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Free resources to support learning

home schooling

As we all find ourselves in uncharted territory, with school closures now confirmed and many weeks at home with the kids ahead of us, we know these will be challenging times.

Schools are working incredibly hard to keep children safe and families informed , as they prepare to support home learning and arrange provision for the children of keyworkers as well as vulnerable children.

If your child is at secondary school, they may be asked to follow their usual timetable from home. This won’t always be possible for families sharing a computer or tablet, so discuss what access they’ll need, and make a plan that will work for your family. If you don’t have internet access at home, speak to the school and see how they can help you.

For families with younger children, where there isn’t a timetable to follow, it’s still a good idea to have a plan and structure your day.

There are lots of fantastic learning resources available online that will help you support your children with their continued learning (including some that are normally paid for, currently being made available free of charge). Here are some that we like, please do let us know about any others you use and we’ll add them to the list.

Pre-school and Primary

Cbeebies including Radio
Games, puzzles and radio

Lots of information for parents about phonics including: what exactly phonics is, how it is taught in UK schools and suggestions for helping pre-schoolers prepare for learning phonics. The subscription service is currently free.

While schools are closed, parents can sign up for free #dailyplay emails and receive a home based play activity each morning, using just bits and bobs from around the house.

Oxford Owl for Home
Lots of free resources and games for Primary age children

Book of Beasties
You can now download phase 1 of Book of Beasties FREE Home Learning Kit for teachers and parents stuck at home! Developed by fully qualified U.K teachers. This pack covers a range of curriculum based lessons including mental wellness based PSHE, English Literacy, Mathematics, Practical Science, Art and Physical Education. Sign up for free and download everything you need.

BBC Primary live lessons
The BBC has put together a fantastic selection of programmes and videos to support your children, covering everything from literacy to fitness.…/live-l…/primary-live-lessons/zmc9jhv

The School Run
Information and worksheets and an email with daily tips. Free 14 day trial available. 

P J Masks
PJ Masks have upload extra activity sheets and their apps are now free to access including Hero Academy which is a coding app for pre-schoolers.

DK Find Out
Fun activities, quizzes and interactive information across lots of topics 

National Geographic Kids
Fun free downloadable activities and online games and quizzes for kids. 

Primary and Secondary

Daily lessons from BBC Bitesize (starting 20th April)
Working closely with teachers, well trusted education providers, the Department of Education in England, the Welsh Government, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive, the BBC will provide nation specific, curriculum led activities and programming.
Whether complementing what schools are providing remotely, or as a standalone resource, BBC Bitesize daily will bring 14 weeks of educational programmes and lessons to every household in the country – whatever your child’s age.

BBC Teach
The BBC Teach website is home to thousands of free curriculum-mapped videos, arranged by age-group and subject.

Usually a paid-for resource, and one commonly used by teachers, Twinkl is offering every parent access to all Twinkl downloadable resources with a One Month Ultimate Membership, totally free of charge.
It’s really easy to set up - go to and enter the code PARENTSTWINKLHELPS

BBC Bitesize
Online resources sorted by Key Stage specific to each nation, with free videos, step-by-step guides, activities and quizzes by level and subject. for children and parents.

Free online resources for students at all levels, with some emphasis on GCSEs and S Levels, with opportunity to pay to access more.

Parentkind Parents’ Hub
Information to help parents support learning at home with tips for reading with children, games that support maths, supporting homework and more.


Ted Ed
Take a look at a wide selection of educational videos on lots of topics.

Economist Foundation
Sign up for a free weekly bulletin and receive critical thinking resources perfect for children to enjoy alone, with siblings or with parents.

Computer Programming

Free and fun games as an introduction to programming

Scratch Scratch  
A great creative free programming programme


Ark Curriculum Plus – Maths Mastery
A selection of free resources and guidance that can be used at home to provide daily sessions for learners from Reception to Year 9.

