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Ideas and activities

Fresh takes on starters and plenaries

This collection of resources includes an extensive selection of ideas you can put to good use in the classroom, including starters, plenaries and how-to guides. If you feel like you are running out of ideas, or your old ones need refreshing, there are suggestions and activities in this modern foreign languages collection.

For teachers of French, bluedaffodils has shared a comprehensive list of activities to be used in the classroom. The activities are divided into different skills, such as reading, writing, games and listening and are suitable for key stage 3 and 4 pupils.

Slick has shared a similar compilation, including starters and plenaries that can be adapted for any foreign language.

If you would like to start creating more activities for the interactive whiteboard, ChilePhilly has supplied a document explaining how to make countdown and true or false activities.

Rhawkes has uploaded a step-by-step illustrated guide to inserting your own sound files into a PowerPoint presentation, and has also shared instructions on how to install and use the Audacity audio-editing program.

Saley has provided a treasure trove full of fantastic activity ideas which can easily be used when teaching any foreign language. The games listed include starters and plenaries, as well as activities that you can form an entire lesson around.


Teachers TV videos

Clips for use in the classroom

Teachers TV supplied useful videos to aid teachers both inside and outside of lessons. This collection has been put together by Craig Barton - maths AST and creator of - and features some of the best maths videos created by Teachers TV that are suitable for use within the classroom.

The Inside Maths series contains videos that suggest interesting ways of tackling some of the more tedious topics, such as ratios and graphs. The ratios and proportions feature uses a dinner party setting to put knowledge of the topic into action.

Presenters Fran and Dave need to use proportions and ratios to work out how much of certain ingredients are needed to make their desired recipes. They encounter problems such as not having enough chocolate for brownies, but by using maths they manage to work out the correct ratio of the other ingredients for the amount of chocolate they have.

To show pupils how maths is used in the real world, there is a series of videos dedicated to this topic, which include plenty of maths challenges to present to your pupils. Teachers TV used the examples of a hotel, cricket match and night train, and divided the videos up into sequences. After each sequence a mathematical discussion is stimulated, rather than just a correct answer to a computation.

The careers series is also great in displaying how maths is used in the outside world. These videos explore the various careers that revolve around the use of maths, such as engineering, planetary scientist and various roles in the Navy.


Environmental issues

Videos to provoke debate and introduce topics

This collection of resources consists of videos from the online geographical television channel, Green TV. The channel is devoted to short programmes about environmental change, climate change and sustainability issues, and has partnerships with WWF, Oxfam, Kew, RSPB, the United Nations and Greenpeace.

These videos raise important geographical issues, which are good for provoking classroom discussion and debate. They also act as suitable introductions to topics, projects, fundraising and campaigns and get pupils thinking about the world around them.

The Creeping Desert video explores how the Sahara desert is growing by thousands of square kilometres a year. This rapid expansion is leaving the people and animals inhabiting the area more desperate than ever for a water supply.

This topic is also covered in the Africa Water Resources section. Green TV has used visual time series imagery to show the effect climate change has on the fresh-water resources on the African continent.

To inspire your pupils to make a difference to the world, the Today I Changed the World ... and Myself video contains plenty of information and ideas. Presented by BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) vice-president Sir David Attenborough, the feature explores how volunteering with BTCV transforms people and places.


Behind the Bard

Fifty per cent of the world's children study Shakespeare. The World Shakespeare Festival, which begins on 6 September, is produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and is part of the London 2012 Festival and the Cultural Olympiad. It includes a series of education projects.

Genes resource

Jeans for Genes, the UK children's charity which funds research into genetic disorders and supports families, offers a free education resource programme. One set is for foundation classes and key stage 1 about Max, who suffers from hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, a condition that means he cannot sweat, has no teeth and very little hair. The resources are available from Jeans for Genes' TES Forum user, JeansforGenes.

Ideas on a poster

Posters to help with personal, learning and thinking skills in design technology are available at Each skill is represented on a poster with a question to stimulate thought.

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