CHOOSE YOUR BOX!
How do I hire a Topic Box?
Simple! Contact us via the enquiry form and we will check the dates and availibility and get back to you asap (normally within 24 hours or sooner). You can also find a graphical representation of this process on our how it works page.
How long is the hire period?
You get the box for two full teaching weeks with delivery days either side. It would normally arrive to you on a Wednesday (so you would keep it until the Thursday two weeks later) though this can occasionally change due to school holidays etc. and other factors beyond our control.
Can I hire it for longer?
Yes, you can hire for longer and details of this can be found on our prices page.
What areas do you cover?
All of the mainland UK, subject to courier fees as per the prices page.
Are the box and artefacts safe to handle?
Yes. The items are well prepared for safe handling in accordance with our own risk assessment (available on request and a copy is also inside every box) and the box has wheels and handles for safe movement. Please note though that, as per any item coming into your school, you will need to ensure it complies with your own risk assessment in terms of it being handled whilst being used in your organisation. To help you with this, you are welcome to copy our own risk assessment in the box to use as a template for your own if required.
Do you have public liability insurance?
Yes (details available on request), though any injuries resulting from the items whilst in use in your organisation should be covered by your own insurance in accordance with your own risk assessment as stated above and as per any teaching item you bring into school.
What about breakages and losses?
As teachers ourselves we understand that accidents can happen so you are covered for simple repairs or replacements up to a value of £20, which covers most small small wear and tear accidents.
However if an item or items more expensive than this have to be replaced, you will have to pay the full replacement cost. This will be the trade price that we paid for the item including postage.
In short, just look after them as well as you can for us and we can all continue to enjoy them!
How much do they cost?
Please see our prices page for current costs.
At what point in the topic should I hire it?
Any time is great, with different advantages wherever you place it. For example, it is great as a 'wow' starter in the first half of the topic but also as a consolidation and knowledge extension tool for second half.
Are their other plans or guidelines that I can use to teach from it?
Yes, inside each box there is a laminated sheet with a guide to accessing the following activities as well as ideas for other activities, meaning you can get at least a full workshop day (and more if you have the curriculum time):
1) Using the video explanation to introduce the artefacts.
2) An IT lesson where pupils answer questions from online 360 views.
3) The in-box activity (normally at the bottom of every box).
4) Online lesson plans (can be accessed on each box's home page).
How do pupils use the 360 views and will they work
on my school server?
The 360 views are simply web-based on here so can be accessed from each box's home page linked at the top of this page or via our dedicated 360 views page. They have been fully optimised for any tablets or PCs to work on even slow connections but sometimes the site needs listing as safe on your school server before you can use it, (so it is worth checking this before you book the box).
What's the first lesson I should teach from it?
We highly recommend using the video explanation lesson with the box open at the front of the class ready for you to pass items around, the videos of which can all be accessed via each box's home page.
How do I return it?
We will email you a label to stick on the box ready for courier collection on the Monday after your teaching week is over.
Is there a penalty if we don't have it ready on time for collection?
Yes, unfortunately we work on a strict 2-day weekly delivery cycle with your box being returned ready to go out again the following day.
As such, if your box isn't ready for collection, you will have to pay a further week's loan fee as it means another school will miss out on the box for that week.
Please note that you may also be required to pay the collection fee twice if the courier charges us for the failed attempt, which is sometimes the case.
Will the box have the same items as shown on the website?
As far as is possible we try to maintain the boxes with the same items as shown. However at times these items have to be replaced due to wear and tear or losses, which means they occasionally may vary (though will be just as high quality).