The best-laid schemes

24th February 1995 at 00:00
Mary Cruickshank highlights textbooks to meet the needs of the new Orders. There is undoubtedly a textbook crisis in many of our schools, but the revised curriculum has scarcely left us with redundant resources.

The new Orders have reduced content rather than substantially changed it, and it seems likely that schools will continue with existing course books, supplemented with support materials as the need arises.

Publishers have been quick to publicise the ways in which their resources can be adapted to the new curriculum. Their 1995 catalogues advertise post-Dearing revisions as well as "new schemes for the new Orders". If you have any money to spend, the Education Show will provide a good opportunity to see what is on offer.


For primary teachers, new reading materials reflect the growing interest in phonics. Oxford Reading Tree's Rhyme and Analogy strand focuses on the letters of the alphabet and their sounds, while Stanley Thornes's Early Start, a highly-structured reading resource with a gradual and repetitive introduction of new vocabulary, will be accompanied by Sound Start, a phonics workshop for key stage 1.

The first junior stages of Ginn's All Aboard will be on view, together with their revised New Reading 360. Heinemann will be showing new Sunshine materials, including new Spirals Starters, RE stories, myths and legends, while the Longman Book Project has expanded to include new fiction, non-fiction and language levels.

Collins will be launching three new CD-Roms, using core books from the Pathways reading scheme, as well as the Routes to Reading CD-i for five to seven-year-olds.

Publishers are also responding to the demand for materials for older, reluctant readers. Collins will be introducing Comets, a series of graphic novels by popular writers, while Ginn will be entering the secondary market with Impact, high-interest, low-ability books for teenagers. Oxford's Headwork is a collection of horror, mystery, fantasy and romance for 11 to 14s with a reading age of six to nine years.

There is already an impressive range of literary texts and an excellent choice of school Shakespeare editions from Cambridge, Longman, Oxford and Heinemann. Jon Seely has edited Stanley Thornes's new series of pre-20th century literature for key stage 3, Thornes Classic Novels, to be published in May along with Thornes Classic Poetry.

Solutions is Longman's new English course for key stages 3 and 4. New titles in the African and Caribbean Writers series include Ken Saro-Wiwa's Sozaboy, Kamau Brathwaite's Dreamstories and Earl Long's Consolation.


The infant module of New Cambridge Mathematics has just been published. This is a new "fully post-Dearing" scheme, not a revision of Cambridge Primary Mathematics, which will continue as long as there is demand. Dearing Updates will be free to registered users of Collins's Steps Mathematics and new stages of this primary maths scheme will be at the show.

Key Maths is Stanley Thornes's differentiated course for key stage 3 and there will be a new series of resources based on ST (P) National Curriculum Mathematics.

Cambridge University Press will be promoting its Amber series for low attainers, part of the SMP 11 to 16 course. The School Mathematics Project will be running a series of seminars at the show on low attainers' maths. Heinemann's Nuffield National Curriculum Mathematics for key stages 3 and 4 will also be on view, and an award-winning primary maths series from Australia will be launched by Kingscourt, Mathematics from Many Cultures.


New in the secondary science market, Ginn's Challenge Science for key stage 3 aims to cater for a wide ability range by developing the same science concepts through two parallel reading strands. Look out, too, for Heinemann's key stage 3 course, Science Now, edited by Ian Richardson, Collins's Science Explorer, edited by Ken Dobson, and Thornes's Spotlight Science.

Modern languages

New modern languages courses include Heinemann's Arriba, a four-part Spanish course for 11 to 16-year-olds, and Oxford University Press's Genial, an 11-14 French course by Tony Elston, Patricia McLagan and Ann Swarbrick. Stage 2 of Mary Glasgow's OK French course for low attainers in mainstream and special schools will also be launched.

Geography and history

Publishers here are concentrating on providing support for existing courses. The post-Dearing update for Collins Living History provides more help for less-able pupils, advises on overview and depth studies, and bridges the gap between key elements and level descriptions. Collins is also publishing a new key stage 3 course in May, History Connections, edited by Christopher Culpin.

Stanley Thornes will be launching Practical History, a support service available on annual subscription from September, and Key Geography National Curriculum Update by David Waugh and Tony Bushell will be published in March.

Information books

Information book publishers Wayland, Watts and A C Black will be at the show. New primary series from Black include See for Yourself, for children beginning science, and Messages, on language.

Penguin Children's Books has new primary and secondary booklists compiled by Wendy Cooling available at the show or on the Puffin Schools Line (0500 807981).

In the post-Dearing era, teachers and publishers can look forward to textbooks that are far less prescriptive in content and style. Demand may turn from complete schemes that attempt to cover everything to resources that can cater more flexibly for particular needs.

Cambridge - stand PV82

Collins - stand PV1

Ginn - stand PV180

Heinemann - stand PV47

Kingscourt - stand PV202

Longman - stands PV30199

Mary GlasgowStanley Thornes - stands PV153130

Oxford - stand PV205

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