Between the lines

28th October 2005 at 01:00
TES books editor Geraldine Brennan on the inside literary track

The Arts Council of England's efforts on behalf of children's books are being channelled into initial teacher training (starting this term) and sponsorship of www.readingzone.com, launched this week by journalist Caroline Horn. The site is intended to be a one-stop shop for teachers, children and parents who want to find their way to the right children's books and authors, make the best use of them, and keep up with news and competitions.

The parents' and children's sections are free but subscription to the schools' bank of resources costs between pound;100 and pound;200 a year.

This includes access to substantial author profiles, curriculum-linked project ideas, and the "ask the expert" facility (which promises that an emergency small-hours plea for "a good book to read aloud to nine-year-olds" or similar will be answered "within 24 hours where possible").

While a lot of the free content is supplied by publishers, the recommendations for teachers come via consultants including Prue Goodwin (primary) and Wendy Cooling (secondary) and Roehampton University tutors who will supply four tried and tested "books of the month", for reception and key stages 1 to 3. With Andersen year in mind, the current key stage 1 choice is Thumbelina, illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark.

This all bodes well for the future. The intention is to build the schools'

resources through the next half term, so bear in mind that you can have more than one two-week free trial. In the launch week, the "discussions and activities" option in the teachers' site carried notes on seven books, four of them published by Frances Lincoln, including the wonderful Rama and the Demon King by Jessica Souhami (pictured). For these, the notes from Frances Lincoln's big book editions are credited; for the other three books, neither the publisher (Walker) nor the source of the notes is given.

Inconsistency in declaring sources is the most obvious teething trouble, along with misspelt names (including Andersen) and missing apostrophes.

Send for Lynne Truss, whose Eats, Shoots and Leaves includes a "punctuation repair kit" with the paperback (Profile Books pound;6.99). But readingzone.com has already told me something I didn't know: that a Willy Wonka resource pack inspired almost 2,000 schools to hold sponsored Readathon events last month, 60 per cent up on last year. So log on and browse.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now