The most effective way of developing skills for writing

In our experience, when it comes to getting children to be more creative it’s not always as simple as just asking them to “be creative”.

One of the main problems with this approach is that while it may result in children writing stories that are unusual, it does not, however, result in them taking a step forwards in terms of their creative writing. Originality alone is not the key to bringing writing to life and improving the quality of the story.

In order for children to bring their writing to life, there are a number of skills they need to master.

To help with this we have produced a set of books that explore these skills and offer activities and exercises that children can use to improve their creative writing – ‘Developing Skills for Writing’ covers levels 2, 3 and 4.

The books contain sentence and text level activities which explore exactly how ‘powerful verbs’ can be used effectively, how ‘connectives’ can be used to signal time, how to compose ‘complex sentences’, how to use adjectives to create detail etc. In fact there’s a whole range of skills to move children’s writing on from National Curriculum Level 2 to Level 4.

Developing Skills for Writing uses, throughout the series, a multisensory approach to teaching, including word games, role play and oral activities covering all frequently used punctuation and grammar skills. Clear lesson plans explain every activity. A ‘Helping Hand’ is used to remember key facts and where possible, optional worksheets focus on boys’ interests.

Free sample pages are available from our website. Click here for level 2, here for level 3 and here for level 4.

If you would like to know more please call 01772 863158
Or email us at
You can order in any of these ways:

Online at the above web links
By phone on 01772 863158
By fax on 01772 866153
By email to
By post to Topical Resources, P.O. Box329, Broughton, Preston, Lancashire PR3 5LT

Topical Resources
P.O. Box329

Tel: 01772 863158

Field trips: what if something goes wrong?

The educational benefit of school visits far outweighs the risk but you do need to think about and prepare for the worst.

Of course visits are excellent, interesting, exciting and memorable events.

But occasionally, just occasionally, something can go wrong – and if that does happen then you and the school will need to act quickly and assuredly when dealing with pupils, staff and parents, and of course the media.

Most Heads of Department and school management recognise that to be able to do this they really do need some training to ensure that everyone handles the situation well, appearing controlled, sympathetic and confident – all at the same time.

To help ensure that the school is equipped as and when the situation arises, and to offer suitable training with a minimal amount of disruption to the school, we’ve introduced a new approach to crisis training.

It starts with an audit of the school’s existing crisis management systems (to ensure that they are legally compliant) and is followed by the training of the key members of staff so that they will know exactly what to do if something unfortunate occurs.

Thus if and when something awful does happen the key members of staff can take control and work through the process, helping those involved, helping the children’s parents if need be, and helping the school manage the most difficult of circumstances.

If you would like to see how your department, and indeed your school, could be prepared and organised ready for anything that happens, with a minimum of fuss and disruption, please take a look at or call us on 01183 800 140.

Improving early years development in line with the EYFS framework

Research has shown that by giving children support, encouragement and help with their communication and language at the foundation stage, their communication skills are much better than those of children who have not experienced this.

With the inevitable focus on increasing children’s achievement and the new payment by results, it is crucial that you have resources that can help you to develop and improve children’s communication and language.

Furthermore, the funding regime in England for two year olds means that your staff must have the skills and knowledge to develop communication skills with these children and to work with their parents so that the progress continues at home.

To help with this important area of communication and language we have developed a major collection of accessible resources for Sure Start Children’s Centres.

These materials ensure that practitioners have the knowledge and skills necessary to support communication and language and to cultivate collaborative relationships with parents.

The resources describe the different elements of communication and language and outline what good practice looks like. They also show how Sure Start Children’s Centres can empower parents so they can interact with their children to develop communication and language skills.

There is also a pack to help teams of early years practitioners to understand, reinforce and enable the development of speech, communication and language in their group or setting.

I CAN’s resources include progress checks that can be shared with parents for early identification of difficulties and also can be to support the reporting to parents of children aged between 24 and 36 months. They also show the way in which everyday activities can be used as opportunities for enhancing communication skills.

I do hope you will consider introducing these techniques and approaches in your centre.

You can read details of all these early years resources and the benefits they bring on or place an order, via our order form here