9th February 2001 at 00:00
PRIMARY ICT. Flipover Book pound;50. Teacher's Book pound;30. Resource File (including pupil CD-Rom and teacher's CD-Rom) pound;50. Work Cards and CD-Rom pound;75

Nelson Thornes, Delta Place, 27 Bath Road, Cheltenham GL53 7TH. Tel: 01242 267100. www.nelsonthornes.com

If you're not confident teaching ICT, there are several schemes you can lean on. Primary ICT is the new kid on the block. You can pick and choose from four sections - with the content closely tied to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority scheme of work and 5-14 guidelines - but they work best if used together.

At the heart of the scheme is the teacher's book, providing unit overviews including cross-curriculum links and detailed hourly lesson plans (easily split into smaller sessions). These 36 lesson plans refer to the Flipover Book, which is a big book for whole-class discussion, modelling and so on, with specific links to literacy.

The teacher's book contains a section on key questions to ask as well as plenary ideas directly related to the Flipover Book for each lesson. This is followed by explanations of jargon and unit-specific support for the teacher.

The lesson plans are well set out and easy to follow, covering keywords and watchpoints as well as assessment. It does assume that children have access to a computer suite where they work on specific work cards and resource sheets. This could be modified for a single classroom computer, although it wouldn't be ideal.

The resource file provides sheets for each lesson, target sheets, flashcards, teacher assessment and plannng sheets, all of which are also available on the teacher's CD-Rom. The target-setting and self-evaluation are nicely done, with children saying what they found difficult or enjoyable as well as what they achieved in each lesson and at the end of the unit.

The resource sheets are not differentiated but you can edit and print them from the CD-Rom, where they are saved as templates. The pupil's CD-Rom contains datafiles for specific lessons, with the teacher's CD-Rom also having specific and editable Primary Toolkit datafiles for the whole-class element of the lesson.

The work cards are colourful and hard-wearing, and available as black and white printable files on another CD-Rom. These, too, are not differentiated and you cannot edit them (unless you have the specialist software needed). This is a shame as the layout on a few is confusing while others are too wordy for some children.

Although you don't have to use Primary Toolkit in your lessons, the activities are closely tied to it. Yet this alone won't deliver the whole programme of study, so look for the other recommended packages you'll need at the back of each teacher's book.

Primary ICT works well, with a bright and easy-to-follow Flipover Book, great target-setting and good planning and assessment support. But then I use Primary Toolkit and have a computer suite at my disposal. If I didn't, I might find the money better spent elsewhere.

Pam Turnbull

Pam Turnbull is a Year 3 class teacher and ICT mentor at The Heys primary school, Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside

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