Ideas and literacy teaching resources for cultural events and UK awareness days
We support schools and early years settings with literacy teaching resources to help enrich your lessons as you mark special days throughout the academic year.
Our evidence-based and curriculum-linked educational resources build on key literacy and cutural moments in the school calendar to help you support positive engagement with reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Resources support teaching and learning across a broad age range covering early years, primary and secondary (including early years, KS1, KS2, KS3, with some extending to KS4 and KS5, and in Scotland early level through first, second, and third/fourth level to senior phase).
Where relevant, we work with expert partners to ensure that we embed inclusion, celebrate diversity and address challenging topics with sensitivity.
Plan your literacy year
Use our calendar ideas to draw up your own literacy teaching plan for the term or year ahead, and explore the teaching resources provided to help you.
- We'll continue to update this page throughout the year. Be sure to sign up to our Resources and Training newsletter for news and updates direct to your inbox.
- Premium whole-school membership subscribers - our printable year planner (primary and secondary versions) provides a handy month-by-month listing of moments for which we'll be developing resources or events. Display the planner in your staffroom or use it for team planning.
Events in the Autumn Term 2023 calendar
- Date: 1-30 November 2023
- Events and resources to celebrate non-fiction November
Bonfire Night, Diwali and Fireworks Festivals
- Date: 5 November 2023 Bonfire Night
- Date: 12 November 2023 Diwali
- Accessible inspiration for reading, writing, speaking and listening activities with a fireworks theme suitable for marking Diwali, Bonfire Night or both!
- Hot topic: fireworks and festivals
- Date: 11 November 2023
- Honouring the service and sacrifice of those who have defended and protected our communities in the past, and those who continue to do so now..
- Remembrance events and assemblies in partnership with the Royal British Legion (Key Stages 1-5)
- Remembrance book club resources for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3
- Remembrance resources for Scottish students with Poppyscotland (CfE links)
Picture This! reading challenge
- Date: closing date for entries 15 December
- A brand-new reading for pleasure picturebook challenge - designed to ignite a deeper enjoyment of picturebooks for ages 4 to 14.
- Picture This! reading challenge - learn more and sign up.
Christmas and the festive season
- Date: 25 December 2023 - Christmas, from 7 December 2023 - Hanukkah
- End the autumn term with celebrations focused on Christmas, Hanukkah and the mid-winter festive holiday.
- Hot topic: winter wonderland and links to seasonal resources
Events in the Spring Term 2024 calendar
Reading Champions STEM Challenge: We Wonder - Journey into Space
- Date: Launching 16 January
- Following the framework of 'read, launch, navigate', students will be tasked with designing their own rocket and planning a journey into space for our new challenge in partnership with Turner & Townsend
- We Wonder: Journey into Space reading challenge - sign up now to take part
Holocaust Memorial Day
- Date: 27 January 2024
- Developed in partnership with trusted experts, our resources and events support students to understand the terrible impact of the Holocaust, and reflect on actions we can take to secure a safer future.
- Holocaust Memorial Day - for 2024 we'll be providing an exclusive Tom Palmer story, related activities and worksheets, and a free live event - on Friday 26 January - for ages 10 to 14.
National Storytelling Week
- Date: 27 January to 4 February 2024
- A week-long celebration of stories – spoken or written – encouraging creativity and self-expression enabling children to tell their own stories.
- National Storytelling Week - resources and events from early years through to KS3.
Wicked Writers: Be the Change writing competition
- Date: Launches 29 January 2024
- In partnership with acclaimed stage-musical Wicked, this persuasive writing competition for pupils aged 9 to 14 focuses on positive changes they would like to make for the environment.
- Wicked Writers: Be the Change - sign up now to take part.
Children's Mental Health Week
- Date: 5 to 11 February 2024
- Shining a spotlight on the importance of children and young people's mental health, and building on research findings that link literacy engagement with wellbeing. We have resources to help inspire pupils to explore their emotions, make meaningful connections and write for their wellbeing.
- Children's Mental Health Week
- Supporting wellbeing through literacy teaching
Safer Internet Day
- Date: 6 February 2024
- Support pupils to develop critical and digital literacy skills helping them to navigate news, information and the digital environment safely.
- NewsWise cross-curricular news literacy resources
- Classroom discussion activity: online communication and wellbeing
- Safer Internet Day: social media spectrum activity
If you're working in Alternative Provision with girls aged 11 to 14, take a look at Empower, our targeted critical media literacy programme.
Chinese New Year
Date: 10 February 2024
- Coming soon - a new Hot Topic Resource filled with literacy ideas, activities and recommended reads.
- Explore other Hot Topic resource moments for inspiration across the year
World Book Day
- Date: 7 March 2024
- Join with us for this annual celebration of authors, illustrators, books and the joy of reading.
