Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut with STEM ideas

Have you seen the challenge programme, Mission X: Train Like and Astronaut 2019? Focusing on fitness and nutrition, it’s a great plan full of STEM activities to encourage pupils with training missions to improve strength, balance, coordination and more.

Mission X, designed in conjunction with international partners NASA, esa (European Space Agency) and the UK Space Agency, is created for children aged 8 to 12. The site is full of resources for teachers, as well as educators who run science clubs and after-school groups, to help teach principles of health and exercise with a space context.

Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut 2019

Many of the lessons and activities are linked to the science curriculum, and are based on real-life physical requirements of humans travelling in space.

Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut 2019

Pupils practice scientific reasoning and teamwork through STEM education and physical activities, whilst targeting strength, endurance, coordination and spatial awareness. Participating teams earn points which can be submitted through the Mission X website. All points earned will help the Mission X mascot, Astro Charlie, walk to the Moon.

Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut 2019

Find the Mission Journal Logbooks for children’s use and free teachers’ notes, plus posters, badges and lots of ideas and videos to spark interest, on the Mission X website, from ESERO-UK (European Space Education Resource Office – UK).

Sign up today and help inspire a new generation of space explorers!

Change4Life – ways to cut down on sugar

Topmarks has been exploring a new set of teaching resources, Sugar Smart World, from Change4Life, set to inspire teachers, parents and children to eat less sugar. Healthy living is easy with simple swaps!

New year, new beginnings… this launch is ideally timed when we’re all increasingly conscious of healthier lifestyles and how to make the right choices for our diets.
Public Health England (PHE) exists to help support the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. Survey research by PHE shows that children are consuming 2,800 excess sugar cubes each year, that’s around eight extra cubes per day. Enough to wrap around the world more than three and a half times!
With the fun new classroom resources from the Change4Life team, developing healthier habits will be simple.

Change4Life SugarSmartWorld, healthy eating

These dedicated English, Maths and Science resources are perfect for encouraging kids to learn about sugar content of different foods and drinks, then to make the right choices for healthier lifestyles.

Change4Life SugarSmartWorld, healthy eating

The average 10 year old has already consumed at least 138 kilos of sugar; if children were to keep their consumption within the maximum recommended sugar intake after the age of 2, it would take them until they are at least 18 years old to reach this figure.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: “Educating children on the importance of a healthy balanced diet in their early years can help them avoid serious illness in future.
“By making simple swaps each day, children can have healthier versions of everyday foods and drinks, while significantly reducing their sugar intake.”

Change4Life SugarSmartWorld, healthy eating

Cllr Sabia Hussain and teacher Rebecca Glanville show pupils from Penn Wood Primary School in Slough how to make healthier choices using Change4Life’s new Be Food Smart app from PHE

The resources are flexible to use and tailored for Reception, Key Stage 1 and upper and lower Key Stage 2 pupils. They’re developed with teachers, complementing the national campaign encouraging parents to “make a swap when you next shop”.

  • The new English lesson plans introduce pupils to the characters of ‘Sugar Smart World’ through fun, interactive PowerPoints, pupil-led activities, recipe ideas and a new video.
  • Change4Life Maths lesson plans will reinforce healthier swaps, while including important problem solving skills using addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.

Change4Life SugarSmartWorld, healthy eating
Change4Life SugarSmartWorld, healthy eating

Visit now to see what’s available, use the social media hashtag #makeaswap and look out for the Sugar Smart World take-home packs (great for beyond-the-classroom working!) arriving in schools from mid-late January. Sign up to the Chnage4Life School Zone newsletter too, to keep up-to-date with more resources that are constantly being added.

RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch is coming!

Are you joining in with the Big Schools’ Birdwatch project, early in the new year? It’s a fabulous conservation science scheme by the RSPB that’s perfect for inspiring youngsters, all over the UK!

Every year the Big Schools’ Birdwatch does great work in helping to track bird population numbers across the country.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is a charity whose scientific work is vital for looking after our feathered friends. The Big Schools’ Birdwatch is just one such initiative, and can be run with any age group of children.

All you have to do is spend one hour counting the most birds seen together, of each species that comes to your school. No special birdwatching knowledge is required! Registration for the event is open now, and final survey counts have to be submitted to the RSPB, online, by 22 February 2019.

RSPB Big Schools' Birdwatch 2019

Watch this handy video from the RSPB to what is like to take part in the Big Schools’ Birdwatch!

There are direct links with National Curriculum learning objectives, and lots of free resources are supplied by the RSPB to support the Birdwatch programme. Send off for your registration pack now, which includes a FREE bird identification poster.

RSPB Big Schools' Birdwatch 2019Plus, on the RSPB site, you can download easy-to-use counting sheets for pupils to record their bird count findings (find several versions, tailored for different age groups!), and why not try craft activities, bird-themed games to play, recipes for bird treats and more?! Click now to
make the most of all the downloads here.

And don’t forget too to watch out for the results of the Birdwatch later in the spring – if you’re registered to receive the newsletter, you’ll be notified of the results to follow up in class.
Be sure to plan now for this event in your lessons for the new term, and join the fun!

Vegetable Maths Masters Free App

Take a look at this recently launched maths learning app, which is called Vegetable Maths Masters, for school children!

Topmarks is excited to learn about this new app game, which has been funded by The British Psychological Society – teachers and parents are sure to enjoy this fun, positive resource with their young learners.

The game has been designed by a team including Dr Claire Farrow, Associate Professor at University of Aston, studying Child Eating Behaviour, with consultants in human computer interaction, teachers and parents.
It is primarily a maths app, but is structured around vegetables and using cheery, food-friendly characters.

Vegetable Maths Masters, learning app

Evidence from research studies showing methods for increased vegetable exposure and consumption in children was important when designing the game.
Topmarks believes the game will be useful in schools alongside healthy eating topic work, and also recommends it for home-learning use.

Vegetable Maths Masters, learning app

Vegetable Maths Masters has been attractively created with different levels for 3-7 year olds, using bright colours, lively characters, being reward-led and with simple-to-use, audio-enhanced animations.
It’s totally FREE to use and has no adverts or in-app purchases!

Vegetable Maths Masters, learning app

Subject areas include:
– counting up to 10, using a ‘ten frame’
– number formation for young pupils (though Topmarks would like to let teachers know that some of the number formations may not be their recognised way of teaching, eg number 5 and number 9).
– matching and addition problems, with pictorial representation
– fractions, and multiplication and division problems.

Vegetable Maths Masters, learning app

There is even the option to personalise the game, with settings to turn on and off certain vegetables that teachers or parents would like children to play with.

Available to play on iOs and Android – visit the website now to find out more and to download Vegetable Maths Masters!