One good idea leads to another
CAMBRIDGE MODULAR SCIENCE series Further Physics By David Sang Health PhysicsBy A K McCormick and A T Elliot Trends and Patterns By Helen Eccles Cambridge University Press Pounds 6.50 each.
It is always good to welcome further volumes in successful series. Here we have additions to Bath Science, Collins Advanced Modular Science and the Cambridge Modular Science series. All these volumes are aimed at modular A-level sciences and all follow faithfully the pattern set by their predecessors (reviewed in The TES on May 19 1995, January 26 1996, and May 10 1996).
Physics of Materials in the Bath series covers the content of most materials modules in A-level physics syllabuses. The layout is clear, with appropriate diagrams and illustrations. It sets out learning objectives, assignments and questions in boxes picked out by a third colour. The text is well written and includes topical and historical references as well as explanations.
Microbes, Medicine and Biotechnology in the Collins Advanced Modular Science series follows a similar format but in full colour. The topics are covered in sufficient depth for many A-level syllabuses. The authors have used the opportunities offered by the subject matter to include many topical and interesting real life contexts.
Chemistry Support Pack from CAMS is a collection of worksheets which can be copied. There are three types of sheet: "Practical guides" - scenarios which can be used to assess Northern Examinations and Assessment Board skills A - D, with guidance on mark schemes etc; "Tutorial sheets" which provide a tutorial on a topic or part topic, some questions and on a separate sheet, some answers; and "Activity sheets" - text, diagrams and pictures which require the student to extract information from the text and apply some relevant knowledge to complete their task.
Further Physics, Health Physics and Trends and Patterns are three further volumes to support the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate modular science scheme. Each of these mainly monochrome volumes follows the pattern of the previous ones and each is a clear exposition of the subject. All are well designed, use clear diagrams and well-presented text. Health Physics contains a few pages of coloured diagrams and pictures, suitably in the section on Colour.
If you have already started any of the series, these books will be a most effective way of building up your resources. The CAMS Chemistry Support pack provides an excellent base from which any chemistry teacher could start to teach the modules in the NEAB course (and probably in most other courses).
If you are starting now, the CAMS colour approach grabs the reader much more than its competitors, but is aimed at the NEAB scheme only. In brief, "You pays your money and takes your choice" but if cash is short (and when isn't it?) note that you get two Cambridge University Press books for the price of one Collins.