Ideas for teaching on World Book Day 2021

Red Riding Hood girl - World Book Day

As World Book Day 2021 approaches, QA Education features a round-up of news and ideas to help your school shine a spotlight on the best-loved children’s tales… Top 10 Children’s Books – Love Reading For Kids If you’re looking for something new to read to pupils this World Book Day, check out LoveReading4Kids’ Top 10 titles:  1. What Did the Tree See?  2. The Secret Lake 3. The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh 4. A Tangle of Spells 5. The Last Bear 6. Hom 7. The Nowhere Emporium 8. The Shark Caller 9. Cookie and the Most Annoying Girl in the World 10. House of Happy Spirits: A Children’s Book Inspired by Friedensreich Hundertwasser LoveReading4Kids is a fantastic recommendation site for children’s books: reading, reviewing and recommending so that the children can find their next favourite book quickly and easily.   Lockdown Learning with Joe Wicks and Sea Shanty star Nathan Evans The BBC’s Lockdown Learning returns on Monday 1st March and as its been announced that schools will start to open up again, Lockdown Learning will continue to support pupils, parents and teachers that need support. Joining the teaching rota for the new term is Joe Wicks, who will teach about the Vikings and the Battle of Hastings, Mr Motivator teaching maths and TikTok Sea Shanty star Nathan Evans, who will teach mini-lessons available on CBBC and Bitesize social media. For World Book Day this year (Thursday 4th March), BBC Bitesize have created a special collection of videos to be broadcasted on CBBC with authors, Jacqueline Wilson and Dan Freedman chatting about the inspiration behind their novels, alongside singer Anne Marie and TikTok star, Lucy Edwards who will share their favourite books. There will also be a live lesson for World Book Day hosted by CBBC’s Ben Shires and Bitesize Daily’s Mr Smith. The lesson will look about themes in stories and how to identify them and will include a live Q&A session with comedian and author of the Little Badman series, Humza Arshad. Lockdown Learning is available on CBBC, BBC Two, BBC Bitesize, BBC iPlayer and the Red Button.   Pandemic impact on literacy highlighted by UK Reads campaign  On World Book Day, best-selling authors add their voice to World Literacy Foundation (WLF) campaign designed to help children living in poverty to gain vital literacy skills. Blogger Sarah Turner of the Unmumsy Mum book series has added her voice to UK Reads’ literacy campaign ‘Before it’s too late’. Sarah will be contributing to the campaign for World Book Day activities on 4th March.  Coordinated by the UK arm of the World Literacy Foundation (WLF), the campaign aims to reach children who, due to pandemic restrictions, are at higher risk than ever before of falling significantly behind with their vocabulary and reading ability. 380,000 young people living in poverty in the UK do not own a single book of their own – UK Reads is determined to change this shocking statistic by reaching 5000 children by this summer with books, reading activity packs and the literacy engagement they need. Sarah said: “If a child struggles to read an exam question, how can we expect them to pass? There are children approaching their GCSE’s who are at serious risk of becoming illiterate adults. Not to mention the younger children living in poverty who are starting school with vocabulary up to 19 months behind their more affluent peers. “World Book Day is one of the most fun days at school – my three boys love to dress up as their favourite characters and dive into wonderful stories. While the day will be different for most children this year, taking part with online school activities, they, just like my kids, will be reaching for their bookshelves and engaging in this lovely day. The reality for thousands of children however, those who live in poverty, is that they won’t be taking part with the same enthusiasm and this is why I am supporting ‘Before it’s too late’.”  UK Reads is appealing for donations to help reach children with books and literacy support this year. 

Have children lost their love of reading?

Rosh Pinah Primary School pupils by the Book Bus from leading bookseller, The Book People. The school was crowned the winners in the Achievement for All 100 Million Minutes Reading Challenge

