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case study

Tutor Review of Science Key Stage 2 Textbooks

As a parent, teacher and Founder of Cambridge Academic Tuition, I am always interested to try out resources that may help children succeed in their exams and academic performance.

Hodder Education (formerly Galore Park) have published a series of textbooks suitable for children aged 7 to 11 following Key Stage 2 of the English National Curriculum. They also follow the Independent Schools Examination Board (ISEB) syllabus for Science at Common Entrance for 11+ entrance exams to independent schools in the UK.

The books include engaging information as well as practice questions. The answers are available separately as a downloadable paid-for PDF. There are also activities for independent research, interesting facts and extension material. There are eBooks available which are perfect for students to read on the go or for teachers sharing information on the screen during online lessons. It is helpful that keywords are in bold and there are colourful illustrations and photographs throughout.

Science for Year 3 includes topics on the human body, vertebrates and invertebrates, light and shadow, materials, rocks and magnets. Science for Year 4 includes topics on habitats, plants, solids, liquids and gases, electrical circuits and sound. Science for Year 5 includes topics on life cycles, habitats, materials, mixtures and space. Science for Year 6 includes topics on classification, healthy living, microbes, evolution, inheritance, indicators, light, sound and electrical circuits.

I have used the books with international students that I am teaching online. The books are easy to understand and the concepts are explained in a clear, concise method. One of my Year 3 students has enjoyed finding out about life processes and green plants. Even though the student does not have English as a first language, the books are accessible with explanations of some of the vocabulary. My student particularly enjoyed researching an animal unique to where he lives and preparing and presenting a PowerPoint presentation on his research.

Another of my students that lives overseas and who is in Year 5 was fascinated by the life cycles topic and was motivated to find out more beyond the curriculum about this topic. She was really interested to learn about David Attenborough from the book and after researching and watching some clips from his documentaries she prepared a talk about how humans are affecting the environment and what we can do to protect it.

Not only will these books be helpful for Common Entrance exam preparation they will stimulate children’s interest in science and provide enjoying and rewarding activities. The books can be used in school or at home and are an asset to any child’s science education.

Juliet Rolls is the founder of Cambridge Academic Tuition, an online private tutoring organisation. Find out more information here.

Visit our Science Key Stage 2 Textbook pages to learn more about this series (which includes our 11+ Science Revision Guide, 11+ Workbooks and 11+ Science Practice Papers), download sample pages, and order online.

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