Category Archives: School News

French Theatre Fun! Pinot The Musical 2018 Tour!

We have exciting news for you about Pinot! The Musical.

Following its four star run at the New Wimbledon Studios in 2017, Pinot! The Musical is going on tour in 2018!

PINOT! THE MUSICAL 2018 TOUR

04 MAY SOUTHEND PALACE THEATRE TBC shortly on www.singinfrench.com
09 – 11 MAY BATTLE MEMORIAL HALL E-MAIL info@singinfrench.com
15 – 25 MAY NEW WIMBLEDON STUDIO THEATRE 0844 871 7646 | atgtickets.com/Wimbledon

TICKETS & TOUR DATES

SOUTHEND PALACE THEATRE – 600 seats

FRIDAY 04 MAY – 13:30

BOOK TICKETS: TBC

600 seats @£5.00 per seat (all seats payable at the same rate whether pupil or adult)

BATTLE MEMORIAL HALL – 220 seats per performance

WEDNESDAY 09 MAY – 10:30 (SOLD OUT) and 13:30 (SOLD OUT)

THURSDAY 10 MAY – 13:30

FRIDAY 11 MAY – 10:30 and 13:30

School groups pay £12.00 per pupil place (1 adult free with every 10 pupils)

BOOK TICKETS: E-MAIL info@singinfrench.com

NEW WIMBLEDON STUDIO THEATRE – 80 seats per performance

TUESDAY 15 – FRIDAY 25 MAY

Monday – Friday 10:30, 13:30

Full Price: £14. Concession: £13. Family Ticket (Book in 4s): £12.00. Under 16: £12.

Schools: e-mail info@singinfrench.com if you have any queries.

BOOK TICKETS: 0844 871 7646 | atgtickets.com/Wimbledon

ABOUT

Set in Paris, the story of Pinot! The Musical follows the adventures of Pinot, a young Russian cyclist with a dream – to win the Tour de France! Follow him and his Cossack dancing friends on their thrilling journey! On his way, Pinot meets colourful characters, including a beggar and a bag lady and a clumsy policeman who keeps chasing him. He wins over two rival gangs, procures a racing bike, endures a spell in jail and undergoes gruelling training – learning French along the way! The show’s catchy songs make learning French easy for children of all ages – and you won’t be able to resist singing along!

The story is told in English and there are four English songs in addition to the French songs. French song topics include: the days of the week, the alphabet, the numbers, or the months of the year. The show is designed for anyone with an interest in French, to brush up their skills or learn a few basics from scratch – while having a great time singing along!

The one hour show is written and produced by Marie Atallah, whose inspiration for Pinot! The Musical came from the belief that learning languages enriches lives and should be fun.

The international cast, whose credits include West End theatre shows, international and UK tours and TV and feature film appearances, are led by directors and choreographers Deborah Swain and recent RADA graduate Adrian Klein.

The 2017 run was praised by critics: ★★★★ ‘Teaches basic French in a fun way’ (Musical Theatre Review), and received phenomenal feedback from schools: ‘Beautifully produced, perfect for our age group’ (Willington School), ‘By far the best theatre production for children in terms of language learning’ (Hollymount School).

If you have any queries at all about the above please email info@singinfrench.com asap.   Based on our 2017 experience, we expect shows to book up very quickly.

 

What is the biggest mistake most students make, when applying for a job or a course?

One of the biggest problems teenagers face as they prepare to leave school is that they think they know how the world works.  And when it comes to the issue of what employers and universities are looking for, unfortunately their thinking can be flawed.

As a result, the way in which the applicant presents him/herself is one which can lead to rejection.  But then, instead of correcting their approach, applicants may come to see the problem as resting with the universities and employers – so they still don’t change.

At the heart of the matter is what are often called “emotional and social competencies” – more commonly known as “people skills”.  Many employers have come to realise that generally only about one third of the difference between an excellent employee and an average employee relates to technical skills and cognitive ability.

The rest of the difference between a highly effective employee and an average employee comes in the form of these emotional and social competencies.

Which raises the question: how can we show students who are starting on the journey to employment, what employers are looking for?  In effect, how can they express their social and emotional competencies to those who might give them a job?

The first step must be for the student to understand his/her own social and emotional competencies. Which is why Belbin has produced GetSet – a way of helping students find out about themselves in relation to what employers tend to look for.

Belbin GetSet is a set of questionnaires that school students can complete online and which generate a detailed set of reports revealing the student’s strengths.  As a result, the students can best present themselves in applications to higher education and to employers.

To find out more, and to arrange for one or more students to take the online test and receive a full report, please do visit our website where you will find full details.  Or if you have any questions, please email getset@belbin.com or phone 01223 264975.

Alleviating pupils’ social, emotional, behaviour and mental health issues.

Detailed results of a large study available for primary school staff for the first time

The outcomes of over 46,000 observations by parents and referrers (mostly teachers) are being published in detail on 12th December in the International Journal of Play and Creative Arts Therapies Research.  These are based upon a quantified clinical evidence base (CEB) related to a standardised model of play therapy.

The overall conclusion is that 77% to 84% of children show a positive change after receiving therapy provided according to the standards of the Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. The amount of change varies according to gender, age, presenting condition, severity of the issue and country. As an example, when the population of children with a greater severity of a particular problem was examined, 93% observed by referrers and 87% by parents showed a positive change.

The CEB enables many factors to be analysed with confidence for the first time, some of which have been demonstrated in the paper. Answers on the effectiveness of play therapy, for a specific presenting condition such as relationship and attachment problems, anger management, loss and bereavement, ADHD, ASD anxiety and some 40 others can now be obtained.  These include the creative arts media chosen by the children, the number of sessions and client attributes as well as the outcomes themselves.

If you would like a copy of the paper or the results for a specific condition email Jeff Thomas, Registrar Play Therapy UK: jefferyht@majemail.com

 

Debate Chamber Summer Schools

Debate Chamber Summer Schools provide students aged 15-18 with the opportunity to explore some of the fascinating subjects on offer at university, while experiencing an exciting and engaging seminar-style approach to learning. Our courses focus on developing intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and the desire to explore academic material in a more sophisticated way than is often possible at school.

Highlights from our Summer Schools 2018 programme include:

Law Summer School

The Law Summer School offers an exciting and challenging introduction to the legal profession, and is aimed at students who wish to take their first steps towards a legal career or Law degree. This course includes lectures on key areas of the law, seminars on some tricky and controversial legal questions, lively debates and a full mock trial.

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

History Summer School

The History Summer School encourages students to confront the unexamined assumptions underlying their interpretations of the past. A combination of engaging discussions, formal debates, lectures, group presentations and close individual reading of primary and secondary source material will help students to get a sense of what undergraduate study is really like.

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

Mathematics Summer School

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

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

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

Bursaries

Debate Chamber is committed to ensuring that financial circumstances do not prevent any student from attending our events. Students can apply for bursaries covering up to 100% of the course fee through our website.

How can my students attend?

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2018. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

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

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

 

Making Wi-Fi Part of School

Merging the internet with the classroom has not been a smooth ride. While some teachers applaud it, others find it a distraction. However, the world is becoming more digitalised every day and now plays a key part in how we socialise, self-educate, apply for jobs, and — in most industries — actually do our jobs!

Within this article, we look at how effective the internet is for teaching pupils and what the future has in store for Wi-Fi in the classroom.

The impact of the internet in schools

Although not every educator might like it, the internet is a large part of how society works, lives and interacts — so why should this influence stop when you step into a school? According to the British Educational Suppliers Association, 70% of schools are not Wi-Fi ready. However, many feel that implementing the internet in schools is vital to education and can make learning easier and more fun — providing that it is monitored.

The internet is a portal to a limitless land of facts and figures, which means it can be an excellent source of self-education, if allowed in a school. In 2016, the BBC reported that over 300 libraries were closed down since 2010 — if local councils are shutting libraries, where are students supposed to gather the information they need for school? The internet is instant and vast, so using it for research and learning is a natural step.

Of course, it’s not all about the students — teachers can benefit from the internet, too. Planning lessons is a large part of teaching and a source of much effort and even stress for teachers. However, educators could simply use online resources to research topics for a class, if the internet was available during worktime. What’s more, students can also use the internet to conduct their own research once these lessons have been planned and carried out. Search engines now have the ability to prioritise reliable websites that they think will most help the user. For example, the BBC Bitesize site features themes that are popular in the UK school curriculum. This website then leads on to different levels of learning to ensure that it caters to students of all ages and abilities. It also provides interactive educational games for students which helps with engagement and information retention.

Implementing Wi-Fi in educational establishments

If your school Wi-Fi connection could be improved, this can affect how positively you feel about having internet in schools! A quick and reliable connection means an exciting source of learning for students of all abilities, while a poor one can waste essential time.

Rather than having an internet room, Wi-Fi will allow pupils and teachers to move around the building without fear of losing connection and losing work. Also, good Wi-Fi will enable kids to research key information that they may need quickly. Consequently, this will save taking trips between the library and the classroom, and so allow teachers to monitor their students more closely during their lessons and reduce disruptions.

But can Wi-Fi be misused in schools? Rather than being a distraction, it seems likely that implementing Wi-Fi could boost communication and interactions across the school — whether this includes pupils in the same school or different schools around the country or world! However, this can only work if a good connection is installed. According to technical director of KBR, Gareth Tomlin:

“Education is rapidly moving towards mobile learning using iPads, Android Tablets and Google Chromebooks. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that students are so comfortable using these types of devices in their homes. However, these gadgets can only communicate with the school’s network over Wi-Fi as they have no wired network port.”

Wi-Fi in schools could also promote the learning of disadvantaged students. For example, if there is a student that has an illness or a disability, using Wi-Fi will give them the opportunity to continue to take part in lessons via conference calls. It could also allow schools to schedule calls with educational specialists from around the world to assist with certain subjects or helping particular pupils, thus creating strong connections with global individuals and institutions.

The internet: how it could change the classroom in the future

It seems that technology, in all aspects of our lives, is unstoppable — so how will it transform our classrooms further down the line? With technology gadgets becoming more affordable, we will see more students with personal devices at school, as well as more hi-tech, school-property gadgets for pupils to use. It’s likely that we will also see a higher use of ‘the cloud’. This will not only enable teachers to store different types of materials for their lessons, but also create a collection of work from their pupils.

We’ve gone over the advantages of the internet in schools, but what about the potential drawbacks? Protecting students is essential when they go online, so educators must plan and execute strict policies to ensure all pupils are safe when browsing online. A part of this is to allow each student their own account on a built-in school system. This will allow teachers and students to set and complete homework tasks online, which will mean fewer paper-based homework assignments.

