Starters under Orders
This latest edition of Science in Action has been revised to meet the demands of the new national curriculum. It covers key stage 2 and consists of four pupil books, each accompanied by a separate teacher's resource book. Each book is divided into six themes, repeated in books 3 and 4, which provides a rolling program of activities that revisit the subject matter two years later in greater depth. All the books are well-illustrated in full colour and the teacher's books contain many useful photocopiable resources.
The pupils' books are lively and bright and restricted solely to providing imaginative and appropriate activities for pupils, with emphasis on practical investigations. There is no attempt to give any explanation of the underlying science, but instead, they provide an easy-to-follow guide and pupil resource, written at an appropriate level for young children. Furthermore, they do attempt to address differentiation by the use of additional activities to stretch the more able.
For the overburdened teacher of primary science, the teacher's books provide a range of support. There are materials to help with planning, assessment, investigative work, background subject knowledge, recording pupil attainment and appropriate health and safety warnings. While some aspects are treated in very minimalist terms - for instance, no examples of children's work are used as a basis for discussing assessment and the background science is very restricted and simplified - this set of materials is a good, basic starter pack. The layout is clear, simple and and easily assimilated and there is little to fault and much to commend.