both Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day date from the early part of the 20th century.

As far as anyone can tell, Father’s Day was first celebrated around 1910 in Arkansas in recognition of the sterling work undertaken by a bereaved father of six who dedicated himself to bringing up his children.

The idea quickly caught on with many churches using the opportunity to preach sermons in celebration of the work of fathers in promoting family life.

This is obviously a theme that can be integrated into arts and crafts lessons, bringing in a multiplicity of skills in exploring the theme of fathers and family life. Whatever art form is considered to promote the day, there will undoubtedly be opportunities for cutting, drawing, painting, sticking, folding, carving, moulding …

Of course it is possible to base arts and crafts lessons on all the various celebrations and events that occur at regular intervals throughout the year: Christmas in December, Valentine’s Day in February, Mother’s Day in March, Easter in April and Father’s Day in June.

At S & S Services we supply an extensive range of themed arts and crafts materials and products suitable for all the major celebrations and events.

Below is just a small selection of the arts and crafts materials from our product range that children can stick, cut, fold, draw and paint to create unique and personalised Father’s Day cards:

You can view our full range of arts and crafts products on our website.

And you can order in any of the following ways:

  • On our website at the web links above
  • By email to info@ss-services.co.uk
  • By phone on 01789 765323
  • By fax to 01789 765469
  • By post to S & S Services, Units 4-8 Tything Road, Arden Forest Industrial Estate, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 6EP.

Delivery

We offer free delivery on orders over £35 and charge only £2.99 delivery for orders which come to less than this across the majority of the UK.

For those requesting delivery from Northern Ireland, the Isles of Scilly, the Scottish Highlands, Isle of Wight and the Isle of Man, delivery is £7 and for those living in the Channel Islands the delivery charge is £12.45 irrespective of the size of the order.

The Art History Summer School 2015 – Booking Now Open

The History of Art spans tens of thousands of years; from the ancient cave drawings at Lascaux to contemporary cutting edge installation and performance works, with each piece and period having something to show us. Studying Art History requires students to explore theoretical criticism as well as visual analysis, looking at line, form, space, colour, and context to develop a thorough understanding of a work, artist, or movement.

The Art History Summer School offers an overview of the subject which seeks to explore and expand the traditional canon. Students will be introduced to a variety of approaches to Art History, including post-colonial, post-modern and feminist theories of art. This course will be taught by post-graduates from top universities and is structured in a way that gives a taste of undergraduate learning through a small group lecture and seminar format. The Summer School will offer a lively and interactive environment for students, allowing participants to express and develop their own thoughts and ideas together with tutors and like-minded peers.

For those keen on pursuing Art History at university, the course will give a broad introduction to some key areas of Art History which will enable students to speak more confidently about these periods, artists and themes and to discover more about areas which they might be interested in pursuing in more depth in the future. For those considering Art History in a more vocational light, there will also be material looking at the practical task of curatorship, as part of which we will be taking a trip to the National Gallery.

No prior knowledge is required to attend this course, all we would ask is that students have a strong interest in art and a willingness to engage actively with some fascinating and challenging material.

Feedback from previous students:

“This course is perfect for people who haven’t done any History of Art before! It helps you learn how to look at a piece of artwork differently and provides a vastly broad but also quite detailed introduction to the subject. It has been incredibly useful, as I am now positive that I want to study it at university!”

“History of Art with Debate Chamber was a great way for me to confirm that I wanted to study the subject at uni. Not only did I learn loads of new concepts but I got a taste of curating – something I would love to pursue as a future career. The course has made me excited about my academic future!”

“The Art History Summer School was really fantastic, covering a wide range of topics and yet covering each one in depth. The tutors were really friendly and had an infectious enthusiasm for their subject. Highlights included the trip to the National Gallery and the session on the visual uncanny. I would highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in Art History.”

Practical Details:

The cost of the five-day course is £425 and it will be held at the University of London Union in Bloomsbury on the 3rd-7th August 2015. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

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

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

A Shakespearean approach to social, moral and emotional issues

Is it possible to make Shakespeare the basis for discussing contemporary moral and social issues with your students?

The answer is undoubtedly, yes.

But, sadly, the language used in these masterpieces of literature is often a barrier when it comes to using the plays with pupils as part of our reference to the universality of the problems and issues that people face.

Working with Will seeks to overcome this problem by focussing on practical engagement with the story line. It offers the perfect teaching resource through which your students can explore issues that that have been faced across time and can consider the choices made by the characters and the consequences of these choices.

In short the book enables the students to engage with the relevant issues without having to interpret the language that Shakespeare used in writing the plays.

Working with Will is a 179 page volume for PSHE teachers where the topics on the KS3 and KS4 curricula are explored via three schemes of work based on Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for example, the scheme of work covers ‘Relationships and Respect’, ‘Children’s Rights’, ‘Rumour Spreading’ and ‘Bullying’, demonstrating the relevance and contemporariness of the play.

The three schemes of work – each of which can stand alone – come with a series of lesson plans that can be used sequentially or can be dipped in and out of in any order. There is also a free CD containing the text of the book plus PowerPoints to use with the lessons.

The author offers workshops on Working with Will – please click here for more information.

You can see some sample pages at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/pshe/T1796.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1796EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 890 3

Prices

  • Photocopiable ring bound book plus CD, £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the book… please quote the order ref: T1796EMN

Life after levels – one term to go

There’s one term left to go before the removal of levels at KS3 – is your school ready?

Doddle is the comprehensive whole-school solution to assessment without levels at KS3. Our assessment system lets you grade students on a skill-by-skill basis, letting you build up detailed reports on every student, department and cohort.

All your assessment data is stored online, to stay with students as they progress through KS3 – and you get comparable reporting from all departments.

And with 16,000 teaching and homework resources in the same platform, ready to assign in an instant, your teachers’ assessment feeds directly into differentiated teaching and learning.

To make a real impact with your KS3 students this September, book a visit from a Doddle Educational Consultant.

Joe
Doddle

Boardworks Ltd are the creators of Doddle, an online resource bringing together over 16,000 teaching, homework and revision materials across 18 subjects at KS3–KS4.

Comprising all Boardworks teaching presentations, thousands of formative self-marking homework quizzes, and our new progress reporting system, Doddle is designed to assist schools in consistently raising achievement.

Playtime isn’t a time to play, but rather a time to learn through play.

The definition of playtime has transformed over time.

For it was found that when children are provided with a multiplicity of educational play equipment, activities and games, their concentration, behaviour and attainment in lessons is significantly improved.

