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

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

New game – Let’s Compare

Have you seen the brand new learning game by Topmarks for early years’ children? Let’s Compare is out now!

Let’s Compare is specially created to help children with comparative vocabulary. It’s FREE and ideal for 3- to 5-year-olds, learning to compare the relative sizes of objects and animals.

Let's Compare - Topmarks learning game

With two fun themes, At the Beach and Animals, young learners will focus on comparisons linked to the measure strand of numeracy, in which length, height and width are estimated: biggest, smallest, longest, shortest, tallest.

Let's Compare - Topmarks learning game

Like all Topmarks’ games, it is fully whiteboard- and tablet-friendly. The simple animations featured will engage children, to enjoy the interactive learning experience!

Let's Compare - Topmarks learning game

Click to play Let’s Compare today

Shakespeare Week: 12-18 March 2018

Have you heard of Shakespeare Week? Mark the date in your diary for 12-18 March 2018, for this national celebration of all things Shakespeare, for primary-age children.

First launched in 2014, Shakespeare Week is organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, with the charity aiming to give children a great first encounter with Shakespeare’s characters, stories and language. Studying Shakespeare is found on

Shakespeare Week

There is a huge bank of free cross-curricular resources for which teachers, parents and groups can register for access. Developed with the help of education experts, you’ll find ideas for single activities or for long-term projects. 

Shakespeare Week

Throughout the week, KS1 and KS2 children will be able to enjoy their own Shakespeare performances and creative activities such as acting out Shakespeare, crafting puppets and more. There are even ideas for understanding science, history and numeracy through Shakespeare’s world.

Shakespeare Week

Look out for the searchable nationwide programme of events and workshops, too.

Shakespeare Week

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust says, “We were recently awarded £80,000 by Arts Council England to develop our Museums & Schools programme, which aims to give primary school children from areas that have lower than average cultural engagement an opportunity to learn more about Shakespeare and encourage a lifelong passion for the arts and heritage.”

Click now to be inspired, boost a knowledge an understanding of The Bard, and open up the world of Shakespeare to your children!