Boost creative writing in line with the new curriculum

There are many different ways of approaching creative writing, and no one way suits everyone. 

There are many different ways in which children approach the writing of a story, a poem, a review… 

Some just start writing, confident that the result will be reasonable, and that one can go back and improve. 

Others need preparation and planning before the writing starts, while a third group will freeze, unable to do anything at all. 

But then, even when the writing has begun, again different approaches can be seen. Some are able to follow the story and make a coherent whole. Others can lose the plot (literally) and wander into completely new areas. And some will freeze. 

Which is why the Boost Creative Writing Skills series of books exists. 

The planning sheets within the series help with the gathering of ideas, and there is coverage of a range of different genres such as stories, poems, book reviews and newspaper reports. 

Each sheet generates discussion within a defined framework and then aids pupils to write more descriptive stories and compose longer pieces of writing.

There are also techniques included which assist with both narrative and descriptive writing and which cater for different learning styles. 

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

They have been shown to boost children’s writing skills, give pupils confidence and make them believe that they can write. 

There are 3 books in the series: 

Boost Creative Writing Skills for 5-7 year olds 

Boost Creative Writing Skills for 7-9 year olds 

Boost Creative Writing Skills for 9-11 year olds 

You can also purchase all 3 resources for the special offer price of £40.00

This book is available from 31st January but may be pre-ordered. The e-book version will be available to buy once the book is published. 

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

  • On our website at the web links above
  • By phone on 01449 766629
  • By fax on 01449 767122
  • By email to

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


phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 767122

Free use of materials that deliver the full music curriculum

What is the most effective way of using creative music to explore the interdisciplinary teaching of themes and topics in the classroom?

There is a method of teaching which helps to deliver the national curriculum both for music and also a number of other subject areas.

What’s more, it can be used by you or your colleagues irrespective of whether you have had any musical training or experience in the past.

The approach incorporates lesson plans written in simple language with a clear layout, teacher’s guides, and a website that incorporates everything you need to teach the lessons.

As a result the approach allows all children to compose and perform their own rhythms from Year 2 onwards.

Better still, it is possible to use these materials free of charge for a month so that you can experience in detail the process that focuses around the performance of music which the children in your class create themselves.

For most primary school children this is one of the most exciting activities that they can imagine. Very quickly they develop a great sense of pride in the fact that the music is “their” music. They wrote it, they created it, they perform it.

The approach – which can be experienced via the free trial – is achieved through using the multiple possibilities of the interactive whiteboard.

From the start children learn about the basic building blocks of music by creating with them and performing the results using age appropriate notation that is easy for non-musical teachers to understand and use.

This develops general musical skills in rhythm, pitch, singing, and using instruments, and as a result children begin to explore both creativity and personal performance skills, all within the context of team work.

There are clear links to literacy and numeracy from the very beginning of the project, and later on the children are encouraged to make up music and lyrics in relation to other subject areas.

You can find more information about this resource by clicking here.

Sign up for a free trial course at

Alternatively, please do email me at

Tom Bancroft

Practice Teaching 2014, Glasgow: More new ideas to help your training, same old price

The 10th International Conference on Practice Teaching and Field Education, Glasgow, 7th-8th April.

As a trainer or educator of professionals in health and social work, you will find a wealth of stimulating new ideas to take away and apply in your own workplace.

• Over 70 workshops and papers accepted!
• Truly interdisciplinary with offerings from health, medicine, social work and care.
• International – presenters from 14 countries!
• Practical! Take away new useable ideas from workshops and papers by trainers in the workplace, as well as academics.

We’ve held most prices to the level of the last event in 2011, and places are limited, so book soon to ensure your place.

The booking form is now available here :

The detailed programme will be on the website in 10 days time. In the meantime, the full list of workshops and papers accepted, together with abstracts is also available at:

If you have any questions, please email:

David Whiting
Whiting & Birch Ltd
90 Dartmouth Road 
SE23 3HZ

Three ways to improve 2014 maths results

To help you and your team get even more sparkling maths results in 2014, we’d like to offer you the following.

1. Visualise maths clearly with Autograph 3.3. There’s no better tool to easily portray mathematical ideas and show how they work. See

2. Communicate maths quickly and precisely, on screen or in print with MathType. No more Doctor’s Handwriting and searching for maths symbols. See

3. No more marking! Use MathsNet or Mathster to set online tests and get them marked and reported automatically. See the highly popular,, or (Mathster is particularly good on iPads, iPhones, smart phones and tablets and for creating printed tests too).

Take a free trial for your whole school if you haven’t already got these. Just call us on 01204 811001 or email us at and we’ll arrange it.

All the best
Philip Yorke

Chartwell-Yorke (Mathematics Software and Books)
114 High Street, Belmont Village, Bolton, Lancashire, BL7 8AL,
Tel +44 (0)1204 811001, Fax 01204 811008

GCSE AQA PE Pre-Release Scenario Exam Pack 2014: Westshore Netball Club

Half of this summer’s Unit 3 exam (full course) and Unit 1 exam (short course) AQA GCSE PE is based on AQA’s pre-release scenario, this year featuring ‘Westshore Netball Club’. The team-based scenario is tougher than previous years, so effective exam preparation will be essential.

How well will your GCSE PE class know ‘Westshore Netball Club’?

This unique resource, totally focused on maximising exam performance, contains all the preparation material that students need for Section B of the pre-release scenario:

  • An introduction to the scenariowhat is there and what does it mean? With key terms highlighted and explained.
  • Clear and concise revision notes, related specifically to ‘Westshore Netball Club’ and in spec order. Activities for every section to develop exam skills and consolidate learning.
  • Section B mock exam questions, with useful ‘what is the question asking you to do’ sections, model student answers and marking tips.
  • Teaching PowerPoints for delivery of the scenario material.