But of course, to provide such a multiplicity of games, activities and equipment, a budget is required – and one which will ensure that every pupil can get the most out of their playtime.

Our experience indicates that schools can provide suitable playground games from Edventure’s range for approximately £3 per pupil per year.

And with a further discount of 5% when you quote the code JSP15 at the time of order, which increases to a 10% discount if the order is placed online, it is possible to purchase playground games for even less. Orders can be placed at www.edventure.co.uk.

Our full range of play equipment, games and activities can be found in our online catalogue. Or alternatively, if you would like to receive a printed copy of the new Edventure catalogue in the post, please complete the catalogue request form.

You can place an order in a variety of different ways including:

  • on our website at 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.

What’s more, if you quote HH0515 on your order delivery will be free.

Without quoting the code the charge is £3.95 if ordered online or £6.95 if ordered by fax, phone or post.

Classrooms that will inspire learning

Is this the most beautiful classroom in the country?

In modern schools the classroom is an arena for many activities and thus needs to meet many and varied criteria.

Clearly they need to be flexible in layout so that they can be readily re-arranged for the array of lessons that the Secondary National curriculum demands.

They need to have decent acoustics and be accessible to all. They also need to be warm in winter, cool in summer, and able to withstand whatever extremes of weather climate change throws at them.

And perhaps as important as everything else, they need to be eco-friendly and bathed in natural light.

In short, if they can both look wonderful and meet the needs of today’s teaching requirements, they will of themselves inspire teaching and learning among all KS3 and KS4 students.

Such classrooms draw the students in so that they actually want to be here, and they offer the teachers the chance to create the lessons they want in an environment they love to be in.

So what does such a fantastic classroom look like?

There are many possible answers – and here is just one of ours…

 

This picture comes from an on-line portfolio of some of the school buildings we’ve constructed during the last couple of years.

It is one of many new school buildings that have been prepared by The Learning Escape, all the way from planning permission to handover. And because of the way we work, they have invariably been built for much less than a traditional building would cost.

Heating can be specified with a choice of electric, geothermal or air source heat pump/air conditioning. Each building is a bespoke design – a response to the local conditions, local needs and local specification.

Whether you need a classroom, staffroom, school hall or library, we take your needs and wishes and create a stunning and sustainable building that fits into your space and budget.

We also offer a leasing option which means that a permanent, architect-designed Learning Escape can actually cost less per month than hiring a temporary solution!

To see more of what we have built recently just click here.

To discuss any aspect of your project or to book a free survey, just call us on 0800 917 7726.

You can find more information and a number of case on our website.

I’d like an argument please

How can we help Sixth Form students understand the concept of the meaningful argument?

A man walks into an office and says, “I’d like to have an argument, please.”

If you are familiar with Monty Python you’ll know that the man is Michael Palin and he spends the new few minutes debating with John Cleese the difference between a true argument and “mere” contradiction.

Of course, the sketch never approaches the debate about the difference between these two concepts – and indeed why should it? It is just a comedy sketch, although a sketch so popular that, although first broadcast in 1972, it was performed by the original actors to much acclaim in their farewell performance 42 years later.

But while the difference between argument and contradiction was never resolved by Messers Palin and Cleese, it is a vital one for A Level students to grasp.

And grasping the difference is still only the start.

For even when the student starts to get to grips with the difference between such concepts as “claims” and “arguments”, there still remain such puzzling issues as explanations, assumptions, counter-claims, evidence, examples, deduction, induction, generalisation…

However the fact is that where students do understand the nature of debate and proof they tend not only to get better A level grades but they also become better prepared for university and/or employment.

In short, for many students it is a grasp of critical thinking which takes them from a B to an A, which delivers a far more impressive UCAS application, and which enables them to be much more persuasive in interviews and presentations.

It is for these reasons that the volume “Critical Thinking” has been written.

But “Critical Thinking” is about far more than just dismantling and evaluating other people’s arguments. For it is also involved in the production of the student’s own explanations and arguments.

Through examples and activities the volume encourages students to develop their considered point of view in essays, reports, debates, etc, and helps them be prepared to stand back and assess their own reasoning.

Critical Thinking is available as a printed copiable volume or as a CD which can be put on the school’s learning platform for use by students and staff.

You can see some sample pages at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1821.pdf

Publisher’s reference:T1821EMN; ISBN: 978 1 86083 861 3

Prices:

  • Photocopiable report in a book: £29.95
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95
  • Both the book and the CD: £36.94

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1821EMN

STOCKPORT CELEBRATES VE DAY, VICTORY IN EUROPE 1945

8th – 10th May 2015.

Could your school help? Stockport Heritage Centres are asking primary schools in the borough to send out the information given below about Stockport’s celebration of 70 years since VE-Day

On the 8th, 9th and 10th May this year, the guardians of Stockport’s heritage are celebrating 70 years since VE-Day, the end of World War 2 in Europe.

What is planned is a celebration for families to enjoy themselves in the town centre, just as they did on that day in 1945 when the bells rang out across the country, street parties were held in every town and laughter, music and dancing could be heard where once there was darkness and fear.

On the Saturday and Sunday, the 9th and 10th, the streets around the market will be turned into a 1945 style street party, with long tables and chairs laden with similar drink and food that would have been available to families in 1945. There will also be a huge variety of free activities and a range of stalls selling their wares.

If your child goes to school in Stockport and is aged between 6 and 10, your family is invited to the party!

You can come along for free. No one will be charged entry but tickets must be obtained so that the organizers can make sure everyone is included. Families can get their tickets by going to:

https://eventbrite.com/event/16236570018/

You can book all events, including the street party on this site.

FAO the Head of Careers

Why should you encourage your aspiring medical students to visit Thailand, Croatia, Poland or Tanzania this summer?

It is important that students are given a break from their studies from time to time, not least to reignite their passion for their chosen subject/s.

And in no subject area is this more important than with those students who wish to go on to study medicine.

With Gap Medics, aspiring medical students can indeed enjoy a break from their academic studies this summer holidays whilst at the same time gaining valuable work experience in their desired medical profession.

They will be given the opportunity to shadow real life dentists, midwives, nurses or doctors in one of four locations: Thailand, Croatia, Poland or Tanzania – which will certainly set them apart from the rest when applying to the university of their choice.

The 2015 summer placements, which students can start on any Sunday of their school holidays, provide students over the age of 16 with 23+ hours per week of invaluable hospital work experience.

