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Keep informed with news, articles and stories about all things related to children, young people and families.


Video-call reading: A new story time for children in lockdown

Reading has considerable benefits for children’s emotional and social development, but many families will be struggling to keep up with reading routines during the coronavirus pandemic. Video-call shared reading (VCSR) has increasingly become a way for children to be read to during lockdown while families are forced apart and nurseries and schools are shut. Through their experience of observing and participating in VCSR, Professors Natalia Kucirkova and Trude Hoel from the University of Stavanger, Norway, have pulled…
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Kindness matters, now more than ever

Kindness was a key theme of last week’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK and continues to be important during the coronavirus pandemic. Kindness is defined as “doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by genuine desire to make a positive difference” and is believed to be a central aspect of good mental health. Over the past few months, local communities and frontline workers around the world have shown incredible acts of kindness and…
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Online resources and ideas for home schooling

The University of Cambridge has curated a selection of online resources and activities to help children learn at home. The wide range of activities have been pulled together by The Cambridge Museums, the Botanic Gardens, the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University and non-school institutions and initiatives such as the Millennium Maths Project. With museums closed many including the Fitzwilliam Museum, The Polar Museum and the Museum of Zoology are replacing their family programmes with…
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Survey reveals UK teachers’ views on returning to school

Findings from a survey released this week of 4,500 UK teachers across all key stages has found that that two thirds think that school closures have had a significant impact on pupils’ education, with the exam years KS4 (age 14-16) and post-16, being the most strongly affected. Teachers believe the impact will be mitigated to quite a large extent in primary schools and at KS3 if schools return on 1st June, however, they think it is too late…
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Women, young people and low earners hit hardest by coronavirus

A new report from the Resolution Foundation thinktank has found that women, young people and the lowest-paid key workers are the groups most at risk from the health and economic impacts of coronavirus in the UK. The study found that women are more than twice as likely than men to occupy key worker roles including nurses, care workers and those working in education, retail and pharmacies. It also found that 39 per cent of working…
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Play can come into its own during lockdown, says LEGO professor

With schools closed families have the chance to follow their children’s lead and to give them opportunities to learn through play, rather than formal structured study. Paul Ramchandani, LEGO Professor of Play at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, says that unstructured play is essential for young children, and learning at home does not have to follow the strict timetable of school. Instead, different types of play allow children to explore the world, to understand consequences and…
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Distance learning inequality during lockdown

Millions of children across the UK are currently out of school for an extended period due to lockdown. Digital classrooms have been set up at dinner tables that have been turned into makeshift classrooms, with many parents gaining experience as first-time teachers. This arrangement is far from ideal in most households, with families finding it difficult to manage their children’s educational workloads. The problem is exasperated further in homes where adequate technology does not exist….
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BBC to publish daily educational content for children unable to be at school

In what has been described by BBC Director General, Tony Hall as “the biggest education effort the BBC has ever undertaken” online lessons for children will be made available from 20th April. Organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Premier League and children’s publisher Puffin Books are contributing to content. Various podcasts, articles, quizzes and videos are planned to be broadcast internationally on child-friendly platforms including BBC Bitesize Daily via the BBC iPlayer, red button and BBC Sounds….
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Stay-at-home products in development from Hasbro

Known for their family-friendly games such as Monopoly and Twister, Hasbro is currently developing a stay-at-home product range to meet a surge in demand due to the coronavirus. Games and toys such as Play-Doh and Operation have been especially popular, with the company revealing that requests for products has been very high. This has prompted the organisation to create more goods designed with staying at home in mind. Entitled ‘Bring Home the Fun’, the range is designed…
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Early years children in England excelling in literacy and memory

Considered the first report of its kind, new findings from The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study reveal that children from England often have higher memory and literacy skills by the time they reach Year 1. Other countries that took part included the United States and Estonia – both of which had lower scores compared to England. These findings align with the OECD’s stance on early childhood education, which is increasingly recognised to be especially…
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