Student workshops, teacher training and world-class supportive resources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

We look forward to hearing from you soon.


The Positively MAD Team

A Demos Study reveals how you can enhance your pupils’ engagement levels in the classroom.

The BBC has reported on a Demos study which has revealed the extent to which school projects such as renovating a garden or hosting a school club can enhance pupils’ engagement in learning.

The study reported that there was an improvement in the behaviour of 45% of the pupils in schools that hosted projects in which teachers and pupils worked together to achieve a common goal.

Furthermore, participation in school clubs or projects was also shown to increase pupils’ confidence levels and social skills, whilst also improving teacher-pupil relations.

All sorts of activities can be organised that will achieve such an improvement in behaviour – although, of course, some schools can be restricted in the types of projects and clubs that they can offer.

Such restrictions are typically as a result of the school having limited resources and facilities of their own or in their local area, such as a garden or another school that has a sports team with which your pupils can compete.

One way to overcome this is by leasing a minibus with Benchmark Leasing so that you can travel further afield and thus offer your pupils the opportunity to take part in projects which will ultimately enhance their engagement levels and improve their behaviour in the classroom.

Leasing means that the cost of the minibus is spread over time with fixed monthly costs. The PTA can still contribute by raising money to pay for the monthly payments, but there is no longer that long wait for a lump sum to be accumulated to pay for a vehicle up front.

What’s more, as part of the leasing arrangement, the maintenance of the minibus can be taken on by the leasing company, thus keeping the vehicle roadworthy all the time.

Benchmark Leasing specialises in the supply and maintenance of school minibuses and because of this we are able to offer very competitive prices.

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

Link to article:

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street

Tel: 01753 859944

How to engage students in Maths?

Dr Alan Stokers MindMaths series is a comprehensive photocopiable resource of classroom materials for developing problem-solving skills with able students aged 9-14.  The resource is very versatile and both primary and secondary schools have found the resource complements their scheme of work and curriculum.

This is a useful resource for departments…….a great type of investigational work’ –
N Macleod Mathematical association and teacher Lomond school.

The CD-ROM contains 10 units containing hundreds of tried & tested activities in worksheet format with comprehensive teaching notes and advice on preparation, planning, plenaries & extension work from well-known education advisor and author Dr. Alan Stoker.

Units include:

1: Number logic
2: Rules
3: Combinations
4: Sequences

We are pleased to be able to offer this resource at the new price of just £59.  Once purchased this resource (over 400 pages) may be used throughout the school.

View sample pages and order now at
Alternatively ring me on 07564 291815.  Purchase orders can also been emailed to or sent to:

24 St. Andrews Road, Bexhill-on-sea, East Sussex TN40 2BQ

Thank you for your time, and please do take a look at the resource.

Tempo Publishing


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

The benefits of carrying out SMSC audits are boundless.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Practical science activities to enjoy during British Science Week (11 – 20 March)

Science Week presents an opportunity to do something a bit different in order to ignite a passion for science among your pupils. But, of course, it is always possible for your colleagues to offer their class stimulating and exciting science activities and still remain within the limits of the national curriculum.

Topical Resources have produced the Practical Science Activity Book Series, suitable for years one through to six, which contains a multitude of practical science activity ideas for the various topic areas – from Plants and Animals, to Electricity and Evolution and Inheritance.

The resources have been updated to meet the requirements of the 2014 (English) primary science curriculum and also contain simple planning sheets to use alongside the independent and adult supported practical science activities.

The Practical Science Activity Books are available to order individually (by year group) or as a Special Bundle (which, of course, carries a saving). Furthermore, there is the option to either have them as Black and White photocopiable books, full colour PDF e-books or you can buy them as a download or by CD.

As always, you can order any of our resources in the following ways:

How do Human Processes Interact to Influence and Change Landscapes and Environments?

Key Stage 3 Aged 11-14

Case study – Television Tourism

What impact does the filming of TV soaps have on people, place and the environment?

