Primary schools are constantly putting on little shows of one sort or another, not only the standard annual productions, but class assemblies and presentations at parents' evenings. And yet these so often have less impact than they could, because of poor sound and lighting.
Even a touch of specialist lighting adds another dimension. It focuses attention, brings out the colours in painstakingly-made costumes and scenery, and adds sparkle to little eyes and clarity to radiant young faces.
A single spotlight on a reader in assembly can make all the difference to the impact on the listeners. And once the lights are there, teachers think of other uses a special display, for example.
The problem is that stage lighting is expensive because it has to be robust, reliable, efficient and safe.
At this year's Education Show, AJS Theatre Lighting and Stage Supplies is offering a Primary Lighting Pack, which consists simply of one lamp on a stand with a dimmer attached. It is, explains Mark Morley of AJS, designed with busy non-specialist teachers in mind: "You take it out of the box, put the T-bar on the stand, mount the lantern and plug it in."
Many primary schools also make do with flimsy and inadequate sound equipment. So AJS has put together a Primary Sound System consisting of speakers, a cassette deck and an FMAM tuner. The whole is mounted in a "flight case" and everything is controllable from one remote infra-red handset.
Primary Lighting Pack Pounds 351 with profile spotlight, Pounds 298 with fresnel spotlight. Primary Sound System from Pounds 825. All +VAT. AJS Theatre Lighting and Stage Supplies, Hightown Industrial Estate, Crow Arch Lane, Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 1ND AJS Theatre and Lighting Stage Supplies - stand 951