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Reading and writing

Resources to inspire your children to read for pleasure.

Michael Rosen: Boogy Woogy Buggy

Primary-age children will love this inspiring video from the renowned author and former children’s laureate. In it, Michael reads one of his poems then gives tips to youngsters about how easy it is to use your imagination to create a poem on any subject. Why not watch it with your child, then suggest they let their creativity run wild to come up with their own poem or short story?

Adventures In Learning: fun education packs for parents and primary-age children

Take a look at these free creative learning packs specially developed by teacher and education expert Debra Kidd for parents and children currently learning at home. The packs, exclusive to NEU, are aimed at children of different ages, from Reception to Year 6. They’re designed to support and encourage you and your children to enjoy reading together and to explore the world through stories, talk and activities.

Easy to use and designed for you to dip in and out of, the packs are there to inspire and spark imagination. Simply use them as suits you and your children, depending on time, energy and levels of interest. The age ranges are there as a guide, but some children may want to explore several packs.

Reception/Year 1: Journey To The South Pole

Based on the children’s book Lost and Found, by Oliver Jeffers, this pack is full of ideas and activities about travel, the natural world and discovering different countries.

Year 3/Year 4: Journey Into Earth

Explore a network of underground caves to encourage your child to think about life in Stone Age times, the role of art in human history, and preserving precious places.

Year 4/Year 5/Year 6: Journey To Space

Based around a story about a girl who dreams of space travel, this pack explores human feelings, science and problem-solving and will fire your child’s imagination.

Year 1/Year 2/Year 3: The Journey Home

Follow four animals on their search for a safe habitat, learning about how humans affect the environment, animal instinct and the power of friendship and perseverance on the way.

Year 4/Year 5/Year 6: Journey Into Ancient Greece

Discover the intriguing world of Greek myth, following Perseus on his epic journey around the ancient world. Use creative activities to explore problem-solving, role play and what makes a ‘hero’ or a ‘monster’.

Year 5/Year 6/Year 7: Journey Into Danger

The fantastical world in Lewis Carroll’s poem Jabberwocky is brought fully to life in this exploration of language and adventure that will spark your child’s creativity.

Learning at home: literacy resources for children in Key Stage 2

The following resources contain a wealth of ideas and activities to stimulate 5 to 11-year-olds’ interest in reading and writing during the lockdown. As well as being educational, importantly they are fun! Many are activities which children can do on their own, while parents are working or busy. Your children may be missing their friends or feeling isolated at home: you could encourage them to do activities as a group with their brothers or sisters, or with school friends using social media.


If your children are running out of books to read

Love Reading is a book recommendation site. A summary and extract is provided for every book. At the bottom of the page, you will find links for many different genres (science fiction, the natural world, history, ghost stories, graphic novels). There are recommendations by age, and a blog for parents.

You will be able to borrow many of these books from public libraries, which generally use BorrowBox and Libby for ebooks and audiobooks. Most public libraries are open online.


Poetry by Heart is a fantastic resource dedicated to reading poems aloud. The 7+ Timeline has over 100 poems organised by date.

Among its thousands of resources, BBC Bitesize has videos on poetry – including how to write a narrative poem and performing poetry.


Other useful resources for children and young people

The Steve Sinnott Foundation, which was set up in memory of the former NUT General Secretary, has two packs to support pupils learning outside school. The Storytelling Pack tells powerful stories of children from Sierra Leone, Haiti and Nepal and includes activities aimed at primary-age children. The Home Learning Resource Pack has many great suggestions, ideas and links in a variety of subjects for both primary and secondary pupils.

A digital book with pictures by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler, explaining the coronavirus outbreak for primary-age children.

Free resources and activities for children and young people of all ages from the UK Literacy Association.

Animated videos from The Black Curriculum on black history in Britain, told through the story of events like the Bristol Bus Boycott and the Notting Hill Carnival, and of individuals like Mary Seacole and the Tudor musician John Blanke.

Conservation charity RSPB has a number of delightful short stories for young nature-lovers to enjoy. Click here to download Lucky Duck; two further stories – blackbird and sparrow – are available here. There are more electronic and audio stories for children on the RSPB website.


Fun creative activities for families learning outside of school.


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