Category Archives: English

Britain’s Best Story-Telling Show

http://www.stratfordfestivalofsalonarts.co.uk/

Our Traditional Celtic Story-Teller will be visiting secondary schools throughout this Summer Term.
Bards in the true sense, Celtic Yarn-Spinners entertain and enrich all ages with interactive stories, poems and songs.
Jim MacCool’s Interactive Celtic Yarn-Spinning Show is tailored for Years 7 and 8 students. Jim can also offer a creative writing workshop for Year10.
Should you be interested in having Celtic Yarn-Spinner Jim MacCool come to visit, please telephone me, Joy Atkins, on 020 8688 6951, or you may prefer to email:  celticyarnspinner@yahoo.co.uk  for more information.
The Stratford Festival of Salon Arts
organises
The National Tour of Traditional Celtic Story-Tellers
running
Now till Friday 21st July 2017
http://www.stratfordfestivalofsalonarts.co.uk/
Dates of Interest
National Poetry Day Thursday 28 Sept 2017
October is National Poetry Month
Joy Atkins
Stratford Festival of Salon Arts
15 Warwick Road Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6YW
Tel. 0208 688 6951
celticyarnspinner@yahoo.co.uk 
http://www.stratfordfestivalofsalonarts.co.uk/

Imagine the key texts of English literature from just £1.50 each with free delivery, and no minimum order!

From Jane Austen to the Brontës, from Dickens to Conan Doyle, from DH Lawrence to William Shakespeare, Wordsworth Editions has over 450 titles in print, covering over 230 works of classic literature, and over 50 popular children’s books.

And not only does each volume naturally have the full text, but with all of our classics there is also a set of exclusive introductions and notes.

We are also adding new titles to our range regularly – with the most well-known works of HG Wells being the most recent to be included on our list.

The normal price of the key texts is £1.99 which is reduced by 25% and free post and packing when you order direct from us.

To get an overview of the sort of titles we can offer please do visit our website.  However if you would like to see a list of around 50 of the most popular titles which are available direct to schools at the special price of £1.50 that is available here.

Then if you want to see the full list of our titles in print along with a ready to use order form, should you need it, then we have a page with those details as well.

And here’s one final offer of a free book.  Just in case the notion of books at £1.50 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true, we’d like to assure you of the quality of our publications.

So, if you would like a free sample of one of our classics, just email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you, with our compliments.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Why Macbeth with Pictures?

A story about witches, ghosts, murders, and moral values by the greatest dramatist of them all: what else does one need at KS3?

There is a growing awareness (as a recent report on student reading has revealed) that teenagers today, brought up on the internet and multi-channel TV, are showing less and less inclination to read.

This is an issue that we, as publishers of Shakespeare, have faced, and one that we feel we have answered with the production of Macbeth.

For our volume takes the majority of Shakespeare’s original text and offers it alongside both a modern English translation and page upon page of full colour illustrations.

The value of the combination of the original text and the contemporary “translation” is obvious – but there is also an added bonus from including the illustrations throughout.

The report on the decline in student reading I mentioned above reveals that where students are provided with suitable illustrations their willingness to read, and the level of knowledge that they take in, is greatly enhanced.

In this manner, emotionally powerful, complex characters are presented in a way that allows students to consider and debate the demanding questions that Macbeth raises.  Questions such as whether Macbeth is a tragic hero, who is to blame for Duncan’s murder, and, indeed, what makes a good ruler of a nation, can all be considered in a more approachable manner.

This new edition of Macbeth, in full colour with both the original text and a modern English translation, is now being widely used in schools across the UK and is available direct from the publisher.

You can get a feel for the book here. Then just click on the small pictures that run down the web page to the right of the cover picture, and you’ll see exactly what individual pages of the resource look like.

There are more details of how to order on the website And If you would like to know more please do email us at info@shakespearecomics.com or call 01691 770165.

I do hope you find the approach of interest.

Simon Greaves

Interactive Story-Telling and Song Workshops for Key Stage 3

http://www.stratfordfestivalofsalonarts.co.uk/

Top Traditional Story-Teller Jim MacCool is visiting Secondary Schools throughout the Summer Term 2017.

Bards in the true sense, Celtic Yarn-Spinners enrich and entertain all ages with interactive stories, poems and songs.

Mr MacCool’s tried and tested workshops are a wonderful cross curriculum activity mixing music, literacy, speaking and listening skills in a fun learning experience for students and staff.

Should you be interested in having Jim MacCool and his Traditional Story-Telling Workshops come to your school, please telephone me, Joy Atkins, on 020 8688 6951, or you may prefer to email: celticyarnspinner@yahoo.co.uk  for more information.

The Stratford Festival of Salon Arts organises
The National Tour of Traditional Celtic Story-Tellers
running from  Mon. 20th March through to Friday 21st July 2017
http://www.stratfordfestivalofsalonarts.co.uk/

Dates of Interest
World Story-Telling Week Starts on Mon. 20th March 2017
October is National Poetry Month

Joy Atkins
Stratford Festival of Salon Arts
15 Warwick Road Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6YW
Tel. 0208 688 6951
celticyarnspinner@yahoo.co.uk
http://www.stratfordfestivalofsalonarts.co.uk

Why young people are reading fewer books

Why we need to understand how the internet has changed young people’s attitudes to reading: a free report

“Attitude” is not everything, of course, but it counts for a lot.  The young person who enjoys reading will self-evidently read more than the young person who thinks books are old fashioned or just plain boring.

But of late something has happened – for researchers have noted a change both in the attitude of many young people towards reading and in the way they make judgements on the validity of the knowledge that they have.

Indeed it is being suggested that this is quite probably one of the biggest changes in attitude towards reading and knowledge since the evolution of mass market paperbacks 90 years ago.

The first awareness that a change of immense proportions was happening occurred when academics started to complain that some undergraduates who were perfectly capable of taking their courses were simply not reading set texts at all.

Research also showed that many of these students who regularly used the internet were not accepting that they knew facts (even where they had a perfect knowledge of an issue) unless they could verify the fact on the internet.  In short, they have started to believe the internet more than their own learned knowledge.

Such attitudes towards reading have also permeated through secondary and primary school, but it has taken a while to understand exactly what is happening in terms of how young people now see books and magazines.

And it has taken even longer to work out how knowledge can be presented to bright, but reading-averse young people.  However new research has revealed a way forward.

The full details of the research and the solution are contained in the free report, “Understanding how the internet has changed young people’s attitudes to reading and what can be done about it”.  The report gathers together research and commentaries from various academic sources and presents a new clear approach to working with young people who simply don’t read books and who doubt their own knowledge unless they can verify it on-line.

For a copy of this report simply email click on the link below:

http://www.files.schools.co.uk/How_to_overcome_the-aversion-to-reading-in-the-internet-generation.pdf

Discover Doddle with a free meeting!

Book a free visit today with one of our experienced Education Consultants!

This thirty-minute meeting will show you exactly how Doddle English can transform teaching, homework, and assessment within your department.

Doddle’s interactive presentations, activities, and worksheets have been updated for the most recent specifications and are mapped to all major exam boards.

Our range of in-depth, engaging resources covers all aspects of popular set texts, such as An Inspector Calls, Romeo and Juliet, and Frankenstein, as well as all four Assessment Objectives for the English Language specifications.

Self-marking quizzes report automatically to your online markbook, allowing you to take a purely diagnostic approach to your lesson planning and delivery. This enables meaningful analysis of results at an individual, class, and departmental level, and aids tracking of key groups, such as Pupil Premium students.

Our Education Consultants look forward to discussing your school’s needs at a time and date to suit you.
www.doddlelearn.co.uk/bookavisit

Philippa
Doddle

English Literature Summer School – Part 1 (650AD to 1790AD)

The English Literature Summer School – Part 1 will cover literature dating from 650AD to 1790AD, including Middle English, Medieval Literature, Chaucer, The Renaissance, Shakespeare, Restoration Literature and the Rise of the Novel. In addition we will also be covering Historicist and Feminist critical approaches as part of this Summer School.

This course offers the opportunity for an in-depth and illuminating exploration of the major movements in the development of English Literature. Tackling canonical authors including Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton, students will develop the skills to read them both within their historical context and in dialogue with other writers and genres, such as the Medieval courtly poem and Renaissance travel writing. The course should foster a broad understanding of Medieval, Early Modern and eighteenth-century literary movements and familiarise students with their range of distinctive genres, styles and concerns.

Covering a wide range of writing forms including narrative and religious poetry, drama, Renaissance prose, and the invention of the novel form, we will combine close and critical reading with short lectures, group work and editing projects, in order to understand how the texts we encounter were put together. We will approach literature not only in book form, but also in its older oral incarnations, in manuscript, and crucially in performance. Drama should be understood in relation to its production on the stage, and an integral part of this is the trip to a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre. For 2017 this will be Twelfth Night.

As well as tackling the exciting developments in the English language through Old and Middle English, we will focus on major ideas that stimulated the literary imagination through several periods including religion, empire, and gender relations. Literary theory will play an important role in examining the production of ideas over time, and in this Summer School we apply the insights of Feminist and Historicist criticism in order to open up new perspectives on the texts that we read or encounter in performance.

Literature of past periods can sometimes seem remote from our own as we grapple with Anglo-Saxon anonymous authorship, or why fiction was such a shocking concept in the early eighteenth century. This Summer School invites students to read literature pre-1790 with historical awareness, critical acuity and an enhanced understanding of the ways in which it has shaped cultural relations, in the past and in the present. As such, the course will be particularly useful to students considering undergraduate study of English, but it is suitable for all those with a passion for literature, and complementary to A-level and Pre-U courses with an emphasis on understanding different periods of literature.

You can view a full schedule for the course, details of tutors and lots more feedback from last year on our website – www.debatechamber.com.

Part 1 of the course will take place on the 24th-28th July 2017. Students may also be interested in Part 2 of the Summer School on the 31st July – 4th Aug which covers literature from 1790 to the present day, with a focus on postcolonial and deconstructivist schools of theory, or Part 3, taking place 7th-11th Aug, which covers exclusively contemporary prose, poetry and drama, with a focus on psychoanalytic theory and theories of the canon.

Please note that students can attend all Parts of the Summer School, or just one or two, depending on their literary interests. Although the courses complement one another, they can also be treated as stand alone events and there is no requirement to have attended Part 1 in order to register for other Parts.

