• 29 Apr
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    The Year 6 SATS are just around the corner and it’s easy for students and parents to worry about getting ready for them.

    So we’ve put together some helpful topics that will help with being (and feeling) more prepared. And don’t forget to download the poster at the end!

    TestPreparationFYIImage1

    What are SATS?

    SATS (Standard Attainment Tests) are designed to help teachers learn more about a child’s strengths and weaknesses.

    The results help teachers compare how students are doing compared to other children, not just within their own class or school but across the country.

    The KS2 SATS also measure how much a child has improved from KS1 and whether they are hitting the target they were predicted to based on their KS1 results. Similarly, their KS2 results will help with checking their progress at KS3.

    The biggest thing to remember is that there isn’t a pass or fail on SATS tests. They’re a benchmarking tool to help schools and students achieve their best.

    While it can be a bit scary for kids sitting their first formally assessed tests it’s also an opportunity to start creating revision and test-taking habits that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their academic career.

    How can BrainPOP help with test preparation?

    We remember what it’s like to be nervous and overwhelmed by tests at school. Here’s a set of useful topics for helping to get ready physically, mentally, and emotionally.

    All these topics are free for everyone for a couple of weeks leading up to SATS.


    Part 1 – Topics to help students prepare for a test


    Note-Taking Skills

    BrainPOP UK - Note Taking skills movie

    Your revision notes will just be another source of stress unless you make sure that they’re well organised and clearly written. Use our Note Taking topic to learn various time and space saving techniques for note-taking and how to take comprehensive notes in lessons.

    Not only will improved note-taking skills help with the creation of useful revision notes they’ll also help facilitate better understanding within lessons and when trying to complete homework on the topic.

    Setting Goals

    Setting Goals Topic Screenshot

    Revision is a lot like fitness if you do too much too quickly you can burn yourself out before you really get started and it can be difficult to set a steady pace and stick to it. In our Setting Goals topic students learn how to break a big goal into smaller more attainable goals.

    Not only does this help students work towards their goal at a realistic pace it also means that they can see their progress better which helps a lot with morale.

    Concept Mapping

    Concept Mapping Topic Screenshot

    Concept maps can be an invaluable tool for revision. Not only are they useful to create as they help you fill in the gaps in your knowledge and see connections but they’re also a great way to create a very quick and easy way to read a huge amount of information.

    Test Preparation

    TestPreparationScreenshot1

    This topic covers revision techniques, what to do with the notes you’ve taken, why a revision group could be helpful. Students learn why doing practice papers can be helpful and useful tips like explaining a concept to someone else to make sure you really understand it.


    Part 2 – Topics to help students taking a test


    Test-Taking Skills

    Test Taking Skills Topic Screenshot

    What do you do if you get stuck on a question? How can you approach different types of question like multiple choice or essay questions? What can you do to make sure you don’t run out of time during the test? All this and more is answered in our Test taking skills movie.

    Stress

    BrainPOP UK - Stress

    Stress and anxiety can really throw students off their best performance and when it’s not something you’re used to it can be difficult to overcome.

    This topic explains what stress is and how it can affect you physically, emotionally, and mentally and covers various techniques students can use to help them keep their cool. While practice helps a lot sometimes it doesn’t matter how many dress rehearsals you have you still get a bit of stage-fright on opening night. Fear doesn’t have to be the mind-killer!

    Free test KS2 SATS preparation poster!

    You can find all sorts of study skills topics in our English section and you can download this handy “Key Stage 2 SATS preparation guide we’ve made that you can print out, share, or keep on your devices. Good luck everyone!

    BrainPOP SATS Revision Poster

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  • 22 Apr
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    We’re excited to be working with Dundee City Council to provide their schools with free access to BrainPOP UK until June 17th 2016.

    BrainPOP on Dundee GLOW dashboard

    To access BrainPOP all you need to do is login to your Dundee GLOW dashboard and find the BrainPOP tiles.

    Each tile is matched to a different subject area for the Curriculum for Excellence. Clicking a tile takes you to a page about BrainPOP’s resources with an button to launch the BrainPOP site.

    What do teachers in Dundee think about BrainPOP?