This topic has been designed for Key Stage 3.  It links with the human geography aspect of the National Curriculum which requires consideration of urbanisation and an understanding of how human processes interact to influence and change landscapes and environments.  It looks at the filming of TV programmes such as the ‘soaps’ and the impact of filming on people, place and the environment. This resource is based on the TV programme ‘Neighbours’ which although set in Australia, can be linked to the personal experience of the learner considering themselves as neighbours.  Fieldwork activities could be designed to link with this topic and a wealth of programmes can be considered and referred to such as Emmerdale, East Enders and Coronation Street. All of these programmes have much to offer geographically, Coronation Street, for example, is a typical inner city street with distinct lack of front garden, garages etc wheras Emmerdale depicts a rural community.

So what impact DOES television tourism have on people, place and the environment?

32 Powerpoint Slides – Price: £24.99 – (£29.99 Inc. VAT)

Once purchased the CD can be freely copied and networked throughout the school.

To see sample pages please email quoting the order code H6041.

You can order the A Case Study – Television Tourism CD-ROM in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 0117 940 6409
  • By fax on 0117 940 6408
  • By email (quoting a school order number) to
  • By post to: Classroom Resources, PO Box 1489, Bristol, BS99 3QJ

Classroom Resources
PO Box 1489
BS99 3QJ

Tel: 0117 940 6409

Free Primary English poster: Direct Speech

You can download a free poster about Direct Speech from a new set of 80 posters for Primary English.

These colourful print-your-own pdf posters reinforce key points and focus on one topic at a time.

They cover grammar, spelling, punctuation and much more.

The visual impact of these posters really helps children remember.

See all the posters, download one free and order here

Ann Batey
Office Manager
Carel Press
(01228 538928)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To subscribe to Policies for Schools, visit

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

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

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


A compendium of creative drama lessons and scripts for teachers working with Years 7, 8 and 9

Defining what makes a successful course of drama lessons is extremely difficult, and it is hard to imagine that any complete agreement could ever be reached, even if one undertook a long term research project into the issue with a group of fellow teachers.

But there is one factor that most drama teachers would include in their review of successful drama lessons, and that is variety.

Variety not just in the sense of considering drama from a whole variety of different thematic areas, but also through the variety using the themes with different types of dramatic activities and the different ingredients in drama.

A chance, for example, to utilise one or more types of comedy (from farce to parody, from slapstick to satire) within dialogues, relationships, monologues, sustaining a role, creating a character etc.

It is this notion of variety that the copiable volume “New Essential Drama Skills” takes as its starting point in offering a huge range of activities for pupils in years 7, 8 and 9.

The more traditional notion of focussing the drama on specific subjects such as “Life in a Mediaeval Village” or the topic of “Refugees” is thus avoided (for there are already plenty of books that do this).

Instead drama activities are sought which allow the reader to pick various drama activities, to explore perhaps mime, to look further at improvisation, as the development of the group and the syllabus demands.

Also included in the book are a set of short plays for pairs and groups, as well as a series of extended drama games which can be used over and over again in different formats, allowing young students the chance to explore a wide range of possibilities from the same starting point.

The volume also includes a diverse set of very varied activities within the field of mime and movement, activities which can be used with any year group.

The volume “New Essential Drama Skills” by Philip Jamieson is available as a photocopy master or on CD Rom, so that you copy and hand out sections of the book to fellow teachers and of course to the students.

New Essential Drama Skillsl is available as a copiable book, or on CD or as a download.  Each edition comes with unlimited reproduction rights for use within the school. Sample pages can be viewed here

ISBN 978 1 86083 842 2; order code T1840EMN


  • Photocopiable spiral bound book, £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD: £26.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

When ordering the book please quote the reference T1840EMN.

The Megaton Bomb: A Guide to Armageddon

DVD 30 Minutes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cost of a DVD  £16.30 plus postage

You can easily order by going to our website or you can order by e-mailing us at Please put ref HH1 in your order.

How can you show your pupils what Shakespeare is all about in just one day?

William Shakespeare’s poems and plays don’t just deserve an introduction, but rather they require one, simply because his works are unlike anything that your pupils will have seen, heard, read, or experienced.