Clearly, many pupils will benefit from better access to the internet and faster Wi-Fi connections when they’re learning and developing their skills at school. Implement a good internet policy in your workplace and you could be allowing kids access to a wider pool of knowledge to get them ahead in the professional world!

Sources:

http://www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/

Q&A with our Directors: The importance of WiFi in schools

 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT regarding POSTURA PLUS chairs ……..

 BEAT THE JANUARY 2018 PRICE RISES ON POSTURA PLUS CHAIRS  …..   

Postura Plus classroom chairs have a TWENTY year warranty and are available in 16 attractive colours and six sizes from nursery to secondary schools, colleges and universities. Since their introduction in 1996 they have revolutionised the design and durability of classroom chairs. Thousands of schools  throughout the UK are  using these chairs;  often starting with just one classroom and then “rolled them out”  across their school or college as funds allowed.

The twenty year warranty on Postura Plus chairs provides potential savings of hundreds, maybe even thousands of  £££s  in reduced  maintenance and  repair costs compared with traditional metal frame plastic classroom chairs.

Details and pricing of  Postura Plus chairs can be seen on the website:   www.centraleducational.co.uk

If you are considering ordering Postura Plus chairs during the next four months then here’s some very important news………    The manufacturers have announced price increases on all sizes from 1 January 2018, but it’s possible to take delivery in 2018 and still pay 2017 prices !

Now for the good news…..  

If you order before December 20  2017 then you can take delivery of your new Postura Plus chairs any time up till 30 March 2018  and still only pay 2017 prices.  (NB. This only applies to orders placed before 20 December).

For more information or to make an order  please contact Central Educational Supplies Ltd on 020 7515 1797   or email:    info@centraleducational.co.uk   Please ask to speak to Martin Evans who will be pleased to assist and answer any questions you may have.

PS.  Did you know that the  Postura Plus range also includes stools and  IT chairs as well as classroom chairs  ?  If  you are likely to need stools or IT chairs in the near future then the same opportunity exists for you to beat the price increases.  Details of the stools and IT chairs are on the website:  www.centraleducational.co.uk

Central Educational Supplies Ltd.,  PO Box 999  London  E14 6SH 

Want to better support your boys? Have you considered accredited mentoring?

How to effectively engage young males with education and provide them with the support and encouragement they need to go on to bigger and better things is always a concern for staff.

Mentoring, as well as offering an evidence-based approach to work with young men, helps young men to achieve their academic and vocational potential, addresses concerns related to problematic behaviours – and provides go-to support and signposting to other services from someone they have built trust with.

The Unit Award in Mentoring Boys and Young Men is a Level 2 award providing your staff/students with an understanding of mentoring work. Whether it is for your staff to better engage with boys or for the boys themselves to support one another, mentoring is an approach that has been shown to work.

The workshop covering the award criteria is 4 hours long. Each staff/student undertaking the award will be provided with their own copy of the Mengage course book: Mentoring Male: A guide to mentoring work with boys and young men. A Level 2 certificate will be issued upon completion.

The workshop costs £1295 for up to 10 staff or up to 15 students. 

For more information or to discuss a booking, you can contact Liam by email at liam@mengage.co.uk or by phone on 07788725318.

Alternatively, you can visit our website at www.mengage.co.uk to see what else we offer with regards to mental health and raising boys’ achievement.

Debate Chamber Summer Schools 2018

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

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

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

Highlights of Summer 2018:

The Medicine Summer School for students aged 15-18 offers a series of two-day events with specialist sessions on cardiology, paediatrics, oncology, emergency medicine and many other topics – enabling students to attend a wide-ranging introduction or select the sessions most relevant to their interests.

The Summer Law School for 15-18s, in three distinct five-day Parts to allow time for more cases, more analysis and more debate on some of the most intriguing legal questions. Students can choose to focus on Criminal Law, Civil Law or International Law, or to attend all three Parts for a comprehensive introduction to legal study.

The Philosophy and Critical & Cultural Theory Summer Schools for students aged 15-18 will look at some of the biggest questions in metaphysics, ethics and political theory, giving an opportunity to engage with the work of some fascinating thinkers, and also to develop students’ own skills of reasoning and argumentation.

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

For those interested in the Arts & Humanities, we have Summer Schools in Economics, History, Classical Civilisations, International Relations and Politics (all for students aged 15-18).

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

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2018. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

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

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

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

Why now is perhaps a better time than any to review your school’s spending on school-to-home transport

Since councils are required to make transport arrangements for children who live beyond three miles of their school (beyond two miles if below the age of eight) and for children who “cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school” because of mobility problems or health and safety issues related to SEN, it is not surprising that school-to-home transport costs £1 billion a year.

Yet the vice president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services is calling for cuts to be made to school-to-home transport, not least because it has been estimated that councils will face a £2 billion funding gap by 2020 to support vulnerable children.

This suggests that now is perhaps a better time than any to review your school’s spending on school-to-home transport and to look for alternative transport arrangements which might prove to be more cost effective.

An increasing number of schools have, for example, found that leasing a minibus, rather than owning a minibus outright, can sometimes work out to be cheaper in the long run due to the rate at which a vehicle devalues over time and with use – so it is well worth contacting a company like Benchmark Leasing to get a quote so that you can work out the figures for yourself.

Furthermore, by leasing a minibus with Benchmark Leasing, the vehicle’s MOTs, repairs* and services are included in the arrangement and the costs are conveniently built into the lease price. And as the minibuses that Benchmark lease to schools are always brand-new, the length of time that the minibus is out of action due to repairs is significantly reduced.

To enquire about leasing a brand-new minibus with Benchmark Leasing, please do call on 01753 859944 or email us at minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk. You might also like to have a look at our website to get a feel for the type of vehicles that we regularly lease to schools.

* T&Cs apply

Source: ADCS vice president: School transport costs ‘cannot be justified’

Professionalism, de-professionalisation and austerity: Read free until 15th November! 

Public services in the UK are being undermined by austerity, marketisation and welfare reform. This special issue of Social Work & Social Sciences Review shows how successive neo-liberal governments have used de-professionalisation in social work and health as a weapon to advance free market ideologies at the expense of public services.

 We examine how different professions in health, social care and education have developed their identity, and then analyse the process of de-professionalisation within an employment culture  increasingly dominated by the values and assumptions of capitalism, globalisation and inequality.

In contrast a counter-narrative is offered for articulating an anti-austerity position, with the aim of contextualising discussions of the future development of professionalism.

Case studies look at:

  • the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and the successful Together for Children campaign against proposals to exempt local authorities from key existing statutory duties.
  • the strike by NHS junior doctors during 2016. Much media coverage of the strike was negative, portraying it not as ‘principled’ action, but as ‘politically motivated’, This tarnished the image of ‘doctors as professionals’, resulting in a potential loss of public trust.

Free access to the special issue is available until 15th November. Visit:

https://journals.whitingbirch.net/index.php/SWSSR/issue/view/134 

This is the first Special Issue of Social Work & Social Sciences Review produced in partnership with the Making Research Count (MRC) Network.  The network comprises the social work or care departments of 10 Universities working in partnership with some 60 local authority children’s and adults’ services, NHS bodies, and independent sector organisations.

 Whiting & Birch Ltd

www.whitingbirch.net

enquiries@whitingbirch.net

@whitingbirch

With exceptionally tight curriculum time and budget cuts is it still possible to support the mental health and wellbeing of post 16 pupils?

Research has shown that there is no doubt in the importance of mental health education within society and in particular the affect that it is having on student performance, however with 1 in 4 students suffering from anxiety and depression how is it possible to tackle such a vast problem on the limited resources within schools and colleges?

Part of the answer may be in understanding and addressing where the roots of many issues start, especially during the leap to responsible adulthood that takes place for many students post 16.

The mental health foundation carried out an extensive research study and report in 2016 and the title is a clear indicator for all educators:

Relationships in the 21st century: the forgotten foundation of mental health and wellbeing.

“Relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives, yet we can often forget just how crucial our connections with other people are for our physical and mental health and wellbeing”

Unfortunately relationship education is extremely difficult to deliver, and as pupils get older and the topics get more sensitive and extreme, although possibly more important than ever, the resources and school commitment to this area decrease.

Having worked with nearly ½ million students across the UK on SRE and mental health topics Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company have spent the last 3 years developing their most mature and extensive relationship project.  The project includes an hour’s live production that is followed by a range of talks or interactive workshops (bespoke delivery varies depending on budget, time and number of pupils).  “Exposed” is a 6th form PSHE experience that supports OFSTED findings on PSHE and has met with rave reviews from both pupils and teachers.

“Our students saw ‘Exposed’ and it was incredible! It is an extremely hard-hitting show with very adult themes running throughout but our students appreciated the opportunity to explore the issues together.” Hannah McSherry, St Albans High School for Girls. 

“We are a school who have had nothing but praise and amazing feedback from the students and staff.” Helen Price, Ramsey Academy.

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

The prime aspect of “Exposed” as a package is that it carefully creates real life characters whose mental health, personalities, desires and influences can all be explored by students and therefore really assists in educating them on healthy relationships and supporting behaviour that encourages positive mental health.

“In raising awareness that healthy relationships help us thrive, we also give a warning of the impact that toxic relationships have on our health and wellbeing. Bullying and abuse are explosive in their destruction of mental health”
Jenny Edwards OBE, Chief Exec, Mental Health Foundation

Using our performance as a springboard our follow up discussions and workshops allow students to examine their own attitudes, ideas and behaviour in relation to difficult, contentious and sensitive topics. The knowledge the students gain helps them develop as students, people and members of society throughout their lives.

The project can be delivered for up to 250 pupils per day and there are a range of delivery options and packages.

Prices start at £575 + Travel + VAT

This academic year the tour runs from the 21st Feb 2018 to 23rd March 2018 and there are still some spaces available.

You can download a flyer here:

http://www.tipoftheiceberg.biz/education/Exposed%20flyer%202%20sided%202016.pdf

If you would like further information and an exact quote please contact me directly:

Tel: 07849743595

Email: tourbooker@tipoftheiceberg.biz

Explore issues of disability and conflict

Free Action Pack

Did you know that 3rd December is both the International Day of People with Disabilities and the anniversary of treaties banning cluster bombs and landmines? Handicap International’s Forgotten 10 Challenge campaign is a unique way for your students to explore issues of disability and conflict at the same time. During the 10 days of action from 1st to 10th December students across the UK will be learning about and raising support for the forgotten victims of conflict including those injured in bombings.

