In my series Alternatives to Sparklebox I’ve mainly concentrated on downloadable resource suppliers but sometimes the best plan can be to buy high quality pre-printed resources and these can be very hard to find.
UPDATE: Sadly this site is no longer active. What a shame!
Recently I was lucky enough to be contacted by Lucy from easypeasyclassroom.co.uk. She said:
easypeasyclassroom was established 2 years ago by myself, and my partner julie. Julie has been a primary school teacher for 15 years. She told me it was really hard to find good, inspirational classroom resources that didn’t take a huge amount of time to prepare. As I had married into the printing business we set about setting up a company, with our main aim being ” to reduce preparation time for teachers” .
One of our products is role play sets, in a coated card for indoor use, and on plastic for outdoor use, all products we produce have a classroom life of at least 4 years so that teachers don’t have to re-print, re-laminate etc every year and it helps them to reduce paper and card waste. (the outdoor sets can be left outside in any weather)
Our sets include Fire Station, Building site, Garden Centre, Post office etc. Please have a look at our website at www.easypeasyclassroom.co.uk.
Of course I was delighted when Lucy went on to offer me a set of their banners to review for the Classroom Displays blog. The banners and word card sets arrived beautifully packaged just a day or two later.
The kind of resources that is simply is not worth trying to make yourself
These banners and vocabulary word sets are really splendid. These are a perfect example of the kind of resources that is simply is not worth trying to make yourself. Something like the building site set, which is very strong and robust is going to last for years. Even with the best will in the world you would be unable to make anything to this standard with normal school equipment.
Reasonably priced ready to use resources for indoor or out
The sets are very reasonably priced too. The can be ordered in an indoor or outdoor version, making them perfect for outdoor learning areas.
The indoor sets are lovely and are printed onto strong yet flexible card. Easypeasyclassroom say that their resources have an average classroom life of at least 4 years.
The Builder’s Set is only £7 for the indoor version but I’d really go for the outdoor plastic version at £20. (All prices + p&p). The set comes with 10 word cards and one large banner. The outdoor banners and word cards are printed on to a weatherproof, wipe clean, plastic. They are extremely durable yet still thin enough to staple or hole punch so that you can attach to fences with staples, string or wire. A low melt glue gun can be used to attach banners to a dry brick wall.
The banners all have an intensity of colour and there has been a real attention to detail. The Post Office set is much more realistic than others I have seen. Using exactly the right colour and font might seem like an insignificant detail but it can really help to create just the right atmosphere in a role play area.
The site sells other display and visual timetable resources. (Those are so good they are going to get another post all of their own!)
One more thing. I found some shocking stats on their site about the amount of printing and paper waste that goes on is schools. Just look at this:
In 2007 WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Program) commissioned a ‘WastesWork’ report to analyse the waste produced in our primary schools. They found that our primary schools produced approximately 186,500 tons in England. That’s 45kg/pupil/year. More than 30% of this is paper and card.
It doesn’t even try to address how much is spent on coloured ink for displays. It might be worth thinking about that before you print off another set of fancy letters for your next display.