26th May 2000 at 01:00
COMPLETE PHYSICS. By Stephen Pople. Oxford University Press. pound;14.

Choosing a textbook for GCSE science courses, like choosing a specification, can be tricky. Some topics are emphasised, some are covered briefly or not at all. Complete Physics provides a solution to this problem by covering everything. All the teacher has to do is to tell the student which parts to omit.

This is an attractive textbook with 12 sections, each divided into the ubiquitous double-page spreads. Each spread contains an appealing mixture of photographs, diagrams, highlighted equations and questions. Each section ends with examination questions and, importantly, a checlist. The author suggests students can tick the spreads they will need to use and revise from on a photocopy of the checklist, though this could be expensive. Answers to numerical questions are given.

The topics that are not common to all syllabuses are highlighted, but there is no differentiation between foundation and higher-level material. Students taking foundation papers could find the book overwhelming, as each spread is quite concentrated. In this sense, though, it would be an ideal book to support those going on to AS physics.

Helen Reynolds Helen Reynolds is head of physics at Gosford Hill school, Kidlington, Oxfordshire.

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