Introducing Eastern stories to the ‘Disney’ generation Through cultural learning – bought to you by Snowflake Books


Snowflake Books ( Celebrate this Chinese New Year (February 8th 2016)and captivate your imagination with beautifully illustrated stories.  A collection of fairy-tales and legends, stories of Chinese festivals, wisdoms and traditions published in hardback, written in both Mandarin and English.

Established in 2010, this UK based company has been selling books worldwide to children of all ages and are dedicated to help school children everywhere discover the human values shared between East and West.

The books are not just key learning tools for those learning Mandarin, but also act as a gateway to everyone that wants to discover Chinese culture through detailed illustrations. Features include CD’s at the back of the books and word lists to help make learning easy for children aged 5 years to 15.


Each book takes you on a journey to old China, with captivating colour illustrations on every page that converse wisdom, humanity and valuable lessons for children. All books produced in the range are of a high paper and colour quality with the majority in hard-back covers, designed to be passed down from child to child.

Stories include, Naughty Monkey; (To mark 2016’s Year of The Monkey) In Chinese folk-lore the Jade Emperor was the ruler of heaven, Naughty Monkey was called Red Bottom Horse Monkey, as he had a very big red bottom. In the old Chinese language, horse can mean big. Naughty Monkey’s story was first recorded in a very ancient manuscript as early as the 4th century BC.  He is believed to be the origin of the famous Monkey King in Journey to the West. RRP £12.99.  Silly Billy, The Wise Goat; a story about a unicorn-goat, in very ancient Chinese legend, a unicorn goat is the wisest of all. Regarded as one of the magic animals, a story of how a little silly goat became such a special mythical unicorn-goat.  RRP £12.99.

Founders and authors Su Yen Hu and Lihui Wang comment:      “We are an entirely independent UK registered company with employees based in the UK and Taiwan, without doubt we believe passionately in the value of international cooperation and understanding.  In today’s society, more children are learning Mandarin than ever and we want our books to help make young children feel that Chinese culture and language is not at all alien. Not only do we want to make learning fun and memorable but we want to bring to life through our illustrated books some of our magnificent Chinese traditions and folklores and to familiarise readers with traditional Chinese ways of thinking and living which are still roots of modern China.


Over 60% of parents in England disagree with the Government that all maintained schools should become academies, new research has found.

A study by HCSS Education, a leading education finance specialist, found that a significant 61% of parents did not want all schools to convert to academy status, as outlined by David Cameron in his vision for the schooling system.

To better understand how parents view academies, HCSS Education asked 1,000 UK parents, 89% of which didn’t have a child at an academy, whether they would be happy for their child to attend one. 34% said yes, 39% said yes but it would depend on the academy, 17% said no, and 10% said they were unsure either way.

Despite 73% of parents saying they would be happy for their child to go to an academy, the research revealed that only 42% actually understood what an academy is and its benefits. 58% admitted they didn’t fully understand what an academy does.

A lack of communication about these types of schools could be cited as a reason for this as 32% said that they did not think there is enough information available around the benefits of an academy.

When asked if they had any concerns about the conversion process, 19% of parents thought that in the first couple of years a newly converted academy school might struggle to handle everything on its own such as procurement, and one in seven would be worried that an academy would not be able to manage its own finances.

The survey was conducted as part of HCSS Education’s Academy Futures report, which takes an insightful look into how the education landscape is changing and the impact the rise of academies is having on both teachers and parents. It explores the barriers to conversion, the challenges schools may face when they first convert, and how these issues can be addressed.

Howard Jackson, head of education and founder of HCSS Education, said: “After David Cameron announced that every maintained school in England should become an academy, we wanted to find out what parents really thought about this.

“Despite the huge push from the Government to encourage all schools to convert, it was interesting to discover that a significant amount of parents are against the conversion process.

“From the research it has become apparent that many parents are not entirely aware of the benefits academies can offer, so a strategy is needed to ensure they are fully informed and on board. This is important as parents are given the opportunity to put forward their opinions before a school decides to become an academy, so it’s vital that they are fully briefed about a school’s plans and the conversion process to make an informed decision.”

For more information, please visit

St. John’s Senior School tops Enfield Borough League tables

St John's Senior School Entrance Hall


London-based St. John’s Preparatory and Senior School is celebrating its position at the top of Enfield’s G.C.S.E. performance league tables with a 100% pass rate once again. 