When bombs fall in populated areas 9 out of 10 victims are civilians and around 90 people will be killed and injured today alone.

Whether it’s lessons, tutor group sessions, assemblies or a whole-school event our resources will help ensure your activities have a big impact. Resources for teachers include a campaign kit with factsheets, a quiz and materials for awareness events; our Syria’s Young Survivors poster set, which includes an activity booklet; and PowerPoint presentations.

For more information, a list or resources and an order form please request your Forgotten 10 Challenge Action Pack today.

If you would like to find out more about how your school could get involved, please email john.mcgeachy@hi-uk.org or call me on 0870 774 3737.

I’m looking forward to working with you this term and having a big impact!

Best wishes,

John McGeachy
Forgotten 10 Challenge Coordinator
Handicap International UK
9 Rushworth Street
London SE1 0RB
Email: john.mcgeachy@hi-uk.org
Tel: 0870 774 3737
Text Relay: 18001 0870 774 3737
www.handicap-international.org.uk/schools

About Handicap International

Co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Handicap International is an international aid organisation working with people with disabilities, injured people and other vulnerable people in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster.

Our activities include clearing landmines and unexploded weapons, preventing accidents through risk education, fitting artificial limbs, providing rehabilitation, and supporting survivors to campaign for their rights. Since Handicap International’s creation in 1982, our work has benefited millions of disabled and vulnerable people worldwide. Handicap International is a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the Cluster Munition Coalition and the International Network on Explosive Weapons.

What is the simplest way of ensuring Pupil Premium funding makes a powerful and measurable difference?

To answer that question one needs to find a programme that not only does make a major difference to pupils and students in an important area of study, but which also generates improvements that can be easily measured and readily verified.

Perhaps the most obvious area of work that meets these twin criteria is literacy.

Clearly it is not difficult to identify students who have slipped behind in terms of literacy.  But if one can then, in a short period of time, ensure they have caught up, then the progress cannot be questioned.

What’s more, with this approach in place and the results proven it is possible to move on from there and use the same method with other students who likewise have slipped behind.

The approach that can achieve this dramatic turnaround, and which is a perfect use of Pupil Premium funding, uses one-to-one tuition for selected pupils and students but without the costs generally expected with these sorts of initiatives.

To demonstrate that this initiative works, we offer a free trial of our approach within which every literacy misunderstanding and every concept not fully grasped is instantly spotted, resulting in the pupil going back a step for remedial work.

Each individual’s literacy needs are analysed and each student is directed to an engaging set of activities which remedy any deficits before advancing through to the next set of skills.

This level of instruction is thus accurately reflective of the student’s current abilities, and each student gets a feeling of success and progress which of itself is highly motivational.

To see this process in action before making any firm decisions, there is more information about Lexia Strategies® and the extraordinary results that other schools have seen here. You can also read a variety of case studies here.

You will find on the top right of the page the link to gain full access to the program for 30 days without any payment or commitment.

If you want to know more about the program, please do call 0191 482 1939 or email info@lexiauk.co.uk

Rob Kay

LexiaUK Software Consultant.

Do you want to improve your school’s outcomes this year?

In 2008 Andy Goulty was appointed as the Headteacher of The Rodillian Academy. Since this time, the Academy has improved from 19% A*-C grade profile, to 80% A*-C in 2017 with a projected P8 score 0.91.

Rodillian Academy now regularly achieves 20+% above FFT D and has established itself in the top 5 for similar schools nationally. During this time Andy and his team were heavily involved in research to develop strategies that would support the journey of the Academy.

As co-writer of Positive Discipline (new format), Andy has supported the implementation of this programme across The Rodillian Multi Academy Trust and following two years of successful conferences many schools nationally have adopted this model to improve their school culture and outcomes.

We are very effective in supporting schools across the country in what we consider very challenging but exciting times in education. We collaborate to transform students’ academic results, life chances, self-esteem, horizons, attendance and behaviour.

If you’re disappointed with outcomes at your school this year or you are open to seeing how we do things differently, sign up to our conferences and see how we:
achieve outstanding leadership and behaviour;
improved climate for learning;
create a more positive climate for colleagues to learn and work in.
This has created a culture and climate for learning which has seen:
improved GCSE results from 19% to 80% A-C profile at The Rodillian Academy
improved GCSE results from 38% to 70% A-C profile at Brayton Academy;
in the second year of GCSE results at the former middle school an A-C profile of 79% at BGG Academy;
improved Progress 8 score of 0.5 to 0.91
For more information, contact us on 01924 872 252 or by email at pdenquiries@rodillianacademy.co.uk.

Kind regards,
Andy Goulty
T: 01924 872 252
F: 01924 825 667
E: pdenquiries@rodillianacademy.co.uk
W: www.rodillianacademy.co.uk

Download the booking form

 

What is the easiest way to raise the grades and achievement of every pupil in the school?

The answer to this question was provided last school year by the government.  And it is rather curious, because I suspect that until most of us saw the evidence we wouldn’t have guessed.

It appears from a whole raft of medical evidence that 30 minutes a day of additional physical activity not only cuts down the chances of obesity but also results in dramatic improvements in behaviour and academic achievement.

As a bonus the children who engage in this will also have a lower chance of suffering from mental health issues during the rest of their school lives.

It is the sheer breadth of the benefits that pupils accrue through such activities that has prompted imoves to develop a series of over 1000 curriculum-based active lessons and activities which meet the requirements of this new initiative.

All of these can be undertaken within normal lessons within the regular classroom or, if you prefer, in a hall or outdoors.

So convinced are we of the benefits of the programme that we have decided to offer you a chance to use the programme free of charge.  In short you and your colleagues can take any five lessons without any cost or commitment by the school.

What’s more, these lessons are each complete in themselves, with interactive movies, supporting lesson plans, flashcards, music, and assessments, making the whole process easy to plan, teach, and evaluate.

In effect it means that the complete requirement of 30 minutes a day additional physical activity can now be met by the school using these resources, integrating them easily into the normal teaching timetable.

And the improvement in grades and achievement comes as a bonus.

You can read more about imoves’ active lessons and choose the lessons that you wish to try out, from literacy to science, from PSHE to PE, on our website.

You can, of course, sign up to the free use of the resources straightaway, but if you have any questions please do email enquiries@imoves.com or phone us on 0114 2661061.

Ian Pickles

Imoves

Want to better support your boys?

Have you considered accredited mentoring?

How to effectively engage young males with education and provide them with the support and encouragement they need to go on to bigger and better things is always a concern for staff.

Mentoring, as well as offering an evidence-based approach to work with young men, helps young men to achieve their academic and vocational potential, addresses concerns related to problematic behaviours – and provides go-to support and signposting to other services from someone they have built trust with.

The Unit Award in Mentoring Boys and Young Men is a Level 2 award providing your staff/students with an understanding of mentoring work. Whether it is for your staff to better engage with boys or for the boys themselves to support one another, mentoring is an approach that has been shown to work.

The workshop covering the award criteria is 4 hours long. Each staff/student undertaking the award will be provided with their own copy of the Mengage course book: Mentoring Male: A guide to mentoring work with boys and young men. A Level 2 certificate will be issued upon completion.

The workshop costs £1295 for up to 10 staff or up to 15 students or a one-off date on Thursday 12th October CLICK HERE.

For more information or to discuss a booking, you can contact Liam by email at liam@mengage.co.uk or by phone on 07788725318.

Alternatively, you can visit our website at www.mengage.co.uk to see what else we offer with regards to mental health and raising boys’ achievement.

Access 3,800 education quizzes for free for a whole year

“It is a fun way of reinforcing all the great work being done by teachers every day in the classroom.”

– Chris Packham, TV presenter, author and education advocate.

“Now, we all know that keeping learning fun and informative is the key to gaining and keeping pupils’ interest and concentration, which is why I have become a massive fan of the website, Education Quizzes.”

This is what TV presenter, author, and education advocate, Chris Packham, said when he was asked what he thought about Education Quizzes. But that is not all…

“You see, they are written by teachers who understand the sticking points that pupils have when they are trying to understand a complex subject.

“And reassuringly, the online quizzes follow the national curriculum that is taught in school.

“So what makes them so different? Well these quizzes are like the building blocks of learning. They break down subjects into bitesize chunks, and in doing this, they declutter some of these complex topics into easy to understand questions and answers.

“As your pupils progress through the questions, the quiz will provide your pupils with an explanation as to why they got a questions wrong, and just as importantly, why they got a question right.

“Education Quizzes is different in that it wants you to enforce the theory behind the learning. It wants to make sure that pupils really understand the building blocks of that particular subject. And as your pupils’ understanding grows, the quizzes get harder.

“Furthermore, the performance reports will reassure you that your pupils are comfortable in their understanding of that level and ready to progress to the next stage.

“And do you know what I really like about it? Is that it is a fun way of reinforcing all the great work being done by teachers every day in the classroom.”

To sign your school up to Education Quizzes for free for a whole year and to access the 3,800 (and growing) quizzes on the Education Quizzes website, simply visit www.educationquizzes.com/schools-uk-registrations/. And if you have any queries, you can easily contact us by sending an email to admin@educationquizzes.com.

If your school can’t quite afford to lease a brand-new minibus, has it considered leasing half?

Despite the recent huge growth in interest in learning outside the classroom, schools are limited as to how much Learning Outside the Classroom they can offer, not least because, as 60% of subject leaders reported, booking the school minibus can be somewhat of a challenge.

And in the current economic climate acquiring an additional minibus (even on a lease) is no longer a financially viable option for many schools, which is why some have opted to lease half a minibus – thus increasing their opportunity for LOtC.

Indeed the notion of leasing half a minibus might sound strange but it simply means sharing a minibus with a neighbouring school in the same cluster, trust or council, and thus reducing the costs associated with leasing an additional minibus by 50%.

If you are interested in learning more about leasing half a minibus and how it could work for your school, please do call 01753 859944 and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. Alternatively, you can email minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk.

And if you would like to have a look at the type of minibuses that we regularly lease to schools before getting in contact, please visit www.minibusleasing.co.uk/school-minibus.php.

Helping those who are slipping behind, in the most dramatic of ways.

There is one time of the year during which everyone expects something new: September.  Students have obviously advanced a year, there may perhaps be some new members of staff, there are newcomers in the school just starting their secondary schooling.

Such a moment can be the perfect time to suggest a change.   Especially if the change involves the introduction of a new process to aid those students whose literacy attainments were particularly below average in the previous year.

Indeed, if these students then make a great leap forwards in literacy, that change will have a dramatic impact on not just the students and their parents but also on the whole school. Word spreads that your school really can and will make a difference in terms of literacy.

