Netflix deal for Sheffield tech firm Twinkl ahead of planned Christmas blockbuster

Sheffield educational services provider Twinkl has landed a deal with streaming giant Netflix to develop and create new learning materials for both the classroom and at home.

Launched today, the first of these collaborations will be based on the festive stop-motion musical Robin Robin that will be soaring from the screen into the classroom and homes.

Produced by four-time Academy award-winning Aardman Animations, Robin Robin will see Netflix move into the off-screen world of education.

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Twinkl will be providing the official resources for young viewers aged three to 11 prior to the film’s release.

Twinkl CEO Jonathan Seaton.Twinkl CEO Jonathan Seaton.
Twinkl CEO Jonathan Seaton.

From writing and maths mystery activities, these educational materials link learning directly with scenes from the Netflix special, so children can engage with everything they experience off the screen as well as on it.

Partnering with Twinkl allows Netflix to further build on their educational offering and launch the Aardman adventure to educators and parents around the world.

A spokesperson said: “Transforming a Netflix release of this scale into a learning experience is an exciting opportunity for Twinkl, taking the beloved tradition of watching films at Christmas and tying it back to curriculum aims in such a fun and novel way.

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“With an inspirational message that will resonate with children, this collaboration will provide real value both in the classroom and at home, creating a new Christmas classic to treasure.”

Robin Robin is out in November.Robin Robin is out in November.
Robin Robin is out in November.

The collaboration will allow video to create new educational opportunities, tying in stop-motion and interactive activities from all across the curriculum to children’s learning.

As a result characters and storylines from the film can be brought to life in the lessons.

Jonathan Seaton, co-founder and CEO of Twinkl, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Netflix, an incredible organisation that makes both entertainment and learning so accessible for children.

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“Being able to link Twinkl learning materials with Netflix programming makes for a really powerful opportunity for educators and parents. We love the idea of bringing a new dimension of off-screen learning to the Netflix ecosystem and we can’t wait to be announcing more projects in the future.”

Mr Seaton and his wife Susie founded Twinkl in 2010 in Sheffield.

It now offers more than 798,000 resources, with new content added daily ranging from schemes of work and assessments to augmented reality games.

Its resources are used in 200 countries and regions, including primary and secondary school teachers, nursery workers and parents.

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Twinkl employs 1,100 team members based in its two Sheffield offices and remotely around the globe.

A spokesperson added: “Christmas TV time can be transformed into an opportunity for learning as these completely free resources can also be used by parents, creating a time for families to come together and engage in fun activities based on this new Christmas classic.

“As over half of UK households reported owning a Netflix subscription in 2020, with Netflix overtaking all other pay TV-providers according to Ofcom, Netflix is bound to be a key player in households over the festive period.

“Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, parents have had a more active role in children’s education than ever before.

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“This collaboration can add an entirely new dimension to Netflix’s engagement at home with parents, whether they choose to engage with a whole host of writing activities, outdoor learning or craft packs ready to hatch at Twinkl prior to this release.”

Twinkl was honoured early this year with its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

The accolade honoured Twinkl’s work on innovation and followed on from 2018’s award for international trade.

The company actually won the award in innovation in 2020, but due to the pandemic the ceremony marking the achievement and receipt of the award had to be put on hold.

Twinkl was one of only 66 companies in the UK to be honoured with the award in innovation and one of only 220 to receive a Queen’s Award last year.