8th July 2011 at 01:00


Press gang

News agency the Press Association is making its wire service available to schools. Pupils can use breaking stories in the classroom to produce newspapers, examine writing styles and learn how stories are adapted for different audiences. Access is available at

Play at Nou Camp

Sports tour specialist Teamlink has launched a series of trips offering coaching at some of the world's most famous stadiums, including the Nou Camp in Barcelona and the homes of US basketball teams LA Lakers and Chicago Bulls, as well as UK venues such as Lords. For details, go to

Science festival

The North East Technology Park, in Sedgefield, County Durham, is hosting a three-day Brainwave11 event from 14-16 July, aiming to highlight career opportunities in science and technology. Among the attractions will be competitors from the BBC's Robot Wars, a mobile planetarium and a boxing simulator. For details, go to



Activities around structure

This collection of resources focuses on grammar teaching and practice. For French, resources include a lesson plan looking at prepositions, where pupils have to draw where they think Bobo the bear is - an activity that has been adapted for more able and less confident pupils (lydiadavies). There are also resources on etre and avoir verbs, how the different tenses work, and various worksheets to test pupils' knowledge.

German resources include subject pronoun practice, worksheets on adjective endings, how the different cases work and irregular verbs. A good way to revise the future tense is through a Battleships game, supplied by smjfh. Pupils mark off things they will do in the future on a grid on which teachers can mark their own battleships. Another resource provides pupils with two stories in which the tenses are muddled up and they have to figure out which parts make one story.

For Spanish, there are useful revision aids such as mnemonics for remembering the different verbs that take ser and estar (tlatilicue) and an exhaustive table of all the verb tenses condensed onto one side of A4 (anavictoria). There are also resources on using the subjunctive and pronouns, and a reading test.

Popular downloads

Religious symbolism and democracy

There are almost 1,500 resources on the RE section of the TES Resources site, so it makes senses to review some of the most popular and imaginative ones as the academic year draws to a close.

For younger secondary pupils, there is a broad introduction to symbols and symbolism in a Teachers TV video. The pupils of Easington Colliery Primary created their own memorial book, which covers symbols in religion and in home and school life - this would be easy to replicate in your own class. It also looks at the key Christian symbols such as the fish, the palm cross and the dove.

Another video looks at democracy and whether young people can make a difference. One of the stories features Somalian-born refugee Hodan Addawe, who was sent to England alone as a child. It looks at her campaign to gain entry into the UK on behalf of her parents.

There is an introduction to Sikhism, uploaded by natsmoore, with a detailed lesson plan and worksheets.

There is also a lesson plan about the features of a mosque and Muslim prayer, which includes two short films available free at A video on the four pathways to God in Hinduism shows how four different teenagers feel about religion, and how their families practise it.

Other topics include community cohesion, the Holocaust, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.


Videos with bang

Experimenting with lungs and reactivity

Among the Teachers TV videos now hosted by TES Resources, there are a number of useful programmes on key stage 3 and 4 science, as well as some for post-16 students. Most videos are between 13 and 30 minutes long, and some are supported by PowerPoints, activities and lesson plans.

One of the biology videos looks at asthma, respiration and lung structure. It includes a lung dissection and looks at the role of medical researchers in developing treatments for people with breathing difficulties. Pupils can record their own lung capacity on an accompanying record sheet.

Another video shows how to use animal organs to demonstrate how the different parts of our digestive system fit together and function. It also includes health and safety tips on preparation, storage and disposal of food.

Among the chemistry resources is a lesson on reactive elements, which includes tips on practical demonstrations and activities to explore reactivity. A Year 10 teacher shows how different metals react in water, and explains how he set up the classroom to conduct the experiments safely. There is also a video looking at how forensic scientists use chemistry and bio-chemistry in murder investigations.

In a programme on forces in physics, David Richardson from the Institute of Physics is invited to the Twilight Club at St James' Catholic High in London to demonstrate his experiments to the school's science staff. Other physics video topics include solar power and sound.


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