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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

sharing books

Picture books for older readers

Who says we have to leave picture books behind in KS1? These wonderful books use spellbinding illustrations to introduce children to big ideas. A Child of Books Oliver Jeffers, Sam Winston Age: 5+ | Oxford Level 7 A beautiful picture book all about the wonder and importance of books. What’s not to like? Buy on … Read more

Everyday activities to practise subtraction

As you would expect, subtraction is a key concept in the primary maths curriculum. Children start to learn about subtraction in their first year of primary school and it is something they continue to build upon all the way through to Year 6 (Primary 7). Here we have put together some easy activities that you … Read more

Roald Dahl

World Book Day costume ideas

This year’s World Book Day is on 1 March 2018. Make this wonderful celebration of books and reading extra special with our no-sew World Book Day costume ideas. Not only do they feature some of our favourite children’s book characters, they all require absolutely no sewing whatsoever, which means you can spend less time making … Read more

Harriet Muncaster’s top 10 magical books

My favourite books are those that have a special atmosphere you can find yourself getting lost in. This happens for me firstly through the illustrations. I know you shouldn’t judge a book just by its pictures, but I’m a very visual person and illustrations are such a great way to capture a child’s (or a … Read more

BBC 500 Words 2018

6 top tips for finishing your 500 Words story

“I started lots of great stories when I was a child, but I NEVER finished them.  Sometimes I even abandoned them mid-sentence.  Shocking, I know.” Francesca Simon, author of the Horrid Henry series, shares her top tips for finishing a story. It’s easy to start a story, and it’s hard to finish one.  But help … Read more

How to find the perfect words for your story

Every writer wants to find the perfect words to tell their story. These activities will guide your child through four ways to make their language sparkle, from creating striking similes to wielding unusual words. Remind your child to share their dazzling prose with the world by submitting a story to this year’s BBC 500 Words … 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