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Doug Lemov profiled in Schools Week October 16, 2015

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in John Catt Educational news.
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We were pleased to see Doug Lemov with a nice long profile in this week’s edition of the excellent Schools Week publication.

Edition 43 of Schools Week can be read here: https://app.doxiq.com/d/93J1W/Schools-Week-edition-43

Doug, Managing Director of Uncommon Schools and author of Teach Like a Champion, was one of the contributors to our recent book Changing Schools.

Changing Schools is a collection of essays by teachers, researchers and administrators who have been on the front line of the revolutionary changes taking place in state education over the last five years. Their chapters cover topics such as assessment, academy chains, use of educational research, free schools and social media, and will be required reading for anyone wanting to understand England’s rapidly changing educational landscape.

Other contributors include: Andrew Old, prominent teacher blogger; Tom Bennett, founder of ResearchEd; Jonathan Simons, head of education at the think tank Policy Exchange; Katharine Birbalsingh, Head of Michaela Community School; James O’Shaughnessy, Managing Director of Floreat Education and former Policy Director for David Cameron; Daisy Cristodoulou, head of research at ARK Schools;


New Hour-Long Shakespeare released October 16, 2015

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Hour-long Shakespeare Vol 2 COVER HRWe are pleased to announce the publication of a second book in our excellent Hour-Long Shakespeare series.

Abridged specifically for all those interested in Shakespeare’s plays, especially teachers and students of English and drama, these one-hour performance scripts maintain the arcs of Shakespeare’s plots without compromising the integrity of his original language.

What remains are manageable performance texts and the essential elements needed for an introduction to three of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.

The editor, Matthew Jenkinson, is Director of Studies at New College School in Oxford. He received his doctorate from Merton College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the author of Culture and Politics at the Court of Charles II, 1660-1685, as well as many articles on history, literature and education.

Hour-Long Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Julius Caesar is available now from John Catt Bookshop: http://www.johncattbookshop.com/hour-long-shakespeare-romeo-and-juliet-macbeth-and-julius-caesar

Primary Computing in Action September 21, 2015

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computing1Another excellent new John Catt Educational book goes to the printers this week.

Primary Computing in Action (http://www.johncattbookshop.com/primary-computing-in-action) has been written by Yasemin Allsop and Ben Sedman for primary teacher trainees, in service primary school teachers and teacher support staff to develop their knowledge and understanding of Primary Computing. The book is also useful for parents and teachers, from any country, to gain an insight into what young children learn, when working with different types of technology, from the Early Years Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 3.

Our book includes examples of activities to support readers, as they develop your knowledge and skills, by introducing them to different and exciting aspects of technology, for example Web 2 tools, coding, film, animation and podcasting. There is also a separate chapter, which refers to E-safety and digital citizenship. We believe this guidance should be used to support all teaching and support staff in educational settings.

The book contains a chapter for supporting teachers and support staff in the Early Years Foundation Stage and also includes another chapter called ‘Transition’. This has been included to support computing secondary school teachers, with the transition from the primary phase. Within both chapters, there are a wide range of innovative and creative activities, which will help to support all learners.

As Sue Pope, Associate Head of Department, Primary Teacher Education, Manchester Metropolitan University, writes in her foreword:

“The introduction of computing into the National Curriculum for England in 2014 presents opportunities and challenges. For primary schools rethinking how best to incorporate computing into the curriculum this book offers a wealth of tried and tested practical ways to develop children’s computing skills.
Whatever stage you might be in your career – from the beginning teacher to subject leader this book has much to offer you as you consider how best to meet the needs of learners and statutory requirements in computing.

“Drawing on the experience of educators with particular expertise and interest in computing and the use of ICT in education, the book includes advice on planning, teaching and assessment of the 2014 Computing Curriculum. Examples in the book show how to make creative use of freely available web based applications, programmes for PCs and Macs, and Apps to design an innovative and engaging curriculum across the full primary age range.

“Each chapter includes structured suggestions for lessons, illustrating how computing can be embedded across the curriculum. The authors introduce an easy to implement rigorous and manageable approach to assessment that enables teachers to monitor and record learners’ progress in computing.

“This book is an essential resource for anyone who wants to make the most of the opportunities afforded by the entry of computing into the National Curriculum and is looking for support to meet the challenges this represents.”

Primary Computing in Action is published in October 2015. Copies can be ordered via our bookshop at http://www.johncattbookshop.com/primary-computing-in-action, priced £14.99. Please email us via enquiries@johncatt.com for information on discounts available for bulk orders.

Preventing Extremism and Terrorist Recruitment September 18, 2015

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9781909717688We are thrilled to have teamed up with Hanif Qadir to publish an essential new book, Preventing Extremism and Terrorist Recruitment.

Hanif  is recognised as one of the world’s leading specialists in positively transforming violent extremists. He is actively involved in advising and assisting senior policy makers around the globe in reforming key aspects of the Preventing Violent Extremism agenda.
This is an essential book for all those who work with young people in whatever context, and for all those institutions that have a statutory duty to prevent people from being drawn in to extremism and terorism.
Hanif outlines the challenges and realities of the current threats, and the various early indicators of extremism and radicalisation. Drawing on his experience of working with hundreds of high risk terrorist and violent extremist cases, the book examines when and how intervention should take place – and, crucially, suggests what success and failure will look like.