The first boys and girls of the school sat their G.C.S.E. exams in 1996 and ever since, St. John’s has continued to produce the magical 100% pass rate in all, but three of the subsequent 20 years.

41 St. John’s Senior School students achieved 5 GCSEs (A* to C) including Maths and English.

The school’s Head teacher Mr Tardios expressed his delight at once again seeing his students achieve 100% pass rates:

“Naturally, everyone is very pleased,” he said. “We have a wonderful set of teachers who know how to bring out the best in the children and in this way we hope to continue with our success.

“It would not be surprising if few really know of the school, since it never advertises.  It simply relies on its motto “res ipsa loquitur” – let the thing speak for itself.”

The school was set up in 1988 by a father and mother for their own two children, who were not too happy with the schools in their area.  They originally intended and envisaged something small – perhaps about 20 children in all.

Today, 27 years later, approximately 500 boys and girls attend St. John’s which is on two sites set in a total of 30 acres of green belt.

St John’s ranks 46th out of the top 100 performing UK state and independent schools – the list can be viewed here:

Stone Group enters Internet Service Provider market

London, 20 January, Stone Group, the IT and services company for the education and public sector, today announced that it has entered the Internet Service Provider (ISP) market. The launch of Stone Connected, available immediately, gives school customers the ability to purchase broadband connection, management and support from Stone Group.


The launch of Stone Connected is intended to give Stone’s 5000 school and college customers an alternative to the traditional Regional Broadband Consortium and Local Authority broadband offerings. Stone Connected is characterised by its flexibility, service and customisation to local needs.


Stone Connected completes a portfolio which underpins a focus on leveraging cloud-based technologies to improving learning outcomes and drive down costs. Stone Connected forms a connectivity layer for the cloud, security, application and communications management services available to Stone’s education customers.


Stone Group specialises in bringing engaging learning environments to life by working closely with school leadership teams to identify solutions that positively impact both learners and teachers. The consulting team can work with customers to ensure that all existing storage and computing requirements are in place to secure the network and make it available to teachers, pupils and school staff where appropriate.


Stone Connected is highly suitable to schools looking to cultivate a location independent learning environment, ranging from lessons on the playing fields to faster, more secure access to resources from offsite for homework.


Stone Connected offers schools complete flexibility, by providing a base connection package and a range of optional e-safety services.

Simon Harbridge, CEO at Stone Group explains, “A fast, secure and scalable broadband connection is core to a school’s technology strategy. Nothing, whether it is a curricular or business management issue can succeed without decent broadband. We’ve developed Stone Connected because so many of our customers are frustrated with their current broadband suppliers, and, frankly, we felt it could be done better.


“With Stone Connected, we’ve built a broadband product that is easy to make changes to. If you want to add services or wider connectivity, you are able to do so very quickly, because we’re cutting out the grid for learning style administrative, time-consuming middle-men. For example, there may be some internet content you need to access for an A Level course which your security settings precludes you from seeing. Stone Connected would make the necessary changes on the same day, so that you haven’t lost classroom momentum or an opportunity to teach the way you want to teach. With some ISPs that change might take weeks.”


3 – 24 February                                                           Clore Learning Centre, National Theatre


A 4-part course aimed at those aged between 16 and 21 years old will commence at the National Theatre on Wednesday 3 February.

How do you watch a theatre show and then talk about it? What is theatre criticism? Is there a difference between argument and opinion?


Led by journalist Matt Truman, this 4-part course will explore ways to watch, talk and write about theatre; from blogging to reviews to discussions with your mates.  Aimed at those interested in theatre and talking about it afterwards, bloggers who want to find a voice amongst the chatter or aspiring critics or journalists, course members have the opportunity to watch performances at the National Theatre and venues around London with a view to discussing them afterwards.


Course dates


Wednesday 3, 10, 17 & 24 February from 6 – 9pm

Price for the complete course – £40 (Bursaries are available)


To apply for place on the course and for further information visit

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 20 January.



Evidence-based and transparent CPL system makes discussions about performance-related pay much easier

Johnnie Pavey, Assistant Head at Lampton and  also Teaching School Specialist Leader of Education discusses  the  performance management and CPL programme he and his team have implemented for the school’s 120 staff, who year on year have been responsible for significant student progress or ‘value added measure’.


