Mary Seacole facts for kids (and Did Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole ever meet?)

Did Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole ever meet?

Mary Seacole, born in Jamaica in 1805, was a British woman who became famous for her work as a nurse during the Crimean War. She set up hospitals and provided medical care for soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

She was not a military nurse but rather a civilian who took it upon herself to help provide medical treatment to the soldiers in need.

Mary Seacole did meet Florence Nightingale for one day in Turkey and they both knew about each other before then. It happened in 1855 while Mary Seacole was on her way to the Crimea. Mary Seacole stayed overnight before continuing on her journey.

Jamaican flag

Mary Seacole’s Early Life

Mary Seacole was a Creole, half Jamaican and half Scottish. Her mother was a famous Jamaican healer known at the time as a doctress. Later in life Mary Seacole also used to be used to like to be known as a doctress, ie the female equivalent of a doctor rather than a nurse.

Her father was James Grant, a white Scottish army officer. She also had a sister called Louisa.

Mary’s mother, Mrs Grant, ran a lodging house in Kingston, Jamaica, called Blundell Hall.

She was also a famous Jamaican healer. Female doctors at the time were known at the time as a doctresses. Later in life, Mary Seacole also used to like to be known as a doctress.

As a healer, Mrs Grant taught Mary many of her skills using traditional Jamaican medicines.

From an early age, Mary practised medicine on her doll, dogs, and cats, and on herself.

In her autobiography she wrote:

“It was very natural that I should inherit her tastes; and so, I had from early youth a yearning for medical knowledge and practice which never deserted me…. And I was very young when I began to make use of the little knowledge I had acquired from watching my mother, upon great sufferer – my doll… and whatever disease was most prevalent in Kingston, be sure my poor doll soon contracted it.”

Mary was also a great businesswoman. When she was a teenager, she visited London and learned more about nursing, but she also started to trade Caribbean goods.

Mary Seacole’s husband

On 10 November 1836, Mary married Edwin Horatio Hamilton Seacole in Kingston.

There was a family legend that Edwin was an illegitimate son of Lord Nelson and his mistress, Emma Hamilton and he was adopted by Thomas, a local “surgeon, apothecary, and midwife”.

However, Seacole’s will indicates that Horatio Seacole was Nelson’s godson.

Edwin Seacole was a merchant and together they moved to Black River. There they opened a grocery store that unfortunately failed. They returned to Blundell Hall in the early 1840s and sadly Edwin died in 1844.

Mary Seacole and the Crimean War

From October 1853 until 1 April 1856, the Crimean War raged between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the United Kingdom, France, the Kingdom of Sardinia, and the Ottoman Empire.

The main battles were fought on the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea and in Turkey.

A large number of troops were drafted to the area and disease broke out almost immediately.

Cholera claimed hundreds of lives. Many more would die waiting to be shipped out or on the voyage.

When they arrived at the understaffed, dirty and overcrowded hospitals which provided the only medical treatment for the wounded, their prospects were not much better.

Florence Nightingale was asked to send nurses to help save lives in hospitals in Britain.

Interviews were quickly held, suitable candidates selected, and Nightingale left for Turkey on 21 October.

At this time Seacole had travelled to England to deal with her investments in gold-mining businesses.

However, she then decided to try to join the second team of Florence Nightingale’s nurses going to the Crimea.

Her application to the War Office and other government offices was turned down as she was told plans for departure were already under way. However, she wondered whether this might may have been an excuse for racist attitudes.

In the end, Seacole opted to use her own resources to travel to Crimea and open a hotel there. She was accompanied by her maid, Sally.

Soon after she formed a partnership with Thomas Day, an acquaintance from the Caribbean.

According to her journal, Mary met up with Florence Nightingale at Scutari which was a district of Istanbul, in Turkey. It was a friendly meeting and she was given a bed for the night before going off to meet her ship.

From there it was a 4-day journey to get to Balaclava where she would set up the British Hotel for sick and wounded soldiers.

The hotel was built in March 1855 out of driftwood, packing cases, iron sheets, and salvaged materials such as glass doors and window frames.

Meals and supplies were available for offices and medicines were given out when they were needed.

Mary would also go amongst the soldiers selling food and other provisions and seeing to the wounded.

At the end of the war, the hotel was no longer needed and although it cost Mary £800 which was a lot of money in those days she wasn’t able to sell it.

Mother Seacole

While in the Crimea she became known as Mother Seacole to many of the soldiers.

Back in London

When Mary returned to London she was both bankrupt and in poor health.

In 1857, Sir William H Russell wrote about Mary in The Times.  Many soldiers also wrote letters to The Times explaining how she had cared for them.

A fund-raising gala was held for her over 4 nights in 1857 on the banks of the River Thames. The event was attended by over 80,000 people.

Mary Seacole’s Autobiography

In the same year, she published her autobiography, The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands.

I know that this is available as an ebook from Birmingham Library and so may be available from other libraries.

It will certainly be available from many booksellers.

Mary Seacole on YouTube

There are some brilliant videos on Youtube

For KS2 there is a series of 3 5-minute videos from the BBC.

Part 1:…

Part 2:…
Part 3:…

And you might only like to try these animated videos from Credits Extra.

Part 1 : Mary Seacole – A Bold Front to Fortune – Extra History

Part 2 : Mary Seacole – Mother Seacole in the Crimea – 

Mary Seacole and Doctor Who!

For any Dr Who fans – you might like to watch this introduction to her life which includes clips from Dr Who and comments from the main characters. partially Jodie Whittaker, about why Mary Seacole was such an important historical figure.

Mary Seacole is played by Sara Powell.

One of the things Sara shows you in some detail (towards the end of this video clip) is her costume, including the one bit that Mary wouldn’t have worn.

However, there is also quite a lot in the middle of the video about the Dr Who plot, the Flux and the Sontarans, so it would probably only really be of interest to Dr Who fans who also happened to be learning about Mary Seacole.

Mary Seacole’s Medals

In the Dr Who clip above there is a suggestion that Mary Seacole wore medals that she hadn’t officially received.

This is challenged by historian Elizabeth Anionwu, Emeritus Professor of Nursing, University of West London Anionwu Papers/BJHA_2013_07_10_508 Anionwu Seacolemyths.pdf&clen=269282&chunk=true

Mary Seacole Song from Horrible Histories

Here the Horrible Histories team sing a song about Mary Seacole.

