Category Archives: English

What is the most effective way of using World Book Day to turn reluctant readers into enthusiastic devourers of literature?

Finding new ways of celebrating World Book Day each year can be difficult – and indeed it is always a fairly safe bet that some of the schools around you will be utilising similar ideas to those which have been used in the past.

But this year there is an approach which will not only engage many children who are not already regular readers of literature, but will also announce to everyone that your school is engaging with literacy in all its modern guises.

The idea is simple: launch an eBook library in your school.

An eBook library means that you don’t have to buy in stocks of library books, check them in and out, attempt to recover lost books, or worry about marked or damaged books.

In essence, pupils simply log in using a tablet or similar device, and then download the book of their choice which they can read wherever they are.

Well over 1000 schools have now moved over to ePlatform’s eBook library – running it alongside the conventional library.  Research shows print and eBooks complement each other to enable more students to discover the joy of reading.

What’s more, reading on devices such as tablets can better engage some children who are noticeably less keen on reading.   This can particularly be the case with children with visual impairments or dyslexia.

Also some children find that the fact that they can add highlighting and notes to what they are reading, as well as instantly look up the definition of a word, is of great benefit.

Research also suggests that reluctant readers are more engaged with an eBook, read for longer with an eBook, and are less likely to become distracted.

In fact, because digital technology is part of their world they actually feel more empowered with reading in this way.

ePlatform has thousands of eBooks available ranging from Roald Dahl to David Baddiel, from Star Wars to Daisy and Jack.  You can see details of our range on the website.

To find out more, please either:

●       Phone 07971 661782
●       Email Rachel@eplatform.co
●       Or visit eplatform.co/uk/school

Rachel Lindsay
ePlatform Business Development Manager, UK

How the Government has recognised our pioneering work with storytelling, and how you can build on it in half a day.

Having the Minister of State for Schools attend one of our school-based storytelling events was indeed a pleasure and a privilege.

Then finding him referring to our research in a subsequent speech was not only unexpected, but also a very pleasant bonus for Snail Tales.

There are links to the Minister’s speech and our research below, but please stay with me for a moment as I’d like to tell you just a little about what we can do with you in just half a day.

Research shows that children who love reading outperform their peers throughout the curriculum. And because a love of reading starts with a love of story, Snail Tales visit schools to help develop an enjoyment of stories among all children.

Our repertoire is mind-bogglingly huge and includes topics as diverse as Ancient Greece, what causes earthquakes, and how to deal with bullies. And, of course, that makes it perfect if you’re looking to introduce your children to the art of storytelling!

All you need to do is contact us with a selection of your preferred dates, number and ages of your children, and your aims for the day. We’ll then let you know how your children will benefit from our storytelling in their classrooms.

A typical half-day visit, comprising class workshops for up to 150 children (30 children in each class) and/or assembly-style performances for any number, costs just £250 plus 25p per mile travel from the location of our nearest available storyteller – and there’s no VAT to pay either!

And there is a 20% discount on any half-day visit if you are happy for us to collect data for the research the Minister mentioned related to storytelling.  Plus there are other discounts for booking multiple days and adjusted costs for full-day events.

To get things moving please do click here for our online enquiry form. We’ll be more than happy to help ensure you get the best possible arrangement for your school. For example, some schools take two weeks of our storytelling workshops for the price of one.

Others get between £50 and £90 discount – please do fill in the form and we’ll help you find the best arrangement to meet your needs.

If you would like to see what the Minister spoke about in relation to the importance of storytelling, that is here as well.

For more information, please click here. Alternatively, you can call us on 020 328 SNAIL (020 328 76245), or email stories@snailtales.org 

Free Primary English poster: Direct Speech

You can download a free poster about Direct Speech from a new set of 80 posters for Primary English.

These colourful print-your-own pdf posters reinforce key points and focus on one topic at a time.

They cover grammar, spelling, punctuation and much more.

The visual impact of these posters really helps children remember.

See all the posters, download one free and order here http://www.carelpress.co.uk/exclusive#Eng

Ann Batey
Office Manager
Carel Press
(01228 538928)
www.carelpress.co.uk

What more can be done to inspire a love for reading and storybooks among your struggling readers on World Book Day and for evermore?

Supporting the development of reading skills among older pupils can be somewhat of a challenge, not least because fiction books that are of interest to them do not typically cater for their current reading abilities.

So inspiring a love for reading among these pupils can also be something of a challenge.

Fortunately, World Book Day (3rd March 2016) presents a great opportunity for you to introduce your struggling readers to the ‘Go! Pack’ series, which will inspire a love for reading and thus support the development of their reading skills.

The ‘Go! Pack’ is a set of 8 fantastic titles for pupils aged 11 and over with a reading age of six, and were designed by an experienced practitioner desperate for suitable reading material for her pupils.

Each book has high quality illustrations to support the story and help the reader achieve success and enjoyment in reading.

Titles in the ‘Go! Pack’ include: “Bad luck”, “Ghost in the House”, “Lights in the Mirror”, “Lion on the Loose”, “Missing”, “Not a Good Look”, “Shut Down” and “The Wrong Wheels”.

You can order Go! Books in any of these 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

To Kill a Mockingbird – An Abridged Text

To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee and is a famous American novel about a girl called Scout Finch. The novel is set in the 1930s in the U.S.A. One of the most important themes in To Kill a Mockingbird is racism.

In the novel an Afro-American is accused of raping a white lady. It is clear that he is innocent but because he is black he is found guilty. To Kill a Mockingbird is set in a town called Maycomb in the southern states of the U.S.A.

