INDEX BY: Edition / Title
ICT Projects for Low Ability Students
By Kevin Walsh and Dorothee Remmert with Neil Denby. Illustrated by Neil Crossley
2000 ISBN 1 86025 294 X

Getting Up to Speed in ICT
By Mark Leighton and Tim Bax. Illustrated by Chris Goldhalk
1999 ISBN 1 86025 270 2
ICT Projects for High Ability
By Paul Salt and Andrew Taylor. Illustrated by Andrew Wright
1999 ISBN 1 865025 295 8
All 65pp/28 worksheets for KS3 £25

ICT Projects for Low Ability Students and Getting Up to Speed in ICT

Many of you will be familiar with the range of resources produced by Chalkface - "not a traditional publishing house. Using the most up-to-date method of printing on demand and an editorial process that originates in the classroom…". The books are characterised by their format of a page of teachers' notes accompanying a photocopiable A4 worksheet drawn in a characteristic house style.

The strength of these materials lies in their origins in the classroom - hopefully allowing 'many wheels to be not re-invented'. Each of the main authors is identified as a practising teacher in a secondary school.

'Projects for Low Ability' is targetted at a reading age of 7-9 and is intended to help the students reach Level 3 and above (as part of discrete ICT sessions or in a cross-curricular context). Typical topics include Which people to pick on drafting letters of application and Paying the Bills which looks at spreadsheets and graphs.

'Projects for High Ability' is organised by National Curriculum strand and offers work that may lead to Level 8/exceptional levels. Typical topics include School Homepage, an introduction to an HTML application, and The Drinks Can where students can model the effect of changing the dimensions of a soft drinks container.

'Getting up to Speed' is intended as a whole KS3 course or for a basic grounding in ICT for Adults. Focussing on Microsoft Office it is intended to take learners to CLAIT level in word processing, spreadsheets and databases. Divided by those three headings (plus an introduction on the computer and Windows) typical topics include Learning your lines, which looks at laying out text for a particular audience, and, Saving for a Bike, which models how long it would take to save up for a new bike.

No single resource will match the needs of another teacher but these must surely make a contribution. In particular, the availability of the High and Low Ability packs to a classroom ICT teacher should offer an easy way to deliver a differentiated programme of learning in a curriculum area where learner skill may exceed their abilities in other curriculum areas, and where this skill needs channelling into appropriate applications.

At this price they should join the Pearson packs as a resource on the cupboard shelf for the busy ICT teacher to have access to and use.

Neil Stanley
Reviews Editor