Book reviews - revision guides

On this page we have reviewed some of the best revision guides and practice books available. These support work done in the classroom and give children the opportunity to reinforce their learning. They are ideal to use as pre-test revision and to boost children's confidence. There are books here to help all children, so please take a look. You may find the selection of 11+ revision guides helpful too.

Foundation Stage

Coming Top: Maths - Ages 3-4 by Jill Jones

At this age, children have a real thirst for learning, so make the most of this by providing fun learning books, like this series from Anness Publishing. This includes over 30 activities that help with early number learning - count ducks in a pond, draw a circle around the bowls that contain one fish, and follow a counting rhyme. The activities are very appealing for children - and they will think they are simply having fun! In fact, they are gaining an understanding of the use of numbers. Added fun and an extra incentive come from the reusable stickers to put on every page. It includes progress tests and charts to track improvement and build ability,helping teachers and parents to see if extra help is needed. Useful notes throughout the book give useful teaching tips - adults should help children, so they really understand. Written by an experienced teacher, this is ideal for early learners.

Coming Top: Phonics - Ages 4-5 by Louisa Somerville

Phonics can be a tricky subjects for parents to teach - it's so important to get the sounds absolutely right, or children can get very confused. Using books like this gives parents good guidance. There are more than 30 activities which offer a fun approach to early phonics with a page for each sound; for every sound, children are shown the letter formation too, adding an extra learning element. Every page has attractive colour illustrations and there are reusable stickers as well as gold stars to put on every page. There's a good range of activities - pictures to colour, words to complete, letter sounds to say and many more. Progress checks are spread through the book - it's important that adults work through these books with children to ensure they are learning and understanding. It's interesting to see that these books can be photocopied by teachers and parents - that's a welcome feature which will be really useful, especially for nursery settings who have finite resources.

Coming Top: Alphabet and First Words Ages 3-4: Sticker Books by Jean Williams

Any work done at home with children before they start school pays dividends - they will be more confident and will gain more from their learning if they have a good foundation. But it's essential that any learning done is fun - and that's where these colourful books come in. Children will learn all about the alphabet and initial phonic sounds in accordance with the guidelines set out in the National Curriculum; this is helpful for parents, who may otherwise not know exactly how best to teach their children. Colourful illustrations and friendly characters encourage children to learn and motivational stickers add an extra element of fun. This book covers early phonics sounds by working through the alphabet, and there are varied activities for each letter including join the dots, objects to spot and colouring. Progress checks follow each section.

Coming Top: Preparing for Times Tables - Ages 4-5 by Louisa Somerville

Times tables - a topic that is far from popular with children. But if you start them learning the principles early, with fun activities such as this book includes, they will soon become second nature. There are two books in the series that prepare for times tables, plus two that focus on learning the tables. This is an excellent way to get a head start. The book uses fun-to-do problems to teach essential skills and to encourage children to count in ones, tens, twos and fives; there's even a dice game to reinforce that learning. Bright illustrations are a key feature of the book, and one that will encourage children to try the activities. Children are also showb=n how to write the letters. In the centre of the book is a double page packed with colourful picture stickers - these are a great incentive for children.

Counting Sticker Book (Coming Top) by Jean Williams

With all the same excellent features as the previous book, this title is suitable for children aged 4 -5 years, and as such it is ideal for supporting classroom learning and offering extra practice to increase confidence. Following the National Curriculum guidelines, children will learn all about numbers and counting up to 10. With colourful illustrations, fun activities and games to play, early number work will be reinforced thus ensuring children have a firm foundation on which to build. There are progress checks for each number and children can be rewarded with the gold stars as well as enjoying the motivational stickers.

10 Minutes a Day Maths Ages 3 - 5 by Carol Vorderman

I admit to having some reservations about a maths workbook for children this young, but the approach is fun and the activities carefully selected to appeal to young children. The use of the 10 minute timer is a good way to make sure that just a small amount of time is given to the book  and children don't have the opportunity to get bored. It's also a good reassurance for them that they don't have to 'work' for too long! . The book supports National Curriculum at EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and includes number work, shape and size, matching, sorting, colour, pattern and position. The activities are highly visual and presented in a fun way.

KS1 study guides and revision books

Progress with Oxford: Time and Money Age 6-7

Ensure you are teaching your child the skills that are being covered in school with the Progress with Oxford series; each book is very specifically focused by age and topic to cover the skills your child will need to master at each stage of the school curriculum. 'The series has been created to help every child develop essential skills at home, with minimal help and support. Picture clues are used to show very young children how to complete activities'. The presentation is excellent, clear and uncluttered with pictures to make it more interesting. Children will work through this book with the aid of Ticktock and Pound, lively characters who have lots of helpful tips to make learning fun. Colourful stickers are included to reward their work, plus a progress chart so you can be sure children have fully understood the concepts. Find further support on the excellent Oxford Owl at Home website, which provides specific advice on helping your child learn about time and money, and fun activities to extend their skills.

Progress with Oxford: Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Age 5-6

Based on the National Curriculum requirements for Year 1, children will find this a fun and enjoyable way to reinforce key skills. Caps and Stops are the lively characters accompanying children through the book and they teach children the basic facts in a simple way. Then each page has exercises for children to do to demonstrate their understanding. The book is ideal for children to work through on their own, although adult input adds encouragement. There's an in-depth progress chart that makes a permanent record of learning; this encourages self-assessment and will also make a good record for home educators. The activities are varied and include handwriting practice. Useful tips for parents are also included as well as plenty of stickers, some of which are used in answering the questions, with others for fun. A well-targeted book that gives a good overview, perfect to revise the topics.

Coming Top: English - Ages 5-6 by Alison Hawes

Support your child's school learning by encouraging them to do just a page or two of this colourful book each day, and especially during the school holidays to keep learning going. This delightfully illustrated book is designed to teach essential skills, with fun-to-do problems and projects, as well as reward stickers to boost confidence. Add full stops, question marks and capital letters, say two-letter sounds, use the correct word endings, put things in alphabetical order, and much more! There are 60 gold stars plus two pages of colourful picture stickers to encourage children to complete the activities - if they need encouragement!

Coming Top: Counting - Ages 6-7 by Sarah Eason

Another very attractively presented book which children will enjoy working through; these are books for parents to help their children with, so you can ensure that the learning is thoroughly absorbed for the maximum benefit. This excellently illustrated colourful workbook is designed to teach support children in learning essential skills and to support the teaching done in the classroom, with fun problems and projects. While sorting out odd numbers from even, and looking at pictures of cookies, cakes and skateboarding kids, readers won't realise just how much they are learning! There's a range of activities, ensuring children never get bored. This is an excellent range from Anness Publishing - you can see them all if you search Amazon for 'Coming Top'.

