Whale Hill Primary School – ClassBo Champions!

Whale hill

A new school year is beginning full of excitement and new opportunities. We hope everyone has enjoyed the summer and is looking forward to the term ahead.

One Skoolbo school ended last year on a high and we’d like to share their success with you. We’re sure that these great students will inspire others to follow their wonderful example.

John Frost is the Computing Leader for Whale Hill and has been busy motivating students to improve their maths, literacy and language skills by rolling out Skoolbo across the school. The teachers are also brilliant at sharing students’ successes across social media which has helped to tell their Skoolbo story as it unfolds.

Year 4 were the first to appear on Twitter, demonstrating just how engaged they are with their learning on the platform –

Year 4 Skoolbo

Each year group had been set a Mega ClassBo Challenge to answer 25,000 maths and literacy questions over a two week period and Year 4 took an early lead –

Whale Hill Twitter 2

The regular Twitter updates revealed some very close competition and Year 2 were also early ClassBo stars –

Whale Hill Twitter

By the end of term all this effort had paid off and not just in terms of the amazing learning progress, Whale Hill Primary School had shot straight to the top of the leaderboard –

Whale Hill leaderboard

And it wasn’t just Whale Hill students who were winners as a result of participating in these ClassBos, WaterAid UK will benefit from every ClassBo successfully completed last term (more to follow).

As you can see from the fabulous comments below, the children are adept at reflecting on their learning and have come up with some great suggestions for developing Skoolbo in the future. We’ll certainly take these ideas on board so thank you!

What do you enjoy most about Skoolbo?

You get to play games and learn at the same time. (Y1)

It looks really good on the iPad. It doesn’t feel like learning but you are. (Y2)

The games are short so you can play for a long time or a short amount of time if you want. (Y4)

Where do you play Skoolbo most? at home, at school, in the car?

Almost half of children in Y2 and Y4 had used it at home including downloading the app. Y3 and Y5 was more than a quarter. All have had the opportunity to use it in school a number of times (Mr Frost)

How has the ClassBo challenge made learning more exciting?

It tells you how many points you have so you want to get more and be better. (Y2)

When the teacher shows us the points you can see your own score and you want to get the most so you play more. (Y3)

You get to see how close you are getting to the target and you only have 2 weeks which makes it feel like a competition. (Y5)

Do you talk to your friends about Skoolbo/ClassBo?

The children have said that they often talk about it with each other in school. More than half in Y4 and Y5 said they had talked about Skoolbo, even if it was to compare points (Mr Frost)

We are always looking for new and exciting things to add to Skoolbo. Do you have any suggestions for us? new lands, new languages, new rewards, new vehicles?

Rockets in space, underwater (on a shark’s back) and on the moon!

How do you feel when you master a new game?

I feel really proud. (Y1)

It makes me want to keep going and do even better. (Y2)

I feel more confident. (Y3)

It makes me feel like I’m good and getting better at maths and English. (Y4)

I want to master more topics and improve further. (Y5)

And here are some comments from the teachers –

It has been wonderful to see the level of enthusiasm for Skoolbo that children across the school have. We thought they would like it but they don’t. They love it.

I have seen children who lack confidence in Maths and English lessons fist-pump the air with pride as they achieve a personal-best score. Children who will easily disengage in lessons have tentatively asked when we will next be able to use Skoolbo in school. Quiet and timid children have flourished with the healthy competition that the year group leaderboard provides.

Furthermore, the opportunity to set targets as a ClassBo challenge has appealed to the children. It has provided them with a specific aim and given an explicit purpose for using Skoolbo as well as enjoyment and learning. The Water Aid focus and the resources provided have helped us as teachers to make cross-curricular links from Geography to Science to PSHCE.

On the last day of the year, the children were allowed to bring in their own toys and games to play. Within an hour, Y4 were asking if they could play on Skoolbo. That they would choose it over free time with their friends and their own toys says more than I could put into words.

Whale Hill Primary School – you are amazing!

Whale Hill map final

Whale Hill Primary School is based in Eston, Middlesborough. Here are their aims and expectations –

At Whale Hill we value all of our pupils equally, respecting their individuality and seeking to develop their fullest potential.

Our aim is:

  • To nurture happy, lively and well-balanced children with active and enquiring minds.
  • To develop childrens knowledge and enhance their skills.
  • To foster tolerance, respect for others and increase childrens awareness of moral and spiritual values.
  • To help children to become active participants and responsible citizens, able to live their lives as completely as they are equipped to live.

Our expectations of children are always high. We want them to work hard, enjoy school life, behave appropriately and take responsibility within the school.

“Continuous Improvement towards the very best imaginable”

Learning Maths and English is so much more fun at Bells Farm with Skoolbo!

