• 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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  • 08 Oct
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    Wednesday 10th October at 16:00 BST: BrainPOP and Creativity on your iPad

    Featured Movie App main page on iPad

    Whether you have access to an Apple device or not, you can still sign up and benefit from this webinar. You’ll learn how to use our full access Featured Movie App as a classroom and homework tool.

    We’ll show you how to get moby-lised by demonstrating features of our full access Featured Movie App and also talk about other apps you can use – like Puppet Pals and Book Creator – to ensure you take full advantage of mobile access.

    We can provide certificates of participation upon completion. 

    Eventbrite - BrainPOP and Creativity on your iPad

    How do I sign up for a webinar?

    The link above will take you to Eventbrite where you can register quickly and easily. You’ll receive an email confirmation from Eventbrite including the link to the webinar which you click when the time comes.

    I’m not a BrainPOP subscriber, can I still participate? 

    Of course! Our webinars are open to anyone interested in sharing best classroom practice and innovations in education.

    We do, however, recommend you take out a free trial in advance of any webinars so you can fully participate and contribute to any discussion: Take out a free trial.

    If you’ve considered taking out a trial or subscribing, the webinar could be just the guide you need to inform your decision.

    All past webinars will be available in an archive so, if there’s a topic you’re interested in and you can’t attend that day, keep a look out for the link to the recorded webinar appearing later.


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  • 10 Sep
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    Every year on 13th September, schools and libraries celebrate Roald Dahl Day.

    It’s a day to talk up your favourite Roald Dahl stories, share your revolting rhymes with friends, eat snozzcumber, and stay away from nasty Twits.

    Roald Dahl

    We’re going to be featuring our Roald Dahl movie this Thursday so make sure to check it out on the homepage or the Featured Movie app for an introduction to one of the most widely-read and beloved children’s authors of all time.

    Roald Dahl

    You’ll learn about Dahl’s childhood in England, his difficulty at boarding schools, and his heroic service in World War II. You’ll also find out how Dahl began his writing career, and how he transformed himself from an author of adult fiction to a master storyteller for children.

    Tim and Moby give you an outline of several of Dahl’s classics, including James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and explain how Dahl’s legacy has continued even after his death.

    If you think you’re pretty slick on your Roald Dahl facts already, test yourself with the accompanying Activities: Roald Dahl Activities. You’ll soon see whether you’re more Boggis or Bunce or Bean, than Fantastic Mr Fox!

    So don your Matilda Wormwood cap and check out this scrumdiddlyumptious topic: Roald Dahl



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  • 07 Mar
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    Jude, BrainPOP UK’s ELearning and Mobile Consultant, recently called on one of our subscribing schools. Here’s how her day went…

    Ben Wood (a.k.a. @Referoo) has been a BrainPOPper for a year or so now and when he came to see us at BETT this year, he politely requested a t-shirt. I was all for popping one in the post but thought better of it – why not deliver it personally?

    Ben was on board so on a bright afternoon I had the honour of visiting Menston Primary, where a very demanding BrainPOP focus group awaited me.

    Menston Primary kids

    I met three separate Year 6 classes: Mrs Anthony’s, Mr Wood’s, and Mrs Gregson’s. It turns out that each class had already done some work thinking (and writing) about BrainPOP. We watched a couple of movies related to their lessons, Digital Animation and Hip-Hop and Rap, and in one class we completed the Smoking quiz together. We didn’t watch the Smoking movie as the class assured me they had watched it some time ago – they ended up getting an impressive 10/10!

    I hope I showed them a trick or two they weren’t aware of. For example, they didn’t know that our February spotlight coincided exactly with the theme they were studying in school – Space.

    The major part of the sessions involved students and teachers giving me some amazing feedback on BrainPOP (and very very strange team names).

    What did they like?

    • BrainPOP makes topics fun: “BrainPOP has good information not dull information,” said one young BrainPOPper
    • Another student liked the way BrainPOP challenges them which can only be a good thing!
    • I nearly fell on the floor when one very clever young chap told me that BrainPOP suited his style of learning as he was a visual learner – it turns out the class knew about styles of learning from when they studied the Brain earlier in the year
    • Mrs Anthony liked the way difficult vocabulary is highlighted in the movies as sometimes this led to discussions, like the other day when the class discussed the word “appeasement”

    By this point I wondered if I really was in a Year 6 class as everyone seemed so advanced!

    BrainPOP at home

    We discussed how the kids used BrainPOP at home in the evenings. Nearly everyone had an iOS device, or knew someone who did, and our free Featured Movie App got two thumbs up. Those who didn’t use the App tended to use the family computer.

    Being able to watch movies at home was useful if you don’t catch everything when you watch it in class.

    Was there anything they didn’t like? Not really! The jokes are a bit corny sometimes but they decided they could live with it.

    There were lots of movie suggestions and quite a few students said they wanted to see more characters in the movies…especially girls. I pointed out the Cassie and Rita comics in the FYIs but the general consensus was that Cassie and Rita should get speaking roles. Watch this space for our Period movie coming later in the year.