Grammar and Punctuation Years 1-2 Workbook (Scholastic English Skills)

The book teaches key grammar and punctuation skills in line with the new 2014 National Curriculum, so parents know they are supporting the work done in school; the book is also ideal for classroom use. The pages are clear and uncluttered, with just a single colour used with black and white. It is a comprehensive book, providing plenty of practice in a format children will enjoy; the subjects are appropriate and the illustrations attractive. This is the first in a series which progresses into KS2, so by starting with this book, you will be giving your child access to a structured approach which ensures all the key areas are covered; a teacher resource book is also available. An excellent book to consolidate skills and give a strong foundation.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar - KS1 (English Made Easy) by Carol Vorderman

You can be sure that you are helping your child in line with the teaching done in school with this series of books which is based on the 2014 National Curriculum. Carol Vorderman has become well-known for her excellent books which help parents guide their children through school. This title covers spelling, grammar and punctuation, discovering different parts of speech and when to use plurals and upper-case letters. Each topic is simply explained then there are fun exercises and activities to consolidate learning. Keep your child motivated by using the gold stars and progress chart included. Parents' notes explain what children will be learning and how parents can support this learning. The pages are clearly laid out with plenty of space for children to write in their answers; a new title in an excellent series.

Maths Made Easy Ages 5-6 Key Stage 1 Advanced by Carol Vorderman

A single page on each topic, linked to the 2014 curriculum, ensures that the work is not daunting for children but just right to reinforce the learning done in school - and there are gold stars to reward them. The notes and tips included make learning about Maths easy and even fun! Follow the exercises and activities with your child to strengthen their learning in school, then reward them with gold stars for their efforts. The progress chart allows recording. The parents' notes are particularly useful in explaining what children need to know and what they are doing at school. The presentation is lively and friendly. I really lie the fact that there are easy and advanced books for the same age group, allowing children to work at the right level for them.

Let's do Mental Maths for ages 5-6 by Andrew Brodie

Mental maths is a popular topic for our users and I know that this new Andrew Brodie series is going to be warmly welcomed. It really is an area where the more children try out questions, the more confident they become in dealing with all the differing question formats. The real value lies in using the books as a series, so children ensure all areas are covered and the adult can move on in confidence that the earlier level is properly understood. The layout of each test is fun for young children, with plenty of little illustrations and coloured backgrounds. Each test has 20 questions and they increase in complexity through the book. There are also progress tests interspersed along the way to check progress. Parents will be glad to know answers are included! The next step is Let's do Mental Maths for ages 6-7. Just like the previous book, this also includes tips from Digit the Dog and Brodie's Brain Boosters, which are mathematical problems which encourage children to think things through.

English Ages 5 - 6 (Practise and Learn) from CGP

This colourful book has English practice at just the right level for Year 1 children. They could undertake just one topic ( a single page) each day so that the work will be fun, not a chore. There is guidance on the topic, followed by tasks and activities. There's also a pull-out answers section with helpful tips if your child is struggling with the topic. The presentation and style of the book makes it one that children will look forward to using, with plenty of colour and topics to appeal. It's really like an activity book, in the style that children will have enjoyed when younger, so they will be very happy to work through this and reinforce basic learning in an enjoyable way - and parents can be reassured that all the key topics are covered. The answers are in a central section that can be torn out and are cleverly arranged as exact copies of the page with answers inserted.

Maths Ages 6 - 7 (Practise and Learn) from CGP

If you are wondering what your Year 2 child will learn in maths, you can find out in this practical and colourful book. The colourful pages start with guidance on the topic, then have plenty of sums, fun exercises and brain-teasing problems. There's also a pull-out answers section with helpful tips if your child is struggling with the topic. It's excellent value (as with all CGP books) and not too thick as to be daunting for young children. Each section is very manageable and it's good to see answers provided in the same format as the page, making marking quick and easy.

KS1 Maths Question Book by Richard Parsons

Like all CGP books, this is designed to give children a solid grounding in key topics whilst always including a good smattering of fun. Four sections - counting; plus and minus; times and divide; shapes and measure ensure coverage of the key KS1 topics. Generously illustrated, each page has a set of questions on a topic giving plenty of practice. Perfect to reinforce learning in preparation for KS1 SATS.

 Counting Book 2 (Start Maths) by Anne Montague-Smith

A bright, colourful series from QED Publishing, these books will ensure that children see maths as fun. Full of pictures of familiar objects, the busy pages give children plenty of practice with numbers 1 to 10. Children are helped by learning to read the question before answering by using the pictures and are then given additional challenges. Usefully, the book includes notes to help parents explain the concepts to children and suggestions on using the book, which can be extended into use in everyday situations. Also available - Start Maths: Counting Book 1

Numbers Book 1 (Start Maths) by Anne Montague-Smith

Children will love the colourful and appealing pictures and these make learning fun. Observation skills are encouraged and there are plenty of challenges to extend learning. The questions posed really make children think and reason on what they are doing. Again, there are tips for parents, to give confidence when helping children. Once your child has mastered the concepts in Book 1, move on to Start Maths: Numbers Book 2 . Practice and repetition are the best ways to ensure children are really secure in their number work.

 Measuring (Start Maths) by Anne Montague-Smith

Measuring can be a hard concept for young children to grasp, so help them with this colourful book. The topic is approached in a practical way and parents can build on the ideas suggested to give their child more examples. The activities are fun and firmly rooted in real life, so children see the practical value of what they are learning. Another concept children need to grasp is covered in Start Maths: Sizes and Shapes Book 1

Excellence in Problem Solving Mathematics Year 2 from Rising Stars 

This book makes a practical application of maths concepts, helping children to see how maths is used in the real world and therefore making it more meaningful. Many of the questions are written in words not figures and children are shown how to tackle these problems as they are taken through the topics covered in Year 2. Clearly laid out, with good use of colour and diagrams, this is an easy way for parents to help children. Also available for KS2 - Rising Stars Maths: Excellence in Problem Solving Year 3 , Rising Stars Maths: Excellence in Problem Solving Year 4 , Rising Stars Maths: Excellence in Problem Solving Year 5   and Rising Stars Maths: Excellence in Problem Solving Year 6 ,

 Spelling I Can Learn Age 6 - 7

This is a fun and rewarding way for children to reinforce spelling - all children love the incentive of stars and stickers! As with all the books in the 'I Can Learn' series, this is written by an experienced teacher, so you can be sure your child is continuing the work done in the classroom. Nearly 30 pages of varied tests and activities - just the right length to do one a day without it being a chore. Also - Spelling: Age 5-6 (I Can Learn)

Key Stage 1 maths - the study book by Richard Parsons

Learn all the key maths concepts studied in the first three years of primary school in a fun way in this entertaining book. It's full of colourful pictures and diagrams and easy-to-follow text to keep children focused and interested in the book. It's a great way for parents to work through maths with their children at home, following the methods used in teaching today.

KS1 science - the study book by Richard Parsons

It can be hard for parents to approach science at the right level for 5 to 7 year olds, so this book will be a great asset when helping with homework, topic work or for home schoolers. There are lots of activities to strengthen children's understanding and stimulate discussion - for instance 'How do you use each of your senses each day?'. The illustrations will help concepts to be memorised.

 KS1 English - Advanced Practice Book

This useful guide refreshes punctuation and writing skills and goes on to reassure children that comprehension is not difficult, as long as they read carefully and then look for the answers. There are plenty of practice questions, all entertainingly illustrated, and the answers are there too. The wide variety of passages covered - stories, poetry, factual writing - take children through all forms of writing they might encounter in tests, so this is a super book for practice.

