January 2017 Newsletter for Secondary Schools and Sixth Form Colleges

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Welcome to our January 2017 Newsletter for Secondary Schools and Sixth Form Colleges.

Happy new year! We hope you had an enjoyable and restful holiday. We have lots of exciting product news and website updates to inform you of this January, including the launch of our JCS blog! Our most recent blog post explores the importance of keeping lines of communication open between teachers and librarians so make sure you have a read!

If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’re here to help.

Product news

Drama Online

Two new Drama Online Collections now available!

The highly anticipated Hollow Crown Series 1 and 2 Collection and the new BBC Drama Films and Documentaries Collection are now available to order through JCS.

With actors such as Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston, Hollow Crown Series 1 explores filmed adaptations of Shakespeare's Richard II, Henry IV (in two parts) and Henry V. The plays follow events during sixteen years of dynastic and political power play. Watch the Series 1 trailer here.

Hollow Crown Series 2 features Henry IV in two parts and Richard III. Starring popular British actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench and Sophie Okonedo, the plays tell the story of 'The Wars of the Roses', a fascinating period of British history. Watch the Series 2 trailer here.

The BBC Drama Films and Documentaries Collection includes film adaptations of classic and contemporary plays from Sophocles and Shakespeare to Henrik Ibsen and Oscar Wilde to contemporary writers such as Michael Frayn and Joe Penhall (view the full list of plays here).

Request a free trial to Drama Online via your My JCS account or via our website.

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Subscribe to podcasts by subject and level!

You can now order Audiopi podcasts by subject and level. A discount is available on the second level when you subscribe to both the GCSE and A Level collection for the same subject.

It costs just £240 for one level (e.g. History GCSE) and only £420 if you take the other level for the same subject (e.g. History A Level and GCSE). (All prices ex VAT.)

The story of Audiopi...

Audiopi is the brain child of two brothers, David and Jonathan Piggins. They were inspired to learn by a wonderful history teacher and wanted all students to experience that same joy and passion.

So they set out to produce a series of engaging and fun, educational podcasts that impart all the necessary knowledge required by the curriculum, with the ultimate aim being to inspire the joy of learning about the subject being taught.

Audio became their chosen medium because not only is there substantial evidence that it aids learning but it can also be accessed anywhere and at anytime.

To help make sure they engage and hopefully inspire students, they have built up an impressive cohort of tutors, including leading academics, experienced teachers and examiners from the major exam boards. They are tasked to create compelling scripts, which are in turn recorded by professional actors from stage and film and are enhanced with sound effects and music to really bring them alive.

Listen to some podcasts for free on the Audiopi YouTube channel and if you want to hear more, request a full 30-day trial to the entire collection.

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JSTOR Buying Group

Save up to 25% on a JSTOR subscription!

We are offering you the chance to save up to 25% on a JSTOR subscription with a new Buying Group for subscriptions commencing 1 April 2017.

The JSTOR Secondary Schools Collection offers the full text of over 2,300 archival journals and four primary source collections covering the arts, business and science.

We have already had interest from numerous schools this year so make sure you don't miss out – get in touch to place your order before the deadline, Friday 24 March.

Have you discovered the JSTOR Understanding Shakespeare tool? It's a fantastic free tool to help your students explore Shakespeare. Simply click next to any line of text in a play, and relevant articles from the JSTOR archive immediately load. Learn more here.

Do you read JSTOR's Daily Blog? From short daily blogs to longer weekly articles, the blog draws on academic research to provide fresh insight into current affairs and the news media. Take a look here.

Learn more about the JSTOR Secondary Schools Collection here or contact us for more information.

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Gale In Context Schools Series

Important improvements to Gale In Context Schools Series

Improvements have been made to the Gale In Context Schools Series to make the process of bookmarking easier and to improve indexing. The Gale In Context Schools Series is made up of four databases: Global Issues in Context, Science in Context, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, World History in Context, all designed to support the teaching and learning of a wide range of subjects. Find out more about the series and the discounts available here.

Gale have shortened bookmark and citation URLs for documents and portal pages. This makes them much more convenient to share with students and colleagues.

In Context academic journal results, are now limited in this bucket to peer-reviewed publications.  In Context results from publications such as The Commonweal, Foreign Policy, Modern Age, Harvard International, and more will no longer appear in the Academic Journal bucket but can still be found on the Magazine results page.

Significant improvements have been made to the translation process. Previous issues with inconsistent translation of some or all of the article have been modified for a more consistent and efficient experience. 

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48 new courses across all four subjects!

There are now over 1,400 lectures in MASSOLIT. And, with lots of filming planned over the next couple of months, by the end of March over 1,500 lectures will be available. MASSOLIT are always keen to hear what you think, if you have any topic requests then please contact them here. Here are some of the upcoming hightlights:

English Literature:

  • Austen: Persuasion, Dr Emma Clery (University of Southampton)
  • Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go, Dr Sebastian Groes (University of Roehampton)
  • Shakespeare: Coriolanus, Professor Martin Wiggins (The Shakespeare Institute)
  • The Poetry of W. B. Yeats, Dr Peter Howarth (QMUL)


  • The Second Crusade, Dr Nicholas Morton (University of Nottingham Trent)
  • Crusader States in the Mid-12th Century, Dr Nicholas Morton (University of Nottingham Trent)
  • The Russian Revolution, 1917-21: Part II, Dr Mark Levene (University of Southampton)

See the full list of current and upcoming MASSOLIT courses here.

