Book reviews - revision guides Schofield and Sims

Schofield & Sims is a leading educational publisher, providing books that teachers, parents and tutors can trust for use at the primary level. All their books can be purchased through their website. Their books have been updated to take account of the new (2014) curriculum and the revised SATS tests.

11+ Progress Papers

Progress Papers in Non-Verbal Reasoning 1 by Rebecca Brant

Verbal and non-verbal reasoning are often found in 11+ and Common Entrance exams, but the majority of children will not be taught how to tackle these questions at school. This series of books will therefore be really useful for parents preparing their children for these exams. The book contains 7 papers divided by topic into sets demonstrating the most common question types - these question types are featured in this series are: nets of cubes, matrices, codes, similarities, hidden pictures, reflected pictures, combined pictures, series, analogies and odd ones out. The layout is ideal for giving children experience of the types of paper they will encounter - and practice will definitely reap dividends.

Progress Papers in Non-verbal Reasoning 2 by Rebecca Brant

The papers can be useful in assessing ability, monitoring progress and giving practice in weak areas; with so many different question topics, practice is the key to success, so these books will prove invaluable in exam preparation. Each paper in the book has spaces for marking, with 50 points available for each paper. Non-verbal reasoning can be a very useful discipline for children, even if they do not use it for exam preparation. The questions are based around drawings, shapes and codes; to answer the questions, pupils need to draw on logic and thinking skills to identify similarities, differences and sequences; mathematical reasoning and deductive powers also come into play. This means that experience in non VR will help a wide range of children.

Progress Papers in Non-verbal Reasoning 2 by Rebecca Brant

"The Schofield & Sims Progress Papers provide rigorous all-round practice for the end of Key Stage 2, and may also be suitable for some younger and older children. The series is designed for use as revision or extension work, or as preparation for the 11+ examinations, including those set by CEM (Durham University) and GL Assessment. The papers are intended for children to work through systematically with an adult who can provide assistance and diagnose key issues. Covering the 10 most common non-verbal reasoning question types, the Progress Papers in Non-verbal Reasoning develop children's logic, deduction, geometry, spatial awareness and problem solving skills. Questions increase in difficulty, providing a clear measure of progress. Every book includes seven papers, each containing 50 questions, with a total of 50 marks is available per paper. A double-page spread of worked Example questions appears at the front of each book, illustrating how to complete each type of question. Pull-out answers make scoring easy and include detailed explanations, colour-coded pictures and advice for adult helpers. The total mark per paper can be turned into a percentage result and added to the Progress chart at the back of the book following marking." An invaluable series for exam preparation and valuable also in developing thinking and reasoning skills.

Progress Papers in Verbal Reasoning 1 by Patrick Berry

Give any pupils who may sit Common Entrance or 11+ exams much-needed practice with this comprehensive series of books. Most schools will not prepare for these exams, so it is up to parents to ensure children are well-prepared. There are 6 papers in each book, each with 100 questions, divided into groups of 5 by topic. The papers can take between 45 - 70 minutes to complete, so it's a good idea to break this up into smaller chunks. Once pupils reach Book 3, they would benefit from completing whole papers. The question types featured in this book include: synonyms, antonyms and word meanings; jumbled words and missing letters; letter and number sequences; true statements and sorting information; number connections, graphs and tables; and analogies and odd ones out.

Progress Papers in Verbal Reasoning 2 by Patrick Berry

The question types featured in this book include: synonyms, antonyms and word categories; jumbled words and word chains; alphabetical order and word codes; true statements and sorting information; number connections, graphs and tables; and time problems and mixed-up sentences. The papers are laid out to replicate exam papers, and marking is facilitated by the pull-out central section. The Progress Chart can be used to record marks and measure progress; with this type of question, the more practice the better, so it would be well worth children doing the papers more than once - maybe in Year 5 and in Year 6. These books are an excellent way to gain experience and thereby build confidence.

Progress Papers in Verbal Reasoning 3 by Patrick Berry

"The Schofield & Sims Progress Papers provide rigorous all-round practice for the end of Key Stage 2, and may also be suitable for some younger and older children. The series is designed for use as revision or extension work, or as preparation for the 11+ examinations, including those set by CEM (Durham University) and GL Assessment. The papers are intended for children to work through systematically with an adult who can provide assistance and diagnose key issues. Covering over 40 question types, all of them indexed in a useful Topics chart, the Progress Papers in Verbal Reasoning develop children's logic, critical thinking, vocabulary, spelling and problem solving skills. Questions increase in difficulty, providing a clear measure of progress. Every book includes six papers, each containing 100 questions, and a total of 100 marks is available per paper. Pull-out answers make scoring easy and the percentage result generated may be added to the Progress chart at the back of the book following marking." The question types featured in this book include: synonyms, antonyms and word meanings; jumbled words and missing letters; letter sequences and symbol codes; true statements and mixed up sentences; letters for numbers and position problems; and time problems and sorting information. As you can see, there is a big variety of question types, and children really do benefit from working through as many questions as possible, making this sequence of books an excellent support for 11+ and CE.

Progress Papers in English 1 (of 3): Key Stage 2, Ages 9-12 by Patrick Berry

If your child is taking the 11+ (including CEM and GL) or sitting Common Entrance exams, this series of books will be invaluable. If not, you will still find the books well worth having for revision and reinforcement of work - how about during the summer holidays before starting secondary school? The Schofield & Sims Progress Papers are designed for use as revision or extension work, or as preparation for the 11+ examinations, including those set by CEM (Durham University) and GL Assessment. Progress Papers in English develops children's grammar, punctuation, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension and composition skills. This book includes six papers and a comprehensive set of pull-out answers. The topics covered include: abbreviations, alphabetical order, antonyms, homonyms, comparative and superlative, word choice, word meanings, homonyms, apostrophes for abbreviation and possession, similes, nouns, parts of speech, past tense, direct and indirect speech and joining sentences. There are 6 papers, each with a skills section followed by comprehension and a short writing task. The generous number of questions makes these books really good value for money - I am very impressed.

Progress Papers in English 2 (of 3): Key Stage 2, Ages 9-12 by Patrick Berry

Topics include abbreviations, antonyms, homophones, prefixes, odd one out (by meaning), word choice, word groups (by meaning), word meanings, adjectives, adverbs, nouns, verbs, popular phrases, proverbs, sayings and direct and indirect speech; the papers are clearly laid out into sections of 5 on a specific topic (there are 60 questions on each paper). Every book in the series includes comprehension passages with examples of fiction, non-fiction and persuasive text; a stimulating and varied selection of short writing tasks and progress and topics chart to track progress. The answers are given in a pull-out section and these will be extremely useful for the adult to work through with the child as they include detailed answers, explanations and alternatives. The guidance on the short writing task section particularly caught my eye, with its excellent advice. The range of questions covered in each paper will benefit every child, whether taking 11+ and CE, sitting SATS or revising work.

Progress Papers in English 3 (of 3): Key Stage 2, Ages 9-12 by Patrick Berry

Here are 6 more papers, extending learning from the previous titles - an additional topic included is unscrambling sentences. The multi-choice presentation of the comprehension papers throughout the series is excellent to see - so many papers do not cover this angle and children do need to become familiar with the technique, the appearance of the paper and the fact that they are not as simple as they seem! The books are also useful for extension work; the series is designed for children from 9 to 11+, but (as always) teachers and parents are the best placed to know what children need, so these books may suit younger or older children too, according to ability - the beauty of the progressive approach offered by the books is the opportunity to see exactly what the student needs. They also over a range of genres so pupils get good experience of different forms of writing. All in all, this is an exceptional series of books which will be highly valuable to parents and teachers.

Reasoning

Rapid Reasoning Tests: Verbal Reasoning 1 (Ages 6-7, Key Stage 1) by Sian Goodspeed

Rapid Reasoning Tests provides short, effective, timed tests in reasoning. Written by experienced teachers and designed for independent use, this series is ideal to use in schools or at home - especially as many schools do not cover these skills in the curriculum. Each book contains pull-out answers. Verbal Reasoning 1 is a collection of short, language-based problem solving tests including age-appropriate questions, providing opportunities for children to practise and master verbal reasoning skills in preparation for the 11+ and other school selection tests. The first of six verbal reasoning books in the Rapid Reasoning Tests series, this book covers the following question types: word and letter patterns; vocabulary; spelling; number patterns and problem solving. Follow this with Rapid Reasoning Tests: Verbal Reasoning 2 (Ages 7-8, Key Stage 2) covering word and letter patterns and vocabulary.

Rapid Reasoning Tests: Verbal Reasoning 3 (Ages 8-9, Key Stage 2) by Sian Goodspeed

This is a series which needs to be worked through progressively as each book builds on previous learning. Verbal Reasoning skills are valuable to all pupils, not just those sitting Common Entrance and 11+ exams, as they develop a range of key skills which will help in all areas of learning. This book covers the following question types: similarities and differences; missing and hidden shapes; cubes; codes and combinations.   Rapid Reasoning Tests: Verbal Reasoning 4 (Ages 9-10, Key Stage 2) covers covers word and letter patterns and vocabulary..

