Easy steps in technology

28th September 2001 at 01:00
PRIMARY TECHNOLOGY IN SCOTTISH SCHOOLS. Resource pack, pound;25. Learning and Teaching Scotland. tel 01382 443600.

This excellent resource is a must for primary schools which are developing or reviewing their technology programme. It provides support for all staff, regardless of experience in this subject.

The extensive range of activities, developed with the help of volunteer primary schools in five local authorities, will appeal to pupils and teachers and provide an interesting menu from which to draw a progressive programme to encourage technological skills.

The pack comprises a handbook for teachers, 22 big task exemplars, 10 small or proficiency tasks and eight case study tasks. With titles such as "Chariots", "Pop-Up Books", "Toys for Sale", "Puppets With a Purpose" and "Moving Machines", pupils cannot fail to be motivated in their learning and teachers enthused in their teaching.

The pack contains step-by-step guidance about each task and how it may link with other curriculum areas. It complements the technology component of the 5-14 guidelines for environmental studies and the accompanying guide for teachers and managers, which is a major strength.

Once there is an appreciation of what big and small tasks are and how these relate (the handbook explains this well), teachers will find this resource a great confidence builder as it gives a very clear picture of how technology can be taught effectively.

Although the booklets are not wildly exciting visually, they are clearly set out with helpful sketches and resource sheets. They are written in straightforward language and in a format which will help busy teachers find their way through the material quickly. The fact that the booklets are slim, while containing a wealth of helpful information and guidance, is also a good feature.

The pack is inexpensive and, with few resources available to support 5-14 technology as readily as this one does, it will be a valuable addition to the technology experience in any school.

Lydia Catto is headteacher of Forthill Primary, Broughty Ferry, Dundee

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