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Why the word gap matters, and what can you do at home to close it

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

Sky Dancer

Book of the Month: Sky Dancer

Sky Dancer By Gill Lewis A brand new novel from the best-selling and award-winning author of Sky Hawk. Perfect for readers aged 9+ and fans of Michael Morpurgo. Can Joe find the courage he needs to protect the Sky Dancers? Sky Dancer is a highly topical and emotionally powerful novel about the plight of the … Read more

boy looking quizzical

What do the KS2 SATs scores mean?

  Key Stage 2 National Test scores explained 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 to schools to share with parents and carers. They will also have … Read more

How to support your child as they start secondary school

Year 7 is the start of a very new journey. It is a coming-of-age adventure, as much for parents as for students. One of the main issues is the emotional leap we are forced to make when coping with transition. Coupled with a sense of not knowing how it all works, we can left be … Read more