Category Archives: Literacy

What is the most effective way to increase your pupils’ concentration levels by up to 12% in Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling lessons?

Standing up during lesson times is better for children’s wellbeing, not least because it improves children’s concentration levels by up to 12%, but also because it helps to combat obesity and thus all the health risks that follow.

However, it is easier to plan movement activities for some topic areas than it is for others.

Which is why Brilliant Publications has produced a resource containing movement activities for lessons in grammar, punctuation, and spelling, as these are arguably among the most difficult topic areas into which to incorporate movement.

The 70 plus ready-to-use activities in the resource offer a new approach to teaching literacy and cover each of the rules that children are expected to know and use in the Year 6 SATs.

Through acting out parts of speech, letter strings, and punctuation children will internalise the language and absorb ideas, skills, and understanding. They will be able to draw on this stored knowledge and use it wherever they need it in the future – when they are being tested – but, more importantly, in their own writing.

What’s more, the combination of visual, aural, and kinaesthetic approaches means that the activities suit all types of learner and can be used with both large and small groups of mixed ages and abilities.

In addition to literacy understanding, pupils will also develop skills in problem solving, teamwork, and social confidence.

For more information or to order Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling through Drama for £17.99 as a printed book, £12.99 as an e-book, or both for £21.89, please visit:

www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/teaching-grammar-punctuation-and-spelling-through-drama-434.

Alternatively, you can place an order:

  • over the phone on 01449 766629
  • by email to orders@tradecounter.co.uk
  • by fax on 01449 767122
  • by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.

From Hans Christen Anderson to the Little Princess, from The Secret Garden to the Little Prince… at just £1.87 each.

Or come to that from Little Women to Moonfleet, from What Katy Did to the Wind in the Willows, all at just £1.87 each (after discount) with free delivery when ordered directly from us.

I could go further, of course, and add, The Railway Children, Beatrix Potter, Kidnapped, Treasure Island

In fact, we have a list of over 50 children’s classics, all available at this special price.

There is even a box set collection of eight titles available for just £19.99 – less a 25% discount when ordered directly from ourselves.

In fact Wordsworth Editions has over 400 titles in print, 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.

And don’t forget, you get a 25% discount on all of the prices shown, not just on the classics.

Plus there’s a free book offer.   Because it might well be that you are thinking this all this seems far too good to be true, so we really do have an offer of a free book, with free delivery.

We offer the free book because if you have not ordered from us before we’d like to assure you of the quality of our publications, and second because we know that when teachers do see the quality of our books they do tend to place an order.

There’s no pressure to buy – we let you make the decision, whenever you wish.

So, if you would like a free sample of one of our books, 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.

But just before you do that, please do have a look at our list of children’s classics.  I know you will be rather surprised at the range of titles we have.

We look forward to hearing from you.

What is the most important thing to do now, in order to improve literacy results in September?

Averages have a most annoying effect.  Because for every child who is above average, it means you’ve got one who is below average.

But there is an upside to this, because the children who are struggling with literacy are the ones who can make the most substantial and sustained progress and attainment.

Which means when they make their leap forwards in literacy, that change improves the ranking of the whole year group.

And this is what we offer: an approach using one to one tuition for the children who are slipping behind in literacy achievement, at a very affordable price, whenever needed.

Naturally with such claims the first thing you will want to do is have a trial – and we can arrange this at once.   Even better, if you arrange a trial now and then want to proceed, we can have everything in place for September.

Through our program every misunderstanding and every concept not understood is instantly spotted, and results in the pupil being taken back a step for remedial work. After this, progress and advancement resumes.

Each individual’s literacy needs are analysed and then the pupil is directed to an engaging set of activities which remedy any deficits, before advancing through to the next set of skills.

And because the level of instruction is so accurately reflective of the child’s current abilities, the pupil then gets a feeling of success and progress, which of itself is highly motivational.

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

Of course you’ll want to see this in action before making any decisions, and you can do that this term, without any cost or commitment.  First you can read more about Core 5 which achieves these extraordinary results here.

