Facebook Messenger Kids

Facebook has launched Messenger Kids which is a video calling and messenger app designed for children to connect with friends and family on their tablet or smartphone. It looks like it could be a good way of keeping children safe as they can only connect with contacts that have parental approval.

There are fun features for video calls which have interactive masks, sound effects and reactions which children will love. We really like the fact that messages don’t disappear and they can’t be hidden, so parents can always check usage. We think this should help greatly in keeping children safe from cyberbullying.

Brilliant Maths Assessment Resources

White Rose Maths have released new free primary maths assessments, for Years 1 to 6, which are aligned to their excellent schemes of learning. They are designed to reflect the new SATs assessments in both content and style. By using them throughout the year teachers can monitor progress and gain information for formative planning.

The White Rose Maths assessments don’t have pass marks, as they are more for assessing what children can and cannot do rather than for providing a benchmark for Age Related Expectations. We really like the way each year group assessment has been designed to include objectives from other year groups. This is especially helpful for providing differentiation for varying ability levels.

We think these are high quality resources that are well worth downloading.

Free Books for Secondary Schools

Schools in England can sign up before 22 December to receive FREE school library packs of books to boost their school library or classroom stock. The offer is being administered by the Booktrust.

The packs consist of carefully selected books for 11 to 14 year olds. There are two packs, the School Library Pack and the Special School library pack both of which will provide opportunities for students to try different genres and authors.

Packs are allocated on a first-come first-served basis so you need to hurry if you don’t want to miss this great offer!

Healthy eating for kids

Make sure your school is fully geared up for teaching great nutrition understanding, for life. With child obesity a hot news topic right now, it’s more important than ever to deliver the best knowledge and skills for young learners.
So it’s great to hear about this inspiring new course available for all UK primary school teachers, launched by the British Nutrition Foundation.

Food for Thought, BNF - y5 cooking

It’s specifically targeted, with content based on requirements for the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish curricula, covering core competencies for 5-16 year olds, the self-paced course will begin in January 2018.

Modules will include Food in Schools, Healthy Eating – The Eatwell Guide, Nutrition understanding, Food Safety and Cooking. Short tests and assessments will allow teachers to monitor their progress, and the course includes a final certificate.
Topmarks thinks this it’ll be a great way for teachers to balance their own learning development, and being an online plan, you can work at your own pace around busy schedules. It only lasts 5-7hours.
Plus best of all, the course is FREE, so we’re convinced it’ll be great for teachers wanting to confidently deliver the most up-to-date and food teaching information, and equip children with life-long, motivating values.

Food for Thought, BNF - year1 cooking

Roy Ballam, Managing Director and Head of Education for the BNF, explained more about why they’re developing this course, in conjunction with Public Health England and the DoE: “It’s vital that teachers who are educating children about food and nutrition have access to appropriate training, receiving up-to-date information and guidance on food skills.”

Food for Thought, BNF - year3 cooking

How can you get involved?

  • Registration is open to UK primary schools and those in primary teacher training
  • Each school can sign up for a single registration, but will receive details for multiple teachers to access the resources, when the course is available in January. (Topmarks tip: Great for science coordinators to organise, so don’t miss out!)