During the 1930s racial discrimination was a big problem in the U.S.A. Black people were poor and they were not treated fairly by most white people. Scout and her family are different. They treat black people with respect. In the 1930s the law did not help Afro-Americans. Many had to go to prison for crimes they did not commit. In to Kill a Mockingbird an innocent black man has to go to prison.

Quite often the content of the National Curriculum can be intractable for pupils who speak English as a second language.  The teaching of English can now be made wholly accessible using these resources.  Set texts have been effectively differentiated so that they can be understood by pupils who may find the original versions difficult.

The texts chosen have been widely used in English and Special Needs classrooms and promote the development of reading, writing and listening skills.

They have proven to be very popular because of the accessibility. At the end of each section there is a series of stimulating exercises, which are designed to enhance language acquisition.  The texts available are studied for the Certificate of Achievement, in years 9-11.  As teachers, we know that understanding the text not only activates interest but, ultimately, that all pupils can obtain encouraging grades in their Certificates of Achievement.

44 Photocopiable masters £29.99 + VAT

Once purchased, the CD can be freely copied and networked throughout the school!

To see sample pages please email info@classroom-resources.co.uk quoting the order code H5257.

You can order the To Kill a Mockingbird – An Abridged Text CD-ROM in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 0117 940 6409
  • By fax on 0117 940 6408
  • By email (quoting a school order number) to info@classroom-resources.co.uk
  • By post to: Classroom Resources, 9 Logan Road, Bristol, BS7 8DU

Classroom Resources Ltd
9 Logan Road,
Bristol,
BS7 8DU

www.classroom-resources.co.uk
info@classroom-resources.co.uk

Tel: 0117 940 6409

Stone Age assembly and writing workshops

Stone Age assembly and writing workshops

Tie in story writing with your history topic and bring the past to life with a Stone Age assembly. It’s fun and interactive. Pupils will get hands on with a mammoth hunt and find out about Neolithic life.

The Stone Age assembly is a perfect primer for story writing workshops where pupils will write their own stories. We’ll use the innovative Accelerated writing method (as used by Creative Writing Club). I’m a children’s author who teaches creative writing in schools, so I can also answer their questions on writing and perform short extracts from my book.

As well as the stone age, other topics include: The Bronze Age, the Iron Age Celts, the Greeksthe Egyptiansthe Romansthe Celtsthe Anglo Saxons, the Aztecs, Mayans, the Great Fire of London, Flooded world (natural disasters), the Vikings, the Normans, the Tudors, the Victorians, Shakespeare, Traditional tales, the Rainforest and many more.  I’m an ex-BBC editor and I can also offer workshops on factual writing (using a historical frame).

About me
I’ve written 14 books for children, over a wide age range (Y1-Y9) including: Spartapuss (Romans), Beowuff (Anglo Saxons vs Vikings) Olympuss Games (Greeks), Boudicat (Celts), Cleocatra’s Kushion (Egyptians).  My graphic novel ‘London Deep’ was chosen as a Recommended Read for World Book Day. I co-wrote the musical version of Julia Donaldson’s books The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom. I’ve led writing workshops for Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust and The Young Archaeologists Club. Check out my profile on Love Reading For Kids:

  • No school is too large or too small
  • I am DBS checked and I have insurance cover.

For dates and prices please call 0845 838 5526 or email robin@mogzilla.co.uk

Please reply to this email with ‘Stone’ in the subject line and I will send you my free PDF
‘7 Tips for story writing
and a Stone Age writing frame.

 

Transform your pupils into exceptional storytellers during National Storytelling Week (30th Jan – 6th Feb 2016)

Teaching your pupils to tell stories with emotion and passion comes with a multitude of benefits in terms of both their academic and personal development.

First, storytelling enables your pupils to connect with a story on an emotional level, going beyond the action of simply reading words from a page. This in turn can be a powerful encouragement for pupils to read for fun whilst also improving their literacy skills.

Storytelling also does wonders for children’s confidence as it gives them the opportunity to practise public speaking. Their self-esteem is heightened when they realise that they have the ability to hold an audience and to provide entertainment through storytelling.

National Storytelling Week is an ideal time to plan for professional storytellers to come into your school to show your pupils just how they themselves can tell a story in a powerful and interesting way and how they too can reap the benefits that storytelling brings.

It is for this reason that we travel from school to school during this week (and throughout the year), telling stories – stories from different parts of the world, stories from history, stories from science, stories about overcoming bullying…

What’s more, if you would like to see the power of stories in terms of children’s learning and read about the research into why stories work as teaching aids, or indeed if you would like to know more about our work in schools, please click here.

You’ll be able to see just why hundreds of schools across the country invite us in to tell stories to different classes. Alternatively, you can call us on 020 328 SNAIL (020 328 76245), or email stories@snailtales.org

More information about National Storytelling Week www.sfs.org.uk/national-storytelling-week

Learn about your library

Do your children understand basic terms about books and libraries?

This set of 20 ‘print your own’ pdf posters is guaranteed to make library introductions easy and memorable.

These bright, colourful posters cover: Alphabetical order, Author, Blurb, Book Title, Borrow, Contents page, Dewey numbers, Fiction, Finding books, Front Cover, Glossary, Illustrator, Index, Information Books, Picture Book, Renew a Book, Return a book, Spine.