Gap Medics ensures that the students’ experience is tailored to their career aspirations. They will be assigned to relevant departments, depending on their interests, and will be matched with a mentor who will guide them through their time in the hospital, explaining each case in detail.

Popular departments include paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, surgery and internal medicine; however we also offer opportunities in smaller, more specialist departments.

So far over 1,500 students have signed up for a Gap Medics programme this summer, representing over 1,100 schools, colleges and universities.

It’s not too late for your students to sign up and gain some unforgettable hospital work experience this summer which will set them apart from the rest.

If you have any students who are interested in a career in medicine, please either forward this email on to them or ask them to take a look at www.gapmedics.co.uk/summer-2015-hospital-work-experience

Alternatively they can call us on 0044 191 603 1111 or email us at info@gapmedics.com and we’ll send them a brochure in the post.

Regards

Mark Hinksman
Programme Director

Les vacances arrivent !

Last few dates for summer term !


Le Tour De France – a live, French theatre performance in your school.

Great fun – circus skills, music, comedy, and highly educational.

Packed with essential French language !

For remaining dates for your area in June and July please email
education@flyingtheatre.com
 

Le Tour De France has a cycling and fitness theme and is based on George and Chantalles adventures in France, it reinforces Key Stage 3 vocabulary, and is designed for Years 7 and 8 (some schools include Year 9 and Primary feeders). Health and fitness,holidays, travel, directions, food, members of the family and so much more .

Superb performance, really engaging – students in year 8 & 9 loved it. Surpassed expectations (both mine and the students) Very clear and easy to understand – love the audience participation which really involved the students.
Fantastic opportunity to see language in action. So pleased we booked you – well worth it
.

Brannel School. St Austall . Jan 15

An outstanding performance that had our students gripped and entertained from start to finish. Staff and students were on the edge of their seats. A definite must see with key vocabulary integrated throughout the play – it brought back the fun aspect into language learning. Please come and perform for us again.
Park View School. Birmingham . Jan 15

A brilliant performance enjoyed by all – inspirational.
Moreton Hall School. Jan 15

Winning the coveted yellow jersey is all George dreams about, will he manage to win the race and wear it ?

www.flyingtheatre.com

La Compagnie Theatre Volant – 01287 669156

It’s a chore of priority

How can you ensure that your minibus is roadworthy and safe without you, or your colleagues, having to arrange its MOT or servicing?

Keeping students safe from harm is undoubtedly the highest priority of any member of staff. Which is why the MOT, servicing and overall maintenance of the school’s minibus is of the highest priority.

But there is a problem. Because, not only is this an issue of utmost importance, but it is also an issue that takes up a significant amount of time.

And when it has to be done, it can’t be delayed.

Of course, if the person nominated as in charge of the School’s Transport Policy always has time at the moment when the maintenance is due, then there is no problem. But if this is not the case, it can mean that the vehicle is either being used outside of its safety parameters or has to be taken off the road.

However, there is a solution.

For if you lease a minibus with Benchmark we will arrange for the vehicle to receive regular maintenance and servicing checks by qualified engineers, giving you the comfort in knowing that the school minibus is fully operational and, most importantly, safe.

What’s more, our leasing option means that you can benefit from improved budgeting and cash flow forecasting, since you will always know what expenditure is coming along.

It is an arrangement which makes it possible for schools to fund the minibus through a small payment each month. And in some cases, where trips are paid for by contributions from parents and the PTA, it is possible to allocate a part of those payments towards the cost of the minibus.

You can find more information on our website or give us a call on 01753 859944.

Higher grades are linked to Mindset.

Develop a Mindset of success in your students as they prepare for exams.

It is easy to feel that people are born good at certain things. Lots of students still believe this because they see others around them learn things quickly and succeed effortlessly. What they don’t know is what that person is thinking that makes them so effective.

Mindset is crucial to success. There is so much research today on the importance of a Growth Mindset, but so many people have not developed it yet. Do some of your students have a Fixed Mindset? Do they believe they can’t do things? Are they set in their beliefs, that things are simply too hard for them to do?

Every school has students with Fixed Mindsets. The question is how do you develop a Growth Mindset – one that believes that with hard work and effort, anything is possible?

Raising awareness of this idea can be the first step to sow the seed for change. Next you need a structured programme to use in the weeks leading up to the exams to get them to think differently.

Our solution comes in the form of eight worksheets in a ready-made booklet – ‘Greatest Strength Workbook for Students’. It comes with a free teacher’s guide and is available as an instant download. The teacher’s guide and a sample can be downloaded for free to get you started. The full license to print for use with your whole school is only £49.99.

Helping students learn to overcome stress, teaching them to motivate themselves, encouraging them to plan for the future and develop confidence to try new things are essential skills. They help to build mental resilience and enhance overall mental well-being; together they develop a Growth Mindset.

To develop these skills, students must explore them. Finding time in the school day to focus on these areas can be challenging and you may not have the resources or ideas to hand to achieve the desired result. But could you find ten minutes to introduce an activity that was already prepared?

The full details are available at: http://newset-training.com/students.html

Thanks and I wish your students the best for their up-coming exams.

Clare Martin

Newset Training

Teaching good handwriting is about much more than just helping students to write

Of course, it is a fact that most test and exam papers require handwritten answers, and so good handwriting continues to make an impact and helps to deliver extra marks.

But there is more. For learning to write by hand improves literacy, understanding and comprehension. Indeed those who have been taught and encouraged to write by hand have been shown to find deciphering hard-to-read messages easier than those who have not.

Other studies show a positive link between hand-eye coordination and whether a child has been taught to write with a form of cursive handwriting.

Most surprisingly, it is now being suggested in academic studies that whether the individual uses the pen or the keyboard to write even affects the way the individual thinks.

One research paper suggests that university students who use pen and paper to make notes during lectures do better than those who make notes on a laptop.

In some ways we should not be too surprised by some of these findings, for handwriting requires a greater level of hand-eye coordination than typing on a keyboard, and thus, as well as helping with exam scores, good handwriting gives students the chance to develop their essential fine motor skills.

But many young people today are brought up in homes where handwriting is limited to little more than the production of shopping lists – and indeed many people now type these into their mobile phones.

It is for all of these reasons that Multi-Sensory Learning produced the Handwriting Rescue Scheme for fully cursive handwriting.

The scheme, which is available as a photocopiable program supplied on CD or as printed sheets, contains over 300 structured exercises designed to establish complete cursive letter formation.