Of course, it is important that this introduction to Shakespeare is as exciting as possible in order to ensure that your pupils enjoy the bard’s work – even though they might struggle on their own with the language in his play scripts.

It is for this reason that we have developed Shakespeare Today – a workshop run by West End actors who are experienced not only in acting, singing, dancing, and choreographing, but also in showcasing Shakespeare’s work in primary schools.

Our actors help young children to understand Shakespeare, from the characters to the language, whilst simultaneously developing the pupils’ skills and confidence in acting and performing.

The format of the workshop is that our actors visit your school for one day and work on a class-by-class basis with your pupils. Sessions are tailored to each age group, from Reception to Year 6.

To conclude the day, there is a shared final performance lasting about 40 minutes where each class performs a different part of the story, providing a perfect introduction to Shakespeare’s work.

Our Shakespeare Today workshop is an activity that you can easily incorporate into Shakespeare Week (14 to 20 March 2016) although, if your school already has plans for this week, we can offer other dates too.

You’ll find more about the workshops on our website and you can use our quick enquiry form to reserve the best dates or ask any questions about our workshops. Alternatively, you can email or call me on 020 7395 7525.

Best wishes

Nigel Godfrey

Peterloo, Shelley and the development of British democracy.

A vivid portrayal of the Peterloo Massacre  and Shelley’s response to it in Shelley specialist and songwriter John Webster’s new DVD ‘Shelley’s Golden Years in Italy’, together with a discussion of the poet’s legacy and role in the growth of democratic institutions in GB, could make an intriguing and memorable contribution to Key Stage 3 of Citizenship studies.

The two sections, opening and concluding the 43 minute DVD, demonstrate the progress made from the tragic collision of social and political forces in 1819, referring to the Chartists and the Suffragettes and the strength they drew from Shelley’s work.

Shelley’s contribution to the development of democracy in Britain has been demonstrated by scholars in recent years,and this raises the question of how far poets, writers, and musicians can affect political events.An intriguing question in light of the frequent involvement of today’s artists in political and environmental campaigning!

More information is available at where song and narrative samples, as well as links to a discussion of the citizenship issues raised, can be accessed. The DVD costs £12.95 plus £1.95 postage


To John Webster, 57A Old Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7JZ

 Phone/Fax 01865 765436  Email:

Please supply ‘Shelley’s Golden Years in Italy’

Payment enclosed ____

Please invoice

Your name ___________________________

School ________________________________________

Address _____________________________________________________________________


Postcode ____________

A clear understanding of FGM

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

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

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

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

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

To find out more please click HERE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Understanding the issue of extremism and the PREVENT Duty in schools

The internet brings marvellous opportunities to children and young people with the ability to learn new skills and visit websites which engage and enrich their lives.

However, the internet also brings dangers such as online predators, who will try and contact children through websites and software applications.

The new resources available from E-safety Support will guide pupils, parents and teachers through the topic, helping identify the issue of online radicalisation and giving suggestions on how to protect against the threat of online extremism.

The resources were developed by Tim Pinto, member of the Educational Advisory Board for CEOP and experienced educational e-safety consultant.


Extremism Resources
Currently Available

     √ Assembly for pupils

√ Guidance for parents

√ Training for staff


E-safety Support for Schools E-safety Support offers schools a suite of resources to help keep pupils and staff safe online. These include:

  • Resources for students – including lesson plans and assembly plans
  • Guidance for teachers – special reports, regular articles and advice on e-safety issues
  • Tools for school management – including policy templates, training, parent support and audit tools

If you are interested in finding out more, join our free membership service for a selection of assembly plans including a teacher script and presentation, special e-safety reports for you and your colleagues, a news and information widget that could be added to your school website and regular e-safety bulletins.


What is e-safety? Free Doddle quiz!

With Internet Safety Day taking place this week, now is the perfect opportunity to check that your students know how to stay safe online with our free quiz!

