The State of Flash – May 2017

Flash is a browser plugin that has enabled many of the useful educational games that feature on Topmarks. Many of you will be aware that Flash resources typically do not work on iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. In 2016 desktop browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox, started to block Flash content due to stability, performance and security issues. Over the last few years web browsers have been enhanced to replace the functionality that was previously only provided by plugins like Flash.

None the games that we create at Topmarks are Flash based so they are not affected. However, we still host and link to a large number of popular Flash resources that haven’t been updated by their creators.

You may start to find that your favourite Flash games stop working, and will require you to “Allow Flash Content” in your web browser to keep them functioning. To make this as easy as possible for you we have provided instructions on how to do this in each of the major browsers below.

Google Chrome
1. Browse to, then click on the Secure padlock in the address bar.


2. Find “Flash” in the list and select “Always allow on this site” from the list to the right.


3. Click the “Reload” button that appears, to update the site permissions for Topmarks.


4. Now browse to our flash site too and repeat steps 1 to 3 for our flash site to ensure those resources work properly as well.

1. First open our main site and our flash site in new tabs.
2. Follow the instructions on the Adobe site to enable flash on Topmarks.

Internet Explorer
Follow the instructions on the Adobe site to enable Flash in IE.

Microsoft Edge
Follow the instructions on the Adobe site to enable Flash in Microsoft Edge.

Follow the instructions on the Adobe site to enable Flash in Firefox.

New £1 Coin for Toy Shop Money Game

Tomorrow, 28 March, the new £1.00 coin comes into circulation in the UK. The good news is we’ve updated our Toy Shop Money game with the new coin.


Toy Shop Money is designed to help children, from 4 – 11 years of age, to understand UK money. There are two game modes; the first where children use coins to make up varying amounts to buy the toys and the second where they work out change. There are varying levels of difficulty and the easiest levels involve working out amounts with coins of the same denomination. The activities progress from counting out amounts with mixed coins to working out change from up to a £10 note.


There are also USD and AUD versions of the same game.

Remember to check for those old £1.00 coins in pockets and down the side of the sofa because shops will no longer accept them after 15 October 2017. The old coin is being replaced because approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit. Below is a statement from the Royal Mint.

“The legal tender status of the round £1 coin will be withdrawn on 15th October 2017. From this date shops will no longer accept these coins, but you will still be able to take them to your bank. We would encourage you to use your coins or return them to your bank before 15th October.

‘Wrap, Splat, Hat’ Sun Awareness Programme

The ‘Wrap, Splat, Hat sun awareness education programme for 5-11 year olds is back for 2017, just the thing for Sun Awareness Week from 8-14 May. It’s perfect for teaching your pupils about the effects of the sun and how they can protect themselves in the sun.

There are free teaching resources including an assembly or presentation, and printed Pupil Passports. Each of the passports has a competition entry form where children have a chance of winning a fabulous prize of up to £2000 towards the creation of a sun safe playground and also a sun safety goody bag. The activities are cross-curricular involving science, literacy and art. The resource is funded by Garnier Ambre Solaire in association with the British Skin Foundation.


Spiral Free Web Apps for Collaborative Learning

Spiral is a clever suite of free collaborative web apps for everyday learning activities across all subjects and age ranges. The apps work on any internet enabled device and no app download is required. They are especially useful if your students have a device each. There are four different apps: Quickfire, Team Up, Discuss and Clip.


is designed for question and answer activities enabling you to get real-time responses from every pupil. We were impressed by how easy it is for students to access questions and answer them by just visiting the website and entering their name and a simple short code. There was no need for pupils to register on the site which is refreshing in its simplicity. Teachers can show anonymised answers on the whiteboard so that answers can be shared and compared. Teachers can quickly and very easily indicate to pupils whether their answer is satisfactory or whether they need to improve it. We haven’t used Spiral in a class situation but we can see that it is likely to make lessons engaging and collaborative.

Discuss is a powerful tool for encouraging students to share ideas with each other. Presentations can be created either from scratch or by uploading from PowerPoint. Questions and tasks for students can be added to key slides. This tool promises to engage all pupils, even those who are reluctant to contribute to class discussion. Students can be asked to contribute from their personal devices at any stage during the presentation.

Team Up is designed for students to work together in teams during one or more lessons – contributing ideas and building shared presentations in the form of slide shows or posters. It lends itself to work from individual or shared devices to create high quality outcomes.

Last but not least, Clip gets students to focus and concentrate on class videos. Simply find and play any video from Youtube and students can add comments from their devices in a live feed.