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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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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Want to live longer? Read a book!

Book readers live two years longer (on average) than non-book readers, according to an article published in the Social Science and Medicine Journal.


The survey of more than 3500 people found that the more that people read, the longer they live, but that as little as 30 minutes a day was still beneficial in terms of survival.


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Brilliant Publications returns to Language Show Live

Everyone at Brilliant Publications is starting to get excited about exhibiting at Language Show Live on 14-16 October 2016 at Olympia (London). We look forward to seeing lots of new and old customers at stand number 302. As usual we will offering a 20% show discount and will have some lovely free goodie bags to hand out!


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Sheila Blackburn speaking at trAction Crewe

Sheila Blackburn will be reading some of her Stewie Scraps books at Crewe Library on 11 July, as part of the trAction Crewe Festival.

TrAction Crewe is a three-day fun event to celebrate Crewe’s role in railways, science and engineering. In addition to Sheila’s session, there will be many free activities for all the family including science, sports, children’s competitions, games and exhibitions.

As Stewie Scrap’s inventions are pretty amazing, listening to his stories is a perfect way to end to the technology-themed festival. So why not pop along to the library and learn about his space racer, star rocket or giant joggers!









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Teaching British Values through Music

Feversham Primary Academy in Bradford has come up with a really novel way of teaching British values – through a music-led curriculum. In the attached article Naveed Idrees, the headteacher, tells what they’ve done.


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Food Standards – why are they different for some academies?

Schools that became academies between 2010 and 2014 are not required to follow the Food Standards. The Standards were not included in their funding contracts so as provide them with more autonomy.

The standards restrict the amount of sugary, fried and fatty foods in school meals and require pupils to be offered at least one portion of vegetables or salad as part of their lunch each day. As the Local Government Association (LGA) points out, this loophole means that about 1 million pupils may be being served unhealthy school meals.

The government has written to the 3,896 academies and free schools affected, asking them to make a voluntary agreement to comply with the new Food Standards. However, according to the LGA, 2,476 schools have still not formally committed to the standards.


Another important aspect of the Food Standards which is frequently forgotten (or ignored) by schools is the requirement for children to learn to cook and be taught about healthy c9781783171194-Get-Cooking-Classroom-recipes-newooking and nutrition. Schools often site a lack of resources and space as reasons for not teaching pupils to cook.

For this reason we brought out Get Cooking in the Classroom. The book has been designed to support schools as they work to comply with The School Food Plan. With relative ease, teachers will be able to undertake a variety of healthy and fun food activities. Many of the recipes do not even require access to an oven!



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Filed under Get Cooking in the Classroom, How to Sparkle at Beginning Multiplication and Division, Kate Morris, Sally Brown