Nature learning with the RSPB

We’re excited to share news about an outreach programme from the RSPB and Aldi, to help schools and young people connect with nature.

This exciting partnership allows educators to visit primary schools and early years’ settings across the UK, with the aim of working with teachers and children on outdoors topics.

Schools outreach from RSPB and AldiSchools outreach from RSPB and Aldi

This FREE initiative is available in a wide range of cities across mainland Britain, with what Topmarks sees as exciting sessions to engage children, beyond the classroom environment.

Schools outreach, RSPB and Aldi

For early years, these include:
Wild Words – investigating outdoor spaces and animal journeys, collecting natural things, and using ‘wild words’ as prompts for retelling the experience
Habitat Explorer – finding and identifying minibeasts in existing habitats as well as spotting opportunities to create new ones
Sensing the World – discovering your outdoor space with your senses, making a ‘nature’s colours’ collection, creating a piece of wild art full of texture

And for primary children, there’s fun to be had with these sessions:
Wild Words – exploring your school grounds through the eyes of an animal, collecting natural things, and stimulating literacy work with ‘wild words’ we come up with
Giving Nature a Home – helping to map and score your outdoor environment with nature in mind, identifying habitats and looking for potential to create new ones
Bioblitz – hunting for plants and minibeasts under every rock, bush and doormat!

Schools outreach with RSPB and Aldi

Each visit is free, and the sessions last around 90minutes. Enquire about one coming to your school by clicking here!
And if you’re not lucky enough to live close to where the outreach programme is happening, check the RSPB’s site for more ideas. Find ways to support nature learning such as outdoor activity sheets and resources, a Wild Challenge for kids to get involved with and outreach presentations (PDF and PowerPoint) from their team, to be used by teachers.

Schools outreach by RSPB and Aldi

New learning ideas from My School Rocks!

Get toes tapping and fire children’s creativity, with a new programme called My School Rocks! Inspired by the West End hit, School of Rock the Musical, it’s sure to fuel everyone’s imaginations.

This cross-curricular resource is aimed at 7-11 year olds, with a host of practical activities including playscripts and costume design. There are plenty of opportunities to explore themes around motivation and achieving goals, all in this fun initiative from the National Schools Partnership.

My School Rocks programme
Teachers can register now for access to the resources, which will be a springboard for inspiring lessons. Find a teacher overview, activity sheets, script excerpts so children can try their hand at acting, sheet music for exploring emotion through learning a song from the show, an education guide on the School of Rock the Musical show, plus information on planning, casting and rehearsing your own productions.

A great way to celebrate kids’ creativity, as well as inspirational teachers!

There is the chance to enter a fantastic competition to win School of Rock the Musical prizes – including a free VIP trip to see the musical for the whole class, and to meet the stars after the show.
(Runners-up prizes also available, closing date 13 July 2018, t&cs apply).
Find the entry form inside your resource pack.

Top 10 tips for exam revision

With exam season looming ever closer, Topmarks is here to help! It can be an anxious time, but follow these stress-free tips for revising, and you might find yourself at the top of the class.

We’re sharing some fantastic advice on revision success for upcoming exams and tests.

TopMarks exam revision tips and advice

  1. Study in a quiet place away from the TV, computers and phones etc, that is both light and comfortable.
  2.  Make a ‘revision timetable’ and always let your family know when you are revising, to avoid interruptions.
  3. Create summary notes and anything simple that helps your memory – short notes, drawings and sayings are much easier to remember.
  4.  Get help. Ask friends and family to test you. Also attend any teacher revision classes, as teachers will know better than anyone what will be in tests and exams!
  5.  Record yourself reading notes and occasionally listen to them instead of reading.
  6. Take a 5 or 10 minute break every hour and do some stretching exercises, go for a short walk or make yourself a drink.
  7. Allow yourself some fun-time each day to relax… and make sure you get at least 8 hours of restful sleep each night.
  8.  Eat well. Good brain foods? Choose wholegrain foods (cereals, wheat bran, wheatgerm and whole wheat pasta). Blueberries. Blackcurrants. Broccoli. Tomatoes. Oily fish. Nuts.
  9.  Don’t panic if you feel a bit nervy. A certain amount of nervousness actually helps you perform to the best of your ability, producing a rush of adrenaline that helps you to feel alert and focused.
  10.  Think positive – it’s seriously not the end of the world if you fail!

Now, it’s time to get your brainy heads into those text books. Good luck!

Topmarks exam revision tips and advice
These tips were contributed by pupils of The Kingsley School.

Primary Maths Challenge 2018

Calling all maths coordinators, and teachers looking to boost maths confidence and motivation in their classrooms… Try the Primary Maths Challenge in 2018!

Run by the Mathematical Association for maths education in the UK, this campaign is a great way to inspire primary-age children and we think is a perfect idea as a preparation for working on tests.

Primary Maths Challenge

It’s a nationwide challenge, open to children in:
Years 5 and 6 in England and Wales,
P6 and P7 in Scotland,
Years 6 and 7 in Northern Ireland.

The 2018 challenge will be held on the week commencing 12 November 2018.

There’s a strong focus on problem solving and Topmarks think this challenge would be super for use in school maths clubs, if you have one.

Primary Maths Challenge
The test is designed with a couple of pre-challenge warm-up questions, then allowing a full 45 minutes to complete the graduated-difficulty questions. These comprise 20 multiple choice questions and a further 5 written questions. The structure is well-thought through to allow less-able learners to still take part whilst also stretching more able children. Past-paper examples (with answers) are available on the site to download and practice.

Primary Maths Challenge - past test paper

Primary Maths Challenge - Past-test paper

Primary Maths Challenge - past-test paper

There’s an entry fee for the actual test paper, payable when registering for the challenge (early bird discount price: £11 per pack of 10 question papers, excl p&p). Schools will mark their own papers, thanks to the handy answer sheets and marking guide provided with the pack.

And all children will receive certificates – Gold, Silver, Bronze and ‘I took part’ – so everyone can be proud of their achievements. High scorers will even be invited to take part in a global Bonus Challenge part of the contest.

Click now if you’re keen to promote an interest in maths!