Spotlight on a Trainee Teacher

As the halfway point of this current school year approaches, we thought we’d catch up with Skoolbo advocate and trainee teacher Melissa Jeeves.

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As anyone who has trained recently or who is training now will know, this is a very intense and demanding professional course and so we are very grateful that Melissa has spared the time to talk to us about her experiences.

Melissa began her career in education at a lower school in Bedfordshire approximately four years ago. Initially providing one-one support in FS2, she later worked in Year One as a Teaching Assistant before moving to KS2 where she has been for the last three years. We all sometimes need a little push in the right direction and we had to smile when we heard that Melissa was encouraged to become a teacher by the Head of the school who clearly spotted her potential by

“…affectionately dropping hints for 2 years or so by dropping course information into my drawer!”

Well it obviously worked as Melissa is now in her first year of a degree in Applied Education Studies (BA Hons) at Bedfordshire University. Melissa has been using Skoolbo with the children she is currently working with and decided to make Skoolbo and its impact on children’s learning across the school the focus of a recent course presentation on ICT in the classroom. Here’s what she had to say –

“Children are given access to Skoolbo during both numeracy and literacy lessons. They also have the availability to use their school logins to access Skoolbo at home.

I have noticed improvements with particular children in our class who may have additional learning needs or who have gaps in their learning. It has given them the confidence to use the programme. This is evident even with children who are new to Skoolbo, for example, our students in KS1 where it has only recently been introduced. The way in which Skoolbo assesses and sets itself to the childs ability, as well as the feature of the teacher being able to set tasks is especially effective in moving children on.

I would recommend Skoolbo to other Schools not only trainee teachers alone, it is a very effective and positive programme to which I have only seen positive results and attitudes. Skoolbo never sets tasks that are out of a child’s reach and the animation is also very entertaining and engaging.”

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Thank you Melissa for sharing your experiences with us!

Are you training to teach or perhaps you have recently qualified? Would you like to try Skoolbo in your classroom? Register now, it’s free and only takes a minute!

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Alternatively if you’d like a chat, please don’t hesitate to contact us as we’d love to hear from you!

        020 8133 5253

Happy, Healthy, High Achievers! Thorndown Primary School are Team GB Ambassadors

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Happy, Healthy, High Achievers!

What a marvellous motto for some truly marvellous children! We are absolutely delighted to introduce the hard working students of Thorndown Primary School as our latest Skoolbo World Cup Ambassadors.

Their enthusiasm for learning is truly infectious and they clearly love learning with Skoolbo. We were bowled over to receive this wonderful video (quite literally) singing our praise!

There are some super star classes. For example, Gorillas have have exceeded 220,000 answers averaging 29% improvement, while Hyenas and Zebra each have over 100,000 answers. Red Panda, Otter and Lion classes are tantalisingly close to joining the 100K club as well. This together with their regular appearances on the leaderboards makes this school perfect ambassadors for the Skoolbo World Cup which starts in five days time on the 2nd of December.

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We received these wonderful comments from teachers at Thorndown –

I think it’s great that Skoolbo provides opportunities to practise both English and maths skills. Miss Marshall

My class love Skoolbo and are really keen to try to win the class trophy each week. It gets very competitive in assembly! Mrs Browne

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and from the children…

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I love Skoolbo. It helps me improve my literacy and maths skills in a really fun and exciting way.

 Skoolbo is great. I love the Duelbos because I like challenging my friends.

 I like that I can pick my challenges and can collect lots of points that I can spend.

 I love it when I get a superhero suit!

 

 

 

The 2nd of December is actually only three school days away so get your skates on! If your school is registered then you’ll already know what to do. Make sure everyone in your class has their username and password and is practising by playing at home and school.

Spread the word about the challenge by downloading this cool poster to display around your school-

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Forgotten your login? Not a problem, we’re here to help. You can email us, call us, tweet us or message us!

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Not yet registered? Why wait? It’s fast and free, your school can be up and running quick as a flash with no training required.

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Thorndown Primary School is a happy, thriving community school based on the west side of St Ives. They strive to value and respect everyone in their community and work as a team to……

  • Provide learning experiences which support and inspire high achievement for all
  • Ensure a caring, safe and welcoming environment
  • Promote cooperative and responsible attitudes to make a positive contribution
  • Actively encourage independence and confidence to thrive in a changing world

St Anne Line learners are leading the way!