You can also read a variety of case studies here. You will then also find on the top right of the page the link to gain full access to the program for 30 days without any payment or commitment.

If you want to know more about the program, please do call 0191 482 1939 or email info@lexiauk.co.uk

Rob Kay

LexiaUK Software Consultant.

Yjod od s [orvr pg vtrsyobr qeurubf

Now I don’t want to put you to any stress in working that headline out, and I know it looks like gibberish – but in its own way it makes sense.  And being a kind sort of person, I’m not going to keep you guessing.

What I did was shift my fingers one place to the right on the keyboard as I typed “This is a piece of…” well you can work out the rest.  Same with the last word of the subject line.  Although I may have made some mistakes somewhere.   It got a bit confusing…

So is my headline creative writing?  Well, if a child was writing a story about meeting people with a different language, the piece would have a little more sparkle in it if what these foreigners spoke had some basis to it, rather than just being a collection of random letters.

Which leads to my question: “What is the fastest way to make children more creative, inventive, expressive, and experimental in their writing?”  In short, what makes them better writers?

Turns out that after years of study the answer is… you ask them to be more creative.

Yet there is still a problem here, because there is no universal agreement on what a creative action is.   Is it something not previously done, even if that thing is meaningless, or even harmful? Possibly not.

If I swim a length underwater for the first time (which I am not going to do since it would mess up my computer and make my clothes wet) would that be a creative act?

It’s hard to say.  But I can tell you this.  Telling children that you want them to be creative AND interesting, really is a good place to start.  Because although Yjod od s etc etc is not very interesting of itself, it becomes of interest because it has an underlying logic.

As does the subject line.

Our series of books on creative writing gives children starters for their writing – there is more about the books via this link and you can find samples of the activities by clicking on any of the titles.

And then once they have started, if you want them really to explore their creativity each time you give them another exercise, just ask them to be a little more creative.

Curiously, it works.

You can contact us by phone on 01449 766629 or by email at orders@tradecounter.co.uk.

You can order any of our Creative Writing Resources on our website

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

The best way to improve literacy in a struggling child is with 1 to 1 tuition. And now that is possible.

Indeed if the child really gets on well with the tutor and doesn’t feel pressured or intimidated in any way by having one to one tuition, progress will always be beyond anything that can be achieved in a classroom.

Of course at this point you might be expecting me to say, “Sadly we can’t offer that ideal…”  But in fact we can, in an approach that allows not only one to one tuition but one to one tuition at a very affordable price, whenever needed.

Every misunderstanding and every concept not understood is instantly spotted, and results in the pupil being taken back a step for remedial work, after which progress and advancement resumes, with appropriate activities to hand for every eventuality.

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

And because the level of instruction is so accurately reflective of the child’s current abilities, the pupil then gets a feeling of success and progress, which of itself is highly motivational.

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

Of course you’ll want to see this in action before making any decisions, and you can do that this term, without any cost or commitment.

You can read more about Core 5 which achieves these extraordinary results here,

You can read a variety of case studies here. You will then also find on the top right of the page the link to gain full access to the program for 30 days without any payment or commitment.

If you want to know more about the program, please do call 0191 482 1939 or email info@lexiauk.co.uk

Rob Kay

LexiaUK Software Consultant.

What is the most effective way of helping students with literacy issues – without it costing a penny?

When the developers of an approach to enhance student literacy start making dramatic claims for its effectiveness, it is reasonable to be cautious.  After all, virtually all producers of educational materials express the view that their approach is the one that will work wonders.

So how can you decide if any of these claims are true without wasting a lot of time?

We think there are two ways.  One is for us to quote verbatim and in detail what teachers who have used the approach say.  Not the classic two or three word phrases such as “Absolutely brilliant”, but detailed comments about the literacy gains made with their students in their schools.

The other route is to allow you and your colleagues to see and use the approach in your school with your selected cohorts, free of charge.

If it doesn’t work, then I will apologise personally because I will have wasted your time.  If it does, you will have found the route to remarkable gains in literacy achievements of the type that other schools are now enjoying.