The approach that can achieve such a dramatic turnaround from the beginning of the academic year uses one-to-one tuition for selected pupils and students – but without the costs normally associated with these sorts of initiatives.

Of course, these are bold claims and you will want to see this validated.  This is why we offer a free trial of our approach. If you arrange a trial now, we can ensure this happens in the first half of the coming term.

Through our program, every literacy misunderstanding and every concept not fully grasped is instantly spotted, resulting in the student being taken back a step for remedial work. After this, progress and advancement resumes.

Each individual’s literacy needs are thus analysed and each student is directed to an engaging set of activities which remedy any deficits before advancing through to the next set of skills.

Because the level of instruction is so accurately reflective of the child’s current abilities, the student then gets a feeling of success and progress which of itself is highly motivational.

To enable you to see this process in action before making any firm decisions, there is more information about Lexia Strategies® and the extraordinary results that other schools have seen here.

You can also read a variety of case studies here. You will find on the top right of the page the link to gain full access to the program for 30 days without any payment or commitment.

If you want to know more about the program, please do call 0191 482 1939 or email info@lexiauk.co.uk

Rob Kay

LexiaUK Software Consultant.

What is the simplest way to ensure that you meet the new 30 minutes a day physical activity directive?

Like so many government directives, the new “30 minutes a day additional physical activity”, which is prescribed for all pupils from this term onwards, comes with a multitude of benefits but little guidance as to how such a programme may be fitted into the average school day.

Certainly on the benefits side there can be little argument, for report after report has shown that children in engaging in this sort of activity are less likely to become obese. Furthermore they will show an improvement in behaviour and academic achievement and will have a lower chance of suffering from mental health issues.

Indeed it is the sheer breadth of the benefits available to schools and pupils that has prompted imoves to develop a series of over 1000 curriculum-based active lessons and activities which meet the requirements of this new initiative.

So convinced are we of the benefits of the programme that we have decided to offer you a chance to use the programme free of charge.  With this option you and your colleagues can take any five lessons without any cost or commitment by the school.

What’s more, these lessons are each complete in themselves, with interactive movies, supporting lesson plans, flashcards, music and assessments, making the whole process easy to plan, teach, and evaluate.

In effect it means that the complete requirement of 30 minutes a day additional physical activity can now be met by the school using these resources, integrating them easily into the normal teaching timetable.

All the activities can take place in the normal classroom, hall, or outdoors, and, as the government reports clearly say, the results (in terms of improved learning, focus, and behaviour) will be witnessed very quickly indeed.

You can read more about the imoves active lessons and choose any five that you wish to try out, from literacy to science, from PSHE to PE, on our website.

You can, of course, sign up straightaway, but if you have any questions please do email enquiries@imoves.com or phone us on 0114 2661061.

Ian Pickles

Imoves

What is the single most important issue when buying hoodies for school leavers?

Of course, when a hoodie, a tee-shirt, or anything else is chosen as part of the official leaving clothing for those now departing the school, the look of the items will be what attracts the students first of all.

But hidden behind this is a second factor, and one that turns out to be much more important.

Because it turns out that some items of leavers’ clothing are made on the basis that they are only going to be worn once or twice.  After that, it is argued, it doesn’t matter if the clothing deteriorates, because the leaver won’t be wearing it any more.

Thus the quality of the clothing can be cut.  But although such an approach does cut costs, it can also seriously damage the school’s reputation.  For it turns out that many leavers keep their leavers’ clothing as a memento.  And if they see it rapidly deteriorating that can affect their view of the school they have just left far more than one might imagine.

As we all know, negative comments spread like wildfire on social media, and therefore what should have been a positive statement about the old school now becomes a totally negative statement about the shoddiness of the clothing provided for the leavers.

Which is why there is one company, LeaversGear, which specialises in quality, not just for leavers but for all school apparel, be it for school trips, outdoor activities, or sports teams.

To take our hoodies as an example, we offer a slightly heavier weight at 310gsm against the cheaper standard 280 gsm, with double fabric hood and self colour chunky flat cords.  They have a kangaroo pouch pocket with concealed ipad and phone pocket, ribbed cuff and hem and twin needle stitching detail.

What’s more, not only is our quality exceptional, we are very competitively priced as well.

And there’s no need to guess at sizes; we will send you samples at no cost.  We just ask you to return the samples when you’ve finished with them.

For more details please see our website www.Leaversgear.com

For early response:-E-mail: enquiries@leaversgear.com

Phone 07801 897272

Leavers Gear
31 Peacock Road
Kings Heath
Birmingham B13 0NZ

If a school ordered 600 of a new scientific calculator in June 2016 and then another 600 of the same model in March 2017, what would your conclusions be?

It’s probably safe to assume that the school was satisfied with the new calculator and that it met the criteria of their maths department as well as being suitable for use at KS 3, 4 and in GCSE exams.

…and the calculator in question? It’s the Logik LK 83XP, featuring “natural display” format, dual power (battery & solar) prime factorisation, stats calculations, random numbers, trig functions, algebraic logic, hyperbolics, and a host of other features which make it a sensible choice for KS 3, KS 4 and GCSE maths. Standard and Higher Grade, Junior & Leaving Certificate

The LK 83XP has auto shut off (to preserve battery life), hard plastic keys & a slide-on case for durability plus a THREE year guarantee. It’s an excellent alternative to the brand leader and at a time when school budgets are under pressure its cost is reassuringly modest…from only £ 5.29 each ex vat. Standard and Higher Grade, Junior & Leaving Certificate

Further details of the LK 83XP dual power scientific calc be found at:

or contact Signpost Educational Ltd on 020 7515 1797 or email: info@signposteducational.co.uk

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

Why 50% of schools are leasing their current minibus

Not surprisingly a recent minibus survey from Benchmark Leasing cited cost as the reason for many schools not acquiring a (additional) minibus. Yet only half of schools have considered leasing a minibus as a way around the problem.

Of course, the great benefit of leasing is that there are no large upfront payments so you don’t have to wait until you have raised enough funds to cover the cost of a minibus in order to acquire a (new) one – which would clearly be the case if you were looking to buy a minibus outright.

Additionally, as leasing is an arrangement which makes it possible for schools to fund the minibus through a small payment each month, there is the added benefit of improved budgeting and cash flow.

In fact, leasing a minibus can sometimes work out to be cheaper in the long run due to the rate at which vehicles devalue over time and/or with use – so it is well worth contacting a company like Benchmark Leasing to get a quote for a brand new minibus so that you can look at the figures for yourself.

Furthermore, by leasing a minibus with Benchmark Leasing, the vehicle’s MOTs, repairs* and services are included in the arrangement with the costs conveniently built into the lease price.

To enquire about leasing a brand new minibus with Benchmark Leasing, please do call on 01753 859944 or email us at minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk. You might also like to have a look at our website to get a feel for the type of vehicles that we regularly lease to schools.

* T&Cs apply

What is by far the most time-friendly 3D printer that can be used in schools?

3D printers come with a variety of issues: not least is how much time it takes to produce an object, the design merits and functionality of the products produced, and the environmental impact.

Indeed, what is needed is a 3D printer that produces its items within the time constraints of a lesson, which has none of the environmental impact that (for example) plastic brings, and which produces products that parents will be pleased to have in the house – and indeed pleased to pay for if sold at the school fete.

It is with such ambitions in mind that we have been working on producing a 3D printer for schools which meets all these requirements.

We believe we’ve now done this, and we are now looking for schools to take our 3D clay printers for free for a six week trial,  starting at a date convenient to you from January 2018.

To be clear, there is absolutely no obligation to buy.  We’ve already installed them in several schools, and now we have ten more machines ready to be used in our second phase of free trials.  We deliver at the start and collect at the end.

All you have to do is agree to take a machine for six weeks and use it with pupils and/or students in your school.  Then at the end of the trial let us know how you got on.

Certainly the feedback we had in the last school year has been extremely positive, so you are not taking on a concept which has not been used in schools before.  And I should add that teachers thus far have said the high quality clay products produced by the 3D printer have been well received by parents, and selling to them is a potential source of revenue.

The 3D clay printer is, of course, provided with full training to the relevant member of staff. Example 3D computer-models are provided to begin with and our Vase Creator offers a simple and fast introduction to model design.

In terms of technical details the 3D clay printer has a footprint of 550 x 350mm and a total height with the cartridge loaded of 1235mm.  As for installation, there are no special requirements: the equipment is delivered to the school and carried in by hand at a time convenient to you.

If you are interested in taking a 3D clay printer for six weeks in your school in the spring term 2018, please do call us on 01926 865109 or email mike@claybot.co.uk

www.claybot.co.uk

Helping Children Who Are Victims of Bullying

Teachers and pupils who suspect that someone is being bullied should always offer to lend a hand, even if it is just to listen. Children may have been broken down by their bully therefore they may be afraid to speak out or they may lack trust in people. They may have a very polarised reaction; lashing out could be the beginning of this but they then may withdraw and refuse to socially interact. What can you do to send the message that you and your school are not tolerant of bullying and unacceptable behaviour? How can you help a child who is being bullied? You can:

  • Empathise and share your own experiences
  • See a teaching opportunity for all – why people bully
  • Show them how to set a good example to others
  • Teach them that bullies may be very unhappy too
  • Help them show compassion to others
  • Teach them ways to talk to a bully

Make intolerance of bullies your selling point as a school. Read on for more information on how to help children combat bullying.

Maths Enrichment workshops 2017/18

World of Maths is a presentation of interactive, exciting, hands-on, problem-solving activities for your pupils.

We are taking bookings for the 2017/2018 academic year.  

We have 34 different activities each year, so are different to our last visit and we come to your school to host Maths days.

Unique displays designed by qualified maths teachers, students are kept fully occupied in small groups.

Activities cover a variety of topics on the syllabus, and most activities relate to real-life situations.

All abilities are catered for and promote positive attitudes towards mathematics.

8 page answer/follow-on booklet supplied.

Our website is most helpful www.worldofmaths.co.uk

Should you be interested in booking please email or call me.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Sophie
World of Maths UK

Free call: 0800 6124 716

bookings@worldofmaths.co.uk

Dual power calculators provide reassurance for students in their maths and science lessons and exams ………

Today’s “battery only” calculators are usually very reliable, especially if you use a recognised brand such as Casio, Logik, Sharp, HP, Aurora etc.

Nevertheless, at certain times some schools and colleges prefer the extra reassurance of “dual power” calcs which use both a battery and a solar cell back up.

