Valley Primary School set their own Skoolbo challenge!

Recently we were thrilled to be contacted by Lesley Cameron,  Learning Support Teacher and Skoolbo enthusiast from Valley Primary School in Fife. The wonderful hard working students of this lovely school are in urgent need of new headphones to enable them to continue the amazing progress they have made so far and they have a plan of how to raise the money.

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The challenge is on!

Children from P5 have challenged their peers from P5/6 to a class challenge! We’ll be following the challenge to see which children achieve personal bests and make the most progress during this exciting battle. We expect to see the Duelbos flying in and the class totalisers whizzing.

“Skoolbo has become so popular that many of our pupils are now playing at home. The school has even set up a Skoolbo club after school.”  Ms Cameron

Of course these children are no strangers to success. They made a flying start to the new school year and went straight into the top ten on the school leaderboard.

Schools 02.09.15We love the fact that these children are prepared to put in some extra hard work to achieve their goal. They’re hoping that the challenge will earn them the donations they need to replace their tired old headphones.

“I’ve been playing Skoolbo loads at home” Leon from P5
“I was really excited when I became a Superhero.” Chloe P6

There’ll be special Skoolbo stickers and bookmarks to reward and motivate the children during the challenge and a giant Skoolbo trophy for the winning class.

We’ll be getting back in contact with the school to find out who the star learners were and which class earned the title of ‘Skoolbo Challenge Super Champs’ so don’t forget to keep checking the website for updates. We hope to be able to report that the children have earned the much needed headphones.

‘Good Luck’ to all the students taking part.

Go Valley Primary School Go!

Valley Primary School is situated in Kirkcaldy in Fife. Their purpose is to provide a safe, happy and stimulating learning environment for all their pupils. They encourage all their pupils to believe in themselves and to always be the very best that they can be.

The pupils, parents and staff  of Valley Primary School have chosen their values to be:

Respect, Responsibility, Kindness, Teamwork and Honesty

Teachers are the real Superheroes!

With less than three weeks to go, now is the time to submit your nominations and applications for the 2016 Global Teacher Prize. Here at Skoolbo we talk to amazing teachers everyday, could the next winner be you?

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Apply Nominate

 

“She makes school make sense for students by showing them how to think and act as real writers, readers, researchers, and advocates. Many follow her example and become passionate teachers themselves.”

This is how the 2015 Global Teacher Prize Winner, Nancie Atwell, was described in her nomination. The impact our finalists have on the world goes beyond simply educating amazing students. Those students then go on to do amazing things.

Are you one of those students? Let the teachers who helped shape your life know how much of an impact they have had by nominating them!

Are you a teacher who has helped students thrive? Apply now!

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One of last year’s top ten finalists, Phalla Neang, created the Education for the Blind program, a pioneering program which provides books for the visually impaired and special classes to 250 children in 4 schools, with 29 integrated classrooms across Cambodia. She said, “I love teaching because I like the idea of giving children the opportunity to choose their own destiny.” One of her first students has become a highly ranked employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a country where, until recently, blind children were considered unteachable. He comes back often to help teach.

These amazing teachers are the reason the Global Teacher Prize was launched. With less than 3 weeks left before the application deadline for the 2016 Prize, there’s still a chance to nominate a teacher who’s helped you achieve your own success, and make sure they fill out the application to be considered.

The Global Teacher Prize Judging Academy will choose the winner in January 2016 and the public announcement will take place at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, March 2016. Skoolbo Founder (and former teacher), Shane Hill, and Chief Operating Officer, Colin Brown, will be presenting at this prestigious event.

Show a mentor how much #TeachersMatter and nominate them today! Also, there’s still time to submit your own application before our October 10th deadline!

$1 Million Global Teacher Prize!

$1 million for a truly outstanding teacher!

Skoolbo has always been a proud champion of teachers. We understand the selfless dedication required to be a successful educator in an ever changing world and we take our hats off to each and every one of you. We also know that there are some teachers who have a story to tell that is just that little bit extra special. The Global Teacher Prize has been created by the Varkey Foundation to recognise these teachers and the deadline for applications is fast approaching. The closing date for both nominations and applications is 10th October 2015.

To launch the Prize, The Varkey Foundation and Club de Madrid joined forces to publish an open letter from former world leaders calling on governments around the world to protect and value teachers.

Do you know someone deserving of recognition or perhaps you’re that person?

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Apply       Nominate

The Global Teacher Prize Judging Academy will choose the winner in January 2016 and the public announcement will take place at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, March 2016. We are very proud to announce that Skoolbo Founder (and former teacher), Shane Hill, and Chief Operating Officer, Colin Brown, will be presenting at the event.

The Global Teacher prize 2015 Finalists

Global Teacher Prize applications give teachers an opportunity to share their stories and ignite conversations around why #TeachersMatter.

Take the story of Stephen Ritz, a teacher in the New York City’s South Bronx who has started a movement of urban classroom gardening. Just months after Stephen finished his Global Teacher Prize application, the Academy selected him as one of the top 10 finalists and elevated his story to a global stage. It inspired people around the world to help support an innovative project that cultivates and nurtures students’ minds in one of the toughest neighborhoods in New York City. It was even featured in a video by Upworthy!

