Category Archives: Key Stage 1

We are GIVING AWAY a handy reference booklet for developing writing skills!

…from a dictionary and a map, to a ruler that I snapped! Continue reading


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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, How children learn, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

It’s World Poetry Day!

To celebrate World Poetry Day (#WorldPoetryDay), here is a poem by Brenda Williams from Fun with Action Rhymes and Poems.

Fun with Action Rhymes and Poems Brenda Williams Brilliant Publications

Fun with Action Rhymes and Poems

Magic carpet

Sit on the carpet
And close your eyes
For this carpet is magic
And soon we will rise

We’ll float far away
Where no-one has been
To see rivers of honey
And fields of ice-cream

Sugar-topped mountains
Blackcurrant seas
Banana-milk lakes
And chocolate trees

Whipped cream clouds
And lemonade rain
Then we open our eyes
And are back home again.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Early years, English, Key Stage 0, Key Stage 1, Nursery and Preschool, Poems and poetry

What is the most effective way to develop your children’s emotional intelligence?


It is vital that children develop their emotional intelligence, for this guides their thinking and behaviour. Yet emotional intelligence can be incredibly difficult to teach to children, which is why Brilliant Publications has produced 5 resources to help you. We don’t like singing our own praises, but they have been very well received by teachers.


The stories can be used at specific times of the year, or when issues arise, or whenever you are suddenly called upon to do an assembly.

59781783171026-50-Fantastic-Assembly-Stories-KS2[1]0 Fantastic Assembly Stories for KS2 are set in Mill Lane Junior School – a fictional school. Each provides a moral dilemma for the character(s) to consider or tackle. Your pupils will relate to the character and the character’s dilemma.

The author, Adrian Martin, has been a headteacher for many years. His pupils have loved getting to know the different characters at Mill Lane Junior School, and have remembered the stories long after they first heard them.

Find out more about this book

9781783172030-Teaching-Values-PSHE-Citizenship[1]Teaching Values through PSHE and Citizenship provides teachers with 38 activities for children aged 9 to 13 years old which promote the fundamental values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faith and beliefs.

The book is divided into three sections:

  • Beliefs, Values, Behaviour
  • Rules and Responsibilities
  • Respecting People’s Rights

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Modern Christian Assembly Stories is a collection of 50 contemporary stories written by Gary Nott who deploys the very best techniques of storytelling. Using modern situations and idioms, which are familiar to children, Gary communicates the wisdom found in Jesus’ parables, making the stories ideal for schools wishing to ensure that their collective worship is, in the main, Christian.

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9781905780143-Brilliant-Class-led-Assemblies[1]Are you running out of ideas for assemblies? Brilliant Class-led Assemblies, will provide you with 10 easy-to-use, stress-free assemblies linked to the National Curriculum for science, history and geography. All these tried-and-tested assembly scripts can be easily modified to suit your class and can be as elaborate or as straightforward as you wish.

Your pupils can participate as narrators, evacuees, water droplets or investigators, even the River Nile! The assemblies are constructed so that all the class can be involved in some way. All can be introduced and done within one week.

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More Brilliant Stories for Assemblies contains over 50 stories for use in primary schools. The stories range from those dealing with specific issues, such as bullying, falling out with friends, racism and disability, to historical and religious stories.

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Sample material from each book is available on our website.  A link to an example is shown below:

Download a free activity about judging by appearance

These books are available in printed form and as an e-book which enables the pages to be displayed on an interactive whiteboard.

You can order these books in any of these ways:



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Filed under Assemblies, Brilliant Publications, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, PSHE, Religious education (RE)

From Outstanding, is the only way to go down?

‘Nobody wants to lead an outstanding school. There is nowhere to go other than down!’ So said an erudite colleague to me when I mentioned that I was looking to move on to lead another school. It was not without a small degree of trepidation therefore that I was appointed to my second headship a short while later – this time to lead an outstanding school. Two years in we were re-inspected and again achieved outstanding. The relief was palpable. When I had taken on the school, I felt it was no longer excellent – good, yes but outstanding no. In the space of two years we managed to get the data back to excellent – without it you won’t achieve the outstanding label. Although, perversely, having the data is by no means a guarantee of getting the accolade. What inspectors see in the classroom must reflect what the data suggests – excellent practice.

How to be a Brilliant Primary School Head Teacher by Gary Nott

How to be a Brilliant Primary School Head Teacher by Gary Nott

In my new book, How To be A Brilliant Primary School Head Teacher, I outline some of the facets of an outstanding school, whilst trying to describe some of the features that people attribute to outstanding leaders.

Two of these school features spring to mind in writing this blog entry.

Firstly, we coined the term Mentoring Mondays to describe our approach to supporting colleagues to develop their practice. I nabbed the idea from McDonald’s Fruit Fridays when sharing a snack with my son. On each Monday morning, we would release a teacher to observe a colleague teach an outstanding lesson. Then on the Monday afternoon, the released teacher would team teach a lesson to their own class alongside that outstanding colleague. The end of the day would be spent sharing key lessons learned during the day. Colleagues appreciated this investment in them. The cost of releasing colleagues from class responsibilities to benefit from such an exercise on the one day was easily offset by money saved from the external courses budget.

Secondly, we devised a simple way of tracking children’s progress in the school that was bespoke to our children. We took an aircraft flight as our analogy. We quantified progress and attainment using a points systems we devised and from this could calculate a class’s progress – which we called ‘speed’ – and their attainment – which we called ‘altitude’ – which we then brought together in what we called a cockpit summary. A class could be flying high and fast or low and slow. The visual representation of this on a cockpit dashboard led us to create flight plans for each class – showing where we wanted them to be (their destination) and when we expected their flight to land. Was their flight on time or likely to be delayed? Inspectors liked the idea and suggested that we go further and devise a flight plan summary for each child.

