Testimonials from our SKIPS schools, teachers, children, parents and organisations
Schools rate the quality of our books and their positive impact on parental engagement.
The decisive factor for the schools to order the SKIPS books is the appreciation of their high quality, and their ability to unlock parental support. We are proud of our feedback and delighted to be able to share testimonials about the book.
“These books are written by teachers and parents to support and enhance everything that happens within school. They fit beautifully with the new curriculum. The more we work with parents the more time we have in the classroom to teach”
Jo Appleyard, National Leader in Education and Executive Principal at Elmridge Primary School, Trafford, Greater Manchester
“Education is at its best where schools and parents have a partnership and SKIPS books have been designed to help parent, pupil and teacher collaboration. Teachers can set activities to reinforce what has been done in class or challenge those children who are ready to move their learning forward and learning can be tailored to meet the need of the individual”.
“Parents have a clear idea on what their children are learning at school, their areas of strength and areas where parental input could help develop children’s understanding. They play a key role in their children’s development.
“The concepts and activities are clearly explained allowing parents to see how children are taught so that children are not faced with multiple methods and terminologies which can lead to confusion. Most importantly the activities are engaging and fun meaning that children and parents can enjoy homework time and look forward to weekly challenges”.
“Children grow in confidence and move to towards becoming independent, resilient and motivated learners who enjoy challenge and make good progress”.
Zoe, English coordinator and Phase Leader at Elmridge Primary, Trafford, Greater Manchester
“Just thought I would email you to let you know that the initial reaction to the use of your SKIPS key stage 2 books for year 4 homework has been very positive. The children have enjoyed them and have passed some good comments about working on them and how they see them as fun. The class teacher says that in a straw poll she reckons about 70% of the children have worked with the parents on the books which is pleasing as it is important that children get that interaction with parents to ensure success. Some of the comments from children are… “I enjoyed putting the verbs into the crossword because if you get it correct you get to fill in a colour code to reveal a hidden joke.” “I did my SKIPS book with my mommy; it was fun!” “I enjoyed the jokes and putting the words in the puzzle. My mom helped me when I was stuck” “My favourite part was finding the amazing verbs.” We will do a more in depth survey towards Easter in order to gauge the impact; initial signs are positive.”
Parents enjoyed the book as they felt the format was bright and engaging. This is where SKIPS scores over other books that have been used in the past; parents feel that the book “…makes learning fun; very colourful and easy to understand” and hence there was less stress when it came to working with their children as there were “…no arguments about what to do” as the setting out was “clear and easy to understand”.
Teachers uncertain about taking on board SKIPS should bear in mind what some of our school children have said:
“I liked the book because it didn’t feel like homework” Ethan
“This book is very useful especially for SATs revision” Caitlin
“I really enjoy crosswords and this was educational and fun. I loved it!” Amber
“The main thrust of these books has been to reinvigorate the approach to homework by trying to involve parents more and to this end it has succeeded as there is a lot of positive comment from parents”.
Ian McKnight, Assistant Headteacher, Ferndale Primary, Birmingham
“The whole concept of Skips is based around engaging parents with learning – on an informal and fun basis, but through a highly relevant and educational vehicle. It moves us – I think – appropriately back to the basic concept of actual communication over an activity – which parents and children share together. So much nowadays is focused on the solitary and/or virtual ‘e’world – it’s actually refreshing to have a real activity through which real time can be shared together….with the ‘by product’ of learning taking place as the added bonus. My son thoroughly enjoyed the KS2 booklet….couldn’t put it down….what was great in addition to all above –was for Luke (and Im sure many others) – it gave a naturally gifted mathematical child a way into literacy through the systematic / formulaic clarity of crosswords.”
Kate Vintiner, Director of Development at Place2Be
“Having spoken to a majority of the participants it is very conclusive that overall they see the SKIPS educational resources not only refreshing and supportive but a great way to enhance parental engagement. It is very well evident that early parental involvement in their child’s learning leads to improved academic achievement”:
• “Stimulate youngsters who need a challenge” Judy Matthiae Headteacher Broadmeadow Junior School
• “We use them for homework” Sophie Roberts Year 2 teacher West Primary School.
