Teachers – your voice matters

I recently conducted some informal research for a local primary school about how a teacher’s voice can influence what a child thinks or feels about them. As a parent I have often heard my 7 year old say that he doesn’t like that teacher because they ‘all they do is shout’, or that teacher ‘just sounds cross all the time’, so it was with interest that I undertook the project. Continue reading “Teachers – your voice matters”

Developing a great website – blog article

Pretty much anyone can have a go at building a website these days, but creating and developing a GREAT website means that you really have to understand what works! It’s easy to get caught up in the latest design trend at the cost of your content, or to overload your visitors with sound effects, music and video. You do these things with the best intention – to engage your visitors and have an impact – but actually all you manage to do is have the opposite effect. READ my latest article for Mass Media Design here: www.massmediadesign.co.uk/website-dos-and-donts/

Dogs Trust ..definitely not just for Christmas!

Way back in 1997, when I was working as a Junior Account Executive for one of only twobe-dogs-smart-logo education marketing agencies in the country , one of my first clients was the charity Dogs Trust. They approached us as they wanted to encourage the next generation to be responsible dog owners, and schools seemed to be a good place to start.

What we did then was known as educational sponsorship; we produced teaching resources and classroom materials on behalf of our clients. We made them relevant to teachers by ensuring they delivered for the curriculum, and we made them work for our clients with creative ways of conveying their messages. The very first resource we produced for Dogs Trust was a History resource called Dogs in War.

Following Dogs in War we created an English resource, using examples of Dogs Trust advertising to look at persuasive texts; a Business Studies resource focused around running a charity and a Citizenship resource all about rights and responsibilities using peer-led learning. Over the years we created resources for primary schools and preschools all the with the aim of creating a ‘continuum of contact’ with young people. We maximised the opportunities for Dogs Trust learning resources to be used in schools with all ages, and therefore pupils exposure to their key messages.

In 2003, we were challenged with coming up with something different. After many hoursDT-Skyscraper-120x600px-v2 around the brainstorming table we had one good idea, but we needed an alternative. I decided to throw in an ‘out there’ idea; let’s send a Dogs Trust person into schools to deliver workshops. Little did I know that this one idea would lay the foundation for their hugely successful schools workshop programme. Today they have 33 education officers and youth trainers delivering classroom lessons, assemblies, workshops, events and 1-2-1 experiences across the UK, teaching young people to Be Dog Smart.

This is my 20th year of working with the Dogs Trust education team, and every year their education offering gets more refined and focused in response to the needs of schools and children. Over the past twenty years together we have produced resources, films, posters, certificates, workshop activities, competitions, websites, research, cuddly toys, games, marketing campaigns and much, much more!

The Dogs Trust education programme is one of the longest running programmes in the UK. They have committed to education and invested in their offering to schools year on year, which is why they have been so successful and why they are a brilliant client to work with. Education communications works best when it is planned and nurtured, and I am privileged to have worked on this programme for so long.












Shelter – Our Neighbourhood

Shelter Our neighbourhoodThe latest lesson plan available from Shelter focuses on ‘Our neighbourhood’.

Supporting Geography, PSHE and English for 5-11 years, pupils are tasked with helping Anna and Teddy settle in to their new school and community, after finally being given a home of their own to live in.

You can find the full range of free lesson plans available from Shelter here .



Greyhounds in Need EDUCATION


I’ve been working on the new education website from the charity Greyhounds in Need (GiN) for many months and am delighted that it has finally launched. GiN are dedicated to the rescue of the Spanish galgo and an important aspect of their work focuses on  the education of Spanish children about the plight of the galgo.Continue reading “Greyhounds in Need EDUCATION”

Looking for bespoke video content?

A  little bit of promotion for 7Seven Films – my preferred partners when it comes to video content. If you have a film project then their talented creative film team coupled with my excellent project management and planning skills are probably of interest. I’d be happy to have a chat about what you need – just get in touch.