Practical Details:

The English Literature Summer School – Part 1 will take place on the 24th-28th July 2017.

The cost of booking any single Part of the English Literature Summer School £475, the cost of any two Parts is £850, and the cost for all three Parts of the Summer School is £1200. The Summer School will be held at a University of London, Bloomsbury campus (please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required).

There will be a limited number of bursary spaces available for those who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see our website for details.

To book a place please visit http://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/. call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Helping students who slip behind

What factor is responsible, more than any other, for students slipping behind in literacy?

It is a fundamental fact of teaching literacy that each student progresses at his/her own unique rate.  Each student has his/her own personality.  Each has different levels of paying attention. Every student is different.

In order to resolve these various problems it is very helpful – indeed one could say essential – to have a highly accurate and rapid system of placing students according to their current literacy ability, while precisely noting the progress they are making.

Unfortunately, this creates a second problem because analysing exactly where a pupil is in terms of developing literacy skills is even more time-consuming.

The way around all this is to implement an auto-placement approach which allocates each individual’s ability level and reveals exactly what each student needs to be focussing on.

Then, if the student can have one-to-one tuition in a way that is utterly engaging and responsive to his or her immediate literacy needs and within the school’s budget, the issue is resolved.

All of this can all be done using Lexia Strategies Reading Skills software.  The analysis, the comparisons with other students, the progress, the remedial work – all of this is tracked and provided by Strategies.

If you want to read the case studies involving UK schools which are already using the system please click here. You will then also find on the right of the page the route to having access to the full program for 30 days without any payment or commitment.

If you want to know more about the program, then again we have all the information you’ll need available here. Alternatively, if you would like to talk first, call 0191 482 1939, or email info@lexiauk.co.uk.

Rob Kay

LexiaUK Software Consultant

KS3 – Best Interactive Storytelling Show – visiting schools

Britain’s Best Storytelling Show

I want to tell you a story…

Our Traditional Celtic Story Teller is visiting secondary schools from the beginning of World Story Telling week in March through till the end of the Summer Term.

Bards in the true sense, Celtic Yarn-Spinners entertain and enrich all ages with interactive stories, poems and songs.
Should you be interested in having our Celtic Yarn-Spinner come to visit, please telephone me, Joy Atkins, on 020 8688 6951, or you may prefer to email:  celticyarnspinner@yahoo.co.uk  for more information.
The Stratford Festival of Salon Arts
organises
the National Tour of Traditional Celtic Storytellers
running from
Mon.20th March through to Friday 21st  July 2017
http://www.stratfordfestivalofsalonarts.co.uk/
Dates of Interest
World Story-Telling Week Starts on Mon. 20th March 2017.
October is National Poetry Month
Joy Atkins
Stratford Festival of Salon Arts
Tigh a Bhaird
15 Warwick Road Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6YW
Tel. 0208 688 6951
celticyarnspinner@yahoo.co.uk
http://www.stratfordfestivalofsalonarts.co.uk/
 

Introduce your students to some of Shakespeare’s friends…. Christopher, Ben and John

DVD images

Stage on Screen produces high quality recordings of classic plays for students and theatre enthusiasts everywhere. We professionally stage classic plays at London’s historic Greenwich Theatre, and then record them with multiple cameras on high definition 16:9 widescreen video and 5.1 surround sound. The plays are filmed in front of a live audience to capture the atmosphere and tension of live theatre. These recordings are then finished, with both optional subtitles and a scene by scene breakdown added, and released on NTSC or PAL Multi region compatible DVDs.

Each DVD pack contains the full play (full text) and is accompanied by extensive filmed interviews with cast and crew, and our unique mastershot (single camera) recording: invaluable when teaching lighting or blocking. In addition there are costume designs, productions stills, and study guides, as well as other background materials on each play and production available at www.stageonscreen.com.

Stage on Screen’s productions are well respected by the theatre industry, teaching staff and the academic community, and in 2015 joined the Drama Online consortium, the award winning Bloomsbury Publishing plc online resource: www.dramaonlinelibrary.com

‘Essential watching in their own right…remarkable resources for those teaching English, Drama and Media ….’ The Shakespeare Bulletin.

‘..Unlike many modern productions of the classics, Stage on Screen productions are rarely cut, putting pupils who see them at a distinct advantage.’ Times Educational Supplement

‘From the moment Faustus enters the playing space we know we are in safe hands…fantastic inspiration for students.’ Teaching Drama Magazine

`Highly recommended.’ Video Librarian

‘A gem of a resource.’ International Schools Theatre Association

Brilliant. People who are teaching these plays would be crazy not to buy them The English and Media Centre.

‘We have used your DVD extensively with our English Literature students. Their exam results have been excellent, and part of that is due to the unique dimension your material adds to their learning.’ Head of English, Colchester Royal Grammar School.

All DVDs can be purchased from www.amazon.co.uk or www.amazon.com

 

Introducing Shakespeare at KS3

Schools use many different ways of introducing Shakespeare at KS3.  But which works best? 

A survey of English teachers (including both heads of department, and classroom teachers) has revealed a significant diversity of opinion as to what is the best way to introduce Shakespeare to pupils and students for the first time.

Further, when we asked if it was felt that introducing a Shakespeare play for the first time was problematic, the most common answer was that it was difficult because of resistance to the whole concept of Shakespeare.  In short, barriers had to be broken down.

Now, in response to a range of questions asked of teachers in the last couple of years we’ve produced a Shakespeare resource which meets many of the needs expressed by both classroom teachers and heads of departments.

For example, we noted that many teachers like to have a dual text edition with the original and a modern translation available at the same time. Others welcome a highly illustrated comic book approach to make the play more rapidly accessible, particularly at Key Stage 3.

Likewise we noted that around two thirds of teachers involved in teaching Shakespeare to students seeing it for the first time said they liked to start with key scenes only.

So this is what we have produced: a resource that incorporates all these requirements. You can get a feel for the results on our website

Then just click on the small pictures that run down the web page to the right of the cover picture, and you’ll see exactly what individual pages of the resource look like.

There are price details and details of how to order also on the website  And If you would like to know more please do email us at info@shakespearecomics.com or call 01691 770165.

Comprehensive KS3 English grammar toolkit from Doddle

Ensure that your KS3 students are confident in their own writing with the spelling, grammar and punctuation toolkit from Doddle English!

Including dynamic presentations, worksheets, and interactive activities, the toolkit covers everything, from punctuating speech to making correct vowel choices.

Complete lessons on key topics such as homophones, commas, and apostrophes aid literacy across all subjects. Targeted SPaG tests make sure your students are on track and that their knowledge of spelling and grammar is secure.

Book a visit
Find out more about Doddle’s interactive resourcesself-marking homework quizzes, and automatic online markbook by booking a free in-school visit with one of our Educational Consultants:
www.doddlelearn.co.uk/bookavisit

Philippa
Doddle

Britain’s Best Storytelling Show

Britain’s Best Storytelling Show

I want to tell you a story…

National Storytelling Week starts on Monday 30th January 2017 and our Key Stage 3

National Storytelling Tour runs from Monday 30th January through to Easter.

Bards in the true sense, Celtic Yarn-Spinners entertain and enrich all ages with interactive stories, poems and songs.

Should you be interested in having our Celtic Yarn-Spinner come to visit, please telephone me, Joy Atkins, on 020 8688 6951, or you may prefer to email:  celticyarnspinner@yahoo.co.uk  for more information.

The Stratford Festival of Salon Arts

organises the

National Tour of Traditional Celtic Storytellers

running from

Mon. 30th Jan. until  Good Friday. 14th April 2017

http://www.stratfordfestivalofsalonarts.co.uk/

Dates of Interest

National Storytelling Week runs from Sat. 26th Jan. to Sat. 4th Feb. 2017.
World Book Day is on Thurs. 2nd March 2017.
World Storytelling Week Starts on Mon. 20th March 2017.

Joy Atkins
Stratford Festival of Salon Arts
Tigh a Bhaird
15 Warwick Road
Stratford upon Avon
CV37 6YW

Tel. 0208 688 6951
celticyarnspinner@yahoo.co.uk

http://www.stratfordfestivalofsalonarts.co.uk/

 

Macbeth

Macbeth
by William Shakespeare

Power. Ambition. Murder.

Fred Theatre is on the road this February with its exciting new production of Shakespeare’s classic tale of greed, lust, and betrayal: MACBETH.

Edited down to 90 minutes and performed by a cast of six actors, it will be fast-paced, contemporary, and relevant. Ideal for students studying the play at GCSE level and above.

Now is the perfect time to look again at MACBETH. We’re living in a world trendily described as the ‘post-truth age’, where ambition appears, at least, to be driving people to extreme behaviour the like of which we’ve not seen before. How more relevant can a play be than MACBETH which examines the nature of truth and equivocation, power and ambition?

In Fred’s production the witches are centre stage, controlling the action through stealthy manipulation of characters, media, and audience.

TWO WAYS TO SEE FRED’S MACBETH

1. In a theatre, near you

We have public performances coming up in London (12 February), Birmingham (14-15 February), Warwick (17-18 February) and Stratford-upon-Avon (6-7 February).

Full details of these, including booking information, can be found at www.fred-theatre.co.uk/whats-on

2. In your school

In addition, Fred can bring MACBETH to your school. All we need is a playing space of at least 4×4 metres and room for the audience.

The 90 minute production is competitively priced, and comes with the option of an additional workshop with members of the cast and creative team exploring themes in the play and our production. Dates are available for in-school performances throughout February.

To discuss your requirements, please contact our artistic director, Robert Ball on 07974 210265 or email: admin@fred-theatre.co.uk

Closing the literacy gap; guaranteed

The guaranteed way of raising literacy levels among students who are struggling

In an ideal world, pupils and students who struggle with literacy would have a tutor working with them on an individual basis, several days a week.

The teacher could note the student’s particular problems each step of the way, and as problems became apparent provide remedial reading and writing activities, which are also monitored.

Every misunderstanding and every concept not understood would result in taking the pupil or student back a step for remedial work, after which progress and advancement would resume.

It is a wonderful and utterly effective approach, but normally quite impossible to implement. This is not only because of the cost of having a teacher working on a one-to-one basis with children, but also because the system needs the teacher to have remedial activities to hand for every eventuality.

Now, however, this approach is available through a program that rapidly locates each individual’s literacy needs, directing the student to an engaging set of activities which will remedy any deficits, before advancing through to the next set of skills.