Rapid Reasoning Tests: Verbal Reasoning 5 (Ages 10-11, Key Stage 2) by Sian Goodspeed

Verbal Reasoning 5 is a collection of targeted tests, each with a target time of 10 minutes to aid exam preparation. The fifth of six verbal reasoning books in the Rapid Reasoning Tests series, this book covers the following question types: word and letter patterns, spelling, number patterns, problem solving and vocabulary. The tests are clearly laid out, with a worked example for each question type; answers can be written straight into the books.  Rapid Reasoning Tests: Verbal Reasoning 6 (Ages 11-12, Key Stage 2) covers word and letter patterns and vocabulary.
 

Rapid Reasoning Tests: Non-verbal Reasoning 1 (Ages 6-7, Key Stage 1) by Rebecca Brant

Non-verbal Reasoning 1 is a collection of short, problem-solving tests based on pictures and patterns. Each timed test includes age-appropriate questions, providing opportunities for children to practise and master non-verbal reasoning skills in preparation for the 11+ and other school selection tests. The first of six non-verbal reasoning books in the Rapid Reasoning Tests series, this book covers the following question types: similarities and differences; missing and hidden shapes; cubes; codes; combinations.All the books include answers in pull-out sections.
 Rapid Reasoning Tests: Non-verbal Reasoning 2 (Ages 7-8, Key Stage 2) extends the work on the topics of Book 1.

Rapid Reasoning Tests: Non-verbal Reasoning 3 (Ages 8-9, Key Stage 2) Rebecca Brant

It is important for children to have as much practice as possible in both verbal and non-verbal reasoning as familiarity with the question types is a huge help when it comes to tests and exams. These short tests can be fitted into a schedule easily, whether at home or at school, and the timed element of the tests encourages children to work quickly - although in the early stages, I would not be too pedantic about this as the key is giving confidence so timing becomes more significant in the later stages. This book and  Rapid Reasoning Tests: Non-verbal Reasoning 4 (Ages 9-10, Key Stage 2) covers the same question types as books 1 and 2 and builds on skills learnt.

Rapid Reasoning Tests: Non-verbal Reasoning 5 (Ages 10-11, Key Stage 2) Rebecca Brant

Non-verbal reasoning tests come in many forms, and this series of books addresses the common types, giving children plenty of practice to develop confidence. The question types are varied and the tests clearly laid out, each on a single page. By the time pupils reach  Rapid Reasoning Tests: Non-verbal Reasoning 6 (Ages 11-12, Key Stage 2) they will have an excellent grounding for any tests and exams they face, as well as for moving on to secondary school with well-honed reasoning skills - the books also give a good basis for CAT testing, commonly carried out in many schools in Year 7. They also offer excellent value for money!

Calculation

Written Calculation: Addition by Steve Mills

Each book in this new series is fully compliant with the 2014 curriculum and uses methods recommended in the National Curriculum  This progressive book takes pupils through each step in learning addition from two digit addition to decimal addition. Principles are clearly explained by use of a worked example, then there are plenty of questions for children to try. More than simply an answer book,  Written Calculation: Addition Answers has a reminder of the principles in the Pupil Book. The answers are laid out to replicate the layout of the Pupil Book, making correlation between the two easy.

Written Calculation: Subtraction by Steve Mills

The column method of subtraction is explained in this book, which assumes a level of pre-knowledge clearly outlined on the back cover. There are 18 steps, each with explanations, questions, word problems and a self-evaluation rating. One thing that strikes me about this entire series is the attention given to layout - this helps children to see how to lay out their work clearly and neatly and provides an excellent foundation for all future work. To make recognition easy on the shelf, each book and its answer book have a matching colour band on the spine. This title is supported by  Written Calculation:Subtraction Answers. As with all the answer books, this has a durable shiny cover making it suitable for repeated use.

Written Calculation: Multiplication 1 by Steve Mills

This book leads pupils through the necessary steps for mastering the column method of short multiplication and begins to prepare them for long multiplication. As with each pupil book in the series, there are three Check-up tests and a Final test to monitor pupils’ progress and quickly convert scores to percentages. Go to the Schofield and Sims website and you can see sample pages from every book.  To accompany this book, there are  Written Calculation:Multiplication 2  which leads pupils from short multiplication to long multiplication and assumes completion of Multiplication 1. Pupils should have an understanding of the value of digits up to and beyond four-digit numbers and experience of multiplying single-digit numbers together. Written Calculation:Multiplication 2 Answers  completes the set.

Written Calculation: Division 1 by Steve Mills

There is consistency in approach throughout the series which gives pupils confidence and reassurance; each book uses 18 carefully structured steps of learning to guide the learner towards full mastery of each written method.The first book in the group on division leads pupils through the necessary steps for mastering short division. Pupils beginning this book should have an understanding of the value of digits in two- and three-digit numbers and experience of multiplying and dividing small numbers. Pupils who have learnt their times tables and related division facts will find written division easier. Written Calculation:Division 1 Answers supports this book and, as with all the answer books, includes a Group Record Sheet for that all-important recording. Written Calculation:Division 2 builds seamlessly on Book 1, moving pupils on to long division. As with the entire series, layout is clear and uncluttered and explanations straightforward. Written Calculation:Division 2 Answers completes the set. 

Written Calculation Teacher's Guide by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

The perfect support to the pupil books,this is in full accord with the 2014 National Curriculum and helps teachers plan a whole-school approach to written calculation. Assessment tests are included to facilitate assessment of pupils’ progress. There is guidance on working through a step, to help develop pupils’ conceptual understanding plus planning sections for each of the six books, including: Learning objectives, Summary of the steps, Prerequisites and Teaching notes. An invaluable resource to enhance the pupil books and to ensure consistency of teaching across the year groups. An extensive range of free downloads is available on the Schofield and Sims website to ensure the requirements of the NC are filled.

 

Written Calculation Teacher's Resource Book by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

This Teacher’s Resource Book contains supplementary, photocopiable resources to help teachers integrate Written Calculation in school. The questions correspond to the steps in each of the Pupil Books, offering opportunities for pupils to develop their conceptual understanding of written calculation. These questions are ideal for further practice, revision or homework. Answers are provided at the back of the book. Planned and written as a cohesive entity, this is an excellent series to cover all aspects of written calculation. Check out the Schofield and Sims website for prices for teachers.

Times Tables

Times Tables Practice 1 by Ann Montague-Smith

A good foundation in tables is essential for maths, so give your KS1/Early KS2 child plenty of practice so that they have immediate and accurate recall. Times Tables Practice gives children extensive practice in all the times tables relevant to the age group, providing enjoyable activities with attractive illustrations that will hold their attention throughout. It's not just boring questions but plenty of picture questions to go along with the number questions. Times Tables Practice 1 covers the x2, x3, x4, x5 and x10 times tables. The activities are structured in sections that initially look separately at the different tables, and then move on to mixed questions after the basics have been learnt. There are also number problems. If children do just one page a day, they will soon reinforce their learning and the engaging activities mean they won't get bored.

Times Tables Practice 2 Ann Montague-Smith

Build on the work done in the previous book with this,which covers the x6, x7, x8, x9, x11 and x12 times tables and it suitable for use in KS2. The activities encourage children to: practise counting; build the multiplication table; memorise and manipulate number facts; improve their rapid recall skills and derive related division facts. Again, the approach is lively with plenty of picture questions to keep children's interest high. Timed activities are included to build children's confidence and to prepare them for classroom tests - this is useful as it means children will get used to working quickly. Activities at the end of the book ensure children have grasped all the times tables facts.

Learn Your Times Tables Book 1 by Hilary Koll

Times tables are an essential part of learning and these books go way beyond rote learning and simple recitation of the tables. This book focuses on x2, x3, x10, x5, x3 and x4 with activities grouped in separate sections for each of the times tables, with mixed tests at the end. Children can use the book at home or in school and the ideas, games and activities at the start are good for use in either situation. There are facts and rhymes to help children memorise the times tables plus engaging activities to provide plenty of practice. Cut-out flashcards are included plus ideas for using these. There are pull-out answers in a central section.

Learn Your Times Tables Book 2 by Hilary Koll

Following on from the book above, and with the same mix of practice, facts, rhymes and activities, this book covers the x6, x7, x8, x9 x11 and x12 tables, as well as revising the x3 and x4 tables. Clear layout and plenty of space devoted to each table means the book is easy to use; the lively range of activities makes learning fun and means the facts will be remembered - I like the illustrations of the hands for the 9x table - always a tricky one, but this technique makes it easy to remember. Throughout the book, there are plenty of practice questions Test yourself mixed questions at the end enable children to monitor their own learning - answers are included.

