Get set – and safe – for summer: Soltan

It may not quite be heat wave season yet, but here at Topmarks, we are looking forward to summer sun! And along with that, it means staying skin-safe, of course.

It’s why we’re excited to see the Soltan Sun Ready Schools plan from leading high-street pharmacist, health and beauty retailer, Boots. The prospect of outdoor fun means we shouldn’t have to compromise on safety when it comes to getting that all-important protection against permanent skin damage.

Soltan Sun Ready Schools campaign, Boots

With young skin susceptible to skin damage, it’s crucial to see that children are not only staying safe, but also educated for the future. That’s where the Soltan Sun Ready Schools campaign from Boots comes in. The top tips for enjoying the fresh sunny weather are sensible advice… the 5-step guide is easy too!

Soltan Sun Ready Schools campaign, Boots

Look out for sun scream with a 5* rating for UVA protection – not just one with high SPF number

Find a host of FREE sun-safe ideas, lesson plans for curriculum-led activities and assemblies all to download at the Soltan Sun Ready Schools site, both for primary age groups and secondary.

Why not make the most of the Sun Ready photo challenge competition? There are some great prizes up for grabs, such as a grand prize of £5000 for the winner to use on their upcoming school trips, as well as many other runner-up goodies and free Soltan samples.
Open to UK schools, from 16 April (next week!) so watch out for details at the challenge link – all classes have to do is upload a photo of how they are getting sun ready. Register (for free) and download the differentiated resource. (Competition closes 8 June, t&cs apply.)

Emirates FA Cup – school competition

They say it’s every footballer’s dream to lift the Emirates FA Cup… here’s a chance for that dream to come true for your school team!

We’re sure you’ll be excited to hear about this thrilling competition, hosted by the National Schools Partnership, and the FA’s official partner, LG Electronics. Called the LG Football Challenge, there’s a grand prize of a visit from the Cup itself, brand-new Nike football kit for the winning team, and professional photo shoot. Players in the runners-up team will also get a kit each, for being great sports.

National Schools Partnership - Emirates FACup football challenge
Enter the competition, designed as an initiative to get kids outdoors and playing sport, and not worrying about being muddy! It’s open to all 4-16 year olds in classes, community groups and clubs across the UK (see t&cs). Start by making sure your team is registered, for FREE, then the contest entry couldn’t be simpler…

  1. Get the team warmed up, and PLAY. Having fun is a must!
  2. Take a photo after the match – with everyone in their muddy, scruffy, puffed-out glory
  3. Have everyone fill out a match report. Use the ready-made form, which you have access to when you’re registered.
  4. Send off the photo and match reports. A pre-paid envelope is provided, or you can email them, all along with your contact info.

LG Football Challenge - Emirates FA Cup, National Schools Partnership competition

Click here to find out more, then get set for kick off.
The competition closes on 22 April 2018, so enough time for some springtime weather, perfect for you to play out your match!

National Schools Partnership - Emirates FACup football challenge



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!

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