The number of five-16 year-olds who read books for pleasure has declined, according to recent research[1] from Childwise, so Achievement for All is calling for schools, settings, families, libraries, community groups, businesses and organisations from across the world to come together to reignite a love of reading during their 200 Million Minutes Reading Challenge. The research shows that whilst the average amount of reading per day has remained consistent year on year (0.6 hours),more than one in five (21%) children never read books or magazines for pleasure, compared to 17% last year. In addition:  Boys and girls have similar reading habits at primary age, but differences appear from the start of secondary school. Worryingly, 40% of secondary-aged boys say they never read compared to a third of girls of the same age More than a quarter of children and young people (27%) never read books in their own time, compared to 21% last year Unlike offline reading, online reading doesn’t decline with age, with teenage girls remaining the most intense online readers  Speaking about the findings, Achievement for All CEO, Sonia Blandford, said: “Literacy levels are one of the greatest drivers of social inequality in the UK today. Up to two in five children from socio-economic disadvantage leave primary school without achieving the expected standard of reading and, sadly, many of them go on to fall further behind in their schooling, lack self-confidence and face a future with significantly diminished opportunities. “It is up to us to inspire a generation of lifetime readers, to ignite a love of reading among all children and young people and keep the flame alive throughout their education and long into their lives. And that, is what our 200 Million Minutes Reading Challenge hopes to do!” On World Book Day, Achievement for All launched their biggest challenge yet as they invited children and young people across the world together to collectively attempt to read for 200 Million Minutes!! Following the huge success of the charity’s 100 Million Minutes Reading Challenge in March 2018, which saw more than 420,000 children and young people collectively read for 100,019,560 minutes, Achievement for All, in association with Pearson, is doubling the target to 200 Million Minutes.  The challenge will end on Children’s Book Day, Tuesday 2nd April 2019, giving children and young people just 26 days to collectively reach this ambitious goal.  Achievement for All, the leading not-for-profit organisation that works in partnership with schools and settings to improve outcomes for all children and young people vulnerable to underachievement, hopes that through this global challenge, more children will discover a love of reading.  Lindsay Nadin, Director of Primary Learning Services at Pearson, who are providing £10,000 of books to the Challenge winners, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the 200 Million Minutes Reading Challenge this year. At Pearson we work with children, teachers, parents and literacy experts to develop books and resources that spark joy in reading and nurture lifelong readers. This challenge is a fantastic way to get all children and young people reading, and working together to reach an amazing goal.”   Prizes will be awarded to those who achieve the highest average number of reading minutes per child or young person and certificates will be available to the individuals who reach key reading targets throughout the reading challenge. For further information on the 200 Million Minute Reading Challenge and to register your place, please visit   For further information about Achievement for All visit  

How Bookbuzz promotes a love for literature

Bookbuzz – a girl holds a stack of books in a field

QA Education magazine editor Victoria Galligan speaks to the team at Bookbuzz about how they engage young people with reading and promote a love for literature… How and when did Bookbuzz begin? Bookbuzz is a reading programme suitable for school children aged 11 – 13, regardless of their reading ability or learning needs. Developed by BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, we support schools to encourage reading for pleasure. The programme began in 2012. Five years on, over 150, 000 students from years seven and eight take part every year, receiving their own book to take home and keep. Who funds the programme? Thanks to the support of the Bookbuzz authors and children’s publishers, schools can buy Bookbuzz at the subsidised cost of £3 per student; receiving one book for every student, picked by them, 34 brilliant books for the school and a pack of practical resources including posters, bookmarks and tips to encourage reading for pleasure. Bookbuzz offers students the element of choice, allowing them to find the right book for them and get excited about books and reading. Where does the programme operate?  Bookbuzz can be purchased by schools in England and Northern Ireland. Can you give some examples of your success stories? From running ‘book-tasting’ sessions, to getting heads of year to battle it out and make the case for their favourite book, we’re amazed by the dynamic ways schools approach choosing their books.  And that’s so vital.  Reading’s a really sociable thing – and this is a great way to get students talking about books. “Once my students have all chosen a book, I tell them about Bookbuzz Breakfast! I invite Year 7 to attend a ‘breakfast’ in the LRC. During the breakfast, selected pupils will stand up and read a passage from their chosen book to whet their classmates’ appetites…When all the food is gone, I give out the books and students settle down to read their book until break time.” “It’s a great way to make being part of Bookbuzz feel really special. After the breakfast students often come and borrow the books they did not choose.” Clare Thompson, Learning Resource Manager   What plans do you have for 2019? An expert panel including school librarians, teachers and children’s booksellers are currently selecting the 2019 titles and we are looking forward to announcing them in May. Every year we see teachers and librarians using Bookbuzz in ever more creative ways to build a buzz around reading for pleasure in their schools. We can’t wait to see the programme in action in September 2019.    To find out more about BookTrust’s Bookbuzz programme visit:  

