As we are progressing with our International GCSE Science subjects I have started to discover how starting one of our science topics by spending a few days revising the KS3 work that we did on that topic is really the best start. And it really is NOT a wast of time, in fact when we spend a few days going back over KS3 units we normally end up spending even less time on the IGCSE unit, for the simple reason that we have reminded ourselves of the basics before we start so those vitally important building blocks are there and then when the new information comes along it just seems like an easy extension of what we know. It really is working for us to do it this way. So before we started her electricity topic we chose to revise the KS3 work with the Oaka Books KS3 Electrical Circuits topic pack.
With this pack my daughter read the topic booklet herself and then completed the corresponding Write Your Own Notes (she did this in small 15 minute slots between other work) and then just because we love the games so much we also had a quick go at playing the board game. In total it was quick because it was not new, it was revision but it was brilliant at getting us thinking about these concepts again and reminding us of some very important basics.
Okay so what exactly is included in the Electrical Circuit Topic Booklet and Write Your Own Notes?
- It starts with the glossary of term
- What is electrical current and stored energy
- Conductors and Insulators
- Series circuits vs parallel circuits
- The formula – Voltage = current x resistance (also it defines what each of these are)
- What the different electrical circuit symbols are (this is an extremely useful page)
- Voltage and current in circuits
It really covers a lot and after going through the pack a lot of what is covered in here is what they do for IGCSE, but just in a more detail. So it is the prefect starting activity.
For anyone reading this post who is new to Oaka Topic Packs. All Topic packs come with a topic booklet, write your own notes booklet and an active learning game. The Topic Booklet contains summarized blocks of information with very memorable diagrams (we have found that the diagrams used often help us recall information).
Then the Write Your Own notes is basically a copy of the Topic Booklet but with gaps for the kids to complete themselves (this may sound like a boring step but we have found this really helps because the kids are having to recall the information and then write it down).
And finally the pack comes with an active learning game, which is a “board game” with question cards that the kids need to answer. In the past all of these games have been brilliant ways for me to see what the kids have understood and what we possibly need to go over again.
In the past we used the KS3 Science packs as part of our KS3 Science learning but I am finding that they can also be great starting activities for our IGCSE Sciences. By going through the KS3 Science packs before we start the topic in our IGCSE Science we remind ourselves of what we have already learnt and it tends to make the IGCSE Science topic just seem like an extension of what we know instead of something overwhelming.