KS2 study guides

Progress with Oxford: Times Tables Age 7-8

Learning times tables can be fun, especially when accompanied by Tim and Multy, friendly characters who join children as they work through the book, giving advice and encouragement. Reminder boxes, tips and advice support KS2 children as they learn to become self-sufficient learners. Plenty of colourful stickers are an added incentive and help to make the book feel like fun rather than an extension of school work - children will look forward to doing the book. 3, 4 and 8 times tables are covered, in line with expectations, with plenty of exercises and revision opportunities to reinforce learning. The colourful presentation makes the book appealing and will help children learn these essential facts.

Multiplication, Division and Fractions (Progress With Oxford) 

Make learning these essential skills fun with this Oxford book as they progress onto the new skills expected at Key Stage 2. Carefully matched to the curriculum and to age expectations, the book is designed for children to work through on their own, although adult input is always valued and appreciated; sharing the experience with your child helps you assess where they may need additional help. Helpful hints are foun d through the book, delivered by Xerox, and there are plenty of engaging questions to support each separate concept such as speedy threes, scale it up and fraction twins. Reminder boxes, tips and advice support older children to become self-sufficient learners, key to today's learning. Colourful stickers are included to reward their work and a handy progress chart at the end of the book captures their achievements, so you both know what to do next. Find further support on the Oxford Owl at Home website,

Help Your Kids with SATS by Carol Vorderman

This series, promoted by Carol Vorderman's name, has really cornered the market with clear accessible guides to help parents guide their children through the complexities of our education system, and this is an excellent addition which will be warmly welcomed by concerned parents, anxious to do their best to help. SATs can be daunting for both parents and guardians, and children, who may find themselves experiencing exam stress for the first time. This comprehensive book covers everything you need to know from how to handle your child's exam anxiety to what the SATs test papers cover. It helps you give your child the best opportunity by discovering your child's learning style, and use core skills section and practical activities with your child to help them prepare for the three KS2 SATs areas. The book is really readable, beautifully laid out and illustrated in a way that encourages you to keep seeking information. And the amount you will find is quite phenomenal; I highly recommend this book, not just for SATS preparation, but for supporting work in English and maths throughout KS2. It's important that we support our children and do not unduly pressurise them, and the full understanding given by this exceptional book will support that aim. An important facet of the book is the attention given to the child's wellbeing during the SATS period.

Bond SATs Skills: Reading Comprehension Workbook 8-9 Years

This has been developed to help children to begin their preparation for the increased focus on these core English comprehension skills, demanded by the National Curriculum and tested in SATs assessments. Starting early with practice is always beneficial, building confidence, and this clear easy-to-follow book is ideal. Bond brings its 50+ years of experience in helping children to succeed to this book to ensure it will effectively establish the foundation skills in reading comprehension expected by the National Curriculum.

Bond SATs Skills: Maths Workbook 8-9 Years

Bond SATs Skills Maths Workbook for Age 8-9 has been developed to help children to begin to build the mathematical skills demanded by the National Curriculum and tested in SATs assessments. This is just one in an extensive series. Each page features a helpful hint which is excellent for recapping before tackling the questions. The book is set out under the 10 units which are used in Year 4 maths teaching. Answers are supplied.

Bond SATs Skills: Maths Workbook 9-10 Years

This increases the level of difficulty in maths, to ensure progress towards the skills expected by the National Curriculum and tested in SATs assessments. There are ten units of activities -number, measurement, geometry and statistics elements are included. The book contains a progress chart and each page is scored separately so children's progress can be tracked and immediate feedback given. There is a very useful list of key words. The helpful hints are excellent - not just one hint, but several clearly laid out reminders that are easy for children to read and remember. A Progress Chart allows parents and teachers to keep track of children's learning

Money Maths Made Easy (Carol Vorderman's Maths Made Easy) by Carol Vorderman

Learning about money is easy and fun with Carol Vorderman's popular approach. Follow the exercises and activities with your child to support their learning in school; giving them individual attention can help spot any areas of weakness, and the additional practice the book offers will streg=ngthen learning and understanding. then reward them with gold stars for their efforts. There are a good number of questions for each topic, with a variety of types of question so children gain good all-round experience. Each title in the series includes a progress chart so children can keep track of all the exercises they have completed - and there are gold stars for rewards. Parents' notes explain what children need to know at each stage and what's being covered in the curriculum so you can support your child - this is really useful, as we are often asked exactly what children need to learn in each school year..

10 Minutes a Day Decimals by Carol Vorderman

If your child is reluctant to sit down and do extra work at home, the fact that the exercises in these books are in 10 minute chunks, with a timer to show when time's up, will make it seem far less of a chore. The activities cover adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimal numbers and working through these will help your child with schoolwork and day-to-day problem solving. They will see just how useful decimals can be by answering questions on, for example cake, journeys to school and pocket money. Each page has 'time filler' questions for those who complete the activity within the 10 minutes - or who are enjoying themselves so much they want to continue! The practical section for parents gives the answers, explains common pitfalls and gives guidance on how to avoid them. There is plenty in this book to support learning in a fun way that children will enjoy.

10 Minutes a Day Fractions by Carol Vorderman

Fractions and decimals go very much hand in hand, so working through these two books together will work really well. The timer isn't the only fun element in these books, though. The activities have been carefully thought out to have appeal to children and presented in a way that means they can see the relevance of the learning. Each maths game or test takes 10 minutes - just enough to keep children engaged and learning at its peak. The book covers adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions, and will help your child with schoolwork and day-to-day problem solving thereby increasing confidence. Some of the 'time filler' questions are intended to offer children a real challenge, so this is an excellent way of extending their learning.

Tutor Master Helps You with Comprehension Practice - Multiple Choice Introductory Set One by David Malindine

Suitable for use in Years 4 to 6, this set of 5 test papers and 10 compositions offers varied practice through well set out and in-depth papers. They will be particularly appreciated by teachers and parents preparing children for 11+ and Common Entrance; also for children working at Level 6. The book begins with helpful advice which is well worth reading before tackling the papers. It is particularly useful to note that the papers include answer sheets in the format used in tests and exams; this is a format not always used within schools so it is really excellent to see that children get the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the layout prior to exams. As well as the comprehension passages, each paper includes spelling, punctuation and word use tests; the final part is an essay question (30 minutes allowed) with a choice of two subjects. All the comments about each of the two books in the series apply equally to the other.

Tutor Master Helps You with Comprehension Practice - Multiple Choice Introductory Set Two by David Malindine

As with Book 1, there are five comprehension papers which include additional questions as well as writing tasks. The questions are well thought out and provide plenty of variety to give children confidence in facing differing question types. Usefully, the papers set a target time of 50 minutes; obviously, when getting close to exam time, your child must work within this timeframe to complete the paper but for earlier practice and for younger children you may well find it useful to allow more time or even split the papers up. As well as extracts from classic children's fiction, the comprehensions also include traditional tales and legends. The essay questions cover a range of writing styles, including stories, letters and reports; this gives children excellent experience and the detailed mark schemes offer plenty of guidance on marking. The books are well laid out, clear and easy to use, with provision made for writing in the answers; the similarity to actual papers is very beneficial for giving children confidence. I highly recommend all the excellent books in the Tutor Master series by David Malindine - do take a look at the rest of his books and good advice on the Tutor Master website.

