Teachers share their tips
* To keep control of an IT class in a primary school - and allow more children to have easier access to the computer - put another table in front of the computer trolleytable. This way children can work together, it is better for their eyes and it gives them more room to manoeuvre the mouse. Also it sorts out the social problems that come up when boys reach the machine before the girls and grab the mouse. With the table in between, children can take it in turns to use the machine. They will have also have more room to write notes.
Maggie Driscoll primary education consultant and OFSTED inspector.
* Parent consultation usually works better if you note key points before you meet, write down agreed action while you talk and file the note with records which you use daily after the event. There is nothing worse than finding you agreed something vital - and then forget about it.
Jon O'Connor and colleagues at Parkside First School, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.
* Always ask children what they know when introducing a new topic. We often underestimate children's prior knowledge and brainstorming gives an indication of the concepts that they have already absorbed, possibly at home. As a teacher you can then build on this knowledge, extending and developing their skills. This way you don't waste time going over old ground and the children will be far more motivated if they can tell you what they know.
Jo Mathews, Hawes Down Infant School, West Wickham, Bromley, Kent