I said I’d soon be back with some resources – and here I am! Covid19 is a terrible thing, and causing many of us real worry and sadness – but one good thing that has come out of it is the way people seem to be really pulling together and trying to help each other get through. So I thought I’d begin by sharing some of the brilliant free resources that I’ve seen offered by others at this time, as well as some others which I have found useful. I’m sure there will be lots of others (I’ve seen a few lists going around but many of them I haven’t heard of) but if I see anything which looks particularly good, I’ll add it here, so do bookmark this page and check back!
PE Lessons with The Body Coach
Joe Wicks, AKA The Body Coach, is running free PE lessons over on his YouTube channel, starting Monday at 9am GMT! We’ve done some of his workouts as a family before, and we’ve all really enjoyed them (wellllll…maybe not the burpees). These ones are specifically tailored to children, and should be great fun! Getting some exercise is a great way to start the day to help everyone feel energised and positive, so if you can’t get out for a walk, this is a great alternative!
Children’s author and illustrator, Rob Biddulph, is posting some drawing tutorials on his Instagram page. They’ll be up at 10am GMT every Tuesday and Thursday. I had a go at his first one (quality testing, obviously!) and I thought I did pretty well if I’m honest! He explains them really well so I’m confident that my six year old could follow along quite happily. (EDIT: I went to look for today’s and it seems Instagram is blocking him from sharing his own content due to copyright infringement! However, you can also access the tutorials on his website.)
Storytelling from Oliver Jeffers
Free streaming of the Wind in the Willows
The good folks over at @willowsmusical have decided to stream The Wind in the Willows online for free. What a treat! It’s fantastic that despite theatres having had to close, they are still seeking to bring theatre to their audiences. I can’t wait to watch it with my children! You can access it here.
A months Premium subscription to Twinkl
Twinkl is a great resource bank for parents and teachers alike. It began with just a few downloadable resources near the beginning of my teaching career, and now has many, many resources! They are offering a months free premium subscription (usually £8.49/month). It can be a little overwhelming because there is such a huge range, so I’ll try and post some things I think might be particularly helpful here at a later date. The only thing I would say is that you should try and avoid ‘death by worksheets’. They’ve got some lovely activities to access but before your print a worksheet, I’d consider whether it’s going to be enjoyable, interesting and worthwhile for your child! Head over to their website and use the code UKTWINKLHELPS to gain access.
Free access to Phonics Play
PhonicsPlay is a great website with lots of phonics games and printables for you to access. I used to use them loads when I was teaching Reception! Some is free, and some is paid, but you can currently access it all by using the username march20 and the password home.
Teach Your Monster to Read
Teach Your Monster to Read is a game (accessible on computer and mobile device) created by Usborne, working alongside senior lecturers in English Education from the University of Roehampton, London. Its free to use on a computer, or there’s a paid app – but this is free in the Apple app store until Monday 23rd March, so why not pop over and download it now? We’ve used it and would recommend it. The only slightly frustrating thing we found is that it doesn’t give a lot of time to consolidation, which meant that T would progress a few levels and then reach a point where it had become to tricky for her. But it’s good fun, useful for a bit of practise, and motivating if you have a reluctant reader.
David Attenborough's Back Catalogue!
Did you know that BBC iPlayer has most, if not all, of David Attenborough’s series on it? We watch one together every now and again, and I love it, because it’s simple, relaxing, yet also a brilliant learning opportunity. It’s TV, without the guilt of TV! T (aged 6) loves watching them, and will now happily watch an entire episode, although when she was younger we’d watch maybe twenty minutes. If your children are interested in nature and wildlife, this is a lovely thing to watch together. Also great if you need to be getting on with your own work! Of course, you don’t have to leave it at just watching an episode – you could do lots more coming out of it. We watched one today and within a few minutes of the episode finishing, T had begun work on her own ‘reptiles and amphibians’ book! Obviously they might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are lots of other documentaries around which might be of interest to your children.
Usborne's Play and Learn at home
This week, Usborne are launching a digital hub with free resources including activities, educational resources and curated Quicklinks. You can also check out their full collection of Quicklinks here. They are also planning to share lots of content via social media so make sure you give them a follow! We love Usborne resources; they are always such high quality – really interesting but presented in an accessible way.
Free stories from Audible
Audible are enabling free access to some audiobooks on their website. These will be free for as long as schools are closed. With schools and libraries closed, it’s fantastic that our children will still be able to listen to new books, and maybe even hear stories that they wouldn’t have come across before! You can access them here.
Free resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations
The My Learning website brings together free resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations. It includes images, video, documents and interactive resources amongst other things, and you can search by key stage, subject or theme.
Let's Go Live! with Maddie & Greg
If you have a child under the age of 8, the likelihood is that award-winning presenter Maddie Moate will be a familiar face from her CBeebies show, ‘Maddie’s Do You Know?’ This week, she has launched a live show on her YouTube channel alongside Science Journalist (and her fiancé) Greg Foot. The show airs daily Monday-Friday at 11am GMT, and each week is themed. This week is Garden Week and this morning, they kicked off with a brilliant show about birds including info on bird watching and identification; a live feed to their bird feeders; a simple bird-feeder make; and a quiz! T loved it. I’d really encourage you to watch along!
I really hope these are helpful! Don’t forget to keep checking back, as there is more to come. I’m planning to upload some ideas for different subject areas soon, as well as some examples of how you might plan some activities based around a topic of interest. Also please do let me know if there’s any specific you need help with. I’m only too happy to help!