Resources of the week

Each week, three subject teachers recommend a high-quality resource that they have tried and tested in their own classrooms


Maths Group challenge puzzle sheets

What is it? Summer might be over, but the TES website has plenty of maths resources to make the first lessons of the new academic year less painful. This set of group challenges, uploaded by Chris Smith, offers five sheets packed with challenging puzzles based on problem solving and number crunching. The puzzles vary in difficulty, so can be used with different abilities.

How can it be used? I am planning to use this resource with my 15- and 16-year-old students, who I doubt will have spent the holiday factorising quadratic equations. I am going to get pupils into groups to interpret the questions and discuss various strategies. Thankfully for me, the answers are also included, in case it takes a while for me to get back up to speed as well.

Craig Barton is an advanced skills teacher at Thornleigh Salesian College in Bolton and a TES secondary maths adviser. Find him on Twitter at @TESMaths


Roald Dahl: full writing scheme of work

What is it? This Roald Dahl writing project, created by asadler79, is sure to be a favourite. It is a big friendly giant of a resource, providing plans, activities and worksheets to ease students into the new school year. This is a creative writing scheme, but it is flexible enough to be adapted and offers opportunities for closer inspection of adjectives, antonyms and effective description.

How can it be used? I appreciate the level of structure offered by the medium-term plan. It is supportive but not too prescriptive, allowing me to take the lessons in the direction I see fit. I have used some of the worksheets as separates in other lessons. In particular, the synonyms sheet "Collecting words" provides an excellent framework for extension activities or homework, and is ideal for pupils to have at the front of their exercise books as a reference tool. Whether you are teaching key stages 2 or 3, there are enough phizz-whizzing lessons here for the rest of the year.

Jon Sellick is an English teacher and head of sixth form at Range High School in Formby, Merseyside


Science Heart dissection lesson

What is it? This week's science resource comes from Laura606 and is aimed at key stage 4 pupils studying the heart and circulation. This exciting resource is based on a practical dissection of a heart and contains a PowerPoint presentation (including objectives, five challenging tasks and an exam question), a hand-out and a literacy-based starter activity.

How can it be used? I tested it out with my triple-science class of 14- and 15-year-olds. The starter revealed students' competitive sides as they raced to see who could unscramble the messages first. We then dissected - or rather, the pupils mutilated - lamb hearts and completed all five challenges. Students found the hand-out extremely useful; it allowed more able children to progress rapidly. All three elements of the resource complemented each other. Thoroughly recommended, though not for the faint-hearted!

Aimee Mckeon is a science teacher at St Andrew's CE High School in Croydon, South London

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