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Save time, reduce stress and prepare your students for the practical-based questions

Review of our Student and Teacher Lab Books by Neil Dixon, author and science teacher

Why do I need these for my students?

Everyone knows that Science is a deeply practical subject – that is one of the reasons why we love to teach it, and why our students love to learn about it! The Required Practicals are part of the rich and varied diet of hands-on Science that our students enjoy so much, but we know that these practicals can be tricky. They can be complicated to set up and students often struggle to grasp the underlying concepts and apply their knowledge to novel situations. Since the introduction of the 2016 syllabus, it’s even more essential for students to understand these practicals so that they can really shine in the exams.
Using the Student Lab Books will help students to see which of their practicals are most likely to feature in their exams and give them a chance to practice exam-style questions. Plus, when they come to revise, all their notes on the Required Practicals will be in one place!


Life Before the Lab Books…
Does any of this sound familiar?!...
  • John has forgotten his exercise book (again) so he writes the method, results, analysis and key points for the practical questions in the exam on a sheet of lined paper. We all know where that will end up … lost in the bottom of his bag.

  • Henna and Haroon struggle to obtain any accurate results – it’s just not going their way today.

  • Your class look confused when you ask them how a scientific theory learnt in one experiment might apply to another – we all remember the chaos caused by questions about osmosis in carrots. And that’s before we even get started on boiled carrots and denatured membranes…!

  • Your Chemistry Technician has been ill for a week. The Physics Tech is doing a great job of filling in, but doesn’t know exactly what equipment and chemicals are needed for each practical.

  • Your newest member of staff isn’t very confident with the methods and is slightly anxious about the Health and Safety of some of the practicals.

  • Erin is away today, due to a music exam. She’s very conscientious, but doing the practical on her own at lunchtime on another day just isn’t going to be feasible this time.

  • It seems like the kids are sometimes a little bit cleverer than you are – they finish fast and get all the answers right!

These Lab Books (and the Teacher book) make your life a little easier…
  • Helps students to obtain the highest grades in their exams by setting them the further application questions to practise applying their knowledge when the context of a question might be unfamiliar to them.

  • All of the stuff the kids need to know about all the Required Practicals is in one place. You could keep these books in school until the kids start revising for their exams – John won’t have any excuse!

  • Expected results are provided, so Henna and Haroon will be able to analyse some results to develop their skills and understand what went wrong.

  • Your Physics Tech can use the detailed lists of equipment and chemicals to make sure that everything is ready for you.

  • Erin can use the Student Book, and relevant pages from the Teacher Book to catch up on the missed work. She’ll have other opportunities to develop the skills that were covered in this practical.

  • The Health and Safety notes in the Student Book and the Teacher Book will help to reassure lesson confident colleagues, and sometimes the alternative methods will be more appropriate (or cheaper).

  • To save time, you could photocopy the answer pages from the Teacher Book and put them out for students to self- or peer-assess their results, conclusions and their answers to all the exam-style questions.

  • You can also set quicker students going on the Extension questions, which will keep them busy while others finish (and also start them on bridging the gap between GCSE and A Level).


View the Lab Books series >