Is it a turkey twizzler?

6th July 2007 at 01:00
Fiona Watts samples an online service which aims to hook the MySpace generation

Personal Development Curriculum

Online teaching materials and assessment tools for careers, citizenship, PSHE, work-related learningenterprise

One year's subscription per subject pound;150 to pound;200


If you could get more than 20 hours of careers teaching material in one minute, would you be interested?

Do you find yourself with five minutes to prepare a citizenship lesson plan? How much time would you save by having a complete PSHE programme instantly delivered to your PC?

These are the propositions with which Personal Development Curriculum (PDC) sells its instantly downloadable resources. So how does it measure up?

If you judge it by the three Cs of composition, clarity and content, then it comes up trumps on the first two. It's colourful, concise, the layouts are fresh and it covers the need for positive multicultural images in class.

I signed up for 14 days of free resources and downloaded an assembly PowerPoint presentation giving exam advice. But it soon became clear that some of the resources fell short of the mark.

One slide show was padded out with two uninspiring "thoughts for the day", which might work in the boardroom but not in the classroom. Suggestions such as "get enough rest and sleep" and "eat sensibly" are not specific enough in this post-Jamie Oliver and Gillian McKeith era. Where's the advice on how to manage exam stress? What does a sensible diet mean? The BBC's free website answers these questions and extra. If this site is going to compete, with its material costing about pound;150 subscription per subject, it has to deliver the same level of advice and more.

So is it a turkey twizzler or does it have some superfood for thought? PDC Education comes into its own in the section on work-related learning and enterprise. The curriculum materials in this module are well structured, with a variety of challenges, teamwork and self-assessment opportunities.

Teachers are provided with lesson overviews, PowerPoints and engaging worksheets to inspire the MySpace generation.

My pupils enjoyed the section where they role-played organising a rock concert. The support notes were easy to follow and I was impressed by the health and safety module.

This website was set up by two award-winning entrepreneurs who secured their reputation by providing gap year advice online. As soon as the gaps are sorted out on the PDC website it will provide inspiring lessons for budding classroom tycoo**

Fiona Watts teaches enterprise and citizenship at King Edward VI School in Suffolk

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