Mary Seacole Quizzes

After watching some of these videos your child might like to try these quizzes – 8 easy multiple-choice questions – 16 multiple-choice questions. – I’m in 6th place (JK). Can you beat me?

Any comments or feedback?

I hope you found this page useful.

Have you, or your children any questions for me?

Where next?

Why not take a look at one of these pages –

Why Does Mars Have Blue Sunsets? (And Other Questions about Mars.)

Why Does Mars Have Blue Sunsets?


In 1976, the Viking 1 lander became the first to witness a Martian sunset. In those days, scientists had predicted that Mars would have red sunsets and hazy skies due to its proximity to Earth and low gravity. However, this was not the case as it had blue sunsets with clear skies. Scientists were baffled by what they saw and NASA made an assumption that there may be organic compounds on Mars that may cause these colours of the sky. So why does Mars have blue sunsets?

Mars is a planet with a very thin atmosphere and has blue sunsets and sunrises. The light appears red during the day. This is due to the dust particles in the atmosphere, which can scatter light and make it look blue or red. Mars also has blue sunsets because it’s farther from the Sun than Earth, so sunlight there is more spread out and refracted-meaning that some of the light rays are scattered off of air molecules before they reach the ground.



Does Mars have Moons?

Mars is that it has two moons, These moons can be seen with the naked eye, but they are very small and require a telescope to get a good view of them. Phobos has an orbital radius of 6,000 km while Deimos is at 12,300 km.

Why Does Mars Have 2 Moons?

No one really knows how they were formed, but it is believed that they are the result of an asteroid collision with Mars about 4 billion years ago. It’s also possible that Phobos and Deimos are actually captured asteroids or the moons may also be captured comets.

How Far Away is Mars?

Mars is the fourth planet in the solar system and lies approximately 23 million miles from Earth.

How Big is Mars?

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and the second smallest planet in our solar system.

The diameter of Mars is 6,792 km.

How big is Mars?

(For facts about other planets – Click Planet facts for kids)

Why Does Mars Look Red?

Mars is a red planet, and for years scientists have been trying to figure out why it has such a distinctive color. The most recent study suggests that the minerals in the Martian soil contain iron oxide which is responsible for the red appearance of the planet. This also explains why Earth’s moon appears gray and not red: it lacks iron oxide. To prove their theory, researchers took samples from areas on Mars and conducted experiments with vacuum conditions and temperatures to match those found on Mars.

Why does Mars look red?

Why Does Mars Flicker?

Mars flickers because of the dust in the atmosphere.

Why does Mars have Seasons?

Mars has four seasons, each lasts twice as long as Earth. Mars’s orbit is closer to the sun in December and January which means that it experiences more sunlight. The amount of sunlight changes throughout the year with winter being the shortest day but also receiving less light because Mars is farther away from the sun in its orbit.

When Did We First Send Probes And Landers To Mars?

For more than a hundred years, scientists and explorers have been dreaming about the possibility of life on Mars. In 1976, NASA launched two Viking landers to explore this possibility. The probes were interested in the Martian atmosphere but were not equipped for life detection. In 1996, NASA’s Pathfinder mission delivered a rover to explore the surface as well as a stationary probe that analyzed the atmosphere. In 2004, NASA landed two rovers on Mars with its twin Spirit and Opportunity missions.

The benefits of living on Mars are many. For one, it’s a great opportunity to test out new technologies that could help with our planet’s environmental problems. Another reason is that the red planet has the ability to produce solar power for use on Earth when it is closer to us in orbit. The most important benefit, though, is that it would help with the world population problem.

Mars Lander

Where Can I See Pictures From The Mars Lander Perseverance?

Here are pictures from the first 100 days of the Mars Lander Perseverance in 2020.

What Does China’s Mars Lander Look Like?

In this article, there is a picture of the Chinese lander, Zhurong. The article explains that it took a selfie of itself on Mars by sending a detachable camera along the ground!

Why Does Elon Musk Want To Go To Mars?

Elon Musk wants to go to Mars because he wants to save humanity from extinction

Elon Musk wants to go to Mars

How does Mars compare to Earth?

In the past few decades, we have been able to explore our solar system more deeply than ever before. We have found that different planets have different qualities that make them unique. One of those planets is Mars which is often known as Earth’s sister planet because of the similarities in size and composition. However, it also has a lot of differences which makes it more difficult to colonize.

For over 20 years, various missions have been sent to Mars with the goal of studying its surface. These missions include the Pathfinder mission in 1997 and the successful landing of the Curiosity rover in 2012. One of the most interesting things about these missions is that they not only study what’s on Mars but how it compares to Earth.

In our solar system, Mars is the most like Earth. With its 26-hour day and thin atmosphere, it resembles Earth’s climate and could be habitable to humans. That’s what NASA hopes to find out with the next rover they plan to launch in 2020. While we can learn a lot about ourselves by studying the planet, it’s also important to remember that Earth is unique and nothing can compare to our home planet.

Why Does Mars Have No Magnetic Field?

Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field because it lacks the molten iron core that creates this field on Earth. Without enough internal heat, Mars has cooled long ago and solidified, leaving no liquid iron to produce the magnetic field. This core also makes up about 30% of Earth’s total mass, and without it Mars is only about 12% as massive as our planet. This lack of mass and internal heat prevents Mars from retaining its atmosphere and water.

Mars is the only planet in the solar system that does not have a magnetic field. One of the most important factors in this phenomenon is the planet’s lack of an energetic core, which is what creates Earth’s magnetic field. The planet has long been speculated to have had some form of magnetic field in its early history on account of its geological activity, but there are no signs on the surface of it now.

What does the Mars Rover’s Magnetometer do?

A magnetometer is a device that measures the strength and direction of magnetic fields. Magnetometers are typically used to measure the Earth’s magnetic field. A common use for a magnetometer is to measure the speed of an object.

The Mars 2020 rover has a magnetometer that will look for geologic signatures of past life, study the planet’s composition, and help us understand how Mars’ atmosphere evolved. The instrument is a next-generation magnetometer built at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to measure magnetic fields from extreme distances away from Earth.