• “My daughter really enjoyed completing the crossword and the added work at the end” K.White parent (Hill West Primary School)
• “Yes I would recommend SKIPS books. Our Maths department commented that they would be very useful for students who are older than year 7 but who have arrived at the school with lower levels of numeracy. I believe the same would be true of those who have EAL and lower literacy levels.” – Rachel Slowey, Assistant Head Teacher, Moseley Secondary School
• “We are using the workbooks with our SEN children in Year 7. This will complement the intervention work that is already going on with these students”. E Kkama Assistant Head Teacher, Kings Heath Boys Secondary
• “It was nice to work together and learn something new”. Parent, Moseley Secondary School
“What is repeated consistently is that schools have requested more books to distribute and that all parents report positive engagement. As a deputy headteacher in Alternative provision I have found SKIPS books useful as an extension tool in class, particularly with students disengaged with learning at Key Stage 4. They are a welcome additional resource when supporting EAL learners”.
Cheryl Hedges, Curriculum Co-ordinator, South Network
“My heart sank when I looked at a wide range of 11+ practice books. I would never be able to persuade my son to spend time on them – just too dry and formal! Then I discovered the Skips CrossWord books which are a superb combination of fun and challenge. We are now enjoying the whole exercise together and learning a lot along the way. Highly recommended.”
World Book Day Coordinator
“100% of parents in a recent survey of Stanville School said they would recommend the resources to other parents”.
“As a member of the PTA at Hurst Green Primary I recommended your books to the school so they brought 10 books from our fund. The books are used in parent engagement classes which are run by the PTA. Very useful”.
PTA member Hurst Green Primary
“The children have found them a most valuable resource and have really enjoyed using the challenging puzzles to aid SATs revision. The resources themselves are a new and creative approach to covering the national curriculum strands for numeracy and literacy. I know that having spoken to some parents that they have been using your website and are really enthused by your approach.”
Grove Vale Primary School
“A really innovative way to engage young learners, striking the right balance between work and play. My daughter has hers everywhere she goes. Suddenly revision is no longer a chore. I’d recommend this series of books to anyone who wants to encourage their youngsters to increase their out of hours learning. A real opportunity to make progress outside of the classroom”.
Associate Headteacher, Hidge Hill College
“As a parent I have never felt confident enough to help my child with their homework. With this book, we work through exercises together and really do believe it has had a profound effect on Ricky. I recommend this book highly and am sure you will see positive results!”
“My son goes to [name of the school] Primary in Coventry. After a disappointing parents evening me and my partner decided we need to participate more in his development. We spent time and money on books that were recommended by the school. Yes they helped him read but we felt something was still missing. We came across your books by accident on the web. Now we spend time working with him with enjoyment. I highly recommend that these books are used with concerned parents like us”.
“Here at Waterstone’s Walsall, we are delighted to be able to stock Mr Sharma’s 11+ CrossWord titles. Parents are always looking for new ways to engage their children in education and these titles are perfect. I would strongly recommend these titles as a fun way to enhance children’s learning at the 11+ stage and the feedback we have received from parents (and their children!) has been very encouraging”.
“I am in awe of it. We would like to work together and focus on community activity in relevant geographical areas”.
Craig Donaldson, CEO, Metro Bank
Awards for our SKIPS programmes
SKIPS Social Impact Reporting
As a part of our commitment to our stakeholders, communities and sponsors, SKIPS is dedicated to measure and report the social impact of its operations and campaigns. The collection of appropriate data at school level has been formulated in accordance with the theory of change and latest educational research projects.
We are collating a comprehensive impact report for our activities which we will publish in February 2016.
2015 SKIPS Dennis to the Rescue Recycling Campaign
Birmingham City Council has prepared an Interim Evaluation Report on the social impact of this project sponsored by Dennis Eagle, the Warwick-based manufacturer of refuse vehicles. Under the umbrella of this 2015 campaign, SKIPS distributed a SKIPS Recycling Book, a total of 10,000 books, to every 10 year old in a state sector school in Birmingham and each of the schools received a corresponding environmental lesson plan. All children were given the opportunity to enter a free crossword competition to win an iPad.
SKIPS won the 2015 Making Birmingham Greener & Healthier Award, Best Waste & Recycling Scheme, Education Establishment Category, for the Project and has now been shortlisted for additional UK awards.
Data for 4,500 Central Birmingham households (the first community evaluated) clearly shows the substantial impact of the SKIPS Recycling Book: Recycling rates increased significantly and 96% of respondents confirm increased recycling intent. Indeed, Birmingham City Council reported an increase of recycling weight by 28% in Central Birmingham (see the Interim Evaluation Report by Birmingham City Council in the Social Impact section).