They are incredible value for money! You can see all the posters here http://www.carelpress.co.uk/HHLearnAboutYourLibrary/

Regards

Ann Batey
Office Manager
Carel Press

(01228 538928)

www.carelpress.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/carelpress

A cumulative approach to developing handwriting skills

The cause of underdeveloped handwriting in some pupils is not always immediately apparent. It could be that these pupils have poor fine motor skills, language processing, or visual perceptual skills, or perhaps it is attributable to the way that they grip their pen/pencil or to their handwriting posture.

In many instances, however, the reason for underdeveloped handwriting is because the approach that they are using isn’t cumulative, which is key to ensuring progress in the development of handwriting skills.

It is for this reason that we have produced The Handwriting Rescue Scheme – a complete programme for fully cursive handwriting containing over 300 structured exercises. It has been designed to establish the correct cursive letter formation and encourage an automatic response to frequently used spelling choices.

The programme is ideal for introducing cursive handwriting and also for correcting poor handwriting habits among pupils whose handwriting isn’t up to the expected standard for their age.

You can order the Handwriting Rescue Scheme in any of these ways:

Viking assembly and writing workshops

Bring the Vikings to your hall with an interactive assembly followed by writing workshops. Pupils will go on a Viking raid, meet the skald (storyteller) – and hear tales of heroes, myths and monsters. Finally two bands of Vikings do battle with a fun quiz.  I’m a children’s author who teaches creative writing in schools, so I can also answer their questions on writing and perform short extracts from my books Beowuff and the Dragon Raiders.

The assembly is a perfect primer for story writing workshops where pupils will write their own stories. We’ll use the innovative Accelerated writing method (as used by Creative Writing Club).

As well as the Vikings, other topics include: the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age Celts, the Greeksthe Egyptiansthe Romansthe Celtsthe Anglo Saxons, the Aztecs, Mayans, the Great Fire of London, Flooded world (natural disasters), the Normans, the Tudors, the Victorians, Shakespeare, Traditional tales, the Rainforest and many more.  I’m an ex-BBC editor and I can also offer workshops on factual writing (using a historical frame).

About me
I’ve written 14 books for children, over a wide age range (Y1-Y9) including: Spartapuss (Romans), Beowuff (Anglo Saxons vs Vikings) Olympuss Games (Greeks), Boudicat (Celts), Cleocatra’s Kushion (Egyptians).  My graphic novel ‘London Deep’ was chosen as a Recommended Read for World Book Day. I co-wrote the musical version of Julia Donaldson’s books The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom. I’ve led writing workshops for Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust and The Young Archaeologists Club. Check out my profile on Love Reading For Kids:

  • No school is too large or too small
  • I am DBS checked and I have insurance cover.

For dates and prices please call 0845 838 5526 or email robin@mogzilla.co.uk

Please reply to this email with ‘Vikings’ in the subject line and I will send you my free PDF
‘7 Tips for story writing
and a Viking writing frame.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird – An Abridged Text

To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee and is a famous American novel about a girl called Scout Finch. The novel is set in the 1930s in the U.S.A. One of the most important themes in To Kill a Mockingbird is racism.

In the novel an Afro-American is accused of raping a white lady. It is clear that he is innocent but because he is black he is found guilty. To Kill a Mockingbird is set in a town called Maycomb in the southern states of the U.S.A.

During the 1930s racial discrimination was a big problem in the U.S.A. Black people were poor and they were not treated fairly by most white people. Scout and her family are different. They treat black people with respect. In the 1930s the law did not help Afro-Americans. Many had to go to prison for crimes they did not commit. In to Kill a Mockingbird an innocent black man has to go to prison.

Quite often the content of the National Curriculum can be intractable for pupils who speak English as a second language.  The teaching of English can now be made wholly accessible using these resources.  Set texts have been effectively differentiated so that they can be understood by pupils who may find the original versions difficult.

The texts chosen have been widely used in English and Special Needs classrooms and promote the development of reading, writing and listening skills.

They have proven to be very popular because of the accessibility. At the end of each section there is a series of stimulating exercises, which are designed to enhance language acquisition.  The texts available are studied for the Certificate of Achievement, in years 9-11.  As teachers, we know that understanding the text not only activates interest but, ultimately, that all pupils can obtain encouraging grades in their Certificates of Achievement.

44 Photocopiable masters £29.99 + VAT

Once purchased, the CD can be freely copied and networked throughout the school!

To see sample pages please email info@classroom-resources.co.uk quoting the order code H5257.

You can order the To Kill a Mockingbird – An Abridged Text CD-ROM in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 0117 940 6409
  • By fax on 0117 940 6408
  • By email (quoting a school order number) to info@classroom-resources.co.uk
  • By post to: Classroom Resources, 9 Logan Road, Bristol, BS7 8DU

Classroom Resources Ltd
9 Logan Road,
Bristol,
BS7 8DU

www.classroom-resources.co.uk
info@classroom-resources.co.uk

Tel: 0117 940 6409

A troublesome problem for students and teachers alike…. but now there’s a simple, low cost and effective solution

Have you ever wondered how many lessons each day might be disrupted simply because  a few  students forget to bring the basic kit to their lessons.

No pens, no ruler, no pencils. This usually means wasted time while some students beg, steal or borrow what they need before any teaching can take place.

It can lead to frustration among those students who DO have what they need. They want to get on with the lesson but get fed up with the delay……and quite often there’s a bit of disturbance until everyone’s ready for the lesson to begin.

It can also add to the stress experienced by teaching staff if their lessons are cut short because of  delays.

But now there’s a simple and effective solution…  The “Student Essentials” set.

