English is so full of maths

13th November 2007 at 00:00

KEY STAGE 2 LITERACY ACTIVITY BOOK Year 3456. By Ray Barker and Louis Fidge. Letts Educational Pounds 4 each

Miss handed out new books today; with clip-art covers. She says we're going to be using English text- books now, just like in maths. And we've got 10 units to do each term, plus two self-assessments and two writing tasks.

Terms don't have 14 weeks, so we're going to be working like the clappers.That's not what she said, but any fool can suss that.

Miss chirped something about no more tatty photocopies, or waiting for the overhead projector to be wheeled up the corridor.

But her mood changed when we all sneered at the dopey-eyed girl in a purple headband and yellow dressing-gown, sitting up in bed under a duvet decorated in toy boats. Well, we are in Year 6. The poem's by Robert Louis Stevenson, so why's there a girl in the picture, someone asked. Seemed a good question to me, but Miss wanted us to answer other questions on the opposite page. The kind with parts a) b) and c).

Spare a thought for my brother. He's in Year 3. He's got a book just like ours. I mean, almost exactly like ours. Only 167 more units to go, I told him. Worked that out myself, I did. I'm good at maths. Must be the textbooks.

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