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Cheap School Stationery/Equipment?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by fantastischfish, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I'm starting a new school in September and, whilst it affords me a lot of benefits over my current school, it doesn't have the greatest budget in the world owing to being a high performing school. It hasn't had money thrown at it the way other schools have that I've worked at: no fancy new build, no money for lots of lovely equipment and stationery that I've been used to, classrooms that are falling to pieces and made up of mis-matched desks and crumbling displays....you get the picture; I'm sure many of you work in similar environments.
    Well, I spent yesterday at my new school and visited my classroom: it's pretty dire. I'm planning on investing some money in improving the classroom (obviously things that I will take with me if/when I move on, and not spending TOO much if I can get away with it). IKEA has already been targetted, and I've found a few bit and pieces that I might consider buying in the way of furtniture including some bookcases and some trays for storage.
    However, I want to get my hands on stationery that I regularly use and which isn't available at my school. Cheaply, if possible. Any ideas where to look for this? Do you have a brilliant website you buy from that offers great value?
    I need things like colouring pencils, highlighters, post-its and glue sticks, none of which are in fruitful supply at my new school but all of which are staples of my teaching. I'm normally very against buying things myself, but I do want to make my new classroom and lovely place, rather than the bombed out shell it curently looks like.
  2. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I agree. However, my experience tells me that pupils don't tend to bring pencil cases full of equipment no matter how much I waffle on about it. And in the absence of a whole-school policy on exactly what equipment is needed, there's little I can do to enforce it.
  3. Simple.
    You do not provide it.
  4. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    But then I'm stuck with regards to doing tasks that involve anything other than a pen and an exercise book....which is boring, creates more marking for me and doesn't exactly inspire the kids to enjoy lessons.
  5. Then the school buys it or the kids do

    It is a new school ... why are you so sure neither of these things happen?
  6. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I visited the school for the day and asked the relevant questions to ascertain this information.
  7. Push the issue then ... you have clear reasons for needing these things as tools for the kids ... ask the HoD to buy them for your room and offer a training session for the other departmental staff on the usage
  8. This is an ongoing problem. We have been told at various times in my teaching career over the past 5 years that there is no money for any more:
    glue sticks
    exercise books
    whiteboard pens
    colouring pencils
    Also, our students regularly attend lessons without basic equipment, like pens, pencils and rulers. If you don't have one to lend out (and forget looking in the office stock cupboard any time after December) then you may well end up with a child who can't do the work (if nobody else has one to lend). Yes, his and his parents' own silly fault, and no skin off your nose, and probably teach him not to do it again yada-yada-yada, but so much easier to just have a few pens to hand out. (My problem is remembering to collect them in - though I know about the "give me your shoe" ruse! In fact I have found the easiest way is to lend out a nice one, and say, "This is my favourite pen, that my daughter gave me - so please please remember to give it back" - it will come back. Whereas a hundred free pens from the betting shop disappear in a month.)
    I have also (after reminding the class to bring calculators) faced having to teach trigonometry to a class of 26 when there are only 8 calculators in the room. Nobody is going to buy 20 scientific calculators with their own money, true, but if something like a few sets of colouring pencils can make your life easier, and enable you to use teaching strategies you want to use, AND free you from having to hope the box of pencils is in the cupboard on the day you need to use them, and isn't being hoarded by somebody else who only actually needs them tomorrow but is just being safe rather than sorry, then you may as well go ahead and buy them.
    The problem with colouring pencils from Poundland is if they are bad quality they will be fragile and break a lot and you (or your "no equipment detention" kids) (see, I really have tried everything!) will spend ages sharpening them down to nothing because the lead breaks as soon as it's exposed.
    My best recommendation is to buy good quality equipment and storage boxes that it slots into nicely so you can see if it's all come back.
    However I have found that the good thing about working in a school where none of the kids bothers with owning a pen or a Pritt stick is they're not interested in stealing yours either!
  9. catherinaaa

    catherinaaa New commenter

    I often buy things for school, only gets reimbursed about half of the time, but there is the expectation that we do it. It is a private school so a little different, but with the fees they charge, they really should provide better equipment! Anyway, the Baker Ross website is usually very cheap and has a wide range of products. Have a gander and see if you find anything.
  10. i think our school has completely run out of sellotape - so tough if anyone needs any before the end of term

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