    Someone suggested guest appearances from other animated characters could feature in the movies. Bart Simpson anyone?

    Bart Simpson

    Image courtesy of http://www.simpsoncrazy.com/pictures/bart

    What’s in a name?

    I had a marvellous afternoon and left saying I would mention the group names of everyone I met. All the students compete against each other in groups and sometimes the BrainPOP quiz results feed into this score, so here goes…

    Big up to…The Sugar Wangers, Girls R Us, The Epic Video Gamers, The Blue Devils, Marshmallow Horses, Meerkats with a Manicure, Angels Burgers, The Ninja Kiwis, The Banana Bandits, The Whizzy Wine Gums, The Pink Pandas, The Groovy Geeks, The Crazy Lemmings and the Lovely Loveheart Lovers!

    Menston Primary is clearly a very fun place to learn.

    Keep Up the BrainPOPping!

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  • 09 Feb
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    Mark Anderson (a.k.a. ICT Evangelist) and teachers at Clevedon School in North Somerset have been trying out the BrainPOP featured movie and app in various different classes throughout the school. He’s kindly provided a mini case study on how they’ve integrated BrainPOP into their vertical tutor groups.

    “Clevedon School is a large 11-18 Outstanding School in North Somerset, just south west of Bristol. We operate a vertical tutor system where students from years 7 to 11 are mixed up in each tutor group.

    So in any tutor group you normally have a few students from every year group. In our tutor times students regularly complete vertical activities, one of which is the use of BrainPOP.

    We use BrainPOP because it is so easy to use, it really engages students of all ages (we complete the activities in vertical pairs) and the content is really clear and easy to understand.

    “I really like it because it is fun and I always learn something” one student said to me from Year 9.

    The BrainPOP free daily Featured Movie is a often a calendar aligned event. This is particularly good because it always means that whatever activity you are doing, there’s likely to be a relevant topic to the day.

    More recently, Clevedon School have been trialling the use of iPads in education and I’m one of the trial leaders and have been using the BrainPOP iPad app in my tutor times.

    The best thing here is that the content is right at the students’ fingertips – it’s right in front of them. Here, the content is brought alive and students can easily share and look at progress on each other’s activities as they move through. It certainly gets the students motivated and focused at the beginning of the school day.

    We also provide opportunities for 6th form students to go back to their lower school tutor group to mentor students and free up the member of staff to do some small group work and mentoring with selected students. BrainPOP is a favourite resource for the 6th form students to use with the younger students.

    Even with no planning or preparation it affords them the framework to run a session that everyone can engage with. It provides them with a high quality resource that they can rely on to deliver a message, support an area of the curriculum or spark a discussion.

    The fact that BrainPOP uses seasonal themes and makes the most of anniversaries and other important dates means that they are always able to deliver something relevant and interesting to a group of students with diverse interests and educational needs.

    I have seen it used to great effect to build confidence in 6th formers, giving them valuable experience and confidence in front of a class or in terms of public speaking. We all know how good it feels to be able to rely on a resource because we always know the quality is second to none.”

    Mark Anderson, Head of ICT

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  • 19 Jul
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    Whether you’re heading off on holiday shortly, or you’re staying put for your summer break, we thought we’d remind you, in a not very eloquent or grammatically correct style, that we ain’t goin’ nowhere!

    We’ll still be answering the phones if you have any questions and Tim & Moby will still be answering your questions all summer long.

    Tim & Moby enjoy the sun

    1. Send Tim & Moby home to Mums and Dads.

    BrainPOP is a great tool for encouraging parental engagement. If you have a 24/7 school subscription we’ve provided a letter template for you to alter as you see fit and send home with the kids at the end of term.

    Simply download the template, alter as you see fit, send home with your pupils, and the learning can go on all summer.

    Download the letter template

    2. Get a BrainPOP hit every day with our Daily Featured Movie.

    As well as featuring a different movie for free on the homepage every day, the same movie features on our free featured movie App and our POPbox.

    Featured Movie App on an iPad

    You can download our free App from the iTunes store to access our featured movie on your iPhone, iPad or iTouch.

    Or, if you fancy seeing our featured movie on your own website or blog every day,  request a POPbox .

    3. Have no fear, Tim & Moby will be here

    You might have a fresh set of eager minds to engage and inspire in the new school term and we’re sure you’re already thinking of ways to tackle the post-summer gloom (or, back to school over-excitement!) with gusto. Let Tim & Moby help your students get back in their learning stride.

    Use Deep Beep, our curriculum matching tool, to see if there are topics mapped to the curriculum you’ll be following in the new term.

    And remember that we add new topics to the site every week – and we’ll keep it up all summer long! We’re certain there’ll be a few new bright gems to capture your own bright gems’ attention: What’s new?

    Sun Protection

    One final point…remember to stay safe in the sun and don’t let an orange robot anywhere near your suntan lotion. You have been warned.

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  • 07 Jan
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    HOT OFF THE PRESS: BrainPOP UK has launched its Featured Movie App, available on Apple iOS devices such as iPad, iPhone and iTouch.

