4th September 1998 at 01:00
Co-ordinating Science Across the Primary School. By Lynn D Newton and Douglas P Newton. Falmer Press Pounds 12.95.

Often we are snowed under with everyday pressures and don't have time to think about our own practice and leadership. I've been doing the job of science co-ordinator for six years, and I found that this book was good for helping me to sit down and consider some of these issues.

"It's very easy to use and all the sections are divided up, so you can dip in wherever you want. On the left of some pages there is a good suggestions column, which is of particular use to a busy teacher. There is a summary at the end of each chapter, and there are useful photocopiable sheets.

"The book deals well with sensitive management issues that relate to colleagues' practice. Any co-ordinator finds this area difficult and the book is most supportive.

"I particularly like, too, the material on children's scientific misconceptions, and I found it very helpful. It looks at things that we often take for granted. For example, it reminds us how children can think that the word 'materials' just applies to fabric and cloth. I appreciate, too, the support for early years teachers, with good examples of how children can look at science in everyday life.

"Also useful is the material on managing resources - an area which I've always found to be a problem.

"The advice in some sections - chapters on monitoring and evaluation, for example - are relevant to any area of the curriculum. The book will be useful to a wide range of teachers - it is a resource for professional development for experienced co-ordinators as well a support for those just coming into the job. It will also be good for student teachers."

Catherine Watson

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