QA Education Books – review

Education books - Mermaid Who Couldn't

QA Education Books – Top Picks. We take a look at some of the latest children’s titles as well as CPD books. See the “competitions” section to be in with a chance of winning books throughout the year… The Mermaid Who Couldn’t, written by Ali Redford, illustrated by Kara Simpson (JKP, £9.99) Abandoned on the ocean floor, Mariana the Mermaid feels useless as she can’t swim or join in with the other mermaids. Muriel the Turtle helps her find self-confidence through singing her own mighty song. This therapeutic picture book is for children aged 4-9 who lack self-confidence, including children who have had difficult life experiences. This picture book uses a simple metaphor to show how children who have experienced neglect or who lack confidence can learn to find a sense of self-worth. It will help children explore their feelings and encourage communication. Review: by Ellie’s mum, Lisa Ryder Ellie enjoyed the story. She had a strong emotional reaction to the theme of the book and was quite sad at the beginning of the story but she then became happy at the end. She was attentive throughout the story and asked to hear it again.  Ellie liked the pictures but did say that she found the colours dark and a little scary at the beginning. Ellie was very emotional throughout the story and asked questions about her family. We talked about how nice it is to have a family and friends and how the mermaid thought she couldn’t do things at the beginning but once she started to try, she found she could do them. Ellie said that she struggled with climbing in the park on the climbing frames but after she practiced, she can now climb. She said it was scary at first but now it isn’t as scary. The story is a good start for discussions about self-confidence and we could role play it afterwards with her toys. The Noisy Foxes, by Amy Husband, (Willow Tree Books, £6.99) Written and illustrated by Amy Husband, The Noisy Foxes follows a family of foxes who decide to move out of the big, noisy city to look for somewhere quieter to live … but nowhere seems quite right! Distinctive collage-style illustrations add to the charm of this humorous ‘grass isn’t always greener’ tale. Reviews We asked some of our friends to read The Noisy Foxes and this is what they said: Ellie’s mum, Lisa Ryder: Ellie liked the story, the language was simple and we looked at the different words and how they sounded. Ellie loved the illustrations and liked how bright the colors are. She liked to see what was happening in other parts of the pictures. Ellie understood the meaning behind the story and we discussed it however she seemed to be more interested in the pictures. We discussed how sometimes we think we want something else but actually what we want is what we already have.  Editor Victoria Galligan: My daughters loved the Noisy Foxes! My two-year-old, Amy, has insisted on reading it every night and it even went to Nanny’s for a sleepover! Kate said she liked the patterns and textures in the illustrations, and Amy liked all the different animals. We talked about the ending and how sometimes it’s nice to go away for a break but good to come home again where you belong. It’s Your Story: From 1 to 10 and From A to Z  (from £17.50) Planning a prizegiving, graduation or welcoming a new student? If so mark these all-important milestones with beautifully illustrated personalised Alphabet books from Itsyourstory. Not only a fantastic teaching aid which brings numbers and the alphabet to life by making them the star – but also a perfect keepsake which includes a personal message from you to the child at the front. Called ‘From A to Z” and ‘From 1 to 10’ are this ideal gifts for young children. Every letter is accompanied by a picture and a simple, fun sentence which emphasises the sound – for example, ‘Freddy’s Dinosaur is Daring and Dangerous’, ‘Oliver Octopus has Orange Socks’. The child features in the illustrations and text on every page making it a fun, engaging and relevant read. Readers will get to go on an adventure – meeting lots of different animals, building a sandcastle at the beach and even riding a rocket to the moon! The books are available from Itsyourstory at The 32-page full-colour book includes a message at the front from the sender and retails at £17.50 for the softback version and £20 for the hardback book. Customers upload a photograph of the child as part of the order process. Review: By editor Victoria Galligan The books are amazingly engaging: my daughters (aged two and six) were both completely fascinated by the fact that their faces were actually on the cover and the pages. My eldest daughter could read the book alone and love the ‘L’ page, which sees her licking a lemon lolly. And my younger daughter couldn’t flick through the pages fast enough – we read the book several times in one go as she kept missing the  pages! She was so eager to see what Amy did next! Fully recommended by us.   Also out now: Educating Outside, by Helen Porter (Bloomsbury, £19.99) Educating Outside is a toolkit of outdoor learning ideas to inspire primary school teachers to head outside with their pupils and enrich their learning experiences across the curriculum. Although the benefits of learning outside are well documented, outdoor activities often decline as children progress through their education. There are many reasons for this: lack of time in the curriculum, lack of training, lack of teacher confidence, or simply lack of inspiration. Educating Outside contains a bank of outdoor learning ideas that can be used to enhance and enrich your classes’ learning experiences across the curriculum; including in science, history, geography, art and design, English and maths. Each lesson idea is linked to a specific programme of study and outlines required resources, links to soft

