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One Day In Oradour cover

FREE One Day in Oradour Teachers' resources

Free Teachers' resources to accompany Helen Watts' debut historical fiction novel, One Day In Oradour, are now available to download from the Bloomsbury Education website.

Teachers can download an introduction to the story, filmed by the author on location in Oradour-sur-Glane - the French village which forms the setting for the novel, and also download a slideshow, a set of key Talking Points for classroom discussion, and a Fact Sheet exploring the true story which inspired this fictional tale.

One Day In Oradour is ideal for readers age 12 and over. For information on Author and Talks and Writing Workshops, click here.

One Day in Oradour book signing

Come along to Waterstones in Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday 15 June 2013 and meet Helen Watts, author of One Day In Oradour (A&C Black, ISBN 978-1408182017). This is a perfect chance to chat with Helen about the true events that inspired the story, buy the book and have your copy personally signed. Helen will be in the store from 11.30-12.30 am and from 2.00-3.00pm.

Find out more about the book and read some of the great reviews so far.

5 out of 5 stars on Amazon

Special offer on I CAN's Chatter Matters

Interacting with children as part of their daily routine is absolutely essential for their mental, social and emotional development, yet today a huge number of children are starting school at a serious disadvantage because of underdeveloped communication abilities. I CAN's Chatter Matters DVD, is designed to assist parents and carers in giving their children a better start in life by helping them grow into good communicators. The DVD and accompanying posters were developed with the support of Openreach and focus on using everyday activities – from changing nappies and family mealtimes to shopping and getting ready for bed - as opportunities for playing and talking together. The DVD contains a fascinating programme presented by Dr Tanya Byron (known for her House of Tiny Tearaways and Little Angels) offering dozens of brilliant ideas to develop speaking and listening skills throughout children's preschool years. Order a copy online before 16 April 2013 and save £5 on the normal retail price. This useful DVD will cost you only £4.99.

Join in Shakespeare's 450th birthday celebrations

Shakespeare Week

17th to 24th March 2014 will see the first Shakespeare Week taking place across the UK in celebration of the 450th anniversary of the bard's birth. This annual cultural and learning campaign for British primary schools will be officially launched in London on 16th April this year by The RT Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education.

The aim of Shakespeare Week is to bring Shakespeare's stories, language, historical backdrop and creative influence vividly to life for more than 3 million children in the UK and ensure that his cultural legacy is a central part of the primary school learning experience.

Teachers will have access to online, cross-curricular resources and pupils in participating schools will receive a 'Passport to Shakespeare' that will encourage them - and their families - to explore their cultural heritage beyond the classroom at local museums, galleries, theatres, libraries and historical places.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is also developing a series of Shakespeare-themed events and activities as well as recruiting some high profile ambassadors to add weight and voice to the campaign. Watch this space for more details, coming during the launch in April.

Love stories? Then you'll love this!

Springboard Stories 3: FoodSpringboard Stories is a new literacy subscription package for primary teachers. It comprises a specially developed children’s storybook and a 52-page topic-based magazine packed with adaptable lesson ideas that you'll love whether or not you're covering the featured topic. There are also beautiful A2, A3 and A4 posters, reviews and giveaways as well as a host of online resources.

The focus is on storytelling, creativity and critical thinking, and improving literacy by exciting children about stories and showing them where stories can take them. Why not take a look inside by following the the links below?

Issue 1: Australia

Issue 2: Snow

Issue 3: Food

Details of the various subscription packages on offer can be found on the Springboard Stories website. If you place your order before 28 February 2013, you can get a FREE set of six class readers from Issue 3 -the beautiful Monkey King's Party by Debjani Chatterjee - worth £35. (Offer code: PEACHES)

Wish a Wish

Wish a Wish coverGive me a pot of pencils

and I'll write fantastic words,

poems about secret forests,

sqirrels and soaring birds.

So writes Moira Andrew in her inspirational poem Imagine the World which appears in her latest anthology, Wish a Wish. This delightful poetry collection offers something for children of all ages - from the uplifting I'm Special, to the light-hearted My Gran - and there is an excellent range of themes making it a perfect collection for the classroom bookshelf as well as for sharing at home.

There are poems for Halloween, Bonfire Night, Chinese New Year and the summer time, and topics explored range from weather and school to families and festivals. 

Wish a Wish is published in paperback by Poetry Space and costs £5.99 (ISBN 9780956532893).

A new collection of tales from Taffy Thomas, MBE

Cumbrian Folk Tales by Taffy Thomas - coverTaffy Thomas, the UK's first Laureate for Storytelling and author of Taffy's Coat Tales (available here) has published a brand new collection of tales with their origins in his home county of Cumbria. Cumbrian Folk Tales features traditional tales which reflect the unique Cumbrian wit and wisdom and which are guaranteed to make you want to visit this beautiful county. 

Stories include The Screaming Skulls of Calgarth, The Legend of Armboth Hall, The Borrowdale Cuckoo and The Ballad of Kinmont Willie and each tale is introduced with a brief explanation of its provenance.

Cumbrian Folk Tales is published by The History Press (ISBN 9780752471273, price £9.99). 

Make Phonics Fun front coverMake Phonics Fun receives National Literacy Association recommendation

Make Phonics Fun, written by Bev Long, Kathy Garnett and Helen Watts, has been selected to appear in the National Literacy Association's Guide to Literacy Resources. Published by LCP, Make Phonics Fun was descibed as a 'welcome addition to the phonic resources already available for this age group'

Read the full review.

Remembering RMS Titanic

Titanic: Death on the Water cover image15th April 2012 was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The story of this great ship's tragic end, and the loss of 1,517 lives, has both fascinated and haunted people ever since and has inspired writers and film makers alike. Now a new generation of young readers can share in the story, and find out what it was like to be on board RMS Titanic on that fateful night, thanks to a special retelling by father and son team, Tom and Tony Bradman.

In Titanic: Death on the Water, we trace the story of the fictional character of young Billy who, following the death of his father in the Harland and Wolff shipyard, decides to improve his own chances in life and manages to secure a job as a bellboy on the Titanic. Through his eyes we see inside this amazing floating city and can view the contrast between the extravagant luxury of the first class accommodation and the cramped, basic conditions on offer to the third class passengers.

As Billy finds his way around and settles into his new role, we meet some of the real characters who formed part of the crew, including the captain, ship designer and chief purser, and we find out what happened to each of them as the catastrophic consequences of the collision with the iceberg unfold.

Although it is now a century since these events took place, children will easily identify with the character of Billy, whose experiences help bring to life the historical events and make the scale of the tragedy more meaningful. Written using information and real artefacts from The National Archives, this is a well researched book and a compelling read. 

Titanic: Death on the Water by Tom and Tony Bradman is published by A&C Black, ISBN 9781408155813.

What Rhymes With Sneeze by Roger Stevens (A&C Black, ISBN 9871408155769 ))What Rhymes With Sneeze?

According to poet Roger Stevens, the answer to this question could not only be words like cheese or breeze, but also snacks, snoring and snow.

Intrigued? Then why not buy yourself a copy of What Rhymes WIth Sneeze?, Roger's new collection of poems which comes complete with author's notes revealing some of the secrets of how to write rhymes.

There is information on different kinds of rhyming poems - including tanka and clerihews, on different kinds of rhymes and rhyming schemes, and plenty of useful tips for writing your own poems.

Roger Stevens' own poems are mixed in with examples by some classic poets and other modern poets, and there are lots of giggles to be had along the way. At just £4.99 (paperback) this is a wonderful addition to your poetry bookself.

Published by A&C Black, ISBN 9871408155769.

For more news and reviews, visit our Archive.

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