    “Most of our upper school classes access Brainpop regularly throughout the year. It is often used as an introduction to new topics and concepts, particularly in IDL and health. The young people really enjoy the short videos and the quizzes afterwards. We play the quizzes individual, in groups or as a class. The information is always accurate and often challenging. We use it as part of homework tasks and the children can access BrainPOP from home.

    BrainPOP works well alongside our BYOD, groups can work independently and can take notes to feedback to the class. It provides a ‘string to our teaching bow’, and is always a highlight in the class. The follow up activities are often challenging and open up opportunities for discussion.‎”

    Mrs Mathers, P7 teacher, Craigowl primary school, Dundee

    ‎”We absolutely love BrainPOP at Rosebank…the children have learned a great deal from it, have watched many of the videos and the teachers have used several lesson plans with great success and engagement. It is so comprehensive, covering a wide range of topics, so we nearly always find a video to enhance lessons.‎”

    Dawn Stanfield, Headteacher, Rosebank primary school, Dundee

    “I love BrainPOP – I find the videos are very interesting for the children, covering a wide range of topics and we also used the quizzes and activities that accompanied the films.”

    Mrs Young, P7 teacher, Dens Road primary school, Dundee

    “BrainPOP has been used at St John’s High School in Dundee for over 4 years. All teachers and students at St John’s access BrainPOP via GLOW, giving instant access for everyone in school and at home. Our pupils enjoy BrainPOP and we have even used it with our senior students. ”

    Dave Keenan, Principal teacher of modern studies, St John’s Rc High School, Dundee

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  • 20 Apr
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    Queen Elizabeth II is Britain’s longest serving monarch and celebrates her 90th birthday on 21st April!

    Queen Elizabeth II Topic Screenshot

    Not only is Queen Elizabeth II Britain’s longest serving monarch she’s actually the longest lived as well after passing Queen Victoria’s 81 years. She’ll even get to celebrate her 90th birthday all over again on her official birthday on Saturday 11th June!

    The Royal Life

    Over her lifetime the Queen has seen many changes and important events in the United Kingdom. So, in honour of her 90 years, let’s take a look at some of them.

    Women's Suffrage Topic Screenshot

    Elizabeth was only 2 years old when women finally received the right to vote in the Representation of the People Act in 1928.

    Since then Elizabeth has seen important laws like the equal pay act and the sexual discrimination act that ensure fair and equal treatment for female workers. And the first female British Prime Minister was elected in 1979 when Elizabeth was 53.

    Elizabeth was a young woman during World War II  and stayed in Britain throughout the war despite suggestions from politicians that the princesses should be evacuated to Canada. Not only did the war have an enormous social and economic impact on Britain, its end also marked the beginning of the decline of the British Empire.

    Queen Elizabeth II Topic Screenshot

    By the time Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1953 the British Empire had already begun its transformation into the Commonwealth of Nations and her role as the head of multiple independent states such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand was already established.

    Throughout her reign more and more of the territories and colonies of the British Empire declared their independence finally culminating in Hong Kong’s (Britain’s last major overseas territory) return to China in 1997.

    HistoryoftheUKFYIImage4

    And it’s not just overseas territories that have changed. Northern Ireland was self-governing had its own parliament and prime minister until 1972 after the escalating violence of The Troubles convinced the British government suspend the Northern Irish government. It wasn’t until 1998 that the Northern Irish National assembly was established.

    Actually, 1998 was also a big year for Scotland and Wales as the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly were established!

    Money Topic Screenshot

    In 1971 The UK switched to a decimal based currency, forever making our money make much more sense (and be easier to count).

    olympics

    In 2012 London hosted the Olympics for the second time in Elizabeth’s lifetime (1908 and 1948). The opening ceremony celebrated British history and culture covered topics from the Industrial Revolution, World War II, celebrated British children’s literature, popular British music, and even included a short film with a cameo by the Queen and James Bond!

    EmailandIMScreenshot3

    Moby claims that this is the email the Queen sent but we have it on good authority that it was Tim.

    The Queen hasn’t just seen societal change during her lifetime but a huge technological change as well. She’s considered the the first head of state to have used email after she sent her first message over ARPANET – the forerunner to today’s Internet in 1976 at a technology demonstration.

