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Primary: Stress, Sats and stereotypes

Subject Leadership in the Primary School
By Joan Dean
David Fulton pound;16

Promoting Independent Learning in the Primary Classroom
By Jill Williams
Open University Press pound;14.99

Boys and Girls in the Primary Classroom
Edited by Christine Skelton and Becky Francis
Open University Press pound;17.99

Joan Dean's experience as teacher, lecturer and inspector shines through her practical and readable handbook, which will be especially useful to the new subject leader and might well revitalise many a more experienced one.

Meanwhile Jill Williams's study of independence in the primary classroom examines in detail the tension between, on the one hand, delivering the curriculum and ensuring that children learn, and on the other, allowing pupils independence and ownership.

And Skelton and Francis try to get beneath the populist assertion that boys underachieve. White middle-class boys do very well, thank you, as do Indian and Chinese boys. Indeed social class, for boys and girls, is the greatest determinant of academic success.

Kevin Harcombe is headteacher at Redlands primary school, Fareham, Hampshirenbsp;nbsp; nbsp;

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