23rd February 2001 at 00:00
DATAFILES SERIES: Media and Communications. Science Now. Ocean. The World Today. By R Platt, S Angliss, T Day, A Mason. Marshall Publishing pound;8.99 each.

This exciting series for eight to 12-year-olds offers an amazing range of information in an innovative format. Each spiral-bound book is divided into five tabbed sections: an overview; In focus, which explores the subject in detail; frequently asked questions; a Jobfile, profiling someone who works in the field; and a Factfile with glossary and timeline.

Media and Communications moves quickly from the initial development of alphabets through to the internet. At every step appropriate depth is given to complex themes such as satellte communication and the world wide web. There is a brilliant timeline which could be a valuable resource in history, science and ICT work.

The World Today features a detailed section on wealth and poverty. Graphics and text give a clear view of the distribution of wealth across the world. Children working on citizenship will find this a stimulating starting point for discussion.

The Datafiles are thoroughly enjoyable, and should have applications across the curriculum. In many ways they are a leap forward, bridging the design gap between traditional information books and interactive ICT resources.

Steve Blackman is head of Great Alne primary school, Warwickshire.

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