- World Book Day: events, news and resources
National Careers Week
- Date: early March 2024 (tbc)
- Support aspirations and challenge stereotypes as you help pupils develop the literacy skills they need for future careers.
- National Careers Week whole-school and classroom resources (KS1 - KS5)
- Careers skills for CVs and interviews (KS4/5)
- Learn more about Words for Work, our flagship literacy and employability programme for ages 5 to 18.
International Women's Day
- Date: 8 March 2024
- International Women's Day classroom resource (Early Years, KS1, KS2, KS3)
Talk to Your Baby: Early Years Conference
Date: 12 March 2024
- Focusing on young children's development and communication, our landmark cross-sector conference amalgamates thought leadership and best practice for early years professionals.
- Learn more and book your place for our Talk To Your Baby 2024: Communication, connection and collaboration conference in London.
National Primary Conference
- Date: 21 March 2024
- Our annual primary conference aims to celebrate best practice and explore the issues most significant to primary practitioners through a combination of thought leadership and workshops.
- Booking is open! Read more and register for our in-person Primary Conference 2024: Better Together: Raising achievement through a collaborative approach to literacy.
Red Nose Day
- Date: 15 March 2024
- Through Red Nose Day, the Comic Relief charity raises funds to support a vision of a just world, free from poverty. Our research found that more boys than girls read and wrote comedy outside class, and also that more pupils eligible for free school meals than those who do not get meals said they wrote comedy at least once a month outside the classroom.
- Comedy improvisation in the classroom
- BBC Comedy Classroom
Events in the Summer Term 2024 calendar
- Date: 22 April 2024
- Earth Day is an annual celebration that raises awareness of the need to protect Earth’s natural resources for future generations. Discover our classroom resources or ages 3 to 14 (Early Years, KS1, KS2, KS3) to help explore the future of the planet and social action, whilst developing key literacy skills.
- Earth Day
- Caring for the Planet: Young Readers booklist
- Talking to Young Children about The Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals)
TCS London Marathon
- Date: 21 April 2024
- In addition to the main event around the capital city, the TCS Mini London Marathon in schools asks pupils to run, jog, walk or wheel one mile in their school. Our resource includes warm-up activities to energise minds and bodies, along with a host of reading, writing and oracy ideas linked to marathon running.
- Hot Topic: TCS London Marathon
Year 6 SATS
- Date: 13 to 16 May 2024
- Sats reading paper: revision guide for Year 6 pupils
- Date: 6 June 2024
- Read our blog about why empathy matters, and how it links to reading: Empathy Day: Reading for pleasure and empathy
- Discover the Read for Empathy collection from our friends at Empathy Lab
National Writing Day
- Date: tbc June 2024
- An annual celebration of the power of writing creatively, inspiring people of all ages and abilities to try writing for fun and self-expression.
- Resources, research and insight for National Writing Day
- Date: 17 to 21 June 2024
- Refugee Week online events, plus resources that cover early years, primary and lower secondary
- Date: 1-30 June 2024
- Pride month: book-based literacy activities
- LGBTQIA+ booklist for ages 5 to 16 from our Young Readers team
- Date: 1-31 July 2024
- Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan – literacy transition project
- Cosmic - an intergalactic literacy transition project
- Books for big change: transition to secondary school
National Secondary School Conference
- Date: 2 July 2024 (tbc)
- Secondary school conferences
Events in the Autumn Term 2024 calendar
Back to school and settling in
- Date: 2 to 20 September 2024 (14 August to 6 September in Scotland)
- Welcome a new class with engaging stories and encourage reading for pleasure
- Back to school: reading for pleasure transition activities (ages 5-14)
- Starting nursery and reception: wellbeing resources (early years)
Black History Month
- Date: 1-31 October 2024
- Celebrate Black history all year round
- Date: tbc early October 2024
- Celebrate the important role libraries play in our schools and communities, and encourage children to explore and engage with their school library and reading spaces.
- Brilliant ideas to encourage reading for pleasure (primary)
- Learn more about our work within the Primary School Library Alliance and about Libraries Week
National Poetry Day
- Date: 3 October 2024
- A whole-school/setting opportunity to encourage children to make, experience, share and enjoy poetry.
- National Poetry Day resources (Early Years, plus Key Stages 1, 2 and 3)
World Mental Health Day
- Date: 10 October 2024
- Promote reading as an effective way of helping people take care of their mental health and wellbeing.
- Take 10 to read
- Date: 31 October 2024
- Embed enjoyment of reading, writing, and speaking and listening.with our fang-tastic and spooktacular activity ideas for ages 5-14
- Hot Topic: Halloween