STEM idea – Google Chrome Music Lab

Try this fun new idea for learning music, with a technology slant! Song Maker is a great new addition to the Chrome Music Lab suite

If you’ve never tried the Chrome Music Lab, by Google, then you’re in for a treat. Launched just a couple of years ago, it aims to help learning about music, using the web. The collection of ‘Experiments’ allow youngsters of all ages to get hands-on and explore how music works, such as sound, rhythm, melody and more.

Google Chrome Music Lab

The recent addition of Song Maker, an Experiment which allows anyone to compose their own song, surely fires the creativity! It’s so easy, as the notes are laid down just by drawing on the screen. Try the range of instruments, and play (literally!) with the settings to practice with concepts of tempo and scales. Plus the finished songs are easily shareable with a link, so they can be instantly enjoyed by everyone.

Google Chrome Music Lab, Song Maker

Enjoy the full inspiration:
→ free to use, no need to log in or make an account
→ compatible across devices: phones, tablets as well as desktop computers
→ web-hosted so no app installation required

Be inspired to use Chrome Music Lab in exciting ways, in science, maths, even art and dance lessons!

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!

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