Because the level of instruction is so accurately reflective of the individual’s current abilities, the student then gets a feeling of success and progress, rather than what can become a regular and familiar feeling of failure.

At the same time your colleagues are now free to work with others in the group.  Indeed, they can rotate the individual students, with some receiving directed help online while others engage with offline paper-based activities which are generated automatically by the system.

The program in question is Strategies for Older Students from Lexia – a program already in use in hundreds of schools across the UK.

You can try the program for yourself immediately and then if you wish, opt for a 30 day free trial in your school by clicking here

Of course, you may like to talk first – if so, please do call 0191 482 1939 or email info@lexiauk.co.uk

I do hope you will find this approach interesting and consider joining the many other schools now using Strategies for Older Students as their prime method of raising literacy levels for those who require much-needed support. If used as recommended the program achieves accelerated gains at typically twice the rate of non-Lexia users; guaranteed!

Rob Kay

LexiaUK Software Consultant.

What is the most effective way of introducing Shakespeare at Key Stage 3?

This is what teachers said…

A recent survey of both classroom teachers and heads of English in secondary schools revealed a huge diversity of opinion as to what is the best way to introduce Shakespeare to pupils and students for the first time.

Indeed many of the teachers who responded had evolved their own unique approach, so while some went straight to the Shakespeare text others started with viewing the play on film, some used a dramatic exploration of certain scenes, and others used a comic style presentation by way of introduction.

What was particularly interesting in the responses was that as we explored the matter further many teachers said that they had not tried certain approaches or had assumed that it was not an approach that was developed enough for their pupils.

Further, when we asked if it was felt that introducing a Shakespeare play for the first time was problematic, the most common answer was that it was difficult because of resistance to the whole concept of Shakespeare.  In short, barriers had to be broken down.

Now, in response to a range of questions asked of teachers in the last couple of years we’ve produced a Shakespeare resource which meets many of the needs expressed by both classroom teachers and heads of departments.

For example, we noted that many teachers like to have a dual text edition with the original and a modern translation available at the same time. Others welcome a highly illustrated comic book approach to make the play more rapidly accessible, particularly at Key Stage 3.

Likewise we noted that around two thirds of teachers involved in teaching Shakespeare to students seeing it for the first time said they liked to start with key scenes only.

So this is what we have produced: a resource that incorporates all these requirements. You can get a feel for the results on our website

Then just click on the small pictures that run down the web page to the right of the cover picture, and you’ll see exactly what individual pages of the resource look like.

There are price details and details of how to order also on the website  And If you would like to know more please do email us at info@shakespearecomics.com or call 01691 770165.

Why tell tales?

What is the one cultural activity that all children love, and which is also fundamental to our survival?

Storytelling is as old as homo sapiens, and is our most profound way of learning about ourselves and those around us. About what is, what was, and what might be.

As such it is the heart and soul of our imaginations, our creativity and our civilisation, and it is our principle survival tool.  It is in fact the mechanism that has allowed us to survive, flourish, and create civilisations.

Because of this we still need stories as a way of uniting ourselves in families and societies, which is why novels and dramas continue to be at the very heart of our existence.

Indeed even a single sentence can get us going.  Try this for example….

Sam went to the end of her garden, and ran her hand through the flowers that grew there.

We are at once transported, and so the story begins.

There are many ways of bringing more and more stories to the children you teach.  But there is one in particular I would like to bring to your attention: The Free Snail Tales Storytelling Bonanza.

This involves you working with your local primary feeder schools, so that an event can be put on in your school hall, where all the children can enjoy the show and some accompanying workshops.

The price of the session is fixed irrespective of the number of pupils involved.  So if you invite some or all of your feeder primary schools, each need only make a very modest financial contribution – while you, as the host, pay nothing.

You can even host a public performance in your hall after school for parents and families to attend too, making it even more likely that your school won’t have to pay a penny.

Of course, it is entirely up to you how you arrange it – but certainly using storytelling as the heart of the introduction to your school can not only stimulate imagination and break down boundaries, but also reduce the worry that some children have on attending secondary school for the first time.

To begin organising your Storytelling Bonanza you can call us on 020 328 76245 to discuss the details, or visit our online booking form.You can select from one of our existing themes by clicking here.

Or, if you have an immediate question, please do either call 020 328 SNAIL (020 328 76245) or visit our Contact Us page

Free KS3 interactive on changes in English!

Show your class how English has been influenced through the ages with our free interactive timeline!

From the Anglo-Saxon period right up to the present technological era, this timeline explores the key historical events which introduced new words into the English language.

What impact did the Viking invasion, the exploration of the New World, and colonization have on the English we speak today? Examples are provided of words we owe to these events and eras, and your students might come up with some of their own too!

Find the interactive on our English free stuff page.

Kind regards,

The Boardworks team

 

What is the most effective way of raising the literacy levels of students who are struggling?

 

There is no doubt about the answer to the question above: it is one-to-one tuition.

But as we all know one-to-one tuition is not possible – at least not for more than a small amount of time each week.  It is simply too expensive.

It is true that this undoubtedly used to be the case – but now the situation has changed.

For the fact is that it is now possible to give a pupil one-to-one tuition in a way that is utterly engaging and responsive to their immediate literacy needs – and within the school’s budget.

The approach involves a totally user-friendly software program which rapidly locates an individual’s literacy needs, directing him/her to an engaging set of activities which will remedy any deficits, before advancing through to the next set of skills.

The benefits of this approach are huge.  First, the pupil or student gets the personalised attention he/she needs; attention which is directed one hundred percent to that individual’s unique literacy level.

Second, the learner finds the approach utterly rewarding and engaging.  Because the level of instruction is so accurately reflective of the individual’s current abilities, s/he gets a feeling of success and progress, rather than that familiar feeling of failure.

Third, because the software activities are so engrossing, staff are now free to work with others in the group.  Indeed, they can rotate the individual students, with some receiving directed help online while others engage with offline paper-based activities, which are generated automatically by the system.

The program in question is Strategies for Older Students from Lexia. Now, of course I recognise that it is easy for me to make claims about rapid pupil and student progress, enormous recovery rates for those who have slipped behind, and the fact that the approach will actually save your school money by reducing dependency on additional staff and training costs.

But before going further, you will want to know what other schools have found when they use the program, and you will of course want to try it out for yourself for a period of time without having to make any commitment.

We’re happy to offer both. If you want to read the case studies involving UK schools please click here.  You will then also find on the right of the page the route to having access to the full program for 30 days without any payment or obligation.

If you want to know more about the program, then again we have a wealth of information available on line.

Of course, you may like to talk first – if so, please do call 0191 482 1939 or email info@lexiauk.co.uk

I do hope you will find this approach interesting and consider joining the many other schools now using Strategies for Older Students as their prime method of raising literacy levels for those who require much-needed support.

Rob Kay

LexiaUK Software Consultant.

Engaging audio content in Doddle GCSE English resources

Doddle English resources can enhance your students’ interaction with GCSE set texts. Let our audio content bring literature alive in your classroom!

Audio clips encourage your students to pay attention to rhyme, rhythm and writers’ techniques.

Listen together to works from writers such as Wilfred Owen and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and see how this affects your students’ interpretations. Hearing readings from Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and The Tempest helps your class make sense of important speeches and encourages discussion of mood and atmosphere.

Book a visit
Find out more about Doddle’s interactive resources, self-marking homework quizzes and automatic online markbook by booking a free in-school visit with one of our Educational Consultants.

Philippa
Doddle

English Literature Summer School 2017 Booking Now Open

A wonderful opportunity for students with a passion for literature to discover a range of new authors and texts, explore fresh approaches to familiar works and to prepare for undergraduate study of English Literature.

“Although I wasn’t initially sure what to expect about the summer course, I was massively surprised and impressed! – The sessions were in smallish groups of peers, and everyone was really nice and interested in the discussions – and the week was so engaging and eye opening, I felt really enriched and all of the tutors were so knowledgeable and insightful. Overall I would absolutely recommend the course, it was one of the best parts of my summer!”

“If you think this is just going to be a summer school on English Literature, you are wrong. It will also teach you about theories and ideas in Art, Theatre, and Philosophy. I came into the course disillusioned about English Literature academically but it inspired me to continue it further to A level.”

“I would thoroughly recommend attending the English Literature Summer School. It has given me a wonderful insight into texts and literary movements which are not covered on the school syllabus and has been enormous fun.”

Reviews from Summer School Students 2016

The English Summer School – Part 1 will cover literature dating from 650AD to 1790AD, including Middle English, Medieval Literature, Chaucer, The Renaissance, Shakespeare, Restoration Literature and the Rise of the Novel. In addition we will also be covering Historicist and Feminist critical approaches as part of this Summer School.

The English Summer School – Part 1 will be held on 24th – 28th July 2017.

The English Summer School – Part 2 will cover literature dating from 1790AD to the present day, including Romanticism and the Gothic Movement, Victorian Sensation Novels, Literature and the British Empire, Modernism, Postmoderism and Contemporary Literature. We will be covering the ‘Death of the Author’ and Postcolonial criticism as part of this Summer School.

The English Summer School – Part 2 will be held on 31st July – 4th August 2017.

The English Summer School – Part 3 will cover exclusively Contemporary English Literature, including prose fiction, poetry and drama. We will be focusing on Psychoanalytic criticism and questions of Identity as part of this Summer School.

The English Summer School – Part 3 will be held on 7th-11th August 2017.

Please note that students can attend all Parts of the Summer School, or just one or two, depending on their literary interests. Although the courses complement one another, they can also be treated as stand alone events and there is no requirement to have attended Part 1 in order to register for other Parts.

Thematic coverage by period, combining close study of texts with lectures on historical and cultural context, and setting major authors side-by-side with less familiar works, will help students to appreciate the development of prose, verse and drama in English from the middle ages to the present day. We will not only engage in close textual analysis of Medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, Nineteenth Century, Modernist and Contemporary writers, but also evaluate these movements in light of the authors’ own critical writing.

As well as looking at the purely written word, we will also cover literature in performance, comparing playscripts to film adaptations and reading through sections of the works using different performance theories. As an integral part of Part 1 of the Summer School we will attend a performance at the Globe Theatre on the Southbank. Literary theory and criticism will play an important role in the Summer School and students will be invited to examine texts they have studied in the light of competing theories of the nature and value of literature and the role of the critic.

