Reach Out Reporter

Reach Out Reporter is a free online primary science news service, created by Tigtag and Imperial College, London, which helps teachers integrate topical science into everyday teaching and learning. Its aim is to engage primary school children with the wonders of the world around them using high-quality films and innovative digital learning resources. The service is available free of charge to all primary school teachers across the UK and it is updated weekly with new content. We think it’s great for inspiring teachers and particularly for school science clubs.


A Great Game for Learning French

We’ve been looking at the award-winning KLOO game called ‘Race to Paris’ which is designed for both beginners and pre-intermediate learners of French and we are very impressed. We think it is a very clever game that would be a valuable learning addition for language classrooms or for home use.


The game is designed for 1-4 players from the age of 7 upwards however we think the game is ideal for children from around age 9 upwards. This is because we felt that the content of the sentences is more suited to older children and because of possible limitations with phonetic reading skills of younger children attempting pronunciation.

The basic game consists of a high quality base board and four decks of playing card sized cards which are based around themes of people, eating and drinking, places, clothing and everyday objects. The aim is to work through one deck at a time until the knowledge of the vocabulary on the cards is learnt. Each deck has all the grammatical elements to make sentences or phrases depending on the cards dealt. The clever thing is that by following simple colour sequences, complete beginners are able to make grammatical sentences. It is preferable not to mix the decks otherwise the sentences may be rather strange.

We really like the versatility of this resource because users can use the cards in various games where you don’t necessarily need to use the KLOO board. It’s great for improving vocabulary and sentence construction. In the ‘Race for Paris’ game it isn’t always possible to make sentences from the cards dealt but players can score by constructing phrases. We particularly like the single player game called ‘Under Starters Orders’ which is brilliant for learning how to translate. Even if you have no previous knowledge of French it is possible to translate a sentence using the clues on the other cards in the same pack for reference. Here are some sentences which were translated by someone with no previous knowledge of French.

Elles ont la pendule et le chapeau jaune.
They have the clock and the yellow hat.

Excellent! Ils choisissent le manteau orange.
Excellent! They choose the orange coat.

Ils portent la serviette ainsi que la jupe.
They carry the towel as well as the skirt.

The author of KLOO claims that you can learn hundreds of French words and make millions of sentences with the cards. Whilst we recognise that some of the sentences may be unusual we think the exercise is valid because of the valuable vocabulary and experience in learning how sentences are constructed. Sentences can also be used as a talking point. For instance a teacher could ask children to suggest a more likely noun than skirt in the third sentence.

We like the option of being able to freely download printable French card extensions for those wanting to practice future and past tenses. We also appreciated the fact there are online YouTube videos to help with understanding of how the games are played as the printed instructions aren’t the easiest to understand. We really liked KLOO and recommend you take a look at the videos yourself to see how easy it is to make a grammatical sentence.

Disclaimer: This product was received for free, but this was not a paid review.

Virtual Reality Field Trips from Google Expeditions

Google Expeditions has come to Britain. Google has just opened up their Google Expeditions Pioneer Programme to more schools across the UK. Imagine being able to take your students on immersive journeys to places you never thought possible. With a virtual reality viewer, phone or tablet, students can be magically transported to different places on Earth and even Mars! They could explore the inside of Buckingham Palace or the Great Barrier Reef. So far there are 200 engaging expeditions. Journeys are suitable for all age groups from 7 upwards. With the teacher acting as a “guide”, pointing out interesting sights along the way, classroom-sized groups of “explorers” are led through collections of 360° and 3D images.

The Google Expedition App is freely available on both iOS and Android. Lesson plans are available for every expedition and there’s training showing you how to embark on an expedition.

So what are you waiting for? Get your school signed up today!

New Great Fire of London Website

Exactly 350 years ago from September 2nd and September 5th 1666 the Great Fire of London was raging. To mark this milestone the Museum of London in partnership with London Metropolitan Archives, Guildhall Art Gallery and the Monument have collaborated to create a new fantastic website called The Great Fire of London.

The site has a brilliant interactive, animated game for children which challenges their knowledge of how we know what happened all those years ago. The game covers the six days of the fire by being divided into chapters which have sub-chapters within each day. This allows you to have the option of teaching the subject step-by-step if you wish. The site works equally well on individual computers, mobile devices or on an interactive whiteboard.

The whole website has been created with simplicity in mind. You can find out information about the fire either through coloured boxes on the map or through the Minecraft Experience where Great Fire 1666 uses the power of Minecraft to tell the story of the fire. You can harness the popularity of the game to help to teach the topic. All in all a great resource!