Science BTEC, applied and vocational courses: key skills & knowledge booster
Victoria Stutt, Harjit K Singh and Spencer Senior
2014 | 188pp | £69 (PB & CD)
Changes to the BTEC assessment regime from September 2014 make it increasingly important to quickly develop student’s skills so they can successfully tackle independent assignments.
The authors of this resource pack identify the skill and conceptual gaps that usually exist for learners progressing from level two to level three. They attempt to address these needs through activities and tasks across three main areas: key numeracy and literacy skills, practical scientific skills, and scientific concepts.
A brief set of GCSE ‘checker’ questions, designed to serve as brief diagnostic indicators of deficiencies in learners’ pre-existing scientific knowledge, are also included. They are aimed at learners who will have completed both Core and Additional Science at GCSE.
The section dealing with key skills consists of well-structured activities on numeracy, data presentation and analysis in the context of scientific investigations. It also includes a particularly clear section on academic referencing that would be useful to learners who aspire to succeed at distinction level and progress on to higher education. The practical skills section is a reference source that could be dipped into if learners wish to access alternative material beyond that provided by the standard texts.
The book’s main strength is the clarity of presentation, clear uncomplicated scientific language and excellent diagrams that enhance the quality and usefulness of the activities, although there is a strong bias towards chemistry. A useful section on data analysis and evaluation includes a refreshingly clear presentation of basic statistical techniques appropriate for this level.
The individual topic builders are designed to develop conceptual understanding from assumed prior knowledge and consist largely of summary information in the form of bullet point lists, information tables and labelled diagrams followed by check questions and prompts for further study. The 22 topic builders cover a wide range of topics within the programme and nicely complement those provided in the Edexcel BTEC text.
All in all, this photocopiable resource would make a useful addition to the science department bookshelf.
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