This year is going to be the year we try and decide what Science route my daughter is going to do for her GCSE exams. She is not keen on the idea of Combined Science mainly because she really does not like Physics (although part of me wonders if that is just because we need to redo a few sections of Physics with her) but she Loves Biology and is sort of okay with Chemistry. So current thinking is she will do a Biology exam and possibly Chemistry. But we are going to use this year to try and finalize our thinking and make sure we are not eliminating Physics too soon.
For for Year 7 and Year 8 Science we used the Activate range which included Student Books and workbooks. And I will admit I liked the range, but for Year 9 they only have a Student Book and I really wanted a combination of a student book and workbook to use together (the main reason is it saves me a lot of time in having to search for activities linked to the student book and it is nice to have all the activities already created and waiting). So I started searching for other Science Resources. My main criteria was I wanted a good Student Book (a nice inviting but logical layout) with a linked workbook and I wanted to have access to the answers for ALL the questions without having to buy another expensive book just to get the answers.
I found 2 options from the Hodder Education site that interested me – their KS3 AQA books and their own KS3 Science books. So I asked a few questions and I ended up going with the KS3 AQA range. Now this range is a 2 Year KS3 Science range so I am going to use the Year 2 books with my daughter. And yes some of the items covered in the Year 2 books are going to be topics we have already covered but some are new (plus I think a bit of revising, going back through a few topics again this year might actually be good for us).
On first look we both like the layout of the practice book – blocks of information with illustrations, worked examples and lots of questions plus a clear distinction between what is core knowledge and what is extended knowledge.
Each chapter (topic) follows the same pattern. They are split into 4 sections. Transition (the introduction, setting the scene), Core (the important parts that you need to know), Extend (taking the core to the next level, getting that deeper understanding) and Enquiry (in depth). I like this I like that they are splitting it up into Core and Extend – so you know what to focus on.
I also really like that throughout the chapters they include lots of blocks which contain worked examples followed by questions for the kids to do of (and I do mean a lot of these blocks).
Then you also get two practice books which goes perfectly with the student book and contain a lot of extra questions (there are two workbooks the Know and Apply Practice Book and The Extend Practice Book – we have the extend one).
And answers for all questions in both the student book and the practice books are FREE to download from the Hodder Site (I really like this). Once we have used these books and gotten to grips with how they work I will write a proper review but for now Book 2 in this range covers the following topics
Okay then a few other items we are using for Year 9 Science.
I love our matching cards from Oaka Books. We have all three sets – Biology, Chemistry and Physics and we are going to keep using them this year (I just think they are great for reinforcing and reminding us of names and definitions). We tend to focus on one Science at a time – we will do 2 or 3 months on Biology and then move onto Chemistry. So while we are focusing on Biology I will get my daughter to remind herself about Chemistry and Physics by going through these matching cards. Its just something that works for us.
I also really like our Super Simple Chemistry and Super Simple Biology books that we got last year. I like being able to direct my daughter to a book where she can read a slightly different explanation. And these books are really visual gems, lots of brilliant photographs and amazing illustrations which really suits us.
Our Periodic Table Poster (The Periodic Table (Wall Chart)) is now permanently up in our house and it is going to stay. It is really useful to have a nice big version of the Periodic table that we can refer to and honestly, my daughter really has used it a lot so that is staying up.
And then something new, we are subscribing to Mel Science. Which is a monthly science box. We have never used them before so I am really just going on what I have heard and once we have tried them for a few months I will write a review. But it looks interesting and I am hoping that it will help us cement some of our Science theory with fun hands on activities.
So that is our Year 9 Science plan.
For those who are interested these are the Amazon links for the books mentioned.
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