Art and design

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What’s Hot

Diversity and decolonisation in the English curriculum

While calls for a more diverse curriculum are not new, events this year have brought the issue back sharply into focus. We explore ways to make a meaningful, lasting change to our English curricula, embedding diversity across the curriculum.

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Return to school: keeping geography alive

With a new academic year on the horizon, we explore keeping geography firmly on the timetable and adapting the curriculum and geographical experiences to embrace the ‘new normal’.

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Language Trends 2020

We summarise the findings and recommendations from the Language Trends 2020 report, and highlight what they mean for primary language teaching.

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In the news

Sing Up: free live singing sessions

Sing Up is running free fifteen-minute live singing sessions every Tuesday morning at 9am on its YouTube channel, during lockdown.

British Science Week 2021: taster packs

British Science Week 2021 taster packs are now available to download online. Full packs will be available from January 2021. This year’s theme is ‘Innovating for the future’.

Sheffield Hallam University: research on physical activity, mood, confidence and schoolwork

Research from Sheffield Hallam University suggests “Physically active children report improvements in their schoolwork, behaviour and mental health.”

Education Endowment Fund: Improving Literacy in KS1 update

The Education Endowment Fund has updated its Improving Literacy in Key Stage 1 guidance to “take account of the latest research – including a number of relevant EEF-funded evaluations of high-potential programmes – and also to offer teacher-led exemplifications of how its eight recommendations can be put into practice”.

Chartered College of Teaching: Education in a time of crisis 

The Chartered College has published a review of international research carried out during the pandemic, entitled ‘Education in times of crisis: The potential implications of school closures for teachers and students’.

DfE: Plan your relationships, sex and health curriculum guidance

The DfE has published guidance aimed at supporting schools to “plan, develop and implement” the statutory relationships, sex and health curriculum. The statutory guidance can be found here.

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In the Diary



2nd February is World Wetlands Day

4th February is Rosa Parks’ birthday (1913-2005)

8th February is Malorie Blackman’s birthday (1962-present)

9th February is Safer Internet Day

11th February is International Day of Women and Girls in Science

12th February is Chinese New Year

22nd February-7th March is Fair Trade Fortnight

28th February is Frank Gehry’s birthday (1929-present)


4th March is World Book Day

4th March is Antonio Lucio Vivaldi’s birthday (1678-1741)

8th-13th March is British Science Week

14th March is the International Day of Mathematics

15th-21st March is Shakespeare Week

20th March is French Language Day


2nd April is International Children’s Book Day

5th–12th April is International Dark Sky Week

7th April is World Health Day

9th April is Mary Jackson’s birthday (1921-2005)

15th April is World Art Day

15th April is Benjamin Zephaniah’s birthday (1958-present)

18th April is International Day for Monuments and Sites

23rd April is Spanish Language Day

23rd April is International Girls in ICT Day

30th April 1963 marks the start of the Bristol Bus Boycott

27th April is Darcy Bussell’s birthday (1969-present)

28th April is Walter Daniel John Tull’s birthday (1888-1918)

30th April is International Jazz Day

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Funding and Competitions

Farmvention (when farming meets invention) STEM competition is open for entries from children aged 5 – 14. This year’s challenge focuses on the “problems that climate change creates for British farmers and how they are fighting it to become Climate Superheroes”. Winners receive £1000 for STEM or Outdoor Learning equipment for their school. Entries close on 31st May 2021.

The annual Global Canvas children’s art competition is now open for 2021. This year’s theme is ‘Healing Nature- a Planet on the Edge’, with entries due in by 2nd February 2021

Funding is available from the Nineveh Trust to promote understanding of the countryside and the environment. Previous grants have been awarded to schools for the development of outdoor classrooms and gardens.

The BlueSpark Foundation offers grants of up to £5000 for projects that support the education and development of children and young people. One of its categories is promoting creativity. Guidance on how to apply can be found here.

Maths CPD grants from The London Mathematical Society offer up to £400 towards conferences and events. You can also use the grant to pay for external trainers running in-school inset. The next application deadlines are 31st January and 30th April.

The Cannon Children’s Poetry Competition 2021 is open to all primary age children. The deadline for submissions is 31st March.

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AccessArt runs a number of distance learning courses. They cost between £15 and £25, and can be started at any time.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and TES has a remote learning free course on sustainability, aimed at primary teachers.

The London Connected Learning Centre is running a range of remote CPD courses for primary computing teachers.

Schools History runs online CPD for Key Stage 2 History.

TT Education is running an hour long, on-demand music webinar entitled Five Ideas for Primary Music. It costs £99+VAT and is available for 30 days after download.

PowerLanguages run online teacher language training courses for French and Spanish. These are aimed at teachers with little or no language skills.

Creative Education is running Outstanding Learning in the Primary D&T Curriculum in various locations and on various dates across the academic year. The course runs from 10:00-16:00, with tickets costing £269+VAT

The CLPE has developed a series of webinars to support literacy in the classroom. Find out about upcoming events here.


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