In fact, this past week, several 2015 finalists were recognised for their outstanding work. Top 10 Finalist Jacque Kahura has been listed as one of Africa’s Top 50 Trailblazers by The Africa Report for her work in primary education in Kenya. Bijal Damani was honoured during India’s Teachers’ Day by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and received a National Teaching Award for her innovative approach to teaching social entrepreneurship. Elisa Guerra Cruz from Mexico has just been nominated as a finalist for the ALAS-IDB award from the Inter-American Development Bank and Movimiento Alas (founded by singer Shakira) for her work in early childhood education, which would place her as the Best Educator in Latin America!

It’s stories like these that the Global Teacher Prize wants the world to know about. With only one month left before the deadline for applications for the 2016 Prize, there is excitement and anticipation over this year’s new applicants. Which stories will be highlighted this year?

Nominate a teacher the world should know about, or apply and tell your story!

Global Teacher Prize logo

The official hashtag for the Prize is #TeachersMatter. It is hoped that the #teachersmatter campaign will be  the start of thousands of conversations about the teacher or teachers we loved. If we’re going to start respecting, rewarding and celebrating teachers – then let’s start TALKING about teachers!

You can join this movement of teacher champions by using your social media networks to share inspiring stories about teachers and updates to the Teacher Prize campaign.

Twitter @TeacherPrize and www.facebook.com/teacherprize

The Personal Best Wall of Fame is Here!

We love it when children achieve their best! Since launching in 2014 GB students have broken their best ever scores on Skoolbo learning activities a total of 1,191,414 times! WOW!!

We believe fantastic successes like this deserve proper recognition which is why we have created a special page on our website just for our Personal Best achievers. This is a live page that updates every time a child achieves their own personal best score on a game.

You can access the page by clicking the link on the homepage of the Skoolbo website.

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UK children are showing an average improvement on the Skoolbo platform in literacy and numeracy skills of almost 41% which is amazing. Not only that, this is currently the third highest rate of improvement on Skoolbo globally! The biggest improvers of course are the wonderful students taking part in our Uganda project with an average improvement of 112%!

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We’re very excited to see the speed at which the names change on the Wall of Fame. Make sure you keep checking to see if anyone from your school appears so that you can congratulate them and don’t forget achieving a personal best gives children the opportunity to send a Duelbo!

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Beat the Teacher!

For some extra excitement don’t forget that teachers can download the free Teacher App and create their very own teacher avatar to appear in the game to challenge students! What could be more motivating than the chance to beat a teacher in a thrilling ‘head to head’ Duelbo?

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Go! GB Kids Go!

 

Children in Uganda improve their skills on Skoolbo

In April 2014 we reported on Skoolbo’s exciting new partnership with Soft Power Education (SPE). SPE are a British registered charity and Ugandan NGO working with communities in Uganda to improve quality of life through education. Skoolbo’s Chief Operating Officer, Colin Brown, had the pleasure of visiting SPE, twelve tablets in hand, to launch an exciting and ground breaking pilot in two of the schools they were working in. You can read more about the launch here –

An African Opportunity

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Children aged 4 to 6 years from Buwenda Pre School and Kyabirwa Children’s Centre (KCC) in the Jinja area were introduced to Skoolbo and over the coming months were enthusiastic particpiants in the pilot.

We thought it was time to check back in with them to see how the children are progressing.

Like many schools in the area there is no internet connection in either school and limited sources of power. This has meant that the classrooms have, up until now, been effectively technology-free environments. As a consequence many of the class-based adults were unfamiliar with using educational software to support and promote learning.

Skoolbo has been developed to overcome such barriers. The children in the pilot are able to play Skoolbo in ‘offline’ mode. The tablets are taken to SPE offices every few days for charging and to establish a connection in order to sync data. The experience for the children is identical to that of a child playing ‘online’ in the UK. Children’s avatars are matched with opponents in the warp room in the same way and they then compete in exciting racing games. As Skoolbo is designed for independent learning, the supporting adults require very little training.

It was great to hear that the technology worked so well but what did the children think and what progress did they make? Well the reports are highly favourable. The teachers tell us that the children really look forward to their sessions and as the learning algorithm sets the curriculum for each individual child, the volunteer adults rarely need to intervene.

It’s all about the improvement…

The independent nature of learning with Skoolbo is vital as in Uganda teacher to student ratios can be 1:100 which can obviously make it very difficult to ensure children secure basic literacy and numeracy skills. We are therefore absolutely thrilled to report that the children using Skoolbo have made an amazing average improvement of 112% across Literacy and Numeracy!

We know that usage equals progress and were therefore delighted when the 116 SPE students topped the school UK leaderboard!

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and they even made it to second in the world!

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The pilot is ongoing and we’ll be checking back regularly to see how it is progressing. In the meantime we’d like to leave you with this fabulous photograph of Samuel from KCC which we think speaks volumes –

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Well done Samuel and well done to the amazing students of Buwenda Pre School and Kyabirwa Children’s Centre!