Times Tables Tests Book 1 Key Stage 1 by Hilary Koll

A thorough knowledge of times tables is essential and the sooner children establish this, the better. Using books like this provides that essential support and just a few minutes a day really pays dividends. This book concentrates on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 times tables, doubling and halving, simple fractions, coins and sums of money and units of measurement. Schofield and Sims books concentrate on providing plenty of practice without all the extras some other publishers include - this is a good approach for pupils who are focused and means that every book provides a really good amount of practice material in an easy to follow format. To save time (and effort) get this too - Times Tables Tests Answer Book 1 (of 2): Key Stage 1, Years 1 & 2

Times Tables Tests Book 2 Key Stage 2 by Hilary Kol

The Times Tables Tests series helps to secure children's knowledge and application of essential multiplication and division facts and to develop their understanding of number vocabulary. Progress Tests enable children to see their achievements build over time. Times Tables Tests 2 focuses particularly on: the times tables up to 12x12; doubling and halving/squares and square roots; fractions; finding the mean; units of measurement for length/mass/capacity. This wide range of topics shows just how vital a good grounding in times tables is. The book is clearly laid out and easy to follow and there's plenty of variety in the questions including plenty of word problems. Adults will probably want this too - Times Tables Tests Answer Book 2 (of 2): Key Stage 2, Years 3 - 6

11+ Mathematics Progress Papers

Mathematics 11+ Progress Papers 1 by Patrick Berry

The series is designed for use as revision or extension work. It also offers valuable practice in preparation for the 11+ examinations (including those set by CEM at Durham University). The pull out answer sheet makes checking the answers easy - and no chance to cheat! Topics covered are: simple calculations, long division and long multiplication; estimation, averages, probability and problem solving; prime numbers, factors and multiples; fractions, decimals and percentages; ratio, proportion and basic algebra; shape properties, angles and degrees; graphs, charts and coordinates. A really useful feature is the fact that the papers are split into sections with clear labelling to show the topic being covered eg simple addition and subtraction, pie charts and simple multiplication are the first topics in the first paper of this book. There are 8 papers in all and the questions increase in difficulty as the book progresses..

Mathematics 11+ Progress Papers 2 by Patrick Berry

The topics covered are the same as in Book 1 but as the series progresses from Books 1 to 3, so the questions are increasingly hard. this progression enables teachers and parents to assess the correct level for pupils and give the appropriate work. The layout is clear and uncluttered and will help to familiarise children with the layout of test papers, as papers exactly replicate common layouts; papers include spaces for marking as well as clear indications of where to write answers. The introduction tells parents and teachers how to use the book. This book contains 7 papers, each with 100 questions divided into topics with 5 questions for each. These three books have been revised to ensure they cover the 2014 curriculum.

Mathematics 11+ Progress Papers 3 by Patrick Berry

Having the whole series to hand means that work can be set at just the right level for each of the range of topics covered by the books and earlier work can be consolidated by working through the books. A very useful topic chart is provided at the end of each book - this lists each of the key topics and indicates in which paper the questions can be found. This is excellent, as so often children need to reinforce specific topics rather than undertake a full paper, especially in the early stages of revision. This book has 7 question papers and the layout of these is excellent, with room to complete the answers. A progress chart allows pupils to see how they are doing. An excellent series to provide pupils with all the revision they need - the books are suited to children of 10 to 12.

Spelling

Spelling Book 1 Key Stage 1 by Carol Matchett

This is Book 1 in a progressive series which will take your child right through from Year 1 to Year 6. There is a real value in following through progressively, as this means every aspect is covered in the correct sequence. The activities systematically introduce and revise spelling conventions, suggest strategies for remembering common 'tricky words' and teach pupils how to monitor their own spelling. This intensive practice will enable children continually to develop, consolidate and improve their skills, encouraging them towards effective spelling for life. Book 1 covers: segmenting words into phonemes and selecting from alternative spelling; using spelling rules for adding s and e; adding suffixes ing, ed and er where no change is needed to the root word; dividing words into syllable and applying spelling guidelines (for example, ck, tch, ve, dge).

 Spelling Book 2 Key Stage 1 by Carol Matchett

This is an affordable series allowing parents to support their child's spelling throughout primary school. All the answers are included at the back of each book in the series. Book 2 covers: segmenting words into phonemes and selecting the correct spelling from alternative; learning new ways to spell phoneme; distinguishing between homophone; adding prefixes and suffixes to spell longer word; applying rules for adding suffixes and learning spelling guidelines. There are plenty of activities to ensure learning has been successful - the format is Remember - Try it - Read-cover-write and there are also three revision sections.
 

Spelling Book 3 Key Stage 2 by Carol Matchett

Book 3 covers: spelling words by adding prefixes and suffixes; using rules for adding suffixes; applying guidelines for endings where pronunciation may mislead; learning and applying guidelines relating to alternative spellings of phonemes and spelling words with apostrophes. All the books in the series are supported by the Teacher's Guide and the Teacher's Resource book which are reviewed below, but they stand alone as useful books as well.

Spelling Book 4 Key Stage 2 by Carol Matchett

This book covers: using further prefixes and suffixes; using rules for adding suffixes beginning with vowels; spelling a range of homophones; developing an understanding of word structure and word origin; learning guidelines for alternative spelling of phonemes and learning guidelines relating to the spelling of endings. The format described for KS1 continues and there are tick boxes at the end of the pages so children can check progress. The revision pages are especially useful to ensure knowledge has been retained.  All the books include answers.

Spelling Book 5 Key Stage 2 by Carol Matchett

Book 5 - using further prefixes and suffixes and applying rules for adding suffixes; spelling words with silent letters; using knowledge of word structure and word origins; learning to spell difficult words; learning guidelines for word endings and distinguishing between homophones and other words that are commonly confused. Systematic learning is guaranteed by following these books which offer a goodly number of activities to ensure learning is really strong.
 

Spelling Book 6 Key Stage 2 by Carol Matchett

In Year 6, children learn about further prefixes and suffixes, further rules for adding suffixes; using knowledge of word structure and word origin;s spelling difficult words; learning guidelines relating to word endings and distinguishing between homophones and other words that are commonly confused. An excellent series for use both at home and in the classroom, especially when complemented by the books below. Clear and easy to follow and just enough on each topic to provide a basis for learning at home to support school work.

Spelling Teacher's Guide by Carol Matchett

Using this Teacher's Guide will add enormously to the value of the six books in the series for pupils and covers Years 1 to 6. It suggests how best to introduce each learning point or 'focus'; clarifies the detail of the focus and exactly what should be taught and provides activities to reinforce and help children to remember spellings. There are a vast number of ideas here and each page of the pupil books has its own section including focus, teach, practise, apply and assess suggestions. These ensure that teachers gain maximum teaching value from the books, giving their pupils the best possible opportunity to reinforce learning.
 

Spelling Teacher's Resource Book by Carol Matchett

This book includes resources for revision and extension work; reminders and prompts - which encourage pupils to use spelling strategies when writing and assessment and record-keeping resources to support on-going and periodic assessment - busy teachers who have to keep many records will particularly welcome this! Together, the eight books in this excellent series provide a really comprehensive resource for classroom use, giving teachers the reassurance that they are teaching all the required spelling patterns in a logical order and giving plenty of ideas to increase learning.

English

Schofield & Sims Complete Primary Dictionary

This is a completely new dictionary that provides highly specific definitions written in language that children will easily understand. It uses easy and accessible language to define the different senses, phrases and idioms related to each entry; the large numbers of examples used means that children are given an excellent grounding in exactly how to use the words. Highlight boxes under words give additional information such as synonyms, antonyms and alternative spellings. The dictionary is wider in scope than many, and includes new words, older words found in children’s classics and words relating to a wide variety of traditions; it even identifies and defines common American words that children may encounter. The words that children will encounter across the National Curriculum are fully covered. A box for each letter explains letter shape origins; the cultural factors that have shaped the English language are also included. This is a large format for a dictionary, and this allows for all these practical aspects to be included, making it really comprehensive; unfortunately, it is a little unwieldy to my mind, as I like to see children with a dictionary they can easily carry around. However, that aside, it is an excellent resource, especially for the classroom shelf.

Key Stage 2 English Revision Guide by Carol Matchett

The Schofield & Sims Revision Guides help children to revise for national tests by guiding them through what they have learned on a topic-by-topic basis. Closely matched to the National Curriculum, this book will help children to revise what they have learnt at school right through KS2, in preparation for the end of key stage tests. Clearly presented examples clearly explain the topics and colourful illustrations help make revision enjoyable. The precisely targeted practice questions highlight any gaps in understanding, allowing for further reinforcement as necessary. The Key Stage 2 English Revision Guide covers the statutory requirements for Key Stage 2 English. The comprehensive glossary encourages the correct spelling and use of subject vocabulary, and can be used to check children's understanding of the terms and their use.

