Free Homeschooling Resources in UK [For 11-16 year Olds]

If you have taken the decision to homeschool your child, you might be worrying about how much it will cost. While there are loads of great paid resources out there, there are also plenty of excellent free homeschooling resources too. Below are a range of options for UK children roughly 11-16 years old which equates to school years 7-11 (Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 which is GCSE level).

The post is split into two sections, first are resources that are completely free and second are resources where there is a mix of free and paid content. Each of those sections is then separated into Key Stage 3 and GCSE level.

A note on language:┬áIn my posts, I refer to “homeschooling”. In the UK, the correct term for educating your child at home is “home Educating”, with homeschooling referring to a child doing work at home that has been set by school. I use the the term homeschooling in my posts because many people who are new to home educating will use the term homeschooling when searching online and I want to make sure they can find the information.

Key Stage 3 (Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9) Free Homeschooling Resources

The resources in this section are available completely free with no limits on use.

BBC Bitesize at KS3

BBC Bitesize for Key Stage 3 offers a great range of free resources. Bitesize was originally designed for schooled children so the topics reflect that, covering all of the non practical subjects that would be studied at school in years 7-9.

They include:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science (as well as sections for the separate sciences, biology, chemistry and physics)
  • Computer Science
  • Geography
  • History
  • Religious Studies
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Music

They also include some content specific to Wales for Citizenship and Humanities.

The content is a mixture of written information to read, graphics to look at, short videos and quizzes to check understanding. A few topics also have games.

BBC Bitesize will suit learners who are happy to do a fair amount of reading as part of their learning.

BBC Teach at KS3

The difference between BBC Bitesize and BBC Teach is that while Bitesize is designed for learners to use at home, BBC teach is designed for teachers to use in the classroom. This means that the written content is less easy to read and layout is less child friendly.

Where BBC Teach does excel is video. There are a large range of video clips for lots of different subjects so while you probably wouldn’t be able to leave your child to work through BBC Teach on their own, it can be great source of resources if you as a parent have time to find them.

BBC Teach also covers some topics Bitesize doesn’t, here is a list of the subjects covered at KS3:

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • History
  • Geography
  • Religious Studies
  • Computing
  • French
  • German Spanish
  • Music
  • PSHE
  • PE
  • Design and Technology
  • Art and Design
  • Dama

Oak National Academy for KS3

Oak National Academy was set up by the Government during the pandemic to provide a way for children to learn at home. Some of the content has now been moved to a different website called Continuity Oak so if you click on a section in Oak National Academy and it is empty, try checking Continuity Oak.

For most subjects, Oak provides a video lesson of a teacher explaining the subject and setting work as they go along. Some also have worksheets and quizzes. Videos are usually short, 15-30 minutes, but many ask learners to pause to complete activities so they will likely take closer to an hour to complete.

At Key Stage 3 the following subjects are offered on Oak National Academy:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • History
  • Religious Studies
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Latin
  • Music
  • PSHE
  • Drama
  • Art and Design
  • PE
  • Design and Technology
  • Citizenship

On Continuity Oak you will find:

  • Science
  • Geography
  • Hisotry
  • English
  • Art

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is an American website that has a huge range of learning resources for lots of different subjects. The only difficulty is that being an American site, it doesn’t match up with the UK National Curriculum.

If you have chosen not to follow the National Curriculum (not having to being one of the benefits of homeschooling) and are just looking for good learning resources, Khan Academy is a great option. If you are following the National Curriculum, you can still use Khan Academy, it will just take a bit more work to find the things you need.

When judging the level of work on Khan Academy, it is useful to know that in terms of age, Grade 1 equates to the England’s Year 2, Grade 2 equates to England’s Year 3 and so on. This means that for Key Stage 3, you’re looking at grades 6 – 8.

Khan Academy mostly covers Maths, English and Science with a some Humanities and Economics content.

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GCSE Level (Year 10 and Year 11) Free Homeschooling Resources

If you are studying for GCSEs (Key Stage 4), here are some completely free resources you can use.

BBC Bitesize at GCSE

Bitesize for GCSEs covers a range of exam boards however, if your child is taking IGCSEs (which many homeschoolers do to avoid practical elements and coursework, one of the disadvantages of homeschooling) they may not have the exact syllabus you need.

For many subjects there is a degree of crossover so you may still find relevant resources, you’ll just need to check your syllabus first and see if Bitesize offers anything relevant. The exam boards vary for each subject so you’ll need to visit the page, click on the subject you are interested in and then you’ll see a list of exam boards.

At GCSE level, Bitesize covers the following subjects:

  • English Literature
  • English Language
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Combined Science
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • History
  • Geography
  • Religious Studies
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Computer Science
  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • Business
  • Drama
  • ICT
  • Music and PE

There are also some subjects specific to Wales and Ireland.

BBC Teach for GCSE Level Work

Unlike Bitesize, BBC Teach doesn’t provide resources specific to a particular exam board so it is a case of looking to see if it has anything on the topic you want to cover. As at Key Stage 3, there are some great video clips and while it is still quite wordy, its more likely a learner at Key Stage 4 would be able to read through the information provided alone.

