Category Archives: English

Teaching speaking and listening in primary school

The National Curriculum in England only has one page on spoken language and this covers the entire primary curriculum for Year 1 to 6. The curriculum specifies that pupils should be taught to:

9781783172313 Brilliant Activities for Speaking and Listening KS2 Brilliant Publications

Brilliant Activities for Speaking and Listening Key Stage 2 (KS2)

  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
  •  ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  •  use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
  •  articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
  •  use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
  •  speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates
  •  gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
  •  consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.

The non-statutory notes helpfully state that ‘the content should be taught at a level appropriate to the age of the pupils. But if you are are Year 3 or a Year 6 teacher, how do you work out what speaking and listening skills to teach?

This is why we’ve brought out Brilliant Activities for Speaking and Listening at Key Stage 2.

The book contains 21 activities for Years 3–4 and 25 for Years 5-6. The activities range from interpreting facts and figures and working out the correct order in wich instructions and information are given to discussing and debating issues, such a bullying, junk foods and attitudes towards keeping pets. There are also opportunities for role-play, hot-seating, retelling stories, and for responding to and interpreting poems. The emphasis is on activities in which pupils use exploratory talk in order to clarify their viewpoints.

The following sample activities are available on our website, so you can ‘try before you buy’:

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Filed under English, Key Stage 2

Sheila Blackburn talks about being a children’s author

Sheila Blackburn has just been interviewed by Ink Pantry. Read Sheila’s interview here.

Sheila Blackburn is the author of:

Stewie Scraps and the Giant Joggers - Brilliant Publications

Stewie Scraps and the Giant Joggers

Stewie Scraps

Stewie Scraps is an unlikely hero. He doesn’t do sport. He hasn’t got any time for sums or things like that, but he is great at making things. Children will love Stewie’s amazing technological creations – all made from bits and bobs from his dad’s junk shop.
Stewie Scraps is a very likeable character and this series of six adventure stories will appeal to all readers of both sexes. The gripping storylines and simple language make them particularly suitable for use with reluctant readers.

Sam’s Football Stories

Training Night, form Sam's Football Stories, Set A - Brilliant Publications

Training Night, form Sam’s Football Stories, Set A

Sam’s Football Stories are specially written to stimulate and motivate your slower learners and reluctant readers. The books will appeal particularly to reluctant boy readers. The 12 compelling stories tell the story of Sam, a football crazy boy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ink Pantry Publishing evolved from a social media group of creative writing students from The Open University who wanted to create an inspiring and supportive platform for new writers.

Sheila Blackburn – author of Stewie Scraps and Sam's Football Stories - Brilliant Publications

Sheila Blackburn

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Children's fiction, English, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, News

Sheila Blackburn launches new website!

Sheila Blackburn, the author of the Stewie Scraps and Sam’s Football Stories books, has just launched her new website. Please have a look!

http://www.sheilamayblackburn.com/

Sheila-blackburn - Brilliant Publications - author of Stewie Scraps and Sam's Football Stories

Sheila Blackburn, author of Stewie Scraps and Sam’s Football Stories

Stewie Scraps has always been one of my favourite characters. Stewie doesn’t do sport. He hasn’t got any time for sums or things like that, but he does like technology; designing and making stuff using the scrap in his dad’s junk shop.

Sam, on the other hand, is football mad! Follow his adventures as he joins a football team and starts to enter matches!

Both series appeal to readers of all ages, but they are particularly good for use with reluctant readers, especially boys.

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Filed under Children's fiction, English, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, News, Primary school

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.

9781783170913 Teach French with Luc et Sophie Brilliant Publications

Teach French with Luc et Sophie

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

9781783170739 Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension Year 5 Brilliant Publications

Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension, Year 5

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

9781903853740 Maths Problem Solving, Year 1 Brilliant Publications

Maths Problem Solving, Year 1

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 Brilliant Publications, English, French, Mathematics

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.

http://www.foodandwine.com/news/kids-who-eat-healthy-develop-better-reading-skills

9781783171194-Get-Cooking-Classroom-Brilliant Publications

Get Cooking in the Classroom

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Filed under English, Healthy eating, News

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.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/08/book-up-for-a-longer-life-readers-die-later-study-finds

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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What crazy rules for using exclamation marks!

According to the latest guidance issued by the DFE, pupils will only receive marks for using exclamation marks if the sentence starts with ‘What’ or ‘How’.

The guidance suggests “What a lovely day!” or “How exciting!” as acceptable examples.

“A sentence that ends in an exclamation mark, but which does not have one of the grammatical patterns shown above, is not considered to be creditworthy as an exclamation (e.g. exclamatory statements, exclamatory imperatives, exclamatory interrogatives or interjections),” it says.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/12185164/Nonsense-Backlash-over-new-school-rules-on-exclamation-marks.html

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Filed under Assesssment, English, News