“Learning Maths and English is so much more fun at Bells Farm with Skoolbo.” This was the fabulous message sent to us by the school’s IT Co-ordinator Mr Baddhan and these lovely students are certainly living up to their school motto –

Enjoying our learning…
…aiming for excellence.

Bells Farm was recently recognised for the great efforts of their students and staff when the school was named in the top 100 performing schools in the country, based on their sustained improvement in attainment at the end of KS2. We’d like to add our congratulations for this tremendous achievement.

Of course it came as no surprise to hear how well the school is doing as they were already on our radar for their committed contribution to the recent Skoolbo World Cup. Those of you on Twitter will have seen their regular Tweets commending their Skoolbo stars and offering encouragement to everyone taking part.  Now that the challenge is over, Bells Farm have dedicated a whole page on their school website to celebrating all the fun and learning that took place.

 

Bells Farm 1

We are delighted to share this photograph of the wonderful Daniel from Year 6 who achieved the highest score during the challenge. He was rewarded with this fabulous t-shirt created specially for him by the school.

 

Daniel

Mr Baddhan, who organised the event at Bells Farm said;

“Our passionate and enthusiastic children took part in the challenge during their lesson times, breakfast and after school clubs and break times to help Team GB try and beat the other countries however they fell short just behind Team Australia.

 The children have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the tournament. They came in everyday to see how Team GB were performing and were determined to do well for Bells Farm and their country. The enthusiasm and dedication to learn and win was a pleasure to see! Well done Bells Farm!”

We’d like to add our own ‘well done’ to Bells Farm. It’s inspiring to hear how much these children are enjoying their learning with Skoolbo.

Bells farm

Bells Farm is a one-form entry primary school situated in Druid’s Heath in Birmingham.  Headteacher, Barbara Butterworth has this to say about the school;

“We are a happy, friendly and caring school in which every child is encouraged to be their best and do their best. We offer a rich curriculum underpinned by education in values for life, and use every opportunity we can to celebrate all of our children’s achievements: academic, sporting, creative and social.”

Coventry’s St John Fisher Catholic Primary School are Skoolbo Super Champs!

SJF Cov map and logo final

Every school we feature on our blogs is unique and has a different way of integrating Skoolbo into their learning. Here at Skoolbo we are all educationalists at heart which is why we love keeping in touch with schools to learn more about them and their students and how they use Skoolbo to improve their outcomes in literacy and numeracy.

Super Champ Wesley!

Mrs Edge, Deputy Headteacher at St John Fisher Catholic Primary School in Coventry, got in touch with us to let us know how proud she was of her students. One student in particular stood out as the first in the school to earn the title of ‘Super Champ’ and the chance to hold up the coveted 10K Super Champ trophy. Wesley, a Year 5 pupil from class 11 has answered a total of 13,296 questions so far! Obviously Wesley deserves our congratulations and in fact so do the rest of his class as they have collectively answered almost 45,000 questions so far.

Here’s Wesley receiving his Super Champ trophy from Mrs Edge.

SJF Cov 1

 

Meeting the Queen – a family affair!

All of this dedication to their learning seems to have paid off as Class 11 compiled some wonderful questions to ask former Olympian Denise Lewis during their recent interview. We are always amazed at the amount of research and thought that students put in ahead of these interviews and Class 11 along with their teacher Mrs Caldwell were no exception. During this interview you can learn about how Denise felt about meeting the Queen and who she took with her. You can also learn what food you need to eat to become a top athlete and why eating a good breakfast is so important.

West Brom, Coventry, Birmingham or Aston Villa?

What you won’t find out is which football team Denise supports, you’ll have to watch the video to find out if she gives any clues.

 

The children were also kind enough to share some of their memories of the interview from their class scrapbook.

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SJF Cov 3

SJF Cov 5

SJF Cov 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for checking in with us – we think you are terrific!

St John Fisher Catholic Primary School is two-form entry and is based in Coventry. The school aims to provide excellence in education and to ensure that children develop a love of learning, and grow emotionally, intellectually and academically.

All Saints CofE – proving that small can be mighty!

All Saints map final

They may be a small one form entry school with only five classes playing but All Saints Church of England Primary School in West Bromwich are not going to let that stop them!

A fantastic four out of these five classes have exceeded 100,000 answers on Skoolbo. With Year 2 having already stormed past 60,000 answers, it looks as though all five classes will shortly be standing together on the 100K club Honour Board!

Yr 3

Yr 4

Yr 5 Yr 6

As always, we love celebrating the improvement in key skills this fabulous effort brings. Students from Years 2 – 6 have made an average improvement in Literacy of an astounding 28.8% and 23.4% in Numeracy!