Why Doesn’t Mars Have an Atmosphere?

Scientists are still trying to figure out why Mars’s atmosphere disappeared, but it could be because Mars never had enough gravity to hold onto its atmosphere.

The lack of atmosphere on Mars has made it difficult for scientists to explore the planet because it can’t protect humans from harmful space rays so they have to shield their spacecraft with big, heavy containers that allow air in but keep out harmful radiation.

Mars is the planet in our solar system with the least amount of atmosphere. This has many consequences, but it also means that scientists can get more detailed measurements about Mars surface by analyzing how dust particles react to different atmospheric pressures. The lack of an atmosphere on Mars means that there are no protective gases or gases to create weather patterns.

What Could Be The Benefits of Living on Mars?

For more than a hundred years, scientists and explorers have been dreaming about the possibility of human life on Mars. They think it would be a way for humans to end Earth’s environmental crises while also ensuring that we do not go extinct. There are could be many benefits to living on Mars including:

1. We may be able to end our environmental crisis by colonizing other planets and reducing the consequences of climate change and overpopulation

2. We could test out new technologies that could help with our planet’s environmental problems.

3. We may be able to discover new resources in space

4. We may be able to make the most of new technologies, such as virtual reality, and use them to achieve greater social and economic growth

5. Perhaps we could use Mars to produce solar power for use on Earth when it is closer to us in orbit.

Any More Questions?  Updates?

If your child, or you, have any more questions about Mars please put them in the comments below.

We are learning new things about Mars all the time. If you notice anything that you think should be included in this article please tell me in the comments area.


Tiger Facts For Kids

Tiger facts for kids

Tigers are the largest members of the cat family. They are solitary animals that live in tropical forests, primarily hunting other animals for food. Tigers have a wide range of habitats and can be found in forested areas, grasslands, swamps, and wetlands.

They typically hunt deer and wild pigs but will also attack domestic livestock such as cows and buffaloes when they become too numerous or threaten their habitat.

Despite being classified as endangered tigers still exist in many countries including India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Bhutan and Russia.


Tiger facts for kids
Tiger facts for kids

What are the different types of tigers?

Siberian Tigers

Siberian Tigers live primarily in eastern Russia’s birch forests, though some exist in China and North Korea.

They have the advantage of huge forests to roam around in.

Bengal Tigers

Bengal tigers are the largest of all Indian big cats and can reach up to 3.3 meters in length, weighing 300-700 kilograms. They have a lifespan that ranges from 15 to 20 years and lives mostly in India’s tropical rainforests with other wildlife like leopards, elephants, deer and monkeys. Bengal tigers may be spotted along Sri Lanka’s wild southern coastlines while basking on seashores or fishing for crabs.

Black Tigers

A black tiger is a rare variant of the Bengal Tiger. It has been reported in India but it’s not well known that there are other black tigers around the world as well. The most famous one was born in 2007, which led to her being named Black Panther by zoo staff and visitors alike.

White Tigers

The white tiger or bleached tiger is also a variation of the Bengal tiger, Siberian tiger and hybrids between the two. It can be found in some places in India.

What Do Tigers Eat?

Tigers are carnivores and their diet consists mostly of large prey like deer, wild boars and elephant calves.

Tiger sitting watching
Tiger sitting watching

Baby Tiger Facts

Baby tigers are called cubs. They are born blind and depend on their mother for protection. Tigers have a gestation period of about 100 days, which means that they will be delivered in the late summer or early fall.

Females usually produce up to six cubs in one litter. After 15 months old, the eldest tiger will leave the mother to find its own territory and mate.

How Far Can You Hear A Lion’s Roar?

A tiger’s roar is a low-pitched, deep sound. It can be heard at 3 to 4 kilometres away.

Tigers typically use their roar to announce themselves when they’re hunting for food or scaring away rivals.

A tiger’s roar is a deep, resonating sound produced by the vibration of air passing through its vocal cords. This noise can be heard from some distance and may serve as an indication of where tigers are located in forest areas.

Furthermore, tigers roar to communicate with other members of their species. The range for tiger’s home depends on the abundance of prey in its territory and sex.

Tiger in snow
Tiger in snow

How Large is a Tiger’s Range

Tigers are the most powerful of all land predators. They have a wide range and those found in Manchuria, China, range from 500 to 4,000 kilometres.

Male tigers mark trees by spraying urine or anal gland secretions. and they mark their territory with feces. They also use claw marks to draw boundaries for themselves and others.

A young male tiger acquires territory either by seeking out an area devoid of other males or fighting for it with another male (often to the death).

How Fast Can a Tiger Run?

A tiger can run up to 22 miles an hour. They are also capable of swimming at speeds of 6 mph and jumping up to 18 ft in the air.

Why Do Tigers Have Stripes?

Tigers have stripes because they are a unique feature to this species.

Tigers have stripes to help them camouflage. Predators can’t see the tiger’s stripes, so they think it is a tree or shrub and won’t attack.

Tigers have stripes because they use them to blend in with the trees. They use their brown and orange colouration as camouflage against hunters, who would instead see a tiger’s striped form if it was hunting alone.

Tigers have their stripes for camouflage. Without them, they would be easy to spot and hunt. Sadly, hunting and habitat loss has put the tiger population at risk of extinction today!

Tiger size

Tigers are the largest living cats on Earth and they can grow up to 3 meters in length and weigh as much as 670 pounds.

White tiger laying down
White tiger laying down

How long do tigers live?

In general, tigers live in the wild for 10-15 years. In captivity, they can live up to 25 years old.

Living and hunting

Most tigers spend time living and hunting alone. Although tigers in the wild are typically solitary animals, they have been known to form coalitions with other males for short periods of time.

Most tigers like to live alone and/or with their spouse, but do not hold established territories.

Tigers do not have territories that they exert full dominance of. Giant cats walk for an hour between hunting zones in their territory, staying near water sources to hunt for fish, deer, crocodiles, turtles, frogs, lizards and more.

Females will only hunt when raising their young and both parents provide protection from predators while they are hunting.

Are tigers still endangered?

Tigers are endangered because of illegal wildlife trade, human-wildlife conflict, habitat loss/fragmentation, and poaching.

There are still less than 3,000 tigers left in the wild today. However, recent conservation work has halted the decline of global tiger numbers by protecting their habitats and focusing on captive breeding which has helped to boost population levels over recent years.

