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Games with the 'x' factor

Turn algebra into a treasure hunt with a trail created by eam_larkin. Pupils work out the answers to the questions set on a worksheet, then have to find the corresponding symbol around the classroom or school. Once they have found the symbols, they "decode" them to reveal a secret message.

Another brain-teasing game is algebra countdown, based on the numbers game from the TV programme Countdown. Pupils have to work out how they combine the algebraic terms that this resource generates to come to a given answer (Stephen Bodman).

Nyima_drayang covers two tricky key stage 3 topics in one with a resource that links the equivalence of algebraic expressions to the area of compound shapes. This set of worksheets and interactive whiteboard activities offers plenty of opportunity for differentiation for mixed ability groups.

Fans of the card game Top Trumps, meanwhile, will enjoy using the resource supplied by kez84, which requires pupils to work out and compare values attached to animals or dinosaurs in these sets of cards.

To consolidate what pupils have learnt, a handy interactive whiteboard activity uploaded by Matt Dunbar covers KS3 levels 6, 7 and 8. It is essentially an Excel macro programme that generates an infinite number of equations for pupils to solve.


Childcare and development

Toy safety and the Baby P case examined

For an introduction to, or revision of, the suitability of toys to aid children's development, rubberchicken2 has uploaded a set of worksheets. These include pictures of different developmental toys to start discussions of how they could be used. Also on the subject of toys, Erica_c_hanson has supplied a PowerPoint resource on the symbols used to indicate whether toys are safe.

Child health is also covered in this collection, including a revision sheet on nutrition for children (naynay) and a comprehensive introduction to common childhood infections (with pictures, uploaded by iaveter).

For those considering social work as a career, there is a useful presentation available on foster care and adoption (Olivia Rowling). As well as an introduction to the reasons a child might be adopted, and how the adoption process works, it includes a task asking pupils to study the Baby P case and whether more could have been done to protect the child.


Projects for KS4

Looking back at medicines, war and suffrage

This collection covers a wide range of historical movements - from how medicines were developed, to the First and Second World Wars.

Looking at newspaper reports from different angles can be a good basis for discussion - a useful resource in this regard is the collection of resources on the Vietnam anti-war movement (ThePeopleSpeak).

If you are revising rationing during the Second World War, the National Education Network (username NEN) has uploaded some links to first-hand video accounts of people who lived through it.

English Heritage has supplied an activity on poverty and the impact of the Poor Law of 1834. This includes a worksheet where pupils can look at extracts from a poorhouse master's journal and discuss how these institutions were run. A similar resource on Victorian prisons, supplied by the National Archives, asks pupils to look at extracts of prison records from the time. Tasks include asking pupils to imagine they have just been appointed governor of one of the prisons - can they write a report on their new surroundings?

There are a number of resources available that cover Germany between 1918 and 1945. RandomGirly has used her lesson plan on the Weimar Republic constitution in a job interview, which was successful. It includes a timeline of key events that led to the Republic's demise in 1933. Other resources for this period include activities on Hitler Youth and a revision guide (NgFL Cymru).

Finally, a fun way to round off a series of lessons on votes for women might be the "You say, we pay" activity, based on the Richard and Judy game, uploaded by robert peel.


Bowl them over with World Cup site

The International Cricket Council has launched a cricket-themed education website to coincide with this year's World Cup. See

Brian Cox comes to Science Live!

Physicist and TV presenter Professor Brian Cox will be hosting a series of demonstrations and talks at the National Science Museum in London on 14 and 15 March. The two-day Science Live! event is aimed at secondary pupils aged 14 to 18, and takes place as part of National Science and Engineering Week. For details, go to

Making an exhibition of themselves

Around 450 exhibitors will be showcasing resources at the Education Show at Birmingham's NEC from 17 to 19 March. See

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