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15th September 2000 at 01:00
The people of Omagh have had particular cause to think about coping with sudden death. Some of their experiences since the 1998 bombing are distilled in Grief Matters, a support pack for helping pupils deal with bereavement and trauma. Produced by educational psychologists, it draws on alert professional practice and on the wisdom of the ages, represented by Chinese proverbs, the Bible and Shakespeare. It also gives succinct advice on identifying potential crises, enabling schools to be "wise before the event". Though it stems from the tragedy of Northern Ireland, it provides valuable insight for all teachers.

Grief Matters is available from Ann McAleer, Education Psychology Service, Western Education and Library Board, 1 Hospital Road, Omagh, Co Tyrone BT79 0AW. Each copy is pound;5, plus pound;1 pamp;p for up to five copies.

The hope that a new generation will improve on both the past and the present lies behind a curriculum pack developed in Gloucestershire. Children and the Community: Making Things Better aims to help primary pupils learn, think and become involved with the life around them. Using several themes, from the role of charities in 19th-century schools and the treatment of wartime evacuees to the story of the Good Samaritan, it links study in history, geography and RE with the new guidelines on citizenship. The suggestions will be useful beyond their West Country origins.

Children and the Community is available at pound;25 from County of Gloucestershire Community Foundation, 3 College Green, Gloucester GL1 2LR. Eail: darien.parkes@virginnet.co.uk Over 10,000 people in the UK are affected by sickle cell disease, yet the condition is not widely understood and often remains undiagnosed. Pauline Byers, an adviser on haemoglobin disorders, has produced Going Bananas with Sally Sickle, which imaginatively transforms the behaviour of red blood cells into a story for children. Parents and teachers will also learn from this cheerful and informative allegory, in which Sally and her friends learn how to avoid a crisis and keep their owner's body pain-free and healthy.

Going Bananas with Sally Sickle (story book pound;5, colouring book pound;4, story book with tape pound;10, video pound;20 plus VAT; pack of all four items pound;30) is available from Bookstall Forum Ltd, 86 Abbey Street, Derby DE22 3SQ. Tel: 01332 368039 .

"If you can drill a hole you can make a clock," claim the authors of Build a Clock Ideas Book. And judging by the imaginative but simple designs shown, they're probably right. Design teacher Toni Tippett and her husband Mark provide 20 designs together with a list of equipment, materials and detailed instructions. Most clocks featured can be made with minimum funds and materials - some need only thick card, glue and old magazines in addition to the clock mechanism (advice on suppliers is included). More ambitious designs make use of clay, MDF and copper sheet.

Build a Clock Ideas Book costs pound;7.99 from Hands On, Unit 11, Tannery Road, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1RF. Tel:01732 773399. Fax: 01732 773390.


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