21st January 2000 at 00:00

By Bob Hartman and Mark Patmore. Cambridge University Press. Books 1- 3 pound;3.50 each. Teacher's Book pound;9.95

These books provide material for levels 3 to 5 of the national curriculum. They are not tied to any particular scheme, but are a resource from which teachers can select material for homework.

The authors' intention is to avoid homeworks of the "finish these off" variety, and instead to provide tasks which include many set in a home-based context or which use material found in the home.

For example, an exercise on mental arithmetic uses a telephone directory; pat of a graphs exercise asks the pupil to keep a record of daily temperatures from information found in a newspaper, Teletext or on the Internet.

Each unit begins with a summary of key facts, supplemented by a good glossary at the back of the book. The questions are divided into three levels of difficulty, with around four questions in each category. Extension material is provided for most units. The questions are well chosen and there are useful units on mental methods. Each book should provide enough homeworks for a year's work.

Ian Wilson is head of Rydens School, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

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