Two highly recommended dual power calculators are the Logik LK 83XP (from £ 5.29) and the Casio FX 85GT+ (from £ 7.55)  ex vat.  Both calculators are suitable for KS 3, 4,  GCSE and Scottish exams and each has a THREE year guarantee.

Further details about these two calculators can be found on the website of Signpost Educational Ltd.,  www.signposteducational.co.uk  or contact them by phone on:

020 7515 1797  or  info@signposteducational.co.uk

 

Are you focussing on what matters with regards to raising boys’ achievement?

According to the DfE, “Girls are outperforming boys in all the main attainment indicators at ks4” which is what makes it so important to implement a whole-school strategy that will not only engage boys in education but that will also maintain their interest.

Which is precisely why Mengage has devised a workshop entitled
The Boy Problem: Raising boys’ achievement – what can schools do?

The Boy Problem: Raising boys’ achievement – what can schools do? is an evidence-based, experiential workshop in which your staff will be taught about the most effective ways to close the widening gap between girls’ and boys’ attainment in education.

This workshop offers practical solutions and covers five main areas of concern, including: male learning styles, boys’ participation in education, addressing literacy concerns, a male-inclusive classroom, and the importance of creating a whole-school strategy.

The Boy Problem: Raising boys’ achievement – what can schools do? is delivered in three hours and costs £950 or a one-off date on Thursday 19th October at our education centre CLICK HERE.

For more information or to discuss a booking, you can contact Liam by email at liam@mengage.co.uk or by phone on 07788725318.

Alternatively, you can visit our website at www.mengage.co.uk to see what else we offer with regards to mental health and accredited mentoring.

What’s the best way to ensure that your school or college gets its new stock of chairs, stools or tables in plenty of time for the start of the new school year?

The summer holidays are traditionally a very busy time for UK manufacturers of school tables, chairs, cupboards etc.  Hundreds, maybe even thousands of schools and colleges order new stock …most of which has to be manufactured and delivered in a relatively short space of time.

Sadly it’s not always recognised that this puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the factories …… the need for more raw materials, perhaps taking on extra staff to cope with increased demand and last but not least, delivering huge quantities of furniture the length and breadth of the UK to many schools, often in the space of just a couple of weeks. 

Four suggestions to improve your school’s chances of getting new stocks of tables and chairs etc in plenty of time for the new school year…….  

1.  Order early!    This is usually the key to avoiding chaos at the start of the new term. Most manufacturers will be pleased to produce your furniture early in the summer term and store it for later delivery….either in the holidays or just before the new term starts.

2.  Never throw away your old furniture until the new stock has arrived!  However tempting it may be to clear out old chairs and tables and throw them in a skip, please resist doing so.  Your new stock may be delayed until after the terms starts…if this happens then what will your students sit on or write on?

3.  Take delivery “guarantees” with a pinch of salt (sometimes even a boxful of salt). This is particularly important if you are late in ordering and are desperately searching for a supplier to deliver in just a few days. It may be tempting for a firm to quote a quick delivery date  just to get your order, knowing full well that they can’t do what they say, but hoping they can keep you hanging on week after week until you finally receive your order.

4.  If you are ordering late then try to be flexible.  Could you change the specification slightly?   Can you change the colour or style of chairs you want?  Could you perhaps accept tables with a black frame rather than a grey frame?   A good supplier should be able to give you a fairly accurate idea of lead times for different products so at least you can make an informed decision.

If you need new school furniture for August or September you might like to contact

Central Educational Supplies Ltd on 020 7515 1797 or info@centraleducational.co.uk

Ask to speak to Martin Evans who will be pleased to discuss your requirements and can make suggestions and provide prices, all without any obligation.  For examples of their range of educational furniture please see:  www.centraleducational.co.uk

Central Educational Supplies Ltd., PO Box 999 London E14 6SH

Science experiments for the new academic year

Topical Resources

         

Start the new academic year with science experiments that will instil a love for science from the off

Science experiments can instil a love for science, which is precisely why we have created the Practical Science series – so that you will never run out of science experiment ideas!

Practical Science contains a wealth of science experiments and activities and has been divided up into six volumes (one for each year group), not least so that you can effortlessly find an experiment that is suitable for the age group and topic that you are teaching at any given time.

For more information and to see sample pages for any of the volumes in the Practical Science series, simply visit the links below.

Practical Science Year 1

Practical Science Year 2 

Practical Science Year 3 

Practical Science Year 4 

Practical Science Year 5 

Practical Science Year 6  

www.topical-resources.co.uk
sales@topical-resources.co.uk

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How a revolution in the design and manufacture of classroom chairs can save your organisation hundreds if not thousands of pounds, as well as reduce maintenance costs and improve your students’ concentration………

Introduced back in 1996  the “one piece” Postura chair was the first classroom chair to be manufactured from a single mould of polypropylene.  Today hundreds of thousands of these chairs are in use throughout the UK in schools, colleges and nurseries.

What’s so special about the “one piece” Postura chair? 

Before the introduction of the Postura chair, most classroom chairs were  made either of wood or  a metal frame  which was fixed to a polypropylene “shell” (the seat)  by screws or rivets.  If you have ever worked in a school then you will almost certainly  have come across broken or vandalised chairs ……… and how do they get broken ?

The weak link is the fixings which join the shell to the frame. They can usually be unscrewed or damaged, either deliberately or by the constant stresses and strains of wear by students for several hours everyday, week after week, month after month and year after year.  Sometimes they can be repaired using a replacement shell or frame but more often than not such repairs tended to be of a temporary nature. 

The Postura chair has done away with all this.   Its  one piece design means there are no screws or rivets to be broken or damaged.  When you take delivery of Postura chairs you get a TWENTY year warranty with each one. That’s how confident  the manufacturers are that you’ll get at least twenty years of trouble free use from each chair.

How can the Postura chair save us  hundreds or thousands of pounds? 

Simple. The warranty covers any possible manufacturing defects for  20 years.

This means that you’ll get 20 years of trouble free classroom seating from as little as 35p per term per chair…and this cost is based on the largest size, being used by ages 11 upwards…for primary and nursery schools the cost is even less !  So you can wave goodbye to broken and vandalised chairs…..no more time wasted in repairs, no more “wonky” chairs, no more expenditure for replacements when they have become unrepairable.  It all adds up to big savings when you switch to Postura chairs from the traditional classroom chair.

What about improving students’ concentration ? 

If you’ve ever sat on an uncomfortable chair you’ll know, well, how uncomfortable it is.

You  change your position, you fidget, you can’t sit comfortably and if you’re in a meeting the chances are you’re just as concerned with your sitting position than concentrating on what is being said.  It’s no different with your students, which is why the Postura chair was designed to be ergonomically correct …… to be comfortable and encourage good posture, so students can concentrate on lessons rather than continually trying to make themselves comfortable.

If you’d like to know more about these excellent chairs or make an order,  please visit the website of:  Central Educational Supplies Ltd,  www.centraleducational.co.uk

or phone 020 7515 1797 and ask to speak to Martin Evans.  If you prefer to email then it’s info@centraleducational.co.uk or fax  020 7515 4420

PS.  orders are usually delivered within 5-10 working days.

Towards literacy perfection

The best way to improve literacy in a struggling student is with 1 to 1 tuition. Now, that is possible.

Indeed where a student really gets on well with the tutor and doesn’t feel pressured or intimidated in any way by having one-to-one tuition, progress will always be beyond anything that can be achieved in a regular classroom.

Of course at this point you might be expecting me to say, “Sadly we can’t offer that ideal…”  But in fact we can, in an approach that allows not only one to one tuition but one to one tuition at a very affordable price, whenever needed.

Every misunderstanding and every concept not understood is instantly spotted, and results in the student being taken back a step for remedial work, after which progress and advancement resumes with appropriate activities to hand for every eventuality.

This approach is available through a program that locates each individual’s literacy needs, directing the student to an engaging set of activities which remedy any deficits, before advancing through to the next set of skills.

Because the level of instruction is so accurately reflective of the child’s current abilities, the student then gets a feeling of success and progress, which itself is highly motivational.

At the same time your colleagues are now free to work with others in the group.  Indeed, they can rotate the students, with some receiving directed help online while others engage with offline paper-based activities which are generated automatically by the system.

Of course you’ll want to see this in action before making any decisions, and you can do that this term, without any cost or commitment.

You can read more about Lexia Strategies® and the extraordinary results that other schools have seen here.

You will then be able to have a free trial which gives full access to the program for 30 days without any payment or commitment.

If you want to know more about the program, we have all the information you’ll need available here.

Of course, you may like to talk first – if so, please do call 0191 482 1939 or email info@lexiauk.co.uk

Rob Kay

LexiaUK Software Consultant.

Better support for your boys – accredited mentoring programme

How to effectively engage young males with education and provide routes into employment and socially responsible adulthood is a concern of many professions.

Education is also a recognised social determinant of health; boys and young men are consistently outperformed by girls and young women in schools and universities. Health improvement also means action on increasing educational opportunity.

Mentoring offers an evidence-based approach to work with young men – helping young men to achieve their academic and vocational potential, addressing concerns related to problematic behaviours – and providing go-to support and signposting to other services.

The Unit Award in Mentoring Boys and Young Men is a Level 2 award providing your staff/students with an understanding of mentoring work. The unit considers:

  • the rationale for work with young males
  • a strengths-based approach to work with young males
  • the role of the mentor
  • qualities desirable in a mentor
  • primary tasks of a mentor
  • dealing with disclosure/safeguarding
  • setting boundaries in mentor-mentee relationships
  • building and sustaining mentor-mentee relationships
  • goal setting and outcomes

The outcome is that your staff/students will have received training enabling them to mentor boys throughout the school. This not only strengthens the school pastoral system but helps to raise the overall achievement of all boys and young men involved. This training and delivery thereof successfully delivers many of the new Ofsted framework for inspection.

The workshop covering the award criteria is 4 hours long. Each staff/student undertaking the award will be provided with their own copy of the Mengage course book: Mentoring Male: A guide to mentoring work with boys and young men. A Level 2 certificate will be issued upon completion.

The workshop costs £1295 for up to 10 staff or up to 15 students or a one-off date on Thursday 12th October CLICK HERE. BOOK BEFORE 31st August for £995.

Mengage is committed to your school’s development; if this is something you would like to discuss or you have other concerns regarding the health or education of young men, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

For more information or to discuss a booking, you can contact Liam by email at liam@mengage.co.uk or by phone on 07788725318.

Alternatively, you can visit our website at www.mengage.co.uk to see what else we offer with regards to mental health and raising boys’ achievement.

