A series to count on

9th May 1997 at 01:00
Longman Primary Maths, Level 5 and 6. Teacher's Handbook

#163;32. 99

Assessment and Records Book

#163;21.99

Core material textbooks (2)

#163;5.50

Practice textbook

#163;4.50

Enrichment Workbook (pack of eight)

#163;12

Number Skills

Copymasters

#163;36. 50, Longman

These publications for older primary pupils complete Longman's primary maths scheme. The core consists of three pupil textbooks providing number, maths topic and reinforcement work.

With many publishers producing unmanageably large books, the size of the page and the amount of work included here are just about right. And the text is a model of direct language and clear instruction.

The content is regularly cross-referenced to the real world - television schedules, garden plans, shops, for example - providing an excellent practical application of mathematical learning.

The Enrichment Workbook provides pupil activities that explore concepts from various angles and only require low levels of guidance from teachers. The number skills copymasters offer additional work for children who lack certain skills or find specific number concepts difficult. The latter caters for differentation economically and within a framework that allows the teacher to cope with children following different learning routes. Pages are clear and text is minimal, overcoming the frequent problem of a need for literacy forming an obstacle to numeracy. The presentation lends a touch of fun and variety, helping with the difficult task of motivating weaker mathematicians.

The Teacher's Handbook includes straightforward sections on planning, special needs, investigations and problem-solving. The correlation with curriculum requirements for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland is spelled out in chart form. There are helpful ideas on diagnostic work and display, as well as a guide to the way the components interlink.

The Assessment and Records Book contains photocopiable materials, so you can prepare resources as soon as you read the activity notes. For each lesson, there is a readable double-spread which includes pupil textbook references.

The framework divides the teaching activities into four areas of maths which can be taught simultaneously over six half terms. This almost amounts to a scheme of work, covering mental maths, on-going number work, monitoring and assessment, and practice and enrichment.

In all, the Longman scheme is user-friendly and sensible, with fuss and clutter kept to a minimum. It is well worth considering if you are looking for a scheme that provides all the answers.

Jon O'Connor is head of Parkside First School, Boreham Wood, Hertfordshire

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