This Summer School is suitable for all students aged 15-18 with a passion for literature, and will be particularly useful for those looking for a taste of undergraduate level engagement with texts and theory.

Practical Details:

The cost of booking any single five-day Part of the English Literature Summer School £465, the cost of any two Parts is £850, and the cost for all three Parts of the Summer School is £1200. The Summer School will be held at the University of London Bloomsbury campus (please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required).

There will be a limited number of bursary spaces available for those who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see our website for details.

To book a place please visit http://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/english-summer-school/ call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

What more can you do to help your pupils with their creative writing?

Writing in an unfamiliar environment is something that nearly all successful writers do as it can provide them with the inspiration to think and write more creatively than before. Thus, when your pupils are tasked to write creatively, it can be a good idea to take the lesson elsewhere.

Whether it’s a short story or a poem, by taking your pupils to a park, busy street, reservoir or anywhere else which isn’t considered as commonplace, your pupils will be inspired by their surroundings and thus (in terms of creativity) their writing will be improved.

Of course, to do this you will need some kind of transport (unless your school is fortunate enough to be located within walking distance of such an environment), which is where Benchmark Minibus Leasing can help.

Leasing a minibus with Benchmark can often work out cheaper than buying a minibus outright (especially if one takes into account the re-sale value of a school bus at the end of its working life), or indeed hiring a coach each time.

It is an arrangement which makes it possible for schools to fund the minibus through a small payment each month, which has the added benefit of improved budgeting and cash flow.

What’s more, a full maintenance programme is included, so no matter the outcome of the vehicle’s services and MOTs, the cost of repairs won’t affect the lease price.

For more information about leasing a minibus with Benchmark Leasing you can go to our website, call us on 01753 859944 or email minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street
Eton
Berkshire
SL4 6AS

www.minibusleasing.co.uk/school-minibus.php

minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk

Tel: 01753 859944

Becoming very familiar with key stories, fairy tales and traditional stories, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics.

Despite revising key stories, fairy tales and traditional stories from around the world in literacy lessons, it can sometimes be difficult to know whether your pupils will be able to consider their particular characteristics and retell these stories a day, a week, or a year later.

Which is why Brilliant Publications has produced Understanding Traditional Stories.

Understanding Traditional Stories is a photocopiable teaching resource which not only contains a range of fairy tales, fables, and folk stories from around the world, but also a wealth of activities to ensure that these narratives have been understood.

The activities focus on developing comprehension and reading skills, preparing pupils for their Year 2 tests in which they are required to demonstrate that they not only have the ability to decode words and retrieve information, but also that they are able to state their opinion of a text and use skills such as inference and deduction.

Furthermore, the speaking and listening activities for each story support the expectations of the new curriculum, which places a heavy emphasis on Key Stage 1 children being encouraged to develop these skills.

You can order Understanding Traditional Stories in a variety of ways, including:

  • By visiting the website
  • By phone on 01449 766629
  • By fax on 01449 768047
  • By email to orders@tradecounter.co.uk
  • Or by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
Mendlesham,
Suffolk,
IP14 5ND.

website: www.brilliantpublications.co.uk
email: orders@tradecounter.co.uk

phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 768047

Lord of the Flies – An Abridged Text

Quite often the content of the National Curriculum can be intractable for pupils who speak English as a second language. The teaching of English can now be made wholly accessible using set texts which have been effectively differentiated so that they are understood by pupils who may find the original version difficult.

This pdf workbook has been designed for use with the novel ‘Lord of the Flies’ written by William Golding. With over 70 exercises covering a broad range of ability there is something for every student here. The exercises cover factual recall, knowledge of the text, understanding of the plot, analysis, personal interpretation and speculation. Worksheets are clearly laid out and are user-friendly. They can be completed with a minimum of equipment and they can be used in a variety of ways to fit into any course of study.

This text has been widely used in English and Special Needs classrooms to promote the development of reading writing and listening skills. It has proven to be popular because of its accessibility and at the end of each section there is a series of stimulating exercises designed to enhance language acquisition. Developing literary appreciation is an integral part of the National Curriculum and this resource is designed to develop this skill.

84 Photocopiable masters £29.99 + VAT

Once purchased, the CD can be freely copied and networked throughout the school!

To see sample pages please email info@classroom-resources.co.uk quoting the order code H5046 or visit our website to download.

You can order the Lord of the Flies – An Abridged Text CD-ROM in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone or fax on 0117 940 6409
  • By email (quoting a school order number) to info@classroom-resources.co.uk
  • By post to: Classroom Resources, 9 Logan Road, Bristol, BS7 8DU

Classroom Resources Ltd
9 Logan Road,
Bristol,
BS7 8DU

www.classroom-resources.co.uk
info@classroom-resources.co.uk

Tel: 0117 940 6409

‘Just Read!’ PDF Poster set for English

Do you need to promote reading more effectively?

This is a set of motivational posters about the power of books and reading.

• 20 colourful pdf posters from our Reading & Library series

• Instant display material

• Ideal for whiteboards too

• Make a big impression

• Print as many copies as you like from your own personal download page

• Saves you hours of work

See all the posters here http://www.carelpress.co.uk/HHEnglishJustRead

Ann Batey
Office Manager
Carel Press
(01228 538928)
www.carelpress.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/carelpress

What more can you do to boost your pupils’ creative writing skills?

Creative writing is an area which pupils with SEN or pupils who are considered to be slower learners find particularly challenging. Not least because creative writing requires pupils to use an array of literacy skills, simultaneously.

Indeed, creative writing requires pupils to focus on spelling, handwriting, grammar, punctuation, and structuring, as well as using their imagination.

Fortunately, Brilliant Publications has produced the Boost Creative Writing series to provide additional support for pupils who find creative writing to be a particularly challenging task.

The Boost Creative Writing series addresses the Programmes of Study for writing composition in the new (2014) National Curriculum for England.

The structured planning sheets contain a wealth of activities that provide additional reinforcement of key skills for slower learners and SEN pupils with non-prescriptive writing scaffolds, giving them the support they need.

The activity sheets have been written by Judith Thornby, an experienced Learning Support Coordinator, and cover a range of writing genres, from stories and poems to book reviews and newspaper reports.

Furthermore, not only does the series boost pupils’ creative writing skills, but it has also proven to give pupils confidence and make them believe that they can write. This belief leads to better performance in all areas of school. And while designed for SEN pupils, these sheets can, and have, been used by pupils of all abilities.

You can order the Boost Creative Writing series pack in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  •  By phone on 01449 766629
  • By fax on 01449 768047
  • By email to orders@tradecounter.co.uk  
  • Or by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
Mendlesham,
Suffolk,
IP14 5ND.

website: www.brilliantpublications.co.uk
email: orders@tradecounter.co.uk

phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 768047

What is the most effective way of helping all students become effective writers?

One of the most curious things about learning to write in one’s native tongue is that at the same time as learning to use the language one is actually using the language.

Which is why the learning tends to be twofold. On the one hand one learns the rules and logic of the language in a systematic way, but on the other hand issues suddenly arise that show that further explanation is needed.

For example, we might take the old favourite of homographs and homophones. They can cause endless confusion, so what should one do?

The answer, of course, is to have a lesson or a part of the lesson on this particular topic – quite possibly throwing in some homograph and homophone puns along the way just to make it more lighthearted.

The same is true with every other part of the language. From the indicative, imperative, and subjunctive mood to the use of a comma with adverbials of frequency.

This is what the 200 page copiable volume “Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stages 3 and 4″ covers. Over 170 different items and topics, each dealt with, along with examples.  It offers teachers invaluable assistance in familiarising their pupils with those grammatical and punctuation principles relevant to Key Stages 3 and 4 and rooted in national literacy strategies.

In this way Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stages 3 and 4 performs a dual function: it is both a grammar book and an editing handbook, utilising authentic examples collected from a variety of written sources.

It pays particular attention to those areas with which authors of all ages tend to have difficulties and offers an abundance of examples of current usage highlighting these areas.

Such examples are then followed by suggested improvements and by explanations justifying those improvements. Finally the relevant principles are practised through activities designed for pupils.

Anna Nolan, the author of Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stages 3 and 4, has spent many years running public examinations, developing national qualification, carrying out linguistic research and writing books on English grammar, punctuation and usage.

This copiable book is available both in spiral bound printed form and on CD.  It is a revised and updated second edition of the book Grammar and Punctuation at Key Stage 3.

There is a sample chapter available on-line at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1844.pdf

Cat No: 978 1 86083 867 5;  Publisher reference no: T1844emn

Prices

  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £24.95. plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the book…

Pupils love poetry and song.

To help schools enjoy and promote the reciting and learning of poetry, the Performance Poetry Society is offering Primary Schools the opportunity of having Jim MacCool’s Interactive Poetry and Song Shows to visit this Autumn.

Jim MacCool’s Shows have proved to be suitable for all ages and abilities of primary school pupils and will enrich and entertain your pupils and staff alike.

Here are some comments on schools’ Web pages and newsletters, after Jim’s visit.
A Poet Visiting Kings Avenue School
On Tuesday the 26th April a fantastic poet named Jim MacCool came to Kings Avenue to tell us about his job. The assembly was so upbeat it was like a concert. We did loads of singing; everyone was having so much fun. He did riddles and was very inspirational. He inspired me to write more poems. Jim brought some fabulous instruments; I want to give Jim special thanks for being so inspiring.
By Lattisha – 5S
Jim MacCool at Cragside School
We were so pleased to have Jim MacCool from the Performance Poetry Society today.
He performed for reception to year 6, including parents and grandparents, and had everyone clapping, stomping and joining in with a variety of Scottish and Irish verse.
It was fabulous to see the children sharing such an exciting experience with their families.
We’re all now looking forward to the children writing and presenting their own performance poetry in the classroom. Thanks so much to everyone who came and joined in the fun; sharing the experience with parents and grandparents was very special and exciting for the children.

To find out how your school  can take advantage of this opportunity and join in, please telephone me, Sandra Dennis on 0208 688 6951 or email performancepoetry@yahoo.com for further details.

THE PERFORMANCE POETRY SOCIETY

Working In Universities, Colleges, Schools, Arts Centres, Libraries And Prisons

www.octoberisnationalpoetrymonth.co.uk

The Performance Poetry Society is the longest-serving provider of quality Poetry Services to Schools.