Do your students know what personal information should not be shared? Can they identify cyberbullying? Do they understand how to keep a computer safe? Using fill-the-gap and multiple-choice questions, each followed by a formative recap slide, this quiz will ensure that your students have a secure understanding of e-safety.

Try out the free quiz on our Doddle ICT & Computing page!

Consisting of hundreds of engaging resources to keep your students interested in key topics, both in class and at home, Doddle has everything you need to encourage your students to take an active, independent role in their learning. Book a free in-school visit and one of our Educational Consultants will give you a full tour of Doddle’s features!


Mental Health Issues and Syndromes – Raising Staff Awareness

A national campaign on teenage mental health has just been launched to stop students stigmatising peers who suffer from mental illness and to help parents identify the symptoms of mental health. A new national survey of 10,000 youngsters aged 2-19 and their families, to identify the mental health issues that are most common, is now being undertaken. The results of this survey are not due until 2018 and resultant improvements in services would not take place until then. So therefore it is important that in schools we keep up to date with the latest key ways we can identify and support students with mental health issues and the 3 volumes of Behaviour Solutions – A Guide to Syndromes and Conditions will be a valuable photocopiable resource to support staff in their work. All 3 volumes cover the full range of mental health difficulties listed in the Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties section of the SEN Code of Practice.

Each volume gives a guide to a wide range of conditions (there are 68 in all) and looks at definitions, symptoms and characteristics, causes, treatments, strategies to use in the classroom and a list of useful references including websites.

Volume 1, (A Revised Guide to Syndromes and Conditions), focuses on 20 conditions including Autism, Asperger Syndrome, ADHD, Conduct and Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, OCD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Dyslexia. It contains latest research findings, 3 new conditions as well as updated information on conditions relating to the recently published DSM5.

Volume 2, (A Guide to More Syndromes and Conditions), moves on to 26 conditions and issues not covered in the first volume including Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Eating Disorders, Loss Separation and Bereavement, Mental Health, Self-Harm, Substance Misuse and Cerebral Palsy.

Volume 3, (A Guide to Further Syndromes and Conditions), moves on to 22 conditions and issues not covered in the first two volumes including Selective Mutism, Joint Hypermobility, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder and Apraxia.

One particular benefit is that the books come in a photocopiable format so that if you wish to circulate details of a condition to several colleagues, or indeed to provide information to concerned parents, this is easily achieved.

Further details of the volumes and their contents are to be found on

Cost of the 3 volumes is £60 (a saving of £15 on normal price) plus £6 postage and packaging.

To order please visit or contact us at:

Behaviour Solutions Limited

15 St. Marys Close


Newton Abbot


TQ12 5QF

Phone / Fax 01626 366161


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are details here including sample pages

If you have any enquiries please do call 01536 399 000 or email

You can place orders on line (there is a link from each of the above resource pages) or you can go straight to the on-line shop here You can also order by post and fax:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is a sample chapter available on-line at

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


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

You can purchase the book…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sample pages from the book, order code T1616emn,  can be found on


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

 You can purchase the report…

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

When ordering the book please quote the reference T1

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The Kaiserreich

This 150 page book will be invaluable to any student of the Second Reich at Advanced level. It provides a comprehensive, narrative chronological structure which is a prerequisite of any study of the period. Personalities and events are recounted in considerable detail and are clearly set in context.

However the book goes beyond most standard textbooks in the way it prepares students to produce competent essay responses to exam questions and provides practice in handling documentary sources.

  • Students are given key questions to consider and are encouraged to test continuously the theories of historians against their own findings.
  • Essay style questions are set at each stage in the book.
  • Documentary criticism skills are continuously tested.
  • Frequent historiographical references remind students to read beyond this text to gain a greater understanding of the subject.

What’s more, the materials are available as a photocopiable book and as a CD which can be put onto the school’s network and shared among all students for whom it is relevant.  Thus all students may use the material with the purchase of just one copy.

