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

Children playing at primary school

Choosing a primary school

If your child was born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014, you will need to apply for a place at primary school by the middle of January 2018. If this applies to you, you might find yourself asking two questions: 1. Wow, primary school already, where did the time go? 2. Now, where … 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

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

boy and cat in reading den

Building reading dens

Since my boys were babies, I’ve been keen to make books and reading feel very special. This doesn’t mean saving books for special occasions or insisting they are treated more carefully than other toys – this would totally ruin their appeal! It’s about making the experience of sharing books special. Reading together at bedtime is a … Read more

Children at secondary school

Choosing a secondary school

Let’s start where we ought we start – with the child. When I was considering secondary schools for my son I wanted him to be happy, which is something it’s easy to lose sight of in the frenzy of school gate conversations, online Ofsted reports, slick open events, well-spun prospectuses and bewildering league tables. Your … Read more

What to do if you’re worried about your child’s mental health

Here at Oxford Owl, we know that children’s mental health is a very important issue, so we’ve teamed up with the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) to put together some advice about how you can support your child to cope with stress and anxiety, information about children’s mental health and … Read more