Those of you who like to keep up to date with the top performers on the Skoolbo platform will have noticed one school really making their mark in recent months.
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Students from St Anne Line Catholic Junior School in Basildon have collectively answered over 714,000 questions so far earning them a regular top ten spot on the School Leaderboard!
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All classes are very active and play regularly resulting in some terrific improvements in their Literacy and Numeracy skills. Three classes however, really caught our attention as they have each surpassed 100,000 answers on the platform. Therefore we are absolutely delighted to welcome classes 3, 4 and 8 to the Skoolbo 100K club! To have three classes reaching this milestone is a fantastic achievement and one that we wanted to help the students (and their teachers) celebrate by showcasing this amazing learning.

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We began by asking the children why Skoolbo appeals to them. These children love the competitive element of Skoolbo but also understand how they are learning and they have a wonderful sense of pride in their joint achievements.

“Skoolbo isn’t always about winning, it’s for learning.”

“I like Skoolbo because I get to play with my friends.” Kevin Class 3

“I like Skoolbo because it is fun and addictive. You get to play against people from other schools (around the world) and you can do maths and English. It’s really fun. Skoolbo isn’t always about winning, it’s for learning. Skoolbo is fun and awesome!” Daphne Class 3 

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“I love it when we get to race other pupils from other schools.”

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“I feel really proud.”

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“I feel proud of my class as we have earnt over 100,000 points (questions) as a team.”

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Well a definite ‘thumbs up’ from the children but we were keen to learn what their teachers think.

“It is a fun activity that children enjoy collecting points for to compete against others.” Mrs Hartnett Class 3

“Skoolbo is really excellent as it is easy to use and because the games are short it keeps the children engaged. It is great for consolidating work completed  in the classroom. I am so proud of my class for putting the extra time and effort into doing more work at home.'” Mrs Larrett Class 4

“Skoolbo is a wonderful way to motivate children and to get the best from them. Their tenacity and commitment is very commendable.” Mrs Slee Class 8

Who will be the next class to reach 100,000 answers? Who will make it to a quarter of a million first?

Well done to to all the children, we can’t wait to see what you do next!

St Anne Line Junior School opened in 1964 and is a two-form entry school. It was built to serve the Catholic families living in the West side of Basildon and those living in Wickford & Laindon.

Biggleswade Academy, Denise Lewis and those Strictly Come Dancing dresses!

We have already been overwhelmed by the children of Biggleswade Academy’s contagious enthusiasm for learning. Despite being new to the Skoolbo learning platform, they were the highest performing school in the recent Skoolbo World Cup, beating all other UK schools to secure 6th place on the Schools’ Leaderboard answering over 117,000 questions during the 7 day challenge! The end of the challenge did not result in a slowing down of the children’s efforts either and they have answered an incredible 323,156 questions to date!

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 “What would you prefer to wear a strictly dress or tracksuit bottoms?”

There was therefore never any doubt that the children from Class 6KW would come up with some truly great and innovative questions for Skoolbo Ambassador Denise Lewis OBE for their recent interview with her. As well as shining a light on the tough training regime necessary to become a top heptathlete, Denise answered questions about what she thought of her Strictly Come Dancing wardrobe, what is was like to compete in the Invictus Games and what her favourite subject was at school.

The children couldn’t wait to share their experience of interviewing Denise and you can take a look at the interview in full below:

We were really excited to meet Denise Lewis but we could only see her in the afternoon (due to technical difficulties.) We finally got to see her at 2:00 and we had lots of questions about Strictly Come Dancing and the Olympic Games. Denise talked about her medals including her Invictus games medal.  She had competed in the wheelchair basketball during the Invictus games that Prince Harry had organised to inspire the Service men and women who had been injured when fighting and protecting our country. We found out that she always wanted to be an athlete and she liked English as a child. We also found out that she was 9 or 10 when she first competed in Athletics competitions. In Strictly Come Dancing she was put with a guy called Ian Waite. She prefers strictly come dancing dresses to tracksuits! – Catriona, Joshua, Beth and Dan 

