Category Archives: PSHE

Have we really forgotten how to debate?



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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Citizenship, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, PSHE, Secondary school

FREE worksheets for teaching values

What Qualities Do You Value?

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Filed under Assemblies, Brilliant Publications, Citizenship, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Primary school, PSHE, Secondary school

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.

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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)

Number of children worrying about war and terror rises sharply

According to a recent study by Childwise, one in three children aged 9-16 are concerned about global events. War and terrorism were the two main areas of concern. This is a notable increase from 2015, when it was just one in four children.

Brilliant Publications publishes two books to help teachers to respond to children’s questions about terrorism. Talking about Terrorism is for teachers of 7-11 year olds and Radicalisation and Terrorism is for teachers of 11-14 year olds.

Talking about Terrorism by Alison Jamieson and Jane Flint

Talking about Terrorism

Radicalisation and Terrorism by Alison Jamieson and Jane Flint

Radicalisation and Terrorism











More information on the Childwise study can be found in this Guardian article:

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Filed under Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, PSHE, Radicalisation and Terrorism

Top 10 tips for successful cooking lessons

Cooking in primary schools is easy when you follow these 10 tips taken from Teaching Healthy Cooking and Nutrition in Primary Schools. Not only do the books in this series contain delicious recipes, they also help you to teach children about healthy eating and nutrition – essential life skills.

9781783171132 Teaching Healthy Cooking and Nutrition in Primary Schools Brilliant Publications

Teaching Healthy Cooking and Nutrition in Primary Schools

  1. Remind children that an important aspect of learning to cook is learning to work together. This is especially important if they are working in pairs or groups. Being able to share and work together is an important cooking skill.
  2. If you are working with children of mixed abilities, use both illustrated and traditional format recipes. Give less able readers illustrated step-by-step recipes so they can keep up with their classmates. Make sure the two recipes follow the same steps so the class can still work together.
  3. Demonstrate recipes 2-3 steps at a time. Introduce safety points as you progress. For example – remind children that they must always lay knives down flat and away from the edge of the table, whilst you demonstrate chopping.
  4. Encourage children to gather around all the ingredients and equipment they need before starting. They could tick things off on a copy of the recipe.
  5. If you place recipes and other sheets in clear plastic wallets (or laminate them) they can be used again and again.
  6. Use low-fat options where possible to encourage healthy eating.
  7. Show children the ‘Eatwell Guide’ to explain what types of food you should eat to have a healthy and balanced diet. You should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and eat very little fats, oils and sweets.
  8. Whilst cooking, explain related theory to children. For example – when learning how to open a tin, you could explain that tin cans preserve food because they are airtight which stops micro-organisms getting in and growing on the food.
  9. After completing several different recipes and mastering different skills children could be given a Certificate of Achievement to acknowledge the accomplishments, such as learning to chop, knead dough, core an apple etc.
  10.  Above all, have fun and enjoy cooking with children!

These ideas have been taken from the Teaching Healthy Cooking and Nutrition in Primary Schools series written by Sandra Mulvany. Each of the books contains twelve easy-to-follow photocopiable recipes, presented traditionally and in an illustrated step-by-step format.

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Filed under Healthy eating, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, PSHE

Five activities for children to do when they arrive at school

Get the school day off to the best possible start with welcoming, friendly activities. These primary school activities, taken from 100+ Fun Ideas for Transition Times, can easily be continued in following lessons or completed for homework to accommodate late arrivals.

