Solar on schools Yes or X? Join us

It’s never too late to see if your school could get solar panels for free. We manage over 50 systems in schools throughout the UK giving them renewable energy at no extra cost to the school.

Join us and register your interest (no commitment). See if you qualify for free panels.

Our aim is to help you

1. secure a renewable green energy,

2. deliver practical real-time data that can be analysed by your pupils as part of their learning experience and,

3. reduce the amount you pay for the electricity in the medium to long term.

Despite cutbacks in government’s support for solar panels, you can still make solar power work for you. We may also be able to offer you a free solar power system. But you need to act quickly before all government support disappears.

Please register so we can discover what’s possible for your school.

Best wishes

Helen and Ann

The Solar for Schools team

Ready-made Whole-class Music-making…


Give your children a ‘sound’ music education

Years ago, music was taught by singing or listening only. Children didn’t make music or explore sound in their lessons. As in Victorian days, it was expected that children should be seen and not heard!

Over the last few years OFSTED have said that too little actual music goes on in primary music lessons. Music is a language and the language of music should be dominant, but often isn’t.

Playing instruments is a great way to get all children making music. They can all play tunes and get a great sense of achievement. However, whole classes of trumpets & trombones, or violins & cellos make a very loud noise indeed. Even tin whistles & recorders are shrill in large numbers. And drums don’t play tunes, only rhythms.

Which Instrument should we use?

The English Ocarina is a really great instrument. The 4-hole Oc® has been judged by independent experts to be the Best Music Education Product. Here’s what the panel said…

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

The sound of the Ocarina blends beautifully in groups. If one child plays it badly, their Ocarina cuts out and is silent, so you only hear the best. And the sound of the Ocarina is the purest of any musical instrument, giving children the best feedback and immediate success.

If you would like to enable your children to play great music in class, in assembly, at the Christmas Concert or at community events, just order now. Ocarinas are supremely portable as children wear Ocarinas when they play. They are also lightweight and very easily stored.

But is it ‘proper’?

People who don’t fully understand music or children, may think that the Ocarina is not a ‘proper’ instrument. What is a proper instrument? Crumhorns are proper for medieval music, French Horns for orchestral music and Ocarinas for educational music. It’s “horses for courses”. There is no single instrument that is perfect for everything. However, Ocarinas are best in class.

Tuned, Accessible, Musical and Ready-to-play

There is nothing to go wrong – no reeds or strings that require setting up or mending – just kits of Ocarinas with music books, backing CDs, ready-made lessons and lots of musical fun.

Order an Ocarina Class Set today. Hand them to any teacher and within half-an-hour their class will serenade you with familiar tunes and play eight notes – seven more than they would play in half-an-hour on any other instrument! Or give them to the staff first and let the fun begin! | | 01536 485 963
David Liggins B.Ed (Hons) | Christa Liggins BA (Hons), PGCE
Ocarina Workshop, PO Box 56 Kettering, NN15 5LX

Probably the most popular laboratory and art room stool in UK schools and colleges

Probably the most popular laboratory and art room stool in UK schools and colleges………….. and often available at short notice.

WSM laboratory and art room stools are used by thousands of students in many UK schools and colleges and there are FIVE good reasons why…..

1. Manufactured in the UK with a SIX year frame warranty for peace of mind.

2. The frame is fully welded for strength and durability.

3. A choice of ten seat colours and five frame sizes.

4. A choice of two frame types: four legs or skid base.

5. Moulded and shaped seat for comfort.

For more details of sizes and competitive prices please see the website:

WSM skid base stool     WSM stool four legs

Central Educational Supplies Ltd can be contacted by email on:
or tel: 020 7515 1797 and ask for Martin Evans who will be pleased to assist.

PS. As many of you are aware, delivery lead times tend to be longer during the summer months so if you are planning to order, sooner is better than later !

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

The Power of the media, three films exploring the influence advertising has on young people.

Mind your Mind

DVD2012 47 Minutes

Demonstrates how our minds are much more susceptible to manipulation and suggestion than we think.

We feel we are free to make our own choices but we are not as free as we think. Neurologists and psychologists have discovered how vulnerable our minds are to manipulation and suggestion, and how easily our own psyche can be taken out of our control.

This documentary is a primer for psychological independence, teaching us to process more than our minds are comfortable with. From the glamorous, sex-obsessed world of advertising to the vacuous speeches of leading politicians, our responses are being silently but surely manipulated. Images of nude women appear hidden in Coca Cola adverts. Television channels flash up messages from their sponsors too fast for our conscious mind to catch. Lawyers twist the ambiguities of language to distract us and force us into a more suggestible mental state.
Our minds are constantly missing the obvious: “we don’t perceive what’s there, we change what we perceive, and we perceive what’s not there.” Though subliminal messaging is illegal in most countries, it is still used more often than we may ever know.

Neuro-linguistic programming can help us to protect ourselves against the manipulative forces that control consumers, pulling these forces apart so that we can see how they work. If we can open our eyes to the techniques used to control us, we can move these processes from our unconscious to our conscious mind. This film provides us with the psychological tools to fight them.