Meeting Denise Lewis was great.  It was fun talking about her dancing and athletics. Also we talked about her achievements. We were impressed about her MBE and OBE. Some of us were surprised that she would rather wear a strictly dress to a track suits! She told us how hard it was to do the 2000 Olympics on a hurt ankle. She started athletics club when she was little. Her gym teacher was her inspiration. I think she is an inspiration because she competed on a hurt ankle. It was very cool that she did the wheelchair rugby during the Invictus Games. She said it was weird going from running to being in a wheelchair. She said she found it fun working with a group in wheelchair rugby. She found the Olympics great! – Lauren, Archie, Krystian and Steph

We got to talk to Denise Lewis the athlete via a Skype call on Friday 9th January. First the reason why we got this treat is because we came 6th out of all the classes in Britain on Skoolbo. Denise was a gold medal athlete in 2000 Olympics, she got many other awards like a MBE and an OBE that was awarded by the Queen. We also got to talk to one of the people from Skoolbo, Colin Brown.  Their goal is to get 5,000,000 children to play on it. Denise Lewis told us that she had to train twice a day, six days in a week. Her PE teacher inspired her to start athletics and she first wanted to be in the Olympics at age of 8. We also ask how different it felt changing from sports to dancing and she answered it wasn’t much of a change because it uses energy and you need to be healthy. It was such a great experience and a real honour to talk to Colin and Denise.  Thank you so much Skoolbo. – Sadie R, Jack, Ben and Thomas

It was the best opportunity ever, to speak to Denise Lewis.  We asked her lots of questions like, “How much training did you have to do, to be in the Olympics?” and “What would you prefer to wear a strictly dress or tracksuit bottoms?” and lots more.  She has a gold medal, which is really impressive! When she was in the Olympics she hurt her Achilles tendon, but she carried on going because she’d come too far to give up and she didn’t want any regrets. – Tara, Ryan, Sadie B and Kacey

Thank you Class 6KW – you rock!

Biggleswade Academy – Flying the flag for Team GB!

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We may have only just welcomed Biggleswade Academy to the Skoolbo platform but they did not waste any time at all in getting involved in our latest challenge. They were the highest performing school in the Skoolbo World Cup, beating all other UK schools to secure 6th place on the Schools’ Leaderboard answering over 117,000 questions during the 7 day challenge!

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Perhaps we should not have been surprised as the children of Biggleswade Academy have shown tremendous enthusiasm and commitment to their learning with Skoolbo from the outset. Within two days of playing their first game, Biggleswade were 3rd on the UK leaderboard…

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…and 13th in the world!

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Perhaps most astonishing of all is the fact that these results have been achieved by just two year groups, Years 5 and 6. With the rest of the school due to come on board very soon, we can expect to see Biggleswade Academy making regular appearances on the leaderboards.

We asked Academy Principal, Stephen Phillips, what he thinks about his school’s success in the Skoolbo World Cup and why Skoolbo appeals to teachers and students.

‘It’s great to see how enthusiastically our children have taken to using Skoolbo to help them improve their literacy and numeracy skills. The friendly competition is driving them on to bigger and better things and the results are being seen in their classroom work as well as on the Skoolbo leader boards. Long may it continue!’

IMG_0792 Fantastic to have you on board Biggleswade!

“Maybe Skoolbo could make a rocket so there’s something a superhero could go in?”

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Knutsford school have been steadily climbing the leaderboards this week, and absolutely stormed the leaderboard last week. Both teachers and pupils have really taken Skoolbo to their hearts. The have given us some great suggestions too, thanks Rahm we’ll certainly consider the rocket idea!

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The school are real Skoolbo achievers having answered at total 627,448 questions, to date, they are now in the top 10% of Schools using Skoolbo in the UK.

Thank you to the wonderful teachers at Knutsford who have clearly embedded Skoolbo into their curriculum.

Laura O’Shea, Y5 teacher comments:

“For children who find things difficult and need extra support its been very helpful and quite inspiring for them!” 

Deirdre Wiseman, Y3 teacher says about one pupil :

“I have definitely noticed an improvement in his confidence and accuracy, both in maths and literacy.” 

So far, they have played 37,000 games on skoolbo with 431 instances of children improving a skill by 100% and 2,234 instances of children improved a skill by 10%

Just last week on the Skoolbo leaderboard a pupil from Year 3 was topping the UK and 3rd in the world leaderboard!

