RSE School Talks Programme

RSE Schools

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) have announced a free School Talks programme where a number of their Fellows will be delivering free online talks to schools throughout Scotland.

All talks are presented by inspirational experts, keen to enthuse and excite young people in P6 – S6 covering Sciences; Technologies; Social Studies; Health and Wellbeing; Expressive Arts; Mathematics; and Languages. They look AMAZING! Many of the speakers are also willing to work with teachers to tailor their talks to fit with class curriculums.

For more information about the talks and how to book please visit


Free e-Books from Oxford University Press

A colourful free e-Book helping to talk through feelings around covid 19 with young children. Available from Oxford University Press here

Winnie and Wilbur Stay at Home from the popular series by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul is available as an e-Book with fun activities and can be downloaded free here

Winnie and Wilbur Stay at Home jacket image


Mantra Lingua offers free access to E-books


Great news! Mantra Lingua is a UK based publisher of award winning multilingual education resources and is offering free access to ebooks for home reading. Their ebooks come in 37 languages and you can enjoy the books free until 31st August 2020.

Click here to sign up and start reading.

Dan Freedman’s football challenge

The Kick Off

Enjoy an interview with the best selling author Dan Freedman, the writer of the FANTASTIC Jamie Johnson football novels,  take a Premier League  challenge and VERY IMPORTANTLY read Dan Freedman’s e-book The Kick Off here absolutely free!


The RED Book Award ceremony goes digital!

The RED Book Award, now in its 14th year, was in danger of not going ahead because of the coronavirus, however it was decided to organise the ceremony on-line. Over 70 teachers and pupils gathered on Microsoft Teams on 27/5/2020 to join the 4 wonderful shortlisted authors:

Lauren James who wrote The Quiet at the End of the World

Matt Killeen who wrote Orphan Monster Spy

Gill Lewis who wrote The Closest Thing to Flying

Fiona Shaw who wrote Outwalkers

The Q & A session was excellent with the authors answering brilliant questions from the pupils. The ceremony was interrupted with some occasional ‘hand dancing’ by the librarians, teachers, guests and authors! The young people had written alternative endings to the shortlisted books and the overall winner, from Larbert HS, had written another ending to The Closest Thing to Flying, the author, Gill Lewis, said she was “blown away” by the writing.

And then it was time to open the red envelope to reveal the winning book:

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James who was delighted and said it was her first regional book award win!

Congratulations Lauren.

The Quiet at the End of the World

The Book of Hopes


Award-winning children’s author, Katherine Rundell, has launched The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown, which is hosted exclusively on the National Literacy Trust’s Family Zone.

Completely free for all children and families, the extraordinary collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures has contributions from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators.

Empathy Lab

 Reading stories helps us to see things through other people’s eyes and helps us to develop empathy.

On the week of 18 May – empathy lab  will be launching toolkits for schools which can be used on Empathy Day, 9 June, just email or and write Toolkit in the subject to be sent a link for the toolkits.

Family activity packs full of ideas and downloadable resources to support home learning are available now – click here.

The empathy-building power of reading beautifully illustrated for us by Children's Laureate, 2015 - 2017, Chris Riddell.


Publishers give permission to read their books on-line

At this time you may wish to read stories online as one of the many ways to digitally engage children and young people. Many publishers understand this, and have temporarily lifted or adjusted their copyright guidelines and permissions, please visit this website to find out which publishers have adjusted their policies. You will also find guidelines to follow from each participating publisher.

Don’t forget that many others are offering free resources and tools on their websites.

First Minister’s Reading Challenge

An open book with letters coming out of it

Due to the school closures, the deadline for sending submissions to the First Minister’s Reading Challenge has been extended to the 14th May 2020.

Your evidence of nurturing a love of reading can be in the form of a piece of writing, or a film, photo diary, presentation or mind map. It may not be what you had intended due to the lockdown, but Scottish Book Trust are really keen to hear about your good work.

Scottish Book Trust is also running an online webinar on 21st April on how to submit your Challenge entry, more information can be found here.


Barrington Stoke supporting literacy at home

Free Resources from Barrington StokeBarrington Stoke have pulled together all their free learning resources which can be found here



Dyslexia friendly       Super readable

The resources are a brilliant way to support children and young people’s learning as well as offering them exciting opportunities, for example the Young Editors Scheme, where young people can download manuscripts before publication and shape what is published.

There is also a list of links to other useful sites to help learning at home.