These packs can be used with infants and juniors across the range of ability, but they are particularly aimed at helping those with serious memory and concentration problems. They contain structured programmes based on work-cards for visual and verbal exercises. The authors suggest that pupils use them for 20 minutes each week, with the work tied into personal, social and health education lessons.
The packs are clearly part of the "thinking skills" campaign that is taking hold in many areas of education. Illustrations, sequences, contrasts and associations form the basis of many of the work-cards and there is an emphasis on enjoyable, challengng and active learning.
Improving Memory Skills uses a spiral curriculum to develop associative and organisational aspects of memory - a one-to-one approach is recommended here. An extensive range of "stimulus" items is provided and the programme structure has a clear rationale.
Improving Concentration Skills explores "sequences", "similarities and differences" and "parts and wholes". It emphasises the need to define the nature of the child's attention problem and offers help in that difficult task. Listening, focusing and reasoning skills are addressed in the work-cards, some of which are in colour.
Teachers should consider using these useful packs in the increasingly prescribed "teaching week".
Mike Moores is an educational consultant with a special interest in study skills