Tag Archives: Key Stage 2

Times tables and the mental block

Is it too much to hope that ALL your pupils will be fluent in their times tables?

There is a reason why some of us can’t decode maths problems. An increasing understanding of dyscalculia among professionals has meant that pupils with the specific learning difficulty are getting more access to materials which will help them to overcome their difficulties with maths.

For a pupil with dyscalculia, the very essence of number cannot be understood – thus, manipulating numbers with mathematical functions can be somewhat of a challenge. Indeed, it is possible for some dyscalculic pupils to understand numbers and simple mathematical functions (addition and subtraction) using mainstream methods, albeit at a slower rate than their peers. However, when the pupil advances to learning multiplication and division, there is often a mental blockage.

These pupils need to learn maths, and the functions of multiplication and division, using a multi-sensory approach. Using a multi-sensory approach with non-dyscalculic pupils has also proven to improve mathematical performance.

It is for this reason that we have produced: Fun Games and Activities for Teaching Times Tables.

This book provides stimulating and imaginative games to make the process of learning the times tables both effective and fun. The games require minimal preparation and ensure that all children gain a firm understanding of their times tables and will be able to recall and apply them rapidly and accurately.

The first half of the book contains games specifically aimed at teaching the 2, 5 and 10 times tables. The second half contains games appropriate for any of the times tables. These games are subdivided into three groups:

  • Games for learning each table in sequence
  • Games to test pupils’ memories and thinking skills as they try to identify the table they are working on
  • Games to teach children the different factors that can make up each answer.

For more information or to order Fun Games and Activities for Teaching Times Tables for just £18.50 as a printed book, £12.99 as an e-book or both for a discounted price of £22.40, visit https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/fun-games-and-activities-for-teaching-times-tables-746.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, National Curriculum, Teaching Ideas

Have you seen our apps for Luc et Sophie?

Our new series for teaching French to primary children (7-11 years old) comes with apps which work on computers, interactive whiteboards and on most tablets. We have deliberately written software which is generic, which should work on every type of computer regardless of age and model. You don’t need to be a computer expert or a French expert to use the software!

Learn French with Luc et Sophie is a story-based approach to teaching French. There are 14 specially written French stories in each part. Each story is available as an illustrated book, and as an app (interactive pdf with audio), and as an audio track on a cd. If you’re not confident at speaking French, you can use the pre-recorded audio in the app, or on the audio cd. The audio tracks are acted out by native French speakers.

There are also songs, listening exercises, vocabulary lists, interactive sentence building activities for use on smartboards and laptops, reading passages and games. All of this is explained in much more detail in the comprehensive teacher’s book which accompanies each part. The stories are available on their own, or bundled with the apps and Teacher’s Book.

Why not TRY before you BUY? Download SAMPLE PAGES from our website: www.brilliantpublications.co.uk

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Filed under Assesssment, Brilliant Publications, French, Gifted and Talented, Key Stage 2, lesson plans, National Curriculum, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

Get your FREE sentence builder PowerPoint from “Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía”

Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofia is a story-based scheme addressing the Foreign Language Programmes of Study for teaching Spanish at KS2.

The Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía 1a Parte Starter Pack is based around a story featuring a young brother (Luis) and sister (Sofía) and their friends and family. The topic-based stories are written entirely in Spanish, use simple sentences and introduce key vocabulary and language structures.

The pack includes audio-enhanced e-storybooks for each of the 14 stories. The stories are acted out by native Spanish speakers bringing the stories to life. The e-storybooks can be shared with the class using an interactive whiteboard, read individually or in small groups.

The teacherʼs book contains lesson plans for each story, translations of the stories and exercises, games and activities focusing on enabling pupils to communicate in Spanish.

The scheme is designed with non-specialists in mind and will make implementing the National Curriculum for England easy. Self-assessment sheets can be used to monitor children’s progress and ensure coverage of all the Programmes of Study.

Click here to request your FREE sentence builder PowerPoint slide from
Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía 

(The sentence builder activity practises the third person singular form of the verb tener – tiene.)

For more information simply visit https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/learn-spanish-with-luis-y-sofia-1a-parte-starter-pack-years-34-758. 

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Key Stage 2, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Spanish, Teaching Ideas

A vague curriculum needn’t mean vague progress

What is the most effective way of interpreting the requirements of the KS2 Programmes of Study for Foreign Languages?

The requirements of the KS2 Programmes of Study for Foreign Languages are somewhat vague. Indeed, how do you translate ‘speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures’ into a four-year scheme of work? It is very much open to interpretation.

Not to mention how one might go about interpreting pupils’ progress – what exactly does ‘substantial progress’ look like?

Fortunately, Assessing Primary Languages is a tried and tested resource which has found answers to these questions by breaking the Programmes of Study into achievable, understandable objectives which are then cross-referenced across a total of four stages.

What’s more, the clearly laid out framework makes it possible to implement a unified tracking approach so that measuring pupils’ progress is effortless and, as such, can be used to plan subsequent lessons.