Reading & Comprehension Workbook Age 9-11 by Susan Elkin

This write-in workbook from Galore Park for pupils aged 9-11 provides 25 varied passages covering the different types of comprehension children will experience, including fiction (contemporary and classic), factual writing and poetry. with questions, tips and advice. Suggested answers are included in a pull-out section but as the author points out, there are few right or wrong answers in this type of work. The answers are detailed, giving an excellent guide for children to encourage them to answer in depth. The passages will help pupils appreciate how writers use language to create effects; improve their use and understanding of vocabulary; write in-depth answers. Short introductions helpfully put each passage into context and there are useful tips on answering comprehension questions. Ideal for revising and consolidating work done in class as well as for revision for SATS, CE and 11+, with an excellent range of passages.

Grammar & Punctuation Workbook Age 9-11 by Susan Elkin

Working through practice exercises gives children the best chance of success in Pre-Tests, CE and 11+ exams. This book contains varied and thorough grammar and punctuation exercises to give pupils an intensive grounding. There are 25 topic-based activities and children can write the answers straight into the book. There are with tips and advice, plus those all-important answers which come in a pull-out section. Accurate use of punctuation is an essential part of effective written communication and the questions encourage children to recognise the links between punctuation and grammar. They are also helped to understand text by noticing ways in which grammar determines meaning. the layout is clear, with each topic on a two page spread.

Writing Workbook Age 9-11 by Susan Elkin

Writing, and especially creative writing, can be a stumbling block for some pupils, but it doesn't need to be. By working progressively - and at the pupil's preferred pace - through this write-in workbook, key concepts will be explained and practised, thus giving confidence. Children will learn to: express ideas fluently in writing; use appropriate vocabulary, tone and structure for a range of writing needs; and learn to write in a variety of forms, including a book review, a news report, non-fiction and poetry. This comprehensive book also covers accuracy and appropriateness in writing, presentation of character, use of dialogue, arguing a case and almost anything needed to write in school, for exams or in everyday life. Clear and easy to use, with work split into manageable chunks, this is an excellent guide. Don't just take my word for it - the Galore Park site  has sample pages to download.

Spelling & Vocabulary Workbook Age 9-11 by Susan Elkin

Perfect for a year, this write-in workbook has 50 different topics and exercises along with tips and advice, plus pull-out answers. Designed to help with 11+ and CE preparation, it is equally useful for SATS preparation (especially for those working at Level 6) and will give plenty of challenge for Year 6 pupils. The book goes beyond topics covered in many study guides so offers a new and valuable addition. By the time they have completed the book, they will be able to use words confidently and accurately; recognise links between words with a range of examples; learn spelling rules and when to apply them. In addition, the book helps with word structure and definition, pronunciation and word sounds and source and meaning. These are all essential areas in which pupils need a thorough grounding to help them cope with the work at secondary level.

Mental Arithmetic Workbook Age 8-10 by David E Hanson

This workbook is ideal for children in Year 5 who are preparing for CE and 11+ exams, as well as offering valuable practice for all pupils. This write-in workbook provides extensive practice with 50 tests, all containing questions which have to be answered without using a calculator, measuring instruments or writing down anything but the answer. A pull-out answer section is included. The tests (each containing 20 questions) get progressively harder through the book. By working systematically through the book, children will learn to think quickly and accurately; identify weak topics and improve skills; build confidence with regular testing. The layout is extremely clear, with the questions in two columns on a single side of paper. The wide range of questions is impressive.

Mental Arithmetic Workbook Age 9-11 by David E Hanson

Mental arithmetic is an important skill and definitely one which becomes easier the more practice children have. Give them confidence in tackling a variety of question types with the comprehensive workbook, which follows on from the one above and takes the same clear format. Odd numbered tests start with 10 straightforward questions which act as reminders of the 10 basic strategies. Initially, there are useful hints about tackling questions but these decrease as the book progresses, by which time pupils should be secure in their learning - if they are not, then it would be good to review earlier tests. With their clear layout and wide-ranging questions, these are excellent books to develop children's mental arithmetic skills. Find sample pages for the Mental Arithmetic and 10 Minute Maths Tests here.

10-Minute Maths Tests Workbook Age 8-10 by David E Hanson

Another excellent pair of books from Galore Park, which offer the greatest benefits when used together progressively as one builds on the other. Each book consists of 70 topic tests (10 for each strand) together with 10 mixed topic tests designed to address all the strands of the Maths curriculum. Each test should take 10 minutes and will cover varying aspects of the topic. Working through the tests will help children practise recalling facts and procedures; identify weak topics and improve skills and build confidence with regular testing. The books are practical and easy to use, with each test clearly laid out in two columns on a single page - colour is used sparingly but appropriately. There is space to write in the answer to each question plus pull-out answers.

10-Minute Maths Tests Workbook Age 9-11 by David E Hanson

The useful introduction explains the strands and the topics covered within each, plus their place in the new National Curriculum. Useful guidance on administering the tests is given and the layout and marking explained. Topics covered in both books are Number, Calculations, Problem-solving, Pre-algebra, Shape, Space and Measures and Handling Data. Give your child the best possible opportunities for 11+, CE and other tests and exams with this excellent series.

French Made Easy (Language Made Easy) by Carol Vorderman

The 'Made Easy' series is excellent for making learning fun and giving children the assurance that they can do it. This supports the curriculum at KS2 and is excellent for reinforcing school learning - or for starting a new language with its coverage of basic vocabulary and grammar. Children get involved with the book through the interactive exercises and engaging activities as well as the interesting sections on French culture and geography illustrated with pictures and fact boxes, which are an excellent addition to the book. Good use of graphics makes the book lively. I am impressed with the level of detail on each page, yet the pages still remain uncluttered and clear.

Busy Ant Maths - Pupil Book 3C by Peter Clarke

Designed to complement the brand new (for 2014) Busy Ant Maths from Collins, this book contains three levels of differentiated challenge built-in to each lesson as well as extra consolidation and extension activities to ensure rapid progression for every child. Designed to be very child-friendly, the pages are in full colour with lively graphics and topics to which children will readily relate. Clearly matched to the entire scheme, this book provides ideal support and reinforcement of learning; the differentiation is especially useful. The Busy Ant Scheme is reviewed in more detail on our Teacher page.

Let's do Mental Maths for ages 7-8 by Andrew Brodie

The books in this series all start with useful guidelines for parents, which explain what is in the book, how they can help their children and point out the extra features of Digit the Dog (useful tips) and Brain Boosters (word problems for an extra challenge). Child-friendly layout makes the pages appealing and the 20 questions are just right for a practice session; progress tests check on understanding and accumulated knowledge. This book is followed by Let's do Mental Maths for ages 8-9 "Each book in this exciting new series contains more than 800 mental maths questions specially devised to boost children's confidence by providing plenty of practice of all the key aspects of the national curriculum. The structure of each test follows the same pattern but the questions get progressively more difficult as children work their way through the book. Tips provided by 'Digit' the dog and word puzzles in the form of 'Andrew Brodie Brain Booster' boxes provide extra elements to support children's learning and challenge them further. Fun stickers featuring Digit the dog for every page make sure children are rewarded for their efforts!"

