11th February 2000 at 00:00
* HODDER ENGLISH GOLD 4. By Sue Hackman and Alan Howe. Hodder amp; Stoughton pound;8.99. * HODDER ENGLISH GOLD: POEMS OF WAR. By Chris Marshall. OUR DAY OUT. By John Rowley and Dave Watkinson. THE SIGNALMAN. By Sue Hackmann. OF MICE AND MEN. By Karen Blake and Lynette Newman. ROMEO amp; JULIET. By Karen Blake and Lynette Newman. Hodder amp; Stoughton pound;3.99 each

The constant conundrum when teaching the least-able students is how far you separate their studies from the mainstream. You can be academically weak without being stupid. Students are quick to ask why they are following different materials from their friends, and resentment and resistance can soon follow if they feel they are being babied.

The English Gold series, designed in association with the Basic Skills Agency, and aimed at supporting students working at National Curriculum levels 2 to 4, tackles thi problem in two ways - through coursebooks which have built-in progression throughout the course and also within the units, so that teachers can use the whole course or pick and mix; and, now, through, literature study books which can either be used on their own or in conjunction with the full texts.

English Gold 4 is the GCSE sequel to the existing volumes in the series.

The coursebook is carefully designed and well set out to be attractive, lively and accessible, while the literature study books will prove invaluable in guiding students through the same areas of study as their more able colleagues.

The whole series presents ideas with clarity and without condescension, and will provide an invaluable resource in raising the morale, as well as the academic achievements, of the least able.

Sarah Matthews Sarah Matthews is a freelance writer

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