The approach is called Lexia Strategies® and you can find the detailed commentaries from numerous teachers  on our website.  You will also find access to a completely free trial of the resource that these teachers are writing about.

What you will find here is an approach to improving literacy skills that works quickly and which is geared to each child’s individual level of attainment and specific needs.

It is also an approach which can be utilised both at home and at school. It is also a method that provides enjoyable lessons for the student which is, of course, the greatest motivational factor of all.

You can now go straight to the free trial on our website but if you want to know more about the program, 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

Free activity: A world without mobile phones?

Develop your KS2 pupils’ speaking and listening skills with a free activity from Brilliant Activities for Speaking and Listening

Mobile phones image

Download a pdf copy to print for your pupils.

You can find more activities like this one in Brilliant Activities for Speaking and Listening.

Brilliant Activities for Speaking and Listening contains activities designed to develop the spoken language skills of KS2 children while providing full coverage of the National Curriculum requirements for Spoken Language.

The reproducible activities include: interpreting facts and figures, working out the correct order in which instructions should be given, discussing and debating issues (bullying, junk foods…), role-play, thought tracking, hot seating, retelling stories and responding to and interpreting poems.

For more information or to order Brilliant Activities for Speaking and Listening for £17.99, please visit www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/brilliant-activities-for-speaking-and-listening-ks2-713. Alternatively, you can contact us by phone on 01449 766629 or by email at orders@tradecounter.co.uk.

Was King Aethelstan the first king of England, or has the National Curriculum got it wrong?

And come to that, does it really matter?

Certainly accuracy in history  matters in the sense that it is important that 1000 years ago England became united under one ruler: the start of the long journey ultimately to the United Kingdom and what we now call “British Values”.

But when the National Curriculum speaks at KS2 of “King Aethelstan, the first king of England” one might start to ask: is this really right?

Aethelstan ruled the whole of Britain for a brief period, but usage of the name “England” wouldn’t appear for another 100 years – and, before then, the land would again be split up amongst several Saxon/Viking kings.

Not only that, but Aethelstan wasn’t the first king to rule the entirety of the land now called England either – that accolade goes to the Saxon King Egbert, Aethelstan’s great-great-grandfather.

So when the National Curriculum is being a little less than fulsome with the story, one is forced to ask, do the exact details of the story matter?

When working with children, the answer is generally yes, because most of us find that children care a lot more about details and issues when they encounter them through engaging in stories – and the foundation of England is indeed an engaging story.

So it is generally a good idea to get the stories right – such as with the creation of a unified England in 1017.  What’s more, where it is quite possibly a story that the child’s parents don’t know, then the power of the story will be ever greater. For children love nothing more than educating their parents!

This is why we have developed a programme that sensitively highlights the issues of today by exploring them in the context of the very beginning of England, 1,000 years ago.

Storytellers from Snail Tales are travelling the country sharing the legends of the Anglo-Viking period, from Alfred’s burnt cakes to Knut’s wet feet – tales which reveal how England was forged by the great Anglo-Saxon and Viking leaders.

The storytellers will also run workshops on life in Anglo-Viking England to help your children understand how Knut united the various tribes that made up the country.

We’ll also supply an activities pack to help you run a birthday party marking England’s 1,000th, including: recommended music; Who Made England? book from The History Press; a special commemorative coin from the Royal Mint; and a special discount on tickets to your nearest performance of our theatre tour celebrating Knut, The First King of England in a Dress.

If you would like one of our storytellers to come to your school to engage in the activities above, please do click here to find out more.  Alternatively you can email us at stories@snailtales.org or phone us at 020 328 76245.

When students are most likely to slip back in terms of literacy – what can be done about it?

It is something that can often be observed: pupils and students who are already struggling somewhat in terms of literacy can slip back even further during the school holidays.

Unfortunately this “slippage” can have an even greater impact on some students when it occurs during the Easter break, as the arrival of better weather in the summer term can encourage more time to be spent outdoors, leaving less time for doing any literacy support work at home.

In such cases the best solution is one that is totally geared around each individual student’s specific needs; an approach which can be utilised both at home and at school.