Key Stage 1 English Revision Guide by Carol Matchett 

Another attractive book which makes good use of colour, drawings, cartoons and diagrams to make the topic approachable and understandable. It covers all the areas required by the National Curriculum, and is an very useful guide to have to hand from the start of KS1, to ensure children have a full and accurate grasp of all the key concepts. The explanations are clear and concise, and very easy to understand This is a guide to the techniques, although each page does include a 'test yourself' box; there are also useful 'Remember' boxes which highlight key topics. Schofield and Sims practice books are invaluable to reinforce learning.
 

Key Stage 1 English Practice Papers by Carol Matchett 

As your child gets closer to the SATS test in the summer term, reinforce their learning and identify any areas of weakness by doing practice papers; but please don't make these a chore or get your child stressed by doing them. If approached in the right way, they will find the extra revision reassuring and helpful. These four timed papers are created in the format of the actual papers as set from 2016, so give children an ideal preparation. There are two reading papers (one 30 minutes and one 40 minutes), and two grammar, punctuation and spelling papers (15 and 20 minutes). Being used to the format also increases confidence when they sit down to do the tests. The books feature full instructions and detailed mark schemes. Each section is cross-referenced to the Key Stage 2 English Revision Guide (above).
 

Key Stage 2 English Practice Papers by Carol Matchett 

As your child gets closer to the SATS test reinforce their learning and identify any areas of weakness by doing practice papers. These three papers are created in the format of the actual papers, so give children an ideal preparation. Being used to the format also increases confidence when they sit down to do the tests. Closely matched to the National Curriculum test frameworks, the book includes full instructions for use, as well as guidance on equipment and timings, in order to familiarise children with the format of a formal test. Papers on reading (1 hour), and grammar, punctuation and spelling (45 minutes plus 15 minutes for spelling) are included, along with detailed mark schemes to indicate whether a child is meeting the expected standard. The additional comments and guidance are really useful to use after tackling the paper, to help your child improve. It's valuable at this age to have timed tests, so children become accustomed to working to a fixed time.

Grammar (Understanding English KS2) by Carol Matchett 

Understanding English is a series of learning workbooks, each of which features explanations, teaching points, exercises, answers and 'Now you try!' extension activities to ensure that learning is secure. The books are newly updated to ensure complete compliance with the requirements of the new curriculum introduced in 2014.
This is a complete course in grammar which makes an excellent reference guide to have available through KS2 - and beyond. The book covers adjectives, nouns, comparatives and superlatives, singular and plural, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, tenses, conjunctions, active and passive sentences, informal and formal speech, prepositions and clauses. Words are not just shown in isolation - the book shows how they can be put together in sentences and text It offers a variety of different approaches, allowing parents and teachers to choose the best for their children. Two pages are given to each topic - the first covers the basics and the second page takes understanding to the next level - this approach makes it easy for parents and teachers to give children work at the appropriate level. There is some fascinating background information about the English language which further aids understanding.

Spelling (Understanding English KS2) by Carol Matchett

This book explains a variety of spelling strategies, including learning how to spell specific words, remembering spelling rules and checking for mistakes; there is an explanation to introduce each topic. Fascinating facts about the development of English spelling, plus plenty of activities and examples, make this a very useful book to support learning and to prepare for the English SPAG test. Topics covered are prefixes and suffixes, using a dictionary, syllables, tricky words, word structure, word families, and homophones. The layout is easy to follow and the work can be done in short 'chunks' so children do not get bored. The 'Did You Know' facts are a super way to interest children and they will love to show off their knowledge - I really like these as they will capture children's interest.

Punctuation (Understanding English KS2) by Carol Matchett

Punctuation - an area which puzzles many adults, let alone children. So this clearly explained book which explains how to use all the main punctuation marks will be a great resource for parents and teachers. Good punctuation is as important as good spelling - a badly punctuated sentence can be very confusing. Full of examples and activities, the book also contains fascinating facts on how punctuation developed. The proof reading exercises are an excellent way for children to revise learning. The book includes full stops, capital letters, apostrophes, inverted commas, dashes and hyphens, direct speech and dialogue, parenthesis, bullet points, exclamation and question marks, colons and semicolons - a comprehensive guide. These are workbooks - they are designed to help children practise their skills rather than to actually teach those skills although each topic is introduced with a short explanation which provides a useful summary.

Non-fiction (Understanding English KS2) by Carol Matchett

I am really pleased to find a book focusing specifically on non-fiction; so often the emphasis is on fiction writing but children need to experience and understand all forms of writing. After all, in everyday life, we come across much factual writing, including using reference books, instructions, newspaper articles and reports, all of which are covered in this book. There are interesting sections on skim reading, fact and opinion, technical words, summaries, discussions and explanations. Children will be helped to make their own writing appropriate to each of non-fiction and there are plenty of practical examples to reinforce learning. Answers are not included, as adults should assess the answers based on the child's age and ability; there will be many 'right' ways to answer each question. The 'Now you try' section gives lots of ideas for extension work.

Fiction (Understanding English KS2) by Carol Matchett

This book covers genre, dialogue, structure, themes, conventions, traditional tales, fables, play scripts, story openings, modern fiction, language for effect and book recommendations. It encourages creative writing - something many children find challenging - by giving ideas of the features that make for a captivating story. These include the use of character, suspense, setting and plot to make for interesting writing; it includes ideas for planning stories and plenty of stimulating questions and exercises to help creative writing. The consistent approach taken across each book in the series makes them easy for children to navigate; each book uses a single colour to enhance the black and white text - this makes the pages attractive without being cluttered. Good use is made of appropriate illustrative material as well.

Vocabulary (Understanding English KS2) by Carol Matchett

A wide vocabulary will stand children in good stead throughout life. This stimulating book will give an excellent foundation and really encourage children to enjoy language in all its rich variety. Verbs and adverbs, nouns, adjectives, using a dictionary, onomatopoeia, synonyms, antonyms, word origins, homographs, formal and technical words, idioms and similes are all included with explanations as to their use and how to make the best of them. There are plenty of activities included and these help children learn how to use words and widen their language. The activities really encourage children to think about words and how they are used and help greatly in preparing for tests and exams.

Poetry (Understanding English KS2) by Carol Matchett

Poetry is a superb way to help children to enjoy the beauty of language and appreciate the wonder of words. Encourage their interest with this stimulating resource which covers learning poetry by heart, performing poetry, writing poetry, reading poetry aloud, similes, metaphors, poetic language, personification, haiku, free verse, nonsense poetry and shape poems - all the National Curriculum requirements. The book takes a detailed look at the features that make poetry so special, such as rhyme, rhythm, sound effects and imagery. With clear explanations and practical activities, it will help pupils appreciate the poetry of others and learn to write their own.
 

English Practice (Understanding English KS2) by Carol Matchett

Once your child has practised the skills in the Understanding English, reinforce those skills with this book which brings them all together - it really gives the maximum benefit when used alongside the others in the series. It makes focused revision easy, as the questions are set out in sections relating to the 7 other books in the series, making it really simple to find the right area. It includes cross-references by page to the relevant study books in the series. The book will help children, for the Key Stage 2 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar tests, as well as those taking 11+ and CE. Not just test revision, though - it's an excellent way to reinforce learning throughout KS2, with its progressive approach. The questions are varied and clearly laid out. The pull-out answer section at the back of the book is easy to use to check children's work.

 

VR/Non VR

Understanding Reasoning: Non-Verbal Reasoning: KS2 by Rebecca Brant

Non Verbal reasoning is a key part of many selection tests; additionally, it is a valuable skill which helps develop thinking abilities. Generally, it is not covered in school, which makes books like this essential to help children prepare for 11+ and similar tests. This covers Identifying shapes and patterns; Missing shapes and patterns; Rotating shapes/patterns; and Codes and logic. It's not just a series of tests - each type of question is clearly explained with a series of worked examples to develop understanding; there are also useful hints and practical activities to enhance understanding. Answers are included and these are detailed. Familiarity is key to getting these questions right and this book provides both instruction and practice - excellent.

Understanding Reasoning: Verbal Reasoning KS2 by Sian Goodspeed

Verbal Reasoning actually includes many of the topics routinely taught in school, just under another name, so the exercises in this book will benefit everyone, not just 11+ students. Topics include Alphabet and word patterns; Vocabulary; Spelling; Mathematical questions and Problem solving. As with the NVR book, there are explanations for each type of question, enabling children to tackle the questions with confidence; for those taking 11+ and similar exams it ensures familiarity. The hints are useful and easy to memorise; parents will appreciate the detail in the answers which will enable them to help children if their answer is incorrect. Clear and easy to follow with well thought out questions.