Plus, brand new for 2014: structured revision cards

Pre-order this year’s pack for 10th February at:



As with all ZigZag resources, you can be confident of the highest standards. All resources go through a rigorous process of checking, proofreading and professional styling before reaching you. ZigZag resources are available as ‘copy masters’ or in editable format and come with a site licence, allowing you to pay once and copy as often as you need, or put on your server for multiple use.

The ‘Summer 2014 – Westshore Netball Club’ Pre-Release Resource Pack is available as:

  1. Black and white photocopy master with site licence (£54)
  2. PDF for easy printing in full colour (add 30%+VAT)
  3. PDF with editable Word files (add 50%+VAT)

Order now at

ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY
t: 0117 950 3199 | f: 0117 959 1695 |

Give your promotional code WE25 to get free postage!

Strategies for teaching GEO4B

Many geography departments entered their students for the January sitting of the GEO4B exam, with the back-up plan of entering at least some students for the summer exam as a resit. With that option gone, how are you preparing your students for this challenging exam, to help them to ace it first time?

One superb way of doing this is to make use of past Advance Information Booklets, and to do a complete mock exam. Choose an AIB that links in with the topics your students are studying for GEOG3. For example, the Brazil AIB touched on ‘Weather and Climate’ and ‘Contemporary Conflicts and Challenges’, and the Christchurch Earthquake pack was an excellent case study for ‘Plate Tectonics and Associated Hazards’.

Here’s one approach:

  • January: Issue AIB from a previous year, along with the corresponding Pre-Release Resource Pack (from ZigZag Education, see below). Tell students that we will study this booklet in preparation for a mock exam in February.
  • January–February: Dedicate some class time to studying aspects of the booklet, using the student workbook, PowerPoints and activities in the ZigZag Resource Pack to structure the work. Emphasise to students that this work will not be ‘wasted’ – it both covers their GEOG3 topics and prepares them for the real AIB in June.
  • Last week before February half term holiday: Give students the final tasks in the Pre-Release Resource Pack. Tell them to revise for a mock exam that they will sit next half term.
  • February half term: Set a mock paper in exam conditions, using one of the two papers provided in the ZigZag Resource Pack, or the actual past paper from AQA. Have the students mark each other’s work and discuss and reflect on common errors and what they have learnt. Encourage students to share pre-release techniques.
  • 24th March 2014: Issue the real AIB (from AQA) to your confident and well-prepared students. Perhaps compare it with the one they have already studied, highlighting similarities and differences.
  • 31st March 2014: Issue the ‘Getting to Know…’ initial activities as a homework for Easter.*
  • 21th April 2014: Straight after Easter, get to work on the AIB properly with the Pre-Release Resource Pack from ZigZag Education (dispatched by 15th April).

To facilitate this approach, ZigZag Education have discounted Pre-Release Resource Packs from previous years. You can also pre-order the June 2014 resource below. Order now at

The GEO4B Resource Packs are available as a photocopy master with site licence (£22 each for extra practice packs; £59 to pre-order the 2014 resource). Also available in:

  1. Easy-printing PDF files (add 30%+VAT), or
  2. PDF with editable Word files (add 50%+VAT).

* We will send you the preliminary ‘getting to know’ activities to support you in getting started with your students for whatever the topic turns out to be! Pre-order and register to receive the activities via email as soon as they are available (within a few days of the AIB release).

ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY

t: 0117 950 3199 | f: 0117 959 1695 |

Give your promotional code WE24 to get free postage!

Even better handwriting

The brain and the hand are closely linked together,
which is why handwriting is so important.

If there is danger, the hand moves to provide defence. If there is a delicate task, the hand is called upon. If contact is required with an unknown object, the hand goes first.

Which helps us to understand why handwriting is so important. For not only does good handwriting make it easier for exam markers to read the student’s script, but it also develops hand, eye and brain co-ordination.

This means that as well as helping with exam scores, good handwriting gives students the chance to develop their essential fine motor skills.

This is why we have produced not just the Handwriting Rescue Scheme for fully cursive handwriting, but also two books of follow-on-exercises.

First, the Handwriting Rescue scheme: it contains over 300 copiable structured exercises designed to establish complete cursive letter formation. Tests have shown that the use of such material encourages the development of an automatic response to frequently used spelling choices.

Second, moving beyond Handwriting Rescue we have the follow-on-exercises.

Each of these two books contains 65 copiable activities which help with the embedding of cursive letter formation across every letter combination in the language.

As such, the volumes cover both key words and irregular words. Additionally, they cover the writing of speech marks, handwriting practice with useful word lists, and exercises writing of frequently misspelt words.

In effect, through the profound brain-hand connection the students can learn to improve their handwriting while simultaneously improving their grasp of the written language.

There are more details of Handwriting Rescue follow-on-exercises Book 1 on our website.

You can also find information on Handwriting Rescue follow-on-exercises Book 2 by clicking here.

If you already have the Handwriting Rescue Scheme and purchase both follow-on books they will be supplied at a 10% discount.

The Handwriting Rescue course itself should be used before the follow-on books. You can find more information on the course on our website.

If you have not purchased the Rescue Scheme already you can buy the Scheme and the follow-on books for the special price of £85.

You can order The Handwriting Rescue Scheme and follow-on materials in any of these ways:

  • On our website at the above links
  • By phone on 01604 505000
  • By fax to 01604 505001
  • By email to
  • By post to Multi-Sensory Learning, Highgate House, Creaton, Northants, NN6 8NN