Early years

3rd March 2000 at 00:00
TEACHER'S CUPBOARD 2000. CD-Rom. Early Years Literacy development. Sherston Software, pound;29.95 01666 843200 www.sherston.com

Teacher's Cupboard is designed to support early years reading development and might best be used with those struggling to acquire basic literacy skills.

However, technology, education and children's literature have all moved on in the decade since the original. Even taking into account the target age-range, the content and style lack pace and challenge, with too few opportunities for pupil interaction.

The use of a voiceover serves little purpose other than to relieve the child of responsibility for reading a dll text. The story content is minimal, consisting of two quests for something to keep the teachers happy. In these days of performance related pay, one teacher wants the traditional apple, while the other ambitiously seeks the crown.

The player faces a smattering of initial letter sound practice, spot the difference or simple cloze procedures en route which seem bafflingly out of context. Three pathways then lead to brief acquaintance with a key, a jug, a friendly giant and little else besides before the player goes back to give the teachers their just deserts.

The temptation is to get a real book out of the cupboard instead.

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