About the school:


Lampton in West London is an outstanding academy and was one of the first teaching schools to be established by the DfE. Described as a ‘complex urban’ comprehensive, the school is non-selective and students come from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds and fall below the national average both in terms of ability and socio-economic circumstances. 1,200 of its 1,600 students speak English as an additional language. Student achievement however is above average and the school has been deemed outstanding in challenging circumstances by Ofsted in each of its last three inspections.


Professional Learning and Performance Management


At Lampton we take Continuing Professional Learning (CPL) and performance management very seriously.  It forms an important part of our annual cycle and starts and finishes on the same day every year – in early September – when we kick off the new term with our first inset day for all teaching staff.


At this inset day we teach staff how to set SMART targets – targets that are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound.  We then ask them to perform a self audit using our BlueSky Education online performance management, CPL and self-evaluation solution for schools, so they can see for themselves how far they have progressed in their journey to meet Lampton Teacher Standards and the national teachers’ standards. This in turn informs the objectives set by their line manager.


Each member of staff is set three key objectives, focussing on:

  • Teaching and learning
  • Pupil progress
  • Professional development


Each September we look at the ‘value added’ scores from the summer – i.e. pupil progress targets rather than attainment.  Those teachers who have demonstrated good ‘value added’ measure over a defined period typically progress well up the pay scale.


So how do we do it?


At Lampton, we have developed our own secure, cloud based CPL platform, linked to our BlueSky Education online performance management, CPL and self-evaluation solution for schools.  Our staff search our site to locate courses that will help them meet their objectives for the coming year, such as teaching and learning, key skills, pastoral etc. Each course features a portrait shot of our resident expert and links to teacher standards. It then takes them through to the BlueSky platform which presents them with a route map so they can clearly see their progress and where they are in their career. A separate route map is provided for teaching assistants who have different learning needs.


Staff document all CPL in their personal eportfolio within BlueSky, which enables line managers and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to gauge the effectiveness of the courses and helps inform strategy planning for the coming year. Staff are required to complete six CPL courses per year. However, this system is so popular that many complete up to 16 per year. CPL is only signed off by the SLT in BlueSky after it has been completed.


The benefits of our system and performance-related pay


What is good about the system is that it is evidence based and transparent making discussions about performance-related pay much easier.


At Lampton we take a holistic approach to pay reviews. We look at:

  • ‘Value added’ measure achieved
  • Lesson observations on BlueSky
  • External and internal lesson observations
  • Line managers’ thoughts on how individuals have performed in relation to their BlueSky overviews.


Transparency is key to holding people to account and staff have warmed to BlueSky as it enables them to highlight their successes. They view it as progressive and particularly like it when it supports them to progress up the pay scale!


The significance


Most importantly, BlueSky enables staff to take ownership of their training and provides a route map for their careers. It is a really useful tool because it helps ensure that evidence of staff successes are documented and celebrated, rather than ignored. It also eliminates the need for a box under the desk with all those “well done letters” from their line managers and ‘valued added’ progression spreadsheets.


It acts as a diagnostic tool for senior leaders, warning of issues and challenges that need to be addressed before external reviews. It also clearly illustrates teaching and learning achievements in an easy to digest manner.


Most importantly, it helps the leadership team know explicitly how well their staff are doing and for them to say emphatically “we are here”.


For further information on BlueSky please click on

OCR and Sonocent announce GCSE (9-1) Interactive Activity Packs – Building on language learners’ oral skills

Bett, ExCeL London: Awarding body OCR with education software developer, Sonocent, have today announced the launch of interactive activity packs for OCR’s new GCSE (9-1) English Language, English Literature and MFL qualifications.


Written by OCR and powered by Sonocent, the innovative series of interactive activities and teaching resources are designed to support OCR’s new GCSE English and Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) qualifications.


The packs, accessed via a new subscription service, provide a growing collection of resources designed to use oral skills as the starting point for the teaching and learning of topic components and core skill development for these qualifications. They will equip teachers to better support their students and capture evidence of their progression, especially reluctant writers, dis-engaged students or emerging language learners.


Will Burrows, Head of Education Technology and Commercial Services, at OCR said ”The multimedia approach is ideal for teaching all the components of the English and MFL GCSE qualifications and engaging students of all abilities. As students work through the lesson activities in groups, pairs or individually, the combined use of audio, images and text helps them to synthesize information and understand key curriculum concepts.”


