Many primary schools already have a VLE (virtual learning environment) such as Moodle or Fronter, and often ask us whether they need another online learning system. However, ChatterFire is not a VLE: it is a learning community.

What’s the difference? When you first login to ChatterFire, it doesn’t look like a learning website. It looks more like a social network, where your pupils can contact other verified students in Key Stage 2 across the UK. However, learning underpins the whole project.

Children have the opportunity to earn ChatterFire badges, designed by students at Cambridge University, and mapped to ICT curriculum guidelines in England and Wales. There are ten activities for each Badge, and these can be earned in any order. From the moment a child first logs into the site, they are guided through a brief tutorial to complete their first Bronze activity.

Here’s how ChatterFire revolutionises learning: simply click a screenshot to enlarge it for a closer look.

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Badges – Through the Silver badge, the children learn about online safety, including everything from viruses to security to responsible behaviour, in the form of quizzes and writing forum posts. We’ve included curriculum crossovers in the Gold badge, for when children begin to use the Internet as a resource to find information: they will find this training invaluable when they move to secondary school. Magazines – In ChatterFire, there are magazines on different themes – we have an ‘Our Planet’ magazine, for example, with information about geography topics such as fairtrade, electricity, and global warming. We want members to explore but also to take part: external links to other educational sites are given for them to read more, and mature discussion is curated on topics presented in these magazines. Games – We have recently launched a carefully crafted area with educational games (and some remakes of classic arcades, for positive reinforcement). It was always our intention to include a mathematics game amongst these, and after three years of internal testing, ‘Mathemagics’ has become ‘Sum Racers’, an exciting mental arithmetic racing game. How will you fare in the Time Trial against other ChatterFire members?

We hope you are interested in finding out more about ChatterFire, and would like to take this opportunity to invite you to submit any questions or queries to our staff team.