MASSOLIT videos now come equipped with a speed control button, slowing the videos down can help students to take notes.

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World Book Online

New developments to World Book Online!

World Book Online is made up of a range of online reference products and activities. As the resource grows the World Book team continue to develop the platform and support tools. Over 1,400 new articles were added in 2016 as well as 2,180 new multimedia photos, illustrations and audio, 453 maps and a new Mythic Monday feature on Behind the Headlines. Other changes include:

It is now even easier to view usage statistics, account administrators can pull usage for their own accounts via World Book's Tools page, and there are new usage view options (such as multi-level reports) and enhancements to advanced reports.

Teaching with Documents are now found on corresponding articles on World Book Advanced to enhance a user's understanding of a particular topic.

New timelines join the 600+ free timelines, including timelines on notable women (such as Indira Gandhi), literary prize winners and golf!

Resource Guides provide in-depth information on selected topics and they are now dynamically updated when changes have been made to a corresponding article.

Coming Soon! Integration with Google Drive, updated MLA citations, more Teaching With Documents focusing on primary sources in World Book Advanced and custom developed professional training videos!

World Book eBooks

World Book eBooks – an expanding collection of highly interactive e-books now includes features to export your notes and download previously-viewed titles from My Reading List, and download PDFs from World Book Online or other websites to have all your documents in one place.

Coming soon! More eBooks enhanced with audio, video, and quizzes; read-aloud and word-by-word highlighting; and reading stats.

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Churchill Archive

How can Trump help us to teach kids about the importance of using primary sources to understand historical events?

“Many history students find analysing primary source documents hard work,” writes history teacher and senior examiner Ben Walsh in a new TES article. “But it is more important than ever for young people to understand how to make use of them in this age of social media and 24-hour news.”

Read Ben’s five top tips for helping students to get better at using primary sources, and get further advice in the Guide to using primary sources which is available in the Churchill Archive for Schools.

Free access to the Churchill Archive

A treasure trove of primary source documents, and a fantastic resource for history teachers and students, the Churchill Archive provides fascinating, behind-the-scenes insight into key events of the twentieth century.

Over 1,300 schools and sixth form colleges from 60+ countries – from Australia to Zimbabwe – now benefit from free online access to the Churchill Archive (available exclusively through JCS) and over 200 have registered in the last month alone!

Is your school or sixth form college missing out? If so, it only takes a couple of minutes to register and access will run until 31 December 2020!

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JCS news

Welcome to Gerda Taylor, our new Finance Manager

"I am very excited to have joined the JCS Online Resources team and look forward to many happy years as the Finance Manager.

My husband and I immigrated from sunny South Africa in the summer of 2015 and I started work at a mobile phone and smart device accessory distributor soon after that. I spent an unforgettable three years in the capital city of Mozambique, Maputo prior to the relocation and even opened my own wedding cake business in the jovial city.

I have not lost my love for baking and still spend hours trying new recipes. There are few things I enjoy more than discovering Britain and you will therefore not find me home most weekends. In 2017 I plan to tick one more thing off my bucket list – visiting Puffin Island to see the exquisite birds."

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Website update

We have made some major improvements to our website. Resources are now categorised by subject to make it even easier to find e-resources for your school. Take a look here.

We also have a new Meet the Team page where you can find out more about the JCS team and see who you're talking to behind the phone or screen!

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JCS blog launch

We have launched a JCS blog! Please click here for our latest news stories. Our most recent post is Elizabeth Hutchinson's excellent piece on "The role of the school librarian in teaching and supporting digital literacy"...

Working as a librarian alongside teachers is something that I enjoy and find frustrating in equal measure. I completely understand that they have a tough job with so many pressures from senior leaders, parents and students and that there is very little time for anything else. Sometimes though it is like knocking my head against a brick wall trying to get teachers to understand how I can help and support them. The role of the school librarian as a keeper of books alone is long gone. If our budgets are ok, we provide so much more; from teaching digital and information literacy to providing access to good quality e-resources.

We understand the world is changing and we are changing with it but unless we find a way of working with teachers these resources will remain unused. Collaboration between teachers and librarians is essential in ensuring that students gain access to physical and online resources and the skills needed to research correctly. Read the full blog post here.

Our blog is a great forum for sharing your thoughts, ideas, hints and tips on all things relating to e-resources, e-learning, research skills, digital literacy etc so please get in touch if you have something to share.

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The benefits of having a My JCS account

My JCS is a fancy name for our online quotation and subscription service. It's a completely free, no-obligation subscription management account that allows you to: request free trials with just a few click, get instant access to pricing for every e-resource available through JCS and subscribe to resources online.

Find out more about the benefits or a My JCS account here, and if you haven't already, register for your account now

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Twitter announcements

We are now announcing new subscriptions on our twitter account. Make sure you follow @JCSResources to see which school or college is subscribing to which product. You can also like us on Facebook to keep up to date with our latest news.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, comments or queries please do get in touch. We love to hear feedback about our newsletter and if you would also like to contribute, please email or tweet us @JCSResources.