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Free education tools relevant for juniors outside the classroom

The value of internet-based learning has never been more widely appreciated. Massive numbers of parents and students had to turn to digital teaching aids and credible education websites when the COVID-19 pandemic shut schools and colleges.
However, as there are now so many websites and apps geared towards mainstream curriculum subjects, it can be challenging to pinpoint the right digital learning tools. Students can unwittingly start to assimilate outdated or skewed information from sites that appear educationally relevant.
Rendcomb College has always promoted ‘self-managed’ studies alongside  quality teaching. This includes signposting Juniors and Seniors to verified education tools online.
Having a list of boarding school approved education tools for Juniors can be particularly important. It helps to focus the attention of younger students on websites that teachers have thoroughly tested and found merit worthy.
Here are our five best education tools for younger students.
1 – Beanstack
This tool for Junior pupils supports their exploration of the wonderful world of literature. With Beanstack, you can join as a family or school, and it enables you to take part in digital reading events and challenges.
Children can be inspired to not only read age-appropriate books but also prepare book reviews that develop important literacy skills. Milestones and digital ‘badges’ spur them onwards.
Parent company Zoobean offers other sites that students can access via computers or smartphones too. This includes the Lerner Sports Database, which curates biographies of current and past athletes.
Stimulating independent reading via an app or website can support a lifelong love of books!
2 - Boddle Learning
Boddle Learning is a digital tool for mathematics that uses playful characters and adaptive techniques to engage students at all levels. It’s all about having fun while you learn and also building maths confidence and motivation, as well as an understanding of basic numeracy building blocks.
It has been proven to be a great way for children to fill in ‘gaps’ or to catch up with classroom topics, as well as a way for more able pupils to challenge themselves in maths.
3 - Adventure Academy
 A great online learning tool to explore a wider range of topics, Adventure Academy uses highly attractive characters to help its young users to combine gaming fun with education.
Junior students can take part in interactive projects covering numeracy, literacy, science and social studies, as part of an online adventure.
You get to choose your own virtual ‘Player’ and design a home for them, as preparation for fun, educational quests.
4 - Code Monkey
 Code Monkey is an online tool that teaches young students a new language. The language of computer code!
Taking part in fun interactive games, Juniors can pick up basic coding skills without even realising it. This is not just valuable for future software developers. Many of our young people will be using computer language as part of their future use of technology for many career paths.
Helping Rendcomb College pupils feel comfortable and confident with hardware and software, is part of our commitment to creating universal skills for boarding school students.

5 - Netflix educational shows
 Netflix has become woven into everyday life in the UK and is much discussed. What is perhaps less appreciated, is how well it curates educational programmes, documentaries, and films.
The trick is to make sure that young children and pre-teens only have access to interesting and merit worthy viewing, rather than the more dubious aspects of Netflix's vast digital library!
The link above takes you to a diverse age-specific list of high-quality Netflix shows that can expand young minds, and underpin classroom learning.
More advantages of digital learning tools
Focusing your child’s attention on fun, interactive ways to learn online can be a great way to support their formal lessons. It’s also a great introduction into how to use their much-loved electronic gadgets for research and learning.
This will equip them well to either reach their exam goals or enrich their general understanding of the world and their individual interests.
Using the best online tools for Juniors also prepares them for independent studies in later years, including a smooth transition from boarding school to university!
For now, knowing which websites help young minds to develop can simply be about providing fun educational activities with less friction for parents to cope with.