Deputy head who fits in your pocket

It is never likely to rival The Sims, but a computer program in which a deputy head teaches maths is certainly one of the closest to real life yet created.

The Take a Teacher Home CD-Rom gives pupils at Lyndhurst junior in Portsmouth a chance to practise their sums on-screen. The program automatically marks their work, but if they get it wrong they can click to view a video clip of deputy head Kathryn Robinson teaching that particular topic.

Margaret Griffin, Lyndhurst's head, said the program would help Year 6 pupils revise for national curriculum tests, although it covers the entire maths curriculum from Years 3 to 6.

She has invited parents to come into the school next week to attend a workshop so they can see how maths is taught and ask questions.

"Parents want to help children at home, but they don't use the right methods or language," she said. "The way we do it in schools now is different. Parents will say 'Carry one' or 'Put one under the doorstep', and the child will say 'Mum, I don't do it that way'."

The CD-Rom is also expected to give parents something to refer to when children want help.

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