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Learn With Dogs Trust

DT website

Dogs Trust have just launched their new education website Learn With Dogs Trust . We worked together on the site plan, content and the design of the new website, before it was handed over to their web developers. This way we could ensure that the site delivers exactly what is needed, as the developers had a clear design and development brief to follow from the start.


Promo film – Dogs Trust schools workshops

workshop filmEver wondered what actually happens in a Dogs Trust school workshop? Well now you can get a real insight into what the team of 26 Education & Community Officers and 7 Youth Trainers can do.Continue reading “Promo film – Dogs Trust schools workshops”

Film project – on set in the classroom

The film crew in ‘action’

This month, in partnership with my fabulous film crew, we have been shooting school workshops for a charity client.

The footage will be used to create an inspiring showcase to promote the workshops to teachers and schools across the UK.

Watch this space to see the final film!



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Copyright: johan2011 / 123RF Stock Photo

As a freelancer sometimes you just need to run an idea past someone different, or get a fresh pair of eyes to read through something, or get another perspective on a design or a brief.

When you freelance (and especially if you work at home alone) that can be tricky;  you can’t just speak to the person sitting at the desk next to you. Continue reading “Smart-Freelancing”

Be Enterprising with Dogs Trust

We recently completed work on the Dogs Trust Enterprise Project Guide, developed in response to student requests for information and statistics. Rather than just handing them the information on a plate we wanted to help them be more proactive in their research.Continue reading “Be Enterprising with Dogs Trust”

New Shelter worksheet – Which Home?

Shelter Which Home? worksheet for KS2 pupils

The Shelter schools programme is expanding and we have just added a brand new worksheet to the resource bank. The Which Home? worksheet is aimed at KS2 (7-11 years) and supports English, Maths and PSHE. A simple matching exercise, the activity is designed to encourage children to think about homes, space, conditions and affordability. Continue reading “New Shelter worksheet – Which Home?”


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Copyright: art3d / 123RF Stock Photo

I  am currently in the post-production phase of an exciting film project for an education client. Watch this space as I will show you as soon as it is launched.

I have worked with the film crew and production team selected for this project for many years on a variety of client projects. They are talented bunch, that continually evolve to stay modern and fresh in their approach. You can check out their show-reel here (see if you can spot my current project!).Continue reading “Lights…camera..action!”

Slippers for Shelter

Are you wearing your Slippers to raise money for Shelter this year? To support fundraising in schools we developed four new fun, curriculum linked classroom activities for 4 -11 year old pupils  around the theme of ‘home’. The worksheets support D&T, PSHE, Art & Design, Science, English and Geography.

For more information and to download your free activity sheets visit shelter.org.uk/slippers


Army in Education

AiE HistoryFor over 5 years during my time as Account Director at Education Connections, I managed the Army in Education client account. It was a fantastic project that aimed to raise awareness of the work of the British Army and create a positive relationship with young people in schools, colleges and higher education.  

The Army in Education (AiE) website and resources were designed to bring the curriculum to life, helping students (aged 11-16) to engage with a range of topical and controversial issues. The resources explored the Army’s work, the political and geographical situations in which it operates, and the values and skills that are necessary to carry out work in demanding and often dangerous situations. Continue reading “Army in Education”

Managing a Fear of Dogs

Managing a Fear of Dogs Dogs TrustDogs Trust launched their ‘Managing Fear of Dogs’ campaign today! Really great to be part of the team beavering away in the background on the supporting literature and information for parents.

Head over to the Learn with Dogs Trust website  to find out about their FREE workshops for families run by their team of Education & Community Officers. You can also download the ‘Managing Fear’ promotional flyer. Coming soon is a comprehensive guide with information on what fear is and why/how it occurs, how to gauge the level of your fear and advice on what you can do if your child has a fear of dogs.Continue reading “Managing a Fear of Dogs”

Shelter for Schools

Shelter for schools

Shelter have launched their new education programme, providing free teaching materials  as part of their ’50p Challenge’ fundraising initiative for UK schools. It has been a great project to work on knowing that the resources we develop will both educate and help young people. Continue reading “Shelter for Schools”