Skoolbo – improving focus and a sense of personal responsibility!

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rhiannon (on the right) and her sister Niamh from Harris Primary Academy Coleraine Park in North London.
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We were contacted by the sisters’ mum Caroline who has provided us with a valuable parent’s perspective on using Skoolbo in a home environment. Of course we also wanted to find out what the girls thought of Skoolbo. Rhiannon played a very important part in assisting Team GB in last year’s London vs NYC Challenge. Harris Primary Academy finished top of the schools’ leaderboard with over 287,000 answers. You can read all about their victory in our earlier blog ‘Going for Gold!’
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Rhiannon, who was in Year 2 at the time, finished 3rd in the school which was an incredible achievement. Her mum describes her as shy but she is clearly hiding a steely determination as she put in another incredible performance in the recent Skoolbo World Cup Challenge.
Here’s what Caroline had to say:

“Skoolbo gives them an added dimension to learning where it makes it fun and the competitions appeal to their competitiveness and makes them strive to work harder. They set their alarms each morning to do extra Skoolbo before school. They then rush home to return to it once again.  When Niamh (in particular) isn’t in the competitions she likes to brush up on the languages she learnt in her old school which is French and in her after school clubs at Harris she studied Spanish.  I like the way they have become focused and self aware planning and using skills outside the programme to be able to take personal responsibility for doing well and wanting to do well.  I don’t think they could keep up the hours and dedication they put in for the competitions but by having these competitions every now and then it reinforces the learning they do at school so its an added tool for me and they never complain of being bored which is an added bonus for any parent. 

Their father is serving in the Forces. He misses us in the week so the competition is a great way for him to support them from afar and not have the usual response to the enquiry “So what did you do today?” Girls:  ” Erm, Nothing”!
Thank you Skoolbo, Thank you Amanda.”
Can the web browser version of Skoolbo improve the experience of some learners?
You will notice from the photograph that Niamh and Rhiannon are playing the 2D web browser version of Skoolbo. We were interested to know why they preferred to play in this way as although the games are the same and the data syncs whatever version is being played, it is nevertheless usually considered less exciting than the full 3D version.
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The feedback from Caroline was enlightening as she told us that both girls are dedicated to their learning and very self-motivated but find aspects of reading challenging. Whereas many children find the fast animation of the 3D version exciting and motivating, the less colourful and stimulating interface of the browser version can make it easier for some children to concentrate on the tasks. Caroline also provided some insight on how she supports her children with their learning at home.
“Rhiannon is a whizz at spelling verbally but writing and typing she finds it difficult so she calls out the spelling.”
She was also full of praise for the children’s wonderful school and teachers who are clearly doing an amazing job of helping their students fulfil their potential. She gave a special mention to Rhiannon’s teacher, the fantastic Mrs James. We’d like to echo the sentiment and take the opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful schools and teachers who are enabling learners everywhere.
As always we’d love to hear your feedback and stories of how Skoolbo works in your home or school. Please contact us to share your stories.
Email: info@skoolbo.co.uk

Tel: 020 8133 5253

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 –

School leaderboard 03.08.15

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?

Make homework fun! The benefits of using Skoolbo for homework

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 Download our print-out form to give to parents and get started with Skoolbo for homework! 

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More and more teachers are using Skoolbo to set homework for their students. Playing Skoolbo at home is a great way to motivate and engage children in their learning activities. The same student login works at school and home, so it’s never been more fun to do homework!kids_skoolbo_homework-2

Skoolbo has been designed with a smart spiral learning algorithm, meaning that the questions in the game adapt to the students ability, guiding them to improve their skills. This is a major advantage when playing from home, as it means that students can learn effectively without too much direction. You can rely on Skoolbo to steadily increase difficulty level as the students master topics.

Alternatively, teachers have the option to use the curriculum setting in Skoolbo, giving teachers full control of what to assign as homework for their students. The Set Task feature helps you to decide what topics you want students to play in their next Skoolbo sessions. Once they have played these set tasks, the Skoolbo algorithm kicks back in, continuing to provide relevant games for your students.

