Ideas by the hundred in a handy series

30th March 2007 at 01:00
100 Ideas for Primary Supply Teachers. By Michael Parry. Continuum Pounds 9.99

Supply teaching is a distinctive art. Stepping in and taking on a new class is one thing. Making sure of a quality outcome takes something more.

Michael Parry provides a guide to how to achieve quality.

Early sections provide a rundown of what supply teachers need to know.

These sections are also useful information for those who greet supply teachers and set them up for their day.

They provide a thorough checklist of the things that need to be in place to ensure the cover runs smoothly. Thought-provoking chapters on "Personal Preparation" and "School Resources" have something to say to all teachers.

Subject sections provide good curriculum coverage and add up to a diverse catalogue of quick, lifesaver activities, easy to implement and sound in their outcome. There is also a section on discipline that provides excellent guidance, though it should be checked with the school to dovetail with their policies.

Both supply teachers, and the schools they work with, will find this a useful book.

100 Ideas for Primary Assemblies

By Fred Sedgwick

Continuum pound;9.99

During his career, Fred Sedgwick has combined poetry with school leadership. And he has one foot in each camp when he presents us with his 100 ideas. In four seasonal sections, the ideas follow a loose pattern across a school year, catching significant festivals along the way, although there is nothing about Ramadan or Eid.

However, the best ideas are the ones that allow Sedgwick to fly free from the calendar, with his thoughts on subjects such as maths, riddles and food.

He makes up for omissions by exploring the subjects he does tackle with inspiration and profundity, exemplified by the exploration of William Blake's advice to look at something "until it hurts". Others keep the tone light - one assembly is introduced with the words: "There is no message in this assembly".

What sets this book apart from other similar titles is the diversity between its covers, where you will find Sedgwick's private miscellany.

There's Dylan Thomas, Arabic numerals, Shakespeare and The Guinness Book of Records.

The book provides good starters, to either be used as they stand or adapted to a particular school - placing our feet, too, in each camp.

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