Exhibition highlights

A small selection of the stalls to look out for

Sherston Software Stand B6

Text Detectives is a CD-Rom designed to support the teaching of non-fiction reading and comprehension skills for eight and nine-year-olds. It contains 99 short texts presented in seven interactive activities which are available in three modes.

In adventure mode, the user begins as a trainee detective and, on completion of the activities and identification of the guilty suspect, becomes a fully-fledged member of an elite police force.

In activity mode, the activities are available without the link sequence or final task. Primarily designed for teachers' use, text mode allows easy access to specific texts and activities useful for demonstration or group work.

The skills covered include skimming and scanning, identifying text types and their different features, as well as paragraphing and reference skills. Text Detectives has three ability levels.

The teacher options section includes a product overview, enabling you to familiarise yourself with the main software features quickly. The user guide includes ideas for follow-up work and the activities section has printable versions of the texts.

The CD-Rom is dual platform for Windows and Mac.

Sherston Software, Angel House, Sherston, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 0LH, tel 01666 843212, e-mail sales@sherston.comwww.sherston.com

FEATHERSTONE EDUCATION Stand B20

The Little Books series offers practical help for everyone who works with the under-sixes. Featherstone Education says they reflect the latest thinking on the development of young children, are referenced to the early learning goals and are ideal for nurseries, pre-schools and Primary 1.

Each Little Book contains ideas for use in a range of settings. The emphasis is on learning through experiences and play, with an emphasis on fun. Each book takes a theme, such as maths activities, writing, role play, treasure baskets, cooking, science and messy play. They offer a range of linked activities which encourage practical learning.

There are old favourites but some are new. All are devised and written by people working with young children, and series editor Sally Featherstone is an acknowledged authority on the education of young children. Each activity is fully explained and there are useful hints, tips and resource lists.

There are 14 Little Books with new titles appearing at the rate of around one a month. They have 60-90 pages and are wire-bound with laminated covers.They are available direct from Featherstone Education, or you can join the Little Books Club. Members receive discounted books and new titles on approval. There is no joining fee or minimum purchase.

Featherstone Education, 44 High Street, Husbands Bosworth, Lutterworth, Leicestershire LE17 6LP,tel 01858 881212e-mail phill@featherstone.uk.comwww.featherstone.uk.com

KUMON EDUCATIONAL Stand D3

Kumon is a worldwide organisation specialising in after-school maths classes, from counting to arithmetic to calculus. Having arrived in the UK in 1992, Kumon now has around 40,000 students attending 500 study centres. Founder Toru Kumon's philosophy is to use enjoyable learning to unlock a child's potential.

Kumon Maths was created in the 1950s as a pure maths, worksheet-based programme. Classes typically run twice a week at a drop-in centre, with each child attending for 20 to 30 minutes. A diagnostic test is used to select the appropriate study programme.

Kumon is now looking to increase its number of UK study centres and needs to recruit and train new instructors. Professional development includes regular information sessions about the Kumon curriculum, seminars and an annual conference. The company is looking for people who are able to develop a business, working less than 20 hours a week, so it can be run around the demands of a family.

For details, visit the stand or contact your nearest Kumon study centre (see the website).

Kumon Educational UK, 5th Floor, The Grange, 100 High Street, Southgate, London N14 6BN Freephone 0800 854714 www.kumon.co.uk

LEARNING AND TEACHING SCOTLAND Stand F6

Learning and Teaching Scotland has produced a multimedia resource pack for staff in pre-school centres and primary schools. Entitled Progress With Purpose, it addresses issues of continuity in children's learning, particularly during transition, where consultation has highlighted the importance of bringing together systems to allow for more effective communication.

The pack focuses particularly on transition between the early years and primary school but raises issues which are relevant at any point of transition in a child's educational experience.

The material consists of a video, a CD-Rom and a substantial print pack of staff development activities, with lots of examples from practice. The aim is to improve the consistency and reliability of assessment based on observation of children's learning.

Progress With Purpose is available to order from Customer Services, Learning and Teaching Scotland, pound;22.50. Tel 08700 100297.

GRIDcLUB Stand C18

GridClub is a free and entertaining educational website for seven to 11-year-olds, now available to every primary school in Scotland, with backing from the Scottish Executive Education Department and Channel 4. GridClubs are safe places where children can message each other, share interests and learn in a fun environment with other members.

To take part, the child's teacher must register them. Go to "Joining GridClub" to register.

Click on the "Have a go" section to find out about activities and you will find a colourful wheel with a set of titles representing curriculum topics. "Shape up" represents number activities, such as Fraction Stations, where users find a lively 3D robot at a consul before learning that the other robots are in bits and they must search the space station to find the fractions to rebuild them.

To find the dedicated Scotland section, click on "Grown ups", where you can find out about the clubs and lesson plans linking information and communications technology to the rest of the curriculum. There is also a useful frequently asked questions section.

Children can participate in online debates at "Think.com". Detailed information about setting these up is given in the teachers' section. Local instructors can help with IT questions.

Contact Claire Edwards, GridClub, co Channel 44 Learning, 124 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2TX, tel 020 7306 5568, e-mail gridclub@channel4.com www.gridclub.com

ECONOMATICS EDUCATION Stand D12

The primary electrical kit with bulbs, batteries, switches, crocodile clips and connecting leads with push-fit connections is just one of the products on offer from Economatics Education to make science lessons fun.

Packs of dippers and sample tubes for gathering live specimens are complemented by the QX3 computer microscope (pound;69.95) that captures magnified images of mini-beasts or plant life. You can also video an insect moving, create slide shows or even make a time-lapse movie of growth or decay. Magnify at 10, 60 or 200 times - the images can be displayed on the computer screen.

The Discovery data-logging system (pound;395) lets children use sensors to gather information about changes in light, temperature and sound. The data can also be displayed as charts, graphs and tables. Economatics recommends this system is used for capturing, analysing and presenting results from scientific investigations.

The company also supplies Sony Digital Mavica cameras that store images straight onto floppy discs, making them ideal for use with multiple users. Prices start at pound;359.

Economatics also supports numeracy and literacy skills with giant dice and a calculator for use with an overhead projector, as well as phonic cubes with activity ideas.

Get your nursery a self-assembly MDF play kitchen that can be painted. It comprises sink, cooker, microwave, fridge, washing machine and classic Welsh dresser. It costs pound;399.95 and you can stock up the kitchen with a range of multicultural replica foods.

Economatics Education, tel 0114 281 3311e-mail education@economatics.co.uk www.economatics.co.ukeducation

CHILD'S PLAY Stand A8

Child's Play's philosophy is to promote learning through play to develop the whole person through the senses, the intellect and the imagination.

Books such as a lion-shaped Great Pal - Lion for the under-fives are celebrated by Carousel, the Birmingham-based publisher which produces a regular guide to children's books. Carousel says: "The older children were soon reading the simple text, but the true appeal lies in the gentle illustrations.

"The vocabulary stretched the children - cub, mane, for example - and many were surprised to learn that a lion is a member of the cat family."

Child's Play's newest story from Gervais Phinn about a smaller feline, Our Cat Cuddles, is a picture book for four to seven-year-olds. Written in narrative verse, it is about little Lizzie who really wants a kitten but gets more than she expected.

Child's Play has published classic nursery rhymes since 1972 and the latest board book additions for the under-twos are Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and Happy, with new illustrations by Annie Kubler. Prices start from pound;3.99 and most books will be available with teacher's notes from this month.

Child's Play International, Ashworth Road, Bridgemead, Swindon, Wiltshire SN4 7YD, tel 01793 616286e-mail libby@childs-play.com www.childs-play.com

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