From decoding texts to reading comprehension and critical thinking

Activity books that will support your pupils on the journey: from decoding texts to reading comprehension and critical thinking

In order for your pupils to become confident in their comprehension abilities, they must first be confident in their ability to decode texts. Indeed, once decoding has been mastered they will be well on their way to becoming confident in their reading comprehension abilities.

Towards the end of primary school an ability to think critically about texts will also be established where pupils will be pondering questions, such as: “what does the writer really mean?” and “why has the writer chosen to use these words?”

With Brilliant Publications’ Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension series for Years 1 to 6, you can support your pupils on this journey, all the way from decoding and comprehending texts to thinking critically about those texts.

The passages in the Reading Comprehension series provide children with a variety of engaging texts, ranging from newspaper articles and dialogues, to plays, stories and poems – all specially written for the purpose.

Activities range from simple factual recall and vocabulary work to open-ended questions – enabling the reader to provide a more personal response. There are also detailed suggestions for integrating writing, speaking and other literacy tasks with the passages.

The texts and activities gradually increase in difficulty as your pupils progress through the book (and through the series), encouraging children to develop their ability to read for meaning and use a range of strategies to engage with the text.

You can order the Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension series for just £95 at

Alternatively, you can buy the books separately as printed versions (£19.99 each) or as e-book versions (£13.99 each), letting your pupils start their journey straightaway, at the following links:

Or, if you’d prefer, you can order any of these resources by:

  • calling us on 01449 766629
  • sending a fax to 01449 768047
  • or by sending your order in the post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.

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


phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 768047

Order British Values Key Stage 3 books now and get a 15% discount

A series of 4 books covering the key areas of democracy, law of the land, mutual respect and tolerance and individual liberty.

What teachers are saying about our British Values books –

‘Easy to use lesson ideas that will fit neatly into our topic plans’

‘A great resource covering difficult concepts of judicial independence and the Rule of Law in an engaging manner’

‘Great illustrations and clear activities for teachers and children to follow’

Front covers

For more information visit our website

Gresham Books Ltd

Tel: 01983 761389

Supporting Your Able Scientists

Specialist Saturday and Holiday Workshops, for able and ambitious science students, at no cost to the school

There is an easy way to capitalise on all of the interest and enthusiasm generated by a Science Week that helps you create a truly extraordinary programme for your ambitious scientists.  And, most importantly, it requires no extra work.

As a science department, you aim to provide the best scientific opportunities for all students.  As a parent you want to give your children the best start in life.

This is why Spectacular Saturday and Holiday Workshops have proved to be so highly valued by schools and families throughout the UK.  They allow schools to host leading STEM workshops at no cost to the school, without affecting the timetable or adding to teacher workloads.

They allow participants to experience science activities that are typically unavailable until they reach higher education and develop essential skills that give them an advantage in education and beyond.

With three very different workshops to choose from, all developing different skills and offering different hands-on practical activities, you can easily provide for your most ambitious and more able students.  And the parents will appreciate the additional support the school makes for their children.

Every workshop has been recommended by every host school for over a decade.  So, whether you choose ‘Dead on Time’ the ultra-realistic CSI workshop for critical thinkers, ‘Target Mars’ an adrenalin filled space adventure for creative thinkers or ‘Bunkered’ an exciting survival story for strategic thinkers – we make it easy for you but incredibly effective.

To see more details about these options, you can click here.  But, quite simply, you choose a day on which you can host the event and we send you the literature to distribute to parents to book a place.  They pay for their child to attend, as they would for a school trip, or the school can choose to subsidise the cost using Pupil Premium funding.  It costs just £25 per pupil per day.

Once you have more than 20 pupils enrolled, we will confirm the event and run the entire day on the date of your choice.

The presentation team, all with full DBS checks, will simply need access to a hall or large room in which the workshop takes place from 8:30 to 15:45.  They will greet parents, supervise students from arrival to departure and deliver an unrivalled STEM experience.

Participants will each receive a certificate of achievement detailing the skills developed.  There are also prizes for members of the winning team and medals for the champions of the day.

For details of the Spectacular Saturday Workshops click here.  For details of 2-5 day Holiday Schools click here.

For further information, please call us on 01603 520866 or email

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 Maths 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 exam board-specific. From statistics to sequences, and theorems to trigonometry, our in-depth resources can both introduce and recap tricky topics, all the while giving your students exam-style practice to build their confidence.

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.


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 –

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 call us on 0845 519 4827, or email Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.