 

Handwriting

Handwriting Practice 1 by Carol Matchett

This book takes your child methodically through letters, starting with lower case letters of the alphabet grouped by difficulty. It then covers capitals, tall letters, tricky letters. These are followed by writing exercises which cover a variety of interesting topics - rhymes, writing notes, messages and an invitation. The clear easy to follow format of the book enables children to work independently, and workbook style exercises consolidate learning. Focus points on each page highlight key points for adults. Correct letter formation is shown by coloured dots and arrows indicating how to form each letter shape; dotted lines to write over; and guidelines indicating the height and length of letters.
 

Handwriting Practice 2 by Carol Matchett

This book builds on the learning in Book 1, with a focus on joining letters. The different ways used to join letters are clearly shown and then the child is able to practise firstly by following the dots and then by writing independently. Learning builds up step by step in a way that develops confidence and allows just short bursts of learning if that suits your child. Then there are real-life copying tasks to reinforce learning and show the practical value of good handwriting. The book is easy to follow, with clear uncluttered pages - attractive but not distracting. Good value too with plenty of exercises to do.

 

Phonics

 Sound Phonics Rhymes for Reading

Sound Phonics Rhymes for Reading by Carol Matchett

Ideal for use in school, this is a useful collection which saves busy teachers trawling through books and websites to find suitable resources. It includes 60 photocopiable, phonically decodable rhymes suitable for children through the EYFS and KS1, making it a resource with many years use. The poems are divided into those suitable for Phases 2, 3 and 4; they will also be useful outside phonics lessons. There are extensive teaching notes which include advice on using the rhymes in shared and guided reading; suggestions for practical follow-up activities; ideas for making links to writing; phonic knowledge charts to summarise the graphemes and tricky words in each rhyme and discussion charts to encourage reflection and develop understanding; the charts link to phonic knowledge and tricky words giving an excellent guide for curriculum planning. A good value resource.

Sound Phonics Teacher's Guide: Early Years/Key Stage 1 by Carol Matchett

Make the best use of all the Sound Phonics materials with this Teacher's Guide. There are detailed teaching notes for each phase with practical activities for each learning point. The activities are interactive and multi-sensory - supporting materials are provided in the accompanying Teacher's Resource Book. This book gives guidance on introducing key skills and knowledge; ways to practise and apply phonic skills; integrated revision of points covered earlier; assessment activities and resources and glossaries of phonics terminology.

Sound Phonics Teacher's Resource Book by Carol Matchett

An extensive range of photocopiable resources including word cards, games, picture cards and display material. Set out in three sections - General resources that can be used in different ways across the Phases; Activity book resources aligned to specific sound; Assessment resources that accompany the assessment tasks in each sound. Useful further resources are available from the free downloads section of the Schofield & Sims website - these materials are updated as necessary to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum. Taken with the Teacher's Guide (above) this is a really comprehensive resource which takes teaching through from Sound Phonics Phase 1 to Phase 6 and links perfectly with the books. Clear, well explained and comprehensive.

Sound Phonics Phase One (Book 1 of 10): Early Years Carol Matchett

Sound Phonics prepares children for full fluency in reading, writing and spelling through intensive practice in phonics, and is fully compatible with any incremental phonics programme. The carefully graded activities teach early literacy skills through listening and speaking, and support a multi-sensory approach. This book focuses on developing the child's awareness of environmental sounds, recognising the separate sounds in words (through rhymes/songs/games), sound discrimination, rhythm/rhyme/alliteration, oral blending and segmenting. It introduces the sounds of words rather than individual letters, which is correct at this stage. Many of the activities are based on familiar rhymes, so children will respond well. The value of this carefully graded series of books is that it shows parents the progression of learning phonics - something that is hard for many parents to understand.

Sound Phonics Phase Two (Book 2 of 10): Early Years/Key Stage 1 Carol Matchett

Ideal for supporting phonics in Reception, this book covers: practising letter Sets 1 to 5; recognising letter shapes (supported by pictures and finger tracing); encouraging the use of 'sound talk' when segmenting words for spelling; separating words using 'sound buttons' before blending for reading and practising 'tricky' words.  It covers the beginning of the Letters and Sounds programme used in schools and thereby gives children an excellent head start. 

 

Sound Phonics Phase Three Book 1 (Book 3 of 10): Early Years/Key Stage 1 Carol Matchett

This covers: revising letter Sets 1 to 5 and practising letter Sets 6 and 7; developing letter formation by tracing over enlarged letters; saying and then blending sounds to support reading; segmenting words to support spelling and using rhymes to practise letter names - children will enjoy the many familiar rhymes the book uses. Sound Phonics Phase Three Book 2 (Book 4 of 10): Early Years/Key Stage 1 covers revising letter Sets 4 to 7 plus four consonant digraphs; practising 14 vowel digraphs developing letter formation by tracing over enlarged letters; saying and then blending sounds to support reading segmenting words to support spelling. 
 

Sound Phonics Phase Four (Book 5 of 10): Early Years/Key Stage 1 Carol Matchett

Continue your child's phonic learning with a range of engaging activities encompassing consolidating knowledge of the 42 phonemes; saying and blending sounds in a word using 'sound buttons' to support reading; using phoneme frames to support segmenting for spelling and counting phonemes to boost confidence in spelling and forming letter shapes independently. Each activity takes just a short time and enables parents and teachers to ensure the child has a firm grasp of each concept before moving on to the next - there is a range of activities for each concept.

Sound Phonics Phase Five Book 1 (Book 6 of 10): KS1, Years 3 - 6 Carol Matchett

 
Children in Phase 5 are learning to revise Phase Three graphemes; practise 19 new graphemes for reading (including some split digraphs); 'to sound out' words without 'sound buttons' and to practise spelling through counting phonemes, recognising spelling patterns or applying spelling rules. A range of activities, short and focused, many focusing on a specific grapheme, ensures there is an opportunity to consolidate learning. The books are excellent value and the progression makes it easy to link in with school work.

Sound Phonics Phase Five Book 2 (Book 7 of 10): KS1, Years 3 - 6 Carol Matchett

As children mature, their grasp of phonics grows, helped by the solid foundation given by the earlier books in this excellent and easy to use series. Here they learn alternative pronunciations of 14 known graphemes; reading longer texts 'sounding out' words without 'sound buttons'; practising spelling through counting phonemes and recognising spelling patterns or applying spelling rules. Sound Phonics Phase Five Book 3 (Book 8 of 10): KS1, Years 3 - 6 covers alternative spellings of 23 sounds; learning spelling patterns; 'sounding out' words without 'sound buttons' and practising spelling through counting phonemes, recognising spelling patterns or applying spelling rules.
 

Sound Phonics Phase Six Book 1 (Book 9 of 10): KS1, Years 3 - 6 Carol Matchett

Now the focus turns to spelling choices (particularly with long vowel sounds); common word endings and how these affect the base word using prefixes and suffixes and encouraging independent reading and writing through short stories/poems..

Sound Phonics Phase Six Book 2 (Book 10 of 10): KS1, Years 3 - 6 Carol Matchett

By the time your child reaches this book if you have followed the progression in this series, s/he will have an excellent grasp of phonics which will prove invaluable. The final book in the series covers; revising word endings covered earlier and practising five further word endings; using prefixes and suffixes; revising long and short vowel sounds; learning themed topic words that help increase written vocabulary and encouraging independent reading and writing through short stories/poems.  

Comprehension

Early Comprehension Book 1: Key Stage 1 Anne Forster

Early Comprehension is a series of graded activity books that develop children's ability to make sense of pictures and text - through activities such as story sequencing, reading for meaning and traditional comprehension work. This book covers: what happens first/before/next?; telling a story based on a set of pictures; reading captions and identifying how a story ends. As is appropriate for this age group, all the activities are picture-based - there is colouring, matching and sequencing, all designed to facilitate understanding in preparation to moving on to texts.

Early Comprehension Book 2: Key Stage 1 Anne Forster

Matching pictures with captions; reading simple instructions; riddles and speech bubbles are the areas of learning covered in this book. As before, much of the work is done through pictures but there is an increasing amount of text which asks questions based on the pictures. If children are unfamiliar with the words, there are sufficient clues in the text to help them. This series does not come with answers, but they are simple enough to work out! As with other sets of workbooks from Schofield and Sims, the gradual progression is invaluable, especially for parents who may be unsure of the correct order in which to introduce concepts.

Early Comprehension Book 3: Key Stage 1 Anne Forster

It's easy to just associate comprehension with fiction texts, but children need to understand the full range of texts, so this book which includes advertisements, invitations, notices, newspaper articles, book covers and fiction and non-fiction texts gives an excellent range. There are still plenty of amusing pictures to keep children interested.

KS2 Comprehension Book 1 Celia Warren

This provides a collection of stimulating texts, together with questions that both build comprehension skills and widen vocabulary. Children are encouraged to pay close attention to literal meaning, make inferences and deductions, observe how writing is structured and identify literary devices. Book 1 is ideal for children who are new to written comprehension and includes simple contemporary texts; gripping tales both classic and contemporary; informative non-fiction reports covering diverse topics; a playscript based on The Wizard of Oz and memorable poems from a range of poets. Each passage shows the number of marks to award for each point, making for easy marking. For the answers, you will need KS2 Comprehension Teacher's Guide.