Being an approach based totally around the student’s current literacy level, our solution means that the gaining of literacy changes from being a struggle into something that is enjoyable.  Enjoyable both because of the nature of the materials and because the progress can be witnessed by the student every day.

In a study conducted between March and summer 2016, at-risk pupils and students across nearly 3,000 schools made substantial progress using our approach. During this time, the percentage of young people working two or more years below their expected level was reduced by almost half (54% to 28%).

To achieve such success, our approach starts with a highly accurate and rapid system of placing pupils and students according to their current literacy ability, and which precisely notes the progress they are making day to day.

This auto-placement approach analyses individual ability levels and reveals exactly what each student needs to be focussing on in order to ensure progress is achieved.

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

All of this can be done using Strategies from Lexia.  The analysis, the comparisons with other pupils and students, the progress, the remedial work – each and every element of a student’s learning journey is tracked and evaluated by Strategies.

If you would like 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, 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.

Why do we teach children how to read?

Why do we teach children how to read? And how can we use this knowledge to improve our pupils’ level of reading?

Too often it is thought that a fluent reader is a good reader but if your pupils have no or very little understanding of what they are reading, their ability to read (fluently or not) is essentially useless.

Which is why Topical Resources has produced the Comprehension Series – to help your pupils to comprehend the texts that they can read but not necessarily understand.

Each activity book in the Comprehension Series includes fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts based on a range of themes with missing word activities, open ended questions and open ended written challenges for more able pupils.

What’s more, pages are displayed with a landscape orientation to make maximum use of the space on an interactive whiteboard.

For more information and to see sample pages, please  go to   www.topical-resources.co.uk/category/comprehension  and click on the individual resource links.  Alternatively, you can email sales@topical-resources.co.uk.

You can download The Comprehension Series for just £70+Vat (£10+VAT per PDF workbook) by visiting:
www.topical-resources.co.uk/category/comprehension

“Since Tom started using Education Quizzes, he has really started to sparkle.”

We have made Education Quizzes free for a whole year so that students like Tom can sparkle too

Despite all the revision tips, tricks and techniques, the best way to help your pupils to retain the knowledge that they have learned in their literacy lessons is by presenting them with the opportunity to use this knowledge on a regular basis.

However, since there is more than one topic area to cover in the English Programmes of Study, it can sometimes be a long period of time until a topic is revisited, by which time your pupils will have forgotten much of what they had previously learned.

Which is why we have produced an extensive library of literacy quizzes and made them free to use for a whole year, so that your pupils can test and revise their knowledge as frequently as they need and want to.

What’s more, Education Quizzes is ideal to set as homework tasks as it involves little to no PPA time – giving you more time to focus on planning and preparing future lessons and assessing the work of your pupils from lessons which have gone before.

To get a better idea of what Education Quizzes is all about, simply visit www.educationquizzes.com. And to sign your school up for Education Quizzes for free for a whole year, go to www.educationquizzes.com/schools-uk-registrations/.

If you have any queries, you can easily contact us by sending an email to admin@educationquizzes.com.

What is the single most effective way of utilising pupil premium funding?

There is of course one fundamental issue that affects every other aspect of every child’s education: the child’s level of literacy.

The problem is that once a child at primary school starts to slip behind it can be difficult to tailor instruction towards individuals within a group.  What each child then needs is help and support in his/her specific areas of difficulty.

At this point a highly accurate and rapid system of placing pupils according to their current literacy ability is required, which precisely notes the progress they are making day by day.

But every school needs this analysis, without it taking up more of that most precious resource: time.

One particularly effective solution to this problem is to implement an auto-placement approach which analyses individual ability level and reveals exactly what each student needs to be focussing on in order to ensure literacy progress is achieved.

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

All of this can be done using Core5 from Lexia.  The analysis, the comparisons with other pupils, the progress, the remedial work – each and every element of a student’s learning journey is tracked and evaluated by Core5.