Let's do Mental Maths for ages 9-10 by Andrew Brodie

Each book in the series follows the same structure for the questions, so children will be familiar with this; the questions get progressively harder throughout the book. Digit the dog is on hand again with his snippets of interestingly presented information, which will amuse children while they learn - "I eat a bowl of dog food at 5pm. That's 17.00 on the 24 hour clock." Brodie's Brain Boosters are word problems for children to answer and these develop thinking skills. The final book in the series is Let's do Mental Maths for ages 10-11 and once children reach that, having worked through this excellent series, they will have a really firm foundation of mental maths which will stand them in good stead, both for tests and exams and in everyday life.

Brilliant Activities for Gifted and Talented Children -That Other Children Will Love Too by Ashley McCabe Mowat

An excellent resource to help teachers provide plenty of differentiated activities and for parents who wish to stretch their children and unlock their potential. Suitable for children of 6+, it is certainly not only for G&T children. A book full of ideas for classroom activities for ages 6 and up. One of the most important things children can learn is how to think and reason and these activities will certainly promote that aspect of learning.  The book starts by introducing and explaining Bloom's Taxonomy. The activities are wide-ranging, from brain teasers that can take just minutes, to activities that can take several days. There are many different ideas related to each topic and they can be undertaken by individuals or groups. They are all activities that children will enjoy and can used as a springboard for yet further learning.

Understanding Myths and Legends by by Karen Moncrieffe

27 stories from around the world, which will give an excellent basis for classroom work in history, RE and literacy. Children love the excitement of these exciting stories, with giants, monsters and gods and goddesses. Each story is retold, with an illustration, and followed by a range of activities using a variety of question types to test comprehension  - we are always being asked for interesting comprehension resources and this book makes a refreshing change. Every story includes background information so teachers can explain the context of the story to their class and a range of follow-up activities to support learning and understanding of life in ancient times. Myths and legends have a vital part to play in our culture and a book like this does an excellent job of introducing them to children.

Maths Ages 8 - 9 (Practise and Learn) from CGP

This colourful and accessible series includes one book for each school year, so by using the series you can support your child's learning throughout primary school by using this familiar and attractive format.  This bright, friendly book has lots of maths practice covering the syllabus for Year 4. each pag pages start has guidance on the topic, followed by a variety of sums, fun exercises, games and brain-teasing problems. There's also a pull-out answers section with helpful tips if your child is struggling with the topic.

Maths Ages 10 - 11 (Practise and Learn) from CGP

This is an ideal book to work through with your child when SATS (or 11+ and CE exams) are looming. The succinct pages are just enough to practise key topics without undue pressure. All the activities are fun and enjoyable to do, and well designed to appeal to children. There is an answer sheet for every page, which is easy to follow, and explanations are given to help children to understand.

English Ages 7 - 8 (Practise and Learn) from CGP

The series has an emphasis on making learning fun, and the work is split into small sections perfect to do on a daily basis. This bright, friendly book has lots of English practice at exactly the right level for 7-8 year olds. The colourful pages start with guidance on the topic, then have loads of writing tasks, fun exercises and brain-teasing activities. There's also a pull-out answers section - the helpful tips are invaluable if your child is struggling with the topic - so often, books just give the answer with no explanation so it can be hard for parents to help their children.

English Ages 9 - 10 (Practise and Learn) from CGP

Another colourful and enjoyable book to help children reinforce essential skills. One topic is explained in full colour on each page, with questions and activities to ensure children have a full understanding before moving on to the next topic. And when they have finished the book (as with every other title in the series) there is a fun game, based on the topic of the book, to play and keep. This whole series is fun and colourful and exceptionally good value.


11+ English Revision Guide by Susan Hamyln

Geared towards pupils working for grammar school entrance and independent school entrance exams, including CE, this book is designed to help your child excel. It's excellent too for those who want to be stretched beyond the normal Year 6 expectations. Children are encouraged to 'Aim High' through the special sections throughout. 'To Do' sections encourage children to think about and to apply their English skills in a wide range of areas. It is both revision guide and practice papers combined, and the answers are included, enabling parents to give their child the best possible help. It's an excellent guide, both for classroom and home use and I highly recommend it for its practicality and the way it extends children's abilities to ensure they give their best.
Galore Park is the leading publisher of educational textbooks for pupils studying at independent schools and is the sole distributor of ISEB Common Entrance papers for 11+ and 13+. All their publications can be purchased through their website

11+ Maths Revision Guide by David E Hanson

An easy to understand guide covering all the key topics needed for Common Entrance, grammar school entrance and other independent school exams at 11+. It includes the same features as the English revision guide and is again an excellent way to encourage students to reach their maximum potential. The bullet point lists and clear diagrams present information in a clear and understandable way, so even parents who are not brilliant at maths can be given to confidence to help their children. Sample questions throughout the revision guide enable pupils to check their progress and identify areas for improvement. There is a fantastic amount of information packed into this book and able children will enjoy tackling the challenges it presents. Excellent for extension work in the classroom too.

KS2 ICT Study Guide by Richard Parsons

Adults may learn as much as their children from this useful book! It is written in a clear and non-patronising way that means we can all learn.  It follows the National Curriculum and covers all the key areas. It relies heavily on images of what you - or your child - will actually see on the screen in front of you and this makes it easy to follow. There are lots of activities to try out that new-found knowledge, with technical terms explained clearly alongside the multitude of diagrams. A really practical guide with plenty of fun too - not to mention exceptionally good value!

KS2 Maths Question Book - Year 3 by Richard Parsons

Make sure your child is working at exactly the level required with this series of  graded books from CGP - and then move on when they are ready (or back to reinforce learning). Clearly laid out practice questions approach concepts in a range of ways ensuring children are not thrown by the wording of a question.  It matches the KS2 Maths Study Book - Year 3: The Study Book Year 3 page for page, so do use them together. The pages are clearly laid out and the questions are written in language perfectly suited to 7 to 8 year-olds. Of course, there's plenty of fun too!

KS2 Science The Important Bits by Richard Parsons

Even though the majority of children no longer sit formal KS2 Sats tests in science, it is still essential that they have a good grounding in science - and this book is ideal to reinforce that knowledge. As with all CGP books, it is written in an easily accessible form that children will find fun. Each topic is succinctly covered, with plenty of colour diagrams and illustrations. The amount of information packed into this book is amazing! 