Click here for a quick start guide on using the Set Task feature

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What are the benefits of setting Skoolbo for homework? 

  1. The curriculum setting feature to assign homework
  2. Consolidating work done in class
  3. A fun and engaging incentive to get students to complete their homework
  4. Motivate them even further  – Students can now challenge each other in a safe environment using the Duelbo Challenge mechanism available on v1.9 and above

What teachers have had to say about using Skoolbo for homework

“Skoolbo is a great app that students can use for homework. The tasks are targeted, relevant and help to support our students’ literacy and numeracy needs. Skoolbo is a valuable program for us because of the Smart Algorithm that targets students at their area of understanding and need. This is very important to us, as we are committed to teaching students to their personal goals and their level of understanding.”

– Janis M – Truganina South Primary School Answered 3,693,529 questions, average core skills improvement 46%

“If Skoolbo is to succeed it needs to be part of the structure of the school wide learning, as kids get older they use it independently because of the fun element and parents are happy to see a safe way of doing homework.”

– Carmel N – St Clare’s Primary School Answered 1,440,034 questions, average core skills improvement 39%

“Students love this and parents are using this at home too. It has become a school wide dance”

– P Street – Dale Christian School – Answered 1,217,920 questions, average core skills improvement 47%

Download our print-out form to give to parents and get started with Skoolbo for homework! 

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Planning a trip? Take Skoolbo on holiday!

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Planning a trip with the kids? Whether it’s a trip overseas or a road trip around the country – Skoolbo is a great way to keep your children entertained and learning at the same time!

With the dreaded summer slide threatening our children’s learning progress during the summer break, Skoolbo’s educational game based learning has many in-game features perfect for any holiday – making learning fun! The aim is to fill up those ‘in-between’ times – plane rides, car rides, your downtime in the hotel – with something worthwhile for your child.

Smart Spiral Learning Algorithm

Skoolbo has been designed with a smart spiral learning algorithm, meaning that the questions in the game adapt to the children’s ability, guiding them to improve their skills. This is a major advantage when playing from home away from school, as it means that students can learn effectively without too much direction. You can rely on Skoolbo to steadily increase the difficulty level as your kids master topics.

Language Dragons – learn a new language

Take Skoolbo with you while travelling overseas! Let your child be involved in the foreign language communication process by playing our language learning game within Skoolbo. Currently your child can learn French, Mandarin or Spanish with more languages set to be released in the future! (read more here..)

DuelBo – fun and competitive challenge

With the recent release of DuelBo, Skoolbo’s new challenge a friend feature, children can now play against family or friends to beat their high scores! The challenge feature is a great way to keep children motivated to play while travelling, encouraging them to do their best to win. (read more here…)

Update to the latest version of Skoolbo to access these new features

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New to Skoolbo? Register your child today and join the Skoolbo movement!

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Parents! Avoid ‘summer learning loss’ with Skoolbo’s game based learning

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Parents! Your child is at risk of the dreaded summer learning loss! But do not fear, game based learning through Skoolbo can help combat this problem. Your child can stay on top of their learning so they don’t fall behind, and they can achieve this in a fun and free way.

Summer learning loss is a real problem facing students over the summer break and we’re not just saying that because it made it into Wikipedia. A common finding across numerous studies is that on average, students score lower on standardised tests at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning of summer – on the same test.

Here’s a quick look at the facts…

  • Children learn best when instruction is continuous. The long summer holiday breaks the rhythm of instruction which leads to forgetting, and requires a significant amount of review of material when students return to school.
  • Most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.
  • Reading and spelling abilities are also affected. The few months of loss in reading skills compounds over the years; by the time children reach middle school, those who haven’t read during the summers may have lost as much as two years worth of achievement!

Parents consistently point out that summer is the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do. And who can blame them? We know that with kids being kids, the last thing they would want to do is hit the books over their long-awaited summer break. So how do you combat this problem? Our answer?  Make learning a fun experience for your child; make it like play so they don’t feel like they’re at school during their summer break.