And there is a particular bonus here, for tests have shown that the use of such material encourages the development of an automatic response to frequently used spelling choices. In other words, by practising their handwriting pupils also learn their spellings.

To see a sample of this resource please email us at msl@schools.co.uk

You can also find more information on our website.

The resource is available as a download for £39.99 (EUR 55.29).

Payment is required in Pounds Sterling and can be made through the website by clicking here.

You can then click on the International option and pay by credit card, debit card or Paypal.

The DfE provides up to £500 of additional funding for each student on the Pupil Premium programme for year 6/7 transition summer schools

It is one of the DfE’s better kept secrets. In fact so well kept is the secret that in 2014 a survey found out that only half of the secondary schools knew that fully funded summer schools could be held on their premises.

But the funding does exist, and it is enough to pay for a fully organised, fully staffed one or two week summer school for the pupil premium year 6/7 transition students.

Indeed the DfE funding is guaranteed for all eligible schools and students. But the deadline for the initial application for funding is 29th May. (There is a link through to the DfE for details on the website shown below.)

And so, as a result we offer a Year 6/7 transition summer school, funded by the DfE grant, to enable students to make friends, gain confidence and improve their communication skills.

But, of course, it is vital that such a summer school does what it sets out to do, putting the new year 7 pupils at their ease and making them feel that their new school is going to be exactly the place they want to be in the coming months and years.

Which leads to the question: who is it that can walk in front of a group of 11 year olds about to start secondary school and can put them utterly and totally at ease so that any worries they might have about their new school life are set aside?

There are, of course, many possible answers. But here’s one answer that you might not have thought of.

Highly trained theatre professionals with a range of skills and strong teaching experience are trained to grab an audience, hold the audience and engage with the audience.

Which is why West End in Schools exists and why, for the past six years, we have been bringing actors from the National Theatre, TV and the West End, along with dancers, directors and choreographers, into schools across the UK.

They then work with your transitioning students for either one or two weeks in the summer holiday, offering a range of different themes from Shakespeare to dance, from literacy to theatre-making, from storytelling to…

The summer school typically ends with a performance to parents and carers – which is a great way of welcoming disadvantaged families to your school community.

Once a booking is made we work with you to finalise the attendance numbers and the staff requirement closer to the summer. This means that we can work together to ensure that the DfE budget allowance covers all the costs incurred and ensure that the school incurs no overall cost from the summer school.

Our summer schools webpage includes a one minute video which will give you more information and which contains feedback from the workshop coordinator at an Academy we worked at last summer. You can see this at www.WestEndinSchools.org.uk/summer-schools

To find out more please do give me a call on 020 7395 7520, or send a quick reply to this email.

Nigel Godfrey
Director

SHAKESPEARE IN MODERN ENGLISH

Shakespeare for EFL / ESL

MACBETH
9780993185502

HAMLET
9780948662058

ROMEO & JULIET
9780948662072

TWELFTH NIGHT
9780948662096

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
9780948662089

HENRY V
9780948662010

JULIUS CAESAR
9780948662065

Drama texts providing

Practice in good English usage

Lively conversation practice

Confidence in speaking

Increase in vocabulary

Good stories

An introduction to Shakespeare

Fluency

Ideal texts for students of English as a foreign language. They provide conversation practice and opportunities for classroom drama as well as introducing students to an important part of English culture. Each play gives the whole plot and all the characters of the originals in straightforward modern English. Intermediate level.

“A valid way into Shakespeare.” The Shakespeare and Schools Project
Cambridge University

More information and

ORDER FROM

www.startingshakespeare.co.uk

£4.80 per copy

This approach recommended by the British Council and the BBC

All About Success Discussion Cards – Yes success

Quite often we see a range of resources aimed at the negatives faced by our young people, anger, stress, anxiety for example. Whilst these areas are vitally important, is it wrong to occasionally focus on the positives?

This set of discussion cards does just that, they challenge the ideas surrounding success, increase confidence and raise awareness of goal setting.

Achieving success in life means different things to different people: some judge it by social interactions; some by academic achievements. In order to achieve our goals, we must first identify them but then, just as importantly, we need to adopt the strategies that will help us to succeed.

These cards give students an opportunity to develop the following key skills and attitudes:

Self-belief and confidence in one’s own abilities, realising the importance of goal-setting.

Understanding the need of planning for success, understanding what success means to them.

Persistence and tenacity, understanding the importance of social interaction and networking

Includes 36 cards, Age 8-16

ALL ABOUT SUCCESS DISCUSSION CARDS Ref: 613HH £24.00 +VAT

TO ORDER:

Post:
Small World, 9 Burnham Place, Syresham, Northants, NN13 5HT
Tel: 01280 850 305
Fax: 01280 830022

Email: orders@smlworld.co.uk

Website: http://www.smlworld.co.uk/store/p16/All_About_Success_Discussion_Cards.html

To obtain a 5% discount on your order, please quote HH14 on your purchase order form or add the discount code whilst purchasing online.

Inspiring your most reluctant readers

What can inspire even your most reluctant readers to find enjoyment in reading in Children’s Book Week?

The problem with World Book Day is that it isn’t quite long enough. You have just one day to stage reading activities that you hope will inspire your pupils to find enjoyment in reading.

But since children are interested and inspired by different things, it isn’t possible to encourage each and every pupil to become an avid reader in such a short space of time.

Fortunately, Children’s Book Week is coming up which will present plenty of opportunity for you to inspire even more pupils to get reading and, more importantly, to enjoy reading.

This year Children’s Book Week will be taking place from 6th – 10th July 2015 in schools, libraries and other venues all over the UK.

A popular Children’s Book Week activity among schools are our dance workshops, as they aim to inspire even the most reluctant readers to find enjoyment in reading.

These dance workshops are highly interactive, encouraging children to explore a storybook through movement and dance, stimulating their relationship with reading and books.

The day starts with an assembly and then continues on a class-by-class basis, developing responses to a choice of books through language, movement and dance. Each workshop then concludes with the children performing to one another and to their teacher.

The dance workshops are suitable for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 classes, depending on the choice of books and differentiation of each workshop.

For Children’s Book Week in July schools can choose to explore their choice of books from a selection which includes:

HANDA’S SURPRISE by Eileen Brown
THE TROLL by Julia Donaldson and David Roberts
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak
THE IRON MAN by Ted Hughes
KENSUKE’S KINGDOM by Michael Morpurgo
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR by Eric Carle
MAN ON THE MOON by Simon Bartram
THE ENORMOUS CROCODILE by Roald Dahl
THE BUTTERFLY LION by Michael Morpurgo

There is more information and pricing on our website.

