Q-Files, a free encyclopedia for children 8 – 13 has just been created and launched by UK publisher Orpheus Books. The site is focused on the UK curriculum for pupils in years 3 – 8. The site has taken three years to create, it is divided into sections covering Science, History, Geography, Technology and the Arts. The information it contains has been verified by experts such as Chris Oxlade, a former editor at Usborne Publishing, and Philip Parker, the author of the DK Eyewitness Companion Guide to World History.
Q-Files – Free Encyclopedia for children
Looking through the site, as an adult, I found it really interesting and the language used is fairly simple and straightforward, see this snippet below from the science section:
” Anything that pushes or pulls an object is called a force. A breath of wind, a car engine, a magnet and an elastic band are all examples of things that can produce a force. A force may make the object move in a certain way (motion) or change its shape (deform). Gravity is a very important force. You can see it at work if you let a pen drop. The pen is being pulled towards a very large object—the Earth itself.” (Q-Files Website)
Words in bold are linked to a good site glossary, which explains many of the words and concepts further, e.g. magnet, motion, etc. Having such a collection of resources available for safe research has to be a really useful resource for schools.
Orpheus Managing Director, Nicholas Harris announced that he saw a gap in the market and decided to create www.Q-files.com. “We realised there was a lack of resources like this on the internet. We’ve been specialising in children’s non-fiction and reference books for 20 years so we had all the information available.”(Nicholas Harris MD Orpheus Books)
The encyclopedia web site is free and does not feature adverts, though some links do lead to their books for sale. The company also hopes to create an app that will allow children to download the encyclopedia and use it offline in the future.