What’s happening – Summer term 2021

30 April, 2021

There’s always lots going on in the Summer term both in and out of school, so here is a round-up of some of the deadlines and key events to ensure that you don’t miss out.

Approaching deadlines….

  • Henrietta Branford Writing Competition: There’s still time to submit an entry to this short story competition for young writers aged 19 and under.  The deadline is the 23rd May and you can find out more here.

CPD opportunities

There are a number of interesting webinars and online CPD sessions taking place in the next few weeks, as well as the opportunity to register for events taking place later in the term.

  • Leading children’s mental health charity Place2Be is offering a free online children’s mental health training course for qualified teachers and school-based staff. It is a flexible, 5-week programme requiring approximately 1.5 hours per week. There are start dates through May and June.
    • Date: Various, starting May 14th. Cost: Free
  • Diversity in Children’s Literature is a series of evening webinars run by the Five Leaves Bookshop that explore cultural diversity in children’s books with a range of speakers and authors.
    • Date: 10th, 20th, 27th May and 2nd June. Cost: £3.
  • Developing RfP in Schools and Libraries with Cressida Cowell: Join Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell for this special CLPE Literacy Library Presents session looking at the most effective ways to engage children of all ages with books and reading.
    • Date: 27th May. Cost:£20
  • Online CPD Training with CLPE: CLPE has a programme of webinars covering all aspects of primary literacy running through this Summer term.
    • Cost: From £20
  • Reading for Curriculum Subjects: This online course from Just Imagine looks at the specific demands of reading and writing in curriculum subjects such as history, geography and science at primary level. The course is run over three x 90 minute sessions.
    • Start date: 1st June. Cost: £90 + VAT
  • This year’s Festival of Education – the UK’s largest professional development event in the UK for teachers – is going ahead as a free, two-week virtual event between 16th – 30th June. There will be daily keynote speakers and a programme of online CPD events on each of the two Fridays. Registration is now open.
    • Date: 16th – 30th June. Cost: Free
  • Diversity in the English Curriculum – Inclusion, Gender and Sexuality: This one-day online conference run by the National Association for the Teaching of English will take place on Saturday June 19th.
    • Cost: £49 for non-members.
  • UKLA 56th International Conference – We Need to Talk About Literacy: Booking is now open for the UKLA’s three-day virtual conference focusing on the importance of spoken language in literacy learning and teaching. Keynote speakers include Michael Rosen, Anne Fine, MG Leonard, Mariana Souto-Manning, Neil Mercer and Muna Abdi.
    • Date: 2nd – 4th July. Cost: Prices for non-members range from £65 for the Sunday sessions to £225 for all three days.
  • Secondary School Festival of Science and Imagination: Part of the National Literacy Trust’s Literacy for Learning programme, the Festival of Science and Imagination offers a range of teacher and student events that explore literacy and communication in a scientific context.
    • Date: 12th – 16th July. Cost: £45. One booking provides access to all events for all staff and students.
  • tes SEN Show 2021: Registration is now open for this two-day event taking place in London in October. With a range of dedicated SEN exhibitors, free workshops, and a programme of over 40 CPD seminars, this is the UK’s leading show for the SEN community.
    •  Date: 8th – 9th October. Cost: Registration is free. Tickets for seminars cost £17 + VAT until end July.

Literature Festivals and Author Events

There are a number of Literature Festivals – both live and online – taking place this summer term. Choose from the following great line-ups:

  • The Hay Festival has a whole programme of free online events for primary and secondary schools during the week of 24th – 28th May. The programme consists of a mix of creative writing workshops, performances and author interviews and covers fiction, non-fiction and poetry. There’s a fantastic line-up of authors, including Joseph Coelho, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Abi Elphinstone, Zanib Mian, Robert Muchamore, Patrick Ness and Lisa Williamson. There are teaching resources for many of the events and schools can also access the archive of events from previous Festivals.
    • Date: 24th – 28th May. Cost: Free, but schools must register for individual events.
  • The Stratford Literary Festival website has a selection of short videos celebrating stories, storytelling and story writing for primary and secondary schools. The videos were created during Lockdown and feature award-winning authors such as  Alex Wheatle, Michael Rosen, Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Sita Brahmachari. There is also a useful Story Builder resource.
    • Cost: Free
  • Puffin have a programme of Live Virtual Author Visits running on Friday mornings through the summer term. The 45-minute webinar sessions  will take place over Zoom and schools can submit their questions in advance of the sessions. Authors include Charlie Higson, Dapo Adeola, David O’Doherty, Paul Howard and Jen Carney and there are free extracts of their relevant titles available to download ahead of their virtual visit.
    • Date: Every Friday starting 28th May through to 2nd July. Cost: Free with registration.
  • Pamela Butchart and Gill Lewis are two of the authors doing live digital events for Authors Live this term. You can register on the Scottish Book Trust website to join in the live event or catch up later via the Author Live On Demand library, which contains over 80 recordings of live events with world famous authors.
    • Date: Pamela Butchart: TBC, Gill Lewis: 8th June. Cost: Free.
  • Pop-Up Festival Presents is offering a programme of over 20 free workshops and live-streamed events for primary and secondary schools in June. There is something for everybody on the varied programme.
    • Date: 14th – 18th June. Cost: Free.
  • Barnes Children’s Literature Festival is running a five-day programme of free live events for London primary schools in June. The varied programme for KS1 and KS2 covers non-fiction and poetry as well as award-winning fiction. Smitri Halls, Konnie Huq, Caroline Lawrence, Tom Percival and Joshua Seigal are just some of the authors in the line-up. Visit the website for full details and to book tickets.
    • Date: Bethnal Green 17th and 18th June. Barnes Green 23rd – 25th June. Cost: Free.
  • Bookings have now opened for this year’s Children’s Bookshow, an annual tour of children’s authors, illustrators, poets and storytellers that takes place in the autumn. There are events in theatres across England from Margate to Newcastle with authors such as Kwame Alexander, Valerie Bloom, Alexis Deacon, Catherine Rayner, Rachel Rooney and Michael Rosen. Every child attending a performance receives a free copy of a book by the relevant author, plus there is the chance to receive a free in-school author workshop. Visit the website to find a theatre near you and to book tickets.
    • Date: 24th Sept – 17th Nov. Cost: £5/6 per child, teachers free.