Anonymous case studies from a wide variety of young people demonstrate the numerous push-and-pull factors in play and detail the practical methods and solutions involved with changing permanently attitudes and behaviours. Hanif Qadir is the CEO of the Active Change Foundation. He works closely with a wide range of governmental institutions, most of the UK’s Police Authorities, and research academics across the globe, with a view to applying a more sensitive and sensible approach in counter-terrorism strategies.

In 2002, Hanif joined a network of Al Qaida members, after 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan, spending most of his time with the network throughout 2002. He then travelled to Afghanistan, and realized that young men and women were being used as cannon fodder in a war that many people knew little about. After a hostile argument with some high ranking Taliban commanders, Hanif returned to the UK to safeguard young men and women from similar experiences, losing their lives and harming their communities.

He has since worked with some of the UK’s high risk terrorist and violent extremist cases and has challenged many known figureheads who lead violently extreme groups both at home and abroad. He has prevented a number of people from participating in terrorist activities. In so doing, he prevented those individuals from being killed, killing others or being locked away for many years.

Hanif has a unique understanding and hard won experience of the modus operandi of Al Qaeda and Al Shabab inspired groups and individuals. He is now recognized as arguably the best violent extremist and de-rad expert in Europe and he is called upon around the world to advise on effective strategies to counter violent extremism.

Preventing Extremism and Terrorist Recruitment will be published in January 2016, £20.

101 Ways to Achievement for All September 17, 2015

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A4A books PRProfessor Sonia Blandford leads the award winning charity Achievement for All (http://afaeducation.org) and is listed as one of Debrett’s 500 most influential for 2015 (http://www.debretts.com/people/person-today/sonia-blandford).

And in October, John Catt Educational will be releasing four new books by Sonia, looking at how this charity’s programme, delivered in thousands of schools across the UK, is making an extraordinary difference to the progress and wellbeing of children and young people, and to the leaders and teachers who work with them.

Take the Lead is a book for school leaders. It taps into their ambitions to ensure every pupil on their register makes progress above national expectations and shares the framework Achievement for All offers which enables them to do that. Packed with ideas and experience from Sonia’s team and the leaders she’s working with.

Love to Teach takes a fresh look at the challenges facing teaching staff today and explores how they can meet them in a way that optimises both their sense of wellbeing and job satisfaction and ensures that every pupil in their class makes progress above national expectations.

Make School Better looks at the pivotal role all parents and carers can have in their child’s experience of education, and the practical things they can do right now to make sure school is a better place to be, no matter what individual challenges children face, and ensures that all children make progress above national expectations.

Don’t Like Mondays? is a feast of facts, personal stories and practical ideas from children and young people for children and young people. This book aims to enrich the educational experience for those who find school tough, and to empower them to make a change in the classroom that will not only enable them to progress but which will benefit everyone else in their school too.

More information on all four books can be found here: http://www.johncattbookshop.com/books/achievement-for-all-series

All four titles will be released on October 6, 2015. To speak to Sonia Blandford, request an interview or editorial article, or for any further information please contact Alex Sharratt on +44 (0) 1394 389850 or at as@johncatt.com

Hour-Long Shakespeare launch June 16, 2015

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Last night, we were delighted to officially launch the first in our Hour-Long Shakespeare books in the wonderful surroundings of the cloisters at New College, Oxford.

Abridged by Matthew Jenkinson, director of studies at the nearby New College School, Hour-Long Shakespeare: Henry IV (Part 1), Henry V and Richard III are one-hour performance scripts that maintain the arcs of Shakespeare’s plots without compromising the integrity of his original language. What remains are manageable performance texts and the essential elements needed for an introduction to three of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.  

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly a performance by the Year 8 leavers of New College School of the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s Compleat (sic) Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). The boys were watched on by proud family and did a fine job of keeping everyone entertained on a beautiful summer’s evening.


Hour-Long Shakespeare: Henry IV (Part 1), Henry V and Richard III is available for £10 from johncattbookshop.com



New Jonathan Smith book published January 8, 2015

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in Peridot Press.
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We were delighted to hear that Jonathan Smith’s new book has been published this week. index

The Churchill Secret KBO, published by Abacus, focuses on events in the summer of 1953, synonymous in the British memory with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June. But less well known is what happened in 10 Downing Street on 23 June. With Anthony Eden vying for power, the elderly Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, must maintain the confidence of his government, the press and the public. But after a diplomatic dinner in which he is on typically sparkling form, Churchill’s Italian dining companions are rushed out of the building and his doctor called. The Prime Minister has had a stroke.

Churchill is bedbound throughout the summer, and while secrecy agreements have been struck with leading newspaper barons, the potential impact of his health on public life is never far from the minds of his inner circle. With the help of a devoted young nurse and his indomitable wife, Clementine, Churchill gradually recoups his health. But will he be fit enough to represent Britain on the world stage?