The “Student Essentials” set contains all that students need for most of their lessons… it contains three quality black ink pens, two full length HB pencils, a 15 cm ruler, a metal sharpener and an eraser, all packed in a clear, “exam friendly” A5 size wallet with a zip-slider.

If “Student Essentials” sets can be made available at the start of a school day,  perhaps from the school office or library, then at least students will have an opportunity to obtain what they need for most lessons. Disruptions and delays can become a thing of the past.

Details of “Student Essentials” sets can be found on the Signpost Educational website:
www.signposteducational.co.uk

“Student Essentials” sets (from just 75p ex vat) can be obtained from Signpost Educational Ltd, PO Box 999, London, E14 6SH

Contact them by email: signpost@talk21.com or phone: 020 7515 1797 or fax: 020 7515 4420

 

English Basics posters – New posters added

It’s essential that all pupils and students have a sound grasp of the basics of English.

Give your teaching of the basics a real impact by using these pdf posters.

These colourful, snappy posters will have an immediate impact but can also be a continued point of reference.

At less than £30 for the set this is brilliant value. You can print as many copies of these as you like – have them in every classroom!

The posters cover: Adjectives; Adverbs; Alliteration; Antonyms; Connectives; Direct speech; First person; Hyperbole; Infinitive; It’s; Metaphor; Nouns; Onomatopoeia; Paragraphs; Personification; Pronouns; Reported speech; Rhetorical question; Sentences; Similes; Superlatives; Synonyms; Their; They’re; There; Third person; Vary your verbs; Verbs; Your; You’re.

There are 30 A4 pdf posters in all. The set is an ideal classroom resource. A PowerPoint version is also available for whiteboards and large display screens.

You can see all the posters here
http://www.carelpress.co.uk/hh_englishbasics/

Ann Batey
Office Manager
Carel Press
(01228 538928)
www.carelpress.co.uk
Follow us on Twitter:

What is the most effective way of helping 16 to 18 year olds who are struggling with comprehension?

A very particular problem faces students who by the age of 16 experience difficulty in answering comprehension questions.

Their problem is not just that they cannot answer such questions very well.  It is also the fact that they have got into the habit of reading comprehension pieces in a particular way which makes it hard for them to gain the information that will allow them to answer the questions posed.

As a result of this, a lot of the quality teaching which would normally help the students to improve their comprehension work fails to have the desired result.  Their habitual style of responses dominate, and little improvement may be seen.

The key issue here is to get these students to focus not just on the text and its meaning, but also the techniques that the writer uses and the effectiveness of the writing.

“Higher Close Reading Examples and Activities” is a copiable volume that solves this problem by looking at the key topics in this field such as word choice, imagery, tone and structure.

The volume also incorporates sections which explore, in relation to the example texts within the book, language types such as figurative language, formal language and informal language.

After this the volume looks at the effectiveness of the ideas given within the sample texts, the effectiveness of the conclusions, and the comparisons which can be made between different sample passages.

“Higher Close Reading Examples and Activities” is available in copiable form (as a printed volume or on CD) so that it can be distributed to all interested members of staff.

ISBN: 978 1 86083 841 5 Order code: T1818emn – please quote with order.

Sample pages can be viewed at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1818.pdf

  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

Where can I find the national bank of assessment questions for Literacy?

It was perhaps a little strange that the Final Report of the Commission on Assessment Without Levels asked for something that was already there when it recommended the creation of a “national item bank of assessment questions.”

But such things happen, and Testbase, developed by teachers to provide schools with valid and reliable resources to rise to the challenge set by the Commission, is certainly available.

All the content is from National Curriculum tests in Literacy (end of key stage, optionals, and DfE samples) categorised according to the new National Curriculum objectives.

Additional material has been developed by National Curriculum Test Developers. As for the software, that has been developed and evolved to meet the exact requirements of the teachers who use it.

As a result you can create tailor-made assessments that can be used formatively or summatively, print ready-made assessments, prepare pupils for test conditions, use Testbase for guided reading, meet Ofsted and DfE requirements, and centralise your school’s assessments through the online library.

In the in-school formative assessment you can search for questions covering the topic or skill you are teaching, and filter by level of demand.​

For the end of topic and termly assessments you can search for questions covering the topic or skill, drag selected questions into a new document, and then save that document to a library to share with colleagues.

While for the end of year assessments you can obtain detailed feedback on progress with high quality printed tests, create diagnostic and comparative reports, and review year on year progress.

In total, Testbase provides online access to over 7,500 KS1–KS3 test questions, mark schemes and examiner comments. The questions come from SATs papers from 1995 to 2015 and are mapped to NC2014. DfE sample tests are also included.

There is more information on our website.

To order Testbase please

What is dysgraphia and how can you identify it among your pupils?

Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder which can be defined as “a disorder in written expression”. It is a Greek term which in English translates to “impaired at writing by hand”.

Perhaps the first step to identifying dysgraphia is by comparing your pupils’ handwriting with other pupils’ handwriting of the same age.

Pupils with dysgraphia will often have unorthodox or poor quality handwriting due to a number of factors – other than because they simply dislike handwriting or/and have no intention of putting effort in to making their handwriting legible for others.

