MoneySense – Free Classroom Resources

The National Schools Partnership network has let us know about a free financial education programme from NatWest.

MoneySense is a programme featuring hundreds of free classroom resources and interactive workshops, supported by bank employees.
It is available through the National Schools Partnership and has already reached over 1.5 million children in schools across England and Wales.

MoneySense financial advice programme for school children, in association with NatWest and the National Schools Partnership

Designed for primary schools, and for teachers to use directly with the help of bank employees, the resources will engage pupils in learning about money in an impartial and fun way!

MoneySense financial advice programme for school children, in association with NatWest and the National Schools Partnership

Each workshop lasts no more than two hours, and is designed for all primary age groups and abilities.

Children will be able to benefit from learning about ‘needs and wants’, counting money and change, the basics of budgeting or the dangers of identity theft and fraud, and much more.

MoneySense financial advice programme for school children, in association with NatWest and the National Schools Partnership

Topmarks particularly likes the new workshop featuring ‘Super Smoothies’, created for KS1-mid KS2 children. This helps develop youngsters’ numeracy skills and introduces concepts such as enterprise and buying and selling, all in a fun series of activities around setting up a smoothie shop. Register to try it today!

MoneySense financial advice programme for school children, in association with NatWest and the National Schools Partnership

Sign up now to access the FREE MoneySense programme with downloadable resources, and to book an interactive workshop online for this term or the coming academic year.

New book titles – Maverick Early Readers

With the help of a great guided reading program, children can make fantastic in-roads to becoming passionate readers.

Earlier this year we reviewed a number of the Early Readers titles by Maverick Publishing. (Do take a look back at that post for Topmarks’ full impressions about this excellent reading program for young learners, if you missed it!)

The program uses the colour-coded book banding standard which is widely used in UK schools and libraries, and which has been developed by the UCL (University College London) Institute of Education. We wanted to share the news that there’s been a new spring release of titles to the Maverick Early Readers range – specifically of books in the Purple, White and Gold book bands.

Selection of books from the Maverick Early Readers guided reading program

As for all the Maverick Early Readers, all 10 of the new releases are bright, lively stories with charming illustrations to really help engage youngsters. The titles are sure to appeal to both girls and boys.

Selection of books from the Maverick Early Readers guided reading program

Being in the Purple, White and Gold book bands, these new releases are all in the upper bans of the scheme. This means they feature more complex sentences, more varied punctuation and broader vocabularies. There are still visual clues in the delightful illustrations for those trickier-to-decode words.

Selection of books from the Maverick Early Readers guided reading program

The list of newly launched stories to look for is:
Purple – Max the Sheepdog; The Little Green Monster
White – Picnic Planet; The Detective Club: Buried Treasure!; The Great Pants Robbery; The Time Train
Gold – The Spooky Sleepover; The Magic Music Box; The Chicken Knitters; The Coach, the Shoes and the Football.

The RRP of each book is £5.99. Find Maverick Early Readers titles in all good bookstores and online. Trade enquiries welcome via educational suppliers.

Disclosure: Topmarks was supplied with a selection of the Early Readers books by Maverick Publishing, free of charge for a fair and honest review, with no obligation.

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.