Guest Blogger Sandra from Focus Lane Books

Sandra Focus Lane Books

Guest Blogger Sandra is a local Manchester resident who has set up a business to support the learning and wellbeing of children. Read on to learn more about Sandra and the creation of Focus Lane Books...

My name is Sandra Smith, maths teacher of almost three decades, and also founder of Focus Lane Books. My wealth of experience and passion has led me to create a set of motivational exercise books for children aged 8 to 16.

Focus Lane Books was created as a result of a real situation in the classroom, to serve a real purpose in the classroom.

I remember being stood in my classroom, with a group of 30 students. I'd asked my class to refer back to their work on trigonometry. They were struggling to find that particular piece of work. I seized the opportunity to engage in a whole class discussion to gather thoughts on what would work best for them.

They concluded that it would be helpful if their work was more organised, so they could find their written maths topics at a glance. This was in May 2015.

I went home that day fully motivated, to follow through with some ideas.

This is the story behind the creation of Focus Lane Books.

I created a few ideas, discarded a few. Then in November 2019 I decided to make these exercise books become a reality. In doing so, I included motivational quotes throughout each book. I pictured all my learners and wrote kind words of encouragement for them.

So what's different about Focus Lane exercise books? They're not your traditional plain exercise books.

My books help students to organise their daily written work, with a contents page at the start of each subject book. Students can record key topics as they study, to help them with homework, class work or revision. They can refer back to the page number, just like a personal exercise book. They're colourful throughout, filled with encouraging motivational quotes to promote a healthy mindset for learning. The quotes are centered around what matters most to children as they're learning. Very often, it only takes one kind word or phrase to lift a learner up.

It can be tough for parents, carers and families. Many children would benefit from catching up on different areas of learning, as some students lose their way a bit in school or at home. They just need a bit of space for support to rebuild their confidence. Focus Lane Books are an ideal place to start. There are 3 different subject books, English, Maths and Science. To learn more you can visit our website, email me at or check us out on Instagram @FocusLaneBooks!

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