Tag Archives: national curriculum

How to create a whole-school Grammar and Punctuation Programme

What is the most effective way of creating a whole-school Grammar and Punctuation programme?

Schools that adopt a whole-school Grammar and Punctuation Programme typically find it easier to respond to the demands of the English Programmes of Study. For not only does it make it easier to have a unified approach to tracking pupils’ progress, but it also ensures that everyone knows what has gone before and what comes next.

However, what can be challenging when creating a whole-school Grammar and Punctuation Programme is knowing which resources will be most suitable. For the resources need to, for example:

  • meet the requirements of the English Programmes of Study
  • be consistent throughout the programme
  • exercise differentiation
  • be age-appropriate and highly engaging for all primary age groups
  • provide systematic progression throughout the school.

Which is why Brilliant Publications has produced the Brilliant Activities for Grammar and Punctuation Series.

The Grammar and Punctuation series has been designed especially for schools that are looking to enhance literacy skills throughout the school and thus meets all of the requirements listed above (and more).

The six book series teaches basic grammatical and punctuation concepts in a fun and memorable way, which will challenge and stimulate the whole school.

The sheets are designed for the practise, 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.

Pupils are motivated to think logically about the activities and to share their knowledge and understanding with their peers through working individually, in pairs, groups or, sometimes, in whole class contexts.

Furthermore, the books all include an assessment checklist and answers to help you with tracking pupils’ progress.

You can find out more on our website where there are also sample pages to download and try with your pupils.

This is one of the characters which features through the books

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, National Curriculum, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

When the strategy is king

Children will always come across words they don’t know.  How they respond determines their reading age.

In a language that is derived from as many separate sources as English it is inevitable that children will, throughout their time at school, come across words that they don’t know.

At that point they may just give up, they may make a wrong guess as to what the word is, they may make a correct guess as to the word, or they may use a suitable strategy that leads them to the solution.

Obviously what we really want is for the pupils to use the final option because the best strategy is to have good spelling skills which will then lead to an understanding of the word.

For it is in this way children go on to become confident readers and fluent writers, because they are no longer pausing to consider individual words that they don’t know as they come across them.

In order to help this process towards confident reading and writing children need to be taught strategies and then have the opportunity to practise using them.  Which is why this year we have introduced Boost Spelling Skills for children in Year 2 and above.

It represents a unique approach to helping all pupils come to terms with the vagaries of English spelling and thus, increasingly, to make sensible and accurate decisions as to the pronunciation and meaning of words which they don’t know when they come across them.

You can read more about the book and see some of the strategies introduced on our website. 

Boost Spelling Skills cover image

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, National Curriculum, Primary school, Secondary school, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), Teaching Ideas

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

The 3Ms of times tables

The three factors within the extraordinary 3M method of teaching times tables.

There are indeed three factors that need to be present if all children are going to learn their times tables in good time.
 
First, the children need to be motivated. Second, they need to be taught using a method that keeps that motivation going from one lesson to the next. And third the children need to find the whole process enjoyable.
 
Now, as you may have realised, the only problem here is that “enjoyable” rather breaks the alliterative approach that I was building up with the ideas of “motivation” and “method”, so for my third factor I’m going to say, “mighty fun.”  I hope that’s ok with you.

Motivation, method and mighty fun. That’s our aim.
 
So, to begin: motivation.  We’ve achieved this in the “Mighty Fun Activities for Practising Times Tables set for Primary Schools” by using superheroes through the materials. These instil a positive and competitive attitude towards learning among the children. 

Second: the method. Of course, each child learns in different ways and each needs to have opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the lessons. Therefore, for each times table there is a mixture of practical activities to develop their understanding and written activities to consolidate their knowledge.

Finally, the mighty fun.  By using superheroes the books instil a positive and competitive attitude towards learning which not only permeates through these times tables activities, but other areas of classroom work as well.

And although I wrote “finally” above, there is one more M benefit. The books contain reproducible sheets and are designed to be used as flexible teaching aids, which teachers can dip in and out of in any order to support the learning of any times table.  

In other words, “Multi-use”.  They work equally well as stand-alone 5 to 20 minute lesson reinforcements or as regular times table learning.

There are more details on our website (although less playing around with the letter M) where you can place an order.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, National Curriculum, Primary school

How did it all start?

Why knowing the origins of human communication helps us find better methods of teaching a foreign language.

There is much debate as to the way in which human language developed as our species evolved.   But many would agree that an early part of the evolution would have been the calling out of warnings of danger.

And it follows from this that the ability to tell stories must have come much later.

However, although as a species we had to wait for the evolution of the ability to invent and tell stories, this ability to tell stories proved to be a major evolutionary step. 

For whereas “Watch out behind you” can save an individual from injury, storytelling can bring a whole group together with a shared understanding.

In short, the few words that constitute a warning helps the individual.  The story preserves the unity of the whole group.

And it is because being part of a group remains so central to our lives that the use of storytelling in learning a foreign language is such a vital tool.   The children who learn French or Spanish with stories as a core part of their learning, can share their new learning and feel part of the group.

This is why our French and Spanish courses for years 3-4 and 5-6 are based around stories.  For just as our ancestors evolved language as a way of telling stories, so the power of the story remains, and enthuses children with the desire to learn a second language.

You can read more about our story based language courses for Spanish and French through the links below…

Learn French with Luc et Sophie 1ère Partie Starter Pack (Years 3–4)

Learn French with Luc et Sophie 2ème Partie Starter Pack (Years 5-6)

Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía 1a Parte Starter Pack (Years 3–4)

Learn Spanish with Luis y Sofía 2a Parte Starter Pack (Years 5–6)

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, How children learn, Key Stage 2, lesson plans, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Primary school, Spanish, Teaching Ideas