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Tiers of joy;Secondary;Reviews;Mathematics;Books

NELSON GCSE MATHEMATICS. Series editor Barbara and Derek Ball. Nelson. Higher 1 student's book pound;11.99. Higher 1 teacher's book pound;24.95.

Nelson GCSE Mathematics is a two-year GCSE course, presented in three tiers, with two books for each tier. The chapters of books in each tier follow the same structure.

The Higher 1 pupil's book provides opportunities for discussion, investigation and practice, with many problems and exercises encouraging pupils to make and justify generalisations. Each chapter contains "opportunities for coursework", indicated by margin notes and icons. Other icons indicate opportunities for applying maths or remind readers of important facts.

The teacher's book is a rich and supportive guide and gives a detailed outline for each chapter. The main learning outcomes are presented alongside those for parallel chapters in the other tiers. Coursework opportunities and any required resources are highlighted. Helpful notes introduce each new section of the chapter and there are supportive notes for each discussion point and answers for each exercise. Later, there are helpful notes about teaching and assessment.

The teacher's book also provides an extensive bank of revision and assessment material - there are mental revision exercises, mental tests, and photocopiable assessment tests for each chapter.

IT gets many inches: icons show the type of software required and the teacher's book provides further support, although teachers may need to be familiar with the required software.

The IT activities are interesting and motivating. Generally, these books offer varied activities, motivating problems and genuine mathematical development. The pupils' material is clearly presented and invites teachers to be actively involved in the lessons Peter Johnston-Wilder is a senior lecturer in mathematics education at De Montfort University, Bedford

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