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Get off to a good start

Chris Drage takes a look at books with ideas for new ICT teachers

Successful ICT Leadership in Primary Schools

By Bob Fox, pound;12

Learning Matters, 33 Southernhay East, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1NX

Tel: 01392 215560

Email: nfo@learningmatters. www.learningmatters.

Successful ICT Leadership in Primary Schools will help teachers to become effective subject leaders of ICT. It is written for new ICT co-ordinators or those aiming to apply for such a post in the near future. It is also useful for trainee teachers who have chosen ICT as their specialist subject. It includes strategies for keeping abreast of rapid change, motivating colleagues to develop their competence and confidence, modelling good practice in and out of the classroom, and managing systems, resources and locations.

The book addresses issues concerning ICT leadership and key skills required for effective co-ordination. There is a common structure throughout, with each chapter taking as its starting point the Government's National Standards for Subject Leaders.

Author Bob Fox has not only worked as a primary teacher but has been an LEA ICT adviser for a number of years. His experience shows. There are few if any aspects of the ICT co-ordinator's role in this book that he overlooks or misses. I applied all my experience and knowledge, and found it wanting in only one small area. He overlooks alternative interactive devices which can complement or be used in preference to the ubiquitous interactive whiteboard. There is a considerable amount of good advice here, with information presented in comprehensible and digestible chunks throughout.

Curriculum leaders play a key role in raising standards in schools and helping to develop effective teaching and learning. For the new or prospective primary ICT co-ordinator, this is an essential read.

101 Red Hot ICT Starters

By David Sadler and Max Begley, pound;4 from Letts Educational, The Chiswick Centre, 414 Chiswick High Road, London W4 5TF

Tel: 020 8996 3333


101 Red Hot ICT Starters is the fourth publication in Letts Educational Framework series. This title aims to provide ICT departments in secondary schools with a bank of simple effective key stage 3 starter activities. On each page, the starter contains all you need for a snappy activity. They all use interactive mental, oral or visualisation techniques and are presented in the teaching style required by the KS3 ICT framework.

The author has maintained a consistent approach throughout, ensuring that on each page the rigour and pace of the starters never slackens. The layout, too, is consistent and any lesson can be quickly identified from the year group and listed framework objective. I particularly like the attention given to differentiating each activity.

Some teachers may criticise the lack of photocopiable resources, but therein lies the strength of the book - you can adapt an activity very easily to fit into your own pedagogy - creating an overlay, diagram, flowchart and so on need only be done once and then filed for future use.

If you are looking for a bank of simple, effective starter activities involving minimal preparation, with answers and suggestions for differentiation, then 101 Red Hot ICT Starters won't disappoint. If I was still teaching KS3 ICT, this is one book I would certainly have to hand.

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