Performance Poetry Society
Tigh a Bhaird
7 Harepit Close
Croydon
CR2 6PN

Tel. 0208 688 6951
performancepoetry@yahoo.com

October is National Poetry Month
We operate throughout the year.

www.octoberisnationalpoetrymonth.co.uk

Students love poetry and song.

Dear Head of English,

To help schools enjoy and promote the reciting and learning of poetry, the Performance Poetry Society is offering Secondary Schools the opportunity of having Jim MacCool’s Poetry Shows to visit this Autumn.

Jim MacCool’s Shows have proved to be suitable for all ages and abilities of secondary school pupils and will enrich and entertain your pupils and staff alike.

Here are some comments from Secondary schools after Jim’s visit.

Poet Jim MacCool’s visits to All Saints
On Monday 9th & Tuesday 10th November, Years 7 and 8 were given the opportunity to attend an interactive poetry workshop led by performance poet Jim MacCool. Rhythm was a key focal point of the session with Jim accompanying his verse with a variety of instruments and props. After initial shyness, the students (and staff) were soon clapping, singing and on their feet joining in. It was a thoroughly entertaining event!

St. Paul ’s High School, Bessbrook
A packed house cheered and applauded Mr MacCool after each verse and Celtic song. Pupils volunteered to go up on stage and dance to Jim’s Irish Drum. Jim sang, recited poetry and played the Irish Drum as he recounted stories inspired by Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Roisin Patton, Drama teacher at the school, said of the performances, ‘Pupils were enthusiastic and involved throughout Jim’s performances. It was definitely worthwhile that he came along. Y9 Pupils, in particular, enjoyed ‘The Boxer’s Tale’ as well as the short question and answer session they had with Jim after that final performance’.

To find out how your school can take advantage of this opportunity and join in, please telephone me, Sandra Dennis on 0208 688 6951 or email performancepoetry@yahoo.com for further details.

THE PERFORMANCE POETRY SOCIETY
Working In Universities, Colleges, Schools,
Arts Centres, Libraries And Prisons

www.octoberisnationalpoetrymonth.co.uk

The Performance Poetry Society is the longest-serving provider
of quality Poetry Services to Schools.

Performance Poetry Society
Tigh a Bhaird
7 Harepit Close
Croydon
CR2 6PN

Tel. 0208 688 6951
performancepoetry@yahoo.com

October is National Poetry Month
We operate throughout the year.

www.octoberisnationalpoetrymonth.co.uk

Free sign up for a year to KS1 and KS2 Literacy Education Quizzes

Our library of KS1 and KS2 Literacy Education Quizzes is free for a whole year and covers an extensive range of topic areas including: Pronouns, Syllables, Capital Letters and Full Stops, Speech Marks, Connectives, Phonemes, Similes, Onomatopoeia, Comprehension, Complex Sentences and more!

To see our full range of Literacy Education Quizzes for KS1, click here.

And to see our full range of Literacy Education Quizzes for KS2, click here.

Would you like to be able to offer Education Quizzes as home revision or homework to your pupils? Our education quizzes can be accessed by pupils on their home computers, tablets and smartphones.

For free sign up for a year to our library of KS1 and KS2 literacy education quizzes, please visit https://www.educationquizzes.com/schools-uk-registrations/. If you would like to know more, please do email admin@educationquizzes.com or call 01406 371799.

Colin King

A Key Stage 3 play for lessons, production, and learning about the intricacies of drama

There are plays and there are plays, but sometimes it is particularly helpful to have a play that can not only be developed towards a final production but can also be worked on, in classroom in segments, with each segment making a coherent lesson.

And a play which as well being an event that can be staged in front of an audience can be used in class to examine how the central character (a detective) works and where she is going, as well as how she is characterised, how character motivation is explored, what costumes could be used, etc, etc.

In short, what we have here is a play that can be performed, dissected, re-worked, analysed, considered in terms of its structure, turned into a game, have a different ending (it is a murder mystery, so the outcome is a key element), have audience interaction, become a radio play, and be the basis for research of the genre.

All of these alternatives are available with “Murder at Masons Hotel” a play script complete with associated activities. It is supplied in copiable format so that each student can have his/her own copy of the script, or part of the script, to work on at all times.

The play is set in the 1960s and revolves round the murder of a New York crime boss who is visiting London with his family.  He is shot in his room the night before the announcement of changes to his will, and the play centres around the attempts by two characters to solve the mystery of his death.

An initial investigation by Harriet Hemmings of Scotland Yard fails to make progress until Veronica Holmes (rumoured to be the great great granddaughter of Sherlock) is called in. 

The play retains a real sense of drama while also including numerous comic moments.  Many of the characters can be played by either male or female actors.

Murder at Masons Hotel is available as a copiable book, or on CD or as a download.  Each edition comes with unlimited reproduction rights for use within the school. Sample pages can be viewed here http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/drama/T1838.pdf

ISBN 978 1 86083 827 9; order code T1838EMN

Prices

  • Photocopiable spiral bound book, £16.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £16.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD: £23.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

When ordering the book please quote the reference T1838EMN.

What a complex mess! Solving the Problem of Punctuation

Of the many issues faced by teachers in recent times, it was a tiny punctuation mark that forced the government to make a change!

The traditional media were incensed. The Independent told us the ’excitable, text speaking youth of today are being told to curb their exclamation by the Government’ with ‘strict new rules on use of exclamation marks’.

‘How strange!’ wrote The Guardian, it was ‘…effectively proof that the government wants to penalise enthusiasm!’

The Telegraph described it as ‘Nonsense!’ that would take ‘writing back to the 19th century’.

BBC Breakfast debated the issue with linguistic experts who agreed in their ridicule.

Meanwhile a mighty battle erupted on social media between the punctuation pedants and the grammar anarchists, until both sides realised that neither agreed with the government’s stance.

The mounting outrage drove the Department for Education to issue a ‘clarification’ and just to be sure, the Minister of State for Schools published his personal guidance that:

“the exclamation mark will continue to be acceptable in children’s responses in the test” and “pupils will not be marked down for using an exclamation mark for emphasis”…however should they be asked to write an exclamation using the “correct sentence format, starting with ‘what’ or ‘how’, will be required”.

While the exclamation mark was safe, teachers now found themselves charged with teaching not only exclamative sentences but also the ‘variety of sentence forms’ that might end with an exclamation mark!

For many primary school teachers, particularly those without a specialism in English, the new pedantic code is a complex and scary beast. Thankfully teachers can now recruit their own monster: the Punctuation Monsters!

Designed to help teachers retain an emphasis on creativity while meeting the needs of the new curriculum, the ‘Unpunctuated’ series uses a theme of ‘Mermaids & Water Monsters’ to challenge students to rewrite unpunctuated sentences and then consolidate their learning with further creative thinking and writing challenges.

After completing the Challenge Sheets, students can mark their own work (and their friends) with the ‘Sentence Check’ sheets. The whole class can then take part in class challenges to add their own punctuation and rewrite the sentences using the powerpoint challenges included with each module.

Teachers can take confidence from the simple step-by-step guidance to each form of punctuation and they may take a particular interest in: http://thinkythinky.com/shop/exclamation-marks/?ref=33

I Can Write Exclamative Sentences http://thinkythinky.com/shop/introducing-exclamations/?ref=33 How to Use Exclamations (which includes a template to create an Exclamation Comic!).

At just £3 each the modules are excellent value for teachers with plenty of activities to use throughout each term. Full details can be found at www.monsterpunctuation.com

————————

Complete Unit: Module 1 Capitals, Full Stops, Exclamations, Question Marks

http://thinkythinky.com/shop/writing-capitals-full-stops-questions-exclamations-over-90-writing-challenges/?ref=33

“A great resource – well differentiated and suits my intended purpose of using with intervention groups in Year 2. I particularly like the ‘unpunctuated’ texts as some of my target children struggle to use capital letters and full stops accurately. This was a great time saver! “

 

The perfect complement to Shakespeare: plays by Jonson, Marlowe, Webster and…erm… Sheridan

While all Stage on Screen plays feature regularly on school and higher/further education curriculums in the UK and across the world, you don’t have to be studying our specially staged and filmed productions to benefit from them. Anyone who loves or who is learning Shakespeare will profit from seeing plays by his good friend Ben Jonson, later contemporary John Webster, plus major influencer – and ‘real’ Shakespeare candidate – Christopher Marlowe.

Our current titles are as follows:

Dr Faustus – themes from this Marlowe classic are echoed in Macbeth in particular, but also Othello, Timon of Athens and other plays. Marlowe heavily influenced Shakespeare, and with this, probably his finest play, it’s easy to see why.

Volpone – another play that has echoes in Othello, but which is also interesting for comparison of Jonson’s more classical approach to drama when compared to Shakespeare, his contemporary and great friend.

The Duchess of Malfi – this dark masterpiece by John Webster finds many echoes in Shakespeare with its themes of corruption, cruelty and class, while the use of madness makes an interesting comparison with its treatment in Hamlet.

The School for Scandal – this Richard Brinsley Sheridan comedy of manners was written much later of course, and we can’t by any stretch describe it (let alone him) as a Shakespearean companion. However, we mention it here as it makes up the fourth of our current available titles and, like the others, it’s on many curriculums in its own right. As we currently offer all four titles for a special price, you may wish to consider it.

Approved texts – and all round approval

Each play uses full approved texts (other filmed productions are often heavily cut or adapted), and each is staged and recorded live in front of an audience at London’s Greenwich Theatre.

They’ve all received excellent reviews from students, teachers and academic journals plus mainstream and specialist press.

Here are just a couple:

‘Pitched perfectly to suit both casual and academic audiences, Stage on Screen offers an unparalleled array of material on these productions that will be a welcome addition to those who wish to study early modern dramatists.’ (The Shakespeare Bulletin)  

‘..Unlike many modern productions of the classics, Stage on Screen productions are rarely cut, putting pupils who see them at a distinct advantage.’  (Times Education Supplement)

You can see clips from each play at https://www.youtube.com/user/StageOnScreen/

Buy all four titles and enjoy big savings

Each play is available in special Education Packs, which include three DVDs: the play (with optional subtitles); extensive interviews with the theatre company; and a master-shot recording, invaluable for teaching stagecraft, lighting and blocking. Our DVDs play on any system worldwide.

Available for £35.98 for each 3-disc title on Amazon, this special offer gets you the box set of all four titles for just £100 plus P&P, and VAT (if applicable). To order, just email stephen@hamilton-house.com with your completed order form. Alternatively, call us on +44 (0) 20 3174 3249.

