Resources - Primary

14th January 2011 at 00:00


Winds of change

As part of its Day for Change campaign on February 4, the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) has produced a series of resources on climate change. They include lesson plans and fund-raising ideas for the event, which will go towards helping children in Guyana cope with the effects of climate change. To register, go to

Breaking boundaries

The British Dyslexia Association will be discussing ways of supporting pupils with reading difficulties at its annual conference, Beyond Boundaries, at Harrogate from June 2 to 4. Go to


What is it?

This is a collection of videos and interactive activities designed to make learning about phonics fun. It features exclusive footage supplied by Christopher Thorne (TES username Mr_Thorne), a primary teacher in London, who runs the website

How to use it

The videos show how to play phonics games with your class. There are 10 games in all, filmed by Mr Thorne. Each game has two videos: the first offers commentary with tips and guidance for teachers, while the second shows Mr Thorne demonstrating the featured game with his Year 1 class. The collection also includes interactive letter-sound activities, with audio-visual support for teachers to use on the whiteboard. Teachers can take part in these activities with the class or encourage pupils to play on their own. The TES iboard, meanwhile, features audio and visual support for learning letter-sound combinations from phase one to five.

Where to find it

The collection can be found at

Date for your diary

Mr Thorne will be offering phonics advice at The TES stand at the BETT show, tomorrow at the Olympia in London.

Birds of a feather

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is holding its annual Big Schools' Birdwatch from January 24 to February 4. Pupils can take part by recording birds they can see at school. Go to


What is it?

This collection features pattern resources that have been uploaded to The TES.

The use of pattern is a recurring theme in the art curriculum across both key stages. Pattern also plays an important part in the maths curriculum, enabling cross-curricular linking.

How to use it

There are a variety of lesson plans to choose from, including one (uploaded by rachel001) that encourages key stage 2 pupils to make artwork using repeating patterns, and another (Taipei101) that shows patterns in nature and textiles, together with examples of line symmetry and tessellation, through PowerPoint and jpeg images. There's also a PowerPoint presentation (bevevans22) that functions as a step-by-step guide to making repeating patterns using a 2Simple Software product called 2Paint a Picture. The TES iboard has also created several interactive resources for KS1 that combine pattern-making with ICT skills. They were developed for the maths curriculum but could also be used to introduce repeating patterns and symmetry in design. Variations on the theme include cube patterns, flags and shapes, with the latter featuring the use of on-screen tools to manipulate shapes, which is particularly useful for younger pupils or children with special needs.

Where to find it

The pattern collection can be found at


What is it?

This is a collection of resources to help pupils develop valuable enquiry skills and provide starting points for research projects.

How to use it

The collection includes a fun lesson (uploaded by Nuffield History) on introducing enquiry skills. It encourages students to consider objects in a suitcase, and then deduce information about its owner. Other lessons include a class investigation into the uprising led by Boudicca against the Romans for key stage 2 pupils (NEN) and a research project on life in ancient Egypt for Years 4 to 6 (42rebeils). Short videos on KS2 lessons offer ideas for introducing history topics and using tools and artefacts (Teachers TV), while visual resources include a free photo library of historical buildings (English Heritage) and three-dimensional images showing the building stages of a Tudor house and a Celtic roundhouse (Virneth). Alongside the images, there is a timeline to help put the learning in context (English Heritage), packs providing information on different time periods (NGfL Cymru) and resources related to the Domesday Book (Mr Vixen). Resources aimed specifically at younger pupils include a guide to getting the most out of historical artefacts and museum trips for early years pupils (Language Ren), a card index database on a variety of toys, aimed at KS1 children, and an encyclopaedia on different forms of transport (the last two are both from The TES iboard).

Where to find it

The enquiry collection can be found at

All of these resources and more can be found at TES Resources, a collection of more than 50,000 lesson plans, activities, games, ideas and worksheets, covering all subjects from early years to A-levels. To view resources, or to upload your own, go to

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