Dave Tucker, director of Sonocent, added: “The material is designed to enhance the classroom experience through the use of Sonocent’s Audio Notetaker software. Scribing is removed from the immediate learning process, putting learners of all abilities and preferred learning styles in a position to contribute with equal ease using oral skills. It emphasises the fact that all learners have a lot to contribute and that their progress can be made in clear, achievable steps that are engaging and rewarding.


“By presenting audio in a similar way to text with each phrase visualised as a coloured chunk, students can read and write through the medium of audio. Audio content can be edited, re-ordered and segmented into key sections (equivalent to paragraphs) as if it were text.  The technology visualises the audio on one side of the screen while the other side allows users to make textual notes or add images or slides. Sections of audio can be colour annotated (just like a highlighter), allowing students to pick out important concepts, example usages of grammar and vital keywords that they may normally be missed when listening.”


The materials will be first shown in public on the Sonocent stand (B140) at the world’s largest technology in education show, Bett 2016 (January 20-23, ExCeL, London). Sample packs will be available on stand.


For further information please visit


The K’NEX Education range educates, engages and inspires pupils in today’s busy classroom, from Nursery through to Key Stage 5.  Each innovative construction kit helps teachers bring to life a world of 3D STEM learning aligned to the curriculum, with support from a comprehensive Teachers Guide and easy to follow, colour coded instructions for pupils.



Why use K’NEX in the classroom?


  • Dynamic Models: Engage, excite and motivate pupils to learn through active participation in scientific inquiry, investigation, and experimentation.


  • Real World Replicas: Help students to relate concepts to the world they live in.


  • Education Standards: Aligned to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths curriculum.


  • Enquiry Based: Challenges students to apply problem solving, troubleshooting techniques.


  • Robust and Easy Storage: Easily constructed and deconstructed within lessons and compact to store.


  • Environmentally Friendly: During our manufacturing process, 100% of K’NEX Education materials are recycled.





The KID K’NEX range has big, soft chunky pieces and can be used by children with varying manipulative skills. Models are easily assembled, stay together during play and can be quickly dismantled and stored in sturdy snap on lid tubs.


KID K’NEX Group Set

RRP £49.99

Nursery – KS1, Age 3+, 8 Models, 8-10 Students, 131 pieces

With 131 KID K’NEX parts, including eyes, ears and wings, children can build whatever they can imagine. If they need a little inspiration, they’ll love the flash cards included. The set builds eight models and encourages colour and shape recognition, sorting and patterning skills and also aids manual dexterity and motor skills.


KID K’NEX Classroom Collection

RRP £84.99

Nursery – KS1, Age 3+, 23 Models, 8-10 Students, 267 pieces

This fun set builds 23 models, eight at a time, so is packed full of play value. The flash cards included provide inspiration for eight to ten children building simultaneously. The set encourages colour and shape recognition, stacking, sorting and sequencing, pattern recognition and copying, plus fine motor skill development.


KID K’NEX Organisms and Lifecycles

RRP £84.99

Nursery – KS1. Age 3+, 18 Models, 14 Students, 198 pieces

Pupils will love exploring the animal and plant world with this clever kit, which builds 18 different models, 14 simultaneously. With KID K’NEX parts including rods, connectors, fins, tentacles, beaks and eyes they can build from their imagination or be inspired by the eight 2 sided correspondence cards included. Children will learn about the characteristics of organisms, sorting and sequencing, environments, food chains and food webs, all while developing their fine motor skills.


KID K’NEX Transportation

RRP £94.99

Nursery – KS1. Age 3+, 13 Models, 8-10 Students, 229 pieces

This kit allows children to bring to life many methods of transportation with 229 parts including wheels. From cars and buggies to boats and helicopters, pupils can build their own vehicles to explore colour and shape recognition, sorting and sequences, while developing their manual dexterity and fine motor skills.






Children of all ages love to build! Whether doing so free form or following instructions K’NEX Education construction sets allow students to build and power models, helping them understand how they work.



RRP £169.99

Key Stage 1 – 2, Age 5+, 80 Models, 8-12 Students, 1113 pieces

This great value building set contains more than one thousand K’NEX pieces, one spring motor and a power pack motor for pupils to learn how structures are made.  They will enjoy changing and improving the design of models, exploring the impact of materials on the robustness of structures and the velocity and movements of vehicles.  Two instruction books included explain how to build 80 models, including eight dynamic motorized creations.






