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In brief;Numeracy

MATHS EXPLORER: Number (PC and Mac). Granada pound;57.57.

This is an excellent addition to the Maths Explorer series. It covers material at key stage 2, including the four rules, fractions, place value, calculations and percentages.

It is based on a pirate theme and each scene contains problems and investigations. There are fact posts which offer interesting facts about number and "All about" which gives a condensed version of the relevant maths. Teachers can specifically direct pupils to the areas they wish them to work on, and a quiz provides practice on the material. Monitoring pupil progress is straightforward via a logbook. The activities are fun as well as challenging and my eight-year-old tester rated it very highly.

Key Stage 2 Maths - The journey to Swallow Farm (PC) Aircom pound;14.99. Tel: 01737 224434 This CD-Rom provides material at levels 3 to 5 of the national curriculum. The premise is an interactive adventure leading to Swallow Farm where there is a good choice of activities designed to provide practice in most aspects of numeracy.

The animation is not as sophisticated as on similar programs, but there is a good use of voice explanations and the tasks along the journey to the farm are interesting and realistic. Teachers can easily customise the program to determine the path taken by the pupil, and there is a SATS style section to test pupils' skills.

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