2nd May 1997 at 01:00
Lottery cash has been used to fund a new, user-friendly guide to using computers for early years workers. Computers in Early Years Settings, An Introduction (Pounds 4 plus Pounds 1p postage and packing) was produced by the National Early Years Network and is available from them at 77 Holloway Road, London N7 8JZ. Tel: 0171 607 9573.

* La Connexion Francaise is a comprehensive French language course that takes place entirely on the World Wide Web. Aimed at GCSE and A-level students, the course, which is supported by the Prince's Youth Business Trust, can be followed independently or in conjunction with class material provided by CD-Rom.

It is subscription based and includes a dictionary and discussions of French history, geography and culture. Students can monitor their progress on a personal performance chart and can work at a pace to suit them. Details from Chrystelle Ruinat at Eloquence. Tel: 01227 450534.

* Xemplar is offering free IT training and computer set-up with the equipment it is supplying for the Tesco "Computers for Schools" promotion. Xemplar Education, The Quorum, Barnwell Road, Cambridge CB5 8RE. Tel: 01223 724724.

And RM is upping the stakes in its free computer scheme with Sainsburys. It is beefing up the specifications of the computers offered (Multimedia PC Pentium 133 with 16 megabytes of memory) at no extra cost in vouchers.

RM, Hitchin Court, New Mill House, 183 Milton Park, Abingdon OX14 4SE. Tel: 01235 826000.

* More than 400 students from 67 UK schools and colleges competed for the four places in the British Informatics Olympiad team that will take part in the annual "Olympic games" of computing - the 9th International Olympiad in Informatics being held in Capetown, South Africa, in December. They are being sponsored by Data Connection, a UK software development company. The students took a three-hour paper in which they were required to solve problems using a computer.

The four winners, selected from 15 finalists, will compete with students from more than 60 countries. Britain currently ranks as the strongest English-speaking nation in the competition.

The winners are Robert Brady, 17, (Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth Sixth-Form College, Leicester), Mohan Ganesalingam, 17, (Westminster College, London), Simon Nickerson, 18, (Bedford School) and Stephen Williams, 16, (Torquay Boys' Grammar).

Details from Antony Rix, the British Informatics Olympiad, Christ's College, Cambridge CB2 3BU. Tel 01223 277837. E-mail

* Quaternary Education Ltd claims to deliver the whole design and technology curriculum at key stages 2 and 3 on its latest multimedia CD-Rom. Understanding Design and Technology has more than 60 hours of video, pictures, text and audio materials on themes including technology, designing and making skills and toy company and puppet theatre.

A built-in assessment facility allows teachers to record levels of achievement based on the assessment process developed by Hertfordshire Education Service. Copies cost Pounds 65 from Quaternary Education Ltd, The Deer House, Dunstall Road, Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire DE13 8AX. Tel: 01283 716400.

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