If ordering from outside the UK, we’ll automatically convert the cost to your currency at that day’s exchange rate. (Currently, £100 is around US$145 or €130.)

Best wishes,

Phil Rees

Director, Stage on Screen

What a complex mess! Solving the Problem of Punctuation

Of the many issues faced by teachers in recent times, it was a tiny punctuation mark that forced the government to make a change!

The traditional media were incensed. The Independent told us the ’excitable, text speaking youth of today are being told to curb their exclamation by the Government’ with ‘strict new rules on use of exclamation marks’.

‘How strange!’ wrote The Guardian, it was ‘…effectively proof that the government wants to penalise enthusiasm!’

The Telegraph described it as ‘Nonsense!’ that would take ‘writing back to the 19th century’.

BBC Breakfast debated the issue with linguistic experts who agreed in their ridicule.

Meanwhile a mighty battle erupted on social media between the punctuation pedants and the grammar anarchists, until both sides realised that neither agreed with the government’s stance.

The mounting outrage drove the Department for Education to issue a ‘clarification’ and just to be sure, the Minister of State for Schools published his personal guidance that:

“the exclamation mark will continue to be acceptable in children’s responses in the test” and “pupils will not be marked down for using an exclamation mark for emphasis”…however should they be asked to write an exclamation using the “correct sentence format, starting with ‘what’ or ‘how’, will be required”.

While the exclamation mark was safe, teachers now found themselves charged with teaching not only exclamative sentences but also the ‘variety of sentence forms’ that might end with an exclamation mark!

For many primary school teachers, particularly those without a specialism in English, the new pedantic code is a complex and scary beast. Thankfully teachers can now recruit their own monster: the Punctuation Monsters!

Designed to help teachers retain an emphasis on creativity while meeting the needs of the new curriculum, the ‘Unpunctuated’ series uses a theme of ‘Mermaids & Water Monsters’ to challenge students to rewrite unpunctuated sentences and then consolidate their learning with further creative thinking and writing challenges.

After completing the Challenge Sheets, students can mark their own work (and their friends) with the ‘Sentence Check’ sheets. The whole class can then take part in class challenges to add their own punctuation and rewrite the sentences using the powerpoint challenges included with each module.

Teachers can take confidence from the simple step-by-step guidance to each form of punctuation and they may take a particular interest in: http://thinkythinky.com/shop/exclamation-marks/?ref=33

I Can Write Exclamative Sentences http://thinkythinky.com/shop/introducing-exclamations/?ref=33 How to Use Exclamations (which includes a template to create an Exclamation Comic!).

At just £3 each the modules are excellent value for teachers with plenty of activities to use throughout each term. Full details can be found at www.monsterpunctuation.com

————————

Complete Unit: Module 1 Capitals, Full Stops, Exclamations, Question Marks

http://thinkythinky.com/shop/writing-capitals-full-stops-questions-exclamations-over-90-writing-challenges/?ref=33

“A great resource – well differentiated and suits my intended purpose of using with intervention groups in Year 2. I particularly like the ‘unpunctuated’ texts as some of my target children struggle to use capital letters and full stops accurately. This was a great time saver! “

What is the best way to ensure that your A level English pupils know enough basic grammar to be exam ready?

This handbook covers every aspect of grammar and its application to the analysis of text that is necessary for success in A level Language and combined Language and Literature courses, regardless of exam board.

The book assists grammatical acquisition from word class, to phrase then clause level, finally showing students how to analyse sentences in text. Sentence analysis is a stand alone requirement for students of the new linear OCR A Level Language course from 2015. Each section of this book is accompanied by clear and useful tasks which are designed to allow students to demonstrate their understanding and apply and consolidate  their knowledge.

The final section of the book is devoted to punctuation and terminology used to describe patterning in text, such as syntactical parallelism, tricolon use and antithesis, all of which are High Grade rhetorical features necessary for success at A level. Direct speech punctuation and apostrophe use are also covered in detail with useful examples of how to apply both.

This grammar handbook has often been cited by students as invaluable in assisting their learning, application and revision of grammar for A level Language and Language and Literature and is a resource created, developed and modified through many years of successful teaching.

“An A Level Language and Combined Language and Literature Grammar Booklet” is published as a photocopiable volume or on CD Rom, and individual sections can thus be readily copied and distributed to students as required. The copies can also be shared with colleagues or given to supply teachers, without any fear of the original book being misplaced.

You can see a full list of the topics and some sample pages at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1835.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1835EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 896 5

Prices

  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1831EMN

Exceptional English Teaching Resources

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MSL

Rhyming Spells – provides a wide selection of ingenious rhyming spells for improving spelling.

Dyslexia Games Manual – packed full with enjoyable games and activities for developing literacy skills, increasing visual and auditory recall, as well as strengthening sequencing and organisational ability.

Email: msl@schools.co.uk
Telephone:
01536 399017
Postal address:
Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH.

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Carel Press

‘Just Read!’ PDF Poster Set – motivational posters about the power of books.

‘Learn about your library’ Posters – explain library terms successfully.

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Dysgraphia Help

The Online Dysgraphia Test – consists of 50 questions. After completion of the test and submitting a handwriting sample you will receive a dysgraphia test report. If we believe dysgraphia to be present you will also receive supporting activity materials free of charge.

Overcoming dysgraphia workbook – contains 100+ A4 sides of activities, worksheets and games that aim to improve language processing, visual spacing, fine motor skills, pen/pencil grip, handwriting posture and memory retrieval.

Email: admin@dysgraphiahelp.co.uk
Postal address: Dysgraphia Help, 1 Oathill Close, Brixworth, Northamptonshire, NN6 9BE.

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SSS

Interactive English Software – 13 titles packed with hundreds of stunning curriculum 3D animations describing difficult to understand concepts for English. There are texts, voice-overs, quiz zones, drag and drops, multiple choice quizzes and more. Request your 14-day free trial of English Educational Software Solution.

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First and Best in Education

Plays into Shakespeare (KS3) – This book provides an active, dramatic launch pad for the study of Shakespeare, avoiding the distancing factors with which pupils struggle – the language, the history, the period costumes.

Higher Close Reading Examples and Activities – focussing on understanding the main concerns of the text, analysing the techniques the writer uses, and evaluating the effectiveness of the writing.  

Monologues with Duologue Activity (KS4) – covers the requirements for speaking monologues in Drama at KS4 and KS5 and provides useful material for pupils working towards entry into drama college. English teachers will also find it useful in respect of the speaking and listening requirements at KS4 and the study of Shakespeare.

Monologues/Duologues (KS3) – A book of short, self-contained and original monologues/duologues which will be an ideal introduction to drama within English or for use within a drama group.

Working with Will – a scheme of work for English teachers and works as an introduction to text analysis in English literature lessons for key stages 3 and 4.

Write Well – a book of writing skills aimed at helping students acquire the necessary skills for each situation.

Email: sales@firstandbest.co.uk
Telephone:
01536 399007
Postal address:
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Rd, Corby, Northants, NN17 4HH

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You can find more Exceptional Teaching resources at exceptionalteaching.org.uk.

Phew! It’s taken us a while, but we’ve finally put the finishing touches to our brand new end-of-year and leavers shows – yippee!

We hope you’ll agree that they were worth the wait – a review in Teach Primary Magazine has given them a standing ovation, hailing them as “fun, easy to use, hugely entertaining, and excellent value.” (You can read the full review here.)

Easy Peasy Plays provide songs and musical plays for children of all ages. We make our resources as easy to use as possible, even if you’re not musical! The review in Teach Primary agrees: “The easy-to-learn songs are written with children’s vocal ranges in mind… I can think of few better resources for staging a special show, and you needn’t be a music specialist or a drama queen to pull them off!”

Isn’t that nice?! So, to celebrate, we’re offering you a special discount of £5.00 off any play! All you need to do is enter the magic code save1 at checkout by 30 June. Hurrah!

“I like resources that KISS – ‘keeping it simple and straightforward’” says the Teach Primary review. “The aptly named Easy Peasy Plays makes a very lemon-squeezy job of producing professional productions.”

So, can’t wait to get started? Click right here!

With our very best wishes for an easy peasy day!Simon and the team at

Easy Peasy

PS: Read the full Teach Primary review here. And don’t forget to use the code save1 for your special discount!

For, and on behalf of, Popcorn School Ltd.
Registered address: 9 Yelverton Close, Walsall, WS3 3XE.
Company number: 08534985.

What is the most effective way of helping all students become effective writers?

One of the most curious things about learning to write in one’s native tongue is that at the same time as learning to use the language one is actually using the language.

Which is why the learning tends to be twofold. On the one hand one learns the rules and logic of the language in a systematic way, but on the other hand issues suddenly arise that show that further explanation is needed.

For example, we might take the old favourite of homographs and homophones. They can cause endless confusion, so what should one do?

The answer, of course, is to have a lesson or a part of the lesson on this particular topic – quite possibly throwing in some homograph and homophone puns along the way just to make it more lighthearted.

The same is true with every other part of the language. From the indicative, imperative, and subjunctive mood to the use of a comma with adverbials of frequency.

This is what the 200 page copiable volume “Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stages 3 and 4″ covers. Over 170 different items and topics, each dealt with, along with examples.  It offers teachers invaluable assistance in familiarising their pupils with those grammatical and punctuation principles relevant to Key Stages 3 and 4 and rooted in national literacy strategies.

In this way Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stages 3 and 4 performs a dual function: it is both a grammar book and an editing handbook, utilising authentic examples collected from a variety of written sources.

It pays particular attention to those areas with which authors of all ages tend to have difficulties and offers an abundance of examples of current usage highlighting these areas.

Such examples are then followed by suggested improvements and by explanations justifying those improvements. Finally the relevant principles are practised through activities designed for pupils.

Anna Nolan, the author of Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stages 3 and 4, has spent many years running public examinations, developing national qualification, carrying out linguistic research and writing books on English grammar, punctuation and usage.

This copiable book is available both in spiral bound printed form and on CD.  It is a revised and updated second edition of the book Grammar and Punctuation at Key Stage 3.

There is a sample chapter available on-line at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1844.pdf

Cat No: 978 1 86083 867 5;  Publisher reference no: T1844emn

Prices

  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £24.95. plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the book…

What is the most effective way of supporting pupils who aren’t progressing at the same rate as their peers in reading and spelling?

