A blast from the past!

We have just had a customer contact us asking for pricing for some of our products. Nothing unusual about that you might think – but the  customer asked for a catalogue featuring ‘draw and shelf systems that are suitable for kitting out cupboards and wardrobes complete with price list’ and enclosed a copy of the relevant ad:

1969 ad for Gratnells vintage products

This ad dates from 1969 – before Gratnells even had our current range of trays and runners, or any products aimed at the educational market. In fact the ad is so old that it features my mother as a young woman, and the small boy in the Nursery shot is none other than yours truly!

 

This must surely be one of the longest ever lead times from promotion to sale!

 

Gratnells supports Safer Internet Day

We are backing a campaign to help youngsters keep safe on the internet through their donation of a set of books and teaching resources to Fordham CoE Primary School to coincide with Safer Internet Day (SID) which was celebrated on 10th February this year.

The set of classroom books, supported by colourful posters and other teaching materials called ‘Caught in the Web’ are produced by The Police Community Clubs of Great Britain and feature woodland characters Barney Eagle and Echo the squirrel.

Developed to support parents and teachers in addressing personal, social and health education (PSHE) at key stage 1-2, the books and materials discuss some of the potential dangers surrounding children using the internet use and how these can be avoided.

‘Our Y6’s are deepening their awareness of internet safety and developing ways to teach others in the school. This resource has come at an ideal time to re-address important messages for all children as they grow up and into a progressively technological world,’ said Carole Etchie, Acting Headteacher who received the books on behalf of the school.

We visited the school to present the books to staff and Year 6 pupils at Fordham Primary. Gratnells has been at the centre of education for almost 40 years, and has championed better learning through supporting teachers with free resources of various kinds. So we were delighted to be able to donate these excellent books, which as well as providing vital information to children also raise the awareness to parents through the promotion of Safer Internet Day.’

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Safer Internet Day (SID): is organised by Insafe in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world.

 

Safer Internet Day 2015 was celebrated on Tuesday 10 February 2015, with the strapline, once again, of “Let’s create a better internet together” following the success of last year’s campaign.

www.saferinternetday.org

 

New products unveiled at the BETT show

We’re going to be exhibiting at the leading Education Technology show – BETT – this week.  If you’re going to the show be sure to drop by our stand (A470) and see our latest new offerings including a compact charging solution for schools. If you aren’t going to the show watch this space for further details over the next few weeks.

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You can find more information about the BETT show here

A smashing time at the ASE Conference

Igniting the imagination

Gratnells was delighted to sponsor CBBC’s Fran Scott for a lively hour-long CPD presentation on the final day of the annual ASE (Association for Science Education) Conference held at Reading University on 10th January. Speaking to a capacity audience, Fran ‘ignited the imagination’ of over a hundred science teachers who had come along to translate her style of making science more engaging to students within the classroom setting.

A smashing time was had by all!
A smashing time was had by all!

After the presentation, Pete Robinson, immediate past Chair of the ASE said of Gratnells sponsorship of the event: “It is pleasing that there are companies like Gratnells … We’re looking for opportunities to work in partnership with our corporate partners such as Gratnells. And Gratnells went off and did this virtually completely on their own – with our support – and they came to us with the idea. And how lovely, what a great way to engage people with science teaching and learning. A really fantastic story, and what was so great about the story, was not the we got a ‘science show’ – we can go anywhere to get a science show – we got the thinking behind that science show.”

You will be able to see the full video on the Gratnells website in the next two weeks. You can also learn more about Fran Scott and her new roadshow ‘#Error404’ at: www.greatscottscienceshows.co.uk

 

 

Trays spotted in ITV’s Broadchurch

Regular readers of this blog will know that very little gets us as excited as seeing our trays on the TV. We were thrilled to spot some grey trays in this week’s opening episode of ITV’s Broadchurch season 2.  In the scene where DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) goes into the courtroom he passes through a security check where he puts his Blackberry into a grey deep tray at the scanner in the fictional Wessex County Court.

broadchurch series 2

Broadchurch is ITV’s award winning crime thriller set in the picturesque seaside town of Broadchurch, featuring DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller. You can read more and catch up with the latest episode here.

 

A novel use for a shallow tray!

I was delighted to see this picture of a Gratnells F1 Shallow Tray being put to good use at one of our customer’s Christmas Party.  LeXsolar in Dresden who supply renewable energy experiment sets were happy to use a tray to serve up their party food. Always nice to see a bit of lateral thinking!

xmastraybake

 

A very Happy Christmas!

This year’s Gratnells Christmas card has our office team rendered beautiful through the medium of cartoon.  I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for a successful year in 2015.

Christmas card

Our office is closed from 24th December through to Monday 5th January.

BBC’s Fran Scott to deliver the Gratnells keynote speech at the ASE annual conference

We’re delighted that we have managed to book BBC Science presenter Fran Scott to attend the ASE Annual Conference in January and present the Gratnells Keynote Speech on the Saturday of the Conference.

After completing her MSci in Neuroscience, Fran worked at the Science Museum in London where she discovered that enthusing young people about science was much more fun than sitting in a lab. She has since forged a successful career as a ‘science translator’ touring her live shows and appearing in several series for CBBC, BBC Learning and BBC Worldwide. As with all her work, expect an exciting, inspiring and colourful presentation!

Fran’s presentation is titled: Igniting the Imagination. In television you can have just 3 minutes of screen time to capture viewers’ imagination.  Having worked in children’s science TV for many years, Fran knows just how to do this, especially when it comes to Science. Here, she’ll share her top tips on making Science entertaining, whilst still remaining true to the subject, a skill that’s easily transferable back to the classroom.

We will also be showcasing our latest products. The recently-launched SmartCase is already proving a winner and is perfect for both primary and secondary school science kits. (Also for field work where datalogging materials and equipment are needed.) The SmartCase has been designed to fit into the same runners used on all Gratnells frames and trolleys. Also the new StopSafe runners will be unveiled. Drop by and take a look!

 

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The Association for Science Education Annual Conference 2015 runs from Wednesday 7 January  to Saturday 10 January at the University of Reading

Exceptional ideas and resources for science teaching at the flagship, four-day conference from ASE. Over 300 sessions dedicated to science education across all subject areas and phases, offering hands-on activities for the classroom and inspiring talks from the forefront of scientific research. Whatever stage you are at in your career, be inspired by world-class ideas for your professional development, with practical learning, sharing best practice and take-home resources. Certified CPD. Book now at www.ase.org.uk/conferences/annual-conference/

Gratnells’ sponsored keynote presentation will be Saturday 10th January @ 11.15am

 

ASE blue logo left w strapline

 

SmartCase Raspberry Pi sets in action

I was interested to read about a ‘Raspberry Jam’ in Southend last weekend. The event featured the recent Raspberry Pi kits made by ExploreStem using the Gratnells SmartCase. In the pictures you can clearly see the SmartCase kits being used by each visitor as they learned the basics of programming MineCraft using a Raspberry Pi kit.  These kits are used to demonstrate Raspberry Pi and introduce people to the beginning of coding. Each SmartCase contains a complete Raspberry kit including keyboard.  Also from the pictures they seem to double up as a useful monitor stand when empty. Who’d have thought!

adventures-in-minecraft-southend-jam

You can read in full about the Raspberry Jam event at lovesouthend.co.uk