We are stocktaking

Next week (2nd August – 10th August) we will be counting stock.

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Why does hair turn grey?

Yesterday at the dinner table my Year 10 daughter asked, ‘Why does hair turn grey?’ This question had come up in her science class and my daughter felt it was wrong that her teacher hadn’t known the answer.

This provoked an interesting discussion on what teachers should know, what pupils needed to learn and what the purpose of education was. Given that the world is changing so rapidly, what is fact today, might not be fact in 20 years time. Therefore teaching just facts doesn’t prepare you for the future.

While pupils do need to learn some facts, it is equally important for them to learn to think and to find out for themselves – so that they want to become lifelong learners. My father was particularly good at modelling this skill when I was a child. We had a full set of the Encyclopedia Britannica sitting on the sideboard in the dining room, and it was a rare dinner table conversation when we didn’t pull at least one volume off the shelf.

So, how can we encourage pupils to learn to think creatively? As this is a pet subject of mine, Brilliant Publications has published lots of books on this subject. As an experiment, I tried typing ‘creative’ into the search book on our website (www.brilliantpublications.co.uk). I was pleased to see that 44 books came up. I then tried ‘thinking’ and got 30 titles. Why don’t you have a go typing in your own keywords and see what you come up with!

A few of my particular favourites are: Stimulate Creative Thinking, CRAMES – Creative Games to Help Children Learn to Think and Creative Homework Tasks.

Incidently, the reason hair turns grey is, as we get older, the pigment cells in our hair follicles gradually die. When there are fewer pigment cells in a hair follicle, that strand of hair will no longer contain as much melanin and will become a more transparent color — like grey, silver, or white — as it grows.

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Filed under Books, Creative Homework Tasks, Cross-Curricula, Gifted and Talented, Guest blog, News, PSHE, Teaching Ideas

Use World Cup fever as a learning tool

The World Cup – you know you can’t ignore it, so embrace it instead.

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Filed under Authors, Books, English, Fiction, Key Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Sam's Football Stories, School Year, Sheila M. Blackburn, Teaching Ideas, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6

Boost creative writing in line with the new curriculum

Engage and inspire your pupils to become better writers. Research shows that talking about writing, before putting pen to paper, helps children to become better writers. But how do you go about organizing the ‘talk’?

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Filed under Books, English, Key Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, National Curriculum, School Year, Teaching Ideas, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6

Come visit Brilliant Publications at London Book Fair

After months of preparation, it’s hard to believe that London Book Fair is next week. Brilliant Publications will be exhibiting our ‘brilliant books for brilliant teachers’ on stand (J205).

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Filed under Book Fairs, London Book Fair, News

Learn how to teach French Phonics at Language World

We are delighted that Sue Cave, one of our authors, will be talking on Friday, 4 April at the Language World conference at Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster.

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Filed under Books, Foreign Language, French, German, Italian, Key Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, National Curriculum, Spanish, Teaching Ideas, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6, Year 7, Year 8

The most popular languages in primary schools

According to the Language Trends Survey 2014, 75% of primary schools teach French and 20% teach Spanish. That leaves just 5% teaching other languages.

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Filed under Books, Foreign Language, French, German, Italian, Key Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, National Curriculum, News, School Year, Spanish, Teaching Ideas, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6