Category Archives: Uncategorised

Songs to improve children’s mental health

Looking after children’s mental health and well-being is more important than ever during the Covid 19 virus. This is a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty for children, whatever their circumstances – whether they are in lockdown at home or attending a near-empty school because their parents are key workers. They are understandably worried and concerned.

So, what can we do, as teachers and parents, to improve children’s mental health and well-being?

One thing that has been proven to help reduce stress is music. Research suggests that music can stimulate the body’s natural feel good chemicals such as endorphins, oxytocin. It can help put us in a better mood and help us to take control of our feelings.

This is why children’s TV presenter, Samantha Dorrance, decided to create a new pop band called Sammy & The Sparks.

Sammy & The Sparks songs work by acting as musical affirmations. Each song is designed to teach a different self-help technique in a fun, positive way, helping children be emotionally and mentally equipped. They have songs to help encourage self-acceptance, self-reliance, self-belief… they have songs to help children cope with and understand bullying, loneliness, anxiety etc… they have so many happy songs designed to help your child live their happiest lives.

In addition to writing and sharing songs, Samantha is about to launch “Sammy & The Sparks at home lesson plans” for use at home, during isolation. These lesson plans are designed to:
• Help children explore and understand their feelings.
• Help them deal with their feelings in certain situations.
• Create loving and thoughtful discussions between parents and their children.


The lesson plans will soon be available at www.sammyandthesparks.com. Follow Sammy & The Sparks on social media for lesson plan updates.

Brilliant Publications is delighted to include a link to the Sammy & the Sparks website from our special Free resources for the Covid 19 Pandemic page.

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Teaching division to beginners

When we teach division to primary children, we tend to introduce it as being a sharing operation where objects are divided into a number of groups of equal number. We also discuss that division has an opposite, multiplication. We talk about Division being about separating groups, while its opposite, multiplication is about combining groups.

We often assess our children’s understanding by using worksheets which can be printed for each child or which can be projected onto a white board. This worksheet is taken from Brilliant Publications ‘How to Sparkle at Beginning Multiplication and Division’ for 5’s to 7’s.The children are asked to share the objects evenly between the crackers.

If you like it, you will find more in the book. Click the button below to download a free copy to use with your class.

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Filed under Key Stage 1, Mathematics, National Curriculum, Primary school, Uncategorised

Could these Graphic Revision Guides make English Literature accessible to your dyslexic students?

English literature in itself is not about reading, but rather it is about forming a deeper understanding of a novel and being able to make connections and judgements based on this understanding. But how can one form an understanding of a novel without reading it? The answer lies with Graphic Revision Guides.

Brilliant Publications has produced Graphic Revision Guides for a number of texts studied at GCSE English Literature, including: Jane Eyre, Jekyll and Hyde, Pride and Prejudice and Great Expectations. The Graphic Revision Guides contain comic-style sheets, especially tailored to strengthen the student’s understanding of plot, characters, quotes, themes, and more.

Learning and revising these iconic novels will become an easier and more enjoyable experience, not least because there is less text for your students to muddle through. It should be noted however that the Graphic Revision Guides do still contain some text, so they may not be suitable for students with acute dyslexia – visit the links above to see sample pages and have a look for yourself.

You can order any of the above Graphic Revision Guides for £16.50 as a printed book, £10.99 as an e-book or both for a discounted price of £19.80.

There is a discount of 20% if you wish to order class sets of 20 or more.

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Spanish story to teach words for family members

In Tengo un hermano, Sofía and Marta are at the swimming pool. Marta tells Sofía that she has two brothers and a little sister. Sofía says she has a brother but she’d like a sister. What happens when Luis comes over?

The story is told via speech bubbles and is a fabulous way of introducing talking about brothers and sisters.

As with all Luis y Sofía stories, there’s a twist at the end. Barbara Scanes, the author, says that she used her own children (who are now in their 20s!) as role models when thinking of what Luis and Sofía would do.

Tengo un hermano - Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía

Tengo un hermano – Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía

Written entirely in Spanish this original, fun story uses repetitive phrases and simple sentences to embed vocabulary and language structures, making it ideal for Spanish beginners.

With engaging, full colour pictures and simple language on every page, this book can be read to, by and with children of any age.

Children with early Spanish language skills will gain confidence, and develop their language skills, when they realise they are able to read and understand a storybook in Spanish.

An audio enhanced e-storybook of this story is available exclusively as part of  the Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía 1a Parte Starter Pack.

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Filed under Key Stage 2, Spanish, Uncategorised

Spanish story to teach simple greetings

In Me llamo Sofía, the children go to the park with maman. Luis sees a boy playing football. They quickly find out each other’s names and start to play together. What happens when Sofía wants to join in their game?

The story is told via speech bubbles and is a fabulous way of teaching children to say what their name is, to ask others what they are called, and to respond to ‘¿Qué tal?’.

As with all Luis y Sofía stories, there’s a twist at the end. Barbara Scanes, the author, says that she used her own children (who are now in their 20s!) as role models when thinking of what Luis and Sofía would do.

Me llamo Sofía - Learn Spanish with Luis and Sofía

Me llamo Sofía – Learn Spanish with Luis and Sofía

Written entirely in Spanish this original, fun story uses repetitive phrases and simple sentences to embed vocabulary and language structures, making it ideal for Spanish beginners.

With engaging, full colour pictures and simple language on every page, this book can be read to, by and with children of any age.

Children with early Spanish language skills will gain confidence, and develop their language skills, when they realise they are able to read and understand a storybook in Spanish.

An audio enhanced e-storybook of this story is available exclusively as part of  the Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía 1a Parte Starter Pack.

Leave a comment

Filed under Key Stage 2, Spanish, Uncategorised