 

Safeguard my School

Dear Head

As a teacher with 16 years of teaching experience in the classroom I have noticed the ubiquity of smartphones and social media has made safeguarding a much more complicated issue. Experience has taught me that it’s vital for schools to have a robust safeguarding system that allows teachers to respond quickly and efficiently. The reason I built this software is not in the interests of a high Ofsted or Estyn rating, but for the sake of the most vulnerable students.

Safeguard my School is designed to enhance existing safeguarding provisions, allowing your teachers to both communicate and act upon issues quickly from anywhere in your school.

Here are a few bullet points explaining the key features of Safeguard my school, if you have time to read them:

 

  • Speedy, secure & simple recording of any safeguarding concern.
  • Powerful reporting tools deliver management reports for safeguarding leads, senior leaders, governing bodies, local authorities etc.
  • Accessed securely from wherever you have an internet connection and will display across all devices including tablets and smartphones.
  • With Safeguard my School, busy staff can report concerns with a few clicks of a button even when at home or on the P.E. field.

 

  • Each pupil has their own individual safeguarding profile which neatly collates all safeguarding issues that are relevant to them. This means that it is easy to spot trends and patterns.

If you would like to know more, then just request an online demo here, by doing so we would like to offer you until September for free when purchasing a licence this summer.

Or just reply to this email and we can take things from there.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes,

Duncan
01348 800 100

Discussion – Starter video of Tutor Time

We are delighted that our new FREE discussion-starter resources, geared for Sixth Form Tutor-Time, are being so useful for teachers.

‘I was able to pick it up and run with it without need for much preparation. The video was pitched well and the excellent questions, with their rigour and challenge, provoked discussion and insight.’

There are currently four Tutor-Time resources available on www.Take-One.TV and we plan to create a steady flow of new ones, based on the latest feature films and relevant topical issues.

Please email me at Kate.Laver@EthosEducation.org and I will ensure that we let you know when new free Tutor-Time resources are published.

Yours truly

Kate Laver
EthosEducation.org: Resources Manager
Kate.Laver@EthosEducation.org


LATEST FREE RESOURCES

Releasing on DVD on July 3rd, Hidden Figures tells the true story of African-American women working on the space programme, who overcame gender, race, and professional discrimination with their abilities and diligence.

Some of the key questions raised in the discussion-starter video and supported in the downloadable Leader’s Guide include:

  • Al Harrison, played by Kevin Costner, says ‘We all get there together or we don’t get there at all.’ To what extent is that true in our society?
  • Theodore Melfi, who directed the film, describes the women as ‘the heroes behind the scenes’. In our society, in what ways does the value placed on people in the media affect how we value those whose back-room roles are hidden?
  • Kevin Costner, who played the project leader Al Harrison, says ‘It’s a story of three women whose God-given abilities were allowed to flourish’. How might the belief that all abilities are ‘God-given’ make a difference to the way in which we value them, and allow them to flourish?

Produced in association with the UK Eating Disorder charity Beat and the Be Real Body Confidence campaign, this resource features Dr Elizabeth McNaught, the author of the best-selling book Life Hurts: a doctor’s personal journey through anorexia.

Some of the key questions raised in the discussion-starter video and supported in the downloadable Leader’s Guide include:

  • What insights about Body Confidence have you gained that you wish you had known when you were 13 years old?
  • Do we struggle with Body Confidence partly because, in this world of social media, we compare our ‘behind-the-scenes’ with other’s ‘highlight reel’?
  • What do you think of the vision that we should encourage people to celebrate what their body can do, rather than how it looks?

We work hard to ensure that you only receive emails that are relevant to you delivered to your email address.  If you would prefer to receive emails at a different or additional address or if you have any other comments please let us know by replying to this email.  If you would like to unsubscribe from this list please click on this link  If you choose not to do this we will take it that you are willing to receive emails from us until such time as you indicate that your preferences have changed.

 

Reducing SLT workload

As a teacher, you may have noticed pupil behaviour has been making the headlines of late.

With Ofsted open to taking cues from Behaviour advisor Tom Bennett’s report in future, it makes sense to get your behaviour provisions in place as soon as possible. Even schools with impeccable behaviour and standards look like they will need to offer Ofsted robust reports evidencing their great work.

That’s where ClassCharts comes in.

From my 16 years of teaching experience in the classroom I designed Classcharts, it is built to be easy-to-use for teachers, while offering in-depth reporting and analytics for SLT. Working with your existing Management Information System, ClassCharts enables teachers to access vital pupil data wherever they are, instantly.

ClassCharts is free until September when purchasing a licence this summer. If you would like to know more, then just request an online demo here.

Or just reply to this email and we can take things from there.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes,

Duncan
01348 800 100

What is the most effective way of improving handwriting and enhancing reading and spelling skills?

MSL offers three sets of structured materials relating to handwriting, literacy and spelling, and details with example materials are available from our website.

First, we have the Handwriting Rescue materials which contain over 300 structured exercises that introduce cursive handwriting and correct poor letter formation habits.  There are also follow-on books for revision, with all the resources designed to establish the correct cursive letter formation, alongside reinforcing important literacy skills.

The Reading and Spelling Literacy Scheme covers every phonic and spelling choice in the English language, introduced step by step in a logical sequence and this allows pupils and students to develop whole sentences from the very start.   Each new phonic and spelling choice is introduced in such a way as to ensure that past knowledge is reinforced, and confusions eliminated.  This is a structured programme that could be delivered by an LSA, and progress can be easily monitored and evaluated using the Placement & Progress Tests, which are included.

To round off each teaching session there are the Dyslexia Games and Association Cards.  These secure the knowledge that has been gained through the Reading and Spelling Literacy Scheme and give the pupils and students a less intense, more relaxed game situation for the end of each lesson.

Handwriting Rescue materials:

The Reading and Spelling Literacy Scheme

Dyslexia Games and Association Cards

Are you doing enough to maintain boys and young men’s interest in their education?

According to the DfE, “Girls are outperforming boys in all the main attainment indicators at ks4” which is what makes it so important to implement a whole-school strategy that will not only engage boys in education but that will also maintain their interest.

Which is precisely why Mengage has devised a workshop entitled
The Boy Problem: Raising boys’ achievement – what can schools do?

The Boy Problem: Raising boys’ achievement – what can schools do? is an evidence-based, experiential workshop in which your staff will be taught about the most effective ways to close the widening gap between girls’ and boys’ attainment in education.

This workshop offers practical solutions and covers five main areas of concern, including: male learning styles, boys’ participation in education, addressing literacy concerns, a male-inclusive classroom, and the importance of creating a whole-school strategy.

The Boy Problem: Raising boys’ achievement – what can schools do? is delivered in three hours and costs £895 or a one-off date on Thursday 19th October at our education centre CLICK HERE. For more information or to discuss a booking, you can contact Liam by email at liam@mengage.co.uk or by phone on 07788725318.

Alternatively, you can visit our website at www.mengage.co.uk to see what else we offer with regards to mental health and accredited mentoring.

Are you struggling to justify school trips?

In these days of ever tightening budgets we understand the importance of providing value for money, particularly in relation to school trips/holidays that may not be viewed as essential.

We are a well-established riding centre (we will be celebrating our 60th anniversary in 2018) and we pride ourselves on providing a riding experience tailored to your pupils needs and providing that added value.

Our residential riding activity holidays provide a variety of experience and build skills that can contribute to both the mental and physical development of your students. Physical abilities such as balance and co-ordination are improved by riding and pupils also learn skills such as building a connection with a horse and taking responsibility for its care. This type of activity is particularly good for boosting self – confidence and increasing self- reliance, both valuable life skills.

We are fortunate to be situated in one of the most beautiful areas of the UK, the Black Mountains in the north east corner of the Brecon Beacons National Park. We have direct access onto the hills from our site and a stay here can provide so many other opportunities that, reinforce classroom study, through linkages with Key Stages 3 & 4, and bring learning to life. For example, the area is a prime site for the study of habitat, biodiversity and ecosystems. Students are usually having so much fun they don’t even realise that they are learning.

We are also close to the town of Hay on Wye the ‘Town of Books’ and the river Wye both of which provide opportunities for a variety of further activities.

If riding isn’t really your thing, our bunkhouse can also be booked as accommodation only, with a separate bungalow for staff.

For further information and prices please click here

How technology transformed the classroom

No matter what setting or establishment, technology has always been a vital part of anyone’s education – and they have worked hand in hand for years. Starting with the pen and paper, progressing to the desktop computer and now to the mobile tablet, technology is an important part of how we all learn new subjects and skills.

The technological shift in the 20th century

Through the introduction of projected images within the classroom, technology revolutionised the way we learn. First introduced in 1925, the Filmstrip Projector could be used depending on the subject being taught, helping students visualise the subject.

The mimeograph and the radio were also useful tools that could be used in the classroom. Introduced in 1940, the mimeograph allowed teachers to copy and distribute educational materials to students, while the radio could be used to transit lessons to other classrooms in other areas.

Most notably popularised in America, the slide ruler would be known to us as an old-fashioned ruler, used in mathematics to calculate sums. Replacing the mimeograph as a more efficient alternative, the photocopier was also used to help speed up and quantify the distribution of educational materials.

Advancing education and learning, here are some of the most notable examples of developing technologies within the education sector:

  • 1960s. Although it did not become popular within classrooms for another ten years, the calculator was introduced in this decade.
  • 1970s. Used as a device to mark exam papers and other question papers, the Scantron machine has lasted to the present day as a way of speeding up the marking process.
  • 1980s. Personal computers were starting to be introduced and learners could use them to help improve their knowledge of a particular subject.
  • 1990s. While replacing traditional blackboards with interactive whiteboards, desktop computers were also becoming prevalent within most households, helping students to complete homework tasks on office-based packages.

Turning digital

Although the 20th century saw dramatic technological advancements in such a short space of time, with the invention of smartphones, YouTube, tablets and laptops, no decade has seen such radical changes in the classroom as the 2000s. GPS Installations – specialists in audio visual products and public address system installations – are also revolutionising how to best implement interactive technologies within the classroom. Considered as the digital revolution, integrating smart technologies into the classroom has changed the way educators teach and how students learn.

A classroom was divided into two groups (A and B) in a study conducted in 2015. Both groups were asked to research a topic and present their findings to the whole group, however, group A were not allowed mobile technologies whereas group B were. What was discovered is that group B divided into sub-groups, whereas group A stayed together. What this suggests is that technology can help aid integrated organisational structures within learning groups, which leads to more specific and concentrated learning, in comparison to the generalised learning and collaboration witnessed in group A.

