5 Essential Guardian Teaching Resources for Primary School

As with the BBC, The Guardian website is home to a wide selection of free teaching resources and classroom materials to aid teachers in delivering lessons that keep students interested and offer new ways of learning. Not only this but it’s also a place for teachers and education staff to find advice and information on teaching techniques, inspiration, and updates in the education sector.

We’ve poured over The Guardian’s teaching and education resources online to bring you these articles with links to downloadable resources and step-by-step activities. 

1. How to Teach Phonics

In primary school children will begin to understand phonics: the building blocks of words. Building strong foundations in phonics is critical in order to move on to stringing sounds and syllables together, then to reading and writing words and sentences. 

In this article, teachers can find a selection of hands-on resources that challenge children to explore phonics and test what they know using interactive technology. The article covers activities like the Teach Your Monster to Read game, which asks children to demonstrate their knowledge of graphemes, along with other phonics games and apps. The article also sites advice from teachers and practitioners who specialise in phonics. Our Phonics Threading Beads - Letter & Graphemes Set is an excellent teaching tool for learning about phonics using tactile cards and beads that are laced onto string to form words out of sounds. Our sets are available for levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 depending on where the students are in the learning process. 



2. How to Teach Dinosaurs

We admit, getting children excited to learn about dinosaurs isn’t going to be as difficult as phonics! Here are some creative ways to support childrens’ natural curiosity about these extinct creatures. This article offers some light background on dinosaurs and debunks some popular myths about our ideas of dinosaur behaviour, offering a link to an even longer list of dinosaur myths that need to go extinct

Draw on inspiration from the Natural History Museum, or take on a garden exploration with the resources included in this article. These types of activities will spark the imagination of your students by getting them actively involved in learning, transporting them back to the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Giving the students access to some dinosaur-themed toys in the classroom can help support what they have learned as they incorporate these new ideas into play. Consider a toy like our Dinosaur Island, a dynamic 3D model including dinosaur toys, a nest, eggs, a waterfall, and lava, giving children a jumping-off point for games on a prehistoric landscape. 




3. How to Teach Black History Month

October is National Black History Month. This is an important annual celebration to incorporate into school so children have the opportunity to learn about the rich and diverse history of black people, including the cultures of black nations and famous black people today and throughout time. Black History Month is also a great opportunity to build on any topics of equality and diversity the students have been learning in PSHE, as they discover more about the importance of inclusivity in the modern world. This article offers a selection of ten historical events that should (or can) be taught to pupils during Black History Month, suitable for KS2 and up. The article starts off with a link to the wider Guardian Black History Month Hub, which holds an extensive library of topical articles published over the last year.

Key historical events in this article will help children to discover incredible secrets that changed the way we understood history, like the discovery of the Ivory Bangle Lady, one of the wealthiest inhabitants of Roman York, whose remains were found with Yorkshire Jet, Ivory, and Blue Glass. This discovery led historians to understand that all Africans in Britain at that time were not some of the poorest in society as previously thought. Other inspirational stories include the British Black Panthers and John Blanke the famous trumpeter.

Supplement learning about black history with an energetic session of practising music using traditional African instruments, like those in our 13-piece African Music Basket.




4. How to Teach Dyslexia Awareness

The Guardian states that one in 10 people are dyslexic in the UK, making roughly three students in each classroom children with dyslexia. While dyslexia doesn’t stop children from learning along with others in the class and enjoying their time at school, it means they will need a little extra support with certain types of learning such as reading and writing work. 

This article brings together tips and tricks for approaching learning with children who are dyslexic. Resources in this article help teachers to think outside the box when it comes to adaptive learning and offers different approaches conducive to dyslexic challenges. Tips include how documents and worksheets should be visually laid out, and which fonts are best to use. Find a link to OpenDyslexic, a website where teachers can download free fonts specially designed for children with dyslexia to read more easily. 

Find out about more dyslexia teaching resources in our blog. We also stock packs of Lexie Mouse Phonic Books, which are designed with a special font that helps children with dyslexia to practice reading, either with an adult or on their own.




5. Tips for Teaching Science in Primary School

When children begin to explore primary school science, hands-on, physical and tactile experiences are invaluable. Letting children discover scientific processes, reactions, the natural world, and living things are made easier when they are made to be interactive and relatable. This article on The Guardian website discusses ways teachers can approach scientific learning to encourage excitement and productivity.

Starting from the ground up, this article looks at how primary teachers can conduct science lessons with more confidence and offers resources like Explorify, a free digital resource for teaching primary science. It also offers suggestions for experiments and places teachers can grow and develop their own knowledge of the science curriculum. 

Teacher Network

An extensive hub covering a broad range of teaching and education-related topics. On the Teacher Network on The Guardian’s website, you can find anything from careers to current affairs. The Teacher Network is a great place for those working in education to stay abreast of new movements in learning and teaching, helping us to deliver the very best opportunities to students in school. 

Sign up for the Teacher Network newsletter to get a regular roundup of articles, opinions, debates, and highlights. 

Secret Teacher

Get the inside scoop from real teachers through The Guardian’s Secret Teacher column. Read a series of blogs, regularly updated, here where anonymous insiders working in the education sector lift the lid on everything to do with teaching. Secret Teacher provides a highly relevant look at issues in teaching that real people are experiencing every day. 

The column is always open to teachers and those working in education to give their opinions and experiences on things. Email teacherNetwork@theguardian.com to get involved. 

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