Category Archives: How children learn

Physical Spanish Phonics has been published

You have been asking for a Spanish version of our popular Physical French Phonics for ages and we have been working tirelessly on it for you.

Well, the good news is it has now arrived!

Physical Spanish Phonics is a multisensory approach to teaching Spanish phonics. Interactive video and audio files are used to teach Spanish phonics by getting physical with sounds and actions.

Find out more on our website: https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/physical-spanish-phonics-888

Leave a comment

Filed under Brilliant Publications, How children learn, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Spanish

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

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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

“Can you see the wind?”

Free worksheet series from Brilliant Publications

On a windy day go outside with the children and watch streamers blowing. Ask the children whether they can see and feel the effects of the wind on their faces and clothes. Watch the trees and plants move in the wind. 

Can you see the wind?

This is just one of the activities that can be found in the series of worksheets that we are giving away, free of charge, from the popular volume “Science and Technology for the Early Years (2nd Edition)”. Other activities include:

  • Creating a tiny garden from the worksheet Look down
  • Creating an outdoor themed mobile and drawing or painting a picture of the sky from the worksheet Look up
  • Catching the wind in a plastic bag from the worksheet Can you see the wind?
  • Making a travel agency in the role-play area and making and writing postcards from the worksheet Where do you go for a holiday?
  • And much much more!

Request your copy of the free worksheet series.

Science and Technology for the Early Years (Edition 2) contains 120 science and technology activities for use in the Foundation stage, along with ideas for designing resource areas to stimulate purposeful play. The activities are clearly laid-out with the Purpose, Resources and Safety points given, as well as ‘Challenges’, which can be used to provide a focal point for each activity.

Leave a comment

Filed under Brilliant Publications, Early years, How children learn, Key Stage, Key Stage 0, Nursery and Preschool, Science, 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.

Leave a comment

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