Review: Oaka Books GCSE Science Active Learning Packs

I’ve been asked a lot recently about which resources I would recommend for GCSE students. In particular, students who have reading difficulties such as dyslexia.

If you do a google search you’ll find a lot of revision guides, workbooks etc. available for all GCSE subjects, but many of them aren’t designed specifically for visual learners and/ dyslexic students. One publishing company that does make learning packs for GCSE level that are suitable for dyslexia are Oaka Books*.

Oaka Books, created by Bambi Gardiner, are a specialist publishing company that create unique revision guides and learning packs for visual learners. They started their company after trying to help their dyslexic daughter who struggled to access the standard big, wordy, revision guides.

This week we’ve been having a look at Oaka Books‘ GCSE Science Learning Packs and I can’t stress enough how fantastic they are. As a former science teacher /SENDCO I honestly wish I had found these resources sooner as they will no doubt make a huge difference to a lot of young people’s ability to revise GCSE science successfully.

What did we like about them?

  • Short & Snappy– I’ve witnessed the difficulties many students have when faced with revision, either with pages of their own notes to revise or lengthy revision guides. These challenges with revision are especially true for children with reading difficulties such as dyslexia. As teachers we spend so much time ensuring dyslexic students can access the work in class, but what happens with revision? In my opinion, many of the revision guides out there have far too much lengthy text for dyslexic teens to access and retain successfully. Thankfully, Oaka Books’ GCSE Learning Packs break up all the lengthy text into short, snappy bullet points and chunks. This helps students to retain focus and make the information easier to process and understand.
  • Engaging – The bullet points are also set out in between lovely, colourful and fun illustrations. Not only do the pictures help retain engagement but they can be particularly useful to visual learners to help with memory recall.
  • Three Step Method- Another problem teens often have when revising is structuring their time. It can be hard to know exactly what to do when revising and how much revision is enough! That’s where Oaka Books’ three step method comes in really handy. No matter which subject a student is revising, their learning packs follow the same (tested!) format: read, engage, learn. That is to say you read the topic booklet, engage with the Q&A cards and then learn by filling in the ‘Write your Own Notes’ booklet. Providing revising teens with a clear format of what to do, like these booklets do, helps them to focus and be much more productive with their revision. There’s no time wasted wondering ‘how to revise’. This can also help reduce stress surrounding revision and their uncertainty of if they’ve done enough.

  • Suitable For Dyslexia – As I mentioned at the start of this post, what sets Oaka Books apart from other study materials for GCSE is their resources are designed to be suitable for dyslexic children/teens and are produced following guidelines from the British Dyslexia Association. They have made their resources suitable for dyslexia by doing extras such as chunking the text into small sections, using bullet points instead of paragraphs and including visual representations throughout.
  • Make Science Revision Fun!– I don’t think this point should be under valued. Revision is usually very dull and this can really put students off. Now I know it’s a difficult task to make teens enjoy revising, but Oaka Books GCSE Science Learning Packs are genuinely quite fun, with their Q&A cards and bright coloured, nicely illustrated booklets.
  • Help Children Reach Their Potential – Importantly these resources can really help teens reach their potential. So often children and teen’s achievement is limited by their reading difficulties- which is completely unfair. If they are finding reading a Science revision guide difficult it doesn’t mean their knowledge and understanding of science is any less! So having learning packs that enable teens not to be disadvantaged by their reading difficulties helps to put them on a level playing field with their peers for revision, allowing them to successfully revise and achieve their potential. The science resources are also written by GCSE science specialist teachers giving you confidence that they are high quality.

Find Oaka Books resources on their website here and amazon here.

*Please note we were sent samples for the purpose of this review and it is sponsored. All words and opinions are our own.

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