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Alison Marshall

  1. What's new at Brilliant Publications?

    What's new at Brilliant Publications?

    Here is what is happening in the office this week.

    3rd edition of Physical French Phonics has gone to the printers

    The latest new edition of Physical French Phonics, which will have a USB drive instead of a DVD-Rom, has now gone to the printers. As so many computers no longer have an internal CD drive, this seemed a sensible thing to do.

    The new edition also corrects a faulty link to one of the videos. In our earlier version, on Slide1 of File 5, the picture for the 'u' sound incorrectly links to the 'eu' video. Don't panic if you have already have a copy. You can download the revised version of File 5 by clicking here.

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  2. What is better than listening to a French phonics song?

    What is better than listening to a French phonics song?

    ... listening to, and watching, a whole book full!

    You can now see video clips of all the songs in 21 Fun Songs to Teach French Phonics. The songs are listed, with links, in the 'Details' tab on our website.

    Watch the song clips on the book webpage here:

    Make sure you have some space around you before you do. The songs are very catchy and joining in with the actions is great fun.

    Pupils love singing along with the audio tracks and dancing to the videos and develop accurate French pronunciation at the same time.

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  3. Teaching phonics to aid pronunciation

    Teaching phonics to aid pronunciation

    I am in the group of pupils who (a while ago now!) did not have grammar and punctuation taught in their English lessons. This made learning other languages quite a challenge.

    Clare Seccombe, an MFL teacher and consultant in the north-east of England, has written a very interesting blog about teaching Spanish phonics. Clare trained as a secondary MFL teacher in 1994-95 at a time when phonics were not mentioned. Her blog follows her career and how teaching phonics, or not, has changed over this time.

    You can read her thoughts here:

    Clare very kindly mentions our resource 'Physical Spanish Phonics' and how she uses the spelling and action system in her teaching. We always like to get any feedback about our resources and how they are used so thank you Clare.

    If you

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  4. What is the best way to explain difficult news?

    What is the best way to explain difficult news?

    Sometimes, explaining the news can be difficult to do in an age-appropriate, safe way.

    Last month, experts said UK schools must teach about 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    Now another act of terrorism is in the news.

    Terrorism and extremism are not easy subjects to teach which is why we have 2 books to help primary and secondary teachers get the conversation started. Written by Alison Jamieson, a freelance author who has written on issues of political violence, drug trafficking and organised crime for over 25 years, and Jane Flint, a teacher, these books are for teachers wishing to inform themselves about terrorism and extremism.

    Children’s questions about terrorism can be penetrating and hard to answer. Ma

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  5. Here is something you have all been waiting for ...

    Here is something you have all been waiting for ...

    ... there is a new Berthe the Witch French story book out now!

    And guess what? The Berthe stories now come with access to an audio recording of the story. So now your pupils can listen and follow the story with you or for themselves.

    You can order a copy of Berthe Va à Paris on our website - our stock of the new books is on its way to us. Your book will be despatched as soon as possible.

    In the new story - Berthe Va à Paris - Berthe decides to visit Paris with her cat, of course.

    Her broomstick is broken so she has to take public transport. She visits famous places, and we learn something of the history. Her cat, however, has other plans.

    Berthe Va à Paris is written in simple French as it is meant for beginners. It contains a QR link to an audio recording of the story and at the

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  6. Why stories?

    Why stories?

    ... because stories are a good starting point for learning a foreign language.

    We are delighted to say we have managed to interview Barbara Scanes, the author of Learn French with Luc et Sophie a story-based approach to learning French. In the interview Barbara explains why including stories is so important to her.

    The interview supplies an interesting insight into how Barbara used her knowledge and expertise from teaching languages to a large age range to produce the Luc et Sophie resources.

    "Make learning fun and the children will want to learn and they will learn effortlessly." Barbara Scanes, author.

    Along with the stories the Learn French with Luc et Sophie resource includes a comprehensive teacher book with flashcards, activities, games, role play and songs as well as interactive whiteboard files.


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  7. Learning Languages from Home Q&A: Tips and Advice from the Experts

    Learning Languages from Home Q&A: Tips and Advice from the Experts

    In this article, experts in language learning give you the best insights to encourage yourself and others to learn languages from home.


    Whether you are considering the benefits of learning at home, if music can help, how to practise pronunciation and even whether you will need a teacher for support, these tips and advice will help you.

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  8. Stimulate, challenge, repeat!

    Stimulate, challenge, repeat!

    What is the single most effective way of teaching times tables?

    Efficiency in relation to learning the times tables is not a topic that is often discussed. And yet as with all education, some ways of learning times tables are a lot more efficient than others.

    Of course, with learning, efficiency means not only learning quickly but also means ensuring that the learning remains in the children’s brains for future reference. And for this to happen three factors need to be in place.

    Most particularly, the lessons themselves have to be something that is exciting and stimulating for the children, so that they will want to go home and tell their parents about it – and thus engage their parent’s interest and involvement.

    Second, the approach needs to be something that can be used all the way through the series of activities, so that the children see a pattern in what they are learning.

    Third, the result has to be meaningful learning –

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  9. The bright are different.

    The bright are different.

    What are the most effective ways of meeting the multiple challenges very intelligent children can face?

    Of one thing there is no doubt: the journey from being a very bright child to becoming a well-rounded, well-adjusted and sociable very bright adult, is not without its challenges.

    Because although many children see the very intelligent pupil in their school as having a great advantage, those very bright children do not always become the well-rounded and happy adults that we might imagine, given their intellectual advantage.

    Indeed, it is not uncommon for the intelligent child at times to wish that she or he was not different, but instead could simply fit in and be like all the rest.

    As a result, to understand how best to aid and support very intelligent children, it is necessary to see what it is that can cause them difficulty at school, and from that point, how they can best be helped.

    Part of the problem is that our societ

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  10. 2021 May Newsletter

    2021 May Newsletter

    Recently the CEO of a major UK publishing house said in a radio interview that his company published a broad selection of views and it wasn’t their role to espouse a particular view.

    The same can’t be said for Brilliant Publications, at least when it comes to education. We have very firm ideas about how children learn. Our mission statement says that we create easy to use resources, with engaging approaches to learning, so as to inspire and motivate pupils across a wide range of curriculum areas. These values underpin everything that we do.

    Our recent title

    Our most recent title, How to Achieve Outstanding Writers in EYFS and Key Stage 1 is an excellent example of how we put our mission statement into practice. The National Curriculum puts grea

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