What do we mean by ‘attention’, or the lack of it? Are we quite as attentive as we think? Do we miss things that are right under our nose, blinded by suggestion, assumption and ‘common sense’? If so, how might this be used against us? Are the opportunities here to manipulate beliefs, alter behaviours? If so, who is doing the manipulating? Learn more about the Human Biocomputer, about Advertising, Ambiguities and Politics in this fast paced yet light-hearted film.

Now available to rent or buy via our Video on Demand service   A video clip can be viewed from our website

GBP 61.30 plus postage.

Warning: The Media may be Hazardous to Your Health

DVD1991 36 Minutes

Media models glamorise violence, fear and hatred.

Exposes the dangers of media models that glamorise violence, fear and hatred between the sexes. This powerful video encourages the life-affirming tendencies in both genders. Images of commercials, Madonna, Pee Wee Herman, MTV and other media protesters are woven together to create a humorous yet sobering look at sexism in the media. Can be used to combat the problems of sexism and racism, while helping individuals to become more critical viewers of mass media.

GBP 25.00 plus postage.

Staying Real  

DVD2011 25 Minutes

Young people discuss media stereotypes and their effects.

Young people discuss the adverse effects of the sexual stereotypes which bombard them. They talk about how hard it is to develop their own personality and to make friends when they don’t conform to media and advertising images. Directed by award-winning Sophie Bissonnette. National Film Board of Canada. Suitable for ages 11 – 13. A good discussion starter.

GBP 36.30 plus postage.

Pupils love our Poetry and Song Shows

To help schools enjoy and promote the reciting and learning of poetry, the Performance Poetry Society is offering Primary Schools the opportunity of having Jim MacCool’s Interactive Poetry and Song Shows to visit this Autumn Term.

Jim MacCool’s Shows have proved to be suitable for all ages and abilities of primary school pupils and will enrich and entertain your pupils and staff alike.

Here are some comments on schools’ Web pages and newsletters, after Jim’s visit.

A Poet Visiting Kings Avenue School

On Tuesday the 26th April a fantastic poet named Jim MacCool came to Kings Avenue to tell us about his job. The assembly was so upbeat it was like a concert. We did loads of singing; everyone was having so much fun. He did riddles and was very inspirational. He inspired me to write more poems. Jim brought some fabulous instruments; I want to give Jim special thanks for being so inspiring. By Lattisha – 5S

Jim MacCool at Cragside School

We were so pleased to have Jim MacCool from the Performance Poetry Society today. He performed for reception to year 6, including parents and grandparents, and had everyone clapping, stomping and joining in with a variety of Scottish and Irish verse. It was fabulous to see the children sharing such an exciting experience with their families.We’re all now looking forward to the children writing and presenting their own performance poetry in the classroom. Thanks so much to everyone who came and joined in the fun; sharing the experience with parents and grandparents was very special and exciting for the children.

To find out how your school  can take advantage of this opportunity and join in, please telephone me, Sandra Dennis on 0208 688 6951 or email for further details.


Working In Universities, Colleges, Schools, Arts Centres, Libraries And Prisons

The Performance Poetry Society is the longest-serving provider of quality Poetry Services to Schools.

Performance Poetry Society
Tigh a Bhaird
7 Harepit Close
Tel. 0208 688 6951

We operate throughout the year.

What more can you do to ensure that your students are equipped with the skills and resources to make it past the interview stage?

For a young person the interview stage can be somewhat of a challenge not least because many employers have unfortunate preconceptions about young people in respect of their behaviour, work-ethic, and reliability.

So it is important that your students are able to disprove these stereotypes from the start and demonstrate to any potential employer that they are just as able as anyone else, no matter their age and/or (lack of) previous experience in the workplace.

To do this means that they need to work hard at making a positive impression during the interview, which is likely to include discussion of their achievements to date.

Indeed, if they have these achievements neatly recorded in a presentable file, it not only portrays the message that they are well organised, but it also portrays the message that they take pride in what they have achieved thus far (and are therefore also likely to take pride in any future tasks that they may undertake).

School Smart regularly supplies schools with Classic Record of Achievement files which can be customised with your school’s branding, if you so wish.

Classic Record of Achievement (from £2.25) – A4 polypropylene filea containing quality A4 plastic wallets with your school name and logo and the wording ‘Record of Achievement’ on the front in either gold or silver print. Choice of 10 or 20-pockets. Available colours – Black, Blue, Red, Green. Further details can be viewed on our website

Click here to request a sample Record of Achievement file

If you have any questions or would like to place an order please:

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jonathan Layton

What is the prime job of the bursar and business manager?

Fifty years ago the average secondary school had one school secretary as its entire administrative staff.  So why now do we need bursars, school business managers, and administrators to keep the school running?

The simple answer is: change.

Fifty years ago the average school’s administrative requirements were much the same from when pupils entered to when they left six years later.  The level of administration. management, and inspection was much the same year on year.

Now change is everywhere and constant.  And as systems, processes, and approaches become more complex, so more and more management and administrative tasks have to be undertaken to cope with the changes.