KS2 Comprehension Book 2 Celia Warren

Once again, children are offered a wide range of texts which are gradually increasing in length and complexity of the questions. This includes excellent examples of broadsheet journalism and an instructional text 'How to make a wormery'; extracts from classic fiction, including 'Treasure Island' and 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'; a playscript adapted from a Sherlock Holmes detective story plus thought-provoking poetry from Charles Causley, Walter de la Mare, Valerie Bloom and Edward Thomas.

KS2 Comprehension Book 3 Celia Warren

Passages include another excellent choice - adventure stories from Roald Dahl, Mark Twain, Anthony Buckeridge and Kenneth Grahame; a biography of Falklands soldier Simon Weston and further non-fiction from Jacqueline Wilson and Emmeline Pankhurst; evocative poems from some of the best British poets (such as Lewis Carroll, Robert Browning and Gina Douthwaite); a letter written by Stevenson as a teenager and an introduction to the writing of J.R.R. Tolkien and William Shakespeare. The progression offered by the books allows parents to reinforce work where needed - there is absolutely no harm in going back to an earlier stage - whilst having an awareness of the level of expectation. Be guided by your child, not by the age range on the book. This is an excellent series which offers great value for money. 

KS2 Comprehension Book 4 Celia Warren

This includes non-fiction texts covering the discovery in Russia of a long-extinct mammoth/shells and their origins/the life of explorer Robert Scott; the 'last letter' from Scott to his widow; classic poetry; an extract from 'Hamlet' by William Shakespeare; fiction passages and biography/autobiography. It is suitable for Year 6 and 7. The progression offered by the books allows parents to reinforce work where needed - there is absolutely no harm in going back to an earlier stage - whilst having an awareness of the level of expectation. Be guided by your child, not by the age range on the book. This is an excellent series which offers great value for money. 

KS2 Comprehension Teachers' Guide Celia Warren

This is a comprehensive supporting volume that includes far more than simply the answers. Whilst primarily designed for use in schools, it will also be invaluable for use at home, as it contains much useful guidance on teaching comprehension. Each activity in the four books is covered - there are answers to the questions, plus an introduction to the text and a wide range of further activities which include a speaking and listening activity for each text. The group record sheets help teachers with that all-important record-keeping.
 

Mental Arithmetic

First Mental Arithmetic Teacher's Guide by Ann Montague-Smith

This guide is indispensable for teachers using the First Mental Arithmetic series with their class. It includes guidance on choosing the most appropriate book for each child, highlighting the fact that children progress through the series by ability not by age; two Entry Tests are included to help choose the most appropriate book for each child. Photocopiable assessment resources as well as diagnostic support are a key part of the book. There are very useful Maths Facts copymasters including number lines from 0-20, 1 to 100 chart, days of the week, abacuses and word cards with numbers as words from one to ten - these practical resources are ideal for busy teachers. The book-specific Language of Maths glossaries to photocopy and distribute to the children are based on each of the books in the series and again, are a really useful resource.

First Mental Arithmetic Book 1 (of 6) by Ann Montague-Smith

First Mental Arithmetic provides carefully graded questions that develop children's essential mathematics skills; the series is designed to be used according to a child's ability not just by expectations for the age. They are a downwards extension of the Schofield & Sims bestseller Mental Arithmetic. Book 1 includes: counting, adding and subtracting, 2D shapes and counting patterns. and 3D shapes days of the week word problems. The three check-up tests allow for further reinforcement and checking of learning. The answer book is available at First Mental Arithmetic Answer Book 1 (of 6): Key Stage 1

First Mental Arithmetic Book 2 (of 6) by Ann Montague-Smith

The full benefit of the books can be ensured by following the progression through the series, according to children's ability. The level of work is carefully planned to match the work done in school, so you can be sure you are keeping your child on the right track. In Book 2, children will learn vocabulary of addition and subtraction; telling the time, 3D shapes, number bonds and word problems. Many of the questions are pictorial but there are no gimics here - just straightforward practice questions to give children plenty of practice. The answers are easy enough to work out, but you can buy  First Mental Arithmetic Answer Book 2 (of 6): Key Stage 1 is available.

First Mental Arithmetic Book 3 (of 6) by Ann Montague-Smith

As with each in the series, the book is divided into sections with sessions within each section. Each session is ideal for a short focused practice session - just enough to keep children interested without feeling it is a chore. Help your child with numerals to 10; addition and subtraction; symmetry; halves and quarters and telling the time with Book 3 - the answers are here First Mental Arithmetic Answer Book 3 (of 6): Key Stage 1. 

First Mental Arithmetic Book 4 (of 6) by Ann Montague-Smith

This book is marked for key stages 1 and 2 - the beauty of the progression through the books is that you have the opportunity to find out your child's level - that is the key factor, not what is being done in class. Build confidence by ensuring your child has grasped the principles of mental arithmetic. Book 4 includes: reading and writing two digit numbers; multiplication and division; halves, quarters and three-quarters; sorting objects, measuring lengths and reading scales. The short sessions are perfect for classroom and home use, giving lots of valuable experience of a wide range of questions. First Mental Arithmetic Answers Book 4 (of 6): Key Stage 1/Key Stage 2 gives the answers.

First Mental Arithmetic Book 5 (of 6) by Ann Montague-Smith

Each section has 30 questions divided into groups of 10. The questions are varied in format and language so children get plenty of experience. Question types covered include questions using pictures or simplified language; questions using relevant mathematical vocabulary and symbols; word problems or questions that test understanding of mathematical concepts. The regular Check-up Tests are there to identify gaps in understanding and it's important to use these and make sure children have fully understood. Just Facts questions help secure knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Each book has a Language of Maths glossary at the start to help develop children's number - these are specific to the book. To accompany this -  First Mental Arithmetic Answer Book 5 (of 6): Key Stage 1/Key Stage 2.

First Mental Arithmetic Book 6 (of 6) by Ann Montague-Smith

This book covers the key subject areas of number, measurement, geometry and statistics, including multiplication, division, fractions, greater than (>) and less than (<), block graphs and right angles. There are 36 single-page sessions, each presented in a unique three-part format comprising: questions using pictures or simplified language; questions using relevant mathematical vocabulary and symbols; word problems or questions that test understanding of mathematical concepts Clear, easy to use and perfect for building confidence both in the classroom and at home. Children enjoy the challenge of mental arithmetic - just doing a few questions a day keeps it fun but still provides essential reinforcement. First Mental Arithmetic Answer Book 6 (of 6): Key Stage 1/Key Stage 2 

Mental Arithmetic Introductory Book by T R Goddard

This book acts as a bridge from Key Stage 1, covering all four number operations, as well as sequences and simple money problems. It includes 36 one-page tests, each presented in a unique three-part format comprising: questions using pictures to develop basic maths skills, questions using symbols and patterns, and questions using simple and consistent language. This variety ensures that children are familiar with a range of question types and gives them confidence for any tests. Achievement Charts monitor progress as pupils work through the book and Just Facts questions provide additional practice. The book is perfect to use at the end of KS1 to ensure all areas of mental arithmetic are understood, and for teachers to use in the first few weeks of Year 3 to check understanding and remembering. A separate accompanying answer book,Mental Arithmetic Introductory Book Answers , contains correct answers to all the questions, making marking quick and easy.

Mental Arithmetic Teacher's Guide by Anne Montagu-Smith

Mental Arithmetic is a highly differentiated series of graded books, proven to raise children's attainment. The series is based on ability (rather than age) so that books can be matched to the needs of each child. The books are also assessment-linked so that children can record their progress and see achievement build over time. The Teacher's guide Book is the essential companion to the pupil books. It includes two Entry Tests to assess pupils' level to ensure the correct book is used; a chart also helps with this. The photocopiable assessment resources enable teachers to do the essential tracking and they also include diagnostic support. General resources can also be photocopied and these include Maths Facts and glossaries..

