Category Archives: National Curriculum

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

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

Can your pupils help us to solve some of our problems?

Urgent Appeal

We have an abundance of problems, so many in fact that we have three entire books full of them and desperately need your primary school pupils to help us to solve them!

Multiplication strategies

They are problems of a mathematical nature which is why we are contacting you as we think you will be the best person for the job. Your responsibilities will involve managing a young team of investigators, working out which pupils are best suited to solving each of the problems based on their level and ability.

We understand that you have a curriculum to teach, so we have only included the problems which are relevant to this and have left out problems regarding our fence that got blown down a couple of months ago by Storm Callum (a very inconsiderate man if you ask me) and how to get our rabbit to stop eating our shoes. I suppose we will have to solve these problems ourselves.

For more information on problems to challenge your pupils or to order the Maths Problems and Investigations Series for £45, simply visit: www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/maths-problems-and-investigations-for-primary-schools-428

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Key Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, 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

Free Speaking and Listening resources

Speaking and Listening EY - talking about family

Free: speaking and listening resources for Early Years

And before we go any further may I stress that the resources we are offering are completely free of charge.  There is no trickery; no requirement to buy or anything like that.

Our aim is simply to show you what is contained in our volume “Speaking and Listening Activities for the Early Years”.  The activities are available directly from me – all you have to do is drop me an email.

And having got the worksheets, you can re-use them as often as you wish.

The activities in question come from a series that is designed to aid the development of speaking and listening skills for children aged between two and five years and in each case the work is linked to the Statutory Framework for EYFS. 

Through these activities the children who use them will gain the skills they need to succeed at school and to help them develop friendships and the ability to co-operate.

Each lesson in the series is complete in itself and includes such topics as adding descriptions to nouns, saying hello and saying goodbye, learning opportunities linked to early learning goals, learning polite speech, objects which naturally go together, and so on.

In the free lessons we focus on helping children understand the issue of friendship, and how friends can be made.  These practical activities involve children having to make friends and share within a totally safe and controlled environment.

For a link to download these lessons free of charge, please visit this webpage.

If you would like to see details of the book from which these activities come from – please take a look at  Speaking and Listening Activities for the Early Years on our website.

You can order the Speaking and Listening Activities for the Early Years on our website for £18.50 as a printed book, £12.99 as an e-book or both for a discounted price of £22.40.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Early years, How children learn, Key Stage, Key Stage 0, National Curriculum, Nursery and Preschool, Teaching Ideas

There are two maths: one is better

What is the most effective way of giving KS2 pupils an understanding of how maths actually works?

Missing Digits Addition Puzzle

There is no doubt that the rote learning of times tables is helpful to most pupils. But for progress to be made beyond that point children also need to understand the meanings behind mathematical problems.

Perhaps the most effective way of encouraging children to think about such issue is to give them maths problems that need them to use their knowledge of the four basic functions to solve simple problems.

Of course this can be done through the classic, “A man goes to a shop three times and buys four items each time…” type of question. But before children are ready to enter into those conundrums, they need to be able to solve the maths problems in purely mathematical terms, without any words in the way.

And the most effective way of doing this is through missing digit puzzles in which the mathematical question is set out with one part of the problem missing.

Thus they can be presented with an additional problem in which part of the answer is written in, and one of the two numbers to be added together. They have to work out what is missing.

Later they can be asked for a number in the eight times table where the first number is between 1 and 6 and the last number is six.

The big benefit with this approach is that because the questions are presented as puzzles to be solved rather than maths to be learned, they are much more stimulating and attractive to most KS2 children – and they really do help the children progress towards a mastery of mathematics’ basic functions.

You can see examples of how this works on our website at: Missing digit puzzles for times tables

And there is more information about the book and its contents here.

You can order Missing Digit Puzzles on our website either as a PDF for £10.99 or as a hardcopy book for £16.50. There is also the option to buy the hardcopy and PDF together at a discounted price of £19.80.

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