Top 6 picks for parents from the Education Show 2017

Posted by Kate Cooper on

Last week when Kippson was exhibiting at the Education Show, I took a walk around to check out what's new and cool. 

1 Scottie Go!

Teaching the basics of coding to primary aged children aged 6-10 (with adult help - even if you can't code!). Scottie Go! is set out as a problem solving game, and children build the code using cardboard tiles that can be arranged and rearranged. It caught my attention because it is tactile, supports parental involvement and does not initially require a screen. Plenty of scope for discussion and rearranging. Once you are happy with your coded instructions, you take a photo with your tablet (there are QR-like codes on the tiles) and watch the results of your coding take place on the screen. 

ScottieGo! Available at Amazon for £49.99

2 Fiction Express

A novel way (ha, no pun intended) to get children hooked on reading for pleasure. These guys have a team of authors who write a new chapter for each of their books each week (available with reading levels at 6+, 8+ and 10+), and it is published every Friday. Each week the students vote for what will happen next, and then the authors get busy! It is not currently available to parents, only via schools, but watch this space

3 Dekko Comics

These guys present educational material in the form of a comic strip magazine, using a range of characters and engaging artwork. It is fun and clever, and at no point does it dumb down. Stories cover a wide range of topics, from historical sources, french, spelling rules, biology, and parts of speech, to forces in physics. All this information is packaged with colour, image and story to make it enjoyable and accessible. Available at Amazon for £4.99

4  The all-in-one PolyMath

Maybe it's because my daughter has just bought a pencil case the size of a small suitcase, but this is a cool little gadget that combines a compass, ruler, protractor, set square and parallel line stencil. Being stabbed by the point of your compass could be a thing of the past.

The video demo says it all - see Available at Amazon for £4.95

5 Talking Tiles

Just speak and record into these small hand held, robust recording devices. They look really easy to operate, and you can mark points in the recording so you can skip from one part to the other. Think of the possibilities! You can record messages for your children, record mental maths tests (just like the real thing), encourage children to read aloud (they could make their own audio book), record and learn vocab, and (if you have a child who dislikes writing but needs to capture structured thoughts) you can even record your ideas for each part of a story and listen back later. I just love treasure hunts, and would love to leave some audio clues around a trail... Price varies according to device, and the available recording time and features, but a multi memo 6 minute voice recorder is £17.94 

Available from

6 Polydron

It is not new, but it is so cool! These magnetic construction kits are colourful, and quickly and easily fit together to make 3D shapes and models. If you buy it, buy lots,  (think marble runs and lego - a small set is just never enough). Class sets are available (96 pieces for £99), or 48 pieces for about £50. There is also a non magnetic Giant Polyhedron XL which clips together. Fantastic fun - but you might also need a big toy cupboard

by Kate Cooper, founder of Kippson which designs visual themed times tables learning resources

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Faced with a maths problem - does your mind go blank?

Posted by Kate Cooper on

National Numeracy are a charity that helps people in the UK to improve their everyday maths skills, all the more important as millions of UK adults suffer from maths anxiety. National Numeracy don’t believe there is a maths gene allowing the lucky few to be good at maths, and have quizzed around 12,000 people about maths anxiety as part of  their online confidential assessment tool (National Numeracy Challenge). 

If you (or your child)  suffers maths anxiety, they suggest that key things to remember are that:

  • You will improve with practice - belief and effort are key (think Growth Mind-set)
  • Slow down, don't be afraid to take your time
  • Think of another way to solve the problem (write it down, try something else, draw a picture)
  • It is OK (indeed normal) to struggle. That is how we learn.

For more information visit the article Making Maths Count


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Kippson Times Tables endorsed by National Numeracy

Posted by Kate Cooper on

Kippson is pleased to announce that its range of products are being promoted by National Numeracy in its Family Maths Toolkit .

The Family Maths Toolkit is full of ideas to help parents, families and children aged 13 and under enjoy everyday maths activities together. The site also offers resources to help teachers support family engagement with children's maths learning.

Kippson designs and sells educational times tables products with a difference. Strategic pairing of a times table theme with pictures enables a child to visualize times tables facts and  build a coherent times table memory map.

For those who prefer a kinaesthetic approach, the glossy flash cards and removable peel and stick wall stickers lend themselves to games all over the house: stick them up the stairs and chant your tables as you go up and down, decorate your bedroom mirror, or run and slap the answer on the wall.

Children love the colourful approach. They delight in bringing times tables to life by making up whacky stories to link the images with the times tables answers. There is plenty of opportunity for parents to get involved, play games, discuss connections and engage with their child’s learning away from the screen. This is where memories are made.

For more information on the National Numeracy campaign, click here

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Asian maths method offered to schools

Posted by Kate Cooper on

The Government is providing up to £41m to more than 8000 primary schools - if they are interested - in order to support an "Asian method" of learning maths. It involves children being taught as a whole class and is supported by the use of high-quality textbooks (yes, actual text books instead of work sheets!).

Click the link below to learn more. 


Click here for the BBC article

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Still counting on fingers? Don't despair

Posted by Kate Cooper on

Don't despair if your kids insist on using their fingers when they count - new brain research suggests there are neurological benefits to using fingers, and it can contribute to advanced thinking in higher maths - see this article by Mind/Shift, Why Kids Should Keep Using Their Fingers to Do Math. Either way, a child who is using their fingers is engaging with numbers and working hard to calculate the answer. Engagement is the key. Celebrate, don't despair.
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