The K’NEX Introduction to Machines range allows students to explore diverse areas of the curriculum through hands on exploration and experimentation.


Simple Machines Deluxe

RRP £299.9

Key Stage 2 – 5, Age  8+, 60 Models, 10-15 Students, 3447 pieces

This set introduces students to the scientific concepts associated with simple machines — Levers, Pulleys, Wheels and Axles, Inclined Planes and Gears. As students build and investigate they are encouraged to discuss and evaluate the scientific principles in action. Concepts covered include energy transfer, effort and resistance forces, mechanical advantage, motion and forces.


Simple Machines Class Set

RRP £219.99

Key Stage 2 – 3, Age 8+, 15 Models, 24-26 Students, 2176 pieces

Bring the excitement of STEM to your students with this set, introducing scientific concepts associated with simple machines including levers, pulleys, wheels and axles, inclined planes, gears, wedges, screws. Pupils will love exploring mechanical advantage and energy transfer with this incredible value set which builds 15 fully functioning models up to eight at a time.


Exploring Machines

RRP £149.99

Key Stage 2 – 4, Age 10+, 30 Models, 8-12 Students, 1432 pieces

The 30 different models featured in this set enable students to investigate a broad variety of mechanisms in more complex models. Four of each type of model can be built simultaneously.  Within this set, pupils can explore levers, pulleys, motion and forces, energy transfer, effort and resistance forces and mechanical advantage.


Simple and Compound Machines

RRP £59.99

Key Stage 2 – 4, Age 9+, 16 Models, 2-3 Students, 352 pieces

A smaller group version of the Exploring Machines kit, this set is designed to increase students understanding of simple machines and how they make work easier by investigating, exploring and experimenting with fully functioning simple machine models. Concepts explored include effort and resistance, mechanical advantage and force.

Introducing Machines: Levers and Pulleys

RRP £34.99

Key Stage 2 – 3, Age 8+, 8 Models, 2-3 Students, 178 pieces

Build eight real working models of first, second and third class levers and fixed, moveable and combination pulley systems. For added value, this clever kit is packaged in a strong storage tray with moveable dividers and a snap on transparent lid.


Introducing Machines: Wheels, Axels and Inclined Planes

RRP £34.99

Key Stage 2 – 3, Age 8+, 7 Models, 2-3 Students, 221 pieces

This set brings to life seven real world examples of how a wheel turns an axel, how an axel turns a wheel, plus two levels of inclines plane and a screw and wedge. The set supports a team of two to three students.


Introducing Machines: Gears

RRP £34.99

Key Stage 2 – 3, Age 8+, 7 Models, 2-3 Students, 198 pieces

This set builds seven different gear models, including two spur gear, two crown gear and two chain and socket gear examples. Models include Egg Beater, Blender, Chainsaw, Record player, Crank Fan, Car Window and Exercise Bike. Children will explore how to identify gear configurations and adapt forces, speed and directions, exploring how these adaptations will modify outcomes.




The K’NEX Introducing Structures range is designed to support the Design and Technology, Science, Geography and History curriculum in schools.


The sets build replicas of real world bridges, showcasing real life examples of international bridges bring to life the engineering and maths concepts architects and engineers have to put in place to build robust durable structures.  Teacher’s Guides also extend the learning by exploring the cost involved in constructing the bridges and the part they have played in history.


Introducing structures: Real Bridge Building

RRP £189.99

Key Stage 2 – 4, Age 10+, 7 Models, 6-8 Students, 2282 pieces

This impressive set builds replicas of real world bridges up to 1.8 metres long, two at a time. The kit assists students in their study of the history, function, structural design, geometry and strength of bridges. Students will investigate the physical properties of materials and their application in the placement of design and construction of bridges.

Introducing Structures: Bridges

RRP £34.99

Key Stage 2 – 3, Age 8+, 13 Models, 2-3 Students, 207 pieces

With this kit, pupils can build 13 fully functioning replicas of seven key bridge types. They’ll learn to define characteristics and purposes of each bridge type then investigate the strength and stability of each type through experimentation.