ISBN No: 978 1 86083 564 3 Order code: T1649EMN

Sample pages are available to download free of charge from

  • Photocopiable book: £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD: £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD plus photocopiable book: £36.94 plus £3.95 delivery

You can order… Please quote the order code T1649EMN

  • By post: Write to First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Rd., Corby, Northants NN17 4HH
  • By fax: To 01536 399 012
  • By phone: quoting a credit card number or a school order reference number: 01536 399 018
  • On line: Go to– you will need a credit card to complete the order

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Easy to use communication platform

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

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

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

Set up your trial account

3 ways SchoolCal is redefining engagement across the whole school

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

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

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

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

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

Set up your trial account

I wondered lonely as a cloud….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathryn Grant

Tower Poetry Administrator

To Kill a Mockingbird – An Abridged Text

To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee and is a famous American novel about a girl called Scout Finch. The novel is set in the 1930s in the U.S.A. One of the most important themes in To Kill a Mockingbird is racism.

In the novel an Afro-American is accused of raping a white lady. It is clear that he is innocent but because he is black he is found guilty. To Kill a Mockingbird is set in a town called Maycomb in the southern states of the U.S.A.

During the 1930s racial discrimination was a big problem in the U.S.A. Black people were poor and they were not treated fairly by most white people. Scout and her family are different. They treat black people with respect. In the 1930s the law did not help Afro-Americans. Many had to go to prison for crimes they did not commit. In to Kill a Mockingbird an innocent black man has to go to prison.

Quite often the content of the National Curriculum can be intractable for pupils who speak English as a second language.  The teaching of English can now be made wholly accessible using these resources.  Set texts have been effectively differentiated so that they can be understood by pupils who may find the original versions difficult.

The texts chosen have been widely used in English and Special Needs classrooms and promote the development of reading, writing and listening skills.

They have proven to be very popular because of the accessibility. At the end of each section there is a series of stimulating exercises, which are designed to enhance language acquisition.  The texts available are studied for the Certificate of Achievement, in years 9-11.  As teachers, we know that understanding the text not only activates interest but, ultimately, that all pupils can obtain encouraging grades in their Certificates of Achievement.

44 Photocopiable masters £29.99 + VAT

Once purchased, the CD can be freely copied and networked throughout the school!

To see sample pages please email quoting the order code H5257.

You can order the To Kill a Mockingbird – An Abridged Text CD-ROM in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 0117 940 6409
  • By fax on 0117 940 6408
  • By email (quoting a school order number) to
  • By post to: Classroom Resources, 9 Logan Road, Bristol, BS7 8DU

Classroom Resources Ltd
9 Logan Road,

Tel: 0117 940 6409

The Little Box of BIG Questions

Philosophical and meaningful conversations with children and young people

Professor Irvine Gersch & Dr Anna Lipscomb

Children/young people need time, space and kindness to speak openly about the things most important to them and listening can help facilitators understand better the root of children’s thinking and behaviour, and can give an insight into how to better support them to reach their potential. Use these cards to provide prompts for a meaningful, stimulating and positive conversation about the ‘bigger picture’ in life. They will help children and young people understand their views about life, school and people important to them, which is enlightening for the facilitators too.

There are four areas for discussion:

Identity – allows the child to consider what is special about them as individuals & includes: How would you describe the person you are?

Important people – children are encouraged to consider who is important to them through questions such as: Who is special to you?

Meaning & Purpose – questions covering our mission and purpose in life, for example: Do you think that people’s lives are set out for them?

Thinking & Planning – the final set of questions allows individuals to think about how they reflect and make big decisions, for instance: How do you calm your mind, relax and think best? Have you ever experienced a big change in your life?

Contents: 17 A5-size cards, includes instruction booklet with ideas for use


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


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


How to host your own Science Week workshops during Science Week 2016.

Hosting your own Science Week workshops can very often work out to be a more cost-effective option than hiring external presenters every day of Science Week (11-20 March) and can be a great opportunity for you to try out new approaches.

Of course, in order to inspire a love for science among your students it’s vital to differentiate your workshops from the typical science lessons that your students attend on a daily-weekly basis.

