Category Archives: English

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!

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.


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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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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.

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Can exams improve teaching practice?

A recent article in Singapore’s Strait Times, says that the Ministry of Education is changing the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) composition paper, to give more scope for creativity. Instead of pupils being asked to write a story on a given picture or scenario, they will be given three pictures offering three different angles of interpretation to guide them in their writing. Pupils will be allowed to choose to write a story based on one, two or all three of the pictures.

It is hoped that this will encourage teachers to allow pupils to be more creative in their writing.

In announcing the new changes, Mr Ong, the Acting Minister for Education, said, ‘If we can produce a Singapore version of J. K. Rowling, the economic spin-off will surely be incalculable.’

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Filed under Assesssment, English, News