 Study Guides Mathematics Year 4 from Rising Stars

I am very impressed with the books from Rising Stars. They are well thought out and extremely easy to use and are also excellent value. Well worth a look! This covers all the topics in the maths curriculum and supports the Renewed Framework for Mathematics for Year 4, making it ideal for reinforcing concepts at home and for additional work on problem areas, thus developing confidence. Also available for other KS2 years eg Rising Stars Study Guides: Science Years 3 (Rising Stars Study Guides Series)


 Study Guides Science Year 5 from Rising Stars

Using these guides, based on the curriculum, means that parents can have confidence that they are supporting the work done in school. Topics are divided into easily manageable chunks, with clear explanations and  questions to test learning. The key facts and language boxes make the background to the topic clear and are an excellent support to learning. Answers are in a pull-out booklet which is very practical and makes cross-reference easy. Available for all KS2 years - Rising Stars Study Guides: Science Years 6 (Rising Stars Study Guides Series)

Achieve Level 5 Mathematics Practice Questions from Rising Stars 

This is the ideal book to use in the run-up to SATS in Year 6. It includes hundreds of practice questions covering all the topics in the maths curriculum at KS2. The book is laid out to allow familiarity with the layout of SATS papers (always reassuring for children to be familiar with expectations) and marks are allocated for each question. Useful key facts are given and test techniques are covered. A practical and useful book. Also - Achieve: Maths Revision- Level 4 . In addition to the books reviewed I have listed just a few from the range - there are many more.

Achieve Level 5 Mathematics KS2 from Rising Stars

Another practical book, excellent to have on hand at home to give children confidence when tackling maths questions. It focuses on how to answer questions and the unique flowcharts are a super way of showing children how to tackle questions step-by-step - they are also good for parents who are unsure about teaching methods used in schools today. The layout is clear and the use of images of people teaching makes the book approachable. Full of practical advice, this is a great way to ensure a full understanding of every concept needed to gain Level 5 in maths. 

 Achieve Level 3 Mathematics KS2 from Rising Stars/Louise Moore

This covers all the topics children need to learn to achieve Level 3 in the KS2 tests. It links to the Renewed Framework for Numeracy. Clear layout, good use of colour and plenty of practice questions to reinforce learning. Answers are at the end. Excellent value and very useful as part of this progressive series. Other titles available include Achieve Maths Level 4 Revision Book (Achieve Revision and Practice Question Books for Key Stage 2)

 Achieve Level 4 English from Rising Stars

This includes hundreds of questions at Level 4, including reading comprehension, writing, grammar and punctuation. The range of topics covered is huge and there are detailed coverage of all the topics, with hints and suggestions. I particularly like the sections on writing - an area with which many children struggle . All presented clearly and in an attractive way which makes learning fun. Tips on using the book and guidelines for the tests are included. A great way to prepare. Achieve: English Revision- Level 5 is another book in the extensive range of books from Rising Stars. Take a look at their website to see their full range.

Achieve Level 4 English Practice Questions from Rising Stars

Another excellent value book from Rising Stars. They are well thought out and very practical guides to enable children to reach their full potential in SATS tests - the coverage of different levels is a particular feature of these books, enabling children to work at their correct level and making it easy for parents to choose appropriate work. Full of questions and explanations  - reports, settings, fiction, spelling, vocabulary and much more. Also available -  Achieve: English Practice Questions- Level 5

Maths Money Problems 7 - 9 by Andrew Brodie

So often children are quite happy with straightforward sums, but are more puzzled when it comes to written problems. This book addresses that issue, with a wide range of money problems, set out in a practical way and with a wide variety of different types of problems, to give children that all-important practice in reading and applying questions. Each page includes practical notes for teachers and there is a CD-ROM  for printing or use with an interactive whiteboard. Clearly laid out, with plenty of pictures to make the worksheets appealing, this is an excellent resource. In the same series - Maths Money Problems 9-11


Practice Mental Maths Workbooks by Andrew Brodie

One book is available for each age group - 7-8, 8-9, 9-10 and 10-11. We need the ability to do mental arithmetic in many areas of life - just think of those supermarket special offers, for example. Each contains over 50 tests, designed to build confidence and numeracy skills. Each test is divided into 3 sections - warm up, quick fire and a problem solver which is a word problem giving children experience of this common question type. Ideal for everyday practice in short bursts, the 10 questions in each test are just right to keep children interested. The series is an excellent way to keep your child progressing through the age ranges. Parents will be pleased to know that answers are provided!

 Practise Mental Maths Teacher's Books by Andrew  Brodie

The Teacher's Books come in the same age ranges as the books above and are an excellent classroom resource. There are 190 tests (of 10 questions each, as above) in each book, meaning teachers have one test for each day of the school year, perfect for building familiarity, confidence and speed. The questions are varied, covering all the different question types children are likely to encounter. The word problem at the end of each test is particularly useful as many children need extra reinforcement with these. The books come with a CD-ROM, which includes the audio tests plus all the tests to print out or use on a whiteboard. Answers are provided.


 So you really want to learn science Book 1 by W R Pickering

This book, produced by Galore Park, is designed to cover the 11+ Common Entrance syllabus. As such, it is also an excellent resource for KS2 science, especially for those pupils who need 'stretching'. It is endorsed by the ISEB, so you can be sure the entire syllabus is covered so it is an excellent resource for those in schools which do not prepare for Common Entrance. The book is beautifully presented and absolutely crammed with illustrations, which make learning clear and memorable. The exercises at the end of each chapter are challenging and provide an excellent review before continuing, or great revision aids. The extension questions are particularly challenging. This book will really engage students and is also an excellent resource for home schoolers.

 So you really want to learn junior maths by David Hillard

We get lots of parents asking us how maths is taught in the classroom and this book is a valuable resource for anyone who has asked that question. The book is geared towards Year 5 and will be ideal preparation for those coming up to 11+ and Common Entrance. One key topic is covered in each chapter in a manageable chunk with clear explanations, which means it is not too daunting for children - or the parents helping them! There are masses of exercises to reinforce learning and to give children confidence that they have really grasped the concept. The book is ideal for more able children, especially the activities at the end of each chapter. Clear and colourful, this is an excellent resource for classroom and home learning.

Spelling Rules by Richard Parsons

This is such a simple idea - just learn the spelling rules which are clearly presented, then you can remember the rule whenever you are stuck for a spelling. This handy guide takes you through the most common spelling rules needed to follow the requirements of the National Literacy Strategy. Every child should have their own copy of this super book. Simple but effective.

KS2 Geography - the Study Book 

All CGP books are fantastic value and this is no exception. The colourful presentation and fantastic use of diagrams make this a really good guide for KS2 geography. Geographical concepts are explained clearly and concisely in a way guaranteed to appeal. Add to your knowledge by using the KS2 geography workout book too.

KS2 maths - the Study Book Year 4

CGP produce one of these books for each year in KS2. They are a super way to ensure all the key topics for the year are covered and they can also be used for revision at any stage. Usefully, each page includes the Learning Objective, together with circles the child can tick to show progress - this is always a great incentive to help children see the progress they have made. It also helps parents and teachers see areas of weakness. The glossary is another useful feature, to ensure understanding of all the key terms.

KS2 English SAT buster Reading Book 1

I love the way the texts for the questions are on fold-out flaps, so children can refer to the text whilst answering the questions. In the SATS tests, the different types of questions are mixed up, but this book separates out the different types so children can recognise and practise the 5 different types - you'll need to read the book to find out what they are! There are two more books in the series, too.