Overall, statistics suggest that teachers’ responses to smart technologies were positive overall. In the US, 86% claimed that technology was an essential part of a student’s education. Furthermore, 92% felt that they could have more technology within their classroom to help the quality of their educational delivery improve.

Both students and teachers feel as though they are able to make a cost saving as a result of smart technologies in classroom – and many feel as though smart technologies have improved the quality of lessons. Electronic copies of eBooks and other digital-based learning materials are 33 – 35% cheaper than their physical alternatives. Increasing their chances of passing an exam, tablets and other interactive digital devices have improved literacy and numeracy skills.

Even though digital hardware has helped to improve the quality of education overall, some still believe that digital technologies have become a distraction in the room. This is because children can be distracted by social media apps and other interactive games when they should be learning. In a study conducted by A Common Sense Media, it was reported that 71% of teaching staff felt that a student’s attention span had been compromised by smart devices such as mobiles and tablets. What this suggests is that as digital technologies have been adopted into our classrooms, we still haven’t found the correct balance between utilising digital technologies as a source for quality education, and making sure that they aren’t being used to the extent where they become a distraction.

All educators should ensure that quality education and best practice is being delivered at all times. This is why the digital revolution has benefited the classroom – even though its impact has been received both positively and negatively. If education institutions can get the balance right between interaction and distraction, there is no reason why digital technologies can’t transform the learning capabilities of young people.

 

From dealing with youth depression to issues of confidentiality in issues of abuse, from gender stereotypes to domestic violence.

Continuing Professional Development DVDs and DVDs for showing to students, on some of the most difficult subjects that can arise.

Many of the programmes below can be rented for less than £4.00.  Please look on the relevant page on our website www.concordmedia.org.uk

Part one: DVDs for CPD

A Confidential Space: Issues of confidentiality relating to counselling children and young people.

DVD  84 Minutes   £40.00 plus postage

An interview with Peter Jenkins, on the issues relating to confidentiality in therapeutic work with children and young people.

Themes covered include: Ethical issues in working with children and young people, Good practice for counselling in schools, Information-sharing and child protection, Disclosures of abuse and pre-trial therapy, Data protection and access to records of therapy by the courts, police and solicitors, Access to records of therapy by parents and children and Therapy as a confidential space.

Beyond the Blues: Child and Youth Depression.  Depression in children and young people, case histories and treatment.

DVD  57 Minutes   £36.30 plus postage

Depression has increased by one-third in the past 30 years. Untreated depression costs a teenager in many ways: lost educational opportunities, lost social opportunities and lost time. Through the personal stories of three young people, this compelling documentary traces the journey of depression, from early signs and symptoms, to assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Bipolar disorder is also covered.

Bullying – The Children Speak:  Bullies and victims speak.

DVD  31 Minutes   £25.00 plus postage

Pupils and students drawn from a cross-section of schools, private and state, middle- and working-class, bullies and their victims talk about what happens, why it happens and what they think about it. Essential viewing for parents, teachers, governors, child care professionals and indeed pupils and students themselves.

 ********************************************************************

Part 2: For showing to Students:   (As above, many of the programmes below can be rented for less than £4.00.  Please call for details.)

Tell It Like It Is 

DVD  12 Minutes   £27.20 plus postage

Animated film about people at school and the results of gender stereotyping and bullying.

A short animated film by Leeds Animation Workshop which illustrates problems faced by young people at school as a result of gender stereotyping and bullying. Classmates Darren and Sharon are each keeping a video diary.

The results show them the different worlds girls and boys live in, and the different anxieties they experience. Although light in tone, the film raises awareness of male violence – verbal, psychological and physical – in school and in society.

It aims to help young people understand and when necessary withstand social pressure, and stresses their ability to support each other, to help those who are being bullied and to challenge oppressive and abusive behaviour. Especially suitable for 11 – 15 year olds. Booklet also supplied

You and Alcohol – Just Good Friends?

DVD  10 Minutes   £18.80 plus postage

Offers a down-to-earth account of our favourite and dangerous drug: how it works on the body and brain, how it changes our behaviour, why its effects differ for men and women and what constitutes sensible drinking. Aimed at 13 year olds and over, it includes lively contributions by university students.

Made in 1990 this film reflects the cultural attitudes and language of the time it was made. The issues raised are timeless.

Home Truths (LAW)

DVD  12 Minutes  £27.20 plus postage

Animated film of young people talking about domestic violence, for 8-13 year olds

A short animated film in which five young people tell of their experiences of domestic violence. Emma and her mother escape from a violent father by moving to a refuge. Jamie sees the effect on his mother of his father’s violence. For Sidra, the violence of her father is psychological and controlling. Sophie, her sister and mother are all targets of her stepfather’s aggression.

Daniel supports his friend Tom, whose mother is being hit by her boyfriend. The young people respond positively to their situation, and take some action, asserting their right to live in a safe environment. The programme tackles some of the myths: that it’s the woman’s or child’s fault, that the men involved can’t help it etc. Particularly designed for use with 8-13 year olds in a group setting, where it will encourage discussion. Includes booklet with background information.  

Concord Media. A not for profit charity established in 1963. 
22 Hines Rd
Ipswich
IP3 9BG.
Tel: 01473 726012
Email: sales@concordmedia.org.uk 
Website: www.concordmedia.org.uk

How to use competition to increase student engagement and win fantastic prizes for the school

The ‘gamification’ of learning is proving to be a highly successful method of engaging pupils across all subjects and can easily be applied to a wide range of classroom activities to great effect.

The core requirement is a carefully structured and varied pace, with bursts of high speed and timed challenges, supported by varying difficulty levels and progressively challenging targets.  Motivation levels soar if pupils can achieve immediate and long-term rewards, which can be as simple as points to accumulate and records to beat.

But, to make a real difference, students need to be fully engaged in a challenge they see as relevant.  One in which they are actively solving problems, communicating with others and developing a sense of personal achievement.

The Real STEM Competition is designed to achieve this for up to 72 pupils in a day and is delivered on the school site – so there is no travel required.  Six teams of six pupils compete in a double lesson session that is repeated for a different group after break or lunch – minimalising disruption to the timetable.

This year’s competition is ‘Space Pioneers’ – which reinforces and expands upon the new KS3 & KS4 science curriculum content within a thrilling scenario of a mission to Mars.  It is an effective way to deliver exciting activity weeks, holiday schools, transition events and enrichment days.

A specialist team run the event and, with a hugely experienced teacher leading the workshop, there is no need for school staff to be present.  It allows class teachers to supervise lessons elsewhere, saving on the cost of a cover teacher for the day.  Alternatively, teachers can choose to observe their students compete and then apply the proven strategies to future lessons.

Pupils play as part of a team, against tight deadlines and in a game-like context to develop a wide range skills so highly valued by universities and employers.  Every participant will receive a certificate of achievement listing the skills developed and members of the winning team will be awarded a commemorative medal.

If your winning team achieves one of the top scores by Science Week 2018 the school will win a full-day workshop each term for a year, a Double STEM Workshop or STEM Box 1 – full of fabulous activities to run with multiple classes.

Schools entering the competition will receive performance reports for every participant and a free copy of the highly regarded ‘Caving Conundrum’ resource, which is a fabulous problem solving activity that can be run across Science, Geography and English.

For further information or to enter your school – you can visit the website, email events@thinkersineducation.co.uk or call 01603 520866.

Summer Schools Last Places Available

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

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

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

Highlights of Summer 2017:

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

The Law Summer School, in three distinct five-day Parts to allow time for more cases, more analysis and more debate on some of the most intriguing legal questions. Students can choose to focus on Criminal & Family Law, Civil Law or International and Human Rights Law. Each course builds towards a Mock Trial in which students play the role of barristers, build their case from the evidence, question witnesses and make speeches to the jury.

The Philosophy and Critical & Cultural Theory Summer Schools will look at some of the biggest questions in metaphysics, ethics and political theory, giving an opportunity to engage with the work of some fascinating thinkers, and also to develop students’ own skills of reasoning and argumentation.

For students interested in the Social Sciences or Humanities, we also have Summer Schools in Economics, Politics and History, while Arts enthusiasts should take a look at the English Literature, Classical Civilisations or Art History Summer Schools.

For aspiring scientists and mathematicians we also have the Physics, Mathematics and Medicine Summer Schools.

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2017. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

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

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

 

Nurturing Enthusiasm This Summer

How to capitalise on holiday and Saturday STEM events – delivered at no cost to the school

There is an easy way to offer truly extraordinary experiences for your able, ambitious or enthusiastic students and those from your feeder schools.  And, most importantly, it requires no extra work for your staff and costs the school nothing.  In fact, it can generate additional income.

As a school, you aim to provide the best learning opportunities for all students.  As a parent you want to give your children the best start in life.  This is why Saturday and holiday workshops from Thinkers in Education prove to be so highly valued by schools and families throughout the UK.

You can host leading workshops, as recommended by every host school for over a decade, without affecting the timetable, adding to teacher workloads or taking a cut of the budget.  The workshops are an exceptional addition to existing STEM and G&T programmes and the performance reports generated for every student can prove invaluable help during an Ofsted inspection.

Participants benefit from activities that are typically unavailable until they reach higher education and develop vital thinking skills that give them an advantage in education and beyond.

The schemes offer effective promotion too, as parents are always impressed by the additional support made by host schools – particularly those parents in the process of selecting a high school.

For details of 3-5 day Holiday Schools click here and for the Saturday Workshops click here.

To request an event, you simply choose the start date and we send you the literature to distribute to parents to book a place.  They pay for their child to attend, as they would for a school trip, or the school can choose to subsidise the cost or use Pupil Premium funding.  It costs from £22 to £28 per pupil per day and you can choose for payments to be made directly to Thinkers in Education via PayPal or AmazonPay – so the school does not have to manage finances or paperwork.

Once 25 or more pupils have enrolled, we will confirm the event and run the entire day on the date of your choice.  If minimum numbers are not achieved – we will contact you to discuss options.

The presentation team, all with full DBS checks, will simply need access to a hall or large room in which the workshop takes place from 8:30 to 15:45.  They will greet parents, supervise students from arrival to departure and deliver an unrivalled STEM experience.

With an exciting range of workshops to choose from, all developing valuable thinking skills and offering fantastic hands-on practical activities, you can easily provide for your most ambitious and more able students from year 5 to year 12.

For further information, call us on 01603 520866 or email events@thinkersineducation.co.uk

Results of the Minibus Survey 2017 by the Teachers.

We have been running regular surveys relating to school use of minibuses by schools for six years, and during this time we have perceived an increasing tendency for schools to change the way in which minibuses are funded and are used.