Both specialist and non-specialist teachers will find this rigorous tool, which contains a large number of creative and adaptable ready-to-use activities, to be invaluable.

For more information or to order Assessing Primary Languages for £37.99, simply visit: www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/assessing-primary-languages-743. 

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Filed under Assesssment, Brilliant Publications, French, German, Italian, Key Stage 2, lesson plans, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), National Curriculum, Primary school, Spanish, Teaching Ideas

What are the two most important factors that determine the success of French lessons at KS2?

For many years the answer to the question above came down to one factor: “the availability of a specialist teacher”. However, in recent years matters have changed.

This is, of course, mainly because so many primary schools don’t have a specialist language teacher. As a result publishers have put a lot of energy into the second important factor: creating materials that are specifically designed for use by the teacher who is not a language specialist.

Following this work, KS2 courses in French are now available which include stories, songs, games, and activities along with lesson plans giving creative teaching ideas that can be used by specialist and non-specialist teachers alike.

The teaching of French via stories has itself created something of a revolution in the way French can be taught by non-specialist teachers. Because stories introduce children to language structures in a natural and fun way, pupils quickly develop the ability to communicate and use the language with confidence themselves.

This is very much the basis of our particularly successful “Learn French with Luc et Sophie” scheme. Throughout this story-based scheme there is a combination of appropriate level storybooks for the children to read with clearly laid out, easy-to-use, creative teaching ideas aimed specifically at the non-specialist teacher. This complete approach takes the stress out of preparation and planning.

Each of the 14 units in “Learn French with Luc et Sophie” is based around a story featuring a young brother (Luc) and sister (Sophie) and their friends and family. The stories are topic-based and introduce key vocabulary and language structures relating to the topic. Each unit also contains an original song to reinforce vocabulary.

One problem teachers encounter when trying to share a story with a class is how to make sure everyone can see the pages and follow along. To ensure this isn’t a problem, we’ve created audio enhanced e-book versions of all the stories for use on a whiteboard. What makes these e-books particularly beneficial for non-specialist teachers is that with the click of a mouse you can hear them acted out by native French speakers so children will hear correct pronunciation.

Pupils will love the humorous twists at the end of the stories and will naturally pick up the rhythm and intonation of the language. Indeed, their confidence and self-esteem will grow when they realise they can read and understand these French stories.

Also, to help embed vocabulary and grammar language structures there are sentence-building activities for use on an interactive whiteboard.

In short, what happens is that the children will not only learn French through the evolution of the stories provided but also through the multiple ideas for teaching. This will make it easier to recall what they have learned and to use it to create sentences of their own.

There are full details about the scheme on our website along with links to our article on the seven reasons why using stories as a way of teaching French is particularly beneficial.

I do hope you will find this interesting.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, Key Stage 2, lesson plans, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), National Curriculum, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

Who needs Lesson Plans for Painting in Primary Classes?

Painting is a Class Act

Teaching painting can be daunting for the non-specialist. This set of three books ( for ages 5-7, ages 7-9 and ages 9-11) takes the hard work out of planning art activities. The books set out the progression of skills to be taught for colour mixing, colour theory, composition and using watercolours and other media. They use works of art to provide examples of how skills can be applied.

Painting is a Class Act is aimed specifically at non-specialist art teachers, but more experienced art teachers will find it inspirational too. It contains carefully planned, clearly laid-out lesson plans which Introduce pupils to the skills of painting and which use the work of great artists and of children  as examples.

Painting is a Class Act:

  • Provides a structured, skills-based approach to developing painting skills
  • Helps pupils develop a knowledge and feel for paints and colours
  • Provides pupils with a way to express their ideas and feelings – confidence and pride will ensue.

You can order Painting is a Class Act: in any of these ways:

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Filed under Art and design, Brilliant Publications, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, lesson plans, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

What is one of the best ways to give children the confidence to speak French?

Singing songs is a fun way of helping children to develop an enthusiasm for French. The 20 songs in ‘J’aime Beaucoup Chanter en Français!’ are set to familiar tunes, so you and the children can concentrate on the words without having to learn new tunes. You will all soon be confidently singing in French!

The songs introduce and reinforce vocabulary for many frequently taught topics. Sing about different modes of transport to, appropriately enough, the tune of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ or explore the contents of a pencil case to the tune of ‘Frère Jacques’.

The songs are ideal for use with children through all stages of their primary education but especially Key Stage 2.

The CD-Rom contains recordings of all the songs, sung by native French speakers, as well as music tracks to enable ‘karaoke’ performances and colour versions of the flashcards from the book.

The accompanying book contains words to all the songs, together with English translations, as well as teaching ideas and attractive photocopiable flashcards to help children understand the content of the songs.

Visit our website for more information and sample material on  J’aime Beaucoup Chanter en Français!

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Filed under French, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, lesson plans, Primary school, Teaching Ideas