Does this pupil have dyscalculia – and if so what should we do about it?

Assessing a pupil or student who appears to be poor at maths to see if the child is suffering from dyscalculia is useful as means of helping assign limited resources.

This assessment can be done through an educational psychologist, of course, although this can be rather expensive – and of itself it doesn’t actually provide any resources that can be used to help the pupil or student after the assessment.

The Dyscalculia Centre has been looking into this problem for some time, and we have now come up with an on-line test which is much lower cost than a visit to an educational psychologist.

What is more, having marked the test we then provide a comprehensive set of copiable materials relevant to that student. These resources can then be used in school by an assistant teacher or SENCO working with the student.

The on-line Dyscalculia Test covers the individual’s attitude towards mathematical concepts and issues, plus specific questions on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, shapes, percentages and time. It is intended for anyone aged over seven years, but obviously does imply that the individual would be expected to be able to answer some basic questions in each of these subject areas.

Testing costs £49.95 per pupil. This price includes taking the test, receiving a specific report in relation to the individual taking the test, and being provided with resources relevant to that individual which can be used to help them progress in maths.

To read more about the test please visit

The test itself is set up for payment by credit card on-line, but if you wish to use a school order number you can do this by phoning 01536 399 011, or by fax to 01536 399 012. In each case we will need your email address so that we can email you a link to the on-line test. There are more details about payment for schools on

What’s the benefit of learning a second language at primary school?

Of course, one answer is that it speeds up the process of learning that language in secondary school.

But surprisingly, this is just a minor benefit. Indeed, in a major study of the subject Michał B. Paradowski, of the University of Warsaw, discovered that children gain a vast array of benefits from learning a second language.

They gain, for example, a sharper perception of language. They learn more rapidly in their native language, become more efficient communicators in English, are better able to deal with distractions, develop a greater vocabulary size in English, develop sharper memories, become better at problem solving…

In fact the list that Paradowski has found goes on and on. It can improve a child’s critical thinking ability, they have a better understanding and appreciation of people of other countries, and are less likely to have racist tendencies…

So overwhelming are the benefits that it is perhaps surprising that more children are not exposed to a foreign language earlier on.

In order to help with the teaching of foreign languages in primary schools we have developed two volumes containing activities that can be used in every classroom.

Suitable for most languages, the books contain activities which help children to develop oracy and literacy skills in relation to the Key Stage 2 Framework for Language.

100+ Fun Ideas for Practising Modern Foreign Languages in the Primary Classroom contains 137 fun activities for developing oracy and literacy skills using simple props such as flashcards, puppets and bean bags. The tried and tested activities in this book are interactive and allow for as many children as possible at one time to communicate.

More Fun Ideas for Advancing Modern Foreign Languages in the Primary Classroom contains 77 activities for use with pupils who have been studying a new language for a while and are ready to progress beyond learning simple vocabulary and phrases.

This resource will help pupils learn to manipulate the language, improve their decoding skills and discover how the new language functions at sentence level.

Free sample pages are available at the web links below:

100+ Fun Ideas for Practising Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) in the Primary Classroom

More Fun ideas for Advancing Modern Foreign Languages in the Primary Classroom

You can order these resources in any of these ways:

  • On our website at the above web links
  • By phone on 01449 766629
  • By fax on 01449 767122
  • By email to
  • By post to Brilliant Publications, c/o Trade Counter Distribution, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.