Ideas for the classroom

A selection of ideas and resources to tie in with events in the wider world or the literacy calendar.

  • National Share a Story Month is running throughout the month of May. This year’s theme is Myths, Magic and Mayhem and should ensure that everybody can find a story that is to their taste. Find themed booklists, competition details and other resources on the National Share a Story Month website.
  • Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 10th – 16th May. You can find booklists and other resources to support Mental Health Awareness Week here.
  • Celebrate Elmer Day on 29th May with a pack of resources for EYFS and KS1 that include lesson plans based on Elmer and the Rainbow and Elmer and the Stranger. The lesson plans and activities have been created by CLPE and Just Like Us and explore themes of kindness, empathy and inclusion.
  • World Environment Day is on Saturday 5th June. You might be interested in taking a look at the Climate Fiction Writers League website.  It showcases articles by authors who are committed to using their work to raise awareness about climate change. Many of the articles are by or about children’s authors and provide useful book recommendations. The Marcus Sedgewick article includes a link to a free CLPE lesson plan for his book Floodland. If you are looking for other book recommendations, CLPE has a recently updated environment booklist and the BookTrust Bookfinder has a Looking After Our Planet theme that can help.
  • June 10th is Empathy Day and the theme for this year is ‘Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes’. There will be resources available in the weeks leading up to Empathy Day and a whole programme of activities planned for the day itself, with contributions from top children’s authors, poets and illustrators. All the events will be available to stream from the Empathy Lab website, where you can also sign up for the free schools toolkit and find details of this year’s Read for Empathy book collections.
  • The FA and NLT have teamed up to create football themed literacy resources to tie in with UEFA EURO 2020. As well as a special Reading Challenge that launches on 25th May, author Tom Palmer will be writing a live story throughout the competition. The first chapter of Euro 2020 – A Ghost Story is already available, but subsequent chapters will be published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on the NLT website, starting Monday 14th June. The story will be influenced by events as they unfold and schools will also have opportunities to vote to decide the direction of the story. (Suitable for KS2/3.)
  • This year’s Carnegie and Greenaway Medal winners will be announced on 16th June. Even if you haven’t signed up for the Shadowing Scheme, you might still be interested in the free lesson plans created by CLPE to accompany the eight titles shortlisted for this year’s Kate Greenaway Medal.
  • School Diversity Week is an annual celebration of LGBT+ equality in education. It is run by charity Just Like Us and this year takes place from 21st-25th June. Register on the website for access to free resource packs that cover EYFS through to KS4. The resources include cross-curricular activities, ideas for assemblies and form time, display material, and book lists for primary and secondary pupils. There will also be a series of masterclasses covering a wide range of subjects over the course of the week. These will be available to view for free on Facebook and the School Diversity Week website.
  • National Writing Day is an annual celebration of the importance of creative writing and self-expression. This year it falls on Wednesday 23rd June and there will be author workshops, writing challenges and other resources on the website. Explore the Writing Inspiration section of the Literacy Hive website to find more resources to support children’s writing.
  • This year the Summer Reading Challenge is partnering with WWF UK for a nature-themed Challenge that will inspire children to engage with environmental issues. The Wild World Heroes Challenge will launch online in early June with public library launches following in mid June in Scotland and July in England and Wales. Teachers can find resources to promote the Summer Reading Challenge in their schools on the School Zone section of the website.
  • CLPE will be releasing a free, whole-school teaching unit for primary schools for the new autumn term. Based on three picture books, the unit will be available from 11th June and will include planning for 10 sessions. As well as providing opportunities for high quality talk and reading and writing activities, there will be a whole school community project to engage children in a range of creative and outdoor activities that will promote social skills and emotional well-being. To receive the free teaching unit, simply register on the CLPE website.

Don’t forget

You can find resources to support all aspects of the literacy curriculum on the Literacy Hive website. Start your search here.

Book lying open on grass