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Money for maths

Help is available to anyone who teaches maths to secondary pupils and would like to organise activities that raise the profile and enjoyment of the subject in their school. Grants of up to #163;500 and guidance on choosing activities listed in the online STEM Directories (www.stem are being offered by the Royal Institution (

The deadline for applications is Friday, 16 September. For more details on how to apply, email

Talk Gym

BT and the Communication Trust have launched a Facebook application called Talk Gym, a free resource which aims to help young people aged 14-19 to develop their verbal communication skills.

Film wins gold

Looking for Sarah, a short film produced by Somerset GCSE students to reduce teenage pregnancy, scooped gold at the Questar Awards in the US. The film was written, acted and produced by about 50 students. It was part of an awareness campaign jointly funded by Somerset County Council and NHS Somerset.


Lift-off for top 10 ideas

Rocket building, budgeting and statistics

TES maths adviser Craig Barton (of mrbarton has created this collection to highlight "The Best of TES Resources" which he showcased at this year's TSM Workshop.

Craig Barton's top ten consists of his favourite secondary maths resources, including videos, games and thinking activities that will help you to get the most out of your pupils.

To encourage team building and planning, jhleung has shared a rocket building exercise, which also incorporates elements of business and science. In groups, pupils are given a budget of #163;1million with which they have to buy the materials and professional advice to build a rocket. Pupils have to use skills such as adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing money as well as their knowledge of measuring mass, volume and time, in order to succeed.

SecondaryMathsNatStrats has uploaded a resource containing a lesson plan of activities to be used when teaching statistics. The activities are suitable for key stage 3 pupils in helping them to understand and interpret bar charts, pie charts and box and whisker plots.


Web-based research

Safe searches, hoax sites and robots

TES ICT adviser Mark Clarkson has selected the best resources for teaching pupils about web-based research. These help you and your pupils get the most out of Google, and provide information on how to gather data safely and understand search results.

Two Teachers TV videos examine the importance of providing guidance to pupils when using the internet for research, and the most efficient ways to search the internet. These skills can be put into practice through activities such as the research task shared by l0vaduck. Pupils use the internet to search for information on a topic of their choice, which they then turn into a presentation.

Largerama has shared a great resource on understanding Google search results. Pupils will be able to understand what Google is showing them on a search results page.

To encourage pupils to be critical of web-based information, ICTfromBecta has shared some hoax websites. These websites contain bogus information (such as one on the history of Victorian robots) which encourage pupils to validate what they find on the internet.


Songs to aid learning

Tenses, tracks and a touch of rap

This collection features resources with information and activities to help incorporate music and song into language learning.

Pupils may find them useful in the memorisation of key structures and vocabulary as well as improving pronunciation.

A PowerPoint presentation has been shared by VFS to help introduce how to say and use the past tense in French. There is also a backing track that can be used in a "write your own rap" exercise to help pupils grasp how to use the past tense.

For younger pupils learning French, seve has shared a variety of song ideas, such as one for body parts which is sung to the tune of "heads, shoulders, knees and toes". Most have an accompanying PowerPoint presentation which enhances the learning experience through visuals.

CombertonVillageCollege has used songs by German band Wir sind Helden as an aid when teaching German.

Pupils are encouraged to listen to the lyrics of the song and fill in the gaps on the activity sheet provided to get a better grasp of the language. A similar resource has been shared by sagramor, who has used the German song Alkohol as a basis for a wordsearch and gap-filling activity.

For Year 7 pupils learning Spanish, a rap on the topic of family shared by rhawkes may be useful. Available on YouTube, it is great for learning family descriptions and the accompanying lyrics show pupils how the words are spelt and written.

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