Things to look out for in your pupils’ handwriting, other than just poor quality, are:

  • Oversized letters and punctuation
  • Inconsistencies in the size of consecutive letters
  • Letters and words not written at a consistent angle (straight, then slanting left, then slanting right)
  • Inconsistently spaced letters, words, sentences, lines, paragraphs and margins (even when margins and lines are provided)
  • Letters and words written in the wrong order
  • Writing is often crossed out and rewritten
  • Spelling mistakes

However, just because some of your pupils may have poor quality handwriting and may do some or all of the things listed above, dysgraphia can still not be assumed. The cause of the poor quality handwriting needs to be identified and it is only then that a diagnosis of dysgraphia can be made.

A pupil with dysgraphia will very often have problems with their language processing, their fine motor skills, memory retrieval, their pen/pencil grip and writing posture, and/or visual spacing.

At Dysgraphia Help we offer an online dysgraphia test for pupils (over the age of 8) for 71.71 NZD* (£32).

After completing the

Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder which can be defined as “a disorder in written expression”. It is a Greek term which in English translates to “impaired at writing by hand”.

Perhaps the first step to identifying dysgraphia is by comparing your pupils’ handwriting with other pupils’ handwriting of the same age.

Pupils with dysgraphia will often have unorthodox or poor quality handwriting due to a number of factors – other than because they simply dislike handwriting or/and have no intention of putting effort in to making their handwriting legible for others.

Things to look out for in your pupils’ handwriting, other than just poor quality, are:

  • Oversized letters and punctuation
  • Inconsistencies in the size of consecutive letters
  • Letters and words not written at a consistent angle (straight, then slanting left, then slanting right)
  • Inconsistently spaced letters, words, sentences, lines, paragraphs and margins (even when margins and lines are provided)
  • Letters and words written in the wrong order
  • Writing is often crossed out and rewritten
  • Spelling mistakes

However, just because some of your pupils may have poor quality handwriting and may do some or all of the things listed above, dysgraphia can still not be assumed. The cause of the poor quality handwriting needs to be identified and it is only then that a diagnosis of dysgraphia can be made.

A pupil with dysgraphia will very often have problems with their language processing, their fine motor skills, memory retrieval, their pen/pencil grip and writing posture, and/or visual spacing.

At Dysgraphia Help we offer an online dysgraphia test for pupils (over the age of 8) for 71.71 NZD* (£32).

After completing the test and sending us a sample of the pupil’s handwriting, you will receive a detailed report on whether or not we believe them to have dysgraphia.

If we believe dysgraphia to be present, you will also receive a number of activity materials for the pupil to work through.

For more information on testing for dysgraphia, please visit http://www.dysgraphiahelp.co.uk/testing-for-dysgraphia/.

* Based on rates of exchange on 15/12/2015. Price is subject to change.

test and sending us a sample of the pupil’s handwriting, you will receive a detailed report on whether or not we believe them to have dysgraphia.

If we believe dysgraphia to be present, you will also receive a number of activity materials for the pupil to work through.

For more information on testing for dysgraphia, please visit http://www.dysgraphiahelp.co.uk/testing-for-dysgraphia/.

* Based on rates of exchange on 15/12/2015. Price is subject to change.

If we want to encourage student reading, we need to offer them a way of reading in keeping with their daily lives.

According to Android, the creators of the mobile phone system that most people use, the average person checks their mobile phone nine times an hour.

Of course statistics like these are always dubious, but given that the figure came from data collected by Android directly from users, it is probably near the truth.

It is a figure that adds weight to the notion that there are a lot of young people for whom the mobile has become the centre point of life.

All of which points to the fact that if one is trying to encourage secondary school pupils and students to do something, if the task can be related to their phone, they are more likely to do it, because the phone is so central to their lives.

Thus if we take the notion of reading, if the student can read a book on the phone, there is an ever greater chance that it will be read.

This is a key reason as to why ePlatform has become so popular with schools.  For students, it is like having the library in their hand, available 24 hours a day.

ePlatform offers more than 350,000 titles including the latest UK and international best sellers and Collection Builder compilations (lists of most borrowed titles in schools like yours) for easy collection development.

In short ePlatform puts reading into the heart of students lives, making books instantly available, as those born since the digital revolution expect.

There are also many additional features to make reading easier for those with dyslexia and other reading challenges.  Students can vary the font, background colour, look up the meaning of unfamiliar words and use internet links to learn more.

ePlatform is also the most affordable eLending solution on the market, so you can spend more of your budget on eBooks, not hosting.

Of course being digital it also means that there is no question of damage to books, no loss of books, no concern about unreturned books.  Everything is set to encourage students to read more.

The easiest way to explore this development which is changing students’ perception of libraries and reading is to book a personal webinar demonstration either:

●       By phone on 07971 661782
●       By email on: Rachel@eplatform.co
●       Or by visiting www.eplatform.co

Rachel Lindsay
ePlatform Business Development Manager, UK

A cumulative approach to developing handwriting skills

The cause of underdeveloped handwriting in some pupils is not always immediately apparent. It could be that these pupils have poor fine motor skills, language processing, or visual perceptual skills, or perhaps it is attributable to the way that they grip their pen/pencil or to their handwriting posture.

In many instances, however, the reason for underdeveloped handwriting is because the approach that they are using isn’t cumulative, which is key to ensuring progress in the development of handwriting skills.

It is for this reason that we have produced The Handwriting Rescue Scheme – a complete programme for fully cursive handwriting containing over 300 structured exercises. It has been designed to establish the correct cursive letter formation and encourage an automatic response to frequently used spelling choices.

The programme is ideal for introducing cursive handwriting and also for correcting poor handwriting habits among pupils whose handwriting isn’t up to the expected standard for their age.

You can order the Handwriting Rescue Scheme in any of these 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

Tis the season for A Christmas Carol!

