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11th February 2000 at 00:00
A Thames Valley type, a sub-Carpathian, an Early Wessex... it sounds like a rather unsavoury bunch of football supporters but it's not. They're the names of - wait for it - Bronze Age axes. Not a lot of people know that, and if they do, the chances are that one man has told them: John Mainwaring, who makes replica Bronze Age axe heads. They are not that expensive considering the finish and workmanship. They range in price from pound;10 to pound;55, and while not an essential resource by any means, they are undoubtedly beautiful and would double up as ideal candidates for a school display case, or for a hands-on study of historical objects - although hands-off may be safer. Call John Mainwaring on 01329 285825. JW

Satellite television has some way to go before it achieves the credibility of established educational providers. However, the Disney Channel has been working hard to convince us that it has what it takes, and it was one of the first to run a Teacher of the Year contest. Now it is trying to develop greater creativity in the classroom with The Incredible Story Studio, a project for nine to 13-year-olds based on a Disney channel series of the same name. Teachers can apply for a pack to help encourage children to develop their own storylines, build characters and different elements within narrative, as well as their critical awareness. The closing date is March 15 and the best ideas will be made into live-action dramas. Information is available on www.disney.co.ukDisneyChannel. The teacher's guide is available from Disney Channel's Incrdible Story Studio, Educational Project Resources, Freepost NH4190, Corby, Northants NN17 4WN.

JW.

Real East Enders who live less dramatic lives than their TV namesakes are featured in We Live in the East End, a locality pack for primary schools. It starts with four families, looking at the issues of migration, settlement, changing land use and hard-pressed urban services, making this a case-study of changing traditions in England. Colour photographs complete a resource that is useful even if you're many miles from the sound of Bow Bells. Pack price pound;12.50 from Humanities Education Centre, Tower Hamlets Professional Development Centre, English St, London E3 3TA. Tel: 020 7364 6405; fax 020 7364 6422; e-mail hec@gn.apc.org TD Rosalind Kerven has been telling stories from around the world for 15 years. In Traditional Stories: A Practical Guide, she draws on her experiences, giving succinct insights into sources, themes, characters and plot devices. Though the 90-page booklet is not cross-referenced, with a little judicious page-turning it's possible to compare Aztec and Hellenic creation myths, or to match Caribbean tricksters with their counterparts in the British Isles. Kerven gives clear signposts to a broad range of topics made helpfully accessible - not least advice on oral narrative style and "stories that work for children". Available for pound;10 incl p+p from Rosalind Kerven, Swindonburn Cottage, Sharperton, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE65 7AP. Tel: 01669 640291. TD.

Contributions by Janette Wolf and Tom Deveson


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