To book a dance workshop or to ask any questions about our workshops please either:

All school offices can reduce their overload, unpaid overtime, and interruptions

Whatever the job, there has to be organisation. Organisation not just of the task in hand, but also of the workload as a whole.

There needs to be a balance of input and output, a control of the level of interruptions, and a certainty that the level of work is manageable by the staff available.

Unfortunately, within school administrations these issues are not always considered, largely because some negative factors in relation to the work (interruptions are a perfect example) become thought of as an inevitable part of the job.

However, just as there are a hundred ways of teaching a lesson in the classroom, so there are a hundred ways of organising a school office.

But if one believes that overload is inevitable, then it will be inevitable. Only if one believes that there are alternative ways of doing things does one look for these alternatives. And even then the habit of the past means that the alternatives are not always easy to find.

Yet the fact is that different schools do organise their administrations in different ways and that some approaches can make a significant difference to the effectiveness and efficiency of the school’s work.

At the heart of this volume is the notion that there are many ways of administering a school and that some of these ways of organising school administration are much more effective and efficient than other approaches.

The report “Increasing Efficiency in School Administration” gives examples of efficiencies that can be made within school administration and how one can change long-established approaches to leadership, change management, time management, facilities management, budgeting and the organisations’ behaviour.

The approaches outlined here do not require higher budgets; they simply put in place processes that inevitably lead to a smoother throughput of information and activity, which means there are fewer disruptions, fewer errors, and ultimately more time for everything to be done.

One of the fundamental issues within the report is that changes only work to the benefit of the organisation when everyone understands what is going on and why the changes are being implemented.

For this reason Increasing the Efficiency of School Administration is available as a photocopiable report, which allows you to give sections of the report to your colleagues. There is no restriction on the number of copies that can be made for use within your school. An edition of the book is also available on CD Rom for printing out via Word.

Additionally, all orders that quote the publisher’s reference below will also receive a free copy of two reports by the School of Educational Administration and Management: Reducing Overload in the School Office, and Eliminating Interruptions in the School Office.

There are sample pages from the photocopiable book at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/bursar/T1744.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1744EMX ISBN: 978 1 86083 798 2

Prices

  • Photocopiable book: £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD: £36.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1744EMX

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

On line with a credit card at http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=26&products_id=568

The Virtual Physics Laboratory

These 3d immersive experiments use games technology to give realistic laboratory experiences. They are based on years of research into teaching science on-screen. They are ideal where resources are limited or where you want to give your students a wider experience of experiments that they would not normally do, such as measuring the acceleration of gravity on the Moon, firing an AK47 at a ballistic balance, using an Airtrack to verify Newton’s Second Law.

The 3D immersive experiments can be used in a variety of ways:

  • By the students directly to prepare for a laboratory experiment by familiarising them with the equipment to be used and the methodology of the experiment. ·
  • To give experience of an additional experiment for which there would not normally be available laboratory time. ·
  • To give experience of getting a particular result in a different way to what they have used in a practical laboratory lesson which allows the students to compare methods and better understand the essentials of an experiment. ·
  • As a substitute for an experiment that might be too dangerous or impossible for a student to undertake. · As general supporting material for science theoretical work. ·
  • As revision for an experiment that has previously been performed in the laboratory. ·
  • As a personal experience of an experiment normally only performed by the teacher in front of the class.

Experiments include: Velocity, Acceleration and Newton’s 3nd Law using an Airtrack, Conservation of Momentum using a ballistic balance, Moments, Rutherford’s Gold Foil experiment, I/V Characteristics, Magnetic Field of a Coil, Specific Heat, Mechanical Equivalent of Heat, Diffraction, Hooke’s Law and Young’s Modulus, Capacitor Charge and Discharge, Planck’s Constant, Millikan’s Oil Drop. See www.keylinkcomputers.co.uk for latest list and more details including videos.

Email me at rob@keylinkcomputers.co.uk quoting code HH15 to receive our information pack.

A perpetual site licence costs £399 plus £2.50 pp + VAT at 20% (£481.80)Email to: orders@keylinkcomputers.co.uk or send to Keylink Computers Ltd, 2 Woodway House, Common Lane, Kenilworth CV8 2ES quoting order code HH15.

School Name:  
FAO:  
Order No.  
Address  

How to get A* in Spanish?

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

When we brought out How to get A* in French we were asked if it was also available for Spanish – so now here it is.

As with the French version 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

First and Best in Education
Earlstrees Road
Corby
UK
NN17 4HH

Website: www.shop.firstandbest.co.uk
Email: sales@firstandbest.co.uk

Grab and Hold. Grab and Hold

Grabbing and holding attention is what it is all about. So how do we design items that do this?

In my last piece I reduced all advertising to three processes

  1. Think how we are going to be informative, interesting and unusual
  2. Think how we are grabbing and holding attention
  3. Consider what we have got, and then work out the design and copywriting in terms of what the psychology of perception says.

I got to this conclusion after travelling through a series of articles which deal with the ways in which it is possible to get double or treble the response rate from each advert which you place via email, the post and on web sites. (If you want to go back and read the series from the start, just click here)

I suggested also that the common sense notion that we need to be shouting out our company name and our product name so people remember it doesn’t work. Common sense is wrong. For all the evidence clearly shows that we need to be informative, interesting and unusual.

We need to jerk the readers or viewers out of their current state and get them to think about what we want them to think about.

So the question is, what does this imply for the design and copywriting?

The first point to make is that the design and copywriting doesn’t come first. You can’t just write copy or come up with a design that looks nice before you have decided how the promotion is going to be unusual and different from all the thousands of other promotions that people see.

And we must also always remember that “looking good” isn’t enough. It might look good to you when you look at the resultant web page, email or brochure – but you are focussed on it, because it is your product.

What we actually have to do is use the design to grab the reader who is not very interested by the throat, and then hold on. Our question therefore becomes:

What sort of design grabs the reader’s attention so dramatically that he or she can’t stop looking?

Now, of course, we don’t know the state of mind of the reader. If the reader is already interested, then quite often simple illustrations will work. So if you are thinking about buying a sofa or a set of new office furniture, or a set of chemistry books to use with your A level class, you might well focus on the picture of a sofa, office desk or a page from the book.