9781905780341 100+ Fun Ideas for Transition Times Brilliant Publications

100+ Fun Ideas for Transition Times

  1. Monday morning smiles
    • Put a piece of card at everyone’s place.
    • Write this challenge on the whiteboard: Make a happy face to banish Monday morning blues.
    • Ask the children to create cardboard faces – perhaps of clowns.
    • Try them out later to see which one puts the quickest smile on most faces.
    • Use them to make an instant happiness display, or as inspiration for poetry or story writing.
  1. Passports, please
  • Make a passport form for the children to complete.
  • Provide spaces for a picture, appearance description, personal details, hobbies, friendships and special information.
  • Use the completed passports to create a friendly, inclusive display.
  • Occasionally, in order to update passports, ask the children to complete a fresh form.
  • The updated information may alert you to a need to change your class seating plan or grouping for volunteer tasks, as you realise that someone is feeling excluded from the friendship groups.
  1. Breakfast buns
  • Make a durable resource for this activity by cutting out and laminating magazine pictures.
  • Hang a ‘Café open’ sign above your whiteboard.
  • Display today’s ingredients, for example: sausage, bacon, tomato, mushrooms, lettuce. Add or reduce the number of ingredients as appropriate to age and ability.
  • Set the challenge:
    • Everything is sold in a bun
    • Buns always contain three items
    • How many different sorts of buns can the children draw or list for today’s menu?
  1. Today’s words are…
  • Write five to ten words on the whiteboard; make them relevant to the work to be done later in the day (for example, science, geography, history).
  • Give out dictionaries. Ask the children to look up the meaning of the words. Then they should write their own definitions in clear, brief language.
  • Can the children sort the words into an alphabetical glossary?
  • When you begin the relevant lesson later in the day, agree on and display a class reference glossary of the words.
  1. Teacher in trouble
  • Use your whiteboard as a notice board, onto which the Head has pinned tasks you must do this evening!
  • At the side of the whiteboard, write the number of hours you have available this evening. How will you fit all the jobs in?
  • Set the children the problem-solving task of producing a timetable for you.
  • In numeracy, share some of the timetables to see if they work. Will you have any minutes to spare?
  • For younger children, simplify the task to pictorial representation in chronological sequence.

These ideas have been taken from 100+ Fun Ideas for Transition Times by Eileen Jones, which contains stimulating ideas for the morning arrival and other difficult transition times – including register ideas, end of the day activities, and between lesson tasks.

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Answering children’s questions about terrorism

What do terrorists want? When will terrorism end?

Children’s questions about terrorism can be penetrating and hard to answer. Many teachers (and parents) will be caught unawares by such questions, uncertain themselves about terrorist motivation and goals and torn between the instinct to reassure and the awareness that Britain is on continuous terrorist alert.

Brilliant Publications has just produced a book  to answer these difficult questions. Talking about Terrorism: Responding to Children’s Questions by Alison Jamieson and Jane Flint is structured around 40 questions that children may ask:

  • What do terrorists want?
  • How can we stop someone becoming a terrorist?
  • Who is keeping us safe in Britain?
  • Why are terrorists so angry and full of hate?
  • When will terrorism end?
Talking about Terrorism - Brilliant Publications

Talking about Terrorism

The authors answer the questions in clear, easy-to-understand language – providing simple, objective explanations and reassurance where possible – while being careful not to raise unrealistic expectations.

As Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, points out in the Foreword to Talking about Terrorism:

“If we are to reassure our young people, encourage their tolerance of others, and prevent them from being groomed into acts that could hurt themselves or others, we must talk with them and educate them. This book sets out to help teachers do just that.  The Internet and 24-hour news cycle means that it is impossible to shield children from the reality of terrorist attacks. But, with open conversation and clear explanations, we can help them feel safe and know that the world is still a good place.”

The text is interspersed with activities that primary school teachers can use to stimulate critical thinking and encourage creative investigation of key themes. These range from discussions and debates, the use of circle time and hot-seating through to role-play, poetry and music composition, singing and artwork.

Despite the focus on terrorism the authors never lose sight of a core belief in human goodness. They make it a priority to focus on positive actions that children can perform, singly or collectively, to make the world more peaceful. Each section has inspiring stories of peacemaking and reconciliation, about the power of love over hate, of non-violence over violence and the importance of tolerance and respect.

As Iona Lawrence, Director of the Jo Cox Foundation, says in an introductory message to the book:

“Jo [Cox] really did live by the conviction that we have ‘more in common than that which divides us.’ As this book also shows, it is this phrase that can and should guide conversations with children about extremism in all its forms.”


Written by Alison Jamieson, a former consultant to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and Jane Flint, a teacher, whose work in a multicultural school in Beeston, Leeds, at the time of the 2005 London bombings provided the inspiration for the book. Their book, Radicalisation and Terrorism: A Handbook for Addressing Extremism, was published by Brilliant Publications in 2015.

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Filed under Key Stage 2, PSHE, Radicalisation and Terrorism, Teaching Ideas