Broadly there are two responses to this high-change situation.

In the first approach the schools develop a rational and reasonable response to each change, as the change happens.

The problem is that as change follows change, stress increases, and a sense of progressive improvement is replaced by a sense of simply coping with endless change.  No one quite seems to know what is going to happen next.

An alternative approach involves looking at the implications of the school’s initial response to each new development while asking, “how could we handle this more effectively or more efficiently?”  It is this approach that is laid out in the Bursar’s Survival Guide.

The aim of this comprehensive report is to develop school improvements and efficiencies through changes in administrative procedures.  Such action inevitably enhances the personal standing of the bursar and those in the bursar’s department and reduces stress levels throughout the school’s administration.

The report opens with a single example idea, one idea that takes only a few minutes to implement but which could reduce the school’s non-salary expenditure by 10% at a stroke, without changing the quality of the goods and services provided.

After that the volume considers 57 separate topics that affect the role of the bursar and the bursar’s department in the school, and analyses each one in a way that is (in most cases, if not all) different from the way in which standard text books on bursaring and financial control approach the topic.

You can see some sample pages at

Publisher’s reference: T1795EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 885 9


  • Photocopiable book £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Book plus CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1795EMN

An interactive experience that motivates and inspires

Inspiring and motivating maths and science students, now there’s a challenge.

If you’re looking for an alternative way to cement the concepts you’re teaching, Dr Matt Pritchard is the answer.

Tailored to each group’s age and ability, Dr Pritchard will visit your school and perform his maths and science shows using live demonstrations, magic tricks and multimedia.

Using real life examples, the captivating shows are clear and relevant to what your students are studying.

Current secondary school shows include:

  • “Superhero Science” – Are superpowers fact or fiction? Explore invisibility, super strength, body armour, levitation, mind control and find out what they do (or don’t) have to do with real science.
  • “Surprising Science” – Can you discover the sneaky scientific secrets behind the surprising illusions? The show will challenge the audience to think creatively like both a scientist and a magician. Superb for Critical Thinking skills.
  • “Magical Maths” – Predicting the future, reading minds, sending secret messages and making objects vanish are easy when you’re a maths magician. With shapes, symmetry, patterns and numbers forming the basis of the maths behind the magic.

Performing to over 50,000 people each year, Dr Pritchard works with a number of organisations including The Royal Society, Royal Institution, British Science Association, The Big Bang fairs, Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to name a few.

What’s more, he is one of only 300 members of the prestigious Associate of the Inner Magic Circle.

You can find more information on our website at

Alternatively, you can email us at to make a booking.

The cost for a day visit for up to 3 performances (no limit to audience size), is £500 plus travel.

Click here to read what other schools thought of our recent shows.

Here are just a few ways that you can encourage physical development among the under 5s

As physical development is such a prevalent element of the EYFS framework, we have picked out some products from our catalogue which aim to support you in fulfilling the framework’s requirements.

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To place an order with Edventure you can either:

  • visit our website at
  • fax your order to 01323 50 10 41
  • call us on 01323 50 10 40
  • email your order to us at          
  • or send your order by post to Edventure Ltd, Hargreaves Business Park, Hargreaves Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 6QW.

Free delivery when you quote the code HH0515. Payment, either by credit card or cheque, is required with your order.

Cover Teacher who thinks transubstantiation is an underground rail system?

According to figures from the Dept for Education, the average secondary school teacher has about four working days off a year due to illness.  Of course this incorporates teachers who have a long time out with a serious illness as well as the 44% of teachers who are fortunate enough to go a whole year not getting ill at all.

These numbers show why the need for ready-made materials for supply teachers who cover Religious Education classes is as vital as ever.   For even when something has been left from the previous lesson, there are always going to be those who finish the work rapidly, and need something else to do.

Which is why the Absent Religious Education Teacher volume of worksheets was developed.

The worksheets within the volume cover a wide range of topics and range of ability – and are all designed so that they can be used as a one-off in an emergency, or as a series of highly varied tasks over a number of days, should the absence be unexpectedly protracted.

Activities range from a discussion on the need for religion in society, to comprehension questions on the common features of religions.

Each topic area is followed by a wide range of questions, an extension task through which (for example) the students are required to complete a wordsearch on war and peace, and a homework task in which the students have to compare the ways in which the Bible and science describe the creation of humans.

The volume covers such topics as Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, faith and fact, fasting and feasting, etc. etc.

Each lesson in the volume is printed on a single page and is simple to photocopy instantly for any class that suddenly requires the lesson.

The Absent Religious Education Teacher Worksheets collection is available from Hamilton House priced at £30 plus £2.95 delivery.

You can order the Absent Religious Education Teacher worksheets collection by filling in the order form and sending it by fax, email, or post (see contact details below). Alternatively, if you have a school order number, you can order by phone.

First and Best in Education, Earlstrees Court,
Earlstrees Road, Corby, Northants, NN17 4HH
Telephone: 01536 399 011      Fax: 01536 399 01

Daily information for teachers in the UK