The following subjects are covered:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • History
  • Religious Studies
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin
  • Latin
  • Music
  • Business
  • Media Studies
  • Drama
  • Art and Design
  • PE
  • Design and Technology

Oak National Academy for GCSE Work

As noted in the Key Stage 3 section, some of the resources from Oak National Academy have been moved to Continuity Oak. There are also some resources that are no longer available, the main subject that is impacted by this at GCSE level is modern foreign languages where much of the content has been removed.

The format for KS4 work on Oak National Academy is the same as that for KS3, with video lessons along with quizzes and some worksheets.

The following subjects at GCSE can be found on Oak National Academy:

  • Maths
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Combined Science
  • French (parts missing)
  • Spanish (parts missing
  • German (parts missing)
  • Latin
  • Religious Education
  • Computing
  • Citizenship

These subjects are available on Continuity Oak:

  • English
  • Physics
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • Maths
  • Art

Khan Academy

As a US website, Khan Academy doesn’t have content specifically tailored to GCSE but you may still be able to find some relevant content for Maths and Science which it covers up to High School Level. Bear in mind that in the US, High School covers up to age 18.

Key Stage 3 Homeschooling Resources with Free Elements

The resources below are useful for years 7, 8 and 9 (roughly ages 11-14) and while you have to pay for full access, they all offer some access for free.

Free EdPlace Resources for 11-14 Year Olds

EdPlace is essentially a revision site so while it won’t teach your learner any new material, it can be a great way of testing current knowledge and practicing skills.

EdPlace is aligned to the National Curriculum so useful if your intention is to follow it. It covers Maths, English and Science.

With a free account your child can do up to 5 activities a month. While this isn’t a great deal it can add variety to your schedule, which is how we have used it. What is really useful is, as a parent, you can preview as many activities as you want to help you decide which 5 activities will most benefit your child.

Free IXL Resources for Years 7, 8 and 9

Like EdPlace, IXL is a revision site and aligned to the National Curriculum. For free use you are limited to 10 questions a day and then it will cut you off. You don’t need an account to do the 10 free questions, you just find the work you want to do and get on with it.

The downsides are that you can’t preview work to help you decide what your child should do and because you don’t have an account if you’re using it for free, you can keep track of what has been done. Like EdPlace, it’s useful if you want to mix things up a bit.

Free Seneca Resources for Key Stage 3

Seneca has a mix of free and premium resources available. The majority of the free resources for Key Stage 3 relate to English with a few on Maths, Sciences and Humanities. There are a lot more on those subjects if you pay for premium.

You can set up a free account for yourself as a parent and one for you child and then link them. You can then keep track of completed work. Seneca is a good option for English as it offers more at KS3 than Edplace or IXL.

Finding Free Twinkl Resources for 11-14 year Olds

While many of the resources on Twinkl require you to have a subscription, there are still a good number that you can access without paying, you just need to sign up for a free account.

The easiest way to find relevant resources is to click on the 11-16 option at the top of the homepage and then select the subject that you want at KS3. You can then use of the filter on the lefthand menu to limit it to free resources.

The other option is to put “Free Resources” into the search box and then filter the results by age. This isn’t foolproof however and will still bring up some results that need a subscription, usually because they have the word “free” in the resource name or description.

find free resources on twinkl how to search instructions on a screenshot
Screenshot to show how to search for free resources on Twinkl

While Twinkl has lots of great resource, the main problem I have encountered as a home educator is that, because they are originally designed for teachers, answers aren’t included. While this wasn’t a problem in the younger years, it has proved to be one at secondary school age.

Twinkl also has a new section called “Beyond” dedicated to secondary school resources but they only offer a sample pack for those with the free account.

It is also worth noting that the Beyond sample pack is pretty much the only Twinkl free resource available for GCSE level.

GCSE Homeschooling Resources with Free Elements

These resources all offer some free GCSE level content.

Free EdPlace for GCSEs

EdPlace is designed to be a revision tool so is great for practicing GCSE work. At GCSE EdPlace offers English Literature, English Language, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Like Bitesize, each subject is separated by exam board so if you are doing IGCSEs you may need to dig around a bit to find the topics you need.

The free account can give you a way to track what’s being done and you could also give your child access to your parent account to allow them to explore resources before deciding what would be best for them to practice.

Free IXL GCSE Resources

IXL covers GCSE level English and Maths and has a large number of topics within each. They are not linked to specific exam boards which may actually make it easier to find the topic you are after.

You’re still limited to 10 questions a day but it could add some variety to revision.

Seneca Free Resources for GCSEs

As with the years 7, 8 and 9 work, a lot of Seneca’s content at GCSE level is focussed on English however there is more on other subjects at GCSE than KS3. There is a fair amount of Science and Maths as well as some other subjects.

Much of what is there is tailored to a specific exam board and you can filter by subject and exam board to find what you need.

Know Any Other Resources?

Hopefully that has given you some ideas for free homeschooling resources you can use. If you know of others, please do share them in the comments and I will add them to the post.

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