This year for the first time, as well as asking senior management for their thoughts on minibuses and their use, we asked heads of department and subject coordinators in secondary and primary schools to tell us whether they had access to a minibus and how it was funded.

The responses summarised here are those from that particular survey to subject coordinators and departmental heads.

What we found was that 20% of our respondents had access to a minibus that was reserved for their particular department or subject area.

This is, as expected, still far smaller than the number of respondents who booked out the school minibus (68%).  7% of respondents felt they had no need for a minibus while 3% had no access to a minibus but would welcome it, and 2% shared a minibus owned or leased by another school.

In terms of ownership 39% of respondents said that the school had purchased its most recent minibus outright, while 30% stated that the school’s most recently acquired minibus was leased.

The use of a minibus shared with another school has risen greatly and has now reached 14% of the schools represented by our respondents while another 21% said that they thought this could be an approach which could benefit their school.

As we found in the past, the number of school minibuses on the road which are over five years old is large and rising – 39% of respondents said that they had a minibus in their school in this age group.

But where the big change came from our past surveys was with the view of future arrangements for minibuses.  6% felt their school was thinking of a secondhand minibus, 11% were considering leasing, and 51% believed the school had no plans for expanding their minibus fleet.

Although sharing a minibus with another school is growing in popularity, our respondents working outside of senior management did not see this as an option, although it is being more widely considered by senior management themselves.

The primary use of the minibus was transporting pupils or students to sporting activities (34%) while the second most popular was taking students to places of interest (22%).

60% of respondents could see the benefit from having another minibus in the school, but despite the huge growth in the notion of learning outside the classroom 34% declared that there was no need to have another minibus in the school.

In this survey schools were split fairly evenly between those which already leased or were thinking of leasing a minibus (38%) and those which have not considered the idea (27%).  Interestingly only 2% of schools said that they had looked at leasing but decided against it.

We invited our respondents to tell us about the way in which minibuses were used and the results were incredibly varied including using the minibuses to support staff in charity events such as the 3 Peaks challenge, as emergency & support vehicles for cycling events, to transport plants etc to the school’s ‘creation’ at the RHS garden Show at Malvern, and as a removal van to transport benches to the local church, sporting equipment for events and even pianos for carol singing!

Several schools spoke of allowing local groups to use the minibuses at weekends and during the school holidays, and one of enabling a group of disadvantaged children to go sailing.  One school spoke of transporting recyclable resources from local factories and another to help parents get to school for parents’ evenings.

We also had a most interesting report from a school that hired the minibus from a local fleet hire company.  However in this case the school was charging the students for use of the minibus for a trip, which of course would only be possible where the visit was not a part of the formal school curriculum in a state-funded school.

As might be expected. 63% of respondents felt that access to another minibus (either by buying it, leasing it, or sharing it) would be helpful to the school.

However 40% of such respondents stated that they were unable to raise the money.  2% of respondents indicated that the school would not take on a lease as a matter of policy, but 14% indicated that they had not previously thought about leasing a minibus.

In terms of gaining a business or commercial sponsor for the minibus, 37% of respondents thought that this could be a good idea – but it was not one that they had pursued – while 32% thought it would not be right for their school.

If you would like more information on the leasing of minibuses please contact us on 01753 859944 or email minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk or go to http://www.minibusleasing.co.uk/

If you would like to read our short report on how schools are arranging the sponsorship of minibuses by local businesses and other organisations please email Sam@schools.co.uk

Summer Schools 2017

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

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

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

Highlights of Summer 2017:

The five-day Computer Science Summer School, new for 2017, will explore modern developments in the field and provide students aged 15-18 with a practical programming tool-kit for use in future projects.

The Law Summer School for 15-18s, in three distinct five-day Parts to allow time for more cases, more analysis and more debate on some of the most intriguing legal questions. Students can choose to focus on Criminal Law, Civil Law or International Law.

The Philosophy and Critical & Cultural Theory Summer Schools will look at some of the biggest questions in metaphysics, ethics and political theory, giving an opportunity to engage with the work of some fascinating thinkers, and also to develop students’ own skills of reasoning and argumentation.

For students interested in the Social Sciences or Humanities, we have Summer Schools in Economics, International Relations, Politics and History, while Arts enthusiasts should take a look at the English Literature, Classical Civilisations or Art History Summer Schools (all for students aged 15-18).

For aspiring scientists and mathematicians we also have the Physics, Mathematics and Medicine Summer Schools.

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

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2017. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

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

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

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

Results of the Minibus survey 2017 by the School Decision Makers.

This year’s minibus survey of secondary schools showed once again that minibus use in schools is continuing to expand, with 38% of our respondents saying that they have two or three minibuses in the school which are for the exclusive use of the school.  A further 15% of schools said that they had more than three minibuses being used by the school, while 30% of schools had one school minibus.

As a result the minibus is clearly now a mainstream part of a school’s facilities with 83% having their one of their own.  A further 4% shared a minibus with another school leaving just 13% of schools with no minibus facility.

We then asked about the schools about the ownership of the minibuses.

45% stated that they owned the minibuses outright, with just 4% having bought the last minibus with a loan.  However, there has been a further continuation of the rise seen in the last three years of minibuses that are being leased – 50% of respondents told us that the most recent minibus acquired was acquired on a lease.

The number of minibuses shared with another school has also risen, and now 11% of schools are involved in this sort of arrangement.  A further 13% of respondents stated that they had not considered sharing a minibus but felt this could be of interest.

Thus, although the sharing model is still only used by or being contemplated by around a quarter of schools, the majority do not see this as the way forward.  But it is interesting that 13% of respondents said they had not come across this model of ownership before.

In past surveys we have expressed concern about the age of the school minibus fleet, which is why we have sought to let schools know about the options of sharing and of leasing.

While these two options continue to grow, our research shows that 57% of schools with one or more minibuses have one such vehicle on the road that is over five years old.  This is up from around 50% two years ago.  This is understandable but worrying, given the propensity for older vehicles, which might be driven by a number of different people, to break down while being used for carrying pupils and students.

When we asked about the plans for the future, the trend towards leasing became clear once again.  35% of schools said that they were interested in getting another minibus with the leasing of the minibus now being the main option.  The notion of buying a secondhand minibus appears to have almost vanished from the agenda, with only 2% of respondents mentioning this as an option.

The most common reason – in fact one should say the only reason – given for not getting another minibus when one was needed was finance, but half of those who stated this, also said that they had not considered leasing as a way around the problem.

This year we also asked about the use of the school minibuses with respondents being asked to indicate as many replies as were relevant.

The most common usages were:

  • Transporting pupils/students to sporting activities (swimming, matches etc) – 93%
  • Departmental visits to places of interest – 91%
  • Transporting pupils/students to other education sites – 70%
  • Transporting pupils/students to lessons or events relating to music or other arts – 68%.

One new innovation that we found this year mentioned by schools in our survey was that of schools loaning out the minibus to another organisation (for example, a local scout group) for their events during the summer.  We also had reports of secondary schools loaning the minibus to small feeder primary schools for their day trips.

Other uses besides the mainstream uses mentioned above included transporting students and their instruments to musical events, as well as taking students and teachers to the airport for a school trip, and as a support vehicle, for example with the National Three Peaks Challenge in June 2016.

Next we asked about sponsorship of minibuses. This appears to be an area where many respondents (31%) felt this could be of significant in the future, but the number actually engaged in this remained low. Certainly there is an interest in this area as over 50% of the respondents to our survey asked for a copy of our report on sponsorship.

Overall we saw a continuing growth in interest in the use of minibuses as a way of developing educational options – something that we noted in our previous survey of the use of minibuses as part of Learning Outside the Classroom programmes.  This was combined with other innovative use, and a growth in awareness of leasing as an alternative method of financing minibuses.

While the option of sharing a minibus between two schools (typically a secondary and a primary) remains modest, it too is growing, often meeting the need of the secondary school for an extra bus for part of the week, with the primary school having use of it on specific days.

If you would like more information on the leasing of minibuses please contact on 01753 859944 or email minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk or go to http://www.minibusleasing.co.uk/

If you would like to read our short report on how schools are arranging the sponsorship of minibuses by local businesses and other organisations please email Sam@schools.co.uk

The Social School Award

Does your school use social media to connect, promote and engage with parents, the wider community and the global community?

If the answer to any of these activities is ‘yes’ then your school might qualify to go for the new Social School Award which launched last week at the Lancashire Association of School Business Managers conference.

Benefits to your school include

  • recognition, prestige and celebration for its innovative communication and engagement work in reaching out to the community and world using social media in different ways
  • being part of a realistic assessment process, designed by school social media education specialists, designed to challenge and help your school to do even better
  • being given examples of good practice from a range of school settings
  • the opportunity to get connected with other like-minded schools
  • receiving the Social School Award plaque, website graphics and press release.

To get started and find out if your school could qualify to apply follow the quick 5 step self-evaluation process at socialschoolaward.com/getstarted

Our contact details are available on the website but you can also email us via team@socialschoolaward.com or call 01772 657 100 .

Thanks in advance,

The Social School Award Team

Connect • Promote • Engage

What’s the best way of solving the problem of students who turn up for lessons or exams without a pen, pencil, ruler .. ?

It’s not easy to ensure that every student comes to school or college properly equipped for lessons or exams.

But NOW there’s a simple, effective and low cost way of solving the problem: 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” PVC wallet with a zip slider.

From just 85p each ex vat it’s a simple and effective way of improving productivity and helping students succeed in their lessons and exams.

More details can be found at: www.signposteducational.co.uk

or you can contact them on: Tel: 020 7515 1797    Fax: 020 7515 4420   email: info@signposteducational.co.uk

Signpost Educational Ltd   PO Box 999   London  E14 6SH

Orders are usually delivered within 1-3 working days.

What’s the best way of solving the problem of students who turn up for lessons or exams without a pen, pencil, ruler etc ?

When this happens it’s  frustrating, often disruptive and always time-wasting but is there a solution ?

Well, we think there is.  It’s called the “Student Essentials set,”   a low cost but effective solution to the problems caused by students who turn up for lessons or exams without the basic kit.
The “Student Essentials set” consists of three quality black ink pens, two full length HB pencils, a 15 cm ruler, metal sharpener and eraser, all packed in an “exam friendly”  clear  PVC wallet with a zip slider.  From just 85p each  (ex vat) the “Student Essentials set” is ideal to give or perhaps sell to your students so they’ll have what they need for almost all their lessons.

Find out more from Signpost Educational Ltd.,  on 020 7515 1797 or visit their website:

www.signposteducational.co.uk or contact them on:  info@signposteducational.co.uk

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