But that is nowhere near enough for the person who might well buy from you, but isn’t actually thinking that way when your advert arrives. Yes, a nice picture might well get some recipients to think, “oh that look’s nice” or “oh that looks interesting”, but still many other potential customers will be lost along the way.

Instead, what you need to do is consider your sale from the point of view of the psychology of perception.

Now a fundamental finding of the psychology of perception is that it is much easier to grab that attention of the passing individual with a phrase or slogan than it is with a picture. Also we know that it requires a considerable amount of brainpower to switch between looking at a picture and reading text. The partially interested reader can get lost at this stage.

The problem is that lots and lots of firms have tried to find phrases or slogans, and the passing reader is inundated with phrases or slogans. So much so that they are now ignored.

Which brings us to a real problem. Pictures take far more brain power to decipher than words, and so although a picture can work where the individual gives lots of attention to the page, when we think of the casual recipient, he/she won’t be bothered.

But phrases and slogans have been done to death, and so most are also ignored. Consider what you might do if you are faced with “Simply the best”, for example. You’ve seen and heard it so often, it stops having any arresting qualities. It is a bit like “Often copied, never bettered”, and “20% discount!” They don’t work any more.

The same is true with pictures. Stock pictures just don’t work because they have been seen.

Now if you really can create a picture that goes way beyond being nice, attractive and interesting, and is genuinely arresting, so much so that it makes everyone who looks at it drop everything and stare open mouthed, then great. Use that picture.

But a regular picture won’t work. And the same is true of a headline or a phrase. Everyday won’t do.

Our approach is often to create unusual phrases and headlines to grab attention because we find these a lot more successful and a lot less expensive than the creation of unusual pictures and designs.

Further, because no one can be utterly certain that an advert will work first time around, we often need to experiment. If that experimentation means finding different phrases or words, then it is not too expensive. If it means taking lots of different pictures, that can send the costs up dramatically.

So we will work with phrases such as “a word is worth 10,000 pictures”. But, of course, if you have the budget to create a range of unusual pictures that really do gain attention, then you can approach the design issue that way.

However, if you choose the less costly way of grabbing attention through words, that doesn’t mean that you don’t use pictures at all. All we have been discussing here is the first point of grabbing attention. I’ll move on to the way the design can take the reader towards the sale in the next article.

——————————————-

This is one of three regular blogs on advertising and marketing produced by Hamilton House. If you would like to know more about what Hamilton House does please do have a meander around our web site or call us on 01536 399 000. If you want to subscribe free of charge to any of our newsletters there are details here.

And do remember: the unknown will always be boundless.

Tony Attwood
Tony@hamilton-house.com

 

Making the most of your schools outdoor areas

We tend to think of the school as being a fixed entity
with established buildings, and designated
teaching areas. But…

Teaching and learning can and does happen anywhere; in the classroom, the hall, the playground… Indeed the only thing that ever limits the use of any space is our ability to imagine the possibilities.

So if you have a playground, and it is raining, or there is strong direct sunlight, or it is very windy, the area’s use as a teaching and learning environment might be thought to be restricted.

But if you were to put up a canopy, you could, for a very modest sum, give yourself an extended classroom, an al fresco dining area, an adventure play area…

This is the route down which numerous schools have recently gone, in developing ever more varied use of their facilities. And there really is no limit to the ways in which an area could be used.

True, there’s no telling what the British weather is going to do next, but the fact that canopies can be used in so many ways, means that there are virtually no days at all in the school year when such a facility cannot be used in some way or other.

There are over 150 different designs of canopies available. Some of course are designed for very specific purposes, such as the bicycle shed, but many others do have multiple uses.

Which is why before we do anything else, we always offer to come to your school, without cost and without any obligation, to see the site and discuss the ways in which a canopy could be added to your existing buildings.

To get an idea of the huge range of options available we’ve collected together photographs of over 30 different installations that we’ve undertaken recently. They are on

http://www.cambridgestylecanopies.co.uk/canopies.php – just click on any photograph that looks interesting and you will see it enlarged.

We’ve also got a separate page for cycle shelters http://www.cambridgestylecanopies.co.uk/cycle-shelters.php

If you’d like to discuss how a canopy could be used in your school, or have us come to look at your site and advise on the options, please either

Phone: 01353 699009
Email: office@cambridgestyle.org
Or write to: Cambridge Style Canopies, 62 Main Street, Pymoor, Ely, Cambs CB6 2DY

What is the best way to teach rhythm, melody and harmony at key stage 3?

This 130 page volume presents rhythm, harmony and melody as separate sets of activities which can be incorporated into lessons of any length. Each lesson plan sets out the purpose of that lesson, the materials needed, the method employed and the tasks to be done.

Activities are supported by specially composed short practice segments covering a range of styles, for example rock, reggae, jazz and funk.

Each activity and its accompanying music includes easier and more advanced elements for classes with a range of abilities.

The CD illustrates the text and provides accompanying music for student tasks with at least one CD track for each lesson. Students are guided through scores and lines of music, encouraged to get a feel for the flow of the piece and to sing or play at every opportunity.

An early example from the volume contains explanations and musical examples to show how the 8th note of a major scale becomes the first note of the next octave. Examples are generated and then joined together as a song.

By the middle of the volume, in Lesson 27, students progress from block harmonies into the harmonies that can occur in a free flowing song – in this case a round. The CD contains a recording of the round, which consists of eight two bar segments, each of which can be introduced at two bar intervals.

You can see the presentation of this lesson by clicking here.

Towards the end students combine everything learned about rhythm, harmony and melody into a series of pieces for which the music is provided.

Details of how to order are given below. The format of the book is a Ringbinder plus CD. The price is £34.95 plus £3.95 delivery.

  • Publisher’s catalogue number T1614emn
  • ISBN: 978 1 86083 603 9

Methods of ordering – please quote catalogue number T1614emn

Why and how should you implement a whole-school spelling policy?

Research suggests that schools which adopt a whole-school spelling policy can improve the rate at which their pupils progress in spelling by responding to the demands of the English Programmes of Study more effectively.

A whole-school spelling policy ensures that teachers and pupils are prepared for the teaching and learning stages ahead, encouraging swift but sensible progression.

Further to this, it ensures that the marking and feedback of pupils’ spelling is consistent, making it easier to develop and implement a unified tracking approach to the pupils’ progress.

Lead researcher, Rich Procter, a University of Bedfordshire PhD student, suggests that a whole-school spelling policy can be achieved by starting with the Spelling Appendix of the National Curriculum in Key Stage one and sharing the teaching of spelling with a wider range of curricular areas at Key Stage two.

