Making class magic

2nd March 2001 at 00:00
Lacklustre classes, problem pupils? Never fear. Douglas Blane previews the Educational Resources Scotland show

Those of us who have been searching for someone to demonstrate how to turn a classroom into the Great Hall at Hogwarts - and who hasn't? - need look no further. Glasgow's Moat House Hotel on March 5 and 6 is the place to go.

At Educational Resources Scotland, organised by the Educational Publishers Council and Scottish Association for Providers of Educational Resources in association with TESScotland, teachers and managers can examine the best books and resources for the Scottish curriculum, as well as participate in a full range of seminars from wizard ways of raising attainment to the perennial problem of boys.

Eighty different exhibitors will converge on Glasgow for the now annual event. Major publishers such as Collins, Cambridge University Press, Granada, Heinemann, Hodder amp; Stoughton, Longman and Oxford University Press will display their products, with emphasis on new resources for literacy, maths and ICT.

Learning and Teaching Scotland will display a selection of its latest books and educational software aimed at pre-5 to post-50 learners, on topics as diverse as maths, lifeskills, Scottish history and how to get your European Computer Driving Licence. Resources which exploit the potential of ICT to enhance learning feature strongly, and staff will be available to discuss LT Scotland's range of in-service courses.

Books and materials will be on display from Alphabet Magic, Robert Gibson amp; Sons, Teejay Publishers, Scottish Learning Products, NES Arnold, Sapphire Story Sacks, Sunfish Products and the Scottish Publishers Association, which represents more than 80 different publishers.

Two progressive education authorities will exhibit their materials and contribute to the programme - North Lanarkshire on recent developments in its5-14 reading and writing programmes, and Glasgow City on accelerated learning, and improving the performance of "boy-type learners".

Special educational needs is well represented, with NASEN (the National Association for Special Educational Needs); St Vincent's School for the Blind, where pupil activities include athletics and rock-climbing; Bag Books, which makes packs with objects to smell, hear, touch or see as a story unfolds; Sight and Sound Technology; Listening Books;Concept Northern and Dolphin Computer Access. The Scottish Dyslexia Association will display information and resources and deliver a seminar to help teachers relate the latest research to mainstream classroom practice.

Aids and materials for personal, social and religious education are provided by: Parish Education with a new children's Bible, musicals and books; Human Values Foundation with ideas to tackle crime, drugs, racism and violence; Oxfam with resources to develop skills and values to help young people become citizens of the world; Religious and Moral Education Press with worksheets and videos on major faiths; and Articles of Faith with four new story sacks and rabbi, Asian and priest dolls.

Among other recent projects on display from SCRAN, the Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network, whose website now contains 100,000 multi-media records and more than half a million pages of text, will be a CD called Cave of Gold which, taking its name from Sorley Maclean's poem about a piper who enters a mysterious cave and can never return to the world of the living, weaves together songs, poetry and images in a haunting tribute to the artistic heritage of the Gaelic world.

Other new products include books for reluctant readers from Books for Students, a numeracy resource and bargain big books from Child's Play, glass markers, silk paints and fabric crayons, and established lines, all "at exceptionally reduced prices" from Berol-Sanford, and a multi-sensory read and spell scheme from Robinswood Press.

The seminar programme has sessions on language and literacy, interactive maths, ICT, pre-5 assessment, help for teachers to implement the recent 5-14 guidelines, and a look at movement and physical skills and their relationship to literacy and numeracy.

From Stirling, St Ninians Primary's headteacher, Gill Friel, will talk about a whole-school research-based approach to teaching fiction writing. Senior teacher, Elaine Wyllie, will explain how to harness Harry Potter's magic to raise attainment in reading, writing and technology. "It's about establishing a strong, motivating context at the beginning of a cross curricular project," she says.

Educational Resources Scotland, the Moat House Hotel, Glasgow, March 5, 1pm - 6.30pm, and March 6, 9.30am - 5pm. Free entrance. Contact The Publishers Association, tel 020 7565 7474.

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