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Sport and PE

Advanced PE for Edexcel. By Frank Galligan, Colin Maskery and Jon Spence. Heinemann pound;19.99. TES Direct pound;19.49

Sport and PE: a complete guide to advanced level study. By Kevin Wesson, Nesta Wiggins, Graham Thomson and Sue Hartigan. Hodder amp; Stoughton pound;19.99. TES Direct pound;17.99

"Teachers are out of their comfort zones," Roger Beard, the PE assessment leader for Edexcel, told an Inset group last year. I could only agree with him, bearing in mind the issues surrounding the new AS-levels. Then, at last, Advanced PE for Edexcel arrived in late November.

Immediately reassuring, it follows the course structure tightly, giving advice and information on assessment and how to get the best from the course. This saves hours of time normally spent translating information from the syllabus into student-friendly patter, and because it is from an authoritative source, you would like to think it is accurate. But the specifications are new, so watch out for any changes. This is a small price to pay for such a useful text.

As a course companion, it is a must for any student. It eradicates the myths surrounding levels of difficulty by providing unit-by-unit progression, practical tasks, exam-style questions and key terminology, although a wider understanding and deeper knowledge can only be gained through further reading and research.

This is where Sport and PE: a complete guide to advanced level study is so effective. It encourages a deeper understanding of sport and the related sciences through a clear and consistent approach, and is suitable for advanced study at a range of levels. A useful feature is the emphasis on language used in sports science.

Good diagrams, regular practical sporting examples, review questions and summaries all help to reinforce a range of approaches to learning, and because it was recently revised for AS and A2 by teachers closely linked with AQA, the content is pitched at the right level. There is even a section on project work for AQA.

Both books are of high quality, although very different. Used together on an ASA2 course, they would make a good partnership.

Robert Walden takes up his new post as director of PE and community sport at Soham Village College, Cambridgeshire, in September

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