Noticeboard: September 2013  

A group of enterprising English teachers fed up with spending enormous amounts of time researching approaches to work have set up their own resources website called  Nicky Madigan told Ink Pellet why they had set up the site: ‘We found that we were spending enormous amounts of time researching authors and contextual information, devising essay or exam questions and planning how to use the assessment objectives to teach the texts most effectively.’ The resources are in the form of PowerPoint presentations and provide contextual information and step-by-step guides to teaching the text including questions, tasks, ideas for homework and banks of quotes and essay questions. The presentations cover the schemes of work for the five major exam boards. Check it out. Now!


Not really the art form of choice these days but many of the traditions are creeping in to today’s theatrical and dance performances – tumbling, bright colour and acrobatics, to name a few. So, as we all like to read around the subject, you might like to take a look at a DVD covering the history of this once-great genre. called The British Circus 1898-1972: The Golden Years, the DVD features many of the biggest names in the circus world including Barnum & Bailey, Tom Arnold, Billy Smart and Bertram Mills and footage of clowns, tumblers, trick cyclists, the human cannonball, acrobatic comedians, the flying trapeze, plate-spinners and…ummm… performing animals. Ooh it makes me want to say roll up, roll up your laptop and order one from


Talking of the circus: this Christmas (sorry to mention the c word so early in the term) the Rose Theatre Kingston is joining forces with Bor Productions in a co-production of The Snow Gorilla written by Tudor Davies that follows the story of a boy who runs away to join the circus. The fun starts on November 29 and runs until January 5. For tickets visit


I must admit to being an admirer of portrait painting and have recently uncovered the work of Dame Laura Knight (1877–1970) who was one of the most pioneering British artists of the 20th century (now doesn’t that make you feel old?).  A new exhibition of 30 portraits at the Laing art gallery in Newcastle Upon Tyne will showcase the artist’s highly distinctive and vivid work, as well as reflecting her success in gaining greater professional recognition for women in the arts. Knight’s skill was to capture modern life and culture; her career, which included a stint as an official war artist, took her from Cornwall to Baltimore, and her subjects included dancers at the Ballet Russes and gypsies. This exhibition, which opens on November 2, is organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London. For tickets, and details, go to


And a big hello and welcome to Peter Glanville, who has been appointed artistic director of Polka theatre. Currently AD and chief executive at Islington’s Little Theatre, Peter said: ‘I’m looking forward to the prospect of continuing to raise its profile in the future with ground-breaking world-class theatre for children.’ So are we!