RHS Campaign for School Gardening

Outdoor learning… Appreciating the fresh air and healthier lifestyles… Improving physical and mental well-being… A garden is a great way to teach young people about their environment, with many direct benefits!
RHS Campaign for School Gardening

These are just a handful of the many reasons why Topmarks loves the campaign from the Royal Horticultural Society aiming to inspire and support schools to provide gardening opportunities for children. Look out for the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, which has been enjoying growing success since its launch in 2007.

With FREE registration, a huge array of learning resources and ideas on the campaign website, plus plenty more in the welcome pack, there’s no reason not to get gardening at your school. Enjoy classroom activities across the entire curriculum, whether it’s indoor growing, or outside in the smallest of outdoor spaces. Youth groups, clubs and childminders can also signup.

RHS Campaign for School Gardening

Find inspiration for all ages, from Early Years right up to 19, and with SEN inclusion, too, across all regions, there are some great stories to be inspired by.

RHS Campaign for School Gardening

Plus registered schools can enter the School Gardeners of the Year competitions, for the chance to win stunning prizes! This fabulous greenhouse worth £3425, by Gabriel Ash, will go to the lucky winners of the category for RHS School Gardening Team of the Year 2018 – perfect for a class group or after-school club who’ve caught the green-fingered bug! And the prizes for finalists are not to be missed, so give it a go. Open to groups of young people aged 5-16, with entry supported by a nomination from an adult (18+), find out more about T&Cs, and how to enter here. (Submissions close 5pm, 25 April 2018).

RHS Campaign for School Gardening - Gabriel Ash

Click here to register for the campaign today, and get set to welcome spring with your learning!

The Mary Rose – Tudors learning topic

Are your class studying Henry VIII and the Tudors? It’s a popular history topic and we want to share a great resource from the Mary Rose Museum that’s sure to inspire!

Raised from the seabed of The Solent in 1982, in a marvellous muddy state of preservation, the Mary Rose was King Henry VIII’s prized warship, sunk whilst leading an attack against French invasion in 1545.
The Mary Rose, Tudor warship

Photo credit: The Mary Rose Trust (by Creative Commons license 3.0)

The surviving section of the ship and many thousands of preserved artefacts are on display, conserved at the Mary Rose Museum, in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. It’s a great visit for schoolchildren (plus visitors of any age!) with many educational exhibits, showcasing the experience of life on board ship for a 14th century sailor.
There’s also a wonderful program of events and activities to inspire young learners.
The Mary Rose, Tudor warship
If you don’t live close enough to make the trip, Topmarks highly recommends the learning resources at the Mary Rose Museum website. In particular, we’re highlighting the school outreach program, Web Chat, allowing a group to live webchat with to experts from the Mary Rose Museum via video link. A great way to engage with history! Find out more here.

The Mary Rose, Tudor warship, history outreach

Mother’s Day Card

Are you looking for inspiration for a Mother’s Day card for your class? We’ve put together a simple, but effective idea as a suggestion. There are full instructions and a downloadable template. The design is useful also for teaching the concept of symmetry.


British Science Week: 9-18 March 2018

Look out for this celebration of all things STEM-related in the next couple of weeks, as schools and communities will be joining in with events and activities around science, technology, engineering and maths!

British Science Week will be a fabulous 10-day programme, full of a varied selection of events.
Many hundreds of activities are to be taking place across the UK, for people of all ages, so if you’ve not organised one of your own, then be sure to check out the listing.British Science Week 2018Organised by the charity, British Science Association, the aim of this annual science festival is to spread their message that science should be part of – rather than set apart from – society and culture. Wider communities should embrace and engage with science, whether they work in the industry or not! And fostering children’s appreciation of STEM subjects is a great place to start.

Through BSW, the Association hopes to stimulate and support teachers, STEM professionals, science communicators and members of the public to get involved with science events.

British Science Week 2018As well as attending an event, here are more great ways to get involved for both school and non-school audiences:

– Every year, British Science Week hosts a Citizen Science project, and this year’s is a hot topic! It’s teaming up with The Plastic Tide, a charity of scientists helping to find new ways to clean up our oceans of the vast problem of plastic waste.
The project will involve getting people to tag images of the coast which have litter, clicking on the litter they see in a picture. Can you help with their target of tagging 250,000 images? By monitoring marine debris like this, they can help with future detection and understanding of the kinds of ocean plastic and where it ends up.
It’s vital work that we can all make a difference with, including young learners, so click to help today.
The Plastic Tide, Zooniverse
– Don’t forget the British Science Week team have created some fun downloadable activity packs – they’re available for FREE! Themed around ‘exploration and discovery’, these would be a great classroom support. Find ones suitable for early years, primary and secondary levels here (plus, a helpful bonus… links for the ones from last year’s Week are also still available on the same page).

British Science Week 2018 - activity packs

– Make sure to enter the annual poster competition too, with great STEM prizes up for grabs. Open to schools and youth groups across the UK, click the link for full details of how to enter and T&Cs.

All this is just a taster – don’t forget to visit the website of British Science Week for lots more to enjoy!
British Science Week