Leading the way are Year 5. They were the first in their school to reach 100,000 answers and to celebrate we invited them, along with their teacher Mr Seex, to interview Skoolbo Ambassador Adrian Turner. You will notice Adrian looking very smart in this interview as he was called away to an important meeting in Manchester but was so keen to talk to these young stars that he conducted the interview from the lobby of the Institute of Directors!

In the extended version of the interview you can hear Adrian giving Year 5 a quick Geography lesson. For example, do you know where Seoul is?

Of course it was the children doing most of the asking and Year 5 had some wonderful questions up their sleeves. You can find out why Adrian decided it was time to stop trying for more medals and pursue a different career and exactly how many lengths he needed to swim every day in training to be one of the best. We think you’ll be amazed at his dedication.

When you watch the video, be sure to look out for some of Year 5’s super star learners. Daniel M has answered 25,328 so far while Radhwan I and Simran S have put in two wonderful individual performances.

Well done to Year 5 and to everyone at the school. We’ll be checking back in with you soon to see how you’re getting on.

All Saints Church of England Primary School is based in West Bromwich. The staff, children and parents are very proud that their school is described as a friendly school with a family feel. They are fully committed to ensuring that their children are happy, safe and capable.

Limbrick Wood – reporting on Adrian Turner

Limbrick final

We were delighted to welcome a new class to the prestigious Skoolbo 100K club recently. Year 5 from Limbrick Wood Primary School were the first class in their school to reach this milestone. Since then they have powered on to reach 210,000 answers on the platform showing an average improvement in Literacy skills of 36% and 24% in Numeracy so far!

Limbrick class

Of course this has been a tremendous team effort but one student has stood out head and shoulders above the rest. A young man by the name of Rhys has answered over 133,000 questions, making him a regular on our UK pupil leaderboard.

Limbrick pupil

This fantastic performance from Rhys together with amazing support from his peers earned Year 5 the chance to question Olympic and Commonwealth Swimmer Adrian Turner. The children were learning how to write reports and so this was the perfect opportunity to formulate questions that would fill in the gaps in their research about Adrian. They were also keen to hear some anecdotes to help make their reports really special.

Take a look at their fantastic learning displayed proudly in their classroom. They asked Adrian some wonderful questions such as who inspired him the most during his swimming career and whether he is still a swimmer at heart or if he now prefers acting.

Limbrick 1

We are amazed at the quality of this beautiful writing, some budding sports journalists in the making perhaps?

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Limbrick 5

Limbrick 6 Limbrick 7

 

 

 

 

Limbrick 12

Thank you Year 5, you have inspired the rest of your school to get active on Skoolbo. Your whole school total currently stands at 428,810, very close to the half a million mark! We look forward to seeing what you do next on the Skoolbo platform.

Limbrick Wood is a one-form entry primary school based in Tile Hill, Coventry. Their core purpose is “to ensure that every child achieves their full potential, and then more.” They are very proud to have recently made it onto the Sunday Times top 200 primary schools list.

Peter’s Hill Primary – over a quarter of a million answers!

We have been very excited to see a new school appearing on the school leaderboards during the last few days.

Peter's Hill

Peter’s Hill Primary School in the West Midlands are storming their way towards the top and have collectively answered over 264,000 questions so far! One class answered 6000 questions in a single day! They reached as high as fifth on the school leaderboard last week and have achieved an average improvement of over 30%

Leaderboard

All classes are active on the platform but it is class 6NP who are the current school leaders having ranked up an answer total of over 32,000 questions. They had better watch out though because class 6KH are snapping at their heels with more than 26,000 answers. Here at Skoolbo, we love a bit of friendly competition. Could these two star classes inspire the rest of the school to equal or beat their totals? How long before one of the classes join our 100K club?

Were the parents of Denise Lewis athletes?

The students of Peter’s Hill have shown tremendous dedication to their learning. Denise Lewis knows all about dedication and was delighted to speak with class 6NP and answer their questions. Find out if Denise’s sporting prowess was inherited from her parents, why she chose the heptathlon and what she would have done had she not made it as an athlete by watching the edited highlights of the interview below.

We also had some questions for the children about their experiences of learning with Skoolbo.

“Its really fun, whenever I go on Skoolbo I can play against other people. I play on the laptop, the graphics are really cool. You have to be quick!” Shiza, aged 10

“I love changing my avatar and getting new vehicles for races. It helps my Maths and English in a fun way” Xavier, aged 11

“Its fun because you feel really involved and the time limits make it really exciting” Katie aged 10

We also asked the teachers why they felt Skoolbo was having a positive impact on learning in their school.

“Skoolbo is a fantastic way to engage pupils and improve their basic skills, they hardly notice they are learning. A huge motivating factor is the quality graphics and the competitive element. We use Skoolbo as a reward, for homework and as part of lessons. It’s brilliant!”

