DynaMo switched on

A MULTIMEDIA educational service being launched today aims to help parents with home learning for their children.

DynaMo will focus on the core skills of literacy and numeracy for five to nine-year-olds through television programmes, books and the Internet.

The BBC project is the first to be aimed at primary schoolchildren and their parents, and will closely follow the national curriculum and tie into the Government's literacy hour.

The Website is hosted by two cartoon characters, DynaMo and SloMo, who also feature in the programmes and books. It offers interactive learning through animated quizzes, comic strips and timed maths and spelling games. There are three levels of difficulty.

An eight-page parental guide to home learning is available, and the Website also gives parents practical support and ideas for helping their children to learn. They can e-mail questions to a team of experts during the two months the service is operating, and exchange ideas with others in the parents' forum.

Julie Cogill, BBC chief educational officer for schools, said the BBC hoped teachers would encourage parents to use DynaMo with their children.

A survey based on interviews with 2,800 parents, teachers and primary schoolchildren found that 93 per cent of teachers would like to see parents giving their children more support. The BBCresearch indicated that parents are willing to help their children learn at home - more than 60 per cent already spend at least two hours a week doing so.

Although all respondents agreed that mothers were most likely to help with home learning, only 17 per cent of children rated them as their ideal teacher. Second at 21 per cent was the class teacher, while cartoon character Homer Simpson was preferred by 26 per cent.

The DynaMo TV programmes will be broadcast in two-hour blocks on BBC2 on Saturdays and Sundays from 3am.

For a free copy of the parent guide call 0181 746 1111. The DynaMo Website is at: http:www.bbc.co.ukeducationparents

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