Category Archives: English

FREE Creative Homework Tasks for Year 5 and Year 6

Follow this link to get a FREE 84-page e-book, Creative Homework Tasks for 9-11 Year Olds.

The activities are ideal for English or maths homework as they reinforce literacy and numeracy skills. The tasks link to other subject areas including science and technology, art and design and PSHE

But more than that, the imaginative, open-ended activities are sure to spark enthusiasm.

The tasks have been designed so that they can be given out with little or no input from the teacher if need be.

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Filed under Art and design, Brilliant Publications, English, homework, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, Primary school, PSHE, Science, Teaching Ideas

FREE Creative Homework Tasks

Follow this link to get a FREE 84-page e-book, Creative Homework Tasks for 7-9 Year Olds.

The activities are ideal for English or maths homework as they reinforce literacy and numeracy skills. The tasks link to other subject areas including science and technology, art and design and PSHE

But more than that, the imaginative, open-ended activities are sure to spark enthusiasm.

The tasks have been designed so that they can be given out with little or no input from the teacher if need be.

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Filed under Art and design, Brilliant Publications, English, homework, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, PSHE, Science, Teaching Ideas

Request a FREE copy of the Tips for Writing reference booklet!

How much support should you give your pupils for creative writing tasks?

Supporting pupils with creative writing tasks is something of a balancing act. Too much support and it affects pupils’ creativity. Too little support and it affects pupils’ writing. To add to this, each pupil is likely to need a different level of support – more so if you are teaching a group of pupils with mixed abilities.

Boost Creative Writing is a series packed with planning sheets to support primary school pupils with their creative writing tasks. They are particularly helpful for slower learners since they provide additional reinforcement of key skills and non-prescriptive writing scaffolds. The structured sheets cover a range of writing genres, from stories and poems to book reviews and newspaper reports.

Boost Creative Writing for Years 5-6 also includes a handy Tips for Writing section which can be copied and bound to make a useful reference booklet for each child. In fact, we are giving Tips for Writing away for FREE as a pdf – click here to request your free reference booklet.

We hope your pupils enjoy using their booklets.

It's fun to write - tip sheets

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, How children learn, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, National Curriculum, Primary school, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), Teaching Ideas

Why do we have creative writing?

The imaginative use of words within a story goes back to the earliest days of humanity.  And it still serves a purpose today.

Humankind has always told stories.  Everything from cave pictures to monuments like Stonehenge, from tales told around the flickering fire to the greatest cathedrals tell us about events, locations, and people that we cannot see.

Indeed it appears to be fundamental to our human psyches to want to hear stories, and as a result there is every reason for all of us to want to tell them too. 

For the ability to appreciate and explore this basic human instinct comes from our own experiences of making up stories of our own.   Indeed such invention allows us to share our experiences and entertain others as we seek to make sense of the mysterious world around us.

But, of course, storytelling does not come naturally to us all, and many children – especially those with special needs – require additional support if the skill is to be nurtured and developed.

For the storyteller needs to consider key issues such as where the story takes place, who or what is in this place, are there animals here that have human characteristics.  Or could it be an object that has feelings?

And in worlds where everything is possible, how can we express ourselves?  What new words and expressions do we need?  How does the story evolve?  What is happening around our central event or person?  What happens next?

Most children – irrespective of their needs and abilities – only come to understand the exploration of such issues through being prompted via their own story writing, which is why the “Boost Creative Writing” series exists. 

The activities here provide the support and help that children of differing abilities need, and you can see how we achieve this through the examples from the series on our website where you will also find details of how to order.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, How children learn, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Primary school, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), Teaching Ideas

Proven ways of improving your children’s creative writing

The Boost Creative Writing series of books teaches the Programmes of Study for writing composition in the 2014 National Curriculum for England.