    Today we announce the launch of a UK version of the incredibly popular BrainPOP educational app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, bringing our animated educational resources directly to kids’ fingertips. The original version of the app – launched in April 2010 – has been downloaded more than 425,000 times and recommended by leading publications such as The New York Times and iPhone Life magazine. It has also been featured multiple times on iTunes.

    Learn Something New Every Day – Free!

    The BrainPOP UK Featured Movie App is downloadable from the iTunes App Stores in Ireland and in the UK – where it is already No.1 in the “New and Noteworthy” section in the Education category!

    The App delivers a new animated movie and related quiz every day. Topics are timely and contextual, covering current events, historical figures and milestones, holidays, and much more. It also contains 21 other movies from across our subjects, each with it’s own POPquiz.

    BrainPOP UK iPhone app subjects section

    BrainPOP UK iPhone app subjects section

    BrainPOP UK iPhone POPquiz

    It also records your scores so you can track your progress.

    We love this App and we think you will too. So if you have an Apple mobile device – what are you waiting for? It’s FREE! Download it !

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  • 15 Mar
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    POPboxes are another brand new BrainPOP UK feature for 2010.

    A POPbox enables you to embed our Featured movie right into a webpage! This is what it would look like:

    Sounds pretty fun, doesn’t it? So every time we update our free featured movie it will appear as if by magic in your webpage. Or classroom blog. Or VLE. Or intranet. Or School website…

    Now, we only want it to go to deserving homes where Tim & Moby will feel comfortable spending a bit of time. We will have to approve any requests for a featured movie POPbox. That’s the golden rule.

    So if you want to “POP a POPbox” on your website go to the POPbox request page and fill in the small form. We’ll then be in touch with the code and the rest is up to you.

    How does it work?

    The POPbox is a code snippet that you need to copy and paste to the body of your HTML page. Saving and publishing the page will make it show up.

    What if it doesn’t show up?

    We’ve found that some VLEs, or web platforms e.g. hosted WordPress.com blogs, will block Javascript being displayed via a security setting in the browser. POPtalk is a self hosted WordPress blog (www.wordpress.org) so we can control what gets shown and what doesn’t.

    Getting security settings changed is a matter for your Support technicians or VLE Manager. It might be (although we hope not) that you cannot display our POPboxes at all due to technical restrictions. Sorry.

    Can we choose our own BrainPOP movies to show?

    No. The featured movie POPbox will change automatically every time we update it so it will remain refreshed. But we decide what and when. It can only show one movie at at time. If you have a special educational event, research announcement, promotion or similar that you think would benefit from a BrainPOP UK movie/POPbox to accompany it we may be able to help – just get in touch.

    Does it come with the POPquiz?

    Sorry, it’s the movie only. To use the POPquizzes you will have to be a subscriber. There is a button in the movie player to make the POPboxes full screen though.

    Do I need to be subscribed to BrainPOP UK to get a POPbox?

    Nope. But you do need to agree to place it onto an appropriate web space. And we reserve the right to allow or deny a website access to a POPbox. As to what is deemed “appropriate”… we hope it can be informed by old fashioned common sense. But if you’re not sure add your questions as comments below or ask!

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  • 09 Jun
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    What is our featured movie?

    The featured movie is always free – to anyone who visits BrainPOP UK, not just subscribers or those on a free trial.

    It appears on our front page and is kind of a “spotlight” movie. Today we changed it from the long standing “Swine Flu” movie to the enlightening “Surrealism” movie. We try to change it regularly as we can. Or remember 😉


    How do we choose what gets to be a featured movie?

    It really does depend. We usually check the days headlines by visiting BBC news and the brilliant CBBC Newsround website and see if there’s been any interesting stories that might come up in the classroom. We also try to tie featured movies into events and topics e.g. Pi day.

    Here are some we chose in the last few months (you may need to be logged on to view some of these movies):

    Once we even made our “Sun” movie the featured movie simply because it was a lovely sunny day outside. And why not?

    If nothing in the news or around us seems appropriate we’ll usually turn to you guys and ask.

    A good way of doing that is to turn to our Twitter crowd to see if there’s any teachers on there that can be helped out by one of our movies.

    For example @stevebob79 recently asked:

    stevebob79 tweet

    We reckoned we could help out so we said…

    @stevebob79 We’re very proud of our Blog movie for KS2. Would make a cracking starter. I’ve made it free, just for you: http://bit.ly/ePnGA

    So the Blogs movie became our (free) featured movie because @stevebob79 had a need for one. Simples. He also suggested a way we could tweak it to make it more effective which we did.

    Our tweet was also spotted by another one of our followers, @HGjohn, who said:


    In fact, HGjohn (John Sutton of CreativeICT blogs fame) went on to mention us and the movie as a recommended resource in his newsletter. Peter Rafferty (@Raff31) also said:


    As my Granny said, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

    So there you have it for the humble featured movie. If you want to suggest a featured movie that you can use with your class we are all ears.

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