The difficult thing of course is maintaining the outstanding label. It can itself become somewhat of a cross to bear. Some staff feel that to maintain the high standard is not achievable if they are to maintain a healthy work-life balance. As the new Head of OFTSED considers dropping it from her armoury, there will be many in the profession keen to see it go. I have found that my own school has seen significant changes in the past five years. The percentage of children entering the school at below levels that are typical for age has doubled. This has brought new challenges – and opportunities to grow too. In such circumstances, to hold on to the outstanding label is a big ask. You have to keep reinventing yourself; if you stand still there is indeed only one way to go, as my former colleague said to me.

Guest blog by Gary Nott.

Gary Nott author of How to be a Brilliant Primary School Head Teacher

Gary Nott author of How to be a Brilliant Primary School Head Teacher

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Filed under Guest blog, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, School leadership

Free webinar – Physical French Phonics

Sue Cave will be giving a webinar on using Physical French Phonics in language learning and teaching.

Sue Cave Physical French Phonics Brilliant Publications

Sue Cave – author of Physical French Phonics

The webinar is being organised by the Association of Language Learning (ALL) London Branch. It is free to register and attend. It takes place on Wednesday, 15th November 8.30-9.30pm. Hope to see you there.

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Filed under French, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3

Can you learn maths by playing card games?

We asked some children what they thought of Deck Ahoy. Here are just a few of the things they had to say:

Deck Ahoy Brilliant Publications maths with a deck of cards Deck Ahoy Brilliant Publications maths with a deck of cards Deck Ahoy Brilliant Publications maths with a deck of cards“Deck Ahoy is much better than watching TV and cartoon shows because it shows different ways of how to do maths.” Angelica, age 8

“I like Deck Ahoy because it helps me with my maths and number bonds to 10 and 100. It can help you with your maths a lot.” Hadi, age 11

“I like Deck Ahoy because it helps me to learn maths and it helps me to add and subtract.” Sasha, age 8

“I can now partitiion and double 2-digit numbers.” Hersi

“I like Deck Ahoy because it helps me with maths and it’s so much fun!” Bilal, age 8

“It’s easy to learn time with Deck Ahoy.” Abed, age 7

“Deck Ahoy is fun and it is easy to learn maths.” Naomi, age 7

“Deck Ahoy will help everyone with maths and fractions. It’s awesome!” Cameron, age 10

“Deck Ahoy is very fun because every day I learn new stuff.” Ashley, age 7

Deck Ahoy Brilliant Publications maths with a deck of cards“I like Deck Ahoy because it’s fun and it helps us to do our maths.” Charlotte, age 9

“Deck Ahoy is very fun and you can learn from it.” Gilbert, age 10

Deck Ahoy Brilliant Publications 9781783171781

Deck Ahoy: Primary Mathematics Activities and Games Using Just a Deck of Cards

Deck Ahoy contains over 100 activities and games to teach primary maths skills with a just deck of cards – no need to buy expensive resources!

Deck Ahoy covers not only the main operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – but also fractions, statistics, time, ratios, squares and cubes and graphs.

The ideas are great for homework as there are no worksheets needed (or marking to do!) and the whole family can get involved, any where, any time.

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Filed under Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, Uncategorised

German word books for primary schools

Are you looking for a simple way of encouraging pupils to access the German vocabulary they need (without resorting to online translation packages)?

Mein Kleines Wörterbuch (My little German dictionary) Brilliant Publications

Mein Kleines Wörterbuch (My little German dictionary)

Sample page from Mein Kleines Wörterbuch (My little German dictionary) Brilliant Publications

Sample page from Mein Kleines Wörterbuch (My little German dictionary)

Primary school children need to be able to access vocabulary to encourage them to speak, listen and write in German. But when they are just beginning to learn German, even the simplest bilingual German-English dictionaries can be overwhelming. It is understandable that some students feel the temptation to go online.

If you find this is the case, we have a solution for you. We publish Mein kleines Wörterbuch– mini (A6) German word books containing German vocabulary sheets for 33 popular primary school topics. Each page features 9-10 illustrations labelled with their German names. The booklets are colourful, fun to use  and support all German teaching schemes in use in primary schools.

Mein kleines Wörterbuch covers the following topics:

  • Begrüßungen (Greetings)
  • Die Zahlen (Numbers 1 – 20)
  • die Zahlen von 20 bis 100 (Numbers 20 – 100)
  • Die Farben (Colours)
  • Die Wochentage (Days of the week)
  • Die Monate (Months of the year)
  • Die Jahreszeiten (Seasons)
  • Feste (Festivals)
  • Weihnachten (Christmas)
  • Früchte (Fruit)
  • Gemüse (Vegetables)
  • Das Restaurant (Restaurant)
  • Das Picnick (Picnic)
  • Getränke (Drinks)
  • Das Wetter (Weather)
  • Die Bekleidung (Clothes)
  • Zubehör (accessories)
  • Die Körperteile (Parts of the body)
  • meine Familie (My family)
  • Haustiere (Pets)
  • Insekten und kleine Lebewesen (Insects and mini-beasts)
  • Wilde Tiere (Wild animals)
  • Tiere auf dem Bauernhof (Farm animals)
  • Tiere des Waldes (Woodland animals)
  • Das Sonnensystem (the solar system)
  • Die Schulsachen (Classroom objects)
  • Sport (Sport)
  • Was spielst du? Ich spiele… (Musical instruments)
  • Formen (Shapes)
  • das Haus (The house)
  • der Tisch (The table)
  • der Zirkus (The circus)
  • Das Alphabet (The German alphabet)

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Filed under German, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)