One area where the government’s micromanagement couldn’t be more evident is the way in which literacy teachers are required to teach children how to read and how to spell.

Indeed, most children can achieve the desired outcome using the very specific teaching-learning methods outlined by the government, but others, quite simply, cannot – they need to take an alternative route which is tailored to their learning needs in order to get the same outcome.

Fortunately, this is something which isn’t impossible to implement and can, in most cases, be conveniently described as a ‘provision’.

The Complete Reading and Spelling Programme is just one ‘provision’ or method that your colleagues can use to support pupils who aren’t progressing at the same rate as their peers in reading and spelling using current teaching-learning methods.

It covers all the 90 different spelling and sound rules and adds in ten sections on issues such as word patterns, suffixes, prefixes, homophones, and irregular final syllables, making 100 topics in all.

These 100 topics are broken down into 20 modules, presented in an order which allows students to use the spelling rules as soon as they have learned them.

As a result of this structured approach, which includes placement & progress tests, you can introduce a student to the sequence from the very start. You can also begin work at a point where the individual will be revising key points, before moving on to areas of weakness, where his/her knowledge becomes erratic.

A copiable printed version of each module costs £29.99, or you can order five modules together on a CD for £80 plus VAT. All 20 modules (including the 4 CD’s) are available for £450.

You can order the Complete Reading and Spelling Programme in a variety of ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 01536 399017
  • By fax to 01536 399012
  • By email to msl@schools.co.uk       
  • By post to Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH

FREE DICTIONARIES and THESAURI FOR YOUR SCHOOL

Even in our digital age the use of a dictionary can help students by encouraging independent study and developing literacy skills. In some cases three words spelt correctly may mean the difference between a grade D or a grade C at GCSE.

The Webster’s “Word Power” dictionary has a clear, easy to read typeface, 384 pages and a database of approx. 15,000 words.

The Webster’s “Word Power” thesaurus has the same clear typeface as the dictionary, 384 pages and a database of approx. 10,000 headwords, 15,000 synonyms and 7,500 antonyms.

There are two particular benefits with these titles that are currently available for schools and colleges………

1. The cover price of both the Word Power dictionary and the Word Power thesaurus is £ 5.99 each.. However, if you order on behalf of a school or college, the dictionary or thesaurus may be obtained from just £ 1.99 each.

            What about the free copies  ?

2.  Simple. Just order 100 or more copies of the dictionary or thesaurus and you’ll get 50 % extra free.

e.g.  Order 200 and you’ll get another 100 copies free….order 500 copies and get an extra 250 completely free. There’s no limit to the quantity you can order and you’ll always get 50% extra free with orders of 100 or more copies.

You can find out more about these dictionaries and thesauri on the website of Signpost Educational Ltd. (www.signposteducational.co.uk).

You can order direct from Signpost Educational Ltd and contact them via email signpost@talk21.com or phone 020 7515 1797 or fax 020 7515 4420

What is the best way to ensure that your A level English pupils know enough basic grammar to be exam ready?

This handbook covers every aspect of grammar and its application to the analysis of text that is necessary for success in A level Language and combined Language and Literature courses, regardless of exam board.

The book assists grammatical acquisition from word class, to phrase then clause level, finally showing students how to analyse sentences in text. Sentence analysis is a stand alone requirement for students of the new linear OCR A Level Language course from 2015. Each section of this book is accompanied by clear and useful tasks which are designed to allow students to demonstrate their understanding and apply and consolidate  their knowledge.

The final section of the book is devoted to punctuation and terminology used to describe patterning in text, such as syntactical parallelism, tricolon use and antithesis, all of which are High Grade rhetorical features necessary for success at A level. Direct speech punctuation and apostrophe use are also covered in detail with useful examples of how to apply both.

This grammar handbook has often been cited by students as invaluable in assisting their learning, application and revision of grammar for A level Language and Language and Literature and is a resource created, developed and modified through many years of successful teaching.

“An A Level Language and Combined Language and Literature Grammar Booklet” is published as a photocopiable volume or on CD Rom, and individual sections can thus be readily copied and distributed to students as required. The copies can also be shared with colleagues or given to supply teachers, without any fear of the original book being misplaced.

You can see a full list of the topics and some sample pages at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1835.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1835EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 896 5

Prices

  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1831EMN

  • By post to First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Way, Corby, NN17 4HH
  • By fax to 01536 399 012
  • By phone with a credit card or school order number to 01536 399011
  • By email to sales@firstandbest.co.uk
  • On line with a credit card at http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk

How can you prevent your pupils from developing illegible handwriting in the first place?

It’s not a question of “what can you do to support pupils in improving their handwriting?”, but rather it is a question of “how can you prevent pupils from developing illegible handwriting in the first place?”

For it is typically the case that pupils whose handwriting is illegible have picked up one or more bad habits which are solely responsible for their handwriting difficulties, such as gripping their pen or pencil too tightly, slouching, or failing to write on the guidelines.

Fortunately, most (bad) handwriting habits can be prevented in the first place. Or indeed, overcome, if your pupils are unfortunate enough to have already picked some up.

With this in mind we have devised the Handwriting Rescue Scheme – to ensure that pupils never make the same mistakes twice whilst learning how to handwrite and that they don’t pick up any bad habits which are known for making handwriting illegible.

The Handwriting Rescue Scheme is a complete programme for fully cursive handwriting containing over 300 structured exercises. It has been designed to establish the correct cursive letter formation and encourage an automatic response to frequently used spelling choices.

The programme is ideal for introducing cursive handwriting, particularly for pupils whose handwriting isn’t up to the expected standard for their age.

You can order the Handwriting Rescue Scheme in a variety of ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 01536 399017
  • By fax to 01536 399012
  • By email to msl@schools.co.uk        
  • By post to Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH

What is the most effective way of teaching pupils to use a range of sentence structures in their writing, whatever their ability?

Sentences are pesky things. They can be short or long, dramatic statements or longer affairs that make several points at once.  They can even be contradictory and tell lies (as with our subject line!).

They can announce or question, they can shout or whisper.  In fact, they can do almost anything. All of which raises the question: how best to teach children about them?

We’ve found a way to do this most satisfactorily with “Daily Sentence Structures.”  The programme is broken down into a series of 15-minute sessions. By completing the daily sessions, pupils gain a system for creating imaginative and interesting writing in as little as six weeks.

Of course, at the same time the programme covers the writing requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum including using grammatical structures, making meanings clear, and creating effect and using a range of sentence starters to create specific effects.

The programme also includes using commas and later semi-colons and dashes, sustaining ideas, and varying structures.

Pupilsconfidence and self-esteem will increase, leading to better results across all subjects. The programme has also been found to appeal to any pupils who enjoy applying logic to their writing and being able to create instant paragraphs.

As a result it gives a sense of achievement to all pupils, including those who are the most resistant to writing.

You can order the Daily Sentence Structures resource by Brilliant Publications in a variety of ways, including:

  • By visiting the website
  • By phone on 01449 766629
  • By fax on 01449 768047
  • By email to orders@tradecounter.co.uk
  • Or by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
Mendlesham,
Suffolk,
IP14 5ND.

website: www.brilliantpublications.co.uk
email: orders@tradecounter.co.uk

phone: 01449 766629

Spellzone have added a Spelling Ability Test to their well established on-line English spelling resource.

Teachers will now have to do less in order to manage their students, and the test
results provide evidence of each student’s attainment
.

Spelling Ability Test

  • Measures students’ spelling ability.
  • Provides a Spellzone Score.
  • Creates an individual Personal Course Pathway.
  • Automatic re-testing updates scores and pathways.

Spellzone also includes:

Spellzone Starter Course  

  • Suitable for students aged six to adult.
  • Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels.
  • Teaches all English spelling rules.

Spellzone Main Course

  • Suitable for students aged nine to adult.
  • Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels.
  • Teaches all English spelling rules.

Word Lists

Thousands of pre-loaded word lists including:

  • KS3 curriculum subjects.
  • Words featured in Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics
  • Spellzone course words.
  • User created subject-specific or ‘problem’ words.

Word lists give access to thousands of interactive spelling tests, games. All word lists can be printed as worksheets and translate into 90 languages.

Monitoring and Reporting

  • Spellzone tracks all activity and progress.
  • Task setting and checking.
  • Easy for teachers to report on student attainment.

A complete resource to help improve literacy levels in your school!

4

FREE 30 day trial of ALL Spellzone resources followed by a half price first year subscription! 

*Standard school annual subscription £295 plus VAT.

Small school rate available for up to 20 students.
Contact Barry for details.

This message was sent by Spellzone Limited, Holme Hill Cottage, Church Street, Whixley, York,
England YO26 8AR. Registered in England Company Reg. No. 6884807

The importance of having a comprehensive literacy programme, not only in each school, but across the whole of the UK.

With reports suggesting that one fifth of children are failing to meet the expected Level 4 standard in at least one of the “three Rs”, it highlights the importance of having a comprehensive literacy programme, not only in each school, but across the UK.

Which is why MSL has devised The Complete Reading and Spelling Programme

This programme covers all 90 different spelling and sound rules and adds in ten sections on issues such as word patterns, suffixes, prefixes, homophones, and irregular final syllables, making 100 topics in all.

The 90 rules and associated topics can be seen on our website where you can see the structured order of teaching that we have introduced.

What we have then done is broken these 100 topics down into 20 modules, presented in an order which allows students to use the spelling rules as soon as they have learned them.

As a result of this structured approach, which includes placement & progress tests, you can introduce a pupil to the sequence from the very start. You can also begin work at a point where the individual will be revising key points, before moving on to areas of weakness.

A copiable printed version of each module costs £29.99, or you can order five modules together on a CD for £80 plus VAT. All 20 modules (including the 4 CD’s) are available for £450.

You can order the Complete Reading & Spelling Programme in a variety of ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 01536 399017
  • By fax to 01536 399012
  • By email to msl@schools.co.uk       
  • By post to Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH

Solving a problem that comes with teaching secondary school pupils basic literacy

A common problem that comes with teaching secondary school pupils who require additional support in literacy is that there is often a lack of interesting, informative and age-appropriate, ready-made material available.

Fortunately, Ark Educational has produced the “Literacy Through…”  Worksheets Series, which is a resource containing an extensive range of activity worksheets designed to support your pupils on their journey to becoming confident in their literacy abilities.

The worksheets within the volume are all designed so that they can be used either as a one-off or as a series of highly varied tasks. Activities range from comprehension questions and fill in the gap exercises, to filling in forms and completing a Wordsearch (for example).

