It has been a very unusual time since March as the whole world has been turned upside down. The events of lockdown and planning the return to school have necessitated changes that no-one could have predicted six months ago. Along with other education-focused blogs, over the last few months CLA has been keen to share ideas and experiences about the ongoing challenges with everyone working in schools. As we migrate to a new blog site, it might be useful to highlight some of these recent posts in case you missed any of them.

Faced with not having ready access to many of your familiar books, teachers have been creative and resourceful in finding ways of engaging pupils. Many authors have also contributed, and back in April the author Jeff Norton described some of the things that he and other children’s authors have been doing to support teachers and pupils during lockdown. Ranging from online readings to free downloadable books and other materials. He recommended Toppsta as a source for finding out about daily activities and events from authors. In a subsequent post Caryl Hart described how she and Jonathan Emmett have created Picture Book Author Events Online, which has been incredibly successful; details of forthcoming events are on Caryl Hart’s What’s On page, as well as on Facebook. The following week Jonathan Emmett provided some valuable (and entertaining) suggestions on how to record and broadcast online; though it was aimed at authors reading their own work, it is good advice for anyone having to deal with video calls and online interactions with groups.

Working from home has meant we have lost our familiar interactions with colleagues and students. Clare Hodgson has described for us the importance of maintaining connections with colleagues and students while working remotely, and we have also posted essential material on looking after your mental health while working from home.

Several of our blogs are aimed at school librarians, but often contain lots of interesting ideas for teachers too. In one of these, Sarah Pavey gave us a list of Things to do if your school library is closed, and Lucas Maxwell has provided another helpful resource on what librarians can do to contribute in lockdown.

Colleagues from CLA have been busy writing too; Julie Murray has shared her thoughts on how CLA can support teachers with remote teaching. Her post includes some teaching materials on copyright for 8-14 year-olds, and information about NLA’s Newspapers for Schools Library and the CLA Education Platform. Finally, Becky Owen wrote about other practicalities of making online readings for schools from the perspective of copyright.