    The very first British television broadcast was in 1929, when the queen was only 3 years old, but it wasn’t until the 1950s and 60s that televisions began to be common. The BBC even stopped broadcasting during WWII and people relied on the radio instead.

    Hybrid Cars Topic Screenshot

    Although cars and phones existed before the Queen was born they were radically different to the smart phones, which are basically tiny computers in your pocket, and environmentally conscious hybrid cars you find today.

    For example, according to futurist Michio Kaku a modern smartphone has more computing power than all of NASA in 1969 – when NASA was sending missions to the Moon!

    Medicine has taken leaps and bounds in the last 90 years. For example penicillin was discovered in 1928 and the first vaccine for measles was created in 1963. MRIs, CAT scans and other medical technologies and advancements now help people live long and healthy lives.

    ComputersScreenshot2

    Computers and the Internet are probably the most drastic change in the Queen’s lifetime. Especially in such a small amount of time. Personal computers (the kind you’d have in your home) only really started to become available in the late 1970s and now they’re a part of everyday life in the Western world.

    Computers Topic Screenshot

    Similarly, the Internet has connected the people from all across the world and given people access to huge swathes of information. It’s been a huge cultural and technological phenomenon.

    And without it you wouldn’t have BrainPOP!

    Wow! It’s been a busy 90 years! Happy birthday Elizabeth – after all that we hope you get to put your feet up and have a cup of tea!


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  • 18 Apr
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    It’s the 400th anniversary of the death of the Bard this year and with the 23rd April swiftly approaching there are lots of amazing events, exhibitions, and performances celebrating the man, his life, and works to enjoy.

    William Shakespeare Topic Screenshot

    Though there are events happening all year to honour William Shakespeare for 400 years of inspiration, a lot of the coolest events to celebrate are happening over the weekend of 23rd/24th April as Shakespeare died on 23rd April 1616.

    At BrainPOP UK we’ll be celebrating by making our William Shakespeare topic our free featured movie on the 23rd April so be sure to kick start your Shakespeare-a-thon with Tim and Moby.

    William Shakespeare Topic Screenshot

    If you’re a subscriber don’t forget to check out our Drama and Poetry topics as well! But after you’ve BrainPOPped, enjoyed a very dramatic Moby, and are pumped up with Shakespeare facts what else can you do to mark the man?

    The Complete Walk

    23 April – 24 April 2016

    As you’d expect Shakespeare’s Globe have a lot going on this year alongside their usual helping of great theatre. We love the sound of a pop-up cinema project called “The Complete Walk”. On the 23rd-24th April 37 specially made 10-minute films that will be screened along the 2.5 mile stretch between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge.

    Each film explores one of Shakespeare’s plays and include scenes from the plays shot in the locations that Shakespeare imagined them to take place combined with extracts from the BFI’s early silent films and filmed stage productions. The films will play continuously through the weekend and you can download a digital map ahead of the event.

    Sonnet Walks

    22 April – 24 April 2016

    “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”

    Don’t forget Shakespeare wasn’t just a playwright! In the Sonnet Walks by Shakespeare’s Globe you’ll enjoy a 2 hour walk through London in historic places familiar to Shakespeare while hearing some of Shakespeare’s most compelling speeches and most romantic sonnets performed by actors.

    Drama Topic Screenshot

    By me, William Shakespeare

    3 February – 29 May 2016

    By me, William Shakespeare is a unique exhibition of carefully selected documents relating to Shakespeare’s life that track his life in London, as “a businessman, a family man and servant to the King and even possibly a thief and a subversive.”

    They explore both his domestic and professional lives, what it meant to live in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras and the social impact of his plays.

    Shakespeare in Ten Acts

    Until 6 September 2016

    The British Library’s Shakespeare in Ten Acts exhibition explores 400 years of history from the plays’ very first performances, showing how his plays have been interpretted by generations.

    Ground-breaking moments in stage such as the first stage appearance by a female actor in 1660 and the first British performance of Othello by a black actor in 1825 are explored as well as their social impact.

    Amazing props and costumes from celebrated performances join rare and unique items such as the only surviving play-script in Shakespeare’s hand and Shakespeare’s First Folio.

