Boys sharing a book

Why non-fiction is important for reading development

Roderick Hunt MBE, co-creator of Oxford Reading Tree, asks ‘Why is non-fiction important for reading development?’ Why is it important to widen children’s early reading experience into reading non-fiction and information books? It is because the literate, print-bound world for which children are being educated requires the ability to process information and master the many … Read more

The gender gap: how to encourage boys to learn

Save the Children’s 2016 report The Lost Boys revealed that, in England, boys are almost twice as likely as girls to have fallen behind in language and communication skills at the age of five, putting their opportunities for long-term success at risk. Once again, this year’s KS2 SATs results showed the gender gap between boys … Read more

Boy writing

Writing non-fiction for fun

What does your child want to be when they grow up? Headlines tell us that 65% of today’s primary-aged children will be doing jobs that don’t exist yet! But one thing is certain – most of these futuristic jobs will involve writing. From emails, blogs and scripts to reports and proposals, written communication is a … Read more

Write your own scary story

How to write your best SCARY story!

With Halloween coming up, we thought we would treat you to a spooky snippet from the fabulous How to Write Your Best Story Ever! by Christopher Edge, to help you create your own terrifying tales… How to write your best SCARY story! What scares you? A haunted house with creaking stairs? A ghostly apparition flitting … Read more

Sorting pine cones

Ideas to develop problem solving skills

At school children will be expected to identify patterns and predict the next item in a sequence. Isabel Thomas has some simple ways of reinforcing these concepts when she’s out and about with her family. Watch children try out Isabel’s top tips for developing problem solving skills in this short film, or read Isabel’s suggestions … Read more

Mum and daughter reading together

What are reading schemes and why do they matter?

What are reading schemes? A reading scheme is a series of books that have been carefully written to support the process of learning to read and to help children make progress as readers. What educational researchers know about how children learn to read – and how best to motivate them to learn – is changing … Read more

Winnie birthday cake

Happy Birthday, Winnie!

Our top 10 unforgettable Winnie and Wilbur moments Friday 13 October 2017 marked the 30th birthday of our favourite witch Winnie and her loyal sidekick Wilbur! Over the past 30 years the Winnie and Wilbur series by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul has sold over seven million copies in more than 10 languages. This year, … Read more

magical tales

Magical tales for 5 – 7 year olds

Halloween doesn’t have to be scary. Treat younger children to these magical tales of fairies, witches and some rather pesky cats! Isadora Moon Goes on a School Trip Harriet Muncaster Her mum is a fairy and her dad is a vampire and she is a bit of both. Isadora’s classmates are all a bit frightened … Read more

Discovery walks – fun outdoor learning ideas

Children are drawn to natural objects. We often return from walks with pockets full of acorns, feathers, stones and sticks. Especially sticks! You can harness this love of found objects to sneak in a little bit of learning. These natural objects are fantastic for activities that combine science, technology, engineering, art and maths – also … Read more

Fun things to do outside this autumn

Autumn is a brilliant time to visit the park and woods. Even on dull-weather days, children need to get outside and explore – it’s good for their physical and mental well-being, and can be fun family time too. Here are seven ideas for things to do outside this autumn, courtesy of author Julia Green and … Read more