Deck the halls! Hang up the stockings! Roast the chestnuts!

Most families supplement these well-known Christmas traditions with home-grown rituals whose origins have been lost in the family history annals. Ham sandwiches for breakfast; disguising presents in old food packets; a ‘bracing’ swim in the Atlantic Ocean – just some of the Christmas ‘essentials’ practised by team members at ZigZag.

Maybe not your average Christmas… but where did those original festive customs come from? Many people credit the works of Charles Dickens, particularly A Christmas Carol, with helping to shape our ideas of a traditional Christmas.

Classes will love Tiny Tim, jovial Fred and penny-pinching Scrooge’s transformation, and the heart-warming messages of generosity, charity and goodwill are fruitful for group discussion. Simplify your planning with the latest ZigZag Activity Pack:

A Christmas Carol Activity Pack

Available to pre-order (dispatch January) – visit http://zzed.uk/WU97 

Approach Dickens’ well-loved text from a fresh perspective with this comprehensive and highly visual bank of activities.

Carefully considered structure develops understanding:

  1. Build a foundation for learning and get students interested with introductory pre-reading exercises.
  2. Dig deeper with text-based activities. Every chapter is explored through a range of thought-provoking tasks. A focus on close reading, writing style and vocabulary develops essay skills throughout the pack.
  3. Consolidate knowledge with whole-text activities focusing on: Characterisation • Relationships • Setting • Themes • Ideas and Messages • Language • Form • Structure • Context

All activities are perfectly matched to the GCSE Assessment Objectives. Differentiated worksheets provide support for weaker learners and challenge high achievers, allowing your whole class to reach their potential.

Plus! Suggested answers for questions and activities included.

‘This resource is quite simply outstanding! It is clearly written by a talented professional with excellent subject knowledge and a fantastic understanding of the types of activity that engage students.’

L Deighton, HoD and Independent Reviewer

The A Christmas Carol Activity Pack is available to pre-order (dispatch January) as a photocopy master with site licence (£74). Also available in:

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

Preview and order now at http://zzed.uk/WU97

Preview and order more resources for GCSE Literature here: http://zzed.uk/WU97-2


ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY
t: 0117 950 3199 | f: 0117 959 1695 | English-WU97@zigzageducation.co.uk

Give your promotional code WU97 to get free postage!

 

Free Primary English poster: Direct Speech

You can download a free poster about Direct Speech from a new set of 80 posters for Primary English.

These colourful print-your-own pdf posters reinforce key points and focus on one topic at a time.

They cover grammar, spelling, punctuation and much more.

The visual impact of these posters really helps children remember.

See all the posters, download one free and order here http://www.carelpress.co.uk/exclusive#Eng

Ann Batey
Office Manager
Carel Press
(01228 538928)
www.carelpress.co.uk

What is the most effective way to improve your colleagues’ working efficiency and your pupils’ attainment in literacy?

When you tally it up it is often surprising how much time your colleagues spend each week searching for teaching resources from the various sources so that they can ensure their pupils are able to meet the requirements outlined in the English Programmes of Study.

It is also surprising how much money is spent on purchasing these teaching resources, particularly when you consider that your colleagues might only require one or two sections from each resource.

A more time-effective and cost-effective way, however, of ensuring that your colleagues have all the teaching resources that they require is by adopting a complete or whole-school approach to literacy.

And it is for this reason that we have produced the Complete Spelling and Reading Programme which has proven to improve children’s overall attainment in literacy.

The programme is carefully structured and covers every phonic, spelling choice, word pattern, and spelling rule in the English language through a series of 20 Modules in over 1,000 imaginative structured worksheets.

What’s more, the Record Chart for each Module has been designed to increase motivation by showing attainable goals, revision activities, and space to indicate completed tasks.

You can order the Complete Reading & Spelling Programme in any of these 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

It’s well established that song lyrics are the easiest of all texts to learn. Which is why children remember what they sing.

There are many theories as to why all human societies have song as well as language, but the most commonly accepted reason is that it is easier for people to learn song lyrics than to learn words in any other form.

Song, therefore, is used as a way of unifying a society, with everyone easily remembering the words that express the unity of their group.

The technical reason why songs are easy to remember is to do with the way the left and right halves of the brain work – and I’ll happily leave you to look into that at your leisure!  But for now, I’d like to point out the application that this facet of the human mind offers us.

Children can memorise poetry faster than prose and songs faster than poetry.  Therefore, when we teach something as a song, it takes far less effort and time for the children to remember the lyrics.  And better still, those lyrics stay in the memory far, far longer.

Indeed many adults today can still recall the lyrics of their favourite pop songs from their youth – especially if they were in the habit of singing along with them.

It’s for this reason that we have created Chantez plus Fort – a book and CD set containing 20 easy-to-learn French songs written specifically to help children learn French.

They are linked to some of the KS2 Programmes of Study for modern foreign languages but are also relevant for pupils in Years 7 and 8, especially those with special needs.

The songs introduce and reinforce key vocabulary for popular topics, such as greetings, names and ages, time, days of the week, and months, shapes, colours and sizes, family and pets, food and drink, classroom items, and the weather.

Whilst enjoying the songs children will broaden their vocabulary and hone their listening skills and pronunciation.

CD 1 contains all 20 songs sung by French children and mini-dialogues which can be used for listening comprehension and role-plays. CD 2 contains instrumental tracks for the 16 original songs.