If you would like 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, 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

Interactive Story-Telling and Song Workshops for Primary Schools

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

Top Traditional Story-Teller Jim MacCool is visiting Primary 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 pupils 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
National  Poetry Day Thursday 28 Sept. 2017
October is National Poetry Month
National Story Telling Week 27 Jan.- 3 Feb.2018

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
October is National Poetry Month

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 KS2?

There is a growing awareness (as a recent report on young people’s reading has revealed) that children 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 a unique publication of “Macbeth” for use in primary schools.

Our approach 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 reading in young people I mentioned above also reveals that where young people are provided with suitable illustrations their willingness to read, and the level of knowledge that they take in, is greatly enhanced.

In our approach Shakespeare’s characters are presented in a way that allows KS2 children to consider and debate the questions that Macbeth raises: questions about whether Macbeth is a 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 primary 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 Primary Schools

Top Traditional Story-Teller Jim MacCool is visiting Primary 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 pupils 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

Fact: we are more creative when we are unfocused

What is one of the most effective ways of getting the most out of your pupils in their creative writing lessons?

It is a fact that we are more creative when we are unfocused, because the brain is not only a lot less efficient at filtering out distractions, but it is also a lot less efficient at remembering connections between ideas or concepts – enabling us to make new connections, be open to new ideas, and think in new ways.

However, although this might be the best way to come up with creative ideas, it is not the best scenario when it comes to your pupils’ creative writing. For them, creating a consistent writing routine and idea habit will gain better results. Indeed, once a creative idea has been thought of, it must then, of course, be written in a way that will meet the requirements of the Programmes of Study for writing composition – which is possible when there is an embedded routine to follow.

One approach would be to use Brilliant Activities for Creative Writing – a series of photocopiable activity books for Year 1 to Year 6 pupils that provide a flexible but structured approach for developing writing skills, which both you and your pupils will enjoy.

The activities help children to develop writing skills for different genres, from narrative and poetry to recounts and persuasive writing. The sheets are self-explanatory and ready to use; the only additional resources needed are a pen or pencil and, sometimes, extra paper. Hint boxes provide extra support for the children in completing the task.

For more information about Brilliant Activities for Creative Writing, visit http://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/brilliant-activities-for-creative-writing-series-pack-505

What’s more, you can order Brilliant Activities for Creative Writing 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

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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

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

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

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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 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! “

Exceptional Literacy Teaching Resources

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Fisher-Marriott Software

StarSpell – From Early Phonics through to KS3/4 exam preparation, StarSpell’s graded word lists support all stages of learning. It also has support for the 2014 National Curriculum in England.

Based upon the proven Look-Cover-Write-Check routine, StarSpell’s Spelling mode has sound, pictures and sentences to create a powerful audio-visual activity.

The six-step word-lists support progressive, systematic learning of letter-sound matches in basic phonics through to the exploration of spelling rules, word origins and families. The curriculum-themed section supports revision and further study.

Designed for interactive whiteboard in the classroom as well as for individual learning, StarSpell can help both teachers and students.

Contact form
Telephone:
+44 1242 523365
Postal address: Fisher-Marriott Software, Richmond, West Approach Drive, Cheltenham, GL52 3AD

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MSL

Complete Reading & Spelling Programme – teach, assess and monitor progress with MSL’s Structured Literacy Programme.

Bumper Books of Literacy Fun – four books for minimal supervision activities, each one packed full with creative, structured puzzles and games.

Handwriting for Windows v 3.0 – learning to touch type brings many benefits to dyslexic individuals.

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

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.

Complete Primary Library Collection – everything you need to run an outstanding primary school library.

‘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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Signpost Educational Ltd

Wooden Alphabet Letters – for children who have specific learning difficulties or those whose literacy skills are below their peers. Whatever their age, these alphabet letters can be very helpful.

English Readers… by Word Power – these classic novels are abridged versions of the originals, retold by John Kennett who felt that many people were missing out on some great stories as the original novels were too long.

Telephone: 020-7515-1797
Postal address: SIGNPOST EDUCATIONAL LTD, PO Box 999, London, E14 6SH, UK

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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 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