Today we met Sheona Gilmour, Early Years Specialist Consultant to talk about the SuperQuesters series and Teacher’s Guide.
Sheona is an Early Years Specialist Language Consultant for global children’s products and services and is passionate about education, language learning through play, and mindset.
Having worked at the British Council for over 20 years she is also an expert at developing engaging animated content for young children that is accessible to additional language speakers.
We wanted to gain Sheona’s unique perspective on SuperQuesters: The Case of the Missing Memory book and accompanying Teacher’s Guide, because she sees cross-curricular potential that will develop the whole child.
This blog is for teachers or homeschooling parents who might be considering investing in classroom resources to teach STEM and cross-curricular activities and are looking for something engaging that will hook children’s interest.
With the SuperQuesters series and Teacher’s Guide I see so much potential for learning, not just in STEM areas but so much more e.g. Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, and Literacy.
Learning through stories
The SuperQuesters: The Case of the Missing Memory story is really engaging and immediately draws the children in by using the theme of superheroes, having characters children can relate to and setting a challenge.
Authors Dr Thomas Bernard and Lisa Moss clearly understand children and how to inspire them; the story immediately hooks you in with good and bad, and saving everyone from evil!
The characters also show that the authors really understand what children like, and the story is very in touch with children of today e.g. the love of unicorns.
From an EDI perspective, the characters are diverse and inclusive and have names which are fun and appealing. Children will clearly love them, e.g. Lillicorn.
It’s good to see more resources and support online in the Activity Packs so the children can get to know the characters and their special powers. Again, this supports their Social and Emotional Development.
There is so much support and additional hands-on, practical, fun ideas, games and resources in the Teacher’s Guide.
I really like the activities for getting children up and moving about too.
I think the idea of using stories to teach STEM is fantastic, and there are so many more prime and specific areas being developed.
Using stories also covers the communication and language area of the EYFS and K1 national curriculum. Lots of the additional resources cover many areas… if I’m honest, I think there’s potential to exploit the skills development even more.
Best for Y2 and Y3
I feel the age is somewhat broad, considering that what a 4 year old can manage is different to an 8 year old and then each child is different within their age group.
I think full independent use would be for the older children in the target age range rather than the younger ones. I see the main audience for independent use as 7–8-year-olds.
As a school resource, I would be confident the teacher has lots of help to be able to scaffold the activities with all the different age groups and differentiation with those age groups. Clear signage indicating three levels of difficulty is also provided across the resources provided in the SuperQuesters Teacher’s Guide.
Keeping everyone motivated with stickers and a growth mindset!
I love the fact that the stickers are reusable. This is good for supporting the younger learners to have a go, and if the answer isn’t correct, to try again.
The stickers for the Reward Chart are more motivational. If we are to encourage a growth mindset, the best approach is to encourage them to embrace a challenge because they are curious and the solution is the reward in itself… but I do understand how much the children love a fun sticker!
Children love it!
Having read the case studies too I see that the children seem to love the lessons which is the best feedback ever!
SuperQuesters books are available to purchase in all good book shops and schools suppliers and accompanying Teacher’s Guides for each book can be purchased here.
Sheona Mackenzie Gilmour has over 20 years’ experience in a wide range of educational projects. She is the educational consultant behind various award-winning programmes, like Learning Time with Timmy series on Netflix and YouTube, Let’s Go Pocoyo and the Massive Open Online course, English in Early Childhood.