The accompanying book contains teachers’ notes with ideas on how to introduce, use, and extend the songs, photocopiable illustrated song sheets, photocopiable music sheets including guitar chords, scripts for the mini dialogues, and English translations of all the songs.

If you are a KS3 (Years 7-9; 11-14 year olds) teacher you may wish to order the KS3 version of this book. And you might like to note that we also have songs for Spanish (Vamos a Cantar) and German (Singt mit uns).

You can order the MFL Songs resources by Brilliant Publications in a variety of ways, including:

  • By visiting the website links above
  • 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

Reading comprehension is a three step process

1) Reading
2) Decoding texts
3) Reading comprehension

Reading comprehension is a three step process – before your pupils can become proficient with reading comprehension, they must first be confident not only in their reading ability, but also in their ability to decode texts.

Our Comprehension Activity Books for Years 1 to 6 will support your pupils with this transition – all the way from reading and decoding texts to reading comprehension.

The activity books have been designed so that no one is left behind, nor is anyone held back from reaching, or exceeding, their reading comprehension potential. They ensure that each and every pupil is able to progress at the speed and to the level that is right for them.

You can see sample pages from each of the activity books by clicking on the links below:

Comprehension Activity Book – Year 1

Comprehension Activity Book – Year 2

Comprehension Activity Book – Year 3

Comprehension Activity Book – Year 4

Comprehension Activity Book – Year 5

Comprehension Activity Book – Year 6

We have also produced a Comprehension Activity Book for Year 7 which you can use to challenge your Year 6 pupils who have progressed above and beyond expectations.

The activities can either be used with full classes, small groups, or individual pupils.

If you are looking at implementing a whole-school Comprehension programme using our clear, concise, easy-to-follow, and child-friendly Comprehension Activity Books, you can buy all seven books at a discounted price of £112 for the books, £105+VAT for the e-books on a CD, or £84+VAT for the download on our website.

Or if you’d prefer, you can order the comprehension resources:

By post to Topical Resources, P.O. Box329, Broughton, Preston, Lancashire PR3 5L

   
www.topical-resources.co.uk
sales@topical-resources.co.uk

Simplifying Shakespeare

These delightful adaptations written in modern English are an excellent way of introducing young people to Shakespeare – they are readable, they bring out the humour of the originals and they are surprisingly true to the feeling of Shakespeare’s plays.

A very useful resource both in the classroom, as the school play and useful preparation for a visit to the theatre. Also an excellent text for students of English as a foreign Language.

MACBETH                        978 0 993185 50 2

HAMLET                            978 0 948662 05 8

ROMEO & JULIET        978 0 948662 07 2

TWELFTH NIGHT       978 0 948662 09 6

A MIDSUMMER
NIGHT’S DREAM       
978 0 948662 08 9

HENRY V                          978 0 948662 01 0

JULIUS CAESAR          978 0 948662 06 5
£4.80 each

order on line at

www.startingshakespeare.co.uk

The Kabet Press

johnandleela@startingshakespeare.co.uk

“Shakespeare made entertaining
and simple, faithful to the
characters and scenes and capturing
the essence of the originals.”

THE TIMES EDUCATIONAL
SUPPLEMENT

A lesson to learn from Einstein

 Why do some of your seemingly bright pupils perform below average in tests that require them to handwrite the answer?

The infamous Albert Einstein clearly excelled at school in Physics and Maths, yet it appears he did not do so well in many other subject areas, including History, Geography and Languages.

Although there are a number of suggested reasons for this, including the rigidity of the German education system in the 19th century, it has also been suggested by researchers that Einstein had dysgraphia – a disorder in written expression.

The examinations for the subjects in which Einstein did not excel would have required lengthy handwritten answers (just as some subjects do today), unlike with examinations in Maths and Physics. Causing Einstein somewhat of a problem.

Therefore, even if Einstein knew the answers to the questions in his examinations, it is unlikely that the examiner would have been able to decipher his illegible handwriting and as a result could not award him the marks.

To see if your pupils, who may have a similar story to Einstein, have dysgraphia, Dysgraphia Help offer an online dysgraphia test for pupils over the age of 8 for £32.

After completing the test and sending us a sample of the pupil’s handwriting, you will receive a detailed report on whether or not we believe the pupil to have dysgraphia.

If we do believe that dysgraphia is present, you will also receive some supporting information on dysgraphia and a number of activity materials for the pupil to work through.

You can find more information on testing for dysgraphia by visiting www.dysgraphiahelp.co.uk/testing-for-dysgraphia/. Alternatively you can email admin@dysgraphiahelp.co.uk.

English Literature Summer School 2016 – Booking Now Open

A wonderful opportunity for students with a passion for literature to discover a range of new authors and texts, explore fresh approaches to familiar works and to prepare for undergraduate study of English Literature.

The English 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.

The English Summer School – Part 1 will be held on 25th – 29th July 2016.

The English Summer School – Part 2 will cover literature dating from 1790AD to the present day, including Romanticism and the Gothic Movement, Victorian Sensation Novels, Literature and the British Empire, Modernism, Postmoderism and Contemporary Literature. We will be covering the ‘Death of the Author’ and Postcolonial criticism as part of this Summer School.

The English Summer School – Part 2 will be held on 1st – 5th August 2016.

The English Summer School – Part 3 is new for summer 2016, and will cover Contemporary English Literature, including prose fiction, poetry and drama. We will be covering Psychoanalytic criticism and ‘Theories of the Canon’ as part of this Summer School.

The English Summer School – Part 3 will be held on 22nd – 26th August 2016.

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.

