Supporting wellbeing through literacy teaching

children in classroom

We know that in schools and nurseries you will have prioritised wellbeing as lockdown and Covid-19 have disrupted children's attendance at school. You will continue to be conscious that the pandemic is presenting challenges unique to each child, impacting their personal and emotional development as well as their learning. With some children in school but many others learning remotely aspects of everyday life are subject to ongoing change that feel unfamiliar and unsettling for everyone.

Our research on children's literacy activity during the first lockdown has showed that both reading and writing supported children's mental wellbeing. Among our key findings:

  • Children said that reading (59%), writing (41.3%) and listening to audiobooks (31.8%) during lockdown made them feel better
  • Children said that reading (32%) and writing (24.8%) during lockdown helped them when they felt sad because they couldn’t see their family and friends.

Taking in to account the five levers of the recovery curriculum, we’ve gathered resources and information to help you address the ongoing challenges that impact attendance and participation.

The activities are designed to allow children and young people to reflect on their experiences, and bond with classmates and teachers. They also provide opportunities to revisit and build on literacy skills, to strengthen learning. We hope they will support you to connect with pupils and your wider community, re-establishing both skills and enjoyment across reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Wellbeing resources

  • Girl posting letter

    My Dear New Friend

    Writing letters for your local care home can help to combat loneliness among older adults while increasing pupils' motivation to write.
    Learn more
  • Princess early years

    Starting nursery and reception: wellbeing resources

    Easy-to-deliver resources designed to help children settle into the nursery and classroom environment.
    Download resource
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    Back to school: literacy and wellbeing activities

    Books and easy-to-deliver activities to help children transition back to school.
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    Mindfulness activities for early years children

    Activities for introducing early years children to the concept of mindfulness, linked to the book Happy: A Children’s Book of Mindfulness.
    Download resource
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    Happy News Project

    This Happy News project focuses on wellbeing and develops teamwork, speaking and listening skills and journalistic writing and reading skills.
    Download resource
  • Parent Child Interaction 12.tiff

    Outdoor Activities to Support Communication and Wellbeing

    Resources to support the delivery of early years sessions in an outside space. These activities are aimed at children aged two to five but can be adapted for other ages.
    Learn more

Partner resources for mental health and wellbeing

We work closely with partner organisations to help teachers and practitioners access sources of help for their own wellbeing, and to support the children they work with.

Resources based on the Book of Hopes

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    Book of Hopes - recovery curriculum resources

    A collection of primary resource packs inspired by The Book of Hopes
    Download resources
  • Graeme Quinnell spoke to pupils in a special assembly.jpg

    Wellbeing and Literacy: inspired by the Book of Hopes

    Resources to support children's wellbeing and literacy developed in partnership with Place2Be.
    Download resources
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    The Book of Hopes teaching sequences for Year 6 and 7

    Our free teaching sequences based on The Book of Hopes will help teachers support students in the transition to secondary school.
    Download resources

Research and insight

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    Children and young people’s reading in 2020 before and during the COVID-19 lockdown

    This report outlines findings from our tenth Annual Literacy Survey relating to children and young people’s reading in 2020, in addition to findings from our survey of...
    Read report
  • Writing image

    Children and young people’s writing during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020

    This report outlines findings from our tenth Annual Literacy Survey relating to children and young people’s writing in 2020, alongside findings from our survey of children...
    Read report
  • Dad and daughter reading

    The impact of Covid-19 on the home learning environment

    This literature review considers the impact of COVID-19 on families, and the implications for the home learning environment.
    Learn more