The activities provide additional reinforcement of key skills for slower learners. We all know that SEN pupils and slower learners need extra support to help them to become confident writers. The structured planning sheets in Boost Creative Writing provide SEN pupils with non-prescriptive writing scaffolds, giving them the support they need. The sheets cover a range of writing genres, from stories and poems to book reviews and newspaper reports.

The Boost Creative Writing Years 5-6 (ages 9-11) includes a handy Tips for Writing booklet that can be copied and bound to make a useful reference booklet for pupils, or the pages may be copied individually and can be given to your children as and when required

There are 3 books in the series – each one covers 2 year groups. The books can be bought at a discount as a set or can be bought individually. They are also available as e-pdfs which can be projected onto white boards for whole class teaching. The e-pdfs can be downloaded from our website as soon as your payment has been received.

Reluctant writers often struggle with the organization of their ideas.  Visual learners have lots of imaginative ideas but struggle with the sequence of events and getting them down on paper. Logical systematic learners can sequence ideas but might struggle to develop them creatively. The planning sheets are designed to provide support for every type of learner, as well as saving you time and helping each and every child to improve their creative writing skills.

Written by Judith Thornby, an experienced Learning Support Coordinator, the sheets have been extensively trialled and tested.They have been shown to boost children’s writing skills, give pupils confidence and make them believe that they can write. While designed for SEN pupils these sheets can, and have, been used by pupils of all abilities.

You can order ‘Boost Creative Writing in any of these ways:
• On our website: www.brilliantpublications.co.uk
• By phone on 01449 766629
• By fax on 01449 767122
• By email to orders@tradecounter.co.uk

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Filed under English, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, lesson plans, National Curriculum, Primary school

Free activity materials from the Grammar and Punctuation Series Pack

Take advantage of these free activity materials from the Grammar and Punctuation Series Pack

Year 1: Nouns are names

Year 2: Noisy verbs

Year 3: Preposition opposites

Year 4: The Problem of ‘me’ or ‘I’

Year 5: Hyphens

Year 6 Words that help your writing

Request your free worksheets

The Grammar and Punctuation Series Pack contains six photocopiable books (one for each year group) and teaches grammatical and punctuation concepts in a fun and memorable way which will challenge and stimulate the whole class.

The sheets are designed for the practice, reinforcement and consolidation of grammar and punctuation skills and they address the requirements laid out in the Programmes of Study in the September 2014 National Curriculum.

The books will provide you with the tools you need to teach grammar effectively, including an assessment checklist, and will complement other language and literacy schemes of work.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, National Curriculum, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

The trouble with reading …

Reading incorporates two activities. But what is the most successful way of pulling these two elements together?

Most of us working in primary schools will have witnessed children who have the ability to decode texts at an appropriate level for their age, but who find it hard to grasp and hold the meaning of that text at the same time.

As a result they cannot engage in activities that build upon their reading, because they simply don’t have enough of an immediate understanding of what they have read.

In such cases what is happening is that the brain is working to translate each pattern of letters into a word, but because so much effort is put into this activity the brain does not then take the words of a phrase or sentence and convert those words into something meaningful.

As a result there is little ability for the child to answer any questions about what has been read and (more worrying in the long term) there can be no enjoyment in reading.  Reading is a chore to be got through, not something to be enjoyed.

Unfortunately, many resources that exist to help primary school children read, focus on helping children read the text, but don’t simultaneously focus on giving them something that is enjoyable to read.

And so it was to provide this additional vital element in primary school literacy that we have produced the new edition of Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension – Years 1 – 6

The books in this series contain a variety of types of comprehension passages ranging from newspaper articles and dialogues to plays, stories and poems.  Each is followed by a series of enjoyable tasks for the children to undertake which test and stimulate their understanding of what they have read.

There is a lot more information about these books and their content on our website.

The books can be ordered either as a PDF for £13.99 or as a hardcopy book for £19.99. There is also the option to buy the hardcopy and PDF together at a discounted price.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, How children learn, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, National Curriculum, Poems and poetry, Primary school, Teaching Ideas