How Many Tigers Are Left In The World

Despite the fact that there are only 3,900 tigers left in the wild, they’re not going extinct anytime soon. They’ve reached a low at which it’s difficult to see their numbers increase because of human interaction and habitat loss. The number has been slowly decreasing since 1900 when over 100,000 tigers were roaming free in India alone.

There are currently 6 surviving tiger subspecies in the world, all of which are endangered. The Siberian tiger is thought to be one of the most genetically diverse tigers in existence with an estimated 2,000-3,500 individuals remaining. There is also a growing population of captive-bred tigers for conservation purposes and these animals make up about 5% of the global population.

The Sumatran tiger is found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra; their numbers have dwindled dramatically due to habitat loss and poaching. The South China tiger is found in southern China, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Thailand and Malaysia; the largest population of these tigers is estimated to be between 1-4 thousand individuals.

The Indochinese tiger occupies a small range of forested areas in Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam; their numbers are unknown but they are thought to be declining due to habitat loss. The Malayan tiger has an extensive range across southern Asia including India; their numbers have declined significantly due to habitat loss.

The Siberian tiger, found in Eastern Russia, China and North Korea, are thought to be declining due to habitat loss and poaching for body parts. The Bengal tiger’s numbers have declined significantly due to poaching for body parts.

Chinese New Year – Tiger – 2022

The Chinese new year is also known as the Lunar calendar, and it has 12 different animals representing each lunar year. The 2022 Year of the Tiger is part of this cycle.


Tiger Cams


How to Draw Videos

How To Draw A Realistic Tiger Head

How To Draw A Tiger

How to Draw a Tiger Cub

If you are looking for something more cartoonish try this one:

Tiger crafts

For younger children

Tiger dot-to-dot and colouring – 24 pictures

Tiger Quizzes

For kids

For older youngsters

Videos about Tigers

Tigers’ Teeth Are LONGER THAN HUMAN FINGERS! | Wild Bites | BBC Earth Kids

Excellent video may suit 8 -12 year olds

Amazing Animals from National Geographic – Kids

This is a very short, slightly amusing video

5 facts about Tigers

This is an excellent video for perhaps 6 – 9-year-olds. There are more than 5 facts as related facts are also talked about in this video.

Tigers for Kids: Learn All About Tigers – FreeSchool

Tigers for Kids

This video would probably only suit children under about 7.

How The Tiger Got Its Stripes

A folk story from Vietnam about how the Tiger got its stripes

Other web pages you might like to visit to find out more about tigers – great videos on this page about Siberian tigers. You do have to sign up to view them.

Educational Resources about Tigers


Best Spiderman Colouring Pages for Kids

Here are 9 of what I think are the best Spiderman colouring pages for kids. They are all free to print and some of them have a colour online option as well.

Some of these pages have some of the same pictures on.  The pictures on this web page are all embedded Pinterest pins.

This is one of the most user-friendly pages. (There are adverts on the page but they don’t take over in the way they do on some other sites.)

There are about 60 pictures to choose from.

Quite a number of them feature Doctor Octopus.

This is one of my Pinterest pins that links back to the supercolouring site.

Then, when you click on a picture you get the option to either colour it online or print it out to colour it offline.

If you choose to colour it online have lots of colours to choose from, you have a kind of spray paint, a paintbrush and a highlighter pen.  There are also three pen sizes and an eraser.

Once you’re finished your drawing, you can give it a name, save it and share it on social media.

There is also one picture of a lego superman:

There are a couple of hundred drawings to choose from on this site.

You do get the occasional advert that you have to shut down.

Once you click on a picture you can then choose whether you want to print it or download it.

On my computer, it automatically downloads as a png file.

This one is cute, but most are more like the pictures on other sites.

On this site, there are 72 Spider-Man pictures to choose from.

I like the fact they’re all on one page so you don’t have to keep scrolling backwards and forwards.

When you click on a picture, it opens the new page and you have a print icon so it’s easy to print out.


Top Colouring

There are 40 good quality Spider-Man pictures on this page. They’re a little bit different because some of them have Spider-man in Spider-man writing and all the captions on them.

It has a print page under the button underneath the picture which I always like to see, unfortunately, it’s also under an advert.
I don’t know why this article should be entitled 50 wonderful Spider-Man colour pages your toddler will love unless it’s that this mum particularly wants to target other mothers who have toddlers.

These pictures are very appropriate for children and young people of any age.

The selection of pictures, which are all on one page, initially take a few moments to load but then you can just click on any one and when you go to the next page you have options to print or download.

Here is another site with 50 pictures of Spider-Man on it for you to colour.

When you click on a picture it opens up on a new page and you can choose whether to print or download it.

This site has 30 Spider-Man pictures on it and again you can choose whether to print it or download it. The buttons are underneath the picture.


This site has about 30 fairly decent Spider-Man pictures.

Unfortunately when you click on them there disappointingly small.

There is also no obvious way to print them so you need to work out how to do this for yourself.


Best colouring pages for

This page has loads of great pictures.

No print button though.


Lego Spiderman

Finally here is a link to some LEGO Spider-Man pictures.

Lego Spiderman

Other Good Spiderman Colouring Pages

Did you like my choice? Let me know in the comments below.

Can you also let me know if there are other pages you would recommend?

What age is KS2 and what do children learn in KS2?

What age is KS2 and what do children learn in KS2?

People often ask: “What is KS2?” and, “What age is KS2?”   KS2 is Key Stage 2. This means it’s the second stage of a child’s education which starts at age 7 and finishes at 11.

Children will have completed Key Stage 1 which is for children between the ages of 4 and 7.

Key Stage 2 may also be referred to as Junior School and Key Stage 1 may have been referred to as Infant School. The two together, Infant and Junior may also be referred to as Primary School.


Key stage 2 is divided up into Years 3 4 5 and 6.

Year 3 will include children who are 7 and 8. They will have their 8th birthday in this school year.

Year 4 will include children who are 8 and 9.  They will have their 9th birthday in this school year.

Year 5 will include children who are 9 and 10.  They will have their 10th birthday in this school year.

Year 6 will include children who are 10 and 11.  They will have their 11th birthday in this school year.