The Foundation and Key Stage 1 Spelling Programme (based on DFES – Letters & Sounds) consists of eight Spelling Practice Activity Books and a Weekly Spelling Lists resource which start from the 100 high-frequency words in the Letters and Sounds Appendix.

Following on from this is our Key Stage 2 Spelling Programme which consists of a Weekly Spelling Lists resource, four Spelling Practice Activity Books, three Spelling Practice Activity Books for revision and two Spelling Practice Activity Books for extension.

Within the programmes are diagnostic tests for assessment, record sheets, vocabulary development work, games, dictionary work, personal spelling logs, supplementary lists which encourage repetition for less able pupils, and a number of extension tasks for gifted and talented pupils.

All the resources are photocopiable, and free sample pages for each resource are available from our website.

To see the full range of resources which make up the Foundation and Key Stage 1 Spelling Programme click here.

And to see the full range of resources which make up the Key Stage 2 Spelling Programme click here.

You can order the in any of these ways:

  • On our website at the web links above
  • By phone on 01772 863158
  • By fax to 01772 866153
  • By email to sales@topical-resources.co.uk
  • By post: Topical Resources, P.O. Box 329, Broughton, Preston, Lancashire PR3 5LT

Topical Resources
P.O. Box329
Broughton
Preston
Lancashire
PR3 5LTwww.topical-resources.co.uk

sales@topical-resources.co.uk

Tel: 01772 863158

No school to be left in the dark

What is the most cost effective way of making the school grounds safe and attractive after dark?

The Department for Education states that schools should “provide external lighting to ensure safe pedestrian movement after dark” to comply with the ISS Regulation 23E and the SPRs Regulation 8.

But there is more to outdoor lighting than a legal requirement.

Outdoor lighting makes the school grounds more welcoming and a safer place to be when it is dark – whether it is for teachers working later, students going home from an after school club, or parents attending parents’ evening.

However there is a problem, because outdoor lighting can be expensive to buy and expensive to run, and even more so when multiple units of outdoor lighting are required to cover a large area or multiple building entrances and walkways.

Solisposts are innovative and contemporary solar powered bollards which are ideal for providing permanent low level lighting in walkways, entrances and carparks during the hours of darkness and which brighten on approach.

What’s more, the installation of the Solispost solar bollards is significantly cheaper than that of electrical bollards and they are even cheaper to run with zero energy costs.

And the Solis Power Management System offers the very latest in solar technology, providing high performance and long life lighting with the power capacity to ensure that there is permanent LED operation from dusk to dawn and PIR sensors that trigger automatic brightening on approach.

Furthermore, the Solisposts carry green credentials, are low maintenance, have an aluminium weatherproof construction and all installations of Solisposts come with a 3 years warranty on the parts.

You can find more information on our website by clicking here, or alternatively please do call us on 01280 701 093.

Michael Barnes

How to develop an effective Asbestos policy

We can help you with your asbestos policy.

Asbestos described as the hidden killer is likely to be present in any building constructed before 1999 and if undisturbed the risks are minimalised. However, it is important to be aware of these risks and have a clear asbestos policy in place.

Where does the responsibility lie?

The responsibility for managing asbestos in schools lies with the duty holder, this is normally the employer which in state schools is often the local authority. For academies, free schools, voluntary-aided and foundation schools, it will be the school governors, proprietor or trustees.

It is important that all staff, particularly those responsible for the running of the buildings, are made aware of the potential hazards. All staff should be instructed not to disturb or damage asbestos containing materials, for example by pinning work to walls. Damage to school fixtures or fittings that could lead to the release of asbestos fibres need to be reported.

The Asbestos Man is able to work with you to devise and implement a comprehensive Asbestos policy that starts with a consultation, followed by a full site survey including the analysis of any suspect materials.

All sampled materials are analysed at an independent UKAS accredited laboratory.

The Asbestos Man will compile a user friendly report containing photographs, annotated plans and the appropriate recommendations from the survey findings. Where asbestos has been identified we will then work with you to put in place a management plan so that the occupants of the premises are protected.

The Asbestos Man where necessary can arrange and oversee the safe removal of any type of asbestos containing materials.

Did you know?
It is a legal requirement to undertake a refurbishment or demolition survey for asbestos containing materials prior to any works taking place.

If you have any enquiries regarding asbestos please do not hesitate to call:-

Alan the Asbestos Man on 07510104323
info@theasbestosman.co.uk
www.theasbestosman.co.uk

Do you have left-handed pupils who struggle with their handwriting?

New 2015 Metallic & Antimicrobial Range

Slowly formed, sloping letters. Messy smudged presentation. Reversed d’s and b’s, p’s and q’s… even physical discomfort. It’s all part and parcel of the left hander’s challenge that often emerges when learning to write in childhood. Up until now, many thought it would never disappear.

Smudging is a common issue for left-handers, with over 88% experiencing the problem.

Our smart Swan Neck Pens are an elegantly simple solution to the left-handed writing problem that ultimately affects some 1 in 6 worldwide – a staggering 1 billion people.

All models in the Swan Neck Pen range feature a unique, S-bend neck and grip area. This enables left-handed writers to hold the pen comfortably at a balanced angle and easily view all letters and words as they are written, just as right-handers do.

• Avoid smudged presentations!
• Avoid reversed letters!
• Avoid wrist pain!
• Suitable for left and right-handers of all ages and children with special needs

Swan Neck Pens don’t just make left-handers of all ages happier and better writers. They make writing a breeze for right-handers too.

Swan Neck Pens have passed British Standards EN71 part 1, 2, 3 and BS7272 2008.

Thank you for your time .you can view our website at www.swanneckpen.com for more information, or you can contact me on +44 1454 325873.

If you would like to place an order for our Swanneck school pack, we have a special 20% discount for schools:

Please use our promotional code: Learning0124 *when ordering on our website buy pens page with full details and address of your school.

Promotion includes:

• The full Swanneck range, yellow, pink, aluminium, antimicrobial and metallic colours

PLEASE EMAIL: schools@swanneckpen.com with any school order enquires or question or if your school requires a larger order exceeding 30 pens for a postal discount.

Parents are welcome to order directly from our website.

Would like further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

* Not to be used in conjunction with any other promotion, delivery to school address only.

