Get practising times tables

Are your children going to be tested under the new Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) assessment? Make sure you take advantage of Topmarks’ Hit the Button game to help get them ready!

The government’s new MTC test has been introduced to ensure Year 4 primary school children in England can fluently recall multiplication tables up to and including 12 × 12. Whilst it’s available this year as a voluntary test, it will be mandatory from June 2020, so now’s the time to ensure pupils will be up to speed. (Especially Year 3 children who will be progressing!)

Hit the Button online mental maths gameTopmarks’ Hit the Button web game is designed for mental maths learning, including times tables, so it is a must-have tool for classroom and after-school practice. The Times Tables mode includes levels for all tables up to ×12, either as individual tables or a mixed table mode. Hit the Answer and Hit the Question options are available for all.

However, the Topmarks Hit the Button App version has additional features that will be even more useful. Further levels are included to practise mixed tables, especially one for ×2-5, ×8 and ×10 tables – ideal for Year 3 learners who will be at this stage. This will be perfect for teachers to use now, making sure their pupils are on target for next year’s MTC.

Hit the Button mental maths app, mixed times tables

For Year 4 children who are participating as a dummy run this year, use the Hit the Button App for extra help with their ×6 and ×7 times tables, which are playable as separate modes, again as Hit the Answer and Hit the Question.

Hit the Button mental maths app game

No ads, no in-app purchases, no internet connection needed – play either with or without the minute countdown against the clock, enjoy trophy high scores, and full player tracking as you can add up to 30 pupil user IDs!

Look out for the Hit The Button App on all platforms, just £2.99:
> here in the iOS App Store
 > here at the Google Play store
 > here for Kindle Fire via Amazon

RE resources for Foundation and KS1

Make the most of a new set of open-access resources developed to encourage children to engage with the world around them, learning about different faiths.

These free resources have been produced by a team at the University of Warwick, in collaboration with the St Mary’s Centre. They are for widespread use in schools, following studies on diversity and what it feels like for children growing up amongst many different religious groups, often in a largely secular society.

Religious Education curriuculum resources from Warwick UniversityIt is hoped they will be useful for schools when creating informed and safe environments, with positive and respectful attitudes.

Two series of books and accompanying activity worksheets and downloads have been developed: ‘Exploring Why’ and ‘Exploring Our World’.

Religious Education curriuculum resources from Warwick University

Each book is based on two central characters, Alex and Sian, and their friendships and widening experiences.
Several versions of each title have been produced, allowing maximum flexibility – such as, ‘short version’ story books aimed for group reading, or ‘extended version’ stories for more advanced pupils. Deeper learning can come from the ‘key questions’ books, which encourage more focused observations.
Religious Education curriuculum resources from Warwick UniversityTeachers are also encouraged to respond to a voluntary feedback survey on the resources, which can be completed anonymously.

FREE Teach Your Monster to Read App

Special Offer this week! There’s a great promotion on for the learning app, Teach Your Monster to Read.

If you have children who are learning to read then don’t miss the Teach Your Monster to Read app which is on offer this week only, from Monday 4 March to Sunday 10th March. The good news is that this is not just a free trial so you can continue to use the app after the promotion period. The app is normally priced at £4.99.

Teach Your Monster to Read app, children's literacy

The app is available to play on iPad, iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire. It perfectly complements different phonics schemes used in schools, with three game levels for differentiation and progression. Read more about what the game teaches on the game home page here.

Take a look from now until Sunday 10 March 2019 for your free download – it’ll stay free to play even after this time!

The Big Battery Hunt is back for 2019

Following a successful launch year, The Big Battery Hunt is back for 2019!

It’s a great environmental initiative that aims to educate children about making positive differences to our planet, including putting the battery recycling on the agenda. The campaign is being hosted again by the National Schools Partnership, and is funded by Duracell.

Big Battery Hunt
It’s hoped that young people in schools all across the UK will be getting involved. Last year’s campaign saw over 4 million batteries collected, so fingers crossed, that total will be smashed this time around, and all those old batteries will be saved from landfill.
Here are some of the children inspired to take part in last year’s initiative – why not join them this year?!
Big Battery Hunt

Even if your school took part last time, you’ll need to make sure you register again for a free school recycling bin and recycling boxes for each pupil, to help protect the environment.
Plus, there will be learning packs available for all schools taking part, with a curriculum-linked activity booklet aimed at Key Stage 2 children, and downloadable resources online.

Big Battery Hunt

The Big Battery Hunt will come and collect your recycling bins (both during, and after the campaign!) to make sure those batteries are dealt with safely. A battery takes over 100 years to decompose so each battery recycled in the scheme will be taken apart and the materials repurposed, stopping any toxic fragments entering water sources.

Don’t miss out on the competition, too. Every school which has a recycling box collected under the scheme will be entered and there are some great prizes available, including a 2-night class trip to the Sustainability Centre, iPads, £2,000 worth of school equipment vouchers, and more besides.

Big Battery HuntPupils who really get behind the programme and encourage others to do the same can be nominated as Battery Recycling Pioneers. Teachers can put them forward for the chance to win extra prizes and glory!
Big Battery Hunt
Register today, to start recycling and help save our planet!