    (As a side note the British Library’s new online Shakespeare resource is also pretty cool and worth a look! Discovering Literature: Shakespeare)

    Drama Topic Screenshot

    Celebrating Shakespeare

    19 – 22 April

    The National Theatre is marking the anniversary by hosting some great events, talks and discussions around various topics from The Web of Our Life: Shakespeare and MigrationThe Web of Our Life: Shakespeare and Old Age, and Shakespeare at the NT: Writer for Today. Plus they have a great digital exhibition exploring Shakespeare at the National Theatre to boot.

    Celebrating Shakespeare: Flytower Film projection of Olivier’s Henry V

    22 April, 8pm

    The National Theatre’s Flytower is being turned a massive outdoor cinema for the occasion and will be showing the film that earned the NT’s first Artistic Director, Laurence Olivier, a special Academy Award for outstanding achievement as actor, producer and director

    Malvolio’s Misorder

    13 – 27 April

    Malvolio’s Misorder is a fun theatrical tour at the Victoria and Albert Museum where you’ll join characters from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, famous items from the V&A collections and meet Malvolio “…who has been practising speeches all day for his tour of Lady Olivia’s private collections but things very quickly start to go wrong once his guests arrive…”

    To find more events and find things specific to your area be sure to check out Shakespeare400 which collects listings for events running to celebrate the 400th anniversary happening all across 2016.

    But, of course, “brevity is the soul of wit” so I’ll finish by simply saying “If BrainPOP be the food of love, play on…”.

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  • 06 Apr
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    You’ve got dreams to achieve, but where do you start?

    Setting Goals Topic Screenshot

    There are so many different things we want to achieve and so many different distractions and ways to procrastinate. Thankfully there’s also a few techniques you can use to focus and help you achieve your goals and BrainPOP UK’s new topic, Setting Goals, is the right place to start.

    In this movie not only do Tim and Moby explain how to plan out benchmarks and set mini-goals to help you create a path to success, they also explain how to set realistic goals. After all if you want to run a marathon you need to train to run smaller distances first and other goals are no different.

    Learn about the SMART system to take your goal-setting to the next level and break down big goals into achievable steps within a reasonable schedule.

    Setting Goals Topic Screenshot

     

    After the movie be sure to check out the WOOP technique in the activities to up your chances of success when encountering obstacles in the way of your goal.

    With BrainPOP’s Setting Goals topic you’ll accomplish that dream before you know it! (And not waste time chasing chickens…)

     

    Moby chasing a chicken

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  • 02 Mar
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    To coincide with Safer Internet Day 2016, we partnered with the Edinburgh Digital Learning Team to invite local pupils to create a 30 second video encouraging young people to stay safe online.

    The competition saw loads of terrific entries, and was won by two primary schools. Online safety is such an important subject and we’re really pleased to see pupils engaging with it.

    Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to the children at Fox Covert and Blackhall schools.

    How to stay safe on the internet – Fox Covert primary school

    Lots of fantastic and useful advice from the pupils, including…

    • If people are rude to you and hurt your feelings on the internet, tell an adult
    • Don’t just check one website, check two or three
    • Stay safe by not giving out any personal details

    Is this the real Alex? – Blackhall primary school

    A powerful message about identity on the internet, and being sure you know who you are talking to.

    To learn more about the Edinburgh Digital Learning Team please visit their website.

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  • 24 Feb
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    We ran our last badge competition in 2013 (see the winning designs), and it’s time to welcome some new Moby badges. The bar was set super high last time, so get un-cap your felt tips and get your creative hats on!

    Badges selection

    The winner will not only be sent a first edition print of their badge, but also the first children in the world to get a pack of our upcoming new badge collection.

    This competition is open to anyone under 16. All you need to do is:

    1. Download and print our Badge Design Template. IMPORTANT: Use the big circle for your design and keep inside the lines as best you can (we’ve added an “actual size” circle too so you have an idea of how big your badge would be in real life).
    2. You must design a badge inspired by one of our topics.
    3. Your design must incorporate Moby in some way – perhaps in costume, or in a famous historical setting, or in the style of your favourite artist! The possibilities are endless. For inspiration see some of the badges we’ve made in the past. But be creative as you like!
    4. Don’t take too long! The competition closes midnight 30th March 2016.
    5. Scan or photograph it and send it to us using the form below.

