First steps: Pam Turnbull rounds up the best new primary software and websites for 2003

3rd January 2003 at 00:00
The Hoobs

4Learning. Tel: 08701 246444. Stand D42. www.channel4.comhoobs

FOLLOW up on the TV programmes with a regularly updated website. Featuring the Hoobs of Hoobland who are driven by the urge to explore every world they visit, and all the information they gather is used to gradually compile the Hoobopaedia. Tula, Iver, Groove and Roma have been sent to Earth for their assignment. Setting off on their fact-finding mission, in their Hoobmobile powered by music, they meet children who provide them with the most valuable information - helping them to understand more about how we humans behave and how our world works.

Tizzy's First Tools.

Softease. Tel: 01335 343421. Stand C56. Price: pound;85. www.textease.com.

The first collaboration between Sherston and Softease has produced Tizzy's First Tools. An integrated set of seven tools on one CD-Rom. Tizzy the Clown guides children as they express, develop and present their ideas. Based on Textease, the program allows children to explore ICT tools such as Write, Paint, Publish, Chart, Move, Decide and Present.

My Spelling Friend, Magic Pencil, Phonic Clip Art.

Sherston. Tel: 01666 843200. Stand E60. Price: all pound;40. www.sherston.com.

CELEBRATING a new relationship with the BBC's Words and Pictures series comes three products. My Spelling Friend offers interactive, differentiated and meaningful spelling practice; Magic Pencil is a handwriting tool; while Phonic Clip Art allows teachers to access a huge bank of multimedia resources to help teach phonics.

Kudlian Suite.

Kudlian Soft. Stand M100. Price: pound;75 for first licence and pound;15 for each additional licence. www.kudlian.net

A FULL range of software tools for early years and key stage 1 comes in the form of Kudlian Suite. Specifically developed to help children learn basic ICT skills using a flexible and simple menu system to access data handling with Pictogram, painting with Splosh, a banner creation tool with Banner, a branching database called Ask Oscar and a turtle graphics program, Terry 2. Not forgetting FreeText, a simple word processor with a wordbank and spell checker.

Max's Sandbox.

Civica. Stand L15. Price: pound;30. www.maxssandbox.com

SEEN as a "training wheel" for Microsoft Office allowing for an easier transition in later years. Making its British debut, Max's Sandbox is actually a suite of programs: MaxWrite, MaxShow and MaxCount. Designed to be fun, there are child-friendly multimedia features added on too such as the Doodle Pad, text-to-speech, voice recording and the ability to insert images and sounds.

Puzzle Maths 1 and 2.

4Learning. Tel: 08701 246444. Stand D42. Price: pound;29.38 each. www.channel4.comlearningshop.

BASED on the TV series Puzzle Maths, there is one CD-Rom for 7 to 9-year olds and one for 9 to 11-year olds. Challenged by an eccentric computer to solve maths challenges, this takes a games approach to maths problems supported by clips from the TV series if children need help. Lively and fun. Also on the BETT stand will be two CD-Roms based on the TV series The Number Crew covering numbers and the number system for Year 1 and 2.

River Focus

Neptune Computer Technology. Tel: 01935 891892. Stand SW111. Price: pound;35. www.neptunect.co.uk.

KEY stage 2 geography programs are not thick on the ground, so it's nice to come across one specifically for the classroom. River Focus uses clear diagrams, animations, text and video to allow children to explore different aspects of rivers. With fun activities, printable teacher resources and different levels of text for different abilities, it's ideal for the non-specialist teacher.

Espresso.

Espresso Education.

Tel: 020 8237 1200. Stand B82. Price: depends on sizetype of school. www.espresso.co.uk

MORE and more modules continue to be added to this subscription internet resource and it is well worth checking out. In particular, take a look at their modules on Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism with Buddhism, Christianity and Judaism to be added in coming months. Also with the changes in the key stage 2 Maths SATs your children might well benefit from the new Real Life Maths which encourages pupils to complete problem solving activities through everyday situations. BETT is also your chance to look at their new foundation stage modules for nursery and reception.

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