This range of K’NEX Education products has been designed to allow students to investigate and explore how various forms of energy power everyday machines and structures around them. Key concepts covered in the range include Renewable energy, Energy storage, Energy efficient technologies, Force, Motion, Work and Power. The hands-on building of 3D models allows pupils to compare the performance of the designs to encourage problem solving and experimentation



Renewable Energy

RRP £179.99

Key Stage 2 – 4, Age 10+, 9 Models, 6-12 Students, 550 pieces

Students can compare and contrast the power and efficiency of wind, solar and water powered machines, generating electricity to operate models as they experiment with renewable energy systems. The set builds nine models, three at a time and one capacitor for energy storage is included.


Exploring Wind and Water Energy

RRP £69.99

Key Stage 2 – 4, Age 9+, 7 Models, 2-3 Students, 288 pieces

This small group version of the Renewable Energy set allows students to experiment with wind and water power. Students will investigate the science behind these energy sources and the technologies that help to make them useful. The kit builds seven wind and water powered models, one at a time.


Investigating Solar Energy

RRP £69.99

Key Stage 2 – 4, Age 9+, 3 Models, 2-3 Students, 129 pieces

This small group version of the Renewable Energy set allows students to harness the energy of the sun and convert it into electricity to power working models. The set builds three solar powered models, one at a time.


Forces, Energy and Motion

RRP £119.99

Key Stage 2 – 4, Age 10+, 11 Models, 12-16 Students, 442 pieces

This kit was designed to encourage students to test various models and motors in order to compare and contrast the impact of design on speed and distance travelled. The set includes tyres and motors, battery, spring and fly wheel. Pupils will explore velocity, acceleration, potential and kinetic energy, Newton’s law and the mathematics of motion.


Energy, Motion and Aeronautics

RRP £149.99

Key Stage 2 – 4, Age 10+, 9 Models, 6-9 Students, 1430 pieces

The Energy, Motion and Aeronautics set allows students to investigate a variety of concepts related to Newton’s Laws and aeronautics. These concepts include aeronautics as it applies to force and motion, as well as the effects of individuals who work in space. Pupils can test, evaluate and modify models and then extend the learning experience with data collection, graphing and analysis.






Amusement Park Experience

RRP £229.99

Key Stage 2–4, Age 10+, 13 Models, 6-8 Students, 2264 pieces

This incredible set opens up science and mathematical investigations into speed, distance and time, rotational motion and more. Build classic amusement park rides, from roller coasters and carousels to ferris wheels and pirate ships. Pupils can use the kit to explore gearing options displacement, mass motion and energy loss.



Roller Coaster Physics


Key Stage 5, Age 16+, 11 Models, 6-8 Students, 2037 pieces

This set is designed to allow students to explore the scientific concepts behind roller coaster rides as they design and conduct scientific investigations, identify variables of the problem and adapt models to improve performance. It encourages data collection, charting and reporting of experimental results.


Stem Explorations: Swing Ride

RRP £34.99 – AVAILABLE JULY 2016

Key Stage 2 – 3, Age 8+, 3 Models, 2-3 Students, 470 pieces

Students will be engaged and energized as they further their knowledge and understanding of the science, technology, engineering and maths concepts associated with a real-life amusement park ride. The kit can build three models, one at a time, and includes instructions for three experiments per model.




Stem Explorations: Roller Coaster

RRP £34.99 – AVAILABLE JULY 2016

Key Stage 2 – 3, Age 8+, 3 Models, 2-3 Students, 500 pieces

This set has been designed to engage and inspire students as they further their knowledge and understanding of how science, technology, engineering and maths concepts are used in the development of roller coasters. The kit can build three models, one at a time, and includes instructions for three experiments per model.







Students live in a 3D world, so it makes sense for them to connect with maths and geometry on a 3D level. K’NEX sets allow them to do just that, building their knowledge and understanding of key maths and geometry concepts.


Elementary Maths and Geometry

RRP £39.99

Key Stage 1 – 2, Age 6+, 38 Models, 3-4 Students, 142 pieces

This set is a fantastically engaging introduction to 2D and 3D shapes, symmetry and fractions for hands-on maths. The 142 piece kit builds models, exploring shapes, faces, angles, symmetry, segments, rays edges, sides, congruence, fractions, vertices and more.