A review of The Churchill Secret KBO in the Times is available here: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/books/fiction/article4303892.ece?shareToken=a61648ef4d633ecb7ad12ac730054b7a

Jonathan is, of course, the author of The Following Game, published by our own imprint Peridot Press in 2011. The Following Game is still available in either hardback or paperback, from our own bookshop here: http://www.johncattbookshop.com/peridot-press

Headstrong December 18, 2014

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in Education, New releases.
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9781909717268We’re delighted to be publishing in the Spring a new book by Dame Sally Coates.

Headstrong: 11 Lessons of School Leadership draws on Sally’s experience of 40 years of working in challenging schools, and a decade of leading some of the toughest schools in London and shows aspiring leaders how to create vibrant centres of learning in our most broken communities.

Headstrong – named after the proactive, personal and robust leadership which she advocates – will resonate with ambitious leaders beyond education.  It consists of 11 chapters, each exploring one aspect of the challenge of leadership.

Copies can be ordered ahead of the end-of-February publication by visiting our bookshop: http://www.johncattbookshop.com/headstrong-11-lessons-of-school-leadership

Sally is currently named in Britain’s 500 most influential people by Debrett’s and has gained a national profile through speaking at the 2011 Conservative Party Conference and by chairing the government’s recent Teachers’ Standards review. She regularly speaks at educational conferences in the UK and overseas and appears frequently on national news media discussing educational policy. See links below:

·         Debrett’s 500 most influential people entry for Dame Sally Coates click HERE
·         The Times reports her new role with United Learning click HERE
·         Daily Telegraph on Sally’s reform of Teachers’ Standards:  click HERE
·         Daily Mail reports Sally’s impact on one student: click HERE
·         YouTube clip of her speech at Conservative Party Conference: click HERE

Comments on Sally Coates:

·         Michael Gove:  “A great headteacher” (Conservative Party Conference 2011)
·         Toby Young in the Telegraph, October 2011:  “Burlington Danes in Shepherd’s Bush is a fantastic comprehensive, one that’s been completely transformed by the leadership of its excellent headmistress Sally Coates.”
·         David Cameron, 9.11.11:  “Just take this one fact. Take two schools – Burlington Danes Academy and Walworth Academy…they are both in relatively deprived parts of Inner London with high proportions of students on free school meals. But you know what? Last year, 70 per cent of Walworth students and 75 per cent of Burlington Danes students got 5 or more good GCSEs including English and Maths. Compare that with Surrey and Oxfordshire – the counties that Michael and I represent. Only 16 state secondary schools in these two relatively affluent counties did better than those two inner city schools. Put another way, more than 4 out of 5 state schools in Surrey and Oxfordshire are doing worse than 2 state schools in relatively deprived parts of inner London. That must be a wake-up call. Why is there this difference?”
·         Michael Gove, 3rd May 2010 on the BBC “…high standards, rigorous traditional teaching.  Where do you get them at the moment? …go to Burlington Danes…[it] has the freedom to give parents what they want…”

Sally is passionate about sharing my experience of transforming challenging schools and we are hugely confident that Headstrong will appeal to educators and aspiring leaders in the UK and beyond.

Teachers vs Government: the story of the 1944 Education Act April 23, 2014

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Roy Blatchford, the author of our recently-published book The Restless School, presented a fascinating Radio 4 programme last night on the 1944 UK Education Act.

In the programme (which can be listened to here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03ynt6y) Roy tells the story of modern education from 1944 to the present day and how it went from consensus to conflict, and from a world where qualifications were for just a tiny elite to one where all students are in school or training until the age of 18, with close on 50% going on to higher education.

restlessHe speaks to key decision-makers from the period, including several former secretaries of state to ask how much of the original vision has survived and what the story of education over the last 70 years tells us about what the future might hold for Britain’s schools.

In The Restless School, Roy draws on 40 years of wide ranging experience within the UK and international education systems to capture the essence of successful schools, those that are ‘restless to improve’. Short, pacey and personal, the book provides a deeply positive and optimistic vision of a thriving and confident education service.

To order copies of The Restless School, please visit our bookshop: www.johncattbookshop.com


Changes at John Catt Educational April 15, 2014

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John Catt Educational logoWe are happy to reveal that April 2014 marks the start of a new era for John Catt Educational.

Jonathan Evans, who has led the company with such success for 25 years, has now stepped down and passed on the baton of ownership to a new management team, comprising myself, Jon Barnes and James Rudge.

The MBO process was smooth and amicable and we are hugely grateful to Jonathan for passing on a company in such good health. We would like to thank him for his enthusiasm, hard work and vision over the years and hope that he can now relax and enjoy time racing his Loch Long keelboat and working on his new hobby – golf.

Naturally, Jon, James and I are enormously excited about the opportunity of leading John Catt Educational. The company has been going strong for 55 years and we look forward to building on our established reputation as a leading publisher for independent and international schools, and to exploring new opportunities in the maintained education sector here in the UK.

We remain open to discussing ideas for new publications that will celebrate and support schools and educators, both in the UK and around the world. The company is proud of our long-established publishing relationships with renowned authors and associations and we look forward to developing new partnerships in the coming years.