New storywriting competition

Calling all young writers! Are you the next JK Rowling, or Horrible Histories‘ Terry Deary? Story-telling practice is a great way to support young children’s literacy skills.

So we wanted to share this fab new competition hosted by Great Western Railways, on the Young Great Westerners area of their site.
Enter the The Story-telling Adventures competition to help teach children about structuring a story, and fire their imagination into the bargain! It’s open to all 5-11 year olds in classes across the GWR region (see t&cs).

Young Great Westerners, Story-telling Adventures
The winner will have their story read out by a well-loved professional children’s author on film, and this’ll be showcased on the GWR site.

To enter, teachers must register, and then take a look at the entry categories to suit KS1 or KS2:

  • Super Settings for 5-7 year olds. Write a setting description for an adventure story, based on a train or on one of the locations on the Great Western Railway network, (100 words or fewer).
  • Sensational Stories for 7-11 year olds. Write an adventure story, set in a train or in one of the locations on the Great Western Railway network, (500 words or fewer).

Find out more and be inspired by all the teacher resources on the GWR Young Great Westerners site.
The competition closes on 9 March 2018.

Craft activity for Chinese New Year of the Dog 2018

Make a start on Chinese New Year classroom crafts. It’s the Year of the Dog in 2018, beginning on 16 February, and children will love crafting this art picture to celebrate!

We have added a sweet dog picture to our topic resources for Chinese New Year, as an easy-to-make idea. It will accompany the topic learning, helping with development of children’s fine motor skills.
Chinese New Year of the Dog 2018
Download a single-sheet printable template and use it alongside the full step-by-step guide, with illustrations for every stage, to complete the dog picture.

Be sure to check out our full range of whiteboard-friendly Chinese New Year resources, to use across the curriculum. These include discovering New Year customs, free-to-use photos, info about the zodiac animals and a personal animal calculator.
We’ve other craft activities such as how to make a lucky money envelope, plus a maths learning game suitable for 5-11 year olds.Chinese Dragon maths game

New game – Place Value Basketball

Our brand new counting game is all set to help children with place value. Understanding the concept of hundreds, tens and ones can be difficult, but this FREE game, called Place Value Basketball, is designed to make learning easy.

Place Value Basketball counting game

It’s aimed for children aged 5-8, and they will need to recognise the Dienes base ten blocks and match to numbers, up to three digits, on the basketballs.
This multi-level game can help them to know the value of each number depending on its position.


Place Value Basketball learning game

As always, Topmarks’ games are fully whiteboard- and tablet-friendly.

Children’s road safety competition with Ziggy!

A subject close to our hearts is road safety, and here at Topmarks, we believe educating kids on this topic from a young age is really important!

It’s why we’re highlighting this fab new competition organised by Road Safety Scotland, on their Go Safe with Ziggy site
Ziggy’s BIG competition aims to help children to learn about road safety in a fun and creative way, and is open to all nursery and primary 1 classes in Scotland.

Road Safety Scotland, Ziggy's BIG competition
The main competition prize is a special visit to the winning nursery or school class, from Ziggy, plus a deluxe road safety kit, and child-friendly digital camera. No less than 32 runner-up prizes can also be won – a recordable button.

To enter, sign up for a competiton pack with free colouring sheets, activities and certificates, and complete the two-part competition with your class:

  • Complete ‘Ziggy’s Fun Day Out’ story creator by customising the story with your class, about your road safety journey, submitting photos/drawings of your road safety walk together.
  • Record your class doing ‘Ziggy’s Zab-a-Ding-a-Doo’ Safety Song and Dance, and submit it by uploading a photo, audio recording or short video via the website.

Find out more with the handy Ziggy videos and picture gallery on the competition site.
The competition closes on 7 May 2018.