Throughout, the volume encourages the development of fundamental literacy skills, such as: comprehension, vocabulary, descriptive writing, grammar, tenses, definitions, phonics, word-building, vowels, compound words and punctuation, among just a few.

What’s more, the resource is divided up into eight sections, each of which is based on a different subject area: Literacy Through… English, Literacy Through… Geography, Literacy Through… History, Literacy Through… ICT, Literacy Through… PE, Literacy Through… RE, Literacy Through… Science and Literacy Through… Technology.

To order the “Literacy Through…” Worksheets Series, simply fill in the order form and send it by fax, email, or post (see contact details below). If you have a school order number, you can also order by phone.

  • Telephone: 01536 399 011
  • Fax: 01536 399 01
  • Email: sales@firstandbest.co.uk
  • Postal address: First and Best in Education, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, Northants, NN17 4HH

Alternatively, you can order the “Literacy Through…” Worksheets Series online as a download for £20 by visiting http://www.absent-teacher.com/eworkbooks.html

If you quote HH10% into the message box when you make your purchase on PayPal, you will receive a 10% refund on your order.

 

How can your school or college obtain FREE Collins English dictionaries?

Putting a dictionary in the hands of a student can not only help them develop their writing skills and make them a more confident speller but in some cases a few extra words spelt correctly can tip the balance between getting a grade D or a grade C at GCSE English..(and quite possibly in other subjects as well).

Collins English dictionaries are used in many UK schools and are widely respected for their accuracy and content.  They are ideal for prizes or incentives as well as for day to day use in lessons, homework and revision.

But did you know that it is now possible for schools to obtain FREE copies of Collins English dictionaries?

The Collins English dictionary lists approx. 15,000 words on 615 pages and is a normal paperback size (176 x 110 mm).  Suitable for students from KS3 up to A level, it has an RRP of £6.99 but schools and colleges can order @ £2.99 each, a saving of £4 per copy.

So what about the free dictionaries …..?

Orders of 100 or more copies will receive 50% extra copies free of charge, eg order 100 dictionaries and you’ll receive 50 extra copies free,  order 300 copies and get an extra 150 free…. and so on, pro-rata.  Schools can order any quantity but the FREE offer only applies to orders of 100 or more.

Further details of the dictionaries and this offer may be obtained from Signpost Educational Ltd., PO Box 999, London E14 6SH.  Tel: 020 7515 1797 or email: signpost@talk21.com.  Information may  also be found on their website: www.signposteducational.co.uk

PS. In addition to the dictionary offer, schools can also obtain “Student Essentials” sets, designed to meet the basic needs of students in most lessons.  Comprising three black ink ballpens, two full size HB pencils, metal sharpener, eraser and a 15 cm ruler…all packed in a clear “exam friendly” zip-up wallet from only 75p each ex vat.  Ideal for handing out in lessons or selling to pupils for everyday use as well as for exams.  Details on the website as above.

 

How to help KS3 students grasp the three fundamentals of written English

Ask most people today what the three fundamentals of written English are and they will probably struggle to define them.

And yet if students can grasp that there are just three fundamentals then they can start to see that the written language has a unified logical base, rather than being an endless stream of rules and regulations.

The three fundamentals are defined in the volume “Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stage 3” as Word Classes (adverbs, prepositions, etc), Phrases, Clauses and Sentences, and finally Punctuation.

This 300 page copiable book works through these three fundamentals, in each case breaking them down into their constituent parts.

Thus there are ten sections relating to word classes, five relating to phrases, clauses, and sentences, and eight relating to punctuation.  Each section is itself subdivided into between five and ten sub-sections, making it easy to find rules and examples on any specific topic that is required.

As such the volume is designed as a comprehensive reference source to be used throughout Key Stage 3 but it may also be used with students at key stage 4 who need remedial work.

Throughout, the book includes authentic examples collected from a variety of written sources. Through this mechanism the volume pays particular attention to those areas with which authors of all ages tend to have difficulties and offers an abundance of examples of current usage highlighting these areas.

Such examples are then followed by suggested improvements and by explanations justifying those improvements. Finally the relevant principles are practised through activities designed for pupils.

Anna Nolan, the author of Grammar and Punctuation for Key Stage 3, has worked as a freelance consultant to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and as a teacher trainer with the Edexcel National Curriculum Services.

There is a sample chapter available on-line at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1661.pdf

Cat No: 978 1 86083 594 0;  Publisher reference no: T1661emn

Prices

  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £34.95. plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £34.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £41.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the book…

FREE FILMS AND DISCUSSION ACTIVITIES FROM COMPASSION IN WORLD FARMING

So, how do you engage students in discussion, especially those lacking in confidence? Well, as you know, you can:

  • Choose a topic they care about.
  • Provide an engaging film
  • Invite a visiting speaker
  • Provide activities which encourage small group discussion for those who don’t like to talk in front of the whole class.

We have free resources on animal welfare & sustainability in farming to help with all of these. You can order a DVD-ROM or invite a speaker by replying to this email. You can also download films and worksheets on our website.

Children of all ages care about animals. The way our food is produced is a growing topic of debate whether you are talking about the ethics around how we treat animals, the production of healthy food, how we can feed a growing population or provide rural jobs.

We have a range of regularly updated resources including:

  • The Farm Animals & Us films which compare intensive methods of producing meat, milk and eggs with alternative methods of production
  • The Personality Test – an engaging quiz which helps students examine their attitudes to  the use of animals to food from the point of view of four different philosophies
  • How Should We Treat Farm Animals? – a card activity designed to promote small group discussion

If you would like to order a free copy of our Farm Animals & Us DVDROM, with all the resources mentioned, or to invite a local speaker, please email education@ciwf.org.uk.

If you would like to download these materials directly, including the films, or just to find out more, please go straight to our website.

Yours faithfully

Phil Brooke
Education Development Manager
Compassion in World Farming

Links and contacts:

Email: education@ciwf.org.uk

Tel: 01483 521 965

Education website: ciwf.org.uk/education

Speaker service: ciwf.org.uk/speakers

Resources: ciwf.org.uk/english

Quotes from teachers of English:

 “This would be most useful to stimulate debate in Spoken English.  It would also be valuable as a starting point for project work in written English, particularly if accompanied by a photocopiable Teachers’ Pack.
In my experience, children are more interested in discussing animal welfare than any other topic.”

 “A well presented and inspirational resource.
Excellent material for KS3 speaking and listening assignments
My classes thoroughly enjoyed the video. It stimulated discussion and was superb material for a discursive essay
A flexible resource which can be used for both speaking and listening and writing.  The support material was very helpful as well. It can be used for a variety of lessons.
I’m looking forward to incorporating the video and worksheets in the next term’s scheme of work. It is presented in a stimulating yet educational way. It is ideal material for oral and written work”.

“Video:  Excellent – led to some extremely interesting discussions about how farm animals are often treated. Pupils compared this with how we treat pets. … Invaluable as a resource – very few of our pupils had any concept of the video content …
Pack:  Excellent – most can be adapted for use with KS3/4 pupils of all abilities.”

“Many thanks for dispatching the literature and DVD. I’m just planning lessons and want you to know how impressed I am with both the content, the presentation and the appropriateness to young people. You have our support – just teaching the noun COMPASSION has been valuable.

Last quote from teacher at Pupil Referral Unit

English Literature Summer School 2016

A wonderful opportunity for students with a passion for literature to discover a range of new authors and texts, explore fresh approaches to familiar works and to prepare for undergraduate study of English Literature.

“Before attending the English Literature Summer School, I was not sure if I wanted to study this subject at higher level, but participating in such an academically driven environment, surrounded and taught by specialists who are so enthusiastic about their subject, has convinced me without doubt that I would love to pursue English Literature at university. If you have any reservations about whether this course would be useful – don’t hesitate! I had one of the best weeks of my summer, meeting so many interesting people, whilst learning about areas of literature I had never encountered before!”

English Literature Summer School Student 2015

Summer School Schedule 2016

The English Summer School – Part 1 will cover literature dating from 650AD to 1790AD, including Middle English, Medieval Literature, Chaucer, The Renaissance, Shakespeare, Restoration Literature and the Rise of the Novel. In addition we will also be covering Historicist and Feminist critical approaches as part of this Summer School. Taking place 25th-29th July.

The English Summer School – Part 2 will cover literature dating from 1790AD to the present day, including Romanticism and the Gothic Movement, Victorian Sensation Novels, Literature and the British Empire, Modernism, Postmodernism and Contemporary Literature. We will be covering the ‘Death of the Author’ and Postcolonial criticism as part of this Summer School. Taking place 1st-5th August.

The English Summer School – Part 3 is new for summer 2016, and will cover Contemporary English Literature, including prose fiction, poetry and drama. We will be covering Psychoanalytic criticism and ‘Theories of the Canon’ as part of this Summer School. Taking place 22nd-26th August.

Please note that students can attend all Parts of the Summer School, or just one or two, depending on their literary interests. Although the courses complement one another, they can also be treated as stand alone events and there is no requirement to have attended Part 1 in order to register for other Parts.

Thematic coverage by period, combining close study of texts with lectures on historical and cultural context, and setting major authors side-by-side with less familiar works, will help students to appreciate the development of prose, verse and drama in English from the middle ages to the present day. We will not only engage in close textual analysis of Medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, Nineteenth Century, Modernist and Contemporary writers, but also evaluate these movements in light of the authors’ own critical writing.

As well as looking at the purely written word, we will also cover literature in performance, comparing play scripts to film adaptations and reading through sections of the works using different performance theories. As an integral part of Part 1 of the Summer School we will attend a performance of Macbeth at the Globe Theatre on the Southbank. Literary theory and criticism will play an important role in the Summer School and students will be invited to examine texts they have studied in the light of competing theories of the nature and value of literature and the role of the critic.

This Summer School is suitable for all students aged 15-18 with a passion for literature, and will be particularly useful for those looking for a taste of undergraduate level engagement with texts and theory.

Practical Details:

The cost of booking any single Part of the English Literature Summer School £465, the cost of any two Parts is £850, and the cost for all three Parts of the Summer School is £1200. The Summer School will be held at a University of London venue in Bloomsbury (please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required).

There will be a limited number of bursary spaces available for those who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see our website for details.

To book a place please visit http://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/english-summer-school/ call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com.  Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.