“Skoolbo has transformed our home learning into something the children enjoy! They love competing and having some control over the design aspect, the high quality graphics is a real motivator! The children and staff are loving working with Skoolbo.” T Curnin, Acting Headteacher

Skoolbo around the globe

Skoolbo operates in many countries around the world but did you know that Skoolbo is working with community schools in Uganda where there is only one teacher for every 100 children? Find out more about this and Skoolbo’s work in the Philippines and rural Thailand by watching the full interview with Denise here.

Well done Peter’s Hill, we’re looking forward to seeing your 10K Super Champs on the Winners Board very soon!

Peter’s Hill is  a large 4 form entry primary school situated in Brierley Hill in the West Midlands. They are committed to the provision of a caring, safe, healthy, exciting and well structured learning environment and the promotion of high standards and achievement for all.

Eastern Green – inspired by the challenge!

Eastern Green Junior School in Coventry were one of the star performers in last year’s World Cup Challenge answering a total of 99,750 questions and finishing 7th overall in the UK. We felt that this performance deserved some proper recognition and so we asked Skoolbo Ambassador, Denise Lewis OBE, to personally congratulate them.

Eastern Green

The children of classes 6M and 6P thought of some wonderful questions to ask Denise but we also wanted to find out about why they thought they were so successful. The children told us that they were inspired by the World Cup Challenge and the strong streak of competition that runs through Year 6. The children enjoyed competing against other schools but we also heard about some serious inter-year group competition as well. We loved hearing from this school about the positive aspects of friendly competition and how every child was motivated to participate and improve.

Could you beat Jessica Ennis?

This was just one of the questions put to Denise by the children. You can hear her answer and the rest of the interview by watching the edited highlights below.

 

The staff and children of Eastern Green are already preparing for future challenges with some serious practise (and learning) on the Skoolbo platform.  Next time they will have the whole school on board and quite a few siblings. Could your school take them on?

You can see the full interview here.

 

Eastern Green’s aim is to ensure that everybody develops and achieves their full potential. They aim to provide a rich and varied curriculum in which children are nurtured, thrive and are encouraged and supported to develop into mature, independent learners. They aim to encourage and teach the values of honesty, tolerance and respect. Eastern Green is a two form entry junior school situated on the outskirts of Coventry.

Denise Lewis visits Coventry Challenge Champions

Skoolbo Ambassador – Denise Lewis OBE had an amazing day meeting children from three wonderful schools in Coventry. It was brilliant to hear from children, teachers and governors on the difference Skoolbo has made to the children’s enthusiasm for learning.

The Skoolbo Champions from Alderman’s Green Primary School

Denise and the Skoolbo Champions of Alderman's Green PSThe Skoolbo Champions from Aldermoor Farm Primary School

Denise and the Skoolbo Champions of Aldermoor  Farm

The Skoolbo Champions from Spon Gate Primary School

Denise and the Skoolbo Champions

It was also fantastic for Martin Reeves the Coventry City Council CEO to attend the visit to Spon Gate Primary School. Martin had helped set the Coventry Challenge in October and the schools have certainly shown that Coventry can lead by example.

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But it wasn’t all handing out certificates – there was time to see Skoolbo in action in the classroom, watch a PE demonstration, take questions on the importance of hard work and having fun to achieve your goals.

Last but not least we saw Alderman’s Green deliver an amazing whole school Zippy Shake

Not to be outdone look at the amazing moves from Aldermoor Farm!

Thanks to everyone involved for an amazing day – we look forward to seeing all the schools involved featuring at the top of the World Cup leaderboard – Go Team GB!!!!

Wales and West Midlands fighting it out mid table today!

Mid table is dominated by schools from Wales and the West Midlands today, and its very close indeed…..

Good performances from Ysgol Hendre Residential and Bodnant in Wales, both with pupils featuring on the leaderboard too.

Well done to Ysgol Hendre who are currently today’s top performing Welsh school.

Greenwood Academy, Drakes Broughton St Banabas, Limberick Wood and Peters Hill are fighting it out for the highest mid table position today. Will any of you reach the heady heights of the top performing West Midlands school St Margaret’s sitting in 10th?

 Wales or the West Midlands who will win the mid table battle today????

Team West Brom and Proud!

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We’ve just been sent these wonderful photographs of children from Team West Brom captains – St Francis Xavier Primary School sporting their West Brom football shirts.

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The children are all from Year 4 and are currently riding high at the top of the class leaderboard.

Class leaderboard

They also have two star pupils, Vaughan and Joshua who are 3rd and 4th respectively.

pupil leaderboard

It’s great to see such passion for football and for learning. A fantastic example from the team captains, well done!

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