Mental Arithmetic Book 1

The books don't tell you how to do the questions - there are plenty of books available to do that - but they do offer what is of huge value: practice. Every book does include a really useful section on The Language of Maths. In Book 1, children practise place value (tens and units), times tables, telling the time, giving change and simple fractions. You could do a test a day (there are several tests in each section) or just a 10 question block from each test - be guided by your child and make sure they keep engaged with the activity. All the books in the series are an excellent classroom resource.  Mental Arithmetic Answer Book 1

Mental Arithmetic Book 2

Book 2 covers the key subject areas of number, measurement, geometry and statistics, including fractions, decimals, times tables, units of length, mass and capacity, geometric shapes and co-ordinates. The book includes 36 one-page tests, each presented in a unique three-part format comprising: questions where use of language is kept to a minimum; questions using number vocabulary; questions focusing on one- and two-step word problems - this is an excellent way to ensure children are familiar with all question types. Clearly set out, the books are just what children need for practice. Parents are reassured that they are helping their child in line with what is being done in school and there are plenty of opportunities to practise any areas which are proving a little harder to understand. Mental Arithmetic Answer Book 2

Mental Arithmetic Book 3

This book covers the key subject areas of number, measurement, geometry and statistics, including negative numbers, Roman numerals, decimals, equivalent fractions, time tables, digital and analogue clocks, problem solving and classifying shapes. Consistency is guaranteed throughout the series - every book uses the same method of practising the 4 basic number operations and challenging children to do more complex one- and two-step problems involving logical thinking and application of knowledge previously introduced. Book 3 includes: numbers to ten thousand, 10ths/100ths, multiplication and division tables and averages. It really is worth getting the whole series, both for working through year-by-year and as revision aids. The Progress Tests allow parents and teachers to monitor learning as pupils work through the book and the Check-up Tests help to to identify any gaps in understanding. The answers are in Mental Arithmetic Answer Book 3

Mental Arithmetic Book 4

Book 4 Structured according to ability rather than age, the series allows children to work at their own pace, building confidence and fluency; ideally, follow on from the First Mental Arithmetic series. Mental Arithmetic 4 covers the key subject areas of number, measurement, geometry and statistics, including Roman numerals, square numbers, equivalent fractions, problem solving, reflection, translation and line graphs. Each book is divided into several sections, allowing the parent or teacher to choose how much work to tackle in each section - this also allows for differentiation in the classroom. The layout is clear and simple, with the focus on giving a variety of question styles. It's well worth buying the accompanying answer books, to make checking quick and simple. Mental Arithmetic Answer Book 4

Mental Arithmetic Book 5

Mental Arithmetic 5 covers the key subject areas of number, measurement, geometry, statistics, ratio and proportion, and algebra, including negative numbers, Roman numerals, decimals, equivalent fractions, times tables, digital and analogue clocks problem solving and shapes. It's a comprehensive list that will stand children in good stead for SATS, 11+ and Common Entrance exams. Make your life easier by buying the accompanying answer books - there is one for each in the series. Mental Arithmetic Answer Book 5 (Book 6 of 7): Key Stage 2, Years 3 - 6

Mental Arithmetic Book 6

Book 6 consolidates previous learning, with plenty of practice questions just like the rest of the series. It also moves children on to more complex topics including profit and loss, spreadsheets and mathematical investigations. The answers are in Mental Arithmetic Answer Book 6 Mental arithmetic is a skill we all use virtually every day. It can make a huge difference to children if they have a ready grasp of mental arithmetic and they will reap dividends in all areas of maths. This practical and extremely good value series is an excellent way to give your child this solid foundation.

Maths

 

Understanding Maths: Fractions (Series of 9): by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

The Understanding Maths series reinforces skills at Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum, and the books have been fully updated to reflect the 2014 changes. Each book focuses on a particular topic with explanations, teaching points, exercises, answers section and glossary of terms.  The Fractions book steadily builds an understanding of fractions and how they can be represented and used to solve problems. 'Did you know?' facts explain some of the history behind the development of fractions. Equivalent fractions; comparing and ordering fractions; common denominators; simplifying fractions; mixed numbers and improper fractions are the areas covered. It's easy to follow and takes children at a steady rate through a topic which can seem a little daunting. The great thing about this series is the continuity it offers teachers and parents, who can have confidence that the whole curriculum is covered in a straightforward and easily assimilated way.

Understanding Maths: Multiplication and Division (Series of 9): KS2 by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

Multiplying and Dividing describes and uses the relationship between multiplication and division to develop both mental and written methods for calculations. Fascinating facts help to build a deeper understanding of the subject. The Multiplying and Dividing book includes: covers the following areas: long multiplication, long division, partitioning, factors and multiples, doubling and halving, finding remainders, square and cube numbers, word problems, distributive law and inverses. The language used is clear and understandable and parents will find this a reassuring way to brush up on their own skills so that they can help their children. Children will see the practical value of maths as they use their knowledge to answer real-life questions. They will use both written and mental calculations, ensuring they gain experience of both.

Understanding Maths: Decimals & Percentages (Series of 9) by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

Each separate topic has a short and clear explanation of the principles, followed by plenty of practice questions. The questions are fun and meaningful, relevant to everyday life, and clearly laid out. The book concludes with a final test, so children's understanding can be checked; there are also plenty of progress tests throughout the book, as with all in the series. Topics covered are: ordering, rounding and comparing decimals, adding and subtracting decimals, finding percentages mentally, and with a calculator, estimation, problem solving, and converting fractions to decimals and percentages. Thought-provoking facts foster a love of learning beyond the National Curriculum - it's good to see this way of stimulating interest.

Understanding Maths: Geometry and Measurement (Series of 9): by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

This book explores the simple geometry of 2-D and 3-D shapes and coordinates and the use of metric and imperial measurements It covers the following areas: triangles, circles, symmetry, angles, co-ordinates, length, mass, capacity, time, area and volume. Pupils' interest is stimulated by thought-provoking facts to foster a love of learning beyond the National Curriculum. Throughout the series, regular Progress tests and a Final test track children's development The balance between teaching explanations and tests is excellent throughout the series; don't skip over the tests, because it's important to ensure children have fully understood before moving on. This series is excellent for helping parents to understand what is involved in each topic within the curriculum so they can support the work done in school in full confidence that they are teaching the right way and at the right level.

Understanding Maths: Number Patterns and Algebra (Series of 9) by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

This volume develops skills in recognising, explaining and making predictions in simple number patterns and sequences. It also introduces simple algebra to explain some of the patterns found. Examples and practical activities promote confidence in pattern recognition. Topics covered factors, multiples, fraction sequences, prime numbers, odd and even numbers, negative numbers, Roman numerals, cube and square numbers, term-to-term rule, unknowns and variables, and simple algebra. As well as the questions on each topic, each of the Understanding Maths series includes progress tests and a longer final test to allow parents and teachers to monitor understanding.

Understanding Maths: Statistics (Series of 9): KS2 by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

Parents are often reluctant to help their children with maths, as they feel that teaching methods will be different from their own experience. They can use this series with total confidence, because the instructions are clear and easy to follow and harmonise with the way the subject is taught in today's schools. Statistics meets the National Curriculum requirements for Key Stage 2 maths, and covers the following areas: bar charts, Venn diagrams, grouped data, averages, co-ordinates, 2-D and 3-D shapes, angles, length, mass, capacity, area and perimeter, timetables, distance charts, scatter graphs, pie charts, converting units, and misleading statistics - each has its own explanatory page which includes activities to test and reinforce learning.

Understanding Maths: Addition and Subtraction (Series of 9): KS2 by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

This is an area of maths where constant practice really helps. Adding and Subtracting describes the different ways to add and subtract numbers, using both mental and written methods - this is useful as children will know how they are learning in school and can work at home to support the same method.. Fascinating facts explain how numbers work, which can be used to help make arithmetic easier. Topics covered include the following areas: patterns in calculations, partitioning, finding small differences, inverses, missing number questions, word problems, decimals and questions with long numbers.Word problems are included, with four pages devoted to this important area; it's good to encourage children to practise this area, as reading skills are paramount.

Understanding Maths: Problem Solving (Series of 9): KS2 Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

Problem Solving develops strategies for solving different mathematical problems: reading and deciphering the question, choosing appropriate operations, spotting patterns, systematic recording of information, and deciding on a solution. It covers the following areas: choosing operations, solving word problems, number puzzles, scaling, time, large numbers, negative numbers, square numbers, shape puzzles, money problems, fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio and the distributive law. This is an excellent series to support maths throughout KS2; it covers the whole KS2 maths curriculum and facilitates looking at specific topics. I recommend that parents buy the whole series to give comprehensive coverage - then the books are at hand ready to help with those tricky bits of homework.

Understanding Maths: Practice (Series of 9): KS2 Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

The final book in the series provides further reinforcement of topics introduced in books 1 to 8 of the Understanding Maths series, to ensure that learning is really secure. Practice contains numerous questions on each of these topics, to give children the support they need when preparing for the Key Stage 2 tests. Every page in the Practice book is cross-referenced with the other relevant Understanding book so that children can easily refer to them if they need help. The questions are split into topic areas which reflect the eight books in the series. Use this book to test understanding of the rest in the series and then refer back for any areas of difficulty, especially leading up to the KS2 tests.. An excellent series to support maths throughout KS2

Number Puzzles: Key Stage 2 by Ann Montague-Smith

This is a great way to make maths fun - try it with your child and you will see what I mean. All the puzzles involve numbers and logic, helping children to develop problem-solving strategies and essential mathematics skills. Some are reasonably simple but others are quite challenging. Children are guided by worked examples and the useful hints help problem solving. The answers are supplied. The puzzles include Sudoku, Kakuro, arithmagons, magic squares, Latin squares, multiplication pyramids and grand totals. Good for use at home but also an excellent book to have in the classroom to use when children finish their work early. A good balanced variety of puzzles and plenty of each.