What age is KS2?
What age is KS2?


Lower Key Stage 2

Lower key stage 2 is made up of year 3 and year 4.


Upper Key Stage 2

Upper key stage 2 is made up of year 5 and year 6.


September 1st

September 1st is an important date in the school year. It is the first day of the school year.

A child who is 7 on the 31st of August will be in year 3 I would be one of the youngest children in the year group. A child who is 7 on the 1st of September would be in Year 2 and would be one of the oldest children in the year group but still in Key Stage 1.


Infant, Junior and Primary Schools

In most parts of England, Key Stage 2 children will go to either a Junior School or a Primary School. A Junior School will just contain Key Stage 2 children and a Primary School will have Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children.


Class sizes

Most key stage two children will be in a classroom size of up to about 30 children.


School sizes

School sizes vary tremendously.

One-form entry schools have one new class each year, whereas 4-form entry schools have four new classes joining the school each year.

A one-form entry Junior School will have four classes and about 120 children. In a one-form entry Primary School, there will be seven classes and about 210 students.

Junior schools with a 4-form entry have 16 classes and around 480 students, while primary schools with a 4-form entry have 28 classes with approximately 840 students.

Obviously, this means that children can have very different experiences of primary school just because of the size of the community they are joining.

At the other end of the scale, you can have very small schools in villages with just a few pupils who work in mixed-age groups.


What do children learn in Key Stage 2?

KS2 school children are required to study the following national curriculum subjects:

·         English – speaking and listening; reading; reading comprehension; writing, including stories, non-fiction, persuasive writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar (known as SPaG).

·         maths – number and place value; addition and subtraction; multiplication and division; measurement; fractions, decimals and percentages; statistics; geometry

·         science – plants and animals; living things and habitats; rocks; light, reflection and shadows; forces and magnets; electricity; states of matter; and sound.

·         design and technology – designing and making things evaluating their ideas and applying the technical knowledge that they are gaining in science, cooking and nutrition are included in the design and technology curriculum.

·         history – changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age; the Roman empire and its impact on Britain; Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots; the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the kingdom England to the time of Edward the Confessor; a local history study; study of an aspect of British history after 1066; looking at some of the achievements of the earliest Civilizations perhaps things like the Indus Valley, ancient Egypt or ancient China; ancient Greece including Greek life, achievements and Influence; the study of a non-European society that contrasts with British society, so that could be something like: an early Islamic Society, a Mayan society or a west African Society

·         geography – key topics include geographical skills such as being able to map the world what is longitude and latitude understanding time zones understanding maps including things like contours, keys and symbols; children should also explore different types of places such as the Lake District or a mountainous area; they learn about the Natural World so things like mountains, weather and climate, biomes, rivers and oceans, earthquakes and volcanoes. They also learn about human geography which would include things like settlements, economic activity and trade; and also, about sustainability and plastics; issues around natural resources, fossil fuels and renewable energy. They should also do some fieldwork where they can put into practice the skills that they learnt in the other sections, so not just how to read a map but actually reading a map; they might do an investigation and then analyse present and evaluate their findings.

·         art and design – practising art, craft and design techniques; learning about great artists, architects and designers in history.

·         music – singing and playing musical instruments and some musical composition

·         physical education (PE), including swimming – throwing and catching or running and jumping either as skills in themselves or as part of a game, for instance, football, cricket, hockey, netball, rounders, badminton, tennis.

·         computing – learn to use technology safely particularly internet safety, design computer programs, take photographs and edit them and create digital music

·         ancient and modern foreign languages – learn games and songs, some conversational skills and some reading and writing.

While religious education (RE) must be provided in schools, parents are entitled to withdraw their children from the lessons.

Among the other subjects many schools teach are:

·         personal, social and health education (PSHE)

·         citizenship



Although children must learn about many different subjects, they only have tests in three subjects: English, maths and science. These tests are called SATs.

These tests are taken at the end of year 6. These are used both to see how children have progressed and for the government to see how successful schools have been.


What does SATs stand for?

SATs stands for Statutory Assessment Tests although you’ll often see them called standard assessment tests.


The National Standard for KS2

The National Standard for children is that they are expected to reach a scaled score of 100 on the KS1 and KS2 SATs. A child who achieves a scaled score of 100 or more will have been deemed to have reached or exceeded the expected standard for that subject.

Children in KS2 are given a scaled score for maths, English and science in their SATs exams.



Even though they’re quite young, 7-11, key stage two children are expected to learn quite a range of subjects in some depth. Parents are often surprised at the level of difficulty of the tests that are taken in Year 6 when they come across them the first time.


Short video in which I talk through the “What age is KS2?” table.

Polar Bear Facts for Kids

We have some polar bear facts for kids and some other useful links, including quizzes, how to draw a polar bear by a great father and son team, some polar bear jokes and some wonderful pictures.

Where do Polar Bears live?

Polar bears are incredible creatures that live in the Arctic region. They can be found in Canada, Greenland, Russia and Norway. There is a large population of polar bears in Alaska.

Polar bear and cub

How big are Polar Bears

They are the largest living land carnivore. They weigh over 1000 pounds and measure 10 feet from nose to tail.

large polar bear

What do Polar Bears eat?

It spends the majority of its time attacking and eating seals and other marine life. They are also known to eat birds, walrus, fish, and whales. The polar bears’ food largely depends on where they live in the world but when on land they mainly eat land-based animals such as caribou, muskoxen, reindeer, arctic hares and squirrels.

They catch seals by hiding near holes where the seals live and waiting for one to come out. Seals swim faster than polar bears so they wouldn’t catch many bu chasing them!

It’s a bit different when they live in a zoo! Find out what polar bears eat at San Diego Zoo by clicking below:

polar bear hunting

Climate Change

Some polar bears depend on ice to survive, as they use it for resting, hunting, and swimming which is why they are susceptible to climate change.

When there is no more ice, they move onto land to search for food.

Polar bear on ice

Are Polar Bears always white?

Despite their name, polar bears are not always white – their fur can range from white to black or any other colour in between.  The skin under their fur is black!

Their thick fur contains layers of air that insulate them from the cold weather.

Polar bear fur

How do Polar Bears stay warm?

