15th July 2011 at 01:00


Handwriting skills

Activities and worksheets for learning to write

Handwriting is an integral part of literacy for primary pupils and this collection of resources takes them through every stage.

For nursery and reception children there is an alphabet collection, which includes posters and displays as well as alphabet-themed games. Panhandler has shared a colourful bookmark with a checklist that children can use to mark their own writing, while falcon32 has created a range of cartoon cut- out images that can be used to measure spaces between words.

When it comes to letter formation, Bevevans has created a set of dinosaur- themed colour A5 cards for each letter of the alphabet, with space for children to practise each letter.

For whiteboard or computer resources, gaylerevilla has shared a selection of presentations. Pupils can write their own letters, words and phonemes, save them and then replay.

For older pupils, practice is crucial in learning how to write and this collection has tailored worksheets for learners of every stage to use independently. Senteacher has supplied a worksheet generator to help children with pre-writing and general shapes, as well as practice sheets for tracing words and line-spacing.

Writing on coloured lines is sometimes more appealing for children who are struggling with their spacing. RDT has uploaded a worksheet with blocked rows of colour for help with letter sizes and ascenders and descenders.

Art amp; Design

Studying architecture

Introduction to buildings and town planning

Learning about architecture is crucial to pupils' understanding of landscape and the design elements of public and private spaces.

A selection of comprehensive resources on buildings, past and present, have been uploaded by English Heritage, together with their partner, Engaging Places. A design kit has a number of key ideas to introduce key stage 2 pupils to historical buildings within the art and design curriculum and inspire further investigation. This selection of resources also includes a timeline of English buildings over the past 1,000 years and ideas for a lesson plan based on St Pancras Station in London, with an image bank and suggested learning points that can be used across the curriculum.

For younger children, the Archikids resource, supplied by Openhouse, encourages KS1 pupils to explore their city with the help of three online characters, while a slideshow from Hazief introduces famous buildings from around the world and can be used as an introduction to the topic.

Town planning and the design of public spaces in the local area is one way of making architecture relevant to pupils. Urban Spaces has uploaded an introduction to studying public places for KS1 which compares architecture and street furniture from the past to the present day, while a KS2 resource provides a lesson plan and ideas for research trips outside the classroom. Cameras or observational drawings can be used to record research. This resource also suggests ideas for follow-up cross-curricular lessons.


Holiday reading

Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson will be launching the annual summer reading challenge run by the Reading Agency charity next week. The agency is working with schools and libraries to recruit children aged four to 11 to read six books over the summer. For more information, go to

Fighting at sea

HMS Belfast has launched the Gun Turret Experience. Using lights, sound and smoke effects, it recreates the experience of gun crews on the ship during the Second World War. The ship is moored on the Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge.

Web advertising

Not-for-profit organisation Media Smart has produced 10 lessons for primary pupils to understand digital advertising. They look at the internet and techniques such as viral marketing, online gaming and social media. See


Learning to measure

Recording and understanding height and length

This collection of resources helps children to measure height and length at different scales and express their findings. There are a range of interactive resources on the TESiboard measure collection for use on whiteboard or computer.

Pupils can use the animal height and length labels to measure and record their findings in metres. There are also two animal Olympics-themed activities in which pupils measure and record the distance of ostrich jumps. Another activity allows pupils to measure the height, length and weight of different animals at the vet, as well as prompting pupils to read scales with unmarked intervals.

trishwinchat has uploaded a PowerPoint presentation about time, weight, length and capacity. For independent activities, try weybourneinfants, which asks pupils to create wobbly lines with pieces of string and answer questions about the length.

jucoop has supplied a three-part lesson plan that incorporates measuring length and height into a story about a witch's hat. This activity is cross-curricular and could also be used as part of drama if preferred.

For older pupils, converting units of measurement is the natural progression within this topic, and martinelangridge has supplied an interactive smart notebook file for this purpose, with links to websites and other interactive activities, and enough information for a week's worth of lessons.


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