Intermediate Maths and Geometry

RRP £109.99

Key Stage 2 – 3, Age 9+, 95 Models, 8-16 Students, 920 pieces

This set builds 95 models, up to four at a time, to address critical mathematics concepts in the classroom and provide instructional models that will enhance the understanding of important concepts and algorithms. Concepts explored include sequencing, patterning, transformations, rotational symmetry, reflections, congruence and similarity.



DNA Replication and Transcription                             

RRP £49.99

Key Stage 2 – 5, Age 10+, 19 Models, 2-3 Students, 521 pieces

This set is designed to aid in teaching the structure and function of the nucleic acid molecules that make up DNA. Pupils can explore the molecular basis of heredity, chemistry and structure of DNA, enzymatic control of DNA process, translation of DNA code and more.


Playmakers is a new project from the National Theatre available to all state primary schools across the UK.  It uniquely connects learning across the curriculum with an end-of-year school production of Emil and the Detectives


Starting after February half-term, participating classes will read the book Emil and the Detectives by Eric Kastner and receive a scheme of work with creative activities, and questions relating to each chapter.


Teachers will then be able to select from a wide range of cross-curricular lesson plans to deliver with their class which fully explore the story, the setting and the characters.  Areas of the curriculum include literacy, history, geography, P.E. and art and design.


During the second half of the summer term pupils will draw on this learning as they start rehearsals for their school production of Emil and the Detectives.  Schools will be provided with training, a director’s guide, a specially adapted script by Carl Miller (with original songs), backing tracks and the relevant performance licence as part of the package.  The production will take place at the end of the summer term.


In March a two-day Theatre Making course for Teachers will be held at the NT providing a thorough introduction to making theatre with primary aged children and covering many aspects of approaching the task of directing a production.


The project is designed for year 5 or 6 and it is possible to book for multiple classes.


Emil and the Detectives is a classic adventure story about a boy learning to rely on himself and on his new friends.  Emil leaves his small town in Germany and sets off on a journey that will change his life.  When his money is stolen on the train by a mysterious stranger, Emil thinks he has lost everything.  As he starts tracking down the thief, he soon discovers that he’s not alone in the big city after all.


In 2013, the NT produced Emil and the Detectives.  The production involved over 150 children from local schools.  The children worked with the NT for a year, gaining an insight into theatre-making.  It was the profound effect that participation in the NT production had on the children involved that inspired Playmakers.


The Playmakers project costs £350 and is available to all state primary schools.


To book, teachers should contact Jo Carey, Primary and Early Years Coordinator at the National Theatre on 020 7452 3308 /


Swim Safe For Schools, the UK’s FREE outdoor swimming and water safety programme for children in Key Stages 2 and 3, will be returning to beaches, lakes and sea pools across the UK this summer term.


Taking place just before the summer holidays, when families will be making the most of the UK’s great outdoors, the one hour sessions teach children vital skills for staying safe while having fun in the water. School sessions will be running at 9 locations across the UK, including the Lake District, Jersey, Bournemouth, Wales, Penzance, Durham, the Isles of Scilly and two locations in Plymouth.


Practical, interactive, educational and fun, each session includes a land-based safety lesson with a lifeguard and in-water tuition with a swimming teacher. Wetsuits, swimming hats and a free goody bag with t-shirt are all provided.


Swim Safe began in 2013 when the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) and the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) joined together to  teach young people the skills of staying safe in open water, an environment with more challenges and dangers than those found in an indoor swimming pool. As the summer holiday sessions grew in popularity, the programme was developed to include Swim Safe For Schools, exclusive sessions for school pupils during the summer term.


Swim Safe For Schools contributes to the national curriculum attainment outcome of giving children the opportunity to swim in different aquatic environments.  The programme will provide them with the skills to perform safe self-rescue in those environments.


Sue Little, Head Teacher at Low Furness CE Primary School in Ulverston said: ‘We brought all our Key Stage 2 children along to a Swim Safe For Schools session at Brockhole in the Lake District last summer. The children and staff absolutely loved their Swim Safe session. Not only did they all have a fantastic time, but they also learnt some very valuable skills about how to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors, especially important just before the summer holidays.’


‘The Swim Safe staff catered brilliantly for our children with disabilities and were very encouraging to the nervous among us, ensuring that every child participated.’


‘I’d definitely encourage any schools local to a Swim Safe area to take advantage of this brilliant, free opportunity. We shall certainly be back this year.’


Teachers can find out how to book their class for a Swim Safe For Schools session by emailing  or visit for more information.