By Dale Banham and Christopher Culpin with Keith Shephard. Hodder Murray. Price: pound;9.99. Tel: 01235 827720. www.hodderheadline.co.uk
This outstanding new book has been specifically designed to meet the learning needs of lower-attainers, but it would be much enjoyed by the whole ability range. The text is clear and engaging, providing the big picture as well as the details that bring history to life. It is organised into eight challenging, fascinating and student-friendly investigations. A Teacher's Resource Book (pound;25) provides guidance on planning and further strategies for inclusion.
A major strength of this is the quality of student activities. Discussion points offer a stimulus to productive oral work. The main activities are imaginative and creative tasks that provide an engaging focus for learning.
At the end of each investigation, "exam busters" give students detailed, clear and helpful advice on developing the dimensions of historical thinking required by GCSE history.
Students will enjoy the accessible text and engaging overall design. The learning pathways are clearly signposted, with tinted boxes explaining the purpose of investigations in student-friendly language. Colour is used to good effect, and the clever use of cartoons, diagrams and speech bubbles reinforces the learning.
This textbook leads the pack. It successfully combines the challenge and creativity that characterise best practice at KS3 with excellent preparation for GCSE.