KS3/4 study guides

Oaka Topic Pack

Oaka Topic Packs

Oaka Topic Packs are colourful, fully illustrated, clearly laid out and curriculum based. They include include memory maps, glossaries of key words and terms and Oaka Active Learning Maps  or Games. Written by subject and SEN teachers, they are designed to help engage and interest children who find school work challenging. Children may have reading, concentration or processing issues but they still need to keep up with their work. Over 24 Oaka Topic Packs (CE/KS3) can help your child understand key topics for Common Entrance and KS3 plus there are 7 KS1 and KS2 History packs. The Oaka System helps students retain focus and interest. Three methods of learning in each Topic Pack increase the long term memory recall needed for exams as well as presenting information in a clear and easy to understand format. Packs follow guidelines from the British Dyslexia Association and the CE/KS3 range was shortlisted for the Education Resource Award.

Geography: Plate Tectonics, Volcanoes & Earthquakes - Revision Guide from Oaka Books

This fully illustrated revision guide is suitable for Geography Common Entrance and KS3 pupils. It covers why tectonic plates move, the volcanoes they can create and the resulting natural disasters. Each page of the Topic Booklet covers 4 key areas, each of which is simply explained and illustrated. This highly visual approach is perfect for visual learners and those who struggle with high volumes of text. It also covers the differences between MEDC and LEDC countries in their responses to disasters and provides a Case Study page for pupils to complete to give them a comprehensive understanding of their chosen case studies. It is accompanied by a Write Your Own Notes Booklet. An accompanying set of Q&Q flashcards gives an added dimension to learning; these also form part of a game which is an additional way of reinforcing learning. With this varied approach to learning, there is something to engage all styles of learner - an excellent mix of resources. They've thought of everything - even the playing pieces are included!

French: All About Me - Revision Guide from Oaka Books

The innovative format of Oaka Books is consistent across the range, so please appreciate that my general comments apply to every Topic Pack. This colourfully illustrated revision guide covers learning for for French Common Entrance and KS3 pupils. Topics include dates and numbers, months, personal description, family and friends, meeting people, conversation practice, present tense and regular verbs plus useful adjectives and vocabulary. The Topic Booklet includes key verbs, vocabulary and adjectives as well as practice conversations. The material is partially repeated in the Write Your Own Notes illustrated booklet, which includes spaces for pupils to complete based on their learning in the Topic Book (they can refer back if necessary). The set includes an Active Learning Game and the reverse of the game has a self-assessment sheet where pupils can gauge their own understanding. Ideal for all visual and kinaesthetic learners as well as dyslexic children, careful attention has been given to making the books user-friendly. Features include coloured backgrounds, easy to read font and clearly numbered sections; the careful attention to detail is clearly shown.

Physics: Forces - Revision Guide from Oaka Books

This fully illustrated physics revision guide for Common Entrance and KS3 pupils covers Forces including gravitational force, magnetic force, floating and sinking, friction and air resistance. It shows how forces act on moving and static objects, what happens to a sky diver jumping from a plane and how we use friction in everyday life; all relevant to everyday life and presented in such a way that pupils will really learn and remember. The Test Yourself section includes questions and answers to help your child learn the information by really thinking about it rather than just writing notes. The Active Learning Game provides yet another way to learn and use knowledge. Text is presented in easily assimilated short sections, using bullet points and images to focus the attention; images are important to many learners, making topics easier to understand and remember; perfect for revision. The presentation of all the Topic Packs is such that many KS2 learners will find the KS3 material is at a suitable level; as with the topic of forces, much of the material is also relevant to KS2.

Battle of Hastings Revision Pack from Oaka Books

This pack includes: Revision Booklet with Memory Maps and Glossary of Key Terms; Active Revision Map; Character Sheets and Write Your Own Notes illustrated booklet. Starting with the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings, pupils learn who did what to whom and why as well as the events of the Battle, detailing why William won and Harold lost. This is slightly different from the other packs, as the Revision Notes book simply has lined boxes, numbered to match the Revision Booklet; pupils write in their own words. Character cards can be used with the Active Revision Map to act out the events - yet another dimension to learning. So well thought out - there are stands for the character cards and even a spare bag to hold the cards once pressed out. As with all the Topic Packs it is ideal for Visual Learners, Kinesthetic Learners and Dyslexic pupils. Oaka Revision Guides are topic specific which makes them short and focused, covering key points your child needs to know for their exams. Each pack includes a very helpful A4 sheet of instructions for teachers and parents which explains how to use the Topic Book and the Write Your Own Notes Book, as well as explaining how to use the game or map included. This ensures learners get the very best out of their packs.

Biology: Food & Digestion - CE/KS3 Revision Guide from Oaka Books

The topic area is comprehensively covered with information on diet, nutrients, different food types, how we store energy from food, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibre and water, vitamins,food tests for starch, glucose, sucrose, proteins and fats, and digestion. A useful glossary ensures familiarity with all the terminology. These excellently thought-out packs give a comprehensive learning experience, clearly and succinctly focused on a specific topic so learning can be targeted. The wide range of activities means all learning styles are well covered and students will really enjoy the bright colourful presentation. Brilliant for school use and to help differentiation in the classroom, teachers will have material to suit all their learners whatever their ability and learning style. Do look at the whole range and make good use of this innovative and unusual approach to learning. I really hope the range will continue to grow and I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Geometry (SparkNotes Study Cards) from SparkNotes

600 cards to help students with definitions, true or false questions, fill in the blanks and diagrams - plenty of different approaches to learning. The size and format make it possible to revise anywhere and as much or as little as wanted. SparkNotes Study Cards boil down subjects into easily digestible tidbits that make studying faster and easier. On the reverse of each flashcard, you'll find answers and quick explanations. It's a great way to share revision with a friend too, as you use the cards to test each other - more fun than a book! Published by SparkNotes, January 2015, 978-1411469990.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar for GCSE: The Study Guide from CGP

Now that 5% of the marks are now awarded for spelling, punctuation and grammar in GCSE English Literature, Geography, History and RS, it's more important than ever that students practise and learn the principles. This book is a clear and succinct guide to avoiding common mistakes, with plenty of useful advice for picking up as many marks as possible. Not just useful for GCSE, I think this is also excellent for KS3 and even for adults unsure of the basic principles. There are plenty of examples of correct usage and the book includes practice questions for each topic to test students' understanding of the important points. Another excellent and good value publication, that gets to the heart of the matter to aid learning.

KS3 English Literacy Strategy Book 1 Levels 3-5 by Richard Parsons

One of three books written specifically to support the KS3 Literacy Strategy, these are ideal for knowing exactly what students need to know - not always easy to find out, so this series will be very welcome. This book is packed with questions at the correct level, so pupils are assured they are doing appropriate work. The answers are all there too, to help self-study. Of course, CGPs generous helping of fun is much in evidence! A revision guide to support the book is also available.

KS3 Maths The Revision Guide Levels 3 - 6 ed by Richard Parsons

One of the (many) great things about the CGP books is their coverage of all levels, so you can be sure that your child is working at the correct level to support school work, and then there is always progression available. 