This can be readily achieved by, for example, inviting other teachers and classes to join your workshops and jettisoning the usual lesson format/routine and curriculum for a short period of time.

Furthermore, organising exciting new experiments, perhaps with equipment that your students haven’t used before, can be highly effective in encouraging your students to explore new concepts and will provoke discussions and generate excitement.

And this is where we can help, as Thinkers in Education (who regularly host STEM workshops in schools) have selected a range of fantastic cost-effective resources and activities that you can use for your own science workshops, not only during Science Week but throughout the year.

The STEM Box 1 Collection contains all the resources you need to host three entirely different hour-long through to day-long workshops, including the apparatus, worksheets, presentations, lesson guides, quizzes… and so on.

Workshop titles include: “The Amazing Mirascope Experiments”, “Water Rockets Away” and “Caving Conundrum Investigations”.

You can find more information about our STEM workshop kits and order The STEM Box 1 Collection from our Resource Shop at Or, if you’d prefer, you can order the workshop resources and activities separately.

If you would like to know more about our STEM resources, or indeed, if you would like to host any of the STEM workshops that we run, please call us on 01603 520866 or email

How to avoid time-consuming administration, bureaucracy, and cash flow problems when procuring a brand new school sports facility.

It would be an understatement to say that having a brand new sports facility installed in your school is costly. And, in addition to the expense, such a project typically comes with a significant amount of time-consuming administration, bureaucracy, and cash flow implications.

So how can you get a brand new cricket facility (for example) installed in your school without encountering any such problems?

The answer: Notts Sport and the Fast Track Funding Scheme.

Notts Sport will design a bespoke cricket facility (or refurbishment) that’s perfect for your needs. Then, using Fast Track Funding, we will provide you with a flexible funding solution with monthly, quarterly, or annual repayments to suit you.

This means that no (or very little) payment is required until the facility is complete, and we won’t expect you to pay it all back at once, which will help to minimise the impact on your cash flow.

If you have any questions about the Fast Track Funding Scheme, please don’t hesitate to contact us, either by calling us on 01455 883 730 or emailing us at

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

What’s more, you can find out more about the various pitch surfacing systems designed and developed by Notts Sport, by visiting

What is the most effective way of helping your pupils make sense of learning?

It is normal for children to grasp the various concepts of the curriculum at different stages throughout their primary education. Yet the curriculum sets out the timeframe that pupils have to fully understand these concepts with very little room for compromise.

This, of course, presents a dilemma, particularly for those pupils who aren’t just finding one subject or topic area difficult to grasp, but are having difficulty keeping up with a wide array of concepts across the primary curriculum.

One method which has been known to aid the learning of children who are finding it difficult to keep up with the demands of the curriculum is the use of multi-sensory learning. Which is why we have produced the Multi Sensory Pack.

The Multi Sensory Pack can be used to support pupils in all aspects of their learning, from numeracy and literacy to drama and PSHE. It enables pupils to exercise a kinaesthetic approach to learning, leading to a greater understanding and improved attainment.

Using the items in the pack for learning purposes has also proven to be beneficial when it comes to engaging pupils who typically appear disinterested with their learning.

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

  • on the website
  • by faxing us to 01323 50 10 41
  • by calling us on 01323 50 10 40
  • by emailing us at     
  • 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.

Raising boys achievement – what can schools do?

A three hour workshop exploring:

‘The Boy Problem’ – boys participation in education

Male learning styles

Misreading males?

The importance of addressing literacy concerns

The male-inclusive classroom

A whole-school strategy?

Practical solutions (including the hard-to-reach)

This is an evidence-based, experiential workshop; participants will be informed of useful methods to engage and maintain boys interest in education and will be encouraged to consider a whole-school strategy to improve boys achievement.

£495 – workshop to be delivered by two facilitators.

Liam Kernan
♦ 01905 570180
♦ 07788725318

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

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

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

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

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

“Excellent… A guaranteed grade raiser” 

H Burningham, HOD & ZigZag Customer

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

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

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

Pre-order this year’s pack for dispatch 29th February at
(you can also view previews of last year’s resource here)

ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY
t: 0117 950 3199 | f: 0117 959 1695 |

Give your promotional code WW34 to get free postage!


