Joyeux Noël ! Merry Christmas!










Here are just a few of our wonderful French Christmas resources!

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Filed under Foreign Language

Breaking eggs

What is the best way to teach children how to break eggs?

This new video from Kate Morris and Sally Brown, authors of Get Cooking in the Classroom, makes teaching this skill easy.

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Filed under Healthy Cooking, Kate Morris, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Sally Brown

What makes Brilliant Publications’ books … ‘brilliant’?


Well, we could give you some synonyms (many of which are in our online reviews): exceptionally clever or talented, inventive, creative, outstanding, impressive, remarkable, exceptional, glorious, superb, excellent, first-rate …

But we thought it might be more helpful if we gave you four reasons:

We provide support

All our authors have teaching backgrounds. In fact, the majority are still full-time teachers. This means that they know what works in the classroom. All the ideas have been tried and tested, so you know that they will be relevant and will help children to learn.

Take, for example, Teach French with Luc et Sophie, our story book approach to teaching French. The teacher’s guides contain everything you need: lesson plans, vocabulary lists, English translations, worksheets, grammar points, supplementary worksheets, play scripts and more. The accompanying CD-Rom contains songs, audio versions of the stories, e-book versions of the stories, so that they can be displayed on an Interactive Whiteboard, along with Smartboard games.

We encourage creativity

We want children to be engaged and enjoy what they are doing – as that will help them to stay on task. This is why we particularly like our Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension series. We decided that if we are asking children to read, understand and answer questions from a passage, that passage should at least engage their attention, and indeed their teacher’s attention as well. We’ve even provided cross-curricular activities to go with each passage, enabling children to respond to the passages in a variety of creative ways.

We embrace challenge

Important as it is that activities are attention grabbing, this isn’t enough. Children must be challenged to do their best.  This is why our books contain activities to challenge children of all abilities. In the Maths Problem Solving series, for example, there are three versions of each activity, so you can give the children the right sheet for their ability. The level of complexity of the sums vary but the line of questioning remains the same, so all children are developing the same concepts, while at the same time being stretched.

We offer convenience

Our books will save you hours of preparation and planning time. Most are available as both printed books and e-pdfs, so you can buy the format that suits you. We even offer a special discount if you want to buy both together. We also have many e-resources, some costing as little at 99p, so you only need to buy the resources you need.

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Filed under English, French, Mathematics

Poor leadership? It could be you!

Being a headteacher is an incredibly difficult job. This blog gives some useful pointers.

the primary head's blog


Leadership is beset with barriers. Sadly, the biggest barrier is often the leaders. Schools can provide the perfect environment for ineffective leaders to develop, and, for my money, there are three main causes: fear, hope and time.

I call these the Holy Trinity of poor leadership choices. Wherever there is poor leadership, at least one of these factors will be part of the problem. The fear that you will be judged to be ineffective by your colleagues, your governors, or Ofsted can derail even the most experienced leader. Who can blame them? We are trying to run schools in a world where the bar is being raised in such extreme and unknown ways that it seems, at times, impossible to rely on your experience and professionalism to guide the way. We’re living in the brave new world where previous knowns are now no longer existent. It seems so improbable that…

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Children who eat healthy develop better reading skills

We’ve been promoting healthy eating and fun activities to improve reading skills for a long time – so it’s great to read an article that shows that they are linked!

A study by researchers in Finland shows that chidren who stick to a diet high in whole grains, unsaturated fats, vegetables, fruits and fish – and low in red meat, saturated fat, and sugary foods – consistently outperform their peers when it comes to reading tests.


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Filed under healthy eating, Kate Morris, Sally Brown

What makes gold medals? A positive growth mindset!

Did you know that when Adam Peaty was 14 years old, he was swimming in the slow lane with 10-year old girls? Through a huge amount of hard work, resilience  and sacrifice (and good coaching) he’s gone on to win Gold at the Olympics.

Or how about British boxer Lawrence Okolie? He was bullied at school for being overweight. But watching the Olympics in 2012 was life-changing for him. He was so inspired by Anthony Joshua winning an Gold medal, he quit his job in a fast food restaurant and started training to be a boxer. Just four years later he is in Rio representing Great Britain.

Ben Burgess, author of the attached article (a primary headteacher and former professional footballer) argues that the word “talented” should be banned from schools due to the negative effect it has on children. Instead we should be looking for ways of developing positive growth mindsets. As Burgess says, “Obviously people are born with different physiological strengths, but so much comes down to opportunity, circumstance and a desire to work hard, overcome failures and improve.”

I, for one, hope we hear many more stories, like those of Adam Peaty and Lawrence Okolie.

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Filed under News

Me and My Job

The Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) asked me to write a blog for their ‘Me and My Job’ section on their website. Here it is!

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