Time to take the reins;Primary;Reviews;English;Books

22nd January 1999 at 00:00
PASSWORD ENGLISH. Ginn Evaluation Pack pound;90 plus VAT.

On the day the Password English evaluation pack arrived for review, I came across two Year 5 teachers standing back in despair from various heaps of literacy sheets used since the beginning of the school year. They felt the time had come to sort the good from the bad, and store the former away for future use.

English co-ordinators are healthily resistant to buying scheme materials, and there is a general mindset that views structured resources as desirable in maths but positively harmful in English. Class teachers do need to be listened to, however, and one of the things they say about the literacy hour is that it takes an inordinate amount of time to find (and then collate and keep) good resources to match the aims of the framework.

Password English is not a textbook series hurried out to cash in on the literacy hour but a fully comprehensive English resource, meticulously matched to the literacy strategy. Thirty-nine schools are thanked for helping to trial its materials, which comprise, for each key stage 2 year group: a big book for whole class work; a textbook and a set of photocopiable sheets for differentiated group work; homework sheets; an anthology and a spiral-bound teachers' book. The latter sets out detailed lesson plans, cross-referenced to the resources in the scheme.

Each element is interdependent. A textbook unit on newspapers, for example, asks children to "write sentences for the headlines you made up" - an instruction that will be meaningless unless the teacher has followed the whole-class introduction as suggested in the teacher's book. Welcome and pragmatic reference is made in every unit to information andcommunications technology.

By purchasing the discounted evaluation pack and five additional textbooks and anthologies for group work, a year group could be equipped for a little under pound;150.

No class teacher can be expected to come up with brilliant ideas and materials day in and day out, and freebie downloads from the National Grid for Learning will never entirely displace commercially printed materials. Any co-ordinator who hasn't seen these materials yet should sendoff for an evaluation pack - they'll probably end upkeeping it, especially if colleagues have a say.

Michael Thorn is deputy head of Hawkes Farm primary school, Hailsham, East Sussex.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now