Over the years we have used a number of the Oaka Books topic packs for both primary and secondary (KS3) subjects. My daughter really enjoys them, and I have become a massive fan of the way they sum everything up and present the information in such an easy to remember style. So it was not a massive surprise when my daughter asked if I could get her some of the GCSE Topic Packs from Oaka Books (Yes she actually asked if I could get all of the Oaka Topic packs that relate to her IGCSE subjects).
And after using the Osmosis GCSE Topic Pack I have to say it is just as good as the other Topic Packs (the ones for KS3). The explanations are concise, the diagrams help to both explain and remember and we loved the fact that they included some question cards.
Okay so first of all – it is what you expect from an Oaka Books Topic Pack – you get a Topic note booklet, you get a Write your own Notes booklet (this is where the kids need to fill in key words and phrases) and then instead of an active learning game you get some question cards. If your kids enjoyed the KS3 Topic Pack style of learning they are going to enjoy this.
I will however say please be realistic – this is GCSE / IGCSE content, so there are going to be some more challenging concepts in these compared to the KS3 booklets. But that is what you expect at this level. And having said that even though the content is more challenging they still present it in a very easy to digest manner. Also with these packs there are no key words at the top of the page (In the Write Your Own Notes booklet), instead there is a separate key word sheet. This means the kids can choose to try and complete the write your own booklets without the key word help (their choice). It is a small change but one that I really like.
Okay so what exactly is covered in the Osmosis Pack?
- There is a glossary of terms used
- Explanation of what Diffusion is and what Osmosis is and concentration gradients
- They also talk about water concentration and changing levels, net movement
- They include detail about turgid, vacuole, cell walls
- They discuss the plan experiment which kids are expected to know (loved that this was included)
- Percentage change, plotting a graph and calculating water uptake (again I really liked that they included these sections)
- Active transport and a few other bits and pieces.
It is everything that we needed.
Okay so how did we use this pack and why did we include it? We covered our Diffusion, Osmosis, Active transport section from our main student book that we are using, we watched a few youtube clips about it and my daughter did some questions. And it was fine but I felt like we were missing a nice summary / wrap-up activity. And I felt like even though she understood it she was just not 100% confident with everything. Which has happened before and in the past that is exactly when we have used one of these packs. So that is what we did. We worked through the pack as our “summary activity” but also as our “lets just make 100% we understand all of this” before we move on activity. And it was prefect. It did all of that and afterwards we both felt like we had really covered the topic well and were happy to move on.
I know Oaka’s GCSE content is newish and they are still adding to it but I think their GCSE Topic Packs are going to be very popular in our house.