    This competition is now closed.

    We’ll pick our favourite designs which will be made into REAL Moby badges later this summer.

    Submission criteria

    • Finished work must be submitted using the Badge Design Competition template
    • This competition is for children up to 16 years old
    • The winner will be chosen by the BrainPOP UK team (Moby and BrainPOP’s decision is final)
    • The winning design will be interpreted by the BrainPOP design team and re-created in the BrainPOP graphics style (BrainPOP’s design decision is final)
    • Entries must be received by midnight 30th March 2016 (entries received after the competition deadline will not be considered)
    • The winners will be contacted by email. Failure to provide a working email address will void your entry
    • Winning entries will be showcased on this blog, and possibly in future promotions
    • You can read our full competition terms and conditions on our website.

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  • 16 Feb
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    We’d like to invite you to sign up to our new service: The Masterclass.

    BrainPOP UK Masterclass logo

    The ‘Masterclass’ is our new, light touch professional development program.

    It’s aimed at all teachers who use our resources, and consists of a 2 emails a month across a year (24 in total) that explore different aspects of BrainPOP UK.

    They will cover everything from content discovery to teaching practice to technical advice. The emails are written by in-house experts and will make sure you are getting the most out of your subscription to BrainPOP.

    It’s super simple. You just read, absorb, and hopefully put into practice the various things we’ll be talking about in each email. You can opt-out any time.

    And it’s completely free :-)

    Sign up to the Masterclass today!

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  • 04 Feb
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    Competition time! We’re working with the Edinburgh City council Digital Learning Team to help promote esafety as part of Safer Internet Day 2016.

    From their website:

    …the Digital Learning Team are calling on Edinburgh pupils to use their creative powers to create a short video encouraging young people to stay safe online. The competition is open to primary and secondary schools.

    How can your school participate?

    1. Request an extended free trial to BrainPOP. To claim your free access please email Rob Richardson (NB you do not need to enter the competition to claim your free access, nor take out a free trial to enter the competition).
    2. We recommend your students watch our esafety videos to understand the various issues around esafety and use as a starting point for the activity
    3. With their new knowledge be inspired to create their own 30 second esafety video

    See the poster below for details. Good luck everyone!

    Edinburgh online safety competition poster

     

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  • 16 Dec
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    Moby Xmas - EMail banner

    It’s nearly time for the Elf on a Shelf to report back to Santa, the turkey to be defrosted, and the decorations to be taken down from the attic.

    And, of course, it’s time for our annual look back at BrainPOP!

    2015 – the year of computing in schools?

    Blogs on BrainPOP

    We launched lots of new resources on Computing in 2015. As well as being a vital part of the new English curriculum, it’s a topic that’s close to our hearts too, with lots of complex elements that need explaining.

    Proving popular were…

    (Technology wasn’t always our friend though when Chrome caused us an issue earlier this year. It’s easily solved though.)

    Movie magic science

    T Rex

    It appears 2015 was a fine year for movie science! in 2015, Tim and Moby explored the science behind Back to the Future, The Martian, and Jurassic World. We wonder what scientific wonders we’ll be able to see in the new Star Wars film? You’ll have to wait until 2016 for that.

    Keeping our feet on the ground, but reaching for the stars

    BrainPOP - Human/Physical interaction resources

    In 2015, Nasa’s New Horizons spacecraft completed its 3 billion mile trip to Pluto, and sent back some jaw dropping photos. So in July, we took an in-depth look at our solar system’s most distant neighbour.

    But there’s lots to consider down here on our own planet too. We searched through BrainPOP UK and collected together our top 21 topics on ‘sustainable development’ as well as meeting the inspiring scientific genius that was Nikola Tesla for the first time.

    The whole child and BrainPOP

    Science and technology is very cool, but we didn’t want to forget other areas of learning development. So we explored opportunities to promote literacy, learned how to be resilient using games, and revved up our research skills.

    And last but not least we also…

    Wow! What a year. We hope you’ll continue to spread the word about BrainPOP and stick with us through 2016.

    Because we’ve got BIG plans.

    Have an amazing Xmas and happy new year.

    Tim, Moby, and The BrainPOPpers x

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