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Press release - 1st December 2016

Gratnells Rocks!


As part of its far-reaching mission to help create better learning and teaching environments for all ages, Gratnells has launched a new ‘Rock Pools’ poster, the latest offering from the company’s Learning Rooms portfolio.


Gratnells Learning Rooms is an all-embracing approach to the spaces in which teachers and pupils interact, whether that is in the classroom, in shared spaces or in the great outdoors.


The Rock Pools poster has been inspired by the work of acclaimed educationalist Dr Katherine Forsey, who works with individual schools, local authorities and charities such as the Woodland Trust.  She is also a consultant to Gratnells Learning Rooms, where her specialist outdoor work includes ideas such as pond dipping kits.


This new poster features nearly 20 examples of the varied and fascinating life to be found around Britain’s coastlines and offers a website contact – - where teachers and educationalists can get seashore safety and lesson plans including follow-up activities, kits and other curriculum units, along with a copy of the post itself.


Gratnells’ International Marketing Director Richard Picking says the Rock Pool kit is just one example of the Gratnells Learning Rooms philosophy in practice.


“We’re fortunate that Dr Forsey’s work with us captures her sense of fun and exploration as well as her strong academic credentials.  The scope of our Learning Rooms programme encompasses the entire age range of school children and I’d guess that a visit to the seaside is still as popular with 18-year-olds as with the youngest age group.  The poster will brighten and enlighten any classroom and we look forward to helping children make the most of the day by the sea.”

 visit the rock pools poster page on schoolscience>

5th May 2016:‘Step-up’ mini stage systems designed to make every classroom into an auditorium

As part of its ‘Learning Rooms’ approach which addresses many aspects of the learning and teaching environment, Gratnells, manufacturers and marketers of ‘Stage’ modular systems, is offering schools a variety of mini staging formats which can be easily used and stored in the classroom.


Learning Rooms is a concept supported by leading education experts which, as part of its philosophy, seeks to promote the abilities of every child whether academic, creative or practical.  A vital part of this process involves giving children a stage or platform on which to present, display and share their abilities with class and schoolmates.  The introduction of ‘Step-up’ mini staging modules makes this an easy thing to facilitate, with an in-classroom unit that offers visibility and a presentation platform. Several classroom packs can be consolidated into a bigger format when a major production, in an assembly hall, is planned.


Richard Picking, International Marketing Director for Gratnells, says that ‘Step-up’ has the potential to help develop children’s self confidence, self-esteem and communications skills.


“With a mini-stage that can be used every day and stored in a corner of the classroom, teachers have the resource to let every child experience the thrill of being a celebrity in front of their peer groups.  It really doesn’t matter what the skill on show is – it can be something relatively passive like displaying a piece of outstanding artwork or a vibrant performance of a musical solo piece.  The point is that ‘Step-up’ provides a focal point to recognise and reward good work in all its forms.  Teachers can stage impromptu events as easily as planned ones and the familiarity of the unit permanently in the classroom helps overcome any anxiety for the child.”


‘Step-ups’ are comprised of highly engineered interlocking parts, easy to assemble and breakdown, with a quality finish wood surface and smart use of robust plastics for weight reduction and durability.  Many variations in the modules are available including steps, pelmets and rails. 


As part of the company’s ‘Learning Rooms’ project Gratnells is hoping the use of ‘Step-ups’ will facilitate and enrich the learning environment for both teachers and pupils, with a very affordable ‘stage’ for every classroom.

26th April 2016: Major supplier to the Education sector announces collaboration with national charity Potential Plus UK


In a unique agreement, which aims to help fulfil the potential of Britain’s schoolchildren, independent charity Potential Plus UK and Harlow-based manufacturer Gratnells will collaborate on a range of projects during 2016.

Announcing the programme, which will include events, social media, PR, website activities and campaigning, Denise Yates, CEO of Potential Plus UK and Richard Picking, International Marketing Director of Gratnells, issued the following statement:


“Both our organisations are dedicated to improving the learning environment, teaching resources and education provision for Britain’s schoolchildren and we share an ambition to help every child nurture their gifts and talents.  In a series of discussions, we have identified a number of ways in which we can pool our resources to help achieve these goals and we are excited by the prospect of working together on projects such as Potential Plus UK’s ‘It’s Alright to be Bright!’ campaign and Gratnells ‘Learning Rooms’ initiative.”


For its part Gratnells, a leading UK manufacturer and marketer of storage, systems, modular staging and technical and IT trolley units’ designed for schools, has a long-term commitment to ‘Learning Rooms’, which addresses issues of classroom design, layout, systems and colour, along with outdoor and activity-based learning modules.

Richard Picking comments:


“Drawing on published and respected academic research from the likes of Professor Peter Barrett (‘Clever Classrooms’) and Dr. Katherine Forsey, we’ve seen data which confirms the importance of the physical learning environment that children experience.  Seven key design parameters have been identified which affect children’s progress, including four areas where our products have a direct relevance – colour, complexity, flexibility and ownership.  When you put these alongside the expertise that Potential Plus UK has in safeguarding the mental and emotional wellbeing of children with additional abilities and needs it adds up to a comprehensive approach to the learning environment.”


Denise Yates adds:


“We are extremely excited about working with Gratnells to ensure that the learning environment works for all children, but particularly those with high learning potential who can often struggle to achieve what they are capable of when these needs are not taken into account.


We have been impressed by the passion and enthusiasm for learning by Gratnells and we’ve been able to move fairly quickly from establishing common aims and methods to developing a joint programme, which is already gaining momentum and has a number of practical elements.  We have high expectations of our relationship with Gratnells and already it’s opening doors to areas of the market and the media, which we need to make sure understand the impact of the environment on learning and achievement.”


The campaign is expected to roll-out nationally from June 2016 with a plan that takes it at least until the end of the year, when progress and outcomes will be reviewed by both organisations.


Gratnells tray storage and trolley systems

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