Game based learning with Skoolbo

(and best of all, for FREE)

Skooblo Spiral Learning Algorithm – learn without teacher input

The Skoolbo Spiral Learning Algorithm is designed to give every child the optimal curriculum regardless of his or her actual age. It starts by pre-testing the child in both literacy and numeracy and then continues to reassess after each game. An ideal blend of new content, not yet mastered content, and revision content is served to each child.

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Math and reading games  – with built-in rewards to make it fun!

Immerse your child in a stunning 3D learning world with literacy and numeracy practice as the game focus, which is supported by the primary curriculum. Skoolbo uses game-based learning to provide an engaging educational environment with rewards, leaderboards, and the chance to fail and try again. The game itself is very much about learning–it is not about playing a game as a reward for learning.

  • Competition – Kids compete against other kids on Skoolbo
  • Rewards –  The reward mechanisms are designed to promote optimal learning patterns

Learn a new language with language dragons – kids can learn French, Mandarin or Spanish

We recently added Language Dragons, a free language learning game, to our ever growing catalogue of games within Skoolblo.This new feature teaches children French, Mandarin, and Spanish, with more languages set to be released in the future. Fly on magnificent dragons through the stunning in-game worlds, and play reading and listening games to improve language skills across a range of topics.

  • Develop children’s cultural awareness
  • Increase child’s creative and cognitive abilities
  • Help ESOL kids improve their English (by making a switch in Settings)

New to Skoolbo? Register your child today and join the Skoolbo movement!

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Pupils at Christ the King have their say!

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Christ the King Roman Catholic Primary School have made frequent appearances on the leaderboards over the last few months including reaching the coveted number one spot on the world leaderboard –

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This is a major achievement especially as they are a small one-form entry school competing against schools several times their size! We were intrigued to know the secrets of their success and how teachers integrate Skoolbo into their busy timetables. Mr Stell, Year 4 teacher explained –

Skoolbo has been a great addition to our school. It has been an exciting tool for the children to use to help re-enforce areas such as times tables and spellings. As they are able to access it home as well, the children are enjoying having this as part of their homework. Although, some parents have said that it has become more difficult to get their children to actually do their other homework, they are glad that the children are enthusiastic to learn and practice these key skills.

 In class, we aim to give each group some dedicated ‘Skoolbo’ time at least once a week  and they certainly never forget to mention if they have missed their turn. In the computer age that we are in, it is an up to date way of engaging the children in a fun way.

The added competition of point scoring between individuals, siblings, classes and counties adds to the enthusiasm of our children.  It is easy to manage from a schools perspective and hassle free.

‘Basically it’s homework that we like!’

The students also had wonderful things to say about learning with Skoolbo and about their interview with Olympic swimmer Adrian turner. We were overwhelmed when they decided to put their thoughts into these fabulous letters –

‘I felt excellent that I was talking to a real famous celebrity.’

Jack
EleanorEloise

Rosellen

Oliver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘When you play you can play against people from all around the world.’

‘(Skoolbo) is a fun game because you get to play while you are learning.’

‘I know that it has made everyone better in school work including me.’

 

Jessica

 

 

 

 

 

Tyler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A big ‘thank you’ to the students and teachers of Christ the King, your wonderful letters have us all smiling in the Skoolbo office! We look forward to seeing more of you on the leaderboards really soon.

Christ the King is a one-form entry Roman Catholic primary school based in Burnley, Lancashire. The school aims to develop the full potential of each child spiritually, socially and academically, encouraging a sense of love and respect for each other and the world around us.

Skoolbo – a Home Educator’s story

It is estimated that approximately 60,000 children are home educated in the UK (http://www.home-education.org.uk/) and at Skoolbo we are delighted to have so many home educated children on board.

We recently received a fabulous email from Lucy, the mother of Sky (aged 7) and Shannon (aged 6) who educates her children at home. In her email, Lucy gives us a wonderful glimpse of how Skoolbo fits in around their hectic family schedule.