Because of the cold, polar bears have a thick layer of fat that helps them stay warm. This thick layer is also what makes them one of the heaviest mammals out there. The average weight for a male bear is over 900 pounds and about 600 pounds for females.

Are Polar Bears an endangered species?

There are approximately 25,000 to 40,000 polar bears in the world today. This number is rapidly declining due to the bear’s dependence on ice packs for hunting and their prey species moving further north where the ice is melting at a faster rate. The rapid decrease of these animals has been predicted to lead to the extinction of the species by 2050 if the global temperature continues to rise. The polar bear has been listed as one of the most endangered animal populations on our planet.

As polar ice melts due to climate change, the bears’ habitat is shrinking and they are increasingly being hunted.

Polar bears are turning up in places they’ve never been seen before. There have been sightings in areas such as the Arabian Peninsula, Southern Europe, and even Kansas City! These sightings are a recent phenomenon that has many people worried about the fate of polar bears. Global warming is changing the bear’s habitat and disrupting their food supply.

The polar bear is a symbol of the environment. This poignant animal has been an important part of the Arctic environment for centuries, but recent trends are indicating that they are struggling to survive.

Useful Websites for Children

National Geographic Kids

The National Geographic Kids website is one that is always safe to send your children to.

World Wildlife Fund

WWF – there are wonderful pictures on this website but you may want to check it if you have younger children as it also shows a carcass of something that the polar bear has caught.

And for education resources click here:

Harper Collins Publishers

Polar Bear Quizzes

CBC – (Canadian TV Channel)

This is a good one to start with. It is on a Canadian website and as we know most polar bears live in Canada so the Canadians know a lot about polar bears. It is multiple choice so you get a chance to guess if you’re not sure of the answer and then you get information about the correct answer.


Here is a super quiz for your children to try

If they don’t get all the answers right the first time, they can just do it again. They’re sure to beat their score.

Wicked Weather Watch

For PDF to print out with a quiz and lots more detailed information and aimed more at secondary but perhaps some older Primary School children who were fluent readers and particularly interested in polar bears would like these sheets.

(And a quiz for the adults from the Guardian)

I just thought I’d slept this one in as it’s got some interesting bits and pieces in it.

Polar Bear Jokes

If you like jokes here is a whole page of them about polar bears.

How to draw a Polar Bear

Would your child enjoy drawing their own polar bear? Here is a great video clip created by a father and son, where the father draws the polar bear and the son follows along. Obviously, this boy has a very talented father and he does a lot of drawing, so don’t forget to encourage your child, no matter what the outcome, and remind them that they can always do another one.

KS2 Adverbs Word Search

KS2 Adverbs Word Search


How To Play
  • Choose the size of the grid that you want to play.  The larger the grid the longer the words are that can be included and more words are likely to be included.
  • Look for the words. All the words can be read left to right and top to bottom.
  • Click or touch the first letter of the word and the last letter of the word.
  • The words will then be highlighted in different colours.
  • Find all the words and you will win the game.
BTW - if you have words in the grid that you were not expecting - click on the page title to refresh.  If you just have showing then the words will be drawn from all of the wordsearches on the website.
Select Level:
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The Great Fire Of London

The Great Fire Of London

The Great Fire of London is a popular topic for Key Stages 1, 2 and 3.

There are lots of resources around including whole websites dedicated to the fire, websites of museums in London who have their own collection of objects, videos, craft activities, worksheets etc.


Videos Of the Great Fire of London for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and beyond.

There are many videos for your children to watch on Youtube.

Here are a few I would recommend:

These ones are aimed many at KS1 but may be fun for some younger KS2 pupils as well.


These are more suited to Key Stage 2 and above.

These were created by Channel 5 who also do some fire investigations in the first programme with wattle and daub doors.



Facts about Great Fire of London – 1666

The Great Fire of London began on Sunday, September 2nd 1666 near Pudding Lane. at Thomas Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane. A baker had left some flour-dusted dough out overnight on an oven that had not been cleaned. Sparks from the oven ignited the fire which then spread quickly across the city.

This led to the destruction of most of the buildings in London including 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Exchange and left over six thousand people homeless.

People were forced to flee their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and thousands lost everything. Many of those ended up living in tents on the outskirts of London.

The spread was rapid due to the wooden construction of the buildings and the lack of firefighting equipment available at the time.

There was no formal fire brigade, little training and very basic equipment available such as leather buckets, fire squirts, but they and local people worked hard to put out the fires caused by the Great Fire of London.

The fire burned for five days and nights before finally being put out on September 6th by blowing up houses with gunpowder.

There had also been a drought in London for more than 10 months. The city had not seen rain since November of 1665 and the only water supply available was from a single well at Moorfields. This lead to the houses burning even quicker than they might have done otherwise.

We know so much about the fire as it was documented in letters and newspapers, and artists painted pictures of what it was like.

One survivor was Samuel Pepys who wrote a famous diary. He was born in London on February 23, 1633.

Pepy’s diary records his key social and political observations, including those about the Great Fire of London in 1666

A monument was built to remember the Great Fire. This was called “The Monument” and is a column which is 202ft tall and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Dr Robert Hooke. It stands on the corner between Fish Street Hill and Monument Street. 202ft is the distance between it and the fire.


The Monument to the Fire of London

Before the Great Fire of London, the houses were all made out of wood which caused them to be easily burnt. When they rebuilt the city, they made sure that many new buildings were built in bricks and weren’t as close together.

One of the buildings that was engulfed by fire was Old St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was rebuilt in the same area but following a new design by Christopher Wren.

Five ways London changed after the fire was explained by the BBC London News team in this accessible article which also includes lots of interesting pictures.

It includes new building regulations, no hanging signs for pubs and better access to water. I was particularly surprised to read that previously the water pipes were wooden!

A very good overview from Channel 5 who also do some fire investigations with wattle and daub doors.


A bit of interactive fun for children

The Great Fire Of London

Children need to be familiar with the story in order to play this game.

If they are not, let them watch one or more of the videos at the top of the page.


Craft Activities

If you search on Google Images or Pinterest you’ll find plenty of examples of school displays. Just looking at these will give you all your children a few ideas.

I also particularly like shoebox craft activities that many people do. There is a particularly good example on the Lottie Makes blog, see the third pin on my Pinterest board – I will also put a link to the blog below.