Thematic coverage by period, combining close study of texts with lectures on historical and cultural context, and setting major authors side-by-side with less familiar works, will help students to appreciate the development of prose, verse and drama in English from the middle ages to the present day. We will not only engage in close textual analysis of Medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, Nineteenth Century, Modernist and Contemporary writers, but also evaluate these movements in light of the authors’ own critical writing.

As well as looking at the purely written word, we will also cover literature in performance, comparing playscripts to film adaptations and reading through sections of the works using different performance theories. As an integral part of Part 1 of the Summer School we will attend a performance at the Globe Theatre on the Southbank. Literary theory and criticism will play an important role in the Summer School and students will be invited to examine texts they have studied in the light of competing theories of the nature and value of literature and the role of the critic.

This Summer School is suitable for all students aged 15-18 with a passion for literature, and will be particularly useful for those looking for a taste of undergraduate level engagement with texts and theory.

Practical Details:

The cost of booking any single Part of the English Literature Summer School £465, 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 venue in Bloomsbury (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 http://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/english-summer-school/ call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

 

FAO the Literacy Co-ordinator – Theatre plays an important part in British culture.

Why a trip to the theatre can inspire an interest for children’s literature.

The tradition of British Theatre stretches back to the Mystery Plays of the 10th century, and there are good arguments to suggest that it is the most enduring and popular of all the art forms in the UK.  Indeed along with Broadway in New York, London’s theatre land is one of the two pre-eminent centres of theatre in the world.

Which is perhaps the strongest reason there is for taking children to see live theatrical productions.  The only question is, which performance should one take the children to?

Perhaps top of the list will always be a theatre performance that is taken from children’s literature, and indeed with The Railway Children, we have a drama that is inspiring and endlessly engaging for children and which of course they can experience through the film and the book as well as at the theatre.

Our production is staged in a brand new 1000 seat theatre at King’s Cross, built around a real train track, with a vintage locomotive that steams into the theatre to really bring it to life.

What’s more, we offer all schools a unique experience by hosting a drama workshop after the curtain closes, which can be undertaken on a class by class basis within the school or at the King’s Cross theatre itself.

Each workshop lasts for just under an hour and is adapted to suit the age of the class attending. By bringing sections of the script to life we will enhance the children’s experience of the show, which will encourage them to write engagingly about the production and their experience.

The Railway Children drama workshops are available for all primary schools that bring 60 or more children to The Railway Children stage show. And workshops for smaller groups are available in the theatre foyer before the performance.

Additionally our Education Guide includes activities for teachers and students and behind-the-scenes interviews with the writer and the director. To download our education pack, please click here.

The ticket cost for The Railway Children production is £16.50 per person, and if you opt for the workshop too, there is a small additional cost of £3 per child (providing there is a minimum number of 60 attendees for the workshop).

To get a taste of what the show is all about, you can watch our short trailer here. 

There is more information on our website or you can contact us on 020 7420 9700 or email enquiries@groupline.com.

To book a workshops or to create your very own bespoke workshop please contact Ellen Bott, West End Creative Learning Manager at ellenbott@theambassadors.com

Assessing pupils’ progress in reading and spelling

Is it really possible to teach reading and spelling using just one resource on its own?

In an ideal world there would be one teaching resource that covers every phonic, every spelling choice, every word pattern, and every spelling rule in the English Language and is suitable for each and every one of your pupils, no matter their age or ability.

What’s more, using such a resource would naturally make it much easier to assess and track your pupils’ progress in reading and spelling.

Fortunately there is one such resource – the carefully structured Reading and Spelling Rescue Programme developed by Multi-Sensory Learning.

Literacy skills are introduced and clearly developed through a series of 20 Modules in over 1,000 imaginative structured worksheets. The Record Chart for each Module has been designed to increase motivation by showing attainable goals, revision activities and space to indicate completed tasks.

Every Module Includes 50 top quality structured worksheets, dictations to reinforce new spelling choices, structured word lists with the emphasis on key words, revision activities and a record chart, full and detailed teaching notes, and placement and progress tests in order to monitor your pupils’ progress.

Every Level has 5 Modules which are A4 ring bound copymasters. There is also an option to have the same resources on CD-ROM. The CD-ROM format makes it quick and easy to print as often as required, with the additional benefit of making individual workbooks.

You can order the Reading and Spelling Rescue Programme in any of these 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

Free Trial Offer – Interactive English Software

An Interactive ENGLISH Software Free Trial Offer,
At An Unmissable Price. No School Should Miss Out On This. It Is Simply Unbelievable!

This offer for ALL 13 titles is packed with hundreds of stunning curriculum 3D animations describing difficult to understand concepts for ENGLISH, text, voice-overs, quiz zones, drag and drops, multiple choice quizzes and more.

Includes a full school site PC and network licence, nothing more to pay EVER! Free 14-day trial , so if you don’t like it you can just send it back. All 13 of these individual great titles are included in the pack for just £150 for everything:

Analyse, Review, Comment; Argue, Persuade, Advise; Explore, Imagine, Entertain; Inform, Explain, Describe; Laying The Foundations For Writing; Linguistic Frameworks – Grammar; Moving On In Writing; Responding To Fiction; Responding To Media; Responding To Non-Fiction; Responding To Shakespeare; Speaking And Listening; Writing With Understanding And Accuracy

It’s just £150 for all 13 of these software titles in
one pack!

Now isn’t that truly staggering value for money for all these titles from the UK’s leading curriculum software supplier? Let’s beat the cuts!

To order your free trial please click here