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Online Children’s Book Festival – June 26th and 27th 2021

A FREE CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL is being hosted by Independent Thinking this June.

This special event grew out of our recent podcast guest Ian Gilbert finding himself on a Zoom coffee morning chat with a wide range of authors, all brought together by Sue Atkins, TV’s celebrated ‘parenting coach’.

Post-lockdown, it is even more vital to help children develop their reading skills – and that all-important love of reading. So, they felt that bringing these wonderful authors together and giving each one 20 minutes to share their book, read a short extract and explain what drove them to write would be a really useful and enjoyable thing to do.

So that’s what they’re doing.

Simply check out all the great titles below and follow the links to reserve your free front-row seats. You can come to as many as you like.

And thank you for sharing this page with other educators, parents, librarians and anyone who has an interest in wonderful books for children.

Full details at

Teach Active to launch the UK’s largest active learning day

As part of the Youth Sport Trust’s National School Sport Week (19-25th June 2021), Teach Active is set to host the largest active learning day for schools on Wednesday 23rd June.

Jon Smedley from Teach Active was my guest on episode 182 of the Education on Fire podcast .

On this day, English and maths lessons in primary schools around the country will be transformed into active lessons where children move around the classroom and have fun while they learn. Activities include setting up multiplication stations, and pupils must run to each station to pick up a multiplication problem card to solve, aiming to complete the whole course in less than 30 minutes. In another lesson, children play at being punctuation police. They march around, noting down punctuation errors written out on cards around the class or playground.

Jon Smedley, a former teacher and founder of Teach Active, said: “After a year of so much inactivity, we want to use the day to show that being active is not just about PE and sports but reducing the amount of time we spend sitting down overall.

“Any primary school can join in and see the benefits of active learning. It helps children engage with lessons, learn more effectively and improves their overall mental health by having fun with their classmates.”

Ali Oliver MBE, chief executive officer at the Youth Sport Trust, said: “We’re delighted Teach Active are supporting this year’s National School Sport Week.

“Young people have missed out on so much and had their worlds turned upside down by the pandemic. It is brilliant that Teach Active are helping more young people benefit from the important role physical activity has to play in their recovery.”

To help teachers prepare, Teach Active will provide 50 free active English and maths lesson plans for pupils from foundation stage through to year 6.

All schools who download the lesson plans and pledge to take part on social media with the hashtag #ActiveLearningDay2021 will have the chance to win £100 Decathlon vouchers to spend on school sports equipment. The top prize of a school visit from one of the Youth Sport Trust’s athlete ambassadors will be on offer for the school that posts the best video of their active learning day on Twitter with the hashtag #ActiveLearningDay2021.

The largest active learning day lesson plans are free to download to all schools here:

Schools can register to take part in the Youth Sport Trust’s National School Sport Week by visiting

#ActiveLearningDay2021 @TeachActive #NSSW2021 @YouthSportTrust

Oxfordshire Headteachers Conference 2021

Leading To A Brighter Future.

Headteachers have responded brilliantly to the many issues brought about by Covid 19, and the consequent demands made upon them by politicians, parents and the media.

Join them for an online conference which brings together a unique group of speakers, who all realise the importance of change in our education system, and that things should not “go back to normal”.  Alongside the huge physical effort of keeping schools going, headteachers and teachers – of all phases – have been reflecting on ways to engage our children by creating better learning environments.

The conference will include:

* A main programme of brief presentations by great speakers throughout the day
* Workshops and seminars addressing children’s needs
* Short videos of innovative practitioner classroom practice available to watch on demand
* The opportunity to network and discuss with colleagues via video chat

The main stage will be recorded so that delegates will have access to the talks for up to five days after the conference, so any talks you might have missed on the day or just want to watch again will be available for that time period.

Speakers include, Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching on The Future of Teaching, Ruth Seymour, Richard Gerver, Jan Dubiel and Bill Lucas. More exciting speakers listed below.

For more details and to book please visit:

Education on Fire Named Best Educational Podcast 2021


I’m delighted to announce that Education on Fire has made the shortlist of Learning Ladders’ ‘Best Educational Podcast 2021’ awards.

We were shortlisted alongside 46 other podcasts from a long list of over 100 entries, for our dedication to providing useful, actionable and credible advice to educators.

The awards panel featured teachers, school leaders, and EdTech entrepreneurs including Learning Ladders’ founder, Matt Koster-Marcon, who is also Chair of the EdTech Special Interest Group at BESA.

For busy teachers, podcasts are increasingly a great CPD resource, providing inspiration, entertainment, and new ways of thinking about education.

We’re proud to be included in the list, and would also like to congratulate the other shortlisted podcasts for their incredible work.

Visit the full list of recommended podcasts, which cover topics such as EdTech, EYFS, and SEND, to read our full entry.

Towards a balanced and broadly-based curriculum

On 8th March 2021 the National Association for Primary Education held their annual Schiller Lecture presented by Dr. Tony Eaude. Due to the pandemic this was the first time it was held virtually and the recording is available for you here.

Dr. Eaude has published widely on a range of educational topics extending from pedagogy in the classroom to children’s moral, social and cultural development, earning himself the reputation as one of the most articulate and enlightened voices in the primary sector. His most recent book (2020), Identity, Culture and Belonging: Educating Young Children for a Changing World, characteristically draws on his wealth of teaching experience in the primary school, including headship and his insights into the changing contexts for schooling and children’s development. This was recorded at the Zoom NAPE Conference 2021 accompanied with the slides Tony had written for it.
To find out more about Christian Schiller HMI please click on the link below
The Schiller Book, published by NAPE, ‘In His Own Words’, can be purchased for only £5.
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