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I just want to say a massive thank you to the whole team for developing such a brilliant game and for deciding to keep it free! My 6 & 7 year old love it – we homeschool them and they play it on their iPads on their way to various activities and they think its amazing- so many brilliant ideas – I am so grateful that it is free- it is incomparable to any other free app I have found and it has meant that I am no longer doing research into which educational literacy/numeracy app to buy for them as this is more than sufficient for the time being. I also love that I can track their progress online and would love to see this furthered in the future with clear information on their progress in different areas and guidance on where they are weaker. 

They also love the Spanish Skoolbo 🙂                                                                         Thanks again from a very grateful family!

Naturally we wanted to hear from the children and so we got back in contact with the family to find out what Sky and Shannon think of Skoolbo.

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‘I like skoolbo  because I have a colourful super hero  costume  I also like flying. I love my  house because I love my new teddy bear and truck and cat and sofa and airplanes  and the literacy and numeracy and I like my background.’ Sky aged 7

‘I like skoobo because i like maths and times tables and the people.My favorite person is Lottey and Ru. I like flying in my airplane and winning the rase. I like my house. Iv got lodes of things in my house like a teddy bear and a cat and  a blue sofers.’ Shannon aged 6

We always appreciate hearing suggestions for future developments and we were delighted to be able to answer Lucy’s questions regarding progress tracking. This can already be viewed through the ‘results’ section of the dashboard but there is more to come! With the release the ‘reports’ feature on the platform, Home Educators, Parents, Teachers and Schools will soon be able to view more detailed information about children’s progress and attainment on Skoolbo. For example you will soon have access to a real time strength and weakness analyser along with the ability to compare progress and attainment with national averages so please keep a look out for these exciting new features.

 

Thank you Lucy, Sky and Shannon for sharing your experiences with us, we’ll be looking out for your avatars in the game so keep playing!

Skoolbo at home – a parent’s perspective

At Skoolbo we are committed to making learning fun and improving educational outcomes for all children. We also recognise the fundamental role that parents and carers play in supporting their children’s learning at home. It is for this reason that we are absolutely delighted when parents get in contact to let us know how much their children enjoy using Skoolbo and to give us their ideas for future developments.
One family have been excellent at giving us regular feedback . Chloe aged 8 and Emma aged 6, both enjoy using Skoolbo at school and at home. Their mother Sarah has kept us up to date with their progress on the Skoolbo platform and we wanted to know more about them and why they think Skoolbo works so well.
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We began by asking the girls about what they find most appealing about the game –
Chloe: “I really enjoy the variety of games and being able to select my choice from the contents page. It is not too young for me and the games can challenge me too.”
Emma: ” I love that I can design my own Avatar and I like changing the outfit!  I really like watching Racing Worlds and my favourite is London Glory!  I like to watch the award ceremonies which are in my house on the TV screen.”
A clear ‘thumbs up’ from Chloe and Emma but we wanted to know more from a parent’s perspective. This is what their mother Sarah had to say –
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“Chloe this morning was so excited to play and wants to go straight on Skoolbo after school, I’m thrilled, it’s additional learning made fun! Both girls are keen readers and numeracy is not their preferred choice so this is a great way to work on numeracy though play.
I like the access to the Skoolbo results page as it shows me if they are struggling and where I can help them.”
“Emma is logged onto Skoolbo through school and she enjoys playing at home. The leaderboard had a big impact on Emma as she could see her school friends were playing and she wanted to be seen joining in too. I keep up with printing the certificates and she enjoys taking them to school. Recently she was awarded the 10,000 trophy in her assembly, this absolutely made her day! The trophy stays in the class until the next child reaches the goal. Emma’s teacher has also given her a Skoolbo bookmark, all great incentives for the children.”
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Sarah and her family have given us some wonderful praise as well as a really useful insight into how we can develop the game in the future.
Thank you Sarah, Chloe and Emma for your wonderful feedback and photographs. Well done to the girls for all your fantastic achievements on Skoolbo. Keep it up!
We’ll leave the last word to Sarah –
“All in all I am fully supportive of Skoolbo it helps Emma & Chloe practice their literacy and numeracy and gives them topics they may not yet have covered in school but after working with them they soon master it and are proud of themselves.Skoolbo has been the best online learning tool so far to keep my daughters attention & excitement to play, well done!”