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We were pleased to see our local school Passmores Academy featuring on Channel 4’s Educating Essex last week. For those who didn’t see the programme, Passmores is a comprehensive school in Harlow, Essex – just down the road from us here in Gratnells HQ. The school has just been awarded Academy status and is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and has actually moved into a brand new state-of-the-art building since filming the programme.

The TV series follows a group of GCSE students, and the staff who teach them, as they face the most important year in their education using cameras around the school. And while everyone else was following the plot we were playing ‘Spot the Gratnells tray’.  As you do!

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A school to be proud of

Grape Jelly trays chosen for each classroom.

I was with Lesley Tollefsen from the Hampshire County Supplies for our annual get together and she told me about how she had worked with The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to source furniture and fittings for Manor Green School, a state-of-the-art specialist education unit in Berkshire. The school is a newly built specialist school catering for 150 pupils with special needs and physical disabilities. Facilities include a hydrotherapy pool and parents room as well as specially designed classrooms.  The classroom shown here has individual height adjustable tables along with Gratnells tray storage. The result is a stylish, modern school suitably equipped to meet the varying needs of its pupils.

The appliance of science

We are very pleased that our Science Technician of the Year award was featured in this month’s Education in Science magazine.  The Prep Room section is a feature about this year’s ASE National Technicians Conference and our lucky winner – Sandra Wollerton – receiving her award from Professor Kathy Sykes who said “I often describe science technicians as unsung heroes … and these awards have acknowleged the great contribution they have made to the furtherence of science education in our schools”

Education in Science is published five times a year by the ASE (Association for Science Education)  covering all phases of education: early years, primary, secondary and post-16, as well as carrying material for teacher educators, student teachers, technicians, researchers, curriculum and professional developers, in the UK and worldwide.  Members of the ASE can read the article online here

Learning Rooms – the photoshoot.

Smile for the camera
Quick, look busy

I spent yesterday in a Cambridge school for a big photoshoot and video session.  We were recording material for our Gratnells Learning Rooms project with educational expert Roger Cole, or Roger ‘one take’ Cole as we now call him after his word perfect pieces to camera!  Roger was demonstrating some good and bad examples of classroom layout and we will use the pictures and video footage for the next modules of the Learning Rooms project.  We have already had hundreds of teachers sign up for Learning Rooms and hope to have many more when we begin publicising it later this year.

Rock and Roll heaven.


Now you know where tan brown trays go!

Have you ever fancied working in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside with a fantastic view, total peace and quiet and no disturbance?  David Simpson from the leading geology sample supply company Pangea UK has achieved  exactly that. He has bought a remote office and land around it in the west county for his school kit packing operation.  Using local students he packs his geology kits in Gratnells trays for all the leading science supply companies not only here but also in France. To cap it all David has planted 50 vines to grow his own wine. The perfect life?

Luxury Office complex.

What a CAD

Here's one we made earlier


We are going through the mammoth task of 3D modelling at Gratnells HQ at the moment.  We are having professional 3D AutoCAD models made of all of our trays, frames, trolleys, sets, GratStack, HappyStack and accessories.


Technical drawings of our products will be available on request

Learning Rooms Lifts Off

The first module of our new Learning Rooms project for teachers is now available to subscribers.  Learning Room is Gratnells new project which aims to give primary school teachers a useful resource to create the best possible learning environment in the classroom.  Together with educational expert Roger Cole we will be producing a whole series of workbooks and audio recordings.  The first workbook has just been sent to subscribers and looks at how well the classroom is currently set for the functions that a teacher would want to perform in it with their class and how they can improve upon this.

You can download a copy of the pdf here or see a whizzy online flippy version here

Visit the Learning Rooms site for more information