Pupils are enjoying Skoolbo both in class and at home:

“I really enjoy it and you learn from it but I’m always a superhero now!”

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“When people do really well and get to the top I like to say a big well done!”

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Deputy Head Teacher Nicola Beaumont says this about Skoolbo:

“I often get children coming to find me to tell me how much they are enjoying Skoolbo and how well they have done.”

Fantastic to hear , we’re glad your enjoying  Skoolbo as much as we do!

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Knutsford Primary school are a large primary school based in Watford, Herfordshire. They are a friendly and oversubscribed school with lots to offer. They have experienced adversity when the school was burnt down in 1999, however they rose from the flames and a new school was in place just 3 years later.

The school have high expectations of the children: in their work and in their behaviour.Simply put, they expect children to work to the best of their ability, to show kindness to those around them and to take care of their environment.

At Knutsford, all children are valued within an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust, and they strive to make each child’s time with them purposeful, challenging and enjoyable.

One of their many aims is to provide a learning culture where children and teachers achieve excellence and are excited by their learning. We have certainly seen this with their engagement on Skoolbo.

Go Knutsford Go! – we look forward to seeing your achivements in the World Cup starting today!

A twilight session with Biggleswade teachers

BiggleswadeIt seems that it’s not only children who enjoy learning with Skoolbo. Last week we were lucky enough to be invited to Biggleswade Academy in Bedfordshire to work with teachers from Years 5 and 6.

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Biggleswade teachers will be bringing Skoolbo into their classrooms in the next few days and wanted the chance to explore the game for themselves. Everyone was very enthusiastic (aided by superb cake kindly supplied by Mr Eveleigh’s wife) and before long there was some serious competition developing.   Biggleswade photo 2

 

Mr Henson had the ‘best dressed avatar’ on the night!

It was fantastic to hear teachers discussing the different ways they will be using Skoolbo to accelerate improvement in Literacy and Numeracy skills with each teacher considering a range of approaches from small group work to early morning whole class sessions. Mr Eveleigh explained “Our aim is to establish Skoolbo in the Year 5 and 6 classrooms then roll it out to the younger children.”

We are really looking forward to seeing Biggleswade students appearing on the leaderboards very soon and if the children are as enthusiastic as their teachers then they can look forward to some fantastic fun learning on the Skoolbo platform!

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Biggleswade Academy Trust is an independent, state funded Academy providing truly comprehensive education and wrap around care for children aged 2-13. Based within the facilities of the previous Brigham pre, Southlands lower and Holmemead middle schools the Academy is set across 24 acres and combines the ‘through’ philosophy and ethos of a single school with the facilities, more commonly found within Bedfordshire, of the three tier system.

Skoolbo introduces Team Captain for Norwich….. Gaywood Community Primary School

gaywoodGaywood Community Primary school is based in Gaywood, Norfolk and is set in spacious grounds with two playgrounds and a large playing field. The school opened in  September 2000 after an amalgamation between Rosebery Avenue First School and Gaywood Junior School, and caters for boys and girls.

It caters for children aged 4-ll years and has 417 children on roll.

Gaywood have been extremely active on Skoolbo, with class Year 4c alone answering nearly 50,000 questions since joining us, with an average improvement by pupil of over 25%.  Activity levels are high and and like any team captain should they show dedication and commitment.

The school strives to achieve the highest possible standards in relation to the pupil’s age and ability in all areas, whilst making learning fun. Hence the school are perfect for the Skoolbo platform, and great as a Team Captain in the Premier League Challenge.

Teachers have remarked: “The children really enjoy using Skoolbo. They enjoy the instant feedback and the fact that it is game based, rather than really seeming like work at all! Many of them have made fantastic progress.”

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“They also enjoy being able to personalise their learning space. This week, in particular, with the Premier League Challenge, they have had fun discovering all of the additional Norwich City items available.”

From Year 4, Jasmine said, “ I like learning and Skoolbo makes it fun.”

Ruby added that she, “ enjoys having lots of points and being able to spend them on different things.”

“It has fun games and you learn more as you are challenged!” Ahmad commented.

In Norfolk, Norwich is Gaywood’s county centre. They also have one pupil who plays for Norwich City Academy Under 10s, against other well known teams. A big welcome to Norwich Team Captain from Skoolbo!  Good luck!

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