Free A-Level presentation on gene mutations and cancer

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

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

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

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


The Boardworks team


Free KS4 presentation on probability!

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

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

Try out the presentation on our Doddle Maths page!

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sample pages can be viewed at

  • 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…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jenny Burrows
Savings for Schools

Does it matter to students whether they revise using a book, a mobile, or a tablet?

There is a body of opinion that holds the view that one of the factors that can reduce a student’s willingness to revise is that the revision may well involve a textbook or set of notes.

The reasoning is that because the student’s everyday life is focussed on digital devices, such as tablets and mobile phones, this makes it less likely that they will revise during the journey to and from school, during the lunch break, or indeed when at home unless they can do so on their tablet or mobile.

Further it is argued that if revision material were to be available on digital devices it is likely that some of the more revision-averse students could be drawn into doing a bit more homework.

We’d very much like to know your views on the subject, and so we’ve set up a short questionnaire and would appreciate if you could complete it.

There are only five questions and it really will only take one minute to answer them. Your answers will be very helpful in directing the way revision materials are developed for students in the future.

Please click here to take part in the survey.

If you would like to know our findings just let us know by replying to this email, and we’ll send out the results in a few weeks.

George Webb

Revision Buddies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To order Testbase please:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is a sample chapter available on-line at

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


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

You can purchase the book…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find the report useful.

Tony Attwood

86% of school buildings contain asbestos, yet 44% of teachers are unaware that their school is one.

Naturally, as time goes on, buildings age. And whilst this might increase their value, it also increases the likelihood of the building containing substances which have been found to harm the health of those inhabiting it on a regular basis.

Kevin Courtney, NUT general Secretary, reported that between 200 and 300 former school children and a rising number of teachers die of mesothelioma each year, thought to be caused by the asbestos found in 86% of school building across the UK.

NUT lead on asbestos, Sarah Lyons, commented, “The asbestos that’s in our schools now is getting older and older, so it’s deteriorating and if it’s in a poor condition then it’s in a more dangerous state”

So 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, Damage to school fixtures or fittings that could lead to the release of asbestos fibres need to be reported.

How does the school know if there is asbestos present and how does it manage it?

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. We 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.

We can’t afford a full survey

For schools where budget does not allow a full site survey we can in many cases update an existing survey.

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

The Energy Debate

Key issues in energy for Geography – Key Stages 4-5

DVD Pack: 6 Units + Activity Sheets

Energy Crisis
Nuclear or Not
Clean Coal
Zero Carbon
Energy Efficiency

This is the energy debate in its geographical context. It features UK nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and oil fired power station, hydro, CHP, the BedZED zero carbon project and the Centre for Alternative Energy. The people that work in energy and industry experts spell out the facts and the options clearly and succinctly. How will the UK meet its energy needs?

Short video units
Easy to use click and go menus

Sample: click here

Linked activity sheets

More info: click here

DVD Pack £29.99 ex Vat, £35.99 inc Vat


On line: click here

By phone 020 8968 3732

By email

By post Team Video PO Box 38194 London W10 5WZ

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

Dear teacher,

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

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

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

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

Kind regards,

Hopscotch on behalf of the BBC Learning team

Some things we DON’T do at

As one of the leading suppliers of School Leavers’ hoodies and shirts in the UK, Europe, and beyond, we would like to point out that there are a number of things we DON’T do.

We DON’T have a complicated pricing structure. All our prices are based on a PER HOODIE basis so the price we quote is the price each student pays. Set-up, VAT, our design services, delivery are all included. No hidden extras.

We DON’T keep you guessing as to what your hoodies will look like. We send you samples and you will see a final detailed image of your hoodies before we print and embroider (so you can check the layout and even each individual name within the design, etc.).

We DON’T charge for samples. We know you want to see the quality of the hoodies before you buy. You also need some sort of guide on sizing. We send out samples of your choice.

