We understand that schools are adapting again to digital, home-based teaching again and parents and carers searching for ways to support their children’s learning at home.
While this is a disruption to children’s routine and normal way of learning, we know that everyone is doing their absolute best. We are here to help support both teachers and parents during this time.
Many of our programmes have been adapted to be delivered in a digital environment, which you can explore further on our website, but we also have a huge range of free activities and resources available to help children and young people to keep improving and developing their reading, writing speaking and listening skills.
Here are several of our top picks among the many resources we have available for teachers and parents as well as booklists to help inspire young people to read for enjoyment during this time too.
Reading is also a great way to support children’s mental wellbeing. Our research found that children and young people who are the most engaged with literacy have better mental wellbeing than their peers who are the least engaged
Resources for teachers:
Here is our main resources page, which holds every resource on our website. Here are some of our top picks:
- Supporting early years children to tell stories
- Science Week booklist for early years
- Mindfulness activities for early years
- Wellbeing reading and writing and resources
- Podcasts and literacy resources
- My Dear New Friend letter writing project
- Young Readers Story Club
- Reading for pleasure digitally: Secondary
- Game Changers True Stories
- We Wonder: Mission to Mars reading challenge
Resources for families:
Our Words for Life website provides parents, children and young people with activities and support to improve their language, literacy and communication skills from home.
A great place to start is with the free ebook and football themes reading and writing activities from our Premier League takeover with Helena Pielichaty.
What’s more, we have launched the Virtual School Library in partnership with Oak National Academy to provide free access to books and activities for children across the UK. Every week, the Virtual School Library hosts a free ebook or audiobook as well as accompanying reading and writing activities from much-loved children’s authors, our authors of the week, as well as exclusive video content.
Our Zone In platform is for young people age 13+ and provides tips on boosting reading, writing, speaking and listening skills for young adults.
Why not start by checking out our Careers Corner which offers useful employability activities and our Words that Count page which includes helpful resources and videos from the stars of Love Island for young people to give them the confidence to understand and make good financial decisions.
We are delighted to support our Parton, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall’s new Instagram-based literacy initiative called The Reading Room, inspired by the positive response to her lockdown reading lists in 2020. You’ll find four new recommended reads each season. Check out the winter season now.
Visit our Words for Life website for plenty of great booklists to inspire children and young people to get into reading for enjoyment.
Here are some of our top picks:
- Happiness and wellbeing book list 0-12 years
- Winter Book list 0-12 years
- Children’s poetry booklist 0-12 years
- Easter Themed Book list 0-12 years
- Black Stories Matter 13-16 years
- International Women's Day book list: age 16+
- LGBTQ+ booklist: age 16+
Our work with partners:
Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, we have launched a new initiative called Connecting Stories to address the literacy attainment gap in our 14 Hub areas and increase children and young people’s access to literary experiences and books and we are delighted to announce that 18 publishers and 32 authors are involved in our Connecting Stories campaign this year. Keep up to date here.
Following on from the Bupa Foundation’s donation of 15,000 copies of The Book of Hopes to primary schools across the UK, Bloomsbury have very kindly allowed us to share The Book of Hopes online for free during this new lockdown, on our website. Check out this fun Book of Hopes inspired reading challenge you can do with your classes.
We are also thrilled to be part of Hachette’s Changing the Story strategy and their official charity partner for the next three years. We are incredibly grateful to the members of Hachette staff who will be fundraising and volunteering their time to help us create and run literacy programmes for children and adults to help those in areas of disadvantage and those whose education has been most adversely affected by COVID-19 as well as providing more diverse books to schools.
As part of Experian’s United for Financial Health programme, which hopes to support the financial recovery and wellbeing of young people affected by COVID-19, we launched Words that Count, a series of videos and interactive sessions that aim to empower young people with financial literacy. The campaign will share advice on topics including first jobs, paying bills, managing money and council tax, available for free on wordsthatcount.org.uk.