Finding themselves

Third Culture Chinese

Children’s book reviewer Kate Shepherd looks at three very different stories about the experience of Chinese children. Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim is a dramatic story for young adults, based on true events at the end of the Cultural Revolution, while two thought-provoking and beautifully illustrated picture books for younger children by Sally Rippin examine the issue of cultural identity of Chinese children living in Australia.

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Dinosaurs in the Early Years!

A resource for Early Years from Jan Homden

Click on the images below to download your free PDF for Dinosaurs in the Early Years Part A & B

Dinosaurs in the Early Years Part A

Part A focusses on communication, literacy and the development of language through play. Fun ideas for role play, the activity trays and the writing area to stimulate the children’s imagination and conversation. Dinosaur picture books are reviewed through Amazon and there are links to songs and stories on-line.


Dinosaurs in the Early Years Part B

In Part B the focus is on exciting ideas for mathematics especially in relation to shape, space and measures, as well as links to dinosaur resources and information about Natural History or Dinosaur Museums in the UK, Australia and the US. Amusing action/counting songs to sing and rhymes to chant for a special dinosaur assembly?


Fun with Water in the Early Years

Early Years Resources

Click on the images to download Jan Homden’s free PDFs for Fun with Water Part A & Part B.

Part A – Get on your rain gear and join Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk. Display ideas for your classroom and fiction/non-fiction books to share. Water play activities and simple experiments to encourage prediction, observation and language development.

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Bye Ted! I’m off to school!

Starting school in the early years.

 Jan Homden passes on expert advice for a start without tears!

If you are a KG or Early Years teacher with new children starting school this term/semester, why not download this free PDF and send it to your new parents? If you are a parent, with a little one about to start school, here are 10 things to think about that will help make the transition easier.

Click the picture for your full guide, with book reviews, activities, action rhymes and poems





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2016 retrospective: technology

3 articles from 2016

Technology in the classroom – as everywhere else – is just a part of everyday life. Apps are more powerful, flexible and easier to use. But there are so many, and recommendations are useful. Neil Jarrett is a teacher first, techie second: his ideas about tech in the classroom are worth listening to – he also keeps it simple. Blended and on-line learning is no longer a novelty, but some practice is more effective than others. If you are thinking about introducing on-line courses, learn from the experience of Rod Murphy at AIS Guangzhou, while Jackie Harden’s ideas about on-line safety are a great starting point.

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The Man Who Planted Trees (L’Homme qui Plantait des Arbres)

hommeCross-curricular inspiration

This is the ultimate teaching and learning resource. Students of French, history, literature, media studies, science, biology, the environment . . . . and leadership will be totally absorbed. The winner of the 1987 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, is based on the original book by Jean Giono, also reviewed in ITM.

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Online safety for kids

Whilst we all recognize the opportunities the Internet offers, keeping children safe online is a constant source of concern often exacerbated by the gap in online proficiency between child and parents/teacher.

Encouragingly, Jackie Harden reports that support is available and easily accessible. If you feel able to recommend other sources of support, we would love to hear from you.

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Pirates . . . . Yikes!

Resources for the Early Years

Pirates . . . . Yikes!  Part A Piratey,_vector_version.svg

‘Arrr . . . . Arrr . . . . Me Hearties!’  A fun topic to end the year. 

In Part A, role play pirate ships and ideas for dress-ups. Add to that, treasure maps, pirate flags and a Ship’s Log Book. Get started with sea shanties and you’re all ready to set sail!

Click on the pirate to download your free PDF

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Maths and mindset

Engaging with number

West Lothian


Teachers at two schools in West Lothian, Scotland have started to use Izak9, a new Maths resource for 9 – 13 years olds, while also applying Carol Dweck’s ideas about “Mindset” in their teaching. The initiative is part of an imaginative campaign to help children engage with number, and to change the way they approach a new challenge.

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Under the Sea for Early Years

Early Years Resource

Click on the images to download your free PDF for Under the Sea Part A & B and The Rainbow Fish.



Under the Sea PART A

Create the wow factor at your classroom door! Take your children to Sea Life to introduce the topic and in the active world tray develop ideas based on a fishy theme. Play fishing games that have a maths/language focus plus explore on-line themed links that are just a click away.


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Early Years Playground Design

  Get Teddy Outdoors!

loosepartsplayground01In the Northern hemisphere schools are almost halfway through the summer term and perhaps beginning to consider those jobs that will need attention during the weeks of the summer holiday. On your list you may be thinking about redesigning or upgrading your Early Years playground.

Or, you may just want to add something new to your current playground to excite the children as they enjoy the benefit of warmer weather and being outdoors more.

Jan Homden gives us a few ideas to consider in this free downloadable PDF.

Click on the image above to download the PDF

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College counseling and university application in the digital age

Is outsourcing the way forward for more schools?

TimSupporting university application is an increasingly complex and demanding service that all schools are expected to provide. Is there any support on-line that might help? ITM talked to Tim Laas-Nesbitt, Lead Mentor at Cialfo, the Singapore based university application specialists to explore the area.

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A Fun Day of Colour

Rainbow Hair

 A fun day of colour: Part A

An opportunity to revise colour. Have a Rainbow Day and raise money for charity. Set up an interactive colour table. Fun ideas for sand and water play and face painting,

Beautiful picture books to read and songs to sing.

Click on the image to download your free PDF



Drop PaintingFun Day of Colour: Part B

An opportunity to revise colour mixing. Lots of great activities for indoors and outdoors that will get everyone involved.

Click on the image to download your free PDF

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Technology’s impact on teaching and learning

The advances in technology witnessed in recent years have been likened to the discovery of fire and invention of the wheel, such has been their impact upon society. Education has largely embraced technological innovation. Its impact upon teaching and learning is undeniable and its momentum continues apace as evinced by the forthcoming GESS technological showcase in Dubai. 

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Planning Effective Outdoor Physical Environments for Early Childhood

downloadPlay has been called the highest expression of human development and few would disagree that it is fundamentally important to a child’s learning and social and emotional wellbeing.

Prue Walsh has a wealth of experience designing outstanding outdoor play environments and here highlights some of the key aspects to consider when planning a play area.


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Supporting online learning 1

Online for IB

AISG_HSThe American International School, Guangzhou in China is one of an increasing number of IB World Schools offering some IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) subjects to their students via online courses.

Rod Murphy is the on-line coordinator at AIS Guangzhou. In the first of two articles, he explains how students at AIS get to grips with studying online.



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Innovation – Technology Supporting PHE (Physical and Health Education)

From Challenge to opportunity “Wireless Headphones”

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 12.32.15Two years ago I found myself in between “gym facilities”. The old gym was torn down and a new Sport and Community Centre was being built. All PHE classes continued in what we called “The Bubble”, a huge semi-permanent, inflatable tent located on the soccer pitches. There were no walls and often two classes were taught simultaneously. A single net divided the Bubble into different learning spaces. Instructing the students and keeping them focused was difficult; teaching using music was even more challenging for teachers and students alike.

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Studying the IB’s Theory of Knowledge Online

IBDP-online-learning-with-Pamoja-Education-700x464Questioning basic assumptions and thinking critically about what many take for granted presents a challenge but can bring great rewards for the student in terms of self-fulfilment and preparation for life. The IB’s Theory of Knowledge component provides such a challenge and Anne Keeling looks at an online course which will make teaching ToK more effective in many schools

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