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What do the KS2 SATs scores mean?

Key Stage 2 National Test scores explained Post first published on 14th June 2017 and updated on 10th July 2018. In May, 11-year-olds across England took national tests in reading; grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS or sometimes, SPaG); and maths. These tests (often referred to as SATs) are marked externally and the results are sent … Read more

The new GCSEs explained – what’s changed and how the new grades work

GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) are the main academic qualification taken in several subjects by the vast majority of pupils in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In England, there have been significant reforms to many topics studied within the subjects, as well as to the grading system and examinations themselves. So … Read more

How to support your child during GCSEs – what to do and when

If your child is about to embark on their ‘GCSE journey’, there are probably dozens of questions spinning around your mind. Aside from the obvious one (which is ‘where has all the time gone? It seems like only yesterday they were at primary school!’), you may well be wondering about the new style of GCSEs, … Read more

BBC 500 Words 2018

2018 Oxford Children’s Word of the Year: Plastic

Plastic has been revealed as the Children’s Word of the Year by Oxford University Press for the BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words Competition. British children have once again shown themselves to be fabulously inventive, funny and socially astute. This year, more than 134,000 children entered the competition and the team at Oxford Children’s Dictionaries have … Read more

The word gap: How to build your child’s vocabulary at home

An Oxford University Press report, Why the Word Gap Matters: Oxford Language Report, published this week reveals that both primary and secondary schools teachers are finding that an increasing number of children have a limited vocabulary – a word gap. Without enough words a child will not only find it difficult to understand instructions at … Read more

Ben Davis’ top 10 funny books

Now, I might be biased here, but I think funny books get a raw deal. They don’t tend to get loads of awards or critical adulation, but they are hard to write. Try and think of something funny right now. Go on. No, not that picture of my face, something else. It’s tricky, isn’t it? … Read more

Tom McLaughlin’s top 10 hilarious books

We all need to laugh, it’s my middle name, or at least it’s in the middle of my last name which is sort of the same – right? Anyway, I’ve made a list of rib ticklers, elbow gigglers and spine chucklers that’ll hopefully give you a laugh or two. This list of is made up … Read more

4 fun ways to develop characters for a short story

Every story needs a star. From famous footballers to pet hamsters to superheroes, unforgettable characters make stories come to life. These four fun activities will help any aspiring author dream up some page-turning protagonists. Make sure you remind your child to submit their finished story to this year’s BBC 500 Words short story competition by … Read more

Have fun writing your own story

4 top tips for writing great plots

Great stories have page-turning plots that keep readers glued to their seats to find out what happens next. These activities will help your child turn their brilliant ideas into a fantastic story with a beginning, middle, and end, and maybe a twist or two along the way as well. Make sure your child submits their … Read more

4 tips to inspire children’s creative writing

Coming up with a great story idea can be tricky, which is why we’ve gathered together four fun activities to spark your child’s imagination and help them overcome writer’s block. Why not use these activities to inspire your child to create an exciting adventure for the BBC 500 Words short story competition? 1. Find inspirational … Read more