Meet this summer’s high flyers!

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Today we would like to salute some individual children for their amazing efforts over the summer holiday.

We know that our brilliant Skoolbo users have been incredibly busy over the summer with trips, summer camps, swimming and sports lessons just some of the things they have been telling us about. This makes the high scores we have been seeing all the more incredible but that’s the beauty of Skoolbo. Playing for just a few minutes a day can bring some wonderful improvements in maths, reading and spelling something these children know all about. Below you will see a snapshot of the pupil leaderboards from over the holidays –

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Pupil Leaderboard 27.07.15

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Pupil leaderboard 03.08.15

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Pupil leaderboard 17.08.15

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Our first congratulations must go to J.P from Gold Class Haslemere Primary School in London. His dedication to learning over the summer meant that he held the top spot for much of the holidays only being toppled in September by K. from Primary 4, St Patrick’s RC Primary School. Students from a variety of classes from Roding Primary School regularly featured in the top ten so well done to them and to all the other children who kept up with their learning with Skoolbo over the break.

Remember usage = improvement so keep playing!

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Summer Learning on the go!

Of course summer is a time for children to take a break from their usual routine and re-charge their batteries. Many of us associate the summer with days at the beach, ice-creams and catching up with friends and family. All wonderful and valuable experiences, so where does Skoolbo fit in?

Starfish at the Beach

With most of the UK schools now open and ready for the new school year we wanted to take time to reflect on a fantastic summer of home learning. The leaderboards have revealed that there has been some fabulous learning taking place over the holidays. It seems that children throughout the UK have been engaging with Skoolbo with enormous enthusiasm, perhaps taking advantage of those long car journeys or rainy days to get in some multiplication or spelling practise. There have been some commendable high scores appearing in the Language Dragons games as well – bravo!

So just who were the stars of the summer?

The roots to grow and the wings to fly…

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Well our first mention must go to the the amazing students of Year 2 – Maple class from Western Downland CofE (VA) Primary School in Fordingbridge, Hampshire (you can see their wonderful school motto in the heading above). We received this lovely message from their new teacher Miss Reffell –

“I just want to say a massive THANK YOU for the wonderful thing that is Skoolbo. I wrote to my new class in the summer holidays and reminded them about it, and was so thrilled to see they are number 2 in the UK at the moment – there’s only 20 of them! Thank you so much for engaging my new lovely pupils!”

Congratulations to these children and to their teacher who has obviously worked so hard through the summer to ensure they have the best start to the new school year.

This is what the school leaderboard looked like at the end of July. London schools were clearly building on their London vs NYC Challenge success to dominate this early summer table but it was Meadowbrook Primary School from the south west of England who claimed an early top spot –

School Leaderboard 27.07.15

It was ‘all change’ by August however with more of the United Kingdom represented. Radstock Primary School from the south east of England were sitting comfortably in first poistion and we’d like to say a belated ‘welcome’ to  Millquarter Primary School from Northern Ireland and Breasclete Primary School from Scotland who made their first appearances on the leaderboard –

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The end of August demonstrated how quickly Scottish schools got back into the swing of things. Their earlier start to the school term saw them dominate all leaderboards with English schools coming back into view on the 1st September but it is yesterday’s featured school, Repton, Abu Dhabi who stole top place once more –

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It has been amazing to see children racking up new personal bests with Skoolbo, we’ll be mentioning some of the star students and classes in our next blogs so please keep checking back with us.

Summer learning loss – what summer learning loss?

Repton School Abu Dhabi – flying the Skoolbo flag!

Today we are delighted to feature the wonderful students of a British international school. Absolute superstars on Skoolbo, the students of Repton School in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates follow the UK curriculum and we are thrilled to have them on board.

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Those of you who keep a close eye on the leaderboards will have seen that the students of Repton School featured regularly throughout the 2014/15 school year and it looks as though they have similar plans for this new school year as well.

Obviously they have a bit of a head start on English schools who are only just returning this week but what a fabulous beginning to the new term!

ReptonA look at these terrific photographs reveals just how much these students enjoy learning with Skoolbo. It looks as though there’s some lovely peer support taking place as well with more experienced learners taking the younger ones under their wing. What a brilliant way to share great learning!

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…and a ‘well done’ to Repton’s Digital Team from us too!

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It’s wonderful to have these amazing students flying the Skoolbo flag – keep up the great learning!

Repton will grow to become an ‘all-through’ school and currently caters for children from the Foundation Stage to Year 3.

This is how Headmaster Robert Relton describes the school –

“Whilst an international school with a British flavour, Repton school Abu Dhabi is an inclusive school appealing to families from a range of backgrounds. It is characterised by children who have an appetite for challenge, a genuine love of learning and by those who are prepared to work hard and play hard. The curriculum combines the best of the British system with the dynamism of the UAE. It is supported by an exciting and broad extra-curricular programme taking full advantage of our first rate facilities. In short, we feed a natural curiosity for learning that will equip your child with a solid foundation on which to build their future dreams.”