National Numeracy
Free activities to help families keep up with their maths together during school closures.

Maths on Toast 
Lots of free resources and activities for parents and carers to support their children’s maths learning.

The Maths Factor (Carol Vorderman)
Let Carol teach your child Maths during this difficult period! The Maths Factor is FREE for everyone for the duration of the UK Schools closure period. Age 4-12 years. Matched to the National Curriculum.

Literacy and English

Ark Curriculum Plus – English Mastery
A selection of free resources and guidance that can be used at home to provide daily sessions for learners from Reception to Year 9.

National Literacy Trust
NLT has created a web portal with ideas and guidance for simple activities that will engage your children at home, while also benefiting their reading, writing and language development. You'll be able to access free reading and writing resources, audiobooks, videos, competitions and reading challenges.

A picture a day to inspire you children to write creatively.

PhonicsPlay comics are decodable comics featuring their characters along with some new friends. They aim to provide opportunities for children to rehearse the precise knowledge and skills that they learn in school each week.

Staying active

P.E. with Joe
The Body Coach, Joe Wicks will be holding LIVE PE lessons at 9am Monday to Friday on his YouTube channel for children of all ages. For 30 minutes a day Joe aims to inspire and energise the kids to get active, bounce around and have fun.

Oti Mabuse 'Dance Warriors'
Kids can dance along with Strictly Come Dancing / The Greatest Dancers's Oti on You Tube.

Some fun ways to stay active indoors. 

Art and creativity

Draw with Rob
Rob Biddulph posts draw-along videos that parents can watch with their kids and, hopefully, make some nice pictures.

Red Ted Art
Fun and easy art and craft activities to keep kids busy

Nature Detectives
Some fun activities, some of which can be done from your garden.

News, audio books and other great stuff!

Chatham Historic Dockyard - museum from home
You can explore the intriguing objects in their collection online and enjoy virtual visits via video and photographs, there are lots of activities to do at home including science from Doc.Yard!

Harry Potter at Home
Magical treats to keep children occupied - including special contributions from Bloomsbury and Scholastic, nifty magical craft videos (teach your friends how to draw a Niffler!), fun articles, quizzes, puzzles and plenty more for first-time readers, as well as those already familiar with the wizarding world.

First News – weekly newspaper for 7 to 14-year-olds
Free access for a limited period of time, to help parents, children and schools during school closures.

Audible – audio books
While schools are closed kids can instantly stream, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.

David Walliams Elevenses
Every day at eleven, David Walliams is releasing a new short story from his 'World's Worst Children' books online.

Blue Peter Badges  

Animals - live webcams
A list of zoos with live webcams

Virtual museum tours
Travel and Leisure have published a list with links to famous museums around the world that have virtual tours on their websites.

Northern Ireland

Ryan’s Gym, NI
A fabulous daily online PE session for children.

Core NI

Some general advice for parent in developing their child’s skills at home in relation to a number of development areas.

Twitter only resource - @learn_ni

Helpline and webchat for Parents for everything including hunger poverty. They are really useful as they can signpost families for food support and today have announced they are also working with community partners to ensure no child goes hungry during this difficult period.

The Education Training Inspectorate
Learning resources for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

NI Direct
Give your child a helping hand is a huge resource giving parents lots of guidance on supporting their children’s learning right through from nursery to Y14.

The Autism Advisory and Intervention Service at the Education Authority
The service have set up a special page on their website with a number of resources available for parents to use. This includes advice and guidance on how to maintain and establish routines during this period of home learning, visuals and workstation ideas. It suggests activities and strategies that may help children who are finding it difficult to regulate their emotions during this period of uncertainty.
There are also a list of contact numbers for parents with children who are already known to the Autism Advisory and Intervention Service, for those who are in need of these.

P.E. sessions for children
Sports Development Officer with the Education Authority in NI is providing daily PE sessions for children. Adults can join in too😉

Reviewed: March 2020

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