Diary Dates: October 2020

29 September 2020

October is set to be a busy month with lots of dates to save in your diaries and awareness events that can be used to inspire learning and creativity!

UK Black History Month is the annual celebration of the contribution of Black Britons enriching our culture and society throughout history. You can find out more about this important event here . Black History Month is a brilliant opportunity to shine a light on our cultural history. Learn more about extraordinary figures and their achievements with our book lists showcasing the Extraordinary Lives and Little Leaders series. Use the ‘Spark a Debate’ resource based on Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses series to delve deeper into the themes these brilliant books cover.

Did you know about 10% of the UK population are dyslexic? October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, where organisations across the world campaign to help people to understand what being dyslexic is like and to help those with dyslexia get the tools that they need to succeed. You can find revolutionary resources and inspiring videos by successful (and famous) dyslexics on the Made By Dyslexia website. In the UK this year, Dyslexia Awareness Week, 5th – 11th October, will focus on the power of dyslexia to create ideas and what we can all do to empower individuals to achieve their potential, regardless of the barriers they face. Reading can often be a challenge for children with dyslexia so find out how audiobooks can be a brilliant way for everyone to access stories with our handy top tips guide to using audio in the classroom.

We love poetry and are sure you do too, so we can’t wait for National Poetry Day on 1st October. This year’s theme is Vision and you can find out more and join in online using #NationalPoetryDay. It’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate poetry in your school! Encourage budding poets by introducing the wonderful world of word play with these brilliant poems . A must for National Poetry Day has got be Michael Rosen’s Chocolate Cake -use our chocolate-infused resource pack to help you integrate this brilliant poem into Art, English and Maths lessons! For added inspiration watch Rashmi Sirdeshpande as she shares her poem A is for Amazing and then challenges children to write their own alphabet poem. Pens at the ready!

TWO exciting competitions celebrating the publication of two brilliant books will get the imaginations flowing this month.  A marvellous competition for budding artists aged 4-7 years, children are invited to draw their grandparent's (or another older grown-up in their life) proudest moment, in celebration of Captain Sir Tom Moore's wonderful new book,  One Hundred Steps: The Story of Captain Sir Tom Moore. The winning entry will be published in the paperback edition of the book and the winner will receive a signed copy of the book AND deluxe afternoon tea delivered to their door! The competition closes on 15th October and you can find out more here. We've also teamed up with Stagecoach Performing Arts and the author of magical new book, Into the Spotlight, Carrie Hope Fletcher to give young people across the UK a chance to showcase their talents by creating their very own 'My Spotlight' video. Find out more about the 'Into the Spotlight' competition which closes on 19th October, how to enter and the fabulous prize package worth nearly £300 here.

As the nights get darker is time to get spooky with Halloween on 31st October. This year we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the classic bone-rattling tale Funny Bones by Allan Ahlberg. Why not invite your pupils to write their very own spooky story? With a whole host of writing prompts, like the story board to help children plan their scariest ever story or the story widget to help them can conjure up their most frightening fantasy, you can invite children can get their story hats  on and start scaring! For the perfect story to read at Halloween, look no further than The Witches, Roald Dahl’s scariest story for children. Better still use the bumper  resource pack based on the book to embed witch-inspired activities into your lessons – like designing your own witch, writing your own spells and lots more!

And finally, if you're loving using your new stationery make a note in your diary for the Puffin Story Makers Show on Friday 13 November. Your class can help celebrate Puffin's 80th birthday with lots of books, authors, illustrators and real Puffins. More information coming soon.

If your school is doing something inspiring to celebrate stories this month that you'd like to tell the world about, please contact PuffinSchools@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk with 'Inspiring Ideas' in the subject line.

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