Category Archives: National Curriculum

FREE reading comprehension activities for Year One and Year Four

Take advantage of these free activity materials
from the Reading Comprehension Series Pack:


The Farmyard: story and activities (Year 1)


Lions in the Garden: poem and activities (Year 4)

With the Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension Pack for Years 1 to Years 6 you can support your pupils on the journey from decoding texts to comprehending and thinking critically about texts.

The specially written passages in the Reading Comprehension Pack provide children with a variety of engaging texts, ranging from newspaper articles and dialogues, to plays, stories, and poems.

Activities range from simple factual recall and vocabulary work to open-ended questions – enabling the reader to provide a more personal response. There are also detailed suggestions for integrating writing, speaking and other literacy tasks with the passages.

The texts and activities gradually increase in difficulty as your pupils progress through the book (and through the series), encouraging children to develop their ability to read for meaning and use a range of strategies to engage with the text.

You can order the Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension series for just £95 at


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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, National Curriculum, Poems and poetry, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

Are educational publishers just in it for the money?

Let me start by saying that I, for one, am passionately concerned about education and schools. I want our books to have a positive influence on schools. For this reason all our resources are written by teachers and we won’t publish something if we don’t think it isn’t of good enough quality. This means that sometimes publication schedules slip, as we spend more time than initially allocated, ensuring that both teachers and pupils will find our resources easy to use and that children will enjoy doing the activities.

The same holds true for the majority of educational publishers who I meet. They genuinely care about what happens in schools. Therefore I was very saddened by an article in the Daily Mail saying that educational publishers are just in it for the money.

Most educational publishing companies are commercial organisations so, yes, they do want to make money – money to pay their staff, money to invest in developing new materials. However, that doesn’t mean that the people developing the material don’t care about education and the quality of the materials they produce.

The unfortunate (and rather silly) person interviewed on the video (who I understand has now lost her job) was not on the team developing the resources. She was a sales person. In my experience, most sales people, no matter what they are selling, are interested in making money.

The article then uses this as an argument against the Common Core (which, for those of you who don’t know, sets out the minimum standards that children in the USA should reach). The article’s argument goes as follows: publishers make money through publishing resources to enable teachers to teach the Common Core. A sales rep says she does it for the money and not to improve the quality of education. Therefore Common Core is bad and should be scrapped.

Altogether it is a very silly article, but it did make me annoyed!


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Filed under Brilliant Publications, National Curriculum, News

51% of schools not confident at teaching MFL

According to the NFER Teacher Voice Omnibus (which has just been published by the DFE), only 51% of the 2088 senior leaders in primary and secondary schools reponding reported that they felt confident about implementing the National Curriculum for foreign languages.

Confidence levels were also low for computing, with only 40% of those surveyed feeling confident.

On the positive side, however, most senior leaders were confident about implementing the new National Curriculum in English, maths and science (80%, 78% and 71% respectively).

You can read the full report here:

As a linguaphile, I hope that now schools are feeling more confident about the core subjects, they will be able to turn some of their attention to foreign language teaching and resources.

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Filed under Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), National Curriculum, News

Understanding Science: activities and worksheets

Some pupils can find it difficult to grasp the concepts in the primary Science Programmes of Study. They want answers to questions such as: Why is the sky blue? How can the universe be infinite? Why don’t planes fall out of the sky?

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Filed under Key Stage 2, National Curriculum, Science, Teaching Ideas

New curriculum for Welsh schools

This is an interesting article regarding the proposed new National Curriculum in Wales.

I am interested to learn more about the ‘progression steps’ that will be replacing key stages.

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Filed under National Curriculum, News, Welsh

Getting pupils to learn French is easy …

… it’s getting them to remember what they’ve learnt that’s the hard part!

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Filed under French, Key Stage, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, National Curriculum, Teaching Ideas

Pupils with earworms typically perform better in French

How can we give pupils earworms in order to ensure that the French they learn will be remembered forever?

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Filed under French, Key Stage, Key Stage 2, National Curriculum, Teaching Ideas