Fire of London Pinterest Board
My Board on Pinterest about the Great Fire of London

Shoe box idea

Great Fire of London – Story in a Shoe Box

The Great Fire of London for Kids – KS1 Scrapbook Crafts



Some useful websites

The National Archives

This site is particularly useful if you would like to do some work using primary sources.

They are presented in a way that is very accessible and with suggestions for investigating using his resources.

Museum of London

The Museum of London also makes good use of primary resources. In this case, they have used items from their own collection

You can scroll through photographs and read about the individual items. This would be more appropriate for adults or older children.

The London Fire Brigade website

Here, among other things, they estimate the total cost of the fire was about 10 million pounds at the time when London’s annual income was about £12,000 a year. I found myself wondering about how this compares to the cost of the pandemic that we are presently going through.

Historic UK

Historic UK does have its own page about Great Fire of London which is more general but I like this one because it shows you some of the most interesting buildings that survived the great fire.


Visit London

If you are lucky enough to live near or visit visit you may want to try one of these walks.

Great Fire Of London Walk With Kids

A Great Fire of London walk with kids – visit Great Fire of London locations

Free walking tour London to learn facts about the Great Fire of London

Make a shoebox

Here is a great idea for a craft activity done in a shoebox from the website Lottie Makes.

Some more useful videos

We have some daft dancing in a garden in between verses and there’s not a lot of information but children might like it and you can talk through the pictures that appear.

Now this is a throwback to my early days of teaching and I do remember this episode – actually I just remembered the buring of the cheese!! I and my kids used to love Magic Grandad! You might find it a bit dated?


For even more resources check out my Great Fire of London Board on Pinterest

How Is Maths Evident In Children’s Everyday Lives?

How Is Maths Evident In Children’s Everyday Lives?

When looking at different ways of supporting children’s learning it is important to ask the question, “how is maths evident in children’s everyday lives?”

If we incorporate this into natural discussions and living this will support what they are learning in formal settings.

One way to do this is to consider different areas of the home and then outside.  In this article, I will concentrate on the kitchen.

My suggestions will be divided into KS1 and then KS2 and beyond.  These are only rough guides.

Some pre-school children will be ready to try out some of the activities under Key Stage 1.

A child’s success isn’t based on where they start, but on where they finish. Continuing education is more important than learning something by a specific age, so don’t worry if your child isn’t able to do something that you expected them to, just gently guide them in the right direction and try to make it fun for both of you.

Maths in Children’s Everyday Lives in the Kitchen

Finding maths in the kitchen is perhaps the easiest and most obvious place to start so that is why I have chosen it for this article.

Maths in the kitchen

KS1 Children

Counting – let’s start with counting.

There are endless things in the kitchen that you can count:

– Ingredients, jars tins, saucepans, cutlery, pasta pieces, and so on.

Then, you can use a multitude of questions rather than just asking children to count something. At other times you can just explain what you’re doing so that they hear appropriate vocabulary.

“How many eggs were there altogether?”

“How many eggs have I got left?”

“How many eggs have I used?”

” Auntie Sue and Jack are coming for dinner today. How many knives and forks will we need?”

“There are already 3 forks on the table. How many more do we need?”


Groups of…

Use inexpensive ingredients to experiment with making groups of different sizes.

“Using pasta pieces can you make me 3 groups of 4?”

“Now make me two groups of 6.”

“Which is the biggest? How do you know?”

These could be painted and then glued onto a piece of paper in appropriate groups and kept as evidence of an investigation, or just as a piece of artwork that the children like looking at.



Measuring is perhaps the most obvious thing to do in the kitchen that uses maths.

This could be part of a cooking activity or it could just be done on its own.

“Measure out 3 cups of flour.”

“How much does this egg weigh?”

“Add 300ml of milk.”

“Which is heavier, stevia or sugar?”

“Which spoon is the longest?”



The position is part of the maths curriculum for younger children.

“Please take out the top box.”

” I’m going to put the cake on the middle shelf.”

“Let’s put some icing on top of the cake.”

“Take the orange out of the box.”

Box of oranges


” I’m going to eat half a muffin.”

“Let’s cut this apple into quarters.”

“I want to put this cake into 6 pieces. First I’m going to cut it in half, next I’m going to cut each half into 3 pieces so I’m going to cut it into thirds. This will give me 6 pieces altogether as 2 x 3 is 6.”

An eighth of an apple tart


“Are there any cubes in the kitchen?”

“This rolling pin is a cylinder shape.”

“What shapes can you see in the Toblerone box?”

Rolling pin maths in children's everyday lives

KS2 Children – and beyond

Have a look at the sections above. Some of the KS1 questions can be adapted for KS2

These suggestions and questions are just a very general guideline. You’ll need to adapt them depending on the age and ability of your child.



Make a shopping list and then estimate how much the total bill is likely to be.

“I’m going to get us two fish and one portion of chips. That should cost us £10.54. What change should I get from £20?”

“Here is £10. Go to the ice cream van outside and choose three different ice creams. Make sure it comes to less than £6 as I need £4 in change for the car park later tonight.”

Fish and chips


“How many potatoes do you think we should cook for the four of us?”

“How much do they weigh?”

“What weighs the most – the cauliflower or the cabbage?”

“What’s the difference?”

“Is it cheaper to eat chips or baked potatoes?”

“How did you work that out?”

“Is there more fat in a pan au chocolat or an almond croissant?”

“What is the difference as a percentage?”

“Which of these soups has the greatest percentage of vegetables in it?”

“Which is better value- a multipack of 24 bags of crisps costing £4.15, or a 6-pack of crisps costing £1.05?”

“How much money could you save using a box of milkshake powder and milk compared with buying ready-made milkshakes?”



” How hot does the oven have to be?”

“How long does it usually take to heat up to that temperature?”

“Shall we time it?” ” Let’s guess and see who is nearest.”

“How long will it take to cook?”

“If I put it in at 3 when will it be ready?”

“If I want it to be ready by 6 when do I have to put it in the oven?”

“In what order should I put things into the oven, so that everything is ready by 7:30?”


Looking at labels on food can be a huge source of inspiration.

You can find the same sort of information on online shopping sites

Online shopping sites

Online shopping sites have huge amounts of data. You can spend quite a long time on any one product or do some comparisons.

