For the hard-pressed English co-ordinator, the plethora of "literacy without tears" materials flooding the market is a mixed blessing. Yes, resources are needed to ease the planning demands of the literacy hour, but how to choose from the ever-increasing range on offer?
This pack (A4 ringbinder of photocopiable teacherpupil sheets, plus CD-Rom and picture pack) comes from the award-winning English and Media Centre and NATE. The authors' aim is to provide flexible teaching material for whole class, group and individual activities around fiction, poetry, non-fiction, drama and media texts. It consists of 10 "lesson sequences" on different topics, with teachers' notes. A checklist shows how the pack supports the national curriculum and literacy hour. The CD-Rom multimedia photostory makes effective links with information and communications technology.
The choice of texts is varied and imaginative and the activities are stimulating and well-presented, including a wonderful sequence, based on The Teletubbies, examining the sociological and commercial phenomenon of a successful TV programme and the controversies it engendered.
The authors are adamant that English and literacy should not become "hermetically sealed" but should be developed in relation to the whole curriculum. With that in mind, the pack should be a useful resource for those at the sharp end of the Government's drive to improve literacy.
Kevin Harcombe is head of Orchard Lea county junior, Fareham, Hampshire