We DON’T need deposits for samples which, once requested, will arrive at your school or college within 48 hours. All we ask is that they are posted back to us free of charge using our FREEPOST address.

We DON’T charge for re-designs or redrafts to your specifications. Other companies charge each time you want the design changed. With LeaversGear it’s all part of the service. We will change the design as many times as you require until you are completely satisfied.

We DON’T work from set templates or restricted designs. We can draw up any design of your choice and advise as to what can look best. Just send us an image or a sketch and we will do the rest.

At LeaversGear, if you enquire by clicking here you will receive full information on pricing, an order form, and a draft of what your hoodies could look like.

We make it all hassle-free and we keep you right on track throughout the process which we have simplified to one simple order form.

Remember, all you have to do is click this link and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

We look forward to hearing from you. Email us at or call us FREE on 0800 9545662. All you have to do is ask.

Kind Regards

The LeaversGear Team
Freephone: 0800 9545662
Phone: +44 (0) 28 91853974

Stone Age assembly and writing workshops

Stone Age assembly and writing workshops

Tie in story writing with your history topic and bring the past to life with a Stone Age assembly. It’s fun and interactive. Pupils will get hands on with a mammoth hunt and find out about Neolithic life.

The Stone Age assembly is a perfect primer for story writing workshops where pupils will write their own stories. We’ll use the innovative Accelerated writing method (as used by Creative Writing Club). I’m a children’s author who teaches creative writing in schools, so I can also answer their questions on writing and perform short extracts from my book.

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

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

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

For dates and prices please call 0845 838 5526 or email

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More information about National Storytelling Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To subscribe to Policies for Schools, visit

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

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

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

Link to BBC article:

Learn about your library

Do your children understand basic terms about books and libraries?

This set of 20 ‘print your own’ pdf posters is guaranteed to make library introductions easy and memorable.

These bright, colourful posters cover: Alphabetical order, Author, Blurb, Book Title, Borrow, Contents page, Dewey numbers, Fiction, Finding books, Front Cover, Glossary, Illustrator, Index, Information Books, Picture Book, Renew a Book, Return a book, Spine.

They are incredible value for money! You can see all the posters here


Ann Batey
Office Manager
Carel Press

(01228 538928)

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A cumulative approach to developing handwriting skills

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

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

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

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

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

Book your more able students onto our workshops during British Science Week (11 – 20 March 2016)

It was revealed in Ofsted’s ‘2015 Report’ that “schools that had been recently inspected rarely offered a bespoke curriculum for more able pupils in KS3” and “only 50% had a curriculum tailored in KS4”.

In response to this, the School Inspection Handbook states that inspectors will “pay particular attention to whether the most able pupils are achieving as well as they should. They will also consider whether they are receiving the support they need to reach their full potential”.

Indeed, to help you prove to Ofsted that you are providing a bespoke curriculum to your more able students, Thinkers in Education are delivering an array of workshops during Science Week, designed specifically for Gifted and Talented students.

Workshops that we think your students will benefit most from during Science Week are Space Pioneers, CSI – Blood Pool, Towering Ambition, and Body in the Box. They require your students to develop their critical and creative thinking skills in a problem-solving context.

More information about our Double Session workshops can be found here.

We run these workshops not only during Science Week but throughout the year, and if you book a workshop for April or May, you will receive a 30% discount.

Or, if you think your more able students will benefit more from one of our Full-Day Sessions, there is a choice of three workshops, each of which focusses on developing a particular skill:

Target Mars – creative thinking

Dead on Time – critical thinking

Bunkered – strategic thinking

More information about our Full-Day Session workshops can be found here.

If you book more than one Full-day Session (so that your more able students from each year group can attend), there is the option for the workshops to either be delivered on consecutive days to save money or throughout the year as suits the school.

Furthermore, if you would like to know more about how we make provisions for Gifted & Talented children, and how we can help you make provisions for your more able students through our workshops, visit

For further information on all aspects of our work, or to make a booking, please call us on 01603 520866 or email

Education news and product reviews for teachers