As an example, on on on I’m going to look at a tin of Heinz vegetable soup on the Tesco website:

Heinz vegetable soup photo

So here we have a photo and we can immediately start discussing the picture.

“What is the soup going to have in it, do you think?”

Then we can have a look at the offers.

“How much is each tin if you buy 4 of them?”

“How much is each tin  if you buy by 8 of them?”

“How accurate is 24p for 100g for one tin?”

“Explain your answer.”

“Would you pay more for 7 tins or 8 tins?”

Nutritional values

Nutritional values

You’ll notice nutritional values like these on all foods in the UK.

In just this one little diagram we have weights, decimals, percentages, comparisons, ratios and conversions! No wonder some schools do whole topics around food labels.

These figures show the recommended maximum that any adult should eat within one day.

“If someone lived off soup for a day, how many tins should they eat as a maximum so as not to go over any of the recommended amounts?”

“Find a recipe for vegetable soup and compare the amount of salt that goes into a homemade recipe and a tin of soup. What do you notice?”

“What is 5% as a fraction?”

“What is the ratio of saturates to fats?”



Finally let’s have a look at the ingredients.

“How much water do you think there is in this can?” – you don’t have to know the answer to all the questions, you can just ponder some of them.

“Why don’t they give the percentage for all of the ingredients?”

“Do you think they ought to?”

“What is the ratio of tomatoes to peas by weight?”

“Could you make up a soup recipe and include the percentage of each ingredient?”


I’m sure that as you have been reading this article you will have been thinking of lots of ideas of your own and they will be the best ones.

Also, listen out for your children’s questions. They will be even more interested in exploring what possible answers are if they have come up with the question themselves.

Of course, their questions won’t sound quite like my one did.

They might be more like:

“Where is my cup?”

“Why is soup so runny?”

“Why don’t you cut bigger pieces of cake?”

“Can’t you add more salt when you’re cooking?” – ok this might be from an older person! But you could explore it as a family.


Where next:

Try my Online Fractions Games page













Hundreds Chart Missing Numbers

Hundreds Chart Missing Numbers

Some children love the Hundreds Chart Missing Numbers activities and they are also very useful. There are lots of places on the web where you can find them.  I have chosen some websites here that do a bit more.


Reversed Hundreds Chart With Missing Numbers

What I also wanted was to be able to have a reversed hundreds chart. I was trying to figure out a way to create using Excel but although I could create the numbers, I couldn’t figure out how how to get the missing numbers.

Then I found this site.  It gives lots of different options.

You can have straightforward missing numbers and there are lots of fonts and colours to choose from. Then you can just click randomise to give you lots of different grids using the same options.

Hundreds chart missing numbers
Hundreds chart missing numbers

However, it is the “Edit Numbers” bit that really excites me!

Click on that and you get this pop up:

As you can see, you can use negative numbers and decimals and even change the increments. So by starting at 100 and setting the increments at -1, I have what I am after.

Multiplication tables

4x Table

By starting at 4 and choosing an increment of 4, I can take the 4 x table all the way to 100 x 4.

One thing that struck me by looking at it, in this format, was that I realised why the 4 x table has the last digit 4,8,2,6,0, pattern running through it.  4×5=20 and so you are adding 20 to 2 to get to 24, 20 to 8 to get to 28, 20 to 12 to get to 32 and so on.

What else might your children notice?

What questions might you ask?

In the table are the numbers: 12, 112, 212, 312.  Would 412 be there if we carried on? Why or why not?



11 x table

What do you notice here?

Take a look at any 3-digit answer where the two outside numbers add up to the number in the centre.  In all these cases the two outside numbers will be the number of times 11 goes into the three-digit number.

For example,  594, 5+4=9,   and 54×11=594

If you have a 3-digit number where the two outside numbers do not add up to the number in the centre, then take away 1 from the first digit in order to work out how many times 11 goes into the whole number.

For example, 836,   8+6=14, so take 1 away from the first digit,  76×11=836.

You can use this information to help you multiply two-digit numbers by 11.

For example 35,   add 3 and 5 together to make 8 and your answer will be 358.  so 35 x 11 equals 358.

For example 38,  add 3 and 8 together to make 11 and your answer will be 418.   What you did here was to put the 11 in between these two numbers, but then to add Decrease the number in the hundreds column by 1. After all, multiplying by 11 is just multiplying by 10 and then multiplying by 1.By doing this as a column addition and you’ll see what I mean.

380 +



Take a look at some of the other tables and see what else you might notice.  Let me know what you spot in the comments area below.

Also, see How to teach multiplication tables


Some other websites which allow you to print off a free hundreds chart.

On this page, you can make a variety of pre-prepared charts but towards the bottom of the page there is also a “Number Chart Worksheet Generator”.

This allows you to create hundreds charts which skip numbers and you can also choose to highlight every, for example, 5th square.  In this example, I have chosen to start at 3, make my increments 3, and hight every 2nd square.

The obvious thing it shows is the 6 x table, but what else can you see?

I found myself adding up the digits of the answers.  What do you think I discovered?



Hundreds chart missing numbers
Hundreds chart missing numbers



Other types of hundreds charts

One website I enjoy using is . you can use it for free which I did for many years but then decided that there is so much on here to explore that it was really worth paying the subscription fee. This gets rid of all the adverts and gives the site a much cleaner feel.  I think the downloads are quicker as well.

Here are some of the other hundreds charts you can get.

Make puzzles for your kids to complete



Create pictures by colouring in certain numbers



Create a hundreds chart showing whether the round up or down.


Create letters of the alphabet.


Is this useful?  Let me know any ideas of how you might use it.

The one thought I had would be to get children to add up the coloured numbers and see which were the most or the least.



Some games to play using the hundreds chart

Have a look at this site for some ideas of games to play with hundreds charts.

I would love to find other sites with more ideas on.

Please let me know if you find any.



Finally, you might want to look at these Youtube videos featuring hundreds charts

Here is a basic introduction to the hundreds chart.


Some basic patterns from Khan Academy

Adding and subtracting by 1 and 10 and how and why to use puzzle parts of the hundreds charts.

Some nice graphics on this video

Number game using puzzle pieces.

Subtraction on the 100s chart

Looking at multiples in the hundreds chart.