As a primary school teacher, I know that finding the right questions is just as important as discovering the right answers. A question has the power to unlock a child’s understanding, create awe and wonder, and help someone push into new and uncharted knowledge and thinking.
Yet finding suitable and relevant written questions from treasured, yet outdated SATs papers, tired and yellowing textbooks or barely readable repeatedly photocopied black pages of smudges is not ideal and can create problems for teachers and barriers to learning for pupils.
Now Rising Stars has produced an online bank of cross-curricular questions for the whole school to use in lessons and beyond. With a growing collection of over 5,200 questions for every aspect of grammar, punctuation, spelling, maths and science, plus ready-made tests, there is something for everyone. The questions are designed not just for Year 6 as they brush up on their exam technique. There are questions for Years 1 to 6, each easily searchable by suggested age group, topic and keywords. You can even search by the widely used Rising Stars Progression Framework statements.
In my own class, I have been using the questions as starters to my lessons by displaying a main question on the class whiteboard, while setting up some extension questions at ‘stations’ around the class on tablets or printed out from the bank. This has been a wonderful way to push forward my most able children as semi-independent learners while I give additional support to those who need it. The questions are designed so they appear large on the screen, meaning that they are easy to annotate using my whiteboard software.
Building and sharing more substantial tests and quizzes is easy. Simply search for your desired questions, preview them and then add them by clicking the plus button. You can choose to organise and reorder the questions. One great feature is that similar questions automatically merge together to reduce the amount of explanation text the children have to read and to use less space. Once completed, just press ‘Save and Share’ to name the document and then choose how to share it. You can download your question booklet as a PDF or Word document and customise the cover to add or remove your school logo, a place for the child’s name, and more. You can share the booklet with your colleagues in the digital storage bank, or share the document with anyone using a web link, complete with a custom countdown timer.
Each question shows the number of marks available and a Progression Framework Statement describing where the question fits into the curriculum. You can also access the mark scheme below each of the questions, but hidden from view as a drop-down section to keep answers secret, yet close at hand. This is ideal if you are sharing questions with independent learners, support staff or parents who may be unsure of the correct answer.
Using Question Bank has made testing so much easier for me, and made our class ‘quizzes’ more engaging and accessible for pupils and for those who support them.
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