Holistic Healing approach empowers children with emotional issues

Holistic Healing 4 Children book

Jacqueline Gray, the co-founder of Holistic Healing 4 Children along with Terri Allen, talks to QA Education editor Victoria Galligan about the work her team carry out with pupils and their families, as well as schools, to provide a holistic approach to empowering pupils to control their emotions.  What is Holistic Healing and how does it help children? Holistic Healing 4 Children works closely with the family to bring about a positive change for pupils. As we are holistic we look at the whole child including their environment, diet, exercise, how much TV they watch, how much sleep they get etc. We have a questionnaire that we ask the parent to fill out initially and we generally have a talk to the parent before seeing their child, to get a good idea of the issue from their point of view. The pupil has a minimum of three sessions (this is usually enough to make a desired change to the situation) and the sessions are totally non invasive and very creative. We get a lot of information from the child through their drawings and guided imagery.  Once we have got an idea where the problem lies and where they are out of balance, we then make recommendations to the pupil and the family. Sometimes an adjustment in the family is needed in order for them to become back into balance. They are given suggestions, recommendations, tools and strategies as to how they can make positive changes and we send a write up report with these suggestions after the initial consultation. We believe that working closely with everyone really benefits the client. This can even involve going to the school and doing observations and making recommendations for the teacher where necessary.  What different types of services do you offer? We work individually with clients and we offer emotional wellbeing workshops in schools and training for teachers and parents on how to use our resources to get the very best out of them. How does the crystal healing bed work?  The Crystal bed is something that we offer our individual clients, including members of their family. It helps to balance and harmonise the body as well as the emotions. Can you give some examples of how holistic healing has helped mainstream schools? We go into schools and deliver emotional wellbeing workshops using our books My Magical Garden and My Magical Tree. The workshops help the children with emotional expression and regulation through the use of their imagination.. We also offer teacher training to give the teachers the tools to access the child’s imagination and through this approach, which when used regularly, it can help a child/teenager to transfer a physical safe place to a mental safe place, giving them a new skill to cope with difficult situations. We have had great feedback from our workshops and they are always very well received. The children connect to the approach very quickly and when encouraged they use it to help them through negative moments.  The books also offer advice in the back which teachers have found very informative and a way of encouraging their pupils to communicate their feelings. If you see our YouTube channel, you will see interviews that we have had with teachers who give their feedback after attending the workshop. It’s all about giving the children and teachers a strategy to use when there are emotionally challenging moments. What advice can you give to headteachers of mainstream schools re holistic healing?  We totally recommend trying our workshops and learning about our approach. It is simple, enjoyable and yet very effective and in particular for children who present with challenging behaviours. When the strategy is fully embraced by the whole school it becomes a powerful tool to help develop emotional wellbeing in schools; a great resource for PSHE and an opportunity for cross-curricular activities in creative writing and art. It can have a significant impact, especially for the children who are more emotionally challenged, allowing them to flourish. Can children with severe SENDs benefit from holistic healing? Absolutely. Everything we do can be adapted to whoever we are working with. Holistic Healing 4 Children offers a non-threatening way to communicate and it offers a strategy for children who struggle with their emotions. Does holistic healing help families as well as schools? Yes we work with both schools and families. With schools we generally go in for a full day of workshops and at the moment we offer these for free (we do need to ask for travel expenses where necessary). We train the teachers and offer a workshop for the parents too so that everyone is onboard with the approach.  We run workshops for parents and we offer individual sessions. The idea is to empower the child. We give tools and strategies so that they can learn to regulate their emotions without becoming reliant on us. We recommend a minimum of three sessions and usually that is enough but if more sessions are needed then we go with what feels best for each client. For more information, see the Holistic Healing 4 Children website.