Reading Comprehension Skills Builders Levels 3 - 5 from Rising Stars

Requests for help with comprehension are one of our most frequent questions and this is an excellent resource for KS3.  The passages chosen are modern examples to which children can relate and are designed so that they can work through the book on their own. All the exercises will complement and reinforce work they are already doing in school. Warm-up exercises provide plenty of skills practice and all the answers are included. The book shows what needs to be done to attain level 3-4 and 4-5 under five key topic areas. The explanations are clear and the guidance excellent. Also available - Skills Builders Reading Skills Level 5 -7


Mathematics ISEB Revision Guide by Stephen Froggatt and David Hanson

This is the revised edition for the syllabus introduced for exams in 2010, so you know it covers what the student needs. It covers all maths topics needed at 11+ and 13+. Six major topics are covered, each split into 11+ and 13+. Plenty of examples are clearly laid out for the reader to work through, all reinforced by exercises and exam questions (and answers!). Clearly laid out with copious use of diagrams, the explanations are clear and understandable, reassuring the student and building of previous knowledge. A thick book and excellent value! 

English Practice Exercises 13+ by Amanda Alexander and Rachel Gee 

This book is valuable both for use in school and for parents wanting to give their child a boost at home. It starts with a useful analysis of the papers, so the student knows what to expect. Texts are wide-ranging and include non-fiction and poetry for comprehension practice - always a popular topic and an area which will be useful throughout KS3 in all schools. The studied literature section tests the students knowledge and understanding of their chosen texts. Get maximum value by using this with the English Practice Exercises 13+ Answer Bo ok.

History Practice Exercises 13+ by Gavin Hannah and Paul Spencer

This useful book provides excellent practice in answering evidence questions and essay questions for the period 1066 - 1900. The evidence questions are supported by a wide range of sources including texts and one illustration for each topic - excellent for getting the student to make deductions from the evidence. To get the full benefit, you really need History Practice Exercises: Answer Book (Practice Exercises at 11+/13+)  to go along with this book. It is an excellent way to familiarise the student with the requirements of the ISEB exams, as it covers all the topics and is written in the style of the exams. There is also practical advice at the beginning - especially on widening out and not just answering the questions on the period being studied.

 Science ISEB Revision Guide by Richard Balding

This covers the ISEB syllabus for science at 11+ and 13+. It is also an excellent general textbook for use at KS3. Physics, chemistry and biology are covered, each with a chapter for 11+ and 13+. Each section includes sample questions (and answers) to ensure the subject is learnt.thoroughly. As a revision guide, there is an overview of each topic, making it easily digestible for revision purposes - Galore Park produce an excellent range of of books - So You Really Want to Know, with more detail.

Study skills by Elizabeth Holtom

This book is a brilliant concept. We are so often asked how parents can help their children learn to study and the answers can be found in this book. The author starts by explaining how the brain works and how we can help our brain. Did you know that the brain is greedy? We all learn in different ways and the books shows us how to make the best of the way our brain works - just as useful for the adults! This is a very personal book - there are exercises to complete all the way through and going back to check up on resolutions made will be a great motivator. The book discusses all sorts of ways of learning and is highly recommended for early KS3 use.

 English Year 9 by Susan Elkin

This is the first in a new series from Galore Park. It aims to introduce students to the wonderful range of English language available. Each section contains a series of excerpts of different genres of writing, linked by a common theme. This use of different forms of writing will draw in the student and ensure that there is something to appeal to everyone. Fiction and non-fiction are included, under sections such as Eureka; the World at Work and Behind Bars. As well as questions based on the passages, there are a wide range of questions aimed at improving student's literacy skills and helping them to become fluent writers. This is a great way of drawing students in through short, interesting texts which will whet their appetites to read the full versions.

KS3 history - the study guide by Richard Parsons

Another superb book in the CGP series. It takes you through the history syllabus for KS3 with just enough detail to cover the basics and gives a great overview of all the topics to be covered. I like the way that the layout in note form gives the information needed for the student to put into their own words to come up with a really good essay, putting their own interpretation on the facts given.

KS3 science - the workbook by Richard Parsons

All the questions you need for KS3 science in one excellently priced volume. Test your understanding with the questions then check the answers. The entertaining nature of the presentation makes answering questions fun!

KS3 ICT The Study Guide

We all use computers but knowing what goes on in the background is a different matter! This book takes the student through the technical bits needed for KS3 ICT. As always with CGP books, the information is interspersed with entertaining snippets and cartoons, meaning learning becomes really fun - a far cry from the traditional textbook. This book contains a huge amount of detail in an easily read format. Great stuff!


Functional Skills

Functional skills are qualifications in English, maths and ICT. They equip learners with the basic practical skills required in everyday life, education and the workplace and provide prospective employers with evidence of these skills. They are available at Entry Level 1 through to Level 3.

Functional Skills English Level 1: Study and Test Practice from CGP

A typical CGP publication - clear layout, all the key points covered, plenty of practice opportunities - and all excellent value. This book suits all exam boards and is an ideal way to prepare for the Level 1 English Functional Skills test.. Each topic is clearly explained with straightforward notes, tips and examples. There are also practice questions throughout the book, plus plenty of test-style questions (with answers) to help you prepare for the real thing.

Functional Skills Maths Level 1: Study and Test Practice from CGP

This book is an ideal way to prepare for the Level 1 Maths Functional Skills test - whichever exam board you're studying. It covers number work, measuring, shape and space and handling data. All these topics are useful revision for any student. Each is clearly explained with tips and worked examples to support the explanation - and practice questions for the student to ensure understanding before progressing. The book concludes with test-style questions based on realistic scenarios. Practical and easy to use.
Also available
from CGP -


Maths Friend: A Helping Hand with Maths GCSE Foundation Tier by Chris Robinson

What makes these books stand out is their friendly approach - they really are like having a friend to help you. Maths Friend builds on the author's tutoring experience to address common difficulties that students express during tutorial sessions and which they may be reluctant to reveal in class. To improve understanding, in places the book offers alternatives to the standard approach. It covers aspects that textbooks do not deal with, that won't be found in revision guides or on online help sites, or that cannot be covered in class due to time constraints. This helpful new book will enable pupils to make the most of their ability. Much of the book is directed to answering exam questions and Chris shows how the examiner can take the maths content and twist it around to make it look unusual. By exploring this book, the student can avoid being fazed by a strange-looking question. We all make silly mistakes, especially under exam pressure. If there is time, checking your work is vital, but it's not easy to do properly. This book will help the student make those checks. The most common errors are laid out in a spot-the-blunder section. Here, extra marks can be gained for no extra maths knowledge and that can make all the difference to the final grade.

Maths Friend: A Helping Hand with Maths GCSE Higher Tier by Chris Robinson

Author Chris Robinson can't promise that his guide will turn you into a maths genius, but what he knows it will do is help students make the most of their talents. Maths Friend does not pretend that maths is fun. "I know from tutoring that many students believe maths is just an instrument of torture invented by schools and by examiners!" admits Chris. Maths Friend fills in gaps left by the textbook and the revision guide, and at times gives a different way of looking at things than the one normally given in class. We all make silly mistakes, especially under exam pressure and this book gives practical advice about the vital task of checking work. It acknowledges that it's not easy to do properly and helps enormously by explaining the most common errors in a spot-the-blunder section. Here, extra marks can be gained for no extra maths knowledge and that can make all the difference to the final grade. With clear explanations and plenty of practice questions on every topic, these are excellent guides which offer a refreshing new approach.

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