10th March 2000 at 00:00
Focus on Swallows. photopack for KS2. By Christiane Dorion, Patricia Kendell and the World Wide Fund for Nature UK development team. pound;10.99. Swallow Talebig book for KS2. By Tim Vynerpound;14.99. both from WWF-UK. tel 01483 426444 website:

From September 2002, citizenship and sustainable development become part of the curriculum for key stages 1 to 4. Teachers will have to "develop pupils' knowledge and understanding of their role and responsibility as active citizens in a modern democracy".

Exciting, inspiring and with unusually high production values, these resources bear the hallmark of the World Wide Fund for Nature's education development team, which demonstrates triumphantly how this can be achieved at key stage 2.

The On the Line project brings together the WWF, Channel 4, Oxfam and Voluntary Service Overseas in establishing links with countries along the zero meridian from Greenwich through Europe to Algeria, Mali and Burkina Fao to South Africa. Swallows take a broadly similar route, flying halfway round the world from nesting sites in the UK to winter in South Africa.

The book and photopack demonstrate repeatedly the intricate web of relationships of which we are a part - our preference for uniform, juicy, red strawberries pushes growers in Spain towards increased use of pesticide spray, and the consequent drop in insect numbers means the swallows' long journey becomes that bit more difficult each year.

Swallow Tale is the best produced and most flexible big book I have seen (each page removable from a heavy-duty, ring-bound wallet) and the photopack makes excellent use of superb photographs with photocopiable activity sheets, key questions, poems and background information. Throughout both, teacher's notes have a refreshing intelligence and sharpness. Highly recommended.

Laurie Rousham teaches a Year 4 class at Broke Hall community primary school, Ipswich, Suffolk

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