A better way to manage your school fund

www.istekuk.com
Istek UK Ltd, 3 St Ursula’s Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 3FY

Email: info@istekuk.com
Phone: 01722 413255
Fax number: 01722 568262

The Private Funds Manager software for primary schools, helps manage the school funds more efficiently, providing all the information needed for auditors, governors and budget holders.

In an easy-to-use format it :

  • Manages trips & residentials, before and afterschool clubs, fund raising and all other school fund accounts.
  • Processes money in and out and prints receipts if required
  • Synchronises automatically with Sims for pupil information
  • Balances bank accounts easily with a simple ticking system
  • Creates all the financial reports required by staff and by auditors
  • Includes a free of charge, zero fee method of accepting internet payments
  • But also links with all major online payment systems (Parentmail, Parentpay Schoolcomms etc)

Please see our website for details or phone 01722 413255

The themes and characters from The Railway Children have always fascinated children.

Now we also have the workshops and award winning stage show.

First there was The Railway Children – the book. Then there were the films.

After that, the Olivier Award-winning stage show for children, which is set in a purpose built 1,000 seat venue at King’s Cross, built around a real train track, with a vintage locomotive that steams into the theatre to delight all ages.

And now, for primary schools that bring 60 or more children to the show, the producers are offering drama workshops to be delivered class by class in their school either before or after the performance day.

Each workshop lasts for just under an hour and is adapted to suit the age of the class attending.

The children will explore themes and characters from the play, bringing sections of the script to life. By encouraging them to inhabit the characters and explore the story, we will enhance the children’s experience of the show and enable them to write engagingly about the production and their experience.

Additionally our Education Guide includes activities for teachers and students and behind-the-scenes interviews with the writer and the director.

Both the live production and E. Nesbit’s original text contain numerous themes to explore in the classroom, including family relationships, the countryside, morality and social justice. To download our education pack, please click here.

Workshops for smaller groups are available in the theatre foyer before the performance.

Cost and How to Book

The cost for a workshop and ticket to the show is £19.50 per person. A minimum number of 60 attendees is required for the workshops.

For groups of 60+ children the workshop takes place in an afternoon and for groups of 90+ children the workshop takes place in the morning. We can see up to 150 children in a day, potentially more depending on lunchtime arrangements.

For more information please contact 020 7420 9700 or email enquiries@groupline.com

Organising successful school trips and visits

What makes for a brilliant, memorable and, above all, highly beneficial school trip?

A recent survey of secondary schools by the School of Educational Administration and Management found that over 96% of schools run overseas school trips each year.

Indeed, that number just took into account overseas trips organised by the foreign languages departments. Additional visits were arranged by geography, science, history, music, art, sport, business studies… Plus of course all the trips that take place within the UK.

What makes the figure so interesting is that it came after years of argument and debate concerning legal requirements, risk assessment and liability, and a period when a reader of the national press might have assumed that school trips were a thing of the past.

But no. Every year tens of thousands of us put ourselves through the hard work of organising and running the trips because of the good that we know it does for the pupils and students we teach.

So, to help with the practicalities of setting up and running contemporary out of school trips and visits, a new edition of Organising Successful Trips and Visits: a practical guide for secondary school teachers has been published.

This aims to help with the arrangement of trips and visits by covering all the main points, from the “loco parentis” debate to turning the idea into a trip, from transport issues to the letter to the parents, from staffing issues to kit lists.

In just over 50 pages it gives you all the basics – not least so that if a colleague in the school is looking to organise a trip for the first time he/she will be able to read up on all the key issues presented in a straightforward way.

If you would like to see some pages from the book these are at:

http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/authordownloadsamples/T1772samples.pdf

Organising Successful Trips and Visits: a practical guide for secondary school teachers is published as a download so that you can receive immediately a copy onto your computer which you can print out for colleagues as often as you want. You can also put it on your school learning platform so all staff can access the document – and indeed you can make it part of the induction documentation for new members of staff.

You can obtain Organising Successful Trips and Visits: a practical guide for secondary school teachers by going to

http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=747

The price is £10 plus VAT.

If you are unable to pay on-line with a credit card please send in a school order in the normal way. We’ll issue a pro-forma invoice and as soon as we receive payment we will email you a copy of the book. There is a handling charge of £2.50 for this service which does not apply if you are able to buy on-line with a credit or debit card.

Organising Successful Trips and Visits is published by First and Best in Education, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Rd, Corby, Northampton NN17 4HH. Phone 01536 399 011. A full catalogue of our books and downloads set out by subject and topic can be found at www.shop.firstandbest.co.uk

First and Best in Education
Earlstrees Road
Corby
UK
NN17 4HH

Website: www.shop.firstandbest.co.uk
Email: sales@firstandbest.co.uk

Improving efficiency in the school office

What is the most effective way of reducing the amount of traffic coming into the school office?

There are two types of school offices. In one there is constant activity, interruptions, and change of direction. In the other there is a feeling of calm and organisation.

In each the work gets done – but the latter is a less stressful atmosphere in which to work simply because for everyone in the office, matters feel more under control, rather than directed by outside forces.

Interestingly, many people who work in an office where there is constant coming and going and ringing of phones feel that this is inevitable in a school environment even though it may not necessarily be an ideal working situation.

And yet the experience of other schools proves that this is not the case.

It is in fact possible to reduce the amount of traffic coming into the school office (even on a Monday morning) through one simple mechanism – by including on the school’s website not just that which is legally required but also the information that parents most frequently enquire about.

The government states that “every maintained school must publish specific information on its website to comply with The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012”.

This includes the school’s contact details, Ofsted reports, exam and assessment results, performance tables, curriculum, behaviour policy, pupil premium, SEN report, charging and remissions policies, values and ethos.

Yet many schools are finding it difficult to comply with this legislation as the website isn’t quick or easy to update in-house.

It is therefore important that your school website comes with built in tools and controls to reduce the amount of time spent on maintaining the site and which enable any member of staff, even with the most basic of IT knowledge, to take on the task.

Furthermore the website should be accessible to every parent, anywhere, by ensuring that the information and content can be viewed easily on a range of devices including smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.

Where the website is easily accessible and full of information relevant to parents and prospective parents, traffic and calls into the school office can be reduced, making the school office a place in which work can be produced much more rapidly than might otherwise be the case.

If you would like to get an expert’s view on how well your school’s website is communicating information to parents, or indeed how the process of updating the website can be made more efficient, please do visit our website: www.inco-education.co.uk

Alternatively please call us on 01902 784 800 or email info@inco-education.co.uk

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