Key Stage 1 Maths Revision Guide by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

The Schofield & Sims Revision Guides help children to revise by guiding them through what they have learned on a topic-by-topic basis. A glossary defines key words related to the subject. Helpful 'Test yourself!'questions check understanding and show if further learning is required. 'Remember' boxes highlight key learning points. The KS1 Maths Revision Guide includes: number and place value; calculation; fractions; problem solving; measurement; geometry and statistics. The book makes good use of colour - enough to make it clear and attractive to children without being too busy and overwhelming. A Curriculum chart is available online www.schofieldandsims.co.uk for all the revision guides. These charts are updated as necessary to meet National Curriculum requirements, so you can be sure the latest information is available to you. Each one shows how the revision guide covers the required content for the key stage.

Key Stage 1 Maths Practice Papers by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

The Maths Practice Papers are similar in appearance and content to the Key Stage 1 mathematics tests with papers on arithmetic and mathematical reasoning. The papers help children to prepare for the tests - the best way to give your child confidence is to make sure they know what to expect. The books feature full instructions (I found these very good with a high level of detail) and detailed mark schemes. Each section is cross-referenced to the separate Key Stage 1 Maths Revision Guide, which children and adults can refer to for help, so it is excellent to use the two together.

Key Stage 2 Maths Revision Guide by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

The book is matched to the National Curriculum and each topic is covered in a one or two page spread, clearly set out, with good use of boxes and diagrams which make it very easy to use. There are a few 'Test yourself' questions on each topic - just enough to check understanding; answers are included. This is a perfect book to help parents refresh their own skills so they can help children, and it allows for reinforcement of all the key topics. Helpful 'Remember' highlight key points. It covers: number; fractions, decimals and percentages; ratio and proportion; calculation; problem solving; algebra; measurement; geometry and statistics. The explanations are clear and easy to follow and there is plenty of detail to ensure a thorough understanding. These revision guides pack in an enormous amount of information and it's well worth having a copy of this to hand right through KS2, to support children and answer questions on how to teach specific topics.

Key Stage 2 Maths Practice Papers by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

This contains sample maths papers in a similar format to the KS2 SATS tests taken in Year 6. There is one arithmetic paper, followed by two reasoning papers, and the layout reflects the layout of the real SATS tests. The books feature full instructions which enable parents to help familiarise their child with the way the tests are taken. The detailed mark schemes include very helpful comments which facilitate further work on the question style; this is an excellent feature and it's well worth spending time going over these points. Each section is cross-referenced to the separate Key Stage 2 Maths Revision Guide, making this a valuable pairing and practical to use together. Make sure that any areas of difficulty are reviewed and your child will be able to approach the tests with confidence.

Key Stage 1 Science Revision Guide Penny Johnson

This Revision Guide help children to revise their KS1 science by guiding them through what they have learned on a topic-by-topic basis. The book is illustrated throughout by colourful diagrams and pictures that help learning and make the book appealing to use - I am very impressed with the look of the pages with their clear layout and good use of colour. The very useful glossary defines key words related to the subject and is an excellent revision aid in itself. Helpful 'Remember' boxes highlight key points, and 'Test Yourself' boxes are perfect for parents and teachers to use with children. The KS1 Science Revision Guide includes living things; plants; animals; seasons and materials plus answers to the 'Test yourself!' questions.

Key Stage 2 Science Revision Guide by Penny Johnson

This reviews what children have learned through KS2 on a topic-by-topic basis. There are sections on Living things and their habitats; animals; evolution; materials; rocks; light; sound; earth and space; forces and electricity. The Working Scientifically section is especially interesting and ties in perfectly with the way science is now taught. Again, the book is impressive for its excellent presentation and good use of colourful pictures and photographs. A few short questions on each topic allow for assessment of knowledge and understanding. The extensive glossary is a brilliant resource - if children know and understand all these terms, they will be well prepared for science tests and KS3 learning. A really practical guide that will be useful right through KS2.

Key Stage 2 Science Practice Papers

Some schools will be required to take KS2 science SATS tests; whether they are or not, these papers will be excellent for checking understanding at the end of KS2. Closely matched to the National Curriculum test frameworks and with questions that reflect the national tests, the tests include full instructions plus guidance on equipment and timings, in order to familiarise children with the format of a formal test. Papers on biology, chemistry and physics are included, along with detailed mark schemes to indicate whether a child is meeting the expected standard. The mark schemes include helpful comments and guidance, and cross-references to relevant information in the corresponding Key Stage 2 Science Revision Guide (reviewed above) are included. Ideal for test practice and reinforcement of learning.

Understanding Science: Forces and Electricity  KS2 Penny Johnson

The Understanding Science series has been revised to be completely relevant for teaching the new curriculum introduced in 2014. reinforces skills and knowledge at Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum. Each book focuses on a particular topic with explanations, teaching points and practical tasks to enable pupils to apply their learning. Forces influence every aspect of your life, making things go faster or slower, rise or fall, float or sink. Equally important is electricity - a form of energy that helps you with many everyday tasks. Magnets; friction, gravity and weight; air and water resistance and electricity are covered in a simple straightforward manner, with plentiful use of diagrams, practical examples and 'Did you know?' facts. Clear layout, uncluttered pages and plenty of illustrations make for an attractive book which will encourage learning.

Understanding Science: Our Bodies  KS2 Penny Johnson

The human body is a wonderful thing and with the aid of this book, children will understand what makes us and how to keep our bodies healthy. Our bodies are amazing: they gradually develop as we grow and they enable us to do so many exciting things. The book includes: human life cycles, puberty, human digestive and circulatory systems, teeth, muscles, skeletons, diet, pulse rates, drugs and medicines. Work done in school can be consolidated at home and revised for any tests that the school may do. The presentation is consistent through each book in the series - they all include thought-provoking facts to foster a love of learning beyond the National Curriculum; a scientific investigation table to highlight opportunities for pupils to practise working scientifically; a combined Index and glossary to define key terms introduced in the text and a complete set of answers at the back of the book.
 

Understanding Science: Using Materials  KS2 Penny Johnson

Using Materials describes how to investigate materials and how they are used. It also explains the differences between natural and manufactured materials and encourages children to think about the differences. Each topic has some simple, well illustrated questions to check understanding. The topics are properties and uses of materials, thermal conductors and insulators, solids, liquids, gases, volumes, rocks, soil and fossils. This book explains the different types of materials, their specific features and how they can be investigated. Materials are all around us and the book makes good use of this fact with plenty of simple activities to help pupils' understanding.

Understanding Science: Animals and Plants  KS2 Penny Johnson

Animals and Plants come in all shapes and sizes, but have you ever wondered exactly how they relate to their surroundings and to one another? This book describes and explains the key features that they share and highlights some important differences between them. Plants, plant life cycles, flowers and fertilisation, seed dispersal, germination, asexual reproduction, living things and their habitats, fossils, animal life cycles, food chains, evolution (an important strand of the new curriculum), adaptation and inheritance are explained clearly and succinctly in this guide. Every book in the series includes really excellent illustrations - not there just to make the books look attractive (although they do that too) but to impart information in a visual way that pupils will find it easy to remember.

Understanding Science: Changing Materials  KS2 Penny Johnson

Children are fascinated by the way materials can change, so build on that fascination and help them to understand the scientific principles behind the changes in this practical and easy to understand book - there are plenty of practical and simple experiments to reinforce learning and have fun at the same time. Topics include evaporation, condensation, the water cycle, burning, filtering, melting, solidifying and dissolving. The questions, as with the whole series, really encourage children to think about what they are learning. The 'Did you know' boxes contain additional information which will really interest children and which offer great opportunities for discussion and stimulation for further research Each book can, of course, be used as a stand-alone to reinforce specific topics - either way, I highly recommend them.

Understanding Science: Light, Sound and Space  KS2 Penny Johnson

This book explores the science of light and sound and how we experience them through shadows, reflections, vibrations and music. It also answers some tricky questions about the Earth, Sun and Moon, widening our understanding of our world and its neighbours in space. Light and sound travel, reflection, shadows, vibration, noise, pitch, volume, the Earth, Sun, Moon and solar system are all covered, together with explanations of the importance of light and sound and the ways in which they can be changed - and hands on activities to demonstrate. As I review Schofield and Sims' books, I am increasingly impressed by how comprehensive the coverage is. The combination of 'Understanding...' books with revision guides and test papers does ensure complete coverage of all children need to have a solid basic understanding of the concepts - and all at excellent value. The benefit of having the whole set of these books at the start of KS2 is that the way science is taught means that topics are introduced in one year and then that knowledge is built on year-on-year, so having all six books to hand at the start of Year 3 will pay dividends.

Login